If you’re familiar with budget travel, you’ve probably heard of backpacking. It is a popular method of international travel that involves traveling with whatever items you can fit into a backpack. Backpackers stay in hostels versus hotels and oftentimes shop in grocery stores and prepare their own food versus eating out in restaurants. Backpacking is popular with young people who want to see the world but can’t spend lot of money doing it.
The Advantages of Backpacking
The obvious perk of backpacking is that it is cheap. Backpackers travel using the cheapest modes of transportation like bus and train. They stay in inexpensive hostels and eat inexpensive food. One of the joys of backpacking is that when you are on the backpacking trail, you can meet many other travelers and share stories. You can also make friendships that last a lifetime. Even backpacking alone can be entertaining since you will meet so many people on the same trail and have more opportunities to interact with others at hostels where you share dorms and kitchens.
Backpacking is also more interesting than traveling as a hotel tourist because you are oftentimes exposed to parts of the culture that you wouldn’t be if you were just on tours and staying in fancy hotels. You can learn about areas of cities that only locals go to and local people are more likely to approach you to show you around.
Another advantage of backpacking is that most backpackers can afford to spend an extended amount of time traveling since their money goes a long way. Many backpackers travel for months on end. Gap year travel refers to backpacking after one graduates from high school or university. Many young people travel for a year prior to entering university or the work force.
Backpacking has grown considerably, chiefly due to the fact that cheap airlines and budget accommodations are becoming more commonplace. The internet and popularity of travel guides such as Moon guidebooks and Lonely Planet are also making it much easier for travelers to plan trips and know what to expect.
Backpacking Europe is one of the most popular routes because of the proximity of all of the different countries and good infrastructure. The train system and large amount of hostels makes Europe an easy and enjoyable destination to backpack. However many adventurous backpackers are also choosing to backpack in developing areas that are further off the beaten path.
In conclusion, backpacking is an inexpensive and enjoyable way to see the world. With the recent economic crunch, for many people backpacking is the only viable way to travel. It is becoming popular even with older people since it gives travelers the opportunity to interact with each other as well as get closer to the local cultures in the countries they visit. If you want to see the world and don’t mind giving up some of the creature comforts you are used to, get out there and see what backpacking is all about.