It has to be said that different people choose backpacking as a way to travel for different reasons, though there are some reasons here that are probably common to all who travel this way.
You don’t have to be a young gap year student to backpack and you don’t have to be going on a year long round the world trip, some people back pack for a week or even less, many people backpack as a break for work and do so regularly and a few people of course backpack almost constantly and become legends in their own right.
If you’re unsure about backpacking though and whether its right for you then read these ten reasons and if you’re not already convinced we hope you will be.
Seeing more of a culture
If you choose to go on a package holiday how much of a culture will you really see? If you go to a resort especially, or a town or city that has little other than its tourist industry what you are going to be seeing in a homogenised version of
a culture presented for tourists. By backpacking you can go wherever you like and see more than just the common tourist traps. Even going to a city you see more than the city centre and go out and see other places and people too.
Other backpackers are often the best sources of information on where else to go to experience more such as local festivals and genuine traditional cuisine for example. If you decide to stick around in one place for a while and perhaps work then you have even more opportunity to actually get to know locals and be part of a village, town or city’s daily life.
Chances to meet people
Meeting people of course is a massive part of backpacking and you will find that backpackers come from all over the world so even on a short trip you can meet people from places you know nothing about and find out something about the people. Some friendly banter in hostels and campsites between different nationalities is inevitable and things can get competitive too especially if the hostel or campsite has a bar.
Travelling alone or in small groups especially you will find it very easy to meet other people and you may well get the chance to tag along for a while, where you’ll get the chance to really get to know people; expect to make lifelong friends and come back with a long list of places around the world where you’ll always be welcome to stay for free.
See more for less money
It shouldn’t be underestimated how much of a role saving money has for choosing backpacking of course, it often isn’t that you couldn’t afford some package tour in a luxury hotel but you can get so much more for your money by backpacking. For the same as a 2 week resort break you can probably travel dozens of countries for a couple of months backpacking and if you are happy to stop and work along the way you can keep going almost perpetually.
A sense of freedom
Certainly for those younger backpackers who still live at home or have only just left home getting away where you have no one to tell you what to do is a great draw. For those who have been studying though or those taking a break from work the freedom is just as important though it is from the everyday schedule of having places to be and things to do, as well as bosses to serve. Backpacking you can do what you want when you want, especially if you travel alone.
Proving something to oneself
For some backpackers being able to go backpacking and fend for oneself with nothing but what you can carry on your back is very fulfilling and is a way of showing yourself you are something more than you may have seen yourself as to that point: defined by your job perhaps, it may even give you the boost I confidence you need to go for that new job or promotion.
Get some stories and anecdotes
Basically become a more interesting person: especially if at work and when you go to parties your friends and family have stories about things they’ve done while you struggle, backpacking can leave you with tales of adventures that will leave some green with envy, and others just impressed.
A lot of first time backpackers start out with a strict itinerary of places to go and things to do that they plan to stick to rigidly, this normally falls apart quite fast though and if it doesn’t you will miss out, and risk falling out with any travelling companions. With backpacking part of the beauty is you can change your mind and go whichever direction you choose. Other backpackers will often recommend places to you which you have never heard of and recommend fantastic festivals you just have to visit: so to make the most throw yourself in and let yourself be flexible.
Build more life experience
For those n their teens or twenty-somethings they may feel that the skills and experiences they will gain from backpacking will make them more able to deal with life and their improve confidence and people skills especially and they are quite right; even people who are a little older can benefit though. If you have always struggled with meeting people and getting to know people then go backpacking, maybe even alone, and you will find that other backpackers are the friendliest and easiest people to get on with that you will ever meet, which can really boost your confidence too.
Become more employable
Employers like to see you are the kind of person who will get out and go and that you have confidence so if they see you have been backpacking they will understand that you are that kind of person and have seen a little more of the world than most.
Get away from work or study and de-stress
Modern life can be stressful and you can find yourself burnt out tired and lacking the energy and ambition you used to have. Backpacking is ideal for relaxing and reinvigorating yourself and stepping back to look at your life and what you really want from it.
The Parties and adventures
Backpacking isn’t just about travelling and visiting sites, it is about adventures and parties too: a lot of great parties which you would never know were happening otherwise you can find your way to as a backpacker via he people you meet. Often beach parties of parties out in the countryside, perhaps festivals that could be massive events or local village events. As for adventures they could be anything such as hiking, open air swimming or any number of adventure sports and other activities.
Backpacking perhaps isn’t for everyone, some people aren’t willing to rough it or to live for a short time without the schedule and the strict rigidity that normally rules their lives and makes them feel safe, but for others backpacking can be life changing and utterly life enhancing and both in small or large doses.