First, understand what backpacking is?
The term backpacking has evolved for years. The word originally denotes outdoor activities in the wilderness such as mountaineering, tramping, camping or trekking. In the recent years, backpacking is also used to denote a form of low-cost international traveling. Some factors that describe backpacking are:
- Use of public transport as means of travel
- Hostels / budget accommodations
- Use of backpack
- Interest in meeting the locals
In a more clever sense, the importance in backpacking is the sense of authenticity, education more than a vacation; experience the REAL destination rather the packaged deals marketed by tourism which has led the statement that backpackers are anti-tourist. Backpackers are always in the know of what and how different life is in their travel destinations by experiencing it like the locals do. The term “backpacker” or “backpacking” is somehow synonymous to nomads, wanderlusts, adventurers, risk takers and survivors.
So why backpack?
For those who are still unsure, scared, or confused about backpacking, this page is aimed at you! Yes…It’s aimed at showing you that backpacking is the best idea you’ve ever had…
Most people think that a perfect holiday comes in package deals with all the trimmings. Backpacking is so much more than that! It is an experience. It’s a way of experiencing the local life that you just can’t get from expensive package deals. Backpacking is a way of thinking, a way of life. It’s a back to basics way of appreciating the small things, with your possessions on your back and a multitude of roads to follow, who knows where it will take you…
You might be asking now “why backpack when I can get package deals”? What makes backpacking so much fun? What makes it different? Okay, I’ll give you two scenarios for comparison.
SCENARIO 1: When you go on a package deal holiday (which is most of the time — PRICEY), pay your money and this agency sorts everything for you, from air tickets to hotels and tours. All you have to do is turn up for the flight. You get to your destination, stay on a fancy hotel with nice food, big bath tub, big cozy bed with posh pillows. You spend a week on a beach or on a swimming pool, breakfast served every day and buffet dinner every night. Sounds nice right? But..where’s the adventure? Where’s the “I did it myself – I got there myself” feeling or reward? Where’s the “that’s so cool you better try it yourself” factor?
SCENARIO 2: When you go backpacking, it’s all there. You’re the one responsible for everything. You control your freedom. You decide how long you want to stay, where you want to go next and what to do afterwards. There is no itinerary other than your own, and if you don’t like the place, you have the freedom to get up and go elsewhere — the freedom that just isn’t there in the package deal. When you go backpacking you stay in a cheaper accommodation which tends to be right in the city where you are surrounded with local people. You experience the city in a far more personal way than if you go on a package deal holiday where all you meet are tour guides and other tourists.
Convinced? You should be. =) Say you finally decided on going backpacking. You bought a backpack and thought “now what?”. These goes next: