So this question was recently asked on our forums to help educate the people that have never gone backpacking.
The responses we got were great and they came from “seasoned” travelers, so rest assured that this insight is top of the line.
Rather than give them to you in my words, I will share some highlights in their words.
You can be a backpacker and still be clean. juliagulia
It’s much easier to meet people in a hostel than you’d ever think. Any social awkwarness about walking up to a stranger or someone different than you is pretty much gone because meeting strangers is the whole point! maracle
It’s easier than it looks. Backpacking, that is. You have total freedom from itineraries and plans, unless you choose to make them. joker
-Its not dangerous (depending on where you are).
-Its not dangerous (depending on where you are) for a female to go alone.
-You don’t have to be rich.
-Hostels are not places where people go to die (OMG if someone makes that joke one more time…)
-The language barrier can be overcome.
-Its not a waste of time/money. lizz
-How easy it is!
-How little paperwork/planning you need
-How inexpensive it is!
-How little importance should be placed on the flight cost
-How safe big cities can be
That trains aren’t always the cheapest way to go
-That Europe doesn’t end at the Iron Curtain
That things can go wrong. joe7f
People don’t realize how easy it is to do, especially by yourself. raoulduke
And the biggest change you’ll find is that you will learn that you can do things you didn’t realize you could do. You’ll find you can dig deeper than you thought. Much like the way playing sports will show you the “balls” you may not have thought you had. I know everyone says it will change your life but its often hard to say just how it will do so. That’s the best way I can put it in such a limited amount of space. ChasinJason1313
When backpacking alone, you are will only really be “alone” for short periods of time.
Does not have to deplete your life savings if you know how to budget and know all the tips and tricks. pinknick38
1. That you will meet and make fast, immediate and deep friendships with people from all over the world. These people will be so much more like you than you could ever imagine.
2. That it is possible to see huge portions of the world and stay traveling for incredibly long periods of time for much less than they could imagine.
3. It is possible to get a job for awhile overseas, whether “under the table” or officially, and prolong your stay for as long as you want.
4. That you can be ANY AGE and backpack.
5. That you’re not alone in wanting to do this…you’re not weird…that across the world, there are thousands of others who feel as you do and want to see the world like you do.
6. That you absolutely, positively, will NOT regret doing it. WorldWideMike
It isnt all, drugs sex and booze…..
just sorta. court
You don’t have to be a drifter, open or even of a free spirited nature to backpack, it just helps.
For potential student travelers and those of you who have never gone backpacking, these are golden nuggets so hopefully they sink deep down into your soul and puts to rest any fear or reservations you’ve had to pull the trigger and take action on your life alter trip.
I cannot sum it up any better than backpacker budget travel legend WorldWideMike who says on #6. “That you absolutely, positively, will NOT regret doing it.”
Thanks goes to all the TPunks who shared your tips!
The tips in their entirety can be viewed here.