By Denise van de Kraak, Efficient Hotel Partner, 13 September 2017
Many people think of backpacking as hours of walking with a backpack that is larger than the person wearing it. This is usually not a very realistic picture. Backpacking is simply making trips with a low budget and a backpack. You have backpacking in the form of long hikes with a backpack but generally speaking travellers speak about the first when they talk about backpacking. There is often a big difference between all backpackers but you can divide them into several categories. Do you recognize yourself in any of these categories?
The outdoor traveller
Often slightly older and instantly recognizable by the boots, zip-off pants and clothes form The North Face. The outdoor traveller is ready for anything. A snowstorm in Thailand? No problem, the outdoor traveller has a windproof jacket with pants and underwear. Always good to travel during another long trek so. You find these backpackers everywhere where outdoor activities are so think of Peru or Nepal for example.
The flash packer
The flash backpackers can also be recognized clearly. Half of the luggage is namely electronics. A laptop, tablet, SLR, GoPro, drone and all travel gadgets go on each trip. Often in the age group 20 to 30 years old. They travel low budget but not so low budget that you encounter them in all dorms and cheap hostels. Where do you find them? Anywhere where to find good WiFi of course.
The spiritual traveller
This traveller is of course ‘’looking for himself’’. He is often reading a book about Buddhism, meditation, living in the present or yoga. The ‘spiritual traveller’ is a good travel partner when you spend hours waiting on the bus. Before you know it, you will have the whole afternoon talking about the meaning of life and maybe come to new insights yourself. Generally, you will find these types of backpackers in South America, India and Southeast Asia.
The gap year traveller
Usually just finishing a study program or directly start a new study after the trip. What often happens is that the gap year traveller has just ended a long relationship. They often travel with a ‘’round the world ticket’’ and visit around three continents in one year. Asia and Oceania are places the gap year traveller visit almost always and they usually travel the known routes within each country.
They can be immediately recognized by harem pants, dreadlocks and a large number of bracelets and necklaces. You can find them at the local reggae bar or in the villages and towns where most tourists do not come. Hippies are worldwide to find but still are found in the majority places like Goa, Varkala and Pushkar.
Spent most of their time sightseeing, tours and other activities. Participating often with other couples and found less on party destinations.
The hangover traveller
This one we all know. Mostly from Australia, New Zealand, England or Ireland. Shorts, flip-flops, sunglasses and a t-shirt with some logo of a beer brand on it. Spent most of their time drinking, partying and recovering from it. Not the finest backackers to encounter if you’re one of the other travellers because of the noisy character and the state they are in 50% of the time. Yet you can experience them best by night at party destinations like Bali and Thailand.
The past traveller
Living in the past and they tend to come often to a country where they have been years ago. They speak about how everything has changed. These travellers can be found at the same locations as of which they now say they are ruined by tourism.
I think I am an ‘outdoor traveller’. For three weeks, I have been a backpacker in Indonesia, Bali and Java. I had a very cool experience. Have you ever been a backpacker? Tell me in a comment below which traveller you are!