Backpacking: free travel

Backpacking: travel light, travel cheap

Backpacking, or “backpacking” in Russian, has been rapidly gaining popularity in recent years. This term refers to budget travel on your own itinerary without the services of travel agencies and hotel stays. The main advantage of this movement is its low cost. Backpacker travels light, no luggage, do not spend money on accommodation, and at minimal cost is able to see the maximum number of cities, and stay in them for as long as wished. That is, it all depends on your imagination, the length of vacation and visa validity, because, you must agree, to see a lot of new places and immerse themselves in another culture for a penny is the dream of every man. Mass backpacking trips began in the sixties, during the gaining popularity of the hippie movement. One of the first followers of this movement was a married couple Wheeler. They later wrote a series of travel guides called “Lonely Planet,” where they shared information about budget hostels, cafes and campgrounds and gave a lot of advice for aspiring backpackers. The most important thing in the everyday life of a “free traveler” is a backpack. It is not a tribute to fashion and is not just a distinctive feature. It is more than that, because the backpacker’s whole life is in the backpack! It is easy and comfortable to travel with it, to walk a few miles or catch a departing bus – not a problem at all. What’s the best way to plan a trip? First of all, choose a city or several cities you would like to see and decide how much money you are willing to spend. The main help in planning the route is the Internet and the numerous sites about backpacking. Be sure to read the reviews of experienced travelers and make a list of interesting non-touristy places. Take into account the fact that the most expensive countries are in Europe and North America. Take care of your documents and visa requirements beforehand. An important consideration when organizing a trip is to choose a backpack and filling it with the necessary things. A standard set includes a minimum of clothes and linens, one or two towels, first aid kit, unbreakable utensils, hygiene products, a penknife and a sleeping bag. Of course, no traveler would go without a camera or camera. Don’t forget that the total weight of your cargo should not exceed 25% of your weight. How do you get to your chosen destination? For long-distance destinations, low-cost airlines, that is, budget airlines, whose tickets are many times less expensive than usual due to the abandonment of comfortable services, familiar to most, and to relatively close destinations – trains, buses, and, of course, hitchhiking. Where to stay? Of course, most backpackers stay in hostels, where the average price ranges around twenty dollars a night. Book a place in advance, for such hostels are in high demand and free beds may not be available. Another option is camping, that is staying in a tent or sleeping bag in a specially arranged place. Well, the best solution is coaching, that is free accommodation with local residents. And do not forget about the rules of safety. Do not bring a large sum of cash, make sure you have insurance, scan your documents and keep them in your email for safety, and learn the culture of the country you intend to visit.

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Backpacking – free travel

Backpacking is free travel on your own, independently developed program. Although the question inevitably arises: can travel be any different? We can hardly call those “events and procedures” that travel agencies peddle at every crossroads a trip. Travel is a desire for new experiences, a step towards everything unexplored and unexpected. Travel by definition implies freedom, independence and a certain amount of unpredictability. Anything else is just recreation, a little more useful and informative than lying on the couch.

(by Paxson Woelber / flickr.com/photos/paxson_woelber)

  • The difference between backpackers and all other independent travelers is the backpack over your shoulders (backpack translates to “backpack”). However, the backpack in this case – it is not a mandatory attribute, but rather a handy symbol, which is the best way to show the main principles of backpacking:
  • Minimal stuff. Going on a trip with a backpack means taking a minimum of things. This principle can be seen as something more than a simple desire to make their movement in space more easily and conveniently (after all, traveling with a backpack is much easier than with a couple or three suitcases). The meaning is deeper – by giving up excess things, a person gets more freedom, and proves to himself that to enjoy life and be happy, you do not need to have something special. In addition, the less stuff one has, the lower the likelihood of loss or theft – and this allows one to relax, not worry and not fuss.

Mobility. A person who can easily carry all of his luggage in a backpack can always follow his heart and make spontaneous decisions about his route, adjusting and changing it as much or as little as he likes. If in the middle of a trip you suddenly want to go to an unplanned place or have a desire (or need) to urgently leave the place of the current stay, it is all easily accomplished – half an hour to pack a backpack, and you can go on the road. No duffel burden – no barriers that can stop you.

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(By M A T C H S / www.flickr.com/photos/mattmatches)

Backpacking as a style of travel was born in the 1960s, for it was during this decade that many people came to realize that consumption, the race for status and material goods were empty, false desires imposed by the system.

(by Seattle Municipal Archives / www.flickr.com/photos/seattlemunicipalarchives)

One of the main distinguishing features of backpacking is its cheapness. It may seem to many that poor backpackers have to pay an expensive price for cheapness in the form of many inconveniences and disadvantages, but in fact the opposite is true. Cheapness in this case is not a disadvantage and not a burden, but a valuable advantage, because its flip side is complete independence and freedom. A man who refuses the services of travel agencies, freedom to dispose of itself: it is only independently forms its route, the timing of the journey, the choice of where to live, where to eat and what to eat. Well, the “packer” is more like a prisoner than a free man: he is tied to one hotel, lives in a schedule planned by someone else, goes only to where the tour operator organizes tours, sees only what he is allowed to see.

(by Paxson Woelber / www.flickr.com/photos/paxson_woelber)

Freelance travelers – backpackers – go to all kinds of corners of the world: they can be found in small European towns and cities, in bustling Asian metropolises, and in African villages. They know that you can travel anywhere in the world on very little money, not limiting yourself and having a lot of fun at the same time.

(by Katie@! / www.flickr.com/photos/cliche)

Backpacker Transportation.

One of the main distinguishing features of backpacking is its cheapness. It may seem to many that poor backpackers have to pay an expensive price for cheapness in the form of many inconveniences and disadvantages, but in fact the opposite is true. Cheapness in this case is not a disadvantage and not a burden, but a valuable advantage, because its flip side is complete independence and freedom. A man who refuses the services of travel agencies, freedom to dispose of itself: it is only independently forms its route, the timing of the journey, the choice of where to live, where to eat and what to eat. Well, the “packer” is more like a prisoner than a free man: he is tied to one hotel, lives in a schedule planned by someone else, goes only to where the tour operator organizes tours, sees only what he is allowed to see.

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(by Paxson Woelber / www.flickr.com/photos/paxson_woelber)

Backpacker lodging.

In the cool five-star hotel backpacker can not be found, but in the hostels he is almost every second guest. Hostel – a kind of hotel-hostel, where you can live for a small amount (about 20 euros in Europe, in Asia – even cheaper) in a room with multiple beds, usually designed for 6-12 people. Showers and toilets are shared. In hostels is always a kitchen where you can cook your own food, saving at the same time and on food – it’s still much cheaper than eating in cafes and restaurants, and, of course, much better than living on hot dogs and candy bars. Often in hostels, and there are separate rooms for one or two residents – they are, of course, more expensive than a bed in a common room, but still turns out to be cheaper than staying in a traditional hotel.

It is better to book a place in the hostel in advance via the Internet. But if you didn’t do it beforehand and when you arrived it turned out that the hostel was overcrowded, there is still a possibility that somewhere in the closet they can find an extra bed for you and you won’t end up on the street (but it’s better not to risk it). And in Asian countries in this situation you may be offered to sleep on the terrace in a sleeping bag (it is always advisable for a backpacker to have it with him).

Hostels are an option for urban environments, but for those who like to live in nature camping is an ideal option. Camping is very common around the world and are small tent cities (sometimes they have small houses), where you can live for a very small amount of money (2-15 euros). Of course, you can live for free in nature: put a tent in your favorite place – that’s home. But firstly, not all countries are allowed to camp freely in nature, and secondly, in camping, in addition to the land you are also provided with a number of amenities (toilets, showers, sinks, etc.).

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Finally, the most budget option for accommodation (the cost is zero) – is a couchsurfing. The essence of the project is that in a social network of couchsurfers you find a person willing to host you at home in the city where you are going. Depending on their capabilities, a person gives their guest either a separate room or a place on the couch, and sometimes the entire house can be at the disposal of the guest. Staying with someone through couchsurfing not only solves the problem of housing, but also gives you the opportunity to make new acquaintances and get to know the city better through communication with its inhabitants.

(by obscure allusion / www.flickr.com/photos/26158205@N04)

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