Backpacking is a great way to embark on a grand travelling adventure. For the uninitiated, backpacking is an activity where you travel from place to place carrying everything you need in one backpack. There are no other luggage to slow you down and no big tents. All you have are the things in your pack, the clothes you wear, and contents of your pockets.
Of course this can deal a lot of different benefits as well as a myriad of disadvantages. For people looking into the activity here is a quick but in-depth look at several main pros and cons of backpacking.
Pros of Backpacking
1. You’ll Experience the Places You Visit – you’re not just going to find yourself staring at the hot tourist spots; you’ll live and experience everything there is in the place. Backpackers aren’t restricted by tour dates and schedules. You can literally go and do what you want.
2. Boost Social Skills – backpackers develop great social skills since they have no one to really guide them through. This means you’ll have to make new friends, spend time researching on the Web, and really get down and dirty with the locals.
3. Everything is With You – you won’t leave a few things behind when you’re out water rafting or travelling from bus to bus because everything you need is on your back. This is convenience in its most basic form and that freedom is one of the main elements that backpackers enjoy.
4. It’s Cheaper – travel agencies charge a lot of money but when you go backpacking it’s all up to you how you travel. Will you go with expensive cabs or will you venture through local public transportation? Will you cycle up the mountain trail or ride a horse? In most cases, backpacking makes it much more affordable.
5. No Restrictions – You can stay in any hotel or inn and you can opt to camp out by renting tents or couch-surf with a new friend in the area. There are absolutely no restrictions when you backpack.
Cons of Backpacking
1. You’re Travelling Blind – unless you do your research, you’ll be unaware of the places to stay, the tourist spots to go to, and where to find good local delicacies.
2. Less Than Spectacular Accommodations – backpackers usually don’t get to enjoy the best resorts and instead have to stay in dorms and cheap inns. It is part of the experience but at times it can get weary.
3. Limited Amenities – as expected with shoving everything in a single backpack, you won’t be able to carry more than the bare essentials. Sometimes a sudden emergency might require a change of clothes and if you don’t have any, you’ll have to buy cheap shirts on the spot.
Both an advantage and disadvantage of backpacking is the limitation on safety. You will find that there are backpacker insurance policies available but their premiums will differ depending on your gender, age, and where you are going. Still, with the surprising twists and turns on the road, you’ll want to be sure of your health and safety so backpacker insurance is one thing you need to pack with you as well.