Backpacking Best Way To Travel

Why Is Backpacking The Best Way To Travel? Why Do Backpackers Use Backpacks?

Backpacking stands out as a distinctive and liberating way to explore our planet. It brings about a unique philosophy that resonates with many adventure seekers. It enables us to get to the far corners of the world where wheeled luggages can't simply take you. In my opinion backpacking is the best way to travel; let's see if you can agree with my thought process.

Why Is Backpacking The Best Way To Travel?

Minimalistic Lifestyle

Backpacking encourages travelers to prioritize experiences over things. The limited space in a backpack provokes thoughtful packing and teaches us what is truly essential in life.

This reminds me of a book that has heavily impacted my life called Goodbye Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki. In short, the author writes about how stressed he was until he said 'goodbye to things' he absolutely doesn't need. I remember there was a part in the book where he mentions how we automatically feel less stress when arriving to a hotel. There is a liberating feeling that everybody has when the only things we need to worry about at that specific moment on the trip is ourselves and our luggage. This is the same with backpacking but backpacking encourages you to bring even less stuff (because of the fact you will have to carry it).


Embracing Freedom

You have the flexibility to change plans, explore off-the-beaten-path destinations, and immerse yourself in the spontaneity of the journey. Think about it. When you travel with a roll-aboard (2 wheels) or spinner (4 wheels) luggage, you can't go very far wheeling your bags. You have to constantly rely on other forms for transportation to help you get around if where you need to go is more than a 5 minute walk.

I travel to Europe often since I've lived in Spain and Italy and have lots of friends there. Seeing folks carry their wheeled luggage like a mafia-style briefcase is one of my pet peeves. The wheels on your suitcase don't stand a chance against cobblestone streets. And in Spain, the sidewalks often look like this below:


Cultural Immersion

One of the primary advantages of backpacking is the unparalleled opportunity for cultural immersion. Engaging with locals and navigating public transportation as if you lived like an everyday person there truly offers a genuine and authentic experience. This goes beyond the surface-level tourist encounters.

Speaking about cultural immersion, check out the lodging that I stayed at in the jungle of Colombia below. Probably the worst sleep I have ever had! So close to others in a very hard hammock and feeling so exposed to the jungle. Supposedly this way of lodging is common in Colombia.


Connection With Nature

I try not to talk about nature on our blog because there are other travel backpacker demographics that are more inlined with nature. Check out our blog titled The Diverse World Of Backpackers where I explain the differences between Backpack Travelers vs Backpack Campers vs Backpack Hikers. However using a backpack helps you navigate on uneven surfaces, dirt roads, and rocks.

I remember when I was travel backpacking through Albania with a friend. We rented a car at one point but decided we wanted to check out a camp site. It was located along the sea, under the pines, near old war trenches. It was more "glamping" than camping since the tents had bedding and there were functioning showers and bathrooms. There are a handful of campsites just like this in Albania. The one I stayed at was called The Sea Cave Camping in Himare.



Community And Camaraderie

The backpacking community is a unique and welcoming group of like-minded individuals. Sharing stories, tips, and experiences with fellow backpackers fosters a sense of camaraderie. You can easily meet other backpack travelers at hostels and identifying them on a bus or train is a no-brainer. To go on a trip that isn't to an all-inclusive hotel or a fancy beach side resort is really for the open-minded, wanderlust people (the best people out there). 

In essence, backpacking isn't just a travel style; it's a mindset and a way of life. So, throw on your backpack and Embrace The Journey that transcends the ordinary. 

Common Questions From First Time Travel Backpackers

Since you're reading a blog post about why backpacking is the the best way of travelling, most likely you are a first time backpack traveller. So let me answer a few more of the common questions that I get from first time Backpack Travellers. 

Are Backpacks Good For Travel?

Absolutely, backpacks are great for travel! Backpacks are a practical choice for all travellers. Backpacks have versatility, functionality, and convenience that make them an indispensable companion for any trip. Whether you're navigating through crowded airports, exploring remote trails, or simply strolling through foreign streets, a well-designed backpack ensures that you have all your essentials at hand while keeping your hands free. 

Backpacks allow you to travel to areas that a wheeled suitcase wouldn't be able to. I remember staying at homestay in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. In order to get to the homestay, we had to take a canoe-like boat. I can't image wheeling on a suitcase onto a boat like that. A backpack let me get onto the boat smoothly and navigate through uneven dirt roads to get to the homestay.

(This was the Vietnamese boat to head to my accommodation)

Are Backpacks Safe For Travel?

Safety is important when it comes to travel, and backpacks are designed with security in mind. Modern backpacks often come equipped with various anti-theft features, such as lockable zippers, hidden compartments, and slash-resistant materials, providing travelers with added peace of mind. Additionally, maintaining personal awareness and taking precautions, such as keeping valuables close and avoiding displaying expensive items, can further enhance safety while traveling with a backpack. While no bag is completely immune to theft or loss, choosing a reliable backpack and exercising caution can significantly reduce the risk, making backpacks a safe and practical choice for travelers. Modern day backpacks come prepared for you to feed a cable combination lock through.

A backpack on the smaller side may even fit in with locals. Where a suitcase with wheels definitely screams tourist.

Can You Travel With Just A Backpack?

Absolutely, traveling with just a backpack is not only feasible but also increasingly popular among travellers. With careful planning and smart packing strategies, it's entirely possible to fit all your essentials into a single backpack, eliminating the need for bulky luggage. By selecting versatile clothing and lightweight, multi-purpose accessories, travellers can streamline their packing and maximize space within their backpack. Oh, and let's not forget compression packing cubes. Whether you're embarking on a weekend getaway or a long-term adventure, traveling with just a backpack offers a liberating and immersive experience that allows you to focus on what truly matters – exploring the world around you.





I’m Mark, the Founder of Generation Nomad, Avid Travel Backpacker & Digital Nomad. I am passionate about helping others discover the world through my experiences. I solo backpacked for months at a time, lived abroad, and even speak two foreign languages. Besides collaborating on the best lightweight travel accessories for Travel Backpackers, I also love sharing my travel photography.
Favorite Trips: Spain, Egypt & Vietnam 
Favorite Cuisines: Italian, Peruvian & Japanese
Quote: “Be a circle and just roll with it” 

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