Always popular amongst those on their gap year and students travelling on their holidays, backpacking has an increasing appeal to anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the world of travelling. Not only are traditional backpacking establishments cheaper than hotels or other accommodation, meaning your money goes further and you can extend your travels, but hostels and backpacker retreats are also much more sociable than your standard places to stay. You get the chance to meet like-minded travellers, share your sightseeing recommendations and swap advice on how to make the most of your trip.
Backpacking isn't for everyone – those who like to relax in luxury when they are on holiday will baulk at the idea of sleeping in bunk beds in dormitories, shared bathrooms and minimalist facilities which certainly don't stretch to room service or valet parking. However, those who don't mind roughing it can have any number of adventures, meet new people and discover areas that they would otherwise not be able to visit. But remember, it is always worth taking out proper travel insurance to cover you for accidents, injuries, losses or other unexpected occurrences. A trip off the beaten track carries with it risks and potential pit falls and having a policy in place to ensure you won't be left stranded should the worst happen is one of the best ways of protecting yourself wherever and however you travel.
There are many destinations which seem to appeal more to backpackers than others, with Thailand fairly high on the list for travellers from Europe due to the incredible scenery and fascinating culture. It's a chance to visit some of the most impressive attractions such as the Grand Palace in Bangkok, the Chiang Mai night bazaar which covers several streets and is an ideal place to shop for anything you could possibly want from handicrafts to clothes. Koh Tao is popular too, where divers can spot a wide variety of marine species including barracuda, turtles and even sharks.
Australia and New Zealand are also popular amongst backpackers, particularly those from Europe, not least because the flights are long and often expensive, meaning that visitors want to maximise their stay once they arrive by saving money wherever possible. As a result, both countries are welcoming of those travelling on a budget who want to see the sights without breaking the bank. There are a good number of hostels meaning that there is plenty of scope to move from city to city, get the chance to see all the sights and experience the incredible scenery in between the more populated areas. Backpackers in Australia can expect to see kangaroos and koalas in the wild whereas those in New Zealand can spot kiwis as they travel across the country making memories which will really last a lifetime.