Backpackers, with their unique charm and enthusiastic free spirit, can very often make their travel escapades look easy. And, while globetrotting the world, sampling mouthwatering international cuisine and meeting fresh faces look effortless, the adventure can get quite bumpy. Let’s face it, there are tons of things on the road that can make you dazed and frustrated, such as language barriers and flight delays. And, as far as I’m concerned, it is the way they handle these unfortunate events that really separates the great backpackers from the average tourists and casual travelers.
Want to travel the world like a real, great and seasoned backpacker? Then, make sure to develop and master these key skills and traits.
1. A true backpacker is not materialistic
A real backpacker takes pleasure in the simpler things that life has to offer. He or she doesn’t need to spend thousands of dollars in lavish accommodations and gourmet meals, to enjoy a blissful and unforgettable trip. As a matter of fact, a backpacker considers a flushing toilet or a hot shower as a luxury, and not a necessity.
2. An excellent networker
There are a lot of great things about a destination that you simply won’t find in guidebooks and travel blogs. Of course, nobody knows this concept better than the seasoned backpackers. These savvy travelers know that they have to dig a bit dipper, to get right to the heart of the place they are visiting.
They will try to mingle and mix with the destination’s locals, and even talk to strangers on a bus or train, to the get the lowdown on what to do and where to go in the city they’re visiting. If the city has a hidden jewel, a great backpacker will most likely discover it way before any regular tourist.
3. A top-notch strategist
Great backpackers, for the most part, have a blueprint or an informal layout of how their trips would go. Before any backpacking adventure takes place, these travel junkies will take down notes about their next destination’s transportation systems, as well as know the distance between the surrounding destinations and cities.
What’s more, they will reach out to other backpackers, and drop by Facebook communities, to get an inside scoop of some of the best places to dine and sleep in their next destination. Even if some of them don’t have rigid travel plans, they always have a good and confident know-how of where they’re heading.
4. A prolific economist
As far as budgeting, an experienced and savvy backpacker is oftentimes just as prolific as a financial expert. He or she may not be a wealthy business tycoon, but a good backpacker knows how to spend money wisely. Plus, a great backpacker knows how to earn a living while backpacking and traveling the world. With his or her ability to manage funds efficiently, a backpacker can still live well, even if he or she is earning less in a foreign land.
5. A master in packing
A slick backpacker has mastered the art of packing, and can fit all his or her worldly possessions into one good backpack. Trust me, he or she only needs a small carry-on packed with well-picked and versatile essentials, to experience a gleeful and meaningful backpacking adventure.
6. A great backpacker knows how to go with the flow
From noisy hostel dorms to fight delays, there are a lot of unpleasant things that are beyond your control, when you backpack and travel. But guess what? A good backpacker knows how to roll with these situations, and accept them for what they are.
Speaking of bad travel experiences, a great backpacker rarely loses his or her temper, even in unfavorable times like missing the bus, or waiting for hours in a long immigration line.
8. A backpacker always looks on the bright side
Great and experienced backpackers embrace bad situations, and turn them into fun and meaningful experiences. They won’t get mad at the waiter, whenever they don’t get the dish they ordered. Instead, they see it as opportunity to sample something new, or even discover a new favorite dish.
A true backpacker is very open to trying and seeing new things even in an exotic destination. After all, a great backpacker is an open-minded person who is always willing to learn about different religious beliefs, cultures, societies and ways of living.
10. Lives in the moment
When average tourists visit the majestic Taj Mahal, they normally spend a few minutes snapping selfies and photographs of the mausoleum from a variety of angles, and then head off to a restaurant. A true backpacker, on the other hand, would take a seat, observe the building’s breathtaking intricacies, and take in the beautiful sights. While snapping a selfie or photograph is fine, real backpackers know that it is not fun to see and experience the world through a camera’s lens.
Backpackers, after years of traveling with limited budget and supplies, have developed the attribute of resourcefulness. In fact, they can even eat a hearty and scrumptious meal without using a bowl, plate or spork.
A real backpacker has the confidence to do anything. With years of conquering challenges and travel experiences, these people are confident enough to face everything life throws at them.
Ever wondered why most backpackers ask too many questions? Backpackers, in general, are rather curious people who have an undying hunger for knowledge, challenges and adventure. They travel not for the cool Instagram photos, but to learn more about the world, as well as its cities, cultures, and people.
14. A good communicator
You would rarely find a backpacker who has poor social and communication skills. Years of traveling and meeting new people have trained these people how to communicate effectively with anyone, and in any situation.
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