Backpacking is a form of low-cost, independent international travel. It includes the use of a backpack or other luggage that is easily carried for long distances or long periods of time; the use of public transport; inexpensive lodging such as youth hostels; a longer duration of the trip when compared with conventional vacations; and an interest in meeting the locals as well as seeing the sights. It is typically associated with young adults who generally have fewer obligations and thus more time to travel.
Backpackers typically are price-conscious but due to the length of time they spend in particular countries many services and the economy as a whole benefit. Backpacking may include wilderness adventures, local travel and travel to nearby counties while working from the country in which they are based.
The definition of a backpacker has evolved as travelers from different cultures and regions participate. A 2007 paper said “backpackers constituted a heterogeneous group with respect to the diversity of rationales and meanings attached to their travel experiences. They also displayed a common commitment to a non-institutionalized form of travel, which was central to their self-identification as backpackers.”Backpacking as a lifestyle and as a business has grown considerably in the 2000’s as a result of low-cost airlines and hostels or budget accommodations in many parts of the world.
Of importance in backpacking is a sense of authenticity. Backpacking is perceived as being more than a holiday, but a means of education. Backpackers want to experience the “real” destination rather than the packaged version often associated with mass tourism, which has led to the assertion that backpackers are anti-tourist For many young people in Northern Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Israel, backpacking is often a rite of passage. It is less common among Americans, particularly when taking into account the large population demographics, but it is also gradually becoming more popular. In Canada, it is quite common for gap-year students to visit Europe. Backpacking trips were traditionally undertaken either in a “gap year” between high school and university, or between the latter and the commencement of work. However the average age of backpackers has gradually increased over time, and it is not uncommon to include travellers in their late 20s or 30s on an extended career break. Popular regions for backpacking tend to vary from country to country.
Planning and research is an important part of backpacking, aided by such publications as Rick Steves, Lonely Planet guides, Rough Guides and others. These books provide information about such topics as the language, culture, food and history of a given country. They also offer listings of accommodation and places to eat, together with maps of key locations. Digital format guidebooks are becoming more popular, especially since the advent of smart phones and lightweight netbooks and laptops. There are also many online resources aimed at backpackers as well.My own personal experience and pointers. (May not apply to other countries and certain people) Always bring 2 wallets. One just put 10 to 50 ringgit. The other where your cards are. Use debit card. Bring extra phone. Normal phones where your battery will be able to last 3 to 6 days. Cheap phones such as the cheap RM40 Nokia or Samsung. Have one big bag pack and small one for u to use when walking or touring round town, If u bringing ur DSLR, just bring ur proper lens. Not too heavy. Use thin towel so u got more space in the bag and dry faster. Use dry fit style shirts and a small soft cover 1st aid. Basic stuff like bandage, plaster, hand sanitizer, Panadol, insect repellent and dun forget Mopiko. It is the most important thing. Also go to clinic get medication for gastric. Not just stomach but also when too tired, your body can get stress. By the way, if u using Maxis or Digi, buy one Celcom for emergency. At least two telco company works well (only applicable in Malaysia). Money part, split ur budget in 2 different accounts. Certain area no ATM or support certain banks. And when looking for lodge or hostel, look for one that has kitchen. They usually have coffee tea and bread or biscuits provided. And u can also cook Another website which you should check out on backpacking are: (where I get most of my pointers) i. http://www.backpacking.net/ ii. http://www.backpacker.com/ Hostels or accommodation, Bookings [dot] com ** Borneo Tribal Lodge Singgah Sana Lodge Lime Tree Hotel Lot 10 Hotel 56 Hotel Here is my own personal Backpacking Checklist. Just click the link to download the PDF file. Base on my own experience traveling in Malaysia, Borneo, Singapore, Brunei & Thailand. Some other countries you might need to modify your own check list. Other Information – Other option for light backpackers check list click here -To make you own First Aid Kit, (DIY style) click here