I’m Not A Backpacker,Never A Fan Of Backpacking And Here’s Why.

Backpacking—you’ve probably heard of it—is a popular way of traveling among adventurers out there. In case you’re not familiar, backpacking is when people pack their stuff into a backpack and hit the road to explore different places and seek amazing adventures and unforgettable experiences.

When you’re backpacking, you’re all about the budget life. It involves staying in budget accommodations like hostels, crashing on a friendly couch through Couchsurfing, or trying out other cool and cheap accommodations and often prioritizing low-cost and low-maintenance travel—relying on public transportation, walking, or hitchhiking to get around. They tend to be more flexible with their itineraries, having a go-with-the-flow attitude that allows them to follow spontaneous detours and recommendations from fellow travelers or friendly locals.

However, with all the hype surrounding this travel style, there are some of us who simply aren’t drawn to it. I count myself among this group.

Now, here’s the thingI’m not here to criticize backpacking. It’s totally cool, and I actually gave it a try myself back in 2016 when I started traveling solo and I continued doing so the following year, but you know what? It just didn’t click with me. It never became my preferred way of traveling. 

So, in this blog post, I want to share my perspective and explain why backpacking isn’t my cup of tea.

Reason #1: I don’t like traveling on a tight budget.

Let’s be real here: saving up for travel can be quite a challenge, especially for ordinary people like me. I make sacrifices and cut back on certain things to put money aside for my dream destinations, but once I’ve saved enough, I want to have a blast on my trip where I can make the most of my adventure without constantly stressing about how much money is left. I don’t want a “tight budget” to hold me back from fully experiencing all the amazing things a place has to offer. Sure, I keep an eye on my spending, but I don’t want to stress about every penny or miss out on memorable moments that could make my trip truly amazing.

Reason #2: I don’t like carrying a heavy backpack. 

When backpacking, you have to put all your stuff in your backpack, which ends up weighing down your shoulders, and to me, it is really uncomfortable.

Also, I find it challenging to pack limited items, especially when clothes don’t fit well in a backpack. I like to keep my travel style simple, but I am also the kind of person who always wants to look good. So, I tend to bring dresses, makeup, and other beauty products. Trying to fit everything into a backpack, especially as a woman, is just too much trouble. Instead, I prefer bringing a smaller backpack and having some additional luggage with me. It’s easier to manage that way.

Reason #3: I’m all about traveling hassle-free. 

I like to do things in an organized way, making sure everything is in order. Planning ahead and arranging things in advance is my jam, whether it’s booking airport transfers or getting tourist guides. This way, I don’t have to stress about figuring out where to go on my own. I don’t mind spending a little extra to hire a guide and sort out transportation when needed. You won’t catch me hitchhiking, though, and I’m also not a fan of waiting in crowded places for transportation, etc. and trying to figure out on my own what to do next for ages. I prefer to keep my journey smooth and enjoyable, while at the same time, I’ll welcome and embrace any unexpected and spontaneous moments that come my way.

Reason #4: I like to dress well and bring enough clothes for myself. 

When I travel, I prefer not to cram my clothes into a backpack because it can lead to wrinkles and creases, making me feel less put-together. I want to look good and feel confident. Dressing well is how I express myself, and it sets a positive tone for my adventures. Good outfits help me blend in with local cultures and bring out my personality. Plus, having different clothes means I’m ready for any occasion – whether it’s exploring the streets, enjoying dinner, or diving into unexpected escapades. It’s about feeling prepared and embracing every experience without worrying about outfits. Carrying extra clothes might mean more luggage, but the comfort and confidence they bring to my journey make it totally worth it.

Reason #5: Not much of a fan of public transportation. 

Even back home in Malaysia, I’m not really into using public transportation, especially the bus. If I’m not driving my own car, I always prefer taxis or Grab cars, and I am also perfectly fine with trains (even though I rarely use them). That means when it comes to getting around during my travels, hopping on a bus is a total no-no in my book. I’m not a fan, plain and simple. I tend to feel sick and experience nausea when I get off the bus. I don’t mind paying a bit extra for a taxi ride because the convenience and comfort are worth it.

Reason #6: I enjoy staying at 4-5 stars hotels.

Ah, the accommodation. Here’s the deal: I’ve stayed at hostels in the past to save costs while backpacking, and it was fun when I was younger. It allowed me to meet fellow travelers and make friends.

As I’ve grown older, my preferences have changed. I value my privacy more and prefer having my own space and personal restroom. That’s why now when I travel, I prefer staying at good hotels that offer the comfort and privacy I desire. I don’t feel the need to constantly socialize and mingle with others during my trips. If I happen to meet someone interesting along the way, great! If not, I’m perfectly content enjoying my journey on my own.

At the same time, I also like to treat myself to luxury hotels for the final 1-2 nights of my trip. It’s a nice way to wrap up my journey before heading back home.

Reason #7: I’m all about exploring good restaurants and trying local foods. 

I’ve noticed that many backpackers I know (at least from where I am from) choose to save money by not eating proper food during their trip to save money, such as eating instant noodles. Okay, nothing’s wrong with that. Whatever works for them. As for me, I have a different approach. When I travel, I prefer to fully experience the local food culture and enjoy authentic dishes. I’m not a fan of bringing food from home or having the kind of food I can find in my home country to cut costs. Instead, I believe in treating myself to tasty meals and dining at good restaurants when I travel.

I am also quite picky with food, and I tend to avoid street foods because of my sensitive stomach. Taking care of my health is important to me when I travel, so eating quality food is a priority.

There you have it, my top 6 reasons why backpacking isn’t my thing. Some of my friends label me a “backpacker,” but to be honest, I don’t really fancy it. I like to do things my own way when I explore the world, which, based on what I’ve mentioned above, obviously is not the same as backpacking.

After all, traveling is a personal journey, and we all have our own preferences and ways of doing things. Let’s break free from generalizations and stop assuming that everyone travels the same way. It can be confusing for those who aren’t familiar with the term and the many different ways people go on their adventures.

There’s no right or wrong way to travel. It’s all about finding what makes you happy and brings you joy. Whether you enjoy the comforts of a fancy hotel or the excitement of camping under the stars, the beauty of travel lies in the freedom to choose what suits you best.


X, Hani. ❤

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