The Backpacking Tourism Boom in Singapore

“Don’t be a tourist. Plan less. Go slowly. I  travelled  in the most inefficient way possible and it took me exactly where I wanted to go.”

These were the exact words of Andrew Evan who undertook an overland adventure from Washington D.C. to Antarctic. As a seasoned National Geographic  travel  writer, Andrew has authored various guidebooks on several cities and  travelling . This mantra is one that  backpackers  today swear by.

Backpacking in its traditional form, is a low-cost and independent style of  travel . The term itself is self-explanatory –  travelling  with a backpack.  Backpackers  often  travel  without packaged tours and rely on  travel  information from guidebooks and websites. More people today are  travelling , and backpacking as a style of  travel  will not be unfamiliar to most.

In “The Backpacking Phenomenon”, Philip Pearce suggests that backpacking is a state of mind. It is an approach to  travelling , rather than a categorisation based on age or dollars spent.

 Backpackers  are distinguished with the following traits:

A preference for budget accommodation.

A social emphasis on meeting locals and other travellers.

An independently organised and flexible  travel  schedule.

Longer rather than brief holidays.

The popularity of backpacking has risen in recent years. It is most evident in the increase in number of  backpacker  accommodation in Singapore. There are 29 registered  backpackers ‘ hostels in Singapore according to Hotels Licensing Board. Majority of them are located in the various ethnic compounds such as Chinatown, Kampong Glam, and Little India.

A record high of close to 13.2 million international visitors arrived in Singapore in 2011. More tourists are visiting Singapore, either as a stopover en-route to another country or as a destination itself. The Economy tier of the Hotel Industry (S$109.00 and below) registered an Average Occupancy Rate of 85% for 2011. Budget accommodation and  backpackers ‘ hostels have become increasingly popular with tourists.

There are many indicators to the rising popularity of  backpackers ‘ hotels in Singapore, with the obvious one being affordability. Singapore is the most expensive Asian country for hotel rooms, with a night averaging S$239.00 in 2011. On the other hand, a night in a  backpackers ‘ hostel cost between S$20.00 to S$50.00 for a dormitory bed and between S$60.00 to S$100.00 for a private double room.

Footprints Hostel, located in Little India, offers a bed in the 10-bed dormitory for S$22.00 a night. Keeping prices affordable has been their competitive edge, as they remain as one of the largest and more popular  backpackers ‘ hostels.

Travellers are drawn to  backpackers ‘ hostels for the affordable accommodation.

“We keep our room rates competitive. We also value-add to their stay by offering discounted attraction tickets and deals at some restaurants and cafes near us,” says Christina Phang. As the General Manager of Footprints Hostel, Christina regularly sources out deals and discounts for her guests.

Prices are however not the only determining factor with the emergence of new boutique hostels clearly catered for the  backpacker  with the budget. Luxury and comfort is the rule for these boutique hostels as they bring services and amenities normally found in hotels. Such enhanced features can include amenities like a spacious lobby lounge, individual reading lights, bedside screens, and iPhone docks.

Mervin Kwa, 28, Operations Manager at Bunc Hostel explains that the flashpacker is a modified term for the  backpacker  who has a slightly more disposable budget in terms of accommodation, and yet wants to experience the interactivity and atmosphere of a hostel.

“We (Bunc Hostel) offer top hotel quality standard bedding and amenities at  backpackers ‘ rates. The dormitory beds are designed as individual capsules to provide guests with more privacy as compared to a open-style dormitory,” Mervin explains. “We also organize events frequently to encourage mingling among our guests”

Bunc Hostel’s custom-designed capsule bed promises comfort and privacy.

Most  backpackers ‘ hostels are also located strategically close to the city centre or are within reach of a few MRT stations. This brings forth convenience through affordability and ease of  travel  within Singapore. Being located in the various ethic compounds allows  backpackers  to experience the local flavour with the unique ethnic cultures.

For example, Little India, which is a strong Indian cultural enclave, is undisputedly the unofficial  backpacker  district in Singapore. It has the highest concentration of  backpackers ‘ hostels and it is not difficult to see why  backpackers  are drawn to Little India.

There is a steady growing relationship between the local businesses catered for the tourists and the upsurge of the tourism industry. The cafes, bars, convenience stores, Internet shops, and  travel  agencies have been given a boost by the influx of  backpackers  coming to the area. These businesses are also outlet providers of entertainment, information and recreation for them.

Singaporeans are also not unfamiliar with the backpacking fervour. “For me, it (backpacking) means to  travel  cheaply and independently in a foreign country,” says Desmond Lui, a freelance photojournalist. Desmond is a seasoned traveller whose backpack destinations have included the exotic likes of Cambodia, India and Mongolia.

Backpacking equates to an extended and more insightful learning holiday for some. “I enjoy the greater freedom that comes with independent backpacking as compared to  travelling  with conventional tour packages,” Desmond adds on. “I also find that by  travelling  for longer periods of time, spending more time in one location and visiting more places, I can get a better understanding and feel for the country or region I visit.”

Desmond has  travelled  particularly extensively in India and China, spending three months and seven months respectively. An 18-hour jeep ride in India that took him across mountainous passes along some of the highest motor roads in the world remains as one of his fondest backpacking memories.

It appears backpacking will remain as an upward trend with more  backpackers   travelling  to Singapore and more Singaporeans backpacking overseas. So what are you waiting for? Buy a ticket, fetch your backpack and go globetrotting today.

How to Backpack

There are many misconceptions about how to backpack. Backpacking is a very low-budget form of  traveling , although this definitely does not mean that this is for poor people only. Backpacking is a fun and exciting way to  travel . To understand what backpacking really is, it’s best to look at what a  backpacker  is.

What is a  backpacker ?

A  backpacker  is someone who doesn’t want to just lay on the beach for weeks on vacation, but wants to have an exciting new experience in an interesting country or area.  Backpackers  are often very interested in meeting local people as well as seeing the sights and experiencing the culture. While regular tourists are often found in resorts next to the beach or in major cities like New York,  backpackers  can be found almost anywhere. Some  backpackers  prefer visiting many different cities and villages while others prefer the wilderness. Obviously those two types of backpacking are completely different from one another.

Benefits of backpacking

Now that you’re beginning to get a clearer view on how to backpack, I would like to tell you about some of the benefits. Backpacking is very cost-friendly and you can really experience a country or area in a way that most people will never experience. That, of course, comes with some of the greatest stories you can tell and pictures you can show your friends and family.

Personal thoughts on how to backpack

Backpacking is more than just a vacation to me. Every trip I take has a lot of truly indescribable moments, sights and conversations. I always meet the most incredible people who are so willing to help you with your  travels . I’ve had a lot of experiences that I talk about almost every day. And even some experiences that (hold on, this is going to sound VERY clicheé) really changed my life and the way i look at it. For me, that’s how to backpack.

how to get more info about backpacking

There are lots of websites and articles that give info on how to backpack, but the absolute best way is to go backpacking yourself. I do recommend you take the time to properly prepare yourself before going on a trip. You should do some research on how to create a solid packing-list and research some more on how to backpack. I highly recommend giving it a try and seeing how great it is for yourself!

Don’t Be Another Obnoxious American Backpacker

In his book, Abroad, Paul Fussell noted a point in time when  travel  was considered a form of study, one whose fruits “were considered the adornment of the mind and the formation of judgment.” All that changed, according to Fussell, with the development of tourism, a gross practice that transformed the world from an endlessly expansive learning experience to nothing more than a prepackaged milquetoast buffet of comfortable aesthetic experiences.

Some would-be travelers aim to evade tourism by simply avoiding “tourist traps,” those intentionally laid out corners of every city flanked by monuments and notable sites, filled to the brim with overpriced restaurants, tacky souvenir shops, and carefully curated locals draped in traditional clothing styles that went out of vogue centuries ago.

Yet simply avoiding “the sites” doesn’t guarantee you fall on the right side of the traveller-tourist divide. There is no end of obnoxious American  backpackers  bulldozing their way through the world causing just as much offense and learning just as little as the family-friendly set who wonder why there isn’t a Disney World in Paris just yet.

In order to dramatically reduce your obnoxiousness as a  backpacker , consider the following:

1. Connect With PEOPLE, Not Locals

The obnoxious  backpacker’s  fetishization of the mythical local sprouted from the same soil as the tourist’s desire to see native Hawaiians dress in grass skirts and do a missionary-sanitized version of the hula. Both seek to collect supposedly authentic foreign experiences. Neither sees the individuals they meet as anything more than entertainment, as the source of some good Facebook pictures and a “worldly” social circle.

The way obnoxious  backpackers  attempt to connect with locals doesn’t help matters, with the most popularly sought out interactions including:

  • Complaining about America.
  • Going out drinking or clubbing.
  • Having sex.

As someone who has complained about America, gone drinking and clubbing, and who has had sex with locals in foreign countries before, I’m certainly not condemning these activities outright. However I am arguing that seeking out a Frenchman to bang, initiating an anti-American tirade with a Scott, or actively searching for a Berliner to go to the Berghain with is a problem. All of these actions objectify the people you meet and reduce them to nothing more than your ill-informed opinion about their nationality.

Instead of trying to connect with the locals, leave yourself open to sharing whatever experiences come your way with whomever you meet, regardless of whether it’s a girl from Taiwan you meet in Spain or a New Zealander you meet in Bangkok, or even, heaven forbid, another American.

2. Admit How American You Really Are

One of the most valuable paradigm-shifts you will gain from  travelling  is a new perspective on your home and, by association, yourself. Obnoxious  backpackers  take this to mean they’ve left their home country to learn how everything is wrong with it and how everything is better everywhere else. Much like the tourist, obnoxious  backpackers  leave America to confirm their biases rather than challenge them.

Sitting at the heart of this approach lies the perspective that the obnoxious  backpacker  is somehow different than the rest of their countrymen. Every obnoxious  backpacker  who conforms to the “everything everywhere else is better” believes they are the exception, that they aren’t really American, that they are more at home within the foreign countries they consider so much better.

Ironically enough this exceptionalist attitude is about as American as you can get. There’s more to being an Argentine than enjoying dancing the tango, drinking Malbec and eating grass-fed beef, just as there’s more to being American than eating cheeseburgers, listening to country music or rap and drinking Budweiser. Your nationality lies deep within you and expresses itself through more than your sensual preferences.

 Traveling  requires an honest confrontation with who you are and where you come from, not a denial of your roots.

3. Throw Away the Checklists and Get Lost

Obnoxious  backpackers  tend to approach the world as nothing more than a series of “must have” experiences. Even though their destinations are different, they still plan their itineraries according to the same rigid greatest-hits style of country conquering as the tourist. They experience their destinations as a rush of shallow impressions planned weeks before they set foot on a bus, train or plane.

There’s nothing wrong with thinking up a couple of destinations you’d like to see on your trip and there’s nothing wrong with researching a country’s specialties before you arrive. But if you spend your entire trip rushing from famous destination to famous destination you will lose touch with the daily life surrounding you.

 Travel  is about more than breaking up your year with a little wonder while you’re on the road.  Travel  is about transforming how you live your day-to-day life after you return home. You will never learn how daily life is refracted through the ground-level experiences of the rest of the world unless you slow down for a minute and spend some time doing “normal” activities somewhere new.

If you hate the fact you’re a workaholic obsessed with bragging rights you will never overcome your unhealthy worldview by making sure you get a picture of yourself posing in front of the 7 Wonders of the World.

By contrast, spending some time in Spain sinking into the relaxed workflow and developing a deep appreciation for long, social dinners may very well change your life and make you a welcome guest in the country rather than an annoying nuisance.

4. Stop Thinking About Yourself

In 1973, Batson & Darley produced an oft-cited study that demonstrated the chief component behind compassion and empathy. It isn’t your personality. It isn’t your education level. It isn’t your moral or religious leanings. It’s your perceived level of busy-ness.

To sum up the Batson & Darley study, the busier you are the less you give a damn about everyone around you.

I’d argue this lies at the heart of why so many  backpackers  are just so obnoxious. They are so concerned with sticking to their impossibly packed, self-aggrandizing schedules they don’t have the opportunity to notice anything around them. Their rush to take a picture of every relief in the Vatican or to sleep with someone in Paris gives them a sort of tunnel vision that blinds them to the needs of those around them, especially the need to be treated as a person and not as a background player filling out “THE BEST TRIP EVER.”

Which touches on a final point- when you’re as busy as the average obnoxious American  backpacker  you not only lose sight of the humanity of the surrounding population, you also lose track of all sense of appreciation. The gelato you eat in Rome can’t just be good, it needs to be the best. The church you visit in Seville can’t be simply beautiful, it needs to be majestic. If any item on your checklist disappoints it wastes the precious hours you’ve scheduled into scarcity, and you will make sure everyone within earshot understands the deep, deep wound this let-down caused you.

Backpack Or Guided Tour?

Most of us would be considering two choices when we want to  travel , either to backpack or guided tour.

Backpack is the form of  travel  that you decide and arrange for yourself, what places to visit, when to go to those places, where is that place,why you want to go to the places and most important, how to get to that places.

Guided tour would be the form of  travel , where you just purchase a tour package, and the tour company would plan and arrange everything for you. You have no choice over the itinerary of the  travel . You only have to pay, and you  travel  is done.

Now, What to consider when choosing between the two.

1) Do you want control over the places of visit during your  travel ?

 Backpackers  normally wants to be free from others. We decide how long we want to be at certain places and just skip those that we don’t have interest. For guided tour, they cater to the interest of the whole group and not individually, thus you might be going to places you have no interest at all or not visiting places of your interest at all.

2) Do you want control over the itinerary?

 Backpackers  would have to arrange for themselves, when to visit a site and how to go to the site. This requires some research before they go  travel . For guided tour, the tour company would arrange and decide everything for you. You just follow the group.

The above is the basic of choosing between the two type of  travel .

Please visit my blog for more backpacking tips Backpacking Tips

Making Money While Travelling – Helpful Tips For Backpackers to Stay on Budget

If your  travelling  on a budget, lets say backpacking around the world, the idea would have crossed your mind… I wonder if I can make a little money while I’m  travelling , so I can  travel  for longer? With the internet in every corner of the world now it’s becoming easier and easier… Depending on how much work you want or how deeply you want to integrate into a foreign country there plenty of options. A great place to start is in  Travel  writing. It’s free to do and while your backpacking around you will most definitely form your own observations and opinions, why not share them with other travellers and make a little money along the way. If this idea is music to your ears then here’s a few options I’ve found:

Writing for  Travel  Websites: This can an easy way to make a little cash, sharpen your writing skills and get deeper into the countries you  travel  through. Sites like Matador and Boots n All will pay somewhere between $25 -$50 for articles, that’s not a lot but look at it this way – if your already in a country then why not think of an angle and write a story about it, what’s to loose? Plus it will almost certainly get you off of the tourist trail and into the heart of that place.

Keep a  Travel  Blog or Website: This way is a little more involved than the last but it can pay off if your prepared for a little hard work. Starting your own Blog couldn’t be easier and there is a wealth of great resources available on the internet that can help. This approach require more Admin and you will need to be a writer, a marketer, deal with advertising and website design… But I’ll say it again, the rewards can be big. I know  Travel  Bloggers that earn in excess of $2000 a month doing just this and I keep my own Blog about Backpacking around the world on a budget

Learn to teach English: Again a wealth of resources are available about this but your best bet is to get accredited with someone like TEFL – the best placements often go to TEFL certificated people. This is more of a long term option but it will give you the chance to really get under the skin of a community and as time goes by you’ll only get better at it. It would be a great way to pay for yourself while you backpack around the world and make a difference to the people you meet.

Use Your Own Skills: this is something many people often overlook, they leave home not expecting their current set of skills to apply… Not true! Take hairdressing for example, many western travellers won’t want to tackle the language barrier with a local hair stylist and instead let it hang low… But there is plenty of money to be made at busy guest houses a keen  backpacker  on a budget…

This is my no means comprehensive but it’s a starting block that needs to be considered by any  backpacker  or traveler on a budget. Team these ides with saving money like using and Skype and you will see your budget stretch much further than you ever expected.

How To Go Ultralight Backpacking

If you happen to love  traveling , but you do not have enough money to  travel  lavishly, it is a good idea to try  traveling   backpacker  style. By  traveling  this way, you actually can find great places that probably only local people know. It is great for people who want to get out of the conventional tourism scene and experience taking the road less  travelled .

The term ‘backpacking’ actually comes from the fact that travellers carry backpacks. Carrying backpacks can be more convenient and more mobile than carrying a suitcase or a duffel bag. The one thing you have to keep in mind is that you should only bring the things that you need, or otherwise you will only put a lot of weight on your back. Here are some top tips on how to do ultralight backpacking:

  1. Know how much you can carry – You should know how much weight you can carry before you load your things into your backpack. Too much weight will only injure your back and your shoulder. A too heavy backpack will also make you less mobile. Remember, since you are going to  travel  on a budget, you might be going to walk around a lot.
  2. Know the weather of your destination – What you have to do next is to check the weather or the climate of your destination. You should prepare the appropriate clothing according to the climate. If you are going somewhere cold, stock up on thermal clothing. On the other hand, if you are going to a tropical country, bring light, thin clothes. It is also important, in whatever weather or climate, to bring umbrella and rain gear.
  3. Only bring necessities – If you have an urge to bring many things, what you should do is make a list of things that you are going to do when you are  traveling  and from that list you will find out what kind of things you are going to need for your trip. Just leave out items that you do not need.
  4. Bring camera, map, and  travel  guide book – Since you are going to  travel  on a budget, you will want to make the best of it. Do not forget to carry your pocket camera and take as many pictures. These pictures will be a great reminder of your journey when you come back later. You also need to remember to bring map and  travel  guide book, so that you will know your way around.Happy backpacking!

Happy backpacking!

Cheap Backpacker Insurance Is Now Available

The economy lately has not been that good that travel agencies have started to offer travel plans at affordable rates. While these travel costs are experiencing some slash to the prices, insurance is also trying to go with the flow so to speak. At the moment, a traveler can choose the best insurance at reasonable prices and a traveler can still go away with getting the best value for money cheap backpacker insurance.

Although locating the right company that provides cheap insurance can become a lengthy process, still a traveler should never disregard the importance of purchasing such insurance because nobody can tell when accidents or emergency situations will arise especially during travels. Moreover, travelers just have to find these companies or ask his insurance company whether they have available cheap packages that cover backpacking.

Adventures should be about fun and excitement, but unforeseeable accidents, injuries, medical emergencies or even illnesses can happen while on a trip to another country. Therefore, a traveler should always make sure that he gets insurance. However, cheap backpacker insurance can sometimes cut off certain inclusions in its policy. This is the reason why a traveler should make sure that when purchasing a cheap insurance, minimum insurance plan must include coverage for medical emergencies, accidents, injuries, and illnesses so that even at the bare minimum the traveler’s cheap backpacker insurance will still give peace of mind.

In addition, cheap insurance should also provide for repatriation inclusions to its policy in cases of emergency situations that a traveler has no control of. Of course, there are other companies that offer travelers with a plan that includes coverage for holiday cancellations, lost or stolen baggage, flight delays and personal liability claims. The traveler only has to inquire into these inclusions and the insurance company providing cheap insurance can assist the traveler in choosing the best option at a reasonable rate.

Finding Travel Insurance For Backpackers In The UK

There is nothing quite as enjoyable as going off on a holiday and for some, there is nothing quite like taking off for a couple of weeks to go where the wind takes them. Backpacking is often romanticized as the vacation for people who don’t deal well with rules. Of course, before setting off on a backpacking trip, it is important to get  travel  insurance. Did you know that there is  travel  insurance for  backpackers  in the UK? There is!

You might not want to spend the money on  travel  insurance, but while you are hesitating and cursing the cost, consider the following five questions:

1) How will you handle it if you get into an accident while you are outside the safe borders of the UK?

2) What will you do if your bags get stolen? For that matter, what will you do if your money gets stolen?

3) How will you pay for it if you get into an accident…that is your fault?

4) Sometimes a deposit is required to secure reservations. In the event that you have to cancel those reservations are you ready to lose your deposit?

5) How will you pay for it if you have to come home early?

Most travelers’ insurance will cover you in the event of all of these instances. In fact, often traveler’s insurance will cover you for other situations as well. If you lose your money, your insurance will reimburse you for it. If you need to cancel your trip unexpectedly, the  travel  insurance will reimburse you for lost deposits. Some  travel  insurance for  backpackers  in the UK will also cover you in the event of an injury while participating in extreme and winter sports. Of course, that is optional, so you need to ask for it directly. It is almost never included in the regular insurance package.

Nobody wants to think about something bad happening during a vacation, but the sad truth is that sometimes bad things do happen. Bags get stolen, people get into accidents, and sometimes people just get sick. What will you do if you find yourself in a situation that you hadn’t planned on?

There are a number of places to go to get  travel  insurance for  backpackers  in the UK. Most  travel  agencies can sell it to you as can most insurance companies. Sometimes traveler’s insurance can even be purchased in the UK. To be eligible for  backpacker’s   travel  insurance, you must be under forty five years of age and your trip must be between thirty one days and eighteen months. In short, you do not want to get caught unprepared. While being unprepared and flying by the seat of your pants is half of the allure of going backpacking, it is better off to be covered in the event an emergency arises. Wouldn’t you rather know that you are covered in the event that something happened than have to worry about being extra careful because you aren’t covered at all?

Information on Backpacks

Packs used for traveling are a bit different from packs used for hiking — they tend to be larger, heavier, and sturdier. This is because they need to withstand being tossed around by airport baggage handlers. They are often quite large because they have to hold all the travelers goods. On the other hand, the packs used for hiking can be smaller and lighter. Backpackers carry less weight than most travelers, and they handle their packs a lot more gently.

A lot depends on the length of your backpacking trips. A good weekender pack will probably not work as well for a ten day expedition. Much also depends on whether you’re travelling alone or in a group. When you travel in a group, each person ends up carrying a bit less weight. Another factor for longer trips is how frequently you’ll be able to resupply. If you’re hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail, it’s pretty easy to get into town from almost any major road crossing, and you cross major roads every couple of days. On the other hand, if you’re in the middle of the northern Ontario wilderness, resupplying can pose considerable logistical problems, and you may be forced to carry a lot more food with you even for shorter trips.

It is also worth your while to discuss your needs with your local outfitter. Most of the better outfitters can give you excellent advice — the folks who work at such places are experienced backpackers who have actually field tested the stuff they sell. Read the reviews in the major outdoor magazines, like Backpacker and Outside!

Once you have determined your needs, you can choose from a fairly broad range of high quality brands. I will give you a short list of the better brands — for the most part, these companies categorize there packs according to type (internal frame vs external frame) and intended use. Do your research, and then browse through the list.

Word of advice: The packs designed for longer trips (7 – 10 days, e.g.) are designed to carry all the supplies that you’d need for a trip of that length. If you’ll be able to resupply every 2 or 3 days, then you’ll only need a pack good for 2-3 days.

There are many long-distance hikers who go with ultra light equipment, carrying no more than 20 lbs in a very light and relatively small pack (less than a pound, around 2400 cubic inches). But it takes pretty specialized equipment to go the ultra light route, and it’s difficult to pull it off in cooler weather because of the bulk of the warmer clothes that you’ll need. And even a 2400 cubic inch pack will be larger than you’ll need for most day hikes.

A lot also depends on the kind of day hiking and long weekend trips you have in mind. A day hike in the White Mountains or the High Peaks of the Adirondacks will require more equipment than a trip in lower elevations where you’re less likely to run into extremes of weather and temperature over the course of the day.

Use a small fanny pack for day hikes in the NY-NJ region, but in the higher elevations of New England and the Adirondacks, use a 2000 cubic inch pack to carry the warmer clothes you will need as you ascend to the higher elevations. And for 3-4 day hikes,use a frame pack (6+ lbs, 5000+ cubic inches) and carry enough amenities to make a comfortable camp. On the other hand, when you are out for 8-10 days of Appalachian Trail hiking, use a smaller ultra light pack (1.5 lbs, 3400+ cubic inches) and skimp on some of the camp comforts in favor of making hiking as comfortable as possible.

Backpackers Transport – How to Get Around Australia

Since Australia has a developed tourist trail for the thousands of backpackers each year that visit the land down under, making an ideal backpacking experience and exploring the outback is really easy. With a multitude of transport options including trains, planes and automobiles getting around and backpacking in Australia is easy. Knowing which method you use will depend on your budget and your time frame. Read more about getting around and backpacking down under.

Travelling by Car

If you are going to be in Australia longer than 3 months then it might be well worth purchasing a car to drive. Due to the large amount of travellers it is pretty easy to pick a car that is being sold off cheaply by another backpacker who wants a quick sale. But remember, Australia is a big country and these cars will have done the rounds and clocked up some mileage. Make sure you check how much the repairs will cost before you buy. Most travellers start and end in Sydney, here is where you will find the most cars and usually the cheaper deals.

If you aren’t there a long time but appreciate the freedom a car provides you could always hire one. Car hire is a great alternative and most companies allow one way car hire between cities which means you don’t have to return to the same destination.

Travelling by Plane

Though some hardcore backpackers think flying is cheating, if you are limited by time then flying from side of the country to another is well worth it. You can usually book a cheap internal flight with Virgin Blue or Jetstar in advance. Did you know it takes 5 hours to fly from Sydney to Perth? If you were to drive this distance it would take two days and that is without stopping.

Tour Buses

There are many bus services that run between cities and across the country. Greyhound is one company that offers routes to most touristic destinations. They are usually cheap and reliable but they don’t offer much flexibility and comfort compared to having your own car. Long journeys also seem to take longer because buses don’t drive as fast, but at least you can sit back and rest. Most buses tend to get booked up quickly so you ought to book in advance to ensure you get a seat.

Hitchhiking and Lift Sharing

If you are looking for a cheap ride then hitchhiking is always an option. It can be a great way to travel giving you a sense of adventure and freedom. It is also a great way to meet people and learn about Australia, and the best thing is it is normally free. However it is not for everyone and you ought to be careful who you share lifts with, never get inside a car with anyone you feel uncomfortable with. If you plan on hitching a lift, it would be a better idea to travel with other backpackers and share the costs. This way is probably safer than thumbing down a lift from a passing car. You can find other travellers looking for people to travel with to share costs of fuel on a large number of notice boards found in the hostels around the country.

Whatever your travel budget and whatever your time-frame you will find a suitable method of transport that best suits you. Backpacking in Australia is a great way to see the country and travelling around is easy. This is one reason why Australia is an ideal location for all types of backpackers.