5 Reasons travelling the world in your vehicle beats backpacking
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5 reasons backpacking takes the lead

1) Probably the most obvious one, you can travel further, easier!

It is easier to get off the beaten track when you can start your engine and drive in whatever direction you like, add in 4 wheel drive capabilities and the opportunities for some remote and beautiful wilderness camping spots are plentiful. Unrestricted by public transport service routes or how far a taxi will agree to take you, you find you can travel wherever your two or four wheels will take you, and along the way stumble upon beaches, scenery or lively towns or villages that you otherwise wouldn’t have discovered.

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Photo by Ross Ruddell https://www.instagram.com/photoruddell/

2) Money will be saved on the road

Ok this is an area that strikes difference of opinion. On the one hand travelling with a vehicle can be the more costly mode of travelling.. The initial cost of the chosen vehicle, the adaptations needed to it to make it travel-ready, and the mechanical costs of fixing it along the way can all add up to an off-putting amount. However, depending on the length of your travel and perhaps your luck with the health of your vehicle, the costs saved by living in your vehicle or camping next to your bike each night may actually bring you financially back in the lead. With the ability to drive, you can find secluded spots in nature to park up for the night or park up in a quiet car park in a town or city.

3) You will spend more time outside, and in nature! 

This is a no-brainer. You will spend your nights camping under the stars, cook your dinner on the beach, filter your water from streams, even do your ‘business’ in nature. You will wake up to the great outdoors on your doorstep and hear wildlife roaming around outside your camp at night. That’s not to say that you won’t do these things on occasion when travelling the backpacking scene, but you will experience them much more when travelling on your own wheels.

4) You will spend more time with locals

Although backpacking will provide you with amazing opportunities to regularly meet other travellers from all over the world, driving at your own freewill will take you to places other travellers don’t reach. Parking in the more remote lands of a country or area, you will spark the interest of locals and meet locals that aren’t involved in the tourist trade and aren’t always used to meeting travellers in their area.. you will hear the stories that other travellers don’t get to.

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5) You don’t feel as far from home as a part of it is with you

Those who have experienced both of these types of travel will agree that as fun as backpacking is, staying at different hostels each night and sharing digs with new people every day can become tiring after a while. For longer term travel, over landing can bring with it an extra slice of home comfort. Taking along your own mini travelling home allows you to carry part of that around with you everywhere; you sleep in the same bed each night, you cook your own meals a good portion of the time allowing for some of your home favorites to still feature in your life, and at times when you feel exhausted of the travel scene you carry with you the option to chill out in your own environment reading a book or watching a TV programme that you enjoyed back home.

Areas where Backpacking takes the lead…

  1. All your stuff fits in your bag.

There are positives and negatives to this, the positives being that you don’t spend ages every morning packing all your stuff away, you carry less and therefore have less stuff to lose or get stolen. You are also less likely to lose the things that you do have as you are regularly making use of all you carry and taking stock count of the items in your bag.

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2) You make friends easily

You will meet other travellers from all over the world regularly. You will be immersed in the backpackers scene without having to try, and meet other like minded people wherever you go. Opportunities to experience cool things in an area will fly at you when staying in hostels or backpackers lodges around the world. People will turn from strangers to life long friends in minutes in this travelling microclimate.

3) You don’t have to deal with mechanical issues

This can be a deal breaker for people on a long- term road trip. Although there will be situations that crop up that force you to change plans while backpacking, your car breaking down can leave you stranded in areas you don’t particularly want to stick around in, can make you miss out on places you really wanted to visit and can potentially blow huge chunks of your savings to get up and running again. If you prefer reliability and consistency then backpacking is the travel mode for you..

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4) Your direction of travel can change more easily

You change your mind on the next place you want to travel. This is a much easier scenario for a backpacker to forgo- you can fly or catch a train at pretty short notice anywhere. If you’re travelling in your vehicle, you are a bit more committed to your direction of travel.. You haven’t put all of those miles behind you to go back on yourself. Also it will usually take you longer to be able to get somewhere at short notice.

5) You feel a virtual freeness of responsibilities

Ok, this is one that all travellers claim to get a good sense of. But travelling with your car/home and with that usually a larger quantity of personal possessions comes with some amount of responsibility. Travelling as a backpacker, apart from your passport, a small amount of cash and a few changes of clothes.. you have no responsibilities weighing you down at all! In fact all of your responsibilities fit over your shoulders and can be carried with you so your mind is kept free at all times. You experience a freeing, more zen-like head space whilst backpacking.

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