what makes an experenced traveller/backpacker

Travel Forums General Talk what makes an experenced traveller/backpacker

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1. Posted by TylerJames (Respected Member 333 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

im sure you have heard someone or an article say for instince, colombia is only for experenced travellers and caution should be taken at all times.

so i was thinking what makes someone an experenced traveller? is it the places you go or the things you do their? or the length of a your trip.

im really at a loss

anyone have any ideas?

2. Posted by bentivogli (Respected Member 2398 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Why is it always me that's first to reply to these threads?

If y'all pardon me a generalisation or two, I think that the only useful distinction is between first time travellers and others. With travellers I mean independent travellers, tourists is a different thing (interesting: are there places for which one needs to be an experienced tourist? Like Isla Margarita, or Cancún?).

As a first timer, one is likely to stand out simply because of one's uncertain appearance, and is therefore more prone to being pickpocketed, scammed, mugged etc. by the small time crooks hovering bus stations, border crossings and busy markets. Places that are known to have a lot of petty crime are, imho, not very suitable travel destinations for first-timers.

Another point is communication; language problems aside, more travel experience will help you through difficult situations in which communication breaks down. Less experienced travellers sooner feel uncomfortable, and are less likely to achieve their goals in this kind of interaction, while more experienced travellers usually are better at it.

These are all generalisations, of course. Some first timers are just natural born travellers, while some experienced travellers never seem to 'get it right'. But all in all, I would never recommend a total newbie, who has never been away independently before, to travel to a destination where both factors are likely to occur in combination. I'd recommend to go try Europe, or Australia, rather than Africa or the Amazonian jungle.


3. Posted by none (Full Member 70 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Travelling a lot!

4. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Backpack size is a factor. You can always tell a newbie by the stuff s/he takes for a two week trip around Europe in the summer. Unless s/he had got some good advice from a forum like TP it is bound to be more than a seasoned traveller takes for a RTW trip. A new large (60+l) backpack might get you noticed by the wrong people.

5. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I think this is another one of those "elitest" questions.

There are people who travel every year for years and years and still lug a huge suitcase with them. Are they less "experienced" than a first-time backpacker who manages to live off two pairs of underwear for 3 months? I'd venture to say the answer varies from person to person. Some people never feel comfortable in a new place. Others take to it in an instant. In that case, it's more a question of personality than travel experience.

Nonetheless, like anything, practice makes perfect!

6. Posted by TylerJames (Respected Member 333 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

i dont know if i agree totaly with the backpack size. im taking a pretty large pack with me to south america. just because i have to fit all my warm clothes and ski gear in their, and im going for a year. i guess ur pack size just depends on where your going and how long your going for

7. Posted by Jerrycrow (Full Member 165 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

i think it would come down to personality. an experienced traveller would be brave enough to travel alone to a new place and explore the town or region by himself without been scared, but with a sense of excitement and joy. and experienced traveller would look through information about the destination first before going there, like where to stay, what sights are there to see and how to get there


8. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I think it´s a combination of personality, like Gerry said, and having done some similar travelling before. I think when you travel for the first time you are not as wise to the kind of things that can and do go wrong, how to deal with certain situations, and how to interact with people.

For example, as a first time enthusiastic traveller, one can sometimes be a bit green and give away too much of their thoughts to other people. In my experience, it is wiser not to always give of your mind to other travellers. I think its never a good idea to divulge specific details of your plans, especially if you are travelling alone.

Also, after a few trips you start to pick up little tricks and tips which aid the whole travelling process. As you gain confidence travelling, your body language changes too I think, which makes you stick out less. You learn how to blend in to your surroundings as best you can (sometimes its not always possible).

You learn from your mistakes - as we all know - so the more you travel, the more savvy you become.

9. Posted by rach8645 (Inactive 62 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

What do they say again ... oh yeah "Its not the size of it but what you do with it that matters ;)"

A lot depends on the individual I think because some people are just more naturally together than others due to upbringing and education but I'd say its time that makes someone experienced - like with anything time and practice.

You dont have to have travelled round the world either. I think someone who has experienced different countries Europe is just as experienced as someone who's exerienced different countries in the Southern Hemesphere. I also think it doesnt matter how old you are either and a younger traveller could be more 'clued' up than an older one and vise versa.

Good question - it'll get me thinking for a while...

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