7 telltale signs it’s time to put backpacker life behind you

There’s something special about backpacker lifestyle. It tends to be filled with fast-paced jags through a series of exciting towns, making friends at hostels, and partying every step of the way. Generally speaking, it’s a pursuit for those in their late teens or early twenties who have the energy, extroversion, and hangover tolerance for such things. Eventually, however, this form of travel begins to weigh on you.

This doesn’t mean you have to stop travelling, but it could indicate that you are past the backpacker phase of your life. To that end, we’re looking at a few signs that it might be time to move beyond the backpacker path. We will also give you some travel tips it will help you be a more mature (and less hungover) traveler.

1. Youth hostels are losing their appeal

For young travelers, the backpacker hostel is an exciting place. Sharing a dorm with a handful of other people allows you to make friends from all over the world, and hostels are often great places to party. At some point, however, hostels begin to lose their appeal. You start to crave intimacy, especially if you’re traveling with a partner. Eventually, staying in the middle of the party starts to interfere with your sleep.

Solution: It’s time to start booking Airbnbs or comfortable hotels. There is a whole other kind of pleasure in having your own private apartment in Paris or elsewhere, or settling into a new hotel room of your own.

Man hiking with bright red backpack on a green field.

2. The typical backpack is starting to look impractical

The hiking backpack are designed for hiking in the mountains, but urban hikers love them because they are so easy to carry on your shoulder and follow your path. They also match the picture. Eventually, however, they start to feel impractical, either because you’re tired of digging into their top-loading layout or simply tired of lugging all your life’s possessions on your back.

Solution: Step up your luggage game. This could mean swapping the hiking backpack for a more urban design like the front-loading Cotopaxi Allpa or Tortuga travel backpackor it could mean ditching backpacks altogether in favor of wheeled suitcases.

how to cure a hangover.

3. Hangover goes from fun to non-functional

When you’re younger, long nights of partying — beatings, beatings, beatings! — are key aspects of travel, and the resulting hangovers are quite fun when you go out for dog-haired breakfasts with your new friends. Then comes the day when you can’t stand the hangover anymore, and instead of a greasy dinner and a Bloody Mary, you end up staying in bed and missing a day of travel.

Solution: It’s time to slow down the booze train. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy drinking while traveling, but it does distract a lot of it. Instead, you’ll enjoy mornings to explore your destination without nausea and a headache.

Airplane window seats are cramped.

4. The window seat loses its appeal

At first, every traveler wants the window seat of the plane so they can see everything. At some point, however, you realize that you rarely see much outside of those puny windows. Plus, you’re tired of climbing over two people every time you need to whistle.

Solution: Book an aisle seat. As a bonus, you get a bit more leg room because you can put a clog in the aisle.

A crowded street.

5. The beaten path is starting to feel too beaten.

Places like Paris, Barcelona, amsterdam, and Bangkok are paradise for young backpackers looking for thrills in the big popular cities. When going to smaller destinations, they always tend to be hotspots like the Thai Islands, Banff or Tulum. At some point, however, these bustling hubs start to feel too crowded or well-known, especially if you’ve visited a location multiple times.

Solution: Get off the beaten track. There are plenty of amazing cities that aren’t tourist magnets, and the world is full of small towns and natural areas to explore.

A suitcase with nothing but the essentials.

6. You’re tired of traveling like a minimalist

Backpacking is all about traveling light and fast. This means having minimal clothing and little or no luxuries. Although the light bag is nice, traveling completely devoid of clothing options and little comfort becomes tedious.

Solution: Pack more stuff. Don’t overdo it, but sometimes it’s nice to have a fancy outfit to wear to dinner or an extra pair of shoes for running or whatever. Bring the small comforts – a few books, more toiletries than the minimum necessary, etc. – starts to make more and more sense, especially once you’ve ditched the backpack in favor of a rolling suitcase.

Man working out at the gym.

7. You’re starting to miss your health routine.

When you’re a young traveler, health tends to take a back seat. You worry less about what you eat, missing workouts, and the aforementioned alcohol abuse. The day comes, however, when you begin to prioritize your health more.

Solution: Take your health routine on the road. That means packing a set of workout clothes, booking a hotel with a gym or an Airbnb nearby, and being careful what you eat — at least to some degree — on your trip. This is exactly when health retreats and other wellness destinations are starting to look more and more appealing.

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