There was a time when I loved being a backpacker. I thought of myself as a little turtle carrying all my worldly possessions as I traveled through Asia. I was able to quickly pack my bags and move on to my next destination without batting an eye.
I’m currently traveling through Europe with Citadines, and every few days I’m reminded of my backpacking days as I move to a new destination.
The only thing is, this is much better. No more heavy backpacks, no more cheap night trains, no more dirty hostels, no more cheap booze and cheap food.
I think I’ve been away from backpacking, but I’m finally able to admit it and feel happy. For a while I was a flashpacker, but I’m not even sure that’s the case anymore. Give me a suitcase, a first class ticket and a nice aparthotel and I’ll be a very happy traveler!
To help you out, here are 30 signs you’re no longer a backpacker…
1. You won’t consider any hostel that isn’t described as ‘luxury’ or ’boutique’
Admittedly, I’ve never been all that excited about the idea of sharing a bedroom (and often a bathroom) with 11 other people, but these days I flatly refuse. You can’t put me in a hostel dorm for love or money.
Think about boutique hostels like Generator or KEX, but only if you have a private room and private bathroom.
2. You’re traded in the backpack for flashy wheels
Backpacks seemed like a great idea once upon a time, but wheels were invented for a reason, so why not use them?
strong people will look at this and roll their eyes and say backpacks are easier, but my fellow weak people will know what I’m talking about. A 20kg backpack feels like carrying a house on your back.
Read more: Backpacking with a suitcase: Why you don’t need a backpack!
3. You’re an expert at packing light
Some people may prefer wheels these days, but no matter how long you’re on the go, you can always throw everything in a carry-on case.
4. You don’t want to go out every night
Remember the days when you stayed out until 4am every night and managed to get something (anything!) done the next day? Yes, no more.
5. You have a plan
In fact, these days I plan my travels by giving some thought to what I want to see and do. And I don’t just mean finding a bar where the beer is cheap (though that’s on the agenda too).
6. You have a Lonely Planet
Also, you don’t have to rely solely on suggestions from fellow backpackers you meet at hostels.
7. You’ll always upgrade on buses and trains
First class bus or train tickets once seemed like a luxury. Now it’s a necessity. There’s no way I’d ride third class on a night train.
I’m not ready to upgrade on a plane yet, but I know it won’t be long.
I’m really glad I didn’t ride this carriage
8. Travel hacking
You are into travel hacking and shop at specific supermarkets to earn important points.
9. You book in advance
Book your flight tickets far in advance. Yes, the itinerary is not as flexible, but it is very cheap!
10. You hate those repetitive backpacker conversations
“Where are you from?”
“Where were you?”
“where are you going?”
It gets pretty boring when you think everyone is going to the same places and doing the same things.
Hotel perk – jelly delivered right to your deck chair!
11. You’re willing to pay more than $2.00 for dinner
We all love street food, but sometimes it’s nice to have a table. And a plate. And a glass of wine.
12. You always apply sun cream
You may look good with a tan now, but in 20 years you will look bad with wrinkles.
13. You plan your hangovers in advance
You need to plan the best day for a hangover. Because the bad guys will crush you all day long. You also said the phrase, “I only had one drink and I don’t want to get a hangover for tomorrow’s early flight.”
14. You pack smart clothes
Then try it on.
trying to appear sophisticated
15. You call your parents
Instead of relying on Facebook updates to find out if you’re alive, you actually call your mom and dad.
16. You love taxis
To avoid the hassle of public transportation, take a taxi from the airport to your accommodation.
17. You take day tours
It’s not just a free city tour where you can sneak out without leaving a tip. Tutun, backpackers.
18. You realise hot water isn’t a luxury
This is a basic human right and it is impossible to wash your hair with cold water.
19. You regularly do your laundry while travelling
You can no longer judge by the “smell and see” test.
I washed these shorts about once every two months
20. You’ll pay a little bit extra to avoid Ryan Air
It’s just not worth the effort.
21. You’ve rented a car during your travels
And it’s not just cheap scooters full of nasty scratches and dents.
Iceland – the perfect place for a road trip!
22. You’re bored of the ‘I’ve travelled more than you’ conversation
We’ve all encountered competitive backpackers at some point. It’s not about putting items on your bucket list, it’s about the experience!
23. You want to get off the beaten path
No, actually, I’m not just saying it to sound cool before you follow the path others are taking.
24. You travel slowly
I would rather travel slowly and experience a place than rush to check things off a list
I always travel on a private yacht
25. You don’t feel the need to stitch flags onto your luggage
I paid £150 for that case and I’m not going to ruin it with a poorly stitched flag.
26. Your trips are shorter because you have an actual real job
It’s not just grape picking.
27. You’re happy to travel solo
There was a time when people preferred to travel in groups of four to eight people, but now traveling solo doesn’t seem such a bad idea.
28. You own expensive, polarized sunglasses
It’s not cheap like the one you bought at the market for $1
29. You refuse to drink goon and cheap spirits
It tastes like shit and I can’t stand the hangover.
30. You don’t feel the need to put everything on Facebook
Some moments are best enjoyed when you don’t compete to get the most Facebook likes.
Anything else to add to the list?