The famous travel bug that's been biting millenials, bit me too five years ago. And, ever since I have come across some really fascinating fellow travelers from all walks of life. Long term travelers, solo travelers, the big fat Indian family on vacation, luxury travelers, 'staycation' lovers, world travelers, tourists on guided trips, trekkers, 'weekend in Goa' travelers, 'dreaming-of-Goa-going-to-Murthal' kind of travelers, and every other kind!
After carefully studying people for all this while, I have inferred there are essentially only two kinds – Backpackers and Glampackers! And even though I have found myself on the line at times, fundamentally I am a backpacker. Which category do you belong? Let's find out!
Backpackers, changing the way of travel one backpacking trip at a time, are budget travelers mostly traveling long term. Minimalism is the key here, they carry only the essentials. They replace stylish clothes with a sleeping bag and a stove too, sometimes. They could easily pass as 'Quechua' brand ambassadors. They are on a quest to find meaning, learn about cultures, live like a local and all of it with the minimum money spent. They prefer cheap accommodation, that's how backpackers' hostels and couch surfing became a huge market in Europe, SE Asia and in India as well.
Backpackers are basically traveling independently without a plan. They take public transport and go wherever their heart takes them. They are not necessarily poor, but usually have no plan and many destinations in mind, which reduces their daily budget.
Glampackers, as the name suggests, are glamorous travelers with an affluent lifestyle. They travel for leisure, they stay at heritage hotels, they follow an itinerary, wear stylish couture and have an over-the-top travel photoshoot. Some even tag a hired photographer along, through the entire trip! Glampackers are slowly transforming into Instagram influencers, they're the reason why luxury hotels are making that extra big buck!
Glampackers know how to travel without cutting short on comfort and style. They will pack that extra pair of boots and fur jacket to look good for the camera. They will "do it for the 'Gram!" They will take an Uber or even better, chauffeur service to reach places. They will not mind spending more money for better food, stay or transport, while a backpacker will always make every penny count!
One common thing between both the kinds is their objective, that is to explore the world. Even though their style, budget or level of comfort could be on two different ends of the spectrum! One wouldn't mind a free dinner with a local family and the other would spend generously at a five-star restaurant! But, both are relishing the essence of travel, while giving different meanings to it.
So, which one are you? A backpacker, a glampacker, or just conveniently crossing over every once in a while?