Staycation, voluntourism, set-jetting—these are just some of the many travel buzzwords going around. Sometimes, it’s hard to keep up and find the difference. Case in point: backpackers and glampackers. One shouldn’t use them interchangeably since these classifications differ greatly.
If you’re unsure about whether you’re a good old backpacker or if you fall under a relatively new bunch called “glampackers,” we’re here to help you find out. Let’s start by getting a good grasp of these two distinct breeds of travelers.
Backpackers vs Glampackers:The Differences
Backpacking is more than just carrying a bag of your necessities and setting off into the wild. Backpackers are individuals who follow the low-cost and independent approach to traveling. Their goals are to see the world from different angles and interact with people along the way—these are central to their self-identification.
Backpackers not only welcome challenges, but they also embrace it. It’s part of their development that will help them get out of their comfort zone. They take as much time they need when traveling. They are in no rush in getting back to the real world as they want to fully immerse themselves in the experience of it all.
As cliché as it may sound, they hold the saying, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey” true to their hearts.
On the other side of things, glampackers are the more polished spectrum. They wouldn’t mind burning some cash for 5-star accommodation or exquisite food. They travel without sacrificing comfort and style.
Glampackers know precisely where they’re going, what they’re doing, and how long they’ll be on the road. They’re highly likely to stick to an itinerary; otherwise, they wouldn’t know what necessities (and OOTDs) to pack.
Like backpackers, they have a passion for travel, but they try to keep theirs glamorous. They don’t want to struggle in their journey since their purpose could be for leisure, a career break, or recreational.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get right into the lowdown.
Backpackers can be spotted wearing anything comfortable from jeans to shorts. They wear comfortable clothes because they’re often on their feet, going from one place to another. You’ll also find them slinging a large pack on their shoulders that carry everything they need. You’ll spot them on off-beaten paths.
Glampackers not only care about fashion, but they also make sure that their clothes are planned and fit their destination. They wouldn’t mind spending extra on a good pair of shoes or clothes for their trips. As expected, they don’t travel as light as backpackers.
Backpackers travel by seeing as much of the world as possible while spending as little as they can. Meanwhile, some backpackers go around this financial predicament by taking jobs in exchange for money, food, or boarding to continue their journey.
Ask any backpacker about how they manage their money, and they’ll tell you to be frugal; don’t be cheap when traveling. That means prioritizing your spending, so you can spend more on things you care more about.
Glampackers take the time to save up for their trip to have all the money they need before filing their vacation leave or going on a career break. Glampackers may have all the money in the world when traveling, but that’s because they save up enough (or more) for each trip. They still check out vacation checklists for every budget and the best deals without sacrificing comfort when traveling.
Backpackers are not shy to take their palate to an adventure, but they get to do it in affordable ways. For instance, they may offer to help a restaurant or their host in exchange for a free meal or grab a local’s offer to have dinner with their family. They like having a good meal without breaking the bank.
Glampackers prefer to experience a destination as much as they can, including through food. Meaning, they don’t mind shelling out some cash at a 5-star restaurant or go on a food trip as long as they get what they paid for—a fantastic meal.
• Packing List
Backpackers bring only the basics and essentials when traveling. They usually have just one big pack and a small one to carry necessities (i.e., passport, wallet, and phone). Since they travel long, they have no problems washing their clothes and repeating them—some even swap and share items with their fellow backpackers. For them, minimalism is key.
Glampackers are usually seen lugging a full-size suitcase along. That’s because they pack different looks for each day and activity. Plus, they like bringing everything they need, and some things they may need. This may include “going out” or “night out” clothes, hair tools and products, and different gadgets to bring for their trips.
• Getting Around
Backpackers consider getting around a whole lot of fun. They seldom book their transit fares in advance since their itinerary isn’t always fixed. As much as possible, they would try to experience the different transportation modes in their destination. They also try to use buses and join group tours or car share rides to save more.
Glampackers are more likely to book their transportation fares ahead of time. Since they have a healthy budget, they get to travel around their destination comfortably. You’ll find glampackers on trains and cabs since these are faster compared to buses.
Backpackers don’t mind staying at a cheap hostel, in a shared dormitory, lodging at no cost at a local host, or even camping along the way. They’re all about the adventure of it all and saving, after all. Accommodation is a secondary priority for them; getting to their destination is first. They also seek accommodation through couch-surfing websites.
Glampackers put a comfortable and secure private room to stay as their top priority. They book their accommodation weeks or even months ahead of time. They want to rest on a nice bed at a good hotel or hostel after a long day. Glampackers find high-quality rooms through booking websites, Airbnb, and hotel websites. For them, comfort and privacy are essential for a smooth journey.
Backpackers travel to get to know people, immerse themselves in different cultures, expand their perspectives, and understand themselves along the way. They’re like a sponge when they travel—they soak up the experiences that teach them both the trivial and profound facets of life. Backpackers are willing to sacrifice comfort to evolve through traveling.
Glampackers travel to take a break from their career or family or for a recreational tour. They enjoy traveling comfortably and luxuriously, favoring boutique hotels and packing elaborate outfits for each day. They try to see the world within their comfort zone. They spend money on experiences.
Which type are you?
When you’re on the road, you get to experience liberation, learn about other nation’s cultures and traditions, broaden your perspective, meet people from different walks of life, and gain unique stories to share. Traveling is a worthy pursuit that changes a person, no matter the budget and goals—regardless if you’re a backpacker or a glampacker. It offers potential health benefits, too.
Whether you’re a backpacker or a glampacker, there’s no right or wrong way of traveling. So, feel free to seek out the world the way you desire. Embrace your own unique travel style, and don’t forget to have fun!
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Author: Keely Closa
Keely is a young, energetic professional from Spiralytics a Globe Telecom Partner who enhances her company’s voice and presence through online and offline channels. Keely considers writing as one of her hobbies. She can combine creative thinking with performance analytics that drives traffic and awareness across various industry verticals.