Backpacking: A rite of passage for budget travelers

The popularity of the “hippie trail” – an overland route between Europe and Southeast Asia taken by young people with limited budgets but keen to broaden their horizons – led to the publication of the first Lonely Planet guidebook, “Across Asia on the Cheap,” in 1973.

While backpacking has certainly evolved since then, it tends to involve hopping from place to place, staying in hostels, picking up temporary jobs here and there and bonding with fellow travelers.

Kash Bhattacharya, founder of, said, “Backpacking is a timeless concept. It’s very easy and accessible…The sense of connection, humanity and curiosity never ends.”

One of the many appeals of this type of travel is affordability. Backpackers can bed down in hostel dormitories for a fraction of the price of hotels, and the growth of low-cost carriers helped to open things up for those who had previously seen travel as out of their reach financially.


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