How to Be an Idiotic Backpacker

fast travel for idiotic backpackers

Another day, another bus ride

If you’re planning for an extended trip around the world, why follow the advice of all those seasoned travelers who have done it already? Ignore those dolts blogging from the road for years on their blog and those know-nothings on the travel message boards and Facebook groups. Do it your way. I’m sure everything will turn out just fine.

1) Hit 36 countries in 12 months

Forget what all those long-term travelers are telling you. You’re out to see the world, dammit, not just a piece of it! Cram as much into that itinerary as you can. If you can only visit Laos for one day, so what? You’ve checked off Laos! If you stop over in Bali for two nights and hit Kuta Beach, you can say you’ve seen Indonesia. You have the passport stamp to prove it. Be sure to hit five or six continents, even if it means you spend half your trip in planes and buses. You need a trip worth bragging about. “Slow travel” is for underachievers.

2) Pack a rolling suitcase so you don’t “look like a backpacker.”

what an idiotic backpacker takes around the world Call yourself a Flashpacker and disassociate yourself from all those scuzzy shoestring travelers by carrying a suitcase with wheels instead of a backpack. Sure, you’ll be picking it up and carrying it half the time once you leave the airport in developing countries as you encounter cobblestones, sidewalks jammed with vendors, sacred cow crap, 1/2-mile staircases, and dirt paths leading from the bus station to your hotel.

But hey, sometimes it takes some sacrificing to project the right image. Those shiny four-wheel hardside spinners just look so cool.

3) Spend a few hours nightly staring at your phone

Don’t bother talking to locals or other people in your guesthouse to get travel advice. How can you trust these strangers? Plug in the earbuds each night and tap into that Wi-Fi signal so you can pump out status updates on everything you did that day. Otherwise people won’t remember you’re traveling and won’t be able to keep telling you, “Way to go!” with a thumbs up icon.

You are special because you are traveling while they are going to their stupid job each day. So be sure to keep reminding them. That’s more important than spending time interacting and learning about wherever you happen to be that week.

4) Don’t do any budgeting or cost research before you leave.

Travel is expensive, right? So it doesn’t matter where you go or how much it costs in particular destinations. If Copenhagen turns out to be really costly, you can just skip all the attractions and hang out in the city parks. If Brazil ends up costing twice as much as Peru and your budget is busted after a week, just blow off Iguazu Falls. You’ve seen the pictures on your buddy’s Facebook page. Close enough.

5) Book every hotel and hostel stay in advance.

Just showing up and finding a place to stay? Too much uncertainty. Moving somewhere better after your first night? Too much hassle.

Sure, everyone will tell you you’ll spend far less that way on lodging and you can see the room before committing, but time is money baby! Book all your stays in advance so you’ll know exactly where you’ll be each night of your trip. Serendipity sucks. Besides, this gets you in the habit of going online each night in the guesthouse common area to book hotels—that way you won’t forget to do your status updates.

6) Get all your dining recommendations online.

Don’t waste your time asking locals or even other travelers where the best places to eat are in the cities where you’re staying. That’s what Yelp and Google are for, right? If the place was any good, it would have 100 5-star reviews and food photos already, in English. Otherwise, it’s probably not safe to eat there and they won’t have a menu you’ll be able to read without translation. You might pay more, but no worries about anything being too spicy.

7) ? (Add your own advice on how to be an idiotic backpacker in the comments below.)

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  1. Linda 03/25/2011
  2. Asa 03/25/2011
  3. Luke 03/26/2011
  4. Luke 03/26/2011
  5. DML 03/26/2011
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  7. Jan 03/27/2011
    • tim 03/27/2011
  8. Linda 03/27/2011
  9. Sara Gabrakirstos 03/27/2011
    • Em 03/28/2011
    • David 03/30/2011
  10. Stuart 03/27/2011
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  12. Jeff Bartlett 04/06/2011
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    • Rolf 04/08/2011
  17. Caz Makepeace 04/08/2011
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  19. w. Zebco 04/09/2011
  20. FilXeno 04/10/2011
    • D 05/14/2011
  21. Naeem 04/12/2011
  22. Spoiler 04/12/2011
  23. The Runaway Guide 04/13/2011
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  26. lucy 04/18/2011
  27. jack 04/19/2011
  28. Will 05/06/2011
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  30. Nomadic Samuel 07/06/2011
  31. Saffron 07/27/2011
  32. Erin 03/24/2012
  33. Maricel 07/26/2012
  34. John 11/16/2012
  35. Gerald 11/13/2013
  36. Effy 04/01/2014
  37. Effy 04/01/2014
  38. Jenny 06/16/2014

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