How Old Is Too Old To Backpack?


How Old Is Too Old To Backpack – There is a guy I know, who spent years dreaming about everything he wanted to do – most of all he wanted to travel the world and do some crazy adventures.

But life never seemed to work that way for him, and he never seemed to have any time to do all that he dreamed.

How Old Is Too Old To Backpack?

How Old Is Too Old To Backpack?

How Old Is Too Old To Backpack?

Today, he is in his 50’s and has all the time in the world – but now he instead talks about all the things he would have liked to do, and then finishes off by saying: “but it’s too late now…”

I think it’s sad that he feels that way, because it’s SO far from the truth.

I personally think you are  never too old to backpack around the world.

You’re only too old to travel if you THINK you are – I truly believe that the possibilities you have are no less than what you think you have.

Yes, society tries its hardest too have control over people and make up silly unwritten rules such as when you’re too old to travel, when you should get married, when you should get a real job etc…

Too Old To Backpack

Too Old To Backpack

The only one who should have a say in what you do with your life and how you live it – is you!

Don’t listen to others, often they’re simply jealous that you’re brave enough to do something they would also like to do.

Many people can’t handle other people stepping out of the norm, and into the uncertainty of a new life.

I don’t think it is about the age, but about the mindset you have, which decides whether you’re too old to backpack or not.

If you’re 25 and need the comfort and certainty, chances are that you’re ALREADY too old to backpack.

If you start to make things over-complicated and worry about everything, not wanting anything to be left to destiny, backpacking isn’t something for you.

Old Backpack

Old Backpack

If you, however, are open for new adventures with an “open ending”, aren’t too fuzzy about the comforts and are unafraid to talk to make your way around by yourself rather than following a tour guide with his flag in the air, it doesn’t matter how old you are, backpacking will be fun for you.

During our travels we have met seasoned backpackers who are well into their 70’s, still sleeping in rooms with squat toilets, and exploring the world.

It might be hard to find other senior travelers, but just like with solo travelers, there are many forums where you can go and connect with other older travelers – and isn’t age really just a number?

What do you think about this?

Is there a certain age when you’re too old to travel?

Here are 5 safety tips for first time backpackers …

Whether you’re spending your summer holidays inter-railing around Europe, your gap year volunteering in South East Asia or you’ve taken a year off work for a round-the-world trip, it’s important to stay safe whilst travelling For First Time Backpackers.

5 safety tips for first time backpackers Don’t Flash Your Cash.

5 safety tips for first time backpackers Don’t Flash Your Cash.

Although most places are tourist-friendly, you’re likely going to stick out like a sore thumb; if you take these steps you can avoid attracting attention for the wrong reasons.

Spread your money out and store them in different places; Keep some money in your wallet, some in your backpack and some in a day bag, and the same goes for your credit and debit cards.

That way if one of these items is stolen or lost, it’s not the end of the world.

Set up at least two accounts on your bank, one which can be used at ATM’s to take out money, and one savings account which can only be accessed from online.

This way you can transfer smaller amounts of money every month to your ATM card so that if things go sideways, thieves can only take out as much money as you have on the ATM card.

If it gets stolen, you won’t lose all your savings.

Unless absolutely necessary, don’t take out too much money from the ATM at once, it’s better to take out a little money at a time.

And make sure to get a card from a bank that offers free withdrawals in foreign countries or you will lose a lot of money down the drain!

Do not store your money in a fanny pack, first off it looks silly, but you’re also basically telling everyone where you have all your most valuable things stored.

Insect Repellent & Mosquito Net

Mozzies are nasty little insects that can carry many different diseases.

Depending on which country you’re in, mosquito bites can spread malaria, dengue fever or other dangerous conditions, which result in a fever and require immediate medical attention.

Whilst there are anti-malarial tablets available to prevent the disease, they can have nasty side effects and the most effective way to avoid contracting it is not to get bitten in the first place.

So, invest in a strong mosquito repellent, and consider buying a mosquito net for use in particularly hazardous areas.

First Time Backpackers Get Your Shots Before You Go

First Time Backpackers Get Your Shots Before You Go

Get Your Shots Before You Go

It might seem like one more chore on the list of pre-travel planning, but getting your vaccinations before you go is vital for your health.

You don’t want to end up having to spend your precious travelling time in hospital, or risk your long-term health for something you could have prevented beforehand.

And make sure you know the deal with each vaccination, if you need to return again for a top-up and if so when – and don’t miss the date or things will get very problematic (we learned this from our own mistakes).

If you’re really tight with your budget, you could look into getting your vaccinations abroad.

We had a few done in Bangkok at the Red Cross Clinic which was great – everything was clean and safe and much cheaper than in Europe – but always do your research beforehand!

Always Book With Reputable Companies.

Bungee jumping off a waterfall, flying over the Nazca lines and cycling down the world’s most dangerous road may all be on the list of must-do activities.

I know it’s tempting to go for the cheapest possible option, but it’s really not worth the risk.

Make sure to book through a reputable and certified company, rather than trying to do it on a budget.

Always assess the risks before you sign up, and be aware of any scams or copycat companies that operate in the area.

This applies to bus and taxi companies as well.

Make Sure You Have Travel Insurance

Make Sure You Have Travel Insurance

Make Sure You Have Travel Insurance

Travel insurance may seem like it’s blowing a big hole in your budget, but if you were to have an accident or incident while travelling, this safety net will ensure that you are not landed with a hefty hospital or legal bill, as well as being covered for any lost items if you’re mugged.

We were so happy that our travel insurance covered everything when we were mugged in Malaysia last year, and one reason why it all went so easy and smoothly was because we were prepared and had read the terms carefully before buying it.

Carry your policy number and emergency phone number with you and also leave it with someone back home, so that you are prepared for every eventuality.

Whether you have insurance or not it is always worth checking with an expert law firm like Irwin Mitchell.

Although backpacking is liberating, a bit of careful planning before you set of will help you avoid the setbacks that could blight your once-in-a-lifetime trip, and make it a memorable experience for all the right reason.

What are your best tips for first time backpackers?

Tips for e-Learning Success ~ Education in a Backpack

With e-Learning, you can choose what to study while you learn at your own pace.

It’s great you can also choose the best time to learn and where you want to do it.

Studying and learning are no longer linked to rigid classroom schedules in costly institutions with boring lecturers.

In fact, you don’t even have to stay in one place; the whole world is a classroom.

You can fit your education into your backpack and learn wherever and whenever it suits you.

As a student, you no longer have to contend with bio rhythms out of sync with your optimum learning time or place.

Tips for e-Learning Success

Tips for e-Learning Success

There are a few things to consider.

Follow these 5 tips to help you on the road to e-Learning success:

Study for Travel

Learn a foreign language. Many subjects make sense for a traveler, including learning the language of the country you are travelling to.

One way to learn a language online is to employ a personal tutor who will give you lessons live via Skype.

Preply is one source for experienced tutors.

Should you be travelling to Russia, for example, you can find a selection of Russian teachers from

You may even wish to continue to study and practice when you are in the country.

Whether you want to try learning a language abroad or learn at home, you will have a richer experience when traveling.

Study for Free or Reduced Fees

You could enroll in a Massive Open Online Course (Mooc), which are readily available online in various languages.

Many of these are offered by reputable universities from many countries, including Stanford, Duke, Edinburgh, Melbourne, plus hundreds of others.

Sometimes there is an option to pay extra for a signed qualification if required for a course you are doing.

These costs are considerably less than you would have to pay to attend on campus when you consider living costs, etc.

Also, the fixed schedules may interfere with your work or other commitments.

You can also join a “Self Paced” course where the material is pre-recorded.

Here, you can work your way through the course contents in your own time and pace.

Invest in Reliable Equipment

You will need some reliable equipment to be able work with and to connect to the Internet.

The usual method is via a laptop. However, in some instances, a smartphone or tablet would be sufficient for watching recorded lectures.

A word of caution though, when travelling with electronic devices, take extra care to ensure they don’t sustain damage and ruin your planned studies.

There are tips about how to travel with a laptop and keep it working. Learn how to travel and keep your laptop safe.

Tips on How to Pack Your Education into Your Backpack

Tips on How to Pack Your Education into Your Backpack

Plan for Connection

There are a number of ways to connect to the Internet, including hard wired DSL, dial-up, cellular signal and Wi-Fi.

The latter two are the most useful for staying connected while travelling.

If it is difficult or too expensive to consider having your own personal Internet connection, you may have to find a public place where you can connect.

Many restaurants and businesses offer free Wi-Fi connections so you can often find a quiet corner to continue your classes.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services mean you can make calls device to device without having access phone connections, thereby avoiding hefty telephone company charges.

There are a number of providers, including Skype. However, not all countries allow access for international connection.

Don’t take connection ability for granted.

Check before travel if your course requires Skype calls.

It’s also important to learn how to use your cell phone while traveling to Europe or other destinations.

Schedule Work and Play

Take some time to schedule Skype lessons when it suits both you and the tutor.

If you have scheduled lessons, you will need to be sure in advance that you can connect on time.

Tutors are usually paid by their time so don’t waste their time or your holiday.

Otherwise, watch lectures, research, write essays and complete tests at times most favorable to you.

The Internet really has made education and e-Learning easy and accessible.

People in most countries can take advantage of it.

Wherever you are in the world, or wherever you plan to be, with e-Learning you can continue to study and develop your career or hobbies.

Go online and search for a course and begin enjoying e-Learning success.

Beautiful Treks Around The World

Something which we’ve always wanted to do but never really had the right gear for, is trekking – we’ve gone for day hikes in many of the best hiking spots around the world, from Austria and Switzerland to New Zealand, but never had enough equipment to actually be gone for several days.

Next year, however, we just might take some action and take a few trekking holidays, below are just a few of the most amazing hikes in the world that we would like to try out:

New Zealand – Routeburn Track

New Zealand – Routeburn Track

Chomolhari Trek – Bhutan

Bhutan is only just opening up as a trekking destination, and the more I read about this country the more interested I get in spending a few months there.

There are a few very popular hikes, where the scenery seems so beautiful and I also like that there are many temples and villages along the way so you can also meet many of the local people.

I personally think only seeing nature for weeks at a time might get a bit boring after a while.

Beautiful Treks Around The World

Beautiful Treks Around The World

New Zealand – Routeburn Track

New Zealand has some of the most amazing scenery I’ve ever encountered, and naturally hiking has become one of the most popular things to do, especially for locals.

The dramatic landscape along the Routeburn track with fjords, valleys, peaks and meadows and the special native forest and flora, seems like a great way to explore the country.

The only major drawback I see is that you never know what the weather will be like.

We walked a bit of the track to check it out, and meeting the hikers finishing the trail we found out that while the trek started out in warm sunny weather, it started raining and even snowing for two whole days.

Mount Kilimanjaro – Tanzania

Kilimanjaro is often called the world’s tallest walkable mountain, because while it stands at nearly 20,000 feet, no technical climbing skills or equipment are needed for the kilimanjaro trek.

This definitely sounds like something for us who don’t gladly spend thousands of dollars on trekking gear and equipment, and who are far from hiking pros.

It does seem pretty challenging to be hiking through all the different climates, from the equator and hot grasslands to glacial valleys.

Annapurna Circuit – Nepal

Nepal has always fascinated both of us both in religion, culture and tradition as well as the nature itself.

We’ve planned to visit this to us mysterious country later next year, and I would love to hike this trail.

I’m not that interested in hiking to Mount Everest base camp, but think this trail seems more interesting and diverse, with scenery of lush subtropic nature to the highest mountain in the world, passing Bhuddist temples and tea houses.

Inka Trail – Peru

It would almost be a crime not to include this on the list, the Inca Trail is one of the most famous hikes in the world, and rightly so.

Looking at photos of my aunt hiking the trail in the mid 80’s, this was one of the places that inspired me to travel in the first place.

I have yet to make it there, and I have no idea if it will be what I expect it to be, but I would like to see the ruins with my own eyes, surrounded by Andean cloud forest.

Have you done many treks before?

If so, which were your favorite and what gear for a long distance hike?

(photo credits: 1 – 2 – 1 – 2 – mcgrathssukanto_debnathmcviewty)

  1. You are NEVER too old. My mother drives me insane because she is 54 and is convincing herself she is already geriatric. She goes to bed achy at 7pm and won’t dance her beautiful flamenco dances anymore.

    But seriously – we’re 28 and just starting!

  2. I wouldn’t consider myself elderly just yet but I’m 37 and still backpacking. The main problem is that everyone around you – the backpacking crowd – generally has young ideas of what is cool and what isn’t (because, you know, they’re mostly young).

    But you’re right, age is a number and apart from taking much longer to recover from nights out til 2 a.m. partying, I haven’t really had to slow down. Of course, being older I value things differently than I did when I was younger. Thus, on this trip, things like learning peoples stories and really experiencing people are more valuable to me than getting drunk and seeing every single tourist attraction in the world.

  3. Definitely no end date, apart from when you’re too old to carry the pack… Travelling with a young child, in my mid-30s, I’m amazed how many people we meet who are older than us. And my parents still travel with a pack in their 60s.

  4. My wife just turned 60 and I’m 58…we’re going backpacking for a year, maybe longer, starting in the Spring. I spent a year backpacking when I finished college, going from Europe overland to India (via Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan). That was 1974-75, now 37 years later we’re traveling west (Australia, Indonesia, SE Asia) to east (India, then Europe) with backpacks. So, no, I don’t think you’re ever too old!

  5. I think it’s a mindset and not really about the age. As long as a person is healthy enough to handle it and really wants to go, they should! I’m no longer in my 30s and that certainly hasn’t stopped me. And one of my close friends is almost 75 and up until a few years ago, he was staying in hostels.

    I hope to keep going as long as I can. And if a time comes when it becomes too hard to carry the backpack, I’ll just modify the way I travel. Perhaps I’ll just move around less or get a bag on wheels. But I’ll definitely still be traveling!

  6. Hi Nathan,
    I agree with your argument. While physical capacity poses limitations, quite naturally, its the philosophy and style of travelling that matters. My parents are remarkable – they travel randomly with flexible plans and stumble upon neat places. Granted they can’t sleep in dorms with ten other college kids, but it doesn’t matter because on the road they are independent, minimalist and free spirits.

  7. I think it’s NEVER too late to do the things you love! Age shouldn’t restrict you! Life is what you make out of it.

  8. I started late (early 40’s) and plan to keep going until I can’t. We’re only as old as we think we are…and I plan on thinking young!! Cheers!

  9. I agree – you’re never too old to get out and explore, and hostel living makes it happen. That said, I think you do hit an age where living in the smelly party dorm room gets a little played out. As a couple, we rarely stayed in dorms and opted for the double private rooms, typically only about $5 more and totally worth it.

  10. To recycle a quote I’ve used before…

    “You’re only too old when your dreams turn into regrets”.

    It’s true in this instance and everyone should chase their dreams, regardless of their age!

  11. Totally agree! I know girls who are barely in their 20s who won’t travel because of their mindset–too scary, too dirty, too much work. And then I’ve met people on the road who are older, but so full of life.

  12. I don’t know that you’re ever too old to backpack but, as we get older, we may change the way we travel. We don’t do dorms because we like having a bit more space. We stay at less touristy places, now, and we prefer spending longer in a single city. So, our travel style is changing (not that we’re old or anything) and I expect that it will continue to change as we mature.

  13. Great info, another fantastic post. I agree that you’re never “too old”. Attitude is everything! Thanks and keep up the great work 🙂

  14. I’m 33 and backpacking and when I was in Fiji I met this woman, Barbara from Scotland, who was in her 80s and on the Kiwi Experience.

    Her husband died, she had money and all her friends were just waiting to die so she left to travel solo.

    Coolest woman ever.

  15. Age should never be a hindrance, the important thing is one’s passion and love for travel. My mom is already on her 50’s but this did not stop her going to places. I think traveling is something that I got from her.

  16. Definitely, definitely everything is a state of mind and not an age. Maybe your friend in his 50s was saying “it’s too late” when he was in his 30s too. Really no one in the world cares how old you are but you.

  17. 28? great! 🙂 same age as me, feel like I could do this forever 😉 It’s a shame about your mum, cos its mostly in the mind, which stops others from doing what they really want to do – like dance flamenco.

  18. Like you said, It’s all about mindset and living in the now. You’re never too old, you just need to be ok with modifying things when necessary.

    My Gran just started seeing the world, climbing tropical trees and chasing adventure a couple years ago. She’s in her mid 70s and until recently had never traveled in her life because she was taking care of a sick hubby. She’s my constant reminder of “It’s never too late”.

    On the rare occasions I do get into the ‘OMG I’m getting older and haven’t been much of anywhere!’ frame of mind I just think about my grandmother. Then I silently scold myself for being absolutely ridiculous.

  19. it’s absolutely a state of mind, my mother (61) is backpacking around burma this summer – if you’re mentally ready for the open road, age wont hold you back

  20. I agreed with you. You are never too old to travel! My parent feels the same way too. The only time I see it as a problem is if you think you’re health won’t allow you to do some extreme sport or climbing. Other then that I think you can enjoy culture, place, food everything else what travel can offer ; )

  21. hahaha yeah that is sooo true! they need that certainly of ‘home’ so much they never really get to experience life.

  22. Yes! I agree with your thoughts. I like to travel too. And I have found Cairns hostels to be the best among all. I have been there and they have satisfied me well. Those who like to travel can try this. Cairns hostel

  23. Yes! I agree with your thoughts. I like to travel too and I have found Cairns hostels to be the best among all. I have been there and they have satisfied me well. Those who like to travel can try this. Cairns hostels