How My Travel Style Has Changed

15 places to stop on your gap year - a post packed full of helpful information for planning your gap year route

When I started this blog I was your typical backpacker. Staying in hostel dorms with a kitchen to save money, desperate to take a gap year and barely in my twenties. Fast forward five years, yes I created this blog back in 2012 and I basically do none of those things any more. I got to take a gap year shortly after starting this blog and it was such an amazing travel experience but equally it made me realise I didn’t just want to backpack for forever.

Now I have a degree, a full time job and I’m engaged. You could say life is very different to the girl who created The Little Backpacker blog. One thing is for sure though, I still love travel and probably think about it more than most other things. I’m still always checking Skyscanner for cheap flights I just have a little bit more money to play with and different priorities for my trips.

Albert park Melbourne

Hanging out in Melbourne during our gap year

Today’s post is one I feel I need to share with you, to help explain a little bit about my travel style and how it has changed from when I first started The Little Backpacker blog.

Backpacking days

Back in my peek backpacker time all I wanted to do was travel for as long as possible and see as much as possible. I wasn’t fussed about trying local restaurants or staying in a room to myself. I wanted to meet like minded people, have fun and basically pretend I didn’t need to be an adult. I’d work every hour under the sun and live for the times when I was travelling. I never had to worry about annual leave and every trip I took was a ‘big trip’.

I always took the approach that even a beer would be better while travelling than at home. I’d skimp so much on life at home to enable even the smallest pleasures travelling. I truly believed that those small scarifies gained me so much in terms of travel.

Christmas in Australia 2012

I’d always take the cheapest option; the hostel dorm, the overnight greyhound bus, the free walking tour, you name it I’d opt to save money. Even when travelling with my boyfriend we’d still happily stay in hostel dorms to extend our travel budget that little bit further. We were never fussed about eating out at expensive restaurants or paying for over-priced drinks. Instead we’d happily stock up on food from the supermarket and cook in crowded hostel kitchens.

Travel destinations were always decided based on where the cheapest flights were during our chosen holiday dates and destinations were never thought about until the flight price was researched. The one area we saved our travel funds for were exciting activities that were backpacker ‘must dos’

Hanging out in the Grampians National Park on a group tour

Becoming a grown up backpacker

Since returning from the gap year, my travel style has slowly changed. The boyfriend and I have made small changes step by step as we found ourselves with a little more money to spend on travel.

The first change we made was switching from hostel dorm rooms to private rooms or Airbnb private rooms. Allowing ourselves as little more privacy and the trip to feel more like a ‘holiday’ than a way of life. Later on, we then branched out to renting a whole Airbnb apartment or occasionally even staying in a hotel. Accommodation still remains one of those things I don’t like to blow the whole budget on but equally I’m not 20 anymore and don’t want to be kept up with hostel drinking parties.

Venice, the day after we got engaged

The second change we have made is slowly eating out a little bit more and enjoy the odd pricey restaurant on special occasions. Sampling new and different cuisine has quickly become one of our new favourite travel activities and something these days we find ourselves spending more and more on.

The third change to our travel style is that we’re content with wondering around the city on foot and taking in the sights instead of booking the most adventurous activity in that destination. We’d rather spend out on a few activities to fill our trip than blow out on one activity.

Christmas in Rio de Janeiro

Becoming a grown up backpacker has meant lots of little changes over several years with accommodation and food being two of the biggest. Of course we still don’t go crazy with our travel budget and as someone with 12 weeks holiday a year I like to be able to afford more than one holiday a year. Equally I’m not desperate to backpack around the world again and live out of a rucksack 24/7 so I don’t have to save every penny I earn.

Of course we’ll never stop dreaming about a big American road trip or Interailing across Europe but for now we are happy to fit travel into our life rather than travel being the main focus of our lives.


  1. 25th October 2017 / 10:15 am

    I hear ya! I feel the same way. When I started I was pretty naive to say the least as well. Now I am quite a bit better prepared and know what I am doing. Or at least I like to think so 😉 However I still do think it’s fun and I still love doing it 🙂 I believe after all it’s the best way to travel and to experience the culture!

  2. 23rd March 2018 / 9:35 pm

    I really enjoyed that post. I think I’ve found a nice balance between the cheap hostel dorm style of travelling and splashing out in a more ‘grown up’ way of travelling. Sometimes it can be tempting to scrimp to enable you to travel further/longer but as you say, you learn this isn’t always the priority!

    Amy x

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