Backpacking is a form of low-cost, independent international travel. It includes the use of a backpack that is easily carried for long distances or long periods of time; the use of public transport; inexpensive lodging such as youth hostels; a longer duration of the trip when compared with conventional vacations; and an interest in meeting the locals as well as seeing the sights. It is typically associated with young adults who generally have fewer obligations and thus more time to travel.
Visa laws in many countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom enable backpackers with restricted visas to work and support themselves while they are in those countries. These countries in turn benefit from a flexible youth workforce that contributes significantly to the local economy.
Backpackers typically are price-conscious but due to the length of time they spend in particular countries many services and the economy as a whole benefit. Backpacking may include wilderness adventures, local travel and travel to nearby counties while working from the country in which they are based.
The definition of a backpacker has evolved as travellers from different cultures and regions participate. A 2007 paper said “backpackers constituted a heterogeneous group with respect to the diversity of rationales and meanings attached to their travel experiences. They also displayed a common commitment to a non-institutionalised form of travel, which was central to their self-identification as backpackers.” Backpacking as a lifestyle and as a business has grown considerably in the 2000s as a result of low-cost airlines and hostels or budget accommodations in many parts of the world.
Source: Wikipedia, Backpacking