Today’s backpackers don their gladbags

Travel insurance

According to online travel insurance policy provider, the new generation of backpackers wants Airbnb, exotic locations and relies on technology to guide them around the world.

Holidaysafe found that there have been major changes in attitudes and habits within the backpacking community since the 1960s, with people travelling more frequently, taking advantage of low-cost accommodation and flights and using technology for travel advice, bookings and guides to their destination. The provider says that this has led to the creation of the new ‘glampacker’.

The average age of a backpacker in 2013 was 25 years old, but had risen to 32 years old by 2016, found Holidaysafe, while the average duration of a trip has dropped from 217 days in 2013 to 179 in 2016. When it comes to backpacker’s medical claims, these remain unchanged since the 1960s; the top three are toothache, insect bites and stomach upsets.

“Backpacking was once the cheap way for the younger generation to explore the world and experience new cultures,” said Amber Howard, brand manager of Holidaysafe. “Today the glampacker wants to adapt to their environment by pre-planning and using technology to guide their journey and help decide where they stay and what they eat.”

Howard added that the desire to stay connected has encouraged millennial backpackers to carry a range of electronic gadgets. She has offered some travel insurance advice for glampackers: “We would always encourage travellers to purchase the correct insurance for their adventure, by thinking what activities they might want to undertake and reading their policy to see they are covered,” she said. “Travellers should be aware of cover for travel arrangements, sports and adventure activities, theft, loss and damage of gadgets and documents such as visas and passports.”