Backpacking Tips for Seniors

When you become older, you will be hit by life’s uncertainties right on your face.

  • What awaits you at this stage of your life?
  • Will your world become bigger or would it shrink?
  • Can you still explore and discover the world?

While you can definitely stop your age from adding up, it doesn’t mean that your life also stops once you get old.

In fact, there are still plenty of things you can do when you reach this point. One activity that you can still try and most likely enjoy is backpacking.

Maybe you feel like you are already too old to go backpacking.

But no, age doesn’t matter as long as you put your body, heart, and mind into it.

How-to Make the Most Out of Your Backpacking Experience as a Senior

Everyone is familiar with the stereotypical backpacker – a young and wide-eyed man or woman carrying a large bag full of dirty clothes, a rebel without a cause, right in the middle of nowhere.

Everyone also knows where they usually sleep – a grimy dorm room with a dozen other young backpackers trying to get some sleep amidst sounds and noises and that bothering smell coming from an unidentified source.

You might know someone who had this very experience or maybe you did it yourself during the 60s or the 70s.

However, things are no longer the same today. Accommodations of the 21st century are now welcoming and clean places.

Most of these also have state of the art facilities complete with private double and single rooms equipped with private bathroom facilities.

It doesn’t matter if you are an older backpacker as you will surely be able to get the best out of your experience as long as you know what to do.

Do it in a Pace That Suites You

One of the great things about getting older is often that you don’t need to stress. You can backpack in a pace that suites you and anyone that might travel with you.

That means that if you are adventurous enough you don’t even book all your hotels/hostels in advance. Every morning or night before you go to sleep you think about tomorrow.

Will I leave tomorrow or do I stay until tomorrow or even for a week?

It’s up to you! So, just relax and let the adventure come to you (but don’t wait to long)…

Backpacking Accommodations are Now Better Than Ever.

Hostels these days are already a far cry from those dark older days mentioned above.

Most are clean modern facilities with friendly staff and an extensive array of available sleeping arrangements.

If you don’t like the idea of a huge dorm, you could go for a 3-bed, 4-bed, or 6-bed dorm where most of the beds remain vacant almost half the time.

If this is still somewhat uncomfortable, there are also hostels with private single and twin rooms with their own bathrooms.

You will be surprised at the cheap price of a regular hotel room devoid of the unnecessary frills.

After settling in, you will also find many amenities, such as a fresh breakfast served in the dining area, WiFi internet access so you can stay in touch with family and friends back home, and assistance with guidebooks and maps available at the reception.

Also, just because you’re backpacking does not mean that you have to stay at hostels. There are also plenty of really price-worthy hotels everywhere.

You just need to figure out where you to look to get the best deals.

Tip! ask other backpackers.

There are a Lot of Different Options for Transportation.

Many people consider the thought of having a heavy backpack and carrying it around anywhere you go as the perfect example of a nightmarish trip. 

However, you don’t really need to strap pans and pots to your back just so you can be a try backpacker.

This is because most people choose to travel lighter today, not to mention that you could easily get around with the help of the combination of private and public means of transportation.

For example, instead of hailing a taxi, you can ride the airport bus. You can also join a group tour as an alternative to getting a car rental.

You will be surprised with all the things and sights you can see with no need to stick with the common creature comforts.

Most hotels offer backpackers a tour desk as among their services and these tours often offer great value.

You get the chance to meet new faces and friends.

Backpacking is truly for you if you love to make new friends because this is the perfect opportunity for you to meet new people along the way who are also older backpackers just like yourself.

It doesn’t matter how short your backpacking trip might be because you will surely be chatting with someone before you even know it.


This is such an important subject that I actually divided it into two separate paragraphs.

Clothes on your way to your holiday vacation.

If you’re going from somewhere cold to a place that is really hot and you’re going to spend more than 2 weeks then I recommend you to either have someone drop you off at the airport in your hometown and take your jackets with him/her so that you don’t need to carry it with you in when you instead should be enjoying the sun, nature etc.

If that’s not possible then I would recommend you to either put on something that you can throw away when arriving at your destination.

Tip! Don’t forget when packing that you’ve already got a set of clothes on you when traveling.

Clothes to wear at your holiday vacation.

This is one of the things that a lot of people gets wrong. When packing, make sure you don’t over-pack. If the place your visiting is somewhat cheap, then you can (and you probably will) buy anything that you need once you’ve arrived.

Another thing is that traveling and not staying at the same place for the whole vacation will tear more on your clothes. So, don’t bring your “going to the Oscars” outfit with you.

Bring something that looks and feels comfortable and is warm enough so that you won’t get cold and cool enough so you don’t get sweaty.

Medicine and Vitamins – A Friendly Reminder

Always when I spend time with elders they start talking about what kind of medicine or vitamins they take and whey. If you have a problem and you’ve visited the doctor and he/she prescribed something to help, that is great. But, keep in mind that:

  • Some medicine has different names in different countries.
  • You might need a prescription from a doctor to buy it.

And just because you’ve brought enough to last two trips you never know if you might drop your bag, somewhere where you can’t reach it, or getting it stolen or just forget it somewhere.

If that happens then it’s always a good idea to have the prescription ready so that you are able to get new tablets so you don’t have to cut your trip short.

Also keep in mind to never use, take and try any new medicine that your doctor hasn’t approved when visiting another country even though it might be very cheap and easy to get your hands on.

Why Backpacking When You’re Older is the Best Way to Go

Never ever listen to those people who try to convince you that backpacking is an activity that is only meant for a specific age group.

Don’t believe them when they tell you that sharing a dormitory no longer suits your age at this time when most people in the world don’t even have their own rooms and some don’t even have their own home.

It is truly a luxurious chance to still have the ability to discover and explore the world before you.

If you are lucky enough to afford to go on a travel, never let other people dictate you how you should do it. Even though going backpacking means you need to spend the night seating in a long-distance train in the hopes of saving your hotel money.

Even if it means you need to spend the night in a room with fleas. Don’t worry about these things. You will still be able to survive and bring home some entertaining stories and interesting memories with you. 

To be honest, almost no one in this planet can discover the world in just his 20s alone. The process is a never-ending one. And how this process changes you doesn’t have anything to do with your pillow or room service as much as it doesn’t have anything to do with your age.

Backpacking has more to do with how open-minded and curious you are today and in the near future.

Those people who discourage and don’t understand older backpackers might have never enjoyed or tried backpacking themselves.

The last thing you want is to be like these people who choose to be confined in just one spot for the rest of their lives.

Final Thoughts

So, the next time you feel like going backpacking, never linger on your doubts or waste your precious time.

Get your things packed and off you go to the see the whole wide world before you!

Meet new people, eat great food, meet new people and make sure to have fun!