The backpacker


The well-known stereotype is to go backpacking through Europe. There are some pros and cons to the backpack.


  • You don’t have to worry about the wheels of your suitcase breaking on cobblestones.
  • It’s a lot easier to get on and off of trains and public transportation.
  • You can tie stuff to your pack if there isn’t room.
  • You can buy patches from all the places you visit and put them on your back like badges of awesomeness.
  • You can use it as a pillow when you’re lying on a park bench resting.
  • You’ll look super legit.


  • Carrying everything on your back gets really heavy. Your back will want a massage (all the time).
  • They’re big and sometimes you accidentally bump into people when you’re not paying attention.
  • Having a big thing on your back makes your back super sweaty. This is a really big downside. Sweaty people have a harder time enjoying things.
  • When you have a suitcase, you can bring a backpack as a supplement in case you need more room, but when your backpack is your suitcase, you don’t have that option.
  • You either need to carry a purse as well (which can be awkward) for easy access to important things like a wallet and phone, or you have to take your backpack off and dig around every time you need to buy something.

3 thoughts on “The backpacker

  1. I just love you. My favorite is, “Sweaty people have a harder time enjoying things.” Truer words were never spoken. (Sweaty people who aren’t trying to be sweaty, that is–i.e., not sweaty from a workout.) 🙂 Also, the rest of your travel posts are awesome too. 🙂

  2. Ah, but dear cousin, you are leaving out some important details!

    – With a backpack, you are much more mobile than with a suitcase
    – If you are staying overnight in a city, you can leave your backpack at your hostel and then go tour the area, so you need not have your backpack on you at all times. You can store a “day pack” in your backpack if need be.
    – If you are not staying overnight, often times train stations will have luggage storage where you can leave your backpack, and then you can go tour the area for the day.

    In my opinion, if you are traveling to multiple cities and want a good amount of mobility – backpacks are simply just the way to go.

    I would turn to luggage maybe if I decided to stay in one area most of the time, or if I decided to rent a car instead of take the trains.

    1. David,

      I thought that included the amount of mobility in my list. It is one of the big pros of the backpacks. However, most of the things you mentioned equally apply to a small suitcase. You can leave a suitcase at a hotel or store it in a locker for the day. It’s not a big deal on trains, and I get less tired than when I have a large suitcase on my back. I’m not saying that backpacks aren’t a good idea, but I am saying that there are some things you should keep in mind and that they aren’t the only way to go.

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