7 things backpackers do but pretend they don’t

If you’ve ever backpacked, you’re probably guilty of doing some unethical things. It’s fine, we’ve all been there! We’ve all been young and reckless at one point of our lives, or just feeling lazy after traveling around for months. But we wouldn’t dare to admit to some of the things we judge other backpackers for doing. Here are a few things we backpackers do but pretend we don’t.

1. Eat other people’s food

When you buy food to a hostel, you always have to mark your food with your name on it and the date you leave, so that staff knows if they should throw it away when you’ve left. But sometimes you don’t even get to enjoy your food because the next day, your food isn’t even there. This has happened to me a few times, when I’ve bought drinks and food but haven’t been able to finish it so I left it in the fridge. Then the next day I find out that someone at the hostel found it okay to steal my food. It’s always clear that it’s a backpacker and not staff who’s done it. I get it – you’re on a tight budget. But so is everyone else and it really doesn’t justify the fact that you’re stealing from someone else. If you’re one of these people, I suggest you stop with it immediately (or just get a bigger budget).

2. Have sex in hostels

Either you are one of the people who’s always having sex in hostels or you’re the person who constantly have to hear it. It’s surprisingly common, even if it’s in a 12-person dorm. Hostels is the perfect place to 1) get drunk, and 2) hook up with random people you met three hours ago when you were semi sober. Where else are these backpackers going to fulfill their needs? And especially when they’re drunk, they don’t really care if other people hear. Next time you meet a long term traveler who says they haven’t had sex in a hostel, chances are, they are lying.

3. Put the toilet paper down the toilet

In many countries in the world, the toilet gets clogged if you flush paper. There’s always signs that says “please do not flush down the toilet paper”, and there’s always this person who doesn’t the opposite because, well, they’re not used to it or they think it’s disgusting to throw paper in a bin. But if you’re not too careful about it, it might backfire on you and you’ll be the one who has to dig it out.

4. Craving western food

Trust me, we’ve all been there. Even if you love thai food and it’s the best thing you’ve ever had, you’re going to get sick of it after a few weeks. Some travelers are so obsessed with the idea of always going to local restaurants that they can never admit that they crave western food from time to time and has probably gone to McDonalds late at night when they think no one sees them. It’s completely normal to crave something that you’re used to eating. Own up to it instead and realize that you’re not any less of an authentic traveler just because you’re eating a burger from time to time.

5. Shower seldomly

Perhaps you’ve embraced the backpacker look and you don’t mind walking around looking like a hobo. Many backpackers have been in that situation. Sometimes you don’t have access to a shower and sometimes you’re just too exhausted to hop in the shower after a few days of intense traveling. But for the sake of everyone else in your room, try to hop in the shower.

6. Looking forward to go home

Look, traveling is fantastic and it will change you forever, but it’s completely normal to miss home in the process. A lot of backpackers say they could travel forever if they could, but they never admit to missing home. Sure, some people might not miss it, but who doesn’t miss their family and friends, having a clean bed, taking a hot shower and breathing fresh air? I sure as hell missed home many times while I was abroad, even when I was having the most fun. You’ll especially miss home when you’re having hard times while traveling, and trust me, they will come. If you think you’re alone in this thought process, you’re not. Every backpacker misses certain things about home and some even look forward going home. After all, there is no place like home.

7. Check in to hotels

“Why would you go to a boring hotel when you can stay in a cool hostel where you can socialize and have fun?”, that’s probably what most backpackers will tell you if you say that you’re going to check in to a fancy hotel. Truth is, they probably just wish that they had the budget to do so as well, or perhaps they already did but doesn’t admit to it. It’s always fun to be surrounded by people, but after traveling for months, you’ll crave some alone time and you’ll crave comfort. What better way to get it than by checking in to a nice and clean hotel, where you can just lock yourself in and spend the entire day in bed?

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