The Backpacker

The Backpacker

Ben Groundwater is Fairfax's globetrotter on a shoestring.

The Backpacker

It's time to cut Americans some slack

The Backpacker American tourists: loud, rude and demanding? Sometimes, but there's more to them than that.

The Backpacker

Is the journey really worth it?

guatemala bus

The Backpacker It's dark outside, pitch black, when the guy with the machine gun gets on board our bus.

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Is it possible to pick someone up on a plane?

Couple on a plane.

The Backpacker Flight flirting? There are a few major obstacles to picking someone up on a plane.

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The type of town that makes travelling great

Beatty nevada

The Backpacker Where the heck am I? This town is fantastically strange, with one foot in the grave.

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How dumb tourists are ruining great places

A couple kiss near lamp posts covered with padlocks

The Backpacker Some of the world's great sites are being ruined by tourists' love.

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Things that can only happen in Asia

Patong beach, Phuket.

The Backpacker Things that should be illegal, or at least questionable, or that are just silly. They happen here.

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Don't wait: Why you have to travel now, before it's too late

Cologne tourists

The Backpacker The world is changing. You need to see it now, before it's too late.

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The Backpacker

How to speak Kiwi

New Zealand fans

The Backpacker There's a dark secret that most Australians carry around with them, a piece of knowledge that's stored away and rarely revealed. And that dark secret is this: we actually like the Kiwis.

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The secret to having a good time in LA

Giant billboards on Sunset Boulevard Hollywood Los Angeles Southern California

The Backpacker To visit Los Angeles for the first time is to be chronically underwhelmed.

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Why I'll still fly Malaysia Airlines, despite the missing Flight MH370

Malaysia Airlines flight attendant

The Backpacker 'If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going' the catchphrase goes. But does an airline's safety reputation really matter?

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Crossing a notorious stretch of ocean? That's my kind of cruise

Ushuaia penguins

The Backpacker This is adventure, a dream come true.

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North America for beginners: what you need to know

A woman standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon.

The Backpacker If you're visiting the US or Canada for the first time, here are the things you need to know.

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There's nothing here

sebastian the elephant

The Backpacker In one of the world's least populated countries, this is one of its least populated spots.

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The world's best foods for late-night scoffing

Kebab

The Backpacker These dishes are at the bottom of the foodie chain, the stuff you scoff after a few beers. But surely they deserve better?

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In pursuit of the perfect meal

sashimi

The Backpacker I have faith that Google Maps can get me there - the blue dot never lies. Does it?

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Fifteen things that couldn't happen anywhere else

Only in America would a waitress say

The Backpacker 'Only in America'? Yes, but here are 14 other countries that have their own 'Only in' moments.

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How to get back in the good books with your girlfriend

The Backpacker Need to earn some brownie points after upsetting your significant other? Here's the perfect way.

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The shocking truth about budget airlines

Australia's most maligned carrier ... Tiger.

The Backpacker The reality is that flying with budget airlines is great. Just be sure to read the fine print.

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The world's worst romantic getaways

Least romantic destinations. Couple

The Backpacker No cocktails, no beaches - if your relationship can get through a trip to these destinations, it can get through anything.

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When a country transforms

Myanmar

The Backpacker For me, it's a sight to enjoy. For locals, it's a battle to be won.

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