The Backpacker

The Backpacker

Ben Groundwater is Fairfax's globetrotter on a shoestring.

The Backpacker

Can a hostel ruin your travel experience?

The Backpacker Hostels: they're either the best thing in the world, or the worst.

The Backpacker

Solo traveller seeking company? Here's the answer

kiss, censorship, lovers, relationships.

The Backpacker There's one sure-fire way to find yourself some travelling company.

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Europe

How The Backpacker became The Creepy Old Man on a European bus tour

Getting too old for this? Ben Groundwater (circled), the Creepy Old Man on a European bus tour.

The Backpacker There's 37 girls, five guys. The average age is 22, but one guy is 34. That's me.

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The Backpacker

Choose wisely: How to pick the right person to travel with

 Just because you get on with someone in real life, doesn't mean you'll make good travel partners.

The Backpacker In my experience, you never truly know someone until you've travelled with them.

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The Backpacker

Coffee versus tea: Which team are you on?

Girls chat over a cup of tea and a cigarette in a cafe.

The Backpacker Tea isn't a beverage to get excited about. It's what your parents drink. And yet ...

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The Backpacker

When travelling makes you glad to be Australian

Woman wearing Australian flag t-shirt.

The Backpacker Australian travellers often like to claim our country is better than the one they're in.

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The Backpacker

The Italian city everyone hates

Italy, Campany, Naples, Bay of Naples.

The Backpacker Nobody seems to like this place, but it might be my favourite Italian city.

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The Backpacker

Why I won't travel to Israel

Tel Aviv, Israel. Tourist poses for a photo.

The Backpacker How far are you willing to go in the name of travel? Where do you draw the line?

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The Backpacker

Global roamer: My first trip

The Backpacker If you want to get to New York you just hop on a train to New York. Right? Wrong.

The Backpacker

What do you do when you're lost?

Penn Station, New York

The Backpacker I was 17, fresh out of high school, and overconfident.

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The Backpacker

I am the 1 per cent: The Backpacker tries business class

A flight attendant poses behind the bar in the rear of the business class section of Emirates' Airbus A380

The Backpacker I am the 1 per cent. I know this with certainty as I recline in my private business-class pod.

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The Backpacker

Authentic? Tourists, you're kidding yourselves

Travel bubble? No troubles. Soldiers pass sunbathing tourists in Mexico.

The Backpacker When you visit a country, you're actually inside 'the travel bubble'.

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The Backpacker

I'm a painful travel nerd, and that's OK

Vineyards near to the chateau of Chinon, Indre-et-Loire, Loire Valley, France

The Backpacker There's a fear for all travellers when you come home from an amazing experience.

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The Backpacker

Why do people go wild when they travel?

Magaluf, Spain. Street.

The Backpacker The infamous Magaluf sex video was shocking ... but not that shocking for seasoned travellers.

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The Backpacker

Find freedom: How to take a year off to travel

Freedom ... it is possible to spend a year travelling, but you need to prepare.

The Backpacker Don’t pack too much. Turn off your phone. Get good insurance. The dos and don'ts of spending 12 months overseas.

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The Backpacker

Welcome to the world's worst road trip

Bus tours can be fantastic, life-changing adventures ... but sometimes they go wrong.

The Backpacker Buses don't have to reverse, if your driver knows where he's going.

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The Backpacker

How to choose the perfect backpack

A group of overseas backpackers, enjoy a walk through the popular tourist area of Circular Quay in Sydney

The Backpacker The first thing you need to ask yourself is: what kind of traveller am I? This will go a long way to deciding which backpack is best for you.

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The Backpacker

You won't find this in the brochures: Berlin street art walking tour

berlin street art

The Backpacker Berlin is different. While most major cities offer free walking tours, they're rarely like this.

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The Backpacker

Don't believe the hype: The places I just don't get

Waikiki Beach, Hawaii.

The Backpacker Sometimes, destinations can’t match the hype. These are some of the places that just didn’t do it for me.

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The Backpacker

The perfect city for music (except for the terrible jazz)

Jazz band in Stockholm.

The Backpacker This is the home of the music I love. But I'll never love jazz.

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