We are done backpacking…

I’m sick of it!

I’m just done!


Look at us the first day of our trip, so naive, backs not sore, not sick of carrying our life on our backs yet.

We have been tweaking our packs since the day we left. We’ve had two major overhauls attempting to alleviate the pain of travel days, but both have been expensive fails. Each got a little better than the last, but it has been getting to the point where travel days were becoming painful, literally!

So we traded in our backpacks

Rolling bag 2 Rolling bag 1

Go ahead judge

There is defiantly a thing in the backpacking community and you don’t want to be consider a tourist and not a backpacker. And true backpackers don’t have wheels. I too was pretty dead set against having wheels on my pack before we left. But that was then, and there is a lot of shit I didn’t know before we stepped on the plane our first day, this was one of them.

Maybe it was coincidence, but maybe not, just as we were going to buy our rolling bags in Bangkok we over heard a conversation behind us. It was a group of young backpackers talking with a new member of their traveling group. The conversation went something to the effect “you are a backpacker right? You’re not one of those suitcasers, are you?” To which Hannah and I both looked at each other and chuckled to ourselves.

rolling bags 5

In the first 6 months of our trip I can remember only a handful of times when having a backpack vs a rolling pack came in handy, the rest of the time it was just a pain in the neck… and the back, and the shoulders.

So am I going to loose all my backpacking cred? I honestly don’t care. It’s kind of some macho BS anyways, I am not 19 anymore and 50 pounds (23kgs) on my back for a long time just kinda sucks. If anyone really wants to push the issue I am on a 2 year trip, not a 2 month holiday.

rolling bag 3 rolling bag 4

If I have to I can still pullout my straps and backpack-it!

**UPDATE Sept 23 2014** Both of the above bags which were purchased in Bangkok both lived their lives and were falling apart while in Africa, let’s just say they were being held by duct tape…So we have traded in the cheap wheelie bag’s pictured above for the wheel deal Osprey Sojourn Wheeled Luggage (28-Inch/80 Liter, Steel Blue). This backpack is the mac daddy of wheeled backpacks. We first got this bag in June 2014 and am more than happy 3 months later.

Our carry-on bag which hold’s the computers, hard drives, spare clothes, etc is now in the North Face Overhaul. You will notice this bag doesn’t have wheels but that’s ok as it fits better in the overhead bins and we have decided to get a dedicated camera bag as we have expanded our camera gear. Adam now carries

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30 thoughts on “We are done backpacking…


    I backpacked through Thailand, Laos and Myanmar and that was it. It’s just not for me and I couldn’t keep it organized at all. Ugh , I just hated dealing with it so for my longer trip I bought a small wheeling carry- on bag and it made my life sooo much easier! :)
    Karisa recently posted..Moving Home & Freaking OutMy Profile

  2. I also switched when I was travelling for only 7 months, I still kept my backpack as hand luggage as it wasn’t too big. but I just couldn’t stand it anymore to carry everything on my back. It hurts and not good for a back at all. So I can totally understand you guys. In my opinion everyone can decide for themselves what’s the most comfortable. I didn’t really see many advantages of a pack. only if you have to get up some stairs but therefore you have the “I wander around for one hour to find my hostel” situations which are far worse I think…
    Stef recently posted..Getting a different view of the city: Foto-Ruta Santiago de ChileMy Profile

  3. I couldn’t agree more! And I agree with Jeff, you’re the one travelling for you’re own experiences, not to be judged by someone else on how you’re transporting your belongings ;-)

    I’m looking to buy a new hybrid. Is the orange one the Victorianox? I was looking at one too. Would love to hear how you both feel about your new purchases after you’ve been lugging them about.

  4. I might be in the minority but I miss my backpack. Actually, I went to France recently for six days (I’m spending a year in England) and I bought my suitcase, which was fine. Except one of the four wheels is broken and another is almost broken. In France, there are no left luggage lockers in the major train stations, so I had to lug that heavy thing around relatively often. Not fun. I miss my backpack.

    I have a trusty red backpack in the U.S. but I decided not to bring it (Long story). Traveling around France would’ve been a lot more enjoyable with my backpack.
    Rashaad recently posted..CambridgeMy Profile

      • About whether backpack is best for you, that depends on how long you’re staying in Europe. I was in France for six days so ideally, I would have used my backpack. But I didn’t bring my backpack with me to England (where I’m doing my masters) because my suitcase was already ridiculously full.

        If you’re taking trains and buses, I would recommend backpacking. I’ve done it numerous times. When I was in France recently, it was a hassle having to lug around a suitcase with broken wheels. But make your decision based on what’s more comfortable for you.
        Rashaad recently posted..CambridgeMy Profile

  5. I have a backpack with wheels for two very good reasons:

    1. It just makes life easier, why carry a pack when you can drag it around on wheels, and

    2. When you’ve got a 2 year old kid who either needs carrying or hand holding, it’s great to have a pack on wheels!

    That’s it, pretty simple for me. Welcome to the wheeled pack club!
    Chris Appleford recently posted..Don’t let the killjoys kill your travel buzzMy Profile

  6. I have pretty much always been a suitcase girl so you can imagine my horror when the first time I had to use a back pack was on honeymoon! Long story but suffice to say despite my initial worries, as someone who has always been used to a stiff suitcase, for a little while it felt liberating to just throw everything into a back pack and not worry about how creased everything got……I’ve reverted back to suitcase now though :-D
    Shikha (whywasteannualleave) recently posted..Locking down your love in Salzburg, AustriaMy Profile

  7. For a second there you had me worried, thinking that you were packing it in!

    I’m no snob, you pick whatever makes you comfortable. In my opinion, I only have to move my bag very rarely so why not be comfortable whilst I’m doing it.

  8. I’m all about minimalist packing and traveling light, in fact im a few months into a 6 month trip with wheeled carry on only and it’s great! Currently on Giili T though and the roads are a little bumpy for my wheels, at least they have horse and carts though!
    Chris recently posted..Guilin ChinaMy Profile

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