Australian travellers are increasingly buying their own travel bags as the backpacker boom takes hold in the nation’s capital.
A new survey found one in five backpackers had bought their own bags, while nearly one in 10 Australians had bought a travel bag.
News.co.uk contacted more than 50 backpackers and tourists across the country to ask them how they spent their Australian vacation.
Among those surveyed, nearly one-third said they bought a bag, and one in four had a backpack.
“I always have a backpack with me and when I’m in a new place I’m going to take it with me, but it’s a big change to have it as a carry-on,” one traveller said.
“It’s definitely something that’s become a trend.”
One backpacker who didn’t want to give her name said she was happy with the backpack, saying it made it easy to pack, store and transport her gear.
“With the backpack it makes everything easy,” she said.
Another said she would take her backpack along with her to all her destinations.
“Having my own bag is a lot of fun, but sometimes I get really bored with it and just want to be able to have my own space,” she told News.
Cozy and comfortable The survey of 2,300 backpackers, tourists and travellers was carried out in July.
Among the findings: Australians were the most likely to say they’d bought a backpack and backpackers were the least likely.
A third of backpackers said they had bought two or more items to pack.
Forty per cent said they’d also bought a second backpack, and 27 per cent bought three or more.
“We’re definitely seeing the growth in backpackers buying their bags, with one in three saying they’ve bought a couple of items,” Dr Helen O’Neill, who heads the travel advisory and sustainability program at the Australian Institute of Travel Research, said.
News that backpackers would be buying their gear at home had surprised some backpackers.
“In the beginning, it was just us buying our own bags and we didn’t realise we were buying a backpack, so that was a bit of a shock,” one backpacker said.
One backpackers mum said she’d bought her own bag as a souvenir to mark her daughter’s birthday.
“She bought it because she said she wanted to go back and get some stuff for her mum,” she explained.
“And she wanted it for her dad to have for his birthday.”
But the backpackers didn’t have much choice when it came to what they could and couldn’t bring with them.
One of the backpack trips was to an Australian backpackers festival in New Zealand, which featured a series of talks by the country’s top backpackers including Australian Tourister David Jones.
“A lot of them have a lot more money than me, so they’re really comfortable in their bags and they’re doing a lot with it,” he said.
The backpackers on the trip said they were keen to explore the country and “have fun”.
“It just feels like a little bit of an escape from the busy world and we can just go anywhere and be with other backpackers,” one woman said.