While the thought of travelling around a country or continent fending for yourself, struggling to put food on your plate and hoping there'll always be somewhere you'll be able to spend the night is exciting and adventurous for some, it's scary for others - but it shouldn't be.
Backpacking is one of those adventures that people who experience them never forget or regret - or, even if they do end up regretting a little, the lessons learned during the experience stay with them for a lifetime.
One of the greatest things about backpacking is the chance to see a great amount without spending too much money. Of course, you'll need to have a stockpile of savings before you go as it's impossible to get by with no cash at all, but you'll also learn how to be resourceful and make a little cash stretch a long way.
You'll also discover just how capable you are of forming friendships with complete strangers, friendships that can be used for your mutual benefits, for example by taking rides with each other to new places so you can split the cost, sharing hostel rooms and myriad other cost-effective activities where the presence of a group allows for a larger discount.
If you've ever wanted to see India, Asia, Europe, Australia, America or even the UK in an extended burst of travelling, backpacking is the ideal way to do it. You can set your own rules and decide just how much time to spend in each location before moving on and, best of all, you have the complete and total freedom to move on as and when you feel like it.
Bored of Italy? Catch the train north to France. And if that doesn't tickle your fancy, Germany is right next door. And if you're lucky, you'll be able to split travel fares or discover various deals and discounts that will help you save all along the way.
Backpacking is an amazing adventure, but not something to be flippant about. You'll still need to do things like get a travel insurance quote just as you would for a normal holiday and stay vigilant whilst away in order to protect your belongings.
But if you do, you can be sure that your chances of enjoying a happy and exciting holiday are higher, and the experiences you gain will be unforgettable.