Meet Backpax Travel
Wanderlust caused me to leave home at just 17 years old. First stop was the South of France where I had secured a job as an Au Pair, and then six months later I headed to North America for a year doing the same job, along with plenty of side-trips around the States. By now I was well and truly bitten by the travel bug and following two further years of working in Paris and a short stint in the UK to save money, I packed my backpack for a round the world trip. I had my work visa in Australia and so topped up my bank account when I was there to continue on my travels.
It was while I was on this trip that I picked up a travel magazine, which fuelled my first ever business when I finally settled in the UK six years later after continued travel and work abroad. Backpax was born in 2000 as a free travel mag which came out three times a year and was available in hostels for backpackers to pick up and use on their travels around the UK. It listed hostels, tours, employment agencies and was brimming with travel tips and articles… at that point the internet was still a new phenomenon.
By 2014 it was obvious that the magazine format was no longer required, with everyone now reading articles online. So staying true to our print roots, I decided to create a funky annual fold out map to go alongside the website, giving backpackers something tangible to pick up and keep as a souvenir. Thankfully it’s been received well and we are fast becoming the ‘go to’ source for those travelling around the UK. We’re now branching out into the rest of Europe too and are excited about how things are developing. Our advertisers keep us informed of special offers and news, so we’re a central hub for anyone on the look out for good deals and fun adventure ideas. The UK has so many hidden gems and fabulous hostels dotted all around the country, not to mention it being festivals galore during summertime.
Becky Day is my online editor and started as an intern with me five years ago when still at university studying journalism. She focuses on our online editorial and social media side of things and has really brought so much to the Backpax journey. We attend the TNT Travel Show in London every spring when we launch our latest annual print map and have a fun day out engaging with backpackers who have a real passion for adventure. It’s always a buzz to see how well they respond to the Backpax map and love the fact we can give them plenty of advice about getting off the beaten track and having a unique experience. It’s what it’s all about in my mind. All these years later, I can really see how my time travelling made such a hugely positive influence on who I am today and affected how my life has been lived… staying open to every fresh experience and person that comes our way keeps us young.
Everything has changed hugely since ‘my day’ when I travelled over twenty years ago – for a start there was no internet then, so no emails, Facebook or google. We relied on letters, guide books and gut instinct to get us around safely. Obviously the ‘modern day traveller’ has so much more at their fingertips but it’s important to keep that adventurous spirit alive and keep our travels varied. And that’s where Backpax comes in. Becky and I are passionate about what we do and sharing the wondrous travel opportunities that exist. there’s nothing quite like that great open road and all the potential that lies ahead.