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Backpacker Glossary

We understand that when you're looking into going on a gap year can mean you're stuck in front of a computer screen reading the adventures of graduates-past who seem to have done a thousand-and-one different things with different terminology. What is the difference between a gap year and a snap year? What is it called if I'm travelling for charity? What is couchsurfing?

Here, Alpha aim to give you at least some backpacking definitions to prepare you for the big and sometimes baffling world of the internet - and your actual travel!

Backpacker - someone who is travelling across one or multiple countries with a conscious budget (due to the one or multiple countries). Usually identified by their use of inexpensive lodging and backpack the size of their own body.

Backpacking travel insurance - travel insurance written specifically for, and usually purchased by people looking to go on a backpacking trip.

Beaten path - the route that the majority of travellers take. You know how everyone who visits New York goes to the Empire State Building? That's the beaten path. Come off it and you'll visit something less mainstream and more likely to be where the locals go.

Career break - a period of time where someone elects not to work in order to either focus on other interests or travel.

Couchsurfing - the practice of temporarily staying in a series of other people's homes. Also, a social community for backpackers to find cheap/free lodging whilst backpacking abroad.

Flashpacker - combination of flash, as in fancy, and backpacker, to basically name someone who is an affluent (and not at all budget-conscious) backpacker.

Gap year - time out of academia or work by a student or worker in order to pursue other interests such as training for a different career path, or travel.

Gap year quotes - after an assessment of your planned travel, the travel insurance company will give you a quote which is a suggested price of your travel insurance policy before you purchase.

Grown up gap year - Gap years are usually undertaken by students in between school and university or university/college and the real adult world. Grown up gap years are for when people who are older than this age band take a year out and travel.

Itchy feet - A very strong or irresistible urge to travel (similar to wanderlust).

Longstay travel insurance - travel insurance designed for long trips such as backpacking or a gap year.

Round the world (RTW) trip - a consecutive trip that includes visits to many different countries around the world.

Snap year - like a gap year, but shorter. Not many people can afford to travel for 365 days straight. A snap year is something less than that.

Student gap year travel insurance - travel insurance that is often purchased by students in preparation for a gap year trip.

Gap year insurance reviews - customer reviews of those who have previously purchased travel insurance for their gap year.

Gap year travel for charity - A trip taken as a gap year that involves volunteering and/or charity work.

Gap year travel insurance comparison - The notion of comparing different types of travel insurance for a gap year in order to find the policy that best meets the needs of the traveller and their trip.

Compare gap insurance query - A question that a customer needs answering regarding the level of cover available when comparing travel insurance products for a gap year.

Gap year activities - Sports or adventure activities undertaken whilst on a gap year or long stay trip.

Tourist trail - The most popular places or things that a backpacker wants to see whilst visiting a particular country. These can also be described as 'tourist hotspots' and include landmarks such as The Statue of Liberty, the Pyramids or Sydney Opera House.

Tout - An individual or organization that exploits, rips off or cons another person into paying too much money for something. This term can also be used when the item either does not physically fulfill its purpose (the item breaks) or denies the buyer entry into an event (the item is fake).

Volunteering - Giving up your time to complete a project or help others without being paid.

Wwoof - 'World Wide Opportunities On Farms' - volunteers enjoy free food and accommodation at organic projects throughout the world in return for a number of hours unpaid work a day.

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