News article about backpackers and technology:
Wired and wandering: the modern backpacker
"SEVERAL years ago backpacking meant venturing into the unknown. If more money was needed, it had to be wired from home.
If a partner was expecting a call, it had to be from a roadside phone box.
And if a detour to an unfamiliar destination was planned, it meant a visit to the local library for research.
Now internet, email and mobile phones mean travelling and keeping in touch from off the beaten track has never been easier.
Most backpackers have become used to posting their travel photos on the internet so friends and family can keep up to date through websites such as MySpace or Facebook. Now the latest craze is posting travel videos.
Websites such as YouTube or Lonely Planet TV mean travellers can visit a local landmark in the morning and upload the footage to the website for their friends and family to view that afternoon.
One of the popular videos on Lonely Planet TV is a music clip written and performed by a group of travellers about their experiences in Vietnam.
Hanoi Hussle includes footage of the group rapping in the streets and singing about the local cuisine, buying fake designer clothes and travelling in rickshaws.
Lonely Planet's head of traveller feedback, Malcolm O'Brien, says: "It's a new, creative way to keep in touch."
Youth Hostels Association marketing co-ordinator Kelly McCarthy agrees that technology has changed the way backpackers travel.
Digital cameras, iPods, even laptops are considered essential travel items and many hostels have upgraded facilities to cater for them. But it is still possible to explore a remote location, she says."