Backpacking used to involve carrying a rucksack with everything you needed to travel including a tent and cooking facilities. You walked between locations and camped at night.
Today there are many variations on this enabling more people to enjoy the experience of travelling independantly. It does not have to be uncomfortable or gruelling.
We have small bags containing everything we need but have changed from carrying them on our backs to the
trolley type - maybe we are now trolleypacking?
Instead of walking we use public transport between locations, buses, trains, boats and occasionally planes. This is all much easier if you are travelling light .
For accommodation we use hostels, hotels or hospitality club hosts. We aim to have a private room preferably with a bathroom and these are now offered by many Youth Hostels.
We buy food so that we can have breakfast in our room then dine out for one meal and eat fruit for another.
Todays backpackers are of all age groups including many in their 80s so age is no barrier (or excuse!).
The specialist backpackers buses sell tickets to travel all around a country and will drop you off at hostels. In South Africa the Baz Bus in New Zealand The Backpacker bus whilst in Vietnam numerous companies sell tickets offering this service.