Welcome and thank you for choosing to read my wee travel blog , I am most grateful.  Hopefully you find my posts both amusing and informative!?   As an independent travel blog my main focus is backpacking, hostels, volunteering, raodtrips and weekend breaks.  Please ignore any and all spelling mistakes, they are put there as a test … well done you have passed.  Whilst you’re here, let me also shamelessly point you in the direction of my facebook page and twitter account where I continue to spread the BackbacksandBunkbeds love.

neil barnes, backpacksandbunkbeds

Right now back to me, well I’m Neil, hi!  I live in London, west London to be precise. I currently work the 9-5 but spent a few years after university traveling and backpacking, and still take every opportunity i get to seek out what the world has to offer.  I’m not happy unless i get away from the big smoke at least 4 times a year.

I first discovered travel in 2005, when after finishing uni I went to South Africa to teach sports for a couple of months.  It was the best time of my life, and it gave me a thirst for visiting new places and meeting new people which has never quite been quenched, so i continue to make my way to various countries.

After South Africa, i did some more volunteering in both Sri Lanka and India, before going on to visit Thailand, Australia, NZ, and Fiji.  It was a whirlwind 12 months.  Since that trip i’ve been back to Thailand to experience Chang Mai and a bucket fueled black moon party, travelled europe by train, road-tripped around Ireland, made chocolate in Grenada and suffered a rather tense train ride with some football hooligans in Poland.  But after all that lot, I have no plans to stop, no sir.

In this blog I’ll try to help fellow backpackers and travelers alike where I can by posting articles covering costs, maps, directions, money saving tips … the usual really.  If you also fancy starting your own travel blog I also like to post on the ahem, ‘art’ of travel blogging, so expect a few techy types posts too.   If there’s anything else you’d like to see more of on this site please just let me know.

So thats the travel part done and dusted, now here are a few things i like and dislike, just because … erm, you might want to know!?


  • Travel – hopefully i’ve already established that i like travel.
  • Football – Its a drug.  I’ve been going with my dad since i was 9.
  • Pizza – I could literally eat pizza everyday.
  • Ice cream – see above.
  • Music – I used to Dj (loose term) on occasions but am generally a fan of most types of music.  Never without my ipod.
  • Family – got me through some tough times, most notably travel blues.
  • Friends – they make me laugh till beer come out my nose.
  • Film – Favouites include The Warriors, Fight Club, Battle Royal, ID, LOTR and Anchorman.
  • Books – Favouites are Shantaram, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night and Lord of the Rings.
  • My Macbook – I would be lost without it.
  • Snowboarding
  • The Mrs … she’d kill me if she wasnt on the list.
  • The Mrs sisters … see above.


  • Pigeons – they’re ugly and tend to fly straight towards my face.
  • Needles – just a phobia of mine.  I still get my shots when needed though.
  • Smoking
  • Small spaces – probably because i’m quite tall and dont fit into a lot of places.
  • Bad drivers
  • People who stop dead whilst you’re walking behind them so that you bang into them.
  • Bad manners – especially people who chew with their mouths open
  • Onions
  • Being late
  • Other people being late
  • Queue jumpers
  • People who spit for no apparent reason


**NEW** – Interested to read more about how I got into travel, why I loath piegons and how I’ve managed to break the same arm 4 times?  Well head on over to my 30 facts for 30 years post, a post I wrote especially to ‘celebrate’ the 30th anniversary of my birth.

Right, that’ll about do, I wont bore you with any more unnecessary chat.  Hopefully you’ll find all my articles and page entertaining if not informative.  Please feel free to take a look around.  If you wish read about all my adventures just skip to my Travel Jounal page, and if you want to contact me just send me an email – neil@backpacksandbunkbeds(dot)co.uk



Lance Aux Epines