Travel is truly one of the best things that a person can do – it broadens the mind, fosters empathy with people of all races and cultures and creates memories that last a lifetime. However, travel is a luxury and a privilege that only a fraction of the world's population can afford.
So when Western people, with all the privileges we hold, are found 'begpacking' on the streets of developing countries, it can leave a sour taste. Tourism is a vital source of income in many countries; we should travel in such a way that maximizes the benefits for local people and businesses. Sponging off the kindness of strangers to further our own selfish travel goals is just not on! If you can't afford to travel, stay at home until you earn enough money to do it ethically.
Authorities in some countries have had enough, and now immigration officers on the Indonesian island of Bali have started sending these 'begpackers' to their embassies to get themselves sorted out. "We have seen many cases of problematic tourists, lately they are either Australian, British or Russian," one official said. "We tend to report these cases to the relevant embassies so that they can oversee their citizens who are on holiday."
While we don't know the context behind these pictures - some of these people might genuinely have been a victim of some misfortune - others are clearly just looking for a free ride around the world.
What do you think about this phenomenon? Have you traveled on a tight budget before? Have you ever found yourself needing help in a foreign country? Do you see a problem with this kind of 'begpacking?' Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Saw This Foreigner Begging To Travel To Thailand Next To An Elderly Woman Who Is Collecting Junk In Order To Resale To Survive
In A Very Working Class Neighbourhood That Has Been Especially Hard Hit By The Typhoon How You Have The Nerve To Beg For Money To Fund Your Travels Around Asia Is Completely Beyond Me
Your new clothes and new shoes, begging for money in a wet market as people around you try to rebuild their shops and lives
For the vast majority of the planet the cost and practicalities of travel make it simply an unattainable dream; visa regulations are stacked heavily in favor of Western passport holders and affordable flights just don't exist in many parts of the world.
A European can, for example, pop over to Senegal for 90 visa free days whenever they feel like it. However, if a Senegalese person wanted to do same, going back the other way to Europe... harsh rules and restrictions apply for them. This is the reality for most of the developing world, so be thankful for the greater freedoms your passport gives you. Click here to check out the 2019 Global Passport Power Rank
There is nothing wrong with sharing a skill, like teaching a language for example, or selling some hand-made products. Travelling on a shoestring is a source of pride for many people, who enjoy the challenge of survival in challenging places. That's also fine, as long as you don't become a burden and have to rely on others, who themselves may have little to give.
“Whilst it is not OK to beg whilst travelling there really is nothing wrong (or new) with busking or selling hand-made jewellery on the side of the road,” Will Hatton, founder of the Broke Backpacker blog, told the Independent.
“This isn’t a conventional career choice but it is how some people opt to travel the world and if you are sharing a skill or selling a product I really don’t see the harm. I think a lot of people are threatened by backpackers living so hand to mouth as it’s a lifestyle which many people just can’t get to grips with – ultimately though, for many, it’s far more fun to travel the world on $10 a day than to be chained to a desk.”
I Happen To Pass By This Area In Bukit Bintang And I Saw This Irresponsible Act By Russian Begpackers That Can Literally Cause Injury To That Poor Baby
"The news about foreign tourists turning to begging and busking on the streets of Kuala Lumpur cannot be good news. They claim they need money to continue their world travel." Malaysian businessman and traveller TV Smith said in an Instagram post.
"It cannot be a good thing as it might affect all of us travelers, especially travelers on a budget."
"I am very angry reading this as I do not travel without sufficient funds or contingency. Most of us don't. We stick to a plan and go home when money run low."
"How will it impact you? Soon, many countries may start imposing conditions to enter such as minimum amount of money in travelers cheques or you must carry a credit card with a healthy credit limit. Or provide proof of hotel reservations and return tickets. I have seen it imposed at entry points in the UK in the 1980s. I don't know if travellers cheques still exist and it was a hassle buying them before a trip. It will affect genuine travelers everywhere."
"I think it is best we do not give money to these panhandlers as it will only encourage more shoestring backpackers to do the same. Some of the beggars boast on their Facebook, showing off their lavish lifestyle funded by begging from locals. Many just pretend to be poor and may have a platinum card in a pouch somewhere."
Pretty much sums it up! Let's hope this horrible new 'phenomenon' is quickly dealt with. Travel responsibly, everyone!
Beg Packers - Tourists Who Travel With The Intent To Beg For Money From The Locals To Fund Further Travel. Peep The Sign, Too
Initially She Started To Beg With Her Child And Picture Of Her Because Her Husband Dumped Them
Few days later this husband pops out and they are together begging.
She Is Stil Active And Doing The Same Scam Since We Reported In May In Penang, Malaysia
Westerners Are Traveling Around Asia On A Shoe String Budget And Begging For Money To Fund Their Trip
Somehow Begpacking Is Becoming A Trend Among Ukrainians, Please Support Them, Share With Us When You See Them To Help These Brave Hard Working Travelers!
They Literally Would Create Such A Gimmick Of Putting Blind Folds And Offer "Free Hugs" With A Donation Box Asking For Help To Fund Their Travels
We can clearly see how privileged these guys are because a lot of Asian girls got so giddy about them to the point that one of them wept with joy while being bear-hugged by one of them. Welp, I guess this is becoming a trend now...
Begpacker In Seoul
His Signs Reads: "You Can Hug Me For Free And If You Want You Can Support My Trip And Leave Some Donation Let's Hug"
What makes this guy think anyone wants to hug him? And to pay him for it? Pssh nah bro, get a job like the rest of us
Yesterday I Saw These Blindfolded Travellers Asking For Money In One Of The Most Transited Areas Of The Shopping District Of Kuala Lumpur
Travelling is a choice, and not only a choice but a luxurious one. When you choose to travel, to leave your comfort zone and explore the world you might feel yourself as an adventurer, and you might be one, you are one among your group of privileged people. If you can actively decide to leave everything behind, take a backpack and wonder the world, it is because you have a social structure that allows you to do it. You do it because most likely your family does not need your work force to be sustained, you do it because even after months or years of travel, you can go back to a safe place were your "Struggles" as a backpacker will only be a nice memory of the times when you decided to get out of your comfort zone and "Live". I have no troubles with the people that decide to travel and perform an art, entertain people, and from that keep travelling, or finding a part time job in different places to keep going, as long as it is legal. When I was living in oxford I had a licence to perform in the streets and I was registered as a legal busker as a side activity. I have also performed in bars and hostels in exchange of a beer or an extra free night. I have done hardcore backpacking myself, and if it wasn't for the dozens of people that have let me stayed with them or that have helped me in other ways, I wouldn't have been able to live as many experiences. But I have never pretended that people should give me free money to keep travelling, to keep doing what the majority of the people in this planet will never be able to do, not because they don't want to but because they can't. I have always had enough to sustain myself, I plan and save for years for my travels