Following news that begpackers – predominantly Western tourists who panhandle to keep travelling – will be escorted to their home embassies if they ply their trade in Bali, the internet has decided to get in a bit of a huff about the whole thing.
“It’s shameful!” said Michael Fruntz, an Australian national living in Chang Mai. He is one of many whinging about begpackers on Facebook groups across the world. “If you want to travel, you should save up before and set a budget, or get a job as a travel blogger, like me. Don’t beg hard-working people for money just so you can drink more Bintang.”
While Fruntz wildly overestimates the cashflow from his 200-follower travel vlog, The Tragic Traveller’s financial reporter looked into the matter. With minimal digging, we discovered a huge outstanding credit agreement from the Bank of Mum and Dad.
“The bloody cheek of it,” said Fruntz’s father, Scott. “Every time the bugger calls me it’s always some pitch for a scuba instructor school or a TEFL course. And then after a week all the money mysteriously vanishes. I’m not an idiot, mate.”
Like many upper-middle class travellers, Michael erroneously believes his ability to travel indefinitely is thanks to his financial acumen. In his mind, he’s been earning, saving, and living on a sensible budget. But in reality, he’s been leeching off his cash-rich boomer parents, who never learned to say no.
Our reporter asked whether Scott has ever considered telling his son to get stuffed when he asks for travel money. “Obviously I always say yes,” he told our reporter, “because otherwise my little shit son will just become another one of those bloody begpackers.”
More on this story as it develops.