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The Extermination of the Backpacker

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Documenting the Extermination of the Backpacker Series

The art of long term budget travel — backpacking, whatever you want to call it — is becoming exterminated. Long term budget travelers are finding themselves moving through a world that is becoming more politically hostile, more expensive, and ever more in-conducive to their lifestyle. The perpetual traveler is facing new challenges, and they come at the hands of governments, banks, communications technology, and an entire host of other scrappers vying to take their cut off the top of their budget. As the world grows more interconnected, as people come together, as the global transportation and technological infrastructure gets better and better it has oddly become more expensive and challenging to travel the world.

There seems to be a global movement against the backpacker rearing its head on the horizon. Just as the roads of this earth opened up wide, the ugly apparitions of various authorities, business men, and underwriters have stepped in to put up fences.

This is the introduction to a series of articles which document the yang backlash to the yin of globalization, multi-nationalism, and the global communications infrastructure and the effects this is having on world travel.

Read more at The End of Perpetual Travel

Go home backpackers, give us tourists with real $$$

The days of backpacking are over.

A friend wrote this to me the other day, and I must agree: the world of travel is changing. I have been traveling for 11 years, and I am sitting back and watching my lifestyle becoming extinct: countries are less apt to maintain policies to accommodate travelers, visa fees are going through the roof, banks are scrapping every last penny off of international withdraws, and, with the internet, the prices of accommodation are rising.

A decade ago, I would meet long term travelers with regularity, now — I speak honestly — there are relatively very few. It is now vastly more complicated and expensive to travel the world, but this is not the end of it:

Culture has shifted,  the draw to take to the road to discover an “alternative” sort of lifestyle has dissipated, and the backpacking infrastructure of the world now seems to be full of young people with unlimited funds living as tourists. The long term low budget traveler a dying breed, a character representing an antiquated lifestyle bound to be forgotten by the wayside as the world grows together just to split apart.

I am not the type to worry, but, as I look at a map of the world that was once wide open ten years ago, I am finding road blocks, additional expenses, and tougher mazes to work my way through as I move between point A and B. As the world grows together in the maturity of this globalization thing, countries are closing their doors to travelers — or they are taking all their money that they can get.

Global tourism is being restructured to accommodate the rich on short vacations, to the rest the message is clear: stay for two weeks, buy things, then go home.

This week I will publish a series of articles about the new challenges that the long term traveler now faces when traveling the world. This series will include pieces on sky rocketing visa fees, the trend towards shorter duration tourist visas, muli-country immigration agreements and what this means for the traveler, the shift in backpacker culture, the political backlashes of globalization on tourism, as well as banks, airports, hotels, everybody in a position to do so, raising fees for services relevant to international travel.

A new article in this series will be published daily, keep reading the VagabondJourney.com travelogue throughout the week to find out more.

Use the links below to navigate through this series

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Filed under: Budget Travel, Culture and Society, Tourism, Travel Lifestyle, Travel Problems, Traveler Culture

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3053 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Cincinnati, Ohio, USAMap