Traveling without money : deserving 'drifters' or panhandling 2.0?

Tomazos, Konstantinos and Murdy, Samantha (2024) Traveling without money : deserving 'drifters' or panhandling 2.0? Tourism Recreation Research. pp. 1-14. ISSN 0250-8281 (

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The controversial phenomenon of travelling without money, known as "beg-packing", challenges conventional notions of travel. Our study explores the evolving landscape of beg-packing, including its digital manifestation as "e-beg-packing". We explore the connection between drifters and beg-packers, emphasizing strategies like selling photos, staying with locals, and eliciting sympathy. To do so, we delve into how beg-packers construct narratives on crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe and the public perception of the practice on Instagram. The study indicates that beg-packers face stigma akin to drifters, with comments favouring working and saving for travel, raising questions about deservingness and privilege. Gratitude plays a role in donor perception, with an expectation of continuous updates fostering social media relationships. However, the potential for exploitation and vulnerability in e-beg-packing requires further exploration, especially concerning the limits of reciprocity and boundary-setting. In conclusion, this study embraces a multifaceted approach to dissect beg-packing, revealing its diverse nature and offering new insights into the relationship between reciprocity and travel. We present insights into trends, motivations, financial needs, and public sentiment, shedding light on the complexities of this phenomenon. By understanding the complexities of this practice, we aim to foster a more grounded and effective response to this evolving travel phenomenon.