Many travellers take offence to being pulled aside for a bit of questioning by customs officials at their travel destinations, something which sometimes even happens when you’re returning home from all your globe-trotting. For the most part it’s just part of standard procedure, which of course is not to say it’s not open to abuse.
Backpackers seem to always get singled out for some extra questioning however, largely due to the fact that the typical backpacker carries a much higher risk factor according to what constitutes a bona fide tourist who has the means to support themselves.
Do you have enough money?
Isn’t it quite funny though how when a backpacker is suggested to perhaps not have enough money, when they turn around and ask the customs officer just exactly how much “enough money” is they don’t really know what to say? In any case, whether or not they do indeed have enough money to support themselves while travelling is a major risk factor which is often associated with backpackers.
It makes for some very slippery ground though because the very idea of a backpacker points towards someone who is very resourceful beyond their financial means. I mean that’s how hostels came into existence (backpackers’) and that’s why in so many cases youngsters from all corners of the globe who happen to be lodging at the same place become lifelong friends who in the moment put their heads together and just make it happen by way of providing for their immediate needs.
That said however, you still have to plan as if you’re anticipating a solo journey, in other words if it happens that you don’t get to meet up with other streetwise backpackers, so to say, you’ll still be able to afford a decent bed to sleep in, meals, transport and of course, some local fun activities.
Are you likely to be a burden on the state?
I guess this is really just an extension of the issue of having enough money, but it goes a little bit beyond the economics as far as a traveller’s likelihood to be a burden on the state. If you’re of poor health for example, something like your hospitalisation in a public healthcare facility takes one more spot away from one which could have otherwise been left open for a citizen of the country, so technically you’re being a tax-burden on the state.
Backpackers typically don’t have travel insurance and the likes, so I guess one could understand why they’re more of a risk factor.
Doing it anyway!
Now I could go on to discuss so many other risk factors associated with the typical backpacker-type traveller, but what I really want to get at is how their resourcefulness beyond their finances is basically what allows them to clear customs and enjoy their travels. A backpacker visiting Washington in the USA for example knows all too well that there are some car accident lawyers Bellevue has available who offer a free case assessment / consultation, making for just one of many such services they can access for free should the need arise, such as if they came into some legal issues involving a motor vehicle.