Skip Navigation

The Aussie Backpackers Code

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific The Aussie Backpackers Code


Last Post

1. Posted by funfrus (Budding Member 20 posts) 10y

There should be a code, like the hobo code, governing the unique fraternity of international globe stompers that are.... Backpackers.

I've posed this question in the general forum but like every culture had there differences so should backpacking etiquette. So i'm wondering if there are any thoughts on things like hostel etiquette or in anyone has ever had any experiances(postive and negative) that they think could have been avoided if there was an unwritten backpacker code is place including, but not limited to, Australia in particular.

Any thoughts?

2. Posted by ozintro (Full Member 56 posts) 10y

there is already an unwritten backpacker code.


3. Posted by Mikey B (Respected Member 181 posts) 10y

The Backpacker Code

1. I am a traveller, not a tourist

2. I shall ask every person I meet 'How long have you been away? Where have you been? Where are you off too next?

3. Oh and how much did you pay for a. your bus fair to... b. your room. c. those fake Diesel trainers?

4. I shall endeavour to play either Bob Marley or Jack Johnson on my iPod at least once every day.

5. I shall email my poor unfortunate friends back home on a regular basis, taking great pleasure in letting them know what an amazing time I'm having - all the great people I'm meeting and the fantastic places I've seen....surprising really as I seem to spend most of my time in Internet Cafes, emailing said friends!

6. I shall wear my flip flops with pride, constantly. Even though they're not really that comfortable for walking.

7. I shall regale my new found traveller buddies with stories of strange and exotic foods consumed but secretly long for yet another banana pancake.

8. I shall become extremely adept at playing pool whilst at the same time drinking copious amounts of strangely alcoholic Asian beer and whisky.

9. When I get home I will proudly venture out to my local pub sporting my travellers tan, my Thai fisherman's trousers and my hair in dreads/beads. I will look a bit of a pratt.

I'm sure there's more to ad. anyone....?

4. Posted by funfrus (Budding Member 20 posts) 10y

As a backpacker living in Canada when i see a poor guy on the side of the trans-canada highway with a 90 litre pack, 5 days worth of growth on his face i pick him up.

I found that they make for the best conversation and i would hope that someone in my shoes will pick me up on the side of the highway in whichever country i happen to be passin through.

5. Posted by john7buck (Respected Member 458 posts) 10y

Hey Mikey, don't knock Jack Johnson. Ha, you hit the nail on the head my friend. Though I wouldn't use the word prat, I will say long hair is just not a good look for me.

A couple more:

1. I shall question the merits and need for every expense (food, laundry, Internet, etc.) but will not think twice about plunking my wallet down on a bar until empty of its contents.

2. I shall wear jewelry that seems perfectly normal at the time, but back home makes me look like a metrosexual Zulu tribesman.

3. I shall begin using the slang of other nationalities using my home accent; making me sound like a complete idiot.

4. I shall insist on wearing "shower sandals", even though their funk probably far outweighs whatever may be on the actual shower floor.

5. I shall lie about my age when speaking to someone of the opposite sex who is either much younger or much older than myself.

Hope those don't offend; I'm guilty of each and every one of them.

6. Posted by funfrus (Budding Member 20 posts) 10y

I will help out a fellow traveller in anyway i can.. allowing him to make use of my nail clippers or other sought after rarity acoutrement. And i trust him not to abuse this sacred trust as i know he/she wouldn't ask unless in dire need.

7. Posted by majito (Respected Member 442 posts) 10y

Backpacker code? That would be like taking your mum to hold your hand while your travelling. "Don't do that darling, its not in the code.........."

Just get out there.........

8. Posted by edsarti (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

interesting topic!!

im doin a dissertation on backpacking in australia and also travelled there last year. never backpacked and thought once i did it that there are differenced between package holidays and backpacking but theyre becoming less and less.they both are mass-tourism orientated and i challenge anyone to say otherwise (obviously in oz), services like travel agencies, tour operators are for backpackers.entire bus companies are made for backpacking.every single place a backpacker visits , it has been visited by someone else.theres no more to explore and u can programme ur trip online or in a shop.what is 'off the beaten track' nowadays, before travellers use to connect with the locals, instead now we connect with eachother and rely on locals for work,food,accomodation and entertainment.could this be related to the fact that real backpacking can just be done in developing countries, foreign countries which have english like a third or forth language or to places which have to still be visited.please give me your point of view.cheers.

9. Posted by edsarti (Budding Member 2 posts) 7y

apparently backpacking principles are:
to travel on a low budget
to meet different people
to be free, independent and open-minded
to organise one's journey independently
to travel for as long as possible
tell me if hes wrong or right!
dont other kind of tourist follow the same principles.when u backpacked did u fit in these categories.
i bet there must be someone who had at least the return flight booked which limits for example the last principle, travelling for long but still has to go back!

10. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 7y

When busted coming out of McDonalds, answer with "I was just using the toilets".