Although backpackers will often accept any assistance that they are offered and may often ask for assistance in some way, how much success a backpacker has in reaching their ultimate destination or staying on vacation as long as they intended, is very much dependent on their abilities to show initiative and resourcefulness in many different situations. Unlike traditional tourists that often have all the details of their vacation planned out, organized, booked and even paid for prior to setting out, a backpacker often only has a vague idea of where they would like to see and a limited budget with which to see it, prior to setting out.
A traditional tourist will usually have suitcases especially designed to keep their belongings as tidy and organized as possible whilst a backpacker, as their name suggests, will only have one backpack in which to keep any and everything they may need on their adventure. A traditional tourist will travel to see sites of interest in luxury coaches or private cars but the backpacker will have to either find local public transport that goes to those sites of interest or hitchhike to them. The tourist with often stay in luxurious accommodations and eat gourmet meals, even having them served in the rooms of their hotels whilst a backpacker will often share hostel accommodations with other backpackers and eat whatever cheap local delicacies a street vendor may be selling.
Many people therefore think that there is no benefit, apart from the obvious financial one, to backpacking opposed to the traditional form of tourism. Those people are mistaken though as backpackers enjoy many things that traditional tourists don’t and never will no matter how often they may visit a country. Whilst the tourist does get to meet locals, more than 90% of them are in the tourism industry, speak their language and are trained to appease them. For the backpacker though, more than 90% of the locals they meet will not be in the tourism business, not speak their language and will act in a manner appropriate with their own culture, not the backpacker’s. The backpacker therefore gets to learn more about the country and its people and culture and they will often get to see sights, shown them by the locals, which are far greater than the ones chosen for tourists to see.
As mentioned however, a backpacker will often take assistance where offered and in New Zealand assistance has been offered to them in the form of the Backpacker Jobboard NZ. This is a website that publishes available temporary jobs which backpackers are welcome to apply for. Some backpackers plan to try and find work along the way whilst others find that they need extra income to keep going but either way, a job board specifically aimed at helping them find temporary work should they wish it, is a welcome sight to any backpacker going to New Zealand. New Zealand wasn’t the first to introduce this idea as Australia was, but it is something that other popular backpacking destinations may also choose to create.