The term backpacker has come to refer to those tourists who consider themselves budget travelers. Until recently these travelers were considered drifters or wanderers, known for taking long journeys to less traveled places, staying in hostels and even working along the way to sustain what they viewed as a back-to-basics way of life. Over the last decade, however, both scholars and economic analysts have noticed a shift towards popular tourism, as budget travel becomes more and more mainstream. Numerous studies have found that despite the term 'budget travel' backpackers are spending more money in total during their time as tourists than their 'less adventurous' counterparts who typically stay in hotels, visit commercial sites and vacation for shorter amounts of time than their backpacker counterparts. Backpackers' long journeys and nomadic lifestyles must indicate that they undertake their travel for completely different reasons than tourists who do not consider themselves backpackers. If backpackers share similarities with other tourists, then what sets them apart? This question and others will be explored in an effort to learn why individuals choose to become backpackers.