Flashpacking and Travel
It’s the latest in backpacker trends. But what is flashpacking, and how do you flashpack successfully? Flashpackers have been defined as those in their mid 20s to early 30s who still follow the backpacker route and travel like a backpacker. Where they differ from the traditional budget globetrotter, however, is in their budget and their desire for comfort and amenities while they are travelling. Flashpackers expect better accommodation and have more money to spend on food and other comforts while they move around the world.
Flashpackers are still loyal to the basic backpacker philosophy, such as no fixed itineraries, experiencing the culture of a place and taking advantage of cheap flights and hostel accommodation, but there are a few things that set them apart from the conventional backpacker.
What makes a flashpacker?
– Extra money. Rather than saving the bare minimum to get by while travelling, flashpackers embark on their journeys with more money so that they can afford to splurge on drinks, meals out, partying and tours. Flashpackers on Bali holidays, for example, might stay in hostels but will spend their cash on nights out, nice meals and picking up souvenirs.
– Technology. What really sets a flashpacker apart from a backpacker is the electronic goods with which they travel. According to a Hostelworld study in 2006, 21 percent of people travel with a laptop, 54 percent with an MP3 player, 83 percent with a mobile phone and 86 percent travel with a digital camera. These ‘flash’ items make it easier for travellers to stay connected with home, be comfortable, capture their memories and be entertained.
Many hostels now cater to the growing flashpacker market, who are willing to pay for slightly improved hostel facilities, such as private rooms and bathrooms. Student travel will always be about affordability, but this new wave of backpackers is changing the scene slightly and adding a bit of glamour and comfort to the conventional budget lifestyle and threadbare living of the traditional backpacker.