What is a Flashpacker?
-noun, One who travels with the intrepid ethos of a backpacker, maintaining a sense of exploration and adventure while sacrificing few of the comforts associated with vacationing by utilizing an increased budget and technology.
Traditionally travelers fit into one of two buckets: budget backpackers and short-term vacationers. If you fall somewhere in the middle of these two, chances are you’re a flashpacker.
The Flashpacker Lifestyle
In recent years the prevalence of flashpackers has been taking off in the travel community. This new type of traveler shares many traits and values with a backpacker, but are beginning to define themselves as flashpackers due to their willingness to spend more money on comfort and experience.
A typical backpacker tends to prioritize long-term travel, doing whatever they can to stretch their dollars and keep moving for as long as possible. They cut costs by choosing the cheapest accommodations, staying in backpacker hostels or guest rooms. They save on transportation costs, by utilizing buses and shared transit, despite longer travel times. And they favor low cost street food or grab & go meals over dine-in restaurants. The upside to the backpacker travel style is immersion in the culture of a destination, as they spend more time ‘living like the locals.’ The downside is losing much of the comfort and convenience of vacationing.
Conversely, vacationers tend to prioritize comfort and convenience over everything else, by spending more on a short term trip. Vacationers are far more likely to stay at the all-inclusive resort or a hotel. They’ll eat in the hotel restaurant or at an old favorite they always frequent. And vacationers will splurge on added convenience and enjoyment, knowing that this is a short term break from normal life.
Flashpackers fall into the middle of these two travel styles. Flashpackers value the authentic experience of the budget backpacker, however they don’t want, or need, to make quite as many cost saving decisions. Flashpackers aren’t interested in a luxury vacation spending a week at the same resort every year, but they also don’t want to stay in cheap hostels. They still travel light, but place an emphasis on long lasting and high quality travel gear and choose to stay in hotels or guesthouses. They will happily spend more money to get to their destination faster and will treat themselves to different restaurants as well as sampling the local cuisine.
A flashpacker doesn’t compromise on either comfort or experience. They combine the best of both worlds to create the ultimate adventure, experiencing more by sacrificing less.
Am I A Flashpacker?
Here are the top ten signs you’re a flashpacker!
- You prefer to stay in guesthouses and hotels over hostels. You dread the odd night you have to share a room!
- You regularly eat street food but just as often eat at restaurants.
- Your priority is getting the most out of your trip, not just staying on the road as long as possible.
- You travel light and travel far.
- You take planes and trains, and rarely take buses.
- You splurge on paid activities or tours more common in luxury travel.
- You prioritize high-quality and thoughtfully designed travel gear that will help you get the most out of your adventures.
- You crave an authentic travel experience and plan your trip with plenty of ‘local’ experiences.
- You believe that getting the most out of your trip includes getting the most out of every moment.
- You want to experience more by sacrificing less.
If the flashpacker lifestyle fits you, check out some of our other resources our like our flashpacking destination guides, travel tips, gear guides or keep up with all of our adventures in the flashpacker travel blog.