Here’s an article I came across in my local newspaper. Flashpacking as they call it is definitally the way to travel especially if you are blogging your travels check it out!
As a backpacker, you’re free to do what you want. Within your shoestring budget, of course. As a Flashpacker, you get the best of both worlds: the joy of real travel, and a rescue from it as and when
As anyone who’s done it will tell you, backpacking is a great way to travel. Take a change of clothes, a passport and an independent spirit, and head off on your own, with no fixed itinerary to tie you down and no tour operator to hold your hand. It feels like freedom. It feels like adventure. It feels … uncomfortable.
Ah, there’s the catch. Traditionally, backpackers haven’t had two baht to rub together, and joining their number has meant submitting yourself to an unremitting grind of penny-pinching international poverty.
Enter the Flashpackers. They’ve got the adventurous outlook of the traditional budget traveller, with one important difference: dosh. Usually in their thirties and forties, Flashpackers are typically on extended holidays, sabbaticals or career breaks. They probably went backpacking in their youth and they’ve lost none of that gung-ho attitude. It’s just that, now, they are equally at home living the simple life in a £3 beach hut or the high life in a five-star hotel.
This isn’t about backpacking-lite. As much as their low-budget cousins, Flashpackers are looking for authentic and challenging experiences, and they’re quite happy to rough it with the best of them if that’s the best way to achieve that goal. But unlike your average gap-year student, they can afford to splash out on some luxury when the going gets tough — and just as importantly, they will spend what it takes to get the experience they’re after. That back-country tour of Laos costs £500? No problem. The hot-air balloon bungee jump is £200? Light the burners — we’re taking off.
Travel companies say it’s a growing phenomenon. Round-the-world tickets are the most popular way to backpack, and Ebookers (www.ebookers.com) is one of the UK’s biggest sellers. “I haven’t heard the term Flashpackers before, but I know the type,” says the company’s Jessica Potter. “We did some research on our RTW tickets recently, and found that the average age of buyers was 32. That’s much older than it would have been a few years ago. It confirmed what we’d suspected from chatting to our customers: there’s a new wave of older travellers who like the independence of backpacking, but do it with a lot more cash in their back pocket.”
Nigel Addison Smith, a 39-year-old finance director, is typical of the type Potter’s talking about. “Flashpacking is a perfect word for what I’ve done. When I’ve changed jobs, I’ve used the break to go travelling. The last time, I went for six weeks, around Kenya and Tanzania.
“I put the trip together as I went along, visiting safari parks — some upmarket, some not. Then I went to Zanzibar, where I checked into a very flash hotel. It’s always interesting doing that when you’ve been on the road. You turn up a bit grubby, with a dusty old backpack, and they look rather alarmed. They’re very relieved an hour later, though, when you’ve spruced up and walk back across the lobby looking decent. That’s one essential tip for travelling this way: always keep a set of smart clothes in a plastic bag inside your pack.”
Does this sound like fun? Tempted to have a go yourself? We’ve chosen three countries where it works particularly well. Each one can offer some of the most enjoyable aspects of budget travel — adventure, cultural insights, earthy simplicity — but with plenty of optional indulgence along the way. Now, strap on that flashpack, and head out.
Every Australian was a backpacker once, so it’s no surprise that the place is well set up for budget travel, with a good network of cheap accommodation. On the other hand, the Aussies have got a bit flash recently — cultural pretensions, fancy cooking, that sort of thing. It adds up to a great mix-and-match destination: classic Flashpacker territory.