What is a Flashpacker?
If you are reading this you may not have come across this term before. As a leading backpacker magazine, we would be stupid not to ignore this on our backpacking website.
Flashpacking as I am sure you have guessed by now, is a bit different from budget backpacking. Rather than stay in hostels, they may prefer hotels. They may have a top quality backpack rather than a budget backpack bought of eBay or Amazon. There are many other reasons you could be called a Flashpacker as well. Upgrading to a better seat on a plane, travelling in a sleeper coach rather than benching it on an overnight train, the list is endless.
We all like a bit of comfort when travelling, but many backpackers are on a budget during their world travels, and this is what makes a Flashpacker slightly different. Chances are they are a little bit older and are a bit more financially secure than you. So they have a bit of extra money to travel. They also probably are an experienced backpacker as well, and have probably travelled enough now to know when to spend that little extra on something, or on which particular bit of backpacking gear you need the best off.
None of this makes them feel superior to you, far from it. If anything they would make a far superior travelling companion, as they have probably experienced certain things before. They are also understanding as well, they know that in most cases you can’t up your budget to theirs. They will be more than happy to come down and meet yours, it just extends their trip more. Hell, they may even treat you to something nice such as a good meal as they want a bit of company.
They can also do a lot of good in the world as well, for instance. Where a budget backpacker might have to do carrot picking in New Zealand, the flashpacker probably doesn’t need to work. They can offer their services to a charity or NGO. They will often do this as well, as they have travelled enough to know which places could use their skills. They have seen enough injustice and in-equality in the world to make them want to do it.
A recent poll of of over a thousand working professionals in an age range of around 30 to 50 discovered that more than 3/4s of them would classify themselves as a flashpacker, as they still wanted to do adventure traveling, but desired a bit more comfort.
Pretty much as the world develops we will all become flash flashpackers. As the global transport system improves, and backpacking gear gets better, there won’t be much to tell the difference between a backpacker and flash packer. The only difference will be where they sleep, eat and drink. And, believe me a flashpacker is more than happy to do those three with you.
So next time you see a Flashpacker sipping on a glass of wine on the streets of Vietnam, or outside a tavern in Boliva. Sit down next to them, you never know that may just share it with you!