What Type Of Traveller Are You? Flashpacker Or A Backpacker?

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A flashpacker is essentially a backpacker but with more cash to spend on activities and experiences.

What type of traveller are you 'cause we heard there’s a new type of traveller on the loose! They’re seeing the world and experiencing different tastes and cultures a little differently than most -- some might say a little better? We're talking about the flashpacker, which sounds like the Backpacker. But there's a huge difference.

What is a flashpacker and where did the term come from?

A flashpacker is essentially a backpacker but with more cash to spend on activities and experiences.

To be more specific, as Nomadic Matt puts it "They travel with a backpack but they stay in nicer digs, carry fancy electronics, tend to be a bit older, have a bit more money to spend, and don’t cook in hostels every day. They are backpackers with means."

A backpacker on the other hand is a type of traveller who likes to keep things simple, low-key, and independent. No suitcases or tourist packages allowed for this one! Just a backpack with three sets of clothes, a map, their IDs, and a limited amount of cash.

Backpackers like to take their time with travel and challenge themselves to spend at most S$ 3,600 (£2,000) or less on a three-week vacation. Rather than staying at fancy hotels, they prefer to go couch surfing or lodge at hostels where they could save money, and meet new people along the way.

Backpackers often have the best travel stories because they do the research and experiencing by themselves. But you would only get to know these stories if you’re lucky enough to meet one and ask them about their travel experiences in person.

Mysterious might be one way to describe the backpacker in this day and age where sharing things on social media takes precedence to “being in the moment.”

But the flashpacker? This one’s always connected to the outside world, and then some.

So what type of traveller are you? Let’s dive deeper into the ways of a flashpacker.

1. They’re young and have fewer responsibilities

 

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Flashpackers are millennials, usually young professionals aged 22-37 years with a lot of disposable income. They’re often single, without kids or any mortgage or insurance payments every month because they would rather spend their money on traveling and experiences while they’re able, because why not? #YOLO

2. They bring flashy gadgets

 

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Aside from the basic backpacker starter pack, this packer would also bring a smartphone, a weatherproof camera, tripod, laptop, and a portable wifi device just to list a few.

You’d see them on Facebook or Instagram sharing photos and stories about the places they’ve been to, the activities they did, the people they’ve met, and even ask their followers to send in recommendations along the way.

They not only want to experience new things for themselves, but also for other people.

3. They spend more on activities

While they like saving money on lodging and food, the flashpacker would have a bucket list of things they would want to do in a country they’re visiting -- and actually tick them off one by one, not having to choose just two or three things to do because of a tight budget.

We’re seeing flashpacking as a trend especially for millennials in the UK and other parts of the world, while backpacking remains a sport for the more budget conscious individual with a baby boomer mindset.

As Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) explains, “Rather than just being seen as just a leisure activity, more and more young people look to be choosing to postpone a long-term savings plan by opting to take more extensive and adventurous holidays and to increasingly look to gain ‘life experiences’ such as exploring different cultures, learning languages and gaining work experience through travel.”

Even so there are many benefits of flashpacking. 

Why You Need To Try Flashpacking As Well 

1. You’ll see more of the world first hand

Since you do have more moolah to spend, you can be more flexible with the places you want to see--less monetary limits, more experiences. 

2. You’ll get to know a lot of different people and perspectives

There’s something humbling about learning a different culture and respecting it for what it is. And if you like it, you can take it with you wherever you go - for free!

3. It's just less stressful

Let's be honest, having a budget is limiting. If you have that budget to think about every single purchase you make, it becomes a bit stressful.  We think that defeats the purpose of traveling. You only travel a few times in your life, do you really want to shortchange yourself? 

4. You can document your travels better

Since you have a good camera on hand, there's a better chance of you being able to take nicer photos, especially if you have a good eye in photography. Whether you do it for the 'gram or not, at least you have a good memory to keep after the trip.  

5. You’ll gain more appreciation and care for the earth and your environment

Travelling would give you a sense of responsibility to the planet, because you’d want the younger generations to enjoy it the way you did. Starting early means less years of not loving mother nature.

6. You’ll be more inspired

This is just our opinion, but we think since there's more room for travel experiences and less stress, you'll be more inspired after the trip. 

7. You’ll enjoy coming home more

We know not everyone is built for the backpacker life because you're more pobliobligedalk to people when you're in a hostel. Since you've invested in a good place to stay, you sleep soundly, not worry space, and have a bathroom all for yourself. 

So do you think you’re a flashpacker? Then here are five flashpack-able places you can should pack for right away. 

 

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1. Italy. You can travel and feast your way through Sicily and Venice for just S$ 3,777.

2. Colombia. Cruise around the beautiful Rosario islands or party in one of Bogotá's leading nightspots for S$ 4,856.

3. Spain. Ride a vespa around the Spanish countryside for as low as S$ 2,3376. 

4. Morocco. Learn how to surf and do yoga while playing Toto in the background for as low as  S$3,237.

5. Philippines. Island-hop, wild swim, and glamp on a secret beach for as low as S$4,945.

Have you decided what type of traveller are you? Regardless of these labels, we think that any kind of travel experience is worth a shot. As long as you know you enjoy your trip and you're with the right people, it's all good fun from there. 

(Feature & lead image courtesy: unsplash.com)