I’m working on a ton of new posts from my recent travels for you, but I just couldn’t wait to share this quick realization I had while traveling! I’m so excited to share. Stay tuned for new posts to come 🙂
It took me long enough to realize it, but they say admitting it is the first step.
I am a flashpacker.
A flashpacker is a very recent term coined for those who are tracing the same routes as backpackers, but typically do so with all of their electronics in tow, as well as a slightly more generous budget.
This type of traveler is of course becoming increasingly popular as we all become more and more dependent on our smartphones, laptops, tablets, iPods, DSLR cameras, etc etc etc.
Flashpackers can also be found staying in a budget hotel rather than in a luxury homestay. Maybe also choosing to dine out at a less expensive restaurant rather than eating street food or ramen. Not that I don’t love ramen or street food!
Needless to say, flashpacking is in no way luxury travel. It’s more so paying $30-60/night for accommodations instead of $6-12 for a shared room in a hostel dorm. Rather than luxury travelers who are shelling out hundreds of dollars per night for 5-star accommodations. While I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to stay in extravagant lodging, and I’ve been lucky enough to have that experience on a few occasions, unfortunately, it is not the norm and I’ve usually got a significantly less meaty budget to stick to.
It’s sort of like the Goldilocks of travel. Not too expensive, not too frugal. Juuuussstttttt right.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t have the utmost respect for backpackers and luxury travelers alike. I wish I had what it takes to be a backpacker, but after several failed attempts, I have to face the regional music and admit to myself that it’s just not me.
Being that I’m a little older as well and having experienced the business travel industry firsthand for years doesn’t help me want to embrace a backpacking style, either. Once you’ve stayed in some of the most beautiful hotels in the world, it’s quite hard to then stay in a shared dormitory.
I can also appreciate luxury travelers. While I do like to mix it up a bit, and think I will always try to incorporate a variety of traveling styles into my travel repertoire, who wouldn’t want to travel in style?? Luxury travel is an auspicious thing, and something I hope will be in my future, albeit somewhat down the road.
To find out that flashpacking was a thing made me feel less guilty about craving these creature comforts while traveling. It can be argued that you’re not really seeing a place authentically if you avoid things like the squat toilet. But in my mind, if I’m feeling more comfortable in my surroundings I might go somewhere I wouldn’t have dared to in the first place, or even stay a little longer somewhere. There are pros and cons to everything.
It comes down to getting to really know yourself and what makes you comfortable. Travel is one of the greatest ways to do so, and this is a perfect example.
Do you think you might be a flashpacker as well? Tell me about it in the comments.