Flashpacking: The New Backpacking
Flashpackers are new to the traveling world. Flashpackers sleep in hostels, use a backpack, and look for cheap transport but blow their money on meals, beer, tours, and parties. They usually aren’t walking into a hostel without a reservation or wearing the same shirt for a week. A lot of hostels are up scaling to meet the growing demands and desires of flashpackers and you’ll find these places in all over the earth. Flashpackers still have no fixed voyage and all the time to amble around but don’t pinch every penny. They are backpackers with a bit more money.
Is flashpacking backpacking?
What makes a backpacker a backpacker? The backpack? The clothes? The lack of showers? People look down on flashpackers but they are just as much a backpacker as anyone else. But backpacking is not about a look, it’s a lifestyle. Just because a person doesn’t have a certain look, doesn’t mean they lack the will of a backpacker. It doesn’t make them less of a backpacker. It goes against the backpacker outlook to look down on someone because they travel a different way. Traveling is about expanding your horizons.
It all comes down to what makes a backpacker a backpacker and that is spirit and soul. The desire to explore new places and experience new people is what travel is all about. Backpacking is about opening your mind to new things and looking differently at the world. It’s not about the stuff you carry. If your spirit is the same, the amount of flash with you does not matter.
The Wave of the Future
We’re all flashpackers, whether you like it or not. Flashpackers may not be driving up to the hostel in a limo but we all expect a little “flash” nowadays. According to a Hostelworld study in 2006, 21 percent of people travel with a laptop, 54 percent with an MP3 player, 83 percent with a mobile phone and a whopping 86 percent travel with a digital camera.
Now think about your last trip- how many people you see with cameras? Ipods? Laptops? Almost everybody.
The truth is we all travel with fancy electronics now. We check our email and Skype our family back home. We all have a camera and an iPod. We’ve become Flashpacker. All this stuff allows us to stay better connected with our friends, our family, and helps us better document our travels. The key is to once in awhile to put down the camera, turn off the computer, and enjoy the culture you came to experience.