Just like everything else in today's fast-paced world, the language of travel is always evolving. Sometimes it's hard to keep up with the crazy host of new terms that keep cropping up like staycation, WiSBASE and ZORBing. Now there's another term to add to the dictionary: flashpacking. So what exactly is a "flashpacker?"
Definition of Flashpacking
There are several conflicting definitions of flashpacking, but they basically boil down to the same thing: backpacking for grown-ups. Flashpackers are people who want to travel the world in the carefree way backpackers enjoy, without a fixed itinerary, but with a sufficient amount of money to do so. Some say that flashpacking is just backpacking with gadgets like a laptop and camera. Others say that flashpackers are backpackers who stay at hotels at the end of a long day instead of camping.
Flashpacking is really a combination of the two. The new crop of older "backpackers" can afford creature comforts like a bed in a hotel and meals in a restaurant. They don't travel with gigantic backpacks full of camping equipment, but rather cameras to capture their experiences and laptops to share them with others, or even do some work on the go. Another cool innovation is solar-powered iPhone and iPod chargers so you can listen to music without worrying about not having anywhere to plug your device in on the go.
Advantages of Flashpacking
The biggest appeal of flashpacking, as with backpacking, is the freedom to be able to pick up and go anywhere in a flash. You don't need to spend hours looking for the perfect accommodations, restaurants, flights, and the rest. Just hop on a train and go from there. Plans can change any time on the traveler's whim. Flashpacking is meant to be a long-term vacation, so there's no scrambling to fit in everything you want to see.
Flashpacking is become more and more popular - and hotels and hostels are taking notice. That means it's easier than ever to find places to stay that offer free WiFi, last minute bookings and understand the needs of a flashpacker. It's backpacking without the grime; you don't need to forgo hot showers or clean linens to get the same travel experience.
Popular Places to Flashpack
The point of flashpacking is to really experience somewhere completely foreign and exotic. Southeast Asian locations like Thailand or Cambodia are great destinations for flashpackers and backpackers alike, as is India. Vibrant cultures, great cuisine, and warm climates make these places ideal. Although these are great picks, more "traditional" places like Europe or South America can be seen in a whole new way by flashpacking.