Travel roots go back to the time of Marco Polo and his silk route to asia. But it was predominantly after the the Hippie trail Movement of the 1960's and 1970's, that marked the beginning of the backpacking era. The old fashioned backpacker now has a richer, glamourous cousin called the flashpacker.
Now I personally hate to differentitate between travellers, but nouveau trends are emerging. I have been flashpacking for a few years now, but I finally knew I had a generic name for my style of travel only last year.
Wikipedia defines backpacking as low-cost and independent international travel. Backpackers use public transport, prefer youth hostels, have no fixed trip plans, and a lot of time to meander around. In the process plan to see the sights and meet a few locals.
A "Flashpacker" is a neologism and will soon find place in the dictonary. Flashpackers are usually in their 20s to 30s, and could be called as "upscale backbackers". They expect better accommodation and amenities and travel with their latest gadgets like laptops and ipods, but have the same craving for adventure. They may carry their backpacks, which will often filled with designer wear night outs. They rough it in style. The camping setup above and below compares the style of backpackers v/s flashpackers.
Will you see a flashpacker on an 18-hour bus ride to save fifty dollars? Most probably not. They spend money smartly often wavering between splurging and being frugal. They usually have well paid jobs and not as much free time to wander around like backpackers. They could be on extended holidays, sabbaticals, or mid-career switch gaps and they dislike package tours and mass market destinations.
I will be candid and admit that once in a while I regret to call myself a flashpacker. What sense does carrying a backpack in the day, and snoozing in the night on a bed fitted with fine egyptian linen make? I feel like a hedonist pretending to be an adventurer ! A true adventurer gets down and dirty :-). When travel is done at the grassroots level, the experience surely feels more authentic. IMO backpacking is vintage and it will always maintain its legacy.
It doesent matter if you are a backpacker, flashpacker or boarding a tourbus. The ethos of traveling as a hasnt changed, only the styles have.We are all out there to have a good time. But however and wherever we go- lets be responsible and have a positive impact on local people and their environments.
Whats your travel personality ?
“A child on a farm sees a plane fly overhead and dreams of a faraway place. A traveler on the plane sees the farmhouse… and thinks of home.” – Carl Burns.