Flashpackers: Apparently Here to Stay

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Photo by matchity
Photo by matchity

About this time last year, the term “flashpacker” began to appear in travel articles and blogs. Originally used to denote backpackers with considerable budgets, it seems to have broadened in meaning lately.

Jason Purvor, Web master of flashpacker.com, defines a flashpacker simply as a “business class backpacker.” Paul and Meg Darvell of Flashpacker Diaries elaborate, describing flashpackers as “a little older than the post-Uni, pre-life 21-year-old backpacker, who have a larger budget but less time.” They cite the ability to throw money at travel snags as typical (the British couple spent £20,000 during a three-and-a-half month jaunt).

More recently, the term has been more liberally applied to include anyone who travels with tech. Kathleen Crislip focuses on the gadget aspect in her About.com article, while Caren Jacobs identifies two categories of flashpacker: college students who can afford luxury items like iPods and the more affluent late-twenties working set.

The travel industry has also caught on to the neologism. Bootsnall announced that the Burton Day Hiker backpack, which has laptop and iPod compartments, gives “flashpacker a whole new meaning.” Australia-based Shortstays.net describes its apartment properties as the “perfect central self catering [sic] flashpacker base” and offers special “flashpackers units.”

About the author

TJ developed a taste for travel while living (and ostensibly) studying in Rome. He soon began catching bargain-basement Ryanair flights to various European destinations, where he would immediately scope out the dodgiest bar upon arrival. (He also saw some art along the way.) After returning to SUNY Albany, he developed an independent study in travel writing, which was mostly an excuse to drive cross-country. The 7200 mile trip, made in 11 days with two friends in a very small red car, culminated in a collection of essays called MOVE!, which he describes as incredibly self-indulgent and quite un-publishable. After moving to Manhattan, he found his way to EuroCheapo and has spent most of his time writing reviews for the New York City listings.

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One thought on “Flashpackers: Apparently Here to Stay”

  1. Flashpacking is a newly born trend appeared along with the budget flights. They seem wealthier than backpackers but they use more budget option than regular holiday travellers.

    In the positive perspective, it is a new, expanding market for hostels (or at least it was before the financial crisis, will see in the near future), on the other hand it could be quicksand if this is just a passing fashion.

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