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.”