Flashpacking is slang used to refer to affluent backpacking. A flashpacker shares some of the characteristics of a backpacker: a sense of independence, no fixed itinerary and relatively long periods of travel to more exotic and far-flung destinations. Whereas backpacking is traditionally associated with budget travel and destinations that are relatively cheap, flashpacking has an association of more disposable income while traveling and has been defined simply as backpacking with a bigger budget.

A simple definition of the term Flashpacker can be thought of as backpacking with flash, or style. In another sense, the term defines a growing segment of travelers who adhere to a tight accommodation and meal budget, while spending freely for activities at their chosen destination.

Some may define flashpacking as an incongruous mix of ‘slumming it’ and luxury; of adventurous travel with those on a budget by day and sedate dining and comfortable accommodation by night. Flashpackers have been further defined as tech-savvy adventurers who often prefer to travel with a cell phone, digital camera, iPod and a laptop, although none of these is required in order to be a flashpacker. As with other forms of travel, the term flashpacker is mainly one of self-identification. The origin of the term itself is obscure.

The term also reflects a growing demographic of travelers who are forsaking traditional organized travel, venturing to destinations once the reserve of more adventurous backpackers, and the increasing number of individuals who leave well paid jobs or take ‘career breaks’, using the time to travel independently, but with greater comfort and many of the gadgets they are accustomed to at home. As a result, hostels are evolving and offering more up-market accommodation to those still traveling on a budget in order to obtain their business. The hostels have realized a need to evolve in order to meet the changing demands of travelers. It is likely that flashpacking and flashpackers will continue to evolve with changes in technology.

Here’s a couple of our favorite flash hostels:

  • Hilux Valencia – Valencia Spain
  • Rooms Deluxe Hostel – Valencia Spain
  • Plus Florence – Florence Italy
  • Seven Hostel – Sorrento Italy
  • Hostel-Inn Tango City – Buenos Aires Argentina
  • Hostel-Inn Iguazu Falls – Puerto Iguazu Argentina
  • Daddy Long Legs – Cape Town South Africa
  • Oops – Paris France
  • SleepZone The Burren – Lisdoonvarna Ireland