Bungalow at Nusa Ceningan Island, Bali, Indonesia, John Cain

FAQ : What is Flashpacking?

Do you know what a ‘flashpacker’ is, or have you ever wondered what the term ‘flashpacking’ means? Although both these words are commonly used within the blogosphere by travel bloggers, and those working in the travel & tourism industry, it can be confusing for those unfamiliar with these travel tags.

In this article we provide information about what these popular travel descriptions mean by asking global flashpackers, Craig and John, who’ve chosen this approach to travel around the world.

A Non-Dictionary Definition of Flashpacking

You won’t find the words ‘flashpacking’ or ‘flashpacker’ listed in a US or UK dictionary, yet! However, we don’t think it will be too long before you find these definitions included as they’re becoming more commonly used. You can check out the useful resource of Wikipedia, for their definition of what flashpacking is here. Flashpackers travel independently, like backpackers, and plan their own vacations and trips trying to keep costs as low as possible. The main difference is they have a bigger budget than a backpacker and require a minimum level of comfort rather than the lowest cost.

How to Spot a Flashpacker on The Road

  • They will spend more on hotels and travel related services than a backpacker – no shared dorms or bathrooms for us.
  • Will carry the latest technology with them whilst travelling, utilising the latest travel apps, travel guides and travel resources to plan and navigate on their trip – unlikely to be seen with a guide book tucked under their arm, they will be clutching an iPad.
  • Subscribes to hotel and airline loyalty schemes to enjoy beneficial rewards and keep alerted about travel related promotions – has a wallet or purse full of frequent flyer cards.
  • Uses the internet to search for the best value deals for hotel and flight bookings – will happily spend an hour on line scouring for the best offer or discount code for a hotel they like.
  • Top three criteria for choosing accommodation – Wi-Fi, good Wi-Fi and excellent Wi-Fi.



Snack While Travelling:

Rice cakes and a bananas

Sandwiches bought at the bus/train terminal

Overnight Travel:

Cheapest local bus

Train Sleeper Car

Hotel Room:

Dorm room – the more the merrier

Private en-suite room

Clothing Choice:

Ethnic shirt and baggy pants

Polo shirt and North Face travel gear


Havaianas flip flops for any climate/situation

Suitable shoes dependent on the situation/climate

Drink of Choice:

Cheap local beer

Local spirits and mixer

Photography Equipment:

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Mobile phone camera

Digital DSLR

Communications Device:

Android smartphone

iPhone 5

Travel Gear:

Travels light

An extra bag with leads, adapters and charges to keep all their technology working in whatever country they are visiting

Favourite Destinations:

Vang Vieng, Laos and Khao San Road, Bangkok

Tokyo, New York, London, Paris, Sydney and Thai/Malaysian/Indonesian Island

Clothes Washing Frequency:



Asia Daily Budget:

$20 US

$50 US

Average Age:



Although we have had a bit of fun with this list, we are exaggerating to make a point. In the end a flashpacker is not that different to a backpacker. The flashpacker will be travelling on a low cost budget too, albeit a slightly higher one than the average gap year backpacker. Flashpacking is probably backpacking for grownups, or those with more disposable income.

While both travel making their own travel arrangements, a backpacker will usually be looking for the cheapest options when selecting accommodation and travel services. However, a flashpacker will be looking for the best value to meet their minimum standards.

Five Flashpacking Travel Tips

  • Look for last minute hotel and hostel discounts on private rooms
  • Be flexible with your travel destinations and use airline flight promotion deals
  • Avoid expensive hotel and tourist restaurants, eat where the local eat
  • Avoid the crowds and travel off-peak to get a cheaper price on your trip
  • Sign up to hotel and loyalty programmes for discounts on bookings and free upgrades

In a nutshell, flashpackers aren’t looking for the cheapest possible solution to meet their travel requirements; they are prepared to pay a little bit extra for a modest amount of luxury. So why not give flashpacking travel a try when you next plan your own vacation, and see how much money you can save. You can discover more about Craig & John’s flashpacking philosophy and share in their own round the world travel experiences at their blog.

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  • Travoiz Says

    Which countries (Asia) should I go flashpacking ?

    Should I start with Hongkong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur?

    Is this route alright?

    Where can I find more advice and info on flashpacking to multiple countries?
    I mean start from Hongkong, then Vietnam, —->Cambodia, —–>Bangkok,—-> Kuala Lumpur?

  • D3ZZY Says

    Its good to have more definitions for us world travelers than just backpackers, but vagabonding is a good one to.

  • Stevalicious Says

    So we have backpacking, vagabonding and now flash packing… Whats next?

  • Ha! This is great. Some of the points are spot on! :)

  • Matt Says

    Flashpacking for six months, need to work, does anyone have or know of any short-term work available after November?

  • Jeremy Says

    Flashpacking or bust baby! no no more Germans getting up at the ass crack of dawn to go hiking and waking me up in the dorm room!

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