Thursday, February 23, 2012

Flashpacking vs. Backpacking

The term backpacking has been with us for quite some time now.  We are very comfortable with the word and the term.  Backpacking refers to budget travelers and I mean BUDGET travelers wherein they will stay at cheaper accommodation such as guest houses, hostels, inns and etc. and cut on their expenses on food and shopping.  They like to travel and explore and learn whether it is domestic or international.  There are a lot of definitions but for me a backpacker is simply a budget conscious traveler that doesn't mind what will they skip as long as they get to their dream destination.

My question right now is... You are a budget traveler BUT are you really a backpacker? 

There is a new term that has been circling in the travel industry and it is known as flashpacking.  This is a coined term that is gaining popularity.  Since this is a newly coined term, there are different opinions that define flashpacking. 

For me, Flashpacking simply means:  a budget travel but is willing to shell out more moohlah in their travels.  Instead of checking-in at hostels and inns, they prefer a more comfortable hotel (not the 5star ones) that is near the city center or the shopping district for convenience and accessibility.  They don't mind eating in restaurants that serves the best local cuisine even though it is a bit pricy.  They don't just simply go for the nearest street food vendor or the friendly neighborhood fast food chain to satisfy their hunger.

A flashpacker is an upgraded backpacker wherein they have more money to spend on additional comfort (ex. a 3 star hotel vs. inns), convenience (the location), luxury (food and shopping) that backpackers tend to ignore.

Scenarios to help you understand more:

Scenario 1:  Collette is a product specialist of a company and at 28 years of age.  She loves traveling and she makes sure that it is part of her annual plan, to travel 1 domestic and 1 international to least.  She waits for seat sales of her favorite low-cost airline.  She saves on her travels and wants to stay in a more comfortable accommodation and choose to stay at hotels ranging from USD 180 to 250 a night, eat the best food that the place she will visit.  Check out recommended restaurants and cuisine that the city has to offer.  She is even allocating her budget for shopping because she heard that there is a big H&M or Uniqlo store in that city. A FLASHPACKER

Scenario 2:  Johnny is an accounting clerk at 21 years of age.  He loves traveling and is passionate to learn in every travel he experience.  Keeps a travel journal and writes every detail of it.  Travels 4 times domestically in a year, 2 of which by air the other 2 by land or sea.  He doesn't want to spend too much on his accommodation and feels its a waste of money to spend on a nice hotel so he opts to sleep in a guesthouse or an inn.  Sacrifices some of the best dishes the place can offer if its quite expensive but never skips his love for traveling.  He will always go to where his heart pleases, it is not the comfort, luxury and prestige of his travel, as long as he is able to go to his destination it is fine by him. A BACKPACKER

So what kind of a traveler are you? :)

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