Flashpacking is a word used to describe backpackers who want to travel the world but enjoy all the comforts of home. Lets face it, who doesn't like a hot shower!
A flashpacker may carry a backpack, or wheeled luggage. Their budget is more focused on going out and shopping. They are likely to be carrying a hair dryer and for those guys, a collared shirt! You may find them in guesthouses, bed and breakfasts or hotels.
Being a flashpacker is the perfect way to travel if you are looking for the balance between adventure and a little bit of luxury. Unfortunately your hot shower, private room and electronics will cost you more money.
When your heading abroad and you only have two or three weeks off work, its a perfect time to flashpack as you have a finite amount of time to budget for. This means you can maximize the number of meals out, drinks at the bar, souvenirs and tourist attractions you can visit, while knowing you are still getting paid from work.
Some of our friends would and could flashpack anywhere, but we find it easier in more fashion conscious destinations. When we say easier, we actually mean 'mandatory'. You can't walk down the Champs Elysees, parade around La Rambla or sight-see in Time Square in your well-worn backpacking clothes, you would just stick out.
My younger sister is a role model for all flashpackers. She never goes anywhere without doing her make-up, and she would rather look good and eat well than actually visit touristy sties. So when she flew to Europe to have a white Christmas with us, we had to dress the part also.
On our travels we have noticed two main distinctions of travellers - you know who you are?
A high-budget flashpacker generally has more money than most backpackers and are willing to spend it! They will generally travel the same backpacking trails but do it in style! (So they don't have to run into backpackers).
They will stay in a budget hotels, bed and breakfasts or guesthouses rather than staying in 16-bed dorm rooms and sharing bathrooms. They fly between destinations rather than catching that overnight bus. And are always hopping into taxis, instead of experience a city on their feet.
Travelling with money lends itself to actually going into museums and attractions, eating out and staying somewhere nice.
You have definitely seen these guys around. They are basically a backpacker, but with all the latest electronic gadgets. If you like to travel with your iPhone, laptop, kindle and SLR camera...you maybe one of them!
Flashpacking like this has its advantages and disadvantages. You will be able to put those 'selfies' in front of that iconic building straight onto facebook, or never get lost again with that iPhone map app. But, you now have a lot of electronics to look after. Make sure you have the right international power adapter for your destination and that everything is covered with the right travel insurance.