When it comes to vacations, you’re past shared bathrooms and hostel bunks and 23-hour bus rides, congratulations! Welcome to the world of flashpacking, you’re staying in boutique hotels, having a bottle of wine with dinner, and opting for flights to save on time. But what hasn’t changed is your sense of adventure and love of travel. Before you go on your next trip, here are 10 great tips to keep in mind. Bon voyage!
One of the best things about being a flashpacker is having a bigger budget. Now you have some wiggle room so you’re not stuck with the cheapest – and most inconvenient – flights or buses and the most basic accommodations. Also you have a more flexible travel schedule if you fall in love with a place or would rather move on sooner than planned.
Leave out “just in case” items
You’ll have more space in your luggage without that extra jacket, maybe-useful shoes, and can’t-hurt umbrella. Another benefit is if you do need them, purchasing them during the trip makes the items an instant souvenir!
Don’t feel guilty
Don’t feel guilty about taking a shortcut or opting for a nice hotel. You might not be “keeping it real”, but you’ve worked hard for your money and for this holiday. There is nothing wrong with upgrading to something a little nicer or having an experience that you couldn’t afford when you were a backpacker.
Having a tablet or phabet (phone plus tablet) while travelling is a great idea because, in addition to their easy-to-carry size, you can look for deals or plan the next leg of your trip; entertain yourself during downtime; or make use of the free wifi with added privacy.
Stay powered up
One of the biggest distinctions between backpacker and flashpacker is the type of gadgets the traveller is carrying. Flashpackers will be carrying a few nice things such as a tablet (see above), digital camera, or laptop. But don’t forget to bring the right adaptors and chargers for your devices. We suggest a USB plug, which allows you to charge a number of devices that have USB ports, super useful!
If your trip involves multiple destinations, having a little flexibility in your budget is a godsend. The biggest time saver for flashpackers is taking a flight instead of slogging through a long bus ride. Use your time to see the sights, try more local flavour or just relax instead of staring out of a window for hours on end in an uncomfortable seat.
Decide where to spend your money
Do your research, some locations are a lot more backpacker friendly and offer great amenities and deals, so you don’t really have to splash out. Think Goa, Siem Reap, and Bali. On the other side, places like Singapore or Jakarta, it might be best to splash out a little for an upgrade.
Keep track of your spending
You might have a little more cash now but it doesn’t mean you want to burn it all on this one trip. Make sure to keep track of your expenses, which can be hard especially when some foreign tender looks an awful lot like Monopoly money. We recommend using the good ‘ol pen and paper to document your spending at the end of the day.
Bring one “nice” outfit
One of the best things about being a flashpacker is the ability to treat yourself to some nice meals or drinks. Don’t get us wrong, we love street food, but sometimes you want another taste of the local flavour. Guys, bring a collared shirt, and ladies, remember to bring a nice dress, just in case.
Stay in the “backpacker” mind frame
Although you’ve upgraded, remember all of the great things about being a backpacker – the open-mindedness, the humbleness, the adventurousness spirit, and the curiosity for the new place. All of these things are still great to take with you while travelling, no matter where you lay your head at the end of the day.
Top image: Shena Tschofen