Flashpacking and Economic Recession: No better time to travel?


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Living in a time of economical recession is not the best. People can lose savings, jobs, in worse case even homes. As a reaction people tend to save as much as possible, cut on spending, especially when it comes to luxury items. And as a consequence prices for many things that could be considered superfluous tend to go down. But hang on, isn’t travelling somehow considered a luxury or something to save on..? Could there be good news there for the a discerned traveller like a Flashpacker?

While forecasts were pretty grim at the end of 2008, January brought a breeze of optimism, at least when it comes to travels. The person was shouting the at the very beginning of January, quoting how Genevieve Shaw Brown, senior editor of Travelocity, predicts that 2009 will be the year of travel deals.

This helps hotels distribute their inventory worldwide, is indeed to ensure hoteliers stand strong during a weakened economy. Forecasts are not good (hoteliers across the world could see rates drop on an average of 15% over the course of the next 12-months and occupancy in turn will decline), but technology (together with appropriate targeting and marketing I would add) could be able to help. And aren’t Flashpackers very tech savvy indeed? Once again a decent internet connection could be able to get you a very fair deal.

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As a matter of fact it looks like the advent of Flashpacking in the last while happened also because of the credit crunch. We can assume the folks being subject matter experts know what they’re talking about in “” when they state that “The credit crunch is largely responsible for this realisation as consumers frantically search for ways to holiday without blowing the budget “. And some little luxury while backpacking, without blowing the budget, definitely sounds like Flashpacking to me.

Looking closely the trend was starting already in 2008, when in Tel Aviv Youth Hostels were the first ones to , although that could have been an off-trend that changed lately. However already in November 08 we saw an article mentioning in the same title “crisis”, “Flashpackers” and “good deals”. It is indeed with the Flashpacking phenomenon mentioned in every sort and shape. From the career breakers (“We are also seeing a growing number of career breakers who have had enough of the English weather and want to get way for the recession”) to hostels upgrading their standards (“They [hostels] have had to upgrade to survive because of the competition. The traditional definition of hostel as being like a school dormitory doesn’t apply anymore.”) to the sturdiness of the independent traveller (“independent travellers are too addicted and dedicated to travel to give up their plans entirely.”).

Perhaps the best news comes from the Youth Travel Matters’ report, produced this year by the United Nations World Travel Organization and the World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation: “50 per cent of youth accommodation providers had recently invested in increasing their capacity and improving facilities to cater to Flashpackers”. According to the “Youth hostels worldwide are upgrading their bunk-bed dormitories and developing innovative concepts to attract the ‘flashpacker’ market e.g. offering hostel and hotel rooms under one roof”.

So it looks like the economical downturn beside some pretty bad consequences can also provide good deals for Flashpackers and independent travellers in general. If you want to have pretty decent standards at a pretty decent price this appears to be the time. A fair dose of optimism and some spending can only help the global economy after all. And if Flashpackers love to combine luxury and good deals, well 2009 could be a long and enjoyable low season!


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