One of the things that strikes me most is that there are so many Flashpackers out there, but only few of them are aware of being one.
So often I meet travellers around the world and they tell me that yes, they do love travelling independently, and to travel for a long time they need to be on a budget, but still they don’t really want to sleep in a dorm with 20 other people.
They like to enjoy a good glass of wine, and try local delicacies. Having been on the road for a long time they met all kind of travellers, and now feel like running away when they see a big group from an organised tour, or when a cruise ship arrives on the island they’re staying.
And yes, they all have an mp3 player and a digital camera (but hey, who hasn’t nowadays?) and many do carry a laptop with them.
To me, they are Flashpackers. And when I mention the term to them they like it. They don’t feel they are Backpacking, but something close to it. They wouldn’t call themselves Backpackers but don’t have another term to describe the way they are travelling.
Let’s be clear here. We’re not trying to categorise or pigeon-hole travellers. But for all those people I met it was comforting to know that they are not they only ones travelling in that way, and that there are so many like them around the world, that a new phenomenon, with a proper name is now happening. And that proper name is Flashpacking.
Some unaware Flashpackers even felt bad about upgrading to a single room or having dinner in a nice restaurants, because that was not the Backpacker thing to do.
I hope then that The Tux in Backpack can help clarifying things a bit, and evangelise the Flashpacking phenomenon. Once Flashpacking is fully recognised hostels, hotels and all kind of tourist organisation will offer more options, customised for Flashpackers. Some of them already started, but there’s still a lot of work to be done there.
So enjoy being a full aware Flashpacker, and help spread the world!