The first time I was called a Flashpacker

It was a year ago more or less. I had just arrived in New Zealand as part of my big trip around the world. I met some friends and ex-colleagues there. A few months before me they decided to leave the place where we were working in Dublin, Ireland, and go exploring the world. And here we meet again: an Italian (me), an Irish fellow, a Czech guy and a Finnish girl; in Auckland, on the other side of the world we were living.

I was explaining to them how although I was traveling the world on my own and on a limited budget, I didn’t really feel like spending my nights in hostel dorms overcrowded with drunk 19 years old backpackers, and then next morning having to queue for a cold, uncomfortable, military style shower. So I often ended up booking some en-suite single room, but to remain within my budget I would search online for some good deals in “special” hostels.

“Of course.” replied my backpacker friends, “You’re a Flashpacker! Look at you, you even bring a laptop with you!”. And being a geek one of the first things I did was to search online for that term: Flashpacking. The search didn’t show many results, however revealed how there was (and still is) a lot of people out there with my same needs: backpacking in some comfort or why not, some luxury.

It’s interesting to look back at just one year ago, when if you searched online for Flashpacking you would have only the Wikipedia definition only a few more results. Nowadays every week there’s a bunch of articles or blog posts on the topic.

As time passes hostels are indeed responding to the latest Flashpacking needs; a good few of them now even define themselves as Flashpackers Hostels. The progress in technology has made laptops, digital cameras, GPS navigators and mp3 players extremely cheaper and easier to carry; the latest fashion of is a clear example.

So it’s good news all around. Flashpacking might have sounded like something not for the Backpacker on a limited budget just one year ago. Now everyone can easily afford to be a Flashpacker: a decent accommodation in some hostel is not expensive, and the same applies to a netbook to check the latest special deals online.

So what are you waiting for?

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