What is a Flashpacker?

What is a Flashpacker?

There’s no specific definition for the term flashpacker online.  It’s a neologism that refers to a more affluent breed of backpacker who travels on a similar trail to the backpacker but does it with more cash in their pocket and expects a little luxury on the road.  Here’s my definition:


-noun,  -s, One who travels with the intrepid ethos of a backpacker but having added comfort, style and technology whilst still maintaining a sense of exploration and adventure.

Basically what it means to us is this; we want to travel to all the usual backpacker haunts and beyond, have fun and adventure, but at the same time we have the cash that means we would pick a one hour flight for $100 instead of a 12-hour chicken bus.  We can’t afford, and don’t always want, to stay in large 4-star hotels but we’re happy to spend a few extra dollars a night to get an air-conditioned room with a hot shower and TV in a nice hotel or guesthouse with a pool.  We’ll take the occasional splurge at that 4-star hotel but we certainly won’t be paying full price.  If there’s a great deal to be found, that provides a little extra luxury, we’re onto it.  Combining this with the fact that we’re semi-nomadic and a family means we’ll often find an apartment and spend longer in one place than the average tourist on a holiday.  We have the element of time which can actually save you a lot of money – a week in a hotel can cost about the same as a month in an apartment.


  1. I just found your blog this morning and I’m loving your description of a Flashpacker! It fits me to a “T”. I just turned 60 yesterday and there is so much travel to be done. I am newly retired and haven’t done much travel yet, mostly camping in my home state of California, and a few business trips that didn’t have time for exploring. My hubby is taking me to Ashland, Oregon to see Shakespeare plays in two days woo hoo!! You are the same age as my daughter, who we will be meeting up with then. as well as her boyfriend. She has already done more travel than me…maybe I’ll get to catch up to her experience level.

    You and your family sound absolutely wonderful! Thank you for your inspiration. Best wishes and happy travels!

    • Hi Mary,

      What a fantastic comment to receive! I’m so happy that you’ve found my blog and I’m able to inspire you. Amazing that we have the same birthday!! Did you read my latest post about my travel goal?

      Thanks for joining me on Facebook too.


  2. I truly had no idea what a flashpacker was until about 2 minutes ago, and I’ve discovered: I may be one! I suppose its inevitable that when you move past your twenties, you tend to travel a little differently – you love the same adventures but are no longer satisfied with the $5 beds in noisy hostels and don’t mind splurging on some worthwhile activities and eating some great food. And so the age old adage goes: you learn something new every day!

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  5. Ahhh so that is what we are – flashpackers! I like it. Our friends often refer to us as backpackers, but we really aren’t at all. In fact, we don’t even own a backpack!

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  8. Bethany,

    My Husband wants to move to China for two years. Am much as I would love to get up and go, the uncertainty that comes with having a three year old, and a four month to me is scary. I am soooo glad I found your blog. What do you think?

    • Hi Evy!

      I’m no China expert but I am usually game for anything so would probably say yes. Having said that, it would really depend on where in China. I would look into the specific cities he wants to live in with regards to quality of air as this is a huge issue in China. Especially if you or your kids have any respiratory issues like asthma it might be tough. China is so foreign and while that’s great for travel it might be isolating with young children unless you can tap into some expat communities. Is he set on China for work reasons? There are so many other great places in Asia to live that I would pick over China (like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia) that would be a lot simpler to live in. You could see a lot of Asia while living in China though. Can you do a trial run to China before you commit to living there?

      Let me know how you get on and if you’re blogging about it!


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