Have you heard the phrase “flashpacker” and wondered , “what is a flashpacker!?” Me too! But the more I researched it, the more I thought hmm, I might just be one myself. Turns out, it’s not just a girly thing but some guys fit the bill as well. From what I’ve read it’s a traveler looking for fun and adventure that also cares about being comfortable and looking fabulous.
11 Signs YOU Might be a Flashpacker
1. You pack high heels.
Well, this one was pretty obvious for me. Granted, I don’t always get to wear them on the trip, but it doesn’t feel right not having them in my bag! If you go on a backpacking trip in Europe and take high heels in your bag… you’re definitely a flashpacker. Along with the heels, you probably have gladiator sandals and ankle booties.
photo from an interview we did with the lovely Hot Pink Passport
2. You pack unusual beauty supplies.
I have friends who pack hair straighteners and even self tanner when they go to beach destinations. I’ve read about bloggers who take hat boxes for their many big rimmed hats and even spray on make up machines. Personally, I take my own mini OPI nail polishes so when I get a manicure, I have quality polish.
because you want to look like this while you travel!
3. You’ve got a little cash to blow.
Unlike your first trip abroad or your college spring break to Florida, you’ve got a bigger budget and you’re stoked about spending it. You no longer want to stay in hostels, and instead want a private room or even a fancy hotel. You might even go 5 star every once in a while now that you are in multiple rewards programs.
Go cash in those frequent flier miles! Switch out hostelworld for airbnb!
Cantaloupe Levels resort in Unawatuna
4. Your luggage & accessories are designer.
Maybe you don’t even use a backpack, but instead a huge Louis Vuitton duffle bag, or maybe you just have the latest most up to date backpack from Osprey. You probably have a cute luggage tag on it from a luxury brand, and a Moleskin travel journal tucked into your carry on. You probably have a very cute leather passport cover.. maybe it’s even personalized from Etsy!
a weekend away at Alila Diwa: dresses hung over the Delsey rolling bag and heels ready to go!
5. No ordinary headphones & sunglasses.
You don’t just have the white stringy headphones that came with your iPhone. Instead you’ve invested in something cool like sound canceling Bose headphones or Beats by Dre. You have the cutest Ray-Bans or glasses shaped like hearts.
6. Your nights out have changed.
You aren’t pregaming in your hostel or on a long train ride to the next city. You are actually going to spend over $5 bucks on a cocktail and drink it AT THE BAR! You will even be able to afford a few of them. You’ll probably eat dessert after your meal and pay for a taxi home rather than trying to drunkenly find the closest public bus stop.
7. Your watch is the ultimate accessory…
You might be exhausted in the airport during a long layover, but when you look at the time you perk up because you get to look at your blingy watch and matching bracelets. Mine’s a cute leather one from Fossil; the skinnier the strap and bigger the face- the cuter! Plus, if it’s a skinny strap then it won’t cover up your travel wrist tattoo.
8. You don’t have a “unslashable” boring purse.
No, you don’t want to get robbed, but you just insist on carrying a cute purse while you travel. After all, it’s going to be in all your photos. Inside, you’ve got YSL lipstick and a leather change purse from Coach. It’s big enough to hold you kick-ass camera, iPhone, chapstick, sunscreen, and all the trinkets you pick up throughout the day.
9. It’s all about electronics.
You don’t need to take a Lonely Planet, because you have the PDF downloaded to your iPad. You have a hard drive to back up your photos, and you might even have a laptop with you. Your iPhone has all the latest travel apps and you have a VPN so you can still watch Netflix even when you’re away from home. I may have a massage playlist on my phone in case I don’t like the salon music. You know which airports have free WiFi and you might even have a little “WiFi finder” to help you get your hands on the closest source!
Things have changed since I started traveling 6 years ago. I don’t even think the word “internet cafe” and just swap SIM cards instead of needing Skype for every call. Most hostels don’t even have computers anymore (just WiFi) because they think you’ll have a smart phone with you. I don’t need a paper map, because I have google maps on my phone – yes even offline! You want to read at the beach? Don’t forget your Kindle.
taking photos of our food for instagram and working on our computers… I think digital nomads are all flashpackers!
10. You’ll catch that quick flight.
I remember when taking a flight when the train was an option wasn’t even an option. Well, things change as you get older and make actual money don’t they!? To be fair, even if you don’t have enough of a budget- a flashpacker wants to pay $300 for a flight rather than get on a grimey bus in Asia for 18 hours even though the bus was only $15. No one said flashpackers always made the best decision for their wallets.
check out my tips to defeat jet lag
11. No matter what, you’re still a backpacker EXPLORING THE WORLD.
You might have changed every way that you travel.. you’ve evolved.. you might even have a rolling suitcase, but hey! You’re still a backpacker at heart! And when people ask what you’re doing this summer you tell them you’re “backpacking ___ for a few months!”
So, are you a flashpacker?!
What other ways can you think of that make someone a “flashpacker” or do you just hate the term altogether? I suppose, all things considered, as I watch Netflix in the AC while I type this in India (after having road a scooter to the veg market and dodged a tiny green snake), that I am a “flashpacker” looking for adventure while staying comfortable…. are you?
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Great post! Definitely a flashpacker here! I’ve been judged for wearing make-up and heels, so thanks for making me feel so much better about it!
Good, everyone should wear exactly what they want and travel how they want :)
I was just discussing this with a friend the other day. I am leaving on a trip today and have WAY more than when I went on my first trip 8 years ago. I’ve decided that I don’t want to wear the same three things for two months straight. And, I thought you would appreciate that this is my first trip ever that I am actually packing a pair of heels :)
heck ya!! you’ll need heels lol and yes I pack a ton now haha unless its a short trip I might try to go carry-on only so I don’t overpack
Haha loved this! Sometimes I can be a flashpacker, other times I’m the complete opposite! It depends where I’m going and how long for. I like to mix it up a bit. I might stay in a fancy hotel one night and a cheap hostel another night Take an overpriced direct flight one trip and the 12 hour bus another. It keeps it interest (and gives my wallet a break sometimes haha!).
Yeah that would keep it interesting! Ben is more of a flashpacker than I am that’s for sure! He’s turned me spoiled… I guess that’s what happens when your company books things for you lol
Oh definitely a flashpacker! I always take a pair of heels, boots and a couple of dresses and all my electronic stuff. I even have a few pairs of leather gloves and having started taking first class in the train….!
Definitely not a flashpacker haha, I think I’m a poorpacker.. :) I just tend to choose comfort over fashion, although I don’t think my outfits are toooo terrible :)
Haha not too terrible is good too!
I’m a flash packer and proud! I had to work for years before I could afford to go travelling; my parents would never have had the means, so I started travelling in my mid 20s. Of course by this time, I’d been working (and earning) in a stressful job so wanted to enjoy and make the most of my downtime and the money I’d made. This is such a great post as it empowers those of us with the means to travel in a “civilised” way and less like a homeless person… though if that’s your vibe, that’s totally fine too
Glad this post resonated with you! If you’re a flashpacker I think you’ll like all my hotel reviews haha :)