New alternatives for those looking for a unique vacation
Edmonton, AB - March 1, 2010 - Global economic uncertainty has impacted travel trends. People are travelling less, taking shorter holidays and choosing itineraries with budgets in mind. But a new breed of budget-conscious globetrotters is also emerging. Flashpackers are upscale backpackers who choose to avoid roughing it, and instead choose to travel in style.
A flashpacker is a backpacker who has migrated to business class. Rooted in the backpacking experience, flashpackers are digital nomads without a fixed itinerary. They steer clear of anything packaged or all-inclusive resorts. They travel solo, in couples or small groups and can be found in the wilderness, as well as in city centres. Journeying without fixed itineraries is the essence of flashpacking and those who participate in it are lured by authentic travel off the beaten path without the seedy side of communal accommodation.
Unlike their backpacking counterparts, flashpackers are less inclined to travel overland exclusively; they will board a budget flight if time is tighter than money. Demographically flashpackers range from post-grads to retirees. How to recognize them? Flashpackers are packing more than sleeping bags and knapsacks. Heavy on technology, these digital nomads pack along netbooks, satellite phones, GPS navigation systems, MP3 players, digital cameras and cell phones.
Their choice of accommodation leans towards an extreme makeover version of the college dorm or hostel. Flashpackers are prepared to shell out for convenience without the trappings of luxury or the predictability of a chain hotel. To meet this new and expanding market, boutique hostels are cropping up across Europe, Asia and Australia. Offering a concierge style of front desk service, boutique hostels still offer the communal social spaces but with considerably more privacy and panache.