Flashpacking: To travel the world in luxury. Everyone loves the idea of finding themselves in a hut in India, but the reality is different. Actively ‘slumming’ it for the experience is one thing the majority of travelers will not abide. Sure, doing it to save money is one thing, but, if you’ve got it, flaunt it as the saying goes. Admitting that you are a flashpacker is a big step, but it’s an important one for your future travels. Why? It’s because it allows you to book short trips and continue exploring the world.
Here are four facts you should understand beforehand:
You’ll Fly Everywhere
Back in the days of backpacking culture, you would hop on a bus or catch a train. That isn’t the case any longer because you don’t have the time. Flashpackers tend to have a limited amount of time, say a couple of weeks, to fit in everything. Seeing a country in five months is pretty easy, but doing it in five weeks is challenging. So, to save time, you’ll have to fly from one destination to the next. And, that is the case for every town or city that is longer than 2 or 3 hours on public transport.
Planes Are Expensive
The problem with flying is the cost. You might have more money than an average traveler, but you still don’t want to break the bank. It’s a catch-22 as flights are necessary yet chip away at your budget. If possible, you need to find ways to reduce the price. Serial flashpackers like to book airline tickets in advance so that their trip is organized to the second. Regarding flights, it helps lower the cost as they are cheaper when booked in advance. Using the best airline points credit card is another option. Racking up air miles allows you to use them to pay for seats. Or, you can upgrade for a minimal rate.
And tiredness can ruin your trip. It’s not because a lack of sleep is unhealthy, but because sleeping during the day is tempting. When you are jetlagged, there’s no better feeling than lying down and taking “five.” Of course, a nap turns into a fully-fledged sleep and before long it’s nighttime and you’ve wasted valuable hours. The only way to stay on schedule is to resist the urge to close your eyes. If you spend a couple of days in one place, you can catch-up on Zs then.
People Will Judge
“Oh, you’re flying?” That’s how “proper” travelers react when they hear your plans. Don’t let their self-righteous smugness get in your head. Yep, you would love to be unemployed with no responsibilities, but your life is different. As such, the only time you get to go away is when you’re on vacation. And, because you want to see the world, you have to take flights instead of buses and pay for guided tours.
The final fact to keep in mind is that flashpacking is an excellent way to see the world. It beats a standard beach holiday every single time.
Photo by Liam Simpson