travel flash packer

5 signs you could be a flash packer

You'll see them around the most famous landmarks in the world – smartphone in one hand, SLR camera in the other and suspiciously new, brand-name shoes on their feet.

You might even be one of them.

The rise of the flash packer has been driven by working professionals who are happy to shell out some extra cash on their travel plans. This lets them have all the creature comforts of home and technological must-haves of the 21st century even while wandering through provincial France, the Australian outback or the rugged Rockies.

So do you think you're part of that crowd? Check yourself against our five-point flash packer checklist.

Where do you stay?

The difference between hotels and hostels is more than just the letter "s". And that's definitely true for the committed flash packer.

Flash packers shun hostels for boutique guest houses and upmarket hotels, maybe even the kind with more stars than you can count on one hand, where the towels come with the room, your bed is made during the day and you don't have to contend for the one working shower with 10 other backpackers.

When you put it that way, though, can you really blame them?

What do you take?

Straight out of high school or university, fresh-faced youngsters head out of home with nothing but a borrowed backpack held together with mismatched stitches, a battered camera and a pair of old jeans that won't get washed until they get back home.

If you're a flash packer, it's more likely that bag will be bought brand new (with wheels of course), stuffed full of the latest in laptop, camera and cellphone technology, and a wardrobe of matching outfits for any occasion.

Travel website The Flash Pack recently surveyed travellers and found the average worth of a flash packer's collective belongings to be more than AUS $5,000.

Sound like you? Don't forget to add travel insurance to that shopping list. With Virgin Travel Insurance, prized items over $1,000 can be covered for an extra on cost on selected plans.

What do you do?

There are definitely some amazing things to see out there in the world, and this is the one category that has the most crossover between plain old backpacking and flash packing.

The main difference is that backpackers will have to pick and choose their travel itineraries, perhaps visiting the Eiffel Tower and Louvre but not Versailles. A flash packer, on the other hand, will visit all the sites and important places, as the travel budget isn't as big of a concern for them.

Where do you eat?

Dining out is a big part of any travel experience – but it's often the places you go that make a real difference.

If you're out for breakfast, lunch and dinner at cafes and restaurants, then you might be a flash packer. Most backpackers will pick up meals from supermarkets to save on cash wherever possible or dine in the hostel when there's a cheap meal available.

Fortunately, as a flash packer, you're probably more likely to keep up a reasonably balanced diet – rather than the chips, beers and sandwich spread you'd pick up from the supermarket.

How do you travel?

Finally, how are you getting around? If a quick flight takes precedence over an eight-hour bus ride, or a taxi is preferred over an underground metro system, you probably already know your backpacking days are behind you.

Nobody really wants to spend half their time on the bus, so if you have the means to take the more comfortable route, by all means – take them!

There's absolutely nothing wrong with being a flash packer – the term simply marks a progression from those sweat-stained days of backpacking around Europe into a more leisurely travel experience. When really, if you can, why wouldn't you enjoy your travels in style?

So, do you think you're a flash packer?

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