16 Mar High Tech Flashpacking… on a Budget
Originally posted on GoGirlGuides.com on 3/14/11:
Round the world backpackers used to diligently pack their canvas backpack with bare essentials, kiss their families goodbye and set out into the world knowing that contact with home would be minimal… a postcard here, a long distance call there. They were on their own and, for the most part, disconnected.
Over the years, a profound shift has occurred where backpackers are infinitely more connected. The term “flashpacking” has crept in to our everyday travel vernacular to help explain this shift, and rather than it being the exception to the rule, this way of budget travel has overtaken traditional backpacking to become the norm.
Hold on… I’m new to all this. What exactly is this “flashpacking” you speak of?
There is no formal definition, but according to Wikipedia (the ultimate twenty-something authority on just about everything):
“A flashpacker is an affluent backpacker. Whereas backpacking is traditionally associated with budget travel and destinations that are relatively cheap, flashpacking has an association of more disposable income while traveling and has been defined simply as backpacking with a bigger budget.”
This description is slightly misleading because it implies high-end backpacking (which to me means staying in single rooms with en suites, dining out frequently and generally living large out on the road). While that’s certainly sometimes the case, more frequently the term applies to the average backpacker who brings a litany of technological wonders along for the adventure to enhance the experience and stay in touch with those they left behind.
As it is, when backpacking you’ll often run across fellow travelers with iPods and digital cameras… but it’s also not uncommon to see backpackers (staying in the very same 8 person dorm room and eating ramen noodles for dinner) with laptops, cell phones, video cameras and other devices in their precious packing space. I’ve even seen girls tote along hair straighteners! Everyone has their own priorities, I suppose.
Ok, I’m sold! I’d like to incorporate some high tech essentials into my travels… but I’m on a strict budget. Help?
The good news is that we are living in a great time for technology. Technology is getting smaller, lighter, faster, better and competition helps provide lots of options and keep costs low.
Here are a few of my favorites which are perfectly suited to the budget backpacker lifestyle.
TO READ MORE: Head over to Go! Girl Guides.