Flashpacking vs Backpacking – What is behind it and what are the differences?

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Some of you are probably wondering now what is the difference between backpackers and flash packers. The more you read about it, the more different the opinions on this. In this article I describe to you the difference between backpacking and flashpacking from my personal perspective. On the edge I will also touch on the so-called Poshpacking.

Many of you the term flashpacking will not say anything. This is not a shame, because this probably is not too long and there is a recent phenomenon. To provide you some clarification, I will at first imagine all kinds of travel and face this then.


Flashpacking vs. Backpacking – What is behind it and what are the differences?


Let’s start with the backpackers:

Backpacking is an independent way to travel, where one usually takes only a backpack to accommodate his personal belongings with him. This only the most essential things are stowed in order to move easily and freely from place to place can. Backpacker usually not stay in one place and explore their destination autonomously and independently from mass tourism. Often backpackers traveling with small travel budgets. This type of travel is therefore extremely popular with students and young people.

Origin of Backpacking:

Backpacker attached great importance to budget accommodation. This could only be found off the beaten track. So also the close contact to locals was maintained. The free way of traveling, which certainly brought a touch of adventure with him, became more popular and the “Hippie Trail” became a busy route from Europe to Asia. Southeast Asia was due to the pleasant climate, the paradisiacal landscapes and the friendly and open population an extremely popular destination among backpackers and is today also known as the cradle of alternative tourism.

Backpacking Today:

Nowadays, many routes are well developed. Many younger people do after their education go on the search for the great adventure. Backpacking is currently so popular that in high traffic areas, a backpacker’s mass movement has arisen. This removes naturally more and more from the spirit of backpacking and is rigorously rejected by quite a few hardcore backpackers.


Backpacker features:

  • Most young people
  • Free Way to Travel
  • Spartan Features
  • Possible budget accommodation
  • Small Travel Budget
  • Close contact with locals
  • Looking for special experiences away from mass tourism



Now to the Flash Packers:

Flashpacking is a modified form of backpacking. I count myself rather to the group of flash packer, but I also like to go backpacking. Flash Packer traveling a bit more luxurious, do not pay attention to every Euro and treat yourself to something. The group of flashpackers include persons who already have due to their seniority over greater income, or working as a freelancer, and have the good fortune to be able to make their money anywhere.

Origin of Flash Packing:

For too long, there is not yet the term flash packer. Moreover, this is (still) not too common. I for my part think that the so-called flashpacking in modern times originated (last 5-10 years). As flashpackers call themselves people who travel individually and independently, but do not even want to give up some amenities. I, for example, I always begrudge the faster transport, since my time on the road is more valuable than a lot of money. Many freelancers and digital nomad can be called the Flash Packer also, since they usually travel with some more of technical equipment and comfortable accommodations refer to undisturbed work.

Features Flash Packer:

  • Usually not as young as Backpacker
  • Already have income
  • Higher travel budget
  • More technical equipment
  • Accommodations at times also a bit more luxurious
  • Time goes on money



  • Close contact with locals
  • Looking for special experiences away from mass tourism
  • Free Way to Travel



Finally, the Poshpacker:

During my research, the term Poshpacking I’ve come. This I knew so far not, but I would like to comment briefly on it.

Poshpacking is probably still a step above the flashpacking and is a kind of independent travel with a lot more money and style. The term comes from the English and is composed of the words Posh and backpacking. Poshpacker are very stylish and chic, yes sometimes even classy way and definitely not pay attention to any issues. Nevertheless, these people travel quite individually and independently. Who chooses to travel this way, I also do not know exactly.


Comparison of Backpacker and Flash Packer:

Backpacking vs Flashpacking

Merkmal Backpacker Flashpacker
Most young people X
Not quite so young X
Free Way to Travel
Close contact with locals
Looking for specific experience
Spartan Features X
More technical equipment X
Small Travel Budget X
Money plays minor role X
To work while X
budget Accommodation X
upscale accommodations X


Conclusion: Both types of travel have their existence permissions for me and fascinate in equal measure. For me, the boundaries from Backpackers to Flash packers are flowing. Even the carrying of technical equipment I would not necessarily associate with a kind of traveling. Of course, the Flash Packer can access affordable accommodation or take the bus instead of the plane across the country.

But I also think that flash and backpacker place equal value on special experiences off the beaten track.

For personal reasons I prefer traveling as flash packer, but also try so many times it’s just going to remember me to the roots and to be traveling as a backpacker.


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