Backpacking at thirty… are we Flashpackers now?

It’s finally happening… two years after first making the decision to quit our jobs and travel the world it actually looks like it’s going to happen¬†really soon. We can finally stop talking about it and actually go do it!

Something we’ve discovered over the past two years… It’s a whole different kettle of fish deciding to go travelling when you’re thirty than when you’re twenty. At twenty, my level of adult-like commitments was very low and the timescale from deciding to go and actually, well, going was very short. More like a couple of months compared to the years it’s taken this time. Getting my shit together at twenty included waiting until my rent was up on my student flat, getting the right injections, and buying the cheapest, biggest backpack I could find (big¬†mistake by the way). All-in-all a planning time of a couple of months, tops. This time… well this time we’re actual adults and super slow to do anything scary and life changing. We had to finish a house renovation, get to a good point in our careers, sell our house, and in the meantime we’ve been saving up enough cash to migrate from backpacker to… flashpacker!

Yep, there’s a term for it – the late twenties and thirty somethings who have saved up enough cash to be able to backpack in comfort. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still going to be backpacking, not 5 starring it in all-inclusive resorts. We’re still going to be staying in hostels because they’re budget-friendly, social and awesome… we can just opt for the private rooms rather than 12-bed dorms. We’ll still be making it up as we go, rather than following a scheduled and rigid tour, but we’ll be able to afford most of the activities we want to do, rather than having to pick and choose. We’ll still be eating on a budget, but we won’t have to cook our own meals in the hostel every night if we don’t want to. We’ll still be chilling out at the beach bars, but getting drinks we actually like rather than whatever’s cheapest.

Basically we want to do the whole backpacker thing… but in a smarter, more comfortable way, and that’s starting right now with the planning side of things. We’re going to be taking super-light backpacks rather than the cheapest we can find. We’ll be using packing cubes to organise our luggage better and instead of taking everything except the kitchen sink, we’ll be opting to buy essentials as we go. There really is no need to take a year’s supply of paracetamol and blister plasters. Oh and travel insurance – I’m not risking going without it, or going with the cheapest one I can find.

It’s all about more comfort… less hassle. Flashpackers fly business class, right..?

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