All-inclusive resorts, Egyptian cotton sheets and an infinity pool are so 2014.
This year is all about what you do, not just where you go. It’s about searching out unique experiences like bathing retired elephants in Burma or sharing food and rice wine with local tribes in Northern Vietnam.
2015 is the year of travelling for the stories, not just the tan; 2015 is the year of the flashpacker. But this is why you shouldn’t just take our word for it.
A flashpacker is a tech-savvy individual who has the spirit of a backpacker, but the lifestyle of a jet-setter. They utilise changing technologies and changing attitudes to get the most out of every travel experience. They seek out meetings with locals, try the best local cuisine and – of course – the very best local wine. They won’t settle for the grotty hostel room of their youth and instead demand boutique hotels with a spa to end each action-packed day.
Gone are the days when they would travel with nothing more than the clothes on their back and their favourite guidebook. These days these intrepid explorers carry laptops, tablets and mobile phones which they use as their travel documents, translators, GPS’s and, in some cases, their hotel room key. If 2015 is being hailed as the year technology starts to have a real impact on travel then the average flashpacker has been ready for years.
Related: 2017 Travel Trends You Need to Know
Richard Branson’s Virgin have called 2015 the year the term flashpacker is set to come into it’s own and we couldn’t agree more. Flashpackers are forging a new path in travel, one which combines cultural and foodie experiences with a new idea of luxury – a luxury defined by how you do it, not just where.
More and more solo travellers are also looking for adventure holidays with a bit more substance and charm. They don’t want what the average tour company is selling – they want more. They want to get off the crowded tourist train and go where the locals go. Traditional group holidays for solo travellers aren’t quite cutting the mustard, but the tide is changing thanks to this new breed of traveller.
Flashpackers want to learn to cook local food, get involved in local communities and stay in accommodation that adds to the experience rather than detracts from it. This has been highlighted in World Travel Market’s Global Trends Report in which they predict that social tourism will be one of the leading trends for 2015. With companies like Airbnb set to skyrocket and smaller websites such as EatWith and Localoids rising in popularity, this trend towards “going where the locals go” has never been more prominent.
The world is becoming increasingly accessible thanks to cheaper airfare and astounding technological advances. Where somebody would have spent their annual leave on a two-week break in a luxury resort, now they are looking for those once in a lifetime experiences. Instead of simply spending their holidays on a beach, they now have the opportunity to cover entire continents within the confines of their allocated holiday days, gaining real life insights into how the locals live and making a positive impact along the way.
Within three weeks it is now imaginable – and very achievable – to cover the entire South American continent. Within this time you can learn to cook in Lima, climb to the top of Machu Picchu, explore the Bolivian Salt Flats, take a drive through the Chilean Andes, go wine tasting in an Argentinian vineyard and even have time to chill out by the beaches of Brazil before heading back to the 9-5 grind.
Related trip: Brazil group adventure for solo travellers
2015 is the year that all of this becomes reality, not just the stuff of dreams, and we have flashpackers to thank for it. Because they demand more from their travel experiences and believe that every aspect of their trip should be fulfilling and genuine. Thanks to them the travel industry has started to listen to this, and are finally beginning to keep up. The Flash Pack just beat them to it.
Who is flashpacking perfect for?
Stuck for solo travel ideas? Fancy something new and totally different? We got your back.
Those of us that like the finer things in life, but still yearn for the adventure holidays of their youth.
The traveller who wants to jump on the experiential travel bandwagon.
Lovers of technology in travel.
Trend-setters who love to be ahead of the game… You know who you are.
People who hate outdated and generic group tours and wish they could find a company who is doing things differently… Hello!