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Flashpacking in your 40s and 50s…just makes sense

Flashpacking? Like…what? If you, like me, are in that age range, you might not have heard about this word ever: Flashpacking, until now, of course. Well, same here my friend. Welcome to the some-how-too-advanced-for-us 21st Century.

I had no clue that this existed and backpacking was as far as my knowledge goes. You grab a light baggage and travel the world on a tight budget.

Because of this definition, we assume this is something you can only do when you are young. As in no responsibilities (or minimum), no kids, etc.

And therefore the question: Is 40 too old to go backpacking? Can easily cross your mind (it crossed mine).


What is Flashpacking? 

I’ll say it my own way. Flashpacking is backpacking with money. Sort of a posh backpacking we could say.

Now, who says you cannot go backpacking with money too? Why assume everyone who goes backpacking has no (or limited) money?

I think that is a limiting belief (of mine at least).

Apparently this term already existed back in 2004. In this article in The Guardian by Paul Miles he already defines flashpacking as: “An incongruous mix of slumming it and luxury; of adventurous travel with those on a budget by day and sedate dining and sleeping with the better off by night”.

Another definition by The Flashpacking Family is this: “Put simply, flashpacking is a mix of backpacking and luxury travel, giving the independent vibe of backpacking and the budget to allow for some luxury splurges on your trip”.

Luxury hotel
Luxury hotel for Flashpacking

I can see the point there, however, I wouldn’t go as far as using ‘luxury travel’ either. In my humble opinion adding elements of luxury to a trip would then kill the vibe of backpacking in its essence.

Is there an ideal age to go flashpacking?

Regardless of the age, many people take a sabbatical year for example just to travel this way. They might have a budget for that, I agree, but it doesn’t have to be tight, right?

Some other people might not even need a sabbatical year. In this time and era, remote working is a huge thing. So, essentially and depending on the type of work of course, you could go backpacking or flashpacking and still work even if part time.

I mean, options are endless here.

Age has nothing to do with being able to go backpacking

Age has nothing to do with being able to go backpacking or flashpacking. Circumstances are what matters.

You may be young and have disposable income (or Dad’s bank) and you may be over 40 (or 50, or 60…) and take on this adventure as well.

The distinction I’d make with regards to age is that older age equals more experience and less BS tolerance. And I wonder, someone this age (me for example) had not considered backpacking as a possibility before purely because of the association with the ‘cheap’ vibe attached to it.

Whereas, knowing that a term has been invented now for “backpacking with money” makes it more attractive.

How much difference is backpacking vs flashpacking?

I honestly think this is quite impossible to get right, however, lots of websites out there give exact figures. It all depends on the countries you are visiting and how much you are willing to spend!

These are good resources though since it comes from experienced people who have already done it (or you would think so, lol).

So if you are beginning to think about the possibility of going on one of these adventures, you might find these links interesting:

How Much Does it Cost To Travel 1 Year

Europe Backpacking Budget Planner

How much Does it Cost to travel the World for a year in 2022


Now, interestingly enough, there is not much data about how much Flashpacking cost…yet. I think we are in front of a very new term.

I have found this article though: Thailand: What it cost us for 2 weeks of flashpacking and, surprisingly, these people spent £3,605 in two weeks of Flashpacking! Blimey!

Will Flashpacking be the next trendy thing?

Now is when I put my sarcastic hat on. I think that the majority of people live under this societal invisible pact (called the matrix) where you don’t want to stand out of the crowd in order to not be excluded from the group.

I am convinced there are many going flashpacking already (so sleeping in decent Hotels, basically) and still considering their adventure as a plain “hey, I-am-so-cool” backpacker.

My point being,since it is not THAT trendy at the moment (how could it be when we are living the worst fabricated recession in history), backpacking keeps being in the majority of people’s minds.


But…let this pantomime take another color in the next few years when they decide to print more money and say the economy is back on track…and I think more and more people will say (and be comfortable admitting) that they prefer to travel comfortably and sleep in nice beds but still travel with a backpack full of dreams.

We are going towards the Golden Age my friends. The world has never been this interesting and upside down. It all will be put in the right place at the right time. And, you know, traveling is a wonderful thing that we all have the right to experience at some point in our lives.

It doesn’t matter the age or the budget you have, you only need the willingness and passion to make it happen.