Flashpacking 101

The current state of the economy has significantly changed the travel industry. Deals and discounts are abundant and "staycations" and roadtrips are more popular than ever. One of the more recent travel trends bears the cheeky title "flashpacking" - also known as backpacking with a little flash. Instead of bumming rides down the highway and 20-bed dorm rooms, it's low-cost airlines and decent accommodations with nice bathrooms. One blog simply describes it as "the kind of backpacking that doesn’t have the pesky constraints of a shoestring budget."

TravelandLeisure.com has some excellent suggestions for flashpacking hot spots: Germany’s loftlike BaxPax Berlin (doubles from $64); Loki Lima (doubles from $25), in Peru, with a popular rooftop lounge; and Cape Town’s 13-room Daddy Long Legs Art Hotel (doubles from $83). Sounds like a good deal to me!

B&Bs can also be a good option for the flashpacker inclined. You'll get a room and breakfast included for added value, not to mention the charm and comfort of a real home. Check out BedandBreakfast.com to find an inn that suits your travel outing.

For those of you who thought that "luxury" and "hostel" would never be friends, take a look at Habitat Hostel in Singapore. Habitat proudly declares itself a "boutique flashpackers hostel" and the accomodations are quite inviting. Chic design, fully air-conditioned rooms and unique self-enclosed sleeping pods (complete with reading light and a small ledge for personal items) are ideally meshed with social activities and a prime location - everything you need for a five-star hostel experience. I think it's safe to call that FabTravel.

Essentialy, a "flashpacker" wants to travel without spending too much money, but is willing to pay extra for nice accommodations, good food and whatever else comes along the way. So what do you think? Are YOU a flashpacker?