Do you long for more comfort while travelling? Stuffy hostels and loud traveler parties are suddenly a frustrating experience? Maybe the time has come to ask yourself if you are still a backpacker or already a flashpacker.
Backpacking is more than just a certain style of travelling – it is a way of life. If you want to explore countries completely on your own and comfort is not your first priority so that your travel budget lasts longer, you have a very different approach than an all-inclusive tourist.
At some point, however, it doesn’t feel as good as it once did. Suddenly little things start to annoy you that you simply accepted in the past. The attitude you used to have on your low-budget trips around the world is simply no longer there. We’ve summarized five signs that you are no longer a backpacker.
1. Air conditioning in the room is no longer optional, but a must-have
Anyone who has been backpacking in the tropics knows that although air conditioning is harming the environment, it feels damn good at night. The reason why young backpackers go for the sweaty alternative is the price: an air-conditioned room costs a bit more. However, if you suddenly realize that you don’t mind to spend a little bit more, as long as you can sleep well, this is a sign that you are no longer the tough backpacker you used to be.
2. You book a private room more often than a dorm
Another sign of the end of your backpacker life is the need for privacy – ideally every night. No one will judge you if you chose the “private room” option – but it is also a strong indication that you prefer comfort to saving money these days.
Catching up with fellow backpackers is of course easier if you stay in dorms, but there are some obvious disadvantages choosing this kind of accommodation: snoring roommates, “quietly” whispering drunks who turn up hours after you, the labyrinth of clotheslines and drying underwear of other people. At some point you can no longer stand this and only wish for some peace and quiet after an exhausting day.
3. You book budget airlines only in an emergency
Who hasn’t come across them – the super favorable offers on the well-known flight portals, which promise to get you from A to B at a ridiculous price. However, every backpacker learns over time that these deals are often the most uncomfortable (and unsecure!) way to fly.
But who can turn down an offer like flying from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney for less than 200 euros? Well, your knees, which will be pressed against your front man’s back seat for the next eight hours, will let you clearly feel your bargain.
So it’s not surprising if you are no longer keen on this form of transport. You earn enough money, you have a lot of responsibility in the job and/or a high workload and therefore don’t want to be bothered by all the small inconveniences you accepted as a young, poor backpacker during your well-deserved holiday.
4. You get bored at backpacker parties
Ever been to a full-moon party? Have you made friends for life at a pub crawl through the city’s traveler bars or at the beer pong tournament in the hostel bar? Do you remember how it felt to dance on the beach under the endless starry sky together with people from all over the world? And all this at fabulously low drinking prices? That is simply part of a great trip for many backpackers.
But since you don’t drink as much alcohol anymore, you can’t deal with all those youngsters and the loud (and bad) music anymore. Drinking games don’t interest you (anymore). Shallow flirts are nice, but it would be nice if the person was at least the same age – or lived on the same continent.
5. You are tired of baggage optimization
What is almost a status symbol among experienced backpackers can be a nuisance after years of frugal travel: the optimization of your baggage. Of course, if you travel a lot and for a long time, you think a lot about whether you really need each item you plan to bring along. The less you have to carry, the easier it is to travel.
Of course, you are aware of that. But now you tend to pack more clothes while not only having functionality, but also style aspects in mind. Maybe you are also thinking about a bigger backpack – or even one similar as a trolley? Then this puts you in good company among flashpackers.