Backpacking is the latest modern travel trend
Thursday, March 20, 2014
A new British TV show called "Tom Daley Goes Global" gives us a glimpse of the future of budget travel.
The popular British travel host will now be seen backpacking around the world with his best friend Sophie Lee. They have a map charted for interesting places that sound tremendously exotic and expensive but now can be easily visited with some practical backpacking ideas under the belt.
Backpacking was often considered mainly for hiking and camping, but in many ways it is now slowly transforming into an independent and low-cost international travel option for individuals or a small group of people.
This trend may have begun as an economic solution for the travel-hungry who had major budget constraints but soon became the preferred mode for many. When finances improved, travelers had more funds than before, yet the freedom they experienced as a backpacker remained.
Now, backpacking is considered one of the trendiest travel options, and often is called flashpacking or poshpacking. "Flash" here means fancy, and the terms denote backpacking with a bigger budget with more style and travel comforts than before.
These terms are often used for the more affluent backpackers who do not really have to backpack to save money but choose to do so because they like the freedom associated with this mode of travel. Jennie Germann Molz's research paper, “The Social Affordances of Flashpacking: Exploring the Mobility Nexus of Travel and Communication," shows how the digital revolution and the shrinking globe have contributed to the social evolution of backpacking to the more sophisticated flashpacking.
With laptops and smartphones, backpackers are no longer bidding adieu to all comforts or communications, but are instead benefiting from the absolute convergence of tourism and technology.
According to Molz, the digital revolution with smartphones, tablets, apps, Facebook, Twitter, cheap international calls and video chats have changed the people travel and experience their travels. They are no longer isolated in their travels but are in fact connected to special groups and networks around the world who share their interests along with their friends and families.
Molz has also thrown light on the fact that the travel industry is gearing up to capitalize on these emerging trends and increasing interaction between technology and the upcoming travel trends.
Backpacking no longer denotes exhausting and harrowing adjustments while traveling on a budget. Now it has matured into more upscale travel, thanks to the proliferation of cheaper flights and hotels that are smartly marketed online for backpackers and budget travelers.
In fact, with sophisticated technology at hand, one can now even run a business out of a backpack, according to Andy Steves, CEO of Weekend Student Adventures. The idea that something like this could be possible would have been laughed right off the stage even a few years back.
Backpacking has definitely arrived — not just as a popular mode for traveling but as a way of life.
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