Destinations

What the hell is a ‘flashpacker’?

Hannah Edensor

No, we haven’t misspelt ‘backpacker’, but rather are shining a light on a whole new type of traveller, and they’re not schlepping around with giant packs and minimal spending money.

A new trend from Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) has brought attention to the ‘flashpacker’, the newest tourist you ought to keep an eye out for.

Basically, they’re described as being the usual backpacking age – between 18 and 24 – however come with a high disposable income, and few major household expenses (AKA no mortgages or flashy cars).

TTF’s Chief Executive, Margy Osmond, said these people are keen on spending their hard-earned cash on big holidays, and exploring the world in a way their parents never could.

“The days of young people travelling with little more than the shirts on their back are well and truly over,” Osmond said.

“What we are seeing is the rise of the flashpacker — young travellers who are seeing Australia and the world in a way their parents might not have.”

“More and more young people look to be choosing to postpone a long-term savings plan.

“[They are] opting to take more extensive and adventurous holidays and to increasingly look to gain life experiences such as exploring different cultures, learning languages and gaining work experience through travel.”

New TTF research has shown that young people plan to spend more on their summer holiday than any other age bracket.

In partnership with Nielsen, TTF research showed nearly one-quarter (21 per cent) of Aussies aged 18 to 24 plan to spend between $2000 and $5000 on their summer vacation, while 11 per cent intend to spend more than $5000.

This compares to just eight per cent of people aged 45 – 64 and 13 per cent of people aged 65 and over who plan to spend between $2000 and $5000. Most Australians (79 per cent) plan on spending less than $2000 on their holiday break – with four per cent planning on getting away with spending nothing.

According to the survey, Tasmanians are the least likely to spend up big on a holiday, with three in four people (75 per cent) spending $500 or less, NSW and ACT residents are the most likely to spend $2000 or more (23 per cent).

Meanwhile, West Australians are the biggest high-end spenders, with 13 per cent planning on spending $5000 or more.

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