Why Travelers Are Upscaling

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					                                    Presented by Daniel Toriola

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                                       Why Travelers Are Upscaling
                                             By Matthew Kepnes

   Somewhere before my bus broke down in Australia, I was called a flashpacker. Despite traveling for
18 months, it was the first time I’d heard the term. A flashpacker is defined as a person, unusually in
their mid 20s to early 30s, who travels like a backpacker but has more disposal money as well as
electronics such as a camera or laptop. Flashpackers also expect better hotels and services.

 Neither fully backpacker nor tourist, flashpackers are new to the traveling vocabulary. Flashpackers
rest in hostels, carry a backpack, and find cheap transport but blow their money on meals, beer, tours,
and parties. They usually aren’t going into a hostel without a reservation or wearing the same shirt for a
week. A number of hostels are up scaling to accommodate the growing wants and desires of
flashpackers and you’ll find them in all corners of the planet. Flashpackers still have no fixed voyage
and all the time to meander around but don’t pinch every penny. They are backpackers with means.

 Backpacking is not about a look, it’s a lifestyle. Just because a person doesn’t have a certain look,
doesn’t mean they lack the will of a backpacker. It doesn’t make them less of a backpacker. It goes
against the backpacker outlook to look down on someone because they travel a different way. Aren’t
we supposed to be embracing different ways of life?

 It all comes down to what makes a backpacker a backpacker. That’s sprit. The desire to explore new
places and experience new people. Backpacking is about opening your mind to new things and looking
differently at the world. It’s not about the stuff you carry. As your spirit is the same, what stuff you carry
shouldn’t matter.

 We’re all flashpackers, whether you like it or not. We may not be driving up to the hostel in a limo but
we all expect a little “flash” nowadays. According to a Hostelworld study in 2006, 21 percent of people
travel with a laptop, 54 percent with an MP3 player, 83 percent with a mobile phone and a whopping 86
percent travel with a digital camera.

 Think about your last excursion- how many travelers did you see with cameras? Ipods? Laptops? I
can’t remember seeing one person without a camera, and at least 3/4 of the people I saw had Ipods.

 The truth is we all travel with expensive electronics now. We check our email and Skype our friends.
We all have a camera and most of us have an Ipod. We are flashpackers and it’s not a bad thing. All
this stuff allows us to stay better connected with our friends, our family, and helps us better document

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                                  Presented by Daniel Toriola

our travels. The key is to once in awhile to put down the camera, turn off the computer, and enjoy the
culture you came to see.

 The backpacker who set off with 1 shirt, a small pack, and two baht to his name is getting hard to find.
Most of us have a little more income and expect a little more but we still carry his spirit. We still seek
new cultures, exotic locales, and long term travel. We still look for cheap hostels and transport. We
camp on that jungle trek. The difference is that now we also want a location to plug in our camera,
check our e-mail, and take a hot shower. We just want to be pampered…once in awhile.

Matthew Kepnes is a lifelong backpacker and recent flashpacker who has spent many years traveling
around the world. Visit his website at http://www.how-to-travel-the-world.com and learn more about
flashpacking at http://www.how-to-travel-the-world.com/flashpacking/

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                                  Presented by Daniel Toriola

                              A Travelers Guide To Currency Exchange
                                          By Stephen Kreutzer

 Exchanging currency is something frequent travelers must become familiar with. There are many
different currencies around the world. Finding out how to exchange currency and where to do it can
help travelers get the most out of their money.

The following outlines the major places that will exchange money for travelers. Also indicated are any
problems or concerns about exchanging currency using the methods.

1. Airports. Airports will exchange currency for travelers at desks they have set up for this purpose.
They usually offer exchange rates that are the worst available. They charge high fees which can
sometimes be as high as 20% of the exchange amount. This type of exchange is most convenient for
the time pressured traveler. It is conveniently located at the airport and it is easy to do a transaction.

2. Banks. Local banks are happy to exchange currency. They often offer the best rates and do not
charge fees that are too high. Banks tend to use exchange rates based on the actual traded values.
Banks, however, are limited in hours of operation and may be unable to exchange certain currency or
large amounts.

3. Credit and Debit cards. This is the quickest and easiest way to exchange currency. Most major
credit cards work world wide without hassle. The exchange rates are competitive which keeps them
low. Travelers should alert their credit card company that they are using it outside of their home
country so it does not get deactivated as security precaution.

4. ATM machines. They are easy to use, but also pose a risk of high fees associated with their use.
Travelers wishing to use ATM’s outside of their home country should discuss fees first with their bank.

Travelers may find many different places to exchange currency. The four listed here are the most
commonly used options. Each has an up and down side and the one a traveler chooses depends on
their own needs and concerns.

Stephen Kreutzer is a freelance publisher based in Cupertino, California. He publishes articles and
reports in various ezines and provides resources on currency exchange at http://www.cybertopics.com

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                                  Presented by Daniel Toriola

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