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Different Types of Budget Travellers

The overpacker...

Greetings from Cyprus!

Budget travel means different things to different people. We have the bums, the backpackers, the flashpackers, the location independents, and then the idiots like me who spend 50% + of their budget on booze (an Irish budget).

Lets see how these different traveller budgets compare:


The Bum: Bare Minimum. His clothes smell like cat piss. Always nicks the hostel soap and will use your deodorant when you’re not in the room. Occasionally steals a t-shirt. May  carry a knife.

The Backpacker: The basics: clothes, toiletries, guide book. Anything else their mammys reminded them to pack.

The Flashpacker: Electronics. Laptops, fancy camera, iPad, iPhone, tweakers, kindle, the fancy malaria medication. Always travels with insurance. Has a special tent with with some solar powered air conditioning thingy.

The Location independent: Carry their whole lives on their back.

The Irish: Wakes up with a hangover and just about remembers to pack his passport. Ends up buying half the stuff he forgot at the airport or while away.


The Bum: Couchsurfing, camping, cheapest dorms in town. Won’t stay in a city with no cheap options. On several occasions has considered sleeping on the street.

The Backpacker: Mainly Dorms, may pay a bit extra for location.

The Flashpacker: Private rooms. Occasionally a hotel if they don’t want to mix with the proles.

The Location-Independent: Negotiate long term rates at hostels. Apartments.

The Irish: The gutter, nightclub toilet, or a penthouse suite at the Hilton. Not knowing how they got there in the first place.


The Bum: Reluctantly visits the must-sees. May fast the next day as a result. Takes free tours and doesn’t tip.

The Backpacker: Does the must sees. Occasionally splurges on an adrenaline rush like bungee jumping. Chickens out.

The Flashpacker: No expenses spared. Goes on safari and takes the premium package. Hires a private car to bring to them the really out of the way stuff. Smugly tells you all about it later while showing you the pictures on his 1 million zoom camera.

The Location-Independent: Not pushed. Knows they can do it anytime. Ends up not doing it.

The Irish: Mainly nocturnal and does just enough to relief the guilt. Eventually does the must-sees, but hungover and tends not the appreciate them. Considers the local bar as the main tourist attraction.


The Bum: Avoids going out. When eventually dragged out by others at the hostel, nurses one beer all night. May steal drinks.

The Backpacker: Gets a few cheap beers before they go out. Cautious not to overspend while out. Might not enter nightclub if entry fee is too high. Often thinks about getting a hip flash, but never gets around to it.

The Flashpacker: Wine at dinner followed by cocktails. Has no problem with entry fees. Gets taxis home even when its only a 10 minute walk.

The Location Independent: Mainly goes out for the weekend, so can afford to spend a bit when they do. Know where to get good value. More often than not spends their nights at home, downing hard liquor and looking at porn, unless they have a date.

The Irish: Drinking starts at at breakfast. No expenses spared. Starts rounds, much to everyone’s annoyance. Won’t stop drinking until either bar closes, they can’t stand or they pick up. If they do pick up, they’re dick might not share their enthusiasm.


The Bum: Hitches. Uses the local transport. Finds the cheapest possible way around. Will walk for two hours from the bus stations to the hostel if it could save them money.

The Backpacker: Uses local transport, occasionally opting for the express bus or the one with air con. May book a flight or two if they need to make up time.

The Flashpacker: Takes flights everywhere. Uses taxi constantly. Doesn’t mind upgrading on the train. Considers local transport ‘icky’.

The Irish: Misses the bus.


The Bum: Beans and toast. Shops at the local supermarket and cooks in hostel. May resort from stealing your food from the fridge. Occasionally splashes out on street food. Their idea of a restaurant is a bus station burger joint.

The Backpacker: Pizza. Cooks in hostel the odd time, but usually grabs a bite around the corner.

The Flashpackers: Steak. Restaurants every night. Not afraid to splurge.  After an expensive lunch in the touristy area, it’s down to the coffee shop for frappucinos and artisan cupcakes with golden sprinkles.

The Location Independant: Cooks at their place, may go out the odd time. Occasionally wonders into McDonalds for some home comforts, then feels like crap because he re-discovers how shit the food is.

The Irish: Doner kebab. Eats barely anything during the day to save money for booze. Ends up at on the take away at 3am anyway, sauce dripping on shirt. Considers a few pints a legitimate meal.

What kind of traveller are you? How’s your budget?

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29 Responses to Different Types of Budget Travellers

  1. Roosh November 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    The fact that they would actually call themselves a “flashpacker” is all you need to know about them.

  2. DB November 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    Heh. I probably count as a flashpacker these days – been there, done that with the basic-grade backpacking & dorms. And if I’m only away for 2-3 weeks, then an extra $10 a day for a private room is a fraction of the flight prices anyway.

    However, you’ve missed out the category of “adventurer” – someone who does one of the nuttier trips like the Rickshaw Run or Mototaxi Junket, driving a motorised sofa masquerading as a tuktuk, across India or the Andes

  3. dizzyz November 8, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    Definately “The Irish”, you can’t beat the 3am doner kebab that shit is like heaven when you’ve been starving yourself all day hitting pint after pint. However, when alcohol is not readily available for whatever reason and you’re forced to be sober, a hint of the flashpacker may come out.

  4. King November 9, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    All the above at different times!

  5. Shardy November 9, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    I am a passive traveler. I read about others travels and travails. The make a move.

  6. roo November 10, 2011 at 1:00 am #

    im more of a back than a flash. i always get a private room but dont really consider that flash. in cambodia, a private room was like $4 more, vietnam $10 more…i think it depends where you stay. a private room at the hilton is waaaay different to a private room on backpacker st.

    i wld not have believed you were talking the truth in regards to irish travellers if i had not 1. worked at an irish bar this year 2. read roosh’s travel memoir.

    the irish drink until closing time, forget where they have placed their half drunk drink and buy another, beg you to sell them a drink after the bar is shut and then leave looking for another bar, still bright eyed (to me anyway).

  7. I-nomad November 10, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Pretty accurate 🙂
    I’m the Location independent, I hardly ever cook, however the McDonald’s part is so true.
    See also:

  8. Jether November 10, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    Missing out on the crazy globe trotter one.
    Packing => clothes, a tent and some camping stuff.
    Sleep => in the tent or in the street (or ruins or whatever).
    Activities => cheap must-sees, but mostly gets a local to show him around.
    Nightlife => meets locals in some remote place. Gets invited for a few beers. Ends up drunk with locally-brewed alcohol.
    Transport => what is that “vehicle” fuss about anyway?
    Food => hi there! what are you cooking? Smells good!

    • Naughty Nomad November 10, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

      @Jether: I’m a crazy globetrotter, but what you just describes reads just like the bum…

  9. Jether November 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    Well, maybe somewhat of a combination, bum-level travel with backpacker-level lifestyle. The kind who sleeps in the street with a laptop and satellite GPS tracker while getting the cheapest food from local discount markets, then spends his weekly budget in a few hours to go out.

    But yeah, you’re definitely crazy, that’s what makes each article nice to read.

    • Naughty Nomad November 11, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

      I just checked out your site.. FUCK! You’re the one that’s crazy… walking around the planet… respect.

  10. Jether November 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    Hehe thanks. I really like your flag adventures too. Not to mention city guides are quite useful to me ^^
    I really have a hard time with chicks in my trip, logistics is a mess, especially now it’s so cold outside.

  11. ChinaBoy November 22, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    I guess i do not fit into any of the stereotypes:

    I pack really light (30 l). -The bum
    I have take expensive gear (camera, laptop, iphone) -flash packer
    I eat cheaply (fast food, supermarket)-the bum
    I go out at night to meet women
    I do not drink-the bum
    I sleep in dorms but i care about the location.
    I do not go to museums, stuff with entrance fee (other than clubs)-the bum

    The influences are: minimalism, meeting women.

    BTW: awesome blog…it´s really unique

  12. Dwayne November 23, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    I laughed like hell at this post (especially at the bums stealing shit), i like your style a lot,.. i spent mostly all of today going through your blog and i have seen most of it…and believe me i love this shit..i always had a dream to see the world and reading this stuff makes me want to do this stuff so bad, but cash is my problem are f#$king legend man ..f#$kin legend i say …all the best man !!

  13. Jascha November 28, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    Hey man, loving the blog.
    you’ve nailed it with the irish, I try to temper my inherent alcoholism, but sometimes the beast just comes roaring out of the cage. I’ve lost my passport and missed flights the last few trips. I like that you give us a class of our own.
    good work anyways nomad. thanks for publishing your adventures

  14. Benny January 13, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

    Your a good writer mate, funny stuff and true

    I’m Irish, was a globetrotter/backpacker but realised its better to slow down and now I’ve become location Independent, I try stay at least 3 months in each country, will probably happen to you too when you’ve had enough of riding your way around the world.

    Anyway thinking of setting up a blog meself but not sure if its worth the hassel, how longs this being up?

  15. William March 3, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    Instead of flashpacker, it should be called travel in style)). Money is to be spent on things you love to do.

  16. William March 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    My Grand Dad told me on his death bed that he spent almost all his $ on women and booze and the rest he just waisted!

  17. not william March 16, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    ^^^william is a stuck up bitch

  18. Brian Mark April 28, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    I must be part Irish, because i remember my frist trip to Europe I left my Passport at home. I went to NYC a week early to party with a friend who lived there. After a week of partying he drops me at the airport for my long awaited trip to see Europe. While in line I realize I have no passport and really wasn’t sure where it was, but was living at a University 4 1/2 hours away by car. I’ll finsish this story as a blog post on my site, because it deserves more than a paragraph. Like I said, I must be part Irish!

  19. Jayanraj July 31, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    For me it depends on visa, duration of stay and country. In countries like Tanzania, Cambodia, Armenia I was a backpacker but in Russia, Argentina a flashpacker.

    I love nature than culture. So I avoid crowds.

  20. Johnboy September 6, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    Idiot. Must not know many Irish if you think we act like that when travelling.

  21. Wald October 28, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    Forgot to add travel for location independent.

  22. duffman March 18, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    Being Irish, i guess i should take some offensive to the above category, but having done pretty much all of the stuff in the Irish category whom i am to take offensive, feck it i had my fun

  23. eric June 24, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    Location independant and irish definitely.. work in remote areas for 3 months, make a ton of cash, go somewhere random, stay in a fairly decent place, wakes up on benches, or under benches in parks then wanders through the lobby smelling like a bum

  24. RT June 6, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    We have a few Irish in India.

  25. nescio September 30, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

    Full backpack, laptop. Sometimes a private room, sometimes couch surfing. Bars, restaurants,having girls cook for me, clubs, alcohol, sometimes dating, sometimes hookers, drinking, drugs, nice clothes. No reservations, always lucky.

    Cool post, zolo.

  26. Cb0983 October 6, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

    You forgot about the prep, 3-5 star hotels, packing Ralph Loren and enough cash to party and buy what they forgot, eats at decent restaurants and goes via cab or plain. I supose this is fairly similar to the flash though

  27. Chucho November 17, 2015 at 8:58 am #

    I’m an Irish bum… from Mexico.

    Sometimes I spend a lot in alcohol, sometimes I don’t. It depends where I’m staying.

    Have you sex-surfed?

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