I had always categorised ourselves as budget backpackers — always wanting to travel and see the world with our limited funds and experience as much as we can wherever we go. As much as budgeting goes, we would always have a bottom line in terms of travelling which we would never cross. It was never really that budget, we would go for cheap options but not the cheapest, maybe because:
1. The reviews weren’t good, or
2. We don’t have a private bathroom, or
3. The location was shit, or
4. The amenities didn’t look great, or
… so on and so forth.
So one morning, I woke up with an epiphany. What if, we weren’t budget backpackers at all? True, I definitely desire luxury travelling, all without the money woes, just doing whatever experiences the destination has to offer. But life isn’t that easy, is it? So I chanced upon this phrase called “Luxury Backpacker”. We find that extreme budgeting in backpacking trips is actually very soul-draining, and we do find ourselves in the comfort of nice hotels sometimes 🙂
Luxury backpacking is also known as Flashpacking, and these travellers generally have a higher budget than budget backpackers, but not lavish enough to be staying in high end luxury hotels. We all strive to have a luxurious life, to be able to relax and enjoy while traveling with the least amount of damage to our wallets as possible. So, here are a few traits of Luxury backpacking that we found out:
– Generally middle-aged travelers (don’t think that we fall in that category YET, have we ;~;)
– Choosing the more luxurious but still cheap accommodation
– Picky with the quality of accommodation: such as having a clean toilet, private/ensuite room, great overall reviews…
– Wouldn’t mind spending more money on better food such as cafes, restaurants etc. from time to time
– Packing in any (unnecessary) luxury items such as face masks, essential oils, nice handbags, extra clothes, heels… or rather, having a wide variety of clothes and being able to do a ‘fashion show’ even while traveling.
Yea, that’s basically us. Which is why we love traveling with our car: everything is inside and we don’t even need to think about what to pack (how great is that?!) And it’s not a bad thing, I love that we are luxury backpacking now because, let’s face it. Singapore is an amazing country with clean amenities, clean roads, clean houses, and we all grew up in that. Stepping out of our comfort zone can be a little daunting albeit exciting, but in the long run, you’ll miss the luxurious lifestyle that comes with being in Singapore.
With luxury backpacking, you can enjoy backpacking without the fuss. So here’s how we do it:
- Do extensive research between these few websites, and look at the photos and ratings.
- Never go for any accommodation which has less than 75% rating.
- Look at the worst reviews the accommodation can possibly have, and then compare it with the best reviews. Weigh your pros and cons whether this accommodation is worth it’s price and reviews.
Here are a few websites which we normally do research on:
– Airbnb: there are many different Airbnb options out there that are amazing, with really clean rooms and toilets and hopefully you can even get a ‘private’ toilet because the host has one of their own! And, the best Airbnbs are where you can do your laundry for free — you save A TON of money! (In our case, AUD$5 for every wash and drying) Use this link to sign up with Airbnb and get a discount on your first booking! 🙂
– Expedia: You can collect Expedia points which translates to discounts on your stay, so it might make your stay cheaper than it actually is!
– Agoda: Sometimes, Agoda has discounts and offers of their own, so you can apply these discounts for a cheaper luxury room.
- Google Maps is your best friend. Find the top restaurants/cafes with more than 4.0 ratings. The higher the number of reviews, the better, too.
- When buying groceries, check out your cheaper options. Since we are in Australia, the produce here are so fresh and there are many organic produce too.
- Choose the organic produce wisely (if you are going for them) As a general rule of thumb for budget luxury, don’t bother getting organic produce if you are not eating the skin. There isn’t much point in that.
- Buy things which are on sale. Sign up for the supermarkets’ emailer where you can check out what’s on sale every week. For us in Australia, we are signed up to Woolworths and Coles. It might even be cheaper than Aldi sometimes!
- Best thing about traveling as 2 girls: we get double the wardrobe!!! Truly, there are only a few pieces of essential clothing you need, but it doesn’t hurt to pack more dresses and sports clothes and shoes, right? 🙂 Oh and bags too. There is ALWAYS a bag for every occasion 😉
- Toners, moisturizers, sunblocks, face masks, exfoliators, you name it, we bring it. Who says you have to skimp on your skincare routine when backpacking?
- Make up! You definitely need that brow pencil, foundation, eyeshadow palette, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, lip gloss… It doesn’t hurt to have more lipsticks too, since there’s also a lipstick for every occasion 🙂
- Soap, shampoos, scrubs, body oils… Why get the cheapest, shittiest type when you can pay a little more to get a better one to pamper your own body? Self care is a form of luxury, too!
True budget backpackers might say most of these stuff is unnecessary and that you can spend more money on the destination’s experiences, but this is how luxury backpacking works! Be willing to spend a little more money on yourself and sweep it all under self care would justify everything you do (or rather, we do).
Different budgets definitely bring about different forms of experiences, but if you’re a working adult and ready to explore the world with the money you’ve earned, why not spend a little more on yourself on the trip too?
Are you a luxury backpacker? Tell us your best travel stories and tips; we’d love to hear them! 🙂 And maybe we can even become friends along the way!
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