HAWAII

HAWAII VACATION OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to planning a Hawaii vacation

MAUI HAWAII OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Maui. Backpacking Maui Hawaii

BIG ISLAND HAWAII OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to the Big Island. Backpacking Big Island Hawaii

OAHU HAWAII OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Oahu. Backpacking Oahu Hawaii

LANAI HAWAII OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Lanai. Backpacking Lanai Hawaii

HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Haleakala National Park

PEARL HARBOR NATIONAL MEMORIAL OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Pearl Harbor National Memorial park

 

 

MICHIGAN

MICHIGAN VACATION OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to planning a Michigan road trip

MICHIGAN NATIONAL LAKESHORE PARKS OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Michigan national lakeshore parks

UPPER PENINSULA MICHIGAN ROAD TRIP OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Upper Peninsula Michigan

MICHIGAN LIGHTHOUSES OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Michigan lighthouses on Lake Superior of the Great Lakes

PICTURED ROCKS NATIONAL LAKESHORE OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore park

SLEEPING BEAR DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE PARK OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Sleeping Bear Dunes national lakeshore park in Michigan

PORCUPINE MOUNTAINS STATE PARK OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

KEWEENAW PENINSULA OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Keweenaw Peninsula

MICHIGAN OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Michigan vacation spots - Grand Marais MI

MICHIGAN OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Michigan vacation spots - South Haven beach town

MICHIGAN OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Michigan vacation spots - Lake Michigan beaches

MICHIGAN CAMPING OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to camping in Michigan

 

 

THE DAKOTAS

SOUTH DAKOTA OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to south dakota

SOUTH DAKOTA OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to south dakota badlands national park

SOUTH DAKOTA OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to camping in south dakota badlands national park

SOUTH DAKOTA OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to south dakota black hills

SOUTH DAKOTA OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to south dakota mount rushmore national memorial park

SOUTH DAKOTA OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to south dakota jewel cave national monument park

SOUTH DAKOTA OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to south dakota wildlife and bighorn sheep

NORTH DAKOTA OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to north dakota

 

 

WYOMING

WYOMING OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to planning wyoming road trip

WYOMING OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to wyoming hiking to alpine lakes

WYOMING OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to wyoming yellowstone national park

WYOMING OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to wyoming grand teton national park

WYOMING OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to wyoming devils tower national monument park

WYOMING OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to wyoming snowy range scenic byway, medicine bow national forest

 

 

IDAHO

IDAHO OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to idaho craters of the moon national monument park

IDAHO OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to idaho lava tubes craters of the moon caves

IDAHO OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to idaho mesa falls scenic byway, targhee national forest

 

 

SOUTHWEST

SOUTHWEST NATIONAL PARK ROAD TRIP OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to southwest national parks in Arizona and Utah

BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Bryce Canyon National Park

ZION NATIONAL PARK OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Zion National Park

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Grand Canyon National Park

SOUTHWEST NATIONAL PARK OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
 

 

APPALACHIANS

GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to Great Smoky Mountains National Park

GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Clingman's Dome summit hiking

GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK OUTDOOR TRAVEL BLOG: Independent traveler's guide to hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Mt LeConte summit hiking

 

 

What is flackpacking?

Well, there may be a few different ways to think of what flashpacking means depending on who you ask. But to me, flashpacking is traveling with the backpacker spirit while being okay with paying a little bit extra on your travels now and then.

 

Backpacking vs flashpacking: Here is a little bit of my evolution from “backpacker” to “flashpacker”

I started off my solo international travel days as a penny pinching backpacker… a “frugal” backpacker.

It started in Europe with my bike. So actually I guess I started off as a frugal “bikepacker”!

What are often the biggest expenses of travel anywhere? Transportation, accommodation, and food.

The bicycle eliminated many transportation costs.

For that month of traveling in Europe, I also spent minimal on accommodation by staying with locals. Actually, that eliminated all accommodation costs. (Yes, all! The good old days of couchsurfing!)

For the first couple of weeks, I also survived mostly on food that I brought from home. That significantly reduced initial food costs.

After that month or so, I left my bike behind and got on a flight to India. I guess this is where I started real “backpacking”… shoestring budget travel with nothing but a backpack!

While in India (and anywhere in the world, really), I would have rather walked a mile than pay $1 for a ride to get around. On return trips to India, I regularly opted to take local buses and general class trains to get around.

I have now traveled to nearly 40 countries, and I’d say the majority of my travel was with this budget traveler mindset.

Nowadays, I’m not as frugal as I used to be, and I will trade in money for convenience and comfort (way) more than I used to.

But even so, I still have this feeling of why pay when there’s a cheaper option!

For example, I have done a lot of camping in the past couple of years. I’ve been camping in Hawaii, Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee, North Carolina, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho, and Wyoming! And it’s not necessarily because I love camping. (Although I do love the views that come with some campgrounds!)

In fact, I think camping is a ton of work that I’d rather not do.

But, once you get past the initial costs of camping (all the gear you need to buy), then camping becomes much cheaper than staying in hotels.

And because of that, sometimes I just can’t help but feel that I’d rather stay at a campground than a hotel!

But there are times that I have ended up in a hotel.

Like that one time I set up my tent ready to camp in Nebraska for $15 but it was just soooo windy. (I left the campground.)

Or that time I was seriously considering camping in 30F degree weather in Wyoming because the alternative was a $200+ hotel. (I chose warmth by making a same-day hotel booking.)

So recently I will spend more money on travel than I used to, but I think I will always have a sort of backpacker spirit in one way or another.

And it is with this kind of travel mindset that I go off to explore America in search of amazing views!