Backpacking is a relatively common word, travelling on a budget, using a backpack, most of the time for longer distances and visiting many different places. But have you ever heard of a flashpacker? Or Grey gappers? If these terms don’t mean anything to you, don’t be ashamed. In this article, we will explain to you the meaning of the terms and the differences between them.


Let’s start with a little bit of history. It all started with the hippies in the early 60’s. This was the time when peace and love was in the air and hundreds of free souls went on a journey from Europe to Asia. They had a very free way of traveling and budget accommodation was important, the travellers could only find this off the beaten track. They travelled around with a bag on their backs for a long period of time and visited many countries. They used local transport and hitchhiked a lot. When the Lonely Planet was introduced, this was the preparation for the journey. The term backpacker was born.


Backpackers nowadays are most of the time young people who are travelling before going to university of just after they graduated. They are going on an adventure, to explore other parts of the world, to experience new cultures, to meet new people and to party. And all of this with a small budget. Most of the backpackers stay in dormitories during their travels. A great opportunity to meet new friends and travel companions and a way to save some money. Ashanti Gardens offers beautiful dorms for backpackers who are visiting Cape Town. The dorms are provided with personal safes, international plug points and individual reading lights. Everything to make your stay as comfortable as possible.  

pictures of hostel gardens


Flashpacking can also be described as luxury backpacking or champagne backpackers. They have a slightly higher budget than backpackers and they are (most of the time) a bit older. Some flashpackers still travel with a backpack but some are travelling with a suitcase. They rather take a cheap, domestic flight than a 10-hour bus ride. The places where they sleep diverse from a private room in a hostel to a mid-range hotel room. The perfect place for flashpackers in Cape Town is the Ashanti Accommodation. It is new, super stylish and offers a sophisticated alternative for flashpackers looking for a more privat and a bit more luxury accommodation.

pictures greenpoint

Grey gappers  

Gap years are generally linked to students and young people, who are taking a break before or after going to university to backpack around the world. But less and less students are thinking about taking a gap year due to the increasing university fees and there is a new kind of traveller in the travel industry: the grey gappers have arrived! Grey gappers are normally retired – with time, money and an urge to go on a several months or longer holiday. Obvious, grey gappers and ‘conventional’ gappers do different things on their journey. Grey gappers will travel in much more comfort, will stay in b&b’s and hotels and go to different destinations. You won’t find them partying on the southern islands of Thailand but they go to places like India, New Zealand, Africa and America. The countries they could only dream of when they were young. Ashanti has the perfect place to stay for grey gappers. The Ashanti guesthouses offer a bit more privacy with their own bathrooms, satellite television and unlimited free Wi-Fi. Perfect for grey gappers.

pictures guesthouse
So whatever kind of traveller you are, Ashanti has the perfect dorm or room for you to stay. Grey gappers, flashpackers and backpackers are all more than welcome to stay with us in the most beautiful city in the world: Cape Town. We are looking forward to welcoming you here.

cape town