Flashpacking is a budget-friendly option when holidaying with kids.
Think of flashpacking as an upscale version of backpacking. It’s for budget travellers with a little more cash to spend for greater comfort, who prefer to stay in more upmarket digs, and who want free Wi-Fi or LAN thrown in because they usually travel with their gadgets.
IT’S GREAT FOR FAMILIES
Adler Poh, founder of luxury hostel Adler Hostel in Singapore, says flashpacking hostels offer a good environment for families because of the personalised service. “In a hostel, the customer is treated more as a friend. Staff aren’t desk-bound, and they’re encouraged to mingle with guests. Sometimes, they plan small gatherings or games, and even go out with guests for a meal. These are things that aren’t possible in a hotel setting.”
It also means great savings for family groups. Instead of booking several small rooms at a hotel, you can book a big private room. Heng Choon Boon, founder of Wink Hostel, a boutique hostel in Singapore, adds that flashpacking hostels are a hit with families because they offer good value, a casual environment and more personal service.
Where to Go
• LOOGCHOOB HOMESTAY IN BANGKOK, THAILAND
Located in the heart of Bangkok within a few minutes’ drive of the city’s downtown, this is an intimate five-room inn that provides you with a common guest area and hotel-like room facilities. It also offers free Wi-Fi.
For Families Up to three people can stay in the Junior Suite, which has a king-size bed and a single bed. The Family Suite has a living room along with a king-size bed and two single beds. Each has its own shower and bathtub.
Prices From 3,300 baht (S$135) a night for a Junior Suite; from 3,800 baht a night for a Family Suite. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; www.loogchoob.com
• BACKHOME IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s financial and historical district at the top end of Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, this boutique backpacker hostel is housed in a row of colonialera shophouses. You can access Wi-Fi for free at the lounge or pay a small fee to surf the Internet using one of the computer terminals. For Families Backhome recommends booking a mixed four-bed dorm or a three-bed loft. The mixed dorm includes two bunk beds and individual lockers, while the loft has a queen-size bed with a single bunk overhead. Both have washbasins but no en suite bathrooms. The hostel prefers child guests to be at least 12 years old, so if you have young kids, drop Backhome an e-mail to prepare the staff beforehand. Prices From RM48 (S$20) a bed for one night in the mixed dorm; from RM165 a night for the three-bed loft. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; www.backhome.com.my
• STUDIO41ST HOSTEL GUESTHOUSE IN SEOUL, KOREA
Studio41st Hostel Guesthouse is located in a quiet residential area near trendy Hongdae Street. The nearest train station is a 10-minute walk away. There’s free Wi-Fi and wired Internet connection.
For Families The Family Rooms accommodate up to four people, although there’s an additional charge for the fourth person. There’s also 4Bedroom, which has two bunk beds that can take four. Every room has its own en suite bathroom, kitchenette and washing machine.
Prices From 120,000 South Korean won (S$134) a night for the Family Room (with an extra charge of 10,000 won for a fourth person); from 130,000 won a night for the 4Bedroom. E-mail email@example.com; www.studio41st.com
• HOP INN IN HONG KONG
Hop Inn has two branches in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon – on Hankow Road and Carnarvon Road. Both are a few minutes’ walk from the train stations. The rooms are designed by local artists and illustrators, so no two are the same. You’ll get free Wi-Fi access and even the option of borrowing a laptop or tablet.
For Families A Triple Room has a single bed plus either a double or a bunk bed. A Quadruple Room can take up to four people, and includes a double bed and a bunk bed. All rooms come with a private bathroom. Prices From HK$650 (S$106) a night for a Triple Room; from HK$1,020 a night for a Quadruple Room. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; www.hopinn.hk