A backpacker who travels in style. Also: flash-packer. [Blend of flash and backpacker.]
Europe's hostels now offer cool upmarket accommodations at bargain prices. There are still the communal areas that made hostels the social place to be in the early '90s, but now they are matched by posh facilities. The clientele includes fewer backpackers, more flashpackers: holidaymakers with a taste for the nice things but who are cost-cutting in keeping with the climate
—Lucy Tobin, "Hostels hustle to add an upmarket tag," The Boston Globe, February 22, 2009
But while sleeping in crowded hostels and strapping all your possessions to your back is heaven for some, there's another breed of backpacker who's looking for luxury. Like their penny-pinching cousins, these travellers go from one exotic destination to the next with no itinerary or tour operator to guide them, toting laptops and other hi-tech gear.
"Flashpackers," as they have been dubbed because they backpack with flash or style, are generally older than the average student backpacker and thus have the funds to satisfy their champagne tastes.
—Kate Scroggins, "'Flashpacking' around the world," The Toronto Sun, September 17, 2008
You can hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, backpacking for four days with guides to carry the gear.
Or like us, you can take the "flashpacker" route — a train from Cuzco and a zig-zag bus ride to stay at the hotel at the ruins.
—Dennis Edensor, "It's simply Inca-redible!," People, October 27, 2002
The adjective flash, "ostentatious or showy, usually to the point of tastelessness," is quite old, dating back as far as 1785.
Here's a slightly older candidate for earliest citation, although in this case the term flashpackers is being used to describe a hostel that would appeal to upmarket backpacking types (or it's possible the journalist mistook the noun for an adjective):
Two brothers opening a bar and restaurant at Kaiteriteri are planning an 80-bed backpackers' hostel next door. ...
He said they were planning to do an upmarket hostel — a 'flash-packers'.
—Rachel Scollay, "Hostel planned at Kaiteriteri," The Nelson Mail, September 25, 2002