Hey everyone!  Travis here with Summer 2009 Travel Trend #4, courtesy of SmarterTravel.com (and reporter Sarah Pascarella) -

Summer 2009 Travel Trend #4 - Flashpacking

Never heard of "flashpacking"? Much like "staycations" of last year, flashpacking is simply a marketing term to encapsulate a growing traveler trend. In this case, a "flashpacker" is a type of traveler who is similar to a backpacker, but one who prefers bare-bones transportation (such as low-cost airlines, second-class rail service, etc.), and will spend a little more for a decent room and a bath.

I didn't know it, but I've been a flashpacker for years, long before it was trendy. Here are some great resources if you're a budget traveler while on the road, but a bit more discerning when it comes to accommodations.

If you're headed to Europe, check out hotels on EuroCheapo.com. All hotels are geared toward budget travelers and have been personally vetted by EuroCheapo's editorial staff. I've used them for trips in the past and found their accommodations choices to be clean, centrally located, and (indeed) cheap.

Hostels are another option to consider, and need not be the crowded, bunker-style situation you may have experienced during college study-abroad days. Senior Editor Christine Sarkis has advocated hostelling for adults, and recommends good sites to begin your search. For the ultimate no-frills budget traveler, a hostel may be the ideal accommodations choice.

B&Bs can also be a good option for the flashpacking set. You'll get a room and breakfast included (and sometimes afternoon refreshments, too) for added value. Bed&Breakfast.com has compiled a list of Cool Summer Savings deals at participating inns across the country. (To find the latest promos, go to "Cool Summer Savings" from the drop-down menu.) Deals are currently available in Cape Cod, New Orleans, Vermont, and more.

I don't know about you all, but that sounds like a blast...So, start packing and getting ready for your Summer 2009 Tampa Bay Tour!  Keep checking back and we'll bring you even more great things to do in Tampa Bay, as well as updates about the best Tampa Bay area events!