Basic Travel Tips

 Packing

⁃ See what you use the next two weeks. Put it all in a pile. Take what you don’t need out of that pile. What is left should fit into a jansport sized backpack. These are your necesites
⁃ Roll cloths, don’t fold. Idk why but it makes more space.
⁃ All liquids or breakable go in bags, plastic bags are your new best friend.
⁃ You will learn how unnecessary the majority of the rest of the crap in your room is once you complete this process.

 

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Flights

⁃ skyscanner.com
⁃ cheapair.com
⁃ Cheapoair.com
⁃ Double check directly from airline websites as well

*7 1/2 weeks before you flight is prime time to buy your ticket (avg), but play around

*Tuesday at midnight is when prices will be there lowest, prices will be dropping all day Tuesday and by midnight they hit their lowest lows!

*make sure to play around with dates of travel and nearby airports if your travel allows it. Although I mentioned prime times, there MAY be cheaper flights on any other given date.

Buses

-take your time and breath
⁃ spend 10-20 min patiently asking prices. At the bus directly, or at the bus station bus window

– tour companies and hostels/hotels etc can always book for you

– online tickets, sometimes have to print or pick up physical ticket < I like busbud.com or 12goasia for times I really need secure ride fast without going to bus station


Shopping markets 3 day process

Day one
⁃ soak it in, look, ask a Lil

Day two
⁃ ask everyone, price check everything at multiple places

Day three
⁃ hustle, bargin, talk like you know the prices better. Buy in bulk.


Hostels

⁃ pay attention to location, does it have a kitchen, are there any promotions, accepting volunteers, are their lockers available for valuables?

-hot showers, decent bathrooms, comfy bed, lounge area, good wifi, free coffee or breakfast ? Are all more luxury questions
⁃ Put a piece of meat on your bed, leave it under the sheet for an hour. This will reveal if there are bed bugs. Do this religiously. Cuz bed bugs fricking suckkk for everyone involved.

⁃ Hostelworld.com
⁃ Couchsurfing when people have kick ass references. Its Free. Get a more local experience!


Extra Nonsense

-Don’t travel with anything your not willing to loose. This includes making sure you download your photos to google photos every time you have wifi. Loosing your phone isn’t the end of the world, but the saddest part is loosing the photos of your travels.

Before you leave, make sure

– bills are paid/prepaid

– Car registration + insurance (+if your gone for over a month have someone drive it every once and a while for maintenance)

– Have someone check on your house + animals

– Time free off work/family/friend duty

-Tell your bank you are leaving the country, and out necessary limits on withdrawals. (Enough to make it worth the 5$ ATM fee but small enough in case you loose your card or someone robs you)

– Tell your phone company you are leaving the country, ask about international charges and if you can maybe put your account in hold for period of traveling. (SIM cards abroad are generally very cheap)


What to buy before

– you’ll be able to get everything you need where ever you go. If it’s not there, you won’t be needing it anymore haha.

– find out a product that is really expensive in the country your going to, but is really cheap where you are.

Example, nutella is as good as gold in most countries.

Or rolling papers are very light and great thing to share (thank you Sharon for this idea! )

Leaving your Mark

Paper oragomy, art, or anything that makes great gifts to leave behind those that have helped during our travels as well.

I personally carry around foil and make foil dolls to give as gifts. Given I can’t spend more than I do on food transport and lodging this has been a great way for me to show my appreciation and it’s fun to hand out to the kids on the buses. I also feel safer traveling and making friends this way.

any other ideas fellow travelers?