Top Travel Tips: How to Travel to Politically Unstable places

There are instances in life when something unexpected happens, in fact, many times. Even in what we thought was a stable situation.

Like a sudden conflict in a place we planned to take a vacation or a scheduled business trip. This can be postponed of course, but what if the conflict started when we already got to our destination that it left us confused or even stranded?

While locals may be able to instinctively cope up with the situation, how about expats and tourists? Hence, obviously, this would affect potential tourists and investors in the future.

Trustworthiness is at stake. Knowing that the government is ready to handle and ultimately resolve the conflict humanely would speak a lot about its image internationally as it translates into business and cooperation.

But speed is a factor here.

Every single day that a conflict goes by unresolved is a financial loss. Even relationship-wise, as suspicion only gets deeper. As a frank traveler though, you can say its their problem. My problem is my safety, my time and my money.

So, how do you travel to politically unstable countries or places?

It depends.

But especially consider the basics first whether you are still planning or already in the conflict area.

ONE. Is there an obvious civil war in your exact destination? If there is, then no question – it is unsafe. To even consider the idea, you should be at least 150 miles away from the war zone.

TWO. Now, if there’s no civil war, then where are the demonstrations happening? If it would distract your visit or possible work or purpose, then think twice as it may not be advisable.

THREE. If the conflict is not where you intend to be, what are the chances of it spilling over to your location? See, they may also be holding protests at airports, terminals, government offices – or even at business districts, thence, this makes any sort of visit worth rethinking.

FOUR. If you have an important business to attend to, or your planned visit is set on stone as there’s “surprisingly” no other time – then ask again. Have protesters blocked or like laid camp on terminals so as to totally disrupt flights long-term? Actually, whether airport protests are one day or one week, you got to be updated with travel advisories and give proper notification to all parties involved in your trip including your pre-booked hotel.

FIVE. Remember, wherever the demonstrations may be, things could get nasty. Therefore, it is advisable to just stay away from any such local “disturbances” and keep in touch with your embassy.

SIX. Have self-discipline. Especially since there is an ongoing conflict, stick to your business or to your itinerary. Do not be adventurous at this time unless you are so far away from the conflict area. You can still enjoy, of course, but go through the day with safety in mind.

Happy and safe travels!

Top Travel Tips: How to Protect Yourself when Traveling

Whether for business, pleasure or whatever,  we naturally do want things to go about smoothly in our travels. Yet what could assure our safety?

Here are the basics that you need to know.

  1. Do advance research of your destination from attractions and its peak seasons, hostels, climate, culture, practices, exchange rates, local cost of living and political stability among others.
  2. Be updated with your country’s travel advisory. If you have no clue about it, then the more you make sure you do tip #1.
  3. Have duplicates of travel documents. Accidental loss or damage to your travel documents could mean big trouble, thus, it would be better to prepare for the unexpected by having photocopies.

    Enjoy and maximize every single day of your travel – get vaccinated.
  4. Take proper vaccinations. More than adjusting to the time zone, sudden climate changes could get your body react negatively, so make sure you get your shots before traveling.
  5. Learn the local language. While having a translator app is good, knowing how to speak a few local lines is better than a robotic audio that may even mispronounce some words.
  6. If you haven’t got martial arts’ skills, then at least bring some self-defense items like a pepper spray – or even a Swiss knife that is not only useful for outdoors but could be used for protection, too.
  7. Consider your length of stay yet travel light and pack only climate friendly clothing, supplies and accessories. Know what’s taboo.

    Don’t just travel light, but also consider what’s “acceptable” in the region.
  8. Pack important and frequently used items in a special bag. Can you imagine the hassle when you have to dig your bag for coins just to pay a rickshaw? Or the stress you would have realizing that your phone is not even in your pocket but in the cargo hold?
  9. Bring a basic first aid kit. While there may be hospitals or health centers wherever we may go, it would be a no-brainer to bring a first aid kit with you in your travels. Like, wouldn’t it be a hassle if we had to go to a hospital just because of a tiny bruise?
  10. As much as possible, book in a hostel that is near your purpose for traveling. Proximity adds assurance to security. Makes sense?
  11. Check-in with your embassy. For extra assurance, wouldn’t it be reassuring that your country knows where you are exactly?

    Connecting with officers secures your adventure.
  12. Know where the police and proper authorities are. Accidents, petty crimes or even getting lost where you are can happen. So, knowing where you could get the nearest help would be telling.
  13. Leave valuables at your hotel’s safety vault during your stay. Does it make sense to keep bringing all your valuables when you got hotel service that offers top-notch security? Enjoy your every adventure with less baggage, with literally less baggage!
  14. Follow local laws and regulations. You can not just come in and explore some place with your ego – like, thinking you are a paying customer and that the customer is always right. Rules and laws are what makes a place safe and orderly, if you want to be safe, then follow local laws and regulations.
  15. Familiarize yourself with the transportation system. Every place or country has some kind of structure in how they go about things especially in commuting, so to make your visit more efficient and comfortable, it would be good to know not only where certain places are but also how to get there faster and cheaper.
  16. Stay in safe zones – whether it’s having fun at night or walking only in well-lit areas with decent people. While we know of some places to be of high risk, not all low risk areas are really low risk. What if you suddenly encounter an intoxicated guy in the dark? People drink but if they lose their mind from it, a low risk place could suddenly turn into a high risk area.

    Dim lights does not always mean unsafe – seeing women and children gives us a clue.
  17. Make sure of your water sources. Same goes with food. If you are really a traveler, experiencing local delicacies is a must. However, be mindful of not only what your belly can take, but if the food is really safe to consume. One clue would be – if many locals are eating it, in that particular place, then the food must be safe. As for water, it would be advisable to drink only from your hotel, a good restaurant or just buy your water if ever.
  18. Be friendly and respectful. Appreciate the culture. This probably is the most overlooked aspect of safety – and that is ‘friendliness’. No, you do not necessarily have to shake hands with everyone in sight but at least let that positive aura shine in you. Whether you need direction or help, being friendly and respectful would go a long way towards having that great travel experience.

Happy and safe travels!

Top Travel Tips: How Traveling can be Free

We know that we could budget our way to traveling the world; but do you know that you could actually travel for free??

Yes. Free! How?

  1. Couchsurfing. Probably the most popular way to travel for free is through couchsurfing. This is done by finding a place to stay or share one’s home with travelers.
  2. House sitting. This is when you get free accommodation by looking after one’s house – while the owner is out of town – with responsibilities that include general maintenance.
  3. Homestay. This is when you get a roof for the night to over a year at a local’s residence in exchange for helping out around the house, or monetary compensation whatever the agreement.

    Know more about Woofing, click HERE.
  4. Woofing. Just like homestay, in woofing you get free food and accommodation by doing part-time work for the household that took you in. This enables people to live and learn by volunteering on a variety of organic properties. Volunteers stay and help work on the land and/or home for 4-6 hours a day.
  5. Work for Accommodation. Simply put, this is doing part-time work in hostels to get free accommodation.
  6. Exchange Your Skills. This is almost like working part-time for accommodation or food where you would offer your services to, say, a hostel. The difference is that, you are not bounded by stricter time as compared to part-time work where you would likely have to report according to schedule.

    Social advocacies basically include health, education, disaster relief and poverty alleviation
  7. Volunteering Abroad. This is like working for social advocacies, conservation institutes or charity. While time may be restricted due to responsibilities, point is, you get to travel for free.
  8. Work in a Travel-related Industry. This is quite similar to item #7 albeit with more restrictions, else, freedom depending on your situation. Like, it’s restrictive not only because of responsibilities but because regulations could be stricter since you are working in a for-profit organization. On the other hand, it’s got “freedom” in a way that you get to places for free, like being a flight crew.
  9. Work in a Cruise Ship. We could have just merged this to item #8 yet we separated them both since being in a cruise ship is like the ultimate travel experience as you would only get to step out of a ship after days of travel and fun at sea.

    FFPs are especially useful if you have decided to travel fulltime.
  10. Frequent Flyer Program. This is designed to encourage airline customers enrolled in the program to accumulate points (also called miles, kilometers, or segments) which may be redeemed for air travel or other rewards. Points earned under FFPs may be based on the class of fare, distance flown on that airline or its partners, or the amount paid.
  11. Hitchhiking. Getting a free ride is certainly traveling for free. Just be decent and courteous to get cars or trucks to stop for you.
  12. Carpooling. Quite related to item #11 except that in car sharing, you are either the passenger looking for a ride – or the driver (if you own the car) offering a free ride.

    Walking: Not just free travel but adventure off the bat
  13. Walk or Cycle. One often overlooked means to travel for free is walking – or even cycling – as people nowadays equate this to just nearby errands and would not really try to go the distance with it. Yet if only one is not just trying to save money but keeping fit as well, then walking or cycling is the way to go!
  14. Camping. Just like items #1-6, this is free travel (though you actually spent for your trip) in the sense that accommodation – which is a major part of travel – has been taken cared of.
  15. Travel Blogging or Vlogging. This is either writing or recording a video of one’s travels; however, this path requires perseverance and personal savings to begin with as you would be spending a ton for a lengthy stretch before you could get the benefits of blogging or vlogging.

Happy and safe travels!

Top Travel Tips: How to Maximize your Trip

Traveling has never been more pronounced than in recent years – what with social media being major in our lives and selfies taking the lead role.

And with that, terminals and roads are only going to get busier with more people trying to escape from all the pressures of life – with an increasing number transitioning from a 9-5 job to one that provides more freedom through traveling while earning from it. However, if a nomadic lifestyle is not your cup of tea, worry not. You could still enjoy your travels by maximizing your trip.

Here are our top travel tips.

  1. Plan your vacation. Sure, planning may somehow take away some excitement in your trip as you already know what would basically happen; then again, if you do not have an itinerary, you could get stuck in one place without even realizing it. Unless you truly just want to stay in that particular place – then you would have not seen all the other beautiful spots the area has to offer. So much so, if your companion(s) also has a burning desire to check those attractions out. Thus, be sensitive.

    Always consider the distance of your destination to fully enjoy the ‘in betweens’.
  2. Choose the date or travel time with the least travelers. This means, avoid traveling on peak seasons. This way, you would be able to quickly access whatever your traveling needs. Not to mention, you would have lower ticket rates upon booking and cheaper fees on just about everything – and yes, with the whole place for yourself and your companion(s)!
  3. Take the night trip. We all know that nighttime is sleeping time, so traveling at night would maximize your time for adventure as you would not spend daytime in a bus just slouching (if you even can) in long trips. And if ever you would use your own car, then consider taking turns with your companion(s) in driving so everyone gets their rest, too. Don’t forget your neck pillow!
  4. Have stopovers and enjoy it. If you want a day trip rather than a night travel, then include the trip as an activity in your itinerary. Stopover upon noticing nice views and when there’s also a gas station with a restaurant – so you not only get to snap pictures but have some snacks and your car checked as well.
  5. Drop by at especially renown tourist attractions you would pass by – or say, a festival you chanced upon. A vacation should be an experience to remember, so. Forget the time for once. This is like hitting multiple birds in one stone as such things does not always happen every day. So, just have fun!

    Experience life on the go by stopping to enjoy its beauty.
  6. Share realtime updates. Since you’re on a day trip, share your stopover photos on social media on the go. Not only would you inspire your friends to explore the idea of day trips, but you would also let them know the beautiful spots to consider and how you are actually doing at that moment.
  7. Take short cuts. Now, if you simply want to get to your destination without any dilly dally, then explore short cuts. Be flexible and prepared though, sometimes the short cut you got to may turnout to be a dead end or a road under repair – or yeah, congested due to some, well, accident or traffic. Just relax then and treat it as part of the adventure.

In the end, doesn’t matter the season – trips can be fun, too, when you realize you could actually have fun on your way.

Happy and safe travels!

Top Travel Tips: How to Save Money for Travel

While we could travel on a budget, still, we would be spending, right? At the very least, we would still eat, sleep and ride on public transport – not to mention that we would likely buy stuff like souvenirs wherever may we go to.

So, where could we get our funds then? In this post, we have listed down a probable ‘well’ of resources where we could try to fetch as much funds as we could for our next trip.

  1. FULLTIME JOB. Obviously, your job would be the biggest source in funding your trip. With its guaranteed fixed income, you would already have an idea of how much you’d earn in a specified period.
  2. PART-TIME JOB. Not only would an extra job speed up your savings, but it would give you more cash which would certainly help in emergencies. So even car washing or baby sitting helps. You could have these on the weekends or just spurn the fulltime job altogether with multiple part-time jobs depending on goals.
  3. PACK LUNCH FOR WORK. Wouldn’t it be more economical to just bring a packed lunch with you to work than buy lunch at a fast food? Besides, you get to consume healthy food here.

    Who says bringing a packed lunch to work is a hassle??
  4. WALK. If your workplace is just about, say, 3 miles, why not just walk to it? Walk, not run. Running or jogging would just drench you in sweat. Meanwhile, walking at your pace would give you a nice daily ‘cardio’ without getting you that stinky, uncomfortable feeling. Just make sure to have sufficient travel time allowance.
  5. CAR POOL. If you don’t want to walk and you have a friend who goes your way, then try to arrange for ‘sharing rides’. Like, having a ride on his car to the farthest point you share a way with. Do you follow? You can do this alternately if you also have a car, and the least that could happen here is that you save around half of your transportation expenses.
  6. SAVE ON RENT. Now we go to accommodation, one of the biggest fixed costs one has to set aside if he were renting an apartment. Well, why not try renting out your spare room? This would obviously cut down on your own rental. Else, move back to your parents – or stay with friends or relatives at a discount.

    Even before there was Airbnb, renting out a spare room has always been a helpful option.
  7. QUIT MEMBERSHIPS. If you’re really looking to save, then consider cutting your gym membership (and other clubs and subscriptions) – instead, get creative by using your own stuff (like, chairs, luggages, etc.) in your workouts. You can also jog outside or even climb up and down your stairs.
  8. CHEAP LEISURELY ALTERNATIVES. Of course, while we know you’re trying to save for travel, it’s also understandable that you’d look for leisurely things or activities once in a while. Thus, make sure to check and choose cheaper options or alternatives. Like, if you love coffee – as after all, it’s probably the most popular drink – go for coffee packets instead of Starbucks. Never overspend, but underspend. Remember, you’re trying to maximize savings, so don’t even use your credit cards instead look for discounts or deals when purchasing or doing something fun.
  9. SHOPPING LIST. Speaking of buying, it then absolutely makes sense to list down what you need before getting out of the house. Yes, what you need – only. Not want. Stick to your list whatever it may be that if you can’t find the item, look for the cheaper option. Unless of course the item you’d buy is strictly specified.

    Whether in a grocery or convenient store, having a list assures cost-efficiency.
  10. GARAGE SALE. And surely, don’t you forget the immortal ‘garage sale’. Don’t concern yourself on how cheap it could become, after all, you’re disposing stuff you no long use. Besides, once you’ve sold them all out, it just all adds up – no matter how small the amount was at the start.

At the end of the day, saving is simply about finding ways – whether you sing on the street or do tutoring. Indeed, life is really just about hustling and certainly, seeking more income or saving money is at the root of it – especially if you love traveling.

Wait. And we’re not even talking about getting online jobs here! Hmm. Unless travel is all you want to do from here on in.

Happy and safe travels!

Top Travel Tips: How to Travel on a Budget

While a locale’s appeal has a lot to do with where we do wish to travel, many times, our budget eventually dictates where we would eventually go to – but of course, it would be somewhere that’s in our bucket list.

With that, how should we actually travel on a budget?

  1. If you have not saved for a certain destination, then you would obviously rely on what’s on your disposal, on the money or spare cash you have. And most likely, even from savings that may not be intended for travel as well. Careful. Thus, determine the place in your bucket list where the funds you have is sufficient.
  2. Sufficient means airfare (or whatever major transport fare), food, accommodation including spare for miscellaneous expenses have been considered. Thus, you should have thoroughly researched about your destination in advance.
    Your bucket list should match your budget, at least, initially.
  3. This research should result or give you an idea on how much you should ideally spend each day. This means, a daily budget that mainly revolves around food, accommodation, activities and the expenses that go with it. Yes, we understand that travel could be more fun if it’s spontaneous; however, you’re a ‘budget traveler’ here, so…
  4. Be disciplined and track your spending. Not because you saw something interesting, you’d already spend on it. Your research should have already covered whatever that could interest you beforehand, thence, stick to your budget.
  5. Go for cheap or the cheaper activities. Sometimes, tours can be more expensive than doing stuff on your own, so make sure you do balance these things including vehicle rental, incidental food, and the time you would likely spend. Just be aware, the longer you take, the more likely that other expenses would appear.
  6. Now, if you want to be more spontaneous in your adventures, then try some “free” activities, too; like, hiking. Ey, what a better way to explore the place and its culture in your travels than walk as you get to do some free workout as well!
    Try walking around first to get a feel of the place.
  7. Certainly, other fun places maybe far and require you to spend, hence, consider sharing your costs. Just as there are people that shares costs on tours where they divide the total fee amongst themselves, try that in other activities as well with those in your hostel or the spots where these adventurers gather.
  8. Food. Accommodation. Means of travel. These three things are a given whenever we travel, and so especially as a budget traveler, always try to look for the cheapest way to secure them. Example, eat out in eateries. And if you have to try the locality’s specialty in more expensive restaurants, then just don’t go overboard. If you are looking at months of travel, then do try couchsurfing or even camping other than just booking on cheap lodges. Determine the cost-efficiency of using public transport, renting a scooter and hiring a private vehicle when going about the locality.
  9. Avail of travel promos. If you have pre-planned your trip, as in, months ahead, then you are more likely to come across on travel promos than if you book yourself just a week before D-Day. And obviously, that’s the benefit of buying your tickets much, much earlier – you save a lot more, and so redirect your funds to food and fun activities for the trip at hand.
    YHA is part of the world’s largest backpacker network, Hostelling International.
  10. Work abroad. Wonder why others could afford traveling all-year round? Or why others could even extend their stay in places that are bit expensive? Well, more than just their savings which could eventually dry out, it’s because they do find work in places where they travel. Because they do odd or online jobs. So, if you dream of completing your bucket list and more, but you don’t have the budget to do so, then consider getting employed on the go.

Happy and safe travels!

Top Travel Tips: How to Go on a Business Trip

Obviously, not all trips are just about fun and adventure – some do happen on emergencies while others travel for business or work reasons.

Yet for this article, we shall be focusing on the business or work side of globe trotting – and tell you, this is more than just wearing a suit and making a fashion walk. It’s about the practicalities of business travel from a real leader’s standpoint – as there are those who take business travel as some ‘escape from work’ or even for flirting.

You are on a business trip because it’s a ‘business’ trip. Be responsible and accountable.
  1. Do not go on a trip just for the sake of going on a trip. If you are really dedicated to your company, then you should weigh in the benefits, costs and urgency of traveling. After all, we are well into the internet age where realtime conversations are not just possible but even free. You should know that.
  2. Develop contacts in the travel industry, obviously, to make travel processing easier, cheaper and faster for anyone in your company even upon quick notice. This is important in emergencies since business can sometimes be very unpredictable as is traveling, so do not forget to secure a travel insurance as well.
  3. Be an informed traveler. Like, not just being aware of travel warnings but understanding the culture of your destination – of course, especially on the business side of things, from attitude to communication style to social engagements to gift-giving and all.
  4. Elaborate a goal-oriented yet flexible travel plan beforehand. Stick to your itinerary. And forget the leisure part of traveling (unless it’s in the partner or client’s culture which you should understand firsthand) until you complete what you are supposed to do in your destination. Business before pleasure.
  5. If you have more than one destination, be on the next one at least 36 hours before the scheduled meeting for better preparedness. Thence, regularly keep in touch with your office and the people you would be meeting with. Communicate and coordinate.
    If all you’d do is sleep, drink or entertain yourself and just work an hour, just go for the economy class (even premium) instead and chat with ‘consumers’.
  6. Being practical has its rewards, too. Travel on business class only when traveling with an important client. Think costs and help your company by trying to forget legroom unless you are a frequent flyer with far better mileage programs or so.
  7. Have a quick meeting with your team. Delegate accordingly and make sure there are enough operational resources while everyone knows their priorities and responsibilities before you leave. And do not forget about your secretary’s “to do” tasks.
  8. If you are not the head, make sure someone could temporarily take your place. Leave instructions and whatever files needed to do the job. And review with your boss your basic itinerary.
  9. Double check your company and travel papers, sample product and whatever equipment or gadget you may bring. Make sure your papers are complete and your equipments are working.
  10. Try to make a duplicate of all your documents especially important papers and travel documents. One set should basically be with you at all times or as necessary, while placing the originals in your hotel’s front office safety vault for safekeeping.
    Next to yourself, your papers are most important – be sure you have an inventory of them.
  11. As always, keep your stuff to a minimum with just the necessary pair of suits or formal attires, footwear, a couple of casual wears along with your grooming or beauty kit.
  12. Of course, inform your family the what, where and when of your trip including your hotel bookings, scheduled return date and the preferable time you could be contacted. Just update them if there would be any changes.

Remember, you are the company, be a good and proud representation of it.

Sharing Experiences.. News, Reviews and even Complaints