Tag Archives: tips

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 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: When NOT to Travel

There are actually many more scenarios that we could give travel tips on but for this issue, let us go the other way around first – and that is, when not to travel.

RESPONSIBILITY

If you have to babysit or attend to your sick grandma, or if no one could tend to say the livestock – or if your house is not secure and things like that, you can’t just travel. Someone’s just got to do these stuff. We cannot just leave things hanging back home while we enjoy the beach. Responsibility comes first before anything else, so make sure everything is set before getting on to your next adventure.

Responsibility comes first before fun
WORK OR SCHOOL

If you think about it, life on earth is really just either about studying or working unless you are idle or something which then makes you irresponsible in many ways. So if you are not on leave, a vacation or if your weekend is full, you can’t just go on some trip unless you do study or work remotely where you could just bring your stuff and recharge for even a day of fun.

Avoid a burnout, make sure you really got a couple of days free time before traveling
CALAMITY

While earthquakes on your chosen destination (or on your locality) are obvious untravelable cases, let me remind you that rains are different from typhoons. The former could just get you wet (but you could still have fun) while the latter could get you stranded and ruin your budget and schedules or worse, could cause an accident or even death – so why travel if the situation is not good?

Don’t just make ‘selfies’ out of flooding, danger poses in the form of manholes and live wires
SAFETY

Now safety is also different from calamity. While we just gave you samples of calamities, safety is basically about potential danger. Or something bad that has not happened but could happen. Like, you do not just travel to politically unstable countries where there’s so much protests going on as well as armed conflict or things like that, you could just get hurt. And clearly, you don’t travel to places where there’s war or to a known base of terrorists, that’s common sense.

Remember when Americans were warned not to travel to Europe last May 2017? Stay updated
EMERGENCIES

Calamity, safety and emergencies are similar yet different. While we already briefed you about the first two, emergencies are closely connected to responsibility. And while safety is for something that has not occurred but could happen, emergencies are something that just pops up when you’re all set to leave – which could either delay your departure or postpone it altogether.

You’ll never know what a day may bring – so be alert, fit and ready to help
FUNDS

If you don’t have enough money to fund your travel then why would you get on that bus? Unless you’re actually not planning to return but take on an opportunistic journey then we understand why you got out of that door. Still, traveling should only be considered when you have paid all your bills and responsibilities with enough on your emergency funds and ready for the next month at the very least. You would not want to get back home facing some personal financial crisis.

Really wanna travel? Save or make money on the go

Do not borrow money just to travel for fun. Work for it to deserve it.

HEALTH

Well, why would you travel when you’re not feeling well (or if you have a serious medical condition) anyway? Whatever you are feeling might get worse, who knows! Okay, while there are those who gets sick during their trip, that’s during not before the trip – which means they are already on the road that we expect them to have brought their first aid kits for this reason. Of course, unless you’re traveling to get cured (or as part of a therapy) then that’s okay.

Do not exert yourself if don’t really feel well
EMOTIONAL INSTABILITY

Have you gone on a trip to cure a heartache? Many does that too, and it’s fine, you’re just trying to heal. But don’t travel when all you would do is drink and drown yourself with alcohol in a faraway place. Definitely, you would get taken advantaged of. Like, you could easily fall prey to scammers, or you could lose your stuff or get your money and credit cards stolen – or worse, you could even get molested.

Do not travel if you would just keep getting wasted
CONFLICT

How about traveling with an ‘undecided’ mind? You know, there are cases like this, too. Like, you want to take advantage of the free time and the savings you have but you’re waiting for something that you don’t know when or if it would actually come. It’s like getting caught in conflicting schedules or interests. Something like that.

Evaluate and set time limits before pushing through or postponing your trip

This is tough actually. And all because of the uncertainty involved. Sometimes, you end up traveling only to be recalled – or miss out on what you’re waiting for. To prevent this from happening, determine the facts regarding what you’re waiting for. Like, what’s the deal? Call if possible. If you can’t get in touch and after all the weighing – still everything is vague – then decide based on its importance on whether to postpone your trip or not.

In all, we normally travel for business or pleasure yet are there other reasons that could prevent you from traveling? Let us know.

Travel Time: Tips when Traveling with Kids

Hmm… we all know how wonderful yet tough it is to have kids, well, at least those who already got kids or have experienced baby-sitting that is. But imagine how much tougher it would be if we were to tag them along in our travels, you know, especially on vacations.

Sound advices, Amy. Well, if you really think about it — if you could just keep the kids entertained, asleep, or like ‘full’ during trips.. They’d be peaceful. Yeah, right.

Still, trips don’t end in airplane or ship travel, but only until you get back home. So.. Make sure to travel light and be ready for laundry.

Also, more than learning a couple of your destination’s ‘local’ words, don’t leave home without putting some identification tag on your kids — it’d be real helpful especially during the holidays.