Archive for the “Travel Tips” Category

8 Great Alternative Budget Vacation Ideas

While many of us dream of world travel, or, at least taking a few months off from work in pursuit of adventure, for many it’s not always feasible. While I frequently talk about long-term travel and round the world trips, I know that realistically, not everyone can travel that way. I don’t think traveling the world is hard, but I also know that what I do isn’t for everyone. For a number of reasons, people just aren’t able to do […]

Renting an Apartment While Traveling

Lately, a lot of short-term rental companies have been asking me to stay with them. These companies offer furnished apartments for rent as an alternative to hotels. I’ve avoided them for a while as I generally like the social atmosphere of hostels. And, when I do want something non-hostel or hotel related, I usually just Couchsurf or stay with friends. But the email barrage finally wore me down and I figured I would give this whole short-term apartment thing a […]

The Ultimate Travel Hacking Guide

Travel Hacking is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot these days. You see it on many travel websites that seek to explain how to become a travel ninja or ultimate traveler. Travel hackers are the people constantly chasing miles, rewards points, and elite status. They are looking for every possible way to game the system. Most travel hacking is about using miles and rewards to get free flights or accommodation. True travel hackers accumulate points and status like […]

How to Eat Cheap Around the World

While you might never know it from my body mass, I love to eat. A lot. In fact, eating is one of my favorite activities, and also one of my favorite aspects of traveling. Food is such an integral part of so many cultures that to skip out on meals when you travel is to miss a huge part of traveling. I’m always disappointed when I meet travelers who cook all their meals in a hostel kitchen. Why come to […]

How to Pick a Good Hostel

Good hostels are always hard to come by. Places can be very hit or miss and usually, the reason a hostel is good has more to do with the people staying there than the physical place. I’ve stayed in dumps where I had fun in because of the people there and amazing hostels that bored me to death. Hosteling is, after all, about the people you meet. However, staying in a place that knows a traveler’s needs is always better […]

Hostel Etiquette

Lately, I’ve encountered a number of backpackers who believe that a ten bed dorm means they’re the only one sleeping there. Or that their mom will clean up their mess in the hostel’s kitchen. Sometimes I think that before everyone goes away, there should be a class on how to properly behave in a hostel. That way you are remembered for being the totally awesome person you are instead of the jerk that woke everybody up at 3 AM. So […]

Of Shopping Malls and Supermarkets: Visiting the Unvisited

When most people travel, they open their guidebook and visit the major tourist spots listed. In Paris, we go to the Louvre and the Eiffel tower. In Amsterdam, we see the Van Gogh museum. In New York, Times Square. In Sydney, the Opera House. In Peru, Machu Picchu. In Bangkok, the Grand Palace. You get the idea. Now, big destinations are big for a reason. They are fantastic. They are beautiful. They inspire. They may be touristy and expensive, but […]

Balancing Work and Play in Bruges

Colin Farrell in the movie In Bruges said that to like Bruges, you must either be a farmer or a retard. To him, Bruges was hell. But I disagree. For me, Bruges was very beautiful and very boring. I’ve wanted to see Bruges for a while, and that movie only increased that desire. But Bruges, as beautiful as it is, is like Venice. Or Siena. Or Bordeaux. It’s seen best with someone, not solo. But I found the city beautiful, […]

15 Simple Travel Tips

August is a big month for travel. People from around the world use the end of summer as an excuse to take last-minute vacations with their families before the school season begins and the cold weather returns. Europe practically shuts down as people take the month off to travel. So there is no better way to start August with some great travel tips to make your vacation go a bit easier, more enjoyable, and a lot cheaper: Flying 1. When […]

Joining a Frequent Flyer Program

Back in 2008, I joined my first frequent flier program. Despite having traveled around the world for close to two years, I never saw the value in signing up for one – I’d always been more concerned with price than brand loyalty, so I switched networks and carriers all the time. The lowest price always won. Another reason I had never signed up before? All my favorite carriers are spread out over different alliances. Japan Airlines (JAL) is on the […]