Posted: 10/06/2014 | October 6th, 2014
Every day I get asked hundreds of travel questions. My inbox is constantly full, and it takes hours each day to answer them all. I’m not bothered, because I enjoy answering people’s travel questions and helping others travel more. However, not every question merits a single 1,000-word blog post to answer it; most have simple and short answers to them. Today, I’ve taken 19 questions that were asked on Facebook and posted the answers here. So, without further ado, here are reader questions and my (attempted) answers:
Sarthak: Is booking my tickets and hostel enough for planning?
For some, yes. For others, no. It really depends on the person. For me, I do a little research on what there is to see, do, and eat in the place before I go. I also try to read up on the history but, beyond that, I don’t do any major planning. I think it’s better to just go with the flow. Once you have the money sorted out, that’s really the big thing. On the road, it all works out.
Clay: Is running a large blog stressful, and do you ever find it overwhelming?
All the time. It changes how you travel. I spend a lot of time researching information, fact checking, and trying to keep the website up to date. Travel is not all play for me. It’s work now. It’s work I love and choose, but like all work, there are stressful times.
Betti: What about security and safety for your stuff while you travel (money, credit cards, camera, laptop, e-reader/tablet, etc.)? Any tips would be really useful!
I actually just brought on a new writer to talk tech and security on the website! Dave Dean will be writing about all these subjects. His post tomorrow deals with a lot of this. You can read his first post from last month here.
Tamara: Which Schengen country is the least difficult to get a long-stay visa from?
In my opinion, Spain or France.
Carlos: What would you consider the quintessential German city after Berlin?
What we think of quintessential German is more often than not Bavarian (beer halls, lederhosen, dirndls, schnitzel, etc.) so if I had to pick one city, it would be Munich.
Jessica: Is it possible to get a multicountry work visa so you are able to travel and work while you need to?
Work visas are only valid in the country they are issued in. There is a little leg room in Europe because of its common economic zone, but it really depends on the type of work visa you are getting. However, generally, multicountry work visas don’t exist.
Oliver: What is your secret to compiling all the travel information you discover when you visit a place that you share with us? Where do you get inspiration from?
I basically write about my experiences. Whatever I do is what I write about. That being said, I generally go into each trip with the mindset that I am going to figure out how to travel that destination on a budget. I ask a lot of questions at tourism boards and get the prices of groceries, buses, and everything in between. My goal is to figure out the how of travel. To me, it’s like solving a puzzle.
Matthew: You have mentioned tours you guide. Where do you post information/dates on your tours?
I’m currently not offering any at the moment but when I do, I’ll post the dates on the blog! I probably won’t offer any until next summer.
Travis: Where won’t you travel to?
I won’t travel to war zones. Other than that, there isn’t a place on earth I don’t want to see.
Alex: I never fully understood your travel hacking. Can you explain it to me?
It can be a confusing topic but I have a book on the subject that might be able to help. You can read it here.
Katherine: What is your oddest Couchsurfing experience?
My oddest Couchsurfing experience took place in Germany. The girl who I was staying with yelled at me for taking a shower, saying I had taken one the previous day. Combined with the fact that she wouldn’t give me any pillows or blankets to sleep with on the couch, I left that day. It was a really odd experience. She didn’t seem like she really wanted to host someone. I’m still not sure why she signed up for the website.
Arania: What is the best way to access your funds or take money with you abroad?
The best way to access your money is through ATMs.
Valérie: What is the life insurance for long-term travel? What about the average cost per month of long-term traveling if you had to average cheap and expensive countries?
I don’t know about life insurance; not something I’ve ever looked up. But to your other question, the average cost of each country per month varies greatly depending on the traveler and the country. As I write, the average cost of a year around the world is about $50 a day. However, everyone is going to be different. While I provide numbers as a guideline, only you know how much you really need by looking up costs and planning out your activities.
Rebecca: How do you travel in and out of Liechtenstein in one weekend?
No idea! I’ve never been!
Pallavi: Where does the courage come from to travel?
Courage is running into a burning building to save a life. Me? I just think that it’s a big world out there and if I don’t go see it, I’m going to miss out on experiencing a lot of life. It’s not so much courage as it is desire.
Tony: When do you plan on visiting Canada?
I was in Toronto a few months ago. I pop in and out of Canada every couple of months. However, I don’t have any current plans to do a big cross-country trip there at the moment.
Maya: Are you planning to update your phone app TripSaver?
Not anytime soon.
Siân: How do you break large notes the ATM gives you in countries where things cost very little and shops/hostels/market traders don’t accept them?
I usually go to banks or exchange bureaus. They will break your big bills.
Jessica: Do you have any experience with the third-party site Flighthub? They are listed on Kayak and always have the cheapest rates. I am just hesitant to book with a site I have never used or heard anything about before.
I’ve never used Flighthub before but if they are listed on Kayak, they are probably legit. Most aggregators like Kayak or Momondo vet the websites they list on them, so I wouldn’t worry too much!
If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section!