Ok, so we’ve done more than our fair share of travelling. As you can imagine, along the way we’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way to make travel a bit easier and perhaps a little safer.
Money & Cyber Security (for more information on this please check our our $$$ page) –
- Always have two ATM cards, only use one. Keep the other as a backup with your passport in case your first gets compromised.
- Don´t bother with travelers checks
- Keep most of your money in a separate savings account and setup a recurring transfer from your savings to your checking. This way if your checking account is compromised the bulk of your money is safe and you´ll have to log into your bank´s website less frequently.
- Keep some extra cash hidden somewhere. If you lose $100 it´s not the end of the world but if you can´t pay for that bus ride to the ATM machine you may literally find yourself up shit´s creek.
- Only log into your financial websites from trusted computers on trusted networks. We only use our own computer when logging into these sites as there is no way to know what virus might be lurking at our favorite internet cafe.
- Take your Malaria medication, just do it. Some strains are very fast acting. In our opinion the alternative just isn´t worth it.
- Dental floss can be even more important than brushing your teeth, and can be used for a variety of other purposes in a pinch…even as stitches.
- Carry electrolyte powder (like Gatorade). In the event of dehydration (possibly a result of food poisoning) this can keep you alive.
- Having an easy, daily exercise regimen is a great thing to have…both for physical and mental health.
- Don´t be afraid to take a ‘vacation’ from traveling…backpacking can be very hard on both the body and the mind and sometimes you really do just need a week in ONE PLACE to unwind and relax a bit.
Lodging and Transportation –
- Always have a backup in mind just in case things don´t work out.
- When staying with almost anyone, ice cream is always appreciated while flowers and a bottle of wine may not be.
- If you don´t end up where you expect to end up, that´s OK….always have that backup in mind.
- It is always best to keep your belongings with you, especially on a crowded bus…but if they are behind you, you might as well just give your camera away.
- Carrying a cell phone with a local phone number can be helpful but it really is not necessary.
Other Resources –
- CouchSurfing: This is a worldwide network for making connections between travelers and like-minded locals in the communities they visit. Through CS we can look for people to who just want to meet up with foreigners or who are willing to put us up for a night or two or ten. We joined while still in Washington and had nothing but phenomenal experiences hosting visitors from across the globe. Now the tables are turned and we are always awaiting to turn strangers into friends.
- Skype: We use skype when we need to make calls across borders. Generally this is to the US of A but just as often this is to the next country we’re traveling to so that we can make travel arrangements. Free to call computer to computer, we have a monthly subscription for $3 that allows us to call any phone in the US from anywhere in the world for an unlimited number of minutes. A worldwide policy is only $10 per month. Our Skype name is ishouldlogoff.
Career Break Guide
Whether you dream of volunteering in Africa, backpacking through Europe or road-tripping in Australia, this step-by-step guide by traveler and author Alexis Grant will help you make it happen. Part motivational, part practical, How to Take a Career Break to Travel will give you the tools you need to overcome the financial and career-related obstacles that stand between you and your Big Trip, plus advice on logistics from successful long-haul travelers.