I posted on my blog some tips for travelers. As usual the post is in Italian. I am giving you a short version in English as it may contain some interesting information.
1. Don’t plan your once-in-a-lifetime trip with your favourite travel agency. It would end up being too expensive anyway. Do some planning yourself, consult the Internet, read books and then use the small agencies or guides on the spot and the knowledge of locals. Leaving is the most difficult part anyway…
2. Travelling by cargo ship is a great idea. It’s not cheap. Count with 100 to 150 dollars a day. But you get three hot meals a day, a cabin which is usually quite luxurious and a lot of time for that money. I took twice a German NSB ship. There are of course a few other out there:
3. Get to know the locals. Gain working experiences you did not even dream of.
Couchsurfing is well known and it really is fun. I both hosted and surfed and my experiences were always excellent.
Workaway is good for longer stays – one week to several months. Chose your offer carefully if you are interested in the work you are expected to do, otherwise just enjoy the people and the place.
Two organizations I have not tried but promise to be interesting are:
Only for girls/women
For people interested in organic farming:
4. Get a good insurance! Shit happens! Worldnomads are specialized in long term travelling. There is a big difference between “world excluding USA” and “world including USA”. I wonder why! 😉
5. Use the Internet to look for friends around the world. It’s nice to meet them and there is a chance you can get an accommodation for free. Facebook is a good tool for looking up people. Use the search friends tool and where they have lived or have been. Chances are that you will find old acquaintances.
6. If you are looking for a hotel use booking(dot)com and read the reviews section carefully. You will know exactly what you get. Sometimes (but not always) if you contact the hotel directly you get a better deal.
7. If you want to travel by train consult this amazing site:
8. If you want to fly, well then you are the expert. I consulted the following site.
9. Read other travelers’ blogs. Go mining for ideas, suggestions, addresses and tips.
10. This is really for Italians. The Italian Foreign Ministry has a page with infos and warnings on all the countries of the world. It’s scary to read. Consult the locals for the real situation. But certainly a similar page can be found on your government’s site with useful information about the country, its legal requirements, the health situation and the addresses of the diplomatic institutions.
11. A diary is an absolute must. Write down your thoughts and impressions. But also the names of the places, the hostels and the people that marked your stay in a certain place. Write a blog. Your friends and dear ones will love it and you have to go through what you have seen or done. Obvious reminder: take pictures.
12. Some very personal “commercials” for people who deserve them:
Alessandro Fiorio is a guide in Italian, based in Siem Reap, Cambodia. He is one of the expats in SE Asia, he comes from Merano, my hometown.
If you want to rent a camper van in Australia take a look at Travellers Autobarn. They are (relatively) cheap and have some cute little vans.
The guesthouse (posada o hostal) La Escondida in Sucre (Bolivia).
Two excellent restaurants in San Pedro de Atacama (Chile): Las Delicias de Carmen and Quitor
Hotel Asia in Bangkok. It’s a four star hotel at reasonable prices. Live like a king.
You want to relax after weeks of sight seeing or hard work in the jungle? Go to the island of Tioman (Malaysia) and take a bungalow or room at Swiss Cottage.
Hyperlinks were tested on the 11th of August 2014.