Skip Navigation

advice from travelers

Travel Forums Round the World Travel advice from travelers

Last Post
21. Posted by OldPro (Inactive 400 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Cocohouseboats, bags with wheels weigh more. They are fine for travel where you will never need to carry your bag. That generally does not apply to someone who wants to backpack their way around the world. If you will need to carry your bag much at all, then wheels are just extra weight to carry.

Never spend too much does make some sense. However, you can also say, never spend too little. It makes no sense and yet I have seen it happening many times, for someone to say, 'oh I would love to see/do that but I can't afford to spend the money for a ticket, etc.' There are times when you do need to spend some money and not hold back.

I have seen far too many travellers who are so busy trying to keep to a budget, that they miss seeing/doing things. So my advice is spend as much as you need to spend to see/do what interests you, WITHOUT throwing your money away. In other words, don't waste your money but don't do without either.

22. Posted by smoothtraveler (Inactive 1 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Hi Jeremy,

Your goal is really good, it needs a lot of preparation but it can be established. I will be very glad to share my experience when it comes to travelling. One of the most important thing to put in mind is you need to have proper knowledge about the place you are planning to travel. Is it safe? Does it has the spots and places that could really meet what you want to see. There are a lot of areas in the world that has very great views and tourist spot but are unsafe and could put your life at risk. After all what you want is to enjoy right? Next is you need to have at least basic understanding and if possible try to learn even few words of their dialect. As you can see the world is full of people who may fool you. But they can see you know their language it can make them hesitate. It is also helpful for better communication.

Also if possible prepare a local currency of the place you are travelling, for the transactions in that country faster. You can visit travelling websites and search for the cheapest place (as long as it is safe) to stay. In a plan of a long term travel don't bring too much stuff, for your travel to be much easier. You can just buy clothes and some of your needs in the area.

Always have extra money in case of emergency. Prepare yourself to adapt to certain culture and nationalities and always be updated about the news in the area or even if you are planning to travel from place to place, always make sure that the place you are going next is safe.


Post 23 was removed by a moderator
24. Posted by UnknownWanderer (Budding Member 11 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

a little update, iv'e picked out the Osprey Porter 46 as my backpack, i like how it fits. i have also told my family on what i am planning.. considering on buying the book Vagabonding, it looks interesting and maybe have some useful info.

i'm not sure if i should get a money belt or the one that hangs round your neck. any thoughts on either of them?

its not set in stone but i was thinking of starting in Lisbon and ending in Budapest and if things work out money wise and visa wise, i would try and get a working Holiday visa for New Zealand or Australia. i believe i would need to apply for the working holiday far in advance. i am still researching the route i want to take.

i'm having a hard time deciding on how to divvy up my time in each country given that i would have only 90 day since they're apart of the Schengen.(still not sure if i fully understand it. because i feel like im missing something)

another idea i had was to just start with the working Holiday visa for New Zealand or Australia. Because for New Zealand i would need to have a minimum of NZ$4,200 available funds and for Australia AUD 5000.( info from there department of immigration sites)

so i'm kinda torn on what i want to do. i have a lot of time but little money

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Mar-2016, at 22:26 by UnknownWanderer ]

25. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 965 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Yes it sounds like you have it right, Schengen you're allowed to be in for 90 days. It's actually any 90 in a rolling 180 day period I think, so you can lengthen it with time out in Britain and Ireland, for example, or eastern Europe outside the schengen zone.

Western Europe is expensive. Your money will go 3 x further in the east - so Poland, Czech, Hungary, Slovakia, etc. And you won't be allowed to work in Europe to top up your funds, as I understand it.

The NZ and Australian working holiday visas sound the best choice to me. Plenty of basic work available that don't require you to be smart or skilled. Plenty of people surviving on it, and the chance that you'll hit upon something or somewhere that you want to stay. Yes, the more money you can save to go with, the more comfortable a time you'll have.

26. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5178 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Quoting UnknownWanderer

i believe i would need to apply for the working holiday far in advance.

Not really. They tend to be approved in a matter of days, with two weeks being the longest amount of time I've heard about the last couple of years. Of course, I wouldn't leave it until the very last minute, but apply anywhere between six and two months before you want to go, and that should be totally fine. Even one month ahead would still not be a problem, but I personally wouldn't feel safe booking flights until I'd taken care of the visa, and you'll almost always want to be booking flights more than one month ahead. :)

For everything else, I agree with what Andy said right above.

[ Edit: Edited on 31-Mar-2016, at 02:23 by Sander ]

27. Posted by OldPro (Inactive 400 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

"i'm having a hard time deciding on how to divvy up my time in each country given that i would have only 90 day"

That is a classic example of the kind of WRONG thinking so many people engage in when planning to visit Europe UnKnownWanderer.

First, Europe is not one country, it is dozens of countries. No one visits 'Europe'. Each of those countries has at least as much and probably more, of interest, as your own country does. European countries are far denser in every way than countries like the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. There is something of interest around almost every corner. Only distances are shorter, not content.

Second, most people will express in one way or another a desire to 'see as much as possible' in the time they have available. But then they go on to equate the word 'much' with the word 'many'. They are NOT synonymous. The way to see/do as much as possible in a given amount of time is to spend that time IN places not in BETWEEN places. So as in many things, less is more. The less you move the more you see/do.

Third, there is this commonly held belief that if you visit 10 countries it will somehow mean you get more out of your time than if you only visit 5 countries. Based on what logic? What you will get is a longer list ticked but there is no reason to suppose what you will also get is more experience out of each day you spent. If you are doing and seeing things of interest to you every day you have available, THAT is what matters, not how many countries you do it in. You could easily spend 90 days in pretty much any country you care to name and get maximum VALUE in terms of experiences from that. More places does not equal more experiences or value for your time.

People do this thing where they first come up with a list of places that they believe will interest them and then try to 'divvy up' their time to take in all the places on that list. They come up with that list based on what they have seen, read, or heard about those places. But they have no actual way of knowing just how long a given place will hold THEIR interest. I might have happily spent a week in a place and you are ready to move on from that same place after 2 days. There is no universal right amount of time to allocate to a given place. There is only the right amount of time for YOU. When someone says, 'you need X days for this place and only Y days for that place', they are not talking about what YOU need, they are talking about what suited THEM.

Researching before a trip such as you plan is an enjoyable part of the whole process. It may well result in you coming up with a list of 50 places you believe you would like to visit. But it does NOT mean you have to then try to squeeze those 50 places into your 90 days in a pre-planned itinerary. Nor does it mean that since that doesn't look practical, that you should then start trying to 'short list' places based on some kind of priority. Keep your entire list of places you think you might like to visit.

Now go to A and stay there for as long as you need to see/do what interests you there. When you are ready (and not before) decide where you will go next. Repeat that process until either your maximum time available or funds available runs out. Then go home. If you follow that simple process, you will visit EXACTLY as many places as you have time to visit and stay in each for EXACTLY as long as you need to stay in them. Not ONE day will be wasted.

You may get to 14 on your list or you may only get to 7 or you may get to 21. How many you get to does not matter. There is always the next time. Travel is never a one time thing which makes the common phrase, 'my trip of a lifetime' rather foolish unless you know you have a terminal illness. No one knows what travels they will undertake over the rest of their lifetime.

Travel is about many things but one of the most important I believe is the freedom travel gives us. It frees us from our everyday lives where we must live to schedules, please other people, etc. Travel gives us the freedom to get up each morning and say, 'so what do I feel like doing today?' and then doing that. Why then would anyone want to voluntarily give up that freedom by trying to IMPOSE some structure on their time before they even start? That is what you do when you 'plan an itinerary'. You revert to your everyday habit of schedules. Change the paradigm and plan nothing beyond A.

28. Posted by UnknownWanderer (Budding Member 11 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

i understand what you're saying Oldpro. The"divvy up my time in each country" thing is more of making sure i had enough time when i ended up in Budapest. Budapest is a important part for me because i have recently found out that i have a great uncle there. so i would like to meet him and his family. i know i could spend 90 days or more in any country but that travel route is more of a journey. i just want to plan out a time line so i could make sure i had time to spend in Budapest and get to know my great uncle or at least put enough time aside with a little wiggle room in case something went wrong.

i know oldpro that you have found your own way of traveling but i honestly don't know what kind of traveler i am, i don't know if i will even enjoy it. all i do know is that i want to fine out. just try and see that your way of traveling is no more right or wrong than anyone else's. some people enjoy planning every little thing while others no do not. some people like to wing it and get lost while again others do not.

another thing im worried about that is i don't know how much im going to enjoy each place, i could very well lose track of days and just enjoy myself in one of the towns/city's. this whole thing is a unknown for me.

the schedules is more for my family peace of mind (Brussels attack and Paris have them worried.) and to show i have taken this serious and put some thought into it. i realize that i'm adult and i can go off and do whatever i want but i want to be on good terms with them. but nothing is set stone, except for Budapest. the fact is my route will change, i will get lost and sidetracked. i know that to be true because it happens here...a lot....

only advice my grandma gave was to make sure i had my ducks in a row. and some stories when she was in china and being followed. that most Americans are followed aboard and targeted...?

do i want to see as many countries as i can, yes i do. but i also want to experiences them. i want to get lost. i want to talk and work along side people from the different countries. i see myself visiting the same country multiple times. but again i don't know what kind of traveler i am or even if i cut out for it.

[ Edit: Edited on 31-Mar-2016, at 09:47 by UnknownWanderer ]

29. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 886 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

"Because for New Zealand i would need to have a minimum of NZ$4,200 available funds and for Australia AUD 5000". Why do you have more in Australia than you do in New Zealand? According to XE, AUD5000 should equate to NZD5551. Most people down here in the antipodes would probably agree that the cost of living in New Zealand is slightly less than in Australia so your money will go further in NZ. If you want to apply for a WHV and you are then expecting to find some sort of job, are you wanting to work in Aus or NZ (if not Europe)? Try "Seek" in either of these two countries and they should give you an idea of the jobs available on-line. They might not include seasonal jobs such as fruit-picking and cafe and bar work which are often displayed in the windows of the establishments.

I'm sure you realise that Aus is much bigger than NZ and you'll get to see more of NZ in a couple of years than you will of Aus. The scenery is very different in the two countries and Aus has a much greater variety of wildlife - there are no (poisonous) snakes in NZ but then there are no koalas, kangeroos, wombats or emus in NZ either (and the possums we do have are shot as pests).

Whatever you decide, enjoy your travels.

30. Posted by Tabithag (Full Member 109 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I have found this thread really fascinating. The advice that has been given by Sander and Oldpro is excellent and UnknownWanderer would do well to take good note. But I would also agree that everyone has to find their own way of travelling. There is a whole spectrum between package tourists looking for sun, sea, sand and sangria, and a true nomadic, have no plan wanderer. I don't think anyone really knows where they fall until they've started their own journey.

I started travelling with my husband back in June 2011. We haven't been away the whole time, but we generally do around a year away and then come back to see friends and family and do local shorter trips for a bit before heading off again. We still haven't really found our ideal travel style yet. On the one hand, we love the idea of just going somewhere with no fixed plan, moving on only when we feel like it, and so forth. But on the other hand, we have so many places that we would like to see and experience, that we feel that we need to be more organised than that - also we have a tendency to be lazy!

A roundtheworld trip, planned to the final detail may be the right choice if you have one time limited opportunity a day lot of places on your list, but if you can have longer or multiple trips, then slower travel gives you an entirely different perspective and experience.

We tend to have a broad plan of which countries we will visit and for how long, but plan the detail as we go. That gives us some flexibility, but not really enough. We'll work out our ideal eventually. We do travel fairly slowly, and feel no obligation to do a the touristy things. We do those we want to, and spend other time just being in a place, to take it in.

I would say the first step is to make a trip that you feel broadly comfortable with, have a plan that you can follow if you want to, but don't be afraid to change your travel style and plan along the way. I think that some people I have met while travelling are trying too hard to follow a particular style or itinerary, and lose much of the joy they should be having.

And no, travelling in itself doesn't change your life, but it can give you the opportunity to develop yourself, gain a better understanding of other cultures - and therefore your own, and get an idea of what really matters to you. Just be aware that settling back into 'normality' later, especially if you don't really have an idea yet of what you want that life to be, can be tricky.

I hope you make your trip, and that you enjoy it, whatever you end up doing.