[Photo: Bunch of stuff I just received on a remote island in the Atlantic Ocean]
Live outside of the US long enough and you’ll find something you can’t live without, something unavailable in local stores.
Occasionally (though not at the moment) I really miss home. This often comes in waves, or at certain times of year (most common in the fall). I often find I’m not missing a particular person or place, but something more mundane.
What I’m really trying to admit is that I miss Amazon Prime and Peanut Butter.
Or more generally, the US does a great job of getting you what you (think) you want when you want it.Continue reading >>
I remember trying to write a blog post in Buenos Aires in 2008. Wifi as we know it was not widely available, but internet cafes were everywhere, and they worked pretty well if you could get around the non-US keyboards and the impossibility of finding the ‘@’ symbol.
The ease of modern travel with a local SIM card powered smart-phone with broadband internet access is borderline ridiculous. Nothing is impossible when you can get on the internet, and wandering around looking for accommodation has been replaced by some quick tactical research. Continue reading >>
Editor’s Note: This post is brought to you by my good friend Scott Mueller who quit his job to travel the world back in late 2013. The post’s title is not hyperbole. What follows is an extremely detailed breakdown of how to fly around the world for a fraction of the listed cost. If you’re overwhelmed, check out the short FAQ on credit cards and airline miles or see my previous post on how I flew around the world for $220.
Whether you want to leave your cubicle for a short escape, attend a friend’s far-away wedding, or embark on a multi-country, globe hopping year of exploration – having a solid airline mileage strategy can enable your travel plans. Add to that a set of easy to follow tactics for accruing and redeeming miles and you’ll wonder why you waited so long to get started!
In a particularly frenzied bout of travel in July of 2012 I jumped on and off 6 flights in 6 weeks, crisscrossing the entire continent several times (Barcelona to Berlin, Paris to Budapest, etc).
Total Cost for 6 flights: Less than $200
In rare form I didn’t keep track of these expenses because it was too cheap to worry about (my flights averaged $18 US total). I even bought flights I didn’t use just in case I was in a particular city a few weeks down the road.
Back in the day, airline tickets were really expensive and inflexible. Not anymore.
Welcome to the world of low-cost, flexible world travel.
While visiting family in February I decided not to get on my flight home. I wanted to spend some additional quality time there so I just didn’t show up for my flight.
Mom was flabbergasted: “You can do that?!”
Yep. You’d be amazed by what airlines let me get away with last year.
This conversation led me to the realization that in the last 19 months, every single flight I pre-booked more than a few weeks in advance I either didn’t get on or had to change for a lot of $$$.
If I no longer have pre-defined location constraints, and if pre-booking flights is both “a major turnoff” and expensive, why would I still do it?Continue reading >>
Last Update (2/6/15):
Also check out my FAQ on the best frequent flyer credit card. It’s a quick read and will give the main points + show you where you can get one of these cards today.
Can you do the same thing? Absolutely, read on:
Budapest, Hungary—It’s a question I got more than once: “So, are you rich?” And, more specifically: “How can you afford to travel so much?”
These questions are upsetting because they highlight the dominant perception that travel is a luxury restricted to the wealthy. And I don’t like people thinking I can only afford to do this because I’m rich (far from it).
In fact, for the last 15 months I’ve been living on a stipend that most people would associate with the poverty line in the United States, or about $1200 a month (see 20 things I Learned While Traveling around the World).
But international flights are expensive, no matter how cheaply you decide to live once you get to your destination. I thought trans-oceanic flights would be the death of my RTW travel budget.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
And here’s the punchline: the only reason these flights cost me anything at all is that I opted to pay for the really cheap ones. That’s correct, I decided to pay actual money for them. You’ll understand why below.Continue reading >>
Disclaimer: This post is not about me. I present it here solely for informational purposes, but the details shouldn’t be taken seriously. Narrative provided by my friend, who we’ll just call ‘Jason’.
Ahhhh Europe. Yes, the quintessential summer trip. Ever since high-school I’d wanted to do a 4-6 month dirt-bag trip through the continent. Unfortunately, it turns out that in most of Europe you’re now restricted to 3 month stints. Yep, good luck covering Europe in 3 months.
The Schengan visa-free zone, while probably great for the economic unity of the European Union, is not ideal for long-term backpackers. It certainly makes border-crossings easier, but you can throw a few of those old 6-month backpack-around-Europe itineraries right out the window (you also won’t get any cool stamps in your passport).Continue reading >>