Various important tips:

  • Set yourself a realistic travel budget prior to your trip, then multiply it by two (especially if you are traveling somewhere new). Try to stick to your budget by using a daily accounting spreadsheet (see below).

  • Keep an accounting spreadsheet and record all of your daily expenses. This is very important to be able to stay on budget and follow through on your travel itinerary. It is easiest to do this at the end of the day, while preparing for the next day.

  • You must reserve your hotel for the first night of every new place/city you plan to visit; it’s not exciting searching for hotels when you are tired. Next night can be reserved in person, if you are staying in the same city.

  • Sometimes on-line reservations can be cheaper than booking in person. Do your research on-site.

  • Cleanliness and safety are the most important factors when choosing a hotel/hostel, everything else is secondary.

  • Sometimes it is better to fly with good airlines (i.e. by reviews) if the price is close:
    • You get to check-in luggage
    • You get better food (in most cases cheap carriers don’t provide food)
    • You get a comfortable seat and a good rest.

    These benefits could actually make the good airline flight cheaper than the budget carrier when you consider all costs (e.g. you still need to eat, and airport food is expensive)

  • Within reason, a longer flight in a comfortable seat can be better than a shorter flight in a cramped unbearable seat.

  • For longer flights it is better to sit in the aisle: easier to walk around, stretch your legs and go to the restroom. Plus longer flights fly at higher altitudes and you don’t see anything out the window anyways.

  • If you have time, it is important to take a day to walk around the city you are staying in (not just the touristy places). It gives a true feel for the life of the locals and a more real view of the country as a whole.

  • Sometimes after having done your research, it is better to book a tour – careful with what’s included – than to go at it solo.

  • Food must be clean – especially at the beginning of the trip – keep things clean and light. Otherwise you will get sick when you could be traveling, plus it will be expensive and it’s just no fun to be sick in a foreign country.

  • Take advice from others but keep in mind: their personalities and interests will differ greatly from yours; so will their plans. Make your own plans based on your compiled knowledge from different sources and your own interests.

  • You should make a written list of things you need before you start packing.

  • You should start reading lightly about your destinations and planning for your trip a couple of months in advance (a month before minimum). Otherwise you will need to plan everything once you get there, this is more stressful and eats away your travel time (read wasteful); See daily itinerary below.

  • Having done your reading before your travel, put together a general daily itinerary for all the places you will like to visit in your trip. You will use this as a rough structure to plan around your visit to every city. (hotels, transportation …etc)

  • In most cases, don’t buy your flight tickets at the last minute, otherwise you will pay dearly.

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