So you want to go to mysterious exotic foreign land X. What's the best way to travel? What have other people learned? How do you have the most fun? This is a big collection of handy tricks and ideas for traveling.

These tips and tricks were collected through experience by Star, Tim, Orian, and Dustin, who've collectively traveled to Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Crete, Cuban waters, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Guatemala, the Occupied Kingdom of Hawaii, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Lichtenstein, Peru, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Palestine, Panama, Papua, Portugal, Russia, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

You can check out photos from Orian's bike trip from Alaska to Patagonia,
or read Tim's travelogues and various adventures.

Got more tips? Write them in the comments!

To see even more of them, check out
Handy Tricks 6
Handy Tricks: Bike mods and projects
Fifty Handy Tricks.
and 40 More Handy Tricks
and Australian Handy Tricks
and Guatemalan Handy Tricks
and Yet More Handy Tricks!
For a bunch of things that didn't work, check out How Not To

Here's some travel inspiration:

Step 1: Transportation: Get There & Get Around for Cheap

Scottish sailor Jamie Jordan (of Aberdeen) informs me that "if you know anything about sailing at all" you can join a sailing crew just about anywhere - hang around in bars in port cities, especially Gibraltar in Europe. Short of that, you can use the website Crew Finder (http://www.crew-finder.com) to join a sailing crew and go somewhere.

For information on hitchhiking, check out HitchWiki

Everyone wants to know how to get cheap flights.

A United Airlines employee told me the best time to buy is exactly 1 week before you plan to travel. He does booking and is familiar with the rhythms of ticket costs.

Victor Brar recommends the following for cheap/last minute flights:
"I usually use sidestep.com to find my tickets, but if you're buying last minute tickets you can go on priceline.com and name your own price. Most of the time you can just look at the list price and ask to pay half that much and they'll accept it.

It's sort of a pain though naming one price after another until they accept one, and also there isn't much leniency in term of times, but it usually ends up working."

Here's an explanation of how priceline works.

limited time cheap flying:
if you're between 18 and 22, and flying in the US, you can hop any AirTran leg for around $70. More information here. Be sure to check their blackout dates.

Once you're there:
If you're in central/south america, or anywhere that hasn't suffered too much development chances are there's a bus that goes where you're going. To avoid getting over-charged, ask the people waiting for the bus how much it costs, and then just hand the driver that amount. Usually, if you're local enough to know the local rate, you're too local to be fooled by an over-charging driver and they won't try to. Also, busses are a great way to sit and talk to someone to learn the language?
Passport health is a pretty decent place to get them if you want them. I called them and gave my list of countries over the phone - as opposed to having a consult. When I came in for the appointment they had put together a few info sheets detailing their recommendations based on my destinations. We reviewed it, then I was given the shots I requested. It was pricey because they did not take my insurance, but it was quick and simple. They also provided me a small booklet documenting the shots and dates, it easily fits in my passport folder. While I agree that you can receive health care locally, I personally recommend at least updating your tetanus shot. Also there are still areas of the world where polio and typhoid are health concerns. Know before you go! And take it from someone who had to go to a hospital in a random city in China, health care in other countries is vastly different from here at home...be prepared for that.
&quot;its usually pretty easy to find something to sleep under if it's raining (bridges are great, especially when you're not in a city).&quot;<br><br>Remember not to sleep under a bridge in areas prone to flash flooding.<br><br>Only make yourself a shiv if you really can't get hold of a regular pocket knife. A regular pocket knife can be explained away as a sensible tool for a traveller to carry, provided it complies with the knife laws of the country. A shiv just makes you look like a nutter.
so many summer camps helped me. i prefer my privacy take a bathing suit and bathe lol. it covers up well.
my ausie friend travels to australia and buys a bunch of medicine because its soooo much cheaper there
bring a camel back and tablets. i was on a 100 mile hike and drank 10+ liters a day. we had micro pures and i tasted nothing different. i had 3 nalgeens as back ups and refilled everything whenever i could by just popping in a micro pure and waiting 30 min.
Awesome article
when I was in peru after a while I just started naming prices instead of asking &quot;how much?&quot; I found that people like to haggle when I was met with grins.... or maybe I named too high a price. either way it seemed cheap to me.
I absolutely ache with the desire to travel the world. I've read up so much on traveling and I want to get out and see the world, but how do you guys afford it? I mean, obviously, you can be cheap once you're there, but plane tickets are just ridiculous. I've want to back pack and explore, but I can't seem to ever save all those thousands of dollars for plane tickets. I live in the US and it seems like going abroad is so ridiculous. Do you savvy travelers have any money saving tips for something like that? Or how do you manage not to be completely in debt doing all of these marvelous things? Any advice could greatly improve my life. :) Amazing Instructable by the way.
Don't be fooled. Travelling is very expensive, even if done "in the cheap". You don't see poor people doing all this travelling, it is the preserve of the middle and upper classes' young people from rich countries. As you have rightly spotted, just transportation, specially nowadays, is prohibitively expensive. I would rather invest money in a good education that will allow you to relocate internationally once you work, or that will give you a good salary so you can travel far away once or twice a year. I am from a very poor background from a poor country and could not afford to take a plane until I was 27 years old. After that I have lived in many countries and visited even more, for more youngsters travelling extensively is a pipe dream that should be evaluated with care about the financial means required.
The whole idea of this article is to show readers how it IS possible to travel cheaply. I have done these exact things during my 6 weeks in New Zealand and 4 months in Europe. Am I a middle/upper class youngster fueled with my parents' credit card? Not at all! "Showering" with a bottle of water is part of the adventure, and sleeping in a tent along the road makes it possible to travel cheaply. Investing in an education in order to relocate to another country is not travel at all....either is going to a 'vacation destination' for a few weeks and spending lavish amounts of money on hotels, food, and the likes.
No offense, but I think you are missing the point jlms is making. Yes, it's cheap to you and me - what's $5? But if you are from a country where $5 is a huge sum, then you travel to somewhere like the USA or the UK of the "Western world" and $5 is, indeed, nothing - you'll starve on $5 a day where before you were eating like a king. The reason the really poor don't travel is because they can save all their lives and only afford the train ticket, where we would save for a month and get a plane.
I agree. But if you can get there, visiting--even living in--another country for a time is a life-changing experience. I was 32 before I ever left the States, and was only able to because I had a skill that someone was willing to invest in. I traveled to Europe with a band on a shoestring tour. I had spent the previous decade teaching myself to be a sound engineer. <br><br>Almost everything from the time I got there went wrong. I got stranded when the band lost their bookings; but I was able to make room &amp; board in Germany for months practicing my trade. Eventually I collected enough money to get back to these shores, but actually getting home involved hitchhiking halfway across the country.<br><br>It was a grand adventure for a farm boy from Missouri...and changed my life-view forever. I subsequently made two more trips to Europe, staying for months at a time, trading on the experience and relationships developed on that first adventure. Over 20 years later, I still treasure that time.....
I agree, travelling takes money, but there are great places to go where you won't have to spend as much, for example, Belize instead of Hawaii, campgrounds instead of hotels, look up and contact relatives in foreign countries, do some planning, and estimate how much you'll spend. Have a back up fund of money and be thrifty.
The way to save money is to STOP SPENDING IT. I learned a lot from the Catholic Worker Movement people at the Jean Donovan House in St.Cloud Mn. Help out at a volunteer group like that. Food comes from dumpsters. Clothing comes from clothing swaps with your friends and thriftstores. Housing is high density. Put as many people in a house as you can. Camp more in the garage and basement. Get along because you have a mission and don't want to get shut down. If you're less communal offer to rent a big closet in a friend's house or camp in their backyard. Get a job where you can sleep at work at night or in a storeroom, stairwell, etc. Get a gig living with an elderly person and doing their shopping. If you have a car, you could move into it. Once you're vehicle dwelling, you have no more gas, electric, cable, etc bills. Keep working. Don't spend money for entertainment. Go to free events. If you feel shabby read some Jesus, Mother Theresa, or Gandhi quotes about voluntary poverty. Of course, you'll be living poor, but you'll be socking away major dollars for your trip. Then read the section on working abroad.
I like that! Very inventive. Save for a year, so you can spend elsewhere for a week!
Economists talk a lot about Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) as a way to express incomes in "developing" countries because it's so much cheaper to live there than it is in "developed" ones. Your dollar buys a whole lot more there. That's why most of the the products in our stores are imported. The stores can buy them cheaper overseas. For the same reason many U.S. retirees have moved to Mexico, Nicaragua, Thailand, etc. They have figured out they can have a much higher quality of life there on a small income. Plane tickets cost money, that's true. But I've definitely spend less money on some trips, especially to the developing world than I would have staying at home in the states.
only do that if you plan on never having a girlfriend or family
The national park system in the U.S. is great. Many american travelers don't know what's in their own backyard
What I did (though not in the US, this was back home in Sweden), was to take a year off and work hard (at <strong>least</strong> 40h/week) for 6-8 months then spend the remaining 4-6 months out and about. What is really important is that you live as cheaply as possible while working; you sort of have to put your social life on hold, sell your car if you have one and whatever you do, do NOT go into town or you'll see all these shiny toys you want to spend your money on.<br/><br/>About transportation being expensive, remember that flying is much more expensive than anything else. If you go anywhere outside Europe, North America and Australia you can usually catch all sorts of interesting busses, trains and ferries which are literally at least 10x cheaper than flying. Sure, it costs a lot to get there but when you're there you can often live on 15-20 USD per day. The key to staying out a long time is to stay out of the &quot;western&quot; world :)<br/>
About the Knife , what about if it's illegal to hang around with a knife in your poket ?<br><br>Thank you very much for this instructable , it has good idea so you can't care too much about safety and it doesnt break your relaxing trip
This is a brilliant instructable. i have just returned from a 15 country/6 week road trip around europe, I travelled with my 15year old daughter my tips. Travel with your teenager, if you get on well together (we do) because there won&quot;t be many years left when they will want to travel with you. We bought a very cheap van that someone had converted to a camper van, I love the idea of wild camping etc, but as two women travelling alone, you have to be pragmatic, campsites are cheap (especially if you don't require electrical hook-up and your van is small) A big camper van (RV) would be great but a small one means you can park on city streets and drive through the old towns of a lot of cities, In many european countries, wild camping is illegal. Check before you try. visit supermarkets, its great to see how other people live and shop and much cheaper than any kind of eating out...pasta is cheap and available everywhere. Bring a sarong, if you dont have a sarong, bring a length of fabric, patterened so it hides dirt. it is the single most useful thing you have, a great cover up when you need to run to the loo (or nearest tree) in the middle of the night. In addition to all of the uses that have already been listed, you can tie the corners to trees, sticks etc, to make shade tents. Bring a hammock, and make extensions out of paracord so you can adjust for trees/poles that are different distances apart. A good hammock will pack very small, you can sleep in it and you can waste a few days just enjoying your surroundings. When you meet other travellers that speak your language, offer to swap books, its a great ice_breaker and much cheaper than trying to find an english language section of a local bookshop. We found very very few internet cafes on our travels, it seems most places are WiFi now. Set up a blog or website before you leave home, saves loads of time keeping in contact with friends, we used www.weebly.com Smile, smile at everyone, be nice, you are a visitor. More than anything else, you have a duty to respect your hosts and everyone in the country you are visiting, is your host. Most of all..just go. Travel is wonderful, take your kids, they will blossom from it, even if you only travel to a tent in your back yard, lift your horizons just one inch and the rewards will be immense
Make sure that your vaccine is one dose -- not a set dosage schedule for immunity. Some of the Hep vaccines are 3 doses over a period of time.
I really like the idea of earning money as a street performer. Do you know if storytelling would work?
Did I miss something or did you not deal with the number one pest of today, bedbugs? We found them--and lost some sleep--in an otherwise clean-and-nice hostel in London. Anybody have a coping strategy?
&nbsp;Ah, I've read that a lot of people use sleeping bag liners when traveling to avoid sleeping on them directly... Blegh... I wouldn't want to deal with them.
You can also get alot of what you need at the place you are going...or at an intermediate stop somewhere.&nbsp; I&nbsp;finished off a number of my vaccine series (the last dose of 3 for example) in Bangkok when I&nbsp;first arrived there for a two month long trip.<br />
&nbsp;As with your comments to Flagyl, it is an Azole, used for fungal infections. You may not have had a fungal infection, but it does work. Most popular antifungal! Also this is an AWESOME instructable! Worthy of its own website :)
I' m afraid i totally disagree with your advice. Wasting plastic bottles, just because you are being lazy in using your filter properly or just because it only costs a dollar, sounds horrible. Remember that espessially under developed countries dont have advanced garbage treament, and neither make recycling.<br />Actually they could it work it much better without all the plastic that comes along with tourism. And even in&nbsp; developed countries plastic use should be also avoided. Didn't you know? Actually you should know it after so much travelling...<br />By the way, there are varius types of filter you could use. One of them, 100% effective is the uv filter, that only takes half minute and you can drink the water straight away.<br />Plus that costs 50 euros and&nbsp; can purify&nbsp; thousands of litters. So even economically, it's much better.<br />So stop buying more and more plastic and find alternatives. <br />
While in St Petersburg, it was a little hard to tell where you could and couldn't take pictures. I still took tons of pictures in places I wasn't supposed to cause my camera works pretty well with the flash off and I can shoot from the hip and the shoulder. We hit the main points historical sites and got off the beaten path. Got yelled at by some angry old woman in the Hermitage for having my camera in my hand, but that's the worst encounter we had. Man, the souvenir shops just hand you shots of vodka. They call it "vodka tasting," more like "get the tourist drunk so they spend money." We appreciated it.
If you are going camping in an isolated filed, ensure there are no wheat, barley or any crop growing. A farmer probably wont mind if you camp on his land, he will get really annoyed if you camp in the middle of his crops.
The key here is the fly sewed shut on the boxers. Good idea. I think I need to do that to all my boxers. Whose bright idea was it to put a hole there anyway? Excellent ible. Makes me want to take a vacation and hop a random plane.
Oo oo!! Check the seal on top of your bottles before you open them! I was in India and some kid tried to sell me a used bottle refilled at the tap crawling with Montezuma or Mahatma Gandhi's revenge. Take a bottle out of the airport trash and refill it from a drinking fountain? Instant dollar or rupee or money thing! They say crush and throw away your water bottles so scammers can't do this to you!
hey how would one go about getting a motorcycle in a poorer country? z
When travelling: BUY DRUGS! best tip ever.
Go HERE:&lt;br/&gt;&lt;br/&gt;&lt;a rel=&quot;nofollow&quot; href=&quot;http://chinesestudies.ucsd.edu/mingstudies&quot;&gt;http://chinesestudies.ucsd.edu/mingstudies&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br/&gt;<br/>
I applaud you. So hard.
I'm a female traveler who prefers to use cash whenever possible. When I travel and expect to have a large amount of bills on me I put most of my money in a plastic sandwich bag, then slide it into a hollowed-out maxi pad in my underwear. I'm sure a man can similarly carry a small roll of bills in a fabric pouch in his underwear.
Nice trick!! I like this suggestion a lot.
Thanks! I think I just figured out what my first Instructable will be about... ;)
Ok, let's clear something up... most Americans DON'T speak loudly or are so obnoxious as these authors are trying to say. At least, no more or less than others. There are obnoxious people everywhere. The worst I've seen were some young Germans in Krabie, Thailand and some young Italians in Koh Samui, Thailand. They were acting truly imperialistic and rude. Also, try visiting China...there you will meet one of the loudest cultures on the planet! It's no surprise they invented firecrackers! LOL They shout into their cell phones and to each other most of the time (well, the guys do). Whew! So, my advice to potential world travelers... leave the prejudices behind. Especially the ones about your own, or familiar, cultures. Life is too short to walk around as a know-it-all.... you miss too much that way. Gute Reise! _
Great ible! 5/5 stars. May I add a couple of reccommendations of my own? They are: If you see something you REALLY REALLY want as a souvenir (say a beautiful scarf), even if it's on day one and not day three, buy it. If you're like me, it will be gone by day three and years later you will think about that scarf and wish you got it. You'll never see such a beautiful scarf, ever again, in your whole entire life. So just buy the scarf! I would also reccommend women traveling alone carry pepper spray. And remember to walk confidently. How you walk says a lot about you, and a timid, scared walk is bad. A confident, shoulders back, head held high walk, on the other hand, can help convince ne'er do well to leave you alone. Body language is important.
Carry pepper spray in the UK and get caught and you'll get lots of free board and lodging in the prison. It's a long sentence, as it is classed the same as having a machinegun. I'd vote for checking (your new) local laws before arming yourself.
Okay then, in the UK carry farb-gel spray or plain ol' hairspray. Of course, local regulations should definitely be checked.
I take it from your change of comment that you checked up? Farb-gel is available, at least in theory - I've never seen anyone carry it in stock, only a few adverts for importers/wholesalers. Whether or not you'd want to be the one in court finding out if it is legal or not is another matter entirely. You might do better to rely on your keen sense of fashion to save you. (10 points if you get that reference. And that scene was deleted from the UK version of the film!)
Yep. I posted expressing doubt, checked, and reposted - I'll freely admit that. I know you can buy it online, supposedly it's legal but I wouldn't want to be a tester for that either.
in the part about the girl getting raped in london u put hostel i think u ment to put hotel
A hostel is a very cheap type of hotel, generally one with shared rooms, bunk beds, etc.
I'm curious to know why you sew your boxers' fly shut? Most of mine have little buttons, but most of the time I don't bother with that even.
At a guess, it is so they can double as shorts and swimming trunks.
What a wonderful guide! I'm terrible at learning languages. I went to school in French for years and can barely speak it now! Anyway, we have lots of obnoxious Canadians here too. People ask me if I'm American here all the time: I have a bit of a family accent; and am a bit hard of hearing, so sometimes I talk more loudly than I realize (sometimes more softly, which is apparently just annoying.) I'm addicted to MEC gear, though. I have some REI stuff, too, so there I go being American again.

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi! I'm Star Simpson! I'm a real me! See more at [http://stars.mit.edu stars.mit.edu]. photo by [http://bea.st ... More »
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