We often land in a place and have not yet found a place to stay. It can be difficult to trek around, with our packs on, to place after place to find a bed. Touts solve this problem by surrounding me with pamphlets, pictures of their hotel, offers of discounted rooms and transport too. They answer all our questions and, if they can’t give us what we’re looking for, they usually know someone who can.
This approach has worked for us countless times and is how we currently find ourselves in a beautiful resort on a white sand beach on Koh Pha-Ngan, Thailand for a price we thought we’d have to pay for a hut ‘within walking distance to the beach’.
Use The Travel Network. There are plenty of ways to get travel information besides the trusty guidebooks.
I follow a number of bloggers who either have traveled, or are currently traveling where I am going. I read their stories and make notes of where they went, what they liked or didn’t like and how they got there – not to replicate their trip of course, but to use what they have learned to help me. Sometimes, if I’m nervous about a place or can’t find enough information, I will email a blogger ‘friend’ and ask them directly. Without fail, they are always willing to help and provide encouragement…as am I when I receive emails – it’s nice to help out.
Many travelers use Twitter, not only to stay in touch back home, but also to reach out to other travelers to get tips and information. Christine, from Almost Fearless, has put together an excellent ebook on Twitter For Travelers – she makes it easy and provides tons of contacts – there is always someone to help.
It turns out that many of my friends from home have done plenty of traveling and many of them have traveled to places we’re now visiting. They told us of their favorites, their ‘hits’ and ‘misses’ and their do’s and don’ts. Some of them have even taken the time to send us emails on the road as we near their travel niche – thanks guys!!
Don’t Be A Budget Slave. It’s no secret that I have had trouble with our budget but I have realized that letting it rule our travel would be a mistake. Certainly there is always a budget and you should save where you can but there is usually a little flex room – we’re just using that flex room. Make sure when planning your budget that you leave this flex – it can make the difference between being a budget slave and being a happy traveler!
There are tons of travelers out there, all with secrets of their own. I’ll tag these five to see what secrets they can share: