January 2009 Archive

To Haggle or Not To Haggle

Picture this: You’re in an unnamed Asian country, buying food from a street vendor. The vendor quotes you a price which, compared to the price you’d pay for food back at home, is incredibly cheap. But you also know that the price he has quoted you is the “tourist price”, a figure that is much higher than the price he charges locals.

Do you try to haggle him down, or do you pay him the price he’s asking?

Solo Road Trip

Tammie Dooley’s preferred mode of travel is on foot or by 4WD. All done solo, of course. Her blog is an attractively designed invitation to follow along on her journeys.

Ever the Nomad

Originally from Croatia, Anja Mutic has lived and worked as a travel writer in every continent except Antarctica. These days, she’s based in New York City, but she still finds plenty of occasions to venture abroad.

Travelling Europe: Indie Travel Guide (Review)

So you’ve got your tickets booked: you’re going to Europe! It’s your first trip to the Old World, but you’re psyched about seeing the Eiffel Tower, taking a gondola on the canals of Venice and strolling through the cobbled streets of Prague.

But the hardest part about planning a trip isn’t figuring out where you want to go – it’s the details. You need to work out how to get from place to place, how much you should budget per day, what the visa requirements are, or which airlines you should use. And that’s just the start of it.

If you’ve never planned a trip before, this can be a difficult and discouraging process. At this point, some people buy into a package vacation. It’s the easy way out. But you want to do things your way, as an independent traveller.

Voluntourism: Choosing the Right Placement For You

I was conducting a voluntourism workshop not so long ago. Some participants were new to voluntourism and wanted to learn more, some were already semi-veterans of several volunteer tours of duty and wanted to learn how to “do-it-yourself” on a budget. But a couple of participants were rather disgruntled and unhappy former volunteers. They came to complain, though to no one in particular and voice their concerns.

They said they had followed all voluntouring instructions they’d read about to the letter and yet had been totally disappointed with their volunteering experiences. We sat down to chat after the workshop and one thing became immediately apparent. “Nobody told us that before,” they said. “If they had, maybe we would have enjoyed it more,” they said, “and maybe we would have chosen better.”

No, they did not end up with a crooked voluntour operator. Their provider arranged exactly what was promised. So what went wrong? Nothing really. Except for the participants’ initial choice of work.

…Van Down By the River

From mid-2006 to June 2007, Joe and Rachel drove 26,964 miles through the US, Mexico, Central America and Canada in a van. Sadly, Joe passed away in May 2008. Their blog isn’t updated anymore, but it’s a poignant reminder to live the life you want to live.

The Little Travelers

Angelina is a gutsy mum who’s taken her two young daughters on trips to Japan, Bali, the British Isles and, most recently, Iran.

  • The Guy: I think Dave and Jodi raise some very valid points and they are consistent with my perceptions based on over...
  • Jay Daviot: Epic list! There are some great blogs there. Would love to see a few more blogs from photographers though...
  • John: I’ve always wanted to hitch hike across the USA.
  • Sara Wikoff: I found your post very interesting. I am just a Freshman in college and I have not decided my major yet....
  • John: Great advice, I always buy charcoal tabs in case I get an upset tummy.
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