Travelling Tips

CanuckingAbroad / Travelling Tips

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  • Research, at least a little bit, on where you are going.  Learn the rules, taboos, sites, and spots you want to visit. 
  • I have gotten by amazingly well by knowing 3 words in each language.  Hello, thank you, and beer.  Locals will at least appreciate the gesture and any communication is better than none.
  • I don’t care how dangerous a certain place is claimed to be.  You can always stay out of trouble.  Is following a local down a dark alley to buy some drugs ever a good idea? How about passing out on the beach.  Dont be stupid!  People make a living ripping off idiots like that.
  • Don’t be a hero.  Mind your own business. You won’t win. There will be things you see and don’t agree with but remember where you are. 


  • Medical insurance is always a good idea and can be purchased for as $.25 a day.  Know your plan, what you are covered for, and how to make a claim!   A little mistake like not calling the company before you go to the hospital may screw you over.
  • Vitamins are always a good idea.
  • Stay hydrated.  Use rehydrating mixes as well which can be picked up in any pharmacy for about $.25
  • Malaria pills and shots?? Much debated.  I say don’t bother.  The long list of side effects are not worth it, and they aren’t guaranteed to work, they only help your chances.  Besides, that’s why we have medical insurance.


  • Set out everything you want to bring and then eliminate half of it.  Anything you wish you had packed can be purchased cheaper where you are heading to (most likely).  You won’t listen to this and you will regret it when you find yourself throwing out stuff to make more room in your pack.
  • The bible.  By Bible I mean the Lonely Planet guide-book on wherever you are going.  Cheesy or not, everybody has one for a reason.  Just use it as a ROUGH GUIDE. 
  • There is a good chance valuables will get stolen!  That’s the way it is.
  • A tent has proven very useful to me in many countries.  Hostels will let you pull up some lawn for very little money.
  • Keep important things separate.  Don’t put your bank card, credit card and passport in the same bag/pocket.  If one goes, they all go.
  • Dont sew a Canadian flag on your pack!  Canadians, for some reason, think they need to do this to distinguish themselves from Americans….it’s lame. 

Food & Beverage

  • Eating where the locals eat will save you so much money and give you a real experience of where you are.  Walk a block or two behind the Starbucks and bistros and you will find them. 
  • Eat the street and market food.  The best food I have come across in every country was cooked on the side of the road. 
  • Local beers and spirits are half the price and may not be advertised.
  • Cover for bars can easily be avoided by threatening not to come in.
  • A little tip goes a long way! They will remember you next time.


  • Book all transportation at the appropriate station and avoid commissions of 30-50%.  Buying a ticket in a different language is a very interesting adventure in itself.
  • Local buses are much cheaper…if they ever show up. 
  • Take overnight trains/buses to save a night’s accommodation.
  • Take sleeping pills for the overnight train/bus.
  • Make sure any taxi uses his meter, or threaten to get out. 
  • Really take a hard look into the tour you are interested in.  Much of the time you can do it yourself or arrange it for free or a fraction of the price.  For example, what are you really getting with that trekking trip you are buying for $50.00? A bottle of water, a ride, and a guide…not to mention 10 strangers to share the experience with.  Take initiative, hire your own guide for probably $20, and have an adventure.
  • If you don’t have much time, domestic flights in most of the world are very cheap.  Surf the net and book them yourself online.


  • Oddly enough, in Asia, hostels are more expensive than guesthouses.  Get your own room for a cheaper price down the street and you can always hang out at the hostels to meet people.
  • Double up on a room with someone you have met.
  • Use the internet for up to date listings and reviews of hostels. is a good one.
  • People are always willing to take you in.  Ask or even check out www.couchsurfing .com.
  • Haggle.  Price is ALWAYS negotiable.  If you see an empty guesthouse, they will bend over for you.
  • Who says you need to sleep in a bed.  Offer a price to use a little floor space or a hammock.


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I am a 29 year old Canadian who has been traveling and chasing experiences over the last as long as I can remember with no plan or ultimate destination. My thirst for adventure has...