This is part 2 of everything you need to know and do before you begin your solo travel trip, featuring questions from YOU! Part one was last week: I answered logistical questions about how much to save, what to do with your phone, how to meet people, whether to get travel insurance, etc.
Thank you to everyone who submitted questions!
I hope this helps you plan for the trip you’ve always wanted to take!
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Intro/outro music by Ellis Delta: soundcloud.com/ellisdelta
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
- Where should I start?
- I went with the cheapest flight.
- I was originally going to do Indonesia first, but flights to Taiwan were super cheap so I did that. Then I just went for the cheapest flight from Taiwan (within the countries that I wanted to do)
- What debit/credit cards are best for travel?
- Charles Schwab: no fees for foreign ATMs
- I have Chase: SO many fees. Not good.
- How much cash should I have with me?
- I always take out the max amount the ATM will let me b/c my bank charges a lot of non-bank ATM fees, so if I go to the ATM a lot those costs really add up.
- I don’t always carry all my cash with me: sometimes I take my fanny pack and just carry however much I’ll need for the day. I leave the rest at the hostel.
- Should I take a camera/laptop?
- I wish I invested in a nice camera. My iPhone doesn’t really do these places justice.
- Laptop is not necessary unless you’re someone like me who blogs/podcasts on the road.
- What kind of jobs can I do while traveling?
- You can work at hostel and stay for free
- Instagram influencer jobs
- Yoga instructor
- Tour guide (what sandy does)
- English teacher (more permanent job)
- Do I need visas in advance?
- Most likely yes. Do your research. Some you can just do on arrival (Thailand, Taiwan), some you need to plan a bit more (Vietnam, Myanmar)
- Wikipedia, government websites, lonely planet: lots of resources for this.
- Which airlines are cheapest?
- How much do you spend a day?
- My general budget is $30 a day.
- In Taiwan and Philippines I was spending about $30 a day
- In Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam I’ve been spending a bit less: ~$25 a day.
- I have a separate budget for travel and excursions: I’ve allotted about $2000 for those.
- I use Trail Wallet app to keep track of expenses
- How do you keep in touch with friends/family?
- I email my family, but not as often as I should.
- I talk with sister pretty often: on Facebook & on the phone.
- I text my close friends every now and then, but I could be doing better.
- How do you plan where to go while still staying spontaneous as you meet people along the way?
- I have a general idea of the countries I want to visit, and then what I do within those countries is kinda based on other people’s recommendations.
- For example: Myanmar wasn’t on my original list, but I added it because I heard so many good things about it. Same with Sri Lanka: I really want to go there now based on what I’ve heard from others.
- I was also really set on going to Australia before I began my trip, but after hearing from other people that it’s expensive and not very cultural, I am not as keen to go. I will probably still go at some point, but I’m more interested in New Zealand now.
- As far as staying spontaneous, I really just take it one city at a time. I pick a city, usually based on which is easiest to reach from another country (e.g. Hanoi from Myanmar), and then from there I do a bit of research on my own as far as things to do. I also ask the people I meet in my hostel/on the bus/in cafes what they’ve done and what they recommend. A lot of the time you’ll meet people who have been in the country a while, and can give you good recommendations.
- How do you find the cheapest ways to travel from place to place?
- Generally, buses are cheapest. Trains can be really cheap too, it just depends on the city/country.
- Planes are always the most expensive, but most convenient.
- You can still find really cheap flights, though: my flight from thailand to Myanmar was $37. My flight from Myanmar to Vietnam was $57.
- In the Philippines, be sure to be strategic about where to go. I ended up spending a lot more money than I had originally intended because you have to fly from island to island if you don’t plan accordingly. You really have to study the geography of the islands and be strategic about the order you go if you want to save money.