8 Unconventional Travel Tips
If there is ever a time to break with convention, it’s when you’re far, far away exploring a foreign land. Here are eight travel tips that will keep you traveling cheaply and safely while allowing you to delve deeper into the local culture.
While your mother might regard staying with strangers you meet online as “iffy”, Couchsurfing is actually a great way to conserve cash and make local friends. To start surfing all you have to do is create an account, fill out your profile, upload a few photos of yourself and send out Couchsurfing requests to potential hosts. To be safe make sure your host has at least three or four positive reviews from other Couchsurfers.
Learn more: How to Couchsurf
2. Bring your smartphone.
Don’t leave your smartphone at home. Even without phone service, you can take high-quality photos, jot down notes, listen to music, set an alarm and surf the web on it. Tip- there’s almost always free wifi, and air-conditioning, at Starbucks and McDonalds.
Ten-euro cocktails add up quickly, so drink up at the hostel prior to going out. If you are traveling alone offer other hostel guests some of your wine or beer; you will probably end up with a few new friends to join you at the pub.
Learn more: How to Drink Cheaply Abroad
4. Carry pepper spray.
Walking alone at night can be unsafe in any city, so it’s prudent to wield some kind of defense. Female travelers- keep a small can of pepper spray in your purse for peace of mind.
Learn more: Essential Safety Tips for Backpackers
5. Wear a cross-body purse.
Also for female travelers- make sure to wear a cross-body purse. A cross-body purse is not only harder for thieves to run off with, it also allows your hands to be free while you’re carrying a heavy backpack.
Learn more: How to Pack for a Backpacking Trip
6. Use social media to get travel advice.
Share your upcoming travel plans on Facebook and Twitter; you might score suggestions or land a contact who can show you around town. Another smart idea is to send out a mass email requesting recommendations to your friends and family.
Learn more: 5 Creative Ways to Plan a Kick-ass Itinerary
7. Check out the local farmers’ market.
The farmers’ market is an ideal place to collect high-quality ingredients for a picnic or hostel meal. It is also interesting to scope out the regional produce and observe the interactions between the vendors and customers.
Learn more: How to Eat Cheaply Abroad
8. Drink from a Nalgene.
Attach a Nalgene bottle to your pack to save money on water. Throughout most of Western Europe and the Cono Sur of South America (Argentina, Chile and Uruguay) you will be safe filling up in sinks.
ABOUT THE BLOGGER:
Ashley Fleckenstein is a Michigan-born blogger soon to be living in Paris. She specializes in solo female travel and is passionate about wine, skiing and eating really good food. Follow her blog as she learns about French life and takes weekend trips around Europe and North Africa.
Find Ashley on:
Her blog: ashleyabroad.com