All posts by Vago Damitio

Vago Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. He jumped ship from a sinking dotcom in 2000 and decided to reclaim his most valuable commodity, time. He bought a VW bus for $100, moved into it and set out on a journey to show the world that it was possible to live life on your own terms. That journey took him from waking up under icy blankets in  the Pacific Northwest to waking up under palm tress in Southeast Asia. Three years later, his first book, Rough Living: Tips and Tales of a Vagabond was published. After diving into the Anthropology of Tourism and Electronic Anthropology at the University of Hawaii (with undeclared minors in film and surf) he hit the road again in 2008. Since that time,he's lived primarily in Morocco and Turkey, married a Moroccan girl he couchsurfed with, and become a proud father. He's been to more than 40 countries, founded a successful online travel magazine (this one!), and still doesn't have a boss. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook
world travel tips

27 Quick World Travel Tips

Here are 27 quick tips to make world travel better. What are your quick tips for world travelers?

1) Say hi to other people who are traveling
2) Don’t flash your bling
3) Catch a cab and talk to the driver about cool things to do (Cabbies are almost always multi-lingual)
4) Scan a picture of your passport and give it to someone you trust
5) Get a nice padlock and use it when necessary (It takes two to steal: the thief and the one who left an opportunity)
6) Wear long pants during long transport
7) Look at the mattress…know what bedbugs look like
8) Stay where you get breakfast for free
9) Make sure hot water is included
10) Find paperback exchanges
world travel tips
11) Stay longer and get cheaper room rates
12) Fill out your couchsurfing profile completely
13) Look for free fruit on the trees
14) Look for language exchanges
15) Don’t leave your phone in your room
16) Bring your own condoms
17) Don’t get so drunk you can’t take care of yourself
18) Trust your instincts about people
19) Eat the local food
20) Always ask for a second price
21) Don’t wander around alone late at night
22) Don’t give up your passport
23) Bring your valuables to the shower with you in a hostel
24) Eat lots of cheese if you get diarrhea
25) A handful of nuts makes hunger go away
26) Get a haircut and a shave (or a wax and a style)

This last one is my personal opinion only.

27) Drink the water.

What are your quick tips for world travel?

World Travel can be dangerous

World Travel is Risky – Get Travel Insurance

World travel can be dangerous and expensive. One thing you don’t want to do is get stuck somewhere with no money, no options, and no chance to save yourself. That’s where travel insurance can really come in handy.

As a blogger, I find it’s best to stay as unbiased as possible in what we offer to you. While many of us choose to travel without insurance, the risks are sometimes just not worth it. This can be especially true if you have a family or are traveling for long periods. From all the research I’ve done, there is one company that is the top rated provider for any kind of backpacker or travel insurance: World Nomads.

In terms of features and price no other company can compare with World Nomads. Their travel insurance is available in all countries – (with sensible exceptions – you aren’t covered for travel in places like Iraq or Afghanistan) – and they don’t leave out the most unusual or interesting places, as some other insurance companies do. Another huge benefit of World Nomads is that you can purchase your insurance when you have already departed!

Since most vagabonds leave their travel insurance until the last minute – and sometimes even later – this is a truly valuable feature. Along the same lines, if you should you decide to keep traveling on beyond your original travel expectations, you can easily get a new policy on the web without having to be in your home country.

It is for these reasons and more that I recommend unreservedly World Nomads.

World Travel can be dangerous

Why buy WorldNomads.com Travel Insurance?

Our preferred travel insurance partner, WorldNomads.com keeps you travelling safely. They cover residents from over 150 countriesand you can buy, extend and claim, even while travelling. Here are some reasons to buy travel insurance with World Nomads:

  1. Save money
    By focussing on what you need and leaving out what you don’t, WorldNomads.com prices are some of the most competitive online.
    With travel insurance that’s made for independent and adventurous travellers, their insurance includes what’s important: overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and cover for a range of adventure sports.

 

  • Stay flexible
    Did you leave home without insurance ? Had a change of plans or your cover has expired? With WorldNomads.com, you can buy travel insurance, extend your policy or claim online, 24/7, even while travelling.
  • Be adventurous
    From skiing & snowboarding in New Zealand to whitewater rafting in Colorado, WorldNomads.com covers a range of adventure activities, giving you peace of mind to get the most from your travels.
  • Get help when you need it most
    WorldNomads.com is backed by a suite of strong, secure, specialist travel insurers who provide you with great cover, 24 hour emergency assistance and the highest levels of support and claims management when you need it most.
  • Stay safe on the road
    All WorldNomads.com members have access to up-to-date travel safety alerts, as well as travel safety advice and tips online through the WorldNomads.com Travel Safety Hub.
  • Flirt in 25 languages and stay in touch
    Get all the best phrases in the local lingo with WorldNomads.com’s series of iPod & iPhone Language Guides. They’ll help you stay in touch with family and friends with a free travel blog.
  • Make a difference when you travelWhen you buy a policy from WorldNomads.com you can help make a difference to developing communities. Your small donation helps fund local projects through the WorldNomads.com Footprints program.

 

Flowers in Bordeaux

Tips for World Travel Planning #2

Travel Around the World, huh? You have probabley decided to take a trip around the world and since you are reading this, you are probably looking for some assistance in planning your trip. First let me say this, planning a trip around the world is fun, but it’s not necessarily easy.

towers in SpainThe hardest thing to decide? Where will you go? Sure, you’d like to go everywhere but unless you’re one of those fortunate enough to have big fat bank accounts, that’s not very realistic. The first thing to do is to really dig into where you want to go. There are a multitude of destinations and activities you can do. Which ones? Are you going to ride elephants, camels, or donkeys? Are you into resorts or hostels? Will you be looking for boutique hotels or couchsurfing with local hosts?

The first thing you should do is to sit down and create a top ten list of the places you want to visit. My advice is to first write down everywhere you have ever dreamed of going and cross them out until only your top ten remain. Don’t worry, you may be able to see those other places, but you have to figure out your main route before you do anything else.

Now go to the trip planning tool and see if you can chart a reasonable trip to those places going either clockwise or counterclockwise. Don’t worry about seeing them in the order you placed them. The important thing is to see them, not the order, right? Besides, you don’t want to take long flights or transport and end up doubling back over your journey.

Berber old womanSometimes, a destination just won’t work in a round the world trip. For example a visit to Zanzibar may not work if you want to go to Russia and take the trans-Siberian after visiting Munich and before going to Tokyo. You might be able to make it work, but try to make things easy on yourself.

Once you’ve got your basic route planned out, start reading about the destinations you’ve chosen. You can find a wealth of information on Vagobond and Wikitravel is a great resource or you can pick up guidebooks that cover just about everywhere on the globe in bookstores or on your kindle.

You probably have a good idea of what you want to do in your destinations, but research might just point out some things you didn’t think of. Are you into cultural travel, adventures, or culinary travel? Will you be white water rafting, hiking, biking, roller skating, or scuba diving?

Flowers in BordeauxI know you want to do all those things, but do you have the physical capability? Do you have the equipment? Is the equipment available for rent? Can you afford it? All of these things need to be thought about and written down.

In all liklihood you will be on ‘the tourist trail’ which means you will probably be seeing things that have been written about and experienced by others but if you want to discover new things about your destinations, you will need to get off the beaten trail. It’s not always easy to do.

There are many factors for why touristic places have become touristic. Usually they are easy to get to and they are safe. When you leave the tourist trail, you step away from those factors. One way to find off the beaten path experience is to get online and find the locals at sites like couchsurfing, tripitini, or vagobonding.com. The travel industry offers the easy path if you prefer not to put in the effort of talking with people who live in a place.

Kadikoy Beach Marmara SeaChances are, you are going to be visiting big cities. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but most big cities are pretty similar. There isn’t a lot aside from the cultural attractions that differentiates them. To really experience a place you need to head to small towns, the countryside, or even non-touristic suburbs. Sure, Sultanahmet and Taksim in Istanbul are great, but when you stay in Sisli, you get to really soak in what life in Turkey is like.

For getting around, I think local transport is one of the great joys of travel. Commuter trains, shared cabs, minibuses, bicycles, and the always wonderful feet. Cabs are easy, but you won’t get much more than a ripoff with most of them. Sometimes you meet a great cabby though and…they are usually safe.