Useful and varied tips for travelers to save money and travel often and for longer
When you read travel guides and the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, you quickly get scared. All foreign countries are more dangerous than others. You have to pay attention to everything, trust no one, be constantly on the lookout because independent travelers are easy prey. We therefore wondered how to survive in these hostile environments as toubabs, gringos, or other foreigners of all kinds. After reading the “Little Survival Guide” written by Ken Griffiths (offered by our friends before our departure) and following our experience, we can give you some practical advice to get out of it without too much collateral damage and ensure your safety in trip
Avoid damaged and dangerous places
One piece of advice that might seem obvious (and yet!) To you is to avoid vile and dangerous places. When you are in a developing country, you can be the target of malicious people and be the victim of mugging or theft. After these few months of traveling, we have not suffered any such inconvenience, apart from our little mishap in China with the teacup scam. Some will tell you that it is inevitable, that it is the fate of any traveler in countries like Peru (we have indeed met many travelers who have suffered a flight in South America or Thailand during their transport trips. premises in particular), but we are not convinced. Indeed, with a little common sense and a few precautions, we can avoid or at least push back these inconveniences which can spoil a trip. Listen to the advice of the locals, if you are told that it is dangerous to walk around the neighborhood at night, and stay in your hotel. If you don’t see anyone on a hiking trail and you don’t pass any tourists there, you may have found a great ride off the beaten track, or you may be on a trail that is not recommended in all travel guides. Avoid places where there are no people, especially in towns. As soon as you have the slightest doubt, do not hesitate to turn back or not to follow the nice local who wants everything taken to lead you to a must-see place that should not be missed under any circumstances …
Appear sympathic in all circumstances
One trick that works almost everywhere is to appear likable. You don’t have to be really nice, it’s the appearance that counts, a smile, a good mood and a few words in the language of the country is a key that can open many doors for you, even if it will take a lot of time. energy in the long run. With a smile, defuse a tense situation or get almost anything you want. When we are in an unfamiliar environment, we tend to quickly forget our common sense. For example, walking around Rio with a gold chain visible around your neck or showing everyone that you are a good tourist by taking out your camera which can be worth several monthly salaries for the locals (for example in Argentina, one of the most developed countries in South America, the minimum wage is 2,600 Argentine dollars (around 400 euros). A simple rule, therefore, is to blend as much as possible into the environment in which you find yourself by wearing clothes that go everywhere and not showing off your riches. Wearing a miniskirt and a tank top that shows your navel, in countries where women only see their forearm at worst in music videos on TV, for example, is not very prudent
Keeping your identity at any cost
The most important thing in a trip is to keep your identity and always own your passport. Indeed, it is complicated to obtain a new passport while traveling and what a hassle if in addition you have your visas for your future destinations (for example a visa for China which is sometimes difficult to obtain). For our part, we left with laminated photocopies of ours that we used when the hotels asked us for them and when we were out for a walk. It is only in Vietnam where guesthouses asked us for the originals and in New Zealand where the minimum age is 25 in bars and that we were kindly prohibited from drinking fruit juice in Wellington because photocopies were not enough
What do I do with my money?
Money is a must-have issue for all travelers. Indeed, what to do with your money when you walk around with the one-year salary of an inhabitant of the country on you (in Burma, there is no ticket machine and you must come with all of your budget for the duration of your stay). Many travelers use “bananas”, front pockets that are worn under clothes. We planned to do the same, but ultimately did not use these tools, finding them a little too restrictive. They keep warm, are visible in the event of an assault, and the content is not very accessible. We preferred to have secret pockets inside our pants where we hid our money and our credit card. In order to alleviate the inconvenience of an assault and to pay the small sums without having to take out your wallet, we always had a few small bills with us in one of our pants pockets. What could be more foolish than showing the shopkeeper and around that you’re carrying hundreds of dollars when you just want to pay 50 cents for a bottle of water. It may also be a good idea to have an old wallet in which to put some fresh bills of bills to give to a potential abuser. We advise you as far as possible to leave with two credit cards of different brands (for our part, we had taken a Visa in the name of the gentleman and a MasterCard in the name of the lady) and to store them in different places to reduce the risk of being left with nothing
Some bulk tips before you go
Traveling independently is no more dangerous than cycling in Paris. You just need to take a few precautions and not let go of your guard. Indeed, when you are on vacation or in an unfamiliar environment, you often have a natural tendency to forget your common sense and perform rash actions. When traveling, the traveler is his first enemy. The main advice we give to anyone who asks us how to travel safely is to always listen to your instincts. If there is any doubt whatsoever, you MUST refrain and not be ashamed to turn back or decline an invitation. And especially beware of the Non Thai Pickpockets gangs!