Archive for Travel Tips – Australia

CouchSurfing. Sounds Pretty Cool For Anybody But My Daughter.

Not sure what to think about this one. On the one hand, it sounds like a great way to meet people, go cool places on the cheap, get a real community going. On the other hand, it sounds like hitch hiking with a twist. I haven’t tried it but I bet it’s filled with a lot of stories of awesome people and lifelong friends, coupled with a horror story every now and then cs6 master collection mac. Just like any risk sport where each success makes you more and more confident until that one hairy moment is a reminder of reality. Also, as with any risk sport, there are safe and unsafe ways to do it. When a paraglider pilot looks at the weather and it isn’t a sure thing, that’s when you pack it in. Likewise, if a situation feels the least bit weird, time to bail.

If I were in the Antartica…or a warzone… or backcountry…. or

Did you know that you can rent a satellite phone? For about 40 bucks and a dollar sixty a minute you can shout out a HEEELLLP! Or someone can let you now that you need to come home NOW! Regardless, it would be pretty cool to have if it all hit the fan.

Help to Avoid Delays and Cancellations

I’m for anything that helps beat the airlines at their game. I want any information that they are unwilling to hand out. Here’s another website that actually takes historical information and lets you track which days and flights have the highest cancellations or delays. AVOID THESE FLIGHTS! don’t avoid this web page.

Kinda Dorky But Convenient

This thing isn’t really my style but eliminating hassle is. Basically it’s a vest where you can hold your tickets, passport, snacks, everything you would be searching for when going through an airport. Just keep it in one of the tons of pockets in this vest. The coolest part is just throwing it on the x-ray conveyer and just walking through. If this is your kind of deal, here is a good place to get one.

“That You May Walk (Travel) in Peace”

It can get a little wild in a foreign country where tourists sometimes have a target on their back. You have money, you are distracted, you are not expecting a problem. The underbelly of humanity, in any country, knows this and can take advantage. The above quote comes from an Israeli self defense system known as Krav Maga.

Krav Maga

Krav Maga

It’s made for average people without a lot of time on their hands to be a Judo master or anything. Old, young, heavy, small, it doesn’t matter in this system as the Israelies created it for their army (everyone has to join). The FBI and many police forces have made this their primary training as it’s so easy to learn yet brutal towards attackers. Knowing what to do if it gets dicey will certainly help you “travel in peace.”

Beating the Airline Ticket Guessing Game

I’ve found a free site that rocks and is actually usefull! It’s called farecast.com and basically it takes historical and current data to see the cheapest time to buy tickets. You know how it goes: “what if I leave on Sunday or Monday? What if this week or next week? When does the season end? What If I stay 13 days or 12 days” Well, this site beats them at their game. They make it so confusing that we just guess and make bad decisions. What do we need? Information and here it is!

Learning Languages, The Truth

I once heard of a businessman who wanted to learn Russian fluently in a 3 week crash course. Something got in his mind (advertising maybe?) that made him think this was possible with hard work. He learned a lot but barely touched the edge of what he needed to converse freely. Another person accumulated lots of dictionaries, books (unread), games, stickers and so on but never did the hard part: memorizing and practicing. She got nowhere.

Flashcards Rule!

Flashcards Rule!

THE SECRET: Flash cards and being willing to make a fool out of yourself. Make or buy thirty flash cards with the most common words on them. Keep them in your pocket and go over them everywhere you go. At red lights, waiting in an office, hold them under a table at boring meetings. As you learn the words, take them out of the pile and replace them with new words. NEXT, use them every chance you can, even if you look stupid. Learning a language is about work. First you need the tools (words in your head) then you need to practice using those tools. It will take time and you will also need instruction for native speakers, but until you suck it up and get the words out of books and into your mind, you will be struggling. AH, BUT THE PAYOFF IS WONDERFUL!!! As are the relationships you will form

THE AMAZING SIM CARD – and being “local” everywhere

Imagine this: I’m in the Philippines, making calls on my local cell phone. A little bit later, I’m in Cairo doing the same thing. After that I’m in Russia and on it goes. It’s always the same phone and I’m always local. How does this happen? By understanding how phones work overseas.

It’s not about hooking up with phone services and getting the right calling plan. It’s merely a matter of going into a kiosk or booth, buying a SIM card stocked with minutes and putting it in your phone. Violla! You’re local. In the Philippines I bought a SIM chip for $10 and was calling and texting home to my heart’s content. Everyone at home could find me whenever they liked so it was good all around.

The catch: First, you have to have a GSM enabled phone (quad band). In America many are already like that so no big deal. I bought an ATT Tilt that gets me anywhere and opens up easily to change the SIM card. Second, you have to get the code to unlock your phone. This means talking your carrier into letting you get off their system while out of the country. My phone is with a business so they were happy to accommodate. Just so you know, it can be difficult sometimes if you have an I-phone or something else you got on a deal with a 2 year contract.

Perfect for calming down the parents who are worried about getting a hold of you.