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Category: Travel Tips (page 1 of 6)

RTW Budget: Vietnam

Vietnam is lauded as one of the cheapest countries in the world to travel. Between street food, hostels, the acceptability of haggling, and the absolute least expensive beer in the world, the Backpacker Index claims you could conceivably get around even the country’s largest cities on less than $20 a day. Honestly, this was part of the draw for me to spend three weeks in Vietnam at the halfway point of my solo RTW trip. I knew my Vietnam budget would be minimal, and I could easily travel overland through Southeast Asia without worrying about the money. I didn’t know a ton about the country before visiting, so without those draws of ‘bucket list’ attractions, I needed to know I wouldn’t be going out of my way to travel in Vietnam. So was the Backpacker Index right? Read on for my detailed, penny-by-penny budget for Vietnam.

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Three Ways to Embrace Slow Travel

The more I travel, the slower I go. On my RTW trip, I went from bouncing between cities sometimes with only a few days in each, to spending weeks and even full months in some places. There are tons of posts on the internet professing the benefits of slow travel. Pacing yourself doesn’t wear down your immune system, making slow travel better for your health. It keeps you from getting distracted and becoming more vulnerable to scams. Plus, by affording yourself time to fully experience your surroundings, slow travel is simply more enjoyable. But not everyone has a full year to explore freely at their own pace. Below are three practical ways to incorporate slow travel into a trip of any length – even a week-long vacation.

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How to Pick Work Cafes While Traveling

Working while traveling is both challenging and enriching. Having freelance projects and this blog gave me more focus and purpose on my RTW trip, while also helping support the costs of that travel. I frequently booked accommodations that would allow me to work from my home away from home. I also stayed in a fair number of hostel dorms, and sometimes you get tired of catching side eye for being that chick who always seems to be on her laptop. What’s a digital nomad to do? Enter the WiFi cafe. As the number of remote workers in the world grows, so too does the number of places willing to let you buy a latte and settle in for the morning. In my Creative Professional’s Guides, I often highlight the best cafes to work from in destinations from London to Ljubljana. But there’s more to finding quality work cafes than a single online recommendation. Think about these criteria when assessing the work-friendliness of cafes in your destination.

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RTW Budget: Laos

One of the best ways to travel on a budget is to steer clear of destinations in high tourist demand and instead go off the beaten path. Few places in my travel history have been as off the beaten path as Laos. The Southeast Asian country sandwiched between Thailand and Vietnam has just enough of a tourism industry to ensure I’d be able to find places to stay, things to do, and restaurants to eat, while keeping the price of all those things under $30 per day. See the full breakdown of what I spent below.

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RTW Budget: Thailand

Thailand may have been the first travel destination I ever became aware of. My dad grew up as an army brat and spent three years of his childhood in Bangkok. So I grew up hearing endless stories of the former kingdom of Siam. Naturally, no matter what the country’s reputation in the larger travel community was, I would have carried a big soft spot for Thailand. But I’ve been lucky enough to not only get to know my dad’s childhood home, but to also discover a country famed for its convenient and budget friendly travel. How much does it cost to explore Bangkok and Chiang Mai? I break down every dime I spent from airfare and accommodations to every last Thai iced tea I sipped on.

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Hostel Horror Stories

Hostels are one of the staples of budget travel, whether you’re on a year-long RTW trip like me or a shorter vacation. Found nearly everywhere outside the US, these shared spaces help travelers save money and make friends. Though they have a bad reputation among many less experienced travelers, there are plenty of hostels that are clean, comfortable, and safe. Sometimes, however, it’s true that you pay a different price for that tempting low nightly rate. Below are all my worst hostel experiences from nearly a year on the road.

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RTW Budget: Nepal

I stand by my choice to trek with a group. But, because I booked an organized tour, Nepal ended up being one of the more expensive countries on my RTW trip. View the full breakdown of what I spent on a 16-day tour of Nepal below.

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RTW Budget: India

India is famous as a budget-friendly destination, but how much does it really cost? I spent two days in transit and 10 days in Delhi with perhaps the least expensive hostel and dining expenses of any destination on my RTW itinerary.

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RTW Budget: London

Budget London? Isn’t that an oxymoron? The British capital isn’t exactly known as a cheap destination. When I determined Istanbul probably wasn’t the best place for me to spend the month of October, I was afraid switching gears to London would completely kill my RTW budget. I did wind up spending about $200 more than planned. But that was about the difference in the cost of my Airbnb rental from city to city – everything else pretty much evened out. Read on to see exactly what I spent on a month in London.

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Six Months In: How My RTW Packing List Has Changed

Every new traveler thinks they’ve nailed the perfect packing list. My original RTW packing list turned out to be pretty good. But in the first month or so of my trip, it seemed like I couldn’t turn my head without something in my pack getting lost or broken. As soon as the last thing got replaced, something new would fixing. And then there are all the toiletries I had planned on restocking on the road.

So as I rounded the halfway point of my year-long RTW trip, I took another look at what’s inside my backpack. What have I added? Did I get rid of any items I don’t need? Just how often does a traveler have to restock things like shampoo, toothpaste, and deodorant? How often do things get lost and broken? Read on to see how my packing list has changed.

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