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Today, we continue our series where we sit down to interview fellow Travel Bloggers and (hopefully) get them to give up some of their best travel tips for you, dear reader. Next up, Jeremy Jones with Living The Dream RTW shares his views about traveling around the world.
1) What is it about traveling that makes you smile?
Traveling is great because it is something new. Whether it is exploring a new city, beach, or mountain it is always refreshing to take in something new and wonderful that this world has to offer.
2) What is your favorite place in the world?
Ouch, tough question. I spent 6 weeks in Thailand and could easily go back right now for another 6, so I guess I’d say that Thailand is my favorite thus far. Apart from the beaches, Chiang Mai is just a wonderful city in its own right and I absolutely love it there. If I had to go somewhere else, I’d say Switzerland because the mountains are absolutely stunning and my kind of summer weather – chilly but not cold.
3) What place would have to pay you to come back and even then you’d have to think about it?
I can’t say there are many places that I disliked enough to never want to go back. There are several that I have seen my share of and have no desire to see again, just from doing the items I wanted to see, but I think if I was offered money I’d go back to almost everywhere unless it was competing for some vacation time or something. This is especially true now that my fiancee is going to travel with me, and she hasn’t been anywhere. So even if I have been somewhere and got my fill, I’ll still go for her to see it.
4) What is the best piece of advice that you’ve been given about traveling?
I think my biggest piece of advice I received is not so much physical as inspirational. Anytime I hear someone say “The one regret I have in life was not traveling when I was younger” I get the urge to buy another plane ticket right now. I’ve been to 34 countries already, but I don’t want to end up saying that!
5) How has traveling changed you as a person?
I’ve definitely become more straightforward and extroverted. If you would ask anyone in high school or college about me and I would be the quiet one who never really spoke up. But after having to fend for myself for 5 months on the road, especially in China, I really broke out of my shell out of necessity. Introducing yourself to new people every day on the road really helps networking skills and confidence!
6) Have you ever volunteered during your travels? If so, what did you do? If not, will you ever?
I would love to volunteer while I travel, but for some reason never got the opportunity to do so yet. I’m really unsure on how to go about getting started with such a thing, and what time commitments I’d be needing to give. When we go on our next open ended adventure I think it’d be really great to do some volunteer work if we can find anything of interest.
7) What is the best piece of advice that you can give our readers?
Traveling on a budget does not mean going cheap. Make a budget, figure out what you can afford, and do it. Going for 3 months doing it the way you want to is a much more enjoyable experience than going 6 and living like a bum half the time. If you require AC, pay extra. If you like to book in advance, do it. Don’t let others tell you how to plan your trip in ways you are not comfortable in exchange for a perceived freedom or longer travel. The key is to just get out there, regardless of how you do it.
8 ) Since this is a budget travel blog, what is your best budget tip, bar none?
Hub cities, easily. Flying is the most expensive aspect of travel, and breaking up trips via Hub cities can save hundreds of dollars. The trick is simple, airlines code-share flights with others to get you to where you need to go. But lumping the ticket into one package becomes more expensive. If you have time, book a round trip ticket to a hub city, and budget flights to the place you need to go. Might get a full day trip to a city out of it, and save several hundred dollars in the process.
For example, I flew from Dayton, Ohio to Cairo, Egypt and return from Amman, Jordan with layovers. The cheapest all inclusive flight was around $1500, with one of the layovers being in Athens. Looking at a round trip ticket from Dayton, Ohio to Athens, returning from Amman, had a price of $1100. Then, a ticket from Athens, Greece to Cairo was $90 on a budget carrier (and that was an expensive seat). I had to get my bags in Athens and re-check in, but I had a 12 hour layover, got to explore the city, and saved over $300 by the trick. More sites and less money? Why not?!
9) Where do you plan to travel this year?
I cut my gap year short to come home and get married to my long time girlfriend, so we don’t have plans for travel just yet since I am looking for a job and saving for a gap year trip in 2013. Right now we are thinking road trips to NYC and a weekend in Vegas to celebrate a job offer (if I ever get one). Next year we’re going to Norway for our honeymoon as of now.
10) What are the three things that you could never do without during your travels?
My SLR camera is my baby. I am horribly addicted to the internet, so that would be my number 2. The third is my fiancee, of course. I spent 4.5 months without her on my last journey, and will never go away for more than a few weeks without her again.
Thanks for proving that budget travel doesn’t mean denying yourself phenomenal experiences, Jeremy!
Please contact him at:
Travel blog: Living The Dream