Tips n’ Links

Youthful exuberance ain’t worth a hill of beans if you don’t put it to good use every now(!) and then…


If you find yourself asking;

How to get around?

  • Skyscanner
  • Air Asia
    • Tuesday – Thursday are your cheaper days to fly
    • Booking your ticket 5 Tuesdays before is a flight attendant-patented tip
  • FlixBus
  • If you are going to be traveling around the UK for an extended amount of time consider getting a railcard: Rail Card

Where to lay my head?

  • My Fav Stays:
    • Europe: Hatters Hostel- Liverpool, Liverpool. Castle Rock, Edinburgh. Phoenix Hostel, London. The Clink 78, London. The Generator London/ Berlin (don’t think you can go wrong with any Generator location.) Sant Jordi (any location,) Barcelona. Sunflower Hostel, Berlin. Happy Go Lucky Hotel 7 Hostel, Berlin. White Tulip, Amsterdam
    • Asia: Dengba Hostel, Bankok. Brick House Hostel, Chiang Mai. Beachbums Berawa, Canggu. In Da Lodge, Udud. Mad Monkey Phnom Penh (don’t think you can go wrong with any Mad Monkey.) Downtown Siem Reap Hostel, Siem Reap.
    • Africa: Kif-kif Marrakech, Marrakech. Funky Fez, Fez.
  • Airbnb
  • Couch Surfing
  • *Level 5 endorse * Workaway
  • Helpx

What should I pack?

  • Zip lock bags
  • Packing Cubes (they are a God-send!)
  • Activity(s) of some sort: cards, hacky-sack, book, Frisbee, journal, tennis ball, etc.
  • Lighter (even if you don’t smoke, everyone always likes the guy who came in clutch with a light)
  • Head Torch
  • Locks of various sizes (for your bag zipper &/or hostel lockers)
  • Small first aid kit/Advil or Tylenal/ thermometer
  • Small sewing kit
  • Extra toothbrush/cheap sunglasses
  • Travel toothbrush holder
  • At least one long sleeve shirt or sweatshirt (even in SE Asia buses can get cold)
  • Copy of passport/medical records
  • Small backpack to use as a day pack
  • Hat
  • Raincoat
  • Travel Adapter
  • Power Bank or solar charger (Not necessary but highly recommended outlets can be a highly sought after commodity in hostels and airports.)

TBV Travel Tips, don’t try these at home kids!

  1. Backpacks are measured in liters. They range from 25 to 90+L.
    1. 1 I carry a 45L ‘bute named Bernice and she’s the perfect size for me. I’ve found my bag is smaller than what most dabblers carry, but I enjoy having a carry-on sized bag for when I fly. Any bag over 50L will mostly have to be checked. Plus a smaller bag keeps the unnecessary weight down, it’s human nature to fill the space one gives them self, and in the backpacking game less is more.
  2. Packing: preparing for a multi-month adventure will be daunting, but have no fear! It is a lot like that whole rinse and repeat situation. Step 1: Pack everything you think you will need. 2: Unpack and remove some clothing. 3: Repack. 4: Unpack and remove more clothing, a pair of shoes, and random items. 5: Repack and done… Trust me you won’t need as much as you think.
  3. I found bringing a clothesline and a pacsafe wire bag protector (I found these on other suggested pack lists) to be unnecessary space-eaters.
  4. Ladies; some cathedrals won’t let you in if you are wearing shorts. Pack a modest skirt to wear or throw in your day pack to slip on before getting your Jesus on.
  5. Towel, to pack or not to pack? It is entirely possible to get along without a towel. Most hostel will either rent them for a small fee or provide one. I like to use a tapestry because they are lighter weight, take up less room, dry quicker, and triple as a skirt/cover up/blanket. If you do want to go the towel route, then I’d recommend getting a quick dry travel towel.
  6. Searching for flights; my favourite platform is, especially when I have flexibility in the dates I intend to fly.  Skyscanner will show you a calendar’s month of fairs, allowing you to find the cheapest deal in a fraction of the time.
  7. East coast peeps: I have consistently found the cheapest flights from the US to Europe/Asia/Africa depart from JFK. We are talking hundreds of dollars cheaper. (I once found a one way ticket from JFK to Thailand for $350) If you are willing to get your Griswold on and road trip it to JFK, it’s worth a search.
  8. When flying internationally wear a jacket with a hood. Why? So you can shove the tick tack-sized pillow the airline gives you in your hood, presto! No more wrestling with a plush little devil to stay under your noggin. Sure you might goofy but in my experience the “cool” are uncomfortable while the dweebs are serene.
  9. It can sometimes be cheaper to directly book a hostel through their website, or get extra perks like free breakfast. I like to use to read the reviews, then book direct if possible.
  10. Keep the first day light. When entangling with massive time zone changes consider staying in your first destination a day longer than planned, jet lag is no joke.
  11. I prefer to book a hostel for only 1 or 2 nights at first even if I am going to be in the same city for a while. When there is boat-load of hostel options, it’s nice to test the waters before charging full steam ahead. If you are not feel a places vibe check out and find a different docking station that suits your mellow.
  12. Make sure you have at least 10€ on hand when checking into hostels. If you want the keys to the castle, then they will ask for more than a pretty penny as a security deposit.
  13. When studying abroad or backpacking it’s accepted the timeline between strangers and friends is much shorter. In regards to studying abroad, when you only have three months to make friends/ see as much of a new continent as possible, use my line. After clicking with someone I’d say, “Hey let’s become friends on facebook let me know if you ever want to get a cup of coffee or visit a foreign country together.”
  14. Check the current exchange rate before switching out your cash to ensure you’re not getting short changed.
  15. Do a google search to see if any museums or other attractions have free days or days with reduced entry fee’s
  16. To avoid crowds, visit museums and other popular attractions at prime lunch time.
  17. Free walking are amazing, I highly encourage going on as many as possible. Going on one the first or second day in town is a good way to get a lay of the land and get some fun-dational history. While free walking tours have no hidden costs, be sure to have a small bit of money on you. Typically the guides work for tips rather than a paycheck. In my opinion, if someone show you around for two hours, gives hot insider info and makes you laugh in the process, well then they deserve a tip.
  18. Hi, free walking tours again.. Also a great way to meet people and make friends. I ended up splitting (probably one too many) buckets of beer and shooting pool until who knows when with a boisterous, bevy of Australians I met in my Barcelona tour.
  19. When you make your budget don’t forget to factor in, “unexpected travel costs” because unfathomable suddenly becomes fathomable on the winding road. (See I’ve Got to Get that Monkey Off My Back if you don’t believe me.)