Pati's Travel Tips
Hello Traveller! Welcome to my Travel Tips Page!
As I learn and gain so much knowledge during my travels I would like to share all this experience with you! I hope you think it is a good idea 🙂
I will keep this page as alive as possible. I will be adding content and current information and all the posts here will be regularly updated as I gain more insight into long term travel.
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Pati’s Travel Resources
My day to day travel resources I use to plan and book my travels on the go
How do I book flights?
I use Skyscanner to check available flights and prices. This is a great search engine and flights comparison site at the same time. What is great about Skyscanner is that even if you don’t know where to go – you can just type in ‘anywhere’! How awesome is that!
Once I found a flight I need, I only book via Skyscanner if there is an option to be redirected to the actual airline website. Do not use the agents as the price will significantly go up at the check-in. Skyscanner is my go-to website for searching and booking flights.
I often book directly with an airline once I know what companies operate the route I am considering. This, most of the time is the cheapest way to purchase flight tickets.
How do I look for and book my accommodation?
For the majority of my accommodation management, I use Bookings.com and Hostel World. Airbnb for more extended stays – anything over two weeks.
With both Bookings.com and Hostel World, you will often get a free cancellation option. You will also get the most extensive selection of all type of accommodation. I hardly ever look elsewhere. I like to choose few rooms like I and then check additional reviews on TripAdvisor.
On TripAdvisor, you will also get more photographs, including those taken by travellers. I once was very ready to book the room but decided to check reviews and photos on TripAdvisor first. When I read in the most recent one that a traveller found a cockroach in the wardrobe – I cancelled straight away. I know that while travelling in tropical countries, it is inevitable. But a dead cockroach in the wardrobe means the room was not cleaned or checked.
The insurance do I use
While travelling in Europe, I make use of my European Health Card. If you citizen of an EU country – I highly recommend obtaining one. It is free, and you will have to apply for one in the country of your residence – meaning in a place where you are employed and paying taxes.
European Health Insurance Card gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any of the 27 EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, under the same conditions and at the exact cost (free in some countries) as people insured in that country.
Please note – it is not an alternative to travel insurance, and it’s only suitable for temporary and shorter trips.
The health insurance company I use is SafetyWing, and their plan suits me perfectly. It is designed with nomads in mind, and it also covers Covid19. What I like the most about SafetyWing is that I don’t need to specify the length of my trip or all the countries I will be travelling to. I make decisions on the go and often last-minute – it’s great to have insurance that covers you wherever you go. I pay in monthly instalment, and whenever I decide to return home, I can cancel and stop the monthly payments.
How do I book tours?
I booked quite a few tours via Get Your Guide, and that one time, I had to cancel. I got my money back fine. I actually was cheeky and checked if booking directly would be cheaper, and it was the same price. So I stick to them now as I feel that I will find more legitimate companies, and I am more protected via this site. Highly recommended!
While in South America, I used Viator Tours. Where Get Your Guide wasn’t successful, Viator always was.
Keeping your money safe while on the road
I carry two debit cards with me. Given I don’t have a permanent country of residence Revolut and TransferWise work fantastic. In case one gets frozen, stolen or simply lost, I have a backup. The great thing about both cards is that you can freeze them straight from your phone and transfer money between them in case you need to. This gives me a lot of peace of mind.
I definitely recommend having a backup card. And always keep them in 2 different places. I keep one in my day bag, and the other always stays in my hostel or main bag if I’m travelling.
Always inform your bank about your travel plans. It can be tricky and time-consuming to contact the bank if your funds were frozen due to overseas activity.
Change your bigger notes in big supermarkets. In many countries, cards are not widely accepted, and you don’t want to be flashing your big notes in public. Sometimes the vendor will be very reluctant to give you a change. You want to avoid that. Withdraw the money in secure places, during the day and preferable in the bank.
I have recently heard a piece of great advice to keep some notes in the widely accepted currency as an emergency. This could be dollars or pounds, for example. In case you run out of local cash and can’t get to the cashpoint, there is always a way to exchange dollars for local money. The rate might not be great, but this won’t matter so much in case of trouble.
I only carry my small purse around with notes I need for the day. The rest and one of my cards always stay in the hostel. If you need to carry larger amounts – use a discreet money belt.
My recommended Travel websites and apps which I use all the time!
Google maps (plus offline maps) – what can I say? Luckily the days we had to rely on paper maps are gone (how did we manage? LOL). Before your trip make sure you download an offline map of your location. This way you will always find your way even if there is no internet connection.
Moovit -excellent and very underrated travel and journey planning app. It works great in many countries and will show you all possible routes by public transport including the times. I wouldn’t rely on the latter too much, though. But it is a great app to plan your journey from point A to B. It will provide you with a bus or train station location with the map included, journey time, and all the stops. It is fantastic!
Busbud – I use this app a lot in Europe. Great for getting your bus tickets and checking the timetables.
Rome2rio – Another great journey planning app. If your way of travel is mainly public transport – you will use this app for sure!
Blablacar – ride sharing application. Great way to travel from A to B whiles also meeting new people and maybe even making friends.
Easy Currency Exchange – I started using it in Colombia. I am normally fine converting currency in my head, but I was lost with all those thousands and millions of pesos. This app works offline, and you can check very quickly how much exactly are you being charged.
Uber/Bolt – Do I need to explain? This is the cheapest and safest way to travel by taxi. The rate is given upfront, you know who your drib[ver will be and you can take a note of number plates. This service is still one of the most revolutionary things out there 🙂
All Trails – my favourite hiking app. The free version is awesome and I like the look of the maps. Very easy to navigate around and pretty accurate. I used it all the time during my lone hikes in Madeira.
There are hundreds of travel and journey planning apps out there. The recourses mentioned above are those I regularly use, and you will find them on my phone. This list is updated regularly as I come across new gems.