Welcome on board! Don’t you love it when you hear those words on a flight? I do, and I guess you do too, which is why you’re here. In this guide I’ll share my best time and money saving travel tips. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Taking the pain (and expense) out of trip planning
- Anybody else hate packing? How to do it properly
- Destination guides to make your trip great
- What to do when your trip goes wrong
- How to make your solo or long term trip happen
I send out occasional emails with updates – sometimes personal, sometimes chit-chat, and sometimes to let you know when I’ve published new stuff on the site. Click it, delete it, share it – it’s entirely up to you. If you’re not subscribed already, sign-up here. There’s no need to worry that I’m going to flood your inbox. My writing pace is so glacial I’m still writing up my 1st Round The World trip from 2010!
A bit about Indiana Jo
Who’s Indiana Jo anyway? I’m glad (I’m pretending) you asked. I haven’t written a resume in over a decade but it might look a little like this:
- Once upon a time I was a lawyer in London * crowd boos *
- In 2010 I did that ‘quit my job to travel the world‘ thing.
- Nope, I’m not loaded. I sold everything – my house, my car, my iPod (hey, it was 2010, iPods were a thing).
- That one-year trip turned into nearly 6 years as I traded law for freelance travel writing and ultimately learned how to make money blogging.
- I was loving the digital nomad life (most of the time). Even the very cold 3 months I lived in a cave in France.
- If it wasn’t for ‘that incident‘ in the British Virgin Islands, I would still have been on the road instead of limping back to the UK for knee surgery.
- I tried the ‘roots’ thing again – I bought a coffee machine (and a flat in Liverpool), I somehow started running Prosecco Tours in Italy, for 3 years I made the static location thing work.
- Then some sad sh!t happened and on the back of a boat load of grief, I packed my bag and hit the road again.
- However, that was late 2019 and we all know what happened next…COVID.
- So, in March 2020 at the request of the UK Government, I flew home. Again. Anyone else dizzy by now? I certainly was as I unpacked my flat, tried to source loo roll and adapted to a life indoors after months spent exploring the rainforests of Costa Rica.
- That was then. And now, with COVID is in the rearview mirror, my family and friends are taking bets on how long before I jet-off once again. I’m tempted. So, so, very, very tempted…
That’s my story. So far. You can read more here.
Want even more? Here are some of my more personal stories you might find fun.
- 101 Ways Travel Changed Me – I have one less tooth.
- The 10 Weirdest Places I’ve Been – the massage in a women’s prison was both weird and excellent.
- 50 Biggest Culture Shock Experiences – 3 words: toilets in China. With pictures.
- So, that was my 30s… I wasn’t where I was supposed to be.
Taking the pain (and expense) out of trip planning
We all love taking trips but what about the planning bit? Unless you’re handing it all over to a travel agent (together with a heap of money), you’re going to have to do some planning to get where you want to go. In this section I’m going to share with you some of my top tips for planning and booking your trip.
Planning your trip
I’ve travelled when it was easy (oh, I miss the 90s), I’ve travelled when it was hard (COVID), I’ve travelled for work, and I’ve travelled when it was my everyday nomadic life. I’ve taken two complete trips around the globe, quick trips, long trips, solo trips, trips with friends, family trips and romantic trips. My point: I’ve planned a lot of trips. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way.
- How to Plan a Trip: Planning An Itinerary
- How Much Does it Cost to Travel?
- How to Turn up at the Airport and Take the Next Flight Out
- The Highs and Lows of Low-Season Travel
- To Take Tours or Not to Take Tours – That is the Question
Booking your trip
The internet is great for booking trips but why is there so much of it? And why do my flight prices keep going up the more I look (hint: it might be dynamic pricing – clear your cookies and they might go down again)? Whether you’re confused by the many booking websites or trying to bag a bargain flight (I once flew to Paris for €5 and to Hawaii for $98), here are my best trip booking tips.
- 101 Tips for Cheap Flights
- Top Travel Sites – Over 100 Links for Trip Planning
- Dynamic Pricing: Flight Pricing’s Biggest Scam?
- How to Book Cheap Hotels (with Priceline Express Deals)
Got any travel tips not included above? Leave a comment below.
Anybody else hate packing? How to do it properly
I once went to the Maldives having only packed clothes for the upper part of my body. Yes, I left all of my shorts and skirts in a neat pile on the spare bed. Unless you’re Winne-the-Pooh, who famously always forgets to put on pants and never seems to get arrested, it’s not acceptable behaviour. I’m still very grateful for that one dress I packed.
Since that trip, I’ve gotten much better at packing. In fact, I drew up a travel checklist for myself which I now use for every trip. You’ll find it below along with my other packing tips and lists.
- Printable Packing List – The Only Packing List You’ll Ever Need
- How to Travel Light: 25 Quick Swaps for Packing Light
- 15 Long Haul Flight Essentials: What to Take Onboard
- Safari Packing List – What You Need To Take On Safari
- Your Printable Costa Rica Packing List
- Trekking Kit – 10 Essentials for Every Long Hike
- The Art of Packing Light
- The 10 Travel Gadgets I Wouldn’t Travel Without
- The 10 Travel Essentials I Wouldn’t Travel Without
Travel themed gifts and gadgets
Know someone who’s going on a trip? Want to gift someone or yourself something travel themed? Or are you looking for some new kit? Check out my reviews and gift guides.
- What are the Best Shoes for Travelling?
- +50 Best Travel Books of All Time
- Best Backpack for Travelling: The Ultimate Guide
- 10 Travel Gifts for Yourself
- Best Gifts for Travellers
Ever been on a trip without taking any pants or are you a packing genius? Leave a comment to share your stories or any other packing hacks you know.
Destination guides to make your trip great
In my decades of travelling, I’ve been to somewhere between 60 and 70 countries. I’m not saying that to boast. I’m saying it because the travel bug is real and if you catch it, your list is likely to get longer not shorter the more you travel. At times your travel wish list can seem overwhelming in its length. Where do you start? I know the answer to that one – start anywhere. It doesn’t matter. Just start.
Remember above where I said I’m still writing up my first round the world trip that I took in 2010? Well, that means that the posts on my site are a bit patchy. Yeah, yeah, I’m working on it…in between trips and coffee and reading travel books. In the meantime, here are the destinations I’ve covered in some detail. Check out my map to see a more detailed list of where I’ve been and leave a comment if you have any destination questions about places I’ve visited but not written about yet.
- UK – All Guides
- Italy – All Guides
- Spain – All Guides
- France & Switzerland – All Guides
- Rest of Europe – All Guides
- 45 Amazing Things To Do In Venice – Italy
- 30 Best Things To Do in Malaga
- 10 Things NOT To Do in Porto (and 10 To Do Instead)
- 3 Days in Florence: The Itinerary I Give My Friends
- Is Santorini Worth It?
- USA – All Guides
- Hawaii – All Guides
- Mexico – All Guides
- The Best Things To Do In San Diego – An Itinerary
- How to Spend One Day at the Grand Canyon
- 45 Cheap Things To Do in Miami
- 12 Iconic Things To Do In New York For Tourists
- Best Things to Do in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
- Your Ultimate Baja California Road Trip Itinerary
- How to Drink Tequila Like a Mexican
- 20 Fun Things To Do In Tijuana Mexico
- Which Hawaiian Island To Visit?
- 10 Top Things To Do In Oahu For First Time Visitors
- 21 Best Things To Do in Maui – Hawaii
Latin America & The Caribbean
- Central America – All Guides
- South America – All Guides
- Costa Rica – All Guides
- Colombia – All Guides
- Cuba – All Guides
- The Best Places To Visit in Costa Rica
- The Best Places to Visit in Colombia
- 21 Must Try Traditional Jamaican Food & Drinks
- An Itinerary Through Real Jamaica
- Asia – All Guides
- Vietnam – All Guides
- Japan – All Guides
- Myanmar – All Guides
- China – All Guides
- 3 Days in Hong Kong – What to See and Do
- 15 Best Things To Do In Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
- The Best Things To Do In Vietnam
- How To Do Your Own Panda Tour in Chengdu (And Why You Should)
- I Ate Fugu in Japan and Lived to Tell the Tale
- What to Eat in Japan – 20 Alternatives to Sushi
Africa & The Rest of The World
- Africa – All Guides
- Middle East – All Guides
- Planning A Kruger National Park Safari from Johannesburg
- 10 Best Tourist Activities in Johannesburg
- 10 Best Tours To Take in Cape Town – South Africa
- The Sights of Senegal: Fathala Wildlife Reserve
- A Day Exploring the Sights of The Gambia
- The Gambia’s “Roots”: When Good Intentions Lead to Bad Tourism
- 10 Best Cities with Beaches
- 10 Travel Experiences You Should Have In Your Lifetime
- Quick & Easy Brazilian Caipirinha Recipe
What to do when your trip goes wrong
If you travel often enough, it’s only a matter of time before you hit a snag on a trip. And I’ve had my fair share of them – 2014 was the year I seemed to miss 1 in every 3 flights I booked; in 2015 I had more insurance claims in that one year than I had in all of the rest of my years of travel (broken camera, lost suitcase and injured knee); along the years I’ve caught dengue fever in Mexico, had a snake in my room in Vietnam, climbed a volcano barefoot, and have been sick so many times I’ve written a whole post about it.
Some of these things can be avoided. Others can’t. Then it’s a case of dealing with it in the best way possible and trying to enjoy what you can of your trip. Here are my tips for what to do when travel goes wrong.
When things go wrong
- 10 Times Travel Made Me Sick
- My 20 Worst Travel Stories
- 12 Tips – What To Do If You’ve Missed Your Flight
- Are you ready to get robbed? 12 Holiday Safety Tips
- 101 Travel Themed Things To Do When You’re Bored At Home
- 101 Things to Do When It’s Raining on Holiday
- Denied Boarding: Is Your Passport Still Valid After Brexit?
- 10 Times You’ll Realise The Importance of Travel Insurance
- What Does Travel Insurance Cover (and What’s Excluded)?
- How To Make A Travel Insurance Claim
Travel Health & Safety
- What is the Best Mosquito Repellent?
- Malaria Facts Every Traveller Should Know
- What To Do When You Get Dengue Fever When You Travel
What’s your worst travel story? Prepared to share it? Or got any other travel safety tips? Leave a comment below.
How to make your solo or long term trip happen
I took my first solo trip in the middle of the beak-down of my marriage. Six months later I bought a round the world ticket and haven’t looked back since. Travelling solo (and especially as a solo female traveller) can feel daunting. As can quitting your day job in favour of long term travel or a round the world trip. Whether you’re considering the digital nomad life or wanting to become a travel blogger (ahem, content creators as we’re now known, apparently) or just thinking of a weekend away on your own, here are my solo and long term travel tips.
- What To Do When You Feel Lonely Travelling Alone
- 10 Reasons to Travel Alone (and 10 Reasons Not To)
- 20 Tips for Eating Out Alone – From A Seasoned Solo Diner
- Is it Safe for Women to Travel Alone?
- Best Destinations for Solo Female Travellers
Round the world and backpacking trips
- Backpacking Checklist – Plan A Round The World Trip in 4 Weeks
- How to Plan a Trip: Planning An Itinerary
- My Round The World Trip – 10 Things I’d Do Differently
- Tips For Your First Time Stay In A Hostel
- You Know You’ve Been Travelling a While When…
- I’ve Eaten And I’ve Prayed, So Where The F#ck Is Love?
Travel writing and being a digital nomad
- Start A Travel Blog? 10 Things I Wish I’d Known
- 10 Myths About Travel Blogging for Money
- How to Work and Travel – 20 Tips For Digital Nomads
- 10 Tips: How To Be a Better Blogger (From the Experts)
- Is Being A Freelance Writer Online Really A Dream Job?
- Challenges of Going From A Gap Year to Long-Term Travel
- Coming home after being a digital nomad for 5 years…
- On The Road Again – The Path Back To Nomadic Life
Are you taking a long-term trip or are you about to go somewhere solo? Got any questions? Leave a comment below.
That’s my ultimate travel planning resource guide. Share your own tips below.