Stuff I Like
Wow soon this will be one of the biggest pages on this site. Everything from RTW tickets to secret international sim cards. Check back soon!
A tutorial on Round the World Airline Tickets.
I first started my dream of long term travel, when I stumbled across a site selling Round The World Airline tickets. I discovered you can buy $10,000 to $20,000 worth of airfare, for $2000 to $4000 by buying it from a discounter. To show how easy it is I made this quick Tutorial. You can check out the Airtreks website HERE.
I have just finished most of my traveling this year and will be settling down in Southern Florida for a while. I am shifting the focus of the Endless Weekend from photography to writing (even though I will continue to post photos from my adventures). To get started, I thought I would introduce you to five of my favorite writers. All of them have mastered their lives in different ways and enjoy a tremendous amount of freedom. No one person can help you master every area of you life, but in the area of travel these five are a good place to start.
So here are 5 of my favorite life masters.
1) Timothy Ferris: Author of The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content.
I had been planning on creating a travel and life coaching website for several years. When I saw 4 hour workweek, I was amazed because Tim pretty much nailed the concept I was going for. Tim has traveled and lived all over the world, and has two bestselling books. He is not only an epic world traveller and adventure seeker, but an ingenious online marketer. You can check out his blog here, it gets around a million hits a month.
2) Chris Gullabaleau: Author of The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World
Chris is the author of an exceptional book and corresponding blog The Art of Non Conformity. Chris helped inspire my goal to photograph every country in the world in HDR. He nearly completed his goal of world domination and has already travelled to around 170 countries.
3) Ralph Potts: Author of Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel
Ralph is living proof that long term world travel can be done at almost any income level. He lived in Korea for 2 years and taught English. He saved $18,000 dollars and used it to travel for a year and a half. His book “Vagabonding” is epic, and a must read. You can see his website here
4) Trey Ratcliffe: Author of A World in HDR
Trey’s Blog Stuck in Customs is hands down the best travel photography site on the Internet, and recently his photos surpassed 20 million views. Trey has brought HDR photography into the mainstream, and inspired millions worldwide to travel with breathtaking images. His website is an excellent way to pick out extraordinary places to see, as well as learn HDR photography. He is a constant innovator and has free tutorials and photography lessons galore.
5) Leo Babauta: Author Zen Habits: Handbook For Life
Leo is the founder of A-list bloggers as well as his blog Zen Habits. His specialty is teaching how to simplify life, by removing mental noise and other things that waste our time and money. By being absolutely clear about what we want in life, we can eliminate the things that drain our finances. Sometimes less is actually more. If you truly want the freedom, (to live and travel around the world) then why not remove the waste in your life. In the hectic world we all live in, Leo’s message is one many of us can benefit from (he has amassed 230,000 email subscribers so far).
All of these books and websites truly are life changing and are worth your time. They will challenge your ideas on living and what is really possible.
I am really excited about the projects I will be releasing in the next few months. I will be finishing my book and organizing as many great resources as I can here on the EW. If you find the info in this post valuable, please share it with someone. You never know what kind of difference you will make in someones life.
A wish list for long term travelers.
After spending 4 months of research, I put together 10 of the neatest things I discovered for long term travel. If you want to save yourself a ton of research and money check out these companies first. If you find something better, please let me know in the comments.
On July 3rd, I am starting my goal of photographing every country in the World. To get things started my wife and I will be visiting 30 countries this year. The first 6 weeks we are traveling with the King of backpacking companies Contiki. I did my first Contiki tour many years ago and have wanted to go on another one ever since. Contiki tours are fast paced, however I had a blast and think they are an insane value.
Contiki was started in 1961 by a guy from New Zealand who bought a bus and toured Europe for a summer with several random people he had just met. Fifty years later, they offer worldwide guided tours for 18 to 35 year olds. They not only provide transportation between countries, but also accommodations and most of your food. We will be traveling with a group of around 25 people to over 17 countries on The Ultimate European tour. The total price for 48 days of travel is about $6,000 per person. I know that traveling with a group is different from going solo, but if you like variety it doesn’t get any better than Contiki. The shorter tours start at about $1,000 for 2 weeks. They offer payment plans and will even let you book a tour on layaway with $200 and make payments. This company completely removes the excuse that travel is just too expensive. The accommodations are basic, but they are clean and comfortable. You also spend very little time in your room on one of these tours.
Ok so here we go:
1) Eagle Creek suitcase: They come in many different sizes, but I decided on the Tarmac 25 inch. These things are indestructible, lightweight and have highly reinforced corners. The wheels are huge, indestructible and will roll over anything from dirt to cobblestone. You can watch a video review (below) or by clicking here.
2) Pack it: They also have a unique packing system called PACK IT that keeps your stuff
organized. It allows you to keep your clean and dirty cloths separated and fit a lot more in the same amount of space.You can watch the video (below) or by clicking here
3) Pacsafe: This is backpacking equivalent of a mobile safe for your backpack or suitcase. If you ever need to leave a camera or computer in your hotel room, (or hostel without lockers) this gives you piece of mind. It expands and creates a wire mesh that allows you to lock your backpack to an object in the room and keeps someone from taking it or even going through it. You can watch the video (below) or by clicking here.
4) Belkin Adaptor: This is the smallest/lightest travel charger I could find. It will charge 3 normal devices plus 2 apple devices at one time.
5) Nokia mobile phone with an international Sim card: There are several good companies that offer international Sim cards. I chose a company called Abroad because it gave me a US and Europe based phone number and super low rates. In most European countries, outgoing calls are around 50 cents a minute. Incoming calls are 20 cents a minute if they call my US phone number and free if they call my European number.
6) Virtual Post Mail: These guys are amazing. For 10 dollars a month, (the first 3 months, then $20 a month after that) they receive and scan your mail for you so you can read it online. They also store packages for you until you get home and then mail them to you. For $5 they deposit any checks you receive in the mail with your bank, so you get access to your money right away.
7) International Credit Card: Almost every credit card company I checked charges 3% every time you use your card outside the USA except, for the Chase British Airways and the Chase Sapphire Preferred cards. You also can earn 50,000 to 100,000 miles for signing up which will get you a round trip ticket to Europe for free (you just pay the taxes).
8) Packtowel Ultralight: A super absorbent towel that takes up virtually no space. It isn’t exactly a beach towel, but it will work fine if you stay in a hostel that doesn’t offer them.
9) Melatonin: Melatonin is a natural hormone in your body that helps you achieve a very deep and natural sleep. Simply put this is one of the best ways to sleep in an airplane, campground or anywhere else. You can get it at any grocery store in the vitamin section.
10) World Med Travel Insurance: If you are going to be traveling for several months. It may be worth buying worldwide health insurance. For $342, my wife and I, bought a 4 month policy which covers up to $500,000 for medical expenses. It also includes insurance for trip interruption, emergency evacuation, passport replacement and concierge service.
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I have been as guilty of spending to much time on an IPhone as anyone else. So to prepare for my upcoming trip I spent some of that time in the App store. Here are 4 of the best RTW apps I stumbled across.
1) Pack and go deluxe.
This app could not be any easier. You just click through a few folders and put checkmarks next to things you need to pack. When you are ready to go, click done on each item to take it off the list. Not only did it work, it only took me 12 minutes to plan for a trip around the world.
2) Trip It
A super travel organizer. You simply forward your itinerary and it transfers it (over your data connection) into the phone for you. It will also put your hotel confirmations, as well as transfer information all in one spot. It works without an internet connection so you can use it for free worldwide.
3) Kayak Pro
This is a good all around travel app. You can use it to search all of the big travel websites at one time. It can also convert currencies, organize your packing list, store an itinerary, look at airport maps, and a bunch of other things.
Just keeps getting better and better. The user interface is a lot like the Iphone now. You can keep your contacts in a rolodex and call worldwide for a few cents a minute. It also supports video chat right on the phone. If you want to video chat with someone who does not have an iphone, they can still use Skype from their computer.
HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO QUIT YOUR JOB AND RUN OFF INTO THE SUNSET?
I know it can sound like a dream, but it may be lot more realistic than you think. My brother Jon recently did a Round the World trip for 7 weeks (Vietnam, Thailand, Bali, New Zealand, and Fiji)and his airfare only cost him about $2800. If you took 5 individual flights to Asia, you could easily spend 2-3 times that amount. Once you actually get there though most of the countries he went to are affordable for almost anyone. I recently tried out a boutique travel agency in San Francisco called Airtreks that specializes in exactly this kind of travel. I discovered Airtreks a few years ago and since then have spent quite a few hours day-dreaming over their custom RTW routes. I decided to test, if booking through Airtreks truly was cheaper than going through Expedia. Below is a list of the countries on my route, it came to a total of 10 countries and 15 flights. My goal with this route was to visit 17 countries during the first stop in Europe then continue on.
- New Zealand
After getting a quote with Airtreks, my price tag (with taxes) came to about $5100. I tried to do a comparison on Expedia and was only able to enter the first six flights (thats all they would accept). For just the first 6 flights though, the price was $9400. At that rate, Expedia could easily have been above $20,000 for all of the flights. RTW tickets cost less money because they are sold in bulk. You may end up doing some overnight flights, however they are flexible on dates and will let you take up to a year to finish the trip. Here, are a few of the other routes on my personal to do list. The routes (below) are great, and you can customize the list of cities. You simply enter dates and add or delete cities. It is pretty easy after that, you have a phone call with a counselor that walks you through different flight options for each of the legs. They also give you insurance and travel support while you are on the road. Enjoy, and make it a goal to do at least one of these in your life. Justin
Round the World Special