An insight into the world of travel

Q & A November 30, 2009

Post your questions for Backpackerbird here.


5 Responses to “Q & A”

  1. Pete Says:

    After reading Backpackerbird’s guide to, what to take, Pete raised a valid issue, I hadn’t given any information as to what backpacks to consider purchacing for your travells. Read my latest blog for reviews of popular backpacks.

  2. Sam Says:

    Hey there, in your opinion is it better to book bus passes, trips etc. while at home or when your out there as i know STA like to push trips and rack up the price. Even in their brochures they show the local price and its definitely much lower?

    • Hey Sam. It depends on how comfortable you are with independent travel. I always find organising things when you get to your destination is by far the better option for a few reasons…

      Cost: It is always much much cheaper when you get out there. STA and other such companies, whilst being extremely useful and a good source of information like to put a hefty commission on to any trip or hostel booking. For example if you are looking to do part of an overland in Chaing Mai, Thailand, say for 8 days you could pay anything up to £400 but for roughly the same trip you would pay £20 when you are there.

      Change of plans: If you are anything like me then you will not like being tied down. If you book a trip or buss ticket before you go it tightens up flexibility. What if you fancy doing something a fellow traveller has told you about that you hadn’t heard about before but cant because you have to join the trip you paid good money for. Or you might really like a place and feel like staying longer than first planned. You cant if you have booked trips.

      People: Who knows you might meet some people you really gel with and want to travel with them for a while. If you haven’t booked anything prier to leaving home then you can, you can do anything you fancy.

      To give you a rough idea of prices I paid roughly £2 for a 12 hour bus ride from Bangkok to Chaing Mai and then £10 for a 3 day trek up the mountains to remote villages. Included in this price was 2 nights in the guest house the trip ran from, 2 nights in 2 different villages, a bamboo rafting trip, an elephant ride, all food and 2 guides. There are hundreds of mini travel agents in big cities like Bangkok that specialise in trips like this one. The will arrange the bus, the transfers and the accommodation if you want them too. They are brilliant. It’s so easy.

      One thing I would say is if you are travelling on your own tricky places like India, China, Bolivia etc, I would perhaps think about booking a small trip to get the taste of it and see how you get on. Most countries around the world are geared up for travellers. Where are you going, I could be more specific if I knew where you plan to go.

      I did start to book one nights accommodation in advance if I was flying to a new country. This was only so that I could easily direct a taxi driver or buss driver from the airport to where I’d be staying. You can be tired after long flight so the less hassle when you arrive the better. Only book 1 night in case it’s a dive or you want to move on.

      I hope this has helped.

      • Sam Says:

        Hey thanks that helped a lot, i feel the same about being restricted. Can i even expect it to be cheaper in Australia and Japan as i know these places can get expensive? I am actually travelling with pete from the Q&A and we fancy a few trips like for example on the bullet train and to mount fuji in japan, but we also go to Fiji and it would be good to know if we could do whatever we wanted out there and for half the price as back at home? nice website

      • I haven’t been to Japan myself but I am sure it will be like every other country, you can always negotiate a good price when you are there.

        Fiji is quite expensive compared to Asia, it’s not that much cheaper than Oz. Everything has to be shipped in, hence bumping up the prices. The Awesome Adventures boat is a good way to get around all of the islands but it is quite pricey. Each island is very much like the next one. I would suggest just visiting a couple close to le main land and get boat taxies instead of the AA boat. Much cheaper and perfect if you aren’t spending too much time in Fiji.

        Australia has an excellent travelling network. It is very easy to get from place to place. I’d say the best thing to do is book a Greyhound bus pass when you get to Oz. Don’t book before you go. They are cheap and 100% flexible. You can get a ticket from Sydney to Cairns for example and get on and off as many times as you like. All you need to do is book a seat on the bus you fancy catching. No restrictions of how long you spend in each place as long as you stay with in the time limit of the overall ticket.

        Where ever you go there are loads of places to book trips. It really is easy. You wont have any problems.

        Keep asking questions if you are unsure of anything. I am more than happy to help.

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