Traveling Southeast Asia

A first-timer’s guide on what to take

Before traveling anywhere, you’ll need to do some research on what to pack. Chances are the climate, culture and amenities are all going to be completely different to what you’re used to at home. If you’re heading to Southeast Asia, here’s a basic guide to what you’ll need as a Westerner.

Medication

A couple weeks before you leave, you’ll almost certainly need to start a course of anti-malaria tablets, which you’ll also take throughout your stay.

You’ll also want diarrhea medication – tap water might be ok depending on where you are, but your body will take a while to adjust. Even if you don’t drink tap water at all, a bad curry could have you man-down for a couple days. Pack the meds and hope you don’t need them.

Clothes

Most of Southeast Asia is hot and humid. Pack loose, comfortable clothes – shorts and t-shirts are probably best, a swimsuit is essential. Take your sneakers for the days when you’re doing a lot of walking, as you definitely will. Flip-flops and comfortable sandals are also on the must-pack list.

Also bring a raincoat or poncho – at some point you will get caught in the rain. When it rains there, you don’t always get much warning. This is another reason why you should pack lightweight, quick drying clothes so that you won’t run out if a couple pairs get wet. The same goes for shoes.

Toiletries

Tissues, tissues and more tissues – you’ll be hard pressed to find a public restroom with toilet paper. You can pack tissues or toilet paper beforehand or buy on arrival, but they’re likely to become one of your most prized possessions, at least after your first encounter with the bum-gun.

Bug repellant. Mosquitoes are pretty prolific and probably bigger than the tiny nuisances you’re used to. Take bug-spray or a stick of repellant and don’t forget to use it.

Deodorant, preferably an antiperspirant. You’ll still sweat but you’ll feel a little more comfortable and you won’t smell quite so bad.

Planning

Hang onto your notebook, phone – whatever has your trip plan in it. If you need to contact places you’re staying or people you’ve made travel arrangements with, it’s your go-to method for planning. If your accommodation falls through, or you’d just rather not have to worry about it, consider renting an RV from a reputable website.

What not to take

Valuables – camera, ok, diamond necklace, not ok. Anything you can’t replace, don’t take with, you’ll survive without it.

Don’t take anything across the border that you didn’t pack yourself. I recently heard a horror story of a woman whose ‘friend’ asked her to collect some books while she was in Taiwan. The books were a ploy to smuggle heroin out of the country and she spent 16 years in jail – in Taiwan.

Even if you don’t speak the language, struggle with the currency and can’t sleep because of the heat or the bugs, it’ll be an amazing experience. Take lots of pictures, eat strange food, meet new people. Dive into the culture and come home with some amazing stories.

6 Self-improvement Lessons I’ve Learnt From Traveling

We have all seen article after article on the internet with tips on how to improve yourself. Within the self-help industry, the Self-Improvement category, although highly helpful, has somewhat been neglected as what we see as a great source of enlightenment: Traveling. Just think about it for one second and I am sure you have more than one traveling experience that left you with so much more than just a souvenir. From memories we share to knowledge we have obtained, traveling is the ultimate way to help you grow and improve your life. We have decided to put together a short article featuring the “6 Self-improvement Lessons I’ve Learnt From Traveling”. I hope you enjoy this article and either have learned or will learn some of these lessons on your next trip. Without further ado, here are 6 self-improvement lessons I’ve learnt during my trips:

#1. Knowledge is everywhere

Although we may stick to books or podcasts and live events when it comes to enlightenment and goal orientation, we tend to forget that knowledge is all around us. And a trip abroad is exactly what I needed when I first felt stressed out and directionless due to my career path. The destination was Paris. A couple weeks filled with nothing but “joie de vivre” (the joy of living), was enough to help me see that I was focusing too much on my professional life and not on my personal life.

#2. Be flexible

Especially seasoned travelers are used to having to go through a couple roadblocks while traveling. Whenever your flight is delayed, your hotel overbooked, or even when you find yourself lost, one thing becomes clear: flexibility is key. By being flexible and learning how to adapt yourself to different situations and scenarios, you develop the required skills to make the best out of any situation. Don’t dwell too much on the negatives, just accept the reality, and do your best to get out of a sticky situation. When it comes to achieving your goals, being flexible is very important. I remember the lesson I learned from Tony Robbins at Date With Destiny event was that you need to be committed to your goals but be flexible with your approach.

#3. Organize yourself for better results

Traveling also requires a tremendous amount of organization. From packing to following schedules, from finding the best flights to the cheapest hotels, it can take a lot to organize the perfect trip. But, at the end of the day, you will find the best possible options that best fit you and your tastes. By organizing your time and money in order to make sure you are getting the most out of your vacation, you will learn how to apply this knowledge to your day-to-day life.

#4. An open mind equals a better experience

Don’t let a previous negative experience or a bad review ruin your vacation. Keep your mind open and ready to take in a new culture. By going about your day already feeling like you will have a bad experience, you are more likely to find all the flaws in your day. And this line of thinking can be applied to both traveling and life. Keep a positive attitude, and a positive experience will follow.

#5. Just because it’s different, it doesn’t mean it’s bad

Once again, keep an eye out for letting negativity ruin your day. Simply enjoy the small (or big) differences that differentiate us and celebrate them, rather than perceiving them as negative. By celebrating differences between yourself and others, you are more likely to value them, and thus learn or experience something new and explore your self-discovery journey.

#6. Respect others

This was perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learned while traveling. While in another country, much like in your daily life, respecting others is key. What you may find odd, can be seen as fully normal for someone of a different culture or religion. Adapt and educate yourself before making possibly rude assumptions and passing as someone intolerant. Once you have accepted the small cultural differences, you are ready to embrace another culture and fully enjoy it.

5 Less Obvious Ways to Save Money When You’re Travelling

One of the biggest concerns for anyone who’s travelling is watching their savings get less and less over time. What happens if you suddenly find yourself out of money and don’t have enough to pay for the next hotel? Fortunately, the trick is to change your mentality and the way you view spending. The Internet is full of tips on how to save when you’re travelling. But most are generic and not very practical. So, here are five less obvious ways to save money on the road. Some may work great for you, others not so much. Experiment and see what does.

1# Plan Ahead and Be Strategic:

You’re travelling around different cities and countries. An often forgotten fact is that the cost of things varies from one place to another. You may be able to get a 500-gram jar of coffee in one country for $2, but over the border, the price is $10. Check the cost of living and stock up on essentials in the cheaper places.

2# Take Advantage of Groupon:

You can find lots of discounts and offers on Groupon for travel including hotels, meals, and entrance fees. It’s always a good idea to check what’s available when you’re going to be there and if it suits your travelling needs.

3# Use Saivian to Get Cashback:

Saivian is a mobile app that allows you to get 20% cashback on all the things you buy. The company collects receipts and gives this information onto larger marketing companies. You have to pay a $120-month membership fee, which means you have to spend at least $600 a month to start making savings on the cashback.

And you can only select certain places to use it both online and offline during that particular month.

But, you can use it for some hotels and flights. And it may be great to sign up before you set off on your travels when the costs are initially high. Another great way to take advantage of this is if you’re travelling across Europe with a group of friends. The collective price of things will make savings.

4# Check Out the Free Events:

There are lots of free events in every city around the world. You don’t have to pay a fortune for an authentic experience. Check online and see what free things are on when you’re in the city. This is a great way to enjoy the city with the locals.

5# Go on a Free Tour:

Free Walking tours are becoming popular around the world. You turn up at the meeting point and they’ll take you to all of the important sites in the city. This a great way to learn about the place and not have to pay for a guide. Tours are tip based and so it’s up to you how much, if anything, you give.

The Takeaway Message:

We all love to travel and we all want to make our money last longer when we’re on the road. Take advantage of these five ways to save money and see which ones work for you. The less we spend now, the longer we can travel.

Five of the World’s Most Glamorous Nighttime Adventures

Travel is all about making new discoveries. The setting of the sun does not imply the end of adventurous trips. In fact, some breathtaking adventures around the world occur best at night. Here are five of the best night tours that are worth losing sleep for.

A Night Walk through the Australian rainforest using torches.

Human beings love to discover, and they do not stop unravelling the beauty of nature. A night tour of the Australian rainforest offers one of the best opportunities to learn more about forest life at night.

Through the guidance of expert tour guides, participants take a torch-lit hike through the Daintree Rainforest. Most small animals emerge at night. Consequently, participants come across active nocturnal snakes, possums and rare birds among other wild animals. Daintree rainforest, being the world’s oldest rainforest, is a great venue to learn and discover some of the ancient plant species. Visitors also discover poisonous plants and herbs.

Intramuros Ghost Walk of the Philippines

Take a historical three-hour tour of the Intramuros district situated at the center of Manila to experience paranormal activities and sights. During the ghost walk tour, be on the lookout for spirits, demons, imprints and elementals. However, it is not a guarantee that every participant would experience otherworldly auras. For tourists who would love to stay for good, Manila offers great properties near Intramuros, you can research and find the best ranking condos at Zipmatch by looking at their affordability, neighborhood, amenities, investment potential and other factors
The tour entails a visit to various places, including abandoned buildings, dungeons, and bridges. Since the trip occurs at night and involves marching within the walls, you can expect poor lighting. Carry along high-powered cameras to capture excellent photos. The tour is quite lengthy and tiring. As a result, most visitors take along essentials such as food, drinks, and wear comfortable clothing.

Stargazing at Pico Mountain (Portugal’s highest peak)

Enjoy an incredible view of the stars in Europe at one of Portugal’s highest peaks (7713 feet). Travelers take an overnight hike to the summit of Pico Mountain for stargazing that is one for the books.

The participants reach the peak of the mountain at dawn. Just an opportune moment to watch the rising of the sun over the Pico Island.

Watch hatching of Hawksbill turtles in Antigua

Reptiles constitute one of the incredible creatures in the universe. Therefore, it is worth the hustle to stay up through the night gazing at the hatching of turtles. In Antigua, tourists are offered the opportunity to experience this amazing process during the nesting season that typically begins on June throughout November.

Through the ‘turtle watch’ program, guests are woken up at night once the turtles are spotted. It is quite an amazing experience whereby guests get to enjoy watching the Hawksbill turtles laying their eggs and hatching its young ones at the beach.

Horse riding under the moonlight in Tuscany

Are you planning a romantic outing? A night horseback ride in the Italian countryside is the ultimate tour experience for any couple. It entails exploring the rolling Tuscan hills at night. Horse-riders take a look at the most authentic sceneries such as cypress-dotted trails and historic villas. Guests also come across various local animals, including wild boars and deers.

For lovers of Tuscan delicacies, you can opt to stop by at the farmhouse or local Osteria and enjoy the sumptuous meals.

Top 10 Reasons Why You Need to Travel

f you have never been traveling before then I cannot tell you what you are missing out and how urgently you need to hit the road. A few years ago my friend Judd Feldman and I went to Europe for 2 months and had the time of our lives. When I talk about traveling I am not talking about a week on a beach, basking in the sunshine, I am talking about hitting the road and touring around a part of the World, exploring all that you can and here are 10 reasons why you should be traveling.

Experiences

Travel gives you incredible experiences, from seeing sights that you have only ever seen on TV to meeting amazing people. When you travel you are far more open to these experiences and you will have a trip that you will never forget.

Education

Learning about different cultures and ways of life really enhances your own existence and when you get back home you will look at the World with a new set of eyes. We can often be guilty of thinking that the World is no bigger than our own little bubble, traveling will change that opinion.

Healthy

It has been scientifically proven that this who travel, live longer and if you want to add a few more years to your life then it is time to hit the road. Whilst you are traveling you will become healthier too as you seek more new adventures and activities than if you were at home.

Meeting People

As you travel you will meet people form all over the World, people with different stories to yours, people who you like, people who you love and even people who you like. Once you have left school it can be difficult to meet new people unless you change your job or your ZIP code, when you hit the road and travel however, you will meet more new people than yo ever thought possible.

Learn Who You Are

When you get away from your daily life and travel, you will find out who you really are. You will be tested on the road, you will need to embrace fears which you have and you will be forced to confront who you are. When you get away from everything you know ad travel, you can be whoever you want, nobody knows you, you can be the confident, charming individual that you have always dreamed of and essentially create a who new personality for yourself which is a far accurate picture of who you truly are.

Storyteller

Even traveling for just a couple of months will give you so many stories to tell when you get back home and it will add a different chapter to your life. Some people spend their whole lives trapped in the rat race and become far less interesting people as a result of it, if you hit the road and travel then you will become far more interesting and have a great deal more stories to recount to people.