Prepare your trip #2

Prepare your trip #2

It is not a secret for anyone : prepare your trip is the key of a successful trip. No matter what kind of journey; either for vacations, for work, for a short or a long period of time, at the end of the world or the neighboring country… There is essentials that is important to know before going : 

  • Administrative papers for my trip (Visa, passport, bank vouchers, …)
  • Which insurance am I choosing ?
  • What is my estimated budget ?
  • The local currency and conversions ?
  • What is the current language ? If english is understandable / if not how to make everyone understand ?
  • Where will I choose to stay (backpacker, hotel, couch surfing, wwoofing, …) ?

I advise you to check the first post “Prepare your trip“, if you haven’t read it. It sums highlighted point seen up above.

Where to reside

The Backpackers

Backpackers are probably the place you are going to spend a big part of your time. It is basically youth hostels for travellers from all around the word, cheap enough to let you stay as a foreign traveller. There is generally a common bathroom, a kitchen, WI-FI, with activities in a warm environment (of course it depends on the hostel).  You can prepare yourself before the next trip, rest a bit and keep meeting new people.

These places are a huge information source, with tons of people from all over the world, who want, like you, discover the wonders of this world. A great advantage to learn new culture, new languages, and also to swap good plans (like jobs!).

However, forget the notion of privacy! In backpackers, you are most of the time sharing your living spaces with others. From the room set with one big bed, to the bedroom with 32 individual beds, You have to choose according your budget and your feeling. In all cases you are rarely alone, which could be reassuring if you are traveling on your own !

For information

  • Backpackers are quite cheap, but all depends on what you are looking. A good location, lot of comfort, great nightlife… You can basically find everything, at every price.
  • Don’t forget to read the comments on the online booking site! Especially linger on the recent critics to be able to make an objective opinion on the place. You don’t want to introduce yourself with the local bed bugs.
  • It is sometime likely to have a discount if you take a full week in one go, so feel free to ask about it. It is profitable for them as for you!
  • It is frequently possible to work in these hostels in exchange of food and accommodation. Don’t fall for it too easily : 3h – 5h is the maximum (depending on the night fee).

Wwoofing

 

Widespread in all around the world, the wwoofing is an exchange of tasks. Generally, the host who’s welcoming offer food and accommodation, while the guest contribute to the family’s daily work. It exists numerous offers based on this, and all kind of jobs are available.

Originally, the Wwoof was an acronym which meant “Working Weekends On Organic Farms” created to show countryside to townsfolk. while supporting organic farms. Today, the name evolved and isn’t limited to the agriculture anymore.

You can discover various offer by clicking on one on the following platform down below :

HelpX :

  • This website let you choose among 120 countries to find or post an offer.
  • Premium account costs you only 26 US $ for 2 years and allows you to send messages to hosts of your selection. (Without it, you have to wait for an host’s invitation from your profile).
  • You can registered solo or duo, and update the status whenever you want.
  • Offers are available in the whole world, especially in the countryside and you can find deals in remote places!

WWOOF :

  • This website let you choose among 138 countries to find or post an offer.
  • The registration price differs according to the country, and if you alone or in pair. There is all kind of prices, but generally it is between 15 US $ and 70 US $ for a year.

Workaway :

  • This website let you choose among 184 countries to find or post an offer.
  • The registration price is 42 US $ for a single person, 51 US $ for a couple, available 1 year.
  • All types of volunteering are available, from the countryside family welcoming one guest, to the firm hiring a ton of people.
  • You can find loads of announces, as a big number of applicants…

My choice :

I’ve always been using HelpX that I discovered in the first place. I met many adorable persons, with who I shared incredible moments that I will never forget. The site is very simple of use but get an old school look which can dissuade some. However, I always had a high rate of response because just a few applicants are registered on it !

Couch Surfing

CouchSurfing is a social networking and hospitality service used to arrange homestays and hospitality. Basically, it is a free service based on persons around the world who want to meet other people while sharing their culture, language and way of life.

Just a perfect way to meet amazing people and share your culture with others in various places !

Language

English is one of the most spoken language in the world. Thereby, with your english, you are almost sure to get by in many situations. However, it isn’t that rare to find persons who can’t express in Shakespeare’s tongue. In South America for instance, english is not mandatory, as in Australia, it would be quite rare to find someone who’s able to understand spanish !

To counter unwanted situations, be aware of understandable and speakable languages in the country you are going. Learn the basics to manage everywhere and be able to stay at least slightly polite, and bring a dictionary. There is not a better way than learning the language one you’re immersed in the local culture !

Persevere

It won’t be a surprise; but the whole point is about your motivation and perseverance. If you’d like to learn a new language, don’t play the card of security to stay with speakers that you understand, you won’t progress. Run away from all english speaker and immersed yourself with locals. Everyone would be touched if you make effort to talk with them, even if it’s barely understandable. Do not be afraid of judgement, anyway, no one would judge you because everyone is trying to improve their skills.

In addition to learn on the field, you can also obtain valuable advice! As far as you’re in the country, better make benefits of it no ?

Advice :

  • Don’t stay only with people from your country
  • Don’t be afraid of making mistakes
  • Ask everyone to correct you
  • Keep motivated

I wish you good trip !

I hope that I enlightened your way of organizing your journey ! Feel free to ask me questions you have, and post me comments about the article that you would like to see one day!

See also

Prepare your trip

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