It is no longer a secret to anyone : preparing your trip is the key to a successful trip. No matter what kind of journey; whether it is for vacation, for work, for a short or a long period of time, at the end of the world or in the neighboring country… There are a few essentials that are 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 ? Is english understandable / if not, how do I make sure that I am understood?
- Where will I choose to stay (backpacker, hotel, couch surfing, wwoofing, …)?
Where to reside
Backpackers are probably the place where 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, to discover the wonders of this world. A great way to discover new cultures, new languages, and also to swap good tips and opportunities (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 to your budget and your feelings. In all cases you are rarely alone, which could be reassuring if you are traveling on your own !
- Backpackers are quite cheap, but it all depends on what you are looking for. 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 sometimes likely to get a discount if you book a full week in one go, so feel free to ask about it. It is as beneficial 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).
Widespread in all around the world, the wwoofing is an exchange of tasks. Generally, the host who’s welcoming offers food and accommodation, while the guest contributes to the family’s daily work. There are numerous offers based on this balance, and all kinds 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 offers by clicking on one on the following platform down below :
- This website lets you choose among 120 countries to find or post an offer.
- A 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 register 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!
- This website lets you choose among 138 countries to find or post an offer.
- The registration price differs according to the country, and on whether you are alone not. There are all kind of prices, but generally it is between 15 US $ and 70 US $ for a year.
- This website lets 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, which I have discovered in the first place. I met many adorable persons, with whom I have shared incredible moments that I will never forget. The site is very simple of use but has an old school look which can dissuade some. However, I have always had a high rate of response because not many applicants are registered on it !
Just a perfect way to meet amazing people and share your culture with others in various places !
English is one of the most spoken languages in the world. Thereby, with your English, you are almost sure to get by in most situations. However, it isn’t that rare to find people who can’t express them in Shakespeare’s tongue. In South America for instance, English is not mandatory, just like it would be quite rare to find someone who’s able to understand Spanish in Australia!
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 once you’re immersed in the local culture !
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 by staying with speakers that you understand, you won’t progress. Run away from all English speakers and surround yourself with locals. Everyone will be touched if you make an effort to talk with them, even if it’s barely understandable. Do not be afraid of judgement, anyway, no one will judge you because everyone is trying to improve their skills.
In addition to learning on the field, you can also obtain valuable advice! As far as you’re in the country, better make benefits of it, right ?
- Don’t stay only with people from your country
- Don’t be afraid of making mistakes
- Ask everyone to correct you
- Stay motivated
I wish you good trip !
I hope that I have 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!