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60 countries on a plump shoestring.                     @maheshmurthy
60 countries on a plump shoestring.How I hacked travel. And how you can, too.                         @maheshmurthy
cameras et al                                         when to buywhen to go                                               ...
This is going to be fact-packed. And yet not comprehensive.          I can talk all day about it.But will manage what I ca...
me
Antarctica, 2006Me
When I wear a   cape, I become…
A million miles and counting•   In India till 24.•   Dad had a roaming job.•   On my 6th passport book now.•   Most travel...
why travel        me
Ushuaia, 2006Why travel?
What’s your reason?•   To see the world. Literally.•   To escape the world.•   To bond with a loved one.•   To do ‘the pla...
my kind of travelwhy travel        me
Iguazu, 2006My kind of travel.
Everybody has their own style•   This many not be yours.•   Too old and lazy for extreme backpacking.•   Been there, done ...
what stops you             my kind of travelwhy travel        me
Rio de Janeiro, 2006What stops  you?
The things I’ve heard• ‚You’re so lucky!‛    – Not really. I’ve had average luck.• ‚I don’t have time off‛    – Yes you do...
what starts me                  what stops you             my kind of travelwhy travel        me
Aruba, 2002What starts  me?
My inspiration• Need to escape ~ once a month• Desire to see once-thought-inaccessible things     – Antarctica     – North...
passport, visas                  what starts me                       what stops you                 my kind of travelwhy ...
Puerto Rico, 2002Passports and    visas.
http://oh.pn/visa shows 100+ easy ones
Averaging 150 views a day
What I keep ready•   Passport with 1+ empty pages – always big book•   10-year US visa•   10-year UK visa•   2-year+ Schen...
where to go                passport, visas                                what starts me                                  ...
Oregon Coast, 1995Where to go.
3 days4 days5 - 7 days1 week2 weeks
How much time do you have?• Weekend   – 2 – 4 hour drive away• 3-day weekend   – 2 - 3 hour flight + short drive away   – ...
when to gowhere to go                passport, visas                                what starts me                        ...
Olympic National Park, 1996When to go.
There is no ‘wrong’ time for a place• The ‚off‛ season is often the best season    – Winter in Scandinavia or N. America  ...
Alternatively, do it the other way• Decide you want to be somewhere at a particular time• Plan a set of micro-holidays• Or...
when to buywhen to gowhere to go                passport, visas                                what starts me             ...
Nether Wallop, 2009When to buy.
Tuesday 3 pm & other myths• FareCompare says Wednesday is the cheapest day to fly    – And Tue @3 is the best time to buy ...
Personal experience of air prices. Unscientific. Reward for extreme planners, last minuters T-60      T-28   T-21   T-14  ...
when to buywhen to go                                       buying air travelwhere to go                passport, visas   ...
Andorra, 2012Buying air travel.
Ixigo:Almostalways thebest fareswithin India:better thanthe OTAs
And tryAkbartoo.BeatsOTAsmost ofthe time.DiscounterEsp. on intl
SkyScanner: The drop-of-a-hat travel planner
SkyScanner: Always good, occasionally unbelievable faresOn your mobile phone too.
SkyScanner also tells you all airlines who fly to anairport. As does WikiTravel. Check separately.
Many LCCs are not on OTAs, meta-searches.• Go look them up separately.• I’ve found better prices often direct on them than...
AirAsia: Go subscribe, visit often.Ridiculous fares: especially Cochin out.
AirAsia screws you on everything else.• Luggage    – If carry-on >7kg, you’re screwed    – Pay for it online, not at count...
On seats.• Take the less popular airline    – One with low load factor• Go late to the airport    – Ask for last / second ...
On children.• Till the age of 7, pointless to take them along     – They won’t remember a damn thing     – Especially Disn...
HipMunk – great simplifier
Global meta-search
And one of many sites owned by IAC
The zen of booking air travel•   This is the make-or-break part of travel•   It doesn’t happen first shot.•   It is the fl...
Some air travel wins• BOM – JFK – BOM for Rs. 27,000 roundtrip    – Over Christmas and New Year•   BOM – MLE – BOM for Rs....
when to buywhen to go                                       buying air travelwhere to go                passport, visas   ...
Congo, 2009Buying surface    travel.
This works everywhere.
Please, rent a car. See the difference.•   If you can drive in India, you can drive anywhere else.•   Yes, you need a cred...
Bus: I haven’t done this. But seems a steal.€12 to €15 per day for any bus, anywhere.
There is almost nobad Rail Pass:Get the bible.
You be on rails!• Eurail can be a steal    – Especially if you spend nights on the train    – And jump from platform to pl...
when to buywhen to go                                       buying air travelwhere to go                passport, visas   ...
Serengeti, 2008Buying stay.
Begin with TripAdvisorBut go further, deeper.•   Go by ratings, not recommendations.•   Go beyond hotels to B&Bs. To ‚Spec...
Learn to bid.
Hack the blind bid.
Go to coupon sites. Look for promo codes.
Look wider, look deeper, be shameless.•   Doesn’t have to be a chain hotel.•   Though chains use yield management, so they...
Some lodging wins.•   Morjim hotel penthouse for Rs. 1,250 a day•   Langkawi cottage for $25 a day•   JW Marriott London f...
when to buywhen to go                                       buying air travelwhere to go                passport, visas   ...
Seychelles, 2010Packing.
No check-in bags. Ever.•   Am a bit of a Hitler about it.•   Check-in slows you down. Need to go earlier, get out later•  ...
One carry-on per person. Plus one minibag.• 55 x 40 x 20 (22‛ x 16‛ x 8‛)    – Smaller than allowed by regular carrier.   ...
Toiletries: thriving with the 100ml ruleIn one hang-able kit. Maybe keep a set aside.Guys                   Gals•   Toothp...
when to buywhen to go                                                                accessories                          ...
Auschwitz, 2012Accessories.
Some of the things I like.Your mileage may vary.
cameras et al                                         when to buywhen to go                                               ...
Abisko, 2012Cameras et al.
My journey as an amateur photographer•   Invested early-on in Canon•   Bought the lenses. Wides, Zoom. Macro. Fixed.•   Th...
My gadget recommendations•   Take an ultra-light laptop with long battery life•   Take a 4.2+ Android phone with 32+ GB•  ...
cameras et al                                         when to buywhen to go                                               ...
Gulmarg, 2007Phones & SMS.
Phones and SIM cards• Get a 2nd phone.• Buy a local SIM card after you land and pop it in    –   Or study the difference w...
cameras et al                                         when to buywhen to go                                               ...
Kaziranga, 2013Internet.
Wi-fi where you can. Local data elsewhere.• Don’t ever switch on your Indian phone’s data overseas.• The cost alone would ...
cameras et al                                         when to buywhen to go                                               ...
Myanmar, 2012Flexibility.
Accept it. It’ll never go as planned.And that’s good.•   Don’t plan things down to the minute.•   Give some breathing room...
cameras et al                                         when to buywhen to go                                               ...
Kyoto, 2011What to do there.
Eat like a local.
Drink like a local
Work like a local.
Party like a local.
Live like a local.
Don’ts•   Eat Indian food.•   Settle for McD’s or KFC or some global chain•   Talk only to other Indians while traveling• ...
cameras et al                                         when to buywhen to go                                               ...
Langkawi, 2013Shopping.
You get virtually everything here itself   And whatever I cant, I VPN + Borderlinx to get           seamless delivery in I...
Not worthwhile shopping for:•   Electronics•   Books•   Anything from Amazon•   Foods
Maybe worthwhile shopping for:•   Obscure booze•   Clothes, to check fit•   Magazines•   Fridge magnets, souvenirs
cameras et al                                         when to buywhen to go                                               ...
Margaret River, 2006Inspiration.
So what’s your inspiration?• Lifestyle change?   –   Osmosis   –   Reading   –   The slew of magazines around you   –   Mo...
cameras et al                                         when to buywhen to go                                               ...
packingpassport, visas                                           what to see                                              ...
Work like a local.
Work like a local.
Work like a local.
Work like a local.
Work like a local.
Work like a local.
Work like a local.
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