Traveling is fun. Or interesting. Or a survival trip. By the end of the day, the way I see it, independent of what it is, as long as the destination and the trip isn’t boring, it’s always worthwhile. Each of us is different – our personalities are different, our interests, our way of living, expectations. I hate people saying you should do that or you shouldn’t do that. Usually, the only thing someone can say about most of the issues is how they feel about it or how it turned out for THEM.
There are, however, couple of things every traveler should be aware about based on my trips over the past 6 years.
Hitchhiking and signs
If you’re on a hitch-hiking
trip, once you’ve „hitched a hike” already, then the drivers usually all tell you, whether the drivers of small cars or truck drivers, that it’s always easier to get a ride if you draw a big sign where you want to go. From my experience this works sometimes, but you usually get a ride easier without a sign. Signs, however, might get your heart beating now and again if you’ve been on the road for too long already.
Couple of years back, when hitch-hiking
from Estonia to Spain and back, on our return trip we had some major difficulties getting another car to stop in Spain. We tried signs, we tried it without a sign, no help. Well, then we created a new sign that read „JAPAN”. For an hour there was pretty much no car passing by who didn’t react at all – whether pressing their horns, laughing, waving, showing us the middle finger or anything else for that matter, but the hour we were using the Japan sign gave us some more energy to keep hitchiking later on. And of course, later on we got a ride without a sign.
For some reason people are always advised to make hotel reservations before going to a journey. I never do that because I never know where or for how long I want to go exactly. But one way or another, whether you’re me or not, I think there are only two occasions when you really should or at least could make a reservation. Firstly, if you’re buying a travel package then it’s usually good idea to go with the hotel offered in the package as the prices in the packages are usually VERY GOOD.
Secondly, you could reserve a hotel upfront if you’re going to a place where there’s some major event taking place. Such as Olympics or anything similar. During these occasions it might be difficult to get a hotel on-site without a reservation.
But in other cases, independent of the location, you can pretty much always find a hotel on-site. Usually in a better location, and for a better price. Internet prices might not always represent the truth and you often find the prices on-site better.
Plus, the reservations might not work everywhere anyhow. In Agadir, a guy from US had a reservation in one hotel, he arrived at 5am (he had let them know that he’ll be arriving around that time) and once he arrived, the reception said they don’t have any rooms and went back to bed.
Ask! What have you got to lose?
Don’t assume anything. You can predict, but don’t assume. When you’re looking for a hotel with rather cheap price then most of you don’t check the hotels in the very center of the cities or the hotels that „look” expensive. The truth is that by looking around just a bit you can find cheap hotels with at least good quality in every country (well, at least most of them), city and location.
And usually you shouldn’t believe what people tell you. I.e. if you ask people on the street or from the receptionist of a too expensive hotel about where you can find a cheaper price. It’s not that they don’t tell you the truth, even though sometimes that might apply as well. Usually they simply don’t really know even though they say they do know (again, they might not be lying, but they actually do think they know).
Ask the tourism information in Porto, Portugal where you can find some cheap hotels. They tell you and then they tell you that within that certain box on the map there are no hotels, so no point in looking there. And in reality that’s the exact place you find your hotel. Or ask the reception of couple of hotels with a 60 EUR price tag for a twin room. They tell you that you can’t find anything cheaper in that area. And then after a 3-minute from there, even closer to the downtown you end up finding a hotel for 34 EUR for a twin room.
Or Marrakech, Morocco
– you are looking for a hotel, you see a couple of expensive-ones and decide not to check them and check a dump instead. They say the price is 400 Dirhams and they definitely can’t go any lower. You walk a km closer to the main square (just 200m walk from the square actually) and find a hotel where the negotiated price ends up at 250 Dirhams.
So the main thing – don’t assume. Rather go and check things out, you never know what you might find.
Smile! You don’t need to buy pot
I like polite people. And while for a tourist it might not always be a good suggestion to always be polite, I’d still suggest that. Even if you are offered pot, you can always enjoy a little conversation with the guy offering it to you and then leave. There are two other roads of course which you could take. You could keep looking on the road, pretend you didn’t hear the guy and move on. How cool is that? Not cool at all. The third road would be to actually be interested in buying pot but that’s already up to you. Cheers!
Well, these are really just a few suggestions. I do believe in them. Then again, my younger brothers never agrees with me.