How To Travel

My hotel room in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

As much as I love travelling to new places, you’ll often hear me complaining about how much I dislike the process of travelling – the airports, customs line-ups, security line-ups, crappy airport food, turbulence, jet-lag and many more. For new travellers, these things are somewhat exciting in their own right, but after a while they grow old and tiring. With that in mind, I was recently reading Anthony Bourdain’s travel tips via a link on Facebook (most of which are great) and thought I would follow up with a point-by-point comparison of some of my tips. The first thing I do is I dress for airports. I dress for security. I dress for the worst-case scenario. I don’t purposefully dress […]

Back to Brazil

The last time I was in Brazil, I was there from June until August in 2013, which was basically the tail-end of their winter. The weather was actually quite nice (compared to a Canadian winter), with most days hovering around 20C. But I haven’t experienced summer in South America since my first trip to Argentina in 2011. Given that it’s been snowing and below zero here in Hamilton for the last two weeks, seeing the sun again and 30C days is going to be a great change. I’m flying out of Pearson in the early afternoon on Wednesday, with a brief 4-hour stop over in New York City. I found a flight that was about $200 cheaper because it requires […]

As I pointed out previously, I’m in the process of moving to Hamilton to spend a year working out of BraveNewCode’s new offices. I flew out and spent some time out there in April and May, mainly just to find a place to live. But now that I have an apartment lined up, I’m back in British Columbia getting ready to do a road trip across North America with my girlfriend. Most people really have no appreciation for how large of a country both Canada and the United States are. I once had a friend fly into Toronto and email me to see if I could drive out to see him from Vancouver – people are often surprised to learn […]

Me At Edoras

It’s hard to be in New Zealand and not eventually stumble upon some of the filming locations from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. While most of the scenic areas from the films are on the South Island, there are plenty of opportunities on the North Island to take a visit to Middle Earth, most notable is of course Hobbiton near Matamata. During our two week campervan adventure on New Zealand’s south island, we had an impromptu idea to visit Edoras, which was the primary filming location for the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. It’s situated on private property, but the owners don’t seem to have a problem with tour busses and individual tourists making the trek up […]

Best Travel Reward Card For 2014

Earning Free Travel With Barclaycard Arrival Card

One of my main strategies for earning free airline travel that I discuss in my eBook is leveraging a travel rewards card. For most people simply using a travel reward card for day-to-day purchases is enough to earn a free vacation each and every year. I’ve been using a few different cards for three years now, and I’ve earned a full return trip to Machu Picchu in Peru, a free return trip to Auckland, New Zealand, and enough for another trans-continental trip already accumulated. And all I had to do was sign-up and use it monthly. Almost all travel reward cards include health-insurance for short-term trips (usually two weeks or less) and often flight-cancellation or trip-interruption insurance. If you were […]

Earning Free Travel With Barclaycard Arrival Card

Over the past few years I’ve flown to many exotic destinations New Zealand, Brazil, and even Peru. Normally those trips would costs thousands of dollars, but I managed to do all three trips for free thanks to several of my travel reward credit cards. Most seasoned travellers already know this, but many credit card companies offer travel products that help their customers earn free travel. For every purchase you charge to your credit card, the credit card company will give you a credit for future travel in the form of ‘mileage’. That mileage is usually tracked on your credit card statement on a monthly basis, but can quickly add up to a free airline ticket after just a few months. […]

Setting A Budget While You Travel

Trail Wallet For Travel Budgeting

There are a few privileged travelers that you encounter from time to time who don’t really seem to have any sort of budget. Often they have saved for several years and intend to continue traveling until it simply runs out. But for the rest of us, traveling for more than a week or two often means that we have to stick to a pre-defined budget for a particular trip. I know personally that spending money is the one main aspect of traveling that causes me stress, more so than worrying about theft or how to get to and from places. That’s why I try to set aside a certain amount of money beforehand for each trip, to minimize the anxiety […]

New Zealand: Beautiful, but hard to stay connected

Unless you are coming from Australia, you’ll likely arrive in New Zealand and be instantly surprised with how hard it is to find usable Internet, or how much money you have to pay to get online. Sure, some coffee shops give you 30 minutes of free time with the purchase of a coffee, but that’s hardly enough time to send a few emails or check in with friends and family on Facebook. If you want to do anything useful, such as upload photos or do a few online chats with people back home, you’re going to find it very difficult all over New Zealand unless you’re willing to shell out $3-$5 an hour whenever you do find it. Even if […]

Traveling With A Backpack

Traveling With A Backpack

Whenever a person goes to a new destination, one of the first things they need to decide is what they are going to bring. And for most people, that depends on the duration of the trip and likely how far they will be traveling. If I go anywhere for a month or more, I often take one of my larger suitcases to minimize laundry. I figure since I am allowed to check a bag on the plane, I may as well take advantage of it. And since I usually rent a full apartment in a new location, I have room to store the suitcase. But when you have a suitcase it’s often hard to be spontaneous. If you go sightseeing, […]

Back In New Zealand

A little over 24 hours ago we boarded Air New Zealand flight 83 in Vancouver for a 14-hour trip back to Auckland, New Zealand. I spent four weeks in Auckland about two years ago and really enjoyed myself. My original plan at the time was to slowly make my way south to the South Island and spend some time in a CamperVan, but eventually decided against it because I couldn’t find anyone to share the adventure with me. Thankfully now I have a girlfriend, and she was excited to spend a few weeks in a CamperVan in New Zealand. So we booked a three week trip back to New Zealand, and are currently in Auckland getting ready for New Year’s […]