To travel the world is one of the most important decisions we make here on earth. Experiencing different parts of the planet is a chance to learn about cultures different than our own, gain a stronger grasp on our world history, share a meal and a conversation with a person who has a totally different world view than your own. It’s an opportunity to open you mind, open your heart, and open your eyes to gain a grander perspective.
Anthony Bourdain said it best— “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you… If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”
At AirTreks we believe wholeheartedly in the transformational power of travel. In fact, we’ve made it our mission to increase accessibility to round the world travel for people everywhere.
What we’ve found to be the greatest road block in taking the leap and booking a ticket is: cash money.
Is travel only for the wealthy? Swoon-worthy Instagram shots of travelers delighting in an infinity pool at the Four Seasons in Thailand might make you believe that travel is only for those with the big bucks, but we (the experts in all things travel) are here to tell you that it’s possible to see the world without winning the lotto, and even better without breaking your bank.
We did the research on some top destinations where you can experience it all for under $30/day. Check out the line up and submit your information here if you’re interested in taking a trip to all of these destinations!
Beyond being one of the most popular destinations for wanderlusters, it’s pretty easy to live on less than $30 (USD) per day. Budget rooms range from $7-$10 per night, and you can eat well on under $4 per day, cocktails and other beverages are about $2, and sightseeing activities cost around $10.
Bali can be even more affordable than Bangkok! You can stay in comfortable accommodations for around $10 per night. Fresh, local meals run around $2, for the next tier up you’ll pay $5. Snorkeling and surfing activities aren’t usually more than $10 and you can rent a moped for around $2 per day to explore all of Bali.
Athens and the *most* of the islands in Greece are quite inexpensive to live luxuriously. Fresh fish or lamb with grilled vegetables runs around $10, a Greek salad or gyro is typically $4 or less. Drinks are $5 and under. If you’re looking for the bare bones accommodation, expect to pay $20. For a very nice upgrade, and during peak season, expect to pay $40-$50.
Budapest is beautiful city steeped with history. And what’s more? It’s inexpensive to visit! Hotels and hostels in Budapest start at $9 per night. If you’re looking for a private accommodation, prices start as low as $18/ night. Street food and market food are around $3-$4. Getting around the city on a dime is easy to do. Staying under Budapest and getting the whole experience of the city is easy to do for under $30!
Peru is home to the world wonder Machu Picchu. While making the trek out to Cusco and then to Machu Picchu isn’t the cheapest, you can really live it up in Lima and the city of Cusco while there. Hostels can be found for around $2 per night, street food is as low as $5. Activities including parasailing and surfing can cost as little as $20.
Work remotely and want to travel the world? It sounds like a dream — and in this digital age it’s more possible than ever before.
Our friend in travel, Blaine Omega, traveled the world for two years and along her way she curated golden city guides with information every digital nomad is dying to get their hands on. Explore these 5 digital nomad cities she picked as her favorites!
Get detailed city guides including: best neighborhoods to live in, accommodations to rent, coworking spaces to work from, city transportation, visa & safety tips, packing guides, side trips, restaurants, cafés and more!
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Buenos Aires, Argentina Buenos Aires is a metropolitan city known for its wine, tango and passion! Often fondly referred to as “The Paris Of South America”, porteños (people living in Buenos Aires) pride their city on its European roots and feel. You will find locals sitting at sidewalk cafés, chatting and enjoying one another’s company until late into the evening.
Where digital nomads love to work from in Buenos Aires: Area Tres Access to professional events and workshops. A large, beautiful space with indoor and outdoor working areas. Café with quality coffee located in the building.
La Maquinita Multiple locations allow you to book the most convenient one for you. Fun community events. Multiple call booths and small meeting rooms for booking.
Barcelona, Spain World-renowned for its architectural beauty, its cultural character, and the way it blends tradition with innovation, those traveling to Barcelona will find themselves in one of the finest destinations in Europe. A city in constant flux, Barcelona is defined by Spanish and Catalan influences, and the push and pull between modern and old.
Where digital nomads love to work from in Barcelona: Cloud Coworking Frequent community events available to members. Well lit comfortable office with a beautiful terrace and views (Sagrada Familia location). Flexible and fixed desks, private offices, and meeting rooms available.
Attico Coworking Multiple locations to choose from. A variety of membership options to fit your needs. Modern and aesthetically pleasing spaces to inspire your work.
Berlin, Germany Known for its truly cosmopolitan nature, Berlin is an ever evolving, vibrant city that is taking over as the start-up center of Europe. Its central location in Europe also increases its diverse make up! It has a complicated history (the city has stellar museums and memorials that should not be missed), but has managed to maintain the reputation of a wild child, with world famous nightclubs.
Where digital nomads love to work from in Berlin: One Coworking One Coworking is a relatively new platform that allows members to work from multiple coworking spaces in Berlin. They offer 4 day, 9 day, and 22 day memberships. It’s a great way to see the city and try out different spaces. They also organize meet up events so you can get to know locals and other digital nomads in Berlin.
St. Oberholz Hosts internal and external meetup events for networking opportunities. Very centrally located in Mitte. Access to both locations and their large coworking café with excellent food and coffee.
Ahoy Beautiful aesthetics, comfortable, and well designed. A variety of desk and membership options. Well organized community events.
Chiang Mai, Thailand Known as the northern capital, Chiang Mai is a laid back oasis compared to the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. The city is overflowing with temples and quaint narrow streets that are perfect for exploring. Nearby outdoor excursions abound, including elephant sanctuaries and hiking trails. Be sure not to miss the Chiang Mai weekend night market, a street foodie heaven! This is a great place to land if you’re looking to integrate with an expansive expat and digital nomad community.
Where digital nomads love to work from in Chiang Mai: Punspace Tha Phae Gate Multiple locations to suit your needs. Great community of digital nomads and expats with lots of events to meet and connect with others. Offers flexible and fixed desks. Meeting rooms, private offices, and small call rooms are also available.
Bali, Indonesia Bali is an Indonesian island known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. It’s a digital nomad hub, so finding reliable wifi – with a view – isn’t a problem! Whether you are looking to work with your toes in the sand and have access to world class surf at lunch, or be in a mountainous jungle with wildlife galore, there is a place in Bali for everyone.
Where digital nomads love to work from in Bali: Outpost Canggu
It’s a brand new space with beautiful design by an award-winning architect. There is a swimming pool on site and it’s walking distance to the beach. State of the art technology and appliances.
Dojo Bali Coworking They have a lot of seating options both in it’s open air sections and outdoors. There is a pool is the backyard and it is a ~5 minute walk to the beach. Tons of community events and opportunities to meet other digital nomads. A delicious cafe for coworkers only.
Want to travel to all five of these destinations? Check out this around the world flight offer starting in Buenos Aires and ending in Bali: AirTreks Work & Travel Trip
Seeing the world while holding down a full-time job might sound too good to be true, but with the right planning and support, it can be done.
Before we dive in, let’s get started with the obvious — what exactly is a digital nomad? It’s a descriptor for different types of location independent working professionals. The goal of a digital nomad? To see and experience the world and all that it has to offer.
Sound like you? Or someone you would like to become? Perfect. You’ve landed in the right spot. We’re going to take you through all the essential details you need to get started on living a digital nomad lifestyle.
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Secure a remote job or some form of passive income to fuel your travels. Here’s a list of common jobs for digital nomads to get your wheels spinning: copywriter, digital marketer, customer service specialist, freelance writer, freelance photographer, graphic designer, web designer, UI/UX designer, developer, software engineer, online language teacher, and the list goes on…
Scout a coworking space in your desired travel destination. You might be thinking— I don’t need a coworking space, I can just work from a local café or from my home. Sure you can; those are both viable options. BUT beware of weak wifi connections. If you’ve got an important call with your boss or meeting with coworkers, it’s frustrating times 100 when your internet goes wonky on you. Working from a coworking space pretty much guarantees a steady connection. Plus it’s a great hub for meeting other kindred spirits like yourself and making professional connections with smart people from around the world. Disclaimer: digital nomads have a tendency to flaunt their lifestyle with images of fancy drinks in hand and laptops on beaches. In reality, the sun makes your laptop screen nearly impossible to read and you run the risk of overheating your digital devices. But by all means, keep ogling over the #officeanywhere shots and take one yourself if you want to hook your friends to join the remote movement with you.
Choose where you want to live. The place you choose to live will greatly affect your experience. Sure, you won’t be spending the majority of time in your apartment or hostel, but you do want to be comfortable and feel safe when you end your busy days of work and exploration.
Get your files in order. If you plan to travel abroad, you’ll want to make sure your passport is up to date. Most countries require your passport to be valid within 6 months of your last travel date. There are also some countries that you’ll need a visa (but don’t stress; most places don’t require one unless you plan on staying for longer than 90 days). Be sure to check the State Department’s website for detailed information on the countries you plan on traveling to. If your business requires a physical address to send bills and other important business materials to, most expats keep a physical address (a family or friend’s home, or PO Box) and then you can use either of these services (Traveling Mailbox or Earth Class Mail) to have your mail forwarded to wherever you are in the world.We highly recommend you try to go digital with your bill set up! Most bills and documents can be handled electronically. Try setting up online access for bank accounts and bills before you go.
Decide on your destinations. Now for the fun part, start dreaming and scheming of where you want to work remotely from. This is where we can best serve you! AirTreks has been the leader in multi-stop around the world flight travel for over 30 years. Our customers search for flights with our Trip Planner Tool over 10,000,000 times per year. With each search, our algorithm gets smarter and stronger; connecting you to the most convenient and affordable flights to suit your specific travel needs. Can you book as you go? Certainly. But we recommend you commit to your digital nomad journey upfront. This will save you money and give you peace of mind for your adventures ahead. If you need to make changes along the way, our customer support team is available for you 24/7 and is happy to help you make any switch! Curate your adventure here!
Sean and Rolf are not only long time business partners, but also good friends and kindred travel spirits. We hope you enjoy their chat.
Some Highlights From The Podcast
While smartphone apps can make travel easier in many ways, they can also get in the way of an organic travel experience. “I’ve often said that three big gifts of travel are the opportunities it offers a person to be lost, lonely, and bored – and smartphones have made these counterintuitive travel-blessings easier and easier to avoid.
I can remember the first time I noticed this. It was 2007, I was sitting in a hostel lounge and nobody really wanted to talk like they used to. Everybody was on their device and it was so weird that for a decade I had been using hostel lounges as a resource to communicate with other travelers and now technology has taken that organic connection away.
Travel is about engaging your immediate environment; it’s about living in the moment rather than compulsively pulling up a screen every time you feel uncomfortable. Smartphones – and smartphone apps – have literally been engineered to make us think we need them. The key, on the road, is to find ways to use them without letting them distract us from what is right in front of our eyes.” – Rolf
The rise of influencer travel has taken away from the beauty of experiencing the world in an authentic way. “In the mid-90s I met a lot of travelers that touted a badge of honor associated with the number of places they had traveled to and the length of time they had been traveling. I didn’t really care about it myself, but I could sense people were attracted and/or not attracted to others by that. Today, with the rise of technology, there are so many Instagramers out there wearing their badge of honor via their posts and stories. Their success is measured by the number of followers they have — and they’re using this to bargain for a travel discount or they’re trying to stay places for free. It just seems to be taking away from the beauty of real life experiences.” – Sean
There’s greater diversity in the types of people who are setting off on around the world travel adventures. “There’s so many more people taking round the world trips from a numbers standpoint, and from a diversity standpoint. In the mid 90s there weren’t a ton of Eastern Europeans, but now today, they’re traveling all over the world; joining the vagabond group. For a long time there was a population of mostly white males traveling, and now there’s a lot more diversity and people of color and people in the middle class traveling the world.” – Sean
“Twenty years ago the average multi-destination traveler was typically someone considered ‘sophisticated’. Maybe they went to Middlebury College or they were from Oregon, or they were from a place where it was already fairly normal to travel internationally. Whereas now you get more working class or near working class people people from places like Kansas, where I’m from. There are alot of people beyond white dudes taking to the road; including women and people of color. Odds are, you can look for blogs or social media and find people who are pretty similar to you, and you can follow their footsteps or advice and make travel happen for yourself. It’s been cool and progressive shift to see.” – Rolf
Travel is more affordable and more possible than people think.
“The cost of multi-destination travel is a lot cheaper than people think. You can do a full year of vagabonding or independent travel for anywhere between $16k-$20k per year. With technology, it’s possible to work along the way, so you can travel and keep your income coming in. There is so much more infrastructure in popular routes around the world than there was 20 years ago. There are so many inexpensive and safe places to stay while traveling.
And these places are not just low-end places, there’s lots of comfortable middle level places you can stay. In Indonesia, for example, you can find somewhere quite nice for only $10-$15 dollars a night.
It’s almost unbelievable when you think about the prices in many of the modern big cities of the world like London, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle.” – Sean
This family of four came to AirTreks with a very important mission: to embark on a never-boring adventure & make life happen all over the globe.
With that, their radical sabbatical began in June of 2018 and the rest is history. Or rather, currently in motion! We had the chance to catch up with Laurie to hear all the details and delights of their world tour thus far.
When did the idea of taking a round the world trip first come up for you and your family? We knew that we had a sabbatical from my job on the horizon before we had kids. We always said we wanted to do an around the world trip, but with two kids, we weren’t sure it could be a reality. We worked on the plan for about 2.5 years but really focused on it about 18 months before our departure. We booked the first half of our trip in March before our July departure.
Why did you decide to go? We married and had children “late” in life and both of our lives were deeply entrenched in travel opportunities prior to coming together as a family. I led global education trips with my students (mostly to east Africa) and traveled as a solo women whenever I could. My husband worked for Cirque du Soleil for 10 years which put him all over the country and the globe. If we hadn’t been tied to our school (we’re both teachers) we would have opted to raise our kids on the road from birth, but we love our jobs so much and the educational community we live in, that we could not give it up. Also, rearing kids is harder than we thought. So, this was our opportunity to make that dream a reality. Our wanderlust is strong.
What are the destinations of your trip? Cross country USA (Boston to LA including exploring the west coast and Burning Man), Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, tropical Far North Queensland), Tokyo, Chiang Mai, Hanoi/Halong Bay, Bali, Arusha (actually the village of Monduli) Tanzania, Cape Town, Tankwa Town (AfrikaBurn), France (Paris, Gourdes) and other parts of Europe TBD- we know we will get to Umbria. Hoping to do some of Spain, Croatia as well, and possibly Iceland!
Why did you decide on this route? Honestly, it all had to do with school for the kids. Our children are 3 and 5, and unlike most global traveling families, we feel passionate about putting our kids in local schools. We wanted them to have the benefit of different approaches to classroom learning, to learning new languages and making new friends from other cultures. So, we had a recommendation for a preschool in Ubud, Bali that would take the kids for a three month term. We committed to that right away, (we chose January – March so that we could be in Bali for Nyepi) and built the rest of our trip around it. Also, my parents were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary and always wanted to go to Australia. We decided it would be great to start our overseas adventure with help from our family so we made that our first international destination. The rest just fell (or is still falling) into place.
What has been your favorite destination thus far and why? (Or which destination are you looking forward to most?) How can anyone answer this? ! My first answer is always the last place we were. Right now I say Monduli because we went there to volunteer teach with an amazing secondary school for poor Masaai kids in a rural area. The work was intense and inspiring and the community so very different from our lives. It was the farthest we will be from the comforts of home and the most challenged our kids have been in terms of cultural comfort, so to watch them move through that; to watch them process being white for the first time; it was all very moving and powerful and important. It’s why we took this trip to begin with.
Aside from that, we loved Chiang Mai because the Buddhist way of life just spoke to us and our kids. We had a great preschool we found there and the people were incredibly warm and welcoming. The food was amazing. There were so many great sites and places to explore. We took weekend trips to Pai and Chiang Rai and the Myanmar border. It was a magical place for us. Learn more in this blog post!
Our time in Bali was also so magical. I found the expat community a bit overwhelming but we all adored the Balinese friends we made and their way of life.
Has there been a travel moment—big or small—that changed you and the way you and your family see the world? Every day we’re at this, is a step in a new direction. Perhaps that’s why we left home and set off on this adventure in the first place, to keep our souls in motion. To give ourselves the opportunity to forge undiscovered paths of growth as a family.
Tanzania was on our list, off our list, on and off, again and again. Including Africa in our travel itinerary added significant cost. It didn’t seem feasible. It didn’t make sense.
But we are here now, and I have loved this part of the world and the Masaai people since I first set foot in African soil back in 2008. The sound of the African dove, the mesmerizing song of Masaai children singing under a thick African sky, the call of my Masaai name, Namelok… all these have been my siren song, calling me to return.
It has not been easy to be here with our children. This is the first time I have seen them react to the unfamiliar with fear. This is the first time I have seen them reject fellow humans or push away a hand offered to them in friendship.
But the students at Orkeeswa and the village children here have not given up on Sam and Toby. They continue to model trust and faith and kindness for our little humans.
Today that kindness cracked something open in our boys. And through that crack, a little light shined through.
Sam greeted me after my first class with elation that he had joined a game with kids next door, kids who don’t speak English, kids from whom he had run just a week ago.
Tobias jumped head first into the arms of his new friend Saidi and told me to go away so he could have his new companion all to himself.
It may seem small, but these are major changes that indicate the melting away of fear. Fear that I have to face in my children, even though I wish it didn’t exist.
There is no way to ignore the power of race while we are here. We are 4 of maybe 10 white people in all of Monduli. I feel intensely proud and honored to be welcomed here. I feel even more proud to be invited to teach and collaborate with this community. I am blessed and overwhelmed with gratitude.
Today I finally got to share that pride and gratitude with my boys. Today we were all, at last, back on the same page.
Here’s to growth and a process of getting to know ourselves better every day. Here’s to believing that good will conquer fear in our little family and in our desperately conflicted world. As they say in our children’s meditation practice, Peace begins with me.
Anything is possible.
Why do you believe that experiencing the world is important for your family? Our life at home is very comfortable. I wanted to stretch my kids and build new avenues for connection with my family and as a family with others. It has totally worked! I love when our kids teach us about local customs and language- they learn so much at their local schools and activities. We’ve grown so much as a family and we’ve become aware of some of the problems in the world that we want to address when we get home. There is no better way to raise awareness about climate change than to live in a place where there is real drought. No better way to learn about refusing single use plastics than living in a place where trash washes up on the beach. These images are real for us now and they help us to be the global citizens we want to be.
Most of all, we made friends with people from other cultures. That has mattered most for all of us. Our kids have a real appreciation for the community values of the Balinese, the sense of cultivating inner peace from the Thai and the connection that so many cultures have with nature. This comes from real connections with real people that they would not meet in our life at home.
What would your advice be to another family that’s considering taking off to travel the world? DO IT! And if you want more specifics on why, I’ve written several posts on my website. Check it out here!
World traveler, Daniel Gamber found family travel to be the most rewarding experiences of all. Daniel has been helping people travel around the world for over 20 years. At a young age, he was fortunate enough to take a trip to Hong Kong with his parents. This trip sparked his wanderlust and soon after he decided to set off as a solo traveler. He spent subsequent trips exploring a variety of countries with good friends and companions. His most memorable journeys have been traveling to five continents with his wife and two children.
Daniel Gamber - AirTreks Travel Planner - YouTube
We sat down with Daniel to learn more about his desire to bring his kids around the world with him and why he believes it’s so important for a family to travel together.
When did the idea of taking a round the world trip first come up for you and your family?
My wife Sarah and I had both traveled extensively before having a family, so we always knew we would find a way to do it with them. We had met families on the road through our travels and we were convinced it could be done and had to be done with our family.
Was there a moment you decided you wanted to take your kids around the world?
As the children got older we decided we wanted them to be old enough to remember the experience and young enough to still want to hold our hands.
What are the destinations of your trip?
Rome, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, Israel, Jordan, Dubai, India, Seychelles, South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Paris, Colombia and Ecuador.
Why did you decide on this route?
Some stops were requested by the kids and most were places Sarah and I had never been but wanted to go.
What has been your favorite destination thus far and why?
I never have favorite destinations, since they are all so different. I do have locations on every trip that are pleasant surprises on that one it was Jordan and Namibia. I think the places that end up being better than you expect always stand out. The landscapes in both those countries were truly memorable.
Has there been a travel moment—big or small—that changed you and the way you and your family see the world?
Our children realized soon into our travels that only speaking more than one language was beneficial. They embraced learning a little bit in each country and the friends they met, who spoke multiple languages inspired them for our next adventure, living abroad in Spain. They now consider themselves bilingual.
Why do you believe that experiencing the world is important for your family?
Because there is nothing more important for a family than to share experiences. Food, art, music, language, nature, dance and relationships. With travel, you get it all.
What would your advice be to another family that’s considering taking off to travel the world?
Decide to do it, include your kids in the planning, spend time exploring different routes with the AirTreks Trip Planner app andconnect with me!
If you’re interested in learning more about Daniel’s adventures around the world, check out his family’s website to see all the places on earth they’ve covered so far.
There’s been a lot of buzz around the recent New York Times article about the dangers of traveling the world as a solo female. While the article offers deep insights about the realities of harassment and violence that women risk when traveling solo, it also serves up a large dose of fear. Fear that can be debilitating. Fear that causes women to push back big dreams of soul-shaking round the world travel adventures. Fear that is making the bravest and boldest stay home to stay safe.
The harsh reality of the world is that violence, harassment, and other evils do in fact exist — both 8,000 miles from home and right in our own backyards. While we wish the horrifying stories featured in the New York Times were not real life, the truth is, they were. They are.
But what if instead of dwelling in these painful tales, we took them into consideration, and we still set off to see the world? What if we armed ourselves with smart safety tactics and we spread our wings to fly anyway?
Author and solo female traveler, Elizabeth Gilbert says it best: “In life there is fear that you need and fear that you don’t need. Bravery means doing something that feels scary. Fearlessness means not understanding what the word scary even means.”
As a fully remote company, some of the AirTreks employees opt for a digital nomad lifestyle. The women of AirTreks and friends of AirTreks weighed in on what they do to ensure safety while traveling solo. If you’re a woman interested in taking a solo trip around the world, we encourage you to read through some pro safety tips for solo female travelers. If you’re a solo female traveler yourself, or an aspiring one, we invite you to share feedback or weigh in with your own advice. We’ll add it to this article.
Tips to lessen the fear you don’t need while traveling the world solo…
I go by the classic line: “Be a traveler, not a tourist.” It’s plain and simply solid safety advice. Blend in with the locals and make friends with people from the area. Being an obvious tourist can cause you to be more of a target.
Also, stay aware. Be well rested, sober, and alert so that if something is off, you can sense it in your gut. Your instincts are usually right. Don’t walk alone at night; try to stick to well-lit public areas if possible.
I don’t tell people that I meet while traveling that Im traveling alone. At least not at the beginning. I say I’m with friends and we just separated for some days, or that I’m meeting my friends in the next city, so they think somebody is waiting for me. I usually try to let somebody know what my plans for the day are. For example, letting the hostel people know if I’m trekking, or hiking, and when I plan to return.
Have your personal infrastructure sorted— a phone that works locally, with data and credit (a dual sim phone with your home sim and local sim is ideal), with a personal-alarm app installed; all your documents in the cloud; a credit card which works anywhere, and in any currency; and an emergency stash of dollars and local currency kept separate from your belongings and wallet, or hidden on your person. Finding yourself in a challenging situation is one thing – not having resources to deal with it is another.
If you’re traveling in foreign countries that are more remote, make sure to always get the number, location and contact info for the closest US embassy (or your native embassy) in case of any emergencies or natural disasters. Sometimes you can even notify the US embassy in the nation you’re traveling to so they’re aware of your whereabouts in the event of any unforeseen circumstances that threaten your safety.
I always get a SIM card (with both data and cellular capabilities) that works in the countries that I am visiting. This way, I have the ability to make a call anytime, use Google maps so I know where I am going, and research last minute lodging/tickets/food if my original plans fall through. Most of the time, I use WiFi as needed, but having data available for a relatively small fee gives me an extra insurance policy.
Additionally, I always make a google doc with my itinerary (flight numbers/times and addresses of all lodging) and then the numbers and addresses of the US embassies in the countries and cities I am visiting, the names and phone numbers of the US diplomats at said embassies, my passport number, and emergency phone numbers (equivalent of 911). I then make it so I can see it offline on my phone and print a copy that I keep in my wallet/passport holder. This might seem like overkill, but it is so much easier to glance at this document instead of searching emails and Airbnb listings for information.
One of my favorite all time defense techniques is to walk tall and square, with confidence. Project with your body language that you know who you are, where you are going, and that you are not afraid of anything.
It’s smart to activate your GPS or friend finder on your phone and share your location with a close friend if you plan on going out late in the evening or to a more remote location.
Set-up a plan with that friend to check at specific hours and agree on. Figure out what to do next if the check-ins don’t happen.
Assuming it’s legal in the destination that you’re in, carry a pepper spray with you as a key chain or in a place easy to reach (not at the bottom of your backpack). If you have to walk home late at night, it could come in handy and at the very least, it will give you peace of mind.
I don’t Instagram from a place until I’ve left it. I also sometimes wear a wedding ring even though I’m not married. I’m not saying that I need a husband or spouse to protect me or anything, but I think of it more as a deterrent to unwanted advances, and it also gives the idea that someone is probably keeping track of or waiting for me.
I make sure I have a sim card because though traveling and shutting off completely shapes deep meaningful experiences, when you’re in a foreign country alone it’s smart to be connected in case of emergency. If there is no service I make sure to download an offline map on my Google maps so I know my way around.
Take Ubers instead of taxis because they are being tracked and you can contact the business if something goes wrong. I would never get in unmarked car or pay cash for travel. When I was in India Uber wasn’t an option, so I hired a driver through the hotel I was staying at and traveled with someone, this way I was never alone in a car.
We invite you to join the conversation and share your own stories from the road, or safety tips with the hashtag #LetsTravelFoward. Let’s raise our voices, share our stories, and collectively keep paving a path forward for strong women to continue traveling forward.
Prefer to share your story over email? Reach out to: heather at airtreks dot com
Taking a vacation? Going on a business trip? OR maybe even an AirTrek around the world flight? Ladies, we know the pre-trip dilemma well. What to pack? Traveling with the right accessories can make all the difference in the world.
Whether you’re a minimalist packer or you travel with your entire closet, stay ahead of jet lag with this list of travel accessories our travel experts curated!
Meet the perfect carry-on! Sized to fit in the overhead bin of most major airlines, it’s thoughtfully designed to last a lifetime—and guaranteed for it too. This carry-on comes with an ejectable battery is compliant with all airline policies, TSA-approved, and safe to fly!
Split is all about helping you make the most of your nutrition, and choosing quality over commodity and to give your body what it craves and deserves. The science in Split food is complex, but the concept is simple–Split is the perfect combination of one good fat and one good carb.
Designed to boost athletic performance, RunGum also comes in oh-so-handy for the tired traveler. When you’re looking for that extra energy boost on a long travel day, RunGum quickly delivers the pick-me-up you need.
Prevent additional charges at the airport for oversized/ overweight luggage. Souvenirs are great and all, but those extra fees can pack a punch. Compact and easy to pack. You’ll want these little ninja to keep you in the know.
The founders at Picky Bars believe real food is the best fuel, and when balanced the right way, can power through a long flight, a hard workout, or the biggest snack attack. Power up with Picky Bars before your next big trip.
For the chic jet-setter, this Travel Charger Roll Up is made from soft leather and is the classiest way to transport chargers. Featuring three separate pockets to stash all manner of cables and chargers, simply roll it all up and secure it with the leather tie. Smart design for the tech-savvy traveler.
This lovely pocket diary is an added touch of sophistication to your travel accessory collection that also helps you stay organized. Handcrafted in England, you’ll find a handy pen secured by a leather loop and snap closure for writing notes.
Immerse your skin in intense hydration with this fan-favorite sheet mask. Packed with an exceptional concentration of Pitera, this face mask takes your skin to the next level of crystal clear. The plane will dry out your face, so pop this on during the flight and plump up your skin with moisture and elevated smoothness.
This ultra lightweight contoured mask allows you to catch some Zs in complete comfort. This product serves it’s purpose well beyond the flight; block out those morning rays or the night lights outside of your hotel or Airbnb.
How many times have you made an impulsive purchase at the airport moments before boarding your red eye, only to be disappointed with an awkwardly shaped bean bag for your neck? Stop spending $25 here on last minute neck pillows and sleep in style with the Ostrich Pillow Go Travel. High density memory foam with 360º natural ergonomic neck support, this product is what dreams are made from.
Pack more clothing into less space with these stylish, wrinkle-free packing cubes! Clothing can be seen through inspection, so you’re all set if you’re carrying on. Leave organized for your trip and arrive organized.
Everyone that travels frequently or for long bouts of time, should have a travel towel. We like this one because it drys three times faster than traditional towels. It’s lightweight, compact, and just right for traveling the world.
Invigorate your soul with joy. Reinvent yourself. Mend your broken heart. Open your mind. Open you heart. Change your perspective. Meet new people. Get lost in new places. Challenge yourself to a new language. Make way for freedom.
These are all reasons to travel the world. And there are a million others to add to that list. Whether you pack up your life into a small storage bin and take off on a year-long journey OR you create space for as little as a month or two weeks to travel, you are choosing a different path from the routine day-to-day. A path that very possibly leads to self transformation and eye opening discoveries. Most importantly, by choosing to travel, you are choosing YOU.
Traveling is an alluring concept. The idea of taking off on a solo adventure like that of Elizabeth Gilbert, Cheryl Strayed, or Gloria Steinem (to name a few trailblazers), sounds brilliant. It’s an opportunity to change your life for the better. For healing. It’s a shot at freedom and liberation.
But if we’re being real, the notion of traveling solo as a female also comes with a side of fear.
“In life there is fear that you need and fear that you don’t need. Bravery means doing something that feels scary. Fearlessness means not understanding what the word scary even means.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love
As women, we are taught to approach the world with caution. We are warned against walking alone at night, be it in Bali or in our own home neighborhoods. In instances of assault or violence, victim blaming is an all-too-real occurrence. What was she wearing…? Why was she out so late by herself…? Did she provoke the situation…?
These very real fears can be paralyzing. When reinforced in media, movies, and in our communities, these fears make it easier for us to stay for us to stay safe. For us to stay home. For us to stay small.
In life, there is the fear you need and the fear you don’t need. What does this mean? It comes down to choosing a life that is driven by chasing curiosity and passion. Being smart, savvy, and staying safe, while still forging ahead anyway. Because there is so much to see, so much to do, and so much to learn, share, and give back in this life.
At AirTreks, we’ve helped women from all around the world set off on life changing multi-stop adventures and we want to continue with that trend.
Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be sharing stories of female travel pioneers. We’ll be digging into to safety tips for when you make the decision to cast out into the world. We’ll be celebrating women who chose curiosity over fear. And we hope to open a conversation amongst all women who have a spark of interest in traveling the world. We hope you enjoy this series. Check back for more to come!
Chris Wadsworth’s path to travel started back in 1996, when he decided to chase his passion for travel and take a trek around the world. After college, Chris had a desire to learn about different cultures and visit places that he had only read about in books. Like many of his clients, he didn’t know where to begin. He started by traveling around the world for 15 months. When he returned from that first RTW (round the world) trip, all he could think about was getting back on the road.
Coming off his first trek, he knew that he wanted to help others see the world and possibly have the same life changing experiences he had. In April of 2004, Chris joined the Airtreks Team. Since being with Airtreks, Chris has taken several smaller trips throughout the years and now has a family with two young kids who are eager to get out and see new things. He’s living out his passion and loves encouraging and enabling others to do the same.
Chris Wadsworth - AirTreks Travel Planner - YouTube
We had a chance to sit down with Chris to learn more about some of his adventures traveling around the world and returning home to help others do the same. Enjoy!
When did you take your first trip around the world? And where did you go? My first trip around the world was in 1996. I started in London, and then went on to: Dublin, France, Spain, Italy, Thailand, Nepal, Laos, Cambodia Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji.
Tell a travel story of an experience that changed the way you thought? Travel has definitely changed my perspective on life. Visiting new places and connecting with tons of people will do that to you. You also realize that there’s so many things that we take for granted when you see how people in other cultures live their lives. I traveled with a cassette Walkman (I sound old, I know) and was listening to it in Nepal in the Himalayas. We stayed at a tea house with a family. The son, who was roughly 8 years old, could not figure out what I was doing with the wires in my ears. I let him listen and he could no figure out how the music came through the wire to his ears. He was blown away. He loved Fleetwood Mac and Dire Straights. Sharing that moment with him is something I’ll never forget.
Also, in Laos, they only allowed tourism again for four years before we got there. We went to very remote parts, and the Laoations had not seen many people like us before. They were as interested as us as we were of them.
What was one of the craziest experiences you had while traveling? Swimming with humpback whales when they were migrating through smaller Polynesian Islands off of Tonga called Vava’u. I flew into Tongatapu and then took a boat to one of the smaller islands that two New Zealanders rented from the King of Tonga for 99 years.
I watched the whales breach while I was having breakfast, and then took a boat out to follow the whales around. When the whales swam up to the boat, we knew it was okay to jump in and swim with them.
It’s a little frightening at first, because you’re right on top of the whales. They tilted their heads and came up to the surface of the water and were just 20 feet away from us!
Swimming next to these beautiful giants made me realize just how small I am in this world. Most memorable experience for me, hands down.
Was there an influential person you met along your travels? The Buddhist Monks. It was incredible to be around the monks. They taught me how to find true peace in life and that’s something I’ve kept with me forever since meeting them.
Why should someone take an around the world trip? Travel gives you a fresh perspective on life and allows you to gain enriching, life changing experience. Through travel, you see and feel cultures that you could not grasp from books or movies. The smells and tastes of different food and places cannot be had in any other way. Take a chance on something great for yourself, and take a trek around the world.
Chris has been with AirTreks for 15 years and is an expert in all things travel.