57

In places that I've felt to be a bit dodgier than usual I have done a few things: Sleep in shorts with a pocket and keep the key in my pocket. Thread the key onto a string and wear it around my neck. Put the key and other valuables inside my pillowcase / pillowslip. A good way to not forget your valuables are in your pillowcase is to also stash your ...


42

Personally I use the pillowcase method. Small torch, asthma inhaler, old phone I use as an alarm/music player (vibrate wakes me, doesn't wake anyone else, best ever), and locker key, all fit into a corner leaving the rest for me to use. Anyone wants in and they're going to need to physically move me and I'm not going to sleep through that. A quick trick, ...


36

Once, when checking an external frame backpack onto a Virgin Atlantic flight I was offered a giant, durable, resealable (great for security checks), clear plastic bag. It was similar to a clear trash bag but thicker and had the airline's logo on it. It seemed like a good solution prevent any straps or hooks from getting caught in the baggage handling. Since ...


36

French seems like an obvious choice: Spoken (to some extent, don't expect everybody to be able to communicate with you!) in 20+ countries, not much overlap with English, mostly standardized and easy to learn for English speakers (compared to Arabic or local languages), not limited to a specific region (unlike, say, Swahili which does enjoy some use as a ...


31

Yes, visiting Saudi Arabia is probably more difficult than anywhere else in the world, but it's not impossible by any means. First up, if you're a citizen of a Gulf Cooperation Council country, the answer is easy: you don't need a visa to travel to Saudi Arabia. If you're not, you have four (well, three) choices. Actual tourism visas have been suspended ...


25

It is certainly not true that "most European countries take gold". You cannot pay for goods in a shop with gold. Nor can you walk into a high street bank with gold and walk out with currency - you would need to do it through a specialist dealer. There are places where you can sell gold jewellery, but you will get very poor prices.


25

Here's what Esbit says: Is it allowed to carry Esbit solid fuel on commercial airplanes? It is not allowed to carry Esbit solid fuel in your hand baggage. With regard to the provisions of the checked baggage we recommend to directly check with your airline. If you contact your airline, you should refer to the UN number of our solid fuel, which reads ...


24

Painting with broad brush strokes about some very large and varied countries here, but I'd go for Japan. India I'd rule out due to the climate alone: March to May is the hot season, and it will be ferociously hot (40+ °C) in the Gangetic plains around Delhi. Of course you could head down south, but then the Taj will be off limits. And then there's the ...


23

I spent the first half of thus year in southeast Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia.) First of all, I wouldn't consider this a "rough" part of the world. True, cost of living is much less than the US/Europe, and pay is consequently less. But, generally speaking, the most danger of theft you'll run into while staying in ...


21

Well I can be evil and if people complain, I call them insensitive because I (genuinely) have no sense of smell ;) However, logically you do have a few options: hand-wash - a wash-cloth and some soap goes a long way, and for some reason even though the water is cold, it's never as bad as stepping under a cold shower. deodorant, lots of it. make sure you ...


19

The cheapest way to travel in Japan is to hitchhike. Getting out of major cities is difficult, but once you're on the road, it's generally amazingly easy to get rides. Some knowledge of Japanese helps, but is not mandatory. Further reading: http://hitchwiki.org/en/Japan Ride sharing is not common, because driving is not the budget option in Japan if you're ...


18

Use sodium bicarbonate. To translate that into English, use 'Baking Soda'. Sodium bicarbonate is the main ingredient for baking soda and it has this magical effect on bacteria, especially the ones that live in humid areas. Just put some sodium bicarbonate inside your backpack where it gets humid and leave it overnight, then remove it in the morning and NO ...


18

How about using a motion alarm app such as this Android one. Then you either put the key inside the back cover if it will fit, or just tape it to the phone if it won't. If anyone tries to move or take your phone, the alarm will go off and hopefully wake you up. If you're scared of accidentally waking lots of people up, you could perhaps put a similar alarm ...


17

I think the trip is doable reasonable well, although double or triple the time wouldn't be a bad thing. You just have to concentrate on the main sights. For example in Paris, you could easily spend one or two days in the Louvre, but if you're happy with seeing it only from outside, or just take a glimpse at Mona Lisa, 1 hours is enough. I traveled really a ...


17

Disclaimer / qualifier: I live in Tokyo Go to Japan. Any trip from Brazil to Asia is going to cost a lot, you may as well make the most of it. Japan has no more or less in the tourist / culture / educational areas than China or India. It wins hands-down in the environment category. tap water is drinkable anywhere (probably better than Brazil) public ...


17

They generally are a deterrent. They make the backpack much harder to steal and open and so greatly reduce chances of thieves targeting you backpack specifically. They can be broken with the right tool but that means the theif has to have it and time to use it without raising suspicion. This is much harder than cutting a slit into the backpack or just ...


16

It's all about layers and weight. As long as you can lose or add layers as you go, you'll be fine. So thermals/polyprops, then tshirts (lightweight, quickdry are the best), then a light jersey, followed by a jacket - ideally waterproof. Same for legs - polyprop, then some of those light trousers which tear off into shorts as well and are quick dry. ...


16

With the possible exception of Niagara (Niagara Falls is a smaller, more tourist-oriented city, so the public transportation may be somewhat less comprehensive), all of the cities you listed should have extensive public transportation coverage. Most cities offer some form of unlimited travel pass, and in most cases a weekly pass is available. I think in ...


15

If at all possible, park near other cars. The proximity of other cars means that any potential thief not only has to watch for you returning, but also the owners of any of the other cars. An active alarm, preferably with a highly visible red light blinking in a prominent location. These tend to get ignored when they go off in urban areas simply because they ...


15

The obvious thing to do would be to just wash yourself with 2 hands or a sponge and soap/shower gel; or am I missing something here?


14

It's doable...but...you're rushing the cities, some of the best in the world! London needs a few days to do really, you want to enjoy it. Paris simply can't be done in less than two days, I still regret that. I've been told that Rome is 4 days minimum unless you're with a tour group because of the long queues. Amsterdam 2 days is fine, and Brussels you ...


14

I wore my kilt (heavyweight one) round Germany and I can heartily recommend it - I made many friends, had lots of drinks bought for me and got invited to a lot of events and parties as people could spot the Scotsman a mile off. I'm assuming you are Scottish - if not, you may get some hassle, potentially, for pretending to be one :-) In the summer it can be ...


13

I would not recommend a tent if you want to see the cities and rely on public transport: campsites are generally outside the city, near woods, lakes or the sea, since they are intended for recreation; unlike in the states or Australia where some people live there permanently and this also means there wont be much public transport near campsites Leave your ...


13

Visiting India? The two other answers have been rather unwelcoming to India (one of them now deleted), and not just as an Indian, but as someone completely sold into the fact that travelling in India is extremely interesting and fun I would like to answer with a positive bias, strictly speaking I have no knowledge of the other two destinations so I am not ...


13

While I was Hostel hopping through Europe, I obtained an mp3 player arm band that was silly large (free too). It was big enough for me to put around my upper leg and hold on to my key and phone while not being too uncomfortable...kept everything safe and unless someone was willing to go under my blanket in search of it, it wasn't being found. I also ...


12

Fleece tops are great because they're warm, dry fast, and can be squished down a lot in a backpack. If you take a fleece top and a lightweight, waterproof jacket, you'll be fine in terms of outerwear. I agree with Mark Mayo that quick-drying t-shirts and pants that tear/zipper off into shorts are perfect for cutting down on travel. However, you might want ...


12

Those backpacks are very comfortable and they help to reduce the back sweating we all have experienced during long trips. I think the choice depends greatly on the type of trip you are planning to take. If you are leaving for a, let's say, three day trek where you don't need much stuff with you, and you will likely have the backpack with you at all times, ...


12

I spent some months in Southern India last year and compared with some other parts of the world it was indeed a bit harder to meet other travellers. I haven't been to the North of the country yet but I assume it is similar. Some of the best places to meet people is in your dorm room or the hostel kitchen. India doesn't really have that many hostels or a ...


12

Checked bags may be opened during screening. So the plastic wrap would be removed. You could get a duffel bag with a draw string and put your backpack in it. That would offer more protection then a plastic bag, but it would take some room in your backpack to carry around when your not using the duffel. The TSA's site has some tips.


12

Is it possible? Yes. I usually budget $1,000 per month wherever I travel. But... But I use most of the tricks in the book, depending on the country, to keep prices down. Many people won't be comfortable with some or all of the tricks. Hitchhiking. No trains, no buses. When hitching fails, use ride sharing. Camping. Wild if possible. Finding cheap ...


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