Travel Blogger Interview – Two Bad Tourists

Two Bad TouristsDavid and Auston are Two Bad Tourists who like to travel “their way” and not the way you’re “supposed to.” They believe travel is more achievable and possible to do without spending a lot of money. You can follow their blog on Twitter, Facebook, Google plus or You Tube.

First of all tell us who you are…

Two Bad Tourists is a travel blog created in 2012 by David and Auston, two American’s who left the US to travel around the world. A former lab scientist and engineer, we now teach English and work freelance in Spain.

Why the name Two Bad Tourists?

Our style of travel is not typical of the average tourist. We prefer to travel slower and experience more by visiting less. We’re not bad travelers, per se, but we don’t really appreciate the hyper-sightseeing approach when visiting new places.

What motivated you to start to start your blog?

Our original motivation for our blog was to create a journal of our one year round-the-world trip so we could share our experience with close family and friends. We never had the intention to make our blog public or become (*cough, cough) “professional travel bloggers.” Now we continue blogging to inform and inspire others to travel. We love visiting new places and sharing our experience with our readers. Likewise, we enjoy discovering our own new home in Spain, so we can provide local tips like where to find gay friendly accommodation in Madrid or guides to the best gay nightlife in Madrid.

When was your first trip? Where did you go?

Our round-the-world trip started in May 2012, though we started the blog in February to share our story of planning our trip, selling our belonging, quitting our jobs and leaving our then home town of Chicago. Our first destination on our trip was Mexico City where we spent 2 weeks studying Spanish in an intensive course.

Have you ever experienced any challenges to blogging as duo, such as who’s turn it is to write?

Yes! We always joke that David is more creative but Auston works harder. We occasionally have different opinions on what to write or how we should engage with our readers, but in the end we always work it out. Luckily, we each have strengths in different areas of the blog and we tend to prefer working on the area in which we are best skilled.

You have mentioned it is possible to travel without spending a lot, what trick do you use to limit costs when traveling?

We save the most money on traveling by using airline miles to book flights. Our original round-the-world trip was booked solely with airlines miles that Auston had saved for more than 4 years. Along with miles saved from business travel, we also took advantage of airlines promotions and mileage earning credit cards. We also appreciate traveling in a more local way so luxury hotels or frequent taxi rides are rarely things we really go for. We usually take public transportation and often stay in hostels, budget hotels or even use couch surfing to stay with locals for free.

How do you fund your travels?

Our original round-the-world trip lasted for one year and ended in February of 2013. This trip was funded by 3+ years of savings. We consequently spent our entire life savings and moved to Spain with one-way tickets, no money and no jobs. One year later we are still living in Madrid. David teaches English part time and Auston works freelance as an engineer and travel writer.

For the budget travelers out there, what would be your top tip for saving money when traveling?

If you’re American, airline mileage earning credit cards is by far the best way to save on travel. Some programs even let you redeem miles for hotels or rental cars. Although some banks offer credit card offers in other countries, they tend not to be as lucrative. For those living in other countries, the best money saving tip is to explore alternative approaches to travel like house swapping, house sitting, couch surfing or car sharing. These programs are often very inexpensive or even free. Some people are hesitant to try these programs out of fear or misunderstanding, but they are all friendly and have trust and review systems to ensure everyone’s safety.

Do you take advantage of airline credit cards to save on flights? If so, which card do you use?

Yes, we’ve used various different airlines cards over the past couple years. The cards we are currently using are the Lufthansa Miles & More Card from Barclays and the Starwood American Express. We love the Starwood card because we can use it for hotel stays or transfer the points to almost any airline.

Any major travel regrets?

We don’t have any major travel regrets but we certainly would have done things differently if we could go back. Firstly, on our round the world trip we would have visited less countries and stayed for longer in each place. We quickly learned that traveling to a new city every 5 days can become exhausting and is not sustainable for an entire year. While we did scale back some during our trip, many of the flights were pre-booked so we didn’t always have as much flexibility as we wanted.

Any Advice to young travelers?

Don’t wait to start traveling! A lot of people will try to convince you that you should focus only on school or a career and they’re the most important. While it’s true that an education and a good job are important, you must realize that traveling when you’re young is often easier to undertake because you have less commitments and you can enjoy your time more than when you’re older.

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Weekly Roundup – How To Fund Traveling Around The World

You are a travel blogger or you want to take the plunge in discovering our beautiful but vast planet. The big question to ask yourself is; How will i fund traveling this amazing planet? Don’t worry anymore cause I’ll be sharing those tricks I do to fund all my travels hoping it will be beneficial to you too.

Advertising

Companies pay you to advertise their products or services on your website. These advertisements can take many forms, such as sidebar banner ads, or sponsored content where a company pays you to publish a post about them. While advertising on your site, be cautious though, you might be penalized by Google loosing all your income in a fraction of time.

Affiliate Sales

Whenever you share maybe a book or any other product, always include an affiliate link to those products because if someone clicks that link and goes ahead and buy that product, you make a certain percentage from that sale.

Photography

The world is big and beautiful with infinite number of amazing photos to be taken. Be the one to capture the beauty of a sunset at the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro or the migration of the world beast at Masaai Mara. Depending on the country you are visiting, there is a good chance that you will make a reasonable income by selling them to magazines or sell them online. Just master a few tips and tricks that will enable you make your photos much more marketable and fashionable.

Freelance Editing

There are many different types of freelance writing you can do, from writing travel related articles for other websites to newsletters and blogs for various companies. I’ve been doing this for a time now and it worthy all your effort.

Brand Partnership

Brand partnerships are longer-term projects with companies. There are many brands out there with fantastic products that you would be happy to work with on a long-term basis in exchange for compensation

Is there any tips I’ve omitted you feel should be on this list? Share it with us in the comments below

Amazing Reads of the Week

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Things to Consider While Traveling With an Infant By Air.

Infant seating

If you are traveling with an infant, one of the most important considerations to take is the seat for an infant. The baby should sit upright with the seat belt fastened. If your child is too small to sit in a seat, then you should be sit where it is comfortable enough for your child, due to oxygen constrains.

Pack smart

Children always come with responsibilities. Whenever you are traveling with your child,its important to keep close watch to your kid once in a while. A plane attendant may help you to locate a room where you can change your infant’s diapers or clean it up. If your baby is over 6 months old, it is important to carry along food supplies or sips of water to keep them busy and also full 🙂 .Also you may need to request hot water or ice from the flight attendants to keep items cold or hot.

Also make sure to carry your laundry needs as it will always be needed at your destination.

Strollers

Children may be used to transported in a stroller. However some airlines may not permit you to carry a stroller as a carry-on baggage. If you have to carry a stroller, carry a small and a collapsible one to avoid problems with the airline authorities. Some airline authorities may give a free service while checking the strollers and also they can be made available during the plane connections.

Keep the baby in your mind mind

Adjust your mind and keep in it that you will make lots of little breaks along your journey. It is important that you let the baby to stretch, wiggle and maybe roll on a blanket. It is important that you arrive early at the airport to keep the baby set for the air travel.

Plan your seat ahead of time.

During reservations, its is important to let the agents know that there will be a baby on board. This may guarantee the child’s safety as there might exist some restriction to where the baby should be placed. It might be good if the baby is placed near the window to avoid blocking other passengers who might be passing by. It is usually noisy at the back of the plane, so it would be better if the baby is kept far front as possible.

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How to Achieve Your Travel Goals in 5 Easy Steps

If you are anything like me, you have a secret list somewhere of places you’d want to visit before…well, places you’d want to visit. But it isn’t always easy to make your travel goals a reality, is it? There always seems to be competing demands for your time and money. Be it work or other life commitments.

And so each year you make a resolution to travel more and visit places X, Y, Z. The years roll around and you realize you haven’t traveled a bit. And so the travel resolution gets two “X” marks on the next years’ resolutions. This year, you say, am gonna travel more! Oh the cycles of life…it just keeps ebbing away.

Let’s break that cycle today. Me and you. You made a resolution or a decision to travel more this year (I know I did), let’s make that dream a reality. I’ll even volunteer to hold you accountable to your travel goals 🙂

Step #1: Shift Your Travel Thought Patterns

Believe it or not, the biggest barrier to traveling more isn’t money or time, it’s your mind! It’s your thought patterns. Come to think of it, isn’t it also the biggest barrier to people achieving their dreams in any field? Yes, the chips maybe stacked against you, they probably are, but somehow where there is a will, a way emerges.

Imagine yourself traveling more. Or at your favorite destination, soaking in the sun, listening to the cool breeze of the ocean. Or standing at the top of that mountain you have sworn (for ages) to climb. It feels good, doesn’t it? You have to believe you can do it. (Oh yes, today I sound like a motivational speaker…believe me, its for yours and my own good.) We’ve got to conquer our fear of travel impossibilities.

Step #2: Start Small

You are not just going to hop on a plane straight to Alaska, nope. You’ve got to “muscle up” for it. Start small and build up confidence and the planning skills to tackle your bigger, dream destinations.

Start in the local neighborhoods. Attractions within walking and driving distance. Take the time over weekends and holidays to immerse yourself in a place you have wanted to visit but just didn’t have the know-how. Explore more. As you do, you not only gain confidence, but you get to understand yourself; how you travel, the kinds of environment you like and what your typical travel expenses look like.

Step #3: Identify You Dream Destinations

By now you are more confident in your capacity to travel and have fun. Sit down and make a list of countries, destinations and attractions you’d want to visit. Get creative and bold. Now is the time to bring out those travel destinations that have been forever languishing on your Bucket List. Note them down, in order of priority if possible. You can as well arrange them on how easy it is to get to them.

Step #4: Save, Save, Save

This is the fun part! Before you throw up your hands in defeat, hear me out. You have come this far.  A little bit of money is the only thing standing between you and all that fun at your Dream Destination #1! You know your typical travel expenses. You have researched your destination and are clued in on the kinds of expenses you might incur. Add that up and factor it in your monthly budget.

Go ahead and create a time-line to help you save faster. For example, if you plan on a major trip in December, you have at least four months, from now, to stow away some travel money. If you don’t have the discipline to sit on that money, have it deducted from your paycheck and deposited into a different “special” account.

Step #5: Partner Up & Conquer the World.

Popular wisdom holds that you should surround yourself with people on the same mission as you. Here is your chance to do so. Find people who are trying to travel more. Those on the same savings journey as you are on. People whom you can hold each other accountable for your dreams and goals. It certainly makes achieving your travel goals easier.

Conclusion

Travel is right up there with reading in experiences that transform your life. (Travel more!) Reading immerses you in other people’s thoughts and wisdom over time, traveling takes you right onto the forefront where you get your hands dirty and become wiser. You shouldn’t let the lack of money or time deter you from achieving your travel goals. Conquer your fears today, take baby steps and then when ready, spread your wings and fly.

All the best fellow travelers!

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What is The Worst Experience You Have Ever Had at an Airport?

Once in a while, we get ourselves in an ugly situation while traveling. Some of the experiences occur at the least expected place and time.

Airport is not exceptional as one of the places where you can get a lot of headache trying to get yourself out of a mess. Maybe some of these experiences has gone to an extent making you fear traveling using some airlines.

Here we have come with some some common experiences most travelers get across.

Please add your experience if it is not on the list and feel free to leave a comment below.

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