David 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.