Browsing Category

Travel Tips

Lobby de l'hôtel Room Mate Bruno à Rotterdam
Nomade, Travel Tips

Comment économiser sur l’hébergement en voyage – Guide pratique

Après le coût d’un billet d’avion, l’hébergement est la deuxième plus grande dépense en voyage. Qu’on soit du type voyageur à petit budget ou voyageur de luxe, on souhaite toujours avoir le maximum de confort pour notre argent. C’est bien normal ! J’ai donc rassemblé toutes les astuces pour payer mes hôtels moins chers, les moteurs de recherche où trouver des hébergements pas chers,  et tous mes conseils pour que vous puissiez garder un maximum d’argent dans vos poches. À lire également : Comment trouver un vol pas cher Les meilleurs moyens pour trouver un hôtel en voyage Il est souvent moins cher de réserver sur place, mais il ne faut pas être trop nerveux ou pressés. Personnellement, je préfère toujours savoir où je dors lorsque j’arrive dans une nouvelle ville. Comme vous arrivez le jour même, il est dans l’intérêt de l’hôtelier de vous louer une chambre qui est libre, quitte à la laisser partir à moindre coût, plutôt que de perdre une réservation. Vous aurez donc un plus grand pouvoir de négociation. Toutefois, vous courrez le risque de devoir perdre un temps précieux à vous balader d’un hôtel à l’autre pour comparer les prix et trouver une chambre. Ce n’est […]

Lire la suite

En tant que backpackers, faut-il faire affaire avec un agent de voyage ou pas?
Blog, Nomade, Travel Tips

Backpackers: Avoir un agent de voyage ou pas?

Récemment, une histoire m’a donné envie d’écrire cet article. Une de mes amies s’est payé un voyage en Grèce, destination dont elle rêvait depuis un bon moment. Elle a acheté ses billets d’avion en ligne, fait des recherches sur les meilleurs endroits à visiter et les découvertes à y faire. Le jour de son départ, elle se rend à l’aéroport comme prévu, trois heures à l’avance. Puis, c’est la galère… impossible pour elle de prendre son vol, car son passeport n’est pas valide trois mois après la date de son retour. Comme c’est une exigence pour entrer en Grèce, aucun passe droit possible. Elle a perdu son vol, beaucoup d’argent, mais surtout du temps précieux de vacances. Fâchée contre la compagnie aérienne qui lui a vendu son billet, elle voulait porter plainte. Je la comprends, j’aurais été assez en colère moi-même! Malgré cela, rien à reprocher ici à la compagnie aérienne qui lui a vendu son billet. Il est de la responsabilité du passager de respecter les exigences d’entrée et de sortie du pays qu’il visite. Sitôt que j’ai entendu son histoire, je l’ai contactée et en essayant fort fort de ne pas empirer la situation, je n’ai pas pu m’empêcher […]

Lire la suite

Tips for driving abroad
Belgium, Iceland, Travel Tips, United States

How to Drive Safely a Rented Car When You’re Abroad

While she was in Belgium, Pascale had the privilege to have access to a car for free, but she was scared to death to drive in another country. She was even scared to drive her own car through USA and she likes to know exactly where she’s going. On my side, I drove 2000km during a road trip in Iceland and I drove along the Pacific coast highway from San Francisco to L.A. Funny thing: both roads are called Route 1! Fortunately, no left-side driving, but a good exercise of my capacity of adaptation. So here’s a few lessons Pascale and I learned from our experience of driving in another country. 1. Learn to drive manual vehicles It’s better to learn to drive manual at home where you know the streets instead of trying while you’re discovering new traffic laws. It’s also way easier and cheaper to rent a manual then an automatic car in most of the countries. 2. Learn or write down cities’ names in their original language Pascale got lost in the Flemish part of Belgium, 30 minutes away from her hotel and she couldn’t recognize one city name. She had driven around several times before, but she thought that that one time […]

Lire la suite

Beware Free Accommodation Giveaways
Blog, Travel Tips

Beware of « Free » accommodation giveaways

Congratulations! You’ve won free accommodations in the Caribbean! In Quebec, we are used to the famous phone calls about the free cruise in Bahamas, but there are different strategies to attract people, such as giveaways in festivals or on Facebook. A couple of weeks ago, I’ve been to a foodies’ festival where I really had a great time. One of the kiosk didn’t quite fit with the others though. It was a company making a draw to win free accommodations in Quebec or in the Caribbean. You know how much I love travelling, so I talked with the lady at the kiosk to learn a little more about the company. She told me she was new and wasn’t the good person to talk about it, that I should call at the office. Because I wanted to win free accommodations in the Caribbean (who doesn’t?), I completed the form to enter the draw. At the end of the day, I forgot to call the company, and forgot about the draw. This week, I received a phone call from a woman from this company announcing me that I won the free accommodations. How great was it! During this first call, I clearly asked if it was time […]

Lire la suite

Travelling with Agoraphobia
Honduras, Travel Tips

On Travel and Agoraphobia

I never realized how close the Montreal Olympic Stadium was from my place. I biked West, going to a friend’s home and I kind of « randomly » encounter this mythical place. It’s like knowing you live in the same town than a friend, but still being surprised to meet him on a street. And sitting where all these athletes fought their fears, I couldn’t help but think about all the battles I won. Truth is, I slowly recover. When I was 23,  I quit my job, quit university, and stayed put in my basement apartment for almost a year. At this moment, my social anxiety had reached a level so high that going out to the grocery store 300m away from home was a challenge. When you reach this point, you kind of loose the ability to evaluate distance. Sheep in wolves clothing If you don’t know what agoraphobia is, it’s a fear that makes you feel unable to leave the house. You feel like if you go out, something terrible will happen. Basically, it’s the fear of fear. Symptoms vary but mainly involve panic attacks. Panic attacks so intense that you’re sure you are dying. I had my first one driving my car home from school. I […]

Lire la suite

Blog, Travel Tips

Beginner’s Guide to Airbnb: From Guest to Host

Sheets are clean, a map is hanging on the wall behind my bed, and the Wifi code is written in a frame on the nightstand… Yep, I’m ready to become the perfect Airbnb host! I was juggling with the idea since last year and I finally took my decision. A lot of people I know want to do the same, but can’t make up their mind. That’s why I made up this beginner’s guide including: My answers to the 3 most common questions about hosting How to be the perfect host How to be the perfect guest 1. Does it bother you that strangers live among your things? The answer depends of the relation you have toward your possessions. On my side, once I removed my laptop, my camera and my cellphone from my apartment, there’s nothing of monetary value. Of course, there are objects that have a sentimental value, but I detach myself from them more and more everyday. For me, the decision to rent my place to strangers is a part of my process to value experience more than possessions. I prefer to meet new people and to welcome them in my home than to protect my belongings. Also, it is important to remember that […]

Lire la suite

Things to do before going on a vacation | Travel checklist to make sure you forget nothing
Blog, Travel Tips

Things You Forget to Do Before Leaving For Vacation (Infographic)

Too busy thinking about what to put in your bag for your next adventure, you may forget the other things to do before leaving for a vacation. To avoid unpleasant surprise when you’ll come back, make sure you go through all this travel checklist. 1. Leave notes for yourself at work. Make yourself a to-do list for when you’ll be back at work to avoid losing tracks of your projects. I usually include cheers note in mine, because we all need it after vacation. 2. Clear off your memory cards and your phone to make space for new pictures. No, you don’t need all those selfies abroad. 3. Remove cards and papers you don’t need from your wallet. If you lose it, at least you won’t have to renew everything. 4. Give a spare set of your keys to someone your trust. If you rent an apartment, give the contact to the owner in case of emergency. 5. Tell your bank or credit card provider if you leave the country so they won’t block your credit card if they see unusual activities in your account. Trust me, you don’t want to be in the middle of nowhere in a country you don’t […]

Lire la suite

How to plan a trip
Nomade, Travel Tips

How to Plan Your Trip in 10 Easy Steps

I know some people can get overwhelmed by the idea of planning a trip by themselves. You feel like there’s so much to think about and so much to do! You can be tempted to book an organized trip and then you have to follow a schedule you’re not always comfortable with, do activities you are not interested in, and talk to people you don’t know but have to deal with for all your trip. Planning a trip is easier than you may think. Organization is part of my day job and I’m here to give you the best tips I use to plan my dream trip. 1. Decide Where You Want to Go Maybe you already know where you want to go, or maybe you need inspiration. Let me help you. First, find the reason why you want to travel. Do you want to escape from winter? Do you want to discover a new culture? Do you want to learn something new? (That last one is often my reason to travel.) Maybe you need to choose a destination that fits your budget? Research the average cost per day for a destination to find one you can afford. Some places have an average […]

Lire la suite

How to choose your travel partner
Blog, Thoughts, Travel Tips

Ode to My Travel Partner and Tips to Choose Yours

Since 2012, I pretty much always travel with my friend Claude. I lead her to the most dangerous town on Earth, I made her eat rotten shark, a stranger vomit on her in a ferry, and she burned badly, several times, on different beaches. Yet, she still wants to be my friend, and that not only show friendship, but a very strong mind and a huge hearth. The first time we travelled together was in Honduras. Not to the safest place in the World or an easy French country where people would speak our first language. Nope. I chose to bring her to a not very touristic place, where people don’t know a word of English during the overwhelming heat of summer. As soon as we got out of the airport in San Pedro Sula and all the crazy taxi drivers harassed us, she wanted to go back home. Despite her feelings, she stayed. She felt unsafe (although it wasn’t really unsafe), she found the food disgusting, and it was so hot that we were sweating just talking, but she stayed and found a way to enjoy the trip. I never saw someone who can push her limits like that. We all wish to […]

Lire la suite

Vayable: The AirBnB for Tours
Blog, Travel Tips

Vayable: An « AirBnB » for Tours

We all know AirbnB is great because it mix lodgings and meeting local people. Now, Vayable presents the same concept, but for tours: Take a tour, with a local! Tadaaa! Isn’t it great? What’s Vayable? It’s a website to book tours and experiences with local people. You choose where you want to go, and you’ll have access to offers made by insiders who want to make you discover their home town, in their own way. It’s perfect if you want to go off the beaten path and discover some hidden gems. Near San Francisco, there’s some unique tours such as doing light graffiti, taking a walk to explore street art, … or hunting mushrooms (because why not). Not finding what you are looking for? No problem! What’s great with Vayable is that you can request a customized experience based on specific thing you want to discover. There’s more than 5000 insiders ready to help you find exactly what you are looking for in their town. For this service, the price starts at 49$ per day of the itinerary. Pretty accessible if you’re thinking of a one-day tour you’ve dreamed of! Hey! I could show my town too! Yes you can! If you’re in love with […]

Lire la suite

Blog, Travel Tips

How to Survive All Inclusive Resorts – Tips For Adventurers

Okay, first world problem, maybe your idea of « surviving » isn’t related to the thought of an all inclusive resort by the beach. But, for us, adventurous backpackers, the idea to be stuck in a resort can be annoying. While we could venture in the countrt, we feel prisoners of the hotel resort. I hear you say « Why do you go there then »? Well… you know… sometimes, siblings get married and we have to make good impression. Or, there’s an amazing deal and it’s all we can afford. I’m certainly not a fan of resorts, but I know how to survive an all inclusive and make the most out of it. 1. Get informed on the location of the resort If you are lucky, you won’t be too far from the civilization. Before your arrival, get informed on the towns and villages nearby and how to get there. It’s not because you have everything you need (beach, food, alcohol) in the all inclusive that you cannot get out of it and explore. Get information about the local transportation. A good tip? Don’t ask at the information desk, they’ll try to sell you organized activities. Ask the barman, the maid, the lifeguard… they’ll tell you how they […]

Lire la suite

Trover_Review
Blog, Travel Tips

Trover – The Travel App You Should Use

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for the addiction Trover will create. Since I’ve discovered this app, I don’t plan a trip without looking at it. Plus, it’s funny, user-friendly, and free! Yay! What is Trover Trover is an app and a website for photo sharing.  »Yeah, like Instagram? », I hear you say. Well, it has some similarities, but what is fantastic about it is that it’s only about places! No nails pictures. No cat pictures. As their tagline says, only  »The Best of Everywhere ». Here’s what my profile page look like: How does Trover work Users create a profile and post « Discoveries ». All discoveries are geotagged on a Map and accompany by a description or advice about the place. The goal is to show places to other travelers and make sure they enjoy it. Why is it great For many reasons! 1. You can see what is located nearby With the app, you can see what pictures other users have posted and the distance from you. This is very useful when you are in a new town looking for places to explore. 2. Every picture is located on a map If you try to upload a picture and the place is not already […]

Lire la suite