I know what happened to Otto Warmbier. A 21-year-old kid, he stole propaganda from North Korea.
That has earned him 15 years imprisonment in North Korea’s Gulags. Very harsh, but then again, North Koreans don’t have much love for the United States.
While they might ban the travel to North Korea, I must admit that when you travel to the mysterious Hermit Kingdom, you will earn discipline, I imagine.
Travel agency Koryo Tours in Shanghai has very strict rules that it implements for its Western cargo; don’t leave the group, don’t wander off on your own. Ask permission about things that you might be interested in. Never leave your quarters without a tour guide or proper personnel.
One might end up suffering the fate of Warmbier if one is not careful. But with the rowdy crowd of travellers all over the world nowadays, I think what North Korean tours can do to you would put in place proper behaviour especially for misbehaving individuals.
Tourists have had a bad rap for messing up the local physical and economical environment. With a North Korean travel experience, I think that can be reduced effectively.
Most of you know that I’m from the United Kingdom and having visited several EU countries and having invested in several different vacation homes in the area, I might have some trouble when it comes to managing my EU properties now that the UK is off the EU as it voted.
What I would see is that with the pound sterling falling to a 30-year-low, UK travellers would find the pound’s once-powerful reign in the EU down for the count. I should pay lower for the mortgages of my properties then? Not so.
A handful of people manage my vacation properties and these are registered as earning let properties in the local governments. Which means it’s earning in Euro and isn’t much of a big trouble for me.
The bigger problem is higher interest rates.
But that problem resides in the EU itself. While UK’s leave would mean great implications economic in nature, it doesn’t mean that the currencies of the countries would be quickly affected. Instead, investors would purchase more properties in the UK, which would keep it afloat and then the interest rates in the EU would rise.
A safe bet for me would be to purchase properties in the UK “while the iron is still hot” as the proverbial saying goes.
Then I can use that money once interest rates rise in the EU to pay for my properties. Ha! Take that, Brexit!
According to Level 2+ Local Guides, Google may be launching a travel assistant app.
Do you know what this means?
Travel agencies may have a run for their money as peer-to-peer tourism is abound in the near future.
However, will Google’s Travel Assistant App do the wonders it promises?
It’s greatly possible.
Google has a huge database of maps. Its Maps app already helped plenty of us find the best tourist spots in Europe, Asia and Africa without a tour guide.
Local guides responsible for fixing erroneous information, uploading new photographs and videos of such locations and making them easily found, can become the tour guides in the near future, ala Uber, for example.
So anyone can be a tour guide if they’re certified enough. While the Local Guides levelling may not be a significant measure for travel, Google may formulate a simplified measurement program for future tour guides that use the travel app.
In a way, it would cut costs for backpackers, or even earn backpackers some money.
Travel agencies won’t find trouble just with bloggers but now with p2p tour guides.
It’s definitely the best time for technology today. The pitfalls I could find? Well, the tour experience may be different. It could be plus or minus depending on your standard of touring. But it’ll be a great start for anyone to become anything through the use of data technology.
Online, you could find TravelAdvisor telling you all about places other people have been in and reviewed. In my experience, TA has been exceedingly helpful in having me avoid some bad deals abroad when it comes to having fun and hotel booking. But sometimes, you just want something tailor-made for you without having you sift through tons of information you don’t really need.
That’s when former TA startup owner Joost Schreve developed a new startup called KimKim.
KimKim revives the travel agent. If you’ve travelled in the early 2000s, like me, you’ve probably encountered these guys who already have set plans for your preferences in vacation and activities.
The Internet did not only wipe out the Yellow Pages from the map but also travel agents. The ability to create your own itinerary is amazing. Having all the first-hand information on-hand is the best thing that ever happened to travellers as the Internet boomed.
But some didn’t really know where to start.
According to Joost Schreve, TripAdvisor and many sites like it have a lot of information, so users have to do a lot of filtering and comparing and it becomes a very painful process, especially for trips that are complex or longer. The average consumer goes to 38 different sites, according to an Expedia study, and they spend more than 10 hours researching these more involved trips.
Not that I don’t need a travel agent but sometimes, I just want to have someone do all the hard work for me. I just want to show up for all these preparations to come to fruition. That’s probably KimKim’s selling point just for me.
know you’d think that because of my investments at home and abroad I’m not one to go subtly with my travels. It doesn’t mean I have the resources I should shun away every opportunity to get creative.
Now, there are three travel projects I’ve worked on and I did so with very low prices. Want in on it? Here are those three!
Heart Map With Photos
Have travel locations in mind for your destination? Keep track of them using a heart map. It’s as simple as sticking a road map of your destination to a corkboard then pinning hearts all over the locations you mean to travel to. Done travelling to your location? Then pin a photo of yourself in the location. It’s a great way to relieve memories!
Don’t just buy postcards. Create your own postcards too! I’ve improved my photography skills (if you’d call it that) using my smartphone trying to take photos of great travel destinations for my own postcard set. I’ve actually sent it to my parents and siblings and posted some online!
Towel Of Stuff
Lastly, you could create a photo album out of a towel. Just sew on your photos in a towel. Better yet, you could get your photos printed on cloth. It’ll look differently, yes, but it’s definitely sturdier than photo-paper and as a bonus, it looks really awesome!
When I say travel, you’re probably thinking of someone sunbathing poolside in a luxurious resort somewhere in the Caribbean. I can’t blame you because that’s what Hollywood gave us. But luxury isn’t the only travel there is.
You’ve got backpackers who take the long roads to experience the reality in their travel location. You have one-day trippers who need to get home by the end of the day to save enough money from their travel.
These two travellers prove that travelling is more fun and effective without any money because.
People who are broke tend to get creative. They have to improvise to afford the things they could not otherwise. Most of them would use services such as Couchsurfing or Meetup to stay with strangers willing to share their home in exchange for little menial services.
The best thing about it is that backpackers enjoy it as they see the true colour of the residents and people in the city, especially those willing to help!
Luxury rides give you an itinerary and a private vehicle to drive around town. Backpacking and one-day tripping does not afford you the same type of luxury. Instead, you’ll be walking to your route going to your home. You don’t want to save much money on the metro, taxis or any form of public transporation.
But walking gives you a new perspective on almost everything you see ahead of you. You’ll find splendid passages and shortcuts from your favourite coffee shop to home or to the library nearby.
Daily Needs Become Luxuries
Because you’ll be travelling with less, you won’t want to bring your gadgets with you. You want to be less of a target for sinister minds floating in the city. You’ll want to take shots with a disposable camera. You’ll want to bring less money.
Your necessities become your luxuries to keep yourself safe and to guarantee you have enough when it’s time to come back home.
I’ve always been a fan of tennis ever since I was little. When I could afford it as I grew older, I made a promise that I would attend the US open as much as I can. It’s a bit pricey coming from England and the Caribbean but it doesn’t matter, a promise is a promise.
From this experience, I’ve experienced the hell surrounding the tournament outside the courts. It’s heaven to see your favourite players duke it out against each other, but thereafter it’s hell. So here’s three things I could help you with if you want to head there.
You’ll probably be coming rom different places, but heading to the US open using the No.7 train from Grand Central in Manhattan, Times Square or Bryant Park is the best bet you could have. Head to the Willet’s Point-Citi Field stop and you have a great time to work out your seats. Oh, and head out early. Plenty of people come and go when the matches are about to start.
For 2015, the US Open is once again in Flushing Meadows. As you walk in, buy a program or a daily draw sheet. Store the schedules of matches in mind to help you know your destination post-game. Get a ground pass to give you the right to walk from one match to another. This was helpful in maximising my access the previous year!
Drink Lots of Water
Flushing Meadows isn’t exactly air-conditioned. It’s a bit warm too. You might get dehydrated. Better to bring a large water container than a small bottle of water because you’ll need to drink lots of fluids, especially during activities post-game.
Now I’ve told you once that I travel because I prospect travel investments. These are properties that could become my earning assets. No, I’m not retired. This is my true full-time job.
However, the idea of this man is astounding. We’re not related or anything but his ideas are extremely useful if you’re looking to earn more while you travel. Or you could even travel, earn and enjoy the world!
There’s news that Mainland China intends to educate their tourists to make them more well-behaved.
Now don’t think of it as abusive communist power (China has become more lenient with its politics nowadays, maybe.), but after a great many share of incidents involving Mainland tourists harassing travel staff or other people, I think the time is just right.
Remember that time when some Chinese tourists scalded with boiling water a flight attendant over a dispute between seats and if they need to pay for their noodles’ hot water.
Then there was another incident where reclining backrests have gone too far, casing mass hair-pulling among five women aboard a foreign plane. The incident had delayed a flight, proving that the Chinese aren’t really top of their class when it comes to behaviour.
You might say it’s silly thing to even consider, tutoring Chinese tourists to behave properly outside. The government had even gone to great lengths by having one “civilised tourist” guide the others to take note of their behaviour as they travel all over the world.
It might just be President Xi Jinping’s idea of a way to fragrance the rotten stench of Chinese tourists, but it’s also a way to save face for China’s new undefeated and notably wise Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
The problem is, is every Chinese traveller traveling with him this time?
Once, I was in a flight headed to Morocco. Travelling economy-class, I was sat beside a 25-year-old businessman. It appears he’s headed to a meeting somewhere. However, I could see him having a literal handful of technology on himself.
He had his phone on his head, a smaller laptop than his Macbook Air turned on beside him, and I just saw him do some multi-tasking.
I believe plenty of young businessmen are like this. This infographic actually says it’s a true story.