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mod (Andy) note: "Blast from the past - Best of Eddie" - This one is originally from December 2010. If there's an old post from Eddie you'd like to see up again shoot me a message.

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page." - St. Augustine

It's been a while since I've written a travel post, and I came across something yesterday that I had to let you guys know about. A buddy of mine sent me this article about a guy who is going to fly 35,000 miles, hit 4 continents, and visit 15 cities in 9 different countries all for $418. You read that right: $418. Total. Even better, he tells you exactly how he did it.

It's not well-known, but the fact is that round the world (RTW) travel is surprisingly affordable and flexible. In fact, you're not even held to scheduling constraints on an RTW ticket - if you need to change the date or time of your scheduled flight you can do so with no penalty (you can't change cities once you purchase the ticket, however). For those looking to spend the summer traveling, it's definitely worth looking into.

Travel hacking has become a popular practice for many. Maxing out frequent flyer programs and credit card offers to pay for airfare is now common. No one is better at this than Chris Guillebeau, and he's about to offer an alert service for those of you who want to be tipped off to travel hacking deals. For an excellent video teaching travel hacks, go HERE.

Anyway, I thought you guys could use the tips. Nothing broadens your world view like travel. Here's one other bit of travel advice from your Uncle Eddie: you can save a ton of dough if you're willing to be a pioneer. Here's what I mean.

My wife and I have traveled the world and enjoyed some of the plushest resorts because we're willing to be among the first to try them out and we have the flexibility to travel off-season. For example, we were one of the first guests of The Verandah in Antigua when they opened in November 2007. This place was unbelievable, and it was still under construction when we stayed there. It was all-inclusive (yup, that means free booze - an important consideration for me) and we spent a week there for $2,200 total, including airfare.

A week later we were off to Rome, where we stayed at the Hotel Artemide downtown for $100 a night and get this: they stocked the mini bar with free beer every morning. I could go on and on. We spent 10 days in Paris in early 2003 for $1,200 total (for both of us), including airfare because we were willing to travel at the drop of a hat.

So if you love to travel, learn the hacks. If you can fly around the world for less than $500, why wouldn't you? One of the best books written on the subject was actually written by a drinking buddy of mine, Rolf Potts. The book is Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel and you should check it out if you're the least bit interested in long-term travel. Rolf just completed a 6-week round the world trip with no luggage just to see if it could be done. Watch the videos if you want to laugh your ass off.

It's time to start planning for Pamplona in July guys. Don't let me be the only one running with the bulls this year. I'm telling you - it'll be one of the exclamation points in your life.

I'm gearing up for my trip back to New Orleans next week. Anyone have any exciting travel planned?

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Comments (39)

  • blastoise's picture

    hey does any 1 know is 4000 pennies will get past airport security? don't ask.

  • APAE's picture

    This is some absurd shit. I had no idea.

    Most people do things to add days to their life. I do things to add life to my days.

    Browse my blog as a WSO contributing author

  • LetsGoSailing's picture

    Where's the sign up sheet for Pamplona? Count me in! My new goal is to acquire the frequent flier miles through these techniques. Too cool!

    I'm heading to Machu Picchu in January. Any monkeys have advise for me? (Oops, asked too soon...it's at the top of Steve's Epic Quests)

    A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Damn...that was fun!"

  • fathippo's picture

    Great post. Lately, I've been thinking of doing the same thing. Take a year off and just go travel the world.

    Taking off after the summer for a year, and then come back and finish off my degree / go through full time recruiting.

  • Edmundo Braverman's picture

    I'm starting to put stuff together for Pamplona now. I'll do a post about it soon. Looks like round trip airfare from JFK-PNA is right at $1,000 right now. That's leaving Wed July 6 and returning Mon July 11. Not asshole flights, either. You get to Pamplona at 10:30 am on Thursday, and your flight out leaves at 10:30 am on Monday. For those monkeys in the NYC area, anyway.

  • In reply to blastoise
    happypantsmcgee's picture

    blastoise:
    hey does any 1 know is 4000 pennies will get past airport security? don't ask.

    Keep your goddamn money squirtz

    If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

  • MJP338's picture

    This is unendingly awesome. Just spent about 5 months living in Europe, did some travelling but was mostly planted in one capital. Had never been outside the US before, this was really the best experience I've ever had. Definitely getting in on some of those miles deals....

  • International Pymp's picture

    Couldn't agree more with the post. I was born in America, but I've been to (off the top of my head) canada, mexico, peru, ecuador, argentina, france, spain, italy, greece, germany, england, monaco, botswana, zambia, zimbabwe, south africa, morroco, holland, switzerland, russia, jamaica, antigua, sweden, norway, finland, turkey, japan, veitnam, thailand, dubai, and Taiwan ("and") China... And I actually live in China now.

    some of that was on a budget, some of it wasn't... great experiences either way.

  • IlliniProgrammer's picture

    I will have to tell my stories about thrifty Dutch vacations at some point. After spending two years working, I finally decided to treat myself to a quick vacation. I spent a week in Key Largo for $1000, including airfare, food, hotel, and car rental (for a 24 year-old).

    My extended family also has some crazy stories from the early days of the Green Tortoise Line:
    http://www.greentortoise.com/adventures/alaska.loo...

  • CompBanker's picture

    I just made a mock itinerary for fun. This stuff SERIOUSLY makes me want to quit my job and take a year off...

    CompBanker

  • accountingbyday's picture

    I've got 150K+ American Airlines miles burning a hole in my pocket. I was going to wait until next year to use them because I have a few shorter trips planned this year (and got married and bought a house), but maybe a trip to Europe is in order this summer.

    A fun week or so with the wife in Spain and an awesome weekend in Pamplona could be a great time.

  • In reply to LetsGoSailing
    IlliniProgrammer's picture

    LetsGoSailing:
    Where's the sign up sheet for Pamplona? Count me in! My new goal is to acquire the frequent flier miles through these techniques. Too cool!

    I'm heading to Machu Picchu in January. Any monkeys have advise for me? (Oops, asked too soon...it's at the top of Steve's Epic Quests)


    When I was still in college, my family and I traveled out to Machu Picchu. We didn't do the Inca Trail, but we did hike to the top of Huyana Picchu (the mountain in the background of all the photos). It's about 1000 feet and takes 90 minutes to climb. DON'T LOOK DOWN, and DON'T TRIP. That said, it's well worth the (kinda scary) hike. The Temple of the Moon is near the top and the view from the rock at the top of the mountain is breathtaking.

    Lake Titicaca would be a great trip, too, but we just stuck to Cuzco, The Sacred Valley, and Lima.

    In the Sacred Valley and around Machu Picchu, being able to speak Spanish is good; speaking Kechua is even better.

    The accomodations in Aguas Calientes are a little primitive. Might not want to have a finicky girlfriend spend the night there- the "nice" hotel we stayed at had a plastic roof. Needless to say, it was tough for us to find the any aguas calientes there.

  • dmcd's picture

    I have a 2 week italian get-a-way with the gf planned for the middle of May. Buddy of mine is living in Naples, but he has contacts in alot of the big cities...

    Anyone have an "must-see" places while in italy or surrounding coutnries?

    "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish"

  • Edmundo Braverman's picture

    dmcd,

    Florence is pretty fantastic food-wise. Anywhere in Tuscany is awesome for food and wine. I wouldn't go out of my way to get to Pisa. Sure, the leaning tower is cool but once you've seen it the rest of the town is kinda meh. If you find yourself in the area and want to visit a really cool walled city go check out Lucca. In central Tuscany, San Gimignano is a must-see.

    Rome speaks for itself, as does Venice and Naples.

  • SAC's picture

    I have 0 desire to travel outside of America to be honest...

  • In reply to SAC
    onemanwolfpack's picture

    <a href=http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/sac-capital rel=nofollow>SAC</a>:
    I have 0 desire to travel outside of America to be honest...

    I said that too once upon a time. Then my parents forced me to study abroad and I've gone back abroad ever since every chance I get..

  • sanjose04's picture

    My new job starts in January. I am going to book the airline ticket next week and visit Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau, and finally Singapore.

  • In reply to SAC
    Edmundo Braverman's picture

    <a href=http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/company/sac-capital rel=nofollow>SAC</a>:
    I have 0 desire to travel outside of America to be honest...

    Nothing personal, but this is a large part of the problem America has with world diplomacy today. Two-thirds of the diplomats sent to establish a new government in Iraq had to apply for their first passport in order to go. Now, what the fuck do you know about the world if you've never even left the U.S.? (that's not directed at you, SAC, but at the State Dept who was stupid enough to send these idiots abroad)

    I've never understood the desire to never leave home, but the fact is a large percentage of Americans die within a 50-mile radius of where they were born. So there you have it.

  • In reply to dmcd
    tyrets's picture

    dmcd:
    I have a 2 week italian get-a-way with the gf planned for the middle of May. Buddy of mine is living in Naples, but he has contacts in alot of the big cities...

    Anyone have an "must-see" places while in italy or surrounding coutnries?

    Florence and Lucca are musts. Lucca is fucking awesome. It's a city still surrounded by a protective wall. If you're an opera fan, it is also the birthplace of Puccini and you can see his house and the cafe still exists where he penned his operas.

    Can't go wrong with Venice, Portofino and Cinque Terre. Go to the original Harry's Bar in Venice to say you were there. During the mortgage meltdown they gave Americans a 20% discount! Hahaha.

    Enjoy!

  • IlliniProgrammer's picture

    It's not the desire to never leave home - it's the lack of desire to leave home.

    Fact is that the US is one of the few countries in the world where most people can drive in a 1000 mile radius of them and find people who largely share the same culture and language (excluding the Southwest and excepting the Quebecois). You don't get that anywhere else.

  • In reply to tyrets
    kingtut's picture

    tyrets:
    dmcd:
    I have a 2 week italian get-a-way with the gf planned for the middle of May. Buddy of mine is living in Naples, but he has contacts in alot of the big cities...

    Anyone have an "must-see" places while in italy or surrounding coutnries?

    Florence and Lucca are musts. Lucca is fucking awesome. It's a city still surrounded by a protective wall. If you're an opera fan, it is also the birthplace of Puccini and you can see his house and the cafe still exists where he penned his operas.

    Can't go wrong with Venice, Portofino and Cinque Terre. Go to the original Harry's Bar in Venice to say you were there. During the mortgage meltdown they gave Americans a 20% discount! Hahaha.

    Enjoy!

    I went to Harrys in 2007 in Venice and I think a Scotch & Soda cost me some thing outrageous, like 20 Euros, which was almost $30 at the time.

  • PeterN.'s picture

    You have some great places in the US but there is so much more to see.. get out and explore the world! It's the best thing to spend your time and money on. Most people get that only once they are old and retired. It's just much better to travel while you are still young and when you don't only enjoy culture and coutryside, but also nightlife, women etc.

    My plan is to travel SE-Asia and Australia next year.. doing some surfing, diving, trekking..

    Btw I moved to Milan a few months ago (doing an MSF). Awsome place. Not that beautiful, but great nightlife, food and general lifestyle. Go check out the tuscany region (florence, pisa, siena, lucca etc), dont miss Rome. This stuff is all very touristy though, but it's the best you can do in 2 weeks. In summer I would better recommend you to the South and spend some time on the islands..

    Has anyone ever heard of off & away? Can you really make some good deals there?
    http://www.offandaway.com/

  • LetsGoSailing's picture

    Illini, thanks for the Machu Picchu advise! I'll be sending the girlfriend to New York while I go to Peru, so I will need "cheap" accommodations, lol! Plastic roof beats no roof!

    BTW, I checked out buying $1 coins from the US Mint to boost credit card miles...the Mint has caught on, and will only send $1,000 every 10 days...any other creative ideas??

    A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Damn...that was fun!"

  • MSFhopeful's picture

    I stayed in Pamplona a couple nights (sleeping in parks like you're supposed to) and did the run two days. Dodged a bull by about a hair in the stadium and pushed off its rump as I was dodging out of the way. Honestly one of the few experiences that lives up to all the hype and more. Every moment of every day there is still as vivid as the morning after. For those of you going, drink some Don Simon, party with the local Basques, and don't take no for an answer when they try and clear the streets before the run. You'll never forget it and it's worth every Skymile/penny.

    "The only point in making money is so you can tell some big shot where to go."
    -Bogie

  • In reply to dmcd
    cpops16's picture

    dmcd:
    I have a 2 week italian get-a-way with the gf planned for the middle of May. Buddy of mine is living in Naples, but he has contacts in alot of the big cities...

    Anyone have an "must-see" places while in italy or surrounding coutnries?

    While I was studying abroad last semester I as able to visit italy for 10 days. First off, Naples is not really a place you want to be hanging out with. Unreal pizza, unreal crime. That being said, there is so much to do around Naples so it would be fine if you did stay at your friends place. I'm not sure if your girlfriend would be too pleased with Naples, most girls aren't.

    This is what I did in Italy. (This was created through a lot of research from everyone who was going on the trip, 10 in all)

    1. Fly into Genoa (1 day) - Why? because it was very close to the cinque terre
    2. Cinque Terre (2 days) - Why? Because its one of the coolest places I have been. 5 cities, hence cinque, strung together on the north-western italian coast. Google it, you will not be disappointed.
    3. Florence (2 days) - while on the way to florence we stopped in Piza for an hour to see the leaning tower. Thats all I recommend there to be honest. Florence is unreal. Make sure to grab a bottle of wine, some cheese, maybe a banana or two and head to the Michelangelo Piazza for a sunset. Pretty popular spot and one of the replica davids is up there.
    4. Naples, Capri, Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii (2 days) - Really cool area. I stayed in Naples with at a cheap hostel that was rated very highly. First day I was there I went to Capri which is an unreal island a hour of the coast of Naples/Sorrento. Take your girl friend to the famous "blue grotto". That will get her wet. The next day I went to Pompeii/ Mount Vesuvius. Definitely must sees. You could also check out Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. Those are two hot spots down there.
    5. Rome (3 days) - self explanatory. Awesome, awesome place.

    Let me know if you have any other questions. Italy is unreal.

  • In reply to cpops16
    Edmundo Braverman's picture

    cpops16:
    First day I was there I went to Capri which is an unreal island a hour of the coast of Naples/Sorrento. Take your girl friend to the famous "blue grotto". That will get her wet.

    I actually avoided Capri for this very reason. The locals I spoke to said that it was so beautiful that if you didn't spend at least a weekend there you were cheating yourself. Alas, I only had a day to do it so I took their advice and passed. Next time.

  • HFFBALLfan123's picture

    Edmundo is right, i was on a cruise and only had one day to explore Capris which was mostly spent on the terrible ferry. All in all it was a beautiful place though, Santorini (Greek Isle) is the most beautiful place i have ever seen but nightlife was very limited.

  • In reply to dmcd
    zeropower's picture

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  • Argonaut's picture

    More is good, all is better

  • In reply to LetsGoSailing
    Argonaut's picture

    More is good, all is better