Comments (37)

Aug 8, 2014

good points. SB'ed!

Aug 8, 2014

bookmarked, thanks for this. am thinking of going on a surf trip to Africa (Senegal, Sierra Leone, or Mozambique) which I've heard are 2 of the safer countries in Africa. not wondering about safety like pickpockets/muggings, but do you have any experience with travelling to/in sub saharan Africa? if so, any general tips?

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Aug 8, 2014

Unfortunately no trips to Africa yet. They're on the list though!

Aug 8, 2014

For surfing, I'd check out Peru. I say that only based on the fact I met two Brazilian surfers on the way to Machu Picchu who were in the country for the surfing. They'd know better than anyone.

Peru is incredibly beautiful, great food, cheap, good people, pretty safe.

Aug 8, 2014

Peru is also on the list, Chicama is the longest wave in the world and it's rarely crowded, I just want to go somewhere a little outside the norm

Aug 8, 2014

Love seeing other surfers on wso. Haven't done Africa but have done 2 surf trips to Nicaragua (2nd poorest country in Latin America). We were pulled over by the cops and lectured in Spanish for 20 minutes. We were easy to spot driving a rental and none of us knew the language. Finally we pulled out our wallets, paid the officer $20 and went on our way. Only carry bribe cash in your wallet so they cant see your holding out on them.

Be sure to report back with how the surf in Africa is!

Best Response
Aug 9, 2014
thebrofessor:

but do you have any experience with travelling to/in sub saharan Africa? if so, any general tips?

I lived and traveled in few countries in East Africa about 3 years ago for few months. Some common travel tips that might be helpful:
- Get Lonely Planet book for the country you are visiting. The information is generally pretty useful (especially places to stay and eat for not outlandish price). Wikitravel too
- Category 2/3 hotels where you can burn your SPG or Marriott points in a capital can be a pretty awesome place (e.g. Kampala Sheraton)
- Tbh taking a 7-8 hour bus ride over a private car isn't that bad. It's really cheap and you'll survive
- Some of the local airlines can be pretty cheap. First, tickets used to not go up in price as you got closer to date, so you can always wait. Secondly, sometimes they had cheaper price (almost half) for locals and residents (e.g. expats with local permit) and they'd give that to anyone the week of flight. Was cheaper than taking a ferry
- For public transportation like train or ferry, always first class
- Living accommodation shouldn't cost more than $50-$70/night in tourist areas. You don't need to stay in a resort (but all accommodating ones are pretty sweet, and if privately run they'll cut you last minute deals for all cash). If you are surfing, find a place on the beach that has decent rooms. WikiTravel and Lonely Planet can help
- If you are doing safari type stuff, try to get a group together for lower price. E.g. 6 people trips are much cheaper than 2, and you can find pretty cheap organizers if you are ok with living in a tent. Find other people in lonely planet forum or other groups, etc.
- Get one of those hiking bags. Carrying around a rolling luggage isn't fun everywhere
There are many other things I am forgetting, but feel free to ask or might add later on.

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Aug 11, 2014

Jeffrey's Bay is a far better choice. You can always go to J-Bay and then head up the East Coast to surf the warm Indian Ocean. There are plenty great breaks around Durban and the North Coast of KwaZulu Natal (it's a province).

Aug 8, 2014

my favorite topic, thanks for the post!

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Aug 8, 2014

Andy, I know you're a jet setter, if you have any Africa insights, please post!

Aug 8, 2014

only Egypt, sorry bro.

q's on latam, southern europe, china & thailand fire away, ill do an ama one of these days

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Aug 8, 2014

I'd postpone any Sierra Leone plans for a while. Also, isn't S. Africa was the best surf destination?

Aug 8, 2014

actually the civil war ended in 2002 and it's rated as travel friendly by the state department. I thought the same thing until I started researching it.

S Africa is probably the best, yes, but it's crowded as hell, very sharky, and I was looking for something off the beaten path. if I wanted crowded pointbreaks where I have to wear a fullsuit, I'd go to California, I want waves to myself and a little adventure.

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Aug 10, 2014
thebrofessor:

I want waves to myself and a little adventure.

Indonesia it is then.

Also, why Senegal, Sierra Leone, or Mozambique in particular?

Aug 12, 2014

I'd still be hesitant with the Ebola outbreak and all.

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/ebola-...

Aug 8, 2014

If you cannot afford $10k in 3m, Chase has a United MileagePlus that's a little more attractive than usual with 55,000 miles + $95 credit right now ($2k in first 3m, Y1 fee waived). Churnable.

https://www.theexplorercard.com/50kAFWLTO

(no, I don't get paid if you click)

Aug 8, 2014

This is a better offer: https://www.theexplorercard.com/50k50AFWICLTO/

You get $50 statement credit on top of everything else

Aug 8, 2014

interesting stuff

Aug 8, 2014

If you can't reach minimum spending requirements, Amazon Payments allows you to send $1k/month to someone via credit card with no fees. Obviously you should trust that the person will give the money back to you :P

Other tips:

1. Try applying for multiple cards in one day. There is a slight drop in your credit score of 3-4 points when you apply for credit (called a hard inquiry), but multiple applications in one day sometimes are counted as one application.

2. If you're done with a card after one year because you just wanted the sign-up bonus and don't want to pay the annual fee, don't immediately cancel it. First try asking if you can get an extra year; if you're nice/convincing/cute enough it just may work. If that doesn't work, ask if you can have the card downgraded to a non-premium (no annual fee) version. This way your total credit doesn't decrease; otherwise, reducing credit = lower credit utilization ratio = lower credit score.

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Aug 9, 2014

These are some great points. Outside of consulting, racking up points for "free" trips is tough.

I have saved up about 350k points over the last 6 months for my wife and I to take a country hoping trip next summer after I finish my MBA.

Tip for new consultants: Sign up for a challenge with the airline of your choice to get status quicker. The cost is minimal when adding up the access to upgrades and extra miles you will receive.

Aug 9, 2014

IlliniProgrammer's tips for the more casual traveler.

1.) 2% Fidelity Amex Cashback card is hard for a lot of miles cards to beat.

2.) If you do a lot of flying, consider Alaska Airlines' rewards plan. They have status share relationships with both American and Delta, which is perfect if you fly out of Newark or JFK a whole lot on those airlines. You both earn miles and status qualification by flying on either American or Delta, and your Silver/Gold status carries over to both airlines, too.

3.) When renting cars, add your mileage plan whenever possible.

Aug 11, 2014

You sound happy. Imma try to follow your path.

There are differences where I came from of course, but I got the big picture. Nice advice.

Aug 11, 2014

I've done some surfing in Mozambique, did Tofo back in 2004. Some of the most incredibly scenic beaches, wide open and stretches for miles, with absolutely zero people around. Stayed in a straw hut right on the beach w/ sand floors. If you're looking for adventure and isolation this is the place. A few drawbacks, its a huge pain to get to, takes 2 days to drive to from Jburg, but that's part of the adventure. Its pretty tidal so surfing at low tide is not an option, and the waters are pretty sharky. If its your first trip to Africa I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, traveling in Africa can be intimidating if you've never been. Sure doing the high-priced safari isn't a problem, but actually getting out into the countryside by yourself in a non-South African country could be a bit much if you aren't used to it.

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Aug 12, 2014

Just spent the summer in Europe and most places don't take Amex, which is unfortunate

Aug 12, 2014

@"onemanwolfpack" sorry I hijacked your thread with grandiose plans of surfing in Africa! to get back on track, perhaps you and @"AndyLouis" could post some helpful tips when planning a trip to a place you've never been before, 3rd world or not. of course there's not enough space to talk about every country and every kind of trip, but some general tips would probably help.

Aug 12, 2014

Wolfpack, I know there are lots of travel hacking blogs out there. Any of them that you follow more than others?

Aug 12, 2014

this is one i keep an eye on http://chrisguillebeau.com/

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Aug 14, 2014

At this point, I just follow most of them on Twitter, who will alert me to a great credit card sign up, flight deal, promotion, etc. However, to get a good overview of the process, you can check out FlyerTalk, ThePointsGuy, and MillionMile Secrets. However, as stated here, the lingo used by the frequent posters can be quite confusing.

Aug 12, 2014

I recently worked the Southwest/Chase credit cards to get the 100k bonus points + companion pass...Really nice scheme if you can catch them at the right time.

As far as getting the minimum spend, you should have no trouble getting to 10k in 3 months if you do a little research. There are a lot of no/low fee ways to manufacture spend. You can do 6k in 3 months with no fees sitting in front of your computer.

Aug 13, 2014

Check out Reddit.com/r/churning for a basic overview and then once you get a general understanding of how everything "works" check out flyertalk.com. Fair warning though, Flyertalk is legit and some of the people on it use lingo that's hard to pick up if you aren't familiar with what's going on.

Aug 13, 2014

I second FlyerTalk, great resource. I know some Business School Arabic friends from the Morocco/Tunisia/Algeria region and Morocco has some insane attractions. I'm looking to visit early next year, its fairly safe, especially if going with someone local to that region.

" A recession is when other people lose their job, a depression is when you lose your job. "

Aug 17, 2014

My number one travel tip is to wear loafers. Super easy to take off during security checks and onboard.

The rest is just bonus.

Aug 21, 2014
onemanwolfpack:

1. Find a few good credit cards with low annual fees, strong rewards in the categories where you spend money (food/travel/etc.) and a mileage bonus sign-up of at least 50,000 miles. Citibank is currently offering an American Express with a signup of 100,000 miles right now, but make sure you can hit the minimum spend to get the miles

Is there a link to this Citibank AMEX card? I haven't found anything on Google.

Aug 21, 2014
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Aug 24, 2014