Twitter Chats are everywhere these days. From topics such as child rearing to backpacking, there is a twitter chat for everything it seems. If you’ve ever seen a bunch of tweets show up in your timeline that start off with “A5: …” you know you’ve just been swamped by a twitter chat. This is frustrating.
In the old days, we used to have chat rooms. They were private and unfortunately anonymous, and they quickly gained a reputation for bad things like sexual predators hunting down young children. So we basically stopped that game.
We don’t usually know where we are going or when we are going to get there. It’s one of the joys of traveling the way we do. Unforetunately, very few people travel like this. Most people book vacations well in advance and have very specific dates. As a result, most travel websites work in this mindset and ask for very specific dates of travel when making bookings for such things as trains, hotels and flights.
We are a lot more vague in our traveling and go where inspiration takes us. But how do you book a flight for “sometime next week” or “whenever it’s cheapest” or leaving “Toronto and going anywhere”? Try asking Expedia for a flight near the “end of april from Toronto going anywhere“. It will throw up in your face with all that ambiguity. But not Adioso.
I admit it. When I was living at home, I didn’t “get” foursquare. If twitter felt like it had very little value, foursquare felt like it had none. Why on earth would I want to “check in” somewhere that I went every workday? What’s the point there? While I still don’t think Foursquare has a lot of value to me as a local, as a traveller and travel blogger, I have to say that I have seen the light.
Foursquare is probably my most used platform. I instagram, I tweet but I really check in. I check in a lot. Mostly so I can share and document my experience, but also so I can see what others are saying about a place. When I arrive at a new location, I’ll browse foursquare lists and sometimes spend a day just knocking down some random guys foursquare “must do” list. Usually they are obvious places but sometimes you hit a real gem that would never have come to mind. Usually food lists are really great. They are usually lists created by locals. Look for lists like “great places near me” or something similar and you’ll be sure to hit on something fun.
We aren’t big hotel people. They are usually way too expensive to use on long trips like ours. Lucky for us, there are a lot of other options such as hostels, camping, couch surfing and now, Airbnb.
If you haven’t tried Airbnb yet, you really should. The concept is great. Got a spare room in your house that just sits empty all the time? Why not rent it out like a hotel room? Take some pictures, post them on the site, set a price and away you go. From a traveler’s perspective, this can be fantastic. It opens up a wealth of new accomodations that would never have been available previously. You can rent anything from a single bedroom right up to an entire villa, complete with butler and wait staff. While we haven’t tried the latter, we have done the former. Infact, since leaving Australia and traveling in Europe, Airbnb has been our preferrred route. So far we have stayed in a lovely old Victorian house in London, a shared apartment in Rome and a new upstart B&B in Rome.
Travel blogging can be a simple affair with not much more than hosted WordPress blog and occasional access to a computer for writing. Or it can be much more involved hosting your own technology and integrating various social media services into one platform.
Since we are taking a year to travel, I’ve been slowly setting up and refining our technology to make pushing content easier and making the site more active.
In case you might be interested in setting up a blog like ours, here is a rough rundown of the technology we are using.
I am an engineer by training and work in the software industry when not traveling. As a result, I love using technology on the road to share my experiences. So when i came across TripIt.com a few years back, i was in love. TripIt is a great service for organizing your trip details for you. It takes zero effort to use since it monitors your email in-box for trip details like hotel reservations and auto creates a travel itinerary for you automatically. It’s like having your own personal travel agent watch out for you while you are on the road. They even have a useful iCal feed that you can subscribe to and share with your friends.
As digital travellers, staying connected is more than just a luxury; it’s almost a necessity. This means that we require two things: internet access and loads of power. With our two old devices – a second generation iPod Touch and an iPhone 3GS – we regularly need a fix of power to keep them going through overnight bus rides and extended hiking. Enter the [amazon_link id="B003ZBZ64Q" target="_blank" ]New Trent iCruiser IMP1000 11000mAh External Battery Pack [/amazon_link].
Keeping to a budget is not something I do well. I often rely on auto withdrawal systems and other forced savings approaches that take the thinking out of budget work since I am basically not that smart. Traveling for a year on a fixed amount of savings means I need to get smarter and more attentive.
Here is how we decided on a budget and how we are tracking it to make sure we keep on pace.