Welcome to the World! You are stepping into an entirely different pair of shoes. The world that awaits you is full of indescribable adventures and people who share the same hopes fears, joys as you do.
Even though some of my picks may appear to be "un-shoestring like," the main concern here is that you "shoestring" the trip and not the preparation for the trip. Anyone who has tried to skimp in the beginning will probably end up paying much more later on... Remember YOU are all you have out there.
We've asked out very own Devereau Chumrau for her 5 picks to buy a shoestring traveller.
Depending on the type of trip, some of you may only be stuck with one pair of shoes...
I suggest make them invest and make them count....
My dad, who also was a huge traveller, suggest I get these. At first I was not a fan, fashion-wise, but he promised me that I would have any regrets. Honestly these North Face Verbera hiking boots saved my life during my first major trek. All of Ghana, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, and Israel there wasn't a moment I felt like I made the wrong purchase. The boots were ridiculously comfortable, the Smart Wool Extra Heavy wool on wool (wow) socks kept my feet cool in the hot daytime and warm in the super cold nighttime. Even if you think your trip will only be relaxed city museum touring, you don't want to be stuck without support. Sometimes I randomly found myself walking around the city, then hours later off on a hike along the mountainside.
Similiar to shoes, what you carry on your back is super important. My advice sadly comes from purchasing the wrong type of luggage...
Okay yes you will look like every other Western traveler abroad, but honestly there is a reason so many use this and not the wheel-y suitcases. I found myself on busses and planes and boats and having a Teton Sports Internal backpack makes things so much easier. I tried to spare myself by just using a small backpack and a suitcase, but I was kicking myself 3 days into the trip!
No matter how small or big you are the Teton backpack's frame contours to your back giving you better flexibility and adjustability. It has loads of pockets for waters, loops for hooks and a sleeping bag pouch; as well as an awesome rain flap to cover your pack if you hit unexpected rain... just make sure you pack accordingly: all heavy items in the middle of the pack and closer to your back for better balance, and all important items that you will need access to on top, so you don't have to dig.
3. Travel Guide
Aside my important documents and my camera, this was one of the most important things I gripped tightly through everyone of my trips. The Lonely Planet Shoestring Budget provided me with everything I need to know from the basics to maps and country history and facts, to restaurants, sightseeing, hotels, and language translation. I found 98 percent of everything I did through lonely planet. I used this heavily to calculate my expenses even before I left. It gives you reviews, suggestions, tips, listings of any US embassies, and has a big note section in the back. Make sure to always get the lastest version as things do change rapidly in the world, and be prepared to carry some extra weight, the book is pretty thick.
Yes I will be your mother for 2.5 seconds here and say, invest in the compact and affordable First-Aid Only Outdoor Kit. The last thing you want is an annoying cut, bite, burn or stomach/head ache while stuck on some train or bus to the next venture. Especially if you are the thrill-seeking traveller who ventures to Africa, South East Asia, or India, where there isn't always a Wal-greens right around the corner to hop into. Scissors, alcohol pads, or even bandaids can be hard to come by, better to be prepared and not have to go out of your way.
Unless you are super professional photographer status, getting this waterproof, shockproof, crushproof, dustproof AND freezeproof Olympus TOUGH Digital Camera point and shoot is your best friend. The Olympus TOUGH features high speed sequential, 5.0 optical zoom, 10x super res zoom, lightweight, and probably the best of all...in camera PANORAMA!! So can capture all those awesome panoramic scenes set in front of you!
"But I already have (or just bought) a digital camera for my trip that works fine," you say. No sweat, keep your trusty camera but make sure to protect it with a Seattle Sports E-merse Waterproof Camera Case. The case is tough, lightweight, and offers plenty of storage for a camera and other small devices like an iPod shuffle or iPod nano.
Traveller, Actor, Artist
Originally from Los Angeles, Devereau has always had the desire to travel, and while on her first venture abroad, she studied African Storytelling and West African Dance in Ghana, West Africa. She truly caught the travelling bug then. Since then, she's been to over 40 international cities, 15 different countries in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Her next venture....exploring her own country!
"I've yet to conquer all the states here in my own home, now there's an adventure!"
Back in her hometown of Los Angeles, she is working as an artist, and saving for her next big trip! Devereau loves travel stories and connecting with other travellers, so don't hesitate to send your stories, questions, pictures her way!! Good luck and good time travellers!! You can find her on twitter @devereauchumrau or check out her website.
More Gift Guides
"Yoga is my passion. My purpose in opening up Body Heat Yoga studio was to share yoga with as many people that I could. The benefits of this practice have gone far beyond my expectations. My job is to share that with you! Besides a great studio to practice at there are also so many things to choose from to make your yoga practice enjoyable. Here is the list of my 5 favorite yoga items that I bring with me to every yoga practice!"