Travel/Overseas destinations

tigertim

something funny is written here
Mar 6, 2004
21,319
46
Mr Brightside said:
Thinking of backpacking from Texas to Boston in Xmas 2020, I’ve never back packed before , anyone got any tips ? I figure it should be the cheapest way to travel
You going solo big fella?
 

Mr Brightside

Tiger Legend
Jul 1, 2005
18,954
138
Wang
Panthera Tigris said:
I love that way of travelling. Pretty flexible too. Can be as cheap or expensive as you like. For example, my wife and I have done it before. My wife likes creature comforts more than I. So often when we backpacked it was budget hotels or private rooms in hostels/guesthouses, instead of the absolute budget option of a dorm room (plus braking it up with stopping in and staying at friends places).

I like the freedom of only having a rough plan of where I'll be and hopping gradually across a region from location to location using trains, buses or even cheap hire car to fill in gaps here and there. I like getting to know public transit networks within cities too. All the stuff that lets you get into the fabric of a place and get a feel for how it works on a day to day basis. I'm a keen runner too, so if it seems safe, one of the first things I'll do in a new city/town is go for a run. I manage to cover a fair amount of ground just seeing every day life and what makes the place tick.

Back in December 2004 we backpacked around the north east of the US. Flew into NYC, had some time staying at a YMCA budget hotel in NYC, then we traveled by train and stayed with friends in Connecticut. Saw the Rhode Island/Massachusetts coasts, into Boston. Bused up to Montreal, explored Montreal, Quebec City and other parts of Quebec. Traveled back to Connecticut with a bit of time in Vermont (the New England region really is a beautiful, underrated part of the world) on the way. From there we ended up heading down to Philadelphia by train for a bit, before going back to NYC to fly out. Trains, buses, even advance purchase flights between major hubs are all pretty reasonably priced in the US.

We essentially backpacked in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore with out 3 1/2 YO daughter nearly four years ago too. She's now 7YO and we have a little one only 2YO. But once he's 4-5 (and his sister 9-10YO), we'd do that style of holiday again. When we're paying for four, got to try a form of holiday that will get our money the furthest, while showing the kids how other parts of the world tick.
Thanks heaps PT
 

kiwitiger

Go the AllBlacks, the Storm , and the Tigers.
Jul 28, 2004
2,027
19
Mr Brightside said:
Thinking of backpacking from Texas to Boston in Xmas 2020, I’ve never back packed before , anyone got any tips ? I figure it should be the cheapest way to travel
Done a bit in my younger days , couldnt do the dorm thing now ,

but if that doesnt bother you , you can certainly save a lot of money , and if you are alone its a great way to meet like minded people from all over the world on a similar journey.

Seems more backpacking places do offer private rooms these days as well
 

Mr Brightside

Tiger Legend
Jul 1, 2005
18,954
138
Wang
kiwitiger said:
Done a bit in my younger days , couldnt do the dorm thing now ,

but if that doesnt bother you , you can certainly save a lot of money , and if you are alone its a great way to meet like minded people from all over the world on a similar journey.

Seems more backpacking places do offer private rooms these days as well
I’ll definitely be doin the private rooms
 

Mr Brightside

Tiger Legend
Jul 1, 2005
18,954
138
Wang
Doin a bit of research , finding you can get hostel rooms for between 30 an $40 a night, even staying in the lower east side for 10 nights would cost about 5-600 compared to staying in a 3 star in Time Square for about 5k
 

tigerdell

Hope springs infernal
Mar 29, 2014
707
4
Lower manhatten is the way to go. And in spring (april may) it can be delightful. But going to new england (connecticut to maine) in the autumn with the leaves changing colours is magic
 

Panthera Tigris

Tiger Superstar
Apr 27, 2010
2,367
0
Mr Brightside said:
Doin a bit of research , finding you can get hostel rooms for between 30 an $40 a night, even staying in the lower east side for 10 nights would cost about 5-600 compared to staying in a 3 star in Time Square for about 5k
My wife and I stayed in the Vanderbilt YMCA in Midtown East. Small private room with shared bathrooms. Was really good value. There was another YMCA in the upper west side that was more popular (as apparently it's nicer for much the same price), but we couldn't get in. Bare in mind this was 14 years ago now though.

Have a look at Brooklyn too and see if you could save a bit there. Would only be like a train trip from Richmond or Hawthorn into the Melbourne CBD from Brooklyn to Manhatten (depending on where in Brooklyn of course). Large parts of Brooklyn very much up and coming and Bohemian. Harlem another area to look at for a bargain. Not too far from the action, much improved neighbourhood, but cheaper than being smack in the middle. And dare I say, even parts of the Bronx are quite respectable and have some good value guesthouses popping up in renovated former dives of buildings.
 

Mr Brightside

Tiger Legend
Jul 1, 2005
18,954
138
Wang
Thanks again guys.

Really like the Lower east side, so I’ll most likely set up there, cost me $30 for a weeks subway ticket in October so will be definitely using that to get around again. Going to spend a lot more time in the Burroughs of Queens, Harlem , Brooklyn and the Bronx , was meaning to do a guided tour of Queens but we ran out of time. Even though it will be winter I might just hitch my way around upper New York State to Boston, just stick the Aussie flag on the back pack and I’ll be treated like a King.
 

tigertim

something funny is written here
Mar 6, 2004
21,319
46
Just booked flights to Japan for Christmas, mainly for my daughter who is learning it.

Who’s been that can offer advice? Do’s, dont’s, where to go, where not to go, etc.

TIA
 

Baloo

Delisted Free Agent
Nov 8, 2005
34,090
36
tigertim said:
Just booked flights to Japan for Christmas, mainly for my daughter who is learning it.

Who’s been that can offer advice? Do’s, dont’s, where to go, where not to go, etc.

TIA
Kyoto is always a must. It's the Tokyo of old. Christmas will be cold so skiing is an option. See if you can get to an Onsen (thermal baths) but make sure it's a tourist friendly one. At that time of year get around via the Shinkansen. I think there's a month pass or something you can get.

Most importantly, no tipping. Japanese take offence if offered a tip.
 

toothless

Don't push me 'cos I'm close to the edge...
Aug 16, 2009
896
23
If you’re sensitive to your surroundings, introverted and respectful then there won’t be any problems with the cultural differences in Japan. The hardest thing I found was the lack in variety of food options (if you like Japanese food every day, then no problems) and having to take rubbish back to the hotel (bins are scarce to find and the culture is to take your rubbish home)
 

23.21.159

A Tiger in Denmark
Aug 9, 2003
4,912
14
Denmark
www.dafl.dk
I went to Japan a few years ago and loved Kyoto. Be sure to visit this place: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinkaku-ji
and this : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iwatayama_Monkey_Park
It's fair hike up the mountain but worth it for the views as well.
Also take the train out to Nara to see the deers in the public streets: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSxzTNcVezU

The rail pass is very worthwhile for the shinkansen but has to be bought outside Japan.

We also went to Hakone to visit Mt Fuji. Did not walk to the top because it was out of season but my son has done it. Not easy but worth it and a long night.

And we went to Hiroshima which is probably a must see for the bomb related stuff but there's not alot else there.

One piece of advice for your planning ... we used the shinkansen everywhere and I had assumed that on any day that we travelled between cities, we wouldn't get much time to do anything else.
Wrong.
They are so fast.
One day we had to get from Kyoto to Hiroshima - about 350 kms.
But the train took well under two hours and we did it from about 8.00 pm until 10.00 pm so at the last minute we realised we basically got one more day in Kyoto than we had anticipated.
 

tigertim

something funny is written here
Mar 6, 2004
21,319
46
Appreciate the tips Baloo, Toothless and 23.21.159. All very useful. Cheers.

How did you all go with translation in language (assuming none of you are proficient in Japanese) ?
 

Baloo

Delisted Free Agent
Nov 8, 2005
34,090
36
tigertim said:
How did you all go with translation in language (assuming none of you are proficient in Japanese) ?
Japanese as a whole really don't speak much English. In the cities street signs are in English as well so that's easier. A lot of sign language and pointing. Japanese are helpful to a fault. I've had a local walk me to my destination. I thought it was on his way but after we got to the place he turned and walked back from where he came from.

Google translate has a voice recognition feature. You speak it, it will translate into Japanese for the local to hear. Not great but it will work (assuming you have a decent data connection)
 

Ian4

BIN MAN!
May 6, 2004
19,071
22
Melbourne
Baloo said:
Google translate has a voice recognition feature. You speak it, it will translate into Japanese for the local to hear. Not great but it will work (assuming you have a decent data connection)
it helped me get by in Russia last year.
 

22nd Man

Tiger Champion
Aug 29, 2011
4,370
23
Essex Heights
tigertim said:
Good stuff, thanks again gents.
If you aren't there already.... Only been there once 20 years ago but that's not a knock ..thought it was fantastic...easy to get around ... bought a lot of food in places where you ie everyone orders from a push button board, put your money in, get the ticket, give it to the counter staff, walk to the other end of the counter and a few minutes later a tray with your order is handed over..
And beer is easy to buy from vending machines everywher. One of the good local customs was buying grog from neighbourhood bottle shops and just drinking in the store or on the steps...like having a few at your local thirsty camel.