Your site is the best travel site I’ve used. It was very helpful when I was travelling to South America and Asia in 2016. I find myself back here to research once again. No other site is so insightful and offers the unique perspective you provide. Thanks for building such a wonderful travel resource. - Jacqui
First-off, I want to say thank you for having such a useful website. A couple years ago (2016-2017) my partner and I quite our jobs to leave our home in Canada and go travelling for a year, but before that there were many years of day-dreaming over your website and TV shows like Departures. The info your provide is valuable and inspirational. After a year of travelling we came back with the itch to travel more (hence more daydreaming on your site) and we came back with OPINIONS. Across large swaths of the world I concur heartily with the country profiles on this site, however my experience in Malaysia was far better than the author (I see it as Thailand for grown-ups, ie. amazing food, culture and jungle without the full-moon party circuit), and my experiences in the Philippines far worse (extreme sex tourism, rude locals, inedile food, but then again we stuck to Luzon for $$ reasons). One gap I've noticed on the site is the Balkans, which is in my mind one of the best areas of the world for independent travel (once you escape the Game of Thrones cruise-ship chaos of Dubrovnik). We rented a car and spent just over a month booting around Croatia (overpriced), Montenegro (Croatia 15 years ago, all the beauty, the history, the food, at half the price), Bosnia ( a real hidden gem, cheap, fascinating history, truly European and truly Muslim at once), and Serbia (Cold war concrete mixed with college-age partiers). If you have the patience to read it I'd love to contribute to help you make a full-fledged review of the region to help like-minded travellers. Anyway, thanks for the great site and keep up the good work! - M Cudmore
This is an amazing site! I love the fact that you travel for, "people, food and the feeling of 'discovering' something new (lack of other visitors) do it for me." I like the fact that your blog is opinionated. So glad I bumped into it. - Asef
Just wanted to let you know I'm really, really thankful for your site. You've been my go-to for months now and the world couldn't be any luckier having a site like yours published on this big, chaotic world wide web. How can I possibly extend my "Thank You" other than by sending this email? :) - Raizel
I just wanted to say THANK YOU for this brilliant site. Of all the stuff and fluff I've read on the internet, etc, this site is so brilliantly informative and what's more is that you believe it to be accurate. What I really enjoy is the no frills, no BS, no smoke and mirrors philosophy. I hope one day to make a meaningful contribution that could help others. - Dave C
Hey guys, I just wanted to say Hi but more than that I wanted to say Big Big Big Thanks. I absolutely love your website... I've been using extensively in the past 10 years when I was travelling... but also when I'm not, I just love return here and peruse pages one after another. I love it for so many reasons, but the main one is because this website is honest, is simple is down to earth, is humble...and yeah it looks like the 90s, with actual contents and not fancy shmancy photos, stupid tests or over hype backpacking trends....You know who these websites are.... Please guys stay stuck in the 90s ;) you are...so refreshing in this polished, superficial and shinny cyber backpacking world !!! - Nico
You are my go-to site when I am looking for where to travel next. Beautiful website, thanks a lot guys! :) - Sriram
THANK YOU!!! Your site is how we remember the "other" travel sites as having been way back before people bought and sold reviews. Appreciate your honesty very much and will take to heart what's been written. - Lazars
Absolutely love this website. Planning a trip to west Africa for next year. Really only scratched the surface of the website so far but there is a wealth of information here! Keep up the super work! - David
I've been using your site for years now, and I think I can say with some authority (the result of avid travel blog browsing) that yours is far superior to anything else out there. I've even got my friends hooked on you now -- not that it was hard to do. Thanks for honest, comprehensive advice, and for having a taste in travel that seems to reflect my own. - Courtney
I have visited a shitload of travel sites and yours in one of my absolute favorites. The formatting, the personal style of writing, the fact that you keep updating and adding stuff from other readers. AMAZING. Wish I had a site like this for all of my travels. - Edward
Just like to concur with the other comments on this page. I am among those of us fortunate to travel this great world and this is by far the best website for gaining insight (and excitement) for countries. I want to thank you guys for all the years I have been using your site for info - Eamonn
This site motivated me to make it happen. Thank you!
Firstly, what a great section on what to pack! I have always travelled light since making the mistake of a 65l sack for a 3 week trekking holiday! One thing you don't mention which I always find essential and may be worth mentioning is key phrases. Instead of guidebooks I tend to note the inside cover ?and back cover of a notebook with useful phrases, including ?'lowest price' translations. make an effort with language and you'll always have a better trip and as hard as you try you can never remember the phrases when needed! - Danny
I've been following this website for many years now, either for gathering information before travelling or just for inspiration/daydreaming purposes. Great job, keep going! - Nass
Just wanted to say how fantastic the site it. So much information (and seemingly so little incentive to build it up, except for just general good-naturedness). Excellent, simply layout too. Have recommended it to several friends planning long trips. Thanks for making such a great site! - Julian
I just wanted to drop you a line to tell you how much I love your website. It was my primary source of information before leaving for my first backpacking trip around SE Asia. You guys helped me A LOT, reassuring me when leaving my family, friends & job behind me. It helped me to pack, where to go and what to watch out. THANKS A MILLION. Even though now I don't have so much money to travel anymore, I still visit your site for inspiration. - David
I'm sure you get messages like this all the time but I cannot thank you enough for all your wisdom and advice. I wouldn't even know where to begin otherwise! - Rhiane
I just wanted to thank you for writing your blog which I have referred back to and re-read all the way through my year travelling the world with my husband. I especially love your tips on travelling light and completely agree with your policy for animals and children as this is always a distressing part of travelling, especially in Asia. Thanks again and happy travels! - Emily
Let's start with a big THANK YOU, gracias, dekui & zikomo! Your site has been helping me travel independent since (if memory serves) 2009! That year was the first time I ever traveled solo and I literally printed out the packing list. I've since used your site to help choose travel destinations and you've been SPOT ON so many times. I especially chuckle at Malawi's entry stating that the good, cheap pot is one of the reasons so many people stay so long in Malawi. I think it's worth adding that if you stay a while, you will DEFINITELY be invited into someone's home for a meal and even to meet the village chief. Specifically at Cape Maclear / Chembe village there is a lot of chance to interact with the local people. - Jenna
Excellent narration about India.. I am a travel blogger in India and can say that your page about India travel is a perfect guide .. Hats off .. You have studied it well ... bravo ..?.
I'm an American college student planning summer travel and I?felt like I ought to send a kind word along just because of ?how much I've used this site in my preparation and decisions?on where to go. Because of your recommendations I will be leaving for Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan in a few days. I only wish I had known about your website earlier! The ?advice is down-to-earth, honest, and catered to the exact ki?nd of traveler I would like to be. I have no idea where I would be without this resource. Thank you!
I am getting ready for my first adventure and it was every scary not know what to pack or where to even start looking with brands, your page has filled me with confidence and feel ready to take on the world I know it will not be all smooth sailing the first time but I would have been a ship wreck without your page. From Australia with love thank you. - Chris
Great site. For the last 18years I've been working 3-4 months and travelling the rest. This is the best site I've come across. I wish I would have found it sooner. - J.C
I am planning a trip and stumbled upon your page, what luck ! Lovely intro, very straight forward. - Roy W
First off, I would like to say thank you for running such a terrific website. It is extremely refreshing in the world of Lonely Planets to find an unbiased travel site that is not in anybody's pocket. Stumbling on your page was a great surprise, and it inspired me to go to Guatemala. Great recommendation. Thank you so much again for all the good work you do! - Raphael
I just came back from SE Asia and India. I backpacked through Myanmar for 14 days. Your website was incredibly helpful. My packing was dead on because of your suggestions and discussion. I wanted to give back as your site was so wonderful for me. - Daniel W
In about 10 days I’m leaving on a year-long trip around the world. Your site has been an invaluable resource as I’ve been planning, packing and researching. I’d love to buy you a beer or two, otherwise accept my sincere thanks for the countless hours you’ve saved me. Cheers! - A Novinska
Awesome site! Really helpful for a first-time traveller. It ?was hard to find a site that covered everything you did.
I am planning a trip for 12 months around Asia and Australia and I am finding this site very useful! Thanks guys :) Slightly worried my backpack is going to be too big now... Keep the ?reviews up they are sooo helpful!
This site motivated me to make it happen. Thank you!
As an Israeli myself, and one who actually tries to avoid many of the Israelis I encounter abroad, I completely understand why we get such a bad reputation - especially in places like South East Asia and South America. Most of us aren't terrible!? That said, other traveller s should keep in mind that almost all of the young Israeli backpackers they meet on the road are pretty much kids. They have just finished two or three years of mandatory army service, aka two/three years of being totally restricted in almost everything they do. And they do ?this right out of high school, a time when many Westerners are partying in university. Basically, they are just getting ?their first taste of "freedom" from home, and this is often ?the first time they are abroad on their own. I think many travelers, especially Europeans, tend to silently judge when ?they disapprove of others' behaviour, rather than say something. Israelis are quite the opposite. We have little to no filter when it comes to speaking our minds. So it's actually better tell others that they are being rude or disrespectful, rather than ignore them and hope they go away. Basically keep in mind that Israeli norms are very different than European and American norms, so many Israelis may honestly just not get that they are being rude or obnoxious. Sometimes it's ?necessary to deal with them like you a teenager: politely but firmly explain that they are being perceived terribly because they are doing so and so - and that it's a shame they because they are giving a bad name to all other Israelis. P.S. Your website is fantastic, and I'm just about to leave for my own 8 months in East Asia (India to China and a lot in ?between) and it's been a huge help in preparing!! Also, to add to your Israel summary, it's actually kind of a mecca for vegans and vegetarians these days (as exemplified by Domino offering it's first ever vegan pizza here)! Thanks for read?ing! - A Ephrati,
I am actually in the process of figuring out if I actually want to travel or not the problem with it is that I have no idea even where to begin. I am 27 years old and I just?recently decided that I want to just "go" with no where in particular in mind. Is that a necessity Friends and family have told me its a horrible idea and that I am more likely to be abducted being that I am an American. The site has helped but it has not grounded my intentions of travel.
Really good comprehensive website! This is now my second time looking at your list for travel packing advice and I wish I had listened to you more the first time around! the one thing not mentioned which me and my friends thought was an abslute god send is a mosquito bite zapper. They're small, lightweight and cheap. They send a small electrical current onto the bite and it relieves the itchiness instantly! the only thing worse than mozzie bites is not being able to stop scratching them and this was one of the best things we took! thanks again!
Love your site and use it for almost all my travel planning. It's the best unbiased and accurate evaluation of destinations I've found anywhere on the web. Was wondering if there were any plans to include Papau New Guinea Nate
I am a big fan of your website. I have recommended to to a few friends of mine as well who love travelling. I have learned a lot about different countries and it has helped me decide where to travel next. One thing i always look in your recommendation is the overall ratings of the country. However there is no way to search for all countries having = a rating of say 8 and above. I have to go through each country to find out the rating. My recommendation is that you have a list rating on a page and when we = click a rating e.g. 8 and above" it should open a "list of all countries that are rated 8 or above, and then when we click the country = it should open up the country summary (which is already there). I hope what i am saying is making some sense toyou :) Keep up the good work. I am grateful to you for being honest and giving Pakistan a rating of 9. = I have been to 20 countries of the world and whenever i go to the = northern areas of Pakistan, i feel that I am visiting one of the best = countries in the world. Thanks and regards, Sharjeel Ahmad for you.
Hi, My name is Noé (26 y.o.) and I travelled with my wife and my daughter (9 months old) for 2 months to Indonesia. Thank you very much for your comprehensive "what to pack" list!!! It made it possible to take only 2 bags for all of us (1x 70 liter + 1x 30 liter – about 15 kg all in all), so that I could carry the bags and my wife our baby. We packed someitems that were very useful, so I would like to recommend them to all travellers: - Neem oil: Neem oil mixed with coconut oil makes a great lotion against mosquito and is another option to DEET . We used a mixture with about 90% coconut oil, 10% neem oil and a few drops of lemon eucalyptus oil. It protected us very good from mosquito bites. Our baby got very little bites with this mixture, that seems not to have anyside effects (I think it is even good for the skin, because it nourishes the skin and protects from the sun). I was often too lazy to apply this lotion on my skin, so I got many bites. So I highly recommend this mixture! Some people (http://www.killzrx.com/neem-leaf-extract.html) wrote that neem is also good against dengue fever or against malaria (see http://www.globalresourcealliance.org/malaria-prevention-and-trea tment) - Homeopathic: they take very little space, but can be very effective! The most important homeopathic on trips are: o Okoubaka: This homeopathic pills are very good if you feel bad after having eaten something "exotic". It helpedmy wife many times from vomiting or having diarrhea. See here for more: https://cleverhomeopathy.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/must-have-okoubaka/ o Arnica: A must have. Helps against any injuries and hurts o Apis: Against bee and wasp bites o Belladona: Helps if you got too much Sun. - Clothespins: We hat 5 clothespins and they were very useful, not only to fix the clothes so that they could dry, but also to fix the mosquito net to the bed. - Probiotic: We took some probiotics before and during the trip. I am quite sure that ithelped us to have a good intestinal flora. Some people say that the bowel is responsible for 80% of the immune system, so it is better to have an healthy intestinal flora. I am convinced we would have got more diarrhea if we hadn't taken some probiotics. - 1 Hook (http://www.leroymerlin.fr/multimed ia/5b4414356/produits/lot-de-6-crochets-a-visser-en-acier-zi ngue-diam-4-mm-x-long-30-mm.jpg) and 1-2 paperclips: useful to fix the mosquito net to the wall/ceiling. I hope it willhelp some travellers. :) Kind regards Noé
Just a quick one to say I'm about to enterprise a very big and scary adventure throughout the all of Central and South America, where the climate is ridiculously different from place to place; this will last for about a year (starting now on the Mayan Riviera, in Mexico), I'm a woman and I'll be travelling with NO MONEY at all..would you please help me out to draw a slightly more targeted packing check list please, to help me out in my difficult purpose Let me know. Thanksloads - Alex
Example: http://global-goose.com/travel-stories/immunizations-in-bangkok/ Worth mentioning, considering the exorbitant cost that most providers will charge in developed countries.Since insurance rarely covers any of it, what's the difference Since it's from the Red Cross (in this example), it's obviously very reputable. The only downside is that some of the vaccinations take an amount of time to take effect -- should only be done by people who are planning extended travel or don't mind living 'on the edge' per se for the first monthor so. Thought I'd pass this along, considering getting these is a HUGE cost to travellers! Thanks so much for the awesome site, by the way -- I've used it to prepare for my 6-month trip to Asia. Soaked it all up. Cheers, Josh PS - Sidenote: you should update the referral links for 2013 copies of the guides, and include links to Google Play, since many might be buying digital copies on their tablets. PSS - Also,it appears that your firstname.lastname@example.org email addy isn't working properly Sent a message with this content from my gmail and it kicked back a mailer daemon. - Joshua J. Berk
Hey... Just wanted to throw this out for everyone. I carry acheap hollowed out rubber door stop. The old wedged style. Iuse it on bathroom doors, or any room doors with no locks. They wont keep Rambo from kicking in your door but will provide a little extra security and peace of mind. Great site, best I have ever come across - Kelly
I never comment on things on the web usually, but I felt compelled to say, how nice to find such a comprehensive travel website that is just what it is - good information for other travellers - not vain, not corporate/ selling stuff, not preachy nor self elevating, like most other travel websites out there... Keep up the good work :) - Suze
I'm planning a trip to south America and your site was insightful, well written and honest, especially about things likebegging. Thank you and keep it up.
Brilliant site! Best one i could find! I am due to go travelling for 1 year in September and I have packed according to your information. So, thank you very much!!!
I just wanted you to know how great your site is. Much valuable information
allin one place. I'm just starting with a blog for everyone about travelling
around the world right (www.travelaroundtheearth.com)
Hi guys, I'm one of those single mom types who wants to go travelling with my kids....I know! I think the site is fantastic, and so helpful - its really given me a good steer in terms of my planning for the Once in A Family-time Trip. Actually the reason I wanted to give feedback was in relation to the article on voluntourism.....I detest the Western ideology that says we'll send Gap year students into developing nations to "find themselves" in an orphanage or school...withno skills or training to essentially displace the local labour market. You approached the subject tactfully and with real talk. Just a great site in general A
Thank you so much for providing such useful and comprehensive information!
Hello friends, This site is a gift to any traveller, especially after sifting through the sludge that rises to the topof a travel related google search these days... (who owns all those travel companies Who BOOKS travel companies in the era of mass technology) I'm researching for my next trip which will being in Istanbul and end in Ireland, via the Middle East, West China, India and Africa. I really appreciate the many tips I've been given here. Like a lot of traveller s, I broke my teeth in South America and South East Asia and ended up living in South America for 3 years. I;d like to suggest that you talk COLOMBIA up a lot more- it has it all (beaches, historical sites, diversity, fun, infrastructure, food) and the people are incomparable. I travelled Colombia alone as a 20 something girl, and never felt threatened. Theopposite, in fact. NORTHERN Peru is also undiscovered. Only 1% of foregin travellers in Peru go north of Lima, which is ridiculous. People, check out Chachapoyas, Huancas, Cajamarca, all in North Peru. It encapsulates everything that is great about South America. Finally, a special word on URUGUAY, which should be added to the "best places to chill" list... especially Punta del Diablo, La Pedrera and the surrounding fishing villages. Thanks again! - Sarah.
About to go on my first real trip, backpacking around the world and the information on this website has been invaluable.From simple ideas as to what to pack, the recommendations ofgoing light and the cost breakdowns/suggestions for different locations is just great. Plus the site is easy to use and presents the information well. Love the work and hope it continues for many more years.
I absolutely love this website and have found it incredibly useful whilst planning for my upcoming gap year travels. My only suggestion: at the beginning of the 'what to pack' page, you say to take a smaller rucksack/pack, I personally would find it useful to have a photo/picture/link to an image tosee specifically what kind of travel bag you are referring to. That is literally the only thing that I thought of to say!! Apart from that I bow down to your website ;)) thank you very much. - Rosa MacMullen
I just stumbled upon this website and wanted you to know howexcited I am to have found it. Such valuable information allin one place.
I absolutely love this website and have found it incredibly useful whilst planning for my upcoming gap year travels. My only suggestion: at the beginning of the 'what to pack' page, you say to take a smaller rucksack/pack, I personally would find it useful to have a photo/picture/link to an image to see specifically what kind of travel bag you are referring to. That is literally the only thing that I thought of to say!! Apart from that I bow down to your website. Thank you very much. - Rosa
Just great, dude, keep the good work!!!
Just wanted to let you know that your website is INCREDIBLE. I have been reading it over and over again for the last 2 years in my ever-growing desire to travel. It is so easy to read, straight to the point, and pretty funny sometimes. Moreover, the aesthetic is perfect (at least for my taste!) The design is clean, crisp, and easy to read, yet somehow still maintains a unique and humble appearance that's always fun to check out. Of course, cross-referencing is king, and any intelligent researcher knows that. But I will tell you that in my course for researching places to go on this here planet, I return to your website much more than any other. Any ways, that is all. No advice, except please don't stray too far from what the site is and has been since I've known it! If I come across any helpful info to contribute along my travels, I'll surely pass it on. - Raj
This is a great site. I used it to plan my first backpackingtrip to Australia. The information is invaluable! I use it every time I want to research where to go next! Thanks and keep up the good work! - Andy Leicester, UK
This travel information site literally epitomizes how I view travelling and contains everything I think a travel website should contain. I have heavily researched travelling and grumbled often about travel information is generally incompleteand lacking on nearly every website. I have spent hours cherry picking information from site to site. Finally, somethingthat says it all well in one site.
A wonderful comprehensive and well-explained list that has given me the confidence to ditch the sleeping-bag and try instead a light fleece blanket, and my towel, with my sleeping bag liner. My only change to your list - from my experience - is to pack a small shallow 'tupperware' plastic box with lid instead of the plastic bowl mentioned. The cutlery fits inside this (and I include a sharper knife with a guard, soldas a 'picnic knife' in a French Supermarket) and a few pieces of kitchen roll to stop it rattling around. Having a box rather than a plastic bowl gives both bowl and 'chopping board' possibilities and storage of any left-over food, sauce sachets picked up, the free biscuits that come with a coffee, and the aforementioned cutlery and knife.
This is by the far the most comprehensive and well put together independent travel resource in the world, Great job!
A friend showed this page to me about 3 years ago, and it is one of the best trip advisors I ever had. I travelled SE-Asia; NZ; OZ; Israel and Turkey
Excellent site, took a break from travelling for three years, getting ready to set off again, site brings all the best of travelling back to me and a great refresher/reminder for packing, clothes etc
Currently planning my first round the world trip and I just wanted to say your site is just brill, so much good information. Thank you very much for taking the time to do this so that others can benefit from your knowledge. Just brilliant.
Just wanted to drop a quick note to say thanks so much for putting this site together- Really REALLY helpful for someone like me embarking on a long journey with zero prior experience! Very clear, concise and reassuring! I was stressing out like crazy before I read this site thinking "I MUST take this, but should I take that" and now I feel much more confident! Thanks for taking the time to put it together and all the very best - Richard
Found your packing list absolutely fantastic. Currently travelling around SE Asia with a 38 litre bag and everyone has much larger bags. We are constantly pointing ppl to your website whenever we are asked how we manage with such small bags. Have one small addition to your packing list. My wife and I have found that an eye mask is essential for a good nightssleep in dorms or catch a few hours on trains / bus. Keep upthe good work! - Martin B
Currently planning my first round the world trip and I just wanted to say your site is just brill, so much good information. Thank you very much for taking the time to do this so that others can benefit from your knowledge. Just brilliant. - Anonymous
I don't know if this will reach an actual human being, but I just wanted to thank you for the site. About seven months ago, I was going through a somehow tough time in my life, trying to figure out what to do with my it in the short/mid term. For some reason I found your site (I don't remember what took me there initially anymore), and I started reading, and today I'm hours away from starting a trip which I hope will take me around the world in some ten months. I'm probably not the first that has had a similar experience, however, I just wanted to thank you, you've impacted my life in yet to be seen ways, but it's amazing what a little website can do. - Juan V., Costa Rica.
Your website is far and beyond the best travelling site I have encountered. Brilliant. Bravo. I have read every portion of the site multiple times. - Arad
A friend showed this page to me about 3 years ago, and it isone of the best trip advisors I ever had. I travelled SE-Asia; NZ; OZ; Israel and Turkey
This is by the far the most comprehensive and well put together independent travel resource in the world, Great job!
Who ever designed this thing Whoever it is, is one helluva taveler and a keen observer, I must say. You've got every bt of it (at least 'bout India), perfectly infallible. You ae bang on when you say India's got so much to offer but leaves you perplexed after dealing with the people living here.Indians can be a pain, but can be very very helpful (sometims can get a bit overboard) when you actually want them to be, which is a good thing. What one needs to avoid here is getting personal. Indians are an emotional lot. They will try to get personal just to know how it feels to be you, a foreigner. Never ever try to get personal with anybody unless you are sure the person's not gonna scam you. Indians come across a lot of foreigners and any non-Indian (white skinned esp.) is considered to be better off financially than any Indian! So the first thought that might occur to them is how would I get the better of him and that is the reason why foreigners end up paying extra than an Indian would. The only way to deal with it is be humbled that you are thought of as a richperson (irrespective of how you pay your bills back home), and pay that extra buck and forget about it, rather than trying to argue. But yeah, there are dedicated counters or offices at most of the tourist spots that are run ethically, but hardly works when you actually need it. So travel smart and make the right choices. Once you make the choice, live with it, but be quick to identify a hostile situation. A non-Indian, an Indian and an indifference between them; avoid it whenever possible. But end of the day, it's just me and my comments; best way to learn is by being you. Cheers!
Absolutely love your site! It really gives me a feel for what a country will be like, something I haven't seen in any other website or book. I’ve been using your site for years. - Em
Thank you for your excellent website. I was a World Traveller in the 1980's when I worked in Saudi Arabia. Your information is very real and practical. For many, including myself now, you must hit the ground running and enjoy every hour of every day travelling. Your teaching greatly shortens time wasted. Years ago I travelled with a single carry-on shoulder bag. Now I am very comfortable with my preparations using a 35 liter pack that will only be three fourths full. Your admonition to not over bargain a price down was excellent and greatly reflects on your character. Happy Trails. - John S., Georgia USA
Just wanted to say what a brilliant site this is. I am going travelling on my own in June for a year taking in SE Asia , OZ and NZ and this site has already given me so many hints and tips and I've only briefly looked at some of the content. I also really like your " its a guide not a gospel " attitude. No doubt I will be visiting many more times before I jet off, and most likely when I am away too - thanks again for making a difference - Emma, UK.
I love your site. I love to travel and have been trying to plan my next adventure, which will hopefully be through South America. The breakdown of countries and honest information has been extremely helpful. - Cori Malin
Hello, just wanted to say a big thank you for your site. It has been so useful in planning my trip to SE Asia (esp the packing list) and so much better than many big commercial sites. Thank you for putting in the time an effort - it is very much appreciated! Alex
Amazing website. After spending the last two evenings dissecting every part of your site - I feel ready to go tomorrow (unfortunately funds state that i cannot.) ! i am even more eager and excited to leave now, and feel much more informed about everything! Really informative site, extremely helpful and will let you know how i cope with food poisoning! Despite the inevitable - I am still raring to go ! thanks for your help - Harriet
I just spent six hours straight reading your site, I had so many things to do today and none of them got done! what a fantastic site, and layout. keep up the GREAT work
Sharp, short, to the point, and simple.
You've done a great job of content writing on your site. I wish more webmasters were like you. I'm looking to start a one year backpacking trip through south America within the next 6 months. I already have almost all pages of your site bookmarked. - Nima H
Just want to thank you a million times for such a sincere and classy site. As a travel lover it is quite insulting to read the commercial sites when trying to understand a place you plan to visit. I found wiki travel to be quite accurate in terms of practical information, but you give the down to earth and objective "briefing" of a place which no other site seems to do. Who ever you are I wish I met you in one of the hostels I've stayed to thank you in person. - Wesley
Absolutely brilliant. Simple, clever, easy to understand and very logical. Common sense is so hard to find these days! Though I would have never have thought about many things you mentioned (Like the hiking boots, tent, sleeping bag et cetera) and putting things about responsible tourism and supporting local trade is really important. If I hadn't stumbled upon this goldmine I would have gone travelling and it wouldn't have nearly been good as what it will be now (And the locals probably wouldn't be very happy with me!). I've been researching practically anything about travelling, but I don't need to look any further. Other websites don't go into detail, can't base their opinions on experience and simply can't compare to this one. I have to thank you for putting your time and effort into writing up all that information; it must have taken forever. I will certainly be recommending this to anyone interested in travelling, so as not to put your efforts in vain. Many thanks - Rhiane. :)
I love this site. Very good travel info for free! yay! thank you!
First of all - congratulations on an absolutely outstanding website! I've been to around 75 countries and have been backpacking for over 25 years and even I've learned plenty! - Jason [Many thanks to Jason, who also supplied many great tip and comments which were integrated into this guide].
'...I found a fantastic site while preparing my packing list for Africa. I usually loathe .info sites (they seem like havens for scammers), but TravelIndependent.info is loaded with great advice for budget independent travel. I mean, look at this travel packing list. It's a frickin’ work of art! A thing of beauty! And other hyperbole! Seriously, if you’re starting to travel like I am, bookmark this place. It's packed with information.' - Get Rich Slowly
Awesome site. Jam-packed with plenty of information. As a first-time backpacker it really took the edge off. Thank you!
Would just like to say thanks for setting up this website. They say the world is a smaller place nowadays. With sites like this it certainly rings true. The world feels alot more accessible and less scary thanks to you and I have finally decided to live out my dream and seeing some of it. - Tom, Liverpool
This site has made me feel at ease about my RTW trip. In fact it was one of the reasons I decided to jump in feet first and book it. It's a breath of fresh air and once I am settled and earning a wage I intend on making donations to the site. Thanks again guys!
This time last year I was on a RTW trip to a range of different places and - looking back - I wanted to email my thanks for your detailed, unbiased website. It was so helpful in the planning stages - especially the recommendations of where to go within each country and where to avoid. The advice on jabs, medicine kits, transport etc was all informative and useful. It is better to be prepared when travelling and you helped a lot. So thanks! Also, I followed your notes on packing light (despite visiting such a variety of climates) and people I met would always be carrying too much. They could never understand how I could survive with so little. One piece of advice I would stress for others, however, is not to worry about spending lots of money on moisture-wicking, polyester, UV-protective gear, as you emphasise in the 'essential clothing' section. The number of clothes you recommend taking are about right, but in many cases there is no need for such excessive clothing and I tended to look a little ridiculous at times. It can also make you self-conscious if you're dressed for a jungle expedition in the middle of a city. T-shirts and dispensable Primark jeans proved just as useful in India as in Peru. But good call on the micro fleece. Thanks again for all the advice. Your website is the number one resource for travelling and I recommend it to all my friends and colleagues. All the best - James
Firstly just to say thank you for the site, it was a God send. Having walked the Camino de Frances some years back I tittered at all the things that people took with them as did I for the first week. Now planning an overland trip across Africa to Nigeria so was good to refresh things in my head. I agree totally about the guidebooks. I don't buy them and find my experiences the richer for this. Thanks again for the site...fantastic. - Ann, UK
Best [site] regarding everything to do with travel for backpackers. I love the what to pack and would like to add: please tell everyone about olive oil soap (its cheap small and can be used to wash clothes skin and hair) - Brett
Just wanted to thank you for all the information and advice in regard to travelling around Central America. It was not only extremely accurate it was very handy to know things to see/avoid before we travelled. We have recently returned from 4 weeks in Belize and Guatemala which were wonderful. Next is a short hop to Indochina before we head out to New Zealand next year for 6 weeks of driving a campervan around to see where we end up. Once again the majority of the information I took with me was from your website and it helped me make my mind up that the trip my friend suggested would be a good one to take. Keep up the excellent work. Many Thanks - G Irons
Fantastic site, so glad I found it, a veritable gold mine. I'm off on a lost soul tour (unplanned) of SE Asia in appx 4 weeks so your site is a MAJOR help. Thank you for destroying many of my preconceptions regarding being paranoid, that was my major worry. I just wish I could travel through Burma into India. I'm a little worried about North Pakistan despite your assurances so will likely skip that bit with great regret. If you publish this then this may encourage others...I did the Iceland circuit last March 2010, stopping at about a dozen hostels around the island. The quality of the hostels is the best I've seen (once out of Reykjavik) . Fortunately, yes, I said fortunately, the volcano erupted 2 days after I landed so what a brilliant sight that was!! The prices aren't bad at all, comparable to the UK so it wasn't too painful. If you want to eat in restaurants every night then yes, be prepared for an expensive visit. Favourite place was Myvatn, it's like another planet! Almost got wiped out (seriously) in my first blizzard on the Hoskuldsstadhir pass in Eastern Iceland. You have to experience stuff like this to know your alive sometimes, something you'd never get on the Costa del Sol. Many thanks for the site, it's now my Bible! - Phill Barlow, UK
What an amazing and until now, undiscovered resource! As a seasoned (and independent) traveller , I was thrilled to find out about these sites. Please know how much I've enjoyed them and found all of it to be helpful. - Sarah
I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for all the hard work and effort I'm sure you have put into this treasure chest of great information. It is truly appreciated. - Chris
Very very useful - I have passed on several of the tips on my way round the world... Thanks!
Hi there! First, I love your country descriptions, they are so amazing. I always end up finding this site when I Google travel budgets in different places. Do you think my site has a place on your link page Backpacking South America - I'm basically creating a backpacker's guide to South America. Thanks!! - Jasmine
I have done a fair bit of backpacking in my time, but in recent years I had to give it up. I have been working myself up to getting back out there next year, but it has been 5 years since I did anything like this and truthfully, I was a bit nervous that I might not be up to the challenge anymore. But reading this lovely site, has reminded me of the person I used to be - and I find that I have new courage to explore and overcome any difficulties that might crop up. Half of backpacking is having the basic courage to forge your own path, and the other half is having the soul to appreciate what you encounter. It's easy to have neither of these when you're working 9 to 5 in a Western country - but really, with a little effort (some mental, some physical) anyone can do it. Thanks for the encouragement, I feel more positive about my plans for next year and will check this site again regularly if my Zen deserts me again! Happy Trails - Paul T - Ireland
Top quality website. As soon as I happened upon it, I knew, this was THE one, the site that would get me having a successful trip away.
Hello. I know you must get many of these sort of E mails. I have spent the last year planning a year exploring much of Asia, I must say that your website has been my Bible. When I end up confused by other websites I always find myself reverting to your site, I even have on my desk top. Thank you for your unbiased yet honest advice, much appreciated. - John, UK
I have to say, I've been doing a great deal of research for my RTW trip that I will be embarking on real soon, and this has be to be the most comprehensive online resource that I've come across. Really appreciate the amount of information that has been provided both from the site's author(s) and those with personal experiences/advice. Thanks guys! All the best - Ethan from London
Hello. I just wanted to thank you for having such a great site. As an experienced backpacker, with over 100 countries on 7 continents under my belt, I have to say that you guys get it! I agree with practically all of your advice. One phrase that I often remind myself when packing, is that all one really needs to travel these days is a valid passport and a debit card. Everything else is superfluous, and can be replaced, rented, or purchased enroute. Light is better, with a few high quality core items, which you have very completely addressed. Keep up the good work. - Eric, USA
Thanks for your website, it's the most comprehensive, organised and frank (read: honest) site about round-the-world travelling that I've seen. Thanks again for such a good website! - Shui Kay
I would just like to say thanks for the fantastic site. I did a lot of research before I took off travelling about 4 years ago. I had gathered bucket loads of great info and scanned a plethora of website. I need only have looked at one site travelindependent.info. Just looking at your site gives me athletes foot! - Jimmy N
I was looking for advice and a good kit list for my future travels when I came across your site on Google. The attention to detail is fantastic and It's really helped me to organise my kit/shopping list much better than I had done so previously. I feel much more confident in travelling lighter thanks to the advice given from others and their experiences. Will highly recommend the site to others and check back after my travelling to hopefully give feedback and advice of my own! Many thanks - Daniel O
This is by far one of the best sites I've ever seen across any topic. Nearly every possible question I can think of has been answered with considerable care, and knowing that the information is the result of numerous people's experiences makes me feel much more confident in my upcoming, multi-month who-knows-where-I'm-going trip. Thanks so much! - Zach
I am a travel loving student in the United States. I just wanted to let you know how much your site has helped me in planning my next trip. I hope to travel every continent in the world over the span of one year in the near future. Keep up the great work and I look forward to contributing! - Chris, USA
This is the most, most comprehensive travel website EVER. I'm in my 50's and can't believe how much I didn't know. It should be mandatory reading as a condition to obtain a passport!
I used this site almost exclusively to inform my packing for 3 months around Malaysia - other websites weren't as comprehensive or realistic. My wife and I never met a single couple during that trip (nor since!) who has as small and light a load as us, yet we were of course lacking nothing - simply because we'd thought about it a bit before we went. Many thanks to this website which proves the maxim - the smaller your pack then the better your trip. Incidentally, the stats were my wife and I checked in on our outward bound flights with 15kg between us (9+6). This stuff DID last us 3 months very well, and in fact when we do our next trip we will be able to pack even lighter! We had 30-35L backpacks and never needed any more space, and we could always keep them with us on coaches so we never had to worry about security, and needless to say it made walking around towns etc. finding accommodation much easier than it could have been otherwise. Cheers!
Thank you so much for putting together this amazing resource! I am travelling 6 months around the world as my first foray into independent travel and have found it invaluable. Having thrown myself in at the deep end I was beginning to panic at the scale of the journey and my lack of experience! This site has completely put my mind at ease, the information is measured and there is a perfect balance between caution and adventurous spirit. Now I just can't wait to set off!
Fantastic organization - no other travel site is so comprehensive and intuitive! your "what to pack" bit made me review my approach to travel entirely. I've even dedicated a blog entry to packing a la travel independent! (http://backpackersguide.tumblr.com/post/898164511/what-not- to-pack) - Lena
Love this site. It's been a big help for me. No bullshit, just like your being told by a well travelled mate. - Jim
I am so excited I found this site- I am planning a trip thru the middle east especially for Iran...very informative and gives me much more confidence in going it alone! Cheers guys, brilliant site, will be following you more now! - Travis, Melbourne
Best travelling site on the entire web, and I've spent many frustrated hours looking at nonsense. Will be my Travelling Bible before I leave (in a years' time), and I can only say: thank you. For providing sensible, charming, well written advice on subjects that I want to know, in a format that makes it easy to browse and easy to read. Amazing. - Holly
My name is Bob W and I'm from Newport, Kentucky, USA. I stumbled across your website last week and I've been visiting it every day since. Your website is absolutely fantastic! The information you have posted for nearly every country in the world is invaluable. You really have the budget traveller in mind. Most websites I've come across provide information that caters to the pampered traveller who want to spend a lot more money for resort travel. It's great to find all the information I need all in one website. While I already have been backpacking a few times I also feel that your website is an excellent resource for those who are getting started. Thanks again for your amazing website. I will, without a doubt, refer to it when planning any vacation from now on. Keep it up!! Peace - Bob
I don't know your name, but I just wanted to let you know that your site is the single most helpful site in my travel planning. I plan to do a 360 around the world in one year, and your site has taken 90% of the stress out of planning it. The only thing I'll do differently the general suggestions on your site is that I'll have a larger pack because I'll mainly be camping. I'm doing this for the huge expense of lodging that I can save, and I figure I'll only have to add a tent, sleeping bag, mess kit, and pocket stove which you can get in extremely compact sizes these days, so hopefully it won't require a significantly bigger pack. - Andrew
I have been visiting your site since 2002, and lordy, you're a godsend to the to the travel community. Huge thank you. Anyway, I am sending you my garbled thoughts in case they are of use to you [see comments in Central and South America pages]. - Monty
This is a great site... such an asset to have all the information in one place! Nicely formatted and summarized! One thing I noticed though, was that I did not see Taiwan listed under Asia....it is a great place to visit and houses the Taipei 101 building. Hopefully you can add Taiwan to the list too! - Sandra
Hi, I'm sure you hear this all the time but I just wanted to say THANK YOU! your site was absolutely invaluable for all the tips and inspiration while planning our trip. I'm always recommending you to anyone who is thinking about travelling. Keep up the amazing work, I'm feeling inspired to head off again! - Lorna
What a fantastic site with loads of very informative and interesting stuff.. A boon for the die hard travel fan like me - Salome
My name is Travis and I have been reading your site for the past two months. I have never travelled before but I will be leaving on a 5 month journey to Africa (Cairo to Cape Town) this September. I love your site and it has been very useful to me. I think I have read almost every country summery probably like 10 times as I sit on my couch and dream. I very much appreciate you putting your time into this great site to help others without all the bullshit. Thanks Again - Travis
You have a brilliant site, I'm off travelling soon and I've already read it a couple of times over! I have one tip regarding travel insurance for cameras. If people are travelling with a DSLR, don't get it covered on normal travel insurance, as it will be very expensive. It's much cheaper to go for a specialist camera insurer, I've found I can insure my DSLR and lenses worth about £1k for £65 a year, much cheaper than a normal travel insurance company. The added bonus is this covers theft and accidents, so if I drop it in still covered, whereas with a normal travel insurance company I may not be. Keep up the good work! - Alex
I would just like to tell you how much appreciated your site. I’m currently 2 months away from embarking on a month around Japan with my boyfriend and best friend, the former has never backpacked before and my best friend and I did 2 weeks across Europe a couple of years ago. Reading up on all the different sections certainly refreshed my memory, particularly in the "what to pack, what not to pack section", and the anecdotes of what other contributors added reminded me of what I loved (and sometimes hated) about the whole experience. I’ve referred the address on to both my companions and my uncle (who is a well seasoned traveller, cycling his way around the globe). I suppose if I could add anything to what to bring, it would be the mention that a bag of sharable sweets from home (jelly babies, pear drops, even a packet of Polos) is often a good way to start a conversation with others, especially since many are unique to your home country, and are lighter than a jar of Marmite. Again, thanks for providing a great source of information - R. Addicott
I very much agree that a lot of the websites that are available are for commercial gain. Awesome website here though. I just wanted to say that I spent an extensive time in Central America, and although I saw many amazing things in all the places, the one place that I truly hold in my heart in Honduras. In my 4 months that I spent in Honduras, I managed to see such a diverse range of places yet all within one country. I went from down ridden cities, to beautiful white beaches, to Mayan ruins, to the jungle, to waterfalls. It's a wonderful place, with amazing people, and I often feel that its a country that gets forgotten because its surrounded by Mexico, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. If anybody has the time to visit this country, then La Moskita (the Jungle) has such friendly people, and beautiful scenery. The Bay Islands have the party vibe, and lush beaches, Copain Ruins has the culture, and the architecture. This country has something for everybody and is well and truly worth taking the time to explore. - Laura
Really love your site - have been finding it invaluable (and anxiety-alleviating) as I prepare to leave for a nine month journey to Asia (my first time there). I have come to trust the voice that these pages are written in. Thank you many times over. - Adam C, San Francisco USA
I just stumbled across your site last night, by typing "what to pack for South America" into Google. I then spent a couple of hours reading everything I could. Absolutely awesome site, loads of really helpful info. I've been backpacking before in Asia, and everything that you guys have said is pretty much spot on (especially the small pack stuff!) Also I found your link to Hostel booker really helpful - only, annoyingly, a couple of days too late, as I had already booked two nights in a Buenos Aires hostel with Hostel world and been charged US$30 extra in commission, as I found out only after reading your site. Keep up the good work, independent info without bullshit advertising or a commercial bent is so, so hard to find nowadays. When I get back, I'll be sending in some info for sure. - Michelle, New Zealand
We would like to say a big warm heart felt thank you for the excellent
information on your website, particularly the What To Pack section. Luke
and I discovered your website late last year when Googling what to pack
for our 12 month world trip. I guess you must get emails like this all the
time, but your advice has made a huge difference to our trip. To be completely
honest, initially we were both horrified at many of your suggestions! The
thought of discarding our beautiful new packs (mine 60L plus 15L, and his
75L plus 15L) seemed unthinkable. How could we ever leave home without necessities
such as denim jeans, mosquito nets, sleeping bags, extensive first aid kits,
and all of those things that tend to get packed just in case but never ever
Anyway, the more we thought about it, the more it made sense. We eventually bought new bags (mine is a lovely little 34L, and his is a 35L plus 8L in extra pockets - but only used for emergencies). After we came to see the great wisdom in packing light, we delighted in telling friends and family about our new packing plans just to see the horrified looks on their faces! People have all sorts of crazy ideas about what defines an essential travel item - e.g.. beanie just in case it gets cold when your are heading to SE Asia, a hair straightener, complete sewing kit....We carry our packs onto the plane for all of our flights - as they are over the 7kg limit for Air Asia, we buy a checked allowance just in case but after 10 flights we still have not been forced to use this. When catching buses, we keep them with us and the peace of mind that this brings is great.
We have now been on the road for 4 months, so far we have been travelling in SE Asia (and finding it difficult to leave). After reading the Where To Go section, we added a few places that we probably would not have travelled to, including Sumatra which has been our favourite so far.
Everywhere we go we see travellers carrying and struggling with not only enormous backpacks, but smaller packs on their fronts as well. Lots of people comment (often enviously) on our small packs, and say they wish they too could have a small pack instead. We always tell them about your website, and the joys of having a small bag (I hope we may have even converted a few people!).
We have picked up things and discarded others of course. We both travel with cut down pillows which we store in compression sacks - one little luxury we did not want to give up. I have since bought a pair of light weight jeans that I wear at least 4 or 5 times per week, but only after doing without for 2 months to see if I really needed them (turns out I have a denim jeans addiction). We initially invested in a lot of supposedly technical fabrics, but except for a few choice pieces, we have found that clothes bought locally are not only cheaper but often more suited to the local conditions.
One thing that we do often buy locally if we will be in the same place for a while, is a plastic bucket for washing and soaking clothes overnight. Not exactly an essential travel item I know, but it has led to some pretty funny conversations with fellow travellers. While in Sabah, I had bought a particularly good bucket, and decided to take it with me to the next two destinations as we had pre-arranged transfers. While staying at a jungle river camp, one English girl confided that when she first saw us with the bucket - she wondered if she had somehow overlooked an essential piece of hiking equipment.... while the Dutch people on the bus thought perhaps that I had motion sickness. Anyhow, I think we may have inadvertently started a trend, as the next time we saw them they too had a bucket! I am thinking of looking into a fold away bucket, so we will always have one close at hand, as it is not always possible to find somewhere to soak clothes..
An innovation we claim as uniquely our own is the Luggage Mule (inspired by drug mules but entirely harmless and legal). In an early bid to overcome the tight weight restrictions that budget airlines impose on carry on baggage allowances (for example 7kg with Air Asia as I mentioned earlier), we purchased a fisherman's type vest with a multitude of pockets for Luke to wear onto the plane. We would load up all of the pockets of the vest to bring down the weight of his bag from 9kg to the required 7kg - and so the Luggage Mule was born! We have since decided that cargo pants are just as good, but if your bag is small enough, and you spend a little extra on a checked allowance, the airline staff don't really care too much what weight your carry on bag is.
Anyway to get back to the point, thank you for your sound, sensible and comprehensive advice. We are the truly converted to the packing light philosophy and every time we see someone with a massive backpack, we are also eternally grateful. - Sarah and Luke McL..an, Melbourne Australia.
Your what to pack page has been incredibly helpful, it's exactly what you'd wish to find; brilliant. Well done again on a great webpage. - Harry F
Doing some research for a trip to Japan. I have just discovered you website and found it amazingly useful and informative. It's good to get some real life, down to earth advice that will actually help rather than generic, commercial 'tips' that everyone knows anyway.. - Claire, Australia
Hey there, I'd like to thank you for your fantastic site! the best thing it did was reaffirm my thoughts on a small pack. when I purchased the pack I'll be taking to Europe next year and showed to my family they thought I was crazy.. its a comfortable 35L. However after viewing your site we are in agreement that a small pack is the only way to go. - Nick B
Its today three weeks until I depart for a month long trip to Europe. Being from the US, I suppose its a little clichéd, but I've always wanted to travel. I figure if I survive Europe, I can gradually increase my ante, working up to Central Asia and the like. Until yesterday, the "Let's Go" 2009 Europe book and some random websites, including CouchSurfing.org have been my only guide. Needless to say, I was scared shitless and dreading more that anticipating my trip. There is still so much to do and in my "real life" I am organised, confident and assertive - in my travel planning life I was being a total wimp. And feeling completely clueless. After looking at the $230 backpack I bought (75 L) I thought...hmm....this may be too big for a month. A chance Google later and I stumbled upon your site. Not only did I immediately go and return the backpack to exchange for a 44 L (and saved $130 which I turned around and spent on good walking shoes, a travel alarm clock, converter/adapter, twisted elastic clothesline and hidden money pouch), I bought two internal plane tickets (Dublin to Edinburgh for only $10!!! and Edinburgh to Barcelona for $100). I actually made some progress! I scoured the site for the entire day. Here I am again today, seeking out more information and taking action. Thank you so much for putting a cohesive site together - while it may be aimed at more exotic travels it is nonetheless comprehensive and addresses questions and issues I thought no one would publish answers to. Many Thanks - Liz
I just wanted to say thank you so much for this incredible, comprehensive, well-written, delightful website on RTW travel. It's amazing. - Katy
I am a 31 year old male from the UK who has had enough of sitting in an office like a battery hen, and has decided to go travelling RTW all on my own. Never done anything like this before (my only holiday abroad so far has been in Tenerife...when I was 16 ...with my mates grandparents). Daunting to say the least - at first glance anyway. So what a joy it was to find your site and sap confidence from the wisdom that graces your pages. So, I thought Id take the time to say I think your site is totally brilliant, and although I cannot confirm at this stage how much of your info is correct (for obvious reasons) - I know common sense when I see it (which, ironically, is not that common these days!!!). I respect your forthright style (again, not that common these days), and can see that you have really spent the time to get this as right as is generally possible. What to pack advice is a Godsend. I have recently bought a 45 litre pack, and after packing it with exactly what I am taking (again, following the majority of your advice, and clipping where it may not apply to me) I am even considering downsizing it again!! Hard to believe that everything gets in it really, but it does!! - James M., UK
Cracking website - the information is so detailed and incredibly useful. We have recently come back from a year long RTW trip and this site was integral to the success of it. It was our planning bible. Keep it up - we will be using it to plan our next one! - Mike & Victoria
Compliments. This is one of the best websites I have seen on this topic. Kudos. - J. S. Barron, Boston
I wish to express my gratitude for grace you show to those of us unprepared for the excursions we have planned. I found a great amount of precise, concise and interesting information that has helped me greatly in arranging my trip to the far east. I even purchased a book per the recommendation on you site, "South East Asia: A Graphical Guide by Mark Elliot", and have found it to be a source of outstanding knowledge of the locations I plan to visit. So thank you very much. It is greatly appreciated. I also would like to mention that I enjoyed reading the info on your site in an aesthetic manner. It is not only clearly and well written, it is also well formatted. I enjoyed the general layout of the pages and found it leading my reading in a schematic and well thought-out way. - Guy
My name is Ray G, I found your site in a bit of Googling, and I can't tell you how grateful that I did! The information hosted on the site is incredibly helpful, especially for a first time traveller. I hoped I might be able to give back by adding a piece of info to it as well - Ray
I have been reading a lot of travel blogs and generally researching the backpacking scene. When I came across your site, I loved it for the detailed and practical information which is not available anywhere else. Everything else is either too commercialised or written by people who aren't true to the backpacker spirit. Your website gives a very first hand and realistic version of how travelling is and should be - at least to me. - Rohan, Bombay
What a wonderful thing you've created! I did an 18 month world trip in 2006-2007 and, until now, had yet to find a site so in sync with my take on travel. Wish I had found you before I left. Your "what to take" section is so right on that I can hardly wait to read the rest. By the way, I turned 60 while on my trip, so anyone thinking this kind of travel is just for the young, should think again. - Ricia J
I just thought I had to email you to say what a great website, I have been looking at holidays for Michael S who told me about it. I work as an independent travel agent and arrange flights and tailor made trips, as well as packages, and this site will be of great use to me and I am sure to pass the address onto my customers. So thanks and I am glad I came across it! If you do ever decide to add travel links I would be really interested! - Claire
I am just on a trip through world and would like to say that your travel site is the best one for getting the things done so far. Thanks for that. Whilst travelling I built an list of practical resources who could be useful for other travellers I think: http://travellinks.gutesnetz.de. You'll find there a few links which helped us finding extraordinary cheap flight (the buzz from kayak for example) or to check the security for a given airline, to find information about current monsoon situation or to contact people who are in the country right now. I would very much appreciate if you would include this as a link on your site. I would be very glad if other people can benefit from the work I've done. - David
Thank you! Have read thought your site a few times especially the bit about rucksack size and what to pack. I started off with a 60+15 litre back, that was too big (and heavy even when empty), then bought a 55L- decided after reading your site it was still to big so have now settled on a 35 litre which I have just packed and can get everything I need in and more! I'm now ready for my travels around Australia with a backpack half the size I started off with! Thanks again -Katie
First of all, your website is great. I'm about to go on my first backpacking trip and your list has been invaluable. Kudos for the good work. - Heather
Oh my goodness! I'm so glad I came across your website. This is just what I need for planning my trip, I had no idea where to start, what to take etc. Thank you thank you thank you. - Bronwyn
I've found a fault, at last, albeit a very small one. After using the site for months and months the only possible flaw is that it took me a few minutes to find were to congratulate you on such a fantastic site. Perhaps a form a the bottom of the guest book page would be better Anyway... that's all by the by. I very rarely go out of my way for something like this, but seeing as it is a free site and doesn't ram advertising down your throat I will. The website is absolutely fantastic, its so incredibly simple, like all the best sites. There isn't too much content, just enough to keep you interested and state the facts. Every link you can imagine is listed throughout the pages and it truly defines what it is to plan your travels...to the point, simple and organised. The best travel site there is. Bar none. Well done. - Whizzergo.
Incredible site. Amazing. I've been travelling the world for many years now, Sri Lanka to Brazil, Turkey to Laos, and all I could say while reading your country intros is WOW. like you've found your long lost partners. invaluable info; yes, including the correct observations re young Israeli tourists - some of them are a shame, sorry bout that :). I'd really like to highlight one more place, though, which compares in beauty with any other place I've been to: The Sinai. so near the beaten Red Sea coast, a trek or at least a visit to the High Mountain is simply amazing. anything between 3-7 days trip can be arranged with the local Bedouins around Dahab (time to bargain!). although St. Catherine Monastery and Mount Sinai can become a bit packed with morning-tours groups, the rest is waaay off it. pity so many spend so much time along the coast, without noticing the heavenly area above. Thanks again guys, it is a pleasure. - Nemrut, Israel
Your site has been an invaluable resource in my RTW planning over the last several months. I leave in about a week and a half! I will be gone for a year (Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Asia, and Australia!). At any rate, I have immensely appreciated your website and please, please keep up the good work! - Vincent Andrews, USA
Just wanted to say that I love your site. I've been dipping in and our
of it for the last two years or so, whenever I feel like down or in the
need of mental escapism I look at your site, the inspiring quotes and feel
optimistic and inspired. Thank you.
In between I've done little bits of solo independent travel and I know for sure that in my life I'll travel for longer and see some more of what your site describes. Your passion for travel and passion to share information is a gift to the visitors to your site, so many thanks from me and on behalf of those who may not get round to emailing you too! - Lisa, UK
I have been thinking about heading away for years but it has been delayed for one reason or another, including my own health. I am finally going in about 10 weeks for one year of travel. I was getting a bit anxious as it has gotten nearer to the departure date, especially given the whole health thing. This website has put my mind at ease and helped me relax about the whole thing. So, thanks - Siobhán, Ireland.
I just wanted to quickly email and say what a fantastic site you've created. I recently decided that I need to do a big trip before I get much older - I'm 30, recently single, living in London with a decent job, friends etc but I want to go and see the world. I've spent ages on the Thorn Tree in the past couple of weeks, getting frustrated because I couldn't find basic answers to the questions I had. Your site has answered them all! So, thanks again - and just by spending an hour on your site I'm now contemplating changing my original plan of SE Asia, Oz, NZ and South America to somehow fit in India. There's too much to see in this world! All the best - Harry
Hey there, My mate and I are dreaming of and have just started planning our OE, your site is a Godsend! Fantastic information, I can't tell you how thankful I am, we were so lost! Now we have a place to start! Cheers, Saraid.
Wow! You guys have a great site. So useful and honest. I agree with a lot of what you say. I traveled in SE Asia for almost all of 2006. And in one week from now I will be going to Guatemala for 45 days, starting on July 1st 08. Even though I consider myself pretty well traveled, I still found a lot of good reminders and new information on your site. Super thorough! I love reading about some of the places I've been and seeing what your take is on them. You must travel full-time... Anyway, great site, and thanks a lot for your hard work. I say "BEST WEB SITE FOR BACKPACKERS" !!! - Mark.
I just wanted to say how incredibly helpful your site was in helping
me prepare for my first solo overland trip through SE Asia. I had never
done anything close to a trip like that and I had no idea where to start.
I found your website and followed it's guidelines for what to pack. I ended
up with a 30 litre pack and a shoulder bag. I think I was one of the lightest
travellers I ran into! Because I packed light I was able to hire a motorcycle
driver to take me and my baggage through the remote mountains in NW Vietnam;
which turned out to be one of the highlights of my trip. I'm preparing now
for a similar trip through Central America and have found myself again at
your website. Thanks for all the great info! - Deanna
Id just like to congratulate you on such a terrific website. Ive been reading it for the past few days at work trying to plan some kind of trip/working on the go adventure while I'm still young and this is by far the most complete site out there. I just wanted to let you know that your hard work has not gone unnoticed. Yours in travels - Tom
First of all, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad props to you and everyone's comments for your incredible site. I've only been to Europe once for a week.. and, with your site, I've found the courage to backpack from Ireland to New Zealand over the next year or two - and that's a gift to myself for turning 30. (Who says that "gap travel" can't be held back a few years while you earn money, pay some bills, get fired/quit/resign, THEN decide to go vagabonding) So you've helped changed my life directly - and I sincerely thank you and your readers for that. - Craig
Thank you so very much, the information contained in Travel Independent is amazing! I am presently planning a backpacking trip to the UK. I was delighted to read the reference to 'older' travellers, as I will be approaching 60 and travelling solo. The Travelling Alone section is appreciated. It is in my plans to travel light. I first anticipated one bag. Then after reading 'What To Pack' I'm now considering the small backpack! Thanks for the tons of practical advice! - Sandy, Canada
I'm sure you get loads of people letting you know just how useful your site is, but I hope this brightens your day a little. I travelled for a year in Canada on a working visa just over two years ago and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I returned home to finish uni and start my career. Life as I knew came to an abrupt halt last month when I was made redundant and finding a new position not the easiest of challenges. It occurred to me only 2 nights ago what a perfect opportunity this is to go and see this little planet we live on. Being a lone female this is quite a scary prospect and I have only the vague bones of a plan as of yet. Working around visiting friends who live in distant locations and working visas to try and fund this game, while I disappear along the less walked paths in the meantime. I don't know why they can't make RTW ticket 18 months long! I found your site while I tried to figure out just how many pennies I needed to save and was blown over by the answers to so many questions that I didn't even know how to begin to research. So thank you for making this experience even more enjoyable, when I haven't even left yet! Once again Thank you, Thank you and Thank you! Warm Regards - Catriona Johnston
I mailed you over a year ago at this point to say thanks for the great site and help you out with a few typos. At this point my girlfriend and I are on the road 6 months. We took many of your recommendations to heart on setting off and time has definitely born them out. We still check out your country summaries before we move to a new place. The small bag is a winner. What amazes me is that in six months we've met nobody with anything approaching the size of our packs. '"Travel light" is such clichéd travel wisdom but I guess most people haven't read it's possible to fit everything into a 40 litre pack. I've managed fine with 34 litres; my girlfriend who feels the cold has a 45 litre to fit her sleeping bag. Other than that, we seem to enjoy ourselves best when we stay put, meet local people and get local knowledge. Also the South American Explorers' Club trip reports and the New Zealand BBH guide have both been superb for really good recommendations. Congrats again on a great site, I'd recommend it to anyone doing independent travelling. - Mark
Since my first adventures some 20 years ago, I've been trying to tell non-travels about the virtues of independent travel. Since recently stumbling upon travelindependent.info, I've read nearly the entire thing. No other site has so caught my attention, mainly because I am astonished to find that it reflects my experience and discovery so closely. Now I know where to send new travellers who seek my advice. - Michael R
I came across your website 5 years ago, whilst day dreaming at University about the day that Id finally get to go travelling. Ive been a regular visitor to your site since then, and now finally, in one week, Im off on a trip around the world. I just want to sincerely thank you for running this page. It has been a massive help in organizing and understanding every aspect of my trip. Thank you again. - Joe
Just want to say that you have the best backpacking site around. Your suggestions for packing were spot on. I'm currently road testing them as we speak. I highly recommend the Berghaus Freeflow IV 35 + 8 as a backpack... see more on comments page. - Jonathan
Just discovered your website while searching online for info on Indian trains and wondering how I was going to fathom out the confusion of their rail system. Thanks to you I have stopped panicking and have browsed, albeit somewhat quickly, through the other sections of your site. Bravo for the straightforward, no nonsense, no frills, fantastically comprehensive approach. Will look forward to studying it in more detail in the future. Congratulations, very impressive. - Louise Lister
I have wanted to travel all my life and have been lucky enough to do some small journeys in pretty developed countries. I am now off to India and Nepal and very excited. Your website, found through Google, is absolutely unbelievable. A wealth of incredibly useful advice, please NEVER LET IT LAPSE!! It's superb. Well done and a thousand thanks. Keep up the superb work and thanks again. - Andrew
I cant thank you enough for your comprehensive site. It answered all my questions and covered things I hadn't thought about. Keep up the great work! - Angela Burke, Dublin, Ireland
My husband & I are about to go on a year long trip around the world and love your website - it's been the single, best source of practical advice we've seen, and explains lots of the confusing information we've read elsewhere. Thanks - Debs and Ben
I'm just dropping a quick line about your website. I've just discovered it, and after only a few minutes of checking it out, I can say I'm mightily impressed by the hard work you've clearly put into it. Best regards. - Mwape William Goble (backpacker.org.uk)
Heading off to travel this year and been doing lots of research, so far this is way beyond the best we have found so far. Thank you very much - Lee and Shell
I just want to say thank you for the great site! I recently went on my first backpacking trip to Thailand and Laos and I used your site extensively for my preparations. Your recommendations and advice is simple and practical. The single most valuable piece of advice was to take a small pack (followed closely by no sleeping bag). I cruised around happily with my little 30litre pack laughing at all the others cursing and struggling with their massive backpacks (usually combined with a slightly less massive 'day pack' on their chest). I just can't comprehend how 95% of backpackers haven't figured out the immeasurable joys of a small pack, it makes no sense. I've browsed a lot of independent travel websites and yours is by far the best. I now have a severe case of the travel bug and I will definitely be using your site for all future trips. Thanks and keep up the good work. Cheers - Lloyd. (South African living in the UK)
I received the wonderful present of a RTW ticket for my graduation from college. I am so excited, and surfing the web for information, I came across travelindependent. its exactly what I was looking for. I have already spent hours searching the website, taking notes, and just generally been enthralled with what you have to offer. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. - Paige Rexrode
Just wanted to drop you a quick line to say what an absolutely fantastic site, the information you have provided is top notch and is going a long way towards helping my wife and I plan our round the world trip. You have alleviated a lot of fears and made plenty of great recommendations that we would never have thought off (Iran! lol) My only wish is that you had a forum whereby travellers and would-be travellers could ask questions and pass on tips. Keep up the great work. - Karl
I've come across your site in the past and have always read bits here and there but never realised how chockers it is full of info until now as I'm researching about travel in Iran, Pakistan and China. So much good info crammed in, thanks! Puts my website to total shame but I was hoping for a link to http://www.travoholic.com I didn't see it there on your links page and would appreciate it! It's basically a budget travel guide with a focus on Europe, Australia and New Zealand at the moment but once I start travelling again I'll start covering more places. - Kirsty
I'm a first time traveller - have literally just booked my ticket. Am not doing serious backpacker travelling - at the moment going to oz and nz - but found your site so helpful in that it doesn't patronise, is realistic and caters for every type of traveller - for example I will not need a sterilised needle in Sydney - but know where I might need one! Other general sites I have been on have said that this is an absolute must... I did think they were being a little over dramatic! Its very refreshing to find something that provides a service because it wants to - not because its trying to make money. The advice on this site is genuine which is rare! Keep up the good work! Your advice is truly appreciated! - Claire Whatley
Just wanted to say that your site is proving to be enormously useful in planning my backpacking trip to Australia and other parts. will be sure to pass on wisdom gained on my return to help out fellow travellers! Laura
I have to offer my most sincere thanks for by far the most outstanding travel site Ive seen yet. I have no comments to offer regarding content of the page, except for the fact that I consider myself finicky when it comes to the English language and that I have found no mistakes at all. Your site is the first one I have found that I consider actually useful I thank you for being honest, comprehensive and concise without compromising quality (and presentation, of course) I have no backpacking experience as yet (will do after going around Europe in a weeks time) and I can tell you now that to date I have been close to soiling myself about it. Such honest advice from your page has actually lifted my confidence in travelling. Thanks again, and I look forward to putting forward my own comments when I get back. Yours in travel - Dan Nailer, Canberra, Australia
Wow! I'm so glad I found your site! I've done a bit of travelling, I spent a month in Thailand last year and a few weeks in India when I was eighteen, but nothing major! In July my boyfriend and I plan to spend 7 months in Asia before going to Australia- We have already spent months saving and are so excited! This weekend we went to buy trainers and clothing for the trip - The advice given to us from the "what to pack section" was the most valuable advice I have ever read!!! The women in the shop who has done a lot of travelling in India and Tibet was convinced we needed heavy walking boots (not trail running shoes)- she said we will "hurt our ankles carrying a big heavy rucksack"- to which we replied "we are not going to be taking a big heavy rucksack!!! (only between 30 and 50L)". The only thing that spoilt travelling for my boyfriend last year, was carrying his huge 85l pack around in the boiling hot heat. Reading your advice has given us the confidence to travel light and choose between essential items and waste of space- thank you! - Kirsti Sheach
I wanted to thank you for making such a comprehensive and honest site. I am 25 and have done many one week trips (I always make it a point to visit a new one no matter how much I loved the last one). I am currently starting the beginning phases of planning a long (6 month to 1 yr) trip as a "last hoorah" before settling down into a family. I ran into your site fairly quickly and skimmed a bit and then looked at some other sites. Consistently, I have come back since your points have always made more sense. I have now read everything front to back and purposely used your site link to buy my books since I want to be able to give a little thank you for your knowledge. Thanks again for making a site that includes so much information with many an ethical point included. Keep the good words coming! - Shaun Williams, Chicago, IL
I've been on a few back-packing trips around Europe and now I'm finally planning a big trip around the world with my girlfriend. I stumbled across your website recently and immediately read it compulsively for about a week. It challenged many preconceptions I had on packing and the down-to-earth advice you give is so obviously born out from experience. It's refreshing to have such an agenda-free and comprehensive alternative to the guide books. I'll be coming back to read again and again! - Mark, Dublin, Ireland
Awesome site!! Ive travelled around a fair bit to a quite a few different countries. Im coming up to 5 years away from the UK and Im going through planning the next leg of travelling, should take a few years, your site certainly has all the info youd need, both for the first time traveller and experienced certainly better than say lonely planet or rough guides. - Paul Broomfield
I can't remember how I got onto your website but undoubtedly through several searches regarding travel... I have to say, your website is comprehensive, user friendly, covers everything you need to know from before you go travelling to when you're on the road. Great job, I will be using this website as my bible in the next 6 months as I travel the world! Will definitely be happy to contribute! - Belinda Kimson
Hello, I am leaving on a 5-7 Month world trip at the end of January. I must say your site is amazing - great work! I really think that the information is awesome and appreciate all the effort that has gone into it! Thanks - Dennis
I am not a travel veteran but feel like the tips on your website have given me the benefit of years of experience and helped me avoid the typical pitfalls. The one red herring threatening to blight my whole trip was packing as much stuff into as big-a-backpack-as-I-could-find. One of the guys I am travelling with said I should pack really light but hes a boy and an ex Israeli soldier so I kind of ignored him thinking he didnt need nearly as much stuff as me anyway. After I read your What to pack section I thought about having to carry that crap around for 6 months because I cant bear to chuck it away. Put things into perspective a bit plus your advice on pretty much being able to buy things anywhere. Your halve your packing, double your money rule is now imprinted on my brain. I just hope I can stick to it! - Alex Henty
Id just like to start off by saying thank you for all the information you have taken the time to share with us all. I am due to set out in about a year and will look to head to as many of the sites you have suggested as possible. Thank you again for you site, keep up the good work. - Kyle Allen
I've been using your website for the past year or so as I was planning my round the World trip. I found it an indispensable source of useful information and tips, so I thought I may offer one of my own; I carry a dozen or so, reusable zip-ties, 7mm ones meaning they are pretty strong. So far I've used them for several things; strapping stuff to my rucksack when I'm running out of space, securing the shower head somewhere when there is no bracket to hold it, keeping all my cables tidy in my rucksack, compressing things and zip-tying them together. I find them a very versatile object to have with me; they're light, cheap and strong, and have almost as many uses as a Swiss Army knife. - Neil Jones
I've just spent a good hour or two reading through some of the information on your website. I love the hints you have given about supporting local economies - in the midst of planning my first major excursion, I wouldn't have thought about the differences between giving to beggars vs. putting the effort into finding local businesses. You're so right!! - Louise
I think travelindependent is one of the best travel sites on the web. For several years now, I keep coming back to your site, especially for the fantastic guidebook reviews, every time I'm about to go on a big trip. - Leah Matthews
Dear Travel independent, Thank you sooooooooo much for all the useful information. I am planning on going to Mongolia and work at a volunteer project and do some travelling after that. I am very nervous. Me a girl, 24, alone. But this website made me so much better just by knowing what to do. I went to India a lot since the age of 7 with my parents. They did volunteer work for the hill tribes in the South. I've always though that this book is great! Point-it Traveller's language kit by Dieter Gaf. Its very useful if you want to learn a new language or if you don't want to at all! - Love your work! Thank you - Sue, Amsterdam
I am off travelling for an extended period for the first time in a couple of months. I read your website with rapt attention. An excellent resource superbly put together. Thanks awfully! - Alan Lush
Hello there, I just wanted to say that your web page is great, full of useful info..... I was thinking about visiting Iran by myself for quite some time, and after reading your website, my mind is made up - will only have to see whether my financial situation improves!! - Thank you!!! - Ellie
What a fun, honest and helpful website. I always have a quick read before heading off to my next destination and it always turns out to be spot on! So accurate and so inspiring- just wish I had enough money to go to all of your 'highlights'! It's very cool- well done! - Hannah Sierp
I have found this site great, I have spent hours upon hours trying to find info on back-packing round the world having only ever done package holidays to Spain, one site just led to another and another and I still didn't have any answers ............. your one site has filled me with so much more confidence that I can actually do this ...... thanks. - Beverley
Great site, very useful, straight to the point information, perfect as am about to reach information overload! Many thanks' - Ann Ho.
I have only one thought when I come onto to your website (which is often), that it is my bible. Forget LP/Rough guide etc, this is the holy grail of everything you need to know or to get you started when travelling. I can't believe it took me days of journeying from useless web link to web link until I found it. LP should have you as their premiere link! Thank you so much for your work and enthusiasm in creating and updating this site. - Karen
Hi. I am just planning my first RTW trip.. and just stumbled across this site and it has been one of the most helpful things I have encountered so far! Thanks! I will be sure to add some of my experiences here! - Emma
Truly a brilliant site, really do appreciate the invaluable advise on a lot of subjects. Even just planning packing for our 1st RTW experience was proving a nightmare but your knowledge speaks volumes. If it convinces at least one person to get out of the office they are stuck in and live the life they have always wanted then u should be very proud of your yourself. Thanks for the words of wisdom. Now bring on the rest of the world. - Robo P.
Hi. I am just planning my first RTW trip.. and just stumbled across this site and it has been one of the most helpful things I have encountered so far! Thanks! I will be sure to add some of my experiences here! - Emma
Wow this is a great web site. By far the best I have come across. I have been travelling for the past few years and think I even learned a few new things here. I think a new backpacker would gain a lot of experience from this web site before they even set foot abroad travelling. Keep up the great site. Thanks for your help and the great web site I will definitely be spreading the word about this spot. Thanks Again - Dustin from Chico California
Just a quick word - what an excellent site you are running here. I did a mini world tour 3 years ago and there were so many things that I said i'd remember for the next trip I do (I'm doing one next month) but I completely forgotten about until I read your "What to Pack" section, absolutely brilliant!! I'll pass it on to my friends!! Thanks - Dean Bromley
Hi. I'm off to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand in December for two months and have been trawling the internet for basic travel advice, as it will be my first major backpacking trip. Can I just offer a big thank you for your, to the point, no bullshit, well written website. I now feel a lot more confident and less nervous about the coming months. Cheers - Mike Ozanne
Bloody bonza mate!!! I managed to travel for 3 months in SE Asia, Europe and Middle East with only 1 bag and weighing no more than 10kg by the end of my trip, thanks to the advice on what to take. Also, for the budget conscious, ultra light traveller, you can't go past hemp clothes, check out: http://www.braintreehemp.co.uk/ for the gear. Warm in winter and cool in summer, this brand is revolutionary and can't be beat! - JE Lynton, (Perth, Australia)
I just wanted to say that as a first timer (who could be considered slightly anal about organisation) your site has really helped. I especially benefited from the "what to pack section", having never backpacked before and being plagued by an incessant need to carry everything but the kitchen sink, this section was most welcome and I'll definitely take your advice! Your site so simple, well presented and accessible that I'm no longer worried about my forth coming two and half month backpack across the USA, and even though my trip isn't trekking across the Himalayas barefoot, or anything close, I still found your sight informative, fun and definitely a must see for anyone heading off on an independent trip. Keep up the good work and hopefully I can offer some of my own advice when I get back from my stint on the backpacking trail. Looking forward to checking back with you. - Catherine Beere
You're what to pack section is absolutely undeniably fantastic. I am backpacking for the first time this year. I've just been looking at 70-90L sacks and writing a list of everything-but-the-kitchen-sink to take. Funnily enough, I've got loads of clothes, make-up and shoes (yep, I'm that kind of girl) but you've convinced me to take your list of bare essentials, and I find the idea of travelling without 'stuff' really liberating. - Vicky Ward
GREAT site, this is the traveller's bible, thank you for taking the time off that many find hard to take unless they get paid for it. I appreciate the variety and the straight-up approach, as with covering the pros and cons of certain issues. Thanks again, keep up the good fun, and good travels! - Margot
What a great site, you should be proud of your hard work and effort. My wife will upset with you thoughI've decided to go on a little walkabout and you are to blame. - Mike Flake
I am getting ready to go away travelling to the Pacific and then SE Asia, and I just wanted to let you know how incredibly useful I am finding your site. It contains just the right amount of facts/opinions, is interesting and informative, the 'what to pack' section is a great help and it is written on the level. I shall continue using the site right up until and probably during my trip. This is the best site I have found of this kind - cheers guys. - Alex.
Hello, First and foremost I want to say your site is BRILLIANT. It has eased many of my anxieties of travelling and helped me get a good understanding of what I'm heading into. I'm 18, from Canada and I'm about to head off on a 6 month adventure through SE Asia and Australia with 3 of my best friends. We are all grateful for your website. Thank you!- Daniel Kingsbury
Thanks mate. This is a really great site you've set up! I'm off to Patagonia in couple of weeks, and though a very experienced backpacker/bushwalker, I was pleased to find some interesting new tips. Your writing is non-pretentious and amusing. Relevant and thoughtful. Absolute pleasure to read. I don't think I've ever enjoyed reading a 'things you should take' section until now. They are usually utterly boring and, often, simply a transparent attempt for someone to flog off their latest hi-tech crap that is a 'must' for every walker. - Simon McLaughlin, Hobart, Tasmania
I came across the website recently and thought it was great - I was so impressed I decided to drop you a line to say thanks for a job well done. The site is well presented, easy to navigate and contains so much useful information that is relevant to the travelling contingent. I have been back to visit the site a few times since and each time I do I find myself really getting into it :). I think the most remarkable thing for me is that the site caters for everybody; from a first timer to someone who has travelled before and you have managed to pull it off in a way that is accessible to all. I would like to get back to you again with some more detailed feedback, including some comments and suggestions. In the meantime allow me to say thanks once again for such a tremendous resource - I wish you all the best and look forward to speaking to you again soon. - Mat Smith
I am 36 (bit of a late starter!!) and have the opportunity to do some travelling - this site has been a fantastic eye opener to help me know what to take and where to go... thank you - Barbara
Your site is great. My husband and I completed a year-long RTW trip in April of last year and now, when I'm sitting in my office really missing being on the road, I search the web for good travel sites - yours definitely qualifies! A couple of things came to mind as I read through various sections of your site: 1) A tip for those avid readers in foreign lands who can never find English language books at a reasonable price - Look for the 'classics' section in the local bookstores. There is usually a fairly large selection for the equivalent of US$3 or $4 as compared to US$20+ for current titles. We found many books throughout Eastern Europe and also in Asia. Never hurts to read David Copperfield again!! 2) I would highly recommend spending time wandering through Eastern Europe before it is all part of the EU and things get too expensive. We travelled from Istanbul to Warsaw over the course of one summer (Turkey - Bulgaria - Romania - Hungary - Slovakia - Czech Republic - Poland) using local trains and buses and staying in a nice mix of the larger cities and small towns. Some areas were as inexpensive as the remote areas of Thailand and certainly as much of an adventure! Thoroughly enjoyed your site - I wish I had found it BEFORE our journey! - Macie Whittington
This is "The Godfather" of the websites. Masterpiece! - Cameron (http://www.offroad-argentina.com.ar)
I'd just like to say that I think this is an excellent site. I agree with most of your descriptions and ratings of countries I have travelled to, like Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos (a little harsh - I loved it), Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Namibia (a little harsh - I thought it was fantastic) and others. - Rachael, Rachael also supplied some interesting and helpful details regarding Pakistan, click here to view them)
Just a quick note to say how good this web site is. I'm not sure how much feedback you get but wanted to let you know. I am off on my trip for a year in 6 weeks time and have been getting info off this site for the last couple of months. I found this site through a link on the lonely planet thorn tree. Since finding it have recommended it to anyone I know thinking about travelling themselves. Thanks again. - Richard Steele
I just had to say that you have a brilliant site. I'm a travel agent for STA Travel and I must say that your site is a great reference for me to direct my customers. Not only do you give info about certain countries, but you also give helpful advice for packing, hostels and the low-down of travelling in general. Your site is beneficial to the virgin traveller or the traveller looking to obtain some info on a desired destination. Keep up the good work! I'm looking to backpack Africa for a few months and your site has definitely giving me some knowledge of things to expect. I can tell that whomever wrote this page is a very well travelled individual. - Jarrett Johnson, STA Travel NCC
Fabulous website! Everything that is necessary to know before facing the (travel) world is in it! - Laure
I'm currently perusing the 'what to pack' page, and halfway through, I simply HAD to drop you a line to tell you how comprehensive and thorough your website is! I'm planning a trip to Europe, and as the time grows near, I've discovered that your website is the best of the travel sites I've looked up. Thanks a lot! - Jeanie, Canada
Fantastic web site, it provides you with all the info you could ever imagine, plus all the tips, ideas and different topics you would not have thought about before travelling!!! Very useful website!! - Jemima
Thank you for the incredible web site. I am planning a trip through all of the West African nations you listed on your site later this year. As of now, it has been very hard to find current, relevant information. I found your comments to be honest and refreshing. Thanks so much. I'll be sure to post any relevant updates upon my return!!
You are the man! This is seriously the most amazing site I've come across. I thought www.onebag.com was good, but this is better. I haven't travelled that much, been to Europe, Bali, and Korea and keen as anything to get on the road again. But I love planning and reading and dreaming about it. So your site has been really helpful. Thanks!!! for the great work. Gratefully - Gloria
This site is fantastic. I am in the early stages of planning a several month trip for next year with my husband, and have found the advice and information here to be really useful. I wish I could contribute more but at this point I have only been to England, Italy and Trinidad and Tobago. I understand why European countries/GB are not discussed much here, but the budget backpacking logic can certainly be applied to those places, even if they are more "on the beaten path". Even in much-trampled Florence one can find those little miracles by just having an open mind and talking to locals. Anyway, as soon as I have anything to contribute to this site I will, as I'd like to help out. I heartily endorse your "what to pack" list, b/c truly, less is more. Having tried to bring an over-stuffed pack on a trip just once taught me that harsh lesson. - Justine
Just wanted to say thanks, I'm backing for the first time in my life this August. I especially liked the information on travel insurance (one that insures my new iPod, that saved me a lot of research), and Opodo (very inexpensive, even less than buying direct from the airline). Thanks - Andre, Los Angeles
Thank you. I've found the website genuinely inspirational. You are providing a brilliant, organised, and thorough guide for travellers and wannabe travellers (like myself). Also I was really touched by many of the quotes, statistics and antidotes that you offer. Please pat yourself on the back for giving something back to the countries that you have visited by promoting responsible and thoughtful travel. I think that your site is as perfect as you can get and the minor errors are part of that! - Lisa
My boyfriend and I used information from this website for a trip to Southeast Asia and India/Nepal last year. Recommendations and advice are right on, especially as far as places not to miss, accuracy of prices, and people vibes. I'm using your site again to look in to our next trip, a honeymoon in central America. Thanks for this awesome website!
I would just like to thank you for such an amazing website. I am going off on my RTW trip in 5 weeks and have been desperately trying to source information from my mates who have previously been. Being 30, most of my mates did this some time ago, but I've been surprised to find out about lots of friends of friends my age who are also going off on RTW trips. But trying to glean info from people is a bit tricky. Most people forget what they took. The website is like a bible to me - I've printed off all the sections and read them avidly on the tube to work every day, underlining bits like a Lonely Planet reader!! - Rebecca Filmer
Thank you for this site...it's truly is everything I need, or at least where to find it elsewhere if not here. I am in process of planning my first real trip and first trip alone for that matter and this is a great place to get started. - Nicole
Just wanted to say what a fantastic and inspiring web page! I'm about to set off travelling the world with a friend in 3 weeks and am beginning to panic about the packing saga and last minute things! The website had been of great help and I will take many of the suggestions and tips on board in particular with packing minimalist! - Jen
By far, the best site I've found. Thank you for your time and effort. I've referred my unbelieving brother to your packing list for his round the world trip. - Sharon
Thanks for the excellent resource on packing (lite) and what really to take. Really helpful for us people who are new to this and helping to convince those of us with skeptical partners. - Ricardo
Love it! What I prefer is the real point of view from independent travellers, and not the "all is perfect all is beautiful and easy" usual stuff... - Yasmina
I would like to say that your site is by far the most in-depth and most informative site that I have found on the web... :) - Jillian - Thanks Jillian for sharing some of Marley's insight: "Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!"
I just wanted to compliment you on your site. I'm travelling now for a long time, was searching for some futile info on China and stumbled upon your site. If only I had found it before my travels commenced! It is extensive, answering a lot of important and to the point questions you normally have to read 50 guidebooks and 500 forums for. Furthermore I found the information not only very accurate (compared to my own experiences) but also highly sensible. It seems like you finally made sense out of the world in general and travelling in particular. - Tjerk Jan Schuitmaker
Hey, thanks very much. You are the best I have found so far on the net for planning my SE Asia trip. I appreciate the time you put into this. Good community service. - Max Goldschwartz
We are about to go off backpacking for a year and I have sooo many questions. Your website is truly inspirational and I feel a lot happier about things after reading it. I have saved it in my favourites and know I will be studying it closely over the next eight weeks before we leave. Thank you very much for writing it - it is great to hear first hand what works, rather than relying on guidebooks. Thank you, I feel like I can go now as I feel more prepared. - Rachel
A most comprehensive and valuable site. Having travelled to many countries, I have actually experienced and can relate to a lot of which is contained in your pages. Re your comments on bargaining, I was disgusted on one occasion visiting friends in Sumatra, where one of a tourist group hassled a stall keeper to a point where she sold an item for a 5 cent profit, not taking into account it was an on-sale and I knew the actual value. I was incensed enough to buy a similar item and ensure she got a good profit. - Frank Daniels
This site is fantastic! You've tipped the scales for me in the debate of 'stay or go' - I'm off! Only problem is... where! Thank-you! - Laura
This is a great site. I've travelled extensively but just now setting off for Africa. I really liked the sections and the opinions rather than just facts. Good work! - Esther
Bought a 25litre rucksack because it was so comfy and then got concerned it was way too small for our world trip. However I have looked around at numerous other rucksacks and none comes near it so after reading your advice on packing light I was encouraged to use it! Thought packing advice was great and plan to follow most of it - obviously including not taking sleeping bags or mosquito nets! - Jane
Your website offered some awesome tips for me as far as bus travel goes (I will be doing a TON of it) and how to pack in order that I don't smack people in the face as I get on and off :). It offered some encouraging info about travelling alone as a woman, as well as a hoard of other important info. Thanks for taking the time to make such a great resource centre for fellow backpackers. Most people I know think I'm off the rocker for wanting to go into "forbidden, dangerous Central America" by myself as a female. However, I have a much different opinion of the world that I seem to share with you. It is refreshing to read that danger exists here in the United States just as much as any other major city. Awareness and a positive attitude is the key. I have a new level of excitement and confidence largely due to your site. Just wanted to write and tell you that I very much enjoyed it. I will be using it frequently, I assume, as it has already been a huge help in lessening my overwhelming feeling about my trip. - Candace Garrett
This site is by far the best site I have found for my type of travel (backpacking). Even though I feel that I have done a fair bit of travelling, I was constantly learning things and relearning the stuff I thought I knew. The site is easy to use and totally commonsense, free of all the travel hysteria which can create paranoia and get in the way of the experience. Of course you need to know the dangers, but they must be seen in perspective so that you can accept the REAL risk and get on with the good stuff. I really appreciated the 'on the road' section as well as the 'what to pack' and travel photography sections. well done! - Corey Anderson
Great site, plenty of info without getting too serious or judgemental. I'd love to upgrade Thailand from honorary to full membership, on your list of countries ruined by tourism - but it's your list, not mine! I'd also highly recommend Rarotonga as a stop off in the pacific - I can't begin to describe how much more pleasant and relaxing it is compared to the usual, Thailand, Singapore, Bali, etc. Fantastic destination to unwind. - Steve Johnson, Edinburgh
We are travelling Asia next year and have trawled countless websites and travel guides amassing endless amounts of information (most of which has been helpful/interesting) then I came across your site - WOW, I just wish I'd found it first and saved myself hours and hours of eye strain!! Congratulations on a fantastic site that as far as I can see covers everything you could possibly need, I'll definitely be recommending it :o) - Lynne Palmer
What a truly amazing site! The information and tips included here are invaluable whether you're a newby or a seasoned traveller. I'll be sure to recommend it to everyone. Well done to all involved! - John, England
Just wanted to say thank you for all the valuable information on your website. I thought it was very easy to read and I really found some good tips! Especially your preaching about travelling light really attracted me. I am about to leave for South-America for 5 months and I am really going to try to pack as little as possible. Although this won't be easy because I want to bring my own sleeping bag, my diving glasses and some other stuff... But I am really going to think twice before packing it! Thanks and keep up the good work and travelling! - Stefan Beekman, The Netherlands
FANTASTIC SITE! Easy to use, really to the point. I've wanted to plan travelling for ages and haven't know where to start, all the books I've read don't want to commit to giving you the details you really want to know. I don't think I could have been confident in planning my travelling without this site, you have positively influenced my life in a huge way. Many thanks - Ella Bowden
Refreshingly straight-talking, full of genuinely practical and useful information, an inspiring and yet seemingly realistic view of travelling. Just what I was looking for to help plan my year out. - Simon Pyne
Superb, such an excellent website, I would say best on the net for budget light travel!! normally you have to pay for information like this!!! and so easy to read as well! - Jack Ogden
Thanks so much for a fantastic site. Am off travelling for the first time and everything has proved invaluable, especially the what to pack section. As others have said, its nice to read something that's just honest with no ulterior motive, makes a change from just about anything else I've seen. Have already recommended to friends who have thanked me for passing it on. Good luck, and thanks again. - Tay Khandwala
An amazing website with all the bits that you really want from guide books, but together in one easy to read place. The best independent website designed for travellers I've stumbled across so far!! Thank you :) - Kirsten Anderson
Your site is one of the best travel sites I've seen. The pictures are great, and the fact that you're very blunt on stating opinions on what is and isn't worth seeing is very helpful (an antidote to guidebooks that call every single thing "fascinating", "spectacular", ...) The "on the road" section would be really useful to someone who's never travelled in the developing world before. - Gaijin (LP Thorn Tree post)
Nah, brilliant! I loved all the tips and advice and really understand where you're coming from. Too many travel sites are up their own arse's and condescending but you've hit just the right note. - Brendan Phelan
The best travel advice site that I have found so far, It's good to get info from someone who has done this before, I'm planning my first trip and have found this extremely useful. It will be recommended. - Tom Sharp
Great site; I'm off travelling for the first time in a few months and this site is just what I was looking for - straightforward and honest tips and insights from someone who obviously knows what they're on about. All the best - Rob Whiteley
The info you provide is fantastic. Very factual and incredibly useful for others planning a trip (like me). Very relevant info that you don't get anywhere else - until you arrive in the country and its too late! - Una McCullagh
I don't think you could do any better. Every time my supervisor leaves, I maximize this site and try and read as much as I can until he comes back. He's back eep. - Lu Edwards
Fantastic site! I am in the preliminary stages of planning for a backpacking trip (my first-at last!). The information within has answered many of my questions without being too sugar-coated or trying to scaremonger-a happy medium! Nice one! - Lee Tompkin
I think its absolutely marvelous that you have spent so much time sharing you excellent knowledge with everybody who is looking to travel. I am leaving for an around the world solo trip in about 3 weeks and have picked up some excellent ideas from your site - truly a light travellers bible. Thanks - Rick
Review published in the Budget Travel section of Suite101.com - 'Out of the Backpacks of Babes''. Here is an extract:
'Ms Budget Travel encourages all her Gentle Readers to read through the excellent section on On the Road and bookmark it, she has seldom seen a more succinct and comprehensive guide to all the stuff you wish you'd known before you ended up anywhere --- likewise the Before You Go bit is extremely useful and Giles has done the research on places he hasn't gone to (yet) which is overall what really makes his little corner of the Internet shine --- Giles does quite a bit of information collecting and organizing.
Ms Budget Travel really does encourage you all to have a look round and even if you are a virtual traveller you'll find some fun --- his travel photos are wonderful. And to Giles, Ms Budget Travel says, Well done. If we meet on the road she'll be delighted to buy you a soothing drink . . .'
Thanks for all the advice! you should maybe become a travel writer or something, because I found your style very easy to read and impossible to 'put down'. As you say, its really good to have advice from someone who has all the experience and isn't selling anything. I especially liked the useful 'what to pack' part: as a first-timer, you have helped put my mind at rest. Looking forward to reading more of your stuff. - Bryony
You're site is really the best one out there, every day after work I go straight home, flop down on my bed, flip open my laptop and spend the rest of the night pouring over all the info you've put out there. THANK YOU(!) really... - Eric Gearhart
Been surfing your page for the last few months in preparation for a 6 month trek through SEA and beyond. I've been all over the web and in comparison to what's out there, you've done an excellent job of presenting the most important information in the most easily understood format. keep up the good work and frequent updates! - Nadi
I've been travelling off and on for 25 years and agree pretty much with all you've said. Liked your acknowledgement that not all backpackers are young - well, I was when I started but no longer and I guess I'm one of the contributors to stuffing up Thailand, Bali etc. Also a mention, hate buses but the sleeper variety in China are excellent. Very nice balanced, common sense site - you've said all I would have if I was a more sharing type. Thank you. - Ezrah
Thanks! This is a pretty exhaustive site, and I've gleaned heaps of useful hints. The "what to pack" section is great - I expect that my pack will be significantly lighter thanks to your words of wisdom. - Kel
I am genuinely impressed with your site, extremely comprehensive. I am planning a year trip at the moment and have found a distinct lack of useful accurate material either on the internet or in book form. A great deal of it seems to have bias and misleading information. The site is perfect for people, such as myself, who need a lot of answers, but don't want to ask lots and lots of repetitive questions on the internet. I have got the read this first series, which you mention - which is good, but still leaves you with loads of questions your site is firmly in my "favourites" and have saved it in my links. I am sure I will spend a good few hours to come on it. You have also added some invaluable links, which nearer the time will be well used, thanks - it looks like it has probably taken you months. - Karen Taylor
Just wanted to say what a fantastic web site! Loved the photography (a hobby of mine) and thought the page "Me at famous places" is awesome!! Your photo's bought back lots of memories from my travels..... Thanks! - Neil Burling
'Most helpful' Just your honesty. Finally A site on the net that is not trying to sell me a tour or full absolute crap and advertisements. How refreshing to have some sound advice with amazing experience behind it. Thank you Thank you Thank you! - Paloma Wregg
Many, many thanks for your very useful site. I have only read the "what to pack" section and already feel so much more confident about travelling on my own. I regularly look at the thorn tree but some people write such rubbish. Again thanks for the advice... yours and Mark Twain's! - David Kenning
I absolutely love your website! I'm emailing the link to all my travelling buddies. I found it when reading one of your replies to someone's question on the Torn Tree, and literally could not leave my computer until I had finished reading it all. Totally compelling reading! - Anonymous
Just checked out your excellent site, it should be published as a book! Superb photos as well. - John Bowman
I am currently planning a trip and therefore have not tested all the information on the site, but have travelled about 5 years ago and I am most impressed with this site. I looked at the sight to check up on the places I was going to go to and to see your advice on a number of issues. Your guide is comprehensive and seems to cover all issues I had in my head. Also your points have helped me convince my girlfriend that I am right on a number of issues and for that I can't thank you enough!!! Thanks for all the advice. - Ciaran
Your travel site is great. It offers real and valuable info (from a backpacker perspective). Excellent work. - Tahn
Definitely A +, thanks it was good. I saved the site and will pass it on. And it does not just apply to backpackers , anybody that decides to do any travelling can benefit from the insights presented here. So accolades to you . - Posted on Lonely Planet Thorn Tree
I would just like to say that this is an excellent source of information, especially for a fist time traveller like myself. (I am off to Peru/Ecuador/Bolivia and I am a female travelling alone) It has put my mind to rest about a number of things, especially what clothes/equipment to take. Thanks very much! Also thanks for the condensed info on anti-malarial tables/inoculations - its nice to have a travellers perspective as well as the doctors. - Kerry Arnold
I'm really impressed. It must have taken you ages to write it all down! For me as a first-timer, your site is exactly what I have been looking for: condensed information on the issues that matter the most. My back will thank you for your packing hints. - Jerome Collin
Fantastic site comprehensive, truthful, refreshing. thanks for providing such a great site. - Ormel
All I've got to say about your site is tops!!!!! - Toni-Ann Stollery