Microadventures: Epic Escapades to Shake Up Your Routine

Microadventures: Here’s the thing; most Americans that work full-time get two weeks of paid vacation per year plus 8-10 days of paid national holidays. Three and a half weeks of time off per year is hardly enough to satiate any remote thirst for adventure. While it’d be nice to get set away to the crystal-blue waters of the Maldives or sample every kind of cheese in France, the reality is that we can’t all travel all of the time.


This means weekends have become crucial components of appeasing the wanderlust dragon that lives inside of us all. We’ve found that micro adventures do a phenomenal job of breathing vitality into our weekends, keeping us active, getting inspired, and giving the same “good vibes” we get when we travel.


What is a Microadventure?

Microadventures can be thought of as mini travel excursions or camping trips with slightly different air. The New York Times described microadventures as “short, perspective-shifting bursts of travel closer to home, inspiring followers to pitch a tent in nearby woods, explore their city by moonlight, or hold a family slumber party in the backyard.”

Microadventures encourage us to see our stomping grounds differently and appreciate what we already have around us. You don’t need a ton of supplies to get started, and you certainly don’t need to spend a fortune to have one. All you need is an easygoing attitude, a sense of exploration, and one night.

The term got popularized by an enigmatic person named Alastair Humphreys, who believes that adventure is “accessible to normal people, in normal places, in short segments of time and without having to spend much money.” Microadventures are loosely defined, but generally, they are held outdoors and overnight. You can sleep in a bivvy bag (individual waterproof shelter), tent, or under the stars in blankets or a sleeping bag.

Humphreys also champions the idea of doing a “year of microadventures,” where he suggests different pursuits that can take place all year long, such as watching a celestial event, taking someone else on their first micro adventure, or swimming in wild water (which he is a big fan of).

The concept of microadventures is attainable and appealing to many people who are looking to challenge themselves and have more meaningful experiences with their weekends. It offers a way to break from the mundane routine of running errands, going from store to store, binge-watching TV series, and eating at overpriced restaurants. Despite living in the buzzing suburbs of Silicon Valley in California, full-time workers can still enjoy microadventures. There are many reasons why microadventures are worthwhile, making them a great way to enhance one’s life.


Are you sure anyone can do Microadventure?

Microadventures are simply about normal people with busy lives that work the 9-5 but want to make the most out of their 5-9. It’s about getting outside and reconnecting with yourself on a regular basis. Microadventures are for you and for anyone who wants to come along. The word adventure is defined as an experience that is exciting, unusual, or unknown. It can be anywhere, which means your very own backyard may be full of opportunities for exploration.


Microadventures are the sisters of travel

Microadventures and travel share many similarities, including a period of research to figure out where to go, preparing necessities such as gear and groceries, building community with friends and meeting new people, and taking a bold step into the unknown with new experiences. The entire experience of microadventures and travel, rather than just the destination, can be exhilarating.

One of the benefits of travel is the opportunity for deep self-reflection, creativity, and disconnecting from the need to constantly be online. Microadventures can also provide the same opportunity to disconnect and live in the moment, much like travel. When you say you are going on a microadventure, it’s understood that you will be offline and engaging in a new activity.


How a Microadventure can become so much more

If you find yourself constantly attached to technology and feeling overwhelmed by the need to constantly be online, microadventures could be the perfect solution for you. Initially, the idea of camping with friends and family was just for fun, but it quickly became a way to disconnect from technology and rediscover the joys of spending time outdoors.

Microadventures allow for a sense of purpose during weekends, whether it’s preparing for the next trip, going on adventures, sharing photos, or unpacking from the excursion. It’s an opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones and create unique memories.


How should I start?

If you are ready to get going, here are some microadventure ideas. You can try one first to see how you like it (you will, we promise), or you can dive into the deep end and create your own one-year challenge.

  • Live in an apartment? Sleep outside your balcony.
  • Pitch a tent or cozy den in your (or a friend’s) backyard.
  • Camp during the workweek (we recommend Thursday night).
  • Bring a friend who’s never gone camping before.
  • Bring a new friend that you’ve just met.
  • Watch a celestial event or a special moon.
  • Sleep near a body of water.
  • Sleep on a hill.
  • Try a small backpacking trip.
  • Bring a plant book and identify the things you see.
  • Bring your parents, kids, and siblings.
  • Have a board game bonanza.
  • Host foil packet food competitions.
  • Do nighttime photography.
  • Invite friends to celebrate your birthday with camping.
  • Create a glamping experience.
  • Plan an all-girls or guy’s trip.
  • Go solo.
  • Surprise your partner with a romantic dinner.
  • Camp in the rain (with proper waterproof gear).
  • Bring your pets inside the tent.


What kind of rules should I set for the challenge?

The beauty is that there really are no rules; craft a plan (or no plan) that works well for you, and have a blast. If you do decide to create rules or guidelines for yourself, just remember that you are doing this for fun. No need to force yourself to do anything that will make you miserable.

As an example, our one-year microadventure challenge was:


Whatever you decide to do, don’t forget that adventure is for everyone. You might just surprise yourself by shaking up the norm and spending your weekend a little differently. Keep it simple, don’t overthink it, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to plan out every detail. Embrace the unknown, and you will capture the essence of excitement that you’ve been looking for. Last, of all, don’t forget to tell us all about your microadventure plans in the comments below!

Check 10 Golden Tips for Traveling Smarter and 52 Creative Ways to Save Money for Travel, which help you more on your future travels.

8 Things to Know Before Traveling to Thailand

Things to Know Before Traveling to Thailand: When preparing for an upcoming trip, it’s easy to get caught up in closing work responsibilities, buying travel necessities, compiling a packing list, and arranging responsibilities for your home, pets, kids, and more. The chaos of working until the last minute can be overwhelming, and it always seems like there’s one activity after another until you’re rushing to catch your flight.

If you don’t have time to read a Thailand travel book, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Many people find themselves in a similar situation, exhausted and mentally drained after a long day of work or travel. Fortunately, this guide on 8 things to know before traveling to Thailand and Thailand Packing List can help you be more prepared for your trip.

traveling to Thailand

Hello, and Thank You

For women: Hello is Sawasdee ka, and thank you is Khob khun ka

For men: Hello is Sawasdee krab, and thank you is Khob khun krab


Learning how to greet someone and say thank you is mission-critical in any country. It is a universal sign of respect to show you have made some effort to learn the native tongue (no matter how poor your pronunciation might seem). Thai people are very nice and more than happy to converse with you! Don’t be shy to ask someone how to properly pronounce a term if you are having trouble.


$300 usd or ~10,500 ฿ (baht) per Week

This is a solid range of cash to have for the average person traveling to Thailand on vacation. Note that this amount does not include accommodations or special activity excursions (such as a speed boat tour, scuba diving experience, etc.). The average traveler typically eats at mid-range restaurants and street food stalls and enjoys snacks, juices, coffees, and high-end dining establishments once or twice.

They usually rely on taxis, tuk-tuks, and public transportation and may opt for a few Thai massages. If you prefer to spend less, it’s possible to stick to street food and public transportation. If you prefer to spend less, it is highly attainable by sticking to street food and public transportation. It’s relatively easy to find ATMs and use credit cards in major cities such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai. If you feel that your cash is running low, consider paying for larger meals by using a credit card that does not have international fees.

Note: Traveling by tuk-tuk is a great way to explore the sights, smells, and feelings of the city with a group. Be sure to agree upon a price with the driver before heading off for the ride.


How much should a ride from Suvarnabhumi (BKK) airport cost?

Hailing a cab at a major international airport can make you look disheveled after a long flight, and as a taxi driver, it’s common to try and get some extra profit from travelers. It’s important to agree upon a price upfront and ask for the driver to use the meter to avoid being overcharged.

Paying toll fares out of pocket is also recommended. If the driver isn’t willing to negotiate, it’s always possible to find another taxi; the ride could be as cheap as 450 ฿ from the airport. Ask for the driver to use the meter. Tell them you’ll pay the toll fares, etc., out of pocket. If the person isn’t willing to negotiate, you can always find another taxi.


What kind of food should I absolutely try?

  • Spicy cockle salad and other papaya salad variations
  • Morning glory with crispy pork
  • Fresh watermelon or passion fruit juice
  • Mangosteens and longan fruits
  • Mango sticky rice (with bonus points if you try durian)


How to flush an eastern-style toilet?

If you have any intention of traveling outside of the major city center or eating local street food, there is a good chance you will encounter an Eastern-style, or “squat” toilet. This rings true of many other places in South East Asia. For the ladies, this certainly takes some getting used to– as the name implies, you need to finagle your body into a squatting position.

Feels awkward but totally doable. In these situations, there is almost always a bucket of water nearby with a large cup or bowl in it. The proper way to flush the toilet is to scoop a large cupful of water into the toilet vessel, so the water pressure pushes your business down. Toilet paper is also fairly common in modern establishments, but be sure to bring some for the moments you might be off the beaten path.


How can I stay connected to the internet?

Beyond accessing WiFi in hotels and modern establishments, you can stay connected by supplying your own signal. We suggest renting a mobile hotspot device through SkyRoam or Tep Wireless before your trip. You can also buy a data sim card for your phone at any local 7-11 store or kiosks at the mall or airport. Be sure to run on airplane mode only to avoid roaming charges.


Tipping Etiquette

Tipping in Thailand is not customary, although it may be a gray area due to the increase in tourism. In certain areas, people (especially tourists) may tip larger amounts more frequently. You should expect to give a small tip of 30~50 ฿ for any help or services offered, such as massages, hotel porters, tour guides, and waiters.

When dining out, it is acceptable to round up the bill or leave roughly 10% for exceptional service. Make sure to give a tip directly to the person helping you, as it is unclear whether the restaurant manager splits tips with their employees. Taxi drivers negotiate their own rates and typically round up. You can tip extra if you have had a great experience, but this is not mandatory.


Cover your shoulders and knees at the wat

Undoubtedly, Thailand has an impressive collection of Buddhist temples (also known as wats). In fact, there are over 40,000 wats spread throughout the entire country. It is important to note that you must cover your knees and shoulders out of respect when visiting these sites. Major wats may have wraps that women can borrow to cover themselves; however, it’s best to BYOW (bring your own wrap) if possible.

Tuck a lightweight scarf or button-up shirt into your daily bag in case you serendipitously visit the temple. We recommend dressing for the day by having at least one region covered, so you only have to worry about one area. Maxi dresses and long skirts are great choices.


Thailand is an incredible country with exceptional street food, colorful events, and astonishing temples. We do not doubt that you’ll ease right into a relaxed and comfortable lifestyle as soon as you arrive. We encourage you to follow your curiosity– take a walk down the winding alley of street vendors, eat food where other Thai people eat (even if the sign is not in English), and ask questions to uncover stories from the people you meet along the way. We’d love to hear about your experience in Thailand, too! Do you find this country as captivating as we do?

Galapagos Packing List

Galapagos Packing List: The Galapagos islands are famous for being giant sea tortoise havens and the home to other endemic species, such as the flightless cormorant. It’s one of those unbelievable “bucket list” places that you binge-watch on TV anytime a special comes on.

If you’re an avid traveler and animal lover, it’s likely the word “Galapagos” is written down somewhere or pinned to your dream board. Visiting the Galapagos was once believed to be an expensive endeavor, but it is possible to experience the archipelago on a budget without sacrificing any of the fun activities, delectable seafood, or comfortable accommodations. We broke it all down in our guide on traveling to the Galapagos on a budget, so you can do it too.

Galapagos packing lis

While you are in the Galapagos, we recommend mixing up your daily itinerary. Spend some days in the water snorkeling or diving and other days on land exploring tortoise reserves, hiking, or enjoying the islands on a bicycle. If possible, alternate your water and land activities, so you can enjoy each island at different times of the day (most tours leave early in the morning and don’t return until the afternoon).

Many places of interest are also within walking distance of the main town. Plan for a little extra time to get to each destination because you are sure to see interesting things, such as brown pelican birds plunge diving over the waters or red sally lightfoot crabs scuttling among the lava rocks that you’re going to want to take pictures of.


Galapagos Weather

The weather in the Galapagos stays fairly stable between 69 – 84°F, which makes it a wonderful place to visit any time of the year. There are slight differences between the seasons, with the warm “peak” season, which runs from December to May, and the cooler season (preferred condition for divers and marine-life viewing), which runs from June to November. Unlike other islands you may be accustomed to visiting, the Galapagos does not have a tropical atmosphere with high humidity. Evenings can get cool, and you’ll want a jacket or warm layer to wear.

The water is also colder because three main ocean currents pass through the islands– the cold Peru Current from Chile and Antarctica, the chilly Cromwell Undercurrent, and the warm Panama Current. These currents bring special nutrients which contribute to the special ecosystem found in the Galapagos.


Quick tips for travel to the Galapagos

  • Sunscreen is extremely expensive. Bring what you’re going to need from home.
  • Tap water is not safe to consume. There are plenty of filtered water jugs available at most tourist offices and your accommodation, so you should always be able to refill your water bottle.
  • The waters can get chilly, even close to the shore. Wear a rashguard for extra warmth and negotiate a full-length wetsuit even for snorkeling.
  • Wifi can be painfully slow in many areas. Save yourself some connectivity rage by downloading offline maps, having a printed (or screenshot) itinerary, and getting all of your research done before you go.
  • Many of the boat rides (especially the ferries) are bumpy. Arm yourself with motion-sickness medicines if you’re prone to nausea.
  • Of course, you’re going to want to capture photos of these amazing animals! Just remember to keep a respectful distance from them, do not disturb their habitats, step on coral, and dispose of all your trash in the right place.


The Galapagos Packing List for a traveler

The following Galapagos packing list is suitable for Galapagos travelers who are interested in a variety of activities, from snorkeling and diving to more relaxed options. The dress code on the local islands is generally casual, with some residents even opting to go shoeless throughout the day. During the daytime, it is common to wear shorts, sandals, and a tank top, while it may be necessary to wear pants and a light jacket during the cooler evenings.


Travel Necessities

  • Passport
  • Travel Insurance
  • Cash (US Dollar), as there is only an ATM on Santa Cruz Island; keep in mind there is a $120.00 visitor entrance fee upon arrival to the airport



  • Travel adapter
  • Chargers and cables
  • Smartphone – Airplane mode on to avoid roaming charges with wifi on and offline maps for every town pre-downloaded (Instructions in point #7 on downloading offline Google Maps)
  • Kindle E-reader or book (optional)
  • Headphones // wireless earbuds (optional)
  • GoPro adventure camera (optional)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Power bank (optional)



You will want clothing that can dry quickly or is easy to change into after a day in the water.

  • Underwear
  • Sports bra (women)
  • Sleeping clothes
  • Long sleeve shirts for sun protection
  • Short sleeve shirts
  • Athletic tops
  • Jacket
  • Shorts
  • Pants
  • Athletic bottoms (shorts are helpful after diving)
  • 1 hat with brim or bill for sun protection
  • 2 swimsuits (alternate every day)
  • Rashguard (extra warmth in the waters; women’s and men’s)
  • Sandals (ankle straps are helpful; women’s and men’s)
  • Close-toed walking shoes (women’s and men’s)



  • 5 to 2L refillable water bottle
  • Lightweight backpack
  • Waterproof dry bag
  • Sunglasses
  • Quick drying and lightweight microfiber towel
  • Sports wristwatch with alarm (optional)


Toiletries (travel-friendly)

  • Daily skin moisturizer with SPF
  • Waterproof Sunblock
  • Face cleanser
  • Medicine (general assortment)
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss
  • Shampoo & Conditioner, or pack your own in these reusable bottles
  • Comb
  • Contact solution and lens case
  • Deodorant (women’s and men’s)
  • Chapstick
  • Optional: face wipes, q-tips, hair ties, bobby pins, stain remover pen, antibacterial gel
  • Travel-sized tissues
  • Motion-sickness medicine (optional)
  • Small notebook and pen (optional)


You should be well-equipped for your trip to the Galapagos with these items. Don’t worry if you happen to forget anything, though, as there are little shops in San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, and Isabela in case you need additional supplies. If you’re considering day-to-day logistics for your trip, check out our 7-day itinerary for the Galapagos. We are thrilled that you’ll be seeing this magical place for yourself. If you have any questions related to the Galapagos packing list, feel free to let me know in the comments below.

Travel To Galapagos Islands On A Budget

Travel To Galapagos Islands On A Budget: Visiting the Galapagos islands may seem like a faraway dream, accessible only to those with deep pockets, as Galapagos cruises are priced at several thousand dollars. However, despite this assumption, it is possible to travel through South America, Southeast Asia, and other parts of the world for months for several thousand dollars.

So, is the Galapagos really worth it? The answer is a resounding YES. It is a place unlike any other and planning a trip on a budget while still enjoying excellent tours, private accommodations, and good food can be a fun challenge. Exploring the islands of San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, and Isabela, swimming with sharks, paddling with marine iguanas, admiring giant tortoises, and relaxing on the sand next to baby sea lions are some of the incredible experiences that you can expect on the travel to Galapagos Islands.


travel to Galapagos Islands on a budget

Galapagos History

The Galapagos has a fascinating story to tell, from its volcanic genesis to the various types of people who have inhabited the islands throughout time. The islands have a unique ecosystem due to their isolation from other continents, a community of rare species, and volcanic rock landscape, and they sit at the junction of three major ocean currents that bring nutrients. At one point in time, the islands were even a haven for ancient pirates and then used as penal colonies in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Sadly, the abundance of animals in the Galapagos also drew unwanted attention from hunters who desecrated entire populations of tortoises to make oil and food during long ship voyages. It’s worth reading the story of Lonesome George, the world’s last Pinta tortoise from the Galapagos islands. It is a somber reminder of the importance of humans proactively protecting creatures on this planet.

In 1835, a young Charles Darwin stepped foot on the islands and observed how creatures of the Galapagos had adapted to their surroundings. His time spent in the Galapagos was heavily attributed to the development of his theory of evolution. We highly recommend spending some time at the Centro de Interpretacion (Interpretation Center) on San Cristobal island, which has an impressive gallery of Galapagos island history. The Charles Darwin Research Station in Santa Cruz also has valuable information on conservation efforts and is the final resting place for Lonesome George.


Animals in the Galapagos Islands

Galapagos tortoises

One of the main attractions of the Galapagos islands is the incredible collection of endemic animals that inhabit the area. The sight of marine iguanas swimming in the water is an unforgettable experience, almost like encountering legendary creatures from the Mesozoic era when reptiles dominated the earth.

The Galapagos is home to an impressive array of wildlife, including Galapagos tortoises, sea turtles, yellow warblers, blue-footed booby birds, waved albatrosses, Galapagos penguins, fur seals, sea lions, bottlenose dolphins, beaked whales, hammerhead sharks, whitetip reef sharks, and spotted eagle rays. Whether you are on land or in the ocean, you are guaranteed to be in the presence of many of these amazing creatures.


Why should you Travel to Galapagos Islands as soon as possible?

It’s not surprising that many people have the desire to visit the Galapagos islands, as it’s one of the few places where you can see many endemic species in their natural habitat, relatively untouched by urban development. Despite various conservation efforts, the impact of human activity is still a concern. The population of the islands has grown significantly over the years; in 1972, there were fewer than 4000 residents, but in 2010, that number had risen to over 25,000. Locals express concerns about the overly touristy vibe of Santa Cruz Island but acknowledge the importance of tourism in protecting the Galapagos ecosystem.


A note on Best Budget Galapagos Cruise

You can absolutely see the Galapagos by organizing your own trip. Regardless of how you get around between the islands, you will need to fly from Quito or Guayaquil to either of the two airports on the island– San Cristobal (SCY) or Santa Cruz (GPS). While cruises are heavily marketed for the Galapagos, it’s not necessary to book one in order to experience the islands.

They’re worth considering if you want to do a specialty trip focused on scuba diving or seeing certain animals; however, there’s plenty to do (and see) if you plan your own itinerary. It’s fairly easy to book day trips to any of the smaller items you may want to visit. Ultimately, the most economical route is to skip the cruise and travel independently.

Most decent cruises will cost $280 per night, and the fees don’t even include the airfare to get to the islands. As food for thought, the G Adventures Galapagos island hopping cruise (one of the relatively inexpensive 7-day cruises you could find) costs $2099 to visit three islands without all meals included. While it’s possible to find deals in Quito or Guayaquil, it’s important to be cautious when booking a cheap cruise, as there may be underlying reasons for the low cost that could affect your experience.


How can you Travel to Galapagos Islands on a budget?

Once you are in the Galapagos, you can organize day trips, tours, multi-day tours, bike rides, gear rentals, and hail taxis (white trucks) to take you around and travel via ferry between the islands. We recommend arranging your flight so that you fly into one island and out the other. During low-visitor season (June to November), it is easy to organize tours the day before you want to set off. During peak visitor season (December to June), you may want to organize a few days before or have a longer list of alternatives for companies you’d like to work with.

The wifi on the Galapagos islands isn’t great. Don’t waste your precious time by doing painfully slow research on your phone– do as much as you can beforehand. Have a list of what type of tours you want to go on, which company you’d like to travel with, and an idea of how much it costs. Once you are on the islands, it’ll be easy enough to refer to your list and talk to the tour company in person. There are hoards of tour companies that operate all year round, so you should always be to do what you like.


Using the ferries in the Galapagos

The islands of Santa Cruz, Isabela, and San Cristobal are conveniently connected by daily ferries that run between them (typically morning and afternoon). They cost a fixed rate of $30 for a 90 to 120-minute ride on adventurously bumpy waters (take motion sickness pills if you’re prone to nausea).

You can buy your ferry ticket the morning of or pre-arrange a few days before with a tour company. Remember to show up at least 20 minutes before departure time because your belongings will need to go through an agricultural inspection. While most people choose to travel to the Galapagos with backpacks, you will do just fine with hard luggage as well.

Note: Santa Cruz and Isabela use water taxis to charter from the ferry to the dock, so have some small changes readily available in your pocket.


What are some cool, low-cost activities besides tours?

There are many affordable activities to do on the islands, such as self-guided snorkeling, bike rentals, walking to beaches, and taking taxis to get around. Additionally, many attractions are within walking distance of major towns, where most visitors stay. Most museums, conservation centers, and similar buildings are free, but donations are appreciated. Keep in mind that the waters can be cold, so if you plan on snorkeling or diving, ask for a full-length wetsuit. We highly recommend visiting one of the Santa Cruz tortoise reserves or the Isabela hatchery, which costs some money but is worth it.


Eating well and finding cheaper food

Food on the Galapagos can be notoriously expensive compared to mainland Ecuador. Practically everything needs to be brought by boat, which drives up the costs of ingredients. While in Quito, travelers can find a plethora of meal options between $2.00 – $4.00 but may have to do more digging on the islands to find food with good value (some meals can be in the $25 – $30 range). Pescado (fish) is a cheaper local resource and is widely available in the form of fish steaks or soups such as encebollado de Pescado (a delicious must-try item).

Generally, the eateries close to the port or along the main roads near tour agencies are going to be more expensive. Try walking a few streets behind the main areas, keep your eye out for places where locals are eating, and you’ll be sure to find gems such as perfectly prepared BBQ seafood platters of octopus, fish, shrimp, and lobster for $15.00 at La casa del asado de Anibal Garcia on Isabela, the $4.00 daily dinner special of soup, fresh juice, and a main course at Restaurante Lucky on San Cristobal, or massive grilled lobster at one of the many eateries in Los Kioskos in Santa Cruz.

This street holds a boggling number of open-air restaurants that all vie for your patronage with competitive prices.


What other ways to save money in the Galapagos?

  • Bargain for your tours. Most companies will be willing to negotiate with you, and you’ll have much better leverage if you visit during the non-peak season.
  • Buy groceries for breakfast. Many of the tours leave early in the morning, so you might have to skip breakfast at your hostel, or it may be difficult to find restaurants at that time. Buy fruit and pastries for breakfast instead of eating out, which should save you a few dollars every day.
  • Split expensive taxi rides. Ask around at your hostel to see if anyone might be going to the same destination as you. You can split costs such as going to/from the Baltra airport or to the tortoise reserves in Santa Cruz.
  • Buy your flight to the Galapagos as soon as possible. As you get closer to the departure date, prices can climb past $500.00.

For a 6-day trip to the Galapagos, where you can visit 3 islands, do two full-day snorkel tours, eat well, and sleep in nice private hostel rooms, you can expect to spend around $1111.45. That would be an average of $185.24 per day, which is a great deal considering it’s much less than the cost of the average Galapagos cruise. Plus, you can enjoy the freedom to choose your own restaurants and places to stay and plan your own itinerary. Check out our post-travel itinerary for more details.


Galapagos budget breakdown

There aren’t many ATMs located on the islands, so it’s best to come prepared with enough cash to cover your lodging, tours, and accommodations. Santa Cruz does have an easily accessible ATM, but it is hard to find any in San Cristobal or Isabela.

Ferries $90.00
Flight $293.43
Food $133.35
Gear Rental $15.00
Taxis $34.00
Tips $25.00
Visitor Fees $135.00
Tours $230.00
Hotels $155.67
Total: $1,111.45


The Galapagos is a friendly place where locals are willing to share their knowledge of good food, tour guides are helpful in booking arrangements across islands, and taxi drivers negotiate fair prices. Almost every hostel and tour company also has wifi and large jugs of drinking water that can be used to refill water bottles. But most importantly, visiting the Galapagos makes one stop and consider how crucial it is for people to help preserve these precious species of animals and plants. Without focused effort, many of these incredible creatures will not be able to thrive, and future generations won’t be able to appreciate them.

Every little bit counts– from a small donation at a conservation center to reusing water bottles, limiting the use of plastic bags, to picking up bits of litter on the street, so it doesn’t wash into the ocean… all of this matters more than you know. With some planning and research, you will be able to cook up the ultimate travel to Galapagos Islands and experience these things for yourself. If you’re ready to start preparing, you can check out the Galapagos packing list that will get you ready for the islands. Let us know if you have any other questions related to the budget travel to Galapagos Islands!

10 Golden Tips for Traveling Smarter

Traveling is one of the most enriching experiences that one can have. It broadens our perspective and exposes us to different cultures and ways of life. However, it can also be stressful and overwhelming if not planned properly. That’s why we’ve compiled these 10 golden Tips for Traveling to help you make the most out of your adventures. From packing efficiently to finding the best deals on flights, these Tips for Traveling will save you time, money, and hassle, so you can focus on enjoying your journey. So, whether you’re a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first trip, read on to discover how to travel smarter.

Tips for Traveling

1) If you want a cheap flight, be knowledgeable and flexible.

Finding good flight prices can be a headache. In the past, there used to be certain days (such as Tuesdays) that had better fares. Those days are gone. Promotions run throughout the entire week, so there isn’t necessarily a single day that’s better than others. But never fear; there are three things you can do right now to set yourself up to find cheap flights:

  1. Sign up for Scott’s Cheap Flights email newsletter. This is customizable for international travel, so you can opt to only get emails for flights from your airport hub. There is a free version that sends a portion of the flight deals and a premium membership for all of the deals (and well worth the annual fee).
  2. Sign up for The Flight Deal email newsletter, which is another free resource. This is great for domestic travel. Although the newsletter is a bit more cumbersome to read through versus Scott’s Cheap Flights, it is worth signing up for because it covers many more destinations per email.
  3. Sign up to be on the email list for airlines. While it can be annoying to get spammed with frequent emails, you’ll also be the first to know when a promotion is going on.

The first step is knowing which places you’d like to visit and how many days or weeks you’d like to spend there. Keep that list somewhere handy because you’ll feel much more confident booking a flight as soon as a flight deal pops up. Hemming and hawing on a decision can be costly since prices can go up within several hours as they are generally based on demand.

The next step to capitalizing on cheap flights is to be flexible with your dates. Couple this with your list of destinations, and you’ll have so many options in front of you. Finally, if you are still on the fence, keep in mind that most airlines have a 24-hour cancellation policy. If they do, you can always book the flight and continue to research the feasibility of your trip within that time period. Cancel the flight if things don’t work out; no harm done.


2) Carry on instead of checking a bag

Losing luggage at the beginning of a trip has the potential to turn into the worst day ever. Packing more efficiently, bringing less, and carrying on belongings can save time at baggage claim and reduce stress about lost luggage. The key to packing smart and fashionably is to bring items that coordinate easily (neutral tones and solid colors with a few prints), do laundry during the trip and change up your outfit with different accessories such as scarves and hats.

Of course, there are some instances where you will be checking in a bag. If you have to do this, consider buying travel insurance. Certain travel-focused credit cards, such as the Chase Sapphire, even have lost luggage reimbursement programs, so check to see if you have similar perks.


3) Use Wikitravel, TripAdvisor, and blogs for trip planning

When starting at ground zero for trip planning, it’s always helpful to begin by reading the destination’s Wikitravel page to take a pulse on history, climate, transportation, things to eat, and notable features. From there, head over to TripAdvisor and look at the “things to do” list. Most of us only have a limited amount of time in a place, and it’s hard to decide between the hundreds of activities or landmarks to see. Look at the top 20 items on lists to get a sense of which sites are worth visiting. Of course, every traveler has specific interests, so don’t write anything off if it doesn’t rank well; this is just a basis for comparison.

Reading travel blogs can provide personal opinions from those who have visited the same areas. Travel blogs can give you a different perspective of a destination and might also come with hilarious stories that’ll prepare you for anything. There are travel blogs for every kind of niche out there – solo female, amputee, history, vegan, couples, food, fashion, and more. Guidebooks and generic websites simply can’t convey these kinds of perspectives


4) Create a single Google document for your ideas

Once a flight is booked, and travel plans are being made, creating a Google document and sharing it with companions can be important Tips for Traveling. This method involves writing out every date of the trip from departure to return, with bullet points underneath each day for arranging ideas and scheduling activities.

Each day includes the city or activity, accommodation information, and a brief overview of plans. General notes can be added to the bottom of the document, including sections for things like local cuisine, email correspondence, or other useful information. At the beginning of the document, important information such as currency rates, languages spoken, visa requirements, travel shots required, or safety precautions can be highlighted. Using one document can consolidate all travel notes and make it easier to manage when it’s time to go.


5) Print copies of your itinerary and passport

Many people rely heavily on their phones, but there may be times, places, or situations where they cannot use them. For instance, if a phone is dropped in the toilet on day 2 of a trip while in a remote village in Vietnam, it can be problematic. It is recommended to always have a printed copy of the full itinerary with contact information for accommodations and tours, as well as carrying a printed copy of the passport just in case anything should happen to the real one. It is important to keep the passport in the most secure location at all times, usually on the body, as losing it could easily transform the trip into the worst day.


6) When you arrive in a new place, take a walk around by yourself – Listen and observe

Entering a new location can be overwhelming at first, whether it’s for a new job, school, or country. One may feel like an alien on a distant planet without any idea of where to go, what to do, or how to communicate. Alternatively, one might also be eager to explore and have a list of places they intend to visit. Regardless, it can be helpful to take 15 to 20 minutes to walk around a new place.

This can aid in understanding the vibe in a non-intrusive way, familiarizing oneself with the neighborhood, and sparking curiosity about the people one has yet to meet. Subtle head nods and smiles can go a long way, even if you don’t speak the same language.


7) Download offline Google Maps

Traveling without constant access to wifi is common, but many people navigate using Google Maps to get around. It’s advisable to download an offline map so that one can keep track of their location without draining their data or hotspot battery life. Keep in mind certain features such as bike routes, transit details, and walking directions won’t work offline, but you will still be able to search addresses and businesses and get yourself over to them.

Instructions to download offline maps

  • Download Google Maps on your phone
  • Type in the city or area, such as “Quito, Ecuador”
  • Click the 3-line menu bar in the top left corner, then select offline areas
  • Under “download, an offline area,” click “custom area.”
  • Zoom out of the area as far as it can go, and hit download
  • Once the download is complete, you can rename the area you’ve downloaded, so it makes sense, such as “Quito, Ecuador.”
  • Offline areas are kept for 30 days and then expire automatically
  • If you need to keep the area longer than 30 days, click on it and hit “update.”


8) Traveling to another country isn’t necessarily the time for you to go “off the grid”

When it comes to wifi, having access to it whenever possible can greatly enhance your travel experience. In today’s world, it can be difficult to fully disconnect from work messages, even while on vacation. Although it may be tempting to disconnect completely, having internet connectivity can be beneficial for researching contextual information, translating languages, finding restaurants, communicating, and navigating while traveling abroad. It’s not uncommon to stop and explore a neighborhood, and in these situations, doing some quick research on a phone can help you better understand what you’re experiencing.


9) Order what they’re having

How will you discover your favorite local dish if you never get a chance to taste it? It may seem like common knowledge, but don’t forget to use your intuition when it comes to travel and food. If a restaurant is crowded with people and it smells good inside, you’ve likely hit a gastronomic jackpot. Don’t know how to read the menu? It’s all good (and perhaps even better that way). Just look around, spot something that piques your interest, and order what they’re having. The very worst thing that might happen is that you don’t enjoy the dish and will have to order another one. Not a lot to lose and much to gain by unearthing a tasty treasure.


10) Global Entry will save you precious time

If you are a person who travels frequently, it is advisable to consider getting Global Entry. This would allow for easy passage through processing lines, eliminate the need to fill out customs paperwork, and also give access to TSA PreCheck eligibility. Global Entry is available at major US airports, and its application fee is around $100. Once approved, the Global Entry status would be valid for 5 years.

Though the application process involves an online application and an in-person interview, it is worth the effort, as time is a valuable commodity. The TSA PreCheck program is also available for an application fee of $85 and is valid for 5 years upon approval. However, Global Entry covers TSA PreCheck, making it a better option for those willing to pay a little more.


Traveling can seem daunting at times because there are so many components involved– saving, research, strategy, wrangling people together, contacting companies, and so on. It’s a labor of love that we do because we’re curious about the world, and we’re compelled to see it with our own eyes. We hope these golden Tips for Traveling will help you more efficiently. Also, we suggest you take a look at the 52 Creative Ways to Save Money for Travel and Bucket list ideas from world-class travelers to get travel ideas.

Do you have any advice of your own on traveling smarter? We’d like to hear about it in the comments below!

17 Bucket List Ideas From World-Class Travelers

What do you think of when you search for your Bucket List Ideas? Do you conquer fears? Do you seek new experiences? Are these things unattainable in your present life? No matter what you write down, we believe bucket lists are special because they represent potential. No matter what your present state is, your future is still wide open.


We spoke to some of the world-class travelers to find out where they’ve been and what they think you should see. This isn’t your average catalog of bucket list ideas. It is a collective of offbeat travel destinations from real people who started off with an idea– just like you. We hope this will inspire you to seek transformative travel across oceans, rainforests, and beyond your wildest dreams.


#17 Getting Lost in Colombia’s Ciudad Perdida, the “Lost City”

Colombia’s Ciudad Perdida, the “Lost City”

Sometimes, it’s a better experience to get lost than to get led, to explore rather than listen to an explanation. This is why we think Colombia’s Ciudad Perdida is a better experience than visiting the Disney-fied circus that Machu Picchu has become.

The trek to Ciudad Perdida is a challenging three-day hike that involves sleeping in hammocks, enduring insect bites, and avoiding snakes that the guide described as only “a little bit poisonous.” However, the experience of connecting with global backpackers in a communal setting more than made up for the physical exertion and minor injuries.

While Ciudad Perdida itself may not be as architecturally impressive as Machu Picchu, its lack of grandiosity is part of its appeal. In fact, taking just a few steps off the trail can lead to getting completely lost in the sound-absorbing jungle, which was once known as “the green hell.” The nearby villages remain largely unchanged from ancient times, making the trek an authentic and unique experience.


#16 Finding a Ruin Bar in Budapest

Discovering the unconventional side of Budapest is one of the things that endear visitors to the city. The ruin bars offer a unique nightlife experience for those seeking an alternative to traditional bars. These bars are located in various ruins throughout the city, often in old communist buildings. Exploring the crumbling interiors of these bars reveals numerous rooms, nooks, and crannies to discover.

Many ruin bars have multiple bars within them, playing indie music, showcasing random scenes on tvs, and offering hookah to patrons. The adventure of finding these bars adds to their allure, as they are often nondescript and located down dark alleyways, making it easy to get lost in the city. Overall, visiting a ruin bar is a must for those looking for an unforgettable and unconventional night out in Budapest.


#15 Spending the Night at a Mayan Village in the Yucatan of Mexico

Spending the night at a Mayan village in the Yucatan of Mexico offers a unique opportunity to experience the rich culture and way of life of the indigenous people. The traditional Mayan huts, known as Palapas, offer a rustic and authentic experience, allowing visitors to step out of their comfort zone and immerse themselves in the local culture.

During the stay, visitors may be invited to join in local celebrations or rituals, such as a traditional Mayan birthday party or a shaman-led cleansing ceremony. These experiences offer a chance to try traditional Mayan food and learn about the unique spiritual beliefs and practices of the culture.


#14 Bowling in North Korea

Bowling may not be the first activity that one associates with North Korea due to the negative image portrayed by the media. However, for those with an open mind, visiting this mysterious country can offer a unique and eye-opening experience.

One recommended activity is to visit local bowling alleys and mix in with the crowd. Despite preconceptions, the alleys can get quite busy and provide an opportunity to observe how locals spend their free time and interact with them. Celebrating each other’s victories in bowling games with neighboring bowlers can also be a fun and social experience.


#13 Swimming at the Natural Hot Springs – Hierve el Agua in Oaxaca

Swimming at the Natural Hot Springs – Hierve el Agua in

Hierve el Agua is a special destination that stands out among the many places in the world to visit. It’s a natural hot springs/rock formation in rural Oaxaca with pools that have been eroded out of the rock with incredible views of the valley. Half the fun is the difficulty of getting there (if you don’t do a tour, it requires multiple bus/taxi transfers) and the fact that it’s hidden at the top of this random valley. A magical place to add to your bucket list ideas.


#12 Getting massaged by the Blind at Omamori Spa in Hanoi

This is one of the most unusual experiences you can get in Hanoi. Not only do you get an incredible massage for less than €15, but you can also support an amazing cause. Omamori Spa on Hang Bun Street and Huynh Thuc Khang Street is run by a social enterprise called Blind-Link which offers employment to people who are blind or visually impaired. These skilled masseuses have an exceptional awareness of the body and are attentive to any aches and pains, making for a massage experience like no other.


#11 Street Racing Mario Kart in Tokyo

There have been recent crackdowns on go-karting in the streets of Tokyo, and word on the street is that go-karting and Robot restaurants might soon be a thing of the past. Who doesn’t want to relive their childhood memories of playing Mario Kart on the Super Nintendo…but in real life? The experience of driving a go-kart dressed up as Mario and going 90km per hour on the highways of Japan is something that shouldn’t be missed. It is recommended to experience it soon before it’s too late.


#10 Scuba Diving at the World’s Deepest Indoor Diving Pool in Brussels, Belgium

When looking up things to do during a stint in Brussels, many expect waffle-making classes, events in Grand-Place, and Belgian chocolate tours galore. Scuba diving is not typically on the radar. For avid divers who have enjoyed dive meccas all over the world, from the Caribbean to Thailand, Belgium is not a place that often comes to mind.

However, much to their delight, there is Nemo 33, a gigantic dive waterpark. The deepest section of the pool plunges all the way to 113 feet, and it contains 660,000 gallons of water in total. Visitors can spend the afternoon swimming around, peeping through the pool’s windows at the patrons enjoying the dive shop’s restaurant, and exploring an underwater world in a place one would never expect to find themselves scuba diving.


#9 Hang-gliding in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, hang gliding is a must-try experience. Running off the edge of a mountain and soaring hundreds of meters above one of the most beautiful cities in the world is an unforgettable experience. The lack of control may be daunting at first, but once you get over it, the feeling of flying is incomparable. Warm winds from the ocean can lift you above the take-off point, giving you a longer flight time and incredible views of the city and its landmarks, such as Pedra de Gavea and sugar loaf. It’s one of the top bucket list ideas that have a breathtaking experience that words cannot fully describe.


#8 Volcano Boarding in Nicaragua

Sliding down an active volcano on a makeshift toboggan is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience because there is only one place in the world with the ideal conditions to do it: Cerro Negro near Leon, Nicaragua. The novelty, the idea of danger, and the sheer ridiculousness of the whole concept are what make the experience so unique and memorable.

Once you book your tour, hike up the ash-ridden volcano, and put your jumpsuit on, it’s all up to you to control your board. Go as fast or as slow as you feel comfortable and try not to wipe out. Everyone should experience this because it will be one of the unique things they have ever done.


#7 Cycle around the Aran Islands in Ireland

Cycle around the Aran Islands in Ireland

It’s an experience that shouldn’t be missed. A day trip to Inishmore, the largest of the three islands, can easily be done from either Galway or Dingle by taking a ferry. The ferry ride may not be for the faint of heart, but the journey is just as memorable as the destination. Once on the island, rent a bike and take the “seal colony” route to see the seals sunbathing during low tide.

The Aran Islands transport you back in time with its rock fences and small population, making you feel like you’re in Ireland. It’s recommended to leave a few days in your schedule instead of one, so you won’t feel rushed. Also, don’t forget to check out the Cliffs of Moher and the town of Dingle.


#6 Frogging, Alligators, and Eating in the Louisiana Bayou

Exploring the Louisiana Bayou offers a unique experience that many visitors to New Orleans might miss out on. While Bourbon Street is a popular destination, venturing outside the city can lead to unforgettable experiences. One such experience is frogging, which involves using a pole and net to catch frogs in the swamps. It’s important to look for the white glow of their eyes to avoid catching alligators instead.

To round out the day, a visit to a local Cajun restaurant is a must. A mixed plate of fried catfish, crawfish, alligator, frog legs, chicken wings, hush puppies, and boudin (a sausage mixed with rice) is a tasty way to experience the local cuisine. While the activities may seem unusual, the overall experience is a must-try for anyone visiting the Louisiana Bayou.


#5 Hiking Through the Pyrenees in Andorra

Growing up, many countries were never mentioned in history classes. It is fascinating to research all that we were never taught about the world. Micro-nations like Andorra are often overlooked, but once you arrive, it’s hard to believe it’s not at the forefront of everyone’s bucket list ideas. On a sunny day in July, the small mountain town of Soldeu in Andorra was breathtaking. The Pyrenees mountains were stunning, and the water was crystal clear.

Despite not being a well-known destination, the hiking experience in Andorra was unforgettable, and the air was invigorating. It’s a reminder that just because something isn’t on everyone’s radar, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be on yours. You can add Andorra to your bucket list ideas to experience the breathtaking beauty of the Pyrenees mountains.


#4 Motorcycling North Island New Zealand

Traveling by motorcycle is one of the most rewarding challenges one can think of. It’s a task that requires full attention, quick wits, and attention to detail. If any of these three details are compromised, the consequences could lead to some serious road rash. But the reward of where the bike will take you and what you will see is well worth it.

Motorcycling through North Island, New Zealand, can be an exciting and adventurous experience. The island offers a diverse range of landscapes, from sandy beaches to volcanic peaks, rolling hills to dense forests, and serene lakes to bustling cities. Overall, a motorcycling trip through North Island, New Zealand, can be a rewarding and memorable experience for adventure seekers who are prepared to follow safety guidelines and respect the local culture and environment.


#3 Hiking Montenegro’s Wild Mountains

Montenegro is one of Europe’s newest countries, having been one of the last countries to separate in the breakup of Yugoslavia in 2006. It’s overshadowed by its neighbor to North Croatia, which has become a holiday favorite. While some people are starting to visit the Montenegrin coastline, where we think the country really shines, its wild, untouched mountains and national parks.

Durmitor National Park in the northeastern corner of Montenegro is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been. The geography is insanely rugged and beautiful, having been carved from melting glaciers over hundreds of thousands of years. Hiking through, you’ll pass through landscapes that alternate looking like Iceland, Scotland, New Zealand, and beyond.

You can do multi-day treks or do an epic one-day hike that brings you to the peak of Bobotov Kuk, the Durmitor range’s highest mountain at 2,525 meters. From the peak, you can see three countries all at once: Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Serbia. On the way back, you can stop by ice caves or the famous Black Lake. This part of the world is still very much undiscovered, and hiking there is something that all lovers of the outdoors should do!


#2 Staying in Remote Jungle Hostels

Being completely immersed in nature at a remote jungle hostel can be an incredible experience! Falling asleep and waking up to the sounds of monkeys howling, birds chirping, and critters rustling through the jungle can be a mesmerizing experience. You might spot monkeys swinging through the air, toucans resting on the treetops, or lizards scurrying across the ground. But it’s essential to be careful not to step on any giant toads in the dark.

What really makes a jungle hostel amazing is having plenty of hiking trails to explore. Lost & Found Hostel in Panama is a great option for hiking enthusiasts, with trails leading to scenic viewpoints, swift rivers, and secret caves. It’s definitely worth the steep 15-minute trek with all your gear to get to this hostel. The treasure hunt here encourages guests to make new friends and have a great time hiking through the jungle to uncover clues to a puzzle.

Bolita Hostel in Costa Rica is also a highly recommended bucket list ideas for those seeking an intense jungle hostel experience. It’s located on the edge of Corcovado National Park, one of the most biologically intense places on Earth, and you need to cross two rivers to reach the hostel.


#1 Trekking the Tour du Mont Blanc

One could never have fathomed how much a single trek could change the trajectory of their travel lust. The Tour du Mont Blanc is a famous world-class route that takes you 170 kilometers (or 105 miles) through the legendary Alps of France, Italy, and Switzerland. This is the first long-distance trek that many undertake and self-guide. For more details about these bucket list ideas, you can check the 7-Day Self-Guided Tour Du Mont Blanc Itinerary and What You Need To Know To Do A Self-Guided Tour Du Mont Blanc Hike.


In conclusion, these 17 bucket list ideas from world-class travelers offer a glimpse into the vast array of experiences that travel has to offer. From trekking through the legendary Alps to exploring remote jungle hostels and from motorcycling through New Zealand and many more, the possibilities are endless. By stepping out of our comfort zones and embracing new challenges, we can broaden our horizons and create memories that last a lifetime. So, whether you’re an avid traveler or just starting to plan your next adventure, consider adding one of these experiences to your bucket list and let the journey begin!