‘I’ve just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I’ll tell you what, never again.’ (Comedian Tim Vine: winner of the prize for the funniest joke of 2010’s Edinburgh Fringe.)
So, this is our last blog post, having completed our round the world odyssey. We thought we’d finish with a few tips and ideas that we’ve picked up along the way…
Great stuff to pack
These are some of the things in our suitcases that really came in handy:
– Hair bands came in useful for all sorts of things – holding food wrappers together, keeping charging cables tidy and even occasionally for tying my hair back!
– We have been blogging and booking our hotels using an iPad, and before we travelled, we invested in a Logitech iPad keyboard, which connects via bluetooth and makes it a lot easier to edit text. A really good idea if you’re planning on writing more than just the odd email. (Do be aware, however, that because it connects via bluetooth the keyboard isn’t useable on flights.)
– We also bought an iPad camera connection kit, which has been awesome. You simply take your memory card out of your camera (or connect the camera via USB) and use it to transfer photos directly onto the iPad. From there, we were also able to back up our pictures using Dropbox. A really great way to make sure your photos are safe.
– We also got some mini business cards made by moo.com, to give to people we met as we travelled around. The photos were stock ones from moo.com, but happened to be of New York and San Francisco, which was perfect!
Our favourite websites and apps
– Trivago is great for booking hotels – it allows you to search easily and identify what matters to you (how close you want it to be to the city centre, cost, reviews etc.). And we found it offered cheaper options than Trip Advisor in many cases.
– For food and drink recommendations, Yelp and Urbanspoon were fantastic in the USA and Sydney. Why use the guidebook when you can get up-to-date reviews from local people?
– For money, XE Currency is a free app that allows you to easily calculate exchange rates, and Trail Wallet budgeting app was really helpful in making sure we didn’t go bust along the way!
With all of those long train journeys and flights to contend with, we were always on the lookout for ways to keep ourselves entertained. I love to download podcasts, particularly The Football Ramble, No Such Thing As A Fish (from the QI “elves”) and anything by Slate, particularly The Political Gabfest. My latest addiction is Serial, from America’s National Public Radio – it is a multi-part true crime story and makes for compulsive listening! We both also adore Radio 4’s series “Cabin Pressure“, and are currently re-listening to all of the episodes in preparation for the last ever instalment, which will be broadcast as a two-parter on Radio 4 on 23 and 24 December.
Other tips and tricks
While in Tokyo, we placed an online supermarket order, for delivery shortly after our return home. Hugely convenient – I love living in the future!
** If you only read one of our travel tips, read this one! **
However, our biggest and best tip is this: always, always, without fail, carry food with you!
We both feel very lucky to have travelled around the world with our best friend – but even we argue sometimes, and it is almost always because one of us is hungry (or “hangry” – i.e. hungry and angry!)! So the simplest but most important tip is this: buy and carry hangry bars (aka cereal bars or, in Japan, anything that you can find at the local Seven Eleven that vaguely resembles a cereal bar!) at all times, and don’t be afraid to eat them whenever necessary (i.e. don’t wait because “we are going to get lunch soon” – the point is that you may not be able to find anywhere to eat in time)!
That’s all folks!
And that’s all! Our journey is over, we’re back home and it’s time to unpack and catch up on the washing.
We really hope you’ve enjoyed reading the blog as much as we’ve enjoyed writing it. Thanks for all your comments, likes, follows and feedback – it’s really meant a lot to us and it’s made our adventure even more enjoyable being able to share it as we’ve been travelling.