There’s a difference between traveling and smart traveling. This difference could mean you on a beach getting handed mango mojitos by a smothering hot babe or sitting in a ditch as mosquitos bite your ass and chickens peck your face off.
Tyler Thompson held a comfortable position at corporate Target near Los Angeles, California, managing a group of thirty team members and crunching numbers all day until he left it all to travel. He’s ventured off to Europe, New Zealand, Central America, Brazil and China.
He admits his favorite place in the world to wander is Prague, with Budapest being a close second. He enjoys Bocas del Toro in Panama for wild and stunning nightlife and China for a variety of mind-blowing food. Thompson is inspired and astonished by architecture, sky-high buildings and the fast paced way of life from thriving cities. This coming March he heads to Barcelona, Spain for nine months to pursue a Masters Degree in International Business.
From lesson-learned-experience, Thompson has developed a smart modern-day routine for getting the best experiences while traveling using apps, banks and a lack of planning. Yep, you read that correctly. Below are his go-to-tips for spending more money at the bar and less on parking tickets.
Download “Hostel World” from the app store. Don’t give hotels your money. Hostels are great ways to meet new people from around the world. Hostel World allows you to see reviews, cost, layout and location. You can book the day before or the day of. Enter the city where you’re heading, travel date then review and book in a matter of minutes. If you don’t like the idea of sleeping in the same room as others, most hostels offer private rooms for a fraction of the cost of a hotel room.
Use Tinder to meet locals. Its used mostly as a way to hook up but Tinder is a great way to meet the coolest locals who actually know the restaurants and nightlife better then any concierge working at a hotel. Make sure to swipe a few days prior to arriving to your destination giving future friends a chance to set up meetings.
Let your credit card company pay for your flight. American Airlines partnered with Citibank to earn you miles every time you use it, enabling you to gain points towards a free international flight. Your flight is probably the most costly part of your trip. This eliminates that worry altogether. If you don’t purchase enough to gain points, let your friends charge items to your card and have them write you a check. Problem solved.
Buses rule the world. Take the buss. It’s cheap and they are everywhere. Most people on busses wont bother you and it’s fun to be submerged into the transit system used by the locals.
Don’t plan too much. Definitely have the skeleton of your trip figured out but along the way you’re going to meet people and plans will always change. Don’t have something planed everyday. Leave days open to explore and get lost. That’s how the best memories are made.
Follow Tyler on Instagram at tthom1010