Backpacking Indonesia is a take a journey into a different world.
I have spent months backpacking Indonesia. I’ve had wild adventures with Orangutans, explored remote villages in Wakatobi, and gone surfing in Bali.
However, I have only scratched the surface of the adventures, and rich culture that backpacking Indonesia has to offer travelers. This post highlights all the backpacking Indonesia travel tips I have learned throughout my journeys into one of the best countries in Southeast Asia.
Backpacking Indonesia – Why Go?
One of the reasons I love Indonesia is because of all the exciting adventures the country holds. Indonesia offers some experiences that no other country in Southeast Asia can offer.
Indonesia is made up of 17,000 islands, out of which over 900 have people living on them. Across these thousands of islands are over 300 different cultures. All these islands are different both in looks and experiences.
One reason to travel to Indonesia is because it is a vast country made up of islands. This means it is easy to find remote locations, and stray off the beaten path. Trek through the jungles in search of the Komodo Dragons, or bum out on the beaches of Bali; Indonesia has something for everyone.
When to travel to Indonesia
The temperature tends to stay between 70 to 90 F year round.Yep, it is pretty much paradise. Although, the country does have a wet and dry season.
Wet Season – The wet season begins at the end of October and goes until April. This is still a good time to go backpacking through Indonesia just make sure to pack smarter.
Dry season – Dry season begins in May and goes until October.
However, Indonesia is so big that in some places, like Sumatra the seasons are switched.
Peak Tourist Season – The peak tourist season in Indonesia is from mid-summer to the mid-September. This means slightly higher prices, and dealing with larger crowds.
Before Backpacking Indonesia
How much does it cost to travel Indonesia
Indonesia is affordable to backpackers, and travelers. In fact, you can easily get by with 600-1000 USD a month.
Accommodation – It is easy to find good, and cheap hostels on sites like hostelworld. Indonesia has a variety of hostels to choose from.
For those looking for a little more privacy, Airbnb is a good option.
Right now you can save $35 OFF your first stay with Airbnb using this link.
Daily Budget- This depends on you. You can travel Indonesia for $20 a day if you watch your money. However, A safer budget for Indonesia is around $30 -$40 USD a day.
Travel Insurance- It is always important to travel with insurance. It isn’t so pricey and protects you, and your savings. Traveling without insurance is not smart plain and simple.
For Insurance I use RoamRight. It is a company I love!
Some people are who are nervous about traveling to Southeast Asia solo and would rather explore on a tour. While I understand this fear I have to say that I have not had one problem when backpacking Indonesia.
However, a tour is a great way to meet other backpackers and Indonesia travelers. A tour is a great option for those a little nervous.
The capital city offers a lot of markets, shopping, and temples. Jakarta is a busy city and has a population of over 9 million people. That is a ton of people. Personally, I wouldn’t suggest spending more than a few days in Jakarta. Indonesia offers destinations that are more fun and exotic.
Things to see in Jakarta.
Grand Indonesia Shopping Town
Taman Mini Indonesia
Best Day Trips from Jakarta
Bogor – The third largest city in Indonesia offers sits at a higher elevation. This means cooler temperatures and less humidity. Bogor also has famed botanical gardens and the presidential palace.
Pelabuhan – This is a wonderful fishing village. The surrounding area also has some fantastic resorts for those waiting a relaxed holiday.
Borobudur – In all honest Borobudur isn’t a day trip. But Jakarta is a good spot for a home base for those heading to Indonesia’s most famous temple. Borobudur is an hour flight or ten-hour bus ride from Jakarta which means you can be there and back to the city within a few days.
The third largest island in the world offers some unique wildlife experiences. This thick jungle is beautiful, and there are some great tours that let you see it. One of my favorites is the tour to Camp Leaky to see the wild orangutans. The few days I have spent in Borneo are some of my favorite in Indonesia.
Things to do Backpacking Borneo
River Cruise – Spend a few days cruising down the rivers and deep into the jungles of Borneo. You have the chance to see crocodiles, proboscis monkeys, and much more wild life.
See the Orangutans – This is part of your journey when traveling down the river. Borneo is an Orangutans pervasive. It is only one of two places in the world where you can see these impressive “humans” of the forest.
Get up close and personal with these mesmerizing creatures, trust me, it is worth it.
Wakatobi and the surrounding islands are a great hotspot for those waiting to get away from the touristic epicenters of Jakarta or Bail. Wakatobi has a chill atmosphere. However, Wakatobi has some amazing experiences.
Things to do when Backpacking Wakatobi
Scuba Diving – Wakatobi has some of the most diverse, and impressive scuba diving in the world. One reason I love the diving in Wakatobi is that not many people know about it. Yep, Wakatobi has insane diving, yet, it is still off the radar. There is a good chance you get these waters to yourself.
Snorkeling – If scuba diving is not your cup of tea then you are in luck. Wakatobi also offers excellent snorkeling showcasing a variety of colorful coral reefs.
Bajo Village – I loved my day at the Bajo Village. This cultural experience takes you to a remote people that live their entire lives on the water. Thier houses are built on stilts in the ocean, and at low tides, they wade out to collect shrimp and out seafood snacks.
Bali is the grand jewel for travelers backpacking Indonesia. Bali has soft sandy beaches, lush, rice fields, temples to explore. It is a hotspot for yoga, diving, and snorkeling. Bali is the biggest tourism destination in Indonesia.
Ululwata – This cliffside temples complex is a must see when visiting Bali. Uluwatu offers cultural story tellings, scenic sunsets, and monkeys.
Shopping – Bali has fantastic markets to explore, and see. Haggle and get some cool souvenirs
Learn to Surf- Looking to catch some waves. Bali is a great place to learn to surf. In fact, the first (and one of the only) wave I ever caught was in there. There are some awesome surf schools for great prices.
Explore the rice fields- There has some beautiful rice plantations. Rent a bike take some scenic drives or there are even opportunities to do home stays and work in the rice fields for a day. Just are just a few of the many things to do in Bali.
Komodo National Park
Without a doubt one of my favorite stops when backpacking Indonesia is Komodo. This is a land of dragons, indescribable islands, and crystal clear water. Komodo is awesome and a perfect stop for adventure travelers.
Backpacking Indonesia is a trip that you will remember for a long time to come. When traveling to Indonesia make sure to use these backpacking Indonesia trips. They will help you navigate some of the best spots the country has to offer.
When A Trip to a Vanishing Location with Cyber Ghost!
T his week I am excited to announce that I have teamed up with Cyber Ghost VPN to bring you a contest of epic proportions.
Up for grabs is a free trip for two. This trip will embark on to an off the beaten track locaiton.
Which vanishing point is your dream desitnation?
Using a vpn to stay safe while Travel
Before we get to the contest, I talk a little about the important of safe wifi when traveling and how a VPN is one of the best ways to access the internet securely when you are abroad.
Cyber Ghost provides people with virtual private network or VPN. A VPN lets you surf the web privately and safely by rerouting your IP address.
A lot of people aren’t aware that even when using a password protected wifi network that they are still at risk. What a VPN does is it creates a separate network just for you.
This network is encrypted and decrypted across the connection which makes it much harder for a hacker to steal your information. Using a VPN, I can feel safe doing everything from logging into my this website to paying a bill. It doesn’t matter if I am in an airport lounge or in a hotspot in a park, a VPN gives me security.
Because you are rerouting your connection, it also gives you access to some sites that are banned by in the country you are visiting. For example, when I am traveling China I use a VPN to access Google, FB and other sites that are essential to getting my days work done.
Vpn’s rock and help keep your information safe whether you are traveling or sitting in a coffee shop.
Do I use a VPN while traveling? Absolutely I do?
Vanishing Locations Contest
Now for the question you can’t stop wondering about!
What is the contest?
You can win a trip for two to a vanishing location. Some of these are incredibly hard to reach locations around the world. There are eight locations that which you can see below.
These are seriuosly some amazing locations! Who wouldn’t want to win a trip for you and a friend for a 7 day vacation to one of these Vanishing Locations. (Personally, I would vote for Easter Isand, or the Amazon Rainforest)
Entering the Contest
Cyber Ghost has made this contest insanely easy to enter.
Plus, there are easy ways to gain multiple entries, which of course, increases your chances of winning!
So, why wait! let’s talk about how to enter!
You can gain a total of 80 points.
10 Points for Voting.
20 points for downloading the app,
10 points for sharing the contest on social media.
40 points for finding the banners in the Cyberghost app.
ENTERING THE CONTEST
Here the ways to enter into the contest.
1 – Vote for your Top Destination
2 –Share the contest on your social media account
(Make sure to use the hashtag #CyberGhostVanishingPoint)
3 –Downland and find the banners inside the Cyberghost app
The contest runs from Monday September 19th until October 20th, 2016.
Once the voting period is over Cyber Ghost. The winner will be selected at random by Cyber Ghost.
My advice is to get all 80 points which will only increase the chances of your winning.
Head over to Cyber Ghost to enter the contest and see all the details.
I've been traveling the world 24/7 for the last 4 years. Along the way I have found some pretty cool places, learned some tricks and tips, and had some cool adventures. Helping you travel is my passion READ MORE
The Course that Taught me How to Travel Blog is Back
Backpacking Thailand is an important part of most travels heading into the wondrous part of the world known as South East Asia. In fact Thailand is one most peoples backpacking through Asia itinerary for a few reasons.
I mean, Thailand’s culture is friendly ( though it seems backwards sometimes), the food delicious, the islands, like Koh Lipe , are picturesque, and the nightlife is out of control.
Mix that all up with the cheap price tag, and it is easy to see why Thailand draws hundreds of thousands of tourist and backpackers every year. After all what more do backpackers want!?
Before we get any further, I am going to come clean. I have a massive love affair with Thailand so that this post might seem a little bias about the awesomeness of the country. If you don’t stay on your toes you’ll be sucked into the culture and soon be head over heels in love.
While it is impossible to sum up such a complex and beautiful country in a couple of thousand words, this guide will help give you the information you need to start planning your travels in Thailand.
After reading this guide, you will have a better understanding of what to do and what to expect when backpacking Thailand.
So, if you are backpacking Thailand you are in the right place.
Know I know what you are saying to yourself, ” No offense, Stephen….but there are a ton of backpacking Thailand blog post, why should we listen to yours?”.
Vaild question! Well, one reason is that I have spent over a year of my life traveling the country. It is also a country I have lived in twice. Basically (not to talk myself up) but I have spent more than my fair share of time backpacking Thailand.
Why Go Backpacking in Thailand
Let’s talk about why you should take a trip backpacking Thailand.
Thailand is special because it caters to every traveler need, and also every type of traveler. Whether you are a luxury traveler or a dirty backpacker (like myself), you are going to get the trip you want.
A lot of backpackers travel Thailand to party all nights on the islands like Koh Phangan.
Looking to sip cocktails, sit on the beach, and never leave the resort then head to Koh Samui.
Others, like myself, love the north of Thailand for the trekking, road trips, and culture.
Thailand is a country that caters to your every need, and you can have whatever type of trip you want.
Best Time to Visit Thailand
Peak season- Thailand’s peak tourist season is from November to February.
Weather- There are two major seasons in Thailand. Hot/rainy, and warm/dry.
Summer Temperatures – Summer in Thailand is March to June. April tends to be the hottest month with temperatures being around 96 °F to 104 °F (36-40 °C).
Winter Temperatures – Thailand cools off November to February. Temperatures are still warm. Somewhere around 80 °F. (30ish °C)
How Much to Budget when Backpacking Thailand
Monthly Budget – The cost of backpacking Thailand varies a lot. The country has a ton of fun activities to indulge. Backpacking Thailand on a small budget will cost around $900.
However, it is possible to backpack Thailand cheaper. I’ve known people to travel Thailand for $600 a month.
However, I wouldn’t recommend it. Why would you want to fly all the way to Thailand to sit in a hostel eating noodles? Make sure you have some cash to have some fun right?
If you want to add scuba diving, island hopping, partying,a Sak Yant tattoo, trekking, motorbike rentals, and other things I would budget for at least $1200 a month.
Daily Budget – I’ve spent less than $10 a day in Thailand and more than $100. It depends on what you are doing. A safe backpacking Thailand budget is $30 a day.
Flight – Flights to Thailand are cheaper than you think. I’ve flown from the U.S. to Thailand one way for under $300. Using some tricks to find insanely cheap flight, and knowing the right websites like Kayak Flights is essential to finding a right flight.
Travel Insurance – I use RoamRight for all my travel insurance. They are a great company, and I have never had a problem with them.
Here is why travel insurance is a must. Dengue is rare in Thailand, but it does happen. I have a friend that just got Dengue Fever in Thailand.
She spent five days in the hospital, and her bill was over $5,000. Luckily she had insurance, and they covered the whole thing.
Dengue might be rare in Thailand, but it does happen.
Another buddy of mine got bit by a dog and had to get $1600 in shots.
Which the insurance covered.
Where to Stay in Thailand
I recommend a couple of type of accommodations
Airbnb – Renting a room in a house is a fantastic way to meets some locals. There are cheaper ways to stay in Aisa, bit Airbnb is a good option if you are looking for privacy or staying with a local.
Also, Airbnb is cheap if you are staying in the same city in Thailand for a month or longer.
The food… man oh man the food. A couple of the best dishes are the rich coconut curries, spicy salads, and chicken stir fried with vegetables.
Personally, I always head straight for the hole in the wall restaurants or indulge in street food. They have the cheapest price tag, and the food is almost always better.
An average meal will cost between $1-$3. Restaurants that cater to westerns and western food cost between $6-$12 a meal.
Tips to Find Mouth-Watering Food
Walk Around –Head down the side streets and alleys. Don’t be afraid to eat in a place that looks a little dirty as long as you can see where they prepare the food.
Street Food- Cheap and amazing…. enough said.
Ask the hostel staff –Ask the staff. Tell them you want to get away from the tourist restaurants and find the local hotspots.
Getting Around Thailand
Thailand runs off of buses, ferries, and trains. Lately budget airline flight prices have been so good that I have just been paying a little extra to fly.
Budget airlines in Thailand are Air Asia and Tiger Air.
However, Buses are the cheapest option. While Trains and planes are a bit more expensive.
Tours in Thailand
Companies also Thailand backpacking trips. These are good in your are backpacking Thailand alone and looking for some company.
A couple of my favorite companies are G Adventures, and Intrepid Travel. . They both are good companie and offer different types ofThailand tour. However, they are worth checking out if you are looking for tours in Thailand.
Places to See in Thailand
There are a ton of different cities to see when backpacking Thailand. Here are a few of the top ones and some suggestion of what to do when visiting this cities.
However, there is more to do in Bangkok than just backpackers partying.
Get off the regular tourist track and you will see a very deep city, full of culture and life.
Sadly, most people backpacking Thailand never get off Koh San Road long enough to see it.
Where to stay – I’ve been to Bangkok over 12 times, and I highly recommend either Lub’d
They are hands down the best hotels in Bangkok and a couple of my favorite hostels in the entire world.
What to see in Bangkok
Royal Palace – Over 300 years old, this extravagant palace is the main tourist attraction in Bangkok.
Cost to visit the Royal Palace: Thai people get in free. Everyone else it cost 500 Baht ($15)
Visit Bangkok’s other Temples- You might get templed out if you attempt to visit all of these in a couple of days, but here are some other.popular temples in Bangkok.
• Wat Kalayanamit • Wat Saket and the Golden Mount • Wat Benchamabophit • Wat Traimit
Don’t have a lot of time, not to worry. Here is the perfect way to spend 3 days in Bangkok.
What to do in Bangkok
Shop till you drop – Downtown Bangkok is filled with massive malls. Many of them are all right next to each other. Take the BTS (Sky train) to the Siam stop and you will be surrounded by shopping centers.
Party- Nightlife in Bangkok never ends. The city is wild, and I have had more than one morning I woke up and felt like I had just reenacted the movie Hangover 2.
The Main party streets in Bangkok are Koh San Rd and Soi Cowboy.
Markets – The weekly markets in Bangkok are ok. However, they are nothing compared to the massive weekend market. This market has over 8,000 stalls and shops. Some of the shops are price, but many of them are also very affordable.
How to get to Chatuchak Weekend Market: Take the BTS to Mo Chit station. The market is open Friday through Sunday.
Chiang Mai is a city that’s dear to my heart. It is a place I have called home twice in my life.
The main draws of Chiang Mai are the food, the overwhelming friendly locals, and the low price.
The quality of living in Chaing Mai for the price is insane. If you are looking to take a break from the road, and looking for a cheap hideout, then Chiang Mai is the city for you. It is possible to live like a king for $1,000 a month.
Things to See in Chiang Mai
Doi Sup Thep – The famous temple in Chaing Mai. Full of gold statues, and has some amazing views of the city.
What is a Sak Yant – A Magic protection tattoo given to you by a monk. This bamboo tradition started over 700 years ago in Chiang Mai area. I recommend this private tour for a Sak Yant, because they take you to an Ajram (master) who’s family has been giving Sak Yant for over 300 years.
Eat a ton of Khao Soi –One of the best foods in Thailand.Khao Soi is known as the food of the North.
However, Khao Soi is the tourist food of the north. If you want the local experience also try Kà•nŏm jeen nám ngée•o. It is tasty ( though I like Khoa Soi better) and it is what the locals eat.
(Note: Kà•nŏm jeen nám ngée•o contains blood)
The best Khao Soi in town is Khao Soi Mae Sai. You can also get Kà•nŏm jeen nám ngée•o here as well. See it on Google Maps
Bus Bar Wednesday – A bunch of couch surfers meet every Wednesday at Bus Bar to talk, hang out, and share cheap drinks. When I am in Chiang Mai, I never miss it. It is a insanely fun night and a great way to meet locals and fellow travelers when backpacking Thailand.
Road Trip to Pai – A beautiful city in the mountain. Rent a bike and head on a road trip. The mountain road is full of thousands of twist and turns and some amazing views.
Chiang Rai – The two main attractions of Chiang Rai are the famous White and Black Temples
Phuket – Party town and where you will want to fly if you are going to Phi Phi or Koh Lak.
Pattaya – On the east coast of Thailand. Pattaya is known for its beautiful beaches, big resorts, and never ending parties.
Islands to Visit on Trips in Thailand
Of course, we have to talk about the Thai Islands. Many of these islands are picture perfect with soft sandy beaches, warm water, and thick jungle.
Most backpackers flock to the islands for partying. (the parties are out of control) but there are some quite Islands for people just wanting to lounge on the beach.
Koh Tao – Famous for Scuba Diving. Kho Tao has some epic places to stay, and has a mix of nightlife and adventures. It is my favorite personal island in Thailand.
Koh Phangan- Famous for the epic full moon party that draws crowds of up to 20,000 each month.
Koh Samui – The biggest island in the area. Koh Samui is where most honeymooners and families spend their time. It is not really a party island. It is also a little more expensive than the other islands but the quality of the resorts on Koh Samui is much higher. .
Phi Phi – Known for snorkeling, scuba, party, and tattoos. Oh yes, and the fantastic views.
Other Things to do when Backpacking Thailand
Learn to Scuba Dive- Thailand is famous for having amazing dive spots. It is also one of the cheapest places to learn in the world. ( Maybe even scuba dive in a tropical storm)
Visit the Floating Markets – These boat markets are more of a tourist trap, but are still cool to see if you have the time.
Song Kran – Thai New Years turns into a wild and wet festival. With entire cities turning into a massive water fight.
I hope you enjoyed these backpacking Thailand travel tips. Feel free to comment below about your Thailand travels.
Even though I had heard some mixed things about Vietnam, it was a country that had been on my radar for years. Over my month traveling through Vietnam I completely fell head over heels with beautiful landscapes, the friendly people, and the coffee, oh my god the coffee!
This is a Southeast Asian country I will return to again and again, and a country I suggest visiting.
While I loved Vietnam, there are some things I wish traveling across the country.
Here are ten things I wish I would have known before traveling to Vietnam.
10 Things To Know Before You Travel to Vietnam
Visa on Arrival
Many travelers don’t know that it is possible to get a visa on arrival for Vietnam.
The easiest way to do this is by using online companies like Vietnam Visa to give you a hand. The process is not only faster but also a ton cheaper.
Backpacker Banter and I got or visa in Cambodia, and it cost around $90 for a one-month single entry.
If we would have used an online Visa service, we would have saved anywhere from $30 to $50 each and would have gotten a quicker turn around time. (Slap hand against forehead)
How to Cross the Street
Vietnam takes motorbike traffic to the next level compared to the rest of Asia. In Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) the traffic is so crazy that trying to cross a road take can not only be the hardest part of your day but also takes someone with a backbone.
The general rule is to wait somewhere where it looks like there should be a cross walk.
Next, summon all your courage, and hold out a hand to signal to the endless sea of oncoming traffic that you are making your break for it.
If you are saying to yourself “Nope, not in a million years: then wait and cross with some locals. Trust me they know what they are doing.
Before long your will realize that it is not that bad crossing the street.
While I love Hanoi and Saigon, I met many travelers only focusing on these two. Both of the main cities hold a lot for tourists to see and experience, however, my favorite places were the smaller towns like Hoi An, Dalat, and Mui Ne.
Visiting these little cities held some of my favorite highlights in Vietnam like trekking massive sand dunes, cliff jumping and canyoning down waterfalls. Some of my best travel instagram pictures came from the same area of Vietnam.
Don’t Drink the Tap Water
If Vietnam isn’t your first rodeo in Southeast Asia, then you know that you need to stick only to bottle water or drinking water in restaurant coolers.
Some travelers won’t even brush their teeth in the water. This is something I have never been to fuss about, and I have never gotten sick, and I have logged almost two years in Southeast Asia. The choice is yours but if you do get sick then don’t blame me.
Do Drink the Coffee
I am not going to mince words with you. I am a coffee addict. My addiction is entirely unhealthy to the point that coffee is a legitimate expense in my budget. In fact, as I write this post I am sitting in Northern Thailand sipping on my 6th black ice coffee of the day, and it is only 3 p.m.
I confessed my coffee addiction so that when I say Vietnam has the best coffee in the world you will know how seriously I take that statement.
However, it is true. The coffee in Vietnam is so strong it could be cut into slices and served as a cake. Unless you ask for it they will never just serve you black coffee (I was always met crooked eyebrows and a questionable look that screamed “This westerner is crazy.”)
Instead, this glorious black sludge is mixed with equal parts sugar and sweet milk making it evolve into a substance that barely resembles coffee but is still the most delicious caffeinated beverage anywhere in the world.
Vietnam has incredible street food and hole in the wall restaurants that will make your taste buds tingle. A couple of the must try foods are the Bánh mì, Pho, and any food sold from a stall or street vendor.
Talk to Locals
Vietnam has some of the friendliest locals in the world. It is the only country where I have been greeted at my hostel with massive hugs. The people are friendly and to open, and I had some fantastic experiences with locals because I put myself out there. Don’t worry, and don’t be shy. Make sure you know the proper Vietnam etiquette before interacting with locals.
Research Your Tour Carefully
Here is a friendly word of caution no matter how big your travel resume. Yes, researching before you book is beginner travel advice, but mistakes happen to long-term travelers as well.
For example, our Haloing bay tour was alright.
However, we accidentally booked on a family and boat that was more for the retirement crowd. Most of the couples looked at our dirty backpackers with questioning eyes, and every night the entire ship was silent by 7 p.m.
It wasn’t the type of Halong Bay tour that we wanted, and we should have researched more carefully.
How to Get Around Vietnam
There are many options on how to travel Vietnam. In my month there I took overnight buses, trains, and motorbikes.
A popular way to travel Vietnam for backpackers is to rent, or buy a motorbike and drive from the Saigon to Hanoi or vice versa.
Vietnam is a fantastic country and has become one of my favorite in Southeast Asia. Make sure you enjoy your time in the country and remember travel is all about living the moment. Taking the good with the bad. Fighting your fears and pushing yourself to experience something new.
Vietnam is a country that people tend to fall head over heels with; I know I did. These are 10 things I’d like to know before entering the country, and I hope you find them helpful before you travel Vietnam.
Let’s use Kayak Explore and Kayak’s other tools and learn how to find cheap flights.
Welcome to another addition of Finding Crazy Cheap Flights! This time, we will use Kayak Explore to find fantastic deals.
Last year, one of my most popular posts was how to find insanely cheap flights. While this article is perfect, well written, and extremely engaging (*Cough*) it mainly uses Skyscanner, and budget airlines.
This post we are going to switch it up and use nothing but Kayak Explore, Kayak Price Alerts, and Price Forecast ( Flight Price Predictor)
The reason for this is because not everyone wants to use Skyscanner, and certainly not everyone wishes to use budget airlines.
Before we dive into how to use Kayak Explore you need to know that you will find the cheapest flights if you don’t have your heart set on a particular destination, and you don’t have specific dates you need to travel.
To properly appreciate and use these tips you need to the have carefree a mindset open to going wherever the wind (Or in this case, the cheapest flight) takes you.
If that doesn’t sound like you then fear not you can still use Kayak Explore and Kayak’s other tools to your advantage.
What is Kayak Explore?
Kayak Explore is a search option within the website. What Kayak Explore does is shows you low flight prices from around the world.
Say you have two weeks off and you want a beach holiday. You don’t care what beach you visit, all you need is the bright sun, the warm sand between your toes, and an ice cold mojito.
Well, in this case, Kayak Explore is the perfect option for you. When we open Kayak Explore, a massive world map pops up showing us cheap flights all over the globe. Now we can easily find a beach that suits our needs to relax and be lazy.
Opening Kayak Explore
You won’t find Kayak Explore as a tab on the menu which I find funny because it is such a useful option. Here are two quick options to open Kayak Explore.
1- Google “Kayak Explore.”
2- On Kayak menu, you will see a little box in the corner. Scroll over to the box and click the explore.
Using Kayak Explore to Find Awesome Flight Deals
Once we click Kayak Explore the world opens up to us. Isn’t it glorious.
Looking at all the places it is possible to go always kicks my wanderlust into overdrive!
Now we have some options that allow us to play around with the map to find the cheapest flights.
Kayak Explore Options
One the left side of Kayak Explore we see the option panel.
The options are pretty self-explanatory, but we will go over them briefly because there a few things we should note. Specifically the date section.
Airport – The first Kayak Explore option lets us change our departure airport. Fares differ drastically depending on what airport you are using for a departure.
One tip I always use when looking for cheap flights ( Especially international ones) is to fly out of a major travel hub like New York, Chicago, Boston, or LA. International fares are usually cheaper when flying out of these airports.
You can also find super cheap tickets to these destinations. Breaking up the ticket like this can save you hundreds, and it is a technique I use often
However, it doesn’t work 100% of the time so it is something you will need to play around with it yourself.
Date – You can search by season and also by month. Kayak Explore works best if you don’t have dates in mind. If you try to search specific dates on a location, it will take you to a regular Kayak search.
However even if you do you can use Kayak Explore to get a good idea of where it will be cheap to fly.
Price – Kayak Explore lets you change the search based on price
Flight Time – Search Kayak Explore based on the length of the flight.
How to Use Kayak Explore When You Don’t Have Exact Dates
So let’s try it out with the mindset we are looking for that perfect beach holiday.
My options for the search are going to be from CMH. (Closest Major Airport from where I grew up)
Options I used in Kayak Explore for this search
Flight Time: Any
Right away a couple of options stick out to me. At a glance, the cheapest option is Orlando at $168. However, we are on a quest for a beach and the closest beaches to Orlando are an hour or two hours away.
While it is the cheapest flight on Kayak Explore, it is not our ideal option for the beach.
But I see a few other useful options.
I can get to Burbank, San Diego, San Salvador, and the Provincials for all under $400 round trip.I feel my wanderlust tingling.
I’ve never been to San Salvador so let’s go.
Clicking on San Salvador, I see the for this price the departure and return dates for this price. In this case, I would leave early April and be gone for 25 days.
If you don’t have 25 days you can play around with the dates, but the price will change.
If you do have that much time well then we just an international flight to a beach destination for under $400. How insane is that!
Using Kayak Explore to Find A Cheap Flight With Specific Dates
I know what your thinking, “That last example was great Stephen but I only have time to travel in May, not April, and only 14 days of vacation not 25”.
Fret not dear reader. We just have to do a new search and find a different destination.
My options this Kayak Explore search,
Price: under 400 ( We want the same price as the last example)
Flight time Any
Ok, I see I can get to Puerto Rico for under $400 however clicking on it we see that the trip is only 4 days. Not worth it!
So we have to play with the options.
We change the dates and search again. In this example, I changed the dates from
May 10th – May 23rd.
Searching I see that a flight those days the price jumps to almost $450.
That’s the cheapest we can find it unless you want to keep playing around with the dates and airports to see if we can find a better price.
Now we have a couple options.
1- Pony up and pay the $450
2- Use Kayak’s other tools to see if the price will drop.
For this example, which lets us save time we are going to use Kayak Alerts and Price Forecast which makes Kayak to do the work for us.
Combining both Kayak Explore and Kayak Alerts makes for one powerful combo.
What are Kayak Alerts
1- Kayak Alert emails you when the fare changes.
2- It also sends you emails about fats to your favorite destinations
3- Informs you of awesome deals
4- In the last example, we couldn’t find a flight to Puerto Rico for under $400.
5- The smart thing is to play the waiting game.
Personally, I think Kayak Alerts work best when we have anywhere from 1 to 3 months before a flight. If you are flying in a couple weeks, then your best there is a good chance the price will rise so you best option is to suck it up and pay the extra or use the flight forecast to see the chances of getting a lower fare.
What is Kayak Price Forecast (Flight Price Predictor)
This is a tool that analyzes the latest trends and lets us know if the price of the flight is likely to fall or rise.
Predicting airfare is a tricky business but the tool is pretty accurate gives you the probability of what the flight is likely to do.
In this example, we see that they are telling us that we should buy. It says that plane ticket has a good chance of getting more expensive in the next week.
Kayak Forecast is a helpful tool that gives us more information to let us make an informed decision about whether or not it is the right time to buy a flight.
More Kayak Explore Tips to Find Cheap Flights
– Open Dates often mean finding the lowest price
– January tends to be the cheapest month to buy flight
– Clear Browser Cookies when you search for a flight
– While not only true many times Sundays are the cheapest day to buy flights and it is usually cheaper to fly out on Tuesdays
– Using a VPN to change your location can sometimes change the price of tickets.
Take some time and toy around with the options and it is possible to find some insane deals. One important part of finding a cheap flight in Kayak Explore is patience using price alerts and forecast to make the best decision possible.
When looking for a flight, I have the mindset of it being a money saving game. Say it takes me two hours to find the flight I want, but I saved $200. Well in my mind I just made $100 an hour. Right?
View it as a game and you will be surprised at how addicting and fun it is finding the cheapest flight with Kayak Explore.
Backpacking Germany is a something that is many people’s bucket list. Here you will find a bountiful amount of traveling to Germany tips and tricks in your back pocket, you’ll be traveling to Germany in no time.
No matter how much time I spend backpacking across Germany, I never get tired of the food, culture, and sights. It is one of my favorite countries in Europe
Traveling to Germany Tips
Why Go Backpacking in Germany?
Ah yes, backpacking Germany. The wonderful land full of lederhosen and cool beer, and epic festivities like, Oktoberfest.
Yet, the charm of backpacking Germany does not end there! When you are traveling to Germany, you find a country holds thousands of activities, places, monuments and events waiting to be discovered and explored!
The question is where to begin when backpacking Germany? I am here to help you learn everything you need to know and fill your head with every travel Germany tip I can.
So, if backpacking Germany is a dream. Get ready because backpacking Germany is an experience filled with adventures. So, let’s get into the tips for going to Germany you need to know.
When to go Backpacking in Germany
Peak Season-As with most places, summer, tends to be the main time for tourists to flock in. If you want to skip peak season, then avoid traveling there in June, July, and August.
Weather- Germany is beautiful throughout the year. The seasons decorate the countryside brilliantly. It does tend to rain during any of the four seasons, so be prepared.
Summer Temperatures-average temperatures tend to range from 68 to 86ºF (20-30°C)
Winter Temperatures-average temperatures can fall to as low as 23ºF (-5°C), but hopefully heat up to about 40ºF (4.44°C) or so.*
*However, if you don’t mind the cold, winter may be the perfect time to visit. What with the combined low costs for airfare and fewer crowds, the cold may just be worth it.
Cost of Backpacking Germany
The million dollar question (no pun intended): How much is this going to cost to go backpacking Germany?
Traveling in Europe can be a bit pricey, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. With some insider backpacker tips, hopefully, your wallet will be thanking you when it’s time to depart.
Follow these suggestions and the most priceless thing you’ll be leaving after backpacking Germany with are new memories.
How much to budget for Backpacking Germany
One of the important traveling to Germany tips that we need to talk about is a budget. How much does it cost to travel to Germany?
Monthly Budget for Germany- If you plan on spending a good amount of traveling in Germany, then expect to pay around $1500-$2000. Of course, this all depends on how you plan out your trip and if you honor your budget you should be able to meet it. Following these traveling to Germany tips will help you save money.
Daily Budget for Germany- Plan to spend from $50 anywhere near to $75-accommodations included.
Let us not forget the important detail of purchasing a plane ticket. Thankfully, finding a discounted ticket isn’t too difficult if you know how to find an insanely cheap flights.
Travel Insurance When Backpacking Germany
Travel insurance is something I get asked about a lot, and is a subject that I harp on about because I have seen what can happen if you travel without insurance.
Travel insurance has saved me money a few times on the road. Not having travel insurance has also cost me a pretty penny when I have lost electronics, and had to go to the hospital because I was feeling ill.
When traveling it is always best to expect the unexpected, especially when it comes to traveling in a different country.
It is better to spend money on travel insurance and not use it then not to buy it and need it!
One traveling to Germany tip I always recommend it to get travel insurance and here is why.
Here are the top reasons why travel insurance is important and something you might consider investing in before leaving home.
1- Protection! Breaking a leg or falling ill in a foreign country can rack up costly hospital bills. With travel insurance, you’ll have less of a headache and more money in your pocket.
2- Last Minute Cancellations Sometimes things happen and you have to cancel a part of your trip at the last minute. Life likes to get in the way, but with travel insurance you may be able to get reimbursed for the money you’ve already spent planning your trip!
3- Lost essentials. We live in the digital age. Nowadays most people backpacking Germany are carrying expensive laptops, I-pads, and laptops. Airports have a habit when it comes to misplacing luggage. Add that to the new iPhone you accidentally left behind in that restaurant back in Munich…Insurance can cover any lost or damaged materials.
We are only human after all, and since we do tend to make mistakes, it’s much better to be safe than sorry.
For travel insurance I recommend Roamright both have four-star rating when it comes to providing travel insurance.
Where to Stay When Backpacking Germany
Picking the right places to stay is one of the most important stages when planning a trip.
You need a place to rest your head after the exciting day of exploring, and you want to meet cool people to hang out with. The best options when it comes to accommodations when you’re on a budget can be found in a couple of well-known websites:
Hostelworld- Another great website to find a great place to stay. It’s a great way to meet other backpackers and exchange stories. This website doesn’t limit itself to hostels alone, though.
If you would prefer a bed and breakfast or are even okay with spending a few extra Euros on a hotel, they have that too.
One of the most exciting parts of traveling is the food. New cuisine and untasted dishes just waiting to be savored. This can also be the most expensive part of a trip. Unless you know where to look.
When it comes to new places, sometimes the restaurants listed in tour guides aren’t the places to go.
Try heading where the locals are going instead. Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten has come from mom and pop stores or hole in the wall eateries. They’re diamonds in the rough, and when it comes to food they know how to cook it!
Here are some traveling to Germany tips for finding cheap, but delicious food.
Use an app-There are so many apps now, similar to Yelp, which are great when it comes to finding some popular joints. With the ability to filter out budget and location, some may even provide customer reviews, so you have some insight into what you’re getting yourself into. You have the internet at your fingertips; sometimes that phone can be a useful tool!
The Locals- A rule of thumb anywhere in the world for finding the best food is ask the locals. They are here all the time; they have favorite places just like you do back at home.
Don’t be shy and ask a few strangers what they would suggest for a place to dine. But don’t forget to give them a firm handshake and introduce yourself, Germans love a good handshake.
Food trucks-A culinary trend that has picked up in the past few years. Food trucks are becoming fancier in the way they produce their menu items.
So even though you may be eating off a paper plate that Euro you just spent was well worth the gourmet Steckerlfisch (fish) you just got served.
Markets-Grocery markets may not seem like the go to, but picking up a few essential items can go a long way. A loaf of bread, some brie and slices of Kassler (smoked ham) will be able to hold you over if you get stuck on a train for too long.
Ways to get around when Backpacking Germany
Planes, trains, and automobiles. Plan to become accustomed to these forms of transportation when you’re traveling about.
Rail Europe –Trains will definitely become your constant companion when backpacking Europe. Which is why I would suggest in picking up a Rail Europe Pass. With over 50 different train companies spanning across Europe, this will definitely come in handy.
Busabout – Busabout is a bus company that caters to backpackers of all ages. They work on a hop on, hop off systems and have loops that span all of Europe.
Marienplatz- This is the heart of Munich, which is also known as Marien Square. If you arrive by 11 am or noon, you’ll be able to view a special treat that is over a 100 years old. Housed in one of the New Town Hall towers a Glockenspiel chime can be heard, and 32 life-sized figurines will come into view.
Frauenkirche- Even if you aren’t religious, climbing the steps up the towers of the Cathedral of Our Blessed Lady will take your breath away. Yes, the trek upwards may be a bit high but I’m referring to the view. Munich’s cityscape paired with the Bavarian Alps will be a memory burned into your mind to cherish forever.
The English Garden- Hidden inside this garden are amazing sights and delicious restaurants. There’s even a local tradition here during the summer. If you happen to be around and see a bunch of people with surfboards,
I suggest you follow them. They’ll most likely lead you to Eisbach river, where you can then watch them surf along the currents. Oh and did I mention beer? Yep, beer gardens. Thank you, Germany.
Things to do Backpacking Munich
Celebrate Oktoberfest- Have you ever celebrated Oktoberfest in your hometown? Well, it is nothing compared to where it actually originated in Munich, Germany!
The first celebration was held back in October in 1810, and it was so popular that it is still celebrated to this day! They even extend the festivities into September.
Traveling to Germany tips- Don’t overdo Oktoberfest. I spent five days partying at Oktoberfest and was wrecked for the next week.
Drink up at Hofbräuhaus- Grab yourself a liter stein at the world’s most famous beer hall. You will quickly find yourself enveloped in Munich’s rich culture. The oompah bands will make you want to dance along, and heavenly smell of Bavarian food will overwhelm your senses.
Picnic by Starnberg Lake- Take a trip to the countryside. It probably won’t be as packed with tourists, since it’s a favorite for the locals. It’s just 16 miles south of Munich, but with the gorgeous Alps draped in the background it is definitely a relaxing spot to enjoy.
The capital and biggest city in Germany is a prime spot for an array of activities. With over 3.4 million inhabitants, it is no wonder that Berlin has excellent nightlife you will love when backpacking Germany.
If you aren’t into clubbing or bar jumping, no worries! Berlin has something for everyone. If you’re looking for a more educational route, a variety of museums and galleries are just around the corner. Berlin is a great stop of anyone backpacking through Germany.
Things to see Backpacking Berlin
The Brandenburg Gate- A truly iconic monument that has been seen in countless movies. This historical and beautiful landmark symbolizes the new Germany that stood proudly after the Berlin wall fell so the East and West could reunite. It is simply breath-taking, and an absolute must see while in Berlin.
East Side Gallery- Have a love for art? Then the mesmerizing paintings decorating the East side of what is left of the Berlin Wall is definitely worth a visit. It is considered to be the world’s largest open-air gallery. Although it has fallen to some erosion and graffiti in certain areas, the paintings will soon be given the star treatment by being restored and preserved.
Tiergarten- Just as Central Park is captivating to New Yorkers, so is Tiergarten to the people of Berlin. Escaping the hustle and the bustle of the city is easy when you’re surrounded by over 600 acres of luscious nature. Travel down quaint paths that may lead you to open-air cafés or creeks to enjoy.
Things to do when Backpacking Berlin
Stroll by the Spree- This is mainly geared towards when the weather is nice, but Berliners love to come out and showcase their musical talent. Even when it gets dark, DJs tend to come out and play. If you happen to come in the winter, on the other hand, you’ll notice that the area is redesigned into an indoor complex.
Explore Grunewald forest- Getting lost like Hansel and Gretel is easy in these neck of the woods, but trust me it’s also less terrifying. The tranquil scenery is a stark contrast to the busy city that surrounds it. You can go for a swim or even travel by horse along the winding paths.
Take a bike ride- Feeling up for a bit of exercise? Then travel in style! Central Berlin has a massive supply of stations where you can rent a quick ride. The best part is that the route even covers a quick tour of some of the greatest sights. From the Holocaust Memorial to the Topography of Terror, you’ll be pedaling faster to see more.
Traveling To Germany tips for Berlin: My favorite hostel to stay at in Berlin is
3 – Frankfurt
Things to see Backpacking Frankfurt
The Goethe House- The home to one of Germany’s most influential writers, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The home was technically destroyed during World War II. However, you can now take a tour of the inside and see the fully restored furniture, paintings and books that were actually owned by the Goethe family.
Museumsufer- Translated this word means “Museum embankment.” Which is befitting considering the fact that it runs along the river Main and is lined with what are considered to be some of the best museums in the country. Another interesting fact is if you come on a Saturday you may be able to scavenge yourself a souvenir at the largest flea market in Frankfurt.
The Römerberg- This historic square has been frequented for centuries. The half-timbered homes seem to be taken straight from the pages of a storybook. The heart of Frankfurt, Römerberg, needs to be visited to feel the thrum of the city and its locals.
Things to do Backpacking Frankfurt
Visit the zoo- The Frankfurt Zoo may be like most zoos, but the highlight here is the Grzimek-House. It is a night attraction that you have to visit to catch a peek at some creatures of the night.
Scope out the Messe Frankfurt- This place is home to the exhibition grounds and they typically always have something going on. It’s a great place to catch the latest event, such as concerts, marathons, or live shows.
Travel back in time to Bornheim-World War II was extremely chaotic and destroyed many things in its wake. However, a few medieval-style homes managed to survive the bombings and are a great flashback to what Frankfurt looked like before World War II began.
Other cities to visit when Backpacking Germany
Can’t get enough of Germany and what some other places to explore? Listed below are a few more top cities located throughout the country:
Hamburg- Characterized for its maritime atmosphere, Hamburg is Germany’s second-largest city. Another notable perk is that it is home to the Reeperbahn, Hamburg’s Red Light District.
Cologne- One of the oldest cities in Germany. This city contains gorgeously designed historic architecture, such as the third largest cathedral in the world, the Cathedral of Cologne. Even with its deep connections to the past, Cologne is also known for its more contemporary art scene.
Dresden- Over 80% of this city’s historic center was destroyed during the onslaught of World War II. However, it has been rebuilt to its original grandeur. It resides along the banks of the Elbe river and is a gorgeous city to take in the East of Germany.
Other Popular Things to Do and See when Backpacking Germany
Eat Spaghettieis- Treat yourself to a German specialty that has been all the rage since the 1960’s. This brilliant sundae concoction resembles the Italian noodle dish. Yet, it is simply vanilla ice cream pressed through a potato ricer to get the iconic shape of noodles.
Visit the Saalfelder Ostereierbaum- Celebrating Easter is something Germans take to a whole other level and the ultimate example of an Ostereierbaum, or Easter tree, can be viewed in Saalfeld. It has over 9,000 beautifully painted Easter eggs adorning it, and over 8,000 people come to gaze in amazement each year.
Visit Film Locations- A fan of Wes Anderson? Well, The Grand Budapest Hotel was a British-German co-production, and many, of the scenic shots were taken in cities such as Berlin and Dresden.
Indoor Pool Müller’scheVolksbad- Indoor pools are one thing, but if you want to relax like the Romans used to then this is the place to go. It is one of the most opulent indoor swimming pools in Germany, and the ceilings are amazing. There is even a sauna to soak in, and the best part is it is available all year round.
I hope you enjoyed all the travel advice for Germany. These tips for visiting Germany will help you travel cheaper, and smarter. I know you will enjoy touring Germany and let me know how you trip went and if these backpacking Germany travel tips helped in the comments below.
I've been traveling the world 24/7 for the last 4 years. Along the way I have found some pretty cool places, learned some tricks and tips, and had some cool adventures. Helping you travel is my passion READ MORE
The Course that Taught me How to Travel Blog is Back