Ian and Chris, the Global Gallivants, have been travelling the globe for over 30 years. Their list of adventures is long -- from living in Cyprus in the Mediterranean for 3 years, to owning a business in Majorca, Spain for over 2 years.
In 2019, they will embark on a 3-5 year sustainable journey that will take them through various destinations in North and South India, Nepal, Vietnam, the Philippines and more of Thailand. Their path will also take them through Malaysia and Indonesia, and eventually to Australia and New Zealand. They hope that through their blog we can pass on their experiences and enlighten readers. There's a whole lot of world out there that's on Ian and Chris's bucket list, unexplored.
Ian was kind enough to answer some of our questions about travel below!
TA: How many years have you been traveling and what got you hooked?
Ian: We have both travelled for over 30 years and are still hooked on visiting destinations that we haven't explored yet. We both love Southeast Asia with its cultural differences It draws us in with its food and way of life.
TA: Do you specialize in a particular type of travel?
Ian: We don't do package holidays, but rather hit the ground with an 'anything goes' attitude and off the cuff. We like to bounce around within an area or country and to see the things that are of interest to us. This will change once we begin our indefinite travels where the plan will be to venture slowly through the many countries we will be passing through.
TA: What is the best vacation you've ever taken?
Ian: Not a vacation, but for a mind-blowing experience, then the UNESCO site of Angkor Wat Cambodia comes out on top. A truly mind-blowing experience and an amazing feat of engineering from the 12th century. We hope to revisit Cambodia when we pass through as 5 days wasn't long enough for what's on offer there.
TA: What's one place you've always wanted to visit?
Ian: Vietnam on the South China Sea has been on our list forever and we've heard really great things on travel coming out of this destination. From Hanoi in the North and Ha Long Bay, to Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An being top of our agenda. Can't wait to experience Vietnam.
TA: What's one thing you ALWAYS pack when you travel?
Ian: Our Kindles -- nothing worse than being stuck in an airport for hours without it!
TA: If you could only give a traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?
Ian: Always respect the places that you visit, and do your research on do's and don'ts of that country and culture. This can make your experience a hassle-free one.
TA: What are some of your favorite travel blogs and communities?
Ian: I've followed Will at www.brokebackpacker.com and Greg over at www.vagabondinglife.com for years. They have great tips on destinations and I probably owe them both a beer if we ever meet. I have only recently started posting some tweets of our travels on twitter, usually linking to a blog post from our website. I get involved in a few groups, one being #SundaySunsets.
TA: What would be your #1 recommendation for a place to travel in 2019?
Ian: India -- from the mountains in the north to beaches in the south, India has it all at very cheap prices. We have travelled extensively to find a location that's affordable, safe and above all, value for money. We believe that Goa fulfills this ambition, especially South Goa towards the area of Palolem and Patnem. These are located one hour and 30 minutes from Dabolin airport. We have researched this area and believe for 6 months of the year from November to April, there isn't a better location to set up a base. Being just a one hour flight from Mumbai airport, and with flights costing around £20, you will be hard pressed to find a better alternative. From friendly locals to chilling amongst the palms and an array of foods, this is paradise on the cheap.
Below are some of the costs for South Goa are If you're eating out, and other daily costs. Breakfast with a chai tea and varying options of fried egg or omelette rolls and a take-away lunch of samosa's for a couple can come in at around £1.20. Adding 6 litres of water to your budget will bring your costs to about £2 per day. Add in some fruit, and a few ginger, lemon & honey teas along the beach for around £1.20. An evening meal for 2 with a couple of drinks each around 300-500 rupees. Your total would be in the region of £5-8 per day. Even in holiday mode we would only spend around £15 per day and that was having anything we wanted. Obviously this would change if you were based here long-term, and could easily be halved if you're wise with your money. Other regions of India are even cheaper than Goa.
TA: What are the top 3 websites you use for research/inspiration when planning a trip?
Ian: Apart of our friend Google, Will over at www.thebrokebackpacker.com has some great travel itineraries for many counties and Greg Rodgers at www.gregoryrodgers.com has extensive tips for Southeast Asia.
TA: Do you have any good airport or flight hacks for people traveling by plane?
Ian: Prices for most airlines go up and down depending on dates, demand and fuel costs. Being ahead of the game and using the below techniques may save you some money if you put in the leg work.
1. Hide your Ass. Firstly, if you are searching on comparison websites then you should use a VPN to cover your ass. The next best thing is to go Incognito by opening a new window in Google Chrome. This will disable cookies used to track your every move online and hide your searches.
2. Use Budget Airlines. If in Asia, then having an account with Air Asia is a no-brainer. Check out the budget airlines for your location as you will often get great deals direct, and a few loyalty points with the airlines if you have signed up beforehand. Check out the T&C's as this can add up on additional luggage, printing flight tickets and so forth.
3. Comparison Websites. There are plenty of options out there for comparison websites, and none stand out as the be all and end all... It's not that easy. Your first point of call should be Skyscanner and Kayak. These will give you a rough guide to what's on offer. We have used Skyscanner since our days in Cyprus in the early naughties, and they have some great options on their site. When you search for destinations, instead of a set date, choose the whole month to see if there are days of the week when the prices are lower. More info in our post Top Tips To Find Cheap Flights Around The Globe.
TA: What is the best piece of travel advice you've ever been given?
Ian: Respect local culture and research the do's and don'ts of a destination you intend travelling too.
TA: What do you think other travelers worry too much about?
Ian: Getting the perfect photo for social media -- live for the moment.
TA: What is the most beautiful and affordable city you've ever visited?
Ian: Bangkok -- Rattanakosin island. If you're based around the Khao San Road, this essential to-do list will guide you around the most popular attractions. Most are conveniently based within a short 10-15 minute walk from this central traveler's hub: The Grand Palace royal residence and the main temple sites of Wat Phra Kaew; The temple of the Emerald Buddha; Wat Arun, just across the river from the ferry terminal; and Wat Pho and the reclining Buddha for 10 Baht across to the Khun Mae Pueak pier.
Once these have been navigated, catch the the tourist boat for the 30-40 minute journey to Sathorn central pier for 40 Baht (80p) each way. If you're after some respite from the hot and humid weather, this is a cheap option to cool down and also take in some great views of the major sites around the Grand Palace on the way to Sathorn. For the evening, heading down to the hustle and bustle of China Town makes for an entertaining alternative, with plenty of street food kiosks plying their trade along the main street. An endless stream of heaving foot traffic effortlessly merges along the road. Walking in between the seller's stalls, tables, and chairs that spill over into the road is an art. It all ends up as looking like a massive street party. Working out what and who belongs to what street food kiosk is a game played by all. Somehow it all works out for an entertaining evening. Dishes start at 50p and are not to be missed.