Those of you who are Facebook friends with BHS’68 grad, Roger Guggenheimer, have seen postings about his current travels in Southeast Asia. Roger, who describes himself as an “international traveler, adventurer, diver, former hitchhiker, educator, and one-time home builder,” is now in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on a two-month trip to Asia which began January 7th. His itinerary includes Bangkok, Krabi, Ko Lanta, Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Sapa, and Ho Chi Minh City.
I asked Roger to share some of his travel tips and tricks on how he is able to get to so many out-of-the-way places and here are his suggestions:
- To book some of the flights and most hotel type places, he used Orbitz.com, which keeps tracks of all your bookings. If you click the plane or book at the end, it will open a detailed, printable version of your booking.
- For domestic flights in Thailand and Cambodia, he booked with Air Asia directly. Everything was in user-friendly English.
- For train and bus reservations, he used The Man in Seat Sixty-One. This guy tells you everything you need to know about ground transportation in many countries. For Asia, he sends you this link: https://12go.asia/en which is billed as the best budget travel service for Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos and more.
- Roger says that you can use the 12goasia.com website to book ferries and boats, but he went directly to the ferry provider: www.phuketferry.com. Everything is in English and very user-friendly.
- He uses TripAdvisor to search out possible destinations, then looks at the reviews to determine how good or bad a place really is, and the prices.
- Next he went to Amazon to buy and take along a waterproof map for the trip.
- He looks to the Lonely Planet travel guides for “fabulous logistics and survival tips.”
In a follow-up email titled “How to create a trip out of thin air” (!) Roger wrote:
I almost forgot to include these “essential” websites. I say essential, because if one has no clue what they are getting into, or how to accomplish it independently, you can “cheat” by using these two travel companies websites. They’ve already been there and done that.
This means: they’ve got photographic day to day itineraries completely written out. They are very expensive companies, but their websites are free. The websites include ideas, itineraries day by day, and even gorgeous videos (look under inspiration) or video tabs). It’s all there already complete. So if you are a budget traveler and do-it-yourselfer like we are, you can copy any part of their ready made itineraries.
Another major and important resource that I forgot to mention is using “Google flights“—simply go to the website, enter you destination and dates, and the software does all the best flight research for you. I used to spend days looking for the best flight prices—not any more. In less than 5 minutes, Google flights finds the best (cheapest) flights to go anywhere. I’ll show you a sample below, as well as giving you to the 2 travel company links. Here goes:
At Audley our Vietnam vacations are tailored by specialists who have first-hand knowledge of the destination so they can create your ideal itinerary
This Ninh Binh itinerary will take you to the top sights in contact with the authentic Vietnam. This is what to do and see in Ninh Binh without a tour!
I’ve picked out some of Roger’s latest photos to share with the class—for those who only dream of visiting that part of the world. He comments on the amazing colors and beauty of the people and the culture.
Thanks, Roger, for sharing. Why not ask him about his trip IN PERSON at the 50th Class Reunion in October?!
good info, we are going to wedding in koh samai. just planning travel .