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Europe Spring 2013










HOW TO TRAVEL PRACTICALLY FREE Advice and tips on how to explore Europe without spending a fortune

contents GREETINGS

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Fellow travelers say hello from their favorite places.

Tips and advice on paying the least while traveling.





Essays of adventure and excitement abroad.

Map and listings of the best free places.



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Follow this list for maximum travel efficiency.





The best places to see with the least tourists.


Remember your adventures with these special items. pg. 27




The most beautiful images submitted by travelers.

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SANDWICHES TO GO Pack your plastic bag with layers of variety.



Say Cheers in different languages, and learn what to drink while saying it!


VAGABOND app Features: + Online Subscription + Search by Location + Travel Writing Submissions + Social Profile and Advice Forum + Free Stuff (Map GPS locator) + Photo Uploads, sharing + Advice on Travel + Recipes




6 SPRING 2013

Hello to you, wherever you are.


amsterdam, holland Submitted by: Ulla Neuman

neuschwanstein, germany Submitted by: Carly Lynx

barcelona, spain Submitted by: Soretta Foran

europe collage Submitted by: Nelson Muntz

rome, italy Submitted by: Juan Martin

cologne, germany Submitted by: Ben Visser

budapest, hunagary Submitted by: Anonymous Fellow Traveler


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Pat ter s





Travel is cheap and easy. In fact, with a little practice and effort you can travel for free. The idea that travel is expensive and difficult is bullshit, peddled by tour companies, hotel chains, and corporate media. The tourism industry wants you to buy cruise packages and stay at all-inclusive resorts. They want you to choose a travel experience the same way you would choose a new jacket at the mall. They want your credit card number. The tourism industry doesn’t want to reveal the simple secrets of free travel, but I’m going to share these with you anyway. It can be scary to venture into the world with nothing more than optimism and good-will, but personal freedom begins with a leap of faith. Here are some tips and ideas for how to travel practically free. Embrace the Simple Joy of Travel Travel frees you from the grind of daily routine. You will explore new places, meet new people, try new foods, and learn things about the world – and yourself – that you never imagined were possible. There are plenty of free museums and concerts throughout Europe to explore! Most museums are free the first weekend of every month. Many cities offer free concerts and festivals to the public. Often museums and sights are discounted or free to youths—people under age 26, or students. Ask around or go to an internet cafe to find out more about free museums, concerts, festivals, and tours. The joy of new experience is the most wonderful thing about travel – and new experiences are free. Walk the streets of a city. Stop and chat with a local. People-watch in a public park. Climb to the top of a hill and watch the sun set. The simple joy of being in a new place is just a matter of going someplace new. No tour package required.

Keep Your Needs To A Minimum The modern American economy is built on the false premise that people need to buy new goods and services all the time. Again, I say bullshit. People need fresh air, healthy food, clean water, exercise, creative stimulation, companionship, self-esteem, and a safe place to sleep. All of these things are simple to obtain. Most of them are free. For fresh air, go outside. For exercise, take a walk. For creative stimulation, go somewhere new. For companionship, make a friend. For self esteem, turn off your TV, breathe deep, and open your spirit to the basic goodness of the world. The key is to simplify your needs—and baggage. Make sure to pack light, and try to keep in mind simple souvenirs—like postcards. You can find amazing, unique, and cheap souvenirs in thrift shops. If you make your own food, it is much cheaper—make sure to carry some snacks and a sandwich when you are on the go so you don’t have to stop at a restaurant to pay more for a meal. Of course the staples are meat, cheese, and bread—but a little imagination can do wonders. With the use of the hostel kitchen, your possibilities are endless. Pasta of course is super cheap but even a little ground meat and bread combined with packets of ketchup or mayo can make a good burger. Chances are there are tons of spices to add a little extra to your meal in the cupboard at the hostel. Travelers are notorious for leaving these things behind. Look and ask around as most of that pasta on the shelf has been there for 3 weeks when some kindhearted soul moved on and left it for someone just like you. Shopping at the local grocery store is an adventure in itself. Eating local cuisine does not mean spending 15 Euro at a restaurant. Those items you’re looking at in the store are what locals eat at home.

The joy of new experience is the most wonderful thing about travel—and new experiences are free. 12 SPRING 2013


TIP! For cheap food look for bakeries, grocery stores, farmers markets, and try making local recipes. For shopping, try to find thrift shops— or just go window shopping.

La Boqueria Market Barcelona, Spain VAGABOND 13

TIP! Look for unusual sights like churches, graveyards, plazas, and markets— they are free to see and culturally interesting. To explore more look into bike rentals.

Graveyard Glasgow, Scotland

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Go Slow

Leave Behind Possessions and Obsessions

As long as you believe that time is money, you will spend money all the time. Time is not money, it is free. You have all the time in the world. Instead of buying a plane ticket, catch a ride— or just borrow a bike and explore the town. The slower you travel, the less money you will spend. As you get to know a place it will be easier to find shortcuts and deals around the area, and you may even find some short-term jobs to ease your travel expenses. Transportation costs in a city can really add up, and you are more likely to get pick-pocketed on a bus than strolling down a city street. The best way to travel is by foot. You will get lots of exercise and see lots of details along your walk that you would miss taking the bus or train. The best part about walking is that it’s completely free! So find a map, or ask for directions and walk to your destination. Chances are that your points of interest aren’t too far from each other.

When you travel, you don’t need to pay rent. You don’t need a car. You don’t need an oven, a washer-dryer, electricity, Cable TV, a gym membership, or a closet full of clothes. You don’t need a suit and tie to wear to your job because you don’t need a job. You don’t need to worry about paying the bills, because there are no bills to pay. You are free. Try to keep only things you need and you will feel a sense of relief—and it will be much easier to move around without excess baggage. When you are packing, or thinking about making a purchase, remind yourself, “Do I really need this?” The most important thing is your memory and experiences that you make during travel. If you must have possessions, let them be a journal and, of course, your passport.


Vatican Museum Vatican City, Italy

The best way to travel is by foot. You will get lots of exercise and see lots of details along your walk that you would miss taking the bus or train.

Trust People and you will Receive Free Food and Lodging When it comes to travel costs, accommodation is definitely right up there as something that will slowly but surely rid you of all your hard earned travel savings. Many people are willing to open their homes to travelers. Chip in with a few chores, and they will give you a free meal, too. There are a few online networks that help travelers connect with local hosts. CouchSurfing members are willing to give travelers a place to sleep for a night or two. WWOOF connects travelers with organic farmers who want to trade room and board for an extra hand. Many members of both CouchSurfing and WWOOF are seeking an alternative to high-impact consumer culture. Using these sites to find hosts is a great way to meet new people. Staying with a host gives a unique insight on the place you are staying and how to explore it. Stefansdom Vienna, Austria VAGABOND 15

Here are just a few handy websites that help with finding affordable accommodations: CouchSurfing This great website is easy to use and navigate. You can view the profiles of the people you would like to visit. Most hosts are happy to have visitors and are willing to show you around. Hospitality Club Although the website is not as up-to-date as others, it gives you access to a large community of friendly members. Global Freeloaders This site has a more “give back what you take” attitude. It is expected that members will be hosts as well as guests. WWOOF World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms is an organization that arranges for people to work 4-6 hours of the day on a farm in exchange for food and board. You are expected to stay for 2 weeks minimum. Although there are fees for membership, it is a small exchange for unlimited opportunities for free food and lodging! Mind My House This website costs $20 for membership, but you can live in an entire house while a family is away exchanging lodging for taking care of the house. If you don’t feel comfortable finding someone you don’t know through the internet to stay with, another way to travel cheap is by staying in Hostels. The most affordable accommodation in hostels is staying in dormitory rooms. The advantage is that you can make many friends at hostels that are also backpackers. Hostels often have kitchens that will help reduce the food bill! Hostel World Hostel World offers an array of accommodation which you can use to search by location or by searching the type of place you would like to stay, which could be a campsite, bed and breakfast, or a regular hostel. You can browse hostels by lowest price, or you can browse by highest rated. They are very good about asking for reviews after people stay so, for the most part, the reviews are very accurate. In addition, the site offers photos and in depth information about activities and utilities the hostel offers. Hostel Bookers This site is similar to Hostel World because the two sites offer similar information for finding hostels. The choice between using either is simply a personal preference. Both Hostel Bookers and Hostel World have an app that you can download on your smart phone, so you can book hostels or look for places without using a computer. 16 SPRING 2013

Hostel Weimar, Germany

FREEBIES Learn a Useful Craft or Skill If you have a skill—such as cooking, musical ability or basic carpentry—you can barter for free food and accommodation as you travel. Universally appreciated skills like cooking or carpentry are best, though a niche skill in high demand, like website design, is also useful. Native English speakers can often travel the world for free by teaching language classes in each destination they visit. The slower you travel, the easier it will be to work out a mutually beneficial arrangement with a local community or host. If you have a specific interest, you will discover ways to seek it—and find it—all over the places you travel. If you love cooking, a great way to experience the culture of a place is to use ingredients from local markets and try making your own versions of the culture’s dishes. If you love art, you can find beautiful things outside of museum buildings as well as in them. There is something for every ones interest in travel, and it doesn’t have to cost anything.

Having unique interests and skills gives you a unique perspective on the way you travel. TIP! There are plenty of temporary jobs available in order to pick up a few extra bucks as you travel. Good options include being a tour guide, English teacher, dishwasher, or hostel worker. If you are interested in making a career out of travel, there are plenty of travel and adventure jobs—you just have to find them.

Find A Job You Love That Entails Travel Having a special skill will help you find a job abroad. If you need an income, find a job that calls for extensive travel. There are millions of jobs available in the global economy that demand travel. Of course, some jobs are easier to love than others, and much work that involves travel also involves the destruction of local ecosystems and traditional ways of life. Avoid unethical work if at all possible – it is bad for your health and worse for your soul. The most rewarding jobs to be had short term or long term while abroad include working in hostels, giving tours, and teaching English. VAGABOND 17

Get Out of the City

Search for the Best Deals

Although it’s possible to travel for free in a big city, it’s difficult. Cities are built on money, and necessities like fresh air, clean water, and a safe place to sleep are difficult to come by in cities. Many people head to Rome, Paris, and Barcelona—three of the most expensive cities to visit. Why not head off the beaten path and experience the roads less traveled? Go to the country, where people are more relaxed, food is plentiful, and there’s ample room for one traveler to lay out a sleeping bag under the stars. The prices are substantially cheaper and crowds are thinner. Sometimes getting to know a culture outside the big city gives a more intimate and genuine experience—you can really mingle with the locals and get to know their way of life. Staying in towns further from the city means cheaper food, accommodation, and sights. It is also great to spend time in small towns as a transition, moving from one place to another.

If you really want to get from one place to another and see as much as possible, it’s important to search hard for the best deals. Try to compare different modes of transportation—like the train, bus, or airplane. In some places you can hitchhike—which is actually safer in Europe because of its low crime rate, but I wouldn’t recommend it as much as car-sharing. Germany has a website devoted to travelers who are looking to go to the same destination and who are willing

Sometimes getting to know a culture outside the big city gives a more intimate and genuine experience—you can really mingle with the locals and get to know their way of life.

TIP! Locals will be impressed if you pick up a few phrases in their language. There are plenty of parks to relax, read, and take notes.

English Garden Munich, Germany

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FREEBIES to share a car. Sometimes a good option is to carpool or share a ride with people you know, but usually the best way to get around is by buying a rail pass that will last you between one to six months with unlimited travel options for a reasonable price. Try to compare multiple options to find the best deal that works for you. Here are a few various travel options that are worth looking into and comparing: Mitfahrgelegenheit German travel site, meaning “car-sharing opportunity.” You may need to use Google Translate in order to operate the website, because most of the users operate in German. RailEurope & EURail To travel by train either of these websites are worth comparing because they offer different packages that depend on how you want to travel depending on the country or region. EuroLines These guys handle most of the international bus trips. Don’t bother using them from one city to another within the same country. BusAbout This company arranges “bus loops” that offer pre-paid routes through Europe via their own bus system. They offer drop-offs at your hostel door and other various travel packages.

It’s a little more “hand held” – but can be a good option for first-time travelers. Boats and Ferries There are some sites that arrange for travelers to find a spot on a boat while traveling from place to place, so it may be worth looking into. RyanAir To travel through Europe by air on a budget, RyanAir is a terrific option. If you search hard enough, you can find tickets as low as $10. Momondo This search engine is designed to help compare flights on different days, for multiple locations, and it offers low-price comparisons.

Embrace Serendipity Traveling for free requires a blend of advance planning and the willingness to seize opportunities and go with the flow. You can save a lot of money on transportation by being flexible about which day to travel. Does your new CouchSurfing friend want company for a drive across the country? Grab your pack and ride along! Did your new friends at the hostel invite you to come along for the ride to the next place they go? Carpe Diem. Try not to plan too far in advance, because you never know what opportunities may arise!



FREE STUFF Copenhagen Free Bikes

You’ll be able to afford a slap-up nosh at a high-rated restaurant if you do all your sightseeing and getting around on a free bike thanks to the city’s hire scheme.

Berlin Free Walking Tours Hang out with trendy locals, take a look at a squat and hit the beach bar on the twice-daily Alternative Berlin Tours that take you into the creative heart of this captivating city. Discover hidden hangouts for artists and urban intrigue.

Barcelona Free Gaudi One of Barcelona’s top attractions is the fantastical architecture of Antoni Gaudi. You can see most of Le Segrada Famiglia from the outside for free, or explore Park Güell.

Lisbon Free Beach The seaside town of Cascais is an about 45 minute train ride west of Lisbon’s Cais do Sodré station. Once a fishing village, this sundrenched spot appeals now to those looking for a chic beach vacation without breaking the bank.

Prague Free Photo Opportunities If there is one thing you just have to do in Prague, it is to get your photo taken on the old Charles Bridge, or in front of the John Lennon Wall. Exploring the outside of the giant castle is also offers many photo-opportunities as you travel further up the hill. It’s all free, apart from the camera, of course.

Dublin Free Literary History Aspiring to literary greatness costs you nothing at Dublin’s revered Trinity College. Wander the quadrangles where Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker and Samuel Beckett learnt their trade. Afterwards, find a bar that plays traditional Irish music and write in your journal to commemorate literature.

Paris Free DaVinci Visit the Louvre on the first Sunday of the month and see some of the most famous art in the world for free! Explore the museum and of course take a look at the Mona Lisa—maybe you will be able to decipher her expression.

London Free Dinosaurs London boasts some of the best museums in the world. Some of them are free, like the Natural History Museum. Discover historical culture and worldly influence.

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Use this guide to find free stuff anywhere you go in Europe. I promise you more stuff is out there, you just need to go out there and find it. Most cities offer free tours, so explore with freedom!






Brussels Free Royalty Although the Royal Palace of Brussels is only open to the public during the summer months, it is free to walk through many of the rooms on a self-guided tour. The Royal family demonstrate their support for the arts with a different cultural exhibition each year.

Stockholm Free Art Even visiting a museum can be free in Stockholm. There’s free admission at both the Moderna Museet (modern art) and the Arkitekturmuseet (architecture and design).

Edinburgh Free Comedy Tickets to the Edinburgh Festival can be expensive, but not for the Free Comedy Festival. Every joke will seem much funnier when you’ve spent your leftover money on beer.

Amsterdam Free Concerts Join locals at the free Wednesday concerts in the impressive setting of Concertgebouw.

Vienna Free Concerts During the summer there are several free concerts in Vienna. Every year in June the Vienna Philharmonic performs an open air concert with free admission in the impressive ambience of the gardens of Schönbrunn Palace. The Music Film Festival Vienna (JuneSept) is held in front of Vienna’s City Hall. It begins at dawn and entrance is free.

Zurich Free Chocolate Free chocolate can perhaps only be beaten by free beer. Get a truffle or two, and a look around the chocolate museum, for nothing. The Lint & Sprungli Chocolate Factory is free to see!

Milan Free Food In Milan they have free food—it is a custom for bars to lay on snacks totally gratuito at aperitivo time. All you need to do is buy a drink, and get in there.

Europe Free Parks and Fountains City parks across Europe are the best places to spend your time without spending your money. Oh, ok then, you can buy a baguette and a beer if you must.


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SCHLOSS NEUSWANSTEIN, Germany Try saying that two times fast. This castle is the original disney castle.


SEASONAL PHOTO Submitted by: Jane Willis

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CLIFFS OF MOHER, Ireland This is really quite a sight, and will transcend your view of scale and landscapes. VAGABOND 25

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Aaron Jenson

what to pack


our bag is your life. The smaller it is the less it sticks out—and the less vulnerable you feel. The closer you can stick to it, and less cumbersome it is, the happier you will be. A large, bulky, full bag has less room to fill with souvenirs and, becomes a nightmare when traveling often. The thought of wearing the same thing day in, day out, may seem terrible now, but it gets easy with the right clothes and is always preferable to unpacking your entire bag. There is no need to take too many clothes as they can be easily washed, and dried overnight.

You will be uncomfortable moving from town to town without being able to jump on and off buses—not to mention that a giant oversize bag does not exactly make you the most confident (you will always feel like you are sticking out). You will not believe what an advantage it is to be able to travel from A to C with a quick stop off to see a sight at B carrying your bag, rather than having to do it in a separate day trip, wasting time and money. In my experience, a bunch of simple, everyday objects can often turn out to be the most useful things for a backpack.


Clothes Whether or not you buy clothes specifically designed for travel is up to you and your budget. I usually mix a few travel-specialty clothing items in with my regular clothing, but doing so is a luxury, not a necessity. If you will only be traveling a very short time or have an extremely tight budget, then don’t worry about buying special clothes for your trip. You want to look good in Europe—I understand. Europeans are known for being super fashionable and you want to be the same. It just isn’t practical to wear really nice clothes as a backpacker. You have limited space in your bag, so it doesn’t make sense to pack an outfit that you’re only going to wear once. This doesn’t mean you have to look like a slob. It is really simple to look presentable as long as you pack items that look good when worn with each other.

Pretty much all of the weight in your backpack comes from your clothes. Most inexperienced travelers bring way too much. There isn’t really any difference between packing for 6 weeks or 6 months, because you’ll just do laundry about every week. You’re only going to have a few shirts/pants, so make sure they all match each other. Choose dark and neutral colors (hides the dirt better than light colors). Most Europeans tend to wear more subdued clothing anyways. If it is going to be cold you should dress in layers. A big bulky coat isn’t going to be practical—a thermal shirt, long-sleeve t-shirt, sweater, and jacket combo is much more practical than a big coat. You can always add or subtract layers if needed. Travel-specific clothes can be worthwhile because they are designed to be durable and light weight, but if you have durable and lightweight clothes you prefer, or can find at a thrift shop, they are just as good!

Consider how things will look in layers. You don’t need a thick coat if you have layers. 28 SPRING 2013


2 t-shirts No more than two t-shirts is necessary. They are great for wearing around the city or hostel, and work for a casual night out. One shirt that is a nice color, comfortable, and fits well is great to bring along. Bringing a synthetic style shirt works for hot or cold weather—they are super light-weight and dry quickly.

1 shirt or polo Bring along at least one item with long sleeves— shirts are really the way to go. They are the one item that will make you look less like a tourist. It is a good idea to have a nice button-up shirt or top for going out at night. It doesn’t need to be really nice, but it should look good with jeans. Try to find wrinkle free shirts, because finding an iron will be tough.

1 sweater or fleece No matter where you are going, it can still get pretty cold on airplanes, buses, trains, in the mornings and late evenings. Lightweight sweaters are nice for dressing up or for cool nights. For maximum versatility, make your sweaters and shirts all look good together because you can use them together as layers.

2 pants Quick drying, light travel types with secure pockets. Material should be such so you can wash and dry overnight. Well-fitting, neutral or dark color chinos (light-weight cotton) are great for dressing up, or casual comfort. For the second pair, a slightly heavier material might be better. Jeans are a good option because they can be dress-up or casual, and match everything. You can wear jeans over and over without washing them and they still won’t stink. Some hard-core travelers choose not to bring jeans because they are fairly heavy and take a long time to dry. However, I still think jeans are a good option for traveling in Europe.

One pair shorts You probably don’t need these because they will pretty much always make you stick out as a tourist, and sometimes command less respect because you will not be allowed to enter most churches. You will almost never see locals wearing them, but if you want to take a pair of shorts, which you might be able to use at the beach, feel free.

Underwear It’s recommended for guys to take only a few pairs, about three to six moisture-absorbing, non-chafe, fast-drying underwear—just make sure you feel comfortable. It can be more expensive, but comfortable, easy to wash, fast drying, and some are even odor resistant! Women will no no doubt take more pairs of panties (they are smaller) plus a bra or two of which one might be (sometimes very useful) a sports bra. It’s really not worth taking anything that’s white.

Five pairs Socks Most people don’t give too much attention to their socks but they are important. Unfortunately, nice socks can be expensive and a lot of people don’t want to spend the money on something as unsexy as socks. I suggest you spend a little extra money for a few nice pairs. Your feet and fellow travelers will thank you. Look for socks that are moisture-absorbing, because your feet will sweat so you want a pair Top Pick: that draws moisture away from your feet. Dry feet help eliminate odor and stop the formation of painful Smart Wool blisters. Quick drying socks make Hiking Socks it easier to wash your socks in the sink and they can dry overnight. Some synthetic socks have special anti-bacterial features that help eliminate odor. Light weight wool socks also do this naturally. Avoid cotton because it soaks up moisture and won’t dry well once wet. A nice pair of socks can be worn 2-3 times before they start to stink.


Footwear Your feet are the most important thing to consider while traveling, because you will be using them, and your shoes, more than anything. You will be walking a lot so make sure to consider the best fit for your feet. Do not pack excessive shoes like hiking boots or dress shoes, they will only weigh you down. You will probably use them less than you think. You do not need to bring more than two pairs of shoes!

Sandals/Flip-Flops Sandals are sometimes known as an unpopular icon of the modern backpacker, and are epitomized by the brand Teva. However, judgment aside, they actually do have great solid moulded soles, good foot straps, and are made from strong modern fabric. They are comfortable to walk in, quick drying, sturdy, and often lightweight. Teva also offers a range of cheap, super light, and comfortable flip-flop type sandals for both men and women. Flip-flops are also an excellent option for wearing in hostel showers, or at the beach.

Running Shoes You’re going to be on your feet a lot while in Europe so you really want a sturdy pair of comfortable shoes for sightseeing. Sneakers would probably prevent you from entering any super swanky nightclubs, but most budget backpackers can’t afford those places anyway. Low cut light running shoes range when you want closed footwear to keep your feet clean, safe, or something nicer for simply getting into a club. Try to avoid big hiking boots—they take up a lot of room and are heavy to carry. Ideally the best place to pack your shoes when you are moving around is on your feet, because these shoes will most likely be the most bulky item; however, if you decide to wear your sandals, the best way to pack them is compressing them together, one on top of the other, facing but fitting front to pack. Then take a piece of string and wrap it around them. Take caution when picking shoes— Americans seem to have a notorious love affair with white sneakers and athletic shoes. If you don’t want to be instantly recognized as a tourist, don’t wear white shoes. 30 SPRING 2013

Top Pick: Smart Wool Socks


Shoes are an important thing to consider, you will be using them more than anything.


Toiletries Most toiletries you can pick up along your travels at a pharmacy or grocery store. Don’t worry too much about following the list strictly because everything is replace-able!

Towel A quick drying towel is one of my favorite travel accessories. Honestly though, I hate the feel of these towels, but they do an amazing job. They absorb a ton of liquid and they dry in a few hours. Normal towels take hours and hours to dry and they will make your backpack stink. A trek-type towel claims to absorb several 100% of their weight and are fast-drying. Viscose is one of the materials available (feels like soft, fluffy leather), but there are now many other types such as Micro Fibre (which is anti-bacterial ad haw a toweling feel).

First Aid Make up your own medical kit, and keep it small—just what you need to get through any bad times or emergencies until you can find a pharmacy. Good items to include in your kit are lip salve with sun protection, cold/flu pills, something for sore throat, band aids, condoms or contraceptive pill. All things medical are available cheaply and plentifully on the road. There is very little point in weighing yourself down with a huge first aid kit.

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Top Pick: Discovery Trekking Quick-Dry Towel

re-Usable Cloths Carrying around fabric specifically meant for wiping your face or blowing your nose isn’t exactly revolutionary (remember handkercheifs?) yet somehow it has become a less popular item. Big companies want to convince you that you need the latest hand wipes, or tissues. The truth is, all you need is a few pieces of kind fabric that will treat you well, which you can re-use over and over. You can find a variety of well made products online on Etsy. Un-paper products are a cheap alternative to face wipes, cosmetic puffs, or even paper towels.


Wash Kit It is pretty amazing how heavy toiletries can become. Try to limit yourself to the necessities. You will need some shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, a toothbrush and a razor. All of which other items such as hair gel, conditioner, and soap are available along the road in cheap travel friendly quantities, so take the absolute minimum. This makes even more sense if you plan to take your bag as a carry-on on flights. If you hunt around you can find solid soap or shampoo, which along with olive oil soap is often recommended highly as multipurpose (from skin, to clothes, to hair) and cuts down on liquids. If you are going to shave bring travel size bottles of Silicon based cream—which can go very far, and disposable razors. Don’t forget nail clippers if you are away for a good while. A cover for your tooth brush is useful to stop it messing up things when being re-packed, or take a toothbrush that fits inside its own handle. If you want to save money, stick to a regular tooth brush and just keep it in a zip-lock bag. Dental floss is also recommended because it can double as a strong thread for other jobs.

Top Pick: Lush Solid Shampoo Top Pick: REI Travel Bottles

Travel Washing Line A twisted elastic wash line can be useful if away for an extended period and washing clothes regularly. A rubber braided clothesline works well because they do not require clothespins—you can just stick your clothes through the braids. Some couple this with a universal sink plug, but it’s not too hard to find a bucket if you need to wash clothes. Washing powder can be bought in small quantities locally, very cheaply. Having a wash line and sink plug can make any washing you do much easier.

If you want to save money, stick to a regular tooth brush and just keep it in a zip-lock bag.


Electronics You should avoid bringing bulky technology like laptops, but a cellphone and camera can be very handy. If you want to make a worthwhile investment for traveling, get a smart phone, because there are countless apps and helpful maps available to help guide you along your travels.

Camera The camera you decide to take depends on how much you are into photography, and how much time and effort you really want to spend on it. A point-and-shoot compact camera isn’t perfect for amazing photos, but with a good eye for composition you can take reasonable pictures. Digital cameras with their rapidly increasing memory size have become quite common.

34 SPRING 2013

Flashlight There is no reason to take a large flashlight, but a small LED light, key-ring sized, is fine. How often might you walk around in the dark? It is essential for nights when you return to your hostel dorm late—don’t piss off your roommates by turning the lights on at 3 am. Small flashlights can be extremely useful! Top Pick: Princeton Tec LED light


Stay with the basics, and simplify your technology needs.

Cell Phone

MP3 player

Taking a phone has many advantages and is highly recommended, but there are several disadvantages worth noting. Firstly, if roaming on your home network, call costs will be significant. Make sure the phone you take is of the correct type for your use, so you can install a new SIM card. For a ‘catch all’ international SIM card recommended are Cellular Abroad. Taking a Smart Phone, doubles its use as an alarm clock, MP3 player, web browser, calendar, and calculator. You will find picking up Wi-Fi to send an e-mail or check something on the web is a great tool to have. Bringing a phone along with you makes staying in contact with new people you meet, and arranging travel plans much easier.

These are a true gift to the traveler. Ipods and their equivalents along with Smart Phones are great for holding enough tunes for any trip. They are handy if you are on a long trip and don’t wish to be bothered by other travelers, and want some time to yourself.

International Plug Adaptor If you choose to bring any electronics from abroad—like a phone charger, or camera charger, you may need to look into finding an international plug adaptor in order to continue using those plugs in new countries!


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Accessories You might find these little things handy! They won’t take up much space and are dimensional.

Umbrella A light and compact umbrella is actually more convenient than a waterproof jacket. A jacket is not recommended over an umbrella in most situations, because in a jacket you will sweat and it will be more bulky to repack when wet.

Top Pick: REI Travel Umbrella

Water Bottle

Top Pick:

It is important to stay hydrated, but water bottles can get heavy and bulky. That is why I would highly recommend Platypus style water bottles—they can hold a lot of liquid, and flatten out as you drink from them. When they are not being used, they are flattened. Some even have a handle which you can use to clip to your bag.

Platypus Water Bottle

Sun Glasses Sometimes the sun can be just too much, wearing sun glasses will help you see all those lovely sights without the sun in your eyes. More importantly though, they are perfect for checking out all those hot Europeans.

Scarf European men and women love scarfs. They very lightweight, and are perfect for providing warmth, or to add something extra to your wardrobe. Plus you can use it to block the light while you are trying to sleep on the train.

Lock A little combination padlock is an excellent thing to bring in order to secure belongings. It is nice to have to use for lockers, keeping your stuff safe while you are out for the day, or if you will be staying at hostels, as a security measure. If you find that it is weighing you down and have found little use for it, make sure to go to Rome’s Ponte Milvio bridge, and lock it up there to commemorate someone you love.

Duct Tape You never know when you’ll need to patch something or tape something up. Don’t take a whole roll—just wrap some tape around a pencil so it doesn’t take up too much space.

Gallon Size Zip-Lock Bags These are perfect for dirty or wet socks and underwear. Put any liquids in zip-lock bags. In fact, double bag them. I’ve seen many backpackers open their bags to find that their shampoo bottle spilled all over their clothes. Also, for extra protection, put your important travel documents in a plastic bag.

Notebook and Pen This is probably my favorite item to pack. It is the best way to keep track of ideas and new things that you discover.




Try you’re best not to get weighed down by big bulky items, but if you must, you should get these incredibly special souvenirs for Grandma, Mom, siblings, or yourself. These items will be sure to dazzle them.

Switzerland Watch You may wonder why the swiss have such impeccable timing. Well, it’s because they have the best watches in the world and are renowned for it. They offer watches in fun and vibrant colors, so get something for your friend or sibling and they will love you forever!

Germany Beer Stein


Every time you take a sip from this Stein, you will remember, or not remember, the German beer and perhaps reminisce about Oktoberfest. An even bigger plus is that you look like a total badass drinking out of one of these beer mugs.

Holland Clogs France Perfume Bottle

Paris, and France are renowned for their sexy lingerie, language, and of course—scents. If you want to splurge, find some nice perfume. Otherwise find a little perfume bottle at a flee market that will most likely have some beautiful decorative embellishment. 38 SPRING 2013

You might not be able to dance the night away in these, but you can certainly make some noise and have some fun. These are great for a good laugh, and an interesting time to commemorate the dutch traditions and for the love of knickknacks.

Austria Cuckoo Clock This is something really wonderful. Handmade wood and Austrian craft that reminds you every hour how wonderful your time was in Europe. If you prefer something more affordable and light—there are mini Cuckoo clocks, and they are adorable.


The psychology of flourishing suggests that when people receive gifts that are one of a kind, not returnable, and specially catered to them, they will cherish and adore it forever, whatever it is.

For some reason Europeans love these wacky wooden figurines. They are interesting, detailed, and there are many that are small enough to fit in your bag without even noticing the extra weight, until you remember you have a special gift for your little cousin.

Eastern Europe Figurines


Spain Football Scarf No, not for American Football, this is for soccer. They are serious about soccer. This has nothing to do with Gryffendor and Harry Potter. It has everything to do with team spirit, and routing for the team, even if you don’t know them yet.

Czech Republic Marionette

The most fun and crazy looking puppets you will ever see. These are endless amounts of laughter, use one of these to act out your grand puppet recital, and if you are feeling especially creative, make some friends for your special companion.

Hungary Pottery Who doesn’t love a cookie jar? Although it may be quite a burden to carry, it could be worthwhile when you arrive home. Think of all the fresh baked cookie potential this jar could have! Hungarians also seem to have an extra special knack for pottery design.

Italy Leather Wallet

You will never find a better wallet again. The sidewalk markets in Florence are full of varieties of the finest leather wallets. You can haggle with the vendors to get the best deal on your dream wallet, and then put the extra money you saved haggling in your new purchase.


If you like to collect things, every country has things like maps, patches, shot glasses, or coins that you can find and hold on to and make a cohesive collection. To keep things light weight, holding on to things like tickets and brochures, or taking photos and writing in a journal are sufficient ways to evoke memories.

England Tea Towels This is an item that can be multipurposed and re-used over and over. It is remeniscant of tea time. It can be used for dishes, hanging on the wall as a mural, wiping up crumpets, and more! VAGABOND 39



Nutella / Butter / Strawberry / Brioche Europeans take breakfast seriously. Start your day off right with this breakfast. You can find pre-packaged packets of nutella and butter, and save them for later.


Nutella / Butter / Bun This is great to bring along in a bag, because it won’t get soggy, and it’s great for a little morning ‘sweet-tooth’ treat.


Jam / Butter / Wheat Bread This is perfect if you are staying at a hostel! There is usually leftover jam or butter in the fridge left behind from fellow travelers, which is free to share!


Honey / Butter / Wheat Bread A great morning treat is toast with honey and butter. You can find some cinnamon it’s a great thing to sprinkle on top for extra flavor!



Avocado / Cucumber / French Bread

Mayo / Salmon / Cheese / Tomato / Caper / Bagel

Pack this up in the morning for a refreshing snack for later—spritz a little lemon to keep it fresh and add butter so it doesn’t get soggy. If you are eating it immediately, try it with mayo!

This is an extra special snack, for days when you are feeling like treating yourself. You won’t regret trying this amazing bagel.


Hummus / Cucumber / Red Pepper / French Bread LUNCH or DINNER

Tomato / Mozzarella / Basil / Panini This is an Italian classic—a panini. Europe offers extraordinarily fresh ingredients that will make it melt in your mouth. In fact, try toasting it to melt the cheese if you want something warm. Sprinkle salt and pepper, or balsamic vinegar, if you want some extra flavor.

There is a strong Turkish influence in Europe. If you don’t have time or money for a Kebab, this quick lunch is a great alternative.


Lettuce / Tomato / Cheese / Panini Swap the cheese for Bacon and you have a BLT, however this alternative is quicker, easier, and more transportable. Try using different condiments to create some variety.

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Lettuce / Turkey / Onion / Tomato / Cheese / Brioche This sandwich has just about everything. This pairs well with a beer, and a beautiful day.


Pickles / Beef / Mayo / French Bread This sandwich is a quick option for something to throw together and to quench the need for protein to keep you energized and moving onwards through the day.


Tomato / Ham / Pickle / Onion / Lettuce / Pita Wrap Another Turkish influence, instead of a kebab wrap, make your own version with leftover ingredients.


Tuna / Mayo / Celery / Lettuce / Bread Tuna salad is a quintessential travel sandwich because it is cheap to make, and filling. It’s also quick, easy and keeps well. It’s a great classic sandwich for travelers.

Mayo / Celery / Tuna / Cheese / Onion/ Wheat Bread While tuna sandwiches are a classic travel snack, if you toast some cheese on top—voila! You have a tasty tuna melt.


Cheese / Egg / Mustard / Bun LUNCH or DINNER

Ham / Cheese / Mustard / Bun A simple light afternoon and/or dinner meal. Most Europeans eat larger meals for breakfast and have light meals for dinner.

This is easy to make into an egg salad, just boil a few eggs, and add mayo to save for later. While you are prepping it enjoy this snack!


Sandwiches are the best snack to make for yourself in Europe, because it helps you save money. Aside from doing your wallet a favor, it is also a great filling meal. Europe offers excellent fresh and local produce. Certain regions are also very well known for their cheese. Make sure to be adventurous and try your own sandwich based on what you see in restaurants, or ask locals what they love, and try it yourself.

Butter / Cheese / Mustard / Brioche Use a few different cheeses, some fresh bread, with some German or French mustard. Enjoy the simple things in life.


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CHEERS! DRINK & BE MERRY Avotre sante! A votre sante!

Cheers! Cheerio! Slainte!





Fruit Beer



Salud! Topa!


Gin & Tonic

France, Champagne

Yamas! Gela mas!




Proscht! Gesundheit!







Germany, Wheat Beer



Cin cin! Salute!


Na zdrowie! Na zdravi!



Czech Republic,








Say Cheers all over Europe! The alcohol belts of Europe are regions in Europe which are considered to be divided by association with either beer, wine or spirits. The Vodka belt runs across Northern Europe, like Poland. The “beer belt” is the territory covered by countries in Europe where beer is historically the most popular alcoholic beverage. The beer belt runs across the UK into Germany. The “wine belt” is the territory covered by countries in Europe, like Italy, where wine is historically the most popular alcoholic beverage. No matter where you travel in Europe, you’re never far from great great beer and wine. So get ready to celebrate and clink glasses! VAGABOND 43

VAGABOND North Africa Fall 2013
















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DESERT VOYAGES IN THE SAHARA Explore the hottest spots in the desert, and the chillest places

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