How to Hunt for the Best Budget Accomodation

How to Hunt for the Best Budget Accomodation

Choosing accomodation through a guidebook often brings bad experiences and disappointment. Many recommendations are often based on quick incomprehensive visits and can rarely be trusted. If you have internet and would like to read recommendations before booking a room, tripadvisor might be of help. But if you want to go on your own accommodation hunt for a cheap guesthouse, hostel, hotel or homestay, this is a short guide for you!


The first thing you do before entering is to see how the place is located. If there is a nightclub right downstairs, you might want to reconsider. If you live near a party district, drunk people might interrupt your sleep. Same goes for construction sites and loud traffic. It’s always great to find a place near public transport and nearby the things you want to see and do.
If you took a taxi our tuktuk and the driver brought you to a certain place that he recommends, he was probably paid to do so. Don’t let yourself be pushed into booking a room that you don’t feel comfortable with.

Once you decide to enter you’ll hopefully get a warm welcome. But no matter what smile, be polite and patient. In this way you’ll have a better chance of getting better rooms and better service.



When you ask about the price stay open minded. It might be that the last place you visited costed much less, but before you think that they are trying to rip you off, be aware that the price depends on the location and the facilities (free wifi, free use of computers, free washing, free breakfast, hot showers, cheap tours etc.). If you plan to stay several days, you can ask if there is a discount or try to haggle. They often differ between aircon and fan room, where the latter is the cheaper option.



If a room is in your price range, ask to see it. First check if the fan or aircon works. Same goes for hot water! Most importantly, the reason you’re probably here is to have a place to sleep. Check the sheets: Do they have small bloodstains? This may be a case of bedbugs! If not look at the corners of the madras just to be sure. If you find traces of bedbugs get the hell out of there and don’t bother to check other rooms.

If the bed is bug free try to sit on it to check if you can sleep well here. Now that you’ve made sure you don’t have uninvited guests in your bed, check if you see cockroaches or other animals. Also check for mosquitoes and if they have easy access to the room. Having a fan is always great to prevent moskitos on landing on you, because they are weak flyers.



If you need access to the internet, ask if you can check if the wifi connection is good enough.They might say it’s good, but insist to check it just to be sure. When you get access you might as well use this opportunity to check if the guesthouse has horrible reviews on tripadvisor.



If you arrive at a reasonable hour don’t take the first best room. Go around and check a few places out – you can save money and spare yourself from an awful night. Having a place where you can relax and feel good is really worth the extra time.



Follow your instincts. Trust your overall first impression of the place and the staff. Do they seem like honest and nice people? Do they seem like they only see you as an income and not as a person? The reception has the key to your room and might be accessing it when you are out. If the staff is rude it’s often a result of complaining guests.

35 Things for your 35 L backpack

35 Things for your 35 L backpack

So you are planning a trip to some warmer countries where you want to backpack and sleep in guesthouses and dormrooms? This list might help you with deciding what is important to bring. Please note that this list doesn’t include clothes, which of course are of great importance if you don’t want to be arrested for nudity.

  1. Small Backpack

    For day tours

  2. Mosquito Net

    For rooms filled with bloodsuckers

  3. Silk Sleeping Bag

    Thin enough in warm nights, thick enough to let you feel more comfortable in a nasty dormroom bed

  4. Sleeping Mask

    Great for sleeping in daylight or nightbuses

  5. Small Torch

    For the nightly toilet visit or to reveal what the hell just crawled over your leg

  6. Ear plugs

    Get an undisturbed night of sleep or a little moment of peace and silence

  7. Inflatable Pillow

    Makes sitting and sleeping in local or long distance transport a bit more comfortable

  8. Sunscreen

    A sunburn on shoulders + wearing a backpack = Deep agony

  9. Deodorant

    You might be dirty and sweaty, but at least you smell like flowers

  10. Disinfection Gel

    Before meals, after toilet visits, after using public transport. Well, just use it often!

  11. Small Mirror

    Check if you look healthy and happy – then your trip is going well!

  12. Small Foldable Scissors

    Sssshhh… Airport security will not notice

  13. Disinfection Napkins

    When you suddenly realize you have sticky hands and don’t know the cause

  14. Microfiber Towel

    Easily washed and dries quickly

  15. Netbook/Tablet

    Uploading images and planning your next step is more comfortable on a bigger screen

  16. USB

    Transfer and print flight tickets etc.

  17. Fabric Bags

    Organizing underwear, socks, dirty clothes

  18. First Aid Kit

    For small emergencies: Plaster, wound disinfection, plastic gloves, tweezer etc.

  19. Money Belt

    Obviously not sexy, but hey! Your passport and money is safe

  20. Locks for Backpacks

    Feel safe about leaving your belongings, when you go on a daytrip

  21. Sewing Kit

    To fix clothes or your backpack. Sewing flags on your backpack to show that you are experienced and cool

  22. Point it

    A tiny book filled with photos, that helps you communicate with people, in case they don’t understand your language.

  23. SteriPen + Extra Batteries

    They should rather call it SteriWand! Wave this magic wand around in tap water, for half a minute (while whispering spells), and it transforms into drinkable water!

  24. Spork

    Spoon + Knife + Fork! For street food or when you don’t feel like eating with chopsticks or your hands

  25. Nalgene Bottle

    Perfect in combination with SteriWand

  26. Travel Adapter

    Get plugged in (mostly) anywhere

  27. Mouth Mask

    For tuktuk rides through smoggy cities or to make an impersonation of Bane

  28. Watch

    See what time it is without pulling out your fancy pancy smartphone

  29. Notebook & Pen

    Note useful tips from other travelers and get their contact info

  30. Sandals

    Good in any weather, any environment and on any terrain

  31. Toilet Paper

    Yes my friend, you will need it

  32. 35 L Backpack

    This bag is big enough for visiting most places in the world

  33. Folder for important documents

    Travel Insurance, vaccinations, grim looking passport photos

  34. Old Cellphone

    Is less noticed in crowds and public places than your iphone 6

  35. Hiking boots

    Be comfortable for longer walks and hikes

Seven Reasons to Travel Together

Seven Reasons to Travel Together

You might have come across the solo-travel blogs that say traveling solo, is the best way to travel.

And although we can relate to some of the statements, we discovered seven good reasons why traveling together with someone is awesome…

  •  Travel lighter: If you are two, you probably wont need two laptops, guidebooks, DSLRs and so on.
  •  Save money: save money on accommodation, food (by sharing huge portions), transport (taxis and tuktuks), and daytrips (more people – smaller price)
  • Two minds are better than one: we often had some sort of situation, where speaking with the other made reach better decisions, than you would have come to yourself; Like if there was some suspicion about scams, choosing accommodation, choice of transport and so on.
  • Give up control: You don’t always have to be alert, and can sometimes leave the control to the other if you are exhausted or not sure about what to do.
  • Trust: You always have a person with you that you can trust and be yourself with.
  • Sharing: Most experiences are best, if you have someone to share them with. You grow with the person, because you have been through the same things and can share these memories. This travel companion may then know you better than anyone else.
  • Safety: If you are two, the chance of being a victim is less, than if you are alone. The reasons for danger could either be violence, theft or scams but could also be within nature: wildlife and being of the beaten track.

These are seven good reasons to find yourself a companion but be careful: We’ve also come across people, that had split up from their travel companion because of different conflicts – even heard stories about best friends loathing each other in the end and couples breaking up. So if you chose to find a travel companion – chose wisely.

Lennart and I are used to be together and know what the other person wants. We have many of the same interests – and also often like the same sort of people. If you are looking for a travelcompanion –  a friend, family member, stranger etc. – talk about what you each like to see or do on your trip, and make sure to discuss how to plan, where to sleep (which standards) and your own boundaries.

Be sure that you travel with a person you trust and which is honest. This person should also be good at making discessions, so that you together are in control of what should happen. There has to be a good balance between you and conflicts have to be resolved in a respectful way.
There are probably times you are sick of each other, but you can always take a break from each other for a day or a week

Experiencing the Earthquakes in Nepal

Experiencing the Earthquakes in Nepal

Before the Earthquakes
We flew from Istanbul to Kathmandu. Our plan: 3 months of Nepal and Northern India. When we arrived  we headed directly to Thamel, one of the oldest districts of the capitol. It’s a quite touristy area with lots of accommodations, restaurants and shops. The first days we just wanted to rest and figure out our next step. On the internet we found an ashram just outside of Kathmandu. Here more than 100 challenged and orphaned children live. It’s a spiritual community, lead by Swami Ramchandra, inspired by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.  They live from their own organic farming and are a non profit organization.
Intrigued, we spontaneously decided to head there. Luckily we came at a great time, as they celebrated their 22nd anniversary. The children and youngsters from the ashram had prepared a lovely program full of dances, songs and other performances. When you first imagine an orphanage, you get this sad feeling of children with no homes or families. But here the children feel like home, go to school and have over 100 family members. They are without a doubt a happy, healthy and helping family.

The Earthquake
Our second day at the ashram we got up early to attend to yoga. This was followed by breakfast and Lennart went outside to help unloading trucks.
I stayed in our room, writing. We had three beds in our room, but I chose to lay on the one near to the window. At some point I stopped writing and just stared out of the window for a long time. The view was magnificent, you could see almost all of Kathmandu and its surrounding hills.
But after a while my peace was abruptly and dramatically interrupted.

Within a few seconds my calmness turned to the complete opposite feeling: Anxiety and panic. The first second I thought: What is that noise? A truck? Following second everything shook rapidly. The house swung from side to side. I was on the third floor – two unfinished built floors above me. I immediately remembered, that I should be under a table. Having no table I chose a bed. I lay here listening to the building rumble and the sound of collapse from the  above floors. I was very sure, that these were going to be my last moments alive. But I didn’t dare to move. Full of anxiety I was paralyzed and watched as the whole room was shaking. Then there was a anxious knock on the door. Without hesitation I got up and unlocked it. Lennart had come inside to get out, and we ran outside to safety.

Everyone was in chok, but luckily no one seemed to be hurt. I looked in the direction of Kathmandu. It was no longer visible. The view I had enjoyed only three minutes before, was completely dusty.
Not much later another earthquake shook the ground below us, and we witnessed how the houses were wobbling, as if they were constructed with rubber.

The rest of the day we spent outside, just sitting and waiting. We experienced many tremors and each time the anxiety returned.

We finally got some news: The earthquake measured 7.8 and was one of the biggest earthquakes in Nepal. 700, 800, 900. The death rates continued to rise. Historical buildings and temples that we had planned to visit had collapsed. ‘We only have one richness in our poor country, and that is our temples” a youngster of the ashram told us.

The following days
Because of solar panels, the ashram still had a very limited access to electricity. But the rest of the city had none. There was no tap water, but we were fortunate to have food and drinking water. We packed our bags and brought it to the safest building of the ashram, where we stayed in the bedroom of Swami Ramchandra. The other buildings suffered from big damages so everyone stayed in this building or in a tent outside.
There were made several runs to a temple nearby that had flowing water.

Today we experienced another big earthquake. Afterwards we could see a few places where dust and smoke started to rise. Probably more houses had collapsed. The death rate is now estimated to be over 2000. We continue to feel terrified each time another tremor comes.

The city is silent and dark.