About Tools of Travel

Tools of TravelWelcome to Tools of Travel – Great to see you here!

My name is Barry, and I’m an English expat and traveller. Here’s a short little background on who I am, and what the Tools of Travel blog is all about.

I’m just someone who enjoys travelling like you: I like exploring different countries, I like the food, and I do something that resembles backpacking.

I grew up in sunny England and spent most of my time as kid outdoors. Up until about high school age, I enjoyed the typical family road trips, plus plenty of camping holidays.

Somehow after high school, like most people I decided that working was the best way to spend most of my time and jumped straight into the world of full-time employment plus overtime. I also had the idea to work my way through college/university. After high school, I proceeded to travel only a handful of times for the next ten years (so, not much travel!).

Igniting the Passion

For the next few years, I continued working and finished University. But I had this idea of travelling to overseas destinations, places I had only ever read about in books before. And it just wasn’t going away.

Finally in 2008, after plenty of planning, I sold most of my gear on eBay and boarded a flight. The first destination was nearby France, then a couple of months later was a 27+ hour flight to not so nearby Australia.

What I realised reasonably soon after leaving the UK was that travelling for more than two weeks a year is not exclusively limited to those who have plenty of money. Like many travellers, I learnt the skill of surviving on a budget.

Then finally in 2014 while Couchsurfing in Norway I decided the timing was right to share my experiences of travelling and living as an expat overseas. Using my second-hand X1 Carbon Ultrabook (which I still use today) and coffee shop Wi-Fi, I started work on my new hobby – toolsoftravel.com.

Even though I was enjoying travelling Europe on a shoestring, it wasn’t all happy days. A lot of time was spent playing around with free blog themes and the first few months were well, let’s just say setting up this website was a steep learning curve for me.

At the time I was also experimenting with minimalist living and apart from my mobile phone, I didn’t even own a camera!

Tools of Travel

This blog is just a small snapshot of experiences I have taken from my travels.

Some posts cover everyday travel stuff, but other topics are more location specific. Questions like how much does an apartment cost for a month? What about local gyms? Is the lifestyle any good for me? And so on.

There’s no real system to what gets included on the blog. If something catches my eye on a trip, then there’s a good chance of it getting published. Yet if I’m busy working on another project it might get missed altogether.

I try not to take myself too seriously, so I’ve approached Tools of Travel with a casual, informal tone as if we just met around the swimming pool at a guesthouse.

Information published on the blog if for you to read as if you’re my friend, although we probably haven’t met personally (if we have then thanks for reading!). I don’t know the specifics of your history, your age, your biases, marital status, education, so; therefore, I have made the following basic assumption on why you’ve dropped by:

You have a genuine interest in travel

Tools of Travel map

My Travel Philosophy

I’m a big believer in travelling slow and taking my time to explore a place before finally moving on.

These days I travel quite a bit with my girlfriend, friends or family. But old habits do die hard and do like a good old fashioned solo trip every now and again.

I know from first-hand experience that doesn’t take any particular skill or banks account overflowing with cash to travel the world. Those who are considered by society to be rich or have money are not the only ones who can journey successfully across the ocean.

It might sound like I’m bragging, but the lifestyle I’m living now doesn’t cost as much as people expect it does. As I write this, I have a decent sized room by a beautiful Vietnamese beach. Sounds expensive you might say? Not really, it costs me £5.89/$10US a night, and that includes a hot shower (something I learnt not to take for granted in Asia), fresh towels, cleaners, international cable TV, fast Wi-Fi, plus an all you can eat buffet breakfast every single day!

I also a big advocate of using travel tools like Couchsurfing, Housesitting and Airline Rewards cards to help me travel more for less. Some people who use various techniques to manipulate the travel system to get gains, call themselves travel hackers.

Whatever you call it – I’m one of those guys.

Supporting the Blog

As someone who decided one day to take some time out to explore the world more, the website provides a platform for me to spread the word about travelling and all of its many benefits.

The main way you can support the blog is by adding to the conversation topic by commenting on posts. Afterall – without readers, a blog isn’t really a blog.

Tools of Travel takes an interactive format, which means you as a reader are free to leave comments relating to your opinions about travel.

For those who wish to help the blog financially can do so by using the below links:

  1. Booking accommodation? I recommend Agoda and have been using them to book guesthouses, hotels, BnB’s, and hotels since 2011.
  2. Buying something? Simply buy your goods from Amazon or Amazon UK and I get a tiny bit back.
  3. Want to contribute directly? You can do so by donating to my coffee shop blog fund via this PayPal link.

No matter how small the donation is, I guarantee it will be appreciated.

Tools of Travel coffee fund

Finally…

No matter what point you’re at in life hopefully you get something out of this website. Maybe I can too. I’ve been travelling for all this time and never bothered jot down my thoughts, where I’ve been, or what I’ve been doing or how I’ve done it. Now Tools of Travel is my way to share the experiences and if you can make use of them too – then great!

Feel free to share the experience with me. Browse around the website, comment, share, absorb what’s relevant to your situation and discard the rest.

Regards

Barry

Tools of Travel

P.S. if you want to be updated roughly once a month with my latest travel tips subscribe to my newsletter today.