You may already know where you want or like to go so will keep this short. You may choose a destination based on family, friends, weather, history, event, hobby, occupation, or other. If you are looking for a vacation place, internet is unlimited it seems. Travel clubs like AAA are a great source of information and even international drivers licenses. Also trip-adviser is a good review site. Libraries often have travel books. I found for international travel that finding expats on line is very good also as they know the local areas and can translate. Some expats even offer tour services or volunteer to show you around.
Inside your country may be easier to find your own on line for bus, train, or airline. But for international travel it may be better to have a broker that specializes in the country of your destination. This way they will know the laws and get a better deal for you. To find a broker for this look inside magazine for expats from the country you wish to visit. These magazines target frequent travelers to the home country and offer deep discounts to get repeat business. Also, Use the Google ITA matrix to find the best time to get the best price before searching for airline tickets.
What to Pack
My best advise I think is to pack light as traveling with luggage gets old real fast. Think “space efficiency”! Shopping for travel stuff is best in travel clubs, store travel sections, and back pack supplies. For international travel, laptop and camera, as carrying back memento’s takes more space than pictures. Laptop is great for communicating online and researching your destination opportunities. I hope to have a article on here later with more information.
Places to Stay for Less
Pension houses, Hostels, and some Bed & Breakfast places may be be less expensive in some areas. But for longer stays consider renting a house or apartment. Hotels often have a lower rate by the week or the month too. For really cheap place to stay, you really should consider joining a hospitality exchange site such as couch surfing. Members exchange lodging for free. Also, if you travel in a RV, you may find these folk may let you park near their home. I have heard some churches or monasteries will let travelers stay for a short time.
The foremost in this of course is using common sense. Avoid dark alleys and so on! But to summarize it, most countries have the same crime levels by population density, so when in bigger cities and crowds you will need to be more careful. Most upheaval and war zones are widely in the media. For countries with hot spots, often they are mostly limited to the hot spots and locals or expats are a good source of information on places to avoid. Alternative protection is a good idea as well as never keep all your money in one spot on you while in crowds or traveling. Rotate your money into loose spending change in a wallet or purse that you can afford to loose. For alternative protection consider things the do not look out of place such as a metal flashlight, walking stick, or ammonium spray eye glass cleaner. In the woods a survival knife is common, or on the beach a divers knife may look normal. In the jungle a machete is very useful. Also,be aware of food and beverage safety such as drinking water and so on. Avoid being alone with people you do not know as well and having friends around that you can trust will give you some safety in numbers. Never do dangerous activities alone.
Always try to plan your WiFi ahead while you have internet so you do not find yourself without a source when you need it. When you contact your destination, ask if they have internet and cost. Also you can copy and paste on a word document a section out of internet site where free WiFi spots are located ahead of your departure. WiFi search web sites like Wififreespot are great to use ahead also.