Being Globally Curious with Seth Kugel

Extra Pack of Peanuts Podcast Being Globally Curious with Seth Kugel

Today’s guest is former Frugal Traveler columnist for the New York Times and author of Rediscovering Travel: A Guide for the Globally Curious, Seth Kugel. Seth is also known in some circles as the “Latino food expert”, can claim that he has written for the New Yorker but can’t claim that his work has appeared in the New Yorker, and is one of the funniest guys out there (just read his about page!).

Today’s episode has been sponsored by our friends at Tortuga Backpacks!

Click here to download the episode directly.

What has been your cheapest travel experience? Was it worth it? Let us know @ExtraPackofPeanuts!

Check out the entire library of EPoP Travel Podcasts on iTunes.

Do you have travel questions for Trav about travel or travel hacking? Tweet us @packofpeanuts or Instagram with #askepop to @extrapackofpeanuts, or even on Facebook! Anywhere you can find us!

In This Episode

  • 02:54 Not Making it in Playboy
  • 05:30 Why Do You Love Travel
  • 10:00 Goal of the Book
  • 11:35 What’s Hurting & What’s Awesome About Modern Travel?
  • 19:40 How Do We Experience a Place With More Authenticity
  • 24:45 Ultimate Love/Hate Relationship for Airbnb
  • 27:13 The Joys of Old School Travel
  • 30:00 Flip on Travel Mode
  • 31:45 Holding Onto Your Ways
  • 36:40 How Has Your Travel Style Changed?
  • 43:38 How Do I Meet Locals While Traveling
  • 49:45 Easy Authentic Places
  • 53:55 Favorite Places & Experiences
  • 57:55 Underwhelming Places
  • 59:28 Tips for Traveling More & Spending Less
  • 01:04:15 Finding Consolidators
  • 01:07:04 Biggest Mishaps?
  • 01:10:00 What’s Happening Next?

Important Links

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EPoP Success Story: How to Travel the World for $50 a Day

Extra Pack of Peanuts Podcast EPoP Success Story: How to Travel the World for $50 a Day

Yesterday, Robb and David talked about their strategies for saving up money for their various trips around the globe.

Today, we talk about how they’re saving money on their current, open-ended trip. We discuss their $50 dollar a day budget, how they manage their money while on the road, and how flexibility plays into it, both for better and for worse.

These guys make Heather and I look like we frivolously throw our money around (despite our loose budgeting strategies)! We’ve learned a lot from them over the past couple of weeks, and hopefully, you’ll learn something new as well!

Click here to download this episode directly

Check out the entire library of EPoP Travel Podcasts on iTunes

In This Episode:

  • 03:25 Frequent Flyer Miles
  • 08:30 Selling all your stuff.
  • 12:30 Budgeting your Trip
  • 16:00 The single most important thing
  • 24:00 What’s been the most expensive part of the trip.
  • 29:22 Saving money on accommodations
  • 34:40 The zen of flexibility.
  • 38:45 Make a choice. Always make it a choice.
  • and much more!

Links Discussed in This Episode:

Win a $50 Amazon Giftcard!

The last survey went SO well, that we’re doing it again!

Click Here to fill out our survey (it only takes 5 minutes, we promise!) and get entered to win a 50 dollar Amazon Giftcard! The survey will close at the end of November.

We’ll randomly select one person who answers our survey to win!

Leave a Review!

iTunes reviews are one of THE most important factors for podcasts. If you enjoy the show please take a second to leave the show a review on iTunes!

    1. Click this link: Leave a review on iTunes
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    3. Leave an honest review.
    4. You’re awesome!

EPoP 037: Getting the Best Bang for Your Travel Buck with Roger Wade


You’re planning a trip to Prague and want to know how much it’ll cost, so you ask a few friends.

“It’s super cheap.  Beer and accommodations are 4x cheaper than here” says your friend who is living in Paris.

Great, a cheap trip!  Until…

“It’s pretty expensive.  Beers are more expensive and food and accommodations are at least two or three times as much” says your friend who is living in Vietnam.

Wait, what?  So which is it?

Luckily, Roger Wade has mapped out the prices of over 120 destinations in the world with real data.  

And he’s put it all in nice, concise lists so that you can actually compare cities with each other easily and effectively.

This means that before traveling to a place, you can actually get a decent handle on how much you’ll spend, and plan your trip accordingly.

And you can also find out what places offer the “best bang for your travel buck”, like three amazing but cheap cities in Europe and an island paradise in Asia.

Throughout his “research”, Roger also found the world’s cheapest beer, liquor, bed, and overwater bungalow, all of which he shares during this epic podcast.

Right-click to download this episode directly

Check out the entire library of EPoP Travel Podcasts on iTunes

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In This Episode:

  • The cheapest cities in Europe…and the most expensive.
  • How Roger finds the cost of a bottle of beer in Hanoi and transportation in Kiev.
  • The difference between cheap and value.
  • The 3 cities that are the best bang for your buck in Europe.
  • What country in SE Asia stands out for being tremendous value…and has the best food!
  • The two completely opposite stereotypes of Bali.
  • The biggest tip for keeping costs down in expensive cities.
  • Why there is no incentive for touristy restaurants to have good food.
  • Is the Eurail Pass worth it?
  • Where to find 15 cent beers, 80 cent liquor, a $1 bed, and overwater bungalows for less than $150.
  • Finding “Flinstone’s World”.

And much more!

 Links Discussed in This Episode:

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Roger has done an amazing job helping us figure out how to travel more and spend less.  Show him some love by clicking “Tweet This” below:

@priceoftravel Thanks for revealing the Best Bangs for Your Travel Buck on the EPoP Podcast w/ @PackofPeanuts. #Travel More, Spend Less!

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How To Use Your Cellphone Abroad in 5 Easy Steps


[bluebox]Interested in saving money on your cellphone plan while at home as well?  Check out The Best Cellphone Service for International Travelers. [/bluebox]

When traveling abroad, one of the worst mistakes you can make is paying way too much to use your cellphone.

This happens to many people because they think using their cellphone abroad is complicated, and therefore pick the easiest (and much more expensive) option.

So, what are the two main options?

Option #1:  Global Roaming (The Expensive Option)

Cellphone companies will allow you to use your phone abroad and still get service.  It’s called “global roaming”, and all you have to do is call up and ask for it.

However, it will cost you A LOT of money.  AT&T, for example, charges $1 per minute in Europe, $2 per minute in the rest of the world, $0.50 per text, and $30 per 120 MB of data, with most other carriers being about the same.


This option is only good for people who are planning on using their phone very sparingly or who are in a country for a few days.

Option #2:  Getting a SIM Card (The Cheap Option)

Fortunately, this being 2014, there is now a very easy and very cheap way to use your same cellphone abroad.

A SIM card allows you to switch carriers and use that carrier’s network.

So when you’re in Spain, you’ll buy a SIM card for a carrier that operates in Spain (such as Vodafone).  You’ll then be using Vodafone’s network on the exact same smartphone that you typically use when at home.

And you’ll be paying much less than you would if you used a global roaming plan.

For anyone spending more than a few days in a country and who wants to be able to use their phone freely (especially as a GPS with data), this is the way to go.

And contrary to what many people believe, using a SIM card isn’t difficult.  It can be broken down in to two parts; unlocking your cellphone before you leave and then getting and using a SIM card when you’re abroad.

Here’s how to do it in 5 easy steps!

Step 1:  Unlock Your Cellphone

Yes, it’s LEGAL for you to unlock your phone for international travel, and yes, you should do this BEFORE you leave on your trip!

Here’s how to do it for each major US carrier:

Step 2:  Backup, Update, and Restore Your Phone

This step may not be necessary on all carriers, but it currently is with Sprint.  Ask when calling to unlock.

Also, the process will look different on an Android phone, but the steps should be fairly similar.

2A)  Backup everything on your phone either to a safe location (iCloud, your computer hard drive, etc.)

iCloud Backup

2B) Update Your Phone to the Latest Software

Restore Iphone

2C) Restore Your Phone From Your Backup

This will ensure that everything that you had on your phone previously (pictures, apps, etc.) are all put back on.

Restore iPhone after

2D) Your iPhone is unlocked!

iPhone unlockedNow that your phone is unlocked, you can continue to use it as normal until you go away on your trip.

Unlocking it shouldn’t affect the way it works in your home country at all.

Step 3:  Find a Place That Sells SIM Cards

IMG_7789 cropped

In almost any country, this shouldn’t be a problem (I’ve personally done it in 10+ countries, even China).

Usually, you can find a phone or electronic store or kiosk in the airport or train station when you arrive.

When in doubt, just say “SIM” and everyone will know what you’re talking about.

Step 4:  Pick Out the Plan That Works Best

There will most likely be a plethora of options, especially in European countries.  I personally go for the plans that don’t include many minutes but are heavier on data.

I only need minutes in case of an emergency but I need data because I use my smartphone as my GPS.

Almost all plans will be prepaid, so you won’t have to worry about any crazy overage costs.

Even if you don’t quite understand all the ins and outs of what the person is telling you (and most of the time, this will be the case), your phone will just stop working if you run out of minutes, texts, or data.

Step 5:  Pop Open Your SIM Card Slot and Insert Your New SIM


Some phones, like the iPhones, require a “microSIM” card.  Just ask them to use their special tool to cut down the larger SIM card.

After inserting your SIM card, it may work immediately.  On other providers, you’ll have to enter the PIN number from the package.

DON’T lose this package, as you may have enter the PIN each time you turn on your phone.

Now, you should be able to use your phone in the country you are traveling in!

Answers to a Few Questions

1.  How much will it cost?

This will vary based on the plan you choose, how much you use the phone, and the country you are in.  A rough estimate for if you are using the phone sparingly to talk and mainly for data would be $15-20 for 2 weeks.

2.  Can I use the same SIM in different countries?

Most of the time, no.  Most countries require you to get different SIMs when you enter that country.  For example, when I traveled to Spain and Portugal, I needed to get a different SIM in each.

And if it does show you still have service when entering another country, it’ll be charging you international roaming and cost a fortune.  Much better to get another SIM for that country.

3.  Will I have the same phone number as my number at home?

No.  When you buy a SIM card, it comes with it’s own unique number.  That will be the number you’ll give people to call you.

4.  Can I call my home country using my new SIM card?

Maybe, but it will probably cost a bunch of money.  It’s much better to try to connect t0 Wifi and use a service like Skype.

5.  If I use up all my minutes, data, or texting, can I add more money to the same SIM card?

Usually yes. You’ll just have to “top up”, which can be done for some providers online or through automated machines.  For others, you’ll have to visit a store.

You’ll add more money to that SIM card and keep the same number.

6.  Do SIM cards expire?

Generally yes.  If you’re thinking about trying to use the same SIM card that you used last time you were in the country a year ago, you’re probably out of luck.  You’ll most likely have to buy a new one.

7.  Will I have any problems using my phone when I come back home?

You shouldn’t.  Just pop the international SIM card out and you should reconnect with your regular provider.  Do note that if your provider at home uses SIM cards, you’ll have to put that back in, so don’t lose it!

 Final Word(s)

Don’t be caught paying a huge phone bill when you return home.  Instead, follow these steps and get yourself a SIM card while you’re traveling.

Your wallet will thank you!

If you travel often, you may be able to save a ton of money on your cellphone bill while at home by switching to Ting.

Have you ever had a good (or bad) experience using your phone abroad?  How do you use your phone when traveling?  Let us know in the comments below!

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