Don't worry. Our expert is here to help.
Ever thought about how awesome it would be to quit your job and backpack around the world with your buddies? The founders of new local travel company Off the Grid Excursions — a group of friends who met at Northeastern University — did the next best thing: they made globetrotting their job. The twentysomething travel junkies plan off-the-beaten-path trips to destinations like Morocco and Peru for small groups of young, adventure-hungry folks, mapping out itineraries you might not find in your Frommer,s guidebook. We tapped cofounder Jaclyn Carron for some tips on getting way, way out of town.
On not being an "Ugly American" "Start by researching local practices and customs. What do people wear, what do they eat, how do they eat?...And we always forget that we're naturally louder, as a society, so try to keep your voice lower. Be more patient. Don't get so easily frustrated by slowness; we're used to speed here."
On eating like a local "When it comes to restaurants, never eat where the menu is in English or if there's something on the sign in English. I guarantee that the food will be better."
On shit you don't need "Try to fit everything into one backpack. I always bring one good pair of shoes, comfortable clothes, my journal, my iPod, and usually a guidebook. That's it."
On tipping "As a standard rule of thumb, if you're not sure, leave 10 percent. It's not too much to be insulting [if tipping isn't the norm], but it's not too small if tipping is appropriate."
On thrifty travel "Something people often forget is to negotiate. You can get things for cheaper than you think, and it's a perfectly normal custom. Negotiate for everything. Get in your taxi and tell him, 'Okay, I'm going to pay $2 and not $5.' That ends up being fun and saves you some cash."
: Lifestyle Features
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