What knowledge do I impart to him?
We discussed Money. Find out what currency is used. Some countries use USD, but most use the local currency. Get money from the ATM for the best exchange rate. Make sure your card doesn’t charge you foreign transaction fees. I saved hundreds of dollars on this alone. In Mexico you can use USD almost everywhere. Merchants use a 30% transaction fee for USD. Get Pesos for the best deals and get an Exchange Rate App. I use GlobeConvert, but there a many out there. It converts currency, temperature, weight, distance and other measurements.
Visa policy – check each country for the visa policy. As US citizens we have it great; I mean really great! We can enter 192 countries on this planet. A few require forethought. For Vietnam we needed to apply for a visa ahead of time. For the 30 other countries I have visited I arrived at the airport. Some required a $30 visa fee, most did not.
Flights – Skyscanner is my favorite App for flights. I have tried Momondo, but prices kept going up after the first check. I have tried Kayak. They get you a price and when I tried to book the message ‘That price is no longer available’ pops up the price is now $4300 (from $1100). Then the phone call come to negotiate. Give me the price you quoted or fuck off. This happened three times; I will never use them again. Skyscanner
Where do I stay. He is young. Hostels are the place to be. I use Airbnb for a private stay. Sally and I don’t need to share a room with the young and horny. We like our own place for the not so young and still horny, and goes to sleep early crowd. Wimdu is a good choice too. I have heard it is better in Europe. Hostelworld has a highly rated app. Use it if you want the young crowd.
Booking.com and Expedia.com are great for hotel stays.
Read How to Travel the World on $50 a day by Nomadic Matt. This is a great first book to read. The first half has great travel advice and the last half is advice about specific locations. Do this in Europe but in Asia do this. Nothing will replace getting out there. Nothing will beat traveling.
Rome2Rio (Apple) or FetchMyWay (Android) are great Apps to figure out how to get around. Taxi to the train station, train to the mountainside, ski over the mountain, flight to the lake. It gives you options and prices. Keep in mind all transportation is seasonal. Out of season means no daily ferry, Trains once a day and not three time as the board shows, flights don’t go there this time of year.
These Apps are fantastic but do not rely on them out of season. Check at the bus station window or the train station. Do not trust the boards; “Oh that 10 foot high posted bus schedule doesn’t start until June”.
Visit in ‘the season’. I loved the Greek Islands, but we went in May. What do you mean there are only two restaurants open? There is no place to rent a scooter? Visit Croatia and the Greek Islands in the summer. We had the beach all to ourselves. Nothing was open, not even the bathrooms. After an hour bus ride and a beer this was a problem.
For my Translation App I use iTranslate I can type in a word in English and show me the word in many languages. The paid version will pronounce the word for you.
Lastly, staying in touch is important. I am your father, um... I mean call you father!
Skype, FaceBook Messenger, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, FaceTime let you stay connected. Local sim cards work too.
In my year of travel I did not keep my phone. Verizon wanted $166 a month for an international plan. I canceled my service and will never go back to them. My current T-Mobile services wants 20 cents a minute for everywhere I will visit this year. I’ll be sticking with them for a while.
WiFi is widely available in Europe. Not so much in South America, but it can be found.
Once you are on WiFi use FaceBook to call friends with Messenger. FaceTime works between any iPhones. These App are limited as the people you can call must be on the service. Skype lets you call anyone for a small charge; you can even get your own phone number. Sally used Google Hangouts over a VPN to stay in touch with her doctor. With the VPN connection it looked like the call was from California. I was able to call family and friends and never needed a phone number. I found the non connectedness to be inspirational.
I did purchase a VPN for use when I connected to my bank or credit cards. I used it on all unsecured WiFi. I am using IP Vanish now, but started with Private Internet Access. I like both, but there are many to choose from. Google top 10 for you type of laptop and read the reviews.
I also put a antivirus on my MacBook. Bitdefender is the one I chose and I am happy with them. Again Google and pick the one you like.