Expert's Advice: Travel Hacks - Interview with Clint Johnston

22 September 2015

Travel Information


ClintMeet our travel expert Clint, the creator of Triphackr blog. He has been travel hacking through more than 80 countries never paying full price and always getting the most out of his journeys. He started his own blog to share his unbelievable experience along with tips and hacks he has learned during his years of adventures. We've asked Clint to share his insight on how to save money and make the best of any situation while traveling the world. 

 

Clint, you’ve been to over 75 countries, right? What is your personal driving force to manage travelling so much?


I just passed country number 80 last month but it’s not a race. I personally love seeing new places and experiencing new cultures and that drives me to keep moving. Of course I would love to live in every country I visit for an extended period of time but the world is massive place and I’m trying to experience as much as possible.

 

Was it travelling that taught you to find and use hacks or was it your initial lifestyle?

 Uruguay

Well when I fresh out of college I realized travel hacking would save me a lot of money. Flying around the world for free (plus taxes) sounded a lot better than paying for international airfare. This is what led me to start travel hacking as often as possible. It saves you money on flights and accommodation and the best part is anyone can do it.

 

Could you share your favourite travel hack that you use every single time you travel?

 

Every trip is different and travel hacks vary every time I travel. The biggest money saver is hacking your flight. Whether that is using miles to score a free flight or finding an ultra-low fare that saves you hundreds, that is the best way to save money on every trip.

 

From your broad experience, what country would you recommend visiting in the first place to develop that travel urge you have?

 

I think once someone leaves home for the first time they are going to have the urge to do it again. However, if you are vacationing at a resort on spring break in Mexico you aren’t going to feel the same way about traveling as if you had just spent 3 weeks backpacking around Europe. I would recommend backpacking South East Asia or Europe for first timers looking to have a great first time experience. You can see many countries and cultures in one single trip. South East Asia is a lot cheaper for travellers, which is a nice incentive. However, Europe’s transit and hostel system makes life a little easier if you are just getting started. No matter what you choose just go for it and enjoy yourself. There is good chance you will return home ready to plan your next trip.

 

safariClint, what is the most important lesson you’ve learned through travelling?

 

I’ve learned that people are amazing all over the world. Ignore the negative news and you will find people are warm and hospitable all over the world. Of course, there are bad people everywhere but don’t let that stop you from discovering the world - it is an amazing place full of kind people.

 

What was the toughest situation you’ve been to abroad and how did you solve it?

 

I was in Cairo during the elections of 2014 and was pulled over by the police after a late dinner and drinks. Before I give a bad impression of Egypt I want you to know it is safe and amazing place to visit. They are desperately in need of tourists right now and this was most likely an isolated incident. Anyway, my cab driver drove off and 5 armed officers started yelling at my friend and I for no reason and wouldn’t let us leave. There was nobody around and unfortunately I had left my passport at the hotel (I always bring a copy at least but forgot it). 15 minutes later I assumed they were going to take us in for a made up reason, after all we were just driving home in a cab to our hotel when we were stopped for nothing. Luckily, I remembered I had a digital backup of my passport on my phone. For some reason that did the trick or they just gave up because they told us to leave. It was a scary situation but also probably a big misunderstanding. Now I always have my digital copy and physical copy of my passport at all times.

 

Can you give the brightest example of how much you saved on a plane ticket?

 

During the World Cup in Brazil last year I paid $68 for a flight to Rio and my friends paid around $1,800 USD. All I paid were the taxes on the ticket.

 

Are there any holiday booking frauds you would warn travellers against?

 

cambodiaThe biggest one I have encountered is on vacation rental sites. I love renting vacation homes but the key is to verify the owner before paying them anything. Many people have reported losing all of their money for the house rental when the homeowners’ page is hacked. Usually they scammer will pretend to be the owner and ask for a wire transfer. Call your owner, ask to speak to previous renters, and get referrals. It might seem like a lot of work but it could save you thousands from a potential scam artist. Airbnb does a nice job in preventing these scams but sites like VRBO are still my favourite for negotiating a great deal on a house.

 

Clint, in the end please share some online travel services you can’t live and travel without.

 

I follow sites like The Flight Deal on Twitter and Facebook to get notified of incredible low airfare. TripIt is my favourite travel app and probably the only one you really need. Rome2Rio is one of my favourite sites to figure out how to get from point A to point B. There are probably too many favorites to list here but I list them all on my Travel Resource page.

 

We thank Clint for sharing his amazing experience with us and we wish him to discover more fascinating destinations and ways to save money while traveling to the next countries on his list. His lifestyle is a true motivation for every wanderluster out there.

 

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