Speaker shares his travelling sense
By Dave Yasvinski
Gil White gave his advice on how to achieve greater savings while travelling in Europe yesterday in the University Community Centre's McKellar Room.
White, author of Europe on 84¢ a day, said saving money was not his only objective during his travels. "It wasn't important that I was saving money, what was important were the experiences I had," White said.
The travelling experiences could only be obtained by interacting with people, he said. He added during his travels he would offer to do chores for people in exchange for a meal and a place to stay.
"You should earn your keep. Do yard work, shovel snow, cook a meal Canadian-style help out any way you can," he said.
Youth hostels and hotels can also provide a convenient place to rest for the night but they do not allow for direct contact with local residents, White said.
University residences on the other hand allow interaction with locals while providing the opportunity to enjoy the odd campus party in the process, he added.
White said while in a small town in Washington state, he even willingly spent the night in a police station to save money. He added the police had to take mug shots of him first which he mailed off to his parents for fun.
While travelling, White said he encourages people to hitchhike in certain areas of Europe. He listed several techniques for attracting the attention of drivers, one of which was the use of the Canadian flag.
Many Europeans tend to display generosity towards Canadians, but Canadians should not abuse it, White said. "All of us are unofficially ambassadors of our country. It is important to leave a good impression."
Another effective method of travelling is by bicycle as bikes are inexpensive to rent and allow people to explore the countryside at their own pace. "Just try to stop travelling when the sun sets," White said, adding safety is just as important as saving money.
He said taking precautions such as carrying a photocopy of a passport in case it is lost and keeping everything of value where it cannot be easily reached by a thief will make the trip more enjoyable.
Seeing the world now is important for students because they may never get the chance again, White said. "Travel is a great education."