8 Ways to Travel Like Star Trek’s Captain James T Kirk

He had the world’s best comfy chair and big screen TV but he still didn’t choose just to stay home and watch re-runs. What can we learn about travel from Captain James T. Kirk?

Explore

Explorers sometimes go off the edge of the map where it says “here be monsters” or at least visit places not mentioned in the Lonely Planet Guide. Captain Kirk was an explorer.

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Now that’s a mission statement. Did it always work out great? No. Did it mean that they had to give up access to great Mexican food and every once and a while have a chicken sandwich and coffee with tribbles all over them? Yes.

Meet the Locals

Captain Kirk had his loyal traveling companions and brought food with him just like mom used to replicate, but the best part of his travels often came from his interaction with the locals. If we travel to learn more about other cultures we can do that more from interacting with people who live there than we can from just hearing about it from a guide or reading about it from a guidebook. Even without a Universal Translator (although the iPhone is getting closer) we can learn enough words of the local language to at least greet people.

Respect Local Cultures and Customs

“We don’t do it that way at home” is a dangerous line. We travel to see places and people that are different but differences can be challenging at times. Captain Kirk had a rule called the Prime Directive (Starfleet’s General Order #1) which said that:

As the right of each sentient species to live in accordance with its normal cultural evolution is considered sacred, no Star Fleet personnel may interfere with the normal and healthy development of alien life and culture.

It did not mean that they agreed with the rules, the norms or even what that society held sacred. But it meant that they respected the people (beings) enough to treat there customs with respect. I will come into contact with beliefs that I disagree with when I leave home, but treating people with whom I disagree with respect is not unfaithful to my beliefs.

There are no “new worlds” only those new to us.

Leave the Place Better Than You Found It

OK, Captain Kirk interfered all the time. Or let’s say that he volunteered. He pitched in to make the local situation better. Now you may never be called on to settle a war between the Yangs and the Kohms, but you might consider helping out in a local building project or orphanage. Some of the most satisfying travel involves getting involved.

Participate In Local Customs

Why not participate in a local cricket match, baseball game, T’ai Chi class, Tango lesson, cooking class or gladiatorial fight to the death as a way of getting a unique view into local customs. Yes a bull fight or battle with a Gorn may be too bloody for your tastes. A bungie jump may be too high and zorbing maybe… just crazy. But find something you are willing to do an jump in.

Travel with Friends

Let’s face it. Years after your mission or trip ends your best memories may be sitting with a friend you traveled with and swapping the shared memories you made together.

Remember that time you thought you killed me when we went to your home planet and you were trying to spawn. You should have seen the look on your face when I wasn’t dead.

Even days that were not all that funny at the time seem somewhat more humorous from the distance of time. Just decide who gets to sit in the big chair and make decisions or at least how you are going to decide who gets to make decisions.

Be Flexible

Granted you may never find yourself in an alternative universe where one of your best friends suddenly has a beard, but travel may require you to be flexible from time to time. You won’t always get your way. You won’t always be comfortable. You will sometimes be tired, jet-lagged or have someone trying to assassinate you. But those are not excuses to be unpleasant. You are an explorer whether your vehicle is a starship, a night train or a chicken bus.

Take advantage of travel opportunities from your Job

Most of us won’t get an all expenses paid mission to travel for 5 years. But we will sometimes get to a conference in a different town or a work trip overseas. See if you can add on a little time to explore on your own or at least a little shore leave. What’s the worse thing that could happen? I once had 2 days in Shanghai as part of a work trip. It wasn’t a strange new world, but it was new to me.

Backpacking, Is It The Best Way to Travel Abroad?

People love to travel. Travelling the world appeals to people from all walks of life.

There is the right kind of travel out there to suit all budgets, from high dollar luxury resorts in the Maldives to $5 per night rooms for Backpackers in Bangkok.

For most though, their travel budget lies somewhere in the middle, between luxury resorts and travelling on a dime.

Backpacking these days has never been more affordable, with budget airlines competing to get bums on seats and the internet making it so easy to find and compare hotels and youth hostels online.

Asia has long been a favourite for backpackers and budget travellers. SE Asia in particular, offers almost any kind of travel experience you desire. including luxury beach-side resorts or budget $15 per night beach bungalows – Thailand’s Islands such as Koh Samui are famous for.

From Bangkok, Thailand’s major hub – you can fly to just about any city in Asia that has an airport.

With a multitude of budget airlines flying out of Bangkok, you can get some great value fairs from anywhere to Siem Reap in Cambodia or Hanoi in Vietnam or even to less travelled Borneo.

Its always a good idea to have a travel gear checklist on hand to make sure you’re taking the right kind of travel backpack, clothing, shoes and even first aid kit and medication for your sabbatical.

When Backpacking in South East Asia, a sturdy travel backpack is recommended, along with a good quality pair of travel pants, such as cargo pants with lots of pockets that zip or button up to keep your valuables safe while on the road.

You don’t need to worry about packing too much when going to Asia, in fact its best to travel light. Make sure you take a few pairs of pants, some swimming bathers, a few t-shirts, a sturdy pair of travel shoes and that should be a good start.

Remember, it’s Asia. If you’ve forgotten anything important you can probably buy it there cheaper than you can at home.

Its also a great idea to visit some SE Asia Travel Blogs before you go backpacking to read other travellers stories and get recommendations and advice on where to travel to, what to pack and keep up to date with general travel news from all the RWT (around the world travel) blogs.

If travelling to Europe, you probably want to pack a few more things, as the weather varies a lot depending if you travel in summer or winter.

The Importance of Comprehensive Travel Insurance When Visiting Other Places

A lot of people, when they travel, find themselves tense and worried. While it is it natural to feel excited when leaving home and exploring another destination, it is also a normal feeling to be anxious and thus feel the need to find ways to protect their health and well-being, as well as the act of travelling itself. What if there is a sudden change of plans like an accident or a weather disturbance, or if other unforeseen events occur? Travel plans may have to be postponed, cut short or cancelled altogether.

This is where travel insurance kicks in. Travelers who are not covered by this kind of insurance may have to shoulder significant financial responsibilities such as losing money over unused plane tickets and medical expenses that are not included in typical health insurance policies.

Having a travel insurance policy covers a holder from a lot of unforeseen events. These events include, but not restricted to: sickness, injury or disablement while traveling, flight delays and cancellations, legal issues and accidental death, damage, and theft or lost of personal effects during travel. These events have further causes that may indirectly involve the traveler or not, from the weather, airline employees’ strikes to even political unrest, and these may still be covered by a travel insurance policy.

Some companies that offer holiday insurance may even include a clientele that deliberately put themselves in danger with the activities they conduct when travelling. These are backpackers insurance policies for those who want to explore their destinations in a less luxurious setting. There are also insurance policies for those who go to some places just to engage in extreme activities like scuba diving, sky diving, and skiing. Considering that there are a lot of weather and geological disturbances that have been happening all across the world like earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, landslides and hurricanes, it is really wise to take advantage of travelers’ insurance.

Travel insurance is usually classified into two: medical and disability cover for medical and hospital expenses that may be incurred by the traveler overseas, as well as income loss because of injury, illness, disability or death and non-medical cover which includes cancelled or delayed flights and stolen, lost or damage baggage.

For those who want to be covered on all bases, comprehensive travel insurance with both medical and non-medical cover would be the best choice. This should also be ideal for travelers who do not hold any medical insurance policy in their respective homes. Travelers who are away from their homes for a long time without health coverage and those who are not in their country of permanent residence should have this kind of insurance with them. The assistance this kind of insurance will extend would prove invaluable, including medical assistance in the local destination, hospitalization, emergency medical mode of transport, emergency treatment, consultation, repatriation of the body should the traveler pass away and escorting of immediate family members, among other benefits. The comprehensiveness of this type of travel insurance should put any traveler’s mind at ease.

Saving Cancellation Costs With Comprehensive and Backpackers Travel Insurance

Travelling, whether it is through tours and cruises or backpacking and planning one’s own itinerary, costs money. This becomes more glaring when one is travelling overseas. Aside from the pocket money, one has to shell out a lot on ticket costs which, even with the introduction of budget airlines, have not really gone lower through the years. Once a traveler has paid for tickets and deposits on accommodation and land transport have been made, there may be sudden interruptions in travel plans.

What if a family member or the traveler himself or herself gets sick, injured or dies? What if the airlines or tour operator suddenly closes shop or has issues with their employees? What if there has been an unexpected conflict in scheduling that would force the traveler to cancel? What if the traveler decides to take the trip some other time? What if the destination suddenly becomes flooded?

The what-if scenarios stated above may be a bit fatalistic, but reality is, these situations happen a lot. What’s worse, any change in a schedule of a trip or a cancellation of it may cause the traveler to lose some, if not all of the money used to pay some expenses related to the trip. Any interruption of a traveler’s schedule can cause him or her more than the original cost of the trip, because last-minute ticket purchases are costlier, not to mention cancellation and exchange fees. However, for travelers, there is travel insurance that is supposed to protect them from the sudden changes of their itinerary, for most, if not all causes.

For coverage that should take care of the traveler from any situation, from cancellation due to medical reasons, the weather and even terrorist attacks, there is comprehensive travel insurance. As its name implies, this kind of insurance covers the policy holders for most travel delay or cancellation issues. Thus, it provides the most comprehensive cover. Backpackers travel insurance is basically comprehensive, as backpackers expose themselves to a lot of risks when travelling. If a backpacker opts to take advantage of an insurance policy, he or she should choose the most comprehensive kind of insurance. More than any kind of traveler, a backpacker is most at-risk when it comes to delays in transportation, sickness, weather disturbances and travelling in places that are not that stable in peace and order.

Backpackers should also anticipate for events that usually happen in lengthy trip delays, which they will mostly encounter when they ride trains or buses. These modes of land transportation are susceptible to breaking down, and usually cause them to miss flights. These delays can cause the backpacker unexpected expenses when it comes to food (until the next flight comes) or housing (unless the backpacker is adamant to spending waiting times in airports or train stations). Those expenses, plus fees in exchanging ticket dates and times should also be included in a trip cancellation insurance coverage. Trip cancellation may be included in comprehensive insurance packages, but there also these specific trip cancellation insurance policies that protect travelers after booking up until the scheduled departure of the trip.