Travel Agent

Beijing street signs via Shutterstock    

Q:

Tips for Backpackers: Learn Your Way Around

I’m going backpacking through Europe and Southeast Asia later this summer, and I have a question for you. When you hit a big city, do you fly by the seat of your pants or do you make a plan for what you’re going to see and do?

A:When it comes to travel, paper is far from passé: Guidebooks are the first resource I use when planning my trips. They give simple but important information like the cost and operating hours of historic sites (so I don’t waste my time) and list the popular tourists hangouts (so I can avoid them). Get a map too: you can't commit a city's back streets and neighborhoods to memory. Just don't pull the map out in public, or you'll become a magnet for con artists and street hawkers.

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