Saturday, October 1, 2016

Wisdom from the Road #44

On numbers
There is strength in numbers.
But one is also a good number.

They say two is company, three is a crowd. Four, five, six, seven, eight...traveling in big groups could be fun. (But might be an awful headache for the one in charge of the itinerary, accommodation, and transportation arrangements.) Plus there is strength in numbers budget wise: 
  • Four – the maximum number of passengers allowed in a taxi. Sometimes four people in a taxi will spend less compared to four people taking the bus.
  • Five or Ten or Whatever – some guided tours require a minimum number of people.
  • Six or Eight – some accommodations have big rooms for an even number of people, maximize this and it comes out cheaper than getting a single or double room.
  • Seven or More or Less – eating at family-style restaurants in big groups is an advantageous setup for foodies: more likely than not, there will be a variety of dishes for the group.
  • Ten, Fifteen, Twenty – pumpboats for island hopping come in different sizes; most don't want to ride a small boat, so the bigger the better. Maximize it to minimize the cost per person.
  • Twelve – it is faster to rent a van then to ride the bus (e.g. Puerto Princesa to El Nido and vice versa). Most vans can accommodate 12 persons comfortably.

One. Traveling alone might be costlier than traveling with a friend of two. On the monetary side of travel, you learn to budget when going solo. On the non-monetary side of travel, you have these to look forward to:
  • You can make your own itinerary or none at all.
  • You go at your own pace. You can stick to your schedule or throw away your watch.
  • If you are running late, you only have yourself to blame. But if you have thrown your watch away then this shouldn't be an issue.
  • Did your mother tell you not to talk to strangers? Well, you become brave in approaching strangers when you need to ask for directions.
  • You develop your communication skills. Even if you don't speak or understand the language, you will somehow learn to understand each other through context clues and actions.
  • You become an expert at getting lost and finding your way back. If you get lost, you drum up the courage to ask for directions, you get creative in communicating with non-English speakers, you exercise your memory by trying to remember signs and landmarks, you become more observant (aware and alert of your surroundings), and your analysis skills improve (you try to understand the complicated subway system in just a few hours or at least try to).


For more lessons from the road, please visit Go Learn.

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