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What do you do about cooking whilst traveling?

 

by @kathrynoh | 5yr  | 26 comments

This is something Iโ€™ve not really seen addressed anywhere much but, when you are staying somewhere medium term, say 1-6 months, what you do about cooking? I figure anything shorter than that and you can make do, while over 6 months you arenโ€™t going to mind stocking a kitchen so much. But, for that medium term period, it feels like a waste to spend too much on pantry supplies and equipment but too long to get by on basics.

Anyway, Iโ€™d love to know what other people in regards to cooking. Do you eat out for all your meals, have a few โ€˜go toโ€™ dishes that you can cook anywhere with minimal equipment (mine would be omelettes) or do you adjust to the local cuisine?

Admin edit: Fixed title for spelling & compliance with guidelines.

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This is huge topic for me. How to get a healthy supply of fruits and veggies esp. in Asia? Bayer AG is selling endosulfan products all over asia. Even so-called organic produce is like 50% likely to be contaminated. Thailand is the worst. Thereโ€™s โ€œsaferโ€ varieties, like cabbage, e.g. , melons. Iโ€™ve been thinking to buy local electric steamers (20 bucks) And perhaps trying to travel with KTec blender-coconut milk, alfalfa sprouts, banana, mint, with some USA superfood powders. I dunno.

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I found a miniscule, teeny, weeny locally sourced organic once a month farmers market in Penang, connected to Real Food Restaurant,and a cool organic cafe inside Nin Bus Depot Art Gallery.

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@lia9255 | 4yr

Iโ€™m a trained chef, so happy to cook for everybody if weโ€™re ever in the same place! In some cities, it makes sense to eat out because food is cheap, tasty and plentiful. But in other cities, you can save a lot of money if you cook for yourself. I usually cook breakfast and dinner, and grab lunch out. Master a few basic go-to dishes like noodles, rice, omelettes, baked chicken, broiled salmon, etcโ€ฆand you can change it up, based on whatever local ingredients are available. That way, you donโ€™t have to buy a lot of different proteins or spices (salt & pepper are all you really need and you can get that anywhere). Always buy fresh, local breads and cheeses - theyโ€™re the best. And finally, donโ€™t be afraid to eat local produce - itโ€™s actually very rare to get sick from fresh fruits and veggies. In terms of equipment, you should be able to get by with one saucepan, a medium size pot, a good chefโ€™s knife (CAN NOT CARRY ON A PLANE - MUST CHECK), a veg peeler, tongs, spatula and one place setting (plate, bowl, mug, utensils). Anything else is useless.

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@wanderingdev | 4yr

i do miss having a good knife. :frowning:

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@ellen1 | 5yr

Just tossing out some fast, super-protein-packed go-toโ€™sโ€ฆ

  • a bag of hearty greens mixed with white beans and oil-packed tuna/sardines/salmon (especially sardines โ€œin somethingโ€ like piquillo peppers or whatever) can actually make for a super healthy meal.

  • tuna and white beans on their own isnโ€™t precisely delicious but if you have some Italian dressing, itโ€™ll do.

  • if you can heat up stuff: a can black beans, shredded cheese, then top with half a jar of salsa and, if you have it, half an avocado.

I have a bag of Kosher salt in my backpack but one can get their hands on salt, pepper and hot sauce a lot of places โ€ฆ any of the above can be doctored as condiments are available.

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@gigigriffis | 5yr

I LOVE cooking, so I do cook in a ton if Iโ€™m staying somewhere longer than a week or two. I find that 2 - 3 months actually works okay for buying and using kitchen staples as long as you commit to the same flavor profile. E.g. If you buy spices for Italian and Mexican meals, donโ€™t also buy spices to cook Asian cuisine on that trip - just stick to those flavor profiles for that couple month stretch.

Iโ€™ve been here in Arizona for three months now and managed to use two bags of flour, two smaller bags of sugar, and several spices.

It also helps if you buy bulk spices at places like Whole Foods. You can buy a lot less than a jar-full and not feel wasteful. And if you do want to make something that uses an unusual ingredient, find a few recipes that use it so that you can try to use it up.

I actually just started a second blog on food around the world and plan on tackling this topic in depth because itโ€™s something I wondered about before traveling.

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@blueblueocean | 5yr

No doubt about it, your standard of eating is going to decrease somewhat. Moreso if you had family or friends at home who made your favorite dish. Not much solution to this I guess. Maybe get recipes over the phone, make simple stuff, or consider it a cost of travel :slightly_smiling:

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@markhofmann | 5yr

Nice Post!
Iโ€™m also getting kinda sick of eating out every day - although I wouldnโ€™t have said that 2 years ago. But I realized that cooking yourself is healthier and I also have more time so I donโ€™t really have many excuses for being lazy.

The standard kitchen equipment that Iโ€™m usually looking for / getting is:

  • (wooden) cutting board
  • cooking knife
  • medium size pan with a lid
  • small to medium size pot
  • spatula
  • coffee mug (strong enough to use it for grinding pepper corns), plate, cutlery

Basics for cooking:
Fresh garlic, fresh chili, onions, black peppercorns, sea salt, coconut oil, olive oil

Iโ€™m still at the very beginning of becoming independent of restaurants, I simply donโ€™t have enough recipes for โ€œgo toโ€ dishes yet.

So, what Iโ€™m looking for are recipes for healthy dishes that are easy to make with only a few basics and can and give enough variety to not become too boring when eating them on a daily basis.
Also, I donโ€™t want to use too many spices, the main ingredients (rice, potato, veggies, fish, meat) should take care of the taste.

Iโ€™m not sure if itโ€™s ok to ask this question here or if I should start a new thread for this - but I would be very interested to read what you guys are cooking!

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@wanderingdev | 5yr

for easy, tasty, and healthy, soups are great. I make a great lentil veg soup and black bean and sweet potato. of course, i canโ€™t eat either of those any more, but theyโ€™re still tasty. :slight_smile:

now I basically cook a shit ton of chicken and then I can just add some sauce and veg and Iโ€™m good to go. I also make giant egg casseroles that fit my macros, feed me for days, and are very easy. i can give you recipes for any if youโ€™re interested @markh.

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@markhofmann | 5yr

Soups! Good idea :slight_smile:
I really like the thai rice soup for breakfast, but havenโ€™t tried cooking it myself.

Lentil or black bean soup with veggies sounds tasty and easy enough - would be great to get your recipes @wanderingdev, please PM!

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@gigigriffis | 5yr

I totally disagree! Your standard of eating can go up since youโ€™ll be in areas where you have access to different ingredients and recipes and options. :slight_smile:

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@aertmann | 5yr

Great question. I move about every month and have this challenge, the key is planning. Unless in Asia or similarly cheap location I find accommodation with kitchen facilities. Then cook most of my meals by cooking big portions and reheating for a couple of days. I bring a couple of kitchen things like a thin cutting board, a knife, a container set, spices and some other things like rice, mรผsli, paper towel if I have left overs. Actually cook a great variety of excellent meals, just like before I starting traveling.

The biggest issue is not being allowed to bring liquid as carry-on on flights. I usually just bring a plastic bag with kitchen stuff on the plane. However not being able to bring liquid put some limitations on what I buy since I likely wonโ€™t use it up and thus donโ€™t buy that, except if itโ€™s fairly cheap like soy sauce. However Iโ€™ve found that I just need to plan my meals more, so if I buy something I wonโ€™t be able to bring I will make sure I make the dish twice in a big portion for it to make sense. This means a bit less variety, but more efficiency and still about 5-6 different dishes in a month and I just choose new ones the next month.

In a few days Iโ€™ll move and thereโ€™s only a few things I will throw out/leave behind, which I donโ€™t really mind. It takes a while to optimize and sometimes it doesnโ€™t go according to plan, but the consequences are pretty low. One example is planning a bit too much and ending up eating out more than anticipated in the end of a stay. I do safe a lot of money this way, have great meals all the time and itโ€™s pretty efficient.

Some essentials like cooking oil are best if they are already available in the accommodation, since itโ€™s rare to use a whole container in a month even if itโ€™s the smallest size available.

I had to teach myself how to cook a bunch of stuff in Hong Kong since I only had a pan and a microwave, but to my own surprise I managed to cook a bunch of different of my regular meals.

In cheap countries I always find accommodation with a fridge to be able to keep fruit, yoghurt and water.

One difference from having my own kitchen is the amount of spices, while I do keep the essentials (about 10 different ones) I donโ€™t have all those I need for all dishes. As a compromise I buy spice mixes/paste instead for a specific dish if I need it.

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@wanderingdev | 5yr

I do my best to get an airbnb with a kitchen. I donโ€™t use anything that canโ€™t spoil, besides some spices, so I donโ€™t have โ€˜pantry suppliesโ€™ that would require a big investment. Iโ€™ve been traveling around asia for almost 3 months and I canโ€™t even express how freaking sick of eating out I am. Absolutely over it. I canโ€™t wait to get a kitchen again so I have control over my food and donโ€™t have to eat expensive, junky restaurant food.

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If I have a kithen somewhere for +3days I cook most meals. Buy aromatics (onion, garlic, chillie, lemon grass, ginger) and meat/eggs/veg as you need it. Spices are more annoying as they are expensive so I stick to salt/pepper/one other dependent on cuisine of country I am in. Breakfast is always eggs with some form of green veg. Lunch and dinner are meat/veg stir fries or if you have an oven you can really make some nice stuff.

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@didier | 5yr

I have the few โ€œgo toโ€ dishes (I refer to them as staple foods). My biggest one is stir fried noodles with vegetables and some sort of easy protein (tofu/shrimp are the most common โ€“ I find preparing โ€œactualโ€ meat to be too time consuming). Itโ€™s a fast, balanced meal and you can mix up the ingredients using whatever you find locally.

Tired of noodles? Take the same ingredients, chop them smaller, make fried rice. Tired of stir fry stuff? Take the same ingredients, put it in a soup, bam. Soup.

Wraps are another good one. Find some ingredients, shove in a wrap, eat. Easy. Barely any equipment required.

Keeping the number of ingredients down to a small set that you can use in a variety of meals is key.

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@kathrynoh | 5yr

What do you use for seasoning? Just fresh garlic, spices etc?

Yeah, I was thinking today that I have not bought meal to cook in months.

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@didier | 5yr

Garlic, onions, pepper, soy sauce, fresh herbs. I try not to get too fancy :slight_smile:

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@kathrynoh | 5yr

Yeah I think I try to complicate things too much :slightly_smiling:

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@gigigriffis | 5yr

Depends where I am and what kind of cuisine Iโ€™m cooking, but my go-tos for short stays are garlic or onion powder, black pepper, and cumin. I also frequently buy fresh basil and other herbs at farmerโ€™s markets when I can get them. You can also buy really tasty oils (truffle oil, for instance) and use them over the course of a month or two without wasting any/much.

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@nomadtax | 5yr

I eat out, every meal. Iโ€™m just not much of a cook and do not enjoy cooking anyway. I spend most of my time in big cities so thereโ€™s plenty of healthy choices.

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@nomadtax | 5yr

For sure I donโ€™t know what goes into my plate. That being said, if you saw my cooking youโ€™d probably agree that restaurant food is better :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

One way to improve your โ€œchancesโ€ is to stick to simple food. Itโ€™s fairly obvious whatโ€™s inside a sushi, a plate of hainan-style chicken, a bowl of ramen (the Japanese dish, not the dry crap they sell at dollar stores), a sandwich etc.

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@kathrynoh | 5yr

Ha, do you know how many calories are in a bowl of ramen? Itโ€™s all fat and carbs! Awfully delicious fat and carbs though.

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@kathrynoh | 5yr

I worry about how healthy โ€œhealthy choicesโ€ are when I donโ€™t prepare food myself. Thatโ€™s one of the reasons I want to cook more. :slightly_smiling:

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@waylandchin | 5yr

+1 for eating out all the time. I spend enough time alone as it is. Cooking alone would make it real sad. At least at the restaurant, thereโ€™s chances to talk to people.

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@nomadtax | 5yr

Have you thought about moving into a shared house? Thereโ€™s plenty in countries like Japan, Korea and China (especially Taiwan). Thereโ€™s also the digital nomad coliving spaces. I think @levelsio has a website that list those.

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@waylandchin | 4yr

I know enough about myself to know that co-living wonโ€™t work for me. Canโ€™t concentrate when other people are around. Iโ€™ll just want to party all the time. Being by myself, I can control my time. I find that living with people, it becomes like a frat house. Once the Party Voltron assembles, itโ€™s really difficult to say no.

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Read and participate in 14,019 discussions on Nomad List

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How to get SMS verifications for banks while traveling?

 

by @jackgopack | 3mo 2 months ago | 39 comments

Any suggestions for seamlessly receiving SMS Verifications from US financial institutions and other sites while traveling internationally continuously? Wonโ€™t keep my US Verizon account due to cost and currently plan to use local sims at each destination (T-Mobile and Project Fi are NOT an option as they terminate for continuous roaming). In summation, I wonโ€™t have a US mobile account.

Unless Iโ€™m missing something, which is very possible, this appears to be the single most complex issue Iโ€™ve encountered in my preparations, and one that no one addresses. I would greatly appreciate any possible solution that works 100% of the time. Canโ€™t afford surprises in this regard. Many Thanks! Jack.

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How do you ensure that you have good WiFi for working whilst travelling e.g. in places like India?


in India by @davda1546 | 3mo 2 months ago | 4 comments

We are hoping to travel later this year and we will be working remotely - how do you ensure you get good WiFi in places such as in India where the signal isn't always great? Do you have any tips on where to go/ what equipment you have to get?

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How do you find people to meet whilst travelling?


by @davda1546 | 3mo 2 months ago | 1 comment

We are going travelling but we won't know anyone out there, what's your best advice for meeting people and socialising abroad? We've thought about the obvious things like Meetup etc, is there anything else you can suggest from your experience?

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What is your ergonomic set-up while traveling?


by @caseyr | 1yr 1 year ago | 18 comments

What is your ergonomic set-up while traveling?

I personally have an external keyboard, and am currently exploring getting a laptop stand, some lumbar support, and a trackball-mouse.

What do you use? How are you balancing health / portability?

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by @figoshow | 3yr 2 years ago | 13 comments

My wife and I are both nomadic performers traveling the world full time for the last 10 years, we tend to stay in a place for around 3 months then move on. We are about to have our first kid, our main concern is how our kid is going to make friends and build relationships being nomadic, How do you deal with this and help your kids with this aspect of our lifestyle.

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Am I biting off more than I can chew? Kicking off a big project whilst starting travels


by @skewed_corp | 4yr 3 years ago | 1 comment

First post here; very excited to be part of the community :slight_smile:. My question is pretty subjective, but perhaps other users have stories to share.

Iโ€™m going to be travelling to Bangkok in 2 weeks to start off my Digital Nomad journey. This has aligned with the kick-off of what might be the biggest project Iโ€™ll be undertaking to date (internal comms + training design consultancy / art direction).

Iโ€™m planning to get there, find a nice hostel, join the Hive and then dive straight in, but wonder if the set up period might be prone to causing some intial blackouts in communication that would not go down well at this stage of the build-up or just general fatigue. Iโ€™m hoping the excitement of being in a new place will counteract that.

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Have you ever been called to U.S. jury duty while traveling?


by @krompson | 4yr 4 years ago | 7 comments

My husband and I have residency in the state of Tennessee in the USA and my in-laws collect our mail for us there. We only pass through Tennessee about once a year.

Does anyone know what happens if weโ€™re called to jury duty? Is traveling a legit excuse to get out of it?

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How are you earning a living while traveling?

 

by @mattlock | 4yr 4 years ago | 22 comments

Iโ€™ve been traveling for over a year, and Iโ€™ve been working on 3 month contracts in locations abroad to sustain travel. I wanted to see what the community was like as far as digital nomads go. Are you trading your skills for $$$? and if so, how are you doing it?

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by @swechris | 4yr 4 years ago | 11 comments

Hi!
I found this perfect solution https://www.didlogic.com/ that will forward phone calls to whatever SIM card you currently are using and really cheap too. Butโ€ฆ Really horrible reviews http://www.oregonherald.com/bnews/story.htm?id=1113.

What do you guys say?

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by @robetus | 4yr 4 years ago | 7 comments

Iโ€™m traveling with my girlfriend and she takes birth control pills, one pill every day. Can any of the digital nomadic women on here give her any tips on what time to take it to best suite global travel inside many timezones?

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How do you deal with fear of terrorism when traveling?


by @antonioevans | 4yr 4 years ago | 11 comments

I do not want to be an โ€œalarmistโ€ but today we had a recent major bombing at an airport & subway in Brussels. A few months back there was Paris. I am currently on my European part of this years trip and it is on my mind.

There are many places that are off the map for Digital Nomads and for good reason. Safety due to war or major crime. I am talking places like Syria, parts of Iraq, few islands in Philippines, a few province in Mexico, El Salvador, etc. But places that arenยดt historically unsafe do causes concern to people, specifically your back home family&friends.

As a traveler how do you deal with terrorism or major crime when it is around where you are visit? Also secondly how do you deal with at home messages from family members.

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Did you acquire gadgets before leaving or while traveling?

 

by @nihilista | 5yr 5 years ago | 20 comments

Iโ€™m debating whether to buy some things prior to leaving - a nice suitcase and/or backpack, noise cancelling headphones, a Kindle (Iโ€™m an avid reader and would love to take several books with me - but love books and have never found the need to have a Kindle since I have lots of space at home for adding to my library), etc. My feeling is that these things would likely enhance my travels but are not strictly necessary, and if the nomad life turns out to not be to my liking then I mightโ€™ve wasted some money. Are these items easily acquirable on the road? Iโ€™ll be in southeast Asia to begin withโ€ฆ

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How do you prove residence to your bank when traveling?


by @perpetual | 5yr 5 years ago | 4 comments

Hello fellow nomads! How do you guys go about proving residence in a country if youโ€™re always moving? European banks will continue to send yearly statements of holdings and earnings to your old tax jurisdiction (even if youโ€™ve legally left) until you prove (address/utility bill) residence in another country. Any experience with satisfying the banks in order to keep some financial privacy while being a nomad?

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Have you used a Skype psychologist when traveling?


by @mikhail_dickey | 5yr 5 years ago | 6 comments

Have you tried to use skype/viber services of psychotherapist/coach when youโ€™re travelling?

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What troubles have you faced while traveling?


by @acdc | 5yr 5 years ago | 8 comments

Almost got caught out very badly the other week and looking for advice.

Visa
30 day visa free entry. Went to check-in at the airport, staff wanted to see a departure ticket. Thankfully I had already booked a flight out (this is often not the case, Philippines are basically flight-only options though) however due to leaving Australia I had no SIM card in my phone. Thus no 3g, or access to the itinerary. It was with the same airline however they couldnโ€™t look it up (given the complete lack of competence this probably is true). Thankfully the airport had wifi and I managed to eventually load up an email after some stressful minutes. A number of airports only have wifi near the gates not out in departures too. If I couldnโ€™t load up the ticket she literally wasnโ€™t going to let us on the flight. Wtf. Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnamโ€ฆ all places I have been, had no exit flight/transit booked because was going over land, and train/bus tickets in a lot of countries arenโ€™t readily available online. None of them have ever cared.

Is this usual or was this chick just nuts? Of course when we arrived customs didnโ€™t care at all, โ€œwhen are you leaving, where to?โ€ and that was it. How many Australians exactly are smuggling themselves to live illegally in the Philippines, especially with only 7kg of luggage? Come onโ€ฆ

Money
We finally arrive Manila at 1am. Literally no ATM works. 3 different cards with 3 different banks, half a dozen ATMsโ€ฆ nothing, all โ€œerror communicatingโ€/some generic message. By this stage we were attracting a fair bit of attention having wandered the airport trying every ATM, our only saving grace was $30 I still had in cash that I exchanged at a booth, which was enough to get a taxi to accommodation 5km away. Next morning found an ATM nearby, stomach full of nervesโ€ฆ worked perfectly. We used 2x cards, both worked first go. Same bank as one of the airport ones. God knows why they didnโ€™t work at the airport (well, insert a nothing ever works or is done properly in the Philippines joke here), however I havenโ€™t read much about people carrying much cash. It seems like we should always have $100 - or more if an expensive country - in case this ever happens again? Even though I canโ€™t think of why this even happened in the first place. All the money in the world wonโ€™t help if you canโ€™t get your hands on it :frowning:

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How can I stay responsive to clients while traveling?


by @jbroomeresearch | 5yr 5 years ago | 6 comments

Hey all,
The feeling I get from a lot of nomads I talk to is that their time is very much their own-- no need to be โ€œon callโ€ or super-responsive to clients. Iโ€™m in a position of often needing to get back to clients quickly; checking email once a day really wonโ€™t do. This causes a lot of stress if Iโ€™m off the grid for more than a few hours. Would love to hear from others in this boat as to how they manage it.

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Where can I donate my extra things while traveling?


by @livvyjeffs | 6yr 5 years ago | 2 comments

I wasnโ€™t exactly expecting to be in Thailand - so I have a winter coat, a few books, and more clothes than I need to travel.

I want to donate or give these things away while I am in Bangkok.

I figure if there is anyone in Bangkok traveling to a chilly place - I have a winter coat for you!

And I figure I can give my books to some hostels - any recommendations?

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How do I get an International Driving Permit while traveling?


by @wanderingdev | 6yr 5 years ago | 2 comments

I want to rent a car in Italy but I didnโ€™t get an IDP. Iโ€™m currently living in Spain. Can I get one here? If so, where? Thanks!

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How do I use mobile-based 2-Factor Authentication while traveling?


by @iamfledge | 6yr 5 years ago | 7 comments

Itโ€™s just occurred to me that I have mobile-based 2-factor auth for almost all of my critical online accounts.

Iโ€™m about to head off from London through multiple countries, so not sure I can rely on my UK phone number to access those accounts.

Has anybody who uses 2-factor auth and regularly moves to different countries found a good solution to this?

Iโ€™m not really happy to disable 2-factor as a solution, and so far Iโ€™m thinking my best bet might be to set up a Skype number that I can then forward on to any mobile number Iโ€™m using at the time.

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