So that other travelers may benefit from our worldly experience

1. As soon as a hotel, hostel, restaurant, bar, tourist attraction – anything – is listed in Lonely Planet, its prices go up. This is an invariable, inevitable, immutable law. Whatever price is listed in your guidebook, mentally add 15 percent. To a lesser extent this is true also of Moon, Rough Guide and Frommer’s handbooks.

2. No touch monkey! This goes for crocodiles, too.

3. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Goes for anything that may be proffered ostensibly free of charge (or suspiciously cheap).

4. Watch where you step! Elephant leavings take time to clear out of your Chaco treads.

5. You don’t need all that medicine. Doctors convinced us to take enough malaria medicine (in our case Malarone: a tablet a day) for the duration of our entire time in Asia: four months’ worth of pills. Where to start here? Lugging them around is problem enough – expense was the biggest problem – but we went all over Southeast Asia and much of northern India and very rarely went anywhere that malaria was an actual problem. When we did we were there out of season for malaria. Do some homework beforehand and keep in mind that doctors are duty-bound to consider “worst-case” scenarios – not necessarily the reality on the ground.

6. Rope: you need it. As a laundry line, and to batten down your bag. Invaluable.

If YOU have a tip to add to this list, email Lisa at or Marc at, or just comment to this page.

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