I was sitting in the awesome Porter Lounge at Billy Bishop, Toronto Island Airport waiting for my flight to New York. As I spoke with my brother over the phone regarding video work for his company The Cap Guys, I noticed a lovely young lady periodically staring at me. Just as my ego started to get the better of me, I suddenly remembered the pretty lady who was smiling at me in a Paris subway train while her cohorts pick pocketed my iPhone. I stopped making eye contact immediately and clenched my iPhone tightly. When I ended my conversation with my brother our eyes accidentally locked again. She smiled and said.
“Excuse me, sorry to bother you but your voice sounds familiar, I’ve heard it before. Are you on the radio?”
Making sure my voice was as deep as it can go before replying I said.
“No, but I have travel videos on YouTube. I’m a travel blogger”
She snapped her fingers
“That’s it, yes I saw your videos on YouTube”
After a brief explanation of my travel blog and brand she started asking me questions about my travels…
Rudderless Travel specializes in Short Trips and 48 Hour Itineraries for weekend travel getaways as well as travel app & travel gear reviews, which pages are creatively dubbed Short Trips & Landing Gear respectively. As a professional videographer and photographer all short trip posts come embedded with a creative travel video and gorgeous photography. Short trip, itinerary posts/guides, in addition to videos and photos have a custom map (This map includes all places mentioned in the post and the videos and at times includes the accommodations).
For those who wonder about my ironic/coincidental last name…yes it is actually Rudder. (For those who don’t know) a rudder is a primary control surface used to steer a ship, boat, submarine, hovercraft, aircraft, or other conveyance that moves through a fluid medium (generally air or water) – Wikipedia …hence the name rudderless, see I was born to travel…
Above: Seville, Spain
Left to right: Lisbon, Portugal. Casablanca, Morocco. Syracuse, Italy. Pamplona, Spain. Belgrade, Serbia. Paris, France.
Below: Valencia, Spain. Dubrovnik, Croatia. Istanbul, Turkey.
- How do you incorporate 24, 48 and 72 Hour Travel and Travel Apps into your travels. How do you prepare? Do you have any tips?
There are a couple of ways to approach this but for me it starts with research. Lots of research.
But first, you have to understand and accept the fact that you will not be able to experience everything a city has to offer in 48-72 hours. I’ve lived in Toronto my whole life and there are things I still need to see, try and do. And that’s just my city. It doesn’t include all the things I still need to see, try and do in my country (Canada).
That being said and keeping in mind what type of footage I will need to capture to make great and interesting videos, using my Notes app, I start by making a list which includes: Points of Interest – things to see, Cultural foods, dishes and drinks. Popular restaurants, bars and clubs. Festival dates. Things to do. Museums to visit etc.. I cross reference this list with posts and articles written by fellow travel bloggers, Google Trips app, Sygic Travel app with Fodor’s articles and various travel guides. Then using Google Trips with Google Maps and the Sygic Travel app, I plot out where everything is including airports and train stations. Once I get an idea where everything is then I start looking for Airbnb or Hotel accommodations.
Once I’ve narrowed everything down to a healthy balance of things to see, eat and do then I plot everything on my Off Maps 2 app. When I arrive to the destination Off Naps 2 will allow me to access everything I plotted on the map without the need for data or internet. Knowing what times places open and close, where your accommodations are, where places are or what subway or bus stop are close by ahead of time…will save you time when you reach your destination.
Also, 48 & 72 hour fire sales for both flights and accommodations are popular right now so if you have a flexible work schedule then take advantage. Skyscanner is a great app for the weekend traveler that will allow you to check out cheap last minute flights to many random destinations.
- Share one of your favorite travel stories…How do these type of experiences change you as a person?
So many stories…wow. I do have a funny, yet digesting story which is from a section of my blog called Baggage Claim is a series of posts called Tales From The Throne. As you can guess by the title it will be a collection of my infamous washroom stories. The following is an entry from one of those posts…So for that let’s go back to Cappadocia, Turkey…shall we.
During our time there we explored many cave type houses and churches, spent 2 nights in a cave hotel, got a Turkish bath and ate delicious lamb cooked in a pot. The highlight though, was the magical Balloon ride over the moon like terrain. It was late in the evening and I decided to get something to eat. Nothing fancy, just something quick and cheap. I found a Kebab stand. The stand had nearly no meat on it and some left overs at the bottom. For some reason, against my better judgment I ordered one. I woke up in the morning with serious diarrhea. To make matters worse, not only was I was flying out to Athens that morning and it’s a 45 minute drive to the airport. From Cappadocia, it’s a flight to Istanbul and a transfer flight to Athens. During the ride from the hotel to the airport I fell asleep, which probably saved me. When I arrived in Istanbul we saw a pharmacist in the airport. Although that was odd I had no time to ponder or be embarrassed. I told the pharmacist I had diarrhea. Now, my man did try to keep a straight face…but it did not last. He started laughing so hard that he must of pee’d himself. Meanwhile, I was trying so hard to keep myself from laughing along with him for fear that I might sh*t myself…just give me the damn pills. PLEASE.
I made it to Athens. Scared to leave the airport, we pile into a cab and make it to the accommodations. Normally, I wouldn’t care if the Airbnb host is a few minutes late but in this case every minutes felt like an hour. The capper isn’t that I made it to Athens. If you have ever been to Athens then you know that the cities washrooms have small pipes and the toilet bowl will clog real easy if you flush toilet paper down the toilet. Hence every washroom in Athens has a garbage bin with a lid for you to dispose of the toilet paper after you… ummm…wipe. Yeah gross, I know…so you can imagine after making it all the way to Athens in my condition, my desire to burst out laughing when Tatiana explained the rules for the washroom. Bless her heart. She’s one of the sweetest Airbnb hosts with one of the most beautiful apartments in Athens. But I’m gonna be honest and tell you that I did not always follow the washroom rules.
- What are your top 5 travel rules that you follow every time you travel and why?
- I will not compromise my safety. If the short cut I took earlier during the day looks sketchy at night. I will take the long well lit way or take a cab. It’s not a female or male thing, its a safety thing.
- I will not compromise my health. (With the exception of the previous question). If its not clean, I don’t eat there. I always get travel insurance for both myself and my stuff. Health includes drinking water or wearing sun screen when hot, dressing warm when cold etc…
- I try not to compare the way of life in my city/country with the way of life in another city/country. What’s the point of travelling if your going to compare everything to where your from.
- I always try to respect the people, places, religions and customs of the country hosting my visit. No matter whether I disagree or no matter how strange it may seem.
- I always make sure I learn, love and laugh. I take time to eat, drink and explore. I love hearing stories, I love sharing stories and Iove trying something new. I take thousands of pictures and video clips but I always take time to absorb with all my senses that moment in time.
- What are your top 5 travel hacking tips and tricks?
- When booking flights, I use the Hopper app and Skyscanner app to monitor flights in order to get the best deal. Typically, flights out of season for a particular country are usually cheaper. For example, the peak season for Europe is July & August so heading to Europe in September tends to be cheaper. Plus I always get insurance for my flight.
- When booking accommodations, I tend to use the Airbnb app and the Trivago app. Like flights, accommodations booked out of season for a particular city/country are usually cheaper.
- I tend to use the OffMaps 2 app for navigation. As I mentioned earlier, after I download a map for a city and pin all my points of interest so when I arrive in the city I can use that map with GPS and without the need for data or wifi. I use Sygic Travel as my guide and itinerary.
- Try to choose Airbnb accommodations or accommodations in general that give you access to a kitchen or at least a fridge and if possible access to a washer and dryer. Being able to prepare your own meals saves you tons of money. Naturally, you must go out and eat breakfast, lunch or dinner in a local restaurant to try local dishes but when you not eating out…eat in.
- Open a high-interest savings account that will be your travel account in a different bank other than the one you use for your regular everyday banking. Set up an automatic saving plan that funnels money from your regular account to your travel account bi-weekly (when you get paid is best) then forget about it. (Outta sight, outta mind). When it is time to travel, purchase your plane ticket using a credit card that offers travel points then pay the credit card off right away using the money you saved. I personally use Tangerine and put away $200,00 biweekly. Oh, and if live in Canada, open a Tangerine account with my Orange Key 14589030S1, deposit $100.00 and both you and I will get a $50 bonus! It’s a Win, win 🙂 Truthfully, I am terrible with money so I partnered my friend and financial advisor Danielle Desir from the Thought Card to create Travellers Check. You can find out all you need to know about travel and budgets.
- Besides your passport, what are your top 5 travel things you must bring in your carry on, backpack, purse or satchel?
- My iPhone, headphones and charging cable (My iPhone is my music, movies, internet and apps. Guides, accommodations, notes and maps…)
- My Mophie Powerstation Mini (gets my iPhone charged when the battery is low and not a power source in sight.
- My medication (High blood pressure, unfortunately is genetic in my family)
- Napkins, wipes, hand sanitizer & hand cream.
Cigarettes(I quit), My Vapour (E-Cigarette) but I actually hardly use it…I may need a new item for #5.
What is your most prized souvenir you brought back from abroad and what’s its story?
My prized souvenir is my satchel. I was in the market for a good satchel and visited a few stores in Toronto, Canada and some in Niagara Falls, United States. When I visited the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, I immediately felt the long history of buying and selling along the Silk Road. Amongst the colours and smells, I was sure to find a satchel here in a place known for the best in rugs, carpets, leather and silk. As I visit several stores, I started seeing the same things and repeating the same haggling techniques. Final I stopped at this one store which had different products all made with the finest quality of leather. I immediately spotted my satchel. I believe it spoke to me. Now I must prepare to haggle but the owner told me straight up, “I am not going lower than $150.00 euros as I know I can sell it for that much. Feel free to shop around in other stalls for something cheaper as there are plenty of options. I respected that. Especially after spending the morning haggling with various store owners. I bought it on the spot. He did give me a traditional “first sale of the day” discount. I’ve had my satchel now for 3 years and I take it everywhere with me, both at home and abroad. Plus, it feels good say “Oh, this…I bought it in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey…” when people say they like it…
Where are you off to next and what are hoping to experience, eat, see and/or learn?
Now I’m off to New York city. Also this year I’m heading to St, John’s and Fogo Island in Newfoundland Canada. I wanna start exploring my own beautiful country. Later this year I’m heading to Naples, Italy for pizza and limoncello, Pompeii for some history and Valletta, Malta for some Game of Thrones and flying my drone.
With that, they started calling my flight number to the gate. I thanked the girl for her interest in my travel blog and said bye. Leaving her with the links to my social media…
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Using the latest travel apps, technology, and gear, I take a city; see the sights, taste the food, smell the roses, hear the stories and feel the love. All in 48 hours. Then, using videography & editing, photography and writing I retell and share those stories with my readers and viewers.
I'm Christopher Rudder and welcome to Rudderless Travel.
Read more about me here: Being Rudderless With Christopher Rudder and here: Rudderless Travel gets nominated for the Leibster Award.
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