7 Renegade Travel Tips From a ‘Chief World Explorer’

Friday, 18 October 2013
*The following is a guest post from my friend and all-around legend, John Beede. John is a motivational speaker, author, entrepreneur, and adventurer. He goes scuba-diving with great white sharks in South Africa, skydiving in New Zealand, and rock climbing - he recently got back from climbing Mt. Everest.  

His next adventure is to get the best job around the world - Jauntaroo's Chief World Explorer. Out of the 3,000 that applied John has made it into the Top 50 and he needs your help to make it to the Final 5!

If you find these tips entertaining, useful, or downright offensive, please support the author in becoming 'Chief World Explorer' by clicking the red ‘Like’ button at http://LikeJB.com. No registration. Won’t even post to Facebook. 

UPDATE: Although John Beede unfortunately did not become Jauntaroo's 'Chief World Explorer', he is still travelling the world and giving talks. To find out more about John Beede please visit climbonsuccess.com

John Beede 'Chief World Explorer' on Mt. Everest's summit
John Beede on the summit of Mt. Everest

1. How to Become Hero to 30 Strangers in 1 Hour 

This is my favorite technique when visiting a new place. Visit 5 bars, pubs, or clubs during daylight hours. Ask for the manager and tell her, ‘I’m organizing a pub crawl for 20-30 guests tonight. I’d like to make this one of the stops, what kind of deal can you give me, per person, for drinks?” Aim for $2.00USD or lower, depending on the country. This is a deal for the bar because they’ll get an instant party upon your arrival (I’ll explain how to get the people in a moment) Being OK with pitchers will come in handy. Repeat this process at 4 or 5 locations and create your lineup. 

Now head a hostel. Tell the front desk, “I’ve got a pub crawl set up for tonight and I’ll give you $5 bucks for every person you guys sign up.” Explain necessary details. Repeat at 3-5 hostels. Also, personally round up people you meet at your own accommodations. 

Charge $20, in advance, for a drink at 5 stops. This is a deal for the bar, a deal for the hostel, a deal for other travelers, and you become everyone’s hero for the night. Oh, and if you’re following my math, you profit $5 per person, so, with an entourage of 30, you’ll profit $150 bucks for your trouble! 

John Beede 'Chief World Explorer' in Costa Rica
Whitewater rafting in Costa Rica.

2. How to Accidentally Upgrade to First Class

I ran the Denver marathon and had a flight the very next day. While boarding the plane, I was so sore that I accidentally fell into an empty first class seat. People were walking down the aisle so zombie-like that I figured I’d just wait for them to pass. Soon, I realized… “nobody is asking me to get up!” To my delight, the flight attendant came by, “Sir, may I interest you in a glass of champagne?” 

“Why yes you may. In fact, champagne is of highest interest to me, ma’am. Thank you kindly,” I replied. It was a pleasant flight with a lot of leg room… 

Take what you like from this little accidental anecdote. Just know that you ever find yourself too sore to stand, with a smile and some moxie, you could get an upgrade to first class… 

John Beede 'Chief World Explorer' in Tarifa
Kitesurfing in Tarifa, Spain

3. How to ‘Hire’ Local Tour Guides 

Connecting on social media, especially couchsurfing.org and globalfreeloader.com is an awesome way to meet a local tour guide who will show you around. Here’s the trick: DON’T ask for a place to stay. Just offer: “I’m coming to (Berlin), and I’d love to see something that locals do. If you’re going to be going to dinner or drinks with friends over (these dates), I’d love to join you for a bit to see how (Berliners) live. Drink is on me! Let me know…” 

Send to a dozen or so people and someone will bite. If you’re cool in person, they’ll show you around the rest of town and may even offer a place to stay! 

John Beede 'Chief World Explorer'

4. Coupon-Free Discount Transportation 

On the plane, in baggage claim, or by the airport taxi stand, look for people with backpacks. SMILE and say, “hey guys, I’m a budget traveler, trying to get to the city, wondering if you’d be interested in sharing a cab?” Sometimes they’ll have too much luggage, too many people, or they’re just grumpy, but I’d say this works 60% of the time. 

Failing that, here’s another trick. See that fancy hotel offering free shuttle service to their customers? Tell the driver, “hey, I’m not staying at the hotel, but it’s really close to where I’m going, can I give you a X dollar tip if I can catch a lift there?” Whereas X = half what it would have cost you in a cab, train or bus. You never know unless you ask. 

John Beede 'Chief World Explorer'

5. Employ the “Give Get Free” Technique 

If you can give value to a hotel, restaurant, or city attraction, you can often score free or highly discounted room, board, and entertainment. 

Here’s what I mean: write positive online reviews for a hotel (offer a package of several 5 star ratings across many review sites), feature a restaurant on your YouTube channel, or write a blog post about the sweet adventure you had on Captain Jim’s Alaska Fishing tour. Sidebar: Captain Jim really was a great guy… until he shot a 90 pound halibut between the eyes with a rifle…. 

6. Score Free Flights, Hotels, Airport Lounge Access 

There are heaps of credit card offers out there which will score you free flights and 5 star hotel stays. Refer to thepointsguy.com for the best deals to suit you, but I will throw in my vote for the Southwest Airlines Visa. Also, the American Express Platinum card has a fee but pays itself back multiple times over with free global entry, free airport lounge access, and more. You really don’t know what you’re missing out on. 

John Beede 'Chief World Explorer'

7. How to Make it Actually Matter 

Having a lot of passport stamps but not becoming a more compassionate and worldly person is like being the rich guy with no friends. Don’t be ‘that guy.’ Instead, let me suggest how you can make your travels significant. 

The first few trips you take, everything will feel new, amazing, and you’ll get some great photos, memories, and updates for your social media. Then, the novelty of travel wears off and you start to forget where you are half the time. Worse, you can’t even figure out why you’re there. 

This is why I advocate volunteering. This does not necessarily mean paying thousands to a voluntourism company, though it could. Moreso, it means connecting with a meaningful cause in a place that is not your home and becoming a part of something bigger than yourself. Sarah Carrol created volunteeringforfree.org, a directory of low and no-cost worldwide volunteer projects where you can truly make a difference. Pick one that inspires you. Trust me, this is the best way to have travel make it’s mark on you. 


  1. Awesome tips, especially love that first idea! I would love to organize something like that!

  1. Hi
    I am a love exploring and traveling, the above tips helped me a lot about motivation and experiences because I have never traveled overseas

  1. I'm glad these tips helped and could inspire! :)

  1. Amanda said...:

    Ha, I think I'd be too neurotically paranoid to pull off sneaking into first class! x

  1. Warren Andrews said...:

    thank you! Yes, I can honestly say if it wasn't for these bloggers, It is so nice to have amazing fellow travelers to follow and share ideas with.i really love travelling and thanks a lot for the tips.

  1. Don't worry Amanda, I don't think I could pull off sneaking into first class either.

    I love reading other travellers tips, they never cease to amaze me!

    Erin x

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