Meet the Bloggers:
Yosh Dimen & Vins Carlos
Welcome to the Poor Traveler’s Guide to the World!
This blog is about being smart when traveling, planning, and budgeting. And in most cases, the cheapest is not always the wisest.
The truth is, although we were struggling financially when we started, it wasn’t the reason for the name. We called it poor to mean “unfortunate or unlucky”. As in poor soul, poor choices, you poor thing.
Our first trip together was a disaster. After scoring promo fares, we flew to an island province in the south and planned to spend a weekend in a secluded beach resort. Long story short, our boatman did not show up, leaving us stranded at a deserted wharf. We ended up staying at a more expensive resort, eating up much of our budget. Our plans were ruined and we did not see much.
Our next trips were plagued by bad weather because when we booked, we just grabbed the cheapest fares without considering the season or travel date.
At the time, like most travel rookies, we lacked not only the funds but also the skills to travel smart. We made a lot of poor choices. We made a lot of mistakes. We had absolutely no clue how to plan a trip. We got lost all the time, got scammed all the time, and ended up spending more than we should. Poor us.
That’s when The Poor Traveler was born.
We created this blog simply to accomplish two things:
- document our hilarious misadventures, and
- provide useful travel tips
Our goal is to write FREE travel guides where we could share our experiences and the lessons we pick up along the way — cost-related or otherwise — and hopefully you’ll learn from them.
Today, we’re full-time travel bloggers. We never expected that this little blog would allow us to build a career in travel. Life is much better now. We still can’t claim we’re experts. We’re not there yet.
But even if we were, this blog remains for the poor travelers out there — the newbies, the first-timers, the lost and confused, the shy and socially awkward, the navigationally-challenged, those who have just enough that they can’t afford to make mistakes, and those who don’t know where to begin.
Travel is a never-ending learning experience. And on this blog, you will always find a place to start.
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Hi! I’m Yosh.
I grew up in a house made of sawdust. It was so small that my parents — a security guard and a market vendor — and two siblings slept in just one bed. Some nights, I would let my mind drift away to faraway lands and imagine how it would feel to be like Tom Sawyer or Peter Pan.
I was raised thinking that travel was not for us. I was told it’s something only for the physically strong, socially adept, and financially rich. I was none of those. I was everything a traveler should not be: shy, awkward, accident-prone, sickly, and definitely NOT wealthy.
But then, I met Vins. Like me, he was a big dreamer, too.
He convinced me to jump right in. In our early days of travel blogging, we slept at airports and bus terminals so we won’t have to spend money on hotels. We also refused to eat at restaurants so we would just hit the grocery for food. The more places we set foot on for work, the more we were inspired to work harder, save bigger, go farther. We accepted part-time jobs and grabbed every opportunity to earn extra. Whatever we saved, we spent on indulging our wanderlust.
It started out like that.
But that’s NOT how it went on.
Today, we’re full time travel bloggers.
We’re enjoying a more comfortable, location-independent lifestyle, exploring one country after the next. This is the life we have always dreamed of. It’s a world where weekends never end and life grows wings, not roots.
This blog happened.
We started this blog simply to document our misadventures. We didn’t expect it to earn, let alone sustain our travel lifestyle. But over the years, our readership continued to grow, attracting advertisers along the way.
Some call it luck. We’d like to think it’s hard work. Maybe it’s a one-two punch of both.
We’re thankful to all our readers and partners for making our travel dream a reality.
Over the last 10 years, The Poor Traveler has emerged as one of the biggest travel blogs in the world in terms of traffic and social media presence.
Photo by Jovel Lorenzo
This time, we’re not alone.
In 2017, we grew into a small team of travelers and content creators.
Editor-in-Chief, Marketing Director
This blog is his brainchild. He has three passions in life: social media, travel, and movies. Yoshke has won 3 PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS and received 9 nominations, and recently won a Palanca Award, widely regarded as the Pulitzer Prize of the Philippines. Learn more about his personal journeys at Yoshke.com.
Vins is our resident SEO master. In our travels, he’s the one who always gets lost. But he doesn’t mind. He enjoys the process of searching and finding and learning. Aside from his taste for adventure, he loves two things while traveling — food and more food. Stalk him!
Content Researcher & Video Editor
Our Travel Blogging Style
We travel at our own pace, in our own way.
We don’t advocate quitting day jobs to travel. Definitely not, especially if you’re from a developing country. Yes, we did quit our day jobs, but we had to plan our exit carefully and it took years!
We DON’T consider ourselves photographers, much less photojournalists. This is NOT a photography or news blog. We’re more like tourists who like taking pictures on the side. There are trips wherein we feel too lazy to take photos so we just use our phones or we don’t take any at all. We also enjoy filters and getting creative with the shots.
In addition, you’ll also find supplemental images purchased from Shutterstock or provided by our partners, but they are all appropriately marked.
On Guides and Itineraries
In our early years, we blogged about our travels exactly how we experienced them. The itineraries we published were the exact itineraries we followed. But that’s only because our trips were limited to weekends and long holidays.
Now that we have more time and resources, we can afford to stay longer and enjoy more attractions. Often, we would stay for a week or two. Most days we would spend just researching extensively for our blogs. Some days, we would just do as most tourists do. Other days, we would do almost nothing, just feeling the vibe of the destination.
Based on the things we tried and data we collected, we would write guides and build sample itineraries good for only a few days (long weekend) even if our actual trip was much longer. This is because we understand that most of our readers have full-time jobs and only have extended weekends.
As bloggers, we also get invited to press trips and familiarization tours occasionally. If it’s our first time in that destination, we normally extend our stay so we could gather more information about the destination, especially those not covered by the pre-arranged tour.
Our Travel Philosophy
We’re not in the business of promoting the cheapest ways to travel.
But we are on a journey to find and share what gives the best value for money. For us, it shouldn’t always be about the price. And if you can help the local economy by patronizing local products and spending a little more, do so.
What we encourage is to travel smart and be more mindful of how you handle your finances before, during, and after travel so you can make more valuable memories.
You don’t need to be rich to travel, but you can make your travels priceless.
We do not claim to be an authority in budget travel.
In fact, we get lost all the time, get scammed all the time, and we always end up spending more than we originally planned. We cannot promise you that what you read on this blog is the cheapest way to travel — no, we most certainly cannot promise you that — but we can share ways on how to make the most out of every trip through the lessons we pick up along the way, cost-related or otherwise.
We make lots of mistakes.
Here’s hoping you’ll learn from them.
Yosh and Vins