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“It depends.”

I feel like a bit of a buzz kill every time I give this response to someone asking about the best way to get into travel hacking, and yet, it’s by far the most accurate answer. The truth is, the “how to” of travel hacking depends largely on the travel hacker’s goals.

  • Are you travel hacking in order to travel more, or in order to travel more luxuriously?
  • Do you already have a strong credit score?
  • Do you have any other credit cards? Do you have a specific destination in mind?
  • How much do you already know about travel hacking basics?

Travel hacking is not a one-size-fits-all kind of strategy. Even so, everyone benefits from being as informed as possible. In this article, we’ll highlight the insights that will help you to choose what’s best for you.

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Here at Tortuga, we’ve got leaders who are not afraid to hire strong women, and we’re excited to introduce one of them to you now! She’s smart, sassy, and rocks the red lip: meet Taylor Coil, the brilliant brain behind Tortuga’s marketing. Taylor has been a remarkable addition to the team, working hard to bring back the Cootie Catcher with a game called “Travel Roulette” (check it out… DO IT). This gal knows her stuff, and we’re willing to share her marketing philosophies for those of you who are interested in stealing her identity (or if you’d just like an inside look at what she does and how she does it). FUN FACT: she’s done it all while traveling the world with Remote Year.

Another exciting fact about Taylor: her veins run gold with Felix Felicis, so not only is she good fortune in human form, but she smells like everyone’s favorite everything (to this Tortuganaut she smells like Christmas and cupcakes and puppies). She’s awesome. We’re pumped to show her off.

In This Episode

  • 00:28 Meet Taylor
  • 01:11 Remote Year
  • 01:50 V3 plans and updates
  • 05:21 Taylor’s marketing processes and philosophies
  • 18:16 Quality vs quantity in marketing
  • 23:31 Taylor: A History
  • 36:23 How Taylor found Tortuga
  • 39:18 Biggest hopes/fears for Tortuga
  • 47:35 How does someone become Taylor Coil (in a non-“Single White Female” sort of way)?
  • 52:20 Word to the Wise

People On This Episode

Links from This Episode

Word to the Wise

  • Jeremy: 1. The Ringer – Bill Simmons’ follow-up to Grantland; 2. Hard drives are cheap! Back up your stuff!
  • Taylor: Rome2Rio – Big-time transportation hack; search the best ways to travel between destinations via bus, train, car, plane, etc.

Feedback and Questions

If you have any feedback about the show or questions for us to answer on the air, email: podcast at tortuga backpacks dotcom.

In 2009, I moved from Brooklyn to Rome because my buddy, Dave sent me an email.

He asked if I’d like to work with him as a hostel receptionist in exchange for free accommodation and €15/day (each solo “shift” was 24 hours long 6pm – 6pm). I didn’t hesitate for a second, and I’ve been in love with the la citta eterna ever since.

So, believe me when I say that you can have the time of your life in Rome for pennies a day. All you have to do is get there. Here’s a comprehensive guide to Rome for a layover, 3-day trip, week-long vacation, or for the rest of your life. Hopefully you visit more than once.

Getting There: From the Airport (FCO) to the Sights

Rome is pretty big, but in reality there are really only two neighborhoods you should stay in, especially for your first visit—near Termini (the central train station), or near the Vatican Ottaviano). If you’re in town for a quick visit, layover, or just in town for a few quick photos of the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and the Forum, stay near Termini (the central train station).

Where to Stay

Staying Near the Hub: Termini

You can catch the express train from Fiumicino (FCO) for €15 and be in the center of Rome in around 30 mins. Trains run every 20 minutes from 6:23am to 11:23pm, so keep that dead zone in mind if you have an early flight or late arrival. Cabs from FCO will cost around €50, which might be worth it if you have a lot of luggage.

My old hostel (sadly out of business), was located on Via Cavour, a main thoroughfare from Termini to the Colosseum. Cavour, a major road that connects to other easy to navigate arteries like Vittorio Emanuele II, and leads to a lot of the major sights.

The best part about staying near Termini is easy access to all of the metro and bus lines that connect the Rome.

packing for Rome

Getting Around: Rome’s Metro

The Roman metro is fast, cheap (€1.50), and reliable. Most of the popular sights from the Vatican to Termini are on the East/West running red “A” metro line (the Vatican, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps). You can connect to the blue “B” line for the Colosseo, Pyramide, and Circo Massimo (although I prefer to walk), but honestly, I lived in Rome for nearly a year and never rode the Blue Line…ever.

Trains come often—every few minutes during peak hours—and the metro runs until 11:30pm Sun-Thurs and 1:30am Fri-Sat. Keep that closing time in mind if you don’t know the bus system, but don’t panic if that last glass of vino makes you miss the train home. Your metro ticket or pass works on the busses, which run 24 hours.

If you stay near Termini, you’ll be within walking distance of some great sights.
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