About Ty Diedrick

22 year old entrepreneur, tech-lover, and all-around travel junkie. www.mybuddyabroad.com

Best of: Marrakech, Morocco! MBA User-Submitted photos.

Hey MBA users!  Every now and then we’re going to post user-submitted photos of your coolest trips, pics, and places!  Be sure to send them in; you can Tweet us your pics at @MyBuddyAbroad , post it on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Buddy-Abroad/114357055324849?fref=ts or send it via e-mail to tyler@ newmediafluent.com

Our next Best of Series will be London, England! Be sure to submit your best photo!

“I never knew there would be so much to do in Marrakech.” Aubrey A.

“The Souk of Marrakech! Anything and everything you could want to buy is all here.” – Riley G.

“Beautiful pillars right by the Medina!” – Lacey B.

“A traditional Moroccan meal (maybe except for the French fries and Diet coke).” – Ally T.

“One of the cities greatest landmarks, the Koutoubia Mosque!” – Andrew J.

“Out sand duning around the Atlas mountains!” – Sarah B.

“Having tea in a rural Moroccan home outside of Marrakesh – amazing experience!” -Emilie S.

“Local school children watching us tourists. I wonder what they think of us?!” – Nick C.

“The beautiful medina from a rooftop restaurant, can’t wait to return!” Shaun B.

Best Free iPhone Apps for Travel

We pay a lot for our iPhone’s so why should we pay for expensive travel apps? These five apps have helped My Buddy Abroad members abroad and saved them tons of money.  Get your iPhone handy and download away!

1. U Packing List

1. uPackingListFree – Figure out what you need beforehand 

There’s no way you can forget anything with this app- it covers all your grounds.  Download this before you leave and you won’t be spending money on pricey necessities while you’re trying to enjoy your trip.

2. HearPlanet

2.Hearplanet – Learn about where you are

Sometimes finding time for a tour that also fits your budget can be hard, so use HearPlanet on any of your major landmarks and learn everything you need to know.

3. Tripit

3. Tripit – Organize your trip

Between flights and other travel plans things can get muddled up quickly.  Tripit centralizes  and makes the travel experience that much smoother by doing things such as sending flight confirmations and syncing up with your calendar.  A must have!

4. Road Trip Lite

4.  Road Trip LT – Calculate gas, MPG, and more.

When driving it can get pricey and frustrating.  RoadTrip is awesome tool to calculate how much you’re paying for gas and the mileage.  We learned that our car got us 39 MPG on a 1000 mile trip to Los Angeles.

5. Yelp

5. Yelp – Find the best locations 

Finally, you’ve got to find the best foods and fun and Yelp knows it all.  Whether you want it to use your location or find what you like by search, reading reviews and looking at photos will help pick the best places during your trip.

Travel smart, my friends.

Ways to Save Money While Traveling

Prices for flights and hotels can be daunting in themselves, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank on every other expense.  Here are four ways to help you save money on your next vacation abroad!

-Budget airlines and travel websites

When I most recently traveled from Oklahoma City to Paris (France, not Texas), I didn’t want to pay $1000 so I found a website called studentuniverse.com – a website that caters to ANYONE (student, teacher, employee, etc) with a college e-mail.  I ended up paying $624 for a round-trip airfare.  Pretty amazing, right? Generally speaking, the longer you go, the cheaper it is, so keep that in mind. But if you want to take a short trip within your trip, check out budget airlines such as Ryanair and EasyJet.  Some flights can cost as little as TEN AMERICAN DOLLARS, such as the one I took from Nice, France to Marrakesh, Morocco.  Not even their asinine baggage policies can put a damper on that price.

Better get in line at the airport early – budget airlines lines are notoriously long!

-Unconventional lodging

There are so many different ways around pricey conventional hotels.  For the daring traveler, try couchsurfing.com , a website that pairs you up with a local who hosts people from different parts of the world (normally these people are also globetrotters who love to meet people from different cultures . The idea is that this is a reciprocal exchange, meaning you need to host some people too and tell them the best spots in your hometown, so keep that in mind beforehand.  Also, if you’re traveling in a large group, look into renting out someone’s apartment.  In Amsterdam, seven of us rented a chic little apartment in a great location with more than enough space that ended up costing everyone less that $30 Euros a night.  We had free reign to do what we wanted, when we wanted, and in style.

This apartment in Amsterdam was a steal for the price.

-Internet booking

This might sound like a given, but when you add up the amount of attractions paid for during a trip, each dollar makes a difference.  Almost all attractions have discounts for booking online, such as the London Eye.  If you do this enough, you will definitely see a difference in your bank account.  Also, look for deals online such as Livingsocial- most people don’t think about it, but these deals are offered abroad too!

Booking online can save you money on everything from attractions to trains.

-Free Tours

Finally, the culmination of the of free – free tours!  Most people have the misconceived notion that these are not of the same quality as paid tours, but that’s entirely not true.  These guides make their living off tips and it shows in their presentation.  With the best historical anecdotes, the funniest personal accounts, and lots of information, free tours are among the favorite for most travelers. Plus, you can tip based on how you think they did.  It’s  a win-win situation for all.

You’ll always meet a very diverse group of people in your tour groups.

Travel smart my friends.

Top 5 Tips to Avoid Being an Annoying Tourist Abroad

Ever had something negative to say about a group of tourists in your hometown? Chances are the answer is yes.  Just because you’re in a foreign environment doesn’t mean everyone has to know it.  Here are some tips to help you avoid being that “pesky tourist”.

  • 5. Stop traveling in giant cliques – We get it, you’re just getting off a sardine-packed tour bus or your entire group of study abroad students wanted to see Geneva together, or maybe your 15 other sorority sisters all want to look “hot” together on the way to the discotheque. Just because you all want to be together doesn’t mean you have to travel in packs of 20. Split up and tackle a city in smaller groups. I can tell you from experience  if you’re traveling in a large group, there’s going to be some decision-making issues anyway.
  • 4. Make an effort to know a few words –  How do you feel when someone asks you for directions in Spanish? Most people I know lament about how this is ‘Murica’, and therefore people should learn English or leave. Just because it’s a popular global language doesn’t mean everyone abroad speaks it. In the tourist sector, knowing 10 simple phrases will win you enormous bonus points with the locals and some might even reveal a secret; they knew English all along (so watch what you say)!
  • 3. You miss home, get over it –  Asking for ice at every restaurant in Europe, whining about the lack of Dr. Pepper, bee lining it to the nearest McDonalds for free Wi-Fi so you can post your 12th consecutive photo of the Eiffel Tower on Facebook (this is a great way to slim down your friends list, by the way) – all these hardships are not permanent. You will be back home soon, stop complaining about it to every living soul, foreign or otherwise, because guess what? Nothing you say is going change things.
  • 2. Pack the attire of a squire – Needless to say, you don’t have to wear a tuxedo and ball gown to hike the Great Wall of China, but that doesn’t mean wear your sweats and college football snuggie. There is a happy medium.  Generally speaking, people in other countries take more pride in their appearance than the average Wal-Mart shopper.  They also don’t want to see your, “I Heart NY” shirt, flip flops, “norts” (aka Nike shorts), fishing shirts or whatever. Could you identify a lederhosen-ladden group of men leaving a German beer house? Because if you’re wearing anything I mentioned above, they can probably identify you too.
  • 1. Stop YELLING –  Americans are loud. We get it, we’ve been there too. The volume in which Americans speak is much higher than other countries, so tone it down or risk being the loud obnoxious cliche tourist. The most common and deadly of the traveling sins, many have a hard time grasping the concept of intercultural communication, thinking their message isn’t getting across because either a) Their hearing is bad or, b)They must not be speaking loudly enough and/or enunciating.  Sadly, it is neither of these. They truthfully just don’t have a damn clue how to speak English.
Travel smart my friends.

My Buddy Abroad

Aside

Globetrotters,

To travel or not to travel, that is the question.  Whether tis’ nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of global isolation, or take arms against a sea of losers, and by opposing, travel.

Shakespeare’s version might have varied slightly, but who really knows? One thing is certain though, Shakespeare’s influence spanned an entire planet, something he could not do personally in the 1500’s.  How many international tour dates do you think Shakespeare would have in 2012? My best guess is however many there were, they’d be sold out in every city across the globe.

Do you ever wonder why so many American artists do international tours? We’re the epicenter of culture and entertainment for the world.  We set standards for other countries in terms of music, movies, television, etc.  But that doesn’t mean we’re all the world has to offer. Up until four years ago, mainstream culture was 90% originating for the good ole U S of A.  Today, we have been ambushed by a sea of English pop-Gods; Adele, One Direction, the Wanted.  And as it turns out, America is welcoming the ambush with open arms.

The point I’m trying to make is the world is getting smaller and it’s happening fast.  For so long we’ve had this idea that the rest of the globe is one big greenhouse experiment; we send over American culture and news in droves while most anything that tries to escape the bubble is caught in a thick 12-mile layer of indifference and who can blame us? We barely have to time to swallow everything here in the states.  It’s time to start opening our eyes to different regions, languages, cultures, food.  The world as we know it is shrinking and believe it or not, that’s a good thing.  At My Buddy Abroad, we want to show what it’s like to ride four wheelers in the Moroccan dessert, to fall in love in Paris, to teach English in China, and to watch the sun rise after a long night in Ibiza, with hundreds of other people JUST like you.

And at the end of it all, maybe we can honor our beloved but not forgotten American culture with a few updated sequels, starting with, “Honey, I shrunk the kids world.”

Travel smart, my friends.