The USA citizen is a unique traveler. I know; I’m one of them. And because of time, money, and politics, our travel plans come with specific needs and expectations that may not be shared with other world travelers. According to the US State Department, only 36 percent of Americans hold a valid passport, compared to 60 percent of passport-holding Canadians and 75 percent for Brits and Aussies. That means about 65% of us never leave the states. That to me is amazing. Even more so is most Americans end up living within 100 miles of where they were born, yup, statically, like 80% of us. Most of us get no more than two weeks of vacation time, if we are fortunate to have employee benefits, a huge majority of Americans get little or no time off. Faced with these limitations, a lot of folks think that Nepal is out of their reach. Good News! It’s not.
Getting There. Airfare from the US is relatively cheap. Use an online booking service like Expedia, Travelocity, CheapoAir, Opodo, or Kayak. You can easily find fares to Kathmandu well below the $1,000 mark as long as you’re willing to layover in another airport for a few hours. Check out all of them. Prices for the same flights on the same airlines can vary hundreds of dollars. And try to travel in the middle of the week. Personally, I like layovers. Five hours or less goes quickly, gets you off the plane long enough to have a great meal at a real restaurant, and you’ll get free Wi-Fi at most airports to help you pass the time.
VISA. VISA for US Citizens is painless. When you land at the Kathmandu airport, you’ll have to complete a short application and get in line. The cost depends on how long you plan to stay. Fifteen day is $25.
Cost. Here’s the best part. It’s dirt cheap to visit. Everything from hotels, transportation, food, and sightseeing is a bargain. There are countless agencies. Choose the best based on their reviews. A fully inclusive two week package can run as little as $1,500.
Consumables. A full course meal at just about any restaurant will run less than $10. There are countless delis, snack shops, sandwich bars, and marketplace offering street good and walk-away meals. Again, prices are ridiculously low, and if you are a fussy traveler when it comes to food choices, the selection of common brands and western styled food is ample.
Transportation. Taxi, tuk-tuks, busses, and micro-buses are easily accessible and at very low fares.
Language. Guess what, most Nepalese speak English! It’s one of their official languages.
Sightseeing. Do yourself a favor. Hire a guide with one of the best trekking agency in Nepal. For a price you find hard to believe, you’ll get door-to-door service, a personal guide with great language skills, admission, transportation, and all the extras included.
Who are Tom and Bobbie Lucido?
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We are travel addicts, having visited over 85 countries so far. Now that we are retired, we decided to take the next step. In July 2016, we sold everything – our home, vehicles, businesses, furniture, all of it. We gave away our clothing and household effects and stored our family keepsakes. Having released the material hold on our lives, and with two backpacks, we left the USA and began our journey into the world as nomads, living in one place for a while, and then moving on to the next. With only a US post office box and an internet telephone number, we are well into our six year plan to see and do as much as time, luck, and interest will allow.