Tag: travel tips

Money-Saving Travel Tips

Being on a budget does not mean that the “fun factor” of your trips will be compromised. Actually, traveling on a budget is not a new thing anymore, as there are many clever ways to save money while you’re on a holiday. While looking for ways to stretch your budget when you’re out on the road is undoubtedly challenging, it also allows you to tap your enterprising and creative potential (it’s rather fun, even).

Here are some money-saving travel tips that actually work:

1) Choose to stay in hostels
It cannot be denied that hostels are every backpacker’s choice because they are pocket-friendly. While there are different types of hostels – there are party hostels, boutique hostels, rural hostess, etc. – they all offer the same basic amenities like bedding, bathroom and restroom, and sometimes a kitchenette. You can pay as little as over $2 for a single night of stay there.

2) Travel in off-peak seasons
If you have the chance to avoid peak season travel, it’s better to take advantage of it! It’s not just summer and spring that you should avoid; there are also Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. Hotels and other lodgings slash their rates by almost half and flights are also cheaper in low-peak seasons. Another bonus: enjoy less crowds and more chances of sight-seeing in relative peace.

3) Be flexible with your flights
The pricing of flights may fluctuate significantly depending on the month, weeks, days and even hours. So do your own research, keep yourself up-to-date on the airline rates and grab the cheapest flights you can find.

4) Seek out for experiences over material things
Instead of collecting pricey souvenirs on your way back home, why don’t you focus instead on collecting worthwhile experiences and creating beautiful memories while you’re out on the road? They are better gifts than material things and are way more memorable and special as time goes by. You can make your own souvenirs anyway by taking pictures of your travel highlights from your own phone or camera — and that’s free of charge!

5) Book in advance
Another foolproof way of saving money on your travels is to book in advance, but many travelers and tourists are still oblivious about its advantages. Always be reminded that the closer you get to your travel date, the higher the rates will be – last-minute prices often tend to rise. Advance booking isn’t only restricted to air and hotel fares, but can also be extended to other things such as domestic rail tickets.

6) Find establishments that offer free Wi-Fi
To save data on your mobile, look for places that offer free Wi-Fi. Good examples include libraries, cafes, shopping malls, restaurants, museums and other public places. Many forms of public transport like trains and buses also offer free Wi-Fi.

7) Eat like a local
Not only exploring local cuisine is fun and adds to your traveling experiences, it also saves you money. Plus, it helps you to eat better. Dining at local restaurants, hole-in-the-walls and outdoor vendors not only allows you to eat cheaply, but it also gets you exposed to diverse tastes and the freshest ingredients.

8) Walk!
Of course, you can only do that once you have flown to your destination. Walking the best way to get around and explore a new town or city. Not to mention it also saves you a lot of money.

But if you are too tired to walk or your desired tourist spot seems quite far from where you’re staying, you can always take public transport, which comes typically cheap.

Anticipate a lot of walking, so expect your feet to feel sore a bit. It’s always great to have a handy foot massager like this foot massage ball which is handy, practical and most importantly, effective in giving relief your feet. It doesn’t take a lot of storage in your handbag and is affordable, too.

Tips to Prepare for Long Travel

The secrets of a successful holiday are organization and preparation, right? An early and well-thought-out plan means a hassle-free travel. For a start, have a checklist of what to do and what to bring when you’re expected for a long, long haul.

Packing for must-have items and kits are easy enough. But if you want to look for more practical but otherwise awesome travel “buddies,” check out this link “Cool Travel Accessories” — the bag and the organizer featured there will help you to pack more efficiently.

Aside from packing your clothing and bringing your DSLR’s and GoPro’s, there are other important things that you should not forget to make your travel smooth, convenient and worry-free.

1) Organize your finances
While getting your finances in order is not a glamorous or fun thing to do, it is otherwise an essential part of your pre-travel prep! Make sure that you have settled whatever debts you have (if you can) and set up an automatic payment for bills. Opt for travel-friendly debit and credit cards as they will be of big help to you particularly when it comes to foreign exchange fees (it would also be a big help if you keep track of the fluctuating exchange rates).

Don’t forget your travel insurance – it will be a big life-saver to you as it covers anything from medical expenses to theft of your important belongings to trip cancellations. If you have a travel insurance policy, it is better to review it first before hitting the road or flying out of the country. It is important to know what your travel insurance exactly covers so that you will decide which ones you really need.

2) Update your important documents
It is also important to get your necessary documents updated and ready, including your passport, visa, life/travel/health insurance, vaccination certificates (check out the list of countries that require them) and student ID’s (if you’re still studying, of course).

If you are of a certain age, make sure that you have updated your wills and beneficiary designations. You should also consider turning over your important financial and legal matters to someone you trust, especially if you’re going to a long and epic holiday.

3) Get your phone ready for international travel
When you’re planning to be out of the country for long and want to take your phone with you, then you should consider setting it up for international roaming. Carriers such as Sprint and T-Mobile offer free international roaming but there are data limits unless you pay more. A&T and and Verizon, on the other hand, offer international “day passes,” which allow you to enjoy unlimited talk times, text messaging and data for a low daily fee.

In many other countries (especially in Southeast Asia), phone services are incredibly cheap. You may want to take advantage of their affordable rates by purchasing a local SIM card as you arrive (the SIM cards themselves are very much cheap, too). For only $10 to $20, you can enjoy a hefty amount of texts, calls and mobile data.

You are most likely to bring your phone when you’re abroad, but only for taking pictures and for Wi-Fi. But if you still want to call your family and friends back home, don’t worry! There are many hotels and other lodgings that loan smartphones – complete with calls, text messaging and mobile data services included. Look for hotels that offer this type of service.

4) Get yourself healthy
You’re going for the long haul, that’s why you should not forget about your health. Being sick is no fun especially on a holiday. Visit your doctor and your dentist before embarking on the long journey. When traveling to a foreign country, it’s important to do your own research about the risks, such as contagious diseases, sanitary conditions or poisonous animals (if you’re going to do a nature trip).

Make sure that all of your vaccines are up-to-date – knowing which types of vaccines will protect you from certain diseases like typhoid fever, cholera, and yellow fever. Especially if you’re going on a trip to Asia, South America or Africa, this should be a consideration not to be missed.

Long travels can be stressful, so boost your immune system by munching on healthy food and by taking supplements. It doesn’t hurt if you also bring your prescriptions with you.

5) Prepare yourselves mentally and emotionally
Aside from the material and financial part of the preparation, it’s also important to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally as you will be embarking on an extensive holiday abroad. Yes, there are tremendous support from your family and friends, but sometimes you cannot help having some doubt towards yourself on how are you going to handle the realities of traveling once they arise. Culture shock is only one of the things that you are likely to encounter once you arrive to your destination.

So you may want to ask yourself first: how will travel change your life? For better or for worse? Will you be returning to your home country or will you find yourself staying there for longer than you expect? That’s why it’s always better to anticipate such situations by being mentally and emotionally prepared.