Spoiler – I’ve learned more about the world from regular trips to the library than on any escapade abroad.
In general, I love traveling, I have managed to gather plenty great experiences and stories that linger along with me thanks to those travels, but more than traveling, I love home and my library. Some things cannot be lived in your own country, smells, sounds, tastes etc, which is why the only way to experience these things is to book a flight, grab a bus, or a train, and travel to some unknown destination for you and feel these things for yourself.
Why travelling is overrated?
- Gaining perspective. You get a broader image of what the world is, its an opportunity to burst your bubble and Get out of your comfort zone.
- Coming back home. After an intensive trip of constantly moving around, there’s no better feeling than arriving back to your own space, your own bed, your family, your food.
- Better appreciation for what you have. Being grateful for those things you take for granted on a daily basis.
- Problem solving, Creativity . Unlike in your own country, in other places you have to hustle to solve problems, many times they don’t speak any language you know, you have limited knowledge on how things work, and you have a limited amount of resources to fix problems.
- Not Traveling by the book. “When in Paris, you have to go to X or Y”. There’s nothing I hate more, than having to visit a place and taking a selfie, just because a trillion people have already done it, you have to travel by your own demands and your own intuition.
“Buy experiences, not things. They last longer & make you happier”.
Moving to the topic. Here are some tips to save money when you are travelling.
Couchsurf – This service connects travelers with locals who are willing to let them stay with them for FREE. Using this site you will never have to pay for accommodation. Years ago I read about a guy who has been traveling for years while only Couchsurfing and I’ve used this service about 10 times and always meet amazing people. Sometimes you get a room, sometimes a couch, sometimes an air mattress, but it’s always free. There are also local Couchsurfing group meet-ups that can help you make friends in your new city. Similar sites include Servas and Hospitality Club but I like Couchsurfing the best. It’s a more active community.
Airbnb– Another cheap way of travelling to cities with local people.
Hitchhike – A free way to get around destinations that is relatively safe and quite common in many parts of the world including Central America,Eastern Europe, Japan and some places in India. I’ve hitchhiked in a few places around the world and know many people who have done the same.
Free Walking Tours – Want to learn about the city, get your bearings, and see the major sights? Take a free walking tour. You can find them in 90% of the major cities in Europe, and there are also a few in large Asian cities, New York, Australia, and New Zealand.
Some good free tour companies include:
- Australia Free Walking Tours
- Big Apple Greeters (NYC)
- New Europe Walking Tours (All over Europe)
Get Free Flights — There are so many ways to earn free flights. Sign up for a few travel credit cards, collect miles, and then fly for free. Most cards offer sign-up bonuses of 50,000 points — and if you sign up for both an airline card and a general rewards card like the Chase Sapphire or AMEX card, you can combine the two point balances and get a cheap flight faster.
- Watch out for deals and coupons
- Shop at their member stores
- Put everything on the card
- Date a lovely air hostess
- Make a pilot friend
Sleep in large dorms — Large hostel dorm rooms are the cheapest paid accommodation out there. If Couchsurfing isn’t your thing, this is your next best way to save money on a place to sleep.
Get rail passes / Travel by bus— Booking ahead of time can usually save you about 50% of the cost of a train ticket, but if you don’t want to be tied into a fixed schedule, rail passes can save you a lot of money. I’ve saved hundreds in Europe.
Cook Your Meals – Buying from 24*7 and cooking it yourself is the best way to save money on food.
If you feel that no matter what you do you will never get ahead by saving money, follow this guide to ultimate travel frugality and see the world on the ultra cheap
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