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8 Ways To Enjoy An Unforgettable Trip Without Spending Much

8 Ways To Enjoy An Unforgettable Trip Without Spending Much

There is so much information online about how to travel cheaper and better. I am stunned that some of the more common misconceptions about travel still exist. Mistaken beliefs like all amazing travel experiences are expensive, and cheap travel means huge inconvenience. What if I told you, saving money on travel is easy? You can spend as little as $25 a day traveling without sacrificing quality on anything. I’ve made a lifestyle out of traveling full-time cheap, so I know you can enjoy an unforgettable trip without spending much.

Here are 10 ways to save tons of cash while you’re traveling without forgoing comfort or quality on anything.

1. Fly with Budget Airlines

unforgettable trip without spending much
    Photo via Norwegian News

    Flight costs can be the most expensive part of travel, but choosing a budget airline over a full-service carrier can make an incredible difference to your travel budget. Fuel prices continue to tank, but full-service carriers aren’t passing that saving onto consumers. Luckily, many low-cost budget airlines like WOW Air, Air Asia, and Norwegian Air fly from the U.S. to Europe and Asia.

    Some people think you have to sacrifice comfort and convenience when you fly budget airlines or that the ticket price is cheap, but the fees for baggage, reserved seating, and in-flight meals increase the price considerably. Both points are untrue in my experience. My family (all 3 of us) flew from Fort Lauderdale, U.S.A. to London for $718.46 with Norwegian. That price included all taxes, baggage, seat assignment, 2 meals each, and it was the most comfortable fight we’ve ever taken! Norwegian flies from both coasts in the U.S. to Europe for as little as $159 one-way, and from Europe to Asia for as low as $200 one-way. In Asia, Air Asia offers $20 one-way fares throughout the region.

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    2. Stay in Amazing Accommodations for Free

    unforgettable trip without spending much

      Various hospitality networks connect travelers with local hosts that will let them stay for free. The benefits to using these networks are not only related to price, but also unforgettable travel experiences. Meeting local people, seeing what life is really like in different parts of the world enriches travel in ways you just don’t get staying in a hotel. Networks like Couchsurfing and BeWelcome include locals happy to host families, couples, and solo travelers too.

      Would you like to stay in a beautiful home in the mountains in Panama, or a stunning villa on the coast in Spain for FREE? I actually did — house sitting! Actually, house sitting is a terrific way to stay in a lovely accommodation and save tons of money too. Taking care of people’s homes and pets while they vacation makes expensive destinations like London or Paris affordable. It also delivers a more authentic feel, staying in a local neighborhood, as opposed to more expensive tourist areas. House sitting platforms I use and love are HouseSit Match, Trusted Housesitters, and HouseCarers.

      3. Learn Travel Hacks to Make Travel Easier and Cheaper

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      unforgettable trip without spending much

        Getting to your destination is part of your travel experience as well. Why not make the journey as painless as possible and save a bunch of money too! There are thousands of trip planning sites and travel apps that claim to make travel planning easier, cheaper, and better. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out which will work best to save you time and money. I read 2 great articles that included some really helpful booking sites and travel apps that were new to me, “29 travel hacks that even frequent fliers don’t know” and “These 7 unknown websites can save you hundreds on travel”. See which travel hacks could save you the most on your next trip.

        4. Benefit From the Sharing Economy

        unforgettable trip without spending much

          The sharing economy has permeated every sector of the travel industry. It gives travelers many options and lots of competition, leading to serious savings. Sharing pioneers like Airbnb and Lyft have been around for years. They continue to grow, improve, and gain more consumer confidence every year. You can use the sharing economy for everything when you travel: transportation, guided tours, meals, and accommodation. Some that have benefited from my pocketbook and my travel experiences are Airbnb, EatWith, LikeaLocal, Spotted by Locals, and Vayable.

          5. Adventure Travel Can be Really Affordable

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          unforgettable trip without spending much

            Would you like to have an adventure travel experience? Your adventure could be a lot closer to home than you think! A microadventure is an outdoor adventure close to home. You don’t need to fly to the other side of the world to find exciting outdoor pursuits. Adventure means challenging yourself physically, mentally, or even culturally. I bet there are hundreds of ways to challenge yourself in your local area! Alistair Humphreys is an authority on the subject and he says microadventuring is cheap, simple, and short. It is a very effective way to experience outdoor adventure because doing so captures the essence of big adventures. If you need some inspiration, he has tons of great ideas for microadventures on his blog.

            6. A Little Research Can Pay Off Big Time

            unforgettable trip without spending much

              I like doing cost of living research on destinations I consider visiting. Doing so has helped me decide on places where my tourist dollars go further. Sites I find helpful are Numbeo and Price of Travel, both offer average costs for restaurants, accommodations, and other things that impact my travel budget. There are amazing places in the world that have very cheap living costs. There are also a lot more destinations to choose from other than southeast Asia and central America. The cheapest place I’ve visited is actually Spain. My family and I stayed in a lovely villa on the southern coast. We enjoyed eating out, drinking Spanish wine, shopping, and local culture for less than $25 USD a day! If you’re having a hard time deciding where to spend your travel dollars, doing a bit of research could help you choose a place where your money will go a lot further.

              7. Buy Tourist Cards and See More for Less

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              unforgettable trip without spending much

                City tourist cards give you access to various attractions for one discounted price. They help you see all the sights you want to see and save money in the process! The cost of a card will equal entry to a few attractions, but it gets you access to dozens more. Conveniently, you can find cards at any tourist office and they even include free public transportation! Buying a tourist card will save you a bundle while visiting cities like London, Paris or New York where there is so much to see and do. Seeing all of the attractions you’ve dreamed of makes a trip unforgettable. Getting access to them at a discount will make you feel pretty incredible too.

                8. Find a Cheap Cruise or Group Tour

                unforgettable trip without spending much

                  Booking cruises and group tours last minute can save you up to 50%! Tour operators and cruise companies scramble to fill empty spots at the last minute. This means huge savings for travelers who can handle booking on short notice. I’ve always seen the value in booking cruises and group tours. Meals are included on cruises, plus you have the run of a floating city and deluxe transportation to different destinations. Group tours usually include some meals, tours of the sights, and most transportation. Both become incredible travel deals when discounted because so much is included in the price. Don’t book through a travel agent. The savings are always better when you book on your own. Check out Cruise Sheet or Vacation to Go for discounted cruises. For tours, look at last minute specials on your favorite tour operators site (mine is Friendly Planet).

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                  Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                  The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                  The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                  Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                  your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                    Why You Need a Vision

                    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                    How to Create Your Life Vision

                    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                    What Do You Want?

                    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                    Some tips to guide you:

                    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                    • Give yourself permission to dream.
                    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                    Some questions to start your exploration:

                    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                    • What qualities would you like to develop?
                    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                    • What would you most like to accomplish?
                    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                    A few prompts to get you started:

                    • What will you have accomplished already?
                    • How will you feel about yourself?
                    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                    • What does your ideal day look like?
                    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                    • What would you be doing?
                    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                    • How are you dressed?
                    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                    Plan Backwards

                    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                    • What important actions would you have had to take?
                    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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