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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 July 28, 2020

                  14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

                  14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

                  Diet trends may come and go, but a low-GI diet remains one of the few that has been shown to include benefits based on science. Low GI foods provide substantial health benefits over those with a high index, and they are key to maintaining a healthy weight.

                  What is GI? Glycemic index (GI) is the rate at which the carbohydrate content of a food is broken down into glucose and absorbed from the gut into the blood. When you eat foods containing carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is then absorbed into your bloodstream.[1]

                  The higher the GI of a food, the faster it will be broken down and cause your blood glucose (sugar) to rise. Foods with a high GI rating are digested very quickly and cause your blood sugar to spike. This is why it’s advisable to stick to low GI foods as much as possible, as the carbohydrate content of low GI foods will be digested slowly, allowing a more gradual rise in blood glucose levels.

                  Foods with a GI scale rating of 70 or more are considered to be high GI. Foods with a rating of 55 or below are considered low GI foods.

                  It’s important to note that the glycemic index of a food doesn’t factor in the quantity that you eat. For example, although watermelon has a high glycemic index, the water and fiber content of a standard serving of water means it won’t have a significant impact on your blood sugar.

                  Like watermelon, some high GI foods (such as baked potatoes) are high in nutrients. And some low GI foods (such as corn chips) contain high amounts of trans fats.

                  In most cases, however, the GI is an important means of gauging the right foods for a healthy diet.

                  Eating mainly low GI foods every day helps to provide your body with a slow, continuous supply of energy. The carbohydrates in low GI foods is digested slowly, so you feel satisfied for longer. This means you’ll be less likely to suffer from fluctuating sugar levels that can lead to cravings and snacking.

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                  Let’s continue with some of the best examples of low GI foods.

                  1. Quinoa

                  GI: 53

                  Quinoa has a slightly higher GI than rice or barley, but it contains a much higher proportion of protein. If you don’t get enough protein from the rest of your diet, quinoa could help. It’s technically a seed, so it’s also high in fiber–again, more than most grains. It’s also gluten-free, which makes it excellent for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

                  2. Brown Rice (Steamed)

                  GI: 50

                  Versatile and satisfying, brown rice is one of the best low GI foods and is a staple for many dishes around the world. It’s whole rice from which only the husk (the outermost layer) is removed, so it’s a great source of fiber. In fact, brown rice has been shown to help lower cholesterol, improve digestive function, promote fullness, and may even help prevent the formation of blood clots. Just remember to always choose brown over white!

                  3. Corn on the Cob

                  GI: 48

                  Although it tastes sweet, corn on the cob is a good source of slow-burning energy (and one of the tastiest low GI foods). It’s also a good plant source of Vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron, all of which are required for the healthy production of red blood cells in the body. It’s healthiest when eaten without butter and salt!

                  4. Bananas

                  GI: 47

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                  Bananas are a superfood in many ways. They’re rich in potassium and manganese and contain a good amount of vitamin C. Their low GI rating means they’re great for replenishing your fuel stores after a workout.

                  They are easy to add to smoothies, cereal, or kept on your desk for a quick snack. The less ripe they are, the lower the sugar content is! As one of the best low GI foods, it’s a great addition to any daily diet.

                  5. Bran Cereal

                  GI: 43

                  Bran is famous for being one of the highest cereal sources of fiber. It’s also rich in a huge range of nutrients: calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and a host of B vitamins. Although bran may not be to everyone’s tastes, it can easily be added to other cereals to boost the fiber content and lower the overall GI rating.

                  6. Natural Muesli

                  GI: 40

                  Muesli–when made with unsweetened rolled oats, nuts, dried fruit, and other sugar-free ingredients–is one of the healthiest ways to start the day. It’s also very easy to make at home with a variety of other low GI foods. Add yogurt and fresh fruit for a nourishing, energy-packed breakfast.

                  7. Apples

                  GI: 40

                  Apple skin is a great source of pectin, an important prebiotic that helps to feed the good bacteria in your gut. Apples are also high in polyphenols, which function as antioxidants, and contain a good amount of vitamin C. They are best eaten raw with the skin on! Apples are one of a number of fruits[2] that have a low glycemic index. Be careful which fruits you choose, as many have a large amount of natural sugars[3].

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                  8. Apricots

                  GI: 30

                  Apricots provide both fiber and potassium, which make them an ideal snack for both athletes and anyone trying to keep sugar cravings at bay. They’re also a source of antioxidants and a range of minerals.

                  Apricots can be added to salads, cereals, or eaten as part of a healthy mix with nuts at any time of the day.

                  9. Kidney Beans

                  GI: 29

                  Kidney beans and other legumes provide a substantial serving of plant-based protein, so they can be used in lots of vegetarian dishes if you’re looking to adopt a plant-based diet[4]. They’re also packed with fiber and a variety of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds. They are great in soups, stews, or with (whole grain) tacos.

                  10. Barley

                  GI: 22

                  Barley is a cereal grain that can be eaten in lots of ways. It’s an excellent source of B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), fiber, molybdenum, manganese, and selenium. It also contains beta-glucans, a type of fiber that can support gut health and has been shown to reduce appetite and food intake.

                  Please note that barley does contain gluten, which makes it unsuitable for anyone who is Celiac[5] or who follows a gluten-free diet. In this case, gluten-free alternatives might include quinoa, buckwheat, or millet.

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                  11. Raw Nuts

                  GI: 20

                  Most nuts have a low GI of between 0 and 20, with cashews slightly higher at around 22. Nuts, as one of the best low GI foods, are a crucial part of the Mediterranean diet[6] and are really the perfect snack: they’re a source of plant-based protein, high in fiber, and contain healthy fats. Add them to smoothies and salads to boost the nutritional content. Try to avoid roasted and salted nuts, as these are made with large amounts of added salt and (usually) trans fats.

                  12. Carrots

                  GI: 16

                  Raw carrots are not only a delicious low GI vegetable, but they really do help your vision! They contain vitamin A (beta carotene) and a host of antioxidants. They’re also low-calorie and high in fiber, and they contain good amounts of vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. Carrots are great for those monitoring their weight as they’ve been linked to lower cholesterol levels.

                  13. Greek Yogurt

                  GI: 12

                  Unsweetened Greek yogurt is not only low GI, but it’s an excellent source of calcium and probiotics, as well. Probiotics help to keep your gut microbiome in balance and support your overall digestive health and immune function. Greek yogurt makes a healthy breakfast, snack, dessert, or a replacement for dip. The most common probiotic strains found in yogurt are Streptococcus thermophilus[7] (found naturally in yogurt) and Lactobacillus acidophilus[8] (which is often added by the manufacturer). You can also look into probiotic supplements for improving your gut health.

                  14. Hummus

                  GI: 6

                  When made the traditional way from chickpeas and tahini, hummus is a fantastic, low-GI dish. It’s a staple in many Middle Eastern countries and can be eaten with almost any savory meal. Full of fiber to maintain satiety and feed your good gut bacteria, hummus is great paired with freshly-chopped vegetables, such as carrots and celery.

                  Bottom Line

                  If you’re looking to eat healthier or simply cut down on snacking throughout the day, eating low GI foods is a great way to get started. Choose any of the above foods for a healthy addition to your daily diet and start feeling better for longer.

                  More Tips on Eating Healthy

                  Featured photo credit: Alexander Mils via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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