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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 17, 2019

                  8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                  8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                  In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                  Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                  Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                  Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                  Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                  The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                  There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                  How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                  According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                  Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                  Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                  The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                  Listen carefully:

                  We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                  The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                  Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                  8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                  There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                  Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                  1. Pray Daily

                  You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                  When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                  Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                  Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                  2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                  A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                  By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                  Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                  If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                  This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                  How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                  3. Smile Often

                  Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                  Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                  Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                  The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                  4. Organize Your Working Desk

                  A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                  When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                  Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                  Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                  5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                  I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                  Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                  What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                  6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                  God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                  I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                  I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                  7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                  You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                  How do you do that? This is my formula:

                  First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                  If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                  If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                  If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                  Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                  8. Go Exercise

                  Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                  The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                  You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                  12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                  The Bottom Line

                  It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                  It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                  Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                  More Resources About Mindfulness

                  Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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