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10 Amazing Countries That Perfectly Fit Budget Travelers

10 Amazing Countries That Perfectly Fit Budget Travelers

You want to travel but you are hesitant because you don’t think you can do it on a budget. There are many awesome countries you can visit that happen to budget-friendly as well. I have been fortunate enough to live in Europe for the better part of eight years, and in that time I have traveled much of the continent. While many countries in Europe are expensive there are some that are reasonably priced. Most of this list will focus on Europe because I don’t think people realize how cheap you can travel throughout Europe especially if you do away with the hotels and stay in hostels.

1. Greece

Sunset in Oia, Santorini. Here is my version of the sunset shot in Oia. This is a blend of 3 shots, 1.3 to 20 seconds, processed as follows: 1) Reduce noice on all 3 raws. 2) Create HRD in Photomatix 3) Blend using Exposure Fusion, sliders set to produce the most natural looking image while still showing some detail in the very dark areas. 4) PS smart sharpen. 5) PS burn the bottom 6) Nik Brilliance and warming 7) Nik Indian summer to warm th elights, masked to not affect the rest. 8) Nik sunlight, brushed over the buildings to add more light 9) Nik Glamour Glow to remove detail in the dark areas. 10) Detailed curves lightening pn windmills. 11) Dodge buildings that were too dark.

    The economic crisis has turned off some travelers from visiting but plenty of people are taking advantage of Greece’s scenic landscape and economical fares. Visit all the ancient ruins in Athens (there are a lot of them) for only $15. Enjoy specialty foods such as souvlaki and Greek salad or indulge in an Ouzo or Tsipouro drink. As a budget traveler, I lived off chicken souvlaki and Greek salad the entire week I was there. The food was delicious and the prices were hard to beat. Plus, you can view one of the most amazing sunsets in Santorini for free!

    2. Turkey

    Istanbul

      What’s unique about visiting Turkey is that it’s one of the only transcontinental countries or country that is in two continents. So you can visit Istanbul or another city within the European mainland and then take a ferry ride across the Bosphorus or Dardanelles strait into Asiatic Turkey, otherwise known as Anatolia or Asia Minor. I was stoked when I arrived in Istanbul to experience the variety of cultures and religions that make up this beautiful city. I was equally thrilled when I found out all I had to do was hop on a ferry boat for about an hour and I would be in the Asian part of this serene country. The best part was how inexpensive it was to explore history. Additionally, a kebab made with chicken or lamb meat is only going to cost you $1 or $2. A simit, a kind of Turkish bread usually eaten for breakfast, is even cheaper and my personal favorite, lahmacun or Turkish pizza, is very reasonably priced.

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      3. Morocco

      Jemaa-el-Fna-squre-in-Marrakesh-Morocco

        A short plane ride from Western Europe will land you in this incredible country. I didn’t know what to expect when I visited this African nation but I was happily satisfied with my experience. Unlike in Istanbul, visiting the local mosques is not possible for non-Muslims besides a couple exceptions. Regardless, there is a lot to see in this country, and in most cases it is free of charge or very inexpensive. There are two-day Sahara desert tours that leave from Fez and Marrakech that are as cheap as $65 per person. If I would have had more time there I would have definitely taken advantage of this.

        4. Hungary

        Budapest

          I put on Hungary on this list for the simple fact that I am biased towards Budapest. I have not traveled much outside of Budapest, but I was immediately drawn to this city, and I didn’t want to leave. The vibe of the city is enticing and inviting at the same time. Everything was cheap there from the food to the beer; especially the beer. $2 for a 24-ounce beer is a heck of a deal. It is easy to get around the city on foot or by public transportation. I would stray away from taxi drivers because they tend to gouge tourists. I would suggest that a budget traveler visit one of the local spa baths. The prices vary depending on the spa but reasonably-priced ones will cost you about $10.

          5. Germany

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          Brandenburg-Gate-Berlin1

            Germany is a huge country with lots to see. Unfortunately, it gets a bad rap for being too expensive for the budget traveler. I think most of this stems from some of the major attractions in the bigger cities in the country. But even some of the most popular German attractions are economical to experience. For example, Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) which separated East Berlin from West Berlin during the time of the Berlin Wall is free of charge. You simply walk up the stairs from the underground station and there it is.

            The point is — don’t sleep on Germany as a place to travel to on a budget. There are many convenient and cheap restaurants or food places to buy famous German specialties. Beer is very cheap as well probably because Germans love their beer and they want to share it with as many people as possible. Train travel within the country is relatively cheap especially if you do your homework early and order tickets as soon as you know where you are travelling.

            6. Croatia

            Zagreb

              I haven’t spent a lot of time in this beautiful country but I was really impressed with what I saw. I was especially excited about how cheap it was to eat and drink. I spent most of my time in the capital city of Zagreb. There is a lot of history to go along with an amazing culinary culture. If you go to Zagreb or anywhere else in Croatia you have to try some cepavici, a traditional meat dish. Travelling to Split and other spots near the Adriatic Sea are reasonable and worthwhile. Dubrovnik is very nice as well but be careful of the prices there because it is not so budget-friendly.

              7. Estonia

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              Tallinn

                I have been fortunate enough to visit Tallinn, Estonia’s capital and largest city, on a few occasions. I love Northern Europe and would suggest that anyone visit these lands if they have the time and the money.  Visiting Estonia is much cheaper than other countries in Northern Europe. There is a significant Russian influence, reminiscent of its time as a member of the Soviet Union. But I found this influence to be interesting and not predominant. Eating out and enjoying the night life are very reasonable as long as you stray away from the tourist stops right in the center of town. There are some really cool medieval castles that are worth seeing as a budget traveler.

                8. Italy

                venice_2304966b

                  Italy has so many places to see, and like Germany, the pricing of the country can vary depending on which places you visit. Yet, you can definitely travel to Italy on a budget. Even an expensive tourist city such as Venice and Rome can be visited by a budget traveler. It goes without saying that Italian food is delicious but it is also reasonable as well. You haven’t truly eaten pizza until you eat in Italy. Take advantage of the differences in the northern and southern cuisines. If you are into beach life than Italy is a great place to visit. Italians know how to enjoy their beaches and the best part is that they are free.

                  9. Spain

                  18-malaga-4

                    Simple ways to save money in Spain include opting for buses and metro stations as opposed to trains. It is not always the easiest way to get around but it will save you a lot of money, plus you get to really absorb yourself into the Spanish culture. Also, focus your meals on breakfast and lunch because typically these meals are much cheaper than dinner. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have dinner, rather that you should make sure you eat much bigger breakfasts and lunches. Bigger cities like Barcelona and Madrid are great spots to visit but there are also many smaller cities like Malaga and Marbella that are nice as well.

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                    10. Bulgaria

                    Sofia_Bulgaria

                      I have yet to visit but I hear this place is a hidden gem for budget traveling. I look forward to visiting the capital city Sofia or perhaps enjoying one of the cheaply-priced boat cruises.

                      You can travel almost anywhere on a budget. It takes a lot of planning and a sense of adventure. If you are willing to stay in hostels and explore places on your own, sans tour guide, than you can travel cheaply. You can still enjoy the local fair without spending an arm and a leg in expensive restaurants.

                      Featured photo credit: Topwalls via topwalls.net

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                      Last Updated on January 15, 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, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the 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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