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7 Useful Booking Websites for Budget Travellers

7 Useful Booking Websites for Budget Travellers

Let’s speak openly — it is very expensive to travel frequently. That’s a fact, and everyone who says otherwise is either filthy rich or just ignorant.

Sadly, a majority of people are not wealthy enough to travel around the world carelessly, without thinking about how their trips will affect their financial stability. It is very hard to travel, especially nowadays when the economy is a bit shaky. However, as a passionate traveler, I refuse to give up on my dream. The world is a magical place and you can’t afford missing out just because of money. If you want to travel, you will have to learn how to manage your travel budget properly and incorporate it as best as you can so that you can have the best trip possible.

In order to help you achieve this, I have composed a list of useful websites that can help you cut costs and enable you to visit sites you have always dreamed of.

1. CouchSurfing.com

01

    CouchSurfing is really one of the best options out there for budget traveling, and it’s my favorite. This site offers access to thousands of free hosts all around the world.

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    It works very simple: People voluntarily offer a place to stay to a fellow traveler in their home for free. This network is specifically designed to make it easier for people to get cheap or free accommodations. Not only that you will be able to save a lot of money, but you will also get a chance to learn more about the local culture by spending a lot of time with a local resident. There are many travelers that use this website constantly and most of them are happy with the services it provides. Once you enter the site, you can search for a host by area and check out the reviews a certain profile has. People who have had bad experiences with this site are usually the ones who haven’t checked out a certain host and because of this, they paid the price.

    Besides the fact that you will save a lot of money, you will also be given the chance to experience all the amazing sides of the place you visit and make long lasting friendships.

    2. TripTease.com

    02

      TripTease is a fairly new website that offers concrete real time travel reviews. It is a revolutionary travel review site that can supply travelers with useful tools that can help get first hand information about how certain hotels look, what the current prices are and what experiences previous tourists have had with their visit.

      Everyone who appreciates traveling will appreciate this site as it is truly refreshing to see quality images combined with text. All the prices you can see are real time and reliable while all of the reviews are written by fellow travelers, meaning that you can be sure that what you read is true. Accommodation prices make the biggest part of traveling costs and in this constantly shifting economy, sudden discounts are not uncommon. With TripTease’s smart widget called Price Check, you can easily look for accommodation in a desired area and see what the prices are. Many trip websites offer reviews and prices that are outdated or unreliable and with TripTease, this is exactly what you will avoid.

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      3. InsureMyTrip.com

      03

        One of the most important aspects everyone should bear in mind when preparing for a trip is travel insurance. There are various web sites that can help you choose and compare insurances in order to find the best suited solution while saving some cash.

        One of these kinds of sites is InsureMyTrip, and while it basically offers the same service as its competition, the majority of travelers say that they’ve had the best experience with InsureMyTrip.  The website was redesigned in 2014 with the purpose of enhancing travel insurance comparison and purchase. Through this website, you can safely purchase insurance and choose from a wide range options.

        4. LondonEscape.com

        04

          If you are planning on visiting the capital of the United Kingdom, then there is no better booking agency you can choose.

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          LondonEscape has a long tradition of offering exceptional accommodation in the city of London. No other agency knows London as these guys and they have a long lasting business agreement and a quality reputation. Choose from a vast number of locations in any part of London, all in one place.

          No matter if you prefer the outer part of the city or the center, here you can find affordable solutions that are the cheapest in London.

          5. HotWire.com

          05

            This is the place where you can usually find the best last minute deals and car rental options. Apart from this, here you can find combined deals including transportation, hotels and car rental. Their specialty is to gather low cost transportation options and there is no better place to look for these things.

            One of the major reasons why they offer the best rates available is the fact that HotWire has many partner companies that deal in car renting. However, there are certain offers you can find that don’t offer information related to the company you will be renting a vehicle from. This carries certain risks, but they are minimal. In the end, a car is a car.

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            6. Xe.com

            06

              Make sure to check out this currency conversion site. Here, you will receive the middle grounds and reliable conversion rates for any currency. The conversion rates are displayed very clearly on a grid which is located on the homepage of the site. Xe also offers many useful tools that can help you calculate your travel expenses, credit card issues and most importantly, currency conversion rates.

              7. TripAdvisor.com

              07

                TripAdvisor is one of the most well known sites for hotel reviews. On this site, you can find thousands of reviews coming from either professionals or amateurs focusing on hotels in the United States as well as the rest of the world.

                Simply type in the destination you are interested in and the site will offer many results from its database. TripAdvsior offers a huge number of listed hotels, bed and breakfasts, apartment rentals and other types of accommodation.  The search engine of this site has many filters that can help you find accommodation that is best suited for families, couples, solo travelers, budget travelers or luxury hotels.

                However, there is also a bad side and you should be on the lookout for fake reviews which are not dependable. Usually the shady posts are flagged by the site’s administrators; however, you should also be on the lookout for those reviews that seem “too perfect”. Here, you can search for affordable solutions that have the best services compared to their prices. When you find something that you might like, Google that hotel or hostel just to be sure what it’s about.

                By combining the services of these sites, you can easily come up with good math that doesn’t require spending much money on your travels. Research your options and set your priorities to which places you would like to visit first. After you’ve done this, plan your trip in a detailed fashion and try not to spend all of your money on the first day. Safe travels!

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                Last Updated on September 10, 2019

                7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

                Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

                This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

                One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

                Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

                Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

                1. Gratitude

                Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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                The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

                Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

                So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

                Gratitude-Quotes

                  2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

                  This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

                  For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

                  What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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                  Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

                  3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

                  This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

                  Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

                  An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

                  Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

                  write down goals

                    4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                    According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                    There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                    5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                    Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                    Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                    6. Rise Earlier

                    The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                    For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                    So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                    Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                    7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                    Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                    Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                    It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                    Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

                    More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

                    Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                    Reference

                    [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                    [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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