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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

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    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

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      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

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        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

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          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

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            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

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              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

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                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 June 2, 2020

                8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

                8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

                The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

                Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

                Thus, today’s article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question, “why is goal setting important”.

                1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

                It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

                But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

                Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

                Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

                “Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

                And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

                Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

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                So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

                2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

                Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

                You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

                Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

                Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

                So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

                3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

                A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

                But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

                Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

                Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

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                So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

                4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

                This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

                Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

                What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

                This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

                If you want to learn about some of the golden rules for goal setting that will help you set and achieve your goals successfully check out this article: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

                So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

                5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

                This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

                What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

                The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

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                Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

                So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

                6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

                Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

                For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

                A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

                Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

                So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

                7. Goals Make You Feel Good

                Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

                Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

                Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

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                If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

                So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

                8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

                I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

                Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

                Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

                There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

                Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

                So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest!

                Final Thoughts

                These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

                If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

                Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

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                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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