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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 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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