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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

How to Travel Longer Cheaper

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How to Travel Longer Cheaper

What if you could travel for months, visiting far off places for cheap? You could check off some of those destinations on your bucket list or discover exotic locales you’d never dreamed you would, or even could!

There are more ways than ever to save on travel and taking extended trips is becoming more common. I know firsthand how cheap it can be to travel far, for a long time. My family and I spent $74 a day traveling for a year, all costs included. We took seven flights to eight countries on three continents, eating out, visiting attractions on a daily budget less than accommodation costs alone for most vacationing families. Taking an extended trip, traveling a longer time for cheap is easier than a lot of people believe. The key is cutting costs wherever you can while traveling because every dollar saved equals more time seeing the world. Here are some simple ways to travel longer cheaper.

Extended Travel Planning and Budgeting

You need to get in the right mindset to prepare for an extended trip. Part of that is determining the purpose of your trip and a rough outline of your preferences to help you fulfill that purpose. Be flexible and plan intentionally.

Start by asking yourself some important questions:

Why do you want to travel?

Asking yourself why you want to take an extended trip will help you shape your plan. Do you want to volunteer? Are you interested in learning about a particular region or culture? Maybe you want to start the process to become an expat and live and work overseas.

Where do you want to go?

Do you have a list of must see places or simply a starting point? Is it specific cities or whole countries that intrigue you? Using sites like Numbeo and Price of Travel can help you determine basic living costs in different places around the world. I’ve used both to find countries where my travel budget will stretch further.

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How can you make it happen?

Can you get the time off or secure leave from your job? Do you want to travel sustainably and work while you’re on the road? Can you sell some of your stuff that you don’t need or want anymore to help finance your adventure?

When do you want to leave?

Having a travel date in mind gives you a goal to work towards. The date may change as plans often do but having to amend when you leaving is no big deal, you’re still going!

How many countries do you want to visit?

If your list is long and spread out over multiple continents, your trip will be more expensive.

How fast do you want to travel?

Faster costs more money, slower keeps costs lower.

How are you willing to get around considering cost, time, and comfort?

Planes can be expensive, and buses can take a lot of time. The seemingly cheapest mode of transportation can end up costing you huge chunks of time and can end up being more expensive monetarily as well. Considering convenience when determining modes of transportation can end up saving you money.

How do you want to stay?

There are accommodation choices to fit every preference and budget all over the world. You need to decide what you prefer and then research accommodation types that fit your budget.

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How to Make an Extended Trip Affordable

Make your budget as simple as possible. You and your budget need to be flexible. The most important thing when determining a budget is to be realistic.

The length of time traveling comes down to how long you can be away from your job and how much money you have to spend to devise a budget, that part is pretty cut and dried. Answering the above questions will help you determine what you want to achieve with your trip.

You don’t need to plan everything down to the last detail. But having a clear reason why you want to go and what you hope to achieve will help you figure out important details before you leave and prepare you to recognize opportunities to enrich your travels as they arise on the road.

Now to find ways to get the most value for your money and to meet your travel goals!

How to travel Cheaper

There are ways to keep costs a lot lower; in fact, there are ways to eliminate some expenses all together! Accommodation prices can affect a travel budget the most. Reducing or eliminating some of those costs equals more time traveling.

The one thing that keeps my family traveling longer is staying free with house sitting! There are opportunities all over the world to stay in beautiful destinations free in exchange for minding people’s homes while they vacation.

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You can find house sitting assignments for weeks, months and, even years on different house sitting sites. House sitting has accounted for almost a year of free travel accommodation for us. We stayed six months in Panama, two months in Spain, one month in Turkey and two months in the UK with accommodation costs covered because of house sitting.

Here are more ways to save money on the road:

Benefit from the sharing economy

Couchsurfing and WWoofing are other ways to garner free accommodation. They also help travelers learn about destinations on a local level. My favorite way to stay aside from house sitting is with Airbnb. Rentals offer space and conveniences, like full kitchens and even washing machines that make family travel way more affordable than hotels and hostels.

Skip car rentals

Choose accommodation with easy access to amenities and public transportation. Being able to walk to things you need and want when traveling helps you see the finer details of a destination. You also save a bunch of money not needing to pay rent, insure and gas up a rental car.

Approach destinations like locals do

Shop and eat in restaurants outside tourist areas, pricing is always cheaper. Visit sites like Like A Local and Spotted by Locals to get local opinions on great things to do and see in the places you visit. The recommendations are often the best value for money.

Take a food tour

Taking a food tour when you first arrive in a destination is a great way to learn great places to eat. Local guides offer recommendations aside from the places on the tour.

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Research city tourism cards to save

Getting a city tourism card can help you to receive discounts or free entry to attractions. Most also give users a discounted rate on public transportation.

Don’t book everything before arriving

Organize the first third of your time in a new destination. Leave the rest open-ended so you can make plans based on money saving tips and opinions of people you meet along the way.

Keep costs at home in check while you’re away

House sitting is a great way to stay in amazing destinations free but using a house sitter to care for your home and pets while you’re away can save you a lot of money as well. Having a house sitter stay will save you expensive kennel fees and additional insurance fees you may have to pay if your home is left empty for an extended period. My favorite house sitting site is House Sit Match. The personal service offered on the site is a great support for anyone wanting to try house sitting services for the first time.

I hope these tips inspire an extended trip for you! I use them as I travel and have saved a lot of money as a result. If you’ve had a long-term travel experience and can offer more ideas how to travel longer cheaper, please share your thoughts in the comments.

Featured photo credit: Ross Sneddon via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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