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How to Travel Longer Cheaper

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

how to travel longer cheaper

    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.

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    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.

    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.

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    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.

    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.

    how to travel longer cheaper

      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!

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      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.

      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.

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      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.

      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.

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      Last Updated on July 28, 2020

      14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

      14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

      Diet trends may come and go, but a low-GI diet remains one of the few that has been shown to include benefits based on science. Low GI foods provide substantial health benefits over those with a high index, and they are key to maintaining a healthy weight.

      What is GI? Glycemic index (GI) is the rate at which the carbohydrate content of a food is broken down into glucose and absorbed from the gut into the blood. When you eat foods containing carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is then absorbed into your bloodstream.[1]

      The higher the GI of a food, the faster it will be broken down and cause your blood glucose (sugar) to rise. Foods with a high GI rating are digested very quickly and cause your blood sugar to spike. This is why it’s advisable to stick to low GI foods as much as possible, as the carbohydrate content of low GI foods will be digested slowly, allowing a more gradual rise in blood glucose levels.

      Foods with a GI scale rating of 70 or more are considered to be high GI. Foods with a rating of 55 or below are considered low GI foods.

      It’s important to note that the glycemic index of a food doesn’t factor in the quantity that you eat. For example, although watermelon has a high glycemic index, the water and fiber content of a standard serving of water means it won’t have a significant impact on your blood sugar.

      Like watermelon, some high GI foods (such as baked potatoes) are high in nutrients. And some low GI foods (such as corn chips) contain high amounts of trans fats.

      In most cases, however, the GI is an important means of gauging the right foods for a healthy diet.

      Eating mainly low GI foods every day helps to provide your body with a slow, continuous supply of energy. The carbohydrates in low GI foods is digested slowly, so you feel satisfied for longer. This means you’ll be less likely to suffer from fluctuating sugar levels that can lead to cravings and snacking.

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      Let’s continue with some of the best examples of low GI foods.

      1. Quinoa

      GI: 53

      Quinoa has a slightly higher GI than rice or barley, but it contains a much higher proportion of protein. If you don’t get enough protein from the rest of your diet, quinoa could help. It’s technically a seed, so it’s also high in fiber–again, more than most grains. It’s also gluten-free, which makes it excellent for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

      2. Brown Rice (Steamed)

      GI: 50

      Versatile and satisfying, brown rice is one of the best low GI foods and is a staple for many dishes around the world. It’s whole rice from which only the husk (the outermost layer) is removed, so it’s a great source of fiber. In fact, brown rice has been shown to help lower cholesterol, improve digestive function, promote fullness, and may even help prevent the formation of blood clots. Just remember to always choose brown over white!

      3. Corn on the Cob

      GI: 48

      Although it tastes sweet, corn on the cob is a good source of slow-burning energy (and one of the tastiest low GI foods). It’s also a good plant source of Vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron, all of which are required for the healthy production of red blood cells in the body. It’s healthiest when eaten without butter and salt!

      4. Bananas

      GI: 47

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      Bananas are a superfood in many ways. They’re rich in potassium and manganese and contain a good amount of vitamin C. Their low GI rating means they’re great for replenishing your fuel stores after a workout.

      They are easy to add to smoothies, cereal, or kept on your desk for a quick snack. The less ripe they are, the lower the sugar content is! As one of the best low GI foods, it’s a great addition to any daily diet.

      5. Bran Cereal

      GI: 43

      Bran is famous for being one of the highest cereal sources of fiber. It’s also rich in a huge range of nutrients: calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and a host of B vitamins. Although bran may not be to everyone’s tastes, it can easily be added to other cereals to boost the fiber content and lower the overall GI rating.

      6. Natural Muesli

      GI: 40

      Muesli–when made with unsweetened rolled oats, nuts, dried fruit, and other sugar-free ingredients–is one of the healthiest ways to start the day. It’s also very easy to make at home with a variety of other low GI foods. Add yogurt and fresh fruit for a nourishing, energy-packed breakfast.

      7. Apples

      GI: 40

      Apple skin is a great source of pectin, an important prebiotic that helps to feed the good bacteria in your gut. Apples are also high in polyphenols, which function as antioxidants, and contain a good amount of vitamin C. They are best eaten raw with the skin on! Apples are one of a number of fruits[2] that have a low glycemic index. Be careful which fruits you choose, as many have a large amount of natural sugars[3].

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      8. Apricots

      GI: 30

      Apricots provide both fiber and potassium, which make them an ideal snack for both athletes and anyone trying to keep sugar cravings at bay. They’re also a source of antioxidants and a range of minerals.

      Apricots can be added to salads, cereals, or eaten as part of a healthy mix with nuts at any time of the day.

      9. Kidney Beans

      GI: 29

      Kidney beans and other legumes provide a substantial serving of plant-based protein, so they can be used in lots of vegetarian dishes if you’re looking to adopt a plant-based diet[4]. They’re also packed with fiber and a variety of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds. They are great in soups, stews, or with (whole grain) tacos.

      10. Barley

      GI: 22

      Barley is a cereal grain that can be eaten in lots of ways. It’s an excellent source of B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), fiber, molybdenum, manganese, and selenium. It also contains beta-glucans, a type of fiber that can support gut health and has been shown to reduce appetite and food intake.

      Please note that barley does contain gluten, which makes it unsuitable for anyone who is Celiac[5] or who follows a gluten-free diet. In this case, gluten-free alternatives might include quinoa, buckwheat, or millet.

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      11. Raw Nuts

      GI: 20

      Most nuts have a low GI of between 0 and 20, with cashews slightly higher at around 22. Nuts, as one of the best low GI foods, are a crucial part of the Mediterranean diet[6] and are really the perfect snack: they’re a source of plant-based protein, high in fiber, and contain healthy fats. Add them to smoothies and salads to boost the nutritional content. Try to avoid roasted and salted nuts, as these are made with large amounts of added salt and (usually) trans fats.

      12. Carrots

      GI: 16

      Raw carrots are not only a delicious low GI vegetable, but they really do help your vision! They contain vitamin A (beta carotene) and a host of antioxidants. They’re also low-calorie and high in fiber, and they contain good amounts of vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. Carrots are great for those monitoring their weight as they’ve been linked to lower cholesterol levels.

      13. Greek Yogurt

      GI: 12

      Unsweetened Greek yogurt is not only low GI, but it’s an excellent source of calcium and probiotics, as well. Probiotics help to keep your gut microbiome in balance and support your overall digestive health and immune function. Greek yogurt makes a healthy breakfast, snack, dessert, or a replacement for dip. The most common probiotic strains found in yogurt are Streptococcus thermophilus[7] (found naturally in yogurt) and Lactobacillus acidophilus[8] (which is often added by the manufacturer). You can also look into probiotic supplements for improving your gut health.

      14. Hummus

      GI: 6

      When made the traditional way from chickpeas and tahini, hummus is a fantastic, low-GI dish. It’s a staple in many Middle Eastern countries and can be eaten with almost any savory meal. Full of fiber to maintain satiety and feed your good gut bacteria, hummus is great paired with freshly-chopped vegetables, such as carrots and celery.

      Bottom Line

      If you’re looking to eat healthier or simply cut down on snacking throughout the day, eating low GI foods is a great way to get started. Choose any of the above foods for a healthy addition to your daily diet and start feeling better for longer.

      More Tips on Eating Healthy

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Mils via unsplash.com

      Reference

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