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7 Budget Saving Travel Tips

7 Budget Saving Travel Tips

Travelling is a lot of fun as it takes you to new places and wonders of the world. But travelling is not cheap. It requires a lot of careful planning and saving. You have to plan for how you are going to travel and places you are going to stay. Travelling is not all about luxury and comfort. If you want to enjoy various locations, their cultures, traditions, cuisines, etc. then you might have to compromise on comfort.

There are several ways in which you can cut the expenses of your trip. By reducing some costs, you will be able to enjoy the vacation and do it within your budget. You may have to compromise on somethings but remember that cheap does not always mean bad quality. Here are some of the tips that can make the trip more affordable.

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1. Signing up Travel Related Credit Cards:

Several airline credit cards offer bonuses, so if you have any, you should utilise them. You can lower your airfare significantly by using the offers of credit cards. By adding more users, you will get more bonuses. You can also sign up for non-branded cards, and they will help in earning points that these cards offer. You can transfer the points to the airlines that you mostly use.

2. Being Flexible With Flights:

A minor adjustment can save you a lot of money during the travels. It is useful especially when you are buying tickets for the whole family. You should choose the flights that are in the middle of the week instead of weekends. It is better to pick a flight that has stops because it is cheaper. These are some little changes that will make your trip more affordable, and the more people are travelling, the more money you can save through small changes. You can also sign up for the websites, apps or tools that will inform you about any possible sales.

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3. Travelling Off-Season:

Summer is the best time to go to Europe, but when you travel in a season, it costs you more. It is better to go in colder seasons. Try to make your plans before or after the peak season. During the off seasons, the prices are low, and the weather is not too bad either. You can find cheap accommodations and shops during this season. The weather is not going to be ideal, but you will be able to enjoy the place.

 4. Thinking Outside the Box:

The popular destinations are always costly. So if you are on a tight budget, you should look for destinations that are not very expensive. There are always places which are pleasant and scenic, but fewer people go there because not many people know about it. You can use travel trip guides to know about such places. The places that are less popular are less expensive too. Nothing can replace Eiffel tower or Venice, but Athens or Budapest are not bad choices either.

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5. Avoid Chain Hotels:

If you choose to stay in luxurious and comfortable big hotels, then they will be expensive. They do not offer a lot of value, and there are excellent alternatives available which are much cheaper. Choosing small hotels and guesthouses run by a family are more affordable, and they have unique personalities. You can also save money by choosing to house-sit. It is perfect for a large group of people. While travelling with friends or family, you can choose apartment rentals. They are easy to book through the internet and they also cost less.

6. Bidding for Hotel Deals:

You can get a standard hotel without paying too much. You can use online sources because they will help you in finding deals which will assist in saving money. You can use the name your price services and bid by looking at the price other people have paid. After placing the bid, you can just hope that your bid is accepted. You can get best rooms at affordable prices.

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7. Taking Free Tours:

You can pay for a sightseeing tour, but in almost all of the major cities, there are free walking tours. They can show you the best things of the town without any cost. They will also tell you a lot about the culture of the city, and you won’t have to pay for them. It will help in cutting an unnecessary travelling expense.

You can enjoy your travels on a small budget by keeping these tips in mind.

Featured photo credit: The Independent via static.independent.co.uk

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

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Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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