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10 Sites for Budget Travel You Should Know About

10 Sites for Budget Travel You Should Know About

You do not need to spend a fortune to travel. Nowadays, you can go almost anywhere you want on a limited budget. Let’s have a look at some websites which will help you reach your dream destination even if you don’t have a million in the bank. Spice up your travel experience and make your life much easier. I wish I knew of them before I traveled abroad for the first time.

Couchsurfing

couchsurfing

    Couchsurfing is a network for passionate travelers and hosts who want to meet up with people from around the globe and share their experience and culture. If you want to save money on accommodation and meet a local, Couchsurfing might be the website for you. Sign up and start searching for hosts offering free couches. You can find travel buddies or locals to hang out with. A friend of mine met her husband through Couchsurfing. Seriously. Are you little hesitant to sleep at places of unknown people? Do not be. Everyone who is serious has filed out a profile and provides references. The community of couchsurfers organizes events from time to time. Check if there are some going on in your city and join them. You will meet interesting people and learn how couchsurfing works.

    HitchWiki

    hitchwiki

      If you are an adventurer, you might like to try hitchhiking. HitchWiki is a collaborative website made by hitchhikers all around the globe sharing their knowledge from the road. Since this is not the safest way to travel, you better read some stories from experienced people. You will learn how to increase your chances of getting a ride, how to stay safe, how to create a hitchhiking sign and what the status of hitchhiking is in particular countries. If you have any questions, join the discussion group and ask more experienced hitchhikers for their advice.

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      Momondo

      momondo

        Need an airline ticket? Try out momondo. First of all, you get great deals. But if you just feel like traveling and you do not know where, momondo will solve can decide for you. Set up your money limit, airport you are flying from and get a list of all the places you can fly to within your budget. When you click on the city you are interested in, momondo will provide general info about the place, weather info, hotel deals, and ideas for your additional travel from your selected place. To save you some cash, you will also get advice about the best time to buy a ticket. 

        Staydu

        staydu

          No hotel in the world will give you the same experience as staying with a local. Staydu is a network for budget travelers, who need a place to stay, and hosts, who like to meet new people from different countries. You can get accommodation from the host for free, a small fee or for some help you may be able to offer the host. If you need a travel buddy, sign up and share your plans. There is a chance you will meet one. The only disadvantage is pretty is the low member base compared to stronger websites like Couchsurfing.

          Last Minute

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          last minute

            Sometimes you just wake up and you know it is time to do something different. If you belong to this group of spontaneous people, you might like to dig into last minute deals and start your journey immediately. On Lastminute.com, you can find offers for last minute airline tickets, train tickets, attractions and hotels all in one database. Deals on spas, theaters, restaurants and entertainment are available in the UK, USA and some western European countries. Next time you have an idea to go somewhere, first check the last minute deals.

            Stay.com

            Stay

              Choose a city and create your own guide. Stay.com has around 100 destinations listed where you can create your personal itinerary. Select the place and pick attractions you would like to visit. You can download your itinerary as a pdf and print it, or  you can just download their app for iOS and Android and use it on to go. You can change your list anytime and add new places. I personally like the view options on the map. You do not need to buy maps with tourist attractions anymore. The app works offline and is free.

              Hipmunk

              hipmunk

                Flying can be fun. Sometimes. Imagine a flight with 2 or 3 stops lasting a couple of hours. That’s not fun. That’s annoying. Hipmunk is a search engine for airline tickets which compares offers from airlines and travel sites. You can search your flights according to price, duration, take off, landing and AGONY. Agony is combination of price, number of stops and flight duration. Next time you are buying an airline ticket, go check hipmunk and find a flight with good price and less agony. 

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                Workaway.info

                workaway

                  Learn something new, help someone, meet locals, travel and get free accommodation and food. Sounds like a pretty cool offer, right? On workaway.info you can find small jobs in more than 135 countries around the world. Standard volunteer rate is 5 hours a day for 5 days a week. You can help families or small organisations. Living with locals and learning new skills will make your trip unforgettable. 

                  Trivago

                  trivago

                    You need a place to stay. So you are thinking about all the websites you need to go trough to find an affordable and nice hotel room. Well, you do not need to do that anymore. Trivago is the largest hotel search in the world which compares deals from around 238 booking sites. Simply search the place where you want to go and set criteria important to you, like your budget or even the size of the hotel and distance from city center. 

                    Bla Bla Car

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                    Bla Bla Car

                      Need a ride? Find travelers who are offering free seats in their cars for your trip. Bla Bla Car is pretty popular in UK and Europe, serving almost 10 millions members. Besides finding a cheaper ride, you can meet interesting people. Every member has their profile, ratings and you can see what type of car they are driving. It is like a safer version of hitchhiking.

                      As you can see, travelling doesn’t have to cost a fortune. What’s more, cheaper options sometimes bring more adventure and a richer experience. Try out these websites and find services for budget travel which suits you the best. If you want to know more tips and tricks for budget travelers, check out 40 Budget Travel Tips Evert Wanderlust Should Know.

                      Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

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                      Last Updated on June 26, 2020

                      25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

                      25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

                      “How to save money fast?” This is the question asked by all of us not in the top 1% of rich people.

                      If you are looking for ways to drastically reduce your expenses immediately, first look at what you need to spend money on every week. And I mean really need.

                      You don’t really need to order in food. You don’t really need to buy expensive perfume.

                      Building from that, you can work out how your regular expenses can be reduced.

                      As for irregular expenses, they can also be deceptively costly in the long run. Once-off buys can also be tackled with some prudent planning and a little extra research.

                      And remember: a budgeted lifestyle does not mean a bad or boring one!

                      But first, understand what budget you can cut down on daily:

                      • Regular expenses for the average adult (can be trimmed but not eliminated):
                        • food
                        • rent/mortgage
                        • cell phone
                        • insurance
                        • socializing/entertainment
                        • transportation
                        • hygiene products
                        • household bills
                      • Irregular expenses for the average adult (can be eliminated or cut down a lot):
                        • travel
                        • clothing
                        • medication (*depends)
                        • grooming (hair, nails etc.)
                        • gifts

                      Now, let’s dive right into the 25 ways to save money fast:

                      Save Money on Food

                      1. Bring a stock of food to the office/work

                      Instead of popping out for an overpriced salad and a smoothie, leave a set of basic utensils at the office as well as a stock of non-perishable goods such as tinned fruit, tuna, rice crackers and so on (try to avoid the junk food and this can turn into a pretty great diet!).

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                      Stocking up means you won’t forget or say “I didn’t have the time” when you rushed out to work in the morning.

                      2. Buy the store-brand version

                      Many basic foods, such as bread and milk, will taste exactly the same as their branded alternatives. Go for stuff with minimal additives and preservatives. Meat in a tube is probably insanely unhealthy!

                      3. Eat cheaper cuts of meat

                      Learn how to tenderize and flavour cheaper meat and fish, and save on the (typically) most expensive item on your grocery bill.

                      4. Have group dinners

                      If 10 friends put $5 each in the kitty, it’s pretty easy to make a giant lasagne and get refreshments, as well as hang out with your favourite people.

                      Save Money in Transport

                      5. Get a bicycle

                      Save on gas money and bus/metro fares with this underrated mode of transport.

                      6. Use public transport and/or don’t get taxis

                      Some places can only be reached by car. But as a good practise, check your public transport website and see if any routes pass nearby where you need to get to. Walk as much as you can.

                      7. Find the cheapest gas

                      Regularly check out where the cheapest gas can be bought.

                      Save Money in General Shopping

                      8. Shop online

                      Not only will you save on the gas or transport fares from going to the shopping mall but you will also find better deals

                      9. Sell your old stuff

                      Get your unwanted belongings up on eBay ASAP and earn a few dollars.

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                      Here’re more ideas for you: 25 Things to Sell to Make a Lot of Money

                      10. Bulk buying stores

                      For regular non-perishable/slow perishable purchases such as toilet paper, cat food, pasta, washing powder and so on, do an epic stocking-up trip to a co-op or equivalent (my mum used to go to a place that restaurants buy from).

                      Be wary of supermarket “deals”, as some have been found to be fraudulent after working out a simple calculation.

                      11. Become a flea market/car boot sale/street market guru

                      You can find original gifts and develop good negotiation skills at these places.

                      12. Generic brand medication

                      More often than not, the generic version of paracetamol and other basics work the same as the branded version.

                      13. Choose deodorant, not perfume

                      It blows my mind when someone drops $70 on a bottle of spray. Stick with a nice deodorant, and not only will you smell just fine but you’ll be sweat-free as well!

                      Cut Down on Household Expenses

                      14. Printing

                      Ink is one of the most expensive substances in the office and coloured ink is doubly so. B

                      e more efficient and choose black and white, and if your printer doesn’t have a print-both-sides options, just print odd pages first, re-insert the paper and print even pages.

                      Expand the margins of what you are printing as often as you can to save on paper.

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                      15. Minimize SMS and phone calls

                      A combination of a free chat service such as WhatsApp and a free call service such as Skype can reduce your bill to nothing (so long as you have a decent Wifi connection).

                      16. Shop around for insurance

                      Most people don’t spend enough time searching for the best insurance deal.

                      Keep a watchful eye out for deals and new competitors in the market.

                      17. Try re-negotiating your rent/mortgage

                      If you have built up a good credit history or a good rapport with your landlord, then chances are a frank chat about needing to tighten your spending could result in lowering your payments. You’ve nothing to lose from trying.

                      18. Don’t get a TV

                      Invest in a computer/laptop and an internet-only package. You can watch more (and often better) entertainment on the web, and skip the advertisements as well.

                      19. Pool your internet bill with a neighbour

                      My apartment building is basically a big old house split into three apartments. There are five of us in total. We pool the internet bill, making it crazy cheap.

                      Save Money in Socializing, Entertainment And Travel

                      20. Have house parties

                      Instead of paying for overpriced drinks, set up a series of in-house get-togethers with your friends. Everyone takes a turn, so it’s not always your house that needs cleaning.

                      For sound insulation, hang heavy drapes on the walls and windows. For music, invest in a good second-hand set of speakers which you can connect to your computer. Let Spotify or Grooveshark playlists do the rest.

                      21. Open festivals, meetups and events

                      It never fails to surprise me how much underground stuff goes on around me for free or for very cheap. Find out who runs the blogs and websites that list all the less well-known cultural activities.

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                      22. Volunteer

                      If you can’t pay for a ticket, volunteer and get to be there anyway.

                      23. Housesit

                      There are multiple housesitting websites offering you the possibility to avoid paying hotels and skip the discomfort of crummy hostels.

                      Save Money on Hygiene and Beauty

                      24. DIY beauty

                      French manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyebrows… pretty much all of these can be achieved at home (and done well) with some practise. There are plenty excellent blogs and YouTube tutorials to help.

                      25. Fewer haircuts/volunteer at a trainee hairdresser

                      If you can’t bear the risk of a trainee touching your locks, learn more ways to manipulate your hair as it grows and get haircuts sparingly. Women’s haircuts are outrageously priced in many cities.

                      Bonus: Effective Money-Saving Tips for Everything

                      Here’s a summary of what you can generally do to save more money:

                      • Share/pool resources. Organize a neighbourhood sharing scheme, common resources for your apartment block or with your friends. Not everybody needs an individual lawnmower.
                      • Buy energy-saving everything. The easiest way to lower your bills – replace those lightbulbs!
                      • Buy in bulk. Be sensible about it (i.e. make sure you have space!), and drastically reduce weekly expenditure.
                      • DIY. Skill up using YouTube tutorials on plumbing and many other essential services so you never have to pay for simple problems again.
                      • Research a lot before making a decision. Most money-wasting is the result of poor preparation and planning. Don’t shirk this part just because you don’t like it!
                      • Use your network. Your network is full of resources that can ease the pain of budgeting. Ask for help.
                      • Stop and think. Do I really need it?

                      Unfortunately, there are some things that require plain ol’ giving up for the time being. This can include high-cost sports such as skiing, the latest versions of some technologies, the finest brands of food/drinks, premier seats at the opera and most other indulgences.

                      What is important to remember during lean times is that when you look back on your life, it will be the experiences that stand out, not the extra comforts.

                      Living on a budget can teach you a lot about how much you can really get out of your paycheck. We only live one life, so make the most of every penny you earn!

                      More Tips for Personal Finance Management

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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