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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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                      Published on September 17, 2018

                      How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

                      How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

                      Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

                      With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

                      So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

                      1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

                      It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

                      You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

                      So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

                      2. When you want something big, wait

                      Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

                      It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

                      We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

                      A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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                      So, you get the itch.

                      You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

                      Here’s where you have to take a step back.

                      Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

                      Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

                      It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

                      The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

                      3. Live smaller than you can afford

                      You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

                      You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

                      That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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                      Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

                      Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

                      The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

                      But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

                      4. Practice smart grocery shopping

                      Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

                      But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

                      Create a grocery budget

                      Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

                      Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

                      I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

                      Make a list… and never deviate

                      Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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                      You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

                      These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

                      Eat before going grocery shopping

                      It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

                      If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

                      After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

                      Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

                      However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

                      This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

                      5. Cancel your gym membership

                      Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

                      The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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                      Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

                      I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

                      Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

                      Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

                      For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

                      Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

                      There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

                      It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

                      I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

                      Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

                      The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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