TEN TIPS FOR TRAVELLING FOR THE SAME COST AS BEING A COUCH POTATO

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Figure out what you spend while at home, then look at these costs and figure out what you can do to eliminate as many as possible.

1) If you have no mortgage, PASS GO. If you have a mortgage – and if you choose to travel for 6 months, for a year, or more – do a HOUSE EXCHANGE, HOUSE-SIT in the country you plan to visit. Or put your belongings in storage and RENT your home to a responsible single professional or couple. If you rent – SUB-LET. DOWNSIZE from your large individual home to a condominium, and use the profit from the sale for travel.
There is a myriad of ways to reduce or eliminate costs on the home-front.

2) Other money savers, if you leave your home unattended – make sure your heat is turned down, suspend your phone/internet/cable TV (you can still use web-mail while travelling), change your car insurance to fire/storage category. No need for a cell phone – communicate by Skype and / or e-mails.

Based on “the budget” you have come up with for your travels – plan the cost of your trip by using guide info and internet pricing to combine countries that are cheaper to travel in with a few that are more expensive, in order to realize your “target budget”.

Keep a record of ALL expenses, Big and small (as the small ones add up) as this will keep you on track to meet your budget goal.

Each person’s situation demands a different solution – but if extended travel is your dream – work out the kinks.

OKAY – YOU ARE READY TO “JUST DO IT”:

3) Go with a One World ticket for flights between continents. Use bus, train, or local and regional economy flights from destination to destination within each country, or between countries in close proximity.

4) Overnight Travel – when possible book trains, buses, planes for overnight travel to save a night’s hotel cost.

5) Plan to walk, walk, walk…. to supper, to the internet café, to shop, to entertainment, to sites, etc. – Keeps you in shape and saves $.

6) Accommodations – “Clean and Safe” are the criteria for budget hotels. After all, it’s just a place to sleep, and adjust your expectations according to the country.
– In more expensive countries hostels are much more $-wise, and you do not have to resort to a dorm, but choose a private room where you may have to share a bathroom. We stayed in hostels in Australia.
– Europe – pensionies are a great way to keep on budget.
(these range from small hotels, or rooms for rent in private homes)

7) Booking Ahead within your trip? Don’t rely on internet wholesalers (such as Travelocity) to find the cheapest travel costs, but do use as a guide. Flights – check out local and regional airlines for flights as well for comparison. Hotels – if staying for 4 or more nights, you can often negotiate a better deal when you show up at the hotel OR book the first night or two, and negotiate the remaining days when you get there.

8) Food – make sure whatever you eat is steaming hot (best bacteria killer).
– Street vendors serve cheap tasty local favourites – go where there is the biggest line-up, as the fast turnover of food is more apt to ensure freshness.
– Mid-range cafes/restaurants – look for cleanliness, but still stay away from salads or fruit that may have been washed in local water.
– Restaurants in 5-star hotels – you can probably let down your guard and stuff yourself with fresh greens to your hearts content.
– Observe Portions in restaurants. Often one order is plenty for two!
– Room Service – ahhha, I’ll bet you thought this means a meal delivery on a cart into your hotel room – NOT! To save $ often buy a loaf of bread, a chunk of cheese and a bottle of wine, and delicacies ad infinitum – and dine in.
– Kitchen facilities – use if available (such as in hostels)

9) Water – Purified water is a non-negotiable cost – and is usually reasonable. If staying in a place for a week, it may be more economical to buy the larger containers, and fill small bottles as needed. Having a back-up of water purification tablets is wise, just in case purified water is not available or you feel the water labelled “purified” is questionable.

10) Laundry – the chore that never goes away. Quick-dry clothing is a boom. Can be rinsed out in the sink/tub of your lodging at night and be dry by morning. Use a Laundromat. In some countries sending out laundry is a pittance, and be sure to check if sending out your laundry thru the hotel is more expensive than the laundry down the street.

Be as thrifty as possible, when possible – But don’t be chintzy when it comes to seeing the sites you have come so far to see. Read our 5 travel mottos in our book to keep on track, and splurge once in awhile!

Safe Travels Always,
Irene & Rick

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