3 Money Saving Techniques to Help You Travel on a Budget

Traveling is fun, spending money is not. Fortunately, adept travelers know that there are plenty of financially efficient ways to see the world. With a little extra planning and masterful interpersonal skills, there are countless methods to help you enjoy a memorable trip on a budget. Here are three money saving techniques to help you travel on a budget.

  1. Save on Transportation

When traveling, transportation costs add up quickly. Unfortunately for long distance trips, plane tickets are a necessary evil, but after landing transportation options become much more flexible. If you are visiting a big city let public transportation keep your expenses low. Many trollies, buses, lightrails, subways and trains offer discounts for long term and day passes. Before embarking on your trip, research the cost efficiency of what your destination city has to offer. If public transportation isn’t your thing, consider relying on ride sharing services. Because car services have peak time surcharges and don’t offer many discounts for long term use, short, frequent trips can put a major dent in your budget. To avoid this, walk as far as is comfortable before scheduling pick-up. Group tourist events by location so you can spend a whole day walking from attraction to attraction without needing to call for extra rides. Lastly, ask your hotel staff about the cheapest modes of travel. On occasion, hotels have even been known to provide shuttles for their occupants.

  1. Timing Matters

Traveling discounts are unique when it comes to timing. Depending on what’s being purchased, buying well in advance could save just as much money as waiting until the very last minute. When deal hunting, keep this in mind. While flight fees tend to be lower when purchased early, hotels can go either way. Make sure to scour discount sites for both early bird and last minute deals. You can even continue to look for last minute hotel deals while on vacation. You never know when an unfilled room could save enough money to make the hassle of switching hotels well worth your time.

  1. Plan Ahead

Planning the particulars could make a huge difference in your travel budget. Here are a few ways to plan ahead and save money:

  • Choose a hotel that has a kitchen. Food is expensive, especially when eating out. Cut costs by shopping for groceries at a local market, storing them in your hotel fridge and making meals instead of buying them. Packed lunches and home cooked dinners will prevent you from needing to find multiple restaurants to dine at every day of your vacation. Plus, with your fridge, you can safely store snacks and leftovers to fill the gaps between meal times.

  • Double check your suitcase before leaving. For extra assurance, create a checklist of necessities to use when packing and last minute checks. Use your time wisely and don’t wait until you’re too rushed to pack responsibly. Many travelers end up spending unnecessary funds by repurchasing items that they accidentally left at home. Don’t let this common mistake cost you.

Don’t let a limited budget hold you back from exploring the world. Get creative with how you structure your trip and accomodations. Leave no rock unturned when searching for resources that will help save money while on vacation and enjoy your budget-friendly fun.

Theron and Darlene Nelson3 Money Saving Techniques to Help You Travel on a Budget
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Space-Saving Packing Tips for Your Next Travel Adventure

Traveling is fun – packing is not. We’ve all struggled while trying to cram piles of clothes into each corner and crevice of a suitcase.  If you’re tired of sitting on your luggage, busting zippers, and over-packing, it’s time to consider a different approach. Thankfully, there are some tricks of the trade that will help transform your travel preparation from stressful to simple. Keep reading to learn how.

Packing Cubes

You can organize your clothes by using a set of packing cubes. They come in a variety of sizes and can be arranged neatly to utilize every inch of your suitcase. Simply fold your clothes, secure them in a cube and place it in an open spot in your bag.

Space Savers

Like packing cubes, space savers come in an assortment of different sizes and are used to maximize luggage space, but they differ when it comes to their most notable feature. While packing cubes were created with organization as the priority, space savers rely on compression to create thinner stacks of clothes. After folding your items and placing them in the compression bag, you can remove the air by rolling, vacuuming or using a hand pump to pull the excess air out. Fortunately, travel size hand pumps are available if you’d prefer to use that option.

Pill (or Contact) Cases for Liquids and Creams

Airline regulations allow one quart-sized bag of liquids in carry-ons. Most people use travel sized bottles to store their liquids and creams, but occasionally, even those become too cumbersome. In that event, try using a weekly pill case with tightly closing lids (the ones that screw to close are the most reliable). Weekly pill cases have 7 small containers that are locked together and hold just enough to make it through a weeklong trip. Contact lens cases are ideal for liquids because they securely tighten to create a spill-proof seal. Both options can be reinforced with tape to prevent leaks and should be labeled to avoid confusion. To be extra safe, store your liquid filled pill or contact lens cases in a plastic zip-top bag.

Rolling Clothes

Rolling your clothes, instead of folding them, is another popular method of packing. You can even layer an entire outfit in a stack, and then roll the items into one combined tube. Because your outfits will already be together, this technique cuts down on the time needed to locate your clothes during your trip. However, clothing made of heavier or easily wrinkled fabrics should be folded. When folding, place plastic bags between your folds to limit wrinkling.

Limiting Shoes

Shoes consume a lot of luggage real estate. Because it’s difficult to prepare for every weather and terrain situation you may encounter, travelers frequently over-pack when it comes to footwear. To help avoid this, always abide by this simple rule; never pack more than 3 pairs of shoes. Your 3 pairs should include: one formal pair, one pair for walking, and one pair for leisure. Also, remember that each pair should be as light and compact as possible. Once you’ve decided on the best shoes to pack, stop them from contaminating other items by storing them in a drawstring bag, or by placing just the soles in a shower cap. Pack your shoes last, stacking them on top of your clothes, to make them easier to access if TSA needs to inspect your bag.

The key to efficient packing is being both organized and selective about what you decide to bring. Packing fewer items is always the easiest way to approach travel preparation, but when that is not possible, relying on organization is your best bet. There are many inexpensive options to help you reach your space-saving goals. Find the best system for your needs, then rest easy knowing that you’ll never need to stress over packing again.

Theron and Darlene NelsonSpace-Saving Packing Tips for Your Next Travel Adventure
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How To Travel Journal Like A Pro

Keeping a travel journal will change the way you notice and experience your adventures for the rest of your life. No longer will you only be concerned with snapping the best picture of the Eiffel Tower your iPhone camera can take. Instead, you’ll be more interested in what you see and how you feel. The art of keeping a travel journal will make you more concerned with actually experiencing your adventures, so you will have details to document and write down later.

In doing so, you might not have a camera roll of evidence that confirms your adventures, but you will have the memories written down in a journal and the details and feelings permanently etched into your memory because physically writing things down forces your brain to process information on a significantly deeper level. Whether you are traveling to Poland or Washington D.C, these tips on how to travel journal will maximize the memories you bring home.   

Get your necessities

Make sure you have all your supplies before you sit down to journal. A sturdy journal is a must as it will accompany you on all kinds of adventures. The rest of your supplies are up to you and your personal preference. Consider purchasing different colored pens or pencils to write with to add some color and spunk to your entries. If you’re really fancy, a Polaroid camera is a great investment when it comes to travel journaling. Once you snap a picture, it prints right away so you can immediately add it to your collection of memories.

Get creative with journal entry styles

Be open minded and get creative with your journal entry styles. If you make sure to include a variety of different entry styles, each new entry is sure to be fresh and uniquely its own. Consider making lists, free writing, storytelling, creative writing, and of course, your typical “Dear Diary” description of the day.

Become a collector of anything and everything on your trip

Boarding passes, postcards, restaurant menus, pressed flowers, the list goes on. Include anything that will help you remember the details of your trip inside your journal. Tape them of staple them onto specific pages and write about the memories associated with each item. The options are limitless.

Be hyper aware

Notice the sights, sounds, and smells of your surroundings. Notice how they make you feel. Notice how people live and how they interact with each other. Notice everything so you can write about it later. You’ll find yourself paying closer attention to the culture of the city instead of just what you found interesting at first glimpse.

Document daily

Writing every day will not only leave you with a much more impressive and complete travel journal to bring home, but it will also improve your journal writing skills. Your entries will likely result in noticeable progress through the course of your trip. So before you start your first entry, make a plan to write every day of your trip – even if it’s just a sentence.

Once you master these travel journal writing tips, you’ll have a set of skills that will enhance your vacations for the rest of your life. Happy travels!

Theron and Darlene NelsonHow To Travel Journal Like A Pro
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3 Reasons to Love Poland

Over the past century, Poland has been through an unimaginable amount of turmoil. Through it all, though, the people of Poland have managed to maintain an unparalleled level of dignity and optimism. To visit Poland, you might assume you’d come upon a country that’s been ravaged by two tremendous world wars and years of communist rule—which it has—but you’d never know it. The people are beyond warm and welcoming; the landscape is breathtaking, and the architecture is simply unreal.

Those reasons are just three among the dozens of reasons to love Poland.

Poland’s Gorgeous Landscapes

From Tatra National Park in the south of Poland to the majestic beauty of Gdańsk in the north, there are so many hidden—and not-so-hidden—treasures sprinkled across the land. If you crave asylum in the untouched mountains, Poland is home to vast stretches of completely pristine mountain ranges. If lakes are more your fancy, Poland offers an entire lake district, the Masurian Lake District, bountiful with crystalline waters and some of the most captivating rivers and tributaries in the world.

Rich Polish Art and Architecture

In the midst of World War II, Poland made it a priority to preserve its rich artistic contribution to the world by exporting the brunt of its precious paintings to more safe havens for the duration of the war.

To get a true sense of Poland, you have to visit some of their proudest exhibitions of brilliant art and architecture. If you get the chance, don’t miss out on the Wieliczka Salt Mine, which is home to incredible statues, stables, and even an entire cathedral carved out of salt.

The Unforgettable People of Poland

The people, however, are the real treasure of Poland. Despite their storied history, or perhaps because of it, Polish people are some of the happiest, most endearing people in the world. They have a bright sense of humor that’s playfully exuberant and contagious. When you’re around Polish people, you can’t help but smile.

If for no other reason, you should absolutely visit Poland for the unforgettable people. You may just end up making a lifelong friend on your adventure through the streets of Krakow.

Theron and Darlene Nelson3 Reasons to Love Poland
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