My friends know that they can tell me their budget, preferred destinations and travel style, and I’ll find them the trip of a lifetime that’s right for them.
Being able to travel is definitely a privilege. For many though, cutting back on a few frivolous expenditures each week can fund an amazing trip. Also, knowing what travel tools to use is key to saving money without sacrificing luxury.
My first trip to Europe in 1998 was an organized educational excursion for class credit. The experience was vastly different from my second trek, a year later, when I grabbed a backpack and a Let’s Go Europe book and took off into the world with my college boyfriend without a plan.
Well, we had a loose plan. I was living in Colorado and we were going to go to take a trip home to Philly, but we found $350 tickets to London and decided to purchase those instead. We also wound up with a $75 round trip ticket to Amsterdam and a rail pass that was good for the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. We explored them all. But not easily. Here are the mistakes we made.
We all have our wish list of places in the world that we want to see sooner rather than later and most of us also operate on a time and money budget. So these three destinations may not rank high on your list of places to visit, but we want to tell you why they are highly ranked on our list of memories.
We see travel tips all the time for packing light and think: That’s still too much! If you can’t fit it all under the seat in front of you, then you haven’t packed light enough. We pack so light that we frequently get stopped at customs and asked if we forgot our bags. Nope! We just don’t like to be weighed down. It doesn’t matter how long or in what season we are traveling. The only time we bring an extra bag is when we need our snorkeling gear or drone 😁 And even that goes in a small, easy to manage carryon.
Daydreams of world travel often feature champagne greetings, comfy first-class seats, romantic train rides with stunning scenery, moderate hikes to gorgeous vistas, and contemplative strolls through historic sites that connect your soul with antiquity.
But, yeah, you know where we’re going with this one, right?
This seems like an easy question to answer, but it’s definitely not. What counts as a country? The most agreed upon answer is the United Nations list of sovereign states, but even that is teeming with political controversy.
We love to travel as often and to as many places as possible. So we like to book trips for as cheap as possible without sacrificing too much comfort. After all, the less we spend, the more trips we can take. BUT we usually can only take one week off at a time (sometime a week and a half) so we will pay more for faster transportation, convenient flights and extra comfort on the road. We don’t stay in hostels, nor do we take long rides on the chicken bus—but those are great options for travelers who are on a tight budget and want to have an amazing adventure! We spend a little money for speed and comfort since we are vacation travelers rather than slow travelers at the moment. But we want to show you the experiences you can get by just saving a little bit each week.
I used to try to find the cheapest room in the best location. After all, the room is only where you sleep while your not out exploring and adventuring, right? Like this room in Thailand was just fine for me:
I recently changed my mind about booking the cheapest room, because I realized I can actually save money by booking the better room. Now, this is definitely because my circumstances have changed. I used to be a young solo traveler and now I’m an old(er) married traveler. And the hubby and I happen to enjoy each other’s company.
So we’ve found that if we spend a little more money on the room with the view, we are more likely to have our morning coffee in the room or get a meal and a bottle of wine later in the day at the market (for way less $ than at a restaurant) and relax and enjoy it and the view from the comfort of our room.
It definitely depends on the cost of the upgrade, but sometimes it’s as little as $10-$20 per night. If you’re comparing hostel beds, that may be too much, but if you’re generally staying in hotels, it’s worth checking out!
We just had a challenging experience with two partner airlines that blamed each other for the many things that didn’t go smoothly on our round-trip flights. Check in was a hassle, seat selection was a hassle, and they had a “not my problem” attitude even though we didn’t make any changes or do anything other than book the darn flights. Flight attendants are almost always awesome on every flight for every airline. We give them so much credit for what they do! But the airline experience isn’t always great. So that prompted us to write about the airlines we love and why we love them. Here are our top five.