Six Budget Travel Secrets

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Budget travel is not just about finding ways to spend less. The point is to have just as much fun while spending less. Here are some tips to get you started, and afterwards, a suggestion on how to think about travel.

Are you considering a long trip?

You may want to rent an apartment in an interesting city. We did this for two months in Tucson. It saved us at least $600 per month, compared to even the cheaper motels. It was fun to have a “home base” for our travels, from which we took day trips to Mexico and or up to Mount Lemmon, the furthest-south ski resort in the country. Many cities have apartments that are furnished and available on a month-to-month basis.

In general it is the traveling part of travel that costs the most. This is due to the cost of gas, convenient fast food, and the expensive hotels you are forced to pay for when you just can’t drive any further. So if you find a place with a reasonable motel, and a lot to do in the area – stay for a while! We find that a place becomes more interesting when you have a few days to explore it.

Because of the growing popularity of RV (recreational vehicle) boondocking, the BLM has begun to establish areas for longer stays, particularly in Arizona. They have a permit fee is around $175 now. Although you can still park your RV for free on most BLM and National Forest land, paying for the fee areas means you get to stay up to six months (The free stays are limited to two weeks). You’ll also have pump stations, dumpsters and water available. You can find out more from the BLM’s Arizona web site.

Budget Travel Quick Tips

The federal tax on airfare isn’t due if you are taking a flight from one city in the U.S. to another in order to catch an overseas flight. Show your ticket to another country to the agent to have the tax removed.

You may be able to get a senior discount if you are 65 or older. Ask.

If you are using an internet site to search for tickets, they may not include this information, so you may have to call the airline direct. some time ago Expedia.com has included a box to check if you are over 65.

For cheaper hotel rooms, use the coupon books at gas stations along the highways. We’ve almost always found good deals using these. It’s rare that a manager won’t honor the coupon. Generally, only if they’re absolutely full will they refuse. Read the fine print, though. They often charge more for certain dates, or for two people.

The above is a good example of how to travel cheap without sacrificing a thing. The same room will often be $20 more without the coupon, and you have to stop for gas anyhow, so why not grab those coupon books? Save on a room for a few nights and you can pay for another day of vacation. Just keeping your eyes open for opportunities like this is one of the keys to budget travel.

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Tips for Dining Alone on Your Solo Trip

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If traveling alone is new to you, meal times are something that will take a little time to get used to. There are a few things to learn that will help you navigate this new terrain. With a few ideas, dining alone may become one of the favorite and most relaxing parts of your travels.

Don’t Feel Awkward

Solo travel, and along with it solo dining, is becoming more common. The stigma that used to surround eating alone in a restaurant is basically gone. Know that there are huge numbers of people throughout the world who are eating alone in restaurants every night, and take confidence in knowing that although alone, you are in good company.

Make Reservations When Possible

In order to guarantee that you get a seat, make reservations beforehand when possible. It is a tactic to ensure that you are seated soon after your arrival to the restaurant. This is a much better choice than waiting in line for hours and risking losing your place in line if you have to use the restroom while doing so.

Take a Low-Cost Item to Save Your Seat With

When you are dining alone during your travels, there will be times when you are not quite finished your meal, but you still need to excuse yourself to wash your hands or do something else. By taking an item to save your seat with, it will alert the server that you are not yet finished and still need the table. Always use a low-cost item such as a thrift store sweater, so that if it is stolen while you are gone, it won’t leave you destitute.

Enjoy the Solitude

Some individuals are so nervous and uncomfortable about dining alone, that they forget to enjoy the solitude it provides them. Use this opportunity to relax and enjoy absorbing the new flavors and surroundings. Eat your food slowly, and savor every bite without extra distraction.

Meet New People If That Is Your Cup of Tea

If you feel lonely, choose a dining establishment that is known for more interaction. Pubs can be popular places to eat when you are craving a good bite along with a little more action. Make eye contact, and find a way to start a few conversations. You may even end up with one or more travel buddies this way.

Bring Something to Do

One of the worst things that happens while dining alone is growing bored while waiting in line, or waiting for your meal. This can also compound the awkwardness related to eating alone that you may be feeling. To avoid this situation, bring along something to do. Sudoku or a good book can be a perfect activity when you have extra time on your hands while waiting at the eating establishment of your choice.

Dining alone is an aspect of solo travel that takes many individuals a little time to get used to. Try not to think of it as a negative. Consider all of the advantages to choosing a restaurant, ordering what you want and not having to negotiate with a travel companion. Enjoy your solo dining as a vital and pleasurable part of your solo travel.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Traveling Alone

 

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When you travel alone, it is a beautiful experience that will cause you to grow in many areas. However, there is a right and wrong way to do it. Making the best of your solo trip takes a little thought and a few precautions. When you do this, you will create a positive and memorable vacation that you will be happy to remember forever.

Here are some mistakes that are commonly made by solo travelers – ones that you will want to be careful to avoid.

Not Preparing Sufficiently Beforehand

Possibly the worst mistake you could make when traveling solo is not doing enough to prepare before going on your trip. Try to think of every detail of your upcoming trip. Think about things that could go wrong, and what you would do in those situations. Bring a first-aid kit with you on your vacation, and book accommodations beforehand instead of showing up without knowing where you will sleep that night.

Arriving Late at Night

More often than not, people seem more concerned about whether they will fly at a comfortable time of day, than booking their flight to arrive early in the day. When possible, choose to fly through the night and arrive in the day, instead of flying through the day and arriving at night. By arriving while the sun is still out, it will give you time to get familiar with your surroundings before night arrives and everything shuts down.

Getting Intoxicated

It is fine to have a drink or two when on vacation, but when you are traveling alone you need to be vigilant about not drinking too much. Being alone puts you in a slightly more vulnerable position than someone who is traveling with a companion. For this reason, know your limits and stop drinking before putting yourself in a potentially precarious situation.

Being More Concerned about Others’ Feelings Than Your Own Safety

Traveling solo is not the time to try to be polite at all costs. Even if standing up for yourself is difficult for you, make it a point to become more assertive while you are on your trip. If someone or a certain situation makes you feel uncomfortable, leave or find help. Don’t be afraid to reject the advances of unwanted attention. Put yourself and your safety before the feelings of others.

Not Knowing the Culture

One of the biggest mistakes people make when traveling alone is not studying or at least becoming familiar with the culture and customs of the country they are visiting. When you plan to take a holiday to any country, remember that you are the visitor. You are responsible for making any necessary changes to your behavior, not the people in the country you are visiting.

Learn about all the big and small details that will help you to get along well with those whose country you are temporarily residing in. It will help you feel less awkward, and potentially keep you out of trouble as well.

Traveling solo is a great experience, and by avoiding these common mistakes, you can make your holiday less likely to contain unnecessary drama. Many people have made these mistakes in the past and learned the hard way. Save yourself the trouble, and remember these tips.

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Traveling Alone: Here’s How to Save Money

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Traveling solo is becoming much more common. In the past, vacationing alone meant huge expenses and having to save up for years beforehand. Nowadays, single travelers are becoming more financially savvy and learning how to cut costs. Here are tips on how to save money when you are on a vacation for one.

Accommodations Beyond Hotels

Don’t look only at hotels when considering potential accommodations. There are many options for travelers, and your solo trip ensures that you don’t require a travel partner’s permission to be as thrifty as possible. Hostels and “Bed and Breakfasts” are options that often have rooms available for single travelers.

Inquire If Accommodations Include Freebies

Whether you choose a hotel or another place to stay, find out what is included. If you pay slightly more for your room but get free breakfast and wi-fi, it might be worth it. By filling yourself up at a hotel’s free breakfast, you can skip lunch and eat a big meal at supper, thus saving cash. By staying somewhere that includes these extras, you can save money in the long run.

Avoid Single Supplements

Single supplements are one of the factors that have made solo travel a nuisance in the past. Many travel packages, hotels and cruises assume there will be more than one traveler, and charge you a fee for traveling alone. There are certain cruises and travel companies that are beginning to work around this, so inquire and make sure you are not throwing money away unnecessarily.

Try to Negotiate

Hotels may claim they have a particular rate for a certain night or room type, but in reality it fluctuates depending on who are you talking to. Try to negotiate a good deal, and be sure to bring up any travel club memberships you may have, with deals you might not be aware of.

If the person making your reservation is unwilling to lower the rate, ask to speak to a manager. A manager’s goal is generally to keep all potential guests happy, and they have more leeway on giving discounts.

Negotiating is something to remember with other purchases as well. Depending on where your travels take you, you may be able to find better deals than advertised, so just ask.

Eat Out at Lunch Instead of Supper

Many restaurants offer the same food at lunch as at supper, only in slightly smaller portions and at a lower cost. By eating out at lunch, you can try the food you wish and pay less. Save suppertime for making yourself a sandwich or another low-cost meal.

Be Flexible about Your Plans

The nice thing about traveling alone is you get to make all the decisions. If you had plans but you find a way to save money, you can cancel and do it your way. Look for things such as “one seat only” deals that are hard for airlines and other companies to get rid of. These types of deals usually need to be snapped up immediately, and work perfectly for the traveler who doesn’t need to run his or her plans by a travel partner.
On vacation, keep your eyes open for deals on eating and other services that you can save money on.

Traveling solo has a reputation of being more expensive. But with a little creativity and a keen eye for a good deal, you can save money while enjoying a fabulous trip. The sky is the limit when it comes to saving money when you travel alone.

Poland

lucas-albuquerque-i-p1zqFros8-unsplash (3)Travel tips to European Countries: Poland

About the county

Poland is one of the ancient nations that was formed around 10th century. It is Central Europe, east of Europe and most of the area being a flat plane and mountains along the south border. Warsaw is the capital of Poland which was completely destroyed in World War II and was rebuilt from scratch again. Royal Castle of Warsaw which was reconstructed after the world war is a must see attraction. The Lazienky Palace should also be not missed which has an open air theatre and Chopin’s monument. Krakow is the second biggest city of Poland stands as a witness to its medieval era. Poland has a strong liking to music and theatre and thus home to many theatres and opera houses. Popular Polish Cuisines include Zrazy Zawijane (mushroom-stuffed beefsteak rolls in sour cream) served with boiled kasza (buckwheat) and pigs’ knuckles.

Population & Languages

The population of Poland is roughly 38.5 million and the official language being spoken is Polish.

Electricity

The voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The types of plug used are round pin with attachment and Round pin plug and receptacle with male grounding pin.

Geographic Location

It is located in Central Europe, east of Germany bordering the Baltic Sea, the Russian Federation, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany.

Climate

The climate of Poland can be termed as Temperate. Winters are severe inland with average temperatures in Warsaw being 23°F (-5°C). Summers are hot inland with average temperatures in July around 66°F (19°C). The precipitation occurs round the year.

Local Customs

Handshaking is the common custom. It is customary to bring flowers if you are going to someone’s house. Dressing is fairly conservative and casual and formal for entertainment in the evening or in a good restaurant. Smoking is prohibited in some public buildings. Tipping is 10 to 15 percent in restaurant, hotels and taxis.

Attractions

Warsaw: The city was completely destroyed in World War II and was completely rebuilt after the war. The popular sights include Historic Museum of Warsaw, the Lazienki Palace with its open air theatre and Chopin’s monuments, and Palace of Culture and Sciences.

Cracow: St. Mary’s Church, Royal Castle, and Royal Cathedral on top of Wawel Hill

Travel

By Air – The national airline of Romania is LOT Polish Airlines (LO). Many popular airlines that fly to Poland include Aeroflot, Air France, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Easyjet, El Al, Lufthansa, Ryanair, SAS and Swiss Air. The biggest airport is Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport which is located like 6 miles southwest of the city.

By Sea – Pol Ferries operates connect Poland to Sweden, Denmark and Finland

By Rail – Polish State Railways (PKP) (website: http://www.pkp.pl) operates Eurocity trains from Poland various major European cities. But, all services from Western Europe to Poland pass through the Czech Republic, Germany or the Slovak Republic. The main routes link Warsaw with Berlin and Cologne, Budapest, Prague and Vienna. There is also a car-sleeper service from the border of Holland to Poznan/ Warsaw.

Travel Tips: Finland

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Finland is a country of islands, lakes, and forests. The modern capital city of Finland is Helsinki and is filled with museums and galleries. In summers, sun never sets here and vice versa in the winters.

Culture

While in Finland, greet the locals by a handshake. The people here are quite reserved and don’t open up easily. Leave shoes outside the house when going over to someone’s house. It is customary to wait till the toast is being raised at the dinner table. Host raises the toast by saying ‘kippis’ or ‘skol’. People dress casually most of the times.

Travel

Finnair is the national airline of Finland. Other airlines that fly to Finland are Air France, Air Canada, Cathay Pacific, American Airline, British Airways, KLM, Swiss airline, Lufthansa, and United airlines. The major airport of Finland is Helsinki airport. It is 19km away from the city and it takes about 25 minutes to get to the city from the airport. Finnair provides buses for the passengers. Taxis and hotel coaches are also available. The facilities provided at the airport are duty free shops, car hire, bank, hotel reservation service, conference room, restaurant, and a multimedia center. Other than Helsinki airport, there are about 22 other airports and Blue 1 is the domestic airline which operates within Finland. Times to time cheap offers are being announced by the airlines. Prior checking of such offers will prove to be of great help.

If deciding to go by the sea, ferry services are provided and the major ports are Naantali, Vaasa and Turku. These ferries connect to Rostock, Kapellskär, Grisslehamn, and Travemünde. Some of the cruises offer small cabins along with the provision of meals if staying aboard overnight.

Trains from St Petersburg and Moscow can also be boarded. All the trains are clean and very comfortable. Car-carrier trains also operate in Finland. Traveling by rail proves to be inexpensive and efficient and also great options for enjoying sight seeing. Avail the unlimited train travel offer of Inter-Rail pass or Eurailpass. There are offers for elderly people and children, check them out.

When traveling by road there are chances of running into an elk or reindeer. In such cases, police should be reported immediately. Blowing horn for small reasons should be avoided. Keep your car to the right. Gas stations accept credit cards. Laws about seat belt and drinking while driving should be strictly followed. Extra precautions must been taken if taking caravan along. National driving license or International Driving Permit and car insurance must be there with you at all times. Coach Service is also available and connects to even the remote places. Taxis can be hired at the airport and railway stations and tipping is considered offensive here. Check out agents in Helsinki who run a rent-a-car business for hiring cars.