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Tigrest Travel Blog

This is a blog about destinations, food and travel tips

Tag: cheap holiday

travel money

How to save money for international travel

travel moneyTravel budget (or travel money) is often hard to build, especially if you are planning on going somewhere further than neighboring village. Flight tickets, hotels, food and local transport, not to mention museum passes and other entrance fees. No wonder most people can’t afford to travel every year – you still want to live and be normal, meaning going out with your friends once in a while or getting that new piece of furniture you have been planning to get for a while now.



But back to travel money – what is the best way? How to save money for international travel? Let’s look at some options.

How to save money for international travel

  1. Stock some cash and have it ready to grab special deal tickets. More about how to get those tickets, when to book and what you can expect is described in detail here: 20 Ways how to save on airline tickets Exactly how to stock the cash will be discussed in more details later in the article.
  2. Monitor hotel prices daily. Choose few options and keep an eye on the price fluctuation – hotel prices change often, so it’s wise and leads to good results (cheaper rooms). For more information on how to get the best hotel rate, read this blog post: How to save on hotels during travels  Consider booking with Booking.com – they have a huge choice of hotels and offer some kind of protection if hotel turns their back on you. This situation recently happened to me – here is a blog post about that case – How Booking.com saved my trip
  3. Make your homework and explore the destination beforehand, using Google Maps, travel forums and reviews. There are hardly any places on Earth, where nobody has been before and you could certainly use their advice!

coins-1015125_960_720

blogging-336376_960_720 (1)Now back to travel budget – how to generate one? Well, obviously, the easiest way would be generating some additional cash. There are many different ways, how to earn some extra $$$, and it all comes to someone’s special skills, knowledge and interest. For example, if you are good languages, you may consider giving language courses or doing some translation works. If you know your hometown well – you may try to become a guide (awesome way to meet new people!) and generate some travel money. If you own a house with spare bedroom – why not rent it out on Airbnb. If you enjoy driving – Uber could fill your pockets with some coins. Some people (like myself) like writing and generating content could bring in some extra dollars. Same goes for starting a blog – nowadays it is super easy with WordPress templates. By the way, this blog uses one of those plus a super easy and cheap hosting by Bluehost. If you are ready to hit the road, take a look at the travel jobs list.


Now all these options look good and attractive, but what if you can’t sacrifice you free time for extra work? Maybe you have some family commitment or just want to relax (assuming you are working full time already). Well, I have some good news – you may actually increase your savings without investing extra hours. It’s not a “Get rich overnight” type of advice though, more of a “Pull you sh*t together”. But it certainly works (tested!). The solution is simple – just DON’T SPEND! Easy as that!

So how exactly do you do that? That’s the hard part. Learning to be minimalist takes time and effort, and a lot of self discipline! But here is how you start:

  • Create an excel sheet and write down all your expenses in one monthchecklist-911841_960_720
  • Look critically at the list and try to imagine, which spending you could avoid
  • calculate how much money you would realistically need for 1 week
  • Starting next month, give yourself pocket money once per week (e.g. 50$). The rest is not to touch, unless it’s an emergency
  • By the end of the month see how you managed and all unused cash deposit on a savings account.


I know that some expenses are unavoidable – food (obviously), gas, bills and rent. But even with these you could probably save some travel money. Here is an example: you are paying your internet provider 20$ per month. There are others, but you just like this one and been with them for ages. Here is what you do – go check on other offers, ask them for a better deal, then tell them you agree. As soon as your provider hears about you leaving them, they will make sure to make you a better offer! Best part – you won’t have to change anything. Your bills, however, may drop as much as 50%! That’s a 10$/month free money, right there!

Now let’s talk about take out coffee – many people love that and spend hundreds on those plastic cups. But think about it for a second – do you really need it right there or can you wait to get home? Most offices offer coffee for free anyway. It has become some kind of a trend, but being part of it is entirely your own choice. Brands like Starbucks are getting richer while you can’t afford those nice Thailand tickets..

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While eating out is certainly pleasant and often necessary evil, it’s still damn expensive. Instead, try to cook yourself – it’s much healthier too, plus leaves you extra 100$+ for your future travels. On top of that, cooking is very relaxing activity and helps you build better relationships with your family and friends. You can a cool cook book or find some of those on the internet.

One more huge way to save is to stop going out and generally drinking any alcohol. Not only it is unhealthy and damaging, but it also costs a fortune. I could never understand people, who go to bars on the first weekend after salary. Not only do they end up with hangover (weekend is lost), but also with holes in their pockets. Going out is truly something for people with no dreams. Alternatively,  if you need to go out, stick to non-alcoholic drinks or water (tab water is mostly free).

I could probably go on with the list of different expense areas, but I’m afraid it will get too personal. Everyone knows better, where their spending are hidden. But one thing is for sure – most people just don’t realize where the salary goes. Keeping an eye on all expenses is the first step in the direction towards your next awesome adventure! If you need some more advice on how to cut your expenses, these books are very helpful!

How do you manage to build a travel budget? Share your ideas and experience!

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booking.com

How Booking.com saved my trip

The story began in late December 2015, when I decided to spend few spring days in Russian Venice – Saint Petersburg. Having visited the city before, I had a clear plan of how this trip should look like: centrally located hotel, a lot of walking and museums, some shopping. There were three of us coming, so we needed a larger room or apartment. I always book my hotels on Booking.com, because I love their rating and feedback feature, attractive rates and wide choice of hotels.



apartment

Risky room

Once I knew the dates, it was perfect time to start looking for hotels. The choice was truly big at the time – there were bunks in 10-bedroom dorm rooms, private rooms in the same hostels, small hotel rooms, private apartments – you name it! I was pleasantly surprised by the prices – compared to Europe and US, Russian hotel rates were nice and low. My first choice was a 2-bedroom apartment, but that option didn’t work out for us due to an email received from the apartment owner asking for a full payment. What made the request strange was a Lithuanian bank account details, where the owner wanted the money to be transferred. It seemed risky and so we cancelled that one right away.

Perfect room

Our perfect room was with a common free cancellation option, very close to the center and had a nice design of the rooms – perfect for 3-4 people who don’t necessarily want to snore in each other’s ear. The price was great, too. We booked it and forgot about the booking for the next 4 months. Meanwhile, we bought the tickets to and from the destination, made the visas and insurance. Everything was ready for the trip! Or was it..?




Surprise!

sorry

A friend of mine who happens to live in Russia decided to check on our booking about a month before our visit. To my (and their) surprise, the hotel had no idea of our reservation! Moreover, they had no rooms available, either. Oh my! It’s merely 4 weeks until our trip and we have nowhere to stay! When initial shock had passed, we started checking other options for the dates. Sadly, there were hardly any good options left and all of them were much more expensive now. Apparently it’s holiday time and most of the hotels are already overbooked. Our situation wasn’t very optimistic.

Looking for help

We decided to turn for help and wrote to Booking.com customer support. It didn’t take long for our hotel of choice to contact us again – with apologies. And a promise of free room (which is nice of them, but didn’t solve our problem. Well, not entirely). We did use the free room though, so nothing bad to say about the hotel, they did their best to help and compensate us. Now the Booking.com team was even more helpful. After reviewing our request for couple of days, they came back with good news – we got offered a nice alternative hotel option and a promise to refund the difference. Happy end!

happy

Final thoughts

This is not the  first time I hear about good service of Booking.com and their customer service. They really reach out to their customers and make sure everything is well and everyone is happy. Normally, a hotel would just inform you that no rooms are available. This can happen even few days before the check-in. And there is nothing you could do about that. Booking though these guys gives you guarantee that you won’t be left on the street – they will take care of you! Similar situation happened to my mother, when she arrived in Tenerife hotel and found out there is no rooms booked (it was a privately owned room). She had to book another room for much higher rate and got refunded the difference.


This is not meant as an advertisement – this is a real story that happened to me. I have booked with Booking.com more than 20 times now and can say that the reviews are mostly accurate and so are the photos. Of course, there may be bad properties (and bad experiences) but the site has no power over them. As for the customer support and taking care of the client – they are the best!

Tenerife holidays – your affordable alternative!

Why Tenerife holidays? Here are the best reasons why this island will be an ideal choice! Short Flight time. For most European cities 3-4 hours of flight time, easy to get around with daily bus operations to and from South Airport  to your Tenerife holidays hotel. Many low cost carriers like RyanAir, Norwegian Air or EasyJet fly there nowadays.


Affordable accommodation. Assuming you are booking well in advance, there are plenty of options. Particularly popular are apartments and studios with fully equipped kitchen. It is easy to find grocery stores around the corner and the food is inexpensive. Everything you need for a perfect Tenerife holidays!

Exciting tours. Have a look around in Playa de Las Americas – you may find numerous private companies who will take you on a tour around the island. Prices vary depending on the operator, but generally are rather low for guided tours.

Easy to explore on your own. It is easy to rent a car if you are over 24 and have had a valid license for at least 2 years. The roads are in perfect condition and the traffic is not too tight.

Located just a few hours from Europe, right next to the west coast of Northern Africa



Tenerife holidays

tips

El Duque Beach

Tenerife holidays

The Beach

The island is full of surprises and you will notice how different the life pace is. Start your Tenerife holidays in the morning with a nice refreshing swim in the ocean (yes, it is warm). The beaches have dark volcanic sand and the water is clear blue. Same picture is everywhere so if you are looking for golden sands, Playa del Duque is a place to go. Surrounded with luxury properties, this little paradise can offer a nice view, comfortable sun beds and lots of additional services for your amazing Tenerife holidays. For those who like it more extreme way there is a possibility to do some cliff diving. Beware of coastal guard though, they might get mad at you.

For those who like water sports – there all kinds of options: paragliding, banana boats, jet skis and many more. Prices are reasonable, for example paragliding will cost you somewhere between 30 and 50 Euro depending on number of participants.

Tenerife holidays

banana-garden-tenerife Tenerife holidays
Address: avenida rafael puig, nº4 C/C palm beach,, local nº 2,3 Playa las Américas., 38660 Playa las Américas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain Phone:+34 922 79 03 65

The Culture

Spanish culture is truly unique. Famous mañana attitude can be found all around Spain and Tenerife is no exception. To fully discover the true Spanish flavor one should go eat out. So where is the right place to go? Well, in case you are looking for some entertainment additionally to the meal in a nice atmosphere, take a look at Banana Garden.
This cozy little place is beautifully decorated and offers delicious Mexican food. Every other night there is Flamenco show. In case you were planning on visiting Piramide de Arona – famous flamenco theater, Banana Garden can offer you a free sneak peek. The best part is that you really don’t need to order full course – just mention to the waiter that you would only like to have a cocktail and you will be seated at the bar with best view of the stage.


spanish flamenco Tenerife holidays

Car Rental for your Tenerife holidays

Renting a car was made easy for tourists – usually the companies will only need your credit card details and you are free to go and explore. It is an incredible experience to climb up the Teide Mountain in your own vehicle – the views are just breath-taking! The cost will vary on the company and how early you book. Renting on the spot would cost you around 70-90€/3 days for A class car (Fiat Panda or similar). However, it is highly recommended to go for higher class, as you will need this extra power on the slopes. Class C – Opel Corsa or similar – will cost you around 120€/3 days and that is a fair price. For motorcycle fans there is a selection of rental options as well. However, price are higher compared to cars. 125CC road bike will cost you around 40€/day.

The motorways in Tenerife are in perfect conditions with maximum speed limit of 120 km/h. Most drivers ride much slower, especially those with rented cars. Luckily, there are mostly 2-3 lanes, so everybody can choose their own pace. Mountain road are well serviced and speed limits are reasonable.

Tenerife

El Teide Mountain

Tenerife

National parks

El Teide national park is centred on 3718m Mount Teide, the highest mountain of Spain and the islands of the Atlantic (it is the third largest volcano in the world from its base on the ocean floor). The terrain is completely different from shore side and so is the temperature. Driving up to the national park is an interesting experience; from the sunny south coast you drive up towards a town called Vilaflor with its alpine-like scenery. As you travel higher still above the clouds, the terrain changes dramatically and suddenly becomes an amazing lunar landscape. It’s a great way to enrich your Tenerife holidays!

The peak can be reached with a cable car which costs 34€/adult. Once at the top, you can walk around and take in the amazing sights. For those who are interested in getting all the way up, permission from the national park’s office in Orotava needs to be acquired beforehand. Alternatively, guided walks up the volcano are available, but please remember that you will need a fairly high level of fitness to endure the climb, which takes around six hours. Also, it is worth bearing in mind to bring along warmer clothes and appropriate footwear.

Masca Gorge walk is another fantastic place to visit. All trekking lovers will enjoy it!

El Teide by car

Shopping in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is the capital and the biggest town in Tenerife. If you are coming by rental car – good place to shop and park the car for the day is Meridiano commercial centre. The parking is on several floors underneath the centre and it is free. Meridiano itself has many stores, including world known brands like C&A, Primark and Carrefour. Combine your Tenerife holidays with nice shopping!

If you keep walking towards the old town, make sure to pay a visit to the local open air market. You will find coffees, sauces, oils and the like; but the real stars of this market are the produce, seafood, and meats. Also some handicraft products and local pottery can be found here.

Where to go in Tenerife?

Must go
Price
Weather
El Duque Beach
free
sunny
Banana Garden flamenco show
7 €/coctail
any
Loro Parque
36€/adult
any
Santa Cruz market
free
sunny
El Teide park
tours from 15€/adult
sunny
Garachico village
tours from 15€/adult
sunny
Masca village
tours from 15€/adult
sunny
Icod de los Vinos & Dragon Tree
tours from 15€/adult
sunny
Must go & must see for first time travelers
This article is now available on GPSMyCity – travel app with GPS navigation feature. You can download it here – Affordable holiday destination Tenerife

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