Opportunities are almost endless, when it comes to travel hacks to save money. Sometimes I truly admire experienced travelers who keep discovering new ways to save money when everyone else is paying. In this post, among other tips, you will find out how to make use of free WiFi, how to travel solo like a pro, make the most out of your credit card, some great transportation hacks, finance wisdom and how to stay healthy while you travel.
Tag: Travel Tip
This is the second part of the Safe Journey Tips series – How to behave in different countries and stay safe. In previous part we looked at safe journey tips in Japan, USA, Italy, Thailand and United Arab Emirates. Let’s expand our knowledge and learn about some new destinations and best tips how to be safe there.
Visiting a new country unprepared is among the hardest mistakes any traveler can make. Safe journey begins with proper homework – thorough research about country’s customs, habits and unspoken laws, as well as possible tourist traps. it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan. After all – a safe journey is going to be much more pleasant and leave you with some good memories to come back to.
Full time wanderers are inspiration for any travel lover. As much as these people travel, sometimes they stop by and give some valuable travel advice for the rest of the world. Practical tips, like things to do and see, things to avoid or how to save on a trip, are always needed. It would be silly not to use their valuable experience.
Whenever it’s time to plan another trip, most of us start looking for best travel tips for a given destination. Internet is full of great advice how to plan your perfect holiday. However, you should be cautious about what you read online. Travel articles promising best travel tips are not always correct. It’s important to remember that sometimes things change and every destination is different.
Healthy travel should be a priority for anyone, who is going on a long trip. You wouldn’t want to be stuck in a hospital for the whole duration of your holiday. But how do you prevent sickness? This simple guide will give you an idea, what to pack with you next time you fly abroad, what snacks and food are OK to use and how to protect yourself from bacteria.
Healthy travel precautions – things to consider before you go
So you booked your flight tickets and about to pack your bags. What can you do to make sure nothing bad happens to you on the trip? Let’s look at some must-do’s:
- See your doctor and have a full examination of your body. It’s always good to be aware what to expect. If you know, what illness you are most likely to get, it will be much easier to treat it once you are out of your own country. Can’t stress this enough – you need a proper travel medical insurance! It’s a must, and there are enough stories all over the internet of what may happen, if you don’t take care of that.
- Investigate about your destination to know what to expect. Is this country safe? Is the water clean? If it isn’t consider bringing a water purifier with you. Where is the closest hospital? What are the emergency numbers.
- Make sure to pack everything you might need during your trip to keep yourself healthy – sun screen, painkillers, sanitizing hand wipes.
- Learn what is OK to eat and what should be avoided. Always wash fresh fruit and vegetables with bottles water!
- Check if you need vaccines for any diseases found in the country.
- Exercise before you go – you might need the stamina and losing extra couple pounds will make you feel good about yourself. Plus you can afford to eat a bit more of that nice street food.
- Consider taking vitamins for better digestion and more energy for healthy travel.
- Pack healthy snacks: nuts, crackers, dried fruit.
During your stay – eating
Once you arrive at your destination, it’s time to enjoy your healthy travel holiday. Discovering new cultures is both rewarding as well as full of surprises. Your first thought is to try everything – street food, new experiences, cool cocktails on the beach. However, you shouldn’t stop being cautious.
- Before trying some cool street food, make sure it has been cooked properly. Always check for places where a lot of people go. Avoid food stalls with dirty looks / bad smells. Even better – ask locals where they go. We don’t recommend ice cubes, dairy products (ice cream, raw milk).
- If you get food poisoning, try to get help as soon as possible. You don’t know how bad it is, so it’s bet to check with a local doctor.
- Make sure to drink a lot of water. In hot climate, especially if your body is not used to that, you will get dehydrated very quickly!
- Avoid excessive drinking. This goes for flights, as well as hotels and resorts. Alcohol is bad for blood pressure, it makes you weak and unfocused. If you are on your own, you need to be in control. Don’t let it control you instead!
- Eat smart – this means protein rich foods in the morning (scrambled egg). Avoid waffles!
- Be careful when swimming at the sea / ocean. make sure there is no hidden danger – sea animals (sea stars), sting rays, sharks. If possible, wear protective shoes. These are real threats at some beaches. Try to avoid deserted beaches and don’t swim too far from the shore. Also, beware of the tides – they can drag you into the ocean in no time and it will be impossible to swim back.
- Sleep well – especially when just arrived. It’s a temptation to go straight to the beach, but let’s face it – you will be tired and falling asleep in the sun (especially if your skin is pale) is the worst way to start your vacation! If light and sound are disturbing you, try Sleep Phones
Keeping yourself busy is the best way to stay in shape for healthy travel and avoid bad consequences from your holiday. Get up early and take a walk (or run) at the beach. Trust me, it will be a much more memorable experience than when it’s overcrowded during noon. Join a fitness group, try some Zumba, go for a regular swim in the pool. Long walks will help you burn calories and keep your spirit up.
How do you stay healthy during your travels? Share your stories!
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Travel 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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!
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 month
- 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$/month free money, right there!
Now let’s talk about take out coffee – many people love that and spend hundreds on those plastic cups. But think about it for a second – do you really need it right there or can you wait to get home? Most offices offer coffee for free anyway. It has become some kind of a trend, but being part of it is entirely your own choice. Brands like Starbucks are getting richer while you can’t afford those nice Thailand tickets..
While eating out is certainly pleasant and often necessary evil, it’s still damn expensive. Instead, try to cook yourself – it’s much healthier too, plus leaves you extra 100$+ 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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BY JESS SIGNET
As someone who’s been to a few places, I’d like to thank Maria for allowing me to share some tips about how to make your trip a bit more enjoyable. If you’re planning a trip on a budget, you may want to consider reading their article 20 Ways to Fly Cheap – How to Save on Airline Tickets? after you finish here.
If you’re traveling, it’s inevitable you’ll eventually end up in an airport waiting for your next flight. It could be because there wasn’t a connecting flight immediately available, or you may be trying to save money by taking a later flight. Whatever the reason behind it, one thing won’t change: you’re stuck for a while.
What to do depends a lot on your interests, willingness to spend money and comfort with public spaces such as airports. I tend to be on the patient end of things, but that doesn’t have to mean staring at the terminal walls until your flight arrives. Let’s look at a few options you can consider to survive the wait during Amsterdam Airport Layover.
Take It From Dora
If you’ve got a long Amsterdam Airport Layover (several hours, perhaps even a full day), it would behoove you to get up and get moving. That doesn’t mean checking out what’s down by terminal 15 either; consider actually leaving the airport and exploring! Only consider this option if you’ve got at least four hours to spare.
So long as you’re going for an extended walk, taxi ride or other form of public transportation, you may want to consider checking out the local food. Amsterdam Airport has really high quality cuisine, but chances are that you’ll find better options in the surrounding city.
Better yet, plan ahead and consider reservations for between the times your flight lands and the connecting flight leaves. If you’re trying to save money, look for hole-in-the-wall cafes or food trucks. Services such as Yelp or TripAdvisor can help you find places worth visiting. A little research can go a long way to making your layover tastier.
For short layovers, camping at the various airport eateries may be preferable. If you have a weak stomach, consider bringing along some Pepto or activated charcoal to help your poor tummy get through the rough times ahead.
Catch Some Z’s
Even though flying is mostly just sitting, it can be mentally and physically taxing. Booking yourself a place to sleep for a longer Amsterdam Airport Layover can give you a base to operate from and a warm bed to cozy up. It does add to your costs, so be sure to account for lodging in your budget.
Conversely, you could sleep in the airport. Several modern airports (such as Amsterdam) offer sleeping areas. Just be sure to do some research about how kosher it is in your destination; not all airports take kindly to your public snoozing. It’s also a risk if you’ve got a lot of carry-ons, as sleeping means taking your attention away from your goods.
If you’re traveling frequently, it may be worth paying for VIP access to lounges where you can access food, entertainment and in some cases a much safer area to catch your nap.
Get Mobile, Get Smart
Some of us travel to get away from the regular grind, but many also travel for business purposes. Chances are good you’ve got a mobile phone or tablet; both can be great tools for killing time during a layover.
A good set of headphones with a Netflix subscription can keep you entertained for hours, batteries willing. If you’re traveling abroad, you may run into problems unless you’re running a Virtual Private Network (VPN) app, as Netflix restricts content based on locale. You may want to consider a subscription anyway, so you can safely access airport WiFi without worrying about the risks (if anyone can use it, expect hackers to be on the prowl).
Of course there’s always a mobile game to play. Did you know you can even play Monopoly or Uno with people online? Bringing some board games seems like a bit of an inconvenience, but you can make up for that with your mobile tech.
Virtually all airports (Amsterdam not exception) will have some way to charge your devices, but it helps to bring an extra battery or backup charger. You may find yourself stuck somewhere without outlets, and it sucks to run out of power while traveling.
There are advantages to traveling alone, but if you’re going to be stuck for a few hours, it makes a world of difference to travel with family or a friend. If you’re stuck on the lonesome, consider making conversation with someone else in a similar situation. While talking with random people at the airport can seem awkward at first, they’re probably just as bored waiting as you.
If you’re a little more reserved, people watching during your Amsterdam Airport Layover might be more appropriate. Try imagining other travelers’ circumstances; I find it especially entertaining to give people names and backstories. Being an adult doesn’t mean the fun of using your imagination has to go away.
It doesn’t hurt to go low tech now and again. Saddling up with a good book can rapidly pass the time and might let you catch up on a story or series you’ve been behind on for a while. I’ve killed a few novels waiting for planes and enjoyed every minute of it (although my neck has had to pay the piper a few times as a result).
Keep Track of Your Stuff
Long hours waiting can leave you tired and careless. While the first is okay, the latter can leave you stuck in a foreign land. Always make certain you have your passport and tickets on you. Storing them inside a backpack or duffel bag is fine so long as you don’t lose sight of them, but it’s probably better to keep them physically on your person (such as in a jacket pocket).
Though airport security has improved, there are still pickpockets at every corner of the earth. A good rule of thumb is not to bring anything you won’t miss.
Hurry Up and Wait
With all the things you can do during your Amsterdam Airport Layover, it isn’t hard to keep yourself from getting bored. As long as you properly budget your time, you’ll soon be on the next flight to wherever it is you’re going. Have a plan and consider what options are most suitable to your tastes and interests.
Don’t get too overwhelmed; it’s easy to end up doing nothing out of sheer indecisiveness because you’ve considered too many options. Remember that flights can be delayed and have a contingency plan outside of your regular schedule in case you need to kill some extra time.
Have you ever been stuck waiting? Share some about your layover and what you did to pass the time below.
About the Author: Jess Signet is an avid traveler and enjoys writing about her adventures. Knowing there’s more to the world than the bubble she lives in makes her want to travel even further and she has no plans to slow down any time soon! She hopes this tips will help make that next airport layover a little less painful for you.
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