budget travel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7772/all en-US Best Money Tips: Budget Travel Tips You Haven't Heard http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-budget-travel-tips-you-havent-heard <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-budget-travel-tips-you-havent-heard" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-kid-5137605-small.jpg" alt="travel" title="travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on budget travel tips you haven't heard, how to stop living paycheck to paycheck, and how today's grads can beat the odds.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2013/05/21/5-budget-travel-tips-you-havent-heard-before">5 Budget Travel Tips You Haven't Heard Before</a> &mdash; When trying to travel on a budget, ask about repositioning flights or cruises. [US News &amp; World Report]</p> <p><a href="http://youngandthrifty.ca/living-paycheck-to-paycheck/">Are You Living Paycheck to Paycheck? Here's How to Get Out</a> &mdash; If you want to stop living paycheck to paycheck, put your credit cards away for good. [Young and Thrifty]</p> <p><a href="http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/how-todays-college-graduates-can-beat-the-odds/">How Today's College Graduates Can Beat the Odds</a> &mdash; To beat the odds, today's college graduates can have an emergency fund to help them if they lose their job. [Consumerism Commentary]</p> <p><a href="http://www.20sfinances.com/2013/05/22/disadvantages-of-taking-college-classes-over-the-summer/">Disadvantages of Taking College Classes Over The Summer</a> &mdash; One of the big problems with taking college classes over the summer is you lose out on money you'd make working a summer job. [20's Finances]</p> <p><a href="http://lenpenzo.com/blog/id19345-eight-smart-alternatives-to-payday-loans.html">Eight Smart Alternatives to Payday Loans</a> &mdash; Instead of getting a payday loan, ask your boss for overtime or sell what you don't use. [Len Penzo dot Com]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Interrupt-30569705">10 Smart Tips to Curb Your Bad Interrupting Habit</a> &mdash; Practicing impulse control can help you curb your bad interrupting habit. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/05/16/5-things-you-should-be-an-expert-at/">5 Things YOU Should Be an Expert At</a> &mdash; Make it a point to be an expert at learning from mistakes. [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/10-tips-for-visiting-your-local-farmers-market-with-kids">10 Easy Ways to Make the Farmer's Market Fun for Kids</a> &mdash; If you want to make visiting the farmer's market fun for your kids, give them a little money to spend. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2013/05/6-ways-to-improve-relationships-by.html">6 Ways to Improve Relationships by Tackling Self-Consciousness</a> &mdash; Recognizing where your flaws are helpful can help you improve your relationships. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://timemanagementninja.com/2013/05/7-mistakes-youre-making-by-overthinking-your-productivity/">7 Mistakes You're Making by Overthinking Your Productivity</a> &mdash; Overthinking your productivity can cause you to overplan or create too complex of a system to get things done. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-budget-travel-tips-you-havent-heard" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Budget Travel Tips You Haven&#039;t Heard" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel best money tips budget budget travel travel vacation Thu, 23 May 2013 10:00:31 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 974266 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!) http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/IMG_0355.jpg" alt="The scenery of full-time travel" title="The scenery of full-time travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For the last five years, I've been traveling the world full-time, and for less money than I've ever spent (and I'd wager less money than most people would spend) to live in one place.</p> <p>My worldly possessions fit into one bag (just larger than carry-on size) and a backpack containing my laptop and computer gear. This small entourage (weighing less than 45 pounds in total) comes with me as I wander around the world, sometimes quickly, but mostly slowly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>In 2011 alone, I traversed 13 countries and over 45,360 miles. Sounds pretty expensive, huh?</p> <p>What if I told you it wasn't? What if I told you that both 2010 (a similarly busy year of travel) and 2011 cost me just over $17,000 (including some major non-travel related purchases)? Would you believe me?</p> <p>Believe it. (Here's proof, with a full breakdown of where I went and how much it cost: <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2012/01/my-cost-of-full-time-travel-in-2011/">My Cost of Full-Time Travel in 2011</a>).</p> <h2>How to Keep Your Travel Costs Low</h2> <p>Of course, I could travel for way more than $17,000/year. The sky is the limit for what you can spend on the road, from food and accommodation to flights, destinations, and tours. I could also travel for less than this, if I made different spending choices.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here are a few of my secrets.</p> <h3>Don't Pay for Accommodations</h3> <p>In the entire year of 2011, I paid $173 for accommodation. And that expenditure was a function of a discounted stay at the Hilton in Stockholm as a luxurious &ldquo;splash out.&rdquo; The rest of the time, I had free accommodation in various forms, including...</p> <p><strong>Work-Trade/Volunteer</strong></p> <p>There are lots of creative opportunities to work in trade for your accommodation (and sometimes food) and enjoy a more immersive travel experience. Many of the sites that introduce you to these opportunities involve a monthly or yearly subscription, but in my experience it's well worth it. Here are some resources:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.caretaker.org">The Caretaker Gazette</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.helpx.net">Help Exchange</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wwoof.org">WWOOF</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.growfood.org/">Grow Food</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.worldhelplink.com/">World Help Link</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.payaway.co.uk/">PayAway</a>&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><strong>Hospitality Exchange</strong></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm">Got a few nights to kill at a given destination? Try a hospitality exchange, where locals who would like to host a traveler can put you up in a spare room or even on their couch. Good manners predicate you move on after a few days, and although it's a free stay, expect to provide a gift for your host and help out wherever you can. But there's also no better way to see how the locals live than to actually <i>live</i> with a local.</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.couchsurfing.org/">Couchsurfing</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.hospitalityclub.org/">Hospitality Club</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.globalfreeloaders.com/">Global Freeloaders</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.servas.org/">Servas</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.staydu.com/">Staydu</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>House/Pet-Sitting</strong></p> <p>After five years on the road, I've come to crave my personal space, as well as time to work on my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/location-independent-career-basics">location-independent career</a> as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/so-you-wanna-be-a-travel-writer">travel writer</a>. So when other people hit the road to do some traveling of their own, I come into their homes and take care of the property, pets, gardens, and any other chores that require attention in their absence. I tend to the home fires for periods of time ranging from weeks to months, and I'll soon be enjoying my second three-month stint of house-sitting and dog-minding on the Caribbean island of <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2012/01/three-months-in-grenada/">Grenada</a>, where I have my own beautiful free beach-front villa and use of two cars.&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.housecarers.com/">House Carers</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.caretaker.org">The Caretaker Gazette</a> (I've listed this twice because The Caretaker Gazette specializes in both volunteer and house-sitting opportunities).</li> <li><a href="http://www.trustedhousesitters.com/">Trusted Housesitters</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.mindmyhouse.com/">Mind My House</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.housesitworld.com/">Housesit World</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.aussiehousesitters.com.au/">Aussie House Sitters</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.housesittersamerica.com/">House Sitters America</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Crew on Sailboats</strong></p> <p>My most recent foray into free accommodation has come in the form of volunteering on sailboats. Every boat is different in what it requires, from capable sailors or people with boat-specific technical skills to simply being an extra set of hands to share chores and provide good company. I started out with absolutely no sailing experience, and I have met all sorts of people in the cruising community and been aboard three boats in the last month alone. This is a whole lifestyle and way of travel unto itself.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.findacrew.net">Find a Crew</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.latitude38.com/crewlist/cruising/skipper_results.lasso">Latitude 38</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.desperatesailors.com/">Desperate Sailors</a></li> </ul> <p>Another way to get free accommodation includes home exchanges; check out more information on <a href="http://community.careonecredit.com/b/life_balance/archive/2010/08/05/take-a-free-family-vacation-with-a-home-exchange.aspx">home exchange resources and etiquette</a>.</p> <h3>Don't Pay for Flights</h3> <p>When I have to fly (which I try to do as rarely as possible), my long-haul flights are in business class, and cost less than the price of an economy ticket. I do this through the creative use of frequent flyer miles. I started out (years before I became a full-time traveler) simply as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">passive collector with my credit card</a> before delving into the world of creative frequent flyer mile accumulation through various promotions (here's the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/become-a-frequent-flyer-master-and-earn-a-free-flight-every-year">first big promotion</a> I took advantage of in 2009).</p> <p>Now I'm hooked, and always on the hunt for a frequent flyer deal, often accumulating thousands of miles each month without actually flying, which is easy thanks to my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-travel-hacking-cartel-fly-around-the-world-for-almost-free">Travel Hacking Cartel</a> membership.</p> <p>Sometimes it actually works out better to pay cash for a flight, especially if it's a domestic flight. If this is the case, here are some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-lowest-price-on-airfare-even-after-you-buy">resources and tips to ensure you get the lowest price</a>, even after you pay for your ticket.</p> <h3>Travel Slowly</h3> <p>The slower you travel, the less money you'll spend on transportation, interim accommodation (for example, between when you land in a new place and begin a house-sitting or volunteer gig), and even set-up expenses like buying groceries/staples or wear-and-tear on personal effects like luggage.</p> <p>And the slower you travel, the more immersive your experience will be, and the more likely you will be to develop relationships with locals (who may not want to invest the time and effort getting to know somebody who is simply passing through) who can in turn deepen your travel experience and help you learn what life is like around the world.</p> <h2>Your Travel, Your Style</h2> <p>There's more to full-time travel than these three techniques to keep your costs low. I made purchases that weren't totally necessary, and I could have further reduced my expenses if I'd gone without. I also could have spent more money on any number of occasions. But for the most part I've found a groove and a personal style for my own full-time travels; one that leaves me wanting for nothing and spending how I wish on what's important to me. And all for less than I spend to live in one place.</p> <p>I also have a career as a writer and <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com">travel blogger</a> that lends itself well to my travels, creating a lifestyle that is a career, and vice versa.</p> <p>Budgeting for travel is very different for everybody, as can be evidenced by this informal spending study: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taco-tuesday-the-inner-mechanics-of-budgeting-on-vacation">Taco Tuesday: The Inner Mechanics of Budgeting on Vacation</a>.</p> <p><em>How much do you think you would spend on full-time travel? Would you give it a shot? </em></p> <p>If you enjoyed this story please share it on StumbleUpon!</p> <div align="center"> <p><script src="http://www.stumbleupon.com/hostedbadge.php?s=5"></script></p> </div> <p>More great travel advice from Wise Bread (Editor's Picks):</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Travel Resources that can Save You Money</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-budget-hotels">5 Best Credit Cards for Budget Hotels</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Budgeting Lifestyle Travel budget travel cheap vacations full-time travel volunteering Tue, 14 Feb 2012 11:00:13 +0000 Nora Dunn 893392 at http://www.wisebread.com Truly Offbeat Budget Travel Tips http://www.wisebread.com/truly-offbeat-budget-travel-tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/truly-offbeat-budget-travel-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-resources.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&rsquo;s the new year and you want to get your travel on, only your wallet isn&rsquo;t working for you. You&rsquo;re scrimping and saving, even though you&rsquo;re unsure about where or even how you can travel during your vacation. It&rsquo;s time to veer off the traditional travel trails and into a more localized experience &ndash; even if you journey to a destination far from home.</p> <p>There are tons of ways to save money and experience a new culture &ndash;sometimes for free &ndash; by exploring the local terrain, be it an urban, bucolic, or rugged outdoors location. And the best way to find out where the real deals are is to ask the locals &ndash; they know where the good (and cheap) stuff is.</p> <p>Here are some local digs that offer sweet information about where to stay and what to do while you&rsquo;re there.</p> <p><strong>Hostels: </strong>Not just a place to crash. The front desk at any hostel offers a plethora of local information, from where to find the best pubs to where to check out local dance performances. For instance, a whirl through San Francisco found me hanging at the San Francisco Fisherman&rsquo;s Wharf hostel in Fort Mason right near Golden Gate Park. Not only did the front desk hand me a detailed map off all of the local public transportation routes, but they also told me where the nearest parks, cafes, and libraries were. In fact, they gave me enough information to occupy me for days and for a relatively small amount of money. Plus, hostel staff members are usually very friendly and informative. Just ask them about what you&rsquo;re looking for and they&rsquo;ll tell you. Don&rsquo;t forget to check the bulletin boards for local events. </p> <p><strong>Yahoo Groups: </strong>A virtual hangout spot teeming with people who know about your destination. With a regional directory of groups, you can surf on through here and find out what&rsquo;s happening in different spots around the world. Want to know about things to do in Botswana or how to find romance in Germany? There&rsquo;s a group for it somewhere in there.&nbsp; Join up and start asking questions.</p> <p><strong>Local papers: </strong>Not the big city kind; the ultra-local neighborhood papers will serve you better here. The last time I hit a big American city and needed the low down on what to do, I grabbed a few papers from the stands on the streets. The hyper-local ones provide the best details on local restaurants, museums, and parks. As an added bonus, you get a feel for what the place is like and how much time you want to spend there. </p> <p><strong>Local libraries: </strong>More than a research facilities or places to pick up the latest fiction for free, these are information powerhouses on the local front. In fact, a few years ago, I rolled on out to Bali and kicked it in Ubud for a few weeks. While I was there, I was getting too frustrated with my inability to speak Indonesian. I headed on down to the local library where I not only found a cool Indonesian language instructor (for about $6 an hour, a top-rate bargain), but I also picked up info on the latest events, classes and treks in the area. While I was there, I met a few local expats who now called Bali home and they turned out to be the best information sources around. </p> <p><strong>Local bookstores: </strong>Yet more information powerhouses. These gems can give you access to books in your own language as well as the language of the country you&rsquo;re in. You can also check out the local bulletin boards for information on events and activities in the immediate area. And the owners are used to answering lots of questions, so ask them what activities they suggest doing while you&rsquo;re in the area. </p> <p><strong>Local sports shops: </strong>If you haven&rsquo;t already booked an adventure trip or if find yourself with some free time and the urge to get out into nature, local sports stores can be a great place to start. Call around if you can. Or show up and see if you can talk to the people in the store. Want to go on a bike tour around the area? The people at the local bike shop not only have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bike-on-great-deals-on-all-things-bicycle">the gear you need</a>, but they probably know where the best rides are and what you can see along the way. Remember, mostly sports enthusiasts work in sports shops. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/super-sports-gear-for-less">They know the things you need to know</a>. And if they don&rsquo;t know, they can tell you who does. </p> <p><strong>Your university alumni association: </strong>Your university usually has a directory of alumni, some of whom might be traveling or living in another country. Why not ping a former friend or classmate and find out what they&rsquo;re up to? They might have ideas on what you can do, as well as contacts in your destination area. </p> <p><strong>Other travelers: </strong>Then there&rsquo;s the tried and true, just hanging around experience that drums up some the best times you&rsquo;ll have while you&rsquo;re traveling. Hang out around sports shops, museums, cafes, the beach. Anywhere you like to be. You&rsquo;ll soon find yourself chatting with other locals and travelers &ndash; and finding out the local tips and tricks that no guidebook can truly offer.</p> <p>So start asking around. You never know what you&rsquo;ll find out and what kinds of truly free or amazingly budget-friendly things you can find to do by taking a grassroots, local approach to travel. And you might make some cool new friends in the process.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/truly-offbeat-budget-travel-tips" class="sharethis-link" title="Truly Offbeat Budget Travel Tips" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sasha-a-rae">Sasha A. Rae</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Art and Leisure budget travel travel tips traveling Sun, 03 Jan 2010 14:00:11 +0000 Sasha A. Rae 4396 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Rules of Budget Travel http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-rules-of-budget-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-rules-of-budget-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tahiti-travel.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm a big believer in the popular environmental mantra: &quot;<a href="http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/heart-of-green-local-hero-47012902">Think Globally, Act Locally</a>.&quot; When it comes to saving the planet, that saying is as true as it is simple.</p> <p>And when I travel, my rule of thumb for keeping it green and keeping it cheap is: &quot;<a target="_blank" href="http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Ultimate-Cheapskates-Road-Map-to-True-Riches/Jeff-Yeager/e/9780767926959/?itm=1">Think Locally, Travel Globally</a>.&quot; You'll usually find the most eco-friendly and genuine travel experiences when you spend less &mdash; not more &mdash; and <i>get local</i>, no matter where in the world you're wandering. It's all about traveling independently (not in a tour group or packaged tour) and drilling down to the local level, getting a true sense of place by experiencing it as if you live there.</p> <p>Here's how:</p> <p><b>Guidebooks kill</b></p> <p>Consult a good, locally researched guidebook like those in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lonelyplanet.com/">Lonely Planet</a> series for basic background and logistical info before you travel, but don't use it to plan your every move, like where you'll stay, eat and hang out. By the time a guidebook recommends something, it's usually overrun with tourists (and overpriced).</p> <p><b>Travel without reservations</b></p> <p>Except for perhaps the first night or two when you're traveling overseas and going to be suffering from jetlag, avoid making advance reservations at hotels and other accommodations before you leave home. You'll generally pay a lot more for lodging reserved from overseas, and they're rarely the type of local, affordable places you can only find once you're there. Plus, advance reservations limit your ability to be spontaneous in your travels.</p> <p><b>The &quot;Three L's Rule&quot; (Look for Lines of Locals)</b></p> <p>If you're looking for a good meal or friendly place to have a beer, put away your guidebook and open up your eyes and ears. Looking for where the locals hang out and chatting it up with them is the best &mdash; and cheapest &mdash; way to travel.</p> <p><b>Local transportation and short distances are best</b></p> <p>To travel slowly, covering short distances, and staying places longer is the key to really getting a sense of place and people. Linger in places you've never heard of and where you don't see another tourist; don't plan an itinerary that's just one popular tourist destination (AKA &quot;trap&quot;) followed by another. Taking public transportation, hiking or <a href="http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/blogs/save-money/bicycle-vacations-460609">bicycling</a> will give you a great opportunity to meet local people and see how they live. Plus it will save you a busload of traveler's checks.</p> <p><b>Cheap sleep</b></p> <p>Americans can travel to almost anywhere in the world and pay top dollar to stay in an American-style hotel, just like the ones back home. Why even bother to travel if that's what you want? Look for locally owned, &quot;mom and pop&quot; places to stay, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.smartertravel.com/travel-advice/Five-options-cutting-hotel.html?id=12863">pensions</a> and public camping facilities (sometimes free). Check out youth <a target="_blank" href="http://www.hiusa.org/">hostels</a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.couchsurfing.com/">couch surfing</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.homeexchange.com/">house swapping</a> for a highly affordable, and rewarding, travel experience.</p> <p><b>Prepare at least some of your own meals</b></p> <p>Sampling the fare in local restaurants is one of the joys of travel, but you'll sell your trip short &mdash; and spend a lot more &mdash; if you don't at least occasionally pick up some groceries from a local market and prepare some of your own meals. Maybe it's just simple breakfast foods or picnic supplies. Shopping for food where the locals shop is one of the most enlightening cultural experiences I know of when you travel, and it just happens to make travel much more affordable.</p> <p><b>Keeping it green when you travel</b></p> <p>Not surprisingly to this <a href="http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/blogs/save-money/">Green Cheapskate</a>, a recent study commissioned by eco-friendly lodging chain <a target="_blank" href="http://www.elementhotels.com/">Element Hotels</a> found that 41% of the people they surveyed said that their vigilance about conserving resources is &quot;due to the economy&quot; (i.e. &quot;It saves me money!&quot;), while just 28% said it was &quot;due to the environment.&quot; The upshot is that when people travel, their eco-conscious habits often slip; they're not as vigilant about things like turning off the lights in their hotel room, since they're not paying the electric bill. Don't leave your eco-ethics at home when you hit the road this summer, because you can't fool Mother Nature.</p> <p>This post from the <a href="http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/blogs/save-money/">Green Cheapskate</a> by Jeff Yeager is republished with the permission of <a href="http://www.thedailygreen.com/">The Daily Green</a>. &nbsp;Check out more great content from&nbsp;The Daily Green:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/save-money-megaflip">30+ Ways to Save Money By Going Green</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/save-gas-47031702">10 Ways to Save Money On Gas Without Replacing Your Car</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/vodka-uses-460424">Top 10 Weird Uses of Vodka</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/safe-green-investments-47091801">6 Safe Green Investments</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/save-money-gas-47050902">How to Pay 50 Cents (or Less) for a Gallon of Gas</a></li> </ul> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-rules-of-budget-travel" class="sharethis-link" title="The 7 Rules of Budget Travel" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jeff-yeager">Jeff Yeager</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Cars and Transportation Travel Art and Leisure budget travel Wed, 22 Jul 2009 20:00:06 +0000 Jeff Yeager 3406 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask a Budget Travel Expert: Beth Whitman Here To Answer Your Questions http://www.wisebread.com/ask-a-budget-travel-expert-beth-whitman-here-to-answer-your-questions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-a-budget-travel-expert-beth-whitman-here-to-answer-your-questions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beth_taj_book1-369-x-450.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="305" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For this entire week 3/2 - 3/8, travel expert Beth Whitman will be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/forums/frugal-living/ask-budget-travel-expert-beth-whitman-here-answer-your-questions-4548.html#post28522">answering questions in our forum</a> about budget traveling and cost-conscious dining!&nbsp;</p> <p>As the founder and editor of the excellent traveling magazine <a href="http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/">Wanderlust and Lipstick</a>, I'm sure Beth has tons of great tips on how to have frugal fun while expanding your horizons.</p> <p>For more than 22 years, Beth has been traveling the globe as a <strong>contemporary Wanderer</strong><strong>.&nbsp; </strong>She has <strong>trekked the Himalayas</strong> in Nepal and Bhutan, <a target="_self" href="http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/wander-tales/not-so-easy-riding-through-central-america/"><strong>ridden a motorcycle solo </strong></a>from Seattle to Panama, helped <strong>build a playground</strong> for an orphanage in Vietnam; <strong>driven the AlCan Highway</strong> to Alaska &ndash; twice; and maneuvered the <strong>back roads of France&rsquo;s Dijon region</strong> in a rental car. She&rsquo;s had a <strong>hand grenade</strong> pulled on her in Cambodia, fought off <strong>giardia</strong> in Southeast Asia; been <strong>threatened by Nicaraguan motorcycle police</strong>; and been <strong>flashed by men</strong> from New Orleans to Saigon.</p> <div style="clear: both;" class="article-body"> <p>Please <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/forums/frugal-living/ask-budget-travel-expert-beth-whitman-here-answer-your-questions-4548.html#post28522">join Beth in our forums</a> today!</p> <p>This interview is part of Wise Bread's spotlight on the <a href="../../../../../../topic/women-of-personal-finance" title="Women of personal finance home page">Women of personal finance</a>.&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"> <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/u4/beth_fort_indiasm.jpg" alt="" /></p> </div> <p><strong>About Beth Whitman<br /> </strong></p> <p><strong>Website: </strong><a href="http://wanderlustandlipstick.com">Wanderlust and Lipstick</a></p> <p><strong>Blogger</strong>: Beth Whitman</p> <p><strong>Subscribe</strong><strong>:&nbsp; </strong><a href="http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/blogs/feed/">RSS</a></p> <p>Beth always believed that we should tread lightly on the earth, whether in our own backyard or someone else&rsquo;s. And that we all have a responsibility to act as ambassadors of our own country by treating other people and their village or city with respect. While traveling, she enjoys discovering new (vegetarian) foods and meeting the locals.</p> <p>Check out some of her best articles:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/sinking-dollar-5-destinations-where-your-money-is-still-good/">Sinking dollar - 5 destinations where your money is still good</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/wander-tips/money-currency-tips-for-travelers/">4 tips for handling money while traveling</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/the-cost-of-travel-is-it-worth-it/">The cost of travel - Is it worth it?</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/eco-travel-downturn/">Eco (nomic) travel - Looking on the bright side</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://wanderlustandlipstick.com/share-your-cash-carrying-tips-win-a-moneybelt/">Best way to carry your cash while traveling</a></li> </ul> <p>Come <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/forums/frugal-living/ask-budget-travel-expert-beth-whitman-here-answer-your-questions-4548.html#post28522">join our chat with Beth </a>in the forum today!</p> </div> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-a-budget-travel-expert-beth-whitman-here-to-answer-your-questions" class="sharethis-link" title="Ask a Budget Travel Expert: Beth Whitman Here To Answer Your Questions" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-chen">Will Chen</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Lifestyle Travel Art and Leisure budget travel women of personal finance Mon, 02 Mar 2009 22:51:58 +0000 Will Chen 2884 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Host a Traveler: 13 Tips to Keep it Safe, Easy, and Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-host-a-traveler-13-tips-to-keep-it-safe-easy-and-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-host-a-traveler-13-tips-to-keep-it-safe-easy-and-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couch-surfer-photo.jpg" alt="couch surfer sleeping in photo" title="couch surfer sleeping in" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Here at Wise Bread, we know that couch-sharing services, such as <a href="http://www.couchsurfing.com/">Couch Surfing</a>, can save you money when traveling. We have also heard that hosting travelers through these services is a great way to meet new people, get in the spirit of travel, and even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-couch-can-earn-cash-and-support-a-band">make some money</a>. As good as this sounds, many have reservations about hosting strangers in their home. After all, house guests can be frustrating, expensive, and even dangerous.</p> <p>But it doesn't have to be this way. Here are some tips to help make hosting travelers safer, easier, and even cheaper.</p> <h2>Keep it Safe</h2> <p>Letting strangers into your home is a frightening thing for many people. Here are six tips for <a href="http://www.couchsurfing.com/tips_for_hosts.html">making it safer</a>:</p> <p><strong>Start slow:</strong> You are not required to hand over the key to your home and welcome a wandering stranger with open arms. If the idea makes you uneasy, start slow and only accept invitations for coffee, dinner, or a short tour of your town. Once you have met several friendly people, you may decide that having them spend a night at your place is not such a big deal. If so, arrange to meet at a neutral location, like a cafe or the library, first. If you don't like the looks of things, politely decline your invitation.</p> <p><strong>Don't be a stranger:</strong> If socializing with a stranger makes you cringe, then do everything you can to make sure the person is not a complete stranger when you meet in person. Begin by creating a complete and detailed profile on the couch-sharing network of your choice. List your interests and favorite activities, and include something about your habits. If you get up early for work and like to turn-in with the sun, state this explicitly in your profile. If you don't like guests using your computer, say so up front.</p> <p><strong>Get more information:</strong> When requests come in, check the traveler's profile. If it raises questions, don't be afraid to ask for clarification. Ask questions and get to know the person electronically before you meet in person. Most sites also offer the ability to gather information from references and the traveler's previous hosts.</p> <p><strong>Set boundaries:</strong> Again, you are not required to hand over the keys to your home. If you don't want to leave a stranger there alone, explain that the house will only be open when you are there, and that your guest must find a way to occupy his or herself while you are out during the day. Be clear about times you will and will not be there and offer your cellphone number for emergencies.</p> <p><strong>Don't do it alone:</strong> Involving a friend can make you feel a lot more comfortable. When you go to meet your guest at a neutral location, bring a friend along for support. At the very least, let someone nearby know that you will be hosting a guest and that you may contact them in the event you begin to feel uncomfortable.</p> <p><strong>Don't be afraid to say no:</strong> If you do not feel right about the person or the process at any point, from the initial request to the second day of the visit, do not be afraid to say no.</p> <h2>Make it Easy</h2> <p>If you decide to host a traveler, everything, hopefully, will go smoothly. Unfortunately, having house guest can sometimes be a hassle. Try these five tips for making it as easy as possible:</p> <p><strong>Orient your guest:</strong> When your guest first arrives, take the time to give a tour of your home. This is a good way to show the person where everything is, but it is also a subtle way of explaining anything that might be off limits. Rather than handing your guest a list of rules, mention your restrictions as you pass by. &quot;This is my bedroom, you won't need to go in there...&quot;</p> <p><strong>Provide some basic supplies:</strong> Some people leave things like guest-sized shampoo, toothpaste, and other basic necessities in plain view, keeping their personal items stowed away, while sharing their bathroom with a guest. More important, is showing your guest where to find some basic cleaning supplies, like a broom, mop, sponge, and so on, in case they accidentally make a mess.</p> <p><strong>Give them space:</strong> Most travelers participating in home-sharing programs look forward to getting to know their hosts, so expressing in interest in spending time with your guest shouldn't be a problem. Giving them space for their things, especially if you live in an apartment, might be. Still, it is important to clear a space for their luggage and even offer a basket or some shelf space to use. This helps prevent a backpack full of dirty clothes from being emptied across your living room floor.</p> <p><strong>Encourage activity outside the house:</strong> Be ready to suggest things to do in your town. Having a map ready and a list of your favorite places to eat and hangout shows your guest that they should be out exploring, not in your house, sitting around.</p> <p><strong>Ask for a hand:</strong> Finally, don't be afraid to ask for some help around the house. Most guests are very appreciative of the effort hosts go to house them and will be happy to lend a hand.</p> <h2>Save Some Money</h2> <p>Both <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/saving-money-while-hosting-guests">Wise Bread</a> and <a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/08/09/seven-ways-to-save-money-preparing-for-houseguests/">The Simple Dollar</a> have great tips for saving money when guests are visiting. Still, hosting travelers is unique and there some special tips that can help save you money.</p> <p><strong>Buy toiletries in bulk:</strong> Specifically, toilet paper. It's the one item you can count on guests using. If you like to offer smaller items like shampoo, consider buying a large bottle at the bulk store and filling a smaller bottle before guests arrive.</p> <p><strong>Ask your guest to cook dinner:</strong> Most guests will be happy to make something from their home country. Offer your services as a &quot;prep chef&quot; to ensure they can find the things they need in your kitchen.</p> <p>Hosting a traveler is often a wonderful and enlightening experience. It allows you to learn about a new part of your country or the world and even make a new friend. Let us know how it works out in the comments.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-host-a-traveler-13-tips-to-keep-it-safe-easy-and-cheap" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Host a Traveler: 13 Tips to Keep it Safe, Easy, and Cheap" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-defranza">David DeFranza</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living Lifestyle Travel budget travel couch surfing guests house guests safety Thu, 12 Feb 2009 13:22:03 +0000 David DeFranza 2831 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Easy Recipes Perfect for the Traveling Chef http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-recipes-perfect-for-the-traveling-chef <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-easy-recipes-perfect-for-the-traveling-chef" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/8108416027_26183627f0_z.jpg" alt="cooking" title="cooking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.bravenewtraveler.com/2008/02/07/what-every-backpacker-should-know-about-self-catering/">Self-catering</a> while traveling is an excellent way to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eating-cheap-while-abroad" title="Eating Cheap While Abroad">save money</a>. However, cooking on the road poses a whole set of problems and challenges that can seem impossible to overcome. You don't want to have to buy an entire spice rack to make your favorite recipe and then be faced with the difficult decision of lugging it around or leaving it. Even if you are willing to buy what you need, you cannot always count on foreign supermarkets having the items you are accustomed to. When you finally get a meal cooked, there is often a huge amount leftover that cannot be packed to the next destination.</p> <p>These challenges have put me on the lookout for simple, good, food that can be cooked with a minimal number of widely available ingredients, and prepared in variable portions. Of course, I am thinking mainly of travelers staying in accommodation, be it a hostel, friend's house, or rental house, with a basically stocked kitchen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less" title="How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a>)</p> <p>Here are five easy recipes for the traveling chef:</p> <h2>1. Fritatta</h2> <p>Like a more-hearty omelet, the frittata is a frugal cooking classic. What makes this dish great for the traveler, in my opinion, is that it is based around eggs, one of the most universal ingredients in the world, and that it can be modified to include any local meat, fish or produce you can find. For a basic introduction to making a frittata, check out this <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/health/nutrition/29eggsintrorecipe.html">recipe</a> from the <em>New York Times</em>. For an example of how this simple dish can be elevated to something spectacular, have a look at this <a href="http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/001660spinach_frittata.php">spinach frittata recipe</a>.</p> <h2>2. Lentil or Bean Stew</h2> <p>Though you probably won't use the whole package in a single meal, a small bag of dried lentils or beans is easy to carry with you. I prefer lentils to beans because they do not require soaking prior to cooking. If you use beans instead and are planning to cook after a travel day, I recommend placing them in a resealable water bottle that you can carry in your bag throughout the day.</p> <p>Making the lentils or beans into a stew only requires a single pot and can consist of any rooty vegetables, potatoes, and spices you find at the local market. For an example of a very simple lentil stew, check out this <a href="http://www.cookingcache.com/soupsand/easylentilstew.shtml?rdid=rc1">recipe</a>.</p> <h2>3. Sauted Noodles</h2> <p>Whether it is a local native or an import from Italy, dried noodles can be found in markets and convenience stores around the world. To quickly cook noodles using a minimal number of ingredients, try sauteeing them (after they have been mostly cooked in boiling water) with some oil, crushed or chopped tomatoes, and any other vegetables or spices you can find.</p> <h2>4. Baked Fish</h2> <p>If you can find fish for sale, this is an incredible recipe that uses very few ingredients. Take some fish fillets or a whole fish, gutted and scaled, cover it with salt and pepper, a pad of butter or some olive oil, and a generous helping of lemon juice. Then put it in a 350 or 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. That's it.</p> <p>For an example of this popular recipe, check out this <a href="http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/lemonfish.htm">version</a> from the Hillbilly Housewife.</p> <h2>5. Drunken Chicken</h2> <p>Nothing gets a hostel full of backpackers excited like the sound of beer cans cracking open. This is why drunken chicken, is a great dinner to make when traveling, even though it typically produces more food than you could comfortably eat yourself in one night. Most simply, this dish requires a chicken, a can of beer, and some basic seasonings. If you <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/OVEN-ROASTED-VEGETABLES-5339">roast some local vegetables</a> while the chicken is baking, you will have a feast that will certainly win some new friends. For a fairly simple recipe, look no farther than Paula Deen's <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/drunken-chicken-recipe/">Drunken Chicken</a>.</p> <p>One of the great pleasures of traveling is the opportunity to sample another country's cuisine. Eating out for every meal, however, can add up even in the cheapest of destinations. And cooking for yourself not only saves money, it gives you and excuse to tour some new supermarkets and an opportunity to make new friends wherever you are staying.</p> <p><em>What are some of your favorite, simple, recipes? Let us know in the comments.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-recipes-perfect-for-the-traveling-chef" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Easy Recipes Perfect for the Traveling Chef" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-defranza">David DeFranza</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living Food and Drink Travel budget travel Cooking recipes Mon, 15 Sep 2008 12:10:52 +0000 David DeFranza 2426 at http://www.wisebread.com Your Couch Can Earn Cash And Support A Band http://www.wisebread.com/your-couch-can-earn-cash-and-support-a-band <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/your-couch-can-earn-cash-and-support-a-band" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couch.jpg" alt="a couch with a view photo" title="a couch with a view photo" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="333" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>By now, anyone interested in budget travel has heard of <a href="http://www.couchsurfing.com/">CouchSurfing</a>, a website that helps connect travelers with benevolent strangers in cities and towns around the world. The concept has hit the mainstream, even approaching trend status, best evidenced by a recent <a href="http://www.worldhum.com/weblog/item/couchsurfing_co_opted_to_sell_mobile_phones_20080610/#When:14:44:00Z">television commercial </a>featuring a couch surfer armed with a particular brand of <a href="http://www.gadling.com/2008/06/11/without-t-mobile-there-would-be-no-couchsurfing/">cell phone</a>.</p> <p>Of course, CouchSurfing has obvious advantages for travelers looking to meet locals and save money, but it can also be fun for hosts as well. Having a foreign guest, especially one eager to visit your town&#39;s tourist attractions with you, can almost be like taking a trip yourself. If you are trying to learn a <a href="http://www.bravenewtraveler.com/2008/02/04/8-free-online-resources-for-learning-a-new-language/">foreign language</a>, or even an <a href="/frugal-travel-with-esperanto">international language</a>, hosting a couch surfer is a great way to get some practice. Simply hearing someone else&#39;s stories can make for a memorable evening. Certainly, there are many reasons to participate in home stay programs, even if you don&#39;t plan to take a trip in the near future.</p> <p>If you are considering becoming a host for couch surfers, be sure to check out these two, slightly different, opportunities.</p> <p><strong>AirBed &amp; Breakfast</strong></p> <p>The basic premise of <a href="http://www.airbedandbreakfast.com/">AirBed &amp; Breakfast</a> is familiar: travelers search for hosts listed in an on-line database, booking a night or two through the website. The significant difference is that, as a host, you can set a price for your accommodation. This means that, in addition to the less tangible benefits of hosting a guest, AirBed &amp; Breakfast can help you make some extra money as well. The program is open to everyone, whether you have an extra room or simply a couch available, but the amount of money you can make clearly depends on what you have to offer and where it is located.</p> <p><strong>Better Than the Van</strong></p> <p>Another interesting alternative to hosting a couch surfer is to host a band on tour. <a href="http://betterthanthevan.com/">Better Than the Van</a> is a website designed to facilitate just such an arrangement. Though the thought of having a band crash in your place may be a bit frightening, it is a great way to support independent music and up-and-coming artists. If you are a fan of music, this could be a great way to meet some musicians.</p> <p>What is your experience with couch surfing? Ever hosted a stranger? Let us hear about it in the comments.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-couch-can-earn-cash-and-support-a-band" class="sharethis-link" title="Your Couch Can Earn Cash And Support A Band" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-defranza">David DeFranza</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Lifestyle budget travel Making Extra Cash Thu, 11 Sep 2008 10:26:53 +0000 David DeFranza 2407 at http://www.wisebread.com Facebook For Budget Travelers http://www.wisebread.com/facebook-for-budget-travelers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/facebook-for-budget-travelers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/facebook_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="333" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For the frequent traveler, Facebook is an excellent way to keep in touch with friends and acquaintances from around the world. Is it possible, however, that the popular social network could help budget-minded travelers save time and money when looking for cheap accommodation and transportation?</p> <p>These applications could help you do just that.</p> <p><strong>Find a Couch</strong></p> <p>Of course, the best way to find a free place to stay through Facebook is to mine your pool of friends. If you don&#39;t have a connection in a particular area there are many services that connect you with generous strangers. Two applications, <a href="http://www.new.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=5943033081">CouchSurf</a> and <a href="http://www.new.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=10998845586">CouchSurfing</a>, allow you to search for and book available couches through Facebook. The advantage to this over separate, dedicated, sites like <a href="http://www.couchsurfing.com/">CouchSurfing.com</a> is that you will be able to use your host&#39;s Facebook profile and network of friends as an indication of his or her disposition, interests, and so on. If you are comfortable with the Facebook platform, it could save you the trouble of becoming established on a more specific site.</p> <p><strong>Reserve a Hostel</strong></p> <p>Before couch surfing, the accommodation option of choice for budget travelers was the <a href="/hostels-vs-hotels-choosing-the-perfect-place-to-stay-within-your-budget">hostel</a>. <a href="http://www.hostelfilm.com/">Scary movies</a> aside, hostels are still great places to stay if you are on a budget, especially if you are interested in meeting like-minded travelers. Two different Facebook applications, confusingly called <a href="http://apps.new.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=2441592034&amp;b=">Hostels</a> and <a href="http://apps.new.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=2416384069&amp;b=">Hostel</a>, help you find hostels in your destination, evaluate your options with user reviews, book rooms, and coordinate plans with your friends. If you like booking hostels on the internet, and many travelers do, these applications help streamline the process.</p> <p><strong>Find a Ride</strong></p> <p>Once accommodation is squared away, the next concern for most travelers is transportation. There are a number of applications that help you search for airfares to visit your friends, but I don&#39;t think they are particularly useful or concerned with budget travel. More useful, in my opinion, are applications that allow you to find or offer a ride throughcarshare networks. Both <a href="http://www.new.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=2549790782">Carpool</a>, an extension of the popular <a href="http://www.zimride.com/home.php">Zimride</a>, and <a href="http://www.new.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=16321964612">Share My Ride</a> can help secure cheap rides most places in the United States.</p> <p><strong>Send a Postcard</strong></p> <p>As you may know, I am a huge fan of <a href="/free-travel-with-postcard-fun">postcards</a>. There are many applications, including <a href="http://www.new.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=6960911387">Kiwee postcards</a> and <a href="http://www.new.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=2487056535">Photo Wall</a>, that allow you to send &quot;postcards&quot; to your friends for free. If you are on such a tight budget that the cost of postage is a concern, this could be a solution. However, it seems that almost all of the romance of sending a card through the mail is lost on these digital interpretations. The solution may be <a href="http://www.new.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=7162601159">Hippopost</a>, which sends a printed postcard via snail mail from your Facebook account.</p> <p><strong>Find a Travel Partner</strong></p> <p>Traveling with a friend, someone with whom you can share the excitement and hardships, can enrich any trip. Having a second person who can help split costs can also significantly reduce the cost of your trip. One application,appropriately called <a href="http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=2869125584">Trips</a>, helps you find people interested in joining you on your next adventure. It also helps you plan, document, and share your trip. With its focus on sharing something that is important to you, Trips is likely the most social of the applications discussed here.</p> <p>Facebook is one of the most popular social networks not only because of its simple interface and massive pool of users, but because of its functionality as a platform for accomplishing common tasks socially. When preparing for your next trip, trying using this platform to help save you time and money.</p> <p>Let us know how it works out in the comments.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/facebook-for-budget-travelers" class="sharethis-link" title="Facebook For Budget Travelers" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-defranza">David DeFranza</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Technology budget travel Facebook Mon, 08 Sep 2008 13:13:48 +0000 David DeFranza 2406 at http://www.wisebread.com Hostels vs Hotels: Choosing the Perfect Place to Stay Within your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/hostels-vs-hotels-choosing-the-perfect-place-to-stay-within-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/hostels-vs-hotels-choosing-the-perfect-place-to-stay-within-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hostels%20versus%20hotels.JPG" alt="hostel" title="hostel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Most people think that the frugal way to travel is to stay in hostels. However there are a number of scenarios where that may not be the case. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Hostel Amenities</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Hostels vary incredibly in layout, overall mood, location, clientele, and amenities.</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Most hostels have both dorm room accommodations as well as private and semi-private rooms. There will be a kitchen (fully stocked with cooking and eating utensils, and occasionally some staple foods too) which is shared by everybody in the hostel. Some hostels have multiple kitchens, depending on the layout. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>There are also often common areas, bookshelves (where you can leave a book you have read and take a different book with you), and a variety of other occasional amenities including games, DVDs, satellite televisions, and internet access. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Washrooms are often shared, but sometimes those who get a private room will have a private washroom. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Many hostels will also organize or host small tours or activities in the area, depending on the area, culture, and type of guests. Most hostel guests are younger, many being under the age of 30. However one thing you will quickly learn about hostels is that you never know what you are going to get. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>One of the things that can be the appeal or deterrence (depending on the type of traveller you are) is the wide variety of circumstances you can run into at a hostel. You never know what the exact amenities will be, how many people are crammed into one space, what the room layout will look like, and what services will be offered. Its location may be right in the middle of the action, or tucked away inconveniently far from everything you want to see. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Some hostels will encourage guests to hang around on the property for the day with a comfortable atmosphere and friendly staff, while others actually have lock-out policies requiring guests to leave between 10am and 4pm (for example). Some have curfews at night, some prohibit all alcohol and drugs on the premises, and others yet have the cheapest bar in town attached to the place with a 24-hour party atmosphere. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Some hostels serve breakfast in the morning, while others are skeleton accommodations with nothing more than a bed to offer. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Hotel Amenities</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Hotels by comparison, are much more predictable. You will get a private room with a bed, full washroom, and occasionally a kitchenette or in-room coffee maker. You won&#39;t have to make the bed (as you often do with hostels), or strip it when you leave. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>The locations and clientele of hotels however will vary significantly, so like hostels you don&#39;t always know what you&#39;re going to get. But that&#39;s all part of the appeal of traveling, I think!</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Comparison for the Single Traveler</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>For the single traveler, hostels will almost always be cheaper, as long as you are willing to bunk up in a dorm room with other travelers. Security becomes an issue if you are staying with strangers, so having the ability to lock up your belongings or trusting inherently in your fellow traveler will be a necessity. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Hostel private and semi-private rooms can often be on par (if not a touch cheaper but sometimes even more expensive) than basic hotel rooms. For a single traveler, the decision comes down to the preferred amenities and social setting. You can save a pile of cash by preparing your own food in the kitchen provided in a hostel, and there is a lot of inherent value in the camaraderie with fellow travelers and the common area amenities. You can learn what places to stay away from, what is worth seeing, and often you will make fast friends with other travelers and see the sights with them in following days and even weeks of your trip. </span></p> <p> <span> </span></p> <h2><span>Comparison for Travelers in Groups</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>For families or groups of friends, the decision to stay in a hostel or hotel is a touch more complex. Here are some guidelines:</span></p> <h3><strong><span>Privacy</span></strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Do you want privacy, or as a group are you interested in meeting other people? If your itinerary is already set and all you need is a place to lay your head down, then sharing a hotel room will likely be cheaper. </span></p> <h3><strong><span>How Many are in your Group</span></strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Depending on the number of people you are travelling with, some hostels may be hard-pressed to accommodate your entire party. Then again, if your group can fill up an entire dorm room (and some dorm rooms sleep only four people anyway), then you may be able to save a few bucks and take advantage of the hostel amenities too. </span></p> <h3><strong><span>How Long is your Stay</span></strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Some hostels, in order to prevent a seedy transient crowd from infiltrating the place, may require that guests have a departure ticket, or will limit the number of nights you can stay. Hotels, although they also don&#39;t want a transient crowd, aren&#39;t always as stringent since there are more rooms to be had and no social scene to &quot;poison&quot; with the wrong type of person staying there. </span></p> <h3><strong><span>How Old are You</span></strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Although age discrimination is illegal, an older traveler or group of travellers may feel out of place at a hostel. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Getting Used to Hostels</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Initially when I started travelling and staying in hostels, I was leery. I tired quickly of the standard conversations with other travellers: Where are you from, Where are you going, Where have you been, etc. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>I stayed at a few hostels that had large groups of travellers moving through that all knew each other, and felt like I was on the outside of a giant inside joke at times. I was also used to staying in hotels, and hadn&#39;t learned how to make the jump to hostelling and all it had to offer. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Since then, I am a devout fan. I have met friends for life from all over the world (and now have places to stay with them in many countries), I have learned from other travelers&#39; experiences where the great places to eat, drive by, and visit are, and I love the surprises of not knowing exactly what the place will be like until you are there. Sometimes it&#39;s not so great, but sometimes <a href="http://freedom30.blogspot.com/2007/05/sleepless-in-vancouver-and-beyond.html" target="_blank">hostel mis-adventures</a> make for the best travel stories!</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Choosing the Perfect Hostel</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>There are a number of resources to search for the hostel that will suit your needs. They include:</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><a href="http://www.hostelworld.com/" target="_blank">Hostel World</a></span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><a href="http://www.hosteltimes.com/" target="_blank">Hostel Times</a> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><a href="http://www.thebackpacker.net/" target="_blank">The Backpacker</a></span></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hostels-vs-hotels-choosing-the-perfect-place-to-stay-within-your-budget" class="sharethis-link" title="Hostels vs Hotels: Choosing the Perfect Place to Stay Within your Budget" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Cars and Transportation Lifestyle amenities budget accommodations budget travel frual travel group travel hostel hotel youth hostel Fri, 01 Feb 2008 02:23:22 +0000 Nora Dunn 1728 at http://www.wisebread.com Hitching a Ride on an Airplane http://www.wisebread.com/hitching-a-ride-on-an-airplane <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/hitching-a-ride-on-an-airplane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/24102165_4cb9d1d713_z.jpg" alt="airplane" title="airplane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="200" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Flying can be frustrating to say the least. Hours upon hours in airports, praying for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-minimize-baggage-fees-when-flying" title="5 Ways to Minimize Baggage Fees When Flying">checked baggage</a> to arrive at the same place that you do, increasingly stringent security measures &mdash; it all makes for a stressful day to be sure.</p> <p>Add onto that the sheer cost of flying, taxes, fuel surcharges, and other erroneous fees, and if you're like me you are seething before the plane even takes off.</p> <p>Have you ever thought about hitch-hiking? On an airplane? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternatives-to-flying-other-ways-to-get-from-here-to-there" title="Alternatives to Flying: Other Ways to Get From Here to There">Alternatives to Flying: Other Ways to Get From Here to There</a>)</p> <p>Try <a href="http://www.airtech.com/">Air Tech</a>.</p> <p>The premise of these services is that airline companies who don't fill flights would rather the seats go at a discount than not at all. So they sell their extra seats to the above companies, who in turn offer them to their subscribers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Here's how it works: You purchase a &quot;voucher&quot; to fly from Los Angeles to Hawaii for $179 for example. Once you have the pass in hand (and within a year of purchasing it usually), you submit your travel window or preferred dates of travel. You will be notified of any available seats, and you basically fly on a glorified stand-by basis. You need to be flexible in your travel; sometimes your preferred date of travel isn't available, or there's only a flight to a neighboring city (or even country) on that day. If you are a business traveller or have a very specific window of availability, it is suggested that you book a confirmed flight instead.</p> <p>But if you have an open itinerary and want to get on a plane inexpensively, air-hitch-hiking seems to be a way to do it on the cheap.</p> <p>Most of the available flight routes I found in my research were from selected US cities to Europe or Hawaii.</p> <p>I don't have any experience with these services, so I turn it to you: Has anybody flown with either of these companies? Or are there other ways to fly inexpensively that Wise Bread Bloggers need to know about? Drop us a comment and let us know!</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hitching-a-ride-on-an-airplane" class="sharethis-link" title="Hitching a Ride on an Airplane" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living Cars and Transportation air-hitching airplane budget travel flights Fri, 07 Sep 2007 23:09:58 +0000 Nora Dunn 1121 at http://www.wisebread.com