10 Tips to Cut Your Travel Costs

If you love to travel like I do, here are some tips to stretch your travel dollar…

1.  Lodging

Lodging is by far the largest expense when traveling. Couchsurfing is a terrific alternative to the standard hotel room if you’re a bit adventurous. After making an online profile through Couchsurfing.org, you can search their database based on location and other filters, such as age and male/female, for a place to crash for a few nights. It’s totally free and the friendships you make could become lifelong! You may also host people at your place, if you have a couch, an extra bed, or even an air mattress on the floor. In the past two years, I’ve Couchsurfed in Cape Town, South Africa, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Philadelphia, and New York City.

Patio of Cape Town, S. Africa Couchsurfing home

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2.  Solo Travel

 If you’re traveling solo through a travel company, choose a company that doesn’t charge a single supplement fee, such as G Adventures. They’ll pair you up with a roommate and who knows, you may even become Facebook friends with them!

One of my roommates in Thailand through G Adventures

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3.  Food Continue reading

Woo Hoo…Planning a trip to Europe!

I have brain pain right now!  The good kind!  I’m planning a six-week trip through 12 countries in Europe!  I’d like to visit Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Copenhagen, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungry, Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey.  The only one I’ve been to is Germany (I lived there for a couple of years back in the late 70’s).  I’m hoping to Couchsurf in some countries, stay in hostels or cheap hotels for others, and I’d love to meet some of my fellow bloggers (like I met Rory in Cape Town)!

I’m not set on these countries yet but if I purchase a Eurail pass they are the most convenient to visit.  I would get discounts on boat travel with the Eurail pass.  As many of you know, when planning a big trip like this–it’s so time-consuming.  To get the best deal, I’m flexible with my dates (hoping to leave in about a month) and with my beginning destination.  I’ve looked at flying into Oslo, Norway; Helsinki, Finland and Copenhagen, Denmark.  From Helsinki I’d like to take a fast ferry to Tallinn, Estonia (2 hrs.) and spend a day there.  Also from Helsinki there is an overnight ship through either Silja or Viking Cruise Lines to Stockholm, Sweden.  And…of course in Norway the Fjords are at the top of my list!!  Air travel is quite inexpensive between some of the European cities also.  Less than $100 to fly from Bergen, Norway to Berlin!

So…my itinerary could be fly into Helsinki..stay a couple of nights..take a day trip to Estonia..take the overnight cruise to Stockholm..stay 2 or 3 nights…take a train to Oslo, Norway..stay 2 nights..take the scenic train & fjord cruise to Myrdal..Flam..Gudvangen.. bus to Voss..train to Bergen.  Fly to Copenhagen..trains on to Berlin, Prague, etc.

Or…fly into Copenhagen…stay 2 or 3 nights..take the train to Stockholm..stay 2 or 3 nights..take overnight cruise to Helsinki..stay 2 nights and do day trip to Estonia..fly from Helsinki to Oslo where I start the itinerary listed above onto Bergen…then fly from Bergen to Berlin, then trains onward.

Or…fly into Bergen…reverse the fjord & train itinerary to Oslo..stay 2 nights..train to Stockholm..stay 2 or 3 nights…overnight cruise to Helsinki…stay 2 nights with day trip to Estonia…fly from Helsinki to Copenhagen…then trains onto Berlin, Prague, etc.

Whew!  I was allotting at least 30-35 days for all of the countries except for Turkey, where I would stay in Istanbul for 3 nights — then possibly see Cappadocia (where the fairy chimneys are) — and for sure the Mediterranean shore, called the Turquoise Coast, in the area of Fethiye.  I’d love to hike a few miles along the Lycian Way (500 km) which is located on the coast.

I would be traveling solo…and thinking I won’t plan everything this time…to let the universe do its magic!  So if anyone would like to meet up…let me know!!