Today’s FundMyTravel blog post has some tips and tricks about saving money while traveling Eastern Europe.
If you’re looking to go traveling but don’t want to spend a fortune, then Eastern Europe is the place for you. It’s possible to pass through multiple countries, be swept up in local culture and explore a whole host of landscapes all for much cheaper than you might spend in a hotel for one week anywhere else. But just how should you get the most out of your money?
Hostels, Not Hotels
The first thing to do is to get rid of the idea of staying in a hotel. It may well be worth booking a hotel for your first and last night – especially if you have a flight or train to catch – but otherwise, stick with hostels. They are substantially cheaper, but this isn’t the only advantage. Part of the reason that hostels are so much cheaper than hotels are the shared rooms/dorms and this is a blessing in disguise. You’ll often find other people making similar trips around Eastern Europe on similar budgets, so it’s a great way of getting recommendations for local gems you might not have heard of. Plus, you’ll probably run into some of them in a later city – meaning you might even make some permanent friends.
Take the Cheap Route
Look into different kinds of transportation to get from place to place and take which ever is the cheapest option. There are reasonable limits to set – for instance, if you get car sick, you might want to avoid coaches even if they’re the cheapest choice – but generally, if you can find a cheaper alternative, look into it. Instead of taking planes take boats, trains take coaches, and pleasant of going on afternoon trips go in the early mornings. Cutting down the actual cost of your travel will give you more money to spend on the trip itself, and might lead to you discovering interesting towns that you otherwise might never pass through.
Traveling is not all about fun. A great deal of it is, yes, but not all. And it is definitely not a time wasting activity as some feel. In fact, traveling has much more to offer to us than we assume – in terms of both health benefits and in honing our skills. You see, through traveling you better understand your own self and the world around you which helps you improve your lifestyle and working skills. Normally we tend to think of traveling as something we indulge in in order to get away from work and the stress that life showers us with. When we talk about going on vacation we basically and usually mean that we are taking a break from everything and relaxing to de-stress ourselves. Yet, even while on travel, you are learning new things that could advance your career.
When traveling we have to manage our time such that we make the most of our vacation. We have to set a routine if we want to fully explore the new place. Allot time for specific activities and adhere to it. Plan everything properly to use your time effectively. Prioritize, set goals and work smart. You require all this if you want to get the most out of the vacation. Time management is also required at your workplace. You will get more accomplished if you manage your time properly.
When you are visiting a new city you have to find out all that you can about it before going there, especially if you have not hired a travel agency or a guide. You do not want to be stranded in a foreign land, not knowing what to do, just because you did not research enough about the country. You should find out about the popular hangouts you need to see there, the souvenirs or items the place is famous for, the dishes you should try, safety measures you need to take, in fact even what the weather there is going to be so you pack accordingly. All this requires research and when you are back at the office after your vacation your research skills will have improved.
Okay boys, girls, young adults, and not so young adults, your friends and family may have told you that going abroad is too expensive. That is a boldfaced lie! There is always money for it, you just have to go find it. We are going to focus on ways you can make some extra money to go abroad. Outside of the typical working extra hours and picking up another job. As well as a few ways you can cut your costs (because a penny saved is a penny earned, right?)
Let’s face it, you probably have a mountains of useless junk lying around at your humble abode. Old clothes, toys, knick knacks that seemed like a good idea at the time, but now are just really cool paper weights. Why let them take up space when they can be productive and fund your next trip abroad? SELL THEM. Trust me, it will make your life simpler for having less junk and more fulfilling for having gone and that trip
Travel / Rewards Cards
These days there are lots of credit cards that can get you rewards points to fund your adventures. Once the points add up you can get free airplane tickets and hotels! Use the card as much as you can. Make your large important purchases with them. You know that new iPhone you wanted? Use the your rewards card! Splitting the bill with friends and family? Use your card and have them give you the cash! (saves you that extra walk to the ATM too!)
Top Credit Card Rewards
Packing for any trip can be a hassle. Deciding what to bring and how to pack your luggage is a battle in itself, and you can’t forget about your carry-on bag. You don’t want to have an over packed bag, but you also don’t want to forget any of the essentials. So here are some guidelines of what to pack in your carry-on bag that will hopefully give you one less thing to worry about next time you go on a trip or vacation.
First of all I always recommend using a real backpack rather than a purse or an over the shoulder bag. Even if you are not traveling very far it can get tiring lugging around an uncomfortable bag all day. Using a nice sturdy backpack will make it easier to carry and it will make it easier to stay organized.
Full Change of Clothes
If you are traveling a long distance or just a few hours it is still key to pack an extra set of clothing in your carry-on. You never know if your bag is going to get lost and being prepared is the best bet. Most of the time your bag will show up at your destination within 24 hours but having a change of clothes always feels better than sitting in your travel clothes until your bag arrives. This is also useful if you are traveling overnight or if you want to have a quick outfit on hand when you get to your destination.
We all need something to pass the time for long flights and layovers. Packing a laptop is always good for watching movies, and surfing the web during layovers. I like to bring something smaller also like an iPod to listen to music, or a kindle to read. I always pack some form of headphones to block out surrounding sounds. I am also a bit of a traditionalist so I like bringing a puzzle book to kill some time playing Sudoku or doing crossword puzzles.
Crowdfunding sites are inundated with new campaigns every day. The crowdfunding world can be, well, crowded, and as a fundraiser, you need every penny you can get! Describing your project with nothing but words, words, and more words is an easy way for your fundraiser to get lost in a sea of campaigns.
Adding a video to your page can breathe in new life – and when donors find your campaign interesting and exciting, they are more likely to contribute! Don’t feel like you have to create a Oscar winning documentary (if you’re trying to crowdfund, chances are you don’t have a Hollywood budget at your disposal), but take the time to learn about a video creating/editing program and put together something you are proud of.
Bring Your Story to Life.
Writing well is a powerful skill, and hopefully your campaign description already tells your audience why you are passionate about your project. Now, it’s time to show them. Chances are you can tweak your written content to create a script for your video. Have a friend help (or use a webcam) to record yourself talking about where you want to go, what you’ll be doing there, and why you need to raise money. Include pictures or videos of your destination and let your personality shine through. If you can incorporate your passions in a creative way, that’s even better! For example, maybe you’re an art major looking to study abroad – why not animate some of your video? Maybe you’re a veterinarian wanting to volunteer with wildlife – what if you held an animal in your video?