Summer is in full swing and vacation fever has hit. The expense of travel can get quite overwhelming. I have come up with some ideas to make your travels inexpensive, and a chance for some new and different adventures.
The flight: The cost of flying can be so unpredictable, and does require planning and shopping around for the best deals. Spirit Airlines offers very low rates, the planes are smaller, so you are sitting closer to your neighbor, and if you are checking in luggage, they charge for every bag. This is a good way to fly if you just have a carryon. And since we are traveling bohemian style, who needs all that luggage anyway? Also, Spirit is a fairly new airline, and has minimal destinations, but they are continually adding new stops. I actually used Spirit in the past to get to Chicago. The flight is a little rough, but the staff is very friendly.
I also came across Cheapoair.com. It works basically like Cheapflights.com or Priceline.com. Just put in your destination and dates and it spits out a list of airlines and prices. Speaking of Priceline, if you aren’t committed to a time frame for your vacation, you can use the Name your Price option on Priceline.
Getting around: Renting a car can get expensive and inconvenient, and taxis run up the budget meter in no time flat; check schedules for local transportation, like the bus or transit system, it can be exhilarating! In some areas they offer moped or bicycle rentals for short journeys, much easier to maneuver especially in an unfamiliar town or country. Each town is different as far as local transport. I couldn’t find a one stop shop for this, it all depends on where you are going; just look up local transportation for that area.
Where to stay: This can be an adventure on its own! There are many options out there for the thrifty traveler; Hostels can be a great way to meet new people. In Europe, this is very common; sharing a room and facilities with others. They can be same sex or mixed, depending on your preference. Hostels.com, Hostelworld.com and KAYAK.com are some of the websites I found to reserve your bunk.
If you really want to be boho chic, there is couch surfing. This is basically staying in someone’s home and ‘sleeping on their couch’. I know some hippie chicks that have done this. Just carry your back pack and travel across country and couch surf on a student’s budget. There are websites you can register to be a host or to find a couch to sleep on. Of course, safety is a priority. Sites like couchsurfing.com have a page dedicated to safety.
If you plan on staying somewhere for a while and want to save your pennies; there is the option of house sitting. You basically stay at their house for free while they go on vacation, and take care of their animals, garden, etc. I also know a retired woman who does this and has for years. She has stayed all over Europe and parts of the States. Each job can last a week up to a few months. Housesittersamerica.com is a good place to start if this is the way to go.
There are so many options out there to travel on the cheap. Just a little creativity and an adventurous spirit can send you on your way to a memorable vacation!
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