Travel Funds

Five Means of Maximizing Your Family’s Travel Funds

“How do you travel for so long?” Such has been the general line of questioning we’ve gotten here on the outskirts of Cusco, Peru where we’ve been helping out at a fledgling BnB as part of a Workaway work exchange stint. A bit of an eye opening stint that, while allowing us to integrate with an enterprising local family, has seen us trying to fit the square peg into the round hole concerning our differing definitions of customer service.

As always, adaptability is the key. All while just doing our best to see to it the basic needs of our international guests are met.

Guests whose round trip excursions to Machu Picchu have shed plenty of light onto the pros and cons of the seemingly limitless ways to tackle getting to and from South America’s premier tourist destination. And, even more importantly, how to do so in the sort of economical manner that still leaves enough in the travel funds for the months still ahead.

It’s also been two weeks that have seen us reciprocating in the information department as well. Answering questions for guests who, in apparently spending a substantial sum to make their three and four week, action packed Peruvian holiday a reality, simply can’t fathom how a family of three from Australia can afford an entire year on the road.

Of course there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle. Far too involved, that is, for fully delving into while sharing communal stove top space at meal time. But, even so, after seven and a half months under our belts now, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard such question concerning how to best stretch travel funds.

As such, we’ve more or less narrowed things down to a Cliff Note Version of what we’ve come to refer to as the Big Five. These being the most significant five means of maximizing your family’s travel funds.

At the top of the list has to be the aforementioned world of work exchange opportunities. These being organizations with names such as Workaway.info, HelpX.net, and, of course, the old man of the group, WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms dating back to 1971). Organizations that offer room and board in exchange for a set number of hours of work each week. No two work exchange opportunities are exactly the same. Work can range from primarily farm work (WWOOFing) to helping in hostels or, as was the case for us once, helping a man construct his family’s eco-friendly home. Small registration fees apply and, regardless of the route you my go, make sure you ask lots of questions to minimize the surprise factor after arriving. As always, flexibility and a ‘glass-is-half-full’ mentality go a long way to assuring a positive and rewarding experience.

House sitting is next on our list. Companies such Trustedhousesitters.com, Mindmyhouse.com and Caretaker Gazette are but three out of countless companies that, for a nominal registration fee, connect homeowners with reputable individuals and couples to take care of their homes and/or pets while they’re away. It’s a win/win situation for everyone, especially the house sitters themselves. And, as we’d find while getting all settled in to our three month Paraguayan house sitting stint, house sitting has perks that go far beyond the bottom line. Perks that grants access to what is essentially a personalized welcoming party. Someone to greet you, someone to walk you through not only your new home, but, also, someone to give you a thorough introduction to your local neighbourhood. All this while pointing out any unique idiosyncrasies of the immediate area that, otherwise, could easily leave you figuring things out the hard way. All in all, if you can get your foot in the door of what is a relatively competitive industry, house sitting opens a world of opportunities.

Booking accommodation that have kitchen facilities is the next step we’ve taken that is massive in stretching our travel funds. Regardless of the small size of towns we’ve visited over the past many months, access to local markets and fresh produce is virtually guaranteed. Guaranteed and, simultaneously, offering the bonus of friendly, cultural interaction with market vendors. All of which makes saving money through the use of kitchen facilities even more of a pragmatic and attractive option.

Eating Local. OK, I admit it. Having a McGuiver-like chef for a wife makes me a lucky man and Kaia one very lucky little girl. But the fact is, part of the attraction of going on a holiday of any length is eating out. That said, for us, except in extremely special circumstances, that rarely involves hitting up the higher end, tourists geared restaurants. No, we prefer to eat local, willing to walk the necessary distance to put space between us and the tourist hotspots since, the fact of the matter is, we haven’t travelled half way around the world to eat food we could’ve easily stayed home for. Even when, as is often the case, we often hear reviews and claims of prices tha

Discount Travel Tips

6 Ultimate Discount Travel Tips

We are almost into 2017. And most likely you have made New Year resolutions- exercise, eat healthy, quit smoking, etc. However, travelling more is something that you may want to consider in the New Year. Most people tend not to travel a lot because they think that it is too expensive but the good news is that saving money when you travel is quite simple. In fact, discount travel is now easier than ever before and here are 6 tips to get you started as follows:

1. Engage The Sharing Economy

A few decades ago, travelers had to find accommodation in the yellow pages, book flights at the airport, and plan their itinerary weeks, if not months in advance. Thankfully, those days are long gone with today’s sharing economy offering travelers more options- and competition denotes savings. And while many sharing economy sites have been in existence for years, their growth continues to be phenomenal. For instance, Airbnb boasted slightly over half a million listings two years ago, and now it has over a million. Vacationers can, therefore, put the sharing economy to work for just about anything- from where you sleep to meals, guided tours, transportation etc. Some of the most popular sites include Airbnb, EatWith, BlaBlaCar, and Guided by a Local.

2. Try Budget Airlines

While gas prices may be at their cheapest in years, this does not translate to regular airlines lowering their fares. If anything, they are trying to squeeze in more seats in order to make more money. Thankfully, there are a host of budget airlines such as Air Asia, Wow, and Norwegian Air that fly cheaply from Asia and Europe to the U.S. They do the same thing as regular airlines, flying you between continents, but with no frills and at lower costs. For example, Norwegian Air operates flights from both American coasts to mainland Europe for as little as $150 for a one-way flight. Once there, holiday makers can then find their way to Asia for only $200 one-way. Even more interesting is that Air Asia operates $20 one-way flights around the region and if you need to visit Australia from Asia, a one-way ticket will only set you back $150.

3. Visit Cheaper Destinations

This is really a no-brainer. A weekend stay at a five-star hotel in Paris will definitely cost more than the same trip, to say, Prague. Take advantage of destinations whose economies are underperforming or those that have great exchange rates. Currently, some destinations that may be of interest to travelers include Greece (bad economy), India, Australia, Russia, and Japan (all of which have seen their currencies fall in comparison to the dollar thus making them way more affordable. Admittedly, while the prices in these destinations have not fallen, they have become cheaper owing to the drop in currencies.

4. Book Cheap Tours And Cruises

While it may seem risky, it is advisable to book tours and cruises at the very last minute when tour companies are likely to be desperate in an attempt to fill unsold spots. By waiting until a few weeks to your vacation date or date of travel, you are likely to get upwards of 50% off the price list. With beach vacations, you can also find great deals if you take out a beach vacation guide well in advance of your holiday when companies sell the cheapest accommodation. Also, try using the last minute specials of your preferred tour company if you wish to go for a tour or Cruise Sheet in case of cruises.

5. Visit The Nation’s Time Machine With Your Children

Colonial Yorktown, Jamestown, and Williamsburg are absorbing discount travel destinations all year-round, as historic interpreters in period costumes help modern families appreciate what life was like before the advent of indoor plumbing, computers, or TVs. For instance, in eighteenth-century Williamsburg, you and your family should find the largest outdoor living history museum where the kids can make bricks in the summer, help weed the gardens in spring, or attend a winter slave couple’s wedding. And if you visit in the summer, you can also go to Water Country USA and Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Families can book a five-day/four-night stay including unlimited admission and accommodations for as little as $700 or less. However, if you schedule your visit in the winter, you are unlikely to have roller coasters but will enjoy fewer crowds and can join holiday celebrations.

6. Mexican Beaches

For beach vacations, all inclusive resorts are always a favorite for many travelers because holiday makers can do what they please, when they want, and there are always numerous organized activities for the kids as well as opportunities for them to make friends as well. Usually, beach vacation guides advertise bargain rates throughout the Caribbean just after Easter all the way to Thanksgiving and then again from mid-December and beyond. Mexican trips can really be a bargain and should provide your children with the ideal opportunity to practice their Spanish and experience a diffe

Travel Destinations

Cheapest Travel Destinations Around The World

The economy is rising and with it the prices of every single thing is getting more and more expensive. However, in this world of high speed, you can still save your money. You can treat yourself to a well deserved vacation without being too hard on your pockets or without using up all that saved money in your bank account. This article will give you list of places that you can visit without being throwing away too much money. So here are the cheapest places to visit around the world. This list will help you save money on travel like never before.

1. Thailand
This country surrounded by beaches and filled with amazing aromatic food is actually one of the best options for an overseas trip especially if you like moderate temperatures. It is amongst the most popular tourist destinations of the world and has blue water seas and cozy sandy beaches. The cuisines and beach huts are also an added bonus which comes on a cheap price.

2. South Africa
South Africa home to one of the world’s 7 wonders is also on the list of places that allow you to have fun without spending too much money. On top of everything else, South Africa also gives you the opportunity to go on a Safari and you can do that without spending too much money as well. If you’re a Nature enthusiast then South Africa is the place for you because you get a lot of opportunity to interact with nature, animals and even go hiking! How amazing, right?

3. Vietnam
Even though Vietnam faced a lot of destruction and backlash due to the American War, it is still an amazing place. The loss of economy due to the wars means that Vietnam became a place that offers amazing services to its visitors at quite reasonable prices. Going to Vietnam you get to see the fields and serene countryside and as well as peaceful beaches and another plus point is the Vietnamese food. You might fall in love if you ever get the chance to visit this place.

4. Uruguay
Uruguay is a closer and more cheaper alternative of Brazil and Argentina which even though beautiful will never be light on your pocket. Head over to Uruguay and visit the picturesque beaches here instead. Also going here will give you an opportunity to have a once in a lifetime experience. The country also provides a promising experience of wildlife and real time beaches.

5. Prague
Prague is a very prominent destination for tourists from all around the world however it has still managed to remain affordable as well. No wonder, so many people crowd the place all year round. This place provides you with so worthy entertainment and amazing food all in a range of 1 crown as we like to call it.

High Probability

High Probability of Tiger Sighting

Wildlife is a part of the eco system that mandates for extensive care and preservation. With National Parks and Sanctuaries meant to do the task, extinction of wild animals is getting under control. In fact, these parks are an important part of tourism because many people visit the wildlife sanctuaries in search of the predators walking freely. Holidaying at the wildlife sanctuaries of South India is enjoyable because sighting tiger in the month of March is easy. As known, March marks arrival of summer that assures viewing of animals around water bodies. This is the reason there is a high chance of sighting the Tiger. Below mentioned are the Wildlife sanctuaries situated in the Southern Part of India that offer an exotic view of the Flora and Fauna.

1. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary:

Situated in Thekkady region of Kerala. This is an ideal demonstration of best biodiversity of flora and fauna. The Periyar Wildlife sanctuary has a charming atmosphere that entices thousands of visitors every year. Sighting a tiger in the month of March is the favorite endeavor of the animal enthusiasts. Along with this, the national park also houses wild cats, Nilgiri Tahr goat, Langur and many other reptiles as well as birds. Not to forget that variety of fishes in the Periyar Lake also adds to the beauty of the place.

2. Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary:

Well-known for its extensive population of tigers and leopards, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is stretched in an area of 345 square kilometres. It is considered as a part of Kannur district in the North and Kozhikode towards the South. Recognized in 1973, this sanctuary is admired for its picturesque natural environs and a diversity of animals roaming amenably in the forest premises. Also, the Forest experts tend to take decent care of them. The animal lovers willing to discover tigers in March and their hide outs in Wayanad can definitely go on a trekking with permission from the authorities. The tourists can take pleasure in boating at the lake positioned within the forest premises. Well, the tourists approaching to visit the national park can choose to unwind at a budget hotel near Periyar Tiger Reserve for a contented vacation.

3. Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary:

Dwelling of the fierce tigers as well as sweetest animals, Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is the one that serves interest of tiger sighting for tourists from world over. Considered as the pleasure for such travelers, this reserve is positioned around 50km northeast to Thiruvananthapuram city over Ponmudi peak road. Certainly, the gate of the sanctuary unveils an area of 53 sq. km over the Western Ghats. Popularized in the year 1938, the place is thought as enthralling because of dam site, glistening clear stream, dense forest area and rock-strewn landscapes.

4. Bandipur National Park:

Christened as the Tiger Reserve in 1974, the Bandipur National Park was initially a private hunting place of the Maharaja of Mysore. It is located in Karnataka and has more than 75 tigers that enable the tourists to enjoy sighting tiger in the month of March quite easily. As a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the national park houses some of the most endangered species. In fact, it also has the largest amount of wild elephants in South Asia. Being the month of summer, wild animals can be exclusively sited around the water bodies. Ideally, the national highway to Ooty crosses through the national park and spotting wild animals is quite possible.

5. Nagarhole National Park:

A stopover at Nagarhole National Park tends to augment the chance of sighting tiger and becomes an adventure holiday for the wildlife lovers. On reaching the National Park, one can select from an elephant safari or jeep safari by choice and get set to discover other wild animals in the Sanctuary as well. It will make the tourists feel ecstatic, who want to take pictures of their favored predator from a close point wandering around freely. The Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary, positioned at a distance of 96 far from Mysore city, is a part of the Mudumalai Sanctuary. This exotic wildlife park got its name from the two Kannada words -“Naga” meaning snake and “Hole” means streams.

As known, the sighting of a tiger is the most favoured deed, while on a wildlife safari. With numerous travel agencies organizing tours from the departure destination to the arrival one, there is a need to check out a variety of them offering distinctive rates. Depending on the requirement, one can select the travel agency, whose experts will arrange the traveling as well as safari tickets. Not to forget that they also provide lodging facility because of their tie-up with numerous budget hotels. As there are numerous travel agencies having online booking facility too, the aspirant travelers should compare their rates first and get the best deal possible. After all, saving on the traveling costs will enable the tourists to enjoy more with the money that can be spent

Cheap Holiday

Cheap Holiday in Italy

Renting a holiday apartments in Tuscany and Umbria in the middle part of Italy, is a way of having a cheaper and more interesting vacation.

The hosts are local people living in the area. Most of the accommodations are old restored farmhouses, nearly all of them with private pool and gardens with great views. The area between Lake Trasimeno and Lake Chiusi offers slow food, slow life and locals that are still kind and caring to the tourist that visits the stunning hills in the green heart of Italy.

You will get a high personal service from the moment that you book, and during your holiday in Tuscany or Umbria. The local owners can tell you much more about the area than you will hear from any tourist guide.

There is a lot to see in the area. You can visit cities like; Montepulciano, Cortona, Assisi, Perugia or Orvieto just to name a few within a short distance of each other. The small villages with the old town centres and locals attract the tourist who wants to see more and get a real feeling of being part of it all.

The rolling hills of Tuscany and the steep dirt roads of Umbria will satisfy any bicycle enthusiast, whether you prefer street bikes or MTB. You have many options to rent a very good bicycle, some of the shops will even provide you with delivery and return of the bike, plus they will take care of any accidents with the bike during renting period, just call them and they will be there and fix it. Hosts have numerous of special maps only for bicycling in the borderland between Tuscany and Umbria, which they can provide you with.

Other activities such as horse riding, trekking, rafting and many more are also possible.

If you want to taste great wines, the area is exploding right now with new wine yards of excellent quality and the wine are often at prices that are very affordable. How about one of Italy´s ten best red wines made out of 28 clones of the Sangiovese grape, with 48 month´s of oak barrels behind it?; a real Super Tuscan.

You will discover that it is very hard to find a tourist menu in this area; “Slow food” is the nickname, especially the Umbrian kitchen which is known for “The poor Umbrian kitchen”. Many first time guests are stunned by the simplicity, taste and the love that the restaurants put into their food. The hosts can tell you how to find some of the best and most affordable restaurants in the area.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Start planning your holiday now.