All Articles Tagged "international travel"
The many costs associated with traveling can deter people from taking their dream vacation. And for most people, the thought of traveling around the world can also seem incredibly daunting.
Fortunately, up-and-coming travel expert Jason Tolliver, also known as The Travel Wiz, has been to all seven continents and provides key tips on how you can travel internationally without breaking the bank.
Lean on friends and locals
When traveling, Tolliver said reaching out to friends who have traveled or who currently live in your destination is very beneficial since they can provide firsthand experience on the location. “Experiencing the local places and talking to the people who live there, is the more often than not, solid choice for a traveler.” He continued. “While traveling, I normally drift towards the markets, restaurants, pubs/bars, beaches, etc. where the locals tend to go.”
He added that such interactions are a great way to learn about the people, take in some history, and embrace the culture.
Join loyalty programs
After joining loyalty programs, Tolliver said you should go ahead and start collecting and redeeming points. “Perks can include anything from free breakfast and Wi-Fi to free stays. Besides, it’s free to join and has no additional cost.”
As for Joe Brancatelli, editor of JoeSentMe and a popular business travel columnist, he stresses the importance of a hotel loyalty membership. “In many cases, hotel programs are richer than most any airline program now,” he said. “That’s especially true because claiming an award is so much easier.”
Use local transportation
Tolliver explained that using local transportation is less expensive, even cheaper than renting a car, all while providing a more enriching travel experience. “My experience has taught me that I really don’t know a place until I have tasted the food, talked to the locals, or have taken local transportation.”
He mentioned that riding onboard a 50-seat bus while listening to a guide tell you about the city over a loudspeaker doesn’t count. “Try riding on a chicken bus in Latin America, a tuk-tuk in Asia, a train in Europe, an open-top jeep in the Outback, walking the streets in Africa or cruising on an ice-breaking vessel across the Drake Passage en route to Antarctica.”
Explore alternative lodging
Travelers often book hotels for their travel, but Tolliver suggested home sharing, such as Airbnb or VRBO, since it is often more cost effective. He gave two reasons as to why this is the better option: “First, I seek to understand culture, and an VRBO or Airbnb host can sometimes provide that a bit more than a hotel,” Tolliver said. “And second, I know the final price before checkout.”
He also mentioned that hotels have a habit of adding more fees and taxes than expected.
Do your research
Researching the location before you go can give you an idea of the country and local customs. “Understand local customs and read up on local etiquette before you arrive,” Tolliver said. “Anything from greetings and gestures to clothing and photography can help ensure a smoother journey and can help you negotiate with vendors.”
Use local currency
Tolliver said that using credit cards could create currency exchange fees. “Keep local (your destination) currency at least equivalent to 20 dollars USD for transportation, a bottle of water, snacks, airport departure fees, etc.”
He added that having local currency on hand could be a huge convenience during your travel. “Your flight could be delayed and arrive after the currency exchange booth is closed or the local merchants may not take credit cards or USD.” The more prepared you are, the better off you will be.
Allow time to get lost
Many tourists pre-book or plan a specific itinerary, but Tolliver said sometimes that type of planning can limit exposure. “I normally try reserving one to two days for getting lost and discovering a hidden gem or two off the beaten path,” Tolliver said. “Of course, I like to relax by the beach with an adult beverage, but I also enjoy a bit of spontaneity. Exploration is a part of our makeup as humans.”
Travel with a friend
According to Tolliver, when traveling with a companion, you’re able to split the cost of many things, including lodging. “Additionally, it’s a great way to keep your cost down and enjoy some of your best moments with good company.”
Just in case taking off your shoes, belt, accessories and walking through a metal detector or scanner wasn’t enough, now some international fliers will need to step on the scale at the airport. Yes, passengers — not just their luggage — will now be weighed too, reportedly, ensure the utmost safety in flight. International airline Uzbekistan Airways is the latest to take safety measures to this new level.
No more burgers and beers (just me?) before flying if you don’t want to get a pre-flight side-eye from attendants on Uzbekistan, though the airline says the new procedure is strictly for safety purposes and the recorded weights will not be made public.
After going through check-in, which is often an ordeal in itself, passengers will be asked to stand on a “special weighing machine” close to their departure gate. In a statement released by the company, these procedures will “determine the average weight of passengers with hand luggage.”
The new procedure is set to aid the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) in research to better enhance flight safety. While the weights of passengers will remain confidential, the airline has not stated what will happen if a flight is found to be over the allotted weight. We’re hoping bags and not people get taken off first.
Uzbekistan Airways is not the first airline to make such a move, however. In 2013, Somoa Air began charging passengers varying rates based on their weight. The airline even introduced “Samoa XL,” a row for fliers over 286 pounds. These passengers paid extra and were given a seat two inches wider than the normal seating. No word if said options will soon be coming to an airline near you in the states.
Keep fashion going all week long whether you’re on the job or on a holiday weekend with these swanky and stylish weekender bags for women. Look for classic shapes, cool colors and bohemian designs.
Travelista: 15 Chic Weekender Bags For Women
Stylish rolling luggage is a must for the die hard traveler –whether you’re a weekend warrior, a professional nomad or somewhere in between. We really can’t choose which of these pieces we want more!
Travelista: 15 Pieces of Trendy & Stylish Rolling Luggage
Alright travel junkies go ahead and get your phones booted up and get ready to download these freakin’ awesome travel apps! They’ll save you money, time and put you off the beaten path!
Get Gone: 15 Handy Travel Apps
Grab your dancing shoes and your backpack and get ready to hit up these pretty awesome worldwide music festivals 2015!
Images courtesy of Festival websites
Happy Feet: 15 Worldwide Music Festivals 2015
Send your loved ones packing with these pretty awesome volunteer abroad programs for high school students!
All images courtesy of Google Images License Free
15 Volunteer Abroad Programs For High School Students
Foodies get your forks and tongues ready for these global food festivals! They will have you licking your lips and booking tickets! Click through to slurp oysters in Ireland, throw tomatoes in Spain or sip wine in South Africa
Travel & Chew: 15 Must Taste Global Food Festivals
Today marks one of the biggest sporting events in the world. Millions are expected to tune in for the 2014 FIFA World Cup games that celebrate countries vying for the title of the world’s best soccer team. There will be screaming, drinks, edibles and country pride.
If this doesn’t sound interesting to you, fear not as there is still plenty to experience. Rather than focus your attention on soccer, feast your eyes on the host country and all they have to offer. Here are 10 reasons to visit Brazil, besides the World Cup.
Budgeting for any bucket list vacation abroad can be discouraging if you don’t plan wisely. Luckily for you, there’s no need to beg, borrow, or steal to indulge in your wanderlust fantasies! MadameNoire Business has practical suggestions for saving and budgeting for your dream vacation. Trust us: with proper planning it’s more affordable than you think!
Here are 5 tips to begin funding your next trip:
Start planning early. Want to go to Greece? Paris? Istanbul? The first thing to do when planning your first trip abroad is to determine an exact location and date to begin planning your itinerary. It’s important to do your research. The only way to know the full cost of your trip is to be as specific as possible when mapping out exactly what you want to see and do. Also, if you want to save a few coins, consider traveling during off peak season or staying in a hostel to reduce costs. These are all things to consider in the initial planning process for your trip.
Save a portion of every check and put into a vacation savings account. Once you have a destination or date picked, calculate how much you’ll need, and then start a separate savings account to fund the trip. Be realistic. Set a goal to put aside a certain percentage or set amount of your paycheck each month towards your travel fund. Create or revise your monthly budget to identify where your money is going each month and identify how much money is available after paying for bills and cost of living.
In order for this to be effective, it has to be a savings fund that’s completely separate from your other checking accounts. You don’t want to be tempted to withdraw or make purchases from your travel fund. Make sure the account won’t face any minimum balance penalties once you start spending what you’ve saved.
Need additional help with budgeting? Mint.com, Budget Tracker and Budget Pulse are great (free) online tools to track transactions and create your monthly financial plan.
Live without excess. Has budgeting helped you keep your finances in order? If you have any funds left over after paying all of your bills and living expenses, do not succumb to your monthly fashion addiction! Why not put those additional funds into your travel fund? Every penny counts. This will put you one step closer to your travel dreams, and you may even be able to add an extra excursion to your itinerary.
Fund your trip through freelance work. Are you a writer? Social media savvy? Are you good at making jewelry and or working on DIY projects? Play an instrument? You can utilize your talents to work on side projects that can fund your travels. If you can’t kick start freelance gigs on your own, Elance, ODesk and Craigslist offer great listings for jobs nationwide. Doing part- time work or short-term projects is a feasible way to fund your travels if it’s not possible solely on your current income.
Still don’t think your first trip is feasible? Teach English abroad! For native English speakers, teaching English abroad is an excellent way to see the world and share your native tongue. Some teaching gigs are not paid and are geared towards those interested in volunteering for a shorter period of time. However, schools, universities and even foreign governments are interested in paying native English speakers a decent wage on a renewable or longer-term contract. A few organizations and resources for interested teachers are TEFL.com, TeachAbroad.com, Transitions Abroad and World Teach.