I have been to over 50 countries so far and a question i get a lot is: HOW DO YOU DO IT? HOW DO YOU TRAVEL SO MUCH? Well, let me tell you a couple more of my secrets.
There are lots and lots of tips online and it depends on what type of person you are and how you like to travel. I try to be as simple as possible because almost every experience is nice to me. As long as i travel, i will have fun regardless.
If you are more or less like me or would like to know what i do while i travel, these are the juicy secrets:
- I stay in less touristy cities, i avoid capitals and go to the areas that are beautiful but not that many people go to. It is hard to do these because most cheap flights go to capitals or cities everyone wants to go to. However, you need to try to get out of that area as much as possible. If you still want to go to that famous beautiful city, i understand, i like beautiful cities too. An example of this would be visiting Bo instead of Freetown if you are travelling to Sierra Leone.
- I hitchhike if i can. I am not a professional hitchhiker yet but i am proud of at least trying. The worst are waiting where you shouldn’t and the shoulder pain. It is bearable though. And totally worth it. You should be careful and never hitchhike at night or taking a huge risk like accepting a ride from someone that looks drunk, for example.
- I say yes to invitations. When you travel, you have to be open and flexible. Sometimes, the best experiences are the unexpected.
- If the city is small (like Monte Carlo, Monaco or Cáceres and Mérida in Spain) i don’t pay for transport. I walk all day every day to avoid paying for a ticket and i use the ”working out” excuse to cover my cheapness. If i can’t walk the distance, i buy a 1–2–3-5–7day pass to cover the whole trip because it is cheaper and it usually helps me get into some museums for free too. What i do if i am travelling in Africa is walk and use local transport as it is the cheapest.
- I stay with locals using Couchsurfing. Couchsurfing is a great app to meet locals and get to know their lifestyle. You need to know that many many people use it to hook up with foreigners so don’t be surprised when you get random winks and weird requirements from guys (like having no other spot available for you apart from the other side of his bed). However, i have no issue with anyone who has sex with another person who wants to have sex with them. Sex between two consenting adults is fine with me no matter what the app is about. Still, be careful, especially as a woman.
- I avoid museums that are not free and only pay for them if i am really interested in them.
- I don’t party, ever. I prefer other activities like reading, talking to people, acting like a clown, getting to know different cultures, etc.
- I don’t buy souvenirs or gifts for people at home unless they ask. I never understood why people like souvenirs, they all look the same and they have nothing special. A magnet will not tell you how awesome a place is, you actually travelling there, will.
- If i want to eat out, i check the prices before i enter. You can never trust a restaurant. If it is too expensive for your budget, just leave.
- I have a budget for each trip and never spend more than i decided to spend.
- I don’t hang out with people who like spending on unnecesary things and if they want me to go with them, i let them know i don’t mind watching them eat or buy stuff. I feel better thinking about the money i saved.
- I get my food from supermarkets and cook. Eating out all the time will seriously damage your pocket.
- I use night trains or buses so i don’t have to pay for hotels.
- I sleep at the airport sometimes if i cannot check-in at the hotel as soon as i arrive.
- I refuse any type of tours if they are not what i am looking for. As i am more of a simple and spontaneous traveller, i do not enjoy having my whole trip planned by someone else. I like meeting people. The idea of a tour is quite unnatractive to me but people are different so if you enjoy tours, that is cool too.
- I buy tickets for a longer period of time or multi-destination tickets so i can also visit the neighbouring countries. I bought a one way ticket from Madrid (Spain) to Sofia (Bulgaria) on the 1st, and bought the ticket back from Milano (Italy) to Madrid (Spain) on the 25th to be able to see all the balkan countries. The tickets were 50 euros in total. The one to Sofia, with Wizzair, was 28 euros. And the one to Madrid was 22 euros with Ryanair. I hitchhiked through the other countries and/or bought bus/train tickets. Doing this is way cheaper than buying a flight to every single country, obviously.
- I have a membership with different airlines. First of all, i am a Star Alliance member through Aegean Airlines. This means you get miles everytime you fly with the airline you have a membership with and/or their partners. I chose Star Alliance because the airlines in the alliance fly to most of the places i am interested in and they are also great airlines (Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss Air, Brussels Airlines, etc.).The miles you get everytime you fly/book a hotel/rent a car with the alliance will help you buy a new flight for ”free” (you have to pay airport taxes). The only bad thing about this is that for you to get a really cheap flight you need to fly many many times so it may not be worth it. For example, if you fly for Spain to Sierra Leone, you get around 5.000miles, which seems like a lot but it is not because for you buy that same flight with your miles you need 80.000miles. Is it fair? I think not but still better than nothing.
- Accept emails from different airlines and websites. I am subscribed to many airlines’ newsletters and i get emails anytime they have some offer or discount. That is great because i got an email the other day from Aegean Airlines telling me about their 50% discount on all flights from November 2019 to March 2020. Isn’t that lovely?
So basically, don’t spend money on things you don’t need and save every little bit of money you get. Find other options to have fun and focus on your goal. Be brave, get out of your comfort zone and just do it. That is all.
Is there any other tip i left out? Let me know in the comment section.
If you have any doubts, you can ask through the comments or send a private message.