5 Ways To Travel Cheaper

If you are reading my blog, there is high possibility that you want to travel and you would prefer traveling cheap (or maybe you are just member of my family who is reading my blog out of obligation). To the tell the truth I haven’t traveled that much. Of course the last two years I have been traveling more than most people but I still see myself as new member of this traveling and blogging scene.

Even then I have already learned a lot of ways to travel cheaper and had so many online conversations of how to travel cheap that I feel like this post was excepted some time soon. This is one of my favorite subjects to talk about. It mixes up two of my favorite things. Traveling and budgeting. I hope these few basic tips will help you!

 

5. Subscribe For Newsletters

travel_planning
Photos from Unsplash

Everyone is always complaining because I have about 2 000 unopened emails on my mailbox. How did that happen? Well, for me one of the ways to travel cheap is to find good deals from newsletters I get from different companies. I am subscribed to about twenty different newsletters from booking websites, airlines, cruises and hotel chains. I get a few messages from different companies every day but because the title usually tells if this mail will have something good I don’t even open most of them.

This is good way to travel cheap BUT your email will be big mess and you will have hard time to find anything. What we wouldn’t do to travel cheap? Good thing in this tip is that usually trough subscription emails you will get deals that you wouldn’t usually get and you will know about them before anyone else. Usually when you buy tickets anywhere they give you the option for subscripting for their own travel newsletter. Just click yes and give them your email. That’s what I do. (And maybe consider getting extra email just for easy way to get cheap travel deals.

 

4. Free Memberships & Collecting Points

airplane

If you have ever googled cheap ways to travel, you have probably heard about travel hacking and collecting points to get free flights. Yeah that’s great and I recommend it for everyone but it is also slow. Even if you don’t plan doing travel hacking to travel cheap, being member of airline is good idea. Firstly, you will be part of their email subscription list at the same time and get all the benefits mentioned above. However there is even more benefits being real member.

With the points you have collected you can also purchase cheaper flights, hotel rooms or holiday packages if you are not patient enough to wait until you have enough points for free flights. Best thing is that these memberships are free so you can just join to every possible club you find.

 

3. Coupons & Promotion Codes

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First time I truly used this method was for our family trip to Disneyland and Paris. Using coupons saved us a lot of travel money because there was a four of use. However even for solo travelers this is the way to travel cheap and save up some money. Every cent counts, right? Basically, almost all booking sites, hotels, airlines, etc. use promotion codes, discount codes and coupons. Usually you can take advantage of these sales adding short code when it is asked during your booking/checkout.

These codes are often shared on companies’ social media pages or newsletters but if you are not following all of them there is easier way for you to get the sweet deal. Just google company’s name coupon code and you will find different sites listing all kind of codes for specific sites. Then starts the fishing. Sometimes you have to try ten different codes before you can find the working one. However if you want to travel cheap and save travel money it will be worth it.

As additional tip, you can use this method for everything. For example tours booked trough internet and hop-on-hop-off bus companies usually have discount codes that are easily found by googling and can safe you a great amount of travel money.

 

2. Pick Out The Cheapest Travel Destination

money

I am of course all for achieving dreams from your bucket list but if you are broke that is not always possible. I use Skyscanner to this but there is a lot of sites like. Basically you can put to search your departure airport and as destination ‘anywhere’. Then you get list of all the places where you can fly and what are the cheapest options for you. Just decide some of the cheapest destinations (but also think about what you want to see/experience).

In addition if you are not chained to specific days use the option that let’s you see the cheapest travel prices for whole month/year. The just pick out the cheapest day to travel and the cheapest day to return and also the cheapest destination to go. For me this has been the way to travel cheap. For example next Monday I am flying to Bremen (it was the cheapest destination from Finland/40€) and from Bremen to London (it was the cheapest destination to travel from Bremen/15€).

 

1. Be Creative

ways to travel cheaper

Last but also the most important tip I can give for fellow broke travelers is being creative. No, this doesn’t mean making paintings and selling them for your to kind relatives (even if this is a good idea!). Creative way of finding cheap ways to travel means for me looking for options that are outside of the box. Taking plane, booking hotel and just going with it isn’t always the best option. I have talked about this before but I don’t think I can never mention it enough.

So, example? I live in Finland and if you are from here or have ever planned trip to Finland, you know how expensive it can be to fly anywhere. My go to plan? Take cheap cruise to Sweden and fly from there. I have saved a lot of travel money with this. Look for airports that are accessible by bus, ship or train for you. Are the flights from there cheaper? Is the sum of traveling to airport and then to your destination cheaper? Congratulations, you just saved money and found way to travel cheaper.

There is also other ways to be creative. Try bus travel and you may find surprisingly cheap deals anywhere (especially in Europe). Did you know that bus from London to Amsterdam costs only 20€? And from Amsterdam to Lyon 30€? If you are more adventurous try free accommodation like couchsurfing or free traveling by hitchhiking. There is endless amount of possibilities to travel cheap. You just have to find them.

 

Do you have any tips for cheap travel? Feel free to share them or any comments you have below!
With love,

Viivi Severina

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13 Free things in Montpellier

Montpellier is a cozy old city full of students and local French tourists. Perfect place to spend summer weekend or visit while in south France. For broke travelers like me, all the free attractions and museums are like a heaven. If you are on a budget but still want to do something fun in Montpellier France, this travel guide is like made for you. Here are the best attractions for those who want to experience Montpellier without a lot of money (or just want to see some pics from my trip…)

1. Office de Tourisme Montpellier

Start your Montpellier trip from here. Check out what free event will be held in Montpellier and decide where you would love to visit. The staff is very helpful and you can get many good tips from them. Locals working in Office de Tourisme are the perfect resource for the current most popular free things to do in Montpellier. And don’t forget to take the free map!

2. Place de la Comedie

The key place of Montpellier. This plaza never sleeps and even at bad weather people walk through this main point of the city. Different performers from clowns to break dancers entertain tourists on weekends. However, Place de la Comedie is still must to visit in Montpellier on not as busy weekdays. Take pictures of the beautiful fountain or relax in any of the countless cafes, bars, and restaurants circling Place de la Comedie. Perfect for people watching and getting to know the local life. It’s also one of the things locals do in Montpellier. (They just happen to people watch the tourists while tourists keep their attention in locals!)

Night in Montpellier
At night Esplanade Charles de-Gaulle is light up beautifully

3. Esplanade Charles de-Gaulle

Starting from Place de la Comedie and ending up to Le Corum (the new opera house) goes boulevard totally worth of your time. Three major Montpellier attractions are situated on this road: Musée Fabre, Le Pavillon Populaire photography museum, and the Office de Tourisme. If you’re on a day trip in Montpellier and don’t want to learn how to use the Montpellier trams, this is a perfect place to start.

In addition to these tourist attractions of Montpellier, funny artsy playgrounds, interesting old sculpture (painted in bright colors), and cute small cafes/shops make this street one of the must-see places in Montpellier and South France. Don’t miss the cool graffiti that are visible after you walk down the Le Corum’s stairs. Like we later tell you, one of the free and funny things to do in Montpellier is going graffiti hunting!

4. Le Pavillon Populaire

Free photography museum. Do I have to say anything else? When I went to Montpellier it wasn’t open so I wish you good luck. Apparently, Le Pavillon Populaire is closed for long times between exhibitions. This is must place to go in Montpellier if it happens to be open. You can see exhibitions from local photographers but also from artists well-known all around the world. Those who love museums should visit this free attraction in Montpellier. Even if you don’t usually travel like an art freak, drop by Le Pavillon Populaire. It’s a totally free thing to do in Montpellier! Just walk in and that’s it.

Wanderlust Wednesday: Montpellier Urban Travel Guide
If you don’t cross any tram tracks, you are still in the central area of Montpellier. You will always find back to the Place de la Comedie using the trams.

5. Montpellier’s Old Town

In between Montpellier’s tram lines is the central part of this old city. Tiny alleys, cute gift shops, tasty cafes, and the newest fashion trends – that’s the old town of Montpellier for you. It’s like a mecca for free sights to see in Montpellier and even if you don’t want to visit anywhere just wandering around the streets is a cool experience. Locals, as well as tourists, love this area perfect for getting lost and doing some souvenir shopping in Montpellier.

Tram system in Montpellier is ridiculously easy to learn. Firstly, all the trams lines are designed in their own ways. Secondly, there are only 4 main lines and you can access all of them from Gare Saint Roch. The tram lines also make your day in the old center of Montpellier a lot easier. Why? Just don’t cross tram tracks and you won’t exit the old town. In case of getting lost just follow tram lines not crossing them or take a tram to the Gare Saint Roch station. Traveling using the beautifully designed trams is also one of the funny musts to do things in Montpellier. Not free but the day ticket for tram won’t cost you much!

6. Le Carre Sainte Anne

Changing contemporary art exhibits for free! As an environment for modern art, this former cathedral is perfect. The new art and old settings make a funny contrast that the artists often use as their advantage. Go to the tourist office and ask them what exhibition is currently on. Or just walk around the Montpellier’s old town until you can find the beautiful cathedral of Le Carre Sainte Anne. If free art isn’t enough for you, watch the video above to see what kind of exhibitions you can experience. Without questions one of the best free things I did in Montpellier.

Oh and don’t get lost while trying to find this cathedral!

Free to see Antigone in Montpellier
I won’t admit being like a kid and running over that fountain while avoiding the water… Nope! Why would I do something like that, right?

7. Montpellier’s Antigone

I heard many rumors about locals hating this part of the city. For me, it looked massive and I took pictures in awe. I don’t know how to describe this Antigone for you. It’s a big building/buildings between Polygone shopping mall and Le Lez river. Ricardo Bofill was the architect for this neighborhood of Montpellier and apparently, he didn’t like normal straight houses (or at least Antigone is full of houses in circles!)

There are some fountains and restaurants. Maybe not one of the must see places in Montpellier but if you have some extra time, it’s a good place to take rest. And don’t forget to go to see the river (you can even cross it!)

Montpellier alley
This is a small alley somewhere near museum La Panacee… My map said it should be right here at this place but like you can see it wasn’t! (Or maybe I just suck at reading maps?)

8. La Panacee

Another free museum! Changing interesting exhibitions and cozy sun patio. The only negative side is how hard it’s to find (even when using map and GPS!) Worth of getting lost and maybe never finding your way out of Montpellier…

La Panacee was once – before its path as the Montpellier’s free contemporary art museum – the Royal College of Medicine. However, La Panacee isn’t just an art gallery but rather place for artists and art lovers to mingle. Their all you can eat lunch may not fit your budget but the patio area fits perfectly for having a small break from a long day exploring the free side of Montpellier.

9. Odysseum

Wander around shops or visit local French Ikea. And don’t miss the small plaza full of statues called the park for “great men of the 20th Century”. You can also get free postcards of famous people like Lenin, Nelson Mandela, and Gandhi. (This plaza is located in the opposite direction of Ikea and left side when coming out of the shopping mall.) Odysseum is one of the best places to go shopping in a more modern atmosphere during your stay in Montpellier. Even if you are on a budget trip in South France and don’t want to buy anything, the interesting restaurants and almost a theme park like settings make this one of the must to visit free places in Montpellier.

Statues and art in Montpellier, France
There is my friend Louis XIV. I heard a story of how the statue spend some time on the bottom of the ocean because the ship originally transporting it sank. But now it’s here in Montpellier!

10. Place du Peyrou

Big plaza starting from Montpellier’s Arc de Triomphe and ending to the city’s old six kilometers long water pipe. A good place to take pretty photos and maybe snap a selfie with Louis XIV statue. They also hold big antique flea markets here every now and then! Most locals and visitors name Place du Peyrou as their favorite free spot in Montpellier. It’s not hard to understand why… This park with only a few trees and more sand and hard stone paths charms people with its idyllic atmosphere.

If you’re here trying to find free local things to do in Montpellier, I recommend buying some fine literature from the last century and reading it sitting under Louis XIV’s watching eyes. Or just enjoy the panoramic view to Montpellier from Place du Peyrou like every tourist in Montpellier should!

11. Montpellier Zoo

Go and see animals for free. Who wouldn’t love that? Montpellier Zoo may not be one of the must-see places if time is an issue but it’s still a great place to visit for totally free of the charge. Over 140 species and thousands of animals will keep you occupied for a whole day. Most of the zoo area is totally free and so you can see local or foreigner animals.

beautiful beach and seashell in Montpellier

12. Trip to see the sea

What would be a better way to spend a sunny day than a trip to see the sea? At summer you can blend in with people spending their holidays and at winter time just walk around the deserted seaside of Montpellier. Maybe gather beautiful seashells to souvenirs and build sand castles on the long white sanded beach. Montpellier is a well-known summer holiday destination amongst French and maybe that’s one of the reasons why the city hasn’t found its way on global bucket lists. 

Montpellier Graffiti and street art
Montpellier’s cradle for street art is totally an Instagram worthy place!

13. Graffiti in Montpellier

Montpellier is the capital city of street art. Just remember to look up and there will be graffiti in the walls wherever you go in this idyllic city. And don’t forget to look down because there is graffiti painted to the ground. Even in Montpellier’s tourist map (get it free from the tourist office) they have marked the most amazing street art spots. Whatever you love or hate art, seeing at least some of the most popular street art pieces is a must do free thing in Montpellier. Well, I guess even if you didn’t want it would be impossible to leave Montpellier without seeing at least one of these wild masterpieces!

There are not many cities in this world where you can find amateurs and professionals making street art side by side. Every street and neighborhood has street art to brighten the day of locals and tourists alike! Combining street art and ancient ruins Montpellier truly places itself on the list of places everyone should visit in Europe. Don’t forget to add this forgotten gem on your own bucket list.

 

Have you ever visited Montpellier or France?
What are your thoughts on this country of love and pastries?
I hope you enjoyed my post and like always all comments are more than welcome!

With adventurous mind,
Lost Viivi

10 Free Things in Tokyo

Tokyo is the place with endless free options. I would make the list last forever but I don’t really have enough pictures and time for that. So here is some of my favorite free things!

 

 

Tokyo metropolitan government building night
View from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building at night time

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Good place to start your Tokyo tour is from high place where you will be apple to see whole city. -Even the mount Fuji if weather is in your side.- Metropolitan building has two towers and both of then have free observation deck.

 

sunset in ueno park
Go see sunset in Ueno park
Ueno Park
Ueno Park something for everyone. From kids to grown-ups

Ueno park

Tokyo’s parks are must to visit and Ueno was my favorite. At evenings you may see dancers practicing and at almost every weekend there is some kind of  event. Ueno has beautiful fountain that’s perfect picnic place. It’s right next to Ueno station so it’s easy to access.

Go torii gate sighting or visit temples and shrines. Ueno park is also perfect cherry blossom spot. Come here to calm down and to see normal Japanese people living their every day life. And better not forget the performers you can see at weekends. Everything from magicians to musicians.

 

Shibuya109

Fancy, street style and cute shops. If you want to get in Japan’s teen fashion you should visit here. Roaming and admiring trough all the shops will take forever but it is worth it even if you don’t have money to buy anything.

 

Shibuya Crossing

One of the busiest intersections in world. After waiting for the green light and trying to get across the street without stumbling over other jaywalkers. At weekend nights people are dressed for partying and you see colors and happy people everywhere.

 

Anime figures in Akihabara
Just exploring all the figure shops in Akihabara makes it worth of visit

Akihabara

If you are planning to visit Japan you should probably be aware of the anime and manga culture. Akihabara is one of Tokyo’s districts and it has a lot to offer even people not being into Japanese cartoons or comics. It’s famous for its many electronic shops but in my case I recommend visiting the anime/manga figure shops and game halls.

It is unforgettable experience to go one of the narrow aisle shops full of figures and anime goodies. All you can see are glass shelves full of tiny colorful characters. Oh and just warning that it is easy to wander accidentally to mature content areas of shops. (A lot of naked woman characters.)

 

Showrooms

Who wouldn’t like to try new modern technology? Tokyo is full of different companies’ showrooms waiting for you to come and explore the new products. Go to Panasonic Center play Nintendo games, check out Sony‘s newest products and visit Mega Web to test drive cars.

 

Senso-ji Temple Asakusa Tokyo
Senso-ji Temple
Senso-ji Nakamise shopping street
You should visit Senso-ji at evenings when the are lights up beautifully in darkness

Senso-ji

Senso-ji is Buddhist temple located in Asakusa and the place you should visit if you only have time to see one temple/shrine in Tokyo. It’s popular among locals and tourist and especially at weekend evenings full of kimono dressed youth.

The temple itself is beautiful and free to visit and around it spreads streets full of small shops and restaurants. If you want to buy something small, cute and japan like to souvenirs I recommend visiting the small stalls on the road from temple to metro station.

 

FT Island Tower Records
Korean boyband FT Island’s promotion in Tower Records

Tower records

Visiting Tower Records music store can be experience even if you are not there to buy anything. Taking pics with big Japanese idol posters or listening the sample songs throws you to the wold of Japan’s music culture. If you are lucky you may even see some idols or live performances!

 

Hello Kitty Character Street
Hello Kitty Shop in Tokyo Station’s Character Street

Character Street

Tamagotchi, Pokemon and Totoro. Below Tokyo station lies area full of small shops selling different character goods. There is some all time favorites such as Pokemon and changing newer trends like Japanese drama and anime series stuff. Takes pics with cute shop decorations and buy cute souvenirs. Don’t forget to check out capsule toys!

 

KITTE Garden Roof Tokyo
KITTE Garden is perfect spot to relax and explore the city from the heights

KITTE Shopping Mall/Roof Garden

This shopping mall right next to Tokyo Station has beautiful roof garden with view to the old station building. If you have time and are on the are visit here to calm down between fierce shopping spree. Don’t forget to do some window shopping on the interesting shops that are “highlighting Japan’s unique sense of beauty”.

 

See you next time!
With love,

Neidotta