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

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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

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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

5 Easter Travel Destinations in Europe

April and Easter are here! This may be one of my favorite times of the year. Its spring, you can find tasty chocolate eggs from every shop and who wouldn’t love Easter? This holiday is celebrated differently around the year so today I decided to share 5 funny Easter travel destinations with you. Enjoy!

 

5. London, UK

Big ben and Telephone box London

What would be Easter without egg hunt? One of the biggest and most popular egg hunts happens every year in London. Download app and run around the city trying to find eggs with The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt. In addition to egg hunting London has also other activities that do it one of the best Easter travel destinations. There is fireworks, performances around the city and a lot of events for families.

 

4. Small villages of Malta

cross
Photo from: unsplash

Malta has its own traditional ways of spending Easter that is why it is one of the most interesting Easter travel destinations in Europe. Good Friday is the start of everything when villagers dress-up as biblical characters and praise God. Religious statues, that have been carried out of churches, are important part of this ritual and mood is quite sorrow.

On Sunday locals celebrate risen Christ with festival like events. There is singing, dancing and partying. In the end they carry statues back to churches. However, don’t worry! Even if Easter in Malta seems very religious they also have delicious chocolate eggs for children (and for older chocolate lovers). Even if you are not religious person Malta is definitely THE Easter travel destination everyone should try once in their lives.

 

3. Any city in Finland

Travel Year 2016 Helsinki

Of course I should mention my lovely home country… In Finland Easter Sunday is like Halloween. May sound funny but that’s the truth. In fact we don’t have that many ‘trick-or-treaters’ on Halloween but on Easter we have even more people doing something similar.

Finnish kids dress-up as different characters (traditionally as witches but nowadays I see more of superheroes and other famous characters) and they decorate branches with colorful feathers and ribbons. Then on Easter Sunday they go from door to door and change their branches to chocolates, Easter eggs and money. This changing process goes usually kids waving their branches while saying:

“Virvon varvon tuoreeks terveeks tulevaks vuodeks. Vitsa sulle palkka mulle.”

After that they get candy. So, if you visit Finland during Easter time you may see (almost) real witches going around the streets. Also don’t forget to taste our traditional Easter dessert Mämmi (yeah, yeah, I know it looks like poop but some of us Finns really like it!)

 

2. Colmar, France

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Photo from: unsplash

Colmar is known as one of the best Easter destinations in Europe because it has two huge Easter markets. Citizens also celebrate spring at Easter time so there is colorful decorations and happy people everywhere. Usually Easter in Comar starts with families’ own egg hunts at home but after that everyone gets together around the town to different Easter events. There is everything from traditional exhibitions to ‘Eierpicke’ egg fight and from egg race to colorful markets.

 

1. Vatican and Rome, Italy

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Photo from: unsplash

First place in my Easter travel destinations list goes to Vatican and Rome because of pope. There is several events around these cities during Easter that are lead by pope. And who wouldn’t like to pope at least once in their life time? Most of these events are free but also crowded. Maybe the most popular event is however pope’s mass on Palm Sunday in Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican. If you decide to do Easter traveling to Rome that is must thing to do.

Another important and impressive event is on Good Friday. Huge Via Crucis cross burns against the dark sky. Pope is also present in this event giving his blessing but so are big crowds of tourists and believers. Easter celebration end at Monday to beautiful fireworks and partying.

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Happy early Easter for all you travelers reading this! What kind of traditions does your country have for Easter? Or what are your favorite Easter travel destinations? Like always all comments are welcome and I would like to know what you think.

Also this is my first time writing about places where I have never been before. What do you think? Do you want more posts like this that I have written solely doing research? Well, I had fun writing this so whatever you think I will probably do more of these (subject recommendations are always welcome too…)

With love,

Viivi Severina

How to survive lethal case of wanderlust?

Every now and then I may have a quiet few weeks from blogging when I don’t even answer any comments. I’m always sorry for that but it’s usually because of a terrible writing blog. I’m always having a lethal case of wanderlust. It’s endless longing to travel that gets even worse when there aren’t any sure travel plans waiting for me.

Wanderlust
A strong desire to travel and wander around the world. Longing to see new places and experience new things.

When I was thinking the subject for today’s post one idea stuck out of everything else. How to survive wanderlust and longing to travel if you are in a life situation where you have no way of traveling anywhere. If you have been reading my blog for some time now you may know that even I have had life situations without any means or money to travel

I am sorry to inform you that there is no cure for wanderlust but you can always try to ease the symptoms. These next tips are something I keep doing when a bad case of wanderlust tries to take over my mind. I know there are many people reading my blog who can identify with me. Some of you may be in school or work, maybe you don’t have the money or you just are too shy to even try yet. Whatever the reason is I hope you find help with these tips.

Plan Future Trips

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Photos: unplash

One of the best and easiest ways to help your wanderlust is to plan the trips you are surely going to make when you can travel again. Choose new destinations and add them to your bucket list. I have always believed that imagination is the strongest weapon human can have so why shouldn’t we use it? Daydream. That is my biggest secret of surviving the lethal case of wanderlust.

Make lists. List all the places you want to visit. Beautiful beaches you have to see one day. Interesting festivals, tourist attractions that seem overrated but are still must see things for you and secret spots that are often not talked about. Plan your trips to all those places. Good thing is that there is always new trips you can plan. There is an endless amount of cities, places, and experiences to plan and dream about.

Virtual Travel

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I could get lost for hours doing virtual traveling around the world. I use Map Crunch but normal google maps street view is as good for this. Basically, you go to random place in street view and start wandering around without looking the map. I got hooked with this “fake traveling” when at one point people on the internet started playing a game where you went to a random spot of the world on street view and kept wandering around blindly until you found airport.

You never know where in the world you will end up going. And when you find something interesting you can always add it to your bucket list. My favorite places to see are Eiffel Tower, small streets around the world (especially in China), Japanese shrines and Iceland’s raw nature.

International Friends

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Surprising but effective way of beating your wanderlust is to find friends from different parts of this world. Even better if those friends are as interested about travelling as you are. Getting to know new cultures through your new friends is almost as good as travelling and it prepares you for the future trips.

I have learnt so many new things just talking with people from countries I haven’t visited before. I have got new friends because of blogging but also from my school’s exchange student programs and from old trips I have made. I never stop wondering how there can be so many different countries and cultures in this world.

Read Books, Watch Movies

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I have always been that bookworm girl who would rather spend evening reading a good book than going out. Maybe that’s why for me the best way to escape has always been by reading. There are millions of stories about travelling.  Movies, TV-series and books. Some of my favorites are:

  • Cheryl Strayed: Wild (Book & Movie)
  • Under The Tuscan Sun (Movie)
  • The Bucket List (Movie)
  • Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (TV-series)
  • Elizabeth Gilbert: Eat, Pray, Love (Book)
  • Lost in Translation (Movie)
  • Tracks (Movie)

Hometown Travel

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I would bet that there are places you have never been before close to your home. Or even the places where you have been before may seem different if you look them from the traveler’s point of view. If you can’t leave for longer trip do something new close by. Maybe you can do weekend hiking trip? Or visit your city’s tourist information and play tourist for a day in your own city?

Google what other travelers have to say about your hometown. You may find tips and places you have not paid attention to before. Keep in mind that for some people your city seems as interesting as all those travel destinations you want to visit in the future. With open mind and a little bit of imagination, you can travel without leaving your own street or block.

Read Travel Blogs

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Finally my last tip is to read blogs and get that travel feeling from the trips others have done. Find you favorite bloggers and follow them on their adventures around the world. Internet is full of travel bloggers so this is probably the easiest way of easing one’s wanderlust. If reading isn’t your thing find travel Youtubers to follow. There are some amazingly beautiful videos that will leave you in state of wonder and bliss. Won’t care your wanderlust but it will make it easier to deal with.

 

I hope these tips will help you. Just remember to be careful. Maybe I should have started with the mention that all these tips may cause even worse wanderlust than you already have… There is no way out of having the disease called wanderlust if we don’t count travelling. I hope safe travels for you all and fun times trying to cope with the want of travelling!

So, how do you survive from wanderlust if you can’t travel? All good tips or other comments are always welcome.

With love,

Lost Viivi

The Fascination with Bucket Lists

Hello everyone! Today I have my first guest blogger here in my GoTravelGlobal blog. I find Ilona’s blog super interesting and totally fell in love with this article she wrote for my blog so be sure to check out her blog. I hope you enjoy her inspiring bucket list themed post.

Ilona is an avid traveller from Northern Germany who explores the world through holidays in far-away countries and weekend trips throughout Europe. You can follow her adventures and see her bucket list on her blog.

The Fascination with Bucket Lists

I have a confession to make. I am obsessed with bucket lists. Especially travel bucket lists. I can spend hours looking at other people’s bucket lists. Some of them are very simple, merely a collection of places whereas others include specific experiences around the world. Many of them, like Viivi Severina’s bucket list are a mixture of both.

But what exactly is a bucket list and why are so fascinating?

A bucket list is a list of all things you’re hoping to accomplish before you die. The Bucket List Guy says that there are several possible origins of the word ‘bucket list’. The one I’ve seen the most often is that it is derived from the term ‘kick the bucket’. You see, in the middle ages, when someone got hanged, they would stand on a bucket with the noose around their necks. The hangman would then kick that bucket and the poor person would die.

Not the nicest explanation, is it?

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It still doesn’t keep me from being fascinated with bucket lists. I’ve set my wordpress reader so that whenever I go online, all posts tagged with ‘bucket list’ are shown to me. I’ll browse through them and see if I get inspired to add items to my own travel bucket list. I do have a bucket list for other areas in my life as well, but let’s focus on the travel aspect here.

So why is a bucket list so fascinating and why should everyone have one?

Bucket lists will help you focus on your goals. Everyday life will try to throw as many distractions at you as possible. Do you know that feeling of just making it from day to day, reacting to what is happening to you? A bucket list can help you focus on what you really want in life.

This goes for travel bucket lists, too. Everybody knows a destination that is safe and easy to travel to. And we all know how much easier it is to stay at home. No flights to book, no risks to take.

Deep down, you’ve always wanted to see the gorillas in Uganda. But somehow, you never got around to looking up tours and flights. A bucket list can help you focus on what you want to achieve, so you don’t end up spending your holiday sitting around in your apartment, wondering what to do.

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Come on, those gorillas are waiting for you.

A bucket list can also help you focus on areas of the world you’ve previously overlooked. I put down pins on a map for every place and experience that was on my bucket list and quickly saw the ‘white spots’ that I didn’t know much about.

Western Africa, for example. I did a bit of research and quickly stumbled on Voodoo ceremonies – attending one was exactly what had been missing on my list. And on that note, if you need more inspiration for Western Africa, the westernmost point is located next to Dakar and very easy to access. Plus, Senegal is an amazingly easy country to travel through (I highly suggest you go in November so you won’t miss out on the pelican migration).

For me, travel bucket lists are not just about location-specific items. I also enjoy adding experiences that can be done all over the world. Sleeping in an ice hotel, ziplining and hang gliding are just a few examples.

Those items will help you focus on enjoying life. Maybe you can tick off one of them while you’re at home. It’ll shorten those months that are left until your next vacation. Or maybe you’ll realise that your next trip takes you to a spectacular hang gliding location that you shouldn’t miss.

No matter what’s on your bucket list, you will want to work on achieving your goals. I think part of the fascination of bucket lists comes from putting a difficult goal on the list and then not having to think about it anymore. Needless to say that this is not the purpose of a bucket list.

If you end up with all those amazing experiences on a list and then never look at it again, you’ll have the perfect excuse to go on with life as it is. Instead, what you should do, is take out your list over and over again and look at it. Read through the goals and pick one or two to focus on. That is why I highly recommend not only to create a digital bucket list but to also write it down on a piece of paper. That way, you can take it with you wherever you go and it’s always available to look at.

The next step to achieving goals on your travel bucket list is to set a time frame. Those goals you picked, choose a specific date to accomplish them. For example, let’s say you want to visit Easter Island. It’s a remote location and deciding to go there within the next two weeks probably won’t work. But it’s achievable if you set a time frame of two years.

As soon as you start ticking items off your bucket list, or even sooner, you should start adding new ones.

Bucket lists aren’t set in stone. You can add whatever you want. There are no rules for what goes on there and what doesn’t and I think that makes up half of the fascination with them. If you want to learn how to scuba dive, add it. If you want to stay in a tree house, that goes on there, too.

972z52
Here’s another suggestion: Volunteer to help nesting sea turtles

Even travelling to remote and inaccessible places like Somalia is a possible goal. There are no limits because no matter how impossible the goal, if you work hard enough, you will get to that place and you will have that experience.

So what are you waiting for? Go and write your own bucket list. Or just browse through existing ones until you’re so fascinated, you’ll automatically reach for pen and paper to make yours.

A photo by Aaron Burden. unsplash.com/photos/xG8IQMqMITM

 

Ups and Downs of Hostel Worker

Hello there! I was going to write this article from tent in the middle of forest (with 17 000 other people) but then my unlucky nature took over. I was on summer camp (that will have its own short post later on) but of course I got sick after the first day. So no more camping for me but rather sleeping and super long Netflix marathon…

But now lets go back to today’s topic and the working in hostels subject. If you haven’t yet, go and read the GOOD and the BAD hostel volunteering memories I shared with you earlier this week. And to clear you more about my own hostel experience:

I worked/volunteered almost two months as housekeeper in small Kyoto based hostel. Before that I had volunteered in another hostel in Tokyo but left after my first week because the place was hell. On both times I lived in the hostels and met a lot of amazing people.

So I have perfect and terrible experience as hostel worker. That’s why I wanted to share with you the pros and cons of hostel volunteering I encountered. Despite all the bad points the goods make up for them and in my opinion everyone should try it at least once in their life.

 

The Bad Points:

  • Being on full time work mode. If you live and work in the same hostel, you are always on work mode. Something is dirty and you will clean it. Someone looks lost so you will help them. You will always have your customer service smile on.
  • Being “conned” to work more than promised before hand. If you are not careful and write contract, there is danger of getting used. This happened to me on my first work place. They promised 3 hours of work but I had to stay in the hostel almost 24 hours to wait for people to come and check-in. So be careful out there.
  • Feeling lonely. If you are traveling solo and only volunteer/long time stayer in your hostel, this may become problem. At day time you have your co-workers and other times there are the quests. However when everyone only stays for short times and no one seems to getwhat you are doing, there si no one to talk about your problems.
  • Sharing the room with bunch of strangers. There is a big probability you will sleep in dorm room. Sometimes it’s nice and way to get better picture of your new friends. Usually it gets annoying quickly.  Snoring people, couples having sex, someone packing at night and lights going on at stupid hours. Lets not even talk about trying to be considering and finding your own bed in the darkness.

 

The Good Points:

  • All the amazing people you meet. Every day new people come and go. There is no way you won’t meet new person every evening.
  • All the interesting stories you hear. Living and sharing the place with always changing travelers grants you an unlimited amount of crazy travel stories.
  • Never being alone. Yes, I know one bad point was being lonely BUT you are never alone when staying in hostel. You may feel like there is no people left in this world however that feeling won’t last a long when you hear someone shouting on the corridor or the man in neighboring bed starts snoring. There is always someone near you and for me it was assuring.
  • Learning new languages and skills. Meeting people around the world is useful. More than once someone wanted to teach me their language. And of course you will learn the language that is major in your work place. For me Thai family taught how to make food and German man told me hiking tips for pilgrims. 
  • You will get inspired and bitten by multiple travel bugs. Hearing about unforgettable travel destinations from people who have first hand experience is lethal. There is (at least for me) no way back to your normal life. Your bucketlist will grow and the travel passion get out of hand.
  • Work experience. When you are seeking for real job in the future, volunteering in exotic country will draw attention. You willeem like someone having life experience and depending on the job you are trying to get you have learned womething fitting from your volunteer. It gives you experience of custom service and making the customers happy. Working hard and in team. Coming to quick learner and proving your skills in surviving any work enviroment. You can basically get anything out of your volunteering time if you are good enough at writing the CV.
  • Being the one others admire. I talked about this in my first hostel volunteering memory. When you tell someone staying in the hostel that “yes I just happen to work and live here” they will right away look you differently. Usually your confession will follow a lot of questions from them or just plain comment how they would love to do what you are doing.

 

Have you ever worked or volunteered in hostel? Or would you like to try? I would love to hear more about your stories and experiences about this subject. So don’t be shy and comment below!

I will post again soon so see you then!

With love,

Viivi Severina