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

Travel rant: Keep your eyes open

Happy one year and 1 500 readers for my blog! This is kind of crazy but I have never been able to keep up any blog for more than year so I am quite proud of myself (even if we have had some problems with this one too…) 

To celebrate this day I have finally done that long waited Facebook page. I would be forever thankful if you went and followed me there. I promise not to spam anyone’s Facebook walls but you will get to know about my newest post, hear some extra stories and of course see travel photos that don’t fit here in my blog.

My New Not Cool Facebook

But now we can return to today’s real subject… Keeping your eyes open for the extraordinary. You seem to love my Travel Rants and to tell the truth I love writing these the most. My writing style has always been a little bit random and in travel rants I can just write whatever is in my mind without thinking about it. So, what would be better way to spend my blogs one year birthday than ranting about travelling?

.         .        .

Keep your eyes open

If I had to present today’s post in one sentence I would do it by telling you one of my favorite travel quotes.

“Traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.”
– G.K. Chesterton

Going to new place and not opening your eyes is the worst thing you can do if you ask my opinion. If you don’t see adventures behind every corner or changes in every conversation you have with the locals, your eyes are still closed. It may sound corny but I believe there is magic in the small streets of cities and thousands of untold stories behind all the people you will meet.

Keeping your eyes opens means seeing the change and taking it even if the odds aren’t on your favor. It means seeing the places tourists wouldn’t notice. That cute small coffee behind your hotel, those plainly normal areas of the city or free museums you can only find by coincidence. You shouldn’t be scared to go in places seeming closed or ‘too complicated’ for foreigner. 

Always listen locals whatever you are being touristy or adventuring around the destination. They know things you can’t find from the pages of guide book or from google’s endless search results. And it is not only the destinations they can share with you but also stories that will make your trip even more special. Usually locals will find you and you just have to keep your ears, eyes and mind open for them.

One of the best guided tours I got in Kyoto was from the person standing next to me in fully packed normal bus. There is kind people around the world so sooner or later you will meet someone who teaches you what it means to see the destination from the local point of view. And in the end that is the meaning behind keeping you eyes open, seeing the world in different ways you never before even knew existed. Seeing the small things that will make huge difference in your holiday if you just dare to grab them.

So what are the hidden things you have found/seen while traveling? Like always all comments are welcome!
With love,

Viivi Severina

10 Things To Do in Montpellier, France

When you think France you automatically think love and Paris. That’s pity – not the love part but that only city we let define our image of France is its capital. I love Paris and its cultural touristy things but there is a lot more to see in this huge European country. Paris may have Eiffel Tower, Louvre and dozen of other attractions popular among tourists but other parts of the country have as much if not even more to offer for those loving adventures.

Today we are going to take peak to France’s south coast and list 10 things to do in Montpellier.  I was privileged to visit this charming city last year. Montpellier is more known among the local travellers and families who come to spend their holidays to the beautiful beaches. Everyone who prefers old town atmosphere, street art varying from graffiti to magicians or relaxed days on beach will fall in love with Montpellier.

 

beautiful beach and seashell

10. Day trip to the beach

Take the scenic tram or bus to the beach and enjoy the soothing sea. At winter you will be solely by yourself whereas summer brings all the local tourists to take their part of the sunbathing and swimming. Both seasons are worth of visit and maybe pick up some pretty stones or seashell as souvenirs.

Maybe this is because I’m Finn and not used to visit endless white sand beaches but this really made me fall in love with southern France. Not many things are as epic as walking around empty endless beach and picking up beautiful seashells. 

 

9. Roam around the old city

Start from the place de la Comedie and be ready to get lost (and to shop cheap shoes…) Stop for Nutella pancakes or to drink bear. Maybe visit some of the small galleries or drift to remote patio. Be ready to take photos because the old city is full of charm!

 

Montpellier Graffiti

8. Graffiti Hunting

There is two ways of approach graffiti hunting… First one is just go for it. The old town and literally every other place in Montpellier is full of street art. Just keep your eyes open and remember to look up and down. Because some of the art is on ground while some of it is up on the roofs. You will never know what you can find.

The second way of graffiti hunting is more systematic. Go to the tourist information (or use Google) and take map with marked graffiti spots. Then just look like a real tourist and use the map to locate some of the best street art there is.

One of the specialties of Montpellier are the huge murals taking over the whole wall of buildings. These may be hard to find at first because often they are made to look real and as part of the city. However after a little searching you will get amazed.

 

7. Guided Tours

Montpellier is full of tours from free ones to pricey longer ones. Just go on the city’s tourism website or use google. I didn’t go to any while in Montpellier but heard a lot of good feed back of them. You will get to go in places normal tourist can’t get in. You can also try driving segway around the old city! I think there is tours for any kind of people so you will definitely find one perfect for you.

 

Wanderlust Wednesday: Travel Montpellier

6. Musée Fabre

This huge museum has something to offer for everyone. Mainly “older” art works, known artists and local masterpieces. It will take hours to wander around and see everything. When I visited Fabre the art works at the end of museum didn’t get a lot of my attention because of the tiredness. Visiting here in two different days would be the best option.

 

5. Rockstore & Gazette

Concert place and club in the downtown Montpellier. I didn’t go inside while in the city because I’m not huge fan of indie music or partying. However even just seeing the door is must thing to do. Unfortunately I have lost my photo from this place but it’s easy to recognize. Half of car comes out of the wall above their front door.

Gazette is another place to spend your evening and find interesting nightlife. I fell in love with this cozy restaurant, cafe, bar right after stepping in for the first time. Everyone from babies to elderly people can spend time together and have fun. There was literally people from every age group. And at one point of the evening there was free dance lessons for anyone wanting to take part.

 

Wanderlust Wednesday: Montpellier Travel Guide

4. Streets

With this I mean a lot of things. The street arts filling up every free wall space you could possible imagine being in city like this. Colorful decorations and small boutiques. The performers playing instruments, dancing and entertaining passersby. Endless possibilities to get lost and never find your way out.

Don’t forget to look out for the graffiti and artsy bikes coming out of the walls. And don’t be scared to visit the small galleries and shops that you can find everywhere from the city’s small streets. Montpellier’s charm is hold in these places.

 

Wanderlust Wednesday: Travel Guide Montpellier

3. Tram, Tram, Tram

If I had to say my favorite thing from Montpellier it would be the colorful trams! Also if I had to share one surviving tip for Montpellier: never cross the tram lines… This is not for your own safety but rather tip to not get lost. The trams circle around the old town so if you never cross the tram lines you will never exit the old town. This way even if you get lost you won’t be totally in trouble.

There is several tram lines that have all their own design. For example blue tram with bird design and colorful one with funny images. The stops are always styled similarly to the trains passing through it. In addition of looking cool trams are cheap way of going around and see more than just the centre of Montpellier.

 

2. La Panacee

I live for free museums and modern art. La Panacee combines those two (and amazing buffet restaurant.) It may be hard to find and at least for me it took several tries to exploring around the old streets before spotting this small museum. Definitely worth of taking your time and trying to find it. The changing exhibitions are interesting and something different from the more normal museums. And did I already mention that it is FREE! 

 

Wanderlust Wednesday: Montpellier Urban Travel Guide

1. Wine & Cheese picnic

The last but not the least on my list is picnic. Go to local super market, buy some cheap cheese, wine or sweets and find beautiful place to have picnic. Maybe you should go to the beach or some of the lively parks. Where ever you decide to make your home, Montpellier won’t disappoint you. This city is full of life, funny people and charm. (Disclaimer: Don’t picnic on tram tracks like my photo seems to suggest…)

 

So have you ever been to Montpellier? Or have you even heard about this charming city? Any comments you have are appreciated like always…

So this was the first post of my returning Wanderlust Wednesdays series! I hope you liked it because there is more posts coming soon.

With love,

Viivi Severina

 

Travel Rant: Fall in Love

Don’t be scared to fall in love. And no, I’m not talking about that cute backpacker boy or the hot local guide.

Fall in love with new places, the inspiring experiences and most importantly with yourself.

After that you can hit up with all the handsome and beautiful people you meet on your travels or in life generally. This may sound corny but loving yourself first is important. Trust me I know what I’m talking about.

Being scared of life is somehow been normal feeling for me as long as I can remember. It has been easier to follow someone and make sure you will never be alone. When pushed to experience something new my survival guide used to be: find new friend, follow them everywhere like a lost puppy, a little by little get attached to them too much and in the end get lost even more.

This changed when I did my first solo travel trip year ago. I took my 20 years old self to adventure I had always dreamed about but never believed to accomplish. For the first time in my life I followed my own nose and learned how to love myself.

It’s not easy but it will happen naturally. Just keep doing what you want and don’t always listen to others. Not even if they seem to be the love of your life. Being alone seems scary but it will make your learn a lot about yourself. What do you really like?

You have a whole day ahead of you. No one to tell you where to go. Your day is full of choices and you have to make them. Will you wake up early or sleep until the noon? Do you want to eat in safe McDonald’s or try something suspicious looking local cuisine? What do you want to do with your life?

Loving yourself seems so hard. For me it has meant to like the way I look, decide my own destiny and be proud of the things I have accomplished. At the age of 20 and before I left my home to wander neither of those were true. I hated my appearance and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I was totally lost.

After I had spend some time alone and listened my own opinions there was change. I began to like the person staring me back from mirror. She wasn’t yet beautiful but something in her eyes screamed happiness and that made her perfect in my eyes. That made me love her, myself. Without even trying I had finally fallen in love with myself.

I didn’t still had direction for my life or any remarkable achievements. But I didn’t need them. Twenty years I had tried to form perfect me to fall in love with but it only took one month to realize that wasn’t what I needed. The perfect me wasn’t the one I would love.

What I am trying to say with this somehow confusing piece of my mind is to listen yourself. Love the person you are. Be with yourself before you give your soul to someone else. I have seen so many of my friends falling head over heels and then their relationships have ended because they don’t know their own self well enough.

Traveling solo is the way I figured this out and I think it is the easiest way. Alone in the country you don’t know and people speaking language you can’t understand it’s easier to get closer yourself.

Maybe I’m wrong but this is my opinion. This is how I see the world.

About travelling and falling in love...
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I know I promised to publish the London travel diary today but I have been sick so here is old travel rant I wrote months ago. Suprisingly, travel rants have been quite popular posts in my blog. Also, I have the most fun writing these pieces even if they don’t make a lot of sense. So here is another travel rant and be aware that there will be even more of them in the future!

With love,

Viivi Severina