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

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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

Travel Diary: Crazy Cruise to Stockholm

It has been a few weeks and I am already missing traveling… So, it is time to start writing about my trip as travel diary. Today we are going to start from the beginning. (You can also read this kind of funny story how I booked my trip.)  My first day went by on board of cruise ship from Finland to Sweden. And after that I spent three days in Stockholm before flying to Poland.

I hope you will enjoy these stories! (And like always beware, long boring stories ahead…)

Day 1: Day cruise and strange people

I think the tittle says everything. My hypothesis is that only crazy people do day cruises. Or I just happen to have bad luck and meet all the not so normal ones. If you know me you also know that I have bad luck when traveling. This early morning at 2 am when I left my home wasn’t exception. I was stupid and didn’t look outside before going. But for my defense it had been good weather when I went shopping the morning before.

Travel Diary: cruise ship and seaI was wearing my green sneakers and leather jacket. Not the best choice when you have to walk in snow storm. There was snow everywhere and when at last I reached the train station I probably looked like snowman. And then because of the snow my train was of course late. Don’t get me wrong… It was one of the most beautiful moment I have had this winter! Warm street lights around me. Quiet atmosphere that is only possible in Finland’s cities. And of course clean pure white snow all around me. But it was also scary. I prefer not standing alone in empty train station in the middle of night.

When my train finally arrived I was still only one waiting for it. However even if people from Kokkola don’t like night trains other people do. My train was full and there was a lot of tourists. Finland’s Lapland is popular travel destination for those wanting to see northern lights or meet Santa Claus.

I shared my row with three German travelers who tried to sleep and failed miserably. I didn’t even try. Sleeping in trains has always been hard for me (except when I fall in sleep accidentally and almost miss my station…)

Travel Diary: Stockholm, MariehamnAfter too many hours of listening to music and dreaming about my future adventures I finally arrived to Turku’s bay. I was able to find my cruise ship without getting lost (okay… I just followed a few other people exiting the train). After doing check-in and other official things I boarded my ship. Next obstacle I had was to find perfect spot where I could sit the next ten hours. I walked around until I saw girl with huge bag sleeping in small sofa. I put my things down and opened my computer ready to watch Netflix to the table next to her. It seemed like good safe place to spend time.

It took me about two minutes to realize that Netflix, Youtube and other sites playing videos were banned when using the ship’s internet. (Viking Line please fix this… I would have had better day if I just could have watched some movies.) Because I had nothing to do I ended up staring outside of the window for my first hour on board. Fortunately Finnish islands are beautiful.

Soon after the ship left bay these two older ladies decided to share the table with me. I am not stalker but I could not hear them talking. The subject was “Tom of Finland” movie that had just come out (no pun intended here). One of the ladies had went to see it and was totally in love while the other lady didn’t understand why her friend would go to see movie about gays. Their conversation was so much fun to listen. Two friends bickering about their views of this world.

Half way to Sweden! I need sleep 🇸🇪☕️💤 #travel #cruise #wanderlust #blogger

A post shared by StreeTraveler (@streetraveler) on

At some point I got bored to sitting next to the window and entertaining myself with people watching (once again not stalking just observing!). I decided to visit the deck and take some photos. Once again, not so good decision. Winter, sea and wind don’t go together that well. It was quite warm and sun was shining beautifully BUT there was slippery ice everywhere. Me and a few tourists all tried to take some photos while not falling and breaking our bones. I survived but I saw some skillful flips performed by the tourists.

Disclaimer! If you don’t live in northern countries, use winter shoes at winter time. Only locals can master the skill of walking on ice with sneakers or other slippery summer shoes.

When I came back inside my spot was taken and I had to find new one. This time I was in more public place that means more crazy people trying to make contact with me. For some reason I have always been people magnet. Where ever I go someone starts to talk with me! I don’t get it because I definitely look like someone who doesn’t want to answer for you. My huge headphones should tell enough…

So it didn’t take long before some crazy things started to happen. Apparently I had taken the same ship with some kind of biker gang. And now they were causing problems in the restaurant next to me. First there was one guard running towards the restaurant, then second, third and in the end there was bunch of guards running back and worth in front of me.

stockholm cruise sea

First thug they took out seemed peaceful even if he was wearing all leather and all black. The second one they walked out of the restaurant and in front of me seemed also peaceful but well… let’s just say that I would have gone without him showing his ass for me when they walked past me. I think the guards agreed with me.

After that incident my cruise was not so eventful if we don’t count in some intoxicated Finns, fighting boys and children trying to kill me several times. No really I have no idea what those children had against me. One stole my eyeglasses while his mum just laughed and another one kicked my computer so hard it flew to ground.

Then there was this one girl who sat in front of me and kept staring my every move. It was so disturbing that I decided to find new place to sit in but when I stood up she stood up too and when I started walking she followed me. In the end I just walked back to the same place I had earlier left. This time this small girl who had followed me (where the heck were her parents??) started to dance and sing around for no reason. I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry.

When the ship finally arrived to Stockholm I was so ready leave all that madness. I walked towards the doors, saw that same biker gang there and knew right away that there was going to be problems. I wasn’t wrong. They kept picking a fight with guards and everyone else in front of the still closed doors. Because of them it took some extra time before they agreed to open the doors.

At this point I was ready to run away but it is not so easy to do. There was breaking alcohol bags everywhere and people picking up their rolling bottles and cans. One bag broke in front of me in escalator and it was almost impossible to jump over them and jump over the man picking them up. I have no idea how I survived to the over-prices bus I had earlier booked so I could get close to my hostel.

You may think that this unfortunately day was already over for me and I just walked safely to my hostel but if you have read my blog before you know that is not possible. I got lost… I exited my bus at central train station, had no idea where to go and did the wrong thin (walking aimlessly until I found my hostel). Fortunately I had guessed this would happen and booked hostel with 24 hours check-in.

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After being awake for almost whole day, running away from crazy people in cruise and getting lost I was dead. Being dead and having handsome receptionist isn’t good mix. Half of what he said went over my head. (He had cute eyes, okay! I didn’t have time to listen to useless things like where my room was going to be…) So after getting my key and somehow finding stairs towards the rooms I thought that I had finally done it. WRONG.

Between me and my rooms door there was locked inner door. I had no idea how to open it. There wasn’t lock or any way to open it. I used maybe 5 minutes just standing there hoping that someone would open the door. Finally someone walked past me and I asked him how the heck use that damn door. It was surprisingly easy but I hope there had been some kind of introductions. I had to use my key to pad that was on the other side of the room between two elevators.

Surprise surprise my key didn’t work. I was ready to cry but I decided to walk back down bravely and ask new key from that cute eyed receptionist. He said that many people don’t know how to use the door but gave me new key. I walked back up, tried again and… my key didn’t work. Then fortunately someone opened that door and I get in the corridor and one step closer to my room. I found my room tried to open the door and of course it didn’t work.

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At this point I decided to check my room number one last time before going back down to embarrass myself because I couldn’t use normal door. I stared my key for a few minutes and didn’t know should I cry or laugh. This whole time I had been in totally wrong floor. No wonder it didn’t work. After that I found my room without much problems and got inside.

If this doesn’t feel too embarrassing for you, I would like to mention that there was security camera pointing to the door I first tried to open and towards the corridor. So the workers probably got good laughs when I desperately tried to get in wrong room and then run to the right place tail between my legs.

I liked the room and hostel even if I didn’t have a lot time to look at it because I just wanted to sleep. All the beds in my dorm were full but no one was in the room. I was ready to sleep but I still had one problem. This is the problem I still have in hostel even after living three months in them in Japan. Do I shut the lights or do I not shut the light in dorm room? Feel free to tell your opinion in this matter because – even if it sounds stupid – it is always problem for me.

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I closed the lights and it was the last wrong decision I did that day. You may have once again thought that this post and my catastrophic day was finally over. However I still succeeded to get myself in embarrassing situation. I had almost fallen asleep when someone entered the room. They went to toilet and I continued my sleeping. Then they went to their own bed that was under mine.

For moment it was quiet and I tried to sleep despite the lights he had put on. After that moment he started to sing. I am 100% sure that he had no idea I was in the room. So for about a hour I listened him singing, watching movies and talking too loudly in phone. All this while I tried not to move because I had no idea what to do and it would have been super awkward to tell him that I had been there the whole time.

Then I was saved by another of my roommates coming back. I was so ready to sleep at this point so it took just a few second after that from me to fall asleep.

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And so ends my first story from this trip. All comments are welcome like always. Do you have any crazy cruise ship stories? Or maybe embarrassing hostel stories?
With love,

Viivi Severina

 

Travel Rant: Traveling the Wrong Way

By all means I am not professional traveler. My solo trip to Japan for three months was one big catastrophe, last year my holiday to France was far from smooth and let’s not even talk about the times I have been travelling my home country Finland. Too many embarrassing memories there.

Making plans and following them isn’t my strength. At Tokyo I forgot to visit some of the must see places (when I say must see places I mean the most popular attractions). My two days in Paris went by sleeping in the hotel and not doing anything. Usually the new streets and sights may steal my attention and make me forgot all the cool places I came to visit at the first place.

In the other hand I act like tourist. Taking pictures of any silly new thing, going to familiar McDonalds and singing up for too expensive tourist tours. Sometimes I decide not to go for some cool place because it’s too expensive and I rather buy more food or souvenirs.

Socializing, partying or getting friends has never been easy for me. In the end I always say something wrong or make the person lose interest. I get scared shitless if someone starts conversation without warning. My fear of human contact gets so bad that I can’t even ask help from locals while traveling.

When I told my family and friends for the first time that I would leave and travel alone they laughed at me. No one believed that me, shy awkward girl, would really make my words true. They didn’t believe until I packed my backs and left. And even after that everyone seemed to think I wouldn’t survive.

I have this unexpectedly way of finding trouble anywhere I go. At Japan I accidentally went to closed amusement park and got in trouble with police (fortunately they were totally cool). While using train in France I booked trip that had under 5 minutes changing time and almost missed my second train. Those two are just examples of many others.

So like you can see I am far from professional adventurer. For everyone’s sake I probably shouldn’t travel at all. Then how did I end up having this feeling inside of me? Why does my soul want to leave every time I come back home? There is wide world outside and I just don’t seem to have the self-control to stay in one place for too long.

I may not be born traveler but that is never been the point for me. Some may say I do everything wrongly and this way I will never experience all my bucket list items. But I visit foreigner countries to learn, to get in trouble and feel like living. Inside of me lives lost soul and it encourages me to leave. For me this is the only right way there is. For me this is the life style making me happy.

So for all of you who travel “the wrong way” let’s just continue our own way of travelling and prove everyone else wrong!

.    .    .

 

So I didn’t have post for today because I decided to do last minute trip to travel writing lecture on Friday and didn’t have time to write. But here is older post I must have written last summer! I don’t know why I never published it… Maybe because it is kind of embarrassing?

You can read more random Travel Rants from here. And like always feel free to comment any thoughts you have.

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

 

Photo Diary: Helsinki

So, I may have been lazy once again… If you are new here in my blog: Hello, I am the person who never follows her own schedules! But well because I have been busy (this not excuse, okay? I have really been busy) I can’t publish today the last part of my abandoned amusement park story time. I’m sorry everyone who has now waited for too long for me to finally finish it.

Right now I am in train going back home. Today I had crazy fun day in Helsinki. (And I even met up with fellow blogger for the first time! Thanks for Anub who was nice enough to not complain about my bad pronouncing or the terrible Finnish coldness.) So because I have nothing else to share with you today here is small photo diary from Helsinki. I hope you will enjoy it!
Photo diary: Day in Helsinki

I admit that I still love this view even after seeing it one time too many. In moments like this I can kind of understand why people want to visit Finland. However that doesn’t mean I will stop making fun of my beloved home country and our non-existing tourist attractions.

Travel Destination: Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Finland

Unfortunately, there wasn’t any snow in Helsinki. But even like this the city is beautiful and has its own charm. And we of course saw a lot of frozen places so maybe that makes up for all the missing snow? It’s not true Finnish experince if you haven’t almost fell over while walking on ice!

Travel Destination: Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Finland

One of our day’s major things to do was visiting Suomenlinna sea fortress. It’s been over five years from my last time here and I didn’t even remember how much I used to love this place. Suddenly I even remembered that as child my dream used to be grow up and live my life in this tiny cozy island.

Travel Destination: Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki Finland Travel FoodIt took us a while to find the right restaurant (that may totally be my fault and it probably has something to do with my bad luck while travelling) but finding the place was totally worth it. I haven’t eaten falafel for so long time so our choice was the best possible.

Photo diary: Suomenlinna, Helsinki, FInlandSun is setting in Finland guess what time it is! So if you don’t know northern countries have super short day’s at winter. So the sun was setting already at 3pm.

Travel Destination: Helsinki, Finland

Travel Year 2016 Helsinki

The last photo is me sharing my favorite Helsinki spot with you. I have always loves Senate Square. Now there was huge Christmas market but at other times of year you can meet funny tourists taking photos and just enjoy the beautiful view. I may have biased opinion about this matter so you shouldn’t probably believe my tip… I have had some of my best teen memories in this square. Being part of flashmob, meeting amazing people and doing crazy things.

I hope you are having an amazing weekend and that you are being more productive than I have lately been. And like always all comments are welcomed. Have you ever visited Helsinki? Or met fellow bloggers for fun travelling day?

With love,

Viivi Severina