March 13, 2016 4 Comments Blog, Tips

5 Time & Cash strapped Travel Ideas

This boys stag weekend was meant to be epic.

Canyoning, cards and copious drinks in Swansea, however because of this broken leg, in place of climbing slippery rock faces and jumping head first into freezing rivers, I find myself alone sitting in a cosy little pub, in a small town called Glynneath.

It’s a very small town consisting of one cafe (which kicked me out at noon), one pub and one library. Although it may lack the big city vibe, there is still something about it that appeals to me. It could be the fresh air, friendly atmosphere or the strangers wishing me good morning, but it got me thinking that this in itself, being in a town which I have never heard off, meeting new people and taking in the ambiance, still counts as a travel experience.

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It’s okay I wasn’t lonely for too long.

Usually when people dream of travel, they think of round-the-world trips and long-term excursions, but I think we should fight that convention. Travel, for me, is about being somewhere, putting yourself out of your comfort zone and having a change of scenery. Typically traditional travel dreams consist of time and money which are finite resources so what do you do if you still want to experience wanderlust when you have cost and time restrictions?

Be completely open

Skycanner is my favourite hobby. That might not make sense but let me explain. It has this awesome feature where you can put your destination as ‘Everywhere’ and then put ‘Cheapest Month’ for your outbound and inbound journeys. Then it actually lists the cheapest countries you can go to from where you are! That is incredible!

Where initially I would have to plan and decide where to go next, now there is a platform which opens up the world for you, that you can choose based on my budget. This would only work if you are completely open on where and when you go and why should you not be? Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia for £23. That’s cheaper than a pair of Topman shoes.

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Whoever invented comparison sites were geniuses

What do you have to lose? It’s addictive, try it now, I promise it will uncover new destinations which you would not have imagined going to.

Travel on your doorstep

It’s human nature to believe that because you have been brought up in an area that you immediately know everything in your home. This means that typically there is a tendency to shun tourist sites or put it in the back of the mind as we develop the ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ syndrome which can mean that you never end up doing it at all!

For example, I studied in Bath which is probably one of the biggest tourist attraction for travelers and every time I would walk through town there would be a happy-snappers taking pictures of the Roman Baths, Cathedral, Royal Crescent etc. But it took me 5 years to actually get round to visiting the Roman Baths even though it was the number one attraction in the city and that was only as a celebration of finishing exams. What a shame!

This is a prime opportunity to get scratch that travel itch on a low-budget as it’s right on your doorstep. It will give you a new appreciation for your home. Check out the walking tours, research the tourist sites and you may even get discounts for being a residents of the city. Cha-ching!

If you really want an authentic travel experience, how about couchsurfing or staying at a hostel so that you’re fully committed to a weekend as a tourist?

Tour your country

Okay, so you HAVE done everything in your city, or maybe there really are no tourist spots where you live. Well just beyond  your doorstep you have a whole country where I can safely assume you’ve not looked to exploring. One example, I’m sitting in an unknown town in Wales which I had no intention in visiting, but it has led to some new pals and a better understanding of the area.

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You never know whats on your door step

This opens up completely new doors depending on how large your country is. I have been in the UK for near 17 years and its only in the last 3 years that I have ventured North of London, which is a disgrace! When thinking of travel, its all exotic and faraway places, however if you look closer to home you’ll be surprised at the new experiences you can have. Check a guidebook or just take a chance to see whats in your backyard.

Get back to nature and camp

An incredible way to save money on accommodation is through camping and if this is paired with exploring your home ground you’re on to a winner. Typically staying on a camping ground can set you back £10 or if you are really into the wild exploration, it is free. Some countries have laws which allow you to camp wherever there is a patch of grass which include; the UK, France, Greece, Norway and more.

I personally love this type of travel as you are really getting back to nature and usually if going with a group you build a strong community. By having your tent, stove, teabags with you there is also huge savings.

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Nothing getting back to nature

If however you’re not a fan of not having a mattress and duvet or toilet and shower facilities there are always more glamorous camp sites which can accommodate for your tastes. Check out glamping sites where they can set tents up for you with all the luxuries.

Volunteer

This is something that I’ve not actively done yet, but something on my list. Many of my friends have paired travel with volunteering and there are various volunteering opportunities in a range of sectors; teaching, conservation, community and ecology among others which allows you to gives you a new outlook on travel. There are literally so many websites that offer volunteering abroad so you have to do some research into the ones which you are interested in. There are usually upfront costs but you can find those which give room and board.I have seen a lot of blogs harp on about WWOOFing where you trade working in farms for room and board, but it doesn’t personally appeal to me.

This looks like an incredible way to give you added purpose when you are planning to travel.

What are your thoughts? Do you think there are other definitions of travel? Have you been kicked out of a cafe at noon? Ever found yourself in a place you weren’t expecting? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the comments below!

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”

Robert Louis Stevenson


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