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Great Alternative Budget Vacation Ideas

While many of us dream of traveling the world it’s not always feasible, even for those with the best of intentions. But while you might not have a lot of time or money, luckily there’s more than one way to see the world. Travel is…

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While many of us dream of traveling the world it’s not always feasible, even for those with the best of intentions. But while you might not have a lot of time or money, luckily there’s more than one way to see the world. Travel is simply the art of going somewhere new and different and exploring everything the place has to offer. It doesn’t matter if you have two days, two weeks, or two months. There are many ways to get on the road and see the world, so here are some budget ways to travel and explore even if you are cash-strapped or time-poor:

 

Be a local tourist – How often do you visit the tourist sites in your own city? Hardly ever, right? We always put it off until tomorrow, because when we live in a city, there is always a tomorrow. If you’re short on time and money, there’s no better way to spend some free time than to wander your own city. No matter what its size, it has a number of wonders just waiting to be explored. When you become a local tourist, check out of your house and into a hotel, hostel, or guesthouse. It’s important to get out of your familiar environment, because if you stay home, you’ll find something to do around the house and create excuses for why you can’t sightsee. Moving to a different location can help give you that feeling of adventure, excitement, and unfamiliarity. Moreover, be sure to go to your local tourism office and get a city tourism pass. These cards allow you to see a wide range of local attractions for free or reduced prices and can be your way to see your local sites on a budget. They aren’t just for outsiders!

Travel regionally – Travel brings to mind faraway and exotic destinations. Because of that, few people look in their own backyard for adventure, but it offers just as many places to travel. Exploring your own region is an underrated and often overlooked aspect of travel. So you don’t have to fly across an ocean to explore the world. Head to the bookstore, buy a regional guidebook, and see what there is to see in your area. Your backyard holds as many possible travel destinations as does a country half a world away.

Go to National Parks – There’s almost always a park nearby and spending a few days with nature is not only good for your wallet but also good for your soul. Camping, after all, costs very little money. Camping fees in national parks are as little as $15 USD per night in the United States, $15-40 CAD in Canada, $30-60 AUD in Australia, and $17-22 NZD in New Zealand. And in many places in Japan and Europe (especially Scandinavia), you can camp on public lands for free. Additionally, you go camping stocked with all your own supplies and accommodation so you don’t have to worry about spending lots of extra money. Your food bill can be whatever you spend on groceries and nothing more. You don’t need to love camping to spend time in the national parks, either. Luckily, many parks provide cabins.

Book a last minute cruise – Cruise lines always offer incredible last-minute deals. No ship’s captain wants to leave with half the cabins empty. If you wait until the last minute, you can find some really amazing deals as cruise lines scramble to find passengers. Plus, cruise operators always throw in some on-board amenities, free upgrades, and cash vouchers to sweeten the deal. After you book, keep an eye out on prices, because if they drop, you can often call your travel agent or the cruise company itself to get a partial refund or vouchers to use for dining and alcohol on the boat.

Think outside the box – Travel counter to the prevailing trend. If people are going in the summer, you go in the spring or winter. Skip the popular destinations and head off the beaten path a bit. It might not be the most ideal time to go or your favorite destination, but thinking of unusual places to go and visiting in the off-season are going to save you a lot of money.

Book a last-minute tour – Just like cruises, tours are best booked last-minute. Tour companies need to fill the seats because once that trip departs, they still have the same costs. Why are tours so cheap last-minute? Well, think about how people plan vacations. You get the time off work, you book your vacation, you buy your flight, and you go. Since people pre-book, prices are higher in advance because these companies understand booking patterns and then price accordingly. As departure time nears, companies know people aren’t likely to turn up and book on departure day, so they sweeten the price to increase bookings. So take the time off work, wait until the week before, see what’s cheap, and then go.

Become a house sitter – Accommodation can eat into the cost of a trip big-time. A way around that is to stay somewhere for free. A unique way to overcome this is to house-sit for someone while they are on vacation. You get free accommodation, a kitchen to cook in, and the chance to explore a destination in depth. It’s a pretty unique way to travel and one that a lot of world travelers take advantage of. You can even do this in your own region too, to cut down on transportation costs.

Grab a cheap flight – Nowadays, you don’t have to guess where the cheapest flight from your home would be. You can look up a whole list of flights using a site like Momondo or Google Flights. With those sites you can type in “(the closest airport to you)” for your departure city and “everywhere” for your destination. Then a list of the cheapest flights appears in front of your very eyes, so you can choose where to go within your budget.

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Travel

How to Take Care of Your Laundry When Traveling

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It is possible to do your laundry when traveling, and if you plan to do this, it is best to bring a lightweight travel bag for your laundry items. You can place all your dirty clothes in a separate bag. However, if you plan to go backpacking, then you must be planning to bring only a few clothes and do laundry during your vacation.

Well, this is possible, too. There are options where you can take care of your laundry when traveling. You either do the laundry yourself, look for a laundry service from your hotel, or check nearby laundromats.

Ask for hotel services.

Full-service hotels have several offered amenities, and this includes laundry service. Most hotels offer laundry services, generally washing, drying, ironing, and folding clothes. Some even have dry cleaning services.

You can ask or call the front desk for these services. Usually hotels do laundry pickup in every room, and you just have to place your clothes in their laundry bag. Expect that the laundry service offered by hotels will be expensive. It might be the most expensive choice.

Handwash clothes in the sink or bathtub.

Some hotels do not have an in-house laundry service. Meanwhile, others may have, but with hefty rates. If you have already booked the hotel, you can handwash your clothes in the sink or bathtub.  However, the downside of this option is your clothes may not be completely dry.

If you plan to do this before travelling, it is best to pack clothes made of quick-dry fabrics. These types of materials dry faster, which is suited for travel. But, if you have yet to book the hotel and found out that their laundry service is expensive, you can look for another accommodation.

Book accommodation with laundry option.

You can book lodging where you can stay comfortably. Browse booking.com or Airbnb for apartments or houses that offer a laundry option. You can ask the host if laundry detergent and cleaning products are left at the place or if you have to bring these things with you. However, you have to expect this accommodation to be costlier than rooms without additional amenities.

If you are tight on budget and your Airbnb accommodation does not have a laundry option, you can look for a laundry service nearby.

Look for a laundry service nearby.

Laundry services nearby or laundromats are a big help to travellers who only packs lightly. Some laundry services offer self-service washing and drying machines. However, this is not ideal for travelers, as their time is precious. Fortunately, some laundry services have additional services, such as laundry pickup and delivery.

Final Takeaway

If you plan to take care of your laundry when traveling, you must be ready to ensure that your vacation is smooth sailing.  Consider your travel location to determine if it is best to do laundry during your trip. What might worked during your previous trip may not work well in the next.

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Destinations

Thai Government Wants Tourists to Wear Digital Wristbands

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Tourists will be required to wear digital wristbands in Thailand. This will enable the Thai government to easily track their health status while touring the said Southeast Asian country.

To sever possible COVID-19 transmission, Thailand plans to require would-be tourists to wear digital wristbands while staying in the country. This mandate will allow the government to track their whereabouts including their health as they visit Thailand’s different traveler destinations.

Last month, the said Southeast Asian nation opened its borders to a group of Chinese visitors—the first ever arrival since April when Thailand halted inbound travels to control COVID-19 transmission. The country has been doing quite well in the battle against the novel coronavirus. Hence, it has been reluctant to reopen its doors to visitors wanting to explore its various tourist spots.

The recent October group of Shanghai tourists were automatically required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period, especially since they planned to stay within the country for a month. They were also relegated to a government-accredited hotel.

Nevertheless, aside from the automatic quarantine period, recent Thailand updates assert that the nation now plans to mandate all approved, incoming tourists to wear digital wristbands, “Smart Bands” as they are called. These devices will help the government track the tourists, particularly their health, as they visit the different places within the country.

The said digital device measures the body temperature of the wearer which will, then, notify nearby health centers. Tourists who wear digital wristbands will also be able to ask for help should they ever get lost while touring the country.

Not all would-be visitors will be able to enter Thailand, however. At present, only visitors from low-risk areas will be given a Special Tourist Visa. This visa can be obtained by paying 2,000 Baht ($64.25).

Additionally, a would-be tourist needs to have a “fit-to-fly certificate” from a certified doctor, a negative PCR COVID-19 test result, and a health insurance policy of at least $100,000 that will cover COVID-19 treatment within the country.

If you plan to travel to Thailand, you must be able to secure these requirements before buying your ticket. See to it that you will be coming from a country that is enlisted as a low-risk area by the Thailand government. You should also obtain the necessary “fit-to-fly certificate” from your doctor, have a negative PCR COVID-19 test at least 72 hours before your flight, and an insurance policy of the above-stated amount before you can apply for the said Special Tourist Visa.

As of writing, Thailand has only less than 4,000 total COVID-19 cases, a far cry from the overall COVID-19 cases worldwide that has already reached more than 46 million. Hence, the Thai government strictly monitors tourists who are allowed to enter their borders. The planned mandate to require tourists to wear digital wristbands while staying in the country will greatly help control possible COVID-19 transmission which may be brought on by the gradual reopening of its borders.

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Destinations

Visit the World’s Happiest Countries

I have no idea what makes a country happy but I know they must make nice places to visit. Let’s explore the happiest countries in the world and see why we should check them out.

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According to some smart people Norway is the world’s happiest country followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland. SO apparently being freezing cold 9 months out of the year equals happiness. I have no idea what makes a country happy but I know they must make nice places to visit. Let’s explore the happiest countries in the world and see why we should check them out.

How do you judge a country’s’ happiness? Well the smart people at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) have figured some way out. Working for the United Nations the SDSN used tons of data and statistics to come to their findings. The main factors used were Happiness, Caring, Freedom, Honesty, Health, Income, Generosity and Good Governance.

Sweden

Scandinavian countries were well represented on this list with all their countries placing in the top 10. Sweden ties for 9th place and is such a wonderful place to visit. Stockholm has some amazing attractions and interesting architecture. Come for the Scenery and stay for their happiness.

 

Australia

Tied for 9th place is the happy people down under. Throw another shrimp on the barbie and drink a Fosters with some real happy folk. Check out the amazing Great Barrier Reef and scuba dive with thousands of animal varieties. Australia is a wonderful place to visit and see why everyone is so happy.

 

New Zealand

Australia’s neighbor and rival is number 8 on the happiness list. The kiwis are a boisterous and happy people known for being welcoming and helpful. The landscape in New Zealand is second to none and offers epic views at every turn. Incredible sailing and waters ports dominate the beaches and hikes and white water rafting are inland favorites.

 

Canada

We all knew Canadians were a happy people and they rank 7th on this list. Celebrating their 150th anniversary as a nation this year, there should be plenty of celebrations going on.   Check out Prince Edward Island where the independence from Great Britain was first discussed.

 

Netherlands

The Dutch are a happy people and their country is one of the best to visit. Celebrating their rich history, The Danish people have plenty to be happy about. Check out the Van Gogh museum or take a tour in the Heineken Brewery. Check out their famed marijuana coffee shops or stroll down the beautiful canals.

 

Finland

Scandinavia represents again with Finland and the 5th spot. A favorite winter sports destination, Finland is as beautiful during the summer. Check out their wonderful lakes and take in some beautiful landscapes.

 

Switzerland

The Swiss are always neutral but you shouldn’t be neutral about visiting the fourth happiest country on Earth. Enjoy the amazing mountains and outdoor activities in this natural playground. The Swiss have been at the top of this list since it’s inception.

 

Iceland

The island nation off on its own in the Atlantic Ocean is the third happiest country. Outdoor activities, the Northern Lights and some incredible thermal pools make Iceland an awesome destination. Reykjavik is an international city with huge attractions and natural beauty, outside the city offers the most intense experiences.

 

Denmark

Number two on the list is the happy people of Denmark. Copenhagen is my favorite European city and it is a must visit. Check out the tall ships and the cute coastal architecture all around Copenhagen.

 

Norway

The happiest country on the planet is Norway. The Scandinavian country has the happiest people and some of the most breathtaking views on the planet. All you have to do is see one fjord in person and you’ll understand natural beauty. The people of Norway are healthier and happier than anywhere on Earth. See why everyone is so happy and experience it for yourself.

 

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