I would be lying if I said we don’t splurge on occasion. I am a firm believer that treating yourself to one nice experience on an otherwise thrifty trip can make a budget-friendly vacation seems luxurious.
Our affordable travel practices:
- Take one longer vacation than a few shorter ones to avoid paying too much for airfare. Participate in an airline loyalty program.
- Find a small, clean, hotel in the best possible location without too many amenities. Who needs an on-site swimming pool or restaurant when you’re in Paris?! You should be out exploring and eating where the locals eat. We’ve stayed in Venice for 20 euros/night and no, it wasn’t a hostel.
- Choose destinations that aren’t as sought out. (e.g., Portugal wasn’t Europe’s #1 destination for Americans back in 2003… and in fact, it isn’t — still.) Croatia is on the cusp of becoming mainstream from the American traveler’s point of view. Go now, or forever hold your peace.
- Eat and drink local. If a menu has pictures or an english translation, it isn’t local. If you don’t speak the language, take a chance and order blind. The locals eat it, and they haven’t died — neither will you.
- Make a plan. Read up about your destinations and decide what you’d like to do. Don’t plan to go to every museum — it costs money and you won’t have really seen your destination. We make an itinerary and mix up days where we go to museums with days where we wander and have very little in the way of formal plans.
- Travel knowing that you can always come back. Savor, take it slow, enjoy your travel companions and enjoy getting lost somewhere.