Dienstag, 29. September 2015

Traveling on a budget part 2: getting ready and explore

Pack small
Do you really need extra luggage? Lots of flights, usually from low cost carriers (easyjet, ryanair) but also bigger airlines like KLM charge extra for check – in luggage. Most people agree that you don't usually need that much for a short (weekend) trip. Especially with the allowance on hand luggage (check those on each airline's website as there is no international regulation) which usually matches a small suitcase, most of what you need will fit in your hand luggage. To save some space, it is useful to pack all – in – one items and in terms of cosmetics and other liquids: travel size, sample size, sample sachets (that you never use at home anyway). If you don't have smaller sizes, you can get some little containers from any drugstore for very little money.

Sample and travel size, Copyright by Pepero Love
Some creative minds considered regular luggage too mainstream and developed special travel jackets with an insane amount of pockets to fit everything you need. Though they are not that flattering, the bulky piece of clothing might be handy if you maxed out the capacity of your hand luggage.
(The company that was friendly enough to let me use their picture explained that the jacket'r primary purpose is being a piece of luggage rather then a piece of clothing, especially since the risk to break some packed stuff if you accidently sit on it is quite high.)

Copyright Jaktogo.com

Free Walking Tours
Most bigger (European) cities have guided walking tours on a tip basis which is awesome, because 1) the guides try harder to make it a cool and interesting experience because their money depends on how people like it and 2) if you happen to not like it, you can just quit on the way. Ive had good experiences with that. Theyre called free walking tours, because they have no set prices, but obviously you'd pay "a tip". Its like 3 hours of walking around and seeing the major stuff. Sometimes they have a theme like „royal tour“, „the dark site of...“, „architecture in ...“, so you can choose one of them as well. They usually meet up at some easily accessible touristy place / square.
Just google "free walking tour" and the city you want to explore and you will find several companies.

DIY City Tour
If you don't like to be the obvious tourist in a regular walking tour, but still want to have seen the main sights, you can do your own city tour. Most cities have a recommended city tour on their website. They usually have a whole plan for a weekend or "city X on 1 day" including some information about the main attractions as well as directions how to reach them via public transport.

Finding a nice place to munch definitely does require some research. Chances are you'll spend the majority of the time in the city center with one tourist ripp – off food place next to the other or just restaurants from the chains you have at your hometown too. Tripadvisor and Yelp can help you find interesting or affordable places at the areas you'll spend some time at. If you speak the language of the country you are traveling to, you might find local review pages. My experience with Google translate for those pages was rather disappointing. I like to make a list and mark the restaurants / bistros / markets in a map. You can even do it on your Google Maps App on your phone.

picture from pixabay, no attribution required

That's it for my general budget tipps for travelers. I hope you enjoyed them and they help you save some money and nerves. :) 

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