8 Best Travel Package Sites for Booking a Cheap Vacation (2020)
Booking a flight, hotel, and rental car together doesn’t just save you time—it can often save you money, too. But before you make such a significant purchase, it’s important to find the best travel package sites for booking your vacation.
I tested more than a dozen vacation package sites to see which ones had the lowest prices and best user experience. I discovered that many of the best vacation package websites allow you to book any combination of flight, hotel, and rental car, while others are more limited (flight + hotel is often the default). Fortunately, some sites will let you add a car onto a hotel+flight package, even if a car isn’t listed on the initial booking page.
It’s also important to compare the price of a vacation booked as a bundle to that same trip booked a la carte as separate components. Booking a package isn’t always cheaper, and sometimes you’ll get better flight options to choose from if you search for your airfare separately. In some searches, I discovered that the flight options included by default with my vacation package had ridiculously long layovers or undesirable departure times (4:30 a.m., anyone?).
Keep a sharp eye out for resort fees; many of the best vacation booking sites don’t count them in their initial per-person price estimate because they’re collected separately by the hotel, but they can drive up the final cost of your trip. Similarly, optional airline baggage fees can also increase your total bill, especially if you book a flight in basic economy, and some vacation package sites don’t disclose these fees as clearly as others.
Finally, it’s important to know that many of the best sites for vacation packages are owned by the same parent company, so you’ll often find similar inventory and prices from one to the next. Knowing which sites are mostly interchangeable can save you some research time.
The Best Travel Package Sites
We put them to the test to compare prices, inclusions, and more. The following are the best websites to book vacations, listed in no particular order. Scroll down for more in-depth analysis of each one.
This well-known site is one of the best travel package sites for a reason. Expedia offers a full complement of bundle options (flight/hotel, flight/car, hotel/car, and flight/hotel/car) as well as trips to just about every corner of the globe. It’s reliable when it comes to pricing, too: Expedia offered the lowest price in two of my five tests, and was cheaper than average in all but one test booking.
That said, the amount the site said I was saving on a given package didn’t always match up to the actual price difference when I added up the cost of the trip’s individual elements. In one of my test cases, it was actually cheaper to book my flight, hotel, and car separately. So take those supposed savings with a grain of salt (or even better, price out the components separately on your own to be sure you’re getting the best deal).
Expedia has plenty of useful filters to help you find what you need. You can sort hotels by price, distance from a city’s downtown, guest rating, package discount, and property class, while flight options are given a rating “reflecting the duration of the flight, the type of aircraft, and the quality of amenities the flight offers.” There’s also a map view so you can check out the location of each hotel. I appreciated that the site clearly showed extra baggage fees that might apply on a given flight.
Best Feature: The breadth of choice and consistency of pricing make Expedia perhaps the best site for vacation packages. You may not always get the absolute lowest price here, but chances are you’ll pay a fair rate and have plenty of options to choose from.
Expedia’s Sister Sites: Travelocity, Orbitz, and CheapTickets
Many travelers don’t realize that Travelocity, Orbitz, and CheapTickets are all owned by Expedia Group, and typically have very similar inventory and pricing to Expedia. Each of these sites has similar layouts and filter options, too. Like Expedia, these three sites offer every possible vacation package combination involving a flight, hotel, and/or rental car.
It was rare for any of these sites to beat out Expedia’s prices in my tests; in general, the rates were identical (especially on Travelocity, where I didn’t find any deviations from Expedia) or a little bit higher. However, Orbitz and CheapTickets did offer slightly cheaper packages on one flight/car itinerary.
Because the pricing is so similar, it’s probably not worth searching all three of these sites in addition to Expedia unless a difference of a few dollars will make or break your travel budget.
Best Feature: Travelocity, Orbitz, and CheapTickets all offer a checkbox on their main booking page to specify “direct flights only”—a feature that isn’t currently available on Expedia. This saves you a step when filtering your flight options on later screens.
Note: Expedia Group also owns Hotwire, which I didn’t find quite as reliable as the other three in my tests. For one itinerary, a nonstop flight that the other sites offered was not available when booking a Hotwire package (though it was available when booking a separate flight on Hotwire), and the pricing on some searches was a little higher than on the other sites.
Like Expedia and its partners, Priceline also offers every possible combination of flight, hotel, and rental car. Its search results pages are easy to navigate, with plenty of filter and sort options, plus a map view for hotels. Priceline offers numerous hotel options in popular vacation destinations at every price point.
One quirk to prepare for: Priceline’s flight result page lists departure and return flights together as a pair rather than letting you choose each one separately. This cuts down on the number of screens you have to click through but could mean extra scrolling while you try to find the exact two flights you want. Not all flights that are available when booking airfare separately on Priceline seem to be accessible to those booking a package—so it’s worth checking both.
Priceline was in the middle of the pack as far as pricing was concerned. It won one of my tests but was the most expensive option in two others; overall, it offered cheaper-than-average prices 60 percent of the time. To help you save money, the site offers “Express Deals” for rental cars, an opaque option in which you don’t know which rental car brand you’ll get until after you’ve booked. If you’d rather choose which company you’re renting from, standard car rentals are also available.
Best feature: Once you’ve selected your flight and rental car preferences, the site will keep them the same as you click through alternate hotel possibilities—saving you the hassle of having to select them over and over again.
As its name suggests, CheapCaribbean. com has a more limited scope than other sites on this list, but it’s worth checking if you’re planning a trip to the Caribbean, where package trips such as honeymoons are particularly popular. The site turned up cheaper-than-average prices for both of my Caribbean tests.
CheapCaribbean.com is one of the best vacation websites for all-inclusive packages; there’s a checkbox for “all-inclusive” right on the site’s homepage. Once you’ve entered your trip information, you can also filter your results by “only adults,” “family friendly,” and “luxury.” Each hotel-specific page includes a list of good features (“What’s to Love”) and not-so-good ones (“What We’d Change”).
In some ways CheapCaribbean.com isn’t quite as sophisticated as other travel package sites. There’s no map available to compare locations of the listed hotel options, and having to use a drop-down menu to enter your departure and arrival cities feels a little old-school. (Also annoying: not being able to group Houston’s two airports into a single search, though you can select “all airports” for Chicago, New York City, and Washington, D. C.) But the affordable deals are worth a few snags, as long as you’re only looking for a flight/hotel package—there’s no option to add a car or create any other package combinations, though you can add travel insurance and transfers, at least for the destinations I checked.
Best Feature: The “Deals of Fortune,” or bookings where you know the destination but not the exact resort until about a week before the trip. This is a fun feature for value-conscious travelers who aren’t set on a particular island or property.
A popular meta-search site, Kayak saves travelers time by searching many of the best travel package sites with a single click. Unfortunately, you can’t specify which elements of your trip you’d like to bundle; it searches flight + hotel by default. You can add a car later on some of its partner sites, but if you’re looking for a flight/car package, you’ll have to go elsewhere.
Results list the cheapest available packages from sites such as Priceline (Kayak’s parent company), Expedia, and CheapCaribbean. com. There’s a map view available, and the results page shows both air- and hotel-related filters to make it easy to find nonstop flights, free breakfast, or a specific hotel.
I found that the prices listed on Kayak didn’t always match the price on the source site when I clicked over to find the deal—a fairly common problem with meta-search sites. But I also occasionally discovered that I got a different price after clicking from Kayak than I did when searching the same itinerary from the booking site’s home page. For example, a Las Vegas package was $819 per person on Priceline when I clicked over from Kayak, but just $783 when I booked the same package from the Priceline home page. Another test offered the opposite result, with the price being cheaper after clicking from Kayak than it was when booking directly on Priceline. The lesson: Test both options when using a meta-search site.
Best Feature: Being able to search some of the best vacation booking sites in a single place is a major time saver. Though Kayak doesn’t always find you the lowest possible price, it’s a good place to start your search and get an idea of what’s out there.
The Funjet home page gives you two only vacation package options: flight/hotel and hotel/car. However, you can work around this by adding a rental car on at the end of a flight/hotel or individual flight booking.
There are plenty of sort options for your results, including price, hotel name, rating, distance, and location. While the map view isn’t immediately obvious and is a little low-tech (you can’t zoom in or out), it is available, and you can filter your results to properties within a certain distance of popular landmarks.
One annoyance: Travelers with multiple gateway airports have to search each one separately—there’s no option to search all New York or Chicago airports, for instance. And Funjet’s prices aren’t the most consistent, ranking as the cheapest in one test and the most expensive in another. Still, the site is worth comparing to others when booking your vacation.
Best Feature: Rather than making you scour the web for coupons, Funjet automatically applies any relevant promo codes to your search.
Note: If you’re headed to the Caribbean, Central or South America, Hawaii, or Mexico, try your search on Funjet’s sister site, Apple Vacations. The destinations it covers are more limited than Funjet’s, but I found that the prices were often a little better. CheapCaribbean.com is also owned by the same parent company, Apple Leisure Group.
What to Wear on Your Next Vacation
For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.
Cute Women’s On-the-Go Outfit for the Summer
Men’s Semi-Casual Oufit
More from SmarterTravel:
Follow Sarah Schlichter on Twitter @TravelEditor for more travel tips and inspiration.
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Cheap Vacation Package Deals 2021/22
Are you on the hunt for cheap vacations? Perhaps you’re looking for a luxury honeymoon at an all-inclusive resort. Maybe you’re scouting for a last-minute family vacation package with a hotel that’s suitable for children of any age. No matter what kind of vacation you want to book, we’ve got the best deals to help you save money on your upcoming travel.
All you need to do is choose your destination and dates of travel, and search through our latest vacations deals to top destinations. Our vacation deals include flights and accommodation, and occasionally extras such as meals, drinks, transfers, and special experiences like guided tours.
We have something for everyone—regardless of your price limitations—and our team of deal hunters is always searching for the next best getaway. From all-inclusive beachfront resorts in Cancun, Mexico to family vacation packages for Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida to luxury spa getaways. We’ve got something for everyone.
What Are The Different Types Of Vacation Deals?
We create great new offers for our users every day. Browse through our site to compare types of vacation deals:
City Trips: Experience a new city in the U. S. over a couple of days—or jet off abroad and spend even longer in popular European cities like Paris or London.
All-Inclusive: All the meals and drinks you could ask for, available on-site at your accommodation.
Beach Vacation: There’s never a bad time for a beach vacation! Relax in the sun or try out snorkeling, scuba diving, or surfing.
Luxury Getaways: Put your comfort first and immerse yourself in full-on pampering with a luxury getaway at hotels and resorts with four- and five-star ratings.
Family-Friendly: Fun for tourists of any age, these trips are full of great experiences for adults and children alike.
Multi-Stop Trips: See multiple different destinations in just one trip.
Vacation Packages: Tour operators create cheap holiday packages and you book them with just one click—leaving you free from the hassle of planning. Does this sound like a dream come true? Read more below.
What’s A Package Vacation?
A package vacation is a trip in which a tour operator assembles a full package deal for you that includes flights and accommodation and sometimes transfers, meals, drinks, and activities as well.
Package vacations are a great choice for effortless traveling, as they are quick and easy to book and ensure that everything will be taken care of for you. For example, if your flight is canceled, it’s the travel provider’s job to find a new flight for you. You can rest easy knowing that your vacation will be stress-free and you are protected in case of changes to your itinerary.
What Are The Most Popular Vacation Destinations?
Popular vacation destinations in the U.S.:
Hawaii: A vacation in Hawaii means sunny weather, surfing, and beautiful beaches—and you can travel there passport-free.
Florida: Florida is chock-full of top vacation destinations like nightlife hotspot Miami and family-friendly Orlando—home to the ultimate amusement park—Walt Disney World.
Las Vegas: Take a trip to Sin City, where there are hotels of all different star ratings, relaxing spas, and slot machines galore.
California: Climb up to see the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, eat fresh oysters in San Francisco, hike through Big Sur, or hit the beaches outside San Diego—California is the U.S. destination that has it all.
New York: In New York, you can catch a Broadway show, eat a classic New York-style bagel, stroll through Central Park, and visit the Museum of Modern Art—all in one day.
New Orleans: New Orleans is a top destination for jazz, wild nightlife, Cajun food, and Carnival craziness.
Popular beach vacation destinations in the Caribbean and beyond:
Mexico: Explore the cenotes of Mexico, try out-of-this-world tacos, and relax in sunny Cancun.
Bahamas: Dive into the crystal-clear waters of the Bahamas for swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, and more.
Dominican Republic: Wander the old town of Santo Domingo before heading for one of the Dominican Republic’s pristine beaches.
Bora Bora: The group of islands in French Polynesia known as Bora Bora is a true paradise, with electric blue waters, lush green mountains, and romantic overwater bungalows.
Puerto Rico: Hike through Puerto Rico’s El Yunque National Forest, check out the seaside forts, and spend a lazy day or two (or three) on the beach.
Bali: Romantic Bali draws honeymooners, adventure travelers, and beachgoers alike with sultry weather, verdant landscapes, and inviting seas.
Popular European vacation destinations:
Greece: Ideal for foodies, history-lovers, beach bums, and nature enthusiasts, Greece is the perfect destination for any type of traveler.
England: Hop across the pond to England for trips to the glittering capital, London, the beautiful Lake District, and the colorful seaside town of Brighton.
Italy: Travel to Italy to experience world-famous food, breathtaking coasts, and dazzling cities with plenty to discover, like the ancient ruins of Rome, and the art museums of Florence.
Spain: Sunny Spain is a traveler’s dream, with easy connections between sleepy coastal towns and major cities like Barcelona with its impressive Gaudi architecture and Madrid with its famous tapas routes.
France: From the sweet wines of the Loire Valley to the warm weather in Nice to the picturesque city streets of Paris. France is an indulgence for the senses.
How to Travel for Free: 6 Ways to Vacation for Cheap
Planning a vacation is much easier than it used to be, thanks in large part to the internet. After all, finding a hotel, flight or dinner reservation is only a quick Google search away. But traveling is still rarely a bargain.
If you dig a little deeper, you can find everything from cheap flights to low-cost lodging alternatives. Here are six ways to travel on a budget without sacrificing the quality of your vacation, according to experts.
Think about your budget
while choosing your destination
There are many hurdles travelers face when planning a vacation, but experts say there’s one important detail people need to be more mindful of: their destination.
Rather than deciding where you’ll go first, then looking for flights within your budget, “take that search process and invert it,” suggests Scott Keyes, the founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, a flight deal website. “By making price the third priority, it’s not terribly surprising that the end result is expensive flights.” If you have some flexibility with timing or the places you’d like to visit, Keyes recommends researching which of your potential destinations is the cheapest during the timeframe you are targeting.
Beyond finding a flight that won’t break the bank, you should also take into account the country’s economic state when planning your trip, says Damon Dominique, co-founder and co-host of Shut Up and Go, a travel blog and YouTube channel for accessible travel. Dominique says you should first determine what the exchange rate will be for your country’s currency. Since the American dollar is often comparable to or stronger than other forms of currency—like the euro or the Israeli shekel, respectively—it’s important to factor the conversion rate into your decision. “Use it to your advantage, while you can,” Dominique says.
The time of year you choose to travel can also affect more than just airfare, according to Jo Franco, co-founder and co-host of Shut Up and Go. If you visit on a weekend or during peak tourism season, the trip will certainly be pricier, she notes—so deliberately visiting during a destination’s off-season can help you save money. And since the most tourist-friendly places are often the most expensive, Franco suggests that visiting a smaller local town “might be better and culturally more enriching than visiting a capital city.”
Know where to look when researching cheap flights
Finding a cheap flight when planning a trip is always half the battle. And for those traveling abroad, there is usually no other option than to fly. “That’s a big part of why airfare is so stressful for travelers,” Keyes says. “Everything else about a trip has a ton more options.”
Keyes says the key to finding a reasonable flight is knowing where to look. “[Booking a flight] is almost like a shooting star that’s going through the sky. If you’re not looking in the right part of the sky at the right time, you’re going to miss it,” he says. Google Flights and Kayak are helpful tools with flexible search parameters, and can send you different price alerts for the destinations you’re interested in.
If you’re looking directly at an airline’s website, you may wind up spending more money than you intended to, according to Keyes. Because an airline’s ultimate goal is, of course, to make money, the sales that airlines widely advertise are usually not the best deals, he notes. “The airlines aren’t necessarily travelers’ allies in that sense—they’re not going to always trumpet from the rooftops when there’s a really good deal popping up,” Keyes says. Instead of booking directly on an airline’s website, Keyes suggests opting for third-party websites like Priceline or Expedia for the best travel deals. These sites will do the legwork for you by scouring the internet to find the cheapest available options.
Know when to jump on a good flight deal
“There’s a lot of pressure to make sure you’re getting the right flight,” Keyes says. And there is no telling how long a flight’s price will last—especially when an airline offers a good deal. Though your instinct may be to wait and make your decision after doing further research, there are some instances when it’s best to take the leap and book that flight immediately, according to Keyes. But as a general rule of thumb, Keyes suggests booking at least one month in advance for domestic flights and two months ahead for international flights (though you should consider planning a couple more months in advance if you’re traveling during a peak period like Christmas).
Comparing flight fare to previous trips on the same route may also help you determine whether it’s a “good” deal, according to Keyes. Still struggling? Here are Keyes’ guidelines for what he considers to be excellent airfare from the U.S., based on his experience traveling to 46 countries and years of running his own flight deal site:
Flights to Africa: $700 or below
Flights to Asia: $550 or below
Flights to Australia: $700 or below
Flights to the Caribbean: $300 or below
Flights to Central America: $300 or below
Flights to Europe: $500 or below
Flights to Hawaii: $400 or below
Flights to South America: $550 or below
And if you jump on a flight deal quickly, you can always take advantage of airlines’ 24-hour cancellation policies. According to the Department of Transportation, all major U.S. airlines must allow a grace period of 24 hours for travelers to make cancellations if needed. That means, if you can’t reach your travel partner quick enough or you find a better deal after the fact, Keyes points out that you could always cancel your flight later that day.
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Stay for cheap—and even for free
The best way to find housing for cheap is by opting for hotel alternatives like Airbnb, Dominique suggests. Safety is a priority when traveling anywhere, but especially when choosing to rent. Airbnb vets their hosts and allows community reviews, as well as awarding premium properties the title of “super host,” so you can make an informed decision about where you choose to stay. The company also offers profile verifications where hosts can show their government-issued ID on their profile. Amy Brueckner, head of client services at CIRE Travel, a travel agency that facilitates corporate and personal trips, recommends only staying at Airbnbs that have lots of reviews, and where you feel comfortable communicating with the host beforehand.
For younger travelers looking for cheaper accommodations—especially in big cities like London, Paris or Rome—staying in a youth hostel is an inexpensive and fun way to travel, particularly because of the opportunities they offer for socializing, according to Dominique. You can find hostels online through sites like Hostels or HostelBookers, or by doing a simple Google search of hostels in your destination city. Pricing of hostels range by city and country, but they can be as cheap as $10 a night. Some hostels offer private rooms, while others have multiple bunks and communal spaces.
And if you’re looking to spend even less on lodging, Dominique and Franco say there are “endless” opportunities to stay for free. One option is through Couchsurfing, a website that connects travelers to locals’ couches (or, in some cases, guest rooms) for free. The company has put various safeguards in place—like identity verification, an on-call safety team and risk detection systems, a representative told TIME over email. Their website also has a safety guide for guests.
Dominique and Franco also suggest options like au pairing in a foreign country, or WWOFF, an international program that allows you to live on a farm (often for free) while assisting in organic farming. Because WWOFF has a small team, the program gives interested volunteers resources for conducting their own background checks and safety precautions for hosts, and a representative told TIME over email that members should use the online comments and rating systems to make decisions on where to volunteer.
Eric Hrubant, the CEO of CIRE Travel, recommends purchasing a travel insurance policy in case something does go wrong while staying at any of these shared spaces.
But if you are looking for a little more luxury and want to stay in a hotel, there are ways to maximize what you are paying for. Value-added amenities are a great way to get the biggest bang for your buck at a hotel, according to Hrubant. Try booking a hotel with perks like free breakfast, cocktail hours or utilities like laundry machines, which will allow you to cut costs elsewhere. And Hrubant says that even if these options aren’t listed online, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
If you’re staying at a smaller hotel as opposed to a chain, you can send an email or give them a call to see what kinds of perks they can include, suggests Brueckner. For honeymoons and other milestones, Hrubant says hotels will be more open to helping you have a better stay. “It’s sort of human nature that you’re going to want to reach out or go a bit overboard for a client,” he says.
You can still eat well on a budget
If eating well is a priority for your trip, there are still tons of ways to save money on meals. “Know what you want out of the vacation,” Brueckner advises. If you want to indulge in fancy dinners, you can offset that by having cheaper breakfasts and lunches. Prioritizing and planning which meals you’ll splurge on will ensure that you stay within your budget, according to Brueckner.
Franco says that staying at a hostel or hotel that includes breakfast is a simple way to save money on food. And for those who want to get a little more creative, she suggests asking locals for their tips and tricks. “The best way to figure out where the cheap eats are is to learn the language, earn the respect of the locals, and ask them where they go,” Franco says. Another easy tactic to find spots off the beaten path is to ask your hotel concierge or the staff at your hostel for suggestions, according to Hrubant.
And if you’re looking to embrace the culture of your destination while also saving money on food, Franco suggests booking an EatWith experience online, where locals give you an authentic dining experience, offering a meal that’s often cheaper than a restaurant frequented by tourists. Some EatWith events are hosted at people’s homes, so each host has to go through an application process to be listed on the site. The company also insures each guest during their event, according to its website.
And for those who are serious about sampling the local cuisine, they can always sign up for a foodie tour online.
Be flexible and make connections
Though it is tempting to plan your itinerary in advance, Franco and Dominique both say that it’s important to be flexible. Franco recommends having a list of five or fewer things that you cannot miss, while leaving the rest of your days open to spontaneity. This way, you can find fun experiences without shelling out the cash for tourist-marketed activities and events.
Connecting with locals will make your trip more memorable and exciting, Hrubant says, because you’ll learn things about the city—and find cheap adventures—that you might not have discovered on your own. “Making those human connections will basically give you a greater experience,” he explains.
And no matter how much or how little money you have to spend, making human connections while traveling has more than just financial perks. “I think it’s key to see that life is happening outside of all our personal bubbles,” Dominique says. “And in observing the cultures and customs of another place, maybe, just maybe we can understand ourselves better.”
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15 Cheap Vacation Ideas for Your Whole Family
Every season has its share of money temptations, but summer just might be the worst. The kids are out of school, the beach is calling your name, and every free hour seems like a good opportunity to drop everything and go on vacation. Blame it on the sun!
But how can you go on a fun trip when you’re on a budget?
15 Cheap Vacation Ideas
Here are 15 cheap vacation ideas that will let you get away without breaking the bank! So, put on The Beach Boys, bust out the shades, and start making your vacation list now.
Tour your own city
And this doesn’t mean you “tour” your house projects and work on your yard. We’re talking about getting out there and being a tourist in your own town.
Explore local art galleries, historical sites, that new restaurant you’ve been meaning to check out, or even half-price museum days. You can truly be as thrifty as you want with this one.
2. Go camping
Okay, so you can go the traditional “let’s sleep outside” route, or you can rent a cabin. Get out there and enjoy the great outdoors!
Ready to start saving? Get started with a free trial of Ramsey+ today.
If you want the whole RV/camper experience but don’t actually want to drive the thing, Airbnb has you covered for as little as $39 a night.1 Their hosts offer decked-out campers that stay put while you’re cozy and indoors. The youths call this “glamping”—you know, experiencing the great outdoors without dealing with that whole outdoors part.
3. Go to the less popular beach
Certain beaches are going to be more popular and pricier than others (looking at you, Key West and Laguna Beach). But if you know where to look, you can save a pretty penny and still watch the tide roll in.
Coastline beaches are going to be more expensive than beaches along the Gulf. Sure, the water might look a little different, but when you’re coming from a landlocked area, a beach is a beach. Staying in a two-bedroom beach condo in Miami could cost you upwards of $100 more per night in comparison to the same type of lodging in Galveston, Texas. Plus, the Gulf beaches will have less expensive hotels, food and activities too.
4. Book travel packages using warehouse stores
We promise this isn’t as weird as it sounds. Club stores, like Costco, actually offer pretty good deals on vacation packages. If you’re planning a more elaborate vacation, you might want to consider what they have to offer.
For example, one Costco deal we found includes five days of accommodations for two adults at the Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas, Walt Disney World tickets, and car rental for about $1,900.2 But if you paid for your hotel stay, Disney passes, and car rental separately, it would set you back about $2,200. That’s a savings of over $300 just by being smart about who you book with.
We know travel packages like this change pretty quickly, so you might not find this exact deal. The point is: If you’re on the lookout for a bargain, you should be able to find one if you know where to look!
5. Stay with friends or family
It’s not glamorous—and some people might not even consider it a true vacation—but staying with friends or family is an easy cheap vacation idea. Plus, you’ll get to spend time with the people you love!
More than likely, you won’t have to pay for lodging or some meals. That means you’ll only have to foot the bill to get to your destination. This should drastically cut back on your travel costs.
But make sure you’re a great guest while you’re staying there. Don’t be a mooch! Pay for groceries or cook some meals to show your gratitude. Maybe even treat your loved ones to dinner or dessert while you’re in town! You want to score an invite back, don’t you?
6. Travel during the off-season
Everyone loves taking a vacation in the summer, but pushing it out just a few more months could save you a bundle. Traveling during fall break (or any time after Labor Day weekend) can be a great cheap vacation idea.
Remember, though: Peak-season and off-season will change depending on where you’re planning to go. A good rule of thumb is to avoid traveling during the summer months, winter break, and holidays. Do your research before you book!
7. Go away on a weekend trip
If you need to get away, leaving town for the weekend can be just what the doctor ordered. Is it as restful as a 10-day trip? Well, no. But it’s not nearly as expensive. Budget for a quick weekend getaway, and you might be pleasantly surprised at how affordable it can be.
8. Take a vacation on a weekday
All right, this is the exact opposite of the last idea, but hear us out. Most of the time, booking a hotel or Airbnb for the weekend is pricier than staying there during the week. So, if you can afford to use some vacation time at work, try booking a quick, midweek vacation.
9. Visit a national park
The greatest thing about nature is that it’s usually pretty much free to enjoy. Oh, and it’s beautiful—added bonus! Don’t sweat it if you don’t live anywhere near Yosemite or the Grand Canyon. Did you know there are actually 61 national parks across the United States? Find one near you and go explore! Just know the parks might have a small entrance fee to pay per vehicle or person.
Stay at a bed-and-breakfast nearby
Sure, some B&Bs are known for being over the top and out of a budgeter’s price range. But many bed-and-breakfasts can actually be budget friendly if they roll meals and activities into the price of a nightly stay.
A bed-and-breakfast in Nashville generally runs around $100 to $250 per night.3 But considering you’ll get homemade breakfast at the very least (hence the name) and other meals throughout your stay, it’s really not a bad deal.
A lot of B&Bs even throw in extras, like coffee and cookies or wine and cheese, in the lobby area. Depending on your location, some bed-and-breakfasts offer kayaks, bikes or canoes for you to take for a spin for free.
11. Get insider tips
Okay, let’s say you already know you’re going to go big and plan a vacation to Disney World, but you still want to be smart and do Disney on a budget. You need to make collecting all the insider tips your part-time job. Scour the internet, ask friends and family, and do your research across the board to learn all the things you need to know before booking the trip.
Just because it’s “the most magical place on Earth” doesn’t mean you can’t do it on the cheap!
12. Explore your own region
On the flip side, taking a vacation doesn’t mean you have to go to Disneyland . . . or Paris . . . or take a Caribbean cruise. If you want cheap vacation ideas, look no further than your own region.
Decide to go somewhere that’s maybe just one or two hours away from home. You’ll be out of town while (hopefully) avoiding the sticker shock of busy vacation areas. And you’ll save money by not dealing with flights or long drives!
13. Book in advance
One of the best cheap vacation ideas is booking your trip far in advance. We’re not saying you have to plan it years out, but your chances of getting good prices are a lot higher when you don’t wait until the month before you want to go.
Online travel hubs, like Groupon and Expedia, pride themselves in offering great, last-minute vacation deals. And if you’re just trying to find a last-minute hotel in a pinch, look into Hotel Tonight.
14. Book a rental car with your debit card
Trying to book a rental car with your debit card used to be a huge pain. Sure, some places would let you do it, but they basically wanted you to submit to a background check, leave your first-born child as collateral, and pat your head while rubbing your belly. In other words, there were a lot of hoops to jump through.
Now, Dollar Car Rental makes renting a car with a debit card super easy. No hoops, no making you feel like a second-class citizen—just pick up your car and hit the road. And how does it save you money? Simple. It’s not being charged to a credit card and collecting interest months after your vacation ended—that’s how.
15. Take a staycation
Take those vacation days and get ready to stay at home! There are plenty of ways to be creative (and thrifty) without losing the fun factor. Plan out which nights of the week you want to take your family out to eat or explore downtown. And don’t forget to meal plan for the nights you’ll eat at home too. Try sprucing up your backyard and tossing some burgers on the grill!
How to Save for Your Cheap Vacation
We hate to break it to you, but the money for your cheap vacation isn’t just going to magically appear in your bank account. This is why having a budget is such a big deal!
Once you figure out when you want to go on vacation, budget out what looks like a reasonable amount of money to save for your family. The amount you’re able to put aside will impact where you go and how long you can stay. You may need to sell things and make temporary lifestyle sacrifices. But don’t worry! There are plenty of ways you can save up cash quickly.
We’re all for you having a dream vacation, but don’t go into debt for it! When you save up, pay in cash, and try these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation without having to worry about bills following you home.
So, don’t go on a vacation without a budget—you’ll feel the burn long after summer ends if you do. Instead, create your budget with our free budgeting app, EveryDollar! Then, get out there and enjoy your paid for vacation!
Cheap Travel Insurance – International Citizens Insurance
Affordable Travel Insurance Plans
Vacations are not cheap! We spend thousands of dollars every year on flights, cruises, car rental, hotels, and tours and so it’s understandable that we would want to save money on some aspect of our vacation in an attempt to keep the costs down. Cheap travel insurance may be one way of doing just that.
Here at International Citizens Insurance, we offer competitively priced travel insurance which, in our opinion, is affordable given the amount of cover our policies provide.
Why Buy Travel Insurance?
You’ve worked hard and saved your dollars throughout the year for your annual vacation. It’s expensive, but worth it for that week away in the sun, or skiing, or visiting some faraway destination. But, days, before you’re due to go a family member, falls sick and you have to cancel. With travel insurance this isn’t an issue; it’s upsetting having to cancel when you’ve been looking forward to this trip so much, but because you paid out for travel insurance you’re covered; you get your money back, and you can plan the trip again at a later date.
However, if you didn’t buy the insurance you have no protection should this happen. It’s unfortunate, but either you have to take your trip anyway and risk not enjoying it or having to travel back home early, or you cancel the trip altogether and lose all the money you paid for it.
This is just one scenario where travel insurance more than pays for itself.
Should You Buy Cheap Travel Insurance?
The age-old adage: “you get what you pay for” definitely does apply when it comes to travel insurance. In general, the less you pay for it, the less coverage you will get, though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you only have a limited budget, it is better to buy cheap travel insurance that is affordable and at least covers some of your trip risks rather than buying no cover at all.
Affordable Trip Cancellation and Travel Medical Coverage
Cheap Travel Medical Plan (excludes trip cancellation coverage)
Plan for the Cost of Travel Insurance
One way of looking at cheap travel insurance is that you’ve spent thousands on your trip anyway so adding a few dollars more is just a small percentage of the overall cost. And, it can save you thousands if you do find yourself needing medical attention while away from home. Establish a budget for the cost of travel insurance right at the early stages of planning your vacation by getting several quotes and figuring out how much it will cost you. Once you’ve booked your travel plans and accommodation, it’s at this stage that you should buy your trip insurance, not the day before you’re due to leave! This way you’re covered for the scenario above, but if you leave it until the last minute, you won’t be.
How to Lower the Cost of your Travel Insurance
Once you have decided on a plan that meets your needs, you can usually adjust certain components of the coverage to get a cheaper travel insurance plan. First, most plans will ask you to choose a maximum amount of coverage. If you keep this maximum low, your costs will be lower. Typically we suggest you purchase at least $50,000 in benefits for shorter trips, more for longer trips and bigger groups. You should also be able to select a higher deductible. The deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance kicks in. A higher deductible reduces the amount the insurance company will pay if you get sick or cancel your trip, therefore the cost of coverage is less.
Don’t Skimp on Your Policy Features
Cheap travel insurance can cover some of the basics such as trip cancellation, or you can buy policies that just cover your medical expenses. Where possible it’s best not to skimp on your policy features so you can determine exactly how much coverage you need by talking to one of our customer support teams. Let us know where you’re going, how long you’re going for, and what you’re planning to do while on your trip, and we can tell you which policy would suit you best.
Out of the Box Travel Tips for Planning a Cheap Vacation
If you’re looking for some out of the box travel tips for planning a cheap vacation, you’re in luck! Here are easy ways to vacation easily on a budget!”
I’ll never forget how excited I was, years ago, to plan my first cross-country road trip with my family. My excitement was short-lived as I rattled off everything we hoped to see only to have a friend respond with, “It’s not worth traveling unless I can stay in a 5-star resort.”
I was speechless.
Folks, at the time, my family was living in a 31-foot RV. Our campground didn’t even have a pool. Our idea of a good day was showering in the bathhouse without a wait.
Our RV was not this nice.
At that time, laying by the pool at a posh Hawaiian resort was the last thing we were likely to experience.
Our idea of fun was road-tripping from stop A to stop B and stopping along the way to hike, check out a roadside attraction and visiting cheesy tourist traps.
It’s not that her idea of fun was a bad idea, we just couldn’t afford to travel the same way and if we were ONLY willing to travel when we could afford that 5-star resort, there would be a lot of experiences that we would have missed out on over the years.
I think you know by now that my husband and I love to travel. We will fly budget airlines, stay in hostels, cook our food in a hotel room and even van camp if it means that we’re able to travel more.
And, if you ask me, which I think you are since you’re visiting this page, travel is becoming more accessible. But only if you’re willing to forgo that posh resort.
Nowadays, taking a vacation doesn’t mean that it has to break the bank.
With the use of technology and a little bit of patience, it is possible to plan a vacation on the cheap. I’ve been doing it for years!
Before you start dreaming about dipping your toes in the sand and soaking up the rays, you first need to understand how to prioritize what you’re hoping to accomplish on your trip.
By putting thoughts, expectations, and questions in perspective, it can really help you in planning a cheap vacation with ease.
What is the best way to plan a vacation?
While there are many ways to plan a vacation, one of the best ways is to narrow down exactly where you’re hoping to go. But even before doing that, you need to know exactly what your budget is. How in the world can you plan a cheap vacation if you don’t know your financial limit?
Mind if I share a trick I’ve learned over the years? Set your budget low.
Honestly, most people set a budget but almost ALWAYS end up spending the high end of that amount.
What’s the point of even setting a budget range if you’re just going to spend all of it, regardless? Give yourself some wiggle room and really try to make an affordable and doable budget for your vacation planning.
You know I always plan fun & free roadside stops to stretch the budget when I’m traveling. You’ll find many of those here ——-> Over 50 Roadside Attractions in the U. S. to Slam on your Brakes For
What should I do on vacation?
The sky truly is the limit. Even when you are planning a cheap vacation, you still have so many varying options.
You need to decide what type of vacation you’re hoping for. Do you want a vacation in nature or one at a hotel, instead?
Are you more of a foodie or can you get by with picnic lunches?
Do you enjoy learning about history? You can often find historical attractions that are free or low cost.
On the other hand, if your idea of a vacation is hanging out in that luxury resort, visiting every amusement park and tourist attraction you can find and dining at all the top restaurants, there are ways to save here and there but I’d say a cheap vacation isn’t necessarily for you.
All of these are valid questions to start with to dig deep into your vacation wants and needs.
How do I relax on vacation?
Relaxing is one of the best parts of taking a vacation! And the quickest and easiest way to make that happen? Stay within that budget that you’ve set for yourself!
There is nothing more stressful than overspend and know you’ll be hit with a pile of bills when you get back home.
Next, unplug from all the outside distractions.
This means leave those emails for later and turn that phone on silent. The moment that you set sail on your vacation, the outside world and anything work-related can wait!
Pack in some type of relaxing activity.
Read a book.
Go bird watching.
Learn to play disc golf.
Hunt for beach glass.
Ride a bike.
Take a hike.
I think you get the idea.
Now that you understand the simplicity of planning a vacation, let’s focus on some tips on how to make it happen easily and affordable!
Out of the Box Travel Tips for Planning a Cheap Vacation
These travel tips can help make your vacation planning a budget breeze!
Coupon clip before you leave
If you’re going somewhere that you’re able to cook your own meals, stock up on coupons for groceries a few months before you leave. That way when you arrive at your vacation destination, you can use your coupons to get some major savings on your food.
Most people spend a ton of money eating out but since you’re going to be packing your own food, this is one cost that you aren’t going to have to worry about.
I’ve spent years cooking in a hotel room and my husband actually prefers that to eating out most nights.
And since you aren’t going to be spending a ton of money on food, why would you then want to spend a ton of money on groceries? Coupons are a great way to save, even when traveling.
Check with your credit card for discounts and offers
Have you ever checked to see what kind of discounts you can get by using your credit card?
Rental car discounts, hotel discounts and even cash back on places that you’re going to be visiting are all possibilities through your credit card.
All you have to do is call and ask or get online for some quick searches.
And when it comes to saving on future trips, make sure you’re using a credit card that will reward you with some type of points that you can redeem on future travels.
Invite your friends to join in on the fun
Who says that you can’t extend the invitation to join to your family and friends? The more, the merrier, right? Plus, the more adults that tag along, the cheaper the cost is going to be on your end.
If you make up your mind to split all the costs evenly, it can quickly turn a vacation into one that’s truly affordable! This is a great way to save on vacation rentals, groceries, and even activities when you qualify for group pricing (like a cruise)!
Check out Groupon or LivingSocial for Discounts Before you Travel
I can’t even begin to tell you how much money I’ve saved using Groupon and Living Social over the years! My family has saved on activities, restaurants, hotels and complete vacation packages.
When choosing your lodging accommodations, consider booking a vacation rental or staying in an AirBnB
Whether you’re looking to rent a room for the night or a full house for a week, it’s worth taking a look at AirBnB to find accommodations to fit your needs.
You’ll find it’s often more comfortable than a hotel room, allows you to prepare your own meals, and depending on the amenities, may become a highlight of your trip. Plus, you can save $40 off your first booking at AirBnB.
Pitch a tent and go camping along the route
If you’re traveling from point A to point B and need a night to rest, don’t pay hundreds of dollars for a hotel room just to sleep in. Instead, find a local campground and set up a tent instead. For as little as $10 per night, you can get some serious shut-eye and save some serious money. My husband and I have done this many times before we discovered van camping which is now our preferred way to travel.
It’s not hard to plan a cheap vacation but you do have to be willing to do just a little bit of work. If you can plan ahead and set a few ideas in place, you can bank on the fact that your vacation will stay well within your budget!
Looking for more travel tips to help you save money on vacation? Check out these posts:
5 Ways to Stretch your Travel Dollars
Practical Tips to Save Money on Your Next Road Trip
9 Tips that will Help You Save Money on Hotel Rooms
What tips do you have for saving money on vacation?
7 Travel Companies That Plan Mystery Vacations
For most people, the joy of traveling isn’t the researching or booking—it’s that moment you step off the airplane in a place you’ve never been. So why not skip the planning and let someone else chart your next adventure for you, including choosing the destination? Besides, who cares where you go when you’ve got expert travel agents finalizing every last detail for you?
Introducing the latest trend in travel: surprise trips to places that won’t be revealed to you until it’s go time.
Jubel, a tech-enabled travel company founded in 2015 in California, offers customized multi-destination getaways and route planning. It can also save you more than 55 percent in travel costs compared with booking a trip yourself, thanks to insider travel deals. Jubel also offers surprise trips.
Fill out its survey with your preferred dates, budget, and travel style, and it’ll send you a trip proposal. You can be completely surprised by the destination or learn the continent or country ahead of time. Once you’ve booked, you’ll get sealed envelopes to open along your journey, plus details on what to pack and when to show up at the airport. International trips start at around $1,000 per person per week.
Pack Up and Go
(Courtesy Pack Up and Go)
Want a weekend getaway in the U.S. without any hassle of planning it? Enter Pack Up and Go, founded in 2016 in Pittsburgh. Give the company your dates and budget, and complete a quick survey (sample question: Do you want action, relaxation, or culture?), and it will do the rest for you. Prior to your trip, you’ll get a packing list, flight information, and a weather forecast. Days before you leave, an envelope with your destination and itinerary will arrive in the mail. Open it at the airport. Trips start at $400 per person.
The Vacation Hunt
(Courtesy The Vacation Hunt)
Whether you have three days or two weeks, the expert travelers at the Vacation Hunt, started in 2017 by a husband and wife in Washington, D.C., will plan a trip for you. Tell the reps what you’re looking for (spas or zoos? bars or museums?) and they’ll start sending you clues as to where you’re going. Packaged trips in the U.S. start at $750 per person; international trips start at $950. They also offer gift certificates if you want to give someone else a surprise trip.
Magical Mystery Tours
With Magical Mystery Tours, you won’t know where you’re going until you show up at the airport. First, enter your preferences: Do you want a foreign trip? Do you dislike the cold or the beach? Would you prefer heading to the desert or someplace tropical? Then input your dates, budget, and who you’re traveling with. The company will take care of the details. Magical Mystery Tours has been booking destination vacations to locations all over the globe since 2009. Cost depends on the length of the trip, whether it’s international or domestic travel, and the kind of accommodations you want. Weekend trips for two start at $1,500.
Surprise Me Trips
Choose between quick road trips from your hometown or far-flung destinations via airplane. You’ll get details about what to bring and where to be just before your departure. For its weekend road trips, tell the company where you want to start, and it will plan a surprise itinerary around your region, including a few nights in different locales and major landmarks and activities to check out along the way. Despite this travel company’s name, it will also arrange trips that don’t come as a surprise, if that’s more your thing. Surprise Me Trips was launched by three well-traveled friends in Texas in 2016. Weekend regional road trips start at $375.
(Courtesy Black Tomato)
In 2017, high-end travel company Black Tomato debuted its Get Lost service, which creates adventurous tailor-made expeditions to wilderness destinations like Mongolia or the Arctic that are kept entirely a secret from you. Here’s how it works: select a polar, jungle, coastal, desert, or mountain trip—or have Black Tomato choose that, too—and book at least six months in advance to give you time to train and prepare. When you arrive at your location, you’ll be outfitted with all the gear you need, plus a private transfer from the airport to your starting point and a satellite phone for emergencies. Chart your way through a series of mapped-out checkpoints using navigational technology and your own two feet. The journey ends at a luxury retreat. Average Get Lost trips cost around $15,000 per person—but there are shorter, less expensive options, too.
(Courtesy Rustic Pathways)
Designed for high school students looking for an exciting summer group trip, student-travel company Rustic Pathways offers a mystery trip to an unknown international destination. Before departure you’ll get a Patagonia duffel bag sent to you that’s filled with clues and a few essentials. Then arrive at the designated airport and spend the next two weeks exploring foreign cities and remote villages with other intrepid students as a guide leads the way. As of press time, there were still a few spots left on an upcoming trip in late June. It costs $5,995, not including airfare.
90,000 18 Cheap Destinations in Europe for the Budget Traveler – OneTwoTrip Blog
Europe is endlessly attractive for all types of travelers. On the one hand, this is the concentration of a huge number of cultural monuments, history, picturesque landscapes, and on the other, an endless waste of money. Of course, you can travel for almost any budget, but if you want “cheap but comfortable”, then this list is for you.
1. Albanian coast
Albania is a country washed by two seas at once – the Adriatic and the Ionian.The coastal area has a mild Mediterranean climate, dry and hot in summer and cool and humid in winter.
Tourists most often choose the popular coastal resorts – Durres, Fier, Saranda, Vlora, Shkodra.
Cultural tourism enthusiasts also have something to do, such as the Butrint archaeological reserve and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Berat and Gjirokastra.
Several Albanian cities have preserved medieval castles, for example, Petrela Castle in the suburbs of Tirana and Skanderbeg Castle in Kruje.
Drinks: a bottle of red wine – 6 €.
Food: minced meat pies € 2, seafood € 5.
Hostel / hotel 3 *: 10 € / 30 €.
2. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina with a population of about 400,000. On the one hand, it is a modern western city, on the other, a strict eastern city, almost half of the city’s population is Muslim.
The main historical sights are concentrated in the old city: the caravanserai in the city of Moricha Khan, the Imperial Mosque, the Gazi-Khosrevbey Mosque (16th century), the Barcharshiya Tower, the Kurshumli Madrasah with a collection of medieval manuscripts and books, the house-museum of the Ottoman Svrzho family.
During the day it is interesting to walk in the central region of Baskarsia, view and explore the bazaar that has existed since Ottoman times, taste Bosnian coffee, and go to clubs in the evening.
Drinks: coffee – 0.5 €.
Food: sevapsisi (meat sausages) – 2-4 €.
Hostel / hotel 3 *: 5 € / 25 €.
3. Bansko, Bulgaria
Allowing yourself to ski in Europe is not a cheap pleasure, not least because the main ski resorts are located in the most expensive European countries. Fortunately, there are several ski areas in Eastern Europe, like the Bulgarian Bansko, located on the slopes of the Pirin.
You can get to the main ski resort in the country, rich in excellent slopes for beginners and experienced skiers, along the most picturesque, albeit very slow, narrow-gauge railway.However, in addition to tourist attractions, there is something to entertain in the city, for example, go hiking in traditional old pubs located in cobblestone streets.
Drinks: beer (0.5) – 1 €.
Food: Shopska salad – € 3.
Hostel / hotel 3 *: 10 € / 20 €.
4. Czech Republic
The Czech Republic remains one of the most popular European destinations for Russian tourists.The country, in addition to amazing architecture, both old and modern, is famous for its brewing traditions.
In Prague itself, the choice of drinking establishments is wide – from various taverns and monastic taverns to modern microbreweries. More than 100 types of beer are brewed in the city.
After tasting some of them, you can continue your tour of the Czech Republic and go to the homeland of Pilsner Urquell, to the city of Plzen, and further to lesser-known places like Olomouc, which looks more like a large open-air museum, thanks to the dense concentration of castles, fortresses, ancient churches and cathedrals, churches and gardens.
Drinks: Pilsner Urquell beer – 1.5 €.
Food: Pork dumplings – 5 €.
Hostel / hotel 3 *: 6 € / 40 €.
Baltic coast of Estonia
On their first trip to Estonia, tourists usually stop in Tallinn and spend most of their time there. Although there are many interesting places in Estonia besides the capital. The whole country is like one big resort, with many lakes, mineral springs, wide beaches and a high level of service.
An hour’s drive from Tallinn is the Lahemaa National Park – one of the largest in the country. Most of it is covered with swamps, in several parts of which there are small lakes. You can walk in the park by bike or on foot – the walking path is made of wooden flooring.
And if you go a little further to the west, then you will find yourself in the resort of Pärnu, with its gorgeous beaches, or on the island of Saaremaa, where there are many pine forests and very democratic spas.
Drinks: Le Coq beer – 2.5 €.
Food: bloody sausages and sauerkraut – 5 €.
Hostel / hotel 3 *: 10 € / 45 €.
6. Leipzig, Germany
Leipzig is the largest city in Saxony. Bach, Wagner, Mendelssohn and Goethe once lived here. In addition to talented residents, the city is famous for the fairs held here. In total, about 25 of them take place a year.
The city also has many cultural and historical attractions: the Old Town Hall, built in the 16th century in just 9 months, the Royal House, where Peter I stayed during his travels across Europe.The great composer Johann Sebastian Bach is buried in the Church of St. Thomas, next to the cathedral there is a museum named after him.
Drinks: Gose (a type of top fermented beer) – 2.9 €.
Food: schnitzel – 8 €.
Hostel / hotel 3 *: 13 € / 35 €.
7. London, England
London and cheap are rare words. However, London has plenty of free entertainment, more than any other European city.The British Museum, a collection of treasures for the most discerning taste, the Tate Gallery with stunning views and panoramas and ever-changing collections; natural history museum with dinosaur skeletons. And everything is free.
And don’t forget about the street: you can spend an entire day walking along Hampstead Heath, and another day along the South Bank or East End and its markets: the taste of the city is much easier than languishing in line for some overpriced sight.
Drinks: lager – 5 €.
Food: fish and fries – 11 €.
Hostel / hotel 3 *: 12 € / 80-100 €.
8. Peloponnese, Greece
Peloponnese is not the most popular destination in Greece, so it is quite budgetary. There are many beaches, clear sea and beautiful nature.
On the peninsula, in addition to natural attractions, there are also historical ones, for example, the Statue of Zeus in Olympia – one of the 7 wonders of the world of antiquity, the remains of the temples of Hera and Zeus.Another interesting place is the ghost town of Mystras, which was built from the ruins of ancient Sparta, which is located nearby.
Few people know, but in the Peloponnese you can go skiing and snowboarding. The season lasts from December to the first half of April. A choice of all types of tracks: from green to black.
Drinks: ouzo – 3 €.
Food: souvlaki (kebab) – 3 €.
Hostel / hotel 3 *: 20 € / 30 €.
Despite the fact that Budapest is a beautiful and modern city, the prices for tourists here are very pleasant. For example, a day at the famous baroque Szechenyi baths will cost about 16 euros, and these baths are considered one of the most expensive in the city. To avoid queues and a large number of tourists, it is better to go here on weekdays or on weekends early in the morning. Thermal baths start working at 6 am.
Another wonderful place for a traveler not burdened with big money – establishments with a signboard borozó are wine eateries where you can drink wine for a penny.You shouldn’t be afraid for your health – locals come here before or after work, to chat and relax. Naturally, they serve Hungarian: red, white or pink. If while walking, you saw a sign with the inscription Söröző – feel free to come in, this institution does not seem to be the previous one, only beer is poured here instead of wine.
Drinks: a bottle of wine – from 1 €.
Food: goulash – 3-4 €.
Hostel / hotel 3 *: 5 € / 30 €.
10.Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Few tour of Europe is complete without visiting charming Italian cities – sophisticated Florence, ancient Rome and amazing Venice. There is no reason to doubt their attractiveness, but the fact is that they are located at the intersection of all tourist routes, which greatly increases prices, especially in the hot season.
If you leave the continent for Sicily, its capital Palermo, you will discover a city that at the same time resembles the Italy of the past years and, according to the locals, a completely different country.The city has many old churches with exquisite mosaics or chaotic small markets where you can enjoy street food like arancini rice balls or panelle.
Drinks: a bottle of wine – 2.5 €.
Food: pasta € 5-8, slice of pizza € 2.
Hostel / hotel 3 *: 15-30 € / 45-60 €.
11. Lake Ohrid, Macedonia
The wide and deep Lake Ohrid is a real pearl of Macedonia.The quiet streets of the city of the same name hide medieval churches covered with frescoes, a Roman amphitheater and a fortress, which is simply a sin not to visit. But walks around the city again and again will lead you to the water, on which locals and tourists are eager to ride boats.
If you are more accustomed to solid soil, go for a walk in the Galichitsa National Park. Rooms to rent here are cheap and places to stay are plentiful, making it a great place for budget travelers looking to relax.
Drinks: wine – from 2.5 € per bottle.
Food: tavche gravce (beans in a pan) – 1.5 €.
Hostel / hotel 3 *: 6 € / 25 €.
12. Kotor, Montenegro
Beautiful, located in a fjord-like bay, Kotor enchants tourists from the first minutes. The city center – Stari Grad in 1979 was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as one of the best preserved medieval towns on the Adriatic coast.
In addition to acquaintance with cultural and historical monuments of architecture, people go to Kotor to numerous festivals and carnivals, as well as for gastronomic pleasures: there are many restaurants and cafes in the city where the freshest seafood is prepared.
Approximate prices :
Drinks: beer Nikšičko Tamno – 1 €.
Food: sarma – 2.5-4 €.
Hostel / hotel 3 *: 10 € / 50 €.
13. Gdansk, Poland
According to historical data, it was in Gdansk that World War II began.When Hitler planned to unleash a war, first of all he demanded the return of Danzig (now Gdansk) to Germany, Poland refused, and this served as a pretext for the attack. As a result of shelling and bombing, almost 90% of the city’s buildings were destroyed. After the Soviet troops liberated the city in March 1945, a large-scale restoration of the city began, the results of which can be seen now.
One of the main sights of the city, an ancient port crane on the embankment built in the 15th century, miraculously survived, and now it can be seen the same as people who lived several centuries ago saw it.
Drinks: vodka – 1 € per shot.
Food: zurek soup – 2-3 €.
Hostel / hotel 3 *: 7 € / 35 €.
14. Porto, Portugal
The second largest city in Portugal sits on the banks of the Duoro River. Ribeira – the area of the city that stretches along the river, is attractive for delicious food in local restaurants.
Other popular attractions include the giant Serralves Park and the chic art museum located there.But the most famous in the city is the port itself. Vinologia is a great place to start exploring the variety of fortified wines, or you can go shopping in Vila Nova di Gaia on the opposite side of the river.
Drinks: bottle of vignu verde in the store – 3.5 €.
Food: fried fish – 8 €.
Hostel / hotel 3 *: 8 € / 45 €.
15. Transylvania, Romania
At the word “Transylvania” the first association is Count Dracula and his castle.And you can definitely go looking for traces of Vlad Tepes. Most likely, Vlad was born in the cozy town of Sighisoara, which even has a suitable fortress.
However, this place is not only about castles and vampire fangs. Wander into the forests of the Carpathian Mountains, where Transylvanian wolves, bears, deer and lynxes live in natural conditions in the Piatra Craiului National Park.
Drinks: a bottle of beer – € 1.8, a bottle of Romanian wine – € 5.
Food: Tochitura (meat stew) – € 2.
Hostel / hotel 3 *: 12 € / 30 €.
16. High Tatras, Slovakia
The pride of Slovakia, the Tatra mountain range is a majestic ridge crowned with the Gerlahovski Shtit mountain, 2655 meters high. You can start your journey in a small village, like Novy Smokovets or Zhdiar, and from there go to the mountains, where you can take a break from the hustle and bustle in inexpensive chalets.
The terrain is mountainous and difficult, so prepare accordingly.It is also a favorite place for climbers and amateur cavers, plus you can ride a bike, go on a rafting tour, and in winter a full range of ski and ski entertainment is available.
Drinks: beer – 1.7 €.
Food: nocchi with bacon – 4 €.
Hostel / hotel 3 *: 9 € / 30 €.
Bordered by Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary, small Slovenia is the perfect stop for any European trip.For adventure seekers as well as those who just want to relax on the shores of the Adriatic Sea.
At the foot of the Julian Alps, there are twin lakes: the picturesque Bled and the Bohinj glacial lake. From here, a stone’s throw to the Soča River Valley, right on the Italian border, and there – hiking, rafting and boating.
Drinks: a bottle of beer – 2.5 €.
Food: pizza – € 5–7.
Hostel / hotel 3 *: 12 € / 60 €.
18. Andalusia, Spain
Spain’s southernmost province, Andalusia, is renowned for its charming cities, especially Seville, Granada and Cordoba, adorned with a sophisticated heritage of the Moorish past. Only the prices here are more interesting when compared with Madrid or Barcelona.
The main attractions are located in the cities, and the best thing you can do is rent a car and go to see all the cities in order.
Drinks: sherry – 1.7-2.5 €.
Food: daily menu – 10-12 €.
Hostel / hotel 3 *: 10 € / 35-80 €.
* Accommodation prices are indicated at the time of writing. The cost indicated in the material and the final price may differ, depending on the season and the time for which tickets are purchased.
90,000 Travel health insurance, which is considered “reliable coverage”
Caution: I have not actually done this yet, but I am planning a long trip of this kind myself and am researching this issue thoroughly.
The main thing to know is that there is a significant difference between travel health insurance and international health insurance.
The first is intended as an add-on to the full coverage you have at home to cover emergencies such as sudden illness or accident, hospital evacuation, return to your country, etc. This is not a “complete” health plan. service, you cannot go to a clinic in Paris for an annual technical check-up with a low surcharge.This is not what these plans are for, and based on what I have learned so far, it looks like if it were your only medical insurance on your travels it would not be considered reliable coverage by the new insurer , when will you come back.
Another “trick” with these travel plans is that coverage will automatically end when you return to your home country. So even if you paid for 11 months, if after 6 months you decide to go home for a week to attend a friend’s wedding and kiss your mom on the cheek, your policy ends and you need a new one.
What you will probably need is genuine health insurance with an international network. There are many providers including HTH, Ihi Bupa, Cigna and many more. Most also have travel insurance options, so it’s important to be careful with what you buy. For example, ihi Bupa has a travel insurance page and a health insurance page. HTH has a Travel Medical page and an Expat Medical page. Very different products.Be vigilant – be sure you are signing up for a plan that will cover you in its entirety, not just a travel plan.
This page provides a fairly comprehensive list of insurers that can offer long-term travel or long-term health insurance to US citizens. This is a good place to start.
Bon voyage and great travel!
We are going to Israel – a ready travel plan from the editor 34travel
In the “Semi-finished product” heading, members of the editorial board and our comrades share ready-made and proven travel plans.Chief Editor of 34travel Nastya Erokho recently returned from a May vacation in Israel – she stopped in two main cities and swam in the Dead Sea. How to quickly move on public transport, where to stop, buy souvenirs and taste the best hummus – the word for Nastya. You just have to repeat, because even the visa excuse is gone!
During the legendary Belavia campaign, I was looking for tickets to places where I had not yet been.There was little choice: Iran or Israel. But since the visa issue with Iran is still not fully understood, and everyone is definitely allowed to enter Israel, everything was resolved very quickly. Moreover, the entire Internet vied with each other that there was no better time for a trip to their historical homeland – it was already warm, there were few tourists, and jellyfish had not yet appeared in the sea. True, they said that only visitors swim, because the street is only 26 degrees!
How to get there?
In a normal situation, a direct Belavia flight Minsk – Tel Aviv will cost at least € 315 in both directions.You can fly from Vilnius on Wizz Air – then with some luck you will pay € 49.99 for one-way tickets (or € 39.99 with Discount Club).
A nice moment is that the main Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv is located perfectly: you can get to the city by train (costs € 3), minibuses or taxis. By the way, the train runs all night once an hour – which is especially convenient, considering that the Belavia plane arrives at 22.50. After landing, you will find a fascinating quest to go through customs, search for luggage and, of course, mini-interviews with border guards.
In an ideal world, you should have a clear plan for all the days of your stay: a return ticket, printouts of hotel reservations, insurance (by the way, it is more expensive only in the USA and Australia, for 6 days it cost 250 thousand), confirmation of solvency. If you are going to visit, then there should be a free-form letter from the inviting party – along with a photocopy of the Israeli passport. In fact, everything turned out to be simpler: a smiling girl in Russian asked when we were already home, wished us a great rest and gave out pieces of paper that need to be attached to the turnstile to get out of the airport – they act as an entry stamp.Shalom, we are in Israel!
If you set a goal, then with a 90% probability you will find an entry in Israel, and I, of course, did the same. But if I couldn’t find my man, I would have settled in the hostel Little Tel Aviv – in the center near the sea. Double rooms – from € 99 per night.
When you come to Tel Aviv, you clearly understand that the future belongs to cities that easily accept different cultures, ideas and values.In the main city of Israel, they are truly proud of their national heritage and history – whatever it may be – and are happy to share it all with visitors. It has great cuisine, great surfing, music, art, there is a constant dialogue about identity, sexuality, spirituality. The hang-out of Berlin, the relaxedness of Barcelona, the business pulse of Frankfurt and the domesticity of Minsk – the city immediately falls in love with itself.
The exploration of the city must, of course, begin with its old part – Jaffa. The local port is mentioned in the Bible, because it was here that Noah built his ark.If you want to get a systematic view of one of the most ancient cities in the world, go to the fritur from Sandeman (English is understandable, pay what you want). Cheerful young guides will lead you through the main points of the Jaffa cultural program: the port (5 thousand years old!), The Square of the clock (the clock, by the way, is under repair), the Jaffa whale, the fountain with the signs of the zodiac, the lighthouse, the Sea Mosque, the Church of St. Peter – the main thing, put on your shoes more comfortable, because you have to constantly walk up and down the slippery tiles.
Particularly impressive is the Jaffa orange tree, which hangs in the air on cables.It symbolizes the fate of the Israeli people – cut off from their land, without a state, but still flourishing and capable of bearing fruit. In the next building from it there is a pomegranate wine shop (613 Pomegranate Wine), where you can taste and buy this wonderful local alcohol.
With a cherished bottle, sit on one of the observation platforms overlooking the sea and skyscrapers. Pay attention to the stones that stick out of the bay to your left – according to Greek legends, Andromeda was chained to the rock on which you are.She was freed by Perseus, showing the monster the severed head of the Gorgon Medusa. So the stones are the remnants of a monster that turned into stone.
Berlin’s hangout, Barcelona’s relaxation, the business pulse of Frankfurt and Minsk’s homeliness – the city immediately falls in love with itself
Stop by the beautiful Baroque church of St. Peter, which was built over a medieval fortress in the 17th century. Its bell tower has been a landmark for pilgrims and a beacon for sailors for many years.Do not be surprised when at every step you come across figures of Napoleon – his army also conquered Jaffa.
Take the stairs back to the port for a walk among the boats or have a drink in the nicest port bar Container in the hangar. If you come here in the evening, you can count on some local band live and dancing. A couple of worthy alternatives are also located nearby – we even published a separate article about this.
You can eat well in Jaffa in hummus Ali Karawan Abu Hassan .Locals believe that they provide the best hummus in the city. You need to come in the first half of the day, otherwise there will be nothing left.
The best afternoon activity is wandering aimlessly around Jaffa, peeking into small galleries, junk shops, lazily bargaining at a flea market, looking at passers-by and relaxing in every shade, because even in May the sun is mercilessly hot.
From museums, you should definitely go to Yitzhak Rabin Center – it gives an excellent picture of the history of modern Israel, superimposed on the timeline of world history.In addition, you can immerse yourself in the life story of one of the most beloved politicians in Israel, who did a lot for the peaceful life of his country. For example, I signed an agreement with Yasser Arafat (I think I finally understood where the word “arafatka” comes from) to stop terrorist attacks from Palestine. In 1994, Rabin was killed by a radical Israeli after his speech – how the events of that day unfolded can be seen on the diagram in Rabin Square.
Tel Aviv’s main museum is of course Art Museum .Two completely cosmic buildings in which you can find everything – Cezanne, Monet, Renoir, Chagall, Dali, Klimt, Warhol, Rubens, Miro – it is better to come yourself and spend half a day here, running from hall to hall in horror that you will not see even half … Exhibitions of contemporary Israeli art deserve special attention. Ticket – € 11.5. The museum is closed on Sunday.
If you are in that area, take a look at the free exhibition at Ben Gurion House Museum for a closer look at the ascetic life and amazing biography of Israel’s chief Zionist and Prime Minister.
For walking, it is best to choose the area near Bauhaus Center – this is a real paradise for lovers of constructivism. In the very center, you can look at some amusing exposition and buy souvenirs. It is good to rest in Sarone among the village houses against the backdrop of skyscrapers, stroll along the promenade or play petanque on Rothschild Boulevard.
For delicious olives, ripe avocados or honey dates, head to Carmel Market . It is especially good to raid on the Friday before Shabbat – you can shop very cheaply (by Israeli standards).
A few words about budget food. Delicious iced coffee, fresh baked goods or disgusting frozen sandwiches can be picked up at at Cofix , which revolutionized Israeli fast food. Still – all for 5 shekels (€ 1.1)! For comparison – in a usual place a hot dish will cost at least 45-60 shekels (€ 10 – € 13). In the same chain there is Cofix Bar with excellent lambruscias, cava and tolerable beer at the same pleasant price.Strong alcohol is also available.
After Cofix, Coffee Express (Ibn Gviirol 35) also joined the price war with traditional street food – also coffee and pastries for 5 shekels.
Falafel Falafix (Alenby 95) , Dror (Nachalat Binyamin 48) and Falafel ration (King George 17) – traditional falafel everywhere for 6 NIS and not only.For example, in the first place, you can try the passable saviach – an Iranian dish in pita with a boiled egg, herbs and eggplant.
You can enjoy delicious hot meals for 20-25 shekels (€ 4.5 – € 5.7) at Pasta Basta and Foodix (Herzl 102) . You can find more places in our in-depth guide to Tel Aviv.
From Tel Aviv, it is logical to go to Jerusalem.The easiest way to do this is by bus 405 from the central bus station or by bus 480 from Arlozorov station. They run every 20 minutes, a little over an hour on the road, you can buy a ticket directly from the driver. And when I was driving, suddenly in the middle of the road the driver became agitated, began to announce something through the loudspeaker, and then stopped altogether in the middle of the road. Everyone poured out to watch the sunset and smoke, and my husband and I could not understand what was happening until the traffic froze and a siren began to sound from each radio – in memory of the fallen defenders of Israel.A very powerful experience.
In Jerusalem, I advise you to stay at the Abraham hostel in the very center – with a rooftop grill, Hebrew classes, hammocks and your travel specialist. Double room – € 89.
Although Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, all the main movement there is concentrated in the Old City. As a fan of getting the full picture first, I advise you to go on a sightseeing tour of the Old City from Sandeman (tip-based, of course). After her, it is clear why Jerusalem is a holy city for the three main religions.
In the Old City, you can just walk to feel the atmosphere, and then be sure to visit Wailing Wall . Please note that for this you need to be dressed appropriately (modestly). The Wall has remained from pre-Christian times (it was the closest to the Second Temple) and for every Jew is a symbol of the greatness of the nation, and therefore a continuous stream goes to the Wall – to pray or put a note. By the way, the notes from the Western Wall are not thrown away, but kept, because any text that mentions God automatically becomes sacred.They move away from the Wall backing away, because you cannot turn your back on it.
If you are not a Jew or an Israeli, you can climb the Temple Mount with a clear conscience and take a closer look at the mosque Dome of the Rock . Girls must have their hands and feet covered, otherwise they will not be allowed. The entrance is open only a few hours a day, so google this question in advance.
For the Orthodox, perhaps the most important spot in the city is Church of the Holy Sepulcher – at the place where Jesus was first crucified and then resurrected.Even an absolutely non-religious person, who painfully recalls which side to baptize in, walks there with an open mouth: the architecture is surprising, the stairs to the basements go indefinitely, smiling saints look from the Armenian icons, and khachkars are pinned to the walls next to them. Nothing has changed here for several centuries – even the staircase by the window, which was accidentally placed 100 years ago, is still uncleaned – it is impossible.
In the Armenian quarter, find St. James Cathedral , which was built in the 12th century on the remains of a Byzantine church.As you already know, Armenia was the first country to recognize Christianity as the state religion.
Outside the Old City, I warmly recommend visiting two museums – Israel Museum and Museum of Islamic Art . The first one is just incredibly huge and takes up an entire block. On its territory are collected an art gallery, historical and archaeological, as well as ethnographic museums. A bonus is a large park with sculptures by contemporary masters.The entrance is € 12.3, and it takes about five hours to plan for a thoughtful visit, at least.
In the Museum of Islamic Art, the richest collection of clocks and scientific instruments, which has no analogues in the world, is of the greatest interest (at least, all Israelis are sure of this). Entrance € 9.
At the exit, you will squint against the bright light for a long time, clap your eyes and not understand why you cannot hear the shots and bombings
You can plunge headlong into the history of genocide in the complex Yad Vashem .Of course, you’ve heard about concentration camps and partisans a hundred times at school, but believe me, visiting this place will make you look at the issue in a completely different way and immerse you in the atmosphere of military horrors so much that you will squint for a long time at the exit. from the bright light, clap your eyes and not understand why you can’t hear shots and bombings. The visit is free.
You can have a tasty meal and buy gastronomic souvenirs at the market Mahane Yehuda or simply “shuk” (which translates as “market”).Olive oil, tahini, hummus, wines, liqueurs, avocados and dates – do not deny yourself anything. Here you can grab a bite to eat or have a coffee without hitting your budget too much. The market consists of two streets – Heitz Haim (covered market) and Mahane Yehuda (open air market).
Dead Sea and Masada
It is best to take a trip to the Dead Sea from Jerusalem. From the central station, take a bus to Ein Bokek or Eilat (an hour and a half, a ticket can be bought from the driver).Such a bus will call right into the parking lot at Masada – a majestic fortress over the Dead Sea, which was built by King Herod.
You can try your luck and climb the cliff on which the fortress stands, along the snake path – you need to climb for an hour under the scorching sun (after all, a desert) at a decent angle. Alternatively, take the funicular. Not so spectacular, of course, but on the other hand, there is a greater chance after the ascent to be vigorous enough to inspect the rooms of King Herod, swimming pools and baths, three palaces and a synagogue. It is surprising that from 25 BC.NS. The mosaics are well preserved – the fact is that in the desert it rains only a couple of days a year, and therefore no natural forces destroyed the tiles. The Romans, by the way, when they conquered the fortress, could not live in the palaces of Herod – these Spartans were too enraged by the wealth of decoration, and therefore they built themselves simple and functional huts nearby.
Get down from the fortress and catch the bus towards Ein Bokek. The ride is about twenty minutes. Get out near the city beach to get to the Crimea: Russian talk, mud, construction, “bulls” and black people in the healing mud.The water in the sea, by the way, is more like oil in composition and really pushes out. Tanned people from advertising brochures, reading magazines in the water, there really are. The main thing is not to forget that you can stay in the water for a maximum of half an hour, not fall asleep and not gulp – the water tastes just disgusting. Verified by personal experience.
You can go to the airport by transfer from any hotel or hostel (€ 15) or by city bus from Jerusalem to El Al Junction (€ 5), and there by free shuttle bus number 5 (it travels around the airport and delivers to the terminals) …
Israel is a country of free toilets. They are everywhere: beaches, museums, cafes, near attractions. If some sly person is sitting at the entrance with a formidable look and outstretched hand – do not believe it, this is just a divorce for tourists.
Almost everywhere in Tel Aviv there is free street Wi-Fi – free_tlv. Unlike many cities in the world, it really works!
In all falafel, you can take a ball “for trial”.
Carefully check the opening hours of museums – they do not always coincide with the usual logic.
On Shabbat city transport does not work, only minibuses go. The deadliest time is from 3 pm to 7 pm on Friday, when almost everything is closed. After seven, bars and coffee shops begin to open.
beinisrael.com – cool city magazine in Russian
Budget for 6 days (per person, including € 0 per stay)
Tickets Minsk – Tel Aviv – Minsk – € 111
Travel within the country, food, drink, museums and souvenirs – € 250
Total per person – € 361
Photos – Nastya Erokho
90,000 Best Travel Mobile Apps in 2021
A list of useful travel mobile apps for travelers for iOS and Android.The most popular, well-reviewed, personally verified – apps that you will definitely not be lost with.
Quick search for cheap air tickets
Convenient search for air tickets, purchase directly from the application, multiple routes, price calendar for finding the cheapest ticket, price map for choosing a travel route, recognition of passport data by photo, voice search
Available in the AppStore and GooglePlay
Search and compare the cost of tickets from airlines (including low-cost airlines) and ticket agencies, allowing you to find the best price.Convenient calendar of cheap prices
Available in AppStore and GooglePlay
Booking hotels and apartments
Application from the most popular hotel booking service around the world.
Available in AppStore and GooglePlay
The world’s largest rental service for your travels (rooms, apartments, houses).
Available in the AppStore and GooglePlay
A well-known service for communication and finding accommodation with locals around the world
Available in the AppStore and GooglePlay
Search and booking of package tours
A special application from the online agency Travelata.ru, contains all the necessary functions for convenient and quick search and booking of cheap and hot tours online. Search for tours by all tour operators with departures from Moscow, St. Petersburg and almost all regions of Russia
Do not forget to use promotional codes for a discount
Available in AppStore and GooglePlay
One application instead of 100 travel agents! In it, you can instantly compare prices for tours from different tour operators, choose and book the most profitable option.Search for tours with departures from all major cities of the country.
Available in AppStore and GooglePlay
🟢 If you want to know about discounts on tours, subscribe to the last-minute offers in Telegram:
Fast and detailed offline maps for mobile devices (don’t forget at home before your trip download the maps you want). All cities and countries. Route planning. Search for objects on the map. Ability to make bookmarks (favorite places, plans).Geolocation (GPS). The app is free!
Available in AppStore and GooglePlay
Offline maps, navigation (only in Android version), search for addresses and points of interest, routing, the ability to view descriptions of attractions from Wikipedia. There is a free version with a limited number of downloads / updates of maps and a paid version OsmAnd +
Available in the AppStore and GooglePlay
Application for drawing up city routes taking into account public transport – metro, buses, trams, aeroexpress trains and electric trains, as well as on foot, by taxi and bike rental.Works in 30 cities around the world (there are Moscow and St. Petersburg)
Available in the AppStore and GooglePlay
Sightseeing / guidebooks
Your personal offline tour guide on your phone or tablet. 50 cities around the world. Ready routes or a designer of personal excursions. App with in-app purchases
Available in AppStore and GooglePlay
Audio guide to cities and museums around the world. App with in-app purchases
Available in AppStore and GooglePlay
Travel guides for about 200 cities around the world.Offline maps, attractions, neighborhoods, phrasebooks, tips from locals. English-language application
Available in AppStore and GooglePlay
Free Russian-language guides: restaurants and bars, museums, galleries, shops, city events calendar, maps, weather and price charts, useful tips, currency converter , lists of films and books. Guides to Barcelona, Prague, Rome, London, Berlin, Budapest, Vienna, Amsterdam, Tbilisi, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi and Madrid are now available
Available in the AppStore
Application with recommendations of interesting places from local residents.There are not many cities, but the list is replenished with new ones over time (there is London, Paris, Lisbon, Rio, Rome, New York)
Available in the AppStore
Reviews of all hotels, restaurants, attractions around the world. Function “Near me now”. The app is free!
Available in AppStore and GooglePlay
Search for restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, shops nearby with ratings, reviews and photos. The application is free
Available in the AppStore and GooglePlay
Allows you to find the nearest bank, bar, gas station, hospital, hotel, cinema, restaurant, supermarket, theater.The application is free
Available in the AppStore and GooglePlay
Free Wi-Fi points and passwords to them all over the world
Available in the AppStore
Search for a public toilet nearby
Available in the AppStore and GooglePlay
Discounts on tickets, SIM cards, entertainment and excursions in different countries. Often cheaper than on site and without queues. We learned about the application when planning a trip to Hong Kong – we saved a lot on the express from the airport and bought an excursion to Victoria Peak with the option “skip the line”
Available in AppStore, GooglePlay
Poster of events happening near you.Concerts, festivals, master classes, conferences, free events. The application is free, in English
Available in the AppStore, GooglePlay
Translators / phrasebooks
Offline translator, fast translation using the camera of any inscriptions, signage, text, speech translation. The application is free
Available in the AppStore and GooglePlay
Convenient translator of signs, plates, menus, paper instructions, excerpts from books, magazines and other paper documents using the camera.The application is available in free and paid versions
Available in the AppStore
Speak and translate
Translator “by ear”. Turn on the program and start a conversation with your interlocutor. The program is able to independently determine the language of the said phrase and provides a translation in text form. The application records the entire dialogue and allows you to save it to the device’s memory. The application is available in free and paid versions
Available in the AppStore
Trip planner: build routes, combining flights and ground transport – with time and prices
Available in the AppStore and GooglePlay
Simultaneous searches and comparison of tickets for different transport – buses, trains and planes
Available in AppStore and GooglePlay
Search engine for all bus routes in Europe.The search engine itself selects connections between routes of different bus companies. It is easy to compare offers from different carrier companies and find the best route in terms of price and time.
Available in the AppStore and GooglePlay
The largest travel companion search service. A database of drivers who are ready to give you a lift along the desired route. Often – this is where you can find the cheapest way to get to your destination
Available in the AppStore and GooglePlay
Application for finding, calling and paying for taxis or private drivers around the world.The application is free
Available in the AppStore and GooglePlay
The largest navigation application supported on a voluntary basis. Up-to-date information about the current traffic situation. Voice prompts, search for the cheapest gas station along the route, information about places (POI). The application is free
Available in the AppStore and GooglePlay
GPS navigator. Voice navigation, high definition maps, offline use, built-in search in Foursquare, Google and Live POI.Ideal for travel! App with in-app purchases
Available in AppStore and GooglePlay
Search and reserve a place in the nearest and cheapest parking lot nearby. Works in 500 cities around the world. The app is free
Available in the AppStore, GooglePlay
Quick access to the information you need to provide first aid in the most common emergencies.Using videos, interactive quizzes and easy step-by-step guidance has never been easier to master first aid skills. The application is free, in Russian
Available in the AppStore and GooglePlay
Is there a cool application that was not included in our selection? Write ✌
Take a look at the page where we have collected useful travel items and gadgets. You will find a lot of interesting things 👓
4.9 / 5 ( 30 votes)
How much does a round-the-world trip cost? Telling about our experience
“Not being greedy is already wealth, not being wasteful is income.”
One of the most popular questions that we are asked is how much money we spent on a trip around the world.
But still, we want to emphasize again that for you the main question should not be how much we are
In this article I decided to analyze the factors that influence the formation of the cost of a round-the-world trip.
I hope that the information below will help you understand at least where to start planning a budget for a trip around the world.And for someone it may be a discovery that great travel is much more affordable than it might seem! Let this be the first article in our blog on how to plan an enjoyable, long, safe and cheap trip. We hope you find it useful.
Results of the poll
We conducted a poll, in which we asked an intimate question: how much does it cost to travel around the world. Not that many responses were received (199 in Russian). It is also necessary to take into account the specifics of our audience.Among our readers, on the one hand, there are many IT specialists with big salaries and big requests, on the other hand, there are many hitchhikers and hikers, as well as fellow travelers-bloggers.
There were only six answers in English, so I did not include these results in the graphs.
Thanks to everyone who took part in the survey and shared it with friends!
So, let’s look at the most general result (on the horizontal axis, the price of one year of active and interesting round-the-world travel per person in US dollars):
As you can see, most people think that one year of a round-the-world trip will take no more than $ 20,000 , many are ready to meet the $ 5000.Therefore, I decided to increase the zone to $ 20,000, and it shows that the most popular answer options are about $ 10,000 (a nice round amount), $ 3,000 and $ 6,000.
Around the world experiment . Let’s see how the result depends on whether the respondents have been around the world or are going to.
It turns out that those who are going to travel around the world are the most optimistic group =) Which, in general, is logical and correct. We have few answers from people who have traveled, but their answer is no longer a forecast, but a result.Most spent $ 10,000 or $ 20,000.
Floor . The estimate of the cost of a trip around the world by women is generally higher:
Income . As income levels rise, the estimate of the cost of traveling around the world also increases:
Age . The most optimistic estimates are given by the oldest and youngest respondents:
Analysis of own income
Oddly enough, the cost of travel does not depend on the average price of hotels in Asia or flights across the Atlantic.
It depends on how much money a particular traveler leaves .
So, the first one.
- How much money do you earn per month / year.
- How much of this money can you save.
- How many months / years are you willing to raise money.
Voila, a certain amount is obtained.
There are many articles-advice on how to increase this amount (for example, not to buy unnecessary items), I will not spray on this topic.
This amount is your reality, it determines your travel style, whether you hitchhike and sleep in a tent or fly a helicopter 🙂
On a long journey (say, more than two months) – this is a very important question …
The choice is usually trivial: time or money .
Let’s say you have a list of places you want to visit. You can either skip it quickly using buses / airplanes / hotels or slowly savor it by hitchhiking and living for weeks in different places on work away or couchsurfing.
This will greatly affect the final cost of your trip.
Photo: getting ready to board a scheduled flight from Maui to the Big Island of Hawaii.
But is the most important thing:
stay positive for any style of travel!
When we were in Burma, we met a couple of Frenchmen who, while still in France, decided that they were visiting, how much time they would spend, and bought all the flights in advance.
We don’t like this approach.
As the play progresses, our views on what is interesting often change dramatically.
Still often on the spot we find out that it is very far or very expensive to go somewhere, and we decide not to go.
But, of course, if you buy tickets in advance, you can save a lot.
💡 Read how to buy tickets for a difficult route in 5 minutes.
Consider what the cost of a trip around the world consists of and roughly estimate the amount.
The most expensive thing is, of course, transport. Especially intercontinental flights. As a rule, they cannot be avoided, there are a few cases when someone managed to overcome the ocean by air or hydrostop.
Still, prices can be made available by monitoring prices / discounts and buying tickets in advance.
When calculating the cost, you should immediately see how much long flights will cost in total. As a rule, these will be one-way flights.
We once considered the so-called round the world tickets, which are offered by most air alliances, but they turned out to be unreasonably expensive and the process of buying and confirming each flight was dreary. Later, the refusal of such tickets was justified, because the entire route had to be flown in a year.
It is impossible to take into account the costs of smaller movements =)
Prices change, plans change during the trip, as I wrote earlier.
Here for travelers everything happens according to the fallback method .As the money runs out, we move from the plane to buses and hitchhiking.
An example of calculation, or an arithmetic problem for a second grade student.
A certain backpacker decided to fly from Paris to Thailand for $ 600, from Hong Kong to the USA for $ 1000, then from the USA to South America for $ 700, from Buenos Aires to Paris for $ 1000.
Total $ 600 + $ 1000 * 2 + $ 700 = $ 3300.
Presumably he spent the same amount on shorter journeys. Total $ 3300 * 2 = $ 6600
You can estimate the cost of basic flights on kiwi yourself.com or aviasales.
This cost item is small, but inevitable. It very much depends on your citizenship and the list of countries you are going to visit.
💡 You can find out for free and exactly whether you need a visa in the Timatik international database.
Let’s say our backpacker spent $ 400.
There are three options:
1. Sleep by couchsurfing or by appointment. Is free. A great option for long trips. Requires experience and skills (“wisdom”).Where it did not work out, we spend the night in a tent or in a cheap hostel.
2. Overnight in “backpacker” hotels and hostels. In Asia and South America the average price of a double room is 10-30 US $. Where it is more expensive, we look for couchsurfing or spend the night in a tent.
3. We spend the night in comfortable hotels. With my salary as a simple programmer, this is not an option. I added this point as a joke.
But we also sometimes stayed in cool hotels, for example, we once lived in a late 19th century manor in Portugal and in a chic 19th century mansion in France.
And here is a photo from a hotel in Indonesia for $ 40 with a huge room, live music at breakfast and a free transfer from / to the bus and railway station.
💡 There are interesting options, especially if you use the hotellook or booking promotions.
Suppose that a French backpacker traveled a year to inexpensive countries and on average paid $ 8 per night in the dorm: $
8 $ * 365 (days a year) = $ 2920
Surprisingly, food – it is usually not expensive.
Especially in warm countries where one meal costs US $ 1-4.
Besides, you can cook yourself, sometimes you will be fed by those you meet on the road, sometimes you will feed them.
Let’s go back to our backpacker, $ 2 “seems to be” inexpensive:
$ 2 x 3 (meals) x 365 (days) = $ 2190
But again, you can eat cheaper than some French backpacker.
Around the world equipment
Photo: Huayna Potosi in Bolivia
The costs are related to the fact that all equipment must be purchased first, if it was not purchased before the start of the trip.
You may need a backpack, tent, camera, comfortable travel clothes and shoes, and other things that are not always necessary in everyday life. And it’s all worth a lot.
💡 On what equipment with Aliexpress can you save a lot?
The equipment has three negative properties of : breakage, loss, and the fact that it can be stolen. In this regard, costs increase: you need to repair or buy a new one.
Our backpacker bought himself a backpack (200) + sleeping bag (100) = 300 $.Friends gave him a tent and a cushion. In the course of the play, his shoes broke 2 times, plus a bunch of clothes worn out and leaked, and he spent another 300 on repairs and buying new junk.
Total $ 600.
Bars, alcohol, cigarettes, snacks
We are not monks, we are not blessed travelers. Our goal is not only to drive through certain points on the globe.
So, everyone will find their own way to spend money on something unnecessary : alcohol, cigarettes, discos, etc.p.
There are backpackers who only hitchhike, but at the same time the money saved is spent on beer. Although, the Burmese whiskey in the photo above costs only $ 0.7 for 175 ml. This is very individual.
Here the principle of limitation starts to work for the calculation.
Let’s say we bet $ 1 per day – that’s $ 30 per month, or $ 365 per year. It’s a can of beer, or ice cream, or some fruit every day.
For a Western European backpacker, bet $ 3. (According to our observations, they drink a lot.)
Or $ 1068 per year.
Tickets for attractions and tours
Blogs of our compatriots are full of notes on how to get through for free. But, unfortunately, this is not possible everywhere, not everywhere we want to take a steam bath and put ourselves and the workers of the local tourism industry in an uncomfortable position.
We have with the experience of traveling around the world, expenses are significantly reduced , because we are less and less attending banal tourist places from the guidebook and spend more time communicating with people and nature, looking for beauty in the everyday life of other countries.
We also travel more on our own than on a tour.
Limit $ 100 per month. In general, it will not be enough. No diving, parasailing, Machu Picchu or anything else.
Total $ 1200 per year.
For the French backpacker, we will introduce a limit of $ 300 per month. He, as befits a bourgeois personality, will pay for “trekking”, diving and riding in a hot air balloon.
💡 If you open Viator, then in any even slightly developed country you will find hundreds of different excursions for every taste.
$ 3600 per year.
In distant countries there is a great danger of getting sick, including unprecedented exotic diseases, as well as getting into an accident or getting injured.
It is very popular to buy cheap insurance that costs less than $ 100. She has enough coverage to cure a runny nose. If a tourist has an accident, there is enough coverage to pay for 1-3 days of the hospital.
Therefore it is very important to have good insurance !
Moreover, the one that provides a large amount of coverage and includes various extreme sports (motorcycle, bicycle, hiking, diving, etc.)etc.).
Please add the cost of insurance to the estimate.
Also, in an amicable way, before leaving, you need to get vaccinations against various dangerous infections (yellow fever, typhus, tetanus, etc.)
And what next?
Further on Facebook / VKontakte they write that they urgently need to collect $ 100,500 for treatment, because the doctors did not manage to collect the victim in 1-3 days. In groups in Thailand and Indonesia, there are especially many such posts, because it is popular there to fall off a motorcycle.Let’s say our backpacker bought insurance from WorldNomads for $ 1000 per year.
💡 5 rules: how to rent a motorcycle in Asia and not get paid
Calculation for our backpacker
Class 0. European tourist. So our abstract French friend is going to spend:
6600 (transportation) + 2920 (housing) + 2190 (food) + 600 (equipment) + 1068 (alcohol and goodies) + 3600 (tours) + 1000 (medicine) + 400 (visas) = 18379 $
Approximately 18-19k. Somehow it turned out a lot.Let’s see how you can shorten.
Class 1. Greedy European tourist. No alcohol and cigarettes! We will limit the tours to $ 100 per month, we will take simpler equipment, we will limit the consumption for food by half (i.e. eat mainly rice and pasta with vegetables).
6600 (transport) + 2920 (housing) + 1000 (food) + 50 (equipment) + 1200 (tours) + 1000 (medicine) + 400 (visas) = 13170 $
Approximately 13-14k. Is it a lot anyway?
Class 2. Thrifty traveler and novice hitchhiker. Reducing transport costs by half. We will halve the cost of accommodation and tours (it implies that we spend the night for free most of the time), we will delete some countries so as not to pay for a visa. We remove medical expenses (not recommended, but, in practice, this is often the case). We are not sick, we cross the road carefully.
3000 (transport) + 1500 (housing) + 600 (food) + 50 (equipment) + 600 (tours) + 250 (visas) = 6000 $
6k money. Is it real already?
Class 3.Cool hitchhiker. This means that we travel only free of charge, for example, we pay only 2 * 1000 $ for flights across the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean and some ferries. We spend the night only for free, we do not take tours. We climb into the sights like a pirate, i.e. exclusively free of charge.
2000 (transport) + 0 (housing) + 50 (equipment) + 600 (food) + 0 (tours) = 2650 $
Class 4. God of the hitchhiker. An almost unattainable ideal. To go through the seas and oceans by hydro or aircraft stop.As a rule, such a traveler knows how to please everyone and finds a common language with everyone. Including the chief of the Matumba tribe in Africa, who speaks only the language of his tribe. He is also able to convince him to let him in for free on a train, plane, museum, to spend the night in the house, to give him a free visa. And to convince exactly the people whom he sees for the first time.
We put 1 $ of expense for one day and how much is in the reserve, let’s say another 400 dollars. (We hope to return the reserve home! But part of it inevitably goes to visas.)
That is, less than 1k of money.
This class of travelers contains a huge number of people: these are students who hitchhike to the Crimea and sleep like a savage. And also grandmothers crossing half of the CIS as a hare on trains. Moreover, these grandmothers could easily make an almost free round the world if they wanted. But why do they need it? They just want to see their granddaughter, bring jam and cucumbers, touch the holy relic with their lips, etc.
Very important: Travelers usually enter classes 3 and 4 not because they want to save money, but because they like this lifestyle.They love to communicate with drivers, look for appointments, they are satisfied with constant uncertainty, they are looking for adventure. If interested, you can read the books of Anton Krotov for inspiration.
It is interesting to see which travel class was chosen by the participants in the survey.
It turned out somehow a lot of hitchhiking gods 🙂
$, we get the following:
Factors shaping the cost of a round-the-world trip
If in the previous section there were objective things that are difficult to change, now let’s try to consider what depends more on us.
Who are we traveling with
This is a very important question .
If we approach the issue of travel in a philosophical way, we can say that a traveler pays for every day on the road in two currencies: ordinary money and his own internal energy. The only difference is that the energy itself is renewed (free of charge !!) when we sleep, have fun, drink wine, swim in the sea. If you run out of energy, you have to pay more money.
It’s very simple .
No strength to wave your hand on the side of the road and wait for a passing car – go by bus, no strength to communicate with people on the list – you go to the hotel, no strength to look for a cheaper hotel, go to the one that got first.
The list of options for making travel more expensive is endless.
And here your travel companion is very important.
He (she) can replenish your strength with a kind word, hugs and other things, and also reduce his irritability and sour face. The fellow traveler carries part of the general equipment in his backpack, runs to look for a hotel when he is no longer strong.Conducts correspondence on couchsurfing.
The choice of a travel companion determines not only how pleasant it will be to explore the big world, but also how expensive it will be.
Solitary travel has a number of advantages, but also many disadvantages. This will generally be more expensive and more difficult.
The Need for Rest
Photo: Big Island of Hawaii
Constant change of place and a lot of impressions can cloud our minds. With each week of the road, we become less susceptible to the wonders that new countries are opening up to us.
We become more distracted, we lose our belongings, we are late for the bus, etc.
I would like to return home .
Therefore, on a long journey, you need to plan stops in pleasant, inexpensive places to catch your breath, relax, plan a further route, sort out the accumulated photos.
In general, in my opinion, properly planned rest stops reduce costs 🙂
For example, the main part of this article was written when we were staying for one week with friends in Punta Arenas in Chile (thanks, Stasya and Daniel!) …
During the journey, we not only learn about the world, but also learn to travel. We analyze our mistakes, communicate with other travelers, read the Internet, and thus gain new knowledge and skills.
Most likely, a person who has already wandered around the world with his brain turned on, will spend less money than the one who left his city for the first time. Since he knows how to buy air tickets and book a car at a better price. If this is a different style of travel, then he knows where to get up in order to quickly stop the passing car, how to spend the night for free (or cheaply), where to get cheap food.
When Marina and I went around the world, after a month we noticed how our expenses began to decrease rapidly. You can gain experience faster if you travel with experienced companions. (Or if you read our blog! Subscribing is very easy!;))
Planning a trip around the world: seasons and holidays
A person who had to open some modern guidebook probably noticed that the story of a country often begins with its seasons.They are associated with the climate, holidays and other factors that make a visit to the country most favorable.
There are 4 types of season: low, high, peak and transitional.
During the low season, visiting the country can be extremely unpleasant (for example, temperatures as low as -40, or eternal rains) or even pointless.
Although, there are opposite examples.
We really liked Lankgawi during the rainy season (look at the sunsets there …). Amid the sound of a downpour, we sorted out photos and wrote a blog, planning what to see in Indonesia.It was cold! And in the evening it was always sunny, we swam in the sea and enjoyed the sunset. Plus we tried parasailing at half the price.
Obviously, during the peak season (eg Christmas and New Years) prices skyrocket.
Around the world expenses are largely determined by whether you can plan the logistics in such a way that everywhere get into the good season , so as not to get overpriced and at the same time not make unnecessary travels over long distances.
The cost of our circumnavigation
This article was written when we spent more than a year and a half in the circumnavigation, and it was coming to an end. And so we decided to roughly calculate our expenses. It will no longer be possible to determine precisely, since the bank in which we kept some of the money went bankrupt, and our financial history disappeared in it.
For the first year of travel for one person, we spent about $ 11000 .
Most significant items of expenditure for the first year :
1.Diving 🙂 It took about $ 2500 per person. We did OWD, AOWD and Nitrox certifications, went on a dive safari, dived 49 dives.
2. Intercontinental flights: 2200 $ per person:
3. Rent a car: 800 $ per person (rent + petrol):
If you subtract the cost of expensive car rental and diving, you get $ 7700.
Divide by 365 and get $ 21 per day.
If you calculate without expensive flights, we get 8000 – 2200 = $ 5500 or $ 15 per day.
This amount includes local flights (up to $ 300) and buses, city transport, motorbike and bicycle rentals, hotels, food, snacks and alcohol, visas, entrance tickets to museums, etc., buying clothes / shoes / equipment / phones and other things to replace worn out or lost ones, minor medical expenses, etc. etc.
Thus, we fell into the category of “thrifty traveler”, not reaching $ 2000 to the “greedy European tourist”.
How could you save
I’ll say right away that this amount can be significantly reduced if you hitchhike or cycle, but then a trip like ours will take 3-5 years instead of 1.5 years.
I repeat once again that such a hitchhiking and cycling trip is not a way of saving, but a way of knowing the world.A hitchhiker and cyclist notices what an ordinary traveler like us does not see.
But we could not afford to delay the trip, we had other urgent matters. And the goal was to visit several parts of the world, to feel what life is like in different countries.
How about work while traveling
Someone will rightly notice that while traveling you can work .
You can even return in positive territory in terms of money .
I think this is a topic for a separate article.For now, I’ll write that Marina and I quickly rejected this idea for various reasons.
Firstly, we wanted to make a big change in the way of life, to ventilate the brain, to have a rest.
Secondly, we wanted to move quickly, actively, and spend all our free time on the journey itself, planning, reviewing photos / videos and blogging.
Conclusions from the listed
If someone says that he traveled for 6 months on $ 200, this does not mean that you can do that. Likewise, just because a friend of yours spent $ 8,000 in one month in the States does not mean that you will never be able to travel all over the States with your modest salary.
Your budget is very individual!
You just need to collect as much money as you can and decide to hit the road.