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Due to the development of the internet and technology in the last couple of decades, it has become much easier and cheaper to travel the world than in the old days. However, many people are still unaware of great travel opportunities this day and age enables us to pursue. In this article I’ve listed several tips and tricks that will take you places and make your trips unforgettable.
Hospitality exchange websites revolutionized traveling and created models that were later used in the development of highly popular and profitable AirBnB, online lodging marketplace. Although some people use hospitality networks solely for saving money on lodging, these networks offer much more than that.
I’ve been using CouchSurfing for more than 10 years and I’ve met hundreds of people, visited several countries and heard thousands of interesting travel stories. Hospitality exchange networks will turn your ordinary Monday evening at home, in a party with people from all 6 continents and an ordinary day in Berlin will become an urban exploration adventure.
My traveling Odyssey started in early two-thousands, which means it was mainly planed with the help of famous Lonely Planet guidebook. Although very useful, these informative books were often too expensive for budget travelers, but even with that in mind it was very hard for me to switch from carrying a large and heavy book in my backpack to having all available information about my destination, just one click away on my phone.
I remember the exact trip when I switched from guide book to travel app. I was heading to Moscow, and couldn’t find a copy of Lonely Planet online. Somewhere in my Google search results, link to TripAdvisor showed up, and I decided to check it out.
This app offered perfect descriptions of destinations and all sights (activities), lodgings, bar and restaurants you can find there. Destination descriptions also contain member’s reviews, with many of them being written by locals. Without TripAdvisor I would probably never visit Central Armed Forces Museum, and see the wreck of American U2 spy plane and fallen bronze eagle, that used to stand on top of Reichstag building in Berlin.
Online Flight Scanners
Introduction of low cost flights by many different airline companies from around the world was definitely one of the greatest moments for all budget travelers. If they had low cost carriers in the sixties I think that at least a half of hitchhikers who followed the Hippie trail, would have reached Goa by airplane.
One of the biggest problems with low cost flights is that every company with different offers and prices also heavily vary on chosen dates. This makes cheap flights search a real puzzler. To make it easier and more efficient travelers should use flight scanning websites and apps. They scan large bases of cheap flight data for you and can also be used for purchasing tickets and travel planning. SkyScanner is one of the most popular flight scanners online, and it enables visitors to search hotels and car hire data as well.
Pay Travels with Monthly Installments
There’s that moment in the life of many travelers that comes after the realization that package tours at a nearby tourist agency became a much more acceptable solution than heading out on an independent trip. This of course, doesn’t mean you’ve lost your traveling edge. It’s a natural occurrence caused by employment, family and many other things connected to maturity. Many people can travel only on certain days, others travel with kids and they need maximum certainty in terms of transport, accommodation and nutrition.
You shouldn’t worry if you too have finally reached this point in your life. Exotic destinations are still awaiting, you will only reach them much easier if you decide to pay with monthly installments. If you live in Australia, there are financial tools like Travel Pay, which allow you to pay for your vacation in up to five monthly payments, but without the added interest and with a fixed exchange rate (so you don’t lose additional money if the currency rate goes up in the meantime).
An open mind is the only necessary requirement for enjoying your travels. It doesn’t matter whether you went to Bora Bora or to a nearby town’s fair, with an open mind you will feel like a globetrotter everywhere.
A guest post by John Stone, a business consultant and a regular contributor at Bizzmarkblog, Sydney, Australia. He is a believer in the notion that thinking outside of the box is a prerequisite of being a successful entrepreneur. You can find him on Twitter @JohnJamStone.