Travel on a Budget

Home away from home. Though I hate to generalize, but I can safely say – after traveling alone most of my life – that no matter if you find a way to “travel on a budget”, this only works if you NOT travel alone. Almost all accommodations advertise “sleeps 3, 4, 5, or even 12” (whatever that means). The odd times, I can find “sleeps 2”. Very seldom seen “sleeps one person only”. Rule of thumb: As a single traveler you usually pay more. This applies to renting vacation accommodations. [Cruises, you always pay double.] However, even the odd time I found vacation rental for €500 a month. Lots of ‘foot work’ to dig that up. Mostly it is much more.
I am considering for example the Bahamas, because it is half way between the Pacific Coast where I live and Europe, where my family lives. Plus, it is pleasant climate and few restrictions for Canadians. In the following link [ http://www.bahamasonabudget.info/ ], someone implies that ”
One of the biggest costs away from home is food and drink – ” (quoted from that web site). From experience I found that accommodation is the most expensive item when traveling”. Food is not. Having a decent “roof over your head” is priceless and costly. Unless you travel in a group (most people do not) and share with half a dozen others. What kind of fun is that ?!
Eating out in restaurants on the other hand is very expensive. Because of the service cost of a restaurant that is passed on to a customer. Super markets, grocery stores, any kinds of markets, food is cheap. No matter which country one travels to. Mostly it is much less expensive than the city where my home is. The other reason I do not eat restaurant food is, that I am a very good cook and do not eat what others present me with. Drink likewise. Anywhere in the world, one bottle of good wine cannot be more expensive than 20 or 30 dollars, in fact in Europe more like under ten €. Restaurant ?, try get a glass for that. Conclusion. To save while traveling: try get accomodation with at least a small kitchen. Try, not to eat street food in certain countries. Make sure the food you buy is clean. Wash your own laundry. Do your own cleaning. Find the best deals where to buy groceries and a decent cup of coffie. [Example: Here in Cannes, Côte d’Azur, one bistro asks €5 for one cappuccino, next door it is €2.50]. To look at pricing, first thing I do is check out how much a cup of coffie and specialty coffie costs.

SOLO TRAVEL

For many years I have been travelling alone. I rent with a kitchen, so I can cook my own meals, is much healthier and less expensive.When arriving in a certain country, be it in North America, Central America, or anywhere in Europe, the next day after arrival I find the local grocery stores with the best prices. For late arrival bring some (next morning) coffee and dry foods for breakfast with you. By the way, last trip Sayulita, Mex. I did arrrive in dark with a cab driver – was totally safe. 

Even in St. Petersburg, Russia, – in that case I took a group travel, with a guide – we stayed in the largest hotel, the Moskwa – it’s as big as a small city. Next door was a huge underground grocery store, where you could buy groceries and water for your evening suppers. Cheap. And St. Petersburg is one of the more expensive cities.

Luggage. I take two small carry-on suit cases, one as cabin baggage, one for checkout. Easier to handle when moving, no need for renting cars or cabs. In fact, I try to never rent a taxi. Because as a woman alone, it is not safe in some locales. One looses control. And misses a lot of wonderful sights when stuffed inside a taxi cab. Then again, as much as I can I speak the local language.

Public transportation: I always before leaving my home research very thoroughly the public transportation system of the country to which I travel. Starting with a map of the airport (arrival), where to go to find the nearest bus station after arrival. Funny example: Spain, Alicante. I had all the information necessary to get out and get onto the bus. Upon arrival, hundreds of European travellers hanging out in the arrivals hall, trying to rent a car (expensive). The local bus was only €3 to get to Alicante, to my hotel. And fast, in couple of minutes I was out and on the bus.Being alone I also avoid to go out after dark. In all those years I had never experienced an attack in a city, no matter where, or anything stolen. Except when it was my own fault.

Usually I choose a town or city as a base, from where to make trips. Mostly using the local bus system, or of course the trains (especially in Europe). Or a boat. Whatever. Mostly I walk. Most importantly: I mix with the locals, using their language. With 4 to 5 languages, I never had a problem to get along. This cannot be emphasized enough. Everything costs you less if you can communicate in the local language.

I avoid tourist spots. And of course large gatherings of people. There were times I found myself in dangerous situations – as far as terrorist activity.  [using Firefox v.19]