Get Rid of Your Creative Block for Cheap!
Where do you even begin when it comes to long-term traveling? How do you afford it? How do you know where to go? How long should I stay? How do I make the most out of it? HELP!
These might be some of the questions you’ve been asking during our last three blogs, but don’t worry. We are here to help. We have answered all of your burning questions and given you some of our favorite tips and tricks to not only make your travels a reality but also a successfully stress-free one!
Now let's see how we can help your next trip be the best one yet.
Tip #1 Plan and Pay for Your Trip Ahead of Time
Our biggest tip is to plan ahead. Whether that's three months, six months, or even a year or more, it will help reduce costs significantly. And going for longer can also help cut the costs too if you find a month-long deal instead of paying a nightly fee. For example, here is a month-long stay in a studio apartment right outside of Bangkok, Thailand, on Airbnb that's less than $300 for the entire month. All utilities, such as a kitchen, wifi, and washing machine, are included.
Another tip is that you can find cheap deals on flights from websites like Hopper and Trivago that will save you anywhere from $100-1,000 per ticket, which is a HUGE steal. And the further in advance you buy these tickets the cheaper they will be too! So remember, book early and go through a discount service like we mentioned earlier to get yourself some amazing double deals.
By planning in advance, you can now have an incredible month-long stay near the beaches of Thailand right outside Bangkok City for less than $1,000. Which is way less than what it would be to stay at a fancy resort for a week that you booked a week before. While that might still seem to be expensive, there are many things that you can still do to help you save even more before and during your trip.
Tip #2 Be Realistic With Yourself
Our next tip is to be realistic with yourself and see where you can cut some costs and save up. Make a few sacrifices, such as skipping out on going out to eat a few times, don't buy name-brand products, and opting for cheaper variations. Make a proper budget and calculate what you need to save and how. These small sacrifices start to pile up, and if you have an entire year to save for it, you're golden!
For example, one of the things that have helped me save money, as well as helping my bad case of FOMO (fear of missing out) on things such as new movies, games, and books, is that I try to finish what I already have first before I go and buy a new one.
This helps me make sure that I appreciate the things I already have and helps me cut back on my spending. All while reducing my backlog of games and movies that I “promised myself I would get to one day”, and saving me some extra cash. Plus, once you’re done with it you can always try and sell it or, even better, donate it!
The best part of booking your stay and plane ticket in advance is that you can pay for everything months or even years before you go on your trip. You'll already have it booked! Then, all you have to worry about when you get there is buying food and other small necessities throughout your stay. Spreading the costs across time instead of all at once really helps to alleviate the financial stress that often comes with planning a trip.
Tip #3 Research, Research, Research!
When it comes time to actually travel and get to your destination, please, please, pleeeeeassee don’t plan it last second or think you can just wing it.
While winging it is fun, it's much easier to wing it if you know your way around or what you want to do. So before you get there, make sure you research the area you’ll be traveling to so you can have a good idea of what you want to do, places you want to see, where you want to eat, and other necessities for travel.
Knowing things such as where a grocery store is, how to find and use public transport, and some common phrases in their language beforehand will help you feel much more relaxed and prepared when you finally get there. And since things usually never go as planned, knowing where you are and where to go will help if a wrench gets thrown into your daily plans.
This tip directly ties into our next tip, which is honestly one of the most important ones if you want to make the most out of your trip and that is too…
Tip #4 Travel Like a Local
Don’t even think about going to a Starbucks or a Mcdonald's as soon as you get off the plane. Instead, wait and find a local cafe! Go to a place you’ve never heard of before and if you’re in a place where they speak a different language, its the perfect time to practice those new phrases you’ve been teaching yourself.
This tip aims to help you get the most out of your trip and the culture you’re in by doing as they do! Find local restaurants and try something new, go to the local hangouts around the city, try and talk and respond in their language. Try and really embrace what it would be like to live there, and eat at the same times that they do.
For example, in Italy, they don’t usually eat dinner until 7 or 8 and most meals last up to 2-3 hours. By embracing their way of living and not just trying to stick to what’s normal to you, you can expand your mind, help yourself feel more comfortable with the uncomfortable, and make you feel better about taking risks and being different.
Not only will this make your trip that much more memorable and enjoyable but it also benefits you when you get back from your travels. You may start feeling more confident in yourself and your decision-making abilities. You may see yourself trying new things and taking more risks in the things you do. You’ll definitely see yourself becoming more creative and you can discover more about why here in on our of our previous blogs.
So do yourself a favor and try to live like a local while traveling.
Tip #5 Reflect
It is so easy to get swept back up in the whirlwind that is your everyday life once you get back from your trip and take the amazing trip that you just went on for granted. Don’t let that happen! What you just did is amazing and you have to be proud of that and let yourself feel accomplished.
Often (you’d be surprised by how often this happens), once you get back, people will initially be excited that you’re back and may ask a few questions about what you did but will pretty quickly move on to talking about “normal life.” Don’t let this discourage you. You just had a life-changing trip that many of your friends and family might not understand what that feels like.
I never thought much about the Colosseum and the ruins of Rome until I saw these ancient structures in person, and now I’m utterly in awe of how old these things actually are. So if you find yourself in a position where people don’t even seem interested in your travels, that’s ok. You don’t need them to be. You did this for yourself, remember?
Who cares what your great-aunt Susan thinks?
Instead, take this moment to reflect on your trip with just yourself or your travel partner if you had one on your journey. Take some time to remember all that you did, look back at photos, and think or talk about the memories you made. Think about your favorite places that you went to. Think about your least favorite. Remember all the different times you were so completely stressed out and overwhelmed, then remember the times when you were relaxed or exhilarated.
Think about why those moments stressed you out or why they excited you.
Take a moment to think about how you solved your problems in this new foreign area and appreciate the huge success of your trip. Remember to appreciate it and everything that you learned about yourself while in this new culture. Don’t let this trip fade into a foggy memory; keep it alive and chase the spark it gave you.
I’m not saying to go on another trip right away, especially if you found your trip exceptionally stressful, but hey, if you can, I say go for it. Just take this experience and let it continue to live in you in your daily life. Learn from it.
Then once you’re ready, just rinse and repeat and get on that next plane, you won’t regret it.
These tips have helped me and my partner make the most out of our travels while also leaving us with a huge sense of accomplishment after we come back. Not to mention our bank accounts thank us too for saving and planning ahead.
Every time we come back from a trip we are always so thankful for our experiences, the places we’ve seen and left us having so much respect for the culture we just got back from. Traveling across the world to places, some more familiar than others, still leaves you with this realization of just how big the world is and how so many people live differently than you do.
While it can definitely be a bit of a shock in some places that are extremely different than your own. It’s still such an amazing learning experience that will stick with you forever. That’s why we believe its so important to make the most of it and to take time to reflect when you return.
You may find yourself going back to some of those places you’ve been to again, but you’ll never get the chance to experience it the same way, every trip is unique, and that’s what makes traveling such an amazing experience.
From boosting your creativity to giving you more self-confidence to even giving you more empathy towards how other people live, traveling is something that everyone should experience at least once. Hopefully, following these tips and tricks, you’ll travel more than once.
Now start planning!
We are Alpacka My Bags, and our goal is to help encourage you to go and explore the world that's around us. Whether that's through food, culture, history, art, or even adventures in nature, we want to encourage you to be the best version of yourself while becoming a worldly explorer.