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Deals Packing Tip Series Tips Travel

The travel accessories you need when you’re backpacking!

Knowing what you need to pack and not pack while backpacking is a struggle for many people. You don’t want to forget anything, but you don’t want to bring useless stuff that will take up space in your bag. Having the right travel accessories is key to having a great trip!

Here is a list of things that I use over and over during my travels that I can vouch for.

Peripatetic Kat’s Ultimate Travel Accessories

A lock

You need a lock if you’re backpacking. Staying in hostels, you want to make sure your backpack is safe (just in case there is that one asshole who is going to steal your stuff). I’ve been lucky enough never to have had anything stolen even when leaving stuff around, but you never know. Most hostels have under bed storage space or lockers, but you have to provide your own lock so be prepared and buy one in advance!

A travel RFID Blocking Wallet

This wallet is GREAT. It fits all of my cards + my passport so I can keep it with me and not leave it at the hostel. I also love the colour, but they have multiple ones so you can choose whatever you like. I like that it’s big enough to fit Euro bills (I’ve had wallets that didn’t, and it was SUPER frustrating) since they can get pretty big.

Sunlight Bar Soap

I actually wrote a whole blog post on this magic stuff (which you can find here) because it’s so amazing. I take it everywhere I go now. You can cut it up as to not bring the whole bar which is a great space saver. But honestly, this stuff is GREAT for stains. I legit spilled red wine all over a couch once when I was in France with my mom, and we were able to get all the stain out with the soap; it’s a lifesaver.

Packing Cubes

I LOVE these cubes. They are great to stay organized while living out of a backpack. An added bonus is that this one has cute little laundry pouches too which is great. They all fit into one another when you aren’t travelling, so it takes up next to no room. And even better they have super cute colours (I have the watermelon, and it’s so friggin’ cute!).

A microfiber towel

Okay, guys, this was a revelation when I found these towels – legit one of my favourite travel accessories. They dry super quick and take like no room in your bag. Plus, they have different colours and sizes which is great. I got the 32″ x 60″,  and I love it; it’s big enough that I wrap around my body (no awkward openings when I am in the hostel = WIN!).

Reusable mini bottles

I used to buy the travel sized stuff at Walmart but eventually, it starts adding up, and you realize you’re not helping the environment (plus you can’t use your own products), so I switched to these reusable ones that I can just fill up with the stuff I use at home. They don’t leak, and they are the perfect size that they don’t take up too much room in my bag.

A travel pillow

If you’re taking lots of planes or trains, these are a life saver. They just make those long hours just a little more enjoyable. I like the ones that have a “necktie thingy” so that I can tie it to my bag and it stays on my neck better.

Ziplock bags

People often forget about these, but you never know when they can come in handy. I always bring a few along just in case. They are really great when you’re following my tip number 2 about saving money while backpacking (you can find that post here).

A universal adapter

This is a must have travel accessory. If you want to use any of your electronics while you’re abroad, you need a power adapter. Most electronics today have a broad range of voltage they can take so you don’t need a converter, but you should always check before you plug anything in so you don’t blow up your belongings. I usually bring two with me, so I am sure I won’t be stuck without being able to use and/or charge something.

I personally use each product that I’ve just recommended to you and continue to use them. These are my must have travel accessories that I don’t leave the country without. Keep this post bookmarked and check back often as I will update it as I go!

What is your favourite accessory? Let me know in the comments below.

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Europe Food Tip Series Tips Travel Uncategorized

Save Serious Money when Backpacking Europe (or anywhere else)

When you’re backpacking through Europe, you’re usually on a budget. You can’t spend too much money in one place because you know it means sacrificing something else at a later time. Well, I am here to give you the BEST way to save serious money when backpacking Europe (or anywhere else) on a budget. Implementing this trick will save you SO MUCH money and will allow you to do way more cool things.

It’s a really simple trick that I break down into two parts. Are you ready for it?

The BEST way to save serious money when backpacking Europe is….

Hostels with free breakfast.

Guys, if you’re not focusing your hostel search on the ones with breakfast included, you’re doing it wrong. As you know, I use Hostelworld for nearly all my hostel bookings. I love them because it’s super easy, gives me access to a ton of Hostels around the world, and I can specify criteria when I am searching for a hostel. I usually do a search for a hostel that has free wifi, free breakfast and a bar (but those are just my criteria).
Free breakfast means that you can avoid spending your hard earned cash on an extra meal. Most hostels that offer free breakfast have their prices set very similar to the ones that don’t so the difference is barely noticeable when you’re paying.However, the difference is very noticeable when you start having to pay for breakfast each morning.

Doing this alone will save serious money and ensure you can spend that saved money somewhere else. BUT, I have a way to make it even more worth while and I’m about to share it with you now.

Make yourself some lunch.

So you have free breakfast, and they have all these pieces of bread and cold cuts and spreads available in the morning… Why not make yourself a sandwich or two and save it for later? This is an awesome way to save on food spending. I would make some sandwiches in the morning, wrap them up in some napkins and bring them with me in my backpack for the day. Lunch can turn into an expensive ordeal if you’re not prepared so having some sandwiches on the go is a great way to save serious money. Plus, who doesn’t like a nice lunch on a park bench overlooking a fountain somewhere in Europe? I know I do!

Save serious money – go to a hostel with free breakfast!

It’s a super easy way to save money and put it into your travel experiences! Try it out (and I suggest you use Hostelworld since you can set your search criteria for included breakfast)… and as always let me know what you think in the comments below!

Want to save more money while traveling? Check out my blog post on things you should be doing to find cheap flights here.

 

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Cheap airfare Deals Tip Series Tips Travel

8 things you should be doing to find cheap flights

Eight things you should be doing to find cheap flights

Flights are expensive. Most of the time, your airfare is the most expensive part of your trip. It sucks when you realize your intended destination is $1500. But, there are several things you can do to find cheap flights and save some money. I touched on two of these things in previous posts: Part 1 and Part 2. There is actually a few more things you can do to find cheap flights and get the most out of your money, and I am about to share them with you.

8 things you should be doing to find cheap flightsClick To Tweet

1) Don’t fly direct

Flying direct can sometimes cost you way more money. For some added inconvenience (let’s be honest here layovers are never fun) you could be looking at hundreds of dollars in savings.

2) Be open minded about your destination

I covered this in my part 1 post about saving money when flying (which you can find here), but the takeaway is that if you keep an open mind about where you want to go instead of picking a particular location, you can select the cheapest option and save a lot of money.

3) Fly with a budget airline

More and more companies are going the budget route which gives you significant savings by removing some of the fancier comforts. When you’re looking for flights, don’t overlook these budget airlines as they can be serious money savers. If you can go without food on your flight and lose a bit of leg room but save $500 in the process – it’s worth it!

*For example, Ryanair and Easy Jet in Europe or WOW Air which has departures from US & Canada.

4) Don’t fall for the gimmicks of cheap flight searching

Don’t be fooled by the people who say that looking for flights on incognito mode will make it more affordable – there is zero proof of that. As a general rule, flights are not cheaper on Tuesdays so don’t bother waiting for that mythical cheap Tuesday to arrive. Airlines want to make money, so they will switch it up constantly.

5) Be open minded about your travel dates

I talked about this in a previous post, and it’s crucial. Before picking dates for your travels, look up different times to see where you can save a few dollars. If you’re not locked into specific vacation days, you should be looking at your options before deciding on when you’re going.

6) Use multiple tools to do your research

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT only look at one website to find your flights. Shop around, look at various websites, and find the best deals. My go to is Google Flights, but I also look at airline websites like Momondo, Flight Network, Sky Scanner, and sometimes more. You never know what you might find.

7) Use Ebates

This is a tool that I only starting using a few months ago, but it’s pretty impressive; I wish I had started earlier. Ebates is a website that gives you cashback on your online purchases! They are teamed up with so many companies who give them a percentage for sending them customers; Ebates splits that money with you as a thank you for using their service. I have the Google Chrome add-on so anytime I’m doing online shopping, and they have a deal with that retailer it lets me know! You can obviously use it for anything (not just travel-related), but the bigger purchases naturally yield a greater return. It’s not a TON of money so don’t go expecting $100 cheques every week, but it’s pretty much free money just for buying stuff, so it’s worth signing up. I put the money I get back from Ebates into my travel account, so it’s just a little extra help.

8) Get a credit card that offers travel points 

If you already have a credit card and you’re not getting travel points, you should change your card. If you’re making purchases with a debit card, you should think about switching to a credit card. Most cards worth getting have some kind of fee, but it’s totally worth it in the end. I got a last minute (like 3 or 4 days with no room for wiggle room) round trip ticket from Montreal to Honolulu in February, and it cost me a big fat $0. I had enough points (and then some) to not worry about the cost and just enjoy myself. I got these points simply by making my regular purchases on my credit card and reaping the benefits with no change in my habits.

Use these eight tips, and I guarantee you’ll find cheap flights!

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to download my FREE cheat sheet to remember all these eight tips when you want to find some cheap flights!

Don’t forget to leave a comment below!

PKat.

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Packing Tip Series Tips Travel

Tip Series: One packing essential for the clumsy traveller

Do you drop spaghetti sauce on your pants or shirt more often than you’d like to admit? Do you spill some red wine on your dress when you get a bit too animated?

I know I do! ALL. THE. TIME. It’s a curse, guys!

I have a great tip for you clumsy people that costs next to nothing and will save most of your clothes from finding their way to the curb. This trick is actually so good that you’ll probably use it at home too. Full disclosure, I have to give my mom a shout out for this tip because she’s the one who showed it to me on one of our trips together.

Are you ready for the simplest trick?

Sunlight bar soap.

You know that yellow bar that your grandma probably had in her soap holder in the laundry room? That’s the one!

(Click the picture to order some from Amazon)

You don’t even need to bring the entire bar; cut off a piece and stick it in a plastic bag. As soon as you realize you’ve stained your clothes, grab this magic eraser and rub it with some water. I spilled a glass of red wine all over a beige couch once, and we were able to remove all the evidence with the soap. This stuff is legit.

It takes up zero room in your bag, and it will save your ass. Especially when you’re backpacking, and you have little room to bring multiple outfits.

If you’re a clutz like me, give this trick a try and I promise you won’t regret it!

Don’t forget to leave a comment below!

If you haven’t already, go read my post about saving money when purchasing airline tickets – it could save you hundreds!

 

PKat

 

* This post may contain affiliate links which means that I could earn a small commission to help keep this blog up and running. Don’t worry, I only recommend products and service I personally use and trust!

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Cheap airfare Deals Tip Series Tips Travel

Tip Series: Another money saving tactic when flying!

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Hi, everyone!

MY EXAMS ARE DONE! I am finally free… until May 9th when I start two new courses at least, haha! Now I have some free time to work on the blog and plan my next trip!

So, I’ve decided to start a ‘tip series’ section of the blog. Each time I post tips or tricks with regards to travel, I will put tip series in the title. This will make it easy for you readers to see right away that there is some useful advice in the post and it will be an easier way to archive/look through old posts.

So, I posted a couple of weeks ago about being open-minded when planning a trip to find the best deals. This post if sort of a continuation of my previous one. If you combine both of these tricks together, I guarantee you can save a ton of money.

Living in Ottawa, I am suuuuper lucky because I have three major airports within relatively short driving distance. I have the Ottawa airport which is literally in my backyard, I have the Montreal airport less than 2 hours away, and I have the Toronto airport a bit further. For anyone in the same situation as me, that have multiple airports in close proximity: you’re sitting on a ton of savings!

How does having multiple airports access give you savings you ask?

It’s actually quite simple! You can look at the price differences between various airports and find the cheapest option. I’ve had flights leaving Ottawa and stopping in Montreal on a layover be cheaper than the flight leaving from Montreal. How does that make sense? IT DOESN’T! But it’s great news for you and your bank account (happy dance for extra savings!!!).

If you recall in my previous article, which you can find here, I mentioned using Google Flights as an excellent way to look for flights all over the world. Combine that with switching departure airports as well, and you’re laughing at all the savings you can be achieving. Look at the difference:

I did a search departing from Ottawa airport to a few cities in Europe. Here is the price breakdown:

London: $800
Amsterdam: $1280
Paris: $1135
Brussels: $1181

Then I did a new search, but I changed my departing airport to Montreal. I kept the same dates and location, and my price breakdown was as follows (look at all those savings!):

London: $803
Amsterdam: $1110
Paris: $884
Brussels: $1076

As you can see, London is the only one that varies slightly; everything else has pretty significant savings.

This is pure gold, people!

I can’t stress this enough. Imagine if every time you flew, you saved $100 or more on a flight. That’s some pretty significant money you can put elsewhere during your trip!

If you have the option of going to various airports, I would definitely use it. Sometimes, the cost of taking a bus or a train to another airport will still be much cheaper than going from your local airport. Especially if your airport isn’t as big of a hub as others that are a bit further. Now get out there and start saving some money!

Happy hunting.

Don’t forget to let me know what you think in the comments below!

PKat.

 

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Tips Travel

My ONE rule when I travel

I have many rules when I travel, but I have one main rule that I will never break.

I want to share this rule with you.

Research is important

Making an effort to research the country and culture I am going to visit is a must, and if you’re not doing this before you travel, you need to change that immediately.

Simple things like knowing what languages are spoken in that country and what religions are practiced are essential to making your trip a success. Finding out if it is customary to tip in that country is also crucial. Many countries don’t believe in the tipping culture so it’s important to to know what’s expected before you go!

Researching key differences between your country and the country you are visiting is also important. Some things that may be considered standard in your country could be considered obscene in your host country or vice versa. In North America, spitting is frowned upon but in China it’s common practice. In Western countries, women can wear whatever they please, but in most Middle-Eastern countries women should cover at a minimum their shoulders and sometimes their heads. There are so many little things that could be different and that you wouldn’t know unless you’ve taken the time to research the country you are about to visit.

It’s easy to buy a plane ticket, book a hotel room, and just “wing it” but chances are if you’re going to a country with a culture that differs from yours in many aspects, you’ll be in for a rude awakening.  I can imagine people being completely taken by surprise at how different a country is to their own and have a miserable trip because they did not prepare themselves adequately.

Another important part of research, at least in my opinion, is researching the language. Knowing what the primary language used in the country is great but it’s not enough. I also make the extra effort to learn a few simple words (Hello, goodbye, thank you, I’m sorry, excuse me, where is? Do you speak English?). Honestly, doing this is a great way to get people to help you. Chances are you will get turned around, and you might need some help. Being able to approach someone in their language can go a long way. People are always willing to help, and that’s especially true when you made an effort to learn some of their language.

Cool anecdote time: I remember the day I went into a coffee bar in Italy, and I was able to do the entire transaction from ordering the coffee to leaving the establishment in Italian. As I was walking out the owner of the shop, who had just served me, asked me in English where I had learned Italian. I explained that I didn’t speak Italian, but I studied a bit of the language to get by while I was there. The owner told me that people never really attempted to speak his language and that he appreaciated my effort. He then proceeded to ask me if I wanted another espresso on the house!

Making an effort can go a long way, and I guarantee it can get you out of a bind as well.

Obviously, these are my two cents on the matter, and you’re all free to do whatever you please, but I think you should definitely put it the effort to ensure maximum awesomeness during your travels!

 

Comment below and tell me what you think!

 

PKat.

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Food Tips Travel

Tips on eating alone when travelling

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So you took the plunge and bought your tickets to go on an adventure. But now you realize that you’ll have to do lots of stuff on your own. One question that has come up several times when talking about my travels is how do I feel comfortable eating alone?

Sure, if you’re staying in a hostel that has a communal kitchen or if you’re renting a house/apartment that has a kitchen you can avoid eating out and save a bit of money but what’s the point of travelling if you’re not experiencing the local cuisine? I find that food is such an integral part of a culture, so it’s important that you experience it when you’re travelling.

A lot of people feel really awkward about going to a restaurant alone. It’s not something we do back home; we go out with friends and family, or we do pick-up/delivery. Our society is driven by judgment and from conversations I’ve had with several people, judgment is what drives their fear of eating alone. “What if I look like a loser? What if people make fun of me? What do I do while I’m just sitting there alone?” I used to be one of those people that thought eating alone was suuuuper weird and avoided it, but that changed when I started to travel. I wanted to experience the local food. So, I put on my big girl pants and went to try some awesome food.

So what happened?

I ATE SOME AMAZING FOOD! I didn’t feel awkward at all, and the world didn’t end. And even better, I realized that when I was at home at a restaurant, and I saw someone eating alone, not once did I judge them; it was so irrelevant to me! So, if I don’t judge people for eating alone, why would people judge me? It was quite the pleasant revelation, and it was freeing.

It might be a bit awkward at first; you’re used to sitting at a restaurant with others and having conversations. You need to adapt to being solo.

So here are some things I started doing when I am eating alone to make the time go by:

  1. Write

    I find bringing a book, tablet, or phone and jotting some thoughts down works really well. I order a bottle of wine or some beer depending on where I am in the world and I just write. I’m immersed in my writing and don’t even notice that I am alone. It’s also the perfect time to log your travels if you’re keeping a journal or memoirs of your adventures!

  2. People Watch

    This is one of my favourite things to do at home so it’s no surprise I enjoy doing it abroad too. When a culture is different than yours, you can learn a lot when just watching them in their element. By just sitting quietly and looking at other people I’ve seen couples fight, people drag a friend who was too drunk to walk, and families simply interacting together.

  3. Communicate with the wait staff

    The chances are that your waiter or waitress is from the area. You can learn a ton of information about local spots from these people, and they are usually quite happy to talk about their city. You can get some cool stories and maybe even make a friend.

  4. Send some e-mails

    Chances are your family is expecting you to keep in touch with them. Why not take this opportunity to send a few e-mails to let them know you’re alive and well. You’re not busy walking around the city or partying with your new friends, so it’s the perfect time to take a minute to say hello.

  5. Bring a book

    Do you enjoy reading? Why not take a book along and read. Chances are you don’t get many opportunities to read while you’re trekking and sight-seeing so why not use the hour and a half to read your book.

  6. Listen to a podcast

    If you’re into podcasts, this is an excellent time to put those headphones on and listen to one of your favourites! I like this one a lot because I can drink my wine, people watch, and listen to my podcast all at once!

Eating alone is honestly a relaxing and enjoyable experience, and there is nothing shameful about it. Don’t let what you think other people could be thinking about you to affect your actions. Enjoy some local restaurants and learn more about what that culture is all about!

Comment below 🙂

 

PKat.

 

 

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Europe Food Tips Travel

The BEST gelato in Rome!

Behold, my first review post! 

If you’ve ever been to Italy, you know that Gelato is one of the most delicious kinds of ice cream on earth. It has this beautiful creamy consistency that cannot be replicated by the ‘Breyers type’ companies of North America.
You can find gelato shops everywhere in Italy, a quick google maps search in your area should populate several hits. If you’re planning a trip to Italy you cannot, I repeat, you CANNOT skip gelato tasting!

I’m a huge fan of ice cream in general, and when I was in Italy, I made it a point to try as many gelato shops as possible. Vanilla, chocolate, tiramisu, mocha, cafe… oh so many wonderful flavours to try! I’ll admit, I was always one of those travellers who thought that I needed to avoid the ‘touristy’ places and go for the real local spots. Because of this, I went to all these different small gelato shops in areas less frequented by tourists. Well, let me tell you, I was proven wrong on this assumption when it came to gelato. The absolute best gelato I tried was in a relatively touristy area and was definitely tourist friendly with an English menu. It was so good I returned twice, and I’ve recommended it to all my friends that have travelled to Italy after me.

Here’s my ‘Gelato Story’:

I was walking back from the Colosseum which was about 4 kilometers away from my hostel. It was a quite hot day for April, so hot that I needed to buy a new pair of shoes as my boots were no longer tolerable. I was walking on the busy street Via Nazionale which had many stores, restaurants, and cafes. All of a sudden, I see a very colourful shop with my favourite Italian word: Gelato! I probably wouldn’t have bothered to go in and try it if it hadn’t had been such a warm day. I didn’t need some expensive gelato marketed to the tourists of Rome. But, it was hot, I still had 1.5 KM left, and I could definitely use some cold ice cream to reinvigorate me.

So, armed with a healthy dose of skepticism, I walk in. I take a quick look at the flavours available (they had a plethora), and I stop dead in my tracks. IS THAT NUTELLA GELATO I SEE?! Yes! Yes! It’s Nutella gelato! Who doesn’t love Nutella? I mean, if you don’t enjoy the taste of Nutella I’m pretty sure we can’t be friends.
I get excited, I look at the other flavours and then the last remnants of my skepticism disappear; they have Ferrero Rocher gelato. In extremely broken Italian, I ask if I can have a bowl with two flavours. In even more broken English, the sweet Italian girl points to the wall with all the prices and says “si”! So, I go ahead and order Nutella and Ferrero Rocher gelato, pay, and head back outside.

About 300 meters up the street, you can find Piazza della Repubblica which like most Piazzas in Italy has a beautiful fountain in the middle.  I decide to walk up to the Piazza to enjoy my gelato and do some people watching. Obviously, I can’t wait before tasting the gelato, so I walk and eat at the same time.

I can’t even put into words how good it was. 

I guess the closest I can get is IN-CRE-DI-BLE. It was extra creamy and thick, and the flavours tasted exactly like the real thing; it was like O was eating Nutella and Ferrero Rochers. If one can experience pure joy from eating food; I was there.

I made my way to the fountain, sat down, inhaled the entire bowl in about 5 seconds and seriously considered marching right back to the shop for more. Luckily, I managed to regain control over my body, and I didn’t go back for more right away. I did, however, return the next day as I was passing by on my way to the Vatican. And I returned one more time before departing Italy when I returned from Florence.

Just sitting here writing this, I’m dreaming of having that gelato again. I still have much to see in Italy, but a stop at Wonderful Ice Cream is a must.

Here is all the information you need if you want to venture out when you’re in Rome yourself.

Name: Wonderful Ice Cream
Address: Via Nazionale, 19a, 00184 Roma, Italy
Website
Map:

I want to impress on you, my lovely readers, that I wasn’t sponsored to write this blog post and I didn’t receive anything to put this information on my blog. I honestly believe this Gelato shop was out of this world and I want you all to have a chance to experience it if you go to beautiful Roma!

Have you ever been to Rome? What was your favorite food/drink establishment that you would recommend?

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Blogging Cheap airfare Deals Tips Travel

A great way to save hundreds of dollars on your next flight

Would you like to save hundreds of dollars on your next travel adventure?

Here is a tip I use regularly that will do just that! However, this tip isn’t for everyone; you need to be willing to ‘go with the flow’ a little bit.

What if instead of deciding on a particular place you want to see you just left your options open? I’ve found that when I shop around for flights with no destination in mind, I can find the best deals. If you’re dead set on going to a specific place, you could be missing out on some incredible savings in another location. Especially when it comes to Europe, prices per city and/or country can vary significantly which means that it can be extremely beneficial to leave your options open.

Here is what I do:

1) I decide on a date range that I would like to take my trip in 

This enables me to find the cheapest deals within a date range to maximize my savings. I don’t specify exact dates but look at prices for an entire month or a few weeks at a time.
For example: If I want to go somewhere for approximately two weeks in the month of May, I will look at prices for the entire month, not only for a particular two-week period and find the most cost effective days to depart and return.

2) I don’t pick a specific destination (and this is the most important part!) 

I’ll look at different destinations around the world, or in a wide area like all of Europe.
This gives me the opportunity to see where the best deals are during my pre-decided time frame (the month of May in my above example).
Google Flights provides location searches like Europe or South East Asia and then shows you on a map different cities with their prices. It’s a great way to see the most affordable places quickly and pretty effortlessly.

I do #1 and #2 at the same time to ensure I’m seeing the most options and getting the best deals. 

3) Finally, I look at other websites to see if I can find even cheaper deals

Once I’ve established the most affordable places to go in my time frame I proceed to do some extra research on various websites to see if I can find a better deal.

 

 

Going about finding plane tickets this way has saved me an incredible amount of money. I’ve found tickets to Asia for $600 CAD. You can’t’ beat those prices!
Obviously, this method is not for everyone. Some people like to plan months in advance and have everything decided or have a specific place in mind they absolutely want to see.
But, if you’re like me and you want to see ALL OF THE PLACES this is an excellent way to save money. You’ll always end up finding a deal to a location present on your very long list of travel destinations, and you’ll never be disappointed when that one place you wanted to travel to costs $500 more than you budgeted for.

So, if you have an adventurous side, give this a try next time you’re thinking of going on a trip and see how it works out for you!

 

PKat

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Blogging Tips Travel

What are you afraid of?

Are you aching to go on a trip but something keeps stopping you from making the commitment?

Do you want to see the world but keep telling yourself you’re waiting for the right person to travel with?

Do you dream of sandy beaches, century-old buildings, or cobblestone streets but can’t seem to get yourself to see these in person?

If you said yes to any of these questions, I have but one question for you: WHY? 

WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY?

Actually, here are some more questions for you: What are you afraid of? What is holding you back?

Don’t make the same mistake I did. Don’t wait until the right person comes along (friend or significant other), or until you ‘feel more comfortable’ travelling alone, or once you’ve done all the dreaming, lists, and planning you could without ever going anywhere.

If you can afford to travel now, DO IT!

Travelling alone gives you the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want, and to do it however you want to do it. Do you want to see a museum? Do it. Do you want to get on a plane on a whim and go to a different country because you heard there’s a big festival happening tomorrow? Do it. Do you just want to sleep in one day and NOT see any of the sites? Do it. You don’t need to ask someone else’s opinion; you don’t need to curb your plans or ideas because someone else doesn’t want to do the same things. You avoid disagreements, you avoid awkwardness, and you avoid shitty feelings in general.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying travelling with others is a waste of time. Travelling with people can be a blast and if you have the opportunity to do it, you should. BUT, if you’re waiting out to travel with someone, don’t. You should never put your dreams on someone else’s shoulders. If you want to see the goddamn Eiffel tower, see it. Don’t wait for Susan to save up enough money so she can come with you. Susan says she wants to go, but she’s not making any real efforts to save the money and come along. You’ve noticed it, I know. You think to yourself: “will I ever get to travel if nobody is willing to commit to it for real?”.
So forget Susan and her lame excuses, buy that ticket to Paris and explore everything it has to offer!

You’ll meet a ton of people on your travels, other solo travelers like yourself, groups, or locals. Trust me; you won’t be hurting for company. It’s actually the perfect arrangement: you meet other people, you do activities with them (sightseeing, bar hopping or whatever it may be) and then, once you’re craving some alone time you can just leave. You owe these people nothing, and they owe you nothing. You can hang out with your new friends as much or as little as you desire.  In essence, you’re completely free and it’s an incredible feeling.

Are you afraid? Do you feel like you won’t be safe if you travel alone?

Start with Europe. It is the best place to begin your backpacking adventures; it’s like dipping your toe in the water before jumping in the pool. It’s is one of the most popular places for solo backpackers; it’s modern, and most people will most likely be able to speak English which means you won’t be too disoriented. Travel between countries is relatively cheap; they have a ton of budget airlines that sacrifice comfort for savings so you can cover lots of ground in short amounts of time. I’ve travelled solo in Europe twice; I even walked around the streets of Sarajevo on my own (which let’s be honest isn’t ‘Western Europe’), and I’ve always felt safe. I think I’ve felt safer walking around certain cities in Europe than I do walking around Montreal late at night.

You’ll learn a lot about yourself while you’re out there on your own. What you really enjoy doing, seeing, eating. What kind of person you are when you’re not surrounded by your usual entourage. It’s an incredibly enriching experience, and you’ll come back filled with new ideas, lots of new knowledge & friends, amazing memories and a thirst for more.

So, I know it can seem daunting. I know it can be scary to take that step forward. But it is SOOOOOO (the amount Os should tell you something here!) worth it to take the plunge and experience everything this beautiful world has to offer. You’ll regret that you waited so long, you’ll regret all the time you wasted being afraid instead of travelling. And I promise you’ll feel ridiculous once you’re there having a blast and you realize there was nothing to be scared of.

Comment below and tell me what kind of fears are keeping you from travelling!

PKat.

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