Too many people make excuses for not traveling due to money, time, or just not knowing how to put all the details together. So in this interview series, I plan to show how real people make frequent travel possible by sharing some of their best tips and secret strategies for making travel easy and affordable.
Today, we hear some unique and inspiring travel tips from Katie, who writes the fabulous blog, The World on my Necklace. Originally from New Zealand, Katie has been living abroad and travelling the world for the past 10 years. Her travel style is generally budget travel with a bit more luxury for short term breaks. By working contracts and travelling in between, Katie has managed to travel a lot more than the general 4-6 weeks leave allowed in the UK and Australia. In 2012, after nearly 7 years living in London, Katie and her boyfriend Trav packed their bags and embarked on a 13 month trip through 14 countries in the Americas. Now living in Sydney by the sea and trying to balance work, life and travel. She is planning her next big trip to Alaska and Canada in 2015.
Best tips for making travel easy and affordable
Best tip for balancing travel with life’s obligations
I think the most important thing is to strive to have a full life that you enjoy, and not just living for travel. One mistake that a lot of travelers make is to only focus on travelling and not appreciate the beauty of the place they live in. If you are saving all of your money for travel and counting down the days till your next trip, you are blinding yourself to the other good things in life, things that can be done close to home too like eating a good meal, walking in nature, swimming in a natural body of water and spending time with friends and family among others. By all means, cut costs to save for that dream trip but don’t cut everything good out of your everyday life.
Best resource for making travel easier or cheaper
I still love using the Lonely Planet to get an idea of the sights I want to see and to plan for transportation between destinations. I have also recently started using Trover to plan, as well as other Travel Blogs.
Best tip for finding affordable airfare
Book 6-8 weeks in advance (unless it is over school/public holidays, you should then book as early as possible) as this is apparently the best time window to book in because airlines drop their prices if it looks like the flight might not fill up. Also, book flights to fly in the middle of the week rather than weekends if possible, as they are usually a lot cheaper. Compare a number of different flight search engines before booking to get the best possible price.
Best tip for finding hotels/hostels/rentals
I use Hostelbookers, Air BnB and Hotelscombined to search for accommodation as I usually find the cheapest prices on these websites. You can sign up to booking websites for their sales alerts and keep on the lookout for a good deal. To really cut costs, I have also camped and couch surfed while travelling and will continue to do so.
Best tip for travel with limited vacation time
Make use of the weekends. There are 104 days a year that are weekend days. Utilise public holidays to take long weekend trips.
Best destination for people on a budget
I haven’t been there yet but from what I have heard and read – South East Asia and India. In my personal experience I thought that Bolivia and Guatemala were great budget destinations although maybe not suitable for a first time traveler.
Best travel deal you’ve scored and how you found it
Return flight from Sydney to Auckland for $215 including taxes and fees in a Jetstar one day flash sale. It is usually double that price!
Best advice for someone who wants to travel but is worried about cost or time restrictions
It really doesn’t have to be expensive. Maybe start close to home, get a tent and camping gear and go camping – it is a cheap and fun way to travel.
A little inspiration, just for fun
What is it about travel that makes it worth the expense and effort?
The way it makes me feel and the priceless education that can be gained from it. I have become a more open minded, kinder and wiser person because of my travels, and I am still continuing to grow as a person with each new travel experience. It has also made me appreciate the world around me and how to slow down and find joy in the simple things in life.
What’s your dream destination and why haven’t you made it there yet?
Europe was always my dream destination and I lived there for 7 years, exploring extensively. Now Alaska is my dream and although the cost has put me off visiting yet, I will be finally making it there in 2015 and will be doing it on a low budget – hopefully! I plan to take ferries up the coastline from Vancouver Island then buses and rideshares.
Most ridiculous thing you’ve seen or experienced while traveling?
There has been a lot of ridiculousness but one thing recently is when we did a boat trip from Panama to Colombia during trade wind season (very big swells) and had to swim to shore to get stamped out of Panama because it was too dangerous to tie up to the wharf. Our Captain had our passports in a big ‘waterproof’ container and somehow managed to get water in it, soaking everyone’s passports. He didn’t even apologise. Pretty ridiculous.
Check out Katie’s blog and follow her social media pages to keep up to date on her latest adventures:
Do you have some great travel tips that you’d like to share as a part of my Best Travel Tips interview series? If so, send me a message through my contact form.