We found real value in one of the toniest spots in the United States.
Cape Cod is a tiny spit off Massachusetts, just an hour from Boston, where everything seems endless and open and large. There are massive beaches, gorgeous mansions, endless expanses of blue sky. And the friendliness is larger than life too!
I met my new friend Kelly, a former Cape Cod resident, at a cooking class in Prague. We bonded over a mutual appreciation of all things dumplings and goulash and she gave me invaluable advice for exploring Cape Cod. Thanks to her sage insider's perspective we had an unforgettable trip - plus a long list of activities to consider for next time.
In the spirit of travel friendships, I feel it's only appropriate to pass along our favourite (affordable) Cape Cod recommendations - and I can't wait to hear if you have any to add to the list!
Looking for affordable travel in Copenhagen? Here are our best budget picks for the Danish capital.
Copenhagen was our back-and-forth city as we planed our amazing trip through Europe. Would we or wouldn't we? On the plus side, Copenhagen was the next logical stopping point after Stockholm and easy transportation connections made it the perfect layover on route to Berlin. But could we really afford to visit two Scandinavian cities in one trip? Would Copenhagen have enough to hold our interest? Would it be too similar to Stockholm? Or so different that there was no point to try to see the sights in just a day or two?
We finally committed Copenhagen to our travel plans but I couldn't commit emotionally. I told myself that maybe I'd spend the time working. Or that it would be a good place to catch up on rest after being part of a busy conference. I needn't have worried at all. Copenhagen was WONDERFUL! I've never regretted adding it to our itinerary - and neither will you. Here's how we saved, splurged, and found great deal 'steals' in Copenhagen.
Some trips start at a snail's pace - but Edmundston let me take my time.
Aviator Anne Lindburgh once said that the final moments before you leave for a trip are horrible. Once you get going, you’re fine but until you do it’s absolutely dreadful, like a snail being pulled off its rock.
I know exactly how she felt. The morning we departed for Edmundston, a mantra of “I’m a snail, I’m a snail, I’m a snail” kept playing in my head. I did NOT want to leave my rock.
Edumundston was the first stop in our epic 5 week, pan Canadian/European adventure. It’s the longest trip we’ve ever undertaken and, against a backdrop of some personal upheaval, I was the world’s most reluctant snail, being plucked off the rock and tossed in the car with most serious reservations. What on earth was I doing and why on earth was I going on the road when I had a perfectly acceptable rock right at home?
Fortunately, Edmundston understood. This northern New Brunswick city has been a traditional stopping point for us on all our eastern Canada roadtrips but until recently it had never represented much more to us than a convenient junction for fuel and food. But it somehow felt wrong to be continually visiting a city and never being able to recommend anything beyond the nearest Tim Horton’s location. It was time for this snail to blaze a trail (metaphorically, of course. I’m not slimy in real life!) Here are our favourite picks for the best saves, splurges, and steals in the city.
Updated in 2021! The best Kauai activities for families, including great splurges, amazing savings, and tons of outdoor fun.
Do you remember the time we stayed in the cheapest hotel room in London? Our short term pain was definitely worth the long term gain - we saved enough to enjoy some amazing theater tickets! And, of course, our misadventures provided tremendous amusement for all our wonderful readers! That marriage-testing situation was a memorable travel experience - and it perfectly summed up our value travel philosophy. We are all about knowing where to save, when to splurge, and how to get a steal of a deal. And that translates into a TON of fun when it comes to planning out the best Kauai activities for families - whether you're a couple, a family with kids, a family with seniors, or multi-generational.
London may have been our most amusing save, splurge, steal scenario but it's a system we put into action in just about every destination we visit. It's such a part of who we are and how we travel that we wanted to start an entirely new series on the blog dedicated to how we save, splurge, and "steal" all around the world. And there's no better place to kick things off than Hawaii.
While Hawaii has plenty of tempting splurges (check out our list of favourite indulgences on the Big Island!) it is also one of the most affordable, value oriented destinations we've ever been to. We love sharing our passion for the more affordable side of Hawaiian life and the island of Kauai in particular is the embodiment of the best of the save, splurge, steal ideals. Here's what earned our money and our affections on the garden isle, staying with kayaking in Kauai.
Are hostel showers gross? No! Or, at the very least, usually not. This is what you need to know about showering in hostels.
I dare any traveler to come up with a better spa treatment than what I experienced in Italy. The country's polished marbles had nothing on my skin after a beautiful, yet breezy day at the beach in Finale Ligure. The salt spray, the repetitive layers of sunscreen and blown sand, finished with a hearty dose of sweat from climbing the 300 plus stairs up the hillside to my hostel made for the world's most powerful exfoliate. The hostel showers may have been humble that day but my skin has never felt so good!
I get why the issue of bathrooms and showers is a sensitive one to so many travelers. It's not just about being hygienic. It's also about the ritual of refreshment and relaxation that helps start and conclude a day. It can wash away a horrible day or, like my case in Italy, make a good day even better. And it just feels darn nice.
And that's probably why so many of my readers who want to try staying in hostels or budget accommodations for the first time (or are interested in giving them another shot after a long hiatus) are sheepishly and nervously asking...."Um..... How do I shower in a hostel?"
Guest bloggers Illia and Nastia from Crazzzy Travel share their best Galapagos travel tips for saving money on food, accommodations, and tours on the beautiful islands.
Note from Vanessa: Hi everyone! We're so proud to feature this guest blog post from our friends Illia and Nastia. We haven't been to this part of the world but we know that many of you are dreaming about it (as are we!) We're so happy we can share these Galapagos travel tips from some real travel pros so we can all get a grasp on what to expect in terms of Galapagos travel cost predictions. Happy planning and dreaming!
There is a common misconception that Galapagos Islands are an extremely expensive place to go. To a certain degree it is true. However, you can considerably cut your costs on accommodation, food, and tours. Galapagos budget travel IS possible! Here are some tips which will help you to save big and go to Galapagos Islands on your next vacation.
Planning a romantic escape to Quebec City? Here's how to show your wallet a little love.
What are the most romantic three words in the English language? “I love you”? “Please marry me?” How about “All expenses paid!”? I know that's what would set my heart aflutter! It’s an unfortunate prosaic truth that most of us mere mortals and, not being blessed with unlimited travel funds, we have to temper our heartfelt voyages with realistic budgets. But in at least of the world’s most romantic destinations, Old Quebec City, your love affair - and your love affair with travel - doesn’t have to break the bank.
Craving a slice or two? Go ahead and indulge - all around the world. We've got 9 reasons why pizza is the best food for travel.
Have you ever had a craving for an impossible-to-find food in another country? I went crazy for pasta while in Bangkok (and I LOVE Thai food), while I was craving tacos like crazy in Athens (did I mention I ate tacos twice the week before?) And pizza! I can't begin to count the number of slices I've eaten all around the world - and I'm someone who adores food and loves nothing more than getting to know a new culture through their cuisine. What's going on?
I guess there are occasions where you just crave variety or familiarity and comfort. But sometimes those cravings come at a cost - I always feel so guilty that I'm not eating something more local, more authentic. But guilt is a horrible emotion to waste your energy on, especially when you should be enjoying your trip. So I'm now going to indulge - guilt free - in pizza all around the world and I think you should too! Here are my 9 best reasons for eating pizza and why pizza is the best food, no matter where you are in the world.
Should you pre-purchase gas with your next car rental? Do you have to fill up a rental car? We weigh out the pros and cons to help you understand car rentals with gas "included".
It may seem silly to worry about something as small as rental car gas prices when you're on the trip of a lifetime. Why sweat the small stuff when you can be out there enjoying yourself? And do you HAVE to fill up a rental car before you return it or just let it go? But small steps can add up to huge saving - savings you can use to make your trip even more unforgettable.
Savvy travelers know that their trip budget needs to take into account more than just base prices. Hotel rooms require taxes and tips. Flight costs don't include luggage fees and airport meals. And if you're calculating how much does it cost to rent a car, remember that car rental costs are more than just an automobile's base price. There are taxes and fees, insurance options, upgrade possibilities, and even add on features like GPS rentals. And of course you need something to get around town - you need gas!
The next time you rent a vehicle, you will probably be encouraged to "pre-pay" for your final tank of gas. This promises to be not only a convenient choice but an economical one as well. But is it all too good to be true? Readers want to know what the most frugal choice is and I am all to pleased to do the research and run the math on all your rental car gas options!
Here are some things to consider when it comes to car hire fuel policy matters.
Posts by Location
Posts by Date