Welcome to the latest installment of the "Save, Splurge, Steal" interview series. Getting great value when I travel is always such a fun challenge for me and I love to learn how other people get the best possible experience for their available time and money. I'm asking top travel bloggers to share their expertise and I hope you enjoy their responses as much as I do!
Meet Anto from We12Travel!
Anto is one half of we12travel.nl. Together with Martijn, Anto runs a website dedicated to adventurous and active traveling to the world’s most beautiful places. They are full time office workers and part time outdoor lovers.
1.) How do you save money in order to travel?
The most important thing is that, in general, we are not very attached to things. We don’t drive a fancy car or have a huge flat screen TV. We collect memories, not things. Our favorite way to save is by inviting friends over for dinner instead of eating out. I've learned myself to cook and prepare something out of the box rather than an average pasta or traditional Dutch mashed potato/veggie dish. Going out for dinner is not only very expensive in The Netherlands but also, when finished, you are meant to leave as soon as possible as your table is needed for the next guests. At least at home you can open a (not too expensive) bottle of wine and hang out as long as you want …
2.) Everyone needs to splurge now and then – describe a time when you blew your budget and it was worth every penny.
This totally happened when going to Alaska for work a couple of years ago. As a product manager for a tour operator I travel every now and then, and Alaska was one of the places I got to see. It had always been my dream to see Mt. McKinley (the highest mountain in the USA) and when it was finally out of the clouds after 3 days, I immediately bought myself a seat on a floatplane, flying above the glaciers and circling around this giant mountain. Flightseeing is pretty expensive, it was about USD 250 for 45 minutes. I could have survived about a week for that on any other journey, yet those 45 minutes on the floatplane were worth every penny!
3) There’s nothing like a bargain – name your favorite great steal of a deal?
Within Europe we have many low cost airlines. This means you can fly all across the continent for a couple of euros only. However you have to be smarter than some of those companies, as some will register your IP address. When you come back to book the flight (after checking and comparing deals of other airlines), the prices have usually increased compared to what you saw before and they tend to go up each time you check the site again. Therefore I usually check prices from home and book from my PC at the office (after work hours of course) … that makes sure I get the best deal.
4.) What tips do you have for a traveler to get the best value for their money?
Don’t always choose the cheapest way. Sometimes European low cost airlines are inconvenient because they fly into an airport way out of town and transfers will cost you a lot. Or you are not allowed to check in luggage and you end up paying big time for it, while booking a regular airline would by then have been cheaper. Same goes for accommodations. I've booked the cheapest ones around (usually by comparing via Kayak) but I found they were not always the best… nowadays I aim for a couple of euros higher and they are usually a lot better.
5.) Time is valuable too – how do you make every moment count?
Getting up early and staying up late. Sleeping can be done at home! Here’s a post that I wrote about how to make the best of your time in Yellowstone – by getting up early and staying up late:
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