Welcome to the next installment in our "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 Dave from Dave's Travel Corner!
Dave is an international travel writer who founded Dave's Travel Corner in 1996. Traveled to over 100 countries, he enjoys the outdoors, writing, photography, backpacking, mountain climbing, meeting people, the Internet and experiencing other cultures. What could possibly combine all these varied interests....why, travel of course! Dave is most at home in Bangkok, Los Angeles, the Napa Valley or California's Eastern or far Northern Sierra Nevada mountains. One day in 2006 he naively decided he would try to visit, taste with and write about every single winery in the Napa Valley, California. An intense endeavor, he has now completed more than 700 visits and reviews of Napa producers for his Napa Wine Project.
1.) How do you save money in order to travel?
I do not splurge on "things" either while living in my "home base" nor while traveling. I keep my living expenses to a minimum - renting a fairly inexpensive one-bedroom apartment (relative to where I live), drive an older vehicle and live frugally. My focus is on saving money both for living but certainly for travel.
2.) Everyone needs to splurge now and then – describe a time when you blew your budget and it was worth every penny.
My recent splurge was for airfare, ground logistics and accommodation for an epic trekking trip to Papua New Guinea. Getting there is not cheap from North America and then once you are there - the cost of living and travel is surprisingly expensive (they are in the middle of both an oil and gas and gold boom). But the memories we created from trekking through the remote jungles and cultural activities will last a lifetime. It is not a much visited country by independent tourists and as a result, it was a refreshingly authentic trip.
3) There’s nothing like a bargain – name your favorite great steal of a deal?
Well, it involves travel of course! When I find a flight that is priced to sell - far under the normal price. Sometimes I just have to go there despite it not being on my original radar! I subscribe to various online travel booking email newsletters and keep my eyes open for tickets that are unusually low priced.
4.) What tips do you have for a traveler to get the best value for their money?
While on the road - eat like a local - especially if street food is involved. If you don't have an iron stomach, make sure what you are buying is thoroughly cooked. I've found my stomach has become more tolerant over the years to street food. I couch surf from time to time - sometimes it can take a while to find a host but in the end you are staying for free and meeting someone local. I've been known to skip staying at hotels if I am renting a car - I will sleep in the car (depending on the destination). Taxi's are convenient and in many countries are fairly inexpensive - but depending on the country, public transportation is usually cheaper. And if you have your heart set on a destination but the cost of airfare is high - check flights during the off-season - for example go to Europe in January or February - or South East Asia in July.
5.) Time is valuable too – how do you make every moment count?
By enjoying the moment, rather than trying to rush through a trip. I've certainly rushed through trips based on limited time somewhere but those types of trips are not as memorable as focusing on quality rather than quantity. Spend some time to get to know
locals - eat local cuisine and seek out experiences. That is my advice!
Follow Dave's latest adventures!
Website: Dave's Travel Corner -
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