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 Ron from Active Planet Travels!
Ron Robbins is a world traveler, writer, and amateur photographer. He enjoys writing about different cuisines, cultures & experiences around the world in hopes of inspiring others to do the same and live their lives fulfilling their wildest dreams. "It's all about stepping out of your comfort zone & living life to the fullest"!
1.) How do you save money in order to travel?
When I first began traveling 5 years ago I generally worked seasonal jobs that allowed me to save money so that I could travel in the off-season. This allotted me 5 months of work in the winter, 3 months in the summer and 4 months off to travel (2 in the spring & 2 in the fall).
Now, I travel full time off of my blog Active Planet Travels (http://ActivePlanetTravels.com) as I have transitioned my online diary into more of a business model where people can read interesting posts of places I've been all over the world as well as tips & tricks on how to travel. You don't make much as a full time travel blogger and at times life can be a little rough but after traveling for over a year like this, I learned that it somehow always works out and I've never went a night without a roof over my head or food in my belly. All I've got to say is that there are a ton of good people in the world and that a smile can go a long ways.
2.) Everyone needs to splurge now and then – describe a time when you blew your budget and it was worth every penny.
A few years back I went on a road trip with my brother in Florida down to Miami where I was going to visit this yacht show in search of work on a yacht. Getting lost and never even finding it, this crazy Cuban guy led us to the interstate where we started driving further South towards the keys. What was supposed to originally have been a job hunt turned out to be a luxurious weekend in Key Largo eating at 5 star restaurants, staying in luxury hotels and going on tours snorkeling in some very beautiful crystal clear waters. I came out flat broke in the end but it was well worth every penny as I tasted some of the best seafood & key lime pie I've ever had in my life!
3.) There’s nothing like a bargain – name your favourite great steal of a deal?
I'm not much of a shopper but when I do go shopping, I love to find great deals (just like anyone else I reckon). I would have to say that my favorite bargain was earned while searching for flights to the Bahamas. I started shopping around on various websites and after a few days of searching I happened to stumble upon this crazy deal Spirit Airlines was having from Florida to the Bahamas - only $19 USD each way! I quickly jumped on this deal as it was obviously selling out fast. Wasn't the best flight in the world but for only $19 bucks and a one way ticket to paradise who could complain!
4.) What tips do you have for a traveler to get the best value for their money?
Shop around, ask around and undervalue everything. I found this to be especially true in developing countries. Don't purchase the first item you see, whether it be in a shopping mall back home or in a night market in Thailand, shop around first and get an idea for what the cheapest price you can get is. A small example of this just happened while I was in Luang Prabang, Laos.
There were tables lined up outside selling fresh fruit smoothies at 10,000 kip a pop. I pulled 6,500 kip out of my pocket and that was all I offered to each of the vendors. Although the first two looked at me and said no, I arrived at that third vendor and, wouldn't you know it, I bought a fresh smoothie for only 6,500 kip; that's 35% off the original price! When you're traveling on a budget, every dollar counts and those pennies add up quickly.
5.) Time is valuable too – how do you make every moment count?
I try my best to never live in the past or in the future, only in the present. Granted this can be extremely difficult at times (especially when you're traveling and running a business full time; not knowing whether or not you're going to make it from this month to the next) but I do my best to live every moment to the fullest and truly enjoy the day as it is, rain or shine.
Follow Ron's latest adventures!
The Blog: http://activeplanettravels.com/
If you enjoyed this interview, you'll also like:
Save, Splurge, Steal Interview: Curious Around The World
Save, Splurge, Steal Interview: The Barefoot Nomads
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