Family travel and frugal fun!
Welcome to our new interview series "Save, Splurge, Steal". 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 the Barefoot Nomads!
The Barefoot Nomad travel blog is all about travel, tech, family and fun. From hot air ballooning through Turkey to snorkeling with sea turtles in Mexico to riding camels in Morocco, they prove that you can have great adventures with your kids. Follow Micki and Charles (and their gorgeous family!!) for expert travel tips, great tech help, and inspiration for your family travel all in one helpful, quirky space. Oh, and a lot of talk about ice cream!
1.) How do you save money in order to travel?
"Ah... money - always a tough question.
We started out by saving money, and then traveling for a while on the money we saved. Charles and I worked in IT. He was a computer programmer and I was a technical writer. We'd work either six month or year long contracts while saving up our money, and then travel and live off what we saved. We did this for almost 10 years.
About a year and a half ago we decided to try to make our living online, by creating websites, apps, software and such. It's been slow - we really didn't make anything the first six months or so, but now we're at a point where we're covering all our expenses. We think the sites we've created will keep growing, and we're planning a few more.
It's not for everyone; there's no guarantee you'll succeed. We just got to a point that we thought we'd regret it too much if we never at least tried"
2.) Everyone needs to splurge now and then – describe a time when you blew your budget and it was worth every penny.
"I've started to think of travel as a series of experiences. Sometimes, you really just have to spend a little bit to have the best experience in a place.
On our first trip together, we were looking at a three day sailing cruise through Australia’s Whitsunday Islands. Even with a great last minute discount, the sailing trip through the Whitsunday’s ran over $600. At the time, we were young backpackers, on an incredibly tight budget, and $600 was more than we’d spent in an entire month in Thailand.
We decided to take the trip, and I've never regretted it. It remains one of my best travel memories."
3.) There’s nothing like a bargain – name your favourite great steal of a deal?
"We love a good bargain! Some of the best bargains we've found are by traveling in the off season (when costs are lower), or finding ways to do trips independently.
One of the most expensive parts of travel for us is airfare, now that we have to buy airfare for four people (two adults and two kids). Because we can work anywhere in the world, we often plan our trips based on the cheapest airfare we can find.
We use an airline search engine called Skyscanner to search for the best deals from our departure point. Using their search engine, we scored one way tickets from Cancun, Mexico to Madrid, Spain for $160 USD all in. We also recently flew from Istanbul, Turkey to Toronto, Canada for just $288 after taxes and fees."
4.) What tips do you have for a traveler to get the best value for their money?
"The easiest, and most overlooked, way to save money is to travel outside of peak season. Traveling during periods like spring break and Christmas almost guarantees high prices on everything from airfare and hotels to tours. Not only that, but during peak season restaurants are busy, tours are often booked out, and it can be difficult to even find availability for hotels and flights.
When we worked regular 9 to 5 jobs, we'd often work over Christmas (which was often quiet and relaxing in the office), and save a fortune by traveling in February instead. To really boost our savings, we arranged with our workplaces to have a flexible period for holidays, and took advantage of some great last minute deals."
5.) Time is valuable too – how do you make every moment count?
"Ironically, the best way to squeeze more into your vacation may be to do less. If you're constantly rushing to the next attraction, and worried about your schedule, it's hard to really enjoy the moment or absorb the culture. Instead, consider making a short list of the things you would regret not seeing or doing. Then schedule these must do items, and leave some room in your plans for last minute things."
Follow The Barefoot Nomad's latest adventures!
The Blog: http://www.thebarefootnomad.com/
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