Category Archives: Budget Travel

How to travel when you have limited or no cash at all? Well, you try to maximize your value for dollar spent and utilize every travel hack and tip that there is. You do it in style.

Addmotor FOLDTAN M-160: Your Ultimate Electric Bike That Folds In Seconds

The Addmotor FOLDTAN M-160 folding electric bike is an impressive ebike that blends innovative features, powerful performance, and practicality to deliver an exceptional riding experience.

Designed to cater to urban commuters and adventure enthusiasts, this ebike boasts a range of cutting-edge specifications that make it stand out in the market.

From its high-capacity built-in battery to the advanced motor and display system, the FOLDTAN M-160 is a compelling option for those seeking a reliable and versatile electric biking solution.

Powerful Built-In Battery for Extended Journeys

Equipped with a 48V*20Ah lithium-ion cell pack, the Addmotor FOLDTAN M-160 offers an impressive power source that ensures extended range and endurance. With a charging time of 8-10 hours, riders can conveniently recharge the battery for their next adventure or daily commute.

The battery is rated for 1,000-1,500 charge cycles, ensuring lasting reliability and durability, making it a robust option for those looking to explore the city or tackle more adventurous terrains.

High-Performance Motor and Intelligent Display System

The FOLDTAN M-160 folding electric bike features an Addmotor 48V*750W integrated wheel motor, cleverly mounted on the rear hub. This rear-mounted geared hub motor delivers ample power, providing riders with swift acceleration and smooth performance.

The motor is seamlessly controlled through the Addmotor EB 2.0 Multi-Functional LCD Display, which not only shows vital riding metrics but also comes with a convenient USB port for charging devices on the go. This thoughtful addition enhances the overall utility of the ebike, making it suitable for daily commuting or longer excursions.

Intuitive Throttle and Responsive Controller

The FOLDTAN M-160 folding electric bike boasts a variable speed control 1/2 twist throttle, allowing riders to adjust their riding pace to match their preferences and road conditions. The Addmotor EB 2.0 25A Controller, upgraded to a chip type, ensures precise and responsive handling of the electric bike’s motor, optimizing power distribution for a seamless and safe riding experience.

Safety and Convenience Features

Addmotor prioritizes safety and convenience, evident in the FOLDTAN M-160’s design. The ebike comes equipped with a hydraulic disc brake system, offering reliable and responsive braking performance, ensuring riders can navigate city traffic and trails with confidence.

The U-shaped handlebar provides ergonomic comfort and enhanced control, while the easy-to-fold bike frame allows for effortless storage and portability, making it a practical choice for urban commuters with limited space.

Integrated Wiring and Lighting System

The Addmotor FOLDTAN M-160 folding ebike boasts a water-resistant integrated wiring harness with connectors, ensuring the electrical components are well-protected from the elements, contributing to the bike’s overall durability and longevity.

Additionally, the headlight and taillight are powered by the main battery and conveniently controlled by uneven buttons, enhancing visibility during nighttime rides and adding an extra layer of safety.

Addmotor FOLDTAN M-160: Exploring the Pros and Cons of This Innovative Electric Bike

Pros of Addmotor FOLDTAN M-160:

Powerful Motor and Battery: The 750W rear-mounted geared hub motor provides ample power, making uphill climbs and challenging terrains effortless. The 48V*20Ah lithium-ion battery offers an impressive range, allowing for longer rides without worrying about running out of charge.

Versatile LCD Display: The Addmotor EB 2.0 LCD display with a USB port serves as an all-in-one control center, providing essential information about speed, battery level, distance traveled, and more. The added USB port enables you to charge your devices on the go, adding a convenient feature for long rides.

Variable Speed Throttle: The 1/2 twist throttle gives riders precise control over their speed, allowing for effortless acceleration and deceleration. It’s especially handy in situations where pedal assist might not be ideal, such as navigating through tight spaces or starting from a complete stop.

Enhanced Controller: The upgraded 25A controller offers improved performance and efficiency, resulting in smoother power delivery and a better overall ride experience. The chip-type controller ensures reliability and stability, contributing to the bike’s overall safety.

Integrated Lighting System: The headlight and taillight powered by the main battery ensure visibility and safety during night rides. The control buttons on the handlebar allow easy management of the lights, making it convenient to use without taking your hands off the grips.

Water-Resistant Wiring: The integrated wiring system with water-resistant connectors and harness enhances the bike’s durability, making it more resistant to moisture and unfavorable weather conditions.

Hydraulic Disc Brake: The hydraulic disc brake system provides exceptional stopping power and reliable braking performance. It enhances safety during high-speed rides and steep descents, instilling confidence in the rider.

Price: The Addmotor FOLDTAN M-160 folding ebike may fall into a higher price range compared to some other electric bikes in the market. While the features and performance justify the cost, it may not be the most budget-friendly option for all potential buyers.

Overall, the Addmotor FOLDTAN M-160 folding ebike boasts a range of impressive features that cater to urban commuters and adventure seekers alike. With a powerful motor, long-lasting battery, versatile LCD display, and hydraulic disc brake, it offers a thrilling and convenient riding experience.

However, potential buyers should consider factors like charging time, weight, and budget before making their purchase decision.

Finding Your E-Bike Soul Mate: Is the Addmotor FOLDTAN M-160 the One for You?

The Addmotor FOLDTAN M-160 is a high-performance electric bike that caters to a specific audience, making it a fantastic choice for some but not the right fit for others. Let’s explore who the product is for and who it’s not for:

Who the Product Is For:

Electric Bike Enthusiasts: The FOLDTAN M-160 is a dream come true for electric bike enthusiasts who are seeking a powerful and feature-packed e-bike. Its 48V750W rear-mounted geared hub motor and 48V20Ah lithium-ion battery provide excellent performance, making it ideal for those who love the thrill of electric biking.

Urban Commuters: If you’re a daily urban commuter looking for a convenient and eco-friendly way to navigate through city traffic, the FOLDTAN M-160 is a great match. The U-shaped handlebar, hydraulic disc brake, and integrated wiring with water-resistant connectors offer a comfortable and reliable commuting experience.

Adventure Seekers: The FOLDTAN M-160’s robust motor and long-lasting 20Ah built-in battery make it a perfect companion for adventurous souls who enjoy exploring off-road trails and conquering challenging terrains with ease.

Tech-Savvy Riders: With its multi-functional LCD display, USB port, and variable speed control throttle, the FOLDTAN M-160 appeals to riders who appreciate cutting-edge technology and seamless control over their electric biking experience.

Foldable Bike Enthusiasts: For those living in small apartments or frequently using public transport, the FOLDTAN M-160’s easy-to-fold bike frame is a game-changer, providing convenience and portability without compromising on performance.

Final Verdict

The Addmotor FOLDTAN M-160 is a powerful and technologically advanced electric bike, designed for electric bike enthusiasts, urban commuters, adventure seekers, tech-savvy riders, and those who value both performance and portability.

However, it may not be the best fit for casual riders or budget-conscious individuals who seek a more straightforward biking experience without the premium features.

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How To Have A Great Time In Kolkata For 4 Days Trip

Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, is a vibrant city with a rich history and culture. It’s known for its literature, arts, music, and culinary scenes, among other things.

If you’re planning a four-day trip, here’s an itinerary suggestion that will allow you to experience the best of what Kolkata has to offer:

Day 1: Historical and Cultural Sightseeing

Start your morning at the Victoria Memorial. This grand marble building, surrounded by lush gardens, houses an extensive collection of art and historical items.

Afterward, head to the Indian Museum, India’s largest and oldest museum, to witness its vast collection of artifacts.

Later, visit the Mother House, the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity, where Mother Teresa lived and worked.

Spend your evening on Park Street, which has a number of restaurants, pubs, and nightclubs.

Don’t forget to dine at Peter Cat, famous for its Chelo Kebabs.

Day 2: Exploring Literature and Arts

Start your day with a visit to the Jorasanko Thakur Bari, the ancestral home of the famous poet Rabindranath Tagore, now turned into a museum.

Then, visit the Marble Palace, a 19th-century mansion known for its collection of art, sculptures, and antique furniture.

In the afternoon, head to College Street, home to the world’s second-largest second-hand book market, and visit the Coffee House, a gathering place for intellectuals and artists for decades.

Attend an evening performance at the Rabindra Sadan Cultural Center, known for hosting Bengali theatre and music.

Day 3: Cuisine and Shopping

Start your day with a visit to New Market, a bustling shopping area, where you can buy anything from spices to sarees.

Have lunch at 6 Ballygunge Place or Oh! Calcutta for authentic Bengali cuisine.

In the evening, visit the Gariahat Market for more shopping and local street food.

End your day at Princep Ghat, where you can enjoy a peaceful boat ride on the Hooghly River while witnessing a breathtaking sunset.

Day 4: Modern Kolkata and Farewell

Visit the Eco Tourism Park, a vast expanse of gardens, lakes, and recreational areas.

Afterward, head to Salt Lake City to see the more modern and planned part of Kolkata.

Visit Science City, one of the largest science museums in the Indian subcontinent.

End your day and your trip with a visit to Park Street again for some final shopping, food, and maybe even some live music.

Remember to try Kolkata’s famous sweets like Rasgulla, Sandesh, and Mishti Doi during your visit.

Rasgulla

And, if you’re in the city during the Durga Puja festival, you’re in for a vibrant and joyous celebration unlike any other.

Enjoy your trip!

12 Tips on How to Plan & Budget for a Big Trip

Finally, after long days of researching different places, itineraries, and activities, you have decided on a place for your next big trip. You can move on to the next part: the preparation process. And if you’re like us, the top spot in your prep list is probably the budget.

Chances are, you already have an amount in mind, and you might have some money put away specifically for that purpose. This doesn’t mean that you want to spend it all, though. In fact, if you’re reading this article right now, then you’re probably looking for ways to make the most out of it, and maybe even reduce your projected expenses altogether.

How to Plan and Budget for a Big Trip

Well, don’t worry because you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we are going to share with you the different ways on how you can stick to your budget and travel within your means.

It’s not the length of your vacation but your preparedness. Let’s get started.

List down your priorities

Do you have non-negotiable plans on your trip? Do you have an experience that you really want to check off from your bucket list? What are the expenses that you are willing to sacrifice in order to have more funds for that activity?

For instance, the main reason that you want to go to New Zealand in the first place is because you really want to go skydiving. That’s awesome! Hence, you might want to look into cheaper accommodations and travel options.

Sign up for insurance

One thing that can ramp up your expenses is when something unexpected happens whilst you’re away. Hence, having a travel insurance in place will always be a good investment, and will prove invaluable if something does happen.

If you’re really short on cash, then you can look at different loan options such as personal loans for fair credit so you won’t have to tap into your set travel budget anymore. It’s much easier if you have a perfect credit score.

Make preparations early

Last-minute flights are not only difficult to book, but they can cost more as well. Hence, take note on when the prices drop so you can get the best travel deals. This is only possible, though, if you have started preparing for your journey at least a few months ahead of time.

Same applies for rental cars and hotel bookings. Lastly, if you are planning to visit a popular city, most budget tours gets sold out in advance. Make sure to do your research and book any budget tours you are interested in. (An example could be, City tours with guides, transportation, and meals.)

Sell unwanted goods

We all have that old books or furniture or that camera or old iPad which we do not read anymore! You may even have clothes that don’t fit you or interest you anymore or that pair of boots. A simple rule you can apply when trying to get rids of things is this: of you haven’t touched it in a year, you don’t need it.

It is therefore wise that you put such items on sale at a website (eg. Craiglist), apps (Offerup, Facebook Marketplace), or simply do a garage sale.

Be prepared to cook

 

Aside from airfare, another huge expense is the cost of your meals. You can reduce this significantly by booking a room that has a functioning kitchen and by cooking your meals yourself.

Travel with friends

Here’s another way that you can save money. Most activities cost less when you split it with more people. Hence, don’t hesitate to ask around if anyone wants to tag along. After all, you’re not the only person with travel goals.

Communicate online

Roaming fees can be off-the-charts if you’re not careful. Hence, we suggest you to communicate with your loved ones online instead. In fact, you can even bring your own wireless broadband when traveling or better yet, make use of free wifi hotspots in various locations.

Enjoy public transport

Or walk! Skip the taxi. Not only will you be able to save on transport costs, but you’ll also be able to enjoy a more authentic experience this way.

Keep your money safe

Go out of your way to protect yourself from theft. There’s nothing more expensive than losing money. Use a front-pocket wallet. Don’t put all your money in one place. Don’t withdraw large amounts of money at a time.

Keep an emergency fund somewhere people will never guess even if they rummage through your things, like inside an empty bottle of lotion. Get creative!

Favor experiences that you can do for free

There are a lot of museums that offer free guided tours and concerts. There are also cultural events like festivals that are always fun to be a part of but won’t cost you a single cent. Walking along the beach also won’t cost you anything as well but we’re sure the sights will be splendid.

You’ll be surprised by how much you can actually enjoy and explore for free, especially if you prepare for your trip early and do your research beforehand.

Resist the temptation to buy things

Finally, don’t buy a lot of souvenirs. We know that you’ll probably only visit Bali or Mumbai once in your whole life, but that doesn’t mean that you need to buy a lot of stuff to remember your trip by. Pictures can serve the same purpose and it won’t cost you anything.

A memento or two is enough, and only buy something pricey if you’ve actually listed it down as one of your top priorities, which brings us back to our first tip. And with this, our article has actually gone a full circle.

Pick your destination wisely

There are wannabe travelers all around, planning a trip that is never going to happen. We are saying “never going to happen”, because the majority of us have full-time jobs and a tight budget.

How are we going to make that trip to Hawaii or Singapore? We keep thinking, planning, plotting but the vital link we all forget is “money.” Now that we have covered the money part, there remains one last step.

You must decide where you want to go and carefully narrow your lists of available options. Pick a destination that fits both your budget and your dream. Those who want to travel abroad might like to take a decision on a country where their currency is valuable than the local currency.

For example, Americans and Canadians can plan a trip to the Caribbean and Europe, Indians can plan to visit Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Thailand, Europeans can travel to Hawaii, China, Greece, and Morocco. A Smart way to choose your destination is to check your currency value. And…cheap flight tickets.

Use Google Flights

Google flights is hands down the best free tool that you can use to find a flight that is both viable and available. Even if you are planning a last minute trip. You can set your home destination and then play with the dates (into future) to find a cheap deal.

We hope that you have found our article helpful. By keeping the tips we have shared with you in mind, we’re sure that you will be able to make every dollar count in your trip.

We wish you safe travels!

Author Bio

Lidia Staron is a part of Content and Marketing team at Open Loans. She contributes articles about the role of finance in the strategic-planning process.

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Kyoto On A Budget: Japan Travel Tips

Japan is one of the most popular countries in the world to visit. It is a country where you can find old traditions mixed with modern technology.

And depending on which city you choose to go to, you’ll find vast differences between each one of them. For instance, Tokyo might be the city surrounded by technology, but Kyoto is the city known for its old traditions and temples all around.

Spring time in Kyoto

Which is why if you decide to visit Kyoto, you will be stunned by all the amazing traditions this city has kept. From the old shinto shrines to temples to bamboo forests to even geishas. You will feel like you traveled back into the past and get a first hand look at just what Japan was like in the older days.

There is simply so many things to see and do. And it is because of these things that many people will often think that visiting Kyoto is a very expensive thing to do.

And to be honest…Sure there are some expensive things here in this city, but it isn’t as bad when compared to some of the other countries in the world.

Kyoto On A Budget: Travel Tips

Path to Fushimi Inari Shinto Shrine

There are many things you can do here in this city for either a low cost or no cost at all. It is totally possible to save money when you are visiting Kyoto. Which is why in this post I’ll be detailing all the tips and tricks for you to visit Kyoto on a budget.

So let’s get started!

Finding Cheap Accommodations

As we know, one of the most expensive parts of a travel trip is the place we stay at.

So the first thing on our list of budget tips is on how to choose your accommodations wisely.

Good thing for you is that there are a variety of cheap accommodations in the city that you can choose from.

In this list, we’ll be starting with the most basic of places to stay at and then move slowly up to the more higher end price points.

Capsule Hotels

A capsule hotel is basically a hotel that rents out small cubicles. The size of the entire cubicle is not very big and can only probably fit 1 person max. Even though it is small, it is a popular choice for many people to stay in if all they really need is a bed to sleep on. So if you don’t mind small spaces, then this will be perfect for you.

Typical Price: $10 – $15 USD a night.

Hostels

This is something where a lot of people might be familiar with. They are basically communal places where you stay with a lot of people. One room might have many beds for a bunch of people to sleep in or depending on which hostel you decide to use, they may offer private rooms.

Typical Price: $10 – $50 USD a night.

AirBnB

This is one form of accommodation where I think everybody should be familiar with by now. It is incredibly popular in Japan as there are many houses available for you to choose from at affordable prices. Although it is a bit pricier than some of the other options, it is still cheaper than a hotel.

Typical Price: $20 – $50 USD a day

Hotels

Just like every other city in the world, there are many hotels for you to choose from in Kyoto. Although the price point tends to be on the higher end of things, it may be something you’ll consider.

Typical Price: $80 – $100 USD a night

Using Public Transportation

When you are going to be traveling around Kyoto, there are a few methods you can use.

Trains, Buses and Taxis are going to be your friend. Now depending on where you are going, you might not even need them.

I personally recommend that if the destination is less than 30 minutes away by foot, I would just walk to that destination instead. Or, if you don’t feel like walking, there are some bike shops around that’ll let you rent out a bike to ride.

But if the destination is a little bit far, I would try a Public Bus first as they are relatively cheap. However if the Public Bus is not able to reach your destination, then I would try a Taxi.

Do know that taxi’s are actually quite cheap here in Japan compared to some other parts of the world. They are great to use especially if you are late for something or you missed that last subway or bus home.

Furthermore, here are some tips that can help you make traveling around the city more easier for you.

Download Google Maps if you do not have it yet. This is literally a god send and can help you out if you ever get lost. Google Maps is also able to give you accurate recommendations for different modes of transportation when you are trying to figure out your journey. So overall, it is a must have app for travel.

Download CityMaps2Go app for your phone to plot your destinations. This is a great app to use especially if you don’t have wifi because it works offline and is able to help you identify where you want to go.

If you are going to be using the train system here in Japan, then I would highly suggest you download Navitime for Japan Travel as it can help you figure out where you are going.

Finding Food To Eat

Fried pork with onions

This is the part everybody is probably waiting for.

You’ll be happy to know that eating food in Kyoto is incredibly affordable and cheap. Plus, the food is at a real high quality as well so you know you are getting some good food.

However, you do have to know where to go before you go buy your food. Mainly because, not everything is cheap in Kyoto.

Restaurants

Tip: Try to go where the locals eat. Avoid the restaurants that are geared towards tourists and go find some hole in the wall restaurant where locals eat. This will guarantee you save some money as foods tend to be cheaper here.

Note: The only problem in this approach is that they probably won’t speak or understand English so you might need a translation software or do some hand signs. Perhaps, learn a few common Japanese words, numbers, and phrases.

Also please note that these places might be a bit hard to spot if you don’t know what you are looking for. Typically you can find these places by going to any residential neighborhood and finding a place that can only sit 5 to 8 people only.

Street Food

Street food is another type of food you can buy for a very cheap price.

You can find street foods by going to any of the street markets here in the city. And once you are there, you’ll be able to enjoy an assortment of different and delicious tasting foods.

Some of the foods you can find are:

Tempura – This is basically a fried Japanese dish that can consist of mostly seafood and vegetables. The batter is light yet crispy and makes for a delicious bite. Also, it is usually less oily than the other regular fried foods you’ll find in other countries.

Takoyaki – Takoyaki is basically a fried octopus ball and can be found all throughout Japan. They basically take a piece of octopus and cover it in dough batter and cook it into a ball shape. After that they top it with a sweet sauce, bonito flakes, and also Japanese Mayonnaise.

Okonomiyaki – A common street food (as well as commonly served in many restaurants) you might run into while in Japan is one called Okonomiyaki. It is basically a savory pancake excepted it is pressed on a griddle with a very diverse amount of ingredients. You can find them topped with all kinds of toppings such as cabbage, bacon, egg, seaweed flakes, and much more.

Yakitori – Yakitori is another street food you might run into while in Japan. Basically it is a grilled chicken skewer that has been cooked over a hot charcoal fire. It is a pretty cheap dish that is highly popular in pubs where people sit down and enjoy it with a glass of beer.

Donburi – Another simple dish you can find in Japan is one called a Donburi. It is a very cheap and affordable dish that is also very filling. The name Donburi means rice bowl and it can consist of many different types things added together with the rice bowl. It is a common item that you can find almost anywhere in Japan, as there are even fast food chains that sell this delicious item.

Donburi – this one is a traditional rice bowl with eggs

The best thing about this is that most of the street foods you buy are only around $5 bucks or less. So you can eat quite a bit without having to break the bank.

Convenience Stores

Another place where you can find some cheap and affordable food is at convenience stores all over the country. These stores are on a whole different level than those you can find back in the States.

Plus, they don’t just stock food, but they have literally anything and everything you can ever want.

One of my favorite things to get at these stores are the Ramen bowls. You can get them for as little as $0.50 cents and they will fill you up just nicely. Plus you can grab a drink and a dessert and make it a full on meal. How great is that?

So if you are wanting to save some money, I highly suggest you visit the convenience stores located in the area. They are amazing!

Places To Shop At

To be honest, Kyoto isn’t really the city to be shopping in as there are not that many stores around. If you are wanting to shop, I would recommend taking the 1 hour train ride to the city of Osaka where you can find literally anything and everything you want.

However what Kyoto does have is something called “Kyoto’s Kitchen”, which is the number one place for you to go buy all your food ingredients.

That place is the famous NISHIKI MARKET.

Nishiki Market is popular with both locals and tourists as it offers you a glimpse into what a traditional Japanese shopping street looks like. This is the place to find all your traditional Japanese ingredients as well as fresh seafood. They also have takeaway food stalls and even restaurants selling all kinds of delicious and yummy foods at affordable prices.

Definitely recommend coming here if you are looking to try new foods.

Free Or Cheap Places To Go Visit

Did you know that you can visit a bunch of different attractions for either no cost or low cost price?

It’s true! There are literally a ton of things that you can do for either a low cost or no cost budget!

So lets see what you can see for FREE or very little entry fees:

Fushimi Inari Shinto Shrine

This is probably the number one attraction of Kyoto. The famous gates of the Fushimi Inari Shrine. The gates form a line and go all the way up the mountain of Southeast Kyoto. Definitely a must see attraction as it is something you’ll never find anywhere else.

Cost: Free

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

The Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is one of the most beautiful sights here in Kyto. It is favored by many people from all around the world for its beautiful bamboo. Walking along the path of these bamboo shoots will make it feel as if you are going through a different dimension. There are also some local temples nearby which you can visit as well.

Cost: Free

Tenryuji Temple

Tenryu-ji Temple is the most important temple in Kyoto’s Arashiyama district. It is the head temple of the Tenryu sect of Rinzai Zen Buddhism and is ranked first among Kyoto’s top five Zen temples. It is also here where you can find a beautiful Zen garden that dates back to the 14th century. It is one of the most beautiful Zen gardens in all of Japan.

Cost: ¥500

Giouji Temple

This is a small and interesting temple that is located close to the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and is known for its picturesque view of its moss garden, bamboo grove & maple trees.

Cost: ¥300

Kinkakuji Temple

Kinkakuji Temple is a unique temple because it is all Golden yellow. Heck, even the top two floors are covered in gold leaves. Although you are not able to enter this temple, it is still a beautiful sight to see.

Cost: ¥400

Nanzen-Ji Temple

Nanzen-ji temple is said to be one of the best temples in Northern Higashiyama district. It is one of the most important Zen temples in all of Japan as well as being the head temple of one of the schools within the Rinzai sect of Japanese Zen Buddhism. It is a magical place where you’ll have to really visit it to understand everything it has to offer.

Cost: Free to explore

Philosopher’s Path (Tetsugaku no michi)

If you want to see something truly beautiful, then head to Philosophers Path. It is a 2km long walkway that follows a canal and is surrounded by hundreds of Cherry Blossom Trees. If you come during the right season, the trees will be in full bloom and full of color making the area extremely beautiful to walk along in.

Cost: Free

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Kiyomizu-dera Temple is a Buddhist temple that is unlike any you ever seen. It is one of the most celebrated temples in all of Japan. What makes this temple famous is that it has a wooden stage that juts out from its main hall.

This stage allows visitors to a nice view of the surrounding area. Not only that, but there is also a shrine here that is popular among women for it is said to be the shrine to the god of marriage. Definitely a must see temple.

Cost: ¥400

Gion Street

Gion Street is a famous geisha district that is filled with shops, restaurants and teahouses. It is here where you’ll be able to see many geiko’s and maiko’s roaming around trying to entertain people.

Cost: Free to roam

Conclusion

As you can see, there are quite a bit of things for you to see and do for either a low cost or for no cost at all. Hopefully this post was able to show you that you don’t have to spend a lot of money in Kyoto just to have fun.

So next time you plan a trip, you might want to consider traveling to Kyoto and enjoy all it has to offer.

Let me know how your trip goes!

Author Bio

Wayne is a part-time traveler and a firm believer that anybody is able to travel no matter how busy they are in work or life. He wants to show you how you can travel better and smarter like never before. So, if you want to check out his travel blog, you can do so by visiting Daily Tourist.

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Top 5 Free Things To Do In Las Vegas

Las Vegas is the kind of place, where you set your foot and your money gets drained. The glitzy clubs, high-end resorts and not to mention the notorious casinos cost copious amount of money.

Many of us walk on a tightrope while traveling. It comes in handy to know some things which can be done freely. That too in Vegas!

BUT FIRST, WHERE TO STAY

We like Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. Located adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center and just one block away from the Las Vegas Strip, it offers classic entertainment and some of the largest rooms in Las Vegas. For all the accommodation issues, visit link and they will look after you.

FREE CIRCUS SHOW

Circus-Circus is a place where you can watch the show for free. On the compound, acrobats perform stunts and magicians weave their magic. You can take a seat to your liking and get awed by the sheer perfection at performances.

Every day this world’s largest permanent circus gives away a ten minutes free show. The Cirque de Soleil also offers free tours in months of August from 11 am to 11:30 am. Have fun gawking at the massive production house.

VIEW INCREDIBLE ART

Las Vegas is not only for partying. It has got some brilliant artists. You can stroll the city and come across some artsy campuses where you can discover upcoming talents. The City Center campus sports artwork of famous artists.

Image Credit

Inside the mall, you can see Shards of Color – a masterpiece of James Turrell. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas & P3 studio are places where you can have a tour by yourself, and without the artistic geniuses.

WANDER THE STREETS

On the streets of Vegas Boulevard, you need to have the immense will power to resist the shops. The Grand Bazaar Shops offer you open-air shopping. You can stroll around and do some window shopping.

If hungry, you can dine here as well. From 10 am to 10 pm you can indulge your eyes in drooling over things you want to buy.

If you find something in your budget, you can buy it. There is a multitude of shops to explore in the Strip. You can visit the museum – The Polaroid Fotobar.

There are no entry fees to pay. It has a vast collection of photos from great photographers. Or Click a selfie in front of Swarovski to make your friends jealous!

DEVOUR CHOCOLATE

Hershey’s chocolate world, as well as M&M’s world, are places which are heaven for chocoholics. You can enter here for free.

But be warned the chocolaty delights which will be displayed in front of you are sin incarnate. You will be tempted to buy them.

Chocolate buddha’s By Studio Sarah Lou CC BY 2.0

Ethel M. sweetens the massive cactus garden at Vegas He gives a free tour of his chocolate factory, you can even taste samples. What better way to end your journey than with free chocolate?

GET MARRIED!

Not exactly, “free” but Las Vegas and marriage are best of buddies. There are herds of couples who get married in Vegas.

The dream wedding you will plan might take a bucket load of cash. But here at Fremont Street, there is Denny’s. You can be married at only $ 95.

Instead of lavishly spending your money, say proudly that you married in Vegas in the spur of a moment. That sounds very Las Vegasy!

If getting married is off the charts for you, you can taste the delicious pancakes from evening till late night at the pancake house near the chapel. Happy tastings! 😉

10 Most Common Myths About Low Cost Budget Airlines

Nowadays, traveling is not a luxury anymore. Even budget travelers can fly with comfort and pleasure. One of the reasons for this phenomenon is the appearance of low-cost airlines. You can get an airway ticket for just a couple of dollars if you know, where to search.

Of course, this fact also made many people doubt: isn’t it too good to be true? This has led to many rumors and myths about “low-costers” and their services. Here are the 10 most common myths about low-cost budget airlines:

Myth #1

Low-cost airlines arrive God-knows-where and getting from the airport can be even more expensive, than flying the regular airline.

Yes, and No.

Low-cost airlines truly do arrive at smaller airports. The main reason is the size of airport taxes. However, the location of a particular airport and the price of getting to the city can vary greatly.

For example, getting from Paris-Beauvais airport to the city will really cost you around 20 euro, which is even more than some low-cost ticket price.

On the other hand, we were able to get to Milano from Milano-Bergamo airport for just 5 euro. In Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, the minor airport, which caters low-cost airlines, is located within the city borders and can easily be reached by public transport, unlike the main international airport.

Also, many cities, such as Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, or Corfu Town in Greece, have only one airport, situated not far from the city, or even within the city borders. In fact, we were a little short in cash at the end of our trip to Greece, so we just walked to Corfu airport from the city center. It took us just 30 minutes by foot, which is not long at all.

And of course, no one will make you leave the plane somewhere in the field. Although, I’ve heard such a myth too 🙂

Myth #2

Cheap flights are dangerous.

No.

Low-cost airlines update their air fleets more often than the regular ones. They believe, it is cheaper to buy a new airplane than to maintain and constantly repair an old one.

Also, old aircraft break down too often, and low-costers can’t afford to cancel flights all the time, as these are additional spendings for them. So, if you really think about it, it is probably safer to fly a low-cost airline than the regular one.

Myth #3

You may not get the seat on the plane.

No.

The number of tickets issued always matches the number of seats on the plane. Of course, unpredictable situations happen sometimes. But it is, in fact, more common for regular airlines, than low-costers.

On the other hand, there may not be enough space in the luggage locker if you board late. So, try to enter the plane as soon as possible. Pay attention, where you seat is and which entrance you should use. Some airlines put this information on the boarding pass, so read it carefully.

Myth #4

The flight can be suddenly canceled or delayed.

Yes.

Of course, it can. But this is true about all airlines, and not just low-costers. The schedule can also change sometimes. Due to this fact, the best time to book your ticket is around 2-3 months before the flight, and not earlier.

If your low-cost flight was canceled at the last minute, don’t worry. You will be given an exchange or a refund, just as with regular airlines.

Myth #5

Low-cost flights are always late.

Yes, and No.

Any flight can be late, and it doesn’t apply to low-costers only. In fact, low-cost airlines try much harder to stick to their timetable, as their planes usually do 2-4 flights a day.

In my experience, low-cost flights arrived earlier almost every time. However, it doesn’t mean you should choose risky flight change options: it is always better to stay in the airport for a little bit than to miss your flight.

Myth #6

Advertised price is not final.

Yes, and No.

 

You need to proceed the booking process up to an end, to see the final price of the ticket. Some booking fees, taxes, etc. can sometimes be added, but it is not common. Pay attention, however, when booking a low-cost ticket.

Most definitely, you will be offered additional services, such as insurance, choosing a seat on the plane, food, drinks, booking a hotel, or arranging a car rental service.

So, if the price of your ticket changes, when you proceed to the next step, you should check, what services were included. If you really added something without a purpose, go back and cancel it.

Myth #7

Low-cost tickets are always cheaper than regular.

No.

If you search the same destination with a low-cost and a regular airline, the low-coster will most probably have cheaper fares. However, it cannot be true for 100% different situations.

For example, sometimes regular airlines make huge ticket sales, and you can buy a ticket at a simply funny price. Or you can get lucky and find “hot” ticket at the last minute. Or get a birthday discount. In all of these cases, your ticket will be even cheaper, than the low-cost flight.

Also, keep in mind that low-cost ticket price, in the most, only includes hand luggage. And if you are used to traveling with a huge suitcase, you will have to pay an additional baggage fee, which can be even higher, than the price of your ticket. And don’t forget about the taxi fee you will have to pay, to get to the airport if your low-cost flight departs at night or early in the morning.

The destination attractiveness also matters. During the high season, low-cost airlines may require higher prices, than even the regular companies. And of course, ticket fares tend to grow closer to the departure date (for low-costers, the difference can sometimes be around 4-5 times between the starting and the final prices).

Myth #8

Low-cost airlines don’t give any guarantees.

No.

Low-cost airlines play according to common rules. Yes, they never offer joint flights and don’t take responsibility, if you are late for your next plane. On the other hand, they try to avoid force majors and unpredictable situations as much as possible, not to have any additional spendings.

Myth #9

You can only fly low-coster with hand luggage.

No.

Ticket price in low-cost airlines only includes hand luggage, it is true. But you can take as much luggage as you want, as soon as you are ready to pay for it. On some destinations, the price of the ticket, plus the luggage fee, will still be lower, than the same route at regular airlines. 

Keep in mind, though, it is always cheaper to pay for your luggage online (even after buying your ticket), than doing it in the airport, right before departure. You can add any amount of luggage on your personal page on the airline’s website, up to 3 hours before the flight leaves.

If you don’t want to pay additional fees, however, learn to travel with hand luggage. Not only is it cheaper, it is more convenient too:

  • You don’t have to get in line for baggage registration
  • You don’t have to wait for your luggage after arrival
  • Your luggage will not get lost, as it will be with you on the plane

But keep in mind the general rules for things you can and can’t have in your hand luggage if you decide to travel light.

Myth #10

When you arrive at the airport for you low-cost flight, you suddenly find out about additional fees you have to pay.

No.

This can only happen for two reasons:

  • You didn’t do the online check-in for the flight, as most low-cost airlines demand. If you do it at the airport, the service will be paid, and usually, it costs a lot! So, don’t forget about the online check-in. Plus, it is much more convenient to do from home, than to wait in a huge line at the airport.
  • Your hand luggage or baggage doesn’t meet the strict size and weight demands of low-cost companies. Find out, which are the luggage size and weight limits of a particular low-coster, in advance, and stick to them. Otherwise, you will have to pay an additional fee at the airport.

Keep in mind: if you are not sure about your luggage, you should arrive at the airport, at least 4 hours before the departure. In this case, if you need to pay an additional fee, you will still have time to do it online, using your phone or tablet, and it would save you a fortune!

However, both situations are, in fact, the result of people’s inattentiveness. So, if it happens to you, you have no one to blame, but yourself.

If you travel on a low budget and want to use a low-cost airline, all you need is be attentive, avoid common mistakes and travel with pleasure!

Related Posts

One Golden Rule To Avoid Overpacking

When I went on my first ever solo trip, I bought myself a 75L rucksack. Yes, you read it correctly. A 75L Rucksack!

I was so happy when I received it. It was huge, and it could carry almost anything.

In my excitement, I packed four pairs of shoes and all the pretty dresses I had. The rest is just a bad memory, Lol. My rucksack became so heavy that I got backache and blisters, and overall physical exhaustion from my trip.

I was so much in pain, that I couldn’t even enjoy my stay. I needed a vacation after my vacation to recover from my vacation!

Read Next: How to Pack Like a Pro & Travel Like a Ninja

The Golden Rule

Pack your bags smartly. There is a golden rule of packing that you must follow if you want to avoid overpacking situations like me.

The Golden Rule: Ditch the what-ifs

If you travel to a place in monsoon, then travel with your boots on. So, you don’t have to think- “should I pack my boots?”

Pro-travelers have a neutral colored wardrobe. I prefer black and blue over any other colors.

As a solo female traveler, as a bonus benefit, remember neutral colors goes a long way. For example, When you are traveling through busy streets or tourist hot spots, and if you dress up in bright colors, you will attract unwanted male attention.

Not only this waste time in causal small talks and saying “No” to offers for drinks and coffee, but it also causes unwanted stress, especially if the place and people don’t appear safe.

But if you wear a neutral color like navy blue, black or gray, you feel at home with the Parisian Women. Make sure your travel capsule has neutral colors which you can mix and match.

Black pants, black jacket, black jeans, and boots can take you almost anywhere in the world. And you can mix and match it with gray and navy blue. Below, there are infographics to show you how to create a travel capsule and yet look fashionable.

There is a saying that the lighter you pack, the farther you go. And it couldn’t be truer.

Travel Capsules – Packing Tips

We have three travel capsules for three seasons you may encounter on your travels: winter, summer, and rainy.

Fall and spring seasons can be planned as a winter destination minus the coats, thermals, jackets, gloves, and boots.

Winter Travel Packing List

  • (Inner) Thermals
  • Black tank tops
  • White tank tops
  • Black full sleeves t-shirts
  • Grey full sleeves t-shirts
  • Black and white striped t-shirts
  • Black pants
  • Blue jeans
  • Black jacket
  • Black boots

Summer Travel Packing List

  • White tank tops
  • Black tank tops
  • Black T-shirts
  • Grey T-shirts
  • Black and white striped t-shirts
  • Blue jeans/shorts
  • Black pants/shorts
  • Tan Sandals
  • A Red/black/white dress

Rainy Travel Packing List

  • Travel size umbrella
  • Light Waterproof /Windproof Jacket
  • White tank tops
  • Black tank tops
  • Black t-shirts
  • Grey Full sleeves shirts
  • Black and white striped t-shirts
  • Black pants
  • Blue jeans
  • Black boots/tan boots

What About Accessories

Actually, accessorize (watch, bracelets, jewelry) don’t take much space. Also, things such as scarves, belts, and handbags don’t take up a ton of space if you utilize the space and pack them smartly.

This means your default neutral-colored look can be enhanced with beautiful, small accessories of bright colors.

Moreover, there are good chances that you’ll do some shopping on your travel and you can also buy a few accessories or clothes as you travel. If you plan it right, you can carry even fewer stuff than what we have suggested above.

A Word on Souvenirs

Some folks like to collect memorabilia from everywhere they visit. This is a subjective choice and although I respect those who buy 5 magnets and postcard photos and a handmade artisan craft and a bag of local coffee or whatever that place is known for, know that these days you can buy most common stuff everywhere.

Besides, many of the artisans made pieces are not truly “made in fill-in-the-blank” but imported from China or South America.

If you absolutely feel like buying a souvenir for yourself or your family and friends, then buy something that is essentially and uniquely local.

You can choose to buy stuff that helps the local people and economy rather than at the airport or in big stores.

You can also consider donating money or hard cash to local artists or street performers. Moreover, you can take a class for something if you are staying longer.

These memories, good karma, and the new skills that you will learn will give you more joy than the shot glasses, postcards, magnets, or whatever common stuff everyone collects.

Related Posts

Top 6 Tips for Budget Travel

Travel. The 6-letter word that gets everyone, kids and adults alike, all juiced up. Budget; another 6-letter word that is a very important factor in traveling.

But can you put two and two together and figure out how the heck you can travel on a tight budget? Especially that the raise that’s been long overdue hasn’t been overseen by your boss…AGAIN!

Don’t let that dampen your spirits. If you put your foot down and not allow yourself to be reeled in by those luxurious travel commercials or expensive travel brochures; you can definitely afford to travel. All you need are a bit of patience and proper planning.

Same as you, I was once also in a similar situation when I was planning my first ever Southeast Asia vacation. But I stuck to these top 6 tips for my first budget travel.

Related: How to Travel as a Couple on a Low Budget

1. Travel Off-Season

There’s a beauty in traveling off-season and that is – saving money! Airlines hike up the airfares a few weeks before, during, and after peak seasons.

Travel during the off-season or the shoulder season. Some budget airlines almost always offer promo airfares during these seasons and you might get lucky and snatch a cheap fare to the destination of your choice!

Be patient and check the airline’s website once in a while.

2. Go for Budget Hostels

When you travel to a new place, you’re not going to lounge in your beautiful expensive hotel the whole day but you’re probably going to be on-the-go most of the time.

The only time you’ll need it is when you’re done with the day’s activities. Booking a low-cost accommodation can save you loads of money which you can use for other things like attraction fees, souvenirs, or transportation fares.

There are a lot of platforms you can search for reviews and pricing.

3. Try Airbnb or Couchsurfing

Just as the above, if you can’t find a decent hostel in a area, then try Couchsurfing or book your stay through Airbnb. Both options work great and both has its own merits.

Airbnb allows you to search and book shared accommodations. While, Couchsurfing is a community of like minded people who like to travel and meet new people.

Read Next: How to Travel on a Student’s Budget

4. Package Deals and Group Tours

Although having a solo tour with a tour guide all to yourself might sound a bit fancy, it will also cost you a huge amount of money! Go for package deals and group tours.

There are several groups of backpackers and travelers that are also looking for like-minded people they can travel (and save money) with.

5. Pack Right and Pack Light

Only bring the essentials. Strap on your best travel backpack and leave the unnecessary things behind. This will not only give you comfort in carrying a light burden but will also save you the extra baggage fees on the plane.

Rolling my clothes always hits the mark in terms of packing like a pro.

 

Related: Top 15 Money Saving Tips That Actually Works

6. Ditch the Taxis and Embrace Public Transportation

As you know, taxi fares might be very steep in other countries compared to yours. Try to avoid taking cab rides from one point to another.

It’s good to map out your routes for the day so you’ll know which public trains to take. Think of traveling as a fun form of exercising, go for long walks (if you can) to the tourist spots.

Author Bio

Judy Maria is a passionate travel & outdoor blogger who loves to travel and write about her experience. She spends her free time hiking, swimming, camping and spending time with her family. She also blogs at GearJunior which is a site filled with outdoor tips and guides.

Read Next

9 Smart Tips to Travel on a Student’s Budget

Young people around the world like to travel around and see new things, meet new people and create memories. That said, we all know that traveling requires ‘time’ and ‘money’.

Students often have the luxury of free time but the number one issue that most students face is the lack of bank balance for such excursions into the unknown.

Traveling on a Student’s Budget

Luckily, there are ways to travel at relatively low expenses and still see the world and experience everything it has to offer. Plus, traveling only makes your resume and background story for a future career more interesting.

1. Hitchhiking

The most popular way of traveling cheaply (or even for free) is hitchhiking. Finding a Good Samaritan every once in a while shouldn’t be too difficult. All it takes is raising your hand next to the road and hitching a ride to wherever the driver is headed and is willing to take you.

Paying for lunch or for drinks along the way is a great way to repay their kindness and keep moving on. Just remember to be careful about hitchhiking and don’t be afraid to be picky about your drivers – some people might want to do you more harm than good.

2. Volunteering

Many student organizations offer free travel and accommodations for their volunteers, offering you a great way to travel cheaply. While you will have to do some volunteering along the way, it still beats paying for your own expenses.

You will not only see new places but also learn new skills and meet new friends, which is a whole other benefit to volunteering that you should consider.

Also Read: 7 Smart Tips to Make a Perfect On-budget Vacation

3. Cruising and crewing

Many oversea cruise lines look for bartenders, housemaids, chefs, etc. All the time. Yes, these jobs exist and they offer a great way to travel the sea and earn some money along the way.

It’s a great way to travel around at literally no expense and even end up in the positive when you are done with cruising. If sea or homesickness is not a problem for you, definitely think about cruising.

4. Travel internships

There are agencies and firms out there that pay for people who travel around and promote their brand. Just imagine traveling the world in a Coca-Cola minivan. It offers the company cheap publicity and marketing and it gives you a chance to travel around the world at no expense whatsoever.

While you will have to take photos of everything you are doing and abide by the contract of the company that is financing you, this is a minor issue when you take into account everything that you are getting.

5. Flying smart

Not all flying companies have high costs. You can easily find cheap flights all around the world if you look in the right places. One such website is Ryan Air and while you can’ travel to literally any location, you can still find a huge number of cheap deals on offer.

Look for cheap flights and providers that can help you travel to your desired location as cheaply as possible. You will probably have to adjust your dates accordingly and travel light, but it’s a great way to spend as little money as possible and still see the world.

6. Freelancing

While not a method of travel itself, freelancing gave birth to a type of people you may have heard of – digital nomads. These people travel around the world with nothing but their backpacks and laptops. They work wherever they end up sleeping that night and travel around for very low prices.

They can afford all of that because they are freelancers – all of their work is done online and there’s no need for a static job placement. Supreme Dissertations is now hiring students, take a look at the website in order to take a peek at what it means to be a freelance translator and write for a living. Think about freelancing the next time you are thinking about traveling the world at an affordable price.

7. Trade labor

You can combine hitchhiking with trading labor wherever you travel. Some inns, hostels and family businesses will happily offer you food and shelter in exchange for labor. You can work a couple of days in each place and move on along your journey, hitchhiking along the way.

This is a cheap and effective way of travel if you are in going through a rural village area where people are more welcoming and willing to trust strangers.

8. Travel Contests

You and your friends can apply for a travel contest that pays for all of your expenses in exchange for meeting certain criteria. These are usually racing around the world with little to no support from the organizers, apart from the media coverage and an instant way out if you give up.

These adrenaline-fueled races and competitions are a wonderful way of bonding with your friends and creating memories that will last a lifetime. How many people do you know that took such a challenge? It’s risky, exciting and most importantly – you get to travel the world cheaply.

9. Couch surfing

Perhaps the oldest trick to traveling cheaply, Couchsurfing has been around for a while. You can sleep at someone else’s place provided that they allow for couch surfers in their home and then move on once you get some rest.

Couch surfing is also a great way to meet new people and pay very little for your travel expenses when you put everything on paper. While not many people will let you stay the night because they don’t know you, those that let couch surfers crash for a night have often been couch surfers themselves.

Yes, You Can Travel

Traveling for on a small student budget takes some ingenuity but it’s certainly possible. The important thing is to always stay in touch with someone back home and have a way out should you get stuck. Traveling completely isolated from your real life can have huge consequences and it’s quite risky.

While it’s smartest to travel in groups, traveling this way is one of the best experiences you can have. Being a modern nomad and traveling around with only your backpack at hand is a wonderful experience that everyone should try at least once.

Author Bio

Ashley Kornee is a blogger and freelance writer. She always tries to write about ordinary things in a creative way.  You can find her on Facebook and Twitter. She’s now working at Supreme Dissertations as a content manager.

Read Next

Top 6 Destinations for Winter Cruises

Top 5 Cheapest Destinations Around The World

11 Things I Learned from Traveling Alone in Africa

5 Ways to Fund Your Travel by Working as Freelancer 

7 Smart Tips to Make a Perfect On-budget Vacation

Do you wish to break out of a boring, monotonous rut? Well, Travel. Visit new places. Expose yourself to new experiences.

It’s the best remedy to almost all our problems. But what holds most of us back are the massive expenditures. From getting there, to living, eating and roaming around, everything just starts to cost as much as twice when you travel to a foreign land.

7 Smart Tips to Make a Perfect On-budget Vacation

We all long to accomplish our travel goals, staying on a budget. No matter how impossible it seems, you can actually make the perfect on-budget travel plan without much hassle

How? With these 7 smart tips!

1. Pick an Off-Beat Place

If you wish to discover a new, popular place, select an off-beat destination. Most destinations that are popular among tourists are not that authentic and very over-priced. Instead, you should consider going to the underrated countries that are still unexplored or exploited by heavy tourism. You’re more likely to have an authentic and worthy travel experience.

Alternatively, you can pick a small town near a popular tourist destination, which is a short commute away. This way, you can save big on flight rates, accommodation and daily expenses and still have an access to popular tourist highlights.

2. Travel During the Off Season

During certain times of the year, popular tourist destinations get expensive and prices hike generally for everything. Places that experience cold climates are more expensive during summers, and vice versa. Prices shoot up during the holiday seasons too. So, if you’re on a budget, avoid these seasons and travel during the off-season. You’ll surely be able to save big!

Related: Travel Planner (find how much time and money it costs to travel)

3. Research Well About Packaged Deals

The cost of a vacation reduces drastically when you bundle up expenses. Combine your transportation, housing, and daily expenses and look for an all-star travel management company that could plan a fully-loaded itinerary within a given budget.

Analyze if it will cost you any less otherwise and take your decision wisely. If you’re travelling with friends or family, look for cheap family vacation packages online. This way, you’ll be able to explore more with less in your pocket.

4. Stay Closer to Your Dream Destinations

The easiest way to save on airfares is to stay close to your dwelling place. You can drive to a nearby destination and slash down the flight fares off your trip. You can also shave off the hotel expenses by camping or couch-surfing.

For example, if you are aiming to travel to Europe and you live in the US, then settling in the city of Boston might be a good idea. It will save you on airfare and also travel time. This strategy can be used for domestic travel as well.

www.artoftravel.store/

 

5. Book Your Flights, Hotels and Car Rentals Together

Bundling your expenses will help you save a lot of money. Websites like Expedia, MyTrips360, Hotwire, Travelocity, etc. provide users with this option. When you book your flights, hotels and car rentals together, you can save a lot of money.

MyTrips360 has some amazing loyalty plans for individuals, employers, families and even students, catering to the needs of both frequent and occasional travelers.

6. Stay at Hostels or Try Couchsurfing

If you want to cut down on the costs of living, you can consider staying at hostels and homestays. AirBnB is a great option for group travelers whereas Hostel has cheap accommodations for solo travelers. You can also try couch-surfing and stay for free but you’ll have to open your doors for other travelers in return.

7. Buy Discount Coupons Online

Look for discount coupons online. You can redeem these coupons at gas stations, national chain restaurants and eateries, grocery stores etc. and even for recreational activities. Before you leave home, browse through various deal providers’ websites that are popular in the area you’re traveling to. Buy coupons that fit your needs and avail discounts on the go!

No matter if you’re planning a short trip or a luxurious getaway, a lot goes into the planning process. We hope these tips bring you closer to a plethora of ways to save. And we hope you get the most you can with your money. Happy traveling!

Author Bio

Leela Devi is a traveler, wanderer, and learner. She loves to explore new things and places and meet new people. She also shares his/her experiences through meaningful blogs and articles that are quite informative for frequent travelers. She also runs a travel benefit loyalty programs to make traveling cheaper and accessible for all. In his/her blogs, you will find authenticity, valuable information, and practicality. Follow for more here!

 

www.artoftravel.store/

Alternative Adventure: Post-apocalyptic Vietnam

In central Vietnam lies a beautiful and ornate city named Hue. With its traditional Citadel comprised of beautiful architecture bathed in artistic craftsmanship, which is reflected in the Royal Tombs and Thien Mu Pagoda.

But, there are also the modern-age ruins which offer an alternative to those which are encompassed by the city dripping in historical value. Welcome to a sight that looks like Post-apocalyptic Vietnam.

Gargantuan concrete building carved in the shape of a Dragon

Post-apocalyptic Vietnam

I had heard rumors of a post-apocalyptic scene roughly 8 km outside of the city and after talking to my two traveling companions, decided it was worth the journey to see. We put the idea to several people sharing our dorm in the tourist area of central Hue, and six of us mounted our motorbikes to begin our ride to the entrance of the park.

Upon researching the water-park I discovered it had closed down in 2004 for reasons unknown to me, and that there were tales of the aquarium tanks – still full of water – that still housed crocodiles left behind!

Our Adventurous Journey

The ride took around 20 minutes and our satnav escorted us to the entrance successfully. As we pulled up to the derelict gateway, a sign read Ho T uy T en after the letters a, h, and I decided to abandon the place similar to the customers and staff. At the gateway also sat a man on a plastic chair beside a barrier, charging entrance to the park albeit a clear illegitimate scheme.

There is a way to gain entry to the park without the admission fee however. Keen to add a little extra excitement and exploration in to our adventure we decided to explore the surrounding roads to discover this somewhat secret passageway.

We discovered that there is indeed an entrance through a field on the east-side of the lake. Accessible by way of turning right at the fork in the road (where the official entrance is down the road to the left), and then taking the first left.

Maps say the road is a dead end, but in reality, the road gives way to a dirt track leading through field and into the park. There are no barriers, fences or signs to say you cannot do this (if you’re concerned).

Exit from the derelict amphitheater

 

www.artoftravel.store/

 

Descending a small hill onto the lakeside, we first discovered a small performance amphitheater with a pool inside – now green and dark with algae and vegetation. We spent some time here inspecting the rooms and seating areas. All the while being stared upon by the cows grazing outside the fenced arena.

The structure had various rooms displaying a tonne of graffiti – some artistic, some not – and you can definitely tell where the kitchen used to be as well as the toilets – not such a pleasant discovery.

The next structure which drew our attention was further around the lake, following the path on our bikes. We came across a small child’s area inclusive of a water-play-area along with slides, fountains (long since broken), and larger spiral slides which finished in a larger pool of dark green, stagnant water.

Scaling the larger slides from the bottom to the top was pretty fun. The view at the top certainly gives the impression of nature taking over what was once hers.

 The abandoned children’s pool

 Nature taking-over the creations of man

A short ride through the treeline then took us to the main attraction; a giant concrete building carved in the form of a dragon! Within the dragon sat a dark, damp aquarium littered with the shattered glass of the water tanks, used previously to house a variety of sea-life.

This eerily quiet and unnerving place is the rumored home of the crocodiles (ill leave you to discover the truth for yourself), and as at this point I was alone – the others had progressed without me as I had ridden my bike around the dragon a few times – I decided I best catch up with the others.

Exit from the over-grown aquarium

I found my friends at the top of a stairwell (designed to convey the inside of the dragons carkus) and looking out high above the lake as they stood within the mouth of the inanimate mythical beast. The view from here is spectacular and you can really spend some time taking it in.

Descending through the dark skeleton of the Dragon

We made it in to the mouth of the beast!

This little excursion for the day is definitely recommended as it gives a surreal feeling and a look into what the future our planet could look like. Providing great prompts for your imagination to run away with itself, as well as a sense of bewilderment and curiosity.

The current lack of a crowd also makes you feel as if you could be amongst the first people to wander into this mysterious place, often only known through word of mouth.

 

www.artoftravel.store/

 

Author Bio

Jack Graves is a keen, enthusiastic traveler who enjoys discovering places and experiences a little different than the norm. He aims to provide entertaining and inspiring stories as well as informative advice in order to encourage people to take-on their own adventures which always encompass the experiences-of-a-lifetime.

15 Money Saving Tips That Actually Works

Long distance travel is a luxury most of us cannot afford. Not because it is expensive. But, because it takes time off from your work or study, money for tickets and lodging, and not having a lot of responsibilities back home (kids, pets, elderly parents, etc). 

In this blog, I would like to cover how can you save money during your travel to make the best out of it. We have 10 fantastic money-saving tips for you compiled from several travel experts to make you able to travel like money doesn’t matter!

Read: Top 10 Money-Saving Hacks (Infographic) So You Can Travel More

STICK TO YOUR CHECKLIST

To get rid of the TML (Traveler’s memory loss), you can quickly make a checklist. This is the first money saving tip you ought to follow. List out all the things that you need during your travel, including brush, toothpaste, shampoo, tampons, and every necessity.

Once you are sure that you have all that you need with you, you won’t have to spend your money on things you already have. In this way, you save your money and invest it in other things during travel.

IS A ROOM WITH VIEW NECESSARY?

This year I traveled to three different places. When I was in Puri, I booked a room with an ocean view with a large window. And it cost me an enormous amount of money. Other than that, when I went to Darjeeling, I booked a room with a view of the Kanchenjunga, and it also cost me heaps.

But on my next trip, I booked a room which accommodated all my needs but was without any view. It cost me lesser than any one of the rooms. The point is, you hardly stay in your room when you travel around the destination. You only get back at night, when it is dark to see anything.

So, why spend money on something which you are not gonna enjoy for most of the time? Instead, follow this money-saving tips to save more for doing something adventurous on your trip.

SHORTER YOU STAY, LESSER YOU PAY

Don’t pick up debts just because you are having fun

Traveling is the drug of our choice, and if travel were free everyone would be a vagabond. But travel isn’t free; it costs bucks which do not come easily to you.

Plan your stay at the destination, and make it the shorter you can. It lessens most of the cost, and a day off before you get back to your normal schedule is always relaxing.

ALTERNATE DELUXE & STANDARD

Those who do not travel often, always tend to go for luxury rooms during their vacation. But luxury rooms are pricey and are out of the budget for few.

In that case, you can stay in standard rooms during most of your trip and then change to deluxe rooms at the end of your stay. Your wish gets fulfilled, and your pocket doesn’t hurt much either.

KEEP TRACK OF CONVERSION RATES

As you know, the Euro and pound are at the lowest conversion rates ever! It is making all the travelers crazy, as they pack their bags for a trip to London this fall. If you keep track of the currency rates in different parts of the world, you can steal a cheap travel vacation.

Read: 8 Tips on How to Travel As a Couple on a Low Budget

OFF SEASON BONANZA

We all want tourist attractions all to ourselves when we travel. But it seldom happens during the peak season. This is the number one money-saving tips that travelers follow. Travel experts advise that if you travel in the off-season, then not only will you ditch the crowds but also lower your expenses.

And if you want to travel somewhere during the peak season, go to a destination which is underrated. That lessens your price tag as well as the crowd. And then in the off-season travel to the big places.

GRAB A TOURIST CARD

When you travel to any destination, do your research on the tourist cards available in that area. It helps save you more than you can imagine. It offers free or discounted rates on sightseeing, hotels, dining, and transport. Check that you don’t spend more on the tourist card, than what you want to save.

Read: Smart and Common Travel Hacks

WHERE & WHEN NOT TO TIP

In India tipping is not a gesture that many follow, but Americans are so used to tipping that they do it even when it is not required.

If you tip a lot, then do your homework before you visit a place, so that you do not waste your precious money on tipping, when it isn’t needed. Keeping these money-saving tips in mind you can avoid unnecessary expenses.

Read: 10 Hacks to Save Money for Your Dream Vacation

PACK YOUR FOOD & DRINK

There are times as a traveler when I wanted to strangle the housekeeping because they did not offer me the jug of water I so badly needed. Then I started keeping a reusable water bottle with me, which I filled whenever I got a chance.

But When the water needs were taken care of, I got the hunger cramps. Keeping biscuits, dried fruits or nuts with me helped me get rid of that hunger pangs.

Packing your food and water beforehand means less unnecessary expenses. You don’t have to spend extra dollars on a bottle of water or snack. Little money saving tips save much.

CREDIT CARD SURPRISES

You should use everything that is at your disposal to make your travel cheap and easy, and that includes your credit card. There are hidden perks of credit cards which most of us are ignorant of.

If you have a Visa Signature card, then you can get serious perks on over 800 hotels listed in the luxury collection. And the American Express card users can avail perks on about 900 hotels.

Not just that you also get Travel insurance and lost luggage reimbursement in Visa Signature cards. There is an extensive list of perks hidden in your card. Put it to use.

SELL UNWANTED GOODS

We all have those old books or furniture or that camera or old iPad which we do not read anymore! You may even have clothes that don’t fit you or interest you anymore or that pair of boots. A simple rule you can apply when trying to get rids of things is this: if you haven’t touched it in a year, you don’t need it.

It is therefore wise that you put such items on sale at a website (eg. Craiglist), apps (Offerup, Facebook Marketplace), or simply do a garage sale.

SET WEEKLY SPENDING LIMIT

You should not bite more than you can chew. Be practical! And save every week. Put aside a specific amount for your needs and do not spend more than it. If say you save at least $70 USD a week, you will have a minimum of $280 USD saved in a month. (Which by the way means you can comfortably live for up to two weeks in Thailand with that money!)

DECIDE YOUR DESTINATION

There are wannabe travelers all around, planning a trip that is never going to happen. We are saying “never going to happen”, because the majority of us have full-time jobs and a tight budget.

How are we going to make that trip to Hawaii or Singapore? We keep thinking, planning, plotting but the vital link we all forget is “money.” Now that we have covered the money part, there remains one last step.

You must decide where you want to go and carefully narrow your lists of available options. Pick a destination that fits both your budget and your dream. Those who want to travel abroad might like to take a decision on a country where their currency is valuable than the local currency.

For example, Americans can plan a trip to Thailand, Indians can go to Hong Kong, Europeans can go to Hawaii. A Smart way to choose your destination is to check your currency value. And…cheap flight tickets.

USE GOOGLE FLIGHTS

Google flights is hands down the best free tool that you can use to find a flight that is both viable and available. Even if you are planning a last minute trip. You can set your home destination and then play with the dates (into the future) to find a cheap deal.

We hope that you have found our article helpful. By keeping the tips we have shared with you in mind, we’re sure that you will be able to make every dollar count in your trip.

We wish you safe travels!

Read Next

5 Tips To Save Money When Visiting New York City

New York City, the extravagant global city, can be quite difficult to explore, as it is a rather pricey destination. However, a little planning and smartness can help you save big when visiting the Big Apple.

In this blog, I will let you know about some of the money saving ideas when it comes to visiting New York City.

Pre-planning is a Must

Just don’t think that you will be able to manage everything, once you reach New York. In fact, there are many things, which you need to look out for or plan in advance. Check websites, which share information about the current and upcoming events in the city.

These websites will also let you know, which destinations offer free or reduced-cost admission on specific days and timings. If you do this, you will not only make your trip efficient but also save, at least, half of what you could’ve spent, without prior planning.

Also don’t forget to prepare a list of destinations, which can be explored for free, such as the Central Park, Battery Park, Bronx Arts Museum, Brooklyn Bridge Park & Brooklyn Promenade, Coney Island Boardwalk, etc.

Read: How to get around in New York City

Opt for Passes

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Being one of the most expensive cities in the world, New York City still knows how to maintain a tourist-friendly reputation. The city offers a wide choice of tourist passes, for a quick low-price admission to different attractions throughout the city. 

These passes are designed, to serve different requirements of visitors. There are those, suited for a single-day trip, and up to 9 days, with different charges for adults and children. They cover over 90 attractions, and along with the reduced admission cost, allow visitors to use the fast entry track to some of the busiest attractions.

Sometimes, these passes also offer additional perks, such as discount in restaurants, theater shows tickets, etc. So, it’s worth getting one if you have big plans for New York City.

A subway pass will also be a good decision if your tour includes unlimited subway rides. This pass will help you save a lot on commuting.

Act Smart

Don’t plan to visit two different destinations in two different parts of the city in a single day. Instead, cover all the destinations in a particular area during the given time. This tip will save you time, money, and energy.

Skip Shopping in Midtown Area

For budget travelers, it’s advisable to roam around in the mid-town area, without buying or eating anything. Undoubtedly, the area is filled with some great temptations and attractions, but, at the same time, the prices are way higher, than in any other part of the city.

Visit Statue of Liberty for Free

You can visit one of the most popular attractions in New York, the Statue of Liberty, for free by taking the Staten Island Ferry. It runs 24/7 and is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to see the Statue.

Explore the City on Foot

There are places in New York City that are very walkable, such as the big part of Manhattan. In fact, it is better explored on foot, than by car or bus. You only need to carry a pair of comfortable walking shoes or boots and get going.

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Personally, I am a big fan of OTBT walking sneakers, because they are extremely comfortable and let me walk miles, without feeling tired. However, you can carry your favorite ones, to explore NYC.

When starting your walking tour, visit an official NYC Information Center, to get all the information about Broadway, metro cards discounts, and budget tips from the specialists.

Save on Meals

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New York City boasts plenty of fancy expensive restaurants. But if it’s not your thing, choose places, preferred by young crowds and students. They generally offer food high on taste and low on price.

Also, Mini India, Mini China, and Mini Italy districts offer authentic local food at affordable prices.

Don’t forget about street food, as New York City is a great place to enjoy it. There are plentiful stalls and food trucks, which offer fresh, tasty food, from burgers to rolls, pizzas, and desserts, both veg to non-veg. There isn’t much, really, you can’t find here.

On the other hand, if you are craving for a fine dining experience in NYC, it’s better to go for lunch. There is usually a huge difference between lunch and dinner prices, even at the same restaurant. Lunches are comparatively cheaper and thus, more preferable.

Choose Budget Accommodation

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It’s always very important to plan your accommodation wisely. An accommodation right in the middle of the city will eat up a big part of your money. But if you book something in the outskirts, you will spend a lot on transportation. So, you should find a place, which will save you both from the heavy charges and the hefty commuting.

The best are hotels, outside of the Midtown, but in the neighborhood of the prime city location. Go for hotels, which offer shared bathrooms, as you are not going to spend a lot of time in the hotel. It’s also wise to consider such accommodation options, as hostels, rental apartments, and Couchsurfing.

These are some tips, which will help you save money in New York City. However, once you’ve been there, you are sure to discover new money-saving ideas. It is called the benefit of experience. So, keep saving and keep traveling.

Author’s Bio

Emma Braun is a 34-year-old Mom and passionate traveler from the beautiful city of Boston, United States. She loves to pen down her magnificent travel experiences in the form of a blog, to inspire all the travel lovers out there.

She is also a big admirer of style and fashion and always keeps hunting for things, which bring both style and comfort to her journeys.

“Travel not only lets you see the beauty of places, but it also lets you discover yourself as a person. Different people and destinations make up the beautiful world we all belong to. Some people think they can’t follow their travel passion, because of the busy schedule, kids, liabilities, etc. They are trapped in the same busy schedule, because of the unnecessary fears and doubts. But those, who can break the barriers and follow the dreams, realize how good it is to live the life of your own choice. I am happy to be among them.”

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10 Things You Must Do In Italy: Tips From A Local

Let us directly get to the point and see what all we must not miss in Italy. Both locals and tourists agree that Italy is great for both shopping and sightseeing. There are some great gems here that you should definitely check out.

For a complete list of things to do, read our Italy Travel Guide.

Santa Maria del Fiore and Duomo

Visit the Santa Maria del Fiore and the magnificent Duomo cathedral, which looks like it has been carved from marble. But if you want to see the famous Da Vinci fresco “The Last Supper”, you need to book your visit in advance. Lines are huge, and visitors can only get inside strictly by appointment.

Florence, on the other hand, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. It has everything you need for a great trip: fascinating sights, cozy hotels, nice architecture, and great tourist infrastructure.

If you just have several hours in the city, I don’t recommend wasting your time in numerous museums. You will spend half of a day waiting in lines. The best route for you in this situation would be: Santa Maria Novella – Santa Maria del Fiore – Piazza de Republica – Piazzale Michelangelo (the viewing point) – Ponte Vecchio.

However, if you have a full weekend in Florence, you should definitely visit its famous art gallery. In there, you will find many world famous masterpieces, including the famous David statue by Michelangelo.

A couple of tips, what you must never do in Florence, especially if you are on a budget trip:

  • Go to the viewing point on top of Santa Maria del Fiore. Piazzale Michelangelo, just 15 minutes away by foot from the Cathedral, is also a great viewing point. It is free of charge, and, what is more important, you can actually see the cathedral from this spot.
  • Visit cafes and restaurants in tourist areas. Florence is a popular tourist city, so, of course, food facilities in crowded tourist areas are very overpriced. What you should do, is just turn into one of the side streets, where you most definitely will find a small supermarket, where the locals shop. Get a sandwich, a piece of pizza, a yogurt or some fruit, and just eat your lunch in Piazzale Michelangelo, while you enjoy the great view of the city.
  • Buy souvenirs on Ponte Vecchio. The reason is the same. Being one of the city’s most popular tourist spots, the place offers tons of souvenirs, but the prices are very high!

Take a Picture of a Carabinier

Those are special police forces, which provide security in big cities, and all the officers are very cute 🙂

Plus, depending on the city, they have different kinds of hats. Unfortunately, they are forbidden to take photos with tourists. But you can take a picture of them or carefully take a selfie with them 🙂

Taste Real Italian Pizza & Pasta

When in Italy, you must try pasta carbonara in Rome, lasagna-a-la-bolognese in Bologna, and pizza anywhere. In Italy, you can get pizza anywhere, from luxury restaurants to cheap fast-food places.

And there are so many toppings in menus that your eyes will just run wide. You can have pizza for dinner or just have a snack during the day (separate pieces are sold in supermarkets, fast-food restaurants, bistros, cafes, in other words – everywhere!).

 

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Ride the Bus Around Rome

In Rome, there is a single ticket for all means of transport. Its price depends on the number of trips. You can get a ticket for a single 100-minute trip, for a day, three days, or a month. To buy a ticket, use automatic machines at the bus stops and subway stations or visit a Tabacceria shop. Locals say that you would never spot an inspector in a bus or a tram.

However, if I were you, I wouldn’t take the risk, because the fine is rather big. Keep in mind, if they catch without a ticket, you have two months to pay the fine. If you don’t, you can have troubles next time, when crossing the border of Italy or getting a visa.

You can also get a Roma Card, which not only allows you to use public transport without limits for three days but also gives you discounts in tourist places, shops, restaurants, etc. With a Roma Card, you will be able to use the separate entrance to Colosseum too, which will save you a lot of time and nerve, particularly during the high season.

Walk Under the Porticoes of Bologna

Porticoes are great for a rainy weather walk around the city. Don’t avoid walking 5 km and 658 arcs to St. Luca Cathedral, where the icon of Virgin Mary, painted by Apostle Luca, is located. Also, it is a great viewing and photogenic spot

Saint Nicolas in Bari

The body of the Saint rests in a cathedral on an Adriatic coast of Italy. This place has been attracting tourists and pilgrims for centuries. Also, the town of Bari is very cute itself, with ancient narrow streets of the Old Town and vast blue sea.

If you rent a car, you can also travel around Apulia, one of the world’s most beautiful regions. Don’t miss Alberobello with its unique houses, called Trulli, and Matera, the ancient town carved in rocks, where many Hollywood movies were filmed.

The best way to get to smaller towns, such as Bari, is a train. Trains in Italy are fast, comfortable, and not as expensive as airplanes. Keep in mind, the price increases closer to the date. The best time to get you train tickets is 6-8 weeks before the trip. The price in the 3rd class usually starts from 9 euro per ride, not depending on the distance.

Visit Sistine Chapel

It is located inside the Vatican Museums, and the entrance is paid. You can get in for free on last Sunday of each month. However, you will have to wait in long line to do that, so it is better to come early in the morning.

Paintings on the walls and ceilings of the Sistine Chapel are true masterpieces of the Renaissance period. They look so real, that sometimes you might think a piece of clothes or a book will just fall off the ceiling and land right in from of you.

Unfortunately, you can’t take pictures or film videos inside the Sistine Chapel. But you can always get a nice souvenir postcard!

Go to the Sea

Sea is plentiful in Italy and offers a wide choice of destinations. The warm Adriatic coast in Apulia, the magnificent Mediterranean shore in just an hour train ride from Rome, or the “heel” of the peninsula – the most popular beach destination among Italians.

The Smallest Country in World

The Vatican City is situated almost in the center of Rome. However, to get inside and see the famous Saint Peter’s square, you will need to go through a security check (similar to an airport).

During the high season and on weekends, it is best to come early in the morning, to see the square, the cathedral, and the museums, because waiting in line can take hours.

Travel Between Cities for Just 1 Euro

If you plan your trip in advance, you can actually find bus tickets for 1 euro per ride and get around Italy almost for free with famous European low-cost bus lines, such as Megabus or Flixbus.

It is best to look for tickets as soon as the bus line opens new dates. However, even closer to the trip, you can still get lucky, if it is a low season or a less popular route. And don’t miss sales and special discounts!

 

In general, Italy is not the cheapest country in Europe. However, in our case, it cost 300 euro per person for a 10-day trip.

So, if you plan your trip and your budget properly, remember about Couchsurfing and follow the travel tips from our bloggers, you will also be able to travel cheaply and with comfort every time!

 

How To Avoid Loneliness When Traveling Alone

It is all fun and games until we arrive at a dead end and realize we are traveling alone. Traveling is empowering, yet sometimes on the road loneliness creeps in. It is in the moments when you are surrounded by fellow travelers that the pangs of loneliness hit you the hardest. 

I recently took a trip that made me realize you only need to follow a few rules when you feel the pangs of loneliness.

Read: 7 important tips for solo and lone travelers

TRAVELING ALONE

The first hack is to be spontaneous. Spontaneity comes naturally to many travelers. However, for introvert solo travelers, spontaneity can be quite the challenge. Even though it may be difficult to begin, once you do, you will start to feel freer and more in control of your own journey.

Forcing yourself to be spontaneous is a reminder that you do not need anyone else; that you alone are in charge of your destiny. So embrace the loneliness and let it empower you. Feeling excited and free will help distract from the loneliness. 

BE OPEN MINDED

This is a mantra for every traveler. You cannot travel well if you are resistant to new possibilities. In India, people tend to be orthodox. For example, most Indians will not even touch beef. However, when I traveled to North Eastern India, I came across many food stalls where there were “Beef Momos” all around.

When I first saw them, I scrunched my nose. I had never eaten them and did not want to start now. Contrary to that initial reaction, I took the chance. From that moment until the last day of my trip, I survived on Beef Momos only.

What I am trying to say is, if you are open minded, you will not need to surround yourself with like-minded people, you can make friends with anyone, over a plate of beef momos perhaps. 

 

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NATURE IS YOUR FRIEND

How can a person be lonely when they have the whole universe at their disposal? I seldom feel alone when I am sitting in a car or train and traveling around. It is not that I am not alone, but it is this that I let nature give me company.

My first experience traveling alone was in Puri, where I thought I would definitely feel alone. One day I saw the ocean’s water kissing the shores as I drove by, the magic struck me! I no longer cared that I was alone because I realized that nature and all its charm always walks alongside us. 

LEARN TO TRUST PEOPLE

I am super paranoid, and by super I mean “take screenshots of every conversation because you never know who will turn against you” kind of person. Haha, I know I was a bit extreme. But, when I started traveling, I became someone different.

I had to trust the directions that strangers told me. I had to eat something a stranger cooked for me. I had to trust my driver not to kill me.

Traveling is a risk, it is a kind of bet you make on others and yourself. You need to learn to trust people, and if you do, you may stop feeling lonely.

KEEP A TRAVEL DIARY

I know it sounds kinda cheesy and old-fashioned, but believe me, the best way to not feel lonely when you are traveling is to talk to someone. When you are traveling, you will likely only talk to your guide or your fellow travelers if you have any.

The only person who will always listen to you is your diary. Maintain a diary where you can write all your day’s experience. It will be like you are pouring your heart out to someone and you will not feel lonely at all. I have a diary myself where I write all about my travels, it not only keeps you from being lonely but also keeps an account of your trips for you to enjoy later.

CREATE AN AWESOME PLAYLIST

You already know music is the best cure. Riding in a car for several hours can be exceedingly lonely, so what do we do? If you have an awesome playlist, then a 4-hour long drive will seem like mere 15 minutes. Make sure you have songs that cheer you up and make you feel free. My playlist has all the “independent single women” kind of songs. I put it on, and it makes me feel good about myself that I can travel alone.

You can also have fun-loving songs so that you can enjoy yourself during the monotony of travel. Also, keep a “Lullaby” playlist ready, to encourage sleep when needed.

STAY AT HOMESTAYS

If you want to feel at home while traveling, what is better than staying in a Homestay? I was unsure when I booked my first Homestay. However, when the time came to check out, I didn’t want to leave. After that experience, I am convinced that staying with locals is the best way to travel.

By taking advantage of a Homestay, you get to experience local culture, you get to know the people better, and it gives you a dose of the pure essence of travel. The Homestay I stayed in had warm and friendly people, and I never felt like I was alone. Make sure you do a background check on the Homestay or Guest House you are staying at; you do not want to end up in trouble.

LIVE LIKE A LOCAL

It is hard to learn the ways of locals, but when you do it makes you feel like you belong. My recent trip to Gangtok was all about being a local. I ate like them, and I even sang like them. By singing I mean almost everyone sings here! The driver will switch on the music and start humming the songs. It is double fun if you join in with them and start singing it louder.

Anywhere you go, try living like a local. Once you feel like you belong, you will surely stop feeling lonely.

 

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Trip To Puri: An Odishan Odyssey

The roaring waves of Bay of Bengal engulf the golden sands, and beside it blows the flag of Jagannath Temple. Stepping on the soft sands of Puri beach is like experiencing Nirvana. Puri is a pilgrimage, that is why it is abundant in ancient stone temples.

Trip To Puri

When I planned my trip to Puri, it was on a whim. But as it was off-season, I did not face any difficulty in finding tickets or hotels. If you travel to India and want to take a look at some of the old traditions, then Puri is a refreshing place to go. It is not just about an overload of temples, but also the rejuvenating beaches.

THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS

As I live in Western Odisha, it was no biggie for me to reach Puri. I took the train Sambalpur-Puri Intercity Express (18303), which leaves at 6 in the morning. According to me, the best way of exploring India is through the Indian railways. That is why I enjoyed my train journey.

There were many bridges, over the Mahanadi River on which the train went. Along with the watery delights, you see the landscape change from arid to coconut tree studded. If you start from Delhi, then the journey becomes too long. So take a flight to Bhubaneswar, from there reach the railway station or the bus station.

There are regular trains from Bhubaneswar to Puri, but the City Bus service is better (frequent and fast).

My train took me directly to Puri, so I did not have to change trains or buses. But if your route is via Bhubaneswar (60 Km from Puri) then you need to board a train or Bus. It costs just Rs 20 – Rs. 30.

ACCOMMODATION IN PURI

There are many hotels along the Beach, that you get confused on which one to pick. I recommend you download the Goibibo app while you tour India because it offers you hotels at half the price of what you pay at the desk. Toshali Sands, Mayfair Hotels are the brand names in Puri, but they are a helluva expensive.

If $150/day is okay with you then book all these high-end hotels, if not then there are many hotels with low price. I landed an amazing deal on GoIbibo-Sagar Tarang Residency is an exceptionally new property. But the services they offered was impressive at just $25/day (which is 1500 Indian Rupees per day).

Most of the hotels here have their own restaurant, the one I stayed in had one too. But it was so darned pricey! *eye rolls*. So, I did what the best in Eastern Odisha is, I tasted the “Dahi Bara” for breakfast, “Elisi Macha” for my lunch, and “Chingudi Tarkari” for my dinner.

I know, I know, you must be wondering what I am saying. Lemme clear it up in the next section.

 

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ODISHAN GOURMET

A hungry stomach is just a hindrance while sightseeing. Your hotel desk will keep calling you to take breakfast or dinner at the Restaurant. Who cares! Just a grilled Sandwich costs you Two hundred rupees. I will tell you how to survive in the same Rs. 200 throughout the day.

In walking distance from all the hotels are many street food stalls. I ended up in one, near the Chakra Tirtha Road. The man sold “Dosa”- South Indian Cuisine, “Aloo- Chop”, meaning Mashed Potato Chop, “Bread Chop” and the famous “Dahi Bara”- a curd based dish. It costs around 30-40 Indian Rupees.

After that, for lunch, there was a small restaurant (with no name) in Chakra Tirtha Road (near Mayfair Heritage) which made yummy homemade dishes. Pack the dishes, take them to your hotel room, and relish it. I packed “Elisi (special Odishan Fish Curry),” Raita (yogurt salad), Rice and Dal. It cost me hardly 200( and above all it was finger licking good).

It is here that I tasted the Prawn Pamphlet Masala the next night, and dare I say, it was bottle –worthy. If I could have bottled it up and brought home, I would have.

For Dinner, I went to the SeaGull Restaurant which rests near the SwargaDwar Market. I wolfed down a plate of Chicken Chowmein (Rs. 140 Indian). If you think it costs too much, then head to the nearby street food stalls that offer you all kinds of local cuisines.

And how can I forget the lip-smacking, drool-worthy Hyderabadi Biriyani? Take the fifth turn from Sea Gull Restaurant on Marine Drive Road; The Gopal Ballabh Road has the best Biriyani Joint – New Parijat Restaurant. It is cheap and tasty, and whether you pick it up as a take-out or have it here depends on your mood.

SUN HAS RISEN FOR YOU

Waking up in the early morning is a chore when you are tired. But the effort you give pays off when you see the sun peek out of the horizon. Wake up at four, get ready for comfy clothes then walk down to the beach.

The Swargdwar Beach is famous but crowded. So I headed to the beach of Mayfair Heritage Hotel which was at a walking distance from mine. I sat down, on the secluded beach and watched how colorfully the crimson sun kissed the horizon.

The water changes its color as the sun changes its distance from the horizon, it is amazing to witness the phenomenon. Slowly the intensity of the sun rays increases, and the cold dawn turns to warm morning.

It is fun just to sit there and get the sun-soaked, and collect the shells. But after a while, the cool waves seem tempting. Go, walk on the small waves, or better bath in the bigger ones.

If you stay here till 11 am, then some fishers go fishing at this time (they wear yellow, so it is easy to recognize them,) by launching their boats on the water.

The entire process is interesting to watch. After 11 though the rays become harsh and it is better to get back to your hotel room. (Keeping in mind at which time of the year you visit).

DRIVE ALONG THE OCEAN

Traveling alone comes with its cons as well, so when I heard about the Puri–Konark Marine Drive Road, I could not resist it. And even though I know a little about riding a bike, I took the chance. My guide, though (who was the receptionist at the front desk of my hotel), did not want me to break my leg or anything.

He took the responsibility to take me on the drive. There are three Bike rentals in Puri, but you need to book it seven days before your trip.

As I did not have the booking, we were forced to take my guide’s bike. The Puri-Konark Marine Drive Road itself takes 7 hours. But if you take the shortcuts, your journey time reduces to half, and you get to visit the Konark as well.

I did not visit the Konark Temple but I did see the Jagannath Temple of Puri where the famous Rath Yatra takes place.

SHOPPING SPREE

Shopping is every girl’s weakness (well, at least to some degree). Please do not tell me you don’t like it. My eyes always keep wandering while I am out, to spot something worthy to take home. I will tell you that Puri has a lot of mementos shop. But for hardcore shopping, it is not an appropriate place.

Before I went on my evening visit to the Beach (which I did on nearly every day of my stay), I wandered around the Swargadwar market. This market is like a puzzle, so many twists and turns that you will lose yourself. There are tiny shops, crowded with tourists and the atmosphere here is electric.

Girls, buy a handloom saree in Handloom Garden. It embodies the culture, tradition, and religion of Puri in a single piece of cloth. What more? It will make your friends jealous when you flaunt that waistline of yours with Puri Handloom Saree.

If saree is a bit too much, there are shawls also to take home with you. I collected the best memento I could- some pieces of shells from the Beach. Couldn’t have been happier with anything else.

 

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How To Plan A Summer Vacation In India

The Scorching summer heat in the Indian Mainland makes it unbearable to live. It is in these summer months from April- June that the majority of Indian population goes on tours to Hill stations. But when it comes to a trip for respite, I do not want to spend it in a crowded sight-seeing place.

To plan my next trip in summer, I jotted down some places where a summer stay is wonderful. And you can do so just below 10,000 INR. Keep your eyes open because the next places might be your summer rendezvous. But first, you need to make your choice.

PLAN TRIP TO YOUR BUDGET

CHOOSE DESTINATIONS


The first and foremost step to Plan a budget is to choose a destination which is near you. In this way the charges of transport reduce. For example, I planned a trip to Kodaikanal – but the travel charges were exorbitant. So, I skipped Kodai (maybe some other time, when I have money to spare), and settled for Darjeeling and Gangtok which are near to my state (Odisha). It significantly reduced my travel costs by half.

And if you want to book a/c tickets, then better go in flight because the cost is just the same.Train Ticket cost of Balangir (Boarding Station) – Coimbatore (Destination) was 635 INR (In a Sleeper class, and Rs. 1710 INR in 3A a/c. But when I changed my destination from Kodaikanal ( which is in South India, far away from my home) to East India (which is my home) my train fare is Rs. 325 INR (for Sleeper Class) and Rs. 985 INR ( for AC).

EXTRA TRAVEL CHARGES


In India, there are no direct trains to Hill stations. You have to book tickets to a nearby station and take a bus or taxi to the selected destination. Before you go, plan well and, check the followings:

1) What time does your train arrive at the destination?
2) Are there taxis, shared autos or buses available outside the station at that time?
3) What is the estimated travel cost from the station/ airport to the destination?

ACCOMMODATION


Planning a trip is tiresome, but the main headache of it is -booking a hotel. Just like online shopping, there is no guarantee whether the hotel you booked lives up to your expectation. After the travel costs, the accommodation charges consume the majority of your trip’s budget.

Hill stations are cold and damp. When you book, keep in mind to choose a hotel that provides room heater or extra blankets. Homestays are a better option as the hosts are warm and welcoming. They provide you what you require, and help you around to visit the place as well.

I booked a homestay (Pahari Soul) for my trip, and it offers majestic views of the Himalayas and home cooked meals too. If you want to squeeze your budget tight then go for homestays. There are beds available in almost every hill station- Vedanta Wake Up is a hotel chain which provides beds- 800-900 INR/night. But if you need luxury over comfort then I recommend you stick to pricey hotels which charge 2500- 8000 INR/night.

GETTING AROUND

The best way to choose a hotel that is comfortable is to look at its location. Plan your hotel location, it should be in proximity to the sightseeing places. Pahari Soul- the homestay of my choice is near to the Taxi Stand (a two-minute walk). Whenever I want to reach a sightseeing place- Peace Pagoda or Tea Garden, the taxi stand is at an arm’s reach.

There are shared autos available in India, which turns out to be an excellent way to get around. For backpackers and budget travelers, it is the most cost effective option. Others include the Public Transport- most probably the buses. But they do not take you to your required destination but instead, a bus stop, from where you need take an auto again. So, why add to the trouble?

WHAT TO EAT


Eating at the hotel you stay is seldom a good decision. The restaurants in the hotels have an expensive menu, which makes a hole in your pocket. If you want to follow a budget plan, then I suggest you stay at a hotel which has small restaurants or street food nearby.

In this way, the Biriyani you eat costs you half the amount you paid at the Hotel. The hotel in which I stayed during my Puri Trip was impeccable, but once I flipped the menu I was like- what? Who charges a 120 INR for a masala papad. So, I decided to leave the hotel premises and hunted for some good restaurants. I came across Parijat Restaurant where I had yummilicious Hyderabadi Biriyani at a dream price of 180 INR.

ENTRY FEES

After all of the primary costs of your trip gets planned or covered, move on to the other places you would want to visit. Each and every sightseeing place has an entry fee (there are many which do not have). And make a list of the places and their charges- which gives you an estimated cost. Budget Travelers better choose free things to do. But sometimes you can’t let an opportunity pass – like visiting the Nathu La. A shared cab ride costs 700 INR, which is nothing in comparison to thrill you experience.

SHOPPING


Keep aside some money, to buy mementos in the local market. A 1000-1500 INR is enough (for a shopaholic like me). But those who are on a shoestring budget – better skip this part as this is not necessary. A memento can also be a leaf pressed in your diary or a limestone rock you take from the destination.

What To Buy In India Under $10

Incredible India! It is a myriad of cultural diversity and no trip here is complete without a shopping frenzy. Every traveler wants to take back some mementos from an International trip. A trip to India can be expensive but you can be smart about shopping.

Do you know there is a lot that you can buy in India for under $10? In this blog post, I’ll share with you various items which you can buy in India.

SPICES FROM KERALA


These spices are pricey but decide on what spice you prefer the most, and take that with you. Personally, I love black pepper, and I would choose it over anything else. But whatever you fancy, head to the local shops in Kumily to get a look at the aromatic spices.

If you are in Kochi, then there are also places near Fort Kochi where you can buy Hot Indian Spices – $10 USD is more than enough for buying a small amount of each kind of spice from – cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, cloves and black pepper. If spices aren’t your thing, then buy heaps of banana chips in Kerela (available in most of the local stores).

Warning: If you do not like coconut oil, then avoid it because all the chips get fried in coconut oil here.

SIKKIMESE CUPS


These are probably the cheapest yet beautiful items you get in India. If you are in Gangtok, then head to MG Marg. Most of the stores here have the Sikkimese cups. It costs around 65- 70 INR which is a dollar or so. Some mugs are costlier as they have gold lines added to them. But the price should not vary from Rs. 120-150 INR.

There are also lids available with the cups which keep the tea or coffee warm. And if you are buying mug then buy some tea too. The famous Temi Tea of Darjeeling originated from Sikkim. The best store for buying it is the Golden Tips Tea Shop in Yangthang House, Kazi Road, Gangtok.

BLUE POTTERY OF RAJASTHAN


Blue Pottery is a Persian art of making vessels from quartz powder. Most of the figurines include jars and vases. And the figurines are semi-transparent. But the artwork on it hides its transparency. In Jaipur, there is a home of famous blue pottery artist Kripal Singh.

Singh’s shop is in Shiv Marg and his store’s name is Kripal Kumbh where you get all kinds of blue pottery structures at just Rs. 300 INR – 600 INR. That is what your budget is, right? $10 USD. Neerja in Jacob Road also specializes in Blue Pottery.

CHANIA CHOLI


This is the traditional dress of Kutch. If you are near Kutch, then many families depend solely on embroidery for their livelihood. A colorful lehenga (skirt and blouse along with a dupatta) woven intricately with mirror work. $10 is a bit less to take something as pretty as a chania choli, but you can take a scarf (dupatta) as a memento.

CURRY POWDER


India has an eclectic taste in spices, so after you buy your share of spices take some curry powder with you too. These powders are available in local Grocery stores. Everest and Badshah are the most trusted and authentic brands in India.

Their price ranges from Rs. 60- 70 INR depending on the weight of the packet. You can take the Garam Masala Powder, Meat Masala, Red Chilli Powder, Turmeric Powder, etc.

KONDAPALLI TOYS


Once you reach South India, and you visit a local’s house you see the Kondapalli Toys. These are dolls made from wood, and their heads generally bob. Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore have many stores which sell Kondapalli toys. Their cost varies from Rs. 199 – 1000 INR. Choose something cute and pretty in your budget, and bring it back home. Just don’t let the bobbing heads weird you out.

KATPUTLIS FROM RAJASTHAN


In Rajasthan “Katputli” is the Hindi word for puppet. If you visit Jodhpur, Udaipur or Jaipur, then visit the Puppet show in the area. From there you get an idea of where to buy the katputlis. Rupayan Sansthan in Jodhpur and Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal, Udaipur are organizations where the puppet shows take place.

Cost starts from 200 INR/puppet. Do not let anyone fool you by making you pay $15 USD – that is Rs. 1000 INR.

INDIAN SWEETS


If you have a sweet tooth, then India has uncountable options for you. And what more? It is inexpensive. So, unless you do not have a problem in transit, you are all good to stuff your bags with sweets. There are various types of sweets, and all these are on full display in Chandni Chowk’s Ghantewala Halwai – from Laddo to Jalebi everything is available here.

You can buy 2-3 kilos of sweet in $10. So, that is a sweet deal, isn’t it? Believe me, it is that cheap, but different sweets have a different price per kilo. Check with the shop keeper before ordering the sweets.

AYURVEDIC ITEMS


Nowadays Ayurvedic items are not that hard to find. Any shopping Mall in India has a section for Patanjali – which is most probably the leading Ayurvedic Brand in India.

No matter your requirement, Patanjali has got you covered. But do not buy any products blindly. If you have a skin problem, then buy something that meets your need.

I use the Aloe Vera gel by this brand (first I was doubtful, but now? Glowing!) So I can give you a thumbs up if you want to buy anything beauty, related to it.

The prices are low compared to other Indian Beauty Products. In $10 USD, you can buy pretty much any product of Ayurvedic nature.

CARPETS


In India, you get Varieties of fabric, color, and design in the carpet range. Kashmir is the best place to get a carpet. But if you stick to the major tourist areas like the Delhi- Jaipur then I suggest you buy from Jaipur.

Skip the Emporiums, because they have fixed prices on everything, and no bargaining works here.

But let me warn you that carpet prices are high- the sellers start at quadruple digits. Choose something in your price range – let us say 3000 INR (bargaining brings it down to Rs. 800- 900 INR).

Do your research on fabric and price ranges on online stores as well, so you do not get ripped off.

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Top 10 Free Things to Do in Paris City

Paris is considered to be one of the most expensive tourist cities in the world. However, even when you are in Paris on a budget, there are a lot of free things to do and places you can visit.

Walk Along the Banks of the Seine

The Seine is like the soul of Paris. It was immortalized in a variety of poems, novels, and paintings.

Even now, if the weather is nice, you can meet plenty of artists on Pont des Arts Bridge, near the Louvre, who come there to capture the beautiful scenery of the river.

Take a slow walk and admire the view of many architectural and historical sites, situated along the banks of Seine.

Visit Montmartre

Montmartre is like a whole different world inside Paris. It is a favorite of artistic people. You can have your portrait painted, buy a retro postcard with the view of Paris, enjoy the beauty of Sacré Coeur Basilica or enjoy the view of Paris from the bird’s eye.

If you stroll in one of the side streets, you might be lucky enough to find a unique monument, sign or place, which Montmartre is famous for.

Go On A Free Tour

In many famous tourist cities, there are local enthusiasts, ready to show their city to visitors for free. Paris is no exception and, if you are a tourist on a budget, you should not miss this opportunity.

Note: Tours meet at the fountain on Place St. Michel at 11 am and 1 pm daily.

Explore the Parks

Jardin de Luxembourg, Paris by David McSpadden CC BY 2.0

Paris is famous for its parks and gardens, and not only Versailles. Jardin de Luxembourg is probably the most famous garden in Paris, and it also hosts the beautiful Palais du Luxembourg, one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.

Just in front of the Louvre, you will find Jardin du Tuileries. Right underneath the famous Eiffel Tower, you can walk along the Parc du Champ de Mars.

Also, don’t forget about the Promenade Plantee, a truly unique elevated park, which used to be a railway line many years ago. Now it is a beautiful garden, which also gives you a fabulous view of the neighborhoods, thanks to its height.

Visit the Marvelous Notre Dame de Paris

If you are a budget tourist, you will be very pleased to know that a famous Notre Dame Cathedral is free to enter. Immortalized by Victor Hugo, it is known as one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world.

The Gothic look of the Cathedral gives you a stunning view from the outside. And while inside, don’t forget to check out a collection of sculptures and the magnificent stained windows.

The Sparkling Eiffel Tower

The most recognized sight of Paris attracts millions of tourists every year. You can get a fabulous look at the city from the upper levels of the tower. However, you will have to wait in a 3-4 hour line and pay a minimum of 15 euros.

So, we suggest to save your time and money and look at the tower from the ground. 324 meters high, it looks impressive enough even during the daytime.

While at night, when it sparkles with millions of lights, it is simply breathtaking and looks like a big openwork piece of jewelry. You can also enjoy a magnificent light show, which lasts for five minutes and starts every hour, until 1 pm.

Make the Most of the FREE First Sundays

If you are a traveler on a budget, but you still want to get into famous museums, such as the Louvre or Musee d’Orsee, try coming to Paris during the first Sunday of the month.

This day, the most popular museums in the city are free to enter. However, you may want to come early in the morning, if you want to get in before evening. These free days attract even more visitors than the regular days, and you can wait in line for several hours.

Listen to the Organ in St. Eustache Church

If you are into music, visit a free organ concert at Saint-Eustache Church. It starts every Sunday at 5.30 pm.

Note: As a bonus, the organ in this church is one of the biggest in the world; it has eight thousand pipes.

Visit a Fashion Show at Galeries Lafayette

Galeries Lafayette, the most famous shopping center of Paris and probably one of the most famous in the world, can be beyond your means if you are on a small budget.

However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a fashion show, which is held in-store every Friday afternoon. Isn’t this a great way to get a taste of la mode in the world’s fashion capital?

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Top 7 FREE Things to Do in New York City

Hey, how are you doing! It’s a gorgeous day here in New York City today as I am writing this. Are you headed to the Big Apple? You are most welcome! New York is a lovely place and everyone should visit it at least once! That said, though public transportation is relatively cheap, entrance tickets to the main attractions can be very expensive.

Surely, the MOMA, Wax Museum, and the Empire State Building of the world can make a real hole in your budget. Thankfully, there are a lot of “awesome” places in New York you can visit for FREE and/or on a tight budget tourist.

EXPLORE CENTRAL PARK

The famous Central Park was established in the 1860s for a very practical purpose – to boost the prices of the real estate. Now it is one of the most recognizable places in New York. It hosts many free events, statues, interesting landmarks, and so on.

You will easily recognize the places from your favorite movies, TV shows, and even books (for example, “The Catcher in the Rye”) while taking a long walk in the Central Park.

DO PICNIC AT GOVERNOR’S ISLAND

The ferry to Governor’s Island is free of charge and will get you to an island of 172 acres. There is a bike path, a picnic area, mini golf and some military sites. For example, the Admiral’s House and the Nolan Park are worth visiting.

GO ON A FREE WALKING TOUR

You are sure to enjoy a 90-minute free walking tour, led by two professional historians. You will visit the Whispering Gallery in Grand Central, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Chrysler Building. These tours start every Friday at 12.30 pm at 120 Park Avenue.

You can also choose a different free walking tour, which starts at 11 am daily near the Museum of the American Indian.

THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

The famous New York City public library attracts as many visitors annually as any other city sight. It is the largest marble building ever built in the United States and the sidewalks leading up to it have literature quotes on them. Also, the marvelous coffered ceiling of the Rose Main Reading Room is something you should definitely see!

THE ROCKEFELLER CENTER

The Rockefeller Center is most widely known for the giant Christmas tree displayed there every winter. However, it has much more to show, like a collection of pieces of art, incredible gardens, and exhibits. It is worth visiting, just for the statues of Prometheus, who overlooks the skating rank, and Atlant, who is holding the world.

RIDE THE STATEN ISLAND FERRY

Every tourist visiting New York is eager to see its most recognizable sight, the Statue of Liberty. Ferry tours there can be quite expensive for you if you are on a budget. However, the community ferry is free and will bring you across the New York Harbor right to the Statue of Liberty on the Staten Island.

THE BROOKLYN PROMENADE

Brooklyn may not be the most interesting part of New York City, but the view of Manhattan, which opens from the Brooklyn Promenade, will surely catch your attention.

You can walk slowly along the promenade, enjoy the view of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge, and then continue your pleasant walk in Brooklyn Bridge Park, which is also worth visiting.

Read: 5 Free Things to Do When Traveling