Find Cheap Ski Holiday Packages

With skiing being so expensive, you could be forgiven for assuming that a ski holiday could put an irreparable dent in your savings. Fear not.

There’s never been a better time to go skiing, what with several travel portals offering steal deals for travelers since the past few seasons. But mind you, when we say ‘cheap’ you can’t really expect to have a rollicking ski trip that costs you under USD 500. A more realistic version will set you back by at least USD 800/person, for a weekend trip, especially when you take into account the traveling, accommodation, renting the equipment, and the likes.

But provided you keep a few things in mind, you can always cut down on the extravagance without compromising on the fun elements. Here’s how you do it.

Choose your destination wisely
The best skiing destinations will always seem appealing, but they can turn out to be equally expensive as well. Therefore, it’s better to forgo the glamor, and head to lesser destinations that are all about the skiing. Having said that, travel portals like Expedia, along with Ski.com offer some awesome deals even for top-notch destinations. It goes without saying that picking the right deal involves hours of patient research and analysis. If you are in doubt, heading to a trusted travel agent will help you get your queries answered.

Whole hog vs. DIY
Packaged deals, more often than not, tend to cover everything including the travel expense, stays, meals, lift passes, and all there is. This works well if you are traveling with a group, as you may land even better deals. On the flip side, though, packaged deals never leave room for any tweaks, so you can’t really indulge in some spur-of-the-moment adventures. So, if you’re heading as a group with plain skiing on your mind, a packaged deal would suit you well.

On the other hand, if you’re going solo, you may want to have a holiday that’s tailor-made for you, as you certainly won’t be looking for huge rooms or family-friendly hotels. DIY is the way to go; and if you need assistance, there are plenty of travel agents to head to.

Time your trip well
If young children aren’t in the picture, you can easily avoid scheduling a trip during the school holidays. Early December, most of January, mid-March, and late-April are the times when most ski towns see moderate to low business, and are actually handing out deals on a platter.

Snag it early
As with all travel deals, booking early definitely gives you an edge when it comes to saving money. Savings may be in the form of slashed rates (percentile discounts) or valued add-ons (free extended stays). The downside to this is that later modifications to your trip may not be entertained, and you’d actually end up spending more to accommodate the tweaks in your plan.

Or nail it late
The travel business is tricky, and highly contradictory. So, where on one hand you have the early-bird mayhem, you also stand to gain some last-minute steals. If you are willing to take the risk of scheduling last minute, you may actually land a reasonable package in the lull period (early December, mid January, or post-Easter). Keep in mind, though, that last-minute deals may, at times, only be very basic, so stay away from these if you hold lofty expectations.

Look out for value additions
Always keep an eye out for freebies that suit you. There are packages that let your child in for free, allow you to rent equipment for less, or give discounts if your group is large enough. These freebies may or may not be advertised, so you can contact the hotels directly, or ask your travel agent for more information. For families or largeish groups, living in a sale-catered apartment or a villa will work out to be cheaper than living in hotel, where you’d have to fish out extra for meals.

However …
… whatever you do, ensure that you do not compromise on safety measures in order to save a few bucks. This means that you absolutely have to shell out a decent amount on insurance, considering how risky skiing can be. Also, if you happen to be a beginner, do make sure that you take lessons and use the right gear to make the experience memorable, comfortable, and safe.

There are endless ways to go hunting for money-saving holidays. But seriously, don’t go overboard with the penny-pinching part, lest you suck the fun out of your holiday merriment. Just relax, and remember to have as much fun while booking your trip as you will on the holiday.

Cheapest Places to Travel

Come festive season and everyone is on the lookout for the cheapest places to travel for a fun-filled vacation! Let us take a quick look at which destinations around the world fit the bill!

Christmas is around the corner, heralding celebrations, festivities and, most precious of all, vacations! Most people look forward to this time of the year and plan well ahead as to how to spend this festive month. In today’s age of hectic work schedule and whirlwind lifestyles, festive vacations mean a lot as these occasions enable many of us to celebrate and spend quality time with our far-flung families and relations. For others, Christmas is the perfect time to undertake leisurely escapades, whether alone or with family and friends. So, where is it that you wish to spend your Christmas family vacation at this year? Check out some of the cheapest places to travel to in the world and decide upon an unexplored budget travel destinations that beckon the traveler within you, besides being easy on your pocket!

Cheapest Countries to Travel to

Given below is a list of some of the cheapest places to travel to across the globe, spread across three different continents, which will ensure that you’re spoiled for choice. Read along to find out why, besides being cheap travel destinations, these places are ideal choices for spending your Christmas vacation at with family and friends!

Cheapest Places to Travel to in America

Check out these amazing destination ideas for cheap vacations in America! Besides being pocket friendly, these American countries have very rich and interesting cultural heritage rife with exotic charms that would definitely sweep you off your feet!

  • Costa Rica: Golden beaches, tropical climate and an amazingly hospitable populace makes Costa Rica a wonderful beach vacation destination in Central America! The Hispanic culture is absolutely endearing, as are the genial and beautiful people there! Pick up any Costa Rica travel guide and it’ll tell you what you should expect on your Costa Rica vacation! Coming to the best part, although Costa Rica is among the moderately expensive Central American nations, its currency, the Colón, is cheaper than the US Dollar, the current exchange rate being USD 1 = CRC 500 (approx). This makes Costa Rica an economically attractive foreign destination for spending the festive season at!
  • Argentina: Think Argentina and the twin images of football and Diego Maradona float in front of your eyes! Besides its phenomenal association with football and football legends, the rich history, picturesque natural endowments and excellent steak and famous wine of this country make Argentina a great travel destination for this festive season! Oh yes, vacationing in Argentina is cheap too as the Argentina Pesos are cheaper than the US Dollar, with the USD and ARS exchange rate being approximately USD 1= ARS 4!
  • Other Cheap American Destinations: Besides the above two, other American countries like Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Antigua, etc., are gradually opening up to tourism and these countries are cheap but interesting travel destinations for the leisurely explorer!

Cheapest Places to Travel to in Europe

The falling Euro has made touring Europe an attractive holidaying option and you can economically vacation in many European countries without having to worry about going broke! Rich with scenic beauty and romantic allusions, Europe offers several schemes for cheap vacations for couples. Check out some cheap Europe vacation destinations below.

  • Greece: Need I say anything at all about the historical and mythological grandeur that surrounds Greece and its culture? Anyone who has read about Greek war heroes like Achilles, Theseus, Perseus and Hector and have looked at pictures of the glorious Parthenon must have had that persistent longing, almost like an unscratchable itch, to set foot upon this great country and witness the remnants of its magnificent past with one’s own eyes! Now comes the good news – you can take advantage of cheap lodging options during your Greece travel with EUR 10 hostels and EUR 20 hotels available all across the island, besides delicious food and entertainment options at a fraction of the price charged anywhere else in Europe!
  • Hungary: Beautiful landscapes coupled with rich history and traditional connotations, Hungary is one European country you should not miss this season! Besides, at an exchange rate of USD 1 = HUF 198 (approx), the cheap Hungarian Forint offers you an attractively economic Europe vacation!
  • Eastern European Countries: Eastern European countries like Poland, Croatia, Czech Republic, Albania and Bulgaria are great options if you wish to spend your Christmas touring Europe but wish to keep your pocket happy too! All these countries are rife with interesting traditions, mesmerizing folklore, fairytale landscapes, and exotic cultural heritage! Plus, they’re inexpensive compared to other European countries like France and United Kingdom!

Cheapest Places to Travel to in Asia

If you want a truly exotic yet inexpensive vacation, then you got to check out these Asian tourism treasure troves!

  • Cambodia: An incredibly cheap country, you would find it extremely easy to get around in Cambodia as you have very easy access for converting currency. Also, most articles are priced under a dollar there! Lodging can be got for as cheap a price as $2 for one night!
  • Vietnam: A breathtaking coastline and beautiful inland scenic charms coupled with inexpensive prices makes Vietnam one of the most inexpensive places to travel to in Asia!
  • Other Cheap Asian Destinations: Besides India, Cambodia and Vietnam, countries like Laos, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Malaysia are great Asian travel destinations of all time, Malaysia being slightly expensive among the other options cited here.

Those were some of the most prominent yet inexpensive places to travel to all over the globe. Other destination options that can be considered as good ideas for family vacation on a budget may include Egypt, China, Romania, Serbia and Bosnia. Besides being cheap, these countries offer a lot of tourist attractions in the form of festivities, heritage, fabulous food and an insight into diverse cultural traditions and beliefs. So, where are you heading this Christmas vacation for the time of your life?

Tips to Get Cheap Airline Tickets

In an age, where time is of prime concern, most people prefer to fly to their destination when on vacation but as everyone knows, it is not the cheapest option. That does not mean that it is not possible to get cheap airline tickets. Getting cheap airline tickets becomes easier if you resort to a few tricks to save the money you spend. This article will tell you exactly how.

Buying Cheap Airline Tickets

  • If you are a frequent flier, then you would definitely know the tricks and air travel tips required to ensure that you get the cheapest tickets possible. But what do you do, if you are new to game? Getting cheap airline tickets is a matter of understanding a few key things. Just go through the list of tips given below to understand how you can travel to that dream destination of yours without shelling out the big bucks.
    If you are planning a vacation, then one of the key tips to remember is to always plan well in advance. The closer you are to the day of departure, the more expensive your flight tickets are going to be. Book in advance as it is the best time to buy airline tickets and you are sure to get cheap tickets even for the best of airlines. You will definitely want to avoid the high costs that will be incurred if you wait till the last minute to buy your tickets.
  • Okay, so you did not manage to book the tickets well in advance, what do you do now? Well, it is important that you remain flexible in your travel dates. In case of emergency, this is of course, not possible. But in other cases, with flexible travel dates, it is definitely possible to be successful at finding cheap airline tickets.
  • So, how to buy cheap airline tickets last minute, other than with the methods already mentioned? Think budget airlines. Sure, you will have to let go of the luxury that air travel is generally associated with. But you have the advantage of buying cheap airline tickets, as these flights have a fare structure that allows them to let you, the passenger, buy cheap tickets.
  • Another great tip to avail of cheap airline tickets is to fly early in the morning or late at night. These flights, generally, tend to be much cheaper than flights in the middle of the day. So with these flights you have a higher chance of getting tickets for low rates.
  • So you want to know when is the best time to buy airline tickets? Well, we can tell you it is definitely not the weekend. As a commuter, you need to know that traffic on airlines increases by manifold over the weekend and holiday. If you want to get cheap airline tickets, then weekend travel should be banned from your itinerary.
  • Another option to ensure that you get cheap tickets is to try to buy tickets directly from the airlines instead of a travel agent. More often than not, this can save you a lot of money as you save the commission that is generally given to the third party.
  • Another way to get dirt cheap airline tickets is to combine your travel packages. Book for hotel reservations and flight tickets together and you should get a huge discount. This will save you the pain of looking around for a hotel once you reach your destination and you are sure to save a lot of money as well.

If you are looking for the best day to buy airline tickets, then travel experts say that Tuesday is your best bet as most airlines slash rates and have sales and discounts on this day. Keeping this simple tips in mind will definitely help you if you want to get cheap airline tickets and which is the best time to buy airline tickets. Use them to have a journey that does not have you thinking constantly about the amount of money you have busted on your travel.

Tips to Plan a Budgeted Vacation to Tokyo

Placing the words ‘Tokyo’ and ‘cheap’ together seem to be a perfect example of an antithesis. Let us, however, tell you that doing Tokyo on the cheap is possible. Here are some tips to plan an affordable vacation to the Japanese capital.

One of the most dynamic cities in the world, with over 12 million inhabitants, Tokyo is a sheer delight to see. Not that it is among the world’s most beautiful cities, but it definitely strikes a chord with its subtle balance between the past and the present. Take a stroll in any direction, and you are sure to stumble upon something most unusual and weird―something that you never knew existed. And yet, you will find the Japanese people being passionate about it, speaking of it with an intense sense of belonging.

In fact, the Japanese are passionate about everything, from their traditions and culture to all things new. And this is precisely the reason why the Japanese capital comes across as a complete package―a classic example of ‘old meets new’. Plus, the warm and ever-helping nature of the Japanese people will urge you to extend your stay, and make you regret if you don’t.

Tokyo on a Budget
It is a well-known fact that Tokyo is expensive. In fact, according to the recent Business Insider survey (2014), Tokyo has been ranked as the 19th most expensive city in the world after Melbourne, Australia. Owing to this, it is but obvious that a vacation to the Japanese capital will make you shed a lot of bucks; however, those traveling on a tight budget, need not be disappointed. Buzzle brings to you some useful tips to help you plan a vacation to the capital of the shōgun without having to burn a hole in your wallet. Here’s how.
When to Go

◆ Tokyo’s high season and low season depend largely on its weather.

◆ However, this is also the season when most accommodations around the city are full, and very expensive as well.

◆ Winter (December to February) and summer (June to August) comprise the city’s off-seasons.

◆ In winter, temperatures often drop below the freezing point, and summer is very hot and humid. Moreover, the city experiences torrential rains around late-June, and August is still worse.
◆ Most tourists opt to travel to the city either during spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November). During these two seasons, the weather is very favorable―pleasant, warm days and of course, beautiful cherry blossoms and dramatic foliage all around.

◆ While these seasons witness a much less tourist influx, these are great times to be in the city for budget travelers (if you are ready to face the adversities of the weather, that is).

◆ You will not only be able to escape the crowds, but also get the best possible bargains on accommodations, and maybe even crack an affordable last-minute deal.
Where to Stay

◆ As a form of budget accommodation, the concept of capsule hotels is very famous in Tokyo (and in the other Japanese cities). These are low-budget lodgings, made of modular plastic and/or fiberglass blocks in the form of small capsules, placed one above the other. Each of these capsules can accommodate only one person at a time, and are equipped with basic amenities like a sleeping mattress and a small television set.
◆ It, however, needs to be noted that capsule hotels lack basic safety standards, and are mostly men-only, but few also accommodate females. On the contrary, hostels often prove to be cheaper and more comfortable places to stay, even if they mean compromising a bit on one’s privacy.

◆ While hostels located in and near the city center and popular spots can be a bit pricey, look for those located on the outskirts instead. These will offer you the same kind of facilities at lower prices.

◆ For those planning to spend a majority of their time within the city center, opt to stay near it, in order to save money and time on transportation, which is also on the expensive side in Tokyo.

◆ Budget travelers, looking for a homely atmosphere may also opt for a hospitality exchange. You get to stay with a local family for free, and there are also ample opportunities to meet and interact with the other locals. Hospitality exchange is particularly popular with youngsters, traveling on frugal means.
How to Get Around

◆ By far, the cheapest way to get around Tokyo (or any city, for that matter) is by foot. It is lovely walking around the city―take any random lane, and you can discover some of the most unexpected, yet exciting things about the city. And, it is needless to say that strolling is free-of-cost.

◆ The Tokyo Subway System, the city’s extensive network of underground rail routes, is also a pretty inexpensive mode of transport, by Tokyo standards. However, you are charged according to distance so, the longer the distance, the pricier will be your ticket price. But they are tourist-friendly, in that there are a lot of signboards and announcements in English language. Nonetheless, there are some cons as well. These trains are very crowded, especially during peak hours, so much so that the crowds may deter you from getting onto one of them. Moreover, each of these metro stations closes down at about 1am and starts operating at about 5am in the morning so, time your travel so that you do not get stranded; isolated stations can be unsafe.

◆ Buses are also cheap, but if you do not have basic knowledge of Japanese, it may get extremely difficult for you to navigate. Especially, communicating with the bus conductor gets very tough, as more often than not, he will not know English or any other foreign tongue. Plus, like trains, even buses are crowded, but they are well-connected and can take you to literally any corner of the city.
◆ Another good option to travel around Tokyo on the cheap is to rent a bike. Cheap bike rentals are available in different parts of Tokyo and its suburbs, and they are very convenient, in that you can plan your own custom biking tour across the city.

◆ Unless extremely necessary, never ever go for hiring a taxi. Taxis in Tokyo are indeed very expensive, so much so that a single taxi ride can completely destroy your budget.
Where to Eat/Drink

◆ Eateries and restaurants located in downtown Tokyo and in the city’s popular parts tilt towards the expensive side. For a wholesome budget meal, head to one of the blue-collar areas of the city such as Ueno or Ikebukuro.

◆ Areas with large populations of youngsters and students, like Yoyogi and Harajuku, are also good places to find food on the cheap. You will find numerous fast-food joints in these areas, alongside several cheap restaurants, offering full, good quality meals.

◆ The conveyor belt sushi restaurants are located in several parts of the city, wherein you can choose your own sushi from the conveyor belt. These are often busy, owing to their inexpensiveness and fast service, but you will get some really tasty meals in there.

◆ While in Tokyo, you cannot ignore the numerous vending machines, found in large numbers, everywhere around the city. These coin-operated machines sell hot beverages, juices, sodas, cans of beer, apart from typical Japanese meals (curry and rice) and ready-to-eat soups.
◆ A good number of Japanese curry houses, fast-food, and ramen shops are spread across the city, even in the city center, from where you can buy small, but filling budget meals.

◆ Tokyo is famous for its street food, which offers delicious local flavors at affordable prices. Budget travelers can also buy packaged meals from grocery stores, which cost much less than restaurants.
What to See/Do

In the clockwise direction, starting from top-left―Rainbow Bridge, Minato, Tokyo; Tokyo Imperial Palace, Chiyoda, Tokyo; Tokyo cityscape with illuminated Tokyo Tower; Yoyogi Park, Shibuya, Tokyo.
◆ While most attractions in Tokyo charge an admission fee, the good news is that there are several cheap and free things to see and do in and around the city. As mentioned before, a free stroll can give you an insight into some of the most fascinating aspects of the city and its culture. But, there is more!

◆ Most shrines, temples, and palaces of Tokyo do not have an entry fee. This also includes, apart from the other attractions, the Tokyo Imperial Palace, which may be accessed free if you plan to take a self-guided stroll, rather than a guided tour.

◆ Moreover, the Sensō-ji temple, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Japan, can also be accessed without any charge by all the visitors. There is a 200-meter-long shopping street in front of the temple gate, which has several O-mikuji (fortunes written on strips of paper) stalls, visited by a good number of tourists. You can also try out your luck here!

◆ Furthermore, the fourth-largest urban park in Tokyo, the Yoyogi Park, is also a free attraction. It is a great place for a quick morning jog and to listen to live performances by street musicians.

◆ Another great place to be, especially if you are a fish lover, is the Tsukiji fish market. It is located very close to the Tsukiji train station, and so is an easy walk up there. Every morning, at about 5 a.m., there is a tuna auction held here, which is quite an interesting experience. Though you can visit the auction for free, remember that they let a limited number of tourists in each day, and so, you have to reach the spot really early. However, if you miss out on the auction, you can still roam around the market, and gorge on some delicious sushi and sashimi for breakfast.

◆ Harajuku boasts of a very lively shopping and entertainment scene. There are a lot of specialty stores around the area from where you can buy items such as books, electronics, and souvenirs for cheap. Apart from these, Tokyo also has a good number of open-air antique and flea markets operating on the weekends near major shrines.

Budget Vacation Ideas for Couples

It is not possible to take a luxury vacation during every holiday. And then, with so many options in budget vacations, why spend the money even if you have it? In this article, we’ll look at 5 interesting, low-budget vacation ideas for couples.

Everyone needs a break from their regular routine. Sometimes, couples need to take a break from children, work, and other responsibilities. But, with a tight budget, many couples do away with the idea of taking a vacation. However, there are several budget vacations you can choose from, which are easily available. It is really possible to take a vacation with your loved one and yet not burn a hole in your pocket. You can now surprise, treat, and gift your better half with a vacation and thus, spend some much-needed quality time together. Take your pick!

5 Interesting Vacation Ideas on a Budget

Visit a National Park
Visiting a national park is a great idea. Opt for a national park where you can camp for a day or two. Explore the park together, camp under the moonlit sky, and reach the park after a road trip. Choose the park keeping in mind your interests.

Hit the Beach
There are many state parks in the country that protect beaches along both the coasts. Visit any one of these parks and have fun at the beach. Look for a park that offers more than just the beach. This way, you buy yourself a beach vacation with more things to do.

Go on a Cruise
Another affordable option is a cruise trip. Many cruises offer off-season packages, where you can sometimes pick up a deal in less than half the amount. However, a good cruise usually takes a week or more; plan your holiday accordingly.

Know Your City
Many a time, most people, end up taking their city for granted. By this, I mean that we think we know everything about the city we live in. This is, however, far from the truth. Make a list of places you haven’t seen in your city, take two days and a weekend off, and visit all these places.

Rent Vacation Homes
Vacation homes, lodges, and villas can be easily rented. Rent one of these and stay indoors for your entire vacation, doing absolutely nothing but relaxing. Again, off-season bookings come really cheap. If you want to save some more, rent these homes with another couple. You’ll directly cut your cost by half.

Though these vacation ideas for couples are low-budget, they offer the same thing that luxurious holidays do – time you can spend together. Zero in on an idea of your choice and give romance a chance in your busy life.

Plan an Affordable Vacation to the Maldives

The Maldive Islands are counted amongst some of the most expensive holiday destinations in the world. However, spending a budget vacation there is also possible, albeit challenging.

The shopping scene in the Maldives is not very happening, but it can be tempting. On some of the local islands, you will find really interesting handicrafts to buy as souvenirs. However, know that they are not only outrageously expensive, but also made outside the Maldives.
In the Indian Ocean, to the south-southwest of India lies the Maldives, a pristine archipelago comprising some 1,192 coral islands. The Maldives is regarded as one of the most luxurious holiday destinations in the world, and there are several reasons for this. For one, it boasts of absolutely stunning white-sand beaches, which are perhaps amongst some of the very best in the world. Moreover, it also offers some of the world’s best underwater activities and a fascinating marine life. What is even more compelling about these islands is the fact that virtually every resort in there has its own private island, and the facilities and services that these resorts offer just seem to be unparalleled.

Maldives on a Budget
Alright, let us get this straight―the Maldives is expensive. It never was a typical backpacker-type destination; however, there are ways to save money on your Maldivian vacation if you research well and know the tactics of spending wisely. Buzzle brings you this brief guide to help you plan, not a cheap, but an affordable vacation to the Republic of the Maldives.

Visit in the off-season.

The off-season in the Maldives runs between the months of May and November. This is the time when the islands experience heavy rains and storms. During the off-season, there are fewer tourists around, and the resorts tend to lower their rates to a considerable extent.
So, if you are not very choosy weather-wise, the off-season is the best time to travel on a budget in the Maldives. Those interested in surfing should note that the surfing season in the country ranges from March to October. So, by traveling in the off-season, you will be getting the best of both worlds―you will save money as well as get a fantastic surfing experience.

Book your flights and stay online.

Making all your bookings on the Internet can be both convenient and affordable at the same time. Booking for flights and accommodations online, more often than not, entitles you to certain benefits and discounted offers, which cannot be found otherwise. Moreover, you can always compare prices quoted on different travel websites, and acquire the cheapest possible bargain. However, remember to check all the details carefully before making payments, and also look for any sort of hidden costs, taxes, etc. Moreover, it is also a good idea to read customer reviews for the hotel/resort, and then decide on whether or not to opt for the same.

Look for last-minute deals.
While it is an extremely good idea to plan your vacation well ahead in order to get the best deals, sometimes, last-minute deals may also do the trick for you. Often, resorts and even airlines offer tempting discounts on last-minute deals to attract people. Although these may not be very cheap at all times, you will definitely be saving a certain amount of money of such deals. Especially, if you are intending to travel during the high season, it is a good idea to look for such deals. They might not be available at all times due to the large number of tourists traveling during the peak season; however, you can always test your luck.

Go for an all-inclusive package.

Everything in the Maldives comes for a price, and it is not one of the most suitable destinations for those on a budget. However, one of the best ways to save money on your Maldivian vacation is to go all-inclusive. There are a number of resorts out there, which offer all-inclusive packages that include, apart from lodging, lunch and/or dinner buffets, activities, excursions, and sometimes, even transport. Moreover, if you intend to consume a lot of alcoholic drinks, opting for an all-inclusive package will be the only worthwhile option at your disposal. It will strictly restrict you to house drinks, rather than buying them at splurging prices outside.

Stay on a local island, instead of a resort.

As mentioned before, virtually every resort in the Maldives owns an island for itself. This means that these resorts offer you exclusive facilities and activities, which in turn also means that you will be ending up breaking your bank. If you are visiting in the low season, you might be able to afford a stay in one of these resorts, but even then, there are other less pricey options available. A good number of B&Bs, inns, and guest houses are available in the inhabited atolls of the Maldives, which provide pretty good facilities at affordable rates. And, staying in the inhabited atolls also have an added advantage. You will get to experience the local fervor of the country, something that you will miss out on in the resorts.

Some local guest houses and B&Bs offer cheap activities.
This is, by far, one of the best advantages of opting to stay at a local guest house or a B&B. The owners of these facilities almost always tend to double up as your tour guides, and you can buy their courteous services at pretty affordable prices. Added to this, some guest houses also offer water sporting activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing at less than half of the resort rates. All you need to do is to book them in person with your lodging facility―it may not be a very luxurious experience, but a memory worth cherishing.

Travel as the locals do.

The main modes of public transport available in the Maldives include boats and air taxis. The only places where you will need to travel by road on the islands are the capital city, Male and the archipelago’s southernmost atoll, Addu. At these two places, you can hire private cars and motorbikes―there are various local companies offering these services―however, these are again pricey. You also have an option of hiring bicycles at these places, which are available at affordable prices, and walking is of course free. On all the other atolls, water transport is the only reliable mode. Inter-island ferries are available; prices depend on the distance, but are still not very pricey. If you are traveling in a group, you may also go for chartering a boat/water taxi, which might seem affordable as the total amount will get divided amongst your group members.

Do not opt to stay very far from Male.

There is only one international airport in the whole of the Maldives, which is the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport in Male. This means that no matter in which corner of the Maldives you opt to spend your vacation, your first and last stop in the country is going to be Male. So, the closer your destination is to the country’s capital, the lesser you will have to spend on your transfers.

The resorts which are more far off from Male generally require expensive seaplane transfers both ways. Plus, it is also time-consuming, in that you may have to spend a night on one of the domestic airports from where you may be getting a connecting flight. On the flip side, if you choose an island/atoll that is not very farther apart from Male, you will save a substantial amount of money on getting to your destination and back.

Traveling to the Maldives on a budget can be a big challenge; however, it is not impossible. It is very important that you are extremely careful while planning your budget, as the country is never going to turn out to be cheap, especially by Asian standards. The best way to avoid busting your budget in the Maldives is to stick to your plans and control your splurging urges.

Tips to Plan an Affordable Trip to Spain

Traveling to Spain on a budget requires a little bit of research, a pinch of tenacity, and an amazing grasp of the concept of substitution. Too confused? Well, Buzzle has laid out some handy tips for you.

As much as we’d like to curse the state of the Euro at the moment, it isn’t the only factor that’s making our European holidays expensive. It is the cumulative cost of air travel, hotel stays, internal transport, meals, entrance fees, taxes, and the likes which deliver a lethal blow to our best laid plans. But worry not, as we’ve lined up the best penny-pinching tips to help you plan a fabulous Spanish sojourn. Let’s begin.
Book your tickets early … or late.

Both might give you a cheaper deal, but if you’re looking to be on the safe side, book early; as early as three months in advance. If you think your transatlantic flight to your Spanish destination is very expensive, you may try booking a cheaper ticket to a different country close to Spain, and then book a seat on a European budget airliner like Ryanair. Keep in mind, though, that most budget airlines have a knack of levying “extra” surcharges that can elevate the cost. Therefore, it is prudent to do all the math before you book; but it is recommended that you fly direct, especially if this is your maiden visit.

Last-minute deals could be up for grabs on sites like Expedia or Orbitz. But these may not always be enticing enough, which is why early booking is your best bet.

Hotels? Or Hostels?

Yes, hostels are cheaper, and we’re all aware of that. But we’re telling you to opt for neither. If you happen to be going solo/as a couple/in a small group, we recommend Couch surfing or Airbnb. These sites will help you get in touch with people (in Spain) who will allow you to house-sit for free, while they’re traveling themselves. The arrangement works well for people who are planning an extensive stay in the country. The advantage is that it lets you stay among the locals, than be cooped up with fellow travelers in a hotel or a hostel.

If you’re not comfortable with house-sitting, or if you are traveling in a large group, renting an apartment makes more sense. The overall cost works out to be cheaper, and you always have a kitchen at your disposal―which means that you can cook and save some dough which you would have otherwise spent. You may not believe it, but home-cooked meals save you some serious money, and you only realize it on the penultimate days of your holiday. And as we all know, it is one of life’s greatest joys to discover a surprising stash of our own money when traveling abroad.

Did we hear cheap grub?

Spain, for one, is a delightful place to be in if you are a food aficionado. Their cuisine is out-of-this-world amazing, and though, we recommended that you cook a few meals in your apartment, eating out in Spain is a must. Spaniards believe in keeping their breakfast light, and their lunch is the biggest meal of the day. Which is why, they have the concept of Menu del Dia or Menu of the Day. This is a rather filling, all-inclusive meal that costs under USD 10, and feeds you all the delicious Spanish delicacies of your dreams.

Spanish people have a proclivity for late dinners, which is why they gorge on tapas, which are appetizers sold in bars. At times, they come as a free accompaniment with the drink, or you can purchase them separately. Two or three rounds of these, and you feel like you’ve drowned in food, especially if this is on a day when you’ve feasted on the Menu del Dia.

Tighten your travel expenses.

Barcelona tourist bus
Buses in urban Spain are relatively cheaper than trains. That said, Madrid and Barcelona have an excellent subway network that is easy, efficient, and not-too-expensive. Renting bicycles in Barcelona is quite the rage among Eco-conscious travelers, and is a great way to explore the city for cheap. SANDEMANs NEW Europe Tours conduct walking tours in Madrid and Barcelona. These are conducted by well-informed local guides who work on a tips-only basis. If you’re traveling to the interiors, you may want to rent a car if you have a large group, or take advantage of Spain’s extensive bus and train network. Renting cars in the big cities is definitely nor recommended, since parking fees in most urban areas tend to be exorbitant.

Sightseeing for less.

National Prado Museum
Most museums in Spain tend to have a free-entrance policy during late afternoons or on Sundays. Of course, you can expect serpentine lines during these times, but if saving money is a priority, this should not be too bothersome. Checking individual websites of attractions will let you visit these places sans the charge.

Discount cards are offered in most major cities of Spain. These passes allow you to enter several city attractions at discounted rates, and can be used over the course of around 4 weeks. This option is suitable for travelers who plan to stay put in Spain for an extensive period, rather than those who will just be spending a couple of days in a city.

Each major city also has a system of public transport discounts combined with attraction tickets, like the Barcelona Card, for instance. These passes are fabulous budget savers as they combine the cost of transportation and entrance fees as well.

Steer clear of tourist traps.

Tourists on Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain
Unfortunately, tourist traps are an inevitable part of the tourism business, and we can’t really help it. But as someone wanting to stick to a budget, it is advisable to keep these places at an arm’s length. A visit to Barcelona’s La Rambla could be on your agenda, but whatever you do, avoid shopping there, as everything is insanely expensive. Yes, even a silly Sagrada Familia fridge magnet can set you back by a cool 15 Euros. Are you really interested?

Big tips aren’t necessary.
In Spain, the generous tippers usually tend to be tourists. By Spanish standards, a 5% tip is more or less the upper limit, as against the American norm of 20%. Also, locals mostly tend to leave loose change in tips, which should give you a fair idea about the tipping customs here. So, avoid leaving hefty tips, and don’t beat yourself up for having done so.

Saving money on money matters.

Withdrawing money from ATM in Spain is a better option than carrying currency from your country of origin. You will need to talk to your bank regarding the charge levied on international withdrawals before your departure. It is recommended that you avoid money exchange bureaus, since they charge hefty fees for money transfers.

The Value Added Tax (VAT) refund in European nations is mostly seen as a hassle that most tourists don’t wish to bother with. However, if you are planning to shop a lot, do take the effort of claiming the VAT refund when you’re leaving the country. To avail this refund, your purchase has to be above a certain amount, which is 90 Euros. Also, this minimum amount has to be spent at a single store at one go―you aren’t allowed to add up your purchases from various shops to reach the required amount. Finally, when you’re leaving the country, you need to carry the transaction receipts, the billed purchases, and your passport to prove you’re not a resident of the European Union. The Customs officials will examine your documents and the corresponding goods, and the refund will be debited to your credit card in about two months’ time.

Now, there can never be an end to money saver tips, and if we were to list them all, you’d actually never end up in Spain at all. So, while budgeting is important, do not let it get in the way of having some wholesome fun. You’re going to be in Spain, after all.

Ideas for a Cheap Mini Vacation

Planning to go on a mini vacation but a little tight on budget? Don’t worry, as this article on cheap mini vacations will provide you with some good and inexpensive ideas for a small vacation.

Who doesn’t like to spend a quiet time in the woods, eating a hot meal and relaxing by the river side? But alas, this is a too idyllic situation for most of us. First of all, we cannot afford to take a leave, forget leave, most of us are engrossed in work even on weekends! And if one ever gets a golden opportunity of an extended weekend, there are many problems which make this dream even more distant! First of all, one is not aware of mini vacation destinations, that can be thoroughly enjoyed in the short period of two-three days, secondly the popular mini vacation spots are always crowded. And lastly, some really beautiful places that are not crowded and are also nearby, are way beyond your budget. One obviously cannot spend all the savings on a weekend getaway, so what should be done? Well, all you have to do is scroll down and take a look at the ideas given below. The spots mentioned in these budget travel ideas are perfect for you, as they are inexpensive, fun, not far from where you reside and also very relaxing.

Vacation Ideas

Day Trip: All you have to do is, book a flight to your neighboring state. Pack only the essentials and start your journey! Do not make any extensive plans. Just go to your neighboring state, find an inexpensive motel there and spend your weekend lazing around! There are loads of airlines which have really cheap fare, so you won’t be spending much money there. And once you go to your destination, you can do whatever you want. If you only have a weekend to spare, you can go on visiting the tourist attractions of that state throughout the day and sleep in churches at night! I know that is a little overboard, but trust me, it is fun! To truly enjoy this crazy weekend getaway, dine at the small local restaurants, as these restaurants are the ones which serve the actual specialty of their town. You will surely remember this trip for a long time!

Theme Park: If you are in search of cheap family vacations, this is the best one for you. When it comes to vacations, all kids can think of is loads of games and unlimited playtime. And even adults can enjoy some of the games of kids. The games I am talking about is not the regular hop-scotch games, the games are the huge roller-coaster rides and swings of the theme parks! Theme park is one place where adults and kids, both can equally enjoy. And more importantly, they do not cost much! So you can visit a nearby theme park of your state, or go to some bigger theme parks like the Disneyland. If you are visiting a small theme park, visit four-five of them, and of different cities!

Camping: The best part about these cheap mini vacations is that you have a lot of options to choose from. You can go camping in the Himalayas or even in your backyard! Whichever location you choose, it will be fun. If you search a little, you will find many camping organizations which organize camps even for families. So you can join them or go on a camp on your own. Just remember to take all the necessary things with you.

As you must have observed, you do not need to burn a hole in your pocket for a nice little vacation. All the above mentioned inexpensive vacation ideas will definitely save your money, but will also provide a nice happy time with family. So what are you waiting for, start packing!

Mini Vacations for Couples

Got a sudden chance of an extended weekend, and wondering how you can make it memorable? Well, going on a mini vacation with your partner is always a brilliant option. Find some amazing mini vacation ideas for couples.

So, you have been rewarded with a surprise extended weekend and you have no idea how you should spend it. Of course you can spend by simply lazing around, doing nothing. But there are many other things you could do, which can make these few days really memorable. After all, everyone needs a break, and sleeping for the whole day, sadly, provides no break!
You can instead choose to go away from home; a place you’ve never visited before. The refreshing atmosphere and new surroundings can help rejuvenate. The location could be any, depending on your choice; you can also pick one you frequently visit. Pack your bags, then, and make use of these ideas to fuel your vacation.

Wine Tasting

Have you visited a vineyard lately ? If not, this is the perfect mini vacation idea for you. There are a loads of vineyards; you can do a quick online search to find one that is closet to you.
Nowadays, most vineyards have at least one luxurious resort in the area itself. So you can book your stay and enjoy every bit of your vacation tasting different types of wines with your partner. What’s more fun is the grape crushing activity. What can be more fun than jumping in a tank full of grapes with your partner? Long walks in vineyard are also very romantic, so go ahead and visit a beautiful vineyard near you.

A Luxurious Treat

When you plan to simply relax the whole day at home, you may encounter unexpected guests or the niggling thoughts of impending household chores. To escape this chaos, get out of the house with your partner, and book a room in the city’s biggest hotel. It might sound silly, but the privacy and special treatment you will get there, will surely change your opinion.
Delicious food delivered to your room, a fabulous view from the balcony, and perhaps even a hot jacuzzi―the perfect recipe for relaxation. You won’t need to venture out, just stay in the hotel for the entire weekend, you will surely get the feel of being thoroughly pampered by the end of the vacation.

Classic Vacation

How can any mini vacation be complete without the mention of beaches? Though beach vacations are too common, they do have their charm―after all, the soothing sight of the extensive blue waters, the cool breeze, the surrounding lush palm trees, and sunbathing make for a fabulous vacation idea indeed.
In case you wish to avoid the crowds, you can book a doom at a resort with a private beach for your weekend getaway. You may have to shell out extra funds, but will surely be worth the effort.

Amazing Amusement Parks

As the name suggests, this mini vacation idea for couples involves going to every amusement park in your city and the neighboring towns as well. Its obviously a crazy idea, but how can any vacation be complete without little craziness?

Locate all amusement parks in your city and its vicinity, get to each one, and once you’re there, enjoy as many rides as you can. By the end of the day, you’re sure to be left giddy with happiness and excitement. And of course, do not forget to click lots of pictures as a keepsake of all the insanity you indulged in.

 

Mini Vacation Tips for Couples

The vacation is about to begin, and you are confused as to how you could make it special for your partner! We have some brilliant ideas that you can refer to.

Isn’t it more enjoyable to go on a couple of short vacations throughout the year, than a long vacation planned only once a year? And for couples, mini vacations are perfect antidotes to the monotony of life, that allow them to spend quality time with each other. Such holidays are so refreshing that the joy and excitement linger, even after getting back to the regular course of life. When there’s a constraint of time, then you should look for the best ways to make your holidays special and memorable.

Ideas for Mini Vacations

There are ample retreats for couples, where they can enjoy privacy. However the destination you choose depends on your likes and preferences. While some love to remain at home, others are fond of outdoor adventure. So how would you make the best of your holidays? Here are tips that will help you make the most of your vacation.

Romance in the Air
If the weekend has stretched to a few days more, then you can stay back at home to rejoice some intimate moments with your partner. Jazz up your house with a romantic theme. Light aromatic candles inside your room and keep beautiful fresh flowers having sweet fragrance. Buy gifts for your love and cook passionately. Spend the days in each other’s company. Hug, kiss, cuddle and have fun! Re-kindle love and passion and fill the air with romance. Imagining yourself? Just be patient till the day arrives.

Book a Beach Resort
Beaches always allure couples. Book a beach side hotel and savor the beauty of the sun, sand and sea together. This is probably the best summer vacation idea for couples. The advantage of staying in a sea side hotel is, you enjoy the beauty even being indoors. You won’t even know how time will fly just by gazing at the horizon while you sit in the balcony with your love. You can also play indoor games, swim and bask. Stroll with your partner on the long stretches of sand, shop and dine at exotic restaurants. Some beach resorts have wonderful spas. Get a good massage done to rejuvenate yourself. Enjoy your favorite cuisines, and relax.

Outdoor Adventure
Vacations give you the opportunity to rev up your energy. If you are enthusiastic about outdoor sports, then set for an adventurous journey. Arrange your backpacks and head on. You can take your private vehicle or hire a cab exclusively for you two. Book a resort well in advance and avail the amusement options that the place offers. Trekking, visiting wildlife sanctuaries, skiing and scuba diving will be a different experience altogether when your partner is with you. You can also try kayaking, river rafting, bungee jumping, paragliding, etc.

Get Sporty
The countryside of East Midlands have excellent golf courses. England is the ideal place for golf-lovers and you can plan a short trip with your partner. Visit places that encourage horse riding, balloon rides, fishing, road games, etc. You will enjoy a lot even if you haven’t tried these sports before. Enjoying on ranches and mountains is also a splendid idea for a getaway. Traveling to places that allow you to try unique sports will undoubtedly be refreshing for you.

An Intellectual Treat
It’s the most unique vacation idea for couples, who are voracious readers and have the urge to gather knowledge at every moment of their life. For rest this idea might sound a little boring. During week days you hardly get time to add new volumes of books in your home library. So this weekend you can make a list of your favorite books and go for buying along with your partner. You can arrange the books together and read during the weekend. This doesn’t entail only reading 24 hours! Watch your favorite movies and serve your favorite dishes in between. Well that was truly an intellectual treat for vacation!

You should plan your trip beforehand to avail the best travel packages. I’m sure you are now absolutely excited after reading the ideas presented in the aforementioned content. Make the days special so that each moment is memorable for both of you.