Frugal Tips for Travel

The French Quarter Festival

The French Quarter Festival – New Orleans

There are many ways to enjoy a new destination and to conserve money while doing it. After taking many trips on a shoestring budget, we decided to compile a list of our favorite tips for saving money while traveling.

Spend time at the beach:  Ocean views are gorgeous, free, and can vary quite a bit depending on which beach you visit. You can also get inexpensive snorkel gear and go on an adventure.

Pack a picnic:  Picnics are romantic and can be had pretty much anywhere. Choose a location with a view for the best experience.

Take a hike:  Get some exercise and breathe in some fresh mountain air or a cool ocean breeze. Explore the area where you’re traveling and see how the terrain differs from your home terrain.

Watch the sunset or sunrise:  Take a scenic drive to a lookout point or climb a mountain for a stellar view.

Go to a park:  Local parks can give you a glimpse into how the locals live. In Europe it’s common to bring a blanket, a bottle of wine, and some cheese and bread. Sit and relax a while.

Act like a local:  Do your research and find local events, deals and discount days. Some ideas you may find include a happy hour, free festival, free museum day, free botanical gardens, or even attending a local art walk or gallery exhibition.

Travel when free local festivals are happening:  Plan your trip to San Francisco when the 3-day Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival happens. Go to New Orleans when the locals have their free version of Jazz Fest, the French Quarter Fest. Visit Denver during Tour de Fat. Find a location you’re intrigued by and research the best time to go.

Get pampered on a budget:  It’s always nice to be pampered but even more so when one is traveling. Go to a massage or aesthetician clinic and get spa treatments at a fraction of the normal cost. Alternatively, take a day class on massage with your partner to learn how to work on each other.

Choose alternative transportation:  Don’t waste money getting a rental car if the city/cities you are visiting have good local public transit. For a little more adventure, you can also rent bicycles.

Check out Couchsurfing meet-ups:  Websites like Couchsurfing.com have great events that are posted often. They may have a meet-up at a park, bar, restaurant, or even a local’s house. This can help you get a more realistic regional experience, especially if you are traveling abroad.

Shop at farmer’s markets:  This is one of our favorite ways to save while traveling! Visiting the farmer’s market is an adventure in itself. You can buy fresh foods, rather than eating out, and get a taste for what is common to the area.

What are your favorite ways to save money while traveling?

Day Classes to take While Traveling

Travel is a time to explore. It allows us to see life a little differently, expand our worldviews and get a glimpse of other cultures. Your honeymoon should be no different. There are many things to do while traveling to new areas. One of our personal favorites at Wanderable is to take a day class or two with the locals. Below are classes to consider in some of the top honeymoon destinations.

Pasta

Hawaii:
Surfing classes – Though not for the faint of heart, surfing classes are so much fun and happen to be an excellent workout. If you’re heading to Oahu, we recommend the pros over at Gone Surfing!

Roastmaster for a day – Are you a coffee lover? If so, this may be the class for you. You get to learn how to roast coffee and you even get to take it home with you when you’re done! Mountain Thunder, in Kona, offers this unique tour.

Hula classes – Learn how to move like the natives of this beautiful land. Take a hula class while you’re on one of the islands. The most popular classes for tourists can be found at local hotels.

Thailand:
Thai massage
– Have you always wanted the ability to give a great massage? Learn the basics of Thai massage in a one-day course.

Learn to make jewelry – Thai silver is one of the most beautiful types of silver work in the world. Learn from experts how to do basic silver-smithing, in a one, two or five day class.

Italy:
Cooking classes – One could travel to Italy just for the food and wine alone. There are few places that would be better to take a cooking class.

Craft cocktail class – This class is a fun idea to get the creative juices flowing, both literally and figuratively. Learn from a mixologist what goes in a standard cocktail and a fancy cocktail, and learn what makes one cocktail stand out above the rest.

Basic leather work – There is no better place to learn the art of making leather into beautifully crafted useful objects than Florence. Learn from the pros and take a finished project home with you.

Paris:
Cooking with chocolate classThis school offers several unique dessert and baking classes centered around one of our favorite ingredients, chocolate. They also have classes on wine and wine pairing.

Art classes – You can take everything from a drawing, painting or sketching class to an art class that is offered in the Louvre. Indulge your inner artist in Paris.

Top Honeymoon Cruise Destinations

The wedding is over, no more planning, booking, stressing over details. It’s finally time to enjoy your honeymoon. What could be more relaxing than a cruise? Here are Wanderable’s favorite cruise destinations from all over the world:

cruiseThe Mediterranean: There are many beautiful regions along the Mediterranean. Explore the French Riviera, Cinque Terre, and even Rome. The French Riviera is known for its wineries, art museums, and enchanting chateaus. Cinque Terre features delicious cuisine, and a breathtaking coastline. Rome is steeped in history and incredible architecture. Or set a course along the coastline of Greece, stopping off and experiencing its crystal blue waters, sheer volcanic cliffs and striking architecture. We recommend doing one of these cruises in the low season; try to avoid the crowds in the summer.

The Caribbean: This string of islands is around 2,000 miles long. They divide the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. They have the best weather in January and February. The Caribbean Sea is home to over 7,000 islands, so there is plenty to explore. You can choose between islands with ruins, waterfalls, tropical rain-forests, perfect blue waters, private beaches, spice plantations, and more. Here is a great guide showing the islands’ differences.

The Hawaiian Islands: Hawaii is by far one of most popular honeymoon destinations, due to the spectacular beauty and wide range of activities it offers. The islands are a great place to cruise to different ports, with a striking range of landscapes among the four major islands. Kauai is home to the mountain range that receives the most rainfall in the world and is a mecca for outdoor adventurers. Maui is breathtaking and is wonderful for hiking, surfing, paddle boarding, and kayaking. Oahu is more heavily commercialized, but it offers some of the best surfing in the world. Finally, the Big Island’s volcanic landscapes and unique beaches are absolutely astonishing.

The Mexican Riviera: If you prefer more lively ports, this may be the cruise destination for you. Places like Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, and other stops along the Mexican Riviera are filled with dancing, mariachi bands, and strong margaritas. You can do all sorts of activities at the ports along this coast, such as snorkeling, kayaking trips, cave excursions, and scuba diving. San Diego is a wonderful place to stop off as well, with attractions like Sea World, Balboa Park, and a plethora of gorgeous beaches. The weather is fairly temperate here.

The Cayman Islands: Want to snorkel and swim with stingrays, dolphins, and turtles, in crystal clear waters? These may be the islands for you. This area is also famous for its seven-mile beach. Imagine walking on a never-ending, pristine coastline. Explore an underwater shipwreck, go on a submarine tour, or take a break from the water and soar above the islands on a helicopter tour. These islands are known for their picture-perfect beaches, clear waters, and unique diving experiences.

Cruises place relaxation at your fingertips. They are an excellent way to explore and experience multiple locations in one trip.

Best Cheap Eats in San Francisco

We’ve already shared our go-to restaurants in San Francisco, for those times when you’re willing to splurge a little. So here is the list of our favorite bargain gems. One thing SF is known for is its variety of amazing food at any price-point. These places drive that point home.

San Francisco

Yamo:  The epitome of a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. They practically cook on top of you, but this only adds to the experience and the food is amazing!

Sushi Time:  We can’t decide what we love more… the ambiance, the price or the food. This underground spot is an all around pleaser. Sushi is never a cheap outing but this place is extremely reasonable, especially for the Bay Area.

El Metate:  A little bit off the beaten path, in the Mission district, but hands-down worth the trip. Great ambiance, prices and food. This is definitely a step-up from your standard taqueria.

The Codmother Fish and Chips:  Fisherman’s Wharf is a beautiful spot, especially to take visitors, but it can be hard to not get caught in the tourist traps down there. This little spot breaks the mold; for inexpensive, delicious food, go here!

Lucca Delicatessen:  While we’re already on the subject… another gem down by the water is this great spot. They won’t break the bank and run a legitimate Italian sandwich shop. Perfect picnic food for those on the go, as well.

Golden Boy Pizza:  Located in North Beach, otherwise known as little Italy, is this famous pizza shop. Incredible selection and mouth-watering to boot.

Mission Chinese:  It may not look like much from the outside but the chef, Danny Bowien, certainly knows what he’s doing. Their “Americanized Oriental food” is an experience all it’s own.

Taqueria Cancun:  Although everyone raves about its rival, El Farolito, this place wins hands-down, every time. They have the best vegetarian burrito in the Mission and they succeed in all other departments, as well.

Ike’s Place:  One of the most solid sandwich shops you’ll ever experience. Whether you have food allergies, are vegan, or a meat eater, this is the place to go. Not to mention, it is just a short distance from Dolores Park… might as well have a picnic!

Rosamunde Sausage Grill:  They have options for carnivores and herbivores alike and it’s all to die for. The only thing that might make this restaurant better is a giant selection of craft beers. Oh wait… they have those next door, at Toronado Pub, AND you can take the food there!

Philz Coffee:  Okay, okay… so it’s not exactly about the food on this one, but the coffee is so good it just had to be added! A one-of-a-kind experience for any coffee lover. It may just rival any cup of joe you’ve had yet.

Honeymoon in Thailand

What’s not to love about Thailand? It is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations for happy couples the world over. Visit Thailand not just for partying or tourism, but for the beauty and spiritual depth that makes it the perfect locale for romance.

No visit to Thailand would be complete without checking out Wat Arun, arguably the most famous of Bangkok’s temples.

Wat Arun

Thailand is amazing for many reasons—its amazing culture, plethora of both natural and crafted beauty, incredible food, and friendly folk, but more than anything, it’s the unforgettable, inimitable range of scenery that it has to offer.

Buddhist Statues

The jungles of the north, the metropolis in the center, and the beaches in the south are the three main regions of Thailand. A couple could easily spend a trip to immerse themselves in a region or all. A great system of buses, trains and inexpensive flights make navigating the country, including its heavenly countryside, a breeze. The vast array of cost options for visiting the country range from lavish resorts to rival any on earth, to budget adventures with street food and quirky hotels.

 

Bangkok is packed with incredible temples, sights, food, spas, and art, but don’t miss the Reclining Buddha. This giant statue lies within a beautiful temple close to the heart of scenic downtown. If you get hungry while taking pictures or chatting with monks, grab some delicious street food, which can be found pretty much everywhere.

Reclining Buddha

 

Up in the northern region, the weather is cooler but the sights are just as hot. There’s plenty to see—from the zoo of Chiang Mai, built amid the forest, to the surreal temples like Wat Phan Tao and Wat Umong. However, nothing manmade quite matches the glory of riding nature’s largest teddy bear, the elephant. Nearby sanctuaries are also easily accessible from the city.

Wat Umong

 

If the jungle hikes and shining temples of the north wear you down, head south to the famed beaches of Thailand for some rest and relaxation. There are literally thousands of beaches and islands in southern Thailand to choose from, but choose carefully! Unless you really want to spend your honeymoon with a few thousand British teenagers, pick the more remote and pristine spots. We like Karon Beach, located in Phuket, which is both conveniently near modern amenities while also being peaceful enough for relaxation.

Karon Beach

Whether you’re looking for romantic bliss, frenetic fun, divine contemplation, or soul-moving beauty, Thailand has something for everyone.