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  • Adam 20:33 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    In Review: The Alchemist, London 


    Despite frequenting The Alchemist for a number of years, I’ve never given the cocktail citadel a proper review.

    This could be, perhaps, because I’ve typically only drank in the bar’s North England venues. The first Alchemist launched in Manchester’s Deansgate in 2010 on the site of a former 19th century ‘den of iniquity and alchemy’ (giving the bar its name) and I hadn’t actually visited the brand’s London sites since my hometown return.

    Luckily, the whole affair met past expectations – their St Martins Lane outpost is a little bit of alco-theatre in the theatre district. And then some.

    The cocktails fizz, smoke, pop and – well – transmogrify like they have for years while the food menu tantalises in its own way; there is a little bit of everything and a lot to keep your mouth watering.

    After toasting with a Smokey Old Fashioned (Woodford Reserve, maple syrup, Jerry Thomas bitters and smoke), my dinner date and I shared tempura prawn lollipops, steamed pork buns and duck gyoza – all of which went down a simple but delicious treat.

    I was especially surprised to see the menu championing seitan (both in ‘nuggets’ and boneless ‘wings’) but decided to forgo my vegan favourite for a later date so we could share some mains.

    Forgoing the pant stretch of the Vietnamese Banh Mi (my favourite street food of all time), we opted for the tandoori seabass (unbelievably flavoursome) and poke bowl (which, while loaded, was a little more ‘great vegan salad’ than ‘poke bowl’).

    All in all, it’s wonderful to know I can line my stomach with an array of affordable yet appealing bites when fate leads me, inevitably, back to The Alchemist.

    Their Penicillin (Ardbeg 10 yearr, Chase Marmalade vodka, lemon and burnt cinnamon) is the only dessert I’ll ever need.

    the alchemist london review

    The post In Review: The Alchemist, London appeared first on Lela London – Travel, Food, Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog.

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  • Adam 15:56 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The least macho president 

    President Trump’s supporters love how manly he is. They wear “Donald Trump: Finally Someone With Balls” T-shirts at his rallies. They should reconsider, and not only for reasons of propriety. For all his machismo, Trump is the least macho president in American history.

    Think about it: His behavior defies the traditional definition of what it means to be “manly.” He wears bronzer, loves gold and gossip, is obsessed with his physical appearance, whines constantly, can’t control his emotions, watches daytime television, enjoys parades and interior decorating, and used to sell perfume. He dislikes the NFL, Harley-Davidson, and female porn stars — the holy trinity of toxic masculinity.

    Sure, he talks a lot about being a man — “it is a very scary time for young men in America” — but real men aren’t supposed to talk a lot or get scared. Trump talks all the time and he’s scared of everything, including stairs, sharks he sees on TV, rain in France, and not talking.

    The guy who hates handshakes because he’s scared of germs claims he would stop a school shooting “even if I didn’t have a weapon.” His supporters hail him as the savior of masculinity. But his machismo, like everything else about him, is a charade. Trump is not the savior of masculinity. He is a parody of it.

    His supporters proclaim him a fighter, but he fights only when he can’t get hurt: in the safe space of cyberspace and in sell-out arenas. At WrestleMania, an event where men with big muscles take off their clothes and run around on a stage, Trump got in a fake brawl with Vince McMahon and shaved his head. Rather than punching or kicking his make-believe victims, Trump gives them bad hairdos. On Twitter, Trump picked a fight with Joe Biden, who, like Trump, has Secret Service protection. It’s been 10 months, and he hasn’t cut a follicle.

    Unlike at WrestleMania, Trump’s fans are no longer in on the joke, but they still applaud him. They don’t care that Nancy Pelosi forced him to reopen the government last month. According to a new Monmouth University Poll, 44 percent of his supporters said he looks stronger after losing to a 78-year-old grandmother.

    You’d never hear Pelosi talk so much about her hair. Trump explained his daily routine to Playboy: “I get up, take a shower, and wash my hair. Then I read the newspapers and watch the news on television, and slowly the hair dries. It takes about an hour. I don’t use a blow-dryer. Once it’s dry I comb it. Once I have it the way I like it — even though nobody else likes it — I spray it and it’s good for the day.”

    He uses Twitter to ponder about his hair (“Re my hair-Should I change it? What do you think?“), to confide about his hair (“I will not have to wash my hair this morning!”), and to defend his hair when under attack. After Bette Midler made fun of it, he said she had an “ugly face.”

    This is the way Trump writes — like a parody of a 12-year-old girl. His favorite words are “sooo,” “soooo,” and “sooooo.” His favorite TV show is “soooo much better” than the other ones. “The Emmys are sooooo boring,” but he’s watching them anyway. “Sooooo important, get out and VOTE for Brian!” Trump tweets. “In war, the elememt [sic] of surprise is sooooo [sic] important,” he says.

    Meanwhile Trump gushes over strongmen and strong men. He chose as his acting attorney general a guy whose Twitter picture is of himself lifting weights. He said that Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), who body-slammed a reporter, was “my kind of guy.” But his favorite guy is Vladimir Putin. In 2013, Trump asked the internet, “Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow — if so, will he become my new best friend?” Because this is what manly men do: They go to beauty pageants, meet other manly men, and become best friends.

    Why, then, do so many men admire Trump?

    Every man, Aldous Huxley said, has two choices: He can either repress his instincts or indulge them. Trump says and does whatever he wants, like a child without any supervision. He eats hamburgers, has sex with porn stars, and insults people while lying in bed and watching people on TV praise him for the job he isn’t doing. He’s like the guys in Mötley Crüe and Poison — who wore makeup, permed their hair, and screamed unintelligibly — except that he’s 72 and not on drugs.

     
  • Adam 15:56 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply  

    This ‘metallic wood’ is like buoyant titanium 

    “A newly invented material has the strength of titanium, however, it’s light enough to float on water,” said Jennifer Pattison Tuohy at Dwell. The University of Pennsylvania scientists who developed the material call it “metallic wood” because, like wood, it is porous. Some parts are thick and dense and “hold the structure.”

    (Courtesy Image)

    It was made by coating plastic spheres with nickel, then dissolving the plastic, leaving a super-strong porous metal structure. The new material is 70 percent empty space; researchers say that in the future they could create variants that fill the space with energy-storing material to create super light batteries — or even with living organisms that could give it biological properties.

     
  • Adam 15:52 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    The Cheapest Destinations to Travel to 

    ASIA

    1. Laos, $30/day

    laos cheapest places to travel to

    Back in my budget backpacking days around Southeast Asia, Laos was one of the two destinations that I was able to keep my budget at $30/day, even though accommodation was slightly more expensive than most places in Southeast Asia at that time. Many of the amazing activities you can do in Laos are cheap. I paid $2.50 to see one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, $7 for a full day tubing experience along the Vang Vieng river, and $6 for an awesome tiger balm massage. You can also rent a motorbike for cheap and venture off to the smaller towns, where everything is even cheaper! With more and more new hostels built to cater to the increasing number of backpackers, you can go for cheaper for longer. However if you have a bit more to spend, you can get a gorgeous room for closer to $35 that would easily cost $100 in the US.

    Meals: $3 – $9 per day. Some hostels provide a basic breakfast.
    Accommodation: $5-$10 per night in a hostel.
    Transportation: $6 – $15 for a motorbike for the day (prices may vary depending on the bike condition and your haggling skills), or up to $25 for an intercity bus ticket.
    SIM card with data: $6 for 1.5GB with 30-day validity

    READ: The best things to do in Laos

    2. Vietnam, $30/day

    I probably had the healthiest and cheapest street food in Vietnam. Think a soup with rice noodles, cilantro, amazing broth, and a whole shank of pork for $1.50, or a cup of strong, aromatic coffee for $1. As far as transportation goes, if you rent a motorbike, you are all set for the day. However, I understand that not everyone is comfortable riding a motorbike, especially in countries like Vietnam where the road traffic can be overwhelmingly chaotic. The good news is that GrabBike (similar to Uber but on bikes!) is widely available in all major cities, and the cost is as low as $0.5o for a 2km ride! The long distance buses and trains are also affordable and reliable. Accommodation is similarly pleasant and easier to afford than almost anywhere else in the world.

    Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast that consist of a baguette, fruit, and coffee.
    Accommodation: $8-$12 per night in a hostel (here’s a full guide to the best hostels in Vietnam)
    Transportation: $8-$15 for a motorbike for the day (prices may vary depending on the bike condition and your haggling skills) or for an intercity bus ticket.
    SIM card with data: $2 for 1.5GB with 30-day validity. Yes, it is that cheap!

    READ: The ultimate backpacking Vietnam route planner

    3. Cambodia, $25/day

    I know for sure that if you choose to rough it, you can easily spend a month in Cambodia with just $1000Dorms are very basic but can be dirt cheap, the same goes for food and alcohol. I also had my haggling skills to thank as I was almost always able to talk my way out of being charged unfairly by the Tuk Tuk drivers. There are some one-off expenses such as the 3-day pass to Angkor Wat, which is currently set at $62, and diving trips that add up, but there will also be days of riding bicycle in a small villageeating cheap and delicious meat skewers, when just a dollar or two could stretch very far.

    Another thing is to consider the gorgeous, mostly new boutique hotels on booking.com. They are obviously not as cheap as staying in hostels but for the price, they are so worth it! I’d definitely splurge on a couple of nights and have some R&R time by the pool.

    Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
    Accommodation: $5-$10 per night in a hostel (here’s a guide to the best hostels in Cambodia)
    Transportation: $6-$15 for a motorbike for the day (prices may vary depending on the bike condition and your haggling skills) or for an intercity bus ticket
    SIM card with data: $2 for 1.5GB with 30-day validity. Yes, it is that cheap!

    READ: A perfect Cambodia itinerary

    4. Northern Thailand, $30/day

    The north of Thailand is easy on a tight budget.  As one moves south, costs for accommodation start to double, triple, and even quadruple. If you are short on time and budget for your Thailand trip, stay up north! Even in popular places like Chiang Mai and Pai, you can easily find basic dorms for less than $5. If you stick with eating street food (to each her own, but why eat pasta when you can have Pad Thai, am I right?), not only you will save yourself some money, the experience will be much more authentic and delicious, too. As far as activities go, you really do not need a lot of money to enjoy your day as most activities such as visiting the White templehiking, or gathering 3 other people from your hostel to rent a car and go on some day trips, are all affordable.

    Meals: $5 – $15 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
    Accommodation: $5-$10 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $6-$10 for a motorbike for the day (prices may vary depending on the bike condition and your haggling skills) or a rental car split between 4 people
    SIM card with data: $7 for 1.5GB with 30-day validity

    READ: 8 Amazing Day Trips from Chiang Mai

    5. Indonesia, $30/day

    The Blue Lagoon on Nusa Ceningan

    The thing about Indonesia is that it can be really cheap, or it can be quite expensive, depending on one big thing – transportation. Intercity traveling can be very time-consuming and costly, so is traveling from one island to another with a private boat. To save costs, stick with a region or two! There’s a lot to do and see, and spending more time in one place will only allow you to travel deeper and have a more meaningful experience anyway. If you want to travel far and wide on a budget, my biggest tip is to take the local transportation! That’s what I did backpacking in Indonesia a few years back, and sure enough, I ended up with some funny stories.

    On the flip side, food and drinks are cheap throughout the country, not to mention absolutely delicious too! Riding a scooter through the mountains cost very little, so does hiking, chasing waterfalls, and slouching in a hammock by the beach all day long. Hostels are plentiful, social and affordable especially in places like the Gili islands.

    Meals: $5 – $15 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
    Accommodation: $5-$10 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $8-$15 for a motorbike for the day (prices may vary depending on the bike condition and your haggling skills)
    SIM card with data: $5 for 2GB with 30-day validity

    READ: The Perfect Indonesia Itinerary for 2 weeks to 2 months

    6. The Philippines, $35/day

    lagaan falls siquijor

    The Philippines’s archipelago can cost quite a lot of both money and time to get around, and the hostel options aren’t nearly as abundant as other Southeast Asia countries. While these two factors seem like a big turn off for travelers trying to stretch their budget as far as possible, there are ways to keep your travel cost in the Philippines low. If you choose to travel during shoulder seasons, book your flights and plan your journey way in advance (it is not the country to always wing it!), and try to stick within 1-2 regions, the Philippines can still be affordable. On top of that, the country has some of the most gorgeous islandsbeautiful dive sites, and hidden gems that you’d have had to pay so much more to experience in other parts of the world. In that sense, the Philippines is worth every peso you spend.

    Meals: $5 – $15 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
    Accommodation: $7-$13 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $10-$15 for a motorbike for the day (prices may vary depending on the bike condition and your haggling skills) or $15 – $20 for a boat ride from one island to another
    SIM card with data: $6 for 2GB with 30-day validity

    READ: The Perfect Philippines Itinerary

    7. Malaysia, $35/day

    tioman island beach

    Being one of the most economically developed Southeast Asian countries, Malaysia is often perceived as expensive. On top of that, when I visited Malaysia for the first time, a few people told me it wasn’t worth staying long. However, I ended up meeting lots of locals, more able to communicate and find more common ground with them than I had in Cambodia or Laos, and had so much fun exploring Cameron Highlands, the jungles of Borneo, and the gorgeous islands. The cherry on top? They were all affordable. An overnight bus from Kuala Lumpur to the Perhentian islands cost as little as $8, there are so many interesting local neighborhoods and markets that are free to explore, and finally, the Malaysian cuisine is like no other – you can find food from just about any culture and it’s so cheap and delicious – but not necessarily healthy. Malaysia is also one of the cheapest places in the world to get a PADI scuba diving certificate.

    The one thing that could make Malaysia expensive to travel in is alcohol, which is highly taxed. However, if you don’t plan on drinking every night, that will not be an issue.

    Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
    Accommodation: $10 – $15 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $3 – $5 for a full day of train and bus rides, or $8 – $15 for an overnight intercity bus ride
    SIM card with data: $8 for 2GB with 30-day validity

    READ: The Best Places to Visit in Malaysia

    8. Sri Lanka, $33/day

    train from ella to kandy, Sri Lanka

    Like many countries, Sri Lanka can be seen on a backpacker budget, or one can spend a small fortune there.  The biggest kicker was the price of activities, such as safaris, and admission into the UNESCO World Heritage sites.  With each running about $40-$50 per ticket, this made Sri Lanka more expensive to fully explore. That said, Sri Lanka can be done on closer to $40 per day on the days that you don’t pay for expensive activities. Food, transport, accommodation, and Internet are relatively cheap. One thing to note about transportation is that in some cases, taking a taxi / uber (in major cities) can be cheaper than renting a bike. If you can find people in your hostel to split the cost, hiring a driver for the day can be as low as $5 per person. The cheapest transportation is the train, which is delightful and IMO, the best way to travel through Sri Lanka.

    Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
    Accommodation: $8-$15 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $10-$15 per person for a private car and driver split between 4 people, or $3-$5 for a second-class cabin train ride between cities
    SIM card with data: $2 for 1.5GB with 30-day validity. Yes, it is that cheap!

    READ: A Complete Guide to Sri Lanka

    9. Nepal, $28/day

    thurong la pass nepal

    Nepal is a very cheap country to travel through, with most food, accommodation, and transport running at just a few dollars if you eat, sleep, and travel using local options. For food, while I never seem to get any stomach problems eating street food, the street food in Nepal does not have the best reputation. You can get cheap and delicious home cooked meals in local-run small cafes though. Be very mindful when you book your accommodation online, as big corporations have taken over local homestays and and turned them into boutique hotels and resorts. The “local guesthouses” you’ve booked may very well be part of a big hotel chain. I suggest booking the first couple of nights online, and look for accommodation from real local guesthouses when you’ve arrived.

    If you end up trekking, as long as you do so independently and avoid Mt. Everest itself, which costs tens of thousands of dollars, you can travel for as cheap as $10 per day on food and accommodation at the lower elevations, and closer to $20 USD at higher elevations on popular routes like the Annapurna Circuit.

    Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
    Accommodation: $5-$10 per night in a local guesthouse
    Transportation: $10-$15 per person for a private car and driver split between 4 people, for a local bus ride between cities
    SIM card with data: $3 for 1.25GB with 30-day validity. Yes, it is that cheap!

    READ: A Comprehensive Guide to Nepal

    10. Taiwan, $34/day

    taiwan cheapest place to travel to

    2 words: street food. For less than $2, you can get a plate of fragrant rice with pork / chicken on top, or a large deep fry chicken chop, or a bowl of delicious vermicelli with oysters. Food in Taiwan is delicious and ridiculously cheap. If you are a foodie on a budget, you know where to go! In cities like Taipei and Tainan, you can register for their city bikes, which costs less than $0.50 per hour per ride, and are free for the first 30 minutes. This means you can possibly get around the city all day without spending any money on transportation at all.

    That said, high-end food and clothing prices in Taiwan can sometimes be at US’s level. intercity traveling is either expensive with the High Speed Rail (HSR), or time-consuming with slightly cheaper options. Internet is also not as cheap as the countries above.

    Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
    Accommodation: $10 – $20 per night in a hostel (I highly recommend this one in Taipei!)
    Transportation: $0 – $3 for a full day of bike, bus, and train rides, or $20 – $40 for a HSR ride between cities
    SIM card with data: $33 for unlimited data with 28-day validity

    11. India, $20/day

    India is perhaps the cheapest country to travel to, but if and only if you’re willing to haggle and hunt for deals. Keep in mind that cheap rooms that run in the $3 range will be very basic and it’s normal to shower with buckets of heated water. You will be hard pressed to find cheap gems in the North but the South with its gorgeous beaches may prove more fruitful when it comes to budget accommodation.

    The best way to travel through India on a budget is to book things yourself. This means no agents and no online booking sites (except for some intercity travels, for that, check out 12Go Asia). Similar to Nepal, if you walk into local guesthouses, restaurants, and tour companies, you could easily get the same things in person for half the quoted price online.

    Meals: $3 – $6 per day
    Accommodation: $4 – $8 per night in a local guesthouse
    Transportation: $1 – $3 for a full day of bus and train rides, or $8 – $30 for an intercity train ride (sometimes a domestic flight costs as little as $30, if you want to splurge without actually splurging!)
    SIM card with data: $3 for 1.5GB with 30-day validity, Yes, it is that cheap!

    12. Some Parts of China, $25/day

    siguniangshan

    China’s big cities have all kinds of fancy restaurants and hotels that can eat right into your budget in a big way, but in a country this vast, you just need to get off the beaten path for a cheaper yet more authentic experience. Think provinces like SichuanDali , and Guangxi, where cheap accommodation, delicious street food, and unique experiences like having a BBQ with the locals, or riding a bicycle around, can be completely free or very, very cheap.

    Even in major cities like Beijing and Shanghai, there are ways to cut your travel costs down. Hostels are great value – perhaps the best in the world – and as always, if you stick to eating street food, you won’t need a lot of money to get by. What’s expensive is intercity traveling, as transportation can run a bit more expensive at $20+ for 8-hour buses and upwards from there. China is a huge country and therefore, moving around quickly and on higher classes of train can add up quickly. If you pick a province and spend a longer time in it, this will not be a problem.

    Meals: $4 – $8 per day
    Accommodation: $5 – $10 per night in a hostel or a local guesthouse
    Transportation: $1 – $3 for a full day of bus and train rides in the city, or $10 – $30 for an intercity bus or train ride
    SIM card with data: $15 for 2GB with 30-day validity. Don’t forget your VPN subscriptions so you can stayed connected with your social media and Google!

    READ: A Quick Guide to China

    13. Kyrgyzstan, $25/day

    Kyrgyzstan is the country of choice for most travelers interested in trying out Central Asia, and thus most well-suited to travelers of all budgets. Food is cheap and interesting, so is getting around using the minibuses. Public transportation prices are fixed and is probably the cheapest aspect of traveling in Kyrgyzstan. As for accommodation, you can find hostels in major destinations, and local home stays in more rural places for less than $10. If you are doing a multi-day hike like the Tian Shan Mountains, the tour price should include most things.

    Meals: $4 – $8 per day
    Accommodation: $8 – $12 per night in a hostel or a local guesthouse
    Transportation: $0.20 for a local minibus ride, or $4 for an intercity bus ride – that’s right!
    SIM card with data: $3 for 3GB with 30-day validity. Though I wouldn’t expect it to work in the mountains

    READ: A Quick Guide to Kyrgyzstan

    EUROPE

    14. Romania, $33/day

    If you are planning a European trip that’s affordable and a little bit off the beaten path, Romania is perfect for you. While the country is known for Dracula, many charming towns and free activities remain unknown to most foreigners. Whether you’re taking a long stroll through the medieval villages, or people watching in one of the beautiful parks, Romania is great for anyone after a European experience on a budget. You can also make use of the free walking tours to check out the numerous historical sites. Hostels run $10-$15 per night, food is hearty and delicious (a money-saving tip: Have your breakfast at the hostel, have a big hearty meal for lunch, and cook your own meal for dinner. It’s easy and affordable to get fresh produce from the local market, just make sure your hostel has a kitchen!), and the public transportation is reliable and affordable.

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day
    Accommodation: $10 – $15 per night in a hostel or a local guesthouse
    Transportation: $5 – $10 for a full day of bus and train rides
    SIM card with data: $6 for 3GB with 28-day validity

    15. Georgia, $30/day

    Georgia is another underrated European destination that’s absolutely beautiful and affordable. Also, get this: most of you will be able to enter Georgia without a visa, and stay for one year. Say what?!

    Quality hostels at a reasonable price range, a meal at a local restaurant for as low as $3, and a local mini-bus ride for less than $1, are just some of the great things Georgia can offer to its visitors. What’s more? Entrance fees to museums and historical sites are mostly less than $2.  The locals are extremely warm and welcoming, and hitchhiking is totally possible for short and long distance travel. There are many day trips, hikes, and monasteries in Georgia, that one can easily spend months and not get bored. It’s perfect if you have more time than money.

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day
    Accommodation: $10 – $15 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $3 – $5 for a full day of bus and train rides, $5-$10 for an intercity ride, or $0 if you hitchhike!
    SIM card with data: $3 for 1GB with 1-month validity

    16. Greece, $40/day

    Timing is crucial if you want to travel in Greece on a budget. While prices of flights, accommodation and tours have been largely cut down since the country’s debt crisis in 2010, summer months still cost more than others. This means avoiding July and August, which are the hottest and busiest months in Greece. Instead, go a few weeks before or after summer, and you will be able to enjoy Greece with smaller crowds and a lower budget. You can also cut down on food costs by buying fresh produce from the market and make your own meals, since eating out in restaurants can be expensive at certain parts of Greece. A little picnic by the gorgeous beach can be as enjoyable as a lavish meal at a seafood restaurant!

    As far as activities go, opt for the free walking tours available, and if you are planning to do some island hopping, plan well and stick with a group of islands to minimize transfers. For any long distance travel, keep in mind that sometimes a domestic flight can be cheaper than a bus ride.

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day
    Accommodation: $10 – $15 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $10 – $15 per person for a rental car split between 4 people (note: scooter rental costs about $25 – $30/day), or $10-$20 for ferry tickets around the islands
    SIM card with data: $12 for 2GB with 30-day validity

    17. Czech Republic, $40/day

    As more and more tourists flock to Czech Republic, or more specifically, Prague, for its rich history and cheaper-than-water beer, prices have inflated over the last few years. However, it is still easily one of the cheapest central European countries to travel in, especially if you go beyond Prague, such as Cesky Krumlov and Telc, to experience true Czech culture at a much lower cost. Local transportation is reliable and affordable, and if you plan to do a lot of traveling, consider getting a 3-day pass for $14.

    Czech cuisine is very hearty and large in portion. While it’s not the healthiest (most meals consist of potato and meat), it will surely fill you up so to stretch your budget – eat out at a local restaurant for lunch, and have a light snack for dinner. Entrance fees to historical sites and museums can be quite expensive ($18 to enter the Prague Castle), but you don’t always have to actually enter – the hikes up are awesome, and you can always admire the architecture from outside, and pick the most intriguing ones to go in.

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day
    Accommodation: $12 – $15 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $5 for a full day of tram rides, $15-$20 for a intercity bus ride
    SIM card with data: $13 for 2GB with 1-month validity

    18. Ukraine, $26/day

    Ukraine is a challenging country to travel in, due to the language barrier and lack of reliable transportation. But if you are looking for an interesting European adventure on a budget, Ukraine is perfect. The main thing that makes Ukraine so affordable to travel in is its devalued currency. At this time of writing, 1 USD = 27 UAH. To put things into perspective, a dorm room typically costs about 150 UAH per night. That’s 6 USD. Bear in mind that this is Europe we are talking about! Food, transportation, sightseeing and other activities are all incredibly cheap for a European destination.

    Meals: $6 – $8 per day
    Accommodation: $6 – $10 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $1 – $3 for a full day of train rides, $6-$15 for a intercity train ride
    SIM card with data: $3 for 3GB with 1-month validity

    19. Poland, $40/day

    If you are a fan of heritage sites, Poland has 14 to offer. A country rich with culture and history, it’s a shame that Poland is often overlooked by tourists. It costs an average of $5 to enter museums and historical sites, which is fairly affordable by European standards. Food is delicious and has a bit more variety than its neighboring countries, though it’s still heavy on the calories. The trains are a bit dated but cost very little.

    Poland is one of those countries where you can easily spend an entire day just wandering and people watching. There will be days when you spend nothing else other than on the essentials. Make sure to eat at a “milk bar”, an affordable yet delicious option that’s popular with locals. Go beyond Krakow and Warsaw, and explore other smaller towns like Gdansk, Wroclaw, and Zakopane, which are all stunning and possibly even cheaper to travel in.

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day
    Accommodation: $8 – $12 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $1 – $3 for a full day of train rides, $10-$15 for a intercity train ride
    SIM card with data: $3 for 2GB with 1-month validity

    20. Croatia, $40/day

    If you like turquoise waters, sunshine, and parties, look no further than Croatia to plan your next budget trip. There are thousands of islands surrounding its mainland, excellent weather from May – October, and beach and yacht parties year-round. The essential expenses including accommodation, transportation and food all come with a reasonable price tag. There is also beautiful architecture to marvel at, interesting sights such as the museum of broken relationships, as well as cute small towns to explore. To travel in Croatia on a budget, you need a similar approach to Greece – travel in the shoulder season. July & August are the country’s busiest months, so avoid them if possible. Also, keep your island hopping to a group of islands to minimize transfers.

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast
    Accommodation: $12 – $16 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $12 – $15 per person for a rental car split between 4 people, or $10-$15 for a ferry ride
    SIM card with data: $8 for 2GB with 30-day validity

    21. Turkey, $40/day

    Turkey can be cheap or expensive, depending on what you want to do and how deeply you want to travel through the country. A hot air balloon ride costs around $160 – $200, and intercity traveling can be really long and costly. However, the country has a bunch of other bucket list-worthy items that cost way less, and if you plan your route well, it is definitely possible, if not easy, to travel through Turkey on a budget.

    The stunning Blue Mosque in Istanbul, the breathtaking white travertines in Pamukkale, and the hustling bazaars all over the countries are relatively affordable to enter. While the long distance buses are expensive, if you plan well and take the overnight buses, you get to save on accommodation. If you are short on both time and money, just stick with a city or two. Turkish food is delicious and cheap, so that’s one less thing to worry about!

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast
    Accommodation: $10 – $15 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $1 – $3 for a taxi ride, or $30 – $60 for an intercity overnight bus ride
    SIM card with data: $8 for 2GB with 30-day validity

    22. The Baltic States, $40/day

    Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia are the perfect trio for those who want to travel Northeastern Europe on a budget, especially if you like rich history, vibrant culture, and towns that are best explored on foot. Spend a few days to a week in each country to soak everything in, enjoy different things each country has to offer, and venture into the small towns outside of their capital cities, where you will see very little tourists.

    LITHUANIA

    Lithuania is a tiny country that most travelers skip or spend at most a night or two in just the capital city, Vilnius. However, this charming place is not only underrated, but also very affordable to travel in! If you enjoy partying, the nightlife scene in Vilnius is vibrant and fun, and the alcohol is fairly affordable. If you’d like a quieter experience, check out the Old Town in Kaunas, Klaipeda, and Curonian Split. Bear in mind that outside of the capital city, hostels can be hard to come by, so book in advance or even consider couchsurfing!

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast
    Accommodation: $10 – $12 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $3 – $6 for a full day of bus rides within the city, or $15 – $20 for an intercity bus ride. Buses seem to be more reliable than trains in Lithuania!
    SIM card with data: Get a Baltic SIM card for $7 for 3GB with 30-day validity

    ESTONIA

    Nature lovers will love Estonia – 53% of the country is forested. This also means that activities like hiking and exploring the national parks are plentiful and affordable (if not completely free). The small towns are also great for walking and cycling, so transportation costs can be minimized. On that note, affordable hostels can be hard to come by in these small towns, so consider basing yourself in the capital city, Tallinn, and make day trips to visit them.

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast
    Accommodation: $10 – $12 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $3 – $6 for a full day of train rides within the city, or $10 – $15 for an intercity train ride.
    SIM card with data: Get a Baltic SIM card for $7 for 3GB with 30-day validity

    LATVIA

    Similar to Estonia, half of the country is covered in forests. There are also thousands of lakes and rivers in Latvia, perfect for canoeing lovers. The best time to go to Latvia is during fall or winter, when you can canoe down the rivers with the color-changing leaves accompanying you, or when Christmas vibe is on full displayed at the local Christmas markets. One can also easily spend an entire day wandering through the enchanting forests with castles hidden in them (okay, maybe not “hidden” but this sounds dreamier, as castles should be). All of these activities are affordable / free, which is why traveling in Latvia can be done on a budget.

    Meals: $12 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast
    Accommodation: $8 – $12 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $2 – $5 for a full day of train rides within the city, or $10 – $15 for an intercity train ride.
    SIM card with data: Get a Baltic SIM card for $7 for 3GB with 30-day validity

    THE AMERICAS

    23. Mexico, $40/day

    Tulum

    Mexico is full of endless adventures. This vast country is rich with culture, nature, and some of the best food in the world. Though the country does not have the best reputation as far as safety goes, most violence takes place in certain areas, and Mexico is a big country and there are plenty of safe places to explore. Now the good news? It’s easy to travel in Mexico on a budget. For less than $20, you will be able to explore at least 5 stunning cenotes, like the one in the picture above; for less than $3, you can devour delicious street food like tacos (I LOVE tacos), quesadillas, and tortillas; the white sand beaches are essentially free, and the hospitality? Priceless.

    While getting around within a city is cheap, intercity traveling in Mexico can be costly, mainly because of how big the country is. The best case scenario is to rent a car, which costs about $30 – $50 per day, and split between 4 people. If you are backpacking Mexico solo, try to stay in the same place for a longer time to stretch the transportation costs out. That way, you are able to travel deeper and experience authentic Mexico, too.

    Meals: $8 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast
    Accommodation: $8 – $15 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $3 – $5 for a full day of bus and train rides, or $30 – $50 for an intercity bus ride (yikes!)
    SIM card with data: $10 for 2GB with a 30-day validity

    READ: 7 Amazing Things to do in Tulum, Mexico

    24. Nicaragua, $35/day

    Nicaragua is one of the cheapest Central American destinations to travel in, although it’s not likely to stay that way for much longer. The country is nicknamed as the next Costa Rica, and we all know what that means. For now, the country remains affordable, fun, and interesting so go before the prices go up and before mass tourism hits.

    For outdoor lovers, Nicaragua is great for surfing, volcano hiking, and diving. For a more relaxing journey, the colonial cities are beautiful to take a stroll in, and there are plenty of gorgeous beaches to lay all day on. Food is cheap and delicious albeit repetitive. There are hostels all over the country so you don’t have to worry about finding cheap accommodation. One thing to note is that there is unfortunately safety concerns in the country, so check the official advisory site and be your own judge before going.

    Meals: $6 – $10 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast
    Accommodation: $8 – $15 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $3 – $5 for a full day of chicken bus rides, or $8 – $15 for an intercity bus ride
    SIM card with data: $12 for 1GB with a 30-day validity

    25. Guatemala, $38/day

    For an amazing central American adventure on a budget, check out Guatemala. The country is covered in lush jungles, volcanos, and ruins. When you need a break from outdoor sports, its colonial cities will capture your heart with their stunning architecture and cobblestone streets. Local food is delicious and cheap at about $3 for a full meal (except for in Antigua, where prices are actually close to the US standards).

    Local transportation can be very cheap but at times confusing and risky. The locals typically take the chicken buses, which are converted school buses from North America, and are the cheapest way to get around. The buses do not have specific stops, nor is there a board with prices on it. Instead, people simply wave the buses down, and pay the collector money. Watch how much the locals are paying and pay the same.

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast
    Accommodation: $10 – $15 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $1 – $3 for a full day of chicken bus rides, or $5 – $10 for an intercity bus ride
    SIM card with data: $13 for 2GB with a 30-day validity

    26. Colombia, $35/day

    A colorful destination with a dark past, Colombia is fast becoming a popular affordable destination. If you are a history geek, you will love the museums and historical sites in Bogota, the Lost City, and beyond. If you are into nature, the Amazon awaits. As for diving enthusiasts, Colombia also boasts some of the world’s best diving sites and gorgeous beaches. With accommodation, transportation and food being so affordable, you will have room for some occasional splurges – consider booking a luxurious villa for a night or two, you won’t get a deal this great anywhere else in this part of the world!

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast
    Accommodation: $8 – $12 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $1 – $3 for a full day of bus rides, or $10 – $50 for an intercity bus ride (be sure to check the domestic flights which can sometimes be cheaper than buses)
    SIM card with data: $13 for 2GB with a 30-day validity

    27. Bolivia, $30/day

    Bolivia isn’t for everybody, but if you are looking for a real South American adventure (on a budget, nevertheless), this is the place to be. You will deal with a handful of long, winding roads off the beaten path, the altitude can be problematic for some, but the adventures are endless. The Salt Flats and Dead Road bicycle trip are unmissable, the Amazon is largely untouched, and the country is incredibly ethnically diverse.

    For things remain cheap, you just need to stick with the locals’ lifestyle. For instance, you can get a 3-course meal for less than $2 if you eat at a local restaurant. The same goes for transportation and accommodation if you take the local buses, and walk into local guesthouses instead of booking online. The tours to places like the Salt Flats can be exorbitant, but 100% worth it.

    Meals: $8 – $10 per day
    Accommodation: $8 – $12 per night in a hostel (try walking in for lower prices)
    Transportation: $1 – $2 for a full day of local bus rides, or $8 – $15 for an intercity train ride
    SIM card with data: $8 for 1GB with a 30-day validity

    28. Arizona & Utah (for a road trip!), $45/day

    While the US is generally not a super budget destination, if you are doing a road trip, you can definitely save in some areas and splurge in others to even out your overall budget. For my American southwest road trip, I spent an average of $110/day, which included a camper van rental, food, gas, camping, plus little splurges here and there. Now, it was definitely more expensive because I was solo. If you had just one other person, you’d be able to split the costs almost perfectly in half. If you had two other people along, take it down to one third and so on. The more the merrier (until you run out of room and start elbowing each other).

    Some quick tips on saving money:

    • Get a national park pass and for $80, you will be able to get a carload of people into any national park in the US for an entire year.
    • Rent a camper van if you are renting a car. Then your accommodation apart from the van fee can be absolutely free by camping only on BLM land.
    • Cook your own meals! Again, renting a camper van with kitchen facilities will enable this and save you a lot of money

    Meals: $12 – $15 per day
    Accommodation: free
    Transportation: $9/day for a camper van split between 4 people
    SIM card with data: $35 for 1GB with a 30-day validity

    READ: The Best American Southwest Road Trip Itinerary

    AFRICA

    29. South Africa, $40/day

    south africa road trip

    If you are traveling on USD or Euro, the exchange rate alone will do you a big favor. At this time of writing, 1 South African Rand is equal to 7 cents US. Any hostels/guesthouse/tourist accommodation in South Africa is called a “backpackers”, and they are typically in beautiful settings and each has a unique personality, not to mention affordable too. Food is where the big budget eater or saver can be, as it can get expensive in South Africa. To save money, cook your own food. Grocery stores are plentiful and have reasonable prices. By at least cooking your own breakfast and the occasional dinner, you can save a lot of money.

    Unfortunately, public transportation outside of Johannesburg and Cape Town can be pretty limited. While there are a few private companies and trains that all provide transportation around the country, the best (and possibly) cheapest way to get around the country is to rent a car and share with 3 other people.

    Meals: $12 – $15 per day
    Accommodation: $12 – $15 per night in a “backpackers”
    Transportation: $9 per day for a camper van split between 4 people
    SIM card with data: $35 for 1GB with a 30-day validity

    READ: The Perfect South Africa Road Trip Itinerary

    30. Namibia, $42/day

    sossusvlei namibia

    Namibia is home to some of the world’s most spectacular views including the gorgeous Sossusvlei, the hauntingly beautiful Deadvlei, and the massive Fish River Canyon, just to name a few. At first glance, Namibia may not seem like a budget destination, as most accommodations cater to the luxury category, and transportation availability from one place to another can be limited in such a vast country. However, you just need to do things a little bit differently to save a lot of money.

    The most important thing is to choose to camp instead of staying in a lodge. The luxury lodges cost about $50 – $200 per night, but you can camp at their campsites for about $8 – $10 per night. Camping at the government campsites will set you back about $15 – $18 per night. As for transportation, ideally you would want to rent a 4×4 and share it with a few people to split the cost. If your accommodation comes with a communal kitchen, make full use of it as cooking your own meals will definitely save you money. Entrance fees are generally cheap!

    Meals: $12 – $15 per day
    Accommodation: $8 – $15 per night
    Transportation: $15 – $18 per day for a 4×4 split between 4 people
    SIM card with data: $16 for 1.5GB with a 60-day validity

     
  • Adam 15:43 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    20 Outdoorsy Things to Do in Aruba 

     

    1. WALK ON THE WHITE SAND OF EAGLE BEACH

    eagle beach aruba
    Sunset at Eagle Beach

    Not far from the high-rise hotels of Palm Beach, you’ll find Eagle Beach with white sand and perfect positioning for the sunset each night. Watch as boats sail by, or consider staying at a boutique hotel on this beach for a slightly quieter experience.

    2. Snorkel at Baby Beach

    aruba things to do
    Baby beach – calm and serene

    Baby Beach, and the beaches that border it on either side, are some of the nicest, least crowded white sand beaches on Aruba. They’re also a favorite for snorkeling, swimming, and basking in the sun. You’ll find this one on the south side of the island.

    3. KITE SURF AT BOCA GRANDI

    More south on the Eastern side of the island, the surf is bigger and the wind is stronger, which makes it perfect for kite boarding. If you’re a kiter then this is the perfect spot.

    4. CATCH SUNSET AT THE CALIFORNIA LIGHTHOUSE

    California lighthouse
    Or stargaze

    Since it’s high up on the island, the California Lighthouse is the perfect place to catch the sunset. It’s not far from Palm Beach, where most of the hotels are, so it’s easy to stop by after a long day at the beach and watch as the sun dips below the horizon. It’s also a good spot for stargazing and astrophotography if you’re into it.

    5. TAKE AN ATV OR JEEP TOUR OF ARIKOK NATIONAL PARK

    You can’t go to Aruba without seeing Arikok National Park! It’s the rugged, enchanting side of the island which ended up being my favorite during my time in Aruba. Different tours will take you to different places, like the Ayo rock formation or the caves listed below, but in general they all take you up and down rocky roads in a Jeep with a driver or self driving an ATV in a group with a guide. You can pick your tour depending on what you’d most like to see, choosing from more of the options listed in this article. I went with ABC tours and had a great time.

    6. SCUBA DIVE

    The diving is pretty good in Aruba. It’s not the hands down best in the world, but for such an easy variety of dive sites that you can access in water that isn’t that deep and not too far from shore, I was pretty impressed! You can ask your hotel or one of the many dive operators along Palm Beach for a morning or afternoon dive. It only takes a few hours and in my opinion, is worth the time and money if you’re a diver.

    7. SNORKEL A WRECK

    If you’re not a diver, or even if you are, there’s a wreck that almost every boat cruise stops by that’s incredibly shallow compared to most wrecks. You can either freedive down to it, or swim above it with the possibility of seeing much of the wreck on a day with clear water.

    8. VISIT THE WARIRURI BRIDGE

    what to do in aruba
    You need a 4×4 for this one

    After the Natural Bridge collapsed years ago, this is now the largest natural bridge on Aruba. It’s on a remote road that you’ll need either a 4×4 or an ATV tour to get to, but if you want to see the more adventurous side of Aruba that fewer tourists see, I recommend taking a drive all along the east coast, including this spot. I did a solo drive here and absolutely loved it. You can rent a 4×4 Jeep at the airport when you arrive.

    Bonus: If you’re a surfer, there’s a popular surf spot nearby. Just be careful, the waves crash right up on rocks along this part of the coast.

    9. SEE THE TRINITY/TRIPOD BRIDGE AT SUNRISE

    what to do in aruba
    Loved this experience

    Yet another natural bridge, this one has three arches and is a bit less remote to reach, though you’ll still need a 4×4. I headed here for the sunrise thinking I’d get it rising right in front of the bridge, but it was actually a bit more to my right. That said, heading there first thing in the morning meant I got it all to myself!

    10. VISIT GUADIRIKIRI CAVE

    aruba things to do
    Enchanting

    Some of the Jeep tours in Arikok National Park will stop by this cave, which is even cooler than I expected! If you get there are the right time of day you can see light beams coming down as well. Aim for midday to see this. You can either self-drive with a 4×4 or book a tour that takes you here as well as the next stop, the Natural Pool.

    11. SWIM IN THE NATURAL POOL

    what to do in aruba
    Wow, right?

    This was easily my favorite thing to do in Aruba. The rocks that perfectly form this natural pool, and a natural ‘jacuzzi’ to the right of my right shoulder in the photo above, make for a perfect swimming area. It can get a little crazy with the waves crashing over the side, but there’s a park guide nearby who closes the pool if the waves get too rough. If you can, try to go on a calmer day. Earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon are good times to avoid crowds.

    12. SEE THE FLAMINGOS ON RENAISSANCE ISLAND

    flamingos aruba
    Oh hey guys

    In the spirit of full disclosure, flamingos are not native to Aruba and these guys are here more as a spectacle than anything. You can buy food to feed to them and take photos with them, though it does come with a $120 price tag to visit Renaissance Island unless you’re staying at the hotel, in which case it’s free. The rest of the island is lovely as well, but there’s not much shade. You can find out more about how to visit here.

    13. HIKE AMONGST THE CACTI

    what to do in aruba
    Many of these on the island

    I was surprised to see cacti all over Aruba the first time I went. I had no idea that it was more of a desert island than the humid Caribbean islands I’m used to seeing. There are plenty of trails in Arikok for exploring to get up and close with them. You’ll also pass plenty when driving along the east coast. If you do end up hiking, keep in mind that there’s little to no shade, and you’ll want to bring lots of water with you. Opt for the early morning hours to avoid peak day heat. Here are some great hiking options.

    14. TAKE YOURSELF ON A JEEP ADVENTURE

    what to do in aruba
    I LOVED my Jeep

    If you’re up for a self-drive adventure, I can’t recommend renting a Jeep and driving along the north and east coast enough. I took my Jeep out on a 4×4 road every day that I was on Aruba, and loved the freedom it gave me. It also allows you to see parts of the island that others don’t see. You can compare options here.

    15. HORSEBACK RIDE AT DOS PLAYA

    aruba things to do 2
    Would be a lovely place for a horseback ride

    For a dreamy beachy horseback ride, Dos Playa in Arikok is the spot. You’ll find this near the natural pool where the horses hang out. Personally I’m pretty scared of horses (I know it’s silly that I’ll solo hitchhike before I’ll get on a horse but we all have our weird fears). If you enjoy horseback riding, though, you can book it here.

    16. SWIM AT TRES TRAPI

    tres trapi aruba
    Three steps lead to clear, beautiful water

    Just up the coast from Palm Beach, Tres Trapi is a swimming spot with three steps carved into the rock that lead to incredibly clear water. There’s a tiny sea cave near the steps, and it’s another favorite snorkeling spot on the island. You can either drive yourself there or potentially walk along the sand from Palm Beach.

    17. SURF AT ANDICURI BEACH

    If you’re a surfer, head to the east coast’s Andicuri beach for the best surfing on Aruba. I didn’t test this out myself and can’t speak to how great the surf is, but to access it you’ll want a vehicle that you can take through sand. Alternatively, check surfline for the best surf of the day. In some cases, you’ll be ok to get there with a standard vehicle. If you don’t have a board it tow or want to learn, check out the Aruba Surf and Paddleboard school.

    18. CATCH SUNSET/SNORKEL AT MANGEL HALTO

    what to do in aruba
    Gorgeous Mangel Halto

    Mangel Halto is one of the best spots for sunset, and for a secluded beach amongst the mangroves. It takes a while to get there from Palm Beach or Eagle Beach, so leave yourself at least an hour before sunset if you want to be able to enjoy it without getting stuck in too much traffic. Bring along a mask and snorkel, too!

    19. SNORKEL CRUISE

    what to do in aruba
    Don’t miss this!

    If you’re into being on the water and love boats, then I highly recommend a sunset sail, departing from Palm Beach. They’ll take you to the ship wreck and provide evening beverages while going along the coast as the sun goes down. It’s a fantastic evening activity. You can book here.

    20. SKYDIVE

    Though I didn’t try this, I was pretty curious about the skydiving on Aruba. It must look pretty insane to dive down to such a small island from the air. You can find out more and book here.

    While those are some of the best outdoorsy things to do on Aruba, there are also colorful buildings, famous restaurants, and even a donkey sanctuary. Now that I’ve had the pleasure of exploring Aruba twice, I’m pretty impressed by how much there is to do for such a small island, particularly if you’re into 4×4 driving and rugged coastline.

     
  • Adam 15:34 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    Travel With Me to Iceland and Galapagos 

    As I changed in my tent on the backpacking trip in Alaska I heard laughter around the campfire and caught myself smiling from ear to ear. On one hand my cheeks actually hurt from all the smiling and laughter over that week, but on the other, could there be a better feeling?

    I felt the same joy reading the heartfelt messages in the group chat after the Peru trip. We’d shed a few tears when it was over and flood of messages the next day were from attendees sharing how life-changing the experience had been. My heart was overflowing.

    That’s how you know you’re onto something good. So far each time I’ve put out the word for a new trip, the most amazing people choose to come. The destination almost doesn’t matter because no matter where we go it’s going to be fun because of who shows up.

    That’s why I keep doing these trips. I spend wayyy more time thinking and planning than I ever spend on any of my own trips, but I just love the experience of hanging out with the women who read and connect with the blog. It’s been such a gift to finally get to meet some of you and I can’t get enough.

    This year, we’re going to Iceland and Galapagos. Read on to learn more about the trips and what to expect.

    https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FBeMyTravelMuse%2Fvideos%2F536310486889578%2F&show_text=0&width=560

    WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE BMTM ADVENTURE TOURS

    I know you want to maximize your time off with the best possible experience and with cool people. In creating these tours it’s always been my intention to deliver something that’s different from anything else you can find, and the biggest factors in that has been those who choose to join and the unique itineraries.

    namibia road trip spitzkoppe
    With my group in Spitzkoppe, Namibia

    In each place we visit, my tour partner, Pete, and I include unique and sometimes challenging new things to try (like surfing in the Galapagos or the 5-day hiking trip in the Icelandic highlands, far, far away from the crowds under the midnight sun). We plan itineraries that are exciting, not boring, that are beautiful, not cookie-cutter, and that will present a completely new experience, even if it’s in a country you’ve visited before. You haven’t seen it like this!

    We plan trips that we are stoked to go on and have already experienced firsthand at least once. Why do it any other way, right?

    WHO COMES ON THESE TRIPS?

    rainbow mountain peru
    At Rainbow Mountain in Peru

    The group dynamic is so unlike any trip I’ve taken. It’s been nothing but fun, belly laughs, supportive groups of women, many of whom keep in touch and come back again and again. About a quarter of those who have been on one of the three previous trips have chosen to come again (and sometimes, three times!) I feel pretty awesome about that considering I’ve only run 4 trips so far.

    The group WhatsApp chats are often still going strong way after the trip with funny shares, chatting about trips and solo travel plans, and inside jokes. The Peru chat is still active almost a full year later!

    For a lot of attendees, it’s the first step towards testing the waters of international, solo travel and for others, it’s a chance to kick back and let someone else do the planning and organizing.

    COMFORT LEVEL + HOW WE PRICE THE TOURS

    One of our lodges in Namibia

    These trips are designed to be on the higher end (though not extreme luxury because we want to keep it affordable). I’m all for the thrill and the party atmosphere of extreme budget travel but these days I like my creature comforts and I want to provide the same standard. We pick companies with good local guides, a commitment to being eco friendly and treating their employees well, and when hiking, I always have a trained wilderness responder with us. Safety, comfort, and yummy food come first for these tours.

    The tours are inclusive of everything apart from personal gear, international flights, and some meals or extra activities that not everyone wants to participate in. I don’t like hidden fees or surprises and I don’t believe in artificially making the tour cheap then charging for each activity later, so I don’t market my tours that way.

    The tours are all photography tours as well. They are also specifically for female travelers. You may have noticed that photography tours or women’s tours elsewhere are super expensive, but I don’t believe in artificially inflating prices and I am not down with pink tax, so I don’t add those costs to my trips.

    2019 Tours: Iceland and Galapagos

    Iceland ring road
    I loved it here so much!

    I will never forget holding my jaw with both hands, gasping at the endless beauty of Iceland about a thousand times every day. Was it even Planet Earth anymore? It felt more like Narnia to me.

    Between the Blue Lagoon, the highlands which look like a layer cake of warm earth tones and bright gold and green, to the energy of the geysers and waterfalls, Iceland is easily the most beautiful country I’ve ever been to. I have been wanting to go back and do a multi-day hike ever since my last visit, and there’s no better place than the highlands.

    The hike we’re doing was chosen as one of the “20 Best Hikes in the World” by none other than National Geographic. In their words, “A quarter of the population of the island claims to believe in elves or other mythical creatures, and after hiking through the lava fields and mountains of this route, you may begin to believe as well.”

    After months of planning, researching, and refining the itinerary, I am so, so excited to announce the BMTM Adventures Tour to Iceland this July! Join Pete, a small group of adventurous women and myself as we take in only the best of what Iceland has to offer in the Summer. You will potentially see humpback whales, killer whales, white-beaked dolphins and harbor porpoises; explore the Golden Circle; hike through Landmannalaugar and spend each night of the 5-day hike in warm huts; soak in geothermal pools including the famous Blue Lagoon. Most importantly, you will go home with incredible memories made with 13 other like-minded female travelers. We’ll be sure to do photography tutorials and editing sessions for anyone who is interested, and as always, you get a special set of editing presets as part of the tour.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE THE DETAILED ITINERARY AND BOOK YOUR SPOT!

    Now, About Galapagos…

    She’s a beau

    Who else learned that the Galapagos Islands is where Darwin discovered his famous theory? Just like many of you, I’ve wanted to experience the abundance and biodiversity of these islands ever since I first learned about them. For this trip, we’re heading unda da sea for those who are obsessed with scuba diving and snorkeling like me. There’s really nothing like hanging out with the seals, sharks, turtles, and schools of fish in their natural habitat. It’s as close as being a mermaid as we humans can get!

    Not many places in the world can top Galapagos when it comes to unspoilt nature, crystal clear waters, and the abundance of marine animals. When discussing the 3rd and final BMTM Adventure Tour of the year with Pete, we both wanted an experience offers a mix of adventure and comfort, with a lot of diving, snorkeling, and wildlife viewing in between.

    Galapagos was the answer, naturally.

    We’ll get to hang out with him!

    This 2-week (you can join week 1, week 2, or both weeks!) trip will begin in San Cristobal, and we will dive in some of the best dive sites in the world, including Kicker Rock, famed for its unique rock formation made of extinct volcano, an area that is heavily regulated to ensure that not too many other tourists will be diving with you. We will swim in a stunning, private swimming hole that only a few locals know about. We will relax on what’s known as the most beautiful beach in all of Galapagos. We will hike up the massive Sierra Negra Volcano, which has the second largest active volcanic caldera in the world. We will get a good night’s sleep at some of the cutest hotels with the best views each night, after a full day of adventure, fun, and laughters. For those on week one, we’ll have a private yoga instructor and daily classes (optional, of course)!

    We will have the opportunity to see hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, whitetip reef sharks, spotted eagle rays, sea turtles, sea lions, barracudas, eels, dolphins, manta rays, almaco jackfish, parrot fish, stingrays, eagle rays, barracudas, blue-footed boobies, and so much more.

    It’s Galapagos, after all.

     
  • Adam 15:32 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    The Perfect New Zealand South Island Itinerary 

    A perfect South Iceland New Zealand itinerary that covers 8 gorgeous stops with all of the best things to do in the area, plus accommodation guide, route planning tips and more. Perfect for your New Zealand road trip! #SouthIsland #NewZealand
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    If you’re craving gorgeous hikes, numerous lakes of different hues of blue from baby to deep sapphire, friendly people and rugged coastline, then you’ve come to the right place. New Zealand’s South Island has it all and more.

    The thing is, once you begin to do your research, you may come to realize it’s a lot bigger than you anticipated. That always happens, no?

    Still, there’s a lot you can see in a short amount of time and still get the best of the best into your trip. This itinerary can make the planning so much easier for you.

    The itinerary begins in Christchurch but you can easily alter it if needed to begin and end in Queenstown. Additionally, this is based on a two-week trip, though there are some additional suggestions at the end if you have more time. You can also add more days and relax it a bit and allow for rain and windy weather (which is guaranteed to happen at some point) if you have a bit more time. Without further ado here’s the ultimate New Zealand South Island Itinerary:

    new zealand south island itinerary

    Christchurch

    Most major flights will take you into Christchurch as a beginning point. I didn’t spend a ton of time there and viewed it more as a transit point, though there are several things worth doing before you make your way onwards:

    • The Botanic Garden: Christchurch has a huge park with big, old trees from around the world, including a California Redwood, and lots of hydrangeas, dahlias, and roses. While recovering from what is most likely a long flight, it’s the perfect activity to keep you awake without requiring too much exertion.
    • The Fo Guang Shan Buddhist temple is nearby and has some of the best vegetarian and vegan food in town. It’s also the perfect vibe if you need a little R&R after a long flight.

    Stay: The Parkview is close to the park, has free parking, and is close to the temple mentioned, and an organic grocery store.

    Kurow

    new zealand south island itinerary
    Valley Views is a hidden spot that most tourists would probably pass by if they weren’t in the know. It’s adorable and the perfect stop to break up the drive between Christchurch and Mt. Cook. I felt like I was in the Shire staying in the adorable domes.

    The main building is where the showers, communal kitchen, and bathrooms are located. It’s all of the grid, running on solar power and with sustainability in mind. They even feed the green kitchen scraps to their chickens!

    My favorite part were the outdoor bathtubs, each underneath the pine trees and with a view of the mountains. I’m a big fan of showers and tubs with a view and can’t remember a time when I could look up into pines and hear the birds while bathing.

    Though it’s a little pricey at over $300 NZD/night, it’s a nice experience if it’s within your budget range. You can book it here.

    You could also bypass this altogether and go the Lake Tekapo route instead.

    Wanaka


    Wanaka was one of my favorite stops thanks to the great hiking in the area. You’re spoiled for choice of lakes, lookout points, and variety of hiking that can be long or short, challenging or easy depending on what you want. These were my favorites:

    • Roy’s Peak: This is the most famous hike in Wanaka and the views speak for themselves. That said, it’s easily the most popular hike in the area and you’ll be waiting for a turn at the viewpoint for a photo. The queues can get quite long in the summertime, and even at sunrise. I had a short wait when I went at golden hour, and had the top almost to myself at sunset. In the fall or winter months, you can probably get it all to yourself as well. It’s a long uphill climb but it’s worth it.
    • Isthmus Peak: This is a nice alternative to Roy’s if you’d rather hike without crowds. It’s a similarly difficult and long uphill climb, and with similarly rewarding views. If you’re trying to pick between the two, I did both and wrote a full review here to help you choose.
    • Iron Mountain: This hike in town is perfect for the afternoon after you drive in. It is a bit of an uphill but nothing like the previous two hikes I mentioned. You’ll get a nice view of Wanaka and a chance to train for the one of the tougher hikes should you choose to do one (and you should!).

    Stay: I actually stayed at an Airbnb (get a discount here) in Albert Town and thought it was perfect. It’s only a few minutes’ drive from Wanaka and is a bit calmer and quieter.

    Queenstown

    new zealand south island itinerary
    You’ll notice upon arriving in Queenstown that there’s a lot more of a party and adventure vibe than the previous spots on this itinerary. It’s a ski town in the winter and a spot for bungee jumping, skydiving, and speed boating as well. There are lots of bars and breweries in town and hostels as well. I only stayed for a night because I prefer quieter places, but still enjoyed the gondola (figured my knees needed a break after the hiking in Wanaka) and views at sunset.

    • Adventurous Activities: If you’re after some adrenaline try the jet boat adventurecanyoningskydivingziplining, and/or bungee jumping, which you can access at the top of the gondola.
    • Gondola + Ben Lomond: You can take the gondola up to the top for sunset, or take it a step further and hike to the Ben Lomond peak. If I’d been feeling up to it I would have done this for sure. I heard great things about it. Plus you’d get a more private and unobstructed sunset.

    Stay: I stayed at an Airbnb again (get a discount here) with a lovely view of the lake and easy access to the water. I recommend looking for something with a view!

    Milford Sound via Te Anau

    milford sound
    This will be a significant deviation from the route that will require you to backtrack later, but it’s worth it. Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park are gorgeous and the Gertrude Saddle hike is worth the trek out to Te Anau.

    Alternatively, if you’d really rather not make the long drive, you can take a bus + boat tour from Queenstown (however keep in mind it’s 4 hours each way in a bus in one day) or take a helicopter + boat ride which, on a clear day, is probably more than worth the money.

    Since I wanted to hike instead of boat, I drove to Te Anau, stayed for a couple of nights, and drove out to the end of the road in Milford Sound and then retraced my steps a bit to do the Gertrude Saddle track.

    gertrude saddle
    Here are a few more options:

    • Key Summit or Lake Marian: If it’s rainy or too misty to do Gertrude Saddle, check out one of these for beautiful scenery and views.
    • Take just the boat tour: You can drive yourself to Milford Sound, stopping whenever you please, and take the boat tour on your own.
    • Gertrude Saddle: This is a steep hike that would be sketchy during bad weather. It also requires some route finding but if you’re feeling confident, it’s one of the best day hikes I’ve done. Read more here.

    Stay: I stayed at an Airbnb again (get a discount here) with a full kitchen. I love doing this in New Zealand!

    Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers

    Franz Josef glacier
    Like many places in New Zealand, this isn’t going to be quick or easy to get to, and you’ll have to retrace your steps all the way back past Wanaka (perhaps stop there for another hike) and continue upwards up the west coast. That said, it’s a gorgeous drive in a more rural and lush part of the island and the glaciers are incredible to see!

    • Helicopter ride and snow landing: At some point while you’re in New Zealand, you’ve just got to break open your wallet and do a helicopter ride. You see so much more from up there and you’ll get a chance to get on the glacier without mountaineering your way up there. I did this last time I visited New Zealand and it was breathtaking. You can book here.
    • Go for a hike: There are SO MANY hikes to choose from of varying lengths and difficulty that you could stay for weeks and not run out. Check out the listing here and pick your favorite.

    Stay: Book a hotel here.

    Mt. Cook

    new zealand south island
    Once again, you’ll be retracing your steps back towards Wanaka to make your way to Mt. Cook. It would be a long drive to do it all in one go, so it might be worth stopping in Wanaka again to break it up. It’s crazy because as the crow flies it looks like it would be right next door, if only there weren’t a huge mountain range in the way!

    The drive is scenic, along that same gorgeous west coast and then up and along Lake Pukaki. On a clear day it’s worth stopping at the viewpoint and walking down to the shore to marvel at the baby blue water.

    new zealand south island itinerary
    Here are some great hikes for the area, keeping in mind that Mt. Cook experiences a lot of rain and crazy wind. If you can time this towards the beginning or end of your trip coming or going from Christchurch, look ahead of time to see if you can possibly get some clear weather:

    • Mueller Hut: I wanted to do this one so badly! However the winds were up to 100km/hour at the top on the day that I could go, so that ruled it out. That said it’s a challenging, exposed, steep hike that can be done in one day or as an overnight staying at the hut. The ladder would give you epic sunrise and sunset views. You’ll need to book a spot ahead of time, which you can do here.
    • Hooker Valley: This is a nice, easy walk that is almost entirely flat leading you through the valley, over several bridges, and to a glacial lake with a few icebergs floating in it. It’s a nice rest from the otherwise steep hikes on this list, and has incredible views!

    new zealand south island

    • Tasman Glacier: An even easier and shorter walk than the Hooker Valley track, you honestly might as well tack this one on. It only takes about an hour, or less, round trip and has a great view at the end.

    Stay: I stayed at both the Hermitage Hotel and the Aoraki Court Motel and let me just tell you the Aoraki Court Motel is a MUCH better value. The rooms are the same quality, IMO, and you get a kitchen and larger overall suite. It does lack the view that the higher end rooms at the Hermitage have, though.

    Lake Tekapo

    new zealand south island itinerary
    If you’ve seen photos of the incredible lupin on New Zealand’s South Island chances are they were taken at Lake Tekapo. It’s a gorgeous lake with a nice view on the other side of Mt. Cook, however it lacks the same magic if you go outside of lupin season (which is end of November until the end of December). It’s still a lovely lake, but you could probably prioritize an extra day elsewhere if you prefer.

    Stay: I stayed at an Airbnb again (get a discount here).

    Here’s the map. As you can see, New Zealand’s roads don’t exactly make for the most logical driving directions, but the drives are so lovely, it’s hard to complain. Scroll down for some variations and add-ins:

    Bonus Trips:

    Though the suggestions above are what I personally tried, there are so many variations that you can do. The following are a few places that I’d love to check out and would recommend you try to fit in if you have more time or end up cutting out one of the aforementioned items on the itinerary:

    Marlborough Sound: If you decide to keep heading north after Fox Glacier, it’ll be a long drive but you’ll be rewarded with the amazing Marlborough Sound. They do dolphin swims and boat cruises there, though my sights would be set on the hiking trails which take you well over the sound for amazing sunset and sunrise views.

    Nugget Point: If you decide to head south then back up the east coast after Te Anau, not only does the drive look amazing, but you’ll get to stop by Nugget Point, which as a photographer was one of my dream spots. If you’re super into photography look it up and see if it’s worth the stop for you!

    Dunedin: Dunedin has cultural centers, a rugged coastline with the arches of Tunnel beach, and the Otago peninsula where you can have penguin sightings. It’s a university town that I haven’t checked out yet but heard good things about.

    Getting Around:

    new zealand south island itinerary
    Most of the streets in New Zealand are just two lanes and as long as you’re comfortable with driving on the lefthand side (which is easy to get pretty quickly, at least for me), it’s pretty easy, straightforward driving. I recommend picking up a rental car at the airport, or going for a camper van for even more ease and flexibility.

    I hope that helps to narrow down some of the choices. When it came to planning out a New Zealand trip, I quickly realized it’s a lot bigger than it seems and there’s so much more to see than can fit into a few weeks, but it’s a big world, we only have so much time, and this itinerary helps to maximize it. These are some highlights you’re sure to remember and enjoy, and that photograph beautifully.

    Happy travels!

     
  • Adam 15:23 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    The Cost to Travel Everywhere in the World 

    Ready to travel the world? Here's a comprehensive budget guide to EVERYWHERE in the world - the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, Middle East, and even Antartica. Have an awesome RTW trip!
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    Picking a destination for your trip isn’t always easy. There are so many factors to consider, like what kind of weather you want, what activities you enjoy, and what cultures intrigue you the most. Being real, though, the biggest consideration is usually finances.

    I’ve been to 6 out of the 7 continents on planet Earth, and each has its own price point, but that varies even further depending on which part of the continent you’re traveling through. It can be pretty confusing coming up with a budget, so after about 20 hours of research (from my own travels and some from other great resources out there in the interwebs), I’ve come up with the comprehensive guide for what it costs to travel anywhere in the world, broken down by region.

    Keep in mind, these estimates are for mostly budget-minded people who aren’t big spenders on vacation, with tips for how to do things a little cheaper and get a great value. Ready for an adventure? Let’s go!

    America: Expensive

    how much does it cost to travel the world
    Canmore, Alberta, Canada

    If you’re looking for varied culture, amazing food, some of the best road trip options in the world, tropical locales, some of the coldest spots on planet Earth, great skiing, and gorgeous beaches, you really can find it all in North America.

    You can also expect to break your wallet open a lot more in North America than in most of the other regions on this list, thanks to expensive transport, food, and accommodation. Some areas are cheaper than others, but in general, expect to spend more in this region.

    Best websites for savings: 

    Accommodation: HostelworldAirBnB (click for $25 off!)Booking.com

    Transport: AmtrakGreyhound busesADO in Mexicocar rentals on ExpediaCanrail

    CANADA

    Canada is growing in popularity with international travelers thanks to an awesome working visa option and wide open beauty. An adventure seeker’s dream, Canada has something for everyone no matter the season. With a suggested daily budget of about $70-$80 CAD, Canada is about on par with many European countries.

    Transportation in Canada is fairly expensive but you can get a Canrail pass for $699 which gives you 7 one-way tickets, $899 for 10 one-way tickets, or $1,299 for unlimited travel. Tipping is big in Canada, so sitting down at a restaurant can be expensive at $15-$35 CA. If you want to save money on food, keep your eye out for cheap sandwich shops or cook your own meals. Lastly, accommodation rates are dependent on the city you are in but expect to pay around $30 CAD for a dorm and $60 and upwards for a hotel.

    UNITED STATES

    how much does it cost to travel the world
    Pu’u Pehe in Lanai, Hawaii

    The U.S. might be one of the most expensive destinations on this list but it is also one of the destinations with the most diversity in terms of culture and natural beauty.

    Almost anything you want to experience, from the tropics in Hawaii to the northern lights in Alaska, is on offer. The U.S. can be a fairly expensive destination because of high transportation and accommodation costs, but these costs can vary greatly from state to state with prices running highest on the coasts, in the national parks, and in Hawaii. A suggested daily budget is around $100 for decent meals, non-dorm accommodation, and transport. Travelers who prefer dorms should expect to pay about $30 for a dorm in New York or Los Angeles, but should also know that the US doesn’t have a big dorm culture. The best ways to save are to cook your own food, camp, and to couchsurf.

    Public transport isn’t great in the US, therefore road trips are popular for most visitors, either across the US or on the Pacific Coast Highway, among others.

    MEXICO

    Mexico has a lot to offer from gorgeous beaches along two coasts, to the vibrant culture of Mexico city and Oaxaca, and of course Mexican cuisine, which has been added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List by UNESCO. Mexico is also known for its ancient Mayan ruins and tropical weather. As a result of this popularity Mexico can be a bit more expensive than its neighbors in Central America, even if you do skip the resorts, but it’s still much cheaper than the US or Canada. Accommodation in hostels begins at around $6 to $14 in budget hotels. For budget travelers, street food is the best option with tacos starting at $1. To travel around Mexico you can take buses using the ADO website and the cost ranges from $10-$40.

    Central America: Cheap

    how much does it cost to travel the world
    Caye Caulker in Belize

    Central America is a great choice for those on a budget who want to find a slightly older crowd on the road (more people in their 30s and 40s as opposed to more in their 20s in Southeast Asia). The most expensive countries to travel to in Central America are Costa Rica, Belize, and Panama. Excursions and activities such as zip lining or ATV tours in Costa Rica are always priced with American tourists in mind and are usually over $50. Entry to the parks for hiking without a guide will cost at least $15. In Belize, expect to pay more for diving and tours than you would elsewhere in Central America.

    Conversely, traveling to Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, or Honduras is more affordable. Accommodation can cost as low as $10 per night, and keep in mind that local public transportation is much cheaper than private, or ‘tourist’, transportation. Food is the best, tastiest, and cheapest when exploring the local street food. In countries like Guatemala, you can enjoy a full lunch “menu del día” for $5 or less!

    South America: Mid-Range

    how much does it cost to travel the world
    The Fitz Roy in El Chalten, Argentina

    South America really varies in cost, but it’s still generally cheaper than most of Western Europe, Oceania, and North America. Plan on spending less in the countries farther north and a lot more in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. That said, the buses are generally great, there’s camping and hostels, and varying degrees of luxury (and bang for your buck) as well.

    Accommodation: AirBnB (click for $25 off!)Booking.com

    Transport: Check this guide for bus recommendations per country.

    BOLIVIA

    Bolivia is one of the cheaper countries to travel to in South America. Accommodation costs for backpackers in dorms are cheaper than many other South American countries, ranging from around $10-20 for dorms and $15-30 for private rooms. Eating local meals will be cheaper (under $10) than westernized restaurants.

    Public transportation is very cheap, but the quality and safety is better on tourist buses, which are more expensive. When traveling in Bolivia, the most expensive thing you’re likely to encounter is activity costs. Tours to mountain bike down the World’s Most Dangerous Road, for example, vary depending on the safety gear provided, but range from $50-100. The Bolivian visa cost for Americans is steep at $160.

    ARGENTINA

    how much does it cost to travel the world
    At Iguazu Falls in Argentina

    Prices in Argentina tend to fluctuate thanks to an unstable currency. Sometimes, Argentina can be a great value to travel through and at other times, prices can essentially double. The black market on currency which used to make Argentina cheap is gone now, so don’t expect it to be as cheap as the glory days of yore. Hostels can run as much as $60 for a private room in popular places. Food can also be expensive, but when you’re eating delicious steak in Argentina, you just might be willing to overlook that.

    COLOMBIA

    Colombia is affordable when it comes to local meals and accommodation. A typical bandeja paisa platter costs around $6-7. The menu of the day is always a tasty, affordable option as well. A nice hostel dorm can cost as low as $12 per night.

    Colombia can get expensive for transportation on overnight buses (around $50 one-way). In some cases it is more economical to fly via VivaColombia, Colombia’s budget airline. Prices for everything in popular cities like Medellín and Cartagena (especially in the historic center) are higher than in less traveled cities. Note that tourism in Colombia is rapidly growing, so price increases should be expected year over year.

    CHILE

    how much does it cost to travel the world
    In Torres del Paine National Park, Chilean Patagonia

    Chile’s economy is the strongest in Latin America. As such, expect Chile to be a more expensive place to visit. You can still save by camping through most of the country, ordering the menu del dia (menu of the day) for lunch, and you can even hitchhike through part of it pretty safely. Your budget can vary pretty wildly in Patagonia, in particular. I personally spent an average of $53 per day over 60 days there.

    Expect places like Easter Island to be super expensive for food and activities, and for the middle of the country and Santiago to be mid-range with lots of accommodation levels and options.

    BRAZIL

    Brazil is one of the most expensive countries in South America. The visa entry cost for Americans is $160 USD, $65 USD for Canadians and $35 USD for Australians.

    Since the 2016 Summer Olympics, prices in Rio have skyrocketed. Activities in Rio such as the Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf mountain cost around $15-20 and visiting the Brazil side of Iguazu Falls costs approximately $15-20. Accommodation in hostels ranges from $10 during low season to as much as $50-70 in high season. Traveling by buses runs from $20-80, so flights from around $80-100 may be a more efficient use of travel time for long distances considering that Brazil is such a massive country. Meals range from $10-20; consider the self-service option in which you can eat as much as you want for a fixed price!

    PERU

    Peru has the potential to be pretty affordable. Where it can get expensive is depending on which activities you want to do and how independently you do them. For example, there are very expensive tours to Machu Picchu using the train and bus, but you can also travel to Machu Picchu independently and without the help of a tour for a fraction of the cost. Day trips to Huacachina or the 2 day/1 night Colca Canyon hike are about $20-50.

    Local meals and street food are the cheapest options while food in more tourist-heavy areas such as Cusco are more expensive. Lima, which is very much like any American city price-wise, is also inherently more expensive. There are many affordable accommodation options ranging from dorms to guest houses or hotels. Cruz del Sur is one of the better bus companies for the long-haul overnight journeys, but these tickets are more expensive than some of the less comfortable overnight bus companies.

    Western Europe: Expensive

    how much does it cost to travel the world
    Near Stuttgart, Germany

    Western Europe includes the countries on Europe’s west coast from Portugal and Spain, to as far east as Germany, Italy, and Finland, and all of those in-between. This region isn’t a budget destination, but it does cater to travelers of every type from budget backpackers to high-end luxury travelers. Expect to pay about what you would in the US for most things, with some, sometimes extreme, variations.

    In general, the shoulder seasons in the autumn and spring are much cheaper than summer for accommodation and activities, and as of this writing in 2017, the exchange rate is better than it has been in years at USD $1 equaling 93 cents Euro. The beauty of traveling through Europe is that while the exchange might not be as great as countries like Vietnam or Cambodia, it’s easy and comfortable thanks to the infrastructure. Plus,  you can stay for a whole 3 months with no visa required for most western nationalities. While the northern countries such as Norway and Sweden can be incredibly expensive, Greece, Spain and Portugal can offer amazing rates on food and accommodation. Moving slowly and planning ahead as much as possible will cut your transportation costs, and thanks to budget airlines like Ryanair and Norwegian, airline travel between countries like Italy and Greece can be as low as $65 one way. Many travelers also opt for the Eurail if they’ll be covering a lot of countries.

    Best websites for savings: 

    Accommodation: HostelworldAirBnB (click for $25 off!), and Booking.com

    Transport: Eurail (especially if you’re visiting mulitple countries!), FlixbusMegabus

    PORTUGAL

    Hit hard by the financial crisis and still recovering, Portugal is one of the cheapest places to visit in Western Europe. Locals are reportedly much better at speaking English in Portugal than the other countries located on the Iberian Peninsula, so getting around is fairly easy. Nomadic Matt has a suggested daily budget of around $26-$47 USD if you are staying in hostels and eating at cheaper restaurants. If you’re not into hostels, a quick Airbnb search shows entire homes from $30-$200.

    Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, has great public transportation starting at $1.50 and intercity trains and buses are very reasonably priced as well. A pint of beer in Portugal is around $2, and you can find reasonable priced snacks in bakeries for $2-$7 euros. A sit down restaurant should be around $10-$15 depending on if you buy alcohol. The cost of museums and other attractions ranges from $5-$12 and is often half or free with student ID or, in some cases, free after a certain time of day.

    ICELAND

    how much does it cost to travel the world
    At the Jökulsárlónn Glacier Lagoon

    Iceland is one of the most expensive countries to travel to, mostly because everything from food to vehicles has to be imported there. Expect to pay a lot for food, transportation, tours, and accommodation. Thankfully, though, the waterfalls and natural attractions are mostly free to see and experience, and you can cook your own food to save.

    I spent $93 per day in Iceland, making it my most expensive country I’ve ever traveled through.

    ITALY

    Depending on where you want to go in Italy, the cost can vary quite dramatically. Rome, Milan, Venice and Cinque Terre will all most certainly be much more expensive than perhaps some less traveled destinations in Italy, like Bologna. That said, hostels are available starting at $20. Many cities in Italy also have good public transportation. A metro ticket in Rome is $1.50. Local trains in Italy are also reasonable with a ticket from Rome to Bologna costing as little as $19 euros with trenitalia.

    A daily food budget of $25 euros ought to help satisfy a pasta craving if you only eat fancy for one meal and consider shopping at markets for bread, cheese, and wine for other meals. There is also pretty decent street food in Italy with slices of square pizza for $1.50 and even some cheap pasta places for $5 a plate. Aperitivo is also popular in much of Italy, which is a happy hour with snacks and drink discounts. In some cases, wine is even cheaper than bottled water in Italy! Do note that in many places you might get charged extra for sitting on the terrace.

    Museums tend to run $5-$16 euros, and The Vatican and Sistine chapel cost $16 euros, or is free on the last Sunday of the month, or is half price with a student ID.

    UNITED KINGDOM

    Although many were quite sad to see the UK leave the EU, travelers may have done a secret happy dance, as it brought the dollar and the pound closer than they have ever been before, thus, making the UK a much more affordable place to visit. $1 USD equals 81 pence as of this writing.

    If you’re looking to go to London or the UK in general from October-April you’ll likely find the prices to be much more reasonable than the summer months. Dorm rooms in June in London start at £13, but in January start at £9.78. If you’re into museums you’re in luck as many are free, however the cathedrals, Buckingham Palace, and the Tower of London all have entry fees. The Tower and Buckingham palace together cost over £30. Public transportation in UK tends to be expensive as well. A trip from Liverpool to London can range from £25 to £150. Low cost travel options can be found through Megabus where if you book far enough in advance you can find bus tickets for as little as 1 GBP. England does have fairly cheap options for street food, and you can find kebab or fish and chips for around £6.

    FRANCE

    Great wine, great food, beautiful mountains, rural farm lands and gorgeous coastline make France a much-loved destination. Despite France’s fame for being a rather expensive destination a smart traveler can get by on €47-€75 per day. Besides hostels and BnBs there are also several cheap hotel chains that are becoming popular on budget websites with prices beginning at €22 (in off peak) to around €60 (high season). Hostel dorms in Paris start around €20 and range higher or lower depending on region.

    As always, street food and bakeries will be cheaper than restaurants. Crepes from street vendors are delicious and cheap at around €4 for ham and cheese. It’s always possible to stop in a local delicatessen and buy bread, cured meats, and cheese for a great picnic of around €10-13. A bottle of wine can be as cheap as €6. Sit down restaurants can average $25 and up.

    Local transportation, like in most Western European countries, is very reliable and reasonable. Longer distance, the farther in advance you book the cheaper it will be. A ticket from Toulouse to Paris on the TGV high speed train begins at €74 for a 2nd class seat, for example. Major attractions are reasonable, at €7 for access to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, and €17 for access to the elevator and 3rd floor. The Louvre is €15, Musee d’Orsay is €12, and the Dali Museum is €11.50. On the first Sunday of the month, museums are free. If you are 25 or under bring your student ID and you will receive discounts, and all EU nationals under 25 can enter most museums free of charge.

     

    Eastern Europe: Cheap

    how much does it cost to travel the world
    Lake Bled in Slovenia

    CZECH REPUBLIC

    The Czech Republic has been growing in popularity since the early ’00s and despite its location in Eastern Europe, it’s not as cheap as some of its neighbors. Consider a daily budget of USD $25-$50. Dorm beds and rooms range from $8-$20 but entire homes on Airbnb start at $40. Transportation in the capital, Prague, is fairly simple as they have a good network of trams, buses and subways. 30-minute tickets are the equivalent of $1 USD and 24-hour tickets are $4.65. Food in Prague is tasty and well priced, budget lunches and dinners can be found in pubs for around $7 and a pint of beer is $2. Museums range from $3-$8 with free walking tours on offer and free castle entrance.

    CROATIA

    With Split gaining popularity and giving the Greek Islands a run for their money, Croatia has been called one of Eastern Europe’s best kept secrets, though largely the news is getting out and Croatia’s costs are rising. Accommodation in popular tourist spots such as Dubrovnik, Split, and Hvar range from $12 to $30 USD in dorms and mid range hotels. Public and local transportation is $1-$2 USD per ticket. Traveling by bus or ferry is the most common way to get around with bus tickets from Zadar to Dubrovnik costing around $26 USD and a ferry from Split to Hvar starting at $10 in off season. A sit down meal runs from $10-$20.

    ALBANIA

    Just north of Greece, Albania, like Croatia, is one of Europe’s best kept secrets. On the road to recovery from a civil war in the ’90s, Albania is finally showing off her beautiful coastline. As one of the most underdeveloped European nations, Albania’s public transportation can be a bit bumpy but cheap. A bus in Tirana runs every 10 minutes on 12 routes to various cities and is 40 lek. Accommodation in Albania begins at $30-$50 USD for top end hotels and $9-$15 in budget hostels. Finally, eating at a midrange restaurant will run you $5-$10.

    SERBIA

    With fun festivals, great architecture, and sweet old world charm it’s no wonder Serbia has been popping up on many budget travel lists. Hostels in Belgrade start at around $11 USD but beware that some smaller cities may not have hostels. Guest houses run closer to $20 USD. Buses in Serbia cost around $2-$5 USD and short train rides from city to city are $4-$7. A cup of coffee is cheap at $1 and kebab can be about $2-$3.

    RUSSIA

    (Note: It’s a big country, and to be honest, I’m not sure where it belongs regionally, so here it is in Europe. Correct me if I’m wrong!)

    The good news for travelers visiting Russia these days is that the devaluation of the Russian rublemakes tourist’s pockets a little heavier. Costs are almost half what they were just two years ago, specifically for food and accommodation. Expect to pay about $50 per day in Russia, and consider the visa cost, which for US citizens, is $160. Click here for a comprehensive Russian travel costs guide.

    Middle East: Expensive

    how much does it cost to travel the world
    Dubai

    Cost of travel around the Middle East can vary greatly depending on country and activity. While there are some cities like Cairo, Egypt that can be as cheap as $18.75 USD per day, Dubai in the UAE can be over $200. Tourism has dropped due to bad press in former tourist hotspots like Turkey (which wasn’t much cheaper than countries like Greece or Spain) and Egypt, causing prices to drop there as well. If you don’t want to brave it there you can check out Oman which, while considerably more expensive, is known as one of the cleanest and safest countries in the Middle East.

    Best websites for savings: 

    Accommodation: HostelworldAirBnB (click for $25 off!), and Booking.com

    DUBAI

    If you are looking to travel to Dubai, U.S. citizens get a free 30 day visa on arrival. While Dubai is known to be pricy you can keep costs down by avoiding peak season (December and January) and staying in hostel dorms which range from $23-$34 USD, or in a private rooms which range from $47-$118. If you are looking to save cash, eat Shwarma (wraps that are similar to Greek Gyros), it is a great local snack and ranges from $1.36-$2.18. If you’re not tight on money check out any sit down restaurant and where prices can be as low as $10 or almost limitless in the other direction.

    Public transportation in Dubai is fairly cheap. Dubai has a metro, tram, and monorail to get you almost anywhere you need to go. Fares for the metro begin at $2 AED (less than one dollar). The tram is 3 AED and the monorail is 16 AED.

    ISRAEL

    Traveling around Israel might not be as cheap as you’d like but you certainly will get quality for what you pay for. Israel has a growing network of hostels with rooms starting at $20 USD. Buses are the most popular mode of travel often offering free wifi. A bus from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv is $5 USD. The quality of food is very high in Israel and can be quite affordable. Falafel is delicious and only cost about $2 USD.

    TURKEY

    Many people view Turkey as the place where East meets West and in many ways it is. There’s even some debate as to whether or not it should be classified as European. Turkey isn’t a particularly expensive destination, with dorms in Istanbul starting at $10 USD and entire homes on Airbnbstarting at $40. Food in Turkey is similar to Mediterranean food but with more spice and flavor. Street food in Turkey is quite delicious with pinerli, a type of turkish pizza, starting at $2.50. Hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia range from $100-$175 per person.

    IRAN

    Opening up to the world, Iran is quickly captivating travelers’ hearts with its stunning architecture, tasty food, and famously hospitable people. Though entrance fees are notoriously prone to inflation, Iran is still relatively cheap to travel in, and can definitely be done on a backpacker budgetof $25 per day. Dorm beds are around $10-15 in tourist areas, and entrance fees can range from $3-10. If traveling on a shoestring, be prepared to eat lots of $1 kebabs! (Thanks for the contribution LostWithPurpose!)

    JORDAN

    Jordan is a country of extremes when it comes to cost. Whilst you can get some really good cheap eats in Amman (costing $4-5 USD for a great meal), you’ll struggle to get even rice, veg and chicken for less than $21 USD in rural areas! This is the same with accommodation, you’ll be faced with staying in a rather dark and dreary and likely dirty room with shared bathroom for around $15 USD, or paying well over $60 USD for a pretty basic but clean ensuite room. The best way to get around is by hiring a car, which cost us $20 USD a day (for a Hyundai eon).

    You can “save” money by buying the Jordan pass online before you arrive (it is still $99-113 USD, depending how long you spend in Petra). This includes the cost of the visa (normally $60 USD) and entry to 40 sights (including Petra, Wadi Rum and Jerash). Due to the costs, most travellers rush through Jordan, covering a lot of this small country in just a week. But don’t let cost put you off. Jordan’s an incredible place to visit and you’ll have some amazing experiences that you just can’t get anywhere else.

    Northern Africa: Mid-Range

    how much does it cost to travel the world
    Morocco

    A rise in protests and political instability in Northern Africa have made places like Libya and Egypt a bit less tempting to travel to these days. However, as any seasoned traveler knows, things aren’t always as bad as they appear and there are still some countries in Northern Africa that are safe and cheap.

    MOROCCO

    If you’re still dying to go to Northern Africa but not sure where to start, consider Morocco, though it’s not exactly cheap. It is easy to fly into, and requires no visa for US citizens. If you fly into Morocco you will likely land at Casablanca airport and from there it is fairly simple to take a train, bus, or taxi to many of the most popular cities such as Marrakesh and Fez. By taxi from Casablanca to Fez is about 3 hours and $147 USD. Once inside the city there are city buses for 50 cents.

    Dorms in Morocco begin at $6 USD, rooms on Airbnb begin at $15 USD, or if you have some extra cash, check out booking.com to stay in Riad, which is a traditional Moroccan house built around a courtyard typically, starting at $40. A typical Moroccan meal will range $3-5 and a higher-end meal is $12. A bottle of beer is $ 3 USD and water is $0.60 USD. Museums are typically $2-$6 and camel trekking is $50. A daily suggested budget runs between $30-$60 a day. *Money saving tip: Negotiate your hostel or hotel in person. Be wary of touts trying to steer you the wrong way or scam you.

    Sub-Saharan Africa: Mid-Range to Expensive

    how much does it cost to travel the world
    At Golden Gate National Park in South Africa

    This part of the world has the potential to be mid-range if you camp, cook your own food and/or stay at backpacker accommodation. It also has the potential to be incredibly expensive and high into the luxury end, with very little in the middle.

    Transportation can be difficult and you might be scratching your head wondering how locals afford $30 taxis to go short distances, until you see how overpacked and dangerous the cars and vans are. Hiring a private car, or even buying one, can sometimes be more economical in South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia, but as soon as the roads turn to dirt and mud as you head farther north, you’ll want a 4×4 and they can be very expensive to rent. National Park fees and safaris can get expensive too, ranging from as cheap as $80 per day for a safari to thousands.

    Best websites for savings: 

    Accommodation: Check free Coast to Coast books in hostels in South Africa, and AirBnB (click for $25 off!), otherwise, check individual camping and hostel websites and call ahead

    Transport: IntercapeGreyhound

    SOUTH AFRICA

    It used to cost a lot more to travel in South Africa, but lately with the value of the Rand falling, it’s becoming a cheaper and cheaper destination, particularly for a part of the world that can be on the expensive side. The big cities cost the most, and the rural areas tend to be the cheapest. The backpackers accommodation has everything from camping to higher-end rooms and are great places to stay with communal spaces and friendly vibes.

    My personal spend was $56 per day in South Africa, which included renting a car, staying in a mixture of dorms and with friends, and eating out often instead of cooking (because I was feeling lazy and BBQ, or braai, in South Africa is delicious).

    MOZAMBIQUE

    how much does it cost to travel the world
    Vilanculos, Mozambique

    Mozambique runs pretty similar to South Africa in terms of pricing. A plate of delicious, fresh seafood will cost you $6-$12 at most beachside shacks, while buying directly from a fisherman can be pennies on the dollar. Transport is slightly expensive, annoying to use, and something you should definitely haggle on, which will be your biggest price consideration.

    Activities like SCUBA diving and boating around the islands can get very expensive, while accommodation is well-priced at $15-$20 per person for a private beach bungalow with a mosquito net and fan.

    KENYA

    Kenya had focused much of its attention on luxury tours and safaris in the past, but more recently has begun to focus attention on budget travelers as well. Backpackers accommodations offer dorms from $6-$12 depending on location, mid-range hotels cost $15-$30, and high-end hotels can go into the thousands. Eating in Kenya can be very cheap if you eat local. A typical Kenyan meal is just 0.87. If you prefer to eat Western meals, you ‘ll likely pay $4-$8. Some attractions in Kenya are costly, such as Nairobi National Park for $40 per day and Maasai Mara Game Reserve for$60 per day, but for the most part Kenya is a more budget friendly destination than its neighbors. Purchase an East Africa visa for $100 which gives you access to Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda.

    TANZANIA

    Tanzania can get very costly very quickly due to the pricing of major activities. Safaris to the Serengeti (click here for a discount) and Ngorongoro Crater each run several hundred to several thousand dollars, and climbing Kilimanjaro is in the thousands as well. The visa for Tanzania is also expensive, at $100 for US citizens. It gets cheaper when it comes to local buses, which are just a few dollars for long distances, and food can run just a few dollars per day from street vendors and cafes, and accommodation in guest houses starts at $16 per night.

    MAURITIUS:

    Hanging out in the Indian Ocean covered in lagoons, rainforests and waterfalls the island of Mauritius is the definition of paradise. But how much does it cost to go to this particular paradise? This luxurious island offers hotels on the budget end for $48-$85 and upwards for the fancy hotels and resorts. Public buses are cheap, and an opportunity to meet locals, so try one out for only $0.34-$0.86. Regular restaurants meals are $9 while a 4 course meal at a midrange restaurant for 2 people costs $35.

    Central Asia and the Caucus Region: Cheap

    how much does it cost to travel the world
    Yerevan, Armenia

    The Caucasus region is not commonly traveled and still very affordable, though Azerbaijan is generally more expensive than Armenia and Georgia. Americans don’t need visas to enter the region through Georgia or Armenia, though Azerbaijan requires payment for a visa on arrival ($20). Hotels or hostels cost around $20-40 per night for private rooms, while homestays are cheaper options. Food can be as cheap as $5. Rides in shared vans are common for public transportation in addition to buses or private taxis.

    GEORGIA

    Clean, inviting, affordable, and understated, Georgia is a hidden gem. Accommodation in Georgia starts at around $10 USD. In Tsibilis, public transportation is easy to use and cheap costing 0,50 Lari which is nearly 19 cents. Food in Georgia is also quite cheap with meals costing as little as $2.50. Such a meal includes a type of dumpling called Khinkali which are sold for 0.30 each. Activities such as museums range from $0.60 to $2.00 and are cheaper for students.

    TAJIKSTAN

    Despite recent improvements in Tajikstan’s tourist infrastructure this remains a little-traveled to destination partly due to the the police corruption of the past and partly due to the fact that it’s not as cheap as some nearby alternatives. This is due to high costs of transportation. A suggested daily budget for two people is $89. Hotels in Tajikstan average about $30 USD per night. For an incredible experience, you can do a homestay or stay in a yurt for about $15. Local dishes will cost $3-$5 while western meals will cost $5-$10.

    *The following 5 entries are contributed thanks to LostWithPurpose:

    AFGHANISTAN

    Battered by decades of war, Afghanistan is not the type of place many people plan on visiting. It is, however, on many people’s bucket lists and a handful of intrepid travelers make it there every year. War has ravaged the county’s economy, and most goods need to be imported. Coupled with the need to fly everywhere for more than $100 round-trip, and sleep in hotels with security for $30+ per night, Afghanistan is a relatively expensive place to travel, though it can be done for about $50-75 per day.

    KAZAKHSTAN

    Kazakhstan was long known as the most expensive Central Asian country to travel in. Luckily, with the recent devaluation of its currency, those times have passed. Due to its massive size and poor connections, getting around in Kazakhstan can be expensive, but hitchhiking is common. Besides sizable transport costs, other costs such as food, sights, and accommodation are all reasonably cheap, making travel in Kazakhstan possible for $25 per day or less.

    KYRGYZSTAN

    Kyrgyzstan is the country of choice for most travelers interested in trying out Central Asia, and thus most well-suited to travelers of all budgets. There are hostels to be found for less than $10 per night in all of Kyrgyzstan’s major destinations, and homely community-based tourism home stays in other locations for about the same price. Cheap (if grubby) minibuses are available to every destination under the sun, and budget-friendly canteens are a dime a dozen… though Kyrgyzstan being Central Asian, don’t expect anything too tantalizing.

    UZBEKISTAN

    Uzbekistan is the stuff Silk Road dreams are made of. Towering mosques and mausoleums rise every which way you look, and its old cities are a maze of sand-colored buildings and narrow alleyways. Older package tourists from Europe currently comprise the majority of visitors to Uzbekistan, so some tourist activities can be a bit costly in nature. However, with dorms in hostels and guesthouses available for about $10 per night, and markets galore with fresh breads and cheeses for less than $1, it’s definitely possible to travel Uzbekistan on a backpacker budget.

    ARMENIA

    Tiny Armenia is often overlooked by travelers, but that will change soon! It’s a marvelous country filled with epic monasteries and churches, stunning mountains and rolling hills, and a million places to sit and sip wine for an afternoon. Armenia was the first country to officially adopt Christianity as the state religion, and believes it should be accessible to all, meaning all religious sites are free to enter! It’s also one of the oldest winemaking countries, so cheap and delicious sweet wine is widely available for rock bottom prices. Accommodation can be on the higher side, at around $20 a night, but everything else is so cheap, you won’t even notice.

    East Asia: Mid-Range

    how much does it cost to travel the world

    Overall, East Asia will feel pretty expensive if you spend it mostly in Japan and South Korea. China, on the other hand, doesn’t have to be as expensive, especially if you stay in dorms and eat cheap. Spots like Hong Kong will make you break open your wallet again, and Taiwan lands somewhere in the middle, with prices easily reaching that of the US for some things, like high-end food and clothing, and super cheap for others, like accommodation and street food.

    Best websites for savings: 

    Accommodation: hostelworldhostelbookersAgoda

    Transport: Air Asia12GoAsia

    JAPAN

    Believe it or not, Japan might not be as costly as you’ve heard. Hostels start at about $20 a night, which is no worse than Paris or London. Private ryokans can cost as little as $40 a night. If you’re craving sushi you can find sushi trains selling 6 pieces of sushi for $2 and ramen for $6. Transportation around Japan can get costly, particularly if you take a bullet train, which can cost nearly $100 for one hour. However the rail pass could make a lot of sense if you’re hitting lots of spots (thanks commenter Rachel for the info!), or to save money consider a bus which costs about 60 yen, or 50 cents.

    CHINA

    China’s big cities have all kinds of fancy restaurants and hotels that can eat right into your budget in a big way, but it’s also possible to stay in hostels, which might just be the best-value hostels in the world at $5-$10 per night, and eat street food for just a few dollars per plate.

    Transportation can run a bit more expensive at $20+ for 8-hour buses and upwards from there. China is a huge country and therefore, moving around quickly and on higher classes of train can add up quickly. My personal spend was about $50 per day, and I was hitchhiking to avoid train costs.

    SOUTH KOREA

    South Korean boasts one of the most educated populations where 78% of them are on smart phones. The cost of traveling in South Korea is about $50 dollars a day but you could do it on a shoestring for closer to $30. Soups like kimchi jjigae can be found for $4-$6 and are full of delicious vegetables like cabbage and sprouts. The cheapest option for accommodation is jjimjilbang. This is a public bathhouse and costs $6-$10, though you will be sleeping on a mat in a room with other people.

    MONGOLIA

    Nestled between Russia and China, Mongolia is a country with more horses than people. Mongolia offers unique cultural and outdoor adventures that aren’t packed with tourists. A single entry visa to Mongolia costs $53 and has an average daily cost of $50 per day. Transportation in and out of Mongolia can be a bit expensive, with trains from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar costing over $190 one way. A cheaper third option includes an overnight bus, a local jeep ride, then a local train ride for around $80. Flights are typically quite expensive but still an option if you are tight on time and have extra cash. Hostels in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar are around $6-$15 a night and many only take USD, so carry both forms of currency. Expect food to cost $4-$7 per day and just 0.78 per beer!

    Southeast Asia: Cheap

    how much does it cost to travel the world
    The White Temple Chiang Rai, Thailand

    Southeast Asia is among the cheapest regions in the world to travel through. It’s also one of the easiest, often referred to as the ‘banana pancake trail’ thanks to how well it accommodates backpackers of all ages. On a shoestring, it’s even possible to travel through Southeast Asia for the golden $30 per day. I personally spent $6k on 6 months in the region, if you subtract my expensive SCUBA diving habit.

    Best websites for savings: 

    Accommodation: hostelworldhostelbookersAgoda

    Transport: Air Asia

    THAILAND

    A favorite amongst backpackers and luxury vacationers alike, Thailand is the cheapest in the north and gets more expensive in the islands to the south. If you stick to hostels, it’s easy to maintain a tight budget, but when eating in restaurants and staying in fancy hotels, it can get expensive as well. I averaged $45/day in Thailand.

    VIETNAM

    If you stick to the delicious (and usually very healthy and fresh) street food and the hostels in Vietnam, you can easily get by on less than in Thailand. My personal spend for one month there was $36 per day on average.

    INDONESIA

    how much does it cost to travel the world
    Kawah Ijen in Indonesia

    Indonesia is another place that can be dirt cheap, or pretty good affordable luxury value if you want to spend more and have more comfort. There are a lot more tourist transport options and expensive restaurants in Indonesia that can really add up, but don’t forget there’s always a way that locals get around (like a local ferry instead of a tourist boat) and eat, too. Find those options and you can easily keep to $30 per day.

    CAMBODIA

    Cambodia is one of the cheapest countries in Southeast Asia, a region that’s already dirt cheap. You can find dorms for as little as $2 per night! Beer is, thankfully, also pretty cheap and delicious at as little as 75 cents during happy hour. If you’ve got a little more money to throw around, you’ll be pretty impressed by how far $25 will go towards a room in a decent hotel. I spent $30 per day in Cambodia.

    LAOS

    Like Cambodia, Laos is also super cheap and can be done for $30 per day. I found that transport was a bit more expensive there, but other things like accommodation, food, and many activities were cheap (like a $1.50 entry fee to view a stunning waterfall) or free. Here’s my budget guide for Laos.

    PHILIPPINES

    The Philippines is another pretty cheap destination, as long as you don’t move around too often. Islands are farther apart and require a lot more planes and ferries. I spent about $45/day in the Philippines (excluding scuba diving).

    MALAYSIA

    Malaysia is often rumored as an expensive country (by Southeast Asia’s standards) to travel in. After spending a solid month backpacking through Peninsular Malaysia, I attest that a Malaysia travel budget does not have to break the bank. I spent about $37/day in Peninsular Malaysia. Borneo, on the other hand, due to the exclusivity of activities, can be much more expensive to travel in. I averaged $62/day in Borneo, making this my most expensive Southeast Asian destination yet.

    South Asia: Cheap

    how much does it cost to travel the world
    At the Thurong La Pass on Nepal’s Annapurna circuit

    In general, South Asia is one of the cheapest regions in the world that you can travel in, with a few exceptions. India and Nepal are amongst the absolute cheapest places in the world to eat, get around, and sleep in, while Bhutan and the Maldives can cost upwards of hundreds or even thousands of dollars per day.

    Best websites for savings: 

    Accommodation: hostelworldhostelbookersAgodaOYO and Cleartrip (India)

    Transport: Go local!

    BHUTAN

    In order to travel to Bhutan you will pay a $250 surcharge per day but this will cover all of your accommodation, transportation, food, and guide services. Bhutan maintains that it charges tourists this $250 daily charge in order to ensure that Bhutan retains the type of tourist they want. Although $250 per day might be restrictive for some, Bhutan remains one of the most authentic countries you will ever visit.

    MALDIVES

    how much does it cost to travel the world

    While the Maldives is certainly famous for catering to the rich and famous, believe it or not, hostels and cheaper, local guest houses and mid-range resorts mean it’s more within reach than it has been in the past, at as cheap as $100/day with activities like diving, food, and lodging included. Cheaper flights with Air Asia and Sri Lankan Airlines also make it easier to get to than it’s ever been.

    INDIA

    Prior to going to India you will have to apply for a visa. India has a fairly straightforward online application, and if you want to go for 30 days it costs $60 for US passport holders and $48 for EU passport holders. India is perhaps the cheapest country to travel to, but if and only if you’re willing to haggle and hunt for deals. Keep in mind that cheap rooms that run in the $3 range will be very basic and it’s normal to shower with buckets of heated water. You will be hard pressed to find cheap gems in the North but the South with its gorgeous beaches may prove more fruitful when it comes to budget accommodation. Expect to pay 200-600 rupees depending on your haggling skills.

    India has loads of growing hotel sites, such as OYO and Cleartrip, that will display “affordable” rooms for around 400INR-600INR (5-7 USD). The best trick is to look up these hotels then go there and try to negotiate a price directly with them.

    Travel by train in India is absolutely dirt cheap, but book your tickets yourself! Do not trust a local “travel agency” to do it or you might get a train to find you don’t have a ticket. In order to book online you will have to get an account with Indiarail – here’s a guide to help with that.  When you book trains you will be asked which class you want, and while the AC 2 tier might be a little pricier, for the overnight journeys it is well worth it. Flights within India are also very cheap with flights from Mumbai to Goa going for as little as $30. Buses and metros are fairly good and reliable, especially in New Delhi and Mumbai. They also have Uber and Ola which will take you 10 miles for about $300 INR/ $4.41 USD. Local buses are between $25-$100 INR or $0.37-$1.10 USD depending on the distance you travel.

    A sit down dinner for two people can be 600 rupees or $8.81 USD (if you feel like splurging). Street food is delicious and absolutely worth trying as well. Samosas are about $20-$40INR. Bottled water is a must and runs $20-$40 INR or $0.30 USD, or bring water purifying tablets. Sights for tourist will often be $500 -$1000 INR. In general, a daily budget of $30 USD a day for 1 should be plenty, though on a shoestring it can be even cheaper.

    SRI LANKA

    Sri Lanka is a cheap country in some ways and in others, can be quite expensive. Tourism is one of the biggest and fastest growing industries at the moment, and everything from guesthouse rooms to fancy hotels are springing up. Generally, transport is very cheap with train tickets running at just a few dollars, while guesthouses can be more like $20 for a room, which is sometimes hard to swing for a solo traveler. Food runs at about $3-$5 USD for local food. Where Sri Lanka gets expensive is its activities and heritage sites, such as in the Cultural Triangle, which tend to cost around $40 or more per site. My personal spend in Sri Lanka was $50/day.

    NEPAL

    Much like India, Nepal is a very cheap country to travel through, with most food, accommodation, and transport running at just a few dollars if you eat, sleep, and travel using local options. If you end up trekking, as long as you do so independently and avoid Mt. Everest itself, which costs tens of thousands of dollars, you can travel for as cheap as $8 per day on food and accommodation at the lower elevations, and closer to $15 USD at higher elevations on popular routes like the Annapurna Circuit.

    PAKISTAN

    Not many foreign tourists make it to Pakistan thanks to its bad reputation. Travelers who do make it there, though, are welcomed by exceptionally hospitable people, and sights devoid of tourists. Due to its lack of mass scale tourism (and location in the subcontinent), prices are low. Most religious sights are free to enter, cheap street food is plentiful, and hotel rooms can be found for $5-$8 USD per night. The fact that Pakistanis will fall over each other in a rush to host you and invite you to dinner makes it even more affordable! (Thanks for the contribution, LostWithPurpose!)

    Oceania: Expensive

    how much does it cost to travel the world
    Waiheke Island, New Zealand

    While incredibly beautiful, easy to travel through, and safe, Oceania is not a budget destination. The large, major countries in Oceania are Australia and New Zealand and both are expensive. Though the currency exchange is still in one’s favor if traveling on the US Dollar, Euro, or GBP, prices for food, accommodation, transport, and activities are all quite high.

    Accommodation: AirBnB (click for $25 off!)Booking.com

    Transport: AustraliaNew Zealand

    AUSTRALIA

    Traveling in Australia doesn’t come cheap. A 3-month tourist visa is free for North Americans and Europeans and working holiday and work and holiday visas are available as well for a fee, depending on where you’re from. Hotels in Australia are expensive, but what many do is buy and then resell a camper van and road trip through, saving on accommodation costs as well as public transportation costs. Australia is a massive country, so budget in higher costs for gas and flights. Accommodation for hostels is around $15-$20 for a dorm bed, and many have kitchens where you can cook your own food to save money. Expect to spend upwards of $20 per plate at midrange restaurants and especially high prices on alcoholic beverages, even at grocery stores and bottle shops.

    South Pacific: Cheap (surprise!)

    how much does it cost to travel the world
    Photo by Mayumi Ishikawa used under creative commons

    The South Pacific is thought of as an expensive travel destination, with overwater bungalows in fancy resorts, but it’s actually not as budget-breaking as you might expect. Flights to the Cook Islands from Australia or New Zealand start at about $400 return.

    The good news is there are plenty of free activities to do in the South Pacific islands in nature like swim, snorkel, or hike. Accommodation is where most of your money will be spent, with hotels starting at around $100 on some islands, and closer to $10 on others, while food could be as cheap as $10. If you’re a beach lover, want some tropical warmth and are willing to spend a bit more than you would in Asia, this could be a great region to focus on.

    Antarctica – Expensive

    how much does it cost to travel the world

    Antarctica is an incredibly expensive travel destination because it can only be accessed by boat. There are ways to save money by booking a last minute deal out of Ushuaia, Argentina. Still, Antarctica could be the most expensive place you ever visit at a total cost of $10,000-15,000 including airfare to Ushuaia, hostels in Ushuaia, the cruise to Antarctica, and meals. Depending on the length and luxury of the cruise, they can even get up into the $25k+ range.

    Can you afford to travel the world? Here's an epic breakdown of the cost to travel in each and every continent on earth, from North America, Europe, Central America, South America, Asia, Middle East, to Antartica. Start dreaming your RTW trip with this! #RTWTrips
    Pin me!

    Over 7,000 words later, this is the cost to travel anywhere in the world, so get out your globe and start planning!

     
  • Adam 15:20 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    Vandals Strike Again At Karl Marx Memorial 

    Karl Marx grave

    Karl Marx Memorial in Highgate Cemetery (before the vandalism). Photo: Shutterstock

    A couple of weeks ago Karl Marx’s memorial in Highgate Cemetery was vandalised. The person(s) responsible had chipped away at the inscription with a hammer. Now it’s happened again, only this time with slogans slathered all over the memorial in red paint.

    Some of the slogans sprayed onto the memorial include ‘Ideology of Starving’ and ‘Architect of Genocide terror + oppression mass murder [sic]’.

    Although this attack is more visually arresting, it should be easier to repair the damage caused to the Grade I listed memorial this time around. Paint washes away, but after the hammer attack, the charity that manages Highgate Cemetery said the memorial would “never be the same again”.

     
  • Adam 15:18 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    This Photographer Explored London’s City Within A City: The Square Mile 

    The Square Mile is a world of its own. London’s meeting place of finance and tradition, it is a city within a city. A global centre of finance, the Square Mile is at a crossroads. As Britain is about to leave the EU, its status is uncertain. Will foreign finance companies still bring their business here?

    Photographer Polly Braden and writer David Kynaston have collaborated on a book looking at the Square Mile at this pivotal point in its history. Take a look at some of the pictures:

    You can purchase London’s Square Mile from Hoxton Mini Press.

     
  • Adam 15:16 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    Deep Dish Chicago-Style Pizza Finally Arrives In London 

    ‘They do things big, big I tells ya’, Anthony Bourdain said of Chicago. And one of the things they do big has just landed in London: hand-width thick, cheese-covered deep dish pizza.

    It’s been a mystery/source of woe at Londonist HQ for years that there isn’t more Chicago-style pizza in the city. Sure, occasional pop-ups or short-run menus have featured the high-crusted, reverse-toppinged pies, (cheese underneath, tomato sauce on top), but there hasn’t been a reliable, steady source of deep dish pizza in London. Until now. Until Japes.

    The menu’s divided into deep dish pizza and Chicago-style pot pies… and it won’t be long before they’re covering your feeds on social, because the cheese pulls on both are epic.

    The Piccante deep dish is a double-meat, double-cheese knockout. Pepperoni and nduja, mozzarella and parmesan. It looks like it should be denser than a collapsing star, but it’s fluffy-crusted, chewy but light like focaccia: the richness and heaviness is all coming from the toppings.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Jess (@girlwhobrunch) on Feb 4, 2019 at 12:29am PST

    The pizza pot pie is a higher-edged structure, something like a fondue poured into a pastry vessel. The Green Queen (zucchini, broccoli, spinach, ricotta and mozzarella) is hand-width thick, oozing dairy like lava when you cut into it. Green definitely isn’t the prevailing colour; we spot occasional flecks scattered through cartoonishly lavish carpets of cheese. This is food to see you through a Chicago winter… or a Soho drinking session.

    The peripheral things are all simple but solid — welcoming service; decent-priced drinks list; a waffle menu that rivals the pizzas for OTT, dairy-covered lavishness.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Japes (@japes_uk) on Jan 23, 2019 at 5:48am PST

    It isn’t going to be for everybody and you can’t use it to replace any Neapolitan pizzas or NY-slices in your life. But Japes is really, really good at what it does.

    Maybe this heralds the start of an influx of deep dish pizza to London. But right now, this is the only reliable place we know of to gorge yourself on Chicago-style pie, and we couldn’t be happier that it’s come to Soho.

    Japes Soho, 22-25 Dean Street, W1D 3RY.

     
  • Adam 15:15 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    Meet A Lego Walrus At Horniman Museum’s Brick Wonders 

    Horniman walrus

    London’s most famous walrus has been recreated in plastic.

    Forest Hill’s Horniman Museum has a new Lego exhibition called Brick Wonders. Famous landmarks rub porticos with natural wonders, and treasures of the museum itself. Over 50 models are on show.

    Temple of Artemis in Lego.

    The long-lost Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, now rebuilt in the London Borough of Lewisham.

    Highlights include an Egyptian pyramid, the International Space Station, the Temple of Artemis and, of course, the toothsome pinniped who has long been the mascot of the museum.

    Lego safari.

    The natural wonder of a safari scene.

    Lego maestro Warren Elsmore has even created a brickish version of Old London Bridge, packed with humorous details.

    Old London Bridge made of Lego.

    Old London Bridge.

    The exhibition includes plenty of play space for the children, alongside many marvels that will inspire the whole family. When you’re done, be sure to explore the wider museum and gardens, which offer a delight around every corner. You can even get your bearings from a handy Lego model of the museum:

    Brick Wonders is open until Sunday 27 October 2019. Tickets: Child £5, Adult £9, Family (up to two adults and two children) £20. Horniman Museum, 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London SE23 3PQ. Nearest station is Forest Hill (Overground).

    Lego aquarium.

    Lego aquarium, based on the Horniman’s own.
     
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