In one of my previous articles, I’ve promised to tell you how you can keep traveling even if you’re not a millionaire. Neither am I (unfortunately, haha) and I actually like to put myself the “student” group, however I’m almost always in a different city every week.
In the last article I suggested that when I’m traveling, I try to make my trip as cheap as possible, so basically all my travels are low-cost. That means that I don’t spend much more when traveling than I would spend in Prague.
It’s also important to say that by traveling low-cost I don’t miss anything at all and it doesn’t mean I’m somehow uncomfortable. Actually I think it’s exactly the other way around. I think low-cost traveling is even better than luxury traveling. At least I enjoy it more.
Also it’s essential to say, that my job allows me to travel all the time, but you can find more about that in the previous article.
Of course, everything depends on the destination. It makes sense that a trip to Australia will be much more expensive than a trip to the High Tatras. That’s why I do small trips and big trips. Large trips to far destinations that require preparation and a few months of savings, and that take place once every half a year. When it comes to small trips, I’m gone almost every weekend. And what do I mean by small trips? Destinations that are accessible by car and can be managed within 1-4 days.
I do 99% of my trips by car. I’m not saying that it’s the cheapest option, but you can get anywhere in Europe by car, which is a huge advantage. Two years ago, we took my mom’s car from Prague to Tromso in Norway, which is a hell of a distance, but still accessible by car. The advantage is that you see a lot of things along the way – it’s not a matter of the final destination. Half of my photos were actually taken on the way rather than in the destination itself haha :)))
I have tried an even cheaper option several times, which was a train (for example the last trip to the Tatras, taking a night train), but it doesn’t satisfy me completely, because I don’t have the freedom and can’t make spontaneous decisions. So the car is the only luxury I usually include because I like to be independent and I don’t like planning everything precisely, studying timetables and waiting for delayed buses and trains.
When I decide for a plane, I fly low cost whenever I can. I’ve flown to Oslo for about $20, I’ve got to Dubai from Poland for $100 or from Munich to Portugal for about $60. All this with low cost airlines.
The problem is that low cost airlines are better for weekend trips, as large luggage is almost the same price as the ticket itself. The second problem is that they don’t fly everywhere. So here comes a different tactics.
I regularly follow websites with special tickets and never set my destination first. I always look first on these websites, if there’s a ticket I like and then decide if I want to go to the destination. This happened to me for example two years ago in January when I was sitting in a lecture hall and was browsing one of these websites and saw a flight ticket to New Zeland (to which I didn’t even plan on going) for about $850. In two weeks I was already sitting on a plane.
However, it’s important to mention the fact that I am very flexible thanks to my work, and I can practically hit the plane at any time, which is a big advantage, because a lot of these action tickets are tied to a specific date.
In the destination I transport myself by my own feet. In the mountains it’s called hiking and in the city I’d call it walking around. I often make greater distance in a city than in the mountains, however it’s a wonderful way how to burn all those calories from tasting local dishes and see everything at the same time. Good & comfy shoes needed! 🙂
To find a beautiful nature, you don’t really have to go far. The Czech Republic is well located – the Alps, the Dolomites and the Tatra Mountains are super-close, but we also have places in the Czech Republic that are worth seeing. One is for example Czech Switzerland.
Of course, the farther the destination is, the more expensive the trip will be. However, when I decide to go to the Dolomites for a weekend, I don’t pay for anything special, except the gas. I walk by foot, sleep in a tent and cook on a stove. So don’t give me the “you need money for traveling”.
Length of stay
The longer your stay, the more money you should be ready to pay. In my opinion, the best trips are 2-3 days long, which are actually perfect for the weekends. I have to honestly tell you guys, that it’s not fun to sleep for more than 4 days under a tent at 0°C and less. After 4 days it gets annoying because you are constantly cold and wet and you kinda start to need the shower, haha :))
For longer trips, I actually stick to the same rules as for the short ones. I simply don’t waste money unnecessarily, especially not for food in restaurants or for accommodation in fancy hotels.
I personally prefer sleeping in a tent, bivouacing or sleeping in a car, which are the cheapest options, that basically don’t cost anything. Sometimes conditions don’t allow that, so in the mountains I occasionally sleep in a mountain hut. And even when the mountain hut is not open or something, I don’t have any other option than a hotel.
Sleeping in a tent is a way to save a cool amount of money and you also have a lifetime experience, so it’s a win-win. Do you think you would see a milky way over the Tatra Mountains from a hotel bed? Or that you get to be woken up by deer hanging around your tent?
On the other hand, you really need to have a good tent and a sleeping bag, especially in winter, when the temperatures sometimes drop below zero.
Another problem is that wild camping is not allowed everywhere. The best for this are the Northern European countries, where you can sleep pretty much wherever you want, but you should be careful in the big European national parks. I don’t think there will be anyone in the Tatras checking you unless you pitch a tent directly on the hiking trail, but for example at Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland, I’ve seen rangers checking some places.
I’m a fitness person level 999999, but when it comes to roadtrips and hiking, I’m the biggest pig in the world. I’m able to eat bread with Nutella all day long. I never stick to healthy eating when on the road, because first it would be quite challenging to find something healthy and second it’s unnecessarily expensive. Plus, I love bread very much, so this is actually a good excuse, haha:) I always have enough of exercise and walking on my trips, so I always burn these bad calories.
So guys that’s about it from me and if you have any more questions, let me know in the comments, I’m sure there is something I forgot!:)