Category: Frugal Travel

Tips for Traveling Solo

Tips for Traveling Solo

I genuinely enjoy traveling alone.  It allows me complete control over every aspect of my trip, including date flexibility for maximum trip-planning frugality, the experiences I have, and the option to spend exactly the amount I’m making from my weekend of house hacking.  I am better able to maximize spending for my personal happiness, even though there is no one to “cost-share” with.  If I’m not enjoying an activity, it’s OK to just move on.  I can go to bed and wake up when I want to, and I’m the one who sets the pace of the day.  I don’t have to wait around for my companion to get ready or pack up.  It’s a chance to really learn about new cultures since I’m focused on the world around me instead of my companion.  I actually find it easier to blend in with the crowd.  It makes the trip so much more personal, and it’s immensely satisfying to know you don’t have to rely on anyone else to get where you want to go.

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My Worst AirBnB Hosting Experiences and the Lessons Learned

My Worst AirBnB Hosting Experiences and the Lessons Learned

I’ve had some great experiences meeting some wonderful guests, from wine nights to Elf on the Shelf.  Overall, I find guests are respectful of my space.  Many leave my house as clean as they found it.  It’s been extremely profitable.  I regularly get asked about any negative AirBnB experiences, so I’ve decided to keep a running list.  None of the following are bad enough that I’d hesitate to continue hosting.

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Hacking My Half-Million Dollar House

Hacking My Half-Million Dollar House

Living in a house has always been my preferred lifestyle choice, and getting paid to live in my house is even better.  When I moved down from Michigan, I had already been researching my area for 8 months.  The houses were extremely expensive, so I intended to get roommates to help with the cost initially and figured a partner could split the cost with me later.  The roommates turned out to be a disaster, and only brought in $1200/month anyway, so I decided a change was needed.  I tried hosting in my house for AirBnB in June, and found that it was far preferable to roommates, so I invested in the necessities to turn it into a solid business.

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Tips for AirBnB Hosting

Tips for AirBnB Hosting

I almost always rent out my house on AirBnB when I’m out of town because it’s such an easy way to cover the cost of the trip and can bring in a lot of extra cash.  No matter how dirty things are when you get home, you can scrub things down and clean them well.  If things break, guests will usually pay to replace them, and I keep my valuables and important breakables safely hidden/locked away.  AirBnB takes the guest’s money up front when they book and directly deposits into my account the day after they check in, protecting us both.  AirBnB does a great job marketing.  They also help with conflict resolution. See AirBnB’s insurance policy for more details on how they help protect their hosts.

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Barcelona, Catalonia or Spain?

Barcelona, Catalonia or Spain?

Barcelona, in the region of Catalonia, may not be part of Spain much longer.  Throughout our entire trip, we saw peaceful protesters throughout the city who want Catalonia to become its own country and who were pushing for a referendum.  A vote was declared illegal by Spain.  They held one anyway this past weekend, which led to police raiding the polling stations to seize ballot boxes and remove voters and left 850 injured.  We were thankful that we weren’t a part of the violence while we were there just a week before, but it was a great reminder to always be alert when traveling.

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Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

The history behind the city of Rome is fascinating, and layers upon layers make up its story.  Everything was so walk-able, and there were so many free things for travelers to do and see.  The food was delicious.  I was taken aback when I saw just how much wealth was centered in the Vatican City, but it was definitely impressive to see firsthand.  Seeing the sprawling wealth gave me a deeper understanding of our world’s financial inequality.

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Oslo, Norway

Oslo, Norway

It has been a busy couple of weeks, between evacuating to Atlanta for Hurricane Irma, getting back home and putting everything back together, and then heading off to Europe for over a week.  We were definitely tired, but we were even more grateful that the hurricane was so weakened as it passed our home.  We didn’t know if we’d still be taking the trip as the storm was brewing, but getting to Oslo and spending time with my family was such a relief.  I had forgotten what it was like to be a tourist in Oslo, but the Wanderer did a good job reminding me.  Norway is a beautiful country, and the people are very kind and welcoming.

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One Backpack for 10 Nights in Europe?

One Backpack for 10 Nights in Europe?

Yes, one backpack for 10 nights in Oslo, Rome, and Barcelona.  It happens to be my awesome Venture Pal lightweight backpack, which I am a huge fan of.  Incredibly light, incredibly versatile.  The Wanderer and I had 6 one-way budget flights with different airlines, so assuming $50 per bag, that’s a savings of $300 per person.  I’ve talked all about the benefits of traveling light, and given strategies to save space and weight, but this one was definitely my biggest (or smallest) feat.

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