Our Traveling Style + 5 tips on how 🎒
I wanted to start posting here on our traveling style and why we called blog Casual Journeys. We are not typical backpackers or all-inclusive people. I would call our style as something in the middle. Yes, we do take backpacks and go, but we don’t give up on some comfort. Most blogs recently focus on things like how to travel on a budget. I mean things like going with a tent, sleep at strangers, camper or dormitory. They give up on many basic needs and comforts. I am not surprised that many of you think that you couldn’t do it that way. Neither could I. But it seems that traveling in a more civilized way has to be pricey. We want to prove it wrong. You can do it. Without bankrupting or giving up on everything that makes you feel good. As well as in your own style. I am sure this tips and our blog will be helpful for the people thinking they can’t afford to travel. 😊
1 Sleeping 🛌
We always try to look for inexpensive hotels, rooms or apartments. But we don’t go below some minimum. The most important criterion is our own room with private bathroom. A dormitory is a no-go. So are lines to take a shower. You can see it’s basic but it disqualifies most of the cheap hostels and bad places.
2 Window 🏙
Recently in Asia, we learned a new one, a window. It might seem surprising but in Europe, we wouldn’t even check it. You don’t rent places to people without a window. Not cool. But in Vietnam, none of those nice European laws exists so we started to look for a window on any hotel pictures. I couldn’t imagine how bad it would feel not having one for few days before I experienced it.
3 Location 🗺
When it comes to hotel location we want hotels as close to the center as we can get. We love to walk when we travel. And taxis are the roots of most scams.
That’s our standard. More is optional. Of course, it’s nice having fridge, kettle, kitchen or washing machine. But we can live without especially for a short time. If we plan a longer stay it’s cool to have a larger room and a desk or table to work on.
4 Budget 💰
Currently, while in Asia, we pay from $13 to $22 for a night. That’s sweet spot when it comes price/quality ratio. Cheaper places are pretty bad and those $30 plus are bascically the same but with nicer pictures. The rooms and service are the same. It seems there is a high threshold where the hotels are really nice but we are yet to discover it.
5 Tools 🛠
When searching for a place we mainly use booking.com, agoda.com or airbnb.com. We always book 2 or 3 nights in a new place in advance. Then we either move away or make a deal without those services or look around the town. Booking.com is pretty solid and dependable. I am yet to be disappointed with the site itself. Agoda.com has terrible customer support and we won’t be using it anymore. They don’t check hotel addresses to carefully and you can put a hotel without an existing one. Customer support is deaf and blind to hundreds of emails. You feel like talking to the robot as they send you their email no. 1 or email no. 2. without reading your issue. Plus you can’t even cancel your reservation yourself! Airbnb.com depends on the city really. In some places, prices are sky high but in others are quite good. Long story short, always check on many portals.
I think those are pretty valuable tips for people that want to travel but are unwilling or afraid to give up on some comfort and style. Remember you can do it! People sleeping on $3 and describing it often spend more in total. I’ve read an article about 3 month Asia of a couple. In total they spent $5 200 minus visas, vaccinations and flights. They were always taking the cheapest possible place found on the Internet. They were always traveling with the cheapest possible transport (but in Asia taking train instead of a place doesn’t always mean traveling cheap 😉). They never hailed a cab. They only ate streetfood.
We are on the road more than sixty days now and we will spend a lot less without stressing out. We do things they call expensive. We think about it but we are not saving on our happiness or comfort. Of course, everyone has their own point of view. But I want to show you that you can do it on your own, in your way and don’t spend more than backpackers on a shoestring. If you read through such travel blogs which describe how they do it and how cheap they try to be it’s easy to think you can’t. If they spent so much money sleeping on $3/night how much I will spend? Don’t be like that and check everything yourself. Everyone likes different things and spend their money in other ways. But I don’t know how they spend so much money while traveling if they spend like $3 for a bed. We don’t limit ourselves as much yet when counting the budget we spend less.
That’s why I create this journal and blog. I am not summing up every cent as it’s up to you how you spend it. But I am going to include a vast collection of actual prices you can expect. You can choose what’s important to you. I double check all the places. I compare a lot of prices so you can know what should be actual cost, how low you can haggle and how to spot a fraud. The most common reason for spending too much is not knowing how much things should really cost. That’s why people spend so much in first few days in a new place. You have no data to compare. I hope all the knowledge I gathered here will be useful also for your journeys. 😊