The Three L's for Travelling on a Budget
I put together my top three tips on how to enjoy your vacation without coming home and paying off your travel bills for the next decade.
- Act like a LOCAL. Stay out of the congested tourist areas and you will pay considerably less for almost everything. It's crazy how a price of an espresso will differ from just a block out of the most popular tourist attractions. Also, don't give in to the temptation of paying for overpriced group tours. You can enjoy visiting any tourist attraction at your own leisure without a time constraint of a tour group and following that guy holding an umbrella at the head of the group. You can even download your own audio walking tours onto your iPod. I would recommend Rick Steves.
- Eat like a LOCAL. One of the first things I do after getting settled into my hotel room is hit up a grocery store and the local market for fresh fruits and vegetables. Treat yourself to a wonderful meal at a restaurant, but for the most part, stock up on goodies from the local supermarket, hit up a beach or a park and enjoy a picnic (don't forget the bottle of wine). Think of all the $$ you'll save that can go towards those chic shoes you've been eyeing.
- Live like a LOCAL. Public transit is the way to go. Airports, hotels and any tourist information stands will have public transit maps available. I find Paris to have the best Metro system. It is impossible to get lost, even if it is your first time in the City. Public transit is cheap, hassle free and what more, you get to see how the locals go about their daily lives. And don't forget to just walk. Walk and take in the beauty of your surroundings. Stop and look. Best of all, burn off those extra croissant calories. ;-)
Get a printable map of the Paris METRO here.
Happy & Safe Travels.