Geneva On A Budget

The challenge with travel is that there are always some areas that you have to spend extra on, whether that’s flights, accommodation or living expenses. There are ways of saving, of course, but some countries are still quite expensive to visit unless you’re visiting or staying with a community such as wheelersangel.com, or something similar. Today, we’ll explore one such city which while incredibly popular to visit, has a reputation of being very pricey. Take a look at the top budgeting tips while you visit Geneva in Switzerland.

Use Trams for Transportation

A yak in Switzerland (Courtesy: Naomi Wirth)

The impressive tram system is by far the best way to get to know the city, and if you’re staying longer than a week, it’s worth getting a weekly pass. Some hotels will arrange this for you or let you have the free weekend travel passes. Snap this offer up. While this is not expensive, you’ll find yourself wanting to save as much money as possible. Trams and buses are incredibly efficient in the city of Geneva, and will take you all the way from one side of the city to the other and right up to several border crossings into France.

Shop for Groceries in France

Groceries (Courtesy: Erik Scheel)

If you’re self-catering and have a car, then the very best way of saving money is to head to France to do your grocery shopping. There are supermarkets just across most sides of the borders and no more than a 20-minute drive from each border post. There, you’ll find cheaper cheese, veggies and things to drink. Just be aware that there are limits on how much you can take back into Switzerland, and carry your passport with you, just in case you are stopped by the border guards.

Explore Paquis on the Outskirts

Bains des Pâquis (Courtesy: Guilhem Vellut)

While there’s no getting away from the fact that eating out in Geneva is expensive, there are areas that make it a little more affordable. Head down to Paquis and especially the Bains Des Paquis for an evening out. The area is a little rough around the edges but like most other major cities, houses the best bars and eateries. The Bains Des Paquis is a popular destination for people looking to enjoy a dip in the lake, a relaxing session in a steam room or sauna and massage followed by a drink and some snacks in the evening. It’s located on a jetty structure and is open all year round. Popular with locals and visitors alike, it’s fun, busy and a great place for people watching.

Head to the High Street

Geneva (Courtesy: Luisfpizarro)

If you’re looking for souvenirs or to do a little shopping on a budget, avoid the main shopping area in the city. This road or two of shops is littered with designer brands and high-end names. Explore Geneva to find pockets of commercial areas that are far less expensive, such as the many markets to be found in Plainpalais and Carouge.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Cost

Saleve (Courtesy: Guilhem Vellut)

Expensive? Yes, but also beautiful, vibrant and fun. Explore Geneva by tram, shop in France and check out some of the sightseer destinations and the beautiful lake that make Geneva such a popular city all year round. Just an hour from the Alps and even closer to the Saleve Mountain Range, Geneva is a fascinating mix of countryside and urban landscape.

Ever explored Geneva on a budget?

Think you have more tips for us?

Let me know through your comments below. 🙂

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3 Of The Best Luxury European Cruise Destinations

Taking a cruise is such an amazing way to travel. You don’t have to worry about waiting in line at the airport for ages or organizing transport to your hotel on the other side. You can just sit back and enjoy the beautiful views of the water while you make your way to your destination. Most cruises are quite cheap and you get to see a few different places along the way as well. Places like the Caribbean are very popular cruise destinations, but there are plenty of other countries around the world where you can have a great cruise experience, especially in Europe. If you want a unique travel experience, you should consider one of these great European cruise destinations.

Spain

Barcelona Port (Courtesy: Bastien Deceuninck)

Spain is a hugely popular destination for travellers who are looking for sun, sea, and sand. Regions like Costa Del Sol attract many visitors who want to enjoy the beautiful weather and the laid back atmosphere. But if you’re looking for a more cultural Spanish travel experience, you might prefer to head to Barcelona instead. This amazing city, known for its impressive architecture, luxury shopping options, and incredible food, has something for everybody. Taking a cruise is one of the best ways to see the gorgeous beaches and impressive skyline of Barcelona, and it’s usually cheaper than flying as well. You can stop off in Barcelona for a day or two and do some sightseeing before you continue your trip around the coast to see some of the other great Spanish coastal resorts.

Croatia

Dubrovnik from the Adriatic Sea in Croatia

Croatia has become an incredibly popular travel destination in the last decade. The coastal city of Dubrovnik, in particular, attracts a lot of sightseers every year. This unbelievable medieval town is filled with quaint cobbled streets and a rich cultural and historical heritage. There are also some beautiful beaches nearby. Even though Croatia is becoming more popular, you can still find some great discount cruises in the area, so it’s ideal if you’re looking to travel on a budget. There are some great guided tours of the old town where you can learn about the history of the place or if you’re looking for something a bit more exciting, there are plenty of adventure activities like sea kayaking that you can do on the beach.

Greece

The Acropolis as viewed from the Mouseion Hill in Greece (Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

Athens is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Europe because it has a great mixture of luxury beaches and cultural sights to see. You can delve into the history of Greece when you visit the Acropolis or Delphi or you can just sit back and relax on the beaches. Athens has one of the most amazing coastlines in the entire world, so there’s no better way to see it than from the water. There are some great cruises that will take you on a tour around lots of different Greek islands, so you can pack plenty into your trip.

If you thought that cruises were just for the Caribbean, think again. These European countries are some of the best places in the world to take a cruise.

Have you ever been on a cruise?

Know more European cruise destinations?

Let me know through your comments below. 🙂

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Need Some Ideas To Fund Your Globetrotting?

After almost 20 months of my new life as a full-time travel writer, I’ve realized how fortunate I am to be able to live my dreams. When I speak to my friends, I sense that I often take for granted this privilege of having the freedom to travel whenever I like. If you don’t get paid to travel, seeing the world is an expensive affair. For many people, that’s fine. If you’re only going to take a two-week trip every summer, then the expense is worth it. But if you love going to new places and want to travel more often, then the cost can quickly become a financial burden. If you need some ideas to fund your globetrotting, then the suggestions in this article could help you earn a little more money.

Make Some Investments


Photo by Artem Bali from Pexels

One smart way to fund your globetrotting is to start making some investments. Your full-time job might help to cover your bills but not always the excess expenses such as flights and accommodation in foreign destinations. That’s why you should aim to increase your wealth outside of your job. Increase your earning potential by putting your disposable income to use. Don’t just let your income gather dust in a checking or savings account. It’s time to start investing. You might want to look into the stock market if you’re keen to make money through trading. Just make sure you do your research to understand how the industry works. You could also invest in real estate. Buying properties to sell or lease can provide a huge ROI, so it’s a great way to raise the funds necessary to go globetrotting. In fact, even if you’re not keen on the idea of becoming an investor, that idea leads on to the next one.

Rent Out Your Property

Many people fund their travels by house-swapping. You find a likeminded individual in another country and agree to swap houses for a fixed amount of time so that you can save money on accommodation. That’s one way to make it a little cheaper to explore the world. But you could raise even more money for your next trip by taking more of a business-minded approach. If you want to start globetrotting for weeks or months at a time, then you could fund those extended trips by renting out your property whilst you’re away from home. Using services such as Airbnb could really help you to bring in a big profit. You might want to look into Airbnb management services to help you arrange the entire thing. It’s important to approach property management like a small business. If you do, then you could really grow your wealth.

Earn Money Online

So many digital nomads fund their travels by earning money online. The internet has opened up new possibilities for people who love to explore the world. The ability to work remotely gives you the opportunity to earn a living in any destination with a WiFi connection. You could find freelance work online, for instance. Whatever your skill set, there’s usually a way to sell your services to clients online. If you’re a wordsmith then you could write marketing copy, if you’re artistic then you could design graphics for businesses, and so on. You don’t have to quit your current job. You could use sites such as Fiverr in your spare time or whilst you’re on the move. Sellers on that site earn their dough from things as simple as playing video games with people. There are plenty of ways to earn online and fund your globetrotting.

Do you desire to travel more often?

Are you a digital nomad with more tips for my readers?

Let me know through your comments below. 🙂

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Tuscany Time: Choosing The Cities You’d Like To See

Visiting a country as old as Italy can often present some challenges when you are hard pressed for time and need to pick a few places at the cost of missing out on the rest. While most of these destinations have a rich history filled with interesting stories, the time which they have had to grow has made them explode into sprawling masses of human activity. In the Italian region of Tuscany, for example, there are more than ten cities and large towns that call it their home, making it hard for travellers to decide what they’d like to see. To give you a bit of a helping hand, this post will be exploring Tuscany, giving you an idea of what you should see when you arrive.

Florence

Florence (Courtesy: Jonathan Körner)
Florence (Courtesy: Jonathan Körner)

Start your exploration with the capital city of the Tuscany region – Florence. First finding its foothold during the Medieval times, this area has always been an important one, with people travelling from all over the world to trade, enjoy the sights, and even show off their passion for fashion. In more recent times, a huge amount of work has gone into preserving and restoring the ancient monuments which make this city much sought after. Florence is a great place to go if you’d like to get a good mix of the old and the new.

Siena

Basilica of San Domenico in Siena (Courtesy: Pexels)
Basilica of San Domenico in Siena (Courtesy: Pexels)

Boasting one of the highest traveller footfalls throughout the whole of Italy, Siena is another great place to vacation when you’re trying to soak up Tuscany. Like Florence, Siena is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has this status as a result of the ancient buildings which have been standing here for hundreds of years. A horse race known as Palio is held in this city twice a year, giving you the chance to watch some real local rivalries unfurl.

Chianti

A vineyard estate in Chianti (Courtesy: Rowan Heuvel)
A vineyard estate in Chianti (Courtesy: Rowan Heuvel)

If you like wine, you’ve probably heard of Chianti before. Home to some of the oldest vineyards in the world, this region has a very strong legacy in making wines. There are few places in Italy which can better the quality of Chianti wines. You can visit this area with most Tuscany tour companies, making it nice and easy to get the chance to try some wine tasting. However, you will have to be careful if you plan to drive after your visit.

Pisa

White Cathedral with the Leaning Tower of Pisa at a distance (Courtesy: Pexels)
White Cathedral with the Leaning Tower of Pisa at a distance (Courtesy: Pexels)

Last but not the least, consider Pisa. Famous for the leaning tower which is a crowd magnet, this city has spent much of its history as a maritime capital. Like many cities with this sort of past, you will find loads of ancient affluence on display, with many of the oldest buildings remaining largely intact. It’s almost a shame that the tower gets so much attention as there are plenty of other unique and interesting buildings in Pisa for you to explore. With all of this in mind, you should be ready to start exploring Tuscany!

Have you been to Tuscany?

Got any recommendations for my readers?

Let me know through your comments below. 🙂

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Thanksgiving Is Better When You Travel With Your Family

Many of my friends will soon be preparing for their Thanksgiving holidays, making plans to party or take advantage of the sales to do a lot of shopping. A few of them will think of heading home to be together with their family. In all of this rush to meet the expectations of the world and popular culture, we have forgotten what Thanksgiving is all about.

Is Thanksgiving Only a Holiday?

Sunset at the Big Bear Dam

Sunset at the Big Bear Dam

If the offers presented by the travel, tourism and hospitality industry are anything to go by, one would assume Thanksgiving is only about going on a vacation so you can make everyone on social media envy you. But do we remember that the true essence of this day is in giving thanks to God for His tender mercies and abundant provisions in the form of harvest? This is one day to be grateful for all that you have. And even if you have nothing to boast about, you still have beautiful sunrises and sunsets which are free for all. A gorgeous sunset that comes to mind is the one at the Big Bear Dam in Southern California. The sight of the sun dipping into the Big Bear Lake is one to behold!

What Keeps You Warm in the Winters?

The wood stove fireplace at Four Seasons Retreat

The wood stove fireplace at Four Seasons Retreat

In our world of thermostats, room heaters, bed warmers and fireplaces, we only think of warmth that can be felt with the skin. But what about the warmth that the heart thirsts for? Is there an electric fireplace for that? There are still some things technology cannot replace, and never will. Love is one such thing. Thanksgiving is a time for the family to be together – not only in bodies but also the hearts. If you don’t have enough room in your house, rent a cosy property at the foot of Moonridge in California’s quiet hideout.

Beyond Turkeys & Big Meals

The modular kitchen at Bear's Lair

The modular kitchen at Bear’s Lair

The few families that still gather together on Thanksgiving Eve, worry about what to stuff into their turkey or if the food will be good enough for the guests. If we put our focus on cooking with love and receiving our kindred with arms wide open, the material things would cease to matter. If you enjoy playing chef to a home full of hungry relatives, you will delight in the modular kitchen at Bear’s Lair which boasts of an island that sits between the cooktop and the dining table.

A Home Away from Home

Pinewood Escape in Fox Farm

Pinewood Escape in Fox Farm

If you were planning on repeating last year’s Thanksgiving rituals this year too, then you need to look for a change. A quiet time away from the routine life at home, and a relaxing getaway to Big Bear Lake. Look for a house you can book on Big Bear Cool Cabins and take advantage of their Thanksgiving offer. You will get your 4th night free when you pay for 3 nights at any of their 350 cabins and private homes. All you have to do is enter “4thFREE” as the promo code when you make your booking. Note that this offer is valid only from 21st to 26th November of 2018.

Big Bear has plenty to offer those who seek. Set on the mountains of Southern California, this vacation favourite has homes that let you escape into another world altogether. Hidden amidst wooded pine trees, its approach roads covered in snow, some of the houses are bound to make you fall in love with them. A couple of miles away from Bear Mountian, Pinewood Escape has an unusual architecture that makes it stand out in Fox Farm.

Big Bear Lake – Highlight between the Hills

Big Bear Lake in California

Big Bear Lake in California

The biggest attraction in Big Bear Lake (the city) is, of course, the Big Bear Lake (the lake). Winters at this lake are quite different from the summers. Most of the watersport opportunities are closed due to the harsh weather, but there is still a lot you can do here – hiking, for instance. Do something different this Thanksgiving!

What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

Would you prefer to travel with your family?

Let me know through your comments below. 🙂

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