The ultimate guide to finding travel accommodation on a budget

The ultimate guide to finding travel accommodation on a budget

Adoration 4 Adventure’s ultimate guide for finding travel accommodation on a budget.

In addition to flights, one of the biggest costs associated with travel is accommodation. I am always looking for ways to save money and rarely ever pay the full price for a hotel or hostel. This means that I can travel to more places or spend longer in destinations for the same amount.

Here are the methods that I regularly use to find low-cost or free travel accommodation.

Working for food and accommodation

What if I told you that you could get free accommodation by working for a few hours a day? The idea of an exchange of goods or services is not new, however there are now websites that make these transactions even easier to find.

The most commonly known platforms are Help X, Workaway and WOOFing. Each of these usually has a yearly subscription fee but once you sign up, you can then browse for exchange opportunities in the location of your choice. I’ve used another platform called Worldpackers, which charges a small fee for each assignment. By referring friends you can receive discounts off your placements.

Click here to sign up for Worldpackers and search for your first host.

Alternatively, you can search for exchanges the old-fashioned way by contacting the host directly. We all have skills that can be valuable to others. Consider your own experience and what could be useful for an accommodation provider then get in touch with them to see if they are interested in the offer.

Jobs can range from manual tasks (such as cleaning and construction) through to experienced (such as website design and photography). Depending on the level of skill required, each job will have different requirements and provisions. The higher the skill you have, the less hours you will need to contribute and the more you can expect to receive in return e.g. meals, drinks, activities, etc. It is important to note that as these are exchanges, usually no money is paid and it is up to you to secure the correct visa for that country.

Worldpackers exchange in Barcelona Spain

Paying with points

If you participate in any points programs (hotel or air miles) then you may be able to redeem these points for a stay in a hotel. When visiting Portland, Oregon I used my frequent flyer points to pay for a two nights stay in a 3 star hotel with no extra cost for tax or fees.

Before choosing this option, I would recommend considering the value of the points as there may be better ways to spend them, for example, flights with a greater monetary value.

Discounted hotels and hostels

Last minute booking sites will often give great discounts on hotels. In the U.S.A., I mainly use Priceline or Hotwire however I’ll still shop around at other websites to see if I can find a better deal. By using a discounted hotel website, I was able to stay in a luxurious hotel on the Vegas strip for a fraction of the normal price.

The Luxor, Las Vegas

I also like because it’s easy to use and usually has a flexible change and cancellation policy (check before you book). While on a 5 week backpacking trip around Europe, I had to cancel 5 hostel bookings which I did with a few clicks in the app and no penalty fees.

Click here to make your next reservation and receive a $15 USD ($20 AUD) credit after your stay.

When using booking sites, always make sure you check for additional cleaning fees, resort charges and taxes which may not be included the advertised price. I have been caught out before and had an exorbitant cleaning fee waived because it was not obvious when I booked online.

Hotel alternatives

For long-term stays (3 nights or more) I like to use Airbnb. This is a great concept where you pay to stay in someone’s home. Depending on your budget and level of comfort, you can rent a whole house, private or shared room. For my first month in Vancouver I rented a master bedroom with en-suite through Airbnb. It was great because it’s fully furnished and the utilities are included in the costs. I received a a discounted rate because I booked for a whole month.

Airbnb also has a program that lets you earn credits towards your next stay when you refer friends or family. They receive a credit by signing up and you also receive one. By using my Airbnb credits, I was able to rent a private room in Barcelona, right near La Rambla for less than AUD $20 per night.

Click here to sign up to Airbnb and receive a $20 USD ($28 AUD) credit for your first stay.

Most Airbnb property profiles are filled out in full, however you can also read references left by previous guests to get a better idea of the owners and the property. As with the booking sites, check for additional fees before booking.



While on road trips, I will camp as often as I can (weather permitting). There are often free campsites which you can find on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) website in the U.S.A. or using the Wiki Camps app in Australia.

Camping in National Parks will often have a nightly fee attached however its a small price to pay to experience the wonder of being close to nature.

Mt Ashland, Oregon, USA

Hospitality exchange websites

Hospitality exchange websites are more than just about a free place to stay – it is about a cultural and sociable experience where you will spend time with and get to know your hosts.

Since 2010, I have used Couchsurfing to host over 20 surfers, stay with over 20 hosts, and make countless friends all around the world. Other hospital exchange websites include BeWelcome and Warmshowers, however have not personally tested them.

Before sending a CS request, I would suggest doing the following:

  • Make sure that your profile is completed in full. Tell your future hosts and surfers who you really are!
  • If you don’t already have references, ask a close friend or family member to give you a personal reference.
  • Use the filters when searching for a host. I personally only look for hosts who have their profile set to “Yes” (not “Maybe”) and only contact hosts who have over a 80% response rate.
  • Read your potential host’s profile very carefully. Are they someone that you can see yourself getting along with? Do you have interests in common?
  • Check their references. Even if they don’t have negative or neutral references, it pays to read the positive references to get more of an insight about the person.
  • When sending a request, include a short introduction about yourself and why you are traveling there. Highlight why you think it is a good match. Make references to multiple points on their profile to show that you have taken the time to read it.
  • Avoid sending copy and paste requests. And don’t forget to include their name at the beginning!

Click here to see an example of a completed Couchsurfing profile.

Once you are accepted by a host, I would also try to take a gift along (such as wine, cake, etc.) as a token of our gratitude. Some surfers will offer to cook a meal instead, to say thank you. Recently I couchsurfed in Ibiza, Spain for three nights and we shared many meals and good conversations together.


Staying with friends and family

One of my favorite things about traveling is the people you meet along the way. I have made some incredible friendship connections which have lasted long-term from a long distance.

While traveling in Europe on a 5 week backpacking trip, I planned the majority of my stops around where my friends were living. I loved hanging out with them in their city and having a personal tour guide.

I have been so lucky to have such amazing friends and been welcomed by incredibly kind hosts, whom I hope we can also return the favor when they come to visit.

Staying with friends in Edinburg, Scotland

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Adoration 4 Adventures ultimate guide for finding travel accommodation on a budget. Methods I regularly use to find low cost or free travel accommodation.

How do you find travel accommodation? Tell us about it below!

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Close to death: Travelers share their scariest stories

Close to death: Travelers share their scariest stories

Adoration 4 Adventure’s collection of travelers’ scariest stories – “Close to death”.

This collection includes travelers’ most frightening experiences that occurred while traveling. Tales from Spain, India, Mongolia, Cambodia and the United Kingdom.

Want to avoid common travel blunders? Read my top 10 travel mistakes.

Rescued off a cliff face by emergency services

Chantell Collins

Until earlier this year I’d thought I was pretty educated in the dangers of hiking in the wilderness. Back in Australia, you often hear of people who wander off the track, get hopelessly lost and need to be rescued. However, this was the last thing in my mind when I decided to go on a hike in Mallorca, Spain.

My Couchsurfing host told me about a cave that had hole in the roof called “Avenc de Son Pou”. He had been before and said it would be about an easy one hour hike each way. I invited another girl, Maggie, that I’d met through Couchsurfing to come along. She was visiting from Berlin and had never been hiking before.

We arrived to the entrance of the track, a little after 2:30pm. We had come along with a small backpack with water, snacks, and our cameras (or camera phones). Everyone was in great spirits, chatting and laughing as we walked along the trail. In the first 15 minutes, we saw a beautiful waterfall that had us beaming with huge smiles.

After the waterfall, my host seemed a little confused about which path to take. He’d done the hike before but starting from a different entrance. Maggie and I were so relaxed and busy chatting to each other, that we let him make the decisions about which direction to go in. After all, he was the local and we were just visiting. We trusted his judgement.

Soon the path disappeared and we were climbing over rocks, heading towards a large mountain side. Maggie and I became a little concerned and made our thoughts known. My host responded that we should keep going in that direction, as the path was just over the hill and it would be quicker rather than going back the way we came. I remember joking “How do you know we aren’t going to come over the top of the hill and find ourselves on a cliff face?”.

Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. We scrambled our way along the side of the mountain and came over the ridge. It was very slippery and Maggie lost her footing a few times. It was starting to get a little scary but we kept trusting that our guide was leading us in the right direction. Once we came up over the top, the descent was very steep. There were many trees and bushes, so at first it was hard to see exactly what was in front (or below) us. Our guide helped us climb down a small slope onto a ledge. The brush cleared and we could see that we were actually on the side of a cliff.

Did I mention that I am terrified of heights? I found myself sitting on a small ledge, looking down at a sharp drop. To go back up, would mean scrambling up a rocky ledge and putting ourselves in danger. If that wasn’t bad enough, it was also after 5:30pm and already getting dark and cold. I could see that my host was really out of his depth but was trying to keep it together. At that point, Maggie announced that she could go no further and it was an emergency. I agreed with her.

The emergency service workers in Mallorca were incredible. They responded to our phone call immediately and told us not to move from our location. They continued to keep us updated via Whatsapp messages on the progress of the rescue workers. A team arrived by car and two experienced men, climbed up to us and checked on condition first. Maggie had a few minor cuts and scrapes and was a little shook up. They gave us something sweet to eat to get sugar into our blood and made sure we had water.

The men used their flashlights to locate the best route down, which was back over the ridge. At this point it was very dark and although we still were slipping over, it was far more safe than if we had of attempted to get down ourselves. Once we reached the path, we were greeted by the rest of the team including a police officer and firefighters. A few tears of relief and hugs were shared. The workers then pointed to an opening in the mountain and asked if we wanted to go in and see the cave that we had been searching for. Worn out and still in shock, I laughed and responded “proxima vez” (next time).

Close to death- rescued off a cliff face by emergency workers

A forced dip in the frozen river during Chadar Trek in India

Medhavi Davda

Chadar Trek is a frozen river trek on the river Zanskar in Ladakh, India. It is considered to be extremely difficult because one has to walk on the frozen river in winter when the temperature ranges between -15°C and -30°C. The ice on the river keeps forming and breaking and in such cases one has to take an alternate route through the snow-covered steep rocks. It can snow at any time and leave the trekker guessing if there is ice or water beneath the snow cover.

One of the days, I fell into this trap while I was walking on thin sheets of ice. My leg broke the thin layer of ice and made its way through to the water flowing beneath. The ice cold water numbed my leg and my brain together. I controlled the panic inside me and tried to lift up my leg only to realise that my other leg sunk in too. I was inside the flowing river chest-deep and my hands above the chadar. It was this moment when everything around me became blur and I sensed rare possibility of my survival.

I somehow gathered my senses and waved my trekking pole and called for help. There were locals on the trek carrying food items and other necessary camping equipment on the sledges. They saw me and ran towards me. They pulled me out alive and took me away from that trail and made me rest on the sledges to let me catch my breath. They even helped me change into fresh clothes soon. My boots were filled with ice. Socks, double layer of pants, down jacket, gloves, camera, everything was frozen, rock hard. Luckily I had clothes waterproofed in my backpack. And the only way to warm myself again was to start hiking again. I remember how happy I was to have experienced this “FORCED DIP” in chadar and survived too!

Medhavi Davda

Don’t Trust the Mongolian Horse Meat

Meg Atteberry

My eyes opened slowly, the scene gently falling into focus. Where am I and what on earth is that music? Some barley-english rendition of Celine Dion’s “I Will Always Love You” was coming from beyond the headboard. I groaned and tried to roll over. Tubes. Needles. Monitors everywhere. So that wasn’t a dream? I mused. I glanced around the dark room, listening to the soft beep of the machines. I looked at the clock 2:30am. I didn’t have effort for much else, so I succumbed to the sounds of karaoke and passed out again.

Flash back to 8 hours earlier. The 4×4 was bouncing along through the gates of the city of Ulaan Bator. The sudden influx of cars, people, and pollution overcame me quickly after spending a week out in the remote steppe of Mongolia. My stomach started to churn, and I had a headache. My newfound road warrior buddies and I arrived back at the hostel.

“I’m going to lay down and get some rest, I’m not feeling well. Amy, would you mind taking my wallet and picking up some camel felt slippers for my brother while you guys are shopping?”

“Sure thing.” She replied. Without thinking I handed her my travel “wallet” which consisted of a bag with handful of cash, my credit card and passport.

“I’ll see you guys in a couple of hours.” Wrong. What ensued over the next several hours I can only describe as the most violent illness that has ever overcame me. I’ll spare you the details. But between vomit sessions and bathroom trips I managed to get the attention of the hostel owner.

“I think you’ve been poisoned!” She exclaimed. Rather quickly my situation deteriorated and I could no longer stand. Before long I couldn’t feel my face, arms, legs, or even open my eyes. Things were getting pretty dire. A Peacecorps worker phoned the hospital and the embassy. It turns out Mongolia has only two western hospitals in the entire country – and they needed to open one for me.

“Western doctors take a long time to get ready. Do you mind if I use traditional medicine?” The owner asked. She could have told me that she was lopping off a limb with a rusty saw and I would have agreed. A few pin pricks to my knuckles later and the acupuncture was done. Suddenly, my stomach felt some relief as the indescribable pain subsided. But it was too late – I had lost too many fluids – I needed an IV and fast. Before I knew it the doctor was ready and I was holding on for dear life en route to the hospital.

That’s the story about my first real solo trip to Asia. Upon my arrival to the hospital I was treated despite having no ID and no cash. My new found travel friends showed up a few hours later – wallet in tow. Both of them stayed late to take care of me in the coming days and make sure I made it home safely. It took me nearly 2 months to fully recover.

Don't Trust the Mongolian Horse Meat - Meg Atteberry

Fighting with dengue fever in Cambodia

Karin Ardila

I never thought I would ever be the one to catch a tropical disease; I had all my vaccines in check and besides, those things only happen to the other people, right? I was so convinced of this that when high fever struck me in Cambodia, I attributed it to a common flu or a food poisoning. I could not have been more wrong!

Along with serious pain and temperature at almost 40°C, I had to run (better say, crawl) to the bathroom every few minutes. Still, I wouldn’t go to the hospital – I did feel bad (I never felt so much pain in my life before or after) but for some reason I believed a dengue would hurt more.

After three days of sweating and shaking in my hotel room, I finally gave up and decided to seek a doctor. I was barely able to walk – fortunately, my travel buddy helped me downstairs, loaded me into a tuktuk and dealt with all our luggage.
At the hospital, I found out that not only I did have dengue fever, but I also contracted a nasty kidney inflammation. My immune system wasn’t able to deal with it as it was struck with the virus and as the doctor informed me, would I have waited more, it could have caused me life long consequences.

While it is almost impossible to completely avoid dengue fever in hot and humid regions, recognizing the symptoms would have made me seek medical help a bit earlier. I spent three more days in the hospital bed and a week more sleeping day and night and barely walking, however, it took many months until a somewhat complete recovery.

Hopefully you won´t have to deal with the same problem, however, knowing a little bit about the symptoms of local illnesses is always helpful – and so is traveling with an insurance.


Missed airplane landing

Joanna Davis

“10 minutes until landing!” the captain announced, while the big bird was descending slowly from 36000 feet. After 12 hours in the enclosed metallic tube, crossing the Atlantic, I was happy at the thought that I would be with my feet on the ground again, back in control. Even if I travel very often, I am an extremely nervous flyer and I go through a million emotions at every take off. Landing is usually very comforting.

As the plane approached, I could see Heathrow airport and the runaway underneath us. The flight data on my screen was showing an altitude of 25 feet. A few seconds and we would be on the ground. But all of a sudden I could hear the engines roaring and in a fraction of a second the angle of the plane changed and we were going back up. I was violently pushed into the chair by the force of gravity and all I could see was the airport getting smaller and smaller. A few seconds more and we were back into the thick grey clouds, at 6500 feet.

I freaked out. I grabbed the hand of the woman sitting next to me and squeezed it hard. My heart was going 2000 miles per hour, my eyes were watery, my entire body was trembling and all I could think about was that we are going to crash and I am going to die. The woman next to me was trying to comfort me but I felt like I was in my worst nightmare.

It was another 10 minutes until the pilot talked again. He said that we didn’t receive landing permission and that we will try the approach again. By now, I was terrified. No permission to land? Why where we 25 feet from the runway then? Why did we almost land? Was there another plane in front of us? Did the pilot go back up so rapidly to avoid a crash?

I guess I’ll never know….

The World In My Pocket Joanna

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Adoration 4 Adventure’s collection of travelers' scariest stories - "Close to death". Including tales from all over the world. 

Have you had a scary travel experience? Tell us about it below!

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How to travel with a broken heart

How to travel with a broken heart

Adoration 4 Adventure’s recommendations for traveling with a broken heart.

Travel is a mysteriously powerful experience with the ability to heal. Many people choose to take a trip after losing a dear one, whether it be friend, family member or lover. But what happens if you go through a break up while traveling? How do you cope?

This exact situation happened to me on my recent trip to Portugal. I was half way through a 3 week European backpacking trip when my relationship ended. I was alone, in a foreign country and staying in a shared dorm at a hostel – could it get any worse? (Of course it could – I am being dramatic).

No matter what your situation there are things that can help you deal with heartbreak.

Take time out to grieve

Just because you’re on holiday doesn’t mean that you have to pretend your heart isn’t breaking. You might be tempted to hold it in because you’ve made great new friends and don’t want them to see you at your worst. Put on a brave face when you head out, if you prefer, but make sure that you are taking time out to process the situation.

And if you feel like sobbing openly in the middle of the street, that’s cool too. You probably won’t see any of these people again anyway, so who cares? I cry on plane rides all the time. It’s practically a habit at this point and very therapeutic.

Either way, be gentle with yourself. Going through a break-up is a painful experience. Now is the time to take it easy and let all your emotions come out naturally.


Try to find some personal space

For all this grieving, you are probably going to want to have some privacy. Not a problem if you have the funds to check into a private hotel room with discreet staff who will bring you room service and not judge your tear-stained face. For those of us who are budget backpackers, this can be a little bit more tricky.

In my situation, I was staying in a shared dorm room in a hostel. On my first night, I was lucky to have the whole room to myself and could let all my emotions out. However on the other nights, when I had roommates, this kind of behavior would have been considered awkward at best.

So if you find yourself in the same situation, I would recommend upgrading to a private room if you can. At this point you need your space and it’s well worth the extra bucks. Alternatively, try to find some private spaces in your hostel where you can be alone.

Reach out to loved ones for support

This is the time that you need your family and friends. If you were back home, your BFF would be on their way over with a tub of ice cream, boxes of tissues and an armful of DVDs. However, now that you are traveling it’s not so simple.

Luckily in this day and age we have many communication platforms such as Skype, Whatsapp, email, etc. Use these without restraint. I spent countless hours on emergency Skype conversations with girlfriends from all over the world, including Brisbane, Vancouver, New York City and Ghana.

We’ve all experienced heart break and feel for others when they experience it themselves. Your friends and family will want to be there for you, especially because you are thousands of miles away. Let them support you, even if it’s not in person.

Don’t be afraid to stop or change your plans

Okay so your world has ended. Or at least your relationship has and it feels like nothing will ever be okay again. That’s normal and it will pass. The question is “what to do now?”. Do you keep traveling or go home? The right answer is the one that’s right for you.

I know plenty of bad asses who power through their break-ups, determined to continue on the path that they set off on. On the other hand, if you can’t go on, then that’s perfectly understandable. The world is going to be waiting for you once you get back on your feet.

For me, I knew that I couldn’t continue traveling as if nothing had happened. Rather than heading back home (where is that again, anyway?) I decided to fly to the closest city where I had friends living. I needed to be around people who cared for me. Even though I changed my plans and missed out on visiting the south of Portugal and Spain, I knew that I could do those trips again in the future. And I plan to!


Keep busy, busy, busy

Our minds are very powerful and left unchecked, they can run riot. Better to keep yourself busy with positive and constructive tasks. Or binge-watch the entire six seasons of Sex & The City (I’ve been there!). In my case, I was in Porto and Lisbon and needed a distraction but couldn’t string together a plan in my messed up state. So I went three different walking tours. It took my mind of the situation and I didn’t have to think too much about what I was doing.

Probably a good idea to stay off social media, especially if you are still friends with you ex. Also it’s not so much fun seeing your friends’ happy couple photos plastered all over your feed. You’ll get there, but you definitely don’t need to see that right now.

Don’t do anything permanent

The first few weeks following a break up can be a roller coaster of emotions. You may experience anger, sadness, relief and many more feelings. There is no right way and we all process break ups differently. These emotions might influence you to do something crazy like going on a silent meditation retreat or a booze-filled bender of nightclubs. Do whatever feels good but don’t do anything permanent.

Now is not the time to be making life changing decisions. So probably best not to sign up to the Peace Corps or get a lower back tattoo. If you really want to go wild, get a piercing – at least those come out easily.

Start making new exciting plans for the future

There is no rush to start thinking about the future. And in the beginning, it will probably be hard or even painful to imagine a future without your ex. However, as the weeks pass you will start to feel more like your amazing self and be feeling more hopeful about the future.

The positive of a break-up is that you are now able to do whatever you want without any input or consideration for a significant other. The beauty of being single is that you are free!

So what dreams have you been putting off because it wasn’t the right time? It could be a one year solo backpacking trip or relocating to The Netherlands to learn Dutch. I recommend writing down a list of all your goals and aspirations. This could be for work, family, hobbies and of course, travel! Personally, I write and review my goals every three months. These goals include short-term and long-term so I can always be working towards the future that I dream of.

What is the future that you are envisioning yourself in now?


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Adoration 4 Adventure's recommendations for traveling with a broken heart. Tips to help you cope with a painful breakup while on the road.

Have you gone through an emotional experience while on the road? Tell us about it below!

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Saving money on clothing to spend on travel – Part 2

Saving money on clothing to spend on travel – Part 2

Adoration 4 Adventure’s recommendations on saving money on clothing to help you travel more and for longer.

I want to do more than just inspire you to travel, I want to help you make those dreams a reality. And one of the biggest barriers to travel can be funds.

This is part 2 of how to save money on clothing to spend on travel. Some tips may seem simple, while others a little radical, however you can pick and choose what works for you. The important thing is that you are making positive changes to the way you spend and putting it aside for your goals.

For more budget tips, read recommendations for finding travel accommodation on a budget.

1. Wear your clothes until their dead

A good way to save money on clothing is to maximize your use out of the items you already own. Basically as a piece of clothing starts to get worn, re-purpose it into clothing that you wear to go to the gym or clean the house.

When packing for my travels, I will often take older items of clothing. On my 9 week backpacking trip to Central America, I filled my backpack with clothes that were due to be trashed / donated. And then as I traveled and no longer needed the item, I would discard them, returning with a near-empty backpack.

This idea is great for so many reasons – firstly a lot of clothing would have gotten worn or damaged during the activities I was doing anyway. And secondly, this makes room in your backpack to pick up some nice souvenirs or local crafts! (Just make sure resist the urge to fill up your bag with more impulse-bought clothing).

Packing list for warm weather travel - His and her bags

2. Borrow and swap clothes

I will try everything I can think of before actually investing in a new item of clothing. I avoid it at all risks! Not only because I don’t like the activity of clothes shopping (who else hates trying on clothes?) but also because I would much rather spend that money on a trip!

Rather than buy new clothes, consider swapping or borrowing. Think about who is in your family and friendship circle that you could borrow or swap clothes with. I often borrow or exchange things with my Mum, as we have similar dress and shoe sizes. I have also borrowed from a boyfriend’s wardrobe on more than one occasion.

While living in New York City, I used to attend regular “clothes swapping” events (found through the website Meet Up). These events had strict guidelines about the quality of clothing and swapping process (donate one, take one) to ensure fairness for all. Try searching online for a clothes swapping event near you, or even start your own with some friends. I’ve also heard of these being organized for high-cost designer wear and handbags. It’s a great way to increase your wardrobe, while getting rid of clothes you no longer like, without spending a ton of money.

3. Thrift Stores

If I have to shop, then I prefer to hit up thrift stores (Op Shops). Often you will get way better quality of clothing for less money. And the items are always well-washed and often in great condition. I’ve purchased many lovely brand-name sweaters (jumpers) and corporate-type clothing from thrift stores in New York City, Vancouver and now in my little city in the north of Spain.


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Adoration 4 Adventure's recommendations on how to save money on clothing to help you travel more and for longer. Part 2 of 2.

How do you save money for travel? Tell us about it below!

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Saving money on clothing to spend on travel – Part 1

Saving money on clothing to spend on travel – Part 1

Adoration 4 Adventure’s recommendations on saving money on clothing to help you travel more and for longer.

This month I am going to share my methods of reducing your clothing expenses. Although these will be from a female perspective, the suggestions can be applied to most lifestyles. I am by no way a fashionista so this won’t be a list of places to buy discount designer brands but rather practical changes that can be applied to everyday wardrobes.

So let’s get started! Here are some easy tips on how to save which can be used for any situation, not just for your future travels.

For more budget tips, read recommendations for finding travel accommodation on a budget.

1. Minimize the contents of your closet

Knowing what you already own is the first step to being able to control your clothing costs. And it’s hard to be familiar with your inventory when your closet is packed full of clothes that you don’t even remember buying. I suggest doing a major clean out (have a supportive friend with you if necessary).

1. Go through each item in your closet and assess when the last time you wore it was.
2. If you haven’t worn it within the past 6 months – it’s going (12 months if the item is seasonal).
3. Establish 3 piles: Keeping, Donating and Trash.

Be ruthless! It may seem difficult at first, but you are really just getting rid of things that you don’t use. Also, you will feel so much better and in control when you can see and remember what is in your wardrobe. This makes it easier to make smart purchases and quickly match-up outfits.

Once you have a more slim-lined, functional wardrobe it’s important not to fill it back up with impulse purchases. Try implementing a “one in, one out” system, where you have to discard an item when you buy a new item.


2. Make sure it’s a match

Now that your closet is sorted, you will know exactly what’s in it. So when you do go shopping, make sure that you are looking for items that are versatile and work with your existing inventory. My rule is that the item must match with at least 4 other pieces in my wardrobe (I also apply this to when I am packing for a trip). There’s no point of cluttering up your closet with statement pieces that you will only wear once to a party and never be able to wear again.

3. Buy basics

Make your wardrobe even more versatile by purchasing clothing in block colors and avoiding patterns. I also steer clear of white as it tends to get marked or stained more easily. If you do decide to purchase something with a pattern, try to keep it simple by sticking to 2 colors e.g. stripes or polka dots. This will make it easier to match up with existing items. There’s nothing worse than buying a great new shirt and then realizing you only have one pair of pants that you can wear it with.

I love having basic pieces like scarves and tights. These are really functional and multi-purpose. Scarves can be used as a shawl, beach towel, sarong and pillow (a must for plane travel!). With tights, I can wear them with a shirt or under a dress. I prefer owning tights over jeans as they are also lighter to pack, take up less space and usually cheaper to buy. If tights aren’t your thing, consider buying cotton or khaki pants as an alternative.

Our packing list for cold weather travel

4. Choose quality over price

Buying cheap clothing can be a real temptation and I’m just as guilty as the next person. However in my experience, the majority of inexpensive clothing starts deteriorating pretty fast. Not good for the environment and not good for your wallet. I would recommend choosing quality (bonus if it’s locally made and Fair-trade!) over price, for a good long-term investment.

Of course there will be exceptions to these rules, after all we need to get dressed-up for fancy events on occasion. However, I am confident that if you apply these guidelines you will save money on clothing which you can put towards your future goals (travel or otherwise).

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Adoration 4 Adventure's recommendations on how to save money on clothing to help you travel more and for longer. Part 1 of 2.

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Top 5 tips for traveling with a food allergy

Top 5 tips for traveling with a food allergy

Adoration 4 Adventure’s top 5 tips for traveling with a food allergy.

While traveling in Europe last year, I experienced a number of strange symptoms that were totally new to me. Friends of mine who had food allergies recognized similarities in the symptoms and suggested that I might have some kind of gluten intolerance. I also have a lactose sensitivity and it is not uncommon to have more than one type of food allergy. I decided to cut gluten from my life, which I ended up doing for over three months. The day that I started was a sad one, particularly because carbohydrates had been my favorite food group up until that point.

Having a food allergy, intolerance or preference can mean making major lifestyle changes, however it shouldn’t necessarily cost the things you love the most, including travel. The following are methods that I use for traveling with a food preference and could also be applied to other dietary requirements, allergies or lifestyle choices including vegetarian and vegan.

Top 5 tips for traveling with a food allergy

5. Research before you go

Some destinations are more food allergy friendly than others so it is a good idea to research your destination before you book that plane ticket. For example, if you are lactose intolerant you may find it difficult to find soy milk (or other dairy alternatives) in more remote places.

In those situations, you may choose not to travel to a destination that doesn’t have easy access to alternatives or just skip that particular food type altogether, like switching to black coffee instead of using creamer. Either way, knowing more about the destination will help you prepare and make more informed decisions.

4. Seek out food allergy friendly restaurants

Look online or use an app like Yelp to search for restaurants that are allergy friendly and see what places are in the area that serve food you can eat.

It is a good idea to call the restaurant to make sure they have the proper ingredients in stock. Also check if you need to order ahead of arrival, as sometimes they need to make your meal from scratch.

Tell everyone - Top 5 tips for traveling with a food allergy

3. Tell everyone

When dining out make sure to be upfront and clear about your food allergy with your server. It helps to say “I am allergic to ….” rather than “I have an intolerance to …”. Saying you are “allergic” is often taken more seriously and the server will be more likely to communicate this message to the kitchen. For countries with a foreign language, you could create small cards (or even pieces of paper) with a sentence in the native language stating what your allergy is.

This applies to plane travel too. When booking your flights don’t forget to indicate that you have a food allergy. The positive is that you will be served your meal first.

It is also important to tell your friends, especially when being invited over for dinner. The only thing more uncomfortable than disclosing your food allergy, is to show up and have to sit there while everyone else eats. If you are worried about making a fuss, you could always offer to bring along a dish for yourself so that the cook doesn’t have to make a separate meal. More often than not, your host will be more than happy to accommodate you.

2. Cook your own

Since finding out that I had a gluten allergy, I cook more than I ever had. The upside is that I am saving more money and eating healthier.

Whenever possible, you can try this for your travels too. Either precook meals to take with you or once you arrive at your destination, head to the supermarket to purchase ingredients for cooking in your hostel/hotel kitchen.

Cook your own - Top 5 tips for traveling with a food allergy

1. Carry snacks

These days I always carry gluten free snacks on me whenever I am away from home. This way, if I find myself in a situation where there are no appropriate food options, I can fill up on fruit or a GF snack bar that I have hidden away in my bag.

There is nothing worse than waiting in an airport and realizing that there are no suitable food options for you. It is easy to pre-purchase snacks and take them on trips with you.

Pin it for the next adventure!

Adoration 4 Adventure’s top 5 tips for traveling with a food allergy. Can also be applied to other dietary requirements and preferences.

 Have you traveled with food preferences or restrictions? Tell us about it below!

And if you liked the post – share it with your friends on social media.