Our goal is to encourage and inspire those who feel they don’t have what it takes to travel.
Obstacles they find in their lives usually stems from some inner anxiety they can’t shake. We want to emphasize that it’s not as difficult or expensive you might believe at first. And with a little creativity (and a little patience), you will find you can go much further for your money. Here is an update as to what Lily and I have been doing, and how we did it.
Budget Airlines sound terrifying.
The planes are perfectly fine. Unless, you are one of those people who cannot leave the house without most of your belongings. These airlines generally have intense limitations on what you can bring. Once you can find the inner strength to cull your life of all the useless stuff (who really needs all that clothes, anyway), you are well on your way to your destination.
Lily was the one who showed me WOWAir, as budget as they come. Sure, we had a strict limit as to what we could take with us (which means you’re wearing multiple shirts if it’s your first time on a budget airline). But, we paid so little for our flight that it was worth it. 300$ was more than enough to get us to Paris with a lovely stopover in Iceland.
The resources available online are incredible.
We got to Iceland on the cheap. Sure, that’s great, but how are we going to see this mystical place without breaking the bank?
We found a few like minded individuals on the website Couchsurfing (another great website, but we’ll get to that another time) who all had the same idea: see as much as possible for as little money as possible.
Renting a car and feeding yourself sounds expensive. But split 8 ways, we spent around $30.00 CAD each for two days of driving around Iceland with enough grocery store food for everyone (Iceland is notoriously expensive).
On top of the money we saved, we now have friends for life from all over (UK, Romania, Kurdistan and Korea- what a crew). Next stop, Paris!
Another notoriously expensive place to visit is the famous city of Paris, France – though it need not be.
Obviously, anywhere you shop that is in close proximity to the famous tourist destinations will be expensive.
What many people don’t bother to find out before they travel is where to find the cheap stuff. This is where having a small day bag comes in handy.
On the way to Notre Dame, we stopped in a little grocery store that we found basically in an alleyway, and bought some local goodies (which are usually cheap). A baguette, some delicious cheese, a carton of juice, and a beer for the walk (you can drink pretty freely in Paris) provided both of us with an authentic local snack that lasted a good chunk of our walk- 5 Euros for everything.
With the leftover bread and cheese we added a diced tomato and some garlic and had a lovely bruschetta when we got home, along with a 2 euro bottle of wine. Living cheap is easy, you just need to get creative.
Getting to our Workaway host was also an easy task.
My ever patient and internet-savvy Lily, poured through a few websites to find a good deal. We needed to get from Paris to Pontivy, for as little as possible.
The conventional websites were offering trains for 50 euro, busses for almost that, and rideshares that can be inconvenient (we were turned down twice, not very convenient). Not getting discouraged, Lily got creative and we found a last minute deal from Paris to Rennes for 12 euros, with a company called Ouibus (very comfy ride, we recommend checking them out). Another more local bus company took us the rest of the way for the price of a six-pack of beer. Boom, 20 euros, a comfy ride with Wi-Fi, we’re laughing.
Workaway is fantastic – if you know what you’re getting into.
It’s not a paid job (usually) and it’s certainly not a free vacation. You are there to help your hosts with various tasks in exchange for a local and authentic place to stay in the country you want to experience.
One thing that is important to take note of, is whether your host will provide food, a major expense. Use your head, communicate with your potential hosts if them feeding you is in the cards, and you could be experiencing your host country with much less stress on your bank account. Less stress on you means you can really appreciate your new surroundings. Make sure you communicate this thoroughly with your hosts well before you agree to work for them.
This concludes our update. It’s a glimpse into what we have done to get where we are, and how we will be continuing on this journey. We hope our documented journey can help people stop and think about the obstacles in their lives and the obstacles in their minds that prevent them from packing up and seeing the world, and make them realize that, just maybe, those obstacles were never there to begin with.