This is the Tripbase Blog Tag. “The aim of this game is to unite travel bloggers in a joint endeavor – to create an amazing list of top travel recommendations across the globe to share with the entire online travel community.” – Katie from Tripbase.com
Without further adieu, here are my top 3 best kept travel secrets. I guess these won’t be secrets anymore.
Travel Secret #1: Art of Cheap Accommodations
Everyone has their own travel style. It’s all about perspective. For me, lodging is minimal. I don’t need a Tempurpedic mattress and a flat screen TV. All I really need is a bed with no bed bugs and a bathroom that flushes. Lodging serves as a storage room where I can fall face flat on the pillow after a 15 hour foot exploration Sometimes I book rooms before I arrive. Sometimes I arrive homeless, which isn’t as scary as it sounds. It’s actually much cheaper.
- Arrive in person
- Tell the hotel/hostel half the number of days you’re actually staying. For example, if you’re traveling for 10 days, tell them 5.
- When a daily quote is given, ask then for lower rates for an extended stay. (That’s where the extra 5 days come in handy.)
- After they give you a quote for the extended stay, offer to pay in cash if they could lower the rates even more.
- Then show them your student ID and ask if they have student discounts. (This works better in youth hostels than in hotels.)
My 8-day trip to Istanbul was only $1270 – $640 for round-trip tickets and $630 for everything else. I spent less than $80 a day, including accommodation, food, entrance fees, transportation and souvenirs. I’d say it’s a pretty good deal for independent traveling.
In response to my impression at the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Erica from Traveling Blissful commented, “I think many tourist sites are too hyped up and leave travelers feeling disappointed, wondering ‘What’s so great about this?’” Popular tourist attractions come with high expectations. The more I travel, the more I realize how exquisite the smaller, less discovered places are.
Kaifeng, China is a place was a place where I had no expectations. It was also a place that blew me away. It was here where I discovered Chinese Jews, people of Jewish descent living in China, and their fascinating history and community. It was also here, the view above, where I realized this: the beauty of traveling through China is that sometimes, I feel like I’m in two places at once – the past and the present.
Travel Secret #3: Climb The Great Wall When It Snows
Everyone knows that The Great Wall is impressive in length and in beauty. You’ll sweat buckets if you’re climbing it during the summer and you’ll be throwing elbows if you’re visiting during spring and fall. It’s harder to appreciate the context of it’s surrounding when The Great Wall is inundated with tourists and cameras. I’d recommend visiting in the winter, preferably when it snows. Why? Because…
- You’ll see The Great Wall frosted in snow.
- You’ll have The Great Wall all to yourself.
- You’ll see the rolling mountains and the vastness of the land that it sits on.
- You can build a snowman on The Great Wall of China!
- And because the snow makes it’s ridiculously fun to glide down the descending slopes.
Now, how many of you can say you’ve a snow day on The Great Wall of China?
Now, I’d like to nominate these 5 amazing bloggers to share their top 3 travel secrets on their blog. Tag! You’re it!
- Emma, Aye & Jack at GotPassport
- Keith at VelvetEscape
- Carrie at MySeveralWorld
- Jennifer & David at ApproachGuides
- Talen at Thailand, Land of Smiles