Frankfurt on a Budget: The Frankfurt Card

Hello once again to another installment of our adventures around the world!  We’ve been posting a lot about Africa (did you read our story about driving 8 hours out of our way to find big cats or how we were robbed in Cape Town?), so a lot of folks think we’re still there.  The truth is, we have been in Europe now for about a month, but we’re soooo far behind on our blog posts (but we’ll catch up!).  If you want to keep up with where we are actually at and what we’re currently doing, I recommend you follow us on social media – where we post regularly – or sign up for our newsletter where we send out periodic updates on what we’re up to!

In the meantime, we’re taking a break from the Africa posts this week to bring you a taste of Europe (don’t worry; we have lots more to share from Africa, so stay tuned!).  When looking at Europe after Namibia, we scoured the interwebs for the cheapest airfare.  Probably due to the large German influence in Namibia, Frankfurt came up as the best option.  Germany, it is!

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And as you know, funds are tight, and we’re always looking for ways to save money while traveling.  Fortunately, many cities in Europe offer discount cards.  We had our first opportunity to take advantage of this in Frankfurt, and it certainly helped us enjoy the city!

Continue reading “Frankfurt on a Budget: The Frankfurt Card”

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5 Tips for Mastering Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing.com is a website platform for connecting a global community of travelers, facilitating stays with locals or opening your home to visitors. Sometimes hosts can offer a private room and bathroom; sometimes it’s literally nothing more than a couch upon which to crash for a night. It is also a place to organize events in cities around the world.

We have used this platform to host eight amazing travelers, and we have also been hosted once abroad in Norway. All of the people we met through this platform were incredible. They all came from different walks of life, and they shared their own travel stories and cultural experiences with us (like teaching us how to drink like a Russian!).

We are the type of hosts who like to treat our guests to local Portland activities, hikes, and even trips to the coast. We enjoy meeting new people, and every experience is completely unlike the last. There are many reasons to love this platform.

Over our many hostings and stays, we’ve learned a lot.  Here are five tips for mastering Couchsurfing.

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Essentials for enjoying an evening drinking with a Russian

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Norway on a Budget!

Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world. Food, lodging and transportation costs can really add up. Despite these high costs, we were able to do this trip on a budget without sacrificing experiences. We even got by without handling any Norwegian cash until we found some while cleaning out the rental car. Here are our actual expenses from our trip to Norway.

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Driving Norway

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5 Tips to Save Money on Lodging Around the World

When embarking on such a long trip around the world for a year, we have to consider ways to save money on one of the top expenses of the trip: lodging. There are many options when it comes to free or cheap lodging. Here are some of our top picks that may be helpful for keeping your lodging expenses low.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

  1. Couchsurfing – Gives you a chance to stay at a place for little or no cost while meeting locals and living like they do. You may have your own room, or literally a couch to sleep on. Hosts can provide many insider tips on the area you are staying in and show you more of the off-the-beaten path activities instead of just the mainstream tourist traps that a hotel is paid to tell you about.

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Discovering Hostels

Our planning continues, but sometimes we have to take a deeper dive into a more focused topic.

All of our traveling thus far has been short-term, well-planned, and reasonably funded.  Our plans for world domination travel are anything but.  A year isn’t “short-term” by any stretch of the imagination.  While we are certainly attempting to plan as much as possible, one simply cannot plan every moment of an entire year.  And though we are saving up as much as possible, the basic fact remains that the further we can stretch our dollars (or yen or euros or krónas or colones), the longer we can travel, the more we can experience, and the safer the cushion for our return.

As such, we will experience something new – a place we have never before dared enter…

Hostels.
Continue reading “Discovering Hostels”