Traveling with Servas International

A big happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers (and even if you aren’t :))!  We are very fortunate to be sharing this day of gratitude with a local Couchsurfer, and it has us reflecting on our other generous hosts.

Throughout our travels, we have employed many ways to find low-cost lodging. Some of these are less interactive like house-sitting, where we watch someone’s pets while they are traveling. Other lodging types are more of a cultural exchange like Couchsurfing, and Servas is another option. It is much more focused on the fostering of world peace and values more sustainable travel practices and humanity. When we have the opportunity, this program is a perfect way to gain a better understanding of cultures around the world by living with hosts for a couple of days.

Small Canal in Netherlands

Have you ever heard of Servas? Most people have not as it is relatively small as compared with other similar sites. In this post, we’ll talk about what Servas is and how it started. We’ll also share some of our experiences over the past five months of travel that have made us well-versed in the program. Read on to learn everything you need to know to get started! Continue reading “Traveling with Servas International”

How to Get Free (or Mostly Free) Lodging Around the World

We want to share with you our favorite types of lodging for long-term travel – particularly the free and nearly-free types that let us keep traveling longer (because that’s the end goal, right?).  When you’re on the road for as long as we’ve been (and will be), you’ll quickly find that accommodation is one of the most expensive buckets of your budget.

Finding a place to sleep shouldn’t cost your entire life’s savings.  Fortunately, in only four months, our food expense has surpassed our lodging.  And this isn’t because we absolutely love food (though we do).  Rather, it’s because we aren’t spending the money on hotels.  Hey, we can’t always afford to stay at a resort!

Read on to discover our favorite programs, what they’re all about, what to watch out for, and how much you can save compared to hotels.

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Continue reading “How to Get Free (or Mostly Free) Lodging Around the World”

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”

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

Continue reading “5 Tips for Mastering Couchsurfing”

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

Continue reading “Norway on a Budget!”

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”