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How we find the best travel tips
Most people go straight to Trip Advisor or Yelp when they want to know about what to do or where to eat while traveling. While those websites can be useful at times, they usually aren’t the most reliable sources of information because most of the advice you get from these sites is just the opinion of random people who felt inclined to comment on a topic. On the surface, it sounds like it should make sense. After all, you’re getting the opinions from multiple people who have been there or done that. However, we have found that the vast majority of travelers don’t actually know how to find the best travel tips for a specific destination and, therefore, end up just doing what everyone else does. That means they easily fall victim to tourist traps and often don’t even realize it. In turn, these tourist traps get all of the attention on these types of websites.
We have found that the best way to find reliable information on a specific destination is to search for blog articles that were written by people who don’t have a vested interest in selling you something and who have clearly done their research. This is one of the steps that we take when looking for insider tips and hidden gems. The other thing we do is probably the most simple of all. We talk to locals. Locals generally know way more about an area than anyone else and they usually don’t have any vested interest in sending you to one place or another. Locals give you the most authentic opinions about certain places and are one of our most important resources when writing articles.
With all of our travel tips, we strive to help you save you money and have the most authentic experience in your chosen destination. We do everything we can to provide the most useful information so that you can make a conscious decision about what to do, which food to eat and where to stay.
How We Make You a Smarter Traveler
The fact that we travel so much leaves almost all of our friends and family in shock. They are always asking us, “How can you two afford to travel so much?!”. They’re astonished because we have done most of our traveling on only a single income or on no steady income at all. This brings us to the next goal of our blog: We want to help you become a smarter traveler. What does that mean? Well, traveling doesn’t have to be expensive like everyone thinks. We are here to help you get the best deals on hotels, save on vacation homes, show you how to minimize transportation costs or where to get the best deals on rental cars (if you absolutely need one) and how to save money on food while traveling (often the biggest expense!). We want to show you that paradise isn’t reserved for the rich and that you don’t need much money to take the vacation of your dreams.
We are currently traveling full time, saving for retirement, saving to buy or build a house and putting money away for a rainy day. You can too! And no, we are not earning an income from this blog.
We hope you enjoy our travel stories and benefit from our tips. Choose the destination from the menu to get all of the information you need for a fun and affordable vacation there! We also offer general travel tips and more specific articles about traveling on a budget to help get you in the right mindset for achieving your travel dreams. Please feel free to comment or contact us on Instagram with any questions. We’re happy to help! Happy travels!
4 Best Ways to Save Money While Traveling
One of the biggest areas we focus on with our blog is the best ways to save money while traveling. The number 1 excuse for not traveling is “I can’t afford it.” In most cases, that is simply not true, as there is always a way to travel cheap! We have an article dedicated to saving money while traveling on a budget, but here is a short list of the 4 best ways to save money while traveling:
- Stay somewhere with shared facilities (bathroom, kitchen, etc.).
- Cook as many meals as you can.
- Walk instead of taking public transit or other paid transportation services.
- Take Sandeman tours or other free tours.
Even following just one of these 4 tips will help save lots on your next trip. Combining all four is the key to cutting down on your biggest expenses while traveling. If you really need to watch your budget, then you should definitely read the article we mentioned above.
Free Travel Planning Service
We consider ourselves professional travelers. We find the best ways to save money, the coolest activities to do and we fall into the traps so that you don’t have to. We do everything we can to help you become your own expert travel planner, but in order to make things even easier for you, we’ve decided to launch our free travel planning service. You can read more about our travel planner to get a better idea of what exactly we’re offering and why. If you still prefer to plan everything yourself, then we also provide you with all of the useful links to find the best travel deals.
Quick Tips for the Self Planner
Planning your own trip gives you the peace of mind in knowing that you are responsible for where you go and where you stay. We totally get that. That’s why we wanted to offer up some quick tips for using some of the more popular accommodation and rental car booking platforms:
- When using Google Flights (if flying):
- You aren’t limited to searching from one destination to another. You can input up to 5 departure airports.
- You can also use the “explore” option to look at a map and see the cheapest flight prices to any destination around the world.
- When choosing a destination, you can use the price grid to find the cheapest dates to fly. This gives you a convenient graph, showing the dates with the lowest flight prices.
- After opening a link for booking.com or agoda.com:
- It is important to not close the page or tab! We’ve lost good deals before by closing the page.
- If you don’t plan on booking today, then you can pin the tab by right-clicking on the tab and selecting the “pin tab” option (This will keep the tab open in your browser, even if you close it, so that you don’t have to look it up again next time).
- Search your dates and always use the search filters to find the perfect accommodation within your budget and with your preferred facilities. We always choose $0-$50 per night and a rating of 8+. All other filters depend on your situation and preferences.
- When using AirBnB:
- If you do not have a profile yet, then here’s a coupon for up to $50 off your first stay.
- It’s important to keep in mind the different types of accommodations that are listed.
- If you insist on complete privacy, then you will need to use the filter “entire place” to ensure you have your own apartment or house all to yourself.
- If you’re on a tight budget, then you may be more interested in the “private room” option. This usually cheaper because you share the common areas with the host or other guests.
- You can also find campgrounds, tents and even barns to sleep in.
- Once you’ve opened a link for rentalcars.com:
- Insurance is not included in the displayed price. This is our least favorite aspect about this comparison portal, but if you’re already insured through your own car insurance company, then it’s not a big deal.
- Ratings matter. The rental company’s rating is more important to us than the price and that’s because rental car companies are notorious for scamming their customers. That’s why it’s vital to make sure you’re renting from a reputable dealer AND a reputable third party.
- Comparison websites also show offers from third parties. Even if you’re picking up the car from a well-known company like Hertz, your contract usually goes through the comparison website and a third party. These are the people with whom you will take up any complaints or raise any claims.
Top 3 Inspirations for Our Travel Website
- Too much clickbait. Unfortunately, we live in the age of clickbait. It’s everywhere we look and we can’t avoid it. The problem has become so bad that you cannot even do an online search for a topic without coming across oversimplified titles that entice you to click on an article, only to leave you disappointed. Like most internet users, we want this to stop. This leads us to our next point.
- Lack of authenticity. Especially in the travel sector, there is an ever increasing lack of authenticity when it comes to travel articles. Everyone is essentially writing the same thing and just switching the words around a bit. You don’t need a Cliff Notes for travel since most articles are the same anyway. We want to bring the authenticity back to travel blogging and offer readers real value, which brings us to the last point.
- Lack of unique perspectives. Since everyone seems to be writing the same things, there seems to be no unique perspectives when it comes to travel. How can it be that everyone had the exact same experience, loved the exact same things and 100% of the trip was absolutely fabulous? That’s just not realistic. We do everything together and even then we don’t have the same experience. This is why we try to write from two unique perspectives (hence, he said or she said) that you won’t get from your cookie cutter travel blog.
5 Ways You Can Support Us for Free
It would be our dream come true to spend the rest of our lives traveling the world together and collecting priceless experiences. Sadly, nothing is free; neither traveling nor maintaining this blog. This is where you can help and here’s how:
- Bookmark our website or pin our website in your browser so that you can come here first when you are ready to plan your next trip. There’s a good chance that we will have written some suggestions for you.
- If you can’t find what you’re looking for, contact us via Instagram with any questions you may have. We also have travel experience in many locations that we haven’t yet written about and we are happy to point you in the right direction (for free, of course!).
- Use the helpful links found on our website, which take you directly to the page you need, meaning less work for you. Affiliate links give us small commissions on bookings that you make through our website at no additional cost to you. The commission is fixed and we get a percentage of it. By not using our links, the giant corporations get the entire commission. Regardless, you pay the same price.
- If you like what you read, we encourage you to share our articles with your friends and family via Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter or whichever platform you prefer. This helps our travel blog extend it’s reach and find others who may benefit from our content as well.
- Give us feedback! This might be the best way to help us. We need to know if something we have written is unclear, if information is missing or if it is just plain wrong. Sometimes things change in an area and we may not have been able to update our article. Always let us know by leaving a comment on the article.
Collaborate with Us or Become a Sponsor
If you or your business is interested in collaborating with us on a project or sponsoring us in some way, please contact us via email or Instagram with your proposal. You can also view our profile on Hotspot for more insights and statistics. Please keep in mind that we strictly accept proposals that align with our content and which do not take away from the authenticity of our brand. For example, we have never mentioned or recommended jewelry or watches because these do not really have anything to do with traveling. We frequently recommend hotels, restaurants, rental cars and transportation options, useful travel items, tours, programs and anything that saves travelers money without taking away from their overall experience.
More Information About Us
This section is dedicated to all of the sappy romantic stuff we have to say about each other. We wrote these articles when we first started this blog and are telling you about ourselves from the other person’s perspective. As you know by now, this was in line with the same idea we had when we started the travel blog. There are two sides to every story and everyone has their own perspective, which is why we wrote this in the He Said or She Said style as well.
He Said About Her
“When you have someone who means the world to you…then the description of the person more effectively takes the form of a feeling.”
To be completely honest, this short article is more difficult to write than the majority of the content that we have, and will, produce on this website. One may think it should be easy to write about a person you care for, but I believe that when the feelings are strong enough, then it becomes everything other than easy. The reason is simple: When you have someone who means the world to you, someone who you would do anything for, who knows every intimate detail about your life; with whom you argue, share a bathroom, bed, food (yes, even my fries), you name it, then the description of the person more effectively takes the form of a feeling. It’s really like a sense of confidence. It’s looking at or thinking about her and not having any fear or doubt. Unfortunately, I cannot give you a true sense for such a feeling, so I have to do the best with the few words here.
In case you haven’t gathered this yet, I share a life with her. It is not always easy, so I will not pretend like it’s a fairy tale, but I would also be lying if I said that the bad times were nearly catastrophic (crossing our fingers that it never gets to that point). Despite the fact that she can be more stubborn than I, we still have a natural way of just making things work. She has many qualities that really compliment my personality, such as her love of traveling, her sense of humor, her love of sarcasm and quite possibly the most important of all, her love of food.
The differences are also important to mention, however. She can be quite jealous, sometimes more introverted than I like to be and other times more adventurous than I like to be. Despite the small differences, I still could not imagine my life with anyone else. She’s simply a kind and funny person, who also happens to be smarter than me; although, I’ll argue that with her until the day I die. 😉
This short article doesn’t nearly do her justice and I could go on for days describing every minuscule thing about her that comprises the woman I love, but I will spare you the time for now. All in all, I am looking forward to learning and growing with her for the years to come.
She Said About Him
“I must gladly admit that I have a wonderful person by my side with whom I do not mind spending every day because he makes every single one of them a special one.”
Before I will start telling you something about him, I will tell you something about myself. I apologize for this little egoistic act right at the beginning, but unlike him, I am not a native speaker of English. Therefore, just ignore my mistakes. However, I am pretty sure that he will revise this text before uploading it to the internet.
And here you go, the part about him just started. To be fair, I am happy about the fact that he cares about my improvements in English since I always try hard to express myself correctly. Nevertheless, this does not change the weekly routine that we agreed on. We speak German on 5 out of 7 days and he is really stubborn about that. On most of our English days, he still tries to make me speak German with him. That is really selfish, isn’t it? But, looking at it positively, it shows his passion for the German language and his aim is to speak German one day without any noticeable accent. I am sure that he will achieve this aim since he is already very good at it, even though he never believes me when I tell him that.
Another common aim is to travel as much as possible. He loves traveling and seeing new things and I love listening to him getting all excited about our future plans. Planning our future has become a serious and important topic for him as well as for me. He already has some precise and concrete plans that he loves sharing with me. But let’s not talk about these big life-changing plans, although I am sure he would prefer me sticking to this topic. Let’s talk about the little things that make him the person I love.
He always gets very upset when someone tries to make life more difficult for me or people he loves. But he is always optimistic and tries to see the good things in every person and every situation. I really admire him for his ability to leave bad things behind and quickly move on because he believes that these things are not and will not be important for him or affect him in any way in the future. In this respect, he is a very rational person and tries to avoid emotional thoughts. Nevertheless, I have to admit that sometimes I would like him to be more emotional. But I do not want to start complaining about things that are not important.
Now it has become obvious that he has changed my thoughts and feelings, to an extent, and that I have slowly started not caring about silly and unimportant things. And now I also realized that I started talking about myself again. It is hard to only talk about someone else without revealing one’s own personality. However, not letting these silly things lead to fights has improved our relationship.
We always make decisions as a team and we have become pretty good at that. But let’s go back to the purpose of this text and only talk about him. Every morning, before he leaves for work, he says that he loves me and I can tell that he is always happy to see me when he comes home from work. These little things make him an adorable and caring person, whom I appreciate a lot.
Of course, there are some little things that I don’t like, for example the fact that he always leaves his lunch box on the counter instead of putting it in the dishwasher right underneath it. He has some really good excuses for these kinds of habits that I will not discuss in detail. I’m sure some women or men know exactly what I’m talking about.
Apart from that, he knows how to make me happy and how to make me laugh. He somehow figured out how to turn a stressed me into a laughing me. That makes it really hard to be mad at him. But like I said, these situations would not be important in the long run, anyway, so being mad at him is a waste of time. I know that he loves me and he knows that I love him, and he would never do anything on purpose to hurt me. To sum up this long section “about him”, I must gladly admit that I have a wonderful person by my side, with whom I do not mind spending every day because he makes every single one of them a special one. That was maybe a little too romantic; I hope he won’t mind this rather emotional statement in the end.
How He Met Her
“There she was, sitting directly across from me with a smile that could melt even the coldest of hearts.”
This story begins around October of 2012. I was about 1 month into my university exchange year in Germany and the journey to finding myself had begun. At this point, the majority of my exchange had been spent with other exchange students from around the world, which of course makes sense, considering that we were all embarking on this strange, new and exciting adventure together; not to mention the fact that our first few weeks were spent in classes to help us improve our language skills and adjust to the culture—something that Germans would obviously not take part in. That aside, it had become a weekly ritual for us to go down to the local Irish Pub on Monday nights and sing karaoke. Naturally, I loved the event. Now before I get too carried away, I will admit the obvious cliché. Yes, we met in a bar. No, I did not go to the bar with the intention of meeting women.
As I mentioned, it was approximately 1 month after I landed in Germany and I was finally starting to truly get comfortable with my new home. As was the ritual, we headed down to the Irish Pub for a night of laughter, terrible singing and good times. Being someone who thoroughly enjoys meeting new people, I was always excited when one of my fellow exchange friends would bring some of their new friends along to partake in the activities.
That is where “she” comes in. A group of young ladies was sitting at a high top table/booth near the door and the coat rack, one of whom was an Erasmus friend of mine. For those who do not know, Erasmus is the name of the exchange program for European students.
Naturally, when my group walks in and proceeds to hang up our coats, we are greeted by the young ladies sitting at the high top when one of them (a fellow exchange student) hollers out to us and invites us over to meet her new friends. There she was, sitting directly across from me with a smile that could melt even the coldest of hearts. I was immediately smitten and it is safe to say that I had no problem spending the rest of the evening chatting with the group. However, I quickly learned that “she” was taken and, despite my slight disappointment, I did not let this affect the friendship that would later develop from there.
Essentially, I gave up before even giving it a shot. Nevertheless, it would have been really uncool of me to try to steal her from her boyfriend. Therefore, I continued to make friends and put my energies toward developing relationships, improving my German language skills, and exploring as many new places as possible.
I stayed in contact with “her” throughout the year and we would consistently help each other with our homework (online, of course). She would correct my German essays and papers, and I would do the same for her English essays and papers. We always got along well and our proofreading was monumental to our successes in our respective foreign languages. Furthermore, I always tried my hardest not to flirt with her. I was confident at the time that she would be with her boyfriend forever and I was not about to be “that guy” who ruined it, either intentionally or by mistake.
This is how our friendship continued throughout the entire year and for the years following. Fast forward to late spring of 2015. Woah. It’s already been almost three years since that first meeting in the bar. As I said, we stayed in contact over the years, but it was quite sparse and NEVER with any romantic context. The relationship was purely a friendship and neither of us ever had any intentions of making it more than that. I mean, c’mon. Even if she wasn’t taken, there are still 4,700 miles (7,600 km) between us. How could that honestly work? Bottom line, we started talking again. It was simple, casual conversation, where we were just catching up on life—again, with no romantic context.
Over the following weeks, the romance finally started to develop; even up to the point where she was booking a flight in July to come visit me in September. Our plan was to spend about 2 weeks visiting a few places in the United States, before coming back home to meet my family, where we also had a short trip planned.
It was a massive success. My family loved her and by the end of the trip, so did I. It didn’t take long after she left for home that I found a $370 one-way flight to Germany and I jumped all over it. Since October of 2015, we have been living together and embarking on the newest and most exciting chapter of our lives. It all happened so fast, but it has been a blast. Never in a million years would I have imagined that such a relationship would spark between two people who spent 95% of their lives a half a world apart.
How She Met Him
“Although it was weird to meet him in person after talking for such a long time on the internet, there was no moment of embarrassment or uncertainty.”
The first thing people usually ask us is how we got to know each other. That is understandable since we grew up on two different continents and the possibility of ever meeting each other was rather low. It all started with his decision to spend a year abroad in Switzerland. However, this plan, luckily, did not work out and he ended up in Trier, a small city in Germany where I was studying at that time. This happened 4 years ago, in autumn/winter of 2012. I remember the first night we met quite well. I think it was the first time I talked to someone from the US, although I already spent a couple of months abroad. On this evening, back in 2012, some of my friends and I were having some drinks at the Irish Pub in town. He already knew one of my friends, so he joined us and we started talking. I cannot recall the entire content of our conversation, but it was some kind of small-talk and therefore, not that important.
At this point, I have to disappoint you with the fact that this is basically the end of the story. Nothing happened, apart from the fact that we became friends. This might surprise some of you, but it is due to one simple reason: I had a boyfriend at that time. However, I think it is okay for me to say that I found him pretty handsome and I liked the way he talked, and still do. I just have to admit that I like the American accent a lot, especially in combination with his voice.
After we got to know each other, we stayed friends and helped each other with our essays since he was studying German and I was studying English. But obviously, this is not the end of the entire story. The story changed when my ex-boyfriend and I broke up in 2014. In the early summer of 2015, almost 3 years after we met, we started talking more frequently. I really wanted to stay single for a while, but the more I talked to him and the deeper our conversations got, the more I liked him. We agreed on many important things and I enjoyed talking to him day and night. On some days, my hands had even hurt from typing so much, but that is what you do when you can’t stay away from someone. I also annoyed my family and friends by constantly talking about him, but I think it just made them want to meet him too.
Somewhere in between, or rather in the beginning of this whole process, we decided to travel together. This was when we started to plan my trip to meet him in the US and this was also when things started to become more serious. By then I had already developed feelings for him and I was more than excited to finally see him in person. In the end, I could barely stand to go any more days without him. But I was also scared that he would not like me, physically, nor my character as much as he said he did. To make a long story short: After around 4 months of talking, getting to know each other pretty well and developing feelings that we so desperately wanted to show to each other, we finally met in Washington D.C., on the first of September in 2015.
For me, it was special from the first moment we met and totally different from the moment back in 2012 because I saw him from a totally different perspective. He was and still is the one I can share everything with, who I feel safe with and who I love. I think I realized that within the first few days of our travels. Although it was weird to meet him in person after talking for such a long time on the internet, there was no moment of embarrassment or uncertainty. All the things I worried about were gone and we got along incredibly well from the first moment and this has not changed.
Now that you know everything there is to know about us, get started with that menu up there and explore the world through our eyes! Also, be sure to tell us how you feel about the travel blog: what you would like to see more of, less of, or perhaps you have a suggested destination. Write a comment, send us an email or message us on Instagram. If you enjoy our website, we would love it if you followed us on Instagram! Whether you’re out there traveling on your own or living vicariously through us, we wish you happy travels!