Traveling is one of life's greats adventures and every one needs to do as much as possible in this lifetime. First thing that comes to mind when talking about traveling is money. Most people will say you need a lot of money to travel. It's too expensive and traveling is only for rich people. Wrong!!! Anyone can travel, it's for everyone! With some planning and budgeting we can all enjoy traveling. You don't have to travel far from home either to enjoy a vacation or getaway. I think most people think you need to travel far across the world, you can if you have the means. However so many of us do not really explore our own cities and states. You can have a marvelous vacation and getaway with in your own state. I recently took a very affordable and budget friendly trip to San Francisco, California. Just a few hours away by bus up to Northern California. I want to share you with you some tips on how to enjoy traveling on a budget with out sacrificing anything.
Finding affordable alternatives to flying
One of the most expensive things about traveling is the transportation, depending on how far you are going. Flying can be expensive and cost you several hundreds of dollars. You can save a great deal of money if you find alternative methods of transportation. We decided to try out Megabus, a low cost alternative to traveling from Southern California to Northern California. I had known about Megabus for a while now and decided to take a chance and take a trip with them. I contacted Megabus about my trip to San Francisco and they offered complimentary tickets to experience their services. We booked our bus ride from Anaheim, ARTIC station. I was happy to see they offered departures from Orange County, and we didn't have to drive to Downtown Los Angeles to board the bus. The ARTIC station is just a few miles away from me which made it easy and convenient for us. ARTIC also offers free overnight parking if you need to leave your car while you travel. We saved time and money traveling on Megabus from the Anaheim ARTIC station. Thank goodness we live so close, because we over slept and woke up only 45 mins before the bus departed at 5am! All our luggage was packed and ready to go, I even showered before going to sleep. We quickly got dressed, grabbed our luggage and drove to the bus station. Since it was so early, there was no traffic and made it just in time as the bus was driving in! We would have never made it if we had to drive to Los Angeles Union Station.
We found our seats, which by the way are general seating. First come so you should arrive early to get the best seating. Megabus does offer reserved seating for a few dollars more, they even have seating with tables for you to work on your computer if needed. The bus is a doubler decker bus, if you sit up top you will have a great view of the road while traveling. Megabus also offers free wifi, electrical outlets at every seat, on board entertainment via an app and has bathroom as well. Everything you need for a great budget ride to your destination.
Megabus offers several different rates based on destination, dates and times you travel. You can find fares as low as $1 - $50, depending on the destination. Overall the ride was fine, we made a few stops to pick up other passengers and one rest stop along the way. Comfort wise the bus is ok, if you take a pillow and head phones you should be able to snooze. The ride it self is quite on board, you can read if you like as well as they have over head lighting and air vents in case you get warm. Megabus is a good option if you want to travel to a drivable destination with out doing the driving your self. Save money and don't sacrifice traveling for when you're on a budget.
Ride public transportation and save money
Another way to save money is using public transportation. Taxis can be very expensive is big cities like San Francisco, luckily they have great public transportation. San Francisco has several options, from trains, subways, buses, cable cars and trolleys. You can get any where around the city for just a few dollars. If you travel on the MUNI you also get free transfers, so you can connect to other buses or cable cars with in the city.
It can seem scary and confusing using public transportation in a city you are not familiar with. However I used google maps to navigate from one spot to another, just chose the option for public transport and you should be fine. Many cities also have apps for their transportation services you can use. When in doubt ask a local, they usually are happy to help out the tourist. Just be nice and ask with a smile!
Use deal website for saving on attractions and restaurants
Another budget tip for traveling is using sites like LivingSocial and Groupon to find deals on attractions and restaurants. You can find discounts on so many things like places to eat, shows to watch, sporting events and museums or other popular attractions. It's always good to check the websites before you travel to plan out places or thing you may want to visit. Also some places don't let you use the coupons same day as purchased. I found a deal for a city bus tour of San Francisco for only $17, the regular price is $35 per person. I got lucky too because they I bought the city bus tour LivingSocial had a code for additional 15% off. I was able to purchase 2 city bus tours for $28, less than the regular price of one tour.
Some may say doing a city bus tour is cheesy and being such a typical tourist. Well let me tell you, this city bus tour was a hop on and off bus. So not only did we tour the city and saw things I have never seen from all my times visiting San Francisco. Since its also a hop on and off, which you use to get around the city. These tours have several stops at all the most popular destinations, you can get off wander and explore and them hop back on to another location. The guides can usually give you recommendations as well for place to eat or shop if you ask them. I have used these city bus tours in other cities with much success. Both times I found them discounted on websites like Groupon and LivingSocial.
Get more for less on lodging
Another tip for lodging is avoid the downtown or city center areas when choosing a hotel. Those area are typically most expensive due their location. Yes they are near everything, so they charge way more. We found a nice hotel by the airport for a deal. Paid much less then what some motels were charging in the city. We did have a travel to and from the city, but being by the airport the hotels offered shuttles to the train stations and airport for free. We didn't mind the extra time it took taking a train to the city for a much nicer and quieter hotel room at a lower price. You should also consider sites like Airbnb, to find more affordable lodging in major cities.
Traveling should not be an exclusive thing only the rich and elite get to do. We all can travel and experience all the amazing and wonderful thing our big beautiful world has to offer. May be you are not able afford to travel to that exotic far away land you have always wanted to see. You shouldn't deprive your self of other travels. There is so much to see with in our own cities and states. Traveling is so magical, it can enrich you and energize you. We all must travel as much as we can in our life. Don't let your financial situation hold you back from discovering new places. Even if you take a day trip to a new place across town...Get out there and see the world!
What are your budget travel tips?
Now my lovely readers, I have a serious question for you all. As you know I have been doing a weekly link up for a few months now. The #UntamedStyle link is suppose to go live on Fridays. Although lately I've been a late getting the post done and published. I am thinking of switching it to Saturdays, since it will give more time to get it done and there seems to be less link up on the weekends. My questions to you all is, will you still come and link up on Saturdays? What do you feel about changing the link up to Saturdays?
Now on to my 5 fave links from last week. Make sure you go visit all these ladies and show them some blog love!!!
Here are 5 of my favorite looks from last weeks linkup
|Tina from Tina's Pink Friday looks so adorable her plaid dress. I love the red boots and beret!|
|Kostantina from K Meets Style has a simple but chic outfit for fall. She styles her booties perfectly for fall.|
|Nancy from Jodie's Touch of Style looks amazing her in her jumpsuit and lace up flats. I love how happy and confident she look in this picture!|
|Sheela from Sheela Writes is always on my fave list. Do you blame me with all her fabulous looks!! This outfit is so amazing and I want it all!!|
|Audrey from Five Foot Nothing Shopping has some great tips on how to style a blanket scarf. These are so on trend now and look so cozy and warm!|
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