The US tends to feature high on the bucket list of most travellers. With each state offering its own unique culture and sightseeing opportunities, it’s no wonder that those jetting off to the states are so eager to explore every last part of it. 

The fact is, traversing such a vast country can be pricey – and when it comes to finding great accommodation, reliable transport options, and plenty of attractions, the costs can really add up. So, how can you travel the US on a budget? Here are our top tips.

Consider travel and accommodation options

While driving is generally cheaper than flying, it can be worth researching domestic US flight options prior to your trip. If you book ahead of time, you’ll often get your hands on some great flight deals that offer serious savings. 

Alternatively, public transport is a great option if you’re going to be making plenty of stops, and can afford to spend a little extra time on the bus or train. The United States’ cross-country rail service covers 3,000 miles, and is considered to be a great US travel experience in itself, with plenty of sights to see along the journey.

Don’t forget to plan your accommodation ahead of time wherever you can – you don’t want to ever find yourself needing to pay for an expensive hotel room or rental apartment at the last minute. Consider hostels and motels, or look at pricier options ahead of time for cheaper deals on luxury accommodation.

Seek out affordable attractions

Most keen travellers will have an extensive list of must-see spots on their US itinerary. Some attractions will naturally be more expensive than others, and while you don’t want to miss out on a bucket list location, it can be helpful to prioritise the experiences that are most important to you. This will help you to avoid spending too much money on lots of affordable, but low priority attractions – and ensure that you have enough cash to see those big sights that you’re so desperate to experience.

Similarly, it’s worth researching activities that may not immediately jump out at you, but will allow you to have an authentic American experience. For example, volunteering activities can be a wonderful way to get closer to local communities, whilst also allowing you to spend time in a new environment.

Plan ahead

Sometimes travelling becomes expensive because we simply haven’t planned thoroughly enough, and face unexpected costs as a result. If you calculate the amount of money you’re going to need for your US trip ahead of time, you’ll not only have a better idea of your upcoming expenses, but will also be able to budget more effectively. This way, any fees that crop up are less likely to take you by surprise.

There are other ways you can plan your trip ahead of time in order to cut costs, too. You may want to think about any foods that you want to try throughout the course of your trip, and consider how often you’d be happy to cook at home, or head to a budget-friendly restaurant. If you don’t plan some of these small details ahead of time, you’ll likely find that it becomes easier to splurge on unnecessary treats – leading much of your travel budget to be lost in circumstances that could have been avoided.

Your dream holiday for a fraction of the price

When you make the decision to take the trip of a lifetime, you want to ensure that you’ve got enough money in the bank to really make the most of your time away. While it’s important to allow yourself enough room in your budget to have fun and experience a little luxury here and there, it’s absolutely possible to explore the US on a budget, and to have an unforgettable time away. By simply looking into your options and planning ahead of time, you can experience the US holiday of your dreams for a fraction of the price.

Before I became pregnant, I thought my trips would only be affected after the birth when a baby was added to the trips. It is true that the biggest change would be traveling with a baby, but I found that during my pregnancy my trips were also greatly affected.

I decided to write a post with tips for traveling while pregnant, because I think it’s important to be aware of what to consider before flying and how to prepare for a proper trip. In addition, I asked two professionals, one is a certified midwife (asked to remain anonymous) and one is a massage therapy specialist and lecturer (Ronen Komemi) to get more tips from them as well. This post will mostly be addressing pregnant women 🙂

First off,

A few things you should know when booking a flight while pregnant

  1. Pregnancy is very individual and differs greatly from woman to woman. Some suffer from nausea and vomiting during the first trimester, some don’t, and some might suffer all throughout the pregnancy. Usually, the first trimester is the toughest in terms of nausea, as well as tiredness. I recommend taking this into account, especially on a long and distant trip. I visited the USA on my fifth week pregnant, for two and a half weeks and suffered strong nausea and vomiting, and an extreme tiredness. It was both difficult to travel that way, and stressful as it was my first pregnancy and every new thing was unknown to me, I just felt like I wanted to rest.
  2. It’s important to pick a destination with high quality medical services. The pregnancy is a delicate time period and you never know when you might need a visit to the hospital. I recommend picking destinations with access to hospitals and good medical services. I went to the emergency room in the US during my trip, as well as a private women’s clinic and was glad to receive good treatment.
  3. The best time to travel is the second trimester, meaning weeks 13-26.
  4. You can’t fly abroad after week 32 (Or after week 33, with a special permit) due to travel insurance reasons.

Preparations before traveling while pregnant

  1. Plan a trip suitable to a slow pace with lots of resting time. If you’re planning ahead, rather than traveling spontaneously, it’s important to consider a slower pace than you’re used to due to the pregnancy (You may be used to getting more done each day).
  2. Get a good, extensive travel insurance (Everything you need to know about travel insurance while pregnant) and check in with the insurance company which attractions you can do. For example, we were planning a trip to Cyprus and wanted to know if a yacht cruise was suitable. Before booking the cruise, I asked the insurance company that it’s ok and is insured. Turns out, small boats and yachts don’t count, but the one we were booking was quite large and the cruise was insured. So, remember not every attraction is possible and if you have any doubts it’s worth making sure in advance with both the insurance company and your doctor.
  3. Before each flight you need to go to your physician to get a flight permit and make sure everything is fine. You generally only need the permit when in a later stage with a visible belly, as the flight company might request it. I went to the doctor to ask for one before my pregnancy was visible, so I could flight calmly knowing everything was ok.

Tips for flying while pregnant

  1. During the flight it’s important to get up and walk about every now and then to improve blood flow. The blood vessels expand during pregnancy and so for most women, blood pressure drops. Due to the altitude and pressure differences, it’s important to twist your ankles from time to time, and stretch to avoid too much pressure on your back. You should switch from sitting to a standing position slowly to avoid dizziness.
  2. Sitting in a spacious area of the plane for easier mobility – Beyond the inconvenience of you sitting tightly, consider that if you are sitting by the window and need to get up to go to the bathroom, you have to disturb your neighbors in line. Unpleasant. The truth is that Roman and I always sit in emergency exit seats because Roman is really tall, but you’re not allowed to sit there while pregnant, because during an emergency, someone sitting in an emergency exit should be eligible to help evacuate. So, since becoming pregnant, we try to book seats in the front row or other rows that have more space or at least a chair next to the aisle.
  3. Drink plenty of water – the airplane air is dry, so it’s easy to get dehydrated. Paying attention to your water balance will save you from muscle aches after the flight. Make sure to bring a full water bottle with you, as you may usually only ask for water (Or buy water on a low-cost flight) after takeoff, so you might be feeling thirsty until then.

 

Tips for the trip itself during pregnancy

  1. While pregnant, it’s best to avoid eating raw fish and meats, such as are found in sushi or ceviche. It’s also best to avoid unpasteurized milk products. Therefore, it’s recommended to eat at recommended restaurants that get many visitors.
  2. Walking a lot is healthy, however, especially during late pregnancy, the hips lose their stability along with the rest of the skeleton. This increases the risk of falling, so it’s recommended to wear comfortable walking shoes.
  3. Some women climb mountains while pregnant, but it’s certainly no time to start working out or go after new challenges you’ve never tried before.
  4. Tanning too much is never recommended, but since body temperatures rise during pregnancy, the fetus may also be affected by overheating. So, resting in the shade, drinking a lot and using sunscreen is recommended. These recommendations are generally true for everyone, but it’s even more important to be safe during pregnancy.
  5. During pregnancy, it is important to pay attention to our heart rate and therefore climbing up to observation points by stairs or other sporting activities are less recommended. When we were hiking in Vilnius, for example, there was a vantage point up a mountain you had to climb stairs to reach. Although I really like vantage points, I decided to avoid this activity because I knew my pulse would surge sharply. It is even recommended to have a pulse watch to track your pulse.
  6. If you go on tours, let the guides known about your pregnancy at the beginning, so they can accommodate you in terms of tops from time to time, and even bathroom breaks.
  7. If you’re going on a food tour or to a restaurant with a tasting’s menu, it’s important to let them know in advance as well, so they can accommodate you nutritionally.
  8. Jumps and jerks aren’t great while pregnant, so it’s important to avoid activities involving jumps or rattling such as when driving on unpaved roads. If you can’t avoid such roads, drive slowly and carefully or ask the driver to be mindful.

In conclusion, pregnancy is not a disease but should be taken seriously and not ignored before going on a trip. There’s no problem flying pregnant before week 32, but most important is being attentive to the body. Before the trip make sure you do the right planning and choose a suitable destination (in terms of distance, type of trip and proximity to good medical services), go to the doctor for a test and also get good travel insurance. On the flight itself move around, drink water and sit in a comfortable seat. On the trip itself, it is important to move at the pace that feels right and not overload the body. Rest at every opportunity you can and pay attention to the food you eat. If there is any doubt about an attraction, consult the insurance agency and the doctor.

Thanks so much to Ronen Komi and the wonderful midwife who gave me more tips for the post 🙂

I often get asked which websites I use to plan our trips. Actually, I’ve written a number of posts regarding my methods of lowering trip costs, but I decided to write this concentrated post listing the websites, apps and all of my best tips when it comes to saving money.

Best websites for traveling

Flights Search

  1. Skyscanner website –  My favorite search engine. It will help you look for flights sorted by month, destination, etc. It can find you a flight to the cheapest destination in a specific month.
  2. CheapOAir and Jetradar websites –  search engine for finding cheap flights (Usually more than other options on the market)
  3. Kiwi website – a website which allows you to search for flights by radius, by cheapest prices regardless of destination between certain dates and many other smart search parameters.

Tip: I recommend cross-checking the flights you find on all 3 websites to see who’s offering the better price.

Hotels

  1. HotelsCombined Website – a great search engine for hotel price comparison
  2. TripAdviser – a search engine with many reviews, allowing you to get a clearer image of what the hotel is like
  3. Booking – a leading website for booking hotels, we’ve personally used it often.
  4. Pruvo – a free service! After booking a hotel, you send an e-mail to [email protected], and it the price of the room you’ve booked goes down, you’ll receive an alert by mail – allowing you to cancel and book again for a lower cost, or ask the website you booked through to round your price down to the new amount (Most websites are committed to offering the lowest price possible).

Tip: I recommend cross-checking the reviews on TripAdviser, Booking and google reviews to get a reliable picture regarding the hotel.

Getting from the airport to your Hotel

Generally, the cheapest way to get from the airport to your hotel is by public transport. Some destinations, such as Berlin, have a direct train line from the airport to central locations in the city which is really comfortable – However, if your flight lands at a late hour or is a really long flight, public transport can sometimes not be the best way to travel. We often use the Uber app.

Another possibility is getting a taxi ahead of time using taxi2airport. The taxi prices there are really low, and you can also add certain requirements such as a baby seat (With no extra pay).

Attractions and tours for the trip

  1. GetYourGuide website – a great website offering a wide variety of tours at attractive prices.
  2. Sandemands website – a company offering many tours, some free. We got to go on free (Tip based) tours with them in several locations around the world, and they were always very good.
  3. LikeALocal website – a website showcasing many tips by locals. I use it a lot to find less touristic places, such as cafés, restaurants and attractions
  4. Instagram – You can use the # plus a specific destination to see pictures from that destinations and find special things to do there that way. For example, #BerlingCafe is a way to see pictures from Berlin cafés which you can then google.

Great apps for traveling

  1. Navigating apps – Google maps and Moovit
  2. Transportation apps – Uber, Getaxi and in east Asia Grab also works great
  3. Restaurant apps – Restaurant finder will help you find restaurants near you and show you a rating for them
  4. An app to help you pack – Pack Point will build you a list of what to take with you depending on your destination and the date of your trip.

Planning a good trip takes a lot of research. If you want to use your time properly and to not waste any on your trip, looking for things up, then you’ll need to do some research in advance.
The internet enables you to find all the information you need, but since there is so much information, it’s easy to get lost and confused.

In today’s post I’ve decided to make your life easier by helping you be precise and efficient when it comes to planning your trip. In the following post I will share everything that my husband and I do before flying to our next destination

Phases of Planning

  1. Deciding upon a destination
  2. Planning the overall itinerary
  3. Booking your flights – Our favorites sites are Kiwi and Skyscanner
  4. Booking your hotel – click here to find out how to look up cheap hotels
  5. Renting a car – click here to find out how to do it and save money
  6. Finding attractions and restaurants at destination and tours- recommended site for tour is Get your guide

Choosing your destination

Before starting to plan a trip, you first have to choose where you want to travel to. Choosing your destination depends upon a few things:

  1. When you want to travel (weather has a lot of influence)
  2. For how long – if you want to go for 5 days for example, you should probably not travel far
  3. What do you want to get out of your trip? Shopping? Sun bathing? Hiking?
  4. What type is your trip? Are you traveling with your family? Going on a honeymoon? Backpacking alone?

So, how do you find your proper destination?

Example for why we chose to go to Italy:

It was the end of April, and the weather was good. We wanted to go for 12 days and we knew that we would get to see a lot during that time. We love scenic views and nature, and we discovered that Italy has so much nature. Plus we wanted a nice and romantic trip that involves some great food and wine

Researching of the destination and planning a general Itinerary

Before booking your flights, you have to understand what there is at the destination you’re going to especially if you’re going for more than 5 days. Why, you’re asking yourselves? Well, you must plan the course to know if you want to fly from the same airport or a different one.

In case you’re only going for a few days, you can skip this step and move on to searching the flights.
After we decided to go to Italy, we chose which places we wanted to visit.

How to Plan an itinerary for your Trip?

Googling places: you should google specific things that interest you, otherwise you can get lost. For example, places with a water park, or a place with vineyards.

Googling recommendations: you can google something like “Italy trip planning for 2 weeks.” You can look at the places they recommend. You can even take advantage of a tourist organization and look at their courses.

Looking in travel blogs: some bloggers write the course they took, so you can google “Italy trip course blog,” or actually go to blogs you know and see what they wrote about your desired destination.

You can also use websites that help you build your trip such as routeperfect, triphobo, inspirock.

Example for how I planned the Italy trip:

I looked up on google and on blogs to find where I can find the best vineyards and wineries, and I found many good things of Tuscany.
I looked up where you can see lakes, and which are the most recommended ones. I’ve read of all of them and picked Lake Como, because it fit us the best.

I also picked Rome, because we wanted a modern city filled with history and unique places.
After picking those 3 areas I planned the course. I decided that we will start in Rome and end at Lake Como.
I checked the distances and realized that it wouldn’t be a problem to fly to and from Rome, because the distance to the lake was 7 hours and we decided to drive.

Searching for flights

After picking your destination and your overall course, you need to start looking for your flight ticket. Our favorites sites are Kiwi and Skyscanner

Hotel Searching

As to hotels, click here to read more how to find cheap hotels to see how to find hotels for cheap, or if you’d like to get an Airbnb, click here to read a detailed guide about Airbnb. Before looking for the specific hotel you’ll need to know in which area you’d like to stay at, and that takes a small research.

In our Romania trip we wanted to sleep at places that are more unique, like cabins or guesthouses.
I scouted endless of Google photos under the terms “special cabins in Romania,” and clicked on the ones I liked best. Once you click on an image you can find the hotel’s website.

I found that the place that I liked was in a local’s village that was about 45 minute drive from Brasov. I contacted them to find out the prices and we ended up booking a night. It was an exceptional stay.
When we stayed in Sinaia I looked up a boutique hotel that is near the park.

Renting a car or riding public transportation

After booking your flight, finding your hotels, and deciding on a main course you’ll need to figure out the best way for you to get around. Personally, we prefer renting a car, both because we love to enjoy scenic rides and maybe pull over for a nice picnic, and also because it’s easier to explore.

If you are an explorer and want to cover as much ground as possible, then the cost of a taxi will be way higher than that of a car, especially if you’re going as a family. Renting a car will just make your life easier.

To find out how to rent a car abroad CLICK HERE.

In case you have decided to rent a car, it’s important to understand from when you should rent it. In Romania we rented a car from Cluj-Napoca at the airport. We took it around the area to Transylvania and returned it in Bucharest.

While in Bucharest, we spent 3 days without a car because it is a large and modern city, where you get to use your legs a lot. Taxi fare is also really cheap

Looking up for attractions, restaurants, and bars

I recommend you write a list of things you want to do, see and eat in each of your destinations.
You can find recommendations in blogs, facebook groups, search in websites such as LikeALocal to hear from actual locals. Instagram, is a great way of finding things you like as well, sort of as a search engine for food and places. Use the geotag and look up hashtags such as #LakeComoFoodie or something like that.
If you’re renting an Airbnb you can ask for your host for some recommendations as well.

If you are looking for tours I highly recommend Get your guide site.

We always do a thorough research before going on a trip so we won’t miss anything that is really worth seeing.
On the other hand, we look for the specific things that are in our interests, and don’t just write down all of the things that are worth seeing, because we like to relax and not work around the clock to see as many things as possible.

It’s important to remember that while on a trip, you have to enjoy the moment and not live as if in a race. Remember that it’s ok if you don’t get to see everything that your destination has to offer, just focus on your interests and enjoy that.
You also have to leave some room for spontaneity. You always end up finding new and cool places that were not on your list, and that’s a bonus.

Many times the cost of the hotel can raise or decrease the price of your trip.
If you want to travel on a low budget, then it’s important to know the next websites and tips and if you travel with a high budget you should know them as well. Because I think it’s a pity to spend a lot of money on hotels instead of enjoying the money on fun stuff like attractions, good restaurants, and more.

Especially for you I have gathered in one post all of my favorite sites that can help you to reduce your hotel prices and also after you book the hotel how to make it even cheaper.

Recommended websites for booking cheap hotels

HOTELSCOMBINED

Link to the website

It’s an engine that compares between all the familiar sites like Booking, Agoda, Hotels, and also between other unfamiliar site like Amoma and shows you which one gives the best price.
Several times I booked from Amoma because I saw in hotelscombined that this had the cheapest price. For example in Las Vegas it saved me 600$ for 7 nights.

When you search in hotelscombined you can choose the number of guests and type things like 2 adults and a child.

You can filter the results according to the hotel’s stars, range of price, rank of the visitors (I usually filter only hotels that rank with 8 or 9), type of hotel (apartment/resort/hostel, and more). And there are a few more good filter options that you can choose in order to find the hotel that fits you the best and also you will see who gives you the cheapest price for this hotel.

Sometimes the price that you see doesn’t include taxes, so you need to enter the site it offers and see how much the final price is.


Pruvo site

Link to the Pruvo

Many times we prefer to book hotels with a free cancellation option. Sometimes it’s a little bit more expensive but I think that usually it’s a better option. Why?

Because sometimes your plans during the trip change, sometimes you can’t go to the trip at all, and sometimes the hotel reservation has a price drop, after the reservation was made.

In the case for price drops, Pruvo was created.
It alerts you once the price was dropped and then you can cancel your existing reservation and book it at a lower price.

Also a lot of sites like Hotels.com have a price guarantee, but, what does it mean?
If you see the reservation that you made is at a cheaper price, then you can request a refund for the price difference if your booking is refundable and you found the cheaper price on another website.

About 40% prices drop and you could have a get a cheaper price, but you didn’t know :  instead of checking the prices all the time, Pruvo does it for you.
The best thing about Pruvo is that it is completely free.
Just send them the reservation you made by mail and they will update you once the price drops.


TRIPADVISOR

Link to TripAdvisor

You probably know this site already but it’s really good.

The best thing about it  is the huge amount of reviews it has for every hotel.
A lot of people enter their reviews there, so it helps you to get a better picture of the hotel.

Before booking any hotel and no matter from which website I recommend you to enter this site and check the reviews for the hotel you want. It’s important to pay attention to a bad review that keeps returning in many reviews of that hotel. Like reviews about bad location or low cleanliness quality.

Browser extension for discount coupons

Many times websites like hotels.com offer discount coupons for hotel order.

The easiest way to find these coupons is to install a browser extension that does it for you automatically at the checkout with a single click.

The extension is Coupons at checkout

HOTWIRE

Link to Hotwire

Because if you don’t have a specific hotel that you want to book, this site can offer you hotels with a big discount, but you will just be able to know the name of the hotel after you book.

The idea of this site is to offer lower prices of hotels, but they give you only general information about the hotel like the area (on a map), how many stars it has, its amenities and how many people recommended this hotel (I booked only in hotels that 85% people recommend, and also according to the area)

Just after you book the hotel you will see its name.
I liked the surprise element in this website. We booked from a hotel in Larnaca Cyprus which was great and it was cheaper than anywhere else.

SPLITTYTRAVEL

Link to Splittytravel

Did you know that some hotels give a better price per night, if you book 3 nights instead of 4 nights? So, in this case for example, it will be cheaper to split the order to two orders and to book 3 nights and one night instead of 4 nights, in order to get the lowest price.

But to do this search manually could take a lot of time, be frustrating and also to do two bookings in the same hotel is pretty annoying,

That’s the reason you need to know Splittytravel website
This site splits the reservation for you in an optimal way in order to save you money.
The split is invisible for you, so actually you do only one reservation and it splits the reservation behind the screen.

Before you book a hotel, I recommend you to enter this site and to check if it can save you more money (especially if you book more than 3 nights in the same hotel)
It’s important to mention that the price it shows doesn’t include taxes, so enter its offer to see the final price.

Check directly with the Lodging itself

It’s worth it to check directly with the hotel/hostel you found online before booking. Sometimes they will give you a better price and also to save you from the commission of the agent’s site.

Other tips

One of the things I learned while traveling is that the best way to explore new places is by renting a car. Sometimes it will even ease on the entire cost of your trip. By renting a car, we got to explore places that otherwise we would never get to see! We took scenic drives that were absolutely breathtaking, so overall it’s a great way to travel.

Here are a few places that we traveled to where we rented a car:

There are a few ways to ease on the cost and get some discounts, and that i exactly why I decided to write a detailed post for you guys!

There are a few parameters while searching that influence the price of your rental. You should adjust them in order to get the best possible price.  

  1. If the pickup and drop off of that car are from 2 different locations, it might make the cost more expensive. Some companies will even charge you for extra tax.
  2. If you pick up the vehicle from the city and not from the airport, the price could increase. There is also a difference of price between branches, so you’d wanna pay attention to that as well.
  3. Different hours may change the cost. For example, if you pick up the car late at night it could cost more if you were to pick it up in the morning.
  4. The type of the car and its size.
  5. If your rental is manual or automatic. A manual will be a lot cheaper.

Great websites for searching car rentals

I would always go for a website that lets you compare all the prices from all companies. I think it’s the easiest and most effective way to find the cheapest prices without a lot of effort!

PaapmPaapm and Rentalcars are the two websites I use the most. Both of these websites compare from all the different agencies and present the best offer. You could also filter your search results by the type of car, manual or automatic, and more.

After viewing your filtered results I pick the option “price low to high,” and pick the company that has the cheapest option with the best reviews.

Another plus side for renting through those websites is that you could cancel for free up to two days before the trip.

We once had to cancel a month in advance. We were already charged but once we canceled we got the money back in the account a few business days after.

Keep in mind that the websites Rentalcars and PaapmPaapm are only websites that let you compare between the prices, and you make the actual order through the agency.

It’s also recommended to go straight to the company’s website and see if there is a cheaper way while ordering directly through their website.

Insuring Your Vehicle

While ordering your rental car you will also get offered to get an insurance as well. An insurance for your car is a mandatory thing.
Who ever chooses to not insure their car could find themselves in unpleasant situations while returning the car, and paying high fees to the rental agency.

A single scratch would cost 200 euros. Even if it was not your fault! Such thing could cost you a lot of money. Besides, it provides you some peace of mind.
A lot of companies provide insurance that protects from theft, but in order to cancel it you’d have to pay a lot.

If you get your insurance online while getting your car, it will be a lot cheaper than doing it at the actual agency while renting the car. It could even be the same daily cost as it costs to rent the car!

You can get the insurance through another company. I recommend to use icarhireinsurance. They have the cheapest prices, around $4 a day.
If you rent a car for a week or more, insuring the car through the agency rather than online could end up costing you hundreds of dollars.

Before insuring the car through icarhireinsurance, I recommend checking with the agency. If you choose to not get insurance, check the car extra well the minute you get it and report every scratch, otherwise you might be the ones to pay for it!

If you get the insurance through a third party and in a case of any damage, you would have to pay the agency and then send the invoice to the insurance company to get your money back. However, icarinsurance has an agreement with some of the agencies so there is a chance that you won’t have to pay for the damage.

Extras that will make your rental more costly

While renting a car you will be asked several times if you want to add any extras like a GPS for example. Those additions will be costly, and unnecessary in some cases.
Once you have a smartphone and a sim card it will be easy to navigate with Waze or Google Maps!

You can also use Google maps without having wifi connection. Just keep your locations under your favorites tab and you can navigate using your phone’s GPS.

Fill up the tank before returning the car

In most agencies the policy about gas is the same. They give a vehicle with a full tank and you have to return it with a full tank as well. If you do, then you obviously won’t be charged for gas, and it is usually a lot more expensive than at normal gas stations.

So keep in mind that before returning your car you will have to pull over at a gas station. Make sure in advance that there is one near the agency.

More tips for lowering your costs while renting a car

It’s always important to read the fine lines of the rental agency. In some cases they would offer you a cheaper car, but if you read beneath the astrid then you will find that they will charge you more while picking it up from the airport, or dropping it off at a different location, etc… So pay attention because what may seem cheap will actually be more expensive if you won’t read the fine lines.

What does it mean a low-cost flight?

Low-cost flights are cheaper flights.
Well, while flying low-cost you’re paying for the flight itself and you will have to add extra money for the rest of the services.

This model lowers the cost of your  flight, possible by 50% off or even more.If you are flying with multiple people and want to add a suitcase, add a seat that you can choose, and drinks and food on the flight, then your ticket will probably have the same cost as a normal rate.

So is a low-cost better for you?

A low-cost flight is better for you if you are flying just with your carry-on. Bringing your luggage will be an extra cost, so keep that in mind especially while traveling with family members.

A low-cost flight is also best for you if you don’t add money for food on the plane or choosing your seat. If you don’t carefully follow the airline’s instructions, such as bag sizes, weight, printing tickets, and more, then you will pay a lot of extras.

Which Low-Cost airlines exist?

Wizzair, Easyjet, and Ryanair. Aegen, Blue Air, Transavia, Air Asia, Norwegian, Nok air, Vueling , Jetstar, AirEurope, Wow, JetBlue,Spirit, Eurowings, Transat, Up, Peach and more…

By the way, you don’t have to go to each website to see their flights… You can go to a search engine like Kiwi and SkyScanner that will compare between companies and will refine by cheapest flight to each destination!

We fly a lot with low-cost flights from Israel. We flew to Cyprus, Romania, Hungary and more.

Important things to know while flying Low-Cost

It’s very important to pay attention to the size of the carry-on that is mentioned on the website.

Each airline has its standards, so don’t rely on information from other airlines.

For examples:

Wizzair Sizes
With Wizzair there is no weight limitation. The sizes are  CM 42 X 32 X 25. If you want to carry a larger carry-on or to check in a luggage you will have to pay extra. Other than the carry-on you can’t bring another small bag (unless you are members or flying premium).

EasyJet Sizes
There is no weight limitation. The sizes are 56cm x 45cm x 25cm. Checking in a luggage is extra money and you can’t bring a small bag (unless you’re members or paid premium). You may bring an umbrella, a coat, etc.

Ryanair Sizes
You may bring a carry on that is 55cm x 40cm x 20cm and a small bag that is 35cm x 20cm x 20cm. Carry on may weigh up to 10 kg.

I highly recommend to not bring a bag that measures more than the allowed size. If you’re flying with Wizzair and you have a larger bag, then pay extra online rather than at the airport, or you will end up paying a lot more.
In a lot of cases while flying from Israel, they wouldn’t check the size of your carry on, but they will on the return flight. This is their way of making extra money, so it makes sense.

When I flew with Wizzair I noticed that my bag was larger than the size, so I paid extra online and good thing that I did because they checked the size of my bag on both flights!

Check in Online

It’s important that you follow up on your emails and check in online when you are asked to. You can usually check in up to 2 hours before the flights, or you will end up paying a lot of money. Here is an example to an email that we received from Ryanair:

Print Your Tickets or Download an App

After you’ve checked in you will get your flight tickets. You must print them or download the app of the airline and make sure that your ticket loads. If you will get to the airport without it then you will pay a fee.

You can pack liquids Up to 100ml

If you are traveling with a carry-on, don’t forget that you cannot bring any liquids with you that are over 100ml. You can’t bring normal sized shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, moisturizer, and drinks. I always buy travel-sized bottles and fill them up with all my essentials!

Check your terminal

A lot of time low-cost flights are leaving from different terminals. For example at the Ben Gurion Airport Israel, they usually leave from terminal 1, but sometimes there are changes. You should get your terminal number on the confirmation email.

In Conclusion…

I’ve flown to many destinations with a lot of low-cost airlines and I really like this concept! It saves so much money and the flight experience is good.

Just keep in mind everything that I’ve mentioned, and you should be good! Once you start paying all the extra fees because of not paying attention, then it’s less good of a deal.

By now you probably know that Roman and I love to stay at Airbnbs. Since I got a lot of questions recently, I’ve decided to write a detailed post of anything you need to know about Airbnb! In this post you will find all the info you need from how to pick a place to how to act in the apartment.

We stayed at Airbnb in Rome, Budapest, Lake Como, Lucca and more.

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What’s an Airbnb Apartment?

Airbnb is a website where you can rent other people’s private apartments. It could be a house, a room, an apartment, etc. If you’d like, you can even rent your own place but that’s not what we’re here to talk about.

You rent people’s private homes on a per-night basis. On the listing that’s on the website, you’ll be able to find the details of the property, what it includes (i.e. kitchen, shower, bath, queen bed, wifi, etc). The price per night is included with the rest of the bills, just like at a hotel! There are renters who require a minimum amount of days, and some even rent for a single night.

The price per night has a fee of the website and sometimes even a cleaning fee. If you’re staying for more than a week, then you might get a discount in the price.

There are always house rules, for example if they allow pets, if you can smoke, and the check in and check out times.
There are also apartments who are meant to be rented for as a business, and some apartments are lived-in by owners and they go away when you arrive.

Why sometimes it’s better to get an Airbnb and Not a Hotel?

  1. An apartment at a prime location will usually be cheaper than a hotel at the same location. For example, we once rented an apartment in the center of Rome for 80 euros per night, and the hotel prices were much higher.
  2. There is usually always a kitchen at apartments and it will lower your costs. You won’t have to eat out 100% of the time, you can also cook.
  3. It’s nice to share an apartment if you are a large group/family! You can also find really nice houses.
  4. You will feel like a local. Some apartments are designed really nicely and it feels super authentic.
  5. You can also find a secluded bungalow if you’d like if you are looking for some peace of mind.
  6. If you’re traveling solo and don’t want to be all alone at a hotel, you can even rent a room in an apartment or even a shared room and share the place with other people. It’s a great way to save up as well.

What to Look for while choosing an apartment

The website first asks you to provide the dates of your choosing, the destination, and the number of people you’re staying with. You will find the results on a map. You can also filter your results by price, private home or private room, etc.

After applying all of your filters you can pick directly on the map the area you’d like to stay at. I recommend deciding on the place you want to stay before going to the Airbnb website. After doing all of the above, you will see all of the matches that Airbnb found for you!

What Should You Look For?

  1. You should pay attention and see that the apartment has at least 3 reviews, and the more stars the better.
  2. You should aim for 4-5 stars, I usually pick only 4.5 or 5 stars.
  3. Look for the pictures and see if you like it! Pay attention to the small details, like the bed, shower, if you’re allergic to dust then you wouldn’t wanna get a place with a carpet, etc…
  4. Read all the reviews and see that there isn’t something that could be a problem for you! For example, the place is in the center of the city but it’s really loud at night, etc. Also, it is really important that you pay attention to the cleaning level info! If some people said it was dirty, they I wouldn’t take it…
  5. If you have questions about the place, don’t hesitate to ask the person who owns the house! It’s really easy to contact them. It’s also a great way to check if they are friendly.

Additional Information

  1. Most renters will meet you to give you the keys upon arrival, but sometimes they will tell you the exact location of where they left it… A day before your arrival you should message the renter and update him of the time of arrival and schedule where the key will be. If you are arriving with a car, find out where you can park.
  2. The apartment of the room that you will take, is just like a hotel. You get clean towels and sheets, and you are allowed to use all of the apartment. If it has a washer – go ahead, if it has spices and dishes – cook. If there is something you cannot use, the owner will make sure to mention it. We never came across anything like that, but in some cases it may happen.
  3. If the owner will bring you the key, you can chat with him to get recommendations for places, after all s/he is a local! We got great recommendations from the owners at Budapest and Italy! You can also message them if you don’t get to meet them!
  4. You need to leave the apartment in the way you received it. Which means, you have to tidy up and throw away the trash.
  5. As I mentioned before, you can also rent your own place if you’d like. It’s an easy way to make money if you’re away or if you have an extra room.
  6. The hosts also write a review about you after your staying, so other hosts will know if you are a good guest or not.

While traveling there are a lot of ways to cut your costs, whether it is by finding cheap flights or getting a discounted hotel room. Other than saving while on the trip, there are apps that can make your life easier. There are countless of handy apps such as a currency app, one that helps you pack your essentials, find good airplane seats, and even where you can go pee.

There are many free apps that assist every day like google maps, waze, whatsapp, and more… If you ever wondered what are the best apps to download before going on your next trip then you’ve made it to the right place. Keep reading to discover which apps will save you money and make your life easier.

Packpoint – An app that helps you plan what to pack

How many times were you on your way to the airport and found out that you forgot something at home, and it was too late to go back?

How many times have you over packed your suitcase with things you never ended up using?
With Packpoint app you can easily pack without thinking about what you need and what you don’t. What’s cool about this app is that it gives you a list of things you need to pack according to your destination. It plans according to weather and activities. It thinks for you, have I made your life easier yet?

Hotel Tonight – An app for finding a room hotel for the night

Whether you don’t like to book in advance, you went on a spontaneous trip, or you just want to extend your trip, then Hotel tonight app is for you. It lets you find the cheapest hotel room for the same night. Its prices are highly discounted and it’s very easy to use.

Travel Maker – An app for searching a travel buddy and tips from travelers and locals

Proud to say that it is an Israeli-development. Travel maker goal is to help you find the perfect travel buddy for your trip and to also get tips and recommendations both from locals and tourists.
You can filter your travel companions by age, gender, hobbies, locations, etc. You can also check out their profile before reaching out. It’s sort of like a dating app, but for traveling; you can chat with your matches.

You can also get a recommendation for a list of equipment you’ll need to bring, from camping to leisure trips.
The app is easy to use, and it enables you to find partners that will make your next trip better. It’s also a great opportunity to meet up with locals. There is an android version that has thousands of users worldwide.

Seatguru – airplane seating app

As you may know, not all seats on an airplane are the same, so if you’d like to book extra leg room, or even a window seat, then Seatguru is app is perfect for you.

The app gives you a color-coordinated seating chart, from the best to the worst seat. You won’t have to pay extra for a good seat thanks to this app.

XE currency – Change and currency app

What’s great about this app is that it works without wifi. With XE Currency, you can change any coin you’d like, you can see graphs of the coins according to its changes, and you can easily see the price in your coin no matter where you are.
It works in all devices.

Bathroom finder – An app to find the nearest public restrooms

Sounds like an embarrassing app, right? But how many times have you found yourself almost dying while looking for a public restrooms, and especially while traveling?.

This app features a map and the nearest public restrooms around you. It is fantastic.

Restaurant Finder – An app for finding restaurants

Restaurant finder is one of my most-used apps while traveling. Whenever we feel like going to a restaurant, cafe, or a bar and we’re not sure of where we should go to, we use this app. It shows you the nearest options and you can also filter and narrow your options down by the type of food and hours.

Every place has a rating. I always look for the places that have 4 or more stars and look at the reviews that other people wrote. With its help we found a lot of great places we would otherwise never have found. I highly recommend downloading this. It works on Android.

Moovit – Public transportation app

This app is really easy to use and we actually use it a lot while traveling. We even used it in Vietnam. It helps you find the public transportation that you need. It shows which bus you have to take to get to your destination, and it shows you the location of the station. It also shows in how many more stops you’ll need to get off, so they basically thought of everything. If there is a walk, then it would also show you the course.

The app is very easy to use, and it would save you a lot of money you’d spend on taxis.