How to Travel the World by Living Like a Local in Multiple Countries Every Year

“Did you win the lottery?”

It is a question I get asked often and the answer is no.

“You must be very rich,” is the follow-up statement or thought that people have about me.

I am not rich, I did not win the lottery, nor do I have someone paying for me to live and travel. I am single and I have a couple of jobs that offer me extreme flexibility and allow me to travel as much or as little as I want to.

I describe my life as a working vacation. I am always working, I spend more hours working than most people, and I’m always on vacation. How is the possible? Every time I go on a trip or vacation, I’m also working.

by Unsplash

by Unsplash

 My 2019 “Homeless Year”

People are always fascinated in how this year alone I have been to 6 cities in 5 countries totaling 9 ‘assignment’ trips. This does not include all my additional personal and work trips which is a combined total of being in and out of 16 various countries 29 times by the end of this year. This is what I have called my “homeless year” or “of no fixed address year.”

Yes, travel can be extremely expensive. However, if you know about some options, travel can be very cheap. Combined I have spent 164 days in these countries on ‘assignment’, and I have not spent a single penny on accommodations. I could have had a lot more, but there were other things I wanted to do this year.

Here is a breakdown of my 2019 assignment trips.

Gothenburg Sweden (twice)          12 days

Basel Switzerland (twice),               28 days

Barcelona, Spain (twice)                  37 days

Tenerife (Canary Islands) Spain     30 days

Chicago, USA                                       45 days

Sofia, Bulgaria                                      12 days

by Unsplash

by Unsplash

How can you travel without paying for accommodations?

So how do I do it and what are these “assignments”? I’m an international house and pet sitter. I travel to various countries, live in other people’s home, and take care of their pets while they are on vacation. House sitting assignments can range from a weekend to several months. You just need to connect with the right homeowner. There are over a thousand house and pet sits available at any time. You can travel locally or internationally. Go for a weekend, a couple of weeks, or be gone for several months.

I started house and pet sitting in October 2015. By the end of 2016 I had completed 11 house sits that totaled 118 days, most of which were in and around London, England. With another 5 in 2017, it brought the combined assignment days to 182. By 2018 I was a little tired of it and took the year off. With one more house sit scheduled in Bulgaria the beginning of December, it will bring my total house-sitting assignments to 25, totaling 345 days.

If I had to pay for accommodation for these days at a modest $150/night, it would have cost me $51,750 plus a lot more on food because I would have to eat out. That’s not the case with house and pet sitting. I have access to kitchens that everything in them I need. Of course, I buy my own food; however, most times I’m told to use whatever I want that is there. I do, of course, replace everything I use.  

by Sally Pederson Watford, England

by Sally Pederson Watford, England

Who can be a house and pet sitter?

Anyone can become a house and pet sitter. House sitters are couples, single people, retired people, and young families. I have seen ads looking just for single people; ones for single females because the dog doesn’t like males. Some only want couples to apply. Others are in big homes and are willing to have families come take care of the home and pets while the entire family is gone. I also know of pet sitters that get a pet sitter for themselves so they can pet sit elsewhere. That means you can do this too. The only requirement is you must love animals.

The responsibilities

There are several responsibilities that come with house and pet sitting. It is not a free vacation. You can not be gone all day and night. It needs to be thought of more like a hobby or business than just a vacation. You will be responsible for the following things at a minimal:

  • Feeding the pets – this may need to be done two or three times a day at specific times.

  • Walking the dogs – this need to be done at the same time they are currently used to, not when you want to.

  • Cleaning up after the pets – this many include litter boxes, while on walks, cages, pens, etc.

  • Giving medication – medications, drops, pills, injections. Whatever the animal needs you must give it to them at the time required. I had to give a cat an insulin injection twice a day, just before feeding it, at 6 am and 6 pm everyday.

  • Pet grooming – you may need to brush their hair and teeth daily or take them to the groomers if it is a long-term sit.

  • Yard maintenance and snow removal my need to be done.

  • Check mail – bring in all mail and delivered packages.

  • Clean the house top to bottom before the owners come home.

  • Wash and put away all linens (bedding, towels, etc.) that have been used.

  • Make sure all clean and fresh bedding is on all the beds.

  • Clean and put away all dishes.

  • And any other agreed tasks.

by Sally Pederson Basel, Switzerland

by Sally Pederson Basel, Switzerland

House and pet sitting destinations

There are several house and pet sitting opportunities in a lot of countries around the world. However, of course not in every country. I usually find the most in the UK and the USA. There are also several throughout Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. The Asia market is slowly growing. I will see some occasionally in India, Thailand, China, and South Korea to name a few. The Africa market is rare. However, in the past year I have seen about 4 – 6 in places like South Africa, Nairobi, and Kenya. I think I also saw one a while ago in Mozambique. 

Where are you going to house and pet sit?

Dreaming about going to London, England or Paris, France? How about two weeks in Costa Rica, Thailand, or South Korea? All of these and many more are available, and homeowners are consistently looking for sitters. There are about a thousand opportunities around the world everyday.

You could be enjoying Christmas and New Year’s in a different country this year. Perhaps you want to escape winter for some sun and sand in February. If you live somewhere warm, you could find something in wonderful ski destination. What are you waiting for? There is a whole world to discover.

For more information on getting started check out my website Jet Setter Pet Sitter.

by Sally Pederson

About Sally:

Traveling as a freelance writer and international house and pet sitter, Sally has the true “Wanderlust Gene”.  Born and raised in Canada, she has lived in Costa Rica and now calls Barcelona, Spain ‘home-base’. She has been to over 30 countries and 145 cities. She believes adventure and excitement are found everywhere, a deserted beach, the base of a mountain, a new city, or a small village. 

When she is not writing, she is either at the gym or out jogging, or most likely making her next travel plans. A few of her favorite things in life other than travel are pasta and seafood, cheese, chocolate, wine, and whiskey. Follow her on her blog The Jet Setter Pet Sitter.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thejetsetterpetsitter/

5 (5).png

The Ultimate Travel Budget Tips 2019

Hi everyone!

My name is Maya, and I'm a travel blogger, the owner of  travel-by-maya.com

Since I can remember myself I loved traveling. But, in the past few years, it became my biggest passion, my obsession and a way of life.

To travel as much as I can, I've developed my own tricks and hacks to travel on a budget, and In a way where I can allow myself to do it a couple times a year.

Today I wanted to teach you how you can do the same!

by Unsplash

by Unsplash

Before we get started, I just wanted to let you know that I have a completely FREE email course that teaches you how to plan your trip, travel on a budget (finding cheap flights, accommodation and more), and provide to you the best travel tips that I use.

For more information and to sign up for FREE click here!

If you want to travel more and pay less, there is one important thing you need to know; you can't have it all.

What do I mean?

You can't fly with the best flight, with the cheapest priced flight, that also includes luggage, and also departs and arrive at the best hours. 

The same goes for accommodation. Usually, you can't have the best hotel located in the best part of the city for the best price.

When planning your trip, searching for flights and accommodation, you always need to keep in mind that you can't have it all, and you'll need to pass one of the options.

So instead of looking for the perfect flight, if you find a cheap flight that doesn't include luggage - it isn't the end of the world. 

Pay what you need to pay, or on the other hand, just travel with the carry-on 8 Kg suitcase that the airline offers for free. You can do it, 8 Kg is totally fine for one traveler. 

Now that we've got the right mindset to travel cheap, we can get started with the real tips!

by Unsplash

by Unsplash

How to book cheap flights?

Booking cheap flights depends on a few things:

  1. When you are booking the flight

  2. The time you are planning on visiting the destination

  3. Your priorities

Where to book cheap flights:

Skyscanner - This is my number 1 flight searching site I use 99% of the time. I truly believe in it, and I have found the cheapest flights on this website.

Check out Skyscanner and book your cheap flight!

Agoda - Another great flight and accommodation website I love is Agoda. They offer great deals, sales on flights and accommodation and are highly recommended.

Book your flight with Agoda here!

Pro tip: If you want to get great deals to a specific destination, try visiting the place on its shoulder season. This way the destination isn't packed with tourists and prices are low (flights and accommodation).

Where to stay?

Hotelscombined - This is my favorite accommodation booking site. The website combines all of the prices to certain hotels/apartments/hostels that are currently on the market. This way you can see what is the cheapest website to book your stay from.

Click here to book your stay through Hotelscombined!

Airbnb - If you are looking for a cheaper stay, Airbnb is perfect for you. I've stayed in an Airbnb apartment on my trip to Prague and Bucharest. We've (me and my boyfriend) booked very nice apartments on those trips that were located right in the middle of the city. And, these apartments were so cheap it was insane!

Click here to book your stay with Airbnb

Agoda - I've talked about Agoda for booking flights, but it is also a great accommodation source to book cheap stays. 

Just like when booking flights, Agoda offers great deals and even sales to multiple hotels/hostels and even apartments!

Click here to book your stay with Agoda

by Unsplash

by Unsplash

Planning Your Trip:

Before planning your trip, there are a few things you need to know:

  1. Getyourguide.com

  2. Consider purchasing a travel planner

  3. Attractions passes

  4. Making life easier with a travel guide

  5. Consider going on an organized trip

Now, let's go in-depth:

Getyourguide.com

This website is an absolute favorite of mine. I use it on every trip I go on. 

We all know that attractions and sightseeing places can get a bit expensive. What I love about Getyourguide.com, is that they offer discount tickets to multiple attractions all over the world!

If you really want to save money on your trip, this is the number one source for you!

Book your attractions for a discount price HERE!

Using A Travel Planner

travel planner is one of the best ways to stay completely organized before and during your trip. You can write all of your plans, packings lists, to-do lists before the flight, daily itineraries, trip overview and so much more.

I love using a travel planner when planning my trips. Everything is in one place, its handy to use everywhere, and all of the trip's information is located and organized in one place.

Click here to purchase the "My Travel Planner" digital travel planner and get 20% OFF your purchase when using this coupon code: TBM20.

by Unsplash

by Unsplash

Attraction Passes

An attraction pass is one of the biggest money savers you can get on your trip. An attraction pass is a card for which you pay a certain amount of money, and you get access to a variety of attractions in the city of your choice. The best part is that the price you paid for the ticket is much cheaper than buying an entrance ticket for each attraction separately. This card is such a money saver during the trip and I recommend buying one for your next trip.

How does it work?

You buy a pass that includes entrances to a variety of attractions around the city. The attraction card has two options:

First option – Choosing a certain number of attractions you want to visit (2/3/4/5/6/7/10 or 12 attractions from the list). The pass is valid for 30 days from purchase, so you can buy it in advance from home, and saving unnecessary hassles while on vacation.

Second option – Choosing a number of days (1/2/3/4/5/6/7 or 10 days) where you have an unlimited number of attractions!

A good thing you would like to know, some cities give you unlimited tourist bus rides, or even free public transport in the city, while buying this option, which is another huge money saver, since public transport takes us quite a lot of cash.
Recommended attraction passes:

1. The NYC Sightseeing FLEX pass

2. The Paris Pass

3. The Barcelona Pass

4. London Explorer Pass

5. Los Angeles Ultimate Attractions Pass

6. The Berlin Pass

7.Best Of Rome All Access Pass

– For more attractions passes click here

Consider purchasing a travel guide

A travel guide book, digital or not, can make your life a lot easier. It has all the information you need for the destination you are visiting.

I've actually created a completed 7-day itinerary to Paris. It is a digital travel book that contains everything you need for your trip. Starting from daily itineraries, recommended restaurants, important travel tips to know, flights & accommodation tips to flying and staying in Paris and so much more important information.

And, I am working on more travel guides to different destinations, so stay tuned!

Click here to purchase the Parisian Dream digital travel guide and get 30% OFF when using the discount code - TBM30.

by Unsplash

by Unsplash

Consider going on an organized trip

An organized trip is the best way to have a full experience in any country you visit. It's also very easy, because all you do is decide on the destination. The rest? the company does for you.

I wanted to recommend Trova Trip. It provides curated group travels, and provides all the planning, transportation, as well as hiring amazing local guides to guide your trip!

What makes this company stand out from other travel companies, is that they offer customizable trips for great prices. They customize the trip according to your preferences and pair you up with other like-minded travelers that have a similar mindset as you, and are interested in similar things as you do ! how cool is that?

You can choose from a wide range of beautiful, amazing destinations and they will tailor an authentic 10-day trip for you. Also, the groups are pretty small, 8-20 people per group. 

They choose very good, authentic local guides who can provide you a truly deep tour of the destination you choose to visit, and give you a local point of view on the place, as well as providing some great insider tips!

And, don’t forget, we're all about saving money here, so you must know that Trova Tips offers great payment for those who are joining them. With a Trova Pass you can pay only 99$ a month for a whole year, or 198$ a month for 6 months! Sounds like a pretty nice money saver to me.

A few reasons you should consider traveling with Trova Trip:

* Not needing to take care of anything, just packing a suitcase and traveling. The company plans everything out for you. They arrange everything, as well as taking care of the transportation and travel plan, where you stay and what you do. 

You can spread your payment for a small 99/198$ for a year on 6 months. Huge money saver, you don’t need to pay everything in one month like you do on a regular trip.

Meeting new & great people, that also likes similar things to what you do! who doesn't like meeting new people?

They provide an experienced local guide, that provides you the deepest tour of the destination you are living at, showing you a local’s point of view on the place and giving you all of the local’s tips and secrets.

To find out more about Trova Trips, Click here!

by Unsplash

by Unsplash

A few bonus tips for traveling on a budget:

  1. Use cash - Using cash is one of the best ways to save money while traveling. What I like to do is bringing cash with me, and take a credit card just in case of an emergency. This way I travel on a budget and plan my daily budget each day. This is one of the top tips on traveling on a budget, and it is the best way to avoid exceeding the budget.

  2. Free things to do - Find free things to do in the destination you are staying at. From visiting a museum on a day that tickets are free, or even going hiking somewhere. Just search online and find out what things you could do in that destination for free, and do it!

  3. Use your student ID - If you are a student, well, lucky you. Most attractions, and sometimes even restaurants offer multiple discounts for students! So don’t forget packing your student ID, show it everywhere you go and get some discounts!

  4. Pack a reusable water bottle - I’ve said it a few times on my blog, but one of the most money wasting things we do while traveling, is buying too many water bottles during the day and wasting our money. Instead, just pack a reusable water bottle, be eco-friendly and also save your money and fill your water bottle when every you need to. This way you won't be spending too much money on buying water bottles you don’t need, and also saving the world

  5. Use public transportation instead of taxis - I don’t like taxis while traveling. Usually, they take advantage of me being a tourist and ask for way too much money for the ride from what it should cost. So, I prefer either Uber or just using public transportation – buses, trains, the Metro/Subway. Public transportation is the cheapest, much more than Uber as well. Also, you have another way to “live” like a local and get an insider look at living in the city. I can tell you that I enjoyed using Manhattan’s Subway. Met so many people, saw the “real life” and felt like a real local. Highly recommended.


Once again, for more travel tips, you are more than welcomed to sign up for my Travel More, Pay Less FREE email course!

These were my top tips on how to travel on a budget, and do it as much as possible!

For more content, you are more than welcomed to visit me on my blog travel-by-maya.com, as well as on my Instagram and Pinterest!

by Maya Mendelson

5 (3).png

Tips For Traveling on a Budget This Year

This past weekend my boyfriend and I took a trip to Toronto,Canada! Being college students, we know how important budgeting is and I’ve collected a few tips for traveling on a budget this year.

First things first: PLAN accordingly!

Sure, spontaneous trips are great and all.. but certain expenses can be cheaper when booking ahead of time. For instance, we decided on Toronto because my boyfriend’s school is 4 hours away instead of 8hours from our home. I booked my train tickets on Amtrak early, therefore got the best prices! Amtrak is a train service that provides trains all across the country for a low price. Very spacious seats, no security checks,WiFi, and you can bring your own food and beverages on board!

by Unsplash

by Unsplash

Where to Stay

Looking for a hotel in Toronto was beyond expensive, so I decided to find an Airbnb and was BLOWN away. We found an Airbnb in the heart of Toronto for $89 a night, including service and cleaning fees! The home was located walking distance to all of the attractions and was perfect for us. Another thing to keep in mind if you are driving is parking! Parking in an unfamiliar place can be a hassle, and thankfully our host from Airbnb informed us of the app Rover! Rover is a parking app where people post parking spots for rent that is cheaper than other options! We were able to park our car in the host’s building with a security gate for 24 hours that cost us $19! The other parking lots were double the price for a few hours!

Events & Concerts

If you are like us and love concerts, sports games, and other events utilizing websites like StubHub, Ticket Master and Seat Geek are great money savers! We were able to get two tickets a few rows behind the Yankees dugout for $128 for both, including fees! This is a great price especially for how close we were sitting. After comparing the sites listed above, I saw that Seat Geek had the best price and had an additional $20 off using the code ACE!

by Unsplash

by Unsplash

Extra Savings

If you do need to book hotels, airfare, rent a car, etc download the app Ebates! Ebates is also great for online shopping as you get cash back at many stores just for using the app to make your purchases! Ebates has helped me fund my travel and I’m so happy I started using it. Travel is an investment, but does not need to cost an arm and a leg! I hope these tips have helped you, happy traveling!

Keep an Eye Out for Sales

Another big money saving hack is to keep on the look-out for sales! I took my first cruise in June, and I was blown away by how inexpensive it can be when you book during sales. Royal Caribbean had a sale which was 50% off second guest and a $25 onboard credit for each guest. (Onboard credit can apply to anything drinks, meals, money to gamble at the casino, etc.) If you are looking to cruise with Royal Caribbean, definitely book during this time when they have this sale or another sale running! The great thing is if there is another sale after you book they will refund you! I also booked our excursions through them, and they had a sale and guess what? I was refunded the difference! Of course you do not have to book your excursions with them if you choose not to, but it was my first cruise and I wanted to play it safe.

by Unsplash

by Unsplash

Cruise Ship Tips

Another great tip for cruising is do not be intimidated to get a drink package, unless it is worth it for you! At the time, the unlimited drink package cost $59 a person, and since we were both 21 and over and staying in the same room, we both would have to have it. When we calculated how many drinks we had per day, it was not worth the money. (Also, if you get a drink package you are still paying for the days you are in port!) To me, it was simply not worth it and we bought our drinks ourselves and saved money without the drink package. However, if you are with family or a large group, a drink package will make more sense. This one may sound simple, but people often over look the little things. Bring a reusable water bottle! The water on the ship is free, however water bottles cost a lot more! Bring a reusable water bottle with you to fill up and enjoy the day instead of walking back and forth to get water from the buffet hall. Also, check with your cruise line, some of them allow you to carry on a certain amount of non-alcoholic beverages, which can again save you some money! Bring some “Just in Case” items because you never know. This was my first cruise as I said, so I was very worried about motion sickness as I can’t go on rollercoasters because of it. Luckily, I felt nothing! I was on the top deck for the sail away party watching us leave land and set sail and I didn’t even feel like I was on a ship. Cruise ships are so big it is hard to feel that you are even on the ocean. Now, coming back home for a few hours we experienced rough waters and I had a headache for a little while. We were experiencing harsh waves, rain, and heavy winds that they closed the upper decks as a precaution. I was kicking myself, because I forgot to pack my sisters motion sickness bands. Thankfully, I had Aleve and it helped my headache. Hopefully while on your vacation you don’t experience any bad weather, but we have no control over it! Onboard they do sell small things but they are very expensive. I would recommend bringing medication or items that you might need such as: pain medicine, motion sickness relief, heartburn, and or anything else specific to your needs.

I hope these tips help you on your future travel! Happy exploring!

contributed by Cay

You can follow Cay on Instagram @caystravels

Get travel savings through Ebates

Tips For.png

5 Benefits of Traveling in the Off-Season

Have you ever visited another country in the off-season? We are always drawn to travel in the summer, when sweat adheres our shorts to our legs and the streets are filled with crowds.

 We travel to enjoy ourselves, not be stressed out and uncomfortable.

 So why do we travel during peak season?

 If you have never gone on a shoulder season adventure, here are some reasons why you might want to try: 

Vacation Without an Excuse

Who says it needs to be summer to take some time off? Feed your soul with a trip to the mountains in the fall. If you don’t have that much vacation time, take a weekend trip with your best friend or significant other. If someone asks, “what’s the occasion?” tell them, “me!”

 

Save Money

Off-season travel is often much cheaper than peak season. This includes flights, hotels, Airbnbs, tours… some restaurants even increase their prices in the summer months! Treat yourself to an upgrade, a spa day, or an extra few days for the price you would have spent had you just gone in July. Who doesn’t want to spend more money on self care, rather than credit card bills?

Relax

You know the phrase, “I need a vacation from a vacation.” It stems from being exhausted after a trip. What is the point of a break from reality, if you come home from feeling worse than you did before? In the off-season, everything is less hectic. There are fewer people, which means less time spent in crowds, lines, and a much more pleasant experience.

 

Live Like a Local

Visiting a popular city in it’s quieter months gives you the experience of what everyday life is like for the locals. Instead of rushing to wait in line at a museum, spend your morning at a cafe. Enjoy a delicious pastry, a cappuccino and watch all the locals start their day. You may find a restaurant or activity you otherwise wouldn’t have thought to try.

A Unique Experience

Spending New Year’s Eve in London is going to be much different than your friend’s August trip. You will get a chance to bundle up and drink hot chocolate while watching the most incredible fireworks - seriously, this show puts Times Square to shame. Even if you still want to hit up all the tourist destinations, a different time of year will bring you a change in scenery, opening you up to new opportunities.

by Jesse Lucas

You can find more about the contributor of this post, Jesse, by following her on instagram @itsjesselucas or go check out her YouTube Channel

Benefits of.png