Personal experience

I travel a lot and inexpensively

This week, the Russian tourism market has revived due to the lifting of a moratorium on the sale of permits to Turkey. Just three days after this, the country returned to the demand leaders among Russians - interest in tickets and flights to Antalya grew by a third. Prior to this, the situation with foreign tourism looked sad: in the first quarter, according to the Russian Association of Tour Operators, the tourist flow decreased by 22%. Most people went to Thailand, Germany and the UAE - largely because the traditionally sought-after Turkey and Egypt were virtually closed to mass tourism.

Last year, the number of Russians traveling abroad decreased by 25%, in 2014 - by 15%. The main reason is the drop in revenues in terms of euros or dollars. Many of those who continued to travel abroad were forced to review their budget. Life around talked with a traveler who over the past two years has visited a dozen countries, not counting business trips and trips to his parents, and found out how he saves on travel.

I have already visited 45 countries. Most recently, I visited three new ones in one day. In the morning I left Austrian Innsbruck for Zurich, Switzerland, and it so happened that I had to make a transfer in Liechtenstein. Walking around Vaduz, I did not feel any difference with Austria, only the mailboxes were different.

The fall of the currency didn’t really affect my travel style - I saved it and continue to rationally spend money on trips. Moreover, the most vivid impressions I had from traveling to not the most distant and expensive countries - for example, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Turkey. In Norway, I spent about 3 thousand rubles in five days thanks to couchsurfing and hitchhiking. In principle, you can save on anything. I prefer to save on public transport - I like to explore the city while walking or cycling. But I would not save on food and comfortable sleep.

Sergey Rodionov


"In 2013, I visited Japan and Hong Kong. But the most expensive thing was in Italy. I could not afford hotels, and I spent the first time camping." "In 2014, it would seem that traveling to exotic countries became a luxury. Well, I was lucky with tickets: Moscow - Rio cost only 30 thousand rubles." "In 2015, I visited just one new country for myself - Vietnam. But I did not travel less. I moved to the United States and discovered 20 of the 50 states." "In 2016, I signed up for one of the airlines' loyalty programs and started collecting bonuses. Better late than never. That’s how I first flew to Berlin for miles."

Seat selection

Traveling for me is not a banal rest, but a way of knowing the world and finding inspiration, material for projects. The goal is impressions, information, observation of yourself and the world around you. Therefore, I relate to the choice of places as if I were looking for a story for a book. About five years ago I had a list of countries that I tried to systematically visit. Then I had a huge wall map of the world, where I marked with plasticine all the interesting places. With frequent travel and business trips, the Google map still won.

What interests me most is the culture of different countries. I want to get acquainted with the original traditions and lifestyle of people, cuisine, history, visual aesthetics. I am also interested in beautiful nature and species, but this is not a determining factor, but rather a cool addition.

When choosing places, the weather and the season are important to me. So, in the winter I prefer to study the countries of Asia and the Southern Hemisphere, and in the summer - Europe, Russia and North America.

Iguazu Falls, ARGENTINA

"The border between Brazil and Argentina runs through a waterfall. It’s worth staying a couple of days here and appreciate the panoramas from both banks."

Fifth Avenue in New York

“Hostels here cost about the same as rooms on Airbnb. If you choose Airbnb, it’s much more comfortable and interesting. And besides, which of us didn’t want to have a real experience of living in New York with brownstone stairs and laundries around the corner? "

Route planning

There are several proven ways to find out interesting places:

- View your map with pre-saved tags.

- Interview friends who were there. Facebook helps me a lot.

- Search for places on Pinterest. So, two years ago, the usual request "Denmark" gave me photos of the Rubjerg Knude lighthouse and the Grundtvigs church. Not the most obvious places, but Pinterest has no equal in terms of simply beautiful views. Previously, I also studied places on the geotag on Instagram, but now there is a lot of superfluous, unfortunately.

- Inspired by fiction and films.

- Study offline travel guides. In Russian, the Afisha.Mir guides are very good. In English, I like Lost In magazines (38 hours). Each room is dedicated to one city, locals share their favorite places. They also have a great mobile app.

- Well, corny - read reviews on Foursquare, TripAdvisor and BuzzFeed.

Buying tickets

I really love the Google search engine for airline tickets. He does not sell tickets, but only aggregates the offers of companies. There is a very convenient option - you can specify the airport of departure, dates and on the map see the cities where you can fly, with ticket prices. So you can find that a flight from Moscow to Barcelona is two times cheaper than, for example, to Marseille, or in winter Hong Kong is always cheaper than Bangkok. This is a great ticket search tool if you want to fly somewhere, but you don’t know exactly where.

Flying with transfers is cheaper than direct. This allows you to save money and at the same time see a new city. There are two types of transplantation - “layover” (up to 24 hours) and “stopover” (more than 24 hours). Many airlines allow you to change “layover” to “stopover” at no extra charge, for example Emirates in Dubai or Turkish Airlines in Istanbul. It is also worth taking advantage of visa-free transit in Chinese cities or Singapore.

I search for flights on Google Flights and buy on airline sites already. Sometimes I look at the sites of low-cost airlines that do not fall into the sample - Ryanair, EasyJet, Wizz air, AirAsia, Victory. In Europe I use the GoEuro application - it collects all offers from airplanes to buses and BlaBlaCar together and sorts them by cost. So, two weeks ago I found a quick and cheap option to get from Berlin to Lyon: the EasyJet low-cost airline from Berlin to Geneva for 40 euros, and then by bus to Lyon for 15 euros.

As for buses in Europe, I want to note FlixBus - this is a growing low-cost airline. For example, from Nice to Turin (300 kilometers) I drove for 9 euros in a bus with free internet and charging.

When there is a reserve of time and it is not necessary to be in a certain place by a certain date, I like to hitchhike. This is not only significant savings, but also the best way to chat with local residents, to learn more about their lives. I am still impressed with hitchhiking in Norway. In a short time and with a minimum budget, we managed to visit the most beautiful places and meet wonderful open people.

→ doing gymnastics in hong kong

“It’s not necessary to go up the Victoria Peak to the funicular, there are always long lines. Take the bus number 15 from the admiralty, it goes uphill along steep serpentines, and it offers fantastic views from the windows. You can save money at the entrance to the observation deck. If you turn to the left of it and go around the peak along a hiking trail, you can enjoy views of all parts of the island. "

↓ Istanbul under the snow

“In order to eat tasty and inexpensive in Istanbul, it’s not necessary to go to restaurants. It’s worth trying balyk Ekmek, Kokorech and doner just on the streets of the city.”


Most of all I like to stay with friends or with local residents, using couchsurfing or Airbnb. And here it is rather a matter of curiosity and personal contact, rather than the savings that I have been accustomed to since childhood. If I stay in hotels or hostels, I try to choose something really special.

In Hong Kong, I lived in the Shungking Mansions, a contemporary quarter of Kowloon City with photos of Greg Girard, and then in a skyscraper hotel with a rooftop pool and views of the bay and neons from the window, like in Gaspar Noe's “Entrance into the Void”. In Kyoto, I booked a super-futuristic capsule hotel in advance, and then, to make up for my impressions, I had a ryokan with onsen (a traditional hotel where they sleep on the tatami and bathe in a bath before going to bed). In South Africa, I accidentally stopped at a farm with a stunning view and dinner, which we prepared literally from what we gathered in the garden.

The story of one trip

A couple of weeks ago I returned from a trip to Europe. I have a valid Schengen multivisa (I would really like it to never end), so all the preparation was to buy a one-way Moscow-Berlin ticket for miles and arrange a night's stay with friends for a couple of days. I was in Berlin for the second time and decided to walk a lot and study the history of the city “in the field”. I was amazed at how the Germans documented their past - in museums and in the streets of the city. Karl-Marx-alley with flower beds of roses at the entrances of high-rise buildings reminded a brand new avenue from yellowed Soviet postcards.

The route was invented on the go. And after Berlin, I decided to go to France to plunge into the atmosphere of the European football championship and cheer for my national team. The city of Lyon, where the Ukrainian team played, was quite far away, and I decided to fly to Geneva by plane, I just found inexpensive tickets. In Geneva, I spent the whole day and had a great ride on a free city bike along the picturesque shores of Lake Geneva (icy, by the way!).

But the main impression of the trip is, of course, the European Football Championship and the sea of ​​fans. I heard news about fights, but I met lively, open and positive people from different countries - French, British, Icelanders. When the Irish saw my yellow T-shirt with Ukrainian symbols, they greeted me, offered me a beer and immediately took a selfie. I did not have tickets for football, but it turned out to be simple to get them: they were sold at half the face value directly in front of the stadium before the match. I took the cheapest for 20 euros for seats in the fan sector outside the gate, but in the end I sat up in the center, where there were many empty seats. The Ukrainian team lost and was the first to drop out from the Euro, but I was not really upset and went for a walk with the cheerful Irish singing "Will Grigg's on Fire", probably the most obsessive fan song I heard.

Then I decided to meet my girlfriend in Barcelona and drove south. On the way, I visited the beautiful French cities of Avignon and Montpellier, ate too much cheeses and baguettes for a month in advance. One day I rented a bike and went in search of the famous lavender fields of Provence. Fields are, of course, picturesque, but the coolest thing that was on that day was the cherry orchards. That day I had breakfast, lunch, and dined with cherries from a tree.

The hardest part of this journey was the search for an inexpensive overnight stay. The championship in France caused a huge stir, and hotel prices have seriously increased. By some miracle, at the last moment, I got on the vacant reservation in a hostel in Lyon, and in Montpellier I found a cheap hotel through the HotelTonight application.

The budget of the trip for ten days along with flights amounted to about 600 euros.

Vacation plans

I would like to visit the Faroe Islands, Iceland and South Korea. The first two places have long attracted me as the phenomena of prosperous progressive societies somewhere in the middle of the ocean in an unfavorable climate. And in Korea, everything is interesting, from delicious and original cuisine to technology and pop music. It would be interesting to complement South Korea with North to get impressions in contrast.

cover: Sergey Rodionov

Watch the video: How to Travel Hawaii Ridiculously Cheap! Budget Travel Tips (November 2019).

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