I’m sunkissed, blissed out and well exercised. My journal is full of travel stories, sunset sketches and inspirational musings. I have cultivated new skills and imparted my prowess with willing takers.
Have I returned from an all inclusive sojourn in the sun or an all expenses paid spa vacay at a swanky resort? Nope. I’ve been camping on the beach and soaking up all the worldliness that one person could possibly muster. At Wanderlust Oahu. On a strict budget. Now, I want to help you do it, too.
With the promise of Spring on the horizon and all of the last minute warm destination vacations, I want to let you in on some savvy tips for traveling on the cheap. Not only to save your pocketbook and extend your funds, but penny conscious traveling also lends to lighter carbon footprints.
Grab your nearest well worn backpack and scrapbook, you’ll need to take notes. Here are 10 ways to travel like a hobo:
1. Fill your drink vessel with ‘spa water’ in a fancy hotel lobby.
When it’s warm, people desire cool and refreshing beverages (preferably non alcoholic for the thirst quencher in us). Luckily, many upscale hotels offer well adorned water in chilled vessels in their lobby area. Most recently, my friend and I strolled up from an early morning sun bathing session on the beach in Waikiki and spotted the most decadent fresh ginger lemon mixture. We nonchalantly filled our bottles. Well, I filled my bottle and she used the cup provided. She was probably better at staying under cover.
2. Save your paper coffee cup.
This would be the only time I’d advocate for acquiring a paper cup. Most places offer free refills, and with your handy re-used cup, you can return each morning and grab a coffee…refill..the day after. You can also get more coffee by asking for a medium in a large cup. Servers usually give you a little extra so the cup doesn’t seem too empty. While you are there, charge your phone and take advantage of free wifi and use the bathroom. Make sure to add something to the tip jar before you leave.
3. Take a rinse in the outdoor pool showers.
Walking around a city all day can get sweaty, not to mention if you are camping as well. Always carry a mini shower kit with you comprised of toothpaste, toothbrush and soap so that you can be swift in jumping in on a chance to get clean. A hotel’s outdoor pool usually has showers nearby (hot water? bonus!). Keep your bathingsuit on and get clean. If you’re really bold, relax on the lounge chairs before sauntering on.
4. Jacuzzi, anyone?
While you are at the hotel pool, might as well grab a soak (pre-shower).
5. Pack half of that giant food portion to go.
I travel with a stainless steel container. This way, I can discretely pack up the inevitable leftovers of a much too large portion. You can also use this to cut up fresh fruit or veggies to take with you on your daily adventure.
6. Bring your toys, and make the park your playground. Recruit friends.
In Hawaii, we had our traveling hula hoops, yoga mats and sketch pads. All these things are light and portable, but make for an amusing few hours in the local park. People having fun in the sun usually attract other interesting people who want to join in – welcome them and make friends!
7. Support community events – they are FREE!
Community sponsored attractions, such as yoga classes and music lessons tend to attract interesting and creative people! They are put on by organizers who believe in bringing like-minded souls together to share enriching experiences, and don’t want income to be a barrier. Support these endeavors generously by donating cash – it’s still usually way less than you would pay elsewhere and really supports the initiative.
8. A thin blanket for every occasion.
Need something to sit on in the park for your picnic lunch? A beach towel to sunbath? A thin layer to cozy into when your hostel mate keeps the window open at night? A light blanket is an invaluable companion that doesn’t take up much room.
9. Walk and take public transport.
Some people pay a lot of money for bikini boot camps. You, can just walk everywhere. It’s the best way to explore the land and get killer legs. Bonus. In a pinch, there’s always the bus.
10. Play it forward.
While it’s fun to come up with ways to save money while traveling and also use less environmental resources, remember that life is a give and take. Make sure you are the one to offer a free yoga lesson or a granola bar to a fellow traveler in need. Be pleasant, polite and always courteous to those around you.Traveling light forces you to have a keen awareness of your surroundings, compelling you to connect. Ultimately, it’s a more fulfilling way to move!
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