SOS Debt Chronicle # 2 - See the world without taking your shirt off
In this second column of the series "Live fully and in total fulfillment without having to break the bank", presented in collaboration with SOS Debts, we will explore the popular theme of travel. Because who hasn't dreamed of walking on the silvery beaches of Polynesia, the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat, the snow-capped steppes of Mongolia or the glitzy Vegas Strip and its multicolored signs, to finally have to face the harsh evidence? that he just couldn't afford it?
Well rejoice, budding travelers, because with our invaluable advice, you could soon fly (or who knows, sail!) To a paradisiacal destination lost in the middle of the jungle and populated by fantastic creatures in shimmering colors. Or maybe you can finally afford that romantic getaway to Venice or that pilgrimage to Compostela that you have dreamed of for so many years.
# 1 - a little planning
The best way not to blow up your travel budget is to already have one. Before even choosing your destination, determine an amount X that you would like not to exceed. A three-day trip to New York City doesn't cost the same as a two-week safari to South Africa (though, with all the vintage shops in SoHo…). If you book all your transport and accommodation in advance, it might take some of the spontaneity out of it, but it'll give you a good idea of what it's going to cost. Then all that remains is to plan a certain amount per day for meals, plus an extra for unforeseen events and gifts (you always thought well not to come back empty-handed, eh?) And voila!
We have already covered several ways to stuff your stomach without tightening your belt too much in the first edition of this column, and most of these tips also apply when traveling. Feel free to explore the street food and local specialties, this is usually a great way to eat well on a tight budget and it is often through the food and spices that you can really soak up the food. 'a new culture. Be adventurous, but still pay attention to the freshness and the quality of the food, we can sometimes have unpleasant surprises (one day, if you want, I'll tell you about my culinary misadventures in Spain and Morocco).
# 2 - travel outside of busy periods
Unfortunately not everyone has the luxury of going for two weeks in the middle of October, but if you do, a good way to save on accommodation and your plane tickets is is to travel during the low season. The tourist season tends to vary from destination to destination, so doing your homework and educating yourself a bit in advance is worth it. Avoid the holiday season, especially for all-inclusives and North America, but also consider that in Europe, national holidays fall in August and large urban centers are emptying towards the South and its resorts. seaside resorts, so it can be a good time to visit Paris and its countless museums without the usual crowd of stressed and unpleasant Parisians (to our French readers, we tease you, you know we love you).
# 3 - The more the merrier, the more we laugh
Another good way to cut the accommodation bill is to party and rent a large villa or chalet with several bedrooms. If in addition you find a house with a kitchen, that will allow you to share the expenses for food and alcohol (yes, alcohol, we would be crazy not to take advantage of the fact that almost everywhere in the world , wine and fort cost a fraction of what it costs our dear SAQ). And what's more, it's fun, going in a gang. Nothing better to cement already flourishing friendships!
To help you find the dream house (with sea view and all services within a two-minute walk), there are several classifieds sites, but the darling of the hour is undoubtedly AirBnB, a site to put in your favorites immediately if you have a bit of the traveling spirit. It is also a very good tool for inexpensive accommodation in large urban centers, whether traveling alone or with others.
# 4 - Big-hearted traveler
It's all well and good to want to travel for our personal development, but why not also take the opportunity to give back a little to others? Channel your inner Mother Theresa by participating in an international cooperation course, it's a great way to immerse yourself in a new culture and forge close bonds with her colleagues, and in addition you will return home with a full heart. of memories and the feeling of accomplishment.
There are as many organisms as there are causes, and all of them offer a different and unique experience. It's up to you to decide which one best suits your interests and skills, but a good place to start your research is the Youth Tourism website.
# 5 - go on an adventure
The ultimate plan to see the world without putting a penny out of your pocket is to wander off to the Promised Land, an old leather shoulder bag, without really too much plan, and to rely on human kindness for its sustenance. It is certainly not the easiest way to travel, and it leaves the door open to a good dose of unforeseen events and difficult situations, but it is without a doubt the most exotic. If you are lucky, you will be welcomed as a king with a local, greeted like an exotic creature with a feast of captivating aromas and the best duvet in the house. But you also risk finding yourself in a thatched hut, lying on the ground, with a bowl of rice and a piece of dried mutton to suck on for dessert.
If you are not so adventurous but would still like to taste a little bit of the experience of living with locals, you can always fall back on the Couch Surfing, but good luck finding a host with internet access in a quaint little fishing village in New Guinea!
This column was presented by SOS DEBTS, a non-profit organization that helps people in financial difficulty by offering free advice and a program to help them get out of debt.
If you need help, do not hesitate to fill out the form on sosdettes.ca, an advisor will answer you in less than 48 hours and advise you free of charge.