If your vacation budget is being squeezed, you are not alone. This week we tackle the topic of affordable vacation destinations (that you can hopefully take this year or in the near future) with Tim Leffel, author of “The World’s Cheapest Destinations.” Plus, we share some of our favorite black family travel content creators and commit to bringing more diverse voices onto the podcast.
ON THE PODCAST
00:30 – Recommended black family travel bloggers
05:17 – Talking with Tim Leffel
07:20 – What makes a cheap destination
09:10 – US budget destinations
14:05 – Covid cases in other countries
15:35 – Budget places in other countries
20:50 – Tips for saving money
25:30 – Thoughts of what is to come
27:50 – Where Tim wants to go first
29:53 – Tim’s Favorite Travel Gear
33:20 – What’s next for Vacation Mavens
ABOUT TIM LEFFEL
Tim Leffel is an award-winning travel writer, editor, and blogger. He publishes five online magazines and blogs including Perceptive Travel, the Cheapest Destinations Blog, and Hotel Scoop. He is the author of several books including Travel Writing 2.0, A Better Life for Half the Price, and The World’s Cheapest Destinations, now in its fifth edition. He is a member of NATJA and SATW and is North American Conference Director of the Travel Bloggers Exhange Conference (TBEX).
TIPS FOR TRAVELING ON A BUDGET
- Visiting a place where the cost of living is cheaper ends up being a bit cheaper if you are going to take a vacation there. If the cost of living is cheaper that means dinners, admission prices and even room costs tend to be lower than your home country or city.
- Just checking out smaller cities in the US rather than going to a big city like NYC or Chicago can help save you on the budget. There is still a lot to offer in smaller cities including museums, waterparks, aquariums, etc. Smaller cities are also usually easier to get around being that they are not as crowded.
- In other countries there are different regions that are budget friendly for families In Europe there are two great budget areas; one in Eastern Europe and one in the Balkans. The Southeast Asian countries are pretty close together and easy to get to, making this area a backpacker favorite. South America also has some great budget friendly areas to visit.
- Malaysia is one of these budget areas that doesn’t get thought about often, but it holds a lot to explore. The roads are easy to travel, the food is cheap and good and you don’t have to worry about the water, it is safe to drink.
- There are some destinations like Iceland or Canada that if you have had them on your bucket list some places are offering cheaper prices than normal and the exchange rate is really good. You should definitely look into these destinations if you have wanted to go there at all, this might be your opportunity to take that trip at a lower price that you could have before. (Just keep in mind that the Canadian border is closed until at least the end of July and, while Iceland is reopening on June 15th, you need to get tested either before you arrive or on arrival or be subject to a 14-day quarantine.)
- It may be tougher for families but the more you leave yourself open the options of making the trip trip cheaper increases. Travel dates are a big cost change if you are more flexible. Having kids in school makes this harder to do but it is definitely something to keep an eye on when your kids are younger and you are more capable to pull them out of school.
- You also want to think about high travel times for different destinations. Peak season for travel is going to be different in different countries and destinations. This will make your trip cheaper if you are able to go at a non-peak time.
- Other kinds of accommodations and travel options can make a big difference in your budget.
FAVORITE TRAVEL GEAR
Tim loves to wear either ExOffico or CragHoppers clothing. He has tried out a bunch of different brands of gear and loves how well these brands have held up over the years. He will also almost always choose something that is quick dry and he can wash it in the sink if he has to. He has recently been wearing some Prana items because he likes the comfort and how they look.
If he is going anywhere that he thinks might be busy, he will wear pick-pocket proof pants to keep his items safe. As for socks, he loves his Darn Tough socks that are very durable and comfortable to wear and are made in the USA. For shoes he likes a lot of different kinds but Sanuk’s are the best for compact travel. They are comfortable and they are also easily compressed and can fit nicely in your bag for travel, no matter what kind of bag you have.
MENTIONED ON THE PODCAST
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