Archive for the ‘Budget Travel’ Category

When people dream of touring Europe and taking in the sights, there are a few common cities that seem to always come to mind. Paris, Barcelona, Rome and London seem to get all of the tourist love and attention and for more than a few good reasons. However, there is a lot more to Europe than just the attention grabbers, and a number of places where you can stretch your money a bit further as well. If there is one thing about Europe that holds true for everyone, it is that you will definitely want to extend your stay as much as possible once you get here.

 
Who knows why some of cities throughout Europe do not get the attention they deserve. It could simply be due to lack of advertising, a desire to stay out of the spotlight, or that a lot of travelers tend to stick to the road more traveled as often as possible.

 
If you are the type that wants to broaden your horizons and see more than what can commonly be found in travel brochures, then check out this list of the top 5 overlooked destinations in Europe. Not only can these cities offer an excellent vacation and a wide range of activities and attractions, but they can also help you save money when compared to more well known locations.

 

Lviv, Ukraine Photo by PeWu

Lviv, Ukraine Photo by PeWu

Overlooked European Destination #5- Lviv, Ukraine

 
A list of overlooked cities in Europe could be made with regards to the entire country of Ukraine on its own. While there are certain cities that do garner some attention, mostly from adventure seeking and unique travelers, Lviv is one city that is incredibly underrated. It is unlike any other destination in the country and is adorned with architecture that will take your breath away with every step you take in the city.

 
Lviv offers a feeling of calm serenity that cannot easily be found in other Ukrainian cities and the mixture of eclectic cafes and splendid cathedrals make it a true sight for sore eyes. Yes, there are drawbacks that other travelers will let you in on. The roads are terrible and the traffic is frustrating, but it is a small price to pay in order to tour one of the best budget European destinations.

 

Edinburgh, Scotland Photo by Http2007

Edinburgh, Scotland Photo by Http2007

Overlooked European Destination #4-Edinburgh, Scotland

 
Now you wouldn’t necessarily think that a capital city could be considered a destination that is overlooked, but considering what Edinburgh has to offer it garners very little attention. The city offers a unique and ideal blend of traditionally elegant buildings, sprawling hills and sensational sunsets that many people don’t visualize when they think of Scotland.

 
Then there are the castles and historically fascinating buildings that are dotted all over the countryside. The coastal villages among the natural setting within this tucked away European city are a must see for any traveler, on any budget.

 

Utrecht Photo By: Taka_aka_T

Utrecht Photo By: Taka_aka_T

Overlooked European Destination #3- Utrecht, Holland

 
We all know what first comes to mind when travelers consider a trip to the Netherlands. However, there is a lot more to Holland than just Amsterdam and there are a few places that offer much more realistic insight into the country. One such city is Utrecht, which offers one of the most romantic experiences that travelers can find.

 
You can tour through the old canals, walk through Oudergracht, or even experience the city via horse-drawn carriage. The skyline in the city is covered with elegant buildings, sculptures and monasteries, and a relaxing tour of the city makes for the perfect wind down for the hangover you undoubtedly have from Amsterdam.

 

Bratislava Photo by Elin B

Bratislava Photo by Elin B

Overlooked European Destination #2- Bratislava, Slovakia

 
When it comes to Eastern Europe, there really is no city that receives more love and affection from travelers than Prague. There is no argument that it deserves it all, but it is disappointing that it steals all the thunder from Bratislava. Bratislava has so much to offer in its own right and is one of the most remarkable old cities in all of Europe. The history of the city is fascinating, the culture absorbs you, and the architecture is charming and almost medieval.

 
The culture has been influenced by a number of different traditions yet the architecture resonates with a truly Roman feel. While the old tradition is evident throughout the city, a great portion of Bratislava has been renovated and portrays a new, rejuvenated vibe. This is one place in Europe that is affordable and won’t drain your bank account when you decide that you simply must extend your vacation and enjoy the scenery and lifestyle just a little more.

 

Siena Photo By BarelyFitz

Siena Photo By BarelyFitz

Overlooked European Destination #1- Siena, Italy

 
Italy gets an incredible amount of attention when it comes to discussion revolving around European travel. It seems that everyone dreams of touring the sights and sounds that exist within Venice and Rome at least once in their lives, and for good reason. However, there are a number of other destinations that can offer incredible memories and dazzling sights at much lower cost. And Siena definitely deserves to be at the top of that list. The problem is that even the most experienced travelers could easily miss this jewel of a city if they didn’t do all their homework. However, a little extra preparation is more than worth it.

 
This city is best described as incredibly unique. It has a long history and the culture within the area is utterly consuming. Take in the Palio horse races, which are the biggest event the city holds, and sit back and relax with succulent food, fantastic wine and a view of the dazzling Tuscan sunset. It doesn’t get much better than this, no matter where you go.

 
Of course most travelers will still want to tour the main draws of Europe, and there is nothing wrong with that. The big, famous cities are remarkable and offer incredible experiences, but there are also a few hidden gems and other fantastic destinations out there. If you have the time, take it all in. These 5 overlooked European destinations are stops on your tour that you are never going to regret.

 
The next time you are with a group of people who are comparing their trip to Rome or Amsterdam, wouldn’t it be nice to pull out pictures of somewhere like Siena and show them just what they missed out on?

10 Ways to Save Money on Travel | Worldwide Traveling Tips

Posted by Drew On September - 13 - 2009
If Only Money Grew on Trees

If Only Money Grew on Trees

While the recession is showing its effects in almost each and every field, the task of cutting down on the usual costs of traveling is also becoming increasingly difficult. However, in these trying times, there are still a number of opportunities to exploit the situation. These days, hotel chains, airlines, and other such businesses related to traveling are trying their best to attract customers by offering lots of discounts. Thus, it can be a lucrative opportunity for customers in search of cheap packages to take advantage of the offers provided by several hotel and airline companies. Here are 10 great ways to save money on travel, so you can afford to live a little and get out and see the world.

 

Save Money on Travel Tip #1- Alter the Traveling Plan to Save

 

The smallest amount of alteration in your vacation plan can give way to big savings, so checking the prices of different flights can be a smart decision which can affect your travel budget positively. For example, the airfare of flights that depart early in the morning or late at night is relatively lower than that of regular flights.

 

There are airfare discounts on Wednesdays and Thursdays because of the fact that these days are the most working days and most of the flights on these days also have vacancy of seats. For international flights, you need to pay more for a Saturday flight while domestic flights become dearer on Sundays. This rule of flexibility can be applied for hotels as well, especially by people who need to travel regularly for business purposes during weekdays.

 

Save Money on Travel Tip #2- Check Web Sites of Different Airlines

 

For your airfare shopping, you can check for web sites that will provide you with complete details of different airlines. However, it is always better to check the airline’s personal web site because some of the discounts on airfare are offered only on these sites. In fact, a majority of popular sites providing information on air tickets do not entertain the low-fare airlines, so you do not get the required information about these airlines on these web sites. Purchasing air tickets directly from airlines can also save a lot of money, since the money charged by the third party is eliminated, which can be somewhere between $10 to $15.

 

Save Money on Travel Tip #3- Flying is not always the Cheapest Way of Traveling

 

If you are going on a long trip and have enough time in hand, then you can always travel by buses or trains to save some money. Bus services, these days, have become quite competitive and the fares are also unimaginably low. Unlike airlines, discounts offered by bus services for children add to the low cost of traveling.

 

Sometimes, they prove even quicker than air travel because you don’t have to go through all the hassles of traveling to the outskirts of a city, since airports are located far away from cities. Along with this, there is no need to wait for baggage checking, baggage claim or unexpected flight delays.

 

Save Money on Travel Tip #4- Utilize the Help of Travel Agents

Arranging for certain vacations, especially in holidays, can prove a daunting task if you are trying to arrange everything on your own. For this reason, there are many traveling agents and agencies you can take help from. Your travel agent must be related with some genuine association so there is no risk of being cheated. You can also ask if your agent is associated with some preferred-supplier agreement, which is a bonus commission program rewarding agents for achieving huge sales of certain products.

 

While online services are the chosen route for many travelers, travel agencies have been forced to ramp up the competition as of late. For a few years it seemed that the best deals were always found online, but that isn’t the case anymore. Send an inquiry to different agencies and see what they may be able to find that you couldn’t.

Break Open the Piggy Bank and Travel

Break Open the Piggy Bank and Travel

Save Money on Travel Tip #5- Negotiate With Hotels

 

In this recession phase, average rates for rooms in hotels are considerably falling, especially in regards to hotels located in prime vacation areas. No doubt, it is bad news for the hotel business, but can surely prove to be good for you. Therefore, there is no need to search different web sites or toll-free lines to look for cheap hotels. You can contact the hotel directly where you want to stay.

 

There are many hotels which are managed independently, so you have more chances of bargaining. Negotiate low-rate accommodations and try working different angles in order to get complimentary parking, gym, and even breakfast. Send them an e-mail and ask for a reply, so it is a written conformation from the hotel’s side as well so you have proof of any extra discount or amenities you were offered.

 

Save Money on Travel Tip #6- Consider a Rental Car

 

Sometimes, things that appear expensive to you can actually end up saving a lot of money. For instance, instead of traveling by airport limousine, renting an individual car can turn out to be a cheaper option. Many times, you have to pay more for the shuttle facility than your own rental car and moreover, with a rental car, you get the choice of transportation as well.

 

On longer routes, rented cars are often cheaper as you save money that you would have otherwise spent on taxis, buses and other methods of transportation. Sometimes tour buses are more affordable but they also can end up taking you all over a destination, to places you really have no interest in seeing. If you plan it right you can save money with a rental car and get a lot more choice when it comes to your vacation.

 

Save Money on Travel Tip #7- Question about Car-Rental Insurance

 

Your rental can be covered through the coverage your credit card company provides or by your auto insurance itself. It is therefore important to research before your rental agent tries hard-selling you on a loss-damage waiver, or some collision-damage waiver. Remember, however, that your U.S. policy is not going to cover you automatically for your renting a car in some other country. Just do your research before renting a car and be prepared to understand any extra add-ons and fees that may come along with it.

 

Save Money on Travel Tip #8- Pay Only by Credit Card

 

With the hard economic times we are all trying to keep our credit cards stashed in our wallets, or even in our freezers. However, as long as you have the cash to back it up you can actually save a lot of money by paying for your trip with plastic. You can get cash back on certain purchases and accumulate a number of air miles as well.

 

The Fair Credit Billing Act authorizes travelers to dispute discrepancies and reduces their responsibility up to $50 for unlawful credit-card charges. Cash, debit cards, and personal checks do not provide such protection. Moreover, in case you purchased a ticket through a credit card from an airline company which went bankrupt, you are permitted to file a claim against the company to receive your due compensation.

 

Save Money on Travel Tip #9- Gain from Discounts

 

You simply never know which kind of discount you can gain from if you do not ask. There are hundreds of special offers and discounts out there that you may not even be aware of.

 

There are several discounts that are specially offered to military personnel, students, government employees, children, and members of such organizations as the AARP and the AAA. But, it depends on you whether or not you think ahead enough to ask for it.

 

Save Money on Travel Tip #10- Staying in Home Swaps

These days, cheap accommodations are becoming more popular than staying in a hotel. You can always opt for home swaps where you can locate a family who is interested in giving their home on a rental basis for a few days, weeks, or even months.

 

These types of accommodations are available throughout the world and if you are worried about the presence of someone in your rental house, than you can consider opting for the high quality, well-furnished apartments which are also available almost everywhere in the world.

 

The villas and homes are often incredibly gorgeous, comfortable and come with a large number of amenities that are not always available in hotels. You will also find kitchen facilities in these apartments; this is another way of saving money as you can cook your own food instead of going out for dinner.

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Traveling Cheap in India | Budget Backpacking Tips

Posted by Drew On September - 9 - 2009
Crowded Streets Full of Culture

Crowded Streets Full of Culture

India is a country with very diverse cultures and languages that come along with a number of traditions, beliefs and rituals. This diversity along with the scenic beauty of the locations is the main reason why millions of people are visiting India every year. The unique taste of culture and history is also one of the attractive features of the country seeing as the civilization of India is one of the oldest and greatest of all time.

 
However, touring India without proper preparations can be a very bad experience. While many seasoned travelers have had the adventures of their lives after bustling around the country on a whim, this is a place where you are much better off with a plan of action. If you want to travel to the best places in India, avoid awkward situations, and stretch your money the furthest, then read on and take note of these tips. Jot them down, prepare yourself and get ready for the experience of a lifetime, without having to spend a fortune.

 
Travel Planning for a Trip to India

 
Getting the assistance of a travel planner or a tour operator can be a very good thing to do. While there are a number of ways to get the most out of your money on your own, you will appreciate India more in many ways if you seek out professional advice. Travel to India can be cheap if you get the assistance of a reputed tour operator. You can also opt for Indian travel packages by the reliable travel agencies, or just take advantage of daily tours. This isn’t to say that a packaged tour is the best or cheapest way to go, but it can save a ton of unexpected and unnecessary hassle.

 
Finding Accommodations in India

 
Finding the perfect mix of cheap hotels that include excellent features is obviously the best way to go. One of the best tips in terms of saving money on accommodations in India is to try and find hotels that offer payment in the local currency. Not only will the accommodations be slightly cheaper in Indian Rupees, but there is also a lot more wiggle room on the price and opportunity to barter. If you are looking for a deal then leave your credit card at home and pay in cash whenever you can.

 
If you are looking for a little more luxury though, it also isn’t very hard to find. India is a place where luxury has no limits, and you can find hotels that will pamper you beyond belief for a fraction of the price. Try to find the right balance and lay your head down in an affordable, locally owned hotel for a few nights and then pamper yourself for one or two nights of the week at a high class establishment.

 
Group Tours in India

 
Joining a group tour is often a decent idea as they can offer you great safety and companionship. Having partners for visiting the various exotic locations in India can be an added plus and make it easier to find your way around and get accustomed to local intricacies. Aside from connecting with other tourists you can also look into getting the help of a local guide while visiting the various destinations in India. While many travelers think that this isn’t really the authentic way to get around, you can gain from the insight and knowledge that these people have about the local customs and traditions.

 

Further Preparation for the Trip of a Lifetime

 

Getting travel insurance before you go on a trip to India is often a good idea. Unlike other more “cookie cutter” destinations, you cannot always be sure what is going to happen or what you may encounter. Even if nothing goes wrong though it can be nice to have some travel insurance in case you want to delay your return home and stay in India for a few extra days.

 

India cannot really be described as travel location, as it really offers more of an experience. The forts and palaces of India will give you an insight into the heritage of India and the wild life tours are also cheap as well as thrilling in India, as there are many national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India. The diversity of the flora and fauna within the country will also floor you and appear when you least expect it.

 

India needs to be on your list of places to travel to. The only real advice to keep in mind is that you want to be prepared. If you plan ahead and seek out advice from expert travelers and tour guides then you can have the trip of a lifetime without breaking the bank.

 

Some of the best things in life are free, and that is especially true when you walk the streets of India and take in the culture and history that is abound.

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travelIn the current economic times it seems that everybody is struggling to find ways to cut down on their spending and make the most out of opportunities that present themselves. While the normal reaction to financial problems and a recession is to horde cash and cut back on spending, that sort of attitude and those actions tend to tie us down and add even more stress to an already edgy situation. In hard economic times we as people need vacations more than ever. Does that mean we need to take a second mortgage out on our houses or empty out the kids’ college funds for a luxury cruise or five star hotels?

 

Not at all.

 

In fact, a road trip to the next city over and a night in a cozy bed and breakfast may be all that you need to get away, gather your thoughts, and break free from the stress that is tying you down. The key is to continue to find ways to indulge in the things that keep us going, such as travel, while still keeping the bank account in the bank. So maybe that means no more 5 star all inclusive resorts in Jamaica or no more Disney cruise vacations. Yet, it doesn’t have to mean you give up your love of travel.

 

So where can you go in order to take advantage of the relaxing aspects of travel without breaking the bank? Here are some cheap travel ideas and destinations that just may provide the break you need. 

 

jasperCheap Travel Vacation #1- Canada

 

To be fair I know a lot of you already live in Canada so it doesn’t necessarily spring to mind when you think of a vacation, but it really should. There are not many places in the world that provide such a variety of attractions, climates, sights, and cultures. If you are American then it gets even better as you can take advantage of the 20% depreciation in value of the Canadian dollar over the last year or so.

 

Just look at some of the activities you can partake in and you will notice there is something to do for everyone all over Canada, throughout all times of year. With Adventurous fishing trips throughout the summer, some of the best skiing in the world in the Winter, the charming atmosphere of Quebec, the electrifying nightlife in Montreal, the rustic yet cosmopolitan feel of Vancouver, and the overall stunning beauty throughout all of British Columbia, there are an infinite number of things that make Canada the perfect, affordable vacation spot. Whether you are talking about a two week visit to a hotspot or just a weekend getaway, opportunities are endless in the land of the North.

 

england1Cheap Travel Vacation #2-England

 

I hear can hear the uproar now. England has never been considered a cheap travel destination and you would be hard pressed to find it on anybody’s budget travel list. But hold off before you before you get your knickers all in a twist. Recently the British currency has depreciated by about 30%, which means you will not be paying an arm and a leg for everything that you do there, like I once did. The fact is that this lapse in the strength of their currency makes visiting London and the surrounding areas more tempting than ever before.

 

Better yet, scurry off into lesser known areas such as Jersey, which is a spectacular place full of old fashioned castles, horse ranches that has an eclectic yet classy feel to it. If it is the big sights you are after then you will love the fact that there are a number of free things to do in London. Touring your way around sites such as the Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, the Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the House of Parliament will not cost you a single cent. You can even take advantage of historical museums and art galleries that offer free entrance and the cathedrals located in Westminster Abbey.

 

Still need a little more? Then venture out to spots that are growing in popularity thanks to the increase in affordability such as Cornwall and Devon, which offer some stunning seaside resorts and relaxing places to wind down. That is obviously a big change from the scurried pace of the big cities. Who really knows how long the British currency will be struggling, so it may be best to jump all over England and take advantage of the situation while you can.

 

iceland1Cheap Travel Vacation #3- Iceland

 

Ah ha, bet this isn’t a destination that came to your mind when you started reading this article but it will surely stick in your head from now on. At the moment it has never been cheaper to travel to Iceland and once you get there you will surely not regret it. At one point the nation used to be one of the most expensive countries to travel to in all of Europe and now it has turned to a completely budget travel destination. The Icelandic banking system has collapsed and the currency has dropped by a staggering 50%. Now, I am not one to celebrate the misfortunes of others or promote taking advantage of others while they are down, but if anything we know now that Iceland could use the help.

 

It has always been an attractive tourist destination as the land of ice and fire has more than enough to entertain even the pickiest of travelers. With blue geysers, waterfalls, deep green valleys, rivers, glaciers and volcanoes, it is a unique country that is incomparable to others. Whether you are the type of traveler that likes to lay back and watch nature work its magic or one that likes to get active with activities such as skidooing on glaciers, riding horses or skiing the slopes, the variety here never ends. With all the excitement of the sights and the sounds of nature, people often forget how lively the nightlife can get in Reykjavik as well. Better yet, the drinks are now a lot cheaper than what you are probably used to paying at home.

 

slovakiaCheap Travel Vacation #4- Slovakia

 

Slovakia would have had a much more prominent role in the world of cheap travel destinations, except that it just become the first nation from Central Europe to join Europe’s monetary union. Due to the fact that the Euro is so strong you definitely need to plan out a trip to Slovakia in full detail before taking off, but it can still be one of the cheapest places to visit when compared to its European peers.

 

Once you have factored in the Euro you will still be relatively surprised by the fact that five star hotels will only set you back 150 Euros a night, and that you can crash in a historic castle hotel for just 80. What better place to lay your head in Slovakia than a castle, considering the country has the highest number of castles per capita in the entire world?

 

Couple the medieval castles with gothic towns, stunning caves, vast national parks and all the lively nightlife and entertainment in Bratislava, and you can put together one memorable and affordable vacation. If you have your heart set on Europe but don’t have the cash, Slovakia is indeed one of your best options.

chinaCheap Travel Vacation #5- China
 

Chinese tourism has skyrocketed in the last couple of years as China has been opening its borders more and more and catering to foreigners in a new light. Major hotel chains and five star resorts have set up shop in the country which means that it has become a lot more comfortable to travel to China, yet it still has not drastically affected the price. There are a plethora of budget hotels strewn all over the country and even luxury hotels will not completely wipe out your bank account.

 

If you are willing to get in touch with the local culture and try new things then you are going to be able to save even more money on your vacation. Transportation is dirt cheap and the food carts that serve the cities are more affordable than the stuff you usually buy from the 7-11. There is also a wide variety of tours that consist of 10 days and 8 nights that will set you back less than $1,000 US including your flight. While tours tend to be a sin in the eyes of many, they are a great way to experience a lot of what China has to offer in a short time, while saving money on your vacation.

 

australiaCheap Travel Vacation #6- Australia

 

You could probably consider Australia the least affordable destination on the list simply due to the price of flights to the region. It still has to be considered on the list simply due to the fact that the Australian dollar is suffering. On top of that, I do not know anyone that doesn’t want to visit Australia at least once in their lifetime. Australia boasts prehistoric gorges, pristine beaches, barren deserts, a vast array of unique wildlife, an abundance of activities and a laid back way of life that many people dream of.

 

The fact that it is a dream destination is not a debated one, but how does affordability really come into play? It all comes via scouring the internet and harassing travel agents for flights. That may take time and may set you back a good $1,500 for a round trip ticket but then the good news comes in. Once you get there you are in the land of backpackers. Stroll around from place to place and lay your hat wherever the wind blows you. Grab a Foster’s at the local pub, snorkel near the Great Barrier Reef and get to understand why so many people claim Australians to be the friendliest people on earth.

 
Australia may not be as cheap as the other cheap travel destinations mentioned, but it can definitely get worse. Use some careful planning and take advantage of the free activities while you are down under and a trip to Australia can turn out to be a lot more affordable than you imagined.

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JetBlue Suspends Sales of Their “All You Can Jet” Deal

Posted by Drew On August - 24 - 2009

jetblue1Admittedly I am a little late on this news but it definitely still needs to be mentioned. JetBlue has officially suspended sales for their newly announced “All You Can Jet” deal due to overwhelming support and a rush to get a hold of these tickets.  To reiterate, the deal included as many flights as you could handle from September 8th to October 8th from and to any of the 56 cities that the airline serves, for just $599.

 
When the deal was announced on August 12th JetBlue let it be known that customers would be allowed to buy the pass up until the Friday night or until sales ran out. A spokesperson for the company has stated that the company does not want to sell so many passes that it is impossible for people to actually get tickets when they want them, so they put a halt to the sale.

 

All You Can Fly is a Smashing Success

 

Any scepticism for the deal that I pointed out in an earlier article needs to obviously be put aside. The deal was a smashing success, a brilliant campaign and an excellent marketing idea. JetBlue simply cannot be any happier with the way sales went and with how much publicity they received from all over. There were bloggers like Perez Hilton talking about it, twitter blew up about it, and NBC Today talked about it on and off. If you didn’t know what JetBlue was before you certainly do now, and that must have the point of the entire sale.

 

Insiders in the travel industry are still talking about it and acknowledging how surprised they are at how much attention the offer received. It was a truly creative promotion and creativity is something that we have not seen with airline marketing in quite some time. What may be the most surprising part of the entire all you can jet campaign was that no other airline jumped up or even attempted at matching the pass offered by JetBlue. There is some debate as to why that happened and why other airlines didn’t step up but many feel that it must be due to the very loose restrictions that came along with the deal.

An Unlimited Travel Deal That Couldn’t Be Matched

 

The point is that it would have been incredibly difficult for the “legacy” carriers to pull this off and put the plan into their complicated reservation systems. It would have been too complicated considering all the different partners the airlines have and all the different planes themselves.
While many people do admit that the loose restrictions affected the way many travelers could use the pass, the fact is that the deal worked brilliantly. People that bought the passes are excited, it drummed up a ton of business in what is known as the dead season for airlines and it got JetBlue’s name out there.

 

I would love to hear from more of you guys and especially anyone that purchased the pass. Give us your feedback on what you think of it and how you will be using the pass. I for one am praying that someone takes a whole month of work and travels from place to place for just $599. Imagine how thrilling a month long blog post like “30 flights in 30 days” would be? I guess I missed the boat on that one, sorry guys. 

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vene-beachImagine yourself being thrown in middle of beautiful landscapes, seductive beaches, serene mountains and beautiful waterfalls. That is just scratching the surface when it comes to what Venezuela has to offer vacationers and expats looking to start a new life abroad. While it isn’t always on the top of the list when it comes to most desirable places to live, it offers an exciting mix of eclectic culture and vibrant cities.
Venezuela is a tropical country located in South America and is bordered by Guyana, Brazil, and Colombia. Despite being a tropical country Venezuela has a diversified climate ranging from humid weather to glaciers which offers a varied lifestyle depending on where in the country you choose to vacation to or settle down. When looking at destinations for living abroad it can often be an added bonus for a climate to be diversified. While beach living is tempting, dry and hot weather all year long can be draining.
vene-caracasLifestyle in Venezuela

The capital city of Venezuela is Carcas. The population is estimated to be around 27,030,656. It has the fourth highest birth rate in South America and houses about 252,200 refugees. The majority of the population is Mestizo and then about one fifth have a European lineage and another one tenth of the population has a lineage from Africa. There is no official religion, as in a religion that is recognized by the state, with the country. The official language is Spanish with more than 30 other local languages in use. The president is both the head of the government as well as the state and is chosen by the system of universal adult suffrage.

Venezuelans have developed a very urban lifestyle and has evolved to a majority of middle class citizens. Local beer, rum and coffee are the most popular beverages and North American music as well as a little South America salsa and Latin soul add a little spice to life. While the majority of citizens are middle class there are quite a few elites within the nation that have built their lives around oil and have quite a bit of pull with the government.

Tourism in Venezuela

Carcas, Angel Falls, Gran Sabana, arid deserts, beautiful mountains and sandy beaches, Venezuela has a lot to boast. A cable ride to Sierra Nevada National Park is worth a fortune. If you find yourself in Venezuela then you do not ever want to miss out on taking a quick jaunt over to Aruba or Trinidad and Tobago also. Playa Colarada boasts of some world famous beaches and then Gran Sabana has some unusually flat mountain tops that are more than worth a visit. To cut it short the country has a dizzying array of attractions and sights. Venezuela is in no way one of those cookie cutter destinations where you find yourself doing the same thing day in and day out.
venezuela1Work in Venezuela
The currency of Venezuela is the Bolivar and at the moment of publication that the exchange rate is approximately 1 VEB = .000465 USD. The inflation rate is quite substantial and currently sits at 26% which obviously has quite an effect on the cost of living in Venezuela. The majority of jobs are offered within the service industry which includes employment sectors such as healthcare, retail, transport, education and of course tourism, seeing as it forms a vital part of Venezuela’s economy. The estimated average salary in Venezuela is 7,480 VEB which may vary depending on the personal factors which are not constant in all cases.
Job networking sites offer a good option if you are looking for jobs within the country. You can speak to local clients and connect with potential employers about the possibility of obtaining a full time job. However, in many cases you are better off simply saving up and heading to Venezuela, and then starting your job search from within. Companies and employers are far more willing to hire people in person rather than over the phone or via the internet.
Housing in Venezuela

Housing can be a bit of an issue in cities like Carcas. The prices vary according to the location and one of your best bets is to get yourself registered with the nearest consulate as soon as possible. The consulate can often help point you in the right direction for housing and accommodations and also help you take the necessary precautions. Venezuela is an earthquake prone country and is affected by torrential rains, so one must also take pretty serious precautions when purchasing property and housing insurance.
Crime rate in Venezuela

Unfortunately, Venezuela has the highest per capita homicide rate in the world. The violent crime rate is an issue of concern here with kidnappings, assaults and robberies occurring every now and then. Many harassment cases against U.S citizens have occurred and have raised a serious concern. The political climate is highly polarized and prone to violence. While this is the one side that is often seen by many foreigners, the issues are a lot more isolated than it appears. There are of course major areas of concern and you are advised to stay away. However there are also very safe communities and especially some safe resorts and areas for vacationers.

vene-desertTravel in Venezuela

Venezuela is connected through a major air route connecting South America with the rest of the world and thus remains a very easily accessible country of South America. It lies just above the equator and is situated in a part of the world that enjoys relatively pleasant weather all through out the year. This does mean that there is technically no off season or peak season in terms of traveling to Venezuela, but still to be precise the best time to travel to Venezuela is from September to April, which happens to be the dry season.
Yes there are a few drawbacks when it comes to considering moving, living and working Venezuela but there are also a number of wonderful opportunities. While some destinations offer an easy transition for expats this is not necessarily the case for Venezuela. However that is what makes it so appealing for some people who are trying to escape their routine life and break off the beaten path. Countries like Costa Rica and Mexico offer completely foreign communities that feel just like a southern American town. A lot of expats love that accessibility but it isn’t for everyone. If you are looking for something a little different then you may want to consider Venezuela. Just keep in mind that research and preparation are keys for a move to Venezuela, even more than for other countries abroad.

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