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Travelling (on a budget) tips

A week ago I took my 12th and final flight for September. T-W-E-L-V-E flights in less than a month.

I love travelling and I’m experienced enough to know how to deal with most situations, but Oh.My.God the last month was exhausting, and challenging, to say the least ( in case you are wondering, it wasn’t by choice, I had to do it for work, so I was on a budget and I definitely did not select the flights myself).

I wish and hope I don’t have to go through something similar ever again, but in case someone else does, (or I need to do it again) here’s some tips from my experience and from lovely friends sharing theirs. Here we go:

Take as fewer flights as possible! Ok, it’s pretty self explanatory but the less time you spend on a plane the better. Sitting for hours and hours on a tight seat can affect your blod flow, which can cause swelling on your feet and ankles, the air on the plane is very dry, which can dehydrate you (see tip no2!) and dehydration combined with the lowered pressure of cabin air can cause fatigue, not to mention your ears popping and the increase of gas in your bowel. That’s why we get off the plane exhausted! These are just some of the negative effects of flying on the body, so the less time on air, the better.

Check roaming and call charges of your country destination/stop. I had no idea that mobile internet depending on the provider varied from 9 to 16 euros in Serbia and now I have to pay a 50 euros phone bill for the 10 minutes I used my phone, to let my family know I arrived safely, and that I manage to catch my connecting flight!

Hydrate! It’s surely not easy to stay hydrated when you run from plane to plane, having to throw away any liquids every time you go through security, but it’s probably the No1 thing to do to keep you going. Also, as we all know, airports are really expensive, so always keep an empty ,re-usable water bottle on you as some airports have water fountains where you can fill up your bottle for free e.g. in Vienna airport, they are located near the F and C Gates. I discovered a website that lists water fountains at airports, you can check it out before your flight! https://www.wateratairports.com/

Eat healthy. It’s tough, the majority of airports I’ve been don’t have a great selection of salads, soups or anything healthy, and the healthy snacks they might have are ridulously expensive (I paid 3 euros for a Kellogs bar, which is what it costs to buy a whole box of them from Lidl, and 2 euros for a banana!) so take as many healthy snacks and fruits as you can with you.

Always have painkillers and imodium on you. No need to expand on this one!

A travel pillow works miracles. It can help you nap more comfortable, especially if you struggle to fall asleep on a plane, like I do, and as a friend mentioned, you can also use it as luggage, filling it up with clothes!

– If stuck at an airport for a few hours go for long walks (you can check out the shops around, or move from cafe to cafe), don’t stay sitting for too long, your blood needs to circulate!

Get good quality, comfy, modular backpack. If you travel on a budget you will quite possibly have to carry a backpack for your essentials, and you will likely carry that backpack for hours on end, therefore it has to be big enough but also comfortable to wear, with additional cushioning on the back and the straps.

– If you book the tickets yourself and not booked through a travel agency, sign up for travel miles, they will come in handy at some point.

Look up the cost of food, transport, and living at your travel destination in advance. I had no idea Oslo was so expensive (5 euros for a small water bottle, the average price of a meal was 20-25 euros and most museum entrance fees were about 15 euros).

– When carrying luggage, find spots at train stations or bus stations where you can safely leave your bags and have a relaxed walk in the city.

– Some info points at airports provide city maps that have discount coupons.

– Finally, in between trips and when you are done travelling, take some time off to recover physically and mentally. The negative effects of flying time and sitting at airports on the body is just one aspect. The stress of getting from and to the airport (which sometimes it’s a bumpy bus or car ride or a long train ride), catching your connecting flight (especially when you only have 30 mins transit time to get to the next plane and you have to run like a mad person to the next gate), not having any time for yourself, missing your friends and loved ones, all this takes its toll on your mental health. So, spend as much time as you need to recover.

This is it from me and my friends, if you have any tips you’d like to share, leave a comment!

Eleni

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