Monday, February 24, 2014

Smart travel to Greece

Greece has always been my dream country. I have this childlike glee when I think of Greece. My experience in Greece has to be magical. This year, visiting Greece is one of my goals and I am pretty sure I will!

While I have never travelled abroad I have a fair idea on how I will save money and enjoy my stay in my dream destination

Plan way ahead!

Travelling right is also about planning ahead and doing your research. Sites like exploroo and Planapple help you plan itineraries and connect you to other travelers. I have also used

Frommers which makes it easy for people to share 
their own experiences and itineraries. Doing your research before hand helps you save so much headache. Since I plan to travel to Greece this year, I have already started planning my holiday dates and itineraries and after a lot of thought and research have zeroed in on Mykonos, Athens and Santorini as the priority places to visit.  I am also finding out all the tourist attractions in these cities so that I don’t have to depend on hotel staff to direct me to the right places.

Book in advance

Anywhere I travel to, it makes sense to plan and book major things like tickets and hotels much before the intended travel time. That saves a lot of money!

Travel off season

I don’t like clich├ęs and I don’t like crowds. You will most likely see me at a touristy spot at a time when most people don’t visit it.  The foremost advantage of going somewhere off season is that you have more options for accommodation. Hotels, guest houses, inns AND tickets will be much cheaper if you go off season. But there is a also a disadvantage- many touristy spots are completely closed to the public during the off season- so everyone needs to be careful about that.

Look for cheap deals

Another thing I am doing now is exploring different travel sites and agencies and comparing their deals and packages. Many tourism agencies keep offering deals which turn out to be way more reasonable than your original budget. All you have to do is look out!

Know the culture

For me travelling is not just about going to a place and ticking it off in your check list. For me travelling is about experiencing a new culture; understanding it; soaking it in. Getting to know new cultures is one of the major reasons I want to travel. I believe in the old adage-when in Rome do as the Romans do. When In Greece, do as Greeks do! Find out about what is expected behavior and what is not. Try to stick to it. That way you don’t alienate the locals and they are more accepting of you and therefor open to the idea of helping you out. Get a phrasebook. Make the effort to learn atleast the catchphrase in the local language. Even though Greece is essentially about beaches,  I won’t dress in beachwear everywhere, expecting it to be the norm. Here again comes the keyword- research. A little cultural knowledge about the country you’re travelling to will go a long way.

Get a local sim

This is a tip I picked up from A. When he went to Vietnam he bought a local sim which made communication with his friends easier and much much cheaper. He also bought skype credits so that we could talk on a daily basis. I too plan to do the same when I travel to Greece, I think it will save a lot of money and hassle. 

 Find out best ways to travel within the cities- 

 I also need to save money on local transport. Once I’ve planned my itinerary I will find out what the best way to travel within the cities is. I think the biggest mistake people do is use expensive transport. They end up paying much more than required. Many times public transport is cheap and yet very comfortable. In some countries you can hire cycles or bikes to move around the city and that becomes a big bonus as you don’t need to depend on the local transport. Getting to know bus routes in a new country can get tiresome so I will  prefer to find out beforehand.

Food! (very important!)

Tasting local cuisine is a big part of understanding Greek culture. I will definitely want to try local cuisine but don’t want to pay a bomb for it. So my research will also include what kind of food is available. Think of it this way- if someone comes to India and tries street food in a restaurant he will be paying for it much more than he intended to. He may have been unaware that he could have had the same thing at a much cheaper price. I don’t want to make that mistake. So research for food options will also be a priority.

So I think I have covered all bases but there is one more thing which I learnt from my dad-when you're at a new place be prepared to be ripped off and pay extra knowingly. You never know what could happen. More importantly, relax and enjoy your hard earned holiday without any worries!

I have always wanted to write such a post and Indiblogger's new contest tie up with skyscanner was enough motivation to finally do so.

Check out Skyscanner for smart travel plans. Click on the link here

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