The Joy of Thrift Shopping
If you are considering a visit to Jordan, there is a virtual guidebook to the country available online at www.jordanjubilee.com. Visiting Jordan is something I would recommend strongly, not just for world heritage sites like Petra and Wadi Rum, but for the hospitality of the people.
For smart phone users only, there are some very interesting savings on same-day hotel bookings with Hotel Tonight (www.hoteltonight.com,) such as a hotel room in the D.C. area with a list price over $900 for only $90.
One of the factors that can make it hard to travel is injury or illness. Still, many people who struggle with health issues manage to get around the world surprisingly well. For those with mobility issues caused by leg, knee, hip or back problems, the Website www.travelonthelevel.com may be of interest.
If you hate the frenzy of Black Friday shopping at the mall, consider buying your travelling friends and family members some ebooks instead. Specifically, buy my ebook of Budget Travel Tips for Russia, which is crammed with good advice forindependent travellers to this fascinating country.
Although I am not generally a fan of gender segregation, I recently learned of such a good deal for men only that I had to write about it. At Mount Athos, the renowned Orthodox holy site in Greece, men can stay at any of a number of monasteries for free. Conditions are very rigourous and you need to apply six months in advance, but it sounds like a fascinating adventure. (You do need to pay between $50 and $60 for a residence permit and ferries to the site.)
If volunteering overseas appeals to you but you don't want to pay the high fees some organizations charge for the privilege of working for free, consider volunteering with the Brothers of the Missionaries of the Poor (www.missionariesofthepoor.org.)
If you are heading to New York City anytime soon, check out the November 12 guest blogpost by Jeff Dobbins at www.nomadicmatt.com. It offers many tips on low-cost or free attractions in the city, along with suggestions on how to eat inexpensively.
According to a report in the Telegraph (www.my.telegraph.co.uk/expatulator,) Tokyo and Hong Kong are the most expensive places to live in the Asia Pacific region, while Dushanbe, Tajikistan is the least costly. Tashkent, Uzbekistan is the city where living costs have fallen the most this year, because of a devaluation of the local currency.
The winter holidays are, for many people, a time when they prefer to be out of town. This is especially true for people who have recently suffered the loss of someone close, or for singles who may have little or no family. All those ads depicting happy families may be things you want to avoid.
I'm a big fan of travel Websites, but Priceline (www.priceline.com) is one I have yet to try. It's the site known for allowing customers to bid on hotel rooms--in other words, you can specify the date and city and the price you will pay for a room, and Priceline will find you a place at that price if anything is available. Like the other big travel sites, Priceline also offers deals on flights, cruises and rental cars, as well as last minute deals.
Book today with Travelocity (www.travelocity.com) for big reductions on some Waikiki resorts. Rates for resort hotels start as low as $101 for a resort hotel near the beach, but you must book by the end of today.
Writing a recent post about language learning reminded me of my own adventures in foreign languages. My first formal foreign language was Latin, three years in high school. Now Latin isn't spoken much anywhere outside the Vatican (and even there, I have heard, Italian is far preferred) but it is fun to study. (I didn't think so when I was expected to do two hours of Latin homework every night.)
They don't get much respect, but chain hotels can be good choices for travel in Europe. Many Websites recommend small, local places for the traveller hoping to save money, but the chains can also be worth checking out.
Probably nothing enhances a foreign vacation more than the ability to communicate with the natives in their own language (OK, maybe tons of money would, but let's be realistic.) Learning languages is work, but it can also be fun with the right attitude.
I am new to Groupon (www.groupon.com,) but they are offering what seems like a good deal on a cruise tour to Helsinki, Finland and St. Petersburg, Russia in November. An eight-day tour including air fare to and from New York starts at $1,899, a 43 per cent reduction from the normal price.
This is an amazing season for cruise bargains, and another good source for them is the Website www.allaboardtravel.com. They offer a number of what sound like great deals, starting with an 18 day trans-Atlantic cruise from Miami to Amsterdam. Stops include Madeira, Lisbon, LeHavre (for Paris) and Dover (for London,) so you can visit several European capitals en route. And the price starts at an amzaing $1,099 per person, not much more than $60 per day.