According to Dictionary.com; friend is defined as:
“A person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard
A person who gives assistance; patron ; supporter
A person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile”
However, friends for budget traveler would fall under those websites or resources which help us to reduce expenses and enjoy the sights and trip more. For my part I would call them my BFF – Best Friend Forever.
*Assuming you are not acquainted with any natives of that particular country
List of friends would be:
1. Newsletter from Airlines
My advice is to subscribe to all applicable airlines newsletter. They would from time to time send a lucrative deal to grab for different sectors. The offer will be limited to certain travel period and most of the time you can’t refund if you cancel your plan. Nevertheless, through this you would be able to reduce your flight expenses significantly.
For example; I went to Hong Kong on February 2009 for one week via Cathay Pacific offer equivalent to RM500 ~ USD138 for a return ticket. Normal ticket would double or triple of that price.
You may subscribe to these Airlines (with online/e-ticketing), as I did:
2. Check the official website of the country
Often, if not most of the time, the official website is very informative and almost a one-stop destination of all the things that you need to know about the country. Seventy percent of the information here is enough for you to track the places that you want to visit but for budget travel, you may need to rely on a few other resources.
For example: My upcoming travel to South Korea, I have used their Tour2Korea official website extensively. Their website is very organized, structured, user friendly and interactive.
3. Lonely Planet
Most of budget traveler definitely know what Lonely Planet is. I frequently visit their thorn tree forum to get some advice from experienced travelers and even locals who replied in the forum. It’s online, most recent up-to-date ideas and most of the time is the latest information that you can absorb. 100% helpful and definitely will help to reduce your expense with proper planning and to avoid any tourist traps.
4. Trip Advisor
Research, research and research. I can’t stress enough on this word. Even before going that road, I would only survive with tips and advise from this website. They have structured their website in a very systematic and user-friendly mode. I like it when all of those travelers joined ideas and experience to help other newbies like me. Massive information can be gained from here and in fact I did a lot of research on budget accommodation from this site as well. All those reviews are pretty reliable. One more thing, don’t forget to subsribe to their newsletter. A little effort goes a long way.
Seeing is believing. Right? Glad that other kind souls out there put extra effort and broadcast their videos in Youtube. YouTube is really a work of art. In terms of budget traveling, the pros are all on us. The travelers basically giving advice through their videos whether a place is worth a visit or any happening places that you just cannot miss during your travel. I’m glad that I check through YouTube before I go.
6. Fellow bloggers
If you can see that I link to a few bloggers & youtubers in my blog. This is for me to keep myself up to date on the places that you want to visit. For example, Gwangju is definitely going to be my spot in South Korea. Thanks to Kimchi and Cornbread, I could keep abreast with what happen around that area. Most of the bloggers that I link to, they are either have been there or currently there. It would be better if you could find a native blog but finding an English written blog by a Korean native is a challenge for me. A mission for me though.