Travel Hacks: 7 ways to save money on flights

Hey everyone!

If you are traveling on a low budget, like I do, there’s a few hacks you can use in order to save some money. I already shared with you how I save money on food here, but there are also a few ways to save money on the flights, so this second post for the travel hacks series will be focused on helping you out with that

 

1. Choose the right timings  – Try not to travel during high season, like summer or holiday breaks, when most of people travel, because everything is super expensive and crowded. Also, if you buy it on the “ideal time”  which according to experts is 6 weeks before the flight, on Tuesday at 3 am , you’ll have the lowest fare.

 

2.  Use incognito mode (ctrl + shift + n) – Considering that websites save your search history, they  realize you are interested in buying, so the more you look the higher the prices.

3. Use skyscanner  – this is a really good website, user-friendly and with great prices

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4. Research for each trip separately – If you are going to just one place, sometimes the matches done by the websites aren’t always the cheapest, so look for each trip at once and make your own combo depending on your preferred schedules and prices.

5. Look for alternative transportation – Even though airplane is the fastest option, usually  trains and bus can get really cheap,  specially if in Europe, so make sure you check all your options. GoEuro is a nice website to compare all the options.

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6. Check out if the airport is close to the center –  Do your maths. Is is worthy to buy a cheap plane ticket and spend a lot of money on a transfer to the hotel? Or is it better to buy a more expensive plane ticket to the closest airport to the city. Don’t forget that you will probably have to pay for transfer for the city center, and sometimes it’s even more expensive.

 

7. Make sure your lugagge is according to the travel company’s allowed size and avoid to pay an extra fee. And you are thinking “how the hell am I supposed to fit my close into those tiny bags?!” the answer will come on a new blog post really soon, so stay tuned!

 

This are the hacks I use to spend the minimum on my flights , do you use any of these? Do you know any other tricks? Do share them with me please 🙂 

 

 

Lots of Love, 

Catarina

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Lisbon Travel Guide: the basics

Hello!

As Lisbon has so many things you can see and do, I’ve decided to start this post series: Lisbon Travel Guide!

So, as first a piece, these are the Lisbon basic touristic spots, the “must-see” for every first time visitor.

Baixa-Chiado The whole downtown area is essential to see, if you’re coming to Lisbon. You can start in Rossio and walk through Rua Augusta until Praça do Comércio. If you go up on the Rua Augusta’s arch, you’ll get a stunning view of the square and the river. You should also go to Chiado, and check the St. Justa elevator..

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Electrico 28  This tram is super famous around the world. Even by its own, it’s really nice for a capture, but if you take a ride on, you’ll see Lisbon most incredible sights and buildings.

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Belém  The whole Belém area is impressive: in here you will find a few of our most remarcable monuments. Starting with the biggest, Jeronimos monastary was built in the XVI century and it is enourmosly beautiful. By crossing to the other side of the road, next to the Tagus river is located the Monument to the Discoveries (in portuguese Padrão dos Descobrimentos) build in honor of Henry the Navigator and all the Portuguese dicoveries, not only it is amazing from the outside but you can go up and see the amazing view. If you walk along the river, you will get to the Belem Tower

You’ve probably heard about our famous custard tarts, right? Here is where you can have it, they are called pastéis de belém. You also have the Jeronimos Monastary which enourmously beautiful.

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Alfama This is probably the oldest, most famous and most enchanting neighbourhood in Lisbon. It has incredible views and a charm of its own. This place is also known for Fado music houses, since it comes from here.

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Parque Edward XVII  The view on the top of this park awsome!  You see all the way to the river.

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For me, these are the most touristic spots of Lisbon. Of course there’s plenty more I want to share with you, so stay tuned because this beautiful city has a lot for me to tell you!

 

If you want to check out my travel photos make sure you follow me on instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/the.random.wanderer/

2017-04-20 11_18_02-Catarina Palma (@catarinaaspalma) • fotos e vídeos do Instagram

 

Lots of Love,

Catarina

My Erasmus experience and why everyone should go on exchange

Hello everyone!

As you know, I’m Portuguese and I’ve been living and studying in Lisbon for a few years now. When I was taking my Bachelor degree, I decided to go on an exchange program and it was definitely what got me so involved in travelling. Therefor, I couldn’t avoid writing about it. Not only because it was a very important part of my life but also because everybody needs to know how great it is!

I always wondered how it was  and I felt like it would be good for me to step away from my “real life” for a bit. So, one day (most precisely the last day it was possible to apply), I made the most spontaneous decision in my life so far, and I just applied ! Even though I was scared of being far from home and going to a completely unknown place where I didn’t know anything or anybody. I just decided to give it a chance and try doing something different for once. It that was the best decision I’ve ever made.

I did the Erasmus+ Program in Krems an der Donau, an adorable little village in the lower Austria, one hour train ride from Vienna.

Not everything went well at first, because Austrians are REALLY different from Portuguese people. So, there I went with all my heavy bags, I took 1 air plane and 3 trains to arrive to Krems and the first thing that felt weird was that nobody would help me carry my bags into the train. Second strange thing was, as I got to Krems and my landlady went to pick me up, I greeted her with two kisses on the cheek (Portuguese way) and she was a bit confused.(Actually that one is on me. I should have known, too much intimacy!!) .

Then I had some problems with my courses, which I had to change completely. Let’s just say that it didn’t start the best way.

I had a rough few first  days and I must admit 2017-03-14 15_22_44-Catarina Palma (@catarinaaspalma) • fotos e vídeos do Instagram.pngI though about quitting and coming back home but I didn’t give up, so I just randomly started talking to people and, as my birthday was coming up, I though it might be the perfect occasion for the first party and for everyone to connect. Today I am proud to say that that party I threw in my house was what got together my current Erasmus group of friends, or as we call ourselves “Krems family”.

My flatmates were also an important part of my experience, they are all amazing ! I loved living with them, since we were all from different cultures and got along so well – We had a blast!

The few months that followed were amazing and absolutely unforgettable: we partied  (a lot), we threw international dinners with food from all over the world, and specially we got to travel together to amazing places like Italy, Hungary and Ireland. (Of course you’ll hear about that on other posts).

About the actual studies (which yes, I had to work a little), I found it very exciting, as there is more freedom to choose courses that you are interested in but don’t exist in your college back home. For instants, I was studying human resources management but I was able to attend marketing and hospitality courses which were new for me and I really liked. It is also important to have contact and work along colleagues from other cultures, as it will raise your cultural awareness and set your mind for international jobs.

Another great thing about exchange: it allows you to do whatever you want and be whomever you want! You get to reinvent yourself!

Going on exchange is really challenging, because you will go alone, you will depend entirely of yourself to live and make friends, if you’re sick there’s no parents to hold you. There’s just you. I guess this is the scary part.

My advice? Put yourself out there, start conversations, make friends from all over the world, travel, party ! Enjoy every second you have, and you will see the world and life like you never did. At least that’s what happened to me. It was an amazing period of my life: it helped me to grow up and to shape who I am today and to make friends for life.

So if you’re thinking about it… JUST GO and enjoy every second, because time flies, believe me!

                                                                                                                                                        Lots of Love,

Catarina