30 countries and 100 cities behind the shoulders of the traveler Tina. She loves to return to the country where she has already been in order to get to know her even better. Tina shared her secrets about profitable travel: how to plan and how to prepare for the trip, where to buy cheap tickets, how to save on travel, and other useful life hacks.
– Let’s get acquainted)
– My name is Tina, I work as an interface designer in the office, like most of the citizens of our country – 8 hours 5 days a week. For the last 4 years I have been living in Kazan and managed to fall in love with this city, but Astrakhan is still my family.
I moved for two reasons. The first is work, the second is that it is much easier to travel from Kazan, and travel is a very important part of my life. However, I started traveling from
Astrakhan, however, due to the high cost of tickets, it turned out much less often, since almost all flights had to be made through Moscow.
– How many countries have you visited? Where would you return again?
– I have visited more than 30 countries and 100 cities, it does not sound very impressive, but the fact is that I am not chasing numbers, but I just like to return to the countries where I have already visited.
Why? I just think that this way you can get to know better about the country, because very often the regions are very different from each other, everyone can have their own history, culture, cuisine, and sometimes a dialect. For example, Uzbekistan. On its territory, the remains of several great states at once. Even given the relatively small size of the country, it is simply impossible to see all the iconic places in one trip.
In addition, I definitely read: the history of the state, biographies of famous people who contributed to the culture of the country, and legends are my passion. So much so that I created a small telegram channel t.me/everydaylegends, where I collect legends from all over the world.
– How are you planning your trip?
– This is a rather large process, but in short, I constantly collect information about different countries: photos of interesting places, legends, articles, etc. I read a lot, so books are a big part of travel inspiration too.
Since I work in an office, I plan my vacation in advance – a year in advance.
- – I roughly paint the directions that I can visit
- Each area has its own seasons. I try to choose off-season and allocate vacation days
- Further search for tickets and purchase
- Route planning
- Hotel reservations
- Drawing up a detailed travel plan
– Tell us how to prepare for the trip?
– I think that there are no universal advice, everything strongly depends on the direction. Europe is simpler in terms of organization, as there is a lot of information and it is possible to see current prices / schedules on numerous official sites. In Asia and Africa it is more difficult, there is often simply no timetable, locals come to the rescue, in such cases I am in active correspondence with hotel owners.
Here are my own tips on budget and travel preparation:
- Budget travel expenses. I save about 30% of my earnings for travel.
- Shop through affiliate links. Each airline has mileage programs. Plan high costs through an online store using affiliate links (the list can be found on the airline’s website).
- Plan ahead. At the end of the year, I draw up approximate vacation dates. I choose the country later, based on the dates and ticket prices.
- Look for directions through the calendar. For me, the best calendar on google flights, and other search engines search well only from large cities, but through google there are more queries. ⠀
You can start from the map (you just don’t need to drive in the end point of the route), and then, as you decided on the country, choose the most budgetary range through the calendar.
- Use a travel card. For a long time I used Tinkoff AllAirlines, but now I switched to another card, I will not say the name yet, because I have not yet had time to try all the possibilities. The bottom line is that with a travel card there are various bonuses for travelers, for example, free insurance (almost all banks have it). This is how profitable travels are built.
- Prioritize. Everyone has their own hobby. For me, this is travel, so I’m not particularly demanding in terms of other expenses.
– What do you take with you on your trip?
– Passport and money 🙂 The rest depends on the direction. For example, I took a certificate of yellow fever vaccination in Africa.
I never travel without a sleep mask and an inflatable pillow, because I often have to fly at inconvenient times, like night or early morning, and then immediately dive into the trip. Therefore, I use every opportunity to sleep, in this regard, the mask helps a lot, since the light, whether on the train or on the plane, is not completely turned off.
– How do you combine work and travel?
– I plan my vacation in advance, taking into account the holidays. For example, I start planning a winter vacation for a long New Year’s holidays six months in advance, so that I can buy good tickets and book normal hotels.
– Where do you buy cheap air tickets?
– If tickets are for low-cost airlines, then more often on the airlines’ website, since aggregators may simply not show these tickets. I mostly use google.flight for searching.
I track promotions through the Aviasales bot – bot.aviasales.ru/?marker=144457.
– Is it possible to travel profitably with bonus miles?
– You can save on buying air tickets, since I flew to Uzbekistan for 600 rubles. I very often write on my blog about how to earn miles, as the topic is very extensive and there are many nuances. Aeroflot’s program seems to be the most profitable in terms of miles, due to additional taxes and fees.
– How to save money on travel?
– Everything rests on the direction 🙂
If you take general advice, then:
- Definitely plan your trip in advance, because many sales start six months in advance, sometimes a year.
- To issue a currency card, since it is more expensive to withdraw from the ruble abroad if the country has its own currency (not dollars, and not euros).
- Do not eat in tourist places, as there will always be an order of magnitude higher prices, and most often lower quality.
- You can fly without luggage, I always collect only hand luggage, even on a winter trip.
– Do I need to know English to travel?
– Know better 🙂 True, they don’t speak English everywhere, there are, for example, former French colonies, where they speak more French, there is Spain and Italy, where they speak their own languages, if you step away from the tourist trail even a little. I try to learn basic phrases in local languages, which has often helped me out.
– What did travel teach you?)
– Openness. This is the most important lesson I learn from any new journey. All people only look different, but in fact we are very similar. We are worried about the same eternal themes, attracted by the beauty of nature, we even compose similar fairy tales and legends. If you travel to different countries and continents, you stop thinking in stereotypes, you understand how everything is conditional and depends on the place where you grew up and lived, and that there are no general measures, this is very cool.
I have been keeping a travel diary for a long time, where I record my observations and conclusions, just from communication with people. In my blog I have a special section where I share some entries from the diary www.instagram.com/explore/tags/lst_travelnotes.
– Your harmful travel tips)
– Oh, I even had two posts with such tips 🙂 For example, take a heavy SLR camera to bring the most beautiful vacation photos, no worse than bloggers)
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/lifeside.travel/
Telegram – https://t.me/lifesidetravel
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In contact – https://vk.com/lifesidetravel
Interviewed by Olga Avrakh