Adventurous Aspirations: How To Travel On A Budget

Broadening your horizons, introducing you to new cultures and inspiring you to see the world anew, travel is one of the best ways in which you can spend your time and money. With increased air fares and rising rental prices, however, actually getting your hands on that trip can feel all but impossible and unless you’ve managed to squirrel away a rainy day find, then you might believe that the adventure of your dreams is forever out of reach.

Think again. One of the most enriching and rewarding experiences out there, travel can be easily within reach, even if you’re on a shoestring budget. By simply planning ahead of time, changing up your schedule and committing to some easy tricks, you can go on the trip of a lifetime, all while staying within budget. Ready to see the world? Now, you can.

Set A Budget

While it might seem like the most obvious of steps, setting a budget is something that relatively few people do before jetting off into the sunset. Although you might have a vague idea of how much you want to spend, by spending a little more time working out a specific budget for each step of the journey, you can save yourself a great deal of time and worry down the line. When putting a list together, budget how much you want to spend on food, accommodation, supplementary travel and activities, always leaving a little extra over for emergencies. If you’re going away for a longer period of time, you can consider putting away extra funds in an online savings account, which you can dip into later down the line. At the end of the day, you can also list down how much you have spent on activities and food. By staying on top of your budget, you do away with any financial worries that might hit along the way

Travel To Nearby Countries

If you want to plan a bigger trip, traveling within the same region can save you a great deal of money down the line. Although your initial flight out might be costly, further travel from that point onwards can be a great deal more affordable, giving you the chance to see diverse areas of the same region. If you’re traveling within Europe, for example, you can find a number of affordable connecting flights or trains for much cheaper than visiting the place on a one-off trip. Similarly, if you’ve bought an expensive flight to another part of the world, you can make the most of it by traveling more within the country or region when you arrive. Local transport tends to be a great deal cheaper and more accessible and can help to open up your eyes to the rest of the world.

Stay At A Rental Apartment

When it comes to travel, we all want to do so in style but as costs mount up, choosing expensive accommodation can be an unnecessary luxury. While you travel, consider following options like AirBnb or VRBO for your stay. Not only will they save you a great deal of money but also, can give you the chance to live like a local during your trip.

Travel Off The Beaten Path

While we all have a list of travel spots that we want to visit, popular tourist destinations can sometimes be costly and often, it’s better for your budget and experience to travel off the beaten path. While capital cities like Rome and Paris are definitely worth a visit, there are a great deal of less renowned but equally beautiful cities nearby that will help you to keep your budget in check. If you want to get a glimpse of Europe, try heading east where the prices are dramatically lower. Cities like Tallinn, Budapest and Kraków have some of the richest cultures in the world and might just open up your eyes to a completely different way of life.

Pack Light

Keeping your suitcase small and packing light for a shorter trip can help you to save on baggage costs while you travel and make moving onwards much more simple. Many forms of transport limit the amount of luggage that passengers can take and if you go over weight requirements, you might find yourself forking up the extra money to cover your baggage. Knowing exactly the amount of clothes you need during your trip can help you to keep suitcase costs low and make moving around the different places much less of a hassle. The less you take with you, the freer you will be to follow your next adventure!

By taking the time to really think about your trip, you can cut costs dramatically and be free to enjoy more places along the way. Your next adventure is out there for the taking; it’s up to you to grab it with both hands.

Around The World In 5 Bites: The Foodie’s Guide To Travel

Thanks to the rise of social media, what we are eating has never been more diverse. Sharing pictures from around the world, food lovers have opened up the international floodgates and now more than other, it’s very difficult to pinpoint one “local” cuisine. What we eat says so much more about us than where we come from and what we do for a living and now, it doesn’t matter if it’s Asian, Italian, Moroccan or a fusion of the three; if it looks good and tastes even better, then we’re probably eating it.

The way that we eat has intertwined with our thirst for travel so much so that now, many people are taking tripes based solely on the kinds of food that they will find along the way. With so many experimental chefs and popups bubbling up across the world, there has been no better time in which to be a foodie traveler but with so much choice,  it can be hard to know where to focus your attention. For food lovers, these cities are the bread and butter of great international cuisine and, once you’ve tried a dish from any one of them, you might never go back to “normal” food again.

Copenhagen, Denmark

As well as having some of the most stylishly dressed locals, Copenhagen is renowned around the world for its firm grasp on the foodie market. While the city is very much in the international thick of it, it is its more traditional establishments which are really making a case for the Danish dining experience. Most famously, of course, is the game-changing Noma, a restaurant so innovative and creative that its influence can be tasted all around the world. While one of the pricier places in the city, it certainly packs a foodie punch and if you dine there, you can rest assured that it will be unlike anything you have ever tasted.

Away from the likes of Noma, however, Copenhagen is still doing its bit for the foodie scene. Places like Höst, Geranium and Radio all serve up variations of the new Nordic dining style at a fraction of the cost. Fitted out with traditional interiors, they also boast some of the most chic designs you will see this side of anywhere. There’s just no stopping the Danish style machine.

Paris, France

While, a few years ago, you would have been hard pressed to find a good place to eat in the city of lights that didn’t cost you your entire life’s savings, now, things are very much on the up. Thanks to a foodie explosion within the city, finding a good eating place is as easy as finding a picturesque vista beside which to have your picture taken. The vibrant Canal St. Martin and Marais districts are home to some of the best places around, mixing small plates, modern French and fusion cooking. While the likes of Frenchie and Septime are virtually impossible to land a table at, many smaller, cheaper versions of the originals are proving so delicious that now, eating at Septime La Cave or Frenchie To Go is just as good as the real thing.

Melbourne, Australia

There’s something of a food and drinks revolution bubbling down under and no matter where you go, you are virtually guaranteed a plate of something special. Making impressive waves on the foodie scene is Melbourne, a city that has changed the way that the rest of the world takes their coffee. The food scene isn’t bad either; graced by some of the most internationally diverse restaurants, the city is presenting its inhabitants with some of the finest dishes from around the world. While Chinatown’s Flower Drum is renowned for some of the best Asian cooking anywhere in the world, Abla is making waves in the Lebanese dining scene, turning head around the city.

Budapest, Hungary

Although the food scene in Hungary’s capital might be a bit of a mystery to many people, it looks like things might change soon. Nestled in the middle of Europe, the country has been influenced by a number of conflicting cultural styles and the final foodie result is really garnering attention around the world. While the city’s cafe culture has been going strong since the 16th century, its dining scene has undergone many changes over the centuries and what you are served up now might be quite different to what you tasted just a few years ago. Dishes like strudels and local pastries are rife across the city but if you really want a taste of the local scene, you should source a great bowl of goulash. Rich with beef, paprika and fluffy potatoes, the stew is an intrinsic part of the local culture and any Hungarian meal.

Kyoto, Japan

If you’re searching for a really authentic taste of Asian cooking, then Kyoto is the only place you should set your sights on. While the city is packed full of authentic noodle joints and ramen restaurants, it is its desserts which really make it stand out from the crowd. The green tea parfait is a very real part of the dining experience in the city and while you will find them dotted across Kyoto, those served at Gion Tsujiri are some of the best around. If you’re looking for something a little older, though, the city’s Buddhist temples have brought vegan and vegetarian cuisine to the forefront, highlighting how delicious healthy food should really be.

While travel is about more than what you eat, international food can tell you so many things about foreign culture. Dating back hundreds of years, or brought to popularity over the course of a few months, global cooking is one of the most vibrant industries in the world and if you’re traveling abroad, you might want to make a menu before you go.

The Cosy Holiday Dessert Menu

Cooking for friends and family this holiday season is one of the best ways in which to show them your appreciation and when it comes to winter, the cosier the menu you can whip up, the better. While starting the feasting off with a hearty main and warming sides is a great way in which to get things going, everyone knows that it doesn’t count for anything if your dessert isn’t on point. Although catering to the needs of all of your guests might seem like a challenge, you can guarantee that, with the right kind of sweet course, everyone will be on board. And the best way to start the Christmas season? Surrounded by pastries, buttery puddings and spiced fruit dishes, of course!

Topsy Turvy Apple Pie

While you might think that you’ve tasted every kind of apple pie there is to be had, you’ve probably not ever sampled anything like this before. Topped with brown sugar and roasted pecans, the crust of this pie is what it’s all about and it might just leave you coming back for more. Served upside down, think of this pudding like a winter warming tarte tatin, with all the buttery apples you could ever want.

Blackberry and Peach Crostata

Of course, cold weather doesn’t just call for apples and there is a warming winter dessert out there for any kind of fruit combination. Roughly covered in rustic pastry, the blackberries and peaches in this crostata are left to bubble and caramelize in the oven. Cooked until golden brown, the crostata makes the perfect accompaniment to any winter feast and is perfect topped with melting mascarpone or double cream.

Warm Chocolate Puddings

If you’re catering to the masses, then you can’t go wrong with a little bit of melted chocolate. Complete with butter, vanilla, rich yolks and a whole ton of good chocolate, these puddings are designed to be served fresh from the oven. Make sure you catch them while they’re still hot though; the trick is to serve the pudding while it’s still melted in the middle.

St. Clement’s Posset

While it might not exactly roll off the tongue, the St. Clement’s Posset is a dessert recipe that you will come back to time and time again. Flavored with oranges, lemons and just a touch of mint, the dessert takes a fresh stance on winter food, adding a much needed injection of freshness into the stodgy mix. Topped off with miniature star shortbreads, the desserts are a great way to impress all of your guests over the holiday season, and the perfect recipe to store for future holidays to come.

Apple Galette

Traditionally eaten over Epiphany, the humble galette is one of the best ways to indulge your sweet tooth this holiday season. Glazed with salted caramel and baked slowly in the oven, this apple galette is just a touch above the rest and is guaranteed to warm you up on any cold winter’s night. With the apples peeking through the top, there is a real rustic feel to this dish that is guaranteed to fill even the most hungry of eaters up.

Cherry Pastry Pies

Sometimes in order to get it right, you just need to keep it simple. Easy to prepare and even simpler to eat, these cherry pastry pies are a great accompaniment to any winter meal or snack time. Stuffed with a rich pastry jam, these little hand pies will give you all the sweetness of summer, and all the rich butter goodness of a winter dessert. Just think of them as the holiday gift that keeps on giving.

Chocolate and Chestnut Yule Log

Let’s face it, you can’t pass the Christmas season without eating a yule log of some kind and this one might just be the very best out there. Coated in thick chocolate and studded with chestnuts, the dessert gets the flavour combinations right on point, tasting neither too rich nor too nutty. Dusted with a festive coat of icing sugar, the log makes the perfect finishing centerpiece to any festive table and is bound to impress your guests in more ways that one.

This winter season, it’s all about the dessert and whether you’re into pastry, cream or chocolate, there’s something out there to please you. The time for dessert is now and as soon as you taste one of these, you might not look at another main again!