5 Super Simple Ways to Save Some Serious Money When You Travel

Easy Ways to Save Money to Travel the World

 

If you want to make the most of your money this year, but still want to travel and indulge your sense of adventure, getting smart with your finances is crucial. Just because you want to improve your personal finances, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on luxuries like weekend travel excursions or trips to foreign lands.

Try the following five super simple ways to save serious money when you travel and you’ll be able to explore your wanderlust tendencies without emptying your wallet in the process.

  1. Register for email subscription newsletters.
  2. Think about sleeping during the day and traveling at night.
  3. Pack snacks to take with you when you travel.
  4. Compare prices between airlines.
  5. Consider taking advantage of free travel offerings.

1) Register for email subscription newsletters.

Register for email subscription newsletters from places you’re considering traveling to in the future. Receive news and promotional offers from hotels, resorts, and tourism attractions. You can save money via these promotional offers and stay informed about your favorite destinations at the same time.

2) Think about sleeping during the day and traveling at night.

Some accommodation providers offer reduced rates if you stay with them during the day and vacate your room in the late afternoon. This allows a hotel/motel to clean your room and rent it out again the same day. Start asking accommodation providers about day rates and you’ll be impressed how much you can save when you travel.

3) Pack snacks to take with you when you travel.

You’ll pay extra to eat the snack provided in hotel mini-bars or dispensed by vending machines. Carry snack bars, peanuts, and protein energy bars with you in your backpack or carry-on luggage.

You won’t be tempted to pay for expensive snacks when you’re traveling and you’ll never suffer from the dreaded “what is there to eat around this place?” frustration.

 

4) Compare prices between airlines

Compare prices between airlines and also check to see if purchasing two one-way tickets is cheaper than booking a return ticket. If you’re flexible with flight choices, you can sometimes take advantage of reduced prices on flights that aren’t at full occupancy.

Make sure you clear the tracking cookies on your web or mobile browser when searching for flights to see if you’re offered different rates at different times.

5) Consider taking advantage of free travel offerings.

Consider taking advantage of free travel offerings in exchange for sitting through a timeshare presentation. You needn’t purchase a timeshare property; simply sitting through their sales pitch is often all it takes to be rewarded with free or significantly reduced prices on accommodations.

You’ll be amazed at the places you can travel to just by giving up a little of your free time for a sales presentation from a timeshare company.

Final Thoughts

Integrate these five travel hacks into your fiscal planning if you want to become a super savvy traveler. You can reduce your travel expenses and have loads of adventures at the same time. What are your thoughts? Are there specific travel hacks you use to save money when you travel?

 

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10 Best Souvenirs to Bring Home from China

Best Gifts to Bring from a China Trip

 

Souvenir shopping can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of visiting China. There, you’ll discover beautiful items you can’t find anywhere else. As you explore bustling shopping streets, keep an eye out for the following souvenirs:

1. Hand-Painted Snuff Bottles

One of the most popular souvenirs in China, hand-painted snuff bottles originated during the Ming dynasty. Today, most people use them purely as decoration. Increasingly, these are mass-produced — but you can find an authentic product if you opt for artisans who paint these souvenirs as you watch.

 

2. Masks

If you love opera, you’ll be equally fond of the beautiful opera masks found in stores throughout China. These brightly-colored masks feature bold designs that are sure to stand out. Different mask colors signify different opera character; take your time and explore a variety of designs before you make your selection.

 

3. Chinese Tea

If you love tea, you’ll definitely want to pick up an assortment before you head home. This allows you to continue to experience one of the best elements of your trip when you’re thousands of miles away. Keep an eye out for teas exclusive to China, and specifically, the region in which you’re staying.

 

4. Yixing Clay Teapots

While you’re shopping for tea, keep an eye out for clay teapots. Not just any teapot will do, however; you’ll specifically want to search for those constructed from Yixing clay. Crafted near Lake Tai, these beautiful pots are primarily meant for brewing black and oolong teas.

 

5. Kites

Kites were invented in China thousands of years ago. These kites don’t look quite like what you flew as a child, however. They’re often more intricate and more memorable. The windy environment of Beijing makes this souvenir ideal for testing out while you’re still in China.

 

6. Chinese Silk

Chinese silk may be thin, but it’s also exceptionally strong. Produced by silkworms as they craft their cocoons, this material is both comfortable and luxurious. Silk pajamas could completely transform your bedtime routine.

 

7. Calligraphy Brushes

Whether you currently practice calligraphy or hope to eventually pick it up as a hobby, you’ll quickly fall in love with the authentic brushes you find in China. Many souvenir shops sell full sets including ink sticks and other essentials.

 

8. Lord Rabbit Figures

Lord Rabbit has been prevalent throughout Beijing since the 1300s. At one time, nearly all households in Beijing made sacrifices to the rabbit god for the mid-autumn festival. Today, Lord Rabbit figures are primarily used for decor — and to symbolize the unique culture of Beijing.

 

9. Jade Jewelry

Jade has long played an important role in China, where it is still sold in most jewelry stores. Be careful; some shop owners attempt to pass off imitation jade as the real thing. The most reliable sellers will offer certificates of authenticity for big-ticket items.

 

10. Erguotou

Commonly consumed among Chinese blue-collar workers, this white liquor is made from sorghum. While a variety of brands can be found in and around Beijing, Niulanshan and Red Star are the most famous. 

 

Souvenir options abound throughout China. The true difficulty lies in narrowing down your list to ensure that you have enough space in your luggage to bring each precious item home. Whether purchased for yourself or for loved ones, your Chinese souvenirs are sure to spark joy.

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What to Wear Walking the Great Wall of China in Winter

Winter Great Wall Hiking Clothing Guide

The Great Wall of China ranks among the most celebrated architectural marvels in the world. Travelers who visit during the relatively mild Beijing Winter experience the lowest foot traffic.

Average temperatures range from 39 degrees Fahrenheit in December to 42 degrees in February. That can be quite comfortable for walking the Great Wall as long as you wear appropriate clothing. If you plan to walk the Great Wall of China during Winter, consider the following clothing tips.

Bring Three Layers of Upper-Body Clothing

The three-layer rule is a catch-all that applies to casual walkers and long-range hikers alike. The basic idea is to arrive at the Great Wall with something along the lines of an undershirt, hoodie, and insulated jacket. A wind-resistant outer layer may prove beneficial at deflecting cold air and maintaining prime body temperatures.

Leisure walkers generally do not generally work up a substantial sweat through exertion. Keeping the three layers on makes sense until you come across lengthy inclines. When negotiating these sections, either tie the jacket around your waist or roll it up and store it in your backpack.

Hiking enthusiasts are generally more likely to take on longer treks and more challenging stretches that rise and fall. You can strip off and add layers according to temperature and exertion during your walk. Naturally, there are a few dos and don’ts to what type of clothing to wear.

  • No Cotton: This material tends to accumulate moisture.
  • Arm-Length Shirts: It’s important to cover as much skin as possible when walking the Great Wall.

The three-layer system allows Great Wall visitors the ability to regulate your body comfort by removing clothing items when appropriate.

Great Wall Leg and Footwear Considerations

In terms of keeping your lower extremities comfortable, it goes without saying that long pants are a must. And, two layers of pants may be wise to enhance your walking and hiking comfort.

There are entire lines of snug-fitting apparel that are used by athletes competing in frigid conditions. These make excellent first layer options for the lower body. You can wear loose-fitting jeans, hiking attire or even sweatpants over them and remain perfectly comfortable. The outer layer can also be tossed in the backpack as the sun’s rays warm you up.

Footwear may be the most crucial item to get right when walking the Great Wall during Winter. When you arrive in Beijing, there’s a good chance snow will have dusted the expansive landscape and the Great Wall. With that in mind, hiking footwear with firm-gripping soles are critical.

The Great Wall footing can also vary from flat to rugged. Appropriate footwear should be insulated and provide ankle support. Obviously, warm socks are a necessity as well.

Accessorize when Walking the Great Wall of China

Embracing the breathtaking views from the Great Wall comfortably requires a few, sometimes-overlooked accessories. Even if you’re an outdoors enthusiast who tends to “rough it,” the following items may enhance your Great Wall experience.

  • UV-rated Sunglasses
  • Hiking Gloves with Gripping Capabilities
  • Knit-Styled Hat
  • Earmuffs
  • Hand and Foot Warmers
  • Headlamp for Nightly Walks
  • Sunblock for Exposed Areas Such as Your Nose
  • A Scarf or Neck Covering Item

One of the more popular sections people visitor during Winter is called Mutianyu. The section has a cable car that can help visitors reach peak heights under slippery conditions and the train runs to it directly from Beijing in a little over one hour.

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What to do at the Top of the Great Wall? 5 Cool Things to Try!

5 Amazing Things You Can Do on the Great Wall

 

Millions of people travel to Beijing each year to experience the Great Wall of China. Many think about walking a section of the architectural marvel and taking photographs. Others consider long hikes to see as much as they can during their Beijing visit. But there are plenty of fun things to do beyond walking and snapping selfies. Consider these five cool things you can do at the Great Wall of China.

1. Watch the Sunset from these Vantage Points

Everyone experiences that sublime moment during a sunset when the sky’s colors come alive. A beautiful sunset can take your breath away and remain in your memory for a lifetime. Imagine looking out on a glorious sunset from the Great Wall overlooking the expansive China landscape. Although the sunset can be fantastic from many vantage points, these locations are considered among the best.

  • The West Five Window Tower in the Jinshanling section.
  • The highest point of the Huanghuacheng section.
  • Tower One of the Mutianyu section northeast of Beijing.

The robust unequaled view could deliver the most wondrous sunset you have ever experienced.

 

2. Picnic on the Great Wall

It’s generally a good idea to pack a lunch when visiting the Great Wall near Beijing. It stands to reason that carrying an outstanding picnic comprised of local favorites in your backpack could complete the experience. Properly stored portions of Peking roast duck, Zhajiang noodles, Guan Chang, Lvdagun, and other Beijing favorites can make a wonderful picnic in areas such as Huanghuacheng and Jinshanling

3. Camp Overnight at the Great Wall

Outdoors aficionados may be pleased to know that overnight camping is an option in certain areas of the Great Wall. Hikers and world travelers hail the Gubeikou area as a once-in-a-lifetime camping experience. This section is considered rugged and untouched in a way that adds to the ancient ambiance of the Great Wall. Imagine watching the amazing sunset and waking up to a Great Wall sunrise as well.

 

4. Practice Tai Chi, Yoga, and Mindfulness on the Great Wall 

If you value the peace and serenity enjoyed by Yoga, Tai Chi, and mindfulness, it may not come as a surprise to learn that people from around the world practice at the Great Wall.

In fact, people travel to Beijing to participate in events such as Yoga Day at the Mutianyu and Jinshanling sections. Groups of 300 who practice Chinese tradition of Tai Chi gather for sessions at the Jinshanling section. Individuals also routinely find remote places to practice alone or in small groups.

 

5. Make a Marriage Proposal at the Great Wall

It goes without saying that a marriage proposal ranks among the most memorable moments in your life. That’s why so many people plan incredibly grand gestures. From picturesque sunsets to getting down on one knee at a special event, a marriage proposal should be perfect.

The Jinshanling and Simatai Great Wall sections at night are among the most amazing places to ask someone for their hand in marriage.

 

Final Thoughts

The sweeping sky filled with bright, twinkling stars and stunning moonlight are awe-inspiring. The Great Wall’s incredible architecture and ancient energy take people out of their everyday lives and into a romantic space few places can equal. Making a marriage proposal at the Great Wall may mean the difference between “Yes,” and “I need to think about it.”

 

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How to Spend Your Time During an Evening Layover in Beijing

Things to Do On an Evening Layover at Beijing Airport

 

Flights arrive and take off from the Beijing Capital International Airport at all hours of the night, leaving many travelers with lengthy layovers. There’s no need to limit yourself to the airport; your layover presents the perfect opportunity to explore a vibrant city you might otherwise miss — even at night. The following evening opportunities will make the time fly by:

Night Tour on the Great Wall at Simatai

Open for night visits, Simatai offers a unique experience you won’t easily find elsewhere. It’s worth checking out both when the sun is up and down, as each experience offers a completely different view.

This portion of the Great Wall is unique in that it retains its original appearance and is considered one of the structure’s most visually impressive areas. 

 

Tiananmen Square

Beijing’s famed Tiananmen Square is open until midnight, so don’t hesitate to stop by later in the evening. After dark, the square lights up to become a multi-colored spectacle. Feel free to enjoy a leisurely stroll as you take it all in.

Beijing National Stadium

Also known as the Bird’s Nest, the Beijing National Stadium was designed for use in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Since then, it has become a top tourist attraction — in part because it is one of the world’s largest steel structures. It’s particularly beautiful at night, when the lighting highlights the stadium’s intricate design. 

Beijing National Aquatics Center

Commonly referred to as the Water Cube, the Beijing National Aquatics Center sits adjacent to the Beijing National Stadium. Like the Bird’s Nest, the Water Cube is best viewed at night, when strategic lighting sets off its most distinctive features. 

Sanlitun Bar Street

If you’re hoping to make the most of Beijing’s nightlife, don’t hesitate to stop by Sanlitun Bar Street. Often referred to as the center of the city’s nightlife scene, Sanlitun Bar Street is home to a wide variety of bars.

The street once featured a “dirty street” consisting of dive bars and hole-in-the-wall restaurants, but it has since been cleaned up. Still, the area retains much of its original gritty charm.

Houhai Bar Street

A unique display of eastern and western tradition can be found at Houhai Bar Street, where you’ll find a variety of drinks and entertainment options. This popular nightlife destination is also situated near Beijing’s famed hutongs.

 

Nanluoguxiang Area

Hutongs are also abundant in the Nanluoguxiang area, where you’ll find a vast array of intriguing shops. Several of these sell decidedly chic items, while others stores are kitschy and designed to please tourists. Stop by for an evening of retail therapy or people-watching.

Qianmen Street and Dashilan 

As one of Beijing’s most famous pedestrian walkways, Qianmen Street beckons travelers both day and night. In the evening, this area features glowing lights, which highlight decorative archways and a variety of other beautiful features.

Don’t forget to stop by the famous commercial alley known as Dashilan — this shopping street is home to some truly impressive structures worth checking out.

Final Thought

Whether your idea of a dream evening in Beijing includes a Great Wall expedition or exploring the area’s finest shopping streets, you’ll have no trouble finding fun ways to keep occupied during the entirety of your layover. You’ll return to the airport ready to continue on your journey — but also eager to make a return trip to Beijing.

 

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