Hot Budget Travel Tips For a Better Holiday

Just because you want to travel on a budget there is no reason why you should not have a fantastic holiday. Budget travel can still take you to exotic destinations if that is where you wish to go.

Budget travel is more about information and planning than it is about just ‘cheap travel’. Budget travel is means getting the best value holiday for the lowest dollar. That does not necessarily mean a cheap nasty holiday.

You can only make these decisions if you thoroughly research your destinations. As we all know it is a great big, big world out there and to catch the tourist, operators have to be inventive in their promotions and at certain times will lower costs or add in extras to get the customers. These promotions by the operators can make a big difference to your pocket.

Your research will help you find these facts and figures and when you have the answers you are searching for, then you can go ahead and book.

By researching everything in the area you are planning to go to, you can establish if there are any special events on at the time you are arriving, which of course will elevate the cost of accommodation and blow out any idea of budget travel. Such changes can
make a lot of difference and can cost you a lot of money.

Be careful when booking ahead and read the fine print on anything that you are paying. It is often in the fine print that there are extra charges. Examples that come to mind are extra costs for parking the car, extra costs for room cleaning, and other similar services that may have always been taken for granted in the past or on previous trips.

In certain places like Aspen for example, you are going there for the snow and the fun, so you could probably have just as much fun living in cheaper accommodation, whereas if you were going to a place like Ibiza you may wish to be able to have a room with a view and cut back on other costs.

It all depends on what sort of holiday you are looking for, and where you want to spend your time and money.

Of course, with any travel overseas always check before you book what documents, visas, duties, taxes, entry fees, etc you may need to visit certain countries. These costs and visascan make a big difference, and may even stop you wanting to go where you want to go.

When you are doing your research always check to see that the information you are gathering is current. This is most important because if it is a couple of years old, anything could have changed in the meantime.

Budget travel can be just as much fun for you as for someone with an open check book. In fact, you will probably meet more locals and have a greater experience by mixing with them. Locals make a trip. Geographical beauty is one thing, but leaning about the locals is another. With budget travel you can experience both.

Budget Travel Tips on Saving Money on the Road


If you are anything like me, heavy weather sailing can be a challenge and make you tired fast. The more you prepare ahead of time, the more energy you will save. Follow these ten “do ahead of time” sailing tips to prepare for less fatigue and more comfort the next time the rough stuff crosses your path!

  1. Make Up “Zero-Prep” Energy Bags

Use small Ziplock type bags to hold high energy snacks. Combine nuts, dried fruits, tasty seeds like sesame or pumpkin, banana chips, and dried coconut for a super snack. Press the bag tight before you seal to keep air out and your energy snack will last longer when stored aboard your sailboat.

  1. Top Off Your Trusty Thermos

Purchase two large thermoses. Before the rough stuff arrives, fill one thermos with a hearty soup or stew. Fill the other with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. That way, you won’t need to worry about boiling water in choppy seas for a nutritious meal or drink.

  1. Eat Before the Weather Arrives at Your Boat

Fix a light meal with pasta if you expect rough seas when sailing. Stay clear of greasy, fried foods. Concentrate on foods that you boil, broil, or bake. Pasta has a good reputation as a “tummy tamer” when it comes to sea sickness. It’s economical, easy to digest, nutritious, and provides good energy for sailing in rough weather.

  1. Lash and Stow Below

Check the galley for loose pots, plates, and silverware. Wrap silverware in towels to avoid clanging. Store pots in cabinets. Stuff towels or pieces of foam between stacks of dishes, glasses, or pots and pans to keep things in place and noise to a minimum.

  1. Keep a Clothes Change Handy

Pull out a full change of clothes. Fold and stow in an oversized Ziplock or waterproof bag outside of your sailing duffel bag. You want this change of clothes ready in an instant so you won’t need to hunt around for it. Include underwear and socks. If you get soaked when sailing, you will want to slide into a set of dry clothes right away. Do this now to save you time and effort later.

  1. Clear the Decks for Clean Decks

Studies of past heavy weather sailing races show that those racing sailboats with clean, uncluttered decks had an easier time. Take a tip from the racing crowd. Check the outside decks from bow to stern. Neaten up sheets and lines. Turn cowl vents around to face astern to prevent water intrusion below; in extreme conditions, remove the cowl vents, stow them below, and screw covers in their place. Keep decks clean for safer sailing in any weather.

  1. Add extra Lashings

Check all lashings on deck-stowed Jerry jugs (cans), propane bottles, life raft canister, dinghy, and anchors. Double or triple lashings with small diameter line. Seas that break aboard can break weak lashings like a knife going through butter. Make lashings strong and robust to keep deck-stowed gear in place.

  1. Seal Ports and Hatches

No matter what the manufactures tell you, expect ports and hatches to leak. Heavy weather or squalls can bring high winds, seas, and horizontal driving rain that will find any nook and cranny. Use strong, waterproof duct tape to seal around ports and hatches on the inside your cabin. This will keep water out and dryness in for greater crew comfort in heavy weather sailing.

  1. Set Up Sails Now

Hank on your storm jib or trysail now with sheets run, halyards cleared, and all ready to hoist. If you decide to delay on the hoist, stop off the sail along the deck with sail ties or next to the mast (in the case of a trysail). This way, your storm sails will be ready to set in a matter of seconds when you need them.

  1. Rest and Hydrate Often

Heavy weather sailing saps energy like few other activities. Get as much rest as possible between watches. Remember to keep hydrated with water or non-sugar energy drinks like Gatorade or Emergen-C. These beverages replace critical electrolytes and minerals that you will use to keep your balance, hang on when heeling, or move about when changing sails or standing watch. Remind your sailing crew to rest and hydrate for greater comfort.

Follow these ten heavy weather sailing tips to get ready before the tough stuff arrives aboard your boat. These tips will help keep your sailing crew safe and sound and provide them with more comfort–wherever in the world you choose to cruise!

These Sailing Tips Could Save Your Life

Learn how to sail like a pro when you know the sailing tips you need for survival at sea. Not many things put fear into a sailor like water flooding into a boat. Unless you can find the source of the leak fast, your small sailboat could capsize and sink like a stone to the sea bottom. Read on for the steps you need to take to keep your sailboat and sailing crew safe and sound.

It’s been a long, quiet watch as you make your way below–ready to his the pit. When all of a sudden, you slip off the last companionway step and plunge into ankle-deep cold water. It’s pouring in, but from where?

The typical production boat has six to eight holes drilled below her waterline, with average diameters of 1/2″, 1″ or 2″. These “through hulls” accommodate engine raw water intake, sink and shower drains, cockpit scupper drains and instrument impellers.

Each gallon of seawater flowing into your hull adds about 8½ pounds to your displacement. For a real eye-opener, multiply this by the flow rate per hour. With enough water or liquid sloshing fore and aft or left to right, you can capsize.

Big ships have this problem unless they keep liquid cargo tanks filled. You need to have an attack plan in place before a flooding emergency strikes.

Use the easy step-by-step battle-plan described below–called M.A.T.E.–to get your boat and sailing crew ready to handle the unexpected…

“M” is for Mapping from a Bird’s Eye View

Make a simple drawing of every through hull in your boat, showing locations of seacocks, ball valves and exhaust vents. Start forward and work your way aft; remove every inspection cover or port. Look inside lockers and beneath berths and settee seats. Follow the water and head hose lines from entry to exit points.

“A” is for Attack Preparation

Make every piece of flood fighting equipment accessible and keep it in good working order. Brief your crew on the location and hold mini demos on how to use it.

Seacock Handle Throw

Test every fitting with a seacock monthly. Test common fittings like head, sink and engine raw water intake more frequently. Move the handle the full 90° from the open to closed position several times. A light tap with a hammer usually frees up frozen handles. Disassemble and repack every seacock during your annual haulout.

Mechanical Pumps

Install the largest capacity mechanical pump possible. With two mechanical pumps in the same bilge, mount the large capacity pump on a shelf over the smaller one. Test all float switches before and after getting underway.

Manual Bilge Pumps

Fixed, Mounted Pumps — Sailing vessels and small open powerboats, install a large capacity manual whale gusher-type bilge pump in the cockpit. Choose one with 20 or 30 gallon per minute capacity. Before installing, test the handle clearance to make sure that it doesn’t interfere with the helm or sheets. Keep two to three handles aboard, mounted on deck and below. Before you cast off, point their location out to your crew.

Portable Pumps

Invest in at least two portable pumps with 6 to 15 gallon per minute capacity. The rigid pump body should be 2-3 feet and the flexible hose 4 to six feet. Screen the intake side to keep the pump from clogging. Use nylon mesh screening, double clamped to the end.

Two or More Big Buckets

Keep two buckets aboard with strong bails and line attached. Keep one down below and one in the cockpit. The damage-control crew below bails and passes up the filled bucket to the crew on deck. The deck crew passes a fresh bucket back down to the damage control crew.

Soft Wooden Plugs

Lash a wooden plug with light line to the body of each seacock. Be sure the line will break with a good tug. Softer woods, such as teak, swell up when wet, forming a better seal around the hole.

Cotton Rags

For holes with jagged edges, you’ll need filler to block the space around the perimeter of the plug. Stow a bag of cotton rags in a fishnet bag in the forward and main cabin areas.

Pounding Tool

Mount a hammer or mallet in the forward and main cabin. Install it in brackets outside of a tool box. Paint the handle a bright or day-glow color. Better still, cut thin strips of reflective tape and stick onto the handle.

Lights and Batteries

Have at least half a dozen waterproof flashlights aboard. Keep one lantern available with battery replacements in waterproof bags. Headband type lights free up your hands and pinpoint the damage location. Purchase the Calume type, “break-‘n-shake” lights from camping stores. They’re bright, waterproof and illuminate a small area for several hours.

“T” is for Testing Preparations and Train the Crew

Get your crew together and show them your illustration. Explain actions to take and demonstrate how to use the equipment. Do they easily understand your drawing and action plan? If not, revise the plan to make it clear enough for all hands to follow.

“E” is for Execute and Evaluate

In an emergency put your plan into action. Afterwards, determine the cause of the problem and think of ways to improve things. Do you need to shorten preventative maintenance intervals? How did your equipment work out?

Follow these vital sailing tips to keep your small sailboat and sailing crew safe and sound. You will gain the confidence and skills you need for safety at sea–wherever in the world you choose to cruise.