Travelling is one of life’s most wonderful pleasures. The opportunity to experience sights, sounds, flavours and aromas from all over the world can create memories that will last a lifetime. I am one of those fortunate people for whom life presented the chance to leave everything behind and explore some of the exciting, fascinating, breathtaking things that this wonderful world has to offer. What’s more, I did it on a manageable budget.
My global journey lasted for 49 weeks and took me to over 25 countries. I thought I would share with you some of the greatest highlights of my incredible adventure that were not only exceedingly enjoyable but also surprisingly affordable.
Travelling by Bus in South Korea
South Korea is probably one of the underrated jewels of Asia. There is just so much going for this powerhouse of a country, yet it doesn’t appear on too many people’s bucket lists. One of the greatest things about South Korea is the inter-city bus system. Unlike Japan, where trains are the staple, Korean cities are connected by arguably the most efficient bus system I’ve ever encountered. They are comfortable, run frequently and always punctual. Most importantly, they are almost embarrassingly inexpensive.
Just watch out for the pushy little old ladies – They can be brutal!
From the majestic mountains of the interior to the rugged north and the southern coastline, you can experience the warmth and beauty of this country simply and cheaply.
Petra – Jordan’s Lost City
There are few words to describe the awe-inspiring sight of of Petra’s breathtaking architecture, carved into the sheer, rose coloured cliffs of the Al Siq canyon. Painstakingly constructed by the Nabateans in the 3rd Century BCE, Petra is truly one of the world’s archaeological gems and is not to be missed by any history or culture buff.
Petra is easily accessible from the delightful town of Wadi Musa. Accommodation in the town ranges from very basic to perfectly comfortable, however even at the upper end is exceptionally affordable for the Western traveller. I stayed at the somewhat grandiosely named Amra Palace International Hotel. While the name might make it sound a little bit more exclusive than it indeed is, it was comfortably clean, and only around $50/night.
Affordable Tours in Phuket
I am not normally one to take package tours, however, I was on the final leg of my great adventure and felt like someone else doing the legwork for me for a while so I could just relax and enjoy the idyllic sights on Thailand’s premier vacation spot. Booking my Phuket tours from Travezl was an absolute breeze, and just as cheap as if I’d organised everything myself. I took in the stunning Buddhist temple at Wat Chalong, ran the gauntlet of the local wildlife at Monkey Hill in between cocktails at the beach. Divine!
Sun-Drenched Dalmatian Coast
Croatia’s Western seaboard is truly one of the most magical parts of Europe. Easily accessible by train or bus from Zagreb, I decided reluctantly to forgo the iconic Dubrovnik and stopped a little further North in Split. I was not disappointed. Split balances ancient Roman architecture with a sensational nightlife and amazing restaurants.
My favourite experience was taking the very reasonably priced ferry across to the nearby island of Hvar. As soon as you get off the boat, you are accosted by locals wanting to rent out rooms in their house to you at laughable prices. We enjoyed a truly delightful couple of nights of al fresco dining under grapevine entangled trellises for next to nothing.
Most places in the world offer up little affordable surprises. I hope that this will whet your appetite to go searching for them!