First off, I’d like to start off by focusing on the point that cheap travel is possible - cheap airfare is also possible. BUT you must be able to have flexibility in dates and sometimes airports. If you are willing to bend more, then you can make your wallet bend less.
There are many travel-planning companies who offer tours, vacations or are simple custom-travel agencies. Of course they wouldn’t be in business if they didn’t collect a sustainable profit from their customers. While many of these options are fine avenues to turn to, I believe the entire experience of planning one’s own trip throughout the world is a large part of the fun - plus, it can save you a good amount of money. How else can you learn in-depth about the areas, the attractions and the reasoning of where you are visiting? I would never base my entire trip, hour by hour, on what I see solely based on my research from books and online resources - because many of those attractions and areas are teaming with tourism - hence, why they may be easy to find online. If you’ve taken at least one thing from my writing so far, I hope it’s this: while touristic places and monuments are great to see, do not surround yourself in only those - stay outside of the cities, get lost and connect with the real.
No matter where you are traveling in the world, you need to travel smart - and safe. I don’t care if it’s the poshest of neighborhoods in the hills of Los Angeles. When you are new to an area, it’s best to be inconspicuous. I’ve traveled through the rough areas of London, Detroit and Puerto Rico, just as I’ve also traveled through areas with low crime rates - it doesn’t matter where you are, but you must always keep your wits about you. Now, of course I don’t suggest pinpointing Compton, California as a place that you should rush to visit or anything (just because you feel as though you can fly ‘under the radar’), but even I have been the victim of many crimes when I’ve least expected it.
Keep your head down and don’t draw attention to yourself - the goal is to blend in, so do your best to look less like a tourist and more like a local. There’s no need to wear that bright colored Disney sweatshirt or that oh-so comfortable fanny pack. I would also suggest to limit the amount of ‘flash’ - what I mean by that is if you have valuables with you, lock them away, far away - or don’t even bring them with you. Keep your camera in your bag as often as possible, and the same goes for your Apple products. And just because you own an expensive piece of jewelry doesn’t mean wearing it around Rome will be the best of ideas.
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