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Welcome to budget travel…intentions?

April 25, 2010
by budgettravelsac

Many people love to travel and there is no shortage of guidebooks, information, travel blogs, or news to get us to where we want to go.  The internet, travel agents, and travel TV shows are great resources for people to plan their next trip.  However, is our next trip just about the Italian villa, the family beach vacation, or a road trip to Yosemite?  While many people love to travel, the real question may not be as much about the “where” as the “why”.

So why do we travel?  There are the obvious answers to this question.  For some, business travel is a necessary part of life while others travel for pleasure.  Some enjoy nature, the outdoors, and adventure travel like camping, hiking, or rafting.  Others prefer relaxing beach vacations.  Some enjoy nice luggage and luxury hotels while others enjoy backpacking through Europe and sleeping in a hostel with people they don’t know.  Many enjoy big cities, guided tours, tour groups, and popular tourist destinations while others want to travel off the beaten path.

There are no wrong answers to the question and who we go with has an impact on our answers.  People travel with family, kids, friends, spouses, on tour groups, or solo.  And when the trip is finally over, we enjoy our photos, share our memories, and think about the things we saw and the places we went.

But is there something more to this question of why we travel?  Is traveling to France, Italy, Brazil, or Japan something we do to check off of our bucket list to say “I have been there”?  Is a vacation just a vacation?  Do we ever look back on our trips and think about things we learned or how our trips (for whatever purpose) have changed us?

Sometimes things go according to plan while other times they don’t.  We have memories and feelings that we associate with our good and bad experiences.  But travel is more than that.  Whenever we travel, we have the opportunity to take a look at life and the world around us.  Being intentional means we are aware of the things going on around us to see what we can learn.  And like our travel tastes and destinations, what we learn varies for each person.

Connecting with the places we travel to has to be intentional.  And the good thing is that being intentional is often free or costs less than traveling with an itinerary.  For me, budget travel and being intentional go hand-in-hand.

How I like to travel may be different from the way others choose. I don’t pretend to be an expert on travel but hope this blog is an opportunity to share ideas, encourage one another, and see how our intentional travel (whatever your motives and and destination) impacts each of us, our family and friends, and the world around us.

So enjoy that tour of Europe, the Caribbean cruise, trekking through New Zealand, camping in Yosemite, or relaxing at the beach.  Just be intentional about it.

How do you view travel? Is it intentional for you?

Exploring Spain and Portugal Part X: From Salema to Lisbon

April 24, 2010
by budgettravelsac

Exploring Spain and Portugal Part X – From Salema to Lisbon (photo slideshow)

My adventure continues in Spain and Portugal as I head from Salema to Lisbon.  Before leaving the fishing town of Salema, I hike along the cliffs and wander upon a nude beach.  After leaving Salema, I head to Lisbon – the capital of Portugal – to visit this beautiful city rich in diversity and culture.

What happens at the nude beach?  What do I see and experience in Lisbon?  Check out my own personal Europe travel guide to Salema and Lisbon to find out.

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Easy ways to celebrate Earth Day

April 22, 2010
by budgettravelsac

Easy ways to celebrate Earth Day

Whether you are a fan of Earth Day or not, there are a number of different things we can do to make the world around us a little nicer.  I have to admit I am not a huge environmentalist and believe the earth will be around for many more years.  However, even for someone like me, there are some tips for being earth-friendly that appeal to me.

I just started a Square Foot Garden and am definitely not a green thumb.  However, it’s easy to do and rewarding.  So far, not much has grown but just seeing my garden at it’s early stages is quite rewarding already.  I also started composting to get some good soil and recycle stuff as well.  Big or small, there are a number of simple tips to celebrate Earth Day or just make things a little more beautiful while benefiting from it yourself.

So check out these tips and whether you are a big environmentalist or not, these are great things to do regardless.

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Finding the best place to stay when you travel

April 16, 2010
by budgettravelsac

Finding the best place to stay when you travel

Looking for a place to stay? Wondering what options are out there and which place is best for you? Whether you travel with family, in a group, or on your own, here is a review of your accommodation options.  Whether hotels to hostels, apartments to homes, condos, or timeshares, a stranger’s home or just a couch, there are many options for all types of budgets and preferences.

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Exploring Spain and Portugal Part IX – From Sevilla to Salema (photo slideshow)

April 14, 2010
by budgettravelsac

Exploring Spain and Portugal Part IX – From Sevilla to Salema (photo slideshow)

Exploring Spain and Portugal – from Spain (Sevilla) to Portugal (Salema).  Check out the last day in Sevilla and a day of relaxation at the beach in Portugal.  See my photos of these two places, check out the BBC show I watched about getting dirty, and see what lessons I learned in my travels.

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Family vacation – tips for traveling with kids

April 9, 2010
by budgettravelsac

Family vacation – tips for traveling with kids

Going on vacation with kids? Here are some travel tips to help you save money, cut down on the stress, and enjoy time with your family

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Essential airport information for travelers – flights, guides, technology, sleeping, and more

April 1, 2010
by budgettravelsac

Essential airport information for travelers – flights, guides, technology, sleeping, and more

Every day millions of people pass through some of the busiest airports in the world.  For many, it’s a necessary evil to get from one place to another.  For some, airports may be fun but for others it can a stressful thing.  Whether you are trying to catch your next flight, lugging your bags through the airport, finding a place to eat, navigating through crowds of people, waiting in security lines, or just sitting at the gate, there doesn’t seem to be a lot for airports to offer.

However, doing your research before your next flight can make passing through an airport less stressful and, dare I say it, fun.  With that in mind, I put together some tips for airports which include airport maps and guides, flight information, alternate airports, technology, shopping, relaxing, sleeping, and parking.

In this era of travel, flying is becoming more of a burden.  So be prepared the next time you go to the airport and maybe it can be less one thing you have to worry about on your next trip.

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A budget travel adventure Part VI – From Madrid to Granada (photo slideshow)

March 30, 2010
by budgettravelsac

A budget travel adventure Part VI – From Madrid to Granada (photo slideshow)

Part VI continues with my trip about Spain and Portugal.  From Sacramento to Lisbon, follow my journey through these two countries.  Leaving Madrid, I head to Granada to see one of the most interesting cities in Spain

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Finding the best seat for your flight (step-by-step slideshow guide)

March 25, 2010
by budgettravelsac

Finding the best seat for your flight (step-by-step slideshow guide)

Flying these days is still a necessity but is becoming much more of a hassle.  We now have to pay for food, blankets, and even extra legroom.  So the best thing that we can do is to prepare ahead of time.

A couple of sites allow passengers to review airlines, aircraft, and flights to get reviews on the best seats whether you fly economy, business, or first class.  So for your next trip, find out which is the best seat for you.  Everyone has their preferences but it’s good information to have before you book that next flight.

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A budget travel adventure Part V – Toledo and more of Madrid (photo slideshow)

March 25, 2010
by budgettravelsac

A budget travel adventure Part V – Toledo and more of Madrid (photo slideshow)

As part of sharing my travel experiences, this is one of the articles in my series on Spain and Portugal.  In this series, I travel throughout these two countries and feature articles on Barcelona, La Coruna, Madrid, Granada, Ronda, Sevilla, Salema, and Lisbon.  This isn’t just a story of the things I saw as I also talk about my lessons learned from my travels and share photos from my trip.  I have to admit there is so much I learned about myself on this trip – and not all of it was good.  In my travels throughout Spain and Portugal, there were ups and downs.  And hopefully, there were things I learned about myself that will make me a better traveler and person in the future.  So enjoy my adventures, lessons learned, and the photos from my trip.

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