Category Archives: Frugal Living

How To Be A Responsible Nomad

Mount Pinatubo Crater

Thanks to Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms that litter our newsfeeds with so many travel photos, more and more people are encouraged to save up and see the world. According to the World Tourism Organization, the number of international tourist arrivals in 2012 surpassed, for the first time, 1 billion, and is forecasted to reach 1.8 billion in 2030. With the dramatic rise in the number of travelers, concerns over the practice of eco-friendly travel have increased as well.

 

Photo By Joshua Earle

Make your travels more meaningful. Photo by Joshua Earle via Unsplash

Travel professionals and consumers have both pushed for awareness for sustainable travel in order to minimize the negative impact of travel on host countries and to preserve the natural and cultural resources for generations to come. It looks like those efforts are gaining fruit – a 2010 survey by online travel publisher TravelZoo revealed that more than 90% of U.S. travelers said that they would choose a ‘green,’ environmentally conscious hotel if the price and amenities were comparable to those at a non-sustainable, non-green hotel.

If you’re still new at the rules of environment-friendly travel, check out the following tips for becoming a responsible nomad.

 

 

Travel Light

Do you know that the heavier the plane is, the more carbon emissions it will produce during flight? Do your part in reducing this weight by packing light and bringing only what’s necessary. Not only will this help reduce carbon emissions, you will also feel better without the extra baggage weight.

Pack light and be free. Photo by Nick Harris via Flickr, Creative Commons

 

Treat Your Hotel Like It’s Your Home

A lot of travelers enjoy the excesses that a hotel accommodation provide. We tend to leave the TV and lights on even if we’re not using them. We tend to ask for fresh towels even if we don’t really need them. We tend to take really long baths and showers because water usage comes with the room payment. Being considerate of the hotel’s resources, especially in water and electricity, will go a long way in saving energy.

Conserve water and energy. Photo by London Hotels Insight via Flickr, Creative Commons

If you’re up for something really adventurous, why not try couchsurfing? Thanks to services like AirBnB, homeowners have opened up their dwellings to budget travellers and give them a safe place to sleep in. Imagine the cash you’ll save by not staying in a hotel room.

 

Avoid Using Plastic

Everytime you ask for extra plastic bags at the store, remember that a bag can take up to 500 years to biodegrade. Same goes for plastic bottles – just imagine those bottles stocked up in garbage landfills. Learn to get used to carrying around reusable shopping bags and reusable water bottles.

Imagine the amount of plastic you don’t have to use. Photo by joebart via Flickr, Creative Commons

 

Take Public Transport

Taking public transport is cheaper and gives you the chance to interact with the locals. Imagine the amount of carbon emissions you can save from not renting your own car or any type of private transport. This also gives you the chance to see the place up close and you can ask the locals for details. If you’re staying in a city, take the trains as much as possible to save up on costly cab rides.

 

Try Not Taking The Plane

This applies more to local travel. If your travel destination can be covered by bus rides, try taking that option instead of hopping on a plane. You’ll get to see more of the countryside if you travel by bus.

Photo By Shlomit Wolf

Riding the bus lets you see the sights up close. Photo by Shlomit Wolf via Unsplash

 

Maximize Group Tours

If you’re still new to the place, why not save yourself the hassle of getting lost by joining a group tour? This ensures that you stay within your itinerary and you can learn interesting stuff from tour guides. Do your research online and scout for group tours that advocate responsible travel.

 

Eat Local Produce

What’s the point of traveling to a new place if you make a beeline for the nearest McDonalds the first chance you get? Part of the traveling experience is sampling the local cuisine. This also goes for liquor, too. Instead of asking for the same old brew that you drink back home, why not try the local brew? Reward your taste buds and be carbon-friendly at the same time.

Support local. Photo by Maxime Guilbot via Flickr, Creative Commons

 

Follow The Main Trail

Trails are created for valid reasons. Not only are they designed to keep travelers safe, they also keep travelers away from areas that are considered endangered and therefore should be off limits to people. Veering away from the main trail can bring damage to protected areas, put you in danger, and make other travelers follow your footsteps.

 

Use Biodegradable Toiletry Products

Organic soaps, shampoos, and other beauty and grooming products are more readily available now so you should have no trouble finding them at your destination, if you don’t have some in your bag already. Aside from being gentle on your skin, it’s also good for the local water system. Encourage your fellow travelers to use them, too, while you’re at it.

 

Bring And Use Rechargeable Batteries

Batteries are one of the must-haves in a traveler’s list. Since you’re bound to use several during your trip, why not buy the rechargeable ones? Garbage heaps around the world are already littered with disposable batteries so don’t add more to it. Mother Nature will thank you immensely for bringing charger and reusable batteries. Make sure to load them up while you’re staying in your hotel room so you will never run out of charge when you’re out and about.

You can do even better than this by using solar-powered gadgets and chargers. Look for backpacks that act as chargers for your batteries and devices.

Recharge responsibly. Photo by Caden Crawford via Flickr, Creative Commons

 

Buy Local And Handmade Souvenirs

Instead of buying mass-produced souvenirs, you should go for handmade products made by local artisans. Not only is this environment-friendly, you will also contribute to the livelihood of the locals who painstakingly do these pieces by hand.

Making the most out of your dream destination is understandable for a traveler like you but remember that as an inhabitant of this planet, you also have a responsibility to make your travels as environment-friendly as possible. Being conscious of your carbon footprint will make your travels more fulfilling.

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#Vagrant in the streets of #Baguio city. #throwback #street

#Vagrant in the streets of #Baguio city. #throwback #street http://ift.tt/1e4U9oT

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In the #wilderness…NOT. #throwback #photoblogging

In the #wilderness…NOT. #throwback #photoblogging http://ift.tt/1GgJ9Of

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Would love to have a hang out place like this. #throwback #gigantes #oldtree #treehouse

Would love to have a hang out place like this. #throwback #gigantes #oldtree #treehouse http://ift.tt/1JGT6qx

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Popped bubble. #throwback #lighthouse

Popped bubble. #throwback #lighthouse http://ift.tt/1IBVhgx

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What Moves You: The Hidden Story Behind Traveling Alone

The Hidden Story Behind Traveling Alone

A lot of people do not know how to be alone. Some are scared, some feel lost, some feel lonely, and some just feel awkward. Imagine if we elevate that to traveling solo — alone in an unfamiliar territory, surrounded by people you don’t know, trying things for the first time — all by yourself. Sure, it can be daunting but more and more people think traveling on your own can be as exciting.

I need to be in the middle of the mountains on an adventure...right..about...now!

Photo courtesy of django django via Pinterest

And guess who the new power travelers are? Women. A new survey by Booking.com revealed that 72% of American women have traveled alone and most of them feel more confident when doing so. For 65% of women, traveling alone is freedom. Traveling is also how they escape from the pressures of everyday life. And women are not just making these up. Travel really does affect one’s happiness. A Dutch study showed that simply planning and anticipating a vacation can give the largest boost in happiness.

Whoever you are, whatever it is that you do, and whatever your reasons are, do not deprive yourself of the joys of traveling solo. Who knows, maybe you’ll see for yourself what many women travelers are talking about. Here are the many benefits of traveling alone:

Your way, your pace

If you feel like sitting in a café for hours, no one will tell you that you are wasting time. If you feel like exploring seven tourist spots in one day, no one will tell you to slow down. You can wake up very early or sleep until noon. You do it your way and you do it at your own pace. There is no itinerary and even if you made one for yourself, you can just go ahead and break it. No one will drag you to places you don’t want to see and you won’t feel like you have to drag other people, too. You don’t have to adhere to someone else’s schedule.

You will meet more people

Worried about being lonely when you travel solo? Chat with locals and learn something you've never tried before.

Photo courtesy of on the-shooting-star.com via Pinterest

When you travel with your partner or with friends, the tendency is you will always stick with that group. But being alone gives you the chance to be more open. When you are alone, you are more likely to talk to other people even if that only means asking them to take your picture. Reaching out becomes more natural when you travel by yourself.

You are inclined to try new things

Young Wild and Free!! Should I take the leap...

Photo courtesy of poppy-darling.tumblr.com via Pinterest

Aside from meeting new people like the locals, you are more inclined to try new things when you travel alone. You wake up everyday and you ask yourself “what am I going to do today?” There is this urge to go full circle — “I have travelled alone, it’s time I do new things by myself.” You can try bungee jumping or cliff diving and no one will tell you it is way too scary. You can eat exotic dishes and no one will tell you they are not clean. On the contrary, people around you will even cheer you on.

You learn to take care of yourself

This is something that most people learn in their 40s. When you know that you are alone, you always stay on your guard, always alert, and look after yourself. Travelling alone puts us in charge and in many ways, it makes us responsible.

Get as much “me” time as you want

How A Solo Vacation Can Change Your Life. I really need to do this. Just travelling alone to another city for the first time (a mere 5 years ago!) was an eye-opening experience.

Photo courtesy of MindBodyGreen via Pinterest

There is something about “me” time that fascinates everyone. In the same survey by Booking.com, 46% of women want “to get time to myself.” One tip for solo travel if reflection and relaxation are among the agenda, get a hotel that allows you to reflect. You can do this even if you are going on a trip to busy beaches like Boracay in the Philippines. You can get a beach resort accommodation nestled away from the noise and the crowd. A luxurious and serene Boracay hotel accommodation, for example, will give you the space you want to think and reflect.

You are bound to travel light

If you want to see the world -- especially while you're young -- but don't exactly have the funds to do so, you're not alone.

Photo courtesy of Huffington post via Pinterest

No one will help you check in your bags or carry them around. When you are traveling alone, you will (finally) understand the wisdom behind travelling light. Let’s say for example, packing your bags for a Boracay vacation. You will learn to pack only the essential things you need for a Boracay vacation, or for any destination for that matter. You will assess and re-assess what you just really need and you will be surprised you can survive with just a back pack.

You will save money (hopefully)

Since you are on your own, you learn to budget. No one’s going to lend you money when you go short. In many ways, you can find traveling by yourself cheaper. There will be no companions teasing you to try this and that, go here and there, ride a cab when all your budget can afford is the train, or buy more souvenirs.

You develop confidence

10 Mistakes (Solo) Female Travelers Make | Levo League |         lifestyle 2, staying safe, traveling alone

Photo courtesy of levo.com via Pinterest

Traveling alone presents a challenge like that of navigating a new city or that of learning a new language. But with these challenges come renewed confidence. You will overcome these challenges because you have no choice. When self-doubt comes crashing your confidence down, you say, “I have come this far. Why stop now?”

No one will filter the experience

You see the world the way you see it. No one will filter it for you by giving you a different perspective. Even if your views are compatible with that of your companion, the memories you will have of a place or an experience will always be compromised.

You will surprise yourself

Traveling Alone: 10 Relaxing Destinations For Stress-Free Solo Trips (PHOTOS)

Photo courtesy of Huffington Post via Pinterest

At the end of the trip, you are most likely to discover something new about yourself — what you are scared of and what you like best. You will be surprised to find out that you can do certain things by yourself. You will be surprised at how you react to situations. Being alone does that to people. Because you are on your own, you learn to listen to your heart, which is a good start towards self-(re)discovery.

A solo journey is truly empowering. It gives you a stronger sense of self. It also relieves you of stress and tension. Travel has the power to make us happy, to trust ourselves, and to understand and appreciate ourselves more.

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This collage is a tribute to my travel buddy when I went to Gigantes. It’s a pleasure traveling with you, Gen for the very first time since our VN days. Hope we can travel alone in the future, us, girls only. It was also great knowing your boyfie. Keep the flame burnin’. 😃 Until next time. 😉 #travelbuddy #gigantes #island #beach

This collage is a tribute to my travel buddy when I went to Gigantes. It’s a pleasure traveling with you, Gen for the very first time since our VN days. Hope we can travel alone in the future, us, girls only. It was also great knowing your boyfie. Keep the flame burnin’. 😃 Until next time. 😉 #travelbuddy #gigantes #island #beach http://ift.tt/1JETmaV

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A once in a lifetime experience. Chilling beside Mount Pinatubo’s crater. #mountpinatubo #volcano #crater #river #sky #mountain #nature

Chilling Beside Mount Pinatubo Crater in Zambales

A once in a lifetime experience. Chilling beside Mount Pinatubo’s crater. #mountpinatubo #volcano #crater #river #sky #mountain #nature http://ift.tt/1A1PJDm

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Human remains inside the Pawikan Cave in Gigantes Sur. #cave #spelunkering #bones #pawikancave #gigantesisland

Human Remains in Pawikan Cave Isla Gigantes

Human remains inside the Pawikan Cave in Gigantes Sur. #cave #spelunkering #bones #pawikancave #gigantesisland http://ift.tt/1JczqvL

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Can’t get enough. #bantigueisland #sandbar #beach #sea #sky

Bantigue Island Sanbar Gigantes Island Iloilo 3

Can’t get enough. #bantigueisland #sandbar #beach #sea #sky http://ift.tt/1Iia242

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Loving the very clear and cold water in this island’s sand bar. #beach #sandbar #bantigueisland #gigantes #sky #sea

Bantigue Island Sanbar Gigantes Island Iloilo 2

Loving the very clear and cold water in this island’s sand bar. #beach #sandbar #bantigueisland #gigantes #sky #sea http://ift.tt/1OGRqP6

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Bantigue Island. #island #beach #sandbar #sea #sky #summer

Bantigue Island Sanbar Gigantes Island Iloilo

Bantigue Island. #island #beach #sandbar #sea #sky #summer http://ift.tt/1HasNaR

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Baguio City, the summer capital of the Philippines. #baguio #baguiocity #mountaincity #mountain #sky

Baguio City

Baguio City, the summer capital of the Philippines. #baguio #baguiocity #mountaincity #mountain #sky http://ift.tt/19vABrr

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It’s been 18 days now that I left the island of Pitogo and have been wandering on the road. This is actually the very first time that I travel this long. I’ve been planning for years to travel continuously but been held back by a lot of responsibilities. Now, I can tell that this is only the beginning of my wandering journey. This has been what I’ve been picturing myself for years…to wander…continuously… #wanderer #imnotatraveler #imawanderer

Mount Pinatubo Crater

It’s been 18 days now that I left the island of Pitogo and have been wandering on the road. This is actually the very first time that I travel this long. I’ve been planning for years to travel continuously but been held back by a lot of responsibilities. Now, I can tell that this is only the beginning of my wandering journey. This has been what I’ve been picturing myself for years…to wander…continuously… #wanderer #imnotatraveler #imawanderer http://ift.tt/1AQAGvp

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It took us almost 8 hours to arrive here. Hello Baguio! I’ll explore you tomorrow. For now, I need a power sleep. So very, very tirrred. #art #baguio

artwork in Baguio

It took us almost 8 hours to arrive here. Hello Baguio! I’ll explore you tomorrow. For now, I need a power sleep. So very, very tirrred. #art #baguio http://ift.tt/1FpKDG7

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Readying for our long road trip tomorrow. Not sure though if that’s the right travel time. It would be our first time together going to Baguio. :-) #map #olongapotobaguio #baguio

olongapo to baguio map

Readying for our long road trip tomorrow. Not sure though if that’s the right travel time. It would be our first time together going to Baguio. :-) #map #olongapotobaguio #baguio http://ift.tt/1EmvlQV

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Enjoying the view here in Subic. Still, nothing beats our bloody beaches in Bohol and Cebu. #Subic #beach #sea

Traders Ric Resto and Bar Subic Bay Olongapo

Enjoying the view here in Subic. Still, nothing beats our bloody beaches in Bohol and Cebu. #Subic #beach #sea http://ift.tt/1EgyHVD

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Spent our afternoon at the famous Annawangin, Cove. #zambales #cove #beach #annawangincove #sand #sea

Annawangin Cove Pundaquit San Antonio Zambales

Spent our afternoon at the famous Annawangin, Cove. #zambales #cove #beach #annawangincove #sand #sea http://ift.tt/18DDOUp

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Currently staying here in Pundaquit, Zambales. We went to Capones Island this morning. #zambales #island #caponesisland #capones #sea #beach

Capones Island in San Antonio Zambales

Currently staying here in Pundaquit, Zambales. We went to Capones Island this morning. #zambales #island #caponesisland #capones #sea #beach http://ift.tt/1NOSi4G

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The Aetas in Tarukan, Tarlac. #FilipinoNatives #Aetas #Tarlac #Natives #AetaVillage

Aeta Village in Tarlac

The Aetas in Tarukan, Tarlac. #FilipinoNatives #Aetas #Tarlac #Natives #AetaVillage http://ift.tt/1NHMQR4

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After a bumpy and very dusty ride, we were rewarded by this view. The wind was so cold. This is the crater of Mt. Pinatubo. The water in this crater is from River Maraunot (as what our guide said). #volcano #mountain #crater #mtpinatubotrekking #zambales

The Majestic Mount Pinatubo in Botolan Zambales

After a bumpy and very dusty ride, we were rewarded by this view. The wind was so cold. This is the crater of Mt. Pinatubo. The water in this crater is from River Maraunot (as what our guide said). #volcano #mountain #crater #mtpinatubotrekking #zambales http://ift.tt/1KTBRoN

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Waiver for our trekking to Mount Pinatubo later. Everything is our sole responsibility. Whatever will happen to us, it’s on us. The risk of enjoying mother nature’s beauty. #mtpinatubotrekking

Waiver for Pinatubo Tour and Trek

Waiver for our trekking to Mount Pinatubo later. Everything is our sole responsibility. Whatever will happen to us, it’s on us. The risk of enjoying mother nature’s beauty. #mtpinatubotrekking http://ift.tt/1Gl0tAc

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The Marlboro Country is one of the most picturesque spots in Mahatao. Once you’re on top of those hills, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world. The wind was so cold when we went there yesterday. #Batanes2015Trip #Batanes #hills #ocean #sky

Marlboro Country Batanes 2015

The Marlboro Country is one of the most picturesque spots in Basco. Once you’re on top of those hills, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world. The wind was so cold when we went there yesterday. #Batanes2015Trip #Batanes #hills #ocean #sky http://ift.tt/1Elzi9D

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The mesmerizing center port in Mahatao. I almost stumbled on the ground when I was hit my a strong gust of wind here. #Batanes2015Trip #Day3 #Batanes #port #sea

Center Port Mahatao Batanes

The mesmerizing center port in Mahatao. I almost stumbled on the ground when I was hit my a strong gust of wind here. #Batanes2015Trip #Day3 #Batanes #port #sea http://ift.tt/1FWJNP2

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We saw this place on our way to Mahatao. It reminds me of a very famous tourist spot abroad. #Batanes2015Trip #Batanes #Day2

Center Port Batanes

We saw this place on our way to Mahatao. It reminds me of a very famous tourist spot abroad. #Batanes2015Trip #Batanes #Day2 http://ift.tt/1FNZZSL

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