This week’s guest post comes from Tim and Pam, travel bloggers behind Thrifty Trails. They explain ‘We are Tim and Pam. A pair of newly married lovebirds on our honeymoon, exploring the world from every rooftop, cave, or hovel with a decent hot shower. Our site originally started as a way to keep family and friends informed and updated on our travels. It slowly turned into a medium of keeping track of our experiences but also as a way to share useful tips we learned along the way. Now, our site is for everyone who has the travel bug but wants to do so in a budget friendly manner. If you desire luxury travel and 5 star hotels then it might not be what you are looking for, but if you want to learn about free or cheap things to do around the world, just as the locals do, then you came to right place.’
1. What is your name and where do you come from?
Our names are Tim and Pam. We are both from Florida. We crossed paths in college and stayed by each other’s side ever since.
2. What sort of traveller are you? Full time / part time / business / backpacker etc?
For the last 6 months we were traveling the world full time for our honeymoon. Now that we got all that out of our system (at least for now), we will be part time travelers while we settle down. As for our travel style, I would definitely say we are minimalist budget travelers. We carry one backpack each to avoid checked back fees and the headaches associated with lost or damaged baggage. Keeping things to a minimum just helps overall. We also look for every possible free thing there is to do where ever we are.
3. How do you fund your travelling?
Save. Save. Save. We keep track of our finances and cut whatever expenses possible. We also have a binder of coupons that we take with us every time we go grocery shopping – it all adds up. Not having kids or loans to pay back allows us to save every penny. We recently started getting into the credit card game and accumulating miles. Many people are afraid that getting a credit card will get them into debt but the trick is to spend it on your usual expenses and pay it off every month. You don’t have to go on a shopping spree.
4. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
This is a tough one to answer because there is no single answer I can give. It depends if you are asking about the best food, cheapest food, or landscapes, for example. I typically say that New Zealand was my favorite country in terms of beautiful landscapes. Chiang Mai, Thailand had the best food for the price and Osaka, Japan had the best variety in food.
5. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
Our least favorite place would be Patong, Thailand. It was my idea to go for two weeks because of the beautiful beach pictures I kept seeing online. I should have done more research but the pictures convinced me to the point that I just didn’t do my usual investigation. It was our least favorite because of how touristy it is in that area. I know it sounds funny that a tourist is saying they don’t like touristy places but it’s true. There were massage shops every few steps and Bangla Road was a huge mess of ping pong shows and rowdy bars every night. If you don’t know what ping pong shows I’m referring to…well I’m not going to explain it to you! You will have to look it up yourself but be warned, it’s not pretty. The scene of Patong just screamed “Bachelor Party” every night and everywhere you went. Some people might like that but it wasn’t our scene.
6. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?
Pam – Iceland, Canada, and South Korea
Tim – Utah, Sweden, and Amsterdam
7. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?
I always travel with a scarf or sarong since they are so versatile. Tim always carries his camera to document our travels in video or photos. He’s been playing with time lapses recently and I’m glad he has the patience and dedication because they come out beautifully! We both use packing cubes to compress and organize our clothes in our backpacks. I used to be skeptical about packing cubes because, could they really help THAT much? Well the answer is YES. We also always pack a bandana for keeping cool and many other uses. We love our bandana so much that we wrote a whole post on it and even made an infographic on 16 ways to use it.
8. What makes you happy and why?
I know it sounds cliché but being together and sharing ‘first time moments’ while traveling makes us happy. As a traveling couple it has been a blessing to see the world together and learn about each others preferences and priorities when exploring new destinations. We get to explore and learn about the world while exploring and learning about each other.
9. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
We began blogging about our travels in June 2016 when we first set off on our honeymoon adventure. Many of our friends and family kept asking us questions like “What are you packing? Where are you going? How are you paying for this? Are you crazy?”. So we decided to write it all down so they could be informed on our travels. We learned that traveling was a lot cheaper than we anticipated and so we wanted to share that with our readers as well. We share all the free and cheap things there are to do in countries around the world along with other helpful information like transportation and food options.
10. What makes your blog unique and why should people read it?
Our blog is unique because it focuses on traveling on a budget to prove that anyone, regardless of income, can travel. I often hear “You need to be rich to travel” or “I have too many bills and can’t save up enough money to travel”. We will soon be posting on the many ways to save money in order to travel in the future. I’m not saying it will be quick and easy, but if it’s your ultimate goal to travel then it can be done. We want to inspire others that want to travel to take the steps necessary to do it.
After saving up as much money as possible you don’t want to spend it all on just a few days of travel and that’s where the main mission of our blog comes into play. It’s a fun challenge for me to create a list of free or cheap things to do in every town we visit. We want to share the knowledge we’ve gained over the last 6 months of full time travel with all our readers to help them learn how to travel on a budget. It’s all about being thrifty.
From ESLT – thank you Tim and Pam for taking the time to answer our questions. Safe Travels 🙂