This Seasoned Traveler Shares Her Best Tips On How To Manage Time And Money While Traveling
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Paige Watts is a travel blogger based in Atlanta, Georgia.
14th Jul | 5 min read

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    Paige Watts is a travel blogger based in Atlanta, Georgia. She is focused on Southern travel because there are so many hidden gems one can find close to home. She loves bears, and she tries to collect teddy bears from every country that she visits! Don't forget to follow paigemindsthegap so that you don't miss out on her latest travel stories! 

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    What Inspired Me To Start Traveling

    My parents were always big on family vacations, so I’ve been traveling my whole life. I got the chance to study abroad twice in college, and the ease of country-hopping in Europe made me want to visit everywhere! And I haven’t stopped since!

    Travel Frequency And Activities I Enjoy While Traveling

    My husband and I try to do at least one big international trip a year, maybe two if I can talk him into it! We take smaller trips to places within driving distance throughout the year, and I like to explore the local area nearly every weekend. I usually like going to art museums when I travel; if a city’s zoo has bears, then that’s a must for me; and I love to tour historic homes, palaces, and castles.

    How I Choose “Where” And “How Long” To Travel

    We want to see everywhere, so where we go next is kind of based on our whims and what’s cheap at the time. There are a few places we’ve visited separately that we want to return to together; for example, we did a big tour of the U.K. and Ireland since I’d spent so much time there and he had never been; and sometime soon we’ll get to Japan since he loved his trip there and it’s still on my bucket list. Since my husband has a less flexible full-time job, most of our trips are short weekend trips with a few longer 4-7 day trips throughout the year. For longer trips, we might prepare by scheduling out a few must-see items each day.

    How I Pack For My Trips

    I definitely tend to overpack because I’d rather be overprepared than underprepared! My must-haves include noise-canceling headphones for plane trips, my travel-sized noise machine to help me sleep at night, and an anti-theft backpack so that I don’t have to worry about being pickpocketed.

    Safety Precautions While Traveling Solo

    I always let my friends and family know my itinerary and make sure to check in with them daily. I never walk alone at night and instead take a cab or public transportation. I always try to be hyper-aware of my surroundings and listen to my intuition when a situation doesn’t feel safe.

    The Best Country For Solo Female Travelers

    I’ve visited 20 countries so far and will be visiting my 21st country in August if nothing gets canceled. I loved Ireland for solo travel.

    The people are so friendly, especially in Galway, and the country is really easy to get around. If you’re a solo traveler who likes to go out, make friends, and party, Ireland’s pub scene is great for that. And if you’re a solo traveler who just likes to enjoy your time alone, there’s a tone of great natural beauty in Ireland that’s perfect for solitary exploration.

    Choosing A Travel Companion

    I usually travel with my husband; he’s the best travel partner I’ve ever had! Joining group tours is a great way to meet other travelers, either just a day tour or doing a group tour as an entire trip. I love doing walking tours and pub crawls to meet other people. There’s such camaraderie on pub crawls that it’s pretty easy to make friends.

    What Inspired Me To Start My Travel Blog

    I started Paige Minds The Gap in 2013 when I first studied abroad in the little town of Harlaxton, England. I needed a name that would fit my upcoming adventure, and so Paige Minds The Gap, inspired by the London Underground refrain, was born! After moving back home, my blog has transformed from a study abroad blog to a more locally-focused Southern travel blog. I still want to inspire my readers to travel mindfully, at home and abroad.

    How I Manage Costs During My Travels

    I don’t stick to a strict budget, but I do try to keep my costs low when I travel. I try to travel during the low season to keep airline and hotel costs lower, and I do a ton of research comparing the costs of hotels before booking. I always look for free attractions and really try to consider what paid attractions are worth it and are absolute must-sees.

    The One Cool Travel Story That I Can Share

    I’ve had so many great travel experiences! But my favorite by far is my husband proposing to me at the top of The Shard in London. Afterward, we walked around London to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. We got to see Tower Bridge open, which is considered lucky, so it was just a perfect day!

    Travel Apps And Websites I Use On My Trips

    For planning my trips, I always use Skyscanner to search for the cheapest flights. While on international vacations, I always download an offline version of Google Maps for my destination so I can access directions even when I don’t have cell service.

    Frictions and Challenges Of Traveling

    While my job as a blogger is flexible, my husband is limited by his work schedule and allotted annual leave. We also have a house and all the fun expenses that come with homeownership, so there are other things to spend money on than travel.

    How I Manage Work And Travel At The Same Time

    I’m a full-time blogger and a part-time traveler, so I work a pretty standard schedule Monday through Friday during the week and then have my weekends open for short trips! And since blogging is flexible, I have no problem taking off a week when I want a longer vacation.

    Other encouraging stories to read! 

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