Why You Should Try House-Sitting!

So while getting so caught up my current travel plans I have kind of gotten a little bit behind on my blog. The excitement is starting to overcome me and I am so amazed at all the resources that are available online if you just take the time to look. Recently I stumbled upon a blog where this couple has travelled the world via House-Sitting. There are few major sites which I will list below that allow you to search through hundreds of property’s all around the world in turn that you take care of their pets, water their garden or sometimes both. These sites do have a fee of course, like with everything in life, but the fee is less than $100 a year. In some major cities a decent hotel room could end up costing you more than that per night. So if you are planning on travelling for longer periods of time and are pretty location flexible these online services could be for you, as I hope it works out for me.

Top 3 House Sitting Websites

Just so you know, I am not being paid by any of these sites and everything here is just my opinion. So the three I listed above are some of the main house sitting websites, but there are probably many others so do your research if you are really interested in trying this out. The only one I have tried out so far is Trusted House sitters, it allows you to create a free account in order to browse through some available houses, but will not allow you to contact the owner until you pay the site registration fees.

Tip to Save Money:  I signed up for the free account through trusted house sitters a few months ago and recently got an email saying I will receive 20% off if I registered as a paid user. So if you don’t need to use it right away you could wait a little while until you also hopefully receive a discounted offer.

Many of the houses available are in great vacation destinations all around the world. Australia had many postings and there were also quite a few throughout the United Kingdom. Many of the houses I seen were beautiful and some even had pools. If you have put your possessions in storage and sold your house or ended your lease for your apartment you could potentially get a house sit in your home town when you return. Saving you money on rent and helping you out till you can save more money. I am really hoping that I will have success with this as it would make long term travel possible for me. Let me know what you think or if you have tried out any of these websites before.

Why I Changed My Mind About Camping in Algonquin Park!

Last summer my boyfriend’s mother invited the two of us and his sister on a camping trip to Algonquin Park. Both my boyfriend and his mother had told me numerous stories of them camping when my boyfriend and his sister were younger but I didn’t think they would still be so into camping. Growing up camping just wasn’t something that my family did so I did not know much about it. I had gone camping once before with a friend and her family in high school but I got pretty sick and I remember sleeping most of the trip. It took quite a bit of convincing but I finally gave in and decided to give camping a try one more time.

Our view from the beach!
Our view from the beach!

From where we live it was about a four hour drive which seems like nothing after driving 30 hours straight to Florida a few summers ago. We stayed at The Lake of Two Rivers Campground which was perfect because they had electricity at the site and clean water. The only downfall was that when you stay in the provincial parks it’s mostly families so you kind of have to be quiet most of the time.

Me Feeding a Chipmunk!
Me Feeding a Chipmunk!

There was a beach at our campsite and on the warmer days we went at the beach. One of the beach days we blew up our inflatable boat and paddled our way out to a very small island where we ran around barefoot and swam at the shore. We enjoyed the beach and the island very much but the last couple days that we spent there were just too cold. On the colder days we went for bike rides around the area, went hiking and even spotted a few black bears. Algonquin was so beautiful; there was vast wildlife and many hiking trails. One of the trails we hiked had the most amazing lookout spot to watch the sunset.

Spotted Some Bears!
Spotted Some Bears!
Our Camp Site
Our Camp Site

This camping trip was so enjoyable and despite the always unpredictable Canadian weather I now enjoy camping and hope to go many more times! If you don’t think camping is for you at least give it a try and maybe you will change your mind.

Wanderlust Travel Tag

Where was your first plane ride to?

My first plane ride was to Florida when I was a very young, ended up getting chicken pox while in Florida and my family had to fly back earlty.

Where is somewhere you traveled to that you would love to visit again?

My favourite place I travelled to was Costa Rica and I honestly can’t wait to go back as it was so breath taking.

Preferred travel method: plane, train, or car?

Plane for speed, but if it was somewhere I could travel by train I wouldn’t mind.

You’re leaving tomorrow; money is no object where are you going?

If money was no object I would definitely choose Australia because I really want to travel there and its pretty expensive to travel there, so that would be pretty amazing!

What is your favourite travel website?

Right now my favourite site would be AirBNB.com, it’s a site to find cheap and local accommodations that I just recently discovered and its pretty cool.

Where would you go just to eat the food?

Italy. Hands down Italian cuisine is the best in the entire world.

Is there a place you would never go again?

I have enjoyed all my travels but one place that I don’t feel I will ever go back to is Dominican Republic for many reasons that I will make a post about later.

Can you recite your passport number from memory if asked?

I can barely remember my own phone number haha.

Do you prefer aisle or window seat?

Window seat for sure, I love to take pictures and look and the earth from up high.

What do you do to pass the time on the air plane?

Mostly I play games on my iPod and then when it dies I do word searches or sleep.

Feel free to use this tag!

Guide to Start Saving for Travel

The first thing that you need to do when you decide that you want to travel is to start saving your money. There are plenty of simple yet efficient ways to cut back on your basic expenses. You may have to give up some stuff now, but this is essential for making enough money to travel. Below I will show you different options for lowering your expenses and how to put more money aside for travel.

Rent

Where I live you can rent a basic 1 bedroom apartment for a minimum of $700 CDN per month or you could rent out a single room for a minimum of $300 CDN per month.

1 Bedroom Apartment for 1 year $700 x 12 = $8400

1 Bedroom for 1 year $300 x 12 = $3600

Living with parents/Relatives for 1 year = Normally Free

So if you have the option to live with family or other relatives for free take the opportunity now. Although it may not be exactly what you want right now it will be worth it in the end when you get to experience everything that travelling has to offer. If you don’t have the option to live with relatives maybe the option of downgrading to a room would help you out saving you almost $5000 per year.

Utilities and Extras

You should always look for places that have all inclusive utilities and things like internet and cable included because these extra bills monthly can really add up

Average price of internet and cable package $100 x 12 = $1200 per year

Also if you don’t have internet you can head to your local Starbucks, Tim Horton’s or McDonalds which all offer free Wi-Fi and many are open 24/7.

Cell Phone

Apparently here in Canada we pay the most for our cell phone bills. If you are with Rogers, Bell, Telus or Fido expect to pay top dollar. I recently just switched to RBC Talk & Save and I will show you below what i am saving. Other cheap companies are also available to switch to such as Wind, Kodoo and Mobilicity.

Rogers phone bill $90 per month x 12 = $1080

RBC Talk & Save $30 per month for first 3 months $60 per month after $30 x 3 + $60 x 9 = $630

I’m saving $450 per year by switching phone companies and I actually get more included in my plan.

Car Insurance and Maintenance

Okay so my actual suggestion on this one would be to get rid of your car entirely and I will show you why. Also if you must drive, drive cautiously because it’s not worth it to get in an accident, it’s expensive, and on top of that your insurance goes up which is ridiculous. Also tickets that you can for get speeding or parking or whatever, they add up.

This is going to be for the first year of having a car, luckily our insurance went down now, and there are even cheaper places I found but we cannot switch midway through a policy.

Car insurance $537 per month x 12 = $6444 per year (OKAY THIS NUMBER ALONE WOW)

Gas roughly $200 per month x 12 = $2400 per year (AGAIN WOW)

Parking at school 4 per day x 260 days a year (i went to summer school) $1040

Winter and summer tire switch twice per year @ $50 = $100

Oil Change @ $20 3 times per year $60

Total cost for first year = $10044

Monthly Bus Pass $118 x 12 = $1416

Total Savings = $8628

Conclusion…. Should have taken the bus

Limit Spending

I left this one for last because it is the most important. There have recently been study’s done that have shown that people are more happy from spending their money on experiences rather than spending money on material possessions. Yes I’m sure that cute new dress will make you happy for a little while, but a real life experience will make you happier and keep the feeling lasting longer. It will be especially challenging because once you cut back your expenses you will have more money to spend, but remember what that money is for. Also getting rid of material possessions you already own is a great way to earn extra money to travel and to not feel so held back by belongings.

Top 5 Favourite Travel Movies

The Beach

Okay so i re-watched this movie for this post because to be honest i was 7 when i seen it and pretty much only remember how dreamy Leonardo DiCaprio was. The movie takes place in Thailand and starts off kind of creepy with lots of blood and scary nightmares but then the gorgeous Leo finds a map and sets off to find this island that he believes to be a tropical paradise. Him and his friends finally find the island but not without avoiding some danger first. Then Leo steals his friends girl and then loses her when she finds out he cheated on her, its a must watch!

Lizzie McGuire Movie

In this movie Lizzie McGuire goes on a school trip to Rome! She ends up being mistaken for a very famous Italian pop singer and her trip becomes much more exciting. In the end she ends up performing on stage in front of thousands of people plus all of her friends and family. This movie is like a modern day fairy and I thought this movie was a really good ending to the show.

Almost Famous

This movie is one of my favourite movies of all time. It’s about a young reporter William who travels all across the United States on a tour with the band Stillwater in order to get an interview with the band. On this journey William enters in a whole new world of partying and rock stars that he has never seen before as he is only 15 years old. He also becomes really close with one of the groupies Penny Lane who helps him to finally get his interview with the band.

Crossroads

I love Britney Spears so naturally when she starred in her first movie I loved it. This movie is about 3 young girls who go on a road trip together with a guy they barely know. Lucy who is played by Britney wants to go to L.A. for a record contract audition and also to see her mother who left when she was young. During this trip the 3 young girls rekindle their friendship and Lucy falls in love with Ben, the guy who gave them a ride.

Monte Carlo

Three friends, two of which happen to be my favourite people (Leighton Meester & Selena Gomez) quit their jobs and travel together to Paris. When they arrive to Paris they are not pleased with their accommodations and nothing is meeting their expectations. Lucky for them one of the girls is mistaken as a socialite and the three girls end up spending the next few days living in luxury, that is until the real socialite turned up!

Packing Essentials

Whether I am going away for the weekend or a month long trip there are certain essentials that I always travel with and I have listed them down below.

Products & Such

  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Mac face cream
  • Q-tips
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Lotion
  • Makeup Bag
  • Body Wash
  • Shaver
  • Hair Brush
  • Straightener
  • Clips & Hair Ties

Clothes

  • Socks
  • Undies
  • Bras
  • Leggings
  • Track Pants
  • Shirts
  • Sweaters
  • Shorts
  • Skirts
  • Bikini
  • Shoes

Other

  • Cell Phone
  • Charger
  • Tablet
  • Camera
  • Selfie Stick
  • Water Bottles
  • Passport/ ID
  • Cash
  • Sunglasses
  • Purse
  • Good Book