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Travel Cheap & Smart: Locations & Apps

The joys of entertainment are often dampened by its cost. Unless you are financially invulnerable, the price of an activity or hobby is considered first and the wellbeing it would provide second. This becomes an even greater cause for disappointment when your interests reach well beyond the neighbourhood to an entirely different country. Travellers are put off their calling because of the risk of it breaking the bank. The good news is that it no longer has to be this way. The modern technologically-adept community of globetrotters has procured answers and options for every kind of holiday preference, including low budget.

At home, meal deals are always welcome and abundant – Bella Italia has a 30% discount and Deliveroo £2.50 off the first two orders, VoucherCodes details. Summer Sales on Amazon are even more exciting, like the recent one on electronics reaching 50% off. Online games have special deals too. Visit now and find out about free spins earned through zero or minimal deposits, an opportunity that varies from provider to provider. Frugal options exist anywhere in the world. All people need to do is search for them. Using Taiwan and the Philippines as examples, let us see what travellers could get up to.

Taipei

There is no shortage of things to see and do in Taiwan’s capital as Skyscanner’s list helpfully conveys. Its rich culture can be absorbed from the National Chiang Kai-shek and Sun Yan-Sen Memorial Halls to the Dalongdong Bao’an Temple. Nature is valued as much as architecture with locations such as Elephant Mountain and the Taipei Expo Park being highly cared for. But the Expo is also a place of celebration, regularly hosting grand festivals and exhibitions that a closed space cannot do justice. And, last but not least, Jiufen Old Street, the town that inspired Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, is the perfect place to lose yourself for a while, its food stalls being of prime interest. Similarly, Taipei’s flamboyant night markets are full of sights and small eats to make eyes and mouths water.

Manila

Sticking to the culinary theme, the capital of the Philippines is home to the Khalsa Diwan Sikh Temple that offers free vegetarian meals and a chance to learn more about the religion. There is also the Banchetto, a market started in 2006 to promote independent homemade and speciality gastronomic creations, available as samples and full meals. Tripzilla includes many more cheap and free activities, cultural tours of Binondo and the monthly artistic Intramuros Pasyal Sundays being some of the most immersive experiences. Free concerts, cinemas, libraries and museums, including the Museo Pambata, the Children’s Museum, can fill several days. And still you must not miss Rizal Park’s lights and music fountain or the fireworks display provided by the SM Mall of Asia or the numerous parks and gardens where free Yoga, Tai chi and Arnis can be found.

Apps

Researching such opportunities is being made easier and easier by the digital age’s endless supply of information and technology. Skyscanner is one of many apps that scour the tourism industry for the cheapest travel options – flights, hotels and cars. Google Maps is unquestionably vital to finding your way around a new city, but so is PackPoint for the less organised sorts, preparing a packing checklist specifically tailored to your plans, even pointing out the weather forecast. Another fun app worth mentioning is Circa that tracks time zones to assist with organising travel times or simply staying in touch with international friends.

A love of exploration and adventure is important when travelling, but so is preparation and mindfulness of expenditure. Fortunately, fellow explorers are happy to share their wisdom. A new destination no longer needs to be scary or pricey.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

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