We are the Smart Travel Family, and we recently finished a ‘slow travel’ year in Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Our past living and longer travel experiences cover Thailand, Vietnam, Bali in Indonesia, Cambodia, Australia, Poland, Lithuania, Hungary, Luxembourg, and France. We are from Latvia, a European Union country.
Three of us are celiac, hence, we also cover the gluten-free travel niche.
What is ‘Smart Travel’?
When travelling, we follow several principles that characterize the ‘smart travel’ philosophy.
We are cost-conscious travelers, but it’s not about spending as little as possible when traveling. Instead, when given the choice, we will always choose experiences over fancier accommodation.
We prefer slow travel to other kinds of voyages. From our experience, it’s so much more rewarding to stay for longer in one place and truly experience what it and its people are like. On a number of occasions, we have taken slow travel to extremes by finding work in other countries, like the recent stint in Tenerife for a year.
We like to be clever travelers and do a bit of travel hacking. Most people immediately think about credit cards and airline loyalty points, but there is so much more to making your dollars or euros go further. Or – not spending any money on key expense positions at all.
For example, we managed to spend 1600 euros per month in Australia instead of at least 6000 euros if we would travel regularly. How? By doing ‘Workaway‘ and relocating camper vans to move towards our next location on the continent.
‘Travel’ rather ‘tourism’. This is a distinction our son came up with while observing the behavior of an organized bus-tour in Thailand and comparing it to the way our family travelled. There is nothing wrong with being a ‘tourist’. However, we try to encourage people we cross paths with to choose self-led exploring over an organized tour and see if they like it. Other examples:
- Choose a homestay instead of a global hotel chain to better experience local culture;
- Go to places recommended by locals instead of the airline journal;
- Be curious and don’t be afraid to stray off your itinerary.
Rather than being a tourist, be a traveler and see how much more you’ll discover!
If you have a message for us, it’s best to leave a comment under a relevant article. You can, of course, also get in touch with us directly.