Sunday, May 11, 2014

How to Trade Your Lunch for a Trip to Thailand

Recently, I've tried my best to avoid the Chicken Cashew Nut, the Butter Chicken and the Gyro wraps in an effort to be healthier physically and financially. I began thinking to myself, what can I do with the money I save if I pack my own lunch? Was my mom onto something when she continuously preached this idea to me?
This is where you get Chicken Cashew Nut in Thailand
As I want to continue exploring the world, putting that money towards travel seemed reasonable. With flights to Hong Kong just above $700 CAD round trip, from Portugal to Toronto getting down to as low as $94 CAD one-way, from Warsaw to Stockholm for $0.33 one way, I really didn't need to save that much (Those flights all include taxes and fees, by the way). This is where the thoughts came for this post.

As these thoughts came into my head, the stars aligned. I came across this Volkswagen commercial:

Volkswagen may also be onto something with this lunch trade-in! 

$6 per lunch is great and all, but I find myself spending more than $6 per lunch at Subway.  So I have decided to use a conservative $10 per lunch for the example. Typically a flight from Toronto to somewhere in Thailand will cost you $1,200-$1,400. Why not pay less and see more of the world? Off to Thailand for some real chicken cashew nut! 

Source: Ben Thanh Waterloo, ON, Canada - $9.95 Thai Cashew Nut Chicken
I'm going to use Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) in Toronto, Canada as a starting point. Many of my friends claim that flight deals don't come to Canada. If YYZ Deals, Skyscanner and Google Flights aren't showing anything worth a second glance (meaning anything around $300-$400 all incl. one way), shift your efforts to flights through Europe and see more of the world with your trip. Combinations with bus lines through the USA can also be used. Flight deals come and go as they please, the bus lines have resurrected as low-cost alternatives.

Greyhound from Toronto to NYC can cost you $33 CAD, but I challenge you to get it cheaper. If you really want to get creative, check out Megabus. Below you'll see Toronto to Buffalo, NY for $8 CAD. Megabus is known to have tickets as low as $1 CAD. From there, you can fly from Buffalo to a bigger city before Europe (e.g. with Spirit) or take a bus to NYC. It all depends on how much time you have and what your budget is.


If you chose to go through the USA, Norwegian is a noteworthy airline. How about a couple days exploring the Big Apple? Next, how about you take a couple days to find out why the standard of living is so high in Norway? How does $194 one-way from NYC to Oslo, Norway sound? The catch is that you have to pack light and bring your own food, otherwise you have to pay marginally more for your ticket.



       
Note: Within Europe, your best bet on flight deals is with either Ryanair, WizzAir, or EasyJet. Megabus may also be a worthy low-cost alternative. 
Alright, we're in Europe and the Chicken Cashew Nut is almost ready for us! Below is another screenshot of a flight search from Norwegian Airlines. And again, these costs go up and down, but it's not crazy to assume under $200 from Oslo, Norway to Bangkok, Thailand each way!



I'm starting to get hungry. Let's bring this all together. Here's the proposed itinerary and approximate pricing:


3 continents, 4 countries, 4 cities and under $1,000. For a couple more dollars (literally) you can extend your stay in Europe or Asia. Again, I suggest travel with discount airlines or bus lines.

Sure the above may not represent the most logical path. If you want to squeeze that penny for everything it's worth and don't mind sleeping on a plane here and there, give it a try. It's really not that bad. It's also a great way to check off several different places off the bucket-list and see how people live half way across the world.  Ideally, you want to spend anywhere for 4-7 days in each location, in my opinion.

Assuming that $10 lunch, here's how to trade your lunch for a trip to Thailand:


Lastly, remember that although these deals come and go, travel deals are typically a tradeoff between your time and your money. If you are flexible with your dates and times, than a trip to Thailand for chicken cashew nut is closer than you may think.

*NOTE: The above does not include food, accommodation (try hostels or Couchsurfing), entertainment, buses from/to the airports and any other day-to-day expenses that may occur. Vaccines are also recommended for travel to Thailand. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Movember Means Being Stylish for a Good Cause

Here in the Great White North, Movember seems to have replaced the former November. Although this movement appears to be increasing in popularity in Canada (and apparently worldwide), many of you outside of Canada continue to ask me about the caterpillar crawling on my upper lip.

                                  The Mo @ the Polish Senate.                 The Mo @ UOIT Finance Competition.
The Movember campaign aims to raise awareness and funds for men's health campaigns. This is all while bringing back the stylish moustache. I've added some of the mo-pictures from previous years to this blog post.
                         The Mo on a scenic Katowice background.                                      Mo-bama?
The rules are relatively simple. On November 1st, you start off with a clean slate. On this day, one must shave off all facial hair. Next, you let your 'mo' grow, although you cannot let it connect like a goatee or touch your sideburns. From here, you look good, get attention for the cause and raise some funds along the way. Win, win, win.








Mo Sistas can also contribute by raising funds and by accepting the look for a month. Employers can contribute by participating in a gift matching program.


So with only days left, if you haven't had a chance to contribute yet, here is your chance! I'm growing with Team Tom. Here is where the money goes. Visit our page by clicking here and making a donation. 

Here is Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield with another video.

Shoot me a comment or tweet me

Suns' Marcin Gortat meets the Mo during Raptors' #NBAPolishNight - Movember 2012.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Becoming Worldwide: Getting a Russian Tourist Visa

From my experience, Canadians appear to give off a positive, and seemingly harmless image in the world. We are also quite lucky that we get viewed more positively than the Americans. CNN has gone as far as telling Americans to pretend to be Canadian when traveling.

Here is a video from FlightNetwork on pretending to be Canadian:

Being a Canadian may not be the coolest of things in the world, but it definitely has its perks. Aside from being viewed favourably in most of the world, we can access a good portion of the world with relative ease. Canadians do not require a visa or can travel with a visa upon arrival to 170 countries and territories. Find out more here.

Russia does not fall within the 170 countries and territories and was my first travel experience with a Tourist Visa. I have assembled some tips to make getting a Tourist Visa to Russia a bit less frustrating.


What you need to know:
-A Tourist Visa is good for a maximum of 30 days.
-The Russian Consulate in Toronto is downtown at Bloor St. E. and Church St.
-There are many International Travel Visa Centres that will apply for a Visa on your behalf for a fee. This takes the burden off your hands, but requires some time and patience. If you are simply going to Russia or one country, it is not worth your time and money.
-Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your travel to Russia.
-Your Tourist Visa will be stamped into your passport. Be prepared to give up your passport until the Visa process is complete.
-You will need your a wallet-sized passport photo for your visa. Walmart has on-the-spot photos for an affordable price (~$20.00 CAD).
Source: Cerbanet.org
More of what you need to know:
-Be prepared to disclose when and where you have traveled in the last ten years. Other information that will be required is medical insurance, marital information, information on your parents, work history, other passports you may carry, education, military involvement, training in firearms, nuclear matters, biological or chemical substances, etc.
-You must have your accommodations and flights arranged before you apply for your Tourist Visa. You may have to provide a copy of your accommodation (paid in full) and flight information.
-You will have to write a letter of intent, outlining what you plan to do in Russia, when and where.
-You will be required to provide a stamped copy of an invitation to Russia or a Tourist Voucher.
-You will need to print your Visa application on one double sided sheet.
-You will have to get a money order from your bank or from the post office made out to the Embassy of the Russian Federation. This is the only way to pay for your Tourist Visa. These money orders cost approximately $7.50 CAD.
-You can get your Visa Application Form here.


Difficulties:
-Be warned that even the smallest of mistakes or typos on your application will get rejected. Do not leave the application to the last minute. It took us about 3 weeks and multiple attempts to get the Tourist Visa, despite applying for the expedited, 3 business day service.
-For any troubles or discrepancies with the Consulate or with your hostel or Tourist Voucher Invitation, be prepared to brush up on your Russian. I was not able to get anything accomplished in English.
-Getting the invitation or Tourist Voucher to Russia may be difficult and time consuming. Some hostels will offer this service for you for a price and turnaround time of approximately 2 days. I paid 25 Euro through HM Hostel and Travellers Union Ltd. You can view the application form here.
-Your invitation to Russia or Tourist Voucher form will have both a Reference Number and a Confirmation Number. Your Reference Number will likely have four letters in it, followed by six numbers. Use only the numeric portion of your Reference Number for your Tourist Visa application. Your Confirmation Number should contain five numbers.
-The Tourist Visa application will ask you for type of passport. This can be a bit confusing. If you are a Canadian citizen traveling on your Canadian passport, be sure to select Tourist Passport, and not Official Passport.

Lastly, the government of Canada has some pretty good travel advisory pages that are worth checking out before your departure. The Canadian government's page on Russia warns of terrorism in certain areas, the consumption of homemade alcohol, and suggests a high degree of caution due to crime.

In Russia, there is no such thing as a dull moment. Enjoy the country of mystery!

Monday, April 15, 2013

12 Ways to Glocalize Yourself

Who doesn't want to be the next Mr. Worldwide these days? You can too be both global and local at the same time...Exploring the world is really cool, but it's possible locally...even in Canada! Let me start off by presenting a problem and follow up with the solution...

PROBLEM: I've talked a lot about the fun in exploring culture through travel. As you may know, I've recently been seeking ways to explore for a portion of the regular retail price. Many people continue to ask me how they can get in on the great deals themselves. If you read my previous blog posts, the answer to traveling on a portion of the cost is quite simple. What I've found alarming though is the cluster of excuses that follows finding a deal for someone.



What Canada's capital has to offer on Canada Day.
 Some of what I hear includes:

"But Tom, I don't have enough money to travel."
"You don't get it, Tom. I don't have infinite time to travel like you do."
"Tom, but how do I know what to expect when traveling. I don't know if I should..."
"What about my friends, Tom? What if they don't want to come and travel with me?"
"No, I can't go, Tom...I don't speak the local language."

SOLUTION: Now that I am "all grown up" and have taken a full time "adult job," I have seen myself trying to make these excuses like my peers. I work weird hours and my schedule varies. It got to the point where it was time to stop the problems and pursue the solution.

The bottom line is that it comes down to you personally. If you, for whatever reason, do not want to explore or travel, you will find a reason to justify not doing so (This doesn't mean that you won't have regrets later on). You have to tell yourself that you are 100% open to exploring and stick to that philosophy. Drop the excuses and change your mindset. An open mind, a desire to meet new people and test your personal boundaries. You have to force yourself to want better for yourself. .It's literally that simple. Most people I've met put aside travel, doing cool things or doing what they want, but never actually get to it. JUST DO IT and DO IT NOW! A great post about your mindset, while traveling can be found here.
Murals @ Kensington Market in Toronto.
So you have no $$$? Bologna. You could be less spontaneous and set aside a budget of both time and money in advance, if that's what you prefer. You really do not need much money either. Although, if you're new to exploring, once you set an amount aside for your adventure, you can put some worries of spending too much to rest. For example: Waterloo to Toronto with a GO Bus is only $15.55. Most people say that's where most of the cool stuff is. Once you're there, finding cool people from there is free :).

No time? I work too much? More lame excuses...You definitely have at least 2 days off per week. Worst case, work will likely allow you to take time off for professional development or find an excuse to relate your adventure it back to your job. Conferences or events through professional associations (e.g. the Project Management Insitute - PMI) are a great way to do this. Make plans before and after the conference to explore the city and culture.

Don't know what to expect? Exactly, that's the cool part! Open your mind! See some of what we did to become more open minded when we were hesitant with the G-Club.

No friends? Your friends are being lame? Don't worry, you're not a complete loser! Talk to new people on the train, the bus, the plane, see what others are doing on sites like the ones listed below.

Language barrier? Who cares! Although most places you go know you will find someone who speaks a bit of English. Worst case, print off some basic words, pick up a couple beers, find a hostel and you're guaranteed to make friends. Some of the best times I've had were in countries where I didn't speak the local language, like Greece.

If you're new to this and still hesitant, work on your preparation. If you want to brush up on your Spanish, hit the Internet and check for free language meet-ups. Another option would be to go to a salsa club for a drink and some dancing. Perhaps a Hispanic futbol bar? What about a bite at a Spanish restaurant at College/Bathurst in Toronto? Be creative. Where do the people with similar interests or ones that can help you gather? Go there!
 
                         
 
Now that we've dismissed all of the aforementioned concerns, let's focus on exploring the world at home and glocalizing you!

1) The first way to travel domestically includes Google Flights Explorer , Google Flights or Skyscanner....flight deals within the province or country are rare, but do arise occasionally. Get to know your culture and surroundings. This is a conservative way to transition the way you see exploring.

2) CouchSurfing: I've brought this community up several times now when traveling abroad. There are some cool features on the site that you can use domestically. First, you can host people in your home from around the world. It's a great way to learn about culture first hand and explore your culture with people who likely have significantly different views. Next, CouchSurfing has a newsfeed-type feature on the main page, similar to the one on Facebook. When you select your city, it shows you what local and international Couchsurfers are doing or would like to do in your own neighbourhood. Lastly, your could also find a city nearby and send a Couch Request. Who says that you cannot surf in your own country? This is a good way to meet locals who are also open minded explorers.

3) Wikitravel: Don't know your city? This site provides the basics of what goes on in cities you may want to explore. Here is downtown Toronto's wiki. What about the CBC museum?

4) You can find cheap deals at cool places filled with cool people on sites like LivingSocial, GroupOn, or TeamBuy. You can search for deals in your city and support your local businesses.

5) If you're still a student, check in with your university or college. There are TONS of on-campus clubs and cool people looking to do cool things. I used to be a part of the Polish Club at Conestoga and met many people from other clubs at my school, WLU and UW. You can even find urban running clubs!

6) In-town festivals are cool places to go. Although in Canada most these typically happen in the summer, some festivals do happen during other seasons. Check out Caribana Toronto in the summer or Winterlude Ottawa in the winter.


7) Thrillist: To be honest, I just came across this site as I was writing this post. It seems incredibly cool! What Thrillist claims to do is sift "through the crap" in order to find the cool things in your neighbourhood. This includes divided in five categories: eat, drink, travel, own and more. If you've used this in your city, shoot me some feedback

8) Open your mouth on the bus, on the train...don't listen to what your mother said. Go and talk to strangers! From there, you can figure out whether the conversation is going anywhere. (Shout out to Pippa and Richard from Sheffield who I met on the plane from Manchester). I like what has been going on lately on the TTC...Recently, I got stopped to write a positive and inspirational message on a blanket for a homeless person by these guys.
Volunteering at KW Latinfest.
9) Volunteer. This could be for a festival, professional organization, or a charity. These are all great ways to meet people. You will frequently get discounts to enter the event, it is fun, and you are meeting a ton of people. I recently volunteered with Kitchener-Waterloo Latinfest.

10) Meetup is a great community. It is the largest network of local community groups. You can join Meetup groups or search by local events. I wouldn't advise the singles events, rather language or hobby groups. This is where the coolest people are. For example, I would suggest a. photography, language or sports Meetup. There are many similar sites, such as Party with a Local, but Meetup is the best from my experience.

11) National Parks and nature as an adventure. This is a good way to explore nature in your area. I was surprised at how many cool, outdoor places are close to big cities. Even cities like Oshawa or industrial Hamilton have Provincial parks in their backyard. This is a good way to slow down and take your mind off work. This option is obviously more for those who prefer "me time" over the company of others. This option is also a phenomenal bang for your buck.

12) Streetbank: Don't fret! Your neighbours can be cooler than Homer's neighbour. Instead of hating, get to know your neighbour. Streetbank aims to create greater sustainability through sharing things and skills with your neighbours. If you're new to town, this is also a great way to meet people in your area and find out how they explore. Save the environment and meet cool people!


Remember you and your friends can all get in on the madness and do cool things. The lesson is to get up, drop the excuses and do cool things now! Glocalize yourself and become the next Mr. Worldwide. Over and out. #SharingIsCaring

Tom



                                                                                                              

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Epiphanies, Reflections and the International Conundrum

Another trip is coming to a conclusion. My previous blog explains why I fell off the map for a bit. The Coles Notes include SLP Leadership Development Program, where I met some really cool people, going to the Polish Presidential Palace, visiting the Polish Senate and Parliament, traveling to 11 destinations I have never visited before in Europe, seeing some family, meeting friends from the adventure-seeking and self-improvement focused Gzowski Club, and overall having an amazing time.



I have been fortunate enough to do a fair bit of travel in the last year. In the later part of this trip, especially after my birthday, I did some reflecting and taking it all in. This are some thoughts and revelations that I have had floating around and I thought that I would share:
--> The first epiphany has to do with how much I learned from travel. Traveling forces you to think on your feet and be flexible and this isn't something you can get from books or videos. If you don't adapt, you will either be missing out on opportunity or sleeping on the street somewhere. Sometimes the lessons learned come after travel when reflecting.
--> Do not underestimate the power of your network, especially internationally. Network and network more. You never know who you will meet, where and what it will lead to. One small-scale example is my hostel roommate from Budapest, Stu. He was one of the many people that joined my birthday celebrations, but after leaving early the next morning, I did not connect with him in time and thought I would not see him again. Little did I know that three destinations later in Prague, we would run into each other at hostel reception. It also turns out that we share a friend in Western Canada that I made in college. Incredibly small world!



-->International experiences are ridiculously fun and create life-long friends. Some of my best friends are now scattered around the world. With the power of tools such as Skype and Facebook video chat, everyone is closer and there is no excuse for not keeping in touch and having an international network.
--> Looking to network? There are so many cool ways to do it now. The obvious travel networking can be done at hostelsCouchSurfingAirBnB, conferences, etc. But what about networking with people on the plane, at the bus station, in coffee shops, or even using CouchSurfing further with searching profiles for couches and coffee requests, general posts to specific cities, e.g. Birthday in Budapest and see who comes out. You can learn a lot from these strangers, make them your friends and feel like a local when exploring!
-->Food & drink. This doesn't just mean the superior spirits, beers and night life. The Europeans appear to take hearty, filling meals more seriously. Everywhere I went, I vowed to try at least one traditional meal. In my humble opinion, Hungary had by far the best for food. A nice Hungarian Gulyás with fresh rye bread and chili paste, washed down with a glass of affordable, yet high quality Hungarian wine. McDonald's also played a big role here. Having quick and readily available free access to WIFI, coupled with consistency in food worldwide made this a popular travel stop. (Seriously).



-->Languages. There are so many in Europe (23 official languages) and so many people speak 1, 2 3 or more languages fluently. This opens up a world of opportunity and was a real eye-opener and motivator to get back into the French (at least). Who else is in?
-->I was pretty sick between Poland and Sweden with what I understood as some form of Bronchitis. Despite having full traveler's insurance and attempting to see several public doctors, I ended up paying out of my own pocket to see a private doctor. In short, despite the occasionally long wait times and other minor kinks, I strongly believe that we Canadians should be grateful for our medical system.
-->Clothes. For those of you who are unaware, I am not exactly average sized. Getting clothes and shoes has become a real issue for me, let alone something that looks semi-presentable. Europe had more stylish and readily available clothes for the taller gentlemen. I (literally) bought a birthday suit here. Also, shout out to Maciek the Rocket Scientist for sharing these useful links: Big Clothes, Big Shoes. #TallPeopleProblems #TallPeopleSolutions (Those 2 are freebies for you to tweet!)



--> Taking a complete 180 from the clothes, less is definitely more. Traveling with less material goods and only out of a backpack has forced me to be more resourceful with what I have.
--> European girls...Wow! You will not regretting going and checking them out for yourself!
--> Although this is going to be a generalization, I have seen this firsthand in the countries I've visited across Europe. Europeans appear to care more about culture, self-image, style and put in effort to take care of themselves. This is especially the case in Central and Eastern Europe. These people are also unbelievably hospitable!
--> Many people talk a lot, say they will do the next big thing, yet a lack of action stops them there. Recently, I heard someone say that something executed at 80% completion is better than waiting on a plan to be 100% perfect and never comes to fruition. Lesson: results are important and can only be achieved with actions. JFDI!


THE INTERNATIONAL CONUNDRUM is another trade-off and a term I recently coined about my current situation. With traveling, graduation and everything happening so fast, it's time to make some big decisions. Many people have offered varying and contradictory insights along the way. I have narrowed it down and it comes down to two options or scenarios:

Scenario 1: Travel, volunteer, or attempt to find work overseas.
(+): Get to experience different cultures and how they practice business, challenge myself in various settings, travel and sight-see, life experience, and it's so much cooler.
(-): Potential language barriers, culture shock, opportunity cost of work experience in Canada and Canadian wages, potentially lagging skills if you return years later, these jobs are tough to find for new grads, costly flights or relocation, passports/VISA/paperwork and time to get these papers.

Scenario 2: Find a business-related job somewhere in southwestern Ontario.

(+): The easiest choice, most people do this, Canadian wages, gain experience, kickstarting my career and climb the corporate ladder, likely to lead to an earlier promotion than Scenario 1, be around family and the people you know, fall into a routine.
(-): Youth unemployment in Canada is high, opportunity cost of life experience, missing out on various adventures and travel,most companies want you to grow with the company for years before sending you on international assignments. The problem I see here is that years into the future when I work my way up and grow with the company, I will want to start a family, will want to stay domestically and spend time with them and may live with the regret of not knowing the world travel.

These are my recent reflections as I seek the start to my career. I hope that my food for thought encourages you to share your thoughts. Eat it up or spit it out!


Leave your Feedback below. #SharingIsCaring

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Getting More out of Your Travels


Greetings, friends new and old!

Welcome to my blog. It's been upgraded and is fully functional again. Let me know what you think!

Recently, I've had the pleasure to work with some really cool people through Gzowski Club and been fortunate enough to do some traveling. This included a work term in Europe and more recently a budget Eurotrip that focused on maximizing experience and minimizing costs. Can you imagine flying from Portugal to Toronto for $94 (all incl.) and not being in a baggage container!? There are many cool posts on travel at the club website that I wholeheartedly suggest paroozing though.

Throwing around a Frisbee at the town square in Edinburgh, Scotland.
As time winds down with my undergraduate studies, you may be asking what am I doing next? I have been asking myself that for a while, too. As a soon-to-be BBA: International Business Management graduate, I've been seeking to identify my passions and fit for the future. I will go into this further in a later post, but I will say that I want to be able to grow myself with further education, push myself to experiment, travel, explore new cultures, give back to the community and integrate all of this with my business education. I had SLP brought to my attention, which is a leadership development program funded by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I thought that this was a great opportunity relating to what I was looking for so I applied and got in. As I had such a great time in Europe the last couple times, I have build another Eurotrip around this schooling. Some highlights include a one-way flight to Athens for $274 CAD (all incl). or $3 (plus fees) from Warsaw to Belgium. The trip looks something like this:

2012 Euro-trip #2
Minus Poland, these are all places that I have not visited yet. I am looking for cool places to visit at these stops, places to stay, cool things to try, and to meet cool new people. I am also looking for travel companions, so if you're in the area, make sure to get in touch!

Enough about me...how can you save some money and do some traveling?...I have been approached several times lately and asked how I can pull off going to Europe 3 times within a year, find the time to balance school and score good deals on flights. The short answer is that it's a trade-off between your time and your money. Let me break it down for you...

Firstly, you need a willingness to explore. This may involve leaving your comfort zone. Five star hotels and similar luxuries costs you big money (no revelation here). I recommend using something like Couch Surfing. Yes, you won't have Geoffrey from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air serving you. What you will have is a chance to meet incredible new friends that will likely show you the city, take you in for free, and much more. And the biggest perk isn't that it's for free, but you get to see more than the 'touristy' perspective that typically just scratches the surface. You will likely see that and also the local view, which I've found much more exciting. If you're just starting out and a little hesitant, I recommend using HostelWorld as hostels aren't what you see in the movie Eurotrip. They are also a great way to meet people and find out where you should explore.

On the notes of next steps...Personally, I'd like to figure out a way to make Asia, South America and Africa work in the near future. If you have some stories or ideas, I'd love to hear them.

How to Get More out of Your Travel:
I've assembled some additional tips to help save money and in my opinion increase the fun and exploration in traveling. Remember, it will likely take some time and you may not find exactly what you want on your first try. It's your time versus opening your chequebook to your money.

  • Pack light. Lay out your stuff on your bed. From there, take with you half of the clothes and double the money. Also, bring a tie. It never hurts to be classy.
  • Check out Tripit. It's free and a great tool to keep track of your trip and share with friends. They will take your itineraries and organize them all for you and even sync them with your calendar. They also have a Facebook application.
  • CouchSurfing: I mentioned it above and will mention it again because I think it's one of the coolest things on the internet. I've used it several times and plan to use it again this time around.
  • Google Flights: What doesn't Google have these days? This is a good starting point to compare prices on different departure dates.
  • Discount Airlines: Some of my favourites include Wizz Air, RyanAir, or easyJet. I have found flights for as cheap as $0.33! With the service charge, it came to around $6.00 CAD. When using discount airlines, make sure to check how much checked luggage will add to the price before checking out as some charge more than others. Another reason to pack light! 
  • PolskiBus.com. Their website says, "Fast, Cheap and Comfortable." I would say that this description is bang on. With free Wifi Internet on board and potentially free snacks, this low-cost option in Eastern Europe is something that you should definitely try. 
  • Carpooling.co.uk is the UK version of carpooling.com. I think this one is self-explanatory.
  • Kayak, SkyScanner, OneTravel, are good places to start for cheap flights. Flight Centre does a price-match similar to Expedia on identical flights, but I haven't had a good experience with Expedia. If you do use Expedia, the .com version tends to have better deals.
  • When flying to Europe, AirTransat is a great start for deals. Some of their one-way European deals are even shocking. Check them out here. On the way home, the best prices I've found through Canadian Affair.
  • Although I haven't done it myself (perhaps in the future), some people swear by hitchhiking in Europe.

From Warsaw, PL to Stockholm, SE for 1PLN or ~ $0.33!
I hope that was helpful and I'd love to hear your feedback. Leave a comment, send me a tweet, reach me on Facebook or email or the conventional snail mail is always cool, too. All of these good things can be found on my main page. You take your pick.

Hoping to see you somewhere along the way!