When you're traveling for an extended period of time, the most important thing to do is to keep a budget, because without a budget, traveling for an extended period of time quickly becomes "traveling for a short period of time and then going home and living with your Mom for a few months while you continue to post old pictures on Facebook to make it seem like you're still out there". But you will still want to visit some of the most expensive destinations in the world, because, let's face it, they're expensive for a reason. Some of the most beautiful places in the world are no longer inaccessible for the budget traveler, there's always a way to get there, you may have to just give up a few things. Unless you're George Clooney (or insert a better reference if you'd like, Cloons is just my go-to for a rich person that likes to travel), you can't spend every night in the Ritz Carlton and dine by candlelight overlooking the Mediterranean Sea for every meal. Plus, candlelight for breakfast? That's just a little decadent, don't you think, George? Give us a break.
The first place we're going to be exploring on our "Ballin' On A Budget" series is Cinque Terre, one of the most beautiful destinations in Europe. Cinque Terre is a six-mile stretch in the Liguria region of Italy containing five gorgeous towns literally built into the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The towns of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corneglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore were, unbelievably, not that popular for tourists as recently as twenty years ago, but the advent of the internet (Damn you, Al Gore!) and the surge of travel writers (Damn you, Rick Steves!) has made it one of the most popular destinations in Italy. Cinque Terre is now officially on the beaten path, and while the beauty is still there, but it is no longer untainted by tourists. And the prices are showing it. With UNESCO now limiting the number of tourists allowed to visit the area, it's about to get even more expensive, so let's see how you can visit Cinque Terre without being the charming prankster who gave us the criminally underrated One Fine Day.
SIDE NOTE: Don't feel like these tips are only for the long-term traveler. If you have been aching to spend a week in Cinque Terre, get out there! Let's just do some planning first.Read More