by Janet Doré | The Wandering Ex-Housewife
I’ve had a chronic case of wanderlust from the moment I licked a real Italian gelato while gazing at the Cinque Terre. Even back in my executive wife days, 5-star was not my travel style. Give me two frugal adventures over one luxury vacation any day. Today, I am a single woman and single mom who is, by necessity, singularly focused on finding different ways to travel cheaply.
I have Paulo Magalhaes to thank for one way I can travel without spending more than $5 or taking any time off work.
Back in 2005, Paulo took a classic concept, brushed it off, and breathed new life into it. Remember the pen pal projects you did back in elementary school? If you were lucky, you got to write to a mystery kid in some exotic far off land. If you were really lucky, you kept up the writing and became real friends.
Postcrossing.com gives today’s adults a venue for finding a pen pal – and it’s one of many ways to travel cheaply. Okay, it’s virtual travel, but it has some cool perks for avid travelers:
- It's a fun and interesting way to research unique places for your next travel adventure.
- It's a fabulous way to meet people around the world that will very likely be open to giving you free local travel advice - either in writing or maybe in person (rumor has it a marriage was born of a single postcrossing postcard!).
- In this day of emails and e-cards, there's something special about opening your mailbox and finding an old fashion handwritten picture postcard.
- You get to see lots of cool stamps.
At the very moment I wrote this, Postcrossing had 607,198 users from 211 countries. And, they've been extremely busy sending a total of 34,143,549 postcards! By the time you’re reading this, I guarantee you it will be more.
Here’s how it works:
1. Create an account at Postcrossing.com.
2. Request an address and a "Postcard ID."
3. Find an extra cool postcard from your hometown (or some place you've visited).
4. Wait like an excited kid for your postcard to come from some random place in the world!
Postcrossing is just one of several creative ways to travel cheaply that I’ve discovered over the years. If you’re wanting more, check out my Travel Cheap Tips on TheWanderingHousewife.com.
Thanks to my fellow budget traveler, Karen, for sharing my passion and my budget travel tips!