Expert's Advice: Budget Travelling - Interview With Illia and Nastia

18 Feb 2015 by Olga Brighton

Travel Information

Meet our budget travel experts Illia and Nastia, the owners of Crazzzy Travel blog. They are a couple in love who enjoy travelling and have already been to 37 countries across 4 continents. We've asked Nastia and Illia to share their insights on budget travelling and travelling as a couple with you and they gladly agreed to help.

Guys, it was very interesting to follow your blog activity for a while. Was it your passion for travelling that brought you together or was it your love that inspired you to see the world together?

Thanks! It so happened that during the ‘active development’ phase of our relationship Nastia had to go to Sweden to study and we were separated for almost 2 years. Those were really hard times as all our communication was via Skype - not the best option. So when we were finally back together we decided travel would be a great way to tie us together. It worked! :)

When did you realise travelling was more affordable than many think?

Nastia and Illia

Our first real trip was to Asia - Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka. We heard Asia was cheap, but when we were able to travel for 2.5 months for that moderate amount of money we saved we realised travelling is affordable.

Illia, could you share your experience of earning enough for you both travelling?

Illia and Nastia

Yeah. There were two steps for me - first I worked to travel and then, now I work while travelling (although some say it’s hard, I think it’s perfect).

Working to travel means having a bank account you can put money on (and please find a plan with a decent interest rate) and saving money wisely. Every time I got my salary I put all of it on my ‘travel bank account’, and then, when necessary, took some money out of it. So I never knew how much was there, but in the end I was pleasantly surprised.

To work while travelling means you should find a job where people will be OK with you being away as long as you do your job. This includes, but is not restricted to, having a good boss with ‘I don’t care how much and where you work from, as long as you do what you need to do’, and freelancing. I’m doing both at the moment, and feel it works well for me.

Nastia, were there people trying to talk you out of your plan to quit the job and go seeing the world? If yes, what did you answer?

No, that never happened to me. And why not combine your job and permanent travels?

What travel preparation step do you consider the most difficult one and why:

Illia and Nastia

a) Booking tickets, b) Managing accommodation, c) Packing the suitcases, trying not to take everything you have with you, d) Organising travel insurance and other travel documents, e) Other

For us, it’s booking tickets, finding the time and courage to press that button and say ‘no’ to millions of doubts in your head. But in the end, it always pays off with a great adventure, and so far we never missed a flight :).

Guys, would you still dare to become full-time solo travellers if you hadn’t met each other?

Illia: I think, yes. But I would be searching for someone to travel with me, it’s more fun in the long run. Nastia: Definitely, no! I travelled solo before meeting Illia, but it I think for a woman it’s still quite dangerous.

To tell the truth, what destinations wouldn't you recommend visiting? If you could travel back in time would you still have visited those places?

Illia and Nastia

We don’t regret having been to where we’ve been. Even when it was hard (like in India, we both got quite ill), it was important - we now have that priceless knowledge that will help us in a similar situation in future. So far we haven’t been to place we wouldn’t recommend visiting. There’s always a bit of something for everyone.

What is your ultimate and strongest reason towards motivating people to finally start travelling?

We don’t like to see people suffer, so when we see people hate their daily jobs and tell us they wish they were like us, we naturally want to help them. We think it’s some wrong attitude to sit and hate, so we try to prove those people they can do whatever they want. It took a lot of learning for us, so now we’re giving back to the world with what we’ve learned :).

Can you give an example of what to do if you find yourself abroad with no money (e.g. lost, spent, stolen)?

Illia and Nastia

We haven’t been in such a situation, but my answer would be ‘talk to people’. We have friends, who just go knocking at people’s doors and spend weeks living in stranger’s houses, then remember it as the highlights of their trip. People can help get in touch with your relatives, they can send you money via Western Union, or you can call the local representative, embassy, etc. There’s always a way out unless you’re dead.

What was the cheapest country you’ve been to? Would you recommend people to start their travelling career from visiting the cheapest destinations?

India was probably the cheapest, but it was also shocking. We would recommend to visit safe places adapted for tourists - only to have the most pleasant experience possible.

Let’s say you’re in your favourite European country having € 200. Tell us, please, what could you afford and how long would you stay there?

Illia and Nastia

We best answered this question in our ‘How we travel Europe on 3EUR / day’ post. We could be there around 1 month, we could use Blablacar to travel between cities (or even countries), we’d cook our own food, see museums, and of course couchsurf.

In the end, what was the biggest challenge you’ve coped with during your trips? What was the lesson you learned?

It’s hard to find a serious answer to this question, so we’ll say: fighting insects, kicking scorpions out of our room, rehydrating, protecting food from ants and buying plugs to avoid snoring neighbours.

We thank Illia and Nastia for sharing their amazing experience with us and we wish them many more adventures. They are a true inspiration for every couple out there, as they prove that travelling while being in love and making money is not only possible, but can also help you make the most of your life.

Read also: Expert's Advice: Budget Travel - Interview with Norbert Figueroa

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