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A weekly newsletter with four quick bites, edited by Tim Leffel, author of A Better Life for Half the Price and The World’s Cheapest Destinations. See past editions here, where your like-minded friends can subscribe and join you.
The last travel border domino fell yesterday: you can now apply for a visa to travel to China again. The country has been closed for three years solid. If you hurry, you might be able to visit the Great Wall or the Forbidden City without having to share the wonders with a parking lot full of tour buses.
I'm posting this newsletter from the Swiss Alps, where I'm alternating skiing with laptop time in a community space with a snowy mountain view. I've avoided Switzerland for decades because of its reputation for being super-expensive, but the Ski Hostel program offered here is only 800 euros for a week of half-board lodging, skiing at three nearby resorts, airport transfers, and rides to the ski areas from the village. (To put that in perspective, a 4-day lift ticket alone is $896 at Vail.) Or come in warm months and alternate work and hiking with Coliving.Fringue, bunking down in a dorm for as little as 500 euros per month.
Don't forget to bring a towel! While regular hotels and apartment rentals will supply towels, many hostels and co-living spaces will not. Regular towels can take up a lot of room in your bag though, so apart from just buying one locally and leaving it, the best solution is a compact microfiber towel meant for travel. I am using one from Eagle Creek that they no longer make it seems, but other options are available on Amazon from Sea to Summit, Rainleaf, and others.
If you're American, it's probably not news to you that the USA lags nearly every country in the world in the number of paid vacation days for workers. Averaging 10 per person, the country is tied with tiny Naura and barely better than Micronesia (a US territory). At the other end of the scale, the top-10 countries average 42 days or more. According to this map, all European countries grant at least 20 paid leave days. If you're a self-employed nomad whose boss is in the mirror though, how many are you giving yourself?