For some people, traveling abroad involves seeing the best views, having the best food, and getting quality content for your Instagram feed. But for others, travel is an opportunity to reconnect and enrich our spirituality. If your recent travels have been leaving you unfulfilled, it might be time to take change your perspective and consider a faith-based tour!
All around the world, there are different cathedrals, shrines, temples, mosques, and other sites of religious significance that cater to different faiths, but enriching your spirituality doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket. We’re not only here to suggest the best tours for your faith but also provide ways to make it more accessible and budget-friendly for everyone.
Whether you’re a Catholic, Muslim, or Buddhist, there are many affordable tours and pilgrimage packages that will allow you to see the world more richly.
Christians consist of many denominations with different beliefs and practices. Depending on which one you practice, the destinations you choose might differ.
Holy Land Tours are the most famous type of tours directed towards Catholics. Still, people from different religions, including Muslims and Jews, make up a good portion of tourists who visit every year. Some people might choose to follow Jesus’ footsteps and decided on a tour that includes Egypt, Israel, and Jordan, while others might want to focus on a more extensive trip to Israel. Both types of tours allow you to visit many religious sites and see the beautiful scenery that is sure to soothe your soul. Expect a jam-packed trip that is sure to bring you closer to your faith by visiting places like the famous Egyptian Pyramids, the Sphinx, Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bethlehem, and even Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you’re lucky enough to be here during Christmas, the Christian and Armenian quarters of Jerusalem’s old city hold special services and concerts to celebrate.
Other tours cater to different Christian denominations, such as visiting Germany to see key locations like Wittenburg’s Castle Church, Augsburg. Suppose you can get a seat, Oberammergau, to watch the village’s Passion Play that is only performed every 10 years. For those looking for a travel experience that caters specifically to a certain denomination, Mormon vacation cruises are also on the rise.
While Jewish people from all over the world who want to explore their cultural heritage can also visit Israel, they can also choose to embark on their spiritual journey elsewhere by visiting European countries like Amsterdam, a strong Jewish history. Here you can visit the Jewish District, the Portuguese Synagogue, and even the world-famous Anne Frank House. If you happen to be in Amsterdam during Hanukkah, Amsterdam’s Royal Concert Hall hosts an annual concert. The program consists of traditional performances like “Maoz Tzur,” “Al Kol Eleh,” and other numbers.
You can also visit the third biggest synagogue in the world in the heart of Budapest. Built in the 1850s, Dohany Street Synagogue is also the biggest synagogue in Europe. It boasts a complex design that was created and built by three architects. Entrance into the synagogue will give you access to the Jewish Museum, the Heroe’s Temple, the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Park, and the Jewish Cemetery.
Other countries that allow you to explore the history of Jewish communities in Europe include Vienna, Prague, and Berlin.
Muslims can discover the beautiful gems of their history and culture in many European countries like Morocco, Spain, Portugal, and so many more! See landmarks that boast the magnificence of Islamic architecture, such as the Alhambra in Spain, built by the last Muslim rules of the country. You can also make your way to southeastern Europe by visiting Turkey and going to the Ottoman-era Sultanahmet Mosque, famously known as the Blue Mosque.
One important factor to consider is that the tour is “halal” or “permissible or lawful.” Halal tours ensure that the accommodations you are staying in and the places and restaurants you visit are geared towards abiding by Islam’s rules.
Traveling on a Budget
If you’ve already decided on your destination, your next steps are booking the flights and accommodations. Planning where you want to go on the same month you want to leave is a recipe for disaster. Not only will flights be harder to book, but they’ll also be more expensive. When planning vacations, consider booking flights months in advance and opt for leaving during the “low season”- the time of the year when fewer people are visiting the country, making flights and accommodation cheaper. This also applies to booking accommodations like hotels, inns, or Airbnb’s; the earlier you book, the more you’ll save.
Any trip can involve physical risk, and spending a fortune on medical expenses in a country away from home is the last thing you’d want to happen on your vacation. Travel insurance can cover medical insurance, trip cancellations, delays, lost luggage, death, and other circumstances that are generally out of your control.
It will help you save on money in the long-run for any “what if” situations that could happen and protect the budget you’ve allotted for your trip abroad.
Avoid Unnecessary Spending
If you don’t need it, don’t get it. Whenever possible, avoid gift shops and shopping, especially for things you don’t need. Most souvenirs end up forgotten or in a random drawer in your home, but if you decide to get a souvenir, get one. It’s more than enough to remind you of your trip, and besides, you’ve probably taken enough pictures to last you a lifetime.
This applies to food too. If you’re on a budget, street food and hole-in-the-walls are the way to go, not fancy restaurants. Not only will it save you money, but you’ll better experience the culture and cuisine of a country this way. For breakfast, you can even choose to opt for convenience store food instead of paying for breakfast at your hotel.
Get an All-In Package
If you don’t want the stress that comes with keeping track of price drops for flights, planning how you’re going to get to the places you want to go, getting travel insurance, and want to have a stress-free vacation, opt for getting an all-in tour package. Many sites online offer packages that include airfare, land arrangements for you to get from one landmark to another, accommodation, and even meals.
With these destinations and tips, we’re sure that you’ll be able to enjoy a spiritual trip filled with rich experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime, without breaking the bank.