trips http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10134/all en-US 9 Affordable Travel Items That You Shouldn't Leave Home Without http://www.wisebread.com/9-affordable-travel-items-that-you-shouldnt-leave-home-without <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-affordable-travel-items-that-you-shouldnt-leave-home-without" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_grass_camera_510619646.jpg" alt="Couple not leaving home without affordable travel items" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel budget</a> can easily get busted just from buying things <em>for</em> your trip. That said, there are certain things you just shouldn't leave home without. If you pack a few smart items that will give you the most bang for your buck, you can enjoy your trip with the right stuff on hand &mdash; and enough money left in your budget for your actual trip.</p> <h2>1. Memory Cards</h2> <p>Chances are if you're going on a trip, you're going to want to bring your camera. Running out of space on your <a href="http://amzn.to/2jaQUiE" target="_blank">memory cards</a> can be a big bummer when you're on the go and just about to capture the perfect shot. You'll burn through memory especially fast if you're taking videos, so it's better to go prepared and have at least one high capacity SD memory card, plus one extra, just in case.</p> <h2>2. Travel Cubes</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2jvOGhv" target="_blank">Travel cubes</a> are an easy way to pack your bag. These little compartments let you pack and unpack everything with ease. You can group your clothes, toiletries, and shoes all separately, so you don't have to worry about emptying your entire bag just to find one item buried at the bottom. They work well for backpacks, too.</p> <h2>3. Universal Plug Adapters</h2> <p>A <a href="http://amzn.to/2jaOVuC" target="_blank">universal adapter</a> is a packing essential if you're planning to travel to foreign countries, because outlets fit different sized plugs depending on where in the world you are. Some countries even use two different sized plugs.</p> <h2>4. Luggage Scale</h2> <p>When you're packing your bags for a trip, a few extra pounds make a big difference. If you show up at the airport with a bag over the airline's allowed weight limit, you could be charged up to hundreds of dollars in overweight bag fees.</p> <p>With a handy and <a href="http://amzn.to/2jm96VO" target="_blank">portable luggage scale</a>, you never have to worry about guesstimating how much your bag weighs. You can know for sure.</p> <h2>5. TSA Master Lock</h2> <p>It's a good precaution to lock your bag shut. Of course, if you're flying you'll need a lock approved by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. The proper <a href="http://amzn.to/2jaGM9O" target="_blank">TSA lock</a> will ensure you get through security checkpoints.</p> <h2>6. Leather Passport Case</h2> <p>You know you need to bring your passport when you're traveling, and it's smart to get a case to protect it from wear and tear. Get a <a href="http://amzn.to/2i6QRaX" target="_blank">leather case</a> that blocks the rare thief armed with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) reader from scanning personal information on the RFID chip in your passport.</p> <h2>7. Travel Bottles</h2> <p>We're all attached to our specific brand of products. Get the proper sized <a href="http://amzn.to/2iWPg6w" target="_blank">travel bottles</a> and fill them up before your trip.</p> <h2>8. Solar Panel Charger</h2> <p>Solar panel technology is still growing, so it's interesting to see the gear that's now being aimed at travelers. If you're going camping off the grid, a <a href="http://amzn.to/2jaO9OB" target="_blank">solar panel rechargeable battery</a> could be a great way to charge your phone and other electronics you can't do without.</p> <h2>9. Water Filtration Systems</h2> <p>Depending on what type of trip you're going on, having a way to purify your water may not only save you from buying bottled water, but it could also get you out of a tough situation. <a href="http://amzn.to/2iwPIWi" target="_blank">Water filtration systems</a> are particularly useful if you're planning on doing any overnight hiking and you want to be sure you're drinking water that's safe for human consumption.</p> <p>Happy shopping and happy travels.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-affordable-travel-items-that-you-shouldnt-leave-home-without&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%20Affordable%20Travel%20Items%20That%20You%20Shouldnt%20Leave%20Home%20Without.jpg&amp;description=9%20Affordable%20Travel%20Items%20That%20You%20Shouldnt%20Leave%20Home%20Without" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Affordable%20Travel%20Items%20That%20You%20Shouldnt%20Leave%20Home%20Without.jpg" alt="9 Affordable Travel Items That You Shouldn't Leave Home Without" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-affordable-travel-items-that-you-shouldnt-leave-home-without">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-pack-for-vacation">5 Things You Should Never Pack for Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-save-on-travel-gear">7 Easy Ways to Save on Travel Gear</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-flying-easy-the-ultimate-carry-on-packing-list">Make Flying Easy: The Ultimate Carry-On Packing List</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Travel electronics gear luggage packing passports solar panels trips tsa vacations water Thu, 26 Jan 2017 11:00:07 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1871130 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_beach_vacation_538041934.jpg" alt="Woman finding simple ways to save on hotels" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Booking the right accommodations can make or break your stay &mdash; and your travel budget. So once you've taken the time to carefully research your hotel for your next trip, make sure you secure a good room and rate during your booking. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">25 Hotel Booking Tips From Professional Travelers</a>)</p> <h2>1. Use Rewards Programs</h2> <p>By now, you've probably realized that you should always be earning frequent flyer miles when you fly, but did you know this is also true for hotels? Many major hotel brands such as Hilton and Hyatt offer free loyalty rewards programs that let you accumulate points toward free nights just by staying at properties within their chain. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Breakdown of the Best Hotel Rewards Programs</a>)</p> <p>If you don&rsquo;t want to be tied down to one particular hotel chain, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-online-booking-sites?ref=internal" target="_blank">online booking sites</a> often have their own rewards programs that allow you to accumulate points and earn rewards by purchasing travel through them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-known-trick-to-getting-exclusive-travel-discounts-and-rewards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Little Known Trick to Getting Exclusive Travel Discounts</a>)</p> <h2>2. Earn Elite Status</h2> <p>There's nothing complicated about earning elite status with a specific chain of hotels. To start, you'll want to focus on one chain of hotels that you like and book there consistently.</p> <p>However, you can speed up the process by using a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-free-hotel-status-upgrades?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card that gives you elite status</a>. Some give you a status boost just for being a cardmember. With others, you&rsquo;ll need to spend a certain amount on the card before you get elite status.</p> <p>Having elite status can get you perks like free breakfast, upgrades, Wi-Fi, bonus points, and welcome gifts. Be sure to mention your status when you complete the booking and inquire about special accommodations or amenities that may be available to you.</p> <h2>3. Take Advantage of Status Match</h2> <p>If you have earned a certain status with one hotel brand, you may be able to leverage this with other chains as well. Call another brand and find out if they will match your status. To qualify for some status match programs, you will have to provide documentation proving your status with the first hotel chain.</p> <p>Keep in mind that if you've used credit card spending to reach an elite status, this may not qualify you for elite status with another hotel brand.</p> <h2>4. Book Directly &mdash; By Phone</h2> <p>It may sound simple, but many people are hesitant to contact the hotel directly, especially in the Internet age where most bookings are done online. People have become accustomed to doing everything from their computers, but sometimes to get the best deal you actually have to call the hotel to book your stay. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Easiest Way to Negotiate a Hotel Room Rate</a>)</p> <p>First, you'll need to do your homework to get an idea of the going rate online. Then call the hotel directly. Ask the reservationist to give you a better deal than what you found with a third-party booking site.</p> <p>Almost all hotels prefer you to book directly with them, since it saves them from paying a commission to an online booking website. Use this to your advantage and ask that they throw in an extra perk for booking directly, like a complimentary upgrade, a room with a view, or another incentive such as free early check-in or late check-out.</p> <h2>5. Communicate Early About Special Occasions</h2> <p>Always inform the hotel if you'll be celebrating any occasion during your stay. Hotels will usually try to accommodate with a free upgrade, and if you're visiting them during your honeymoon they may even throw in a welcome gift like champagne to show their appreciation for your business.</p> <p>Ideally, you should inform the hotel of your special occasion while you're making the booking, but it doesn't hurt to remind them while you're checking in.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">How to Stay in a 5 Star Hotel for Less Than the Cost of a Motel</a></p> <h2>6. Take Advantage of Last-Minute Deals</h2> <p>In general, it&rsquo;s best to reserve your room in advance. But if you have to book at the last minute, you can sometimes do so without having to pay top dollar. Websites like <a href="https://www.roomertravel.com" target="_blank">Roomer</a> and <a href="https://www.cancelon.com/" target="_blank">Cancelon</a> can help you secure a reduced rate from last-minute hotel cancellations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hotel-room-booking-tools-every-frugal-traveler-should-know?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Hotel Room Booking Tools Every Traveler Should Know</a>)</p> <h2>7. Use Coupons</h2> <p>Coupons can really reduce the cost of your booking, especially when you're booking a package or last-minute stay. Sites like <a href="https://www.groupon.com/" target="_blank">Groupon</a> are especially good for last-minute deals.</p> <p>See Also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></p> <h2>8. Cash in Airline Miles to Buy Rooms</h2> <p>Have you been racking up thousands of airline miles that you&rsquo;re not sure how to use? You may be able to cash them in to pay for hotel rooms. Many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit cards</a> allow you to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-hotels?ref=internal" target="_blank">transfer points to hotel programs</a>, which you can then use to pay for your booking.</p> <h2>9. Write a Review for a Future Booking</h2> <p>Did you know you can earn a commission toward a future booking with <a href="https://www.yonderbound.com/" target="_blank">Yonderbound</a>? All you have to do is write a review on the Yonderbound website after your stay. Then, when someone books a stay at the property after reading your review, you can earn 70% of the website's commission, which works out to about 10% of the booking&rsquo;s list price.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%20Simple%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Hotel%20Stays.jpg&amp;description=9%20Simple%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Hotel%20Stays" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Simple%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Hotel%20Stays.jpg" alt="9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore">Does It Make Sense to Stay in a Hotel Anymore?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodations airline miles booking coupons elite status hotels rewards programs status match trips vacations Tue, 24 Jan 2017 10:30:36 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1871078 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time http://www.wisebread.com/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_plane_phone_522472058.jpg" alt="Woman making costly flight booking mistakes all the time" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you travel for pleasure or for business, buying a plane ticket can be a significant travel expense. And there's no reason to spend more than you have to. However, there are some common mistakes you may not even realize are costing you extra money. Recognize them, and start saving on your next booking.</p> <h2>1. Revealing Your Browsing History</h2> <p>If you haven't been searching for flights in incognito mode, or at the very least clearing your Internet browser's cache, you may be spending more on flights than you should. That's because flight booking sites often use technology that tracks what its customers (<em>you</em>) have been browsing.</p> <p>That means they know when you've looked at a flight multiple times. Rather than lowering the price to lure you to a final sale, they may raise the price to encourage you to buy before the price goes any higher. You can easily remedy this by browsing in incognito mode or clearing your cache, saving anywhere from $50&ndash;$200 in some cases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-sneaky-online-price-changes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Avoid Sneaky Online Price Changes</a>)</p> <p>Next time, don't get tricked into buying a ticket that's too expensive. Clear your cache first and buy your ticket second.</p> <h2>2. Buying Your Ticket From a Booking Site</h2> <p>Search engines that aggregate flights from a variety of airlines can be a great resource when you're trying to find the cheapest flight (see tip number eight for a great search engine). However, you need to be aware that some third party bookers will charge you an extra booking fee &mdash; which you can avoid by booking your flight directly through the airline's website.</p> <p>Some small and more obscure airlines may not have a website, in which case you can either call or shop around for a third party booker that doesn't have these fees.</p> <p>Even if the booking engine doesn't list a fee separately in the price breakdown, it may still be jacking the price up. It's always a good idea to refer back to the airline's listing of the flight and make sure that you're buying it from the least expensive website. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-secrets-to-getting-the-lowest-rate-from-travel-websites?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Secrets to Getting the Lowest Rate From Travel Websites</a>)</p> <h2>3. Booking to Fly on a More Expensive Day</h2> <p>Another common mistake that people make is forgetting to check flexible dates. Different days of the week usually offer different fares. For example, flights leaving the U.S. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are the least expensive days to fly, according a study by Fare Compare.</p> <p>If your schedule is adjustable and you're not checking flexible dates, you're probably paying more than you should for your ticket. Prices can vary wildly from day to day for the exact same flight.</p> <h2>4. Flying Into a More Expensive Airport</h2> <p>Some airports cost more to fly into than others, depending on taxes and airport fees. If you're flying into the most expensive airport, you're going to be spending more money on your plane ticket than you have to, and the same is true with respect to the airport you're flying <em>out </em>of.</p> <p>For example, the United Kingdom has an Air Passenger Duty (APD) of $90 for one adult economy traveler to fly out on a long haul flight. If you have the time, it's cheaper to book a short haul flight (with an APD of $16) to a place like Dublin or Paris, then book your long haul from there.</p> <p>In general, it pays to be aware of what your departure and destination airports are charging you to take off or land there. It may require some digging around to find these fees, but doing so could save you money on fees associated with your departure and destination airports, and even those where you have a layover.</p> <h2>5. Forgetting Your Airline Rewards Points</h2> <p>If you travel infrequently, or are a member of a lot of airline rewards programs, it may be easy to forget those piles of frequent flyer miles you've accumulated through flights or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card airline rewards</a> programs. The last thing you want to do is let a hefty rewards stash expire simply because you forgot about it. Whether you use a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps?ref=internal" target="_blank">rewards-tracking website</a> or an old-fashioned spreadsheet, it pays to keep track of your rewards points and expiration dates. Getting organized can prevent you from missing out on opportunities for free travel. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Ways to Use Credit Card Rewards to Get Free Trips</a>)</p> <h2>6. Missing Out on the Best Sales</h2> <p>How can you find out about the best deals on airfare? Airlines almost always have an email newsletter where they will announce their sales, but if you're not subscribed, you're likely missing out on these deals.</p> <p>It doesn't cost you anything to subscribe to airline emails, and it could save you a lot the next time you're ready to book a ticket.</p> <h2>7. Buying Your Ticket Too Early or Too Late</h2> <p>How early or late you buy your ticket can affect how much you pay as well. According to studies by CheapAir, the best time to book domestic airfare in the U.S. is about eight weeks in advance of your trip. If you can't be that exact, at least try to book within a window of 21&ndash;112 days before your flight, which is when tickets will be at their lowest prices.</p> <p>There's some hype about being able to grab last-minute cheap tickets, but this usually has to do with a quirky sale &mdash; so it's nothing you should count on if you've been planning your trip for a while.</p> <h2>8. Using the Wrong Search Engine</h2> <p>When it comes to paying less for a flight, using the right search engine is a must to ensure you're getting the best prices. You can use the free <a href="https://matrix.itasoftware.com/" target="_blank">ITA Matrix</a>, which has been rebuilt on Google technology, to take advantage of the same software that travel agents often use to book you a flight. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use</a>)</p> <p>Booking flights can be a costly endeavor, but there are plenty of ways to save money and make sure you're getting the best price on the market. See how much money you can save using these tips.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%20Costly%20Flight%20Booking%20Mistakes%20You%20Make%20All%20the%20Time.jpg&amp;description=8%20Costly%20Flight%20Booking%20Mistakes%20You%20Make%20All%20the%20Time" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Costly%20Flight%20Booking%20Mistakes%20You%20Make%20All%20the%20Time.jpg" alt="8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-known-ways-to-save-when-booking-spring-travel">6 Little-Known Ways to Save When Booking Spring Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Smart Travel Hacks Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-affordable-travel-items-that-you-shouldnt-leave-home-without">9 Affordable Travel Items That You Shouldn&#039;t Leave Home Without</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap">6 Ways to Get College Kids Home for the Holidays for Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel Airfare airports booking browsing history flights flying hacks rewards miles search engines tickets trips vacations Mon, 09 Jan 2017 10:00:09 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1865343 at http://www.wisebread.com The Frugal Colonizer's Guide to Getting to Mars http://www.wisebread.com/the-frugal-colonizers-guide-to-getting-to-mars <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-frugal-colonizers-guide-to-getting-to-mars" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/astronaut_mars_office_19963703.jpg" alt="Frugal colonizer trying to get to Mars" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you want to take a trip to Mars?</p> <p>For many people, such a journey would be the thrill of a lifetime. But there's no indication that an average person can currently shell out the billions of dollars it would take to get there.</p> <p>However, there are people working every day on the concept of commercial space flight, and it's possible that one day, such interplanetary trips will be financially achievable even for middle class folks. Famed entrepreneur and inventor Elon Musk recently said he'd like to see the price of a Mars trip drop to about $200,000.</p> <p>Of course, that's still a big chunk of change. But with sensible financial planning, it's a plausible figure even for someone who's not filthy rich.</p> <p>Let's take a look at how an Average Joe might be able to accumulate $200,000 for a trip to Mars.</p> <h2>Save and Wait</h2> <p>Elon Musk didn't give an indication of <em>when </em>the $200,000 price tag might be in place. So let's assume that it's far out in the future. This gives you time to begin saving now and accumulate wealth over time. $200,000 isn't an amount that can be saved overnight, but over the course of, say, 25 years, it's achievable. If you put away just $250 per month and invest in the general stock market, earning about 7% per year, you'll have about $200,000 a quarter century from now, assuming inflation remains low.</p> <h2>Save More and Wait Less</h2> <p>So you don't want to wait 25 years? Fine. That means you'll have to find ways to save more and accumulate $200,000 in a shorter span of time. Assuming the typical 7% market return on investments, it will take about $650 a month to reach your goal in 15 years. To do it in 10 years, you'll need to save about $1,200 per month. It's possible to invest more aggressively and earn money faster, but you also run a greater risk of losing money or falling short of your goal.</p> <h2>Go Full Monk</h2> <p>So let's say you have a middle class salary but don't want to wait at all. You make about $50,000 a year, but want to go in the next five years or so. Well, sounds like it's time to practice living on Mars by cutting out just about every luxury in your life. Move in with your parents to save on rent, or downsize into a tiny house. Ditch your car and get a bus pass. Never eat out. For entertainment, go on long hikes and read books from the library. If Mars is your goal, you need to act like you're practically already there by living on the bare necessities.</p> <h2>Sell Your Story</h2> <p>If you can't afford to take the trip on your own, maybe there's someone who will pay you to tell the story of how you got to Mars. Maybe there's a book deal to be had, or a reality television show. Maybe you could start a blog and sell some ads on it. Why spend your own money when someone else can handle the expense?</p> <h2>Fund It on Kickstarter</h2> <p>It's highly doubtful many people will raise money online for your trip to Mars. But if you turn your trip into an unselfish venture, it might generate some donations, perhaps through a platform like Kickstarter or GoFundMe. For example, you might promise to perform certain kinds of scientific research, or raise awareness for a cause.</p> <h2>Get Sponsorships</h2> <p>Many people climb Mount Everest and do other big expeditions with the support of companies who like the exposure. Your trip to Mars may be highly publicized, so you can trade your potential visibility for cash to help pay for the trip. This might mean you have to travel in a spacesuit with GoDaddy or Red Bull on the back, but it will be worth it for a trip to the red planet.</p> <h2>Sell Mars Artifacts</h2> <p>People will pay big bucks for items from Mars. Rocks. Dirt. Jars of red dust. It can all be for sale if you can find a way to bring it back to Earth. Surely, there may be restrictions on what you can take from Mars, but if the Apollo astronauts brought back moon rocks, you could probably get away with snatching a Mars rock or two. Under this scenario, you'd probably need someone to front you the money and agree to be paid back later when you earn cash from your Mars artifacts.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-frugal-colonizers-guide-to-getting-to-mars&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%20Frugal%20Colonizers%20Guide%20to%20Getting%20to%20Mars.jpg&amp;description=The%20Frugal%20Colonizers%20Guide%20to%20Getting%20to%20Mars" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Frugal%20Colonizers%20Guide%20to%20Getting%20to%20Mars.jpg" alt="The Frugal Colonizer's Guide to Getting to Mars" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-frugal-colonizers-guide-to-getting-to-mars">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-money-management-tips-from-john-oliver">7 Best Money Management Tips From John Oliver</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-biggest-lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-money">The 10 Biggest Lies We Tell Ourselves About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-personal-finance-rules-you-should-be-breaking">15 Personal Finance Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Entertainment Travel commercial space flight investing Mars saving trips Mon, 31 Oct 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Tim Lemke 1822946 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Travel When You Have Student Loans http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-travel-when-you-have-student-loans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-travel-when-you-have-student-loans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_backpack_travel_87628739.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to travel while paying student loans" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Student loans are a reality for millions of recent graduates and even some of us who have been out of school for a while. Americans alone have <a href="https://commonbond.co/blog/average-student-loan-debt-and-student-loan-refinancing/">1.36 trillion dollars</a> of student loan debt. That's second only to U.S. mortgage debt.</p> <p>Don't worry! There are plenty of ways to manage your student debt and continue doing what you love. With these tips, you can get out and spend your time traveling while making all of your payments on time!</p> <h2>1. Take a Look at Your Loans Before You Go</h2> <p>Getting ready for a big trip is actually a very good time to re-evaluate your student loans (and the rest of your finances), especially because it has the potential to save you a lot of money. By <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-refinance-your-student-loan">refinancing your student loans</a> you could save thousands. That's because you may be able to get a better APR, and you can also change the terms of your loan so that your monthly payment feels more manageable.</p> <p>Even a small difference in the interest rate can make a big difference over the time that you're paying off your loan. With <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-private-lenders-that-can-really-save-you-money-on-your-student-loans">online lenders like CommonBond</a>, you can get an APR starting as low as 2.14%. It only takes minutes to fill out the application, and you're under no obligation to change your loan once you get your free quote.</p> <p>That cash you're saving can easily go into your travel fund!</p> <h2>2. Consider Consolidating Your Loans</h2> <p>This second tip is closely linked to the first, since in the process of refinancing your loans, you may also want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-s-the-difference-between-student-loan-refinancing-and-consolidation">consolidate your loans</a>. This means that if you have multiple student loans, instead of paying, let's say, three separate bills every month, you can combine all of your existing loans into one.</p> <p>Consolidating your loans will help to simplify the payment process for you and reduce the time you spend every month administering and worrying about your loan payments.</p> <p>This is an especially important point for people planning to travel, since you're already going to have a lot of logistics to keep straight. The simpler you can keep your loan payments, the better.</p> <h2>3. Put Things in Perspective &mdash; And Into Your Budget!</h2> <p>It can be paralyzing to think about the total amount of money that you owe, especially if you know you're going to be spending the next 20 years of your life paying it off.</p> <p>It's more helpful to put things in perspective, so once you've refinanced your loans and you have a manageable monthly payment, treat that like you would any other monthly bill that you have to pay.</p> <p>Take it on a month-to-month basis and you won't feel as limited by the amount of money that you owe. When you're making your travel budget, simply factor in the monthly payment that you'll be making into your overall budget for the time you'll be traveling, and set aside that money before you go. That way, you won't feel like you have to scramble for funds at the last minute.</p> <h2>4. Start a Travel Fund</h2> <p>Figure out how much money you can commit to setting aside for travel every month. Then you can set up an automatic transfer into a special bank account that is dedicated just to travel expenses. Even if you're only putting in a few hundred dollars a month, you'll be surprised at how fast these funds can add up over time.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=travel">Best Credit Cards for College Students</a></p> <h2>5. Create a Realistic Budget</h2> <p>You should think about how you like to travel and be honest with yourself. Frugal travel is not for everyone, so you should consider what your priorities are; maybe you will be just as satisfied going on a shorter trip and putting more emphasis on higher-end accommodations and fancy restaurant meals.</p> <p>If these types of comforts or luxuries don't matter to you, you can probably get by with a smaller budget, but on a longer trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/savor-your-trip-and-save-big-with-these-5-slow-travel-tips">Save Big With These Slow Travel Tips</a>)</p> <p>Budgeting is all about striking a balance that works best for you while being realistic about how much you can afford to spend on your trip. By weighing these decisions before you leave, you'll eliminate a lot of money-related stress so that you can just enjoy your trip, knowing that you've already budgeted in the funds to cover your student loans.</p> <h2>6. Earn Extra Money for Travel</h2> <p>You're probably already getting excited to go, so if you want to speed up the process you can always consider earning a little extra money to cover your travel expenses.</p> <p>It's up to you what skills you have and what kind of work you enjoy, but maybe you want to consider getting a second part-time job and putting the money you earn right into your travel account!</p> <p>Depending on your professional skill set, you can also consider taking on some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">freelance gigs</a>, since they can be very flexible and add a little something extra to your normal paycheck. While you'll have less free time, this also means less time to be out spending money which can be a big help when you're trying to save money. There are also ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-while-you-travel">make money while you&rsquo;re traveling</a>.</p> <h2>Don't Let Debt Stop You</h2> <p>There's no reason to let student debt paralyze you, and there are simple steps you can take if you're passionate about traveling. It will take a bit of good strategy, combined with some hard work and a proper execution of your plan, but if you're willing to put in the time you can really reap the rewards on your next trip (and even at home).</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-to-travel-when-you-have-student-loans&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Ways%20to%20Travel%20When%20You%20Have%20Student%20Loans.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20to%20Travel%20When%20You%20Have%20Student%20Loans" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ways%20to%20Travel%20When%20You%20Have%20Student%20Loans.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-travel-when-you-have-student-loans">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-your-student-debt-faster">5 Ways to Pay Off Your Student Debt Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-student-loans-from-ruining-your-life">How to Stop Student Loans From Ruining Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-trumps-presidency-might-change-student-loans">How Trump&#039;s Presidency Might Change Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-private-lenders-that-can-really-save-you-money-on-your-student-loans">3 Private Lenders That Can Really Save You Money on Your Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-ignore-these-4-things-before-refinancing-your-student-loans">Don&#039;t Ignore These 4 Things Before Refinancing Your Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Travel APR budgeting consolidation debt refinancing strategy student loans travel funds trips Mon, 22 Aug 2016 10:00:13 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1775891 at http://www.wisebread.com Does It Make Sense to Stay in a Hotel Anymore? http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_hammock_beach_000031567486.jpg" alt="Couple wondering if it makes sense to stay in a hotel" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Staying in a hotel isn't necessarily the cheapest option, especially when you're staying in a big city, like New York City. However, before you book that apartment on Airbnb, you should consider the various advantages of staying in a hotel.</p> <h2>Discounts Are Available</h2> <p>Airbnb is <a href="https://www.busbud.com/blog/airbnb-vs-hotel-rates/">not always the cheapest option</a>. Depending on where you stay, it may actually be more affordable to book a hotel. It can be very affordable to stay at a hotel using discounts, promo codes, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">hotel loyalty programs</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">credit card reward programs</a>, and express deals on bidding sites. While you may be able to get a promo code for your very first day on Airbnb, there generally aren't any promo codes available for short-term rentals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources?ref=seealso">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a>)</p> <h2>You Can Complain</h2> <p>When you have a complaint at a hotel, all you have to do is call down to the lobby and let them know. If you want to take it one step further, you can ask to speak with a manager. This will usually result in discounts, upgrades, and just about whatever you ask for.</p> <p>When it comes to Airbnb, there is really nobody to complain to. If you are unhappy with your stay, you're stuck there anyways. At the end of your trip, if things don't go as planned, you may get a full or partial refund on your stay at a hotel. However, if you're booking a short-term rental, you likely won't get a discount.</p> <h2>You Only Have to Deal With Professionals</h2> <p>With Airbnb, you will likely have to deal with the hosts &mdash; before you book your trip and throughout your stay. Some hosts can be less than welcoming or accommodating. At a hotel, your interaction with hotel staff should be minimal, and they are expected to act in a professional, corporate manner.</p> <h2>You Can Enjoy Special Extras</h2> <p>You can expect a number of special extras when you stay at a hotel. These same extras aren't usually included in a short-term rental stay. Some of the most common extras you can often receive from a hotel include:</p> <ul> <li>Free soaps and shampoos (so you don't have to waste your own);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Endless clean towels and linen;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Special treatment on special occasions (let them know if it's your birthday, honeymoon, or anniversary so that they go the extra mile for your trip);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Fitness room or spa;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Business center;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hotel bar or restaurant;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Continental breakfast or buffet.</li> </ul> <h2>Hotels May Be Cleaner</h2> <p>We've all heard the horror stories of black light findings and rumors of how filthy hotel rooms can be. However, have you considered how clean an Airbnb apartment may be? The owners aren't held to any standards, so you may be sleeping in a bed with dirty linen or using old towels.</p> <p>At a hotel, you can expect daily housekeeping, whereas with Airbnb, you're on your own to make the bed, empty the trash, and clean up after yourself. This can result in a tidy hotel versus an unkempt and unorganized Airbnb apartment.</p> <h2>Hotels May Be Safer</h2> <p>When it comes to a hotel, only the front desk and housekeeping should have a key to your room, so you can rest assured that no one should be coming in at night. On the other hand, with Airbnb, you have no idea how many people have the key to the apartment you're staying in, which may might you feel uneasy at night. Hotels also usually have security on the premises, security cameras, computerized door entry cards, and even room safes for enhanced security.</p> <h2>Hotels Are More Relaxing</h2> <p>Staying at a hotel feels more like a vacation from everyday life. It is a break from the normal daily grind. On the other hand, staying in someone's home on Airbnb may feel more like staying at home, with similar responsibilities.</p> <h2>Flexible Stays</h2> <p>You can book a hotel room for as little as one night, whereas with Airbnb, you usually have to book multiple nights. If you are expecting a late night arrival, a hotel is usually very flexible with the check-in time, whereas an Airbnb apartment usually has early check-in times that cannot be negotiated.</p> <h2>Local Assistance</h2> <p>Many avid travelers have made the case for Airbnb that staying in someone's home will allow you to find local favorites and get expert recommendations from your host. However, you can get the same experience from a hotel. Simply ask the concierge for recommendations, directions, and advice about the area. Staying in a downtown or metro area will also automatically put you in touch with some of the best things the area has to offer.</p> <h2>You Get What You Pay For</h2> <p>If you don't get what you see in the hotel's description, you can simply complain and they'll have to hold up to their end of the deal. On the other hand, Airbnb descriptions and photographs can be very misleading, so you don't always get what you're expecting.</p> <h2>Is Airbnb Still the Best Choice?</h2> <p>There are still a number of important reasons to consider short-term rentals. According to Priceonomics, compared to the average hotel room, you can <a href="http://priceonomics.com/hotels/">save up to 50%</a> by renting a private room on Airbnb, and up to 22% by renting an apartment on Airbnb. Those are substantial savings. You'll also have access to an entire apartment, including a kitchen and living area, as opposed to just a cramped hotel room. If you'll be staying in a popular area, like New York City, make sure to carefully weigh your options to determine if a hotel or Airbnb is right for you.</p> <p><em>Do you know of other reasons to stay in a hotel? Have you had experiences at a hotel or Airbnb you'd like to share? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fdoes-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FDoes%20It%20Make%20Sense%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%20Hotel%20Anymore-.jpg&amp;description=Does%20It%20Make%20Sense%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%20Hotel%20Anymore%3F" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Does%20It%20Make%20Sense%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%20Hotel%20Anymore-.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accomodations AirBnb apartments hotels loyalty programs renting trips vacations Mon, 06 Jun 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1718095 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_on_vacation_000069738815.jpg" alt="Friends finding spring break budget busters to avoid" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Planning to whoop it up on spring break? Let your fun flag fly without obliterating your bank account by avoiding these getaway budget busters.</p> <h2>1. Lodging</h2> <p>Even now that I'm in my mid-30s (that's the first time I've written that &mdash; gimme a minute), I still prefer inexpensive lodging to high-end hotels when I travel, at least when it's on my own dime. As an alternative, I opt for short-term apartment rentals (like Airbnb or VRBO) or even crash with friends to help save a ton of money that, when you think about it, I'm just sleeping away.</p> <p>Anita Covic, destination specialist TripTogether, a travel site that helps travelers meet other travelers, also thinks this route is the way to go.</p> <p>&quot;Cutting costs doesn't have to be stressful, and one of the biggest costs that can be cut is lodging,&quot; she says. &quot;Personally, I think hostels are a great alternative to expensive hotels. Airbnb is a great option for a large group of people. Eating out can add up as well. Try booking a hostel or Airbnb [rental] with a kitchen and stock up on groceries that can be easily converted to quick breakfasts and lunches.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Airfare</h2> <p>Save on airfare by knowing when to shop for plane tickets, and use a multifaceted approach by consulting discount sites and the airlines proper to see who offers the best price. You also can avoid spending full price for airfare by setting alerts for deals. If you happen to earn frequent flyer miles, check out the new award travel search engine <a href="http://pexportal.com">PEX+</a> to find the best price on an award ticket.</p> <h2>3. Eating Out</h2> <p>When you're on vacay, it's easy to get lax on your waistline and your wallet. Keep both of these areas in check by curbing your cravings for junk food (which might go hand in hand with those hangovers, by the way) while trying to make more of your meals wherever you're staying (made easier with a kitchen). Find ways to munch for free instead of popping into a restaurant, café, or fast-food joint for every meal.</p> <p>&quot;Dining out at new restaurants is one of the best parts of traveling, but there's no need to eat out three meals a day,&quot; reminds saving expert Andrea Woroch. &quot;Many hotels and hostels offer some sort of free breakfast, typically consisting of fruit, cereal, and pastries, which is plenty to start your day. Sandwiches are an easy meal to prepare in-room, which you can then pack as lunch for a day exploring the city. When looking for a spot to eat, use apps to track down coupons for nearby restaurants and search for daily dining deals via Groupon Now.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Alcohol</h2> <p>Oh, alcohol. It's the stuff that many great spring break memories are made of &mdash; but it can quickly take your budget from hero to zero if you're not careful. To reduce how much you're spending on booze, remember one word: pregame.</p> <p>&quot;Drinks at bars and restaurants are very expensive, so if you're planning to do some drinking, try to plan a get-together somewhere where you can bring your own alcohol &mdash; like someone's hotel room &mdash; before you go out,&quot; advises The Stave Diaries travel blogger Stefanie Parks. &quot;This way you can get your alcohol from a grocery or convenience store and won't have to splurge for more expensive drinks while you're out.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Entertainment and Activities</h2> <p>When you're traveling, you want to see and do as much as possible within your destination. However, an action-packed schedule comes with a cost. Before you embark, take time to review entertainment and activity options and identify those that are most important and affordable to you.</p> <p>&quot;There are plenty of free things you can do on your trip, like a day at the beach, viewing art galleries, or simply exploring city streets,&quot; Woroch says. &quot;You can even skip the pricey guided tours and take a self-guided walking tour for free. Print city guides from resources like <a href="http://citywalkingguide.com/">City Walking Guide</a> or download a walking tour guide on your mobile device using apps like <a href="https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/audio/audio-europe">Rick Steves Europe Travel</a> and <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/city-maps-walks-470+-cities/id417207307?mt=8">City Maps and Walks</a>.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Hidden Fees</h2> <p>The money trap is right there in the name &mdash; hidden fees &mdash; and these can add up to a substantial amount when all is said and done, slowly chipping away at your budget along the way.</p> <p>Saveful.com's Louis DeNicola details some of the more common offenders.</p> <p>&quot;Rental car companies can charge around $10/day for a collision damage waiver, but many credit cards include that coverage free of charge,&quot; he points out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=seealso">What Does Car Rental Insurance Really Cover On Your Credit Card?</a>)</p> <p>Travelers should also look for hidden hotel-related fees. Some hotels in popular tourist destinations charge a resort fee on top of the standard room rate. Hotels may offer extra perks, such as free Wi-Fi, to members of their loyalty program &mdash; even brand new members.</p> <p>&quot;Some hotels' minibars have weight sensors and you might get charged even if you didn't drink or eat anything,&quot; DeNicola adds. &quot;Review your bill before leaving the hotel.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Convenience-Store Goodies</h2> <p>When you have a packed spring break schedule of exciting activities, it's not only easy to eat out more than you normally would, but popping into convenience stores for quick snacking items also is more prevalent. Two dollars here and there for bottles of water, coffee, candy, and chips may seem like insignificant expenses, but if you're doing it every day, you'll find that you're wasting a decent chunk of change.</p> <p>&quot;Limit the excess you spend on drinks and snacks by packing fruit or granola bars and a refillable water bottle to stay fueled and hydrated during a long day of exploring,&quot; Woroch suggests.</p> <h2>8. Mobile Data</h2> <p>I recently traveled to Montreal for the New Year's holiday and I was conscious to turn off my mobile roaming and data as soon as we crossed the border from the United States into Canada. But would you believe that when I received my bill for that period there was $20 of international charges on it? Apparently I wasn't fast enough, or the networks got crossed as I approached the border, and I incurred the fees I was trying to avoid. And that was within seconds to minutes. Can you imagine what I would have been charged had I left it one for a few hours or days?</p> <p>Woroch warns against a similar situation.</p> <p>&quot;To avoid pricey data-overage fees, turn off pop-up notifications and use a <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/free-wifi-finder/id411134124?mt=8">Free Wi-Fi Finder</a> app to track down local hotspots. Otherwise, turn on your phone's Wi-Fi locator to find a free Internet connection wherever you are and take this time to post pictures and reply to emails.&quot;</p> <p>She also recommends downloading any maps you may need ahead of time.</p> <p>As an extra tip, if you have an experience like I did during my Montreal trip, be sure to give your wireless carrier a call to explain the situation. If you're a loyal customer, they may waive those minor, erroneous fees like they did for me, but you won't know unless you pick up the phone to fight it.</p> <h2>9. Photo Memories From Secondary Sources</h2> <p>Photo ops are everywhere these days, and there are plenty of companies that are cashing in on them, like pictures you get at the beach and those funny snapshots at the end of a thrill ride. Don't fall for it. You and every single person you know is armed with a phone at their fingertips. Set up backgrounds and strike your own poses to enjoy free shots that you can post to social media immediately or print when you get home.</p> <h2>10. Souvenirs</h2> <p>I have a rule at my house than nothing comes home from vacation that isn't either some form of art or a useful object &mdash; which means to say that no junk souvenirs, like spoons, shot glasses, and other bric-a-brac, are welcome. My photos are good enough memories of my time on vacation, and they help me save money, space in my luggage, and a backache from having to carry otherwise heavy objects.</p> <p>Blogger Barb Webb provides other easy ways to cut back on souvenir spending.</p> <p>&quot;Theme parks, hotels, and restaurants often have buttons, stickers, postcards, and other trinkets they gift for free to patrons,&quot; she says. &quot;Stop by the local tourism office and you'll find everything from free coloring books to posters and key chains to add to your souvenir collection. Also look for local extension agencies that will have free treasures like recipe cards, calendars, and other small items.&quot;</p> <p>To turn photos into more organized memories like I do, Woroch suggests using the <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/keepsayk-photo-books-instant/id884920246?mt=8">Keepsayk app</a> to organize pictures and create a photo book, or use deal sites like Coupon Sherpa to find coupon codes from photo book makers like Snapfish, which usually offers steep discounts.</p> <h2>11. Gas</h2> <p>Gas is affordable now, but we don't know where it will be in a few weeks or months when we're more on the go. Even while it's inexpensive, you still want to score the best deals possible.</p> <p>&quot;There are a few ways to reduce your fuel costs, including using the <a href="http://www.gasbuddy.com/App">GasBuddy</a> app to find the cheapest gas nearby; paying with cash to avoid the extra 10 cents for credit card charges; and using your warehouse club membership to save up to 30 cents per gallon at their fuel pumps,&quot; Woroch says.</p> <p>On a personal note, I've been visiting BP stations almost exclusively to fill up at the pump for a few months, and I use its loyalty card to rack up points. Just the other day, I received a generous kickback of $.63 per gallon &mdash; yes, you read that correctly &mdash; which resulted in a total savings of about $10 for a complete fill-up. My total cost was $18 and change for a full tank of premium gas, all because I swiped my loyalty card consistently. Totally worth the two seconds it takes.</p> <p><em>Are you headed away for spring break? How do you plan to save? Where will you splurge? I'd love to hear about your vacation plans in the comments below.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F11%20Spring%20Break%20Budget%20Busters%20to%20Avoid.jpg&amp;description=11%20Spring%20Break%20Budget%20Busters%20to%20Avoid" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/11%20Spring%20Break%20Budget%20Busters%20to%20Avoid.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-known-ways-to-save-when-booking-spring-travel">6 Little-Known Ways to Save When Booking Spring Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel Airfare alcohol budget busters food costs hotels overspending spring break trips vacation Thu, 24 Mar 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1678011 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Little-Known Ways to Save When Booking Spring Travel http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-known-ways-to-save-when-booking-spring-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-little-known-ways-to-save-when-booking-spring-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_on_vacation_000062041066.jpg" alt="Couple finding ways to save when booking spring travel" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As the warmer weather finally starts to creep in, it's hard to not get excited about traveling this spring or summer. With the cheaper gas prices and lower overall airfare, it just might be a good year to finally book that family vacation you've been considering. Here are a few insider tips that'll help you stretch your travel dollar as far as possible. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free">7 Ways That Anyone Can Travel for Free</a>)</p> <h2>1. Book Airfare on a Tuesday</h2> <p>According to FareCompare.com, which helps travelers compare airfares to find the best deals, Tuesday around 3 p.m. EST is the best time to book a flight. They found that this is when many airlines release the majority of their sales, which then encourages other airlines to lower their fares to stay competitive. In contrast, try not to book airfare on a Friday morning as you'll end up paying&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hopper.com/articles/2450/does-time-of-day-matter-when-booking-flights">3% more for fares</a> on average.</p> <h2>2. Fly Out on a Tuesday or Wednesday</h2> <p>If you can be flexible in terms of the day you fly out, you can definitely save some money. According to Airfarewatchdog.com, if you can fly out on a Tuesday or Wednesday you'll find lower overall airfares. While not a perfect science, these two days <em>usually </em>yield lower airfares. For example, CheapAir.com found the difference between a Sunday round-trip flight and a Tuesday round-trip flight to be $58 on average. Also, when booking air travel for a week-long vacation, book Tuesday-Tuesday or Wednesday-Wednesday, as it is by far the cheapest way to fly.</p> <h2>3. Book Hotels Directly This Year</h2> <p>Online travel sites like Expedia and Hotels.com charge hotel chains a hefty 15% fee for an online booking. As a result, many hotels are trying to avoid this booking fee and are willing to negotiate a deal with potential travelers who call them directly. For example, if the Expedia rate is $100 a night, call the hotel and ask politely if they can beat that rate. Since the hotel has to pay around $15 to Expedia, they'll often give you the room for $90/night. It's an extra $5 in their pocket and they've made you a happy camper in the process.</p> <h2>4. Vacation Where the Best Deals Are</h2> <p>Clark Howard is one of my favorite frugal gurus. Every year he takes his staff on a big trip, and how he selects the destination is pure genius. He goes online and figures out what destination currently has the best travel deals, and that's where he takes everyone. By booking travel this way, he has visited every continent except Antarctica and every state except North Dakota. I love his perspective on this travel tip: &quot;I don't pick a destination that I have to go to. I wait for a deal somewhere, buy the deal, and then figure out why I want to go there.&quot; To make it happen, Howard suggest using&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kayak.com/explore/">Kayak Explore</a> as it lets you find the best airfare deals for your specific budget.</p> <h2>5. VRBO and Airbnb &quot;Last-Minute&quot; Hack</h2> <p>It's pretty obvious that vacation homeowners using VRBO and Airbnb to rent their place don't make a cent if their place lies empty for the weekend. Because of this, many owners are willing to lower their rate a little bit for last-minute travelers. By last-minute, I'm talking about those trying to book a place within a week of arrival. So the next time you attempt to plan a last-minute getaway, consider politely asking for a 15%&ndash;20% discount when using either website. You stand a great chance of negotiating a deal.</p> <h2>6. Hotel Check-In Trick</h2> <p>Have you ever wondered if it's still possible to get a room upgrade when checking into a hotel? According to many hotel employees, you can absolutely still do it, and slipping the front desk attendant a $20 bill is still highly acceptable. There's almost always a better room available, or cool upgrades like free movies, free room service, or late checkout &mdash; and sending an Andrew Jackson across the counter is a great way to make it happen.</p> <p>Also, the same hotel employees share that online booking sites like Expedia, Hotwire, and Orbitz are often going to get you the worst rooms available. The reason is because hotels see these guest as &quot;non-loyal&quot; travelers simply looking for a really low rate. They're not going to give you the rooms with the best views and overall features.</p> <p><em>How do you ensure a great deal when booking your travel plans?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-little-known-ways-to-save-when-booking-spring-travel&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Little-Known%20Ways%20to%20Save%20When%20Booking%20Spring%20Travel.jpg&amp;description=6%20Little-Known%20Ways%20to%20Save%20When%20Booking%20Spring%20Travel" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Little-Known%20Ways%20to%20Save%20When%20Booking%20Spring%20Travel.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-known-ways-to-save-when-booking-spring-travel">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-you-can-do-now-to-prep-for-your-best-summer-ever">14 Things You Can Do Now to Prep for Your Best Summer Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel Airfare flying holiday hotel hacks spring break summer vacation trips Thu, 10 Mar 2016 11:00:06 +0000 Kyle James 1670417 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Luxe Travel Destinations That Are Cheaper in Winter http://www.wisebread.com/6-luxe-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-in-winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-luxe-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-in-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_selfie_london_000061899106.jpg" alt="Man finding luxe travel destinations that are cheaper in winter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What did you do on your summer vacation? Yawn, what a cliché. Just about every vacation spot is mobbed in summer, when families with children are free to travel. If you have the flexibility, enjoy fewer crowds and pay less by visiting these normally-expensive spots during winter!</p> <h2>1. Europe</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/europe_city_fountain_000054520320.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The lowest airfares to Europe are usually available from mid-January through the end of February. Don't despair, there are plenty of great things to do there during the colder months, whether it's enjoying Denmark's <em>hygge</em>, sipping hot chocolate in Vienna, skiing in Switzerland, or hiking in temperate Italy and Spain.</p> <h2>2. Orlando</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/orlando_florida_attraction_000056623332.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Disney <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">hotels offer their cheapest rates</a> during &quot;Value Season,&quot; which includes much of January and the first week of February. Universal Orlando lists the first three weeks of December as value season as well. Basically if it's winter but not a holiday week, you're good to enjoy a cheaper and less crowded theme park experience.</p> <h2>3. Yosemite National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/yosemite_park_000008524397.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>You might think this spectacular mountain playground is snowed in all winter, but many of the main roads, including the popular Valley Loop, are kept open.</p> <p>Is there anything to do there in winter? Only if you like ice skating with a view of Half Dome, affordable family downhill skiing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Make sure to check current conditions before you head out to find out about temporary road closures or chain requirements.</p> <h2>4. Iceland</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iceland_000009978384.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Thanks to Iceland's affordable Wow Air, you can fly from Boston or DC to Reykjavik for under $400 just about any time of year &mdash; but accommodations (those that don't shut down until spring) cost about 40% less in winter.</p> <p>What can you do during an Icelandic winter when daylight only lasts a few hours? Bathe in a hot spring while sipping a frozen drink, enjoy all-day sunsets and sunrises, and see the Northern Lights. What you won't do is freeze to death, since thanks to the Gulf Stream, Iceland is not as cold as New York City in winter. Speaking of which...</p> <h2>5. New York City or Chicago</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/winter_chicago_city_000071070187.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>You can't deny that living in a northern U.S. city sucks during winter. However, staying in downtown hotels &mdash; where nightly rates plummet with the temperatures &mdash; is a different story.</p> <p>In downtown Chicago, you can ice skate in Millennium Park, walk for miles indoors through world-class museums, and brave the chill to eat strudel at the Christkindlmarket. In New York City, there are countless things to do in winter. Whether it's enjoying the shows on Broadway or visiting the city's many museums or world-class eateries, you won't be disappointed.</p> <h2>6. Montreal</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/montreal_at_christmas_000007750001.jpg" width="605" height="338" alt="" /></p> <p>I once visited Montreal during a mild January where the temperature was above freezing. Between Igloofest, Montréal en Lumière, and taking the kids to Mont Royal to sled and sip hot cocoa, Montreal glitters <em>en hiver </em>&mdash; and discount hotel packages make the normally pricey city <em>un bon march</em>é.</p> <p><em>What are your winter travel plans?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-luxe-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-in-winter&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Luxe%20Travel%20Destinations%20That%20Are%20Cheaper%20in%20Winter.jpg&amp;description=6%20Luxe%20Travel%20Destinations%20That%20Are%20Cheaper%20in%20Winter" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Luxe%20Travel%20Destinations%20That%20Are%20Cheaper%20in%20Winter.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-luxe-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-in-winter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-affordable-travel-items-that-you-shouldnt-leave-home-without">9 Affordable Travel Items That You Shouldn&#039;t Leave Home Without</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-really-expensive-places-to-spend-your-holidays">4 Really Expensive Places to Spend Your Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-new-york-without-going-broke">How to Visit New York Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel disney world Europe new york city trips vacations value seasons winter Tue, 24 Nov 2015 22:00:33 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1615576 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 More Fun, Affordable Train Trips http://www.wisebread.com/5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000019051349.jpg" alt="Child on fun and affordable train trip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Trains are not only a huge part of our history and economy, but they make for relaxing and scenic travel. We last gave you five <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-affordable-train-trips">enjoyable and reasonably priced train trips</a> for the summer. Now, try going on one of these five additional fun, affordable train trips this fall.</p> <h2>1. Cross Country: California Zephyr</h2> <p>Have you always wanted to venture out into what was the wild west of the 1800s without the horrific summer heat? The <a href="http://www.amtrak.com/california-zephyr-train">California Zephyr</a> travels on a 2,438-mile route from Chicago, IL to Emeryville, CA, passing through seven states on a journey made by western settlers during the Gold Rush and other big migrations. The terrain changes from canyons, to rivers, to mountains, to deserts, to valleys with dramatic beauty. Key sights to see: Colorado River, the Donner Pass, the Rockies, and the Painted Desert.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> As low as $163 per adult and approximately $80 per child for this 51-hour train trip.</p> <h2>2. New Hampshire: Mount Washington Cog Railway</h2> <p>New Hampshire is beautiful as the leaves turn gold and the air gets crisp. What better way to usher in the season than by riding the <a href="http://www.thecog.com/">Mount Washington Cog Railway</a>, the world's first train to climb a mountain? The historic cars are cute and photo-worthy on their own. This makes for an easy day trip, because the ride is only three hours long, which includes an hour to hang out on the top of Mount Washington and snap pictures of the view. You'll want to try this one before winter settles in, as that's when the schedule is very limited.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> $73 per adult, and $39 per child for this three-hour scenic ride.</p> <h2>3. New York: Adirondack Scenic Railroad</h2> <p>Of course, Upstate New York in the fall is quite the stunner, too. The <a href="http://www.adirondackrr.com/">Adirondack Scenic Railroad</a> is definitely not hyperbole: this train weaves from Utica to Lake Placid, through the small hamlets in between. Keep your eyes on the window for the gorgeous scenery of lakes, rivers, and the pretty peaks of the Adirondacks. Additionally, lots of deer, bears, geese and other migrant birds are plentiful and on display through the trip. Fall events on this train include beer and wine tastings and a family Halloween theme.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> Adults cost $39.50 and children cost $29.50 for this trip.</p> <h2>4. Washington State: Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad</h2> <p>If you're a fan of mountains and the Pacific Northwest, this is a must-do attraction. <a href="http://www.mrsr.com/index.html">The Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad and Museum</a> happens to be the longest running steam train in the region and takes you through the forests and foothills of Mount Rainier. This two-hour train ride includes lots of information on the history of using steam locomotives for logging, the chief industry in the region in the late 19th through early 20th centuries. The MRSR also offers a <a href="http://www.mrsr.com/#!special-events/cpn1">Civil War package</a> complete with a Civil War reenactment.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> This train charges $32 per adult, $72 per child between five to 12 years old, $18 per child under three to four years, and infants under three are free.</p> <h2>5. North Carolina: Great Smoky Mountains Railroad</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.gsmr.com/">Great Smoky Mountain Railroad</a> takes you through a uniquely pretty trail of the South. North Carolina boasts tons of indigenous beauty: 125 types of trees, 1,000 varieties of flora, and over 300 different animal species. You'll also get a chance to look inside the Great Smoky Mountains Train Museum. Like some of our other favorite train rides, this one also has various food and drink tasting voyages. For Halloween, there is a Peanuts Pumpkin Patch Halloween theme for the kids as well as a Halloween Masquerade theme for grown ups.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> For the average trip (non-themed and in family cars), adults cost $66 and children cost $38 per round trip ride.</p> <p><em>Have you ever taken any of these train rides? How was it?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20More%20Fun%2C%20Affordable%20Train%20Trips.jpg&amp;description=5%20More%20Fun%2C%20Affordable%20Train%20Trips" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20More%20Fun%2C%20Affordable%20Train%20Trips.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-affordable-train-trips">5 Fun, Affordable Train Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping">10 Ways to Enjoy Fall Camping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-theft-while-traveling">How to Avoid Theft While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel America autumn fall trains transportation trips vacation Thu, 17 Sep 2015 11:00:34 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1555445 at http://www.wisebread.com The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_in_hammock_000058725176.jpg" alt="Couple finding best vacation deals online" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Planning a vacation can be exciting and exhilarating, but it can also be stressful and time-consuming if you don't know where to look. That's why we've covered some of the best places to find vacation deals online.</p> <h2>1. AAA Travel Services</h2> <p>If you are an AAA member, you know that great deals and rewards come along with your membership. However, you may not know just how great their travel deals are. Their <a href="http://travel.aaa.com">travel services</a> can help save you money on your next vacation, cruise, or business trip, and help save you time planning it as well.</p> <p>That's because you will have your own local AAA travel agent to help streamline the process. They can help you find the perfect services to fit your schedule and budget, without spending much time comparing prices. They even offer last-minute travel deals for any impromptu vacations or business trips. Finally, you can find freebies on the site, like a free car rental for a day, to complete your trip.</p> <h2>2. Costco Travel</h2> <p>You also probably didn't know that Costco offers some of the best vacation deals online, all with the great customer service they're known for. You may be eligible for special member perks, like room upgrades, spa credits, and more. <a href="https://www.costcotravel.com/">Costco Travel</a> also has a Low Price Finder, where it will compare all online coupons and deals to find you the lowest prices possible.</p> <h2>3. Booking Sites</h2> <p>Discount booking sites can help you find the best deals on airfare, lodging, car rentals, food, and entertainment. They can even help you find all-inclusive travel packages that have everything you need, which will save you the stress of searching through various discounts. Some of the most common booking sites include <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10395159-1432673640000">Travelocity</a>, <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-10517623-1356646638000">Expedia</a>, Hotwire, Kayak, <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-10820358-1440511376000">Cheapflights.com</a>, <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10392970-1433187833000">Priceline</a>, <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-10808428-1403804106000">VacationRentals.com</a>, and <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10786230-1426796392000">Hotels.com</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources?ref=seealso">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a>)</p> <p>While all booking sites work similarly, many people prefer Kayak. Forbes also recommends Kayak because it searches a large database of fares to find you the absolute cheapest option. It can even compare months of fares to help you find the cheapest day to travel. Travelers find the interface very easy to use and navigate, taking the stress and guesswork out of planning your trip, all while saving you money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-online-booking-sites?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards for Online Booking Sites</a>)</p> <p>If you don't feel comfortable reserving your flight, hotel, or rental car through a booking site, simply go directly to the service provider and ask if they can price match the estimate you found on a booking site. Most hotels and airlines also place deals directly on their sites, which may be the same deals you would find on a booking site.</p> <h2>4. Other Discount Sites</h2> <p><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10861379-1424728017000">Groupon</a>, LivingSocial, <a href="http://local.amazon.com/?tag=wisbre03-20">Amazon Local</a>, and Yelp can help save you money when you are booking your trip, as well as after you have arrived. They offer deals on hotels, travel packages, and even rental cars. Once you arrive at your destination, use these discount sites or apps for local deals on food, entertainment, excursions, shopping, and more, so that you can get the most out of the area without breaking the bank.</p> <h2>5. Lodging Alternatives</h2> <p><a href="https://www.airbnb.com/">Airbnb</a> will allow you to rent an apartment or home for the exact amount of time of your trip. They also offer shared rooms and even couches, depending on your budget and sleeping preferences. Booking through Airbnb can save you a lot of money and allow you to feel like you're staying in a home, rather than a hotel. You can also visit <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10597412-1340927884000">BedandBreakfast.com</a> for a directory of the best bed and breakfasts, in all price ranges.</p> <h2>6. Last Minute Booking Sites</h2> <p>If possible, try to book your trip last minute. There are substantially more deals and savings available when you are able to book shortly before your trip. At Last Minute Travel, the process is streamlined so that you can easily book and customize your travel itinerary at the last minute. You can also visit <a href="http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/">AirfareWatchdog</a>, which will allow you to monitor airfare and hotel prices so that you can take advantage of sales immediately.</p> <p><em>Be sure to check </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources"><em>Wise Bread's Travel Resources</em></a><em> to find other ways to save big money on your vacation. Do you have any other suggestions on finding the best vacation deals online? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-6-best-vacation-deal-websites&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%206%20Best%20Vacation%20Deal%20Websites.jpg&amp;description=The%206%20Best%20Vacation%20Deal%20Websites" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%206%20Best%20Vacation%20Deal%20Websites.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-affordable-train-trips">5 Fun, Affordable Train Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road">Travel and Money: Using Your Credit Card on the Road</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodations best value booking sites deals saving money trips vacation Wed, 16 Sep 2015 21:00:18 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1555505 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Visit New York Without Going Broke http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-new-york-without-going-broke <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-visit-new-york-without-going-broke" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_in_the_city_000051322454_0.jpg" alt="Woman visiting New York without going broke" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>New York City is one of the most expensive cities in the world, and for good reason. It's the place of bright lights, beautiful sights, and exquisite bites. However, vacationing there can be insanely expensive. Fortunately, we've compiled some tips to help you get more from your New York experience without breaking your budget.</p> <h2>1. Purchase a Tourist Pass</h2> <p>A tourist pass will allow you to see more of New York, for a smaller investment of time and money. The <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-10480883-1366888277000">New York Pass</a> is a tourist card created by New Yorkers, so you can really get a complete view of the city, with free entry to more than 80 NYC attractions. Many theatres and venues also offer a ticket lottery, student rush, or other ways to get free or discounted tickets, if you show up at least 20 minutes before the show begins.</p> <h2>2. Take a Free (or Discounted) Tour</h2> <p>Tours are usually very affordable and you can find them anywhere in NYC. The double decker bus tours throughout Times Square are a tried-and-true favorite that can show you around New York's most popular neighborhoods and destinations, but they can be expensive if you purchase them off the street peddlers. Instead, search discount sites like <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-10795771-1399573918000">Groupon</a>, <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-11368267-1431444261000">LivingSocial</a>, Google Offers, Yelp Deals, and Amazon Local Deals for discounts on tours and attractions.</p> <p>There are also endless hiking, walking, biking, shuttle, and bus tours that can help you get more from the area, without spending much. If you'd like to take a tour from your phone, consider apps like <a href="https://www.strayboots.com/locations/new-york/tours/">Stray Boots</a>, which will allow you to complete a tour at your own speed and pace.</p> <h2>3. Save on Shows and Entertainment</h2> <p>If you want to take in a Broadway show, you can find the best discounts at <a href="https://www.goldstar.com/new-york">Goldstar</a> and the <a href="https://www.tdf.org/nyc/7/TKTS-ticket-booths">TKTS booths</a> in Times Square, Brooklyn, and South Street Seaport. You can also just walk through Times Square to find guaranteed free comedy shows and entertainment. You'll quickly find street peddlers offering free shows throughout Time Square, but make sure to ask if there are any fees or drink requirements associated with the tickets, or else you may end up spending more at the bar than you anticipated.</p> <h2>4. Take Advantage of Free Entertainment</h2> <p>Free entertainment can be found all around the city at any time of the year, particularly during the warmer times of the year. Subscribe to <a href="http://ilovefreeconcerts.com/">Free New York City Concerts</a> to find out which free concerts and special events will be taking place near you. You can also get the full New York experience by attending a free show taping.</p> <h2>5. Spend a Day at the Museum</h2> <p>There are a number of museums throughout the city that <a href="http://www.nyc-arts.org/collections/35/free-museum-days-or-pay-what-you-wish">offer free admission</a> on certain days, such as the MoMa, The Cloisters, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Brooklyn Botanic Gardens also offers free entry on Tuesdays. Consider also attending a free gallery opening. You'll be able to enjoy free art, wine, and socializing opportunities.</p> <h2>6. Have a Picnic in the Park</h2> <p>New York is home to some of the most beautiful sprawling parks in the world, such as Central Park, Prospect Park, Bryant Park, and Highline Park. There are always events going on and things to see and do at the park that won't cost you much, like <a href="http://www.publictheater.org/en/programs--events/shakespeare-in-the-park/?SiteTheme=Shakespeare">Free Shakespeare in the Park</a> and free public kayaking programs at the Downtown Boathouse. You can also visit one of the small bodegas or cafés bordering one of the parks to pick up an affordable lunch to enjoy picnic-style at the park.</p> <h2>7. Find a Festival or Fair</h2> <p>There is always a festival going on in NYC. Whether it's a food, film, or music festival, there are always fun things to see, great things to eat, and prime people watching to enjoy. <a href="http://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket/manhattan-union-square-m">Union Square</a> also holds street fairs, farmers markets, and holiday events throughout the year, if you like to walk and shop. You can also walk the Brooklyn Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge for a once-in-a-lifetime experience and photo ops. Coney Island can also give you the theme park experience, while combining great food, arcade games, and the beach and boardwalk. Just make sure to watch your spending at this tourist hotspot and keep the purchases to a minimum.</p> <h2>8. Don't Blow Your Budget on Shopping and Food</h2> <p>You can find cheap bagel and pizza spots around the city and great local stops in Chinatown, where $5 can actually take you far. Food trucks are also a quick way to sample the city's food, without going broke. Take advantage of lunch specials and happy hour whenever possible; they are great ways to enjoy your favorite restaurants' best food and drink choices for cheap. Drinking at the bar can cost you an average of $15 per drink, so look for BYOB places, happy hour specials, or just pregame at home.</p> <p>Another great way to try some of New York's trendiest eateries is through food festivals and events, such as <a href="http://www.smorgasburg.com/">Smorgasburg</a> and <a href="http://www.nycgo.com/restaurant-week">Restaurant Week</a>. There, you can taste little bites of the city's best foods without having to purchase an entire meal. At certain events, like A Taste of Fifth, once you purchase the ticket to the event, you can taste all the food you want. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-in-new-york-city-the-15-best-ways-to-spend-it?ref=seealso">$20 in New York City: The 15 Best Ways to Spend It</a>)</p> <p>SoHo may seem like a tempting stop, but you'll blow your budget in no time if you let your shopping instincts get the best of you. If you feel the need to shop, take advantage of NYC's famous thrift and discount stores, <a href="http://www.ny.com/shopping/flea/">flea markets</a>, outlets, and sample sales.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite ways to save money in New York City? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-visit-new-york-without-going-broke&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%20to%20Visit%20New%20York%20Without%20Going%20Broke.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Visit%20New%20York%20Without%20Going%20Broke" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Visit%20New%20York%20Without%20Going%20Broke.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-new-york-without-going-broke">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-in-new-york-city-the-15-best-ways-to-spend-it">$20 in New York City: The 15 Best Ways to Spend It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-san-francisco-without-going-broke-0">How to Visit San Francisco Without Going Broke</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-luxe-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-in-winter">6 Luxe Travel Destinations That Are Cheaper in Winter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/volunteer-to-travel-11-opportunities-for-free-or-very-cheap-travel">Volunteer to Travel: 11 Opportunities for Free or Very Cheap Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel big apple free activities new york new york city tourism trips Fri, 11 Sep 2015 09:00:20 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1554767 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Fun, Affordable Train Trips http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-affordable-train-trips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-fun-affordable-train-trips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_train_ride_000055717024.jpg" alt="Mother and child taking fun and affordable train trip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Trains are not only a huge part of our history and economy, but they make for scenic, relaxing, and enjoyable travel. Next time a three-day weekend rolls around, try going on one of these five fun, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-train-hacks-from-an-amtrak-veteran">affordable train trips</a>.</p> <h2>1. California: Pacific Surfliner</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.amtrak.com/pacific-surfliner-train">beachy train</a> runs daily from the heart of the Central Coast all the way down to San Diego, past many of California&rsquo;s most beautiful beaches. Expect to see lots of everyday train commuters, college kids headed home for the weekend, and vacationing families on their way to Legoland. Two great times for people-watching are on the week of <a href="http://www.comic-con.org/">San Diego Comic-Con International</a>, where you can meet tons of comics, movie, and TV celebrities on their way to the convention; and on opening day of the <a href="https://www.dmtc.com/">Del Mar race track</a>, when men in suits and women in their most colorful fineries and elaborate hats turn the whole train into a party.</p> <p><strong>Price</strong>: As low as $61 per adult ($30.50 child) one way, for the full route.</p> <h2>2. Colorado: Durango-Silverado Mining Trail</h2> <p>Any frontier history buff should have this <a href="https://rezeast.net/durango/default.aspx">mining trail train</a> on their bucket list. The Denver-Rio Grande Railway Company founded the railway to haul tons of ore through the Colorado Rockies back in 1880, but the route was (and still is) so scenic that it was immediately in use for passenger trains as well. The Durango-Silverado trains are vintage models indigenous to the route, and there are plenty of <a href="http://www.durangotrain.com/packages/adventure-packages#.VYslX1WJOuY">literature, tours, and adventures</a> to accompany the trip. Great for the adventuring prospector in all of us and great for kids, too.</p> <p><strong>Price</strong>: As low as $85 adult ($51 child) per roundtrip.</p> <h2>3. New York: Ethan Allen Express</h2> <p>Live near NYC and want an unforgettable Walden-esque scenic experience? The Ethan Allen railway is one of the <a href="http://www.amtrak.com/ethan-allen-express-train">prettiest railroad routes</a> in America, stretching over 271 miles of verdant Northeastern mountain ranges such as New York&rsquo;s Adirondacks and Vermont&rsquo;s Green Mountains. Try going during early autumn, when the leaves turn into that famous red and gold foliage and apples are ready for picking. Rutland, Vermont, the end of the line, is also well-known for its <a href="http://www.rutlandrec.com/events/2014/10/25/55th-annual-halloween-parade">Halloween celebrations</a>. Bring the kids!</p> <p><strong>Price</strong>: As low as $72 per adult ($36 child) one way.</p> <h2>4. West Virginia: Cass Scenic Railroad</h2> <p>Let this route take you <a href="http://mountainrailwv.com/choose-a-train/cass-scenic-railroad">into the Appalachian mountains</a> and back in time, when the Cass company railway opened in 1902. It was used to transport lumber to the Cass sawmill. Now you can gaze upon the old mill surrounded by lush, overgrown wilderness from the open air passenger train. There is also a <a href="http://www.cassrailroad.com/new.html">museum and a tour</a> through the old company shop that built and maintained the lumber trains. A must-see for Americana and railroad fans alike, with lots of activities for the kids.</p> <p><strong>Price</strong>: As low as $35 per adult ($24 child) roundtrip.</p> <h2>5. Arizona: Grand Canyon Railway</h2> <p>Ready to savor the Grand Canyon, but not necessarily the hiking type? The <a href="http://www.thetrain.com/the-train/train-rates/">Grand Canyon Railway</a> is a wonderful way to travel the South Rim comfortably and in style, as did many U.S. presidents such as Roosevelt, Taft, and Eisenhower. Another historical gem, there are stories of all the train&rsquo;s most notable passengers since its opening in 1901 throughout the tour. The train will provide a four-hour stopover, where you can stretch your legs, walk around the rim, or <a href="http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/">sleepover in a nearby lodge</a>. A great trip for a family with older children ready experience the Old West.</p> <p><strong>Price</strong>: As low as $65 per adult ($29 child) per trip.</p> <p><em>Have you taken a family vacation by rail? How was it?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-fun-affordable-train-trips&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Fun%2C%20Affordable%20Train%20Trips.jpg&amp;description=5%20Fun%2C%20Affordable%20Train%20Trips" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Fun%2C%20Affordable%20Train%20Trips.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-affordable-train-trips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips">5 More Fun, Affordable Train Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-affordable-places-to-ski">6 Affordable Places to Ski</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel family history trains trips vacation Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:00:22 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1502093 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Ways Travelers Save on Trips http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-travelers-save-on-trips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-travelers-save-on-trips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5513156197_d2727eb5aa_z-1.jpg" alt="Ways Travelers Save On Trips" title="Ways Travelers Save On Trips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on ways travelers save on trips, getting paid what you are worth, and ways to save money on your electric bill.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Save-Money-Traveling-23116773">8 Frugal Ways Travelers Save On Trips</a> &mdash; To save on trips, keep an eye out for fare alerts. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thewisdomjournal.com/Blog/get-paid-what-youre-worth/">12 Ways to Get Paid What You're Worth</a> &mdash; Get paid what you're worth by asking for additional benefits such as a company laptop or cell phone. [The Wisdom Journal]</p> <p><a href="http://www.onesmartdollar.com/save-money-on-your-electric-bill/">10 Ways to Save Money on Your Electric Bill</a> &mdash; Save money on your electric bill by not putting an extra fridge in the garage. [One Smart Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/financial-independence-day-escape-the-rat-race-with-lessons-from-our-forefathers/">Financial Independence Day - Escape the Rat Race with Lessons from our Forefathers</a> &mdash; In your quest for financial independence, remember to have perserverance and humility. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="http://timemanagementninja.com/2012/07/10-tasks-to-do-before-leaving-on-a-break/">10 Tasks to Do Before Leaving on a Break</a> &mdash; Before you leave on a break, remember to empty your inbox. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://canadianfinanceblog.com/tips-for-building-a-better-emergency-fund/">3 Tips for Building a Better Emergency Fund</a> &mdash; To build a better emergency fund, look for high yield and other benefits. [Canandian Finance Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.themillionairenurse.com/2012/07/03/11-secrets-of-amazon/">11 Secrets of Amazon!</a> &mdash; Amazon gets you to spend more money by offering free shipping. [The Millionaire Nurse Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/4-parenting-rules-to-break-this-summer">4 Parenting Rules to Break This Summer</a> &mdash; It's ok to let your kids stay up a little past their bedtime during the summer. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mainstreet.com/article/moneyinvesting/credit/debt/3-ways-help-your-child-build-great-credit">3 Ways to Help Your Child Build Great Credit</a> &mdash; To help your child build great credit, open a checking account for them when they are young and have them use a debit card. [MainStreet]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2012/07/jobs-with-high-lifetime-earnings.html">Jobs with High Liftetime Earnings</a> &mdash; Did you know petroleum engineers make over $6 million in their lifetime? [Free Money Finance]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-travelers-save-on-trips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-affordable-train-trips">5 Fun, Affordable Train Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-escape-with-these-14-affordable-weekend-getaways">Make Your Escape With These 14 Affordable Weekend Getaways</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-groupon-getaways-a-good-idea">Are Groupon Getaways a Good Idea?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel best money tips travel travelers trips vacation Wed, 04 Jul 2012 10:00:17 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 938570 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Fun Winter Staycation Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/14-fun-winter-staycation-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-fun-winter-staycation-ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/snow_tubing.jpg" alt="Snow tubing" title="Snow tubing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="155" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you believe the Internet reports on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the economy is making a comeback.</p> <p>And perhaps it is. With Americans spending record amounts of money in the first few days of the unofficial start to the holiday gift-buying season, it&rsquo;s safe to wager (or is it?) that 2012 holds promise for our pockets.</p> <p>Right now, however, it&rsquo;s still 2011 &mdash; a year marred by tumultuous stock markets, a social movement fueled by economic inequality, and an unemployment rate that has remained above 9%.</p> <p>Yes, we could all use a vacation from reality this winter. But the reality is, a lot of us still can&rsquo;t afford it. If you&rsquo;re one of those folks who needs to get away but who can&rsquo;t find the funds to make it happen, don&rsquo;t sweat it. Stay home, save your money, and find something fun to do to help you relax &mdash; even if only for a few hours. Here are 14 ideas to jumpstart the planning. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-frugal-ways-to-reward-yourself-right-now">21 Frugal Ways to Reward Yourself Right Now</a>)</p> <h3>1. Visit the Local Ski Resort</h3> <p>Winter resorts can be costly if you plan to ski the snow-covered slopes, but that&rsquo;s not the only activity these destinations offer. I&rsquo;ve found snow tubing &mdash; available at many resorts these days &mdash; to not only be cheaper and safer than skiing, but also a lot more fun. There&rsquo;s no skill involved either, so virtually anyone can plop down on the rubber tube and slide down the slick hill until they can&rsquo;t laugh and smile any longer.</p> <h3>2. Plan a Spa Day</h3> <p>I&rsquo;m not talking about your high-end boutique here &mdash; although even those are offering steep discounts on signature services this time of year &mdash; but rather an excursion to one of those mammoth complexes that seem to be popping up in every major city lately. For about $40 for the day, you&rsquo;ll get access to the entire facility, which often includes private baths with steam rooms and saunas, whirlpools, and relaxation areas where you can nap, watch TV, or read. My husband and I try to locate one whenever we&rsquo;re on vacation, and we&rsquo;ve visited a local establishment in the dead of winter in the past. After just a couple hours, you&rsquo;ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated without feeling ripped off.</p> <h3>3. Check Out the Latest Museum Exhibits</h3> <p>Unless you have kids, chances are you haven&rsquo;t been to your local museums in quite some time. Do yourself a favor during your staycation and research online what&rsquo;s new in your area &ndash; and not just the art museums, either. I&rsquo;ve always found the science museums to be loads of fun, even as an adult. Of course, I don&rsquo;t have to tell you to also check to see which days have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-museums-for-free">free admission</a> before you plan your trip. No sense in paying for something you really don&rsquo;t have to.</p> <h3>4. Schedule a Movie Marathon with Friends</h3> <p>If I were planning a movie marathon with friends, I would probably screen the entire &ldquo;Harry Potter&rdquo; series since the final film was recently released on DVD &mdash; but that&rsquo;s just me. If this idea appeals to you, but you&rsquo;re not a fan of witchcraft and wizardry, here&rsquo;s another way to schedule a movie marathon &mdash; depending on how many friends you&rsquo;re inviting, suggest that each person choose their favorite movie to bring. This is a great way to ensure that there&rsquo;s at least one flick in the bunch that every one wants to see, and it&rsquo;s also a great way to find out something you might not have known about your friends before and enjoy a movie that you may never have heard of.</p> <h3>5. Start a New Craft Project</h3> <p>There are tons of craft projects that I think about doing throughout the year, but then I get too busy. Don&rsquo;t put yours off any longer. If you have a few hours to a few days to spare, choose an activity that gets your creative juices flowing. Maybe it&rsquo;s something simple like making a gift for an upcoming special occasion or perhaps it&rsquo;s a larger undertaking like painting a mural on a wall in your home. Whatever it is, don&rsquo;t let time prohibit you; set some aside to express yourself creatively.</p> <h3>6. Embark on a Food and Beverage Tour</h3> <p>This sounds expensive, but it doesn&rsquo;t have to be if you plan ahead. Identify a few restaurants you&rsquo;ve been dying to try and schedule an eating and drinking tour. I would recommend going during lunch hours, since many places have specials and the prices are generally lower midday anyway. If you&rsquo;re really thrifty, score deals on Restaurant.com or a daily deal site that will let you eat and drink for a fraction of the price &mdash; which is even better when split with friends.</p> <h3>7. Challenge Yourself With New Recipes</h3> <p>I love to cook, but most of my cookbooks collect dust on a shelf in my kitchen. When I&rsquo;m in a hurry &mdash; and that&rsquo;s often &mdash; I either wing it or look up a recipe online. This winter, do it the old-fashioned way. Crack open a book, browse the recipes, and choose something that takes a bit of time and effort.</p> <h3>8. Rearrange the House</h3> <p>Ring in the New Year with a new home &mdash; or at least one that looks like it. Move the couch to another wall; change up the position of your art; hang up new pieces and remove some of the old; and reposition rugs, lamps, and knick-knacks. You&rsquo;ll be surprised at how refreshed you&rsquo;re home will feel with a few simple changes.</p> <h3>9. Take a Trip to Nearby Wineries</h3> <p>Most people head to wineries during the spring, summer, and fall &mdash; which is why winter is the best time for you to take a trip. A thinner crowd means a more relaxed tasting. Pack a picnic &mdash; some grapes, cheese, maybe a Thermos of soup, and fresh bread &mdash; and plan an afternoon tasting the fruits of nature&rsquo;s labor.</p> <h3>10. Hit the After-Holiday Sales</h3> <p>Last year I was away in Miami on vacation, so I wasn&rsquo;t able to partake in my annual ritual of scouring Target for their post-holiday sales. Totally heartbreaking. I love going right after New Year&rsquo;s to score the 90% off deals on Christmas décor, wrapping paper, lights, and more. By the time it reaches 90% off, the lot is totally picked through, but beggars can&rsquo;t be choosy. I&rsquo;m always happy with my purchases, especially since I save a ton of cash.</p> <h3>11. Visit a New City by Bus</h3> <p>Bus fare is cheap these days. For instance, I travel from my home in New York City to visit family and friends in Baltimore for less than $40 round trip. That&rsquo;s a steal! You don&rsquo;t have to go far during your staycation (because that defeats the whole purpose), so pick a place less than two hours away from your home and take a day trip. Do your research before you get there so you can identify restaurants and shops that you don&rsquo;t want to miss. Don&rsquo;t forget to pack your computer, either. Many bus lines featured onboard Wi-Fi nowadays, so you can pop a DVD into your computer and cozy up the entire ride there and back.</p> <h3>12. Devour a Stack of Books</h3> <p>Whether you prefer books on tape, books on your tablet, or those paper things that line the shelves of the library, set aside a few hours &mdash; or even a whole day &mdash; to get whisked away in a story or two.&nbsp;</p> <h3>13. Invite Other Staycationers Over for a Sleepover</h3> <p>Who doesn&rsquo;t love a good sleepover? In the winter, we occasionally invite friends over for a night of movies, games, food, drinks, and other fun in our pajamas. We have a guest bedroom so we allow them to sleep there, but even a pullout is great to pile up on and talk the night away. We even invite over their dog, if they have one, so ours has company while the adults are kicking back.</p> <h3>14. Go Thrift Shopping</h3> <p>What&rsquo;s great about thrift shopping right after the holidays is that a lot of people have cleaned out their closets and donated their old clothes and accessories to make room for the new items they received as gifts. Make a run to the local <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/to-buy-or-not-to-buy-criteria-for-thrift-store-clothes-shopping">thrift or vintage shop</a> (and check to see what days offer discounts first) and browse the aisles for an hour or two to find the perfect pieces you never knew you wanted.</p> <p><em>Have other fun winter staycation ideas? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F14-fun-winter-staycation-ideas&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F14%20Fun%20Winter%20Staycation%20Ideas.jpg&amp;description=14%20Fun%20Winter%20Staycation%20Ideas" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/14%20Fun%20Winter%20Staycation%20Ideas.jpg" alt="14 Fun Winter Staycation Ideas" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-fun-winter-staycation-ideas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-frugal-colonizers-guide-to-getting-to-mars">The Frugal Colonizer&#039;s Guide to Getting to Mars</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-fun-activities-to-get-your-grinch-into-the-holiday-spirit">4 Fun Activities to Get Your Grinch into the Holiday Spirit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hobbies-you-can-start-for-under-10">25 Hobbies You Can Start for Under $10</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment General Tips Travel staycations things to do trips winter activities Wed, 30 Nov 2011 11:36:44 +0000 Mikey Rox 804353 at http://www.wisebread.com