small town http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10347/all en-US 5 Reasons to Travel Off the Beaten Path http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-travel-off-the-beaten-path <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-to-travel-off-the-beaten-path" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-4991700-small.jpg" alt="travel" title="travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traveling has been a passion of mine, but growing older and raising a family doesn&rsquo;t allow for as much downtime as I had in my 20s. However, we still make every effort of getting out of town and visiting new places. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/housesit-on-your-next-vacation" target="_blank">Housesit on Your Next Vacation</a>)</p> <p>We don&rsquo;t often <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources" target="_blank">schedule trips</a>&nbsp;to world-famous tourist destinations. We prefer to travel off the beaten path, selecting locations that will not be swamped with annoying tourists or priced completely out of our range. To date, Maine has been one of our favorite locations to visit, even though we went to a small area and rented a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Actually, the privacy was one of the reasons our Maine trip was the best. We had an entire ocean cove to explore with access to a rocky shore and no one bothering us. A short drive brought us into a small harbor town that was fascinating to explore despite the lack of traditional tourist traps.</p> <p>Since our vacation to Maine a few years back, we have come to appreciate the many benefits of the vacations less taken. Here are five reasons you might consider traveling where the rest of the world doesn&rsquo;t.</p> <h2>1. Discount Attractions</h2> <p>Lots of places have great things to see and do that aren't well known outside of the region. It&rsquo;s all about finding a place related to what you love or love to do and doing some research.</p> <p>If you like the water, find an out of the way beach location or other body of water. Boat rentals may be less expensive and beaches less crowded, and you can truly relax especially with family in tow. Many places will promote their small business tourism with big <a href="http://discountattractions.com/" target="_blank">discount attractions</a> that can really make travel affordable and fun. You should plan ahead by visiting the local community pages for activity information and coupons. The larger, more popular attractions often have no problem getting business and provide very little in the way of discounts and deals.</p> <h2>2. More Lodging Amenities</h2> <p>If you typically go to the same big-time tourist spots each year, you know the competition for hotel bookings can be tough. When you go to a less-traveled location, you often <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-rules-of-budget-travel" target="_blank">get much more for your money</a> without stiff competition. Lesser-known locations may also offer several options for your lodging comfort including bed and breakfasts and private home rentals that are more reasonably priced and more accommodating.</p> <h2>3. More Privacy</h2> <p>There are people that enjoy the hustle and bustle of popular spots, but there are also many who travel to get away from all the noise. Our family always rents homes for affordability and for convenience. We don&rsquo;t have to worry about being too loud for the neighbors and vice versa. Traveling with kids also means we find places with a backyard or private swimming pool, so we can kick back and enjoy without dealing with crowds and partiers.</p> <h2>4. More Downtime</h2> <p>When you don&rsquo;t have to constantly worry about the crowds, you can spend more time actually enjoying your day &mdash; and your fellow travelers. Without a dinner rush to beat, you have more time to explore a new place and do things as you feel like doing them, rather than be concerned with what the herds of people are doing and where they are going. Traveling should be about doing things at leisure, not rushing around through the days and missing the actual fun.</p> <h2>5. Less Stress</h2> <p>Especially when traveling with kids, it can be highly stressful to constantly worry about a child&rsquo;s safety in big crowds. When venturing in a quieter, private setting, kids can have a little more freedom to explore and parents can relax. Absorbing a community&rsquo;s culture can also be very rewarding. You get to learn about new places, histories, and the community at large in a more relaxed environment. Many places <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-fun-and-libations-brewery-and-winery-tours" target="_blank">offer great food selections</a> that can&rsquo;t be found elsewhere. There can be a lot to look forward to visiting an out of the way location.</p> <p>For added benefits, consider traveling to off-the-beaten path locations that are still close enough to the larger attractions you are interested in. You can spend a day in a more chaotic environment and still have the advantage of a nice, comfortable place to relax for the rest of the time.</p> <p><em>To what off-the-beaten-path locales have your travels taken you?</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-reasons-to-travel-off-the-beaten-path&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Reasons%20to%20Travel%20Off%20the%20Beaten%20Path.jpg&amp;description=5%20Reasons%20to%20Travel%20Off%20the%20Beaten%20Path" 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%20Reasons%20to%20Travel%20Off%20the%20Beaten%20Path.jpg" alt="5 Reasons to Travel Off the Beaten Path" 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/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-travel-off-the-beaten-path">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-12"> <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-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</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-things-youre-paying-too-much-for-when-you-travel-and-how-to-pay-less">10 Things You&#039;re Paying Too Much for When You Travel (and How to Pay Less)</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-ways-to-make-money-while-you-travel">15 Ways to Make Money While You Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel cheap vacations lodging discounts small town tourist attractions Wed, 22 May 2013 10:36:35 +0000 Tisha Tolar 974176 at http://www.wisebread.com City Shopping: Finding Your New Frugal Home http://www.wisebread.com/city-shopping-finding-your-new-frugal-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/city-shopping-finding-your-new-frugal-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2236929389_14e65a75e2_z.jpg" alt="looking at a map" title="looking at a map" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Living frugally means more than paying attention to the small details of our financial lives. Sometimes the broad brushstrokes we make can affect our lifestyles more than anything else. People seldom talk about how the place we choose to live can add to &mdash; or detract from &mdash; our frugal goals. Besides the obvious factors like job opportunities, proximity to family, and property prices, what are some other things we should consider when exploring cities and deciding where to make a new frugal home? (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/live-where-its-cheap">Live Where It's Cheap</a>)</p> <h2>Cost of Living</h2> <p>Typically, when we think of cost of living, we look at things like the prices of property, food, and education. But some other costs have a way of sneaking up on you.</p> <p><strong>Property Tax/County Tax</strong></p> <p>When I moved from Chicago to Portland, Oregon I didn&rsquo;t realize there was a temporary county tax in place. Though it only lasted a few years, I hadn&rsquo;t budgeted for it, and it was an unpleasant surprise. Research property tax rates and special taxes imposed by the country that might affect your bottom-line.</p> <p><strong>Climate/Weather</strong></p> <p>Harsh winters and brutal summers can add up to high energy bills. Consider how typical weather patterns year-round will affect your budget &mdash; especially if you&rsquo;re moving from a temperate climate to one with bigger seasonal extremes.</p> <p><strong>Transit Options</strong></p> <p>Transportation costs can be a budget-buster. Communities without bike lanes, a well-organized mass transit system, or pedestrian-friendly streets mean you&rsquo;ll be depending on your car almost exclusively. Don&rsquo;t forget to look at airport options for longer trips too. Is there a regional hub nearby? The size of the airport often dictates what airlines service the area, how often flights leave, and how expensive tickets will be.</p> <h2>Community</h2> <p>A lively and engaged community can be a boon to savers. Strong communities mean neighbors help neighbors and interact with each other through a wide range of social and commercial activities.</p> <p><strong>Like-Minded Neighbors</strong></p> <p>Every town is different. Though it might be hard at first, try to get a read on the local vibe. Do neighbors seem to congregate together or go solo? Are there clubs, coffee shops, or organizations where people connect with each other to explore interests or network professionally? A strong community can help frugal folks meet, encourage each other, and exchange ideas.</p> <p><strong>Resale Environment</strong></p> <p>Thrift stores, charities, yard sales, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-not-to-buy-at-a-farmers-market">farmers markets</a> help make up the fabric of a local community. Do a bit of exploring and find out if your new town has any thrift stores, encourages yard sales, or hosts farmers markets. All are great venues for finding bargains or making a few bucks on the side.</p> <h2>Entertainment/Activities</h2> <p>Well-designed communities don't forget about play. Opportunities to enjoy nature, explore, meet your neighbors, and be engaged culturally are important parts of a well-rounded frugal life.</p> <p><strong>Colleges and Universities</strong></p> <p>The presence of colleges or universities may be the single biggest clue about what frugal resources can be found in a community. Colleges host symposiums, lectures, plays, debates, concerts, and authors from around the world. These cultural events are often free for students and open to the broader community for a nominal fee. Besides these formal events, college campuses bring energy and liveliness to a town that&rsquo;s hard to match in any other way.</p> <p><strong>Parks and Natural Attractions</strong></p> <p>Sure, sometimes it&rsquo;s great to splurge on a movie. But communities that lack public spaces, parks, hiking trails, or natural attractions make movies the only option. Explore what <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">destinations or activities you can find that are nearby and free</a>.</p> <p>Choosing a new place to call home is a big decision. How a city or town is designed to support a thrifty lifestyle is just one piece of a much bigger puzzle. But many of the qualities outlined above go far beyond simple frugality; they&rsquo;re also important parts of rich civic life &mdash; and that&rsquo;s hard to put price on.</p> <p><em>Have you made a major move recently? How has your new town helped or hurt your frugal pursuits? Were there any pleasant surprises that ended up saving you some serious cash?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/city-shopping-finding-your-new-frugal-home">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/9-items-city-dwelling-dudes-should-keep-in-their-bags">9 Items City-Dwelling Dudes Should Keep in Their Bags</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-places-it-pays-to-relocate-to">6 Places It Pays to Relocate To</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-live-in-a-big-city-on-a-small-town-budget">How to Live in a Big City on a Small-Town Budget</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-fun-practically-free-ways-to-make-new-friends">10 Fun, Practically Free Ways to Make New Friends</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/who-moved-my-stuff-0">Who Moved My Stuff?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle city life moving new homes small town Tue, 22 May 2012 09:36:36 +0000 Kentin Waits 929268 at http://www.wisebread.com My Small-Town Move That Ended The Job-Search Blues http://www.wisebread.com/my-small-town-move-that-ended-the-job-search-blues <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my-small-town-move-that-ended-the-job-search-blues" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/main street.jpg" alt="main street in small town" title="main street in small town" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was a new college grad, I wanted to live and work in a big city with great opportunities. I didn't know that an <a href="http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/data/UNRATE.txt">unemployment rate of 9-10%</a> wasn't the economy as usual (recent media reports have mentioned that today's <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&amp;sid=alVnhb9FwddA&amp;refer=home">unemployment statistics are the worst since 1982</a>, when I entered the full-time workforce); I did know that just a few of my classmates had real jobs waiting for them upon graduation. So, I searched for a job anywhere, and landed in a small town. Since then, I&rsquo;ve spoken with others who have made similar moves. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of career building and living in a small town that's not your hometown.</p> <h3>Career Building</h3> <p><strong>Pros</strong></p> <p>Even major corporations with corporate offices or a presence (such as a distribution center, retail store, or research facility) in a small town sometimes have difficulty attracting top talent, compared to their big-city peers. They will often give greater responsibilities to capable but less experienced employees and offer opportunities for professional growth through support of continuing education, mentoring programs, or tuition reimbursement. These companies may also offer exceptional employee benefits.</p> <p>Those who have worked for small-town corporations are often able to get valuable experience in a relatively short amount of time: you might control millions of dollars in inventory, set strategic direction for a small division, or make presentations to key customers or an executive staff early in your tenure. Moving up will depend on the growth of the company; a fast-growing one may promote quickly whereas a more stable or mature organization may have less employee turnover, making it more difficult to take the next step.</p> <p><strong>Cons</strong></p> <p>A downside to having access to fewer talented employees may be leaner operations with lower headcount. As a result, you may spend long hours at the office or on the distribution, sales, or production floor.</p> <p>Because the cost of living is often lower, salaries may be lower also; your standard of living while in the small town may be just fine -- you'll just need to consider costs in new towns or cities should you decide to relocate later in your career, and negotiate compensation accordingly.</p> <p>The process of extracting yourself from the company may be tricky. Few employers in town may mean that you'll have to relocate in order to take the great job that you are now equipped to handle. If there are desirable employers around, you'll have to take extra steps to keep your job search confidential and avoid being spotted by your boss's friend on an interview.</p> <p>If you have a significant other, the prospects that <i>both of you</i> will find meaningful, decent-paying jobs with great companies in a small town may be less likely than if you lived in a larger town with a more diverse employment base.</p> <p>I was single when I moved to a small town, where I met my husband, so initially the jobs-for-two issue was not a problem. But when my employer was acquired and its corporate functions were eliminated, finding a new position wasn&rsquo;t easy. One of the largest companies in town quickly declared a hiring freeze, possibly to avoid an influx of recently displaced friends and relatives. (At the time, the Internet was not yet commercially available and telecommuting was in its infancy; today, working remotely or running an online business would be a reasonable option for having a career in a small town.)</p> <h3>Housing</h3> <p><strong>Pros</strong></p> <p>Housing is often less expensive and real estate prices more stable. Exceptions might be small towns that are near resort areas or in college towns.</p> <p><strong>Cons</strong></p> <p>Large apartment complexes with space available are scarce. When I moved to a small town, I found one large complex near the community college and close to town (an ideal location): there were many units but no openings. Most apartments had four to eight units, usually with a wait list that didn&rsquo;t move very often. However, I was able to lease an apartment that was a 15-minute drive from work. Later, I managed to find a rental house near town though it took a few months of searching. At the time, there were no property management companies in the area so there was a lot of legwork involved in finding a home.</p> <p>When a major employer reduces its workforce in the area, the housing market is likely to falter. In my case, my employer was acquired by a larger competitor and its corporate offices were closed; as a result, there were lots of people with homes to sell but not a corresponding number hoping to buy. The housing market slumped for a while, and then recovered.</p> <p>Limited residential development in a small town can be both an advantage and disadvantage: there may be fewer choices of neighborhood homes but when those homes come up for sale, there may be a ready market.</p> <p>When my husband and I decided to sell our house in a nice, close-to-town, and affordable neighborhood, we had a good offer within a couple of days; our buyers had been looking for a while and when our house came on the market, they snatched it up.</p> <h3>Social Life and Entertainment</h3> <p><strong>Pros</strong></p> <p>Moving to a 5,000-person town may not sound like the path to a great social life but since nearly everyone knows everyone else, it's easy to meet people. If I had something vaguely in common with another person, we often became instant friends. I spent much of my time during the week at friends' homes or at one of the few meeting places in town, and headed to the nearby mountains for hiking on weekends.</p> <p>The movies never sold out nor was it difficult to get good seats for the occasional live theater production. If something fun was going on, it was usually easy to find and required very little planning to attend.</p> <p><strong>Cons</strong></p> <p>There is a greater intersection between personal and professional lives as coworkers are more likely to live in your neighborhood, visit the same restaurants, attend the same events, etc. You might feel as if you can't get away from work or your co-workers.</p> <p>Choices are limited. There may be just a few restaurants and a couple of movies available.</p> <p><strong><em>Bottom line: </em></strong>You might get great experience working in a small town but consider whether you'll have a good time after hours, before making a move. For me, just having a job helped me to enjoy life after college.</p> <p>For ideas on how to thrive career-wise in a small town:</p> <p><a href="http://money.aol.com/investing/small-towns-big-companies">Large companies in small towns</a> (AOL and Blogging Stocks)</p> <p><a href="http://money.cnn.com/2007/07/23/news/economy/best.places.fortune/index.htm">Big employers, small towns</a> (CNN Money)</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/effective-networking-in-a-one-horse-town">Networking in a small town</a> (Wise Bread)</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/plumas-county-hidden-cheaper-california">A Telecommuter's Move</a> (Wise Bread)</p> <p><a href="http://www.forbes.com/2008/05/29/jobs-workplace-recruitment-lead-careers-cx_tw_0529smalltown_slide_4.html?thisSpeed=15000">Tips For A Small-Town Job Search</a> (Forbes slide show)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-small-town-move-that-ended-the-job-search-blues">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/10-things-your-boss-wishes-you-knew">10 Things Your Boss Wishes You Knew</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-make-public-speaking-less-terrifying">How to Make Public Speaking Less Terrifying</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/you-got-a-raise-now-what">You Got a Raise! Now What?</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/how-good-writing-skills-saves-and-earns-money">How good writing skills save and earn 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/how-to-tell-if-that-home-business-opportunity-is-really-a-pyramid-scheme">How to Tell if That Home Business Opportunity Is Really a Pyramid Scheme</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income career building small town Mon, 26 Jan 2009 00:17:52 +0000 Julie Rains 2754 at http://www.wisebread.com