travel en-US How to Earn Tons of Frequent Flyer Miles Without Flying <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-earn-tons-of-frequent-flyer-miles-without-flying" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="traveler" title="traveler" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I earned my first airline miles as a teenager by flying on airplanes via purchased tickets. At the time, I assumed that was the only way to earn airline miles. Turns out, that isn't even the main way to earn airline miles. You can earn airline miles doing everything from dining out to shopping online,to setting up an investment account. You can then use those miles that you earned in everyday life to fly to places near and far &mdash; virtually for free. If that sounds as intriguing to you as it did to me, here are a few simple ways you can rack up enough airlines miles to fly in first class on an award ticket without ever having to step on a plane. (See also: <a href="">Best Credit Cards for Travel Rewards</a>)</p> <h2>Airline Credit Cards</h2> <p>The easiest and quickest way to rack up a whole bunch of airline miles is via the airlines' co-branded credit cards such as the United MileagePlus Cards, the American <a href="">Citi AAdvantage World Cards</a>, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Cards, or the US Airways Dividend Miles Cards. Virtually every major airline has at least one credit card partner, and they often have at least one personal and business credit card available, and sometimes more than that. Make everyday purchases on those credit cards, and watch your miles add up.</p> <p>The sign-up bonus alone is usually enough to get you a couple of free domestic flights, or a good chunk of the way to a premium international flight. In addition to being a fantastic way to earn airline miles, these co-branded airline cards often give you perks like free checked bags, early boarding, or an annual discounted companion airline ticket. (See also: <a href="">5 Great Cards With Companion Tickets</a>)</p> <p>Some credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred or American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card aren't specifically labeled an airline credit card, but they still earn points that can transfer to airline miles, so don't discount those either.</p> <h2>Online Shopping</h2> <p>If you do any of your shopping online, you could be earning major airline miles for those purchases. There are online shopping portals such as United MileagePlus Shopping and American AAdvantage e-Shopping that will pay you airline miles for going to your favorite online retailer websites such as Gap, Home Depot, Apple, Sears, and more via their website. They will track the purchases you make by first going to their site, and then pay you airline miles for each dollar you spend. I have earned as many as 30 extra airline miles per dollar for making online purchases during some lucrative airline shopping portal promotions. In this case, a $100 purchase would earn 3,000 valuable airline miles, so it can really add up quickly. (See also: <a href="">Guide to Cash Back Shopping</a>)</p> <h2>Dining Rewards</h2> <p>If you register your credit cards with the Dining Rewards Network via programs like United MileagePlus Dining you can earn up to 5 miles per dollar when you dine at participating restaurants. This is <em>on top of any miles you might earn</em> directly from your credit card for dining purchases. Some areas of the country have more participating restaurants than others, but it is another free and simple way to pick up some extra airline miles. When you sign up, look for new customer promotions such as earning 1,000 United miles for spending $30 at a participating restaurant.</p> <h2>Send Flowers</h2> <p>If you need to send flowers to someone, then you can also have a smile put on your face by earning more than 30 miles per dollar for your generous gift! On a $50 flower order this would come to 1,500 airline miles! That is roughly the same as you would usually earn flying from New York City to Austin. The offers change from time to time, but FTD offers points for <a href="">United MileagePlus</a>, <a href="">Delta SkyMiles</a>, and <a href="">American Airlines AAdvantage</a> members.</p> <h2>Investments</h2> <p>You can earn airline miles for funding investment accounts. This one may not work for everyone due to the amount of cash involved, but you can get up to 50,000 <a href="">American</a>, <a href="">United</a>, or <a href="">Delta</a> miles for funding a Fidelity non-retirement brokerage account.</p> <h2>Being Social</h2> <p>Airline frequent flyer programs have become very active on social media in recent years, so from time to time there will be opportunities to earn free miles for participating in promotions, completing surveys, or via contests that they advertise on Twitter or Facebook. I recommend following a few of the major airline programs on your social media accounts so you can stay on the lookout for the free and easy miles they sometimes make available. (See also: <a href="">This Is How You Win Sweepstakes</a>)</p> <h2>Hotels and Rental Cars</h2> <p>Another way to earn airline miles is to stay on the lookout for bonus miles offers from hotel and rental car chains. You can often choose to earn airline miles instead of rental car or hotel points, and while this doesn't always make sense, occasionally bonuses make the airline miles you earn more valuable than the points you are forgoing.</p> <p>There are also hotel bookings sites like <a href="">PointsHound</a> and <a href="">RocketMiles</a> that will pay you literally thousands of airline miles for some hotel bookings that you make via their respective websites.</p> <p>These are a few of the main ways that you can earn enough airline miles to literally fly around the world without ever having to buy an airline ticket!</p> <p><em>Where do you pickup bonus airline miles? Please share some in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Earn Tons of Frequent Flyer Miles Without Flying" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Summer Hull</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Credit Cards Travel credit card rewards miles travel Thu, 10 Apr 2014 09:36:28 +0000 Summer Hull 1135028 at Best Money Tips: Affordable Travel Tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-affordable-travel-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="train" title="train" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on affordable travel tips, grocery shopping for 4 on $100 a week, and ways to avoid a money pit.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">10 Affordable Travel Tips to Stay Within Your Vacation Budget</a> &mdash; Traveling during the off-season and watching for deals can help you stay within your vacation budget. [Money Crashers]</p> <p><a href="">Grocery Shopping for 4 on $100 a Week</a> &mdash; To grocery shop for four on $100 a week, only buy what you will realistically eat in a week. [Bargain Babe]</p> <p><a href="">Considering a Fixer-Upper? 15 Ways to Avoid a Money Pit</a> &mdash; Watching for rot and spotting a bad location can help you avoid buying a money pit when purchasing a home. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="">7 Ways to Save on Home Decor</a> &mdash; Haggling and shopping at discounted retailers can help you save on home decor. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="">Work-Life Balance Isn't About Balance</a> &mdash; Work-life balance is about managing energy, not time. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">5 Secrets to Spending Less at the Grocery Store</a> &mdash; To spend less at the grocery store, nix the name brands.[Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="">Always buy the biggest pizza...That's why God created freezers...and big ziplock bags</a> &mdash; It is almost always more cost-effective to purchase the largest size when ordering a pizza. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="">Spring Cleaning Made Simple</a> &mdash; Open your windows and tackle your junk drawer when you begin spring cleaning. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="">Dividend Investing Basics</a> &mdash; Dividend investing works because it provides a steady stream of income. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="">How to Set Up a Personalized Terms and Conditions Page For Your Website</a> &mdash; When setting up a terms and conditions page for your website, use a personalized generator. [Thousandaire]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Affordable Travel Tips" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel affordable best money tips travel Mon, 24 Mar 2014 10:00:21 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1132251 at 11 Vacation Destinations That Stretch Your Dollar <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-vacation-destinations-that-stretch-your-dollar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="traveler" title="traveler" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A lot of people think they can&#39;t afford a vacation. That might be the case if they want to travel to expensive destinations like Hawaii or Paris. But not all destinations are created equal. (See also: <a href="">Top 5 Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>Based on my experience, the more developed a country, the higher the costs. For example, North America, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand are typically more expensive; while Eastern Europe, Asia, and Central America are typically less expensive.</p> <p>So the good news is the world is full of budget-friendly destinations just waiting to be explored. Here are 11 to get you started.</p> <h2>Southeast Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia)</h2> <p>If you&#39;re working on a shoestring budget, then look no further than Southeast Asia.</p> <p>While your flight might cost more up front, all other daily costs are very budget-friendly. For example, I traveled through Southeast Asia for over five months on only $25 per day, including flights and visas.</p> <ul> <li>Accommodations: $10 / night (guest house), $5 / night (hostel/dorm)</li> <li>Meal: $2</li> <li>Beer: $1</li> </ul> <h2>India</h2> <p>India is a huge country ,and the price of accommodations will range depending on your location. Overall, accommodations are slightly more expensive than Southeast Asia, while meals are slightly less expensive. (See also: <a href="">How to Budget for Your Next Vacation</a>)</p> <ul> <li>Accommodations: $15-25 / night (guest house)</li> <li>Meal: $1</li> <li>Beer: $1</li> </ul> <p>As a side note, if you&#39;re planning to overland travel through India, take the train rather than a bus to avoid bumpy roads and pay a few extra dollars for an upgraded train car. A comfortable bed and a little AC are worth it.</p> <h2>Nepal</h2> <p>Most people think hiking in the Himalayas is expensive. Heck, climbing <a href="">Everest can cost more than $60,000</a>! But not all hiking in Nepal is expensive.</p> <p>I hiked the <a href="">Annapurna Circuit</a> &mdash; an 18 to 21 day horseshoe shaped trek that winds around the Annapurna mountain range in the Himalaya &mdash; for under $20 per day. And don&#39;t get suckered into paying for a porter and guide. They&#39;ll add to the overall cost, and they&#39;re not required.</p> <ul> <li>Accommodations: $5-10 / night (guest house)</li> <li>Meal: $1-2</li> <li>Beer: $3</li> </ul> <p>Tip: It pays to be nice in Nepal. There were several guest house owners that offered me free accommodations just because I was nice. A friendly smile and a good attitude go a long way! (See also: <a href="">10 Ways Nice People Can Get Ahead</a>)</p> <h2>Central America (Guatemala and Nicaragua)</h2> <p>In Central America, I traveled more slowly and rented apartments by the month. A fully furnished luxury apartment in Antigua, Guatemala was $900 a month ($30/day) and a one bedroom apartment in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua was $580 per month ($20/day). (See also: <a href="">For Affordable Vacations, Travel Slowly</a>)</p> <p>Even if you don&#39;t travel for an entire month, you should still research the monthly cost of an apartment. The overall costs might be less expensive than a nightly rate. Plus apartments are typically cleaner and come with a kitchen, so you can cook your own meals. (See also: <a href="">Easy Recipes for the Traveling Chef</a>)</p> <ul> <li>Accommodations: $25 / night (guest house), $10 / night (dorm)</li> <li>Meal: $5</li> <li>Beer: $2</li> </ul> <h2>Hungary</h2> <p>I haven&#39;t been to Hungary since 2000, but the prices haven&#39;t gone up much. You can get a decent hotel room for under $25 per night or relax at one of Budapest&#39;s thermal day spas for under $10. For some real savings consider getting a one bedroom apartment in the city center for about $300 per month!</p> <ul> <li>Accommodations: $25 / night (hotel)</li> <li>Meal: $5-10</li> <li>Beer: $2</li> </ul> <h2>Peru</h2> <p>After traveling through Peru for a month in 2012, I was shocked at how reasonable the prices were. Most accommodations were under $20, and you could get a fresh bowl of ceviche for $5.</p> <ul> <li>Accommodations: $20 / night (guest house)</li> <li>Meal: $5-10</li> <li>Beer: $2</li> </ul> <p>Most people who visit Peru want to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, which is very pricey. If you want to hike, consider staying in the city of Huaraz which offers world-class hiking in the Cordelia Blanca mountain range.</p> <h2>Start Planning!</h2> <p>Because these destinations are budget-friendly, they&#39;re also very popular among tourists and have plenty of accommodations. In most cases, you won&#39;t need to book in advance (unless it&#39;s during a holiday or major event).</p> <h3>Accommodations</h3> <p>To find accommodations, head to the main area of town and simply walk around. If you want more structure, <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=lonely%20planet&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;sprefix=lonely%2Caps%2C303&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks">Lonely Planet guidebooks</a> provide accommodation suggestions for budget, mid-range, and high-end. Check out a few rooms before booking. If you&#39;ve noticed there are several vacancies in the area, you might able to negotiate a better price or free breakfast. (See also: <a href="">How to Negotiate With Confidence</a>)</p> <p>If you&#39;re looking for a vacation rental, <a href="">VRBO</a>, <a href="">Airbnb</a>, and <a href="">craigslist</a> are good places to start.</p> <h3>Visas and Other Fees</h3> <p>Always research the cost of visas and taxes, which vary depending upon what country you&#39;re from and what country you are visiting. For example, the entry cost for a U.S. citizen flying into Santiago, Chile is $160. These hidden costs can add up fast and blow your budget.</p> <p>In addition to where you travel, it&#39;s how you travel that can save you a significant amount of money. You can stretch your dollar all around the world if you travel with an open mind and open itinerary.</p> <h3>Costs Elsewhere</h3> <p>Want to know the costs for another country?</p> <p><a href=""></a> is a handy website that lists the cost of living &mdash; including restaurants, transportation, and accommodations &mdash; for countries all around the world. Sort by cost and find your own value destinations, or compare a couple of destinations side-by-side and discover which is the better bargain.</p> <p><em>Where have you found great travel bargains?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="11 Vacation Destinations That Stretch Your Dollar" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Darcie Connell</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel cheap travel discount vacation travel vacation Tue, 14 Jan 2014 11:24:09 +0000 Darcie Connell 1111182 at 10 Fun, Free Ways to Entertain Yourself During a Flight Delay <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-fun-free-ways-to-entertain-yourself-during-a-flight-delay" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="airport" title="airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My waiting periods at the airport, any airport, are always longer than average. Apparently, I look like I&#39;m from one of those bomb-making countries. As a result, I always have to get to the airport extra early so I have ample time for all my belongings to be swabbed for explosive residue, get sniffed by the drug dog, and receive a sexy, stand-up massage from gate security. I have spent, conservatively, four months of my life waiting in airports. (See also: <a href="">How to Speed Out of the Airport</a>)</p> <p>Thankfully, airports now provide a host of activities to help passengers enjoy their wait. For example, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, passengers can get a Yellow Fever vaccination. Traveling science buffs can watch a planetarium show at Tokyo&#39;s Haneda Airport. Incheon Airport outside Seoul boasts, amongst other things, teeth whitening services, a synthetic ice skating rink, and a movie theater.</p> <p>Airports can be super fun if you are super rich. Alas, I am not. Fortunately, with a little courage and creativity, airports can also be super fun if you are super poor. There are a number of totally free activities that can be done in any airport.</p> <h2>1. Have a Conversation</h2> <p>People are always amazed by how many friends I have overseas. Most of these friendships started as a conversation between strangers in a public space&hellip;like at the airport. My secret strategy for engaging conversation has been this: find the most attractive man in the room. Go sit next to him.</p> <p>Pro Tip: If you are nervous about sitting down next to a freak, prescreen potential chat buddies by Google Stalking people on Twitter or Instagram. Search via hashtag for someone interesting who is also stuck at your airport. Invite them to meet you for a cup of coffee in a neutral terminal. (See also: <a href="">Practically Free Ways to Make New Friends</a>)</p> <h2>2. Make Origami</h2> <p>I love making little toys out of travel brochures, magazine inserts, and candy wrappers. I am usually every adult&#39;s favorite person in the waiting area. Children are fascinated into silence by this activity. (See also: <a href="">20+ Ways to Reuse Paper</a>)</p> <h2>3. Play Evil Twin</h2> <p>My sister and I have played this game at airports since childhood. It&#39;s an extreme, competitive version of people watching. The object of the game is to find a celebrity resemblance for every person who walks by. For example: &quot;Look! It&#39;s the Ecuadorian Alan Greenspan!&quot; &quot;Oh my gosh! It&#39;s the Nigerian Tawny Kitaen!&quot; &quot;That guy is the Canadian Leonard Nimoy! Oh, that IS Leonard Nimoy.&quot; The person with the most creative/accurate comparisons wins.</p> <h2>4. Sleep</h2> <p>I used to sleep in airports to save money and time while traveling. But with tighter security measures, many airports will kick you out after midnight. Before late night traveling I always check out the site <a href=""></a>. In addition to posting information about which airports are open 24/7, and which airports are safe, it gives tips on which terminals have the best benches for sleeping, how to pack for an overnight stay at the airport, and, how to protect your bags.</p> <p>While sleeping in airports during airline delays is something I still do (to avoid jet lag), napping can be risky. I know people who have slept through final boarding calls. To avoid oversleeping, I not only set an alarm clock, but I also write &quot;PLEASE WAKE ME UP AT (INSERT TIME)&quot; Post-It Notes that I stick on myself. A Good Samaritan has never failed to wake me up in time to catch a flight. (See also: <a href="">How to Handle Flight Delays</a>)</p> <h2>5. Workout</h2> <p>The nice thing about yoga is that I can pretty much do it anywhere. Even if the floor is super gross, I can still do stretches while sitting in a chair. For everyone who is embarrassed just imagining me doing the downward dog at the gate, there are less obvious workouts that can be done while waiting for the next plane. Many larger airports have a ton of stairs to run up and down. The round floor plan of Terminal 1 at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris is perfect for laps, but walking up and down the terminal at any airport is a great way to burn calories. An empty moving walkway provides a decent, low-impact treadmill workout. (See also: <a href="">10+ Ways to Exercise in Under 5 Minutes</a>)</p> <h2>6. Look at Art</h2> <p>Heathrow&#39;s Terminal 5 has its own art gallery, but many airports now curate &quot;shows&quot; on their concourses featuring local artists. Before traveling, I look online and see what sights each airport offers. I&#39;ve admired the dinosaur at Atlanta&#39;s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, checked out the Liberty Bell made entirely from Legos at PHL, and marveled at Sky&#39;s The Limit at Chicago&#39;s O&#39;Hare.</p> <h2>7. Organize a Scavenger Hunt</h2> <p>I&#39;ve yet to organize a scavenger hunt at an airport, but I think this is a <em>must do</em> activity at the next family reunion.</p> <h2>8. Learn Foreign Vocabulary Words by Playing Dictionary</h2> <p>Play <a href="">Dictionary</a> with your foreign language dictionary.</p> <h2>9. Read a Book</h2> <p>Yes, there&#39;s always the sneaky method of reading magazines and books at the airport snack shop that I have no intention of buying, but I have a very low tolerance for the dirty looks I get from cashiers. I prefer to bring my own book(s) to the airport.</p> <p>Airports never have enough electrical outlets for charging personal electronics. Instead of downloading all my reading onto an electronic device &mdash; that inevitably runs out of juice two hours before my plane arrives &mdash; I always pack what my grade school librarian referred to as a &quot;Hijack Book,&quot; which is a really fat paperback I can read and then release into the wild without guilt when I&#39;m done with it. In fact, I generally pack a lot of sacrificial reading when I travel, because it ensures that I will have space in my luggage to bring home my travel purchases.</p> <p>And, if you are ever lucky enough to have a layover in Amsterdam, the Schiphol Airport has its own library that offers Dutch fiction in thirty languages.</p> <h2>10. Do a Crossword Puzzle</h2> <p>Trash pick a leftover newspaper and work on the crossword puzzle by yourself or with everyone in your waiting area.</p> <p><em>What is your favorite way to pass the time at the airport? Which airport do you think offers the best free experiences?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Fun, Free Ways to Entertain Yourself During a Flight Delay" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Max Wong</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel entertainment free entertainment free pastimes travel Tue, 24 Dec 2013 11:25:09 +0000 Max Wong 1101580 at 12 Fun Ways to Give Experiences Instead of Stuff <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-fun-ways-to-give-experiences-instead-of-stuff" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="scuba" title="scuba" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Giving an experience, or even one&#39;s time, as a holiday gift, in the place of things that people may not really want, is becoming more and more popular. Think about it. Giving an experience means that your recipient won&#39;t have something else to clutter their home, and it means that they get to do something that is fun and meaningful for them. (See also: <a href="">The Ultimate Gift Guide</a>)</p> <p>If giving experiences appeals to you this holiday season, here are just a few ideas to jumpstart your thoughts.</p> <h2>For the Kids</h2> <p>Kids usually have a long list of things they want, but that doesn&#39;t mean you can&#39;t treat them to fun (and educational?) experiences, instead.</p> <h3>1. Annual Passes</h3> <p>Give an annual pass to something they&#39;ll enjoy returning to, like the zoo, the aquarium, or a really nifty science museum. This is an especially frugal idea if you plan to visit these places multiple times in a year anyway, as these passes usually pay for themselves in 2-4 visits. My kids love to feed the giraffes at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo over and over again, or watch how Heran the tiger progresses in his training at the Denver Aquarium. (See also: <a href="">How to Visit Museums for Free</a>)</p> <h3>2. Field Trips</h3> <p>If your kids are in school, give a day off &quot;field trip&quot; somewhere exciting. Take them to an amusement park or an age-appropriate theater show, and throw in a meal at a fun restaurant.</p> <p>Give each of your children a day in your life. So many kids crave their parents&#39; time and attention, so knowing that you set aside the stuff that they usually see you doing in order to be with them means a lot. Even if you can&#39;t afford to go anywhere exciting, your kids will enjoy spending the day with you one-on-one. (See also: <a href="">15 Free Ways to Entertain Kids</a>)</p> <h2>For Your Spouse</h2> <p>A great thing about giving your spouse an experience is that it can be one you experience together.</p> <h3>3. Time Off</h3> <p>Give them some time off. You can give them a weekend without work, where you will take on all the tasks that would have been theirs so that they can rest, relax, and catch up on things that are important to them. If you want to, throw in gift certificates to some of their favorite places so they can pamper themselves that weekend, too. (See also: <a href="">Frugal Ways to Improve Your Spouse&rsquo;s Day</a>)</p> <h3>4. DIY Classes</h3> <p>Pay for the two of you to take classes in something you think you&#39;d enjoy but have never done. Try cooking or art classes in your neighborhood.</p> <h3>5. Mini Vacation</h3> <p>Plan a small vacation. Maybe you can reserve your favorite camping spot, or get a room in a quaint bed and breakfast near an area you&#39;ve always wanted to explore. This doesn&#39;t have to be anything extravagant &mdash; the important thing is that the two of you get away together. (See also: <a href="">14 Affordable Weekend Getaways</a>)</p> <h2>For Everybody Else</h2> <p>From the foodies you know to adventurous travelers, you can give all sorts of interesting, thoughtful experiences.</p> <h3>6. Babysitting</h3> <p>Offer to babysit for a night, or two, or even a whole weekend for a parent you know. This is a gift that is virtually free for you to give, but that is also very meaningful for the parents who receive it. Not only does this mean that they get some free time, but it means that they won&#39;t have to worry about their kids because they know their munchkins will be with someone they trust. And if you wonder whether this is really giving an experience, think about it from the parent&#39;s perspective. Time off plus no kids equals a chance to do something they love without having to worry.</p> <h3>7. A Special Meal</h3> <p>Learn to cook a unique meal that your foodie friend will love. If your friend likes a particular kind of cuisine, you can watch videos on YouTube that can teach you how to make dishes your friend will love. Not only is this an experience you can share with the recipient, but the people who get to taste test your practice sessions probably won&#39;t mind, either. (See also: <a href="">10+ Tasty Cuban Recipes</a>)</p> <h3>8. Cooking School, Part 2</h3> <p>If your foodie friend would prefer to learn some new cooking skills themselves, take them to one of the classes mentioned above, or offer a gift certificate.</p> <h3>9. Personal Travel Experiences</h3> <p>If you know someone on your list who is planning a trip, see if you can&#39;t buy a special experience for them while they&#39;re there. <a href="">Vayable</a> is a website that specializes in offering unique experiences to travelers by connecting them with locals who offer tours or lessons that might be hard to find otherwise. You can also contact the local travel bureau in your recipient&#39;s destination and see what they suggest. (See also: <a href="">Why You Should Travel Off the Beaten Path</a>)</p> <h3>10. Some Holiday Cheer</h3> <p>Spend some time with the recipient now that the holidays are in full swing, just experiencing the season together. Bake cookies, make hot chocolate, build a gingerbread house, and string garlands. Purchase all of the supplies and invite a group of people whose presence will be meaningful to the recipient, and you have a great gift for someone who just adores the holiday season.</p> <h3>11. A Bucket List Item</h3> <p>Buy the recipient a gift certificate to do something they&#39;ve always wanted to do. Whether it&#39;s base jumping, paragliding, or waterskiing, you can help the person knock something off their bucket list. If the price tag is too much for you to carry alone, organize a group of people who can give the recipient the adventure of a lifetime. If all of your friends are web savvy, <a href="">Share A Gift</a> can be a great way to make this happen online.</p> <h3>12. An Experience Certificate</h3> <p>If you just can&#39;t decide how they should spend their time, let them choose their own experience. You can buy a gift certificate to a website like <a href="">Cloud 9 Living</a>, where your recipient can choose their own adventure. I know my husband would love to be a fighter pilot for a day, and I&#39;d drag him along on my hot air balloon ride. Giving a gift like this not only means that you don&#39;t end up buying them something that isn&#39;t meaningful, but it also takes the hassle out of things on your end. You don&#39;t have to plan anything, and they still get an adventure that is special to them.</p> <p><em>Are you thinking of giving an experience as a gift this holiday season? Tell us about your plans in comments.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Fun Ways to Give Experiences Instead of Stuff" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Buying Guides buying guide DIY gift guide holiday gift guide travel Tue, 17 Dec 2013 10:24:59 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1100562 at How to Travel This Holiday Season Without Getting Sick <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-travel-this-holiday-season-without-getting-sick" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="airplane" title="airplane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="198" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My husband calls me &quot;iron guts.&quot;</p> <p>Not because I have six pack abs (sigh), but because I traveled through India for three months and didn&#39;t get sick. No Delhi belly. No cold. No flu. Nothing but a clean bill of health.</p> <p>How do I travel without getting sick? It&#39;s simple. I take care of myself and follow a few tricks &mdash; the same tricks that you can (and should) follow this holiday season when you travel. (See also: <a href="">Top Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Drink Water</h2> <p>Staying hydrated is important to your overall health. If you&#39;re flying, bring a water bottle with you to the airport. You can drink it during check in, carry the empty bottle through security, and fill it up before the flight. Plus, a lot of airports now have water filtration systems. (See also: <a href="">Ultimate Guide to Flying During the Holidays</a>)</p> <h2>Clip Your Nails</h2> <p>Long fingernails are a <a href="">breeding ground for bacteria and germs</a>. And what&#39;s worse&hellip; many people bite their nails when they&#39;re stressed under the pressure of the holidays and traveling. So keep those nails short, and keep your health.</p> <h2>Blow Your Nose</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Even if you don&#39;t have a runny nose, be sure to blow your nose throughout the day to clear any airborne germs. A good way to remember is to blow your nose after every meal or snack. And pocket-sized tissue packets are great for long travel days.</p> <h2>Sanitize</h2> <p>Highly used surfaces can easily collect germs and bacteria. Carry a travel-sized hand sanitizer and wipes with you to clean your hands regularly and surface areas (armrests, door handles, etc.). Don&#39;t forget to periodically wipe down your phone, keyboard, and other handheld devices.</p> <h2>Wash Your Hands</h2> <p>Frequently wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. A trick is to list the ABCs or sing your favorite holiday carol while you wash.</p> <h2>Take Vitamins</h2> <p>Vitamins travel well and can help fight colds and flus and boost your immune system. According to <a href="">WebMD</a>, you should consider the following supplements: Vitamin C, Echinacea, Zinc, Elderberry, Garlic, Ginseng, and Andrographis.</p> <h2>Eat Well</h2> <p>With endless sweet treats and food, it&#39;s easy to let yourself go during the holidays. Try to squeeze in some veggies and healthier items into your diet.</p> <h2>Use Disposable Items</h2> <p>Try to use disposable products for any items that touch your mouth or hands multiple times. For example, instead of using a coffee mug, use a recyclable disposable cup. (See also: <a href="">When You Should Buy Disposable</a>)</p> <h2>Skip the Airline Blankets and Pillows</h2> <p>It&#39;s been rumored (<a href="">again</a>) that airlines don&#39;t wash pillows and <a href="">blankets after every flight</a>. Bring your own or skip using these items to avoid unnecessary contact with germs.</p> <h2>Don&#39;t Touch Your Face</h2> <p>While this tip might seem obvious, it can be challenging for people during travel. Keep your fingers away from your mouth and eyes. If you do need to touch your face, wash your hands thoroughly beforehand.</p> <h2>Avoid Alcohol</h2> <p>Holiday travel is stressful and many people chose to drink to help deal with the stress. Be forewarned that alcohol can dehydrate you and weaken your immune system.</p> <h2>Dress in Layers and Stay Warm</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Airplanes are notorious for having extreme changes in temperature. One minute, it&#39;s 90 degrees. Then fast forward thirty minutes and it&#39;s freezing. Dress in layers and have a warm top layer readily accessible on the plane. (See also: <a href="">6 Things That&#39;ll Keep You Sane on a Plane</a>)</p> <h2>Wear a Scarf</h2> <p>I always wear a scarf when traveling. Not only do they keep you warm, they can be used to cover questionable surfaces, block the light to help you sleep, cover your hands when opening dirty door handles, and the list goes on.</p> <h2>Listen to Your Body</h2> <p>If you feel a cold or flu coming on, get plenty of rest, take your vitamins, and eat well. Pack a few cough drops and cold/flu medicine gel capsules for emergency situations. If you do get sick, you won&#39;t have the added stress of finding and going to a pharmacy. (See also: <a href="">Frugal Ways to Treat a Cold</a>)</p> <p>So take care of yourself this holiday season and follow these simple tricks.</p> <p><em>What tips do you have for maintaining your health when you travel? Leave a comment below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Travel This Holiday Season Without Getting Sick" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Darcie Connell</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Travel air travel germs Health travel Wed, 11 Dec 2013 10:31:19 +0000 Darcie Connell 1099942 at How to Get Through the Airport Faster <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="airport" title="airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes, the time and process of just getting to &mdash; and through &mdash; the airport makes flying an agonizing experience. It doesn&#39;t have to be! Use these tips to get through the airport faster and join the ranks of savvy frequent flyers. (See also: <a href="">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a>)</p> <p>I recently a completed a three-week, eight-country <a href="">whirlwind trip</a> through Europe. By using these tips, flying was a breeze &mdash; surprisingly so at times.</p> <h2>Before Check-In</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="line-height: 1.6em; opacity: 0.9; width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Preparation is key to getting through the airport faster. Here&#39;s your checklist.</p> <p><strong>Book Friendly Connections</strong></p> <p>If you miss your connection due to a delayed initial flight, you won&#39;t be getting through any airports quickly. Give yourself the best chances of having smooth connections by allowing at least 90 minutes between international flights. In cases of smaller airports or easy domestic flights, you can get away with 60 minutes. (See also: <a href="">What to Do When Your Flight is Delayed</a>)</p> <p><strong>Check In Online</strong></p> <p>You can usually check in online up to 24 hours before the flight; check in as early as possible for the best choice of seats (see below). Don&#39;t worry about printing your boarding pass if you don&#39;t have easy access to a printer; you can pick up your boarding pass at the airport, and in some cases a bar code on your smartphone will suffice.</p> <p><strong>Pick Your Seat Wisely</strong></p> <p>Checking in online usually allows you to choose or change your seat. Keep <a href="">SeatGuru</a> open on another tab, so you can look at their seating plans for your flight showing the best and worst seats.</p> <p>In choosing your seat, the closer to the front of the plane you can sit, the faster you&#39;ll get through the airport on the other side. This is paramount!</p> <p><strong>Go With Carry-On Only</strong></p> <p>This is another crucial element to getting through the airport quickly. You&#39;ll contend with having to lug around your bags after check-in, but you save time having to line up to check your bag, and more time yet when you cruise out of the airport on the other side while people are still waiting for their checked bags. (See also: <a href="">7 Tips for Single Bag Travel</a>)</p> <p>Traveling with carry-on only isn&#39;t that difficult. I can easily travel with this <a href="">carry-on packing list</a> for up to (and beyond) three months at a time in varying climates.</p> <p><strong>For Checked Bags: Pack Your Liquids</strong></p> <p>If you must check a bag, then put all your liquids and toiletries in the checked bag. Not having liquids in your carry-ons increases your chances of getting through security quicker. (See also: <a href="">5 Ways to Minimize Baggage Fees</a>)</p> <p><strong>For Carry-On: Bag Liquids and Keep Ready</strong></p> <p>It&#39;s always best to seal liquids in a bag to prevent &quot;shampoo disasters&quot; on arrival. With carry-on luggage, seal your liquids in a quart-sized or liter-sized bag, and leave it at the top of your case. (You&#39;ll see why when clearing security).</p> <p><strong>Wear the Right Shoes</strong></p> <p>Easily removable shoes make the security process much smoother. They also give you more freedom to get comfortable on long flights.</p> <p><strong>Skip the Belt, Keep Pockets Empty</strong></p> <p>These are just more things to remove and replace while shuffling your belongings on and off conveyor belts at security. Save yourself the hassle.</p> <p><strong>Bring a Pen</strong></p> <p>You just never know when you need a pen. For international travel, you&#39;ll need one to fill out departure/arrival cards and other miscellaneous tasks; don&#39;t get stuck waiting to borrow somebody else&#39;s pen.</p> <h2>When You Arrive at the Airport</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="line-height: 1.6em; opacity: 0.9; width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Depending on where in the world I am, I tend to arrive at the airport about 90 minutes in advance of the flight (for easy domestic flights I might reduce that to 60 minutes). Although this may be longer than necessary to get in and out as quickly as possible, it allows time for things to go wrong &mdash; as they often can &mdash; with unpredictable problems or delays.</p> <p><strong>Keep Your Passport Handy</strong></p> <p>Dorky as it may sound, I keep my passport and boarding pass in a small pouch hanging around my neck from the time I check in until I&#39;ve cleared customs and immigration at my destination. It&#39;s always close at hand, in one place, and it&#39;s easily accessible to flash or reference my passport and boarding pass &mdash; as is required a few times throughout the process.</p> <p><strong>Head for the Kiosk</strong></p> <p>Print out your boarding pass at a self-service kiosk to avoid the check-in line. This is especially handy if you&#39;re traveling with carry-on bags only.</p> <p><strong>Check-In Line Options</strong></p> <p>If you&#39;re checking luggage: Print out your boarding pass at the kiosk, and head for the baggage drop-off line, which is usually shorter and moves quicker.</p> <p>If you must line up for whatever reason: Hopefully you&#39;re a <a href="">frequent flyer mile superstar</a> and you&#39;re flying in business class or with membership privileges, so you can use the special reserved lines. If not, allow extra time for this process.</p> <p><strong>Go Straight for Security</strong></p> <p>Don&#39;t dally between checking in and clearing security. If there&#39;s a delay or problem (which hopefully there won&#39;t be if you follow the tips below), you want to allow time for it without missing your flight.</p> <h2>Getting Through Security</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>If you&#39;ve used this checklist thus far, your security line experience should be a relative breeze. Make it even quicker with these tricks.</p> <p><strong>Get Behind Business Travelers</strong></p> <p>Business travelers are usually frequent flyers who know how to not only choose fast lines, but how to move through them quickly: win win.</p> <p><strong>Look for Lone Agents</strong></p> <p>According to <a href="">Lifehacker</a>, if there are two agents standing at the x-ray monitor, one is usually a trainee, which means the line will move slower. Lone agents manning the monitors will usually keep the process moving.</p> <p><strong>Have Everything Ready</strong></p> <p>Pack all electronics (laptops, e-readers, etc), so they can be taken out and put in the security trays. The same applies to your liquids (the ones you made easily accessible while packing, as per above). Scarves, jackets, belts, pocket contents, and often shoes need to come off. (Hint: Put anything that would go in your pockets into your jacket to limit the number of things you need to manage). While waiting in the security lineup, I usually start this process by pulling out my laptop and liquids so I can just chuck everything in the trays.</p> <h2>On Landing</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>If you&#39;ve applied the tips above, you&#39;ll be (close to) first off the plane, with your passport at the ready and forms filled to clear customs and immigration quickly. And if you&#39;re traveling with carry-on bags only, you&#39;ll be cruising out of the airport in no time flat!</p> <p>Here are some additional tips to keep your momentum up.</p> <p><strong>Know Where You&#39;re Going</strong></p> <p>Hopefully you have accommodations booked and some sense of how to get there. Even if you&#39;re planning on heading into town to sniff out a place to stay, research the airport online, so you know the best way to get to wherever you&#39;re going. Getting stuck in lineups for information or to book tickets will delay your airport departure.</p> <p><strong>Pre-Book Transportation</strong></p> <p>If you&#39;re renting a car, march up to the rental desk with the confirmation number from your earlier online reservation. You can often book bus and train tickets online as well; other times you can use kiosks in the airport to buy tickets quickly.</p> <p><em>What is your best tip for getting through the airport faster?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Get Through the Airport Faster" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel air travel airports luggage travel Tue, 26 Nov 2013 11:24:04 +0000 Nora Dunn 1098526 at 10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman boarding plane" title="woman boarding plane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I love to travel. It sounds cliche, but it&#39;s true. At one point, I had been out of the country every summer for six years, including a six-month stay in Europe that included the ubiquitous backpack. (See also: <a href="">How to Save $1000 on Your Next Backpacking Trip</a>)</p> <p>Now that I have a family, traveling is a lot more expensive, and airfare is a huge chunk of that. I haven&#39;t given up on future trips, though, because there are so many ways to get free tickets these days. Below are some of the ideas that have worked for me or for people I know.</p> <h2>1. Volunteer to Get Bumped</h2> <p>If you&#39;ve flown at all, you probably know this drill. A flight gets overbooked, and so the gate agent asks for people to give up their seats in exchange for some sort of incentive. Often, that incentive is a voucher for a free or discounted ticket in the future. When you volunteer, they will usually book you through on another flight, so you still have a guaranteed way to get wherever you&#39;re going.</p> <h2>2. Complain (Politely!)</h2> <p>Did something go wrong on your last flight? If you write a polite letter to the airline, you will often receive some sort of compensation in return. This is sometimes even a voucher for a free flight! Even if you don&#39;t get that big payoff, you will often receive a discount on future tickets or some sort of free upgrade for your trouble. <a href="">Most airlines respond positively to polite complaints</a>. If something went wrong and you can document time, place, flight number, and personnel involved, you are likely to get something in exchange for your trouble. (See also: <a href="">How to Complain Effectively</a>)</p> <h2>3. Look for Incentives</h2> <p>These days, free airline tickets are offered as incentives for everything from opening a brokerage account with a certain minimum amount of money to taking out a mortgage. While you don&#39;t want to do these things just for the tickets, if you&#39;re going to do them anyway, you may as well get the free travel. If you&#39;re looking to make some sort of large investment, see if there&#39;s a way to do it that involves free tickets.</p> <h2>4. Rack Up the Miles</h2> <p>Join an airline frequent flyer program, and begin collecting miles towards a free ticket. It really is as easy as that. And most airlines are fairly good about helping you redeem your miles, as long as you follow their rules and plan your travel well in advance. You can maximize miles earned by choosing the longest route when you do fly, and you can often earn additional miles by making purchases through the rewards program website, etc. (See also: <a href="">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a>)</p> <h2>5. Redeem Those Credit Card Rewards</h2> <p>Credit cards have gotten a bad rap when it comes to actually letting you use your points to get free airline tickets. However, some of them actually do have quality programs. If you&#39;re looking for free tickets and will be using a credit card anyway, you might as well earn points towards your next trip. If you tend to fly one airline most of the time, you can also get a credit card that is strictly for that airline. <a href="">Southwest</a> has a particularly well-reviewed program. (See also: <a href="">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards)</a></p> <h2>6. Get a Job at the Airline</h2> <p>Airline employees often get discounted flights or <a href="">get to fly standby for free</a>. If you do a lot of flying, or would like to, and are open to a new or a second job, there&#39;s no reason not to try and get hired by an airline. As a bonus, many airlines also offer free standby tickets for immediate family members, so you can all fly for free together.</p> <h2>7. Ask for Tickets as a Gift</h2> <p>Ok, so this one may sound like cheating because someone is still paying for the tickets, but the key is that YOU are not paying for them. If there&#39;s a trip you&#39;d particularly like to take and you&#39;re the plan-ahead type, go ahead and see if you can&#39;t get the tickets for Christmas. Maybe all of your friends or relatives could go in together. Even if they can&#39;t come up with the full price of the tickets you want, asking for contributions can lower your personal investment significantly.</p> <h2>8. Ask for Miles Rather Than Money</h2> <p>If you know someone who racks up the frequent flyer miles, see if they&#39;d be willing to transfer some to you so that you can get a free ticket. This is particularly useful if the person giving the miles has more than they will ever use, knows that their miles will expire before they use them, or wants to give you a significant gift but really doesn&#39;t have the money. Try focusing your efforts on friends or relatives who travel quite frequently for work.</p> <h2>9. Win a Sweepstakes</h2> <p>There are many contests and sweepstakes out there that offer free airline tickets to winners. Sure, your chances of winning any single contest are low, but if you enter them systematically and frequently, your chances of winning eventually go up. While you can&#39;t plan your life around winning a sweepstakes, the tickets would be a nice surprise whenever your name comes up.</p> <h2>10.Watch for Airline Mistakes</h2> <p>A couple months ago, <a href="">United Airlines made a mistake</a> and offered a bunch of tickets for very cheap or free. While the mistake was only live for a couple of minutes, many people took advantage of it. If you frequent travel forums, though, you can catch these deals because people will post about them almost as soon as they happen. Sometimes, airlines will try to rescind the tickets sold during these mistakes, but most often they are honored. If you want free tickets, this is a great way to find them.</p> <h2>Bonus Standby Tip</h2> <p>Standby is no longer free, unless you or an immediate family member works for the airline. Flying standby used to be a great way to get free and/or deeply discounted airline tickets. However, most airlines now require you to have already purchased a ticket to even be eligible for standby flights, and many will charge you an additional fee, too. Each airline has a different policy, so check this out before you try to fly on a standby basis.</p> <p>Good luck, and good flying!</p> <p><em>How have you scored free or cheap airline tickets?</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel air travel Airfare discounts freebies travel Thu, 21 Nov 2013 10:48:06 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1098642 at Best Money Tips: Ways to Save Money at the Airport <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-to-save-money-at-the-airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="man at airport" title="man at airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread&#39;s <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on saving money at the airport, moving your money to a new bank, and resisting the hard sell.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">Zoom Zoom - 8 Ways to Save Money at the Airport While Traveling</a> &mdash; Save money at the airport by packing light and being your own doctor. [And Then We Saved]</p> <p><a href="">Moving Your Money to a New Bank: 5 Step Checklist</a> &mdash; When moving your money to a new bank, make a list of your automatic obligations so nothing falls through the cracks when you switch banks. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="">Resisting the Hard Sell - How to Say No to a Slick Sales Pitch</a> &mdash; To resist a sales pitch, always get at least 2-3 quotes from similar companies. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="">18 Facts You Probably Wish You Never Knew About Black Friday</a> &mdash; Did you know Black Friday isn&#39;t even the best day for deals anymore? [Len Penzo dot Com]</p> <p><a href="">10 Expenses your Parents didn&#39;t Incur</a> &mdash; Chances are your parents didn&#39;t have to pay for expensive gadgets or fashion. [One Cent at a Time]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">5 Ways To Save $5 A Day</a> &mdash; Save $5 a day by driving conservatively. [Cash The Checks]</p> <p><a href="">What to Do When Your Child&#39;s Report Card Doesn&#39;t Make the Grade</a> &mdash; If your child&#39;s report card doesn&#39;t make the grade, talk to his or her teacher. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="">7 ways to protect your computer from attacks</a> &mdash; To protect your computer from attacks, activate the security features of your Internet browser. [Living On The Cheap]</p> <p><a href="">15 Amazing Sights to See in Australia</a> &mdash; The Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach are two great places to visit if you go to Australia! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">Day One Advice: 78 successful bloggers reveal what they wish they knew</a> &mdash; Are you just starting a blog? Remember to be yourself and don&#39;t compare yourself to others. [Microblogger]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Ways to Save Money at the Airport" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel airport best money tips money saving travel Tue, 19 Nov 2013 10:48:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1098610 at The Ultimate Guide to Flying During the Holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-ultimate-guide-to-flying-during-the-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="family at airport" title="family at airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Flying during the holidays is never fun. Between delayed flights, cranky travelers, and long security lines, it often seems easier to just stay home. Thankfully there are a few things you can do to better navigate the process so that you still show up to our destination ready and able to celebrate. (See also: <a href="">How to Save Money on Holiday Travel</a>)</p> <h2>Choose Your Flights Wisely</h2> <p>The first step to lower stress when flying during the holidays is to choose the best flights for your situation.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p><strong>1. Try for Nonstop</strong></p> <p>Nonstop flights are typically more expensive than flights with a layover. But, the time, stress, and headaches you&#39;ll save is well worth any extra money you&#39;ll pay for the nonstop flight. I have been stuck at Chicago O&#39;Hare the day before Thanksgiving for nearly eight hours (extremely close to renting a car for the seven hour drive to Minneapolis) because I didn&#39;t buy a nonstop flight home for the short holiday weekend. On one Christmas day, my family&#39;s first flight was delayed two hours due to weather, and we spent Christmas night eating frozen mac and cheese in a crappy airport hotel because of the missed connection. (See also: <a href="">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p><strong>2. If Nonstop Is Out, Choose Connecting Cities Carefully</strong></p> <p>If you live in the northern part of North America, you are well aware that the holidays occur when it&#39;s cold and likely to snow. I always opt for southern connections if I can&#39;t fly direct. (Think Atlanta or Dallas over Denver or Chicago, as it&#39;s far less likely to snow there).</p> <p><strong>3. Book the First Flight Out</strong></p> <p>Inevitably there will be a snowstorm somewhere during the holidays. This means that flight schedules get snarled. Even if you&#39;re not flying to a snowy destination, your plane may be coming from the blizzard-swept city and delayed by the weather. If you can take the first flight out in the morning (as annoying it is to be at the airport at 4:30 a.m.), you are much more likely to a have a shorter security line and have an on-time departure. That&#39;s because <a href="">you&#39;re flying out on a plane that probably arrived the night before</a>.</p> <p><strong>4. Avoid Day-Before or Weekend Travel</strong></p> <p>Traveling the Monday before Thanksgiving is going to be much less hassle than the Wednesday before, since most people fly on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. And with Christmas on a Wednesday in 2013. the Monday before is probably also a good day to fly. (Folks who are taking the full week off will head out on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. And folks who can&#39;t take a full week off will be flying on Tuesday, Christmas Eve. So Monday is probably your best bet this year.)</p> <h2>Pack Like a Pro</h2> <p>Packing right makes for easier travel because you&#39;ll have less hassle with security, lost luggage, or fighting for overhead space.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p><strong>1. One Carry-On Bag Only</strong></p> <p>The more stuff you bring, the less flexible you are. Besides the expense of checked bags on almost every airline (Southwest Airlines is the primary exception), checking a bag also means that you you could have problems if your flight is cancelled or delayed or you miss a connection. If you carry on a bag, you can much more easily switch flights if needed. I&#39;m currently testing out some <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0048CJX9U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20" target="_blank">Eagle Creek luggage, like the Tarmac 22</a>, that has great pockets for easy one-bag packing. So pack your favorite rollerboard only and ditch the large duffels or oversized suitcases for this season&#39;s holiday travel. (See also: <a href="">How to Avoid Carry-on Luggage Charges</a>)</p> <p><strong>2. Be Willing to Check</strong></p> <p>If you are only bringing one bag and are flying nonstop, be willing to check your bag if given the option to do so for free (either through your status, a credit card with free bag check, or sometimes at check in or the gate). You&#39;ll not only save the stress of getting through security with a bag, you also won&#39;t have to rush to board just to fight for overhead bin space.</p> <p><strong>3. Consider Your Gift Options</strong></p> <p>If your holidays include gift giving, you are going to have a more difficult time fitting all your clothes and gifts into one bag. There are two good workarounds for this. You can purchase online and ship to the destination you&#39;re headed. We do this every year when we visit my in-laws. It is not only easier on us, but if they don&#39;t like something and want to return it, all the return labels are already in the place they need to be. Or another option is to opt for smaller gifts &mdash; like gift cards or small electronic gadgets. If you do have to carry something with you, wait to wrap it until you&#39;re at your destination. It&#39;s rare that TSA has to unwrap presents, but you don&#39;t want it to happen to you.</p> <h2>The Big Day: Managing the Craziness</h2> <p>The day of the holiday flight has arrived. How do you cope? These tips will make the trip itself much easier.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p><strong>1. Make a Checklist</strong></p> <p>Here&#39;s <a href="">one to get you started</a>. After you&#39;ve found your slip-on shoes, stowed your gadgets in your carry-on, printed out your boarding passes, review your packing list, travel plans, and everything else before you head out.</p> <p><strong>2. Plan Your Ground Transport in Advance</strong></p> <p>If you are planning on driving to the airport, check your local airport&#39;s parking capacity. Most airports will tell you on their websites whether or not certain parking garages are already full. If you have to park further away, you&#39;ll want to give yourself more time to get from the parking lot to the gate.</p> <p><strong>3. Give Yourself Extra Time for Security</strong></p> <p>You never know how busy TSA will be during the holidays. Sometimes it&#39;s painless, and sometimes you&#39;re waiting for 45 minutes. Plan for extra time, and if it&#39;s faster, you&#39;ll have more time to read a book (or grab a drink) before the flight. Quick tip: <a href="">Choose the security line with only one agent at the screen</a>. That&#39;s the one that will move the fastest.</p> <p><strong>4. Pack Snacks and Entertainment</strong></p> <p>People are always crankier (especially kids) when they are hungry and or bored. Pack more snacks and more entertainment than you need and you&#39;ll ensure that everyone is content if there are delays. If you&#39;re carrying that entertainment on your laptop, stow it in a <a href="">TSA friendly laptop bag</a>. (See also: <a href="">Airplane Snacks for Frequent Fliers</a>)</p> <p><strong>5. Be Above It All and Remember It&#39;s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year</strong></p> <p>People get cranky during holiday travel. Don&#39;t be one of them. Instead, rise above it and remember that ultimately you will get to your destination (even if it&#39;s not the exact moment you planned). You will get treated better if you put on a smiling face, too.</p> <p>Embrace the craziness for what it is &mdash; just don&#39;t become a part of it, and you&#39;ll have the most successful flights this holiday season.</p> <p><em>What&#39;s your best advice for getting through holiday travel?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The Ultimate Guide to Flying During the Holidays" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Elizabeth Lang</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel flying holiday travel Holidays travel travel planning Mon, 18 Nov 2013 11:24:04 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 1096336 at 20 Secrets of Last-Minute Travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-secrets-of-last-minute-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="traveler" title="traveler" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="171" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Last-minute travel can afford you some screaming deals, and it&#39;s an exciting way to go &mdash; not knowing exactly where you&#39;re going or what you&#39;ll be doing until shortly before you depart. (See also: <a href="">Top Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>There are a few tricks in mastering the art of last-minute travel; here are 20 secrets to get you on your way for your next last-minute trip.</p> <h2>Researching and Finding Deals</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:303px; width:605px" /></p> <p>Here are some ways to do your last-minute travel research and tap into the latest deals.</p> <p><strong>1. Subscribe to Newsletters</strong></p> <p>Sign up for your favorite airline and travel provider newsletters. A quick scan can sometimes reveal a last minute show-stopper among their regular deals.</p> <p><strong>2. Track Social Media</strong></p> <p>Follow the Twitter and Facebook streams of your favorite travel providers and airlines; sometimes they offer social media specials for followers.</p> <p><strong>3. Be Flexible</strong></p> <p>Searching for flights with tools like <a href="">ITA Matrix</a> and <a href="">Kayak</a> allow you to view fares for the calendar month, based on how many nights you can spend at your destination (such as 5-7 nights).</p> <p><strong>4. Flight Alert Services</strong></p> <p>Track your preferred flights. Services like <a href="">Yapta</a> will send you <a href="">fare alerts</a> if there&#39;s a change in price.</p> <p><strong>5. Consult With Travel Agents</strong></p> <p>Ask a travel agent. You never know what last minute deals they have access to.</p> <p><strong>6. Subscribe to Deal Alert Services</strong></p> <p>Subscribe to last minute vacation newsletters and deal alert services, such as <a href="">TravelZoo</a>.</p> <p><strong>7. Follow Fare Alert Services</strong></p> <p>Take some of the guesswork out of discerning which destinations are cheap when with a fare alert service like <a href="">Airfare Watchdog</a>.</p> <h2>Last-Minute Flights</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:303px; width:605px" /></p> <p>Here&#39;s how to take advantage of last-minute flight deals.</p> <p><strong>8. Book Within 24 Hours of Departure</strong></p> <p>Sometimes, if a flight has lots of seats left within 24 hours of departure, they&#39;ll release a new batch at low prices. However, this is a risky strategy if you have your heart set on a specific route; the price can just as easily go the other way in the last 24 hours as well.</p> <p><strong>9. Spend Rewards Points Within a Week of Departure</strong></p> <p>Flights only have a limited number of reward seats for people paying with frequent flyer miles. If you want to fly on your frequent flyer miles, then you either need to book your ticket a few months in advance or at the last minute. If the airline still has unsold seats within a week of departure, they&#39;ll open up additional reward seats. (See also: <a href="">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a>)</p> <p><strong>10. Book on Tuesdays for Flights That Weekend</strong></p> <p>Planning a weekend getaway? Airlines that don&#39;t have full planes will often start reducing prices on Tuesday.</p> <p><strong>11. Go Stand By</strong></p> <p>Hitch a ride on an airplane; these fares are hard to come by, but they&#39;re often free &mdash; and last minute. (See also: <a href="">How to Hitch a Ride on an Airplane</a>)</p> <h2>Last-Minute Hotels</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:303px; width:605px" /></p> <p>Hotels offer some of the more dramatic last-minute deals; you can find many of them using the tips for researching and finding deals above, in addition to the following.</p> <p><strong>12. Always Call for a Reservation</strong></p> <p>Even if you&#39;re standing across from the hotel, call them to make a reservation. By calling first and <a href="">asking for a discount</a>, you stand a better chance of success than by walking in last-minute and asking in person.</p> <p><strong>13. Research Package Deals</strong></p> <p>Don&#39;t forget package deals; some of the best offers are for last-minute flight+hotel or all-inclusive packages. A little comparison shopping might reveal the hotel is practically free with the package deal! (See also: <a href="">How to Book an Amazing, Affordable Vacation Package</a>)</p> <h2>Other Last-Minute Suggestions</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:303px; width:605px" /></p> <p>From knowing your bag to knowing yourself, consider these suggestions, so you can have the best last-minute travel experience.</p> <p><strong>14. Pack Early</strong></p> <p>Know your <a href="">packing list</a> well, so you can pack quickly, pack well, and know where everything is. It will make your trip much smoother, and will help you get out the door faster once you know where you&#39;re going!</p> <p><strong>15. Act Fast</strong></p> <p>Most deals (such as promotional tweets) have a short time span. Be prepared to jump in when the opportunity feels right, even if it feels impulsive.</p> <p><strong>16. Travel Solo</strong></p> <p>Last-minute travel works best for solo travelers. You have the ease and ability to book on a whim without consulting anybody, and last-minute openings or unfilled spots are more easily filled with singles.</p> <p><strong>17. Plan at Least a Little Ahead</strong></p> <p>&quot;Last-minute&quot; travel generally refers to booking anything within two weeks of your departure. The braver you are, the longer you might be willing to hold out for a deal &mdash; but the outcome could go either way.</p> <p><strong>18. Let the Deal Be Your Guide</strong></p> <p>Don&#39;t focus too much on one destination or type of vacation. If your heart is set on a given place or activity, you might miss out on dozens of equally exciting &mdash; but different &mdash; deals. The gift of last minute travel is being flexible with your plans. Tools like <a href="">Kayak Explore</a> allow you to open your mind and see where you can fly for how much money.</p> <p><strong>19. Don&#39;t Quit Your Day Job</strong></p> <p>Last-minute travel isn&#39;t right for everybody. People on business trips, or with <a href="">limited vacation time</a> should ensure time away is maximized by planning ahead. (See also: <a href="">Ways to Keep Long-Term Travel from Ruining Your Career</a>)</p> <p><strong>20. Don&#39;t Skimp on Research</strong></p> <p>Even though you might be doing this last minute, you want to get the most from your trip. Research your destination&#39;s climate, culture, things to do, and places to eat. You don&#39;t have to lock in any specific plans; it&#39;s simply nice to know what&#39;s possible.</p> <p><em>What are your last-minute travel secrets?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="20 Secrets of Last-Minute Travel" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel Airfare cheap vacations hotels last minute travel travel Wed, 23 Oct 2013 10:00:03 +0000 Nora Dunn 1042514 at Make Your Escape With These 14 Affordable Weekend Getaways <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-your-escape-with-these-14-affordable-weekend-getaways" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="ferris wheel" title="ferris wheel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some people feel that they have to travel far or spend a lot to enjoy a nice vacation. If this is how you think, you may never get away. Don&#39;t assume that a little relaxation and adventure is out of your budget. You might be surprised by the number of inexpensive things you can do and see &mdash; in just one weekend. (See also: <a href="">40+ Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a>)</p> <h2>1. Go Camping</h2> <p>Camping is not only easy on your pocketbook, it offers the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy quality time with friends and family. There is no television, no computer &mdash; and depending on how deep you venture into the woods, maybe even no cell service. Take in the fresh air, talk, or simply chill. There is no better way to clear your mind and recharge your body.</p> <h2>2. Hit the Beach</h2> <p>Other than paying for parking, going to the beach is practically free. Sure, you&#39;ll have to book a hotel for one or two nights and grab a couple of meals, but you don&#39;t have to pay a dime for activities. Bring your bike or skates and hit the boardwalk, or challenge your travel mate to a game of volleyball or Frisbee.</p> <h2>3. City Sightseeing</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:303px; width:605px" /></p> <p>Staying in the city is anything but cheap, and don&#39;t get me started on parking fees. But if you book a hotel in a neighboring suburban city and then take the train or bus, you can enjoy a cheap weekend in the city. Book a hotel in New Jersey if you&#39;re headed to Manhattan, or stay in Alexandria, Virginia if you&#39;re planning a weekend in the nation&#39;s capital.</p> <h2>4. Bed and Breakfast</h2> <p>Looking for a new experience? If so, book a weekend stay at a bed and breakfast. It&#39;s the perfect romantic getaway. Enjoy a private room and personal service. And since many B&amp;Bs are located off the beaten path, they typically offer a quieter, more peaceful atmosphere.</p> <h2>5. State Fair</h2> <p>Carnival rides, food, animals, music and other live entertainment &mdash; there is no shortage of things to see and do at a state fair. And the best part, admission won&#39;t break the bank &mdash; $8 to $12 depending on your location. Yes, you have to pay extra for rides and activities. But you have control over how much you spend on extras.</p> <h2>6. Mountain Getaway</h2> <p>Spending a weekend in the mountains might be the prescription if you&#39;re looking for a little peace of mind. There is just about something for everyone, and many activities won&#39;t cost a cent. Enjoy a scenic drive, rock climb, hike, canoe, or mountain bike. Plus, this is the perfect location to glimpse natural scenery, such as natural bridges, waterfalls and caverns. (See also: <a href="">10 Places to Go for Inspiration</a>)</p> <h2>7. Amusement Park</h2> <p>Amusement park admission prices have definitely skyrocketed in recent years, with many general admission prices around $60. But there are ways to get in for less. Go online and search for discounts or coupon codes, and check the newspaper and grocery bags for coupons. A watchful eye helped me score buy-one-get-one-free tickets to both Six Flags and Busch Gardens.</p> <h2>8. Book a Last-Minute Cruise</h2> <p>If you&#39;re within driving distance of a cruise port, you might be able to save big on a last-minute cruise. For example, a four-day, three-night Bahamas cruise from Miami, Florida starts at $179 per person. Not a bad deal considering that this price includes food, entertainment, activities, plus a weekend in the tropics. (See also: <a href="">Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>9. National Park</h2> <p>If you&#39;re the outdoorsy type, visit one of many national parks throughout the United States. In all likelihood, you&#39;re within driving distance of at least one park. Lace up your boots and enjoy some day hiking, or pitch a tent and enjoy a night under the stars. There&#39;s also wildlife viewing, bicycling, fishing, boating, and winter activities.</p> <h2>10. Road Trip to Nowhere</h2> <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:303px; width:605px" /></p> <p>Pack the car, choose a highway and hit the open road with no destination in sight. Pretty risky, but so much fun, as you don&#39;t know where the road will take you. Check out different cities along the way and tour landmarks. And when you&#39;re tired of driving, stop at a nearby hotel and continue your adventure in the morning. (See also: <a href="">Reasons to Travel Off the Beaten Path</a>)</p> <h2>11. Timeshare Weekend</h2> <p>I know &mdash; sitting through a 90-minute presentation for a timeshare that you&#39;re not buying is painful at best. But if you&#39;re looking for an inexpensive getaway, this might be your ticket. Sit through a presentation, and the resort will comp your weekend visit or discount the regular room rate. And sometimes, they&#39;ll toss in dinner vouchers and free tickets to local attractions.</p> <h2>12. Bus Tour</h2> <p>Why drive when you can sit back and let someone else do the work? Bus trips are an inexpensive way to break your boring weekend routine. Plus, some tours include the cost of a hotel for one or two nights. For example, you can take a three-day bus trip from Norfolk, Virginia to Atlantic City, New Jersey for just $238 per person. This includes roundtrip transportation plus accommodations.</p> <h2>13. Tourist in Your Own Town</h2> <p>You don&#39;t have to go far to enjoy an inexpensive weekend getaway. Drive 20 or 30 minutes to a neighboring area, book a hotel room and spend the weekend exploring your own city. Maybe there are local museums, festivals, outdoor entertainment, and other activities that you&#39;ve overlooked. Then again, you may prefer sitting in your hotel room all weekend, enjoying a break from cooking and cleaning.</p> <h2>14. House Swap</h2> <p>Maybe you live in the city and you&#39;re looking to spend your weekend at the beach. And maybe your friend by the beach wants to liven things up over the weekend. Why waste cash on a hotel when you can swap houses? Driving to the house will be your largest expense, as there&#39;s always the option of preparing your own meals.</p> <p><em>Do you have other ideas for inexpensive getaways? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Make Your Escape With These 14 Affordable Weekend Getaways" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel cheap vacations getaways travel vacation weekends Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:22:18 +0000 Mikey Rox 929298 at Best Money Tips: Tips to Save on Thanksgiving Airfare <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-tips-to-save-on-thanksgiving-airfare" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="boy at airport" title="boy at airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on saving on Thanksgiving airfare, what to do if you win the lottery, and apps to help guide your retirement savings.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">8 Expert Tips to Save on Thanksgiving Airfare</a> &mdash; If you can fly on Thanksgiving Day, doing so could save you money. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">The Winning Ticket: 8 Things to Do If You Win the Lottery</a> &mdash; If you won the lottery, it would be a good idea to use your winnings to pay off your debts first. [Money Life and More]</p> <p><a href="">Five Apps to Help Guide Your Retirement Savings</a> &mdash; Stan and Retire Logix are just a couple apps that can help you guide your retirement savings. [Lazy Man and Money]</p> <p><a href="">3 Surefire Ways to Lose Your War Against Debt</a> &mdash; You will undoubtedly lose your battle against debt if you underestimate the power of your enemy, or yourself. [Man vs. Debt]</p> <p><a href="">Learning about money later in life</a> &mdash; When it comes to money and finances, remember to try to put your emotions aside. [DINKS Finance]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">A Post about Post Vacation Blues - How to Quickly Get Back into Work Mode</a> &mdash; Leaving yourself something exciting to do (but make sure it's not too daunting) once you get back from your vacation to beat your post vacation blues. [Smart Passive Income]</p> <p><a href="">3 Ways to Go Green and Save on Transportation</a> &mdash; Carpooling is a great way to go green while saving money on transportation. [Squirrelers]</p> <p><a href="">It's All In the Habits: How I Live Cheap and Create My Own Freedom</a> &mdash; You can live cheaply and create your own freedom by making your own meals and being resourceful. [Young Cheap Living]</p> <p><a href="">3 Tips for Saving Money on Your Internet</a> &mdash; To save money on your internet, buy your own modem and router. [So Over This]</p> <p><a href="">12 Tips for Successful Parent-Teacher Conferences</a> &mdash; Arriving early and being prepared can help you have a successful parent-teacher conference. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Tips to Save on Thanksgiving Airfare" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel Airfare best money tips holiday Thanksgiving travel Fri, 04 Oct 2013 10:00:03 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 994587 at 15 Ways to Make Money While You Travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-ways-to-make-money-while-you-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman with a map" title="woman with a map" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Exploring the world can cost a pretty penny, but you can lower the cost of travel &mdash; and deepen your experience at each location &mdash; by doing side jobs along the way. Here are 15 ways to earn money while abroad. (See also: <a href="">Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. Write About It</h2> <p>Travel writing may not pay much to start, but if you're traveling in countries with a lower cost of living, it may be enough. I made a pretty good side income while living in China by writing about my travels on travel blogs and websites. At first, I was making $10 an article, but after I accumulated more experience, several websites offered me more. The best thing about travel writing is that you can do it from anywhere, as long as you have an Internet connection, so you're not tied down to one place for long. (See also: <a href="">How to Be a Travel Writer</a>)</p> <h2>2. Use Your Editing Skills</h2> <p>Proofread translations of signs, menus, and newsletters. Create English-language marketing materials. Edit the local English-language magazine targeted to expats. Put yourself out there and offer your services. You might be surprised how many people will take you up on your offer.</p> <h2>3. Teach</h2> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>One of the easiest ways to get paid while working and living abroad is teaching English. If you're thinking long-term, a job with a year-round school or university is the most stable and, with over two months of holidays, you'll have plenty of time to travel. Schools will often also pay your roundtrip airfare. In the short term, language schools often hire teachers for a few weeks or months. Try teaching at a summer camp for a few weeks and taking the rest of the summer to travel (that's how I funded my first two month trip abroad). Check out <a href="">Dave's ESL Cafe</a> to start.</p> <h2>4. Tutor</h2> <p>Tutoring English or another language, music, and other skills can be a great way to supplement your income on a flexible schedule, even if you're only staying in the area for a few months. Try putting up flyers at the local school or on community bulletin boards.</p> <h2>5. Work in Hospitality</h2> <p>English speakers are needed to greet tourists at hotels and resorts around the world, so if you're interested in the hospitality industry, that might be a good place to find a job. In the short term, you might be able to get free room and board at a local hostel in exchange for a few weeks of work at the front desk. (See also: <a href="">Jobs With Free Room and Board</a>)</p> <h2>6. Sell Stuff Online</h2> <p>The country in which you're traveling might have lots of adorable knick-knacks that folks back home would love. For a little extra income, <a href="">selling local goods on eBay</a> might be a good way to make a buck or two.</p> <h2>7. Au Pair or Nanny</h2> <p>A friend of mine spent a year as a live-in nanny, or <em>au pair</em>, in Paris. If you love kids, this might be the perfect opportunity for you to live with a local family and learn local customs, while being able to travel on weekends. <a href=";view=article&amp;id=317&amp;Itemid=111">Au Pair International</a> is one of many organizations that trains au pairs and matches them with families abroad.</p> <h2>8. Administer Exams</h2> <p>Internationally recognized English exams such as TOEFL or IELTS are always hiring native English speakers to administer the exams for students abroad. Often, this means working long hours on the weekends, but the pay is decent, your hotel stay at the exam location is paid for, and you have most of the week free for traveling.</p> <h2>9. Get a Stipend as a Student</h2> <p>Many universities around the world offer scholarships for Masters' or PhD programs for English speakers, along with a small stipend and sometimes student housing. Although this stipend isn't usually enough to let you live in style, you can always supplement your income by tutoring other students.</p> <h2>10. Teach Fitness Classes</h2> <p>If you're qualified to teach Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, or another kind of fitness activity, you may be in demand as an instructor around the world. You might want to look into opening a studio in your home or offering classes at the local beach (especially in popular tourist locations where people are looking for the &quot;Eat, Pray, Love&quot; experience). The great thing about offering classes on your own is that you can work on your own schedule and you're not tied to a contract, allowing you to take off and travel whenever you want.</p> <h2>11. Teach Scuba</h2> <p>I know several expats who are making good money as scuba instructors in Latin America, leading more advanced dives into underwater caves as well as basic scuba classes associated with resorts. If you love scuba diving, it can take as little as six months of diving experience to attain the level needed to <a href="">start professional training with PADI</a>, so if you plan ahead, you can have plenty of opportunities opening up by the time you start traveling.</p> <h2>12. Adventure Sports Instructor</h2> <p>Along the same lines as teaching scuba, you can teach almost any sport at a basic level if you're an experienced practitioner. You might consider teaching surfing or kite surfing, leading mountain biking rides, or teaching basic rock climbing. If you choose to teach an adventure sport, it might be best to go through a company or resort to minimize your liability. Make sure you have good insurance as well.</p> <h2>13. Tour Guide</h2> <p>Working with a tour company allows you to explore the local sights while being paid. If you're more active, leading bike tours might be a fun way to earn money while being a tourist. (See also: <a href="">How to Become a Tour Guide in Your Hometown</a>)</p> <h2>14. Food Industry</h2> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Foreigners living in countries around the world are willing to pay a premium for familiar food and drink. I know a few people who have made a living as chefs and bartenders around the world, or as restaurant managers. Another friend of mine worked as a wine expert at various vineyards in New Zealand for several months. If working in a restaurant sounds too stressful, a more flexible option would be to offer cooking classes to either expats or locals.</p> <h2>15. Dog Walker</h2> <p>I literally JUST saw an ad for a live-in dog walker in London, UK. The position entailed 25 flexible hours a week, and included room and board as well as $100 a week! It's the perfect situation for exploring a new city, especially one where accommodations are expensive.</p> <p>There are a wide range of options for earning money while traveling abroad. Some jobs require you to stay in the area for a while, such as teaching jobs, whereas others are more flexible. Think about what skills you have to offer &mdash; many of them are likely to be as in demand abroad as they are at home (or even more so).</p> <p><em>Have you figured out how to earn some money while traveling or living abroad? What did you do?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Ways to Make Money While You Travel" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Camilla Cheung</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel cheap vacations income side jobs travel travel income Mon, 23 Sep 2013 10:36:03 +0000 Camilla Cheung 986769 at Is Your Hotel Hiding These 5 Fees in Your Bill? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-your-hotel-hiding-these-5-fees-in-your-bill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="man on hotel bed" title="man on hotel bed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For a frugal traveler who's traveling on his on own dime, it seems as if the days of simply renting a room for the night for an agreed-upon rate are history. These days, making a hotel reservation is an opaque process filled with hidden charges and absurd fees. After experiencing it first-hand, I completely agree with the author of <a href=";">this article</a>; it's as if the hotel industry took a business tutorial from the airlines and figured out how to bulk up their profits by peppering weary consumers with sneaky charges. Here are just a few sneaky fees I've recently encountered. (See also: <a href="">Best Credit Cards for Budget Hotels</a>)</p> <h2>1. Resort Fee</h2> <p>Don't be fooled by the name; you don't have to book at a five-star resort to rack up this fee. Some run-of-the-mill hotels assess a resort fee to cover amenities like pool usage, access to the fitness center, newspaper delivery, and other extras. Guests should be informed of this fee at check-in, but some hotels are better than others in being upfront about this charge. If you don't plan on taking advantage of any the perks included, ask the manager to waive the fee before you check in. Typically guests who are direct, are polite, and explain that their priority is lodging only, can avoid getting dinged.</p> <h2>2. Wi-Fi Fee</h2> <p>While most folks assume Internet access has become so common that it's nearly a basic utility like lights and water, hotels have a different idea. From per-minute fees to flat daily charges, the price of Wi-Fi access varies widely, but expect to pay anywhere from $3&ndash;$10 per day. Like every charge, it's best to know the fees up front before you book, so you can compare rates between hotels on an apples-to-apples basis. (See also: <a href="">How to Get Free or Cheap Internet</a>)</p> <h2>3. Parking Fee</h2> <p>Don't assume parking is included in your room rate. I'm not talking valet service here &mdash; there's a growing trend even in modest-sized cities to charge for a parking space. And in larger metro areas where parking fees are mostly standard, it's important to ask if those fees include unlimited in/out privileges. If not, you'll be assessed a new parking fee each and every time you leave and return.</p> <p>We all know that parking charges aren't new in the general marketplace, but they are becoming a more common trend at hotels. Though I'm sure there are some travelers who arrive without a car, I imagine they're few and far between. Be sure to explicitly ask about parking policies before you a reserve a room &mdash; the best deal in town sours when you're presented with an extra $15 parking charge each day of your stay.</p> <h2>4. Early Check-In and Check-Out Fee</h2> <p>Believe it or not, even if a clean room is available, some hotels charge road-weary travelers to check-in early. Fees vary based on how far in advance guests arrive prior to the hotel's stated check-in time, but expect to pay at least half of a full day's room rate.</p> <p>Similarly, guests who have a change of plans and need to check out early can be assessed between $50 to the full price of an extra night's stay. And while we're on the subject&hellip; Hotel cancellation policies are becoming more rigid, too. Hotels that used to allow guests to cancel their reservations the same day by 6:00 p.m. are now requiring 48 hours notice in order to avoid being charged for a night's stay. To steer clear of this charge, check and double check a hotel's cancellation policy before you book if there's even a slim chance your itinerary might change.</p> <h2>5. In-Room Safe Fee</h2> <p>In most modern hotel rooms you'll probably find a safe bolted to the floor in the closet or near the entryway. This safe is available to guests if they notice it, if they have something to put in it, and if they choose to use it. For most guests, I assume the safe becomes just part of the visual landscape in the room &mdash; like the dressers that no one really uses or the tiny <a href="">coffee makers</a> that make really bad coffee. But the safe is quite different from all of those other objects. Why? Because you're being charged for it every single day of your stay. Typically, the in-room safe fee runs about $1&ndash;$3 per day, and it's added to your bill whether you use the safe or not.</p> <p>To me, the safe fee seems bolder than all the rest for one simple reason: consumers are being charged simply because an object is sitting in the room. That takes some chutzpah. Imagine if you were charged for the shower cap whether you used it or not. The TV whether you tuned into Conan or not. That little coffee maker whether you brewed a scorching cup of weak coffee or not. (See also: <a href="">Avoid Getting Fleeced at Hotels</a>)</p> <p>Avoiding getting hit with the safe charge is relatively simple if you act promptly. Upon check-in, scout around quickly for a safe. If you find one, but don't plan on using it to stash your pearls, call the front desk. Tell them you won't be using the safe and request that they deduct the fee from your bill (and then make sure they've actually done it when it's time to check out).</p> <h2>Fee Defense</h2> <p>I'd like to think that the hotel industry's nickel-and-dime approach will only serve to anger and alienate their customers and eventually lead to a more transparent pricing model, but I know better. The airlines have (successfully) set the bar so low that we may be witnessing a new age of price-gouging as more industries try to pump up profits. (See also: <a href="">Frequently Under-Budgeted Air Travel Costs</a>)</p> <p>For consumers, the rules are the same. Know where the hidden fees are lurking, ask questions before you book, be vigilant about reviewing your itemized bill, constructively complain when you feel you've been misled or over-charged, and leverage the power of online reviews to alert other consumers to unclear or unfair pricing practices. We may not win the war, but we can make each battle a bit more difficult.</p> <p><em>What hotel fees do you find especially irksome? </em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Is Your Hotel Hiding These 5 Fees in Your Bill?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Kentin Waits</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel fees hotel motel travel Fri, 20 Sep 2013 10:36:03 +0000 Kentin Waits 987982 at