travel en-US Best Money Tips: Tips That Will Save You Hundreds On Your Next Trip <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-that-will-save-you-hundreds-on-your-next-trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="piggy bank vacation" title="piggy bank vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on tips that will save you hundreds on your next trip, things you can rent out for extra cash, and things you can get for free.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">39 Tips That Will Save You Hundreds On Your Next Trip</a> &mdash; To save on your next trip, check out underrated places and buy your tickets at the right time. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">Surprising Things You Can Rent Out For Extra Cash</a> &mdash; Did you know you can rent your driveway for extra cash? [PureWow]</p> <p><a href="">8 Surprising Things You Can Get for Free</a> &mdash; Don't pay for eBooks, you can read books for free by checking them out from your local library. [DailyWorth]</p> <p><a href="">15 Small Purchases Costing You Big Money: Stop Throwing Money Away</a> &mdash; If you purchase apps or video games, you may just be throwing away your money. [MainStreet]</p> <p><a href="">Get Free Retirement Advice From Financial Planners On September 25th</a> &mdash; Today is Jump-Start Your Retirement Day, so be sure to get retirement advice from Kiplinger and NAPFA. [Kiplinger]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">Build a Budget and Make It Last</a> &mdash; Make a budget that will last by first calculating what you spend. [AllYou]</p> <p><a href="">Common &ldquo;Debt Traps&rdquo; That Keep You Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck</a> &mdash; Skimping on insurance can cause you to live paycheck to paycheck. [Lifehacker Two Cents]</p> <p><a href="">7 Bad D├ęcor Shopping Habits to Stop Right Now</a> &mdash; When decorating your home, don't purchase everything from the same store. [Domaine Home]</p> <p><a href="">3 Reasons You Should Definitely Keep Your Landline</a> &mdash; By keeping your landline, first responders will know where you are calling from in an emergency. [Real Simple]</p> <p><a href="">8 Tips to Help Your Preschooler Focus on Reading, Writing &amp; Numbers</a> &mdash; To help your preschooler focus on reading, writing, and numbers, make it fun and be observant. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Tips That Will Save You Hundreds On Your Next Trip" 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 best money tips travel Trip Thu, 25 Sep 2014 19:00:06 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1219953 at Wise Bread Reloaded: The Surprisingly Easy Way to Defend Your Knees and Other Air Travel Tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wise-bread-reloaded-the-surprisingly-easy-way-to-defend-your-knees-and-other-air-travel-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="angry airplane passengers" title="angry airplane passengers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>By now you've heard of the contretemps aboard an airliner last weekend during which one passenger prevented the seat in front of him from reclining through use of a device called the Knee Defender. Frustration ensued until the passenger seated ahead doused the passenger seated behind and the Captain diverted to another airport and <em>both passengers</em> were escorted off the plane. Ever since, the Internet has been all worked up about whether or not the Right to Recline is an actual right (<a href="">a recent poll suggests a majority of Americans think it's a right</a>).</p> <p>Economy air travel is not as comfortable as it could be these days. And certainly episodes like last week's are probably best avoided with the simplest knee defense of all &mdash; common courtesy. Crowded travel is uncomfortable for everybody. A little courtesy takes the edge off and brightens everyone's day.</p> <p>With courtesy the floor, what else can one do to make economy air travel more pleasant? Wise Bread's writers have had plenty of suggestions over the years. Here are a few.</p> <p><a href="">How to Get Through the Airport Faster</a> &mdash; Pro traveler Nora Dunn shares the tips and tricks she's learned about navigating that terrifying space between ground transportation and the plane &mdash; the airport.</p> <p><a href="">9 Things You Must When Travelling With Kids</a> &mdash; Air travel is tough, but adding kids maxes out the difficulty setting. Elizabeth Lang walks you through it.</p> <p><a href="">6 Things to Keep You Sane on the Plane</a> &mdash; Kentin Waits shares what he stows in his carry-on to make a long trip bearable, and maybe even enjoyable.</p> <p><a href="">8 Airline Fees That Are Actually Worth Paying</a> &mdash; Penny wise, pound foolish applies to air travel too, and Deia B explains which airline upgrades are worth the cost.</p> <p><a href="">Alternatives to Air Travel: Other Ways to Get From Here to There</a> &mdash; And if none of that makes air travel an attractive option, Nora Dunn suggests other ways of going. They may not be as fast, but they're bound to be more comfortable.</p> <p>Whether you're Team Recline or Team Knee, the next time you're on a crowded plane, remember this: your fellow passengers didn't decide to cram an extra row of seats on the plane &mdash; the airline did. Keep your cool, stay courteous, and aim your complaints high.</p> <p><em>How do you stay comfortable when flying? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Wise Bread Reloaded: The Surprisingly Easy Way to Defend Your Knees and Other Air Travel Tips" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Lars Peterson</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel air travel airline flying reclining travel Sat, 30 Aug 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Lars Peterson 1199892 at Best Money Tips: The Travel Edition <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-the-travel-edition-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="travel couple" title="travel couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some of the best articles from around the web on travel!</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href=";cof=FORID%3A10&amp;ie=ISO-8859-1&amp;q=travel&amp;sa=&amp;;ref=&amp;ss=568j81106j6">Ten Money-Saving Vacation and Travel Tips</a> &mdash; Packing smart and sleeping cheap can help you save money on your vacation. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="">Key Considerations to Help You Book the Perfect Vacation Destination</a> &mdash; When choosing your vacation destination, consider the people who will be traveling with you. [Three Thrifty Guys]</p> <p><a href="">Zoom Zoom - 8 Ways to Save Money at the Airport While Traveling</a> &mdash; To save money at the airport, bring your own reading material and stay out of the gift shop. [And Then We Saved]</p> <p><a href="">How to Be Smart and Safe With Money When Traveling</a> &mdash; Being discreet and using your gadgets can help you be smart and safe with your money when you are traveling. [The Money Principle]</p> <p><a href="">Saving Money on Attractions, Food, and Getting Around on Vacation; Lessons Learned</a> &mdash; Planning early, setting a budget, and asking locals for recommendations can help you save money on attractions, food, and getting around on vacation. [Debt Blag]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">How to Save on Getting to and From the Airport</a> &mdash; Staying at a hotel that offers a shuttle to and from the airport can cut your transportation expenses. [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="">5 Ways to Travel for Free</a> &mdash; Staying with a local or house sitting are just a couple ways you can travel for free. [Financial Highway]</p> <p><a href="">Save Time, Save Money with a Travel Packing Checklist</a> &mdash; Using a travel checklist will help you ensure you don't forget any essentials and have to spend money on things you left behind when you travel. [Money Saving Enthusiast]</p> <p><a href="">83 Extraordinary Travel Experiences of a Lifetime</a> &mdash; If you are looking for a travel experience of a lifetime, hug a sloth in Costa Rica or attend the Kentucky Derby. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">Travel Tips and Checklist for Parents</a> &mdash; It is vital for parents to bring entertainment when traveling with their kids. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: The Travel Edition" 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 best money tips travel Fri, 25 Jul 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1147496 at 19 Things Most Tourists Overpay For, and How You Can Avoid Them <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/19-things-most-tourists-overpay-for-and-how-you-can-avoid-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="tourist shopping" title="tourist shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's almost a given that tourists overpay for things. Sometimes it's because we don't know the actual (local) cost, or are unaware of negotiating tactics. Sometimes we think we're getting a good deal, but are actually unwittingly crippling local economies.</p> <p>And before you think, &quot;I'm fine with overpaying, the money means more to them than me,&quot; think again. In some countries, the potential profits are so disproportionately high for locals that working in the tourist sector &mdash; even just selling cheap souvenirs to tourists &mdash; means a higher income than highly trained (and necessary) doctors, for example. This can shake economies negatively such that there's no incentive for locals to sustain their own infrastructure in aspiring towards valuable and necessary careers in their own country. If everybody wants to work in the tourism industry, and hard times hit the tourism sector, the local economy suffers unduly. (See also: <a href="">9 Travel Expenses You Forgot to Budget For</a>)</p> <p>And sometimes, it just sort of sucks to get ripped off.</p> <p>Whatever your motivation, your goal should be to get a fair deal. Here's how.</p> <h2>1. Souvenirs</h2> <p>Often, those little &quot;local&quot; trinkets were mass produced somewhere else for a song, and are being sold for &quot;locally handmade&quot; prices. Check out a few markets and shops before you buy; if you see identical stuff, it's not as special as it may seem. If you still want it, make sure it's priced (or negotiated down) accordingly. If you're in a foreign language country and you want to negotiate, learn a few phrases in the local language; you'll endear yourself much more to the vendor.</p> <h2>2. Hotel Laundry</h2> <p>$10 for a clean shirt? You've got to be kidding. Chuck some shampoo in the sink and hand wash that puppy. Or better yet, pack enough clothes to make this a non-issue. Who wants to spend vacation time fighting stains?</p> <h2>3. Taxis</h2> <p>Some dodgy taxi drivers will take you on the (not so) scenic route, if they're charging by the mile and it's obvious you're not familiar with the territory. Ask a local (such as hotel staff) how much a taxi should cost to your destination and how long it should take, and either pre-negotiate the fee with the driver, or if it's a metered cab, confirm with them how long it will take to get there.</p> <p>But the best way to avoid overpaying a taxi driver? Take public transportation instead.</p> <h2>4. Airport Junk</h2> <p>Almost everything at the airport is overpriced, especially after clearing security, since they have you hostage while awaiting your flight. Eat before you go, or take food with you. Bring an empty water bottle and fill it at the fountain after clearing security. And for goodness sake, don't impulsively browse airport shops.</p> <h2>5. Currency Exchange</h2> <p>You can't avoid currency exchange fees and commissions, but you can minimize them by avoiding airport currency exchange counters, and if you're using a credit card, decline the vendor's offer to charge your card in your home currency (which comes with extra hidden fees). (See also: <a href="">37 Hidden Travel Fees You've Probably Paid But Shouldn't Have</a>)</p> <h2>6. Flights</h2> <p>We don't always overpay for flights, but if you're like me, you're afraid you do. Just in case, use a site like <a href="">Yapta</a> to track prices and ensure you get the best price &mdash; even after you've bought your ticket. (See also: <a href="">How to Get the Lowest Price on Airfare Even After You Buy</a>)</p> <p>Don't forget about free or highly discounted flights with <a href="">frequent flyer miles</a> and <a href="">mystery shopping</a>.</p> <h2>7. Guided Tours</h2> <p>Many guided tours have higher overhead than necessary. Research the cost of average tours before traveling, and go local if you want a more local scoop. Also keep in mind that some cities (especially in Europe) offer &quot;free&quot; guided walking tours whose guides operate only on tips, meaning they're incentivized to make sure you have a great experience. (See also: <a href="">How to Tap Into the Local Scene While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>8. Minibar</h2> <p>Hotel minibars are categorically overpriced. Avoid overpaying by walking down the street and buying what you want locally.</p> <h2>9. Room Service</h2> <p>If you want to splash out and get (often mediocre quality, and always overpriced) food delivered to your room, go for it. Otherwise, you'll get better food at better prices in your hotel restaurant &mdash; and even better-priced food down the street.</p> <h2>10. Water</h2> <p>In some countries the local water isn't potable, but you don't need to buy bottled water. Some hotels have water coolers for you to fill your own bottle, or you can filter or sterilize water yourself, for example using a <a href="">SteriPEN</a>.</p> <p>And if you're in a country with potable water, there's no excuse for overpaying and creating waste with bottled water. Fill reusable bottles at fountains, or if you must buy bottled water, avoid overpriced concession stands in touristy areas.</p> <h2>11. Restaurant Gratuity</h2> <p>Few countries have such rich tipping policies as in North America. In most places servers are paid proper hourly wages, and tips are nice but not expected. And even if it's expected it's not 18% <em>plus</em>. Research tipping etiquette before you travel.</p> <p>Also beware of automatic gratuity being added to your bill. Before you chuck on an extra tip, read the fine print to ensure you're not double-tipping.</p> <h2>12. Hotels</h2> <p>Hotels aren't your only option for accommodation; hostels have comfortable options including private rooms, and for a more local experience, you can get <a href="">free accommodation</a> with hospitality exchanges, <a href="">home exchanges</a>, <a href="">house-sitting</a>, and more.</p> <h2>13. Meals</h2> <p>Restaurants in tourist districts are usually overpriced. If you want to (or need to) eat in that area anyway, lunch is a cheaper option than dinner, with a similar (if not identical) menu and portions.</p> <h2>14. Food at Concession Stands</h2> <p>Concession stands in parks, tourist areas, and amusement parks are consistently overpriced. Avoid overpaying by bringing your own food, or buying snacks at a local shop down the street.</p> <h2>15. Cell Phone Roaming</h2> <p>Taking your cell phone abroad with your home SIM card could result in hundreds of dollars of roaming charges, even if you don't use the phone. Avoid this entirely by having an unlocked phone and buying a local SIM card, or using an international SIM card with no roaming charges. (I'm currently using one from <a href="">G3 Wireless</a> that works like a charm.) And failing that &mdash; make sure your emails and Internet notifications aren't being pushed to your phone! It could cost you hundreds.</p> <h2>16. Airplane Meals</h2> <p>Don't assume meals are provided in the fare, even on long flights. Confirm whether meal service is included with your ticket, and if not, buy your meal at the airport. You're still paying more than you should, but it's less than you would if you wait until you're on the plane.</p> <h2>17. Car Rentals</h2> <p>Look for alternatives to renting cars like <a href="">car sharing</a>, <a href="">ride sharing</a>, or using a <a href="">vehicle delivery service</a>. If you must rent a car, remember that rates are negotiable, and you can usually get a <a href="">free upgrade</a> simply by asking for it.</p> <p>Also remember to check your credit card's automatic insurance policy so you can waive the comprehensive (and expensive) insurance offered by the car rental agency. (See also: <a href="">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>18. Foreign ATM Withdrawals</h2> <p>There are two things to be aware of when using foreign ATMs. One is that you should use bank-affiliated ATMS so you don't incur the extra fee (ranging from $1.50 to $5) charged by private ATMs. The other is to avoid withdrawal charges levied by your home bank (usually $5 per withdrawal).</p> <p>Some banks automatically refund ATM charges or offer free foreign ATM withdrawals. Check your bank's terms and conditions, and if necessary, upgrade your account to include free foreign ATM withdrawals (and maintain any necessary balance to avoid monthly charges for the upgraded account). (See also: <a href="">Using Your Credit Card While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>19. Baggage Fees</h2> <p>Baggage fees are becoming increasingly common when flying; avoid charges for overweight or checked bags by traveling with carry-on only (check out this <a href="">sample carry-on packing list</a>). And if you need extra carry-on room, check out <a href="">this sneaky little trick</a>.</p> <h2>Remember to Have Fun</h2> <p>Don't be so concerned about overpaying that you forget to have fun. I remember once getting really upset that I couldn't negotiate my desired price with a taxi driver &mdash; before realizing I was squabbling over the equivalent of less than a dollar. Be aware of the exchange rates, and don't sweat the small stuff (too much).</p> <p><em>What else have you overpaid for while traveling? Share your experience in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="19 Things Most Tourists Overpay For, and How You Can Avoid Them" 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 shopping travel travel costs travel ripoffs Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:00:07 +0000 Nora Dunn 1163704 at Ask the Readers: How Do You Save on Summer Travel? <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-save-on-summer-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="travel" title="travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="">Catseye</a>, Tabathia, and Susan for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>It's the height of summer! Many people take advantage of the school break (not to mention the Independence Day holiday) to do some traveling before the academic year begins again. It's also a great time to escape from (or to!) the heat. However, getting away at the peak of vacation season can be quite expensive if you just pack and go.</p> <p><strong>How do you save on summer travel?</strong> What apps or websites do you use to help keep travel costs low? What are your favorite budget summer destinations?</p> <p>Tell us how you save on summer travel and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a id="rc-79857d115" class="rafl" href="" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a></p> <script src="//"></script></p> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, July 21st at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after July 21st on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Ask the Readers: How Do You Save on Summer Travel?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us how you save on summer travel and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <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> Giveaways Ask the Readers travel Tue, 15 Jul 2014 15:00:06 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1160257 at 8 Things You Can Do in Denver That You Can't Do Anywhere Else <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-you-can-do-in-denver-that-you-cant-do-anywhere-else" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="red rock ampitheater" title="red rock ampitheater" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I moved to Colorado to attend graduate school, and fully intended to return to my home in the Southeast upon graduation. That was eight years ago. (See also: <a href="">9 Great Cities for Job Seekers</a>)</p> <p>In my opinion Denver's a dark horse among American metropolises. It's clean, easy to get around, chock full of fun things to do, and just a short drive away from the most beautiful mountains in the country. Looking for quick, affordable getaway? Keep reading for activities you can only do in the Mile High City.</p> <h2>1. Smoke Legal Weed</h2> <p>If you haven't heard by now, Colorado is the first state to legalize marijuana for all adults over age 21. There are now approximately 100 legal <a href="">weed stores</a> in the Denver metro area hawking marijuana buds as well as THC-infused edibles of every shape and flavor. Been a while since you inhaled? Let one of the many <a href="">cannabis tour guides</a> do the driving for you.</p> <h2>2. Eat at a Restaurant Started by a Pal of Buffalo Bill</h2> <p>Henry H. &quot;Shorty Scout&quot; Zietz was a member of Buffalo Bill's infamous band of straight-shooting band of scouts. In 1893, Zietz opened the <a href="">Buckhorn Exchange</a>, a bar and restaurant that catered to cowboys, Native American chiefs, miners, railroad builders, silver barons, and anyone else brave enough to live in the Wild West. The Buckhorn Exchange is now in its second century of existence, and still holds the first liquor license ever issued by the State of Colorado.</p> <h2>3. Rock Out at Red Rocks</h2> <p>I've seen concerts in stadiums, iconic music halls, and even on a cruise ship. None hold a candle to the experience of attending a performance at Red Rocks amphitheater. This outdoor venue is both a geological wonder and a musical masterpiece. Known around the world for walls made of massive red boulders and superb acoustics, even a band you hate would sound good here. (See also: <a href="">25 Incredible Places You Must Visit Before You Die</a>)</p> <h2>4. See the Cliff Divers at the Real Casa Bonita</h2> <p>Before I moved to Colorado, I thought most of the places mentioned on South Park were fictional. I was wrong. Not only is <a href="">Casa Bonita</a> a real Denver restaurant, everything Cartman loved about it is real too: the treasure cave, the cliff divers, and yes, even the delicious sopapilla.</p> <h2>5. Stand Exactly One Mile High</h2> <p>The official elevation of the City of Denver is 5,280 feet &mdash; exactly one mile. Of course, the elevation varies in different parts around town. If you want to be a mile high (and you're not interested in the legal weed mentioned earlier) just head to the <a href="">State Capitol building</a>. The 18th step leading into the building is exactly 5,280 feet above sea level.</p> <h2>6. Visit 22 Craft Breweries in the Same Day</h2> <p>If you love to drink good beer from craft breweries, Denver should be the number one destination on your travel list. There <a href="">over 20 top notch breweries</a> in the downtown Denver area, from national brands like Blue Moon, to Colorado-only favorites like Breckenridge Brewery. Many of these breweries also offer tours in addition to tap room tastings. (See also: <a href="">10 Great Reasons to Drink Beer</a>)</p> <h2>7. Take a Train Up the Rockies</h2> <p>No trip to Colorado is complete without at least peeking at the majestic Rocky Mountains. You could spend all day hiking to the top of a nearby peak, or you could cheat by letting a train do the work. There are <a href="">eight scenic railroads</a> in the Denver area, and all of them will show you a side of the mountains people rarely get to see.</p> <h2>8. See a Cattle Drive</h2> <p>Although it's grown up and modern now, Denver is a cow town at heart. Once a year, the city embraces its ranch hand roots by welcoming the <a href="">National Western Stock Show</a>. This 14-day event features a full-sized rodeo, livestock auction, a cow parade, and plenty of 10-gallon hats.</p> <p><em>Know any other special to Denver activities? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Things You Can Do in Denver That You Can&#039;t Do Anywhere Else" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Beth Buczynski</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entertainment Lifestyle Travel cheap fun cheap outings Denver travel Mon, 07 Jul 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Beth Buczynski 1153954 at 8 Affordable Amusement Parks That Are Just as Fun As Disney <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-affordable-amusement-parks-that-are-just-as-fun-as-disney" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="amusement park" title="amusement park" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>School's out and it's time for summer vacation. You may be tempted to head down to Orlando and spend hundreds of dollars for a multi-day pass to Disney World.</p> <p>I love Mickey Mouse as much as the next guy, but it's worth learning about the plethora of other theme and amusement parks around the country that offer fantastic experiences for a fraction of the cost. (And may not be as crowded.)</p> <p>From the coast of Lake Erie to the outskirts of Hollywood, there are plenty of options for summer fun, usually with additional family-friendly attractions nearby.</p> <p>Check out these suggestions and start planning that family trip now! (See also: <a href="">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Holiday World</h2> <p><strong>Location</strong>: Santa Claus, Indiana</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $34.95 for kids under 54 inches, $39.95 for adults if you buy online. Kids under 2 are free.</p> <h3>What's Great</h3> <p>The park is separated into sections based on popular holidays and is routinely rated one of the <a href="">most family-friendly in the country</a>, as well as one of the cleanest. It has plenty of great rides for adults and kids, plus the Splashin' Safari Water Park. The Voyager roller coaster is considered one of the best wooden coasters in the world. There are some interesting perks, like free parking, sunblock, and soda.</p> <h3>What's Nearby</h3> <p>You're less than three hours from Indianapolis, home of the world's largest children's museum, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and other attractions. Louisville and Lexington, KY are also just a couple hours away and have a lot to offer for adults and kids. Also, basketball fans can check out French Lick, the hometown of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird.</p> <h2>Hershey Park</h2> <p><strong>Location</strong>: Hershey, PA</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $59.95 for adults, $37.95 for kids. Children under 2 are free.</p> <h3>What's Great</h3> <p>A dozen great roller coasters for adults and kids, plus an array of water rides. And it's adjacent to Hershey's Chocolate World, where you get to see how chocolate bars are made and get free samples.</p> <h3>What's Nearby</h3> <p>Hershey itself has some other great attractions, including a zoo and trolley museum. You're also not far from Pennsylvania Dutch Country, so watch out for the Amish and their horse and buggies!</p> <p>If you're a foodie, you don't have to settle for just chocolate. There are numerous factories in the area that offer public tours, including the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery in Lititz; Herr's potato chips in Nottingham; Utz Snacks and Snyder's pretzels in Hanover; and the Turkey Hill Experience in Columbia.</p> <h2>Knoebels Amusement Resort</h2> <p><strong>Location</strong>: Elysburg, PA</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free! (Ok, not exactly. Admission is free, but the rides are pay-per-ride and range between $1 and $3.)</p> <h3>What's Great</h3> <p>The largest pay-per-ride park in the nation, which makes it a great deal if you have young kids or seniors who can't ride. Knoebels <a href="">has been named among the friendliest parks</a> by Amusement Today magazine. It is not far from Hershey Park (see above) and the well-regarded Dorney Park in Allentown, PA.</p> <h2>Dollywood and Dollywood Splash Country</h2> <p><strong>Location</strong>: Pigeon Forge, TN</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $92 for adults for for a multi-park ticket, $75 for kids under 12. Tickets to Dollywood alone are $58 for adults and $46 for kids. For Splash Country by itself, tickets are $47 for adults and $42 for kids.</p> <h3>What's Great</h3> <p>Rated one of the <a href="">best overall parks by Amusement Today</a>, as well as one of the friendliest and cleanest. Country music legend Dolly Parton is the owner, and has her fingerprints all over the 150-acre park. There is plenty of entertainment, plus dozens of rides for adults and kids, including the new Fire Chaser Express, advertised as the first-ever family two-way launch coaster.</p> <h3>What's Nearby</h3> <p>Dollywood is nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, offering a beautiful experience for those looking for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Pigeon Forge is also home to a large attraction dedicated to the Titanic, and the Great Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster.</p> <h2>Cedar Point</h2> <p><strong>Location</strong>: Sandusky, OH</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $49.99 for adults, $34.99 for kids. Discounted tickets on weekdays and if you purchase in advance.</p> <h3>What's Great</h3> <p>Widely regarded as the Roller Coaster Capital of the World, this park features 16 coasters, including the legendary Millenium Force, plus several other record breakers. You may need two days to ride everything you want.</p> <h3>What's Nearby</h3> <p>Cedar Point itself is on the water, and offers parasailing, watercraft rides, boat rentals, and even fishing expeditions. The nearby Kalahari Resort offers one of the largest indoor water parks in the country. If you're up for a longer trip, Cleveland, Toledo, and Detroit are short drives away.</p> <h2>Busch Gardens/Water Country USA, Williamsburg</h2> <p><strong>Location</strong>: Williamsburg, VA</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Busch Gardens is $72 for adults, $62 for kids between 3 and 9. Water Country USA is $50 or $42 for kids. A two-park card offering unlimited visits for anyone over age 3 is $97.</p> <h3>What's Great</h3> <p>One of the most beautifully landscaped parks in the country, Busch Gardens is separated into separate &quot;countries&quot; with their own unique character. There are great roller coasters, including the legendary Loch Ness Monster, plus good rides for younger kids. Water Country USA has about a dozen water rides, including the new Colossal Curl. And the entertainment and food is better than what you find at most theme parks.</p> <h3>What's Nearby</h3> <p>History buffs will love visiting Colonial Williamsburg, along with the Yorktown battlefield and the Jamestown settlement.</p> <h2>Knott's Berry Farm</h2> <p><strong>Location</strong>: Buena Park, CA</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $40 if you buy in advance.</p> <h3>What's Great</h3> <p>You could spend hundreds of dollars at nearby Disneyland, or spend $40 here for a day and have a blast. Check out Montezooma's Revenge, a steel coaster in its 36th year of operation.</p> <h3>What's Nearby</h3> <p>Right in Buena Park, you can head to Medieval Times or the Titanic: The Experience show. You're also right near Anaheim, home of the Angels baseball team and a number of other attractions. And of course, Los Angeles is just a short stint away.</p> <h2>Six Flags Magic Mountain</h2> <p><strong>Location</strong>: Valencia, CA</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $44.99 with advance purchase.</p> <h3>What's Great</h3> <p>Just a couple hours north of Knott's Berry Farm, it may be worth it to check out the parks back-to-back. Six Flags Magic Mountain has a whopping 19 roller coasters, including the unique X2 ride, <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">featuring seats that rotate 360 degrees</a>.</p> <h3>What's Nearby</h3> <p>Valencia itself is a sleepy planned community. But Six Flags Magic Mountain is just a 30-mile drive north from Hollywood, and just an hour east of the Pacific Ocean.</p> <p><em>Whats your favorite non-Disney amusement park? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Affordable Amusement Parks That Are Just as Fun As Disney" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Tim Lemke</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entertainment Travel amusement parks travel vacations Wed, 02 Jul 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1152743 at Turn Your Home Into a Spa With These 5 Frugal Stress Relievers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/turn-your-home-into-a-spa-with-these-5-frugal-stress-relievers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="relaxing" title="relaxing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You need a break. We all do! You may already know all about the scientific evidence that shows the mental and physical <a href="">health benefits of taking a vacation</a>. However, you don't need to wait for a full vacation to get some relaxation time. In fact, small doses of relaxation work wonders for your overall health. (See also: <a href="">25 Ways to Have the Best, Cheapest Summer Vacation</a>)</p> <p>Here are five ways to give yourself some regularly-scheduled R&amp;R without breaking the bank.</p> <h2>1. Treat Your Feet, Treat Yourself</h2> <p>Ever notice what happens to your mood when you're wearing uncomfortable shoes? It takes a serious nose dive! The converse is also true &mdash; when your feet feel good, life feels good.</p> <p>You could spend a lot of money on pedicures, foot massages, and reflexology treatments. The money is well worth the benefits, although there is another way to give yourself an inexpensive dose of foot-focused happiness: an <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=foot%20spa&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps">at-home foot spa</a>. I found options as low as $27, about the price of one pedicure at my local salon. Some are water-based while others offer heat, vibration, bubble jets, and even massages. (See also: <a href="">10 Spa Treatments You Can Do at Home</a>)</p> <h2>2. Make Your Bed a Sanctuary</h2> <p>A good night's sleep is the foundation of a satisfying life. Everything about our beds should feel cozy, comforting, and stress-free. I look for 500+ thread count sheets on sale (the higher the thread count, the softer the sheets!), change out my pillows for new ones once a year, and use both a pillow topper and a duvet. Stores such as <a href="">HomeGoods</a> and T.J.Maxx often have all of these items at deep discounts. I also spritz my bed regularly with a few drops of lavender oil diluted in a half cup of water.</p> <h2>3. Loosen Up With the MELT Method</h2> <p>The <a href="">MELT Method</a> is a type of bodywork that relieves physical and mental tension and stress. The routine employs a variety of stretches, foam rollers, and rubber balls to massage muscles and limber up connective tissue.</p> <p>A relatively new concept, MELT classes are available in some cities and occasionally you may find a MELT instructor in your neighborhood who offers private sessions. Luckily you can purchase all of the gear and follow instructions in a manual or on videos (online and DVDs) that are just as effective at a fraction of the cost. It takes just 10 minutes a day and relieves chronic pain in many people. For a very low-cost substitute, you can use tennis balls or small rubber exercise balls and a standard issue foam roller available at many stores that sell sporting goods or on Amazon. There are <a href="">MELT Method videos</a> available on YouTube for free! (See also: <a href="">Half Moon, Full Wallet; Free Online Yoga Videos</a>)</p> <h2>4. Reduce Stress With Soothing Sounds</h2> <p>It's amazing what some nature sounds, a short guided meditation, and even just relaxing music can do for our minds. There are <a href="">a number of scientific studies</a> that show that soothing sounds reduce our levels of stress hormones, lower anxiety, and improve our communication abilities. Best of all, this method ranges in price from cheap to free! I am a yoga and meditation teacher and created three free <a href="">guided online meditations</a> you can try. If that's not your thing, try listening to the sounds of nature. My favorites are <a href="">Relaxing Sounds of Nature</a> and <a href="">Naturespace</a>, which I listen to on my iPad.</p> <p>Finally, music is a great way to escape from the mundane. I am a big fan of playing music all the time &mdash; I'm more productive and happier with it, even when I'm doing a task that isn't much fun.</p> <h2>5. Spend Time With Animals</h2> <p>Science shows that <a href="">spending time with animals</a>, especially our own pets, reduces stress, relieves anxiety, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, improves heart health, and alleviates depression. Worried you don't have time to properly care for a pet? Offer to walk a friend's dog, pet sit while a friend or family member is out of town, or volunteer at your local animal shelter. You'll reap the relaxation benefits and helps others at the same time. (See also: <a href="">5 Surprising Ways Your Dog Can Save You Money</a>)</p> <p>There's no doubt that we all need to get out of town and on vacation from time to time. These five ideas will help tide you over between those well-deserved breaks with home-baked rest and relaxation that's affordable and available every day.</p> <p><em>Do you have favorite affordable ways to relax at home? Share them in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Turn Your Home Into a Spa With These 5 Frugal Stress Relievers" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Christa Avampato</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Health and Beauty relaxation rest travel vacation Mon, 16 Jun 2014 13:00:02 +0000 Christa Avampato 1142657 at 15 Adventurous Things You Should Do Before You Die <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-adventurous-things-you-should-do-before-you-die" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="travel" title="travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are some adventures that are simply out of reach for most people. It reportedly cost space tourist <a href="">Guy Laliberte $35 million</a> for his ticket on the space shuttle, which means that one very common dream is out of reach even for the most diligent 99% types.</p> <p>On the other hand, $20,000 will secure a reservation on a suborbital flight on Richard Branson's <a href="">Virgin Galactic</a>, which is still testing its aircraft. When that gets going, the full fare for a ride into space will cost $250,000, according to the company's enticing website.</p> <p>We'll step it down a notch to list more accessible (but still fantastic) adventures that everyone can aspire to experiencing. (See also: <a href="">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. Tour Europe</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>The standard London to Paris and back again is a nice option. Many try London to Paris with one extra destination thrown in, often a side trip that caters to a very private romantic destination, like Venice or the Greek islands. (See also: <a href="">The Cheapest Way to Fly to Europe</a>)</p> <h3>While in Europe, You Should...</h3> <p>Try to make a guard at Buckingham Palace move; visit the Mona Lisa and the Eiffel Tower; visit Prague; ride a gondola in Venice; see the Sistine Chapel; smuggle a chocolate bar out of Switzerland; meet an old friend in Moscow's Red Square; and climb to the Acropolis in Athens.</p> <h2>2. Island Hop Hawaii</h2> <p><img width="530" height="298" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>There are tropical islands of vivid beauty, and then there's Hawaii. The state includes six main islands, which include Hawaii, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, and Kauai. Although a tourist destination, everyone knows Waikiki Beach for good reason: It's a sandy paradise fringed with palm trees and popular with bathing beauties of both genders. Due to the islands' geological isolation, it is the home of a unique collection of flora and fauna, boasting hundreds of bird species that includes honeyeaters, honeycreepers, and 45 different types of gulls.</p> <h3>While in Hawaii You Should&hellip;</h3> <p>Hit the beaches; visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; visit the Kona Coast for water sports and Kona coffee; go on a bird walk; watch surfers try the big waves on the North Shore; attend a luau; eat fresh pineapple.</p> <h2>3. Go on an African Safari</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>A pretty standard bucket list item is a visit to <a href="">the great plains of Africa</a> to see elephants, lions, leopard, water buffalo, and gazelles in their own element. This typically costs $800 to $1,000 per night per person.</p> <h3>While on Safari You Should&hellip;</h3> <p>Photograph a lion sleeping in a tree; watch a cheetah chase down dinner; spend quality time with a cute monkey; and get home without being eaten.</p> <h2>4. Scuba Dive (or Snorkel) the Great Barrier Reef</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>If you're going to scuba, the Great Barrier Reef is the place to be. The water is warm, the beer is cold, the beauty of a coral reef unforgettable.</p> <h3>While at the Great Barrier Reef You Should&hellip;</h3> <p>Feed graham crackers to a jewel fish; watch a spotted leopard ray swim underneath you; swim alongside a sea turtle; and get home without being eaten.</p> <h2>5. Raft the Colorado River</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>The boat floats, the beer floats, and the breathtaking red-clay scenery floats by. With spectacular mesas as a backdrop and a wild river in the foreground, hold onto your hats; it's going to be awesome. Whether you attempt the big rapids or chose a placid float downstream, you are traveling through a surreal environment, as if a scalpel had cut through layers of time and left this navigational river that is beautiful and wild and crazy at the same time.</p> <h3>While on a Colorado River Rafting Trip You Should&hellip;</h3> <p>Bathe in a waterfall; pull a rainbow trout out of the water and fry it up; start a campfire with the relaxing scent of sage; wear a bandana around your neck; memorize &quot;<a href="">El Paso</a>&quot; and sing it through with no mess ups; tell a funny cowboy poem at the campfire; and find the best canyon walls for harmonizing with your own echo.</p> <h2>6. Drive on the Autobahn</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="">Autobahn</a> is German for &quot;What were you thinking? Are you nuts?&quot; It is also the name of the highway with stretches that have no speed limits, which attracts, well, people with really cool cars. It is recommended that you stay below 81 mph in those sections, but &quot;that's only a recommendation,&quot; says Car and Driver Magazine.</p> <h3>While Driving on the Autobahn You Should&hellip;</h3> <p>Wear leather driving gloves; ride with a passenger who doesn't scream; look like driving 100 MPH is no big thing; keep right unless passing; and avoid the guardrails.</p> <h2>7. Eat an Expensive Meal in Paris</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>The best food in the world: French. The best restaurants in France: There are probably many, but the priciest are in Paris, topped off by <a href="">Le Meurice</a>, which costs about $500 per person (tax, tip, and beverages are extra). This includes one of the world's most elegant dining rooms, described as not unlike dining with royalty. I'll bet the flatware is nice, too.</p> <h3>While Eating an Expensive Meal in Paris You Should&hellip;</h3> <p>Drink one bottle of wine recommended by the waiter and try an eight-course sampler meal; have dessert no matter how much it hurts.</p> <h2>8. Party at Mardi Gras</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>If life is a party, this is literally party central &mdash; the biggest, most sprawling, wildest public debauchery known, and you don't have to overdress to attend. This is about hot food, hot weather, hot bods, hot music, and a big parade to celebrate all of that sweaty fun.</p> <h3>While Attending the Mardi Gras in New Orleans You Should&hellip;</h3> <p>Play poker in a bar; listen to the <a href="">Preservation Hall Jazz Band</a>; attend a concert by John Rebennack or the Neville Brothers or both; and drink beer and eat jambalaya.</p> <h2>9. Golf at Pebble Beach</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>This is one pricey and beautiful golf course, both elegant and adventurous. You will need to bring your best game and a prayer book, but you'll be <a href="">walking in the footsteps of all the great ones</a>.</p> <h3>While You Are Playing Golf at Pebble Beach You Should&hellip;</h3> <p>Hire a caddy and walk. You can use a golf cart at home, but this is holy ground. You should probably walk barefoot and put on your shoes just for making a shot.</p> <h2>10. Kiss the Blarney Stone</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>After kissing <a href="">the Blarney Stone</a>, you have an excuse for your annoying conversational habits for the rest of your life. It bestows the &quot;gift of gab&quot; on those who pucker up and give it a smooch. Come to think of it, I should probably avoid this one.</p> <h3>While You Are Kissing the Blarney Stone You Should&hellip;</h3> <p>Remember to rinse with antibacterial mouthwash.</p> <h2>11. Bring a Kid to Disneyland</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>You have to feel the vibes on this one. Disneyland is a tourist trap, but it is one that will make a kid feel loved, happy, exhausted &mdash; right in their element. What do you get out of this? You get to carry the stuff, shell out the money, and spill mustard on your shirt. But it's worth it.</p> <h3>While You are at Disneyland With Your Favorite Kid You Should&hellip;</h3> <p>Wear a Mickey Mouse hat and wink at Minnie Mouse; watch fireworks; attend a World of Color show; have a fake duel with a finger-pistol drawing against &quot;Toy Story's&quot; Woody, then clutch your heart and fall down. When someone leans over you gasp, &quot;He got me,&quot; and then exhale and close your eyes.</p> <h2>12. Ride a Zip Line Over the Rainforest</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Doesn't it look cool wearing shorts and gloves and having your butt strapped in while you hold on for dear life, <a href="">zipping above the forest canopy</a> like some futuristic sloth? Yee-ha! You're gonna scare a lot of monkeys and sweat off 20 pounds out of sheer fright, but you'll never forget it.</p> <h3>While Riding a Zip Line Over the Rainforest, You Should&hellip;</h3> <p>Hold on for dear life.</p> <h2>13. Swim With Dolphins</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>They smile, chirp, and protect you from sharks. What other friends can you say that about?</p> <h3>While Swimming With Dolphins You Should&hellip;</h3> <p>Remember to keep your head above water for the photo and do not get eaten by something that's not a dolphin.</p> <h2>14. Walk the Great Wall of China</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Commonly said to be the only man-made structure you can see from space, the Great Wall is actually a series of different walls that measure to a total of about 5,500 miles. It was begun about 220 BC, although most of it was completed during the Ming Dynasty, which was a 276-year stretch from 1368 to 1644.</p> <h3>While Visiting the Great Wall of China, You Should&hellip;</h3> <p>Look off into the distance, squint, point, and yell, &quot;Mongols! They're coming!&quot;</p> <h2>15. See the Taj Mahal</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>This beautiful mausoleum is one of the greatest artistic accomplishments in history. It was built from 1632 to 1653 to honor the third wife of a Mughal (think Persian) emperor who died giving birth to their 14th child.</p> <h3>While at the Taj Mahal, You Must...</h3> <p>Take off your shoes.</p> <p><em>What's on your list of adventures to do before you die? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Adventurous Things You Should Do Before You Die" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Anthony Hall</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Life Hacks Travel adventures bucket list cheap thrills travel Thu, 22 May 2014 08:24:15 +0000 Anthony Hall 1140061 at Frugal, Amazing, and Easy-to-Navigate: The 10 Best International Cities to Visit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/frugal-amazing-and-easy-to-navigate-the-10-best-international-cities-to-visit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Kathmandu, Nepal" title="Kathmandu, Nepal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've got a dose of wanderlust but are battling a restrictive budget and maybe a few travel fears, this list is for you. These 10 international cities are easy to get to with lots of flights, buses, and trains arriving regularly, they're easy to get around in and enjoy, and it's easy to save money with lots of frugal options.</p> <p>Don't just take it from me; I've polled the frequent traveling community to get their votes on the best international cities to travel and be frugal in. You may even be surprised by some of the cities on this list!</p> <h2>1. Bucharest, Romania</h2> <p>Although Bucharest lacks the &quot;wow-factor&quot; that attracts hoards of tourists, it's a place that can get under your skin.</p> <p>Earl Baron has been traveling full-time since 1999 &mdash; working, volunteering, and living around the world. Among other things, he leads small group tours and runs his blog Wandering Earl. Earl spent <a href="">many months living in Bucharest</a>, and cites it as an extremely affordable destination, conveniently located (less than an hour's flight time to Istanbul), and a place where it's easy to meet people. &quot;This is a city where you can eat well, party well, participate in endless activities, stay in great accommodation, and all for a fraction of what it would cost in Western Europe.&quot; (See also: <a href="">25 Secrets From the World's Most Frugal Frequent Travelers</a>)</p> <h2>2. Kathmandu, Nepal</h2> <p>Getting to Kathmandu might cost you a few dollars (that is, if you're not flying with <a href="">frequent flyer miles</a>), but once you're there, your money will go a long way.</p> <p>Kathmandu is very tourist-friendly (tourism is known as the &quot;third religion&quot; in Nepal) and the Nepalese are always eager to make your stay memorable. You can stay at a local guesthouse for as little as $5 a night, and eat gorgeous, filling local cuisine for as little as a $1. It's a great hub from which you can go trekking (from $7-$30/day), and if you stay in town, a <a href="">tuk-tuk ride</a> to the city's many temples and attractions costs next to nothing. Don't forget to visit the many markets to get some unique handicrafts, as well as (fake brand name) trekking gear and clothing at massively discounted prices.</p> <h2>3. Mexico City, Mexico</h2> <p>&quot;Although Mexico city is pricier than some other destinations in Mexico, as an international city it is vastly underrated as a culturally rich tourist destination,&quot; says Dalene Heck, who has been traveling the world since 2009 with her husband, chronicling their journey at <a href="">HeckticTravels</a>. With the second busiest airport in Latin America there are lots of reasonably-priced flights, and once you're there the Metro only costs $0.40 per ride, so it's easy to get around.</p> <p>Dalene isn't the only traveler to extol the virtues of Mexico City; Tamara and Chris set out on a &quot;<a href="">Leap Year</a>&quot; sabbatical to explore Latin America with two backpacks and their 15 year-old dog, and Mexico City is tops on their list of places where it's easy to be frugal. &quot;Food, usually your biggest expense, is cheap when you eat the delicious street food (try a <a href="">tlacoyo</a>), pick up <em>pan dulce</em> at a corner bakery, or grocery shop in neighborhood <em>mercados</em>. Transportation and attractions are inexpensive too: we took a day trip to the pyramids in Teotihuacan for US$20.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Berlin, Germany</h2> <p>Berlin is the cheapest capital city in Western Europe, and full of culture, art, and good food. I was in <a href="">Berlin for just a few days</a>, but could easily have stayed for longer, with so much to do. It's easy to get to and from as it's an international hub with flights, trains, and buses arriving from all over Europe and the world.</p> <p>Barry and Simone (of <a href="">The Track and Off It</a>) have lived and traveled all over Europe. Barry is a fan of the public transport for being easy to navigate. &quot;With the famed German efficiency, directions are well signposted and all of them are in English. German people are incredibly helpful as well if you need to ask.&quot;</p> <p>And keeping costs low once you're there is easy. &quot;Food portions are enormous, especially the 'tag menu' (menu of the day) and could easily be shared (but avoid the multi-Asian cuisine places),&quot; says Barry. He recommends the free walking tours, and also suggests that it's cheap to rent a bicycle for the day to cover more territory in this big city with wide bike-friendly streets.</p> <h2>5. Lisbon, Portugal</h2> <p>Lisbon is also one of the cheaper cities to visit in Europe with cheap food, drink, local transportation, and lodging. Michael Hodson of <a href="">Go See Write</a> is a former lawyer from the States who took off at the end of 2008 to circle the globe without using a single airplane; he's still on the road. He and I met for the first time in Lisbon in 2011 before embarking on the <a href="">Ultimate Train Challenge</a> together. &quot;Lisbon is one of my favorite cities in Europe and the first one I mention to people that are on a low budget. Lisbon has more luxury hotels than any other city in the world and before you turn away at the word &quot;hostel&quot; realize two things: first, these hostels are the top of the top. Secondly, you can get a private room in almost any of them, if you think hostel always means a dorm room.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Bangkok, Thailand</h2> <p>Bangkok is another hub where your money goes further, with two international airports and flights arriving as low as $30 dollars. Jeff McAllister is a traveler, cyclist, and blogger of <a href="">Keyboard &amp; Compass</a> with a special interest in human rights and science journalism. He says Bangkok is customizable to any budget. For the very frugal, you can get by for about $20/day, &quot;less if you take advantage of the city's amazing Couchsurfing community. Shack up near an MRT or BTS station, eat from the thousands of street stands, and enjoy some cost-free people watching, temple hopping, or stroll through solace of Lumpini park.&quot; And if you've got a bit more to spend, even luxury options are cheaper than most other international cities.</p> <h2>7. Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam</h2> <p>I adored my visit to Saigon a couple of years ago &mdash; especially how budget friendly (and friendly overall) it was. I gorged on <a href="">street food</a> spending no more than a few dollars for a whole day, the hotel was cheap and cheerful, taxis were easy to use, and the tours were great.</p> <p>I'm not the only one with a love of Saigon. Jodi Ettenberg (a former lawyer turned traveler, of <a href="">Legal Nomads</a>) spends a few months in Saigon each winter, and gets the shakes if she goes too long without sticky rice. &quot;My rent is approx US$250-$350 a month depending on where I live, which includes Wi-Fi, hot water, cleaning, and laundry. Most street meals are $1-$2. There are quality Western meals available for $5-$8 a meal as well.&quot; She says it's both affordable and interesting, &quot;with nonstop motion, wonderfully chaotic markets, quieter restaurants and cafes when you want to step away from the noise, and an incredible street food scene.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Prague, Czech Republic</h2> <p>Prague is one of the cultural centers of Europe, hosting many cultural events and boasting more than 10 major museums and a variety of attractions. It's also beautiful, having been spared much of the damage that World War II inflicted on many other parts of Europe. With large numbers of expats and tourists, English is widely spoken in Prague, so it's easy to get around and communicate. And with a favorable exchange rate, the cost of living is very reasonable. Accommodation ranges from hostels for $12 a night to four star hotels for $150 a night.</p> <h2>9. Cusco, Peru</h2> <p>Just a quick flight from Peru's capital city of Lima, Cusco is the epicenter of the Incan culture and ruins. There are a dizzying number of things to do such as <a href="">trekking to Machu Picchu</a>, shopping at the many artisan markets, and simply soaking in the friendly Peruvian culture.</p> <p>Lainie and her son Miro are American travelers who have called Cusco their home for the last two years. &quot;History buffs marvel at the multiple ages of stone construction hidden throughout the city. Food lovers can sample the most interesting of local fare in the markets and surrounding restaurants for under $1.50 a meal. Outside of the tourist zones, travelers have the chance to meet the local artisans and buy their crafts at a fraction of the cost. Cusco is a large city that has a small town feel outside of the tourist zones, always offering a slice of local life, local prices and many warm smiles.&quot;</p> <p>This dynamic mother-son duo are setting up a one of a kind, teen oriented world-learning retreat in Peru's Sacred Valley called <a href="">Project World School</a>, and they blog about their experiences at <a href="">Raising Miro</a>.</p> <h2>10. Los Angeles, USA</h2> <p>Los Angeles is a seriously out-of-the-box suggestion for a city where it's easy to travel and be frugal. But <a href="">Chris Guillebeau</a> visited every country in the world (193 in total) before his 35th birthday, in addition to visiting every state and province while promoting his New York Times bestseller <a href="">The $100 Startup</a>. So he's got a great frame of reference.</p> <p>He says if you're shopping for mansions or designer clothes, of course Los Angeles isn't cheap. &quot;But as a visitor in an authentic neighborhood, you'll be surprised at the average prices of ethnic restaurants. Public transport may not be as easy as the Bangkok SkyTrain, but once you get the hang of the route map, buses and the metro are cheap. There are plenty of hostels, and if staying in hotels, you'll be pleasantly surprised to see that rates are much lower than in San Francisco and other west coast cities.&quot;</p> <h2>Bonus City: London, England</h2> <p>Most people (myself included) blow the budget in London, but not everybody does. &quot;London has a reputation as an expensive city but I think it offers exceptional value. No where else will you find more phenomenal free museums and galleries. Everyone knows someone who knows someone's cousin in London &mdash; odds are high you can snag a free bed for a few days. Plus London is a walker's paradise, the cheap eats food scene has greatly improved, and the British Pound is at a favorable exchange rate,&quot; says Vanessa Chiasson of TurnipseedTravel. On her site she features a series called the $200 challenge where two people travel for two days for $200 or less, and she recently took her <a href="">$200 challenge to London</a>.</p> <p><em>What hotspots did we miss? Is there an international city where it's easy to travel and be frugal in that you've visited? Tell us in the comments! </em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Frugal, Amazing, and Easy-to-Navigate: The 10 Best International Cities to Visit" 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 affordable vacation cheap cities cheap travel travel Tue, 20 May 2014 08:24:22 +0000 Nora Dunn 1139921 at 5 Incredible Places to Retire Abroad That Anyone Can Afford <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-incredible-places-to-retire-abroad-that-anyone-can-afford" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="beach" title="beach" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The idea of retiring to some far-flung locale replete with warm weather, ample shoreline, and a favorable exchange rate is an attractive notion to many people. Indeed, searching for the hot new country in which to buy retirement property has become something of a sport for many folks in their golden years. It seems that on an almost annual basis, some previously unheralded nation pops up that looks like an attractive option to relocate to. And with the economy squeezing the retirement dollar of a large portion of the U.S. middle-class, there are many who simply have no other option than to retire in another country.</p> <p>So for those intrepid retirees looking to plant the flag abroad, here are five attractive nations in which to do so. (See also: <a href="">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Turkey</h2> <p><img width="605" height="341" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>This picturesque Mediterranean country sits on the doorstep to Asia and provides many of the features expats look for in a new home, namely a rich culture, beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, and that aforementioned attractive exchange rate. The Turkish currency remains the lira, and those from the U.S. can enjoy a nearly 2-1 exchange rate. Some estimates even place the <a href=";country2=United+States">cost of living</a> for those from the U.S. at one-third of what it is back home. (See also: <a href="">5 Amazing, Cheap Places to Live as an Expat</a>)</p> <p>This translates into low prices on real estate as well. Even in the capital city of Istanbul, it is possible to <a href="">find an apartment</a> for sale between $20,000-$40,000 and a house for between $100,000-$200,000 dollars. Prices are often even less in the smaller towns and villages that dot Turkey's landscape. So between the cost of living, a favorable exchange rate, and bargain real estate prices, many retirees should be able to <a href="">purchase a home in Turkey</a>.</p> <h2>Ecuador</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>For the last few years, Panama has been on many older folks' radar as a retirement destination. But what it has in terms of natural beauty and a low cost of living is at least matched in Ecuador. This South American gem offers everything from volcanoes and jungles to beaches and even the Galapagos Islands (although you can't actually retire there). From the capital city of Quito to the expansive beaches of Guayaquil, there are a number of prime spots in which to find <a href="">retirement property</a> in this little country.</p> <p>As for the economy, Ecuador adopted the U.S. dollar as its official currency, so expats needn't worry about currency exchange issues. And with estimates putting <a href="">Ecuador's inflation</a> below 4%, things should remain stable for the foreseeable future. Those who do relocate here will find that they can live on a pittance, often finding that their <a href="">budget</a> doesn't need to exceed $300-$400 per week.</p> <h2>Thailand</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Those who don't mind a bit of a jaunt to their retirement destination (Thailand is about an 18-hour flight from New York) can choose this country to kick back in. Visitors from Europe and Australia have long touted the affordability of this Southeast Asian hotspot, and it's about time Americans learned about these virtues, too. A person (or even a couple) can get by on a budget of about $1,800 per month including rent, and that even allows for splurging and the occasional beach getaway.</p> <p>There are a number of destinations within Thailand, but most folks choose to hang their hats in either the capital city of Bangkok or the more relaxed environs of<a href=""> Chiang Mi</a>. In Bangkok, residents can take advantage of rich street food for less than $1 or dine at many four-star restaurants even while adhering to a strict budget. Those with medical needs can rest easy knowing that the country has a superb health care system that is also inexpensive, and folks here can see a specialist for about $50 per visit. On the other hand, Chiang Mai is only a few hours drive from the capital, but it may as well be a different world. Noted for its lush mountainous landscapes peppered with the occasional Buddhist temple, residents can take advantage of the temperate climate and laid-back lifestyle while still enjoying cheap prices.</p> <h2>Colombia</h2> <p><img width="605" height="341" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Right next door to Ecuador sits this lush Caribbean country, and more and more foreigners are discovering it each and every year. That's because Colombia no longer enjoys the <a href="">reputation for violence</a> that plagued it in decades past.&nbsp;That's good news for tourists and retirees alike. Those who want a second home here have many attractive <a href="">real estate options</a> to choose from. And considering the average monthly salary in the country is around US $300, expats can easily get by on less than $2,000 per month and live high on the hog in doing so.</p> <h2>Malaysia</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>If Thailand doesn't strike a chord, retirees can opt for another Southeast Asian expat haven &mdash; Malaysia. Consistently ranked in International Living's annual Global Retirement Index, this country offers the affordability of Thailand (folks can live a pseudo-luxurious lifestyle for around $1,700 per month) as well as the stellar health care system. And since the most of the country's doctors have studied in Europe, England, or the States, it's no problem finding an English-speaking physician. Emigres can even import their vehicles and furniture into the country duty free. One other incentive to move here is called<a href=""> Malaysia My Second Home</a>, a 10-year resident visa that can be acquired by making a down payment and proving a certain income per month.</p> <p><em>Have you considering retiring abroad? Where?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Incredible Places to Retire Abroad That Anyone Can Afford" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Chris McMurphy</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Retirement Travel expat retirement retiring overseas travel Mon, 19 May 2014 08:12:20 +0000 Chris McMurphy 1139650 at Best Money Tips: Ways to Save Money on Your Vacation <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-on-your-vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="travel" title="travel" 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 fantastic articles on saving on your vacation, saving on wedding favors, and retirement savings.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">10 Ways to Save Money on Your Vacation</a> &mdash; Traveling in the off-season and going to all-inclusive resorts can help you save on your vacation. [Canadian Finance Blog]</p> <p><a href="">11 Ways to Save on Wedding Favors</a> &mdash; To save money on wedding favors, make your own or donate to charity. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">Retirement saving: Size isn't the only consideration</a> &mdash; Remember to think about where you live and lifestyle when it comes to saving for retirement. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="">Personal Wealth versus Mental Health - working from home</a> &mdash; Working from home allows you to choose your own hours while going to work guarantees your income. [The Money Principle]</p> <p><a href="">6 Smart Spending Questions To Ask Yourself Before Making a Purchase</a> &mdash; Before you make a purchase, ask yourself if you really need to make the purchase. [Bible Money Matters]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">How Paying off Debt is Like Running a Marathon - Actual Experience</a> &mdash; Similar to running a marathon, you need to set milestones if you want to get out of debt. [Three Thrifty Guys]</p> <p><a href="">Don't Stop Adding To Your Investments</a> &mdash; It is important to add to your investments so you can see your wealth compound. [Retire By 40]</p> <p><a href="">Gratitude is good for your soul...and your finances</a> &mdash; It is possible to be grateful while striving for more. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="">10 Graduation Party Printables</a> &mdash; If you are in need of graduation party printables, check out Second Chance to Dream and Diva Entertains. [InkJet Willy]</p> <p><a href="">Have a Picky Eater? Try...</a> &mdash; When dealing with a child who is a picky eater, encourage healthy grazing. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Ways to Save Money on Your Vacation" 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 best money tips saving travel vacation Fri, 16 May 2014 09:00:32 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1139407 at 25 Incredible Places You Must Visit Before You Die <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-incredible-places-you-must-visit-before-you-die" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Monteverde" title="Monteverde" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p id="docs-internal-guid-a63215d5-fc59-f317-05e6-a1c6118e03c4">&quot;The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.&quot; &mdash; St. Augustine</p> <p>Every traveler knows that best way to better one's mind, body, and soul is to explore a new culture or spend time in a foreign land. It's a big, beautiful planet we live on. With so much to see, we thought we'd compile a list of the 25 greatest islands, cities, and sites that everyone should aspire to lay eyes on before leaving this world.</p> <h2>1. Pyramids of Giza</h2> <p><img width="605" height="345" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>The six <a href="">pyramids</a> that crown this Egyptian city on the west bank of the Nile River are architectural marvels and feasts for the imagination. Along with the neighboring Great Sphinx, the pyramids are perhaps the most magical and iconic of the world's great wonders. Don't pass up an opportunity to take in these ancient, sand-covered statements.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> If you go, be sure to indulge your inner sultan with a desert camel ride around the pyramids.</p> <h2>2. Prague</h2> <p><img width="605" height="224" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>The Czech capital is a gem for its world-famous beer, historic opera house, and thousand-year-old architecture, spared by the bombings that pulverized the hearts of so many other European cities during World War II. Stroll across the picturesque Charles Bridge into Old Town, <a href="">tour the magnificent Prague Castle</a>, and explore the underground bars where amber libations are served by the pint.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> Plan to visit in autumn when the whole city is dressed with ruby, copper, and gold foliage.</p> <h2>3. North Shore of Oahu</h2> <p><img width="605" height="408" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>If you've never seen professional surfers riding <a href="">60-foot waves</a>, you're in for a treat with a wintertime visit to the northernmost beaches of Hawaii's most populous island. When the surf is pumping, the exhilaration is palpable. And you don't have to be riding a monster wave to feel it. There's plenty of golden sand, turquoise waters, and aloha to go around for surfers and spectators alike.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> No trip to the North Shore is complete without a slice of haupia cream pie from local hot spot <a href="">Ted's Bakery</a>. Indulge. You won't be sorry.</p> <h2>4. Easter Island</h2> <p><img width="605" height="404" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>This tiny, isolated rock off the coast of Chile is steeped in beauty and mystery. No one knows how the ancient seafaring Polynesians who settled the island came to their demise. But the <a href="">stone head statues</a> they left all along the rugged landscape are mesmerizing, if not a little bit eerie. Easter Island also offers waves to surf as well as stunning, secluded beaches.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> Tourism tapers off in winter but temperatures remain mild, making the off-season the more peaceful time of year to visit.</p> <h2>5. New York City</h2> <p><img width="605" height="411" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>It's the stuff of childhood dreams and Sinatra songs, and it doesn't disappoint. The beauty of the Big Apple is that there's a little something here for everyone to enjoy. Lady Liberty, an iconic skyline, Broadway, <a href="">Times Square's bright lights</a>, world-class museums, every kind of cuisine, and the open-until-4 a.m. nightlife await you in the city that never sleeps.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> Be sure to visit the Empire State Building's <a href="">world-famous observation deck</a> for unparalleled skyline views.</p> <h2>6. Monteverde</h2> <p><img width="605" height="404" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Experience <a href="">life among the clouds</a>. This Costa Rican countryside, known as the Cloud Forest, couples high altitude and mountainous terrain for a mystical setting with far-away ocean views. Monteverde is a tiny town in the rainforest. It is a place to hike, zipline, ride horses, traverse hanging bridges, and tour coffee plantations. You'll need at least two or three days to explore it thoroughly.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> Pair your trip to the Cloud Forest with a visit to <a href="">Arenal</a>, one of Costa Rica's half-dozen active volcanoes, located about a three hour drive away.</p> <h2>7. Victoria Falls</h2> <p><img width="605" height="400" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Deep in southern Zambia is the <a href="">world's largest waterfall</a> &mdash; a mighty, mind-boggling ode to mother nature's power and majestic beauty. Dubbed &quot;Smoke That Thunders&quot; by the locals, the falls and surrounding waters offer visitors opportunities for kayaking, hiking, and fishing with a jaw-dropping backdrop.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> Visit during a full moon to glimpse a lunar rainbow through the spray of the falls.</p> <h2>8. Great Barrier Reef</h2> <p><img width="605" height="454" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Though it lies deep in the Australian sea, the <a href="">world's largest reef</a> can be seen from outerspace, making it a true marvel of nature. The reef's brilliant colors and exotic aquatic life such as baleen whales and hundreds of species of electric-colored fish make this underwater playground the ideal setting for snorkeling and diving.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> You can stay dry and still spy the leatherback turtles with a trip on a glass-bottomed boat tour.</p> <h2>9. Blue Lagoon</h2> <p><img width="605" height="404" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>With water temperatures averaging around 100 degrees, Iceland's famous <a href="">turquoise-hued geothermal spa</a> is one of the world's most soothing locales for open-air bathing. The mineral water that fills the man-made lagoon stays warm with help from a nearby power plant, but all around are natural views of the craggy Icelandic hillsides.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> If you go, be sure to check out the steam bath carved out of black lava rock and the soothing, waterfall-powered massage.</p> <h2>10. Barcelona</h2> <p><img width="605" height="332" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>This city on the coast of Spain has it all: cosmopolitan nightlife, a stunning seaport, superb Catalonian cuisine, and, of course, the <a href="">architectural wonders</a> built by Gaudi. If you go, consider adopting the siesta lifestyle. There are more museums, parks, old-world haunts, and sandy waterfront stretches than there is time in the day &mdash; but the city really comes alive after midnight. In vibrant Barcelona, a midday nap will serve you well.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> Barcelona's best sangria is rumored to be served at <a href="">Bubo Bar Restaurant</a>.</p> <h2>11. Angkor Wat</h2> <p><img width="605" height="405" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>The world's largest religious monument is located in Cambodia, and it is absolutely spellbinding. Originally a Hindu place of worship, this Buddhist temple's ornate chambers, dating back to the early 12th century, are enchantingly well-preserved. The juxtaposition of the structure's precise stone carvings set against the backdrop of unruly jungle make the temple <a href="">one of southeast Asia's most captivating sites</a>.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> Watching the sun rise at this iconic temple is a beautiful and truly spiritual experience.</p> <h2>12. Rhodes</h2> <p><img width="605" height="404" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Of all the Greek islands, Rhodes is the most rugged. It's also one of the most beautiful, with its forested hillsides and <a href="">picturesque swimming holes</a> and waterfalls. On Rhodes you will find cobblestone streets, a Byzantine fortress, golden beaches, pristine waters, and a comfortable subtropical climate. Pack your hiking shoes for up-close views of the island's natural treasures.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> Visit Rhodes in the winter off-season and you'll practically have the island to yourself. This makes for a more relaxing excursion, but note that some of the shops and other businesses are closed outside of high season.</p> <h2>13. Moscow</h2> <p><img width="605" height="474" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Russia's capital city is a marvel for its vodka culture, fairytale-like St. Basil's Cathedral and drop-dead gorgeous metro system (No, really &mdash; <a href="">the metro stations look like ballrooms</a>.) If you go, be sure to visit the open-air <a href="">Izmailovsky Market</a> and Lenin's tomb, where the communist revolutionary's embalmed body is on display right in the heart of Red Square.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> Don't drink water from the faucet. Russia's tap water system is notoriously polluted.</p> <h2>14. Hoi An</h2> <p><img width="605" height="406" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>On the 14th day of each lunar month, this Vietnamese city swaps its electric bulbs for <a href="">beautiful colored lanterns</a> in tribute to the simplicity of ancient life in this southeast Asian port town. Must-sees include the Quan Cong Temple, which smells of incense, and the enchanting Japanese Covered Bridge.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> If you go, make time to check out the nearby <a href="">white sand beaches</a>. They're beautiful and well-worth a day trip.</p> <h2>15. Neuschwanstein Castle</h2> <p><img width="605" height="472" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>The Bavarian castle after which Walt Disney World's Cinderella Palace was modeled is a must-see for its <a href="">real-life fairytale</a> charm. Built in the heart of the German countryside, the castle and towering Alps that surround it make for a magical day-trip from nearby Munich.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> Arrive at the castle in Cinderella style by opting for the horse-and-carriage ride.</p> <h2>16. Machu Picchu</h2> <p><img width="605" height="404" src="" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="">The Inca's most sacred city</a> is magnificent for its perch among the clouds on the dramatic slopes of the Andes in Peru. Machu Picchu is an engineering marvel and an ancient archeological wonder not to be missed. You can feel the mysticism here in the air.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> If you're up to the challenge, hike in to the ruins. The drop-dead gorgeous scenery you'll encounter along the trail will make the multi-day trek well worth it.</p> <h2>17. Bali</h2> <p><img width="605" height="401" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Take in the beautiful beaches, magnificent mountains, verdant rice paddies, and the warm, colorful people who call this Indonesian island home. Bali is a place to <a href="">hike, meditate, surf, dive, and explore</a> the ancient temples and ruins.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> Bali's rainy season lasts from October to April, so avoid visiting during these months if you prefer dry weather and sunshine.</p> <h2>18. Las Vegas</h2> <p><img width="605" height="292" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Sin City is for the pleasure-seeker in all of us. The world's best-known party town seems to exist solely to satisfy its visitor's every indulgence with its bright lights, six-figure jackpots, exotic shows, poolside cabanas, free-flowing liquor, and beautiful, scantily clad people. If you do it right, one visit to Vegas is enough.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> How's your tolerance for heat? Take note: Average summer temperatures in the City of Sin push 106 degrees.</p> <h2>19. Bangkok</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>You haven't properly experienced Bangkok until you've eaten your way through it. <a href="">Street food is king</a> in this Thai capital city where fried, sweet, spicy, and sour noodles rule along with seafood, dumplings, and curries. When you've had your fill of quintessential Thai eats, tour the golden Buddhist temples, treat yourself to a traditional massage, peruse the floating markets, and dance the night away in one of the city's many late-night clubs.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> Bargaining is kosher at not only the local markets but also Bangkok's shopping centers. Don't be bashful to haggle your way to a better price &mdash; the vendors expect it.</p> <h2>20. Rome</h2> <p><img width="605" height="402" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Home of the Colosseum, where decorated gladiators battled to the death, as well as Michelangeo's famous Sistine Chapel frescos, this Italian capital city has something to offer every traveler. Feast on fresh-made pasta, walk the Spanish Steps, visit world-famous sites like the Pantheon and the Vatican, peruse high-end Italian fashion, and <a href="">behold the romance of this ancient city</a>. In Roma, your only worry will be finding a way to fit it all in one trip.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> Be sure to get tickets to the weekly address given by the Pope at St. Peter's Square on Wednesday mornings.</p> <h2>21. Cliffs of Moher</h2> <p><img width="605" height="203" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>These lush, green cliffs that stretch for five miles along the Atlantic coast are <a href="">Ireland's most-visited natural attraction</a>. Standing more than 700 feet tall, the Cliffs of Moher offer unparalleled views of the Aran Islands and Galway Bay from its three designated scenic overlooks.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> Before you go, be sure to check the weather. You won't be able to see these stunning slopes when the coast is foggy.</p> <h2>22. Pulpit Rock, Norway</h2> <p><img width="605" height="402" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>There are no safety rails to keep you from taking the 1,981-foot plunge off the flat of this cliff into the river below. But don't let that stop you from walking (or crawling) out on the plateau's ledge. Those who do are handsomely rewarded with <a href="">mesmerizing views of the Norwegian mountains and countryside</a> &mdash; and an adrenaline high to boot.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> Avoid hiking in rainy or otherwise hazardous conditions. The rocky terrain is dangerous when made slippery by the elements. And keep in mind that fog and heavy cloud coverage will disrupt the spectacular views.</p> <h2>23. Petra</h2> <p><img width="605" height="382" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Built by an Arab tribe in the first century B.C., this <a href="">once-forgotten sandstone civilization</a> in the south of Jordan is a must-see for its intricate rock carvings, hidden nooks, tunnels, tombs, and stunning preservation. The prehistoric city was re-popularized in the 1980s following its prominent placement in the Indiana Jones film series. Petra is best explored in spring, when rain and brisk winds are more scarce.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> If you go, channel your inner archaeologist. <a href="">More than three-quarters of Petra await exploration</a> by scientists. There are so many secrets here in wait of discovery.</p> <h2>24. Northern Lights</h2> <p><img width="605" height="394" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Also known as Aurora Borealis, this brilliant natural lights display dazzles the skies in the northern hemisphere with vibrant strokes of color. Red and green are the most common colors seen by spectators, but all hues of the rainbow have been reported. This <a href="">cosmic fireworks show</a> is best seen in wintertime from locations close to the Arctic including parts of Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Russia, Canada, and Alaska.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> Scientists say the Northern Lights is brightest and <a href="">best-viewed every 11 years</a>. The next ideal viewing period begins in 2024.</p> <h2>25. Taj Mahal</h2> <p><img width="605" height="404" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>If not the most beautiful building in the world, India's Taj Mahal is certainly one of the most recognizable. Decorated with verdant gardens, riverfront terraces, and a stunning reflective pool, this white marble mausoleum was <a href="">built by a king as a symbol of love for his wife</a>. An icon of romance, the Taj Mahal is a popular site for marriage proposals.</p> <p><strong>Insider's tip:</strong> When planning your visit, keep in mind that the Taj is closed on Fridays to all visitors not utilizing the mosque.</p> <p><em>Are any of these places on your must visit list? Or do you have other special places to go? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="25 Incredible Places You Must Visit Before You Die" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel bucket list landmarks places to go travel Thu, 15 May 2014 09:00:15 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1139408 at Best Money Tips: Pack These Travel Essentials to Save Money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-pack-these-travel-essentials-to-save-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="suitcase" title="suitcase" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="180" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on travel essentials to pack to save money, car care tips to save money, and DIY financial tasks you should never do.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">Pack These 9 Travel Essentials to Save Money</a> &mdash; Bandaids and vaseline are just a couple essentials you should pack when you are traveling. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">These Simple Car Care Tips Can Help Save Money - Even for Non Gear Heads Like Me</a> &mdash; To save money on your car, check your engine oil and fluids. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="">5 DIY Financial Tasks You Should Never Do</a> &mdash; You should never buy insurance without an agent or broker. [Christian PF]</p> <p><a href="">Invest in Your Health with These 4 Low Impact Exercises</a> &mdash; Yoga is a great low impact exercise that can help you stay healthy. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="">Move Over Dishware: There's a New Kind of Wedding Registry in Town</a> &mdash; Have you ever heard of a financial gift registry? [MoneyNing]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">10 cheap ways to stage your home for less</a> &mdash; Refreshing your landscape and editing your furniture can help you stage your home for less. [Living on the Cheap]</p> <p><a href="">Preventing Summer Crime</a> &mdash; Keep your home safe this summer by stopping your mail if you are out of town. []</p> <p><a href="">How to Protect Your Business With Solid Terms and Conditions</a> &mdash; To protect your business with solid terms and conditions, make sure you include information about your privacy policy. [Careful Cents]</p> <p><a href="">4 Ways to Get in Shape Without Going Broke</a> &mdash; Trying an outdoor gym is one way to get in shape without going broke. [Smartasset Blog]</p> <p><a href="">7 Simple Self Care Tips for Over-Extended Moms</a> &mdash; If you are an overextended mom, make time for friendships and take a bath. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Pack These Travel Essentials to Save Money" 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 best money tips essentials save travel Tue, 13 May 2014 09:00:24 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1139048 at This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly) <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="family on plane" title="family on plane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are so many different types of reward programs that offer miles and points that it can be very difficult for those newer to the world of <a href="">rewards credit cards</a> and (almost) free travel to know where to start. If you're interested in diving in, a very good place to consider starting is with the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. These points are flexible, valuable, and easy to earn.</p> <p>However, a &quot;secret&quot; that many people don't know is that cards within the program (and a Chase checking account) can work together to help you earn even more for your purchases. Specifically, you can take advantage of what I call the &quot;Chase Trifecta&quot; to earn even more rewards for your everyday spending.</p> <p>Here are some details about how the program works and how to get the maximum value when earning and redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards.</p> <h2>What Is a Chase Ultimate Rewards Point?</h2> <p>A Chase Ultimate Rewards point is a credit card rewards point earned via a Chase credit card that falls under the Ultimate Rewards umbrella. Right now that includes cards such as the Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Cash, Ink Bold, and Ink Plus.</p> <h2>How Do You Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points?</h2> <p>You earn at least one point per dollar charged on a card that earns Ultimate Rewards. But the real trick is to take advantage of the bonus categories of these various cards in order to rack up the points much faster.</p> <h3>Chase Freedom</h3> <p>Earn 5x up to $1,500 quarterly max at rotating categories that have historically included places like restaurants, gas stations, department stores, and more. There's also a 10% annual bonus if you have a Chase checking account. (No annual fee.)</p> <h3>Chase Sapphire</h3> <p>Earn 2x on dining. (No annual fee.)</p> <h3>Chase Sapphire Preferred</h3> <p>Earn 2x on travel and dining plus 7% annual bonus on points earned. Also, get 20% off travel redeemed via Ultimate Rewards. (Annual fee.)</p> <h3>Chase Ink Cash</h3> <p>Earn 5x points per $1 on the first $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, Internet, and cable TV services. Earn 2x points per $1 on the first $25,000 spent annually at gas stations and restaurants. (No annual fee.)</p> <h3>Chase Ink Bold or Ink Plus</h3> <p>Earn 5x points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services. Earn 2x points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually at gas stations and hotel accommodations (when purchased directly with the hotel). Also, pay 20% off travel redeemed via Ultimate rewards. (Annual fee.)</p> <h3>Ultimate Rewards Mall</h3> <p>Another great way to earn Ultimate Rewards points is via the Ultimate Rewards Mall. This is an online shopping portal that is open only to those with an Ultimate Rewards earning card. In this &quot;online mall&quot; you can earn 10x points or more for online purchases at retailers such as Home Depot, Sears, Kohl's, Pottery Barn, REI, Apple, and J.Crew. You click via provided links from the Ultimate Rewards Mall to your favorite retailer's site and then make your purchase like normal. For doing so, you earn a bonus number of Ultimate Rewards points that range anywhere from one extra point per dollar to 25 extra points per dollar.</p> <p>At 10 extra points per dollar this means that your $100 online purchase at Kohl's goes from earning 100 points to earning the 100 points it normally would on your card plus 1,000 bonus points for making the purchase at 10x via the Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall. This is a great way to earn a ton more Ultimate Rewards points in a hurry!</p> <h2>Redeeming Ultimate Rewards</h2> <p>You can redeem the points at a one point equals one cent value for merchandise such as a digital camera, retailer gift cards to places like Gap, as a direct deposit into a Chase account, at <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20"></a>, or as a statement credit.</p> <p>But that's as much as you can do with a Freedom, Sapphire, or Ink Cash cards as far as redemption.</p> <p>The other cards (the ones with an annual fee, of course) offer you more travel value.</p> <p>First, you get an additional 20% off travel redemptions through Ultimate Rewards.</p> <p>But the best redemption value comes when you transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to a hotel or airline partner such as United MileagePlus, Hyatt Gold Passport, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Korean Air Skypass, Marriott Rewards, IHG Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, Virgin Atlantic, and Amtrak Guest Rewards.</p> <p>Many people, myself included, get far more than the one cent per point value when you can transfer to some of those programs listed above. For example, via Hyatt Gold Passport you can book a room on the ski slopes at the Hyatt Escala Lodge in Canyons Mountain Resort for just 15,000 points per night. During peak ski season nights, rooms at this hotel can go for $400 - $500 per night, so clearly you get more than one cent per point value when you use your Ultimate Rewards points in this manner.</p> <p>Even better, you can combine points with spouses or domestic partners!</p> <h2>The Chase Trifecta</h2> <p>As I mentioned earlier, you can use Ultimate Rewards to its fullest power by having several cards and accounts under Chase. Specifically, if you have all three of the following:</p> <ol> <li>A Chase checking account;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A Chase Freedom Card;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, or Ink Plus credit card.</li> </ol> <p>A Chase checking account combined with a Freedom card will get you a 10% annual bonus in Ultimate Rewards points. This 10% bonus includes the 5x quarterly bonuses and points earned via the Chase Ultimate Rewards Shopping portal, so it can really add up to a pretty substantial number over the course of a year.</p> <p>As I mentioned above, the Freedom card allows you to redeem your points for gift cards, travel (spent via the Ultimate Rewards portal), or cash at one point equals one cent. However, if you also have one of Chase's top tier cards (Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, Ink Plus), you can transfer your Freedom points to these cards, which you can then use to transfer 1:1 directly to hotel and airline partners!</p> <p>This means you can take advantage of Freedom's 5x quarterly bonus points, plus the 10% annual bonus for having a Chase checking account, <em>and</em> be able to transfer them at a 1:1 rate to travel partners. You can't do this if you have the Freedom card alone. You must have either a Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, or Ink Plus card in order to do the 1:1 transfer.</p> <p>Note that you can transfer points to one of these three cards from a Sapphire or Ink Cash card, but you don't get the added 10% bonus for having a Freedom + Chase checking account. Also, the Freedom card has better point bonuses than the Sapphire or Ink Cash cards.</p> <p>Ultimate Rewards points, when used to their maximum potential, can bring otherwise unattainable luxury travel expenses like ocean-front resorts, first or business class flights, and more into the realm of very possible. Now get out there and start turning your everyday purchases into a pile of valuable Ultimate Rewards points!</p> <p><em>Have you taken advantage of the Chase Trifecta to wrack up the reward miles?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)" 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 airline miles credit card rewards travel travel rewards Tue, 29 Apr 2014 08:00:37 +0000 Summer Hull 1137336 at