Travel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/254/0 en-US What Exactly Does Trip Cancellation Insurance Cover? http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-trip-cancellation-insurance-cover <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-exactly-does-trip-cancellation-insurance-cover" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_looking_at_laptop_seriously.jpg" alt="Young woman looking at laptop seriously" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Travel insurance is a broad term used to describe the different types of travel coverage you can get for a trip. You can get coverage for lost or delayed baggage, overseas medical coverage, or insurance to cover travel delays, for example. While each type of coverage is different, they all serve the same purpose: to protect you from out-of-pocket expenses if something goes wrong during your travels.</p> <p>Among the different types of travel insurance available, trip interruption and cancellation coverage is one of the most popular types out there. This coverage provides reimbursement if your trip is interrupted or canceled for a covered reason. If you need to cancel your trip before you leave because you break a leg on your way to the airport, for example, the cancellation component of your coverage kicks in.</p> <p>The trip interruption part of the policy comes into play when your trip is abruptly or accidentally interrupted for a covered reason &mdash; say, if you travel abroad and need to come home early because your child gets sick.</p> <p>Just like other types of travel insurance, coverage limits and specific details for trip cancellation/interruption coverage vary based on where you get your policy. We'll go over what trip interruption and cancellation insurance might cover, as well as the best place to score an affordable policy.</p> <h2>Using coverage provided by your credit card</h2> <p>First things first. If you're looking for a way to get trip cancellation/interruption coverage for free, you may be able to score this perk and other benefits with one of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">top travel credit cards</a>. Believe it or not, many of these cards offer trip cancellation/interruption coverage for free as a cardholder perk. For the coverage to apply, however, you have to have used your card to pay for the trip associated with your claim. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Types of Travel Insurance Credit Cards Include That You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <p>Coverage limits and other details can be drastically different from card to card. One popular credit card trip cancellation/interruption insurance policy covers you when you use the card for prepaid tours, travel, and accommodations. However, coverage is considered secondary to that of any travel insurance you've purchased or reimbursement offered by the common carrier &mdash; in other words, the airline, bus, train, or cruise operator. That doesn't mean you have to buy your own insurance policy in order to use the credit card coverage, though.</p> <p>Let's say that you need to cancel a trip, including airfare and hotels that set you back $2,000. If you already have a trip cancellation policy that covers $1,000 in related bills, but used your credit card to pay for the trip, your credit card coverage would kick in to cover the other $1,000 you spent. If you don't, you could use your credit card coverage on its own up to its included limits.</p> <p>More good news with this particular policy, however, is that immediate family members of the cardholder are covered &mdash; even if the primary cardholder isn't traveling. This means that a spouse who is stranded in another country could gain access to your trip cancellation/interruption insurance benefit even if you're not there &mdash; provided you used your eligible credit card to pay for their trip.</p> <p>Even better, this coverage is worth up to $10,000 per covered trip with a maximum limit of $20,000 per occurrence and $40,000 over a 12-month period. And yes, this coverage works even if you paid for part of your trip with points.</p> <p>Other credit cards may limit your coverage to $5,000 per trip, or even less, but may not have an annual coverage limit. And some cover <em>any </em>travel companion whose travel was bought with the credit card.</p> <h3>Reasons covered by credit cards for trip cancellation or interruption</h3> <p>In order to use these types of coverage, you'll need to document a legitimate reason for the cancellation or interruption. Common reasons that are usually covered include:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Injury, illness, or death of the cardholder, a traveling companion, or an immediate family member.</p> </li> <li> <p>Severe weather or natural disaster that prevents the start or continuation of a covered trip.</p> </li> <li> <p>Terrorist action or hijacking.</p> </li> <li> <p>Jury duty or receipt of a subpoena that cannot be postponed or waived.</p> </li> <li> <p>Bankruptcy or financial default of the cardholder's travel company.</p> </li> </ul> <p>More generous credit card policies may even cover you if someone in your party is laid off from their job, if your pet is injured and needs emergency medical care, or if your permanent residence is burglarized or deemed unsafe. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-travel-accident-insurance-cover-on-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What Exactly Does Credit Card Travel Accident Insurance Cover?</a>)</p> <h3>Reasons <em>not</em> covered by credit cards for trip cancellation or interruption</h3> <p>Here's what's usually <em>not </em>covered. Canceling or interrupting your trip because of:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Injury or illness sustained after traveling against a doctor's orders.</p> </li> <li> <p>A work conflict.</p> </li> <li> <p>A pre-existing medical condition.</p> </li> <li> <p>War.</p> </li> <li> <p>Change in your plans or financial circumstances.</p> </li> </ul> <p>So if you thought you could afford a weeklong trip to Paris but realize as the time gets closer that it's really going to blow your budget, your coverage can't help you recoup any cancellation costs.</p> <p>Because credit card policies vary greatly in what they cover, you should be careful of which card you use you to pay for travel if you want to take advantage of trip cancellation/interruption coverage or other travel perks. While &quot;free&quot; coverage is better than nothing, it pays to know what is and isn't covered under your plan &mdash; and what limits to expect.</p> <h2>Buying your own trip cancellation/interruption coverage</h2> <p>If you don't have a credit card that offers trip cancellation/interruption coverage, you can purchase your own plan. Companies like <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-13055387" target="_blank">Travelex Insurance</a> and <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-13055140" target="_blank">Seven Corners</a> make it possible to buy nearly any type of travel insurance coverage, and to customize your plan so it meets your unique needs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-is-your-credit-cards-travel-insurance-good-enough?ref=seealso" target="_blank">When Is Your Credit Card's Travel Insurance Good Enough?</a>)</p> <p>That said, the vast majority of policies offer comprehensive coverage, which includes cancellation/interruption coverage, but also medical and emergency medical coverage. These policies usually cost 4 to 10 percent of the cost of your trip. But just like the coverage you get for free with a credit card, plan limits and exclusions vary depending on the policy you buy.</p> <p>Let's say you purchase trip cancellation/interruption coverage from Seven Corners as part of a broader travel insurance package. According to the travel insurance company, the &quot;interruption&quot; component of your coverage will kick in to cover the nonrefundable, unused portion of your prepaid trip costs and the additional cost to return home or rejoin your group due to a covered reason. Covered reasons listed by the company include instances of sickness or injury, jury duty, layoff, traffic accidents, and more.</p> <p>Trip cancellation coverage, on the other hand, can refund the prepaid, nonrefundable costs of your trip, such as airfare, cruise tickets, tour bookings, and hotel reservations in the event you need to cancel for any of the covered reasons.</p> <h3>Coverage ceilings</h3> <p>But how much coverage will you have? It depends on the plan you choose. Unlike credit card coverage that is offered with set limits as a free benefit, travel insurance you purchase yourself can be tailored to your needs.</p> <p>Some travel insurance companies offer trip cancellation/interruption coverage up to the entire cost of your insured trip. Based on personal experience, however, some trip cancellation/interruption insurance offered through other travel insurance providers comes with lower limits than what you get for free through a credit card. With Allianz Travel Insurance, for example, limits for cancellation and interruption can be as low as $1,000 per year. The same limit applies to the World Nomads standard plans.</p> <p>While having $1,000 in coverage might seem sufficient, it may not be close to what you need if you're traveling abroad or planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Imagine you booked two round-trip business flights to Spain for $1,500 each and a Mediterranean cruise for another $2,200. If you had to cancel because a family member became gravely ill before you left on your trip (or any other covered reason), either of these plans could leave you drastically underinsured.</p> <h3>Cancel-for-any-reason policies</h3> <p>It's important to note that you can also purchase &quot;cancel-for-any-reason&quot; travel insurance policies &mdash; or add on the coverage to your regular travel insurance. Unlike traditional interruption/cancellation policies, these plans let you cancel for any reason &mdash; even if you just feel like it &mdash; as long as you do so no later than 48 hours before your scheduled departure.</p> <p>Cancel-for-any-reason policies typically cost 8 to 12 percent of your trip's cost and will reimburse you for 75 percent of covered expenses.</p> <h2>When should you buy a policy?</h2> <p>Because coverage limits for trip cancellation/interruption insurance offered through certain travel credit cards is so robust, it almost always makes sense to use this coverage if you have a card that offers it. However, you should read the fine print to make sure you know exactly what's covered, what's not covered, and what you need to do to keep your policy intact.</p> <p>If you don't have a free trip cancellation/interruption policy already, you can always sign up for a travel credit card that offers this coverage or buy a travel insurance policy on your own. As with any coverage you buy, however, you should make sure limits are high enough that your insurance will be adequate if you need it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-trip-cancellation-insurance-cover">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-is-your-credit-cards-travel-insurance-good-enough">When Is Your Credit Card&#039;s Travel Insurance Good Enough?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-cheap-spring-break-trip">How to Take a Cheap Spring Break Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-romantic-getaways-any-couple-can-afford">7 Romantic Getaways Any Couple Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers">25 Secrets From the World&#039;s Most Frugal Frequent Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-understanding-airline-flight-routes-can-score-you-better-rewards">How Understanding Airline Flight Routes Can Score You Better Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Travel travel insurance travel tips trip cancellation insurance trip insurance trip interruption insurance Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Holly Johnson 2105361 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: The Best and Worst Times to Visit 12 Top Destinations http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-best-and-worst-times-to-visit-12-top-destinations <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-best-and-worst-times-to-visit-12-top-destinations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tuscany_italy_landscape_641205724.jpg" alt="Learning when to travel to top destinations" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on the best and worst times to visit 12 top destinations, a simple shift to bring more adventure to your life, and flavored popcorn recipes for your next movie night.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://blog.cheapism.com/when-not-to-visit-popular-destinations/">When Not to Visit These 12 Top Destinations &mdash; and When to Go Instead</a> &mdash; Industry insiders give the deets on the best and worst times to visit popular travel destinations. [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="https://zenhabits.net/adventure/">One Simple Shift to Turn Life Into an Adventure</a> &mdash; When you embrace the thrill of not knowing, every day has the potential for adventure! [zen habits]</p> <p><a href="https://www.dumblittleman.com/flavored-popcorn-recipes/">5 Flavored Popcorn Recipes You Need to Try Now</a> &mdash; Step up your popcorn game with these delicious recipes! [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Think-Positively-44002931">&nbsp;21 Ways to Think Positively Every Day</a> &mdash; It takes conscious effort and commitment to turn positive thinking into a daily habit. Whenever things start to slip, recite a personal motto to help you get back on track. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://thesimplewhiterabbit.com/2018/02/16/minimalist-filing-2/">Minimalist Filing &ndash; Because Most of Us Need to Keep Some Hard Copies</a> &mdash; You can get by with digital copies of most paperwork, but you'll want to have hard copies of certain documents. Here's how to keep them neat and tidy in accordance with a minimalist lifestyle. [The Simple White Rabbit]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="https://www.frugalrules.com/debt-free-living/">The 5 Key Habits of Debt-Free People You Should Copy Today</a> &mdash; Debt-free people live with certain habits that help them save money and stay on top of their finances. [Frugal Rules]</p> <p><a href="https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/3-deadly-myths-you-need-to-dismiss-about-success/">3 Deadly Myths You Need To Dismiss About Success</a> &mdash; Holding on to these myths about success will actually keep you from reaching those great heights. [Pick The Brain]</p> <p><a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/wedding-budget/">Say Yes to a Wedding Budget: Saving Tips for Your Big Day</a> &mdash; Join Experian's #CreditChat tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET for a discussion on tips to help you stick to your wedding budget. [Experian]</p> <p><a href="https://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2018/0214/Mardi-Gras-goes-green-recycling-efforts-target-trash">Mardi Gras goes green: recycling efforts target trash</a> &mdash; Although Mardi Gras generates huge revenue for New Orleans, it also produces a lot of trash. This year, two local organizations have set up recycling centers to collect beads, bottles, and aluminum cans in effort to make the festival greener. [The Christian Science Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.theminimalistmom.com/2018/02/is-country-life-cheaper-than-city-life/">Is Country Life Cheaper Than City Life?</a> &mdash; Before you make the move from city to country (or vice versa), consider how the costs may change in different areas of your life. [The Minimalist Mom]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-best-and-worst-times-to-visit-12-top-destinations">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-cheap-spring-break-trip">How to Take a Cheap Spring Break Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-romantic-getaways-any-couple-can-afford">7 Romantic Getaways Any Couple Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers">25 Secrets From the World&#039;s Most Frugal Frequent Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel best money tips best time to travel top destinations Tue, 20 Feb 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Amy Lu 2105360 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Take a Cheap Spring Break Trip http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-cheap-spring-break-trip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-take-a-cheap-spring-break-trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_women_strolling_along_a_beach.jpg" alt="Young women strolling along a beach" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spring Break can be a great time to take a trip and enjoy warm weather a few months before summer kicks off. While heading to tropical locations when everyone else seems to be can easily bust your budget, a Spring Break trip doesn't have to be expensive if you're willing to keep your travel plans flexible and expenses to a minimum. Here are some tips on how to go on a Spring Break trip without spending a ton of money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</a>)</p> <h2>Lodging</h2> <p>There are always good deals to be found on accommodations, you just need to get a little creative sometimes.</p> <h3>Hotel hopping</h3> <p>Traveling without making hotel reservations ahead of time can be a good way to save money. By late afternoon or early evening, hotels are motivated to fill vacant rooms and are ready to bargain with lower rates or room upgrades. Another advantage of waiting until evening to book your room for the night is that you have maximum flexibility in your travel plans. You can book a room near wherever you end up each day instead of planning your day around your hotel reservation.</p> <h3>Hotel loyalty programs</h3> <p>Sign up for hotel loyalty programs at all of the hotels where you typically stay. It doesn't cost anything, so you might as well rack up some points toward a free stay every night on your trip. I keep a list of all of my hotel programs and account numbers in my wallet to make it easy to register at check-in. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-save-money-on-hotels?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Surprising Ways to Save Money on Hotels</a>)</p> <h3>Check-in discounts</h3> <p>Many hotels offer a AAA discount of 5 percent to 20 percent off your bill when you present your AAA card during check-in. If you are in the military, you might be able to save on your hotel bill by showing your ID and asking for the military rate. Sometimes you can even get a discount simply by asking the clerk for their best rate or if they have a less expensive room.</p> <h3>Vacation rentals</h3> <p>You might be able to save money by finding a privately-owned room or house at your destination instead of a hotel room. <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/" target="_blank">Airbnb</a> and <a href="http://vrbo.com" target="_blank">Vacation Rentals By Owner</a> offer tons of lodging options all over the world, so check to see what deals and unique accommodations are available for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb</a>)</p> <h2>Transportation</h2> <p>Whether you're traveling by plane, train, or automobile, there are plenty of ways to save a few bucks.</p> <h3>Drive instead of fly</h3> <p>It is often less expensive to drive instead of paying for airfare, especially if you have multiple travelers and your destination can be reached within hours. Plus, if you drive, you won't need to rent a car at your destination. Driving keeps you in control of your trip schedule and gives you flexibility to adjust your plans at any time without the same hassle or fees you'd run into via flight.</p> <h3>Minimize your travel distance</h3> <p>You don't necessarily have to head overseas to soak up the sun and stick your toes in the sand. There are lots of places across the country with nice weather that would be perfect for a Spring Break trip, so pick a relatively close destination to save on gas and hotel expenses on the way. Plus taking a shorter trip makes it possible to drive instead of fly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-underrated-us-cities-you-need-to-see-this-summer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Underrated U.S. Cities You Need to See This Summer</a>)</p> <h3>Gas discounts</h3> <p>Use a fuel loyalty or fuel discount program. You will be buying a lot of gas on a road trip, so you might as well take advantage of discounts and rewards as you go. Pay for gas with a credit card that provides rewards, and check out gas station loyalty programs at <a href="https://www.speedway.com/SpeedyRewards/" target="_blank">Speedway</a>, <a href="https://www.fuelrewards.com/fuelrewards/" target="_blank">Shell</a>, <a href="https://www.mybpstation.com/bp-driver-rewards" target="_blank">BP</a>, <a href="https://www.exxon.com/en/plenti" target="_blank">Exxon Mobil</a>, or your favorite gas station. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Gas Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Food</h2> <p>Spring Break eats can cost a pretty penny, but they don't have to. If you eat smart on your trip, you can have amazing meals and still stay within your budget.</p> <h3>Bring provisions</h3> <p>Start your trip with food supplies on board to minimize expensive stops at convenience stores and fast food places along your route. Pack apples, PB&amp;J sandwiches, bananas, granola bars, nuts, and other healthy food that travels well.</p> <h3>Cook your own meals</h3> <p>You can save real money if you buy most of your food at grocery stores instead of restaurants while traveling, and preparing meals yourself. Pick up some fresh fruits and vegetables, and ingredients to make sandwiches. Bring a cooler on your trip to fill with free ice from the hotel to keep your refrigerated items cold when you are on the move from one hotel to the next. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eat-these-6-foods-to-stay-healthy-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Eat These 6 Foods to Stay Healthy While Traveling</a>)</p> <h3>Keep water handy</h3> <p>Buy a case of bottled water at a grocery store or drugstore. You'll want lots of water at the beach, and a cheap bottle of water from a 24-pack is about 10x less expensive that an individual bottle of soda from a vending machine or convenience store.</p> <p>You can also bring a reusable water bottle and fill it at coffee shops, airports, rest stops, and anywhere there's a fountain. And that'll cost you $0. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-aluminum-and-stainless-steel-water-bottles?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Aluminum and Stainless Steel Water Bottles</a>)</p> <h2>More ways to save</h2> <p>Beyond accommodations, transportation, and food, there are other ways to stretch your Spring Break dollars.</p> <h3>Avoid tourist traps</h3> <p>At many beaches, you can rent an umbrella and chairs for about $20. If you bring your own food and water, that's all you need to spend for a day of fun. Also, visit parks and other nature areas on your trip instead of expensive attractions that are designed to extract money from tourists at every turn. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-incredible-unesco-world-heritage-sites-right-here-in-the-us?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites Right Here in the U.S.</a>)</p> <h3>Pack for the weather</h3> <p>Even though your destination may be known as a sunny spot, it can still get cold at night. Check the weather forecast before you go and bring the full range of clothes you will need so you won't need to buy a sweatshirt or jacket at your destination. Remember to pack that summer gear you probably haven't seen since last year such as your sun hat, swimsuit, sunglasses, beach toys, and sunscreen.</p> <h3>Find free Wi-Fi</h3> <p>Taking advantage of free Wi-Fi at hotels and other businesses is even more important on a Spring Break trip since you will likely have lots of pictures and videos to share. Make sure you don't overrun your phone's data plan and rack up extra charges sending selfies from the beach. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-slash-the-cost-of-wi-fi-when-you-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Slash the Cost of Wi-Fi When You Travel</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-cheap-spring-break-trip">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-places-to-take-the-family-for-spring-break">8 Great Places to Take the Family for Spring Break</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-buys-for-100-or-less-that-make-travel-better">6 Buys for $100 or Less That Make Travel Better</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-travel-on-a-budget-while-in-expensive-countries">6 Ways to Travel On a Budget While in Expensive Countries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-to-machu-picchu-and-back-for-30">How to Get to Machu Picchu and Back for $30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-overseas-wedding-destinations-anyone-can-afford">4 Overseas Wedding Destinations Anyone Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel affordable travel flights hotel reservations spring break spring break destinations spring break vacation travel booking travel tips Thu, 15 Feb 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2103788 at http://www.wisebread.com How Understanding Airline Flight Routes Can Score You Better Rewards http://www.wisebread.com/how-understanding-airline-flight-routes-can-score-you-better-rewards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-understanding-airline-flight-routes-can-score-you-better-rewards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_happy_passenger_flying_in_the_airplane.jpg" alt="Young happy passenger flying in the airplane" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Would you want to earn rewards that can only be used at a store that has no locations near you? Of course not. Likewise, the best airline rewards program for you may depend on where you live, what airlines service your local airport, and where you want to go. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Understanding airline routes</h2> <p>Nearly all airlines today operate with a so-called hub and spoke network. This means almost all of their flights go to or from one or more of their key cities, called hubs. If you live in a hub city, then you'll have access to nonstop flights to dozens of destinations using that airline. But if you live in a city without a hub, you'll only have direct service to some or all of their hub cities. That means that if you want to travel to a destination other than a hub, you'll have to change planes.</p> <p>Most of the time, having to change planes is the difference between taking a quick morning or evening flight, and having to dedicate an entire day to travel. And that's when everything goes smoothly. Every time you change planes, you increase the chances of missing a flight or having your luggage delayed or lost. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards That Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a>)</p> <h2>A short list of airline hubs:</h2> <p><strong>American:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Charlotte</p> </li> <li> <p>Chicago O'Hare</p> </li> <li> <p>Dallas-Fort Worth</p> </li> <li> <p>Los Angeles</p> </li> <li> <p>Miami</p> </li> <li> <p>New York La Guardia</p> </li> <li> <p>New York JFK</p> </li> <li> <p>Philadelphia</p> </li> <li> <p>Phoenix</p> </li> <li> <p>Washington National</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Delta</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Atlanta</p> </li> <li> <p>Boston</p> </li> <li> <p>Cincinnati</p> </li> <li> <p>Detroit</p> </li> <li> <p>Los Angeles</p> </li> <li> <p>Minneapolis</p> </li> <li> <p>New York La Guardia</p> </li> <li> <p>New York JFK</p> </li> <li> <p>Salt Lake City</p> </li> <li> <p>Seattle</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>United</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Chicago O'Hare</p> </li> <li> <p>Denver</p> </li> <li> <p>Houston Bush Intercontinental</p> </li> <li> <p>Los Angeles</p> </li> <li> <p>Newark</p> </li> <li> <p>San Francisco</p> </li> <li> <p>Washington Dulles</p> </li> </ul> <p>In addition to these major airline hubs, there are plenty of smaller airlines that offer service from focus cities. For example, JetBlue offers many flights out of New York JFK, Boston, and Fort Lauderdale, while Alaska Airlines has a large presence in Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco. Also, Frontier is a discount carrier with a hub in Denver.</p> <p>Finally, Southwest is the only major carrier that doesn't offer a hub and spoke route system. Instead, it operates to numerous destinations from each city it serves. Nevertheless, its largest operations are in secondary airports where it dominates traffic, such as Chicago Midway, Houston Hobby, Baltimore Washington International, and Dallas Love Field. In addition, it has major hub-like operations in airports such as Denver, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Fort Lauderdale, Oakland, Phoenix, and Orlando. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-airline-companion-tickets-and-3-bad-ones?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards With Airline Companion Tickets</a>)</p> <h2>How to find out which airlines best serve your city</h2> <p>You could look up the route maps of every airline and compare them, but that would be impractical. Instead, the best tool for this job is actually Wikipedia. If you go to the Wikipedia page for any airport, it will include a table of airlines and the destinations served nonstop from that airport. For example, if you go to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartsfield%E2%80%93Jackson_Atlanta_International_Airport" target="_blank">the Wikipedia page for Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport</a>, you'll notice that Delta operates a hub that serves over 300 destinations, while American and United only serve less than 10 cities each. However, you might also see that Southwest serves over 30 cities from Atlanta as well.</p> <p>Wikipedia pages also list the top destinations for flights from that airport. For other destinations, you could determine the number of flights between two cities by doing a search on the airline's website. This is important because you may need to know if a city is just served seasonally, or very infrequently, or if the airline offers multiple flights per day.</p> <p>By understanding how airline flight routes work, you can choose to participate in the frequent flyer programs that best meet your needs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-maximize-your-airline-mileage-redemptions?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Maximize Your Airline Mileage Redemptions</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-understanding-airline-flight-routes-can-score-you-better-rewards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-streamline-your-travel-rewards-strategy">How to Streamline Your Travel Rewards Strategy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-your-vacation-package-a-good-deal">How to Tell If Your Vacation Package a Good Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-airlines-frequent-flyer-miles-have-the-best-value">Which Airline&#039;s Frequent Flyer Miles Have the Best Value?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-value-out-of-american-airlines-miles">How to Get More Value Out of American Airlines Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-flexible-ways-to-cash-in-your-miles-and-points">3 Flexible Ways to Cash In Your Miles and Points</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airline flight routes airline miles airline rewards airlines booking flights booking travel travel tips Thu, 15 Feb 2018 09:30:05 +0000 Jason Steele 2103696 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Tell If Your Vacation Package a Good Deal http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-your-vacation-package-a-good-deal <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-tell-if-your-vacation-package-a-good-deal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_in_loungers_on_beach_at_maldives.jpg" alt="Couple in loungers on beach at Maldives" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Bundled travel deals promise savings to consumers willing to book their flight and all their accommodations at once. Websites like Expedia, Travelocity, and Cheap Caribbean allow you to shop for a hotel and flight, then book it all in one go. Expedia, for example, says you'll save up to $603 by booking your flight and hotel at the same time. Cheap Caribbean, which offers mostly all-inclusive resort deals with airfare to the Caribbean, touts savings of up to 60 percent on some bundled deals.</p> <p>Depending on the package you choose and its individual components, you <em>can </em>save money with packages. If you use a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites?ref=internal" target="_blank">good vacation deal website</a>, booking a package deal is typically less expensive than booking the individual components separately. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-you-book-a-vacation-package?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Questions to Ask Before You Book a Vacation Package</a>)</p> <p>Still, some deals are better than others, and there are times when bundled deals may not be your best option. Here are five steps to ensure your package vacation is the stellar deal you hope it is.</p> <h2>1. Price each component of your trip independently</h2> <p>The best way to find out if your bundled vacation package is a true deal or a dud is to price out each component of your trip and compare it to the package price. If you're booking both airfare and a hotel, for example, find out the cost of airfare on the airline's website, get a price for your hotel on its own, add those two costs up, and then compare them to the package deal.</p> <p>As an example, I looked for bundled vacations from Los Angeles to Montego Bay for seven nights in June 2018. A bundled deal with a weeklong stay at the high-end Hyatt Ziva all-inclusive resort rang in at $6,527 for a family of four.</p> <p>That sounds like a ton of money, and it is, but it's still a lot less than you'd pay if you booked your airfare and hotel independently. Airfare booked on its own would set you back $688 per person, or $2,752 total. The all-inclusive resort on its own is $462 per night, plus a $184 extra guest fee for the children, which works out to $4,528 for seven nights. If you add up those two components, you could be spending $7,280 for the same trip. By booking the vacation bundle, you would save $752 without any real work on your part.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Screen%20Shot%202018-02-12%20at%2012.35.37%20PM.png" width="605" height="191" alt="" /></p> <h2>2. Ask yourself if an all-inclusive resort is worth it</h2> <p>But is $6,527 really a good deal on a vacation? When you search for travel deals, you'll find pricing that runs the gamut from outrageously expensive to downright cheap. Pricing for Hyatt Ziva is a little on the high side in Montego Bay, but that's mostly because it's a five-star, all-inclusive resort. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-get-the-most-value-from-your-all-inclusive-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Ways to Get the Most Value From Your All-Inclusive Vacation</a>)</p> <p>You can save a lot of money if you don't go the high-end route, and even more if you don't go all-inclusive. Let's imagine you want to go to Montego Bay on the same dates and flights, but you're willing to choose a traditional hotel. Doctor's Cave Resort offers basic accommodations 10 minutes up the road from the Hyatt. It's not fancy, and you have to cross the street to get to the world-famous Doctor's Cave Beach. But a weeklong stay at this hotel, with flights, is only $3,726.43 for the same seven nights. That does not include food and drinks.</p> <p>In this case, going for the more upscale, all-inclusive Hyatt would cost you an additional $2,801 for the week. Is it worth nearly $3,000 to get free meals and be in a more luxurious setting? Most families of four could easily spend a lot less than that on food and drinks over a week, especially in low-cost Montego Bay. Then it's a matter of whether your tastes and budget make more downscale accommodations seem like a good deal.</p> <h2>3. Look out for hidden fees</h2> <p>Unfortunately, many hotels and resorts tack on silly charges that include resort fees, and fees for internet service, gym usage, or parking. Many of these fees aren't included in your travel package either, making them hard to plan for unless you read the fine print. With a resort fee, for example, you don't pay it until you actually show up at the resort. So even though you booked and prepaid your hotel, you're still not off the hook.</p> <p>Las Vegas is one of the worst destinations when it comes to resort fees and hidden charges. In particular, if you're staying on the Las Vegas Strip, you'll almost always have to pay a resort fee in addition to your nightly room rate.</p> <p>For a June stay at Caesar's Palace, for example, the nightly rate for two is $219 plus $29 in taxes. That adds up to $1,738 for a seven-night stay. But the fine print states that you'll also have to pay a resort fee when you arrive. This fee, which covers access to the pool, fitness center, and internet service, tacks on another $277 to your total. If you weren't paying attention, you could miss this altogether. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-travel-expenses-you-forgot-to-budget-for?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Travel Expenses You Forgot to Budget For</a>)</p> <h2>4. Consider alternate accommodations</h2> <p>If you're going the all-inclusive route for vacation, then it definitely pays to research package deals to see how much you could save. But if you're thinking of booking a regular hotel, then also consider a rental condo or Airbnb property.</p> <p>With a rental condo or Airbnb property, you'd likely have a kitchen where you could prepare some of your own meals. You would probably have a common living area, too, which means more space for everyone. These options can be considerably cheaper than a hotel as well, although it depends on where you're going and when. If you're flexible and willing to consider a condo or Airbnb, it never hurts to price them out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb</a>)</p> <h2>5. Say goodbye to airline miles and hotel points</h2> <p>Lastly, make sure you know what you're giving up before you book a bundled vacation package through a third-party site. If you're a travel enthusiast who loves collecting points and miles, you should know that the majority of the time, you don't earn rewards points on travel booked through third-party providers like Expedia or Priceline.</p> <p>Not only that, but you typically won't get any loyalty perks, either. So if you have hotel status that qualifies you for free breakfast, room upgrades, and other benefits, it wouldn't be recognized. Often, the savings from a package deal are greater than the value of those foregone perks and reward points. But you'll need to do the math to decide whether the trade-off makes sense for you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-your-vacation-package-a-good-deal">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-understanding-airline-flight-routes-can-score-you-better-rewards">How Understanding Airline Flight Routes Can Score You Better Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-streamline-your-travel-rewards-strategy">How to Streamline Your Travel Rewards Strategy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-get-the-most-value-from-your-all-inclusive-vacation">11 Ways to Get the Most Value From Your All-Inclusive Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wisely-choose-your-next-travel-destination">How to Wisely Choose Your Next Travel Destination</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-cheap-spring-break-trip">How to Take a Cheap Spring Break Trip</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel all-inclusive vacation booking travel travel package travel tips vacation booking vacation package Tue, 13 Feb 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Holly Johnson 2103143 at http://www.wisebread.com Which Airline's Frequent Flyer Miles Have the Best Value? http://www.wisebread.com/which-airlines-frequent-flyer-miles-have-the-best-value <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/which-airlines-frequent-flyer-miles-have-the-best-value" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-649524042.jpg" alt="which airlines have the best frequent flyer miles" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you understand the concept of foreign currencies and their value when converted to U.S. dollars, you can understand the idea of trying to place a value on rewards points that you earn from various loyalty programs. Each airline's &quot;currency&quot; is worth so much in dollars and cents. Knowing that value can help you decide which airline rewards programs to concentrate your efforts on, or determine whether an award flight is a good deal given how many points it will cost you.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the trend in recent years has been for the major airlines to devalue their points in various ways. But that doesn't mean it's not worth collecting them. Travelers can still find great deals by using frequent flyer miles to score free flights. And if you have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">co-branded airline credit card</a>, that can help you rack up points even faster.</p> <h2>Valuing points and miles is complicated</h2> <p>On the surface, it's not that difficult to come up with a value for an airline's rewards points. A point or mile is only worth as much as what you can redeem it for. To assign a value to your miles, you need to look at what kinds of flights you can redeem them for, how many miles are required, and how much you'll have to pay in additional taxes and fees. For any particular flight, you would look up the cash price of the flight and subtract the cost of the taxes and fees that you'd have to pay to use your miles. Next, you can divide this amount by the number of required miles for that flight to reach the value per mile.</p> <p>But it's a little more complicated than that. You also have to take into account the availability of award seats at the lowest mileage levels. For example, airlines might publish an award chart that lists business class flights to Australia for a certain number of miles. This could be an extremely good use of your miles, but if they almost never make award seats available at that price, you can't really use that award as an example of how much your miles could be worth.</p> <p>That's what makes points valuations more of an art than a science. There are a number of factors that make up the typical value of a rewards point, and valuations won't be the same for any two people. It is nevertheless helpful to figure out rough estimates of points values to serve as a rule of thumb when evaluating your options.</p> <p>Over the last 10 years, I've spent a tremendous amount of time researching and booking award flights on behalf of myself, my friends, my family members, and people who pay me for this service. Here are my estimates of the value of the points and miles from the major domestic frequent flyer programs.</p> <h2>American Airlines AAdvantage</h2> <p>American Airlines AAdvantage was one of the first frequent flyer programs ever created. One of its strengths is its competitive <a href="https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-program/miles/redeem/award-travel/flight-award-chart.jsp" target="_blank">award chart</a>, which shows a fairly reasonable number of miles required for MileSAAver awards (the lowest mileage tier) on some popular routes. MileSAAver flights generally require fewer points than other types of award flights, which tend to be more flexible.</p> <p>For example, the chart shows MileSAAver award flights in economy class to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean for just 30,000 miles, round-trip, which compares favorably to many of the airline's competitors. Business class awards to Europe are only 115,000 miles, round-trip, and American even offers off-peak MileSAAver awards to some destinations that can be a real bargain. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-american-airlines-us-airways-credit-card-should-you-get?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which American Airlines Credit Card Should You Get?</a>)</p> <p>However, there are two problems with the current American Airlines AAdvantage program. First, the airline has dramatically curtailed the availability of MileSAAver award flights in recent years, especially on intercontinental business and first class flights. If you are saving your American Airlines miles to fly a long distance in the front of the plane, you are likely to be disappointed when you try to redeem them.</p> <p>Next, American's primary international partner, British Airways, can impose large fuel surcharges on its award flights. These fuel surcharges, which were rebranded as &quot;carrier imposed charges&quot; after fuel prices retreated to historic lows, can add hundreds of dollars to the price of an award ticket. It can sometimes cost more to redeem your miles than it would to just buy a ticket. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-british-airways-points-on-us-flights?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use British Airways Points on U.S. Flights</a>)</p> <p>Therefore, I consider American Airlines miles to be worth about one to two cents each for economy class travel, and only about two to three cents each toward their extremely scarce first and business class award seats. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-value-out-of-american-airlines-miles?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Get More Value Out of American Airlines Miles</a>)</p> <p><strong>Valuation: </strong><br /> 1&ndash;2 cents per point for economy class.<br /> 2&ndash;3 cents per point for premium class seats.</p> <h2>Delta Air Lines SkyMiles</h2> <p>Booking award travel with Delta can be frustrating. About three years ago, Delta took the unprecedented step of removing its award chart from its website. How many miles does Delta charge for award seats? You'll never know until you search the website for one particular flight, and the price you get could be anything.</p> <p>Sometimes they offer award seats for very few miles, but often these are short flights that are being heavily discounted anyway. On the other hand, it's not uncommon to see Delta offering premium class international awards for the outrageous price of several hundred thousand miles, each way. But occasionally, Delta offers &quot;sales&quot; where you can receive better value from your miles. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-delta-skymiles-credit-card-has-the-best-value?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Has the Best Value?</a>)</p> <p>When you redeem your miles for partner awards, it can sometimes still be possible to receive a decent value in cents per mile. Unfortunately, Delta miles are typically worth little more than one cent each toward most flights, and possibly as much as two cents each toward some partner flights. However, the sheer unpredictability and unaccountability of the SkyMiles program makes earning these miles a very poor investment.</p> <p><strong>Valuation: </strong><br /> 1 cent per mile on most flights.<br /> 2 cents per mile on some partner flights.</p> <h2>United MileagePlus</h2> <p>United's MileagePlus program is not immune to the frequent devaluations that affect other airline programs, but at least United publishes its <a href="https://www.united.com/web/en-US/apps/mileageplus/awards/travel/awardTravel.aspx" target="_blank">award chart</a> and notifies customers well in advance of any changes.</p> <p>The strengths of this program include its 28 Star Alliance partners, including Air Canada, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Austrian, ANA, and Air China. Furthermore, all of these partners are searchable online and award availability can be excellent.</p> <p>But when it comes to award availability on United flights, you can sometimes find a decent amount of economy class seats, but fewer seats in business class. However, with the right credit card you can receive additional access to the lowest priced award seats. Therefore, I'd value United miles at around 1.5 to 2 cents each for economy class domestic flights, and 3 to 4 cents each for seats in international business class. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-united-mileageplus-credit-card-should-you-get?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which United MileagePlus Credit Card Should You Get?</a>)</p> <p><strong>Valuation: </strong><br /> 1.5&ndash;2 cents per mile on domestic economy.<br /> 3&ndash;4 cents per mile on international business class.</p> <h2>Southwest Rapid Rewards</h2> <p>Southwest operates what is called a revenue-based program, which means that it closely ties the number of miles required for an award ticket to the price of the flight. Rapid Rewards points are consistently worth 1.4 to 1.7 cents each for flights in its lowest fare class, called &quot;Wanna Get Away.&quot; But if you need to use your points to purchase tickets from one of their higher fare classes, &quot;Anytime&quot; or &quot;Business Select,&quot; you'll receive much less value per point. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-domestic-frequent-flyer-program-southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-premier-credit-card?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card</a>)</p> <p><strong>Valuation:</strong><br /> 1.4&ndash;1.7 cents per mile for Wanna Get Away fares.<br /> 1.1 cents per point towards Anytime fares.<br /> 0.95 cents per point for Business Select.</p> <h2>JetBlue</h2> <p>JetBlue's TrueBlue frequent flyer program is revenue based, much like Southwest's. However, the value of JetBlue points will vary between nearly 1 cent each and about 1.8 cents. In general, you are more likely to get more value per point from international flights as well as those in their premium class, which they call &quot;Mint.&quot; You can also expect to receive about 1.5 cents in value from JetBlue's vacation packages.</p> <p><strong>Valuation:</strong><br /> 1&ndash;1.8 cents per mile for domestic economy.<br /> 1.5 cents per mile for JetBlue vacation packages.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-airlines-frequent-flyer-miles-have-the-best-value">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps">Get Started With Travel Rewards in 4 Simple Steps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-value-out-of-american-airlines-miles">How to Get More Value Out of American Airlines Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-use-up-travel-rewards-points-and-miles">8 Ways to Use Up Travel Rewards Points and Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-flexible-ways-to-cash-in-your-miles-and-points">3 Flexible Ways to Cash In Your Miles and Points</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airline miles frequent flyer miles travel miles travel rewards travel tips Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:30:10 +0000 Jason Steele 2102253 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Streamline Your Travel Rewards Strategy http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-streamline-your-travel-rewards-strategy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-streamline-your-travel-rewards-strategy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel_planning_on_computer.jpg" alt="Travel planning on computer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Rewards programs are meant to encourage loyalty. In an ideal world, you could join just one mileage program that would reward you for every single transaction you make, from flights to credit card purchases to restaurant meals. With that kind of set up, many of us could achieve elite status without even trying.</p> <p>But in the real world, it's pretty much impossible to join only one program that rewards us for everything we buy. That means that if you are a dedicated rewards collector, you'll have to join more than one program. However, you don't want to actively use <em>too </em>many programs. If you spread your earnings too thin, chances are you'll lose track of points you've accrued, or they'll simply expire before you ever get enough of them to redeem.</p> <p>Most of us only have so much time and attention to devote to tracking our miles and points. But how to know which ones to focus on? Here are some considerations.</p> <h2>1. Choose your next destination</h2> <p>It's almost summer camp sign-up season, which means I really need to decide on my next international destination ASAP. Why are these two things related?</p> <p>Well, major expenses like camp fees are good opportunities to quickly reach the minimum spend required by most credit card bonus offers. But you don't want to sign up for just any new card. You want to figure out which new card can get you to your chosen destination.</p> <p>When I'm planning a trip, the first thing I do is plug my starting point and destination into Google Flights and take note of what airlines fly from Point A to Point B. That way, I can look at offers for cards and programs that could get me flights on one of those airlines.</p> <p>My next frequent flyer trip will probably be a family vacation to France. For that reason, I won't be focusing on accumulating miles for Hawaiian Airlines or Southwest Airlines right now, because neither of them fly into Paris.</p> <h2>2. Note what destination you visit again and again</h2> <p>If you are more like my parents, who don't travel internationally but visit the San Francisco area about twice a year, this also plays into your rewards program strategy. If this is your situation, you may want to focus on the awards program for the airline you typically take, and look for ways to get more points within that program. My parents already have credit cards for their preferred airline, but I showed them that they could earn more points by making online purchases through the airline's shopping portal and by registering their cards with the airline's dining program.</p> <h2>3. Take stock of points you already have</h2> <p>Before you apply for any new credit cards, online shopping programs, dining programs, etc., do an inventory of all the programs you hold points in. If you have the choice of two airlines to get to your desired destination, and you already have one-third of the needed miles in a frequent flyer account for that airline, you're better off looking for opportunities to earn more of those miles, rather than starting fresh with the other airline.</p> <p>When surveying your rewards programs, also take note of exchange partners. For instance, the large card-issuing banks and several hotel programs allow you to transfer points into certain airline programs. If you are able to combine points from various programs, you may realize you're a lot closer to getting that award seat than you thought.</p> <h2>4. Watch for temporary bonus increases and special deals</h2> <p>Like department stores offering sales, credit cards vary the number of bonus miles they offer for new sign-ups. Since you generally can't apply for the same credit cards and still get the sign-up bonuses over and over, it pays to apply only when you're getting a good deal, like 60,000 sign-up points instead of 40,000. Check mileage blogs such as One Mile at a Time, which keeps a list of the hottest card deals each month.</p> <h2>5. Once you've decided on an airline, look for additional earning opportunities</h2> <p>Say you want to accumulate a lot of a certain airline's miles, so you apply for a co-branded credit card and immediately earn 40,000 bonus miles. What next? I already mentioned that online shopping and dining programs are opportunities to increase the amount of miles you're earning.</p> <p>Another tactic is to find out if the same program offers credit card products besides the one you already have. Many airlines offer a basic and a premium card, with varying annual fees; you can usually get both. If you and your spouse are working together toward a trip, don't forget you can each get a separate account in your own name, reaping your own sign-up bonuses.</p> <p>Better yet, you can often get bonus miles for referring one another as new members. If you have a small business, look for a business card within the same rewards program; you may be able to get the business card in addition to the consumer card.</p> <h2>6. Watch for promotions on the cards you already have</h2> <p>I recently received an emailed offer &mdash; which I had to click to register for &mdash; to get three miles for every dollar spent on certain categories on one of my airline cards. This is a card I have sitting in a drawer and rarely use, but now that I'm signed up for this promotion, I'll get it out and use it on those categories. A good way to remember which cards to use for which purchases is to label the card with a marker or sticker.</p> <p>Some programs offer ongoing promotions that last the whole year; if you're going for one of these, keep an eye on the calendar. For instance, if you accrue 110,000 points on Southwest Airlines' Rapid Rewards program in a calendar year, they'll give you a free companion pass for the entire following year. My sister-in-law earned this award by putting all household spending on a single Southwest-branded card, starting early in the year. I didn't do as well. A couple years ago, I applied for a new Southwest credit card toward the end of the year, and realized only after the year had ended that I was only about 10,000 points away from earning the companion pass. It's clearly a better idea to start working toward such a large goal in spring than it is in late fall.</p> <h2>7. Cancel or &quot;drawer&quot; cards that have stopped paying off</h2> <p>Once you've reaped the sign-up bonus for a new credit card, take a hard look at what the card can do for you from here on out. Some cards offer an annual bonus of miles or a free hotel night, while others only offer one mile per dollar spent.</p> <p>If the card charges an annual fee but doesn't offer much in the way of ongoing rewards, once I've reaped the sign-up bonus, I call to cancel. Sometimes when I call, I'm offered a new ongoing reward, such as an additional bonus if I spend a certain amount within the next few months.</p> <p>If the card doesn't charge an annual fee but isn't going to offer continuing rewards, I may keep it, but relegate it to the drawer. That way, I don't have to flip through 10 different credit cards in my wallet every time I want to pay for something, but the account is still open.</p> <p>Why not cancel? Well, two components of a credit score are the average age of accounts and the amount of credit you have available to you. So if the card isn't costing me anything, I'd rather let it languish in a drawer, quietly bolstering my credit score, rather than cancel it.</p> <h2>8. Use up orphan miles</h2> <p>When you do that survey of your current miles and points holdings, you may discover an account here and there that only has spare change rattling around in the bank. Maybe you flew that airline just once, or spent most of your points and forgot about the last 2,000. Take this opportunity to clean out those accounts before the miles expire. Since you probably don't have enough points for a flight, consider a miles for magazines offer, or see if you can transfer the points to a program you use more often.</p> <h2>9. Watch for bigger rewards for bigger commitments</h2> <p>If you feel like you're spending too much time applying for new cards, or if you worry about putting too many new accounts on your credit record, avoid smaller bonuses and look for cards that offer a large bonus for a large commitment. Typical bonus offers are in the range of 40,000 to 60,000 miles, or points for a minimum spend of $1,000 to $3,000. But for the past few months, I've been putting my expenses on a card that pays a 75,000-point bonus for $10,000 in spending in the first year. I've appreciated being able to take a break from applying for new cards, while still being able to work toward a bonus.</p> <h2>10. If it's all too much, consider scaling down to one all-purpose card</h2> <p>Maintaining multiple rewards accounts is not for everyone. It's a geek pursuit for people who really want to maximize the value they get for their spending. If you have multiple frequent flyer accounts, a bank-based rewards account, and two hotel loyalty programs, you may find yourself unable to keep up.</p> <p>One solution is to drop them all in favor of a single cash-back card, since cash is accepted everywhere. Another option is a rewards card that offers the option to redeem points for travel on almost any airline via a branded portal.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-streamline-your-travel-rewards-strategy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-understanding-airline-flight-routes-can-score-you-better-rewards">How Understanding Airline Flight Routes Can Score You Better Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-your-vacation-package-a-good-deal">How to Tell If Your Vacation Package a Good Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-airlines-frequent-flyer-miles-have-the-best-value">Which Airline&#039;s Frequent Flyer Miles Have the Best Value?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-most-affordable-beach-towns-in-mexico">8 Most Affordable Beach Towns in Mexico</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-times-booking-your-own-travel-is-cheaper-than-a-package-deal">8 Times Booking Your Own Travel Is Cheaper Than a Package Deal</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel booking flights booking travel loyalty programs reward programs travel rewards travel tips Fri, 09 Feb 2018 09:30:05 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2100530 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Romantic Getaways Any Couple Can Afford http://www.wisebread.com/7-romantic-getaways-any-couple-can-afford <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-romantic-getaways-any-couple-can-afford" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_in_love_working_at_winemaker_vineyard.jpg" alt="Couple in love working at winemaker vineyard" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everybody likes to get away with their significant other, but skipping town for a leisurely weekend of lovey-doveyness is often cost prohibitive ... if you don't know where to look. Luckily, I've done the legwork so you don't have to. Now all you'll need to do is book some dates, pack your bags, and get all heart-eye emoji for each other with these romantic, mini vacays that any couple can afford.</p> <h2>1. Hamilton, Ohio</h2> <p>Your first choice for a romantic getaway probably isn't the great state of Ohio, but there's a case to be made for this often-overlooked destination. I was pleasantly surprised on a recent trip to Columbus (local entrepreneurs basically run the show), and I'm looking forward to visiting Cincinnati to catch a baseball game this summer.</p> <p>There's a smaller community called Hamilton, however &mdash; located right on the Great Miami River in southwestern Ohio, and just 33 miles from Cincinnati &mdash; that should absolutely be on your radar. One of the oldest communities in the region, founded in 1791, Hamilton has recently experienced revitalization, turning its downtown area into a thriving center for arts, dining, and recreational activities.</p> <p>During your stay you'll want to pop into craft brewery Municipal Brew Works, experience the Donut Trail (which basically has you eating your way through Butler County), stroll through the German Village Historic District, and catch a nostalgic meal at Jolly's Drive-In, an 81-year-old institution serving all the junk-food classics. Sounds pretty romantic to me.</p> <h2>2. Glamping Hub</h2> <p>Glamping Hub, which connects explorers and wanderlusters with amazing accommodations at unbelievable rates, is worth a look when planning your wallet-happy, romantic adventure. It's honestly one of the best values I've come across.</p> <p>For as low as $54 a night, you can snag this <a href="https://glampinghub.com/unitedstatesofamerica/south/tennessee/pigeonforge/tennessee-smoky-mountains-park-cabin/" target="_blank">cabin near the Great Smoky Mountains</a> in Tennessee, or this <a href="https://glampinghub.com/unitedstatesofamerica/noncontinental/hawaii/oceanview/yurt-rental-hawaii/?checkin=&amp;checkout=&amp;guests=2" target="_blank">yurt rental in Hawaii</a> for $53 a night. You'll only spend $86 to surf and practice your Spanish with a stay in the <a href="https://glampinghub.com/mexico/nayarit/sayulita/canvas-cabins-pacific-mexico/" target="_blank">jungle safari tents in Mexico</a>, and just $84 a night to kick your boots up in these <a href="https://glampinghub.com/unitedstatesofamerica/south/texas/newbraunfels/romantic-getaway-new-braunfels-texas/" target="_blank">romantic luxury cabins in Texas</a>. There are destinations available on every continent if you want to really get out of Dodge, and some are pet-friendly, so you can bring your fur-baby along.</p> <h2>3. North Conway, New Hampshire</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/north_conway_usa.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you and your boo like to hit the slopes, North Conway, NH, is your snowy paradise. The village has won numerous awards for its skiing options, including being named one of top five ski towns in the USA by 10 Best Awards, and a top 25 ski town in the world by National Geographic.</p> <p>Downtown, you'll find a quaint community with an old-fashioned train station, eclectic shops, and general stores &mdash; some complete with penny candy counters. Within Mt. Washington Valley region, and inside North Conway, there are write-home-about restaurants, train and sleigh rides, dog sledding, snowmobiling, ice skating, fat biking, and snowshoeing.</p> <p>With 150 lodging properties from which to choose, you'll easily find a place to stay for $100 to $150 per night, including breakfast for two. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-affordable-winter-getaways-for-the-family?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Affordable Winter Getaways for the Family</a>)</p> <h2>4. New Orleans, Louisiana</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/french_quarter_new_orleans.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>New Orleans is a one-of-a-kind American city. You feel like you're visiting a foreign place when you go there, without the high cost of international airfare. And one of the best ways to see the Crescent City on a budget is to time your trip right <em>after </em>Mardi Gras, when accommodation prices drop to make up for the mass exodus of revelers. This year, that time period falls on Valentine's Day, so, if you're spontaneous enough, it could work out in your favor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-spend-less-money-on-valentines-day?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Ways to Spend Less Money on Valentine's Day</a>)</p> <p>You'll both love exploring the French Quarter, and you have to make a stop at the famed Café Du Monde for a bag of freshly made beignets and cups of chicory coffee. No romantic trip to 'Nawlins is complete without it.</p> <h2>5. Long Beach, California</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/long_beach_downtown_ca.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>There's always something exciting and romantic to do in southern California, and Long Beach is no exception.</p> <p>Plan your visit to start on a Friday and kick it off with a free visit to The Museum of Art, with lush lawns and ocean views. You'll enjoy the all-in-one-place convenience of The Pike at Rainbow Harbor, which offers bowling, a movie theater, retail stores, plus Ferris wheel and roller coaster rides. Go at night to enjoy the harbor lights.</p> <p>If you're a water lover, rent a Hydrobike or kayak to cruise through the Naples canals. On Saturday, throw it way back with free roller skate lessons at the Moxie Skate Shop before heading to the Art Theatre to catch a new-release independent movie. For inexpensive accommodations in this beach town, check Airbnb or other vacation rental sites. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb</a>)</p> <h2>6. Colorado Springs, Colorado</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/pikes_peak_and_garden_of_the_gods_colorado_springs.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>There are plenty of free or low-cost outdoor adventures to enjoy in Colorado Springs. Recently, my boyfriend and I visited the area and enjoyed a romantic hike to Helen Hunt Falls (named after the writer, not the actress), a 19-mile scenic drive up to Pikes Peak, and a sunrise stroll through Garden of the Gods park, all for a grand total of $20, which was for a toll to the top of the mountain; the other experiences were free. We also stopped at the five-star Broadmoor Resort for wine and pizza in front of a fireplace one afternoon (around $30 total for lunch), and we took an easy hourlong drive up to Denver to visit friends.</p> <p>If you're from the East Coast and don't get out west much, you'll be blown away by nature's magnificence in and around Colorado Springs. The region's <a href="https://www.visitcos.com/where-to-stay/" target="_blank">visitors bureau</a> provides plenty of affordable lodging options from hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfasts, to cabins, cottages, and campgrounds. It all depends on how you prefer to cuddle up at night.</p> <h2>7. Charlottesville, Virginia</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/blue_ridge_mountains_at_sunrise.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Named one of the nine most romantic cities in the south by Huffington Post, and the fourth most romantic city in America by Livability.com, Charlottesville is rich with history dating back to our Founding Fathers. You'll find romance at every turn, whether it's at one of the region's scenic vineyards (there's more than 30 in the area); breaking a sweat hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains; or walking hand-in-hand along the brick-paved, pedestrian-friendly Downtown Mall &mdash; lined with cozy cafes, rooftop bars, and a can't-miss chocolate shop. Charlottesville also is home to a number of romantic B&amp;Bs, inns, and boutique hotels that offer great deals on rates and special packages.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-romantic-getaways-any-couple-can-afford">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-divide-rewards-and-keep-your-sanity-in-divorce">How to Divide Rewards and Keep Your Sanity in Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fun-affordable-travel-ideas-for-singles">6 Fun, Affordable Travel Ideas for Singles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-places-to-take-the-family-for-spring-break">8 Great Places to Take the Family for Spring Break</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-incredible-unesco-world-heritage-sites-right-here-in-the-us">11 Incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites Right Here in the U.S.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund">7 Affordable Family Getaways When You Don&#039;t Have a Vacation Fund</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Travel romantic destinations romantic getaways travel ideas travel tips valentines day valentines day gifts valentines day ideas Thu, 08 Feb 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 2100156 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Countries Where You Don't Need a Campsite to Camp for Free http://www.wisebread.com/9-countries-where-you-dont-need-a-campsite-to-camp-for-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-countries-where-you-dont-need-a-campsite-to-camp-for-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dramatic_mountain_landscape_panorama_scotland.jpg" alt="Dramatic mountain landscape panorama Scotland" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Camping is often seen as the ultimate budget vacation, but the costs can soon add up when you take into consideration the fees that campsites in the U.S. charge. What was intended to be a cheap getaway can soon turn into a costly venture.</p> <p>That's where wild camping comes in. Wild camping involves pitching a tent away from designated campsites, and enthusiasts love the sense of freedom it gives them. Few people know that wild or &quot;dispersed&quot; camping is legal in some U.S. national parks. As an added bonus, every national park has a number of days each year when they waive the entrance fee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Affordable Camping at 10 National Parks</a>)</p> <p>Outside of the U.S., there are countries where legal wild camping isn't just limited to national parks, but is allowed on virtually any non-private land. So if you're looking for an overseas camping adventure, snag yourself some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds?ref=internal" target="_blank">cheap flights</a>, and head to one of these amazing countries where wild camping is totally free and legal.</p> <h2>1. Sweden</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/tent_in_sarek_national_park.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Famous for its naturally beautiful countryside, Sweden is one of the best places to witness the Northern Lights and spot incredible wildlife such as elks and bears. There are nearly 400 hiking trails and thousands of islands along its coastline to explore.</p> <p>Thanks to the Right of Public Access law, or &quot;Allemansrätt&quot; as it's called in Sweden, everyone has the right to move freely throughout the countryside as they please. This freedom to roam includes being allowed to camp anywhere that's not privately owned, fish in the sea and many lakes, and pick wild berries and mushrooms virtually anywhere. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-natural-wonders-you-can-see-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Natural Wonders You Can See For Free</a>)</p> <h2>2. Kyrgyzstan</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/wild_horses_on_a_sunny_meadow.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you want to get off the beaten path, explore the mountainous hiking, trekking, and camping wonderland of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia. Post your tent along the shores of the stunning Issyk-Kul Lake, which is at the base of the snow-capped Tian Shan Mountain Range, or get a little farther off track and head to Jyrgalan Valley, where you can camp to your heart's desire in the surrounding valleys and mountainscapes. Wild camping in Kyrgyzstan is almost always free. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-countries-every-outdoor-explorer-can-afford-to-visit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Countries Every Outdoor Explorer Can Afford to Visit</a>)</p> <h2>3. Norway</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/scenic_norway_fjord_landscape.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The land of a thousand fjords attracts many people by boat to cruise up the coastline and witness the spectacular inlets it's so celebrated for. Then there's the skiing, snowboarding, canoeing, modern cities, and world class cuisine that are building a growing reputation.</p> <p>The Outdoor Recreation Act passed in 1957 enshrined the right of passage in law allowing Norwegians and visitors alike the opportunity to enjoy the open countryside for free. Even uncultivated private land isn't off limits, so long as you camp away from inhabited houses and only camp for two nights (unless you've obtained the land owner's permission to stay longer). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-when-camping?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Things You Should Never Do When Camping</a>)</p> <h2>4. Scotland</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/tent_in_old_man_of_storr_scotland.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The most northern country in the United Kingdom, much of Scotland is made up of the highlands. Long green valleys give way to rugged mountains, which tower over vast lochs, and wildflowers cover the hillsides. The long history of battles that occurred between the clans that inhabited and ruled these landscapes is absolutely gripping.</p> <p>Following the 2003 Land Reform Act, it's now possible to wild camp on the majority of unenclosed land. Campers come from all over the globe to enjoy the great Scottish scenery and get back to basics. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-free-treks-in-the-world?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Best Free Treks in the World</a>)</p> <h2>5. Iceland</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/colorful_aurora_boreal_in_green_and_blue_over_iceland.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Iceland offers incredible geysers spurting red hot water, jagged volcanoes spewing fiery lava high into the air, soothing natural spas, and vast glaciers. These are all components of one of the most interesting and diverse geographical landscapes on the planet, so it's no wonder Iceland's popularity has exploded in recent years.</p> <p>The country is an adventurer's paradise, where you can scuba dive with 300-foot visibility, horseback ride along ice-covered beaches, or cycle along open mountain paths. It also has very relaxed camping laws, which allow anyone to wild camp with very few restrictions. Stick to uninhabited areas, stay in small groups for a single night, and leave no traces of your presence. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-camping-sleeping-pads?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Camping Sleeping Pads</a>)</p> <h2>6. Estonia</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/tent_at_the_sea_in_lahemaa_nature_park_estonia.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Though you may not know a great deal about Estonia, it has an extremely advanced infrastructure, and more tourists visit each year (2 million) than residents permanently live here (1.3 million). Estonia bills itself as an &quot;e-country,&quot; thanks to the fact that many administrative tasks &mdash; from voting to tax returns &mdash; can be carried out online.</p> <p>Wild camping is a national pastime during the summer in Estonia and families flock to pitch up in the ancient pine forests and explore the nature and wildlife. Bird watching, horseback riding, and cycling are just some of the popular activities here. But driving across the country's seven ice roads, which stretch up to 15 miles in winter, is one of the most interesting pursuits.</p> <h2>7. Finland</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/idyllic_summer_landscape_with_clear_lake_in_finland.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Nestled away in northern Europe between Sweden and Russia, Finland is by no means the most popular tourist destination. But it has a lot of history, wildlife, and natural oases just waiting to be discovered. Outdoor pursuits are a way of life in Finland, which is why the country's Everyman's Right policy is highly prized.</p> <p>Whether you love walking, skiing, fishing, boating, or foraging, the right to be able to enjoy the outdoors freely is enshrined in Finnish law. It covers about 90 percent of the country's land mass, meaning you can go pretty much anywhere that tickles your fancy. Wild camping is included in the right, as long as you avoid damaging land and only stay for short periods of time.</p> <h2>8. Mongolia</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/yurt_in_the_steppe_mongolia.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>There is no bigger camping mecca than the Mongolian countryside. Outside of the capital Ulan Bator, most of Mongolia is completely nomadic, meaning you won't be the only one pitching up a temporary home. Mongolia's landscapes range from vast rolling steppeland, to lush mountainous lake areas, to the red moonscape of the Gobi Desert.</p> <p>Locals will greet you with gifts and smiles as you hike and camp your way across the country. If you tire of your basic tent configuration, consider renting a comfy ger (yurt) for a night. Keep an eye out for wildlife, including lynx, wildcats, snow leopards, wolves, and antelope.</p> <h2>9. Turkey</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/the_woman_who_drinks_wine.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Turkey is a fascinating country with a diverse culture that arises from its remarkable history. Influences from some of the greatest civilizations including ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, and the Ottoman Empire are clearly visible even today. Straddling two continents, Asia and Europe, its capital Istanbul has one foot in each.</p> <p>Historical architecture, thermal spa terraces, golden sand beaches with year-round sunshine, and a rich and varied cuisine are just some of the many reasons to visit Turkey. But it's not widely known that responsible wild camping is not only legal, but encouraged as a way to get outdoors and experience the country. The best places to camp are along Turkey's beaches and in its forests.</p> <p>When you're wild camping, it's important to follow the <a href="https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles" target="_blank">Leave No Trace 7 Principles</a> in order to make as minimal an impact on the environment as possible. The main thing to bear in mind is to be considerate of your surroundings and leave the site in the same state as you found it, if not better. Following these guidelines, wild camping is an unrivaled way of experiencing the wonder of the great outdoors.</p> <div style="display: none;"> <p>&nbsp;<img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Countries%20Where%20You%20Can%20Camp%20For%20Free%20%281%29_0.jpg" alt="9 Countries Where You Don't Need a Campsite to Camp for Free" width="212" height="605" /></p> </div> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <div><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Nine%20Countries%20Where%20You%20Can%20Camp%20For%20Free.jpg" style="float: left; width: 30%; margin-right: 3%; margin-bottom: 0.5em;" alt="" /></p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Countries%20Where%20You%20Can%20Camp%20for%20Free.jpg" style="float: left; width: 30%; margin-right: 3%; margin-bottom: 0.5em;" alt="" /> <img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Countries%20You%20Can%20Camp%20For%20Free.jpg" style="float: left; width: 30%; margin-right: 0%; margin-bottom: 0.5em;" alt="" /></p> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-countries-where-you-dont-need-a-campsite-to-camp-for-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-free-treks-in-the-world">7 Best Free Treks in the World</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-to-machu-picchu-and-back-for-30">How to Get to Machu Picchu and Back for $30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-exotic-yoga-retreats-anyone-can-afford">5 Exotic Yoga Retreats Anyone Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-national-park-visits-in-2018">How to Save on National Park Visits in 2018</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel camping camping destinations the great outdoors travel destinations travel tips wild camping Thu, 08 Feb 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Nick Wharton 2098768 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Travel Backpacks http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-travel-backpacks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-travel-backpacks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_backpack_china_638661356.jpg" alt="Woman wearing best travel backpack" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Travel backpacks are specifically designed to take the stress and frustration out of traveling. They are ideal for business trips, weekend getaways, shopping, and any other time you need a durable multipurpose bag to keep you organized.</p> <h2>What is a travel backpack?</h2> <p>A travel backpack is a bag with shoulder straps that can protect and organize your travel essentials. When shopping for one, you'll want to find something spacious enough to carry all your travel essentials, but lightweight enough to stay out of your way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-backpacks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Backpacks</a>)</p> <h2>Top 5 travel backpacks</h2> <h3>Osprey Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2BeONpI" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/osprey_2.jpg" width="156" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2BeONpI" target="_blank">Osprey Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack</a> has all the features you could want in a travel bag. It has dual front compression straps, sleeping pad straps, padded handles, a stowaway mesh back panel, laptop and tablet sleeve, and heat-embossed, scratch-free zippered slash pocket. It also has a zip-off daypack with lockable zip compartment, which detaches from the main bag for added convenience. The versatile, durable bag can handle up to 50 pounds. It has a hip belt, LightWire frame suspension system, and harness system. It's available in various colors, and it's recommended by The Wirecutter and OutdoorGearLab.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2BeONpI" target="_blank"><em>Currently $180.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>eBags Professional Weekender</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2EMj1zU" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/ebags_1.jpg" width="207" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>Business Insider found the <a href="http://amzn.to/2EMj1zU" target="_blank">eBags Professional Weekender</a> to be the best travel backpack for work trips. It's TSA recognized and fits neatly in the overhead compartment, so it'll get you through the airport in no time. The design has improved based on customer feedback, and allows you to use the bag as a backpack or soft-sided carry-on. It features a vented air mesh back panel, contoured straps with removable, adjustable shock-load sternum strap, and vertical and horizontal luggage handle pass-thru panels. It&rsquo;s available in three colors and is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2EMj1zU" target="_blank"><em>Currently $159.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Outlander Packable Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2sfZTI6" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/new%20outlander_0.jpg" width="149" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The roomy <a href="http://amzn.to/2sfZTI6" target="_blank">Outlander Packable Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack</a> folds up small, into its own zippered inner pocket, to save space. It features nylon webbing, adjustable buckle and bottle holders on the sides, multiple compartments and zippered pockets, and reinforced stress points. It includes a multifunctional carabiner, whistle buckle, and reflector. It's available in a range of colors and made with high-quality water-, weather- and tear-resistant nylon materials. It has nearly 2,500 five-star reviews on Amazon and is backed by a lifetime warranty.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2sfZTI6" target="_blank"><em>Currently $19.23 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2EQD6Fz" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/outdoormaster_0.jpg" width="190" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The spacious, durable <a href="http://amzn.to/2EQD6Fz" target="_blank">OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack</a> is ideal for travel, camping, hiking, and other weekend adventures. The lightweight design has plenty of room for your items, without taking up much space. It has various smart features and pockets, a breathable back panel, cushioned, adjustable, S-curved shoulder straps, foam padded hip belt, YKK zippers, a padded laptop compartment, and various external attachment points. It includes a waterproof rain cover and is available in a number of colors. It has more than 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon and is backed by a six-month satisfaction guarantee.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2EQD6Fz" target="_blank"><em>Currently $36.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Mancro Business Laptop Backpack</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2BiaFk4" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/mancro.jpg" width="179" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The sturdy, lightweight <a href="http://amzn.to/2BiaFk4" target="_blank">Mancro Business Laptop Backpack</a> is the perfect travel bag, particularly for business trips. The slim, anti-theft computer bag has a reinforced bottom and top-mount handle, adjustable S-curve padded shoulder straps, various compartments, two side sealed pockets, a soft lined laptop sleeve, USB charging port, and water-resistant fabric. It's available in a number of colors and includes a theft-proof combination lock. It&rsquo;s backed by more than 2,600 five-star reviews on Amazon and a lifetime warranty.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2BiaFk4" target="_blank"><em>Currently $25.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best travel backpacks. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar" target="_blank">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-travel-backpacks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-packable-daypacks">The 5 Best Packable Daypacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-backpack-tents">The 5 Best Backpack Tents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-binoculars">The 5 Best Binoculars</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-instant-tents">The 5 Best Instant Tents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-travel-adapters">The 5 Best Travel Adapters</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Travel 5 best accessories backpacks product reviews travel backpacks travel gear Thu, 08 Feb 2018 09:00:08 +0000 Andrea Cannon 2100689 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Instant Tents http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-instant-tents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-instant-tents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_camping_tent_610682200.jpg" alt="Woman using instant tent while camping" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After a long day of fun, the last thing most people want to do is set up a complicated tent. Fortunately, instant tents can provide the solution you've been looking for. They can provide the comfort of a home base and reliable coverage from the wind, sun, bugs, and other outdoor elements, without taking up much space or time.</p> <h2>What is an instant tent?</h2> <p>An instant tent is a portable shelter that sets up quickly, and with very little effort. It&rsquo;s great for everything from hiking and camping to spending a day at the beach or in the backyard. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-beach-tents?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Beach Tents</a>)</p> <h2>Top 5 instant tents</h2> <h3>Coleman Tenaya Lake Fast Pitch Cabin Tent</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2FTto4m" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/coleman_6.jpg" width="245" height="143" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2FTto4m" target="_blank">Coleman Tenaya Lake Fast Pitch Cabin Tent</a> will make it feel like you're living in a two-bedroom home with a closet and windows. It fits two queen air mattresses and features a room divider, storage pockets, and built-in closet with shelves and a hanger bar. It features an E-Port, hinged door, Illumiline reflective guy lines, and a WeatherTec system with patented welded floors and inverted seams to keep you dry. The Fast Pitch design sets up in about nine minutes. It includes a rainfly and wheeled carry bag. It is frequently recommended online and has more than 500 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2FTto4m" target="_blank"><em>Currently $213.94 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>CORE Instant Cabin Tent</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2E8AuFS" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/core.jpg" width="245" height="118" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon&rsquo;s Choice for instant tents, the durable <a href="http://amzn.to/2E8AuFS" target="_blank">CORE Instant Cabin Tent</a> sets up in only 60 seconds. It fits two queen air mattresses and has two rooms with a divider and hanging wall storage pockets. It has an adjustable ground vent, sealed seams, rain-resistant door and window seals, and water-repellent fabric. It also features an electrical cord access port, large double doors, and zippered privacy panels on the doors and windows. It's backed by a one-year limited warranty and is available in various sizes and options. It also includes a rain fly, tent stakes, and carry bag.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2E8AuFS" target="_blank"><em>Currently $226.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>OZARK Tent</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2C0bwm4" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/ozark.jpg" width="245" height="128" align="right" alt="" /></a>The spacious <a href="http://amzn.to/2C0bwm4" target="_blank">OZARK Tent</a> has large windows on all sides and includes a room divider. It also comfortably fits two queen air mattresses. It's made of durable fabric, taped factory-sealed seams, and a factory welded 6&quot; tub floor for rain protection. It's frequently recommended online and includes electrical cord access, a rainfly, carry bag, gear loft, and tent stakes.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2C0bwm4" target="_blank"><em>Currently $174.82 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Wnnideo Automatic Instant Pop-Up Tent</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/wnniedo.jpg" width="245" height="169" align="right" alt="" />The durable <a href="http://amzn.to/2GTejRJ" target="_blank">Wnnideo Automatic Instant Pop-Up Tent</a> can be set up in only one minute. It has large arched double doors, multiple mesh windows, and elasticized rain-resistant fabric. The waterproof, lightweight, spacious dome tent has good ventilation, wind resistance, and UV protection. It includes a storage bag and is frequently recommended online.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2GTejRJ" target="_blank"><em>Currently $79.88 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Coleman Instant Screenhouse</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2C1exm3" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/coleman%20instant.jpg" width="245" height="135" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2C1exm3" target="_blank">Coleman Instant Screenhouse</a> is perfect if you're just looking for a quick shelter that can protect you from the sun, wind, bugs, and the elements. It sets up in less than one minute. It's made of Polyguard 2X double-thick fabric with UV Guard 50+ UPF sun protection. The durable hexagon-shaped screened canopy has exclusive push-button release levers to protect your fingers. It also features two large zippered T-doors for easy access in the front and back. It includes a removable screen wall and carry bag, and has more than 500 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2C1exm3" target="_blank"><em>Currently $130.24 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best instant tents. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar" target="_blank">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-5-best-instant-tents&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%25205%2520Best%2520Instant%2520Tents.jpg&amp;description=5%20Tax%20Mistakes%20Freelancers%20Need%20to%20Stop%20Making"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%205%20Best%20Instant%20Tents.jpg" alt="The 5 Best Instant Tents" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-instant-tents">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-backpack-tents">The 5 Best Backpack Tents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-car-camping-tents">The 5 Best Car Camping Tents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-camping-sleeping-pads">The 5 Best Camping Sleeping Pads</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-beach-tents">The 5 Best Beach Tents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-travel-backpacks">The 5 Best Travel Backpacks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Travel 5 best camping camping gear instant tent pop up tent product reviews tents Wed, 07 Feb 2018 09:00:07 +0000 Andrea Cannon 2100153 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Travel Splurges That Are Worth Every Penny http://www.wisebread.com/5-travel-splurges-that-are-worth-every-penny <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-travel-splurges-that-are-worth-every-penny" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tourist_in_paris_visiting_landmark_eiffel_tower.jpg" alt="Tourist in Paris visiting landmark Eiffel tower" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many people like to splurge on designer clothing, fancy houses, or flashy cars. For me, however, the big indulgence has always been travel, at least since I've been able to afford it.</p> <p>I'm perfectly fine with the fact that my husband and I share a 2009 Prius and that our &quot;fine China&quot; is made up of plastic cups we got for free. Heck, I'm even okay with the fact that half of our furniture came from garage sales. But I'll gladly spend enough cash to pay for the travel experiences we desire, even if it means going without some of life's extras. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a>)</p> <p>While we do our best to rack up airline miles and find deals on hotels and condos, we still pay out of pocket for much of the expense. But you know what? Most of the money we spend on travel is more than worth it. And even though I love saving money, there are some travel experiences that I wouldn't dare scrimp on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>Saving some cash is great, but not when it takes away from what could be an epic travel experience you'll never forget. Here are five instances when you should go ahead and splurge (within reason, of course). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-should-never-skimp-on-when-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Things You Should Never Skimp on When Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>1. Anything that saves your most important asset: time</h2> <p>Most of us who travel have limited time on our hands. Perhaps we have a week at a time to spend abroad, or just a few days in each city we choose. In those cases, it makes sense to pay more to save what we have the least of: time.</p> <p>To save time, you might choose to pay more for a direct flight instead of one with several stopovers. With this strategy, you could avoid hours spent idle in an airport and instead have more time to enjoy your destination. Similarly, maybe you choose to splurge for a high-speed train instead of taking a slow-moving bus. It costs more, but it frees up more time to sightsee and explore new worlds.</p> <p>I know my husband and I almost always book skip-the-line passes for museums and attractions for this very reason. You pay a premium to skip past the winding entry line, but you often save hours each time. Here's why the premium is worth it: Imagine you're visiting the Colosseum and Roman Forum in Rome. You can get skip-the-line entry into both for around $42, or you can pay $14 for a standard ticket. Since the lines can easily last several hours, you're paying $28 per person to buy several hours more of sightseeing time in Rome.</p> <p>Would you pay $28 for a few more hours spent wandering the eternal city? I would, especially if I only had a week to spend in the first place. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-you-should-splurge-on-experiences-not-things?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Reasons You Should Splurge on Experiences, Not Things</a>)</p> <h2>2. A once-in-a-lifetime experience</h2> <p>Bucket list experiences aren't always available, but when you find one, you should take it. Of course, what is considered &quot;bucket list&quot; is entirely different from one person to the next. For some travelers, forking over $100+ to ride a gondola in Venice might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For others, a true &quot;bucket list experience&quot; might be scaling Mount Everest or Mount Kilimanjaro &mdash; both time-consuming, expensive, and dangerous endeavors. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I've Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a>)</p> <p>My husband and I splurged for a once-in-a-lifetime experience earlier this year when we were in Bora Bora, which was a bucket list trip in itself. While we were content sitting on the deck of our overwater bungalow for days, something inside told me we should sign up for the quintessential Bora Bora excursion and swim with sharks. After all, when would we be in Bora Bora again, if ever?</p> <p>So we did swim with sharks &hellip; and it was absolutely electrifying. It was around $100 per person for the excursion, which was more than I wanted to spend at that point, but it was worth it and I would do it again.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/1_0.png" width="605" height="454" alt="" /></p> <h2>3. Experiences that help you learn</h2> <p>Traveling somewhere new can be a learning experience in itself, but there's something to be said for hiring a knowledgeable guide. Whether you're touring the Louvre in Paris, seeing China's Terracotta Warriors for the first time, or wandering Vatican City, it's helpful to have someone around who knows what you're looking at.</p> <p>Unfortunately, hiring a guide can be expensive. Websites like <a href="http://www.toursbylocals.com/" target="_blank">Tours by Locals</a> offer access to local guides in 158 countries around the world, but in some cases, the costs can be staggering. Still, the cost can be worth it if you want a private guide of your own.</p> <p>If you want to save, you can also book a guided group tour through a website like <a href="http://www.viator.com/" target="_blank">Viator.com</a>. Don't forget to check the concierge services or travel portals of your credit card. Group tours are typically less expensive because you have to share your guide with other people who sign up. However, you can still gain the kind of insider knowledge you're after.</p> <h2>4. Anything that makes the &quot;travel&quot; component of your trip easier to handle</h2> <p>Earlier this year, my husband and I took our kids to Spain and France for fall break. Always trying to save a buck, we mapped out our ideal subway route to get from the Madrid airport to our rental condo.</p> <p>What a mistake that was. Having never used the Madrid underground system before, we quickly found ourselves scaling multiple staircases up and down with four giant pieces of luggage. And since we had to change metro lines three times along the way, we had to go up and down, up and down, up and down to the point where our kids &mdash; ages six and eight &mdash; were exhausted and crying. Full disclosure, I was pretty unhappy about it, too.</p> <p>And we did it all for what? To save $50 on a taxi to the hotel? It wasn't even close to worth it. The funny thing is, we are usually more in touch with situations like these where our travel experience could be improved if we weren't so cheap. But we spaced out on this one.</p> <p>The bottom line: Do what you can to save money, but draw the line when saving a little cash will make everyone miserable. Travel is hard enough on its own &mdash; especially if you are bringing kids along. If you can make the process less stressful for a reasonable amount of money, you will thank yourself later. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-from-three-weeks-in-europe?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Money Lessons I Learned From 3 Weeks in Europe</a>)</p> <h2>5. More space (if you need it)</h2> <p>Whether you're traveling alone, with a partner, in a group, or with your kids, it's easy to settle on a cheap hotel or hostel and justify it by saying you'll never be in your room. While that may be true, I've personally found I'm a lot more comfortable if I have some space to spread out. I've stayed in a hostel with my husband and kids before and it was fine, but some of our best travel experiences have been in places where we've had our own condo and a separate bedroom for the adults.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/2.jpg" width="454" height="605" alt="" /></p> <p>For this upcoming summer, I even splurged for a rental villa with a pool on the Amalfi Coast of Italy. It is easily twice the cost of renting an apartment away from the beach, but I want to relax in our own place without having to travel to soak in the beautiful views. To save money, we'll make most of our own meals and do free stuff in the area. It's a trade-off for sure, but it's one I'm willing to make to get the experience we want.</p> <p>Life is short, and the time we get to travel is often fleeting. Most of us get what, 10-20 vacation days per year? Saving money is important, but it's not everything.</p> <p>To get the travel experiences you truly want, sometimes you have to spend some cash. But don't take my word for it. The next time you travel, try splurging on something you've always wanted to do or paying extra to make your trip more convenient. Chances are, you'll have an experience you won't regret.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-travel-splurges-that-are-worth-every-penny&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Travel%2520Splurges%2520That%2520Are%2520Worth%2520Every%2520Penny.jpg&amp;description=5%20Travel%20Splurges%20That%20Are%20Worth%20Every%20Penny"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Travel%20Splurges%20That%20Are%20Worth%20Every%20Penny.jpg" alt="5 Travel Splurges That Are Worth Every Penny" width="250" height="374" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-travel-splurges-that-are-worth-every-penny">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-places-to-take-the-family-for-spring-break">8 Great Places to Take the Family for Spring Break</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids">7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-cruise-line-rewards-programs-worth-it">Are Cruise Line Rewards Programs Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-affordable-destinations-for-people-who-love-to-fish">8 Affordable Destinations for People Who Love to Fish</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-to-machu-picchu-and-back-for-30">How to Get to Machu Picchu and Back for $30</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Travel family vacation keepsakes travel budget travel gifts travel splurges travel tips vacation tips Tue, 06 Feb 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Holly Johnson 2098609 at http://www.wisebread.com Are Cruise Line Rewards Programs Worth It? http://www.wisebread.com/are-cruise-line-rewards-programs-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-cruise-line-rewards-programs-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3d_cruise_destination_ocean_summer_island_concept.jpg" alt="3D Cruise Destination Ocean Summer Island Concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you fly with airlines often or stay at any of the large chain hotels, you've probably heard all about rewards programs. With frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs, customers are rewarded for their loyalty and spending with special perks that vary from program to program.</p> <p>But did you know the cruise lines also offer rewards programs? Like airlines and hotel brands, cruise lines are eager to reward their loyal customers with room upgrades and even special discounts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-cruises?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Cruises</a>)</p> <p>If you're a frequent <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-little-known-secrets-to-saving-money-on-your-next-cruise?ref=internal" target="_blank">cruiser who wants to save money</a> and get better cruising perks, it might make sense to stick with one cruise line and pool your spending in one place. Here's a rundown of the main cruise line loyalty programs along with the benefits frequent cruisers who partake can expect. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-most-affordable-cruise-lines-for-families?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Most Affordable Cruise Lines for Families</a>)</p> <h2>MSC Cruises Voyagers Club</h2> <p>MSC Cruises, which offers cruises around the world, offers the Voyagers Club with five tiers of membership. You'll achieve the first tier, called Welcome, with your first confirmed booking. That gets you little more than an e-newsletter, but the perks jump from there. With a Classic Membership, for example, you'll get a welcome back cocktail, MSC Voyagers luggage tags, and a few other perks. The best part, however, is that you get a 5 percent discount on all MSC Cruises sailings and up to a 15 percent discount on select Voyagers sailings.</p> <p>MSC Silver status comes with the same perks and discount, but you'll also get a bowl of fresh fruit in your room. Gold status ticks up slightly from there, adding a one-hour steam bath or sauna session, a complimentary gift, priority disembarkation, a complimentary photo, and a complimentary birthday cake. With MSC's highest status, called Black, you'll also get priority boarding on the ship, a free specialty restaurant dinner, dessert, bathrobe and slippers, complimentary dance class, and a VIP party.</p> <p>Like other programs on this list, the Voyagers Club awards points based on how many cruises you complete. The system also takes into account the length of your cruise and the cruise &quot;experience&quot; you choose.</p> <p>One of the biggest benefits, however, is the fact that MSC offers status match for its loyalty program. So, if you have a top status with another rewards program (cruise line or hotel), you can get it matched and score these additional perks without ever cruising with MSC.</p> <h2>Carnival Cruise Line &mdash; VIFP Club (Very Important Fun Person Club)</h2> <p>Carnival Cruise Line offers several tiers in its loyalty program, each with its own level of perks. You get basic Blue status on your first sailing and Red status on your second, both of which offer an e-newsletter and access to special offers. Once you reach Gold, you also get an appreciation drink on five-night (or longer) sailings and a special VIFP Pin.</p> <p>Obviously, these perks are nothing to write home about. But once you get to the next level, VIFP Platinum status, you may actually start to get excited. At that point, you qualify for priority boarding and check-in, a Platinum and Diamond VIFP party on five-night (or longer) sailings, upgraded beverages at brunch, a special dessert, a collectible pin, priority debarkation, complimentary laundry service, and other perks.</p> <p>With VIFP Diamond status, one up from Platinum, you get the perks of Platinum status, priority dinner reservations and seating, a special event invitation, unlimited laundry service, free cabin upgrades or third and fourth guests sail free, a complimentary dinner at a specialty restaurant, and more.</p> <p>Each level of status is attainable through the accumulation of points, although the number of points you'll earn for each cruise depends on the length of the cruise. A five-night Caribbean cruise is worth five points, for example, while a seven-night cruise to Alaska is worth seven.</p> <p>Fortunately, the program is free to sign up for so you have nothing to lose.</p> <h2>Norwegian Cruise Line &mdash; Latitude Rewards</h2> <p>Norwegian Cruise Line's Latitude Rewards offers a similar setup for frequent cruisers. You earn points for each cruise and climb the status scale to the top if you cruise enough.</p> <p>The bottom tier Bronze status gets you priority check-in at the pier, a bottle of sparkling wine, onboard discounts, additional internet service, and an online magazine, while Silver status gets you those perks plus a cocktail party and more discounts on onboard purchases.</p> <p>A couple levels up, at Norwegian Platinum status, you'll also get priority embarkation, specialty dinners, even more internet minutes, chocolate-covered strawberries, a ship tour, and concierge service. The next tier, Platinum Plus, adds on an officer's dinner and priority seating for restaurants and entertainment. Top-tier Ambassador service offers all the other perks plus a complimentary seven-day cruise once you reach that status.</p> <p>You'll earn points for Latitude Rewards on every Norwegian cruise you take, although the cruise and cabin you book determines how many. Generally speaking, however, you'll earn one point for each cruise night or two points for each cruise night in a suite. And like others on this list of loyalty programs, this one is free to join.</p> <h2>Royal Caribbean &mdash; Crown and Anchor Rewards</h2> <p>Royal Caribbean offers its own Crown and Anchor Society with various levels of benefits. Bottom-tier Gold status, for example, comes with priority check-in, priority departure lounge, and discounts on last-minute cruises and suite upgrades, among other benefits. Platinum status comes with those perks plus an exclusive event and a signature lapel pin. Getting to Emerald status will help you score all perks of lower status plus complimentary snacks and waters.</p> <p>Diamond status is where things get good. At this point, you'll qualify for the benefits of lower status plus a special gift, priority wait-listing for excursions and spa services, access to a Diamond lounge, priority departure, exclusive events, specialty coffee at breakfast, and an entertainment tour.</p> <p>With the next tier up, Diamond Plus, you'll also get a behind-the-scenes tour, a personalized gift, and Concierge Lounge access. Some members also get a meal with an officer, upgraded bathroom amenities, and special cruise fare reductions. Top-tier Pinnacle Club adds on a personalized lapel pin and a milestone cruise certificate valid for a seven-night cruise.</p> <p>Keep in mind that Royal Caribbean matches status with certain cruise line loyalty programs.</p> <p>While the number of points you earn for each cruise varies, it's not too hard to figure out. You earn one point for every cruise night you purchase, and double the points when you buy a suite. If you book a seven-night Caribbean cruise, for example, you'll earn seven points. But if you upgrade that cruise to a suite, you'll earn 14 points. Fortunately, it's fairly easy to get basic Royal Caribbean status since Gold starts at three points. Platinum status requires 30 points.</p> <h2>Good rewards require loyalty</h2> <p>All of these programs are free to join, so you have nothing to lose by joining. But in most of the programs, rewards don't get good until you reach the upper tiers. Before you reach those, you'll need to determine whether the rewards offered are worth your loyalty and the choices you'll lose by sticking with just one cruise line.</p> <p>If you're already loyal to one company, your decision is made. Others may want to experiment with various cruise lines until they decide to stick with just one.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fare-cruise-line-rewards-programs-worth-it&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FAre%2520Cruise%2520Line%2520Rewards%2520Programs%2520Worth%2520It__0.jpg&amp;description=Are%20Cruise%20Line%20Rewards%20Programs%20Worth%20It%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Are%20Cruise%20Line%20Rewards%20Programs%20Worth%20It__0.jpg" alt="Are Cruise Line Rewards Programs Worth It?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-cruise-line-rewards-programs-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-travel-splurges-that-are-worth-every-penny">5 Travel Splurges That Are Worth Every Penny</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-sure-youre-getting-a-deal-with-groupon-getaway">How to Make Sure You&#039;re Getting a Deal With Groupon Getaway</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/watch-out-for-these-10-red-flags-with-vacation-rentals">Watch Out for These 10 Red Flags With Vacation Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-get-the-most-value-from-your-all-inclusive-vacation">11 Ways to Get the Most Value From Your All-Inclusive Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-most-affordable-cruise-lines-for-families">5 Most Affordable Cruise Lines for Families</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel booking a cruise cruise line cruises rewards programs travel tips vacation tips Mon, 05 Feb 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Holly Johnson 2098586 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Save Money While Traveling Abroad http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-save-money-while-traveling-abroad <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-save-money-while-traveling-abroad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_paris_bread_840590986.jpg" alt="Woman eating bread in Paris" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on tips to save money while you&rsquo;re traveling abroad, ways to invest in real estate, and tips for running in winter.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://www.moneyunder30.com/tips-for-traveling-abroad">5 Tips for Traveling Abroad That Will Save You Money</a> &mdash; Avoid losing money to excessive fees by doing your financial homework before you head to the airport. [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="https://www.goodfinancialcents.com/how-to-invest-in-real-estate/">How To Invest in Real Estate (11 Different Ways!)</a> &mdash; Buying property to rent or flip isn't the only way to invest in real estate. [Good Financial Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://frugalbeautiful.com/blog/tips-for-winter-running/">Tips For Winter Running</a> &mdash; Don't let winter weather keep you holed up indoors. It only takes a little prep to run comfortably and safely on cold winter days. [Frugal Beautiful]</p> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Stay-Awake-Class-34151477">13 Tips to Keep You Awake in Class (and at Work!)</a> &mdash; Sit up and focus on your posture. Slouching can cause stress on your shoulders, making you feel tired. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="https://www.moneytalksnews.com/9-tax-breaks-you-can-still-claim-for-2018/">9 Tax Breaks You Can Still Claim for 2018</a> &mdash; As you start tax planning for the new year, make a note of the deductions that survived that federal tax overhaul. [Money Talks News]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://diseasecalleddebt.com/economic-ways-use-timeshare/">The Most Economic Ways to Use a Timeshare</a> &mdash; Time shares aren't meant to be profitable moneymaking ventures, but you can get more value from a purchase by buying from an existing owner. [Disease Called Debt]</p> <p><a href="https://everythingfinanceblog.com/23495/dont-finish-your-college-degree.html">5 Steps to Take If You Don&rsquo;t Finish Your College Degree</a> &mdash; Many positions require a college degree, but there are still many other career paths that don't. Consider taking these steps to grow a career when you haven't finished college. [Everything Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.punchdebtintheface.com/6-ways-save-money-small-business/">6 ways to save money for your small business</a> &mdash; Try bartering with other businesses. Exchanging services or products will allow both companies to save some money. [Punch Debt]</p> <p><a href="http://lenpenzo.com/blog/id46989-6-ways-to-avoid-becoming-a-pickpocket-victim.html">6 Ways to Avoid Becoming a Pickpocket Victim</a> &mdash; Beware of fake police offers asking you to turn over your ID or passport. It's a common scam that targets tourists in particular. [Len Penzo]</p> <p><a href="https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2018/0130/A-tempest-over-tipping-as-Labor-Department-weighs-rule-change">A tempest over tipping, as Labor Department weighs rule change</a> &mdash; A new proposal from the Department of Labor would allow employers to run tip pools. [The Christian Science Monitor]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-save-money-while-traveling-abroad">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year">8 Money Moves Students Should Make During a Gap Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/follow-these-5-credit-card-rules-when-traveling-abroad">Follow These 5 Credit Card Rules When Traveling Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-romantic-getaways-any-couple-can-afford">7 Romantic Getaways Any Couple Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-cheap-spring-break-trip">How to Take a Cheap Spring Break Trip</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel best money tips traveling abroad Mon, 05 Feb 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Amy Lu 2098128 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Hot Spots for Digital Nomads in 2018 http://www.wisebread.com/10-hot-spots-for-digital-nomads-in-2018 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-hot-spots-for-digital-nomads-in-2018" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bo_kaap_township_in_cape_town.jpg" alt="Bo Kaap Township in Cape Town" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Digital nomadism is the perfect way for travel enthusiasts to combine their insatiable wanderlust with a career they can conduct anywhere, such as computer programming or graphic design. While previously only a lucky few people managed to make this lifestyle work, digital technology has made it easier for more people.</p> <p>Many digital nomads choose to set up shop in a location for a few days or months before moving on. However, not everywhere offers the same possibilities.</p> <p>There are certain requirements that most digital nomads would agree are necessary to qualify a destination as a &quot;hot spot,&quot; chief among them is the widespread availability of stable, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-slash-the-cost-of-wi-fi-when-you-travel?ref=internal" target="_blank">affordable Wi-Fi</a>. Other considerations might include an entrepreneurial community, affordability, and temperate weather. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways That Anyone Can Travel for Free</a>)</p> <p>If you're a location-independent worker looking for a new place to base yourself, here are what I consider to be the 10 best hot spots for digital nomads in 2018.</p> <h2>1. Medellin, Colombia</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/pueblito_paisa_in_nutibara_hill.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Colombia is a country on the rise, and over the past few years it has started to appear on many of the &quot;must-visit&quot; lists written by travel publications in the know. The city of Medellin is now a thriving, modern metropolis that has undergone a complete regeneration since the days when it was considered the most dangerous city on earth.</p> <p>Free Wi-Fi is widely available in Medellin&rsquo;s many parks and public areas, and there are tons of trendy internet cafes with strong connections serving fantastic cups of locally produced coffee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-expats-can-maintain-their-credit-scores?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Expats Can Maintain Their Credit Scores</a>)</p> <h2>2. Buenos Aires, Argentina</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/colorful_building_la_boca_buenos_aires.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Argentina's capital city Buenos Aires is often described as being the most European city in South America because of its culture, architecture, and immigration history. So while it may not be the quintessential slice of South America, it has an individual charm that you won't find anywhere else on the continent.</p> <p>There's free Wi-Fi in many of the city's leafy parks and plazas, allowing you to work virtually anywhere. Plus the widespread cafe culture means that you'll have endless choices of great places to set up shop and hang out with like-minded people. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-cheap-places-to-live-as-an-expat?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Amazing, Cheap Places to Live as an Expat</a>)</p> <h2>3. Sofia, Bulgaria</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/sofia_in_orange.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Bulgaria has become an increasingly popular European vacation destination due in large part to its affordability, with a reputation as one of the cheapest countries on the continent. It's also full of culture and history, has a pristine coastline, and some amazing nature and wildlife to explore. And Bulgaria's capital, Sofia, has become a popular digital nomad hot spot, as it allows people on the first steps of their entrepreneurial journey to keep costs extremely low. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-world-cities-you-can-afford?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Incredible World Cities You Can Afford</a>)</p> <h2>4. Cape Town, South Africa</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/cable_car_going_up_table_mountain.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Overlooked by the imposing Table Mountain and sprawling out toward the surrounding ocean, Cape Town is certainly one of the most recognizable cities in the world. It's also beginning to receive recognition as an up-and-coming hub for digital nomads, with a relatively small but growing community.</p> <p>There are a large number of co-working spaces in Cape Town that cater to an entrepreneurial crowd. If splitting days between your budding business and a beautiful beach sounds appealing, then Cape Town may be the perfect choice.</p> <h2>5. Malta</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/marsaxlokk_harbor_malta.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>This tiny Mediterranean island is forging a big reputation as one of Europe's premiere digital nomad destinations. You'll more than likely recognize the capital city of Valletta from its use as the backdrop for the blockbuster movies <em>Troy</em> and <em>Gladiator</em>, as well as King's Landing in the <em>Game of Thrones</em> series.</p> <p>Malta is a relatively low-cost destination when compared to much of Europe. When coupled with high speed Wi-Fi and the laid back pace of life on the island, it's easy to see why digital nomads are starting to settle down here.</p> <h2>6. Mexico City, Mexico</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/bicycle_riders_on_sunday_mornings_in_mexico_city.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Mexico City is one of the biggest cities on the planet with a population of almost 9 million people. It has a fascinating colonial history that's plain to see in much of the architecture, a year-round springlike temperature, and a world famous culinary scene.</p> <p>Mexico City is not only modern, but each of its neighborhoods has a completely different vibe, meaning it appeals to all. From hipster coffee shops to numerous co-working spaces, there are plenty of places to make your office all over the city. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-countries-where-you-can-retire-for-1000-a-month?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Countries Where You Can Retire on $1,000 a Month</a>)</p> <h2>7. Lisbon, Portugal</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/beautiful_beach_in_carvoeiro_algarve_portugal_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Lisbon's reputation as a tourist destination has been on the rise for a number of years. This is thanks to its tropical climate, the historic colonial charm of its architecture, and the healthy food and drinks enjoyed by its residents. It's also close to the famous Algarve coastline, and yet relatively inexpensive compared to much of Europe.</p> <p>It's little wonder that this has translated into a rising popularity among digital nomads, with freelancers arriving from around the globe. There are lounges, coffee shops, and co-working spaces readily available all across the city, which makes finding a great place to settle down for the day incredibly easy.</p> <h2>8. Bali, Indonesia</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/bali_water_temple.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Bali is too established among digital nomads to fall under the &quot;up-and-coming&quot; banner. But rather than losing its appeal, Bali has become more attractive for remote workers over time.</p> <p>Luxury villas in close proximity to the beach are affordable and easy to come by, contributing to a high standard of living. Another attraction for many is the popularity of vegetarian food and ubiquitous yoga classes, so you may just leave healthier than when you arrived.</p> <h2>9. Portland, Oregon</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/st_johns_bridge_in_autumn.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Not all of the best digital nomad hot spots are overseas. There are plenty of awesome locations attracting remote workers across the U.S., and none more so than Portland, Oregon. Well known for its numerous microbreweries, independently-run coffee shops, and niche food carts, Portland is home to an artsy crowd of free thinkers.</p> <p>What&rsquo;s more, Portland is the gateway to stunning nature in the region. Outdoor-lovers who enjoy hiking wilderness trails, hitting deserted beaches, or marveling at secluded waterfalls will feel right at home here. Though it may not be the cheapest place on the list, Portland still checks many boxes on the digital nomad checklist.</p> <h2>10. Chiang Mai, Thailand</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/the_best_of_landscape_in_chiang_mai_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Sometimes referred to as &quot;the digital nomad capital of the world,&quot; Chiang Mai was one of the original hot spots for remote workers looking to settle down for a while. Though it's one of Thailand's top cities, it's a world away from the hustle and bustle of the capital Bangkok. Think &ldquo;easy going&rdquo; paired with highly affordable prices, and you'll be closer to the reality of Thailand's second city.</p> <p>Many spaces are set up to cater to the digital nomad crowd that has been coming here for years. You'll find cafes specifically designed with laptop users in mind, bustling co-working spaces, and lightning fast Wi-Fi in many places across Chiang Mai. It was one of the first, and is still one of the best digital nomad hot spots around. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-dirty-details-of-traveling-full-time?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Dirty Details of Traveling Full-Time</a>)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div style="display: none;"> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Hottest%20Digital%20Nomad%20Destinations%20Right%20Now.jpg" alt="The Hottest Digital Nomad Destinations Right Now" width="212" height="605" /></p> </div> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonBookmark" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <div><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Hot%20Spots%20for%20Digital%20Nomads%20in%202018%20%281%29.jpg" style="float: left; width: 30%; margin-right: 3%; margin-bottom: 0.5em;" alt="" /></p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Hot%20Spots%20for%20Digital%20Nomads%20in%202018%20%282%29.jpg" style="float: left; width: 30%; margin-right: 3%; margin-bottom: 0.5em;" alt="" /> <img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Hot%20Spots%20for%20Digital%20Nomads%20in%202018.jpg" style="float: left; width: 30%; margin-right: 0%; margin-bottom: 0.5em;" alt="" /></p> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-hot-spots-for-digital-nomads-in-2018">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wisely-choose-your-next-travel-destination">How to Wisely Choose Your Next Travel Destination</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-retirement-hotspots-that-are-cheaper-now-than-ever-before">9 Retirement Hotspots That Are Cheaper Now Than Ever Before</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-incredible-unesco-world-heritage-sites-right-here-in-the-us">11 Incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites Right Here in the U.S.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-street-food-safely-while-traveling">How to Eat Street Food Safely While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-cheap-spring-break-trip">How to Take a Cheap Spring Break Trip</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel destinations digital nomads international hot spots international travel travel tips vacation spots Fri, 02 Feb 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Nick Wharton 2097603 at http://www.wisebread.com