Travel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/254/all en-US 7 Ways to Protect Yourself From Theft While Traveling http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-theft-while-traveling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-theft-while-traveling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_theft_wallet_50012006.jpg" alt="Man learning ways to protect himself from theft abroad" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Vacation is a time for rest and relaxation. But your good-time getaway can quickly turn into a living nightmare if you're the victim of theft while you're away from home. Lock down your loot and guard your identity <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-avoid-bank-fees-while-traveling" target="_blank">when you travel abroad</a> with these helpful tips on how to protect yourself.</p> <h2>1. Keep Your Money Hidden</h2> <p>Listen, we all know you're a baller with the big bills on vacay, but let's keep that our little secret. The less money you flash around in public, the fewer chances a would-be thief has to target you.</p> <p>&quot;I always kept my money hidden, and never ever pulled money out,&quot; says frequent traveler and blogger Stephen Roe, who lived in Tijuana, Mexico for five years without becoming a victim of theft. &quot;Other Americans would pull out a wallet to pay. I would always choose to select the money in my pocket and only pull out the amount I needed. That way, potential criminals wouldn't know how much I had.&quot;</p> <p>Roe adds, &quot;In addition, it's best to pay in the local currency whenever possible. Whipping out American dollars, even if it is accepted, can mark you as a potential target.&quot;</p> <p>Travel author <a href="http://amzn.to/29WGmnO">Susan Schenck</a> suggests a similar strategy with your debit card.</p> <p>&quot;When going to an ATM, have the card in a money belt,&quot; she relays. &quot;Make sure there are no loiterers around the area, though often they are even across the street. Go into the bank to count the money. There is a security guard there, often with a gun. Then place it all in your money belt. This is critical. I have so many friends who stuck the money in a pocket only to find it was gone when they got home. Pros can pickpocket you without your feeling anything. Keep the money belt well hidden under your pants.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Use Credit Cards Wisely</h2> <p>First, never use a debit card abroad. If it gets stolen, your funds can get depleted and it will take time for the bank to release the funds, if they decide you weren't responsible. Trying to settle these types of matters while you're on vacation abroad is definitely not ideal.</p> <p>Travel expert Ferdinand Goetzen suggests avoiding using your card in questionable places. &quot;This is especially important when traveling in less developed nations,&quot; he says. &quot;Payment security infrastructure can often be lacking so it's best to avoid using your card unless it is a trusted venue or bank.&quot;</p> <p>But credit cards can be helpful when used in safe environments, and can be a better alternative to carrying cash around. It's better to lose a credit card than cash. Credit card companies typically don't hold you accountable for fraudulent charges, as long as you report it quickly. Keep track of your cards carefully so you know if you've lost one, and set up alerts to notify you of purchases so you can see right away if someone has stolen your card information.</p> <h2>3. Use Caution When Taking Taxis</h2> <p>Taxis and nefarious taxi drivers can cause unnecessary trouble if you don't keep your wits about you. Schenck advises to write down the cab number before you get in for reference if you accidentally leave something behind. When exiting a cab, if you have luggage in the trunk, <em>do not </em>get out of the cab until the driver does; they've been known to high-tail out of there with your valuable belongings in tow. And never ask a taxi to wait while you go to the ATM if you leave stuff in the cab. &quot;One friend lost her laptop that way,&quot; Schenck says.</p> <h2>4. Use a Dummy Wallet for Fake-Outs</h2> <p>Want to trick the trickster? Have a fake wallet with outdated credit cards and maybe $20 in it that you can hand to anyone who holds you up. They want a quick getaway and aren't going to sit there and check the dates on the cards, says Schenck.</p> <h2>5. Keep $20 Where the Sun Don't Shine</h2> <p>Well, maybe not in the sense that you're thinking of, but it's not a bad idea to keep a $20 bill in your socks, bra, or other safe, close-to-your-body area in a hidden garment in the event that you're robbed. Twenty dollars goes a long way in many countries, and you'll at least be able to get home or to the nearest police station.</p> <h2>6. Bring a Separate Small Backpack for Valuable Objects</h2> <p>&quot;One of the most common thefts occurs when people leave valuables in their main luggage and leave it in the hotel lobby or in the baggage compartment on buses or trains,&quot; Goetzen warns. &quot;I always bring a small backpack with all of my most important belongings because I don't like to let them out of my sight.&quot;</p> <p>Also, stop assuming that your belongings will be safe with the friendly, nice-looking people next to you at transportation hubs while you go to the bathroom. Even friendly, nice-looking people steal things, and you'll be quite S.O.L. (and super P.O.ed) if they gang the bag with your tickets, passports, and wallet while you're taking a whiz.</p> <h2>7. Use Common Sense</h2> <p>Don't travel to areas that aren't policed, stay out of dark alleys, and don't go anywhere with anybody you don't know. Don't drink so much when you're in unfamiliar territory either. It makes you do stupid things and make poor decisions, and you become a sitting duck for criminals. Your mom totally would've told you so.</p> <p><em>Do you have tips on how to protect yourself when traveling abroad? Let's discuss in the comments below.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-theft-while-traveling&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Ways%20to%20Protect%20Yourself%20From%20Theft%20While%20Traveling.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20to%20Protect%20Yourself%20From%20Theft%20While%20Traveling" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script><p></p> <script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Ways%20to%20Protect%20Yourself%20From%20Theft%20While%20Traveling.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-theft-while-traveling">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/dont-get-taken-how-to-evaluate-an-exchange-rate">Don&#039;t Get Taken: How to Evaluate an Exchange Rate</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/vacation-safe-11-tips-for-hotel-safety">Vacation Safe: 11 Tips for Hotel Safety</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/heres-how-brexit-could-affect-your-travel-plans">Here&#039;s How Brexit Could Affect Your Travel Plans</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-airlines-with-the-best-customer-service">5 Airlines With the Best Customer Service</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-avoid-bank-fees-while-traveling">11 Ways to Avoid Bank Fees While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel abroad cash caution money pickpocket safety theft thief vacation Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:30:37 +0000 Mikey Rox 1757847 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Brexit Could Affect Your Travel Plans http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-brexit-could-affect-your-travel-plans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-brexit-could-affect-your-travel-plans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/holding_british_flag_94827249.jpg" alt="Learning how brexit could affect your travel plans" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Britain is divorcing Europe, and though the planned separation is a multiyear process, the repercussions are already being felt. So far, the pound is collapsing, the dollar is acquiring value, and the euro is experiencing a slump. But what does it all mean for your travel plans? If you've got your sights set on a hop across the pond in the near future, here's what you need to know.</p> <h2>You'll Get a Big Bang for Your Buck in Britain</h2> <p>When Britain voted to exit the EU, the British pound plummeted 8%. Let's put that in perspective: Overnight, the pound's worth dropped below the relative worth of the American dollar back in 1985. It was the currency's single worst day on record. The good news, however, is that the dollar-pound <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-get-taken-how-to-evaluate-an-exchange-rate" target="_blank">exchange rate</a> is the best it's been in three decades, giving Americans traveling in Britain big purchasing power.</p> <p>If you've never seen the land of Shakespeare and fish and chips &mdash; or if you're due for a revisit &mdash; now's your chance to do so at a better-than-ever price. Of course, this doesn't mean that your British vacation will be cheap. Even with the Brexit market turmoil, you'll pay far more to sightsee in the birthplace of the Beatles than you would to travel to a country with lower living standards, such as Mexico. But if a trip to Britain is already on your list, now is a great time to pull the trigger.</p> <h2>Travel to European Countries Will Also Be Cheaper</h2> <p>When the value of the British pound dropped, so, too, did the worth of the euro. Down, down, down it went, settling slightly lower than the dollar. This essentially puts <a href="http://www.vox.com/2016/6/24/12023856/brexit-travel-uk-london-deal">all trips to Europe</a> on sale. Not a huge sale, but a sale nonetheless. Americans traveling to Portugal, for example, will have nearly 1% more purchasing power, according to an analysis by Vox. (Hey &mdash; every little bit helps, right?) This is especially welcome news considering that travels to Europe were previously predicted to be more expensive this summer than last.</p> <h2>Travel to U.S. Destinations Could Drop in Price</h2> <p>If all of Britain is &quot;on sale&quot; to Americans, the inverse is also true: Travel to the U.S. is more expensive than ever for Brits. If this climate persists, it's likely that many British tourists will opt out of U.S. travel until the pound-to-dollar exchange rate stabilizes. It's yet to be seen, but this scenario opens up the possibility of cheaper travel within the U.S. (Think New York, Miami, Los Angeles).</p> <p>&quot;If British tourists, because of currency fluctuations, change their plans or don't come to U.S., you may see some ability to get some better prices in some cities,&quot; Mike Stitt, the North American president of Travelzoo, told The New York Times. &quot;We're seeing a little of that effect now with the Canadian travelers. As their currency has plummeted against the dollar, Canadians are staying home.&quot;</p> <h2>Airfare Specials to London May Become Easier to Snag</h2> <p>British Airways kicked off the uncertain era following Britain's EU split with a <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/todayinthesky/2016/06/28/british-airways-having-brexit-fare-sale/86467110/">Brexit fare sale</a>. Pricing economy fares from New York to London for as low as $639 round trip, the airline used the country's economic turmoil as a hook to lure in more American tourists. &quot;Your dollar has never gone further,&quot; the airline trumpeted on its Twitter account. It's yet to be seen whether other airlines will follow suit. But it's worth keeping your eyes peeled for Brexit-inspired discounts.</p> <h2>Flights From Europe to Britain Could Climb</h2> <p>In the wake of Brexit, the low-cost Irish airline Ryanair said it would be <a href="http://www.irishtimes.com/business/transport-and-tourism/ryanair-will-shift-investment-away-from-uk-after-brexit-vote-1.2702603">unlikely to deploy new planes</a> on British routes. Instead, the airline said it will funnel its finances toward its European routes. &quot;It's unlikely we will base any additional aircraft in the UK in 2017 as they will be allocated to European Union airports instead,&quot; a Ryanair spokesperson told The Irish Times. It's unclear whether other airline carriers will follow suit. But if they do, the price of flights to Britain could very well climb &mdash; especially if more low-cost airlines curb their commitment to Britain.</p> <h2>Longer Airport Waits Could Be On the Horizon</h2> <p>A few years out, when Britain's divorce from the EU is finalized, there will be a major change at British airports: Citizens of the European Union will be funneled to the international customs line &mdash; the same line that's used by Americans. This could lead to longer wait times. And, if you're traveling through a British airport to a final destination in Europe, you'll likely have to claim and <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/brexit-travel-british-pound-uk-international-spain-portugal-america-europe-terrorism-050106247.html">recheck your luggage</a> while going through immigration. A small hassle, perhaps, but who needs another hassle at the airport?</p> <p><em>Assuming the UK follows through with Brexit, what ramifications do you expect?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fheres-how-brexit-could-affect-your-travel-plans&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHere%26%23x27%3Bs%20How%20Brexit%20Could%20Affect%20Your%20Travel%20Plans.jpg&amp;description=Here%26%23x27%3Bs%20How%20Brexit%20Could%20Affect%20Your%20Travel%20Plans" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Here%27s%20How%20Brexit%20Could%20Affect%20Your%20Travel%20Plans.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-brexit-could-affect-your-travel-plans">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-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Smart Travel Hacks Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airlines-with-the-best-customer-service">5 Airlines With the Best Customer Service</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-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel Airfare airports brexit Britain currencies dollars eu Europe euros pounds vacation Mon, 25 Jul 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1757122 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Save Big on Summer Flights http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-save-big-on-summer-flights <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-big-on-summer-flights" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/summer_travel_plane_41865538.jpg" alt="Learning how to save big on summer flights" 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 for saving big on summer flights, an expert&rsquo;s guide to making money from flea market flips, and the secrets to maintaining weight loss.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2016/0715/Three-tips-for-saving-big-on-summer-flights">Three tips for saving big on summer flights</a> &mdash; Use Google Flights to search for the cheapest flights to your destination. You'll see the results on an easy-to-ready calendar, and you can search by region like &quot;Europe&quot; or &quot;the Caribbean&quot;. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thefrugaltoad.com/personalfinance/expert-flippers-guide-making-money-flea-market-flipping">An Expert Flipper&rsquo;s Guide to Making Money Flea Market Flipping</a> &mdash; Don't get attached to items that are priced too high. If you overpay, the profit margin decreases significantly! [The Frugal Toad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifehack.org/426283/6-secrets-people-who-maintain-weight-loss-know-but-you-dont">6 Secrets People Who Maintain Weight Loss Know But You Don&rsquo;t</a> &mdash; Don't force yourself to go to the gym if it isn't fun for you. Find ways to work that you actually enjoy! [Lifehack]</p> <p><a href="http://www.oneincomedollar.com/2016/07/the-complete-guide-to-making-your-money.html">The Complete Guide to Making Your Money Go Further</a> &mdash; Prioritize your debts and create a plan for paying them off. [Stretching The One Income Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/DIY-Cleaning-Products-28901279#photo-28901279">Make These 69 DIY Cleaning Products For Pennies</a> &mdash; From laundry to carpeting to everything in your bathroom, these DIY solutions will clean every part of your home for mere pennies. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2016/07/smart-home-improvements.html">15 Budget Worthy Smart Home Improvements</a> &mdash; Dramatic LED lighting at your porch adds a nice touch to your main entrance&hellip; and intimidates burglars who would rather work in the dark. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/business/T057-S001-7-things-that-will-soon-disappear/index.html">10 Things That Will Soon Disappear Forever</a> &mdash; The traditional incandescent lightbulb is on its way out as consumers opt for more energy-efficient options. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://naturemoms.com/blog/2016/07/17/plants-to-repel-mosquitos/">How to Use Plants and More to Repel Mosquitoes</a> &mdash; Lemon balm is easy to grow, and if you strip off the leaves, crush them, and rub them on your exposed skin, you'll have a repellent that works as well as anything you can find at a store. [Nature Moms Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.morewithlesstoday.com/20-genius-uses-for-leftover-coffee-and-coffee-grounds/">20 Genius Uses for Leftover Coffee and Coffee Grounds</a> &mdash; Making gravy? Add some leftover coffee for a deeper color and extra flavor. [More With Less Today]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/7-ways-to-survive-a-camping-trip-with-kids">7 Ways to Survive a Camping Trip With Kids</a> &mdash; If your kids have never gone camping, do a practice one in your yard first. [Parenting Squad]</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-big-on-summer-flights">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-8"> <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">5 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/retire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries">Retire for Half the Cost in These 5 Countries</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-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</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-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-budget-friendly-beach-destinations">6 Budget-Friendly Beach Destinations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel best money tips summer flights Wed, 20 Jul 2016 10:00:13 +0000 Amy Lu 1755540 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_62926796_LARGE.jpg" alt="saving thousands from taking one vacation day" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have a list of financial tasks we keep meaning to get to, but between work, family, everyday obligations, and the need for sleep, we just keep putting them off. Whether it's rolling over an old employer 401K or finding cheaper car insurance, you can end up costing yourself hundreds, or even thousands of dollars by procrastinating.</p> <p>However, there is a solution: Use a vacation or personal day as an annual &quot;Money Day&quot; to catch up on all those finance to-dos you keep putting off. You'll have the time to stay on the line with customer service, fill out forms, and get organized &mdash; setting yourself up for a more secure financial future. Here are all the financial boxes you can check off on your annual Money Day.</p> <h2>Negotiate Bills</h2> <p>Phone bills, cable subscriptions, and car insurance can be expensive, eating up a huge part of your budget. However, rather than just gritting your teeth and bearing it, you can negotiate your bill and bring down your cost. Make a list of all of the services and subscriptions you currently pay for, and contact each one. For the introverts who get nervous negotiating over the phone, most companies have an online chat option that will work just as well.</p> <h3>Tell Them You Want to Cancel</h3> <p>Whether you are on the phone or chatting online, be as polite and kind as possible, but firmly let them know you want to cancel because the cost is just too high.</p> <h3>Be Prepared to Deal With the Retention Department</h3> <p>Customer service is likely to transfer you to their sales department or retention department, whose sole goal is to keep you on board. Again, be as friendly as possible, but explain that the monthly bill is more than you can afford. You do not have to give a long script or even say you are looking at other competitors; just noting you cannot afford the price will trigger the next steps.</p> <h3>Continue to Negotiate</h3> <p>They will likely offer you a temporary adjustment, like a promotional three-month offer. Be firm, saying something like, &quot;I'm sorry, I just can't afford this rate. I would need something more permanent.&quot; More than likely, they will come back with a more generous offer, saying they are authorized to give it to you that day. That language indicates it's the best they can do. Ask them to send you an email confirmation with the new agreement and then repeat the process with each service provider you have.</p> <h3>Research Alternatives</h3> <p>In some cases, companies just won't budge, particularly if you have only been a customer for a year or two. If that's the case, use some time during your money day to look up alternatives and get quotes. For instance, services like <a href="https://www.thezebra.com/">The Zebra</a> help you compare rates from multiple car insurers so you can get the most competitive price.</p> <h2>Find and Rollover Retirement Funds</h2> <p>Nearly three million people <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm">quit their jobs each month</a>, with many of those individuals leaving old 401Ks behind, either intending to get to it later or thinking the amount is too small to matter. Then they end up forgetting about it, and the money disappears. Take the time to hunt down old plans and come up with a strategy for them:</p> <h3>Find Old 401Ks</h3> <p>You may have to call each of your former employers' human resources departments to determine where your old 401Ks are currently held. If that's not an option, you can also check with the <a href="https://www.unclaimedretirementbenefits.com/">National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefit</a>.</p> <h3>Take Action</h3> <p>Once you've found your old accounts, you can keep them where they are, but keep their log-in information in a safe place. However, it might also make more financial sense to roll them into one place, like in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/401k-or-ira-you-need-both">traditional IRA</a>. Vanguard and Fidelity offer IRA options that are cheaper regarding fees you will pay in most 401Ks, so rolling the account over can save you money and prevent any penalties.</p> <h2>Search for Unclaimed Money</h2> <p>There are millions of dollars in unclaimed money sitting around. Whether it's an old savings account, an insurance credit or, other windfall, state laws require that unclaimed funds be turned over to the state for safekeeping until the owner claims them. Most people don't even realize that hundreds of dollars belong to them, and it goes unclaimed for years.</p> <p>To find lost money, visit <a href="http://www.unclaimed.org">Unclaimed.org</a>. Check each state that you have lived in and enter your full name and any other names you may have gone by in the past. The site will list any money that belongs to you. You can file a claim, following the process outlined on the site, to get the money returned to you.</p> <h2>Automate Savings</h2> <p>If you have been putting off building up your emergency fund or retirement savings, your money day is a very good time to get them started. Set up automatic contributions for the start of each month to go into your savings and retirement accounts, so you do not even miss the money from your paycheck.</p> <p>Setting aside an annual vacation day to manage your finances can be an excellent way to stay on top of essential money tasks, trim your budget, maximize your dollars, and find you hundreds of dollars that may have gone missing. By dedicating a day to money management, you can end up savings thousands of dollars in just 24 hours.</p> <p><em>What else should be done on your annual Money Day? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-brilliant-tips-from-smart-mom-rich-mom">4 Brilliant Tips From &quot;Smart Mom, Rich Mom&quot;</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-budget-friendly-beach-destinations">6 Budget-Friendly Beach Destinations</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-save-money-at-the-post-office">How to Save Money at the Post Office</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/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</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/9-money-lessons-to-take-from-the-great-depression">9 Money Lessons to Take From the Great Depression</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Travel budgeting career frugal living personal finance saving money travel vacation day Tue, 19 Jul 2016 09:00:10 +0000 Kat Tretina 1754845 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Airlines With the Best Customer Service http://www.wisebread.com/5-airlines-with-the-best-customer-service <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-airlines-with-the-best-customer-service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/palm_trees_plane_81687745.jpg" alt="Learning which airlines have the best customer service" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Flying is not the customer-focused experience it was back in the 60s and 70s. In fact, talk about flying to many people today and a grimace will make its way onto their faces. Some say that a plane has become nothing more than a Greyhound bus with wings, and the airlines seem to charge for every little thing. From fees for both checked and carry-on bags, fees for online check-in, charges for movies and meals, and even paying to rent headsets, you get very little for your money these days.</p> <p>So, when AirlineQualityRating.com releases the findings of its annual customer service study, everyone who flies should take note. If you are going to be in the air, it may as well be with one of the top five airlines that excel at customer service. Here they are.</p> <h2>1. Virgin America</h2> <p>The airline owned by Sir Richard Branson continues to have an incredibly positive impact on those who fly the Virgin skies. It all starts when you enter the aircraft and are greeted by a sumptuous glow of purple in the main cabin (and when you get to Select and First Class, you're in a completely different world). Seats in the main cabin are soft black leather, and of course, there is the vast array of on-demand entertainment, Wi-Fi, personal outlets, and snacks including jerky sausage and veggie chips.</p> <p>However, where Virgin America really steps it up is the customer service, and the overall passenger experience. Virgin recently introduced &quot;Seat-to-Seat delivery + Chat,&quot; and it's the kind of innovation that Sir Branson is known to embrace. If you're on a flight and fancy striking up a conversation with someone, be it a friend, a co-worker, or a complete stranger, the on-board touch screen system lets you break the ice by sending a drink or a snack to another seat. You can also mingle in a chat room, or flirt with someone you saw as you were getting on board. Suddenly, the prospect of a long flight can be turned on its head, and you are now entering an experience similar to a bar or club that uses social media. What's more, the flight attendants are known to be some of the most friendly (and funny) flying today.</p> <p>It was recently reported that Alaska Airlines plans to purchase Virgin America for $2.6 billion. No doubt the continued excellence in customer service, and on board innovation, was a big part of that purchasing decision. Let's hope it doesn't negatively affect the Virgin America experience.</p> <h2>2. JetBlue</h2> <p>The JetBlue experience is certainly different from most carriers these days. Take a quick look at their &quot;Experience JetBlue&quot; page and the first thing you'll see is the word <em>free</em>.</p> <p>Yes. Free. And this is from a low-cost carrier.</p> <p>Once you're onboard a JetBlue flight, you are treated to <em>unlimited </em>free brand name snacks and drinks, including Cheez-Its, Craisins, Terra Blues, and an array of cold Coke and Seagrams beverages. Dunkin' Donuts provides the tea and coffee. JetBlue also boasts the most legroom in coach of any airlines, and you can boost that to an Even More Space seat if you feel like treating yourself.</p> <p>And then, of course, there's the customer service. It's award-winning, ensuring your travel is the very best. To this end, JetBlue introduced the Customer Bill of Rights, and it guarantees that you get the very best flight your money can buy &mdash; or, you get your money back.</p> <p>Want more? Well, if your flight is delayed by between 90 minutes and two hours, you'll get a $25 credit for future JetBlue travel. If that hits six hours or more, you get a $200 credit. If it's an onboard ground delay, you'll get the same $200 after five hours.</p> <p>What does this mean? Well, if you're JetBlue, you have quite the financial incentive to keep the planes running on time. It's yet another reason JetBlue is nipping at the heels of Virgin America, and may well take the number one spot next year.</p> <h2>3. Delta</h2> <p>While not quite matching the performance of the top two on the list, Delta comes in at an impressive third place, beating out two airlines that are renowned for customer care. Perhaps part of that was Delta's on-time percentage for 2015, which was a remarkable 85.9%, with only two bags per 1,000 passengers mishandled.</p> <p>Delta does free snacks, including Biscoff cookies Starbucks coffee, and the usual array of beverages (although as is usual these days, you have to purchase larger snacks and alcoholic drinks).</p> <p>If you choose Delta to fly international, you'll get uninterrupted sleep courtesy of a sleep kit featuring eyeshades and earplugs (also handy for those screaming kids that can really put a dent in your good humor).</p> <h2>4. Hawaiian</h2> <p>Last year Hawaiian were in the number two spot, so they have dropped a few places. But don't let this convince you that their customer service has dropped, or that they are not making the effort. Rather, other airlines have upped their game based on some of the stories that have been told about Hawaiian.</p> <p>For a start, Hawaiian flights are more likely to be on time than any other airlines. In 2015, 88.4% of the flights operated by Hawaiian were on time and ready to go, which is a huge achievement.</p> <p>Hawaiian recently took a leaf out of Priceline.com's &quot;What's it worth to you?&quot; strategy, and introduced the Bud Up system. Basically, you book regular tickets and then enter a bid to upgrade those seats to First Class. If the bid is accepted (presumable based on availability, popularity, and route), you will get your seats bumped to First Class at the price you dictated. Could this be as little as $1 each? Doubtful&hellip;but who knows!</p> <p>Of course, being Hawaiian, the airline prides itself on the more laid-back customer service approach you would expect from the island paradise it is named after. Big smiles, great food, and if you like, you can purchase a Lei Greeting and have a garland of fresh flowers draped over you on your arrival at your destination.</p> <h2>5. Alaska</h2> <p>As mentioned in the top spot, Alaska recently put in a huge bid for Virgin America, so perhaps next year they will take the number one slot. For now, Alaska is sitting pretty in fifth place, and this is largely due to the low number of complaints it received in 2015; just 0.5 complaints for every 100,000 passengers. Or, five complaints for every one million passengers.</p> <p>When you consider how much people hate flying today, finding only five people in a million who had something negative to say about their trip is mind-boggling. So, what is Alaska doing right?</p> <p>According to J.D. Power, a lot. They have awarded Alaska &quot;Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America&quot; nine years running.</p> <p>Alaska's Customer Service Commitment plays a big part in this rating. It includes a promise of the lowest available fare, flexibility in the first 24 hours of booking, special treatment during extended delays, a guarantee of a clean and comfortable aircraft, and seamless partnerships with partners including Delta and Peninsula.</p> <p>And if you're wondering, the next five airlines for 2016 are&hellip;</p> <ol start="6"> <li>Southwest</li> <li>SkyWest</li> <li>United</li> <li>ExpressJet</li> <li>American</li> </ol> <p><em>What's your favorite airline?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airlines-with-the-best-customer-service">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-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Smart Travel Hacks Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-airline-lost-your-luggage-now-what">The Airline Lost Your Luggage. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-do-airline-companion-tickets-work-and-where-do-you-get-them">How Do Airline Companion Tickets Work and Where Do You Get Them?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-airline-perks-from-yesteryear-that-seem-unbelievable-today">10 Airline Perks From Yesteryear That Seem Unbelievable Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airlines alaska airlines customer service Delta flying hawaiian airlines JetBlue vacation virgin america Mon, 18 Jul 2016 09:30:42 +0000 Paul Michael 1753207 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Budget-Friendly Beach Destinations http://www.wisebread.com/6-budget-friendly-beach-destinations <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-budget-friendly-beach-destinations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_beach_vacation_5993498.jpg" alt="Woman finding budget-friendly beach destinations" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Summer is all about the beach escape &mdash; a well-earned break from the toil of the daily routine in a place where the day is ruled by the rise and fall of the sun. But have you truly earned it? According to American Express, the average American vacation costs $1,145 per person, or $4,580 for a family of four. If that price tag looks steep, let's consider your options.</p> <p>Sure, you could forgo your annual vacation, but there's a price to pay for that, too. Studies show that vacationing can make you feel more restful and productive, improve your relationships, and boost your health. Neglecting to vacation, on the other hand &mdash; also known as being overworked &mdash; has been connected to depression, anxiety, insomnia, health problems, weight gain, and higher divorce rates. Perhaps your best bet is a trip to one of the nation's budget-friendly beaches. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tourist-towns-that-are-actually-great-to-live-in?ref=seealso">6 &quot;Tourist Towns&quot; That Are Actually Great to Live In</a>)</p> <h2>1. Cayucos, California</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/beach_cliffs_859494.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>You won't find swanky tapas bars or hundred million dollar homes in <a href="http://www.visitcayucosca.com/cayucos-family-vacation/">this overlooked enclave</a> on the California coast. Yes, like many California beach destinations, Cayucos has gorgeous ocean views and surf spots galore. But unlike the rest, it's not over-the-top expensive. It's also not ultra-crowded with tourists. Fill your days with walks on the newly renovated historic pier, visits to the acclaimed skate park, kayak excursions down the coast, horseback riding adventures on the beach, or afternoon wine tasting. Laid-back and slow-moving with many dog and kid-friendly beaches, hotels, and restaurants &mdash; yes, you really can bring Sparky out to eat &mdash; Cayucos makes for a great, no-frills getaway for the entire family.</p> <h2>2. Gulfport, Mississippi</h2> <p>In Gulfport, where the <a href="http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/00">median home value</a> is just $175,700, miles of sandy beaches are bordered by a boulevard populated by hotels and casinos. Though badly battered by Hurricane Katrina, this relatively undiscovered portion of the Gulf Coast has been rebuilding itself as a lively destination for beach-goers, fishermen, golfers, gamblers, and lovers of nightlife and live music. And, for now, that not-so-distant memory of Katrina's wrath keeps the prices here low. For $29, you can buy a roundtrip ferry ride to <a href="http://www.msshipisland.com/?q=about">Ship Island</a>, home of Mississippi's most scenic beaches. Located 11 miles south of Gulfport, this pristine barrier island is the ideal setting to soak up the sun, picnic, and unwind.</p> <h2>3. Pensacola, Florida</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/pensacola_florida_beach_66117559.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Florida is home to more coastline than any other continental state. And while many of the Sunshine State's beach destinations will empty your wallet, Pensacola was seemingly <a href="http://www.bestplaces.net/cost_of_living/city/florida/pensacola">made for the bargain-minded</a>. In addition to its affordability, this <a href="http://www.cityofpensacola.com/35/Visiting">westernmost city</a> in the Florida panhandle is known for its crystalline water and long stretch of powdery white sand beaches. A 20-minute drive from the city's downtown will get you there, though there is a public beach accessible from downtown, as well.</p> <p>In addition to beaches, Pensacola boasts a collection of pre-Civil War brick fortresses. The Gulf Breeze Zoo is home to 900 animals, while the National Naval Aviation Museum features a collection of more than 150 warbirds. Budget motels and inexpensive condominium vacation rentals are plentiful both in the Pensacola beach area and downtown &mdash; and so are budget-friendly dining options.</p> <h2>4. Matagorda, Texas</h2> <p>Matagorda is home of miles upon miles of untouched beaches. It's almost as if no one knows they're here. For the budget traveler, that's good news because it means <a href="http://www.fishermansmotel.com/page1/index.html">you can score a waterfront motel room</a> for $75 per night. Apart from the beach, there isn't much to Matagorda. But if you're looking for scenic solitude on a budget, this is where you'll find it.</p> <h2>5. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/new_jersey_beach_18947400.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Situated just two hours from Washington, D.C., Rehoboth Beach boasts a mile-long boardwalk along a beautiful beach as well as numerous food, entertainment, and shopping options within walking distance of the coast. In addition to the beach, the Rehoboth area has lots to offer, including the Tanger Outlets, which has 160 stores, as well as golfing, fishing, and hiking on a number of local nature trails. And with a number of <a href="http://www.anchoragemotelinc.com/rates/">no-frills rentals</a> such as the Anchorage Motel, you can rent a room for less than $100 &mdash; even during the high season.</p> <h2>6. Keansburg, New Jersey</h2> <p>This bayside town offers mesmerizing beachfront of the New York City skyline, calm waters for swimming, a fishing pier to cast your line, scenic walking trails &mdash; and a median home value of just $162,000. This <a href="http://www.zillow.com/keansburg-nj/home-values/">bargain town</a> on the famed Jersey Shore is undertaking <a href="http://patch.com/new-jersey/middletown-nj/keansburg-awarded-11-million-streetscape-revitalization-grant">a huge streetscape revitalization project</a> that promises to enhance building facades and improve walkways, something that's bound to lure in even more small businesses and vitality in the coming years. For now, room rentals at the quaint, family-owned <a href="http://www.hollyhillmotel.com/Luxury-Motel-About-West-Keansburg-NJ.html">Holly Hill Motel</a> come as low as $69 per night.</p> <p><em>What other beach destinations are budget-friendly? Share with us!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!&nbsp;</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-budget-friendly-beach-destinations&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Budget-Friendly%20Beach%20Destinations.jpg&amp;description=6%20Budget-Friendly%20Beach%20Destinations" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Budget-Friendly%20Beach%20Destinations.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-budget-friendly-beach-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/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</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/12-ways-to-save-and-make-money-while-traveling">12 Ways to Save and Make Money While Traveling</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-save-on-baggage-fees">6 Ways to Save On Baggage Fees</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/14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-for-free">14 Useful Items Hotels Usually Provide for Free</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-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel beach beach vacation beaches budget travel budget-friendly destination frugal living saving money travel Thu, 14 Jul 2016 10:31:04 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1751466 at http://www.wisebread.com Everything You Need to Know About Buying Travel Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-buying-travel-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/everything-you-need-to-know-about-buying-travel-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_climbing_mountain_82713741.jpg" alt="Man learning everything he needs to know about travel insurance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Choosing the right travel insurance can be a difficult task. With so many policies out there and all with differing service and ease of claims, your head might start to spin. Do you like to scuba dive, sky dive, or high dive? You better make sure you're covered for that. Are you carrying expensive electronics? They should be insured if they're lost or stolen.</p> <p>There's a lot more to choosing the right travel insurance than just finding out how high your hospital bills might be. Let's break down the basics so that you can make an informed decision about which travel insurance is right for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirt-on-travel-insurance?ref=seealso">The Dirt on Travel Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>Travel Insurance Isn't Just Medical Coverage</h2> <p>Before I get started with the five things you should consider before buying travel insurance, I should clarify that travel insurance can cover you for a lot more than just medical emergencies. Most people who are thinking of buying travel insurance are doing so because they're worried about a hospital visit.</p> <p>But you can make claims for stolen goods, broken cameras, canceled flights, family emergencies, lost luggage, and so much more. A good travel insurance policy is basically a universal protection plan to ensure that you're covered for whatever the road throws at you.</p> <h2>What Is the Coverage Limit?</h2> <p>When looking at a travel insurance policy, one of the first things you should look for is the maximum coverage limit on the plan. If you're only covered for $5,000, there's not much point. Medical emergencies can cost tens of thousands of dollars, or even hundreds of thousands depending where you are and what happens to you.</p> <p>A solid plan will cover you for at least $100,000. This limit can go all the way up to $1 million. A high coverage limit is extremely important when choosing travel insurance because if you are injured, fall ill, or need serious medical attention while on the road, you want to make sure that no matter how high the hospital bills are, you won't end up paying out of pocket.</p> <p>The worst thing that can happen to you in a medical emergency is being stuck in a hospital because of a serious injury or illness and then coming out of it and realizing that you owe thousands of dollars. Make sure your plan has coverage of $100,000 or more.</p> <h2>What Activities Are Covered?</h2> <p>What kind of traveler are you? Will you be doing adventure activities like rock climbing, desert safaris, scuba diving, horseback riding, and mountaineering? You should always check your policy to ensure that you're covered for any activities you plan on partaking in.</p> <p>You may expect that travel insurance will always cover you for whatever endeavors you get up to while on vacation, but that simply isn't true. Different plans cover different things and the more adventurous you are, the higher your insurance rates will likely be.</p> <p><a href="http://www.goatsontheroad.com/world-nomads-best-travel-insurance-backpackers/">World Nomads</a> has some of the best travel insurance for backpackers and long-term travelers. They allow you to start your policy while you're already on the road, they make it easy to make claims, and you can keep your policy going year after year.</p> <p>The best part is that they cover you for a huge variety of wacky travel activities. Just look at their list of coverage:</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Screen%20Shot%202016-06-24%20at%205.02.47%20PM.png" width="605" height="581" alt="" /></p> <h2>What Gear Is Covered?</h2> <p>One of the best parts of a good travel insurance policy is peace of mind, knowing that your electronics and travel gear are covered if lost or stolen. A good travel insurance policy will reimburse you if anything happens to your valuables.</p> <p>The issue with extra coverage on electronics is that most companies have a pretty tight limit on what they will reimburse you for. Generally $500 is the maximum payout for any lost or stolen electronics. Given that the average laptop costs $1,000 these days, and a camera can be even more than that, $500 doesn't go very far.</p> <p>If you're traveling with a lot of gear, you may want to consider buying extra insurance through a specified electronics insurance plan. Clements Insurance offers special coverage for your electronics. They'll allow you to make claims on unscheduled receipts up to $10,000, meaning that you don't have to pre-submit your receipts and the cost of your laptop and camera will probably be covered.</p> <h2>Does the Policy Include Emergency Evacuation?</h2> <p>Emergency evacuation and care is an extremely important part of any travel insurance policy. You want to make 100% sure that if you're in a life-threatening situation, you will be covered for medevac, ambulance, and emergency air lift.</p> <p>The cheapest emergency air ambulance is probably going to cost you $10,000 or more, with <a href="http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/travel/travel-advice/travel-health/the-40000-bali-trip-you-dont-want-to-take/news-story/6f7543e9182911b8a45aa53bf852fd39">international medevacs costing upward of $40,000</a>. That's a purchase you don't want to add to your travel budget.</p> <p>If you're canyoneering in Utah and you fall and break your leg, your policy should cover your evacuation to the hospital. If you're in Thailand when a tsunami hits and you need to be evacuated to a safe place, your plan should cover that as well. Any good plan should cover a medical evacuation expense of up to $300,000 USD.</p> <p>There are also times when an evacuation means that you need to be flown from a hospital to your home country. Standard emergency evacuation usually includes this provision, but you should always check with your insurance provider to make sure. Believe me, you don't want to pay for a medevac from Indonesia to the U.S.</p> <h2>How Easy Is It to Make a Claim?</h2> <p>Just because you have travel insurance, doesn't mean that you can easily call them up at a moment's notice, tell them what happened, and they'll send you a check.</p> <p>The quality of service varies greatly from provider to provider and some make it very difficult and frustrating to make claims. The best companies will allow you to make a claim online and they may have a list of hospitals and clinics that they work with directly so they can pay the bills without you having to pay out of pocket.</p> <p>Keep in mind that travel insurance companies are just that &mdash; companies. They're in the game to make money, so they're not waiting next to the phone, ready to hand out checks to every person who calls in. Even the best travel insurance companies can take a long time to reimburse you.</p> <p>To try to speed up the inevitably slow process, make sure you have all your receipts, necessary forms, and proper documentation when making the claim, and keep it organized until you have been fully reimbursed.</p> <h2>A Few Other Things to Consider</h2> <ul> <li><strong>Multiple Countries</strong>: Some policies only cover you for pre-specified destinations, while others won't cover you at all for countries with government travel advisories.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>24-Hour Emergency Service</strong>: If you're having a medical emergency, you want to make sure that your insurance provider will be there to help you, no matter what time of day or night you call in.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Family Emergencies</strong>: If you're on a long trip and something happens to a loved one back home, your travel insurance policy should cover your flight home to be with that person.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Flight Cancellation Costs</strong>: If you have to pay for a hotel, another flight or some other kind of transportation booking because your airline canceled your flight last minute, your travel insurance should cover the costs.</li> </ul> <h2>Do You Need Travel Insurance?</h2> <p>Ask anyone who has been in a medical emergency overseas without coverage. They'll say <em>yes</em>. Ask any traveler who had medical insurance and thanked their lucky stars that they were covered. They'll say <em>yes</em>. A good travel insurance policy will likely only cost you a few dollars a day, but it could potentially save you tens of thousands of dollars if something does end up happening to you or your possessions.</p> <p>Insurance is the one thing that every traveler should buy before going on a trip, but it's something that you hope you never have to use. Do your research. Find a travel insurance provider that is right for you and make sure your policy covers everything you need.</p> <p><em>Have you ever purchased travel insurance? Did you need it?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Feverything-you-need-to-know-about-buying-travel-insurance&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FEverything%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Buying%20Travel%20Insurance.jpg&amp;description=Click%20To%20Learn%20Everything%20You%20Need%20To%20Know%20About%20Shopping%20for%20Travel%20Insurance!" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Everything%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Buying%20Travel%20Insurance.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></h2> <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/everything-you-need-to-know-about-buying-travel-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/follow-these-5-steps-to-full-health-care-coverage-in-retirement">Follow These 5 Steps to Full Health Care Coverage in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-must-know-about-health-care-open-enrollment">5 Things You Must Know About Health Care Open Enrollment</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-about-a-price-list-at-the-hospital-or-doctor-s-office">How About a Price List at the Hospital or Doctor’s Office?</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/rebuilding-after-a-disaster-create-a-home-inventory-now">Rebuilding After A Disaster: Create A Home Inventory Now</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-costa-rica-lesson-awwwwwww-they-got-me">The Costa Rica Lesson: Awwwwwww They Got Me</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Travel disaster emergencies lost possessions medevac medical reimbursement traveler's insurance Thu, 14 Jul 2016 09:00:12 +0000 Nick Wharton 1738704 at http://www.wisebread.com Retire for Half the Cost in These 5 Countries http://www.wisebread.com/retire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/retire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tropical_destination_travel_54008208.jpg" alt="Finding countries where you can retire for half the price" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're getting close to retirement, but you're planning on working an extra couple of years because you just &quot;don't have the money,&quot; think again. Retiring in North America is expensive! Why not live somewhere tropical and exotic for at least half the year and cut your expenses down considerably? In this article I'm going to list five destinations where you can do just that. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-places-to-retire-abroad-that-anyone-can-afford?ref=seealso">5 Incredible Places to Retire Abroad</a>)</p> <p>Note: Costs of food, housing, transportation, and entertainment are compared to New York City using <a href="https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/">Expatistan's</a> cost of living index.</p> <h2>1. Mexico</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/mexico_travel_8998281.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <ul> <li>Food = 64% cheaper</li> <li>Housing = 83% cheaper</li> <li>Transportation = 72% cheaper</li> <li>Entertainment = 64% cheaper</li> <li>One-bedroom apartment = $300-$500 per month</li> <li>Total cost of living = $1,200+ per month</li> </ul> <p>If you hear &quot;Mexico&quot; and your mind automatically wanders to an American-owned resort in Cancun with a bartender on the beach and jet skis on rent, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Mexico isn't half the price of home.</p> <p>But this isn't Mexico! The real Mexico's not only extremely affordable, but it's rich in culture, history, and natural beauty. You can rent beautiful apartments in retirement havens like San Pancho, Sayulita, and Oaxaca for under $500 a month.</p> <p>A dinner out at a nice restaurant with a bottle of wine won't likely cost you more than $10 per person and your grocery bills will be cut in half. Mexico is the perfect place to retire, which is why so many snowbirds head there for half of the year.</p> <h2>2. Thailand</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/thailand_beach_travel_87109807.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <ul> <li>Food = 48% cheaper</li> <li>Housing = 68% cheaper</li> <li>Transportation = 54% cheaper</li> <li>Entertainment = 55% cheaper</li> <li>One-bedroom apartment = $300-$500 per month</li> <li>Total cost of living = $1,000+ per month</li> </ul> <p>Who doesn't want to spend their golden years in the land of smiles? Thailand is the ultimate budget friendly destination for people looking for a change of scenery in retirement. The above cost of living indexes are compared to Bangkok, Thailand's capital and most expensive city.</p> <p>If you choose to live on one of the country's beautiful islands, you could cut these costs down considerably. A nice one or two-bedroom bungalow with a kitchenette, a few blocks from the sea, won't cost you more than $500 and you'd have a hard time paying more than $7 for a local meal.</p> <p>Big beers at 7-11 only cost a couple of dollars and you can rent a motorbike here for around $3 a day (less if you rent monthly).</p> <p>Thailand is wonderfully exotic, but it still has a lot of the amenities that you'd hope for from home. Good grocery stores, 7-11s, great restaurants, gyms, malls, and excellent accommodation options. Pair this with some of the best beaches in the world, friendly people, and incredibly low prices, and you've got one of the world's top retirement hot spots.</p> <p>One downside of Thailand may be that there are a lot of young people and on some of the islands, monthly parties can get out of hand. But aside from the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan and the water festival in Bangkok, most of Thailand still has a slow-paced tropical charm. Who knows, maybe you're looking for a party during retirement?</p> <h2>3. Albania</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/tropical_destination_travel_54008208.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <ul> <li>Food = 66% cheaper</li> <li>Housing = 84% cheaper</li> <li>Transportation = 67% cheaper</li> <li>Entertainment = 64% cheaper</li> <li>One-bedroom apartment = $300-$500 per month</li> <li>Total cost of living = $1,250+ per month</li> </ul> <p>Maybe one of the last places you thought you'd visit, let alone live in, Albania has had a turbulent history. Cut off from the world by a brutal communist dictator for nearly a half-century, the country lost much of its reputation as a vacation spot during that time. But today, Albania is moving forward and the people are extremely welcoming.</p> <p>Again, the cost of living indexes are comparing New York City to Tirana, Albania's capital, but Tirana is the country's most expensive place to live. Instead, head down to the Albanian Riviera along the Adriatic coast and check out towns like Himara, Vlora, and Saranda. You won't find anywhere else in Europe where you can rent an apartment for $400 per month with a stunning view over the Adriatic sea.</p> <p>In Saranda, there's a huge selection of accommodations in skyscraper-style apartment blocks all along the water's edge, while in quieter Vlora and Himara, you won't find as much variety but you can still find well-priced places to stay.</p> <p>The Albanian Riviera is known for beautiful beaches, sunny weather, and delicious seafood. You can get a fish dinner at a restaurant overlooking the water for around $10-$15. Albania is definitely affordable and it has a lot of amenities as well.</p> <p>Note: Driving in Albania can be frustrating and dangerous. If you do decide to buy or rent a car, however, don't miss the drive between Vlora and Saranda along the coast. It is one of Europe's most scenic road trips.</p> <h2>4. Malta</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/malta_beach_city_60448332.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <ul> <li>Food = 32% cheaper</li> <li>Housing = 66% cheaper</li> <li>Transportation = 47% cheaper</li> <li>Entertainment = 43% cheaper</li> <li>One-bedroom apartment = $685-$1,000 per month</li> <li>Total cost of living = $1,750+ per month</li> </ul> <p>The Brits already know that Malta is the perfect place to retire, but few Americans can even place this tiny Mediterranean island on the map. Located just below Sicily and about 62 miles north of Africa, Malta is the most fascinating country you've never heard of.</p> <p>Steeped in a rich history, blessed with azure waters and natural beauty, and inhabited by some of the friendliest people in Europe, Malta might just be the most charming place on this list. It's a bit of a stretch to say that it's half the price of most U.S. cities, but you can get a nice one-bedroom apartment here for around &euro;600 ($685). Food in restaurants is considerably cheaper than in the U.S., as is the local produce and alcohol in grocery stores.</p> <p>There are three islands in Malta that are inhabited, but you'll likely choose between Gozo and the main island of Malta. The main island has many more amenities and more areas to explore, but is a lot more built up than the quieter, more natural island of Gozo.</p> <p>Whichever island you choose, all are connected by an excellent network of buses and ferries, so you're never more than a couple of hours from anywhere. There are also ferries to nearby Sicily and Malta is well connected to Europe via flights with Air Malta.</p> <p>Did I mention that Malta is considered to have the best year-round climate in the world?</p> <h2>5. Croatia</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/croatia_beach_scene_59256040.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <ul> <li>Food = 46% cheaper</li> <li>Housing = 75% cheaper</li> <li>Transportation = 41% cheaper</li> <li>Entertainment = 52% cheaper</li> <li>One-bedroom Apartment = $500-$700 per month</li> <li>Total cost of living = $1,550+ per month</li> </ul> <p>Another Mediterranean hot spot, Croatia has a few cities that are great for retirement, but in my opinion, Split is the best. The old town has history, a beautiful setting along the Adriatic Sea and great dining options.</p> <p>The temperature here never gets below 45&deg;F and in the summer, you have your choice of some of the region's best beaches.</p> <p>For history buffs, Diocletian's Palace is one of the best examples of Roman architecture anywhere in Europe and there are numerous old churches, cathedrals, and basilicas to explore.</p> <p>Split also has an excellent expat community and there seems to be something going on every week. Whether it's hiking, a music festival, concerts, plays, or beach parties, you'll never get bored in Split. This seaside town pretty much has it all, and you can get it for less than half the price of most cities in the U.S.</p> <h2>Visit First and Check With the Tax Authorities</h2> <p>There's a lot more to consider than just the cost of living when choosing the best place for retirement. You want to make sure that your chosen destination has enough amenities and activities to keep you satisfied.</p> <p>You'll also want to look into the tax situation to ensure that you don't get into any trouble with the IRS. But this stuff is easier than it sounds. Once you choose the perfect place, head down there for a month or two and see if you enjoy it while staying longer-term.</p> <p>There are so many places around the world to choose from and luckily for Americans, many of them are much cheaper than home.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite vacation spot? Could you retire there? Tell us why in the comments below.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fretire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FRetire%20for%20Half%20the%20Cost%20in%20These%205%20Countries%20(1).jpg&amp;description=Retire%20for%20Half%20the%20Cost%20in%20These%205%20Countries" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Retire%20for%20Half%20the%20Cost%20in%20These%205%20Countries%20%281%29.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <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/retire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries">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-mid-sized-cities-for-millennials">The 5 Best Mid-Sized Cities for Millennials</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-lessons-i-learned-about-money-after-living-in-mexico">7 Lessons I Learned About Money After Living in Mexico</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/dont-let-these-expenses-spoil-your-retirement-abroad">Don&#039;t Let These Expenses Spoil Your Retirement Abroad</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-incredible-places-to-retire-abroad-that-anyone-can-afford">5 Incredible Places to Retire Abroad That 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/20-in-los-angeles-the-16-best-ways-to-spend-it">$20 in Los Angeles: The 16 Best Ways to Spend It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement Travel cities cost of living expats foreign countries living abroad things to do Wed, 13 Jul 2016 09:00:19 +0000 Nick Wharton 1740461 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Survive an International Flight http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-survive-an-international-flight <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-survive-an-international-flight" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_sleeping_plane_34032140_0.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to survive an international flight" 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 secrets to surviving an international flight, back-to-school sales that everyone can enjoy, and quick and easy ways to lower your blood pressure.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/International-Flight-Tips-41800944#photo-41800944">13 Secrets to Surviving an International Flight</a> -- Your choices for in-flight entertainment can be limited, so download a few of your favorite movies, TV shows, audiobooks, or podcasts to help you pass the time. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2016/0710/Back-to-school-sales-aren-t-just-for-students">Back-to-school sales aren't just for students</a> -- Many clothing retailers offer store-wide sales during the back-to-school season. Keep an eye out for deals at stores like Old Navy, Victoria's Secret, and Kohl's. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.easyways.net/9-easy-ways-lower-blood-pressure-quickly/">9 Easy Ways To Lower Blood Pressure Quickly</a> -- Eating more plant-based foods can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. [easyWays]</p> <p><a href="http://everythingfinanceblog.com/17763/tired-of-staycations-frugal-trips.html">Tired of Staycations? Try these Frugal and Fun Trips Instead</a> -- Choose a destination that is accessible by car. Road trips can be really fun, and you don't have to pay for air travel and all the fees and limitations that come with it. [Everything Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2016/07/07/start-spreading-optimism/">7 Ways to Start Spreading the Optimism Today</a> -- If someone in your life is stressed out, help them wind down. Invite them to a picnic, go for a swim, or just laugh with them. [The Positivity Blog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.bestkeptself.com/2016/07/06/why-you-need-a-wind-down-routine/">Why You Need a Wind Down Routine</a> -- A wind down ritual can give you more restful sleep and help you jump start your morning. [Best Kept Self]</p> <p><a href="http://personalexcellence.co/blog/busy-productive/">Busy vs. Productive: Which One Are You? 7 Tips to be Productive, Not Busy</a> -- Busy people allow others to set the direction their life is headed. Productive people set their own direction and constantly evaluate their progress. [Personal Excellence]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stackthechips.com/tips-child-proof-home-budget/">Tips to Child-Proof Your Home on a Budget</a> -- Your cleaners are right at kid level if you store them under the kitchen sink. Place them in a higher cabinet instead to keep them away from curious hands. [Stack The Chips]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savethebills.com/decorate-rental-budget/">How to Decorate Your Rental on a Budget</a> -- If painting is not an option, use removable wallpaper. There are kinds that you can peel away and others that you can wax on and off like stickers.&nbsp; [Save The Bills]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-avoid-these-9-summer-vacation-mistakes">How to Avoid These 9 Summer Vacation Mistakes</a> -- Don't wait until the last minute to plan activities. Popular restaurants and attractions may require reservations a few days ahead of time. [Parenting Squad]</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-survive-an-international-flight">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 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/retire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries">Retire for Half the Cost in These 5 Countries</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-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</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-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-budget-friendly-beach-destinations">6 Budget-Friendly Beach Destinations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel best money tips international flight Tue, 12 Jul 2016 09:30:36 +0000 Amy Lu 1749740 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Credit Cards That Offer Free WiFi For Travelers http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-wifi-for-travelers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-wifi-for-travelers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_61310002_LARGE.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>WiFi for travelers is often not just a necessity, but a stress-reliever. However, whether you&rsquo;re using in-flight WiFi or adding Internet to your hotel stay, it can become a costly expense. Thankfully, there are credit cards that offer travelers a way to receive free Internet service.</p> <h2>Discover it&reg; Miles</h2> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=217&amp;pid=67&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1359&#10;" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img width="154" border="0" src=" http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/discover-it-miles-052615.png" alt="" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=217&amp;pid=67&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1359">Discover it&reg; Miles</a> card&nbsp;offers customers a $30 annual statement credit toward in-flight Wi-Fi on any airline, and it's credited automatically when you make an in-flight Wi-Fi purchase. Cardholders also earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases, and each mile can be redeemed for one cent each as statement credits toward travel reservations. This card offers 12 months of 0% APR financing on new purchases as well as benefits such as purchase protection, extended product warranty, and price protection. There is no annual fee for this card and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=217&amp;pid=67&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1359"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;Discover it&reg; Miles card today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express</h2> <p><a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=217&amp;pid=14&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1359"><img width="154" border="0" alt="" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/starwood-preferred-guest-consumer-081115.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=217&amp;pid=14&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1359">Starwood Preferred Guest&reg;&nbsp;Credit Card from American Express</a> comes with complimentary enrollment in Boingo Wi-Fi, which gives you access to over a million Boingo hotspots worldwide, as well as free in-room premium Internet access while staying with SPG Participating Hotels. Earn up to five Starpoints per dollar at participating Starwood hotels and one Starpoint per dollar on all other purchases. New applicants can receive 25,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $3,000 in the first three months of account opening. Other benefits include roadside assistance, travel accident insurance, extended warranty, and price protection. This card has no foreign transaction fees. Terms and conditions apply. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year.</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=217&amp;pid=14&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1359"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Business Platinum Card&reg; from American Express OPEN</h2> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=217&amp;pid=8&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1359&#10;" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img width="154" border="0" src=" http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/the-business-platinum-card-from-american-express-open-013015.png" alt="" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" /></a>One of the numerous benefits of the <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=217&amp;pid=8&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=name&amp;fot=1359">Business Platinum Card&reg; from American Express OPEN</a>&nbsp;is the Gogo Preferred Program, which offers 10 complimentary single flight segment passes for Gogo in-flight Internet each calendar year. Gogo is the in-flight Internet service provider on Delta, American, United, Alaska, Virgin America, and other carriers.</p> <p>Other cardholder benefits include airport lounge access with the Delta Sky Club and Priority Pass Select networks as well as the American Express Centurion lounges. You also receive a $200 annual airline fee credit and an application fee credit for the Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ programs, worth up to $100. There is a $450 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees. Terms and conditions apply.</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=217&amp;pid=8&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1359"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;Business Platinum Card&reg; from American Express OPEN today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Expedia&reg;+ Voyager Card from Citi</h2> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=217&amp;pid=60&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1359&#10;" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img width="154" border="0" src=" http://wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/Citi_Expedia_Voyager_Card.jpg" alt="" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=217&amp;pid=60&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1359">Expedia&reg;+ Voyager Card</a> from our partner Citi&nbsp;offers customers a $100 annual air travel fee credit that can be used toward in-flight Wi-Fi service as well as for airline incidentals, even including the Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ application fee. Other benefits include 4x points for each dollar spent on eligible Expedia purchases, 2x points for dining out and entertainment, and one point per dollar spent on other purchases. New applicants also earn 25,000 Expedia+ bonus points after spending $2,000 in purchases within three months of account opening. There is a $95 annual fee for this card.</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=217&amp;pid=60&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1359"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;Expedia&reg;+ Voyager Card from Citi today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Hyatt Card from Chase</h2> <p>Holders of the Hyatt card from Chase receive Platinum status in the Hyatt Gold Passport program, which includes free premium Internet service. Cardholders earn 3x points for all Hyatt charges, 2x points at restaurants and on airline tickets and car rentals, and one point per dollar spent all other purchases. New cardholders receive two free nights at any Hyatt worldwide after making $1,000 in purchases within three months of account opening, and 5,000 bonus points after adding an authorized cardholder who makes a purchase during the first three months. There is a $75 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <p><strong>If you're looking for even more options, you might want to consider our picks for </strong><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=5x"><strong>best travel rewards credit cards</strong></a>.&nbsp;</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/best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-wifi-for-travelers">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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 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/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</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/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation">Smarter Security and No Foreign Transaction Fees: The Best Credit Cards to Use While on 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/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</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-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards">5 Best Co-Branded Airline Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel best credit cards free wifi Fri, 08 Jul 2016 10:30:15 +0000 Jason Steele 1733781 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Ways to Avoid Bank Fees While Traveling http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-avoid-bank-fees-while-traveling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-ways-to-avoid-bank-fees-while-traveling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_atm_fees_82999015.jpg" alt="Women learning how to avoid bank fees while traveling" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The worst thing to get charged for when you're on vacation is a fee for using your own money. Even worse, there are fees you may not even know existed until you return home and check your statement. They're not all small fees, either. Some of them can be as much as $7 per transaction.</p> <p>Imagine if over the course if your trip you visited the wrong ATM 10 times and ended up with $70 worth of fees. Fear not, though. I'll go over the most common fees you may run into on the road and show you how to avoid them.</p> <h2>ATM Fees</h2> <p>ATMs are probably going to be your biggest enemy when it comes to overseas bank fees. Most American banks will charge you between $5&ndash;$7 per overseas ATM withdrawal. If you travel a lot or take out money frequently while on the road, these can quickly add up.</p> <p>The best way to save money on bank fees is to do a little bit of preplanning before your trip. You have a couple of options that can help you eliminate ATM fees.</p> <h3>1. Capital One 360</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-360-review">Capital One 360 Checking</a> account holders can use any ATM without incurring usage or foreign transaction fees. This is an online only account (which is why it has no fees), but it even earns interest. Those are two big bonuses for anyone who travels internationally frequently.</p> <h3>2. Charles Schwab</h3> <p>Charles Schwab accounts have no fees and they reimburse all your ATM fees at the end of each month.</p> <p>You have to open a high-yield checking account in order to qualify, but their debit card can be used in any ATM around the world and you'll never pay a cent in bank fees. There is no minimum deposit required and no monthly service fee either.</p> <h3>3. TD Bank</h3> <p>With the TD account, you are charged a flat $2.50 fee for ATM withdrawals and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <h3>4. Global ATM Alliance</h3> <p>A group of international banks have come together to form the Global ATM Alliance. Basically, any customer who holds an account with a participating bank can take out money from any associated ATMs without a fee. Note that while you won't be charged for using a member bank ATM, you may still get charged foreign transaction fees based on the amount you withdraw. Make sure you check with your bank precisely what their fees are.</p> <p>The Global ATM Alliance includes the following banks:</p> <ul> <li>Bank of America (United States)</li> <li>Barclays (England, Wales, Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, and certain countries in Africa)</li> <li>BNP Paribas (France, Ukraine)</li> <li>China Construction Bank (China; Bank of America card holders only)</li> <li>Deutsche Bank (Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, and Italy)</li> <li>Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (Italy)</li> <li>Santander Serfin (Mexico; Bank of America card holders only)</li> <li>Scotiabank (Canada, Caribbean, Peru, Chile, and Mexico)</li> <li>Westpac (Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands)</li> <li>ABSA (South Africa)</li> <li>UkrSibbank (Ukraine)</li> </ul> <h3>5. Avoid Credit Card Fees</h3> <p>Many credit cards charge a 3%&ndash;5% fee on any purchase made overseas. Think about that for a second. If you go on a two-week family vacation and spend $6,000 out of country, you would end up paying $180 in fees. Luckily, not all credit cards charge this fee, so choosing <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation">the right credit card for travel</a> can save you a lot of money on the road. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>A Few Extra Tips</h2> <p>Take a few other extra steps to make sure you aren't spend a few more extra dollars every time you reach for more cash.</p> <h3>6. Don't Use Random ATMs</h3> <p>While it may be convenient to use the ATM at your hotel or at the corner store, these are typically the ones that will cost you the most in fees.</p> <h3>7. Don't Exchange Money on the Street</h3> <p>Sometimes it's tempting to exchange money with the random guy outside the bank or the people standing around at border crossings. <em>Don't</em>! You may think that they have better rates than the bank, but they're usually scammers. Best case scenario, you get a bad exchange rate, worst case ... you get completely ripped off.</p> <h3>8. Avoid Currency Exchange Booths</h3> <p>While not quite as bad as the hustlers on the street corner, currency exchange booths are the next worst thing and typically have horrible exchange rates, especially ones located in airports.</p> <h3>9. Exchange With Other Travelers</h3> <p>If you end up with a bunch of extra local currency at the end of your trip, consider selling it to another traveler for USD. You'll probably get a better rate and you can avoid all bank and conversion fees this way.</p> <h3>10. Always Pick the Local Currency</h3> <p>Oftentimes when you use your credit card abroad, the machine will give you an option to use your home currency. Don't do this. They will usually charge you a worse conversion rate than your credit card if you just use local currency.</p> <h3>11. Download the XE App</h3> <p>It's always best to know the exchange rate for the country you're traveling to. The <a href="http://www.xe.com/apps/">XE Currency App</a> is a handy little app will automatically update every day with the exact exchange rate.</p> <p><em>How do you access cash when you travel &mdash; and avoid bank fees?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F11-ways-to-avoid-bank-fees-while-traveling&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F11%20Ways%20to%20Avoid%20Bank%20Fees%20While%20Traveling.jpg&amp;description=11%20Ways%20to%20Avoid%20Bank%20Fees%20While%20Traveling" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/11%20Ways%20to%20Avoid%20Bank%20Fees%20While%20Traveling.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-avoid-bank-fees-while-traveling">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/dont-let-these-expenses-spoil-your-retirement-abroad">Don&#039;t Let These Expenses Spoil Your Retirement Abroad</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/dont-get-taken-how-to-evaluate-an-exchange-rate">Don&#039;t Get Taken: How to Evaluate an Exchange Rate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-honeymoons-that-only-seem-expensive">5 Amazing Honeymoons That Only Seem Expensive</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/travel-and-money-using-prepaid-travel-cards">Travel and Money: Using Prepaid Travel Cards</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/charged-with-an-overdraft-fee-get-your-money-back">Charged With an Overdraft Fee? Get Your Money Back!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Travel abroad atms bank fees exchange rates foreign transaction fees overseas Fri, 08 Jul 2016 09:00:12 +0000 Nick Wharton 1746055 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 "Tourist Towns" That Are Actually Great to Live In http://www.wisebread.com/6-tourist-towns-that-are-actually-great-to-live-in <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-tourist-towns-that-are-actually-great-to-live-in" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_bike_beach_93011895.jpg" alt="Man living in tourist town that&#039;s actually fun to live in" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's not uncommon to vacation somewhere spectacular and instantly become overwhelmed by the feeling that you never, ever want to leave. But, unless you're rich, relocating to Hawaii, Southern California, or Martha's Vineyard is probably not a very viable option.</p> <p>Alas, not every tourist town is overrun with millionaires and glitz. In fact, some destination enclaves are well-equipped with not just superior scenery, but also job opportunity and housing priced within reach. Read on for our roundup of tourist towns that you just might be able to afford to call home.</p> <h2>1. Virginia Beach, Virginia</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/virginia_beach_4432781.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Best known for its vibrant boardwalks and sandy beaches, Virginia Beach is also flush with many of the qualifiers that make a community a great place to call home: Good schools, low crime, very low tax rates, and a slowly, but steadily improving post-recession economic climate, to name a few. And let's not forget those warm summers and mild winters.</p> <p>The area is also riding high on a ranking by U.S. News &amp; World Report as one of the <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/real-estate/articles/2009/08/19/americas-10-best-places-to-grow-up.html">best places to grow up</a>. In the wake of the Great Recession, Virginia Beach's housing market is slowly rebounding. Right now the median home sales price falls around $235,000. Yet as the city's population grows, employment opportunities remain plentiful. The agribusiness, military, and tourism sectors are thriving, while active industrial and office space development continue to lure in new industries.</p> <h2>2. Flagstaff, Arizona</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/flagstaff_arizona_scene_80790977.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Full of Old West flavor, Flagstaff is a friendly Arizona mountain town with 288 days of sunshine, a mild climate (by southwest USA standards, anyway), and easy access to top-of-the-line camping, rock climbing, hiking, and skiing. Bonus: Grand Canyon National Park is just 90 minutes away.</p> <p>What you may not know is that Flagstaff is also a <a href="http://www.chooseflagstaff.com/doing-business-here/city-profile/">quaint college </a>town with an affordable rental market, thanks to nearly 25,000 students who call Flagstaff home. Homeownership, on the other hand, can be a bit more pricey &mdash; but not altogether out of reach. The median price of a home in greater Flagstaff currently hovers around $319,000. Overall, the <a href="http://www.flagstaffchamber.com/economic-development/cost-of-living/">cost of living</a> in Flagstaff is slightly above the national average. With an average household income of $70,000, Flagstaff is also a hub for bioscience, tech, and manufacturing. Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff Medical Center, and the medical device manufacturer W.L. Gore &amp; Associates are the top employers here.</p> <h2>3. Palm Beach, Florida</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/palm_beach_florida_86138281.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Six million visitors descend on Palm Beach every year for its beaches, boating, world-class shopping, and more than 160 golf courses, including some of the most acclaimed greens in the U.S.</p> <p>But did you know that this Florida resort region also has a blossoming technology industry, with app developers and web innovators carving out a new innovation hub? Or that Palm Beach County school district has eighth-highest graduation rate in the nation? Or that wages here are higher than most other parts of Florida? And, in addition to some of the world's most tantalizingly beautiful multimillion dollar waterfront homes, Palm Beach has <a href="http://realtime.blog.palmbeachpost.com/2016/03/23/top-10-palm-beach-countys-busiest-new-home-developments-have-nothing-for-middle-class-families/">middle class housing options</a> &mdash; they are not plentiful, but they do exist. The median price of an existing house sold in Palm Beach County is currently about $295,000.</p> <h2>4. Coeur d'Alene, Idaho</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/brewster_massachusetts_23888034066_553f4fc369_z.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Situated on a gorgeous natural lake by the same name, this Idaho Panhandle city boasts more than 100 miles of shoreline as well as a renowned parkway that's perfect for cycling, jogging, or walking. An enviable vacation destination, affordable housing, and favorable corporate tax laws also make Coeur d'Alene a great place to live.</p> <p>The median home price in Coeur d'Alene hovers around $188,000 and the cost of living is nearly 7% below the national average. There's also ample opportunity for jobs. The mining, health care, tourism, and food service industries all have a notable presence here, which has helped earn the city slot number 14 on Forbes list of best places for business and careers.</p> <h2>5. Brewster, Massachusetts</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/brewster_massachusetts_windmill_50072494.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Great schools, low unemployment, moderate housing prices, and easy access to museums, state parks, and beaches make Brewster one of the most livable small towns in Cape Cod. Bustling during the summer season, Brewster and the rest of the Cape fall quiet in autumn through spring, offering residents peace, quiet, and beautiful natural landscapes without the crowds.</p> <p>This region full of artists, small business owners, mariners, and outdoorsmen has a median home price of about $396,000 &mdash; and climbing. Yet while there are cheaper Cape towns, Brewster is worth the extra chunk of change for families and those who prize access to educational institutions and low crime.</p> <h2>6. Tampa, Florida</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/tampa_florida_beach_69509291.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Prized for its favorable weather, shoreline beauty, lively night life, and casual lifestyle, Tampa is a modern paradise that's all-too-often overlooked as place to set a welcome mat outside the front door. Tampa real estate is tens of thousands of dollars below the national average, with a median home price of less than $170,000. What's more, Tampa is <a href="http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2016/04/15/tampa-bay-region-ranks-second-in-job-growth-first.html">experiencing rapid job growth</a>. Other considerations: Tampa has the <a href="http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2016/01/25/tampa-metro-cost-of-living-lowest-in-florida.html">lowest cost of living in Florida</a>, and there is no state income tax.</p> <p><em>Have you considered relocating to one of these &mdash; or other &mdash; &quot;tourist&quot; towns?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-tourist-towns-that-are-actually-great-to-live-in&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20-Tourist%20Towns-%20That%20Are%20Actually%20Great%20to%20Live%20In.jpg&amp;description=6%20%26quot%3BTourist%20Towns%26quot%3B%20That%20Are%20Actually%20Great%20to%20Live%20In" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20-Tourist%20Towns-%20That%20Are%20Actually%20Great%20to%20Live%20In.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tourist-towns-that-are-actually-great-to-live-in">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-world-cities-you-can-afford">5 Incredible World Cities You Can Afford</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-reasons-you-should-always-hire-a-moving-company">6 Reasons You Should Always Hire a Moving Company</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/dont-forget-to-budget-for-these-unexpected-moving-expenses">Don&#039;t Forget to Budget for These Unexpected Moving Expenses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-cities-for-single-millennials">The 6 Best Cities for Single Millennials</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-100s-on-your-next-move">How to Save $100s on Your Next Move</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing Travel housing market job market moving relocating tourism tourist towns us cities Wed, 06 Jul 2016 09:30:26 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1745833 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Let These Expenses Spoil Your Retirement Abroad http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-these-expenses-spoil-your-retirement-abroad <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-let-these-expenses-spoil-your-retirement-abroad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/globe_world_coins_80768379.jpg" alt="Learning how to keep expenses from spoiling retirement abroad" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The relatively low cost of living in countries like Mexico, Thailand, and Spain makes them <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-places-to-retire-abroad-that-anyone-can-afford">popular destinations for retirement</a>. Your fixed retirement income goes further here, affording the possibility of a little luxury, as well as adventure in your later years.</p> <p>Standard of living, climate, and culture are all massive draws, but retiring abroad can also come with unexpected bills. Take, for example, medical costs, taxes, inheritance restrictions, and house buying fees which are completely different to home. While the everyday cost of living might be favorable, these &quot;one off' costs can stack up.</p> <p>Here are some specific (and perhaps unexpected) bills to watch out for.</p> <h2>Assets and Visas</h2> <p>In order to get a visa as a retiree, you will need to demonstrate that you have the income or assets to support your lifestyle. Because it is assumed you will not work (you're retired, after all), the visa type may prohibit you from taking on employment to supplement your income &mdash; making your pension or other assets absolutely crucial.</p> <p>The amount required to get a visa varies from location to location. For example, to retire to Thailand you must prove you have a monthly income of around $2,000. Although this might seem low to those of us living in Western Europe or North America, this income is double that of the average Thai.</p> <p>If retirement in Mexico floats your boat, you will need to prove you can afford it. A temporary visa which lasts for up to four years requires you to have an income of just over $1,500 a month, or just over $25,000 in the bank. A permanent visa, on the other hand, means you need over four times that in the bank, or a monthly income of over $2,500.</p> <h2>Exchange Rate Woes</h2> <p>Wherever you're headed, if you draw income or pension in one currency, and are planning on spending in another, then you need to understand and make allowances for exchange rate fluctuations. If not, you might find yourself with a hefty bill to pay.</p> <p>For example, if you are planning on buying a house in your new retirement location, and will have a mortgage outstanding on it in a local currency, your payment might change significantly because of the exchange rate. Add in the potential fluctuations in mortgage payments due to interest rate changes, and you might struggle to predict exactly what your housing bills will look like on an ongoing basis.</p> <p>If you own property in your home country, one option is to mortgage that property, and use the cash to buy outright in your adopted country. This means that the mortgage you will be paying is in the same currency that you draw income in, removing one source of worry.</p> <h2>The Cost of Good Health</h2> <p>For something that is truly priceless, keeping in great health can be pretty costly. Because a trip to the hospital can be relatively cheap in many popular retirement destinations, many expat retirees prefer to pay out of pocket for their health care as they need it.</p> <p>Paying for health care is a personal decision, and depends largely on your ease of access to funds, and your attitude to risk. Be warned, though, that in some countries such as Thailand, hospitals have been known to turn away people who cannot prove their ability to pay, either with ready cash or valid insurance. Carry a credit card on you if you choose not to invest in an insurance policy here!</p> <h2>Home Sweet Home</h2> <p>Buying a new home is seldom stress free &mdash; and doing it abroad is likely to create some unexpected bills and charges. Make sure you're very clear on the costs involved.</p> <p>Across Europe, for example, house buying comes with a whole range of fees which vary from country to country, and quickly mount up. Throw in the additional costs of having documents checked by a notary, or translated by an official translator, and buying somewhere to live can be especially pricey.</p> <p>It is well worth keeping up with the local news in the country you move to, as your liabilities don't necessarily end once the purchase is complete. Homebuyers in Spain have been pursued for tax the authorities deemed payable on property bought up to a decade ago, because of the high numbers of overseas buyers taking advantage of the massive slump in prices. You might not be able to change unexpected bills like these, but at least you can be forewarned.</p> <p>Part of what makes life overseas exciting is the opportunity to gather new experiences along the way. However, some of these differences can make life that little bit more challenging, too. Many of the costs associated with retiring abroad are unavoidable &mdash; but by being aware in advance, you can better manage the bills as they come in.</p> <p>There's no substitute for your own research. If you're thinking of building a life abroad for your retirement years, then get your finances prepared, so you can enjoy peace of mind.</p> <p><em>Are you planning to retire abroad? What do you think &mdash; does the lower cost of living outweigh the risk of financial surprises?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-these-expenses-spoil-your-retirement-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-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/11-ways-to-avoid-bank-fees-while-traveling">11 Ways to Avoid Bank Fees While Traveling</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/retire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries">Retire for Half the Cost in These 5 Countries</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/dont-get-taken-how-to-evaluate-an-exchange-rate">Don&#039;t Get Taken: How to Evaluate an Exchange Rate</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-amazing-honeymoons-that-only-seem-expensive">5 Amazing Honeymoons That Only Seem Expensive</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-incredible-places-to-retire-abroad-that-anyone-can-afford">5 Incredible Places to Retire Abroad That Anyone Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement Travel abroad exchange rates expats health care overseas retirees second homes unexpected bills visas Wed, 06 Jul 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Claire Millard 1745832 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things to Leave Behind During Your Midsummer Trip http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_85572493_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="Leave these things home on vacation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the price of travel going up and the amount of luggage you can carry going down, packing can no longer be a last-minute activity. Spend time making sure you don't bring anything you don't need. When I traveled home for a month after spending a year in New Zealand, I only had a backpack, which contained everything I needed &mdash; including a first aid kit.</p> <p>Here are some obvious (and not so obvious) items to leave at home when you head out of town. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-for-free?ref=seealso">14 Useful Items Hotels Usually Provide for Free</a>)</p> <h2>1. Coffee/Tea/Coffee Maker</h2> <p>Almost everywhere you go, whether it be a hotel or an Airbnb, will likely have coffee, tea, and something to make it in. If you're going for an Airbnb or VRBO, make sure to check the description or send a message to the owner to see what is available.</p> <h2>2. Towels</h2> <p>Unless you're in <em>Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy</em>, you don't need a towel when you travel. Make sure towels are provided ahead of time, as some hostels don't provide them. A friend and I didn't make sure we had enough towels when we went to Paris and we had to use hand towels. Check ahead!</p> <h2>3. Full-Sized Toiletries</h2> <p>Don't bring full-sized toiletries with you, because you absolutely don't need them. The 3-oz. rule is applicable only for carry-ons, but you should implement it either way. Buy a small refillable bottle that you can use over and over. I have one for every toiletry and refill it whenever I need to. Make sure they're labeled though. I have been known to style my hair with face wash.</p> <h2>4. Hair Dryers and Irons</h2> <p>Hair dryers and irons are usually provided in hotels and most other rental places. If you can't find them in your room, call down to the front desk. While you're at it, they also usually have toothpaste, toothbrushes, sewing kits, and a myriad of other things you might've forgotten.</p> <h2>5. Full-Sized Pillows</h2> <p>There is absolutely no need for a full-sized pillow on a trip, and even most hostels will provide these. Pillows can be cumbersome and difficult to stuff into a bag. Again, make sure to check a website or call the place you're staying to make sure a pillow is available. I don't even travel with my travel pillow anymore, because besides the during plane ride, I don't use it.</p> <h2>6. Workout Clothes</h2> <p>Unless you actually plan on working out, bringing an extra pair of sneakers, socks, and workout clothes just takes up room in your bag. I've taken these multiple times on business trips and I've only used them once. In general, make sure you're only taking what you need or that you'll actually use what you take.</p> <h2>7. Uncomfortable Shoes</h2> <p>Unless you're in a wedding or attending a gala, taking uncomfortable shoes on a trip makes no sense. There are plenty of cute, comfortable options besides the four inch heels you were thinking about taking. Plan ahead and make sure you won't need them, and if not, leave them in your closet.</p> <h2>8. Speakers</h2> <p>Most hotels provide bluetooth or iPhone speakers, so you don't need to bring your own. If you're traveling to a hostel, having speakers can be rude because of thin walls and shared rooms. Check with your Airbnb and VRBO host to see if they have speakers. Taking an audio cord isn't a bad idea though, as sometimes I've noticed the speakers in my hotel room only work with the first version of the iPhone.</p> <h2>9. Expensive Items</h2> <p>Be it jewelry, bags, or computers &mdash; don't pack anything you don't actually need. Not only do you have the chance to lose them, but someone might steal them from your room. The most recent Powerball winners from Tennessee took their winning ticket all the way to the <em>Today Show</em> in New York before cashing it in back in Tennessee. Don't do that.</p> <h2>10. Credit Cards, Social Security Cards, or Other Important Documents</h2> <p>If you're not traveling abroad, don't take your passport. If you don't need your work credit card, don't take it. There should be no real reason to have your Social Security card or birth certificate on you. The reason to not take these items is simple: Replacing them can be a nightmare.</p> <p><em>What do you leave at home when you travel?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-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-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/25-ways-to-have-the-best-cheapest-summer-vacation">25 Ways to Have the Best, Cheapest Summer Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip">7 Travel Hacks for an Affordable Summer Road 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/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</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-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</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-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online">8 Ways to Save on Accommodations Online</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Shopping Travel amenities hotels midsummer travel summer vacation travel checklist travel hacks vacation Tue, 05 Jul 2016 09:30:26 +0000 Jennifer Holder 1743313 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Useful Items Hotels Usually Provide for Free http://www.wisebread.com/14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-for-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-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/33142202.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We've all been there. You're in that pre-trip rush, and you forget to pack an essential travel item, or just need a little something extra when you arrive at the hotel. Before you make that trip to the gift shop or convenience store, swing by the front desk. Many hotels are well-stocked with freebies and extras for road-weary travelers. Here are 14 useful items hotels usually provide free of charge.</p> <h2>1. Extra Pillows and Blankets</h2> <p>I'm man enough to admit it &mdash; I need at least five pillows (two on each side and one under my head) to get a good night's sleep. In recent years, hotels have begun to appreciate how important pillows are to the guest experience. Besides offering an extra pillow or two upon request, major chains such as Holiday Inn now offer quests pillow menus &mdash; just pick your pillows based on the preferred firmness level.</p> <h2>2. Roll-Away Beds</h2> <p>Many hotels will provide a rollaway bed for an unexpected guest or to accommodate an unusually large group. It may not be the most comfortable way to sleep, but it beats the floor.</p> <h2>3. Nightlights</h2> <p>Nightlights can help small children and the elderly navigate unfamiliar spaces. Higher-end chains provide nightlights to guests upon request.</p> <h2>4. Earplugs</h2> <p>Though providing guests with free earplugs may imply a less-than-ideal location, they're part of the standard offerings at La Quinta and DoubleTree hotels. These chains have realized an important truth: Cities (and guests!) can be noisy &mdash; especially during big events. Often, a disposable pair of foam earplugs can mean the difference between a decent sleep and a fitful night of tossing and turning. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-sounder-sleep-at-hotels?ref=seealso">Tips for Sounder Sleep at Hotels</a>)</p> <h2>5. Sewing Kits</h2> <p>Have a loose button or split seam? Don't come unraveled. Many large hotel chains have complementary sewing kits on-hand for just such wardrobe malfunctions.</p> <h2>6. Activities for Kids</h2> <p>An occupied kid is a happy kid. If you forgot to pack your little one's favorite toy, ask the hotel staff to help. Many chains offer coloring books and crayons, word search books, and other age-appropriate material that promotes nearby attractions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-must-do-if-youre-traveling-with-kids?ref=seealso">9 Things You Must Do If You're Traveling With Kids</a>)</p> <h2>7. Board Games</h2> <p>Snowed in? Rained out? Many hotels will deliver board games to guests' rooms or provide them as part of the amenities in the lobby.</p> <h2>8. Books</h2> <p><a href="https://www.countryinns.com/feature.do?feature=riar">Country Inn &amp; Suites' Read It &amp; Return It Lending Library</a> lets guests borrow a book free of charge. It's pressure-free. Readers who haven't finished the book by the end of their stay can just return it next time. How's that for service?</p> <h2>9. Phone Chargers</h2> <p>Who hasn't left for vacation and completely forgotten their cellphone charger? When (not if) this happens to you, your friendly hotel staff can help. Most hotels have a respectable collection of chargers left behind by previous guests and are happy to pass one on.</p> <h2>10. Toothpaste and Toothbrushes</h2> <p>Got a wicked case of morning breath? Basic oral hygiene products like toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, and even toothbrushes are available at the front desk.</p> <h2>11. Razors</h2> <p>Have an important meeting but forgot to pack a razor? Never fear. Savvy hotels &mdash; especially those that cater to business travelers &mdash; usually keep a stash of extras at the front desk.</p> <h2>12. Curling Irons and Straightening Irons</h2> <p>Ladies, if you've forgotten your curling or straightening iron, don't despair. Many top hotels chains such as Kimpton and Hyatt have loaners on-hand. Check with the front desk staff and don't miss a beat in your morning routine.</p> <h2>13. Snacks</h2> <p>We're all familiar with the complementary coffee and cookies available in most hotel lobbies. But some of the more accommodating hotel staff members will raid the continental breakfast bar after hours to help a guest in need. Yogurt, fruit, energy bars, and bottles of juice are the standard fare and will work in a pinch.</p> <h2>14. Dog Treats</h2> <p>Pets are family and pet owners are loyal to hotels that don't forget Fido. Many pet-friendly hotels provide free dog treats and even loan out food and water bowls for their four-legged guests.</p> <p><em>What's the most surprising thing you've received for no charge at a hotel? What do you wish more hotels offered their guests? Share with us!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-for-free&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F14%20Useful%20Items%20Hotels%20Usually%20Provide%20for%20Free_0.jpg&amp;description=14%20Useful%20Items%20Hotels%20Usually%20Provide%20for%20Free" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/14%20Useful%20Items%20Hotels%20Usually%20Provide%20for%20Free_0.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-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-13"> <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/6-budget-friendly-beach-destinations">6 Budget-Friendly Beach Destinations</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/12-ways-to-save-and-make-money-while-traveling">12 Ways to Save and Make Money While Traveling</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-ways-to-save-on-smartphone-costs-while-traveling">8 Ways to Save on Smartphone Costs While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online">8 Ways to Save on Accommodations Online</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/is-your-hotel-hiding-these-5-fees-in-your-bill">Is Your Hotel Hiding These 5 Fees in Your Bill?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel beauty products free stuff hotel hotel amenities travel travel accessories travel hacks travel tips Thu, 23 Jun 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Kentin Waits 1737238 at http://www.wisebread.com