Travel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/254/all en-US 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> <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-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/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-2 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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <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> <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-ways-a-more-expensive-hotel-room-can-save-you-money">6 Ways a More Expensive Hotel Room Can Save You Money</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 The World's Most Affordable Michelin-Starred Restaurants http://www.wisebread.com/the-worlds-most-affordable-michelin-starred-restaurants <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-worlds-most-affordable-michelin-starred-restaurants" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/spotted-pig.jpg" alt="the spotted pig" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You don't have to eat at a Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, or Wolfgang Puck Restaurant to enjoy Michelin Star quality meals. In fact, you can have world-class food for as little as $5 a meal. That's right. Here are the world's cheapest Michelin Star restaurants where you can eat in style, without breaking the bank. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-fool-proof-ways-to-stay-within-your-travel-budget?ref=seealso">7 Fool-Proof Ways to Stay Within Your Travel Budget</a>)</p> <h2>1. Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/tim-ho-wan.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>I had the great pleasure of dining at this famous dim sum and dumpling restaurant during a recent trip to the &quot;Pearl of the Orient&quot; and it lived up to its reputation, for sure. People are lining up down the street to get into the world's cheapest Michelin Star restaurant and for good reason.</p> <p>Not only does this place serve up the best dumplings and dim sum in Asia, but the servers are on the ball from open until close. While you're waiting in line on the street, they come by with a pencil and a menu so that you can fill out your order. By the time you get to your table, the food is hot and ready.</p> <p>I gorged myself on an assortment of stuffed pork buns, dumplings, and dim sums, and the entire bill came out to $5.50! Unbelievable. It's located near the Hong Kong Station in central Hong Kong. Tim Ho Wan would be hard to find if it wasn't for the fact that the queue usually goes all the way around the block.</p> <h2>2. Nakajima in Tokyo, Japan</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/nakajima.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The Eastern Capital is famous for having more Michelin Star restaurants than any other city in the world, but Nakajima is one where you can feast on fish without using all of your yen. In the evening, Nakajima restaurant serves exquisite kaiseki (Japanese haute cuisine) dinners while on weekdays, it churns out a delicious set lunch of iwashi (sardines).</p> <p>Nakajima is a third-generation, family-run restaurant and it is located in Shinjuku (downtown Tokyo). Eating here can cost as little as 800&yen; ($7.50) and you'll probably return again and again. It's located at 〒160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku, 3 Chome&minus;32&minus;5 日原ビル, downtown Tokyo, but make sure you get here early because the line for lunch usually starts forming at around 11:00 a.m.</p> <h2>3. The Spotted Pig in New York City</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/spotted-pig.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>And you thought you were going to have to travel halfway across the world to enjoy affordable Michelin Star cuisine. Luckily, there's a one-star Italian/British eatery right in your backyard. The Spotted Pig in New York City was created by two unlikely partners. celebrity chef Mario Batali and hip hop mogul Jay Z joined forces to open this successful New York Bistro, and today it comes in at the third cheapest Michelin Star restaurant in the world.</p> <p>Maybe Mario and Jay Z have made enough money already, so they're offering excellent food at affordable prices. Whatever the case may be, don't miss The Spotted Pig on your next visit to the Big Apple. It's located at 314 West 11th Street, at Greenwich Street.</p> <h2>4. I Tigli a Lago in Como, Italy</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/i-tiglig-a-lago.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Somewhat hidden in a seldomly visited town in Northern Italy, I Tigli a Lago earned its Michelin Star in 2012, and has been churning out the most affordable Michelin-quality food in Italy ever since. A meal here will still cost you over $60, but considering how prestigious this place is, that's a pretty great value.</p> <p>According to I Tigli a Lago, the restaurant offers &quot;both an experience of contemporary high cuisine and an unexpected path of balanced and refined tastes, featuring local and seasonal products.&quot;</p> <p>Michelin's review claimed that the eating experience at I Tigli in Theoria restaurant is really fascinating, with its delicate and sophisticated tasting paths and refined food, in a charming location arising love for the culinary art.</p> <p>The restaurant is located at Via Bianchi Giovini, 41 22100 Como, Italy and is open for lunch every day and dinner everyday except Sunday.</p> <h2>5. Hand and Flowers in Marlow, UK</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/hand-and-flowers.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you are surprised that there are five affordable Michelin Star restaurants, you'll be shocked to find out that Hand and Flowers doesn't just have one star, but two. This place is located in the quiet town of Marlow and offers a traditional Sunday lunch, but the best deals on offer are the set lunches.</p> <p>This place offers a two-course set lunch menu for just 15 pounds ($22) and a three-course set menu for a mere 19.50 pounds ($28.50). That means that the lunch menu only costs $11 per course for two courses, or under $10 per course if you order the three-course meal. You really can't beat those prices.</p> <p>The set lunch features white onion and herb velouté with chestnut tortellini and toasted lemon with a smoked brisket of beef, english mustard mash, and rhubarb fool. And to finish it all off, a ginger sorbet and oat crumble. Mmm... My mouth is watering just writing this.</p> <h2>Bon Appetit!</h2> <p>A meal at a Michelin Star restaurant doesn't have to break your budget. Put these places on your gastronomic bucket list because they are truly worth their star status.</p> <p><em>Have you ever eaten at a Michelin Star restaurant? Was it expensive and if so, was it worth it? Please share in the comments below.</em></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/the-worlds-most-affordable-michelin-starred-restaurants">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-14-best-ways-to-cut-food-costs-while-traveling">The 14 Best Ways to Cut Food Costs 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/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</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-secrets-restaurants-dont-want-you-to-know">6 Secrets Restaurants Don&#039;t Want You to Know</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/are-you-eating-the-10-most-over-priced-restaurant-menu-items">Are You Eating the 10 Most Over-Priced Restaurant Menu Items?</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/five-more-tips-for-eating-in-restaurants-and-sticking-to-a-budget">Five More Tips For Eating In Restaurants And Sticking To A Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Travel 5 star restaurants dining out fancy dinner michelin starred restaurants restaurants saving money Thu, 23 Jun 2016 09:30:25 +0000 Nick Wharton 1736929 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money Moves Students Should Make During a Gap Year http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_travel_selfie_58375086.jpg" alt="Man making money moves during his gap year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Parents and soon-to-be college students are giving the gap year a second look after the White House announced that Malia Obama will be taking one <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/us/politics/malia-obama-to-attend-harvard-but-not-until-2017.html?_r=1">before attending Harvard in 2017</a>. Also popularized by England's Prince Harry, who famously took time out for ranching in Australia and volunteer work in Africa in 2004, the gap year is a break between high school and the start of a person's higher education (or between college and graduate school).</p> <p>Most often, the gap year is used by young people as an opportunity to see the world, explore new cultures, immerse themselves in a nonacademic pursuit, work a job or internship, or volunteer for a cause. The goal is to gain valuable life experience before delving deeper into academics, trade school, military service &mdash; wherever your next step in life takes you.</p> <p>Of course, a year of self-exploration doesn't come free. Read on for our student guide to prepping finances for a gap year.</p> <h2>1. Start Saving a Year Out</h2> <p>How much a gap year will cost depends on how you plan to use it. So, map out your yearlong plan, estimating how much money you'll need. Of course, plans change. And that's okay. All you really need is a good estimate to get you motivated to start saving.</p> <h2>2. Open a Gap Year Bank Account</h2> <p>Now that you've got a savings goal, open up a separate bank account to house your gap year fund drive. To make your big funding goal seem more achievable, break it down into smaller, more manageable monthly and weekly goals. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed. Next, devise a plan for reaching these mini-fundraising goals. Will you cut down on weekend spending? Will you get a part-time job or pick up extra hours at your existing gig? Whatever you decide, be sure to hold yourself accountable.</p> <h2>3. Apply for a Grant or Scholarship</h2> <p>There are plenty of grants and scholarships out there created specifically to ease the financial burden of enrichment programming and travel during the gap year. If you have interest in visiting the Middle East, for example, a grant from Unofficial Ambassadors' <a href="http://unofficialambassadors.com/our-programs/aua-mosaic-scholarship/">Mosaic Grants Program</a> can make the experience more affordable. If you have demonstrated leadership in tackling issues aimed at protecting the environment, the <a href="http://www.broweryouthawards.org/">Brower Youth Awards</a>, which is an initiative by Earth Island Institute, divvies out $3,000 scholarships to young people each year.</p> <p>Be sure to also check out any opportunities offered by your prospective university or college as well as local organizations in your area. In Humboldt County, California, for example, there's a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.americangap.org/humboldtscholarship.php">generous annual scholarship</a> that offers up to $6,000 to gap year students who are seeking participation in a program accredited by the American Gap Association. Schools including Tufts University and the University of North Carolina have financial aid programs for gap year students, as well.</p> <h2>4. Give Creative Fundraising a Shot</h2> <p>There are so many ways to rake in extra cash. Just ask the twin teens from England who used their gap year to cultivate a loyal following on a YouTube channel that has earned them <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/9544479/YouTube-videos-funded-our-gap-year-travels.html">tons of money in advertising</a>, which funded their year of travel. Other ideas: Launch a crowdfunding campaign or host an event &mdash; battle of the bands, pool party, theatrical performance &mdash; to which you sell tickets that will cover your expenses.</p> <h2>5. Invest in Traveler's Insurance</h2> <p>If you plan to travel abroad during your gap year, organizations such as <a href="https://www.internationalsos.com/">International SOS</a> offer top-notch insurance policies that can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars should something go wrong. Let's hope you never need it. Truth be told, most of the time traveler's insurance does end up being a waste of money. But should you ever need to cover the cost of inconveniences such as a last-minute trip cancellation, emergency medical evacuation, or lost luggage, you'll be more than glad that you have it.</p> <p>Of all the expenses to skimp on while traveling abroad, don't let insurance be one of them. After you choose a plan, be sure to do your research so that you know exactly what it covers &mdash; and what it doesn't.</p> <h2>6. Learn the Ins and Outs of Your Bank's ATM Fees</h2> <p>Commit to memory the occasions on which your bank will hit you with an ATM fee. Then be sure to avoid them. While a few dollars here and there might not seem like much, over time they can really add up. Just as there's no reason to throw money out the window, there's no reason to not educate yourself on your bank's ATM fee policies.</p> <h2>7. Devise a Strategy for Accessing Day-to-Day Funds Abroad</h2> <p>Despite fees, ATMs are still the best bet for accessing money abroad. If your travels are set to land you in a major international airport, you'll likely get the best rate by withdrawing cash in the local currency from an ATM upon arrival to your destination city. While it can be comforting to travel with some local currency already in your pocket, having that convenience will cost you. You'll have to fork over a commission fee to exchange money at a bank or ATM in the U.S.</p> <p>However, if you'll be flying into a smaller airport, there may not be any ATMs &mdash; or at least not any properly functioning ones &mdash; when you get there. In this case, it's best to travel with about $100 in the local currency so that you can pay for immediate expenses, such as food and transportation, without hassle. Once you journey outside the airport, you can find an ATM and withdraw more local money at a better rate.</p> <h2>8. Reapply for FAFSA</h2> <p>Students who qualify for federal financial aid before deferring college for a year must reapply the next year by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. So long as the finances of the student's family don't change in a major way, the student will likely receive the same financial aid package. Also, students who have secured a scholarship from their university can sometimes negotiate to have the aid held for them until their delayed matriculation. So if you have a university or college-funded scholarship, be sure to inquire about how you can go about receiving the award after your gap year.</p> <p><em>Did you &mdash; or will you &mdash; take a gap year? What'd you do? How did you prepare your finances before you left?</em></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/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year">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-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt">5 Sobering Facts About Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-common-financial-aid-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them">The 10 Most Common Financial Aid Mistakes — And How To Avoid Them</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-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</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/dont-skip-these-8-tax-breaks-for-students">Don&#039;t Skip These 8 Tax Breaks for Students</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/a-better-way-to-rank-americas-colleges">A Better Way to Rank America&#039;s Colleges</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Travel atm fees bank accounts college financial aid gap year scholarships self exploration students traveling abroad Tue, 21 Jun 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1735468 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Business Travel Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/best-business-travel-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-business-travel-credit-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000042581002.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you have a small business? Having a business travel rewards credit card can be a great way to separate your business and personal expenses while earning valuable points and miles. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=5x">Best Small Business Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>Business credit cards work much like personal cards, except that they offer rewards that are focused on the expenses of business users, such as office supplies, telecommunications services, and advertising. In addition, these cards can offer valuable features for business users including employee cards, payment summaries, transaction tagging, and receipt tracking. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-you-should-get-a-business-credit-card-over-a-consumer-card?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=5x">When You Should Get a Business Credit Card Over a Consumer Card</a>)</p> <p>Here are the best business travel credit cards that you should consider.</p> <h2>The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN</h2> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=7&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1348"><img width="154" border="0" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" alt="" src=" http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/the-enhanced-business-gold-rewards-card-from-american-express-open-013015.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=7&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1348">Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN</a> offers 3x points on the spending category of your choice (among categories like airfare purchased directly from airlines, U.S. purchases for advertising in select media, U.S. purchases at gas stations, U.S. purchases for shipping, U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers). In addition to the 3x points you get in your chosen category, you earn 2x points on all remaining categories and 1x point on other purchases. Points are earned in the American Express Membership Rewards program which offers gift cards, travel reservations, and transfers of points to airline miles.</p> <p>New cardholders receive 25,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. This card also features numerous business benefits including their ReceiptMatch service and OPEN Savings program for business purchases. There is a $175 annual fee for this card which is waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees. Terms and limitations apply.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=7&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1348">Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Miles for Business</h2> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=32&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1348"><img width="154" border="0" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" alt="" src=" http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/capital-one-spark-miles-business-011916.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=32&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1348">Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Miles for Business&nbsp;card</a> offers a compelling option for travel rewards. Cardholders earn unlimited 2x miles on all purchases, and miles are worth one cent each as statement credits towards travel purchases. New cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $4,500 on purchases within three months of account opening. There is a $59 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=32&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1348">Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;Capital One&reg; Spark&reg; Miles for Business Credit Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>CitiBusiness&reg; / AAdvantage&reg; Platinum Select&reg; World MasterCard&reg;</h2> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=58&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1348"><img width="154" border="0" alt="" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/CitiBusinessAAdvantagePlatinumSelectWorldMasterCard-0601.JPG" /></a>American Airlines customers will appreciate the <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=58&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1348">CitiBusiness&reg; / AAdvantage&reg; Platinum Select&reg; World MasterCard&reg;</a>, from our partner Citi,&nbsp; which offers double miles on all American Airlines purchases and one mile per dollar spent elsewhere. Benefits include group 1 priority boarding and your first bag checked free for yourself and up to four others traveling together on the same reservation. In addition, you can earn an American Airlines Companion Certificate each year when you use your card to spend $30,000 or more. Finally, new cardholders earn 30,000 bonus miles after using their card to spend $1,000 within the first three months of account opening. There is a $95 annual fee for this card that's waived the first 12 months, and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=58&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1348">Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;CitiBusiness&reg; / AAdvantage&reg; Platinum Select&reg; World MasterCard&reg; today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Chase Ink Plus Business Credit Card</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-more-points-for-business-purchases-with-the-chase-ink-plus-business-credit-card?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=5x">Chase Ink Plus Business Credit Card</a> offers 5x points for spending at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services (on up to $50,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary year). You also earn 2x points at gas stations and on hotel accommodations when you purchase directly with the hotel (also capped at $50,000 in combined purchases each account anniversary year).</p> <p>Points are worth one cent each toward cash back, gift cards and merchandise, or 1.25 cents towards travel reservations booked through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In addition, you can also transfer your rewards to hotel points or airline miles. New cardholders earn 60,000 points after spending $6,000 within the first 3 months of opening the account. There is a $95 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <h2>Business Platinum Card&reg; from American Express OPEN</h2> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=8&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1348"><img width="154" border="0" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" alt="" src=" http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/the-business-platinum-card-from-american-express-open-013015.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=8&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1348">Business Platinum Card&reg; from American Express OPEN</a> offers numerous premium rewards and benefits. For each dollar spent, cardholders earn one point in American Express's Membership Rewards program, which can be redeemed for gift cards, travel reservations and transfers of points to airline miles. In addition, travelers receive access to the airport lounges in the Delta SkyClub program, Priority Pass Select network, and American Express's own Centurion lounges. Cardholders also receive a $200 annual airline fee credit and a $100 credit towards the application fee for the Global Entry or $85 for the TSA PreCheck program. There is a $450 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees. Terms and restrictions apply.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=205&amp;pid=8&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1348">Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;Business Platinum Card&reg; from American Express OPEN credit card today!</a></strong></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-business-travel-credit-cards">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/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</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-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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access">5 Best Credit Cards with Free Airport Lounge Access</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel best credit cards small business Thu, 16 Jun 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Jason Steele 1711478 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Travel Hacks for an Affordable Summer Road Trip http://www.wisebread.com/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_camera_car_38688948.jpg" alt="Woman using travel hacks on summer road trip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A family road trip can be an amazing bonding experience and memory builder with your kids. It can also be really expensive when you start adding up fuel, lodging, and entertainment costs. But with just a little bit of planning and forethought, you can easily save a big chunk of change and actually end up seeing more sights for less. Here are the secrets you need to know to plan an amazing road trip adventure this summer. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-road-trips?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">Best Credit Cards to Use on Road Trips</a>)</p> <h2>1. Plan With Roadtrippers</h2> <p>When it comes to planning your summer road trip, be sure to use technology to your advantage and download the&nbsp;<a href="https://roadtrippers.com/">Roadtrippers</a> app (free for&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/roadtrippers-road-trip-planner/id944060491">iOS</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.roadtrippers">Android</a>). Not only will it save you money by helping you find lodging deals, but it'll keep you organized and let you plan your trek one day at a time.</p> <p>Once planned, you can even share your road trip across devices and with friends so they can add itinerary suggestions to make it even more memorable. Perhaps the coolest feature of the app is the ability to help you find quirky roadside attractions as you approach them. After all, any experienced road tripper will tell you that some of the most memorable moments are made when finding fun stops along the way to your final destination.</p> <h2>2. Book Hotels Directly and Save</h2> <p>When planning your summer trip this year, consider calling hotels directly to book your room. Online booking sites like Expedia and Orbitz charge hotels a 10%&ndash;15% fee, so many hotels would rather bypass these sites entirely and book directly with you. But before you call, check the travel sites to see the hotel's current rate. Then when you call, politely ask if the hotel can beat that rate by 10%. In many cases, they'll happy beat their online rate and even throw in some free upgrades like a better room or beverage and food credits.</p> <h2>3. VRBO Last-Minute Savings Trick</h2> <p>Vacation Rentals by Owner, also known as&nbsp;<a href="https://www.vrbo.com/">VRBO</a>, puts travelers in direct contact with homeowners looking to rent out their houses, condos, or apartments. If you shop around carefully, roadtrippers can score some great deals, often cheaper than hotels, which are typically much more accommodating for a larger family.</p> <p>But if a homeowner doesn't rent out a particular weekend, they don't make a penny from their vacation rental. So as a smart roadtripper, use this information to your advantage when making your initial VRBO inquiry. Politely ask about the possibility of a 15% discount on the asking nightly rate, especially when inquiring about a last-minute stay. In many cases, homeowners will jump all over this and happily give you a last-minute discount to avoid their place sitting empty. By &quot;last-minute,&quot; I mean within a week of your arrival, as that's when reality sets in for most homeowners that their place is probably going to sit empty.</p> <h2>4. AAA Premier Membership</h2> <p>There's no arguing the fact that an AAA membership provides great peace of mind when hitting the road for a long trip, especially with a family. Emergency roadside assistance like towing after a breakdown, tire changes, and battery jumpstarts are just a few of their useful services. But when planning a long summer road trip, look into upgrading to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aaa.com/aaa/045/pioneer/membership/premier/comparison.htm">AAA Premier</a> membership for $118 annually, up from $58 for the basic membership. This is because Premier comes with up to 200 miles of towing, $1,500 for meals/lodging in the event of a breakdown, and 100 miles of emergency medical transportation.</p> <p>Last summer, I upgraded to AAA Premier just before embarking on a long road trip across the western U.S. with my parents' RV. Sure enough, the RV broke down 75 miles west of Needles, CA on a 115 degree day in the Mojave Desert. Not only did we get a free 75 mile tow, but all lodging and food was paid for as we waited for a new fuel pump to be delivered and installed. AAA ended up reimbursing us close to $700 for the trip interruption. This year I simply downgraded our membership back to the basic, but I'll definitely upgrade it again before our next long road trip.</p> <p>Also, don't forget about AAA discounts that will save you money on hotels, airfare, rental cars, shopping, and entertainment. By getting in the habit of always inquiring about an AAA discount, you can easily pay for your annual basic membership of $58.</p> <h2>5. GasBuddy App</h2> <p>If you're not arming your smartphone with the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gasbuddy.com/">GasBuddy app</a> (free for&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gasbuddy-find-cheap-gas-prices/id406719683">iOS</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gbis.gbandroid">Android</a>) before you leave home, you're bound to overpay at the pump. Not only does the app help you find the cheapest gas stations along your journey, but you'll even earn points for reporting gas prices that could you score you a free $100 gas card. A good GasBuddy strategy is to access the app when your tank gets about a quarter full and search for upcoming gas stations. By doing it this way, and not waiting until your &quot;get gas&quot; light comes on, you'll be able to take advantage of a larger radius of stations and ensure the lowest price per gallon.</p> <h2>6. Drive Early in the Day</h2> <p>Another trick that I learned on our last family road trip was to hit the road early. This allows you to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and fresher eyes for the driver. If you can start your driving by 6 or 7 a.m., not only will you be able to keep the A/C off and enjoy the cool morning air, but you'll be much less likely to overheat your vehicle leading to potentially costly repairs. Not to mention the better gas mileage that you'll get by having the A/C turned off.</p> <p>Financial benefits aside, the early start typically makes it easier to drive long distances and avoids fatigued eyes as they day winds down. Plus, you'll end up at your next stop much earlier in the day, leaving you ample time to explore your surroundings.</p> <h2>7. Find Free Attractions</h2> <p>Perhaps the best way to save money on your next family road trip is to search for free, or almost free, attractions and activities that everyone will love. The best way to do this is to access&nbsp;<a href="http://www.roadtripradar.com/">RoadTripRadar</a> and tell them where you're headed and how far you're willing to travel off your route to see attractions. You can also pick the types of attractions you're interested in, things like museums, parks, farms, outdoor play areas, hiking trails, and camping &mdash; many of which are completely free of charge. Once you have your route all planned out, you can save it for later use, and even enhance it via YouTube videos and save it directly to your GPS unit via a satnav file. They currently support Garmin, TomTom, Navman, and Google Navigator.</p> <p><em>How do you save money when you load up the car and head out on a long road trip?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this Article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Travel%20Hacks%20for%20an%20Affordable%20Summer%20Road%20Trip.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/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-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-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/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/8-great-cheap-summer-vacations">8 Great, Cheap Summer Vacations</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-do-la-on-the-cheap">10 Ways to Do LA On the Cheap</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/car-yoga-and-9-other-ways-to-beat-long-drives">Car Yoga and 9 Other Ways to Beat Long Drives</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/little-road-trips-here-and-there-little-savings-everywhere">Little Road Trips Here and There: Little Savings Everywhere</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Travel AAA driving expedia hotels Orbitz road trips summer vacation tourism travel deals vrbo Wed, 15 Jun 2016 09:30:42 +0000 Kyle James 1728424 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Get Taken: How to Evaluate an Exchange Rate http://www.wisebread.com/dont-get-taken-how-to-evaluate-an-exchange-rate <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-get-taken-how-to-evaluate-an-exchange-rate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hundred_bill_cash_18532606.jpg" alt="Learning how to evaluate an exchange rate" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p style="text-align: left;">Currency exchanges should be simple transactions, requiring only very basic elementary school math. Multiply a couple of numbers and you are done, ready to take your trip abroad free from worry.</p> <p>But there are so many choices of exchange services &mdash; online, in banks, and at the airports &mdash; all offering slightly different rates and service packages. Not only is it draining to figure out which to choose, but it also makes it hard to know whether or not the price you are being charged to switch your hard-earned cash is fair.</p> <p>Check out this quick summary guide to help you calculate and find a fair exchange rate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-prepaid-travel-cards?ref=seealso">Travel and Money: Using Pre Paid Travel Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Why Is Currency Exchange So Confusing?</h2> <p>Some of the confusion around exchange rates is hard wired into the system. Rates vary day by day &mdash; and minute by minute &mdash; depending on trades going on around the world. The range of factors that can influence an exchange rate runs from macroeconomic and political trends, to the quirks of individual high value trades. Concerns about the stability of a currency can cause it to tank, while some good news can see it shooting up as investors want to buy in.</p> <p>Aside from the vagaries of the market, the other major factor influencing rates are the banks and exchange services, themselves. The rates on offer at your main street bank, when exchanging relatively small sums, are quite different from the rates that would be offered to a trader dealing on a daily basis in huge volumes.</p> <p>And because different banks and platforms apply different percentage markups to the exchange rates that are available on the open market, the end result is that there are pretty much as many rates as there are banks. So amid all the moving parts, how do you know if the rate you have been offered is actually fair?</p> <h2>Do the Math</h2> <p>This is the elementary level bit. Let's recap a bit of your childhood math.</p> <p>If you would like to change some money from dollars to euros, you will find the exchange rate, depending on the day and bank rate, listed something like this: 1 USD = 0.89EUR. This means that one dollar will buy you 0.89 euros. If your budget for your super luxury trip is $2,000, the calculation is as follows:</p> <p>2,000 X 0.89 = 1,780</p> <p>So your $2,000 will buy you &euro;1,780.</p> <p>Naturally, you can do the same math backward. If you know the amount in euros that you need for your trip, then you simply find the correct rate, which will look something like this: 1 EUR = 1.12USD. If you know you need &euro;3,000 for your trip, then the sum looks like this:</p> <p>3,000 X 1.12 = 3,360</p> <p>And your trip will cost you the grand total of $3,360.</p> <p>That's the easy part. But how do you know if the rates that are listed in your bank are actually good or not? Crack out the calculator again because there's more math coming.</p> <h2>Banks and the Mid-Market Rate</h2> <p>To know if the rate your bank has on offer is any good, you can compare it to the <em>midmarket rate</em> to work out the percentage markup they are adding for their own profit. Here's how:</p> <h3>Find the Mid-Market Rate</h3> <p>It is easy enough to find the live market rates for most currency pairings from <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/currency-investing">Yahoo! Finance</a>. Simply find the currency pair that you want to exchange between, which will be expressed something like this: GBP/USD, or USD/EUR.</p> <h3>Check the Bank Rate</h3> <p>The market rate you will find in the step above is not the same as the rate you can get from walking into the bank. This is because the market deals with huge trades, and offers favorable rates for volume. The actual rate available to you will depend on the amount you want to exchange, and other factors, like whether you want the money immediately, or can wait.</p> <p>Pick a rate to compare. Let's say we are changing dollars to sterling, for a trip to London. The market rate we found is USD/GBP 0.68. However, the rate offered by an online exchange service is USD/GBP 0.65.</p> <h3>Do the Math</h3> <p>The markup applied by the online exchange service is the difference between the two rates &mdash; but you need to turn this into a percentage to compare it.</p> <p>The difference between the rates is: 0.68 - 0.65 = 0.03</p> <p>To turn this into a percentage, divide it by the market exchange rate and multiply by 100:</p> <p>0.03/0.68 = 0.04411765 (X 100) = 4.41%</p> <p>This is a real example, and shows the huge markup that some online exchange services charge &mdash; exactly why you need to watch out! In this case, the service applied a markup of 4.4% to allow you to change your cash &mdash; a hefty fee. But now that you know the math, you can quickly compare rates &mdash; and choose the service that offers the best value.</p> <h2>So What Do I Do?</h2> <p>Knowing that some currency exchange platforms are charging a big fee is one thing. More useful is knowing what to do about it, so you can knock it off the list of things you might be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-things-most-tourists-overpay-for-and-how-you-can-avoid-them">overcharged for on vacation</a>. There will be a markup on the market rate, but keeping this as low as possible will mean you get more bang for your buck.</p> <p>Research is your friend, especially if you have some time to observe the rates and get a feel for what the market is doing. Currency converters available online are the best way to keep an eye on the fluctuations in rate. If you have the luxury of time, then you can wait for the rate to improve before making your exchange.</p> <p>The biggest threat to your hard-earned cash is the fact that many banks and platforms hide fees and charges in small print. So for example, a bank might claim to charge no commission &mdash; but the chances are that they adjust their rate to mean you pay over the odds for the currency. Or you might find that the package of &quot;premium&quot; perks, like having your cash delivered securely to your home, or being able to sell your spare change back to the bank, turn out to be more expensive than they are worth. Be really clear on the services you need, and you won't be tricked into thinking a package is a great deal when it is not!</p> <p><em>How do you make sure that you get the best deal possible when exchanging your cash for vacation? Let us know in the comments.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Don%27t%20Get%20Taken-%20How%20to%20Evaluate%20an%20Exchange%20Rate_1.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/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-get-taken-how-to-evaluate-an-exchange-rate">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/sensible-ways-to-raise-cash-for-a-wedding">Sensible Ways to Raise Cash for a Wedding</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-debit-card-on-the-road">Travel and Money: Using Your Debit Card on the Road</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/managing-your-short-term-money">Managing Your Short-Term Money</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/my-disgusting-fake-game-show-asks-what-would-you-do-for-money">My disgusting fake game show asks &quot;What would you do for money?&quot;</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/book-review-towers-of-gold">Book review: Towers of Gold</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Banking Travel abroad calculating cash currencies exchange rates fair rates money Tue, 14 Jun 2016 09:00:12 +0000 Claire Millard 1730343 at http://www.wisebread.com Does It Make Sense to Stay in a Hotel Anymore? http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_hammock_beach_000031567486.jpg" alt="Couple wondering if it makes sense to stay in a hotel" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Staying in a hotel isn't necessarily the cheapest option, especially when you're staying in a big city, like New York City. However, before you book that apartment on Airbnb, you should consider the various advantages of staying in a hotel.</p> <h2>Discounts Are Available</h2> <p>Airbnb is <a href="https://www.busbud.com/blog/airbnb-vs-hotel-rates/">not always the cheapest option</a>. Depending on where you stay, it may actually be more affordable to book a hotel. It can be very affordable to stay at a hotel using discounts, promo codes, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">hotel loyalty programs</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">credit card reward programs</a>, and express deals on bidding sites. While you may be able to get a promo code for your very first day on Airbnb, there generally aren't any promo codes available for short-term rentals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources?ref=seealso">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a>)</p> <h2>You Can Complain</h2> <p>When you have a complaint at a hotel, all you have to do is call down to the lobby and let them know. If you want to take it one step further, you can ask to speak with a manager. This will usually result in discounts, upgrades, and just about whatever you ask for.</p> <p>When it comes to Airbnb, there is really nobody to complain to. If you are unhappy with your stay, you're stuck there anyways. At the end of your trip, if things don't go as planned, you may get a full or partial refund on your stay at a hotel. However, if you're booking a short-term rental, you likely won't get a discount.</p> <h2>You Only Have to Deal With Professionals</h2> <p>With Airbnb, you will likely have to deal with the hosts &mdash; before you book your trip and throughout your stay. Some hosts can be less than welcoming or accommodating. At a hotel, your interaction with hotel staff should be minimal, and they are expected to act in a professional, corporate manner.</p> <h2>You Can Enjoy Special Extras</h2> <p>You can expect a number of special extras when you stay at a hotel. These same extras aren't usually included in a short-term rental stay. Some of the most common extras you can often receive from a hotel include:</p> <ul> <li>Free soaps and shampoos (so you don't have to waste your own);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Endless clean towels and linen;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Special treatment on special occasions (let them know if it's your birthday, honeymoon, or anniversary so that they go the extra mile for your trip);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Fitness room or spa;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Business center;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hotel bar or restaurant;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Continental breakfast or buffet.</li> </ul> <h2>Hotels May Be Cleaner</h2> <p>We've all heard the horror stories of black light findings and rumors of how filthy hotel rooms can be. However, have you considered how clean an Airbnb apartment may be? The owners aren't held to any standards, so you may be sleeping in a bed with dirty linen or using old towels.</p> <p>At a hotel, you can expect daily housekeeping, whereas with Airbnb, you're on your own to make the bed, empty the trash, and clean up after yourself. This can result in a tidy hotel versus an unkempt and unorganized Airbnb apartment.</p> <h2>Hotels May Be Safer</h2> <p>When it comes to a hotel, only the front desk and housekeeping should have a key to your room, so you can rest assured that no one should be coming in at night. On the other hand, with Airbnb, you have no idea how many people have the key to the apartment you're staying in, which may might you feel uneasy at night. Hotels also usually have security on the premises, security cameras, computerized door entry cards, and even room safes for enhanced security.</p> <h2>Hotels Are More Relaxing</h2> <p>Staying at a hotel feels more like a vacation from everyday life. It is a break from the normal daily grind. On the other hand, staying in someone's home on Airbnb may feel more like staying at home, with similar responsibilities.</p> <h2>Flexible Stays</h2> <p>You can book a hotel room for as little as one night, whereas with Airbnb, you usually have to book multiple nights. If you are expecting a late night arrival, a hotel is usually very flexible with the check-in time, whereas an Airbnb apartment usually has early check-in times that cannot be negotiated.</p> <h2>Local Assistance</h2> <p>Many avid travelers have made the case for Airbnb that staying in someone's home will allow you to find local favorites and get expert recommendations from your host. However, you can get the same experience from a hotel. Simply ask the concierge for recommendations, directions, and advice about the area. Staying in a downtown or metro area will also automatically put you in touch with some of the best things the area has to offer.</p> <h2>You Get What You Pay For</h2> <p>If you don't get what you see in the hotel's description, you can simply complain and they'll have to hold up to their end of the deal. On the other hand, Airbnb descriptions and photographs can be very misleading, so you don't always get what you're expecting.</p> <h2>Is Airbnb Still the Best Choice?</h2> <p>There are still a number of important reasons to consider short-term rentals. According to Priceonomics, compared to the average hotel room, you can <a href="http://priceonomics.com/hotels/">save up to 50%</a> by renting a private room on Airbnb, and up to 22% by renting an apartment on Airbnb. Those are substantial savings. You'll also have access to an entire apartment, including a kitchen and living area, as opposed to just a cramped hotel room. If you'll be staying in a popular area, like New York City, make sure to carefully weigh your options to determine if a hotel or Airbnb is right for you.</p> <p><em>Do you know of other reasons to stay in a hotel? Have you had experiences at a hotel or Airbnb you'd like to share? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Does%20It%20Make%20Sense%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%20Hotel%20Anymore-.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/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore">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/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package</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-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</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/6-luxe-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-in-winter">6 Luxe Travel Destinations That Are Cheaper in Winter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accomodations AirBnb apartments hotels loyalty programs renting trips vacations Mon, 06 Jun 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1718095 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Smart Ways to Travel the World for Free http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-smart-ways-to-travel-the-world-for-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-smart-ways-to-travel-the-world-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/woman_map_travel_000070316443.jpg" alt="Woman finding smart ways to travel the world for free" 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 smart ways to travel the world for free, how to save on summer destinations, and ways to eat healthy on a budget.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2016/06/ways-to-travel-the-world-for-free.html">4 Smart Ways to Travel The World For Free</a> &mdash; Travel with a group and take advantage of group discounts on tours, train tickets, festivals, etc. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://ptmoney.com/healthy-eating-on-a-budget/">10 best ways to save on summer's hottest destinations (including Disney)</a> &mdash; Bundled tickets may offer a better value if you're heading to an amusement park. [Money Rates]</p> <p><a href="http://ptmoney.com/healthy-eating-on-a-budget/">10 Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget</a> &mdash; Learn to cook ethnic cuisines, which tend to rely on inexpensive, self-stable ingredients. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cultofmoney.com/2016/06/01/6-steps-getting-debt/">6 Steps to Getting Out of Debt</a> &mdash; Get a clear picture of where you stand by listing every balance that you owe. [Cult of Money]</p> <p><a href="http://shopperstrategy.com/2016/06/02/7-theme-park-tips-to-save-you-time-and-money/">Inexpensive Ways to Decorate Your Home</a> &mdash; Don't pay full price for wall art and other home décor items. You can find interesting pieces at lower prices at yard sales and flea markets. [Everybody Loves Your Money]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Apps-Help-You-Sleep-41514914">Technology CAN Help You Fall Asleep at Night</a> &mdash; These creative apps can help you work through a variety of sleeping issues. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/6-things-parents-can-learn-from-the-cincinnati-zoo-situation">50 Father's Day Gifts for $50 or Less</a> &mdash; Need a thoughtful (but affordable) Father's Day gift? Consider getting him a brewery tour or a day of geocaching. [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="http://shopperstrategy.com/2016/06/02/7-theme-park-tips-to-save-you-time-and-money/">7 Theme Park Tips to Save You Time and Money</a> &mdash; Do your research! Map out any attractions that you want to see so you don't miss out in the bustle of the day. [Shopper Strategy]</p> <p><a href="http://www.adaringadventure.com/3-oddball-ways-eliminate-frustration-get-moving-forward/">3 Oddball Ways to Eliminate Frustration and Get Moving Forward Again</a> &mdash; Kids throw tantrums when they're frustrated. Adults can use the Emotional Freedom Technique (or &quot;tapping&quot;) to release the energy caused by your frustrations and to figure out other ways to handle the problem. [A Daring Adventure]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/6-things-parents-can-learn-from-the-cincinnati-zoo-situation">6 Things Parents Can Learn from the Cincinnati Zoo Situation</a> &mdash; This tragedy is a teaching moment for all parents with young children. [Parenting Squad]</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Best%20Money%20Tips-%20Smart%20Ways%20to%20Travel%20the%20World%20for%20Free.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/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-smart-ways-to-travel-the-world-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-5"> <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/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free">7 Ways That Anyone Can Travel for Free</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/14-of-the-best-free-things-to-do-abroad">14 of the Best Free Things to Do Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-exchanges-free-accommodations-with-perks">Home Exchanges: Free Accommodations With Perks</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/get-free-hotel-stays-with-wyndhams-best-rate-guarantee">Get Free Hotel Stays with Wyndham&#039;s Best Rate Guarantee</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-free-things-to-do-in-any-city-you-visit">9 Free Things to Do in Any City You Visit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel best money tips free travel Fri, 03 Jun 2016 09:30:28 +0000 Amy Lu 1723162 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Ways to Fly on a Private Jet for Less http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-fly-on-a-private-jet-for-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-fly-on-a-private-jet-for-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_private_jet_000064952285.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to fly on a private jet for less" 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 ways to fly on a private jet for less, tips for staying healthy on a budget, and how to create a meditation retreat at home.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.cheapism.com/blog/4341/cheap-private-jet-service">10 Ways to Fly on a Private Jet for Less</a> &mdash; It can cost as low as a few hundred dollars to book a whole charter jet if it's on an &quot;empty leg&quot; trip. [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneysoldiers.com/6-tips-for-staying-healthy-on-a-budget/">6 Tips For Staying Healthy on A Budget</a> &mdash; Pay attention to your salt intake! Salt raises blood pressure and makes you retain water. [Money Soldiers]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Meditate-Home-41217830">How to Create a Relaxing Meditation Retreat Right at Home</a> &mdash; Choose a quiet corner to set up your retreat. You'll want use it more often if it's in plain view. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2016/0514/Five-money-talks-you-need-to-have-before-marriage-and-four-ways-to-start">Five money talks you need to have before marriage (and four ways to start)</a> &mdash; Go over that student loans, credit cards, and other debt that each of you will bring into the marriage.&nbsp; [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://everythingfinanceblog.com/17561/celebrate-memorial-day-on-a-budget.html">Fun and Inexpensive Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day</a> &mdash; Pay tribute by writing a letter or creating a care package to send to our troops. [Everything Finance]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.adaringadventure.com/how-to-tweak-your-morning-routine-to-make-your-entire-day-more-productive/">How to Tweak Your Morning Routine to Make Your Entire Day More Productive</a> &mdash; You body needs to be hydrated in the morning. A hot cup of water will do the trick without shocking your body temperature. [A Daring Adventure]</p> <p><a href="http://www.milliondollarjourney.com/give-yourself-a-financial-checkup.htm">Give Yourself a Financial Checkup</a> &mdash; Check your financial well-being by going over your cash flow, investments, estate planning, and other areas. [Million Dollar Journey]</p> <p><a href="http://funhappyhome.com/2016/05/7-ways-to-spend-the-rest-of-your-life-debt-free/">7 Ways to Spend the Rest of Your Life Debt-Free</a> &mdash; Pretend that you make less than you do. Can you live off 50% of your income? [Fun Happy Home]</p> <p><a href="http://www.currentoncurrency.com/6-steps-take-lose-job/">6 Steps to Take When You Lose Your Job</a> &mdash; Talk to your boss to hash out exactly why you're being let go.&nbsp; [Current on Currency]</p> <p><a href="http://www.treesfullofmoney.com/?p=3723">4 Tips to Combat Moisture in Your Basement</a> &mdash; Declutter your basement! Things like old boxes, clothes, and books absorb moisture, so either get rid of them or store them in plastic tote bins. [Trees Full of Money]</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Best%20Money%20Tips-%20Ways%20to%20Fly%20on%20a%20Private%20Jet%20for%20Less.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/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-fly-on-a-private-jet-for-less">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year">8 Money Moves Students Should Make During a Gap Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-worlds-most-affordable-michelin-starred-restaurants">The World&#039;s Most Affordable Michelin-Starred Restaurants</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-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel best money tips private jet Wed, 25 May 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Amy Lu 1716907 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Save on Accommodations Online http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000049917430_Large_0.jpg" alt="saving on travel accommodations online" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The online accommodation landscape is changing quickly. New websites are popping up every day, each with a unique way to search for different types of lodging. But sometimes sites like Airbnb have hefty service charges, while booking engines like Expedia and Booking.com often take a 25% cut from the hotel, which is sometimes passed on to the guests. I've traveled for over six years and have stayed in over 400 different hotels, hostels, and apartments around the world, and I've found a few ways to get cheaper (or even free) accommodation online. Here they are.</p> <h2>1. Try House Sitting</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-landing-the-perfect-house-sitting-gig">idea of house sitting</a>, while gaining traction, is still very foreign to most people. When I tell people that I've house sat in beachfront villas on the Caribbean Sea and in casitas in the jungles of Costa Rica, they often expect that I knew the owners or that I've somehow solicited myself door-to-door.</p> <p>The fact is, finding beautiful homes to house sit all around the world is easier today than it's ever been, thanks to websites like <a href="http://www.trustedhousesitters.com/">TrustedHouseSitters.com</a>. This site has the largest collection of available house sitting jobs on the web and it's really easy to get started.</p> <p>All you have to do is sign-up for their yearly service ($8.25 per month) and you'll have access to thousands of potential house sitting gigs around the world. I've seen everything from mountain top bungalows in Fiji, to vineyards in France, and even castles in the UK. It seems too good to be true, but it's really not.</p> <p>To better your chances of landing that perfect job, create a profile with your picture and a brief write-up about yourself, get some reviews from other people you've house sat for in the past, and complete a police check (usually done at your local police station for a fee).</p> <p>Once you've created your profile, you'll receive an email in your inbox every couple of days with potential house sitting jobs. Then all you have to do is wait until there's one that suits your needs, send the owner a message, and hope to get chosen!</p> <p>If you are chosen, you typically do a quick Skype call and then a few weeks later, you'll be flying off to your temporary dream home... where you'll stay for free.</p> <p>Usually the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter">listings include pet sitting</a>, so you'll have to take care of an animal during your stay, but sometimes there aren't any pets and you just get the house to yourself. The jobs typically don't pay, but we have had some experiences where the owners give us a small salary for staying.</p> <h2>2. Use Local Property Sites</h2> <p>When big companies like Expedia and Airbnb charge a fee to the hotel or apartment owners, that cost is usually passed on to you, the guest. To avoid this, you can sometimes find the name of the property owner on these sites, and then run a Google search to see if you can find the same property listed on a local website.</p> <p>Local websites generally have much lower fees, so you can potentially save 10%-15% off of the total cost of your accommodation. In Malta, for example, you can find many apartments online through large websites, but Malta also has a few locally run sites like <a href="http://shortletsmalta.com/">ShortLetsMalta.com</a>, where you can find the same properties much cheaper. In Guatemala, there's <a href="http://rentalsatitlan.com/">Atitlan Solutions</a>, and in pretty much every town or country, there's a local website that will have cheaper accommodations than the big search sites.</p> <h2>3. Contact the Owner Directly</h2> <p>This is a particularly good trick if you're looking for short let apartments around the world. The way to contact the owner directly is similar to finding local websites in the previous tip. You just have to go into Airbnb or Villas.com and find a place you like, then look at the owner profile and see if they list their name or the name of their property management company.</p> <p>Once you have that, you can run a Google search to see if you can find the owner directly online. Sometimes they have their own website for the property, and sometimes they don't. If they don't have a website, they probably won't show up in Google, but there's another tactic you can use.</p> <p>Head to Facebook and search their name and the destination where the property is located. For example: &quot;John Doe Puerto Vallarta.&quot;</p> <p>Facebook will show a list of people by the same name in or around that city. You can match the person's profile photo to their picture on the booking site, and then send them a direct Facebook message asking them about the property.</p> <h2>4. Check the Hotel Website</h2> <p>A lot of hotels don't like the fact that when they have 100 rooms occupied in their establishment, they're paying 25% of their total revenue to big booking sites.</p> <p>This is why many hotels offer financial incentives for booking directly on their websites. Once you find a hotel on a booking site, consider running a Google search with the hotel name and see if you can go directly to their site.</p> <p>Compare the prices between the booking engine and the direct website and you'll often find that you can save upwards of 15% by booking directly with the hotel.</p> <h2>5. Haggle, Haggle, Haggle</h2> <p>Once you contact the local rental agency, the apartment owner, or the hotel's website, you can bargain. With hotels, they may not have as much leeway to give you more of a discount, but you can send the owner an email and ask for a percentage off the room rate if you're staying more than a couple nights.</p> <p>Usually with rental agencies and apartment owners, there's a fair amount of negotiating space. You can save a lot of money, especially considering that you'll already be saving the fees from the big booking sites. I rented an apartment in Malta for two months and I ended up saving nearly 30% of the cost by contacting them directly and bargaining for the price. It really works!</p> <h2>6. Consider Couch Surfing</h2> <p>Saving money is great, but free lodging is even better. The term &quot;couch surfing&quot; is becoming more mainstream, but there's still a misunderstanding of what's involved.</p> <p>Many people hear it and think, <em>I don't want to sleep on someone's couch!</em></p> <p>But in reality, there are thousands of couch surfing opportunities where you have your own room, a queen-sized bed, and even your own bathroom. Couch surfing is now a universal term for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free">staying in someone's home for free</a>, not just crashing in someone's living room.</p> <p>The great thing about couch surfing is that you get a real local experience when traveling to a new destination. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture than by staying in a local's home?</p> <p>To start couch surfing, head to <a href="https://www.couchsurfing.com/">CouchSurfing.com</a> and sign-up for free. You can then browse through 400,000+ hosts around the world, and in no time at all, you can arrange to stay with somebody overseas. It's a great service.</p> <h2>7. Try Home Exchange</h2> <p>Another great way to get free accommodation is to do a home exchange. Made famous by the 2006 movie: <em>The Holiday</em>, home exchanges are a really cool concept. Head to <a href="http://www.lovehomeswap.com/">LoveHomeSwap.com</a>, sign up for $20 per month, and start swappin'!</p> <p>Of course, some downsides of this option are that you have to own a home, and you have to be willing to let a stranger stay in your home in exchange for getting to stay in theirs. But if it means you can fly to London and stay in the historical city for free... why not?</p> <h2>8. Check Out Volunteer Exchange</h2> <p>Websites like <a href="http://workaway.info/">WorkAway.info</a> and <a href="https://www.helpx.net/">HelpX</a> also offer travelers a great way to earn free accommodations all around the world, while helping out the local communities along the way. Basically it's an exchange. You sign up for a fee and then you have access to all of the volunteer opportunities on the website, and there thousands in over 135 countries.</p> <p>Browse through the listings, find a rewarding placement, and enjoy free accommodations (and sometimes food) in return for your services. Whether you decide to work on organic farms in South America, teach children in Asia, or help out at orphanages in Africa, your lodging will be earned, but the experience will be priceless.</p> <p><em>Have you tried any of these accommodation hacks? Let us know in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Accommodations%20Online.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/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online">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-7"> <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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</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-smartphone-costs-while-traveling">8 Ways to Save on Smartphone Costs While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-get-hotel-deals">3 Ways to Get Hotel Deals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodations hotel deals hotels save money travel hacks travel tips Mon, 23 May 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Nick Wharton 1714250 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Save On Baggage Fees http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-save-on-baggage-fees <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-save-on-baggage-fees" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_luggage_000081890955.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to save on airline baggage fees" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Since May, 2008 when American Airlines announced that it would be the first U.S. airline to charge for <em>every </em>checked bag, it's been downhill for frugal flight passengers. Now, nearly every airline in the U.S. and Canada charges around $25 for the first bag their customers check (and more for the second and third). But don't worry! You can avoid these fees if you're a savvy flyer. In this article, I'm going to break down six cures to the checked baggage fee epidemic.</p> <h2>The Costs</h2> <p>Before getting into how we can save on bags, let's go over the costs.</p> <p>Generally airlines charge $25 for the first checked bag for each direction of your journey, meaning you'll pay $50 for a roundtrip flight. While $50 may not sound like a crippling fee, when you're hunting for a great deal on a flight, it can end up being a large percentage of your overall fare &mdash; and that's just for one checked bag.</p> <p>That $50 is a steak dinner for two, it's eight beers at a nice restaurant, it's a nice bottle of wine and a museum entry ticket. That $50 is enough to make you think twice about your baggage fees on your next flight.</p> <p>If you're traveling with a family, you can save upwards of $125 each journey (much more if your bags are overweight). So let's get started with some tips.</p> <h2>1. Become Elite</h2> <p>If you're a frequent flyer (usually 25,000+ miles per year), you can become an elite member of your frequent flyer program and reap some pretty amazing rewards. One of them will likely be free checked bags on your flights. Other rewards include free upgrades, free food, and unlimited booze.</p> <p>American Airline's AAdvantage program offers one free checked bag for Gold members, two for Platinum members, and three for Executive Platinum members.</p> <p>If you don't think that you're going to be traveling all the way around the world and back each year and thus don't qualify for elite status, then you may want to utilize the next tip instead.</p> <h2>2. Use the Right Credit Card</h2> <p>Airline loyalty programs like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-delta-skymiles-credit-card-has-the-best-value">Delta SkyMiles</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-united-mileageplus-credit-card-should-you-get">United MileagePlus</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-american-airlines-us-airways-credit-card-should-you-get">American Airlines AAdvantage</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-award-flights-faster-with-the-jetblue-rewards-mastercard-from-barclaycard">JetBlue TrueBlue</a>, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-domestic-frequent-flyer-program-southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-premier-credit-card">Southwest Rapid Rewards</a> all have their line of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards">co-branded credit cards</a>. These credit cards offer a variety of travel perks, including free checked baggage.</p> <p>If you're a frequent flyer, or you always fly with the same airline or airline partner, then you should definitely consider choosing a credit card that will maximize your flight benefits with that airline. Baggage fees are usually just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to credit card rewards. You can earn some pretty nice perks by putting your flight purchases on the right credit card.</p> <h2>3. Pack Smart</h2> <p>In 2010, Spirit Airlines started charging for carry-on bags, but luckily no other airlines (aside from Frontier) have followed suit so far. This means that you can sometimes pack all of your things into a carry-on sized bag to avoid baggage fees. You might be surprised at how easy this can be done! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-packing-secrets-from-a-professional-traveler?ref=seealso">15 Packing Secrets From a Professional Traveler</a>)</p> <p>One tip that works quite well is to wear all of your bulky clothes on the plane to free up space in your bag. I'm not saying that you should dress in everything you own like Joey from <em>Friends</em>, but you can definitely wear your jacket, jeans, and sweater on the day of your flight to lessen the load in your bags.</p> <p>If you're trying to avoid overweight baggage fees, then wearing your bulky items and carrying as much in your carry-on may just save you a lot of money. A 60-lb checked bag can cost you upwards of $90, so if you can put some of that weight in the cabin, you'll be keeping some money in your wallet.</p> <h2>4. Fly With the Right Airline</h2> <p>Sorry, guys! This list is slowly dwindling down and you now only have one option for free bags in the U.S. &mdash; Southwest Airlines. JetBlue was the only other airline that held out on baggage fees until June, 2015 when they announced that the first checked bag would be $25 for all passengers.</p> <p>Southwest is still holding out and they actually allow <em>two </em>free checked bags for all passengers. Go Southwest!</p> <h2>5. Upgrade</h2> <p>You may cringe at the idea of spending double the price of your ticket just for some extra leg room, good service, and a fancy meal, but flying first class doesn't always have to be expensive. Delta, for example, sometimes offers seat upgrades for $90 at check-in. First class allows you a free checked bag and often offers more weight allowance.</p> <p>An overweight bag on Delta can cost around $90, so why not enjoy some comfort, free booze, and a free meal along the way? Definitely ask about upgrades at check-in.</p> <p>WestJet in Canada offers upgrades to Economy Plus Seating for between $15&ndash;$50 and it includes food, more leg room, a drink, and a free checked bag (worth $25). Definitely worth considering.</p> <h2>6. Go Ultra-Light</h2> <p>If you're a frequent flyer, it's probably worth it for you to invest in <a href="http://amzn.to/1Soc74E">lightweight luggage</a>. The amount of money that you can potentially save in overweight baggage fees will likely be far more than the cost of the bag over the course of a year.</p> <p>Some regular suitcases can weigh upwards of 20 lbs &mdash; empty! Buy purchasing ultra-lightweight luggage, you can get this down to around seven lbs. That's 13 lbs lighter, and if you're that much overweight, this luggage could save you around $60 in your return journey!</p> <h2>You Don't Have to Go Far</h2> <p>Some people go as far as to avoid flying altogether, or even shipping their bags with an independent courier service like VIPbags to avoid fees, but you really don't have to go that far. By using the tips in this article, you should be able to rid yourself of the baggage fees, while still flying comfortably on your next vacation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-creative-ways-to-avoid-airline-fees-like-wearable-suitcases?ref=seealso">10 Most Creative Ways to Avoid Airline Fees</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Did You 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%2F6-ways-to-save-on-baggage-fees&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWays%20To%20onBaggageFees.jpg&amp;description=6%20Easy%20Ways%20To%20Save%20On%20Airline%20Baggage%20Fees" 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/Ways%20To%20onBaggageFees.jpg" alt="Save On Baggage Fees" width="250" height="374" align="middle" /></p> <p><em>How do you avoid paying airline checked baggage fees?</em></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/6-ways-to-save-on-baggage-fees">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/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster">How to Get Through the Airport Faster</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-save-on-7-everyday-buys">Easy Ways to Save on 7 Everyday Buys</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-worlds-most-affordable-michelin-starred-restaurants">The World&#039;s Most Affordable Michelin-Starred Restaurants</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel frugal living luggage luggage fees saving money travel travel fees Thu, 19 May 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Nick Wharton 1706847 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Credit Cards For Road Trips http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-road-trips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-credit-cards-for-road-trips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000064357051_Large.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you enjoy taking a good old-fashioned road trip? By hitting the road, you can enjoy the wonder of directly experiencing landscape while avoiding the hassle and tedium of modern air travel. And when you set out on the road, you'll want to carry the right credit card to earn the most rewards and take advantage of the benefits you might need along the way.</p> <p>Here are the best credit cards for your next road trip.</p> <h2>BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; Credit Card</h2> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=192&amp;pid=106&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1337" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img width="154" border="0" src=" http://wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/BoA_Cash_Rewards.jpg" alt="" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=192&amp;pid=106&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1337">BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; Credit Card</a> offers a strong 3% cash back on gas purchases, as well as 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on up to $2,500 spent each quarter on combined gas, grocery, and wholesale club purchases), and 1% on all other purchases. New cardholders also receive $100 online cash bonus after making $500 in purchases within the first 90 days after account opening. You also receive a 10% bonus on the rewards you've earned when you deposit your cash back into a Bank of America&reg; checking or savings account. There is no annual fee for this card.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=192&amp;pid=106&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1337">Click here to learn more and apply for the BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; Credit Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express</h2> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=192&amp;pid=3&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1337" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img width="154" border="0" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/premier-rewards-gold-card-111715.png" alt="" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=192&amp;pid=3&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1337">Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express</a> offers 2x points on purchases at U.S. gas stations, restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, as well as 3x points for airline purchases and 1 point on all other purchases. This card also offers Premium Roadside Assistance, which can provide you with a tow, a jumpstart, or other minor service up to four times a year at no cost. Terms and limitations apply. There is a $195 annual fee for this card that's waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=192&amp;pid=3&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1337">Click here to learn more and apply for the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Amex EveryDay&reg; Preferred Credit Card from American Express</h2> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=192&amp;pid=4&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1337" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img width="154" border="0" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/the-amex-everydaysm-preferred-credit-card-102814.png" alt="" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=192&amp;pid=4&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1337">Amex EveryDay&reg; Preferred Credit Card from American Express</a> offers 2x points at US gas stations, as well as 3x points at US supermarkets and 1x on other purchases. You also receive a 50% points bonus each statement period when you make at least 30 transactions. New cardholders can earn 15,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within three months of account opening. This card also features a roadside assistance hotline, but it is a dispatch service that does not include payments for any services received. Terms and conditions apply. There is a $95 annual fee for this card.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=192&amp;pid=4&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1337">Click here to learn more and apply for the The Amex EveryDay&reg; Preferred Credit Card from American Express today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Discover it&reg; chrome</h2> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=192&amp;pid=65&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1337" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img width="154" border="0" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/discover-it-chrome-052615.png" alt="" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=192&amp;pid=65&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1337">Discover it&reg; chrome Card</a> offers 2% cash back on gas and purchases at restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Discover also matches all the cash back earned at the end of the first year. There is no annual fee for this card, no penalty interest rate, and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=192&amp;pid=65&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1337">Click here to learn more and apply for the Discover it&reg; chrome Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Citi&reg; Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer</h2> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=192&amp;pid=47&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1337" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img width="154" border="0" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/CitiDoubleCash.jpg" alt="" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" /></a>Besides gas, restaurants, and grocery stores, your road trip might include many various purchases that don&rsquo;t fall under certain bonus categories other cards offer. For all your other purchases, the <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=192&amp;pid=47&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1337">Citi&reg; Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer</a> from our partner Citi can help rack up points without a lot of complicated calculations. It offers 1% cash back on all purchases, and another 1% cash back when those purchases are paid. There is no annual fee.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=192&amp;pid=47&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1337">Click here to learn more and apply for the Citi&reg; Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer today!</a></strong></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-for-road-trips">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-9"> <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/best-business-travel-credit-cards">Best Business Travel Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access">5 Best Credit Cards with Free Airport Lounge Access</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel best credit cards Wed, 18 May 2016 10:30:06 +0000 Jason Steele 1695175 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Fool-Proof Ways to Stay Within Your Travel Budget http://www.wisebread.com/7-fool-proof-ways-to-stay-within-your-travel-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-fool-proof-ways-to-stay-within-your-travel-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_travel_map_000054071742.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to stay within travel budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Once you've planned your big trip, written down all of your expenses, and come up with a travel plan, you may think that it will be easy to stay within your budget. But sometimes you end up going over your planned costs, no matter how prepared you think you are. Here are seven tips to help ensure that you stay under budget and on top of your travel spending.</p> <h2>1. Put Your Daily Budget in Your Wallet</h2> <p>This is a very easy way to make sure that you spend exactly what you were hoping to spend on your trip. Simply calculate a daily budget and only put that amount of money in your wallet each day. When the wallet is empty, your budget for the day is spent.</p> <p>Of course, some would argue that using cash instead of credit has all sorts of disadvantages. So if you want to use your credit card (the one with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation">no foreign transaction fees</a> and that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">offers travel rewards</a> so you can go on your next vacation sooner), you can always jot down what you've spent through the day, so you know how much is left in your daily budget.</p> <h2>2. Keep Track of Everything</h2> <p>The best way to stay on top of your spending is to write it all down, but who has a pen, paper, and calculator these days? Luckily, there's an app for that.</p> <p>The Trail Wallet app (only <a href="http://voyagetravelapps.com/trail-wallet/">available for Apple devices</a>) allows you to set a daily budget, add different currencies, and input each purchase you make throughout the day. It saves you the hassle of converting foreign money to your home currency and even puts everything into handy, easy-to-read pie charts so that you can see exactly where your money is spent.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources?ref=seealso">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></p> <h2>3. Cook and Drink In</h2> <p>This can be a huge money saver while on the road, especially when traveling to expensive destinations like Rome and Paris. Of course, I'm not saying you should forgo local food and cook for yourself every day to save a buck, but if you can eat at least one meal in each day, you can save a significant amount of money.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-14-best-ways-to-cut-food-costs-while-traveling?ref=seealso">14 Ways to Cut Food Costs While Traveling</a></p> <p>You don't have to rent your own apartment to have your own cooking facilities, either. Many hostels and some guest houses and B&amp;Bs have communal kitchens where you can store your groceries in the fridge and have full use of the stove and dishes.</p> <h2>4. Riding Isn't Always Cheaper Than Flying</h2> <p>People often assume that flying is always the more expensive option, but that's not always the case. Sometimes, especially in places with strong competition for budget airlines like in Europe and Asia, it's much cheaper to fly.</p> <p>For example, a train from Rome to Paris will cost you at least $136 and take you around 11 hours, while a cheap non-stop flight with Ryanair will only take two hours and won't likely cost you more than $40.</p> <h2>5. Travel a Little Slower</h2> <p>One sure way to blow your budget is to move around too much. When people plan their finances for a holiday, they rarely take into consideration how much buses, taxis, rental cars, and flights will cost.</p> <p>To cut down on these expenses, consider <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/savor-your-trip-and-save-big-with-these-5-slow-travel-tips">traveling slower</a>. Stay in a place longer and get to know it better. Rent an apartment for a week and get a discount for a longer stay. Get to know the cheapest restaurants where the locals always eat and try to cook for yourself.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/live-like-a-local-how-to-tap-into-the-local-scene-while-traveling?ref=seealso">Live Like a Local: How to Tap Into the Local Scene While Traveling</a></p> <h2>6. Shop Around</h2> <p>Don't just take the first price you're given. This goes for everything while traveling. Take the time to walk around and find cheaper restaurants. Check different bus routes and companies to find better value transport. Check different tour companies for the best deals.</p> <p>If you're planning to rent a car, shop around to different rental companies. Find the best deal you can, and then go to other companies and see if they can beat the price. You'd be surprised how low these business are willing to drop their prices.</p> <p>I recently used this tactic in Croatia. At first, the car was going to cost me $25 per day for 12 days, but after shopping around and bargaining with different companies, I got it down to $15. I saved a total of $120 over 12 days just by shopping around.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-youre-paying-too-much-for-when-you-travel-and-how-to-pay-less?ref=seealso">10 Things You're Paying Too Much for When You Travel and How to Pay Less</a></p> <h2>7. Rent a Motorcycle Instead of Doing Tours</h2> <p>This can be a big money saver, especially in Asian countries where it costs less than $5 per day for a motorcycle rental. Instead of taking expensive tours, consider heading into a tourist office or tourism information center and ask them where the best nearby sites are.</p> <p>They'll often give you a map and circle the highlights of the region. These are likely the same stops that a day tour would take you to, so now all you have to do is rent a motorbike or scooter for the day and visit the sites yourself.</p> <p>In Asia, you can rent a motorbike for $5 and you'll probably only use $5 worth of gas in a full day of touring. Tours usually cost $40 or more, so the motorbike is a good way to save money and stay in budget. You can even split the motorbike and gas cost with a friend or travel partner.</p> <h2>Don't Be Too Strict</h2> <p>Even budget travelers have to splurge sometimes. These tips will help you stay within your financial plan, but make sure you leave some room for extra activities and must-see side trips. Don't try to scrape by on as little as possible because you may end up missing out on some amazing experiences. Budget smart and travel safe!</p> <p><em>How do you stay on budget when you're on the road?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Fool-Proof%20Ways%20to%20Stay%20Within%20Your%20Travel%20Budget.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/7-fool-proof-ways-to-stay-within-your-travel-budget">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-10"> <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-fun-ways-the-sharing-economy-helps-you-save-on-vacation">5 Fun Ways the Sharing Economy Helps You Save on 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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-budget-for-summer-vacation">7 Easy Ways to Budget for Summer 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-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</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/12-ways-to-save-and-make-money-while-traveling">12 Ways to Save and Make Money While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel air travel car rentals saving money tourism travel budget vacation Tue, 17 May 2016 10:00:13 +0000 Nick Wharton 1706848 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Credit Cards for Cruises http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-cruises <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-credit-cards-for-cruises" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000073051513.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After taking a cruise for my honeymoon, I am hooked. Cruises are an affordable way to travel around the world. Your travel costs, lodging costs, and food costs are all packaged together for one price while you enjoy an ocean view. Even better, most cruises offer free entertainment each day of the cruise.</p> <p>Before you book your next cruise, consider one of these credit cards. You will notice that both cruise-specific cards and general travel rewards cards are included in the list. We didn&rsquo;t want to give you a list of just cruise-specific cards. This is because many cruise-branded credit cards are just glorified and pricy membership cards. They boast perks, but most of the perks are only tied to that specific cruise line. If you are a cruise fanatic but don&rsquo;t want to be tied to a certain cruise line, here is a mix of options that will get you on your next cruise sooner. (See also:<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=5x"> 5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Celebrity Visa Signature Card</h2> <p>The Celebrity Visa Signature Card comes with a $69 annual fee but you also get a $50 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in qualifying purchases in the first 65 days. The card also comes with $50 ChoiceAir Airfare Discount, 50% off second guest discount for onboard, qualified dining, and 10,000 bonus points when you make a transaction within the first 65 days, which can be redeemed for a $100 onboard credit.</p> <p>As far as cruise cards go, the Celebrity Visa seems to be connected with the most cruise lines, since it has sister cruises lines, Royal Caribbean International and Azamara Club Cruises. Cardholders earn two MyCruise points for every dollar spent qualifying purchases on Celebrity Cruises and its sister cruise lines, and one MyCruise point for every $1 spent on all other qualifying purchases. There is no foreign transaction fee with this card.</p> <h2>Norwegian Cruise Line World MasterCard</h2> <p>The Norwegian Cruise Line World MasterCard is one of the best cruise line cards. Cardholders can earn 10,000 bonus WorldPoints, which is worth $100, after they make their first transaction in the first 60 days. The card also earns double WorldPoints on Norwegian purchases. Unlike many other cruise specific cards, Norwegian&rsquo;s WorldPoints can be redeemed for awards outside of the cruise line, such as hotel stays and gift cards to over 100 retailers. Cardmembers will also be the first to know about last-minute redemption offers, such as highly discounted cruises.</p> <p>If you are a fan of Norwegian cruises, I would use the card for the purchase of your cruise and on-ship purchases. However, I would not use the card off of the ship, since the card comes with a 3% foreign transaction fee. There is no annual fee for this card.</p> <h2>Carnival World Mastercard</h2> <p>Fans of Carnival Cruises will love the Carnival World Mastercard, which gives you 10,000 bonus points after your first purchase, worth up to $100. Get double points for each dollar spent on all Carnival Cruise Lines purchases, including onboard purchases charged to Sail &amp; Sign, Carnival's cashless onboard credit system. You can redeem your points for statement credit towards a cruise, onboard amenities, gift cards and merchandise. There are no foreign transaction fees for this card and no annual fee.</p> <h2>Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</h2> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=194&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1339"><img width="154" border="0" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/chase-sapphire-preferred-091814.png" /></a>Feel like the <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=194&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1339">Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</a> makes an appearance on every travel card article? There is a good reason. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has an irresistible bonus offer and points can be redeemed towards travel via the Ultimate Rewards portal for 1.25 cents per point. The Chase Sapphire comes with a $95 annual fee, but that fee is waived the first year. Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That&rsquo;s $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards&reg;. You can earn a free cruise after just 3 months of opening the card!</p> <p>The benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred do not stop there. If you add an authorized user to your account and make a purchase also within the first 3 months, you will earn 5,000 bonus points. Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants &amp; 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. Chase&rsquo;s definition of travel purchases is very lenient, meaning you can earn double points on your daily Uber or Lyft drive to work. Finally, you will not pay any foreign transaction fees, which is helpful if you shop offshore.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=194&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1339">Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>BankAmericard Travel Rewards Credit Card</h2> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=194&amp;pid=18&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcard" title="BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card" alt="BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/BoA_Travel-154.jpg" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=194&amp;pid=18&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card</a> offers unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on every purchase, and new cardmembers get 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1000 in purchases in the first 90 days &mdash; redeemable for a $200 statement credit that can be used toward travel purchases. Bank of America customers get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active checking or savings account with Bank of America. Points can be redeemed as a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, and more with no blackout dates and restrictions. This card has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. <a href="https://consumer.bankofamerica.com/USCCapp/Ctl/entry?sc=VACJCM&amp;pid=dppf">See terms.</a></p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=194&amp;pid=18&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Click here to learn more and apply for the BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</h2> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=194&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1339"><img width="154" border="0" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/capital-one-venture-rewards-credit-card-101614.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=194&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1339">Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</a> is also one of the most popular travel rewards credit cards available. Although you may not, at first, think of it as a card particularly ideal for cruises, its value is in the ability to earn unlimited 2x miles for each dollar spent on all purchases. You can then redeem your miles for a statement credit against travel purchases, which includes cruises. It has an annual fee of $59, which is waived the first year. New cardholders can earn a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles if you make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening the account. This bonus can be used for $400 in travel statement credits.</p> <p>There is also no foreign transaction fee with this card. Plus, you get other travel benefits such as complimentary upgrades and savings, as well as complimentary concierge service.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=194&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1339">Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Barclaycard Arrival Plus&trade; World Elite MasterCard&reg;</h2> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=194&amp;pid=19&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1339"><img width="154" border="0" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/barclaycard-arrival-plus-081215.png" /></a>Don&rsquo;t let the $89 annual fee scare you away from this card; the first year fee is waived. The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=194&amp;pid=19&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1339">Barclaycard Arrival Plus&trade; World Elite MasterCard&reg;</a> offers a generous sign-on bonus of 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 90 days. This is can be redeemed for $400 statement credit towards travel purchases, including cruises. Cardholders will also earn 2X miles on every purchase, and earn 5% miles redemption bonus. For example, if you redeem your 40,000 bonus miles, you will earn 2,000 miles back. Another notable benefit is that this card does not charge foreign transaction fees, so you can shop for souvenirs without worrying about extra fees.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=194&amp;pid=19&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1339">Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;Barclaycard Arrival Plus&trade; World Elite MasterCard&reg; today!</a></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-cruises">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-9"> <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/best-business-travel-credit-cards">Best Business Travel Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access">5 Best Credit Cards with Free Airport Lounge Access</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel best credit cards cruises Mon, 16 May 2016 10:30:04 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1696374 at http://www.wisebread.com Are All-Inclusive Vacations and Cruises Worth the Money? http://www.wisebread.com/are-all-inclusive-vacations-and-cruises-worth-the-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-all-inclusive-vacations-and-cruises-worth-the-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000052055860_Large.jpg" alt="are all-inclusive cruises and vacations still worth it?" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You see an ad for an &quot;all-inclusive&quot; tropical getaway. It seems like such a great vacation deal, right? All-inclusive resorts charge a flat fee for lodging, food, use of facilities, and activities, and it's a concept that has been adopted by thousands of hotels and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-13-craziest-cruises-ever-to-sail-the-high-seas">cruise ships</a> since Club Med premiered its one-stop-shop design in 1950. But are flat fee escapes truly a bargain? Here's how to decide whether the all-inclusive vacation model is right for you.</p> <h2>All-Inclusive Won't Work for Everyone</h2> <p>If you're looking for quiet relaxation, a party atmosphere, an opportunity to meet other singles in an exotic setting, a pampering experience, or a place where there's a little something to interest your family's three generations, there's an all-inclusive vacation out there to suit your wants. Some resorts cater to honeymooners, for example, while others target guests with young children in tow.</p> <p>If you're looking for adventure, however, an all-inclusive resort probably isn't the way to go. There's a certain ease in knowing where your next meal is coming from and exactly how much it will cost you, but that will only detract from the experience for folks seeking raw exposure to a new place and all of the historic, geographic, and culinary flair it has to offer. In short, all-inclusives make for great vacations, but they're not particularly suitable for adventure-driven travelers.</p> <h2>You'll Likely Miss Out On Local Culture</h2> <p>Even the hula dance shows offered to guests at Hawaii resorts have been culturally sanitized. For authentic local culture, you'll likely have to journey outside the resort's perimeter, where you can mix and mingle with the locals and experience first-hand how they live.</p> <h2>You Won't Have to Think About Money</h2> <p>There are very few people who aren't constantly <a href="https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2015/03/31/americans-still-stressed-out-over-financial-worries/TKQzcQfFQukQ7sWFuryOzM/story.html">thinking about money</a>. And studies show that just the thought of greenbacks can incite physical or emotional stress on the human body. Luckily, when all your food, drinks, and activities are prepaid, there isn't much opportunity to contemplate the money you're spending on your annual week of leisure. For this reason, all-inclusive getaways create an atmosphere that offers many guests a supreme form of relaxation. You literally never have to pay for anything, because you already have.</p> <h2>&quot;All&quot; Doesn't Mean Everything</h2> <p>Don't assume that spa treatments, airport transportation, and alcoholic beverages are included in the flat rate. Some all-inclusive packages include just food and lodging, while others also cover perks such as Internet access, parking, cocktails, premium meals featuring lobster or steak, and boat trips. &quot;<a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-things-all-inclusive-vacations-wont-tell-you-2014-04-17?page=1">It's &lsquo;all inclusive&rsquo; with an asterisk</a>,&quot; says Laura Mandala, the managing director of tourism-industry research firm Mandala Research.</p> <h2>Some Perks Go Unused</h2> <p>Marketed as money-savers, the all-inclusive vacation also offers a big convenience factor. Choose a resort or cruise ship, pay a single fee, show up, and enjoy. But if you're not taking full advantage of all the perks you're paying for &mdash; top shelf liquor, motorized water sports, horseback riding, adult comedy shows &mdash; then you might have been better off booking your lodging, food, and activities separately. The big benefit of the all-inclusive concept, of course, is that it makes budgeting easy. You know how much your vacation will cost you and if you don't want to spend any additional money, you don't have to. But you would be wise to do the math and make sure that you'll actually be utilizing the inclusives you're paying for.</p> <h2>Beware of Hidden Fees</h2> <p>Like other hotels and cruise ships, all-inclusive resorts can charge what's commonly dubbed a &quot;resort fee&quot; or &quot;convenience fee.&quot; Here's the kicker: This <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-hotels-bills-charges-idUSBRE97D10120130814">charge isn't included in advertised prices</a> and it can run as high as $30 per night. &quot;Increasingly, hotels give away free breakfast, free Internet, and now some hotels are trying to claw that back with &quot;convenience fees,&quot;&quot; says Robert Habeeb, president of First Hospitality Group in Chicago, which operates 53 hotels. Notably, these fees are on the rise. The <a href="http://www.scps.nyu.edu/about/newsroom/news/2014/u_s_lodging_industry.html">hotel industry collects</a> more than $2 billion in fees annually. Guests paid just half that amount a decade ago.</p> <h2>Sometimes Cheap Is Cheap for a Reason</h2> <p>If the advertised price tag on an all-inclusive vacation package seems too good to be true, there's probably a reason. Maybe it's for a week that falls smack dab in the middle of hurricane season. Or maybe the view from that particular unit features nothing but concrete and pavement. Yes, there is such a thing as a good steal, but read all the particulars to be sure that you're comfortable with what you're getting.</p> <h2>Do Your Research</h2> <p>Before you book an all-inclusive package, be sure to read the recent online reviews and message board postings by other vacationers. That's where you'll learn just how good the food really is, whether the cocktails are too sugary or watered down, and if the resort is undergoing renovation work that may inhibit your experience.</p> <h2>Loyalty Is Often Rewarded</h2> <p>If you find an all-inclusive resort or cruise you love, it often pays to repeat the experience. Loyalty programs and perks for return guests are common, running the gamut from room upgrades to gratis premium meals and cocktails.</p> <p><em>Have you been on an all-inclusive vacation cruise? Was it worth the cost? Share with us!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Are%20All-Inclusive%20Vacations%20and%20Cruises%20Worth%20the%20Money-.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/are-all-inclusive-vacations-and-cruises-worth-the-money">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-9"> <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/7-fool-proof-ways-to-stay-within-your-travel-budget">7 Fool-Proof Ways to Stay Within Your Travel Budget</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/4-ways-to-take-a-frugal-grownup-spring-break">4 Ways to Take a Frugal Grownup Spring Break</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-things-you-need-to-know-before-you-book-an-all-inclusive-vacation">6 Things You Need to Know Before You Book an All-Inclusive Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-save-on-7-everyday-buys">Easy Ways to Save on 7 Everyday Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip">7 Travel Hacks for an Affordable Summer Road Trip</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Travel all-inclusive cruises all-inclusive vacations cruise resorts travel budget travel costs vacation Fri, 13 May 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1708886 at http://www.wisebread.com