Travel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/254/all en-US 8 Credit Card Perks That'll Make Your Summer Travels Easier http://www.wisebread.com/8-credit-card-perks-thatll-make-your-summer-travels-easier <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-credit-card-perks-thatll-make-your-summer-travels-easier" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_on_a_vacation_shopping_online_with_credit_card_0.jpg" alt="Woman on a vacation shopping online with credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Summer is here, and it's time to get out and enjoy the weather. If you'll be vacationing in the next few months, you can bet that there'll be millions of other people traveling as well. It can be a hectic time, but there's one surprising thing you might already be holding in your wallet that can make your travels way easier &mdash; your credit card.</p> <p>It can pay off (literally) to take a few minutes to look up your credit card's Terms and Conditions (T&amp;C) online. Keep an eye out for these eight travel perks. Your T&amp;C will tell you exactly how to take advantage of them.</p> <p>And if you don't have a card that offers these travel perks yet? Now's a great time to see if any <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit cards</a> might be a good fit for you, while keeping an eye out for these perks.</p> <h2>1. Car rental and trip insurance</h2> <p>Just because you might not be traveling through treacherous winter weather doesn't mean that there isn't a potential for something to go wrong. Many travel credit cards offer insurance to protect you in these cases, such as:</p> <ul> <li> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">Car rental insurance</a></p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-trip-cancellation-insurance-cover?ref=internal" target="_blank">Trip cancellation insurance</a></p> </li> <li> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-travel-accident-insurance-cover-on-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">Travel accident insurance</a></p> </li> <li> <p>Emergency evacuation insurance</p> </li> </ul> <p>Again, your credit card's T&amp;C is the best place to get the full scoop on which programs you might be eligible for, and if so, what the details are. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Travel Perks You Didn't Know Your Credit Card Had</a>)</p> <h2>2. Global Entry/TSA Precheck fee credits</h2> <p>Few things are worse at the airport than standing in line for what seems like hours and then frantically shedding and then redonning all of your possessions. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sign-up-for-global-entry?ref=internal" target="_blank">Global Entry</a> and TSA Precheck allow you to bypass most of this hassle, but they come with a hefty fee: $100 for Global Entry, and $85 for TSA Precheck.</p> <p>Many travel rewards <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-tsa-pre-check-and-global-entry-reimbursement?ref=internal" target="_blank">cards offer you Global Entry and TSA Precheck credits</a>, however. Usually all you have to do is make the purchase with the card, and you'll receive an automatic credit on your statement. But check your card's T&amp;C to be sure.</p> <h2>3. Airport lounge access</h2> <p>When the airport mobs are tight, there's no better place than an exclusive <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-airport-lounge-access?ref=seealso" target="_blank">airport lounge</a>. These lounges are usually affiliated with a particular airline or credit card. Priority Pass is one program that gives members access to a number of different types of lounges around the world.</p> <p>Lounge amenities vary based on which individual lounge you go to, but at a bare minimum you can expect to find a less-crowded, more comfortable atmosphere full of free Wi-Fi connections and outlets to charge your electronics while you wait.</p> <p>Many lounges offer free drinks and snacks. Some even offer creative conveniences, such as showers, spas, and sleeping pods. It's a good idea to check ahead to see what lounges are along your travel route and what, if any, requirements there are (smart casual dress is required with some lounges, for example). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards with Free Airport Lounge Access</a>)</p> <h2>4. Roadside assistance</h2> <p>Maybe you get locked out of your car, your tire goes flat, or you hear a sharp <em>crack</em> while you're driving down the road. Any way you slice it, car problems are a summer road trippers' worst fear. More than that, they can be dangerous. You definitely don't want to be stranded out in three-digit summer heat with no help.</p> <p>That's why having roadside assistance can be a huge safety net for you while you're driving around this summer. They can help you with services like towing, a tire change, a jump-start, a locksmith, or gas. Make sure to print a copy of your roadside assistance details from your card's T&amp;Cs so you have the phone number handy and know the program's limitations. Some roadside assistance programs, for instance, will only cover a certain dollar amount worth of services.</p> <h2>5. Uber credits</h2> <p>Unless you plan on staying at the airport for your entire trip, chances are you'll need to find a mode of transportation to take you to your final destination. Some credit cards allow you to earn points that can be redeemed for Uber rides, while others give you Uber credits every month as a perk. To use the latter, you simply link up your credit card in the Uber app. Then, when you're getting ready to take a ride, you simply select the credits as payment for your ride.</p> <h2>6. Concierge service</h2> <p>Sure, you can use your phone to Google a lot of things these days. But if you're out adventuring in the sticks or camping somewhere remote, sometimes you'll find yourself with an internet signal that's frustratingly slow. In this case, it might be easier to just call up someone who can answer your questions or help guide you over the phone, such as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-do-the-concierge-services-from-credit-cards-really-provide?ref=internal" target="_blank">phone-in concierge service</a>.</p> <p>Believe it or not, many travel rewards credit cards come with such a perk. Depending on your credit card's concierge program, you can call them up and ask them to help you with things like finding the nearest mechanic; booking tickets or making reservations at hotels, restaurants, or events; or even to helping you plan your trip.</p> <h2>7. Boingo Wi-Fi membership</h2> <p>Speaking of internet connections, it can be frustrating to find them when you're en route between destinations. Boingo Wi-Fi is one product that can help you stay connected while you travel. They've got more than 200,000 hot spots around the country and over one million spots around the world where you can connect securely. Normally this service costs $10 per month, but with some travel rewards credit cards, you can get a complimentary membership.</p> <h2>8. Status upgrades</h2> <p>One of the most common travel perks on credit cards is a status upgrade. Some cards automatically give you status upgrades at hotels, airlines, or with rental car companies. Depending on the program, these can add just a nice little touch, or they can be travel lifesavers.</p> <p>For example, if you're a tall person and you're trying to save a buck by renting a car that's the size equivalent of a golf cart, having an automatic upgrade to a full-size rental car can be a game-changer. If you're on the road a lot or you're trying to enjoy an all-too-infrequent vacation, being automatically upgraded to a nicer room with a breathtaking ocean view and a soft-as-silk bed can turn your mere travel experience into a luxury vacation you'll never forget.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lindsay-vansomeren">Lindsay VanSomeren</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-credit-card-perks-thatll-make-your-summer-travels-easier">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/6-pitfalls-when-chasing-travel-rewards">6 Pitfalls When Chasing Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-these-12-summer-travel-mistakes">How to Avoid These 12 Summer Travel Mistakes</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-exciting-ways-to-see-the-country-this-summer">8 Exciting Ways to See the Country This Summer</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/4-underrated-us-cities-you-need-to-see-this-summer">4 Underrated U.S. Cities You Need to See This Summer</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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel credit card perks credit card rewards credit card tips summer travel summer vacation travel tips Tue, 22 May 2018 08:30:39 +0000 Lindsay VanSomeren 2140596 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Money Lessons Your Kids Can Learn While They Travel http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-lessons-your-kids-can-learn-while-they-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-money-lessons-your-kids-can-learn-while-they-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_child_girl_collect_suitcase_on_vacation.jpg" alt="Happy child girl collect suitcase on vacation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Think back to what you loved most about your latest family vacation. What's the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe you enjoyed teaching your kids about new places, new cultures, or the history of the destination you visited. Or perhaps you were just tickled to give your kids some undivided attention without work or life getting in the way.</p> <p>What you may not have considered, is the fact that any kind of travel can be a learning opportunity &mdash; even if it's not too far from home. This is particularly true when it comes to lessons about money, because travel requires so many financial decisions.</p> <p>If you're angling to broaden your children's perspectives on money, keep an eye out for learning opportunities that may be less than obvious. Here are some lessons your kids can pick up no matter where you go.</p> <h2>1. The importance of budgeting and tracking spending</h2> <p>No matter how careful you are when you set your travel budget, it's easy to let your spending get out of hand. You're away from home and on a different schedule, and you're probably around food, souvenirs, and constant temptations to spend.</p> <p>That's why a family vacation may be the perfect time to introduce your kids to the concept of tracking your daily spending &mdash; it's one of the best ways to stay within your travel budget. To get your kids into this mindset, you just need to set a daily spending limit, then clue your kids into how it works. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-fool-proof-ways-to-stay-within-your-travel-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Fool-Proof Ways to Stay Within Your Travel Budget</a>)</p> <p>My husband and I typically take our kids on a three- or four-week trip to Europe every summer. On these trips, we set a daily spending limit to cover food, souvenirs, and snacks. While the spending limit depends on where we are, it's usually enough to cover one meal &quot;out&quot; per day and a daily splurge like gelato or candy. We eat the rest of our meals in our condo or hotel.</p> <p>This really annoys my kids (ages six and nine) sometimes, but I explain that we have a budget for the entire trip and the only way to stay within our budget is by breaking it down by the day. They don't always like when we're in our hotel eating sandwiches for dinner, but they do understand why we do it.</p> <h2>2. How credit works</h2> <p>Tanner Calais, founder of Cruzely.com, says cruises are another opportune time to teach kids about spending and credit, since cruise lines have you charge all your expenses to a key card tied to your account. The system is similar to credit cards in that you're using &quot;invisible money&quot; to buy things, and you pay your bill at the end of the cruise. &quot;This is a great opportunity to introduce kids to the power of credit cards and how they work,&quot; says Calais.</p> <p>For instance, it can be tough to track your spending when you don't see it because you're using a card. By forcing the kids to watch you keep track of your daily purchases with a notepad or your smartphone, you can help them see how spending can add up over time. &quot;It's also not free money simply because cash doesn't come out of your wallet when you buy something,&quot; he says. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-saving-items-to-bring-on-your-next-cruise?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Money-Saving Items to Bring On Your Next Cruise</a>)</p> <h2>3. Money doesn't grow on trees</h2> <p>Here's another lesson kids need to learn: Money is a finite resource.</p> <p>Eileen Gunn, founder of the blog Families Go Travel, says this is one lesson her child has learned by bringing her own souvenir money on vacation. Having her 10-year-old daughter bring her own stash of cash to spend has helped her learn that &quot;you can't have everything you want,&quot; says Gunn.</p> <p>For example, if she has $20 to spend on a trip and sees something she wants for $20, she has to decide whether she wants the item badly enough to spend her entire budget on it. She also has to make peace with the fact that she won't be able to afford anything else she wants for the duration of the trip.</p> <p>Gunn says she has occasionally loaned her daughter money when she was desperate to have another souvenir, &quot;but it has to be something really worthwhile.&quot; Also, Gunn makes her repay the loan as soon as they get home from their trip. The entire process &quot;makes her a more discerning consumer,&quot; says Gunn.</p> <h2>4. The power of compound interest</h2> <p>Travel blogger Kevin Payne, founder of Family Money Adventure, offers the perfect example of how you don't have to travel far to teach your kids about money and finance. Recently, part of his family had an epic staycation in their hometown of Cleveland, Ohio while his two older kids were in New York City. They visited the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, including its Learning Center and Money Museum.</p> <p>Payne says he and his children learned many money lessons during the trip, including the history of bartering and why money is a better system of exchange. But that's not all.</p> <p>&quot;I think the biggest lesson they learned was the importance of saving money and the role of interest,&quot; he says. The museum accomplishes this goal via a staircase to its second level that illustrates the power of compound interest on every step.</p> <p>&quot;Each step represented a year more of interest so the kids could see how much money they would end up with after a 20-year period of saving,&quot; says Payne. &quot;It was such a great way to illustrate how quickly savings can add up.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-investing-lessons-you-must-teach-your-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Investing Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids</a>)</p> <h2>5. The power of negotiation</h2> <p>In some countries, local markets provide a powerful lesson in bargaining. Travel blogger Shannon O'Donnell, founder of A Little Adrift, has had periodic custody of her niece, and she has used that time to travel with her and teach her about money.</p> <p>O'Donnell says that, while they were in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar, her then 11-year-old niece learned to critically evaluate the cost of something she wanted, plus how to respectfully bargain if she wanted a better deal.</p> <p>&quot;She would use this skill at the local markets if she wanted to buy a souvenir and became quite good at disarming them with a smile as she politely asked for better deals,&quot; says O'Donnell. &quot;Overall, by learning that some cultures bargain for better deals, it has allowed her to consider the value of her purchases and how she spends her money even when back home in the states.&quot;</p> <h2>6. How you can save money while still having fun</h2> <p>While travel isn't typically cheap, there are still plenty of ways to save. Blogger Lee Huffman of Dads Who Travel says he uses travel to teach his kids that you can save money on some aspects of your trip and still have a blast.</p> <p>One strategy he uses to impart this message is booking accommodations that have some sort of kitchen. This allows them to save money on food by buying groceries. &quot;For example, on our last trip to Orlando, we stayed at a timeshare property that offered a mini-kitchen with a fridge, microwave, and two-burner stove,&quot; says Huffman.</p> <p>They still have a boatload of fun on their trips, but he goes out of his way to explain to his kids why dining out for every meal would make each trip cost considerably more.</p> <h2>7. Be grateful for what you have</h2> <p>Corinne McDermott, founder of Have Baby Will Travel, says travel has helped her kids understand how fortunate they are. During her family's frequent trips to the Caribbean, they often talk about how people's homes are different and how the children appear to have fewer belongings. Yet, the people they meet are still happy and thriving.</p> <p>&quot;We've been fortunate to meet and socialize with many locals on our travels, and they work hard and are as proud of their homes and families as we are of ours,&quot; says McDermott. &quot;Occasionally we all need reminders to be grateful for all that we have, no matter how it compares to others next door or across the world.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Being able to travel means parents have to work</h2> <p>Family finance writer Catherine Alford agrees that travel offers an endless number of opportunities to teach your kids about money. However, the most important lesson she wants to teach her kids is that, in order to travel, Mom and Dad have to work. &quot;I've been teaching them the connection between hard work and purchases since they were babies,&quot; she says.</p> <p>When her children were two years old, Alford and her husband took them on a monthlong European vacation where they visited five different countries. Since she works remotely as a blogger and freelance writer, Alford had to work throughout the trip. &quot;I kept reminding them that we were able to travel because Mommy was working,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>9. Experiences are better than things</h2> <p>For many families, prioritizing travel means they need to cut back on other kinds of purchases in their everyday lives. Those are often sacrifices they're happy to make. Shannon Austin, senior communications director at the Center for Financial Services Innovation says one of the biggest lessons her family has learned from travel is that they can have amazing experiences if they maintain a reasonable lifestyle.</p> <p>Austin and her children had the opportunity to live in Germany for three years when her oldest was six and her youngest was two. Once they moved abroad, she says she told her kids that they planned to &quot;live small so they can experience big.&quot; Over the three years they spent in Germany, they took 36 trips to destinations including Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Austria.</p> <p>&quot;My oldest delights in noticing some flowers that remind her of the plants growing over terraces in Ronda, Spain; my youngest recalls riding donkeys in Santorini. They remember filling water bottles on the roadside at a waterfall in Norway; they remember hikes in the Franconian part of Germany,&quot; says Austin. These memories are priceless, she says, but they were only possible because her family prioritized travel instead of &quot;stuff.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-you-should-splurge-on-experiences-not-things?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Reasons You Should Splurge on Experiences, Not Things</a>)</p> <h2>10. How currency exchange works</h2> <p>Travel can also help teach your kids how money works around the world. Tracey Carisch, author of the upcoming memoir <em>Excess Baggage: One Family's Around-the-World Search for Balance, </em>says her children gained firsthand experience in how currency works when they traveled nomadically for 18 months.</p> <p>Carisch says her oldest child began to understand how different types of currency work when they arrived in South Africa from Ethiopia. They found a currency exchange booth at the airport and went to exchange their remaining Ethiopian birr for South African rand. As she was talking to the cashier, she mentioned to her daughter that they made a little money on the trip due to the favorable exchange rate.</p> <p>&quot;My daughter's curiosity was piqued and she started peppering me with questions,&quot; says Carisch. &quot;Within five minutes, she understood the concept behind currency trading and cross rates. She researched it on Forex and came up with a home-school module for herself based on reading currency pairs and calculating spreads.&quot;</p> <p>Carisch also says her child &quot;doesn't even like math.&quot; This just goes to show how powerful travel can be when it comes to learning about money and math. You can learn and forget almost anything in a classroom, but real world experiences teach lessons that last a lifetime.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-lessons-your-kids-can-learn-while-they-travel">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/how-to-make-flying-with-an-infant-less-of-a-nightmare">How to Make Flying With an Infant Less of a Nightmare</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-handle-world-travel-with-your-family">How to Handle World Travel With Your Family</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-travel-must-haves-for-nursing-moms">8 Travel Must-Haves for Nursing Moms</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/yes-affordable-family-travel-is-possible">Yes, Affordable Family Travel Is Possible</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund">7 Tips for Family Getaways When You Don&#039;t Have a Vacation Fund</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Travel family vacation money lessons parenting tips travel tips travel with kids vacation with kids Mon, 21 May 2018 08:31:15 +0000 Holly Johnson 2140594 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Most Breathtaking Day Hikes in the U.S. http://www.wisebread.com/10-most-breathtaking-day-hikes-in-the-us <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-most-breathtaking-day-hikes-in-the-us" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/glacier_national_park_montana.jpg" alt="Glacier National Park, Montana" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The United States is home to some of the most diverse landscapes on the planet, ranging from barren deserts and vast canyons to lush forests and snow-capped mountains. Because of this, it's no surprise that it also has some of the most spectacular and accessible hiking trails in the world.</p> <p>The National Park Service has done wonders to preserve the trails and scenery that make these destinations so special. Here are some of the best national parks for hiking in the U.S., as well as some easy day hikes that you can do within each park. Of course, there are plenty of multiday treks available in most parks as well, but if your time is limited or you'd simply rather spend your time doing other things, day hikes may be what you're looking for.</p> <p>So get your boots on, get your daypack stocked, and get ready for a look at the 10 most breathtaking day hikes in the United States. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-national-park-visits-in-2018?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save on National Park Visits in 2018</a>)</p> <h2>1. Yosemite National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/yosemite_national_park_california_usa.jpg" alt="" width="605" height="340" /></p> <p>Located in California, Yosemite sits amid the stunning granite peaks of the Sierra Nevada. Within the park, there are countless waterfalls, including nine with drops cascading over 1,000 feet, so no matter where you go in the park, you're bound to be wowed. Yosemite is also known for groves of ancient, giant sequoia trees, some of which are estimated to be around 1,800 years old and stand at over 200 feet tall.</p> <h3>Day hikes</h3> <ul> <li> <p><strong>Vernal and Nevada Falls</strong>: This hike only takes around 2&ndash;5 hours, depending on how far you go. It's around three miles round-trip to Vernal Fall, and seven miles round-trip to Nevada Fall, with an elevation gain of 1,000 feet. The stunning scenery makes this one of the best day hikes at Yosemite, so if you only have time to do one hike, make it this one.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>May Lake</strong>: This hike only takes around 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, but it really is beautiful. It's 2.5 miles round-trip to May Lake, and an elevation gain of 500 feet. Almost exactly at the park's geographical center, Mount Hoffmann stands at 10,850 feet and commands spectacular views of Yosemite.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>2. Grand Canyon National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/beauty_of_the_grand_canyon.jpg" alt="" width="605" height="340" /></p> <p>Arizona's awe-inspiring Grand Canyon is over 270 miles long, at some points 18 miles wide, and in some places up to a mile deep. Considered one of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-natural-wonders-you-can-see-for-free?ref=internal" target="_blank">seven natural wonders of the world</a>, there are several ways to explore the scenery &mdash; with helicopter rides, rafting, and cycling all popular options.</p> <p>Hiking, however, provides you with a unique experience among the canyon's landscapes. You'll get to experience the different weather systems it creates, ranging from chilly to balmy, and feel the sheer awe as you peer out across this massive crevice. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-incredible-unesco-world-heritage-sites-right-here-in-the-us?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites Right Here in the U.S.</a>)</p> <h3>Day hikes</h3> <ul> <li> <p><strong>Bright Angel Trail</strong>: This lovely walking trail begins west of Bright Angel Lodge and is a distance up to 12 miles (round-trip), depending on how far you want to go. There's a bit of shade, but bring plenty of water and know that this is a seasonal trail with ice in winter and early spring.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>North Kaibab Trail</strong>: This is one of the best trails on the North Rim and while the trail itself to Coconino Overlook (1.5 miles round-trip) or Supai Tunnel (four miles round-trip) isn't too difficult, some hikers struggle in warmer months due to the heat at these lower elevations. The views are worth every drop of sweat along the stunning path!</p> </li> </ul> <h2>3. Glacier National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/glacier_national_park_montana.jpg" alt="" width="605" height="340" /></p> <p>In northern Montana, skimming the border with Canada is the wondrous Glacier National Park. It has so many lakes (762 in total) that only 131 of them have ever been named. There are also 175 mountains, including Mt. Cleveland, which stands at over 10,000 feet tall. And of course, there are the 26 glaciers that have shaped the landscapes and given the park its name. The biggest of these is the incredible Harrison Glacier. The park has over 700 miles of trails allowing visitors to discover the picturesque scenery by foot. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-hiking-hacks-to-take-to-the-trail-this-summer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20 Hiking Hacks to Take to the Trails This Summer</a>)</p> <h3>Day hikes</h3> <ul> <li> <p><strong>The Highline Loop</strong>: This 11.8-mile hike is definitely one of the best trails in the park and will take you around 7&ndash;9 hours. It can be windy, so bring warm clothes and plenty of food and drinking water as the trail water in the park isn't always potable.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Grinnell Glacier Trail</strong>: The hike to Grinnell Glacier Viewpoint is a beautiful 10.3-mile haul that will likely take around 6&ndash;8 hours to complete. Here you'll enjoy stunning views of the lakes and jagged cliffs in this part of the park.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>4. Arches National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/arches_national_park_utah_usa.jpg" alt="" width="605" height="340" /></p> <p>Deriving its name from the 2,000 plus, naturally formed stone arches, this national park has some of the most distinctive scenery in the U.S. Besides the arches, you'll also find towers, turrets, and rocks balanced on top of each other, all from the same striking sandstone. Utah's Arches National Park has various trails that weave their way through, over, and even under the main attractions here, giving visitors a remarkable perspective of them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-free-treks-in-the-world?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Best Free Treks in the World</a>)</p> <h3>Day hikes</h3> <ul> <li> <p><strong>Devil's Garden Trail</strong>: Spanning a breathtaking 7.5 miles of well-maintained trail, the Devil's Garden hike is one of your best options for a power walk in Arches. Be sure to stop and take photos of the cool rock formations on the way including: Double O Arch, Landscape Arch, Partition Arch, Pine Trail Arch, Navajo Arch, Tunnel Arch, and the Dark Angel.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Delicate Arch Trail</strong>: Another place to check out a beautiful rock formation, Delicate Arch is one of the shorter options in Arches. The entire trail is just three miles round-trip and shouldn't take you more than two hours (depending on how many photo stops you take!)</p> </li> </ul> <h2>5. Denali National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/sunrise_at_denali.jpg" alt="" width="605" height="340" /></p> <p>Boasting the record for being North America's highest peak, the inimitable, snowcapped Denali (aka Mount McKinley) is undoubtedly the main attraction for the national park that bares its name. Standing at over 20,000 feet, it casts a vast shadow over the surrounding area, but there's a lot more to be discovered here including lakes, rivers, and wildlife such as bears, wolves, and caribou.</p> <p>The hiking in Denali is mainly free from the restrictions of marked trails, so it's an exciting opportunity for you to carve your own path in this barely touched wilderness. Many visitors end up doing a considerable amount of off-track hiking. Make sure you stay alert for wildlife as there have been bear encounters in the park. If you're new to self-guided hiking, stop in at the Denali Visitor's Center and ask about easy trails near the entrance to the park. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-natural-wonders-you-can-see-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Natural Wonders You Can See for Free</a>)</p> <h3>Day hikes</h3> <ul> <li> <p><strong>Horseshoe Lake Trail</strong>: This is one of the short walks that start at the visitor center. It descends to the beautiful Horseshoe Lake before climbing back up toward the entrance of the park. It's only three miles round-trip and likely won't take longer than two hours to complete the journey.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Mount Healy Overlook</strong>: This is a pretty steep, but gorgeous hike up to the Mount Healy Overlook. It starts near the visitor center, it's 5.4-miles round-trip, and will probably take up to four hours to complete. From the highest points, you'll have beautiful views of the tundra and rock outcroppings that make the park famous.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>6. Kenai Fjords National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/rocky_buttes_kenai_fjords.jpg" alt="" width="605" height="340" /></p> <p>Situated on the Kenai Peninsula in southern Alaska, Kenai Fjords National Park is a frozen wilderness punctuated by icefields, glaciers, and of course the fjords that give it its name. The mountains appear to tumble directly into the ocean, and behind them is the Harding Icefield, which dates back to the ice age. It's here that you'll find the phenomenal Harding Icefield Trail that gives hikers astounding views of the valley floor and the famous Exit Glacier.</p> <h3>Day hikes</h3> <ul> <li> <p><strong>Exit Glacier</strong>: This is a decent, quick hike for those who have little ones in tow. There are no really steep parts of this 1.6-mile trail and you should be able to complete it in around an hour. It brings you right up to the foot of the impressive Exit Glacier where you can stop for some photos.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Harding Ice field Trail</strong>: This one is pretty strenuous, gaining around 1,000 feet of elevation over a grueling 8.2-mile hike round-trip. It is possible to complete this trek in around eight hours if you're fit, but you don't have to do the entire trail if you don't want to. A quick hike up to the top of the trail affords dramatic views of the valley floor and Exit Glacier.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>7. Acadia National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/gorham_mountain_in_autumn.jpg" alt="" width="605" height="340" /></p> <p>Lying just off the coast of Maine is Acadia National Park, which is well-loved for hosting a diverse range of landscapes. The majority of the park lies on Mount Desert Island, but it also encompasses some of the smaller surrounding islands. Acadia National Park has over 120 miles of hiking trails that provide stunning views of the local terrain, taking in waterfalls, lakes, mountains, and harbors.</p> <h3>Day hikes</h3> <ul> <li> <p><strong>Ocean Path</strong>: This is a really easy four-mile hike to do with the family. Ocean Path follows a very dramatic and jagged coastline between Otter Point and Sand Beach. There are plenty of beautiful landmarks to see along the way including Monument Cove and Thunder Hole.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail</strong>: You can't visit Acadia National Park without a hike up its tallest mountain! This hike is accessible any time of the year besides the dead of winter. It's a steep one! With an elevation gain of 1,530 feet over just seven miles, you'll want to keep your footing, especially if you're visiting in the spring when the ice has yet to thaw.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>8. Zion National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/angels_landing_zion_national_park.jpg" alt="" width="605" height="340" /></p> <p>Utah's Zion National Park showcases the outstanding Zion Canyon, whose craggy red rocks protrude spectacularly from the lush greenery below. One of the main attractions here is the five-mile hike known as Angels Landing. It's consistently rated as one of the most dangerous in the world with sheer drops lining the steep ascents. However, the views across the canyon make it well worth the effort. There's also an underground hike named The Subway that includes climbing, swimming, and plenty of scrambling.</p> <h3>Day hikes</h3> <ul> <li> <p><strong>Canyon Overlook Trail</strong>: At just one mile round-trip, this lovely and leisurely hike won't likely take you more than an hour, but it takes you through a giant natural cave and ends with breathtaking views over the Zion Canyon. The trailhead for this hike is at the east entrance to the park.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Riverside Walk</strong>: This two-mile hike will probably take you around two hours to complete and it takes you from the Temple of Sinawava to the Virgin River through beautiful forest scenery.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>The Subway</strong>: Because this 9.5-mile hike does include some repelling and a decent amount of skill, it's not recommended that novice hikers attempt to complete the entire trail without a guide. This is a strenuous hike to complete in a day and will likely take even experienced mountaineers around seven hours. Going the &quot;bottom up&quot; route, some people have completed it without special gear, but it's recommended that you bring ropes and harnesses just in case.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>9. Isle Royale National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/isle_royale_cove.jpg" alt="" width="605" height="340" /></p> <p>Michigan's Isle Royale National Park is located mostly on the largest island within what is the largest freshwater lake in the world, Lake Superior. Its remote location means it can only be reached by boat or by seaplane, so just getting to this park is an adventure in itself. Wheeled vehicles are completely prohibited, with the only permitted means of navigation being on foot or on water in a boat, canoe, or kayak. Visitors are treated to a taste of real wilderness here, with the Greenstone Trail that runs from one end of the island to the other.</p> <h3>Day hike</h3> <ul> <li> <p><strong>Rock Harbor Trail</strong>: This scenic trail winds along the quiet shores of Rock Harbor. You can choose your distance on this one as there are numerous trails and loops to take. For a shortened version, take a walk along the bluffs to Daisy Farm (7.2 miles) without going the entire 11-mile distance to the Moskey Basin.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>10. Mount Rainier National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/mt_rainier_national_park.jpg" alt="" width="605" height="340" /></p> <p>Named after the 14,410 foot tall active volcano that dominates the surrounding landscape, Mount Rainier National Park is one of Washington's most prominent natural gems. The park encompasses glaciers, snowfields, meadows, waterfalls, valleys, and forests, made all the more picturesque by the backdrop of the towering, snowcapped Mount Rainier. The Wonderland Trail, which is the main hiking route, winds its way for 93 miles around the circumference of the mountain, but is also broken down into numerous magnificent shorter sections.</p> <h3>Day hikes</h3> <ul> <li> <p><strong>The Sunrise Rim Trail</strong>: This is a great option for a day hike in Mount Rainier National Park because you can commit to the full five-mile loop or cut it short and do the more kid-friendly three-mile stroll to Yakima Park and the Emmons Overlook.</p> </li> <li><strong>Burroughs Mountain Trail</strong>: From sunrise viewpoint at the northeast end of the park, this 4.7-mile hike gains 900 feet of elevation. The hike will take about 2.5 hours. This is the highest trail point in the park and the views here are astonishing.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-most-breathtaking-day-hikes-in-the-us">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/7-best-free-treks-in-the-world">7 Best Free Treks in the World</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-travel-destinations-for-introverts">9 Travel Destinations for Introverts</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-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-affordable-destinations-that-are-safer-than-you-think">4 Affordable Destinations That Are Safer Than You Think</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-laid-back-girls-trip-destinations-anyone-can-afford">5 Laid-Back Girls&#039; Trip Destinations Anyone Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel hiking hiking spots outdoor activities outdoorsy travel destinations travel tips Fri, 18 May 2018 08:30:35 +0000 Nick Wharton 2141190 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Travel Warnings You Shouldn't Ignore http://www.wisebread.com/8-travel-warnings-you-shouldnt-ignore <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-travel-warnings-you-shouldnt-ignore" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/smile_woman_holding_yellow_umbrella_on_rainy_day.jpg" alt="Smile woman holding yellow umbrella on rainy day" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're traveling for a much-needed vacation, a business trip, or just want to see family and friends, you cannot presume that everything is going to go off without a hitch once you reach your destination. While some issues are unavoidable (the hotel room isn't ready, the rental car breaks down, someone gets sick), there are others that can be avoided if you pay close attention to travel advisories. These warnings are given days, or even weeks, in advance, and can save you time, money, and in extreme cases, can even mean life or death.</p> <h2>1. Extreme weather</h2> <p>Weather is one of the easiest vacation issues to predict. Advances in meteorological science mean that weather experts can predict major problems with a reliable degree of accuracy. That means hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, torrential rain, extreme heat, blizzards, and even dangerous hail are literally on the radar for meteorologists.</p> <p>If they warn you of these weather conditions before you are set to travel anywhere, rethink your plans. Extreme weather shifts like this can ground planes, cause car crashes, wipe out roads and buildings, and lead to serious injury and death. Don't mess with mother nature; you'll lose. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-travel-insurance-is-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Times Travel Insurance Is Worth It</a>)</p> <h2>2. Civil unrest and political upheaval</h2> <p>Most of us are fortunate enough to live in a land of (relative) peace. It's easy to forget that in some parts of the world, citizens are in a fight for justice, and their lives, on a daily basis. If you are not up on the latest news from around the world, you could be in for a rude awakening when you get to your destination. For example, the U.S. government is currently advising you to reconsider travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Venezuela, and Sudan, among others, due primarily to crime and civil unrest in these regions.</p> <p>If you must travel to these areas, perhaps for work or a family emergency, you should exercise extreme caution and take the necessary steps to stay safe when you arrive. Consider a local trusted guide or escort who can advise you on where to go and, more importantly, where to avoid. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</a>)</p> <h2>3. Health and disease</h2> <p>While modern medicine safeguards us and helps us recover from all kinds of communicable diseases, you cannot take any risks when traveling abroad. That's why you should always check with the <a href="https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices" target="_blank">Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</a> (CDC) before taking any kind of trip.</p> <p>Current notices at the time of this writing include an outbreak of malaria and listeriosis in South Africa, and malaria and yellow fever in Brazil. And since June of 2017, over 2,000 cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) have been identified in multiple countries in the Arabian Peninsula. You can get additional vaccines before you travel, or if you are really concerned, change your plans to a different location. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-stay-healthy-on-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Avoid Getting Seriously Sick on Vacation</a>)</p> <h2>4. Terrorism</h2> <p>Since September 11, 2001, terror attacks have increased substantially in some parts of the world. The State Department currently has Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen on the <a href="https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html" target="_blank">Do Not Travel list</a>, primarily due to incidents of terrorism.</p> <p>Many other countries get a Reconsider Travel notice for terrorism dangers, including Pakistan, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Lebanon. These terrorism warnings are constantly updated, so if you know you may be traveling to a part of the world that has been home to terrorist activity, check the list and consider your alternatives.</p> <h2>5. Crime and personal safety</h2> <p>While the two often go hand in hand, there are some distinctions to be made here. For example, many countries have a crime rate far in excess of anything you've experienced in the United States, and as such, you will not be prepared for the dangers without first researching the area. El Salvador, Burundi, Guatemala, Nigeria, and Mauritania are all flagged right now for problems with crime. Take the following precautions in places known to have a high crime rate:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Consider hotels that offer secure parking, doormen, and a dedicated and professional security staff.</p> </li> <li> <p>Request security escorts, available for tourist groups.</p> </li> <li> <p>Be aware of your surroundings.</p> </li> <li> <p>Avoid walking or driving at night.</p> </li> <li> <p>Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.</p> </li> <li> <p>Do not use public ATMs.</p> </li> <li> <p>Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.</p> </li> </ul> <p>While crime can certainly result in physical danger, there is another kind of personal safety issue you need to be aware of. It's known as &quot;risk of arrest and detention,&quot; and happens in places that have a volatile relationship with the U.S. North Korea is a prime example, and if you do not have special validation from the Department of State to travel in, or through, North Korea, you may find yourself in deep trouble.</p> <h2>6. Airline issues</h2> <p>Perhaps one of the most obvious, but often overlooked, travel warnings come from the airlines themselves. When we think of a travel advisory, we think of weather issues, health and disease, crime, and civil unrest. But one surefire way that your vacation can come to a grinding halt is when the airline has an issue. Anything from a computer system going down, to problems with labor negotiations and strikes, or mechanical malfunctions and serious delays, can put a serious dent in your plans.</p> <p>Every airline has its own alert page, so if you know which airline you plan on taking, check out that alert page regularly.</p> <h2>7. War</h2> <p>We live in turbulent political times. While some wars have been raging for decades, others could break out at the drop of a hat. If you're not following politics closely, you should take notice if the region you are traveling to is about to go to war (or is actually at war and you didn't even know it). The most infamous places right now are Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Darfur, Myanmar, Nigeria, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and the Central African Republic.</p> <p>Other danger zones closer to home are some regions of Mexico. Since 2006, the Mexican drug war has had over 106,000 casualties, with almost 15,000 of those coming in 2017 alone. The Mexican states of Colima, Guerrero<strong>, </strong>Michoacán, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas are all currently on the Do Not Travel list due to crime. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-affordable-destinations-that-are-safer-than-you-think?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Affordable Destinations That Are Safer Than You Think</a>)</p> <h2>8. Geological disasters</h2> <p>This is a broad term, because you could easily put extreme weather into this category. But in this instance, it's reserved for natural disasters. For example, when Iceland's volcano Eyjafjallajökull blew in 2010, massive clouds of ash made travel impossible for millions of people. An earthquake warning, or the threat of a volcanic eruption or a landslide, should be taken very seriously. If you're planning on traveling to a place known for these kinds of natural disasters, and there's evidence that you could be caught in something horrific, change your plans.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-travel-warnings-you-shouldnt-ignore">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-affordable-destinations-that-are-safer-than-you-think">4 Affordable Destinations That Are Safer Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-provide-proof-of-onward-travel-during-an-open-ended-trip-abroad">How to Provide Proof of Onward Travel During an Open-Ended Trip Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-atm-mistakes-to-avoid-overseas">11 ATM Mistakes to Avoid Overseas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-street-food-safely-while-traveling">How to Eat Street Food Safely While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel international travel safe travel travel abroad travel tips travel warnings vacation destinations Fri, 18 May 2018 08:00:36 +0000 Paul Michael 2141993 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make Flying With an Infant Less of a Nightmare http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-flying-with-an-infant-less-of-a-nightmare <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-flying-with-an-infant-less-of-a-nightmare" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dad_holding_his_baby_daughter_during_flight.jpg" alt="Dad holding his baby daughter during flight" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When Jim Wang and wife Martha flew to Taiwan with their infant six years ago, they had no idea what they were in for. Their baby wasn't even a year old and hadn't yet discovered he could walk, Wang says. What was the worst that could happen?</p> <p>Unfortunately, their baby refused to sleep the entire journey, and Wang had to walk the length of the plane to keep him busy. In the meantime, he &quot;just about lost his mind.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;It was a nightmare,&quot; he said, and an extremely long one. If he had to do things over, Wang says he would have probably just stayed home.</p> <p>Skipping the entire thing may sound good if you're facing a long flight with a baby or several kids, but it's not always feasible. Maybe you're desperate for a real vacation or need to travel to see family. Whatever the reason, flying with babies is sometimes inevitable.</p> <p>Many family travel pros say your flight doesn't have to be miserable. There are strategies parents can use to make the experience relatively painless. If you know what to prepare for &mdash; and what to avoid &mdash; flying with an infant can even be seamless.</p> <h2>1. Consider buying your baby an airline seat</h2> <p>While most airlines let children ages two and under share a seat with a parent (sometimes for a small fee), you do have the option to buy them a separate seat. That's one thing Wang, who writes about personal finance and frugality at Wallet Hacks, wishes he had done differently.</p> <p>&quot;We would've considered spending the extra money to buy a seat so we could use a baby seat that he was familiar with and stood a chance at sleeping in,&quot; he says. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-southwest-airlines-is-the-best-domestic-airline-for-families?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Southwest Airlines is the Best Domestic Airline for Families</a>)</p> <h2>2. Bring out the screens</h2> <p>Another big fail the Wangs admit to is not bringing along any screens or digital entertainment. Yes, even a baby under the age of one may be entertained watching a movie or cartoon &mdash; at least for a while. Even if you have a &quot;no screens&quot; policy at home, a long flight is a good reason to reconsider &mdash; at least for the day and for your time in the airport.</p> <p>&quot;It's not good to put such a young kid in front of a screen, but for that special circumstance, I would've buckled,&quot; Wang says. &quot;Since it never occurred to us, we didn't have anything prepared so we couldn't even give in.&quot;</p> <p>Corinne McDermott, founder of the blog Have Baby Will Travel, agrees that technology is a must if your baby is old enough to care. &quot;The tablet is your friend,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>3. Plan your flights around the baby's sleep schedule</h2> <p>McDermott says another important consideration is what time you travel. And if you're able to pick among several different flights, you should tailor your schedule around your baby's natural rhythms.</p> <p>&quot;Try to book your flight for a time your baby is likely to sleep,&quot; she says. With this strategy, you may let your baby squeeze in their nap while you're in the air.</p> <p>You could even consider a red-eye flight that takes place overnight. But if you opt for this option, you should try to follow your baby's regular sleep schedule as much as possible. For example, have your baby change into pajamas, brush their teeth, and read them their normal bedtime stories.</p> <p>If this doesn't work, you should &quot;try to book for when your baby will be most cheerful,&quot; she says. If your baby is always crabby first thing in the morning but good by 10 a.m., for example, keep that in mind when you're booking your trip.</p> <h2>4. Bring stuff to do</h2> <p>While this might seem obvious, bringing stuff to keep your baby entertained is a stellar idea &mdash; even if you expect them to sleep. McDermott suggests stashing a few toys and books out of sight before your trip, then bringing them out on the plane as a surprise. &quot;Your baby or toddler will be happy to see old favorites while en route,&quot; she says.</p> <p>Depending on the age of your baby, old-school fun like crayons, blank sheets of paper, and a travel Etch-a-Sketch could be lifesavers. If your baby is a small infant, bring their favorite mobile, a boatload of pacifiers, board books, and whatever else your baby loves.</p> <h2>5. Dress for success</h2> <p>Since the temperature on planes can be so variable, you need to think about how you dress your baby before you leave for your trip, says writer and editor Melissa Mayer of Why Not Let's Go. Frequent flyers know that some planes tend to be hot while others can be overly cool. &quot;Babies are temperature-sensitive and you don't want to be unprepared,&quot; she says.</p> <p>The solution? &quot;Dress your baby in layers and have a blanket in your carry-on so you can cool down or warm up your baby if and when necessary,&quot; says Mayer. The blanket will also help provide comfort and block the light when it's time to sleep.</p> <h2>6. Make the airport experience as easy as possible</h2> <p>While flying with your baby is a big part of the travel experience, you'll also need to spend a few hours in the airport each way. This part of the trip can be important since it can set the tone for the rest of your journey.</p> <p>Sarah Hirsch, founder of the blog Well-Traveled Kids, says she believes upgrading to services like TSA Precheck and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sign-up-for-global-entry?ref=internal" target="_blank">Global Entry</a> can be worth it to avoid long lines at the airport. While you can pay for these benefits outright, keep in mind that there are several travel <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-tsa-pre-check-and-global-entry-reimbursement?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit cards that offer TSA Precheck and Global Entry</a> as a cardholder perk.</p> <p>Also, be prepared for TSA screening. &quot;If you are boarding with liquids for the baby, put those on the belt before your luggage so they can be tested while you are getting your bags and stroller through security,&quot; says Hirsch.</p> <p>Also, take your stroller in the airport and gate-check it before boarding the plane. This is better than checking the stroller with your luggage since you'll still have access to it while you're waiting in the terminal for boarding.</p> <h2>7. Bring a fully stocked diaper bag</h2> <p>Last but not least, make sure you are fully prepared for any typical day with your baby. This includes bringing extra clothes, bibs, diapers, diaper cream, and wipes. &quot;I've been stuck on the runway for hours and happy I had extra supplies,&quot; says Hirsch.</p> <p>You should also be prepared to change a diaper or two on the plane. This may have to go down in your seat since not all planes have a changing table. Also remember that diapers can and do fail &mdash; often at the worst times. &quot;My infant always had a blow out when the plane took off,&quot; says Hirsch. As the saying goes, better safe than sorry.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-flying-with-an-infant-less-of-a-nightmare">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-world-travel-with-your-family">How to Handle World Travel With Your Family</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-travel-must-haves-for-nursing-moms">8 Travel Must-Haves for Nursing Moms</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bring-your-pet-onboard-a-flight">How to Bring Your Pet Onboard a Flight</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/yes-affordable-family-travel-is-possible">Yes, Affordable Family Travel Is Possible</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-divide-rewards-and-keep-your-sanity-in-divorce">How to Divide Rewards and Keep Your Sanity in Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Travel flying tips flying with a baby flying with kids parenting tips travel tips travel with kids Thu, 17 May 2018 08:30:20 +0000 Holly Johnson 2140430 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get a Great Seat on Southwest http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-great-seat-on-southwest <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-a-great-seat-on-southwest" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/smiling_woman_sitting_by_the_window_on_an_airplane.jpg" alt="Smiling Woman Sitting By the Window on An Airplane" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most U.S. airlines share a similar attitude about seat assignments: If you pay for a flight, an assigned seat is part of your fare. What's more, you're usually able to select which seats you want at the time of booking.</p> <p>There are some exceptions, of course. If you book a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-airline-fees-in-basic-economy?ref=internal" target="_blank">basic economy</a> fare on a legacy carrier, or if you fly on a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-these-sneaky-fees-on-discount-airfare?ref=internal" target="_blank">discount airline</a> such as Frontier, your seat will be assigned at check-in &mdash; you don't get to choose it, unless you pay a fee. Either way, you'll have a seat assignment at the time you board the plane.</p> <p>Southwest Airlines, on the other hand, has an entirely different process when it comes to seat selection. There are no assigned seats on Southwest, only assigned boarding groups and numbers that dictate the order in which passengers get on the plane.</p> <p>Because of this, some flyers stress out when they think about flying Southwest. Will they get to sit with their friends? Will they board the plane dead last? Will they get stuck in a dreaded middle seat for the duration of their trip?</p> <p>These are all reasonable concerns, but if you dismiss flying on Southwest because of them, you could be missing out. You'll often find great prices on Southwest, you can change or cancel your Southwest ticket without any penalties, and you get two free checked bags on every flight. Ironically, Southwest's seating policy can actually make it easier for families to fly together. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-southwest-airlines-is-the-best-domestic-airline-for-families?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Southwest Is the Best Domestic Airline for Families</a>)</p> <p>You can minimize boarding anxieties by knowing how the Southwest boarding system works and taking a few steps to ensure you get a great seat. Here are the best ways to get good seats on this unique discount airline.</p> <h2>Check in as early as allowed</h2> <p>When you check in for your Southwest flight, you will be assigned a boarding group based on the time you check in. The first boarding group is Group A, the second is Group B, and the third is Group C. Each group assignment comes with a number between one and 60, too, indicating your place within that group.</p> <p>Check in early enough and you could get a boarding position such as A50. Check in late, on the other hand, and your boarding position could be closer to C60. You'll use your group letter and boarding number to find your place in line within the Southwest boarding queue when it's time to board the plane.</p> <p>You can pay extra to get into Group A (more on that in a minute), but you usually don't need to. Here's the free way to score a great seat on Southwest: Since boarding groups and numbers are based on when you check in and you can check in as early as 24 hours before your flight, your best bet is checking in as soon as the system allows it.</p> <p>&quot;Available boarding positions will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis upon check in,&quot; says the Southwest website. &quot;The earlier you check in, beginning 24 hours before your departure, the lower your boarding group and position will be.&quot; Lower in this case is what you want.</p> <p>For example, if your flight leaves Wednesday at 6:10 a.m., you need to check in for your flight online on Tuesday at 6:10 a.m. on the dot. This will give you the best chance at an early boarding position, which will give you a much better chance at a seat you want. Set an alert for yourself and be near your computer or smartphone a few minutes before the start time begins. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-domestic-frequent-flyer-program-southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-premier-credit-card?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This Credit Card Helps You Earn Miles in the Best Domestic Frequent Flyer Program</a>)</p> <h2>Pay for early boarding</h2> <p>If you're worried you'll forget to check in at exactly 24 hours in advance, or you have a prior commitment that makes you unavailable at that time, you can pay for early boarding on Southwest. &quot;Upgraded Boarding&quot; makes it possible to buy your way into an A1&ndash;A15 boarding position. You can pay for this perk at the Southwest ticket counter or the gate, and it will set you back $30, $40, or $50 per segment depending on your trip.</p> <p>Alternatively, for a little less money, you could pay for &quot;Early Bird Check-In.&quot; This service costs $15 each way, and automatically checks you in before the 24-hour regular check-in begins. While Early Bird Check-In doesn't guarantee you an A boarding position, it does improve your chances of getting one.</p> <h2>Fly with kids ages 6 and under</h2> <p>If you're traveling with young children, you have a natural advantage when it comes to boarding. According to Southwest, &quot;an adult traveling with a child six years old or younger may board during Family Boarding, which occurs after the 'A' group has boarded and before the 'B' group begins boarding.&quot;</p> <p>Southwest offers this benefit to ensure families with young children sit together. Not only does this perk help parents avoid sitting away from their children on the plane, but it helps them avoid having to pay for Early Bird Check-In or Upgraded Boarding, which could be steep for a family with kids in tow.</p> <h2>Book a Business Select fare</h2> <p>Business Select is Southwest's version of a business class ticket, but unlike on other airlines, it doesn't get you an assigned seat at the front of the plane. Still, by buying a Business Select fare, you'll automatically get an A1&ndash;A15 boarding position, a premium drink, and expedited check-in and security lane clearance in the airport (where available).</p> <p>Before you choose this option to score a better seat, however, you should consider other ways you could get the job done for less money. Business Select fares can cost more than twice as much as Wanna Get Away fares, which are Southwest's cheapest fares. As an example, a flight we found from Chicago to Montego Bay cost only $211 for the cheapest fare and $514 for Business Select.</p> <p>It doesn't make sense to pay $300 more for Business Select when you can pay $30 round-trip for Early Bird Check-In instead, so weigh your options carefully before you overspend.</p> <h2>Earn elite status with Southwest</h2> <p>There is one final way to get a great seat on Southwest. By earning elite status with the airline, you can score automatic early check-in and an early boarding position.</p> <p>Southwest offers two forms of status: A-List and A-List Preferred. A-List status can be achieved by flying 25 paid one-way flights on Southwest or earning 35,000 tier qualifying frequent flyer points within a calendar year. A-List Preferred requires 50 paid one-way flights or 70,000 tier qualifying points within a calendar year. Award flights don't count toward elite status.</p> <p>While elite status comes with additional perks like priority check-in and free same-day standby, it also comes with a boarding benefit. Although Southwest doesn't publish boarding details for elite members, discussion forums suggest that both A-List and A-List Preferred members are automatically checked in for their flights 36 hours before departure, starting with position A-16. This would put them behind Business Select customers, but before everyone else, including those who purchased Early Bird Check-In.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-great-seat-on-southwest">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/how-to-bring-your-pet-onboard-a-flight">How to Bring Your Pet Onboard a Flight</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/3-first-class-airlines-that-are-dripping-with-luxury">3 First Class Airlines That Are Dripping With Luxury</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-streamline-your-travel-rewards-strategy">How to Streamline Your Travel Rewards Strategy</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/9-things-you-should-always-carry-on-an-economy-flight">9 Things You Should Always Carry on an Economy Flight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-british-airways-points-on-us-flights">How to Use British Airways Points on U.S. Flights</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airplane seats booking travel flight booking flight tips southwest airlines travel tips Wed, 16 May 2018 08:30:48 +0000 Holly Johnson 2138231 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Go on Vacation While You're in Debt? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-go-on-vacation-while-youre-in-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-go-on-vacation-while-youre-in-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/saving_for_vacation_concept.jpg" alt="Saving for vacation concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're struggling to make ends meet and working to pay off debt, you may be inclined to skip the summer vacation. It just doesn't seem sensible to take a trip when you're trying to be diligent about saving.</p> <p>But taking a vacation isn't impossible, even for the most debt-ridden among us. In fact, getting away may just be the thing you need. Here are some reasons why a vacation shouldn't be out of the question, even if you're working to pay off debt.</p> <h2>You can keep it short and close to home</h2> <p>A vacation doesn't have to involve a three-week European tour. While that's something you'd love to do one day, it may not be in the cards right now. And that's OK. A short trip of just a few days can often have the same positive impact on your spirit and mood. Consider a three-day drive down the coast, or a long weekend at a beach house. Maybe even just a few days backpacking will do the trick. I have found that trips of four or five days can be just long enough to disconnect and recharge, but short enough to keep costs at a minimum. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-affordable-family-travel-is-possible?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Yes, Affordable Family Travel Is Possible</a>)</p> <h2>You can rough it</h2> <p>A pup tent and a bedroll is far cheaper than a five-star hotel. Camping's not for everyone, but if you love the outdoors, you can enjoy a wonderful vacation and truly get away. There are many National Parks that offer a low or even no entry fee, with sightseeing that is second to none. And if you have kids, it gets them off the electronics. Take a hike in the Smoky Mountains. Go canoeing on the Buffalo National River. These can be enormously fun and relaxing trips that will hardly cost you a dime. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</a>)</p> <h2>You can share the cost with friends and relatives</h2> <p>No one likes a moocher, but you can save some serious coin by teaming up with friends and relatives. Hotels rates are based on double occupancy, so fill that room! Or consider renting out a house with a large group and splitting the cost. A weeklong rental in the Outer Banks of North Carolina may seem pricey, but not when it's split eight ways. You can save even further by grocery shopping and sharing cooking duties instead of eating out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Tips for Family Getaways When You Don't Have a Vacation Fund</a>)</p> <h2>A vacation can bring you mental clarity</h2> <p>One of the most important reasons to take a vacation is that it can allow you to get away from the day-to-day stresses of life and reflect on the bigger picture. If you can slow down for a few days, you may be able to think more clearly about your financial situation and your career goals. While on vacation, you may gain some understanding of why you are in debt to begin with. You might take time to re-evaluate your spending priorities. You may be able to recharge and decide to go after that higher paying job. It's hard when you are in the thick of things to make big changes to improve your life, but vacation can give you the fresh perspective you need.</p> <h2>A break from budgeting can be helpful</h2> <p>Getting out of debt requires strict financial discipline. You need to watch every penny that comes in and out, and this can be enormously stressful. It can be frustrating and depressing to constantly deny yourself things you want and to feel like you need to justify every dollar you spend. At a certain point, you just can't take it anymore, and you end up blowing through your budget or making irresponsible purchases. Taking a vacation can help. You don't need to go away for too long or spend too much, but giving yourself a break from the drudgery of saving money will make you hate it less. You'll come back refreshed and ready to tackle that debt load. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-need-fun-money-in-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Yes, You Need &quot;Fun Money&quot; in Your Budget</a>)</p> <h2>Vacations can motivate your debt payoff</h2> <p>Who among us hasn't gone on vacation and found themselves wishing they could live like that all the time? A long weekend trip to Napa Valley might leave you wishing you could chuck it all and buy a vineyard. A few days laying on a beach in Florida can have you asking your boss if you can work remotely from Fort Lauderdale. A vacation can help you dream, and inspire you to make changes to improve your life. You may come to realize that it's the debt that's holding you back from achieving your dreams. If you leave a vacation saying, &quot;I wish we could do this more often,&quot; perhaps you'll work harder to pay off debt, save and earn more money, and make it happen.</p> <h2>It's better to spend money on experiences than things</h2> <p>Even when you're working to pay off debt, you're still going to be setting aside some money for things you enjoy. But there's a lot of evidence that paying for physical items isn't nearly as satisfying as spending money on experiences. In other words, forget the new flat-screen TV and go kite surfing instead. Experiences are more likely than possessions to contribute to your relationships, define your purpose and passions, and are generally more memorable. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-you-should-splurge-on-experiences-not-things?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Reasons You Should Splurge on Experiences, Not Things</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-go-on-vacation-while-youre-in-debt">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/8-money-lessons-i-learned-from-three-weeks-in-europe">8 Money Lessons I Learned From Three Weeks in Europe</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-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/5-fun-affordable-train-trips">5 Fun, Affordable Train Trips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Travel camping debt repayment experiences family priorities relaxing saving money vacation Wed, 16 May 2018 08:00:35 +0000 Tim Lemke 2140344 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Handle World Travel With Your Family http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-world-travel-with-your-family <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-handle-world-travel-with-your-family" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/brothers_and_sister_sightseeing_in_pisa.jpg" alt="Brothers and sister sightseeing in Pisa" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Making the decision to go on a family vacation can be kind of terrifying, especially if it's your first time. Everything we're told about raising children revolves around the importance of routine and stability &mdash; two things you're likely to lose on a travel day.</p> <p>It can be challenging just trying to get the kids off to school in the morning, let alone taking them to a new country on a one-week vacation. Travel days will likely be your biggest challenge because once you arrive at your hotel or resort, you can mostly relax and enjoy. But you can mitigate most of the stress and chaos of long travel days by packing the right items and following a few simple rules.<span style="font-size: 13px;">&nbsp;(See also: </span><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wisely-choose-your-next-travel-destination?ref=seealso" target="_blank" style="font-size: 13px;">How to Wisely Choose Your Next Travel Destination</a><span style="font-size: 13px;">)</span></p> <h2>1. Choose the right destinations</h2> <p>The right destinations for you and your family will depend on a lot of factors, as there's no one-size-fits-all destination. While you don't need to rule out certain countries because you're traveling with kids, you do need to take your children's ages into consideration to find locations that will be the most suitable for kids.</p> <p>Daily adventures like long hikes may be more difficult with younger children, whereas many teenagers will need things to keep them stimulated. A good way to ensure everyone is happy is to get them involved in the decision-making. Older kids can do their own research on the internet, while younger children can be given a number of options to choose from after explaining what each has to offer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-vacations-to-please-every-age-group?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Affordable Vacations to Please Every Age Group</a>)</p> <h2>2. Book family-friendly accommodations</h2> <p>Booking the right accommodation is vital to making traveling the world with your family a success. Those with kids, particularly younger ones, will attest that a good night's sleep can mean the difference between a fun day and a nightmare. Your options are obviously more limited than when you're solo traveling or with friends, with many hostels, guesthouses, and even some hotels operating a no-children policy.</p> <p>Your best options are to stay in hotel suites, or to rent full apartments through sites like Airbnb. Privacy is a must, and it's great to have your own space to relax in, and for the kids to have room to play and run around. You can narrow the hotel options on search engines by using the sort function to filter by family-friendly properties. Airbnb also enables you to find entire houses or apartments that are family-friendly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-hotel-booking-websites-can-save-you-money-and-headaches?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Hotel Booking Websites Can Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>3. Pack light</h2> <p>What to pack is often at the forefront of parents' minds when they make the decision to travel with their family. Just the thought of trying to condense all of the gear &mdash; particularly associated with younger children &mdash; down to a manageable amount can be daunting. Things like strollers, car seats, and carriers all take up huge amounts of space, and that's before toys, clothes, and everything else they might need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-families-can-travel-like-minimalists?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways Families Can Travel Like Minimalists</a>)</p> <p>Packing as light as possible will make moving around far easier, and will potentially save your family lots of money in excess baggage fees. As soon as your kids are old enough to carry a backpack or wheel a suitcase, it's a good idea to get them involved in the packing stage as well. They'll soon come to appreciate the importance of packing light, and will enjoy being involved in the process.</p> <p>Generally, anything that's an absolute necessity for children will be available pretty much anywhere you go, but here are a few things that you can pack to ensure that your travel day will run as smoothly as possible.</p> <h3>Baby wipes</h3> <p>There are a lot of germs on travel days and your little ones are going to be more susceptible to catching something on the road. Bring a few sanitizer or baby wipes and wipe down airplane seats, seat belts, handles and any surfaces your children may touch during the trip.</p> <h3>Comfort toy</h3> <p>Most children have some kind of toy, blanket, or pacifier that calms them down. Bring it! These simple items can be life savers.</p> <h3>Tablet</h3> <p>Load it up with all of your kid's favorite music, movies, and TV shows and let them play and watch to their heart's content. Keep in mind that while on buses and in cars, you may want to limit exposure as it can lead to motion sickness.</p> <h3>Child-sized luggage</h3> <p>Kids like to feel like adults from time to time, and by having their own carry-on luggage or backpack, not only will they feel like Mom and Dad, but they'll be able to carry some of their own things and access them when they feel like it.</p> <h3>Headphones</h3> <p>Even if you don't have a tablet or smartphone for your kids, you can usually plug in the headphones and let them watch the entertainment provided on planes and buses.</p> <h3>Lots of water</h3> <p>This is something you don't want to run out of. Bring plenty of water and have your kids carry their own bottle, either clipped to their person or onto their luggage.</p> <h3>Trash bags</h3> <p>With wet wipes, snacks, water bottles, and tissue, you're likely to have a lot of trash on travel days. Bring bags to easily store it all until you can ditch it in a proper trash bin.</p> <h3>Healthy snacks</h3> <p>Loading your kids up on sugar on travel days is just asking for trouble. Instead, pack low-sugar, healthy snacks like crackers, nuts, cheese sticks, Cheerios, and pretzels.</p> <h3>Sunscreen</h3> <p>Even if you're planning to be in the airport for most of your travel day, you never know if you'll be by the bus window on the tarmac or waiting in line to board the plane. Bring lots of sunscreen and keep everyone from getting burned. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-sunscreens?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Sunscreens</a>)</p> <h3>Camera</h3> <p>Keep your camera somewhere that you can easily grab it at a moment's notice. Funny things happen on travel days and it's always adorable to take a photograph of your kid boarding a plane or looking out the plane window.</p> <h2>4. Slow it down</h2> <p>Though it's completely possible to move from place to place relatively quickly with a family, if you have the luxury of an extended vacation, it's a much better idea to take it slowly and spend a good amount of time in each destination. This is important for practical reasons, like not having the hassle of unpacking and repacking every few days, but it will also allow you to create routines and provide a level of stability in each place.</p> <p>Slow travel will allow you the option of booking longer-term accommodation, which is likely to bring the cost down. Rather than staying in hotel suites, you'll be able to book houses or apartments via sites like Airbnb, where hosts regularly offer long-stay discounts, or directly with local landlords.</p> <p>Moving quickly can begin to feel like a whirlwind of activity and leave no time for your children to build attachments to places. In contrast, spending a few weeks or months in one spot will allow your kids to get familiar with the people and places at the location and give them a deeper connection. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/savor-your-trip-and-save-big-with-these-5-slow-travel-tips?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Savor Your Trip and Save Big With These 5 Slow Travel Tips</a>)</p> <h2>5. Plan ahead when flying with babies</h2> <p>Generally, you won't pay for airline tickets for children under two years of age who sit in your lap, at least on domestic flights. However, you do still have to inform the airline when booking that you're traveling with a small child. You may also want to reserve a baby cot or bassinet with the airline in advance, or arrive early for those that operate on a first come, first served basis. It's generally free, but check with each airline for their individual policies.</p> <h2>6. Sign the kids up for frequent flyer miles</h2> <p>On many airlines, frequent flyer programs have no age minimum, meaning kids can earn points, as well as adults. They will have to have their own frequent flyer account in order to start accumulating the points, but that's just a matter of filling out a simple form. Pooling family members' points can be a quick way to multiply your earnings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a>)</p> <h2>7. Get a travel-friendly stroller</h2> <p>Nothing is more annoying than fumbling around with a bulky stroller while trying to check into a flight. You may want to consider an fold-up umbrella-style stroller or a lightweight, portable travel stroller. There are <a href="https://amzn.to/2K6UkQ7" target="_blank">plenty on Amazon</a> to choose from, and most stores that carry strollers will also carry umbrella strollers and other lighter-weight options.</p> <h2>8. Make sure kids sit middle or window</h2> <p>The aisle seat is a surprisingly dangerous place for little ones. With heavy metal carts and people whizzing by, I've seen many a tiny finger squished by an unsuspecting passenger, who feels awful afterward.</p> <p>To avoid a lot of tears and potentially a broken finger, always try to seat your little ones in away from the aisle.</p> <h2>9. Have a &quot;what if I get lost?&quot; plan</h2> <p>This one seems obvious, but in the rush and chaos of getting everyone to the airport on time, many parents forget to form an emergency plan with their children on travel days. Whenever you arrive in a new place, let your child know which people are security or police and who to go to in the event of splitting up.</p> <p>Also, choose a safe and secure meeting point that you can all head to if for some reason you can't find one another. If your kids are a little older, make sure everyone has their phone volume on loud and set to vibrate so that you can call each other if anyone gets lost.</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/how-to-handle-world-travel-with-your-family">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/yes-affordable-family-travel-is-possible">Yes, Affordable Family Travel Is Possible</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-lessons-your-kids-can-learn-while-they-travel">10 Money Lessons Your Kids Can Learn While They Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-flying-with-an-infant-less-of-a-nightmare">How to Make Flying With an Infant Less of a Nightmare</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can Book a Disney Vacation for $1,000 or Less</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-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids">7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Travel affordable travel family travel family travel tips family vacation travel tips travel with kids Tue, 15 May 2018 08:30:25 +0000 Nick Wharton 2140373 at http://www.wisebread.com How Emergency Medical Coverage Could Save Your Vacation http://www.wisebread.com/how-emergency-medical-coverage-could-save-your-vacation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-emergency-medical-coverage-could-save-your-vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_coughing_in_winter.jpg" alt="Woman coughing in winter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the great things about good <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel credit cards</a> is the travel-related insurance they include for free. Many cards include <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-trip-cancellation-insurance-cover?ref=internal" target="_blank">trip cancellation/interruption coverage</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-checked-baggage-insurance-cover?ref=internal" target="_blank">checked baggage coverage</a>, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">rental car coverage</a>.</p> <p>You might think that means you don't need to buy a traditional travel insurance plan for your trip. Unfortunately, there's one important type of coverage that credit cards tend to leave out &mdash; emergency medical coverage.</p> <p>But when you're traveling far from home and break a leg or get an infection, what prevents you from racking up expensive medical bills? If you don't have travel insurance that includes emergency medical coverage, then nothing can stop the barrage of medical bills you'll likely face if you get sick. And although credit cards don't typically offer emergency medical coverage as part of their benefits, many travelers assume they do. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-is-your-credit-cards-travel-insurance-good-enough?ref=seealso" target="_blank">When Is Your Credit Card's Travel Insurance Good Enough?</a>)</p> <h2>Yes, you should buy emergency medical coverage</h2> <p>Beth Godlin, president of Aon Affinity Travel Practice, says that it's a &quot;dangerous assumption&quot; to presume that your credit card offers medical coverage. And it's equally dangerous to assume that your health insurance will cover you abroad. Chances are it won't, but you should check your policy to make sure.</p> <p>&quot;No one wants to get sick or have an accident, especially during a dream vacation, but it happens,&quot; says Godlin. &quot;It could be a minor issue that's resolved by a visit to the cruise ship doctor, or it could be more severe and require medical attention or even an emergency evacuation.&quot;</p> <p>For these reasons, travelers &mdash; particularly those heading abroad or to a remote location &mdash; need to understand if their current medical insurance would cover any care or even emergency evacuation required during their trip. If not, they should seriously consider buying the right supplementary coverage.</p> <p>Carol Mueller, vice president of marketing at Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, suggests shopping around among travel insurance providers and finding one that offers at least $15,000 in emergency medical coverage for a basic trip. Even if you're healthy, &quot;you never know what will happen when you travel,&quot; she says.</p> <p>It's important to keep in mind how stressful and demanding it can be to become injured or ill abroad. Let's say you sprain your ankle, get a nasty ear infection, or have a heart attack. Mueller says that many people are surprised by the fact that the second you walk into the hospital, they ask for your credit card in many places around the world.</p> <p>To protect your finances and keep your stress levels under control, Mueller suggests using a travel insurance provider that will work with medical teams anywhere in the world to make prepayments for your care. You may have the option to pay your medical bills with a credit card and then ask for reimbursement when you get home, but some travel insurance companies will go the extra mile to get your bills paid upfront.</p> <p>&quot;A good travel policy will not only make sure you're getting charged a fair amount, but they'll also ensure you're getting adequate care in the country you're traveling in,&quot; says Mueller.</p> <h2>Emergency medical coverage limits and inclusions</h2> <p>While $15,000 may be the minimum you should settle on for emergency medical coverage, you can buy policies with higher limits. Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection offers plans with up to $50,000 in emergency medical coverage, for example.</p> <p>How do you decide? Mueller says to look at your personal situation and the trip you're taking to determine how much coverage is reasonable. &quot;If you're going to an all-inclusive resort for a week, you may need less coverage than if you're doing something active like hiking,&quot; she says. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-travel-insurance-is-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Times Travel Insurance Is Worth It</a>)</p> <p>In terms of what is covered by emergency medical coverage, any medical expenses incurred while you're traveling are fair game. This includes medical care for both injury and sickness.</p> <p>Mueller notes that you should also make sure you have cancellation coverage in your policy as an extra precaution in the case of illness or injury.</p> <p>&quot;Let's say that you leave for your trip within a few months, but you get sick right before you go,&quot; she says. &quot;With travel insurance that offers some sort of cancellation coverage, you may be able to cancel your trip and get your money back if you follow your policy's terms and conditions.&quot;</p> <h2>Don't forget about medical evacuation coverage</h2> <p>In addition to medical coverage that pays for surprise bills related to an injury or illness, you should also make sure you have adequate emergency evacuation coverage. This is a separate type of insurance from emergency medical, so it will be listed separately on your travel insurance policy and have a separate limit for coverage.</p> <p>Mueller says that you should look for a comprehensive travel insurance plan that includes emergency evacuation coverage with limits of $150,000-$500,000.</p> <p>That may sound like a lot, but evacuation costs can be astronomical if you need to travel far to get home or to a hospital that can help with your condition. If you're taking a cruise, for example, think of all the expenses it would take to get you from the middle of the ocean to a hospital in the U.S. Your ship might have to get the Coast Guard involved, and you may require transport in several different vessels.</p> <p>Or, imagine you're hiking the Swiss Alps and break your ankle. You may require pickup in a helicopter and transport in a plane. When you think of emergency medical evacuation coverage that way, it's easy to see how you could need $500,000 in coverage &mdash; or even more.</p> <h2>How to find the right policy for your needs</h2> <p>Both Mueller and Godlin suggest shopping around to find an affordable policy that provides limits you feel comfortable with. And when you're spending several thousand dollars on a trip, it's smart not to cheap out on coverage that can keep you safe from financial harm.</p> <p>&quot;It's important to consider the total investment made for a trip relative to the nominal cost to protect it with travel protection,&quot; says Godlin. &quot;Sometimes a relatively small investment can have a huge payoff for traveler safety and peace of mind.&quot;</p> <p>Since many plans have different tiers of coverage, Mueller suggests calling providers you're interested in working with and talking through the &quot;what ifs&quot; with them as you shop. &quot;A lot of times, the insurance company will consult with you to figure out the best plan for your needs at the lowest cost possible,&quot; she says.</p> <p><strong>The bottom line:</strong> There's nothing wrong with using your credit card's travel insurance coverage to protect your trip, but you need emergency medical coverage to protect your finances in case you're hurt or sick. If you don't get it, your dream vacation could turn into a financial nightmare a lot faster than you think.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-emergency-medical-coverage-could-save-your-vacation">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/what-does-checked-baggage-insurance-cover">What Does Checked Baggage Insurance Cover?</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/what-exactly-does-trip-cancellation-insurance-cover">What Exactly Does Trip Cancellation Insurance Cover?</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-times-travel-insurance-is-worth-it">7 Times Travel Insurance Is Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-is-your-credit-cards-travel-insurance-good-enough">When Is Your Credit Card&#039;s Travel Insurance Good Enough?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-stay-healthy-on-vacation">7 Ways to Avoid Getting Seriously Sick on Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Travel health insurance health tips medical coverage travel insurance travel tips traveling abroad Mon, 14 May 2018 08:31:08 +0000 Holly Johnson 2137659 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Spot a Hotel Booking Scam http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-hotel-booking-scam <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-spot-a-hotel-booking-scam" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_working_on_laptop_looking_confused_at_computer_screen.jpg" alt="Woman working on laptop looking confused at computer screen" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While families wishing to see the world once relied on travel agents for their glossy brochures and recommendations, the internet has ushered in a new wave of travel planning independence. These days, more and more people are using the web to research destinations, plan itineraries, and book their own hotels.</p> <p>The freedom to research independently is a good thing, but there's also a problem: The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) reports that 55 million hotel booking scams are perpetrated against unsuspecting consumers each year.</p> <p>The organization acknowledges that the internet has offered great conveniences in the travel space, but says hotel booking scams continue popping up all the time. Rogue third-party online booking sites imitate legitimate hotel websites, taking advantage of the huge volume of online travel searches. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-airbnb-scam-will-ruin-your-vacation-and-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This Airbnb Scam Will Ruin Your Vacation &mdash; and Your Budget</a>)</p> <h2>The anatomy of a hotel booking scam</h2> <p>According to the AHLA, many hotel booking scams are set up so consumers don't even know they've been tricked. Most of the time, it starts with a hotel scam website being created and promoted so that it shows up in internet search engines right alongside legitimate hotel websites and third-party booking sites.</p> <p>&quot;These rogue sites trick consumers by mirroring the look and feel of the actual hotel website &mdash; using copyrighted images, trademarked logos, and many times, even similar URLs &mdash; to take consumers for a ride,&quot; writes the AHLA in a report about online booking scams.</p> <p>From there, the fraud committed can take on several different forms. The fraudulent website may steal the victim's money completely without making a hotel reservation on their behalf. Or it might charge the consumer an inflated rate that includes a giant commission the consumer shouldn't have to pay.</p> <p>At the very least, you may miss out on hotel loyalty points or perks you thought you were going to receive if you believed you were making a reservation directly with a hotel.</p> <h2>How to avoid hotel booking scams</h2> <p>The AHLA has partnered with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to raise awareness about hotel booking scams with the goal of protecting consumers. According to Beverly Baskin, CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, certain types of consumers are especially at risk for these scams, including travelers ages 55 and up and members of the military. Baskin says that travel and vacation scams cost the average victim around $847.</p> <p>If you're eager to ensure your travel plans aren't ruined by thieves, consider these tips from the BBB and the AHLA:</p> <h3>Book directly with the source</h3> <p>Before you book a hotel stay online, make sure you are booking on the hotel's website. While a lookalike hotel website may have the hotel's name in their URL, double check the website address to endure it's not a third-party website trying to steal a hotel's identity.</p> <p>If you're booking with a large hotel chain, one way to do this is to visit the chain's website and make your reservation from there. If you're booking the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik Hotel in Croatia, for example, go to Hilton.com and book your reservation on the main hotel website.</p> <p>If you do an internet search for &quot;Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik,&quot; you will see several lookalike sites like this one:</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/1_1.png" width="581" height="217" alt="" /></p> <p>You should avoid these third-party imposters at all costs.</p> <h3>Use reputable third-party websites</h3> <p>It's OK to use third-party websites like Expedia, Travelocity, and Priceline. Legitimate <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-hotel-booking-websites-can-save-you-money-and-headaches?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel booking sites can save you money</a> and headaches. But you should beware of thirty-party booking sites you have never heard of. The BBB says you should never trust a website just because it looks legitimate. Take the extra step to check the company out with BBB.org and read online reviews before you book.</p> <h3>Take advantage of hotel loyalty programs</h3> <p>If you're someone who likes staying with the big hotel chains (e.g. Hilton, Marriott, IHG Rewards, etc.), it makes sense to sign up for the related <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel loyalty program</a>. These programs are free to join and they typically offer the lowest rates to loyalty members who book direct.</p> <p>Not only will you have a secure loyalty account you can make your bookings through, but hotel loyalty programs let you earn points for free hotel stays, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-get-elite-status-for-free-hotel-upgrades?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel room upgrades</a>, and more. Some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel credit cards</a> also let you earn large <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-sign-up-bonuses-for-hotel-stays?ref=internal" target="_blank">sign-up bonuses for hotel rewards programs</a>, which make it easier for you to rack up enough points for free rooms quickly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a>)</p> <h3>Pay for your hotel with a credit card</h3> <p>Using a credit card is one of the most secure ways to make any online purchase, mostly because credit cards come with zero percent liability for fraudulent charges. If you find you are the victim of a travel scam or hotel booking scam where they kept your money without making a hotel reservation, you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-awesome-credit-card-tricks-that-will-save-you-money?ref=internal" target="_blank">ask for a &quot;chargeback&quot;</a> on your account and get a refund. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-win-a-fraud-dispute-with-your-credit-card-company?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Win a Fraud Dispute With Your Credit Card Company</a>)</p> <h3>Keep your eyes wide open</h3> <p>One of the best ways to avoid becoming the victim of a travel scam is to know what to look for. The BBB says you should avoid conducting internet searches for broad terms like &quot;best travel deals&quot; or &quot;cheapest rates&quot; since those type of searches tend to bring out the worst offenders among lookalike travel websites.</p> <p>If something seems off, the BBB says you should call the hotel and ask plenty of questions.</p> <h3>Make sure you know the hotel's refund policy</h3> <p>The BBB says you should read all the fine print before you agree to a hotel charge being placed on your credit card. Will you need to pay upfront, for example? Or will your card be charged upon arrival? Is the hotel booking refundable if you need to cancel for any reason?</p> <p>While some big hotel chains and legitimate third-party booking websites offer discounts for non-refundable fares, it's more common for hotels to use your credit card to secure the reservation but wait to charge the rate until your hotel stay is completed. Hotel cancellation policies vary by chain, however, so make sure you know the policy ahead of time.</p> <h3>Plan ahead</h3> <p>Last but not least, you may get the best price on your hotel stay and other travel arrangements if you book far in advance. Planning ahead will also give you time to compare options, research hotel booking websites, and lock in a good rate.</p> <p>On the other hand, a last-minute, hasty search for a hotel may put you at greater risk for encountering a scam and losing money.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-hotel-booking-scam">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/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</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/this-airbnb-scam-will-ruin-your-vacation-and-your-budget">This Airbnb Scam Will Ruin Your Vacation — and Your Budget</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/your-hotel-room-has-bedbugs-now-what">Your Hotel Room Has Bedbugs. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stay-secure-in-your-hotel-with-this-8-point-safety-check">Stay Secure in Your Hotel With This 8-Point Safety Check</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/watch-out-for-these-10-red-flags-with-vacation-rentals">Watch Out for These 10 Red Flags With Vacation Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel accommodation AirBnb booking scams hotel booking hotels travel scams travel tips Fri, 11 May 2018 08:30:20 +0000 Holly Johnson 2136757 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Turn Your Wedding Expenses Into a Free Honeymoon http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-your-wedding-expenses-into-a-free-honeymoon <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-turn-your-wedding-expenses-into-a-free-honeymoon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_loving_couple_walking_on_tropical_beach.jpg" alt="Happy loving couple walking on tropical beach" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're worrying about the outrageous costs of getting hitched, you have good reason. According to online wedding resource, The Knot, the average wedding in 2017 set couples back $33,391. This amount includes everything from the venue, to the dress, to the cake, to the invitations. One thing it doesn't include, however, is the cost of a honeymoon.</p> <p>Imagine spending more than $30,000 for your wedding and <em>still </em>having to pay for the trip of a lifetime. For many people, this could mean scaling down their dreams, delaying their trip, or going without a honeymoon altogether.</p> <p>But what if there was a better way &mdash; a way to turn your wedding expenses into the free or almost-free trip of your dreams? Doing so is possible if you're willing to strategize, think ahead, and take advantage of rewards offered by credit cards, airlines, and hotel chains. Here are some steps to take as you hatch a plan.</p> <h2>1. Set a budget for your wedding</h2> <p>First things first. Before you can plan a rewards strategy for your honeymoon, you need to know how much your wedding will cost. Since creating a budget for your wedding is likely a good idea anyway, it makes sense to sit down and tally up all of your expenses.</p> <p>Create a budget for each component of your ceremony and reception, including table décor, the dress and tux, rings, and food. Obviously, it may be difficult to have some of this information handy until you start meeting with wedding vendors. Either way, <a href="https://www.theknot.com/content/average-wedding-cost-2017" target="_blank">The Knot's 2017 Real Weddings Survey</a> can provide you average prices you can use to create your own estimates.</p> <h2>2. Turn wedding expenses into sign-up bonuses</h2> <p>Once you know how much you plan to spend on your wedding, you can strategize which rewards cards to sign up for. Ideally, you and your betrothed will both sign up for a few cards at once in order to maximize your biggest wedding expenses by earning sign-up bonuses.</p> <p>Here's how this works: Many travel and rewards cards offer a bonus if you sign up and meet a minimum spending requirement within a few months (e.g. spend $3,000 on your card within 90 days to earn 50,000 points). If you plan to spend $15,000 on your wedding, for example, you and your fiancé could each apply for up to five cards with big bonus offers to earn a huge stash of points all at once.</p> <p>The key to making this strategy work is ensuring you have the cash to pay off your wedding expenses right after you charge them. With credit cards carrying an average APR of more than 16%, you shouldn't charge your wedding expenses if you plan to carry a balance.</p> <h2>3. Look for expenses that fit within &quot;bonus categories&quot;</h2> <p>While sign-up bonuses offer an easy way to maximize your wedding expenses, also think about whether any of your wedding bills may qualify for bonus categories. The fact that some of the best <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards cards</a> offer three points per dollar spent on dining could prove lucrative if you have your rehearsal dinner at a restaurant, for example, or even have your wedding catered by a restaurant.</p> <p>Considering having your reception at a hotel? <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-sign-up-bonuses-for-hotel-stays?ref=internal" target="_blank">Hotel credit cards</a> offer extra points if you book using their co-branded credit card. If you plan to buy supplies or food for your reception from a traditional grocery store, you could consider the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=internal" target="_blank">best credit cards for grocery spending</a>, which offer up to 6% cash back that can go into your honeymoon fund.</p> <p>Keep these bonus categories in mind when you're selecting cards to sign up for. While earning an early sign-up bonus is always ideal, earning extra points for some of your biggest wedding expenses can boost your point haul considerably.</p> <h2>4. Put all of your everyday ongoing expenses on a few cards</h2> <p>Once you've earned your bonuses, charge everything you normally buy to the cards that fit those bonus categories, or just the cards that you want to focus most of your spending on. Maybe you know how many miles you need to get your honeymoon flights covered, or you've got a hotel in mind and how many free nights you'd like to earn. Use those cards to pay for everything from cable bills to car repairs.</p> <p>If all else fails, pick a good <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-flat-rate-rewards-for-all-spending?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card that earns a flat rewards rate of 1.5%&ndash;2%</a> for every dollar you spend. If the card pays cash back instead of travel rewards, you can use the cash back to feed your honeymoon fund. Remember to not charge more than you can afford to pay off in full every month.</p> <h2>5. Let friends know how to contribute points</h2> <p>Maybe you wish friends and family would give you their frequent flyer miles or hotel points but aren't sure how to ask. You can just come out directly and ask in private conversations with people you know are frequent travelers, or family members closest to you. Or, you could include instructions on your wedding website if you have one.</p> <p>Unfortunately, most airline and hotel programs don't let you give your points to others directly &mdash; at least not without paying a fee. Fortunately, there are plenty of exceptions. The new Hilton Honors program lets you transfer points to anyone, making it easy for someone to gift these hotel points to pay for all or part of your honeymoon stay at Hilton hotels worldwide.</p> <p>If your friend or relative has a card that earns <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choose-the-best-travel-rewards-credit-card-with-this-guide?ref=internal" target="_blank">flexible rewards points through a credit card program</a>, they can also book travel for you through their card's travel portal. Or they could book travel for you through any travel provider and be reimbursed through statement credits they've earned with points.</p> <p>Finally, frequent flyers can use airline miles to book travel for anyone. So if a friend or family member has a huge stash of frequent flyer miles, you could ask them to redeem some of them to cover the airfare for your honeymoon and book the flights in your name.</p> <h2>6. Plan the perfect trip using rewards</h2> <p>Whether you pursue sign-up bonuses to get the most out of your wedding expenses or not, the <em>type</em> of cards you signed up for will play a huge role in the type of honeymoon you can book. With that in mind, make sure you explore all the available travel card options and their potential sign-up bonuses and rewards program before you sign up.</p> <p>Once you do, here are some strategies you may want to pursue:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Book an all-inclusive resort with points. There are several <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-inclusive-resorts-you-can-book-for-free-with-points?ref=internal" target="_blank">all-inclusive resorts you can book with points</a> through various programs like Wyndham Rewards and World of Hyatt. Since these properties include your food, drink, and entertainment in the nightly rate (even when you pay with points), they can be a good deal and help you cut down costs.</p> </li> <li> <p>Book long-haul international flights using frequent flyer miles. You can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-miles-and-points-for-a-big-award-trip?ref=internal" target="_blank">use points and miles to cover a huge award-fueled trip</a> if you're strategic enough. Make sure to research frequent flyer programs so you wind up with the right card and airline currency for your ideal trip.</p> </li> <li> <p>Plan a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles?ref=internal" target="_blank">trip to your dream destination</a>. No matter where you dream of traveling to, credit card rewards can likely make it happen. Consider booking a trip to a bucket list spot like Tahiti, Aruba, Italy, or Greece. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Once-in-a-Lifetime Experiences I've Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a>)</p> </li> </ul> <p>Whatever you decide, make sure you stay flexible. If you have your heart set on a specific destination on specific dates, it will be a lot harder to redeem your points and miles optimally. By keeping your options open, considering multiple destinations, and being willing to compromise, you can increase your chances of finding the award availability you want for a trip you'll be happy with.</p> <h2>7. Ask for money instead of points or other gifts</h2> <p>It's perfectly fine to ask guests for money to cover your honeymoon in lieu of gifts. Some online wedding registries are even set up to accept cash gifts for the couple. By alerting everyone of your honeymoon fund, you may even make the gift selection process easier for some people. And if they don't like the idea of giving cash, they don't have to.</p> <p>When I visited Bora Bora last year, I met a couple who executed this strategy perfectly. They had never left the U.S. before, they told me, but they had managed a honeymoon to Bora Bora and Moorea with funds they received at their wedding.</p> <p>I asked the bride, a Mary Kay saleswoman, whether guests minded the suggestion. She said that people seemed happy to contribute. She also noted that she and her new husband had been living together before they got married, so they didn't need traditional gifts like dishes and towels.</p> <p>They did register for gifts at a department store, but they included a note about their honeymoon fund in their wedding invitations. In the end, her guests gave what they wanted and they used the cash they received to book the trip of their dreams.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-turn-your-wedding-expenses-into-a-free-honeymoon&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Turn%2520Your%2520Wedding%2520Expenses%2520Into%2520a%2520Free%2520Honeymoon.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Turn%20Your%20Wedding%20Expenses%20Into%20a%20Free%20Honeymoon"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Turn%20Your%20Wedding%20Expenses%20Into%20a%20Free%20Honeymoon.jpg" alt="How to Turn Your Wedding Expenses Into a Free Honeymoon" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-turn-your-wedding-expenses-into-a-free-honeymoon">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/4-amazing-affordable-honeymoon-destinations">4 Amazing, Affordable Honeymoon Destinations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-big-with-a-dream-wedding-overseas">Save Big With a Dream Wedding Overseas</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-affordable-us-destinations-for-a-weekend-getaway">8 Affordable U.S. Destinations for a Weekend Getaway</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-most-affordable-beach-towns-in-mexico">8 Most Affordable Beach Towns in Mexico</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-laid-back-girls-trip-destinations-anyone-can-afford">5 Laid-Back Girls&#039; Trip Destinations Anyone Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel honeymoon honeymoon budget honeymoon destinations travel tips wedding wedding budget wedding costs wedding planning Wed, 09 May 2018 08:30:13 +0000 Holly Johnson 2137407 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Sell All Your Stuff and Travel the World http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-all-your-stuff-and-travel-the-world <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-sell-all-your-stuff-and-travel-the-world" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_prepares_to_move.jpg" alt="Young woman prepares to move" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many of us dream of escaping the cubicle and traveling the world. But very few people actually have the means to take the plunge and make it happen. One of the most common reasons for staying put is not having enough money to satisfy that wanderlust. However, most of us have a ready-made travel fund at our disposal in the numerous possessions that we own.</p> <p>One of the quickest and easiest methods of committing to a life of travel and being able to afford it without years of saving is to sell everything you own. Here's how to do it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-and-declutter-by-selling-these-5-unlikely-treasures?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Make Money and Declutter by Selling These 5 Unlikely Treasures</a>)</p> <h2>Get in the right frame of mind</h2> <p>Selling everything you own might feel nothing short of terrifying, never mind the fact that you'll be setting off on a journey into the unknown immediately after. For most people, the thought of getting rid of things that they've had for years and formed emotional attachments to can cause serious distress.</p> <p>However, if you're ready to embark on this adventure, you'll need to get into the mindset of valuing experiences over physical possessions. A great method for doing this is to find a way to remind yourself of exactly why you're doing this and the amazing memories it's going to pay for. Selling that beloved car that you'd dreamed about owning for years? That's potentially six months' worth of accommodation costs paid for. Getting rid of a childhood toy that was a birthday gift from your parents and has now become a collectors' item? That could pay for a delicious meal out.</p> <p>You can find a million reasons to set aside stuff that you don't want to sell, but once you start down that path, it's difficult to stop. Mentally detaching yourself from your possessions can be gut-wrenching, but once it's done, you'll feel free of all that material baggage and ready for a new chapter. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-you-should-splurge-on-experiences-not-things?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Reasons You Should Splurge on Experiences, Not Things</a>)</p> <p>By focusing on the positives that come from selling your belongings, you'll be able to start reframing the experience in your mind to one that's enjoyable. Go through your digital and hard-copy photos from previous trips, or read an inspirational travel blog every day. Whatever it is, find a way to maintain that sightseeing excitement when you start feeling blue. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-clutter-keeps-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways Clutter Keeps You Poor</a>)</p> <h2>Get organized</h2> <p>Sort through all the stuff you're going to sell, and categorize it into separate piles. Make an inventory list for everything you have, either in a notepad, or in a spreadsheet so it's easy to search and edit. This will also come in handy for tracking what's sold and for how much.</p> <p>Once everything is on the inventory list, price each item by checking eBay and Craigslist to see how much similar items are going for. This will take some time, but will be worth it to ensure you're getting market value and not letting things go too cheaply or expecting way too much.</p> <h2>Set a date</h2> <p>Once your items are priced and ready to go, it's important to quit procrastinating and just start selling. The best way to jolt yourself into action is to set a date when you're going to have everything sold by. The longer you wait to start, the easier it is to talk yourself out of selling certain items, and the harder it will be to actually let everything go.</p> <p>Be realistic when you're setting the date and take into account how long it's going to take to put your possessions up for sale, plus the amount of time it may take before they&rsquo;re actually sold. Not everything will be snapped up right away, and even some extremely valuable items may take a long time to get rid of. Allow yourself at least a few weeks, but ideally, a number of months to get everything sold.</p> <p>You can also set a target for how much you want to make from selling everything and break it down into a weekly target. This way you can work toward it in increments and maintain your focus by just doing a little bit each day.</p> <h2>Use the right platforms</h2> <p>To maximize the amount of money you're recouping for each item, it's important to choose the right platform to sell it on. Though it may take more time to do it this way, it will ensure you receive the best value for your belongings.</p> <h3>eBay</h3> <p>This site is great for collectibles or other small items that have a decent value. For these items, it's best to use the auction function in the hope that you spark a bidding war between interested parties, driving the price up.</p> <p>Don't be tempted to just throw a bad picture up there and a two-word description of the item. The more effort you put in, the more attractive you can make things look. Put a bit of time into writing brand names, captions, and taking photos that show items in their best light. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-make-800-on-month-on-ebay-selling-used-clothes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How I Make $800 on Month on eBay Selling Used Clothes</a>)</p> <h3>Craigslist</h3> <p>Things that are going to warrant huge postal fees are more suitable for local pickup. That&rsquo;s why Craigslist is a great option for these item. Think furniture and bulky items like TVs.</p> <p><strong>Pro tip:</strong> When buyers come to collect, take the opportunity to show them your other stuff and ask if they're on the lookout for anything else. You may be surprised at how many extra sales you make this way.</p> <h3>Yard sales</h3> <p>Remember, one person's junk is another person's treasure. Because of this, even the odd bits and pieces that you may not think would sell might earn you a few dollars or more in the right setting. Yard and garage sales are great for these kinds of items, because in my experience, they're often attended by people looking for unusual objects. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</a>)</p> <p>At a sale I held, a woman was looking for absolutely anything miniature. She made doll houses, and was interested in objects that would be suitable to furnish them, and was willing to pay for items that probably wouldn't have sold elsewhere.</p> <h3>Facebook Marketplace</h3> <p>Facebook Marketplace can be a great tool for selling specialist items, and items to people who live nearby. You have to have a Facebook account in order to use this part of the platform, and you can include photos, the price you're offering the item for, and any additional details. Interested buyers can contact you via direct message to inquire if the item is still available, or ask questions. You don't need to be Facebook friends in order to connect with potential buyers.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-sell-all-your-stuff-and-travel-the-world&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Sell%2520All%2520Your%2520Stuff%2520and%2520Travel%2520the%2520World.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Sell%20All%20Your%20Stuff%20and%20Travel%20the%20World"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Sell%20All%20Your%20Stuff%20and%20Travel%20the%20World.jpg" alt="How to Sell All Your Stuff and Travel the World" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-all-your-stuff-and-travel-the-world">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-12"> <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-travel-warnings-you-shouldnt-ignore">8 Travel Warnings You Shouldn&#039;t Ignore</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-9-best-storage-products-as-recommended-by-organization-pros">The 9 Best Storage Products as Recommended by Organization Pros</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-easiest-items-to-flip-for-cash">10 Easiest Items to &quot;Flip&quot; for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-garage-sale-items-that-sell-like-hotcakes">12 Garage Sale Items That Sell Like Hotcakes</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-podcasts-for-travel-lovers">6 Podcasts for Travel Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Travel declutter decluttering tips international travel moving tips sell your stuff travel tips wanderlust Tue, 08 May 2018 08:30:29 +0000 Nick Wharton 2138230 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Bring Your Pet Onboard a Flight http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bring-your-pet-onboard-a-flight <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-bring-your-pet-onboard-a-flight" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dog_in_airport_terminal_on_vacation.jpg" alt="Dog in airport terminal on vacation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Flying with a pet is a hot topic lately, thanks to various incidents that have been all over the news. Some of the most memorable headlines in the past few years have even gone viral, giving the animals in question an instant dose of fame. There was the woman who caused a stir trying to board a flight with a fully grown peacock at Newark Airport, and a pig named Hobie who was ejected after boarding for defecating on the plane.</p> <p>But behind all the bizarre headlines, there's a lingering concern of how to safely travel on a plane with your pet. There are a number of possibilities for animal lovers and their companions to travel together, though the specifics tend to vary from airline to airline, and your destination will have a big impact on it, too. Here's what you need to know before heading to the airport with Fido.</p> <h2>Check with the airline before booking</h2> <p>Many carriers, particularly on flights departing and arriving within the U.S. and its overseas territories, do allow you to bring animals onboard with you. Domesticated dogs and cats (and sometimes small birds) will be allowed on, though there is usually an extra fee attached, and there's a limit on the total number of pets per flight. For example, American Airlines charges $125 per carry-on pet. Larger animals will typically need to be boarded with cargo underneath the plane.</p> <p>Each airline has its own rules about the size, weight, and breed of animal you are permitted to travel with, as well as specific guidelines on how they are to be transported. Because of this, it's best to check directly with your intended airline before booking the flight. Generally, they must be small enough to fit underneath your seat in a carrier that's large enough for them to turn around in.</p> <h2>Certify your pet as an Emotional Support Animal</h2> <p>If taking your pet onboard with you is a medical requirement &mdash; for example, if you've been diagnosed with depression or anxiety &mdash; then you should consider getting it classified as an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). If this is the case, and the animal in question helps alleviate symptoms, then you can legitimately get your pet designated as your ESA. Keep in mind, this is not a quick fix or workaround and should only be used in genuine circumstances.</p> <p>In order to have your pet certified as an ESA, you'll need to get a letter from a mental health professional. This letter will need to detail your condition, testify to the fact that you are a patient under their care, include the name of your pet, and explain how the pet helps you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-pet-an-official-emotional-support-animal?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Make Your Pet an Official Emotional Support Animal</a>)</p> <p>Several sites allow you to purchase these kinds of letters online for a fee, with very little process and without ever meeting a medical professional, but many of these services are not legitimate and the letter they provide will not be deemed valid.</p> <p>Once you have secured this letter, you're good to go and need to carry it with you to show to the airline crew before boarding. Letters are valid for a year, so they need to be dated when they are issued.</p> <h2>Head to the airport early</h2> <p>The most important step to take when flying with a pet is to contact the airline well in advance to inform them of your plans. This applies whether it's an ESA or not, so you can avoid any nasty surprises that may prevent you from being able to catch your flight.</p> <p>On the day of travel, you should arrive early to the airport to allow yourself time to sort out any issues that may arise. Your airline may want to check paperwork; examine, weigh, and measure the pet; or check that the crate or carry case meets their specifications. Animal spots on planes are also often provided on a first come first serve basis, and while it's unlikely that there will be several other pets onboard, it's not worth taking the risk. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-tips-for-traveling-with-pets?ref=seealso" target="_blank">23 Tips for Traveling With Pets</a>)</p> <h2>What you need to know about pets flying with cargo</h2> <p>Flying in the cargo hold is the obvious alternative to let you fly with your pet, but it's one that many people try to avoid. It can be stressful for the dogs, and there have been numerous incidences of animals being lost, injured due to turbulence, or dying due to extreme temperature fluctuations. However, many planes that carry pets keep their luggage compartment pressurized and climate-controlled, as a way to keep pets in the cargo hold more comfortable.</p> <p>It's also not free, and the fee attached might be more than the fee to take the pet onboard with you. For larger dogs, you may have no other choice than to put them in the cargo hold. But for smaller pets, it&rsquo;s a good idea to check fees before you decide which way to take your pet.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-bring-your-pet-onboard-a-flight&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Bring%2520Your%2520Pet%2520Onboard%2520a%2520Flight.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Bring%20Your%20Pet%20Onboard%20a%20Flight"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Bring%20Your%20Pet%20Onboard%20a%20Flight.jpg" alt="How to Bring Your Pet Onboard a Flight" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bring-your-pet-onboard-a-flight">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-great-seat-on-southwest">How to Get a Great Seat on Southwest</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/3-first-class-airlines-that-are-dripping-with-luxury">3 First Class Airlines That Are Dripping With Luxury</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-flying-with-an-infant-less-of-a-nightmare">How to Make Flying With an Infant Less of a Nightmare</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-world-travel-with-your-family">How to Handle World Travel With Your Family</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-romantic-getaways-any-couple-can-afford">7 Romantic Getaways Any Couple Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Travel airline safety flight booking flight tips flying with a pet pet owner pet safety travel tips Fri, 04 May 2018 08:30:21 +0000 Nick Wharton 2136758 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Affordable U.S. Destinations for a Weekend Getaway http://www.wisebread.com/8-affordable-us-destinations-for-a-weekend-getaway <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-affordable-us-destinations-for-a-weekend-getaway" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/vineyard_willamette_valley_or.jpg" alt="Vineyard, Willamette Valley, OR" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sure, the big-ticket, monthlong trips to Europe and Asia get all the glory, and for good reason. But did you know there are plenty of places you can take an awesome vacation right here within the U.S. at a fraction of the price? After all, spending hours and hours on a cramped plane is no one's idea of a good time, especially when you can take a fun road trip somewhere interesting over a long weekend.</p> <p>Whether you're looking for a family-friendly getaway or a romantic weekend escape, these affordable destinations will recharge your batteries without draining your wallet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-road-trips?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Road Trips</a>)</p> <h2>1. North Conway, New Hampshire</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/north_conway_usa_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Even though North Conway has been rated as the most affordable ski town in the U.S. by TripAdvisor, there are plenty of things to do around here during any season. Take a no-cost hike during spring to see flowering trees, and waterfalls rushing with melted snow from the area's steep mountains. In the autumn, enjoy the blazing gold and red hues of the New England leaves on foot or by car.</p> <p>Or hop aboard one of the scenic train rides you can take from here on the Notch or Valley trains, starting at $18. About an hour from North Conway, you can also ride the world's first mountain-scaling cog train, which takes you straight to the top of Mount Washington, the tallest peak east of the Mississippi.</p> <p>Hotel rooms start at around $110 per night in June, and there are also several campgrounds and hostels available. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-essential-money-saving-items-to-take-on-a-camping-road-trip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Essential Money-Saving Items to Take on a Camping Road Trip</a>)</p> <h2>2. Willamette Valley, Oregon</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/vineyard_willamette_valley_or.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If a relaxing and romantic weekend in the northwest is your style, the Willamette Valley wine country might be just for you. This 150-mile-long region stretching from Eugene to Portland is famous for its vineyards, wineries, and breweries (there are over 150 to choose from), and local farm-to-table cuisine. Most wineries and breweries offer tastings, some for less than $10. And if you get bored from all the wine, beer, and fresh produce, you can always check out Portland.</p> <p>The Valley features plenty of fun and eclectic budget lodging options, such as The Vintages Trailer Resort, which offers lodging at prices as low as $102 per night in June. You can also rent a private home on Airbnb for under $100 per night. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Travel Hacks for an Affordable Road Trip</a>)</p> <h2>3. Louisville, Kentucky</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/churchill_downs_entrance.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Home of the Kentucky Derby, Louisville is also a town steeped in history, bourbon, and fun. Be sure to check out the historic Brown Hotel to get a bite of the famous &quot;Hot Brown&quot; open-faced sandwich.</p> <p>There are also plenty of free parks to visit, as well as numerous museums celebrating science, history, bourbon, art, Muhammad Ali, and sports. For a great discount on museums, check out Museum Row's Main Ticket, which offers access to seven of Louisville's top museums for $32 per person. If drinking liquor is more your style, many bourbon distilleries offer tastings and tours starting at around $20.</p> <p>Accommodations are reasonable, too. Three-star hotel rooms start at around $100 per night in June.</p> <h2>4. Rapid City, South Dakota</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/mount_rushmore_national_monument.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Located right next door to the famed Mount Rushmore, Rapid City's been a staple of family road trips for decades. But there's way more to do here than just see the presidents' faces carved on the mountain. Other free attractions include the Chapel in the Hills, a life-size replica of the ancient Norwegian Borgund Stavkirke church; scenic byways; and numerous public parks full of storybook characters, giant dinosaur replicas, and water attractions.</p> <p>You can easily find a hotel room in Rapid City in the $130 per night range, and as well as a few camping options from $39 per night.</p> <h2>5. Cleveland, Ohio</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/cuyahoga_valley_national_park.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>You might not think of Cleveland as a world-class destination, but think again. There are tons of free things to check out, like nearby Cuyahoga National Park, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's free money museum, and the free Cleveland Museum of Art, which houses a permanent collection of works by Monet, Picasso, and van Gogh. You can even ride a trolley around downtown for free.</p> <p>If you want to spring for some paid (but still cheap) adventures, check out the Cleveland Zoo ($14.95 per person), the Great Lakes Science Center ($16.95 per person), or the world-famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ($23 per person if purchased in advance).</p> <p>Lodging here is also very affordable. You can find three-star hotel rooms starting at about $60 in June.</p> <h2>6. Colorado Springs, Colorado</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/garden_of_the_gods_and_skyline_at_dusk.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you've always wanted to visit scenic Colorado but don't think you can afford the glitzy mountain ski towns, check out Colorado Springs instead. This city is tucked right at the base of the Rockies and offers many free activities, like the aptly-named Garden of the Gods and beautiful scenic drives (one of which goes all the way to the top of Pikes Peak, one of Colorado's famed &quot;fourteeners&quot; &mdash; mountains exceeding 14,000 feet in height).</p> <p>You can also enjoy the sunny Colorado weather on the patio of one of the 32 local breweries, dive into history at one of the city's two castles ($9 or $10 per person, depending on which castle you choose), or visit the nearby ancient Anasazi cliff dwellings ($10 per person).</p> <p>Once you tire yourself out from all that fresh air and activity, it's easy to find affordable accommodations here for under $150 per night.</p> <h2>7. New Iberia, Louisiana</h2> <p>Outdoor enthusiasts and mystery fans alike will find reasons to like this small town at the seat of Iberia Parish in southern Louisiana. You can walk through Spanish moss-covered forests and soak in the unique Cajun culture that inspired the mystery novels of David Lee Burke, creator of the fictional detective Dave Robicheaux.</p> <p>But you don't have to have read the books to enjoy the area's fishing and bayou tours. Waterways make up nearly half of the parish &mdash; the Louisiana equivalent of a county. Or mosey through the area's plentiful gardens and parks; the town and surrounding areas are drenched in color during spring. Enjoy some local gumbo or shrimp étouffée to complete the experience.</p> <p>Best of all, lodging in New Iberia is extremely cheap, starting at just $63 per night. If camping's more your style, you can stay in the KOC Kampground for as little as $30 a night.</p> <h2>8. Park City, Utah</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/sunrise_above_park_city_mountain_resort.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If the great outdoors and history are your passions, then you need to check out Park City. This beautiful town surrounded by the Wasatch Mountain Range started out in the 1860s as a silver mining town. Later it became home to two ski resorts that hosted events during the 2002 Winter Olympics. That legacy is preserved at the Utah Olympic Park, which offers two free museums, along with paid adventure courses and a drop tower ($45 for adults and $30 for kids). You can also tour the facility ($12 for adults, and $7 for kids).</p> <p>Once you've had your fill of adventures, peruse the historic district in downtown Park City. The town offers free public transportation, and the downtown area is full of one-of-a-kind businesses, thanks to its anti-chain policy (no Starbucks here!). Lodging starts at $112 per night.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=%3Ch2%20style%3D%22text-align%3A%20center%3B%22%3ELike%20this%20article%3F%20Pin%20it!%3C%2Fh2%3E%3Cdiv%20align%3D%22center%22%3E%3C%2Fdiv%3E&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Affordable%2520U.S.%2520Destinations%2520for%2520a%2520Weekend%2520Getaway.jpg&amp;description=8%20Affordable%20U.S.%20Destinations%20for%20a%20Weekend%20Getaway"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Affordable%20U.S.%20Destinations%20for%20a%20Weekend%20Getaway.jpg" alt="8 Affordable U.S. Destinations for a Weekend Getaway" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lindsay-vansomeren">Lindsay VanSomeren</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-affordable-us-destinations-for-a-weekend-getaway">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-laid-back-girls-trip-destinations-anyone-can-afford">5 Laid-Back Girls&#039; Trip Destinations Anyone Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can Book a Disney Vacation for $1,000 or Less</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-budget-destinations-where-you-can-learn-to-scuba-dive">5 Budget Destinations Where You Can Learn to Scuba Dive</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids">7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-affordable-autumn-destinations-for-nature-lovers">4 Affordable Autumn Destinations for Nature Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel holiday weekend long weekend road trip travel tips u.s. destinations Thu, 03 May 2018 08:30:08 +0000 Lindsay VanSomeren 2134246 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Laid-Back Girls' Trip Destinations Anyone Can Afford http://www.wisebread.com/5-laid-back-girls-trip-destinations-anyone-can-afford <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-laid-back-girls-trip-destinations-anyone-can-afford" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_girlfriends_on_viewpoint.jpg" alt="Happy girlfriends on viewpoint" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are a million and one reasons a girls-only trip might be exactly what you need. Maybe you're planning a bachelorette party and need a few days to unwind before the big day. Or perhaps a weekend getaway has been on the horizon for years but you've never found the time. Either way, life is too short to never get away with your female friends.</p> <p>Unfortunately, planning a trip with multiple guests isn't always easy &mdash; especially when your guest list is past the age of all-nighters fueled by endless tequila shots. For many, the insane appeal of the Las Vegas party scene isn't what it used to be. Plus, it's highly possible you're all working with different travel budgets and diverse ideas of what is considered &quot;affordable.&quot;</p> <p>If you're looking for a fun girls' trip that's laid-back, interesting, and likely at a price point everyone in your squad can afford, consider these five possibilities that are both affordable and fun.</p> <h2>1. Charleston, South Carolina</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/folly_beach_pier_charleston.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Thanks to its southern charm and intact historic core, Charleston is one of the most interesting beach towns in the U.S. Stroll down cobblestone streets or take a horse-drawn carriage tour of the city's historic treasures. Charleston's well-preserved buildings represent a wide variety of architectural styles, from Victorian to Art Deco. Round out your history lesson with a plantation tour and a visit to Fort Sumter, a sea fort well known for its role in two battles of the American Civil War.</p> <p>When you tire of the city, head to a nearby beach. Folly Beach, a hangout for surfers and bohemians, is great whether you want to people-watch or participate. Surf novices can get a taste of the action with private lessons or small group classes from Shaka Surf School. For those more in the know, the shop hosts &quot;Wemoon&quot; surf and beach yoga classes on Saturday mornings for $90.</p> <p>For a medium-sized city, Charleston is surprisingly cheap to fly to. Nonstop flights from Chicago start at around $225 in July, for example. Hotels in the historic district start at around $115 per night in July for double occupancy.</p> <h2>2. Tulum, Mexico</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/el_castillo_tulum_mexico_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Tulum, Mexico is only an hour-and-a-half from the Cancun airport, but it might as well be a world away from the spring break party scene in the Cancun Hotel Zone. While Cancun is happening 24/7, Tulum puts off much more of a laid-back beachy vibe.</p> <p>If you're up for some serious chill, Tulum is the perfect destination to relax on a beach with a book and a Corona all day. You can also swim in one of the many nearby cenotes, natural swimming holes created by the collapse of limestone bedrock above. These freshwater Edens can be a refreshing break from the seawater, which can get warm in the summer.</p> <p>But the reason many people visit Tulum is to explore the ancient Mayan ruins set along a cliff over the azure sea below. Here, you can marvel at the ancient structures, wondering how they have continued to remain standing since the 13th century. Nearby Cobá contains more Mayan ruins, including a 137-foot pyramid you can climb.</p> <p>Best of all, Tulum is affordable. You can fly into Cancun International Airport round-trip from many U.S. cities for around $300. From there, you can take two connecting air-conditioned bus rides to Tulum, but it may be just as cost effective to get a private shuttle for your group or even rent a car. Finally, Tulum accommodations are surprisingly affordable with many three-star hotels and vacation rentals well under $100 a night.</p> <h2>3. Denver, Colorado</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/ouzel_lake_rocky_mountains.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Denver is a town that's all about the outdoors, but it's also got a thriving arts scene. By day, you can check out local hikes at Ouzel Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park, Bear Creek Trail at Lair o' the Bear Park, or Royal Arch Trail in Boulder's Chautauqua Park, for example.</p> <p>By night, dine at one of the city's trendiest restaurants in RINO (River North Art District). Afterward, take in the district's street art and experimental galleries, and pop in for a drink at one of the many local breweries or wineries.</p> <p>Or head to a performance. The Denver Theatre District is a 16-block area of downtown anchored by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, where you'll find plays and musicals nearly every night of the week. In the mood for an outdoor concert? Head to the stunning Red Rocks Amphitheatre, just 10 miles west of Denver, which hosts concerts in just about every musical genre you can think of.</p> <p>Because Denver is a popular destination with a large airport, it's easy to get cheap flights here. Round-trip airfare between New York and Denver in June starts at $250, for instance. Accommodations are affordable, too. Hotels in the heart of downtown Denver start at just $160 per night in June. Or, you can share a larger place with more space for everyone via Airbnb, starting at around $70 per night depending on the size and location of your rental.</p> <h2>4. Napa Valley, California</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/vineyards_in_napa_valley_northern_california.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Napa Valley can be a very expensive place to visit, which is not surprising, considering it boasts truly spectacular views and some of the world's best wines. But there are actually some ways to experience Napa without breaking the budget.</p> <p>Getting here is probably the most pleasant surprise, price-wise. Nonstop flights from Chicago can be had for around $300 in June.</p> <p>Once you're here, you and your gal pals will want to sample local flavors from some of the region's many wineries. The only problem is, typical wine tours (or the Napa Valley Wine Train) will set you back hundreds of dollars per person. Instead, through Airbnb you can book a guided tour in a vintage VW bus for $125 per person plus wine tasting fees (tasting fees are usually $30-$40 each). Or if you want to work off the grapes in between tastings, Calistoga Bike Shop offers self-guided tours that include free wine tastings at the wineries starting at about $110 per person.</p> <p>If that still sounds too expensive, create your own map and Uber your way to each winery. Uber drivers are easy enough to find in Napa, and splitting the costs with a group is probably your cheapest way to get around. Finally, the $15 <a href="http://donapa.com/wine-tasting-card/" target="_blank">Taste Napa Downtown card</a> lets you visit 25 tasting rooms within walking distance of each other. You won't get to tour the wineries, but you'll be able to taste some amazing wines at a price you can't beat. Whatever you do, don't drink and drive.</p> <p>Napa hotels can be pricey, but if you stay 12 miles away in Fairfield, you can find doubles as low as $133 per room (which you could split) at the height of summer. You can even book whole homes on Airbnb that work out to less than $100 per person per night.</p> <p>You can even splurge for a bit of pampering at one of the day spas in Napa. A 60-minute Swedish massage at Greenhaus Day spa is $105 and facial treatments start at $60.</p> <h2>5. Sedona, Arizona</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/sedona_arizona.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If your group prefers the active outdoors, Sedona is hard to beat. It's home to some of the most beautiful hikes in the nation, with huge red rocks, fascinating geologic formations, and even three spiritual vortexes, if you're into that kind of thing. The easy and popular Broken Arrow Trail makes a good start, with its towering rock formations, Panorama Point, and a sinkhole named the Devil's Dining Room. If you want to get out in nature without as much work, you can also book a Pink Jeep Tour with a guide who will point out the giant red rock spires, landmarks, and best views for $110 per person.</p> <p>Sedona has a thriving spa scene as well to relax your sore muscles. Numerous spa resorts and day spas are located in the downtown area and beyond. Fortunately, spa services can be affordable; a 60-minute massage at Sedona's Namti Spa starts at just $74 and facials start at $79.</p> <p>A two-hour drive from Phoenix, Sedona is fairly easy and cheap to get to. Round-trip flights from Chicago to Phoenix start at $201 in September. Hotels can also be reasonable. Double rooms at a basic hotel start at around $100 per night in September.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-laid-back-girls-trip-destinations-anyone-can-afford&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Laid-Back%2520Girls%2527%2520Trip%2520Destinations%2520Anyone%2520Can%2520Afford.jpg&amp;description=5%20Laid-Back%20Girls'%20Trip%20Destinations%20Anyone%20Can%20Afford"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Laid-Back%20Girls%27%20Trip%20Destinations%20Anyone%20Can%20Afford.jpg" alt="5 Laid-Back Girls' Trip Destinations Anyone Can Afford" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-laid-back-girls-trip-destinations-anyone-can-afford">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny 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/6-ways-to-travel-on-a-budget-while-in-expensive-countries">6 Ways to Travel On a Budget While in Expensive Countries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-overwater-bungalows-you-can-book-with-rewards-points">5 Overwater Bungalows You Can Book With Rewards Points</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/9-travel-destinations-for-introverts">9 Travel Destinations for Introverts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-affordable-destinations-that-are-safer-than-you-think">4 Affordable Destinations That Are Safer Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel girls trip laid back destinations relaxing vacation saving money travel destinations travel tips Wed, 02 May 2018 08:30:16 +0000 Holly Johnson 2136569 at http://www.wisebread.com