hotel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4896/all en-US 6 Ways a More Expensive Hotel Room Can Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-a-more-expensive-hotel-room-can-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-a-more-expensive-hotel-room-can-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hotel-89791451.jpg" alt="hotel" title="hotel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you book a hotel room, the price tag is not everything. If you pay attention to what's included in the nightly rate, you may find that a more expensive hotel room could give you much more value than the budget options. Here are several add-ons and features that may make the premium you pay for an expensive room worth it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. Location, Location, Location</h2> <p>As comfortable as your hotel room is, you probably didn't travel just to enjoy it. You need to get around, so abide by the old real estate mantra: Location is everything.</p> <p>You have limited vacation time, and you don't want to waste it getting from point A to point B. When you stay at a well-located hotel in a pedestrian-friendly city, you can get to many places just by walking. And if public transport is safe and convenient, you could save a lot of money on taxi fares or car rental. You may even find yourself with enough time to visit a particularly interesting attraction more than once.</p> <p>This convenience factor goes beyond transportation. Midnight cravings? Forget the overpriced room service food. You can take a short walk to the 24-hour restaurant around the corner instead.</p> <h2>2. Free Breakfast</h2> <p>There's no such thing as a free lunch, but you could get a free breakfast if you stay at the right hotel. Many premium hotels include a free breakfast for two in the nightly rate.</p> <p>When you choose a hotel, take into account that a hot breakfast buffet could easily cost you about $15 per person elsewhere. So if it comes down to two hotels with the same nightly rate, you would save about $30 by going with the hotel that offers free breakfast.</p> <p>Also consider the amount of time and transport costs that a free breakfast could save you. You might get to sleep in for another hour or so, thanks to the free breakfast. If you're a morning person, you can use the extra time to explore the area instead.</p> <h2>3. Small Appliances</h2> <p>Not all hotel rooms are created equal. Before you book, check what small appliances you'll get in the room.</p> <p>Budget hotels may not provide you with a mini fridge, for example. It doesn't seem like a big deal because you never buy the drinks and peanuts from the fridge anyway. But what would you do if you had some leftover food or drink at the end of the day? And what if you bought some fresh fruits and snacks?</p> <p>It's less common for a hotel to provide a microwave in the room, but you may need it to heat up those leftovers and frozen meals you stored in the fridge. You may also need a kettle or a coffee maker to make the accompanying hot beverages.</p> <p>If your hotel doesn't provide these small appliances in the room, check if they have them in the common areas like the lobby for all guests to share. This arrangement is slightly less convenient, but it's better than not having them at all.</p> <h2>4. On-Site Facilities</h2> <p>Even if you plan to spend all your waking time exploring, hotel amenities can help make or break the trip.</p> <p>Forgot your sunscreen? On top of on-site restaurants and cafes, some hotels also have convenience stores. The hotel prices may be higher than the drugstore prices, but you'll be saving yourself some precious vacation time.</p> <p>If you like to maintain a regular workout schedule even during a vacation, sports and recreation facilities are indispensable. Besides a fitness center and a swimming pool, high-end resorts often have tennis courts and even golf courses.</p> <h2>5. Personal Care Items</h2> <p>Most hotels provide soap, shampoo, and shower caps for free. If you ask the front desk, you may also be able to get a toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash. Other personal care items commonly provided in the room include a hair dryer, an iron, and an ironing board.</p> <p>Having these things available could lighten your bag and help you avoid airline baggage fees, but only if you would actually use them. Many women pack hair dryers in their bags anyway because the hotel ones are often of questionable qualify.</p> <p>Some hotels put in more effort into the personal care items they provide. For example, they may equip the rooms with toiletries of a certain brand, professional-grade powerful hair dryers, or even hair straighteners.</p> <h2>6. Free Wi-Fi</h2> <p>Some hotels still charge extra fees for Wi-Fi, even though it's becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. It's not just business travelers who use Wi-Fi for work and emails anymore.</p> <p>Internet connection can greatly improve your trip. You need Wi-Fi to check out online travel guides, maps, and restaurant reviews. With a good Internet connection, you can use your laptop or smartphone to call home without incurring expensive long-distance phone charges.</p> <p>In fact, you may not need a local phone plan at all if there's Wi-Fi at the hotel. Even with no data connection on your smartphone, you can download whatever you need to your phone before leaving the hotel so you can explore without getting lost along the way.</p> <p>Depending on the hotel, you may have to pay exorbitant hourly or daily rates just to get on the Internet. There are other accommodation options that provide you with free Wi-Fi, so just say no to expensive Wi-Fi fees.</p> <p><em>What hotel perks are you willing to pay for? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-a-more-expensive-hotel-room-can-save-you-money" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Ways a More Expensive Hotel Room Can Save You Money" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deia-b">Deia B</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-a-more-expensive-hotel-room-can-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel">When Should You Get a Vacation Rental Instead of a Hotel?</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/these-choos-were-made-for-walkin-an-interview-with-a-modern-urban-nomad">These Choos were made for walkin&#039;: an interview with a modern urban nomad</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/is-your-hotel-hiding-these-5-fees-in-your-bill">Is Your Hotel Hiding These 5 Fees in Your Bill?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-worst-and-best-airport-buys">The 8 Worst and Best Airport Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel hotel hotel amenities hotel perks Mon, 19 May 2014 09:00:29 +0000 Deia B 1139537 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Sniffing Out the Best Deals on Hotel Rooms http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-sniffing-out-the-best-deals-on-hotel-rooms <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-sniffing-out-the-best-deals-on-hotel-rooms" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hotel-5120458-small.jpg" alt="hotel" title="hotel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some amazing articles on sniffing out the best deals on hotel rooms, how being frugal can cost you money, and staying within your budget when buying a house.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/04/18/13-tips-for-sniffing-out-the-best-deals-on-hotel-rooms?int=aa6a09&amp;int=a86509">13 Tips for Sniffing Out the Best Deals on Hotel Rooms</a> &mdash; If you want to find the best deals on hotel rooms, utilize coupon books and see what others are paying. [US News &amp; World Report]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2014/04/21/10-ways-being-frugal-can-actually-cost-you-money/">10 Ways Being Frugal Can Actually Cost You Money</a> &mdash; Did you know cutting corners on insurance and ignoring routine medical visits can cost you money in the long run? [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/stay-budget-buying-house/">5 Ways To Stay Within Your Budget When Buying a House</a> &mdash; If you want to stay within budget when buying a house, don't compare yourself to others when buying a house. [Money Crashers]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2014/04/the-importance-of-a-thank-you-note.html">The Importance of a Thank You Note</a> &mdash; 58% of employers said it's important to send a thank you note after an interview. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Things-You-Regret-Your-30s-34637699">11 Things You'll Regret in Your 30s</a> &mdash; You may regret putting work first and not taking chances in your 30s. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://onecentatatime.com/financial-lessons-for-your-children-while-on-the-way-to-school/">Financial Lessons for Your Children While on the Way to School</a> &mdash; On the way to school, you can ask for your children's advice on family expenditures. [One Cent at a Time]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/reality-check-saving-money-hard/">Reality Check: Why Saving Money is so Hard</a> &mdash; The fact that we prioritize the present over the future makes saving hard! [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/6-tips-to-surviving-homework-time">6 Tips to Surviving Homework Time</a> &mdash; To survive homework time, set rules and have snacks. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/cds-emergency-fund.html">Can CDs be a good place for your emergency fund?</a> &mdash; CDs keep your money safe but if you try to withdraw early, you will get hit with penalties. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://money.cnn.com/2014/04/01/pf/hearing-aids.moneymag/index.html?section=money_pf&amp;utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fmoney_pf+%28Personal+Finance%29">Save Big on Hearing Aids</a> &mdash; You can save on hearing aids by purchasing them at Costco. [CNN Money]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-sniffing-out-the-best-deals-on-hotel-rooms" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Sniffing Out the Best Deals on Hotel Rooms" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-sniffing-out-the-best-deals-on-hotel-rooms">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/is-your-hotel-hiding-these-5-fees-in-your-bill">Is Your Hotel Hiding These 5 Fees in Your Bill?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-incredible-places-you-must-visit-before-you-die">25 Incredible Places You Must Visit Before You Die</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/make-your-escape-with-these-14-affordable-weekend-getaways">Make Your Escape With These 14 Affordable Weekend Getaways</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-questions-to-ask-before-you-book-a-vacation-package">6 Questions to Ask Before You Book a Vacation Package</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel best money tips hotel hotel rooms travel Mon, 28 Apr 2014 09:00:20 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1136706 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Cook Food From a Hotel Room http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cook-food-from-a-hotel-room <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-cook-food-from-a-hotel-room" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hotel-160048120.jpg" alt="hotel" title="hotel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on cooking food from a hotel room, psychological life hacks, and building a resume when you have nothing to put on it.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://www.mint.com/blog/how-to/6-ways-to-cook-food-from-a-hotel-room-0413/">6 Ways to Cook Food From a Hotel Room</a> &mdash; Packing wisely and asking for a fridge can help you cook from your hotel room. [MintLife Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Psychological-Life-Hacks-34485486">Come Out a Winner with These 27 Psychological Life Hacks</a> &mdash; Framing requests as offers and chewing gum when you are nervous can help you come out a winner. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://lifehacker.com/how-can-i-build-a-resume-when-i-have-nothing-to-put-on-1555349531">How Can I Build a Resume When I have Nothing to Put On It?</a> &mdash; To build your resume when you have nothing to put on it, get great references. [Lifehacker]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-simple-habits-you-didnt-know-can-help-you-live-without-anxiety.html">10 Simple Habits You Didn't Know Can Help You Live Without Anxiety</a> &mdash; Writing down your thoughts and taking time to relax can help you live without anxiety. [Lifehack]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mainstreet.com/article/smart-spending/autos/how-slash-your-car-insurance-bill">How to Slash Your Car Insurance Bill</a> &mdash; Slash your car insurance bill by bundling policies. [Mainstreet]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://canadianfinanceblog.com/developing-interpersonal-skills-earn-more-money/">How Developing Your Interpersonal Skills Can Earn You More Money</a> &mdash; Your interpersonal skills can help you network better, which can allow you to earn more money. [Canadian Finance Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/04/01/how-to-reduce-your-energy-costs-this-summer">How to Reduce Your Energy Costs This Summer</a> &mdash; Taking cold showers and unplugging things can reduce your energy expenses this summer. [US News &amp; World Report]</p> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2014/03/30/12-things-you-should-start-making-time-for-again/">12 Things You Should Start Making Time For Again</a> &mdash; Make time to read books and spread joy. [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="http://timemanagementninja.com/2014/03/5-critical-steps-to-take-before-you-can-delegate-effectively/">5 Critical Steps To Take Before You Can Delegate Effectively</a> &mdash; Having a clear idea of what tasks you can delegate can help you delegate effectively. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/8-tips-to-get-out-of-the-house-on-time-in-the-morning">8 Tips to Get Out of the House on Time in the Morning</a> &mdash; To get out of the house on time in the morning, check your commute and reward good behavior. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cook-food-from-a-hotel-room" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Cook Food From a Hotel Room" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cook-food-from-a-hotel-room">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/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat">The new face of poverty is fat</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/cooking-without-crepe-pans-and-other-expensive-kitchen-tools">Cooking Without Crepe Pans and Other Expensive Kitchen Tools</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/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-recipes-perfect-for-the-traveling-chef">5 Easy Recipes Perfect for the Traveling Chef</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/perfect-peanut-sauce">Perfect Peanut Sauce</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Food and Drink Travel best money tips Cooking Food hotel Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:00:31 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1134137 at http://www.wisebread.com When Should You Get a Vacation Rental Instead of a Hotel? http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/luggage-167232528.jpg" alt="woman with luggage" title="woman with luggage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Vacation rentals &mdash; that is, rooms, apartments, and houses that can be rented in lieu of hotels&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 1.5;">&mdash;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">started out as a little secret that only hardcore travelers shared. But since Airbnb's inception in 2007, the use of vacation rentals has grown a lot and become quite mainstream. In 2013 alone, travelers booked </span><a style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;" href="http://techcrunch.com/2013/12/19/airbnb-10m/">6 million stays on Airbn</a><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">b. Other vacation rental companies have appeared in the past few years, although they're not nearly as popular as Airbnb. (See also: </span><a style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-steps-to-market-your-extra-space-as-a-vacation-rental?ref=seealso">Marketing Your Extra Space as a Vacation Rental</a><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">)</span></p> <p>No doubt some of Airbnb's success is due to its clever marketing campaigns. During the 2014 Winter Olympics, Airbnb used Twitter to reach out to high-profile <a href="http://mashable.com/2014/02/07/airbnb-sochi-problems/">journalists who complained about their hotels</a>. During the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, Airbnb again used Twitter <a href="http://digiday.com/brands/dstilleryes-airbnb-sxsw/">to reward festival-goers with gifts</a> like Whole Foods gift cards and Airbnb credit.</p> <p>For me, the notion of sharing a space with a local individual is appealing. It's definitely a different experience compared to the usual dealings with nameless, faceless hotel chains.</p> <p>But even I will admit that vacation rentals are not for everyone. While staying at a vacation rental has its advantages, it also involves a lot more work than a hotel stay.</p> <h2>Vacation Rental Pros</h2> <p>Before we look at the cons, however, let's look at several reasons why vacation rentals are so popular.</p> <h3>Variety</h3> <p>AirBnB has everything from spare rooms in downtown Montreal to sprawling villas with private swimming pools in Bali. There are even castles, boathouses, and treehouses. No matter what your budget is, there is a vacation rental for you.</p> <h3>Nightly Rates</h3> <p>Speaking of budget, the rates of vacation rentals are often dramatically lower than hotel rates. These rates vary depending on the location and the type of accommodation you rent, though, so do check hotel rates as well before you book.</p> <h3>Long-Term Stays</h3> <p>If your stay will be longer than just a couple of nights, you could enjoy even cheaper accommodation. Some hosts have competitive weekly and monthly rates that could help lower the cost of your long trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-landing-the-perfect-house-sitting-gig?ref=seealso">How to Land the Perfect House-Sitting Gig</a>)</p> <h3>Use of a Kitchen</h3> <p>Unlike hotels, many vacation rentals have kitchens, which should save you some money if you don't mind cooking during your trip. I once rented a spare room in a house where the kitchen even had a free-for-all shelf full of unopened cans of tomato sauce, pancake mix, bananas, and other random foodstuff left behind by previous guests.</p> <h3>Local Experience</h3> <p>When you stay at a vacation rental, you live in a local home and have local neighbors. It's a different experience from staying at a hotel, where you're always aware that you're just a visitor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/live-like-a-local-how-to-tap-into-the-local-scene-while-traveling?ref=seealso">How to Live Like a Local While Traveling</a>)</p> <h3>The Host</h3> <p>The best vacation rental hosts are friendly, generous, and knowledgeable. They give you valuable local advice that often enriches the itinerary, ask you to come along on their weekend outings, and even offer to cook you dinner. When you're alone in a strange city, great hosts can make you feel like you belong there.</p> <h2>Vacation Rental Cons</h2> <p>Before you book a room in someone else's house, consider some of the downsides of the vacation rental experience.</p> <h3>The Host</h3> <p>You may not wind up staying with the nice people described above who are happy to cook a meal for you. You could end up with a grumpy host who just wants to make an easy buck. This would be quite annoying if you were to rent a bedroom and share the house with him, but shouldn't be a big problem if you rent a standalone property like an entire apartment unit or house.</p> <h3>Booking</h3> <p>In theory, it's easy to make a vacation rental booking. You're supposed to check for the property's availability on the website, contact the host, and book once you get a positive reply.</p> <p>In practice, it's not always that simple. Maybe the host doesn't update the online availability and his family happens to be visiting on the same weekend as your trip? Or maybe the host is not active enough on the website to reply promptly to your message, leaving you hanging for two whole weeks?</p> <p>To improve your chances, you can start looking well in advance, choose experienced hosts with lots of good reviews, and contact multiple hosts at once. But even if you do everything right, this whole process might take more time than you like.</p> <h3>Amenities</h3> <p>Some things are always available even at the humblest motel. A coffee maker, for example, or a hair dryer.</p> <p>With a vacation rental, you can't assume that such amenities will be available. You're renting someone else's home, after all, and that person may not be a coffee person.</p> <p>Before you book, read the online listing carefully to check if the host mentions the amenities you need. If not, ask the host through the website's messaging system, being as specific as possible with your question.</p> <h3>Safety</h3> <p>Staying at a vacation rental means that you'll be sharing the space with a stranger or at least living in a space to which a stranger has easy access. Vacation rental websites try to verify identities and make it as safe as possible for everyone involved, but there could be one bad host who slips through the cracks.</p> <p>Always check the host's reviews before you book. It won't guarantee a good stay, but a host with 10 positive reviews is a safer bet than a new host with no review. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vacation-safe-11-tips-for-hotel-safety?ref=seealso">11 Tips for Hotel Safety</a>)</p> <h2>Bottom Line</h2> <p>Rent a vacation rental instead of a room in a hotel if the following apply to you and your vacation plans:</p> <ul> <li>You don't mind spending more time on the booking process.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You like the idea of living like a local.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You want to spend less on accommodations &mdash; compare the vacation rental prices with hotel prices before you book.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You need a bigger, private space &mdash; book an entire apartment or house.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You like to meet locals and get their insight into ways to explore their city.</li> </ul> <p><em>Have you stayed at a vacation rental? What was your experience like?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel" class="sharethis-link" title="When Should You Get a Vacation Rental Instead of a Hotel?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deia-b">Deia B</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-and-book-the-best-vacation-rentals">How to Find and Book the Best Vacation Rentals</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-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb — and Succeed</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/sleeping-in-airports-for-the-stranded-and-frugal-minded">Sleeping In Airports For The Stranded And Frugal Minded</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/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals">Got Extra Space? Make Money and Meet Travelers With Short-Term Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-a-more-expensive-hotel-room-can-save-you-money">6 Ways a More Expensive Hotel Room Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel accommodation AirBnb hotel micro-subletting vacation rental Tue, 01 Apr 2014 09:24:20 +0000 Deia B 1133958 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Your Hotel Hiding These 5 Fees in Your Bill? http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-hotel-hiding-these-5-fees-in-your-bill <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-your-hotel-hiding-these-5-fees-in-your-bill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hotel-1390643-small.jpg" alt="man on hotel bed" title="man on hotel bed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For a frugal traveler who's traveling on his on own dime, it seems as if the days of simply renting a room for the night for an agreed-upon rate are history. These days, making a hotel reservation is an opaque process filled with hidden charges and absurd fees. After experiencing it first-hand, I completely agree with the author of <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/13/business/barrage-of-fees-starts-to-follow-fliers-to-the-hotel.html?_r=1&amp;">this article</a>; it's as if the hotel industry took a business tutorial from the airlines and figured out how to bulk up their profits by peppering weary consumers with sneaky charges. Here are just a few sneaky fees I've recently encountered. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. Resort Fee</h2> <p>Don't be fooled by the name; you don't have to book at a five-star resort to rack up this fee. Some run-of-the-mill hotels assess a resort fee to cover amenities like pool usage, access to the fitness center, newspaper delivery, and other extras. Guests should be informed of this fee at check-in, but some hotels are better than others in being upfront about this charge. If you don't plan on taking advantage of any the perks included, ask the manager to waive the fee before you check in. Typically guests who are direct, are polite, and explain that their priority is lodging only, can avoid getting dinged. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-budget-hotels">Best Credit Cards for Budget Hotels</a>)</p> <h2>2. Wi-Fi Fee</h2> <p>While most folks assume Internet access has become so common that it's nearly a basic utility like lights and water, hotels have a different idea. From per-minute fees to flat daily charges, the price of Wi-Fi access varies widely, but expect to pay anywhere from $3&ndash;$10 per day. Like every charge, it's best to know the fees up front before you book, so you can compare rates between hotels on an apples-to-apples basis. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-free-or-cheap-internet-access">How to Get Free or Cheap Internet</a>)</p> <h2>3. Parking Fee</h2> <p>Don't assume parking is included in your room rate. I'm not talking valet service here &mdash; there's a growing trend even in modest-sized cities to charge for a parking space. And in larger metro areas where parking fees are mostly standard, it's important to ask if those fees include unlimited in/out privileges. If not, you'll be assessed a new parking fee each and every time you leave and return.</p> <p>We all know that parking charges aren't new in the general marketplace, but they are becoming a more common trend at hotels. Though I'm sure there are some travelers who arrive without a car, I imagine they're few and far between. Be sure to explicitly ask about parking policies before you a reserve a room &mdash; the best deal in town sours when you're presented with an extra $15 parking charge each day of your stay.</p> <h2>4. Early Check-In and Check-Out Fee</h2> <p>Believe it or not, even if a clean room is available, some hotels charge road-weary travelers to check-in early. Fees vary based on how far in advance guests arrive prior to the hotel's stated check-in time, but expect to pay at least half of a full day's room rate.</p> <p>Similarly, guests who have a change of plans and need to check out early can be assessed between $50 to the full price of an extra night's stay. And while we're on the subject&hellip; Hotel cancellation policies are becoming more rigid, too. Hotels that used to allow guests to cancel their reservations the same day by 6:00 p.m. are now requiring 48 hours notice in order to avoid being charged for a night's stay. To steer clear of this charge, check and double check a hotel's cancellation policy before you book if there's even a slim chance your itinerary might change.</p> <h2>5. In-Room Safe Fee</h2> <p>In most modern hotel rooms you'll probably find a safe bolted to the floor in the closet or near the entryway. This safe is available to guests if they notice it, if they have something to put in it, and if they choose to use it. For most guests, I assume the safe becomes just part of the visual landscape in the room &mdash; like the dressers that no one really uses or the tiny <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-coffeemakers">coffee makers</a> that make really bad coffee. But the safe is quite different from all of those other objects. Why? Because you're being charged for it every single day of your stay. Typically, the in-room safe fee runs about $1&ndash;$3 per day, and it's added to your bill whether you use the safe or not.</p> <p>To me, the safe fee seems bolder than all the rest for one simple reason: consumers are being charged simply because an object is sitting in the room. That takes some chutzpah. Imagine if you were charged for the shower cap whether you used it or not. The TV whether you tuned into Conan or not. That little coffee maker whether you brewed a scorching cup of weak coffee or not. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-getting-fleeced-at-hotels">Avoid Getting Fleeced at Hotels</a>)</p> <p>Avoiding getting hit with the safe charge is relatively simple if you act promptly. Upon check-in, scout around quickly for a safe. If you find one, but don't plan on using it to stash your pearls, call the front desk. Tell them you won't be using the safe and request that they deduct the fee from your bill (and then make sure they've actually done it when it's time to check out).</p> <h2>Fee Defense</h2> <p>I'd like to think that the hotel industry's nickel-and-dime approach will only serve to anger and alienate their customers and eventually lead to a more transparent pricing model, but I know better. The airlines have (successfully) set the bar so low that we may be witnessing a new age of price-gouging as more industries try to pump up profits. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frequently-under-budgeted-air-travel-costs">Frequently Under-Budgeted Air Travel Costs</a>)</p> <p>For consumers, the rules are the same. Know where the hidden fees are lurking, ask questions before you book, be vigilant about reviewing your itemized bill, constructively complain when you feel you've been misled or over-charged, and leverage the power of online reviews to alert other consumers to unclear or unfair pricing practices. We may not win the war, but we can make each battle a bit more difficult.</p> <p><em>What hotel fees do you find especially irksome? </em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-hotel-hiding-these-5-fees-in-your-bill" class="sharethis-link" title="Is Your Hotel Hiding These 5 Fees in Your Bill?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-hotel-hiding-these-5-fees-in-your-bill">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-incredible-places-you-must-visit-before-you-die">25 Incredible Places You Must Visit Before You Die</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/make-your-escape-with-these-14-affordable-weekend-getaways">Make Your Escape With These 14 Affordable Weekend Getaways</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/6-questions-to-ask-before-you-book-a-vacation-package">6 Questions to Ask Before You Book a Vacation Package</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/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel fees hotel motel travel Fri, 20 Sep 2013 10:36:03 +0000 Kentin Waits 987982 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Cool Things to Do With Hotel Amenities http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cool-things-to-do-with-hotel-amenities <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-cool-things-to-do-with-hotel-amenities" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2937627245_74e9592e9a_z.jpg" alt="hotel soap" title="hotel soap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on cool things to do with hotel amenities, free ways to say 'I love you,' and how to make an interviewer like you.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Reusing-Hotel-Amenities-21860840">8 Cool Things To Do With Hotel Amenities</a> &mdash; Use the hotel soap you scored on your last vacation to make detergent. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://livingonthecheap.com/free-ways-to-say-i-love-you-on-valentines-day/">6 free ways to say 'I love you' on Valentine's Day</a> &mdash; Send your Valentine a love letter for Valentine's Day. It's free and shows them how much you care. [Living on the Cheap]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2013/02/how-to-make-an-interviewer-like-you.html">How to Make an Interviewer Like You</a> &mdash; If you want your interviewer to like you, only say what needs to be said to seal the deal. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stretcher.com/stories/13/13feb04j.cfm#.URFkpoXxJl8">6 Ways to Beat the Social Security Tax Increase</a> &mdash; Beat the social security tax increase by refinancing your home. [Dollar Stretcher]</p> <p><a href="http://andthenwesaved.com/getting-support-from-others/">Getting Others On Board With Your New &quot;Spending Less&quot; Lifestyle</a> &mdash; To get others on board with your &quot;spending less&quot; lifestyle, point out the end date of your new lifestyle. [And Then We Saved]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/learn-from-your-explanation-of-benefits/">5 Things You Can Learn from Your Explanation of Benefits</a> &mdash; Your explanation of benefits can tell you why a claim was rejected. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.girlsjustwannahavefunds.com/save-on-business-gas/">3 Reasons to Switch your Gas &amp; Electricity + DIY Utility Savings</a> &mdash; Turn off appliances you aren't using to save money on your utility bill. [Girls Just Wanna Have Funds]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/how-to-prevent-burglary">Burglary Prevention: Common Sense Advice to Avoid Becoming a Victim</a> &mdash; Setting up lights that are on a timer or putting up a &quot;No Soliciting&quot; sign can help protect you from becoming a victim of burglary. [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/4-tips-for-tackling-kid-messes">4 Tips for Tackling Those Never-Ending Kid Messes (Plus $1 off coupon!)</a> &mdash; To tackle never-ending kid messes, take things one room at a time. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://bargainbabe.com/2013/01/29/35-secret-uses-for-coconut-oil/">35 Secret Uses for Coconut Oil</a> &mdash; Did you know you can use coconut oil to reduce the itch of mosquito bites? [Bargain Babe]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cool-things-to-do-with-hotel-amenities" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Cool Things to Do With Hotel Amenities" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cool-things-to-do-with-hotel-amenities">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hostels-vs-hotels-choosing-the-perfect-place-to-stay-within-your-budget">Hostels vs Hotels: Choosing the Perfect Place to Stay Within your 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-a-more-expensive-hotel-room-can-save-you-money">6 Ways a More Expensive Hotel Room Can Save You Money</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/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel">When Should You Get a Vacation Rental Instead of a Hotel?</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/these-choos-were-made-for-walkin-an-interview-with-a-modern-urban-nomad">These Choos were made for walkin&#039;: an interview with a modern urban nomad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-hotel-hiding-these-5-fees-in-your-bill">Is Your Hotel Hiding These 5 Fees in Your Bill?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel amenities best money tips hotel Wed, 06 Feb 2013 11:00:45 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 967688 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Save Money When Staying at a Hotel http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-save-money-when-staying-at-a-hotel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-save-money-when-staying-at-a-hotel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3454461907_3f5e9cbfd3_z-1.jpg" alt="Save Money When Staying at a Hotel" title="Save Money When Staying at a Hotel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on ways to save money when staying at a hotel, shopping rules of thumb, and ways to maximize Craigslist revenue.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.smartmoneydaily.com/personalfinance/save-money-staying-at-hotel.aspx">6 Ways to Save Money When Staying at a Hotel</a> &mdash; Save money on your next hotel stay by taking advantage of the hotel's free shuttle service. [Smart Money Daily]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2011/06/14/15-shopping-rules-of-thumb/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+thesimpledollar+%28The+Simple+Dollar%29">15 Shopping Rules of Thumb</a> &mdash; When you shop, be sure to pay for freshness instead of convenience. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/10-ways-to-maximize-craigslist-revenue/">10 Ways to Maximize Craigslist Revenue</a> &mdash; Maximize your Craigslist revenue by including pictures in your ads. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <p><a href="http://www.singleguymoney.com/2011/06/5-car-financing-tips-to-help-you-get.html">5 Car Financing Tips to Help You Get the Best Deal &amp; Rates on a Car Loan</a> &mdash; Get the best rate on your car loan by not buying or financing an extended warranty. [Single Guy Money]</p> <p><a href="http://firefinance.blogspot.com/2008/04/top-7-energy-saving-tips-for-this.html?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FireFinance-FinancialIndependenceRetireEarly+%28FIRE+Finance+-+Financial+Independence+Retire+Early%29">Top 7 Energy Saving Tips for this Summer</a> &mdash; Save energy this summer by using a programmable thermostat. [FIRE Finance]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/what-dad-really-wants-for-father-s-day">What Dad REALLY Wants For Father's Day</a> &mdash; This Father's Day, make dad his favorite meal! [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.themillionairenurse.com/2011/06/14/ten-things-you-need-to-know-about-light-bulbs/">Ten Things You Need To Know About Lightbulbs</a> &mdash; The government has mandated that by 2012, lightbulbs must be 25% more efficient. [The Millionaire Nurse Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.financiallypoor.com/extra-income/how-to-make-money-taking-surveys-while-avoiding-scams/">How To Make Money Taking Surveys While Avoiding Scams</a> &mdash; Avoid survey scams by recognizing when a disproportionate amount of money is being offered to take a certain survey. [Financially Poor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2011/06/11-things-you-can-give-when-you-think.html?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DumbLittleMan+%28Dumb+Little+Man+-+tips+for+life%29">11 Things You Can Give When You Think You Have Nothing Left To Give</a> &mdash; When you think you have nothing left to give, you can still give of your time. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2011/06/15/risks-that-can-derail-your-retirement/">Risks That Can Derail Your Retirement</a> &mdash; Job loss and having children are just a couple things that can derail your retirement plans. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-save-money-when-staying-at-a-hotel" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Save Money When Staying at a Hotel" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-save-money-when-staying-at-a-hotel">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-hotel-hiding-these-5-fees-in-your-bill">Is Your Hotel Hiding These 5 Fees in Your Bill?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-incredible-places-you-must-visit-before-you-die">25 Incredible Places You Must Visit Before You Die</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/make-your-escape-with-these-14-affordable-weekend-getaways">Make Your Escape With These 14 Affordable Weekend Getaways</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-questions-to-ask-before-you-book-a-vacation-package">6 Questions to Ask Before You Book a Vacation Package</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel best money tips hotel savings travel Thu, 16 Jun 2011 10:00:26 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 582368 at http://www.wisebread.com Cheap Hotel Room Promo: Get a Room at Super 8 for $8.88! (offer expired) http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-hotel-room-promo-get-a-room-at-super-8-for-888 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cheap-hotel-room-promo-get-a-room-at-super-8-for-888" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/super 8.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="333" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em><strong>*This offer has ended.</strong></em></p> <p>With a Super 8 located nearly everywhere, it&rsquo;s a good time to try to get in on their amazing (yet possibly frustrating) $8.88 offer for the first 800 reservations each night.<span> </span>How do you do it?</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Wait until 8 pm EDT (since this is when the promotion starts each day.)<span> </span>Go to Super 8&rsquo;s website and click on <a href="http://www.super8.com/Super8/control/super888promo">the &ldquo;Super 8 Rooms for $8.88&rdquo; offer</a>.<span> </span>Have your credit card handy. Search out the room of your choosing and be sure the stay is for one night and for a date between 8/8/08 and 12/30/08.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">If it is after 8 pm, and all 800 rooms haven&rsquo;t already been sold for the day, the website will allow you to book your room (limit one per person) immediately.<span> </span>Be sure to have your Wyndham Rewards account numbers already populated and ready to go!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Read the details so that you&rsquo;re familiar with the terms and conditions.<span> </span>(Since this is a special promo, there are no cancellations, changes, transfers, or refunds.<span> </span>If you change your mind after your room purchase is processed, you&rsquo;re out the $8.88 plus taxes.)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">You may also want to pick out your hotel room online in advance of 8 pm, to be sure that the room you want is available and you get a chance to familiarize yourself with the different motels in the area you will be staying.<span> </span>Time is precious, so have all the legwork done ahead of time to improve your chances of scoring that great deal!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Super 8 has changed a bit over the past few years.<span> </span>Still one of the most affordable chain motels, it has held its position as a recognized leader in discount room-and-board.<span> </span>With the best of basic amenities, it&rsquo;s a decent option for travelers looking for the right balance of cheap without being nasty.<span> </span>Their 8-point promise guarantees:</p> <ul> <li class="MsoNormal">Free in-room high-speed Internet access</li> <li class="MsoNormal">Free continental breakfast</li> <li class="MsoNormal">Upgraded bath with hair dryer, adjustable shower head, and curved shower rod for more space!</li> <li class="MsoNormal">Free coffee in your room, in the lobby, and even while you're on the road!</li> <li class="MsoNormal">Kids 17 and under stay free (in adult family member's room)</li> <li class="MsoNormal">Wyndham Rewards<sup><span style="font-size: 10pt;">SM</span></sup> &ndash; Earn 10 points for every dollar you spend!</li> <li class="MsoNormal">Cable or satellite TV with free premium channels</li> <li class="MsoNormal">Guaranteed Best Available Rate on super8.com or your first night's free! (Read more about this kicky promo in <a href="/get-free-hotel-stays-with-wyndhams-best-rate-guarantee">Xin Lu&rsquo;s article</a>.)</li> </ul> <p class="MsoNormal">Traffic will be high during the promotion period, so plan accordingly.<span> </span>(And don&rsquo;t wait to get in on the good deal if you absolutely must get a room booked ASAP.<span> </span>It&rsquo;s not worth missing out on a reservation.)<span> </span>This promotions runs until 8/15/08, so if you&rsquo;re lucky enough to get one, please let us know!</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-hotel-room-promo-get-a-room-at-super-8-for-888" class="sharethis-link" title="Cheap Hotel Room Promo: Get a Room at Super 8 for $8.88! (offer expired)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-hotel-room-promo-get-a-room-at-super-8-for-888">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-places-to-find-deals-at-the-mall">The 8 Best Places to Find Deals at the Mall</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/coupon-of-the-month-30-off-a-30-purchase-at-shopnbc">Coupon of the month! $30 off a $30 purchase at ShopNBC.</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-bargains-to-help-you-keep-your-cool-this-summer">5 bargains to help you keep your cool 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/secret-discount-codes-just-in-time-for-mothers-day-lets-go-shopping">SECRET DISCOUNT CODES just in time for Mother&#039;s Day - let&#039;s go shopping!</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/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Deals deals discounts hotel motel promotions super 8 Sun, 10 Aug 2008 14:57:46 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2309 at http://www.wisebread.com Hostels vs Hotels: Choosing the Perfect Place to Stay Within your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/hostels-vs-hotels-choosing-the-perfect-place-to-stay-within-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/hostels-vs-hotels-choosing-the-perfect-place-to-stay-within-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hostels versus hotels.JPG" alt="hostel" title="hostel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Most people think that the frugal way to travel is to stay in hostels. However there are a number of scenarios where that may not be the case. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Hostel Amenities</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Hostels vary incredibly in layout, overall mood, location, clientele, and amenities.</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Most hostels have both dorm room accommodations as well as private and semi-private rooms. There will be a kitchen (fully stocked with cooking and eating utensils, and occasionally some staple foods too) which is shared by everybody in the hostel. Some hostels have multiple kitchens, depending on the layout. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>There are also often common areas, bookshelves (where you can leave a book you have read and take a different book with you), and a variety of other occasional amenities including games, DVDs, satellite televisions, and internet access. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Washrooms are often shared, but sometimes those who get a private room will have a private washroom. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Many hostels will also organize or host small tours or activities in the area, depending on the area, culture, and type of guests. Most hostel guests are younger, many being under the age of 30. However one thing you will quickly learn about hostels is that you never know what you are going to get. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>One of the things that can be the appeal or deterrence (depending on the type of traveller you are) is the wide variety of circumstances you can run into at a hostel. You never know what the exact amenities will be, how many people are crammed into one space, what the room layout will look like, and what services will be offered. Its location may be right in the middle of the action, or tucked away inconveniently far from everything you want to see. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Some hostels will encourage guests to hang around on the property for the day with a comfortable atmosphere and friendly staff, while others actually have lock-out policies requiring guests to leave between 10am and 4pm (for example). Some have curfews at night, some prohibit all alcohol and drugs on the premises, and others yet have the cheapest bar in town attached to the place with a 24-hour party atmosphere. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Some hostels serve breakfast in the morning, while others are skeleton accommodations with nothing more than a bed to offer. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Hotel Amenities</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Hotels by comparison, are much more predictable. You will get a private room with a bed, full washroom, and occasionally a kitchenette or in-room coffee maker. You won&#39;t have to make the bed (as you often do with hostels), or strip it when you leave. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>The locations and clientele of hotels however will vary significantly, so like hostels you don&#39;t always know what you&#39;re going to get. But that&#39;s all part of the appeal of traveling, I think!</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Comparison for the Single Traveler</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>For the single traveler, hostels will almost always be cheaper, as long as you are willing to bunk up in a dorm room with other travelers. Security becomes an issue if you are staying with strangers, so having the ability to lock up your belongings or trusting inherently in your fellow traveler will be a necessity. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Hostel private and semi-private rooms can often be on par (if not a touch cheaper but sometimes even more expensive) than basic hotel rooms. For a single traveler, the decision comes down to the preferred amenities and social setting. You can save a pile of cash by preparing your own food in the kitchen provided in a hostel, and there is a lot of inherent value in the camaraderie with fellow travelers and the common area amenities. You can learn what places to stay away from, what is worth seeing, and often you will make fast friends with other travelers and see the sights with them in following days and even weeks of your trip. </span></p> <p> <span> </span></p> <h2><span>Comparison for Travelers in Groups</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>For families or groups of friends, the decision to stay in a hostel or hotel is a touch more complex. Here are some guidelines:</span></p> <h3><strong><span>Privacy</span></strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Do you want privacy, or as a group are you interested in meeting other people? If your itinerary is already set and all you need is a place to lay your head down, then sharing a hotel room will likely be cheaper. </span></p> <h3><strong><span>How Many are in your Group</span></strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Depending on the number of people you are travelling with, some hostels may be hard-pressed to accommodate your entire party. Then again, if your group can fill up an entire dorm room (and some dorm rooms sleep only four people anyway), then you may be able to save a few bucks and take advantage of the hostel amenities too. </span></p> <h3><strong><span>How Long is your Stay</span></strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Some hostels, in order to prevent a seedy transient crowd from infiltrating the place, may require that guests have a departure ticket, or will limit the number of nights you can stay. Hotels, although they also don&#39;t want a transient crowd, aren&#39;t always as stringent since there are more rooms to be had and no social scene to &quot;poison&quot; with the wrong type of person staying there. </span></p> <h3><strong><span>How Old are You</span></strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Although age discrimination is illegal, an older traveler or group of travellers may feel out of place at a hostel. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Getting Used to Hostels</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Initially when I started travelling and staying in hostels, I was leery. I tired quickly of the standard conversations with other travellers: Where are you from, Where are you going, Where have you been, etc. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>I stayed at a few hostels that had large groups of travellers moving through that all knew each other, and felt like I was on the outside of a giant inside joke at times. I was also used to staying in hotels, and hadn&#39;t learned how to make the jump to hostelling and all it had to offer. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Since then, I am a devout fan. I have met friends for life from all over the world (and now have places to stay with them in many countries), I have learned from other travelers&#39; experiences where the great places to eat, drive by, and visit are, and I love the surprises of not knowing exactly what the place will be like until you are there. Sometimes it&#39;s not so great, but sometimes <a href="http://freedom30.blogspot.com/2007/05/sleepless-in-vancouver-and-beyond.html" target="_blank">hostel mis-adventures</a> make for the best travel stories!</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Choosing the Perfect Hostel</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>There are a number of resources to search for the hostel that will suit your needs. They include:</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><a href="http://www.hostelworld.com/" target="_blank">Hostel World</a></span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><a href="http://www.hosteltimes.com/" target="_blank">Hostel Times</a> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><a href="http://www.thebackpacker.net/" target="_blank">The Backpacker</a></span></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hostels-vs-hotels-choosing-the-perfect-place-to-stay-within-your-budget" class="sharethis-link" title="Hostels vs Hotels: Choosing the Perfect Place to Stay Within your Budget" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hostels-vs-hotels-choosing-the-perfect-place-to-stay-within-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <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-travel-in-style-for-free">How to Travel in Style...For Free</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/hitching-a-ride-on-an-airplane">Hitching a Ride on an Airplane</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/alternatives-to-drunk-driving">Alternatives to drunk driving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirt-on-travel-insurance">The Dirt on Travel Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Cars and Transportation Lifestyle amenities budget accommodations budget travel frual travel group travel hostel hotel youth hostel Fri, 01 Feb 2008 02:23:22 +0000 Nora Dunn 1728 at http://www.wisebread.com Where on Earth did the $1 bill go? http://www.wisebread.com/where-on-earth-did-the-1-bill-go <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/where-on-earth-did-the-1-bill-go" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/1407846907_7a2d4c2423.jpg" alt="fuzzy math" title="fuzzy math" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="353" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&#39;d like to start by saying I&#39;m awful at math. I mean, really bad. So it will come as no surprise to learn that I just scratched my bald head in wonder when I was told the following story. It may be one you&#39;ve heard before, or a variation of something that&#39;s really old, but I&#39;ll tell it anyway. And then maybe one smart WB reader can show me how this puzzle actually is solved, because I&#39;m clueless.</p> <p>The story starts with three guys (although it could have been three girls, hey, I&#39;m not being sexist here). They&#39;re all out on the town and get quite merry in a local bar. Instead of attempting to drive (bad idea guys) or paying for a pricey cab, they decide to share a cheap hotel room and split the bill. </p> <p>The price for the room, they are told by the receptionist, is $30 for one night. No problem for our guys, they each cough up $10 and go sleep off the booze. In the morning, the receptionist gets the bill and realizes the price for the room is actually only $25. As this guy is as bad at math as I am, he decided to give each guy $1 back and pocket the remaining $2 cash.</p> <p>Here&#39;s where my head hurts.</p> <p>The guys originally paid $10 each for the room.</p> <p>They get $1 back each, meaning they paid $9 each for the room.</p> <p>And the receptionist has $2.</p> <p>$9 x 3 = $27 </p> <p>Add the $2 from the receptionist.</p> <p>$27 + $2 = $29</p> <p>But they originally paid $30. So, where on Earth did the $1 bill go? Help!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-on-earth-did-the-1-bill-go" class="sharethis-link" title="Where on Earth did the $1 bill go?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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/where-on-earth-did-the-1-bill-go">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mind-over-math-believing-it-makes-it-so">Mind Over Math - Believing It Makes It So</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/turn-1-into-100-in-about-2-minutes">Turn $1 into $100 in about 2 minutes.</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/get-your-pc-to-give-you-coffee-bacon-or-even-an-orgasm">Get your PC to give you coffee, bacon or even an orgasm.</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/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-sugar">13 Natural and Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Life Hacks enigma hotel math puzzle story trick unusual Sun, 02 Dec 2007 05:48:23 +0000 Paul Michael 1446 at http://www.wisebread.com These Choos were made for walkin': an interview with a modern urban nomad http://www.wisebread.com/these-choos-were-made-for-walkin-an-interview-with-a-modern-urban-nomad <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-choos-were-made-for-walkin-an-interview-with-a-modern-urban-nomad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://cdn.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/ladakh.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="152" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://fabulouslybrokeinthecity.blogspot.com/">Fabulously Broke in the City</a> is the nom de blog of a young Canadian woman who frequently comments on Wise Bread. I&#39;ve been reading her blog for several months, and have become intrigued by her lifestyle (modern nomad), and her shared struggle to pay down her education debt while living a fun, urban, and stylish life - all while living out of a suitcase. </p> <p>Since one of Wise Bread&#39;s own Canadian bloggers, <a href="/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a>, also leads a modern nomadic life, the concept of living out of a suitcase, literally, has been on my mind as of late. I asked Fabulously Broke to tell us more about her life and her lifestyle (FB actually lives in hotels, staying wherever her employer needs her to be - her husband travels with her, and they actually keep all of their worldly possessions in a suitcase). You can read her version of an FAQ <a href="http://fabulouslybrokeinthecity.blogspot.com/2007/09/living-situation-clarification.html">here</a> (recommended). </p> <p><strong>Who are you? Why do you blog anonymously?</strong></p> <p>*laugh* I&#39;m &quot;FB&quot;.. I&#39;m 24 years old, just recently married to my husband whom I&#39;ve lived with for the past 6 years, with a goal to clear the rest of my $35,000 in debt by the end of December 2008, and be debt-free, and begin saving for a mortgage.</p> <p>Oh, and I&#39;m a reformed shopaholic. Seriously. Until I started tracking my expenses in June 2005, I had NO IDEA where all of my money was going and I kept living on borrowed time and money. Now, I love organizing my expenses in Excel and budgeting as well as playing around with my debt repayment numbers.</p> <p> I blog anonymously not because I really want to.. but because I don&#39;t want my friends and family to start reading this blog, and compromise my ability to blog about whatever subject I want - be it my monthly financial situation, problems with my family and Husband&#39;s family, and all that sort of information. Not a lot of my friends agree with my lifestyle and the choices I&#39;ve made. *shrug* </p> <p><strong>You write a blog about your lifestyle, called Fabulously Broke in the City. Why did you choose that name? Are you actually broke?</strong></p> <p> I chose that name because I was inspired by the hit TV series by HBO called &quot;Sex and the City&quot;, and I was fascinated with the idea of the main character Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker), working on a modest writer&#39;s salary yet being able to afford a fabulous New York apartment that wasn&#39;t a rat-infested hole in the wall, and being able to shop to her heart&#39;s delight with and do all of these amazing things in a city that&#39;s so notorious for its high cost of living. But nowhere in the entire show did they really mention how the reality of her situation. Then I thought about Suze Orman, and how she calls our generation the &quot;Young, Broke and Fabulous&quot;, and that&#39;s how &quot;Fabulously Broke in the City&quot; was born.</p> <p>I actually am very broke, in terms of net worth. I think I started the blog in 2006, but I didn&#39;t actually take my blogging seriously until June 2007 when I finally got rid of my apartment, and began to aggressively pay down my debt, save for retirement and strive for a more frugal lifestyle - that&#39;s when the blog just evolved to what it is today.</p> <p>I started with -$56,000 in education debt, no savings, no retirement plan, nada... and the real push to get out of debt began in June 2007 when I looked at what I was spending. As of today, I sit at about -$35,000 in total education debt, but with my retirement savings I&#39;m at -$22,000.</p> <p><strong>You&#39;ve described your life as being lived &quot;out of a suitcase&quot;. What does that entail? How can one live in a big city without a fabulous apartment and a walk-in closet full of designer clothing?</strong></p> <p>It just takes a change in perspective. :) It was hard to think about becoming what I call a &quot;modern nomad&quot; but the more I considered it, it made more sense based on my line of work.</p> <p>I basically live wherever my next project takes me, and while it&#39;s been mostly big cities, I could also be sent to a little town in the middle of nowhere - which I think might be better for me because there&#39;d be less temptation and chances to shop!</p> <p>The client normally loves having the consultant live in the city where the company is, because then I&#39;m not coming in late to work on Monday, or leaving early on Thursday, and I&#39;m available almost 24/7 as I am just a stone&#39;s throw away from the company. Plus, I love what I do, and that usually translates into working long hours, and if I have to worry about getting back to my home in another city when I&#39;m trying to finish something for the weekend, it gets to be pretty frustrating. I also hate the hotel &amp; airport song-and-dance.</p> <p>It was pretty hard getting rid of my &#39;stuff&#39; when I first started, and I still find myself pining for certain clothing items or shoes that I have stored away at home. But you just make do with what you brought. I also find that since I don&#39;t have a home and I basically carry my life on my back, I&#39;ve learned to pare down more, pick essential pieces, buy less and really analyze whether I need certain items or not - which is helping develop my frugal streak. It&#39;s not for everyone, but I love the uncertainty and being able to see different cities and really immerse myself in the local milieu.</p> <p>I&#39;ve also never bought a piece of designer clothing in my life, unless you count buying it from a thrift store. I haven&#39;t even touched the threshold of $300 for a single pair of shoes/boots/piece of clothing and I don&#39;t want to! </p> <p><strong>You blog frequently about fashion. Is this cathartic, or does it just make you want to shop a lot more? </strong></p> <p>Hmm..... Good question. It depends. If the price tag is outrageous, but I still think it&#39;s beautiful and appreciate its workmanship, then I blog about it, but I don&#39;t even remotely fantasize about owning it. But if the price tag is reasonable, and more affordable, that&#39;s when I get in trouble..</p> <p>I have one major weak spot: Just physically being in the store around all the beautiful, affordable items.</p> <p>That&#39;s why I tend to try and keep very busy with my blog and going over my budget, so I don&#39;t feel the desire to go out and ultimately be tempted to spend for nothing. It seems to be working so far... until I need to go out and buy something like a winter coat. Then the temptation is really hard to resist, and I sometimes fall back into my old habits. The good news is that now I find that every purchase now goes through a different thought process than before I started caring about my money.</p> <p>Now, I really, REALLY think about what I&#39;m buying, and compare coats across 15-20 stores before I decide on the best one for the best price.</p> <p><strong>Can you tell me more about life as a &quot;modern nomad&quot;? I&#39;m assuming you have a &#39;home-base&#39; to return to? How long are you typically away from home? How do you save money on things like food if you are always &#39;out of town&#39;</strong>? </p> <p>I do have a home base. A home city in fact. But I&#39;ve since given up my apartment, so it&#39;s really just a formality to let people know which division/department I&#39;m from. I don&#39;t have any ties to the city whatsoever other than my family and friends, and everything is in storage in another cheaper city.</p> <p>My job is such that I have to be willing to travel 100% of the time. At first I was very hesitant to do so, but ever since I gave up my albatross (my apartment), it&#39;s been a lot easier to ask for projects that are not within my home city, and my company loves it because not many people are willing to travel 100% of the time and not go back home.</p> <p>Most of my projects last around 5 months, but I sometimes get extended for longer, up to 8 months, but that&#39;s quite rare. It depends on the nature of the project and what the client wants to get done.</p> <p>I save money on food, shelter and utilities (the big 3), because when I&#39;m on a project, the client pays for all of my travelling and living expenses (transportation to get there, hotel, food, laundry, taxis sometimes a car rental). It&#39;s sometimes cheaper for the client to keep me here than it is to let me keep going back home every weekend and I tend to work longer because I am in no rush to catch a plane.</p> <p>I get a meal limit that I can use to spend on food every day, and they pay for my hotel as well as for my laundry. When you don&#39;t have an apartment, it works out very nicely to keep staying in a hotel - I&#39;ve started thinking of my hotel as my home now. I also don&#39;t have to clean any more, or buy cleaning supplies, and/or basic necessities like toilet paper because it&#39;s all included in the hotel rate.</p> <p><strong>A lot of people believe that eliminating debt involves giving up benefits that seem so common to modern, middle-class living. What are some of the luxuries that you have given up in order to work at paying down your debt? Do you get a latte every morning, for instance? Do you have a gym membership? Do you own a car?</strong> </p> <p>To be honest, I haven&#39;t given up anything that I truly miss. I don&#39;t get a latte every morning - I only get it once in a while when I know it&#39;s going to be a long day, and I&#39;m in the mood for one, but sometimes when I&#39;m waiting in line I start thinking about the cost of it, and berate myself for almost succumbing to the delicious nectar of Starbucks and I force myself to walk out of the store.</p> <p>However,bh when I wasn&#39;t as serious about paying down my debt, I got a latte every morning (a huge venti one in fact). But as my wallet got thinner, my body started getting bigger. I put on quite a bit of weight and as a result I decided to cut myself off and now I only drink lattes as a treat.</p> <p>I don&#39;t have a gym membership - all the hotels I stay at have a in-house gym, and/or I just walk everywhere since my hotels are usually located right in the heart of the downtown close to where the company is.</p> <p>I don&#39;t personally drive or own a car, but my husband does. We just have an old beater car that we have had for about 6 years now. It stays in decent shape and working condition because we don&#39;t drive it :) We only use it to get back and forth between different cities if I&#39;m on a project or if we&#39;re visiting family, but other than those occasions, we just walk (which is healthier for us in the long run), and we take the local public transportation (which is cheaper, considering the price of gas lately).</p> <p>I think the &#39;luxury&#39; I miss the most is having a lot of cash at my disposal to do whatever I wanted with and knowing that I&#39;d be able to clear it without a problem with my next cheque. This was what fuelled my shopaholic habits before I got serious about clearing my debt (mid-2007). Now that I have a budget and I track every single penny of my expenses, I am a lot more frugal and discerning about buying items because I want my budge to succeed.</p> <p>Luckily, I&#39;ve gotten so used to the bank debiting a HUGE amount of my paycheque every month, that I don&#39;t even register how much extra money I have now that we&#39;re modern nomads. I just take the amount I would normally pay into my rent or utilities if we had a place to live, and channel it into debt. I don&#39;t miss the extra money because I foster a sense of scarcity in our household, and my husband knows I&#39;m deadly serious about clearing my debt (he calls it obsessive, I like to call it aggressive).</p> <p>So, I suppose the one luxury I miss the most is shopping with abandon and without any cares in the world, and safe in the knowledge that I could clear it without a problem with my next cheque... if that makes sense.</p> <p><strong>What tips do you have for people who are interested in adopting a lifestyle that is similar to yours? </strong></p> <p>You have to be willing to be lonely and away from anything familiar, as well as not having everything you would normally have in an apartment, nor being able to go to parties or special events that are happening in your home city unless you&#39;re willing to pack up your home into a suitcase every weekend, and crash at a friend&#39;s place for that weekend to attend the party.</p> <p>To elaborate, when I join a new project, I normally don&#39;t know ANYONE. And depending on the client culture (so far, it&#39;s been fabulous), you may or may not make friends with your colleagues - the age gap can be a huge factor, as well as personality.</p> <p>You have to be willing to be by yourself for a majority of your weekends and weeknights for the first month or so, and be OK with not having your friends to go out with, or your entire wardrobe to pick out exactly what you want to wear. Whatever you&#39;ve brought, is all you&#39;ve got and you have to work with it. If you start rebuilding your wardrobe again, you&#39;re going to amass a LOT of junk that you&#39;ll have to figure out how to carry around for the next year or so.</p> <p>A lot of people cannot understand why I would willingly stay in any foreign city the entire time and be away from my friends and family, but I&#39;m not very close to my family, and while I&#39;m very close to my friends, I make it a point to do an hour-long call each week to a different friend just to keep up on what&#39;s happening in their lives. It is VERY easy to just communicate by email, MSN or other social networking sites like MySpace. But there is no substitute for seeing a friend in person, so I try telephoning them each week so I can hear their voice and connect that way to stay an active part of their lives.</p> <p>It&#39;s pretty lonely at times. Even with my husband here. But I find that we&#39;ve started to really connect on another level and we&#39;re finding ways to have fun together, and go for walks as tourists in a new, unfamiliar city, and experience all the local sights and attractions together. </p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-choos-were-made-for-walkin-an-interview-with-a-modern-urban-nomad" class="sharethis-link" title="These Choos were made for walkin&#039;: an interview with a modern urban nomad" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-choos-were-made-for-walkin-an-interview-with-a-modern-urban-nomad">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-11"> <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/retirement-on-the-installment-plan">Retirement on the installment plan</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-seven-deadly-sins-of-consumerism-and-the-frugal-redemption">The seven deadly sins of consumerism (and the frugal redemption).</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-ways-to-live-better-without-spending-more">5 Ways to Live Better Without Spending More</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/can-you-talk-to-your-friends-about-debt">Can you talk to your friends about debt?</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/jettison-the-junk-why-clutter-clouds-your-mind-and-saps-your-energy">Jettison the Junk: Why Clutter Clouds Your Mind and Saps Your Energy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Debt Management Lifestyle Travel debt hotel job lifestyle marriage nomad Wed, 31 Oct 2007 01:44:24 +0000 Andrea Karim 1339 at http://www.wisebread.com