Europe http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5294/all en-US Best Money Tips: Ways to Save Money in Europe http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-save-money-in-europe <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-save-money-in-europe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_selfie_paris_535525670.jpg" alt="Woman saving money in Europe" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on surprising ways to save money in Europe, how to save money on meat, and how to put together a smart home system yourself.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Save-Money-Europe-44091045">10 Surprising Ways to Save Money in Europe</a> &mdash; Many attractions offer discounts on the entry fee when you buy tickets online in advance. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="https://adebtfreestressfreelife.com/how-to-save-money-on-meat/">How To Save Money On Meat</a> &mdash; If you need ground meat, it's cheaper and fresher to buy a whole piece and ask your butcher to grind it for you. [A Mess Free Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/real-estate/T057-C000-S002-put-smart-home-technologies-to-work-for-you.html">Put Smart-Home Technologies to Work for You</a> &mdash; Learn how to put together a basic smart home system for only a few hundred dollars. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.oneincomedollar.com/2017/10/avoid-these-mistakes-at-all-costs-when.html">Avoid These Mistakes At All Costs When Buying Property</a> &mdash; The worst thing you can do is to overlook building checks. A professional assessor's expertise is well worth the small fee, considering how much money you would need to spend to make repairs you weren't expecting. [Stretching the One Income Dollar]</p> <p><a href="https://blog.cheapism.com/retirement-tips-for-women-18116/">Smart Retirement Moves for Women</a> &mdash; Everyone needs retirement savings, even stay-at-home moms. A spousal IRA is a good option for nonworking spouses. [Cheapism]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="https://shebudgets.com/personal-finance/money-skills-teach-kids/67887">Money Skills We Need to Teach Our Kids Right Now</a> &mdash; It's important to teach your kids to have a healthy view of money early on. [SheBudgets]</p> <p><a href="http://www.onesmartdollar.com/home-making-tips-couples/">Home-Making Tips for Couples</a> &mdash; Setting up a new home isn't easy. Follow these tips to make the process less stressful for you and your partner. [One Smart Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2017/10/01/7-things-to-remember-when-youre-scared-to-speak-up/">7 Things to Remember When You&rsquo;re Scared to Speak Up</a> &mdash; Silencing yourself can be a form of self-abuse. Give yourself permission to openly communicate what matters to you. [Marc &amp; Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="https://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/feel-bored-life/">Why You Feel Bored With Your Life &ndash; And What to Do About It</a> &mdash; Think about the activities, people, and environments that you enjoy, and think about why they make you feel better. When you know the reasons, you'll be able to figure out ways to fulfill those emotional needs more often. [Change Your Thoughts]</p> <p><a href="http://productivitytheory.com/science-backed-reasons-to-take-breaks-at-work/">Science-Backed Reasons to Take Breaks at Work</a> &mdash; Skipping your lunch break means depriving your body of the fuel it needs to be productive. [Productivity Theory]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-save-money-in-europe">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-countries-where-you-can-retire-for-1000-a-month">5 Countries Where You Can Retire for $1,000 a Month</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-cheap-international-vacation-destinations">5 Cheap International Vacation Destinations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</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-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel best money tips Europe Thu, 05 Oct 2017 08:30:06 +0000 Amy Lu 2030265 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money Lessons I Learned From Three Weeks in Europe http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-from-three-weeks-in-europe <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-lessons-i-learned-from-three-weeks-in-europe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_tourists_smiling_at_the_camera_near_eiffel_tower.jpg" alt="Kids tourists smiling at the camera near Eiffel Tower" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In early June, my husband and I took a bucket list trip to Europe with our kids. While we've visited countless countries worldwide as a couple, this was our first &quot;big trip&quot; with our daughters, ages six and eight. In addition to the four of us, we took a family caregiver to help with the kids and give Mom and Dad a break. Over the course of 19 days, we spent time in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. The entire ordeal was exhausting, but it was an absolute blast!</p> <p>Fortunately, we planned far enough ahead that we didn't spend too much out of pocket while we were there. By leveraging <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit cards</a> and setting a daily spending budget, we were able to get the entire trip, which would normally cost $20,000 retail, for around $3,500. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Steps to Getting a Free (or Close to Free) Vacation with Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>In addition to the virtues of planning ahead as a savings strategy, we learned numerous financial lessons during our travels. While we were aware of most of these lessons already, seeing the world through our children's eyes served as the perfect reminder of the reasons behind some of our most important financial decisions.</p> <p>Here are a few lessons we relearned thanks to our trip abroad.</p> <h2>1. Failing to plan means planning to fail</h2> <p>One of the most expensive components of our trip was dining, mostly because there were five people in our group. No matter how cheaply you try to eat, feeding five people three meals a day means your food budget adds up quickly.</p> <p>While we tried to minimize our food costs by eating breakfast in our condo and searching for budget options, there were times where we didn't plan ahead and paid a steep price for our lack of preparation.</p> <p>One meal in particular stands out. We traveled by train to Rome in the morning and arrived in early afternoon without researching restaurants or stores in the immediate area. In a tired and hungry daze, we entered the first restaurant we walked past near Piazza Navona.</p> <p>Unfortunately, we paid big time for this oversight. Not only was the food overly touristy (pictures on the menu &mdash; blech), but our lunch set us back nearly $90. If we had searched ahead of time, we would have known we could have found much cheaper (and probably tastier) options had we walked a block in the other direction. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-secrets-to-eating-great-food-for-cheap-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Secrets to Eating Great Food for Cheap While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>2. Expensive does not equal better</h2> <p>That meal also served as a reminder that expensive isn't always better. We paid $90 for a lunch that was mediocre at best on that particular day, but at other times we enjoyed meals that were absolutely delicious and downright cheap.</p> <p>One that comes to mind was a meal we had in nearby Florence, Italy. In order to keep our food budget under control, we started researching local restaurants once we arrived. Eventually, we stumbled upon a sandwich shop &mdash; Panini Toscani &mdash; that was uber-cheap but was also the third highest rated restaurant in Florence.</p> <p>We wound up eating there twice. The food was delicious and convenient, and our total meal for five people was less than $20 both times.</p> <h2>3. Even budget trips can be fun</h2> <p>By the time we got to Switzerland (our last stop), I was pretty tired of spending money in general. So, when we had our final &quot;free day&quot; in the country, I spent some time looking for something fun and affordable to do. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-countries-where-you-can-travel-on-30-a-day-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Countries Where You Can Travel on $30 a Day or Less</a>)</p> <p>Eventually, I remembered a town we drove by that had the most beautiful, clear-green lake I had ever seen. After looking up the details, I found that the tiny village of Lungern had a public beach and a few waterslides with a daily admission cost of about $5.25 per adult.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/man_jumping_in_a_lake.jpg" width="605" height="454" alt="" /></p> <p>This relatively cheap day was probably the most fun we had. All of us swam and rode waterslides the entire day, stopping only to have a low-cost lunch.</p> <p>It just goes to show that budget travel can absolutely be fun, and that you don't have to spend a ton of money to enjoy yourself.</p> <h2>4. There's more than one &quot;right way&quot; to do things</h2> <p>One of the most rewarding components of travel is watching my kids react to the many ways other countries handle things differently. My kids were obsessed with euros, for example. They couldn't understand why anyone would choose to offer two euros in the form of a coin.</p> <p>I also had to explain why we didn't tip as much as we normally do. Since workers in Europe are paid higher wages, you don't have to tip 15&ndash;20 percent like you do in the states.</p> <p>While we could argue all day over which way is better, I told my kids there is more than one &quot;right way&quot; to do things sometimes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-countries-where-you-dont-have-to-tip-at-restaurants?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Countries Where You Don't Have to Tip at Restaurants</a>)</p> <h2>5. We actually need very little</h2> <p>While I wasn't sure we could pull it off, we made it through the entire trip with just carry-on luggage and two school-sized backpacks of stuff. It helped that one of our condos had a washing machine, but I was still amazed we enjoyed ourselves without many comforts from home.</p> <p>This just goes to show that most of us don't need a lot to be happy. We need clothes, food, and shelter, but everything else is optional. We can be happy and content without having a bunch of stuff to bog us down.</p> <h2>6. Most people are honest, but not everyone</h2> <p>Most of the people we dealt with abroad were both kind and honest &mdash; except for a couple of small incidences. First, we encountered a taxi driver who tried to charge us $28 (instead of running his meter) to take us four blocks in Rome. Not only was this outrageous since we'd paid $7 for the same ride earlier that day, but it was illegal for him to do this since the city of Rome regulates official taxis.</p> <p>Second, when we got home from the trip, we received a fraud alert from Chase. Apparently, someone had swiped our card information and tried to make a purchase in Peru.</p> <p>This kind of stuff happens no matter where you are, so it's important to always stay vigilant. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-theft-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Protect Yourself From Theft While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>7. Exchange rates matter</h2> <p>Whenever I travel abroad, I almost always struggle to keep track of the currency exchange rate and how it affects everything we buy. But, since a single U.S. dollar is currently worth just .87 euros, this is an important detail to keep in mind. If something costs 10 euros, for example, you're actually paying $11.55.</p> <p>While I used a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card with no foreign transaction fees</a> to pay most of our expenses, I tried hard to impart this lesson on our kids. No matter where you are in the world, chances are good the money isn't worth the same as at home. And, if you don't pay attention, you could wind up spending a lot more than you think!</p> <h2>8. Some experiences are worth the money, even if they're expensive</h2> <p>While we definitely saved a bundle on this trip due to the way we leveraged credit card rewards, we still spent $3,500 of our hard-earned dollars. On top of that, I probably spent 30&ndash;50 hours planning not only our credit card rewards strategy, but our hotels, flights, and trains.</p> <p>The thing is, I don't regret a single cent &mdash; or a single second. Over my lifetime, I've learned that some experiences are worth the money and the time, even if it seems like a lot.</p> <p>It's hard to put a price tag on a fun family trip that exposed us to cultures in a completely different part of the world. I believe it was priceless. Some memories are worth saving up to splurge on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a>)</p> <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" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-money-lessons-i-learned-from-three-weeks-in-europe&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Money%2520Lessons%2520I%2520Learned%2520From%2520Three%2520Weeks%2520in%2520Europe.jpg&amp;description=8%20Money%20Lessons%20I%20Learned%20From%20Three%20Weeks%20in%20Europe"></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%20Money%20Lessons%20I%20Learned%20From%20Three%20Weeks%20in%20Europe.jpg" alt="8 Money Lessons I Learned From Three Weeks in Europe" 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/8-money-lessons-i-learned-from-three-weeks-in-europe">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-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">How Families Can Earn and Use 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/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</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/amazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles">Amazing Destinations You Can Go to With Rewards Points and Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-countries-where-you-can-retire-for-1000-a-month">5 Countries Where You Can Retire for $1,000 a Month</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Travel Europe exchange rates experiences family food costs money lessons rewards vacation Wed, 23 Aug 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Holly Johnson 2007686 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Countries Where You Can Retire for $1,000 a Month http://www.wisebread.com/5-countries-where-you-can-retire-for-1000-a-month <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-countries-where-you-can-retire-for-1000-a-month" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_senior_couple_talking_a_walk_in_park.jpg" alt="Happy senior couple talking a walk in park" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us have dreams of retiring to a life of leisure, with a nest egg that will enable us to live comfortably. But according to the Government Accountability Office, up to <a href="http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-419" target="_blank">two-thirds of workers</a> are potentially at risk of not maintaining the same standard of living they enjoyed pre-retirement.</p> <p>Moving to a new country to live out your retirement could provide the perfect solution. <a href="https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/rankings_by_country.jsp" target="_blank">Numbeo's Cost of Living Index</a> has the U.S. listed as the 18th most expensive country to live in, meaning retirees have a huge number of cheaper countries to select from. Here are five countries where you can retire on $1,000 per month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-countries-that-welcome-american-retirees?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Countries That Welcome American Retirees</a>)</p> <h2>1. Thailand</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/sukhothai_temple_lake_panorama.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Thailand is best known for its tropical islands and exciting big cities, but it's also a destination where an increasing number of overseas retirees are settling down. It's got the magic combination of being well-developed while maintaining very low living costs.</p> <p>Grocery costs are well-priced and good quality, and fresh produce is widely available. According to Numbeo, the average price of a loaf of bread is $1, a dozen eggs is $1.80, and a pound of rice costs just 60 cents. A three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant costs $20.60, so you'll also be able to enjoy regular evenings out.</p> <p>The transport infrastructure in Thailand is also good, with tuk tuks, taxis, and public transport providing easy ways to get around. Costs are also low, with Numbeo suggesting the flag fare for an average one-way taxi ride is about $1 plus 28 cents per mile after that.</p> <p><strong>Typical fixed costs per month:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Rent for one-bed apartment city center: $615</p> </li> <li> <p>Utilities: $84</p> </li> <li> <p>Internet: $18</p> </li> </ul> <h2>2. Bolivia</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/copacabana.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Although not the most fashionable country in South America, Bolivia is a great retirement option for outdoor lovers. From the Amazon rain forest to the Andes Mountains, there's an abundance of beautiful landscapes to explore. It's also one of the most affordable countries in South America.</p> <p>The cheapest place to buy fresh produce is from the local markets throughout the country, but there are also many supermarkets with wider selections of international goods. Numbeo lists the average price of a loaf of bread as 92 cents, a dozen eggs for $1.40, and a pound of rice at 60 cents. Splashing out on a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant will cost $25.</p> <p>Transport systems in Bolivia are not the most advanced, but there are good public bus networks and inexpensive taxi services in most areas. According to Numbeo, the average cost of a one way bus fare is 32 cents, and the starting fare for a taxi is $1.45 with $2.33 added for each mile.</p> <p><strong>Typical fixed costs per month:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Rent for one-bed apartment city center: $290</p> </li> <li> <p>Utilities: $43</p> </li> <li> <p>Internet: $70</p> </li> </ul> <h2>3. Nicaragua</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/cathedral_of_granada_nicaragua.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Central America's largest country has become a popular destination for retirees in recent years. The scenery is dramatic and lush, with numerous volcanoes peppering the countryside, verdant rain forest covering large portions, and coastal areas lined with white sand beaches.</p> <p>Between the markets and the major supermarkets, one of which is owned by Walmart, it's possible to get virtually everything you're used to in the U.S. The average price, according to Numbeo, for a loaf of bread is $1.50, a dozen eggs runs $1.63, and a pound of rice 43 cents. A three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant will run you $30.</p> <p>Buses, taxis, and mototaxis are the most popular and inexpensive forms of transportation, with many of the buses being the familiar old yellow school buses imported from the U.S. Numbeo lists the average fare as just 35 cents, while the starting tariff for taxis is $1 and an extra $1.64 per mile after that.</p> <p><strong>Typical fixed costs per month:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Rent for one-bed apartment city center: $273</p> </li> <li> <p>Utilities: $119</p> </li> <li> <p>Internet: $70</p> </li> </ul> <h2>4. Malaysia</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/sunset_over_tea_plantation_in_malaysia.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Year-round warm temperatures, stunning beaches, and diverse, bustling cities make this a great choice for people on the lookout for top spots to retire. Thanks to English being spoken by virtually everyone, it's an easy place to get by without learning a new language.</p> <p>Though it's easy to get your hands on international branded goods, local produce is far cheaper and of good quality. The average price for a loaf of bread is 70 cents, a dozen eggs will cost you $1.24, and a pound of rice is available for 56 cents, according to Numbeo. Eating out is a particular pleasure is Malaysia, thanks to the unique fusion of cuisines found here. It's also cheap at just $16 for a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant.</p> <p>Kuala Lumpur, the capital, is well connected by trains and buses, while the rest of the country is serviced by good bus networks. The average price of a one way train fare is 70 cents, and taxis are also a price-effective option, with starting tariffs of 70 cents and a per-mile cost of just 56 cents.</p> <p><strong>Typical fixed costs per month:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Rent for one-bed apartment city center: $557</p> </li> <li> <p>Utilities: $50</p> </li> <li> <p>Internet: $38</p> </li> </ul> <h2>5. Georgia</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/view_over_the_city_of_tbilisi_georgia.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>No, we're not talking about the state tucked down in the southeast of the U.S., but a tiny nation that lies on the edges of both Europe and Asia. Though it's little known, it's growing in popularity, especially among retirees, thanks to its beautiful countryside and extremely low cost of living.</p> <p>Georgia is known for its abundance of fresh produce, as well as reputedly being the birthplace of wine. Both are extremely cheap in this country, as are most groceries on offer. A loaf of bread is just 31 cents, a dozen eggs come in at $1.47, and a pound of rice at 36 cents. Eating out is also reasonable at $21 for a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant.</p> <p>Transport in the capital Tbilisi is excellent, with a metro system as well as good bus links and cost-effective taxis. Elsewhere in the country buses and trains are easy to use. The average fare is just 20 cents, and taxis start at $1.25 with 33 cents per mile after that.</p> <p><strong>Typical fixed costs per month:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Rent for one-bed apartment city center: $310</p> </li> <li> <p>Utilities: $60</p> </li> <li> <p>Internet: $11.20</p> </li> </ul> <p>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Retire for Half the Cost in These 5 Countries</a>)</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" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-countries-where-you-can-retire-for-1000-a-month&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Countries%2520Where%2520You%2520Can%2520Retire%2520for%25201%252C000%2520dollars%2520a%2520Month.jpg&amp;description=5%20Countries%20Where%20You%20Can%20Retire%20for%201%2C000%20Dollars%20a%20Month"></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%20Countries%20Where%20You%20Can%20Retire%20for%201%2C000%20dollars%20a%20Month.jpg" alt="5 Countries Where You Can Retire for $1,000 a Month" 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/5-countries-where-you-can-retire-for-1000-a-month">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-almost-anyone-can-afford-to-retire-in-mexico">How Almost Anyone Can Afford to Retire in Mexico</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries">Retire for Half the Cost in These 5 Countries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-to-know-before-retiring-abroad">9 Things to Know Before Retiring 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/dont-let-these-expenses-spoil-your-retirement-abroad">Don&#039;t Let These Expenses Spoil Your Retirement Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-countries-where-you-can-travel-on-30-a-day-or-less">7 Countries Where You Can Travel on $30 a Day or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement Travel abroad affordable Asia cost of living countries Europe expats expenses food costs international transportation Tue, 11 Jul 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Nick Wharton 1978059 at http://www.wisebread.com Amazing Destinations You Can Go to With Rewards Points and Miles http://www.wisebread.com/amazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/amazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_photographing_zeus_temple_in_acropolis.jpg" alt="Woman photographing Zeus temple in Acropolis" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While credit card rewards may not be life-changing for everyone, for some, they make the impossible possible. With airline miles, hotel points, cash back, or flexible rewards, many people find they can afford to travel farther, and potentially stay longer. And, who knows? Perhaps you can visit a destination you've always dreamed of.</p> <p>If you're aching to see parts of the world you assume are beyond your reach, researching airline and hotel rewards programs can help you see what's possible. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards" target="_blank">Airline credit cards</a> can help you get free flights, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards" target="_blank">hotel credit cards</a> can help you score free accommodations, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards" target="_blank">flexible travel cards</a> allow you to use points for all kinds of travel expenses.</p> <p>Need help jump-starting your wanderlust? Here are five bucket list spots you can absolutely see with rewards.</p> <h2>1. Bora Bora</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/bora_bora_hammock.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Bora Bora is undoubtedly the most beautiful island in French Polynesia. A short flight from Tahiti, this island paradise is comprised of tiny islands (<em>motus</em>) that surround a central mountain and an inspiring, azure blue lagoon teeming with sea life. While Bora Bora is perfect for a honeymoon or romantic retreat, it's well known as a fun (albeit expensive) family destination as well.</p> <h3>How to get there</h3> <p>There are numerous ways to get at least part of the way to Bora Bora with airline miles. From Los Angeles International (LAX) to Papeete (PPT), Tahiti, for example, you can fly round trip with Alaska Airlines for 80,000 miles plus taxes and fees. You can also fly round trip using Air France's Flying Blue program for 60,000 miles plus taxes, or 80,000 American AAdvantage miles plus taxes round trip.</p> <p>No matter how you get to Tahiti, however, you'll have to pay around $400 per person, round trip, for the short flight from Papeete to Bora Bora. The airline that operates this leg (Air Tahiti) doesn't offer a mileage program.</p> <h3>Where to stay</h3> <p>Numerous hotel programs promise to let you stay in Bora Bora for free, including the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort, which you can book with free nights from the&nbsp;IHG Rewards Club.&nbsp;If you build a stash of Hilton Honors points, on the other hand, you can score free stays at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui.</p> <h2>2. Maldives</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/sunset_on_maldives_island_water_villas_resort.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The Maldives is another tropical destination well known for its crystal-clear waters and overwater bungalows. Smack dab in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives are expensive to visit and quite a trek for most of us to reach. However, there's a reason why so many people travel to the ends of the earth for a stay in the Maldives. According to many who have been there, the water, scenery, and atmosphere make it one of the most beautiful and unique destinations in the world.</p> <h3>How to get there</h3> <p>The best airline strategy for the Maldives depends a lot on where you live. Many would say that Air France is the way to go due to its plentiful award availability and cheap economy redemptions. Currently, you can book round-trip flights from New York City to Male, the capital, for 80,000 Flying Blue miles plus around $400 in taxes and fees.</p> <p>Cathay Pacific is another option if you have Alaska Airlines miles. For just 60,000 Alaska miles plus taxes you can fly from certain U.S. cities to Male on Cathay. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-travel-destinations-you-thought-were-unaffordable?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Amazing Destinations You Thought Were Unaffordable</a>)</p> <h3>Where to stay</h3> <p>The Hyatt Credit Card offers two free nights you can use to stay in any Hyatt property worldwide, and that includes the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa. That means if you're going to be traveling with a spouse or partner, you can both get the card and book two subsequent reservations, for a total of four free nights.</p> <h2>3. Aruba</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/royal_plaza_oranjestad_aruba.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Aruba is one of the Lesser Antilles islands in the southern Caribbean Sea. Known for its desert landscape and amazing blue waters, Aruba is bursting with hotels, casinos, night life, and water activities galore. While Aruba is popular for land-based vacations, cruise ships bring thousands of passengers to the island weekly. Fortunately, Aruba's location in the Caribbean makes it fairly easy to travel there on points.</p> <h3>How to get there</h3> <p>While you can get to Aruba a few different ways, the easiest strategy is utilizing <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-southwest-airlines-is-the-best-domestic-airline-for-families?ref=internal" target="_blank">Southwest Rapid Rewards</a> points. Depending on where you live in the United States, you can usually get to Aruba for less than 25,000 miles plus taxes round trip. Another popular option is Flying Blue, especially if your credit card rewards program transfers to the frequent flyer program. On Flying Blue, you can get to Aruba for 25,000 miles plus taxes and fees round trip.</p> <h3>Where to stay</h3> <p>Most of the major hotel chains let you earn points for free stays in Aruba. Marriott Rewards can help you score free nights at the Renaissance Aruba Resort &amp; Casino, the Aruba Marriott Resort &amp; Stellaris Casino, Marriott Aruba Surf Club, and more. You can also stay at the Holiday Inn Resort Aruba with IHG Rewards points, or at the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort, Spa &amp; Casino with World of Hyatt points.</p> <h2>4. Italy</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/colosseum_in_rome_and_morning_sun_italy_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Italy is a bucket list destination for nearly everyone, well known for its inspiring culture, historical sites, delicious cuisine, and dynamic landscapes, which span from the mountainous north to idyllic beachfronts on the country's western shore. While most people go to Italy to see major sites like Rome's Colosseum and Forum, the Vatican, or the world-famous art spread across Florence, others dream of Tuscan wineries, lazy beach days in Cinque Terre or Sorrento, or a trip to the famous island of Capri.</p> <h3>How to get there</h3> <p>If you're looking for a cheap and easy way to get to Italy, check out American Airlines' AAdvantage program. If you fly coach and travel off-peak (October 15&ndash;May 15), you can score a round-trip flight for just 45,000 miles plus airline taxes and fees.</p> <h3>Where to stay</h3> <p>The best part about being in Italy isn't its huge, prestigious hotels; it's the side streets and the intimate culture of the locals. To see the real Italy, we recommend booking an Airbnb or condo, which you can do with a credit card that offers rewards for all kinds of travel purchases.</p> <h2>5. Greece</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/santorini_sunset_at_dawn_village_of_oia_greece.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Greece is home to some of the most wondrous sites on the planet &mdash; the renowned Parthenon, Olympia where the world's first Olympic Games were held, the historic Delphi, and the mountaintop monasteries of Meteora. That doesn't even include the famous Greek Islands, such as Crete and Santorini. Fortunately, Greece is also cheap to visit, with plentiful hotels and resorts for less than $100 or even $50 per night.</p> <h3>How to get there</h3> <p>Flying to Greece can be cheap and easy with airline miles. You can fly round-trip economy using United MileagePlus for 60,000 miles plus taxes and fees. If you have American AAdvantage miles, you can score an off-peak fare for 45,000 miles plus taxes and fees.</p> <h3>Where to stay</h3> <p>Greece is another country where it's smart and economical to book a small, independent hotel versus a big chain property. Sign up for a credit card that offers a travel portal through which you can use rewards points to book cheap hotels (with free breakfast). Or, opt for a flexible card that offers travel credit so you can book an Airbnb or a small boutique hotel near the major sites.</p> <h2>Credit cards that will get you there</h2> <p>Start earning points with your everyday purchases today! These credit cards allow you to transfer your points to the airline programs mentioned above.</p> <h3>Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-review" target="_blank">Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</a> is offering 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on your card within the first three months. Those points are worth $625 if you use them to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, but they can be worth considerably more when you transfer them to a partner airline (includes Air France and United) or hotel (Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and IHG). This card does charge a $95 annual fee, but the fee is waived the first 12 months.</p> <h3>Gold Delta Skymiles Credit Card from American Express</h3> <p>Since Delta is part of the SkyTeam Alliance, you can use points to book flights on Air France and Alaska Airlines.</p> <h3>Citi&reg; / AAdvantage&reg; Platinum Select&reg; World Elite&trade; Mastercard&reg;</h3> <p>Use points to book flights on oneworld alliance partners, like Cathay Pacific.</p> <h3>The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express&nbsp;</h3> <p>The current offer on the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amex-platinum-do-the-perks-justify-the-fee" target="_blank">The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express</a>&nbsp;makes it possible to earn 60,000 points after you use your card for $5,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. While you could potentially afford a flight to Europe by booking through the AmexTravel.com portal (where 60,000 points is worth $600 in flights), you'll get better value with an Amex transfer partner (includes Air France, Delta, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Hilton).</p> <p>While the card does have a $550 annual fee, it includes $200 airline credit, lounge access to over 1,000 lounges around the world, Uber credits, and a global entry credit which add up to way more value than that, but only if you actually use it.</p> <h3>BankAmericard Travel Rewards</h3> <p>Use this card to apply points as statement credit to any travel purchases that you have to make that's not covered with points. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">How to Get a Free Vacation in 9 Months Through Credit Cards</a>)</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" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Famazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FAmazing%2520Destinations%2520You%2520Can%2520Go%2520to%2520With%2520Rewards%2520Points%2520and%2520Miles.jpg&amp;description=Amazing%20Destinations%20You%20Can%20Go%20to%20With%20Rewards%20Points%20and%20Miles"></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/Amazing%20Destinations%20You%20Can%20Go%20to%20With%20Rewards%20Points%20and%20Miles.jpg" alt="Amazing Destinations You Can Go to With Rewards Points and Miles" 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/amazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles">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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card 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-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</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-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel">12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel beaches Europe greece hotels islands Italy miles points rewards tropical vacation Mon, 10 Jul 2017 08:30:17 +0000 Holly Johnson 1978029 at http://www.wisebread.com The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-511319338.jpg" alt="couple in Europe" title="couple in Europe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you&rsquo;ve been dreaming of a trip to Europe but can&rsquo;t stomach the cost of airfare, now is the perfect time to rethink your travel goals. Scoring a round-trip flight to nearly any European city may be easier than you think. The following airline loyalty programs offer great deals on their award seats.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re trying to decide which airline program to join to get to Europe, consider these (and the credit cards that help you accrue points faster with them). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-european-destinations-finally-cheap-enough-to-visit?ref=seealso">6 European Destinations Finally Cheap Enough to Visit</a>)</p> <h2>Air France/KLM Flying Blue</h2> <p>With Flying Blue, a round-trip flight to Europe is only 50,000 points from most American cities. And if you&rsquo;re worried that Air France or KLM don&rsquo;t fly out of your home airport, don&rsquo;t despair. You can book Air France and KLM flights with Delta Air Lines, which is part of the SkyTeam Airline Alliance with Air France, KLM, and others.</p> <p>For this summer, I booked round-trip flights into Munich, Germany and home from Zurich, Switzerland using 50,000 Flying Blue miles for each of my family members. Keep in mind you&rsquo;ll still need to pay government-mandated airline taxes and fees in addition to your miles. For our summer trip using Flying Blue miles, our taxes worked out to around $93 per person.</p> <h2>British Airways Avios</h2> <p>British Airways flights to Europe can cost varying amounts based on the class of ticket and when you fly. However, you can find off-peak round-trip tickets to most European cities for less than 50,000 BA points, called Avios, plus taxes and fees.</p> <p>While anything less than 50,000 miles to Europe is a steal, you must keep an eye on those taxes and fees. British Airways is notorious for its larger-than-life fuel surcharges on transatlantic itineraries, and there&rsquo;s no way around them. Before you transfer points to British Airways, make sure you have a handle on the fees you&rsquo;ll pay.</p> <h2>Air Canada Aeroplan</h2> <p>You can pick up an economy flight with Air Canada to most western European countries for 60,000 miles round-trip. You&rsquo;ll also need to pay government-mandated taxes and fees.</p> <p>Air Canada is also part of Star Alliance, meaning you can use them to book flights on European partners like Lufthansa. The number of miles you&rsquo;ll need will vary depending on when you travel and the country you&rsquo;re traveling to.</p> <h2>Delta SkyMiles</h2> <p>The bad news about Delta Air Lines is that they no longer publish an award chart. The good news is, you can occasionally find round-trip flights to Europe for 50,000&ndash;60,000 miles. It helps to do some digging, be flexible with dates and times, and be willing to fly into and out of alternate airports.</p> <p>Since Delta is part of the SkyTeam Alliance, you can use points to book flights on KLM or Air France. Again, the number of points you&rsquo;ll need will depend on your destination and travel dates.</p> <h2>Etihad</h2> <p>Award availability on Etihad can be extremely limited. If you&rsquo;re considering this strategy, make sure to start looking early and stay flexible in terms of dates and times. Once you&rsquo;re able to find a seat, you can fly round-trip to Europe for 60,000 miles plus taxes and fees.</p> <h2>Credit cards that transfer to airline partners</h2> <p>Joining the loyalty program of an airline that will fly to your desired European destination is just the first step. Loading up on miles and points is the next. The credit cards below transfer to the programs mentioned above. Use them for your everyday purchases and start planning your European adventure. Sometimes the bonus alone (after the spending requirement) can be enough for one round trip ticket!</p> <h3>Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</h3> <p><img src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/chase-sapphire-preferred-card-110716.png" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" alt="" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a href=" http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=289&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xcardbutton" target=" rel=" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt img-button" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=289&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xname" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</a> is offering 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on your card within the first three months from account opening. Those points are worth $625 if you use them to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, but they can be worth considerably more when you transfer them to a partner airline (includes Air France/KLM Flying Blue and British Airways Avios). This card does charge a $95 annual fee, but the fee is waived the first year.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=289&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xend" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Click here to learn more and apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card today!</a></strong></p> <h3>Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card from American Express</h3> <p><img class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/gold-delta-skymiles-credit-card-from-american-express-022415.png" alt="" width="154" border="0" /><a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=289&amp;pid=9&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcardbutton" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt img-button" alt="" /></a>For a limited time, the <a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=289&amp;pid=9&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname">Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card from American Express</a> is offering 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases with your new card in the first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles after you make an additional $1,000 in purchases within your first 6 months. Offer expires on 11/8/2017. Redeem miles toward travel on Delta and more than 15 airline partners. The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year. Terms apply. See <a href="https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/personal-card-application/terms/delta-gold-credit-card/26129-10-0/?print#terms-details">rates and fees</a>.</p> <p><strong><a target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=289&amp;pid=9&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend">Click here to learn more and apply for the Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card from American Express today!</a></strong></p> <h3>The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express</h3> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" src="http://imgsynergy.com/product_creatives/d7a443fe113188ab241309d0eb0c2e33.png" alt="" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target="_blank" alt="The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express" title="The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=289&amp;pid=11&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The current welcome offer on the <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=289&amp;pid=11&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname" target="_blank">Platinum Card&reg; from American Express</a> makes it possible to earn 60,000 points after you use your card for $5,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. While you could potentially afford a flight to Europe by booking through the AmexTravel.com portal (where 60,000 points is worth $600 in flights), you&rsquo;ll have a better shot at getting to Europe with an Amex transfer partner (includes Air Canada, British Airways, Delta, Etihad, and KLM/Air France).</p> <p>This card comes with a $550 annual fee. However, it also include up to a $200 airline credit, access to over 1,000 lounges around the world, up to $200 for Uber rides, and a global entry credit do add up to more value than that, but only if you actually use it. Terms apply. <a href="https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/personal-card-application/terms/platinum-charge-card/26129-10-0/?print#terms-details">See rates and fees.</a></p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=289&amp;pid=11&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend" target="_blank">Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express today!</a></strong></p> <p>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso2">How to Get a Free Vacation in 9 Months through Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Tips for getting to Europe with points</h2> <p>Before you dive in, there are a few things you should know. Consider these tips:</p> <ul> <li>Start earning points early. Airline miles are notoriously difficult to use due to limited award availability, blackout dates, and the general wonkiness of their online booking portals. The best strategy for anyone planning to use miles is to start earning them early &mdash; then book ahead. Booking at least nine months in advance will make finding the flights you want easier.</li> <li>Check for award availability before you transfer points. Even if an airline promises you can get to a specific destination on miles, that doesn&rsquo;t mean it offers the award availability. Before you transfer points to an airline, check to make sure the flights you want are available.</li> <li>Compare taxes and fees with different transfer partners. Some airlines tack ridiculous fees on award bookings, and these fees can make using your miles especially expensive. Make sure to compare fees and availability with different airlines before you settle on an award flight with high fees.</li> </ul> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Best%20Airline%20Rewards%20Programs%20for%20Trips%20to%20Europe.jpg" alt="The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe" 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/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">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-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">How Families Can Earn and Use 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/5-steps-to-picking-the-best-airline-credit-card-for-the-most-rewards-value">5 Steps to Picking the Best Airline Credit Card for the Most Rewards Value</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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</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/amazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles">Amazing Destinations You Can Go to With Rewards Points and Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel Airfare airlines credit cards destinations Europe fees international miles points rewards taxes vacation Sun, 02 Jul 2017 20:24:55 +0000 Holly Johnson 1973264 at http://www.wisebread.com Are We Headed Toward a Bull or Bear Market? http://www.wisebread.com/are-we-headed-toward-a-bull-or-bear-market <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-we-headed-toward-a-bull-or-bear-market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-485863805.jpg" alt="Learning if we&#039;re headed toward a bull or bear market" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The stock market has been on a roll over the last year. Since the winter of 2016, investors have enjoyed a delightful bull market that has seen the S&amp;P 500 index rise by more than 25 percent.</p> <p>Whenever there is a lengthy run-up like this, investors always want to know how long it can last. Are we due for a big correction or even a record-breaking crash? Or will we see the markets continue to rise?</p> <p>Trying to time the market's movement is a fool's game, but it's always smart to look at the various indicators that may foreshadow future performance. With the current market, there is evidence to back up both bullish and bearish predictions.</p> <h2>Indicators of a bull market</h2> <p>The good times won't end anytime soon.</p> <h3>Most economic indicators are strong</h3> <p>For the most part, the American economy is stable. Unemployment is at its lowest point in a decade. Inflation is not out of hand. Manufacturing output is up, along with consumer confidence. There are some concerns about overall growth and productivity, but nothing that spells immediate doom for American investors at this point. Generally speaking, if the underlying foundations of the economy are sound, a sudden drop in stock prices is unlikely.</p> <h3>Interest rates are still historically low</h3> <p>We've seen interest rates creep up a bit, but they are still very low by historical standards. If you're placing money in a bank account, don't expect to receive much in the way of income. Bond yields are also very low. Thus, there's a good chance we'll see people continue to invest in stocks, as they have recently offered much better returns than most other options. As long as interest rates remain low, demand for stocks will be high.</p> <h3>Technical analysis supports it</h3> <p>Many analysts and financial planners prefer to examine a technical analysis of the stock market's performance, which looks at long-term trends that have historically repeated themselves. Most observers of these trends believe we are halfway through a growth cycle that began around 2010 and will continue another five to 10 years.</p> <h3>Corporate earnings are good</h3> <p>The stock market has been known to take a dive when stock prices are high, based on the underlying earnings of companies. In other words, when stocks are overvalued, the market will eventually find out, and you'll see a big correction. Recent earnings reports suggest that the stock market growth is justified. Earnings reports for the first quarter of 2017 look to be among the best in more than five years, so there's no indication that stocks are generally overvalued as a whole.</p> <h3>Lawmakers are pushing pro-business policies</h3> <p>President Trump was elected in part because of promises to lower corporate taxes and reduce business regulations, and he has the majority support of Congress. These are policies that are generally favored by the business community, and investors have responded positively. As long as businesses remain optimistic about policy changes, the stock market will be propped up.</p> <h2>Indicators of a bear market</h2> <p>On the other hand, maybe the good times are about to end.</p> <h3>Companies are heavily leveraged</h3> <p>U.S. companies have more debt than ever, and a lot of it comes due in the next few years. Moody's Investors Services estimated that a record $2 trillion corporate debt will come due between now and 2021, and warned that the market's ability to absorb all of these maturities is &quot;below average.&quot; Few analysts are predicting a massive wave of corporate bankruptcies, but an inability to refinance debt could curb corporate profits and cause stock prices to fall.</p> <h3>There's a possible epidemic of auto loan defaults</h3> <p>When the stock market last suffered a big crash in 2008, it was largely due to a flurry of defaults on mortgage loans. Many Americans obtained home loans that they ultimately could not afford, and ended up in foreclosure when home values dropped.</p> <p>These days, it appears that there may be a similar concern facing the quantity and quality of auto loans. It may not be as big a crisis as the housing bubble, but Americans ended 2016 with a record $1.2 trillion in auto loan debt, an increase of 9 percent from the previous year. Nearly one-fourth of these outstanding auto loans are considered subprime, and the delinquency rate from these loans is at its highest in seven years. This doesn't pose the same systemic risk as the mortgage crisis, but the auto industry is a key part of the American economy.</p> <h3>Europe is facing uncertainty</h3> <p>The United Kingdom is in the process of leaving the EU. There are rumors that other countries (France?) may follow suit. There are lingering concerns over terror attacks in the region. On one hand, economic trouble in the EU may benefit U.S. companies, but many American firms operate in Europe and are impacted by geopolitical uncertainty anywhere.</p> <h3>Political concerns</h3> <p>President Trump and members of Congress have been pushing pro-business policies, but eventually, they will have to deliver the goods. Their struggles in passing a repeal of the Affordable Care Act has been viewed as a sign that they may not have the wherewithal to accomplish big things, such as tax reform. A failure to follow through on any of these major promises could eventually cause a pullback in the markets.</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/are-we-headed-toward-a-bull-or-bear-market">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/why-does-the-stock-market-keep-going-up">Why Does the Stock Market Keep Going Up?</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-one-mental-bias-is-harming-your-investments">This One Mental Bias Is Harming Your Investments</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/why-the-dow-will-hit-a-million-eventually">Why the Dow Will Hit a Million, Eventually</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-stocks-to-buy-before-black-friday">6 Stocks to Buy Before Black Friday</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-cool-things-bonds-tell-you-about-the-economy">7 Cool Things Bonds Tell You About the Economy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment bankruptcy bear market bull market businesses corporations crash Crisis Economy Europe politics predictions stock market Mon, 15 May 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 1942751 at http://www.wisebread.com Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I've Earned With Credit Card Rewards http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-466442994.jpg" alt="Traveler earning experiences with credit card rewards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a travel rewards enthusiast, I've burned through well over a million points and miles in the last few years alone. While I've cashed in some of our credit card points for boring stuff (think motel stays and flights to work conferences), my family and I have also enjoyed once-in-a-lifetime excursions that have helped us see the world in new ways. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Steps to Getting a Free Vacation in 9 Months</a>)</p> <p>The best part is, these experiences have all been free, thanks to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit card</a> points and airline miles. Here are some of the most memorable adventures we've checked off our bucket list using rewards points.</p> <h2>Snorkeling with stingrays in Grand Cayman</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5169/Greg%20Stingray.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>In May of 2016, I surprised my husband with a trip to Caribbean island of Grand Cayman. We used points from the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-rewards-card-the-starwood-preferred-guest-credit-card-from-american-express?ref=internal" target="_blank">Starwood Preferred Guest program</a> to stay at The Westin Grand Cayman, and we paid for our flights with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-american-airlines-us-airways-credit-card-should-you-get?ref=internal" target="_blank">American Airlines AAdvantage</a> miles.</p> <p>The highlight of the trip: an excursion to Stingray City, a famous stretch of sandbar that's home to dozens of huge stingrays. I booked this excursion with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly?ref=internal" target="_blank">Chase Ultimate Rewards points</a> so it didn't even cost a dime.</p> <p>Once we arrived by boat to the sandbar, we were surrounded by enormous stingrays within minutes. We climbed down a ladder into the crystal-clear water, and the stingrays approached all around. Some let you hold them and even kiss them, while others just swam around our legs. The entire trip was a hoot, and we got awesome pictures of ourselves holding stingrays as big as five feet across. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</a>)</p> <h2>Luxing out at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme<strong> </strong></h2> <p>A few years ago, we used two free nights from my Hyatt credit card to book a weekend stay at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme. Considering the fact that rooms here usually cost $800+ per night, this isn't just any hotel. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Stay in a 5-Star Hotel for Less Than the Cost of a Motel</a>)</p> <p>The lobby is pristine, with art and décor that screams Parisian elegance. The large rooms are decorated in gold leaf, while the whole hotel reeks of luxury and seclusion. The breakfast, which we got for free, was regularly more than $100 for two people. And the service was impeccable.</p> <p>Because the hotel was the most luxurious I have ever stayed in, it was an experience in itself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Benefits and Value of the Best Hotel Rewards Programs and Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Exploring Athens on an electric bike</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5169/Late%20Day%20Athens.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>When my husband and I visited Greece in 2016, we wanted a fun and interesting way to see the city. While we did a lot of exploring on foot, we were stoked when we found an electric bike tour we could book through Chase Ultimate Rewards.</p> <p>The weather was perfect the day of our trip, making breezing through ancient Athens fun and comfortable. On our electric bikes, we viewed the Acropolis and its famous Parthenon from afar, visited other historic sites like the Roman Agora and the Temple of Zeus, and zipped through busy streets lined with locals and tourists dining al fresco.</p> <p>We thought the bike tour was the perfect way to see parts of the city up close and can't wait to do something similar again. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</a>)</p> <h2>Touring ancient Tuscany on rewards</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5169/San%20Gimignano%20Tour%20-%20Tuscany.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>When we went to Italy a few years ago, we wanted to see some of the countryside near Florence without renting a car. We found the perfect solution: a day trip to three ancient cities throughout Tuscany, which we booked using Chase Ultimate Rewards points.</p> <p>After we boarded our bus near the train station in Florence, we set off to experience the unique charms of San Gimignano, Pisa, and Siena.</p> <p>Our visit to the medieval town of San Gimignano was a wander back in time. The walled city is home to beautifully preserved tower homes &mdash; the medieval equivalent of skyscrapers. After climbing 200+ steps to the top of the highest tower, we were rewarded with some of Tuscany's best views.</p> <p>In Pisa, we of course saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa and its adjacent baptistery. And yes, we got a silly picture of ourselves pretending to hold up the tower. Our last stop was Siena, where we visited the beautiful gothic cathedral known as the Siena Duomo, strolled through the famous Piazza del Campo in the heart of the city, then explored the winding city streets on our own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Airline Miles Have the Best Value?</a>)</p> <h2>Snorkeling through Cenotes in Mexico</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5169/Greg%20and%20Lydia%20Snorkeling.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Another excursion we loved was snorkeling within three separate ecosystems in Mexico. This is yet another trip we booked with points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and it was a great one.</p> <p>After the bus picked us up at our Playa del Carmen hotel, we went to swim in a freshwater cenote &mdash; a natural sinkhole formed where a cave ceiling has collapsed. There, we saw tons of tiny tropical fish and zip-lined from a platform high above. Next, we snorkeled in a freshwater cave with catfish and amazing rock formations. Lastly, we headed to a protected ocean reef where we snorkeled with vast schools of fish and sea turtles. While there, I dove down to the quiet ocean floor and observed stingrays and huge parrot fish. It was an unforgettable experience. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How I Redeemed a $12,000 Family Vacation With Credit Cards in 2 Months</a>)</p> <h2>Plan your own amazing rewards adventure</h2> <p>When it comes to credit card rewards, don't forget to think outside of the box. Sure, you can use your points for a regular flight or hotel stay, but there's so much more you can do.</p> <p>With the right card, you could take a hot-air balloon ride to see the Loire Valley's famous castles, dive for pearls off the coast of Hawaii, or spend a few nights in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel you could otherwise never dream of affording</a>. If you're ready to boost your vacation fun with credit card rewards, be sure to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choose-the-best-travel-rewards-credit-card-with-this-guide?ref=internal" target="_blank">compare travel credit cards</a> to find an option that will help you see the world your own way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Get Started with Travel Rewards in 4 Simple Steps</a>)</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" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fonce-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FOnce-In-A-Lifetime%2520Experiences%2520I%2527ve%2520Earned%2520With%2520Credit%2520Card%2520Rewards.jpg&amp;description=Once-In-A-Lifetime%20Experiences%20I've%20Earned%20With%20Credit%20Card%20Rewards"></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/Once-In-A-Lifetime%20Experiences%20I%27ve%20Earned%20With%20Credit%20Card%20Rewards.jpg" alt="Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I've Earned With Credit Card Rewards" 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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/amazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles">Amazing Destinations You Can Go to With Rewards Points and Miles</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-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</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-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</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/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays">Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free Hotel Stays?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel abroad caribbean Europe free travel hotels international travel mexico miles points rewards vacation Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Holly Johnson 1921684 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_paris_travel_486971456.jpg" alt="Woman traveling to cities where Airbnb is cheaper than a hotel" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Since it was first founded in 2008, Airbnb has become a household name, nearly synonymous with the concept of short-term rentals. According to their website, Airbnb properties are available in more than 34,000 cities in over 190 countries, with 60 million users. This can be a great way to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel?ref=internal" target="_blank">save on accommodations</a> while traveling. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-get-hotel-deals?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Easy Ways to Get Hotel Deals</a>)</p> <p>By offering accommodation in locals' homes and apartments, Airbnb is often able to offer lower rates than traditional hotels, sometimes at unique properties or with added perks (like full kitchens). For solo travelers, renting a room with Airbnb can also be a great way to get to know a local host.</p> <p>However, you'll be giving up some hotel conveniences, too. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel" target="_blank">Airbnb isn't for everyone</a>. But if you're willing to forego hotel gyms and professional staff, here are five destinations where Airbnb is much more cost effective than a hotel.</p> <h2>European Destinations</h2> <p>In 2015, more than half of Airbnb's revenue was generated from its European listings. This is an important clue to consumers, as some of the best deals to be had are in expensive European capitals where Airbnb is doing some of its best business.</p> <h3>1. London</h3> <p>London is full of tourist sights that any traveler would be excited to see. This capital city is home to Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and many diverse national museums. However, London is also one of the most expensive destinations for international travelers.</p> <p>Even budget options in London can be pricey, with hostel dorm rooms often upward of $20 a night for a bed in a room with eight to 10 other people. Needless to say, many travelers don't want to stay in those conditions, but to book a four- or five-star hotel in the city center costs $250 and up.</p> <p>According to a 2015 study by Busbud, Airbnb listings were $108 a night cheaper than hotels, making London one of the best destinations to consider saving with Airbnb.</p> <h3>2. Venice</h3> <p>Venice is another European destination you won't want to miss, but hotels here are notoriously expensive, averaging just over $230 a night according to the Busbud study. However, by booking with Airbnb travelers were able to save an average of $86.</p> <p>There are plenty of good ways you can put these savings to use while out enjoying the area. Be sure not to miss a trip out to Burano and Murano, small islands a short gondola ride away from Venice, known for glass working and artisanal lace production.</p> <h3>3. Paris</h3> <p>Airbnb's rapid growth in Paris was reported by The Wall Street Journal in 2015, with the city continuing to be a hub of Airbnb activity to this day. Paris has more than 55,000 listings that get a great deal of traffic from visitors, according to Inside Airbnb.</p> <p>Given that consumers can save more than $100 on average by booking with Airbnb, it's no surprise that the company has had such great success in Paris, a city with a reputation for being expensive.</p> <h2>In the U.S.</h2> <p>Airbnb can be an affordable alternative to hotels in the U.S., too. In fact, in 2013, a comparative study by Priceonomics found that, on average, to rent an entire apartment in the U.S. with Airbnb was 21% cheaper than paying for a hotel, while renting a single room with Airbnb was half the price of a hotel.</p> <p>Since 2013, the cost of hotels has only been rising, from an average of $110 to $120 in 2015. Given that Airbnb has been gaining traction considerably in the past few years, consumers in the U.S. now have more options than ever before.</p> <p>It is important to remember, however, that these are national averages. Every city varies a little and of course, some cities are more Airbnb-friendly than others. As with the European examples, it seems that in more expensive cities, consumers stand to save more from booking with Airbnb.</p> <h3>4. New York</h3> <p>New York received an estimated 58 million tourists in 2015, making it one of the biggest tourist destinations globally. From bustling Times Square, to Broadway, to Wall Street, to Ellis Island, to its wide array of unique parks and museums, there is no shortage of sights and entertainment for visitors.</p> <p>Plus, New York has the Airbnb listings to match. There's a whole array of options in many diverse neighborhoods. A quick search I made on Airbnb showed the average cost of accommodations was $142, factoring in all options, from a shared room to an entire apartment.</p> <p>Keep in mind that rates also depend on location, location, location.</p> <h3>5. Seattle</h3> <p>Seattle has the advantage of being a good-sized city, while also offering access to beautiful coastlines and nearby mountains. As Washington state's largest city, it attracts a fair amount of both domestic and international visitors.</p> <p>The average cost of a hotel room here in 2015 was $209, according to Statista, making it one of the more costly cities in the U.S. Those looking to book with Airbnb stand to save more than $80 on their reservation.</p> <h2>Places to Avoid Using Airbnb</h2> <p>While these five cities offer a great value on their Airbnb listings, there are also some places you don't want to use Airbnb. Barcelona, for instance, will cost you $140 more on average to book via Airbnb as opposed to a hotel.</p> <p>In the U.S., Austin (home of Airbnb competitor HomeAway) is a much more expensive place to stay with Airbnb, while Los Angeles comes out just about even. Using <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card reward programs for hotels</a> can make hotels even more attractive than Airbnb in some places.</p> <p>Airbnb can offer great value in notoriously expensive cities both in the U.S. and in Europe, but that doesn't mean it's always a great deal. Check out your destination before you book to be sure you're getting the best value.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Cities%20Where%20Airbnb%20Is%20Way%20Cheaper%20Than%20a%20Hotel.jpg&amp;description=5%20Cities%20Where%20Airbnb%20Is%20Way%20Cheaper%20Than%20a%20Hotel" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Cities%20Where%20Airbnb%20Is%20Way%20Cheaper%20Than%20a%20Hotel.jpg" alt="5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel" 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/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-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-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/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/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb">10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/family-friendly-hotel-and-resort-chains-where-kids-stay-free">Family-Friendly Hotel and Resort Chains Where Kids Stay Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodations AirBnb deals Europe hotels short term rentals tourism united states vacation Mon, 30 Jan 2017 10:30:24 +0000 Nick Wharton 1871129 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Brexit Could Affect Your Travel Plans http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-brexit-could-affect-your-travel-plans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-brexit-could-affect-your-travel-plans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/holding_british_flag_94827249.jpg" alt="Learning how brexit could affect your travel plans" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Britain is divorcing Europe, and though the planned separation is a multiyear process, the repercussions are already being felt. So far, the pound is collapsing, the dollar is acquiring value, and the euro is experiencing a slump. But what does it all mean for your travel plans? If you've got your sights set on a hop across the pond in the near future, here's what you need to know.</p> <h2>You'll Get a Big Bang for Your Buck in Britain</h2> <p>When Britain voted to exit the EU, the British pound plummeted 8%. Let's put that in perspective: Overnight, the pound's worth dropped below the relative worth of the American dollar back in 1985. It was the currency's single worst day on record. The good news, however, is that the dollar-pound <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-get-taken-how-to-evaluate-an-exchange-rate" target="_blank">exchange rate</a> is the best it's been in three decades, giving Americans traveling in Britain big purchasing power.</p> <p>If you've never seen the land of Shakespeare and fish and chips &mdash; or if you're due for a revisit &mdash; now's your chance to do so at a better-than-ever price. Of course, this doesn't mean that your British vacation will be cheap. Even with the Brexit market turmoil, you'll pay far more to sightsee in the birthplace of the Beatles than you would to travel to a country with lower living standards, such as Mexico. But if a trip to Britain is already on your list, now is a great time to pull the trigger.</p> <h2>Travel to European Countries Will Also Be Cheaper</h2> <p>When the value of the British pound dropped, so, too, did the worth of the euro. Down, down, down it went, settling slightly lower than the dollar. This essentially puts <a href="http://www.vox.com/2016/6/24/12023856/brexit-travel-uk-london-deal">all trips to Europe</a> on sale. Not a huge sale, but a sale nonetheless. Americans traveling to Portugal, for example, will have nearly 1% more purchasing power, according to an analysis by Vox. (Hey &mdash; every little bit helps, right?) This is especially welcome news considering that travels to Europe were previously predicted to be more expensive this summer than last.</p> <h2>Travel to U.S. Destinations Could Drop in Price</h2> <p>If all of Britain is &quot;on sale&quot; to Americans, the inverse is also true: Travel to the U.S. is more expensive than ever for Brits. If this climate persists, it's likely that many British tourists will opt out of U.S. travel until the pound-to-dollar exchange rate stabilizes. It's yet to be seen, but this scenario opens up the possibility of cheaper travel within the U.S. (Think New York, Miami, Los Angeles).</p> <p>&quot;If British tourists, because of currency fluctuations, change their plans or don't come to U.S., you may see some ability to get some better prices in some cities,&quot; Mike Stitt, the North American president of Travelzoo, told The New York Times. &quot;We're seeing a little of that effect now with the Canadian travelers. As their currency has plummeted against the dollar, Canadians are staying home.&quot;</p> <h2>Airfare Specials to London May Become Easier to Snag</h2> <p>British Airways kicked off the uncertain era following Britain's EU split with a <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/todayinthesky/2016/06/28/british-airways-having-brexit-fare-sale/86467110/">Brexit fare sale</a>. Pricing economy fares from New York to London for as low as $639 round trip, the airline used the country's economic turmoil as a hook to lure in more American tourists. &quot;Your dollar has never gone further,&quot; the airline trumpeted on its Twitter account. It's yet to be seen whether other airlines will follow suit. But it's worth keeping your eyes peeled for Brexit-inspired discounts.</p> <h2>Flights From Europe to Britain Could Climb</h2> <p>In the wake of Brexit, the low-cost Irish airline Ryanair said it would be <a href="http://www.irishtimes.com/business/transport-and-tourism/ryanair-will-shift-investment-away-from-uk-after-brexit-vote-1.2702603">unlikely to deploy new planes</a> on British routes. Instead, the airline said it will funnel its finances toward its European routes. &quot;It's unlikely we will base any additional aircraft in the UK in 2017 as they will be allocated to European Union airports instead,&quot; a Ryanair spokesperson told The Irish Times. It's unclear whether other airline carriers will follow suit. But if they do, the price of flights to Britain could very well climb &mdash; especially if more low-cost airlines curb their commitment to Britain.</p> <h2>Longer Airport Waits Could Be On the Horizon</h2> <p>A few years out, when Britain's divorce from the EU is finalized, there will be a major change at British airports: Citizens of the European Union will be funneled to the international customs line &mdash; the same line that's used by Americans. This could lead to longer wait times. And, if you're traveling through a British airport to a final destination in Europe, you'll likely have to claim and <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/brexit-travel-british-pound-uk-international-spain-portugal-america-europe-terrorism-050106247.html">recheck your luggage</a> while going through immigration. A small hassle, perhaps, but who needs another hassle at the airport?</p> <p><em>Assuming the UK follows through with Brexit, what ramifications do you expect?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fheres-how-brexit-could-affect-your-travel-plans&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHere%26%23x27%3Bs%20How%20Brexit%20Could%20Affect%20Your%20Travel%20Plans.jpg&amp;description=Here%26%23x27%3Bs%20How%20Brexit%20Could%20Affect%20Your%20Travel%20Plans" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Here%27s%20How%20Brexit%20Could%20Affect%20Your%20Travel%20Plans.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-brexit-could-affect-your-travel-plans">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to 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-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</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-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Smart Travel Hacks Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-pack-for-vacation">5 Things You Should Never Pack for Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-from-three-weeks-in-europe">8 Money Lessons I Learned From Three Weeks in Europe</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel Airfare airports brexit Britain currencies dollars eu Europe euros pounds vacation Mon, 25 Jul 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1757122 at http://www.wisebread.com Americans Spend More Than Other Countries On These 10 Things http://www.wisebread.com/americans-spend-more-than-other-countries-on-these-10-things <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/americans-spend-more-than-other-countries-on-these-10-things" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/american_flags_000047277396.jpg" alt="Americans spending more than other countries do" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In America, we're known for our indulgences &mdash; home appliances, electronics, vacations, cars. So how does our spending stack up against Europeans, or folks in Asia? Read on for our analysis of the most uniquely American spendings habits out there.</p> <h2>1. The Lottery</h2> <p>Americans spend more money <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/05/lotteries-americas-70-billion-shame/392870/">playing the lotto</a> than on books, video games, and movie and sporting event tickets combined. In 2014, lottery spending in the U.S. totaled a whopping $70 billion. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-of-improving-your-lottery-odds">6 Ways of Improving Your Lottery Odds</a>)</p> <h2>2. Doctors and Dentists</h2> <p>The U.S. spends more <a href="http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2015/oct/us-health-care-from-a-global-perspective">public dollars on healthcare</a> than all but two countries. There are a couple of reasons for that. First, healthcare services are notably higher in the U.S. than in most other nations. And secondly, Americans are greater users of expensive medical treatments and technologies, such as MRI machines.</p> <h2>3. Housing</h2> <p>Americans spend more money on housing than people in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan. In a 2009 study, Americans funneled an average <a href="http://www.bls.gov/opub/focus/volume2_number16/cex_2_16.htm">26% of their expenditures</a> toward shelter.</p> <h2>4. Taxis, Planes, and Trains</h2> <p>The same study showed Americans also spend more on private transit, other than automobiles, than folks in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan.</p> <h2>5. Education</h2> <p>The U.S. <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-education-spending-tops-global-list-study-shows/">spends more on education</a> than any other developed nation, and most of the funding comes from the pockets of parents and private foundations. Total spending per student in the U.S. tops $15,000. For perspective's sake, Switzerland spends nearly $15,000 and Mexico pays about $3,000. Despite big spending, American students still lag behind comparable nations on international tests.</p> <h2>6. Prescription Drugs</h2> <p>Americans spend far more on <a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/americans-spend-much-pharmaceuticals/">prescription drugs</a> &mdash; almost $1,000 per person per year &mdash; than residents of any other country. For some perspective: Americans spend 40% more than the next highest spenders, Canadians.</p> <h2>7. Politics</h2> <p>Americans spend more on <a href="https://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2014/11/10/u-s-political-finance-americans-spend-more-on-elections-but-they-lead-from-behind/">political campaigns</a> than any other country. To compare, India spent $5 billion in its last general election. That's one billion dollars less than Americans spent in the 2012 general election.</p> <h2>8. Tourism</h2> <p>When traveling abroad, Americans <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/tourists-from-these-countries-spend-the-most-when-traveling-abroad-2015-4">outspend vacationers</a> from most other countries. In 2014, Americans abroad spent $112 billion &mdash; more than Germany, the United Kingdom, and Russia. The big out-spender, however, was China. Chinese abroad spent $165 billion that same year.</p> <h2>9. Christmas</h2> <p>Americans are more likely than residents of any European nation to go into debt to pay for Christmas presents. One in five Americans used credit to <a href="http://www.ing.com/Newsroom/All-news/UK-and-Romania-top-international-Christmas-spending-league.htm">cover holiday spending</a> in 2014.</p> <h2>10. Chocolate Bars</h2> <p>The U.S. leads global spending on <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2015/jul/19/which-country-spends-the-most-on-chocolate-bars">chocolate bars</a>, topping out at nearly $3 billion per year. That shakes out to an average annual chocolate expenditure of $57 per American.</p> <p><em>Do any of these expenditures look familiar to you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/americans-spend-more-than-other-countries-on-these-10-things">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/americans-spend-less-than-other-countries-on-these-9-items">Americans Spend Less Than Other Countries on These 9 Items</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/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste 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/14-pricey-things-you-shouldnt-buy-and-what-to-get-instead">14 Pricey Things You Shouldn&#039;t Buy (And What to Get Instead)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-five-senses-tricking-you-to-spend-more">Are Your Five Senses Tricking You to Spend More?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-12-winter-essentials">How to Save on 12 Winter Essentials</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping americans Asia Europe habits spending united states Tue, 19 Jan 2016 18:00:04 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1638139 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Luxe Travel Destinations That Are Cheaper in Winter http://www.wisebread.com/6-luxe-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-in-winter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-luxe-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-in-winter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_selfie_london_000061899106.jpg" alt="Man finding luxe travel destinations that are cheaper in winter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What did you do on your summer vacation? Yawn, what a cliché. Just about every vacation spot is mobbed in summer, when families with children are free to travel. If you have the flexibility, enjoy fewer crowds and pay less by visiting these normally-expensive spots during winter!</p> <h2>1. Europe</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/europe_city_fountain_000054520320.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The lowest airfares to Europe are usually available from mid-January through the end of February. Don't despair, there are plenty of great things to do there during the colder months, whether it's enjoying Denmark's <em>hygge</em>, sipping hot chocolate in Vienna, skiing in Switzerland, or hiking in temperate Italy and Spain.</p> <h2>2. Orlando</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/orlando_florida_attraction_000056623332.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Disney <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">hotels offer their cheapest rates</a> during &quot;Value Season,&quot; which includes much of January and the first week of February. Universal Orlando lists the first three weeks of December as value season as well. Basically if it's winter but not a holiday week, you're good to enjoy a cheaper and less crowded theme park experience.</p> <h2>3. Yosemite National Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/yosemite_park_000008524397.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>You might think this spectacular mountain playground is snowed in all winter, but many of the main roads, including the popular Valley Loop, are kept open.</p> <p>Is there anything to do there in winter? Only if you like ice skating with a view of Half Dome, affordable family downhill skiing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Make sure to check current conditions before you head out to find out about temporary road closures or chain requirements.</p> <h2>4. Iceland</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iceland_000009978384.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Thanks to Iceland's affordable Wow Air, you can fly from Boston or DC to Reykjavik for under $400 just about any time of year &mdash; but accommodations (those that don't shut down until spring) cost about 40% less in winter.</p> <p>What can you do during an Icelandic winter when daylight only lasts a few hours? Bathe in a hot spring while sipping a frozen drink, enjoy all-day sunsets and sunrises, and see the Northern Lights. What you won't do is freeze to death, since thanks to the Gulf Stream, Iceland is not as cold as New York City in winter. Speaking of which...</p> <h2>5. New York City or Chicago</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/winter_chicago_city_000071070187.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>You can't deny that living in a northern U.S. city sucks during winter. However, staying in downtown hotels &mdash; where nightly rates plummet with the temperatures &mdash; is a different story.</p> <p>In downtown Chicago, you can ice skate in Millennium Park, walk for miles indoors through world-class museums, and brave the chill to eat strudel at the Christkindlmarket. In New York City, there are countless things to do in winter. Whether it's enjoying the shows on Broadway or visiting the city's many museums or world-class eateries, you won't be disappointed.</p> <h2>6. Montreal</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/montreal_at_christmas_000007750001.jpg" width="605" height="338" alt="" /></p> <p>I once visited Montreal during a mild January where the temperature was above freezing. Between Igloofest, Montréal en Lumière, and taking the kids to Mont Royal to sled and sip hot cocoa, Montreal glitters <em>en hiver </em>&mdash; and discount hotel packages make the normally pricey city <em>un bon march</em>é.</p> <p><em>What are your winter travel plans?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-luxe-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-in-winter&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Luxe%20Travel%20Destinations%20That%20Are%20Cheaper%20in%20Winter.jpg&amp;description=6%20Luxe%20Travel%20Destinations%20That%20Are%20Cheaper%20in%20Winter" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Luxe%20Travel%20Destinations%20That%20Are%20Cheaper%20in%20Winter.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-luxe-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-in-winter">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/caribbean-island-vacations-anyone-can-afford">Caribbean Island Vacations 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/5-amazing-travel-destinations-you-thought-were-unaffordable">5 Amazing Travel Destinations You Thought Were Unaffordable</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/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</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-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget">The Easy Way to Save Up a Big Travel Budget</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-really-expensive-places-to-spend-your-holidays">4 Really Expensive Places to Spend Your Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel disney world Europe new york city trips vacations value seasons winter Tue, 24 Nov 2015 22:00:33 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1615576 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Best Stock Markets in the World in 2015 http://www.wisebread.com/10-best-stock-markets-in-the-world-in-2015 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-best-stock-markets-in-the-world-in-2015" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/global_economy_000050748806.jpg" alt="Finding the best stock markets in the world in 2015" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It seems sensible to invest primarily in U.S. stocks, because of their generally reliable returns, familiarity, and a sense of patriotism. But sometimes, getting big investment gains requires thinking more globally.</p> <p>Despite global economic problems, the stock markets of many countries have been on a tear. Which markets are seeing the biggest gains? Here are 10 to examine, along with a couple of honorable mentions.</p> <p>(Note that there are many countries that would have been on this list were it not for a large global selloff in August, triggered by concerns over the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-invest-in-china">growth of China's economy</a>.)</p> <h2>1. Argentina</h2> <p>It's a little strange, because Argentina's economy is not in particularly good shape, but the stock market in Buenos Aires is up more than 30% this year, in part due to optimism that October elections will help the country with its economic woes.</p> <h2>2. Hungary</h2> <p>This European nation has been in the headlines recently due to its response to the refugee crisis, but a series of economic reforms and some tax changes have helped spur the Hungarian economy faster than any other nation in the European Union. The <a href="https://bse.hu/">Budapest Stock Exchange</a> is up 27% since the start of 2015.</p> <h2>3. Jamaica</h2> <p>The small island is home to some of the fastest sprinters &mdash; and one of the fastest-growing economies, after years of tepid growth and debt problems. The nation has also been helped by a campaign to urge Jamaicans living elsewhere in the world to invest in the Jamaican stock market. The <a href="http://www.jamstockex.com/">Jamaica Stock Exchange Market Index</a> is up more than 27% this year.</p> <h2>4. Iceland</h2> <p>It's been hailed as one of the better economic turnaround stories in recent memory. The nation that was burned by the financial crisis is now back, with a 26% rise in its stock market this year. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the devaluing of currency during the financial crisis actually helped Iceland recover faster.</p> <h2>5. Denmark</h2> <p>The Danish currency has fallen in value, so stocks are up due to the ease of selling Danish products abroad. The <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/KFX:IND">Copenhagen 20 Index</a>, which tracks the top Danish blue chip stocks, is up 25% this year.</p> <h2>6. Ireland</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.ise.ie/Market-Data-Announcements/Indices/">Irish Stock Market Overall Index</a> has seen a 22% bump in 2015, thanks to a surging economy that has seen more than 6% growth in gross domestic product in each of the first two quarters of the year.</p> <h2>7. Botswana</h2> <p>This landlocked African country has been hailed as a model of economic growth, with money coming from diamonds, minerals, tourism, and now even retail. The <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/BGSMDC:IND">Botswana Gaborone Index</a>, which tracks companies based in Botswana, is up 13% in 2015.</p> <h2>8. France</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/CAC:IND">CAC 40 Index</a>, which tracks top French stocks, was doing tremendously up until the middle of August, when the most recent global downturn took place. The Index was up nearly 40% but fell back to its current level of about 9% growth in 2015.</p> <h2>9. Russia</h2> <p>Despite sanctions and war, the Russian economy has grown in 2015, and investors have made out well. The nation's <a href="http://www.micex.com/marketdata/quotes">MICEX Index</a> showed a 23% rise since a low point at the start of the year.</p> <h2>10. Pakistan</h2> <p>If you like roller coaster rides, you'll enjoy the performance of the Karachi <a href="http://www.kse.com.pk/">KSE100 Stock Exchange</a>. The market lost 20% of its value in February and March, but rebounded to give investors a solid 5% return on the year.</p> <h2>Honorable Mentions</h2> <p>These two markets didn't quite make the cut, but they've done well, too.</p> <h3>Portugal</h3> <p>If you began investing in Portuguese stocks at the start of 2015, you got in at a good time. The <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/PSI20:IND">PSI 20</a>, which tracks the main Portugal-based companies, hit a trough in January and was up 30% by April. It's come back to Earth a bit since, but is up 4% this year.</p> <h3>Vietnam</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/VNINDEX:IND">Ho Chi Minh Stock Index</a> has been up and down in 2015, rising 18% in the first half of the year before dropping in the last two months. It's still up 4% this year.</p> <p><em>Do you invest in any of these booming markets? How has your portfolio performed?</em></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/10-best-stock-markets-in-the-world-in-2015">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/10-boring-investments-that-are-surprisingly-profitable">10 Boring Investments That Are Surprisingly Profitable</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-countries-where-you-can-retire-for-1000-a-month">5 Countries Where You Can Retire for $1,000 a Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-truth-of-investing-mediocre-advice-is-best">The Surprising Truth of Investing: Mediocre Advice Is Best</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-types-of-investors-which-one-are-you">8 Types of Investors — Which One Are You?</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-cheap-international-vacation-destinations">5 Cheap International Vacation Destinations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Asia Europe foreign stocks global stock markets market growth returns South America Tue, 29 Sep 2015 13:00:54 +0000 Tim Lemke 1570305 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 European Destinations Finally Cheap Enough to Visit http://www.wisebread.com/6-european-destinations-finally-cheap-enough-to-visit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-european-destinations-finally-cheap-enough-to-visit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel_greece_000017903354.jpg" alt="Beautiful cliffside view of European destination Greece" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For years, visiting Europe has been considered a relatively extravagant vacation, thanks in part to the strength of the Euro. But that's changed in in recent months, as the <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/euro-tumbles-close-to-12-year-low-against-dollar-1426063992">U.S. dollar gains value</a>. While visiting Europe may not yet be truly cheap, the decline of the Euro means it's at least starting to approach affordability for many Americans. Here are six European destinations that are now a great deal for American travelers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-visit-europe-for-a-lot-cheaper-than-you-think-heres-how?ref=seealso">Visit Europe for a Lot Cheaper Than You Think</a>)</p> <h2>1. Bucharest, Romania</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Bucharest_000058879394.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>This scenic city is nestled along the banks of the Dâmbovița River. Though the city was heavily targeted during World War II, many of its historic and cultural landmarks miraculously survived. The recent boom of economic and cultural activity has revived its pre-World War II reputation as the &quot;Little Paris.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Sofia, Bulgaria</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Sofia_000025930361.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Sofia's history spans 2,400 years, so it's no wonder that its residents are rightly proud of their heritage. Sofia has an extensive greenbelt that makes this urban environment an oasis for nature lovers. Mountain hikes are a regular activity for residents and tourists alike, and one of the city's biggest draws. Lovers of the arts, particularly live theater, can get their fill and then some at cultural landmarks such as the Ivan Vazov National Theatre, the National Opera and Ballet, and the many fine art museums.</p> <h2>3. Prague, Czech Republic</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Prague_000010653442.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>It's hard to beat the romance of Prague. The Charles Bridge connects what's commonly known as Old Prague and New Prague, and it's a daily home for the city's artists who set up shop every morning to create and sell their work. Prague Castle, the anchor of Old Prague, is one of the grandest castles in Europe. The food and drink (particularly beer) are rich and flavorful, and the people are exceedingly welcoming to tourists.</p> <h2>4. Lisbon, Portugal</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Lisbon_000019051528.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Often overlooked by tourists, Lisbon rivals other, more expensive European destinations such as Madrid, Barcelona, and Paris for its beauty and culture. It's the oldest city in Western Europe and one of the oldest in the world. With a comfortable Mediterranean climate, its economic prosperity has made it one of the most easily navigated cities with extensive and reliable public transit in many forms. Lisbon's rich and varied architecture is just the beginning of its cultural gems, which also include a substantial number of top art museums, film festivals, and theaters.</p> <h2>5. Santorini, Greece</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Santorini_000039159018.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" />&nbsp;</p> <p>If your idea of vacation includes stunning vistas, delicious local food, sunny beaches, and an easy friendliness with the locals, then Santorini is a city (or island) made for you. It's a bit of a trek to get there, but one look at the cerulean rooftops that line its winding and stunning coastline will make it worth the effort. The food is among the best I've ever had while traveling, and residents are more than happy to drop everything to make your vacation one you will never forget. It also can't hurt your pocket that Greece was one of the hardest-hit countries during the economic crisis; help revive their economy by spending your vacation dollars here.</p> <h2>6. Berlin, Germany</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Berlin_000014178165.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Forget Paris? Never! But if Paris is out of reach on your travel budget, Berlin's bustling arts scene will inspire and entertain you for days on end. Nearly 25 years after the city was reunified, it has managed to maintain every bit of its history, while also reinventing itself as a mecca for creatives. Whether your creative bent is literature, visual arts, music, or performing arts, Berlin has more culture than you could ever consume in one trip. Easy to reach and incredibly affordable, you're likely to leave Berlin wanting to return very soon.</p> <p>If you've shunned Europe as a too-expensive travel destination in recent years (and who could blame you?), these cities are well worth a look as you plan your next vacation. Take advantage of this window to affordable Europe. World financial circumstances change quickly, and you don't want to miss this opportunity.</p> <p><em>Are you planning a European vacation? Dreaming of one? Where are you going?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-european-destinations-finally-cheap-enough-to-visit&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20European%20Destinations%20Finally%20Cheap%20Enough%20to%20Visit.jpg&amp;description=6%20European%20Destinations%20Finally%20Cheap%20Enough%20to%20Visit" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20European%20Destinations%20Finally%20Cheap%20Enough%20to%20Visit_0.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-european-destinations-finally-cheap-enough-to-visit">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-countries-where-you-can-retire-for-1000-a-month">5 Countries Where You Can Retire for $1,000 a Month</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-cheap-international-vacation-destinations">5 Cheap International Vacation Destinations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel affordable vacations euro Europe sightseeing Fri, 03 Apr 2015 13:00:09 +0000 Christa Avampato 1367773 at http://www.wisebread.com You Can Visit Europe for a Lot Cheaper Than You Think — Here's How http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-visit-europe-for-a-lot-cheaper-than-you-think-heres-how <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-can-visit-europe-for-a-lot-cheaper-than-you-think-heres-how" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-170442530.jpg" alt="Pisa" title="Pisa" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As far as foreign travel is concerned, Europe is one of the most romanticized continents in the world. Indeed there is much to do there, from sipping wine under the Eiffel Tower to taking in a bullfight in Spain to zipping along Rome's cobbled streets on a Vespa. And while many Americans still make the pilgrimage to Europe on an annual basis, the lop-sided dollar-euro exchange rate means fewer people in the States can afford to make the trip. Or so they think.</p> <p>Yes, exchanging dollars for euros can be murder, but it's certainly not any reason to table that European holiday. There are many ways Americans can stretch their dollar and enjoy Europe's myriad sights and activities, and here are a few tips to do just that. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Travel in the Shoulder Season</h2> <p>The interim or &quot;shoulder&quot; season in Europe is between the high and low seasons. In the high season (mid-June to August) many countries are brimming with tourists eager to take in the many festivals and outdoor activities for which the nice weather allows. The low season (mid-November to Easter) is certainly a cheaper time to visit, but the snow and rain can be prohibitive. Thus the <em>shoulder season</em> (mid-September to December/Easter to June) is a nice middle ground. Tourists can take advantage of cheaper fares, but still have decent weather to be out and about.</p> <h2>Book Hotels Direct</h2> <p>There are a number of online resources for finding cheap European hotel rooms, with <a href="http://www.eurocheapo.com">Eurocheapo</a> being one of the better options. It inspects and verifies all hotels listed on their site, and there are plenty of customer reviews, too.</p> <p>However, while most major booking sites often have good deals, they also tend to leave out many of the smaller hotels who can't afford to pay the percentage. Therefore, travelers can often find better deals on smaller places by visiting a particular hotel's website. Inquiring about discounts for extended stays often yields big savings as well.</p> <p>Other lower-cost options include <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel">vacation rentals</a> and hostels. Those who are going the hostel route should become a <a href="https://www.hihostels.com/info/membership">Hosteling International</a> member, as there are hundreds of HI-affiliated hostels throughout Europe that offer <em>at least</em> a 10% discount to members.</p> <h2>Search for Entertainment Deals and Freebies</h2> <p>There are many to be found in Europe. In many cinemas and museums there are discounts or even free admission on certain days. (The Louvre offers free admission on the first Sunday of the month.) Also, there is no need to pay for expensive concerts or shows with all the festivals going on in Europe year round. From Bastille Day to the bull run in Pamplona to King's Day in Amsterdam, there is always some festival happening that is rife with live music, activities, and parades, and all of it totally free to enjoy.</p> <h2>Dine in the Day/Eat in Bars</h2> <p>By making lunch the largest meal of the day, travelers can enjoy the many executive specials that cafes and restaurants offer during the daytime. And those who like to imbibe can hop on over to Spain, where many bars and cafes still offer free <em>tapas</em> (small plates) with the purchase of a beer or cocktail.</p> <h2>Get Cheap <em>Intra-Continental</em> Flights</h2> <p>And because it often takes little longer than an hour or two to fly between most European countries, these cheap flights are in abundance. This is also due to the fact that many specialty airlines are competing with one another constantly. <a href="http://www.govolo.com">Govolo</a> and <a href="https://www.europebyair.com">Europebyair</a> are great resources for finding such deals.</p> <h2>Embrace Public and Private Transport</h2> <p>It's important for travelers to Europe to not limit themselves when it comes to transport. Because not only can different methods of transport be great for traveling around cities, they can be great for traveling around <em>countries</em> as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-amazing-affordable-vacations-travel-slowly?ref=seealso">Travel Slowly for Cheap Vacations</a>)</p> <p>Traveling by bus is a great &mdash; and cheap &mdash; way to get to know the larger European cities such as Paris, Madrid, and Amsterdam.</p> <p>Renting a car is another option. And Americans needn't be put off by the notion that car rental automatically means extravagance. In fact, in countries like Portugal, savvy consumers can find daily deals on car rentals for as little as <a href="http://www.portugal-auto-rentals.com">$15 per day</a>, give or take.</p> <p>One of the most famous methods of transport in Europe is the <a href="http://www.eurail.com/?gclid=CLeQpYDM3r0CFWZo7AodQ3gAAA">Eurorail</a>, the continent's inter-country rail system. While this can be a pricey way to get around, companies usually have daily deals and discounts on tickets that can take the sting off.</p> <p>In the end, those who adhere to these guidelines will likely find that their European dream holiday doesn't break the bank. Having said that, it is crucial to plan detailed itineraries because freewheeling it across Europe can destroy any budget.</p> <p><em>How have you cut costs on international travel? Please share in comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fyou-can-visit-europe-for-a-lot-cheaper-than-you-think-heres-how&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FYou%20Can%20Visit%20Europe%20for%20a%20Lot%20Cheaper%20Than%20You%20Think%20%E2%80%94%20Heres%20How.jpg&amp;description=You%20Can%20Visit%20Europe%20for%20a%20Lot%20Cheaper%20Than%20You%20Think%20%E2%80%94%20Heres%20How" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/You%20Can%20Visit%20Europe%20for%20a%20Lot%20Cheaper%20Than%20You%20Think%20%E2%80%94%20Heres%20How.jpg" alt="You Can Visit Europe for a Lot Cheaper Than You Think &mdash; Here's How" 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/chris-mcmurphy">Chris McMurphy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-visit-europe-for-a-lot-cheaper-than-you-think-heres-how">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/10-things-youre-paying-too-much-for-when-you-travel-and-how-to-pay-less">10 Things You&#039;re Paying Too Much for When You Travel (and How to Pay 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/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high">Taking Frugal Road Trips (Even When Gas Prices Are High)</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-countries-where-you-can-retire-for-1000-a-month">5 Countries Where You Can Retire for $1,000 a Month</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/23-travel-hacks-that-will-save-time-money-and-your-sanity">23 Travel Hacks That Will Save Time, Money, and Your Sanity</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-cheap-international-vacation-destinations">5 Cheap International Vacation Destinations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Travel cheap travel Europe travel costs Fri, 02 May 2014 08:36:33 +0000 Chris McMurphy 1137582 at http://www.wisebread.com What Americans Can Learn From How the Rest of the World Saves Energy http://www.wisebread.com/what-americans-can-learn-from-how-the-rest-of-the-world-saves-energy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-americans-can-learn-from-how-the-rest-of-the-world-saves-energy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3362778812_c00bd81329_z.jpg" alt="water tank" title="water tank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most Americans aren't as devoted as <a href="http://www.edbegley.com/environment/">Ed Begley, Jr.</a> to conserving energy that they'll ride a bike to create energy to run a <a href="http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/living-with-ed/ed-begley-bicycle-generators.html">toaster</a>. But travel abroad to Europe, Australia, or any other developed country, and you'll see that much of the rest of the world is serious about saving energy and the world's resources.</p> <p>The United States is known for doing a poor job at being energy efficient. In a <a href="http://www.aceee.org/portal/national-policy/international-scorecard">report</a> about a dozen countries with the biggest economies, the United States' energy efficiency efforts were only ahead of Brazil, Canada, and Russia, according to the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, or ACEEE. The United Kingdom ranked first, followed by Germany, Italy, Japan, and France.</p> <p>While not everyone can live near an efficient public transportation system, such as Sydney's <a href="http://www.cityrail.info/">rail</a> service, or can afford to rebuild their home with solar power, there are some things that much of the rest of the world does that Americans either don't do, or if they do, don't do in great numbers. Here are a few. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-water-energy-money-the-world-in-one-afternoon">5 Ways to Save Water, Energy, Money, and the World All in One Afternoon</a>)</p> <h2>Use Clotheslines</h2> <p>While these are a common way in America to avoid running wet clothes in a dryer, they don't seem to be as common as they are in Europe or elsewhere. Clothes dryers are often small in other parts of the world &mdash; to save money and space &mdash; and thus encourage people to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kilowatts-a-killer-tips-for-air-drying-clothes">hang clothes out to dry</a>.</p> <h2>Pay Higher Gas Prices</h2> <p>While not as cheap as Venezuela, gasoline in America is relatively cheap when compared to other countries. A $4 gallon in the U.S. can cost <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/slideshow/2012-08-13/highest-cheapest-gas-prices-by-country.html#slide1">double</a> in Europe, due partly to higher taxes. Paying more for gas can have two positive results: You'll either walk or take public transportation to get anywhere, or it will make buying a car with better gas mileage look like a deal. If a U.S. company can make cars for Europe that get <a href="http://gas2.org/2009/12/03/european-legislation-creates-62-mpg-gas-carsfrom-ford/">62 miles per gallon</a>, it can do the same for Americans.</p> <h2>Make Buying Solar Power Easy</h2> <p>On a recent trip to Australia, I noticed a mom-and-pop store on a corner selling <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-power">home solar power</a> kits. It wasn't a huge warehouse with miles of supplies, and it didn't have professional looking signs, just a simple window sign offering solar panels for the home. While <a href="http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2009/12/home-depot-lowes-sell-do-it-yourself-solar-panels-/1#.UEd5eVQjTRw">Home Depot</a> once sold do-it-yourself solar panels (that were geared more toward contractors than DIYers), installation and sales is often done in the U.S. by professionals who sell to the masses. You don't see small stores on American street corners selling solar power kits.</p> <h2>Practice Rain Water Collection</h2> <p>Collecting rain water and saving it for watering plants or pumping it inside a home to flush toilets or wash clothes is a great idea in dry climates, but can also be used in the U.S. as a way to save water. Large tanks that hold at least 10,000 gallons are common outside Australian homes.</p> <h2>Automatically Turn Off Lights</h2> <p>While staying in a hotel for a week on a recent trip overseas, each time I wanted any of the lights on in the suite, I had to put the door card key into a slot just inside the door that would let the power turn on. It required me to be in the room to turn on any lights, and all of the lights turned off when I removed the card key and left the room. It was a simple way to turn off every light without having to remember to do it or go around to every light and switch it off. About a month later I stayed at a hotel in America. While I didn't expect to find the same device, there was nothing to prevent me from leaving every light on before going out for the evening.</p> <h2>Use Smaller Refrigerators</h2> <p>Everything is bigger in America: homes, cars, kitchens, bedrooms, and even everyday appliances such as dryers and refrigerators. Whether it's because their homes are smaller or they like to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-your-groceries-european-style">shop more often for fresh groceries</a>, Europeans typically have smaller refrigerators. After air conditioners, refrigerators are the <a href="http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/refrigerators.html">second-biggest</a> users of electricity.</p> <p>Beyond tougher regulations and fewer resources, the rest of the world may also have a leg up on America in saving energy because they live in smaller communities and smaller populations. America is such an expansive land that even with <a href="http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html">314 million</a> people, there's room to stretch out and forget about the millions of people you share the country with. Europe has more than double the population, but it's split among many <a href="http://exploredia.com/population-of-europe-2011/">countries</a>, giving a feeling of intimacy in a smaller geographic area and possibly the incentive not to waste energy because you care about taking care of your neighbors.</p> <p>During my trip to Australia this summer, I noticed a small benefit of going to a city park in Brisbane, a park similar to one you might find in America. Free gas grills are available for the public to use at these city parks, with a nearby sign asking users to clean up after themselves and keep the grills clean for the next user.</p> <p>I never saw a dirty grill while there, leaving me to conjecture that no one wanted to leave a mess for the next person to clean. Americans may keep public barbecues clean for the next user in some parts of the country, but I haven't seen it happen where I've been.&nbsp;It's not that Americans don't care for others, but that taking the little steps to take care of the environment because it will help you and your neighbor isn't as common in the U.S. as it is elsewhere. It's a small step to leave something in the same (or better) condition than you found it. It's only an example, but cleaning up after yourself at a public park can carry over to energy consumption and other aspects of life.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-americans-can-learn-from-how-the-rest-of-the-world-saves-energy">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/20-awesome-uses-for-milk-crates">20 Awesome Uses for Milk Crates</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-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day</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/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle">Fall Cleaning 101: The Spic-and-Span Basics of Making Your Home Sparkle</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-own-eco-friendly-dryer-sheets">Make Your Own Eco-Friendly Dryer Sheets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home Lifestyle Australia dryer energy Europe savings solar solar power washer Thu, 06 Sep 2012 10:36:42 +0000 Aaron Crowe 954325 at http://www.wisebread.com