vacation http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6924/all en-US 5 Smart Travel Hacks Only Frequent Flyers Know http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_airport_travel_000072076767.jpg" alt="Woman learning travel hacks that frequent flyers keep secret" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Airports can be a drag. Long lines, grumpy staff, crowded waiting areas, and poorly automated climate control can really put a damper on your travel day. But layovers, delays, and airport lobbies don't have to be uncomfortable. Using these expert tips, you can hack your way into a more enjoyable flying experience.</p> <h2>1. Skip the Lines</h2> <p>&quot;Oops! Am I in the wrong line?&quot; Most of the time, these simple words will allow you to get checked in at the priority desk without any issue. If you are at the airport and you see a painfully long check-in line and an empty priority line, consider &quot;accidentally&quot; walking up to the latter. You might be surprised at how often your mistake can save you time.</p> <p>You may also want to apply for <a href="https://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck">TSA Pre-Check</a> or get a <a href="http://www.globalentry.gov/">Global Entry</a> card which allows travelers to go through security faster and get expedited clearance through customs. There are fees associated with applying, but there are some credit cards that reimburse the cost. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-tsa-pre-check-and-global-entry-reimbursement?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards that Offer TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry Reimbursement</a>)</p> <h2>2. Get Upgraded</h2> <p>The check-in agents at the airport have more power than you know. If there is space in the first class cabin, they can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-cheapest-ways-to-fly-first-class">upgrade you free of charge</a>. Be extremely nice to the staff at the check-in counter and ask if there's food on the plane. Maybe you can't go a long time without food? Tell them this and vaguely hint that you'd like to get upgraded.</p> <p>You could also try the &quot;I've never flown first class and I've always wondered what it's like&quot; line in a last-ditch effort to join the more comfortable business passengers.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-frequent-flyer-programs-with-free-first-class-seat-upgrades?ref=seealso">Best Frequent Flyer Programs With Free First Class Seat Upgrades</a></p> <h2>3. Piggyback to the First Class Lounge</h2> <p>Every passenger in the first class lounge is allowed to have a guest. You could be that guest! Just hang out outside of the first class lounge and make a new friend just before they go through the doors. Ask them if you can be their guest and you can enjoy a wide variety of drinks and food... for free. If only you could piggyback your way into the first class cabin on the plane!</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access?ref=seealso">How to Get Free Airport Lounge Access</a></p> <h2>4. Use the My TSA App</h2> <p>Wait times can vary greatly depending on which airport you're flying out of and what time of day you're scheduled to depart. Check out the My TSA app on <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-tsa/id380200364?mt=8">Apple</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.dhs.tsa.mytsa&amp;hl=en">Android</a> to search current wait times at many airports around the world. There's no point in showing up at the airport three hours early if the security check lines will only take you 10 minutes. Conversely, you better be there extra early if the lines are going to take forever. This app can save you a lot of time and worry.</p> <h2>5. Fly Private</h2> <p>I know what you're thinking. Private flights are only for celebrities and rewards point hoarders, but these days that just isn't true. There's a new app called <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jetsmarter-fly-on-private/id562937375?mt=8">JetSmarter</a> and it's being called the Uber of air travel. Some of the flights found on the app will still be way too expensive for the average traveler, but some are much cheaper than you might expect &mdash; like a flight from Houston to Arlington on a private jet with only seven other people for $365 per person. Talk about living large on a small budget!</p> <h2>Fly Smarter</h2> <p>Recent polls have shown that people tend to <a href="http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2007-12-20-tsa-survey_N.htm">hate the TSA</a> as much as the IRS, while other polls show that passengers would be <a href="http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/236884-poll-passengers-willing-to-pay-higher-airport-fees">willing to pay more</a> for their ticket just to have a more enjoyable airport experience. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-credit-cards-that-offer-the-best-travel-perks?ref=seealso">Get Exclusive Travel Perks with These Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>This is all to say that most people are not satisfied with the challenges associated with air travel. But now you're not most people! You can utilize these tips to make your flying experience as enjoyable as possible.</p> <p>You'll never fully avoid the hassle and annoyance of the TSA, security checks, and airport line-ups, but at least you can minimize their negative effects now. Enjoy!</p> <p><em>Anything we've missed? Share you favorite airport travel tips in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know">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-airline-perks-from-yesteryear-that-seem-unbelievable-today">10 Airline Perks From Yesteryear That Seem Unbelievable Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel">12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</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/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight">23 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel air travel airports first class flying frequent flyers lines pre-check tsa upgrades vacation Mon, 02 May 2016 10:30:04 +0000 Nick Wharton 1693268 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Fun Ways the Sharing Economy Helps You Save on Vacation http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-ways-the-sharing-economy-helps-you-save-on-vacation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-fun-ways-the-sharing-economy-helps-you-save-on-vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_beach_bike_000075343215.jpg" alt="Couple using sharing economy to help save on vacation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Unless you've been under a rock for the past couple years, you already know that the sharing economy means you can drop your vacation budget, thanks to innovative sites like Airbnb or Uber.</p> <p>But it doesn't stop there. Try these options to shave a few dollars while making the most of your precious vacation time.</p> <h2>1. Rent Someone's Car &mdash; or Their Bicycle</h2> <p>If you need wheels for your vacation plans, then the sharing economy can help. To hire a car direct from a local owner, from only $5/hour, try <a href="https://www.getaround.com">Getaround</a>. Registering is simple, with checks on your driver's license and credit card taking just minutes. There are no fees, and rentals include roadside assistance and insurance. This can be a great option if you need a car for some of your trip, but don't want to hire one for the whole time. You'll also help tackle the genuine environmental issue of car overpopulation.</p> <p>If cycling is more your style, then try <a href="https://www.spinlister.com/about">Spinlister</a>, an app connecting active people with the gear they need to get moving on vacation. Hire a bike &mdash; or even a surf or snowboard &mdash; direct from the owner. Because you're hiring direct, you can ask any the owner any questions you like, who will be able to give you all the detail you need to make your ride a happy one.</p> <h2>2. Hire a Local Guide</h2> <p><a href="https://www.vayable.com/">Vayable</a> connects locals with tourists, allowing travelers to get a genuine insight into the city they're visiting through the eyes of someone who really knows. Local hosts post proposed tours, experiences, and ideas on the site with a description for travelers to book. A thorough review process (similar to most sharing economy platforms) ensures quality, and the choice is enviable in areas covered. It's a marketplace, so prices vary, but check out the details of individual packages offered, and you could find an awesome experience that won't blow the budget.</p> <p>In New York, for example, you could take a <a href="https://www.vayable.com/experiences/494-flushing-chinatown-food-tour">food tour of Chinatown</a> with a food blogger described by The New York Times as an &quot;invaluable food sleuth,&quot; before working it off with a <a href="https://www.vayable.com/experiences/718-new-york-running-tour">running tour</a> guided by a marathon runner who &quot;can run 26 miles in the time it takes some of us to get out of bed.&quot; Luckily he doesn't mind slowing up for us mere mortals!</p> <h2>3. Get a Seat at the Chef's Table</h2> <p>Food is often the highlight of a vacation &mdash; and what better place to try the regional delicacies than in the home of a local? <a href="https://www.eatwith.com/event/9720/">Eatwith</a> allows you to do just that, browsing the menus of home cooks and private chefs, before booking to eat with them in their home. Think of it as the secret supper club you don't need to be a local to know about. If you're visiting LA, for example, you could come away not only well fed, but also with your own pasta making skills, learned from an <a href="https://www.eatwith.com/host/9214/">Italian master and private chef</a>, or sign up for any one of a range of &quot;communal dining events&quot; hosted by local experts.</p> <h2>4. Tap Into Wi-Fi</h2> <p>The original idea behind <a href="https://fon.com/">Fon</a> is astonishingly simple. If users share their home Wi-Fi with others, then they get access to other's Wi-Fi when they are out and about, in return. Today, the company boasts over 19 million hotspots, which users can access either by signing up through their own telco provider to share their own Wi-Fi and access others' for free, or by buying passes for between one hour and one month. With roaming charges a frequent headache for travelers, this could be the solution, helping you keep connected without racking up ridiculous bills.</p> <h2>5. Send Your Puppers on Vacay, Too</h2> <p>Who said the sharing economy should be limited to us humans? If you need a home for your doggie best friend while you travel, the sharing economy can help with that, too. <a href="https://dogvacay.com/">Dogvacay</a> hooks up pet parents with sitters who can look after their dogs in the comfort of a cozy home, rather than a formal kennel setting. As sitters set their own rates, there is a healthy market making costs reasonable, and the range of services varies to meet individual needs. The team look after premium level pet insurance for your pooch, and offer a concierge service should you need anything specific to make your booking work.</p> <p>Vacations are never cheap, and it is definitely worth checking out all the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">vacation money-saving sites</a> and ideas you can. But the sharing economy is not only about cutting your expenses and getting more for your money. With apps like these, you can also grab experiences that are simply not available in the traditional tourist market, in the click of a button, to truly get the biggest bang for your buck.</p> <p><em>What do you think? What sharing economy apps are transforming your vacations, and your life?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/claire-millard">Claire Millard</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-ways-the-sharing-economy-helps-you-save-on-vacation">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</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-14-best-ways-to-cut-food-costs-while-traveling">The 14 Best Ways to Cut Food Costs While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-budget-for-summer-vacation">7 Easy Ways to Budget for Summer Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-worst-travel-values">The 7 Worst Travel Values</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/why-this-thing-in-your-wallet-is-almost-useless-today">Why This Thing in Your Wallet Is Almost Useless Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel crowdsourcing experiences locals saving money sharing economy tourism vacation Wed, 27 Apr 2016 09:30:20 +0000 Claire Millard 1694761 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Saving Travel Gadgets http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-saving-travel-gadgets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-saving-travel-gadgets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_travel_computer_000014260697.jpg" alt="Woman using money saving travel gadgets" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are countless gadgets out there that can help you travel safer, easier, and more efficiently, but there are only a few that can really save you a lot of money while on the road. Here is a list of my favorite travel gadgets. Many of them can actually pay themselves off in no time at all!</p> <h2>1. Handpresso</h2> <p>This portable espresso maker probably paid itself off in the first month that I traveled with it. You can pick one up on Amazon for around $140, and basically all you need to pour a perfect cup of espresso coffee is hot water and about 30&ndash;35 compressions of the built-in pump.</p> <p>I picked up the <a href="http://amzn.to/1VBrx9k">Handpresso</a> for my travels through Europe, where small cups of espresso can cost as much as &euro;2 each. Instead of spending that much at a cafe, I buy a 250 gram bag of <a href="http://amzn.to/1VBrYAr">Lavazza coffee</a> for &euro;2 and it's good for around 35 cups of coffee.</p> <p>That means that after going through one bag (which usually takes about two weeks), I've saved myself over &euro;68 ($75). If you prefer lattes, you'll save even more money because you can buy milk for cheap at the supermarket and make a latte at home for about 25 cents, but in an Italian cafe a latte will probably cost you around &euro;4!</p> <p>Bonus Gadget: If you're worried about not having a kettle in your hotel room for boiling water, consider traveling with a portable coil water heater as well.</p> <h2>2. Luggage Scale</h2> <p>Baggage fees are getting more and more ridiculous on airlines around the world. The idea of having one free checked bag is slowly fading into distant memory, especially with North American carriers.</p> <p>This means that every pound you put under the plane counts. Instead of walking up to the check-in counter with that dreaded feeling of not knowing if your bags are overweight, pick up a <a href="http://amzn.to/1WcVI5E">luggage scale</a> on Amazon for under $15.</p> <p>It only takes one flight to pay this thing off. Usually if you're over by just two pounds you'll have to pay $15 extra, so by weighing your suitcase before arriving at the airport, you can take out that heavy sweater and wear it on the plane instead of paying a surcharge for overweight checked luggage.</p> <h2>3. Luggage GPS</h2> <p>As someone who has recently had his luggage lost by an airline, I can't recommend this gadget enough. Usually if an airline misplaces your baggage, they'll locate it eventually, but it can take days. When Turkish lost my bags earlier this year, I had to buy a whole new wardrobe in order to survive the cold Istanbul winter.</p> <p>Had I tagged my bag with a <a href="http://amzn.to/1SXAHqI">luggage GPS</a>, I could have used the app to tell Turkish that it was sitting in New York, given them the exact coordinates and I probably would have had my bag back in a day, rather than a week.</p> <p>You can also tag your purse, golf clubs, and even your children with a tracker. Never lose something that's important to you again.</p> <h2>4. Steripen</h2> <p>You may not know how expensive bottled water can be until you travel to a place where it's not safe to drink tap water. On a hot day in Europe for example, you may find that you drink over 50 ounces of water. This can cost over &euro;5 per day.</p> <p>A <a href="http://amzn.to/1WcVT15">Steripen</a> uses Ultraviolet rays to purify 33 ounces of water in 90 seconds. All you have to do is submerge the pen and press a button. This simple, handheld tool can save money and a ton of plastic by not disposing of all those bottles..</p> <p>One thing to note is that the Steripen removes bacteria and contaminants from the water but doesn't really help the taste. To combat funky flavored H2O, consider packing some flavoring packets or better yet, electrolyte powder.</p> <h2>5. Wi-Fi Range Extender</h2> <p>I have to say that this gadget has saved me a ton of hassle and has probably paid itself off as well. All you have to do is plug it into the wall, press a button to hook it up to the router, and the <a href="http://amzn.to/1VBBJ1J">range extender</a> can get rid of dead spots in your hotel, at the airport, or at the train station.</p> <p>No more having to go to a cafe and buy a coffee just to get a decent Wi-Fi connection. This thing should give enough of a signal boost to give you full bars, even if the router isn't nearby.</p> <h2>What's Your Favorite Travel Gadget?</h2> <p>My favorite money-saving gadget that I picked up this year has to be the Handpresso pump, but I love all of the items on this list. As a full-time traveler, I'm always looking for new tools to save money and make travel easier. What's your favorite travel gadget? Does it save you money? Tell me about it in the comments below.</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-money-saving-travel-gadgets">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Smart Travel Hacks Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-ways-the-sharing-economy-helps-you-save-on-vacation">5 Fun Ways the Sharing Economy Helps You Save on Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-the-united-states-should-copy-from-other-countries">10 Things the United States Should Copy From Other Countries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free">7 Ways That Anyone Can Travel for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-super-smart-travel-hacks">31 Super Smart Travel Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel clean water coffee gadgets luggage steripen suitcases useful tools vacation wi-fi extender Mon, 25 Apr 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Nick Wharton 1695997 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways to Take a Frugal Grownup Spring Break http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-take-a-frugal-grownup-spring-break <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-take-a-frugal-grownup-spring-break" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000068684449_Large.jpg" alt="going on a frugal grownup spring break" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Going on spring break is not just for college students. Grownups feel burnt out after a long winter, too, and they deserve a vacation in spring just as much as the college kids do.</p> <p>But the ways that college students save money on spring break by staying in fleabag motels, sharing rooms with seven or eight of their closest friends, and living off of two-for-one pizza deals is no way for an adult to kick back.</p> <p>If you want to take a grownup spring break without spending a lot of money, there's no need to emulate the kids heading to Miami to drink tequila out of each other's navels. Here is what you need to know about enjoying a frugal and classy spring break.</p> <h2>1. Location, Location, Location</h2> <p>The first method of saving money on your spring break is to choose your destination wisely. Vacationing in a less popular area ensures that you will save on lodging, food, and transportation, since the high-traffic vacation spots have inflated rates.</p> <p>In particular, consider warm weather locales that are not featured on MTV, such as New Orleans, Biloxi, Mississippi on the Gulf Coast, and Austin, Texas.</p> <p>If you're willing to forgo warm weather, taking a ski vacation can be an affordable way to get away for spring break. Many ski resorts offer late-season deals in the spring, even though the skiing can be just as good this late in the year.</p> <h2>2. Know When to Fly</h2> <p>In general, getting to your destination will be your biggest travel expense, which makes it a prime candidate for cutting costs. Start by choosing Tuesday or Wednesday to fly. Airfare tends to be least expensive on those travel days, and room rates also tend to be lowest midweek.</p> <p>Another way to save money on airfare is to <a href="http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/how-to-travel-cheap/?utm_referrer=https://www.google.com/#tip1">expand your flight search</a>. According to professional world traveler Nora Dunn, &quot;If you solely use the big online search engines to book your flights, there is a good chance that you are overpaying &mdash; sometimes dramatically.&quot; She recommends checking the websites of departure or arrival airports to find which airlines that fly there, and then booking directly with the airline.</p> <h2>3. Seek Alternative Lodging Options</h2> <p>We tend to think of only two types of spring break lodging: high-end resorts that cost an arm and a leg, or cheap motels where you never feel comfortable taking off your shoes. But there are much better alternatives for both your wallet and your burgeoning germophobia.</p> <h3>Comb Daily Deal Sites</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-get-the-best-deals-on-groupon">Sites like Groupon</a> and LivingSocial offer hotel deals regularly, and you can often find deals for hotels that include indoor pools, arcades, or other entertainment. The most frugal option is to find a deal on a hotel that provides free breakfast or a room that offers a small kitchen or refrigerator so you can minimize the number of meals you eat in restaurants.</p> <p>How much you save depends on the deal itself. The downside is that hotels may drastically reduce their prices if they aren&rsquo;t booking enough rooms around the time of your trip &mdash; meaning even though you bought a &ldquo;deal,&rdquo; you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-buy-on-groupon-or-livingsocial">may have paid a premium</a>.</p> <h3>Rent a Cabin in a State Park</h3> <p>State parks offer cabins and other lodging for vacationers at very reasonable prices &mdash; generally as low as $70 to $100 per night. These cabins often have two bedrooms, a bath, and a full kitchen. Staying at a state park with plenty of hiking trails, lakes, and canoe or bike rentals will ensure that you have plenty to do. And some parks even offer games and other events for families.</p> <h3>Go Camping</h3> <p>The least expensive lodging for spring break is to go camping, provided you have the right equipment. The cost per night for a campsite rental at a state park is generally between $10 and $40. When you camp at a state park, you will have access to both electricity and full bathrooms, so even those who consider Motel 6 to be roughing it should be perfectly comfortable.</p> <p>If you do not have camping gear, it's possible to rent tents, sleeping bags, cooking gear, and other necessary equipment. Big chains like REI rent outdoor equipment, as do many local camping gear stores. You can also rent camping gear online, Netflix-style, from <a href="http://www.lowergear.com/">LowerGear</a>, <a href="http://geartogooutfitters.com/">Gear To Go Outfitters</a>, and <a href="http://www.outdoorsgeek.com/">OutdoorsGeek</a>. In particular, OutdoorsGeek allows you to rent entire packages of name-brand gear so that you don't have to pick what you need a la carte.</p> <h3>Stay at Someone's House</h3> <p>No, I'm not suggesting you become a squatter. You can find inexpensive places to stay using services like Airbnb, that will allow you to stay in someone's home for your vacation. These rentals generally offer full kitchens, and if you're not feeling particularly social, it's also possible to rent an entire home or apartment instead of staying with your host.</p> <p>Alternatively, you can take part in a hospitality exchange. Homeowners all over the world are willing to open their houses to guests, free of charge. Many of these programs ask that you also open up your home to other guests, like Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet in the movie <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000OBYLVO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000OBYLVO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WWFB2OZUL44FRZBF">The Holiday</a>. Since you will be a houseguest, remember that Miss Manners would expect you to bring a host gift and help out around the house with dishes and other chores.</p> <p>You can find a hospitality exchanges at <a href="https://www.couchsurfing.com/">Couchsurfing</a>, <a href="http://www.globalfreeloaders.com/">Global Freeloaders</a>, and <a href="https://usservas.org/">Servas</a>.</p> <h3>Become a House Sitter</h3> <p>People who live in lovely destinations also like to get away for spring break, leaving a house that needs to be tended. The website <a href="https://www.housecarers.com/">House Carers</a> matches travelers up with homeowners who need house- and pet-sitting services while they are away.</p> <h2>4. Stick to Your Food Budget</h2> <p>Enjoying the local cuisine can often throw a wrench in the best-planned travel budget. As I mentioned above, it's a good idea to stay somewhere that will allow you to eat at least one meal per day for free, or has the setup for you to make your own. But you can also reduce the bite to your wallet by being strategic about which meals you eat at restaurants. Breakfast or lunch generally tends to be cheaper than dinner, and you're less likely to fall for the upsell for expensive cocktails earlier in the day.</p> <p><em>How would you stretch your grownup spring break travel dollars? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-take-a-frugal-grownup-spring-break">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/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</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/are-groupon-getaways-a-good-idea">Are Groupon Getaways a Good Idea?</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-fun-ways-the-sharing-economy-helps-you-save-on-vacation">5 Fun Ways the Sharing Economy Helps You Save on Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-save-and-make-money-while-traveling">12 Ways to Save and Make Money While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Travel adult spring break frugal vacation spring break travel budget vacation Thu, 31 Mar 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1682215 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_on_vacation_000069738815.jpg" alt="Friends finding spring break budget busters to avoid" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Planning to whoop it up on spring break? Let your fun flag fly without obliterating your bank account by avoiding these getaway budget busters.</p> <h2>1. Lodging</h2> <p>Even now that I'm in my mid-30s (that's the first time I've written that &mdash; gimme a minute), I still prefer inexpensive lodging to high-end hotels when I travel, at least when it's on my own dime. As an alternative, I opt for short-term apartment rentals (like Airbnb or VRBO) or even crash with friends to help save a ton of money that, when you think about it, I'm just sleeping away.</p> <p>Anita Covic, destination specialist TripTogether, a travel site that helps travelers meet other travelers, also thinks this route is the way to go.</p> <p>&quot;Cutting costs doesn't have to be stressful, and one of the biggest costs that can be cut is lodging,&quot; she says. &quot;Personally, I think hostels are a great alternative to expensive hotels. Airbnb is a great option for a large group of people. Eating out can add up as well. Try booking a hostel or Airbnb [rental] with a kitchen and stock up on groceries that can be easily converted to quick breakfasts and lunches.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Airfare</h2> <p>Save on airfare by knowing when to shop for plane tickets, and use a multifaceted approach by consulting discount sites and the airlines proper to see who offers the best price. You also can avoid spending full price for airfare by setting alerts for deals. If you happen to earn frequent flyer miles, check out the new award travel search engine <a href="http://pexportal.com">PEX+</a> to find the best price on an award ticket.</p> <h2>3. Eating Out</h2> <p>When you're on vacay, it's easy to get lax on your waistline and your wallet. Keep both of these areas in check by curbing your cravings for junk food (which might go hand in hand with those hangovers, by the way) while trying to make more of your meals wherever you're staying (made easier with a kitchen). Find ways to munch for free instead of popping into a restaurant, café, or fast-food joint for every meal.</p> <p>&quot;Dining out at new restaurants is one of the best parts of traveling, but there's no need to eat out three meals a day,&quot; reminds saving expert Andrea Woroch. &quot;Many hotels and hostels offer some sort of free breakfast, typically consisting of fruit, cereal, and pastries, which is plenty to start your day. Sandwiches are an easy meal to prepare in-room, which you can then pack as lunch for a day exploring the city. When looking for a spot to eat, use apps to track down coupons for nearby restaurants and search for daily dining deals via Groupon Now.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Alcohol</h2> <p>Oh, alcohol. It's the stuff that many great spring break memories are made of &mdash; but it can quickly take your budget from hero to zero if you're not careful. To reduce how much you're spending on booze, remember one word: pregame.</p> <p>&quot;Drinks at bars and restaurants are very expensive, so if you're planning to do some drinking, try to plan a get-together somewhere where you can bring your own alcohol &mdash; like someone's hotel room &mdash; before you go out,&quot; advises The Stave Diaries travel blogger Stefanie Parks. &quot;This way you can get your alcohol from a grocery or convenience store and won't have to splurge for more expensive drinks while you're out.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Entertainment and Activities</h2> <p>When you're traveling, you want to see and do as much as possible within your destination. However, an action-packed schedule comes with a cost. Before you embark, take time to review entertainment and activity options and identify those that are most important and affordable to you.</p> <p>&quot;There are plenty of free things you can do on your trip, like a day at the beach, viewing art galleries, or simply exploring city streets,&quot; Woroch says. &quot;You can even skip the pricey guided tours and take a self-guided walking tour for free. Print city guides from resources like <a href="http://citywalkingguide.com/">City Walking Guide</a> or download a walking tour guide on your mobile device using apps like <a href="https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/audio/audio-europe">Rick Steves Europe Travel</a> and <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/city-maps-walks-470+-cities/id417207307?mt=8">City Maps and Walks</a>.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Hidden Fees</h2> <p>The money trap is right there in the name &mdash; hidden fees &mdash; and these can add up to a substantial amount when all is said and done, slowly chipping away at your budget along the way.</p> <p>Saveful.com's Louis DeNicola details some of the more common offenders.</p> <p>&quot;Rental car companies can charge around $10/day for a collision damage waiver, but many credit cards include that coverage free of charge,&quot; he points out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=seealso">What Does Car Rental Insurance Really Cover On Your Credit Card?</a>)</p> <p>Travelers should also look for hidden hotel-related fees. Some hotels in popular tourist destinations charge a resort fee on top of the standard room rate. Hotels may offer extra perks, such as free Wi-Fi, to members of their loyalty program &mdash; even brand new members.</p> <p>&quot;Some hotels' minibars have weight sensors and you might get charged even if you didn't drink or eat anything,&quot; DeNicola adds. &quot;Review your bill before leaving the hotel.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Convenience-Store Goodies</h2> <p>When you have a packed spring break schedule of exciting activities, it's not only easy to eat out more than you normally would, but popping into convenience stores for quick snacking items also is more prevalent. Two dollars here and there for bottles of water, coffee, candy, and chips may seem like insignificant expenses, but if you're doing it every day, you'll find that you're wasting a decent chunk of change.</p> <p>&quot;Limit the excess you spend on drinks and snacks by packing fruit or granola bars and a refillable water bottle to stay fueled and hydrated during a long day of exploring,&quot; Woroch suggests.</p> <h2>8. Mobile Data</h2> <p>I recently traveled to Montreal for the New Year's holiday and I was conscious to turn off my mobile roaming and data as soon as we crossed the border from the United States into Canada. But would you believe that when I received my bill for that period there was $20 of international charges on it? Apparently I wasn't fast enough, or the networks got crossed as I approached the border, and I incurred the fees I was trying to avoid. And that was within seconds to minutes. Can you imagine what I would have been charged had I left it one for a few hours or days?</p> <p>Woroch warns against a similar situation.</p> <p>&quot;To avoid pricey data-overage fees, turn off pop-up notifications and use a <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/free-wifi-finder/id411134124?mt=8">Free Wi-Fi Finder</a> app to track down local hotspots. Otherwise, turn on your phone's Wi-Fi locator to find a free Internet connection wherever you are and take this time to post pictures and reply to emails.&quot;</p> <p>She also recommends downloading any maps you may need ahead of time.</p> <p>As an extra tip, if you have an experience like I did during my Montreal trip, be sure to give your wireless carrier a call to explain the situation. If you're a loyal customer, they may waive those minor, erroneous fees like they did for me, but you won't know unless you pick up the phone to fight it.</p> <h2>9. Photo Memories From Secondary Sources</h2> <p>Photo ops are everywhere these days, and there are plenty of companies that are cashing in on them, like pictures you get at the beach and those funny snapshots at the end of a thrill ride. Don't fall for it. You and every single person you know is armed with a phone at their fingertips. Set up backgrounds and strike your own poses to enjoy free shots that you can post to social media immediately or print when you get home.</p> <h2>10. Souvenirs</h2> <p>I have a rule at my house than nothing comes home from vacation that isn't either some form of art or a useful object &mdash; which means to say that no junk souvenirs, like spoons, shot glasses, and other bric-a-brac, are welcome. My photos are good enough memories of my time on vacation, and they help me save money, space in my luggage, and a backache from having to carry otherwise heavy objects.</p> <p>Blogger Barb Webb provides other easy ways to cut back on souvenir spending.</p> <p>&quot;Theme parks, hotels, and restaurants often have buttons, stickers, postcards, and other trinkets they gift for free to patrons,&quot; she says. &quot;Stop by the local tourism office and you'll find everything from free coloring books to posters and key chains to add to your souvenir collection. Also look for local extension agencies that will have free treasures like recipe cards, calendars, and other small items.&quot;</p> <p>To turn photos into more organized memories like I do, Woroch suggests using the <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/keepsayk-photo-books-instant/id884920246?mt=8">Keepsayk app</a> to organize pictures and create a photo book, or use deal sites like Coupon Sherpa to find coupon codes from photo book makers like Snapfish, which usually offers steep discounts.</p> <h2>11. Gas</h2> <p>Gas is affordable now, but we don't know where it will be in a few weeks or months when we're more on the go. Even while it's inexpensive, you still want to score the best deals possible.</p> <p>&quot;There are a few ways to reduce your fuel costs, including using the <a href="http://www.gasbuddy.com/App">GasBuddy</a> app to find the cheapest gas nearby; paying with cash to avoid the extra 10 cents for credit card charges; and using your warehouse club membership to save up to 30 cents per gallon at their fuel pumps,&quot; Woroch says.</p> <p>On a personal note, I've been visiting BP stations almost exclusively to fill up at the pump for a few months, and I use its loyalty card to rack up points. Just the other day, I received a generous kickback of $.63 per gallon &mdash; yes, you read that correctly &mdash; which resulted in a total savings of about $10 for a complete fill-up. My total cost was $18 and change for a full tank of premium gas, all because I swiped my loyalty card consistently. Totally worth the two seconds it takes.</p> <p><em>Are you headed away for spring break? How do you plan to save? Where will you splurge? I'd love to hear about your vacation plans in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">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/6-little-known-ways-to-save-when-booking-spring-travel">6 Little-Known Ways to Save When Booking Spring Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-take-a-frugal-grownup-spring-break">4 Ways to Take a Frugal Grownup Spring Break</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-secrets-of-last-minute-travel">20 Secrets of Last-Minute Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-and-track-expenses-for-your-next-vacation">How to Budget and Track Expenses for Your Next Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel Airfare alcohol budget busters food costs hotels overspending spring break trips vacation Thu, 24 Mar 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1678011 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save Big at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-big-at-the-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-big-at-the-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/harry_potter_world_000062846992.jpg" alt="Saving big at the wizarding world of harry potter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure isn't like other theme parks. While it has rides, the experience is more about immersing yourself in beautifully rendered facsimiles of Hogsmeade Village, Hogwarts Castle, and Diagon Alley. Thanks to JK Rowling's insistence on authenticity, and the involvement of production designers from the films, the place is a masterpiece &mdash; and it has justly become a mecca for Potterheads.</p> <p>The downside of this success is that crowds can jinx the experience if you let them. The cost can also ruin the magic if you don't plan carefully.</p> <p>Employ these charms to get the most out of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter while avoiding excessive spending.</p> <h2>Visit on a Low-Crowd Day</h2> <p>Because it is by definition a narrow, enclosed space, the Diagon Alley section of the attraction in particular becomes unbearably crowded during busy times. The shopping street is rich with whimsical window displays and sly Potter references. But you won't enjoy any of that if all you can see is the backs and selfie sticks of other muggles.</p> <p>A crowd calendar like the one at <a href="http://orlandoinformer.com/universal/crowd-calendar/">Orlando Informer</a> shows the best times for avoiding the masses &mdash; such as weekdays in September and early October.</p> <h2>Get Early Admission</h2> <p>When I visited with my children, we entered Universal Studios an hour before general admission, and experienced the thrill of walking through Diagon Alley in the misty pre-dawn darkness, practically alone. We strolled into the mini-show at Ollivander's wand shop with no wait, and tried on robes at Madam Malkin's with no crowds to block our photos.</p> <p>When we peeked into Diagon Alley later in the day, thinking we might pop into Florian Fortescue's for ice cream, the street was wall-to-wall bodies. How did we get the valuable privilege of an early-morning hour in Potter's world? Easy: We stayed for one night at one of the five on-site hotels. Not only did our key cards get us in early, but we were also able to check in at about 6 a.m. and use our keys for early admission on the day of our arrival! Another frugal bonus: the frequent shuttles between the parks and our hotel allowed us to keep our lunch in the room fridge.</p> <h2>Buy Tickets for Both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure</h2> <p>Since Universal put Diagon Alley in Universal Studios and Hogsmeade Village in IOA, you pretty much have to spring for the park-to-park pass to get the full Harry experience. Besides, the Hogwarts Express train that shuttles guests between the two areas is a key attraction, and you can't ride it without admission to both parks. You may be able to get a discount on park-to-park admission through <a href="https://www.undercovertourist.com/orlando/#tickets">Undercover Tourist</a>.</p> <h2>Visit With an Annual Passholder &mdash; Or Become One</h2> <p>Because we visited with an annual passholder, our stay at the on-site hotel was discounted. Since we all fit into one minivan, we took advantage of the free passholder parking as well.&nbsp;But the benefits of buddying up with an annual passholder don't stop there. You can also get 10%&ndash;15% off multi-day tickets at the gate, 10% off food and merchandise in the park, and 10%&ndash;15% off restaurants in Universal's CityWalk, depending on which level pass your friend holds.</p> <p>If you plan to visit more than three days, you might as well become a passholder yourself. Park-to-park annual passes start at $239.99, with discounts for Florida residents and Florida AAA members.</p> <h2>Bring Your AAA Card</h2> <p>I wish I had known that my very mugglish membership to the American Automobile Association could have gotten me 10% off food and merchandise in the parks. With a party of four, even spending modestly, this could have saved me about $50.</p> <h2>Buy Your Kids Interactive Wands</h2> <p>Although they hexed about $50 out of my wallet each, the electronic wands sold at Ollivander's were worth the price to me because they make the experience interactive. At many spots in both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, waving one of these wands causes something to happen: a little explosion, a rain shower, or a flurry of movement. The kids loved it, and frankly I felt sorry for kids who had to watch others have all the fun because their parents didn't spend the extra money.</p> <h2>Ask to Walk Through Hogwarts and Gringotts</h2> <p>The lines for both the roller coaster<em> Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts</em> and the flight simulator<em> Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey</em> wind through beautiful and interesting &quot;sets&quot; complete with video entertainment, which you won't want to miss even if you don't want to board the rides. Ask a staff member if you can walk through the line area as a non-rider. When we did this &mdash; once because my kids were scared to ride <em>Gringotts</em> and once because the line for <em>Forbidden Journey </em>was too long &mdash; staff members opened a new lane for us to walk through at our leisure, and we were able to exit just as other guests were boarding the ride.</p> <h2>If You're There for Harry, Skip the Express Pass</h2> <p>Express Passes can help you bypass long lines in the other areas of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-affordable-amusement-parks-that-are-just-as-fun-as-disney">Universal parks</a>, but they're not honored in the Harry Potter sections. So if you're planning on spending most of your visit in the Wizarding World, don't bother buying these. By the way, you can get free Express Passes by staying at the higher-end on-site hotels.</p> <h2>Rain Is Your Friend</h2> <p>Don't be sad if the forecast calls for some of Florida's famous thunderstorms during your visit &mdash; just pack a poncho or waterproof invisibility cloak. The fact is, rainy weather clears out crowds. Besides, there are plenty of indoor parts of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to enjoy, from the covered Knockturn Alley to the insides of all those charming shops to the Three Broomsticks pub where you can taste butterbeer.</p> <p>Here's a less obvious bad weather benefit we stumbled upon: When the roller coaster we were waiting for ceased operation due to rain, the staff member running it told us we could skip the line or take the Express Pass lane for any other attraction in the park, just by mentioning his name. We saved this perk until afternoon, when the wait for the popular Minions ride was over and hour, and sure enough &mdash; as soon as we mentioned the rain and our benefactor's name, we were allowed into the Express Pass line and were on the ride in no time.</p> <p><em>Have you visited the Wizarding World? Any other tips or advice to share?</em></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/how-to-save-big-at-the-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-enjoy-disney-world-on-the-cheap">How to Enjoy Disney World on the Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Smart Travel Hacks Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-ways-the-sharing-economy-helps-you-save-on-vacation">5 Fun Ways the Sharing Economy Helps You Save on Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-saving-travel-gadgets">5 Money Saving Travel Gadgets</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-things-the-united-states-should-copy-from-other-countries">10 Things the United States Should Copy From Other Countries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel florida harry potter hogwarts orlando universal studios vacation wizarding world of harry potter Thu, 03 Mar 2016 11:00:07 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1665771 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways That Anyone Can Travel for Free http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000067360057_Large.jpg" alt="couple traveling for free" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a full-time travel blogger and a full-time traveler, people often say to me, &quot;I want to travel, but I don't have enough money.&quot; But with online communities and worldwide volunteering opportunities growing, anyone can now travel for free. The following tips are for anyone who wants to make travel a bigger part of their lives, but doesn't have the funds to make it happen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets?ref=seealso">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a>)</p> <h2>1. House Sitting</h2> <p>The idea of getting paid to house-sit seems almost too good to be true. But hundreds of listings are posted every day on a collection of amazing websites (my personal favorite is TrustedHouseSitters.com).</p> <p>The homes available vary from oceanside cottages and jungle cabins to castles and mansions on vineyards. The amazing thing, is that anyone and everyone can sign up for these websites, add their profile, and start finding free accommodations all around the world.</p> <p>Don't like animals? Some of the jobs are only house-sits, with no pets to worry about.</p> <p>If you love animals, this is the perfect chance for you to bond with a furry companion while discovering new destinations and learning about cultures around the world.</p> <p>There is a yearly fee of $113.88 ($9.49/month) to view the jobs. Look over these <a href="http://www.goatsontheroad.com/house-sitting-frequently-asked-questions/">frequently asked questions about house sitting</a> for a better understanding of the program. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-landing-the-perfect-house-sitting-gig?ref=seealso">How to Land the Perfect House Sitting Gig</a>)</p> <p>In my experience, most of the homes on the website are luxurious. Typically, the homeowners that post their houses on the site have money to take a few months off each year, so they also have money for a beautiful home, a gardener, a housekeeper etc.</p> <p>My wife and I once even landed a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yi5iGJ_-6E&amp;list=PL6F38OL31c4kOKbzalniqh9lI_Dy_i64-&amp;index=18">house sitting job in the Caribbean</a>!</p> <h2>2. Volunteer</h2> <p>Travel is a wonderful way to grow as a person, learn about different traditions around the world, and meet new people from different cultures. For all the good travel does you, why not give back a little (and enjoy some free travel along the way)? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/volunteer-to-travel-11-opportunities-for-free-or-very-cheap-travel?ref=seealso">11 Volunteer Opportunities for Free or Very Cheap Travel</a>)</p> <p>Volunteering will give you the opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people, and help out where it's needed most. Some of the most popular options include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://wwoofinternational.org/">WWOOFing</a> (Fee varies by locale):</li> </ul> <p>Sorry dog-lovers, this isn't a K9 rescue program, as the name would imply. WWOOFing is a worldwide organization that aims to connect people who want to live on an organic farm and learn more about sustainable living and eco-friendly farming. Typically, volunteers are involved in planting, tending to crops and animals, and helping out wherever possible. In exchange, they are usually offering free room and board. To find jobs, click on a country where you're interested in WWOOFing. You'll then be brought to that country's WWOOF website where you can pay a fee to join their network. There is no international WWOOFing fee, so if you want access to jobs all over the world, you'll have to pay for numerous annual fees (usually around $15-$40 per year).</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.workaway.info/">WorkAway.info</a> (Registration fee = $29/2 years):</li> </ul> <p>This site is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to work overseas in exchange for free accommodations. The site features volunteering and cultural exchange programs, helping you to integrate and help local communities in over 130 countries worldwide. Jobs range from home and community restoration to teaching English in rural villages.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.helpx.net/">helpX</a> ($0-$23):</li> </ul> <p>Yet another online network of hosts from around the world who need an extra hand. HelpX has a great network of people. Volunteers are typically asked to work between 4-6 hours per day in exchange for room and board. The basic package is free, but premium users must pay &euro;20 ($23) for a two-year membership. Premium users have access to direct communications with the hosts.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-free-accommodations-and-paid-jobs-on-boats?ref=seealso">How to Get Free Accommodations and Paid Jobs on Boats</a></p> <h2>3. Use Credit Card Points</h2> <p>If you want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">travel for free</a>, then you should be charging all of your day-to-day purchases on your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">favorite travel rewards credit card</a>, so that at the end of each year, you can put the points towards travel.</p> <p>If you don't already have an excellent rewards credit card, consider signing up for a few of the best ones at the same time based on the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">best sign-up bonuses</a>, which can equal up to $500 each. Sign up for three cards with large sign-up bonuses and by the end of the year you may have enough for a free trip. There's no better way to get a free (or close to free flight) than using your rewards points.</p> <h2>4. Hitchhike (On Land<em> and Sea</em>)</h2> <p>Before you cringe at the idea of being kidnapped from the side of the road, you should know that hitchhiking isn't nearly as dangerous as we've been led to believe. According to <a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2011/09/12/travel/vounteer-free-travel/">some recent studies</a>, you are more likely to die from tripping and falling over than from being murdered while hitchhiking. But that could also be because most people don't hitchhike anymore.</p> <p>Thumbing it is an excellent way to get from one destination to another, and in many parts of the world, it's still the norm. While I was traveling in Kyrgyzstan, everyone and their goat (literally in some cases) used hitchhiking as a form of transport.</p> <p>You don't have to limit your thumb to the side of the road either! You can even hitchhike on sail boats and cruise around the sea for free. Usually you'll be asked to help out as a &quot;skipper,&quot; but it's definitely worth it for a free sailing tour.</p> <p>I've met many people in the Caribbean who have seen numerous islands without spending a cent to get between them. On top of that, they used our next trick to get free accommodation.</p> <h2>5. Camping</h2> <p>In most parts of North America, there will be a fee for camping, but in many parts of the world (including Mexico, Central America, and most of the Caribbean), camping on beaches is free.</p> <p>Locals often use camping as a way to enjoy a cheap domestic holiday, so why not join them? The great thing about this method of free travel is the opportunity to meet new people along the way. You'll often be camping in groups and you may even meet people who will drive you to your next destination.</p> <p>Note: To find free campsites around the world, check out <a href="http://freecampsites.net/">FreeCampsites.net</a>.</p> <p>Of course, you'll have to be careful about where you post up your tent, as some beaches can be dangerous. But a little bit of research and an adventurous spirit can give you some pretty amazing travel experiences, without breaking your bank.</p> <h2>6. Find Free Food</h2> <p>Few people know how easy it is to find free food while traveling.</p> <h3>Ashrams (Typically in India)</h3> <p>Head into the nearest ashram and take part in the day-to-day meditations and yoga classes (also free). Help out by cleaning and guiding new visitors and you'll be given free room and board. That's right. Enjoy free yoga, free meditation, free food, and free housing all while finding inner peace and learning more about yourself. Does it get any better than that?</p> <h3>Bakeries</h3> <p>Did you know that bakeries often give away their leftovers at the end of a day? Any bakery worth eating at will bake fresh goods each and every morning &mdash; meaning that there is typically a lot of leftovers come nightfall. Visit a nearby bakery at closing time and enjoy free food.</p> <h3>Temples and Places of Worship</h3> <p>Free food can be found at places of worship around the world. You'll usually have to volunteer and help out in order to eat for free, but the experience is always worth it! I helped roll chapati bread at a Sikh temple in India and was given free food for the day.</p> <h3>Festivals</h3> <p>There's nothing like a good festival to land yourself some free food. There's almost always some company giving away free samples, or even full plates of food. If you hear music, celebrations, and a rumble in your stomach at the same time, follow your nose to a free lunch!</p> <h2>7. Work in Hostels, Hotels, and Bars</h2> <p>You'd be surprised at how many establishments are looking for foreigners to help out. Usually you'll be offered free room and board in exchange for your cleaning, bartending, administration, or reception services.</p> <p>To find work, simply check-in or order a drink and ask if they are looking for help. There are so many jobs available around the world that it may even be worth traveling with multiple copies of your resume.</p> <h2>No More Excuses!</h2> <p>Start putting your expenses on your favorite travel rewards credit card to earn points for your flight, then start browsing, researching, and registering for opportunities and you could easily hit the road with very little (or no) money in your pocket. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less?ref=seealso">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year</a>)</p> <p>Once you're on the road working and volunteering, you'll start networking with businesses and communities, and you'll find more and more opportunities to continue traveling without spending money. If you want, you can potentially <a href="http://www.goatsontheroad.com/sustaining-travel/">travel forever</a>!</p> <p><em>Have you ever traveled for free? Share your tips with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-go-on-vacation-without-getting-behind-on-work">How to Go on Vacation Without Getting Behind on Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-of-the-best-free-things-to-do-abroad">14 of the Best Free Things to Do Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/8-ways-to-save-on-smartphone-costs-while-traveling">8 Ways to Save on Smartphone Costs While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-science-says-travel-is-good-for-your-health">5 Ways Science Says Travel Is Good for Your Health</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel budget travel free travel travel tips vacation wanderlust Mon, 15 Feb 2016 10:30:20 +0000 Nick Wharton 1654566 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Enjoy Fall Camping http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_camping_000053713732.jpg" alt="Couple finding ways to enjoy fall camping" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you love camping as much as I do, you don't exactly want to stop when the temperatures drop. Thankfully, there's no need to pack up the gear for good. Here are some genius ways to extend your camping adventures into fall and beyond. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks?ref=seealso">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</a>)</p> <h2>1. Check Ahead</h2> <p>Some campgrounds are only open during peak camping months (usually Memorial Day through Labor Day). Before you embark on your adventure, call ahead to make sure your favorite destination is open. Check the weather, too. You may see rain in the forecast and decide to bring an extra tarp or other supplies. The idea here is to be prepared for what's ahead.</p> <h2>2. Leave Early</h2> <p>On our first fall camping excursion, we left too late in the day. By the time we go to the campground, it was getting dark and we were muddling around with our tent using headlamps. Remember that fall and winter mean fewer hours in the sun. So, plan accordingly and leave plenty of daylight hours for setup. Check out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) <a href="http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/solcalc/sunrise.html">sunrise and sunset calculator</a>.</p> <h2>3. Dress for Success</h2> <p>Layers are key when you're camping in the cold. I've always been told to stay away from cotton because it soaks up sweat and can make you wet. Try <a href="http://coolhikinggear.com/what-is-the-best-moisture-wicking-material">dressing in layers</a>. Start with an inner base layer, a warming mid layer (or two, depending on the temperature), and an outer wind or wetness protection layer. Moisture-wicking fabrics are best, so stick with synthetic fibers or even a lightweight wool.</p> <h2>4. Bring Accessories</h2> <p>Along with layering, you shouldn't forget your head, hands, and feet. Bring lots of mittens, gloves, socks, hats, slippers, and other accessories. I like fleece because it's cozy and soft. This <a href="http://oliveleafjournal.com/2014/01/13/fleece-hood-and-balaclava/">DIY fleece balaclava</a> would make a perfect travel companion. You need 3/4 of a yard of fleece fabric and a boot lace. Cut three rectangles from your fabric, sew them together, and thread your lace through the channel.</p> <h2>5. Bag It</h2> <p>Check your sleeping bag for its <a href="http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/sleeping-bag-backpacking.html">European Norm (EN)</a> temperature rating. You might notice that yours isn't fit for cold weather &mdash; the number usually indicates the lowest temperature that is comfortable to withstand in the bag. I like being warmer than most, so I do have a bag I use in summer and one for fall camping. I also favor mummy style bags because they leave less room for air to escape.</p> <p>Skip bulky blankets inside your sleeping bag. They'll actually work against your mission to stay warm. A <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=sleeping%20bag%20liner&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=EGNRGTFSM4DEAP4M">sleeping bag liner</a> provides an extra layer of protection (like a bed sheet) and will work with your body heat to create a comfortable sleeping temperature.</p> <h2>6. Pack a Mat</h2> <p>I also like to sleep atop a travel cot or at very least a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QG1P6E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002QG1P6E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LQPQF4QTO5H2ADPD">camping mat</a> to keep excess moisture from entering my sleeping bag. I've used a yoga mat in a pinch. The bonus here is that the mat will create a barrier between you and the damp, cool ground. It's just more comfortable all around this way. If you can, try laying a tarp down before the pad for extra protection.</p> <p>Still cold? A wool blanket under your sleeping bag can help.</p> <h2>7. Add Heat</h2> <p>My husband taught me a cool trick that he learned when he was a kid. Fill a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=hot%20water%20bottle&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=OZBHGASVGIWYOQSF">hot water bottle</a> or even a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001NCDE84/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001NCDE84&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MQRHEUVZRTF7I45G">Nalgene</a> with warm water and put it in your sleeping bag. You can always refill with warm water if you're particularly cold. We even use this method on cold nights in our house. Just make sure the seal is tight so the water doesn't soak you. And those <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PX20LO0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00PX20LO0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=AYUPW62CX2FC24JB">HotHands</a> hand warmers you use on ski trips are also invaluable on camping trips.</p> <h2>8. Sip Often</h2> <p>Another easy way to warm your core is by drinking hot beverages. Keep a kettle on so there's always hot water to make tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or instant soups. While you're at it, mind your fluid intake. Even if it's cold and you're not obviously sweating, you can easily get dehydrated with activity.</p> <h2>9. Cook Slow</h2> <p>If you're lucky enough to have a campsite with electricity, consider bringing your slow cooker to make mealtime easier. This way, you can simmer together warm and nourishing foods and keep the campfire all to yourself. Choose a cooker with a lockable lid for obvious reasons. Tent campers will want to bring a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001JTS6UC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001JTS6UC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=EGSPHAHCIDTGBLW5">long extension cord</a>. (If you're camping in bear country, you might want to skip this tip!)</p> <h2>10. Test It</h2> <p>One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to test our gear before we went on a long trip. My husband and I set up camp in the backyard and felt sort of silly about it. Well, it was a good thing we did because we were missing an essential support for our tent. If you've never camped in the fall before, you might even want to sleep a night in familiar territory to make sure you have everything you need to be comfortable.</p> <p><em>Are you a fall camper? What tricks have you learned to stay warm, dry, and safe?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips">5 More Fun, Affordable Train Trips</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/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">A DIY Air Conditioner and 14 Other Cool Camping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-when-camping">7 Things You Should Never Do When Camping</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/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</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-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-outdoors">8 Best Cities for Frugal Lovers of the Outdoors</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel autumn camping fall outdoors vacation Tue, 06 Oct 2015 17:00:36 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1576302 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Fun, Frugal Vacations for People Over 30 http://www.wisebread.com/7-fun-frugal-vacations-for-people-over-30 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-fun-frugal-vacations-for-people-over-30" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_traveling_alone_000046959144.jpg" alt="Woman over 30 finding fun and frugal vacation spots" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ibiza, Cancun, Las Vegas&hellip; you're over it. Want a more interesting and sophisticated vacation destination where you can relax or go on more meaningful adventures? Here are seven cheap vacation destinations for the over-30 crowd.</p> <h2>Domestic</h2> <p>Travel close to home and you're never too far away &mdash; just far enough to let it go.</p> <h3>1. Puerto Rico</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/san_juan_000052887176.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>This U.S territory is not only nearby, but cheap to fly to: a plane ticket normally <a href="http://www.kayak.com/flight-routes/United-States-US0/Puerto-Rico-PR0">costs under $300</a>. There's also no need for currency exchange, either as the U.S. dollar is all you need. And since your mobile will likely work in Puerto Rico (check your provider's coverage map), you probably don't need a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-avoid-expensive-phone-charges-when-traveling">cell phone contingency plan</a>, either.</p> <p>Awesome places to see include: Old San Juan, Arecibo Observatory, Luquillo Beach, El Yunque Rainforest. There's even a <a href="http://www.kayakingpuertorico.com/pages/biobay.html">magical bioluminescent bay</a> you can kayak through! San Juan is full of sophisticated restaurants, bars, casinos, and museums to visit, perfect for a true grown-up.</p> <h3>2. Catalina Island, California</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/catalina_island_000002776762.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Looking for a vacation near Southern California without having to fly to Hawaii or Mexico? <a href="https://ssl.catalinaexpress.com/">Take a ferry</a> (only $37.50 per person) to Catalina Island. There are cute bed-and-breakfasts, <a href="http://www.newportwhales.com/Whale_watching_Catalina_Island.html">whale-watching tours</a>, zip lines, snorkeling, and more &mdash; making for the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure. This sleepy but whimsical and picturesque island is perfect for an anniversary or a birthday trip &mdash; and the ferry is free on your birthday!</p> <h3>3. New Orleans, Louisiana</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/new_orleans_000044918500.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The Big Easy is back in a big way. Visit any time except during Mardi Gras, and not only do you get a lot for your money, but you also support a vibrant city full of unique gastronomical delights and lots (LOTS) of amazing cocktails. You can get away with cheap eats like po' boys on the daily, or you can be more adventurous and try local delicacies like Cajun-Chinese fusion.</p> <p>Stay in one of the many vintage hotels near Bourbon Street, like the <a href="http://www.frenchquarter.com/hotels/hotelstmarie.php">Hotel St. Marie</a>. In New Orleans, everyday is like a parade. In fact, you can even <a href="http://www.nola.gov/onestop/events/parades/parade-race-permit/">set up your own parade</a> very easily at city hall! This is a really fun, laid back, and flavorful trip for capital-A adults.</p> <h3>4. Palm Springs, California</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/palm_springs_000019275611.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>California has a lot of great destinations, but none so refined and chill with 1960s modern glamor as Palm Springs. In comparison to destinations like Napa that cost a fortune, there are many great hotels to stay in Palm Springs like <a href="http://www.alcazarpalmsprings.com/">Alcazar</a>, or the <a href="http://www.orbitin.com/">Orbit Inn</a>. Try visiting during off-season months like August or February for good booking deals. Or, stay through Airbnb for maximum space and a pool all to yourself.</p> <p>There are plenty of cheap eats in town and in nearby cities like Twentynine Palms. You can people-watch similarly hip people over 30 walking down the main drag to visit art galleries and grab an icy daytime cocktail. Lounging in style is the name of the game here.</p> <h2>International</h2> <p>When you have the time to go further afield, these destinations are good ones to aim for.</p> <h3>5. Bangkok, Thailand</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/bangkok_000007957580.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you yearn to see the Far East but don't quite have Hong Kong, Seoul, or Tokyo money, Bangkok is an adventurous and gorgeous option. For culture hounds, historic landmarks like the Grand Palace, the Golden Buddha, and the <a href="http://www.bangkok.com/attraction-temple/wat-prakaeo.htm">Wat Phra Kaew</a> hold much significance. Culinary enthusiasts will be excited to in try as much new (and cheap!) Thai food as possible from the many <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/08/for-the-best-food-in-bangkok-hit-the-streets.html">famous street carts</a>. For those who love to learn about indigenous nature, there are many parks, gardens, and zoos to choose from.</p> <p>For a <a href="http://www.priceoftravel.com/34/thailand/bangkok-prices">modest daily budget</a>, you can get a lot for your money and have a world-class vacation.</p> <h3>6. Barcelona, Spain</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/barcelona_000063531001.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Spain is gorgeous: tons of old world architecture, great wine and food, and lovely people. This is a great time to visit &mdash; the country suffers from a somewhat ailing economy. Traveling to Spain this year is a great way to take advantage of cheaper lodging and entertainment while helping out the locals.</p> <p>There are so many excellent things to do. See all the old catholic churches like <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187497-d190166-Reviews-Basilica_of_the_Sagrada_Familia-Barcelona_Catalonia.html">Basilica of the Sagrada Familia</a>, take in a <em>futbol</em> game, and go on one of many local food tasting tours of the city. There is also plenty of nightlife with hip clubs like Dry Martini &amp; Speakeasy. This is a cultured trip meant for folks who want to do more than simply get rowdy.</p> <h3>7. Prague, Czech Republic</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/prague_000031205030.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you love history, this is for you! Over the years, Prague has graduated from &quot;college backpacker's paradise&quot; to full-fledged vacation destination.</p> <p>Prague has a wealth of architectural riches: 1,100 years of virtually unblemished churches, libraries, bridges, monasteries, towers, and more represent nearly every style from Baroque to Art Nouveau. The city is a walker's paradise, with tons of tours to see landmarks on every block. In comparison to other major European capitals, Prague is more budget-friendly: Diverse, delicious meals can be procured for reasonable prices, like this <a href="https://www.likealocalguide.com/prague/mr-banh-mi">banh mi for only &pound;3.50</a>. Hotels can be as low as &pound;60 per night &mdash; good luck getting even the grimiest hostel bed for that in Paris!</p> <p><em>What are your favorite grown-up vacation spots?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-fun-frugal-vacations-for-people-over-30">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/14-things-you-forget-to-do-before-leaving-for-vacation">14 Things You Forget to Do Before Leaving for Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Smart Travel Hacks Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-ways-the-sharing-economy-helps-you-save-on-vacation">5 Fun Ways the Sharing Economy Helps You Save on Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-saving-travel-gadgets">5 Money Saving Travel Gadgets</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-things-the-united-states-should-copy-from-other-countries">10 Things the United States Should Copy From Other Countries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel 30s cheap destinations holiday thirtysomethings vacation Mon, 21 Sep 2015 15:00:17 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1564326 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 More Fun, Affordable Train Trips http://www.wisebread.com/5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000019051349.jpg" alt="Child on fun and affordable train trip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Trains are not only a huge part of our history and economy, but they make for relaxing and scenic travel. We last gave you five <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-affordable-train-trips">enjoyable and reasonably priced train trips</a> for the summer. Now, try going on one of these five additional fun, affordable train trips this fall.</p> <h2>1. Cross Country: California Zephyr</h2> <p>Have you always wanted to venture out into what was the wild west of the 1800s without the horrific summer heat? The <a href="http://www.amtrak.com/california-zephyr-train">California Zephyr</a> travels on a 2,438-mile route from Chicago, IL to Emeryville, CA, passing through seven states on a journey made by western settlers during the Gold Rush and other big migrations. The terrain changes from canyons, to rivers, to mountains, to deserts, to valleys with dramatic beauty. Key sights to see: Colorado River, the Donner Pass, the Rockies, and the Painted Desert.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> As low as $163 per adult and approximately $80 per child for this 51-hour train trip.</p> <h2>2. New Hampshire: Mount Washington Cog Railway</h2> <p>New Hampshire is beautiful as the leaves turn gold and the air gets crisp. What better way to usher in the season than by riding the <a href="http://www.thecog.com/">Mount Washington Cog Railway</a>, the world's first train to climb a mountain? The historic cars are cute and photo-worthy on their own. This makes for an easy day trip, because the ride is only three hours long, which includes an hour to hang out on the top of Mount Washington and snap pictures of the view. You'll want to try this one before winter settles in, as that's when the schedule is very limited.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> $73 per adult, and $39 per child for this three-hour scenic ride.</p> <h2>3. New York: Adirondack Scenic Railroad</h2> <p>Of course, Upstate New York in the fall is quite the stunner, too. The <a href="http://www.adirondackrr.com/">Adirondack Scenic Railroad</a> is definitely not hyperbole: this train weaves from Utica to Lake Placid, through the small hamlets in between. Keep your eyes on the window for the gorgeous scenery of lakes, rivers, and the pretty peaks of the Adirondacks. Additionally, lots of deer, bears, geese and other migrant birds are plentiful and on display through the trip. Fall events on this train include beer and wine tastings and a family Halloween theme.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> Adults cost $39.50 and children cost $29.50 for this trip.</p> <h2>4. Washington State: Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad</h2> <p>If you're a fan of mountains and the Pacific Northwest, this is a must-do attraction. <a href="http://www.mrsr.com/index.html">The Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad and Museum</a> happens to be the longest running steam train in the region and takes you through the forests and foothills of Mount Rainier. This two-hour train ride includes lots of information on the history of using steam locomotives for logging, the chief industry in the region in the late 19th through early 20th centuries. The MRSR also offers a <a href="http://www.mrsr.com/#!special-events/cpn1">Civil War package</a> complete with a Civil War reenactment.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> This train charges $32 per adult, $72 per child between five to 12 years old, $18 per child under three to four years, and infants under three are free.</p> <h2>5. North Carolina: Great Smoky Mountains Railroad</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.gsmr.com/">Great Smoky Mountain Railroad</a> takes you through a uniquely pretty trail of the South. North Carolina boasts tons of indigenous beauty: 125 types of trees, 1,000 varieties of flora, and over 300 different animal species. You'll also get a chance to look inside the Great Smoky Mountains Train Museum. Like some of our other favorite train rides, this one also has various food and drink tasting voyages. For Halloween, there is a Peanuts Pumpkin Patch Halloween theme for the kids as well as a Halloween Masquerade theme for grown ups.</p> <p><strong>Price:</strong> For the average trip (non-themed and in family cars), adults cost $66 and children cost $38 per round trip ride.</p> <p><em>Have you ever taken any of these train rides? How was it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-more-fun-affordable-train-trips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping">10 Ways to Enjoy Fall Camping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-affordable-train-trips">5 Fun, Affordable Train Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-the-united-states-should-copy-from-other-countries">10 Things the United States Should Copy From Other Countries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel America autumn fall trains transportation trips vacation Thu, 17 Sep 2015 11:00:34 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1555445 at http://www.wisebread.com The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_in_hammock_000058725176.jpg" alt="Couple finding best vacation deals online" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Planning a vacation can be exciting and exhilarating, but it can also be stressful and time-consuming if you don't know where to look. That's why we've covered some of the best places to find vacation deals online.</p> <h2>1. AAA Travel Services</h2> <p>If you are an AAA member, you know that great deals and rewards come along with your membership. However, you may not know just how great their travel deals are. Their <a href="http://travel.aaa.com">travel services</a> can help save you money on your next vacation, cruise, or business trip, and help save you time planning it as well.</p> <p>That's because you will have your own local AAA travel agent to help streamline the process. They can help you find the perfect services to fit your schedule and budget, without spending much time comparing prices. They even offer last-minute travel deals for any impromptu vacations or business trips. Finally, you can find freebies on the site, like a free car rental for a day, to complete your trip.</p> <h2>2. Costco Travel</h2> <p>You also probably didn't know that Costco offers some of the best vacation deals online, all with the great customer service they're known for. You may be eligible for special member perks, like room upgrades, spa credits, and more. <a href="https://www.costcotravel.com/">Costco Travel</a> also has a Low Price Finder, where it will compare all online coupons and deals to find you the lowest prices possible.</p> <h2>3. Booking Sites</h2> <p>Discount booking sites can help you find the best deals on airfare, lodging, car rentals, food, and entertainment. They can even help you find all-inclusive travel packages that have everything you need, which will save you the stress of searching through various discounts. Some of the most common booking sites include <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10395159-1432673640000">Travelocity</a>, <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-10517623-1356646638000">Expedia</a>, Hotwire, Kayak, <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-10820358-1440511376000">Cheapflights.com</a>, <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10392970-1433187833000">Priceline</a>, <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-10808428-1403804106000">VacationRentals.com</a>, and <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10786230-1426796392000">Hotels.com</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources?ref=seealso">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a>)</p> <p>While all booking sites work similarly, many people prefer Kayak. Forbes also recommends Kayak because it searches a large database of fares to find you the absolute cheapest option. It can even compare months of fares to help you find the cheapest day to travel. Travelers find the interface very easy to use and navigate, taking the stress and guesswork out of planning your trip, all while saving you money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-online-booking-sites?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards for Online Booking Sites</a>)</p> <p>If you don't feel comfortable reserving your flight, hotel, or rental car through a booking site, simply go directly to the service provider and ask if they can price match the estimate you found on a booking site. Most hotels and airlines also place deals directly on their sites, which may be the same deals you would find on a booking site.</p> <h2>4. Other Discount Sites</h2> <p><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10861379-1424728017000">Groupon</a>, LivingSocial, <a href="http://local.amazon.com/?tag=wisbre03-20">Amazon Local</a>, and Yelp can help save you money when you are booking your trip, as well as after you have arrived. They offer deals on hotels, travel packages, and even rental cars. Once you arrive at your destination, use these discount sites or apps for local deals on food, entertainment, excursions, shopping, and more, so that you can get the most out of the area without breaking the bank.</p> <h2>5. Lodging Alternatives</h2> <p><a href="https://www.airbnb.com/">Airbnb</a> will allow you to rent an apartment or home for the exact amount of time of your trip. They also offer shared rooms and even couches, depending on your budget and sleeping preferences. Booking through Airbnb can save you a lot of money and allow you to feel like you're staying in a home, rather than a hotel. You can also visit <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10597412-1340927884000">BedandBreakfast.com</a> for a directory of the best bed and breakfasts, in all price ranges.</p> <h2>6. Last Minute Booking Sites</h2> <p>If possible, try to book your trip last minute. There are substantially more deals and savings available when you are able to book shortly before your trip. At Last Minute Travel, the process is streamlined so that you can easily book and customize your travel itinerary at the last minute. You can also visit <a href="http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/">AirfareWatchdog</a>, which will allow you to monitor airfare and hotel prices so that you can take advantage of sales immediately.</p> <p><em>Be sure to check </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources"><em>Wise Bread's Travel Resources</em></a><em> to find other ways to save big money on your vacation. Do you have any other suggestions on finding the best vacation deals online? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">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/5-fun-ways-the-sharing-economy-helps-you-save-on-vacation">5 Fun Ways the Sharing Economy Helps You Save on Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-14-best-ways-to-cut-food-costs-while-traveling">The 14 Best Ways to Cut Food Costs While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road">Travel and Money: Using Your Credit Card on the Road</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-budget-for-summer-vacation">7 Easy Ways to Budget for Summer Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodations best value booking sites deals saving money trips vacation Wed, 16 Sep 2015 21:00:18 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1555505 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Go on Vacation Without Getting Behind on Work http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-go-on-vacation-without-getting-behind-on-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-go-on-vacation-without-getting-behind-on-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_working_traveling_000018933123.jpg" alt="Woman going on vacation without getting behind on work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a self-employed freelancer, and the breadwinner for my family, I understand the importance of balancing work and life. This means that I have to make time for family, friends, and travel, so I have to put my business on the back burner.</p> <p>No matter how much you enjoy your work, there will be times when it has to take a backseat to other personal or social priorities. This is particularly important during the busy summer months when you'd rather spend time outdoors or on a road trip.</p> <p>So how do you enjoy a getaway without feeling guilty or stressed about work when you return home? Here are six tips for going on vacation without getting behind.</p> <h2>1. Consider Taking a Workcation</h2> <p>The definition of a workcation is simply that you're taking your business with you while you're away, and plan to work a few hours a day. Essentially, you do work while you're on vacation. While this may seem like defeating the whole purpose of a vacation, setting aside even just one hour a day to check in could alleviate a lot of stress and worry. It's never fun to come back from a trip to find an overwhelming inbox. Just be sure to limit your time and return to vacation mode guilt-free.</p> <h2>2. Set a Vacation Autoreply</h2> <p>This tip may be one that's suggested a lot but setting a vacation auto reply for your email inbox will help you set (and keep!) boundaries while you're away from the office. Clients need to know they won't be hearing a reply quite as quickly, and you need the peace of mind knowing that you aren't under pressure to respond right away.</p> <h2>3. Return Home a Day Early</h2> <p>When I worked at my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-questions-you-must-answer-before-going-freelance">full-time job</a>, I usually returned home from vacation on Sunday, the day before the regular work week was to begin. Doing this allowed me to stretch my vacation out as long as possible. The downside though, was that I felt rushed coming home and sometimes had to deal with jetlag the next day at work.</p> <p>I've since learned to book flights and trips where I return from a vacation <em>a day early </em>so I can prep the upcoming week, buy any groceries to restock the fridge, and do a few loads of laundry. That extra day is the most effective thing I do to make sure I don't get behind on work, or feel rushed when I step into the office Monday morning.</p> <h2>4. Write Down a List of Homework</h2> <p>If you're unable, or don't want, to take your work with you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-you-forget-to-do-before-leaving-for-vacation">while on vacation</a>, write down a list of things you need to accomplish when you return. Think of this as a &quot;homework&quot; list of to-dos so you won't be scrambling to get organized when you arrive home.</p> <p>Make a game plan before you leave that ensures all of your projects and client work will still be completed on time. When I create my homework list, I usually bring it with me so I can add ideas and tasks throughout the vacation. Getting it written down, and off my mind, ensures I don't forget what I need to do and keeps me from stressing about it the entire time I'm away.</p> <h2>5. Reassess Your Schedule</h2> <p>Now that you have your list of homework, take all of those tasks and break them down into specific priorities. Which ones absolutely <em>have </em>to be completed this week? Can you postpone some appointments to make room for more important to-dos? Review your schedule and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-protect-your-personal-time-from-work-and-be-happier">prioritize everything</a> that needs to be done based on the level of importance.</p> <p>When the week is over, if you only get four or five tasks completed, which ones will make you feel most accomplished? Move these to the top of the list and tackle them first! Any time you have remaining at the end of the week can be used to catch up on less important tasks.</p> <h2>6. Prepare for Setbacks</h2> <p>What happens if you lose your phone? How can you get work done with the Internet? What happens if you forget the power cord to your laptop? (That actually happened to me once.) Before heading out of town, prepare for any unexpected emergencies that might pop up.</p> <p>Create a backup plan for getting in touch with your boss, or checking in with your team if you need to. The last thing you want is to be on vacation, and off the grid, when an emergency happens and you have no way of getting in contact with anyone.</p> <p>As you take time off to enjoy the summer holiday, use these tips so you can return home less stressed. You'll have more fun and actually look forward to your return, without getting behind on work.</p> <p><em>What's one thing you do before taking time off from work for a vacation? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-smith">Carrie Smith</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-go-on-vacation-without-getting-behind-on-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free">7 Ways That Anyone Can Travel for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-jobs-with-insane-travel">10 Unexpected Jobs With Insane Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</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-ways-science-says-travel-is-good-for-your-health">5 Ways Science Says Travel Is Good for Your Health</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Travel career time off vacation wanderlust work benefits Tue, 08 Sep 2015 09:00:25 +0000 Carrie Smith 1545689 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000052282084_1.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've been traveling and hacking flights since 2008, spending nearly eight years researching and finding secret methods to save money, earn points, and fly for free. These effective and easy-to-use tricks have saved me thousands of dollars over the years and now they can do the same for you.</p> <h2>1. Use Google Flights</h2> <p>If there ever was a single flight booking engine to rule them all, it would be <a href="https://www.google.com/flights/">Google Flights</a>. This incredible website will revolutionize the way you book flights and it can save you a ton of money along the way. Let's go over some of the main features of this booking site that blows others like it out of the water.</p> <h3>Two Months of Fares</h3> <p>A frequent flyer knows that there are always cheaper days of the week and times of the month to fly. Google Flights simplifies your fare search by showing you a calendar with two full months of fares. There's even a handy bar graph that makes it easy to see which day is the cheapest. I have found flights for nearly half price just by using this tool and flying on the right day of the month!</p> <h3>Destination Region, Not Just Destination City</h3> <p>Sometimes you want to go to Europe, but you want to be spontaneous. You'll fly to any city as long as it's cheap. Well, Google Flights will be your new best friend. Instead of having to input a destination city, you can input a destination region (ie: Europe). You can then open a map view of the entire continent which shows airfares on every major city and airport. With this trick, I found that I could fly to Paris for $150 less than if I flew to London on the same day. Using traditional methods of flight search, you'd have to separately search each city in Europe to find the cheapest flight and this could potentially take hours.</p> <h3>Happiness Factors</h3> <p>A good deal on a flight ticket is only a good deal if you're comfortable while you're in the air. Google has teamed up with Routehappy to include &quot;Happiness Factors&quot; in their search results. Now you can see if there is food, USB power outlets, TVs, video on demand, and Wi-Fi on your flight. The factors are shown using easy to spot icons right next to the fares in search results. You can even see how many inches of legroom you'll have!</p> <h3>Best Flight Recommendation</h3> <p>Google takes the guesswork out of choosing flights. Sometimes, customers are blinded by a cheap deal and they fail to notice that there is a 45-hour layover in Delaware. For an extra $40 you could have flown direct! Google automatically calculates the best flight for you based on a good balance of price and transit time. Brilliant. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use?ref=seealso">The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use</a>)</p> <h2>2. Clear Your Cache</h2> <p>This is a big one, everybody! Have you ever noticed that when you return to check the cost of your flight day after day, the price just keeps going up? This is not a coincidence. Flight booking engines and airline websites store cookies in your browser. These cookies can monitor your browsing habits and they'll know when you return to their website to check flight costs again and again. They will then jack the price up to urge you to buy! It sounds criminal, doesn't it? Well it's not illegal and it happens all of the time on pretty much every booking website. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-secrets-to-getting-the-lowest-rate-from-travel-websites?ref=seealso">4 Secrets to Getting the Lowest Rate From Travel Websites</a>)</p> <p>To avoid getting charged extra every time you book a flight, simply clear your browser cache before booking anything online, or if you use Google Chrome as your browser, simply hit control-shift-N to open an &quot;incognito&quot; window which ensures cookie-free browsing.</p> <p>Note: Clearing the cache is different for every browser, here are instructions for the most common ones: <a href="https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/183083?hl=en">Google Chrome</a>, <a href="http://agsci.psu.edu/it/how-to/clear-internet-explorer-8-ie8-browsing-history-cache">Internet Explorer</a>, <a href="https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/delete-cookies-remove-info-websites-stored">Firefox</a>, and <a href="https://guides.instructure.com/m/4214/l/334964-how-do-i-clear-my-browser-cache-on-a-mac">Safari</a>.</p> <p>I recently booked a flight from Guatemala to Cuba and I noticed that each day before booking, the price kept going up. Luckily I utilized this simple hack and voila! The price magically went back down and I saved $250 on two tickets! Don't believe me? Check out the split image below. The bottom half is the flight before clearing the browser cache and the top half is the exact same flight, booked 10 minutes later using &quot;incognito&quot; mode.</p> <p><img width="605" height="456" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/flight%20prices.jpg" /></p> <p>If you didn't know about this hack before, then you've probably overpaid for pretty much every flight you've ever taken. Next time you book a flight, make sure you clear your cache or shop &quot;incognito.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Get Bumped</h2> <p>Is saving big money on flights not good enough for you? You want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">fly for free</a>? No problem. You can get free flight vouchers so you don't have to pay for your future airfare at all. It's called &quot;getting bumped.&quot;</p> <p>Here's how it works: These days, there are so many people flying that airlines overbook their flights and bank on the fact that not everyone will show up to the gates come check-in time. Sometimes this works for them and they can overbook flights without a hitch, but other times they have to ask some passengers if they wouldn't mind taking the next scheduled flight instead. These passengers are &quot;getting bumped.&quot;</p> <p>Why is &quot;getting bumped&quot; such an awesome hack? Because if you get bumped, you'll be flown to your destination on the next scheduled flight, plus you'll receive a free flight voucher for your next holiday! That's right, your next flight will be free.</p> <p>But you shouldn't just cross your fingers and hope to get bumped. There are three things that you should do to better your chances.</p> <h3>Choose a Popular Flight</h3> <p>The more popular the flight route, the more likely it will be that the airline needs to bump passengers. Choose a destination city that is popular, and fly on the busiest day possible (usually Monday mornings, Friday afternoons, and around holidays).</p> <h3>Pack Light</h3> <p>Airline staff will try to choose the most convenient candidates for bump passengers. If they have to go fetch your bag from under the plane, they probably won't pick you. If you want to get bumped, try to pack only carry-on luggage.</p> <h3>Show Up Extra Early and Volunteer</h3> <p>Head to the check-in counter right when it opens and have a big smile on your face. Politely mention to the agent that you're in no rush, and you'd have no problem volunteering to take the next flight if they need you to.</p> <p>Now you just sit and wait with your fingers crossed. This hack may not work every time, but you can definitely get a few free flights if you keep trying.</p> <h2>4. Book at the Right Time</h2> <p>The &quot;right time to book&quot; has been a debate amongst frequent flyers since the invention of commercial air travel. How long before your departure date should you start shopping for flights? Are last-minute deals the best or is it better to plan in advance to get early bird discounts?</p> <p>According to a 2013 study conducted by CheapAir.com, the <a href="http://www.cheapair.com/blog/travel-tips/when-should-you-buy-your-airline-ticket-heres-what-our-data-has-to-say/">optimal time to book flights</a> is approximately 48 days (about seven weeks) before departure. The study also claimed that most airlines will charge hefty premiums for late bookings (within 14 days of departure) and for early bookings (more than five months in advance).</p> <h2>5. Become &quot;Cancellation Protected&quot;</h2> <p>Many flight booking engines have pretty strict flight cancellation policies that are often separate from the airline's policies. Sometimes you have to cancel your flight for unforeseen reasons and if you booked with an online booking site, you may be out of luck and out of money.</p> <p>Instead, find the flight using your favorite booking engine, get the flight number and date of the cheapest fare, and then go straight your chosen airline's website to book it. This way, you'll have a better chance of getting at least some kind of refund if you have to cancel down the road.</p> <p>Keep in mind, you can get refunds on many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable">&quot;non-refundable&quot; purchases</a> if you know how to ask.</p> <h2>6. Use Your Best Travel Rewards Credit Card</h2> <p>There's no reason why anyone should book travel without reaping the benefits of travel rewards and air miles from their favorite credit cards. Whenever you're paying for a holiday, trip or vacation, make sure that you're using your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">best travel rewards credit card</a>.</p> <p>Find the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">best card for your travel preferences</a>, rack up your points and miles, and then <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">redeem them for a free vacatio</a>n!&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">If you're a loyal flyer on a particular airline, a </span><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=internal" style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">co-branded airline card</a><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;"> will get you extra travel perks like priority boarding and discounts off in-flight purchases.</span></p> <h2>7. Use the Flight+Hotel or Flight+Rental Tab</h2> <p>You've probably seen that little tab at the top of flight booking websites that says Flight+Hotel or Flight+Car Rental. It looks like it's just an aggressive upsell, trying to get you to spend more money than you really want to, but it turns out, there are huge savings hidden beneath that tab.</p> <p>Flight booking engines offer customers big discounts on their flights, hotels, and car rental if they book them all together. Even if you don't want to rent a car for the duration of your holiday, give this little hack a try.</p> <p>In my sample booking, the cheapest flight from Toronto to London in July of 2015 was $1,524. I then searched the same flight using the tab on the British Airways website that says &quot;Flight+Car&quot; and found it for just $1,444 including a rental for the duration of the one week holiday. That's $80 less for the flight, plus a free rental car.</p> <h2>8. Pack Your Stuff to Avoid Extra Baggage Fees</h2> <p>Everyone wants to avoid going over the baggage allowance on flights. It's a good idea to always carry the maximum allowed size for your carry-on luggage, plus a purse, and a laptop bag. Most airlines allow all of these items as carry-ons and having all three is a loophole that will help you to avoid expensive fees at check-in. (You can sometimes sneak on with a plastic grocery bag as well!)</p> <p>If that nasty scale at the check-in counter is calling your luggage fat, take the heaviest things out and put them in your purse or daypack. Toss some things in the laptop bag and distribute the weight into your carry-ons so that you don't have to pay an extra cent for heavy checked luggage.</p> <p>Bonus hack: If you're traveling with golf clubs, stuff the golf bag with as much clothing as you can to lighten your other checked bag and avoid overweight charges. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers?ref=seealso">25 Secrets From the World's Most Frugal Frequent Travelers</a>)</p> <h2>9. Ask to Sit Close to the Emergency Exit</h2> <p>On most airlines, you are charged extra if you request the emergency exit seats because they have twice the leg room, but you can often get them for free. When you check in for your next flight, request that your seat is <em>close to</em> the nearest emergency exit row. This is free.</p> <p>As soon as the plane doors are sealed and you see an empty emergency exit seat, switch over to it. Because passengers are charged extra if they request exit seats before departure, there are usually a couple of empty ones available and once the plane is sealed, you don't have to pay to move into them.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers?ref=seealso">15 Airport Hacks From Expert Travelers</a></p> <h2>10. Use the Multi-City Tab</h2> <p>Basically, the Multi-City tab can be found on almost all booking sites and it gives customers access to secret discounts for taking multiple flights at the same time. In my case, I needed to fly from Guatemala City to Havana and then on to San Jose, Costa Rica three weeks later. If I were to book these flights separately, they would have cost me $938, but booking the same trip using the Multi-City tab only cost me $710. That's a savings of $218. Use this tab when you're planning multiple flights in a specific time frame and you can save a lot of money.</p> <p><em>Do you know of some money saving flight hacks that I missed? Please share them with the world in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Smart Travel Hacks Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-vacation-destinations-that-stretch-your-dollar">11 Vacation Destinations That Stretch Your Dollar</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airline miles airline tickets credit cards flight booking flying travel vacation Mon, 07 Sep 2015 11:00:35 +0000 Nick Wharton 1548205 at http://www.wisebread.com Pay Your Bills and 5 Other Things You Must Do Before You Leave on Vacation http://www.wisebread.com/pay-your-bills-and-5-other-things-you-must-do-before-you-leave-on-vacation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/pay-your-bills-and-5-other-things-you-must-do-before-you-leave-on-vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_luggage_000039949614.jpg" alt="Mother and daughter doing things before going on vacation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You packed for the flight to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dramatic-vacation-spots-for-tv-and-film-fanatics">really cool location</a>, re-installed the smoke detector, and made sure the oven was off, but there's a lot more you can do to make your return home less stressful. Here are the six things to do before you leave on vacation.</p> <h2>1. Tell Your Bank</h2> <p>It happens to everyone at least once: You're enjoying a nice meal in a new city, you pay the bill, the server tells you the card doesn't work, and you panic. Prevent this by calling your bank several days before your trip to alert them that you're planning to use your card(s) on vacation. It's especially important if you're traveling to a faraway destination you've never been before.</p> <h2>2. Resolve Your Email Inbox</h2> <p>Any lingering emails still marked as &quot;unread&quot; at the top of the inbox? Now's a good time to respond with simple answers. Make coworkers and friends feel at ease and have a lot less to deal with when you return. Going away for longer than a long weekend? Definitely worth turning on the vacation auto-responder so your contacts don't feel neglected. When it comes to snail mail, it's worth setting up a vacation hold if no one's checking it for you.</p> <h2>3. Clean House</h2> <p>Who wants to come home to a dirty house? Get the sink clear of dishes, vacuum, and do a number on the shower you've been putting off cleaning. Also, take an afternoon to wash laundry, especially sheets &mdash; never underestimate the power of coming home to a fresh scented, freshly made bed. This will ensure coming home will be a stressless transition.</p> <h2>4. Secure a Pet Plan</h2> <p>Have pets and need to arrange for their care? Get your kennel or sitter lined up at least two weeks before a long trip. Plan for all the variables. Don't forget to stock up on extra pet food so someone else doesn't have to hit the store. Get extra keys made for your sitter if necessary. Get extra scat bags, toys, catnip, anything that may help your pets stay comfortable and alive while you're away.</p> <h2>5. Schedule Bill Payments</h2> <p>Going to be away for more than a week and don't want to stop the fun to pay your bills? Set up a bill pay system with your financial institution one billing cycle in advance so that you can be sure it works and the payments post. If timing is an issue, you can also try calling your credit card companies to let them know you are going to be away and payments might be a day or two late.</p> <h2>6. Turn Off Meters</h2> <p>Own a home? Those electric outlets still suck power. Leaks can happen anytime. Turning off your water, gas, and electric meters are a good way to save money while on longer trips and can prevent any kind of disasters that could happen from being worse. It's worth the extra few minutes.</p> <p><em>How do you prepare for a long trip?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pay-your-bills-and-5-other-things-you-must-do-before-you-leave-on-vacation">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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-ways-to-avoid-expensive-phone-charges-when-traveling">5 Ways to Avoid Expensive Phone Charges When Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/car-yoga-and-9-other-ways-to-beat-long-drives">Car Yoga and 9 Other Ways to Beat Long Drives</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-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-fun-ways-the-sharing-economy-helps-you-save-on-vacation">5 Fun Ways the Sharing Economy Helps You Save on Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-saving-travel-gadgets">5 Money Saving Travel Gadgets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Travel bills mail out of town pets planning vacation Wed, 19 Aug 2015 15:00:30 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1524655 at http://www.wisebread.com Chill Your Sunscreen and 25 Other Beach Trip Hacks http://www.wisebread.com/chill-your-sunscreen-and-25-other-beach-trip-hacks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/chill-your-sunscreen-and-25-other-beach-trip-hacks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_beach_day_000045495908.jpg" alt="Family learning helpful beach trip hacks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hittin' the beach before summer ends? Not without perusing this list of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-beauty-tips-and-hacks-for-summer">fun-in-the-sun hacks</a> that'll make your seaside trip easier, breezier, and much more comfortable.</p> <h2>1. Wipe Away Sand With Baby Powder</h2> <p>Sprinkle it on your body to dry up the sand then brush it off.</p> <h2>2. Use a Corkscrew Anchor to Keep Umbrellas From Flying Away</h2> <p>Because I don't want to be the annoying jerk on the beach who can't properly secure his umbrella when even the slight gust of wind blows through, I picked up this nifty <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BCLNDNC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BCLNDNC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6ST7HYFD7W7ZZIWJ">corkscrew anchor</a> to keep my shade firmly in place. It has never failed me.</p> <h2>3. Use High SPF Lotion as Your Base and Spray for Touch-Ups</h2> <p>You'll get more all-over, longer-lasting protection out of the rub-on sunscreen than the spray. Cover your body with the lotion before you leave the house, then follow-up with sprays throughout the day.</p> <h2>4. Put Your Cell Phone in a Plastic Baggie to Protect It</h2> <p>I've found that those snack-size baggies are the perfect fit for iPhones, in particular.</p> <h2>5. Place a Tarp Under Your Beach Sheet or Blanket</h2> <p>You'll have an easier time shaking the sand off the tarp (it'll just slide right off, in fact) than trying to get it out of your blanket or sheet.</p> <h2>6. Place a Shower Curtain in a Large Hole in the Sand</h2> <p>When the water rushes in to fill it up, you'll have an instant pool for the kiddies to play in. This is an especially good idea for those who aren't very keen on swimming in the ocean &mdash; like me.</p> <h2>7. Stash a Few Grocery Bags in Your Gear for Your Trash</h2> <p>Use them throughout the day to keep your trash from blowing all around and so you don't have to keep walking to the trash cans every 30 minutes.</p> <h2>8. Put Meat Tenderizer on a Jellyfish Sting</h2> <p>Most meat tenderizers contain <a href="http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-69-papain.aspx?activeingredientid=69&amp;activeingredientname=papain">papain</a>, which helps break down venom proteins. Wash it off after 10 to 15 minutes so it doesn't start to irritate the skin itself. (Vinegar works, too.)</p> <h2>9. Create a Sand-Free Zone With a Fitted Sheet</h2> <p>Lay the fitted sheet facedown on the sand and use your beach gear to fill in the elastic corners. Instant sand barrier.</p> <h2>10. Use a Balloon to Clear Your Ears</h2> <p>Kids have water in their ears? Bring a balloon to the beach and let them blow it up to help unclog waterlogged ears. Works just as well for you, too.</p> <h2>11. Use a Child's Wagon to Load up Your Gear</h2> <p>A child's wagon &mdash; particularly the Playskool brand &mdash; has wide plastic wheels that roll through the sand easily. Load up your gear and make the trek to your sandy oasis a hands and hassle-free experience.</p> <h2>12. Use a Frozen Sponge as a No-Drip Ice Pack</h2> <p>Freeze a wet sponge and place it in a plastic bag before putting it in a cooler to keep your refreshments chilled. No heavy ice or water to dump or lug later.</p> <h2>13. Place Valuables in a Clean Diaper That's Wrapped Like It's Dirty</h2> <p>Only the most desperate of beach thieves will attempt this heist. A friend of mine also told me that she wraps her valuables in a clean pair of underwear and places that in a Ziploc baggie. &quot;Even left out in the open no one has ever stolen my panties, but they've stolen my friend's cash/cards that were just inside their totes,&quot; she said. Both tips are solid.</p> <h2>14. Use a Soft Paintbrush to Brush Off Sand</h2> <p>If you don't have baby powder around, pack a clean, soft paint brush to whisk the sand off your body.</p> <h2>15. Sturdy Your Umbrella With a Sand and Water Mix</h2> <p>This method of digging a hole for your umbrella then securing it by filling in the hole with a 50/50 sand/water mixture comes from an Eagle Scout &mdash; so you know it's legit.</p> <h2>16. Avoid Sunscreen Marketing Tricks</h2> <p>&quot;Sport&quot; and &quot;For Kids&quot; high-SPF sunscreens are the exact same product with different labeling. Compare the cost of the two and buy the cheapest.</p> <h2>17. Place Valuables in a Clean, Empty Sunscreen Bottle</h2> <p>If diapers or underwear aren't your preferred methods of theft deterrence, go with the more modest route by placing valuables inside a used sunscreen bottle.</p> <h2>18. Freeze Water Bottles as Ice Packs in Your Cooler</h2> <p>This trick works threefold: Your food stays cold; the ice melt stays contained; and you have cool, fresh water to drink later in the day, making your cooler much lighter to carry back.</p> <h2>19. Pack Fresh Fruits and Veggies Along With the Junk Food</h2> <p>Your idea might be to pig out on junk food on your day at the beach, but you might find yourself craving for cool, fresh fruits and veggies once you start playing in the water and baking in the sun. You can keep the chips, of course, but pack healthier alternatives &mdash; cucumbers, watermelon, oranges, and more &mdash; just in case.</p> <h2>20. Leave the Expensive Sunglasses at Home</h2> <p>Have you ever been to a beach where it looks like everyone is walking the runway? Totally not worth it &mdash; especially when you can look just as good for less and without ruining your stuff. This especially applies to sunglasses. Leave your pricey pair at home and take the cheapies with you. If you lose or scratch them, you won't mind as much.</p> <h2>21. Pack the Bug Spray, Too</h2> <p>Everybody remembers the sunscreen, but many of us often forget the bug spray. I've had several annoying days at the beach because of biting flies that a little bit of DEET would have controlled.</p> <h2>22. Make a Mini-Emergency Kit and Place It in a Plastic Container</h2> <p>Put a few Band-Aids, wipes, aloe gel, sanitary products, and other first aid-type items in a plastic container, like GladWare, so everything stays clean, contained, and organized.</p> <h2>23. Make Ice Cubes Out of Aloe Vera Gel</h2> <p>Soothe your sunburn even more by placing aloe vera gel in ice cube trays in the freezer and rubbing those frozen blocks on your skin. (Or, ya know, just don't get sunburned &mdash; which is highly recommended!)</p> <h2>24. Cool Down With Chilled Sunscreen</h2> <p>Place your sunscreen in the fridge or cooler before applying for a jolt of refreshment.</p> <h2>25. Use a Laundry Basket to Clean Beach Toys</h2> <p>Instead of washing beach toys individually, place them all in a plastic laundry basket and rinse them off in one fell swoop at a washing station while the water drains from the sides.</p> <h2>26. Add a Flotation Device to Your Keys</h2> <p>Attaching a floatable keychain or cork material to your keys is a great way to ensure that your keys don't sink to the bottom of the ocean if you accidentally drop them. To minimize any potential hazard further, only take your car key to the beach while locking your other valuable keys in the car.</p> <p><em>Do you have more beach hacks that you'd like to add? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chill-your-sunscreen-and-25-other-beach-trip-hacks">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/20-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-summer">20 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Summer</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/22-cheap-ways-to-keep-cool-during-the-hottest-month-of-the-year">22 Cheap Ways to Keep Cool During the Hottest Month of the Year</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/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">A DIY Air Conditioner and 14 Other Cool Camping Hacks</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/blood-gore-and-hairy-warts-a-diy-halloween-makeup-guide">Blood, gore and hairy warts; a DIY Halloween makeup guide.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks beach fun outdoors sand summer tips vacation Fri, 14 Aug 2015 11:00:26 +0000 Mikey Rox 1518356 at http://www.wisebread.com