frugal travel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7471/all en-US 4 Underrated U.S. Cities You Need to See This Summer http://www.wisebread.com/4-underrated-us-cities-you-need-to-see-this-summer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-underrated-us-cities-you-need-to-see-this-summer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beale_street_at_night.jpg" alt="Beale street at night" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Time to travel is one of my greatest privileges and I'm always excited to explore a new destination. I'm keen to see the whole wide world, but more often than not I opt to stay local(ish) and set off on an adventure around our own beautiful country. America has many world-class destinations, for sure &mdash; New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Vegas &mdash; but I've always had an expectation-exceeding time in smaller cities that are frequently overlooked when people are planning their vacations.</p> <p>This summer, skip the major metro areas and pop into a city with a more down-to-earth and affordable appeal. Here are a few suggestions to get your wheels turning, each with a dynamic draw all their own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-these-12-summer-travel-mistakes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Avoid These 12 Summer Travel Mistakes</a>)</p> <h2>Detroit, Michigan</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/comerica_park.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>When I visited Detroit on my birthday last spring to catch a Tigers game, I expected to see an economically challenged city (as it is often portrayed), but what I experienced was an epicenter ripe with activity and promise. Millennials took advantage of the pleasant weather to exercise outside; business people moved in and out of shiny new restaurants; and construction crews worked diligently on projects, including commercial refurbs and new condo developments.</p> <p>I found so many things to love about Detroit &mdash; like the Tigers' stunning Comerica Park, one of the best burgers I've ever eaten at the casually upscale Town house restaurant, and the quality selection of vinyl record stores (where I picked up a few Motown albums, of course) &mdash; but what really piqued my interest was the undercover real estate opportunities in the area. Has anybody told the Millennials that they could have their avocado toast (and eat it, too) from the inside their newly constructed or renovated homes at seriously affordable prices? And with the median <a href="https://mic.com/articles/177299/the-5-best-us-cities-for-millennials-buying-their-first-home#.E4E7UDXr4" target="_blank">home value in Detroit being $138,700</a> with a forecast appreciation of 3.2%, you might want to consider relocating altogether. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-mid-sized-cities-for-millennials?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Mid-Sized Cities for Millennials</a>)</p> <h2>Columbus, Ohio</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/the_shoe.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Recently I was invited by Experience Columbus to visit its fine capital city so I could meet local entrepreneurs, dine in the city's diverse restaurants, and participate in activities that featured hands-on, take-home projects that anyone can enjoy. I had never been before, and I enjoyed all parts of the trip, but it was the latter focus that deserves attention here. I just <em>love</em> little craft projects!</p> <p>The activities in which I participated included: metal stamping keychains and necklaces in a jewelry-making class at The Smithery, designing my own scented candle at The Candle Lab (my signature scent is ginger ale, cilantro, and grapefruit, if you're interested in recreating it), and felting an alpaca- and sheep-fleece scarf after an afternoon excursion to a farm to meet the animals. All these activities are included on the Made in Cbus trail created by Experience Columbus.</p> <p>If you're dedicated to shopping local, it's also worth noting that Columbus's entrepreneur and maker community is extremely tight-knit. Like, thick as thieves. There's an uncommon amount of cross-branding and -marketing along with a palpable feeling of support for each other's work. It's the kind of thing that'll make you feel proud to spend your money there.</p> <h2>Memphis, Tennessee</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/beale_street_at_night.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>I was drawn to Memphis, Tennessee for two reasons: The flight was cheaper than the one to Nashville, and Memphis is the native home of my musical fave Justin Timberlake. Don't judge.</p> <p>I enjoyed plenty of music while I was in town, along with delicious food and a minor league baseball game courtesy of the Memphis Redbirds. I also discovered, to my surprise, a working community dedicated to helping each other while improving the environment. I spent my birthday volunteering on a farm that grows and harvests food specifically to feed those in need. If you'd like to get your hands dirty in Memphis, browse the available opportunities on <a href="https://www.volunteermatch.org/" target="_blank">VolunteerMatch.org</a>.</p> <h2>Asbury Park, New Jersey</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/asbury_park_boardwalk.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>I bought a home in Asbury Park four years ago because I saw the property-value growth potential, but it was also a nice place to kick back and relax when my life in Manhattan got too hectic. Two years ago, I gave up life in the big city to live in this quirky little city by the sea full-time. I'm glad I did.</p> <p>Asbury Park has a long and legendary history &mdash; from its heyday in the early 1900s up to the Great Depression to its association with Bruce Springsteen to its full-steam-ahead comeback that's been mounting for the past five years following the economic decline.</p> <p>Today, the city, which spans just 1.6 squares miles of the Jersey Shore, is home to an assortment of can't-go-wrong restaurants, a destination-worthy music and art scene, hotels the press can't stop talking about, retail shops with interesting and often handmade merch, a thriving night life and LGBT scene, and, of course, the sand and surf.</p> <p>Best of all, this &quot;Brooklyn by the beach,&quot; as it's been dubbed by locals is just a short car or train ride (less than two hours) from NYC, Philly, Atlantic City, the Poconos, and more. Come for a visit. You'll be impressed, I promise.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-underrated-us-cities-you-need-to-see-this-summer&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Underrated%2520U.S.%2520Cities%2520You%2520Need%2520to%2520See%2520This%2520Summer.jpg&amp;description=4%20Underrated%20U.S.%20Cities%20You%20Need%20to%20See%20This%20Summer"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Underrated%20U.S.%20Cities%20You%20Need%20to%20See%20This%20Summer.jpg" alt="4 Underrated U.S. Cities You Need to See This Summer" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-underrated-us-cities-you-need-to-see-this-summer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-these-12-summer-travel-mistakes">How to Avoid These 12 Summer Travel Mistakes</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/7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund">7 Affordable Family Getaways When You Don&#039;t Have a Vacation Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-exciting-ways-to-see-the-country-this-summer">8 Exciting Ways to See the Country This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-affordable-destinations-for-people-who-love-to-fish">8 Affordable Destinations for People Who Love to Fish</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-have-a-fun-family-road-trip-without-breaking-your-budget">How to Have a Fun Family Road Trip Without Breaking Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel best U.S. cities frugal travel local travel summer travel summer vacation travel tips Fri, 30 Jun 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1974321 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Have a Fun Family Road Trip Without Breaking Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-fun-family-road-trip-without-breaking-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-have-a-fun-family-road-trip-without-breaking-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_s_road_trip.jpg" alt="Family&#039;s road trip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've got your budget-friendly destination. You found the best hotel rate. You've got activities and meals in mind that won't eat up your savings. But what about the expense of the actual travel? From snacks to fuel to entertainment to handling the unexpected, these tips will help you keep costs low while you're on the road.</p> <h2>Be strategic with fuel</h2> <p>There's not much you can do to control the cost of fuel, but you can make sure your vehicle is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage?ref=internal" target="_blank">as fuel-efficient as possible</a>. The best way to do that is to keep your car well maintained. Keep up with regular oil changes and tire alignment, and your car will run cleaner, cooler, and have less drag.</p> <p>Also, don't wait until your tank is on empty and you're forced to use the nearest gas station. Instead, use a service like <a href="http://www.gasbuddy.com" target="_blank">GasBuddy</a> to find nearby gas stations with the best fuel prices. Plan your stops accordingly; if you're traveling with young kids, chances are one of them will need to use the restroom, anyway. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-road-trips?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Road Trips</a>)</p> <h2>Pack snacks and beverages</h2> <p>The most cost-efficient way to have plenty of snacks on a road trip is to bring your own. You can't be sure what fast food joint or gas station offers will be available. And how much beef jerky can you eat before you start to regret it? Buy or make your family's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-easy-to-make-grab-and-go-snacks?ref=internal" target="_blank">favorite snack foods</a> in bulk before you leave, then package into single servings. Choose snacks that make the least possible mess. It's much easier to vacuum up crumbs than it is to clean gummy, sticky stains from car upholstery.</p> <p>Water is the best beverage for road trips. Take a cooler with ice and a couple of one-gallon jugs filled with fresh water. Refill individual bottles as needed. Juice, tea, or soda will lead to endless needs for bathroom breaks. Coffee, of course, fuels many drivers, as well. I prefer to start the journey with my own home-brewed coffee in my travel mug. You can also pick up coffee to go from any restaurant or gas station for very little. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-15-road-trip-snacks-make-it-all-about-the-journey?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These 15 Road Trip Snacks Make It All About the Journey</a>)</p> <h2>Bring on-the-go entertainment</h2> <p>The biggest challenge for road trips with children is keeping them entertained. As with food, bringing your own entertainment options from home saves time and money.</p> <p>You don't need special items for road trip entertainment; you just need portable options. Mess-free art materials are great: colored pencils, washable markers, and sketchbooks. Download a selection of audiobooks before you go; <a href="https://librivox.org/" target="_blank">Librivox</a> offers hundreds for free. Update your music playlists, and download movies for them to watch on tablets you bring along. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-must-do-if-youre-traveling-with-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Things You Must Do If You're Traveling With Kids</a>)</p> <h2>Travel based on time of day</h2> <p>The best time of day to travel depends on time of the year, personal preference, destination, and the length of the trip. Many parents of young children find it easier to travel at night, when the kids will sleep for most of the way. That's a great option if the driver can stay awake.</p> <p>During the summer, driving at night can also keep the temperature lower, meaning less stress on the engine and better fuel efficiency. The calculable savings is minimal, so compare it to the increased coffee you'll require to drive all night before you make a decision.</p> <p>The other factor to consider is traffic. If your timing will have you entering a major city at rush hour, change it. Leave earlier, leave later, or plan an extended rest stop along the way. Sitting in traffic is uncomfortable and stressful, and the stop-and-go movement is hard on your car and fuel efficiency.</p> <h2>Prep for travel emergencies</h2> <p>Take <a href="http://amzn.to/2sdUPDD" target="_blank">baby wipes</a>. I cannot stress enough how handy, no, <em>how essential</em> a pack of baby wipes is in any car. Don't have a baby? Doesn't matter. Baby wipes will save the day in so many ways.</p> <p>Coffee spill? Baby wipe. Messy face? Baby wipe. No napkins from the takeout place? Baby wipes. Smelling a little less-than-fresh after eight hours on the road? Baby wipes.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-first-aid-kits" target="_blank">first aid kit</a> is essential, too. Buy a pre-packed one, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-items-you-might-have-forgot-in-your-emergency-kit?ref=internal" target="_blank">make your own</a> and keep it in the car. You can include the essential items you know you'll use the most, as well as any specialized care items you might need.</p> <p>The other item that can save you from excess stress and cost is a car emergency kit. You should have the supplies to change a tire as well as a spare tire, flares, and jumper cables. It's helpful to have a <a href="http://amzn.to/2tj2cd0" target="_blank">flashlight</a> and basic tools on hand, as well. I've found it's also helpful to have someone who's adept at changing tires. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-jump-starter-kits?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Jump Starter Kits</a>)</p> <p>Regardless of your skill level, though, preparation can save you in many ways. When you're prepared with snacks, entertainment, and emergency supplies you'll spend less and be more relaxed. That makes for a much better road trip.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-have-a-fun-family-road-trip-without-breaking-your-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Have%2520a%2520Fun%2520Family%2520Road%2520Trip%2520Without%2520Breaking%2520Your%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Have%20a%20Fun%20Family%20Road%20Trip%20Without%20Breaking%20Your%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Have%20a%20Fun%20Family%20Road%20Trip%20Without%20Breaking%20Your%20Budget.jpg" alt="How to Have a Fun Family Road Trip Without Breaking Your Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-fun-family-road-trip-without-breaking-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund">7 Affordable Family Getaways When You Don&#039;t Have a Vacation Fund</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/11-ways-to-get-the-most-value-from-your-all-inclusive-vacation">11 Ways to Get the Most Value From Your All-Inclusive 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/6-cheap-ways-to-entertain-your-kids-this-summer">6 Cheap Ways to Entertain Your Kids This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-these-12-summer-travel-mistakes">How to Avoid These 12 Summer Travel Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now">10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing For Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Travel family vacation frugal travel road trip saving money summer vacation travel vacation tips Thu, 29 Jun 2017 09:00:10 +0000 Annie Mueller 1974320 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Affordable Family Getaways When You Don't Have a Vacation Fund http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/parents_and_their_two_children_on_the_beach.jpg" alt="Parents and their two children on the beach" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Oops! It's already summer, and you have yet to save for a summer vacation. No worries. There are many ways you can still enjoy a family getaway on the cheap. If you get creative, adjust your expectations, and put in a little extra effort, you can get some much needed rest and relaxation without going into debt.</p> <h2>1. Gather last-minute funds</h2> <p>Maybe you haven't done your big spring clean-out. You can host a yard sale this weekend and get some cash for your old treasures. Check out local resale shops for clothing, children's items, and more. I've made a couple hundred dollars after a big clear out of toys and baby clothes to put toward time away. My husband is a teacher and has taken on summer gigs (like being a camp counselor) to make money to put toward travel.</p> <p>Sit down and write up a list of any and all the ways you think you might be able to make some quick cash. Other ideas include selling clothing on sites like Poshmark, finally rolling all that loose change, selling your unwanted event tickets on StubHub, and more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-make-money-today?ref=seealso" target="_blank">25 Ways to Make Money Today</a>)</p> <h2>2. Adjust your expectations</h2> <p>Consider approaching your usual vacation in a new way. Why not skip going out to eat and save a ton by trying to cook your way through each day? If you reserve a room or suite with a kitchen, this will be much easier. Try spending no more than you would on a normal week of groceries at home. Also, don't get sucked in by high-priced tourist attractions &mdash; many beaches and parks you'll find at your destination are free.</p> <p>There are many ways to cut dollars along your journey. If your hotel offers a free breakfast, take advantage. Call ahead to see if there are any perks included in your reservation, like free transportation, reduced ticket prices to local attractions, or special nightly events. If you have yet to secure your room, try staying a little farther away from the most alluring towns and attractions. Even driving 10 to 15 minutes can save you hundreds.</p> <h2>3. Check out your state</h2> <p>I recently researched everything the great state of New York has to offer in the way of travel. And I found plenty. Fresh water beaches on Lake Ontario. Majestic lake and mountain views in the Adirondacks. Romantic castles in the Thousand Islands region. Wineries and waterfalls in the Finger Lakes. There's so much to do within a couple hours of my front door, and I didn't even know it.</p> <p>Skip the pricey plane ticket and check out your state. You could plan a road trip visiting different regions, spending just a day or so in each area. Or you could choose the coolest thing you find and spend a couple days there. If you're not going to the more traditional vacation hot spots &mdash; the beach, for example &mdash; you may save a good chunk on hotels and eats.</p> <h2>4. Scope out campgrounds</h2> <p>If you have yet to try camping, you're missing out on an extremely inexpensive way to see the world. Try camping out at some of our country's National Parks. In fact, you can stay for an entire week at some of them for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks" target="_blank">less than $200</a>. Can't afford to go far? Check out state or even county parks. One of my favorites is in the Finger Lakes. Camping is dirt cheap, yet the setting gives you million dollar views and free swimming to boot.</p> <p>If you're not the outdoorsy type, some campgrounds offer glamping, aka glamorous camping, in cabins, yurts, and other accommodations that will feel more indoors than tent camping. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-on-your-next-glamping-trip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Save on Your Next Glamping Trip</a>)</p> <h2>5. Go in with a friend (or two)</h2> <p>My family is actually taking a trip with another family this summer. We're both on a limited budget. Our kids are the same ages, and we like doing a lot of the same things. So, we hunted around to find a house rental to split in the Catskills. One of our shared interests is cooking, so we've already planned our homemade meals for the week. The house is close to the municipal pool, so that will be great for cooling off and it only costs a few dollars for a weekly pass.</p> <p>What do we plan to do for entertainment? Mostly just hang out. If you are close enough to certain friends or even family, sharing space can be a huge money-saver. And you'll have so much fun being together that you won't need to spend money to find things to do. If you're really strapped, your friends may even offer to let you come visit them for free. We've also done that in the past, and it was so much fun.</p> <h2>6. Consider day tripping</h2> <p>Who says you have to spend the night to get away? There are tons of places you can pack up and go for the day and get some much-needed R&amp;R. I like to go the old fashioned way and look at a physical map of my area. I have drawn a radius that gets us places in two or three hours (or less). In my circle, I can hit up gorgeous gorges and wineries in Ithaca, NY. Spend the day trekking around Philadelphia or New York City. We can even jaunt down to the Crayola Factory or Hershey Park for the kids.</p> <p>One of my close friends cannot afford to go on a full vacation in the summer. So, she takes her family on an incredible day trip most weekends. She packs lunch and snacks, too. Her kids absolutely love the adventures they find, and it keeps the fun going all summer long.</p> <h2>7. Research housesitting</h2> <p>Another friend of mine recently offered us her apartment near the Flatiron district of NYC because she needs a house- and cat-sitter while she backpacks around Europe. Unfortunately, we're not able to go. But seriously! What an amazing opportunity to spend a week in the heart of the City for basically nothing.</p> <p>Did you know that people post house-sitting gigs online? It's a great way to get a super awesome vacation, and fast. Try searching around on Craigslist or targeted sites like House Sitting America or Care.com. You can even put out a call on your Facebook to see if any friends are in need of this service. Gigs vary from place to place, but many will let you bring your pets and family. Some even pay you for your caretaking services. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-landing-the-perfect-house-sitting-gig?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Tips for Landing the Perfect House-Sitting Gig</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Affordable%2520Family%2520Getaways%2520When%2520You%2520Dont%2520Have%2520a%2520Vacation%2520Fund.jpg&amp;description=7%20Affordable%20Family%20Getaways%20When%20You%20Dont%20Have%20a%20Vacation%20Fund"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Affordable%20Family%20Getaways%20When%20You%20Dont%20Have%20a%20Vacation%20Fund.jpg" alt="7 Affordable Family Getaways When You Don't Have a Vacation Fund" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund">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-have-a-fun-family-road-trip-without-breaking-your-budget">How to Have a Fun Family Road Trip Without Breaking Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-places-to-take-the-family-for-spring-break">8 Great Places to Take the Family for 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/how-to-avoid-these-12-summer-travel-mistakes">How to Avoid These 12 Summer Travel Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-underrated-us-cities-you-need-to-see-this-summer">4 Underrated U.S. Cities You Need to See This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cheap-ways-to-entertain-your-kids-this-summer">6 Cheap Ways to Entertain Your Kids This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Travel family trips family vacation frugal travel getaways summer vacation travel tips Fri, 09 Jun 2017 08:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1961114 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Avoid These 12 Summer Travel Mistakes http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-these-12-summer-travel-mistakes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-avoid-these-12-summer-travel-mistakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-623691410.jpg" alt="summer travelers" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Planning to get away this summer? Conserve your cash on general expenses so you can spend more on the things you'd like to do. Some pricey travel hiccups are unavoidable, but most of them you can definitely sidestep with a little bit of planning. Here are 12 tips on how to avoid costly travel mistakes.</p> <h2>1. Booking your entire hotel stay with one reservation</h2> <p>Like the stock market, nightly hotel rates fluctuate based on demand, time of year, and other factors, which means that you may not be getting the very best deal if you book the entire length of your stay in one reservation.</p> <p>In fact, you could save up to 40 percent off your entire stay by playing with your booking dates within the reservation system before you commit. For example, a five-night reservation at a popular hotel may book for $190 per night, but if you book the transaction as a one-night <em>and</em> a four-night reservation, the nightly rate drops to $127 the first night and $126 per night for the additional four nights. A great site to help you master this technique is <a href="https://findoptimal.com/en/" target="_blank">FindOptimal.com</a>, which will use its patent-pending technology to optimize your saving potential by providing cost-cutting solutions over two reservations instead of a single booking.</p> <h2>2. Overbooking your activity itinerary</h2> <p>I'm a planner through and through. My vacation days are jam-packed the moment I arrive at my destination, sometimes to the dismay of my travel partners who prefer a more leisurely approach to new-area exploration. While staying busy and active on vacation is my idea of a good time, I can admit that my tight schedule has hit a few snags in the past. Things don't always go according to plan and I've lost money on activity reservations because I was just too tired to do one more thing that day. Avoid this mistake by creating a loose itinerary ahead of time &mdash; do your research but don't lock down everything hour by hour unless it's something that's only offered on specific dates and times, or is in danger of being sold out. Once you have what you'd like to do on paper, fill in when you'd like to do them once you've arrived and are settled.</p> <h2>3. Over-packing things you don't need</h2> <p>Over-packing can present several dilemmas over the course of your trip, starting with the cost of exceeding the 50-pound checked bag limit before boarding your flight. If you're unable to transfer the overage to other bags you may be carrying, you will be required to pay up. Not a great start to your vacation. Then you have to lug that luggage around with you wherever you go, and you'll curse the day you bought that extra pair of shoes when you're hunched over like Quasimodo because you've carried the equivalent of a well-fed preteen on your back for miles.</p> <p>Let's not forget the trip home either. Now you have to buy an additional bag or leave clothing and accessories behind to make room for the items you've acquired during your travels. You can avoid all this hassle by editing your bag before you ever leave your house. Pack it, let it sit for a day so you can think about everything thing that's in it, then revisit it and pare down to only the essentials. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-should-always-pack-in-your-carry-on?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Things You Should Always Pack in Your Carry-On</a>)</p> <h2>4. Racking up international transaction fees</h2> <p>While abroad, you could get slammed with international fees for both your credit and debit cards. Call your card providers to understand their international fees, and consider getting a new card if your current ones don't have good rates for overseas purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards with Zero Foreign Transaction Fees</a>)</p> <p>&quot;Be sure to set a travel notice for your credit card so that your provider doesn't lock your account on suspicion of fraud,&quot; adds Benjamin Glaser, features editor for shopping-comparison site DealNews. &quot;For debit cards, find your bank's international ATM partners. You will still get charged a fee every time you withdraw money, but you will avoid an additional fee for going out of network.&quot;</p> <p>It's also a good idea to keep at least $100 cash on you at all times during vacation for emergency situations. You don't want to be S.O.L. if your card is declined or if it gets lost or stolen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Travel Perks You Didn't Know Your Credit Card Had</a>)</p> <h2>5. Traveling solo</h2> <p>I thoroughly enjoy dining alone and going shopping or to see a movie by myself, but when I travel I prefer to have a partner. For starters, how spectacular will my trip be if I don't have anyone with whom to share my experiences? Secondly, traveling with a companion cuts almost all expenses in half, including lodging, grocery bills, ground transport fares, and more. The buddy system is always a more economical option if you practice good personal finance, in my opinion.</p> <h2>6. Waiting to book ground transportation at your destination</h2> <p>A few years ago I traveled to Memphis, Tennessee, for my birthday and decided to book the car at the destination airport. <em>It's Memphis</em>, I thought to myself, how many people are renting cars here? Big mistake. Murphy's Law dictates then when I think something stupid like that, all the cars are sold out when I arrive. As such, I had to pay a premium for the car they were able to find me, which was a major letdown and an expensive annoyance.</p> <p>Booking ahead also applies to chauffeured transportation to avoid higher-than-standard rates on the ground.</p> <p>&quot;In many cases you can order a shared or private transfer at a lower cost than taking a taxi,&quot; says Isar Meitis, president of travel-booking site Last Minute Travel. &quot;Plus, you can have a designated driver waiting with your name, saving you a lot of time, and, in many cases, money. Also, many tourist attractions are cheaper if you book them prior, compared to a 'walk-in.' For a family with kids, these savings add up very quickly. In addition, these tickets can usually be picked up from a will-call kiosk or booth, which also means you don't have to wait in lines.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Dining out for most meals</h2> <p>One of the most budget-draining parts of your vacation is food, especially if you're eating out for most of your meals. You already know this. But you can cut the fat &mdash; literally and figuratively &mdash; by taking advantage of the complimentary breakfast that may be included with your hotel stay, locating free happy hour snacks and deals in the area (many hotels are now offering a free wine reception in the afternoons for guests); and buying groceries locally that you can make in the kitchen at your accommodations. And I always consult Groupon and Restaurant.com for discounts before choosing where I'll eat. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-secrets-to-eating-great-food-for-cheap-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Secrets to Eating Great Food for Cheap While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>8. Leaving the hotel fridge stocked</h2> <p>Minibars are problematic if you have self-control issues, or children. It's easy to ravage these goodies when you're famished, and eventually you'll give in to your kids begging to get at the gummy bears in the bear-shaped bottle. Your resistance is futile, in fact.</p> <p>&quot;Hotel fridges can come in handy, but they can also be expensive &mdash; especially with hungry little ones looking for a drink or snack,&quot; says Lissa Poirot, editor-in-chief of travel-review site Family Vacation Critic. &quot;Many times, the cost of a single in-room water bottle is the same cost as what you'd spend on a full case of water &mdash; so take advantage of that. Ask your hotel to clear out the in-room fridge &mdash; they can do that &mdash; and then fill it with your own supplies.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Assuming you're locked into your original reservations</h2> <p>Airlines and travel-booking sites have given us cause to pause before canceling our reservations, because they hit us straight in the pocket if we want to make an amendment to our itineraries. But that's not always the case, and it's worth investigating the fine print of your reservations if you've since found a way to save additional cash.</p> <p>&quot;Most hotel bookings today are refundable, up to almost the very last minute,&quot; Meitis says. &quot;Even after a booking was made, if a traveler can find a better deal, they can make the same reservation for less, and then cancel the original reservation. Obviously, the traveler needs to first verify he or she is not within penalty at the time of cancellation.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</a>)</p> <h2>10. Traveling to popular summer destinations during peak season</h2> <p>The term &quot;peak season&quot; is enough to keep me away, and you should avoid the high time at popular destinations, too. Not only will you pay far and above for just about everything you would during the offseason &mdash; from transportation to lodging to gas &mdash; but you'll have a heck of a time getting around and staying sane. If traffic and hourslong waits in line at amusements don't drive you crazy, your restless companions will. Do yourself a favor a book the road less traveled.</p> <h2>11. Failing to budget for extra costs on cruises and at resorts</h2> <p>While you might have snagged a great cruise or resort fare, it's important to keep in mind additional costs when budgeting for your trip. You never want to be caught off-guard when you're just about broke at the end of your journey. Avoid sticker shock by familiarizing yourself with all additional costs on a cruise or at the resort in advance.</p> <p>&quot;Gratuities are one of the top costs that can catch travelers by surprise,&quot; explains Colleen McDaniel, senior executive editor of CruiseCritic.com. &quot;While it can be quite convenient not worrying about tipping while onboard, remember that gratuities are automatically added to your final bill, generally on a per person, per day basis. The total cost can add up to hundreds, maybe more, depending on the number of guests in your party and the number of days you're sailing.&quot;</p> <p>Take that cost into account when budgeting for your trip to be sure that deal really is as great as it seems. Other added costs to consider include beverages, internet, shore excursions, and alternative dining. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-travel-expenses-you-forgot-to-budget-for?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Travel Expenses You Forgot to Budget For</a>)</p> <h2>12. Overreliance on your mapping apps</h2> <p>I traveled to Costa Rica once where my husband and I rented a car to drive from our first stop at a resort below the Arenal Volcano to a beach resort a few hours away in Guanacaste. We decided to follow new friends on their newly planned scenic route, but when it turned out to be much longer than anticipated, we broke off from the group to get back on an easier path. We plugged the destination into Google Maps, which we assumed would choose the most efficient route, but our choice was ill-advised. The service cut us across the country through about 30 miles of very rocky and mountainous rural terrain that, frankly, scared us half to death.</p> <p>Asad Raza, co-founder of the travel blog Off the Beaten Trails, offers a similar warning against relying too heavily on mapping services when you're in foreign territory.</p> <p>&quot;We planned to go to Hoota Cave in Oman and decided to check the route on Google Maps and follow it,&quot; he recalls. &quot;Unfortunately, the route given was only accessible with a four-wheel drive and we just had a saloon car [<em>that's a sedan in the U.S.</em>]. It wasn't until we consulted with a local that we found the right route to follow. We ended up wasting four to five hours.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;We learned that we should not <em>only</em> rely on Google Maps, but also should do plenty of research and always be ready to consult with locals,&quot; Raza adds.</p> <p>Sound advice for staying alive while traveling, for sure.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-avoid-these-12-summer-travel-mistakes&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Avoid%2520These%252012%2520Summer%2520Travel%2520Mistakes.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Avoid%20These%2012%20Summer%20Travel%20Mistakes"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Avoid%20These%2012%20Summer%20Travel%20Mistakes.jpg" alt="How to Avoid These 12 Summer Travel Mistakes" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-these-12-summer-travel-mistakes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-underrated-us-cities-you-need-to-see-this-summer">4 Underrated U.S. Cities You Need to See This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-on-your-next-glamping-trip">5 Ways to Save on Your Next Glamping Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-save-and-make-money-while-traveling">12 Ways to Save and Make Money While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund">7 Affordable Family Getaways When You Don&#039;t Have a Vacation Fund</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-have-a-fun-family-road-trip-without-breaking-your-budget">How to Have a Fun Family Road Trip Without Breaking Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel costly mistakes frugal travel saving money summer travel summer vacation travel budget travel hacks travel tips Thu, 08 Jun 2017 08:30:18 +0000 Mikey Rox 1961856 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Affordable Destinations for Nature Lovers http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-destinations-for-nature-lovers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-affordable-destinations-for-nature-lovers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_laughing_on_the_trolltunga.jpg" alt="Girl laughing on the Trolltunga" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you love the great outdoors, you don't want to look back on this brief, beautiful summer as a time spent inside crowded movie theaters or waiting in long lines at amusement parks. But maybe this isn't the year that you can afford to take that naturalist-guided Galapagos Islands excursion, either.</p> <p>No worries! There are many affordable places stateside where you can get off the grid without spending extravagantly. Some of these destinations have cushy lodging available, if that's your jam, but you also have the option to rough-it on a more modest budget.</p> <h2>1. California's Sierra country, other than Tahoe</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/kings_river_in_sequoia_national_park_california.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you visit Lake Tahoe in the summer, you'll love the crystalline waters, but hate the traffic and the brunch prices. Smart Californians know that you can enjoy the Sierra's fresh, piney breezes more affordably (and peacefully) from the shores of any number of less famous alpine lakes.</p> <p>Stay at the <a href="https://www.mslodge.com/" target="_blank">Montecito Sequoia Lodge &amp; Family Camp</a>, where a room that sleeps four or more is under $300 a night including meals and activities such as guided hikes through giant sequoias, bouldering, and stand-up paddleboarding in their private lake.</p> <h2>2. Kodachrome State Park, Utah</h2> <h2><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/kodachrome_storm.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></h2> <p>Many a dreamed-of National Park vacation has been spoiled by the reality that lodging books up really, really early. A great workaround &mdash; and often a money saver &mdash; is checking out state and county parks in the same region.</p> <p>Located just outside Bryce Canyon National Park (one of Utah's Big Five) much-smaller Kodachrome gets its name from its 67 flashily-pigmented stone spires. You can <a href="https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/kodachrome-basin/park-campground/" target="_blank">camp in the park ($17-$30 per night)</a> and take a trail ride through the red canyon past the gaudy spires, then take day trips into neighboring Bryce, famous for its hoodoo rock formations, and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, known for the series of colorful plateaus, and the Wave, an undulating expanse of pulled-taffy-like sandstone that you have to win a daily lottery to hike.</p> <h2>3. Anchorage, Alaska</h2> <h2><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/anchorage.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></h2> <p>The largest city in the state for a nature lover's getaway? Well, yes, when the state is Alaska and that largest metropolis has just over 300,000 people. Right in town, 1,400-acre Kincaid Park is home to moose, porcupines, lynx, and eagles. Chugach State Park, one of the largest in the United States, begins just seven miles from downtown, and contains mountains, ferns, wildflowers, forests, ptarmigan, and brown and black bears.</p> <p>Modestly-priced hotels in Anchorage include the $140-a-night <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g31000-d10662666-Reviews-Ski_Inn-Girdwood_Anchorage_Alaska.html" target="_blank">Ski Inn</a>. Anchorage is pretty far from the rest of the United States, but getting there need not be a bank-breaker. Alaska Airlines offers flights from San Francisco and other lower-48 cities for under $400 round-trip, depending on dates.</p> <h2>4. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida</h2> <h2><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/dry_tortugas_island.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></h2> <p>Would you like to camp under a palm tree on a white sand beach, under a star-studded sky 70 miles from the mainland? What if I told you it only <a href="https://www.nps.gov/drto/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm" target="_blank">costs $15 a night</a>? It really does, at one of the most isolated national parks in the lower 48.</p> <p>Activities include snorkeling coral reefs among young barracuda, lobsters, and tropical fish; birding; and watching for the adorable sea turtles that give the park its name.</p> <p>The campground fee isn't the only expense of a Dry Tortuga getaway. The ferry from the mainland will set you back <a href="https://www.drytortugas.com/rates-reservations/" target="_blank">$195 round-trip</a> &mdash; but it includes breakfast, lunch, and the use of snorkeling equipment.</p> <h2>5. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/sleeping_bear_dunes_national_lakeshore.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Including sand dunes 400 feet above Lake Michigan and offshore islands, this lovely area is home to pine forests, abandoned farms reverting back to meadowland, the occasional bobcat, and wildflowers such as cowslips and St. John's Wort.</p> <p>Stay at a rural inn like the <a href="http://www.duneswood.com/rooms.html" target="_blank">Duneswood Resort</a> for $100-$200 a night, or in one of the many hotels in Traverse City, where you can stroll the charming downtown. In early July, the city holds its <a href="http://www.cherryfestival.org/our-events/2017-tickets" target="_blank">Cherry Festival</a>, with an air show, concerts, and foodie events.</p> <h2>6. Cannon Beach, Oregon</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/indian_beach_in_ecola_state_park.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>From a single platform at Ecola State Park on this Oregon Coast spot, you can view gray whales, bald eagles, and brown pelicans. At dusk, moose emerge to graze in the park. On the beach, tide pools teem with life that the ocean left behind, including sea stars, hermit crabs, and sometimes even spiny little sea urchins. The best pools are around <a href="http://friendsofhaystackrock.org/haystack-rock-awareness-program/marine-garden-refuge/" target="_blank">Haystack Rock</a>, a 235-foot-tall arrowhead-shaped rock sticking out of the ocean that you can walk to at low tide.</p> <p>Nearby hotels range from $100-$200 or so per night.</p> <h2>7. Joshua Tree National Park, California</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/joshua_tree_national_park_at_sunset_usa.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Don't be fooled into thinking there's nothing to see in the desert &mdash; or that all desert nature is the same. In fact, this <a href="https://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/night-sky-festival.htm" target="_blank">Southern California national park</a> sits at the confluence of two distinct desert ecosystems, the low Colorado and the high Mojave. Admire the Seussian trees the park is named for; explore boulder piles, desert washes, and strange rock formations; and gaze at some of the most spectacular night skies you'll see anywhere.</p> <p>You can camp in the park, or stay at the <a href="http://www.campbellhouse29palms.com/" target="_blank">Campbell House</a> bed and breakfast outside the gate for about $150 a night, which gives you the ability to cool off in a swimming pool after hikes.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-affordable-destinations-for-nature-lovers&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Affordable%2520Destinations%2520for%2520Nature%2520Lovers.jpg&amp;description=7%20Affordable%20Destinations%20for%20Nature%20Lovers"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Affordable%20Destinations%20for%20Nature%20Lovers.jpg" alt="7 Affordable Destinations for Nature Lovers" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-destinations-for-nature-lovers">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/4-affordable-autumn-destinations-for-nature-lovers">4 Affordable Autumn Destinations for Nature Lovers</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/11-ways-to-get-the-most-value-from-your-all-inclusive-vacation">11 Ways to Get the Most Value From Your All-Inclusive 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/8-affordable-destinations-for-people-who-love-to-fish">8 Affordable Destinations for People Who Love to Fish</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/10-travel-destinations-for-people-who-hate-crowds">10 Travel Destinations for People Who Hate Crowds</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-avoid-these-12-summer-travel-mistakes">How to Avoid These 12 Summer Travel Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel affordable travel frugal travel get outside nature nature lovers travel travel destinations travel tips Wed, 07 Jun 2017 08:00:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1961112 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Great Places to Take the Family for Spring Break http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-places-to-take-the-family-for-spring-break <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-great-places-to-take-the-family-for-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-477325706.jpg" alt="Finding great places to take the family for Spring Break" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's hard to believe, but spring is just around the corner, and that means planning your spring vacation. Unfortunately, traveling during peak travel weeks like Spring Break can be costly if you don't shop around. But there are plenty of destinations that offer superior value and family-friendly activities your kids will love.</p> <p>Here are eight warm-weather destinations that fit the bill for the perfect Spring Break trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-take-a-frugal-grownup-spring-break?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Ways to Take a Frugal Grown-up Spring Break</a>)</p> <h2>1. Orlando, Florida</h2> <p>The sheer number of hotels and resorts in and around Orlando makes this family-friendly city a superb option for Spring Break. Finding a good deal is easy with so many properties to choose from. Plus, three-star hotels start at just $130 per night.</p> <p>Orlando is also thick with activities for the entire family, and they extend far beyond just expensive Disney parks. Not only can you splurge for tickets to the Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom, but you can take your kids to water parks, Sea World Orlando, and museums like Ripley's Believe it or Not. And if you have a rental car, several family-friendly beaches are just a few hours away.</p> <h2>2. Tampa, Florida</h2> <p>Tampa, Florida is easy to get to since many major airlines offer nonstop flights from major hubs. Plus, a three-star beachfront hotel can cost as little as $130 per night during the last week of March.</p> <p>Aside from the beach, kids will have plenty to do in and around Tampa. The city itself is home to a Busch Gardens theme park, an aquarium, and the famous Lowry Park Zoo.</p> <h2>3. Orange Beach, Alabama</h2> <p>Orange Beach's location along the gulf coast makes it an easy drive from many parts of the Midwest. Orange Beach is only 14 hours from Chicago and 11 hours from St. Louis, for example.</p> <p>This beach town is brimming with cheap rental condos you can book on Airbnb or VRBO.com. There are also dozens of inexpensive family-friendly restaurants in Orange Beach, as well as the neighboring city of Gulf Shores.</p> <p>You can play mini golf, visit the local petting zoo, or take a dolphin sighting tour. But what you'll really want to do is sit back and relax on the world's whitest, sandiest beach while your kids play in the surf.</p> <h2>4. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina</h2> <p>Myrtle Beach is another warm weather spot where cheap hotels are plentiful. You can find numerous hotel deals at three-star properties for less than $100 per night.</p> <p>For example, the Sand Dunes Resort &amp; Spa sits on the beach and hosts its own small water park with a lazy river, yet costs less than $90 per night during the last week of March. Even the 3.5 star Litchfield Beach &amp; Golf Resort costs less than $100 per night during Spring Break, and that's despite its beach access and on-site amenities like a water park, tennis, and golf.</p> <p>If you tire of your resort, you can keep the kids busy on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, at one of the seasonal water parks, or the Family Kingdom Amusement Park.</p> <h2>5. South Padre Island, Texas</h2> <p>South Padre Island is home to numerous vacation condos, plus plenty of low-cost hotels perfect for families. The Schlitterbahn Beach Resort, for example, complements its beachfront location with a huge lazy river and water park, yet comes with rates as low as $130 per night.</p> <p>South Padre Island is home to the famous Gravity Adventure Park theme park, baby sea turtle releases, and beach sports galore. There's also a Birding and Nature Center so you can observe birds and other wildlife in their natural, wetland environments.</p> <h2>6. Gatlinburg, Tennessee</h2> <p>Despite the huge fires that tore through much of Gatlinburg and the Smokies recently, the city is once again open for business. Not every attraction is open quite yet, but most are.</p> <p>You can still enjoy the beautiful mountain backdrop, head out for a hike, or visit Riley's Aquarium of the Smokies. The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster, Space Needle, and Mirror Maze are all open, too. Most of the major restaurants and haunts for locals were also unscathed by the fire, as well.</p> <p>Obviously, Gatlinburg needs to bring tourism back, and this means low prices for the time being. Right now, Expedia shows affordable prices ($100 or less) for nearly all three-star Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge hotels for the last week of March.</p> <h2>7. Atlantic City, New Jersey</h2> <p>Atlantic City may not come with the warm weather you hoped for during Spring Break, but it can be downright cheap. At the moment, numerous hotels and vacation condos can be found for less than $100 per night.</p> <p>Fortunately, there's plenty to do in Atlantic City far from the flashy casinos. Take the kids out to explore the Atlantic City Boardwalk or to the Steel Pier Amusement Park. You'll also find many family-friendly restaurants, arcades, and more.</p> <h2>8. San Diego, California</h2> <p>San Diego may not seem like a frugal Spring Break spot, but it has enough lodging options and activities to make the cut. Plenty of hotels in San Diego and surrounding neighborhoods cost less than $100 per night during Spring Break.</p> <p>The big value in San Diego is just how much there is to do. The city is home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and LEGOLAND. And the area's beautiful beaches, stretching from San Diego all the way down to La Jolla will blow you away. With the proximity to the beach, you can spend days playing in the surf and relaxing with the whole family.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-great-places-to-take-the-family-for-spring-break&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%20Great%20Places%20to%20Take%20the%20Family%20for%20Spring%20Break.jpg&amp;description=8%20Great%20Places%20to%20Take%20the%20Family%20for%20Spring%20Break" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <div align="center">&nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Great%20Places%20to%20Take%20the%20Family%20for%20Spring%20Break.jpg" alt="8 Great Places to Take the Family for Spring Break" width="250" height="374" align="middle" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-places-to-take-the-family-for-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/7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund">7 Affordable Family Getaways When You Don&#039;t Have a Vacation Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-fun-family-road-trip-without-breaking-your-budget">How to Have a Fun Family Road Trip Without Breaking Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-these-12-summer-travel-mistakes">How to Avoid These 12 Summer Travel Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-40-best-budget-friendly-travel-tips-ever">Flashback Friday: 40 Best Budget-Friendly Travel Tips Ever</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-spring-break-destinations-that-wont-break-the-bank">7 Spring Break Destinations That Won&#039;t Break the Bank</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Travel family vacation frugal travel spring break spring break destinations travel budget travel tips Mon, 06 Mar 2017 10:30:37 +0000 Holly Johnson 1902770 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 40 Best Budget-Friendly Travel Tips Ever http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-40-best-budget-friendly-travel-tips-ever <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-40-best-budget-friendly-travel-tips-ever" 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_camera_499233540.jpg" alt="Woman finding best budget-friendly travel tips" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life gets hectic, work gets overwhelming, and we all daydream about packing our bags and jetting off to another country. Travel isn't just an escape, either. It's a love affair that enriches the soul and expands the mind by getting thrown into the middle of other cultures. Wanderlust doesn't need to suck your bank account dry, though. Here's how to do it on the cheap.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_beach_vacation_538041934.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays?ref=fbf">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</a> &mdash; Saving money on hotel stays has nothing to do with knowing a secret password provided directly by the owner or using a celebrity's name. You can reduce your overall hotel bill by making easy, simple moves when you book and at checkout.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-save-on-travel-gear?ref=fbf">7 Easy Ways to Save on Travel Gear</a> &mdash; Depending on where you're going, you might need certain travel gear to take along. Luckily, you don't need to sacrifice quality when shopping for said gear. You just need the right shopping strategy.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock-502640028.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-surprising-skill-that-can-save-you-money-when-you-travel?ref=fbf">One Surprising Skill That Can Save You Money When You Travel</a> &mdash; Nobody wants to look like an obvious tourist in another country. So to blend in, there's one skill that can help you save money, mingle with the locals, and see the coolest sights. Master it, and you're in.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-affordable-travel-items-that-you-shouldnt-leave-home-without?ref=fbf">9 Affordable Travel Items That You Shouldn't Leave Home Without</a> &mdash; So you want to pack light, eh? I feel you. However, these travel items are budget-friendly, and extremely helpful when you're on the road. Don't leave home without them!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock-613104682.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eat-these-6-foods-to-stay-healthy-while-traveling?ref=fbf">Eat These 6 Foods to Stay Healthy While Traveling</a> &mdash; Travel and healthy eating typically do not mix. Blame the vacation mentality, as it makes you feel like immortal royals who can consume endless amounts of salty grub and booze without any health repercussions. Since you're not a vampire with a sack full of cash, make sure to keep these healthy foods on you at all times and you'll fare better throughout your trip, and beyond.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time?ref=fbf">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</a> &mdash; Booking flights is like a dance, and scoring a cheap flight to a faraway land is like executing a flawless pirouette with zero ballet experience. It's tricky, but not impossible. It takes practice, patience, and guidance from an expert. Lucky for you, we have a stellar expert to guide you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-40-best-budget-friendly-travel-tips-ever">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-avoid-these-12-summer-travel-mistakes">How to Avoid These 12 Summer Travel Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online">8 Ways to Save on Accommodations Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund">7 Affordable Family Getaways When You Don&#039;t Have a Vacation Fund</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-affordable-destinations-for-nature-lovers">7 Affordable Destinations for Nature Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-underrated-us-cities-you-need-to-see-this-summer">4 Underrated U.S. Cities You Need to See This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel fbf flashback friday frugal travel save money travel hacks travel tips Fri, 03 Feb 2017 10:30:33 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1885877 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Frugal Destinations for a Dreamy Winter Getaway http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-destinations-for-a-dreamy-winter-getaway <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-frugal-destinations-for-a-dreamy-winter-getaway" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-490080588.jpg" alt="frugal winter getaways" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Winter is chock-full of fun activities and pastimes to enjoy with the whole family &mdash; including sledding, snowball fights, and watching the ball drop on New Year's Eve. But if you tire of the cold weather easily, the winter wonderland outside might get old quickly, especially after the holidays are over.</p> <p>To break up the chilly monotony, a lot of families plan a winter getaway somewhere warm. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the <a href="http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/america_on_the_go/us_holiday_travel/html/entire.html">Thanksgiving and Christmas travel weeks are the busiest</a> of the year.</p> <p>If you're able to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-winter-travel-destinations-that-wont-break-the-bank">book your winter travel</a> during the holidays, doing so should save you money. If you have kids in school, however, it might be hard to escape the higher price tag. Either way, it helps to know which warm weather destinations offer the best deals. Before you book your winter getaway, check out these eight cheap spots around the world.</p> <h2>1. Mexico</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/mexico_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Mexico offers an array of activities for beach-lovers and adventure-seekers alike. Swim in a <em>cenote</em>, go zip-lining, or simply relax on a beautiful palm-lined beach.</p> <p>Cities like Mazatlan offer beauty and comfort at crazy-low prices all winter long. Three-star hotels start at just $80 per night &mdash; even over the Christmas holiday. To get a beachfront room, however, rates start at around $98 per night. Since Mazatlan has its own airport, flights tend to be affordable, too. This winter, plan to pay around $400 for round-trip airfare to Mazatlan from most major cities.</p> <h2>2. Cuba</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/cuba.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Now that travel to Cuba is more feasible for American tourists, a world of hotel and travel options have become available. Plenty of airlines including: Spirit, JetBlue, United, and Delta have flights to Cuba running or in the works with round-trip fares as low as $400 over winter break.</p> <p>Cuban hotels run the gamut right along with the prices they charge. Count on paying around $50 per night, per person, for a lower end property, and more for something beachfront or all-inclusive.</p> <h2>3. Dominican Republic</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/domenican_rupublic.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The Dominican Republic is known for its beautiful beaches, fun and upbeat culture, and of course, low hotel rates. Even during the winter season, you can score a cheap deal on a hotel or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-all-inclusive-vacations-and-cruises-worth-the-money">all-inclusive resort</a>. According to Expedia.com, you'll pay an average of <a href="https://www.expedia.com/Hotel-Search?paandi=true#adults=2&amp;star=30&amp;regionId=601906">$135 for a three-star hotel</a> over winter break.</p> <p>New flight options have made getting there a lot easier, and cheaper. Lots of major airlines fly to the Dominican Republic, including American Airlines, United, Delta, and even Southwest.</p> <h2>4. Florida</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/ft_lauderdale.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Don't overlook Florida as a cheap travel destination this winter. Outside of the big resort towns, there's a ton of value to be had. If you can drive there, you'll save a bundle. But even if you have to fly, you can find a low fare. With Southwest Airlines, for example, flights into Fort Lauderdale or Orlando from select U.S. cities cost as little as $240 over winter break.</p> <p>Three-star hotels in towns like <a href="https://www.expedia.com/Hotel-Search?#&amp;destination=Hollywood,%20Florida&amp;startDate=&amp;endDate=&amp;regionId=6076&amp;latLong=26.019087,-80.164662&amp;adults=1">Hollywood, Florida start as low as $200</a>, according to Expedia. You can also book a cheap, last minute rental through VRBO or Airbnb if you want to save money by preparing your own meals.</p> <h2>5. Arizona</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/arizona.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>There may not be any beaches in Arizona, but it is warm. Fortunately, Arizona is fairly cheap, too, even over winter break. If you can drive there, you can obviously save a lot of money.</p> <p>A three-star hotel in Tempe, Scottsdale, Phoenix, or Mesa starts at around $122 per night. That leaves plenty of cash leftover to enjoy the great outdoors and the many natural marvels nearby.</p> <h2>6. Jamaica</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/jamaica_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Flights into Montego Bay cost as little as $400 during some parts of winter break, depending on where you're coming from. It helps to be flexible, both in terms of your travel dates and your departure city.</p> <p>Meanwhile, three-star hotels in Montego Bay start at just $162 per night during winter break, while all-inclusive resorts (including food, drinks, and entertainment) offer rates as low as $199 per night. A beachfront stay at a property like Doctor's Cave Beach hotel starts at just $111 per night, and that's over the New Year's holiday!</p> <h2>7. Southern California</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/california.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Flights into most southern California airports like LAX and SAN start at just $360 if you're flexible with travel dates over the winter holiday. This is partly because you're rushing against the crowd. Where most people are heading south or to the Caribbean, your southern Cali trip takes you in the opposite direction.</p> <p>Hotel prices vary greatly depending on where you stay. If you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chill-your-sunscreen-and-25-other-beach-trip-hacks">need a beachfront spot</a>, you can expect to pay more. Obviously, you'll pay less if you're slightly flexible.</p> <h2>8. Egypt</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/egypt.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Feel like turning winter break into an adventure? Egypt is offering crazy-low prices on everything this holiday season. In the resort region of Sharm el-Sheikh, for example, three-star resorts start at around $33 USD per night and the average five-star hotel costs around $157. You can even stay at an all-inclusive hotel like the <a href="https://www.expedia.com/Sharm-El-Sheikh-Hotels-Club-Reef-All-Inclusive.h4512940.Hotel-Information?chkin=12%2F29%2F2016&amp;chkout=12%2F31%2F2016&amp;rm1=a2&amp;hwrqCacheKey=c48d5702-9b58-4707-8ab5-84fddd25c422HWRQ1475865626261&amp;c=d872ef87-e8c2-4321-a6db-98c5a7f5e548&amp;&amp;exp_dp=70.56&amp;exp_ts=1475865620614&amp;exp_curr=USD&amp;exp_pg=HSR">Club Reef</a> for as little as $71 per night.</p> <p>Flights into nearby Cairo also start as low as $780 from major U.S. cities like Boston and Chicago over the busy winter travel season.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-frugal-destinations-for-a-dreamy-winter-getaway&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%20Frugal%20Destinations%20for%20a%20Dreamy%20Winter%20Getaway.jpg&amp;description=8%20Frugal%20Destinations%20for%20a%20Dreamy%20Winter%20Getaway" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Frugal%20Destinations%20for%20a%20Dreamy%20Winter%20Getaway.jpg" alt="8 Frugal Destinations for a Dreamy Winter Getaway" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-destinations-for-a-dreamy-winter-getaway">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now">10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing For Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-from-three-weeks-in-europe">8 Money Lessons I Learned From Three Weeks in Europe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-never-buy-souvenirs">Why You Should Never Buy Souvenirs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-groupon-getaways-a-good-idea">Are Groupon Getaways a Good Idea?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Travel destinations frugal travel getaway vacation winter winter vacation Tue, 29 Nov 2016 12:30:07 +0000 Holly Johnson 1843586 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing For Now http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/ireland_castle_76621825.jpg" alt="Finding frugal fall getaways you can start packing for" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Travel is always wonderful, but it can be a struggle when you're on a budget. It's important to look for places where the dollar is doing well, or maybe somewhere you can get a package deal that includes your flight and hotel. If you're looking for a cheap &mdash; but still awesome &mdash; getaway for the fall, here are some places you should look into. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-get-free-travel?ref=seealso">6 Easy Ways to Get Free Travel</a>)</p> <h2>1. Greece</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/athens_greece_66332307.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Though it can still cost a lot to stay on one of the more famous islands like Santorini, Greece's economic issues make it one of the cheaper places to stay. Ferries run between islands &mdash; if you want to check all of them out &mdash; but there are <a href="https://www.lonelyplanet.com/greece/athens/travel-tips-and-articles/the-best-free-things-to-do-in-athens">tons of cheap things to do in Athens</a>, too. And that's probably what you're going to want to see when you're traveling to Greece.</p> <h2>2. Cambodia</h2> <p>Cambodia is <a href="http://www.priceoftravel.com/46/cambodia/phnom-penh-prices">one of the cheapest places</a> to visit, and it's filled with amazing things to see. Angkor Wat alone has so many temples and so much ground to cover, you might need more than just a day pass to do it. And that's only one of the sites this country has to offer. With its low prices and attractions, you'll get your money's worth here.</p> <h2>3. Camping Somewhere Stateside</h2> <p>If you feel like staying in the states, there's bound to be an awesome camping destination within a few hours of you. Hiking, fishing, and just being in the middle of all nature has to offer is an amazing thing. If you really want to rough it, tent sites are usually cheaper. But if you want something a little bit sturdier, log cabins are the way to go.</p> <h2>4. Dominican Republic</h2> <p>If you want a Caribbean vacation that doesn't hurt your wallet, the Dominican Republic is your perfect spot. It's a great place for an all-inclusive vacation. Some hotels have multiple pools, bars, and gourmet restaurants that are included with the price of your stay. Activities like golfing, scuba diving, and parasailing come with additional fees &mdash; and the resorts can book those adventures for you.</p> <h2>5. Puerto Rico</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/puerto_rico_85980345.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Another decently priced tropical destination, Puerto Rico is great because the flights are cheap and they use the US dollar for currency. Avoid the touristy areas if you want to get your money's worth. Hit up the <a href="http://www.seepuertorico.com/en/destinations/west/">west coast of the island for amazing beaches</a> and smaller crowds.</p> <h2>6. Vietnam</h2> <p>Though it's becoming more popular, Vietnam is still cheap and beautiful. If you go while budgeting, you can get by on less than $40 a day. Since most of the country is pretty underdeveloped, it's a great place to backpack and go on a true adventure. If you're not into that, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are the more popular tourist destinations.</p> <h2>7. Bolivia</h2> <p>One of only two landlocked countries in South America, Bolivia is often overlooked. The city of La Paz is a unique place that blends modern life with indigenous traditions, and it's full of activities that aren't to be missed. And if you venture away from the city, you can see more of the indigenous and religious culture you can't experience anywhere else.</p> <h2>8. San Diego</h2> <p>Unlike Los Angeles and San Francisco, it's a lot easier to get a bargain here. Beaches are your best bet, with miles of boardwalk and coastline to be explored. The Coronado Ferry is pretty cheap to ride, and it lets you see the sites from a different perspective. If you have a bit more money to spend, take in one of the famous destinations here, like the San Diego Zoo.</p> <h2>9. Bulgaria</h2> <p>Another frequently overlooked destination, Bulgaria has some of the most deserted beaches in Europe. It also boasts old towns to explore and mountain ranges to trek. It's been influenced by multiple cultures, so you'll see a unique blend of things here that make it a must-see destination. There are a ton of gorgeous monasteries and churches if you get tired of being on the beach all day.</p> <h2>10. Ireland</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/ireland_scenic_83019115.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Travel to Ireland has gotten cheaper in recent years, and it's a deal worth jumping on. With Dublin being a big city, it can be more on the expensive side for things like food, but there are still plenty of free things to do to fill your time. Journey out to the countryside for some amazing views and cheaper places to stay &mdash; though you might want to rent a car to fully experience everything this country has to offer.</p> <p>You can still travel to some of the most amazing places in the world while on a budget. Go to places less-traveled, plan ahead to find cheap flights and hostels, and make the most of the spending limit you have. There's nothing wrong with going off the beaten path to see something awesome!</p> <p><em>What are some other cheap fall destinations? Share with us!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%20Frugal%20Fall%20Getaways%20You%20Can%20Start%20Packing%20For%20Now.jpg&amp;description=10%20Frugal%20Fall%20Getaways%20You%20Can%20Start%20Packing%20For%20Now" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Frugal%20Fall%20Getaways%20You%20Can%20Start%20Packing%20For%20Now.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anum-yoon">Anum Yoon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-budget-friendly-beach-destinations">6 Budget-Friendly Beach Destinations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-living-on-a-tight-budget-makes-you-happier">How Living on a Tight Budget Makes You Happier</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-times-splurging-on-experiences-is-a-bad-idea">5 Times Splurging on Experiences Is a Bad Idea</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-have-a-fun-family-road-trip-without-breaking-your-budget">How to Have a Fun Family Road Trip Without Breaking Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting Travel budget travel budgeting fall getaways frugal travel saving money travel vacation Wed, 07 Sep 2016 10:00:16 +0000 Anum Yoon 1787549 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Spring Break Destinations That Won't Break the Bank http://www.wisebread.com/7-spring-break-destinations-that-wont-break-the-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-spring-break-destinations-that-wont-break-the-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tourist_couple_000025713973.jpg" alt="Tourist couple looking at a map" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As the East Coast shakes off another wallop of winter weather, many are dreaming of spring break. Here are seven surprising destinations that won't break the bank and will certainly restore your weather-weary soul. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies?ref=seealso">The 7 Best Cities for Frugal Foodies</a>)</p> <h2>1. Puerto Rico</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/puerto_rico_000018955243.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Puerto Rico is always a bargain getaway that's good for a weekend, a week, or longer. It's very hospitable to tourists and there are always inexpensive flights, hotels, and activities whether you're traveling solo, as a couple, or with a group.</p> <h2>2. Park City, Utah</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/park_city_utah_000027805770.jpg" width="605" height="341" alt="" /></p> <p>If you can't beat this winter weather, then you might as well revel in it. It doesn't get better than Park City for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. The snow is the stuff dreams are made of and the town that's blossomed in response to the tourism has plenty of restaurants and nightlife to help you relax and unwind after a long day on the slopes.</p> <h2>3. The Florida Keys</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/florida_keys_000057567520.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Like Puerto Rico, the Florida Keys are also an easy and inexpensive getaway. There are plenty of options, too, and I recommend moving away from the typical spring break in Key West to check out some of the less popular Keys such as Key Largo. They're less crowded and offer better deals with all of the natural beauty you crave. You can either fly to Miami and drive, or you can take a short hop by plane to many of the Keys.</p> <h2>4. Iceland</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/iceland_000043960850.jpg" width="605" height="341" alt="" /></p> <p>It's spring break and I want you to head north? Yes, I do, as long as your destination is Iceland. <a href="http://www.icelandair.us/">Icelandair</a> offers a free stopover in Iceland (up to seven days in either direction) when you fly between any of their destinations. Once you're there, indulge in the country's natural hot springs to shake off any winter blues. It's one of the world's most popular tourist attractions.</p> <h2>5. Charleston, South Carolina</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/charleston_horse_trolley_000020351238.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>I went to Charleston in November for the first time and I fell in love with the city. The friendly people, the beauty of the city, the music, and the outrageously delicious and inventive food make this city a winner at a bargain price. Located right on the water, it's very easy to get around and the views are stunning. This is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy life.</p> <h2>6. Washington D.C.</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/washington_dc_000004185563.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>I'm a bit biased about D.C. because it's about to become my new home city. I did a lot of research of where to set myself up in this next phase of life and D.C. is a fantastic place to be whether you're a tourist or a resident. With some of the best museums in the world (and almost all of them are free), an exploding food scene, stunning views and architecture, and a rich history and sense of culture, there's never a bad time to visit this city. The metro will quickly zip you anywhere you'd like to go, Airbnb deals are available all over the city, and you have plenty of activity options. Our nation's capitol is booming as a tourist destination in an unprecedented way.</p> <h2>7. Alternative Spring Break &mdash; Voluntourism</h2> <p>If you want to spend your spring break giving back and having a true cultural exchange that makes a difference, consider a volunteer vacation. I've done this twice &mdash; once in the south of France and once in Costa Rica &mdash; and it was a tremendously fulfilling experience. In exchange for my minimal amount of volunteer hours and a small fee, I received housing, food, and cultural immersions with terrific people. They were both very enriching experiences, and because they were service trips I was able to deduct some of my travel expenses from my taxes. (Please check with your accountant or tax professional on what expenses you can and cannot deduct.)</p> <p><em>Where will you spend your spring break?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-spring-break-destinations-that-wont-break-the-bank&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Spring%20Break%20Destinations%20That%20Won%26%23x27%3Bt%20Break%20the%20Bank.jpg&amp;description=7%20Spring%20Break%20Destinations%20That%20Won%26%23x27%3Bt%20Break%20the%20Bank" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Spring%20Break%20Destinations%20That%20Won%27t%20Break%20the%20Bank.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-spring-break-destinations-that-wont-break-the-bank">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-places-to-take-the-family-for-spring-break">8 Great Places to Take the Family for Spring Break</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/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-around-the-guidebook-techniques-for-researching-your-trip-without-spending-a-fortune">Getting Around the Guidebook: Techniques for Researching your Trip Without Spending a Fortune</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-have-a-fun-family-road-trip-without-breaking-your-budget">How to Have a Fun Family Road Trip Without Breaking Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-for-people-over-30">The Guide to Staying at Hostels for People Over 30</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel best cities escapes frugal travel spring break Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:00:13 +0000 Christa Avampato 1332543 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-sleeping-airport-78770981-small.jpg" alt="businessman sleeping airport" title="businessman sleeping airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you want to save money on drinks and baggage fees, skip airport lineups, get good prices on flights, keep the kids amused, and stay safe when arriving in airports at unwieldy hours? Then read on, because I've rounded up 10 professional travelers and invited them to share their <em>best</em> airport hacks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster?ref=seealso">How to Get Through the Airport Faster</a>).</p> <h2>1. Apply for Global Entry</h2> <p>U.S. Citizens can clear customs quickly with <a href="http://www.cbp.gov/global-entry/about">Global Entry</a>. (Citizens of Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and other countries have <a href="http://www.cbp.gov/global-entry/other-programs">similar pre-screening programs</a> that work in tandem with Global Entry). Application involves a rigorous background check and interview, but once you're a member you can clear customs in a jiffy, and also take advantage of special security lines and procedures.</p> <p>Lisa Ellen Niver of <a href="http://www.wesaidgotravel.com/">We Said Go Travel</a> is a global citizen who has traveled to over 100 countries on six continents. After traveling with her parents and experiencing the benefits of Global Entry, she lodged her own application. &quot;After you apply and have your interview, you no longer have to stand in long security lines. You are whisked ahead with no need to remove shoes or take computers out of cases. It makes travel seem almost civilized again!&quot;</p> <h2>2. Bring Your Own Liquor</h2> <p>Are you taking a domestic flight (and/or flying a budget airline) and want to have a drink but don't want to pay the airline's prices for liquor? Carry on a mini bottle of your favorite libation and mix it with the free soft drink, says Tamara Elliott, who offers savvy practical travel advice on <a href="http://www.globeguide.ca/">Globe Guide</a>. &quot;This works well since mix (Coke, juice, etc) is already included on-board &mdash; plus, the TSA doesn't have restrictions about what liquids you can bring, just how big they are.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Hitchhike Into the First Class Lounge</h2> <p>Turner Wright of <a href="http://www.onceatraveler.com/">Once A Traveler</a>, who has lived in Japan, South Korea, Peru, Thailand, and New Zealand, has an unconventional method for accessing first class lounges:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">Some first class lounges allow you to bring in a guest for free, so as long as you're not too smelly and relatively personable, just hang out at the entrance and ask someone if he or she wouldn't mind signing you in (including a sob story about how you've been cooped up for 30 hours and/or missing your family wouldn't hurt).</p> <h2>4. Pay for the First Class Lounge</h2> <p>If schmoozing into the first class lounge doesn't work (or isn't your style), you can often buy a pass. It usually costs $30-$50 and gives you access to all the lounge amenities such as comfortable seating, free food and drinks (including alcohol), Internet, and sometimes even showers and quiet rooms for sleeping. If you have hours to kill before your flight or between flights, this can be money well spent.</p> <h2>5. Wear Your Extra Luggage</h2> <p>Benny Lewis as been on the road for over 11 years and was named National Geographic's Traveler of the Year in 2013. He travels with everything he owns (including books!), and flies budget airlines with over 80 pounds of gear without paying for it. His secret? He <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-creative-ways-to-avoid-airline-fees-like-wearable-suitcases">wears his luggage</a> with the unfashionable but arguably practical <a href="http://www.jaktogo.com/">Jaktogo</a>. &quot;It's not a great fashion statement, and uncomfortable to wear while you do it, but that's only necessary while you [check in and] board the plane (since that's the only time your number of bags are truly checked). The rest of the time, you can walk around the terminal and even go through security with it in its extra bag folded up mode.&quot; (Benny himself a polyglot who teaches people to become <a href="http://www.fluentin3months.com/">Fluent in 3 Months</a> with a variety of tools including a free crash course.)</p> <h2>6. Fly Red-Eye</h2> <p>Matt Stabile, founder and Editor-in-Chief of <a href="http://www.theexpeditioner.com/">TheExpeditioner.com</a> and <a href="http://www.expeditionersafaris.com/">ExpeditionerSafaris.com</a> says the best way to avoid the hassle of getting through airports is to choose red-eye (overnight) flights, especially if it's a long flight. &quot;If you book a flight that leaves past, say, 10:00pm, you'll avoid rush hour traffic on the way to the airport, lines at check-in are going to be minimal, security will take a fraction of what it takes earlier in the day, and once you settle in for the flight, you can simply go to sleep and wake up at your destination.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Get Help Booking Flights</h2> <p>If flying red-eye doesn't appeal, Benny Lewis also recommends using <a href="http://www.flightfox.com/">Flight Fox</a> to book flights; he says they can often find a convenient travel time for the same cost as a red-eye flight.</p> <h2>8. Ask for Assistance</h2> <p>Airports usually involve lots of walking and standing in line, which not everybody can manage. If you or somebody you're traveling with has trouble getting around (due to age or injury), don't let pride get in the way; ask for assistance.</p> <p>Jeanne Dee of <a href="http://www.soultravelers3.com/">SoulTravelers3</a> discovered this life-saver while suffering serious medical challenges and traveling with her family. &quot;Airlines can help you with wheelchair assistance, making the whole process doable for someone with health challenges, and they escort the whole family through security and customs and such.&quot; Jeanne and her multi-award-winning digital nomadic family of three have been on the road non-stop for almost nine years, visiting 47 countries on five continents for $23/day per person.</p> <p>Although wheelchair assistance shouldn't be taken advantage of, it's a huge time-saver if you have a tight connection and are unable to move quickly. I discovered this myself after suffering a near-fatal accident and traveling to the States for medical attention. I would never have made the connection in my condition without being skirted through the airport's &quot;secret passages&quot; and ushered through special lineups. (Bonus: Your travel companions are escorted through with you!)</p> <h2>9. Eat at the Airport</h2> <p>Tiffany and Chris Soukup of <a href="http://www.vagabondway.net/">VagabondWay.net</a> have been traveling and working around the world for the last 10 years. They've learned through experience that eating a solid meal at the airport can actually be cost-effective, and arriving well-fed helps battle <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-naturally-reset-your-sleep-cycle-overnight">jet lag</a> and even helps you make better (money-saving) decisions. Tiffany uses some hacks to make it cost-effective and fun. &quot;I can't say the airport is my favorite place to eat, but I look forward to walking around to find where I'll dine. [Also], look ahead to know what restaurants are at the airport and see if you can get coupons.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Family Travel Hack: Entertain the Kids Without Gadgets</h2> <p>Rachel and Greg Denning of <a href="http://www.discovershareinspire.com/">DiscoverShareInspire.com</a> have been traveling since 2007 with their five (now six) children. They know better than any parents how hard it is to keep kids entertained during long hours of waiting in airports, and they say using less technology (tablets, smartphones, etc) creates better travelers.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">The mind-numbing, easy entertainment of many [tablet/smartphone] games can lead to boredom, because children get accustomed to being passively entertained, instead of actively entertaining themselves. Reading books, talking, singing, playing games (cards, iSpy, etc.) can hold their attention and lead to bonding and personal interaction, which makes travel more enjoyable for parents and children alike.</p> <p>She adds, however, that if your kids are already addicted to technology, going cold turkey in an airport isn't wise; best to start &quot;weaning&quot; them several weeks before traveling. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-digital-detox-how-and-why-to-do-it?ref=seealso">The Digital Detox &ndash; How and Why to Do It</a>).</p> <h2>11. Jump the Line (and Other Perks) With Frequent Flyer Status</h2> <p>&quot;The Guy&quot; dubs his website <a href="http://www.flightsandfrustration.com/">Flights and Frustration</a> for good reason; he has been traveling internationally with his work nearly every month for over 14 years. He has found a way to use business class and priority lineups even if he's flying economy. It's all about achieving elite status with frequent flyer miles. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles?ref=seealso">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a>).</p> <p>&quot;A prime example is my KLM Flying Blue card. With higher status I can use my economy ticket and still go to the business class check-in queue.&quot; For those with miles but no status, try asking for a points-upgrade. &quot;Inquire at check-in (or even before you go to the airport) to see if you can redeem points to upgrade your ticket to business class. Then it is queue jumping and luxury travel all the way.&quot;</p> <p>Having status with one airline can give you access to perks on all airlines in the alliance. &quot;I collect frequent flyer points on my Singapore Kris Flyer card for Star Alliance flights. I held a Gold Status with this Kris Flyer card whilst checking in for a domestic flight in the US with United. Due to my frequent flyer status with Star Alliance, they waived the baggage fee.&quot;</p> <h2>12. Go Through Priority Lines Anyway</h2> <p>Turner Wright (of <a href="http://www.onceatraveler.com/">Once A Traveler</a>) doesn't even bother flashing a frequent flyer mile status card to jump the line. &quot;Depending on the rush, I find it pretty ridiculous to cue up in one security line when there's an empty one for first class or priority passengers. Usually I just walk up and ask if I can go through, assuming they don't just wave me in. The same goes for lines at immigration and customs.&quot;</p> <h2>13. Flash Your Travel Rewards Credit Card</h2> <p>Even if you don't have super-elite frequent flyer mile status, you can flash a travel rewards credit card to gain lounge access. Stephanie Zito has been to over 115 countries living and working on the road for the last 20+ years. In addition to her humanitarian work and <a href="http://www.wanderingforgood.com/">Wandering For Good</a>, she's also the managing editor of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-travel-hacking-cartel-fly-around-the-world-for-almost-free">Travel Hacking Cartel</a> and a travel-hacker extraordinaire.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">If you live and work on the road and take advantage of lounges for showers, meals, Wi-Fi, and free drinks, it's worth carrying a card that&nbsp;gets you Priority Pass which allows you to access more than 600 lounges around the world. If you just need a pass or two, many co-branded airline credit cards offer one or two lounge passes a year as a sign-up bonus.</p> <h2>14. Catch a Rest in the Chapel (and a Shower Nearby)</h2> <p>If you've got a long layover or delayed flight and need some peace and quiet, look for the airport chapel. It can be a great place to catch a catnap, meditate, or simply enjoy a cell-phone free environment. Stephanie Zito also says it might lead you to a shower in certain parts of the world: &quot;If you're traveling through the middle east, there is almost always a public shower room somewhere in the airport &mdash; you just have to find it. The trick is to locate the prayer area. The showers will always be nearby.&quot;</p> <h2>15. Sleep in the Airport</h2> <p>Wade Shepard has been traveling since 1999 as founding editor of <a href="http://www.vagabondjourney.com/">Vagabond Journey</a>, and he has a formula for sleeping in airports. &quot;I usually sleep in the airport when I have an early morning flight leaving between 3 a.m. and 9 a.m. or when I land between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. It's free, relatively secure, and cuts out the hassle of taking [costly] late night transportation and checking in/out of a hotel at an hour when humans are better off tucked away in bed.&quot; He even argues that it's safer to sleep in the airport than to navigate a foreign city late at night, where you might be more of a target.</p> <p>He consults <a href="http://www.sleepinginairports.net/">SleepingInAirports.net</a> to find the best places to sleep, and likes to be out of the way but still around other people (who are preferably sleeping) so there is security in numbers. As for his luggage, he secures it: &quot;I either lock my bag to the chair I'm sleeping in or I tie it my wrist &mdash; so if someone was to try to snatch it I'd wake up.&quot;</p> <p>Wade even does this with his wife and child in tow. &quot;Having three people to fend for makes the money saved even greater! I also found it works better just to let my daughter stay up late, go crazy in the airport, then crash on the plane rather than waking her up in the middle of the night and moving her out [of a hotel].&quot;</p> <p>For more from frequent travelers, check out these 25 other fantastic travel tips and secrets: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers">25 Secrets From the World's Most Frugal Frequent Travelers</a>.</p> <p><em>Do you have any reliable airport hacks? Please share in comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F15%20Airport%20Hacks%20From%20Professional%20Travelers.jpg&amp;description=15%20Airport%20Hacks%20From%20Professional%20Travelers" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/15%20Airport%20Hacks%20From%20Professional%20Travelers.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster">How to Get Through the Airport Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/9-ways-to-avoid-or-mitigate-flight-delays">9 Ways to Avoid or Mitigate Flight Delays</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/your-flight-was-canceled-now-what">Your Flight Was Canceled. Now What?</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-airline-travel-sucks-and-what-you-can-do-to-make-it-better">5 Ways Airline Travel Sucks — and What You Can Do to Make It Better</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel air travel airport secrets airports credit cards frugal travel travel secrets Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:06:06 +0000 Nora Dunn 1185372 at http://www.wisebread.com The Guide to Staying at Hostels for People Over 30 http://www.wisebread.com/the-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-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="/the-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-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/2472286332_29cfd68427_z.jpg" alt="hostel" title="hostel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While the term &quot;hostel&quot; seems synonymous with youth culture and student backpacking trips, I've met people of all ages and professions while staying in hostels. What many adult travelers don't realize is that hostels are great for business people, retirees, and even family vacationers who just want a clean bed to sleep in and a safe place to stash their luggage while they explore a new city. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>Most hostels I've stayed in throughout Europe cost anywhere from $40 to $70 per night, far less than hotels in the same cities. While I've met a huge array of people from all walks of life in hostels, I've found that people who prefer to stay in hostels are united by a minimalist travel philosophy more than anything else. I've met European aristocrats who stay in hostels because they don't see the value in paying for a hotel room that they will basically use as storage for their laptop computers and spare underpants. It's not just about stretching a Euro. It's about a type of travel experience that puts human interaction over privacy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-travel-off-the-beaten-path">5 Reasons to Travel Off the Beaten Path</a>)</p> <p>If I could only give one piece of advice about staying in hostels as an adult it's this: <a href="http://www.hostelz.com/hostel/55583-Funny-Palace-Hostel">Read the online reviews</a> before you make reservations. Reading online reviews is the best way to avoid experiencing what my sister and I refer to as Wong Family Travel Blunders. And by blunder I mean our parents accidentally booking us into a Panamanian brothel for a family vacation. (In my parent's defense, the brothel's beachfront view was spectacular.)</p> <h2>Hostelling International</h2> <p>Official hostels are part of a huge network of hostels that operate under the umbrella of <a href="https://www.hihostels.com/">Hostelling International</a>. HI requires a <a href="http://www.hiusa.org/membership">membership</a>, which is basically just a card that costs $28 per year and gives you discounts and benefits such as currency exchange and free email access during your stay. If you don't think you'll be staying at least six nights a year in HI hostels, then you can stay at most official hostels for an additional $5 per night, and save a little money by not buying a membership. There's really no risk in not signing up for a membership in advance, as after six nights, HI will give you a membership. If you decide to pay as you go, make sure you pick up a &quot;guest card&quot; at your first HI hostel and get it stamped each day, so you can prove you've stayed the required six night minimum for membership.</p> <p>Although HI Hostels have to maintain safety and cleanliness standards to stay in the network (which is comforting) some official hostels still have curfews, daytime lock-out, limited check-in times, and other old-fashioned rules that are annoying to contend with as an adult business traveler who is arriving on the 3 a.m. train and doesn't want to wander the city streets until dawn.</p> <h2>Independent Hostels</h2> <p>Independent hostels are becoming more commonplace. Independent hostels are not part of the Hostelling International network and don't require a membership card. The benefit of independent hostels is flexibility; they don't have to conform to the rules and bureaucracy of Hostelling International. The drawback of independent hostels is that they don't have to conform to the rules of Hostelling International in terms of cleanliness. Also, while HI Hostels have gender-segregated dormitories, some independent hostels only have mixed-gender dorms and apartments.</p> <p>For women travelers who do not feel comfortable sharing communal space with men (or just want a make-up mirror and hairdryer in the bathroom) there are hostels that <a href="http://www.hostelbookers.com/article/travel-for-women/female-friendly-hostels-europe/">cater to women</a> who are traveling solo.</p> <p>While there are <a href="http://www.the-beehive.com/">some</a> independent hostels that rival boutique hotels in terms of their charm, a lot of flea-bag hotels have started listing themselves online as hostels, since &quot;hostel&quot; apparently sounds more appealing than &quot;flop-house&quot; or &quot;roach motel.&quot; (Do your research or risk staying in brothel.)</p> <p>Although hostels supply guests with clean sheets and towels, you will have to supply your own soap and shampoo. While I don't enjoy schlepping extra toiletries with me when I travel, most hostels more than make up for this minor inconvenience by providing cheap or free Internet access and other money saving perks.</p> <h2>Book Early</h2> <p>Obviously, the best-reviewed hostels fill up early, especially during high tourism events like Oktoberfest and Carnivale. Make reservations early to ensure you'll have a place to sleep that fits your needs.</p> <p>Pro Tip: Call the hostel directly!</p> <p>Hostels, like hotels will usually hold a few beds for drop-ins, or don't update the online booking service when someone cancels a reservation. Even if the online booking service says there are no beds, it never hurts to double-check.</p> <p>Also, if you like a specific hostel, quiz the owner or manager for leads on other great hostels. I've been able to daisy-chain incredible vacation accommodations with no advance planning by asking my current hostel staff to reserve me a bed in my next destination city.</p> <h2>Co-Habitating with Kids</h2> <p>While I am usually twice the age of most of my hostel bunkmates, at age 44, I am rarely the oldest person at a hostel. In fact, Hostelling International offers a reduced membership rate for people over 55, which make hostels a great deal for senior travelers.</p> <p>Personally, I enjoy the company of Kids These Days, and likewise, exploring new places with people who are still full of vim and optimism about life. As a business traveler, sharing communal space with young adults is often a welcome respite after spending the day with grown-ups who view business travel as an inconvenience rather than an opportunity have fun.</p> <p>That said, I value my sleep, and make a point of avoiding hostels that have glowing reviews about their 24/7 <a href="http://travel.cnn.com/explorations/play/worlds-craziest-party-hostels-718516">party atmosphere</a>. As a night owl, I hate lock-out curfews. They are infantilizing and cramp my late night snack schedule. As an old person who went to college, I love lock-out curfews because they force my bunkmates who are hardcore, binge-drinkers to spend the night barfing in the street and not in our shared shower.</p> <p>On a side note, because most car rental companies will not rent a car to anyone under 25 years of age, hostels in rural or suburban areas outside of the city center and beyond the reach of public transportation, usually cater to older people by default.</p> <h2>Consider Communal Spaces</h2> <p>While the classic hostel experience is sleeping in a twin bed, in a dormitory, and storing your luggage in a locker, many hostels offer private rooms or apartments with shared or private bathrooms. Sharing a private room in a hostel is a great way for couples to enjoy a romantic getaway on the cheap. Families can get a huge break on travel costs by sharing a suite or apartment.</p> <p>Hostels with communal kitchens can make a pricey vacation affordable. When I travel I eat the free morning meal that the hostel provides (which can be anything from a cup of coffee and a cookie to a huge buffet), and at night I make a simple meal of bread, cheese and fruit in the communal kitchen. Eating in the hostel for two meals allows me to blow my food budget on extravagant and memorable lunches.</p> <p>While I can count on one hand the number of bad shared bathroom experiences I've had in my life, take some precautions: Wear flip flops in the shower to avoid getting fungal infections and wake up extra early if you have an important morning meeting &mdash; you might have to wait in line for the shower. Also, if you are sharing one toilet with a number of strangers, be strategic about using it. Don't be the lady who pees in the sink of the communal kitchen because she waited until the last minute to go.</p> <p><em>Frugal travelers, please share the name of your favorite hostel, or your best hostel tip in the comments below!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this Post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-for-people-over-30&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%20Guide%20to%20Staying%20at%20Hostels%20for%20People%20Over%2030.jpg&amp;description=The%20Guide%20to%20Staying%20at%20Hostels%20for%20People%20Over%2030" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Guide%20to%20Staying%20at%20Hostels%20for%20People%20Over%2030.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" />&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-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-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/get-free-hotel-stays-with-wyndhams-best-rate-guarantee">Get Free Hotel Stays with Wyndham&#039;s Best Rate Guarantee</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high">Taking Frugal Road Trips (Even When Gas Prices Are High)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel cheap travel frugal travel hostels hotels lodging Mon, 21 Jul 2014 17:00:29 +0000 Max Wong 1162783 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 No-Fuss Wine Destinations Anyone Can Visit (and Enjoy!) http://www.wisebread.com/7-no-fuss-wine-destinations-anyone-can-visit-and-enjoy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-no-fuss-wine-destinations-anyone-can-visit-and-enjoy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-153717773.jpg" alt="wine tasting" title="wine tasting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Wine-tasting can be a reasonably frugal activity, or it can be a very expensive one. If you are staying in a very popular area with a developed high-end tourist industry, like Napa, where hotels and restaurants are expensive, then your costs can rapidly skyrocket. Lodging and food in Napa will burn a hole in your pocket as quickly as tasting fees at celebrity wineries (which can be as much as $60). Luckily there are many lesser-known wine-producing areas in and near the US that still offer inexpensive tastings, unpretentious lodgings, and reasonably-priced food, not to mention delicious wines. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Wine Tasting Basics</h2> <p>I prefer walk-in tasting rather than joining a wine tour, which allows you to explore little-known, smaller wineries that are off the beaten tour bus path. It also gives you the freedom to taste a few wines, take a break for a picnic or a walk, and taste a few more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheers-to-the-holidays-10-affordable-wines-perfect-for-the-season?ref=seealso">10 Affordable Wines for the Holidays</a>)</p> <p>A great way to save on food is to pack some good bread, salami, cheese, and pickles; the perfect counterpoint to a bottle of wine. Take the time to enjoy the area &mdash; I often visit just three wineries throughout the day and take time to hike and snap some photos. That way, I'm out just $15 to $30, but I've had a great day on vacation. And don't feel obliged to buy a bottle if you're trying to be frugal; just savor the experience.</p> <p>If you love wine tasting, here are a few lesser-known wine destinations that won't break the bank. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-vacations-the-entire-family-will-love?ref=seealso">Frugal Vacations for the Whole Family</a>)</p> <h2>Willamette Valley, Oregon</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/winetaste-willa-151564339-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Oregon's Willamette Valley is a large wine region stretching from Portland to Eugene. Although it is Oregon's largest wine-producing region, many wineries are still family-owned and run, and the Willamette Valley lacks (for the most part) the snobbishness and commerciality many have come to associate with Napa. In fact, it has been likened to Napa Valley 25 years ago. The Willamette Valley isn't known for its big reds &mdash; this cool-weather region focuses on pinot noir, pinot gris, and chardonnays, as well as sweeter whites, such as riesling and gewurztraminer, more than bold cabernets and zinfandels.</p> <p>Larger wineries tend to charge more for tastings ($10-$15, which is often waived if you buy a bottle), but the smaller wineries further off the freeway often charge a more frugal $5 or offer free tastings. There are hundreds of wineries, so make a plan using the <a href="http://willamettewines.com/wine-tasting-tips/">Willamette Valley Wineries</a> website. You can find reasonably priced accommodation in any of the cities along the wine trail, from Portland to Eugene. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-escape-with-these-14-affordable-weekend-getaways?ref=seealso">14 Affordable Weekend Getaways</a>)</p> <h2>Sierra Foothills, California</h2> <p>Just a few hours' drive inland from Napa you'll find the <a href="http://www.discovercaliforniawines.com/discover-california/sierra-foothills/">Sierra Foothills wine country</a>, what some call &quot;one of California's best kept wine secrets.&quot; Less sophisticated restaurants (no <a href="http://www.frenchlaundry.com/">French Laundry</a> here) and more affordable lodging mean that if you're looking for a wine tasting experience in Northern California without the Napa prices, the Sierra Foothills are a good bet. Zinfandel, cabernet, and syrah are popular grapes grown here as well as many other varieties.</p> <p>The scenery is outstanding, and if you're headed for Yosemite National Park, tasting the wines in the nearby historic &quot;Gold Country&quot; (site of the Gold Rush) is a great complementary experience. Since this area is off the beaten path, you'll find a lot of cute B&amp;Bs and independent inns rather than chain hotels. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-travel-off-the-beaten-path?ref=seealso">Reasons to Travel Off the Beaten Path</a>)</p> <h2>San Luis Obispo County, California</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/winetaste-sloca-177418872-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Within the Central Coast wine-producing region of California, Santa Barbara may be the most well-known wine-tasting area (popularized in the movie Sideways), but just an hour north of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo county is a huge wine-producing area with more down-to-earth prices. A host of small, family-owned wineries line the coast from Arroyo Grande to Atascadero, and up to Paso Robles.</p> <p>San Luis Obispo county has a wide variety of climates with an accompanying wide variety of grapes. Paso Robles has the warmest temperatures on the Central Coast, which produces intense, award-winning cabernets, as well as zinfandels, syrahs, merlots, and other Rhone varieties. For example, the wildly popular and affordable $12 merlot by <a href="http://www.jlohr.com/">J. Lohr</a> is produced in Paso Robles (and the winery offers free tastings). Meanwhile, Arroyo Grande has cooler temperatures and produces delicate pinot noir (my favorite is <a href="http://www.laetitiawine.com/">Laetitia Winery</a> right off Hwy 101).</p> <p>The coastal scenery is one of this area's many draws. Pristine beaches, craggy cliffs, and sweet towns line the coast, perfectly complementing the region's delicious wines.</p> <h2>Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada</h2> <p>If you're visiting Niagara Falls, or if you live in New York or in Southern Ontario, the <a href="http://wineriesofniagaraonthelake.com/">Niagara-on-the-Lake</a> wine region is a worthwhile trip. The village of Niagara-on-the-Lake, located where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario, is known as one of the most picturesque towns in Ontario. There are a wide variety of wineries to visit in the vicinity, from larger corporate wineries to small family-run, organic and sustainable wineries. Often tasting is free, or the $5 to $10 fee is waived if you purchase a bottle &mdash; and you might want to do so if you find something you like, as many of these wines cannot be found in big box stores. Many tastings may include a tour of the winery as well.</p> <p>The soils in this area, formed by the the recession of Lake Ontario, offer a distinctive terroir you will not find anywhere else. Pinot noir, chardonnay, and cool-weather red blends are the local specialty, as well as cool-weather whites such as riesling and gewurztraminer. This is one of the best places to get ice wine and late-harvest wines.</p> <p>Niagara-on-the-Lake is a tourist destination, so there is a good selection of hotels at reasonable rates as well as cute little B&amp;Bs. If you are staying in nearby glitzy Niagara Falls, just a half-hour drive away, you'll find a wide variety of reasonably-priced hotels. If you don't want to cross the border into Canada, there is a small wine trail on the US side of the border as well, known as the <a href="http://www.niagarawinetrail.org/">Niagara Wine Trail USA</a>.</p> <h2>Finger Lakes, New York</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/winetaste-finlakes-93332898-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>If you're a fan of riesling, you'll probably love a visit to the <a href="http://www.fingerlakeswinealliance.com/wineries.html">Finger Lakes wine country</a> in New York State. The cool lake country, which specializes in white wines, has been compared to the Rhine River Valley wine growing region of Germany. With over 100 wineries, it is one of the largest wine producing regions in the US outside of California. As a bonus, you can gaze out at the gorgeous Finger Lakes while you enjoy your wine.</p> <p>The Finger Lakes are a popular destination, so there is a range of accommodation ranging from frugal motels to upscale hotels. If you're looking to save on lodging while enjoying the great outdoors, there is also the option of camping in one of the area's many campgrounds.</p> <h2>The Western Slope, Colorado</h2> <p>Colorado isn't just a destination for skiing and hiking. If you're up for a change in pace, the <a href="http://www.gadling.com/2012/07/10/exploring-western-colorados-undiscovered-wine-region/">Western Slope</a> area of Colorado is an emerging wine region that has seen an explosion in wine production in the past few decades. This unstuffy, family-friendly wine region offers the highest altitudes of any wine region in the US. The area has stunning scenery, with views of vineyards set against majestic mountains, as well as fresh local produce and charming hotels. Find very affordable accommodation in the wine country towns of Grand Junction or Palisade. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-travel-accommodations?ref=seealso">How to Save on Travel Accommodations</a>)</p> <p>Tastings are affordable with many wineries offering tastings for $5 or less, and prices for bottles in this up-and-coming area are very reasonable, too. The high desert climate in this area is suitable for growing a variety of white grapes, but there are also large plantings of merlot, syrah, and pinot noir.</p> <h2>Hill Country, Texas</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/winetaste-hillcountry-89506674-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.texaswinetrail.com/">Hill Country</a> around Fredericksburg, Texas, is another emerging wine region that has been producing excellent wines in the last few years and doesn't yet have the high prices of more established wine regions like Napa. There is plenty of reasonably-priced accommodation and restaurants in the historic town of Fredericksburg and there are several wineries within a short drive of the city. On Saturdays there is also a free wine shuttle from downtown Fredericksburg that takes you to several wineries so you can imbibe without worrying about driving. Tastings cost between $5 and $15 and often include a free glass. Many wineries also have tasting rooms downtown.</p> <p>The landscape is reminiscent of Italy's vineyards and lends itself to Mediterranean varieties like syrah and tempranillo, but of course with distinctive Texas flair. If you've always wanted to enjoy BBQ with your wine tasting, this is the place.</p> <p>There are many other little-known wine regions around the country that the limited scope of this article cannot do justice to. With wine tasting becoming an increasingly popular pastime for many Americans, emerging wine regions abound and there are sure to be some near you. Going to your local wine producing area is one of the best ways to go wine tasting on a budget, with the added benefit of supporting local vintners.</p> <p><em>What is your favorite place to go wine tasting? How do you do it frugally?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-no-fuss-wine-destinations-anyone-can-visit-and-enjoy&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20No-Fuss%20Wine%20Destinations%20Anyone%20Can%20Visit%20(and%20Enjoy!)_0.jpg&amp;description=7%20No-Fuss%20Wine%20Destinations%20Anyone%20Can%20Visit%20(and%20Enjoy!)" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20No-Fuss%20Wine%20Destinations%20Anyone%20Can%20Visit%20%28and%20Enjoy%21%29_0.jpg" alt="7 No-Fuss Wine Destinations Anyone Can Visit (and Enjoy!)" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-no-fuss-wine-destinations-anyone-can-visit-and-enjoy">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/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-travel-destinations-for-wine-lovers">5 Cheap Travel Destinations for Wine Lovers</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/flashback-friday-40-best-budget-friendly-travel-tips-ever">Flashback Friday: 40 Best Budget-Friendly Travel Tips Ever</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-guide-to-staying-at-hostels-for-people-over-30">The Guide to Staying at Hostels for People Over 30</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-you-should-never-buy-souvenirs">Why You Should Never Buy Souvenirs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel frugal travel wine wine tasting Mon, 09 Dec 2013 11:36:06 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1099006 at http://www.wisebread.com Why You Should Never Buy Souvenirs http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-never-buy-souvenirs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-you-should-never-buy-souvenirs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/souvenir-4066083-small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="175" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Tourism is a multibillion-dollar industry and souvenir sales make up a significant portion of that pie. If you&rsquo;ve traveled at all, you&rsquo;ve likely noticed gift stores on almost every corner in high-traffic, touristy areas and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-road-trips-here-and-there-little-savings-everywhere" target="_blank">smaller vendors in less-traveled areas</a> that welcome out of town visitors. There are no limits to what you may find in a souvenir shop: stuffed animals, clothing, shot glasses, or even &quot;souvenir water&quot; from places like Niagara Falls. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easiest-way-to-save-money-on-vacation" target="_blank">The Easiest Way to Save Money on Vacation</a>)</p> <p>Most of these items are pretty useless, but we feel good when we buy souvenirs because we&rsquo;re certain our friends and family back home will love them. But if your friend isn&rsquo;t an avid keychain collector and your kids are too old for stuffed animals, is it really worth paying all that extra money for the sake of bringing back souvenirs? Or, to take it a step further, should you buy souvenirs at all?</p> <p>I&rsquo;d say no.</p> <h2>Zero &quot;Obligation&quot;</h2> <p>There is little utility value to most souvenir items, and yet we still find ourselves buying impractical, overpriced trinkets out of some sense of obligation to the folks back home. Remember that tourism is a highly profit-driven industry and extreme markups on cheap items (sometimes in excess of 50-60% of the item&rsquo;s actual value) are commonplace. Travel is expensive enough; why squander Euros, rupees, yuan, etc. on souvenirs that will inevitably find their way to the back of someone&rsquo;s closet?</p> <h2>Travel Hassle</h2> <p>In 2010, I was returning to the US from a month in Europe with a group of other exchange students. One girl bought a snow globe for her parents on the way to the airport, as a last-minute, obligatory souvenir. Unfortunately, it was bigger than the allowable &quot;tennis ball size&quot; snow globe and airport security promptly confiscated it. Since 9/11, the number of limits on carry-on items has skyrocketed, particularly where liquid or &quot;sharp&quot; items are concerned. Souvenirs present another hassle to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/clipped-wings-can-consumers-fix-air-travel" target="_blank">already-hectic air travel</a> plans, and, sometimes, you could be encouraging illegal activities without even realizing it.</p> <p>&quot;If you come across people selling wildlife or wildlife products, be aware that those 'souvenirs' could very well be endangered species that have been poached from the wild and are being sold illegally,&quot; Senior Policy Officer for U.S. Government Relations Will Gartshore said in a <a href="http://worldwildlife.org/stories/12-travel-tips-that-are-good-for-conservation" target="_blank">World Wildlife Fund article</a>. This is especially true of the fur and ivory industries, which are targeting tourists who may not be aware of these illegal activities. Why risk it? Not buying souvenirs at all is a simple way to avoid this problem.</p> <h2>Worker Exploitation and Scams</h2> <p>In addition to animal-related incidents, there have been reports of worker exploitation on the fringes of the tourism industry. <a href="http://www.scmp.com/article/290043/rights-group-attacks-worker-exploitation" target="_blank">Allegations of souvenir companies overworking their laborers</a> and exposing them to toxic chemicals in the factories have come to light, and <a href="http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/772524.shtml#.UYgpwKvwKHc" target="_blank">New Zealand&rsquo;s tourism industry recently experienced scandals</a> involving mislabeled and overpriced &quot;Made in New Zealand&quot; rugs (that were really made by cheap laborers in Peru). These are only a few instances amongst many, and as a frugal tourist, remember that getting a bargain on souvenirs may have some unforeseen consequences.</p> <h2>Alternatives</h2> <p>But if you don&rsquo;t want to avoid buying souvenirs altogether, there are a few, frugal ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-and-functional-souvenir-ideas" target="_blank">bring a little <em>something</em> back</a> for your friends and family. Photos and maps are inexpensive and probably last longer than a cheap keychain. You could also bring back coasters and pens from hotels you stayed at, and places like Disney World or Disneyland hand out freebies such as pins (for special occasions), character or princess stickers, and the Autopia &quot;driver's license.&quot; If you're vacationing off the beaten path, consider taking home a pressed leaf (they make for great wall art) or a little jar of sand (though mind the rules about removing sea shells from the beach, especially if you're in an environmentally-sensitive area).</p> <p>Saving the best for last, postcards are the true winners when it comes to souvenirs. They&rsquo;re simple, personalized, and affordable (just pay for the postcard and postage). That way, your friends and family still get a piece of your vacation without cluttering their homes or overstretching your wallet like traditional souvenirs often do.</p> <p><em>What about you? Do you like buying souvenirs or do you have something else you like to bring back home? Tell us in the comments below!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhy-you-should-never-buy-souvenirs&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhy%20You%20Should%20Never%20Buy%20Souvenirs.jpg&amp;description=Why%20You%20Should%20Never%20Buy%20Souvenirs" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Why%20You%20Should%20Never%20Buy%20Souvenirs.jpg" alt="Why You Should Never Buy Souvenirs" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-never-buy-souvenirs">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/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now">10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing For Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-destinations-for-a-dreamy-winter-getaway">8 Frugal Destinations for a Dreamy Winter Getaway</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-camping-sleeping-pads">The 5 Best Camping Sleeping Pads</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-easiest-way-to-save-money-on-vacation">The Easiest Way to Save Money 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/sleeping-in-airports-for-the-stranded-and-frugal-minded">Sleeping In Airports For The Stranded And Frugal Minded</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping Travel frugal travel frugal vacations postcards souvenirs tourism Tue, 14 May 2013 09:48:38 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 973919 at http://www.wisebread.com Sleeping In Airports For The Stranded And Frugal Minded http://www.wisebread.com/sleeping-in-airports-for-the-stranded-and-frugal-minded <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sleeping-in-airports-for-the-stranded-and-frugal-minded" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/airport-sleep.jpg" alt="sleeping in the airport photo" title="sleeping in the airport photo" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether it's an unplanned layover, a means of making an early flight, or simply an attempt to save money on accommodation, the season of sleeping in airports is upon us. I know, I am doing it.</p> <p>As I type this article, dozens of other weary holiday travelers are hunkering down in chairs and on the floor inside Albany International Airport. Sure, the lights are bright, the cleaning crew loud, and the temperature cold, but it could be worse. There is pleasant classical music coming from the ceiling, the chairs, if you are in one, are comfortable, and it is warmer in here than it is outside.</p> <p>Sleeping in airports is a basic skill for frugal travelers. I say skill because with some experience and preparation, it is not something that must simply be endured, but a way to save money and time.</p> <p>Here are some tips:</p> <h2>Know before you go</h2> <p>Research is key to a comfortable night in any airport. First off, you must know if you will be allowed to sit there after flights have stopped for the night. Beyond that, you want to know the basic layout of the place, what facilities are available, what the temperature, noise, and light levels are, and how many other people will be trying to do the same thing.</p> <p>The first place to go for this information is the airport's website. This will provide you with a map, list of services available, and likely some rules pertaining to overnights. For more information, check to see if your airport is listed in the helpful <a href="http://www.expedia.com/daily/airports/">Airport Guides</a> series. After these resources, it is time for more specific details and no one has more than <a href="http://www.sleepinginairports.com/">The Budget Traveler's Guide to Sleeping in Airports</a>.</p> <h2>Pack for sleeping</h2> <p>Lots of packing guides tell travelers to fill their carry-ons with things like toiletries and changes of clothes. Not me. I say, bring what you know will make you comfortable, not what you think you may need.</p> <p>If you are planning to sleep in an airport (or fear you may be), this means packing to sleep. The big three concerns for the airport squatter are light, noise, and temperature. Must haves include headphones or earplugs, a scarf or eye mask, and a blanket or light-weight sleeping bag. It sounds obvious, but having these things means the difference between a great night's sleep and starring blankly across the terminal for 10 hours.</p> <p>After you have found a place for these items, you might want to consider bringing something to soften a hard floor. A blanket, thin, partial-length, sleeping pad, or a pillow could all help prevent bruising and soreness.</p> <h2>Don't forget these luxuries</h2> <p>Be sure to leave room for a timepiece, specifically one with an alarm, and anything else that might make the time pass more gently. My recommendation is the <a href="http://www.bravenewtraveler.com/2008/02/18/6-essential-items-to-pack-if-you-want-to-meet-the-locals/">ever-useful deck of playing cards</a>.</p> <p>I know what you are all thinking: &quot;playing cards? what about hooking up the laptop you hypocrite?&quot; Fair enough. For those, like me, looking to get their interwebs fix there are several <a href="http://www.travelpost.com/airport-wireless-internet.aspx">guides</a> and <a href="http://www.jaunted.com/maps/Airport-WiFi-Map">maps</a> that will help you find WiFi wherever you go. There is even a wiki to help find <a href="http://airpower.jeffsandquist.com/default.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1">power outlets</a> in airports around the world.</p> <h2>Eat, drink, be merry</h2> <p>Going too long without food will only leave you cranky. There are numerous ways to anticipate what kind of <a href="http://www.airlinemeals.net/">inflight meal</a> you will be served. You can even share <a href="http://www.flickr.com/groups/inflightmeal/">pictures of your meals</a> and <a href="http://www.airguideonline.com/airlfoodrew.htm">write reviews</a>. Even can join in. But the sad truth is that lately, you will not be served any meal on the airplane at all. This only makes airport eating more important.</p> <p>Of course, the easy option is to eat at one of the <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/airport-dining-guide">airport's restaurants or cafes</a>. While easy, this is certainly not the most frugal option. Instead, try <a href="http://ask.metafilter.com/27084/Packing-food-for-airline-travel">packing a snack or meal</a>.</p> <p>And don't forget to have some kind of water. I know the bans on liquids make carrying water bottles around airports a crime. I also know that an airport is drier than a desert. By a bottle of water if you must, but please, stay hydrated.</p> <p>If slumber parties in museums can be so much fun then why can't we enjoy our nights in airports? With a little planning and preparation, your next night in the airport will be more comfortable and fun as staying in the dingy hotel across the parking lot. I promise.</p> <p><em>Have any other tips for staying in airports? Any stories of success or failure? Do you love airports as much as <a href="http://www.boingboing.net/2008/11/24/japanese-man-lives-i.html">this guy</a>? Let us know in the comments.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fsleeping-in-airports-for-the-stranded-and-frugal-minded&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FSleeping%20In%20Airports%20For%20The%20Stranded%20And%20Frugal%20Minded.jpg&amp;description=Sleeping%20In%20Airports%20For%20The%20Stranded%20And%20Frugal%20Minded" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Sleeping%20In%20Airports%20For%20The%20Stranded%20And%20Frugal%20Minded.jpg" alt="Sleeping In Airports For The Stranded And Frugal Minded" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-defranza">David DeFranza</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sleeping-in-airports-for-the-stranded-and-frugal-minded">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/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</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/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-line-between-frugal-and-crazy">The line between frugal and crazy</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/10-frugal-fall-getaways-you-can-start-packing-for-now">10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing For Now</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/can-i-conquer-my-vanity-for-the-sake-of-my-sanity">Can I Conquer My Vanity for the Sake of My Sanity?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Lifestyle Travel accommodation airports frugal frugal travel frugality Thu, 27 Nov 2008 05:04:14 +0000 David DeFranza 2609 at http://www.wisebread.com