international travel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7473/all en-US 5 Places to Travel While the Dollar Is Strong http://www.wisebread.com/5-places-to-travel-while-the-dollar-is-strong <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-places-to-travel-while-the-dollar-is-strong" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000070546755_Small_0.jpg" alt="Finding places to travel while the dollar is strong" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="164" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Travel isn't cheap, but when the dollar is 15%&ndash;55% stronger against other currencies than it has been in over a decade, now is the time to travel! Not everywhere is a good value at this time. Some other currencies are flourishing just like the USD, so if you want to find strong-dollar discounts, you have to know where to look. Here are five amazing places to visit that are far less expensive than they have been in a recent five-year history thanks to a strong U.S. dollar.</p> <p><strong>Note</strong>: All currency conversions are based on <a href="http://xe.com/">XE.com</a>'s historical data. The current exchange rates may have changed since this article was published. Daily budgets and average hotel costs were calculated using <a href="http://www.numbeo.com/travel-prices/">numbeo.com</a>'s travel index tool.</p> <h2>1. South Africa ($1 USD = 15 ZAR)</h2> <p>Five years ago, you would have only gotten 6.73 Rand for your dollar, but now you'll feel more than twice as rich in South Africa. There has never been a better time to go on an African safari. In 2010, entrance to South Africa's biggest park (Kruger National Park) would have cost $23.77 (160 ZAR), but now, you can watch lions, zebras and elephants roam free for just $17.50 (264 ZAR)!</p> <p>A four-day luxury lodge safari trip in Kruger National park is around 15,000 ZAR. In 2010, that would have been $2,225 USD, but today it's only around $965 USD!</p> <p>A budget room in a guest house (known as a &quot;backpacker&quot; in South Africa) will cost you about 385 ZAR. In 2010, that equated to $57 a night, but today you'll pay just over $25 for the same room.</p> <h3>The Math</h3> <p><strong>Midrange Daily Budget</strong>: 500 ZAR / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget based on 2010 conversion</strong>: $74 / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget thanks to today's dollar</strong>: $33 / Day</p> <p><strong>Savings of</strong>: 55%</p> <p><strong>Current Exchange</strong>: 1 USD = 15 ZAR</p> <p><strong>5 Year High</strong>: 16.00</p> <p><strong>5 Year Low</strong>: 6.56</p> <h2>2. Russia ($1 USD = 70 RUB)</h2> <p>The beautiful city of Moscow, the churches of St.Petersburg, and <a href="http://www.goatsontheroad.com/trans-siberian-train-journey-irkutsk-to-omsk/">the world's greatest train journey</a> have never been so affordable. The Russian ruble fell drastically at the end of 2014, and while this isn't great for Russians, it is excellent for those of us who have always wanted to visit this vast and beautiful country.</p> <p>The average price of a midrange hotel in Moscow is around 3,500 RUB. In 2010, that would have been $116, but today that is less than $50.</p> <p>One of the most legendary train journeys on the planet, the Trans-Siberian, is now a better value than it has been in the past few decades. The trip from Moscow to Ulan Bator will run you around 35,000 Rubles for a first class ticket. At Christmas time in 2010, that would have been $1,160, but with today's exchange it's just $498! You can buy two tickets today, for the same price as one ticket would have cost you at the end of 2014. Incredible.</p> <h3>The Math</h3> <p><strong>Midrange Daily Budget</strong>: 4000 RUB / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget based on 2010 conversion</strong>: $133 / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget thanks to today's dollar</strong>: $57 / Day</p> <p><strong>Savings of</strong>: 57%</p> <p><strong>Current Exchange</strong>: 1 USD = 70 RUB</p> <p><strong>5 Year High</strong>: 71.91</p> <p><strong>5 Year Low</strong>: 27.29</p> <h2>3. Brazil ($1 USD = 3.95 BRL)</h2> <p>Although Brazil was once considered a &quot;BRIC&quot; economy, the collapse of oil prices, the FIFA World Cup, and preparation for the 2016 Olympics has proven pretty rough on Brazil's currency. Today the Brazilian real is suffering a real downturn and the U.S. dollar is getting about 57% more than it did around this time in 2010.</p> <p>If the Brazilian real continues on this downward trend, the Olympics in 2016 might make for a great budget destination. According to <a href="http://olympics.org/">olympics.org</a>, tickets for events will go for around 70 real. That's only $17.70, and by the time the games begin, it might be even less.</p> <p>A three-star hotel in Brazil averages at around R$230 per night. In 2010 that was $138, but today that same room will cost you less than $35.</p> <h2>The Math</h2> <p><strong>Midrange Daily Budget</strong>: R$400 / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget based on 2010 conversion</strong>: $240 / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget thanks to today's dollar</strong>: $100 / Day</p> <p><strong>Savings of</strong>: 58%</p> <p><strong>Current Exchange</strong>: $1 USD = 3.95 RUB</p> <p><strong>5 Year High</strong>: 4.17</p> <p><strong>5 Year Low</strong>: 1.57</p> <h2>4. Japan ($1 USD = 122 JPY)</h2> <p>I have personally always wanted to visit Japan, but I thought it would be outrageously expensive. This was true back in 2010 when the exchange rate was around 82&yen; to the dollar. At that time, Japan would have been a steep holiday, but today the dollar gets 33% more than it did back then.</p> <p>The average cost of a midrange hotel room in Japan is 10,000&yen;. In 2010 that would have been $122 USD, today that room will run you just $82.</p> <p>A guided hike to the top of Mt.Fuji costs about 47,000&yen;. In 2010 that was $573, but today you'd pay $385.</p> <h3>The Math</h3> <p><strong>Midrange Daily Budget</strong>: 19,000&yen; / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget based on 2010 conversion</strong>: $231 / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget thanks to today's dollar</strong>: $155 / Day</p> <p><strong>Savings of</strong>: 33%</p> <p><strong>Current Exchange</strong>: $1 USD = 121.83 JPY</p> <p><strong>5 Year High</strong>: 125.63</p> <p><strong>5 Year Low</strong>: 75.76</p> <h2>5. Any Country Using the Euro ($1 USD = 0.92 EUR)</h2> <p>Head to Europe for huge savings! Explore the whitewashed buildings of Oia, Greece, lay on the soft, sandy beaches of the Mediterranean, explore the beauty of Paris, and the history of Rome, all for a fraction of what it would have cost you just a few years ago.</p> <p>At the end of 2010, the Euro was at 0.76 to the dollar, but today the dollar is 17% stronger and trades almost equally with the Euro. When I was in Greece, I found <a href="http://www.goatsontheroad.com/santorini-a-vacation-from-backpacking-the-world-nick-may-10th-18th/">a lovely apartment</a> just a few blocks from the sea on Santorini island. At the time (May, 2011), that apartment cost me 34 Euros, which was around $50 USD/night. Today I could get that same apartment for just over $37.</p> <p>There hasn't been a cheaper time for Americans to visit Europe in over a decade. This is the perfect time to explore one of the most fascinating continents on Earth.</p> <h3>The Math</h3> <p><strong>Midrange Daily Budget</strong>: &euro;100 / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget based on 2010 conversion</strong>: $131 / Day</p> <p><strong>This daily budget thanks to today's dollar</strong>: $110 / Day</p> <p><strong>Savings of</strong>: 17%</p> <p><strong>Current Exchange</strong>: $1 USD = 0.915 EUR</p> <p><strong>5 Year High</strong>: 0.95</p> <p><strong>5 Year Low</strong>: 0.67</p> <p>Enjoy it while it lasts...</p> <p>Celebrate the strong American dollar by taking a trip to a place you couldn't afford previously. Enjoy the discounts while you can!</p> <p><em>Are you planning international travel while the dollar is so strong?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-places-to-travel-while-the-dollar-is-strong">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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-budget-friendly-beach-destinations">6 Budget-Friendly Beach Destinations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You</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-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">How Travel Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</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-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel budget travel cheap travel conversion rate international travel travel rewards Thu, 24 Mar 2016 09:30:28 +0000 Nick Wharton 1675631 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Travel the World on a Budget http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-travel-the-world-on-a-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-travel-the-world-on-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_traveler_000038161124.jpg" alt="Woman traveling the world on a budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on ways to see the world on a budget, why you just overpaid at the store, and the smart way to lend money to friends and family.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0325/Ten-ways-to-see-the-world-on-a-budget">Ten ways to see the world on a budget</a> &mdash; Instead booking each leg of your journey separately, you can bundle your flights with a Round the World ticket through an airline alliance. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T050-C011-S001-reasons-you-didn-t-get-the-best-price.html">11 Reasons You Just Overpaid at the Store</a> &mdash; Keep an eye on the price after a purchase &mdash; the retailer may refund the price difference if you ask for it. Even if they don't, you might be able to get a price adjustment through your credit card. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/lending-money-to-friends-and-family-without-losing-both/">Lending Money to Friends and Family Without Losing Both</a> &mdash; When it comes to loaning money to your friends and family, only loan as much as you are willing to NOT get back. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Best-Travel-Experiences-34953347">83 Travel Experiences to Have While You're Alive and Breathing</a> &mdash; The Tunnel of Love in Ukraine looks like something out of a fairy tale! It's believed that if couples who are truly in love hold hands while crossing the tunnel, their wishes will come true. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/frugality/heres-how-much-money-youre-throwing-away-each-year/">Here&rsquo;s How Much Money You&rsquo;re Throwing Away Each Year</a> &mdash; According to a 2012 report, the average American household throws out about 25% of food purchased. On average, that's as much as $1,963 a year into the trash. [MoneyNing]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/financial-intervention/">Financial Intervention</a> &mdash; If someone close to you seems unable to control their spending to the point that it's destroying his life, you'll need to recruit allies from his friends and family and maybe even get professional help. [Listen Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://couponpal.com/blog/5-things-to-consider-when-buying-new-glasses">5 Things To Consider When Buying New Glasses</a> &mdash; Glasses aren't one-size-fit all. Keep your face size in mind when you're choosing frames. [CouponPal]</p> <p><a href="http://www.carefulcents.com/budget-irregular-income/">How to Budget With Irregular Income When You&rsquo;re Self-Employed</a> &mdash; Figure out the bare minimum amount of money that you need to keep your business running and your personal expenses paid. [Careful Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/manage-your-emotions-manage-money">3 Ways Managing Your Emotions Can Help You Manage Money</a> &mdash; If you know how to manage your emotions, you'll perform better at work even when stressed, and you'll be able to ride out market ups and downs without panicking. [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/hop-to-it-with-these-12-easter-crafts">Hop to it With These 12 Easter Crafts!</a> &mdash; Spread the Easter spirit throughout your house with cute little pom pom bunnies!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-travel-the-world-on-a-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/5-cheap-international-vacation-destinations">5 Cheap International Vacation 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/5-international-cities-to-boost-your-standard-of-living-for-less">5 International Cities to Boost Your Standard of Living for Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-places-to-travel-while-the-dollar-is-strong">5 Places to Travel While the Dollar Is Strong</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/14-dirty-details-of-traveling-full-time">14 Dirty Details of Traveling Full-Time</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/teach-your-way-around-the-world">Teach Your Way Around the World</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel best money tips international travel Wed, 01 Apr 2015 19:00:09 +0000 Amy Lu 1365838 at http://www.wisebread.com The Best Times of Year to Travel Anywhere http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-times-of-year-to-travel-anywhere <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-times-of-year-to-travel-anywhere" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-travel-178715941-small.jpg" alt="couple travel" title="couple travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes, it's a bit of a hassle getting a trip together. Whether it be work, school, or social schedules, a family planning on traveling domestically or abroad may find it impossible to do so. And, worse, once you get to where you thought your dream vacation should be, is virtually shut down because of &quot;low season.&quot;</p> <p>Truth is, any time of year is a great time to travel &mdash; you just need to know where to go, when. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Winter</h2> <p>Beaches, of course, both north and south of the equator, will be popular, but you can also escape the crowds and still have a great time.</p> <h3>Europe</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/alps.jpg" /></p> <p>If you are thinking about Europe, think again. While the summer crowds for popular sights in Western Europe will be gone, the weather will be cold and rainy across most of the continent. The only place that I would recommend traveling to would be the ski towns of Europe, in the Pyrenees and Alps. These winter months are great for skiing, and is considered &quot;high&quot; season.</p> <h3>Asia</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/thailand.jpg" /></p> <p>To avoid the summer heat, why not Southeast Asia? Notoriously humid, countries like Thailand and Cambodia cool down considerably, and are out of the monsoon season during the winter months</p> <h3>Africa</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/giza%20pyramids.jpg" /></p> <p>Beach season hasn't arrived yet in Northern Africa during the winter, but if you were wanting to backpack through the desert or check out the Pyramids of Egypt, the winter would be an excellent time to cross the Mediterranean. Further south, crossing the Equator, the high season in South Africa has arrived, and the beautiful beaches are full. I&nbsp;would avoid the East Coast of Africa, which can see cyclones during this time of year.</p> <h3>The Americas</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/chile.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>South America is great during this time. The Caribbean coast of the continent is cooled off from the summer heat, and Argentina and Chile are in the midst of their summer seasons. Virtually the entire continent is open for business during this time!</p> <h2>Spring</h2> <p>If you can get the kids out of school early, spring is a wonderful time to travel.</p> <h3>Europe</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/portugal.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>This is a great time of year to visit Europe, and especially if you can push the trip to as close to summer as possible. The crowds have yet to descend upon the cramped continent, and the summer weather is beginning to come back. In the south of Spain and Portugal, summer-like weather abounds.</p> <h3>Asia</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/japans.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>The only places in Asia that may be decent this time of year are in North Asia, especially Japan, which experiences its famed cherry blossoms during this time. China also experiences pleasant weather during the springtime.</p> <h3>Africa</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/reunion%20island.jpg" /></p> <p>Central African nations are good to visit this time of year, since the heat of summer has yet to arrive. Island countries in the Indian Ocean like Reunion are also very pleasant in the spring.</p> <h3>The Americas</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/baja%20mexico.jpg" /></p> <p>Central America and the Caribbean are still open for business, as springtime is right before the rainy season and hurricanes, which are definitely to be avoided. Baja Mexico and its Pacific coast are also good to go.</p> <h2>Summer</h2> <p>Everyone is on the road during summer, which means plenty of options, and unfortunately, plenty of other travelers.</p> <h3>Europe</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/iceland.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>If you can handle the crowds (and a little heat), summer in Europe is a delight. If you plan on hitting Iceland during your travels, I would recommend going now, with temperatures in very comfortable ranges and almost 24 hours of daylight!</p> <h3>Asia</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/indonesia.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Tourist season is certainly up in Asia, despite the heat. Indonesia's weather is quite nice during this time of year, so maybe meet up with some of your other backpacker friends and have some fun! It is monsoon season, though, which I wouldn't want to be a part of!</p> <h3>Africa</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/tunisias.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>I would stick with Northern Africa during the summer, as the beaches can be quite nice this time of year.</p> <h3>The Americas</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/andes.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>In South America, check out the Andean highlands of Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador, which are quite pleasant this time of year (I've been).</p> <h2>Fall</h2> <p>Moderate temperatures and sometimes unpredictable weather make fall a comfortable and thrilling time to travel.</p> <h3>Europe</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/malta.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Deep in the Mediterranean, you can still find swimmable weather in Sicily, Malta, and Ibiza/Mallorca in Spain. Everywhere else may be a bit cold, but ski season should be open by late November in the Alps.</p> <h3>Asia</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/hong%20kongs.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Autumn is a particularly amazing time to visit South Korea when the leaves change. Hong Kong's notoriously humid weather has given way to quite a temperate climate. And, don't forget about usually steamy Singapore.</p> <h3>Africa</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/morocco.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>It's shoulder-season in Morocco, and empty of tourists if you want to see the sights on a budget. In Mali and Mauritania, river cruises make for a good vacation at this time.</p> <h3>The Americas</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/south%20dakota.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>In the Americas, Central America is still in the rainy season, but Costa Rica's temperatures and prices might be good at this time. In the USA, the South is great this time of year, and the beaches are still open in Miami.</p> <p><em>When's your favorite time of year to travel? Where do you go? Please share in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mark-jackson">Mark Jackson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-times-of-year-to-travel-anywhere">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-international-vacation-destinations">5 Cheap International Vacation 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/5-international-cities-to-boost-your-standard-of-living-for-less">5 International Cities to Boost Your Standard of Living for Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-places-to-travel-while-the-dollar-is-strong">5 Places to Travel While the Dollar Is Strong</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/14-dirty-details-of-traveling-full-time">14 Dirty Details of Traveling Full-Time</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/teach-your-way-around-the-world">Teach Your Way Around the World</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel international travel off season travel when to travel where to go Wed, 06 Aug 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Mark Jackson 1167642 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Dirty Details of Traveling Full-Time http://www.wisebread.com/14-dirty-details-of-traveling-full-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-dirty-details-of-traveling-full-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dirty_details.jpg" alt="Traveler in Thailand" title="Traveler in Thailand" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="152" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Does a full-time travel lifestyle sound like a dream job?</p> <p>Well, it is. (Kind of.) I've been doing it for almost six years, and I can't imagine what my life would be like had I not made the life-changing decision to sell everything I owned and discover what the world held in store. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 Per Year or Less</a>)</p> <p>But I've also had my fair share of <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2012/06/a-bad-day-in-the-life-of-a-professional-hobo/">bad days</a>. Bad weeks. Bad countries. Etcetera.</p> <p>No lifestyle is perfect. And the full-time travel lifestyle has some dirty details that can get in the way if you're not properly prepared for them. Here are a few pesky details you'll need to manage if you want to travel full-time.</p> <h2>1. Expat Insurance</h2> <p>Once you've been traveling full-time for a certain time period (usually over six months or one year) you don't qualify for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirt-on-travel-insurance">standard travel insurance</a>. In this case, you need to get expat insurance, which provides medical coverage anywhere in the world (or certain geographic regions, depending on your terms). Coverage can range from emergency only to full medical plans; generally you get what you pay for. Here's a&nbsp; <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2012/03/expat-insurance-travel-insurance-for-full-time-and-long-term-travelers/">primer on expat insurance</a>, including a glossary of terms and tips to keep your premiums low.</p> <h2>2. Mailing Address</h2> <p>Receiving mail (and having a &ldquo;permanent&rdquo; mailing address for filling in various forms) is a stumbling block for all full-time travelers. Solutions include having somebody in your home town who receives your mail and alerts you to anything you need to know about, or paying a monthly fee for a mailing service (which basically does the same thing). Here's an article detailing some <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/essential-services-for-the-road-nora-dunn">essential services for the road</a>, including virtual mailbox services.</p> <h2>3. Staying in Touch</h2> <p>You need more than mail to be in touch, and thankfully it's getting easier with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/location-independent-career-basics">location independent careers</a> becoming more common. Having an unlocked cell phone into which you insert local pay-as-you-go SIM cards gives you a local telephone number, and applications like Skype and Google Voice allow you to make inexpensive long distance calls using your internet connection (and free computer-to-computer calls).</p> <p>One frustration with staying in touch on the road and managing a location-independent career is the constant search for WiFi. Although it's quite prevalent, there are still places where it's simply unavailable or cost-prohibitive.</p> <h2>4. Work-Life Balance</h2> <p>The second challenge with the constant search for WiFi is that once you have it, sometimes it's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-time-management-and-work-life-balance">hard to disconnect</a>. Many of us have come to rely on it for business, pleasure, and communication. So sometimes it's a challenge to actually unplug and enjoy the full-time traveling lifestyle for what it is. There is a (often precarious) work-life balance to manage on the road and constantly be aware of.</p> <h2>5. Getting Rid of Your Stuff</h2> <p>What do you do with all your stuff while you travel full-time? This depends on the stuff you have, your intended travel plans, and your personal preferences. Paying for storage space can be cost-prohibitive, and depending on the stuff you keep, you might have a friend or family member with enough space in their garage to store it for you. (I myself have five boxes of &ldquo;stuff&rdquo; tucked away in a friend's garage.)</p> <p>If you're getting rid of all your stuff, you might want to check out these articles to get you started with some ideas:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-unusual-ways-to-sell-your-stuff">11 Unusual Ways to Sell Your Stuff</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-crap-a-book-review-and-tips">How to Sell Your Crap (Book Review &amp; Tips)</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-all-your-crap">How to Get Rid of All Your Crap</a></li> </ul> <h2>6. To Sell or To Rent</h2> <p>If you own your home, you'll have to decide if you're selling it or renting it out in your absence. If the market values have dropped, then selling it might not be preferable (or possible), but renting your place out could be stressful in terms of tenant management if you don't have a point-person to deal with tenancy issues (like repairs, rent collection, finding tenants, and keeping an eye on the place). Using a property management company can alleviate much of this leg-work, but it will also erode your profits.</p> <p>It's a tough decision, dependent on your home, its current value, how much equity you have in the home, and your penchant for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-become-a-landlord-instead-of-selling-your-home">being an absentee landlord</a>.</p> <h2>7. Managing Money</h2> <p>I have an entire series on my site dedicated to <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/financial-travel-tips/">Financial Travel Tips</a> since managing your money on the road can be tricky business. Issues include accessing money, getting paid online, effectively using credit cards and debit cards (and dealing with issues like theft, fraud, and complications &mdash; which can add some serious speed bumps to the process if you're abroad; I've had to deal with this three times in the past two months), minimizing currency conversion charges, and carrying cash safely, to name a few. (Check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-how-to-get-and-carry-cash-safely-and-securely">Travel &amp; Money series</a> for some money management tips and tricks.)</p> <h2>8. Loan Payments</h2> <p>It's best to embark on a full-time travel lifestyle without any debts, but sometimes a lingering student loan (for example) might seem manageable enough to spread your wings anyway. As a precaution, it is good to have 6-12 months' loan payments stashed away in a high-interest account in the event that your ongoing income can't cover the payment for whatever reason. If you also have an emergency fund as a buffer, then you can reduce your loan payment stash.</p> <h2>9. Packing Light</h2> <p>I learned early on that the weight of your luggage is proportionate to the degree of misery you'll feel while traveling. The more stuff you have, the harder it is to pack everything up each time you move, and the more agonizing the act of traveling becomes. I also find that the more stuff I have, the more I'm concerned about the inevitable travel risks, such as having my luggage stolen, damaged, or lost. Lightening your load really does make the journey easier.</p> <p>However...</p> <p>Lightening your load also means you're probably compromising on a few items that you'd really like to have but simply can't justify. Once you've had a little time on the road you can learn to adjust or compensate, but sometimes it's simply a drag. A solution? When I stay somewhere for at least a few months I tend to accumulate these extra things that make my life easier &mdash; 2<sup>nd</sup> hand if possible &mdash; getting rid of them again before I leave.</p> <h2>10. Getting What You &ldquo;Need&rdquo; Abroad</h2> <p>Although most people are thrilled and surprised to discover they can get almost everything they need on the road (like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-shaving-with-these-razor-tricks">razor blades</a> and specific toiletries), you probably have a favorite product that isn't widely available. Under the premise of packing light it would be bad form to stock up (too much) on those items, and I've been surprised to discover some rare items (or in some cases, better replacements) lurking in distant and unexpected corners of the world. The trick is not to become too attached to a specific product in case you can't find a replacement.</p> <h2>11. Taxes</h2> <p>Your income tax situation will depend on how and where you're making money. You'll likely have to cart around some paperwork (like tax-deductible receipts) and keep it organized as you go. Filing your taxes from abroad can be an adventure as well. I keep detailed spreadsheets of expenses and income, and I email them to my accountant back home, while my &ldquo;designated representative&rdquo; who receives mail on my behalf sends my accountant any official income slips I've received. It's helpful to have a relationship with an accountant before you set off on a full-time travel lifestyle.</p> <h2>12. Refilling Prescriptions/Visiting Doctors</h2> <p>Unless you're making regular trips back home, you're subject to the whims of local doctors for medical needs and prescriptions. In some countries prescription medications are available over-the-counter or upon informal consultations with pharmacists (always ask a pharmacist for help before bothering with a doctor &mdash; you'd be amazed at how helpful they can be). Otherwise you have to decide if the doctor's visit is worth paying for with cash or claiming on your insurance policy (see the above point on expat insurance).</p> <h2>13. Vaccinations</h2> <p>Some people get pricked up for every conceivable disease before leaving home. This can be incredibly expensive, however, and sometimes unnecessary, especially if you don't end up visiting those countries rife with a disease you were vaccinated for. Not to mention there are risks to vaccinations; I have a friend who spent six months paralyzed from the waist down due to a complication with a vaccination she received prior to visiting Africa.</p> <p>Travel medical clinics are quite common around the world, and often less expensive (and no less sanitary) than your home clinic. I would suggest getting only the vaccinations you need, when you need them.</p> <h2>14. Withdrawal</h2> <p>Sometimes, you just plain miss your family and friends back home or your chosen family and new friends you've made along the way. Staying in communication via email and phone is viable, but sometimes it's no replacement for a hug from somebody you love. That's okay too; just <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/route-connections-price-how-far-will-you-go-for-a-cheap-flight">book a flight</a> home for a visit!</p> <p><em>What are some of the dirty details of full-time travel that you have either had to contend with, or are worried about?</em></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/14-dirty-details-of-traveling-full-time">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-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">11 Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette</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/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-champaign-urbana">Free and cheap things to do in Champaign-Urbana</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-get-free-accommodations-and-paid-jobs-on-boats">How to Get Free Accommodations (and Paid Jobs) on Boats</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/volunteer-to-travel-11-opportunities-for-free-or-very-cheap-travel">Volunteer to Travel: 11 Opportunities for Free or Very Cheap Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Travel full-time travel health insurance international travel overseas living Mon, 10 Sep 2012 10:24:41 +0000 Nora Dunn 954356 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Cheap International Vacation Destinations http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-international-vacation-destinations <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-cheap-international-vacation-destinations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-1929086-small.jpg" alt="women on vacation" title="women on vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're trying to live frugally, plunking down several thousand dollars for a week's holiday is not always possible. A fancy vacation may not be in the cards, but you don't have to spend a lot of money to get away for a week of much-needed R&amp;R. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Reward Crdit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. Argentina</h2> <p><img width="605" height="341" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/intlvacaargentina-2607399-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Buenos Aires' elegant cafés, art galleries, tango, and fine dining are as fascinating as the greatest capitals of the Old World. The U.S. dollar does very well against the Argentine peso, making Argentina an excellent budget destination. There are a multitude of inexpensive hostels and guesthouses, and a stay in one of the nicer hotels is very reasonably priced. You can also eat and drink for cheap, with famous grass-fed Argentine steaks going for a fraction of the price you'd expect in the U.S. or in Europe. A trip to Argentina also offers the opportunity to visit the spectacular Iguazu Falls as well as other natural destinations, which can be accessed by rental car. Look for budget tours of Argentina that may offer better deals on transportation and hotel stays.</p> <h2>2. Mexico</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/intlvacamexico-4220865-small.jpg" /></p> <p>A lot of people are avoiding vacations south of the border these days, as news of drug wars dominates the headlines. In reality, however, resort destinations like Puerto Vallarta or Cancun are far from the chaos and quite safe. Take advantage of the tourism slow-down by snapping up great deals on vacations in these warm and sunny hot spots. You can rent a one-bedroom condo at less than what most hotel rooms cost and self-cater to save money. Or look for promotions at one of the all-inclusive resorts. If you live near LA, Miami, or other major cruise ports, you can get great deals on all-inclusive cruises down to Mexico &mdash; many at less than $100 per person per day &mdash; and you don't even have to shell out the airfare. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/love-travel-but-hate-airline-miles-try-amexs-blue-sky-preferred">Travel on Rewards Without Using Airline Miles</a>)</p> <h2>3. Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/intlvacathailand-144834-small.jpg" /></p> <p>If you can manage to find a cheap flight to Thailand, this country is one of the best places for budget travel, and the island of Ko Pha Ngan is one of the best budget destinations in the country. Located close to more heavily developed Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan has not yet exploded onto the tourist scene. You'll find the same soft white sand and warm turquoise water as more popular resort destinations in Thailand, with friendlier prices. Travel away from the touristy town of Hat Rin, and you'll find secluded resorts with landscaped gardens, glimmering pools, and Thai massages, all priced at the cost of a cheap hotel elsewhere.</p> <h2>4. Luangprabang, Laos</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/intlvacalaos-3438592-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Luangprabang, Laos is one of those gem-like towns that you'll end up treasuring in your heart for years to come. This <a href="http://www.unesco.org">UNESCO</a>-protected city is Laos's greatest tourist attraction. Located on the mighty Mekong River and surrounded by jade mountains, the city melds traditional Lao culture with Indochina's colonial French heritage. Wake up early in the morning to see hundreds of saffron-robed monks collecting their alms for the day, and explore dozens of pristine Buddhist temples. Trek or take a boat up the river to one of numerous smaller villages, where you can lie in a hammock overlooking the Mekong for just a few bucks a night. Inns and hotels are extremely cheap, but clean and beautifully decorated with traditional handicrafts.</p> <h2>5. Eastern Europe</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/intlvacaukraine-5347046-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Can't afford to travel in Europe? Think again. Eastern Europe may not be as well known as its Western counterpart, but offers fascinating attractions, culture, food, and wine, all at budget-friendly prices. Destinations in the Ukraine and in Estonia have been seeing more tourism in the past couple of years as budget-conscious tourists flock to Eastern Europe. Cheap public transport, reasonably-priced hotels, and excellent dining options are available for travelers looking to make their dollars go further.</p> <p><em>Where have you traveled lately? Any more tips on cheap places to travel?</em></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/5-cheap-international-vacation-destinations">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package</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-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-escape-with-these-14-affordable-weekend-getaways">Make Your Escape With These 14 Affordable Weekend Getaways</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel Asia cheap vacations Europe international flights international travel Wed, 08 Jun 2011 10:24:07 +0000 Camilla Cheung 562620 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 International Cities to Boost Your Standard of Living for Less http://www.wisebread.com/5-international-cities-to-boost-your-standard-of-living-for-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-international-cities-to-boost-your-standard-of-living-for-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/san_jose.jpg" alt="Costa Rica" title="Costa Rica" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a resident of one of the most chronically expensive cities in the world, moving to a cheaper, more quality-of-life beneficial city has sat steady at the back of my mind for many years now. As a freelance writer, I have the glorious ability to work from anywhere &mdash; that is, as long as there's a strong pot of coffee and a Wi-Fi signal nearby.</p> <p>However, ever since I became gainfully unemployed in the 9-5 rat race and shifted my gears into full-time freelancing, I've become more and more interested in what other cities can offer me and other wannabe U.S. expats in terms of a better quality of life for less. Clearly there are quite a few places that can offer a freelancer a boosted standard of living, and it'd be safe to say that a lot of those countries reside in South America. All hail the peso!</p> <p>But we'll be checking out some other places in Asia, Eastern Europe, and even good ol' Canada that you may have never considered before.</p> <p>The other component to keep in mind before you go ditching that day job to pick fruit in New Zealand (which I hear can be pretty lucrative if your rent is comped) is that this is more for freelancers who are picking up jobs in the U.S. and using a cheap cost of living or a promising exchange rate to live the dream.</p> <h3>1. Buenos Aires, Argentina</h3> <p>Yes, Buenos Aires has been done to death &mdash; written about in every major publication in the past 10 years since the peso crisis of 2002. But as long as you can still buy a steak dinner for two with a glass of wine for US $15 and eat it on your French balcony, it will continue to remain a fantastic bargain for the American expat.</p> <p>Exchange Rate: 3.9<br /> Average Rent: $750<br /> Monthly Food and Living Costs: $300<br /> Transportation: Trains and buses are cheap, running around $.70 and $.80 per ride, while an average taxi ride is around $5.</p> <h3>2. Bangkok, Thailand</h3> <p>Bangkok has recently taken the spotlight on becoming a multi-national city and business and finance hub. The city houses around 6.3 million people, and encompasses a wealth of history and cultural attractions.</p> <p>Exchange Rate: 32.33<br /> Average Rent: $400<br /> Monthly Food and Living Costs: $350<br /> Transportation: Tuk-tuk (a small three wheeled carriage), motorcycle taxis, and buses abound, as well as taxis.</p> <h3>3. Montreal, Quebec</h3> <p>Montreal has a lower cost of living and a higher minimum wage ($9 an hour), so even if you're not a freelancer, living here could still be more cost effective than most, if not all, U.S. metropolitan cities.</p> <p>Exchange Rate: 1.02<br /> Average Rent: $530<br /> Monthly Food and Living Costs: $350<br /> Transportation: The train in Montreal is very reliable and costs $2.75 a ride (or $70 for a monthly pass), and there are also buses and bike sharing programs.</p> <h3>4. San Jose, Costa Rica</h3> <p>San Jose is not only a tropical oasis, but a thriving metropolitan city and cultural hub. Fun fact: According to Wikipedia, 25% of the country's land area is in protected national parks.</p> <p>Another surprising fact is the cost of living is a bit higher than you'd expect with such a favorable exchange rate. That's because of the high inflation rates, which have been some of Latin America's highest in the past few years. (But it's still extremely cheap to live here.)</p> <p>Exchange Rate: .0019<br /> Average Rent: $600<br /> Monthly Food and Living Costs: $300<br /> Transportation: Buses here are cheap and are the main source of transportation here, along with taxis.</p> <h3>5. Prague, Czech Republic</h3> <p>Although the winters can be a bit harsh, the cost of living is still relatively cheap in Prague, since the Czech crown still has a good exchange rate for Americans. The housing costs aren't shockingly low and basic gas and electricity is similar to U.S. costs. However, prices for food, alcohol and transportation are considerably lower, making it still a good deal.</p> <p>Exchange Rate: 20.02<br /> Average Rent: $700<br /> Monthly Food and Living Costs: $300<br /> Transportation: Prague has a rail system, buses, tram system, and ferries. A monthly transport pass will run you around $30.</p> <p><em>Story was accurate and up-to-date at time of publishing. Exchange rates are the average so far for 2010.</em></p> <p><em>Editor's Note: This article was written before some of the more intense unrest being experienced in the country of Thailand. As with any decision to move to a new area, we encourage you to research the region thoroughly &mdash; including any social or political factors &mdash; before you take the plunge. Many people still live and work in the country based on the positives we mention in this article.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Lauren Fairbanks is a Brooklyn-based writer covering lifestyle, small business and personal finance topics. She's also the founder and editor of <a href="http://www.lifestylermag.com/">LifeStyler</a>, a NYC centric budget lifestyle website. Read more articles by Lauren:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.youngmoney.com/travel/nyc-weekend-less-300/">A NYC Weekend for Less than $300</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.lifestylermag.com/features/5-fun-things-to-do-in-nyc-for-5-part-ii">5 Fun Things to do in NYC for $5 - Part 2</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.lifestylermag.com/features/thrifting-online-tips-to-mastering-the-craigslist-domain">Thrifting Online: Tips to Mastering the Craigslist Domain</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lauren-fairbanks">Lauren Fairbanks</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-international-cities-to-boost-your-standard-of-living-for-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tourist-towns-that-are-actually-great-to-live-in">6 &quot;Tourist Towns&quot; That Are Actually Great to Live In</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-incredible-world-cities-you-can-afford">5 Incredible World Cities You Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-international-vacation-destinations">5 Cheap International Vacation Destinations</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-places-to-travel-while-the-dollar-is-strong">5 Places to Travel While the Dollar Is Strong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-cities-for-single-millennials">The 6 Best Cities for Single Millennials</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel international travel relocating standard of living Fri, 28 May 2010 13:00:03 +0000 Lauren Fairbanks 102947 at http://www.wisebread.com Teach Your Way Around the World http://www.wisebread.com/teach-your-way-around-the-world <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/teach-your-way-around-the-world" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sunrise.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="187" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You&rsquo;re itching to hit the road, but can&rsquo;t find the funds to do it. Still, you have some unexpected, maybe unwanted, free time on your hands and an urge to see the world. Now&rsquo;s the time to check out the teaching abroad scene. Loads of jobs await in places near and far. From just across the border in Mexico to the furthest reaches of the Polynesian Islands, opportunities abound. All you have to do is get a few key elements in order and you can be off on the adventure of a lifetime.</p> <p><strong>Bachelor&rsquo;s Degree</strong></p> <p>Having a Bachelor&rsquo;s degree is the first step to hitting the road as an English instructor. In fact, in many cases, whether you have one or not will determine if you are even eligible to teach in a particular country. Some places, such as South Korea and Japan, require only a Bachelor&rsquo;s degree and no other ESL teaching certification. So once you polish off this degree, you&rsquo;re well on your way. It doesn&rsquo;t even matter what subject you study, although if you have a degree in Education or English Teaching, it could give you a boost in an employer&rsquo;s eyes.</p> <p><strong>English Teaching Certification</strong></p> <p>Other countries, such as Vietnam and Indonesia, require additional training. For Vietnam, you have to have a TEFL, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, certification. While you may be able to find a job without one, it&rsquo;s more difficult and you have less access to the higher paying gigs. Working your way through the maze of certification programs can be a true challenge. Best option? Choose the country or culture you&rsquo;d like to immerse yourself in and research what you need to do to get there.</p> <p>If you already know where you want to go, sweet! You can browse through programs for <a href="http://www.oxfordseminars.com/">TEFL</a>, <a href="http://www.english-international.com/CELTA.html">CELTA</a>, or <a href="http://www.tesoltraining.net/">TESOL</a> certification programs and get to it. Go for the hands on, face-to-face courses and avoid the online ones, which employers don&rsquo;t regard very highly. It shouldn&rsquo;t take you more than a month or so part-time to polish off a course.</p> <p><strong>Sweet Spots</strong></p> <p>Once you&rsquo;re all schooled up and certified, you can get straight to the job hunt. Excellent places to start are <a href="http://www.eslcafe.com/">Dave&rsquo;s ESL Café</a>, especially if you&rsquo;re interested in teaching in Korea, China and other parts of Asia. <a href="http://www.tefl.com/">TEFL.com </a>also offers a wealth of opportunities around the world, as does <a href="http://www.transitionsabroad.com/listings/work/esl/index.shtml">Transitions Abroad</a>. And those are just a few of the sites around. Search around and see what else you can find.</p> <p>For more formalized experiences and the support of an established organization, you can check out the <a href="http://www.peacecorps.gov/">Peace Corps</a>, <a href="http://www.jetprogramme.org/">JET in Japan</a>, Georgetown University&rsquo;s <a href="http://elf.georgetown.edu/">English Language Fellow Program</a>, or even some of the <a href="http://fulbright.state.gov/">Fulbright</a> programs.</p> <p>Some countries, especially places like Taiwan or some places in Eastern Europe, don&rsquo;t respond to applications from afar. It&rsquo;s easier to fly out and make an appearance in person to apply for a job. You&rsquo;re taking a bigger risk by doing that, but if you have the funds and the time for it, it&rsquo;ll give you a chance to see if you like the country and to find an employer you really like.</p> <p><strong>Caveats</strong></p> <p>A downside of finding an ESL teaching job in another country is that you never know what you&rsquo;re going to get when you get there. Sure, the ad sounds great, the interview goes well, and the money looks solid. But be prepared for anything once you hit the ground. Sometimes the housing isn&rsquo;t what was promised or the hours are more than expected.</p> <p>To mediate these challenges, make sure to do as much research as possible beforehand. Hit some job forums like the ones that Dave&rsquo;s ESL Café has, and see if anyone knows about the school you&rsquo;re talking to. Ask the school for the names and email addresses or phone numbers of people who are currently working there or have worked there in the past. Do a few online searches to see what comes up. It never hurts to have more information. It may not change your decision or what happens when you get there, but at least you have a bigger picture idea of what&rsquo;s going on.</p> <p>If you can rustle up a few contacts &ndash; friends of friends of friends or acquaintances who know people in the spot where you&rsquo;re going &ndash; even better. You can get some seriously authentic takes on what to expect and make a few new friends along the way.</p> <p>So get researching and studying. Soon you&rsquo;ll be off on a super adventure, work-cation style. &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sasha-a-rae">Sasha A. Rae</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/teach-your-way-around-the-world">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-can-travel-with-ease-and-without-guilt">Yes You Can!: Travel With Ease and Without Guilt</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/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-champaign-urbana">Free and cheap things to do in Champaign-Urbana</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-more-out-of-business-trips">10 Ways to Get More Out of Business Trips</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-cheap-international-vacation-destinations">5 Cheap International Vacation Destinations</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-places-to-travel-while-the-dollar-is-strong">5 Places to Travel While the Dollar Is Strong</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Travel Art and Leisure international travel teaching Thu, 18 Mar 2010 14:00:02 +0000 Sasha A. Rae 5893 at http://www.wisebread.com The sinking dollar http://www.wisebread.com/the-sinking-dollar <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-sinking-dollar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/foreign-currency-and-coins.jpg" alt="Foreign coins and currency" title="Foreign Coins and Currency" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It takes more than $1.40 to buy one euro today. It cost less than $1 as recently as late 2002. A Canadian dollar is worth just about exactly a US dollar--a parity not seen since the 1970s. Should Wise Bread readers care? If so, what should they do?</p> <h2>Higher prices for imported goods</h2> <p>The most obvious reason for US readers to care would be if a lower dollar led to higher prices for imported goods. When exchange rates make the dollar worth less, it seems obvious that it would take more dollars to buy all the stuff imported for sale in the US. The fact is, though, prices are generally set at what the market will bear already and those prices don&#39;t change very quickly in response to changes in the value of the dollar.</p> <p>The most immediate effect of of lower dollar is higher costs for importers--higher costs that they largely can&#39;t pass on to consumers. The result of that is a profit squeeze on the importers. Faced with such a squeeze, they do their best to push back at both ends--trying to get lower prices from their suppliers and trying to push higher prices onto their customers. It&#39;s hard to know to what extent they&#39;re being successful--companies keep that sort of data secret--but there&#39;s been no sign of a spike in prices for ordinary imported consumer goods.</p> <h2>Higher prices for raw materials</h2> <p>The price of oil, quoted in dollars, has risen for most of the year. Looked at in euro terms, though, the change is less stark. A $60 barrel of oil at the end of last year would have cost €46 versus €57 for an $80 barrel today--a 22% change in euro terms versus a 33% change in dollar terms. The price of oil really is up, but not as much as the price in dollars might suggest.</p> <p>Oil isn&#39;t the only raw material, of course. Prices of most basic materials--iron, gravel, lumber and so on--are all up in dollar terms. Like with oil, this is partially a real increase in prices, and partially just an effect of the falling dollar.</p> <p>(Given the high oil prices, the price of gasoline has been surprisingly low, at least in the US. Enjoy it while it lasts.)</p> <h2>Expensive travel</h2> <p>If you&#39;re an American traveling overseas, you will definitely notice the difference--everything will cost more. Without the buffering effects of importers and retailers who are willing to sacrifice some of their profits in the interests of maintaining market share or customer relations, you&#39;re stuck paying the local price.</p> <h2>People whose income and savings aren&#39;t in dollars</h2> <p>A good number of Wise Bread readers live in countries other than the USA. Of course, where you live doesn&#39;t matter so much as where you earn your money and how it&#39;s invested.</p> <p>To the extent that your wealth and income are in something other than dollars, the decline in the dollar provides some initial benefits--commodities priced in dollars are cheaper, as are goods and services from US sources.</p> <p>Longer-term, though, the benefits are less clear. Those foreign manufacturers benefiting because many commodities are priced in dollars, are in many cases the same ones taking a profit hit to keep selling to US importers. For those products where the US is still an exporter, the US firms have a growing exchange rate advantage--they can cut their price to foreign buyers and still bring home just as many dollars as before. If you&#39;re an owner or an employee of a firm with a US competitor, the lower dollar may hurt as much as it helps.</p> <h2>Longer term</h2> <p>Last week&#39;s <a href="http://www.economist.com">Economist</a> makes the point that, &quot;It is how steadily the dollar is falling that counts, not how swiftly.&quot; However much importers and retailers try to buffer the changes from the falling dollar, over the longer term the exchange rate matters, and there are plenty of doomsday scenarios that play out if people in other countries decide that they&#39;d just as soon not hold dollars anymore. Even a small shift in the preferences of the people and institutions that have been lending money to US borrowers could push the dollar down very quickly.</p> <p>The only way to retain those investments, if people start to move money out of the dollar, would be to raise interest rates sharply. But with the US economy already suffering from the <a href="/how-the-subprime-lending-boom-hurt-everybody">subprime lending crisis</a> and the resulting <a href="/credit-squeeze-formerly-know-as-a-panic">financial squeeze</a>, the flexibility for the Fed to do that is minimal--indeed, the Fed just lowered interest rates last week.</p> <h2>What to do?</h2> <p>Since we don&#39;t know which way exchange rates will move in the future, it&#39;s hard to provide any slam-dunk suggestions. Having some international <em>diversity in your investments</em> is always wise, but moving out of the dollar just as it hits record lows is not necessarily the best strategy. (You&#39;re too likely to find yourself unprofitably buying high and selling low.)</p> <p>If it were easy, probably the best thing to do would be to arrange to have some international <em>diversity of income</em>. It would be very nice if everyone had 15% to 20% of their income in foreign currencies so that it would grow when the local currency fell and vice versa--adding a stabilizing influence to household income. Sadly, that&#39;s not really practical for most people. Working for a multinational corporation provides a tiny sliver of the same benefits, but most of the upside will probably go to investors rather than employees.</p> <p>Still, as long as you have your income in the local currency, you can at least take advantage of the buffering effects mentioned earlier. The worst situation is to be living in a country with a rising currency while earning your income from a country with a falling one. (The situation of Americans living abroad just now.)</p> <p>For most Wise Bread readers, there&#39;s probably no benefit to taking any sudden or major actions just now. Maintain or gradually work toward an <strong>internationally diversified investment portfolio</strong>. Consider trying to develop some <strong>foreign-source income</strong>. Over the medium-term, arrange to <strong>live in the same country that the majority of your income comes from</strong>. If you can do at least a couple of those things, you&#39;ll be fine.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-sinking-dollar">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-sinking-dollar-as-viewed-from-overseas">The sinking dollar, as viewed from overseas</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/dont-get-taken-how-to-evaluate-an-exchange-rate">Don&#039;t Get Taken: How to Evaluate an Exchange Rate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-dirty-details-of-traveling-full-time">14 Dirty Details of Traveling Full-Time</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/cheap-international-payments-with-esperanto">Cheap international payments with Esperanto</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/what-if-foreigners-quit-lending-the-us-so-much-money">What if foreigners quit lending the US so much money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance dollar exchange rates foreign currency international investing international travel overseas investing overseas living Mon, 24 Sep 2007 22:23:45 +0000 Philip Brewer 1202 at http://www.wisebread.com Yes You Can!: Travel With Ease and Without Guilt http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-can-travel-with-ease-and-without-guilt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/yes-you-can-travel-with-ease-and-without-guilt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Thailand.jpg" alt="Thailand Dragon" title="Thailand Dragon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="160" height="240" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know you love it...travel, that is. But it&#39;s expensive--there&#39;s no way around that. Now, I&#39;m not against breaking the bank for a once-in-a-lifetime trip, but here are some tips to make your money (and time!) go farther. </p> <p>1. You&#39;ve heard about it, but now it&#39;s here. <a href="http://www.virginamerica.com/va/home.do?method=virginAmerica" title="Virgin America">Virgin America</a> is <a href="http://current.newsweek.com/budgettravel/2007/08/the_alpha_airline_for_budget_t.html" title=" Virgin Atlantic is Cool">cool</a>, but it&#39;s also driving rates down around the country. Get in line soon--once this get&#39;s out, the plush seats will be filled!</p> <p>2. Bring your own food. No, they&#39;re not going to tell you that you can bring your own food on a plane. But you know that lunch you pack for work most days? Well, if you make yourself one for the trip, you won&#39;t face the choice of shelling out at least $5 for a dry roll, some cheese, and an old chocolate, or starving. Too bad we can&#39;t make it a BYOB! </p> <p>3. Don&#39;t shop duty free...unless you&#39;ve done your homework. So you just couldn&#39;t avoid the 11 hour layover in Taipei...in the middle of the night. And the shops are colorful, and browsing gives you something to do. I know; I&#39;ve been there. But RESIST. Many duty free products are as expensive or <a href="http://budgettravel.about.com/cs/africantrains/a/dutyfree_2.htm" title="Duty free?">more expensive</a> than they are other places. If you think you might want to shop duty free, price your items other places before you get to the airport, just to be sure you&#39;re getting a deal. </p> <p>4. Renting a car just got cheaper. <a href="https://www.simplywheelz.com/carrental/index.jsp?bsc=t&amp;targetPage=reservationOnHomepage.jsp" title="Simply Wheelz">Simply Wheelz</a> is Hertz&#39; new discount car rental. With rates as low as $94 a week, it&#39;s definitely worth the time it takes to check out. Of course, conditions apply. But there&#39;s always the hope that they&#39;ll apply in your favor.</p> <p>5. Make it easier on your kids by doing whatever it is they&#39;ll need to make the flight easier. There are recommendations all over the internet, but the truth is that you know your kid and what he needs. So do it for him (you&#39;ll be happier and so will the people around you). And, if you&#39;re flying internationally, make sure you <a href="http://www.babycenter.com/refcap/baby/babytravel/1345004.html" title="International travel with children">buy them a ticket</a>! </p> <p>6. Check the security wait time before you go to the airport. Seriously, there&#39;s no need to get there and sit. <a href="http://www.flightstats.com/go/Airport/securityWaitTimes.do" title="TSA">TSA finally did something right</a>.</p> <p>7. Have some idea of what you want to see and do, and how you want to go about it. If you want to see two things next to each other, it&#39;s better to know that before you see either than two days after you&#39;ve seen one. Sure, things come up. You hear two locals talking and just have to see what the fuss is about. But for the most part, look at the guidebooks before you get there. If you&#39;re determining your trip by yourself, the airplane ride is a great place to do this.</p> <p>8. Get your passport early. </p> <p>9. Have fun! There are a million ways to make a trip miserable. Think about the time your aunt spent her entire vacation worrying about missing the flight home because of a transit strike or the time you missed all the good food in Mexico because you were afraid of Montezuma. Eat. Drink. Experience. The more memories you make, the less you will struggle with guilt over how much it cost. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-can-travel-with-ease-and-without-guilt">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/teach-your-way-around-the-world">Teach Your Way Around the World</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/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-champaign-urbana">Free and cheap things to do in Champaign-Urbana</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-international-vacation-destinations">5 Cheap International Vacation Destinations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel Art and Leisure frugal travel international travel rental car Virgin Atlantic yes you can Wed, 08 Aug 2007 16:25:38 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 970 at http://www.wisebread.com