travel tips http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8106/all en-US 8 Things You Should Always Pack in Your Carry-On http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-should-always-pack-in-your-carry-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-you-should-always-pack-in-your-carry-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-514078965_0.jpg" alt="Woman always packing these 8 things in her carry-on" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every traveler wants their trip to go off without a hitch, but human error can foil those plans. Maybe you forgot to pack your medication, or perhaps the airline sent your bags to the wrong destination. Life happens. Which is why you should keep your vacay on track by keeping your necessities within reach at all times. Here's what you should always pack in your carry-on, no matter what.</p> <h2>1. Second form of ID</h2> <p>Most of us keep our driver's license in our wallets, but it's also a good idea to pack your passport, too &mdash; even for domestic trips. Any number of things can happen to your ID while traveling, like accidentally misplacing it in the airport, or neglecting to put it in your wallet before leaving your house. I like to travel with a passport just in case I want to check out a nearby country on my vacation, like when I hopped over to Canada on a recent trip to Detroit.</p> <p>If you're traveling internationally, you'll obviously need a passport as your main form of ID. This requires extra precautions, like making a copy of your passport photo page in case your passport is lost or stolen during your travels. You'll have an easier time expediting a new passport from the local embassy if you can show proof of ID in a photocopy. This five-second trick can save you hours and hours of unnecessary stress, especially if there's a language barrier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-dont-have-your-id-at-the-airport" target="_blank">What to Do If You Don't Have Your ID at the Airport</a>)</p> <h2>2. Empty water bottle</h2> <p>I recently traveled to Columbus, Ohio and while waiting in line for security, I saw a familiar sight: travelers chugging whatever drink they brought with them to the airport because they forgot that you can't take liquids with you through security. Those same people often then end up buying $3 bottles of water at expensive airport shops once they're on the other side.</p> <p>To avoid the bloat and expense of that experience, I travel with my empty <a href="http://amzn.to/2pUrAjR" target="_blank">Nalgene bottle</a> that I fill up with water once I've crossed over to the gates. There are water fountains throughout the airport. That water is free, and it's just as tasty as the pricey bottled stuff. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable" target="_blank">6 Things That Will Make Your Flight More Comfortable</a>)</p> <h2>3. Medication</h2> <p>To step foot on an airplane, I need at least two glasses of wine with a Xanax chaser. If the captain says there will be turbulence, I up my dosage. This ritual saves me from having a heart attack midflight, and the rest of the passengers can rest easy without all my heavy breathing and cursing.</p> <p>It's a good idea to have whatever medication you need for your various ailments in case the flight is delayed and/or your bags don't arrive at your destination the same time you do. Outside of your prescriptions, don't forget to bring a decongestant if you have trouble clearing your ears during flights, and a general pain reliever (as long as they're safe to take with your other medications, of course). The chance you'll get a headache increases, like, tenfold as soon as you enter the airport &mdash; but you already know this.</p> <h2>4. Chargers for devices</h2> <p>Often I travel by train to the closest airport, and my battery is half depleted by the time I get there 90 minutes later. Seeing as how I verge on having a stroke whenever my juice gets below 10 percent, I always have my chargers in my carry-on. You never know when you'll be in a pinch and need your devices to be all powered up. Nowadays you'll find plugs and USB outlets all over airport terminals and on planes, trains, and even in taxis. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-power-banks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Power Banks</a>)</p> <h2>5. Toothbrush</h2> <p>If you're not able to shower for an extended period of time &mdash; maybe you're on a particularly long flight or maybe you've hit a few hiccups in your travel plans &mdash; a fresh toothbrush and toothpaste will leave you feeling clean enough to power through until you find a shower.</p> <h2>6. Cash</h2> <p>I rarely use cash because I love the compactness and convenience of my debit and credit cards, but I've been on trips on more than one occasion where they've been flagged after a single swipe for security reasons because of suspect activity. That generally means my banking institutions are trying to protect me from fraud situations, but it's really annoying when I need to pay for something, and downright infuriating when I don't have access to a working phone to call and sort the error out straight away. Now I always travel with $100 in cash in $20 increments in my wallet when I go on a trip so I can at least afford essentials, like food or a cab ride.</p> <h2>7. Multipurpose jacket</h2> <p>Do you know why most modes of public transportation keep their cars and cabins at chilling temperatures? Neither do I. But I always, always travel with a light jacket or hoodie &mdash; even if it's 95&ordm; F where I'm leaving or where I'm going. If I don't need to wear it, at least now I have something on which to lay my head when the cocktails kick in.</p> <h2>8. Glasses</h2> <p>If you wear contacts, pack your glasses. You may need them. This is especially important if you have to drive anywhere once you reach your destination. Your eyes may be dry from the flight, or you might lose a contact in transit. You may even want to pack a second pair of glasses and contacts in your checked luggage, just in case. If you're headed someplace fantastic like the jungles of Costa Rica, you won't find a Lenscrafters, anywhere. Stay smart, and stay sighted.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-things-you-should-always-pack-in-your-carry-on&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Things%2520You%2520Should%2520Always%2520Pack%2520in%2520Your%2520Carry-On%2520%25281%2529.jpg&amp;description=8%20Things%20You%20Should%20Always%20Pack%20in%20Your%20Carry-On"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Things%20You%20Should%20Always%20Pack%20in%20Your%20Carry-On%20%281%29.jpg" alt="8 Things You Should Always Pack in Your Carry-On" 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/8-things-you-should-always-pack-in-your-carry-on">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/make-flying-easy-the-ultimate-carry-on-packing-list">Make Flying Easy: The Ultimate Carry-On Packing List</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-carry-on-luggage-can-save-you-time-and-money">5 Ways Carry-On Luggage Can Save You Time and 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/31-super-smart-travel-hacks">31 Super Smart Travel Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-affordable-travel-items-that-you-shouldnt-leave-home-without">9 Affordable Travel Items That You Shouldn&#039;t Leave Home Without</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-packing-secrets-from-a-professional-traveler">15 Packing Secrets From a Professional Traveler</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Travel carry-on luggage minimalism packing packing tips suitcase travel advice travel tips Fri, 19 May 2017 08:30:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1950126 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Cash In On Getting Bumped From a Flight http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-cash-in-on-getting-bumped-from-a-flight <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-cash-in-on-getting-bumped-from-a-flight" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-180110401.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to cash in on getting bumped from a flight" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even before a United passenger was infamously dragged off a plane because his flight was overbooked, most people dreaded getting <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-get-bumped-from-a-flight" target="_blank">bumped from a scheduled flight</a>. And yet, there are travelers who actively <em style="font-size: 13px;">try </em>to get bumped in order to reap the financial rewards airlines sometimes offer, which is usually a few hundred dollars in vouchers for future flights.</p> <p>However, airlines have been known to offer higher amounts, and cash or gift cards instead of vouchers. And now that United has rewritten its rules to offer customers up to $10,000 to give up a seat (and Delta will pay up to $9,950), there could be some real profit in the pursuit of the bump. Let's look at some tried and true bumpee tactics to learn how you can get in on the action.</p> <h2>Pad your travel itinerary with extra time</h2> <p>You've probably heard gate staff announcing that they're looking for folks to give up their seats, and then offer an escalating reward. As the numbers climb higher, you sit there kicking yourself for booking your flight the night before the wedding you're supposed to attend, making it impossible for you to take the deal.</p> <p>When possible, fly in a day earlier than you think you need to. Not only does this give you the freedom to accept a bump, but it makes it less likely that you'll miss your event due to other delays.</p> <h2>Choose a bump-friendly airline</h2> <p>Some airlines bump travelers more often than others. Fortunately, this data is publicly available. The Department of Transportation records two kinds of bumps: voluntary, as in, they paid you to give up your flight; and involuntary, as in what happened to <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-united-dragged-passenger-dao-0414-biz-20170413-story.html" target="_blank">Dr. David Dao on that United plane in Chicago</a>.</p> <p>In 2016, Delta had the most voluntary bumps at 129,825, followed by Southwest at 88,628, and United at 62,895. It's impossible to say if United's new, more passenger-friendly booking policies will change this in the next year, but based on past behavior, Delta is your best bet for getting paid to give up your seat.</p> <p>Delta has also been known as being particularly generous with its rewards; a Forbes columnist and her family <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurabegleybloom/2017/04/09/why-delta-air-lines-paid-me-11000-not-to-fly-to-florida-this-weekend/#208638f74de1" target="_blank">got paid $11,000</a> in gift cards to give up seats on several flights in one weekend. Sure, some of it was luck, but they also had a flexible travel schedule, they were willing to give up their seats each time their flights were rebooked, and they negotiated bump compensation to get the best deals.</p> <h2>Choose a bump-friendly flight</h2> <p>While some travel experts dismiss the notion that flights at any given time are more likely to be overbooked, others advocate booking flights on those nightmare days other flexible travelers avoid: the holidays, Monday mornings, and during periods of bad weather. The biggest downside to this tactic is that flights tend to be more expensive during busy times.</p> <h2>Have alternate plans in mind</h2> <p>Sometimes I've not volunteered for bump compensation simply because I didn't have enough time to think through how a schedule change would affect my plans. But if you know the opportunity to get bumped is a possibility, you can make contingency plans.</p> <p>How would you know in advance that you might get bumped? Check the day before, and before you leave for the airport, to see if the flight is full. You can find out if a flight is sold out by going through the booking process up until the part where you would pay on the airline site, or you could check the seat maps on <a href="https://www.expertflyer.com/" target="_blank">ExpertFlyer</a>.</p> <p>Once you know your flight is fully booked, research alternative flights that would get you to your destination at a satisfactory time, warn friends and family that you might be late, and pack a snack for a possible extended wait at the airport. Most importantly, avoid checking luggage.</p> <p>For most people, getting bumped means arriving late. But sometimes people give up their trips altogether, for the right offer. That columnist who got paid $11,000 originally thought she was going to be late to see family in Florida, but when the offers got richer and the family got bumped again and again, they ended up giving up their weekend altogether. For them, at that price, it was worth it.</p> <h2>Request the bump the right way</h2> <p>This is perhaps the most important step of all. Some airlines, including Delta, allow you to <a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/how-delta-masters-the-game-of-overbooking-flights/" target="_blank">indicate when checking in</a> if you'd be willing to give up your seat for compensation, and for how much.</p> <p>For other airlines, your best bet is to arrive at the gate early, luggage in hand, and let the gate staff know that you'd be interested in being &quot;voluntarily denied boarding.&quot; If you have already researched an alternative flight, tell them about it. If they have multiple volunteers, staff are more likely to choose someone who makes the rebooking process easy for them. Then, stick close to gate area so you don't miss any announcements.</p> <h2>Negotiate well</h2> <p>So you've been chosen for voluntarily denied boarding! The work isn't over yet. Before agreeing to go ahead with the deal, ask (nicely) for these things:</p> <ul> <li> <p>A good seat on the rebooked flight of your choice.</p> </li> <li> <p>A higher amount. They offered $500? It doesn't hurt to ask for $800.</p> </li> <li> <p>Meals and lodging during your delay.</p> </li> <li> <p>Cash instead of vouchers.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Vouchers have expiration dates and other restrictions that can make them hard to use. Most airlines offer vouchers as a default; so ask if you can get cash or gift cards instead.</p> <p>If the airline is asking you to fly the next day, it will probably also cover your hotel and dinner for the night. If the delay is less than a day, you should be able to get meal vouchers to use at the airport. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-websites-for-last-minute-airfare-deals?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Best Websites for Last-Minute Airfare Deals</a>)</p> <h2>Understand that it's never a guarantee until the plane takes off</h2> <p>Even after planning ahead and negotiating a bump, chances are you'll end up on your original flight anyway. Usually gate staff gathers a list of volunteers, but it's not a done deal until the flight boards, because if anyone misses the flight, they won't need to bump you after all. With this in mind, make sure to let the staff know you want to retain your seat assignment and boarding pass while you wait.</p> <p>And however it ends up, don't forget to thank the gate staff who worked with you! Smart frequent travelers even carry gift cards or chocolates to thank staff members who get them bump offers.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-cash-in-on-getting-bumped-from-a-flight">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/what-to-do-if-you-get-bumped-from-a-flight">What to Do If You Get Bumped From a Flight</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/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers">25 Secrets From the World&#039;s Most Frugal Frequent 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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-united-mileageplus-credit-card-should-you-get">Which United MileagePlus Credit Card Should You Get?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel bumped from a flight flight passenger flight tips making money overbooked flight travel tips United Airlines Thu, 18 May 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1948479 at http://www.wisebread.com What to Do If You Get Bumped From a Flight http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-get-bumped-from-a-flight <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-do-if-you-get-bumped-from-a-flight" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-163031146.jpg" alt="Man learning what to do after getting bumped from a flight" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Overbooked flight? Somebody's going to get bumped &mdash; a common, but inconvenient aspect of travel by airplane. Indeed, it's within an airline's power to deny ticket-holding passengers a seat on a flight. Of course, passengers have some control in these situations, as well. The next time you're forced to give up your seat on an oversold domestic flight, know that <a href="https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/fly-rights" target="_blank">these are your rights</a>, from the federal Department of Transportation.</p> <h2>1. Remember that airlines must seek volunteers first</h2> <p>Before an airline can bump anyone involuntarily, they need to first find passengers who are willing to give up their seats. If you have some flexibility in your schedule and can arrive at your next destination a bit later than originally planned, you can give up your ticket in exchange for a later departure time. If you decide to volunteer to give up your seat, find out whether the airline is able to issue you a new ticket or if you'll be flying standby. If it's the latter, find out whether the airline can offer you any compensation toward food or lodging while you wait. It could be a while, and, as we all know, airport cuisine isn't cheap.</p> <h2>2. Ask about compensation</h2> <p>If you are bumped involuntarily, ask an airline representative what, if any, compensation you are entitled to. You are entitled to compensation if, for example, the airline fails to arrange substitute transportation to get you to your final destination within one hour of your originally scheduled arrival time. The amount depends on the price of the ticket and the length of the delay. For example, if your new travel arrangement itinerary is scheduled to get you to your domestic destination between one and two hours after your originally scheduled arrival time, the airline is required to pay you 200 percent of your one-way fare to your final destination that day (up to $675 maximum).</p> <h2>3. Request a written copy of your rights</h2> <p>DOT requires each airline to offer all involuntarily bumped passengers a written statement describing their rights and explaining how the carrier decides who gets to fly on an oversold flight and who doesn't. This is your guide to navigating any bumped seating situation. You will be less likely to miss out on any compensation owed to you if you request and keep a copy of this with you.</p> <h2>4. Seek a refund for any prepaid upgrades</h2> <p>If you prepaid for an in-flight amenity, such as premium seat selection, and you do not receive those services on your substitute flight, the airline that bumped you must refund those charges. There will be times an airline is unable to honor prepaid amenities if, for example, the plane you are on for your replacement flight is not equipped with the same bells and whistles available on your original booking.</p> <h2>5. You get to choose: free tickets, vouchers, or a check</h2> <p>You have the right to insist on compensation by an on-the-spot check for the dollar amount equal to the ticket price. Alternately, airlines may offer free tickets or dollar-amount vouchers for future flights. The choice is yours!</p> <p>Our advice: If you paid a higher-than-normal rate for your ticket, opt for the check. This way, you'll have a shot at rebooking a new trip for less, leaving you with the leftovers to spend however you desire.</p> <h2>6. If you aren't compensated fairly, you can pursue a complaint</h2> <p>If being bumped costs you more than the airline will pay you on the spot, you can try to negotiate a higher settlement with their complaint department. But don't cash the check or use the voucher while you're negotiating. As soon as you spend your compensation bucks, your right to haggle for more is gone.</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%2Fwhat-to-do-if-you-get-bumped-from-a-flight&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%2520to%2520Do%2520If%2520You%2520Get%2520Bumped%2520From%2520a%2520Flight.jpg&amp;description=What%20to%20Do%20If%20You%20Get%20Bumped%20From%20a%20Flight"></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/What%20to%20Do%20If%20You%20Get%20Bumped%20From%20a%20Flight.jpg" alt="What to Do If You Get Bumped From a Flight" 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/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-get-bumped-from-a-flight">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-cash-in-on-getting-bumped-from-a-flight">How to Cash In On Getting Bumped From a Flight</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/fly-out-of-these-airports-and-save-big-on-airfare">Fly Out of These Airports and Save Big on Airfare</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/beware-these-sneaky-fees-on-discount-airfare">Beware These Sneaky Fees on Discount Airfare</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-students-can-travel-abroad-for-less">7 Ways Students Can Travel Abroad for Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel Airfare bumped from a flight flight passenger flights travel tips United Airlines Thu, 11 May 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1944520 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Things It's Better to Buy at the Last Minute http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-its-better-to-buy-at-the-last-minute <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-its-better-to-buy-at-the-last-minute" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-543665766.jpg" alt="Woman learning things it&#039;s better to buy at the last minute" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you an anxious planner when it comes to deals? Me too! But sometimes, acting <em>strategically spontaneous</em> can be rewarding. The early bird doesn't always get the worm. Here are six things it's better to buy at the absolute last minute.</p> <h2>1. Hotel rooms</h2> <p>Sometimes planning a vacation is the best part of the process. But if you want to get a deal, it may pay to be a little late to pull the trigger. With apps like Hotels Tonight, or discount-minded broker sites like Booking.com, it's easier than ever to book a last-minute stay. This is especially true at the nicer three-stars-and-above hotels, which are more expensive. They tend to have lots of vacancy on Sundays and weeknights, so if you can handle the uncertainty of waiting until the last minute, you could score really posh lodgings. </p> <p>The downside is that you may end up with your second or third choice of hotel if your favorite option sells out before you can snag a deal, but it's still likely that you'll end up with more value for your buck when you scoop up unbooked inventory at the eleventh hour.</p> <h2>2. Show tickets</h2> <p>From sporting events to plays, there are ways to sneak in under the wire and get a last-minute deal. An empty seat is lost money, so venues would rather sell a last-minute ticket at a discount than lose that revenue altogether. Take advantage by buying your sports tickets one to three days before the game using sites like SeatGeek. For music and theater shows, wait until the day of. The best deals await you at the box office &mdash; visit once they open to inquire about discount remainder tickets.</p> <h2>3. Farmers market fare</h2> <p>After a long morning of selling fruit, veggies, cheese, and other perishables, farmers market stalls are eager to sell everything. That means when 2 p.m. rolls around, deals can be made. This is especially true for produce, meat, and dairy &mdash; items that will likely be a hassle to repack and transport, or may perish en route &mdash; so they'll want to unload them fast. Swoop in to make your offer, and they will likely accept. You'll finally be able to afford items that are sometimes not worth the extra expense otherwise. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-this-not-that-at-the-farmers-market?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Buy This &mdash; Not That &mdash; at the Farmers Market</a>)</p> <h2>4. Cruises</h2> <p>Cruises remain a very popular and cost-effective way to enjoy an all-inclusive vacation. Nevertheless, many ships don't fill up to 100 percent capacity, so it's a great opportunity to get an even better deal on a cruise. Especially good times for deals are right before or after a major peak holiday, and during hurricane season, but sometimes you can even get lucky on a cruise during peak time.</p> <p>You may have to settle for a cruise that ends in a different port than you departed from, or you might need to take more time off for a longer cruise, if that's what's available during your last-minute buying window. Still, you might get lucky!</p> <h2>5. Flights</h2> <p>Despite the unpredictable nature of plane tickets, there are so many flights daily that it is still possible to get lucky with a last-minute fare. If you live near a hub, you can be especially lucky. Use Google Flights regularly to check in on your options. They do a good job of sorting through the best costs and departure times. Southwest has sales all the time, so if the time is right, pounce! Tuesdays are ideal to shop if you're buying flights for the coming weekend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a>)</p> <h2>6. Holiday gifts</h2> <p>Are you someone who buys all your presents early and gets mad at your partner for waiting until Christmas Eve to shop? Well, maybe they're onto something. Sure, there are lots of deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but at many big box and department stores, the better deals on the stuff you want happen the week of Christmas. Coats, pajamas, boots, appliances, holiday-themed merchandise, undersold video game consoles, and more get deep discounts. At drugstores, you may see stocking stuffers like candy, toys, and bath gift baskets move to the clearance aisle, too.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-its-better-to-buy-at-the-last-minute">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/9-unusual-stores-where-you-can-find-great-bargains">9 Unusual Stores Where You Can Find Great Bargains</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-one-nice-thing-can-ruin-your-whole-budget">How One Nice Thing Can Ruin Your Whole 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/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</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-shop-for-food-once-a-month-and-save-big">How to Shop for Food Once a Month and Save Big</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/people-are-still-spending-too-much-on-their-weddings">People Are Still Spending Too Much on Their Weddings</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping booking flights last-minute shopping saving money shopping tips Shopping Tricks Spending Money travel tips Fri, 05 May 2017 08:30:07 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1940413 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Get Over Jet Lag and Enjoy Your Trip http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-over-jet-lag-and-enjoy-your-trip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-get-over-jet-lag-and-enjoy-your-trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-638154810.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to get over jet lag and enjoying her trip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You imagined yourself cruising through Venice in a gondola or snapping photos of wallabies in the Australian outback. Instead, you're wandering around in a haze, falling asleep at dinner, and popping painkillers for headaches. It's that jerky trip-ruiner, jet lag.</p> <p>It doesn't have to be this way. There are time-honored and research-based tactics that really reduce the time and severity of jet lag. I have been able to travel across the world and feel close to normal by the second day, and totally normal by the third, by following some of the suggestions below.</p> <h2>1. Power through that first day</h2> <p>After a long, wearying trip, it can be tempting to collapse into your hotel bed upon arrival, no matter what time it is. Don't do it! What you think will be a half-hour nap will probably turn into eight hours of inappropriately-timed shut-eye, followed by a desperate wander through shutdown predawn streets searching for breakfast.</p> <p>In my experience, staying awake through the first day of an international trip is the most critical factor for adjusting your body clock. Don't schedule expensive or demanding activities on that first day, but don't plan to spend it in your room resting either, lest you fall right to sleep. And whatever you do, don't sit down to watch TV!</p> <p>Force yourself to walk around your new location, or meet up with local friends whose company will keep you alert. Allow yourself to eat ice cream and other treats to keep you going.</p> <h2>2. Try melatonin</h2> <p>Check with your doctor first, but I have found a small dose of melatonin helped my family sleep better on the plane, and daily doses helped us fall asleep at the appropriate time at our destination. Follow recommended dosage limits, of course.</p> <h2>3. Try the fasting method</h2> <p>I find it hard to resist the temptation of an airplane meal being plopped in front of me, but there is scientific evidence that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-naturally-reset-your-sleep-cycle-overnight" target="_blank">not eating for 12 to 16 hours</a> before your new wake up time will reset your clock immediately.</p> <p>I tried this on a recent flight to Australia, when I needed to reset my clock 19 hours forward. When we boarded our flight at midnight, it was 7 p.m. in Australia. This would have been a good time to start fasting. Unfortunately, I was hungry, so I ate the meal served at about 2 a.m. California time, or 10 p.m. Sydney time. But I did refrain from snacking until breakfast was served at about 5 a.m. Sydney time, so at least I avoided eating during most of the time when I would normally be asleep in Australia.</p> <p>The result? I felt groggy the first day in Sydney, but woke up the second day ready to explore my destination. I think the sort-of fast helped.</p> <h2>4. Do everything you can to achieve decent sleep on the plane</h2> <p>If you are flying across the ocean, chances are that at least some of your flight will be during your destination's nighttime. Besides melatonin, I have found either Benadryl or a double scotch to be helpful in getting that mile-high shut-eye. Get a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-travel-pillows?ref=internal" target="_blank">good travel pillow</a>. On my Australia trip, I brought two different kinds so I could vary my position throughout the night. Wear comfortable clothes. Earplugs and eyeshades can also be helpful.</p> <p>Some people suggest staying up all night before a flight, to make sure you can sleep on the plane. But this tactic could backfire badly if you're like me and have trouble sleeping on planes, because you could arrive at your destination too exhausted to make it through the first day.</p> <p>Of course, the most helpful thing of all in getting a good night's sleep is an upgrade to Business or First Class &mdash; so if you've got the miles, consider spending them. Upgrades are one of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know?ref=internal" target="_blank">best values for your miles</a>.</p> <h2>5. Use caffeine wisely</h2> <p>This means that if you're landing in the morning, go ahead and indulge &mdash; it'll help you stay awake on day one. But if you land <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3805807/" target="_blank">within six hours of bedtime</a>, stay away from the coffee shop, no matter how much you feel like you need it.</p> <h2>6. Use light to your advantage</h2> <p>Our bodies set their internal clocks based on light. Bright light, especially sunlight, tells us to be awake, and darkness tells us to sleep. On the most basic level, you can help yourself adjust to your new time zone by spending the first day outside in the sunshine as much as possible. Continue getting sunlight exposure first thing in the morning throughout your trip, and avoid artificial light and screen time at night.</p> <p>If you want to get more strategic about it, you can purchase a <a href="http://amzn.to/2nDoakM" target="_blank">light therapy device</a> to expose yourself at the correct times before, during, and after your trip. Experts say that carefully timed light exposure before a trip can <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-prevent-jet-lag/" target="_blank">shorten jet lag symptoms</a> significantly.</p> <h2>7. Try adjusting gradually</h2> <p>Some suggest <a href="http://traveltips.usatoday.com/avoid-jet-lag-going-europe-11244.html" target="_blank">moving your bedtime 15 minutes a night</a> over the course of two weeks. For example, say you are flying from Chicago to Paris, which is six hours ahead. If you normally go to bed at 10 p.m. in Chicago, that's 4 a.m. in Paris. You need to go to bed and get up much earlier. A really dedicated two weeks of preparation, 15 minutes at a time, could move your bedtime up 3.5 hours, so that the night before your flight, you'd be going to bed at 6:30 p.m. Chicago time, or 12:30 a.m. Paris time.</p> <h2>8. Schedule your flight strategically</h2> <p>It's much easier to sleep on flights that leave late at night local time. It's also easier to stay awake through the first day of your trip if you don't arrive at dawn. Based on what you find most challenging &mdash; sleeping on the plane or staying awake once you get there &mdash; choose a flight time that plays to your strengths.</p> <h2>9. Stop checking what time it is at home</h2> <p>On my recent Australia trip, my kids asked me constantly during the first few days what the time was back home. I refused to tell them, saying, &quot;It's 2 p.m. <em>here</em>. Time for ice cream.&quot; The sooner you can start thinking of local time as the &quot;real&quot; time, the better.</p> <h2>10. Give up and embrace being a vampire</h2> <p>Some destinations offer fun entertainment at all hours. Heck, some destinations &mdash; New Orleans, anyone? &mdash; are best late at night. If you truly can't get yourself on a normal local schedule, maybe you'll have a wonderful time in London's nightclubs and skip the Tower of London this time around. This is a vacation, after all, not a work shift. Ultimately, do what's best for you.</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%2F10-ways-to-get-over-jet-lag-and-enjoy-your-trip&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Over%20Jet%20Lag%20and%20Enjoy%20Your%20Trip.jpg&amp;description=10%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Over%20Jet%20Lag%20and%20Enjoy%20Your%20Trip" 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/u5180/10%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Over%20Jet%20Lag%20and%20Enjoy%20Your%20Trip.jpg" alt="10 Ways to Get Over Jet Lag and Enjoy Your Trip" 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/10-ways-to-get-over-jet-lag-and-enjoy-your-trip">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/14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-for-free">14 Useful Items Hotels Usually Provide for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-your-belongings-get-stolen-abroad">What to Do When Your Belongings Get Stolen Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online">8 Ways to Save on Accommodations Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-smartphone-costs-while-traveling">8 Ways to Save on Smartphone Costs While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-40-best-budget-friendly-travel-tips-ever">Flashback Friday: 40 Best Budget-Friendly Travel Tips Ever</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel get over jet lag jet lag rest sleep habits travel hacks travel problems travel tips Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:30:34 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1913752 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Things I Learned From Renting Out My Home on Airbnb http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-i-learned-from-renting-out-my-home-on-airbnb <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-things-i-learned-from-renting-out-my-home-on-airbnb" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-511477310.jpg" alt="renting your home on airbnb" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's a leap of faith to open up your primary home to paying guests. When I listed my family home on Airbnb while we were traveling, I had to accept the idea of strangers sleeping in our beds, snooping through drawers and closets, and perusing the shows on our DVR. I also had to accept the risk that something might be stolen or damaged. But most nerve-wracking for me was submitting my home to judgment. After each stay, guests are expected to rate my home on a scale of one to five, not just overall, but on cleanliness as well. Having your home and your hospitality critiqued on the Internet can be tough.</p> <p>The upside, of course, is the money. During one long trip, we earned enough on Airbnb to cover our own vacation lodging. Another trip paid for a new master bedroom set. The unexpected upside has been lessons &mdash; good and bad &mdash; that I've learned from the experience.</p> <h2>1. It Can Be Profitable if You Live in the Right Area</h2> <p>I've been pleasantly surprised to learn that because we live in the popular San Francisco Bay area, we are able to charge up to $200 a night for a home that would have otherwise been sitting empty. And I was amazed to read that another Bay Area Airbnb'er is close to paying the entire mortgage of a house in the mountains by renting it out, and that fellow Wise Bread writer Mikey Rox <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed?ref=internal" target="_blank">bought a second home on his Airbnb profits</a>. My husband and I are now contemplating adding a bathroom to the lower level of our house, with the goal of renting out that area as a studio, even when we are home. We hope the rents will help pay for the project.</p> <h2>2. It's a Lot of Work to Prepare a Lived-In Home for Rental</h2> <p>Before hosting guests who are staying a week or more, I like to provide an empty drawer and some closet space in each bedroom, and generally declutter the house so that the guests can use every surface without being encumbered by all the junk my family usually has around. I knock off to-do list items such as getting a leaky faucet or a sticky door lock fixed, and scrutinize my house for fixable flaws such as scuff marks on walls or grubby shower grout. Then of course, I need to remove and lock up personal documents and valuables. All this takes <em>forever</em>.</p> <p>Prepping my four-bedroom home for rental typically takes me about 40 hours, meaning that the rental wouldn't even be a very good hourly rate, except for the fact that we enjoy returning to a decluttered home after our trips. On the downside, we sometimes can't find things that I've boxed up and stored away while we were gone.</p> <h2>3. People Are Generally Polite and Honest</h2> <p>Maybe we've just had good luck so far, but we have never come home to find that our home has been blatantly abused. Once I accidentally left a sheet of bank account passwords out &mdash; of all things! &mdash; and none of my accounts were breached. (Of course I changed all the passwords immediately.) We always have the house professionally cleaned before we return, but the cleaners have told us that the house is usually not terribly messy when they arrive.</p> <h2>4. Some People Are Complainers</h2> <p>A few times, we have had guests stay in our home at a discount in exchange for caring for our cats. They're pretty low-maintenance cats, and guests have enjoyed having them around. All except that <em>one</em> lady, who texted me daily to complain about the cats and various other problems around the house. Her constant kvetching ruined our trip.</p> <h2>5. You Must Be Completely Upfront About Any Potential Problems</h2> <p>In retrospect, I realized that although the guest mentioned above was probably just a complainer in general, one reason she was upset was that I had waited until the last minute to warn her about one potential behavior problem with the cats. She felt blindsided by that.</p> <p>On the flip side, we received one booking while the central heat in our home was unexpectedly inoperative. Not only did we get in touch to warn the bookers, we invited them over, since they were local, to check out the situation and determine whether the electric space heaters we'd borrowed were adequate. We gave them the option to cancel the booking, of course, but they opted to stay (at a discount) and left us a positive review.</p> <h2>6. Something Always Gets Broken</h2> <p>Despite the fact that people seem to have treated our home pretty gently, it seems some little thing is always awry when we return. A door will have stopped closing properly or a picture has been knocked off the wall and cracked. We've come to expect it as part of the cost of doing business.</p> <h2>7. Something Always Gets Left Behind</h2> <p>Some folks have left useful things in our house &mdash; the complainer left a small space heater, even though it was summer when she was staying &mdash; and since she never replied to my email asking if she wanted it back, we've enjoyed using it over the years. Others leave things that we don't notice until weeks later and then wonder where on earth it came from.</p> <h2>8. A Few Items Are Usually Moved Around</h2> <p>Although we've never had anything stolen, it's very common to come home and immediately notice something is not in its usual place. Once I searched and searched for the dishpan I always keep in the kitchen sink, finally locating it in the backyard. Naturally, dishes that have been used and washed are often put away in the wrong places. These little things, while not harmful, can be unsettling reminders that others have been using your things while you were gone.</p> <h2>9. You Have to Really Spell Things Out for People</h2> <p>Once I went to a bit of trouble putting together a nice gift basket for guests, with a fancy chocolate and a bottle of local wine. When we returned home, it was still sitting on the counter, untouched. The only explanations for this I could think of were the guests were non-drinkers or on a diet, or they didn't realize this was for them.</p> <p>Now, I always leave my guests an introductory note and specifically invite them to eat, drink, or use any of the things we've left for them. I also spell out house rules clearly, since things that might seem natural to us &mdash; like don't remove the dishpan from the kitchen &mdash; apparently aren't universally obvious.</p> <h2>10. People Use Airbnb for More Than Just Vacation Lodging</h2> <p>I've had a request to book my house for a school seminar &mdash; which I declined &mdash; and another from folks who are between moving out of their old home and moving into a new one. Since Airbnb encourages it, we typically hear from guests why they want to stay in our home, and it's kind of fun to learn that.</p> <h2>11. It's Hard to Get a Lived-In House &quot;Hotel Room&quot; Clean</h2> <p>Although our guests report positive experiences, we always get only four stars for cleanliness &mdash; despite the fact that we hire a professional cleaner to go over the house before they arrive, in addition to extra cleaning I do myself. This is a little embarrassing, but not that surprising when you think about it. Many rental houses are practically empty, with just a few cooking supplies in the kitchen. There's nothing in the closets or on the shelves to collect dust. Also, my home is almost 100 years old and the interiors are not up to date. Some surfaces are going to look a little dingy even when freshly scrubbed.</p> <h2>12. It's Hard to Find Lodging With a Lot of Beds for a Family</h2> <p>Most of the people who book our house are families, sometimes multiple generations traveling together. They've told us that our listing is often one of the few houses with enough beds for them available. When I see full-time rental units on Airbnb, I often wonder why more of them don't put a bunk bed or two in a room to increase the bed count.</p> <h2>13. Neighbors Are Probably Watching and Listening When You Rent Someone's Home</h2> <p>Every time we rent out our house, we ask neighbors to keep an eye on things. We never request that they <em>spy </em>on the guests, of course, but we tend to hear about it if the guests say anything about our house to neighbors, or if they do anything weird like put out an excessive amount of garbage on trash day.</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%2F13-things-i-learned-from-renting-out-my-home-on-airbnb&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F13%20Things%20I%20Learned%20From%20Renting%20Out%20My%20Home%20on%20Airbnb.jpg&amp;description=13%20Things%20I%20Learned%20From%20Renting%20Out%20My%20Home%20on%20Airbnb" 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/u5180/13%20Things%20I%20Learned%20From%20Renting%20Out%20My%20Home%20on%20Airbnb.jpg" alt="13 Things I Learned From Renting Out My Home on Airbnb" 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/13-things-i-learned-from-renting-out-my-home-on-airbnb">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals">Got Extra Space? Make Money and Meet Travelers With Short-Term Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-make-good-money-from-airbnb">5 Easy Ways to Make Good Money From Airbnb</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-home-into-a-rental-in-9-easy-steps">Turn Your Home Into a Rental in 9 Easy Steps</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/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel">When Should You Get a Vacation Rental Instead of a Hotel?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Real Estate and Housing Travel AirBnb home rental lessons learned life lessons real talk travel tips traveling vacation rental vrbo Thu, 09 Mar 2017 11:00:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1905993 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-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-little-known-ways-to-save-at-disneyland">15 Little Known Ways to Save at Disneyland</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-spring-break-destinations-that-wont-break-the-bank">7 Spring Break Destinations That Won&#039;t Break the Bank</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/4-ways-to-take-a-frugal-grownup-spring-break">4 Ways to Take a Frugal Grownup Spring Break</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/train-now-for-a-summertime-family-cycling-trip">Train Now for a Summertime Family Cycling Trip</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/flashback-friday-40-best-budget-friendly-travel-tips-ever">Flashback Friday: 40 Best Budget-Friendly Travel Tips Ever</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-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online">8 Ways to Save on Accommodations Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-for-free">14 Useful Items Hotels Usually Provide for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-your-belongings-get-stolen-abroad">What to Do When Your Belongings Get Stolen Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-36-things-you-should-buy-second-hand">Flashback Friday: 36 Things You Should Buy Second Hand</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 What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-453477539.jpg" alt="what to do if your airbnb is awful" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have a friend, I'll call her &quot;Diane.&quot; Diane was excited to find an affordable two-bedroom Airbnb rental in Chicago. She looked forward to spending the holidays meeting up with old friends and saving money by cooking for her family instead of eating out every night.</p> <p>Instead, she ended up wasting the first few days of her trip on the phone with Airbnb customer service, and the unit's owner &mdash; who had provided a nearly empty apartment. This was not what she expected from the listing.</p> <p>&quot;The whole place felt like an abandoned afterthought,&quot; Diane said. She learned the owner had moved out and left very little behind &mdash; no couch in the living room and not enough kitchen supplies to put together a meal.</p> <p>Airbnb can be a great way to save money and enjoy neighborhoods outside tourist districts &mdash; when things go well. But some guests have been frustrated by the company's response when things don't turn out as advertised.</p> <p>Airbnb Spokesman Nick Shapiro calls negative experiences &quot;extremely rare&quot; on the service, but said that when they happen, Airbnb wants to get problems fixed and get guests into a better situation if necessary. He points out that guest refunds come directly from the host, and if the company seems to ask tough questions when people complain, it's because it must protect both hosts and guests.</p> <p>&quot;We are negotiating with another user's money and we are not there on the premises, so we do our best to work with both the host and the guest to find the most fair outcome,&quot; Shapiro said.</p> <p>It is possible to get a refund or replacement accommodation from Airbnb when a rental isn't up to snuff. But you need to play by their rules &mdash; and even then, it isn't always easy. Despite trying her best to follow every rule, my friend never ended up getting the full refund or hotel reimbursement she asked for, although she did get some money back from the host after bugging out early. If you find yourself in a similar situation as &quot;Diane,&quot; here's what you can do.</p> <h2>1. Act Quickly</h2> <p><a href="https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/544/what-is-airbnb-s-guest-refund-policy" target="_blank">Airbnb's policy states</a> that guests must file a claim within 24 hours of check-in in order to claim a refund. They are pretty strict about this. Just contacting them within the first 24 hours &mdash; as Diane did &mdash; isn't enough. You have to file a complaint within that period to comply with the refund policy.</p> <p>The company holds payments for the first 24 hours, to give the guest time to verify that all is as it should be. Shapiro explained that since Airbnb staff can't verify complaints in person, caution is necessary.</p> <p>&quot;It can be easy for a bad actor to fabricate evidence, which ultimately hurts a host. If a guest contacts us on day three of their five-night reservation complaining that the listing is messy, there is no way to know if that mess was caused by the guest or not.&quot;</p> <p>If you discover a problem late at night, don't wait until business hours to complain. Airbnb provides 24/7 customer service everywhere.</p> <h2>2. Contact the Host</h2> <p>If you call Airbnb to complain about a rental, they'll tell you to contact the host first.</p> <p>&quot;Giving them a chance to fix an issue is the fastest way to make sure you get what you need,&quot; Airbnb explains on its website. But don't wait long to hear back from the host before you request that refund. Remember, the clock is ticking.</p> <p>For this reason, meeting the host for a walkthrough is a good idea, and the best time to bring up any problems with the property.</p> <p>When Diane and her husband met the owner at that nearly empty Airbnb, they accepted the keys and said goodbye to the owner, a move she now realizes was a mistake.</p> <p>&quot;I wish I had been less worried about being polite, and more assertive about the missing items right from the start. Having to confront the person who has your money and holds the keys is really challenging. You just want the guy to leave so you can make a game plan and take it all in,&quot; she said.</p> <p>Another way to prevent problems that the host could fix is to communicate with the host before you arrive,&quot; Shapiro advised.</p> <h2>3. Communicate Through Airbnb</h2> <p>Use Airbnb's messaging system when you contact the host, so that the company can see your message, when you sent it, and the host's reply. Also save a copy of all communications for yourself, in case you need them later.</p> <h2>4. Read Airbnb's Refund Policy Carefully</h2> <p>Only certain conditions may be eligible for a refund in Airbnb's policy, even in that first 24 hours:</p> <ul> <li>If you can't get into the rental;</li> <li>If the listing misrepresents the unit;</li> <li>If the place is dirty or unsafe;</li> <li>If there's an animal there that wasn't disclosed in the listing.</li> </ul> <p>When you submit the refund claim, make it clear how the property qualifies for a refund under these specific conditions.</p> <h2>5. Re-Read the Listing Closely Before Complaining</h2> <p>In order to comply with Airbnb's narrow refund qualifications, it's a good idea to study the listing before contacting them to pinpoint any misrepresentation. It's not a bad idea to print the listing before you travel, in case you have trouble accessing the listing while on your trip. And don't forget to check the photos and captions, not just the main listing text.</p> <p>&quot;Some of the promises for the apartment were in the photo captions,&quot; Diane explained. &quot;So when I first wrote to the owner and Airbnb, everyone claimed there was no promise of a stocked kitchen, etc. I felt like I had imagined it. By the time I realized they were in the photo captions, it was really too late.&quot;</p> <p>It's important to plan your initial complaint carefully, because changing or adding to your complaint later could work against you. Remember, Airbnb staff is looking to protect owners from bad actors.</p> <h2>6. Document the Conditions</h2> <p>Airbnb requires proof in your refund claim, as in photos. Take a picture of that broken window, dirty bathroom, or the gaping hole where the kitchen stove should be, and send it along with your claim.</p> <h2>7. Check the Cancellation Policy</h2> <p>Even if Airbnb and the owner refuse to refund the first night of a stay, if the owner has chosen the <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/home/cancellation_policies" target="_blank">&quot;flexible&quot; cancellation policy</a>, you can go on Airbnb and cancel the remainder of your stay for a refund. Of course, you'll need to check out at that point.</p> <p>With the &quot;moderate&quot; policy, you can get a 50% refund for unused nights. For the stricter policies, you can't get a refund for cancellation after checking in. For a long-term rental, the first month cannot be canceled.</p> <h2>8. Try Social Media</h2> <p>If you feel the host and Airbnb are not being helpful, or you've complained but didn't hear back, a nudge on Twitter or Facebook can get things moving.</p> <p>When Rose Maura Lorre and her family checked into an Airbnb that didn't live up to the listing photos, had treacherous stairways, a minor bug issue, and &quot;a bedroom that really wasn't,&quot; her husband first tried emailing customer service, but then, Lorre said, &quot;I took it to their Facebook page and got an immediate response.&quot;</p> <p>Airbnb found them a new place to stay by the next day, and refunded them for the first night.</p> <p>Diane got a quick response from Airbnb's Twitter team, although the team's proposed solution didn't work for her. They offered money to buy the missing items, but she didn't feel that she should have to spend her vacation time stocking someone else's kitchen.</p> <h2>9. If the 24-Hour Window Has Passed, Complain Anyway</h2> <p>Shapiro acknowledges that sometimes guests discover a problem mid-stay.</p> <p>&quot;This is where our customer service team has more responsibility to make a judgment call,&quot; Shapiro said. &quot;We have to ask questions like, 'Why was this not discovered until now?' 'Is this something that the guest somehow could be at fault for?'&quot;</p> <p>Airbnb didn't give Diane a refund, claiming that, although she had complained right away, she had raised the qualifying issues with the apartment too late. But other customers have had better luck. The blog Root of Good describes getting a <a href="http://rootofgood.com/bad-experience-airbnb/" target="_blank">full refund and an apology voucher</a> when he complained two days after checking into a filthy apartment.</p> <h2>10. Try the Owner Again</h2> <p>For Diane, more problems popped up throughout her stay, like a hairball lurking under the bedsheets. When she wrote to Airbnb again, they directed her to its <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/resolution_center" target="_blank">Resolution Center</a>, where you can request money back directly from the host with a click of a button. Asking doesn't necessarily mean getting, but you can try. Diane was able to convince the host to refund the days she didn't use his apartment.</p> <h2>11. Contact Your Credit Card Provider</h2> <p>As with any unsatisfactory customer experience, you can request that your credit card provider withhold payment. One Airbnb customer, who <a href="http://www.airbnbhell.com/tag/chargeback/" target="_blank">described on AirbnbHell</a> being locked out of a rental for hours, reported successfully getting a refund through this method.</p> <p>If your credit card offers travel insurance, you could also ask for a refund via that route. (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>12. If Nothing Else Works, Try the Media</h2> <p>Columns such as Christopher Elliott's The Travel Troubleshooter are able to spur companies &mdash; <a href="http://elliott.org/the-troubleshooter/cant-get-refund-airbnb-rental/" target="_blank">including Airbnb</a> &mdash; to give refunds after initially refusing. Besides, it might feel good to vent about a frustrating experience to a columnist or on TV. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb</a>)</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%2Fwhat-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%20to%20Do%20About%20a%20Terrible%20Airbnb%20Stay_0.jpg&amp;description=What%20to%20Do%20About%20a%20Terrible%20Airbnb%20Stay" 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/What%20to%20Do%20About%20a%20Terrible%20Airbnb%20Stay_0.jpg" alt="What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay" 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/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road">Travel and Money: Using Your Credit Card on the Road</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-of-the-craziest-coolest-airbnb-listings">9 of the Craziest, Coolest Airbnb Listings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online">8 Ways to Save on Accommodations Online</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-cash-in-on-getting-bumped-from-a-flight">How to Cash In On Getting Bumped From a Flight</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel accommodations AirBnb Airbnb stay hotels travel tips vacation vacation rentals Fri, 20 Jan 2017 10:30:36 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1877411 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Be a Good Guest When You're Broke http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-be-a-good-guest-when-youre-broke <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-be-a-good-guest-when-youre-broke" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-598713568.jpg" alt="how to be a good house guest" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Staying with friends can be a great way to save money while traveling. But keep in mind that an invitation to visit does not equal an offer to fully support you during your stay. In fact, you should be spending time and effort to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-host-house-guests-without-going-crazy" target="_blank">thank them for the free lodging</a>.</p> <p>Two traditional ways of thanking hosts are bringing a nice gift from home and treating the host to dinner out. But what if most gifts and restaurants would strain your budget? There are still ways to show your appreciation and leave as one of those visitors your host will invite back, again and again.</p> <h2>1. Put Extra Thought or Effort Into the Gift You Bring</h2> <p>Lack of funds never excuses arriving empty-handed. One of my favorite gifts from an arriving guest was a woolen hat that she had finished knitting on the flight. If you can't make something or buy something, bring a book from your bookshelf, inscribed to the host.</p> <h2>2. Share the Work and Expense of Meals However You Can</h2> <p>The host may invite you to take most meals with the family, or offer to share the occasional meal with you. Don't let this hospitality go unreciprocated. If you go out to eat together, pick up your host's check. If you can't afford to do that, don't eat out together, or only go to restaurants where you can afford to treat.</p> <p>If your budget allows absolutely no restaurant meals during your trip, you can still display good manners by contributing groceries to host meals and by offering to cook one or more meals for your host. When your host is cooking, do everything you can to help &mdash; within your host's comfort range. Some people don't like sharing their kitchens, so ask before pitching in on food prep. At the very least, offer to clear and wash the dishes, and take out the trash.</p> <p>Also, don't assume that your host wants to share every meal while you're in their house. A good way to broach this topic is to ask if you can keep a few groceries in the fridge. If your host invites you to join her on a grocery run, do not just watch her buy groceries. Take the hint that you should buy some for yourself, or better yet, pay for everything in your host's cart.</p> <h2>3. Be an Asset to the Household</h2> <p>Beyond mealtime, how can you make your presence a positive? Can you keep children occupied, or baby-sit while your hosts enjoy a date night? Walk the dog? Run an errand?</p> <h2>4. Think of Your Host While You're Out and About</h2> <p>If you go out sightseeing while your host is at work, bring back any affordable or free goodies you can. You treated yourself at a famous bakery? Bring back a brownie. You found an intact sand dollar on the beach? Present it to your host's child. These inexpensive gestures are a way of acknowledging that your host made your fun possible.</p> <h2>5. Be Good Company</h2> <p>Don't fill your days with so much tourism that you don't have time to sit down and talk with your host, who presumably invited you because they wanted to see you. Offer to do something your host enjoys, whether it's playing a board game, watching baseball on TV, or taking a stroll through the neighborhood. Laugh at your host's jokes. And for goodness sake, don't keep your host up so late that they're exhausted at work the next day. Notice when your host is ready to go to bed and take the cue to retreat to your own space.</p> <h2>6. Don't Let Your Host Spend Money on You If You Can't Reciprocate</h2> <p>There are some relationships &mdash; parent and child, for example, or employer and employee &mdash; when it's okay for one party to pay for everything. But for most friendships, even if your host has more money to spend than you do, it's bad form to let them pay for everything. At the very least, you should warn your host if you can't chip in.</p> <p>For instance, if your host offers to drive you to a number of distant places, or let you borrow their car, you should warn them if you can't fill the car with gas. Better yet, come up with a more affordable way to get places on your own, or restrict your travels to locations you can reach on your own dime.</p> <p>In the end, if you can't afford to contribute anything to your upkeep and transportation while on vacation, you probably can't afford to <em>go</em> on vacation. But by being open with your host and making extra effort to be thoughtful, a budget traveler should be able to visit friends without taking advantage.</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%2F6-ways-to-be-a-good-guest-when-youre-broke&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Ways%20to%20Be%20a%20Good%20Guest%20When%20Youre%20Broke.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20to%20Be%20a%20Good%20Guest%20When%20You%26%23x27%3Bre%20Broke" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ways%20to%20Be%20a%20Good%20Guest%20When%20Youre%20Broke.jpg" alt="6 Ways to Be a Good Guest When You're Broke" 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/6-ways-to-be-a-good-guest-when-youre-broke">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/8-things-you-should-always-pack-in-your-carry-on">8 Things You Should Always Pack in Your Carry-On</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-cash-in-on-getting-bumped-from-a-flight">How to Cash In On Getting Bumped From a Flight</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/what-to-do-if-you-get-bumped-from-a-flight">What to Do If You Get Bumped From a Flight</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/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers">25 Secrets From the World&#039;s Most Frugal Frequent 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/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">11 Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Travel broke etiquette host house guest travel etiquette travel tips Tue, 27 Dec 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1860476 at http://www.wisebread.com What to Do When Your Belongings Get Stolen Abroad http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-your-belongings-get-stolen-abroad <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-do-when-your-belongings-get-stolen-abroad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_78989923_LARGE.jpg" alt="what to do if your belongings get stolen abroad" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No one wants to face the dreaded day when their belongings get stolen, and especially not when traveling abroad. You've surely done everything to avoid this outcome, and now all there is to do is take the practical steps to set everything right.</p> <h2>This Is Not the Time to Panic</h2> <p>Panicking will not help the situation, and may put you in more harm. The best thing you can do now is to take a deep breath and prepare to handle the logistics required, calmly and pragmatically.</p> <h2>Make a Report With the Local Police</h2> <p>This is important, not because the police will necessarily be able to find the thief and return your belongings to you, but because this will give you a written record of the items that have been stolen. The police report will come in handy if you need to make any claims with your insurance, and it will also be important to get replacement travel documents.</p> <p>Many countries require you to have some form of ID on you, so if you ever get questioned, you can show the authorities this police report and avoid getting yourself into further trouble.</p> <h2>Cancel Credit and Debit Cards</h2> <p>You'll need to make a call to your bank to cancel any credit cards that have been stolen. If you happened to have made a photocopy of your cards (or a smartphone image), you will find that very helpful right now, since they have the right toll free number printed on them for international calls. Plus, you'll be able to provide customer service with your account information seamlessly.</p> <p>If you don't have this information conveniently copied, that's okay, too. You can find the phone number for your bank or credit card provider online. Even without your card number, they will be able to identify you and find your account information based on a series of security questions. (The exact questions will depend entirely on your particular bank's security system.)</p> <p>At this point you, can decide if it makes sense to have a card mailed to you internationally. They will probably have an express service and should be able to get a card to you within a few days.</p> <p>While you're on the phone, make sure to copy down your account information so that you have it on hand in case you need to call them again to further sort things out.</p> <h2>Call Your Travel Insurance Agent</h2> <p>Of course, not everyone has the foresight to buy <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-buying-travel-insurance?ref=internal">travel insurance</a>, but if this is something you purchased before your trip, now is the time to take advantage of it. If you do have a comprehensive travel insurance plan, you can call them and they may be able to set you up with someone who will help you with accepting money as well as offer support in other ways.</p> <p>Depending on your plan, they may even cover the cost for you to fly home. There may be some fees associated with this, so it may not be the most cost-effective way to do it, but it is a safety net that you can rely on if needed.</p> <h2>Get Cash</h2> <p>If your bank has international locations, you can go into a branch to get access to your money. If you need an emergency transfer, you can often get one through Western Union.</p> <p>Keep in mind that Western Union will require some sort of identification for you to be able to accept a transfer, so if you have no form of ID, you will have to have a trustworthy friend help you accept the money. Sometimes hotels offer money wire services for their guests, too.</p> <h2>Get a Replacement Passport</h2> <p>If your passport was stolen, you're going to need to go to the local embassy to get a replacement travel document. You'll have a choice of getting a temporary travel passport &mdash; which takes minimal processing time &mdash; or you can wait a little bit longer for another permanent passport. You will have to pay for the passport though, so make sure you have cash or your new credit card when you apply.</p> <h2>Take a Step Back and Put Things in Perspective</h2> <p>Getting material things stolen is not ideal, but your health and safety are really the most important. There is always something to be grateful for and positive thinking is one of the best things you can do to cope with an experience like this. There's no use getting paranoid or ruining the rest of your trip &mdash; just learn from what has happened, and try not to make the same mistakes again. There are always things that are out of your control, so don't beat yourself up about it either.</p> <p><em>Has this happened to you? Share your story!</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%2Fwhat-to-do-when-your-belongings-get-stolen-abroad&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%20to%20Do%20When%20Your%20Belongings%20Get%20Stolen%20Abroad.jpg&amp;description=What%20to%20Do%20When%20Your%20Belongings%20Get%20Stolen%20Abroad" 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/What%20to%20Do%20When%20Your%20Belongings%20Get%20Stolen%20Abroad.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/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-your-belongings-get-stolen-abroad">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/14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-for-free">14 Useful Items Hotels Usually Provide for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/follow-these-5-credit-card-rules-when-traveling-abroad">Follow These 5 Credit Card Rules When Traveling Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online">8 Ways to Save on Accommodations Online</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-ways-to-get-over-jet-lag-and-enjoy-your-trip">10 Ways to Get Over Jet Lag and Enjoy Your Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-smartphone-costs-while-traveling">8 Ways to Save on Smartphone Costs While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel identity theft stolen stolen belongings travel abroad travel hacks travel tips Wed, 31 Aug 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Nick Wharton 1782866 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Useful Items Hotels Usually Provide for Free http://www.wisebread.com/14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-for-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-for-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/33142202.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We've all been there. You're in that pre-trip rush, and you forget to pack an essential travel item, or just need a little something extra when you arrive at the hotel. Before you make that trip to the gift shop or convenience store, swing by the front desk. Many hotels are well-stocked with freebies and extras for road-weary travelers. Here are 14 useful items hotels usually provide free of charge.</p> <h2>1. Extra Pillows and Blankets</h2> <p>I'm man enough to admit it &mdash; I need at least five pillows (two on each side and one under my head) to get a good night's sleep. In recent years, hotels have begun to appreciate how important pillows are to the guest experience. Besides offering an extra pillow or two upon request, major chains such as Holiday Inn now offer quests pillow menus &mdash; just pick your pillows based on the preferred firmness level.</p> <h2>2. Roll-Away Beds</h2> <p>Many hotels will provide a rollaway bed for an unexpected guest or to accommodate an unusually large group. It may not be the most comfortable way to sleep, but it beats the floor.</p> <h2>3. Nightlights</h2> <p>Nightlights can help small children and the elderly navigate unfamiliar spaces. Higher-end chains provide nightlights to guests upon request.</p> <h2>4. Earplugs</h2> <p>Though providing guests with free earplugs may imply a less-than-ideal location, they're part of the standard offerings at La Quinta and DoubleTree hotels. These chains have realized an important truth: Cities (and guests!) can be noisy &mdash; especially during big events. Often, a disposable pair of foam earplugs can mean the difference between a decent sleep and a fitful night of tossing and turning. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-sounder-sleep-at-hotels?ref=seealso">Tips for Sounder Sleep at Hotels</a>)</p> <h2>5. Sewing Kits</h2> <p>Have a loose button or split seam? Don't come unraveled. Many large hotel chains have complementary sewing kits on-hand for just such wardrobe malfunctions.</p> <h2>6. Activities for Kids</h2> <p>An occupied kid is a happy kid. If you forgot to pack your little one's favorite toy, ask the hotel staff to help. Many chains offer coloring books and crayons, word search books, and other age-appropriate material that promotes nearby attractions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-must-do-if-youre-traveling-with-kids?ref=seealso">9 Things You Must Do If You're Traveling With Kids</a>)</p> <h2>7. Board Games</h2> <p>Snowed in? Rained out? Many hotels will deliver board games to guests' rooms or provide them as part of the amenities in the lobby.</p> <h2>8. Books</h2> <p><a href="https://www.countryinns.com/feature.do?feature=riar">Country Inn &amp; Suites' Read It &amp; Return It Lending Library</a> lets guests borrow a book free of charge. It's pressure-free. Readers who haven't finished the book by the end of their stay can just return it next time. How's that for service?</p> <h2>9. Phone Chargers</h2> <p>Who hasn't left for vacation and completely forgotten their cellphone charger? When (not if) this happens to you, your friendly hotel staff can help. Most hotels have a respectable collection of chargers left behind by previous guests and are happy to pass one on.</p> <h2>10. Toothpaste and Toothbrushes</h2> <p>Got a wicked case of morning breath? Basic oral hygiene products like toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, and even toothbrushes are available at the front desk.</p> <h2>11. Razors</h2> <p>Have an important meeting but forgot to pack a razor? Never fear. Savvy hotels &mdash; especially those that cater to business travelers &mdash; usually keep a stash of extras at the front desk.</p> <h2>12. Curling Irons and Straightening Irons</h2> <p>Ladies, if you've forgotten your curling or straightening iron, don't despair. Many top hotels chains such as Kimpton and Hyatt have loaners on-hand. Check with the front desk staff and don't miss a beat in your morning routine.</p> <h2>13. Snacks</h2> <p>We're all familiar with the complementary coffee and cookies available in most hotel lobbies. But some of the more accommodating hotel staff members will raid the continental breakfast bar after hours to help a guest in need. Yogurt, fruit, energy bars, and bottles of juice are the standard fare and will work in a pinch.</p> <h2>14. Dog Treats</h2> <p>Pets are family and pet owners are loyal to hotels that don't forget Fido. Many pet-friendly hotels provide free dog treats and even loan out food and water bowls for their four-legged guests.</p> <p><em>What's the most surprising thing you've received for no charge at a hotel? What do you wish more hotels offered their guests? Share with us!</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%2F14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-for-free&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F14%20Useful%20Items%20Hotels%20Usually%20Provide%20for%20Free_0.jpg&amp;description=14%20Useful%20Items%20Hotels%20Usually%20Provide%20for%20Free" 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/u5180/14%20Useful%20Items%20Hotels%20Usually%20Provide%20for%20Free_0.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-for-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/5-hotel-room-booking-tools-every-frugal-traveler-should-know">5 Hotel Room Booking Tools Every Frugal Traveler Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-your-belongings-get-stolen-abroad">What to Do When Your Belongings Get Stolen Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-a-more-expensive-hotel-room-can-save-you-money">6 Ways a More Expensive Hotel Room Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-save-and-make-money-while-traveling">12 Ways to Save and Make Money While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel beauty products free stuff hotel hotel amenities travel travel accessories travel hacks travel tips Thu, 23 Jun 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Kentin Waits 1737238 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Save on Accommodations Online http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000049917430_Large_0.jpg" alt="saving on travel accommodations online" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The online accommodation landscape is changing quickly. New websites are popping up every day, each with a unique way to search for different types of lodging. But sometimes sites like Airbnb have hefty service charges, while booking engines like Expedia and Booking.com often take a 25% cut from the hotel, which is sometimes passed on to the guests. I've traveled for over six years and have stayed in over 400 different hotels, hostels, and apartments around the world, and I've found a few ways to get cheaper (or even free) accommodation online. Here they are.</p> <h2>1. Try House Sitting</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-landing-the-perfect-house-sitting-gig">idea of house sitting</a>, while gaining traction, is still very foreign to most people. When I tell people that I've house sat in beachfront villas on the Caribbean Sea and in casitas in the jungles of Costa Rica, they often expect that I knew the owners or that I've somehow solicited myself door-to-door.</p> <p>The fact is, finding beautiful homes to house sit all around the world is easier today than it's ever been, thanks to websites like <a href="http://www.trustedhousesitters.com/">TrustedHouseSitters.com</a>. This site has the largest collection of available house sitting jobs on the web and it's really easy to get started.</p> <p>All you have to do is sign-up for their yearly service ($8.25 per month) and you'll have access to thousands of potential house sitting gigs around the world. I've seen everything from mountain top bungalows in Fiji, to vineyards in France, and even castles in the UK. It seems too good to be true, but it's really not.</p> <p>To better your chances of landing that perfect job, create a profile with your picture and a brief write-up about yourself, get some reviews from other people you've house sat for in the past, and complete a police check (usually done at your local police station for a fee).</p> <p>Once you've created your profile, you'll receive an email in your inbox every couple of days with potential house sitting jobs. Then all you have to do is wait until there's one that suits your needs, send the owner a message, and hope to get chosen!</p> <p>If you are chosen, you typically do a quick Skype call and then a few weeks later, you'll be flying off to your temporary dream home... where you'll stay for free.</p> <p>Usually the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter">listings include pet sitting</a>, so you'll have to take care of an animal during your stay, but sometimes there aren't any pets and you just get the house to yourself. The jobs typically don't pay, but we have had some experiences where the owners give us a small salary for staying.</p> <h2>2. Use Local Property Sites</h2> <p>When big companies like Expedia and Airbnb charge a fee to the hotel or apartment owners, that cost is usually passed on to you, the guest. To avoid this, you can sometimes find the name of the property owner on these sites, and then run a Google search to see if you can find the same property listed on a local website.</p> <p>Local websites generally have much lower fees, so you can potentially save 10%-15% off of the total cost of your accommodation. In Malta, for example, you can find many apartments online through large websites, but Malta also has a few locally run sites like <a href="http://shortletsmalta.com/">ShortLetsMalta.com</a>, where you can find the same properties much cheaper. In Guatemala, there's <a href="http://rentalsatitlan.com/">Atitlan Solutions</a>, and in pretty much every town or country, there's a local website that will have cheaper accommodations than the big search sites.</p> <h2>3. Contact the Owner Directly</h2> <p>This is a particularly good trick if you're looking for short let apartments around the world. The way to contact the owner directly is similar to finding local websites in the previous tip. You just have to go into Airbnb or Villas.com and find a place you like, then look at the owner profile and see if they list their name or the name of their property management company.</p> <p>Once you have that, you can run a Google search to see if you can find the owner directly online. Sometimes they have their own website for the property, and sometimes they don't. If they don't have a website, they probably won't show up in Google, but there's another tactic you can use.</p> <p>Head to Facebook and search their name and the destination where the property is located. For example: &quot;John Doe Puerto Vallarta.&quot;</p> <p>Facebook will show a list of people by the same name in or around that city. You can match the person's profile photo to their picture on the booking site, and then send them a direct Facebook message asking them about the property.</p> <h2>4. Check the Hotel Website</h2> <p>A lot of hotels don't like the fact that when they have 100 rooms occupied in their establishment, they're paying 25% of their total revenue to big booking sites.</p> <p>This is why many hotels offer financial incentives for booking directly on their websites. Once you find a hotel on a booking site, consider running a Google search with the hotel name and see if you can go directly to their site.</p> <p>Compare the prices between the booking engine and the direct website and you'll often find that you can save upwards of 15% by booking directly with the hotel.</p> <h2>5. Haggle, Haggle, Haggle</h2> <p>Once you contact the local rental agency, the apartment owner, or the hotel's website, you can bargain. With hotels, they may not have as much leeway to give you more of a discount, but you can send the owner an email and ask for a percentage off the room rate if you're staying more than a couple nights.</p> <p>Usually with rental agencies and apartment owners, there's a fair amount of negotiating space. You can save a lot of money, especially considering that you'll already be saving the fees from the big booking sites. I rented an apartment in Malta for two months and I ended up saving nearly 30% of the cost by contacting them directly and bargaining for the price. It really works!</p> <h2>6. Consider Couch Surfing</h2> <p>Saving money is great, but free lodging is even better. The term &quot;couch surfing&quot; is becoming more mainstream, but there's still a misunderstanding of what's involved.</p> <p>Many people hear it and think, <em>I don't want to sleep on someone's couch!</em></p> <p>But in reality, there are thousands of couch surfing opportunities where you have your own room, a queen-sized bed, and even your own bathroom. Couch surfing is now a universal term for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free">staying in someone's home for free</a>, not just crashing in someone's living room.</p> <p>The great thing about couch surfing is that you get a real local experience when traveling to a new destination. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture than by staying in a local's home?</p> <p>To start couch surfing, head to <a href="https://www.couchsurfing.com/">CouchSurfing.com</a> and sign-up for free. You can then browse through 400,000+ hosts around the world, and in no time at all, you can arrange to stay with somebody overseas. It's a great service.</p> <h2>7. Try Home Exchange</h2> <p>Another great way to get free accommodation is to do a home exchange. Made famous by the 2006 movie: <em>The Holiday</em>, home exchanges are a really cool concept. Head to <a href="http://www.lovehomeswap.com/">LoveHomeSwap.com</a>, sign up for $20 per month, and start swappin'!</p> <p>Of course, some downsides of this option are that you have to own a home, and you have to be willing to let a stranger stay in your home in exchange for getting to stay in theirs. But if it means you can fly to London and stay in the historical city for free... why not?</p> <h2>8. Check Out Volunteer Exchange</h2> <p>Websites like <a href="http://workaway.info/">WorkAway.info</a> and <a href="https://www.helpx.net/">HelpX</a> also offer travelers a great way to earn free accommodations all around the world, while helping out the local communities along the way. Basically it's an exchange. You sign up for a fee and then you have access to all of the volunteer opportunities on the website, and there thousands in over 135 countries.</p> <p>Browse through the listings, find a rewarding placement, and enjoy free accommodations (and sometimes food) in return for your services. Whether you decide to work on organic farms in South America, teach children in Asia, or help out at orphanages in Africa, your lodging will be earned, but the experience will be priceless.</p> <p><em>Have you tried any of these accommodation hacks? 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%2F8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Accommodations%20Online.jpg&amp;description=8%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Accommodations%20Online" 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%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Accommodations%20Online.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/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online">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/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-3 views-row-odd"> <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> <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/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel 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-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodations hotel deals hotels save money travel hacks travel tips Mon, 23 May 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Nick Wharton 1714250 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Save on Smartphone Costs While Traveling http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-smartphone-costs-while-traveling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-save-on-smartphone-costs-while-traveling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000075854865_Large.jpg" alt="saving money with her smartphone while traveling" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are two basic necessities that everyone needs when traveling in the 21st century: Their passport and their smartphone. But using data, roaming, and making long distance calls while traveling can cost a fortune. Here are a few basic ways that you can save money by using your smartphone while on the road. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-save-and-make-money-while-traveling?ref=seealso">12 Ways to Save and Make Money While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>1. Unlock Your Phone and Buy Local SIMs</h2> <p>Before you leave home, you should always make sure that your smartphone is unlocked so that you can buy local SIM cards in the countries you're traveling to. Roaming data and local calling charges, as well as long distance calls, will quickly ramp up your bill, so unlocking your phone and buying a local SIM card will effectively pay for itself.</p> <p>To unlock your phone, you can do a quick Google search: &quot;Unlock Smartphone + Your City&quot; to find a local tech guy who can do it for you, or you can <a href="http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/phone-unlocking-guide-for-all-carriers/">do it yourself</a>. Unlocking your phone is completely legal as long as you've completed your initial contract with your carrier.</p> <p>Once your phone is unlocked, you'll be able to use it with any carrier around the world. Pay-as-you-Go SIM cards are extremely cheap in most countries. For example, in Italy you can get 1GB Data, 50 minutes of calling, and 1000 SMS for just &euro;20 (about $22 U.S.) per month, including the cost of the SIM card.</p> <p>If you've ever traveled with your U.S. mobile plan and used it while on the road, your bill was likely much higher than this when you returned home. You can pick up local SIM cards at most airports upon arrival into a new country, and there are numerous stores in every town where you can buy them as well. Just make sure you have your passport with you for the initial sign-up process.</p> <h2>2. Download Maps</h2> <p>If you're a frequent user of the Google Maps app, then you'll want to download the apps for the cities you'll be visiting while you're on Wi-Fi. If you don't do this, then every time you zoom in and out of the map and search for locations, you'll be using your data.</p> <p>To download a map, simply connect to Wi-Fi, open the app, zoom over the city or area that you want to download and type &quot;ok maps&quot; into the search field. A bar will then appear that says: &quot;Download.&quot;</p> <p>Then the map will be downloaded to your smartphone for use offline. The phone will even continue to track your location on the map when you're not connected the Internet, making offline navigation a breeze.</p> <p>This function can save a lot of money on data, but it also makes the app quicker to load and easier to use.</p> <h2>3. Download TripAdvisor Content</h2> <p>This can be another big data saver. If, like me, you like to search reviews before checking out a site, eating in a restaurant, or taking a tour, then you're constantly using the TripAdvisor app and your data adds up quickly. The app (available on <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUrl-a_partnerKey.1-a_url.http%3A__2F____2F__itunes__2E__apple__2E__com__2F__us__2F__app__2F__tripadvisor__2F__id284876795__3F__mt%3D8__26__pt%3D14124__26__ct%3DBrand__5F__AppPage__5F__0__5F__10568-a_urlKey.1997bccf622c70c69.html">iOS</a> and <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUrl-a_partnerKey.1-a_url.https%3A__2F____2F__play__2E__google__2E__com__2F__store__2F__apps__2F__details__3F__id%3Dcom__2E__tripadvisor__2E__tripadvisor__26__hl%3Den__26__referrer%3Dutm__5F__download__5F__tracking%253DBrand__5F__AppPage__5F__0__5F__10568-a_urlKey.e5a13a25ef3b7f599.html">Android</a>) now has excellent offline functionality.</p> <p>Adam Medros, senior vice president of global product for TripAdvisor says, &quot;More and more travelers are making spur-of-the-moment decisions about where to go and what to do and need a useful travel resource. Travelers can now access user reviews, photos, and maps throughout their trip to help them pick last-minute hotels, restaurants, and attractions to visit &mdash; all while avoiding costly roaming charges.&quot;</p> <p>To download the content from the app, simply search the city where you'll be traveling and tap the &quot;download city content&quot; button. Once downloaded, the app will give you 10 reviews per point of interest when no data connection is available, and the full live version of the app when it connected to data or Wi-Fi.</p> <h2>4. Connect to a Hotspot Database</h2> <p>We all enjoy free Internet connections while on the road. Whether there's free Wi-Fi in a public park, at a cafe, or in a hotel, it's great to know which signals are strongest and which ones are free to connect to.</p> <p>If you want to save money on data and connect to free Wi-Fi whenever possible, download the WeFi app. The app includes a list of over 100 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world, and you can view them easily on the in-app map.</p> <p>You can download WeFi free on <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wefi-pro/id594461043?mt=8">iPhone</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wefi.wefi">Android</a>, but it runs in the background and can be a huge battery drainer, so I recommend only turning it on when you need to find a hotspot.</p> <h2>5. Tether Up</h2> <p>This is only a real money saver if you're at an airport or a cafe that has &quot;limited free Internet access.&quot; You know when you're at the airport checking emails and after 15 measly minutes a pop-up appears and asks you to pay a ridiculous fee for more time?</p> <p>This is when using data is probably cheaper than paying for the hotspot. To tether your phone, simply open the wireless settings on your phone and turn on &quot;Personal Hotspot.&quot; If you don't know how to do it, PCWorld will show you how it's done on <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/199280/How_To_Tether_Your_Android_Phone_For_Free.html">Android</a> and on <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/240794/how_to_tether_your_iphone.html">iPhones</a>.</p> <p>If the Personal Hotspot button isn't in your settings, navigate into Cellular Data settings. Copy the VPN next to Cellular Data and paste it into the box next to APN in the Personal Hotspot section. If this still doesn't work, you may have to download a <a href="http://mashable.com/2012/08/16/free-tethering-apps/#w_Ta3SWeSmqo">tether app</a>.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5170/tethering_smartphone.jpg" width="341" height="605" alt="" /></p> <h2>6. Find Free Wi-Fi Coupon Codes</h2> <p>If you can't tether your phone and you still don't want to pay for the expensive hotspot, you can search online for free coupon codes. Sometimes cafes in airports or malls will give you a free code when you purchase a coffee.</p> <p>If you don't want to spend a cent for Internet, do a quick Google search with something like: &quot;hotspot name + coupon code.&quot; Sometimes you can find a free coupon for 15 minutes on a coupon site.</p> <h2>7. Join a Password Sharing Community</h2> <p>Sharing is caring, right? There are some excellent apps available where users can share the Wi-Fi passwords of different hotspots around the world. The Instabridge app (free on <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.instabridge.android&amp;hl=en">Android</a> and <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/instabridge-3-million-wifi/id971679641?mt=8">iOS</a>) is the best password sharing app because it has a database of three million hotspots worldwide, and you can even find passwords while offline.</p> <h2>8. Use Google Hangouts for Calling</h2> <p>Long distance calls can cost a fortune, and while calling home from Skype is generally a lot cheaper, it's not free. This is where the Google Hangouts app can come in really handy. This app allows you to call almost any number in the U.S. and Canada free of charge. Simply hook up to Wi-Fi and call your loved ones from this app and you won't pay a cent.</p> <h2>Be Smart With Your Smartphone</h2> <p>There are lots of money-saving apps that you can use while traveling, and by downloading your maps and buying local SIMs, you can save even more money.</p> <p><em>Do you travel with your smartphone? How do you avoid costly roaming charges? Please share 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%2F8-ways-to-save-on-smartphone-costs-while-traveling&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Smartphone%20Costs%20While%20Traveling.jpg&amp;description=8%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Smartphone%20Costs%20While%20Traveling" 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%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Smartphone%20Costs%20While%20Traveling.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/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-smartphone-costs-while-traveling">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-for-the-tech-challenged-traveler">7 Apps for the Tech-Challenged Traveler</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-old-clothes-into-money-with-these-4-tools-and-apps">Turn Old Clothes Into Money With These 4 Tools and Apps</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-apps-for-busy-working-parents">The 5 Best Apps for Busy Working Parents</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-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really">7 Apps That Make Budgeting Fun — No Really!</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/14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-for-free">14 Useful Items Hotels Usually Provide for Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology Travel apps money-saving apps smartphone technology travel hacks travel tips Tue, 26 Apr 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Nick Wharton 1697716 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways That Anyone Can Travel for Free http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000067360057_Large.jpg" alt="couple traveling for free" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a full-time travel blogger and a full-time traveler, people often say to me, &quot;I want to travel, but I don't have enough money.&quot; But with online communities and worldwide volunteering opportunities growing, anyone can now travel for free. The following tips are for anyone who wants to make travel a bigger part of their lives, but doesn't have the funds to make it happen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets?ref=seealso">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a>)</p> <h2>1. House Sitting</h2> <p>The idea of getting paid to house-sit seems almost too good to be true. But hundreds of listings are posted every day on a collection of amazing websites (my personal favorite is TrustedHouseSitters.com).</p> <p>The homes available vary from oceanside cottages and jungle cabins to castles and mansions on vineyards. The amazing thing, is that anyone and everyone can sign up for these websites, add their profile, and start finding free accommodations all around the world.</p> <p>Don't like animals? Some of the jobs are only house-sits, with no pets to worry about.</p> <p>If you love animals, this is the perfect chance for you to bond with a furry companion while discovering new destinations and learning about cultures around the world.</p> <p>There is a yearly fee of $113.88 ($9.49/month) to view the jobs. Look over these <a href="http://www.goatsontheroad.com/house-sitting-frequently-asked-questions/">frequently asked questions about house sitting</a> for a better understanding of the program. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-landing-the-perfect-house-sitting-gig?ref=seealso">How to Land the Perfect House Sitting Gig</a>)</p> <p>In my experience, most of the homes on the website are luxurious. Typically, the homeowners that post their houses on the site have money to take a few months off each year, so they also have money for a beautiful home, a gardener, a housekeeper etc.</p> <p>My wife and I once even landed a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yi5iGJ_-6E&amp;list=PL6F38OL31c4kOKbzalniqh9lI_Dy_i64-&amp;index=18">house sitting job in the Caribbean</a>!</p> <h2>2. Volunteer</h2> <p>Travel is a wonderful way to grow as a person, learn about different traditions around the world, and meet new people from different cultures. For all the good travel does you, why not give back a little (and enjoy some free travel along the way)? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/volunteer-to-travel-11-opportunities-for-free-or-very-cheap-travel?ref=seealso">11 Volunteer Opportunities for Free or Very Cheap Travel</a>)</p> <p>Volunteering will give you the opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people, and help out where it's needed most. Some of the most popular options include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://wwoofinternational.org/">WWOOFing</a> (Fee varies by locale):</li> </ul> <p>Sorry dog-lovers, this isn't a K9 rescue program, as the name would imply. WWOOFing is a worldwide organization that aims to connect people who want to live on an organic farm and learn more about sustainable living and eco-friendly farming. Typically, volunteers are involved in planting, tending to crops and animals, and helping out wherever possible. In exchange, they are usually offering free room and board. To find jobs, click on a country where you're interested in WWOOFing. You'll then be brought to that country's WWOOF website where you can pay a fee to join their network. There is no international WWOOFing fee, so if you want access to jobs all over the world, you'll have to pay for numerous annual fees (usually around $15-$40 per year).</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.workaway.info/">WorkAway.info</a> (Registration fee = $29/2 years):</li> </ul> <p>This site is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to work overseas in exchange for free accommodations. The site features volunteering and cultural exchange programs, helping you to integrate and help local communities in over 130 countries worldwide. Jobs range from home and community restoration to teaching English in rural villages.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.helpx.net/">helpX</a> ($0-$23):</li> </ul> <p>Yet another online network of hosts from around the world who need an extra hand. HelpX has a great network of people. Volunteers are typically asked to work between 4-6 hours per day in exchange for room and board. The basic package is free, but premium users must pay &euro;20 ($23) for a two-year membership. Premium users have access to direct communications with the hosts.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-free-accommodations-and-paid-jobs-on-boats?ref=seealso">How to Get Free Accommodations and Paid Jobs on Boats</a></p> <h2>3. Use Credit Card Points</h2> <p>If you want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">travel for free</a>, then you should be charging all of your day-to-day purchases on your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">favorite travel rewards credit card</a>, so that at the end of each year, you can put the points towards travel.</p> <p>If you don't already have an excellent rewards credit card, consider signing up for a few of the best ones at the same time based on the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">best sign-up bonuses</a>, which can equal up to $500 each. Sign up for three cards with large sign-up bonuses and by the end of the year you may have enough for a free trip. There's no better way to get a free (or close to free flight) than using your rewards points.</p> <h2>4. Hitchhike (On Land<em> and Sea</em>)</h2> <p>Before you cringe at the idea of being kidnapped from the side of the road, you should know that hitchhiking isn't nearly as dangerous as we've been led to believe. According to <a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2011/09/12/travel/vounteer-free-travel/">some recent studies</a>, you are more likely to die from tripping and falling over than from being murdered while hitchhiking. But that could also be because most people don't hitchhike anymore.</p> <p>Thumbing it is an excellent way to get from one destination to another, and in many parts of the world, it's still the norm. While I was traveling in Kyrgyzstan, everyone and their goat (literally in some cases) used hitchhiking as a form of transport.</p> <p>You don't have to limit your thumb to the side of the road either! You can even hitchhike on sail boats and cruise around the sea for free. Usually you'll be asked to help out as a &quot;skipper,&quot; but it's definitely worth it for a free sailing tour.</p> <p>I've met many people in the Caribbean who have seen numerous islands without spending a cent to get between them. On top of that, they used our next trick to get free accommodation.</p> <h2>5. Camping</h2> <p>In most parts of North America, there will be a fee for camping, but in many parts of the world (including Mexico, Central America, and most of the Caribbean), camping on beaches is free.</p> <p>Locals often use camping as a way to enjoy a cheap domestic holiday, so why not join them? The great thing about this method of free travel is the opportunity to meet new people along the way. You'll often be camping in groups and you may even meet people who will drive you to your next destination.</p> <p>Note: To find free campsites around the world, check out <a href="http://freecampsites.net/">FreeCampsites.net</a>.</p> <p>Of course, you'll have to be careful about where you post up your tent, as some beaches can be dangerous. But a little bit of research and an adventurous spirit can give you some pretty amazing travel experiences, without breaking your bank.</p> <h2>6. Find Free Food</h2> <p>Few people know how easy it is to find free food while traveling.</p> <h3>Ashrams (Typically in India)</h3> <p>Head into the nearest ashram and take part in the day-to-day meditations and yoga classes (also free). Help out by cleaning and guiding new visitors and you'll be given free room and board. That's right. Enjoy free yoga, free meditation, free food, and free housing all while finding inner peace and learning more about yourself. Does it get any better than that?</p> <h3>Bakeries</h3> <p>Did you know that bakeries often give away their leftovers at the end of a day? Any bakery worth eating at will bake fresh goods each and every morning &mdash; meaning that there is typically a lot of leftovers come nightfall. Visit a nearby bakery at closing time and enjoy free food.</p> <h3>Temples and Places of Worship</h3> <p>Free food can be found at places of worship around the world. You'll usually have to volunteer and help out in order to eat for free, but the experience is always worth it! I helped roll chapati bread at a Sikh temple in India and was given free food for the day.</p> <h3>Festivals</h3> <p>There's nothing like a good festival to land yourself some free food. There's almost always some company giving away free samples, or even full plates of food. If you hear music, celebrations, and a rumble in your stomach at the same time, follow your nose to a free lunch!</p> <h2>7. Work in Hostels, Hotels, and Bars</h2> <p>You'd be surprised at how many establishments are looking for foreigners to help out. Usually you'll be offered free room and board in exchange for your cleaning, bartending, administration, or reception services.</p> <p>To find work, simply check-in or order a drink and ask if they are looking for help. There are so many jobs available around the world that it may even be worth traveling with multiple copies of your resume.</p> <h2>No More Excuses!</h2> <p>Start putting your expenses on your favorite travel rewards credit card to earn points for your flight, then start browsing, researching, and registering for opportunities and you could easily hit the road with very little (or no) money in your pocket. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less?ref=seealso">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year</a>)</p> <p>Once you're on the road working and volunteering, you'll start networking with businesses and communities, and you'll find more and more opportunities to continue traveling without spending money. You can potentially travel forever!</p> <p><em>Have you ever traveled for free? Share your tips with us in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!&nbsp;</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Ways%2520That%2520Anyone%2520Can%2520Travel%2520for%2520Free.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20That%20Anyone%20Can%20Travel%20for%20Free"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Ways%20That%20Anyone%20Can%20Travel%20for%20Free.jpg" width="250" height="374" align="middle" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-go-on-vacation-without-getting-behind-on-work">How to Go on Vacation Without Getting Behind on Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-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/14-of-the-best-free-things-to-do-abroad">14 of the Best Free Things to Do Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel budget travel free travel travel tips vacation wanderlust Mon, 15 Feb 2016 10:30:20 +0000 Nick Wharton 1654566 at http://www.wisebread.com