travel tips http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8106/all en-US Flashback Friday: 40 Best Budget-Friendly Travel Tips Ever http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-40-best-budget-friendly-travel-tips-ever <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-40-best-budget-friendly-travel-tips-ever" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_travel_camera_499233540.jpg" alt="Woman finding best budget-friendly travel tips" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life gets hectic, work gets overwhelming, and we all daydream about packing our bags and jetting off to another country. Travel isn't just an escape, either. It's a love affair that enriches the soul and expands the mind by getting thrown into the middle of other cultures. Wanderlust doesn't need to suck your bank account dry, though. Here's how to do it on the cheap.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_beach_vacation_538041934.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays?ref=fbf">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</a> &mdash; Saving money on hotel stays has nothing to do with knowing a secret password provided directly by the owner or using a celebrity's name. You can reduce your overall hotel bill by making easy, simple moves when you book and at checkout.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-save-on-travel-gear?ref=fbf">7 Easy Ways to Save on Travel Gear</a> &mdash; Depending on where you're going, you might need certain travel gear to take along. Luckily, you don't need to sacrifice quality when shopping for said gear. You just need the right shopping strategy.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock-502640028.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-surprising-skill-that-can-save-you-money-when-you-travel?ref=fbf">One Surprising Skill That Can Save You Money When You Travel</a> &mdash; Nobody wants to look like an obvious tourist in another country. So to blend in, there's one skill that can help you save money, mingle with the locals, and see the coolest sights. Master it, and you're in.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-affordable-travel-items-that-you-shouldnt-leave-home-without?ref=fbf">9 Affordable Travel Items That You Shouldn't Leave Home Without</a> &mdash; So you want to pack light, eh? I feel you. However, these travel items are budget-friendly, and extremely helpful when you're on the road. Don't leave home without them!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock-613104682.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eat-these-6-foods-to-stay-healthy-while-traveling?ref=fbf">Eat These 6 Foods to Stay Healthy While Traveling</a> &mdash; Travel and healthy eating typically do not mix. Blame the vacation mentality, as it makes you feel like immortal royals who can consume endless amounts of salty grub and booze without any health repercussions. Since you're not a vampire with a sack full of cash, make sure to keep these healthy foods on you at all times and you'll fare better throughout your trip, and beyond.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time?ref=fbf">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</a> &mdash; Booking flights is like a dance, and scoring a cheap flight to a faraway land is like executing a flawless pirouette with zero ballet experience. It's tricky, but not impossible. It takes practice, patience, and guidance from an expert. Lucky for you, we have a stellar expert to guide you.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-40-best-budget-friendly-travel-tips-ever">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/flashback-friday-36-things-you-should-buy-second-hand">Flashback Friday: 36 Things You Should Buy Second Hand</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-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-4 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-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> 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-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-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/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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</a></span> </div> </li> </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-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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">11 Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/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-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> 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-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/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-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/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-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/follow-these-5-credit-card-rules-when-traveling-abroad">Follow These 5 Credit Card Rules When Traveling Abroad</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-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/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-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/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-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/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> </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-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/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-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/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-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/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/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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-prevent-your-smartphone-from-wasting-data">15 Ways to Prevent Your Smartphone From Wasting Data</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-millennial-money-apps-everyone-should-use">The 5 Millennial Money Apps Everyone Should Use</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-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-of-the-best-free-things-to-do-abroad">14 of the Best Free Things to Do Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-affordable-places-to-ski">6 Affordable Places to Ski</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 Save on Car Rentals With These 10 Easy Hacks http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-car-rentals-with-these-10-easy-hacks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-on-car-rentals-with-these-10-easy-hacks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000048091142_Large.jpg" alt="couple enjoying easy car rental hacks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Over the years, I've rented vehicles in over a dozen countries around the world. From those experiences, and a significant amount of research, I've learned some extremely useful tips that I use when renting a car. And to share the wealth, I'm passing them along to you, so that you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-on-your-next-car-rental-without-even-trying-hard">save big money on your next rental</a>. Let's get started.</p> <h2>1. Deny the Insurance</h2> <p>Almost all major <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card">credit cards will cover your rental insurance</a>, so if you're paying for the car on your credit card, there's almost always no reason to pay for insurance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had?ref=seealso">Travel Perks You Didn't Know Your Credit Card Offers</a>)</p> <p>If you have put rentals on your credit card in the past, and still paid the rental agency for the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), I'm sorry to be the one to tell you that you wasted your money. However, sometimes rental insurance specifics can be hard to understand or hidden in the small print.</p> <p>You want to make sure that you have Primary Insurance Coverage with your credit card, meaning that if something were to happen to the car (knock on wood) while it's in your possession, you'll be able to file the claim directly with the credit card's insurance rather than fussing with the rental company's insurance plan &mdash; which most people want to avoid like the plague.</p> <h2>2. Earn Rewards Points With Your Rental</h2> <p>Some credit cards will give you some pretty lucrative points bonuses when you're renting a car. Make sure you check your current rewards programs on all of your cards and try to use one that offers a bonus for rentals. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-hilton-hhonors-reserve-enjoy-more-free-stays">Citi&reg; Hilton HHonors&trade; Reserve Card</a> from our partner Citi offers five bonus points on every dollar spent on car rentals and 25% off of rentals with National Car Rentals. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-review-500-signup-bonus">Chase Sapphire Preferred Card</a> gives 20% off when you redeem points for car rentals.</p> <h2>3. Earn Points on Your Gas</h2> <p>You're going to have to pay for gas during the time you have the rental car, so why not earn some serious points at the pump? Use the credit card that offers the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards">most rewards on gas purchases</a>. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cashing-in-at-the-supermarket-blue-cash-preferred-card-from-american-express-review">Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express</a> offers 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations (terms apply).</p> <h2>4. Book the Car With Your Flight</h2> <p>Next time you're booking a flight and you know you're going to want a rental car for a portion of your visit, consider clicking that &quot;Flight+Car&quot; tab that appears at the top of the page on your favorite booking engine. This little tab will open a whole category of secret discounts that can often save you money when you reserve a car with your airline ticket. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources?ref=seealso">40+ Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a>)</p> <p>I ran a test booking for a return flight from New York to London in November of 2015 with Expedia and found that when booking a Hertz rental with the flight, the car was only $160 for the week. When searching for the same car and the same dates on Hertz's website, it was $225 for the week. In this case, the Flight+Car hack saved $65 in a week.</p> <p>Note: Savings vary depending on flights and dates, but there are times when you can nearly earn a free car rental by using the Flight+Car tab.</p> <h2>5. Rent Long-Term</h2> <p>The longer you rent your car, the cheaper it will become. In a sample reservation I made with Avis, I found that the daily rental rate was $34.10, while the monthly rate was only $11.60 per day, for a savings of $22.50 per day. If you rent the vehicle for 30 days, you'll save $675!</p> <p>On top of this amazing discount, many rental companies will waive the &quot;drop-off&quot; fee if you choose to leave the car at a different location than the one you picked it up from. These fees can be as high as $50. Add this to the savings above and you've kept $725 in your pocket over the course of a month-long rental.</p> <h2>6. Don't Pick Up at the Airport</h2> <p>I know, it's easy and convenient to simply hop off of your plane and into the driver's seat of your new rental, but if you're really trying to save money, you wouldn't do this! In my test bookings, I found that there are &quot;airport fees&quot; attached to reservations at almost all rental providers. These fees ranged from $9&ndash;$30. This may not sound like a lot, but if you're only booking for a day or two, that can be a large percentage of your overall rental rate.</p> <p>A taxi into town to rent a car at a different location may cost more than $30, but if you're taking public transport or having a friend meet you at the airport, you may want to consider driving a few miles away from the runway to save on that pesky airport fee.</p> <h2>7. Return the Car With a Full Tank</h2> <p>Rental companies hate when they have to fill up the gas tanks. In fact, they hate it so much that they'll charge you ridiculous rates for returning the car with less gas than you took it out with. Apparently car companies use super premium fuel, because if they have to fill up the car for you, you'll find a charge on your credit card that's more than double the normal price per gallon.</p> <p>Most rental agencies will give you the car with a full tank. Make sure you return it with the same amount, or more.</p> <h2>8. Use a Promo Code</h2> <p>Rental agencies love to run promotions and discounts for fixed periods of time. While you're shopping for your next rental car, keep your eye out for a little box that says &quot;promo code&quot; or &quot;discount code.&quot; After you've found the deal that best suits you, run a Google Search that looks like this: &quot;your rental company&quot; + &quot;promo code.&quot; Dozens of sites will pop up that will give you codes that you can put into that magic box to save big money.</p> <p>Another useful tip is to look on the rental agency's website for words like &quot;Special Offers&quot; or &quot;Promotions&quot; and click it. Sometimes there are some pretty hefty discounts hidden in these pages and if you book the right car at the right time, you can save a lot of money.</p> <h2>9. Don't Speed</h2> <p>I consider myself a pretty cautious driver, and I've managed to only get nailed for one speeding ticket during all of my time renting cars. Luckily, my ticket was in South Africa and I was able to pay the officer right there on the street &mdash; perhaps not &quot;officially&quot; but it did the trick.</p> <p>Had the officer put the ticket into the system, I would've had to pay $175 for my ticket plus a $50 &quot;administrative fee&quot; with my rental company. Simply put, almost all rental agencies have these fees and they can quickly add up if you're a fast driver.</p> <h2>10. Be Elite and Get More Perks</h2> <p>As I mentioned earlier, you can earn some good points by booking your rental on your best rewards credit card, but you should also know about your chosen card's special perks.</p> <p>If you're an elite card holder, you can skip line-ups at the office, get a free day after renting for four days, get up to 25% off of your rental, or get a free car class upgrade! Call your credit card provider and ask if it gives you elite status with any rental agencies, or if it comes with any extra perks for car rentals.</p> <p><em>Did we miss any smart car rental hacks? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!&nbsp;</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fsave-on-car-rentals-with-these-10-easy-hacks&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FSave%20on%20Car%20Rentals%20With%20These%2010%20Easy%20Hacks.jpg&amp;description=Save%20on%20Car%20Rentals%20With%20These%2010%20Easy%20Hacks" 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/Save%20on%20Car%20Rentals%20With%20These%2010%20Easy%20Hacks.jpg" alt="" height="374" width="250" /></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/save-on-car-rentals-with-these-10-easy-hacks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-theft-while-traveling">How to Avoid Theft While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/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-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> Travel car rentals life hacks rent a car transportation travel tips Mon, 08 Feb 2016 22:00:05 +0000 Nick Wharton 1649861 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Creative Travel Tips You Haven't Thought Of http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-creative-travel-tips-you-havent-thought-of <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-creative-travel-tips-you-havent-thought-of" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-iStock_000048252646_Small.jpg" alt="traveling couple" title="traveling couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on creative travel tips you probably haven't thought of, how to host a big party on a small budget, and natural solutions to stay bug-free.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://couponpal.com/blog/12-creative-travel-tips-you-probably-didnt-think-of">12 Creative Travel Tips You Probably Didn&rsquo;t Think Of</a> &mdash; Pack power cords and cables a sunglasses case. [CouponPal]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thousandaire.com/big-party-small-budget-7-ways-to-be-an-awesome-host/">Big Party, Small Budget: 7 Ways to be an Awesome Host</a> &mdash; The cost of drinks for a party can add up quickly, but you can save money by asking your guests to bring a bottle of their favorite drink. [Thousandaire]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Natural-Bug-Repellents-30974095#photo-30974095">Stay Bug-Free This Summer With These 9 Natural Solutions</a> &mdash; Make a fly and wasp catcher with a plastic bottle! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/things-that-have-no-impact-on-your-credit-score/">4 Surprising Things That Have No Impact on Your Credit Score</a> &mdash; Your income measures your capacity to make payments, but it doesn't say anything about your creditworthiness. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0531/Five-ways-U.S.-hostels-are-stepping-up-their-game">Five ways U.S. hostels are stepping up their game</a> &mdash; Hostels aren't just for the student backpacker! Many U.S. hostels are family-friendly as well. [The Monitor]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/insurance/T027-C000-S002-get-a-discount-on-insurance-with-a-fitness-band.html">How Using a Fitness Band Can Save You Money</a> &mdash; Some employers are offering insurance discounts and other rewards to employees who meet fitness goals. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/will-your-home-be-a-good-investment/">Will Your Home Be A Good Investment?</a> &mdash; Depending on your situation, it can make sense to rent out your property...and live in a rental yourself! [Listen Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://www.aspiringmillionaire.com/2015/05/upskilling-ideas-for-entrepreneurial.html">Upskilling Ideas for Entrepreneurial Success</a> &mdash; Digital technology is a big part of our lives &mdash; and businesses. In order to be successful, entrepreneurs need to constantly learn new and more advanced computer skills. [Aspiring Millionaire]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/shopping-smart/does-a-bigger-store-always-mean-better-prices/">Does a Bigger Store Always Mean Better Prices?</a> &mdash; Sure, large retailers can often offer lower prices, but while a store may have a big physical footprint, the company might actually be relatively small. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/10-ways-youre-making-your-child-unhealthy">10 Ways You're Making Your Child Unhealthy</a> &mdash; Don't do everything for them. They need to try things on their own (and fail sometimes) to develop independence and resilience. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-creative-travel-tips-you-havent-thought-of">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/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-2 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-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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel best money tips travel tips Tue, 02 Jun 2015 19:00:09 +0000 Amy Lu 1443839 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Secrets From the World's Most Frugal Frequent Travelers http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-4181367-small.jpg" alt="traveler" title="traveler" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everybody has their own travel style, along with preferred systems and tricks to make it easier, quicker, safer, and more enjoyable. But don't just ask me: I've asked the hardcore travel community to share their own travel secrets. Here are the 25 best secrets of these frequent travelers around the world. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-youre-paying-too-much-for-when-you-travel-and-how-to-pay-less">Things You're Paying Too Much for When You Travel</a>)</p> <h2>Research and Booking</h2> <p>Here are some tips for booking cheaply and expediently, as well as taking the pain out of researching your travel arrangements.</p> <h3>1. Clear Your Cookies</h3> <p>Sofie Couwenbergh of <a href="http://www.wonderfulwanderings.com/">Wonderful Wanderings</a> is keen to the tricks of sneaky booking sites, who store cookies on your computer. &quot;Booking websites 'remember' what you came looking for, so when you come back to look at that hotel room/rental car/flight a second time, they'll often show you higher prices to urge you to book quickly. That's why I always search booking sites in an incognito browser window.&quot;</p> <h3>2. Use Trip Advisor</h3> <p>Sofie also swears by <a href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.803241&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1">Trip Advisor</a> to get travel advice from locals. &quot;They'll often be able to give you information you won't find in guide books.&quot;</p> <h3>3. Outsource the Legwork</h3> <p>Lea Woodward has lived and traveled around the world for years. If researching transport and accommodation is too time consuming, she says: outsource it! &quot;The travel hackers over at <a href="http://www.flightfox.com/">Flightfox</a> take the legwork out of finding the cheapest/best flight options and can save you masses of time, and I use <a href="https://www.fancyhands.com/">Fancy Hands</a> to do all my initial travel research.&quot; (If you're new to outsourcing, here is how Lea started: <a href="http://www.leawoodward.com/20-tasks-control-freaks-can-outsource/">20 Tasks Control Freaks Can Outsource</a>)</p> <h3>4. Join the Cartel</h3> <p>The Travel Hacking Cartel, that is! Take the pain out of searching for frequent flyer mile deals by subscribing to a service that sends you timely alerts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-travel-hacking-cartel-fly-around-the-world-for-almost-free?ref=seealso">Travel Hacking Cartel: Fly Around the World for Almost Free</a>)</p> <h3>5. Look to Trover for Ideas</h3> <p>Dalene and Pete Heck of <a href="http://www.hecktictravels.com/">Hecktic Travels</a> get their inspiration from <a href="http://www.trover.com/">Trover</a>. &quot;It has oodles of juicy photography and off-the-beaten-path &quot;discoveries&quot; that we would never have found otherwise. It's fun to also share our tips there too!&quot;</p> <h3>6. Check Out Skyscanner for Options</h3> <p>Dalene and Pete also like to know all their options with <a href="http://www.skyscanner.com/">Skyscanner</a>. &quot;We just plug in our current location with &quot;Anywhere&quot; as our destination and see what comes up! Sometimes, it decides our next trip for us based on the cheapest flight.&quot;</p> <h3>7. Bid on Hotels</h3> <p>Matthew Bailey of <a href="http://www.livelimitless.net/">Live Limitless</a> knows that sometimes, you just need some hotel luxury. &quot;When visiting major cities and feeling the need to splurge, <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-10370045">Priceline</a> has always worked for half price 4-star hotels. Just use the &quot;Name Your Own Price&quot; function, bid low, and have fun waiting to see what hotel you won!&quot;</p> <h3>8. Track Airfare</h3> <p>Use tools like Yapta and Fare Compare to track the price of your airfare and snap it up at the right time. You might even be eligible for a refund if the price drops after you buy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-lowest-price-on-airfare-even-after-you-buy?ref=seealso">How to Get the Lowest Price on Airfare Even After You Buy</a>)</p> <h3>9. Strike While the Iron is Hot</h3> <p>Cailin O'Neil of <a href="http://www.travelyourself.ca/">Travel Yourself</a> says don't ponder that deal for too long. &quot;When you find a too good to be true deal book it right away. It probably won't get cheaper, and the cheap price probably won't last long.&quot;</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/travsec-160512113-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>Saving Money on Tours and Accommodation</h2> <p>Once you arrive, there's still money to be spent. Here are some ways to stem the flow.</p> <h3>1o. Free Local Guides</h3> <p>Janice Waugh of <a href="http://solotravelerblog.com/">Solo Traveler</a> uses the <a href="http://www.globalgreeternetwork.info/">Global Greeter Network</a> to find free local guides. &quot;In Paris I enjoyed a three hour tour with a local and then, to my surprise, was invited to her home for lunch.</p> <h3>11. House Sitting</h3> <p>Dalene and Pete Heck use house sitting as a mainstay for their full-time travel lifestyle. &quot;Not only have we saved thousands upon thousands of dollars by living rent-free, we also get to have a completely different and unique experience wherever we are visiting.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-landing-the-perfect-house-sitting-gig?ref=seealso">10 Tips for Landing the Perfect House-Sitting Gig</a>)</p> <h2>Packing Secrets</h2> <p>Packing is a hot topic in the travel community! When you live out of your luggage, you need to have a system. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-packing-secrets-from-a-professional-traveler?ref=seealso">15 Packing Secrets from a Professional Traveler</a>)</p> <h3>12. Choose Synthetic</h3> <p><a href="http://www.matt-gibson.org/">Matt Gibson</a> swears by synthetics. &quot;Pack clothing made of synthetic materials. They tend to pack smaller, wrinkle less, dry faster, and repel stains better than cotton.&quot;</p> <h3>13. Go Carry-On</h3> <p>The weight of your luggage is directly proportionate to misery while you travel. Traveling with carry-on luggage only is liberating, and don't tell me it isn't possible: I now travel full-time with carry-on only. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-flying-easy-the-ultimate-carry-on-packing-list?ref=seealso">Make Flying Easy: The Ultimate Carry-On Packing List</a>)</p> <h3>14. Packing Cubes</h3> <p>Alexandra Jimenez of <a href="http://www.travelfashiongirl.com/">Travel Fashion Girl</a> also roams the world full time with carry-on luggage only, attributing her success to packing cubes (as do many of the travelers interviewed here). &quot;They help compress my clothing, maximize minimal space, and organize my bag.&quot;</p> <h3>15. Roll It Up</h3> <p>Cailin O'Neil also travels with carry-on only. Her secret: rolling. &quot;Roll everything up to save space, and also, take only half of what you think you need.&quot;</p> <h3>16. Stuff Shoes</h3> <p>Sofie Couwenbergh (like many frequent travelers interviewed here) stuffs her shoes with socks. &quot;It'll save you some space and your shoes won't lose their shape when they're stuffed into your bag.&quot;</p> <h3>17. Reusable Packing List</h3> <p>Worried you're missing something? Sofie doesn't; &quot;Create a list with all the things you need to pack for every trip (toothbrush, medicine, money) and save it on your computer. You can just print it out or go over it for every trip. You'll never forget something again.&quot;</p> <h3>18. Bring a Head Lamp</h3> <p>Matthew Bailey swears by his head lamp. &quot;I can't count the amount of times it has come in handy, both in the wild outdoors and inside.&quot;</p> <h3>19. Coordinate Everything</h3> <p>This is especially important if you're traveling with carry-on only. Everything must match! Choose two to three complimentary colours (including shoes); you'll have significantly more outfit combinations, ability to layer in varying temperatures, and you'll always look like a star.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/travsec-466699017-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>Tricks While You're on the Move</h2> <p>Although we all love travel, few of us like the actual traveling part of it, which can be fraught with delays and annoyances. Here's how frequent travelers navigate them.</p> <h3>20. Be Ready for Security Checks</h3> <p>Cailin O'Neil is always ready to clear security quickly. &quot;Have your liquids easily reachable if not already in your hand. Have your boarding card and ID in your hand, and have your laptop out as well.&quot; She also suggests easily removable shoes and skipping the belt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster?ref=seealso">How to Get Through the Airport Faster</a>)</p> <h3>21. Call the Hotel to Reserve</h3> <p>Unless the hotel offers a screaming deal online, frequent travelers know to call to make a booking, and that rates are negotiable. Even if you're standing around the corner at the last-minute, you'll get a better deal if you phone rather than walk in. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-secrets-of-last-minute-travel?ref=seealso">20 Secrets of Last-Minute Travel</a>)</p> <h3>22. Be Smartphone Savvy</h3> <p>Most of the frequent travelers interviewed here extolled the virtues of their smartphone, wondering how they survived before. Jeannie Mark of <a href="http://www.nomadicchick.com/">Nomadic Chick</a> says she can't live without hers. &quot;I use it for emailing, social media, communication (texting, calling), typing notes, directions, an alarm, a clock, recording voice notes, translator &mdash; everything short of using it for eating. I love my laptop, but my phone is the bomb.&quot;</p> <h2>Staying Safe and Healthy</h2> <p>Travel is hard on the body, and taxing on the brain. Here are some secrets to hedge against theft, illness, and travel fatigue.</p> <h3>23. USB Stick Trick</h3> <p>This is my (not quite patented) travel safety secret; I store an encrypted database on a USB stick containing all my passwords, pictures of my ID, phone numbers to call in case of loss or theft of bank/credit cards, my insurance policy, and more. I keep the USB stick, along with a small amount of cash and an extra credit card, stashed in a little pocket worn underneath my clothing. That way if I'm robbed of absolutely everything, I can still get to my consulate and have recourse. (See also: <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2012/07/financial-travel-tip-38-total-travel-protection-with-the-usb-stick-trick/">Total Travel Protection With the USB Stick Trick</a>)</p> <h3>24. Fend Off &quot;Delhi Belly&quot; With Probiotics</h3> <p>You want to enjoy the local cuisine, but it may come at a cost. Lea Woodward always takes probiotics when she travels. &quot;80% of your immune system is in your gut, so keeping your digestive system healthy is a great way to keep your immune system strong.&quot; (See her other tips: <a href="http://locationindependent.com/how-to-stay-healthy-when-you-travel/">How to Stay Healthy When You Travel</a>)</p> <h3>25. Go Slow</h3> <p>Like me, Dalene and Pete Heck are fans of slow travel. &quot;Trying to race around the world to knock sights off a bucket-list is draining, expensive, and doesn't let you really experience a country. Slow travel is so much more rewarding!&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-amazing-affordable-vacations-travel-slowly?ref=seealso">For Amazing, Affordable Vacations, Travel Slowly</a>)</p> <p><em>What's your travel secret? Spill it in comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F25%20Secrets%20From%20the%20Worlds%20Most%20Frugal%20Frequent%20Travelers.jpg&amp;description=25%20Secrets%20From%20the%20World%26%23x27%3Bs%20Most%20Frugal%20Frequent%20Travelers" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/25%20Secrets%20From%20the%20Worlds%20Most%20Frugal%20Frequent%20Travelers.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Smart Travel Hacks Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel frequent flyers travel secrets travel tips Wed, 26 Feb 2014 11:36:36 +0000 Nora Dunn 1127329 at http://www.wisebread.com Truly Offbeat Budget Travel Tips http://www.wisebread.com/truly-offbeat-budget-travel-tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/truly-offbeat-budget-travel-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-resources.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&rsquo;s the new year and you want to get your travel on, only your wallet isn&rsquo;t working for you. You&rsquo;re scrimping and saving, even though you&rsquo;re unsure about where or even how you can travel during your vacation. It&rsquo;s time to veer off the traditional travel trails and into a more localized experience &ndash; even if you journey to a destination far from home.</p> <p>There are tons of ways to save money and experience a new culture &ndash;sometimes for free &ndash; by exploring the local terrain, be it an urban, bucolic, or rugged outdoors location. And the best way to find out where the real deals are is to ask the locals &ndash; they know where the good (and cheap) stuff is.</p> <p>Here are some local digs that offer sweet information about where to stay and what to do while you&rsquo;re there.</p> <p><strong>Hostels: </strong>Not just a place to crash. The front desk at any hostel offers a plethora of local information, from where to find the best pubs to where to check out local dance performances. For instance, a whirl through San Francisco found me hanging at the San Francisco Fisherman&rsquo;s Wharf hostel in Fort Mason right near Golden Gate Park. Not only did the front desk hand me a detailed map off all of the local public transportation routes, but they also told me where the nearest parks, cafes, and libraries were. In fact, they gave me enough information to occupy me for days and for a relatively small amount of money. Plus, hostel staff members are usually very friendly and informative. Just ask them about what you&rsquo;re looking for and they&rsquo;ll tell you. Don&rsquo;t forget to check the bulletin boards for local events. </p> <p><strong>Yahoo Groups: </strong>A virtual hangout spot teeming with people who know about your destination. With a regional directory of groups, you can surf on through here and find out what&rsquo;s happening in different spots around the world. Want to know about things to do in Botswana or how to find romance in Germany? There&rsquo;s a group for it somewhere in there.&nbsp; Join up and start asking questions.</p> <p><strong>Local papers: </strong>Not the big city kind; the ultra-local neighborhood papers will serve you better here. The last time I hit a big American city and needed the low down on what to do, I grabbed a few papers from the stands on the streets. The hyper-local ones provide the best details on local restaurants, museums, and parks. As an added bonus, you get a feel for what the place is like and how much time you want to spend there. </p> <p><strong>Local libraries: </strong>More than a research facilities or places to pick up the latest fiction for free, these are information powerhouses on the local front. In fact, a few years ago, I rolled on out to Bali and kicked it in Ubud for a few weeks. While I was there, I was getting too frustrated with my inability to speak Indonesian. I headed on down to the local library where I not only found a cool Indonesian language instructor (for about $6 an hour, a top-rate bargain), but I also picked up info on the latest events, classes and treks in the area. While I was there, I met a few local expats who now called Bali home and they turned out to be the best information sources around. </p> <p><strong>Local bookstores: </strong>Yet more information powerhouses. These gems can give you access to books in your own language as well as the language of the country you&rsquo;re in. You can also check out the local bulletin boards for information on events and activities in the immediate area. And the owners are used to answering lots of questions, so ask them what activities they suggest doing while you&rsquo;re in the area. </p> <p><strong>Local sports shops: </strong>If you haven&rsquo;t already booked an adventure trip or if find yourself with some free time and the urge to get out into nature, local sports stores can be a great place to start. Call around if you can. Or show up and see if you can talk to the people in the store. Want to go on a bike tour around the area? The people at the local bike shop not only have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bike-on-great-deals-on-all-things-bicycle">the gear you need</a>, but they probably know where the best rides are and what you can see along the way. Remember, mostly sports enthusiasts work in sports shops. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/super-sports-gear-for-less">They know the things you need to know</a>. And if they don&rsquo;t know, they can tell you who does. </p> <p><strong>Your university alumni association: </strong>Your university usually has a directory of alumni, some of whom might be traveling or living in another country. Why not ping a former friend or classmate and find out what they&rsquo;re up to? They might have ideas on what you can do, as well as contacts in your destination area. </p> <p><strong>Other travelers: </strong>Then there&rsquo;s the tried and true, just hanging around experience that drums up some the best times you&rsquo;ll have while you&rsquo;re traveling. Hang out around sports shops, museums, cafes, the beach. Anywhere you like to be. You&rsquo;ll soon find yourself chatting with other locals and travelers &ndash; and finding out the local tips and tricks that no guidebook can truly offer.</p> <p>So start asking around. You never know what you&rsquo;ll find out and what kinds of truly free or amazingly budget-friendly things you can find to do by taking a grassroots, local approach to travel. And you might make some cool new friends in the process.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sasha-a-rae">Sasha A. Rae</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/truly-offbeat-budget-travel-tips">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/the-7-rules-of-budget-travel">The 7 Rules of Budget Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free">7 Ways That Anyone Can Travel for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-costa-rica-heist-remix-a-case-for-t-i">The Costa Rica Heist (Remix) A case for T.I.</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/ask-a-budget-travel-expert-beth-whitman-here-to-answer-your-questions">Ask a Budget Travel Expert: Beth Whitman Here To Answer Your Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Art and Leisure budget travel travel tips traveling Sun, 03 Jan 2010 14:00:11 +0000 Sasha A. Rae 4396 at http://www.wisebread.com The Costa Rica Heist (Remix) A case for T.I. http://www.wisebread.com/the-costa-rica-heist-remix-a-case-for-t-i <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-costa-rica-heist-remix-a-case-for-t-i" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/CostaRica396.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="139" height="78" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="article-body"> <p><strong>Diss-Claimer.</strong> (Yes, Dis with another &quot;S.&quot; And as for those who actually followed the first time, I apologize LOL:)</p> <p> (<em>Back by popular demand for the great grammarians who frequent this site: This is the Re-Mix!)</em> </p> <p>It could start with &quot;you never think it can happen to you,&quot; or &quot;just when you thought it was safe.&quot; But why go out that way or for that matter come in that way, it&#39;s as cliche as an American tourist getting yapped for his belongings on a trip to foreign country.</p> <p><em>(I didn&#39;t think it would happen to me.)</em></p> <p>Rewind. (<em>That means go back, to a particular point in this story.</em>)</p> <p>A red-headed graduate student who couldn&#39;t be more American if she was Betsy Ross&#39; daughter&#39;s daughter&#39;s daughter&#39;s daughter, was sitting there talking to me. More aptly talking at me, more specifically, not shutting up. &quot;Uh-huh, yeah, damn that&#39;s messed up,&quot; is all this blogger could manage to retort.  </p> <p>(<em>I&#39;m &quot;this blogger,&quot; by the way.</em>)</p> <p>She talked about her work in psychology and feigned embarrasment went I pointed out that she had on flip-flops that said &quot;Harvard,&quot; and a key chain necklace that said, guess what, &quot;Harvard.&quot; Oh yeah and someone had, the night before, broke into the Hostel at which I just arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica. They took her passport. And there she was, talking my head off, killing time on her way to Vietnam via South Dakota. </p> <p>I said to myself &quot;that&#39;s pretty crazy.&quot; When I say crazy, I mean the passport being stolen story as well, but the girl, certainly. I&#39;m glad nothing remotely resembling that is going to happen to me, I&#39;m a globtrotter, a world traveler a...</p> <p>(<em>I empathized with the zany Harvard girl&#39;s anecdote but felt impervious to theft of any kind.</em>)</p> <p>Fast-Forward. (<em>That means jump ahead to the next day</em>)</p> <p>The lame conference on Commodities and Chinese relations with Latin American governments and the state-owned mines they own is sadly at an end.</p> <p>(<em>I was actually in Costa Rica on business, before I tacked on a vacation jaunt at the end of the trip.</em>) </p> <p>Now I&#39;m headed to Jaco Beach on one of the most beautiful Fridays in recent memory. I am enjoying a ride to the Pacific Coast of this lovely, quaint, currency 500/1 - completely-backed-by-American-military-country. The bus to Jaco pulls up for boarding and people rush to put their luggage in the hull of the monstorous municpal bus that looks more like a tour bus. </p> <p>Ahh, no way I&#39;m putting my bags down there, sheeeeeeeeet, not me. Savvy yank that guy is right? So what do I do? I get on, speak a little Spanish, I&#39;m in my zone, I&#39;m getting ready for four straight days of God-knows-what-tropica-lfun and what do I do? I pull out my digital camera like a dummy tourist from middle America. You know, the quintessential one who asks, &quot;do they serve tacos in Costa Rica?&quot; Yeah that kind.</p> <p>(<em>I thought I was being careful and travel savvy but alas, my activities as a giddy oblivious tourist would do my belongings in.</em>) </p> <p>I start taking self portraits as the bus pulls off, feeling my self, fun for pennies on the dollar, oh yeah. My black samsonite leather computer bag is on the top shelf above where I&#39;m sitting, phone, laptop, all the power cords and a DVD from blockbuster enclosed. I might as well have been a Harvard girl.</p> <p>Fast-Forward. (<em>That means we&#39;re skipping ahead about an hour or so.)</em></p> <p>We&#39;re only 20 clicks (<em>That&#39;s 20 kilometers for those not familiar with the metric system or U.S. Army and Marine lingo.)</em> from Jaco Beach, just 20 clicks from wireless, phoneless freedom via the wireless connection on a month-old Dell fresh off the assembly line that I would hope to utilize in the sea-side condo I was headed to. </p> <p>But, while I was looking out the window musing at the greenest hills I&#39;ve ever seen in my life and the mango trees with ripe, juicy products hanging like sweaty jugs - of fruit juice you pervs - it must have jumped off, something slick, James Bondish. I&#39;m talking Michael Jackson smooth criminal. I should have known what was up 45 minutes into the trip when I couldn&#39;t see the strap from my bag anymore, but it didn&#39;t register.</p> <p>(<em>Whilst I admired the scenery, the thief or theives were very methodical and moved with stealth as they lifted, snatched or removed my bag from the top shelf. Yes I said &quot;Whilst.&quot;)</em></p> <p>We stop, I look up on the shelf. Panic. Awwww they got me. First step, anger, broken, cuss-laden Spanish, black English; a real estate agent from South Carolina with the same &quot;damn that&#39;s messed up,&quot; look on his face that I had for the Harvard girl the night before.</p> <p>(<em>The American real estate agent, who was also on the bus, emphathized with my story but was glad it wasn&#39;t him.)</em></p> <p>Gone. (<em>My stuff, in case it&#39;s unclear, was no longer there.)</em></p> <p>Come to find out five collegues had the same hubris and put their stuff below in the belly of the Bus beast. Yes, Gone. </p> <p>(<em>Five people I was at the conference with, three American, two European, placed their belongings on the bottom of the bus before boarding and had all of their belongings subsequently taken.)</em></p> <p>And suddenly I didn&#39;t feel so bad. I, after all still had my passport, credit cards and a whole lot of Colones on my person and a pre-paid condo waiting on me. Some of those people were stuck where they stood with nothing anyone could do but loan them 500 colones to call the embassy and then their folks.</p> <p>(<em>At least four of the above-mentioned &quot;colleagues,&quot; had every last possession taken from them</em>.)</p> <p>Yep, the beach, healed those wounds quick. (<em>I pouted for a minute but then realized I was at a world-class beach with blue-green water and black sand.)</em></p> <p>Fast Forward. (Presumbably to the point of this friggin post, right?) (<em>That means I&#39;m jumping ahead to the sentence below.)</em></p> <p>GET TRAVEL INSURANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</p> <p>When I return home and reality strikes, I will be out $750 bucks in supplies and will have bought the &quot;Great Debaters&quot; from Blockbuster, when I could have just gotten beyond my imperialist arrogance and copped $54 for two weeks of travel insurance from any of the companies on the commercials we hate on tv or any one of these sites:</p> <p>(<em>I should have gotten travel insurance. And there is lots of useful information on these hypertext markup language links, that take you, the readers, to things called Web Sites.)</em></p> <p><a href="http://www.worldnomads.com/">http://www.worldnomads.com/</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.insuremytrip.com/">http://www.insuremytrip.com/</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.travelpod.com/cgi-bin/travel-insurance.cgi">http://www.travelpod.com/cgi-bin/travel-insurance.cgi</a></p> <p>Here&#39;s also a bit from my Wisebread sistren on <a href="/the-dirt-on-travel-insurance">parameters on TI</a>  that I neglected to mention due to the dearth of exactitude in my rant/narrative/testimonial.</p> <p>(<em>Fellow blogger Nora Dunn has a comprehensive post on the different ways and means of procuring travel insurance.)</em></p> <p>It&#39;s a lesson for me, an expensive lesson, but a lesson. I do plan on going back to Costa Rica. I loved it but next time I&#39;m springing for some TI and not the Rapper T.I. either, even though I hear he has lots and lots of guns. </p> <p>(<em>Okay, some of you just aren&#39;t going to get that last sentence. I&#39;m going back to Costa Rica at some point though.)</em></p> <p>Because despite reading numerous travel guides and Wikipedia entries about Costa Rica being the number one destination for passport theives, I put my stuff on the top rack of a public bus to a beach bum paradise. Perhaps, I should be reading <em>your </em>blog. </p> <p>Sheesh. (<em>What a difficult time I had explaining that my stuff was stolen and that I wish I had bought travel insurance.)</em></p> <p>Hasta La Vista. (<em>I&#39;m fluent in Spanish, Hasta La Vista means until next time, or see you later. I never meant to say Pura Vida, but hey I had a great time so, Pura Vida it is.)</em></p> <p>I&#39;m having fun with you folks but seriously, get travel insurance when you go on trips longer than two weeks. It can&#39;t hurt.</p> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jabulani-leffall">Jabulani Leffall</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-costa-rica-heist-remix-a-case-for-t-i">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-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/the-costa-rica-lesson-awwwwwww-they-got-me">The Costa Rica Lesson: Awwwwwww They Got Me</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/expert-tips-to-help-you-make-your-own-holiday-cards-and-save-a-small-fortune">Last minute tips for quick and easy homemade Holiday cards. .</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-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</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/revive-old-toys-for-extra-christmas-savings-and-sanity">Revive Old Toys for Extra Christmas Savings (and Sanity)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Life Hacks Consumer Affairs Art and Leisure Costa Rica Passport travel insurance travel tips vacation Wed, 04 Jun 2008 18:36:15 +0000 Jabulani Leffall 2147 at http://www.wisebread.com