amenities http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8662/all en-US What You Need to Know About HOAs http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-hoas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-you-need-to-know-about-hoas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_family_house_80411637.jpg" alt="Family learning what they need to know about HOAs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're buying into a residential community &mdash; made up of condominiums or single-family homes &mdash; that is governed by a homeowners association. Is that a good thing? Or should having to deal with an HOA make you nervous?</p> <p>The answer, unfortunately, isn't simple. Homeowners associations, better known as HOAs, do come with some significant pros, including giving you access to community amenities such as swimming pools, parks, and fitness centers. But when you live in a community run by a HOA, you'll also have to follow the association's rules, which could limit everything from how many pets you can have in your condo or home to what type of alterations you can make to your property. You'll also have to pay an extra monthly fee to support the association.</p> <p>Before you move into a residential community governed by an HOA, make sure you do your research: Find out exactly how much it costs to be a part of the HOA and what benefits the association brings to its member-owners.</p> <h2>What You'll Pay and Why You'll Pay It</h2> <p>When most owners think of HOAs, they think of that extra monthly fee they'll pay. And it's true &mdash; HOAs can be expensive. Fees can vary widely, but you'll usually pay somewhere between $100 to $600 a month, though condos and housing developments with more amenities will typically charge more.</p> <p>There's a reason for this monthly fee, though: It's what you pay to make sure that the common areas of your community, whether it's the lobby or parking lot in a condominium, or the swimming pool and community center in a housing subdivision, are maintained and repaired. The fees that homeowners associations receive each month from residents go into a fund. The officers running the HOA &mdash; who are typically residents of the community itself &mdash; use this money to fund landscaping, mowing, cleaning services, maintenance, and any repair jobs that come up.</p> <h2>A Special Assessment Can Hurt</h2> <p>There might come a time when your HOA votes for a special assessment. This can be a big hurt to your finances. Say your condo building's roof needs to be replaced. Instead of paying for this big expense from the pool of money collected each month from HOA fees, the association might vote to levy a special assessment to cover the replacement costs.</p> <p>In an assessment, each household in the community will pay an extra fee to fund the repair job. These extra financial hits can be steep. Make sure, then, that your HOA has plenty of money in its coffers to tap when an emergency repair comes up. You don't want to be subject to a hefty assessment every time something goes wrong in your condo building or subdivision.</p> <h2>The Amenities Can Make a HOA Worth It</h2> <p>There is a big positive that comes with HOAs: They make the amenities in subdivisions and condo complexes possible. You might not be able to afford an in-ground swimming pool or on-site fitness center on your own. But if you buy into a condo development or residential subdivision, the fees collected by the HOA give you the chance to enjoy these amenities.</p> <p>Just make sure that the amenities themselves are important to you. Otherwise, you'll be paying a monthly fee for swimming pools, clubhouses, and business centers that you never use.</p> <h2>HOAs Do Place Limits on What You Can Do</h2> <p>Every homeowners association publishes its own set of covenants, conditions, and restrictions, better known as its CC&amp;R. These rules can severely restrict your activities while living in the community. Your association's rules might restrict you to just two dogs, for instance. They might prevent you from painting the exterior of your home your favorite color. The rules might forbid you from making certain exterior improvements to your home, too.</p> <p>Again, it's important to read a copy of an association's CC&amp;R documents before you make an offer on a residence.</p> <h2>You Can Serve on the HOA Board</h2> <p>HOAs are governed by a board usually made up of residents of the housing community. If you want to have a say on how your association operates, run for office. Yes, HOAs run regular elections. Sitting on a HOA can give you more power over how your condo development or subdivision is operated. But it also comes with significant responsibility; you are, after all, responsible for determining how to spend the money of your fellow residents.</p> <p><em>Do you live in a community with an HOA? How's it been for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-hoas">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-questions-to-ask-before-buying-a-second-home-in-retirement">5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Second Home in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</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-alternative-housing-options-you-can-afford">5 Alternative Housing Options You Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-money-management-tips-from-john-oliver">7 Best Money Management Tips From John Oliver</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-sneaky-home-money-pits-that-sap-your-savings">9 Sneaky Home Money Pits That Sap Your Savings</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing amenities benefits condos elections fees hoas homeowners associations housing communities restrictions subdivisions Wed, 17 Aug 2016 10:00:13 +0000 Dan Rafter 1773245 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things to Leave Behind During Your Midsummer Trip http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_85572493_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="Leave these things home on vacation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the price of travel going up and the amount of luggage you can carry going down, packing can no longer be a last-minute activity. Spend time making sure you don't bring anything you don't need. When I traveled home for a month after spending a year in New Zealand, I only had a backpack, which contained everything I needed &mdash; including a first aid kit.</p> <p>Here are some obvious (and not so obvious) items to leave at home when you head out of town. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-for-free?ref=seealso">14 Useful Items Hotels Usually Provide for Free</a>)</p> <h2>1. Coffee/Tea/Coffee Maker</h2> <p>Almost everywhere you go, whether it be a hotel or an Airbnb, will likely have coffee, tea, and something to make it in. If you're going for an Airbnb or VRBO, make sure to check the description or send a message to the owner to see what is available.</p> <h2>2. Towels</h2> <p>Unless you're in <em>Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy</em>, you don't need a towel when you travel. Make sure towels are provided ahead of time, as some hostels don't provide them. A friend and I didn't make sure we had enough towels when we went to Paris and we had to use hand towels. Check ahead!</p> <h2>3. Full-Sized Toiletries</h2> <p>Don't bring full-sized toiletries with you, because you absolutely don't need them. The 3-oz. rule is applicable only for carry-ons, but you should implement it either way. Buy a small refillable bottle that you can use over and over. I have one for every toiletry and refill it whenever I need to. Make sure they're labeled though. I have been known to style my hair with face wash.</p> <h2>4. Hair Dryers and Irons</h2> <p>Hair dryers and irons are usually provided in hotels and most other rental places. If you can't find them in your room, call down to the front desk. While you're at it, they also usually have toothpaste, toothbrushes, sewing kits, and a myriad of other things you might've forgotten.</p> <h2>5. Full-Sized Pillows</h2> <p>There is absolutely no need for a full-sized pillow on a trip, and even most hostels will provide these. Pillows can be cumbersome and difficult to stuff into a bag. Again, make sure to check a website or call the place you're staying to make sure a pillow is available. I don't even travel with my travel pillow anymore, because besides the during plane ride, I don't use it.</p> <h2>6. Workout Clothes</h2> <p>Unless you actually plan on working out, bringing an extra pair of sneakers, socks, and workout clothes just takes up room in your bag. I've taken these multiple times on business trips and I've only used them once. In general, make sure you're only taking what you need or that you'll actually use what you take.</p> <h2>7. Uncomfortable Shoes</h2> <p>Unless you're in a wedding or attending a gala, taking uncomfortable shoes on a trip makes no sense. There are plenty of cute, comfortable options besides the four inch heels you were thinking about taking. Plan ahead and make sure you won't need them, and if not, leave them in your closet.</p> <h2>8. Speakers</h2> <p>Most hotels provide bluetooth or iPhone speakers, so you don't need to bring your own. If you're traveling to a hostel, having speakers can be rude because of thin walls and shared rooms. Check with your Airbnb and VRBO host to see if they have speakers. Taking an audio cord isn't a bad idea though, as sometimes I've noticed the speakers in my hotel room only work with the first version of the iPhone.</p> <h2>9. Expensive Items</h2> <p>Be it jewelry, bags, or computers &mdash; don't pack anything you don't actually need. Not only do you have the chance to lose them, but someone might steal them from your room. The most recent Powerball winners from Tennessee took their winning ticket all the way to the <em>Today Show</em> in New York before cashing it in back in Tennessee. Don't do that.</p> <h2>10. Credit Cards, Social Security Cards, or Other Important Documents</h2> <p>If you're not traveling abroad, don't take your passport. If you don't need your work credit card, don't take it. There should be no real reason to have your Social Security card or birth certificate on you. The reason to not take these items is simple: Replacing them can be a nightmare.</p> <p><em>What do you leave at home when you travel?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%20Things%20to%20Leave%20Behind%20During%20Your%20Midsummer%20Trip.jpg&amp;description=10%20Things%20to%20Leave%20Behind%20During%20Your%20Midsummer%20Trip" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Things%20to%20Leave%20Behind%20During%20Your%20Midsummer%20Trip.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/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/25-ways-to-have-the-best-cheapest-summer-vacation">25 Ways to Have the Best, Cheapest Summer Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel 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/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip">7 Travel Hacks for an Affordable Summer Road Trip</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/car-yoga-and-9-other-ways-to-beat-long-drives">Car Yoga and 9 Other Ways to Beat Long Drives</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Shopping Travel amenities hotels midsummer travel summer vacation travel checklist travel hacks vacation Tue, 05 Jul 2016 09:30:26 +0000 Jennifer Holder 1743313 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 In-Flight Amenities Worth the Cost http://www.wisebread.com/7-in-flight-amenities-worth-the-cost <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-in-flight-amenities-worth-the-cost" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/holding_phone_000021996824.jpg" alt="Man using in-flight amenity that is worth the cost" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The complimentary in-flight amenities we used to enjoy have mysteriously vanished only to re-emerge with a surcharge. Now that travel is a necessity more than a luxury, we'll take whatever quality of service we can get (right down to being stuck on the tarmac for hours). So, to make your travel experience a more pleasant one, try any combination of these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline">in-flight amenities</a>. Even if they cost a bit, they are worth the added comfort.</p> <h2>1. Priority Boarding</h2> <p>If you're running late for your flight or simply hate standing in long lines, know that some airlines let you purchase priority boarding passes. Buy these pre-flight or at a kiosk while you're checking-in for your flight. The cost is between $10 and $25.</p> <h2>2. Special Meals, Wine, and Spirits</h2> <p>Unless you remember to bring your own food and drinks or have a really short flight, don't give up your personal comfort because you don't want to pay for the onboard food and beverage service. It's not much more expensive than food purchased at any airport or train station.</p> <h2>3. Wi-Fi</h2> <p>In-flight Wi-Fi costs anywhere from $5&ndash;$14 per day to $25&ndash;$50 for monthly passes. Meanwhile, you can download your own movies or log-in to a subscription service and stream your very own in-flight entertainment (though some Wi-Fi packages include movies). It's a great way to be entertained or catch up on work and e-mails.</p> <h2>4. Headsets</h2> <p>Headsets are a necessity, especially if you're going to be on a long flight. Definitely splurge and pay the extra $2 for a pair. They are yours to keep, so you can hang on to them as a backup pair. It's worth it to drown out the noise of others and relax during your flight.</p> <h2>5. Extra Legroom</h2> <p>Personally, I will not pay for seats with extra legroom. Then again, I'm 5'7&quot;. But, if you're tall, or just like extra space, grab yourself an extra legroom seat and stretch out. They are definitely worth the cost on longer flights. And don't be fooled into thinking you can just wait until the flight takes off and switch seats, because that is no longer allowed.</p> <h2>6. In-Flight Entertainment</h2> <p>Some airlines offer in-flight entertainment programed with television stations, popular games, Sirius Satellite radio, and box office movies for around $6 per movie or $16 for a day pass for the full in-flight entertainment package.</p> <h2>7. First Class and Business Class</h2> <p>The in-flight amenities mentioned above are complementary if you're willing to shell out some extra cash and fly first or business class. Additionally, with a premium seat purchase, most airlines throw in added perks, like access to the airport lounge, one complimentary checked bag, and complimentary food and alcoholic beverages.</p> <p><em>Which in-flight perks do you indulge in?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-in-flight-amenities-worth-the-cost&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20In-Flight%20Amenities%20Worth%20the%20Cost_0.jpg&amp;description=7%20In-Flight%20Amenities%20Worth%20the%20Cost" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20In-Flight%20Amenities%20Worth%20the%20Cost_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/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-in-flight-amenities-worth-the-cost">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-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Airline Miles Secrets Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards">5 Best Co-Branded Airline Credit Cards</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-airlines-with-the-best-customer-service">5 Airlines With the Best Customer Service</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/heres-how-the-major-airlines-determine-when-and-how-you-board">Here&#039;s How the Major Airlines Determine When and How You Board</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-best-credit-card-perks-beyond-points-and-miles">The Best Credit Card Perks Beyond Points and Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airlines amenities comforts flights Tue, 19 May 2015 21:00:09 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1423430 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Cool Things to Do With Hotel Amenities http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cool-things-to-do-with-hotel-amenities <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-cool-things-to-do-with-hotel-amenities" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2937627245_74e9592e9a_z.jpg" alt="hotel soap" title="hotel soap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></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 fantastic articles on cool things to do with hotel amenities, free ways to say 'I love you,' and how to make an interviewer like you.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Reusing-Hotel-Amenities-21860840">8 Cool Things To Do With Hotel Amenities</a> &mdash; Use the hotel soap you scored on your last vacation to make detergent. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://livingonthecheap.com/free-ways-to-say-i-love-you-on-valentines-day/">6 free ways to say 'I love you' on Valentine's Day</a> &mdash; Send your Valentine a love letter for Valentine's Day. It's free and shows them how much you care. [Living on the Cheap]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2013/02/how-to-make-an-interviewer-like-you.html">How to Make an Interviewer Like You</a> &mdash; If you want your interviewer to like you, only say what needs to be said to seal the deal. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stretcher.com/stories/13/13feb04j.cfm#.URFkpoXxJl8">6 Ways to Beat the Social Security Tax Increase</a> &mdash; Beat the social security tax increase by refinancing your home. [Dollar Stretcher]</p> <p><a href="http://andthenwesaved.com/getting-support-from-others/">Getting Others On Board With Your New &quot;Spending Less&quot; Lifestyle</a> &mdash; To get others on board with your &quot;spending less&quot; lifestyle, point out the end date of your new lifestyle. [And Then We Saved]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/learn-from-your-explanation-of-benefits/">5 Things You Can Learn from Your Explanation of Benefits</a> &mdash; Your explanation of benefits can tell you why a claim was rejected. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.girlsjustwannahavefunds.com/save-on-business-gas/">3 Reasons to Switch your Gas &amp; Electricity + DIY Utility Savings</a> &mdash; Turn off appliances you aren't using to save money on your utility bill. [Girls Just Wanna Have Funds]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/how-to-prevent-burglary">Burglary Prevention: Common Sense Advice to Avoid Becoming a Victim</a> &mdash; Setting up lights that are on a timer or putting up a &quot;No Soliciting&quot; sign can help protect you from becoming a victim of burglary. [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/4-tips-for-tackling-kid-messes">4 Tips for Tackling Those Never-Ending Kid Messes (Plus $1 off coupon!)</a> &mdash; To tackle never-ending kid messes, take things one room at a time. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://bargainbabe.com/2013/01/29/35-secret-uses-for-coconut-oil/">35 Secret Uses for Coconut Oil</a> &mdash; Did you know you can use coconut oil to reduce the itch of mosquito bites? [Bargain Babe]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cool-things-to-do-with-hotel-amenities">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-hotel-room-booking-tools-every-frugal-traveler-should-know">5 Hotel Room Booking Tools Every Frugal Traveler Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip">10 Things to Leave Behind During Your Midsummer Trip</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/hostels-vs-hotels-choosing-the-perfect-place-to-stay-within-your-budget">Hostels vs Hotels: Choosing the Perfect Place to Stay Within your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-hotel-hiding-these-5-fees-in-your-bill">Is Your Hotel Hiding These 5 Fees in Your Bill?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel amenities best money tips hotel Wed, 06 Feb 2013 11:00:45 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 967688 at http://www.wisebread.com Hostels vs Hotels: Choosing the Perfect Place to Stay Within your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/hostels-vs-hotels-choosing-the-perfect-place-to-stay-within-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/hostels-vs-hotels-choosing-the-perfect-place-to-stay-within-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hostels versus hotels.JPG" alt="hostel" title="hostel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Most people think that the frugal way to travel is to stay in hostels. However there are a number of scenarios where that may not be the case. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Hostel Amenities</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Hostels vary incredibly in layout, overall mood, location, clientele, and amenities.</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Most hostels have both dorm room accommodations as well as private and semi-private rooms. There will be a kitchen (fully stocked with cooking and eating utensils, and occasionally some staple foods too) which is shared by everybody in the hostel. Some hostels have multiple kitchens, depending on the layout. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>There are also often common areas, bookshelves (where you can leave a book you have read and take a different book with you), and a variety of other occasional amenities including games, DVDs, satellite televisions, and internet access. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Washrooms are often shared, but sometimes those who get a private room will have a private washroom. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Many hostels will also organize or host small tours or activities in the area, depending on the area, culture, and type of guests. Most hostel guests are younger, many being under the age of 30. However one thing you will quickly learn about hostels is that you never know what you are going to get. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>One of the things that can be the appeal or deterrence (depending on the type of traveller you are) is the wide variety of circumstances you can run into at a hostel. You never know what the exact amenities will be, how many people are crammed into one space, what the room layout will look like, and what services will be offered. Its location may be right in the middle of the action, or tucked away inconveniently far from everything you want to see. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Some hostels will encourage guests to hang around on the property for the day with a comfortable atmosphere and friendly staff, while others actually have lock-out policies requiring guests to leave between 10am and 4pm (for example). Some have curfews at night, some prohibit all alcohol and drugs on the premises, and others yet have the cheapest bar in town attached to the place with a 24-hour party atmosphere. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Some hostels serve breakfast in the morning, while others are skeleton accommodations with nothing more than a bed to offer. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Hotel Amenities</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Hotels by comparison, are much more predictable. You will get a private room with a bed, full washroom, and occasionally a kitchenette or in-room coffee maker. You won&#39;t have to make the bed (as you often do with hostels), or strip it when you leave. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>The locations and clientele of hotels however will vary significantly, so like hostels you don&#39;t always know what you&#39;re going to get. But that&#39;s all part of the appeal of traveling, I think!</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Comparison for the Single Traveler</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>For the single traveler, hostels will almost always be cheaper, as long as you are willing to bunk up in a dorm room with other travelers. Security becomes an issue if you are staying with strangers, so having the ability to lock up your belongings or trusting inherently in your fellow traveler will be a necessity. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Hostel private and semi-private rooms can often be on par (if not a touch cheaper but sometimes even more expensive) than basic hotel rooms. For a single traveler, the decision comes down to the preferred amenities and social setting. You can save a pile of cash by preparing your own food in the kitchen provided in a hostel, and there is a lot of inherent value in the camaraderie with fellow travelers and the common area amenities. You can learn what places to stay away from, what is worth seeing, and often you will make fast friends with other travelers and see the sights with them in following days and even weeks of your trip. </span></p> <p> <span> </span></p> <h2><span>Comparison for Travelers in Groups</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>For families or groups of friends, the decision to stay in a hostel or hotel is a touch more complex. Here are some guidelines:</span></p> <h3><strong><span>Privacy</span></strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Do you want privacy, or as a group are you interested in meeting other people? If your itinerary is already set and all you need is a place to lay your head down, then sharing a hotel room will likely be cheaper. </span></p> <h3><strong><span>How Many are in your Group</span></strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Depending on the number of people you are travelling with, some hostels may be hard-pressed to accommodate your entire party. Then again, if your group can fill up an entire dorm room (and some dorm rooms sleep only four people anyway), then you may be able to save a few bucks and take advantage of the hostel amenities too. </span></p> <h3><strong><span>How Long is your Stay</span></strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Some hostels, in order to prevent a seedy transient crowd from infiltrating the place, may require that guests have a departure ticket, or will limit the number of nights you can stay. Hotels, although they also don&#39;t want a transient crowd, aren&#39;t always as stringent since there are more rooms to be had and no social scene to &quot;poison&quot; with the wrong type of person staying there. </span></p> <h3><strong><span>How Old are You</span></strong></h3> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Although age discrimination is illegal, an older traveler or group of travellers may feel out of place at a hostel. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Getting Used to Hostels</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Initially when I started travelling and staying in hostels, I was leery. I tired quickly of the standard conversations with other travellers: Where are you from, Where are you going, Where have you been, etc. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>I stayed at a few hostels that had large groups of travellers moving through that all knew each other, and felt like I was on the outside of a giant inside joke at times. I was also used to staying in hotels, and hadn&#39;t learned how to make the jump to hostelling and all it had to offer. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Since then, I am a devout fan. I have met friends for life from all over the world (and now have places to stay with them in many countries), I have learned from other travelers&#39; experiences where the great places to eat, drive by, and visit are, and I love the surprises of not knowing exactly what the place will be like until you are there. Sometimes it&#39;s not so great, but sometimes <a href="http://freedom30.blogspot.com/2007/05/sleepless-in-vancouver-and-beyond.html" target="_blank">hostel mis-adventures</a> make for the best travel stories!</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Choosing the Perfect Hostel</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>There are a number of resources to search for the hostel that will suit your needs. They include:</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><a href="http://www.hostelworld.com/" target="_blank">Hostel World</a></span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><a href="http://www.hosteltimes.com/" target="_blank">Hostel Times</a> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><a href="http://www.thebackpacker.net/" target="_blank">The Backpacker</a></span></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/hostels-vs-hotels-choosing-the-perfect-place-to-stay-within-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-couch-can-earn-cash-and-support-a-band">Your Couch Can Earn Cash And Support A Band</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/hitching-a-ride-on-an-airplane">Hitching a Ride on an Airplane</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-dirt-on-travel-insurance">The Dirt on Travel Insurance</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/alternatives-to-drunk-driving">Alternatives to drunk driving</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Lifestyle amenities budget accommodations budget travel frual travel group travel hostel hotel youth hostel Fri, 01 Feb 2008 02:23:22 +0000 Nora Dunn 1728 at http://www.wisebread.com