affordable travel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9310/all en-US 4 Affordable Destinations That Are Safer Than You Think http://www.wisebread.com/4-affordable-destinations-that-are-safer-than-you-think <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-affordable-destinations-that-are-safer-than-you-think" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/the_monastery_al_deir_temple.jpg" alt="The Monastery (Al Deir Temple)" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are countless corners of the world that are completely misunderstood and labeled as &quot;unsafe,&quot; when the reality is far from that simple. Violence, wars, terrorism, and drugs can all destroy a country's image and leave lasting negative consequences for its tourism industry.</p> <p>But if you're looking for a budget vacation that's a little out of the ordinary, then consider exploring countries that for one reason or another haven't always enjoyed the best of reputations. Here are four affordable destinations that are actually less dangerous than you might think. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</a>)</p> <p>*All cost estimates are taken from Numbeo.com, a trusted source of user contributed data for the cost of living in countries, and leading hotel site Booking.com.</p> <h2>Rwanda</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/model_resettlement_village%20in_northern_rwanda.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Rwanda's recent history has been deeply shaped by the brutal civil war that was waged here in the early 1990s, and in so many ways it's still struggling to overcome the devastating aftermath. Up to a million people are estimated to have been killed during the unrest and the genocide that followed. Though this war ended over 20 years ago, for many it's still the first thing that springs to mind when Rwanda is mentioned, deterring some potential visitors.</p> <p>Today, the landscape in Rwanda is very different, and though the scars remain, it's beginning to build a reputation as one of the continent's finest tourist destinations. It's now widely regarded as one of the safest and most politically stable countries in Africa. At the time of publishing, the U.S. State Department rates it as having the lowest possible travel advisory level, with no current security alerts.</p> <p>Despite its diminutive size, it packs a punch far above its weight in terms of attractions. Known as &quot;The Land of a Thousand Hills,&quot; its undulating terrain is home to some incredible scenery and rare animals. This includes the famous National Volcanoes Park where you'll find some of the world's last remaining mountain gorillas.</p> <p>Rwanda is also rated as one of the most affordable countries to visit in the region. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will set you back just $2.88, and a room in a budget hotel will start at around $30 depending on which area you're in.</p> <h2>Morocco</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/ait_benhaddou_moroccan_ancient_fortress.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>North Africa has developed a less than stellar reputation in recent years having been blighted by numerous acts of horrific terrorism. Morocco has also experienced terrorist-related incidents in the past, and it should be pointed out that the U.S. State Department says that &quot;the potential for terrorist violence against U.S. interests and citizens exists.&quot;</p> <p>However, the State Department&rsquo;s travel advisory level for Morocco is currently at level 1, the lowest possible level, and there have not been any terrorist attacks in Morocco since 2011. It's widely considered one of the safest countries in the region and its continued high levels of tourism bear testament to this.</p> <p>Exquisite architecture intricately decorated with tiled mosaics, bustling marketplaces full of vibrantly colored spices and fabrics, and swathes of sand dunes stretching out for miles on end are just some of the reasons to visit Morocco. The cuisine is also a huge draw, with richly spiced dishes mixing sweet and savory to mouth watering effect.</p> <p>Thanks in part to the large numbers of tourists it receives, Morocco is one of the most reasonably priced countries in the region. Budget rooms are available starting at around $30 and a meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost a little more than $3.</p> <h2>Colombia</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/clock_tower_gate_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The shadow cast by drug kingpins like the notorious Pablo Escobar still lingers over Colombia, and these associations have proved difficult for the South American country to eliminate. Potential visitors still sometimes fear accidentally getting caught up in the drug trade, being kidnapped by guerrilla fighters, and becoming the victim of organized gang violence. This hasn't been helped by the recent release of popular movies and TV series on the subject.</p> <p>While these fears would have been well founded in the '80s and '90s, Colombia has worked hard to free itself from the clutches of organized crime. In the process, it's begun reinventing itself as a favored tourist destination for travelers wanting a taste of this previously unexplored South American country.</p> <p>Colombia has an attractive mixture of cutting edge modernity and a diverse range of breathtaking, untouched landscapes. This is showcased in cities like Medellin, whose stunning scenery includes swathes of lush jungle and a Caribbean coastline filled with pristine beaches.</p> <p>Colombia is also one of the most affordable countries in South America. That&rsquo;s one reason it's currently enjoying a wave of popularity among young backpackers. Even in the bigger cities, budget rooms are available for less than $25 per night and a meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost less than $4.</p> <h2>Jordan</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/red_sand_in_wadi_rum.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The Middle East is widely regarded as a no-go zone by many people who view the entire region as dangerous. This opinion is fueled by the political instability and well-publicized conflicts that are still ongoing in countries like Syria, Iraq, and Palestine. Because of this, the Middle East in general is not considered your typical vacation destination, and there's a lot of fear around visiting.</p> <p>The tiny country of Jordan, however, is trying its hardest to buck the trend and has become something of an &quot;it&quot; destination in recent years. Though there are safety warnings for the areas close to the borders it shares with some of its neighboring countries, it's stable politically and generally safe to visit.</p> <p>The main reason that people come to Jordan is to visit the famous archaeological wonder and UNESCO World Heritage site, Petra. This ancient city is made up of buildings that were meticulously carved into the red sandstone rock face over 2,000 years ago, when it was the epicenter of a vast empire.</p> <p>But that's not all there is to Jordan. Modern cities like Amman and exciting adventure activities available make it a diverse location. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-incredible-unesco-world-heritage-sites-right-here-in-the-us?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites Right Here in the U.S.</a>)</p> <p>Budget hotel rooms come in at less than $30 in many areas, or for even less you can spend the night under the stars in a traditional Bedouin camp. An inexpensive meal will cost around $7.</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/4-affordable-destinations-that-are-safer-than-you-think">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-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</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/9-travel-destinations-for-introverts">9 Travel Destinations for Introverts</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-places-to-travel-where-the-dollar-is-still-strong">8 Places to Travel Where the Dollar Is Still Strong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stay-secure-in-your-hotel-with-this-8-point-safety-check">Stay Secure in Your Hotel With This 8-Point Safety Check</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-get-to-machu-picchu-and-back-for-30">How to Get to Machu Picchu and Back for $30</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel affordable travel safe travel safety advisory travel destinations travel safety travel tips Thu, 26 Apr 2018 08:30:15 +0000 Nick Wharton 2135304 at http://www.wisebread.com How a Family of 4 Can Book a Disney Vacation for $1,000 or Less http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/son_and_daughter_with_mother_on_roller_coaster_ride.jpg" alt="Son and daughter with mother on roller coaster ride" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even though Disney parks are notoriously expensive, there are still plenty of ways to save. If you're on a tight budget, you could visit a Disney park for only one day and spend the rest of your trip at the hotel pool, for example. You could also buy one-park day passes instead of &quot;park hopper&quot; tickets that let you access multiple parks, and you could skip out on extras like character dinners and souvenirs.</p> <p>You could even stay in an off-site condo or timeshare rental, bring and make all of your meals, and drive to the park instead of flying.</p> <p>But you'll still face the inevitable fact that Disney isn't cheap. Even one-day park tickets start at $109 at Disney Magic Kingdom Park during nonpeak times. Plus, you have hotel stays to cover, meals to pay for, and, well, everything else. And if you need to fly to the park, you can add hundreds of dollars per person to your total bill.</p> <p>Fortunately, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">best travel rewards credit cards</a> can help you plan a Disney vacation that fits within your budget. You may not get your entire trip for free, but the right combination of cards and points can help you save on some of the bigger components of your trip and whittle your total travel costs down.</p> <p>While you'll want to plan at least six months to one year ahead if you want to use rewards to cover airfare or hotels, the strategy below is totally doable if you have the right mindset. Here's how to plan a Disney trip for $1,000 or less for a family of four.</p> <h2>Paying for airfare to Disney</h2> <p>If you don't need to fly to Orlando at the start of your Disney World trip, then you can restrict your transportation costs to the price of gas. But if you need to fly, you'll want to make sure you sign up for the right combination of airline or flexible travel credit cards ahead of time.</p> <p>One of the best options to focus on is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-southwest-airlines-is-the-best-domestic-airline-for-families?ref=internal" target="_blank">Southwest Rapid Rewards</a> if Southwest Airlines flies out of your home airport. You can rack up Southwest miles with a co-branded Southwest credit card or transfer points 1:1 to Southwest from a popular bank rewards credit card.</p> <p>The tricky thing about using Southwest is the fact that award flights fluctuate based on ticket pricing. This makes it difficult to predict how many points you need for a flight, but it's also a good thing since lower-priced flights cost fewer points.</p> <p>You can frequently find flights from many U.S. cities to Orlando for as little as 6,000 miles one-way or 12,000 miles round-trip. If you find a sale or book when prices are low, this could mean getting your entire family's airfare to Orlando covered for 48,000 miles round-trip. Keep in mind, however, that you'll also have to pay $5.60 in government-mandated taxes and fees for each leg of your flights.</p> <p>If your local airport doesn't offer flights with Southwest, you'll need to look for a different frequent flyer program to rack up points with. JetBlue is another good option since flights can cost fewer points on certain dates and they are easy to earn. I found round-trip flights from Chicago to Orlando on JetBlue in June for 16,000 miles (plus $11.20 in fees), for example.</p> <p>You could also consider American Airlines, which will charge 25,000 miles round-trip (or fewer miles if you live within 500 miles of Orlando), plus the same $5.60 per leg in taxes. United MileagePlus is another good option for as little as 20,000 miles round-trip, plus taxes. Last but not least, Delta Air Lines may have good options from your home airport, but you should check online ahead of time before you start racking up Delta miles since the airline no longer publishes an award chart.</p> <h2>Covering hotels</h2> <p>Hotels are fairly easy to cover near Disney World in Orlando, and that's true whether you want to stay in a traditional hotel room or a condo. Most of the major hotel brands offer properties in the Disney area, with some even on park property. Here are some of the best options to consider racking up hotel points with using either a co-branded hotel credit card or a card that lets you transfer points. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Hotel Programs and Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p><strong>Starwood Preferred Guest:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort &mdash; from 4,000 Starpoints per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Walt Disney World Dolphin &mdash; from 12,000 Starpoints per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas &mdash; from 10,000 Starpoints per night</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>IHG Rewards:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Holiday Inn &amp; Suites Across from Universal Orlando &mdash; from 25,000 points per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Crowne Plaza Orlando &mdash; from 30,000 points per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Holiday Inn Lake Buena Vista Resort &mdash; from 35,000 points per night</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Marriott Rewards:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Fairfield Inn &amp; Suites Orlando Near Universal Orlando Resort &mdash; from 30,000 points per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Residence Inn Near Universal Orlando &mdash; from 30,000 points per night</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Hilton Honors:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Orlando Downtown &mdash; 30,000 points per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Hampton Inn near Universal Studios &mdash; 30,000 points per night</p> </li> <li> <p>DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel near Universal Orlando &mdash; 30,000 points per night</p> </li> </ul> <p>To make any of the above options work, you'll want to get a co-branded hotel credit card or a card that lets you transfer points to hotel programs. Find out how many points you need for the number of nights you want to stay ahead of time, then strategize credit card sign-up bonuses and regular spending to earn enough points in time. You can also consider having yourself and your spouse sign up for the same card to earn double the sign-up bonuses. And don't forget that Starwood Preferred Guest, Marriott, and Hilton usually offer a fifth night free when you book with rewards.</p> <p>Also keep in mind that you can use points to book any kind of accommodation if you've got a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-with-easy-travel-redemption?ref=internal" target="_blank">flexible travel credit card</a> that doles out travel credit instead of hotel points. Cards that fall into this category let you earn points that can be redeemed for any travel purchase at a rate of one cent per point. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-cards-have-the-best-travel-redemption-value?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Credit Cards With the Best Travel Redemption Value</a>)</p> <h2>What about park tickets?</h2> <p>While hotels and airfare may be fairly easily covered with rewards, park tickets can be tricky. This is partly because Disney seldom has sales on tickets to its parks.</p> <p>One of the best workarounds is to sign up for a credit card that offers flexible points you can redeem for any travel purchase. Better yet, both you and a spouse or partner sign up and earn double the sign-up bonuses.</p> <p>There are some cards that offer 50,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 within the first three months of the account opening. Plus, you earn two points for each dollar you spend, meaning you'll have $560 in travel credit after you earn the sign-up bonus. If both you and a partner sign up, you could have $1,120 in travel credit to spend on park tickets. That's easily enough to cover four two-day &quot;park hopper&quot; tickets for a family of four with two kids ages 3-9.</p> <p>The downside here is that, traditionally, Disney purchases have not coded as &quot;travel,&quot; which is the key factor that lets you cover them with flexible travel credit. To work around this, buy your Disney World Orlando park tickets from <a href="https://www.undercovertourist.com/" target="_blank">UndercoverTourist.com</a>. This website does code as travel when you purchase with credit, and it offers similar prices to the Disney website.</p> <h2>Adding it all together</h2> <p>While there are lots of ways to piece together a Disney trip with credit card rewards, this blueprint has the potential to help you achieve a Disney vacation for four for less than $1,000. If you covered your airfare with Southwest Rapid Rewards points, covered your hotel entirely with points, and used flexible travel credit to pay for a few days at Disney parks, for example, you would have the bulk of your $1,000 budget to spend on food and fun.</p> <p>You can also cover part of your trip with rewards and pay the rest in cash. If you can stay near the parks with a friend or relative for free, for example, you could focus your rewards efforts on covering flights and park tickets and skip over hotels altogether.</p> <p>If your goal is saving money on a Disney vacation, then more than one strategy will work. The key is planning ahead, reading the fine print, and pursuing credit card rewards with caution and care.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids">7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids</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-vacation-in-greece-for-300-or-less">How to Vacation in Greece for $300 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget</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/watch-out-for-these-hidden-costs-of-free-travel">Watch Out for These Hidden Costs of Free Travel</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/train-vs-plane-travel-which-is-right-for-you">Train vs. Plane Travel: Which Is Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel Disney disney world family trip family vacation travel budget travel tips Wed, 25 Apr 2018 08:30:05 +0000 Holly Johnson 2133919 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Travel Destinations for Introverts http://www.wisebread.com/9-travel-destinations-for-introverts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-travel-destinations-for-introverts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/scenic_oregon_coast.jpg" alt="Scenic Oregon Coast" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Introverts love to travel as much as extroverts, they just prefer to skip places teeming with tourists. Breathtaking scenery, one-on-one conversations, and time for reflection are more important than, say, joining the limbo contest on a rowdy cruise ship.</p> <p>The good news is, there are many vacation ideas that are perfect for introverts. Some of these destinations promote solitude, while others make it easy to get lost in your own thoughts no matter who is around.</p> <h2>1. Visit the Great Wall of China</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/the_great_wall_of_china.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The Great Wall of China actually began as a series of heavy brick walls and structures to protect Chinese empires from attacks. The first was constructed in 771 BC and later installments were connected 2,200 years ago. Today's wall is thousands of miles long, with many of its components winding through gorgeous green hills and ancient lands.</p> <p>As an introvert, exploring the Great Wall of China offers a dramatic way to walk through history and learn about the past without visiting a stuffy museum. Focus your itinerary on the less touristy areas of the wall. The Mutianyu and Badaling sections are easily accessible but mobbed with visitors. You can find tours to the Jinshanling and Simatai sections of the wall on Viator. These parts are harder to get to and may involve hiking over unrestored parts of the wall, but they are much less crowded and offer spectacular views of the wall and countryside.</p> <p>For an even less touristy visit, avoid weekends and peak travel times (usually May through August in China) and Chinese New Year, which usually takes place in February. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Flight-Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a>)</p> <h2>2. Summit Mt. Kilimanjaro</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/elephant_and_kilimanjaro.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Located in northern Tanzania, the 19,000-foot Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain anywhere. Although the fact that you can hike up Kilimanjaro without crampons or technical climbing gear makes it one of the easiest major mountains to summit, it also means it's no stranger to tourists. Still, you can take less crowded routes, and even if you're not alone, life doesn't get much more serene than atop this majestic mountain.</p> <p>Introverts can book a small group tour or even a private climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro. Prices vary widely, but according to the guide company Peak Planet, a good rule of thumb is to plan on spending about $5,000 for your trip, including round-trip airfare from the U.S. That's not cheap, but if you're adventurous, this could be a once-in-a-lifetime trip. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">Travel rewards credit cards</a> can help you defray the costs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I've Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a>)</p> <h2>3. Get lost in the streets of Venice, Italy</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/view_from_gondola_venice.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Venice may be bursting at the seams with people, but it's still one of the most beautiful places for introverts to travel. Walk to the Plaza San Marco at sunrise and you'll have the place almost to yourself. By all means, take a gondola ride down the Grand Canal and though the winding neighborhoods that make up this historic city (solo tours are around $100). Or find a cozy spot to sit in Saint Mark's Square for some interesting people-watching.</p> <p>But also wander off the beaten path to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection or contemporary art galleries such as Teatrino di Palazzo Grassi. Or stroll through the Cannaregio section of town whose back alleys and sunny squares offer a glimpse of everyday life for the Venetians who live here.</p> <h2>4. Tour the Galápagos Islands</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/galapagos_sea_lion.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The Galapagos are a series of natural volcanic islands that belong to Ecuador. Because they were isolated from the mainland for thousands of years, they are home to some of the most unusual species of wildlife, including giant tortoises, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and the world's only equatorial penguin.</p> <p>After spending some time on the mainland, you can book a small group cruise to some of these islands. Small group trips with Intrepid Travel leave from Quito, Ecuador and start at around $2,000 per person for eight days, with boat travel, meals, snorkeling, and kayaking included. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-do-9-popular-bucket-list-items-on-a-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Where to Do 9 Popular Bucket List Items on a Budget</a>)</p> <h2>5. Visit the quiet shores of Nevis</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/scenic_view_of_saint_kitts.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The Caribbean includes an array of gorgeous islands that feature crystal clear waters, gorgeous white sand, and natural beauty. Unfortunately, many islands are also crowded with beachgoers and partyers that can ruin the mood.</p> <p>The Caribbean island of Nevis, however, is not overrun with people or tour groups. Since major airlines don't fly here (most people take a ferry from nearby St. Kitts), renting a beachfront hotel will get you a whole lot more than beautiful scenery; you may have the place to yourself.</p> <p>There is only one major hotel chain represented on the entire island &mdash; the Four Seasons Resort. Elsewhere around Nevis, you'll find small family-run restaurants and shops, along with quaint hotels and ample beach space that provides opportunities for solitude.</p> <p>Stay at the charming Hermitage hotel for quiet mountain beauty, afternoon tea, homemade meals in the Great House, and gorgeous views of the ocean below. Or, book one of the cheaper hotels on the island, which can cost as little as $150 per night in the late summer months. Rooms at the small, eco-conscious beachfront Oualie Beach Resort start at just $166 per night, for example. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/caribbean-island-vacations-anyone-can-afford?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Caribbean Island Vacations Anyone Can Afford</a>)</p> <h2>6. Head to Tulum, Mexico</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/el_castillo_tulum_mexico.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Tulum, Mexico is the perfect spot for solitude because it's so beautiful, historic, and naturally elegant. Here, you'll find ancient Mayan ruins to explore, white sand beaches lapped by crystal clear water, and exotic swimming holes knows as cenotes where you can swim with fish and other wildlife.</p> <p>While Mexico's bigger resort cities like Cancun and Cabo San Lucas are well known for their parties and crowds, Tulum offers an atmosphere that promotes peaceful relaxation and proximity to nature. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-most-affordable-beach-towns-in-mexico?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Most Affordable Beach Towns in Mexico</a>)</p> <h2>7. Take in the Oregon coast</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/scenic_oregon_coast.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The Oregon coast offers plenty for introverts, including cozy cafes perfect for reading, expansive beaches ideal for quiet relaxation, and hundreds of miles of natural beauty. The Oregon Beach Bill even ensures you'll get access to the state's beautiful shoreline. This 1967 measure established public ownership of land along the coast, meaning you don't have to stay on the water to set yourself up for long strolls on the beach.</p> <p>The Oregon coast is ideal for walking, lazing on the beach, and watching dramatic sunsets.</p> <p>Or, you can hike through nearby old growth forests while keeping your eye out for wildlife. Oregon's coast is home to numerous species you may not see at home, including white-tailed deer, burrowing owls, sea otters, and beavers.</p> <h2>8. Explore Iceland</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/aurora_over_kirkjufell_and_waterfall_at_night_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Iceland has long been considered one of the best destinations for solo travelers, mostly due to its low crime rate and the many amazing things to do and see. If you love the outdoors, you will never get bored in Iceland &mdash; even if you're alone. For example, you could head to Iceland to hike a glacier, explore the capital city of Reykjavik, swim in thermal pools, or explore an active volcano.</p> <p>One way to go is to book a solo tour with Baltic Travel Company. Starting at around $1,100, you can see the northern lights (Aurora Borealis), spend time in Iceland's cities, or even embark on a <em>Game of Thrones</em> adventure with a knowledgeable guide.</p> <p>Traveling to Iceland outside of the peak months of June through August will help you save money and avoid heavy crowds. Plus, there is plenty to see and do in spring, fall, and even winter if you can stomach the colder weather and short days (winter days have as few as four hours of sunlight). You can get a spectacular view of the northern lights from mid-March to mid-May, for example. And visitors in September can participate in annual sheepherding and horse-herding rituals, which take place in the Icelandic backcountry. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</a>)</p> <h2>9. Take a budget road trip to U.S. national parks</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/yosemite_national_park_valley_at_autumn.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you like driving, a road trip around the United States may be the best idea yet. With nothing but the road in front of you, you could forget about stresses back home while watching the scenery unfold.</p> <p>With enough time, you could explore some of the most beautiful parts of the world in the nation's national parks. The best way to avoid the crowds is to plan your trip any time that kids are in school. Avoid the summer months, spring break (usually mid-March), and holiday weekends when kids may have four or five days off in a row, for example.</p> <p>A national park pass to see destinations like Yosemite, Arches National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains, and Mount Rushmore costs just $80 annually. You can save money by staying in inexpensive hotels or camping along the way. You could enjoy some peace and quiet while hiking gorgeous cliffs, white water rafting, or just curling up with a good book in the great outdoors. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-national-park-visits-in-2018?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save on National Park Visits in 2018</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-travel-destinations-for-introverts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-to-machu-picchu-and-back-for-30">How to Get to Machu Picchu and Back for $30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-destinations-for-nature-lovers">7 Affordable Destinations for Nature Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-travel-on-a-budget-while-in-expensive-countries">6 Ways to Travel On a Budget While in Expensive Countries</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-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can Book a Disney Vacation for $1,000 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/train-vs-plane-travel-which-is-right-for-you">Train vs. Plane Travel: Which Is Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel affordable travel introvert traits introverts solo travel travel destinations travel tips Tue, 24 Apr 2018 08:30:11 +0000 Holly Johnson 2133485 at http://www.wisebread.com Train vs. Plane Travel: Which Is Right for You? http://www.wisebread.com/train-vs-plane-travel-which-is-right-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/train-vs-plane-travel-which-is-right-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_at_the_train_station.jpg" alt="Man at the train station" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For long-haul international travel, flying is usually the only way to go. But in Europe or within many countries, train travel is a viable alternative to flights. In many cases it&rsquo;s cheaper and more comfortable than flying, and sometimes it&rsquo;s even faster. Here's how to choose whether train or plane travel is right for you on your next trip.</p> <h2>Benefits of train travel</h2> <p>Here are a few ways you can really cash in on traveling by train.</p> <h3>Lower costs</h3> <p>One of the main benefits that train travel often has over flying is cost. In Japan, for instance, you can get a JR Pass good for a week of unlimited travel around the whole country for less than $300. Europe has a similar kind of system with its Interrail Global Pass. These kinds of passes can be cost effective if you're visiting various places in a short period of time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-fun-affordable-train-trips?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Fun, Affordable Train Trips</a>)</p> <h3>Better views</h3> <p>Many train enthusiasts love the fact that you get to experience the country you're traveling in from a different perspective, and often get great views from the seats. Train lines tend to run along routes that would otherwise be difficult to visit, and some of the most iconic journeys go through the heart of stunning locations. Amtrak's Coast Starlight, for example, runs between Los Angeles and Seattle, providing dramatic views of the Cascade Mountains and long stretches of the Pacific Ocean. By air, you may get a glimpse of a city or mountain range when you take off or land, but generally, you'll be stuck with mostly clouds.</p> <h3>More luggage</h3> <p>Trains also allow passengers to transport more luggage, which when traveling heavy can make a real difference. For example, Amtrak allows each passenger to check two 50-lb bags and carry on two 50-lb bags as well as two 25-lb personal items &mdash; all for no added cost. Other train services throughout the world either don't have baggage allowances at all, or don't enforce them, meaning you're free to take as much as you'd like.</p> <p>In comparison, most airlines charge at least $25 for each checked bag on domestic flights, and limit you to one carry-on and one personal item. Many charge for carry-ons these days, too.</p> <h2>More comfort &mdash; usually</h2> <p>With airlines shrinking seat size and legroom to squeeze an ever-growing number of passengers onto planes, train travel can seem luxuriously comfortable. That&rsquo;s assuming that you actually get a seat. Depending on what level of ticket you buy and the route you&rsquo;re traveling, it may not be possible to get an assigned seat or even any seat at all. On Amtrak&rsquo;s bustling Northeast Corridor line, for instance, it&rsquo;s not unusual to have to stand for at least part of the ride in coach from New York to Washington, D.C.</p> <h2>Benefits of flying</h2> <p>Here are a few ways air travel beats the train.</p> <h3>More options for destinations</h3> <p>Air travel provides far more flexibility in terms of the locations you're able to get to. In many countries, rail routes are extremely limited, and can even be nonexistent. This may actually leave air travel as your only option in many instances. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a>)</p> <h3>Plane travel is slightly less deadly</h3> <p>Plane crashes tend to be catastrophic, and the nature of traveling at such high speeds at high altitudes means that when they do happen, the number of deaths is high. However, plane crashes are far more infrequent than many people would imagine, and a study by Northwestern University found that the number of deaths per passenger mile is actually lower on planes than on trains. While both modes of transport are considered extremely safe, and both far less risky than traveling by car, perhaps surprisingly, the risk of fatality is lower in planes than on trains.</p> <h3>Guaranteed seats</h3> <p>Planes have a fixed capacity, meaning you will always have a seat and not have to stand up on any journey, provided you don't get bumped. Trains, on the other hand, are busy and overpopulated in some countries and along certain routes at peak times. While your aircraft seat may be cramped, at least you&rsquo;ll have one. And on most airlines, you&rsquo;ll have an assigned seat so you won't be frantically scanning for a seat among hordes of commuters. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-get-bumped-from-a-flight?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What to Do If You Get Bumped From a Flight</a>)</p> <h2>The differences in speed and travel time</h2> <p>Often it's assumed that because planes travel faster than trains, getting from point A to point B is automatically going to be quicker. However, this isn't always the case, and it's important to take into consideration the full journey time rather than just the ticket's stated journey duration.</p> <p>In the case of a flight, this includes the fact that you need to arrive at the airport at least one hour before takeoff &mdash; two hours for international flights. Then there's the time it takes to get to and from the airports. Airports, particularly ones that budget airlines use, tend to be out of city limits and in less convenient locations.</p> <p>Train stations, on the other hand, are routinely located in the heart of cities, which could knock a significant amount off your total travel time. It may make your ground transportation much cheaper and easier as well, especially if you&rsquo;re using municipal public transport.</p> <p>However, for distances of more than a few hundred miles, planes are still dramatically faster than trains. You may be able to get from Philadelphia to Boston in about the same travel time, but if you&rsquo;re traveling across a country or continent, train rides are for those who have more time than money, or who relish the romance and adventure of train travel.</p> <h2>What does the future hold?</h2> <p>The gap between rail and air travel appears to be narrowing, with many new high speed rail links in the planning stages across the world. This is particularly true in China, where there's a real focus on improving the rail infrastructure and creating better and quicker links between major cities.</p> <p>For some journeys across Japan, China, South Korea, and Europe on modern train lines using advanced technology, trains travel significantly faster than they used to. New designs in development look to push the boundaries of rail travel even further. Elon Musk&rsquo;s proposed Hyperloop promises speeds of over 700 mph. If this comes to fruition, train speeds could even surpass those of planes, opening a whole new world of travel possibilities.</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/train-vs-plane-travel-which-is-right-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can Book a Disney Vacation for $1,000 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/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/watch-out-for-these-hidden-costs-of-free-travel">Watch Out for These Hidden Costs of Free Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids">7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids</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-get-to-machu-picchu-and-back-for-30">How to Get to Machu Picchu and Back for $30</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel affordable travel frequent flyer miles plane travel train travel train trips travel budget travel tips Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:30:05 +0000 Nick Wharton 2133482 at http://www.wisebread.com Watch Out for These Hidden Costs of Free Travel http://www.wisebread.com/watch-out-for-these-hidden-costs-of-free-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/watch-out-for-these-hidden-costs-of-free-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_disappointed_for_delayed_flight.jpg" alt="Man disappointed for delayed flight" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Almost every day of the year, you can find a new story about a blogger who spent a month in some far-flung country for almost nothing out-of-pocket. And why wouldn't you believe them?</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">Travel credit cards</a> do, indeed, offer points and miles that can cover the costs of airfare and hotel rooms. With a savvy strategy and enough stockpiled points, it's possible to craft a rewards-fueled plan that lets you travel for almost nothing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Steps to Getting a Free Vacation in 9 Months or Less With Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>The problem: Travel credit cards &mdash; and rewards cards in general &mdash; don't cover every aspect of your trip. They can pay for the bulk of your major travel components, sure, but you may come up short when it comes to covering other common travel expenses.</p> <h2>Hidden costs of travel to watch out for</h2> <p>There's nothing wrong with aiming for &quot;free travel,&quot; but it's important to know what your real expenses might be so you can plan accordingly. How much does free travel really cost? We interviewed a handful of points and miles bloggers to find out some of the biggest expenses people fail to plan for.</p> <h3>Airline taxes and fees</h3> <p>According to Ariana Arghandewal, the blogger behind the popular Point Chaser blog, the biggest expense people forget about is airline taxes and fees. For domestic flights, these include the Passenger Facility Charges, U.S. Excise Tax, Domestic Flight Segment Tax, the September 11th Security Fee, and others.</p> <p>International flights are also subject to a U.S. Arrival/Departure Tax, U.S. Customs User Fee, U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Fee, and U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Fee. Foreign taxes, inspection fees, security charges, and departure taxes can add up to hundreds of dollars more, as can carrier-imposed surcharges. &quot;Some airlines, like British Airways, even impose fuel surcharges, which can set you back over $1,000 round-trip to some destinations,&quot; notes Arghandewal.</p> <h3>Flight incidentals</h3> <p>Lee Huff, a travel writer who blogs for Boarding Area at BaldThoughts.com, says that, while some airline cards let you and your travel companions check bags for free, not all do. Checked bag fees can run you $25-$35 per bag, which could easy add up to $100 each way for a family of four.</p> <p>Then there are other flight incidentals to be aware of. In-flight internet service on domestic flights (if you need it) can cost $5-$20 a day, depending on the airline and itinerary. Snacks in the airport can also be pricey, and so can drinks and magazines. Drive your own car to the airport and you will also need to pay for airport parking, says Huff.</p> <h3>Hotel extras</h3> <p>Even when you pay for a hotel with hotel points or a free night certificate, that doesn't mean you'll escape all costs of staying there. While hotels that let you book with rewards don't charge taxes on your stay, you could still be on the hook for parking, internet service, or resort fees. And let's not forget the costs of tipping housekeeping, if that's something you do.</p> <p>Resort fees in particular can be costly, notes a report from the Federal Trade Commission. In 2015, consumers paid around $2 billion in resort fees on top of their nightly room rate, and many of those fees were not properly disclosed.</p> <p>If you use points to book a hotel stay, make sure you understand ahead of time if the property charges resort fees. If you don't, you could be in for a nasty surprise when you go to check out from your free hotel room and find you owe a balance.</p> <h3>Food and entertainment</h3> <p>Even if you have the bulk of your trip covered with rewards, you still have to eat and have fun. You may think you will stop at a supermarket to stock up on groceries to make your own meals, but that doesn't mean you won't want to go out for at least a few meals, right? Make sure to plan accordingly for some dinners out so you don't overrun your travel budget.</p> <p>Then there are excursions to plan for. If you want to visit local museums or attractions, you'll most likely need to pay an entry fee. Sure, there are tons of free things to do no matter where you travel, but many attractions cost money whether you like it or not. Even many natural attractions such as beaches and national parks charge an entry fee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-natural-wonders-you-can-see-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Natural Wonders You Can See for Free</a>)</p> <p>And what about souvenirs? Leana Storts, who blogs about credit card rewards at <a href="http://www.milesforfamily.com/" target="_blank">Miles For Family</a>, says extras we buy can easily add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars if we're not careful. Storts recalls taking her family to New York City late last year, where her husband bought her daughter a $30 chocolate tower when she wasn't looking. Gifts like this can be fun in the moment, but they can send your travel budget into a tailspin, she says.</p> <h3>Transportation</h3> <p>What about taxis or public transportation? Unless you're visiting a small, walkable destination, you'll need a way to get around or even your own rental car.</p> <p>And if you don't have a rental car, you'll at least need a ride to and from the airport. You can hire a private driver, pick up an airport taxi, call an Uber, or hop on a bus, but all of those options will cost you money.</p> <h2>How to avoid overspending on your rewards fueled trip</h2> <p>While each of these travel expenses may be reasonable and expected if you really think about it, it's important to take time to plan out each aspect of your trip if you want to avoid overspending.</p> <p>Be realistic, advises Huff. &quot;Make a list of the activities and food experiences that you really want to do, then research prices online,&quot; he says. &quot;Budget for the big items, then have a daily slush fund that can be used toward all of the little things that you may not think about.&quot;</p> <p>Plan for what's important to you, but make sure you prioritize your travel expenses. You may not be able to afford every travel extra your heart desires, but you may be able to afford most of what you want if you're intentional with your spending.</p> <p>If you don't plan, Storts says you could wind up returning home from your travels with credit card debt. It would certainly be ironic to go on a &quot;free trip&quot; only to end up paying for it for months. And obviously, this would be especially bad if your credit card has a high interest rate, as many travel cards do.</p> <p>&quot;In general, I recommend always saving money for your trip ahead of time and sticking to a budget if at all possible,&quot; says Storts. To accomplish this goal, Storts suggests opening a separate travel account and contributing money every month. Then wait to book your trip until you have the cash you need for food, fun, and incidentals. &quot;It's a lot easier to enjoy your vacation that way,&quot; she says.</p> <p>Last but not least, make sure to have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-is-your-credit-cards-travel-insurance-good-enough?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel insurance policy</a> in place to cover any components of your trip you've prepaid with actual money and not miles. &quot;If something happens and you can't take your trip, you won't lose your hard-earned cash,&quot; says Storts. &quot;Travel is an investment of sorts, so make sure to protect it.&quot;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwatch-out-for-these-hidden-costs-of-free-travel&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWatch%2520Out%2520for%2520These%2520Hidden%2520Costs%2520of%2520Free%2520Travel.jpg&amp;description=Watch%20Out%20for%20These%20Hidden%20Costs%20of%20Free%20Travel"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Watch%20Out%20for%20These%20Hidden%20Costs%20of%20Free%20Travel.jpg" alt="Watch Out for These Hidden Costs of Free Travel" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/watch-out-for-these-hidden-costs-of-free-travel">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-10"> <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-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can Book a Disney Vacation for $1,000 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/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids">7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids</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-vacation-in-greece-for-300-or-less">How to Vacation in Greece for $300 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/train-vs-plane-travel-which-is-right-for-you">Train vs. Plane Travel: Which Is Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel free travel hidden costs travel budget travel scams travel tips Thu, 22 Mar 2018 09:30:19 +0000 Holly Johnson 2121236 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Overwater Bungalows You Can Book With Rewards Points http://www.wisebread.com/5-overwater-bungalows-you-can-book-with-rewards-points <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-overwater-bungalows-you-can-book-with-rewards-points" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-480927090.jpg" alt="affordable overwater bungalows" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nothing says luxury travel quite like an overwater bungalow. These freestanding hotel rooms, which often sit just feet above some of the clearest waters in the world, are one of the most sought-after lodging options available.</p> <p>These are no ordinary thatched roof huts. Many feature huge, luxurious rooms with private splash pools, sundecks, and butler service. Opulent overwater bungalows are iconic to the South Pacific and Maldives, but you'll also find them in Malaysia, Central America, and the Caribbean.</p> <p>The obvious downside of overwater bungalows is the price. Depending on where you stay, you could easily pay $1,000 or more per night.</p> <p>The good news is you can book some overwater bungalows with rewards from some of the biggest <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-hotel-rewards-programs?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel loyalty programs</a>, many of which have co-branded credit cards that help you rack up rewards quickly. If you don't like those options, there are other ways to cover your overwater vacation with credit card points.</p> <p>To be sure, most of these bungalows require more points than a regular hotel room. But if you've accumulated a healthy stack of points, it may be worth blowing them on these dream accommodations.</p> <p>Here are some of the overwater bungalows you can book with rewards.</p> <h2>Conrad Maldives Rangali Island</h2> <p>The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is a Hilton property that's world-renowned for its luxury accommodations. This property sits in the middle of the clear waters of the Indian Ocean, flanked on all sides by amazing water and sea life, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, and dramatic beach views. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-travel-destinations-you-thought-were-unaffordable?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Amazing Travel Destinations You Thought Were Unaffordable</a>)</p> <p>A beach villa or basic overwater villa starts at 95,000 Hilton Honors points per night, while overwater villas with special amenities and views can cost a lot more. In May of this year, for example, a &quot;retreat&quot; water villa with lagoon views, a whirlpool, a sundeck, and a spa treatment room would set you back 308,000 Hilton Honors points per night. The cash price for overwater villas typically starts at over $500 per night, but can surge to nearly $1,000 per night during peak travel times.</p> <p>Hilton Honors members with Gold or Diamond status may also be able to book a regular room and be upgraded to an overwater bungalow, though Diamonds would get preference for those upgrades. Fortunately, you can get elite status with several different Hilton credit cards.</p> <p>Keep in mind, however, that just getting to the Maldives can be pricey, and you need to book an expensive private boat transfer or seaplane to get here. The round-trip seaplane transfer offered through the Conrad costs $500 per adult and $250 per child under 12, for example.</p> <h2>Conrad Bora Bora Nui Resort and Spa</h2> <p>The Conrad Bora Bora Nui Resort and Spa offers spectacular sea views, a supreme location in Bora Bora's lagoon, and a wide range of room options. Whether your goal is simply taking in the views, snorkeling with sharks or stingrays, or relaxing with one of the resort's spa treatments, you won't be disappointed by this property's location or amenities.</p> <p>You can also book your stay with points, starting with a King Garden View Suite for 80,000 Hilton Honors per night. An overwater bungalow will typically cost you a lot more points (overwater bungalows in March started at 408,000 Hilton Honors points per night), but you could potentially score a free upgrade if you have elite status with Hilton. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amazing-destinations-you-can-go-to-with-rewards-points-and-miles?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Amazing Destinations You Can Visit With Rewards Points and Miles</a>)</p> <h2>Book any overwater bungalow you want</h2> <p>In addition to these options from the major hotel brands, certain flexible <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel credit cards</a> that offer travel credit make it easy to book any lodging option you want, including overwater bungalows. Cards like these allow you to redeem points you've earned for either a statement credit that you can use to pay for a travel purchase, or for reservations that you book using the card's travel portal.</p> <p>Often, you'll be able to use your points at a value of around a penny a piece, meaning that a $400 room will cost 40,000 points. Some cards offer even better redemption rates.</p> <p>If you decide to book an overwater bungalow using flexible travel credit, you can score some that require fewer points than those in the pricey overwater bungalow havens like the Maldives, Bora Bora, and Moorea. Take the Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu, for example, which offers overwater bungalows with a king bed starting at $296 per night. Or consider the Pangkor Laut Resort in Malaysia. Here, you'll find overwater bungalows that start in the $400 per night range.</p> <p>You can save even more by booking a resort closer to home. There are many overwater options you could book with flexible travel credit that don't require days on a plane or ridiculous nightly rates.</p> <h2>Anthony's Key Resort, Roatan, Honduras</h2> <p>Roatan Island sits squarely in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Honduras, which is in Central America. That means getting there from the U.S. takes a lot less time and usually costs less than flying to Bora Bora or the Maldives.</p> <p>In addition, you can find hotels that offer overwater accommodations for a fraction of the price of those in far-flung locations. Anthony's Key Resort is a family-owned hotel that offers wooden bungalows perched over a tranquil lagoon. Although it doesn't have much of a beach, it does feature scuba and snorkel packages in what is considered one of the best diving locations in the Caribbean. A 400-square-foot &quot;Key Deluxe&quot; villa with Honduran hardwood finishings, a cozy hammock, and a private covered deck starts at $539 per night.</p> <h2>St. George's Caye Resort, Belize</h2> <p>Another option closer to home is St. George's Caye Resort in Belize. Situated on a private island in the Caribbean, this resort is reachable after taking a short boat ride from Belize City. Fortunately, you can fly many airlines into Belize, including discount carrier Southwest Airlines.</p> <p>This property features a small footprint, with only 12 thatched cabanas and three private suites, making it ideal for seclusion or romance. All room rates include airport transfers, as well as unlimited use of kayaks, windsurf boards, Hobie Cat sailboats, stand-up paddle boards, snorkel gear, and a free introductory scuba lesson in the pool. Overwater cabanas, which feature a private porch, hammock, and spectacular sunset views, start at just $139 per person, per night. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Ways to Travel Big On a Tiny Budget</a>)</p> <h2>Azul Paradise Resort, Panama</h2> <p>You'll also find luxury overwater bungalows in the Central American country of Panama. Azul Paradise Resort offers deluxe bungalows with a king bed, Wi-Fi, proximity to the rainforest, and a full wraparound deck with a hammock starting at $425 per night for two adults.</p> <p>The 500-square-foot overwater space makes it easy to enjoy your own nautical paradise without staying too far away from attractions like the Ngobe Bugle Indian Village and local wetlands, and adventure activities like zip-lining, snorkeling, paddle boarding, and sailing.</p> <p>Whether you're using flexible travel points or points specific to a particular hotel chain, the cheaper the overwater bungalow you book, the fewer points you'll need to cover your stay. As with any other type of travel, shopping around for the best deal can help you stay in an overwater bungalow at a price you can afford.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-overwater-bungalows-you-can-book-with-rewards-points&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Overwater%2520Bungalows%2520You%2520Can%2520Book%2520With%2520Rewards%2520Points.jpg&amp;description=5%20Overwater%20Bungalows%20You%20Can%20Book%20With%20Rewards%20Points"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Overwater%20Bungalows%20You%20Can%20Book%20With%20Rewards%20Points.jpg" alt="5 Overwater Bungalows You Can Book With Rewards Points" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-overwater-bungalows-you-can-book-with-rewards-points">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-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can Book a Disney Vacation for $1,000 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cut-these-9-expenses-in-one-year-to-get-a-10-day-hawaii-vacation">Cut These 9 Expenses in One Year to Get a 10-Day Hawaii Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-european-cities-you-can-visit-for-50-a-day">5 European Cities You Can Visit for $50 a Day</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-places-to-travel-where-the-dollar-is-still-strong">8 Places to Travel Where the Dollar Is Still Strong</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel destinations overwater bungalow rewards points saving money travel rewards travel tips tropical getaway Tue, 20 Mar 2018 09:30:17 +0000 Holly Johnson 2121233 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 European Cities You Can Visit for $50 a Day http://www.wisebread.com/5-european-cities-you-can-visit-for-50-a-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-european-cities-you-can-visit-for-50-a-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/budapest_hungary_parliament_at_night.jpg" alt="Budapest, Hungary parliament at night" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>European getaways are often associated with high costs, and when you're talking about cities like London, Madrid, or Paris, that is often true. However, if you stay away from the traditional European hot spots, you can find destinations that are much friendlier on your wallet while still providing that old world European charm. Many of these places give even the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-international-destinations-anyone-can-afford?ref=internal" target="_blank">best budget destinations in the world</a> a run for their money.</p> <p>Though you can find bargains all over the continent, Eastern and Central Europe, in particular, provide a lot of bang for your buck. These regions also have many lesser known, and therefore less busy, destinations just waiting to be discovered.</p> <p>*All costs have been estimated using Numbeo, the world's largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide, and hotel booking site Booking.com.</p> <h2>1. Sofia, Bulgaria</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/alexander_nevski_cathedral.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The majority of visitors to Bulgaria head to the popular coastal regions, but the country&rsquo;s historic capital is worth spending a few days in. Sofia has been billed as one of Europe's most affordable cities, and it offers a diverse and exciting experience to travelers.</p> <p>History lovers will delight in the yellow brick roads in its historic center and the 1,800-year-old Roman city that lies beneath. Sofia is also surrounded by stunning landscapes, making it a great place for adventure lovers. Hiking, climbing, and mountain biking are popular pastimes in the area, with the nearby Vitosha Mountain providing the perfect setting for these activities. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-natural-wonders-you-can-see-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Natural Wonders You Can See For Free</a>)</p> <p>This fascinating city is steadily building a reputation for its youthful atmosphere and modern amenities &mdash; not to mention the low cost of living you can enjoy while there. Thanks to its small size, the city is extremely walkable, so you won't need to fork over much for local transportation costs.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Cost of a meal in an inexpensive restaurant is around $7.</p> </li> <li> <p>Price of budget private room per night is $31.</p> </li> <li> <p>Cost of living ranks 437th out of 559 cities in the world.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>2. Zagreb, Croatia</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/zagreb_croatia_capital_town.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Croatia's capital city, Zagreb, is one of Europe's most underrated cultural hubs, boasting a number of museums, interesting architecture, and tons of musical and theatrical events. It's an extremely tourist-friendly city with many pedestrianized areas in the center, making it easy to walk around.</p> <p>The medieval part of the city center has beautiful old buildings that line cobbled streets still lit by traditional looking gas lamps. You'll find many quaint cafes where you can stop to watch the world go by and enjoy traditional snacks like apple strudel and coffee. By night, you'll discover a vibrant bar and club scene, as well as some fantastic restaurants serving tasty Croatian cuisine.</p> <p>On the outskirts, you'll also find mountains, and these are where many of the locals head when the weekend comes. Enjoy a picnic and the stunning nature, as well as great panoramic views across the city. It's a laid-back, sophisticated place that can be enjoyed year-round. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-world-cities-you-can-afford?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Incredible World Cities You Can Afford</a>)</p> <ul> <li> <p>Cost of a meal in an inexpensive restaurant is around $8.</p> </li> <li> <p>Price of budget private room per night is $25.</p> </li> <li> <p>Cost of living ranks 342nd out of 559 cities in the world.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>3. Bucharest, Romania</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/romanian_athenaeum_of_bucarest_romania_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you're not familiar with Bucharest, that's probably because it's not yet on the European tourist trail. But Romania's capital is a destination growing in popularity. The modern city center is interspersed with historic buildings like the various 300-year-old churches you'll find hidden down back alleys. With plenty of large, green spaces in its gardens and parks, you can easily forget that there are nearly 2 million inhabitants here, making it one of Europe's largest cities.</p> <p>There are lots of historic landmarks that point toward Romania's communist past, with walking tours taking you around some of the most significant sites. Perhaps the most fascinating is the Palace of the Parliament, which is the largest administrative building in the world, and an ongoing reminder of the old regime that built it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-european-cities-where-retirement-is-actually-affordable?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 European Cities Where Retirement Is Actually Affordable</a>)</p> <ul> <li> <p>Cost of a meal in an inexpensive restaurant is around $8.</p> </li> <li> <p>Price of budget private room per night is $25.</p> </li> <li> <p>Cost of living ranks 427th out of 559 cities in the world.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>4. Budapest, Hungary</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/parliament_building_in_budapest_hungary.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Originally consisting of two separate cities, Buda and Pest, Hungary's capital was divided geographically by the Danube River that runs between them. These days, as one city, Budapest is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is undoubtedly one of Europe's most picturesque cities. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-incredible-unesco-world-heritage-sites-right-here-in-the-us?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites Right Here in the U.S.</a>)</p> <p>The mixture of Gothic, neoclassical, North African, and various other styles of architecture combine to create a breathtaking effect. Be sure to take a camera, as this city will provide you with Instagram gold for months to come.</p> <p>If you're weary from wandering around the sites, head to one of the bathhouses where you can experience the hot springs that are found all over Budapest. They're said to be a surefire cure for a hangover, which you may just wake up with if you experience any of the renowned night life.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Cost of a meal in an inexpensive restaurant is around $6.</p> </li> <li> <p>Price of budget private room per night is $40.</p> </li> <li> <p>Cost of living ranks 383rd out of 559 cities in the world.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>5. Krakow, Poland</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/central_square_and_sukiennice_in_krakow.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Krakow's significance in World War II is just one of the many reasons that it's become a popular European destination. Historic sites like the nearby notorious Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz, and Schindler's factory made famous by the Steven Spielberg film <em>Schindler's List</em> draw visitors interested in the tragic events that occurred here.</p> <p>But Krakow has also developed into a beloved destination for showcasing some of Poland's greatest assets. Sample local delicacies like bigos (meat and cabbage stew), pierogies (sweet or savory dumplings), and golonka (ham hocks or pork knuckles), have a sip of the strong and crisp Polish lagers available, and enjoy the buzzing night life.</p> <p>Despite becoming an extremely popular tourist destination in recent years, Krakow is still extremely budget-friendly compared to many other top European cities. You'll get a lot of bang for your buck here with its mixture of culture, history, and modern city life.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Cost of a meal in an inexpensive restaurant is around $6.</p> </li> <li> <p>Price of budget private room per night is $20.</p> </li> <li>Cost of living ranks 424th out of 559 cities in the world.</li> </ul> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-european-cities-you-can-visit-for-50-a-day&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520European%2520Cities%2520You%2520Can%2520Visit%2520for%252050%2520Dollars%2520a%2520Day.jpg&amp;description=5%20European%20Cities%20You%20Can%20Visit%20for%2050%20Dollars%20a%20Day"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20European%20Cities%20You%20Can%20Visit%20for%2050%20Dollars%20a%20Day.jpg" alt="5 European Cities You Can Visit for $50 a Day" 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/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-european-cities-you-can-visit-for-50-a-day">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids">7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids</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-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can Book a Disney Vacation for $1,000 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget</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/yes-affordable-family-travel-is-possible">Yes, Affordable Family Travel Is Possible</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/watch-out-for-these-hidden-costs-of-free-travel">Watch Out for These Hidden Costs of Free Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel Europe european cities European travel saving money on travel travel tips Thu, 15 Mar 2018 09:30:22 +0000 Nick Wharton 2118002 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_travel_collosseum_836719476.jpg" alt="Couple traveling big on tiny budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ever wondered how to take a tight budget and turn it into an opulent travel fund? With a few tweaks and tricks, you can explore all the places on your travel bucket list, without draining your bank account. Here are nine ways to travel big on a small budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a>)</p> <h2>1. Prioritize your spending</h2> <p>In order to make your budget stretch as far as possible, it's important not to splurge every minute of every day. Instead you need to pick your moments to splurge, and decide which activities you don't mind cutting back on. Enable yourself to afford the expensive things by spending as little as possible on the bits that you don't care that much about.</p> <p>Maybe you enjoy eating out at fancy restaurants. Perhaps you love to catch a show whenever you're abroad. Or maybe you like to stay in pure luxury at five-star hotels. Whatever it is, think about what really makes you happy and be sure that you reserve the majority of your budget for doing those things. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-travel-on-a-budget-while-in-expensive-countries?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Travel On a Budget While in Expensive Countries</a>)</p> <h2>2. Plan, plan, plan</h2> <p>Planning is the most effective way to live like royalty on very little. With proper planning, you can save on everything from flights and accommodations, to meals and daily activities. Rather than leaving it all to chance, take control as early as possible to ensure you get great value for your dollar. Country- or location-specific money saving tips can be invaluable, and travel blogs are a fantastic resource to find those kinds of details. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a>)</p> <h2>3. Choose the right country</h2> <p>Opting for an up-and-coming destination that's not yet fully on the mainstream tourist trail is a great way to save yourself some cash. Equally, there are some countries and regions where you just get more bang for your buck and even top end luxury can cost a fraction of what it does elsewhere. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-countries-where-you-can-travel-on-30-a-day-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Countries Where You Can Travel on $30 a Day or Less</a>)</p> <p>On the other hand, some destinations are designed to cater to high-end tourists, and will set their prices accordingly. Make sure you check out the cost of flights before settling on your destination, though, because the countries with the cheapest cost of living aren't always the cheapest to get to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wisely-choose-your-next-travel-destination" target="_blank">How to Wisely Choose Your Next Travel Destination</a>)</p> <h2>4. Try a home swap</h2> <p>Accommodation is often the biggest expense when you travel, but with a home swap, there's the potential to reduce that cost right down to zero. You can arrange to simultaneously switch homes with someone in your desired location, or swap at different times of the year if you've got a second home. Either way, you get all the benefits that come along with being in a house rather than a hotel or shorter-term rental.</p> <p>It does rely on you having your own home, ideally in a desirable location that other people will want to visit. By saving big on your accommodation, you'll have more money to spend on other things. (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>5. Seek out free activities</h2> <p>Just because you're on vacation doesn't necessarily mean you have to spend a fortune on finding fun things to do. Most places have loads of awesome free things for you to see, visit, or take part in &mdash; it's just a case of finding the best ones.</p> <p>Check for local websites advertising this type of thing by typing &quot;free things to do in X&quot; and see what comes back. You might find festivals, shows, museums and galleries, educational opportunities, and many other awesome things available at absolutely no cost. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-free-things-you-can-do-on-any-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Free Things You Can Do on Any Vacation</a>)</p> <h2>6. Go in the offseason</h2> <p>Traveling at peak times is the quickest way to drain your budget, period. If you have any flexibility, then you need to make sure that you're traveling during times when most other people aren't. That means avoiding U.S. public holidays and common vacation periods, but also checking the location you're interested in to make sure there aren't any special holidays or festivals that may drive prices up.</p> <p>This doesn't mean you have to go when there's absolutely no one there and the majority of attractions have shut down. Even a few weeks on either side of peak times can make a huge difference price-wise, so double check before booking tickets. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-timing-is-everything-when-saving-money-on-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Timing Is Everything When Saving Money on Travel</a>)</p> <h2>7. Travel with friends</h2> <p>Sorry, solo travelers, it's just a fact that traveling with more than one person brings the overall average costs down. A room for two is less than double the price of a single. You can also share meals at restaurants to cut down on food bills. And travel costs like taxi fares can be split evenly between the number of riders.</p> <p>Instead of heading off into the sunshine on your own, try roping in friends, family, work colleagues, or anyone else you might want to vacation with. That way you can share costs and significantly lower your overall expenses. Plus, it's usually more fun to travel with people you like. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-vacations-to-please-every-age-group?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Affordable Vacations to Please Every Age Group</a>)</p> <h2>8. Use those points</h2> <p>Rewards and points are one of the best ways to make your budget stretch as far as possible when you're traveling. However, there are plenty of people who don't take advantage of them, so if you're one of those people, now's the time to start.</p> <p>There are many different options available, from hotel loyalty programs to air miles, and they can save you thousands of dollars with very little effort on your part. Just make sure you know exactly how they work and how best to redeem them before you get going. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choose-the-best-travel-rewards-credit-card-with-this-guide?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Choose the Best Travel Rewards Credit Card with this Guide</a>)</p> <h2>9. Take some luxury with you</h2> <p>Luxury means different things to different people, but a lot of us can easily get sucked into paying more for a hotel or flight if the amenities and perks are dripping in glamour. So rather than pay more for them to be included in your flight or accommodation, give yourself a free upgrade by taking them along with you.</p> <p>With a bit of planning and preparation, it's easy to turn no-frills travel into a luxury-laced expedition. You can bring everything from gourmet home-cooked meals to enjoy in-flight, to luxury toiletries that add a little bit of glitz to your hotel stay.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%2520Ways%2520to%2520Travel%2520Big%2520on%2520a%2520Tiny%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=9%20Ways%20to%20Travel%20Big%20on%20a%20Tiny%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Ways%20to%20Travel%20Big%20on%20a%20Tiny%20Budget.jpg" alt="9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-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-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can Book a Disney Vacation for $1,000 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/how-to-vacation-in-greece-for-300-or-less">How to Vacation in Greece for $300 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cut-these-9-expenses-in-one-year-to-get-a-10-day-hawaii-vacation">Cut These 9 Expenses in One Year to Get a 10-Day Hawaii Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-overwater-bungalows-you-can-book-with-rewards-points">5 Overwater Bungalows You Can Book With Rewards Points</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/watch-out-for-these-hidden-costs-of-free-travel">Watch Out for These Hidden Costs of Free Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel family travel saving money travel budget travel tips vacation ideas Fri, 09 Mar 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Nick Wharton 2115603 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Places to Travel Where the Dollar Is Still Strong http://www.wisebread.com/8-places-to-travel-where-the-dollar-is-still-strong <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-places-to-travel-where-the-dollar-is-still-strong" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/landscape_of_coron_busuanga_island.jpg" alt="Landscape of Coron, Busuanga island" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The dollar is weaker in general than it has been in some time. In 2017, the greenback recorded its first drop in five years against the basket of currencies that make up the U.S. Dollar Index: the euro, Japanese yen, British pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona, and Swiss franc.</p> <p>That trend looks set to continue over 2018, with analysts predicting further decreases throughout the year. While a weak dollar is great for U.S. companies selling to overseas markets, it's bad news for many travel lovers looking to head overseas. Put simply, you're likely to get less when you exchange your dollars into the local currency.</p> <p>The euro and the Chinese yuan, in particular, are two currencies that have seen huge rises over the past year, meaning now's not the best time to visit these regions. Despite this general trend, there are some countries where the dollar has either continued to make gains or maintained its former strength and will still give you great bang for your buck. Here are nine places to travel in 2018 where the dollar is still strong. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</a>)</p> <p><em>*All exchange figures have been taken from </em><a href="http://xe.com/currencycharts/" target="_blank"><em>XE Currency Charts</em></a><em>, a trusted authority in currency exchange.</em></p> <h2>1. Mexico</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/san_miguel_de_allende_mexico_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Mexico has always been a go-to for American vacationers on the lookout for bargains, thanks to its convenient location and relatively low cost of living. It's also a stunningly diverse destination perfect for city breaks, beach holidays, adventure getaways, and everything in between.</p> <p>While a decade ago a dollar would have bought you around 10 Mexican pesos, today you'll receive almost double that. Though 2017 saw unbelievable highs of over 21.5 MXN at the exchange booth, current rates of over 18.5 still mean your dollar will go much further than in years past. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-countries-where-you-can-travel-on-30-a-day-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Countries Where You Can Travel on $30 a Day or Less</a>)</p> <h2>2. Argentina</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/iguazu_falls_on_the_border_of_argentina_and_brazil.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Argentina makes a fascinating travel destination, boasting some of the best wine and beef in the world, as well as the sensual tango dance. That said, it's not a place that's always been associated with great value, particularly when compared to some of its South American neighbors.</p> <p>Not so today, at least for travelers carrying U.S. dollars. The Argentine peso plummeted 34 percent against the U.S. dollar in 2015, and has continued to fall ever since. As of the time of publishing, you'll receive more than 20 Argentine pesos per dollar, whereas 10 years ago you'd have only gotten around three. That gives you much greater purchasing power. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wisely-choose-your-next-travel-destination?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Wisely Choose Your Next Travel Destination</a>)</p> <h2>3. Brazil</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/christ_the_redeemer_in_rio_de_janeiro.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Brazil has a vibrant and colorful culture borne of a fascinating and mixed history that's completely unique to South America. With a land mass that's nearly as large as the United States, Brazil presents endless opportunities to explore some of the most exciting wildlife on the planet. It's packed full of iconic attractions such as Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue, a large chunk of the Amazon rain forest, and some of the world's most famous beaches.</p> <p>While a decade ago, Brazil was considered to be a relatively expensive destination, it's become far more affordable over the past few years. The exchange rate has hovered above three Brazilian reals to the dollar since mid-2016, providing visitors with favorable exchange terms to explore this South American behemoth.</p> <h2>4. Colombia</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/la_piedra_del_penol_medellin_colombia.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Colombia is enjoying a moment in the spotlight, having been touted as a must-see destination by numerous travel writers over the past few years. No longer widely considered a prohibitively dangerous country, visitors are beginning to discover a different place from the stereotypes often portrayed.</p> <p>Since 2015, the U.S. dollar has been performing consistently well against the Colombian peso, and this year hasn't seen any significant drop. The dollar's been hovering at around 3,000 pesos. That's a lot more value for U.S. travelers compared to the five years leading up to 2015, when it languished below the 2,000 peso mark.</p> <h2>5. The Philippines</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/landscape_of_coron_busuanga_island.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Made up of more than 7,000 individual islands, the Philippines possesses some of the most idyllic tropical paradises in Southeast Asia. White sand beaches, warm turquoise waters, and picturesque rice terrace landscapes are just a few of the reasons that it's one of the most exciting destinations in the region.</p> <p>The start of 2018 has seen the best exchange rates available against the Philippine piso in a decade, with a dollar buying you more than 52 pisos. That rate has been rising steadily since mid-2012 and doesn't appear to show signs of slowing down anytime soon.</p> <h2>6. Costa Rica</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/arenal_volcano_in_wispy_clouds.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>With stunning beaches on both its Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, jungles alive with eye-catching wildlife, and plenty of adventure to be had, the volcanic landscapes of Costa Rica are well known to visitors from the U.S. Not only is it a popular vacation destination, but there's an established expat community here as well.</p> <p>Since 2014, the dollar has been fairly steady against the Costa Rican colon, and now trades at about 570 colon to the dollar. Five years ago, $1 would have only gotten you less than 500 colon. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-overseas-wedding-destinations-anyone-can-afford?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Overseas Wedding Destinations Anyone Can Afford</a>)</p> <h2>7. Laos</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/buddha_park_in_vientiane_laos.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>This Southeast Asian gem is one of the region's most underrated destinations, which means it has been largely untouched by mass tourism. It may not offer the variety of neighboring Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand (in particular there are no beaches or islands). But there are swathes of lush, green jungle, an interesting capital city called Vientiane, and delicious cuisine on offer.</p> <p>Since 2013, the strength of the dollar has steadily risen against the Laotian kip, meaning you'll receive around 8,300 kip to the dollar. The dollar went as low as around 7,600 in 2013, so today's figures give you a significant amount more. Rates have been holding pretty steady since the turn of the year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-get-free-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Easy Ways to Get Free Travel</a>)</p> <h2>8. Nicaragua</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/guacalito_beach_aerial_view.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>This Central American country has been developing a reputation as something of an adventurer's paradise in recent years. Exciting outdoor adventures include volcano surfing, underwater cave diving, and activities like hiking, zip lining, and horseback riding. There are also numerous pristine beaches and beautiful colonial towns to be discovered.</p> <p>Over the past decade, the exchange rate has risen steeply on a straight path in favor of the U.S. dollar. Ten years ago, you'd have gotten around 19 Nicaraguan córdoba to the dollar, whereas now you'll get more than 30, with the trend seemingly only improving.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-places-to-travel-where-the-dollar-is-still-strong&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Places%2520to%2520Travel%2520Where%2520the%2520Dollar%2520Is%2520Still%2520Strong.jpg&amp;description=8%20Places%20to%20Travel%20Where%20the%20Dollar%20Is%20Still%20Strong"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Places%20to%20Travel%20Where%20the%20Dollar%20Is%20Still%20Strong.jpg" alt="8 Places to Travel Where the Dollar Is Still Strong" 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/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-places-to-travel-where-the-dollar-is-still-strong">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</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/watch-out-for-these-10-red-flags-with-vacation-rentals">Watch Out for These 10 Red Flags With Vacation Rentals</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-overwater-bungalows-you-can-book-with-rewards-points">5 Overwater Bungalows You Can Book With Rewards Points</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-to-machu-picchu-and-back-for-30">How to Get to Machu Picchu and Back for $30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-travel-destinations-for-introverts">9 Travel Destinations for Introverts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel affordable travel currency destinations dollar exchange rate getaways travel tips usd vacation tips Wed, 07 Mar 2018 09:30:06 +0000 Nick Wharton 2113553 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 European Cities Where Retirement Is Actually Affordable http://www.wisebread.com/6-european-cities-where-retirement-is-actually-affordable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-european-cities-where-retirement-is-actually-affordable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chain_bridge_budapest.jpg" alt="Chain bridge Budapest" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>These days, more and more Americans are looking to retire overseas. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-reasons-to-retire-abroad?ref=internal" target="_blank">reasons for retiring abroad</a> are plenty: adventure, lower cost of living, higher standard of living, and better weather, to name a few. But lists of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-retirement-hotspots-that-are-cheaper-now-than-ever-before?ref=seealso" target="_blank">most affordable places to retire overseas</a> are often dominated by Latin American and Asian countries.</p> <p>What if you've had your heart set on moving to Europe, though? While a luxury French villa or a vineyard in Tuscany may be out of reach for many people, there are still history-steeped places in Europe where you can experience old-world charm on a limited budget. Here are some of the cheapest cities you can settle down in across various European countries. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-choose-the-perfect-country-to-retire-in?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Choose the Perfect Country to Retire in</a>)</p> <h2>1. Budapest, Hungary</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/budapest_hungarian_parliament_in_sunset.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Budapest has long been known for its spire-topped skyline, cultural flair, and thermal baths. The city is an easy place to explore or just relax and do nothing, with plenty to see and do, but a laid-back vibe that's perfect for retirement.</p> <p>Budapest is also known for its affordability, with the cost of living running similar to some medium-priced cities in the U.S., according to the cost-tracking website Expatisan. Rent for a 900-square-foot furnished apartment ranges from $675 to about $1,000 per month. Utilities should cost around $117, and internet around $15. Dinner for two at a neighborhood pub will run you around $22, and a three-course Italian meal for two with wine will set you back $43. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-financial-steps-to-take-before-retiring-abroad?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Financial Steps to Take Before Retiring Abroad</a>)</p> <h2>2. Prague, Czech Republic</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/vltava_river_and_charles_bridge_in_prague.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Prague is another European city whose cultural profile has become well-known. Tourists flock to this interesting hub for its fairy tale architecture, cobblestone streets, outdoor cafes, and world famous beer. The picturesque Vltava River, spanned by more than 30 bridges, forms the soul of the city, with gardens, public squares, and castles rounding out the romantic cityscape.</p> <p>But Prague has more going for it than its stunning views and cheap, free-flowing beer. The city has also remained affordable despite its popularity, making it a smart stop for expat retirees.</p> <p>According to Expatisan, the average cost to rent a furnished 900-square-foot apartment in Prague is only $888 for an average place, or $1,260 per month in the most expensive areas. A liter of milk costs less than $1, two pounds of tomatoes will set you back around $2, and a beer in the supermarket costs only 88 cents.</p> <p>Heck, a bottle of red table wine only costs around $7. If that doesn't bode well for an affordable retirement, we don't know what does. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-overseas-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Get the Most Out of Your Overseas Retirement</a>)</p> <h2>3. Algarve, Portugal</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/beautiful_beach_in_carvoeiro_algarve_portugal_1.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Tourists flock to the Algarve region of Portugal for its scenic ocean cliffs, famous beaches, and many museums. The region is also brimming with historical sites, including old town centers, medieval fortresses, castles, and ancient forts.</p> <p>Living in Algarve is surprisingly affordable, and that's despite the region's proximity to the water. According to cost of living website Numbeo, rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center could cost as little as $346, while a three-bedroom apartment in a central location costs an average of $614 per month. Basic utilities (heat, air conditioning, electricity) will add another $87 to your housing costs, on average, they note.</p> <p>Food can also be insanely affordable. A pound of bananas may only cost 54 cents, for example, while a three-course dinner for two in a midrange restaurant may cost as little as $36. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-mistakes-when-retiring-abroad?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Avoid These 5 Mistakes When Retiring Abroad</a>)</p> <h2>4. Pescara, Italy</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/houses_in_farindola_italy.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Pescara, Italy is ideally located along the country's eastern coast, a few hours from Rome and Naples. Here, you can enjoy a slow Italian lifestyle with some of Italy's most gorgeous waterfronts, and all within a day's reach of some of the world's most important historical sites.</p> <p>You can also save a bundle in the process. Rent in Pescara is surprisingly affordable, with a furnished, 900-square-foot apartment in one of the city's most expensive areas costing just $936, on average, according to Expatistan. Rent in a &quot;normal&quot; area, not necessarily considered to be an expat neighborhood, could cost as little as $679. Add $130 for utilities to the bill and your total housing costs could easily stay below $1,000 per month year-round.</p> <p>Eating out in Pescara can be expensive, but buying your own staples will save you money. Two pounds of potatoes cost about $1.65, bread for two people for a day runs $1.25, and a bottle of table wine will set you back about $7. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-semi-retire-abroad-right-now?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What You Need to Semi-Retire Abroad Right Now</a>)</p> <h2>5. Bucharest, Romania</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/romanian_athenaeum_of_bucarest_romania.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Bucharest is a great destination if your goal is learning about history, including communism and its role in Romania. Attractions include a long list of gorgeous historical buildings and monuments, a communism-themed walking tour, a Holocaust memorial, and even a Romanian kitsch museum.</p> <p>If you're looking for an affordable place to retire, put Bucharest on your list. A 900-square-foot furnished apartment in the expensive parts of Bucharest will only set you back $723, while an apartment in more middle-class areas could cost as little as $451 per month. Average utility bills only cost around $100 as well, making your overall housing costs affordable.</p> <p>Food can also be downright cheap. A three-course Italian meal for two, including wine, in an expat area costs around $43, a loaf of bread is around 62 cents, and a pound of potatoes is around 30 cents. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-these-expenses-spoil-your-retirement-abroad?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Don't Let These Expenses Spoil Your Retirement Abroad</a>)</p> <h2>6. Pula, Croatia</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/roman_amphitheater_in_pula.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you're looking to retire somewhere off the beaten path, Croatia should be on your radar. The seaside city of Pula is of interest specifically due to its low cost of living and amazing history. The harbor town is dotted with well-preserved Roman ruins, including an intact amphitheater and its own Temple of Augustus. Museums here house ancient artifacts, as well as contemporary art.</p> <p>Pula is considered one of the most affordable spots in Europe, with a 900-square-foot furnished apartment in an expat area costing about $580 per month and a similar flat in an average area running $445. Utilities add another $120 per month on average, but a monthly transportation pass costs just $35.</p> <p>You can have a great time dining out in retirement, too, in Pula. A basic dinner for two at a neighborhood pub runs $23, and a beer just $2.50.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-european-cities-where-retirement-is-actually-affordable&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520European%2520Cities%2520Where%2520Retirement%2520Is%2520Actually%2520Affordable.jpg&amp;description=6%20European%20Cities%20Where%20Retirement%20Is%20Actually%20Affordable"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20European%20Cities%20Where%20Retirement%20Is%20Actually%20Affordable.jpg" alt="6 European Cities Where Retirement Is Actually Affordable" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-european-cities-where-retirement-is-actually-affordable">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/7-smart-reasons-to-retire-abroad">7 Smart Reasons to Retire Abroad</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-countries-where-you-can-retire-for-1000-a-month">5 Countries Where You Can Retire for $1,000 a Month</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-european-cities-you-can-visit-for-50-a-day">5 European Cities You Can Visit for $50 a Day</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/retire-for-half-the-cost-in-these-5-countries">Retire for Half the Cost in These 5 Countries</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-famous-overseas-film-settings-you-can-visit-on-any-budget">5 Famous Overseas Film Settings You Can Visit on Any Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement Travel affordable retirement affordable travel cost of living Europe european cities retire abroad travel abroad Wed, 28 Feb 2018 09:31:05 +0000 Holly Johnson 2110074 at http://www.wisebread.com Yes, Affordable Family Travel Is Possible http://www.wisebread.com/yes-affordable-family-travel-is-possible <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/yes-affordable-family-travel-is-possible" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_tourists_smiling_at_the_camera_near_eiffel_tower_0.jpg" alt="Kids tourists smiling at the camera near Eiffel Tower" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traveling with kids can seem prohibitively expensive. Considering a family of four may have to pay for four flights, hotel rooms, activities, and food, a staycation may seem like the only type of travel that fits your budget.</p> <p>But you could be missing out if you <em>assume </em>you can&rsquo;t afford travel. While a pricey Disney cruise or European vacation may be out of reach, there are numerous <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund?ref=internal" target="_blank">affordable family vacation ideas</a> suitable for stretched budgets. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-must-do-if-youre-traveling-with-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Things You Must Do When Traveling With Kids</a>)</p> <h2>Cruise the friendly seas</h2> <p>While cruising has been around for decades, it&rsquo;s still one of the most cost-effective, family-friendly travel ideas around. Booking a cruise means letting someone else plan the bulk of your vacation for you. With meals, entertainment, and stops built in ahead of time, you can mostly just show up and enjoy the ride.</p> <p>Of course, there are financial benefits that come with cruising. Your food, lodging, and entertainment are all included in the price, making this a smart travel option for families who hate surprises. Some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-most-affordable-cruise-lines-for-families?ref=internal" target="_blank">affordable, family-friendly cruise lines</a> like MSC Cruises let kids cruise free on select sailings, in addition to offering seven-night Caribbean cruises starting at $449 per adult.</p> <p>But the savings and convenience don&rsquo;t stop at the cruise fare. For many people, the fact that they can drive to a cruise port makes this option even more affordable. In fact, a report from the Cruise Lines International Association showed that 78 percent of ocean cruise customers choose cruising partially because they can drive to a cruise port and forgo airfare.</p> <p>Obviously, not paying for airfare can be a huge financial boon if you live close enough to a cruise port to drive. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-vacations-to-please-every-age-group?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Affordable Vacations to Please Every Age Group</a>)</p> <h2>Book an all-inclusive resort</h2> <p>Similar to cruising, all-inclusive resorts offer a ton of bang for your buck. For one nightly rate, you can score all your food, drink (including alcohol), and entertainment without having to worry about added costs other than tipping and airport transfers.</p> <p>While this sounds pricey, there are many budget all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean. Even better, some all-inclusive resorts like Holiday Inn let kids stay free with paid adults.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re savvy, you may even be able to score an all-inclusive resort stay with the right <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel credit card</a>. Some of the bigger loyalty programs like IHG Rewards Club, Hilton Honors, and World of Hyatt make it easy to rack up points on their co-branded credit cards, which you can then redeem for free stays.</p> <p>The big downside with all-inclusive resorts is the fact that they are mostly outside the U.S. and you&rsquo;ll need to fly there. The good news is, once again, you can use <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">airline credit cards</a> to rack up air miles and defray the costs of your flights.</p> <p>Southwest Airlines, for example, offers a family-friendly option to the Caribbean with two free checked bags per person, and no limits on award seats. Several credit cards allow you to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-domestic-frequent-flyer-program-southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-premier-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">earn points directly on Southwest</a> or transfer points to the airline&rsquo;s frequent flyer program.</p> <h2>Book a ranch getaway</h2> <p>Ranch getaways are similar to all-inclusive resorts. The big difference is, these properties are typically nestled up in the mountains or in the middle of acres of forest or open desert. Many ranches are in states like California, Colorado, Wyoming, and Arizona for this reason.</p> <p>Ranches also offer a different range of activities than traditional, beach-based all-inclusive resorts. Many ranches feature horseback riding, skeet shooting, hiking, archery, and kayaking.</p> <p>As you search for a ranch vacation the kids will love, keep in mind these properties range from budget to luxury. While there are numerous affordable options, there are some pretty outrageous ranches that cost $4,000+ per person, per week as well.</p> <p>Some budget options to consider include Southern Cross Guest Ranch of Georgia, which offers low season all-inclusive pricing starting at $135 per person, per night (kids eight years and under are only $50 per day, while kids ages nine to 15 years old are $110 per day).</p> <p>Lost Valley Ranch in Colorado also offers affordable rates for families, with nightly stays starting at $175 per adult and lower rates for kids. You can also book a seven-night stay for $1,210 per adult (kids stay for cheaper rates, depending on age). While that may sound expensive, keep in mind that it includes your lodging, all meals, and activities like guided horseback riding, swimming, tennis, kids clubs, and access to 26,000 acres of national forest.</p> <h2>Go camping</h2> <p>Camping is a budget travel mainstay, mostly because you can camp extremely cheaply if you&rsquo;re willing to rough it. Many state and national parks offer camping sites that start at $12 per night, for example. If you borrow a tent and sleeping bags, bring your own food, and stay busy enjoying the great outdoors, you could have a relaxing family camping vacation for a very low out-of-pocket cost. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-essential-money-saving-items-to-take-on-a-camping-road-trip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Essential Money-Saving Items for a Camping Road Trip</a>)</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easiest-ways-to-save-on-your-next-rv-camping-trip?ref=internal" target="_blank">Renting an RV can also be affordable</a>, but you have to go about it the right way. Don&rsquo;t just rent the biggest, baddest RV you can find. Instead, rent only what you need and bring your own amenities like bedding and dishes to keep costs low. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-fun-family-road-trip-without-breaking-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Have a Family Road Trip Without Breaking Your Budget</a>)</p> <h2>Visit a local theme park</h2> <p>Taking the kids to a nearby theme park can be a frugal fast pass to fun. No matter what anyone says, Disney World is not the only happy place on earth. In your local area or a state nearby, it&rsquo;s possible to find <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-disney-8-affordable-family-destinations-in-the-us?ref=internal" target="_blank">theme parks that are tons of fun for kids</a> without the excruciating costs of a Disney vacation.</p> <p>Orlando, Florida, in fact, has its own share of parks other than Disney. Fun Spot America Theme Park and Aquatica Orlando Water Park are both less than $50 per person, per day to visit.</p> <p>Six Flags Theme Parks, which are spread across the country, are also an affordable option. Six Flags Over Georgia lets you book season passes with free parking for $65.99 each if you buy at least four at a time, although prices are subject to change with sales.</p> <p>Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana can cost as little as $29.99 per day in the offseason. In addition to low prices, the park also offers the two longest water coasters in the world, free sunscreen, and unlimited free soft drinks.</p> <p>Wherever you live, don&rsquo;t discount the local parks and attractions nearby. Not only can you drive to them, but you should be able to save more by staying in a basic hotel or Airbnb. At the end of the day, the kids won&rsquo;t know how much you paid for their few days of fun &mdash; nor will they care.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fyes-affordable-family-travel-is-possible&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FYes%252C%2520Affordable%2520Family%2520Travel%2520Is%2520Possible.jpg&amp;description=Yes%2C%20Affordable%20Family%20Travel%20Is%20Possible"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Yes%2C%20Affordable%20Family%20Travel%20Is%20Possible.jpg" alt="Yes, Affordable Family Travel Is Possible" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/yes-affordable-family-travel-is-possible">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-10"> <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-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids">7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids</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-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can Book a Disney Vacation for $1,000 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-european-cities-you-can-visit-for-50-a-day">5 European Cities You Can Visit for $50 a Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-affordable-family-getaways-when-you-dont-have-a-vacation-fund">7 Tips for Family Getaways When You Don&#039;t Have a Vacation Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-places-to-take-the-family-for-spring-break">8 Great Places to Take the Family for Spring Break</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Travel affordable travel family vacation saving money on travel travel tips traveling with kids Fri, 23 Feb 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Holly Johnson 2106617 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Take a Cheap Spring Break Trip http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-cheap-spring-break-trip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-take-a-cheap-spring-break-trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_women_strolling_along_a_beach.jpg" alt="Young women strolling along a beach" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spring Break can be a great time to take a trip and enjoy warm weather a few months before summer kicks off. While heading to tropical locations when everyone else seems to be can easily bust your budget, a Spring Break trip doesn't have to be expensive if you're willing to keep your travel plans flexible and expenses to a minimum. Here are some tips on how to go on a Spring Break trip without spending a ton of money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</a>)</p> <h2>Lodging</h2> <p>There are always good deals to be found on accommodations, you just need to get a little creative sometimes.</p> <h3>Hotel hopping</h3> <p>Traveling without making hotel reservations ahead of time can be a good way to save money. By late afternoon or early evening, hotels are motivated to fill vacant rooms and are ready to bargain with lower rates or room upgrades. Another advantage of waiting until evening to book your room for the night is that you have maximum flexibility in your travel plans. You can book a room near wherever you end up each day instead of planning your day around your hotel reservation.</p> <h3>Hotel loyalty programs</h3> <p>Sign up for hotel loyalty programs at all of the hotels where you typically stay. It doesn't cost anything, so you might as well rack up some points toward a free stay every night on your trip. I keep a list of all of my hotel programs and account numbers in my wallet to make it easy to register at check-in. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-save-money-on-hotels?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Surprising Ways to Save Money on Hotels</a>)</p> <h3>Check-in discounts</h3> <p>Many hotels offer a AAA discount of 5 percent to 20 percent off your bill when you present your AAA card during check-in. If you are in the military, you might be able to save on your hotel bill by showing your ID and asking for the military rate. Sometimes you can even get a discount simply by asking the clerk for their best rate or if they have a less expensive room.</p> <h3>Vacation rentals</h3> <p>You might be able to save money by finding a privately-owned room or house at your destination instead of a hotel room. <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/" target="_blank">Airbnb</a> and <a href="http://vrbo.com" target="_blank">Vacation Rentals By Owner</a> offer tons of lodging options all over the world, so check to see what deals and unique accommodations are available for you. (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>Transportation</h2> <p>Whether you're traveling by plane, train, or automobile, there are plenty of ways to save a few bucks.</p> <h3>Drive instead of fly</h3> <p>It is often less expensive to drive instead of paying for airfare, especially if you have multiple travelers and your destination can be reached within hours. Plus, if you drive, you won't need to rent a car at your destination. Driving keeps you in control of your trip schedule and gives you flexibility to adjust your plans at any time without the same hassle or fees you'd run into via flight.</p> <h3>Minimize your travel distance</h3> <p>You don't necessarily have to head overseas to soak up the sun and stick your toes in the sand. There are lots of places across the country with nice weather that would be perfect for a Spring Break trip, so pick a relatively close destination to save on gas and hotel expenses on the way. Plus taking a shorter trip makes it possible to drive instead of fly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-underrated-us-cities-you-need-to-see-this-summer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Underrated U.S. Cities You Need to See This Summer</a>)</p> <h3>Gas discounts</h3> <p>Use a fuel loyalty or fuel discount program. You will be buying a lot of gas on a road trip, so you might as well take advantage of discounts and rewards as you go. Pay for gas with a credit card that provides rewards, and check out gas station loyalty programs at <a href="https://www.speedway.com/SpeedyRewards/" target="_blank">Speedway</a>, <a href="https://www.fuelrewards.com/fuelrewards/" target="_blank">Shell</a>, <a href="https://www.mybpstation.com/bp-driver-rewards" target="_blank">BP</a>, <a href="https://www.exxon.com/en/plenti" target="_blank">Exxon Mobil</a>, or your favorite gas station. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Gas Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Food</h2> <p>Spring Break eats can cost a pretty penny, but they don't have to. If you eat smart on your trip, you can have amazing meals and still stay within your budget.</p> <h3>Bring provisions</h3> <p>Start your trip with food supplies on board to minimize expensive stops at convenience stores and fast food places along your route. Pack apples, PB&amp;J sandwiches, bananas, granola bars, nuts, and other healthy food that travels well.</p> <h3>Cook your own meals</h3> <p>You can save real money if you buy most of your food at grocery stores instead of restaurants while traveling, and preparing meals yourself. Pick up some fresh fruits and vegetables, and ingredients to make sandwiches. Bring a cooler on your trip to fill with free ice from the hotel to keep your refrigerated items cold when you are on the move from one hotel to the next. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eat-these-6-foods-to-stay-healthy-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Eat These 6 Foods to Stay Healthy While Traveling</a>)</p> <h3>Keep water handy</h3> <p>Buy a case of bottled water at a grocery store or drugstore. You'll want lots of water at the beach, and a cheap bottle of water from a 24-pack is about 10x less expensive that an individual bottle of soda from a vending machine or convenience store.</p> <p>You can also bring a reusable water bottle and fill it at coffee shops, airports, rest stops, and anywhere there's a fountain. And that'll cost you $0. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-aluminum-and-stainless-steel-water-bottles?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Aluminum and Stainless Steel Water Bottles</a>)</p> <h2>More ways to save</h2> <p>Beyond accommodations, transportation, and food, there are other ways to stretch your Spring Break dollars.</p> <h3>Avoid tourist traps</h3> <p>At many beaches, you can rent an umbrella and chairs for about $20. If you bring your own food and water, that's all you need to spend for a day of fun. Also, visit parks and other nature areas on your trip instead of expensive attractions that are designed to extract money from tourists at every turn. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-incredible-unesco-world-heritage-sites-right-here-in-the-us?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites Right Here in the U.S.</a>)</p> <h3>Pack for the weather</h3> <p>Even though your destination may be known as a sunny spot, it can still get cold at night. Check the weather forecast before you go and bring the full range of clothes you will need so you won't need to buy a sweatshirt or jacket at your destination. Remember to pack that summer gear you probably haven't seen since last year such as your sun hat, swimsuit, sunglasses, beach toys, and sunscreen.</p> <h3>Find free Wi-Fi</h3> <p>Taking advantage of free Wi-Fi at hotels and other businesses is even more important on a Spring Break trip since you will likely have lots of pictures and videos to share. Make sure you don't overrun your phone's data plan and rack up extra charges sending selfies from the beach. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-slash-the-cost-of-wi-fi-when-you-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Slash the Cost of Wi-Fi When You Travel</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-take-a-cheap-spring-break-trip&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Take%2520a%2520Cheap%2520Spring%2520Break%2520Trip.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Take%20a%20Cheap%20Spring%20Break%20Trip"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Take%20a%20Cheap%20Spring%20Break%20Trip.jpg" alt="How to Take a Cheap Spring Break Trip" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-cheap-spring-break-trip">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-places-to-take-the-family-for-spring-break">8 Great Places to Take the Family for Spring Break</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can Book a Disney Vacation for $1,000 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-travel-destinations-for-introverts">9 Travel Destinations for Introverts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/train-vs-plane-travel-which-is-right-for-you">Train vs. Plane Travel: Which Is Right for You?</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-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel affordable travel flights hotel reservations spring break spring break destinations spring break vacation travel booking travel tips Thu, 15 Feb 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2103788 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Buys for $100 or Less That Make Travel Better http://www.wisebread.com/6-buys-for-100-or-less-that-make-travel-better <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-buys-for-100-or-less-that-make-travel-better" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_tourist_young_woman_holding_passport.jpg" alt="Happy tourist young woman holding passport" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You want to make the most of your precious vacation time. You also want to make sure the time you spend getting to and from your destination is as stress-free and comfortable as possible. The good news is that you don't need to pay first-class ticket prices in order to achieve that level of comfort. Here are six buys that will make travel much smoother that won't cost you more than $100. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-affordable-gifts-for-travel-lovers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Affordable Gifts for Travel Lovers</a>)</p> <h2>1. Global Entry and TSA Pre✓</h2> <p>If you're flying anywhere in 2018, you really should get <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sign-up-for-global-entry?ref=internal">Global Entry</a>. For $100, you skip the long line at U.S. customs and it comes with TSA Pre✓, the federal government program that lets you skip the long security line at the airport. What's more, Pre✓ members don't need to remove shoes, laptops, liquids, belts, and light jackets. Global Entry does require you to fill out an online application and have an in-person appointment at a local Global Entry Enrollment Center. Global Entry is valid for five years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-tsa-pre-check-and-global-entry-reimbursement?ref=seealso">Credit Cards That Offer Free TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry</a>)</p> <h2>2. An HD tablet</h2> <p>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2FkYVMk" target="_blank">newest HD Fire Tablet from Amazon</a> gives you access to books, movies, music, email, social media, a camera, and anything and everything you need online via Wi-Fi while you travel. You can also download music, movies, and books before you get on the plane, and remain endlessly entertained while your tablet is on airplane mode. Currently, it's priced at $79.99 for 16 GB.</p> <h2>3. Comfortable pants</h2> <p>Is there anything better when you're traveling than a stretchy, relaxed fit pair of&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2GlkD3Z" target="_blank">yoga pants</a> or sweats? Even better, get a pair of <a href="http://amzn.to/2FhGbgH" target="_blank">convertible pants</a> that you can easily zip off into shorts when the plane gets stuffy or the weather at your destination gets hot. A quality pair of yoga pants, <a href="http://amzn.to/2DQ2QDL" target="_blank">sweatpants</a>, or convertible pants are well under $100, and you can probably get a couple pairs.</p> <h2>4. A quality backpack</h2> <p>Rather than dealing with rolling luggage and heavy single-shoulder weekend bags, I prefer a high-quality backpack that also doubles as a daypack. I'm traveling to Ireland in 2018, and I'm in the market for a new travel backpack. It's best to look for a backpack that's easy to pack, and keep electronics organized. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-backpacks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Backpacks</a>)</p> <h2>5. Your airplane DIY comfort kit</h2> <p>If you're taking a redeye or even just a long flight, you need what I call a DIY comfort kit. A set including <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-compression-socks?ref=internal" target="_blank">compression socks</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-eye-masks?ref=internal" target="_blank">an eye mask</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-earplugs?ref=internal" target="_blank">ear plugs</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-travel-pillows?ref=internal" target="_blank">a neck pillow</a>, and <a href="http://amzn.to/2rIHdjP" target="_blank">a lightweight travel blanket</a> will help you rest and combat any jet lag and help you hit the ground running once you arrive at your destination. I don't take any long flights without this set of items. A quick spin through Amazon, and you can build this comfort pack yourself for less than $100. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-should-always-carry-on-an-economy-flight?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Things You Should Always Carry on an Economy Flight</a>)</p> <h2>6. Travel insurance</h2> <p>Do you really need this? Yes. Yes, you do. You've worked hard to save to go on vacation and enjoy yourself. It's an investment, and like any good investment, you want to protect it. Think about everything that could come up while traveling, given the state of the world and the travel industry &mdash; trip cancellation, trip interruption, medical needs, and baggage loss or damage.</p> <p>Travel insurance depends upon the total cost and length of your trip. For example, I recently priced a policy for my trip to Ireland. I'm planning to travel for 10 days and the cost of my trip will be about $2,000. Policies came in around the $100 mark for that kind of trip. You want to make sure to read the fine print of any insurance policy so you know what's covered and under what circumstances. You also want to check with your credit card companies and your own health and property insurance policies as they may have travel clauses that cover you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Types of Travel Insurance Credit Cards Include That You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-buys-for-100-or-less-that-make-travel-better&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Buys%2520for%2520%2524100%2520or%2520Less%2520That%2520Make%2520Travel%2520Better.jpg&amp;description=6%20Buys%20for%20%24100%20or%20Less%20That%20Make%20Travel%20Better"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Buys%20for%20%24100%20or%20Less%20That%20Make%20Travel%20Better.jpg" alt="6 Buys for $100 or Less That Make Travel Better" 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/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-buys-for-100-or-less-that-make-travel-better">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-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can Book a Disney Vacation for $1,000 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/9-travel-destinations-for-introverts">9 Travel Destinations for Introverts</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/train-vs-plane-travel-which-is-right-for-you">Train vs. Plane Travel: Which Is Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-affordable-destinations-that-are-safer-than-you-think">4 Affordable Destinations That Are Safer Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tech-add-ons-that-can-save-travelers-time-and-money">4 Tech Add-Ons That Can Save Travelers Time and Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel affordable travel global entry travel accessories travel buys travel tips Wed, 31 Jan 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Christa Avampato 2095999 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get to Machu Picchu and Back for $30 http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-to-machu-picchu-and-back-for-30 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-to-machu-picchu-and-back-for-30" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/machu_picchu_peru.jpg" alt="Machu Picchu, Peru" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Machu Picchu is a destination on almost everyone's bucket list, and rightly so. It's one of the seven wonders of the world. But even just getting to Machu Picchu is a hassle. There are no roads going there, meaning your travel options are limited.</p> <p>Most people get to Machu Picchu by train, but that'll cost you $130 or more round-trip. On top of that, you'll need to pay for entry into Machu Picchu itself, which runs about $40.</p> <p>Some more intrepid travelers get to Machu Picchu via the Inca Trail trek with an established outfitter &mdash; but that could set you back several thousand dollars, and you'll need to book it weeks or months in advance.</p> <p>So, what's a last-minute, adventurous, and/or budget-minded traveler to do? Luckily, there's another way &mdash; but you'll need to be able to hike for a couple hours, carry an overnight change of clothes, and not be afraid of heights!</p> <h2>Step 1: Purchase Machu Picchu tickets</h2> <p>Heads-up: You can't buy the tickets to get into Machu Picchu at the gate. There are only 2,500 tickets sold per day into Machu Picchu, and so you'll need to buy a ticket in advance. You can do this through a travel agency, or directly from the <a href="http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/" target="_blank">Ministerio de Cultura</a>, either in-person or online. (Here's a great overview of <a href="https://thriftynomads.com/how-to-buy-machu-picchu-tickets-online/" target="_blank">how to navigate the confusing website</a>).</p> <h2>Step 2 (optional): Book accommodations in Aguas Calientes</h2> <p>No matter how they arrive at Machu Picchu, most people will stay overnight in Aguas Calientes. It's the town closest to Machu Picchu, and its name comes from the hot springs nearby.</p> <p>Many accommodations in Aguas Calientes are fully booked in advance, so if you decide to stay, make sure you reserve a room or bed before you get there. Don't worry; this doesn't need to be done months in advance as if you were hiking the Inca Trail, but it's still a good idea to do it before you go.</p> <h2>Step 3: Take a mini bus ride from Cusco to Hidroelectrica</h2> <p>You'll need to make a mini bus reservation from Cusco to Hidroelectrica (a hydroelectric plant located near Aguas Calientes). You can very likely do this through your hotel or hostel, or any booking agency in Cusco. Alternatively, you can book your tickets on <a href="http://www.machupicchubustickets.com/" target="_blank">MachuPicchuBusTickets.com</a>. Round-trip tickets cost about $30, and the minibuses will leave Cusco in the morning.</p> <p>It's best to pack a light overnight bag. Leave the rest of your luggage at your hotel or hostel for when you come back.</p> <p>Make sure to buckle up once you get on the mini bus (also known as a <em>collectivo</em>, or <em>combi</em> in the local lingo) because it'll be a seven-hour ride through some pretty harrowing one-way mountain passes. Drivers usually stop once for food and bathroom breaks along the way, otherwise just sit back and enjoy the scenic (and sometimes fear-of-heights-inducing) ride.</p> <h2>Step 4: Hike from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/1.png" width="605" height="454" alt="" /></p> <p><em>The path from Hidroelectrica to Aguas Calientes </em><em>passes through a shady tropical forest and follows a crystal-clear river. Listen for the chirping and chattering of bright green parrots.</em></p> <p>The bus driver will let you off at Hidroelectrica. From here it's a flat, easy, and beautiful walk through the jungle along the railroad. There is a small footpath that weaves its way back and forth along the tracks, as well as a few small railroad bridges.</p> <p>Make sure to stay on the footpath where possible, and if you do need to cut across the tracks, check in both directions for oncoming trains. They can be very quiet and sneak up on you quite easily. It's a two- to three-hour walk along this track, but it'll be over before you know it.</p> <p>If you need food or water, there are plenty of local families with small stands set up along the route. If you can, at least buy a fresh banana from them, likely picked from the plentiful banana groves that line the tracks!</p> <h2>Step 5: Find your accommodations</h2> <p>Now, on to relax before your big day! Soak in Aguas Caliente's hot springs, or enjoy a nice meal in a local restaurant. You'll need to get up early the following day if you want the best views of Machu Picchu.</p> <h2>Step 6: Make your way to Machu Picchu</h2> <p>You have two options to get up to Machu Picchu from here. The easiest is taking the bus to the top, but be prepared to spend a long time waiting in line (not to mention the $12 one-way ticket fee). The only way to buy this ticket is in-person at the little kiosk right next to the bus station (across the street from the visitor information kiosk). It may be better to buy your ticket the night before you actually plan to go up to Machu Picchu, since people will start queuing up for the bus as early as 4 a.m.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/2.png" width="454" height="605" alt="" /></p> <p><em>Look for this kiosk next to the bus station in Aguas Calientes to buy tickets to Machu Picchu. </em></p> <p>If you're really pinching pennies, however, it's free to simply hike up to the top and back down. To be one of the first in line to get into Machu Picchu (and get the best uncluttered photos) you'll need to head up before the sun even rises, so be sure to pack a headlamp. The hiking trail to the top is well-marked and starts across the bridge on the outside of Aguas Calientes (the one you passed coming into town).</p> <p>Be prepared; this hike is a quad-buster. It's straight uphill for one or two hours before you reach the top.</p> <h2>Step 7: Through the gates to Machu Picchu</h2> <p>The most diehard photographers and explorers will be in line to get into Machu Picchu well before the sun comes up. The gates officially open up at 6 a.m., however.</p> <p>When you're done, you can either hike back downhill or take the bus (for another $12) back to Aguas Calientes.</p> <h2>Step 8: Return to Cusco</h2> <p>It is possible to go back to Cusco on the same day you visit Machu Picchu, but you'll need to cut your visit short. Most mini bus drivers leave Hidroelectrica at 2 p.m., so you'll need to head down from the mountain and hike to Hidroelectrica to meet them in time. You can hike back the way you came to Hidroelectrica and wait for the driver to call out your name for your ride to Cusco.</p> <p>Alternatively, you could stay in Aguas Calientes for another night so you have a full day at Machu Picchu. It's a bucket-list item, after all &mdash; you don't want to miss out!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-get-to-machu-picchu-and-back-for-30&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Get%2520to%2520Machu%2520Picchu%2520and%2520Back%2520for%252030%2520Dollars.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Get%20to%20Machu%20Picchu%20and%20Back%20for%2030%20Dollars"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Get%20to%20Machu%20Picchu%20and%20Back%20for%2030%20Dollars.jpg" alt="How to Get to Machu Picchu and Back for $30" 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/lindsay-vansomeren">Lindsay VanSomeren</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-to-machu-picchu-and-back-for-30">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can Book a Disney Vacation for $1,000 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/9-travel-destinations-for-introverts">9 Travel Destinations for Introverts</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/train-vs-plane-travel-which-is-right-for-you">Train vs. Plane Travel: Which Is Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</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-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel affordable travel getaways machu picchu travel budget travel destinations travel tips Tue, 23 Jan 2018 09:30:08 +0000 Lindsay VanSomeren 2091736 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_italy_539150341.jpg" alt="Woman saving on European travel with kids" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Packing up the family for a European getaway can easily become the ultimate exercise in patience, resourcefulness, and self-restraint. Europe is one of the more expensive regions for Americans to travel to, and adding kids increases costs even more. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to whittle down the price of your trip. Here are some of the best ways to save on a European getaway with kids. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-from-three-weeks-in-europe?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Money Lessons I Learned from Three Weeks in Europe</a>)</p> <h2>1. Choose your locale wisely</h2> <p>Flying into one of Europe's major cities from the U.S. is probably a must, but where you stay for the duration of your trip can determine how much you'll pay for lodging and even dining. A hotel in the trendiest downtown areas of London, Rome, or Paris will always cost more than a choice in a less touristy neighborhood &mdash; or even in a neighboring town or suburb.</p> <p>Since public transportation is plentiful nearly all throughout Europe, staying just beyond the city limits of your desired destination may not be too much of a hassle. Make sure to check for local transportation options before you book. (Is a metro station nearby?) This way, you can make sure any savings you accrue by staying outside a city center won't be eaten up by taxi and Uber rides.</p> <h2>2. Take advantage of low-cost, high-speed train travel</h2> <p>Speaking of public transportation, Europe boasts a glorious high-speed train system that makes it easy and affordable to travel around Europe without having to fly. Traveling by train is especially convenient with kids because you don't have to worry about airline packing restrictions or spending hours in airport security. Not only that, but trains are comfortable, many have a dining cart, and you can get up and walk around more than you can on a plane.</p> <p>In terms of affordable travel, taking a train is usually a no-brainer.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.trainline.eu/" target="_blank">Trainline.eu</a> lets you search for train travel across all providers, then book all your tickets in one place.</p> <p>Book the underground Chunnel from Paris to London for as little as $78 per person, or book Rome to Venice for as little as $42. With kids in tow, you'll spend a lot less and get to see more of Europe than you might if you flew.</p> <h2>3. Use airline miles to get there</h2> <p>Often, the most expensive part of any European getaway is the cost of airfare. Economy tickets to Europe can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,500 from many major U.S. cities, which means you'll shell out a pretty penny before you ever step foot outside the U.S.</p> <p>One way to escape at least part of this cost is to dream up an airline miles strategy early. Many of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">top travel credit cards</a> offer sign-up bonuses good for a round-trip flight to Europe, and you can rack up additional miles by using your card for regular spending.</p> <p>If you plan to use airline miles, your best bet is to plan early and get everyone involved (i.e. get your spouse to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">earn a credit card sign-up bonus</a>, too). With enough time and a smart strategy, you may be able to get most of your airfare covered with rewards, although you'll still be on the hook for government-mandated taxes and fees, and any fuel surcharges the airline imposes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</a>)</p> <h2>4. Book rental condos and make some meals at &quot;home&quot;</h2> <p>Hotels can be difficult to book in Europe when you want to sleep more than two to a room. You'll usually have to book a separate room or rooms for the rest of the family. Not only that, but hotels can be prohibitively expensive.</p> <p>One solution for families is booking rental properties through short-term rental platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, or HomeAway. While renting a condo or villa isn't always cheaper, it absolutely can be. Make sure to shop around and compare costs to hotels (including cleaning fees and online booking fees) to see how prices stack up. (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> <p>Fortunately, a rental condo can help you save in more than one way. With your own small rental home, you'll have more room to stretch out, a living area to gather in, and a kitchen you can use to prepare meals. If you can eat even one meal a day at home, you'll save a bundle over the course of your trip. Consider heading to the grocery store to buy bananas, pastries, or cereal for breakfast. Or stock up on sandwich supplies so you can avoid pricey lunches out.</p> <h2>5. Consider a Mediterranean cruise</h2> <p>Cruising the Mediterranean can be especially affordable, either as your entire vacation or as part of a longer European trip. The key to making cruises affordable is avoiding all the extras like alcohol, shore excursions, upgraded dining, and sticking to the free meals and entertainment provided onboard. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-cruises?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Cruises</a>)</p> <p>But how inexpensive can a Mediterranean cruise be? It depends on your itinerary and the time of year you travel. It also depends on whether you choose a luxury cruise line or a more downscale family-friendly option. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-little-known-secrets-to-saving-money-on-your-next-cruise?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Little-Known Secrets to Saving Money On Your Next Cruise</a>)</p> <p>MSC Cruises is one of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-most-affordable-cruise-lines-for-families?ref=internal" target="_blank">most affordable cruise lines</a> in Europe because their cruises start at a lower price point than other lines, and because kids cruise free on many itineraries. Frequently, a family of four can take a seven-night cruise to countries like Italy, Malta, Spain, and France for as little as $659 per person. That's less than $1,400 total when kids cruise free, although you'll pay government-mandated taxes and port fees.</p> <p>Make sure to compare cruises and cruise lines if you consider this option, as well as what they include. The best part about including a cruise as part of your European itinerary is the fact that your cruise fare doesn't just include the cruise itself; it includes your lodging, most of your meals, onboard entertainment, and usually a supervised kid's club.</p> <h2>6. Travel off-peak</h2> <p>Off-peak season in Europe is usually considered any time between the end of October and the beginning of May, excluding holidays like Christmas and New Year's. During these off-peak travel times, you'll see fewer crowds and lower prices on everything from airfare to hotel stays and guided tours. If you're able to travel off-peak, you can typically save a bundle on your family trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-timing-is-everything-when-saving-money-on-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Timing Is Everything When Saving Money on Travel</a>)</p> <h2>7. Get a credit card with no foreign transaction fees</h2> <p>Last but not least, you shouldn't have to pay extra just to use your travel credit card abroad. By signing up for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel credit card with no foreign transaction fees</a>, you can avoid paying an extra 3&ndash;5 percent on every purchase you make. While 3&ndash;5 percent doesn't sound like a lot, these charges can absolutely add up over the course of a week or more.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Ways%2520to%2520Save%2520on%2520a%2520European%2520Getaway%2520With%2520Kids.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20a%20European%20Getaway%20With%20Kids"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20a%20European%20Getaway%20With%20Kids.jpg" alt="7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids">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-a-family-of-4-can-book-a-disney-vacation-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can Book a Disney Vacation for $1,000 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/how-to-vacation-in-greece-for-300-or-less">How to Vacation in Greece for $300 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-european-cities-you-can-visit-for-50-a-day">5 European Cities You Can Visit for $50 a Day</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/watch-out-for-these-hidden-costs-of-free-travel">Watch Out for These Hidden Costs of Free Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel European getaway European travel family vacation travel budget travel tips traveling with kids Mon, 22 Jan 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Holly Johnson 2091496 at http://www.wisebread.com