summer vacation http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9429/all en-US 7 Best Websites for Last-Minute Airfare Deals http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-websites-for-last-minute-airfare-deals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-best-websites-for-last-minute-airfare-deals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-628109306.jpg" alt="Woman using best sites for last-minute airfare deals" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Pricey flights are the bane of every traveler's existence. But once you become a frequent traveler, you pick up a few <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds?ref=internal" target="_blank">flight booking tips</a> that'll save you tons of cash.</p> <p>But if you have the type of schedule that just won't allow you to plan ahead a few months, you might be in for sticker shock. In that case, it's smart to find the best sites for last-minute airfare. If you're flexible on where you travel, you can scoop up some amazing deals all over the globe. And even if you're not flexible, you may be able to whittle down the last-minute price tag tremendously.</p> <h2>1. Hopper</h2> <p><a href="https://www.hopper.com/" target="_blank">Hopper</a> is a mobile app that lets you search for flights, compare travel deals, and figure out the best time to fly. Search for your preferred flight dates using colored blocks. From there, you'll get predictions on the <em>exact dates</em> your flights might be cheapest.</p> <p>You'll receive a notification to wait for a better fare if the app believes prices will drop, along with ongoing notifications when your fare hits the bottom. Or you'll get a notification to &quot;buy&quot; because your airfare is the lowest it will go.</p> <p>While Hopper can work great for fares in the future, it can also help you decide when to pull the trigger on a last-minute trip. At the very least, it can show you the cheapest day to fly within your preferred range of dates.</p> <h2>2. Airfare Watchdog</h2> <p><a href="http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/" target="_blank">Airfarewatchdog</a> lets you save on last-minute travel in more ways than one. First, the website lists last-minute travel deals from your home airport or any airport of your choosing. If you're flexible on where you travel, this tool makes it easy to see the best deals from your airport within the upcoming month.</p> <p>Second, you can set up alerts to notify you when a last-minute airfare deal you've been looking for finally appears. Lastly, Airfare Watchdog offers tips on amazing airfare deals via social media daily. By following them on Facebook or Twitter, you can get the inside scoop on airfare deals all over the world.</p> <h2>3. Secret Flying</h2> <p><a href="http://www.secretflying.com/" target="_blank">Secret Flying</a> is a resource that's perfect for the last-minute traveler who has some flexibility in where they go. The site, which uses software to find unbelievable airfare deals across the globe, unleashes an array of last-minute flight deals nearly every day.</p> <p>On any given morning, you could wake up to find you can fly round-trip to Paris next week for less than $400, or to Bali for a flat $350 in coach. The catch? Secret Flying deals usually last no longer than a few days, and you typically need to travel within a few weeks of booking.</p> <h2>4. The Flight Deal</h2> <p><a href="http://www.theflightdeal.com/" target="_blank">The Flight Deal</a> is another site that rolls out unbelievable daily deals on airfare. On some mornings, you may find you can score a round-trip flight to New Zealand for $500. Another day, you might discover a crazy, cheap bucket-list trip to Maui or South Africa or Belize.</p> <p>Of course, most of these crazy fares come with a catch, in that you generally need to book within 24 hours and travel within weeks. But they can be a huge boon to those who are flexible with destinations and dates.</p> <p>The Flight Deal shares discounts on domestic trips, too. So if you're only looking for a last-minute trip to Florida or Colorado, you'll uncover deals on those destinations, too. You may just have to wait a while.</p> <h2>5. Expedia</h2> <p>Expedia offers a several ways to spend less on airfare, including a <a href="https://www.expedia.com/g/c/lastminute?mcicid=deals.topdeals.92048819&amp;" target="_blank">last-minute travel deals</a> page that shows cheap fares from your home airport. Destinations vary depending on the date and your departure hub, but they typically include cheap, last-minute flight deals to some domestic big city hubs along with top vacation spots like Hawaii and Cancun.</p> <p>Expedia also offers a selection of flight and hotel packages that let you save on both. For example, as I'm writing this, they're offering package deals to destinations like Playa del Carmen, Mexico, Las Vegas, Miami, and Los Angeles, starting at just $599 per person.</p> <h2>6. Last Minute Travel</h2> <p><a href="https://www.lastminutetravel.com/" target="_blank">Last Minute Travel</a> offers exactly what the name promises &mdash; timely airfare deals on trips departing within the next few weeks. The downside here is that you need to join the site and purchase a membership to get the best deals. The upside is that they promise last-minute airfare deals worth up to 60 percent off.</p> <p>Membership costs just $50 per year, and that gets you members-only rates on airfare, exclusive hotel deals, 24/7 assistance from travel experts, and a members-only rewards plan. If you don't save at least the cost of the membership ($50), Last-Minute Travel will refund the cost in the form of a travel voucher.</p> <p>If you don't want to join, the site still offers competitive pricing on all of your travel needs, but especially on last-minute airfare and hotel deals.</p> <h2>7. Orbitz</h2> <p>Orbitz is a travel aggregator that makes it easy to shop for last-minute flight deals and compare prices across airlines. Like Expedia, Orbitz also offers a page with daily and <a href="https://www.orbitz.com/g/un/deals" target="_blank">weekly travel deals</a>. These discounts can apply to airfare, hotel bookings, and travel packages.</p> <p>Occasionally, special deals with specific airlines are available. For example, you may find discounts on last-minute travel with American Airlines or Delta Air Lines one week and Air France the next. Generally speaking, any included deals on special airfare only apply to last-minute fares taking place within the next 30 days. But if you're flexible, you can find round-trip airfare for less than $200 to select destinations within the U.S.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-best-websites-for-last-minute-airfare-deals&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Best%2520Websites%2520for%2520Last-Minute%2520Airfare%2520Deals.jpg&amp;description=7%20Best%20Websites%20for%20Last-Minute%20Airfare%20Deals"></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%20Best%20Websites%20for%20Last-Minute%20Airfare%20Deals.jpg" alt="7 Best Websites for Last-Minute Airfare Deals" 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-best-websites-for-last-minute-airfare-deals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip">10 Things to Leave Behind During Your Midsummer Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-have-the-best-cheapest-summer-vacation">25 Ways to Have the Best, Cheapest Summer Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-you-book-a-vacation-package">6 Questions to Ask Before You Book a Vacation Package</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-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip">7 Travel Hacks for an Affordable Summer Road Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-more-travel-destinations-that-arent-worth-the-money">7 More Travel Destinations That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Travel flight tickets last-minute airfare saving money on flights summer vacation travel deals vacation vacation deals Fri, 05 May 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Holly Johnson 1940331 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Things You Can Do Now to Prep for Your Best Summer Ever http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-you-can-do-now-to-prep-for-your-best-summer-ever <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-things-you-can-do-now-to-prep-for-your-best-summer-ever" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-508921978.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In the past week, I have experienced Polar Vortex-level temperatures in the upper Midwest and then back-to-back wind and rainstorms in California. I have not seen the sun in days. All this weather has got me dreaming about what my family will do this summer.</p> <p>But I can't just dream an epic summer into existence. I need to plan and prepare. Here are some things you &mdash; and I &mdash; can do in the gloom of winter to lay the groundwork for the best summer ever.</p> <h2>1. Reserve a Campsite</h2> <p>In some states, like California, state park sites book up devilishly early. In fact, a quick search of a couple of favorite beach campgrounds found them already booked for weekends throughout the summer. So if you haven't already booked any summer camp-outs, go to <a href="http://www.reserveamerica.com/" target="_blank">Reserve America</a> and snag them before it's too late.</p> <h2>2. Arrange a Home Exchange</h2> <p>If you're able to take a sabbatical or work from home, consider swapping your house with someone far away for a change of scenery, even without using vacation time. If you have to report to work every day, try a temporary relocation to a different part of your region. For instance, since my husband has a 40-mile commute to his Silicon Valley job, I'm eyeing swaps with families who live within the same distance from his work, but in other directions, on <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10774433" target="_blank">HomeExchange</a>.</p> <h2>3. Send the Kids to Camp</h2> <p>If you're a parent, time away from your job might not be as relaxing as time away from your kids. I should know, I have three little buggers of my own. Fortunately, there exists a wonderful institution to give you a vacation from parenting: sleep-away camp. Camp catalogs go out soon. Girl Scout, Boy Scout, church, and YMCA camps offer some of the best values. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-child-care-this-summer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save Money on Child Care This Summer</a>)</p> <h2>4. Book a National Park Trip</h2> <p>The big-name parks book up fast. In fact, a random check of <a href="http://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/" target="_blank">Yellowstone lodges</a> for June showed that rooms are already getting hard to find. If you're planning to stay in &mdash; or even near &mdash; a National Park this summer, get going.</p> <h2>5. Buy Baseball Tickets</h2> <p>It's not as if it will be impossible to get seats in most ballparks after Opening Day, but still, wouldn't it be nice to see a big circle on the calendar around a July day and know you'll be spending it at the ballgame? My family received tickets to a Cubs game as a Christmas gift, and I'm already looking forward to that August event.</p> <h2>6. Figure Out Where You'll Be for the Solar Eclipse</h2> <p>In case you haven't heard, there will be a total solar eclipse August 21, but the full monty will only be <a href="http://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2017/01/nasas_new_map_can_put_you_righ.html" target="_blank">viewable from certain parts of the United States</a>. You'd better believe that campgrounds and other lodging in the path, which will follow an arc from Oregon to South Carolina, are selling out fast. August 21 is a Monday, so if you can do a long weekend and get there, it should be a sight to see as the moon takes a big bite out of the sun and then blots it out entirely, bringing out the stars in the middle of the day. We haven't had a total eclipse cross the whole country like this for about 100 years.</p> <h2>7. Plan Your Garden</h2> <p>Your dirt may be buried under snow, but that doesn't mean you can't sketch out new garden beds (there's even <a href="http://theselfsufficientliving.com/7-vegetable-garden-planner-software-for-better-gardening/" target="_blank">gardening software</a> to help you do that now), ordering seeds, and starting seedlings indoors.</p> <h2>8. Research Major Summer Purchases on Your Wishlist</h2> <p>Is this the year you buy a boat or a camper, or even an inflatable dinghy? Most of the boat and <a href="http://www.rvpark411.com/rv-shows-camping-expos.html" target="_blank">RV shows</a> are in winter and spring. Even if you're just going to dream, walking through a boat show can help pass chilly days with dreams of fishing and snorkeling.</p> <h2>9. Get Medical Procedures Out of the Way</h2> <p>This may not be as fun as booking vacations or boat shopping, but think about it: If you need a knee replacement, do you want to be laid of up for six weeks in summer or now? Might as well get those bunions removed while you're stuck inside anyway.</p> <h2>10. Learn to Scuba Dive</h2> <p>If you live near water, you might love exploring the underside of it this summer. Did you know you can start learning even if it's too cold to jump in right now? First of all, scuba certification involves a classroom portion, which you can <a href="https://apps.padi.com/scuba-diving/elearning/purchasecourse.aspx" target="_blank">take online</a>. Then, there are <a href="http://www.dolphinscuba.com/scuba-diving-classes/overview.html" target="_blank">classes you can take in heated pools</a> to get you ready for dive season.</p> <h2>11. Buy Tickets to a Summer Theater Festival</h2> <p>For me, one of the highlights of summer is watching Shakespeare out in nature, whether it's at Wisconsin's <a href="http://americanplayers.org/" target="_blank">American Players Theatre</a> or the <a href="https://www.bard.org/" target="_blank">Utah Shakespeare Festival</a>. Tickets are already available for some of these festivals, and even if they're not, the schedule is probably posted, so you can decide which shows you'll see. And if you're unable to travel to see these, check for local shows in your area.</p> <h2>12. Book Amtrak Tickets</h2> <p>Even more than flights, Amtrak trains can fill up early, especially those sleeper cars that make the journey more pleasant. Buy it now or you may find yourself sleeping in a seat.</p> <h2>13. Buy Theme Park Season Passes</h2> <p>Early bird discounts can net you some real savings on these. For instance, Six Flags Great America in Chicago is selling season passes for $75-$93 right now; full price runs $189-$250.</p> <h2>14. Work Out</h2> <p>I'm not talking about a &quot;get your beach body&quot; weight-loss program, because all bodies are welcome at the beach. I'm talking about cardio and strength training to build your endurance for those summer hikes and swims you're going to do. You won't regret it.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!&nbsp;</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F14-things-you-can-do-now-to-prep-for-your-best-summer-ever&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F14%20Things%20You%20Can%20Do%20Now%20to%20Prep%20for%20Your%20Best%20Summer%20Ever.jpg&amp;description=14%20Things%20You%20Can%20Do%20Now%20to%20Prep%20for%20Your%20Best%20Summer%20Ever" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/14%20Things%20You%20Can%20Do%20Now%20to%20Prep%20for%20Your%20Best%20Summer%20Ever.jpg" alt="14 Things You Can Do Now to Prep for Your Best Summer Ever" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-you-can-do-now-to-prep-for-your-best-summer-ever">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/15-little-known-ways-to-save-at-disneyland">15 Little Known Ways to Save at Disneyland</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-websites-for-last-minute-airfare-deals">7 Best Websites for Last-Minute Airfare Deals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</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/a-beginners-guide-to-miles-and-points">A Beginner&#039;s Guide to Earning Miles and Points for 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/6-budget-friendly-beach-destinations">6 Budget-Friendly Beach Destinations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel book a trip camping family vacation saving money summer shopping summer travel summer trip summer vacation winter Tue, 14 Feb 2017 10:30:39 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1888422 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things to Leave Behind During Your Midsummer Trip http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_85572493_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="Leave these things home on vacation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the price of travel going up and the amount of luggage you can carry going down, packing can no longer be a last-minute activity. Spend time making sure you don't bring anything you don't need. When I traveled home for a month after spending a year in New Zealand, I only had a backpack, which contained everything I needed &mdash; including a first aid kit.</p> <p>Here are some obvious (and not so obvious) items to leave at home when you head out of town. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-for-free?ref=seealso">14 Useful Items Hotels Usually Provide for Free</a>)</p> <h2>1. Coffee/Tea/Coffee Maker</h2> <p>Almost everywhere you go, whether it be a hotel or an Airbnb, will likely have coffee, tea, and something to make it in. If you're going for an Airbnb or VRBO, make sure to check the description or send a message to the owner to see what is available.</p> <h2>2. Towels</h2> <p>Unless you're in <em>Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy</em>, you don't need a towel when you travel. Make sure towels are provided ahead of time, as some hostels don't provide them. A friend and I didn't make sure we had enough towels when we went to Paris and we had to use hand towels. Check ahead!</p> <h2>3. Full-Sized Toiletries</h2> <p>Don't bring full-sized toiletries with you, because you absolutely don't need them. The 3-oz. rule is applicable only for carry-ons, but you should implement it either way. Buy a small refillable bottle that you can use over and over. I have one for every toiletry and refill it whenever I need to. Make sure they're labeled though. I have been known to style my hair with face wash.</p> <h2>4. Hair Dryers and Irons</h2> <p>Hair dryers and irons are usually provided in hotels and most other rental places. If you can't find them in your room, call down to the front desk. While you're at it, they also usually have toothpaste, toothbrushes, sewing kits, and a myriad of other things you might've forgotten.</p> <h2>5. Full-Sized Pillows</h2> <p>There is absolutely no need for a full-sized pillow on a trip, and even most hostels will provide these. Pillows can be cumbersome and difficult to stuff into a bag. Again, make sure to check a website or call the place you're staying to make sure a pillow is available. I don't even travel with my travel pillow anymore, because besides the during plane ride, I don't use it.</p> <h2>6. Workout Clothes</h2> <p>Unless you actually plan on working out, bringing an extra pair of sneakers, socks, and workout clothes just takes up room in your bag. I've taken these multiple times on business trips and I've only used them once. In general, make sure you're only taking what you need or that you'll actually use what you take.</p> <h2>7. Uncomfortable Shoes</h2> <p>Unless you're in a wedding or attending a gala, taking uncomfortable shoes on a trip makes no sense. There are plenty of cute, comfortable options besides the four inch heels you were thinking about taking. Plan ahead and make sure you won't need them, and if not, leave them in your closet.</p> <h2>8. Speakers</h2> <p>Most hotels provide bluetooth or iPhone speakers, so you don't need to bring your own. If you're traveling to a hostel, having speakers can be rude because of thin walls and shared rooms. Check with your Airbnb and VRBO host to see if they have speakers. Taking an audio cord isn't a bad idea though, as sometimes I've noticed the speakers in my hotel room only work with the first version of the iPhone.</p> <h2>9. Expensive Items</h2> <p>Be it jewelry, bags, or computers &mdash; don't pack anything you don't actually need. Not only do you have the chance to lose them, but someone might steal them from your room. The most recent Powerball winners from Tennessee took their winning ticket all the way to the <em>Today Show</em> in New York before cashing it in back in Tennessee. Don't do that.</p> <h2>10. Credit Cards, Social Security Cards, or Other Important Documents</h2> <p>If you're not traveling abroad, don't take your passport. If you don't need your work credit card, don't take it. There should be no real reason to have your Social Security card or birth certificate on you. The reason to not take these items is simple: Replacing them can be a nightmare.</p> <p><em>What do you leave at home when you travel?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%20Things%20to%20Leave%20Behind%20During%20Your%20Midsummer%20Trip.jpg&amp;description=10%20Things%20to%20Leave%20Behind%20During%20Your%20Midsummer%20Trip" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Things%20to%20Leave%20Behind%20During%20Your%20Midsummer%20Trip.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/7-best-websites-for-last-minute-airfare-deals">7 Best Websites for Last-Minute Airfare Deals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-have-the-best-cheapest-summer-vacation">25 Ways to Have the Best, Cheapest Summer Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online">8 Ways to Save on Accommodations Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays">Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free Hotel Stays?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Shopping Travel amenities hotels midsummer travel summer vacation travel checklist travel hacks vacation Tue, 05 Jul 2016 09:30:26 +0000 Jennifer Holder 1743313 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save Money on Child Care This Summer http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-child-care-this-summer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-money-on-child-care-this-summer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_laughing_85809327.jpg" alt="Learning how to save money on child care this summer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>School's out for the summer, and your kids are probably bouncing off the walls with excitement. However, not many jobs offer the same summer break perks, leaving you with the costly decision of finding summer child care.</p> <p>Here are some solutions to try to save money on your child care costs this summer.</p> <h2>Swap With Someone Who Has a Summer Break</h2> <p>If one of your friends is a teacher or school administrator, then they probably have a good portion of the summer off. Ask a teacher or a stay-at-home mom friend who is willing to watch your children for a few hours a week in exchange for you watching their kids on the weekend. Since many teachers and stay-at-home moms will have to stay home with their children during the weekdays, they might enjoy a weekend break.</p> <p>Just make sure that the agreement is benefiting both of you, instead of being a burden on one of you. One summer, my mom asked my neighbor to watch my sister and I. The neighbor had six children that stayed at home as is, so my sister and I were barely noticed. We had a blast hanging out with our friends, and the mom just kept her schedule as she always did. We even did chores and went to local home schooling conventions.</p> <p>In exchange, my mom was able to give her money each week, and it ended up benefiting us all. The neighbor made a little bit of extra money, my mom paid less for child care, than she would have if she sent us to day camp, and my sister and I had a blast.</p> <h2>Try Working a Flex Schedule</h2> <p>Many times your employer can be more understanding of your need for a flexible schedule during the summer months. Try to work it out with your spouse's schedule so that there will always be someone available to stay home. For example, your spouse can go into work earlier and come home earlier, while you can go in later and work later hours. Perhaps you can even work the weekends so that you have two free days to watch your children during the week.</p> <p>I have witnessed many couples do this successfully, and work it out so that their schedules overlap the majority of the time. You can then fill in the gaps with the use of a family member or a baby sitter. While this schedule will take planning and getting used to, remember it is only for a few months.</p> <p>Of course, many people do not have flexible jobs, but it is worth looking into. Even if you can work from home one day a week or come in two hours later, that is time you do not have to pay for child care.</p> <h2>Look for a Tax Break</h2> <p>Take a look at your benefits to see if you have access to a dependent care flexible spending account. If so, you can use up to $5,000 in pre tax dollars to pay for child care expenses.</p> <p>If your employer doesn't offer an FSA, you can claim the child care tax credit when you file taxes. This credit is good for $3,000 to $6,000 in expenses, depending on how many children you have.</p> <h2>Get the Most Out of Your Babysitter</h2> <p>A baby sitter might be a better deal for the summer, especially if you have more than one child. Be sure to do a background check and to find a sitter that will keep your kids engaged each day rather than parking them in front of the television.</p> <p>When you are going through the hiring process, specify certain tasks/jobs you want done. Obviously it would be unfair to request they deep clean your home, but if they can manage light cleaning, simple dinner prep, grocery shopping, or the kids' laundry, that will take the stress off your shoulders. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-child-care-purchases-you-should-never-skimp-on?ref=seealso">9 Child Care Purchases You Should Never Skimp On</a>)</p> <h2>Look Into Camp Scholarships</h2> <p>Ann Sheets, former national president of the American Camp Association said, &quot;About 90% of resident camps and 89% of day camps offer scholarships.&quot;</p> <p>Start your search today and apply to any camp you think your child would be eligible for. Don't forget to apply for higher-end camps too, since their scholarships might cover more than you think. Try to stay flexible with your camp dates. Not sure if a camp offers a scholarship? Just contact them and ask. You might have a better chance at qualifying for a scholarship if not many people know about it.</p> <p>While kids live for summer vacation, it can be hard to deal with the costs. Most professionals will admit that their kids' summer plans look like a mismatched quilt. That is okay! Be creative and stay flexible, knowing that this is only a brief season.</p> <p><em>What are your child care plans for the summer?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-child-care-this-summer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-winter-activities-to-keep-kids-busy-during-holiday-break">9 Frugal Winter Activities to Keep Kids Busy During Holiday 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/8-frugal-living-skills-i-wish-my-parents-would-have-taught-me">8 Frugal Living Skills I Wish My Parents Would Have Taught Me</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins">7 Lessons About Money I Learned After Having Twins</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/should-your-kids-contribute-to-family-money-goals">Should Your Kids Contribute to Family Money Goals?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-sibling-discounts-that-can-save-you-big">6 Sibling Discounts That Can Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family activities baby sitters camp child care kids scholarships summer break summer vacation tax breaks Mon, 27 Jun 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1733677 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Travel Hacks for an Affordable Summer Road Trip http://www.wisebread.com/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_camera_car_38688948.jpg" alt="Woman using travel hacks on summer road trip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A family road trip can be an amazing bonding experience and memory builder with your kids. It can also be really expensive when you start adding up fuel, lodging, and entertainment costs. But with just a little bit of planning and forethought, you can easily save a big chunk of change and actually end up seeing more sights for less. Here are the secrets you need to know to plan an amazing road trip adventure this summer. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-road-trips?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">Best Credit Cards to Use on Road Trips</a>)</p> <h2>1. Plan With Roadtrippers</h2> <p>When it comes to planning your summer road trip, be sure to use technology to your advantage and download the&nbsp;<a href="https://roadtrippers.com/">Roadtrippers</a> app (free for&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/roadtrippers-road-trip-planner/id944060491">iOS</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.roadtrippers">Android</a>). Not only will it save you money by helping you find lodging deals, but it'll keep you organized and let you plan your trek one day at a time.</p> <p>Once planned, you can even share your road trip across devices and with friends so they can add itinerary suggestions to make it even more memorable. Perhaps the coolest feature of the app is the ability to help you find quirky roadside attractions as you approach them. After all, any experienced road tripper will tell you that some of the most memorable moments are made when finding fun stops along the way to your final destination.</p> <h2>2. Book Hotels Directly and Save</h2> <p>When planning your summer trip this year, consider calling hotels directly to book your room. Online booking sites like Expedia and Orbitz charge hotels a 10%&ndash;15% fee, so many hotels would rather bypass these sites entirely and book directly with you. But before you call, check the travel sites to see the hotel's current rate. Then when you call, politely ask if the hotel can beat that rate by 10%. In many cases, they'll happy beat their online rate and even throw in some free upgrades like a better room or beverage and food credits.</p> <h2>3. VRBO Last-Minute Savings Trick</h2> <p>Vacation Rentals by Owner, also known as&nbsp;<a href="https://www.vrbo.com/">VRBO</a>, puts travelers in direct contact with homeowners looking to rent out their houses, condos, or apartments. If you shop around carefully, roadtrippers can score some great deals, often cheaper than hotels, which are typically much more accommodating for a larger family.</p> <p>But if a homeowner doesn't rent out a particular weekend, they don't make a penny from their vacation rental. So as a smart roadtripper, use this information to your advantage when making your initial VRBO inquiry. Politely ask about the possibility of a 15% discount on the asking nightly rate, especially when inquiring about a last-minute stay. In many cases, homeowners will jump all over this and happily give you a last-minute discount to avoid their place sitting empty. By &quot;last-minute,&quot; I mean within a week of your arrival, as that's when reality sets in for most homeowners that their place is probably going to sit empty.</p> <h2>4. AAA Premier Membership</h2> <p>There's no arguing the fact that an AAA membership provides great peace of mind when hitting the road for a long trip, especially with a family. Emergency roadside assistance like towing after a breakdown, tire changes, and battery jumpstarts are just a few of their useful services. But when planning a long summer road trip, look into upgrading to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aaa.com/aaa/045/pioneer/membership/premier/comparison.htm">AAA Premier</a> membership for $118 annually, up from $58 for the basic membership. This is because Premier comes with up to 200 miles of towing, $1,500 for meals/lodging in the event of a breakdown, and 100 miles of emergency medical transportation.</p> <p>Last summer, I upgraded to AAA Premier just before embarking on a long road trip across the western U.S. with my parents' RV. Sure enough, the RV broke down 75 miles west of Needles, CA on a 115 degree day in the Mojave Desert. Not only did we get a free 75 mile tow, but all lodging and food was paid for as we waited for a new fuel pump to be delivered and installed. AAA ended up reimbursing us close to $700 for the trip interruption. This year I simply downgraded our membership back to the basic, but I'll definitely upgrade it again before our next long road trip.</p> <p>Also, don't forget about AAA discounts that will save you money on hotels, airfare, rental cars, shopping, and entertainment. By getting in the habit of always inquiring about an AAA discount, you can easily pay for your annual basic membership of $58.</p> <h2>5. GasBuddy App</h2> <p>If you're not arming your smartphone with the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gasbuddy.com/">GasBuddy app</a> (free for&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gasbuddy-find-cheap-gas-prices/id406719683">iOS</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gbis.gbandroid">Android</a>) before you leave home, you're bound to overpay at the pump. Not only does the app help you find the cheapest gas stations along your journey, but you'll even earn points for reporting gas prices that could you score you a free $100 gas card. A good GasBuddy strategy is to access the app when your tank gets about a quarter full and search for upcoming gas stations. By doing it this way, and not waiting until your &quot;get gas&quot; light comes on, you'll be able to take advantage of a larger radius of stations and ensure the lowest price per gallon.</p> <h2>6. Drive Early in the Day</h2> <p>Another trick that I learned on our last family road trip was to hit the road early. This allows you to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and fresher eyes for the driver. If you can start your driving by 6 or 7 a.m., not only will you be able to keep the A/C off and enjoy the cool morning air, but you'll be much less likely to overheat your vehicle leading to potentially costly repairs. Not to mention the better gas mileage that you'll get by having the A/C turned off.</p> <p>Financial benefits aside, the early start typically makes it easier to drive long distances and avoids fatigued eyes as they day winds down. Plus, you'll end up at your next stop much earlier in the day, leaving you ample time to explore your surroundings.</p> <h2>7. Find Free Attractions</h2> <p>Perhaps the best way to save money on your next family road trip is to search for free, or almost free, attractions and activities that everyone will love. The best way to do this is to access&nbsp;<a href="http://www.roadtripradar.com/">RoadTripRadar</a> and tell them where you're headed and how far you're willing to travel off your route to see attractions. You can also pick the types of attractions you're interested in, things like museums, parks, farms, outdoor play areas, hiking trails, and camping &mdash; many of which are completely free of charge. Once you have your route all planned out, you can save it for later use, and even enhance it via YouTube videos and save it directly to your GPS unit via a satnav file. They currently support Garmin, TomTom, Navman, and Google Navigator.</p> <p><em>How do you save money when you load up the car and head out on a long road trip?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this Article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Travel%20Hacks%20for%20an%20Affordable%20Summer%20Road%20Trip.jpg&amp;description=7%20Travel%20Hacks%20for%20an%20Affordable%20Summer%20Road%20Trip" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Travel%20Hacks%20for%20an%20Affordable%20Summer%20Road%20Trip.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-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/25-ways-to-have-the-best-cheapest-summer-vacation">25 Ways to Have the Best, Cheapest Summer Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-websites-for-last-minute-airfare-deals">7 Best Websites for Last-Minute Airfare Deals</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-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-cheap-summer-vacations">8 Great, Cheap Summer Vacations</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/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip">10 Things to Leave Behind During Your Midsummer Trip</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Travel AAA driving expedia hotels Orbitz road trips summer vacation tourism travel deals vrbo Wed, 15 Jun 2016 09:30:42 +0000 Kyle James 1728424 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Little-Known Ways to Save When Booking Spring Travel http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-known-ways-to-save-when-booking-spring-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-little-known-ways-to-save-when-booking-spring-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_on_vacation_000062041066.jpg" alt="Couple finding ways to save when booking spring travel" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As the warmer weather finally starts to creep in, it's hard to not get excited about traveling this spring or summer. With the cheaper gas prices and lower overall airfare, it just might be a good year to finally book that family vacation you've been considering. Here are a few insider tips that'll help you stretch your travel dollar as far as possible. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free">7 Ways That Anyone Can Travel for Free</a>)</p> <h2>1. Book Airfare on a Tuesday</h2> <p>According to FareCompare.com, which helps travelers compare airfares to find the best deals, Tuesday around 3 p.m. EST is the best time to book a flight. They found that this is when many airlines release the majority of their sales, which then encourages other airlines to lower their fares to stay competitive. In contrast, try not to book airfare on a Friday morning as you'll end up paying&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hopper.com/articles/2450/does-time-of-day-matter-when-booking-flights">3% more for fares</a> on average.</p> <h2>2. Fly Out on a Tuesday or Wednesday</h2> <p>If you can be flexible in terms of the day you fly out, you can definitely save some money. According to Airfarewatchdog.com, if you can fly out on a Tuesday or Wednesday you'll find lower overall airfares. While not a perfect science, these two days <em>usually </em>yield lower airfares. For example, CheapAir.com found the difference between a Sunday round-trip flight and a Tuesday round-trip flight to be $58 on average. Also, when booking air travel for a week-long vacation, book Tuesday-Tuesday or Wednesday-Wednesday, as it is by far the cheapest way to fly.</p> <h2>3. Book Hotels Directly This Year</h2> <p>Online travel sites like Expedia and Hotels.com charge hotel chains a hefty 15% fee for an online booking. As a result, many hotels are trying to avoid this booking fee and are willing to negotiate a deal with potential travelers who call them directly. For example, if the Expedia rate is $100 a night, call the hotel and ask politely if they can beat that rate. Since the hotel has to pay around $15 to Expedia, they'll often give you the room for $90/night. It's an extra $5 in their pocket and they've made you a happy camper in the process.</p> <h2>4. Vacation Where the Best Deals Are</h2> <p>Clark Howard is one of my favorite frugal gurus. Every year he takes his staff on a big trip, and how he selects the destination is pure genius. He goes online and figures out what destination currently has the best travel deals, and that's where he takes everyone. By booking travel this way, he has visited every continent except Antarctica and every state except North Dakota. I love his perspective on this travel tip: &quot;I don't pick a destination that I have to go to. I wait for a deal somewhere, buy the deal, and then figure out why I want to go there.&quot; To make it happen, Howard suggest using&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kayak.com/explore/">Kayak Explore</a> as it lets you find the best airfare deals for your specific budget.</p> <h2>5. VRBO and Airbnb &quot;Last-Minute&quot; Hack</h2> <p>It's pretty obvious that vacation homeowners using VRBO and Airbnb to rent their place don't make a cent if their place lies empty for the weekend. Because of this, many owners are willing to lower their rate a little bit for last-minute travelers. By last-minute, I'm talking about those trying to book a place within a week of arrival. So the next time you attempt to plan a last-minute getaway, consider politely asking for a 15%&ndash;20% discount when using either website. You stand a great chance of negotiating a deal.</p> <h2>6. Hotel Check-In Trick</h2> <p>Have you ever wondered if it's still possible to get a room upgrade when checking into a hotel? According to many hotel employees, you can absolutely still do it, and slipping the front desk attendant a $20 bill is still highly acceptable. There's almost always a better room available, or cool upgrades like free movies, free room service, or late checkout &mdash; and sending an Andrew Jackson across the counter is a great way to make it happen.</p> <p>Also, the same hotel employees share that online booking sites like Expedia, Hotwire, and Orbitz are often going to get you the worst rooms available. The reason is because hotels see these guest as &quot;non-loyal&quot; travelers simply looking for a really low rate. They're not going to give you the rooms with the best views and overall features.</p> <p><em>How do you ensure a great deal when booking your travel plans?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-little-known-ways-to-save-when-booking-spring-travel&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Little-Known%20Ways%20to%20Save%20When%20Booking%20Spring%20Travel.jpg&amp;description=6%20Little-Known%20Ways%20to%20Save%20When%20Booking%20Spring%20Travel" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Little-Known%20Ways%20to%20Save%20When%20Booking%20Spring%20Travel.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-little-known-ways-to-save-when-booking-spring-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-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</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/caribbean-island-vacations-anyone-can-afford">Caribbean Island Vacations Anyone Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-these-sneaky-fees-on-discount-airfare">Beware These Sneaky Fees on Discount Airfare</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/fly-out-of-these-airports-and-save-big-on-airfare">Fly Out of These Airports and Save Big on Airfare</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel Airfare flying holiday hotel hacks spring break summer vacation trips Thu, 10 Mar 2016 11:00:06 +0000 Kyle James 1670417 at http://www.wisebread.com 23 Relaxing Ways to Enjoy Your Kid's First Day at School http://www.wisebread.com/23-relaxing-ways-to-enjoy-your-kids-first-day-at-school <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/23-relaxing-ways-to-enjoy-your-kids-first-day-at-school" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_reading_beach_000060463902.jpg" alt="Woman finding relaxing ways to enjoy kid&#039;s first day of school" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hear that sound, moms and dads? It's the silence you've been craving &mdash; oh, I don't know &mdash; since about 72 hours into your kids' summer vacation. What to do, what to do? You probably already have your time-to-relax schedule all planned out for the first day back to school, but if you've been slacking in that regard, here are a few ideas to make the most of your well-deserved downtime.</p> <h2>1. Hit the Beach (If You're Near One)</h2> <p>I live on the Jersey Shore and the days to enjoy an afternoon on the beach are dwindling. If you're in a beach town (or near one), get out there and enjoy the sand and surf before the chilly weather starts to roll in.</p> <h2>2. Take Yourself Out to Lunch</h2> <p>Like an adult lunch. No grilled sandwiches or ramen or Tyson chicken whatever &mdash; you know, the stuff the kids ate all summer and you nibbled on because you didn't feel like making a separate meal. Put your good pants on and have a proper lunch containing real food.</p> <h2>3. Go Back-to-School Shopping for Yourself</h2> <p>Don't you think it's just a bit unfair that you spend all that money on back-to-school clothing and accessories for the kids &mdash; because they haaaaave to have it! &mdash; and you walk away with nothing? Nope, not on my watch. Head to your favorite store and pick up something new. If you need justification for your purchase &mdash; besides the fact that you've kept the little beggars alive and well for this long &mdash; think of it as something you need for an upcoming PTA meeting, parents' night, or (most likely) a cocktail party.</p> <h2>4. Finish an Open Project</h2> <p>Everybody has something around the house that they meant to finish, but got sidetracked and forgot about. Get after it!</p> <h2>5. Meet Your Friends for Coffee (Or an Adult Bev!)</h2> <p>I mean, sure, if coffee's your thing, that's what you should order. But if you're trying to celebrate your nine-to-three freedom properly, you better make it Irish. And so you're not sipping alone, invite along a few friends.</p> <h2>6. Go to the Cinema and Catch a Movie</h2> <p>You've undoubtedly been to the movies this summer, but it was probably to see a flick about little talking Twinkies, superheroes, or dinosaurs. If there's a more &mdash; ahem &mdash; grown-up movie you've been meaning to watch, today's your day.</p> <h2>7. Crack Open That Book You've Been Meaning to Read (Finally!)</h2> <p>You brought that book everywhere you went this summer with every intention of reading it and then starting its sequel. But you never go to it because somebody was always screaming your name for mostly unimportant things that they could do themselves. Sound familiar? Now's your chance to get lost in literature &mdash; at least until mid-afternoon.</p> <h2>8. Relax on the Couch and Catch Up on Your DVR</h2> <p>Heck, even without kids, watching a ton of TV isn't something many of us do in the summer. So I know all you parents out there haven't had time to catch up on your DVR since about the third week of June. Find out what's up with your favorite characters and make some room for the new fall schedule.</p> <h2>9. Bake &mdash; Then Indulge</h2> <p>I like to bake because the end result is so delicious. If I'm baking for one to soothe my sweet tooth, I usually pick up prepared cookie dough, pop it in the oven, and stuff my face with the whole lot of the ooey-gooey confections. Along with a tall glass of ice-cold milk. And absolutely no shame. NO SHAME!</p> <h2>10. Get Intimate if You're Both Home</h2> <p>You don't need instructions for this. It's how you got into this situation in the first place. But it's still nice to have some alone time without somebody barging in.</p> <h2>11. Nap!</h2> <p>...Naaaaaaaaap!</p> <h2>12. Work Around the Yard</h2> <p>For some people, gardening is a great way to relax and think and let their mind wander. If you keep a garden, harvest some of the produce, or, since fall is just around the corner, tidy up your space a bit so raking and bagging isn't such a daunting task in a few weeks.</p> <h2>13. Go for a Walk</h2> <p>To wherever you want &mdash; around the neighborhood, downtown, to the park. Just get movin'.</p> <h2>14. Participate in a Class at the Gym</h2> <p>I love my gym classes. I never consider them a chore because they're totally fun. If you haven't checked in to any of the classes your gym offers, do it now. You could find yourself a new hobby.</p> <h2>15. Treat Yourself to a Salon or Spa Service</h2> <p>Get your hair or nails done. Schedule a massage. Kick back in the steam room and sauna. Let your cares drift away until you have to snap back to reality.</p> <h2>16. Hang Out at Your Local Library or Coffee Shop</h2> <p>I find both of these places equally relaxing. I usually take a few of my neglected magazines and sink into one of the comfy chairs for a few hours while I unwind.</p> <h2>17. Mediate/Do Nothing at All</h2> <p>I don't really know how to meditate &mdash; I mean, besides sitting with my legs crossed and chanting 'Om' (which doesn't appeal to me). However, as a former college student, I know how to do nothing at all quite well. I consider myself an English major with a concentration in Sitting and Staring at the Sky, as it were. Nonetheless, either of these activities could work for you, and I'll only look at you strangely for one of them.</p> <h2>18. Practice Your Yoga Skills</h2> <p>There are plenty of online yoga resources that you can watch so you don't even have to leave your house. Or you can find a class in your area (perhaps even at your gym for free) if you need a change of scenery. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-free-or-cheap-yoga-classes?ref=seealso">Where to Find Free or Cheap Yoga Classes</a>)</p> <h2>19. Take the Dog to the Park</h2> <p>You know who's just as happy that your kids are back in school? The dog. He can finally get back to his eat-sleep-sleep-eat schedule without as many interruptions. But that doesn't mean he wouldn't like a leisurely afternoon with his buddies first. Plan a date to the dog park to exercise your favorite friend while enjoying the pleasant weather and other pooches.</p> <h2>20. Pack a Picnic and Find a Nice Space Outside</h2> <p>There's no rule that picnics can't be by yourself. In fact, some of the best picnics I've attended have only had one guest &mdash; me! Pack up some of your favorites foods, bring a blanket and some reading material, and lay back and watch the world pass you by.</p> <h2>21. Drift Away in a Long, Hot Bath</h2> <p>Candles and a glass of wine are just as appropriate for a long, hot bath at 11 a.m. as they are at 11 p.m. Plus, nobody's around to judge you. Enjoy it while you can.</p> <h2>22. Pump Up the Jams and Dance Around the House</h2> <p>This summer has produced a few hot bangers that I like to shake my thang to. Turn up your Spotify and let loose in your living room. If you've never done this before, step outside your comfort zone. You'll be glad you did.</p> <h2>23. Run Away and Never Look Back</h2> <p>Or just daydream about it. You know they wouldn't last a day without you.</p> <p><em>How will you relax and enjoy your kids' first day back to school? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-relaxing-ways-to-enjoy-your-kids-first-day-at-school">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</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/20-ways-to-entertain-your-kids-for-free">20 Ways to Entertain Your Kids for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/single-parent-try-these-10-tricks-for-entertaining-kids-on-a-budget">Single Parent? Try These 10 Tricks for Entertaining Kids on a 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/8-things-you-can-do-in-denver-that-you-cant-do-anywhere-else">8 Things You Can Do in Denver That You Can&#039;t Do Anywhere Else</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/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Lifestyle back-to-school downtime kids parenting relaxing rest summer vacation Mon, 24 Aug 2015 11:00:30 +0000 Mikey Rox 1532897 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons July Is a Great Month for Stocks http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-july-is-a-great-month-for-stocks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-july-is-a-great-month-for-stocks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_working_beach_000040378062.jpg" alt="Man realizing July is a great month for stocks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you think traders are off summer vacationing, think again. There's a lot of action in the markets during the summertime, particularly in July, which makes it a great time to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-a-stock-is-about-to-tank">rebalance your portfolio</a> &mdash; or pull the trigger on the trades you've been scheming about. No doubt, timing the market perfectly is practically impossible. But the historically well-performing month of July is better than many for making positive returns.</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of reasons why July is a great months for stocks.</p> <h2>1. School's Out</h2> <p>Okay, so we lied. Some traders really<em> are</em> on vacation in the summer. But that's good news for you. Here's why: While they're off teaching their toddlers to swim, surf, and make sand castles, the market's value tends to drift higher from where it should be.</p> <p>&quot;During&hellip; summer, professional investors are collectively less focused on news and as a result, information is incorporated into stock prices more slowly,&quot; MIT researcher Lily Fang said. This effect is particularly strong for negative information because taking advantage of negative news by, for instance, short-selling, is more difficult and requires close attention &mdash; a scarce resource in July. &quot;Think about how traders spend their summers,&quot; Fang said. &quot;They're on the beach with their kids. They're traveling overseas with their friends. They're rightfully enjoying the holidays and as a result not paying as much attention to market news.&quot;</p> <p>Just beware of the &quot;after holiday effect.&quot; Stock prices tend to do the <a href="https://mitsloan.mit.edu/newsroom/press-releases/2014-school-holiday-breaks-global-stock-lily-fang.php">worst in September</a> &mdash; when summer vacation's over &mdash; because investors' kids are back in school and they once again have the time to monitor the markets obsessively, according to Fang's research.</p> <h2>2. Midsummer Rules Dow Jones</h2> <p>The Dow Jones industrial average has posted a <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/30/the-hottest-stocks-of-july.html">positive July return</a> in seven of the last 10 years. The average gain during that time span was almost 2%. That's a pretty spectacular indication that July is the golden time on the Dow to invest.</p> <h2>3. Historic S&amp;P Data Shows Positive Returns</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneychimp.com/features/monthly_returns.htm">July's market returns</a> have been up 35 of the last 60 years since 1950, according to S&amp;P 500 data. The average return over that period was 0.8%. That's pretty good, but the kicker is that in recent years the month has performed even better. Since 2005, July has had six up years with an average return of 1.6%. A whopping 80% of all trades have been positive in the last decade on the S&amp;P 500 Energy Sector. So if you're planning to invest in July, you'll do well to pick an energy industry stock.</p> <h2>4. Nasdaq Comes Alive, Too</h2> <p>The Nasdaq composite, which averages a 2.1% gain for the month of July, has posted a positive return in six of the last 10 years.</p> <h2>5. Chinese Stocks Bounce Back</h2> <p>For the last five years, the MSCI China index has been one great big slump in the first six months of the year, typically losing about 10% of its value. Ouch. But July has proven to be the <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/investing/11322368/Investment-calendar-2015-Tips-and-tricks-to-play-stock-market-trends.html">bounce back month</a>, marking the start of a season of strong returns that more than make up for those earlier losses. In 2014, the index fell 3% in the first six months, but then gained more than 10% starting in July.</p> <p>&quot;There is no denying that a pattern has emerged in Chinese equities in the last few years,&quot; said Damien Fahy of the consumer website Money to the Masses. &quot;Its roots lie in the Chinese New Year and corresponding government stimulus which tends to rally markets.&quot; Although this July has been unusually tough for Chinese stocks to date, the month isn't over yet.</p> <p><em>Do you invest in July? Why or why not?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-july-is-a-great-month-for-stocks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-your-401k-is-a-good-or-a-bad-one">How to Tell if Your 401K Is a Good or a Bad One</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/should-you-invest-in-start-ups">Should You Invest in Start-Ups?</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/tesla-six-flags-and-9-other-adventure-stocks-worth-investing-in">Tesla, Six Flags and 9 Other Adventure Stocks Worth Investing In</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/stabilize-your-portfolio-with-these-11-dividend-stocks">Stabilize Your Portfolio With These 11 Dividend Stocks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Dow Jones NASDAQ portfolio positive returns s&p stocks summer vacation Thu, 23 Jul 2015 13:00:09 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1499559 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Ways to Have the Best, Cheapest Summer Vacation http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-have-the-best-cheapest-summer-vacation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-ways-to-have-the-best-cheapest-summer-vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beach-467352195.jpg" alt="beach" title="beach" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I decided to leave my 9-to-5 and work from home, I knew it would take some financial trickery. I went over our monthly and yearly budgets over and over again to find room and determine areas where we could cut back. One of the first line items on the chopping block? Summer vacation funds.</p> <p>Not having much to spend on travel doesn't have to be the end of your great summer adventure, however. My family has found some rather crafty ways to get around and enjoy the sights and sounds of new places on the cheap. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. Explore Locally</h2> <p>When I think travel, I often let my mind go wild with far off places. What I've discovered most recently is that there are tons of fun places to visit within my own home state. Head to your local welcome center (you know, the ones on all the major highways) and check out the promotional pamphlets for attractions near you. Then make your bucket list and go!</p> <h2>2. Set an Early or Late Date</h2> <p>Mid-summer is peak season at a lot of popular spots, so if your dates aren't strict, try different combinations. Many hotels offer (sometimes wildly) different rates depending on when most people have time to trek. Early June to the week before July 4th or early September after Labor Day are awesome times to get great prices on summer hot spots. Bonus: They'll be less crowded too! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-ways-to-save-for-your-dream-vacation?ref=seealso">Easy Ways to Save for Vacation</a>)</p> <h2>3. Be Counterintuitive</h2> <p>Along those same lines, head to the slopes this summer! Tripping in the off-season is a fun way to get to know a place more intimately. For example, I know for a fact that Vermont is just as gorgeous &mdash; if not more &mdash; in the warm months than it is when all the ski bunnies descend in droves.</p> <h2>4. Road Trip It</h2> <p>Part of the fun is in the travel itself. Rather than jet around from location to location, pack your car with necessities (and lots of snacks!) and plan a route that's worth the drive. One dream my family has is to plot out a road trip visiting with family and friends, which will be both frugal (free places to stay and free tour guides!) and fun. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-money-on-a-great-american-road-trip?ref=seealso">10 Ways To Save Money on the Great American Road Trip</a>)</p> <h2>5. Try Camping</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/camping-4256950-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>The first trip my husband and I took together was to the southern coast of Maine, and we camped there for five blissful nights. If I remember correctly, our site fee was around $30 a night and we cooked most of our own food, making for quite an inexpensive trip! If you're not totally into roughing it, check out <a href="http://koa.com/">KOA campgrounds</a> &mdash; you can find one near most cities and big attractions in the US and Canada. Most have a selection of tent sites, cabins (with TVs!), and even more luxurious accommodations that are cheaper than hotels.</p> <h2>6. Cook In</h2> <p>Wherever you stay on vacation, it can be tempting to go out to eat for every meal. Last year when my family visited NYC for a week, we got a taste of local food without the added up-charge. Find a great local market (in that case, we stopped by <a href="http://www.eataly.com/">Eataly</a> daily) and assemble your own meals with local, fresh ingredients if you're staying someplace that will allow it. Our shore rental has a grill, and I can't wait to use it!</p> <h2>7. Mind Your Perks</h2> <p>Along those same lines, check out hotels that offer free breakfasts or other meals to guests. Growing up, my parents always chose Embassy Suites for their bountiful warm breakfasts (for free!) and evening receptions that kept both adults and kids satiated. Smaller hotels may also have discounts with local restaurants and attractions, so be sure to do your research ahead of time to get the best hookups.</p> <h2>8. Buddy Up</h2> <p>Chances are, you're not the only one looking for a change of pace. If you have close friends or family with similar interests, try planning a joint vacation and splitting some of the costs. We go to the Jersey Shore each year with family and everyone pitches in for food and the vacation rental. Setting ground rules ahead of time can help avoid uncomfortable situations, so making lists and designating different responsibilities accordingly is the key to keep everyone happy.</p> <h2>9. Try a Rental</h2> <p>That's right &mdash; our family shares a rental home for our beach trip. It's a heck of a lot less expensive than a hotel. Plus, rentals offer an impressive number of perks &mdash; like full kitchens, beach tags, community pools, etc. &mdash; that might help save you money in the long run. Try sites like <a href="http://www.vrbo.com/">Vacation Rental By Owner</a> (VRBO) if you're new to this thrifty idea (and, of course, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel">Airbnb</a>).</p> <h2>10. Make It a Quickie</h2> <p>If you have your heart set on a certain place that happens to be expensive, consider shortening the trip to cut down on hotel, food, and entertainment costs. A weekend getaway is often just as refreshing as a whole week's trip, but with less than half the cost. (You can also save some of your vacation days by planning it in conjunction with a holiday &mdash; just beware that hotel and travel costs change as well.)</p> <h2>11. Plan Ahead</h2> <p>You can occasionally cash in on this year's rates for <em>next</em> year by locking in your vacation at checkout. Some hotels (and vacation rentals) reward loyalty with a small percentage discount, so it's worth a check if you'd like to frequent your destination for years to come. Plus, it feels sort of great knowing the fun is already on the calendar so far in advance.</p> <h2>12. Survey Flight Options</h2> <p>There are a host of considerations related to flight, not limited to fare fluctuations, baggage check fees, and hub of choice. If you're flying where you want to go, make sure you get the best fare by checking apps like <a href="http://www.yapta.com/">Yapta</a> to get alerts when ticket prices are low. Try airlines like <a href="http://help.jetblue.com/SRVS/CGI-BIN/webisapi.dll?New,Kb=askBlue,case=obj%28634%29">JetBlue</a>, which offer free baggage checks. And investigate options with flights from both large and small airports for price comparison.</p> <h2>13. Stay Off the Beaten Path</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/travel-5365846-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>It's true that major cities and other vacation favorites offer lots in way of entertainment and fun, but sometimes sticking to more rural locations can be a breath of fresh air. Whether it's scoping out the national parks or just visiting a less frequented beach or smaller city, you'll enjoy a bit more room to relax and a thicker wallet.</p> <h2>14. House Swap</h2> <p>Do you have a friend or family member in a far away place (or not so far away) who might be willing to switch residences for a week or two? House swapping is a fun way to see a new part of the country without spending outrageous lodging costs to stay there. By staying in someone's house or apartment, you'll be sure to have a kitchen and other necessities that simple hotel rooms can't afford you. Just be sure to water plants, get mail, and feed the cat so your friend will return the favor.</p> <h2>15. Offer Your Services</h2> <p>There are costs at home associated with travel that often get neglected in the planning. Things like animal boarding, house-sitting, lawn care, and other responsibilities can cost if you don't have a plan in place. Offer your services to cat sit and water plants for a friend and he or she will likely return the favor.</p> <h2>16. Volunteer</h2> <p>If you'd like to bring more meaning to your summer vacation, consider checking out these free and low-cost opportunities to volunteer abroad via <a href="http://www.vaops.com/">VAOPS</a>. Sure, your trip won't consist of days on end laying on a beach towel, but you'll be investing time and energy into an area with the reward of an amazing experience.</p> <h2>17. Consider Your Options</h2> <p>Before choosing a destination, search around for all the opportunities for free entertainment. Washington D.C., for example, has a plethora of free museums to keep you and your family entertained for days. Beaches can sometimes charge hefty parking or entry fees, but those off the radar are often free and much less crowded. Look beyond those popular spots for the most savings.</p> <h2>18. Utilize Resources</h2> <p>There are a number of travel websites with deals and steals on vacation packages, airfare, and more. If you don't know where to start, just check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites</a> &mdash; they can save you a fortune!</p> <h2>19. Ask Around</h2> <p>Once you get to your vacation spot, resist the urge to hit up all the ritzy tourist destinations. Instead, ask some locals for their favorite restaurant and entertainment picks. Usually these options are less costly and allow you to become more immersed in the place you're visiting.</p> <h2>20. Park Your Car</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/travel-5313151-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>One of my favorite things to do when I get someplace new? Walk or run around town and identify places I might want to go. My family tries to stay somewhere central (even if it might cost slightly more) so we can leave the car behind. That way, we lower our gas bill, parking costs, and even those unexpected parking or traffic tickets. Those are pesky costs sometimes piles up when speed limits and meter rules are somewhat elusive.</p> <h2>21. Exhaust Alternatives</h2> <p>Have you ever checked out community marketplace <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/">Airbnb</a>? It's sort of like VRBO, but it's more unique. You rent from people in over 34,000 cities and 192 countries. Better yet: You can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed">rent out your own spaces</a> to make some extra money for travel as well.</p> <h2>22. Frolic to a Festival</h2> <p>One of our beloved summer vacations is to a local music festival each July. The tickets go up for sale in the beginning of the year, so we try to sign up early to get the best rates. From there, there's a small onsite camping fee &mdash; but otherwise, food is the only major expense (and we bring most of it with us for what a week's worth of groceries would cost). All that's left to do is sit back, relax, and listen to the tunes waft through the breeze.</p> <h2>23. Pack Smart</h2> <p>If you know you're going to be driving through rest stops or waiting long hours at airports, try to resist the usual temptations. All those magazines, books, bottled waters, fast food meals, and other comfort items add up. Pack your travel bag the smart way and bring your own supplies &mdash; snacks, neck-pillows, library books, etc. &mdash; from home for free.</p> <h2>24. Fuel to Your Advantage</h2> <p>Now's the time to use your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards">credit card that earns points for gas</a> and other travel purchases. Apps like <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gasbuddy-find-cheap-gas-prices/id406719683?mt=8">GasBuddy</a>, <a href="http://ipod.about.com/od/iphoneappsreviews/fr/Smart-Fuel-App-Review.htm">SmartFuel</a>, and <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/US/app/id299969005?mt=8">Fuel Finder</a> can certainly save you some major dollars on fueling that will accumulate to big bucks over time.</p> <h2>25. Stay Home</h2> <p>I think by now we've all heard the word &quot;stay-cation,&quot; right? The idea? If you're really strapped, you don't need to go anywhere to get some rest and relaxation. Sometimes just taking a few days off and living it up in your hometown does the trick. Much like with traveling locally, you'll want to make a list of things to do. Now's the time to check out that new restaurant that opened downtown. Hang your hammock and enjoy!</p> <p><em>How do you save on summer travel? The more tips the better &mdash; I'm sure we could all use a vacation!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F25-ways-to-have-the-best-cheapest-summer-vacation&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F25%20Ways%20to%20Have%20the%20Best%2C%20Cheapest%20Summer%20Vacation.jpg&amp;description=25%20Ways%20to%20Have%20the%20Best%2C%20Cheapest%20Summer%20Vacation" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/25%20Ways%20to%20Have%20the%20Best%2C%20Cheapest%20Summer%20Vacation.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-have-the-best-cheapest-summer-vacation">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-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip">7 Travel Hacks for an Affordable Summer Road Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip">10 Things to Leave Behind During Your Midsummer Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-websites-for-last-minute-airfare-deals">7 Best Websites for Last-Minute Airfare Deals</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/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays">Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free Hotel Stays?</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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel cheap travel hotels road trips summer vacation vacation Mon, 26 May 2014 09:00:13 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1140314 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Fun and Affordable Vacation Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/9-fun-and-affordable-vacation-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-fun-and-affordable-vacation-ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-1771524-small.jpg" alt="woman on train" title="woman on train" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not every vacation you take has to include multiple theme parks, lavish nightly dinners, and free-flowing drinks until dawn. Those expenses add up quickly, often necessitating a vacation to recover from the vacation, right after the guilt of spending so much money subsides. But there's a lot you can do without depleting your savings &mdash; you just have to know where to look. Here are a few ideas to get you started. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Reward Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. Take a Day Trip</h2> <p>No matter where you live, there's an uncharted area (at least, uncharted by you) nearby.</p> <p>For instance, I live in New York City, and there are plenty of interesting areas nearby that I have yet to visit. The local rail system &mdash; New Jersey Transit &mdash; travels down the New Jersey shoreline, and for $30 roundtrip I can head to breezy beach areas to enjoy an afternoon of sun and surf. Trips to the closest beach towns are around an hour and a half, which means I can have a full day of fun if I leave early and come back after dark. And if you pack a lunch, snacks, and drinks, you'll save money throughout the day since you won't have to fill up on expensive restaurant fare.</p> <p>Another option is to hop on a bus and hop off in a town you've never been. You can book this trip easily online (I can personally recommend Greyhound's express service, which usually features free Wi-Fi) by choosing a new-to-you destination and hittin' the road whenever you need a little adventure in your life.</p> <h2>2. Book a Discount Cruise</h2> <p>For all that cruises include (all-you-can-eat 24-hour buffets!), I think they're relatively inexpensive compared to other types of vacations. I'm not saying that cruises are cheap &mdash; but they can be if you strike while the iron is hot. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-you-book-a-vacation-package">Questions to Ask Before You Book a Vacation Package</a>)</p> <p>I often get flyers in the mail for deep cruise discounts, and cruise lines are known to offer last-minute super deals to fill the last few remaining cabins before setting sail. And let's not forget that when cruise lines experience a string of bad press, like they have in recent months, sales begin to sag, forcing the lines to offer truly amazing deals. Also, if you're a past cruiser, you're usually entitled to an incentive &mdash; a cheaper rate &mdash; so don't forget to mention that when it's time to book.</p> <h2>3. Extend Your Business Trip</h2> <p>When my husband invites me on his business trips, two words come to mind: Free vacation! Alas, if you're not the lucky one who's tagging along but rather the one working, you can still look forward to this work perk by extending your trip to take in the sights.</p> <p>Most companies pay for roundtrip travel &mdash; so ask your boss if you can fly back a few days after your work duties are done. That way, you can stick around your conference location for a couple extra days to unwind and soak up the local culture. Granted, the boss probably won't pick up the tab for the extra nights at the hotel, so you may have to lower your expectations in terms of accommodations, but thanks to Airbnb and other micro-subletting sites, you can probably find an affordable crashpad within a few miles of wherever you are.</p> <h2>4. Play the Local Tourist</h2> <p>If your city has public transportation, throw caution to the wind one day and catch a ride to someplace new. Buy a day pass and hop on and off to see and experience things you never knew existed in your town. If you make one of your first stops your local tourism office, you can pick up brochures and coupons to semi-plan your day and save money along the way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-travel-off-the-beaten-path">Why You Should Travel Off the Beaten Path</a>)</p> <h2>5. Embark on a Road Trip</h2> <p>I've written a couple articles on how to do the road trip right, and I still think it's an<a href="http://blog.avantcredit.com/budgeting/six-ways-to-save-money-on-a-summer-road-trip"> affordable summer vacation idea</a>. If you pack a few friends in the car, it becomes immensely more fun and affordable since you can split the good times and fuel expenses among the group.</p> <p>Depending on where you're headed, someone in the car is bound to have a connection to someplace you can crash &mdash; preferably a friend's or relative's place who will let you snooze on the floor for free. If that's not an option, you can always pack a tent and set up camp along the way, or catch a few winks at a roadside rest area before continuing on your journey. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high">Frugal Road Trips</a>)</p> <h2>6. Swap Homes With Someone Else</h2> <p>For two years in a row &mdash; on Memorial Day weekend, no less &mdash; my husband and I have swapped homes with a nice lady in Connecticut. She gets our two-bedroom condo in Manhattan, and we take her large lake house without either party exchanging a single cent. This is by far the most amazing and affordable vacation idea I've found so far. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-exchanges-free-accommodations-with-perks">House Swap for Free Accommodations With Perks</a>)</p> <p>If you have a decent place at which you think someone else would enjoy staying, this is an opportunity to pursue. You can try Craigslist with caution, but it's much easier if your home is already listed on a site like Airbnb since those listings are fortified with security measures and references.</p> <h2>7. Set Up Camp Close By</h2> <p>KOA-branded campgrounds offer <a href="http://koa.com/national-events/">free camping</a> nights or weekends throughout the year for various occasions &mdash; kids camp free on Father's Day, for instance &mdash; but you don't have to pack up your gear and head to the nearest commercial camping spot to get a good deal. Instead, set up camp in your backyard, complete with tents, sleeping bags, and a campfire with hot dogs and s'mores for a fun and frugal &quot;getaway.&quot; Not only will you avoid the weekend travel hassle that almost always increases your stress level when you're meant to relax, but you'll save big bucks by turning your own backyard into a wilderness retreat.</p> <h2>8. Offer to House Sit</h2> <p>When my husband and I go away to places where we can't take our dogs, we usually ask a good buddy of ours to stay in our home for the days that we're gone to make sure everything goes smoothly and to keep the dogs happy and healthy. It's a bit of an extra expense for us (although about 50% less than formally boarding the dogs, so we're saving there), but for him it's a mini-vacation. He gets to stay at our place (and any place you stay besides your own is a nice respite so long as the accommodations are decent), watch TV and play games, enjoy cuddle time with the dogs, and make some fast cash just by lounging around and keeping the pups entertained. If this sounds like the perfect vacation to you, put your feelers out to see who among your friends is in the market for a house/dog sitter. With the extra money you make, go someplace inexpensive that's been on your list. You earned it.</p> <h2>9. Plan a Staycation</h2> <p>A staycation isn't as fabulous as a five-star hotel or a breezy Caribbean cruise, but there are plenty of ways to have fun and relax without going anywhere. Before the staycation starts, research what's happening in your area on your days or week off, specifically searching for free events that won't cut into your budget. Also, stock up on groceries and snacks to make the downtime at home a little tastier. Staycations can be really great if you plan them properly.</p> <p><em>Do you have other ideas for fun and affordable vacations? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-fun-and-affordable-vacation-ideas&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%20Fun%20and%20Affordable%20Vacation%20Ideas.jpg&amp;description=9%20Fun%20and%20Affordable%20Vacation%20Ideas" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Fun%20and%20Affordable%20Vacation%20Ideas.jpg" alt="9 Fun and Affordable Vacation Ideas" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-fun-and-affordable-vacation-ideas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-websites-for-last-minute-airfare-deals">7 Best Websites for Last-Minute Airfare Deals</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/make-your-escape-with-these-14-affordable-weekend-getaways">Make Your Escape With These 14 Affordable Weekend Getaways</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-have-the-best-cheapest-summer-vacation">25 Ways to Have the Best, Cheapest Summer Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-cheap-summer-vacations">8 Great, Cheap Summer Vacations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-questions-to-ask-before-you-book-a-vacation-package">6 Questions to Ask Before You Book a Vacation Package</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel affordable vacations cheap vacations day trips summer vacation vacation Thu, 10 Oct 2013 23:23:13 +0000 Mikey Rox 969892 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Are You Planning a Summer Vacation? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-planning-a-summer-vacation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-are-you-planning-a-summer-vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3805152070_cb034d3950_z-1.jpg" alt="Are You Planning a Summer Vacation?" title="Are You Planning a Summer Vacation?" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-planning-a-summer-vacation#comment-534850"><em>Julie</em></a><em>, </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-planning-a-summer-vacation#comment-534805"><em>Becki</em></a><em>, and </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-planning-a-summer-vacation#comment-535210"><em>DeeDee</em></a><em> for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Summer is right around the corner! The kids will be out of school, the weather will be gorgeous, and people are starting to make travel plans. Summer tends to be one of the best times for families to get out of town and have quality family time. However, some families tend to stay close to home during the summer to avoid breaking the bank.</p> <p><b>Are you planning a summer vacation?</b><span style="font-weight:normal">&nbsp;If yes, where are you headed? Will you make a travel budget? How do you plan to save money on your trip? If you aren't traveling this summer, will you be staycationing?</span></p> <p>Tell us if you are planning a summer vacation and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; one for random comments, one for random Facebook &quot;Likes&quot;, and another one for random tweets.</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:&nbsp;</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries (1 per action):</h3> <ul> <li>Go to our <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wise-Bread/26830741467?ref=ts">Facebook page</a>, &quot;Like&quot; us, and leave a comment on this article telling us you did, or</li> <li><a href="http://www.twitter.com/">Tweet</a> your answer. You have to be a follower of our <a href="http://twitter.com/wisebread">@wisebread account</a>. Include both &quot;@wisebread&quot; and &quot;#WBAsk&quot; in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.</li> </ul> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, May 28th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after May 28th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us if you are planning a summer vacation and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-planning-a-summer-vacation">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/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-what-does-corporate-social-responsibility-mean-to-you">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean to You?</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/ask-the-readers-trash-or-cash-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: Trash or Cash? (Chance to Win $20!)</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/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-new-years-resolution">Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year&#039;s Resolution?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores">Ask The Readers: Should Kids Get Paid For Doing Chores?</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/ask-the-readers-how-did-you-spend-your-first-paycheck">Ask the Readers: How Did You Spend Your First Paycheck?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers summer vacation Tue, 22 May 2012 10:36:08 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 929256 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Great, Cheap Summer Vacations http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-cheap-summer-vacations <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-great-cheap-summer-vacations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sumvaca-travel-4159404-small.jpg" alt="women on trip" title="women on trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The sky is brighter, the air is warming up, and the layers of clothes are getting peeled off. That can only mean one thing &mdash; summer is near.</p> <p>One of the things that I love most about going on vacation is the chance to break out of my everyday routines, eat crappy foods guilt-free, and stay up blissfully late watching as much trashy reality TV as I please. Setting aside daily responsibilities, trying new things, being in a different space, and having care-free fun is refreshing. But while it'd be nice to go to Fiji or another distant tropical paradise, that just isn't reality for a lot of us.</p> <p>So what do you do when money is tight, you don't want to get further into debt, and you really need a vacation? You still take a vacation, but just a frugal one. One that your budget will love. Here are eight frugal summer vacation ideas to get you going. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. The All-American, Almighty Road-Trip Vacation</h2> <p><img width="605" height="302" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/sumvaca-4585363-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>About ten years ago, my husband was able to travel through thirty different states in the span of a month-and-a-half with a friend in a $400, 1982 Chevy Sprint. It's an experience he'll never forget, and while gas prices do get high in the summer, the road trip is still one of the cheapest options for frugal vacations.</p> <p>Grab a map, pack a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000G66GS8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000G66GS8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">large cooler</a>, stop at grocery stores along the way, sing cheesy songs, tell stories you've never told before, watch the sun rise and set, and make yourself some memories. (Can be combined with the &quot;I Had No Idea There Were Over 400 National Parks&quot; vacation below, if you're feeling adventurous.)</p> <p>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taking-frugal-road-trips-even-when-gas-prices-are-high">How to Take Frugal Road Trips</a>)</p> <h2>2. The Infamous Staycation Vacation</h2> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/sumvaca-reading-4795211-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Set a time frame. If you can only get two to three days off from work (or less), that's okay!</p> <p>This is how you do it &mdash; turn off the phones, put an auto reply on your email, turn off the computer (and really keep it off), don't check your usual social media feeds, and really allow yourself a break from everyday life and the technology that comes along with it.</p> <p>Then, go to the grocery store and get sundae supplies: ice cream, candy toppings, hot fudge, caramel, whipped cream, and why not throw in some cherries too? You are on vacation after all! Rent those guilty-pleasure movies you've been wanting to see, and settle in for a movie marathon. Those books and magazines that have been stacking up? This is the time to read them! Those museum exhibits you've been dying to see but just don't have the time for? Go check 'em out! Hanging with friends on a patio on a random Tuesday night? Go for it!</p> <p>The point is to have fun, indulge in some pleasures you normally don't get to, and get out of your normal routine.</p> <h2>3. The &quot;I Had No Idea There Were 58 National Parks&quot; Vacation</h2> <p><img width="605" height="302" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/sumvaca-5203508-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>You can purchase an annual <a href="http://www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm">National Parks pass</a> for $80. The pass provides access to <a href="http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/parks/">58 National Parks</a> throughout the United States with big-name attractions like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, the Everglades, and Yosemite. Once you're in the parks, you can hike around and obtain a spot to setup a tent for a very low fee.</p> <h2>4. The Survivalist &quot;Is This Really Considered a Vacation?&quot; Vacation</h2> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/sumvaca-4275723-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>I know some people like to be non-stop busy on vacation, and then they need a vacation <em>after</em> the &quot;vacation.&quot; If you're one of those people, then a backpacking or biking trip might be just right for you. Borrow gear from a knowledgeable friend, talk to your local outdoor pro, and take an adventure along the <a href="http://www.pcta.org/">Pacific Crest Trail</a>, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Divide_Trail">Great Divide Trail</a>, or <a href="http://www.appalachiantrail.org">Appalachian Trail</a>. Just make sure to take all of the necessary precautions and do the necessary training prior to attempting this one.</p> <p>(Wise Bread Pick: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003NU8W0Y/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003NU8W0Y&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=seealso-20">Chrome Citizen Messenger Bag at Amazon</a>)</p> <h2>5. The &quot;You Wanna Switch Houses?&quot; Vacation</h2> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/sumvaca-home-2331734-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Talk to other families to see if they need a break from their daily life too. Swap houses (or apartments) with each other for the weekend to get a change of scenery. It's simple and free. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-exchanges-free-accommodations-with-perks">Free Accommodations With Home Exchanges</a>)</p> <h2>6. The Traveling Mooch Vacation</h2> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/sumvaca-friends-5109500-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Think about who you know in other cities, and go visit them. See if your friends will let you crash at their place and show you around their town. This vacation can be combined with the next vacation on the list, &quot;The Greyhound Bus Adventure Vacation,&quot; for added frugality. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">11 Rules to Be an Excellent Houseguest</a>)</p> <h2>7. The Greyhound Bus Adventure Vacation</h2> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/sumvaca-673253-medium.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>When I was a college student, I would ride the <a href="http://www.greyhound.com/">Greyhound Bus</a> all the time to go and visit my family. It was a rough, cheap ride, and I got to meet a bunch of people I normally wouldn't get a chance to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The 5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>8. The &quot;You're Already On Vacation&quot; Vacation</h2> <p><img width="605" height="303" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/sumvaca-3371498-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Hone your <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditation">meditation skills</a> to transport yourself to another dimension at any time. Meditating can be used to take a break from everyday life without leaving your house or taking time off from work. Bonus &mdash; it's free, and no packing is involved.</p> <p>Disconnecting, breaking out of the daily ruts, and infusing some extra fun is all it takes to make a vacation a vacation, whether you're going near or far, and being frugal or not.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-great-cheap-summer-vacations&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%20Great%2C%20Cheap%20Summer%20Vacations.jpg&amp;description=8%20Great%2C%20Cheap%20Summer%20Vacations" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Great%2C%20Cheap%20Summer%20Vacations.jpg" alt="8 Great, Cheap Summer Vacations" 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/anna-newell-jones">Anna Newell Jones</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-cheap-summer-vacations">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-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-have-the-best-cheapest-summer-vacation">25 Ways to Have the Best, Cheapest Summer Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip">7 Travel Hacks for an Affordable Summer Road Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-fun-and-affordable-vacation-ideas">9 Fun and Affordable Vacation Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-websites-for-last-minute-airfare-deals">7 Best Websites for Last-Minute Airfare Deals</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/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel budget vacations cheap vacations road trips staycations summer vacation Wed, 11 Apr 2012 10:36:08 +0000 Anna Newell Jones 915134 at http://www.wisebread.com If It’s Not Sunny In Philadelphia, It’s Free! http://www.wisebread.com/if-its-not-sunny-in-philadelphia-its-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/if-its-not-sunny-in-philadelphia-its-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sun travel.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="363" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Looking to book a trip through <a href="http://www.priceline.com/">Priceline</a>? <span> </span>Do it now, and you can be eligible for their <a href="http://www.priceline.com/promo/sunshine_guaranteed.asp">Sunshine Guaranteed offer</a> .<span> </span>Here are the details on this &ldquo;rain or shine&rdquo; promotion:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>What&rsquo;s it good for? <span> </span></strong>By booking your summer vacation package (for departure between July 1<sup>st</sup>, 2008 and September 7<sup>th</sup>, 2008) now, you can get in on this deal!<span> </span>Get your trip to over 100 vacation destinations finalized before July 17<sup>th</sup>, and be sure that it is between 3-8 days long (travel dates included.)<span> </span>You must also be sure to book at least 12 days in advance.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>What&rsquo;s the Guarantee?</strong><span> </span>If it rains more than &frac12; inch total accumulation on each of at least half the days of your vacation, your trip is free!<span> </span>So if you are vacationing for 3 days, you must have rainfall on 2 days.<span> </span>If you are traveling for 8 days, it must rain on 4.<span> </span>(Get it?)<span> </span>Your cost of airfare, hotel stay, rental car, attractions booked through Priceline, and all taxes and fees are included in the refund.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Who keeps track of the weather?</strong><span> </span>Priceline, of course.<span> </span>And while you can use your own rain gauge or a trusty meteorologist to keep score, Priceline will keep tabs on the rainfall (provided by the National Weather Service) for your destination.<span> </span>Rainfall will be updated periodically via a special link, and if the moisture measures up, your refund will be automatically sent to you.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Is Seattle included?</strong><span> </span>Were you going anyway?<span> </span>I wouldn&rsquo;t make a special trip in hopes of getting something for free (it&rsquo;s been a wacky year, after all.)<span> </span>But if you&rsquo;re headed somewhere special and can&rsquo;t decide on an online booking provider, this may be the way to go.<span> </span>Getting rained out is no fun, but even a week stuck in a hotel can be relaxing if it&rsquo;s free!</p> <p class="MsoNormal">For a complete list of destinations (which include Seattle, Key West, Toronto, and Philadelphia &ndash; plus too many to mention), <a href="http://www.priceline.com/promo/sunshine_guaranteed.asp">visit Priceline&rsquo;s guarantee page</a>.<span> (And try not to be too disturbed by Shatner's karate chop.) </span></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fif-its-not-sunny-in-philadelphia-its-free&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FIf%20Its%20Not%20Sunny%20In%20Philadelphia%2C%20Its%20Free!.jpg&amp;description=If%20Its%20Not%20Sunny%20In%20Philadelphia%2C%20Its%20Free!" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/If%20Its%20Not%20Sunny%20In%20Philadelphia%2C%20Its%20Free%21.jpg" alt="If It&rsquo;s Not Sunny In Philadelphia, It&rsquo;s Free!" 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/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/if-its-not-sunny-in-philadelphia-its-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/become-a-frequent-flyer-master-and-earn-a-free-flight-every-year">Become a Frequent Flyer Master and Earn a Free Flight Every Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-rules-of-budget-travel">The 7 Rules of Budget Travel</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/getting-around-the-guidebook-techniques-for-researching-your-trip-without-spending-a-fortune">Getting Around the Guidebook: Techniques for Researching your Trip Without Spending a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-websites-for-last-minute-airfare-deals">7 Best Websites for Last-Minute Airfare Deals</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-save-an-extra-109486-a-year">How to Save an Extra $1,094.86 a Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Travel Art and Leisure deals priceline refund summer vacation Sun, 13 Jul 2008 04:15:31 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2233 at http://www.wisebread.com