Budgeting https://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4804/all en-US How a Family of 4 Can Visit Hawaii for $1,000 or Less https://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-visit-hawaii-for-1000-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-a-family-of-4-can-visit-hawaii-for-1000-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hula_dancer_hawaii_155015142.jpg" alt="Taking a trip to Hawaii with the family" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hawaii is a bucket list destination for many families, and for good reason. The islands that make up Hawaii boast spectacular mountain landscapes, unbeatable beaches, tropical and lush greenery, and a culture all their own. Hawaii is also a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with world class surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, hiking, and golf readily available throughout the islands. And despite the devastation wreaked by Mt. Kilauea on the Big Island recently, you can still climb to the top of Mt. Haleakala in Maui, which is far from the danger of Kilauea. In fact, there are even many safe areas of the Big Island that also offer some great deals. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/yes-its-still-safe-to-visit-hawaii-during-the-volcanic-eruption?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Yes, It's Still Safe to Visit Hawaii During the Volcanic Eruption</a>)</p> <p>Even though Hawaii is a destination that boasts many repeat visitors, there are a few factors that tend to keep some families away &mdash; costs and travel time. While there's nothing you can do about the fact that you'll need to fly to the West Coast, and then take another five to six hour flight to Hawaii, you can take some steps to reduce or eliminate at least some of the costs associated with your trip. Here's how a family of four can get to Hawaii for $1,000 or less.</p> <h2>Flying to Hawaii with airline miles</h2> <p>Before you get into the nitty-gritty details of your trip, you need to spend some time figuring out which Hawaiian island(s) you want to visit. Your costs &mdash; in both cash and miles &mdash; can drop dramatically if you decide to visit only one island during your stay. However, you can also fly into one island, take a short flight to another island halfway through your trip, then fly home from your final island destination. How you choose to plan your itinerary is up to you. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/cut-these-9-expenses-in-one-year-to-get-a-10-day-hawaii-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Cut These 9 Expenses in One Year to Get a 10-Day Hawaii Vacation</a>)</p> <p>There are numerous ways to get to Hawaii with airline miles, but here are a few of the most popular options:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Korean Air: 25,000 to 30,000 miles round-trip in economy, depending on the partner you fly with &mdash; Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, or Alaska Airlines.</p> </li> <li> <p>Air France/Flying Blue: 30,000 miles round-trip in economy</p> </li> <li> <p>American AAdvantage: 40,000 miles round-trip in economy</p> </li> </ul> <p>There are other airlines that let you fly to Hawaii with rewards, including Singapore Airlines and British Airways. <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/why-southwest-airlines-is-the-best-domestic-airline-for-families?ref=internal" target="_blank">Southwest Airlines</a> has also announced its intention to offer flights from some California cities to Honolulu (Oahu), Kahului, (Maui), Kona (Big Island), and Lihue (Kauai) in the near future. They're planning on offering inter-island service, too, so keep an eye out for those program details.</p> <p>Considering the options available today, any family would be smart to focus on earning rewards with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">flexible travel credit card</a>. Some cards allow you to use points to book travel through any website and get a statement credit to pay for it, while others offer big discounts and rewards for booking through their travel portal. Many of these cards also offer point transfers to their airline and hotel partners so you can pool your loyalty points together. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program &mdash; No Matter What Airline You Fly</a>)</p> <p>If a family could rack up 100,000 rewards points in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">sign-up bonuses</a> and some additional points through regular spend, they could book four round-trip flights to Hawaii with one of these airlines. The best part about flying to Hawaii with miles is that, because it's a domestic destination, you won't see the big fuel surcharges often levied on international. Instead, you'll pay the government-mandated taxes and fees levied on domestic flights, which works out to $5.60 per person, per leg.</p> <h2>Paying for lodging in Hawaii</h2> <p>If you rack up enough airline miles and pay the taxes and fees for each leg, a family of four visiting a single island could wind up spending less than $50 on flights.</p> <p>But what about hotels?</p> <p>The good news about lodging in Hawaii is that while it's an expensive destination to visit, there are plenty of hotels and resorts you can book with hotel points.</p> <p>The Hilton Honors program is an especially good option for Hawaii since there are so many properties to choose from. Not all of them are overly expensive in points, either. Some of the most popular and affordable hotels to book in Hawaii are:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Alana, Waikiki Beach with as few as 47,000 points per night.</p> </li> <li> <p>Hilton Garden Inn Waikiki Beach with as few as 50,000 points per night.</p> </li> <li> <p>Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort with as few as 60,000 points per night.</p> </li> <li> <p>Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay with as few as 45,000 points per night.</p> </li> <li> <p>Hilton Waikoloa Village with as few as 60,000 points per night.</p> </li> <li> <p>Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria resort with as few as 95,000 points per night.</p> </li> </ul> <p>If a family was able to rack up 200,000+ Hilton Honors points by signing up for <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/more-rewarding-hotel-stays-hilton-hhonors-card-from-american-express?ref=internal" target="_blank">co-branded Hilton credit cards</a>, they could potentially book five nights for free at some of these properties. That's because Hilton Silver, Gold, and Diamond members can score a free fifth night when they book four consecutive nights with rewards points.</p> <p>In addition to the Hilton Honors programs, some of the other big hotel brands boast hotels you can book in Hawaii with points. Here are some of the most notable options:</p> <p><strong>World of Hyatt:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach: 12,000 points per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa: 25,000 points per night</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>IHG Rewards:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Holiday Inn Express Waikiki: 35,000 points per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Holiday Inn Express and Suites Kailua-Kona: 40,000 points per night</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Marriott Rewards:</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Mauna Kea Beach Hotel: 45,000 points per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa: 40,000 points per night</p> </li> </ul> <p>(See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-amazing-hawaiian-resorts-you-can-book-with-rewards-points?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Amazing Hawaiian Resorts You Can Book With Rewards Points</a>)</p> <p>Also keep in mind that you don't <em>have </em>to use rewards to book a stay at a fancy resort. There are notable downsides for doing so, including the fact that resorts tend to charge sky-high prices on everything from souvenirs to food and drink. As a guest of a resort or name-brand hotel, you may be forced to spend more on basics since you're a captive audience.</p> <p>If you're worried about overspending on food and extras at a resort, you should consider booking a rental condo for all or part of your trip. With this strategy, you could potentially have a little more space &mdash; and even a separate bedroom for the kids. You could also book a condo with a kitchen, then plan out some meals to make at home to save even more. At the very least, it's fairly easy to buy ingredients for morning coffee and breakfast so you can avoid one meal out each day.</p> <p>To get your condo covered with rewards, you'll want to sign up for a flexible travel credit card or <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash-back credit card</a>. Both of these options will let you use points to book a condo or hotel with a kitchenette using rewards, letting you save even more. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-with-easy-travel-redemption?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards with Easy Travel Redemption</a>)</p> <p>If you could pay less than $50 for your flights, cover lodging with hotel points and flexible travel credit, and keep your food and adventure spending in check, you could easily take part in a Hawaiian vacation for $1,000 &mdash; or even less depending on how much you spend on food and fun. If you're aching to visit Hawaii's famous beaches, hike up a volcano, or enjoy a luau with the family, the best time to start planning is now.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-visit-hawaii-for-1000-or-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-see-italy-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can See Italy for $1,000 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-breathtaking-and-affordable-alaskan-destinations">6 Breathtaking and Affordable Alaskan Destinations</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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-affordable-kid-free-vacation-ideas">6 Affordable Kid-Free Vacation Ideas</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="https://www.wisebread.com/5-overwater-bungalows-you-can-book-with-rewards-points">5 Overwater Bungalows You Can Book With Rewards Points</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel family travel frequent flyer miles hawaii miles and points rewards cards travel rewards travel tips vacation ideas Mon, 17 Sep 2018 08:00:11 +0000 Holly Johnson 2175740 at https://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Automate Credit Card Payments and Rewards https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-automate-credit-card-payments-and-rewards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-automate-credit-card-payments-and-rewards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_sitting_in_office_and_pays_by_credit_card.jpg" alt="Man sitting in office and pays by credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Credit card rewards can seem overly cumbersome and complex, so much so that many consumers don't even bother trying to earn them. It takes a lot of work to figure out which rewards or <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cashback credit card</a> would meet your needs in the first place, and even then, you still have to figure out how to use your rewards. If you try to juggle too many cards or loyalty programs at once, you can easily find yourself overwhelmed &mdash; or worse &mdash; letting your points go to waste.</p> <p>If your goal is maximizing <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card rewards</a>, but you don't really want to put in the leg work, there are several ways to make the process much more organized. Here are six ways to automate your credit card rewards and monthly payments.</p> <h2>1. Use AwardWallet to track your points and miles</h2> <p>The AwardWallet app is an online tracking service that helps you manage your airline miles, hotel points, and flexible travel points. You can join the service for free and all you have to do is add your current award accounts to get started. From there, AwardWallet will track and monitor your rewards programs and itineraries. This includes notifying you if your points are about to expire or if your point balances have changed for any reason.</p> <p>The AwardWallet app claims to be tracking over 1.3 billion points and miles across over 670 loyalty programs.</p> <h2>2. Check out Points.com</h2> <p>Points.com works similarly to AwardWallet in that it promises to track your points and miles from various rewards programs for free. However, this service also lets you cash in your points and miles for gift cards for shopping or dining.</p> <p>Joining Points.com is free, and it can simplify your life by letting you watch all of your loyalty accounts in one place. Once you sign up, you'll have one password and login for your programs, which is much simpler than keeping track of multiple logins and having to log in and out each time you want to see an account balance.</p> <h2>3. Use Reward Summit to maximize your miles</h2> <p>Reward Summit is another tool that tracks your points and miles. But this service focuses on the front-end of your transactions instead of helping you track rewards after you've earned them.</p> <p>Here's how it works: Sign up for Reward Summit and connect your credit cards to your account. From there, the Reward Summit app will help you choose the right card for each purchase you make based on which one offers the most rewards. You can also use the app to search for nearby merchants who may dole out category bonuses you aren't sure how to maximize. Finally, you'll receive detailed reports that show how you're maximizing your rewards credit cards compared to other Reward Summit users.</p> <p>If you're someone who gets tired of figuring out which of your cards would be best for individual purchases, this app is for you. Best of all, it's free to sign up and seamless to use.</p> <h2>4. Set up automatic credit card payments</h2> <p>Maybe you're not overly worried about losing track of your points and miles, but you are worried about getting into credit card debt. In that case, it makes a lot of sense to automate your credit card payments to ensure you are never late and never wind up carrying a balance.</p> <p>Fortunately, most banks will let you <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-never-make-a-late-credit-card-payment?ref=internal" target="_blank">set up automatic payments</a> on or before your due date. While this strategy can take some getting use to, automating your credit card payments can help you avoid debt no matter what.</p> <h2>5. Use rewards cards only for recurring expenses</h2> <p>Another strategy to consider if you're leery of overspending is using rewards cards only for recurring expenses you can automate on both ends. This means you would set certain bills to be paid automatically &mdash; like utilities, cable bills, phone bills, and insurance. On the other end of the spectrum, you would set up automatic payments with your bank so these bills would be paid automatically by their due date.</p> <p>The benefit of this strategy is threefold; not only are you paying bills with credit you were going to pay anyway, but you're having your bill paid automatically <em>and</em> earning rewards in the process. This strategy is easy to set and forget, and it will help you avoid overspending on regular purchases.</p> <h2>6. Treat your credit card like a debit card</h2> <p>Another way to automate your credit card purchases and payments while avoiding debt is to sign up for a service called Debitize. This service offers &quot;credit card perks without credit card debt,&quot; and actually pays your credit card bills for you straight out of your checking account.</p> <p>The best part about the service is that it's free. After opening an account, all you have to do is link your credit card accounts with your checking account. From there, you'll use your credit cards as usual and let Debitize make regular withdrawals to cover your charges over time.</p> <p>The fact this is all automated means you get to earn rewards and take advantage of credit card perks like guaranteed returns, extended warranties, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, and <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-times-travel-insurance-is-worth-it?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel accident insurance</a> without worrying about credit card bills. Since the amount you spend will be withdrawn from your checking account regularly, you'll feel like you're using debit.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-automate-credit-card-payments-and-rewards">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="https://www.wisebread.com/why-the-best-credit-card-rewards-strategy-is-a-slow-one">Why the Best Credit Card Rewards Strategy Is a Slow One</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="https://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">The Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/this-is-when-it-pays-to-stay-loyal-to-a-rewards-credit-card">This Is When It Pays to Stay Loyal to a Rewards Credit Card</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="https://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Credit Cards automate payments credit card payments credit card rewards online bill pay points and miles rewards credit cards Wed, 12 Sep 2018 08:00:10 +0000 Holly Johnson 2173955 at https://www.wisebread.com This Is When It Pays to Stay Loyal to a Rewards Credit Card https://www.wisebread.com/this-is-when-it-pays-to-stay-loyal-to-a-rewards-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-when-it-pays-to-stay-loyal-to-a-rewards-credit-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/smiling_woman_holding_tablet_and_showing_her_credit_card.jpg" alt="Smiling woman holding tablet and showing her credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The best travel and rewards credit cards offer a tantalizing game of risk. If you can charge your purchases and rack up rewards without carrying a balance or paying interest, you usually win. If you overspend with credit and wind up in debt, on the other hand, you lose the game &mdash; and will pay through the nose.</p> <p>Still, there are more facets to this game that extend far beyond the risk of debt. If you choose your rewards and travel cards wisely and use them strategically, you can earn <em>a lot</em> more <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/a-beginners-guide-to-miles-and-points?ref=internal" target="_blank">points and miles</a> over time. Staying loyal to a brand can also help you make the most of your efforts, but only in certain situations.</p> <p>This is why it's important to know when loyalty pays off. Here are some scenarios where sticking to one rewards credit card or one loyalty program can work in your favor.</p> <h2>When you can reach your redemption goals faster</h2> <p>Staying loyal to a rewards brand can pay off by helping you reach optimal redemptions faster. For example, let's say you mostly stick with flexible rewards programs that let you transfer points to your favorite airline loyalty program. If you were to focus all your spending with one brand of cards that lets you transfer miles, your collective efforts with a single card brand would let you rack up points you can transfer a lot faster than attempting the same thing with several cards from different brands.</p> <p>Or perhaps you're loyal to a single airline or hotel loyalty program. So, imagine you want to fly first class with a particular airline to Europe for 115,000 miles round-trip. It might be difficult to secure this redemption if you were earning miles and sign-up bonuses with several airlines within a year. However, it would be a much easier task to earn the miles for this flight if you specifically used that airline's co-branded credit card, cashed in any sign-up bonuses, and flew mostly with that airline for a while.</p> <h2>When you can earn free hotel stays</h2> <p>There are also situations in which pooling your points can help you earn better redemptions. One example is with hotel loyalty programs that let you earn a fifth night stay for free. With fifth-night-free promotions, keeping all your hotel in points with one brand makes a lot of sense since you get to book five nights for the price of four. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-your-life-is-better-when-you-have-good-credit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>However, this only works when you have enough points to book four consecutive nights, which may not happen if you're enrolled in several hotel programs at once.</p> <h2>When you can earn category bonus points</h2> <p>If your goal is earning a ton of points and miles, you need to make sure you're maximizing the <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel cards</a> you have. By and large, this means using the right card for the right purchase and making the most of category bonuses when you can (e.g. using a card that offers bonus points on dining when you eat at a restaurant).</p> <p>Take the guesswork out of that by downloading an app like Reward Summit. This service will take a look at your rewards cards before you make a purchase and tells you which card would be optimal based on the rewards you will earn.</p> <h2>When you strategically pursue sign-up bonuses</h2> <p>While ongoing rewards can be lucrative, <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-sign-up-bonuses-for-hotel-stays?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card sign-up bonuses</a> are where the real value is at. Many cards let you earn bonuses worth $500 or more just for spending $3,000 or $4,000 on your card within a few months.</p> <p>To get the most out of these offers, expect to sign up for a new rewards card with your preferred card issuer or rewards program every year. This way, you're always working toward a minimum spending requirement and a big chunk of cashback, <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">airline miles</a>, or flexible travel rewards.</p> <h2>When you get your spouse or partner on board</h2> <p>Remember that you don't have to chase sign-up bonuses or ongoing rewards alone. Your spouse or partner can earn the same rewards you are, including sign-up bonuses &mdash; and this is true even if you share the same address.</p> <p>When you get your spouse involved, you can easily earn double the rewards in the same amount of time. You could even do better if you're able to pool your points with a spouse for optimal redemptions. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-ways-marriage-can-make-you-richer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Surprising Ways Marriage Can Make You Richer</a>)</p> <h2>When you pay all your expenses with credit</h2> <p>Don't forget the importance of paying all or most of your bills with credit &mdash; at least the ones that don't charge a fee for paying with plastic. This should include bills like groceries, gas, insurance premiums, utility bills, and dining out. The more expenses you can pay with a rewards card, the more points and miles you will rack up by default.</p> <h2>When you pay your balances in full</h2> <p>It's important to remember the ultimate credit card hack: Paying your balances in full every month. None of these tips and tricks will work in your favor if you're carrying a balance and paying credit card interest every month. With the average credit card now charging over 17% APR, that interest will wipe out your rewards and then some. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-your-life-is-better-when-you-have-good-credit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways Your Life Is Better When You Have Good Credit</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/this-is-when-it-pays-to-stay-loyal-to-a-rewards-credit-card">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="https://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for 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="https://www.wisebread.com/5-overwater-bungalows-you-can-book-with-rewards-points">5 Overwater Bungalows You Can Book With Rewards Points</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-your-credit-card-can-help-you-manage-your-finances">5 Ways Your Credit Card Can Help You Manage Your Finances</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="https://www.wisebread.com/why-it-pays-to-wait-before-applying-for-a-new-rewards-card">Why It Pays to Wait Before Applying for a New Rewards Card</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-calculate-the-value-of-your-credit-card-rewards">How to Calculate the Value of Your Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Credit Cards cash back credit card tips rewards card rewards credit card rewards points travel rewards Tue, 11 Sep 2018 08:00:11 +0000 Holly Johnson 2173954 at https://www.wisebread.com 6 Relaxing, Affordable Hot Springs You Can Visit This Fall https://www.wisebread.com/6-relaxing-affordable-hot-springs-you-can-visit-this-fall <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-relaxing-affordable-hot-springs-you-can-visit-this-fall" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_relaxing_in_hot_springs.jpg" alt="Young woman relaxing in hot springs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Fall is the perfect time to visit a relaxing hot spring. The heat of the summer is over and the hot water feels great against the chilly air. But even though it's cold, it's not so cold that you'll get frostbite after you leave the pool, like during the winter.</p> <p>Hot springs can run the gamut from hoity-toity, historical playgrounds of the rich and famous to undeveloped natural upwellings in the middle of nowhere with a trail to lead you there.</p> <p>These six hot springs fall right in the middle &mdash; not super spendy, but they also offer more amenities for maximum relaxation. For a true frugal hot springs visit, pack your own meals and drinks for a poolside picnic and check out these six beautiful locations. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-affordable-autumn-destinations-for-nature-lovers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Affordable Autumn Destinations for Nature Lovers</a>)</p> <h2>1. Thermopolis Hot Springs in Thermopolis, Wyoming</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/hot_springs_in_thermopolis.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>At first glance, Thermopolis Hot Springs looks like something otherworldly. The pools are fed by a spring that drips over a gigantic, cascading wall of mineral buildup (known as the Rainbow Terraces) that resembles a scene from prehistoric times.</p> <p>The entire hot springs is contained within Hot Springs State Park, which charges a reasonable $6 entrance fee ($4 if you're a Wyoming resident). Once in, you can visit the historic State Bath House and the pools for free. There's even a herd of wild bison that live in the park, which the staff feed daily at 8:30 a.m. during the late fall and winter (a great time to see them).</p> <p>There are several affordable lodging options nearby. You can find rooms right in town for under $100, as well as a plethora of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/a-first-timers-guide-to-using-airbnb?ref=internal" target="_blank">Airbnb private cabins</a>, homes, and campsites nearby also for under $100 per night. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</a>)</p> <h2>2. Riverbend Hot Springs in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico</h2> <p>New Mexico can get scorching hot in the summer. But come fall, you can enjoy a gorgeous vista of the red rock mountains right from a pool at Riverbend Hot Springs, located smack dab on the banks of the Rio Grande.</p> <p>These hot springs are perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway, as the Riverbend Hot Springs Resort has a strict &quot;whisper-only&quot; policy around the pools, and small children are only allowed in certain areas. You can even reserve private pools that are clothing-optional starting from $30 per hour, if that's how you roll. Otherwise, you can get a one-hour pass to the common pools for $12 per hour.</p> <p>Riverbend Hot Springs itself offers lodging starting from $94 per night for an &quot;artist room,&quot; or $146 per night for a &quot;budget double.&quot; If you book a room at the resort directly, you'll also get a free pass to use the common hot spring pools, or you can book a private pool at a 33 percent discount.</p> <h2>3. Kirkham Hot Springs in Lowman, Idaho</h2> <p>Kirkham Hot Spring is a bit of a local secret, and a destination ripe for adventurers. It's less developed than many other hot springs &mdash; it's literally just a cascading, hot pool in the forest &mdash; but it is located within a campground inside of Boise National Forest. The campground offers vault toilets, drinking water, trash cans, and picnic tables. There is a short trail to get to the hot springs that can be steep and slippery for some folks, so bring your hiking shoes.</p> <p>The best way to experience this rustic hot springs is by making a <a href="https://www.recreation.gov/camping/kirkham/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&amp;parkId=70634" target="_blank">camping reservation online</a> so that you don't even have to travel far to get back to your cozy tent. Rates start at $15 per night, and there is a $5 day-use fee if you don't plan on camping here and instead park at one of the picnic sites. One final heads-up: Because it's a less-developed hot spring, the campground (and therefore the hot spring) closes each October 31 and reopens the next year on April 1.</p> <h2>4. Breitenbush Hot Springs in Detroit, Oregon</h2> <p>Be prepared for a tranquil, yet hippie-like retreat at this hot spring. It's owned and run by a member co-op, all of whom live on-site. Since this is a remote lodge, there are few other alternative lodgings nearby. However, lodging at the resort is relatively affordable, ranging from $72-$165 per person, although you will need to bring your own bed linens (heads-up: you may be asked to bunk with a roomie if you show up solo). Lodging does include meals, however the options will be vegetarian and organic.</p> <p>If you'd rather just visit the hot springs and not stay on-site, there's a $22-$38 per-day fee, and you'll need to make reservations in advance. This may also be another spot to leave the kids at home for. While kids are allowed on-site and in the pools, the hot springs themselves are all entirely clothing-optional. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-and-unforgettable-experiences-to-have-in-national-parks-this-summer?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Affordable and Unforgettable Experiences to Have in National Parks</a>)</p> <h2>5. Quapaw Bath and Spa in Hot Springs, Arkansas</h2> <p>The Quapaw Hot Springs is located right within the thriving town of Hot Springs, Arkansas. There are many options for lodging, including over 30 local Airbnbs for under $75 per night or three-star hotel rooms starting at $129 per night.</p> <p>More of a &quot;spa&quot; than a &quot;hot spring,&quot; this one is a perfect choice if roughing it on algae- and mud-covered rocks isn't your style. It's owned and operated by a resort that has channeled the hot springs into a series of indoor pools. Spa services cost extra, but if all you want is a simple soak, it'll cost just $20 per person.</p> <h2>6. Strawberry Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs, Colorado</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/strawberry_park_hot_springs.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>It's hard to complete any hot springs list without including one from Colorado. After all, the state boasts around 30 hot springs. Strawberry Hot Springs is one of the best, however, because it offers an affordable, rustic-yet-not-<em>too</em>-rustic experience.</p> <p>A day pass for the hot springs costs $15, and includes access to the pools, restrooms, picnic areas, and heated changing areas. Although there are plenty of lodging options available in nearby Steamboat Springs, you can stay on-site in a whimsical covered wagon for just $70 per night, or a rustic cabin for $85 per night.</p> <p>Although two-wheel-drive cars are fine during the summer months, it's better to plan on using a four-wheel-drive vehicle to get up the road in the fall and winter, just in case there's snow or ice on the road. If you don't have access to such a vehicle, no worries &mdash; two different shuttle services will drive you up for $45 per person.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-relaxing-affordable-hot-springs-you-can-visit-this-fall&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Relaxing%252C%2520Affordable%2520Hot%2520Springs%2520You%2520Can%2520Visit%2520This%2520Fall.jpg&amp;description=6%20Relaxing%2C%20Affordable%20Hot%20Springs%20You%20Can%20Visit%20This%20Fall"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Relaxing%2C%20Affordable%20Hot%20Springs%20You%20Can%20Visit%20This%20Fall.jpg" alt="6 Relaxing, Affordable Hot Springs You Can Visit This Fall" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/lindsay-vansomeren">Lindsay VanSomeren</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-relaxing-affordable-hot-springs-you-can-visit-this-fall">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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-across-the-us-on-a-budget">How to Travel Across the U.S. on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/47-free-things-to-do-across-the-us">47 Free Things to Do Across the U.S.</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="https://www.wisebread.com/watch-out-for-these-hidden-costs-of-free-travel">Watch Out for These Hidden Costs of Free Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-7-day-cross-country-road-trip-for-350-or-less">How to Take a 7-Day Cross Country Road Trip for $350 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-websites-to-book-cheaper-travel-packages">5 Websites to Book Cheaper Travel Packages</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel destinations hot springs self care spa day travel budget travel ideas travel tips Fri, 31 Aug 2018 08:00:11 +0000 Lindsay VanSomeren 2170603 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Travel Across the U.S. on a Budget https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-across-the-us-on-a-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-travel-across-the-us-on-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_having_coffee_during_road_trip.jpg" alt="Woman having coffee during road trip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>From the beauty of the hundreds of national parks, to the world famous landmarks dotted across the country, America is truly a traveler's paradise. It's possible to have virtually any kind of experience you're after in the U.S., but many people believe it to be more costly than heading abroad on a vacation.</p> <p>Sure, it's possible to spend a fortune on a five-star hotel and business class flights, but there are also plenty of affordable ways to explore this breathtaking country.&nbsp; (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-european-cities-you-can-visit-for-50-a-day?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 European Cities You Can Visit for $50 a Day</a>)</p> <h2>Opt for low-cost accommodations</h2> <p>If you're not careful, accommodations can unnecessarily eat up a huge chunk of your travel budget. It will likely end up being your largest expense (unless you choose free options), so it's vital to tackle this first to bring costs down.</p> <h3>Airbnb</h3> <p>Airbnb is particularly great as an <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel?ref=internal" target="_blank">alternative to hotels</a> in major cities &mdash; which tend to be far more expensive. The cheapest way to use Airbnb is to use the private room feature. This allows you to book a room in someone's house rather than having to shell out for an entire place of your own. You'll have the added benefit of being able to use the kitchen facilities, which can save you tons on food costs. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/a-first-timers-guide-to-using-airbnb?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A First-Timer's Guide to Using Airbnb</a>)</p> <h3>Couchsurfing</h3> <p>This is by far the cheapest option when it comes to <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-get-free-travel-accommodations?ref=internal" target="_blank">finding budget accommodations</a>, because it's absolutely free. It's best to try and plan couchsurfing far in advance, as it's unsurprisingly a popular service, and can get booked months ahead. Another thing to keep in mind is that it's mainly available in big cities, so you'll need to plan accordingly if you're heading to a more rural area.</p> <h3>Camping</h3> <p>Campsites can cost as little as $5, but if you want to save even more, there are plenty of options for dispersed camping (aka wild camping) that are absolutely free. Wild camping is widely available on Bureau of Land Management land and in National Forests. It could also open up a cheap way to visit National Parks, as much of this land lies directly beside National Park sites. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-free-campsites-in-the-us?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Find Free Campsites in the U.S.</a>)</p> <h2>Nosh on a budget</h2> <p>Food is reasonably cheap in the U.S., so keeping yourself fed and watered shouldn't cost an arm and a leg. However, there are ways to keep your food costs down.</p> <h3>Cook your own meals</h3> <p>Dining in fancy restaurants three times a day is clearly going to bust your budget, so it pays to pick and choose when you eat out. Buying your own groceries and cooking for yourself is by far the most effective way of saving money on food while traveling. This is another reason why hotels are a less cost-effective option than Airbnb, couchsurfing, or camping, as they generally do not provide a kitchen.</p> <h3>Find cheap restaurants</h3> <p>With a little bit of Googling, you can find fantastic cheap restaurants in virtually any part of the U.S. These can be fast food restaurants, diners, or chain restaurants that offer good value for their menu prices. You can also find special offers like weekly deals, <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/best-kids-eat-free-restaurants?ref=internal" target="_blank">kids-eat-free discounts</a>, or offers on the restaurant's app to cut down the total even more. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/20-fast-food-apps-that-help-you-score-free-food?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20 Fast Food Apps That Help You Score Free Food</a>)</p> <h2>Find free or affordable activities</h2> <p>There's so much to see and do across the 50 states that it would be a real shame to miss out because of a lack of funds. However, there are fun, free attractions throughout the country if you know where to look.</p> <h3>Google, Google, Google</h3> <p>Search for the location you're headed to with the key term, &quot;free things to do in&quot; and the results will most likely turn up numerous offers. Not everything will be your bag, but you'll certainly come across a few gems no matter where you are. From free museums and art galleries, to one-off events and festivals, you'll probably be surprised at what you can do without spending a dollar. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/47-free-things-to-do-across-the-us?ref=seealso" target="_blank">47 Free Things to Do Across the U.S.</a>)</p> <h3>Buy a National Parks pass</h3> <p>If you're a nature lover, your travels across the U.S. will likely include visiting a National Park or two. If the ones you plan to visit charge entrance fees totaling more than $80, then purchasing a <a href="https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm#CP_JUMP_5088574" target="_blank">National Parks pass</a> is going to save you money. Plus, it will give you entrance to every single park and, national forest, and Bureau of Land Management site for an entire year. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-national-park-visits-in-2018?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save on National Park Visits in 2018</a>)</p> <h3>Consider a city pass</h3> <p>Many of the larger cities within the U.S. offer a city pass that gives you access to discounts across the most popular attractions and sometimes even entitles you to free use of the public transportation systems. These can be a great way to save money on an action-packed couple of days and are well worth checking out before arriving at your destination. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-free-things-you-can-do-on-any-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Free Things You Can Do on Any Vacation</a>)</p> <h2>Keep transportation costs to a minimum</h2> <p>When you're traveling across America on the cheap, it's important to figure out the best method of transportation to take you to your desired locations.</p> <h3>Drive</h3> <p>There are numerous ways to get around, and much of it depends on your route, but generally driving works out to be the cheapest, especially compared to flights or trains. Before you leave, however, make sure you get the car inspected to ensure it won't break down in the middle of nowhere.</p> <p>You'll have to budget for gas, and these costs can add up quickly, especially in an area where gas prices are high. To cash in on this common budget buster, use a credit card that offers <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash-back or bonus points for gas</a>. That way, even if you do end up spending a lot on gas, you'll make some of it back via rewards. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-7-day-cross-country-road-trip-for-350-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Take a 7-Day Cross Country Road Trip for $350 or Less</a>)</p> <h3>Rent a car</h3> <p>Another option is to rent a car for your cross-country vacation. By renting, you can guarantee that the car is going to run well, and you can also choose a fuel-efficient model, reducing your gas costs. This option works well for shorter trips, and depending on the rental deal, it can be better than using your own car.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-travel-across-the-us-on-a-budget&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Travel%2520Across%2520the%2520U.S.%2520on%2520a%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Travel%20Across%20the%20U.S.%20on%20a%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Travel%20Across%20the%20U.S.%20on%20a%20Budget.jpg" alt="How to Travel Across the U.S. on a Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-across-the-us-on-a-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-websites-to-book-cheaper-travel-packages">5 Websites to Book Cheaper Travel Packages</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="https://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-7-day-cross-country-road-trip-for-350-or-less">How to Take a 7-Day Cross Country Road Trip for $350 or Less</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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-relaxing-affordable-hot-springs-you-can-visit-this-fall">6 Relaxing, Affordable Hot Springs You Can Visit This Fall</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="https://www.wisebread.com/47-free-things-to-do-across-the-us">47 Free Things to Do Across the U.S.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel AirBnb camping road trip saving money travel budget travel tips u.s. travel Thu, 30 Aug 2018 08:00:11 +0000 Nick Wharton 2170602 at https://www.wisebread.com 47 Free Things to Do Across the U.S. https://www.wisebread.com/47-free-things-to-do-across-the-us <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/47-free-things-to-do-across-the-us" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_in_new_york.jpg" alt="Couple in New York" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You might assume that heading to one of America's biggest cities for a vacation will cost you an arm and a leg, but you'd be wrong. There are plenty of ways to save money when seeing the country's biggest attractions. In fact, you can see most of them for $0. If you're looking for amazing things to do on a budget, check out this list of 47 free things to do across the U.S. of A.</p> <h2>1. Geek out at the New York Public Library in New York City</h2> <p>You don't have to be a bookworm to get a thrill out of visiting New York Public Library, although the hundreds of thousands of books will certainly excite you if you are. The building's classical interior is absolutely breathtaking, they run free tours, and you can also get a glimpse of the Rose Room, famous for <em>that </em>scene in the original <em>Ghostbusters</em> movie. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-free-things-you-can-do-on-any-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Free Things You Can Do on Any Vacation</a>)</p> <h2>2. Gaze upon the bright lights of Times Square in New York City</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/times_square_new_york_city.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>One of the most famous landmarks in New York, Times Square is probably best visited after dark to ensure you get the full effect of the giant neon billboards that surround it. This larger-than-life square has a great atmosphere, thanks to the thousands of people enjoying the sights. Take a camera and some snacks and soak up the electric ambience.</p> <h2>3. Visit the African Burial Ground Monument in New York City</h2> <p>The African Burial Ground Monument was created after the 1991 discovery of numerous caskets during the beginning stages of the construction of a federal building on the site. They contained the remains of over 400 African people, both free and enslaved, dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Learn the history at the fascinating and informative visitor center and memorial.</p> <h2>4. Chill out in Central Park in New York City</h2> <p>In the middle of Manhattan lies possibly the most famous park in the U.S., if not the world. This vast oasis allows you to forget that you're even in a city, let alone the largest metropolis in the country, and there are plenty of things to see and activities to get involved in. You can also take a self-guided tour with one of the free downloadable guides they provide that take you to the park's most famous spots.</p> <h2>5. Walk the High Line in New York City</h2> <p>Converted from a former rail line, New York's High Line is one of the coolest and attractive parks in the city. Running 1.45 miles from the north of Chelsea to the Meatpacking District, this beautiful elevated slice of nature is a wonder to behold. Colorful flowers and greenery are interspersed with works of art, not to mention the breathtaking views of the Big Apple's magnificent skyline.</p> <h2>6. Take the Staten Island Ferry in New York City</h2> <p>Shuttling between Lower Manhattan and Staten Island since 1817, this historical route is way more than just a neat boat trip. The Staten Island Ferry not only provides its passengers with unparalleled views of the Manhattan skyline, but the 25-minute journey also glides right below the Statue of Liberty. It's also absolutely free.</p> <h2>7. Visit the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.</h2> <p>Showcasing the history of flight through various objects ranging from historic aircraft and spacecrafts, to uniforms and objects gathered from space, this museum is a riveting day out. Take a flight in a realistic simulator, learn the science behind space exploration, and watch various demonstrations put on by the staff throughout the day. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-museums-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Visit Museums for Free</a>)</p> <h2>8. Marvel at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/lincoln_memorial.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Pay your respects to one of the most important figures in U.S. history with a visit to the grand Lincoln Memorial. Located in the National Mall, there are also plenty of other points of interest to discover nearby. Rangers are on hand between 9:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. to answer any questions, and you can also join one of the hourly talks they run at no cost.</p> <h2>9. Tour the White House in Washington, D.C.</h2> <p>Home to the current President and at the center of political life in the U.S., the White House needs no explanation. But what you may not know is that you can do a self-guided tour of the famous landmark for free. It's not as simple as just showing up, and must be booked in advance, but it's certainly worth the effort to secure a slot.</p> <h2>10. Get star-struck on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles</h2> <p>Anyone who's anyone in the entertainment business has one of the legendary stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Take a stroll alongside Tinseltown's most distinguished names, from old favorites like Marilyn Monroe to modern megastars such as Dwayne &quot;The Rock&quot; Johnson.</p> <h2>11. Immerse yourself in modern art at The Broad in Los Angeles</h2> <p>At The Broad in downtown L.A., you'll find an incredible collection of modern art with familiar names ranging from Lichtenstein to Basquiat. Admission is free, but it's advised to book tickets online, especially during peak times. There's even a free app that includes digital tours for guests to access.</p> <h2>12. Gaze at the stars at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/the_griffith_observatory_and_los_angeles_city_skyline.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>This gorgeous building overlooks the Los Angeles Basin, providing amazing views across Hollywood and beyond. But that's nothing compared to the peek at the night sky you'll get inside via the telescopes. Entry to the grounds and building is free, as is a look through the telescopes, but individual exhibitions cost a few dollars each.</p> <h2>13. Check your reflection at Millennium Park in Chicago</h2> <p>Millennium Park is Chicago's best loved outdoor space, packed with a winning mix of glorious green gardens and stunning modern art. But it's probably most famous for the futuristic Cloud Gate sculpture, more commonly known as &quot;The Bean.&quot; The park has a full program of free events, so check the schedule ahead of time to see if there's anything else going on while you're there.</p> <h2>14. Take the Samuel Adams Brewery Tour in Boston</h2> <p>The Samuel Adams Brewery tour is completely free of charge (though suggested donations of $2 that go to local charities are welcomed). Find out the inner workings of one of America's best breweries and you can even taste three beers for free. Tours run every half-hour so show up and wait in line.</p> <h2>15. Walk the Freedom Trail in Boston</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/freedom_trail_marker_in_boston.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile, red brick path through the heart of Boston that can be completed over the course of a couple hours. Starting at the Boston Common, you'll take in many of the city's most important historical sites, from the site of the Boston Massacre, to the Old South Meeting House where the Boston Tea Party took place. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/4-affordable-autumn-destinations-for-nature-lovers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Affordable Autumn Destinations for Nature Lovers</a>)</p> <h2>16. Set sail on the Sam Houston Boat Tour in Houston</h2> <p>Take a 90-minute boat trip around Houston's working port, where you'll learn about the history of the area, and its current maritime industry. While the tour is free and passengers even get a complimentary drink, you must register for a spot online beforehand, as no walk-ons are permitted.</p> <h2>17. Watch the Waugh Bridge Bat Colony in Houston</h2> <p>Before Hurricane Harvey, Waugh Bridge had an estimated population of 300,000 Mexican freetail bats that called its underside home. Though many were unfortunately killed during the resulting floods, there's still a sizable number remaining. Each night, they emerge en mass just after sunset, filling the sky for a number of minutes as they take to the skies to feed, providing an awe-inspiring sight.</p> <h2>18. Check out the Constitution at Independence Hall in Philadelphia</h2> <p>Central to America's history, Independence Hall is the site where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were debated and signed. Steeped in history, a tour of this important site is free and makes for an interesting and educational adventure.</p> <h2>19. Run up the Rocky Steps in Philadelphia</h2> <p>For <em>Rocky</em> fans, this has become something of a pilgrimage. Recreate the famous scene by running up the stairs leading up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, then take your picture with the nearby Rocky statue.</p> <h2>20. Take the PING Factory Tour in Phoenix</h2> <p>Calling all golfers! The opportunity to tour the factory of one of the most prestigious and widely used club manufacturers in the world is surely too good an opportunity to pass up. Perhaps surprisingly for such a huge name, the factory has a real family feel to it, and the complex process will be fascinating even to a non-golfer. Booking must be done by phone in advance to ensure a place on the tour.</p> <h2>21. Visit Arizona Capitol Museum in Phoenix</h2> <p>Set across four floors, the Arizona Capitol Museum details the rich history of the state with numerous exhibition areas showcasing the political, cultural, and economical past. The building itself and surrounding memorial park are also beautiful and house numerous tributes to the emergency services.</p> <h2>22. Get involved in First Fridays in Phoenix</h2> <p>As the name suggests, the first Friday of every month is a huge event in Phoenix. The vast celebration sees thousands of visitors and residents alike taking to the streets to enjoy cultural happenings. First Fridays encompasses art exhibitions, live music, food and drink, and much more, and there's even free transportation to shuttle you around between events.</p> <h2>23. Explore The Alamo in San Antonio</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/hdr_of_the_alamo.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>With 300 years of turbulent and harrowing history held within its walls, The Alamo is a must visit in San Antonio. A former mission and site of the Battle of Alamo, it's free to enter, and although tours are not, there are plenty of information boards around the site detailing the riveting history.</p> <h2>24. Take the River Walk in San Antonio</h2> <p>San Antonio's urban River Walk winds its way through the heart of the city past its most important cultural attractions. You'll encounter historically important sites, like the five UNESCO designated missions, natural havens full of greenery and wildlife, and public art, as you meander along the banks of the gorgeous waterway. While you may not walk the entire 15 mile stretch in one go, any portion will provide you with several points of interest.</p> <h2>25. Enjoy the spectacle of The Saga in San Antonio</h2> <p>Witness 300 years of the history of San Antonio take place in front of your eyes in this breathtaking 24-minute video, projected onto the walls of San Fernando Cathedral. Set to an evocative soundtrack, the art installation turns the church into a kaleidoscope of thrilling activity. Projections are on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and start at 9 p.m., 9.30 p.m., and 10 p.m.</p> <h2>26. Hit the track at the Elite Athlete Training Center in Chula Vista</h2> <p>If you've ever wondered how track stars prepare for competition, then this is the place to come. The colossal 155-acre site in southern California has been the base for countless Olympians and renowned athletes, and is open for self-guided tours of the top facilities Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.</p> <h2>27. Visit Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle</h2> <p>Packed with both permanent and visiting art installations, this nine-acre outdoor sculpture park provides a peaceful and attractive break from the city with incredible views over the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. There are also free tours of the park at various times throughout the year, so check the calendar for further information.</p> <h2>28. Immerse yourself in A Sound Garden in Seattle</h2> <p>This gigantic musical art installation is played entirely by the wind, so the tones that emanate from it range from gentle utterances to guttural snarls depending on the weather. Located in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Western Service Center campus and overlooking Lake Washington, entry is free but you'll need photo ID to get past security.</p> <h2>29. Visit the Cities of the Dead in New Orleans</h2> <p>Because the city is located on swampland, the bodies of the city's deceased are required to be buried above ground. As a result, the cemeteries are full of elaborate tombs laid out in avenues that resemble streets, giving them the nickname &quot;Cities of the Dead.&quot; Cemetery No. 1 is the most celebrated of these, thanks to its most infamous inhabitant, voodoo queen Marie Laveau &mdash; who's rumored to still wield great power. However, access to her tomb is only available on a paid guided tour. The others however, are still currently free to enter. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-affordable-destinations-if-you-wanna-get-spooked-this-halloween?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Affordable Destinations If You Wanna Get Spooked This Halloween</a>)</p> <h2>30. See St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/saint_louis_cathedral_in_new_orleans.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Resembling a Disney castle from the outside, St. Louis Cathedral is as enthralling on the inside. Stained glass windows tell the story of Saint Louis, King of France, and ornate murals depict biblical figures on virtually every wall. At almost 300 years old, the history inside is palpable.</p> <h2>31. Bike the Dequindre Cut in Detroit</h2> <p>This two-mile long urban trail connects the Detroit riverfront to the Eastern Market area of the city and is a tranquil and colorful route loved by cyclists and walkers alike. It's flanked by numerous murals and works of art, with plenty of places to take a break and admire the surroundings. When you reach the river, you're rewarded with awesome views of downtown Detroit.</p> <h2>32. Expand your mind at the Saint Louis Science Center in St. Louis</h2> <p>This exciting homage to all things science is a wonder to behold for people of all ages. Jam-packed with interactive exhibits and installations, St. Louis Science Center in Missouri makes science both accessible and fun. While some areas and special exhibitions are ticketed, general admission is always free.</p> <h2>33. Visit the Cable Car Museum in San Francisco</h2> <p>The cable cars are a legendary part of the San Francisco landscape and one of the most distinctive characteristics of the city. Learn all about the history of how they came into existence, how they almost disappeared, and the ongoing efforts to preserve them.</p> <h2>34. Walk the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/golden_gate_bridge_in_twilight%2C_san_francisco.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>This is undoubtedly one of the most iconic bridges in the world, with its gigantic towers connected by swathes of cables providing an instantly recognizable silhouette. Walking its almost two-mile span will provide you with sweeping views out to the Pacific and across San Francisco Bay.</p> <h2>35. Ride the Metromover in Miami</h2> <p>This space-age looking method of public transportation has got to be the coolest way to get around Miami, and yet, surprisingly, it's completely free to use. More than just getting you from points A to B, the Metromover is an attraction in its own right and provides a fun way to see the city.</p> <h2>36. Enjoy the Bellagio Fountain Show in Las Vegas</h2> <p>The celebrated water and light fountain show at the Bellagio sums up Las Vegas in one water-soaked swoop. It's brash, glitzy, and eye-catching, with water jets being fired 460 feet into the air, choreographed to dance perfectly in time with a revolving soundtrack of classic tunes from musical greats. Watch in awe.</p> <h2>37. Marvel at the Mirage Volcano in Las Vegas</h2> <p>If you've ever wondered what it would be like to witness a volcanic eruption, then this is probably the only place in the world you can safely find out. Fireballs, explosions, and exciting entertainment are the order of the day at this red hot, thrice daily show.</p> <h2>38. Crane your neck at the Viva Vision light show in Las Vegas</h2> <p>Another free spectacle in Vegas is the Viva Vision light show, which uses the world's largest video screen to provide a magical overhead experience. Located in the ginormous Fremont Street Experience, combining restaurants, bars, and shopping, the Viva Vision light show is undoubtedly the star, and will have your jaw dropping in no time.</p> <h2>39. Check out the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta</h2> <p>As possibly the most recognizable leader of the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s importance in U.S. history is undeniable. Learn more about the man and his incredible achievements at this large historic site, encompassing several buildings, including his childhood home and the family church.</p> <h2>40. Appreciate the cuteness of Mill Ends Park in Portland</h2> <p>The world's smallest park definitely upholds Portland, Oregon's reputation for quirkiness. Not much larger than a car tire, it has one tree, a few flowers, and legend has it that it's also home to the world's only Leprechaun community west of Ireland. While the story surrounding it is make believe, the park is very much a real place and makes a fun stop on a visit to this city.</p> <h2>41. Take a trip to the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Tuskegee</h2> <p>This moving museum tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen at the time of World War II, who became the first African Americans to be enlisted as military airmen. Trailblazers in the fight for social equality, this site reveals what it was like and the struggles they faced along with the sacrifices they made.</p> <h2>42. Navigate the U.S. Naval Academy Museum in Annapolis</h2> <p>Discover the long and distinguished history of the U.S. Navy at this compelling museum. Set on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy, you can also tour the rest of the grounds and encounter current trainees.</p> <h2>43. Dig in at the Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum in Corbin</h2> <p>See where Colonel Sanders developed his legendary secret recipe for the classic American fried chicken brand KFC. The museum contains the old kitchen, one of the Colonel's famous white suits, and various other interesting artifacts that help tell the story of KFC.</p> <h2>44. Take a shot at the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History in Bardstown</h2> <p>A veritable gold mine of information and whiskey paraphernalia, this museum features everything from rare whiskeys, to old decanters. A great trip out for bourbon lovers everywhere.</p> <h2>45. Check out Tennessee Williams' Home and Welcome Center in Columbus</h2> <p>Enjoy a free tour around renowned playwright Tennessee Williams' first home. While it's not on its original site, it is the original building, as it was moved for preservation reasons from its first location before being restored to its full glory. You'll even get a free cup of coffee in the gift shop.</p> <h2>46. Marvel at the Museum of Alabama in Montgomery</h2> <p>Through more than 800 artifacts, dozens of video clips, and hundreds of documents and pictures, discover the history of the State of Alabama at this interactive museum. From Civil War times to present day, this is a comprehensive overview of how Alabama was shaped.</p> <h2>47. Pay your respects at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/tree_at_arlington_national_cemetery.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Visit the resting place of more than 400,000 former servicemen and women and pay your respects to military forces while soaking in the history preserved here. There's also an app that will help you locate a loved one's grave or any other point of interest throughout the site.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/47-free-things-to-do-across-the-us">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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-relaxing-affordable-hot-springs-you-can-visit-this-fall">6 Relaxing, Affordable Hot Springs You Can Visit This Fall</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-across-the-us-on-a-budget">How to Travel Across the U.S. on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-websites-to-book-cheaper-travel-packages">5 Websites to Book Cheaper Travel Packages</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="https://www.wisebread.com/8-free-things-you-can-do-on-any-vacation">8 Free Things You Can Do on Any Vacation</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="https://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids">7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel free activities free things to do things to do travel budget travel tips Tue, 21 Aug 2018 08:00:11 +0000 Nick Wharton 2168153 at https://www.wisebread.com How to Find Free Campsites in the U.S. https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-free-campsites-in-the-us <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-find-free-campsites-in-the-us" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/two_girls_and_a_dog_on_camping.jpg" alt="Two girls and a dog on camping" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Camping is generally considered one of the cheapest ways to vacation, but many private campsites these days charge pretty hefty fees. The price of setting up tent in an established campsite can add up quickly and turn a budget getaway into a bank breaker.</p> <p>Modern campsites can also feel a little too rigid &mdash; laid out like parking lots with minimal space between tents and crammed with <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-easiest-ways-to-save-on-your-next-rv-camping-trip?ref=internal" target="_blank">fancy RVs</a>. Having fantastic amenities like bathrooms, picnic areas, electricity hookups, and even Wi-Fi is great for some, but for other people it can almost negate the simple pleasures of escaping into the wilderness.</p> <p>If you're after a more rugged adventure, then rest assured, it's entirely possible to find sweet spots to lay your head at night with absolutely no costs attached. With a little bit of know-how and forward planning, you can bag yourself a wilderness paradise virtually anywhere in the U.S. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Ways to Enjoy Fall Camping</a>)</p> <h2>Seek out dispersed camping locations</h2> <p>Dispersed camping means wild camping, so you'll need to be willing to forgo all the amenities and facilities you'd find at a typical campsite. No bathrooms, no electricity, no running water, and no picnic tables. You will literally pick a spot in the great outdoors where you can pitch your tent without charge.</p> <p>Many dispersed camping sites are in extremely remote locations, so don't count on being able to a get phone signal or mobile internet access. Because of this, you should always plan ahead by downloading a map of the area, or even carrying a paper one.</p> <p>No matter where you camp, you should always follow the seven <a href="https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles" target="_blank">Leave No Trace</a> principles and adopt the <a href="https://www.treadlightly.org/recreation_tips/camping/" target="_blank">Tread Lightly policy</a>. Both of these help to ensure the land you use when camping remains undamaged. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-countries-where-you-dont-need-a-campsite-to-camp-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Countries Where You Don't Need a Campsite to Camp for Free</a>)</p> <h2>Check with the Bureau of Land Management</h2> <p>The vast majority of <a href="https://www.blm.gov/" target="_blank">Bureau of Land Management</a> land is located in the western part of the U.S., with just a few spots throughout the rest of the country. Though you'll find plenty of developed campgrounds on BLM land, you can also do dispersed camping in many undeveloped locations. Ordinarily you can camp in these areas for up to 14 days, although this does vary from site to site, and in some places you'll need to secure a permit beforehand.</p> <p>The easiest way to find a BLM campsite is to search for the state or location you're interested in on their Visit page. Once you find a suitable location, the information page will display camping details of the area. Some are more detailed than others, so if you have any remaining questions, you can call the number provided. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-essential-money-saving-items-to-take-on-a-camping-road-trip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Essential Money-Saving Items to Take On a Camping Road Trip</a>)</p> <h2>Camp in a National Forest</h2> <p>There are over 150 National Forests across the country, and are managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The U.S. Forest Service helps preserve and protect these stunning wooded areas and the wildlife that lives within them. You are generally permitted to camp on National Forest land as long as it doesn't specify that you shouldn't, and there is usually a 14-day limit.</p> <p>National Forest land is well marked on Google Maps, and the National Forest Service also has <a href="https://www.fs.fed.us/ivm/index.html" target="_blank">detailed interactive maps</a> so you can narrow down your search by area and view all of the campsites within. Dispersed camping on National Forest land can be a great way to make a visit to a National Park cheaper as well, because many National Forests border National Parks. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</a>)</p> <h2>Check out National Wilderness areas</h2> <p>National Wilderness areas are dedicated regions of pristine landscapes that have been undamaged by human developments. While they are managed by the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management, they are different in that they are not allowed to be developed in any way, to preserve the beauty and untouched nature of the wilderness areas.</p> <p>With over 750 designated National Wilderness areas covering over 109,000,000 acres of land, there are plenty of opportunities to camp. You can search on the <a href="https://www.wilderness.net/NWPS/find" target="_blank">Wilderness Connect</a> website by name, state, on a clickable map, or by attribute. For more detailed maps, you'll need to contact the agency that manages it directly, and any questions about camping regulations for these sites should be directed at them as well.</p> <h2>Other resources</h2> <p>The most comprehensive listing of free camping sites can be found on the website of the same name, <a href="https://freecampsites.net/" target="_blank">Free Campsites</a>. It has an easy-to-use interface that enables you to search by location, and focuses on public land like the areas listed above. It's user-generated data, so it's continuously growing as people discover more great camping spots. And if you find an awesome place to camp, you'll be able to add it to the database as well. You can also filter them according to amenities, the kind of access they have, and the activities you can do in or around them.</p> <p>Park rangers are also a great source of information on free camping sites, so if you're visiting a National Park and come across one, ask them to share a bit of insider knowledge. They are fellow lovers of the outdoors, and will be able to give you off-the-beaten-path destinations and hidden locations that may not be published anywhere else.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-find-free-campsites-in-the-us&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Find%2520Free%2520Campsites%2520in%2520the%2520U.S..jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Find%20Free%20Campsites%20in%20the%20U.S."></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Find%20Free%20Campsites%20in%20the%20U.S..jpg" alt="How to Find Free Campsites in the U.S." width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-free-campsites-in-the-us">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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-relaxing-affordable-hot-springs-you-can-visit-this-fall">6 Relaxing, Affordable Hot Springs You Can Visit This Fall</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-across-the-us-on-a-budget">How to Travel Across the U.S. on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/47-free-things-to-do-across-the-us">47 Free Things to Do Across the U.S.</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="https://www.wisebread.com/5-websites-to-book-cheaper-travel-packages">5 Websites to Book Cheaper Travel Packages</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="https://www.wisebread.com/8-most-affordable-beach-towns-in-mexico">8 Most Affordable Beach Towns in Mexico</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel budget travel camping tips dispersed camping free campsites travel tips wild camping Mon, 20 Aug 2018 08:00:10 +0000 Nick Wharton 2166982 at https://www.wisebread.com 5 Websites to Book Cheaper Travel Packages https://www.wisebread.com/5-websites-to-book-cheaper-travel-packages <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-websites-to-book-cheaper-travel-packages" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tourist_venice_italy_891461894.jpg" alt="Woman finding places to book cheaper travel packages" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you think all travel booking sites are the same, and they offer indistinguishable packages at identical prices &mdash; think again. While many of them appear similar and offer comparable deals, they each have subtle differences that provide benefits. Which one is right for you will largely depend on the type of travel you're trying to book and your flexibility.</p> <p>One of the best ways to save money, time, and hassle when booking a getaway is to opt for an all-inclusive bundle. These can include a combination of hotel, flights, and car rentals, and sometimes even attraction entrance passes. For this type of package, there are certain sites and stores that are guaranteed to present you with some great bargains. Here are five sites to <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package?ref=internal" target="_blank" rel="noopener">book cheaper travel packages</a>.</p> <h2>1. Costco</h2> <p>Costco isn't just a chain of warehouses where people load up on wholesale goods at bargain prices. They also have an in-house travel agency called <a href="https://www.costcotravel.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Costco Travel</a> that you can use to find deals on cruises, hotel stays, rental cars, and also full vacation packages. They use the buying power accrued from being one of the largest retailers in the world to negotiate big savings on vacations for their customers.</p> <p>As with their stores, you have to be a member to access Costco's travel deals. A standard yearly membership is $60. However, you're still able to search without being a member, so you can check out the deals before committing. An added benefit of Costco packages is that many come with complimentary amenities that can range from credit to be redeemed at the resort to multiday attraction passes, so you're getting even more bang for your buck.</p> <h2>2. Expedia</h2> <p>While you can book flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and activities individually on <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-12639039">Expedia</a>, you can really score good deals on this site with travel packages. They have a specific option to &quot;Bundle and Save&quot; that allows you to bundle bookings for any combination of flights, hotels, and car rentals. Not only does this save you the time and hassle of having to organize all of these elements separately, it also enables you to save money.</p> <p>The interface is really user-friendly, and rather than offering preset bundles, it allows you to build your own package with numerous options at each stage. They also have a selection of what they call &quot;Unreal Deals&quot; that are usually exceptional value packages where you might get the cost of your airfare covered completely from the savings. At each stage of the process, you can see exactly what the price is and the savings you're getting from bundling your package together. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds?ref=seealso" target="_blank" rel="noopener">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a>)</p> <h2>3. Travelocity</h2> <p>At first glance, you might think <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10395159">Travelocity</a> is remarkably similar to Expedia, with the search box on the front page looking almost identical. And you'd be absolutely right, as they're both owned by the Expedia Group; so the interface, look, and feel of the two sites is almost indistinguishable. However, they're actually run independently, which still allows and even encourages them to compete with each other.</p> <p>The upshot of this is that while the search functions, the focus on bundled packages, and even the deals may be very similar, the prices might not be. Each company has access to the same metadata as the basis of their deals, but they negotiate with the partners separately, so it pays to use Expedia and Travelocity in conjunction when searching to see which has the best price for the specific package you're looking for.</p> <h2>4. Priceline</h2> <p>The site used to be famous for the &quot;Name Your Own Price&quot; feature that allowed you to bid on flights, hotels, and car rental deals by entering what you wanted to pay in a process similar to an auction. This has now been phased out, but <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-10592070">Priceline</a> still offers great discounts to be found on hotel, flight, and car packages. Priceline's site says you can achieve savings of up to $625 when you bundle your hotel and flight together.</p> <p>They also have a feature called &quot;Express Deals&quot; that allows you to score great prices on hotel rooms, getting up to 60 percent off by purchasing them without knowing the name of the hotel. The reason for this is that hotels don't want to advertise the fact that they're making such big reductions. So while you can see general details on the hotel, like its star rating, general location, and amenities, you only find out its name when you actually book. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-save-money-on-hotels?ref=seealso" target="_blank" rel="noopener">10 Surprising Ways to Save Money on Hotels</a>)</p> <h2>5. CheapOair</h2> <p>Like the other sites on this list, <a href="https://www.cheapoair.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">CheapOair</a> allows you to build your own travel packages to include flights, hotels, and cars. They call their package deals &quot;Vacations&quot; and can secure you fantastic savings by booking elements together instead of individually. But what sets CheapOair apart from the other booking sites is that they place a large emphasis on group bookings, and catering to large groups.</p> <p>Most booking sites have a limit of around six adults, whereas CheapOair's limit stands at nine. If you're looking to book for even more people, you can get in touch with their dedicated team of travel agents who will assist you with building the package you require. You can do this by giving them a call directly. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-your-vacation-package-a-good-deal?ref=seealso" target="_blank" rel="noopener">How to Tell If Your Vacation Package Is a Good Deal</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-websites-to-book-cheaper-travel-packages&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Websites%2520to%2520Book%2520Cheaper%2520Travel%2520Packages.jpg&amp;description=5%20Websites%20to%20Book%20Cheaper%20Travel%20Packages"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <div align></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Websites%20to%20Book%20Cheaper%20Travel%20Packages.jpg" alt="5 Websites to Book Cheaper Travel Packages" width="250" height="374" />&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-websites-to-book-cheaper-travel-packages">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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-across-the-us-on-a-budget">How to Travel Across the U.S. on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-relaxing-affordable-hot-springs-you-can-visit-this-fall">6 Relaxing, Affordable Hot Springs You Can Visit This Fall</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="https://www.wisebread.com/47-free-things-to-do-across-the-us">47 Free Things to Do Across the U.S.</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-7-day-cross-country-road-trip-for-350-or-less">How to Take a 7-Day Cross Country Road Trip for $350 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel flights and hotels saving money travel booking travel budget travel package travel tips Wed, 15 Aug 2018 08:00:12 +0000 Nick Wharton 2166688 at https://www.wisebread.com How 2 People Can See Paris for $500 or Less https://www.wisebread.com/how-2-people-can-see-paris-for-500-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-2-people-can-see-paris-for-500-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/romantic_couple_enjoying_in_paris.jpg" alt="Romantic couple enjoying in Paris" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>France is one of the most visited countries on Earth, and its capital city of Paris remains one of its biggest draws. This thriving metropolis boasts everything you could want in a European getaway &mdash; historic landmarks, world famous art, amazing food, and Insta-worthy photo ops galore.</p> <p>You can visit historic Notre Dame cathedral, roam enchanting neighborhoods like Saint Germain and Le Marais, see Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa at the Louvre, and ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower in a single day. You can also nosh on exquisite French pastries, macaroons, cheeses, and wine. With so much to do &mdash; and so many goodies to consume &mdash; why <em>wouldn't</em> you want to visit Paris? (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-from-three-weeks-in-europe?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Money Lessons I Learned From Three Weeks in Europe</a>)</p> <h2>Planning a trip to Paris with rewards</h2> <p>For many people, the biggest deterrent is the cost of getting there. International flights aren't cheap, after all, and you still have to pay for a place to stay.</p> <p>That's why savvy travelers leverage <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel credit cards</a> and cash-back to cover the biggest components of their Parisian getaway. With the right combination of airline credit cards and hotel cards, it's not that difficult to plan a vacation to Paris for the same price &mdash; or less &mdash; as a trip closer to home.</p> <p>Before you rule out Paris for your next vacation, consider how you could use rewards to score a trip for two for $500 or less.</p> <h2>Getting to Paris with airline miles</h2> <p>Paris may be an eight-hour flight from many East Coast cities, but it's not that difficult to get there with airline miles. Because it's such a popular tourist destination, all the major airlines fly there and many offer multiple flights per day. As a result, you won't have to look too hard to find a frequent flyer program that can get you to Paris with ease. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-cheapest-way-to-fly-to-europe?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Cheapest Way to Fly to Europe</a>)</p> <p>One of the most popular airline programs for flights to Paris is the American AAdvantage program. With this frequent flyer program, you can fly off-peak to Europe (including Paris) for 22,500 miles per leg plus airline taxes and fees. That works out to 45,000 miles for a round-trip flight, which is a fairly easy sum of miles to earn with an airline credit card.</p> <p>Another popular program for travelers who live near a Delta hub is Air France/Flying Blue. This frequent flyer program lets you book flights to Europe with Delta, and you can frequently book flights for 25,000 to 29,000 miles one-way, or as little as 50,000 miles round-trip. Another airline program that's easy to earn miles with is United MileagePlus. You can book round-trip flights to Europe in economy for 60,000 miles round-trip. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</a>)</p> <p>In addition to miles, you'll need to pay airline taxes and fees for your trip. These generally work out to around $100&ndash;$150 per person for flights to Europe, but they can vary based on the airline you book with, along with any partner airlines you'll fly with.</p> <p>If you want to plan a trip for two to Paris, getting your flights squared away is one of the first steps you should take. Consider signing up for airline credit cards that let you rack up miles in a program that will let you fly to Paris from your home airport. With two spouses or partners each getting their own card, it's feasible to earn enough miles for two round-trip flights. Just remember that you'll be on the hook for government-mandated taxes and fees for those flights, and these fees will likely range from $200 to $300.</p> <h2>Covering Paris hotels with rewards</h2> <p>The next component of your trip you'll want to cover with rewards is your Parisian lodging. You have all kinds of options at your fingertips, but the best choice for you depends on the type of place you want to stay.</p> <p>If you prefer to stay in a higher-end hotel, the World of Hyatt program is a smart option for any stay in Paris. This hotel program will let you book the following hotels with points:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Hyatt Paris Madeleine: 25,000 points per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Hyatt Du Louvre: 20,000 points per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile: 15,000 points per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Park Hyatt Paris Vendome: 30,000 points per night</p> </li> </ul> <p>It's easy to rack up rewards in this program with their <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-sign-up-bonuses-for-hotel-stays?ref=internal" target="_blank">co-branded credit card</a>. However, you can also earn points with some credit cards for transfers to the World of Hyatt program.</p> <p>Another program that's easy to earn points with is <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/get-free-nights-with-ihg-rewards-club-select-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">IHG Rewards</a>. InterContinental Hotels Group properties you can book with points in Paris include:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Holiday Inn Paris Notre Dame: 40,000 points per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Crowne Plaza Paris Republique: 45,000 points per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Holiday Inn Paris Opera: 35,000 points per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Holiday Inn Paris Gare de Lyon Bastille: 40,000 points per night</p> </li> <li> <p>Holiday Inn Paris St. Germain des Pres: 40,000 points per night</p> </li> </ul> <p>Also consider the fact that hotel brands like Marriott, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Radisson Rewards offer properties in and around Paris and greater France. Make sure to compare <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel loyalty programs</a> to see which one might be best for you depending on where you want to stay before you sign up for a new credit card to earn points.</p> <p>In addition to large hotels, Paris is also packed with rental condos and Airbnbs you can book. If you would rather shack up in a cozy flat with more of a neighborhood feel, we recommend signing up for a credit card that lets you earn <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-with-easy-travel-redemption?ref=internal" target="_blank">flexible travel credit</a>. With a card that falls into this category, you can earn a big sign-up bonus plus ongoing rewards to pay for any type of hotel or condo you prefer.</p> <p>Ideally, you'll use hotel points, flexible travel credit, or a combination of the two to pay for all your hotels in Paris. By doing so, you can avoid the expense of lodging altogether and save your travel funds for the other components of your trip.</p> <h2>Covering excursions with rewards</h2> <p>When it comes to the other components of your trip, there are plenty of free things to do in Paris. You can go inside Notre Dame Cathedral, walk through courtyards and winding city streets, and peer at major historical sites such as the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde. However, there are some activities in Paris you'll need to pay to take part in. Fortunately, <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card rewards can also come in handy</a> when it comes to the getting the most out of your trip.</p> <p>With some credit card rewards programs, you can use points to book all kinds of activities and excursions through their travel portal. While the options are nearly unlimited, activities available to you include things like food tours, skip-the-line entry into the Louvre, Eiffel Tower entry, guided city tours, and Seine River cruises.</p> <p>If you can cover your flights with miles, pay less than $300 in airline taxes and fees, cover your lodging with hotel points, and limit spending on extras, you could easily book a trip to Paris for $500 or less <em>outside the cost of food. </em></p> <p>Since French cuisine is divine and you'll need a while to rack up the points for this trip, it's wise to start planning now. You definitely want to save up enough to have a few of those French meals that will make you understand why French cuisine is so famous.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-2-people-can-see-paris-for-500-or-less&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%25202%2520People%2520Can%2520See%2520Paris%2520for%2520%2524500%2520or%2520Less.jpg&amp;description=How%202%20People%20Can%20See%20Paris%20for%20%24500%20or%20Less"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%202%20People%20Can%20See%20Paris%20for%20%24500%20or%20Less.jpg" alt="How 2 People Can See Paris for $500 or Less" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-2-people-can-see-paris-for-500-or-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-relaxing-affordable-hot-springs-you-can-visit-this-fall">6 Relaxing, Affordable Hot Springs You Can Visit This Fall</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-across-the-us-on-a-budget">How to Travel Across the U.S. on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/47-free-things-to-do-across-the-us">47 Free Things to Do Across the U.S.</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="https://www.wisebread.com/5-websites-to-book-cheaper-travel-packages">5 Websites to Book Cheaper Travel Packages</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-7-day-cross-country-road-trip-for-350-or-less">How to Take a 7-Day Cross Country Road Trip for $350 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel credit card rewards Paris travel budget travel miles travel tips Wed, 18 Jul 2018 08:00:10 +0000 Holly Johnson 2156256 at https://www.wisebread.com How a Family of 4 Can See Italy for $1,000 or Less https://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-see-italy-for-1000-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-a-family-of-4-can-see-italy-for-1000-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_and_kids_taking_selfie_in_pisa.jpg" alt="Mother and kids taking selfie in Pisa" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Italy is one of the most visited countries in the world, and for good reason. This boot-shaped nation boasts ancient ruins and historical landmarks, world class art, towering mountains, beaches, and wineries. You can see the famous works of Michelangelo one day, hike a cliff that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea the next, and tour the world-renowned Colosseum or Roman Forum shortly after. And all these wonders are only hours away at any given time.</p> <p>Plus, the sights and landscapes in Italy are only part of the allure. The food is also a huge draw. Tourists flock to Italy for the world's best pizza and pasta, amazingly fresh produce, and of course, award-winning wines.</p> <p>There are about a million reasons to visit Italy and only one to avoid it &mdash; the cost. As with many European countries, Italy can be expensive to visit.</p> <p>Fortunately, Italy is a country with modern transportation, inexpensive lodging options, and plenty of airports. You can fly into nearly any corner of the country, visit all the must-see destinations via high-speed train, and opt for an affordable bed-and-breakfast if you want.</p> <p>Food doesn't have to be expensive, either. You <em>can</em> dine at Michelin-star eateries overlooking famous piazzas, but you can also pick up a piece of pizza or a sandwich for a few euros. At the end of the day, you can spend as little or as much as you want on your Italian vacation; it all depends on your choices and where you choose to splurge.</p> <p>But what if you could cover the entire trip with travel rewards? For the average family of four, we think it's possible to get this trip for $1,000 or less. Here's how:</p> <h2>Cover your flights with airline miles</h2> <p>One of the most expensive components of any trip abroad is airfare, and there's not a lot you can do to bypass this expense other than rack up airline frequent flyer miles. The good news is, there are several ways to earn enough miles to get to Italy on miles alone &mdash; even if you're traveling with four people.</p> <p>One of the best programs for flights to Italy from the United States is Air France/Flying Blue, the loyalty program for Air France, KLM, and five smaller regional carriers. This is partially because Air France tends to have plenty of award availability for economy flights to Europe, but it's also because it's easy to rack up miles for this program. While Air France/Flying Blue doesn't have its own co-branded credit card, you can transfer points to this program from multiple other credit card rewards programs. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</a>)</p> <p>One-way economy flights to Europe are typically just 25,000 miles plus government-mandated taxes and fees of approximately $125 per person. For a family of four, that means you would need a minimum of 200,000 miles plus up to $500.</p> <p>While 200,000 miles sounds like a lot, this sum can be earned fairly quickly with some time and the right combination of rewards cards. If both spouses can sign up for several cards that offer 50,000 bonus points, for example, they could earn 200,000 flexible travel points or more in a matter of months.</p> <p>Plenty of other airlines fly to Italy, however. You could focus on racking up American AAdvantage miles with <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/which-american-airlines-us-airways-credit-card-should-you-get?ref=internal" target="_blank">co-branded credit cards</a>, for example. Since SAAver awards to Europe start at just 45,000 miles round-trip, this program offers solid value for families, provided they can find award availability. And while the Delta SkyMiles program no longer publishes an award chart, you can frequently find round-trip flights to Europe from the U.S. for as little as 60,000 miles round-trip. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-score-a-european-cruise-for-1000-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Score a European Cruise for $1,000 or Less</a>)</p> <h2>Get your hotels covered with flexible travel credit</h2> <p>Once your flights to Italy are covered for $500 out-of-pocket or less, you'll need to get your accommodations covered with rewards. This is where things get tricky when you're traveling as a family of four. While you might be inclined to pick up a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays?ref=internal" target="_blank">co-branded hotel credit card</a> to cover the expense, you may regret it if you do.</p> <p>In Italy, it is <em>extremely rare</em> to find a hotel with a loyalty program that offers rooms that sleep four. You can check across all the major hotel brands with co-branded credit cards &mdash; IHG Rewards, Marriott Rewards, Hyatt, and Starwood Preferred Guest &mdash; and the story is the same. Finding a room that sleeps two is a piece of cake if you have enough hotel points, but a room for four is a unicorn indeed.</p> <p>Your best bet in Italy is loading up on flexible travel credit cards and points in flexible programs. While these two types of rewards may sound similar, they are actually very different.</p> <p>Flexible travel credit is a travel benefit you can earn with fixed-value rewards cards. Travel credit cards that fall into this category typically offer an upfront sign-up bonus and up to two points for each dollar you spend. On the redemption side, you can cash in your points for statement credits against just about any type of travel at a rate of one cent per point. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-with-easy-travel-redemption?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards With Easy Travel Redemption</a>)</p> <p>Flexible travel credit is great if you have a larger family and need to book a place with more space. You can rack up points to redeem for an Airbnb with a few bedrooms, for example. Doing so can make your family travel experience a lot more comfortable than if you were stuffed in a single hotel room. Plus, having a kitchen can help you save money if you prepare some meals at &quot;home&quot; instead of dining out.</p> <p>The other kind of flexible travel programs we speak of include programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, and Citi ThankYou rewards. These programs let you rack up points that can be transferred to hotel and airline programs or used to book travel through their respective travel portals. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards That Transfer Points to Airlines and Hotels</a>)</p> <p>This strategy can be beneficial since these portals make all kinds of hotels available &mdash; not just hotels with the big brands. You can frequently find smaller bed-and-breakfasts or boutique hotels that sleep four in &quot;family rooms&quot; with these programs, and for fewer points than you might think.</p> <p>Recently, I booked a room for five at the Hotel Del Golfo in Naples, Italy for just 10,058 points per night. You do have to dig to find properties like this, but they absolutely exist.</p> <p>No matter which strategy you choose, it's possible to get all your hotels or rental condos in Italy covered with rewards. Just like with your flights, you'll need to sign up for a few different travel credit cards and plan it out as you go. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-vacation-in-greece-for-300-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Vacation in Greece for $300 or Less</a>)</p> <h2>Covering excursions with rewards</h2> <p>Getting your flights and lodging covered is great, but what about everything else? When you're so close to so many sites of historical significance and famous art, you absolutely have to go.</p> <p>Fortunately, you can also use rewards to cover day trips and excursions. One strategy to consider is using flexible travel credit to book your own excursions and tours through a website like Viator. This booking site connects you to options that span from day trips to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, to guided tours of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and food tours in Rome. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I've Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a>)</p> <p>You can also book many of the same excursions available through Viator through a popular credit card rewards portal, which can be a smart move.</p> <p>If you employ all of these strategies, you should have your flights, lodging, and excursions covered for $500 or less. This leaves you with $500 to spend on food and other attractions, which is a real possibility if you're willing to eat cheap.</p> <p>A fancy restaurant overlooking a famous square may tempt you, but your money will stretch further if you dine off the beaten path. And the best souvenir is one that's free &mdash; the memories you'll be left with for a lifetime.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-a-family-of-4-can-see-italy-for-1000-or-less&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520a%2520Family%2520of%25204%2520Can%2520See%2520Italy%2520for%2520%25241%252C000%2520or%2520Less.jpg&amp;description=How%20a%20Family%20of%204%20Can%20See%20Italy%20for%20%241%2C000%20or%20Less"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20a%20Family%20of%204%20Can%20See%20Italy%20for%20%241%2C000%20or%20Less.jpg" alt="How a Family of 4 Can See Italy for $1,000 or Less" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-see-italy-for-1000-or-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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="https://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids">7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-relaxing-affordable-hot-springs-you-can-visit-this-fall">6 Relaxing, Affordable Hot Springs You Can Visit This Fall</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-across-the-us-on-a-budget">How to Travel Across the U.S. on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/47-free-things-to-do-across-the-us">47 Free Things to Do Across the U.S.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel European travel family travel italian vacation Italy travel budget travel tips vacation ideas Mon, 09 Jul 2018 08:30:20 +0000 Holly Johnson 2155130 at https://www.wisebread.com 28 Ways to Never Pay Full Price for Anything https://www.wisebread.com/28-ways-to-never-pay-full-price-for-anything <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/28-ways-to-never-pay-full-price-for-anything" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_young_woman_with_shopping_bags.jpg" alt="Happy young woman with shopping bags" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, you don't want to pay full price for anything you buy? That's smart. And why should you? These days, you have so many ways to get around that pesky price on the tag, and with the latest apps and websites on your side, you can save big with very little effort. Here are 28 ways to get out of paying what's on the sticker. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-master-these-10-shopping-skills-before-you-hit-30?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Master These 10 Shopping Skills Before You Hit 30</a>)</p> <h2>1. Comparison shop</h2> <p>You might find the cost of the item you want varies significantly from store to store. Never buy anything without first doing a little research. Google will show you multiple prices from different stores, and an app like ShopSavvy makes it easy on the go.</p> <h2>2. Get price-drop refunds</h2> <p>Many credit cards now offer price protection. That means if the price you pay for something drops in the 90 days after you bought it, you can get the difference back. An app like Earny automates the whole process for you. Just wait and cash in. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <h2>3. Use cash-back credit cards</h2> <p>Many <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit cards offer cash-back</a> incentives. You'll find that 1-2 percent cash back is standard, although sometimes it's higher on items like gas and airfare. As long as you pay off the balance in full each month, you're instantly cashing in every time you swipe.</p> <h2>4. Subscribe to deal newsletters and apps</h2> <p>Sites and apps like DealNews and SlickDeals make it easy to find the items you want for less. Just do a search for what you need, and you'll be given a range of items that are currently on sale or clearance, and which retailers are offering the lowest price. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/these-apps-and-extensions-find-online-deals-for-you-automatically?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These Apps and Extensions Find Online Deals for You &mdash; Automatically</a>)</p> <h2>5. Clip coupons</h2> <p>With many coupons going digital, there's not a pressing need to actually 'clip' anything, but get into the habit of looking through coupon apps and circulars before you shop. You may find that you can use the coupons so effectively you're barely paying for anything in your shopping cart. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a>)</p> <h2>6. Abandon your online cart</h2> <p>Pick out everything you want, put it in your cart, and then skip the final process. Many sites will encourage you to come back and check out with a discount. Just check your email (you may even get an offer code as you attempt to leave the site). After all, offering you 10 percent off is better for them than you not spending any money at all.</p> <h2>7. Look for refurbished items</h2> <p>Most manufacturer refurbished items are as close to new as you can get without actually being brand-new, and they are significantly cheaper. They've also been rigorously tested. And if you see &quot;new (other)&quot; in the item's description, it's probably just missing a price tag or a small accessory, but the lower price is well worth it. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-secret-to-buying-electronics-for-cheap?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This Is the Secret to Buying Electronics for Cheap</a>)</p> <h2>8. Buy offseason</h2> <p>Shopping offseason can save you big bucks. Base all your shopping on the sales cycles of the stores you frequent. Plan ahead. Buy a winter coat when the warm weather hits. Buy swimsuits as the winter draws in. You'll pay way less for everything. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget</a>)</p> <h2>9. Shop warehouses and outlets</h2> <p>Warehouse clubs. Outlet and factory stores. These are places where the emphasis is on getting the most value for your money &mdash; not paying the full retail price. You'll be getting the same items, only in bulk or off season. It's great if you don't care about wearing the very latest fashions.</p> <h2>10. Shop in thrift stores</h2> <p>There's no shame in buying secondhand items or donated goods. Often, you can find items in excellent condition at 75 percent less than the retail price. In some cases, you can get clothing for just $1, including jackets and jeans &mdash; just wash and wear. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-money-lessons-i-learned-from-thrift-shopping?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Money Lessons I Learned From Thrift-Shopping</a>)</p> <h2>11. Set up automatic shipments</h2> <p>Amazon has a feature called &quot;subscribe and save&quot; that gives you big discounts when you get items delivered regularly, but they aren't the only retailer that offers this service. Magazines and newspapers also offer massive savings if you subscribe, knocking up to 95 percent off the cover price. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Amazon Prime Perks You've Forgotten to Use</a>)</p> <h2>12. Learn to haggle</h2> <p>Haggling has become a lost art in America, but it can still work wonders for your budget. Polish your silver tongue and start asking how low merchants can go on the price of something you want. Or, ask them to throw in something else for free, which you could always sell later to save even more.</p> <h2>13. Look for price-matching</h2> <p>When you're shopping in a brick and mortar store, do a quick check online to see if another store (online or retail) has the same item for less. Then talk to customer service about a price-match offer. Most of the time, they'll match the price because they still make a profit if you buy the item from them. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-get-a-sale-price-match-at-16-popular-stores?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How to Get a Sale Price-Match at 16 Popular Stores</a>)</p> <h2>14. Use cash for bigger items</h2> <p>Don't listen to anyone that says cash is dead. You may not carry as much of it in your wallet as you used to, put the prospect of a huge wad of cash in hand is very appealing to car dealerships, homebuilders, and anyone selling high-end retail. They'll offer a cash discount in most cases.</p> <h2>15. Buy when they're desperate to sell</h2> <p>There are certain times of the month, and the year, that are great for savvy consumers. For example, a car salesperson may have a monthly quota to fill, and you're more likely to get a great deal on the last day of the month. Same goes for airline tickets, items going out of season, and even gym memberships. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/now-or-later-how-to-decide-the-right-time-to-buy-almost-anything?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Decide the Right Time to Buy Almost Anything</a>)</p> <h2>16. Use loyalty programs and cards</h2> <p>There are loyalty programs that offer discounts and points at virtually every store you shop at. Use them and save. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-store-loyalty-programs-that-are-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Store Loyalty Programs That Are Worth It</a>)</p> <h2>17. Shop at unusual hours</h2> <p>Have you ever been grocery shopping at night? You'll find all sorts of markdowns that were full price just a few hours earlier. You could also try going early in the morning, when items that didn't sell get one final markdown before leaving the shop floor.</p> <h2>18. When shopping online, go incognito</h2> <p>This has nothing to do with hiding &quot;delicate&quot; purchases. By going incognito, you aren't saving cookies during your searches. Dynamic pricing uses these cookies to monitor your searches and spending habits, meaning you could be paying more for certain items like airline tickets and hotel rooms based on your search history. Stop the cookies, and you'll see the prices drop. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-sneaky-online-price-changes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Avoid Sneaky Online Price Changes</a>)</p> <h2>19. Don't worry about the cosmetic condition of anything</h2> <p>Score major discounts for buying dented, scratched, bruised, and otherwise imperfect items. Does it matter that the fridge has a small ding in the corner? It certainly doesn't stop it from being a working fridge, and it's 25 percent off. Same goes for fruit, electronics, and almost anything else.</p> <h2>20. Be nice</h2> <p>Sometimes, kindness is all it takes. Mark Ellwood, author of <a href="https://amzn.to/2tFozIa" target="_blank">Bargain Fever</a>, says that &quot;Just being a friendly, nice shopper gets you free stuff,&quot; adding that most sales staff can knock 10 percent off the price instantly if you are polite, helpful, and ask nicely about flexibility on price.</p> <h2>21. Wait for sales</h2> <p>Shopping is just a waiting game that you have to play sometimes. Clothing will go on sale as the season starts to close out. Electronics go on sale when new models come in. Books and blu-rays get discounted once they're no longer new releases. If you're prepared to wait, you never have to pay full price.</p> <p>Many different sites, Google being the main one, offer the option of setting a price alert. Basically, you input the exact item you want, and the lowest price (within reason, of course) that you want to pay. When it drops to that price or lower, you get alerted to buy it.</p> <h2>22. Practice the &quot;Pantry Principle&quot;</h2> <p>Blogger Amanda Brackney coined the term &quot;<a href="https://www.stewardshipathome.com/the-pantry-principle/" target="_blank">pantry principle</a>,&quot; and it's an excellent way to save. The basic premise is to stock up on items you use regularly whenever they go on sale. We all need toilet paper and soap, so when they drop to their lowest price, buy in bulk and save. This way, you'll never pay full price on items you'll always need.</p> <h2>23. Use group purchasing power</h2> <p>One of the biggest examples of getting discounts for a group is health insurance. However, that idea spreads way beyond health care. Groupon was founded on this very idea, and you can find multiple sites out there offering discounts when multiple people buy the same item.</p> <h2>24. Use first-time customer offers</h2> <p>Almost every online retailer will lure you in with a first-time customer offer. These savings can range from as little as free shipping, to a whopping 50 percent off. Just register your email, wait for the offer code, and then shop with your discount.</p> <h2>25. Buy gift cards</h2> <p>You can purchase discount gift cards for almost any store. Before you shop, drop by a site like CardPool or GiftCardGranny, and search for the store you want. Discounts range anywhere from 2 percent to 30 percent off. Just remember to check the terms and conditions on each card first for expiration dates and purchase restrictions.</p> <h2>26. When shopping online, sort prices &quot;low to high&quot;</h2> <p>The easiest way to check for deals is to switch from the default sorting (which is usually relevance) to the &quot;low to high&quot; price option when you're shopping online. You will have to dig through the selection to find what you're looking for, but apply filters, including four-star reviews on Amazon, and you'll find some killer discounts.</p> <h2>27. Take advantage of cashback sites</h2> <p>There are a lot of cash-back sites out there to choose from, including Ebates and iBotta. Just do your online shopping as usual, but get paid in cash, credits, or points that you can redeem later for awards and products. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year?ref=seealso" target="_blank">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a>)</p> <h2>28. Use your birthday</h2> <p>Hey, getting one year older doesn't have to be all bad. A lot of places, including restaurants, salons, and retailers, will give you a discount or freebie on your birthday. Just be ready for a really annoying song in a restaurant.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F28-ways-to-never-pay-full-price-for-anything&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F28%2520Ways%2520to%2520Never%2520Pay%2520Full%2520Price%2520for%2520Anything.jpg&amp;description=28%20Ways%20to%20Never%20Pay%20Full%20Price%20for%20Anything"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/28%20Ways%20to%20Never%20Pay%20Full%20Price%20for%20Anything.jpg" alt="28 Ways to Never Pay Full Price for Anything" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/28-ways-to-never-pay-full-price-for-anything">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="https://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget">These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget">6 Guilty Pleasures That Are Killing Your 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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-a-simple-do-not-buy-list-keeps-money-in-your-pocket">How a Simple &quot;Do Not Buy&quot; List Keeps Money in Your Pocket</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="https://www.wisebread.com/4-effortless-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-shopping">4 Effortless Ways to Save on Back-to-School Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping buying bulk couponing saving money shopping discounts shopping habits shopping tips Wed, 04 Jul 2018 09:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 2153732 at https://www.wisebread.com 6 Breathtaking and Affordable Alaskan Destinations https://www.wisebread.com/6-breathtaking-and-affordable-alaskan-destinations <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-breathtaking-and-affordable-alaskan-destinations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mendenhall_glacier_national_park.jpg" alt="Mendenhall Glacier National Park" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Alaska is on almost everyone's bucket list. Who wouldn't want to be blown away by some of the tallest mountains in the world, the most pristine natural areas, and the tastiest fresh seafood?</p> <p>Unfortunately, there's just one problem: Alaska can be an expensive place to visit, even after you muster up the cash to travel to the far edge of the continent. But that doesn't mean everything is expensive. You can still find budget-friendly activities all across the state that don't sacrifice your enjoyment of the area. Here's where to find them.</p> <h2>1. Denali National Park</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/denali_and_fireweed_denali_national_park_alaska.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The entrance to Denali National Park is surrounded by a tiny seasonal village full of people who want to sell you things. But once you get inside the park ($10 per person for admission), there are plenty of free things to do.</p> <p>You can take a free shuttle bus to watch a thrice-daily demonstration at the sled dog kennels (they're still used to patrol the park in the winter). Free shuttle buses go as far as the Savage River campground into the park &mdash; which is not very far, unfortunately. To go farther into the park and see the famous Dall sheep and Wonder Lake, you can expect to spend $31.25&ndash;$60 per adult, depending on which part of the park you go to.</p> <p>The cheapest way to stay in Denali National Park is by camping. You can stay in a tent campsite for $15, an RV campsite for as little as $24, or if you're up for a true Alaskan adventure, you can even get a backpacking permit for free. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/alaska-airlines-visa-signature-credit-card-review?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card Review</a>)</p> <h2>2. Fairbanks</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/northern_lights_taste_of_alaska_lodge_in_fairbanks.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The long summer days mean that this city comes alive between snowfalls. There are plenty of events to be found, including the Tanana Valley State Fair, the Midnight Sun Festival, and the annual Midnight Sun Baseball Game, which is a full game of midnight baseball on the summer solstice without any artificial lighting.</p> <p>Bird-watchers can check out the free trails throughout Creamer's Field (a former dairy farm turned bird refuge), and foodies can pick wild blueberries and lingonberries for free on a wide variety of public lands around Fairbanks.</p> <p>Lodging in Fairbanks is relatively affordable. You can find a decent three-star hotel starting from $119 per night, or even a cute Airbnb cabin for under $50. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/where-to-do-9-popular-bucket-list-items-on-a-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Where to Do 9 Popular Budget List Items on a Budget</a>)</p> <h2>3. Juneau</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/mendenhall_glacier_national_park.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Juneau might be the capital of the biggest state in the nation, but you wouldn't know it. It's still just a small town. In fact, there aren't even any roads that go here. Your only options are to fly in on a plane or float in on a boat. Once here, you can find several affordable (&lt;$100) Airbnbs right in town.</p> <p>Be sure to check out the town's free historic mine walking tour that takes you past one of the most productive gold mines from back in the Gold Rush days. If you have $5 to spare, you can visit the Mendenhall Glacier and meander around its network of trails that take you seemingly into the Alaskan wilderness. If you're a beer nerd, $20 will get you a guided beer tasting at the famous Alaskan Brewing Company. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-free-or-low-cost-airline-seats-in-premium-classes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Airlines for Scoring First or Business Class Award Seats</a>)</p> <h2>4. Ketchikan</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/fishing_boats_docked_in_port_of_ketchikan_alaska.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Ketchikan has a bit of a reputation as a cruise ship town. But even if you're not on a cruise, there's plenty of activities. The Saxman Native Village is a must-see&nbsp;($5 per person) because it houses the world's largest collection of totem poles, as is the town's historic Creek Street with old-time buildings built right up on top of a creek.</p> <p>If you need to get some exercise, the Ketchikan Historical Society offers a free walking tour (stop by the visitor's center for a map) or you can visit the nearby Misty Fjords National Monument (the only way to access it cheaply is by renting a sea kayak from $35 per day).</p> <p>You can stay in a cabin in the Misty Fjords National Monument for as little as $35 per night (although there are some free cabins available on a first-come-first-serve basis). There are also a plethora of Airbnbs under $125/night from local residents where you can stay. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-add-an-extra-destination-to-your-next-trip-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Add an Extra Destination to Your Next Trip for Free</a>)</p> <h2>5. Sitka</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/bay_town.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Juneau might be the state's capital now, but way back in the day when Russia owned Alaska, Sitka was the hoppin' capital. Even today, there are no roads going to this town, either. Your best bet for getting into town is via ferry or plane. Otherwise, it's a long, cold swim from the nearest town! Lodging in Sitka is a bit more expensive, but you can still find budget Airbnbs for $125 or less. Once you're here, however, the downtown and point of interest can be reached on foot.</p> <p>There are tons of fun free activities, especially for history buffs. Visit the free Sitka Historical Park to see the town's rich cultural history as a melting pot between the Russian, American, and native Tlingit cultures. Also make sure to check out the Sitka Sound Science Center Aquarium for just a small $7 entrance fee. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/7-states-with-the-lowest-taxes-for-retirees?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 States With the Lowest Taxes for Retirees</a>)</p> <h2>6. Seward</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/mountains_of_the_kenai_fjords_national_park.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>You can visit two major areas in Seward: the historic town itself, or the neighboring Kenai Fjords National Park. While most of the Kenai Fjords National Park isn't accessible by road, you can drive and hike up to the base of the Exit Glacier within the park &mdash; and since there are no entrance fees for the park, it's a great budget activity.</p> <p>Within Seward itself, make sure to check out the Alaska SeaLife Center (admission is $24.95 per adult) where you can see all sorts of cool Alaskan wildlife, including endangered Steller sea lions, puffins, rhinoceros auklets, and eider ducks. When you're ready to rest your sight-filled head, drop off to a local cabin Airbnb (there are about 20 to choose from under $100).</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-breathtaking-and-affordable-alaskan-destinations&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Breathtaking%2520and%2520Affordable%2520Alaskan%2520Destinations.jpg&amp;description=6%20Breathtaking%20and%20Affordable%20Alaskan%20Destinations"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Breathtaking%20and%20Affordable%20Alaskan%20Destinations.jpg" alt="6 Breathtaking and Affordable Alaskan Destinations" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/lindsay-vansomeren">Lindsay VanSomeren</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-breathtaking-and-affordable-alaskan-destinations">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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-a-family-of-4-can-see-italy-for-1000-or-less">How a Family of 4 Can See Italy for $1,000 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-affordable-kid-free-vacation-ideas">6 Affordable Kid-Free Vacation Ideas</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="https://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-unforgettable-train-trips-across-the-us">5 Unforgettable Train Trips Across the U.S.</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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-relaxing-affordable-hot-springs-you-can-visit-this-fall">6 Relaxing, Affordable Hot Springs You Can Visit This Fall</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable destinations affordable travel Alaska breathtaking sights travel tips vacation ideas Wed, 04 Jul 2018 08:30:09 +0000 Lindsay VanSomeren 2154491 at https://www.wisebread.com 5 Affordable and Unforgettable Experiences to Have in National Parks This Summer https://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-and-unforgettable-experiences-to-have-in-national-parks-this-summer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-affordable-and-unforgettable-experiences-to-have-in-national-parks-this-summer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/panorama_of_grand_prismatic_spring.jpg" alt="Panorama of Grand Prismatic Spring" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're looking for cheap things to do over the summer season, consider a visit to one of our amazing national parks. There are dozens to choose from, each with its own charms and individual natural wonders to explore, and over the summer you can take part in exciting activities that won't cost an arm and a leg. Here are the best cheap experiences to have in national parks this summer. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-national-park-visits-in-2018?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save on National Park Visits in 2018</a>)</p> <h2>1. Wild hot tubbing in Yellowstone National Park</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/panorama_of_grand_prismatic_spring.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Yellowstone is famous for being the world's first national park, but is perhaps best known for its enormous spouting geysers and vast, colorful hot springs. While these features are incredible to look at, they are, in fact, extremely dangerous, with unwitting visitors regularly suffering burns or worse from underestimating their boiling temperatures &mdash; which can top 250 degrees.</p> <p>There are, however, some spots within the park where you're able to safely experience this geothermal phenomenon by taking a dip in the warm waters. Yellowstone's &quot;Boiling River&quot; is formed by the flow from a hot spring merging with the cool waters of the Gardner River. Despite its name, the balmy temperatures are perfect for swimming and relaxing while taking in the scenic surroundings.</p> <p>It's relatively easy to reach each one by car with a short walk from the designated parking area with detailed directions included on <a href="https://www.yellowstonepark.com/things-to-do/swim-yellowstones-boiling-river" target="_blank">Yellowstone&rsquo;s website</a>. There's no specific date when Boiling River opens to bathers, as it depends on the levels of the river, but it's generally accessible during daylight hours in the winter, fall, and late summer. While Yellowstone National Park charges an entrance fee, a plunge in Boiling River has no cost attached, so get your swimsuit ready for a unique hot-tubbing adventure. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/10-most-breathtaking-day-hikes-in-the-us?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Most Breathtaking Day Hikes in the U.S.</a>)</p> <h2>2. Snorkel Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas National Park</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/dry_tortugas_national_park.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Dry Tortugas National Park in the Florida Keys is one of the most interesting national parks in the U.S. Despite its name, it only contains seven small islands, with the majority of the Dry Tortugas &mdash; the islands &mdash; being made up of water. The area is well known for its abundance of colorful coral and varied marine life, as well as numerous shipwrecks, making it a world class destination for snorkeling and kayaking.</p> <p>One of the best locations for snorkeling is around the unfinished Fort Jefferson. The military fortress was built to protect a strategic deepwater anchorage and a lucrative shipping lane in the Gulf of Mexico. Over time, the fort was used as a prison and a coaling station for warships, but it is now abandoned and part of the Dry Tortugas National Park.</p> <p>Entrance to the park is $15 per person, however there are only three ways to reach it. The first is by private boat, the second by seaplane, and the third and most popular, via the official partner ferry Yankee Freedom III. The ferry prices are $180 per adult, and $125 per child (ages 4-16) however, included in the cost are breakfast and lunch, guided tours of the fort, as well as complimentary snorkeling equipment. To get even more value out of the trip, you can also camp for $15 per night, but keep in mind you will need to take everything you require with you. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/6-cheap-date-ideas-for-nature-lovers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Cheap Date Ideas for Nature Lovers</a>)</p> <h2>3. Stargazing at Great Basin National Park</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/great_basin_national_park.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The Great Basin National Park lies between two mountain ranges, the Sierra Nevada and the Wasatch, occupying a dry and craggy region of pure, unadulterated wilderness. Though it's just a few hours north of the bright lights of Las Vegas, this area boasts one of the darkest skies in the U.S. In fact, they're so dark that the park has been designated an <a href="http://darksky.org/idsp/parks/" target="_blank">International Dark Sky Park</a>, recognizing this characteristic.</p> <p>Thanks to these extraordinarily dark skies, the potential for stargazing is virtually unrivaled. At night it's possible to see thousands of stars and star clusters, meteors, satellites, and even five out of the eight planets in our solar system.</p> <p>The Great Basin National Park runs numerous astronomy-related activities, many of which are free, including an astronomy program, full moon hikes, and solar telescope viewings. There's also an annual Astronomy Festival which takes place in September consisting of talks, viewings, and many more fun activities suitable for all ages. The Great Basin National Park has no entrance fee, making it a fabulous choice to enjoy a bargain outing over the summer. (See also: <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-natural-wonders-you-can-see-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Natural Wonders You Can See For Free</a>)</p> <h2>4. Sandboarding in Great Sand Dunes National Park</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/great_sand_dunes_national_park_at_dawn.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Named after the vast sand mountains that punctuate its landscape, the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado is one of a kind. Some of the dunes reach over 750 feet and the dune field totals over 30 square miles, but thanks to the winds, it's a continually changing landscape, so it will be different each time you visit.</p> <p>If you love being active and trying your hand at recreational sports, then why not grab a board and head to the dunes? There are several areas in the dunefields that are suitable for sandboarding or sledding, and they include both steep and long routes as well as shorter and gentle slopes suitable for all abilities.</p> <p>Be sure to take the right equipment, as sandboarding can be a dangerous activity without the proper gear. This should include a board or sled specifically designed for the sand, and it's also smart to wear safety gear like a helmet and goggles. The national park does not rent or sell gear, but there are three retailers in the San Luis Valley recommended on their site that do. A seven-day pass to the park for a noncommercial vehicle and its occupants costs $20, and sandboard or sled rentals cost around $18 per day.</p> <h2>5. Caving in Mammoth Cave National Park</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/mammoth_cave_national_park_in_kentucky_usa.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park is home to an extensive network of caves, subterranean passages, and chambers that make up the longest known cave system in the world. This labyrinth of underground passages has over 300 miles of mapped routes, with many more miles currently uncharted.</p> <p>If you want to discover a slice of the world beneath your feet and learn to tell your stalagmites from your stalactites, then caving in Mammoth Cave National Park is the perfect place to do it. Over the summer they have a dedicated summer program that includes ranger-guided cave tours starting at just $14 that last up to six hours. They tend to sell out quite far in advance, so it's wise to book before going.</p> <p>There's plenty more to do above ground as well, with picturesque river valleys and stunning forest trails being just some of the features found on the surface. Entrance to the park is free so all you'll need to pay for is your chosen tours and activities.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-affordable-and-unforgettable-experiences-to-have-in-national-parks-this-summer&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Affordable%2520and%2520Unforgettable%2520Experiences%2520to%2520Have%2520in%2520National%2520Parks%2520This%2520Summer.jpg&amp;description=5%20Affordable%20and%20Unforgettable%20Experiences%20to%20Have%20in%20National%20Parks%20This%20Summer"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Affordable%20and%20Unforgettable%20Experiences%20to%20Have%20in%20National%20Parks%20This%20Summer.jpg" alt="5 Affordable and Unforgettable Experiences to Have in National Parks This Summer" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-affordable-and-unforgettable-experiences-to-have-in-national-parks-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-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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-these-12-summer-travel-mistakes">How to Avoid These 12 Summer Travel Mistakes</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="https://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-across-the-us-on-a-budget">How to Travel Across the U.S. on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-websites-to-book-cheaper-travel-packages">5 Websites to Book Cheaper Travel Packages</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="https://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-travel-big-on-a-tiny-budget">9 Ways to Travel Big on a Tiny Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="https://www.wisebread.com/5-laid-back-girls-trip-destinations-anyone-can-afford">5 Laid-Back Girls&#039; Trip Destinations Anyone Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel affordable travel national parks saving money summer travel summer vacation travel tips Tue, 03 Jul 2018 08:30:19 +0000 Nick Wharton 2154363 at https://www.wisebread.com 9 Cheap Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure https://www.wisebread.com/9-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-pressure <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-pressure" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_snuggling_dog_869287578.jpg" alt="Woman finding cheap ways to lower her blood pressure" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>During a recent routine doctor visit, a loved one was warned that his blood pressure was on the high side. And if it doesn't improve by the next checkup, he might have to start taking medication.</p> <p>This is happening to more and more Americans, since the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology changed their guidelines for what is considered &quot;high&quot; blood pressure from 140/90 to 130/80. With the new guidelines, nearly half of U.S. adults are classified as having high blood pressure.</p> <p>My loved one hates taking medication. He dreads the side effects, so he asked me to find out all the natural things he could do to get his blood pressure to a healthy place before his next visit. If the actions could be frugal and fun, all the better.</p> <p><em>Note: If you have been prescribed medication for high blood pressure, follow your doctor's orders. Uncontrolled high blood pressure, or hypertension, can lead to a fatal or debilitating stroke, and I would never suggest that you can quit taking your meds and use natural methods to treat high blood pressure instead. But of course, you can take your meds </em>and<em> start living a healthier lifestyle.</em></p> <h2>1. Try a new approach to quit smoking</h2> <p>Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your blood pressure. Obviously, it's not easy to quit smoking, or there wouldn't be so many people who have tried and failed to kick the habit.</p> <p>There are several tactics proven to increase your chances of quitting for good, including free apps such as the LIVESTRONG MyQuit Coach, or Smoke Free. Counseling and anti-addiction medications are also proven to help, but if money is tight and your health insurance doesn't cover those, try the free apps first. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-smartphone-apps-that-make-self-care-a-snap?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Smartphone Apps That Make Self-Care a Snap</a>)</p> <h2>2. Put in your earbuds</h2> <p>A review of multiple studies from the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health concluded that listening to music appears to lower blood pressure by reducing anxiety in patients, but it called for more controlled studies to pinpoint the optimal conditions for therapeutic music listening. But if you have a playlist of songs that tend to set your mind at ease, press play as often as you need to feel a little more Zen.</p> <h2>3. Eat at home</h2> <p>You may not think you eat that much salt, because you don't add salt to your food. But guess what? Most of the salt we eat comes from restaurant and processed foods, about 71 percent according to the CDC.</p> <p>&quot;Only a small amount of the sodium we consume each day comes from the salt shaker,&quot; reads the CDC report urging Americans to cut back.</p> <p>So as convenient as it is to hit the drive thru, you can cut out a lot of blood-pressure-raising sodium by preparing meals at home. Home cooking is generally cheaper, too, and won't cost you your health. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-low-cost-foods-packed-with-nutrition?ref=seealso" target="_blank">25 Low-Cost Foods Packed With Nutrition</a>)</p> <h2>4. Season your food</h2> <p>When you're cooking at home, you can cut sodium even more by reaching for non-sodium seasonings to add a kick, such as garlic, onion powder, and pepper. Some herbs may even lower blood pressure &mdash; basil, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and garlic have all been credited with doing so. I save tons of money by ordering my spices online in bulk bags. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-foods-nutritionists-say-you-should-splurge-on?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Foods Nutritionists Say You Should Splurge On</a>)</p> <h2>5. Focus on your breathing</h2> <p>Deep breathing can improve many aspects of your overall health, and blood pressure is certainly one of them.</p> <p>As Dr. Naomi Fisher of Harvard Medical School states, &quot;Doctors often ask patients to breathe deeply before getting their blood pressure taken, for example. But it is also helpful to incorporate deep breathing in a daily routine, especially for &quot;type A&quot; or stress-prone personalities, with an added benefit on blood pressure.&quot;</p> <p>And if you think you won't remember to add a deep breathing session to your daily routine, there are at least half a dozen apps that promise to guide you, ranging in cost from free to $3.99. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-meditation-alternatives-for-people-with-busy-minds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Meditation Alternatives for People With Busy Minds</a>)</p> <h2>6. Find an exercise you don't hate</h2> <p>The American Heart Association says you should be exercising at least two and a half hours per week, in sessions at least 10 minutes long. You could schedule that time on a treadmill, or you could ask yourself, &quot;what kind of activity would be a treat for me to engage in 30 minutes per day?&quot;</p> <p>I like to exercise while running errands, which has the added benefit of saving on gas and parking. Today, I'll briskly walk to a craft store and the ATM; tomorrow, it will be a bike ride to the grocery store. For some people, making exercise a chance to be social helps, whether it's by scheduling multiple sports games per week, enrolling in a Zumba class, or scheduling a walking date with a friend.</p> <p>Does sex count as a workout? It can qualify as moderate activity, though most acts of intercourse only take about six minutes, and the AHA recommends that exercise sessions last at least 10. So keep that in mind if you plan to make sex your workout for the day. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-7-exercises-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These 7 Exercises Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a>)</p> <h2>7. Have dessert</h2> <p>OK, a hot fudge sundae isn't going to lower your blood pressure, but there are a couple of sweet treats that can help.</p> <p>Potassium can lessen the effects of sodium, so in addition to reducing sodium in your diet, you can also try <em>adding </em>more potassium-rich foods such as bananas, yogurt, and avocados. Even better, the flavonols in chocolate, especially dark chocolate, have been shown to lower blood pressure. So why not make a smoothie of dark chocolate, banana, and yogurt? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-reasons-you-should-eat-more-chocolate?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Reasons You Should Eat More Chocolate</a>)</p> <h2>8. Get a dog</h2> <p>Studies show that owning a pet &mdash; particularly a dog &mdash; can significantly lower your blood pressure. This is because owning a dog improves our emotional health, as well as requiring us to exercise more in order to care for them.</p> <p>Even if you can't adopt a dog, being around one could still help you. Research shows that our blood pressure dips when we pet or talk to a dog. So volunteering at a local animal shelter or spending time with a friend or relative's pet could work. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-your-dog-can-save-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Surprising Ways Your Dog Can Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>9. Sleep in</h2> <p>Lack of sleep (five hours of sleep or fewer a night) can cause us to have trouble regulating our stress hormones, which may in turn lead to higher blood pressure.</p> <p>Sleep is free, and good for you in many other ways as well, so making sure to get eight hours a night is a free way to keep your blood pressure in check. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-getting-more-sleep-helps-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Getting More Sleep Helps Your Finances</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-pressure&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%2520Cheap%2520Ways%2520to%2520Lower%2520Your%2520Blood%2520Pressure.jpg&amp;description=9%20Cheap%20Ways%20to%20Lower%20Your%20Blood%20Pressure"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Cheap%20Ways%20to%20Lower%20Your%20Blood%20Pressure.jpg" alt="9 Cheap Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/9-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-pressure">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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-stay-healthy-while-working-the-night-shift">6 Ways to Stay Healthy While Working the Night Shift</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="https://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-invest-in-your-health">7 Smart Ways to Invest in Your Health</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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-free-self-care-rituals-to-get-you-through-a-long-winter">6 Free Self-Care Rituals to Get You Through a Long Winter</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="https://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-health-benefits-to-growing-a-garden">6 Surprising Health Benefits of Growing a Garden</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="https://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-improve-your-life-before-the-end-of-the-year">10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Life Before the End of the Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Health and Beauty blood pressure health tips healthy habits healthy lifestyle lower your blood pressure Thu, 28 Jun 2018 08:31:16 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2152840 at https://www.wisebread.com 8 Best U.S. Historical Sites You Can Actually Afford to Visit https://www.wisebread.com/8-best-us-historical-sites-you-can-actually-afford-to-visit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-best-us-historical-sites-you-can-actually-afford-to-visit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mount_rushmore_national_memorial.jpg" alt="Mount Rushmore National Memorial" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Europe might be nothing to sneeze at for history buffs on vacation, but you don't need to fly across the ocean to get your fill of history. In fact, the United States is brimming with plenty of historical sites just waiting to be explored.</p> <p>Many famous historical sites are in expensive places to visit, like Washington D.C. or New York. But there are plenty of amazing historical destinations that can fit anyone's budget. So break out your history books and let's go. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-road-trips?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for a Road Trip</a>)</p> <h2>1. Williamsburg, Virginia</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/governors_palace.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Williamsburg is without a doubt one of the best budget-friendly locations to get the most history bang for your buck. There's a bevy of various historical attractions to explore in the area, and you can find three-star hotel rooms for as low as $103 per night.</p> <p>Historic Jamestown is the actual site of America's first English settlement, and costs $14 to visit. Jamestown Settlement admission is $17 and is a re-enactment of the actual colony, complete with three working full-size English sailing ships. A short 15-minute drive away leads you to the 18th-century recreation of Colonial Williamsburg (admission is quite a bit pricier at $40.99), while another 22-minute drive leads you to the Yorktown Battlefield, where America won the war for independence from Britain (a reasonable $7 admission). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-fun-family-road-trip-without-breaking-your-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Have a Fun Family Road Trip Without Breaking Your Budget</a>)</p> <h2>2. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/mount_rushmore_national_memorial.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>When George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln became presidents of the United States, it's unlikely they ever thought their faces would be carved as giant sculptures in the side of a mountain in rural South Dakota. Yet, that's exactly what happened, and you can visit it today for free (although there is a $10 parking fee). The attraction also offers a wide range of free ranger-led programs, or you can rent an audio guide for $5.</p> <p>Although you can't stay at Mount Rushmore itself, you do have several options for lodging. Nearby South Dakota cities you can stay at include Keystone (three miles away), Hill City (13 miles away), Custer (20 miles away), and Rapid City (24 miles away). You can expect to spend around $140 per night for a three-star hotel, although nearby Black Hills National Forest offers almost 700 campsites for $26 per night or less. You can also try dispersed camping in the National Forest for free as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-essential-money-saving-items-to-take-on-a-camping-road-trip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Essential Money-Saving Items to Take on a Camping Road Trip</a>)</p> <h2>3. San Antonio, Texas</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/the_alamo_san_antonio_tx.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>&quot;Remember the Alamo!&quot; is the famous battle cry that everyone can instantly recall, even if they don't exactly know why. Why not take the time to learn about the Alamo by visiting the very site of the influential battle for Texas. You can visit for free, but tickets to a guided tour are a reasonable $15. And because the Alamo is located in the heart of San Antonio, you'll be sure to find plenty of other attractions to visit while you're there.</p> <p>Lodging in San Antonio is also very reasonable. You can expect to pay a mere $100 per night for three-star lodging. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-a-7-day-cross-country-road-trip-for-350-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Take a 7-Day Cross Country Road Trip for $350 or less</a>)</p> <h2>4. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/gettysburg_in_autumn.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The famous Battle of Gettysburg is one of the most important points in the Civil War. It was when the Union soldiers finally turned back the Confederate soldiers, eventually winning the war and reunifying the country. Today, you can see the battlefield itself for free, although you do have the option of taking a two-hour bus tour with a guide for $35.</p> <p>Lodging near Gettysburg can be expensive (around $150 per night or more). A more budget-friendly option is to book a spot at one of several campgrounds near the Gettysburg battlefield. If tenting and RVing isn't your thing, rest assured that you can still book cabins with solid walls for as little as around $100 per night. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Travel Hacks for an Affordable Summer Road Trip</a>)</p> <h2>5. Oregon City, Oregon</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/oregon_trail.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you grew up playing the cherished <em>Oregon Trail</em> computer game (or if you're even just a fan of Western history), you need to check out Oregon City. It's here where the first official Federal land office west of the Rocky Mountains was set up, attracting droves of settlers wishing to make a claim in what is now known as Oregon, Washington, Idaho, western Montana, and western Wyoming.</p> <p>Admission to the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center is $13. There aren't a whole lot of options for lodging in the tiny city (it hasn't grown much since the days of the settlers), but you can stay at the Clackamas River House B&amp;B for as little as $80, or one of several county-operated campgrounds for as little as $21.</p> <h2>6. Mackinaw City, Michigan</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/fort_mackinac_mackinac_island.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Mackinaw City is a beautiful town perched right on the Straits of Mackinac (still pronounced &quot;Mack-in-aw,&quot; oddly enough) between Michigan's upper and lower peninsula. But what makes this tiny town really special is its proximity to several historic sites from the northern United State's colonial and frontier trapping days.</p> <p>From here, you can visit historic Fort Mackinac (admission is $12 if purchased online). It's a former key military outpost on nearby Mackinac Island, and you'll need to purchase a ferry ticket ($24 if purchased online) to get here. Colonial Michilimackinac (pronounced &quot;mish-il-uh-mack-in-aw&quot;), located just across the straits from Mackinac Island on the mainland, is also full of interesting history and costs just $11.25 to visit if you buy your tickets online.</p> <h2>7. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/grand_prismatic_spring_in_yellowstone_national_park.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Yellowstone National Park is a jaw-dropping place to visit in its own right. But did you know that this park also has a lot of historical significance in U.S. history? In fact, it's the first national park in the entire world, and it's credited with helping to launch the National Park Service as we know it today.</p> <p>The best way to stay in Yellowstone is &mdash; you guessed it &mdash; by camping. (There are lodges in the park, but they are definitely <em>not</em> budget-friendly options, especially during the peak summer visiting season.) The park operates 12 different campgrounds with over 2,000 sites available for around $30 per night. Entrance into the park itself is $35 for a seven-day pass per vehicle. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-most-breathtaking-day-hikes-in-the-us?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Breathtaking Day Hikes in the U.S.</a>)</p> <h2>8. New Orleans, Louisiana</h2> <p><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/jackson_square_new_orleans.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>New Orleans is a true mélange of American history. From its roots as a French colony, to Spanish rule, to modern-day American influences, you can find tons of interesting historical tidbits hiding behind every corner in this city, and a small tour industry catering to history buffs.</p> <p>Visit a historical plantation to learn about America's often-dark past, go on any one of several ghost tours, or learn about the pirates of the city's yesteryear. Hotel lodging is also not cheap in New Orleans, although you can find many private Airbnb rentals for under $50 if you book out far enough in advance.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-best-us-historical-sites-you-can-actually-afford-to-visit&amp;media=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Best%2520U.S.%2520Historical%2520Sites%2520You%2520Can%2520Actually%2520Afford%2520to%2520Visit.jpg&amp;description=8%20Best%20U.S.%20Historical%20Sites%20You%20Can%20Actually%20Afford%20to%20Visit"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://wisebread-killeracesmedia.netdna-ssl.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Best%20U.S.%20Historical%20Sites%20You%20Can%20Actually%20Afford%20to%20Visit.jpg" alt="8 Best U.S. Historical Sites You Can Actually Afford to Visit" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/lindsay-vansomeren">Lindsay VanSomeren</a> of <a href="https://www.wisebread.com/8-best-us-historical-sites-you-can-actually-afford-to-visit">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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