Tag Archives: vaca

4 Tips For Buying A Lake House

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4 Tips For Buying A Lake House

Maybe you’ve always wanted a place to take the kids during the summer. Maybe you’re just trying to get away from it all. Whatever your reasons for considering the purchase of a lake house, here are four tips for making a smart decision about lakeside real estate:

1. Make a List

How big does it need to be? What features are you hoping to find? What amenities would get you excited? This doesn’t have to be a hard-and-fast list that you can’t deviate from; it can be a flexible collection of ideas that will get you thinking about what you desire in your future lake house.

2. Consider the Location

Location is one of the most important aspects of buying a lake house, especially if you’ll be responsible for maintaining the land around it. You might wind up needing something like weed control for lakes to keep nature from taking over. You’ll also want to think about climate, soil, shade, and the view from your windows.

3. Look Into the Owner

Once you’ve found a potential lake house, make sure that you do your research about its owner. They should have a clean, non-criminal record, and the house shouldn’t have any weird leasing issues or documentation mishaps. If you ever suspect that your lake house deal isn’t legitimate, don’t be afraid to cut your losses and walk away. A little firmness now can save you a world of trouble tomorrow.

4. Think About Year-Round Upkeep

If you’ll only be vacationing in the lake house once or twice a year, what will happen to it when you’re not there? Will you rent it out? Will you hire someone to maintain it? How much will it cost? Think about these things before committing to a particular land or cabin purchase. The little details could end up being a big deal.

These are just a few tips for finding, selecting, and evaluating a potential lake house. They can be a great investment for the future, but you’ll need to know what you’re doing before you sign on the dotted line. Good luck!

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Creative Ways To Save For Travel

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Creative Ways To Save For Travel

You can travel with debt, but taking steps to reduce your debt before traveling is advisable. Loan consolidation makes a lot of sense, and could save you enough capital for a trip over time. Generally, when you’ve got any debt, your best strategy to liberate yourself will be to live beneath your means until the cost has been overcome.

For example: say you make $2,000 a month. $800 goes to rent and utilities, $200 goes to gasoline, $500 goes to food. What do you do with that additional $500? Do you spend it, or save it? Well, if you’re living beneath your means, you save it. That, or you put it toward paying off any debt you owe.

Something you additionally want to do is find ways to cut down on regular bills. For example, if you’re paying $200 a month in gas, but you only live two miles from where you work, and this is your primary reason for driving, see if you can cut that number in half. A 250-mile tank can make 125 two-mile trips or 62.5 consecutive work-days.

If you’re only working 20 days a month, then you can make it to and from work and still have 80+ miles left over for whatever you like. If you’ve got a conventional car, a tank is only around $50. So, if you can cut down your time spent driving, you can preserve the lifespan of your vehicle while reducing your monthly expenses, allowing you to either save money or pay off debt with greater expedience.

Practical Considerations:

Certainly, this is easier said than done. Once you’ve established the non-negotiables of your budget, it’s time to see what you’ve got leftover and what you can do with it. Even if you have relatively little, proper planning can help you attain necessary capital for a vacation.

If after you streamline your budget, you can only add an extra $200 to your expendable income, that is still $2,400 in a year; or enough for a pretty decent vacation.

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Budget wisely!

Avoiding Creature Comforts:

Still, this is a fairly ideal circumstance, and cutting down your monthly expenditures in terms of food and gas can be difficult. So, you must find ways that you can eliminate discretionary spending. You may be surprised at how many unnecessary things you buy. Don’t think about creature comforts, think about living at a bare minimum.

For $100, you can eat well for a month as an individual, should you be careful enough in purchasing and preparing your own meals. You can combine such a budget with EBT or food bank sustenance to increase the amount of food you have access to. You can additionally seek options beyond your income to help you acquire what you need.

You may be surprised to find what you actually qualify for, especially if you’re a low-income family, there may be support solutions out there for you. Here’s the AUS Benefits website; it can help you to see if you’re eligible for financial assistance in certain areas of life. Sometimes, this can come in the form of direct support or tax breaks.

Something else that can help you save money is where you choose to travel. You don’t have to stay in the highest dollar accommodations available. You may look for friends, relatives, or look for special offers such as these. There are also after-market type hotel situations which, though perhaps not ideal, can save you a few hundred dollars.

Although travel is a luxury, it can be more attainable with the above tips!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

The Best Gifts For The Traveler In Your Life

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The Best Gifts For The Traveler In Your Life

The best gifts are always those that show how much you know a person. That’s an ironclad rule across the board. A lot of us know a person to whom travel is more than just a yearly vacation, it’s part of their lifestyle. An itch they absolutely have to scratch. If you know someone bit by the travel bug, then a gift that fits that lifestyle can be the most valuable of all:

Their Memories:

Travelers like to do more than roam the world, many of them like to document it in some way. Gifts that can help them do that encourage them not only to do what they love but to keep sharing it. If they’re a photographer, then lenses, cases, tripods, and so on can help them take better pictures. A handmade, leather-bound notebook can encourage them to start keeping travel diaries. Even photo frames containing some of their best snaps can help them look back on their journeys with pride and appreciation.

Something To Display:

Often, finding something special from one of the countries that they’ve been to can bring some of their best travel memories flooding back. Souvenirs like collectible coins featured on this website, postcards, or even ordering some food that they tried abroad can help them relive the journey all over. What’s more, it might give them something to display in honor of those past trips.

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 A beautiful globe to display is also a great idea!

The World They Love So Much:

A globe or a world map is always a great gift for a traveler if they don’t have one. It gives them the chance to look back on just how much of the world that they have seen. If it’s an interactive map, like the scratch maps shown at this site, then that’s all the better. It acts as another way for them to record their journey, to fuel a sense of accomplishment, and encourage them to scratch more locations off that map.

Somewhere To Go:

If they love seeing the world so much, why not help them see even more of it? Serious travelers know you don’t always have to fly hundreds of miles away to have a great time. You can find closer travel opportunities by suggesting a road trip, finding a national park near you, or even visiting a museum if they’re also an art or history buff. More than simply giving them something, it shows you’re willing to try that new experience with them.

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 Pixabay Image

A Helping Hand:

Finally, there are all kinds of gifts that can help them better enjoy traveling. Translation earbuds, neck pillows, portable chargers, eBook or audiobook subscriptions for those long travels are all good places to start. They might be used to slumming it around the world in discomfort but that doesn’t mean that they necessarily want to do it that way. Making their life a little easier is the most one could ask for from a good gift.

Hopefully, the examples above give you some idea of how you can treat the traveler in your life. A little acknowledgement and appreciation of that hobby are sure to make any gift all the better.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Why Is Japan Such A Popular Destination?

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Why Is Japan Such A Popular Destination?

If you are a keen traveler, there are probably many places on your list which you would like to visit. One that is commonly near the top of many lists, however, is Japan. For a lot of Westerners, Japan is seen as the ideal go-to for a slice of Asian life. It is certainly true that there is nowhere else quite like Japan, but the question is: why? What is it about this country that makes it so enticing to Western wanderlusters? As it happens, there are a number of reasons you might want to visit Japan, and knowing what they are just might tempt you into making it onto your travel list for the next few years. Let’s look at some of the best reasons to visit Japan:

The Culture:

One of the main things drawing people into Japan has to be the culture. No matter who you are, you have to admit that Japanese culture is pretty much unlike any other in the world. And, for that reason, it is likely that a visit to the country will be a fascinating one for someone who is not used to it. In fact, Japan is one of the places where people most commonly experience culture shock when they are traveling, and if you are someone who likes a bit of culture shock, then this is definitely somewhere you should consider visiting at your earliest opportunity. There are so many aspects to the culture which might attract the traveler, from Japanese anime to the high-tech and fast-paced wonders of the city, so you can definitely expect not to be bored with the cultural highlights if you do visit.

The People:

Japan is also famously filled with some of the most polite and friendliest people on the planet, and that can be hugely important when you are traveling. If you are keen on traveling alone, you will find that the people being so friendly is definitely most welcome, and it will likely be one of the most important factors of all, in fact. Of course, it is never true that every single individual is pleasant to deal with, but on the whole you will probably find that Japan offers you an experience which makes you feel safe and welcome from the very start.

The Terrain:

If you are interested in seeing a huge variety of terrain, then you really don’t need to look any further than Japan. You could be crammed into the train in the busiest city in the world one moment, and completely alone on the top of a beautiful mountain the next. No matter what it is that you actually want from your trip, you can be sure that Japan will be able to offer it. This makes for a fascinating and enormously satisfying experience for any traveler, so it is well worth considering for your next trip abroad. You might even find that it is easier to traverse than you had assumed.

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So pretty!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Tokyo A Go Go Treats

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Tokyo A Go Go Treats

Hi everyone and happy Tuesday! This past weekend, my brother and sister in law came up for a visit from Atlanta, Georgia. My sister in law, Megan was recently in Tokyo, Japan for work and my brother, Peter, flew out to spend some time with her there. In my family, having a sibling that recently traveled means viewing lots of pictures, listening to stories, and PRESENTS! Take a looksee at what Peter and Megan gifted me with all the way from Tokyo and let’s discuss:

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^^^ In case you can’t tell, the pictures above showcase a lovely little coin purse and folded fan a la Japan! 😉

I am so obsessed with my new coin purse it isn’t even funny. I have been using the same old change purse (A freebie from Victoria’s Secret.) for literal years, but would never buy a new one for myself.

  1. I like my old one well enough.
  2. It was free.
  3. Is a new one really necessary?

So obviously, I was really excited to be gifted with a new one, because the chances of me purchasing or even thinking of looking for a new coin purse were slim to none. I love the bright colors, the slightly different front and back, and the separator in the bag. I keep little trinkets that make me smile in my coin purse, so now I can have one side for those and one side for my change without mixing the two up and handing a cashier a cute, heart shaped button. Great success!

And, of course, I love my new fan. I have wanted a folded fan like this for forever, because I am extra enough to keep one in my bag and whip it out when I’m in a stuffy location. Now that I finally have a fan to do this with, it definitely sucks that winter is coming in hot on the horizon – because that’s the only thing warm about Ohio right now. However, I am SUPER happy about this beautiful, traditional prezzie and I can’t wait for when the day comes that I can take it out of my bag and start fanning myself in public!

Even though presents are nice, they are certainly not necessary. This is why I am always so excited to be gifted with something, because I was thought of enough for the gifter to make the purchase. Peter and Megan were spot on with the treasures that they bought for me and it gave me all the warm fuzzies. Not to mention that it was a total blast hanging out with them this weekend! :*)

So there you have it, some Tokyo A Go Go Treats! Which locations are on your travel bucket list? How do you preserve memories while you’re traveling? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Paperwork Priorities: Travel Admin To Take Care Of In Advance

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Paperwork Priorities: Travel Admin To Take Care Of In Advance

When you’re looking to travel, it’s sometimes easy to believe that you can just book a flight and head out. Okay, so technically, you can do that – but it’s not always the best way to go about things. Making sure that all bases are covered is important. If you’re a stickler for organization, then this is something that you’re definitely going to want to plan for in advance. However, it’s not always easy to know what pieces of paperwork you should be filling out.

If you want to make sure that you can enjoy your trip safely and responsibly, then there are certain pieces of admin that you should focus on. Both for planning the trip and enjoying it while you’re there, here are some key things that you should take care of well before your departure:

Apply For Any Visas:

As soon as your trip is booked, you should definitely look into the visa requirements. Of course, not every trip that you go on will need a visa, but if you are leaving the country, then it’s best to read up on the visa issuing details as early as possible. Then, if you do need a visa, you will have plenty of time to get your application in and secure your visa before you leave.

Get Travel Insurance:

Next, you should think about securing your travel insurance. Whenever you do any kind of travel, it’s essential that you have the right insurance. That way, should your trip get cancelled, you lose any luggage, or have an accident, you’re covered. This is a form of admin that you can iron out early on. By getting your coverage in early, you’ll have one less thing to do closer to your travel date.

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Don’t forget your map and sunglasses!

Check On Health Insurance:

Another key thing to check out is the kind of health coverage that you need. If you’re traveling nationally, then you should be fine with the coverage that you have. But you will need to check if you’re covered abroad. Sometimes, your travel insurance will cover you. But it’s something that you do need to look into, and perhaps purchase if necessary, before you leave. Don’t just assume that you are covered, because we all know the old saying about assuming…

Get Your Pet’s Paperwork:

If you’re taking your pet with you, you’re also going to need to get their affairs in order. If necessary, you should get your legit ESA registration confirmed as soon as possible. Remember to also bring any medications, special foods, and treats that your four legged friend might need, as well.

Get Your Shots:

You’re also going to want to think about the shots that you might need, too. Again, if you are staying in the country, then you may not need to do this. But if you’re traveling internationally, then you’re going to want to check up on any vaccinations that you may need. You can find all of the information that you need online for this, and you can also check with your doctor if you want to make sure that your shots are up to date.

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Order Foreign Currency:

Once all of your paperwork is a go, you’re also going to want to put your order for foreign currency in. Depending on where you’re going, you may even be able to pick this up from your bank just by heading in. If not, you can simply place your order and pick it up when it’s ready.

Prepare Your Travel Information:

As you’re finishing up, think about how you’re going to store all of your newly acquired info, should something happen. You can actually store your travel information safety online, should you need to access backup documents. From your passport to flight details, you’re able to keep copies of all of your important travel information in case you lose anything.

Fill Out Your Pre-Flight Information:

Your final step is something that you can only do close to your actual travel date. Some airlines will want you to fill out your pre-flight information online. This not only saves you time when you get to the airport, but it can be a legal requirement, too. When you do book your trip, make a note of when you can do this and be sure to get your information in as soon as you can.

Traveling is a blast, but traveling with the peace of mind that all of your affairs are in order is even better. Get organized, get ready, and have the trip of your life!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Celebrate Your Anniversary With Style

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Celebrate Your Anniversary With Style

Whether it is the date of your first meeting, first kiss, or your wedding, anniversaries are an exciting and special time that deserves to be celebrated. But how can you ensure that you are truly celebrating your anniversary with all of the style and glamor that you know it deserves? Unfortunately, many people don’t really know how to do this, and it often results in a less than satisfying day for everyone involved. In this post, we are going to take a closer look at how to celebrate your anniversary – of any kind – with true style:

The Difficulty Of Gift Buying: It wouldn’t really be an anniversary without gifts, and it is likely to be one of the first things that you think of when your date is approaching. If you find that you always struggle to find your partner a decent present that you are truly happy with, then you are not alone. Everyone knows this feeling, and it is one that is hard to do away with. So how do you go about ensuring that you end up with the right present? It might actually be easier than you think.

One useful way to do it if you are married is to fall in line with the traditional present buying rules for the years that you have been married. If you don’t know already, it is traditionally paper for one year, wood for five years, tin or aluminum for ten years, crystal for fifteen years, china for twenty years, and so on all the way up to gold for fifty years. If you have reached that genuine milestone, then you will probably want to splash out a little. There are many gold chains for men variations for you to choose between here, and you might be surprised at how easily you can find a fantastic present of this kind.

Even if you don’t want to go by this old rule or you are not married, you might find that gift buying doesn’t have to be all that hard. The trick is in working out what you think they might benefit from but which they would not normally buy for themselves. It might take some time to find something that is absolutely ideal, but the longer you spend on the process, the more likely it is that you will be happy with the resulting gift that you eventually find.

Once you have chosen what seems to be the perfect gift, you will have the issue of trying to come up with when to present it to them. This could be a more difficult concern than you have imagined, and you might end up going for a special occasion which the two of you can have together in celebration of your anniversary itself. If you can find a good time to reveal your gift, you will probably find that it seems to have much more value for the both of you. With the gift buying looked after, you will have dealt with what is often the most difficult part of ensuring that your anniversary celebrations are done with style. But there is much more to consider beside the present, so let’s continue on:

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  So sweet!

Writing A Letter: If you think that buying a gift is not enough, and you would like to express how you feel even more, then you might want to consider writing a letter to your other half expressing how you feel about them. For anyone who would enjoy receiving love letters in youth, this can be a lovely way to bring a little fresh life into the relationship, and at a good time as well. If you find that you often struggle with this kind of thing, then you might choose to take it as an opportunity to practice, as it is something that will always go down well in the future. Writing this kind of letter can be a great way to add a little genuine romance to your anniversary, and is the kind of thing that almost everyone will appreciate.

Depending on how you present it, you can also make this a great way to add some style to your anniversary celebrations. You could consider using old parchment style paper in order to give it an old world feel, for example. Or you might choose to have it delivered in an interesting and exciting way, which makes it more of an event. A letter is definitely worth putting the effort into if you want to make your anniversary as special as you want it to be – Even if you don’t have the best way with words!

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 Letter writing is a lost art.

Mixtapes Are Still A Thing: If you thought that the days of making mixtapes were long gone, think again. While the cassette might be a thing of the past, there is no reason that you can’t create the same kind of effect in a different way. If you are a little creative about it, you might even be able to upgrade the old mixtape idea into something more inventive and enjoyable that your other half will love.

One of the best ways to do this is to get a flash drive and load it with your favorite songs that remind you of them, or which you have enjoyed together in the past. If you present the flash drive in a special way, you will find that it really helps to make it more of a gift, and it is a lovely modern throwback to the old mixtape idea, which really seems to land with people well. Alternatively, you could make a CD, and in this way get a little closer to the original idea.

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#rockinout

Vacationing Is A Must: If you really want to make the most of your anniversary, then you might want to think about whisking your partner away to somewhere exotic for the weekend, or maybe even longer. For the truly romantic out there, you might even want to make it work so that this is the real surprise for them. If you can pull that off, you will find that it has a very strong effect, indeed. Nothing is better than a surprise holiday! Get this right, and it could be the most special anniversary you have had so far.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a low key anniversary, because they are just as special. But if you’re looking to glam things up this year, then the steps above are a great place to start!

Featured Image By: Pexels