Tag Archives: vaca

Summer Travels On A Budget

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Summer Travels On A Budget

Hello everyone and welcome to my darling friend, Amy’s, post for my Salute To Summer guest bloggers series. Amy is the author of the blog, An Ambivert Lifestyle, and it is AMAZING so definitely take a look and give it all the love. As you guys know, my life motto is “ballin on a budget” so, naturally, Amy’s post about embracing a travel lifestyle while being smart with your cash speaks to me on a spiritual level. Take a look at Amy’s how to guide on how to make the most of your moolah on your summer vaca:

Summer Travels On A Budget

Traveling isn’t an easy task. Planning and preparing for the trip is one of the most stressful things that you can do to yourself. From working more hours and skipping nights out to save up to unexpected costs before your trip also contributes to this stress. Personally, as a full-time student and a full-time employee, it is extremely hard, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve to traveling on a budget and finding great deals. Being a college student and a frugal spender, I like to explore deals on flights on the internet, books, personal experience, and word of mouth.

Finding Deals on Flights

  • Student Universe – This company provides less expensive flights for students. They work with 80+ airlines to get cheaper flights listed than anywhere else. This site is truly magical. Not only do they provide deals on flights, but they also offer deals on tours, hotels, and group travel. For members, they provide even more deals for special rates.
  • Private Browsing – This is super important! Whenever you are searching for flights, go on “Private Browsing” on whatever internet browser you use. Airline companies pay big money to know what consumers are searching, so if you visited a certain flight over and over again, they increase prices so you can buy faster.
  • Skyscanner – This helps you scan flights of your choosing through all the different airline companies. You can also see prices on different dates, as well, for convenience.
  • Booking flights on Wednesdays! – This is such an easy trick. Almost all of the time, flights will be consistently lower than the rest of the weekdays since they consider this day to have the most amount of seats available, so prices are lowered to fill the planes.
  • Check social medias and your email! – Usually, airline companies will email deals and promo codes for flights for a period of time. These have saved my bacon many times.
  • Get a refund! – No, really! If you purchased a ticket and the fare has dropped since you bought it, call/email them to ask for a refund for the difference. It may not always work, but the fact that it has worked with certain airline companies is amazing! Websites such as Yapta and Orbitz track your purchased flights and let you know. Easy.
  • Champ through several stop flights – It isn’t easy and most of the time it isn’t fun. The majority of the time these stops are red eyes. It sucks, but being able to spend a couple hundred dollars to be able to buy that souvenir for you girlfriend’s cousin’s mom is worth it.
  • Airfare Errors – This is your best friend. Websites such as AirFare Watchdog and Secret Flying can be used to allow you to beat the system and stalk for mistake fares.

While Traveling Do’s

  • Research ahead of time – If you travel to a foreign land, it’s best that you research where you want to go first instead of winging it. I have spent so much more money than expected when I have winged it.
  • Look up places that do not charge admission – You’d be surprised at how many museums do not charge admission fees throughout the world. I always do this when I go on vacations because it gives you something to do that’s fun, while keeping money in your pocket.
  • Foreign Exchange at your bank – Some people don’t know this but some banks will actually let you exchange currencies right there. Sometimes the rates are cheaper than when you’re traveling and it’s convenient to have the currency of the destination before you even get off of the plane.
  • Carry cash & don’t use your card – Having a fixed amount of cash on you helps BIG time with budgeting on a day-by-day vacation. It helps you not over spend and prevents binging on those miniature Eiffel Towers or flower shaped gelato. Plus, if you use your card, chances are that your bank will charge you an international fee.

Places to Stay Without Breaking the Bank

  • Air BnB – This is already a given, but I love them so much that I had to put them on this list.
  • Hostel World – Hostels are the cheapest way to travel. You get to meet different people traveling that will probably become your international long term friend. Hostel World allows you to look up every single hostel in the area that you’re traveling to. You get to compare between different hostels, prices for a private room and dorms, and amenities. They have a Best Price Guarantee as well, so they will provide the cheapest rates for every hostel.
  • Home To Go – Not too many people know about this page. It’s a very user friendly site where you get to look up Bed and Breakfast type places. They provide last minute deals and discounts up to 75% off for their members for certain places.
  • Tripping – This is a sight that lets you look up vacation rentals, hostels, rooms for rent per night, hotels, etc. Similar to Air Bnb.

Extras

  • Lonely Planet – Unique site that provides travel books and videos about different countries and their activities such as beaches, food and drink, art and culture, and adventure travel. They also provide services such as travel insurance, adventure tours, car rentals, flights, hotels, sightseeing tours, and airport transfers and shuttles. Another perk of this website is that they provide tips, as well.
  • Like A Local – This company is so great! This site allows you to be able to contact locals in the area that you’re traveling to be able to get suggestions, tips, and even ask to meet up. They provide suggestions for tours, food, nightlife, shopping, and sightseeing all at your fingertips. On top of that, you can also pay a local to be your tour guide for CHEAP. I’m going to be traveling to Munich at the end of May and a local posted that they charge 2 euros an hour to be your guide. I’m SHOOK. But it gets better, you are also able to download their phone app and purchase an offline, no internet, and no roaming charges map for $1.99 per city that can also use your GPS to locate where you are. If you’d like to be a guide as well in your home town, you can also sign up with them and be paid!

The most important part of traveling, of course, is that you have fun and enjoy! Only be on your phone to take pictures and make a new friend and take in every opportunity that you can to soak in and appreciate your new surroundings.

Wow! Thank you so much to Amy for such fantastic, invaluable tools to use while traveling on a budget. For more on Amy’s upcoming travels, be sure to check out her blog! How do you ball on a budget? Where are you traveling to this summer? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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3 Ways Your Home Can Earn You Money (For Once!)

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3 Ways Your Home Can Earn You Money (For Once!)

Homes have always been a cost-center. Sure, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but your home will always cost you money. Mortgage payments, property taxes, utility bills, and all that end of the month stuff that makes us realize how small our pay check really is in today’s world. But what if we told you that you could turn your home from a cash-leaker to a money-maker and that you could do it right now? Oh, yeah, we’re totally serious.

The Extra Apartment: As with anything that involves your house, always check the legalities of a renovation. But, in most cases, there is nothing illegal about adding a self-contained property to your estate. It could be that you have a basement that is doing nothing but letting the heat escape from your home in the winter, in which case you should definitely look into renovating it into an apartment to rent out. If you haven’t got this option, then why not have the team from The Renovation Company take a look at your garage and see what they can do with your space. As a little bit of advice, we do recommend that you work out how much this extra self-contained property will make in rent and how much value it will add to your home, and then calculate whether the cost of renovation is worth it. However, the scales usually tip in your favor, especially if you’re clever (which you are!).

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Chez YOU!

The Rental Route: The undisputed king of disrupted technologies is Airbnb and for good reason, too. If you live in an area that is desirable or even within a short distance of some attractive spot, then you could see your home turn into a cash-catching side-earner. What do we mean by desirable? Well, being in a holiday hot spot has its benefits, but so does living close to a hospital, airport, university, popular wedding venue, or a big employer. The other great thing about going down this route is the choice. You could rent out your spare room, both of your spare rooms, or your entire house (and just go and stay with your friends for a few days). You can set the price, boundaries, rules, and the little extras you are willing to offer (yup, we mean breakfast). You could even up your fee by making a few simple home improvements. Trust us, a lot of people are making a lot of money from going down this easy-peasy route.

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I’d pay extra for that!!

The Storage Space: Not everyone is cool with the idea of sharing their home with total strangers, whether short-term or long. That’s kind of understandable. However, renting your space out for money doesn’t have to mean inviting people into your castle. You can make a steady income by renting it out as a storage space. The fact that there are now companies like Store Mates proves that there is an ever-growing demand for storage units, and that is what you could offer. It could be people wanting to store their boats or RVs over the winter, in which case your heated garage would be ideal. It could be that someone is moving house and needs to store a load of boxes, which is where your unused attic becomes a money maker. Just remember to treat your listings like any other listing. Good photos and a detailed note of any additional features will go a long way in cranking up your fee.

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Just don’t take the boat out for a test spin!

With a bit of creativity and possible renovations, your home could become your newest money maker in no time!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Ford And Fiat Battle For The Ultimate Small Summer Car

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Ford And Fiat Battle For The Ultimate Small Summer Car

Let loose the rays of ultraviolet, may the buds that sprout shoot into blossoming flowers that drench the world in their splendor, and may the sound of puppies playing and children laughing swamp the world. Summer is finally here – and about time, too. The wind, rain, and unpleasant gray clouds all have bowed to the supremacy of the sun and ran away. Times like these make you want to go on a holiday with your best friends and never come home.

Nothing can replicate the feeling of a summer vacation that’s totally in your own hands. No scheduled flights to catch, no delayed trains, no sleeping on the floor of some godforsaken terminal somewhere. Now, all you need is the perfect little car to drive you to all of the vacation hot spots. But If you’re in the market for a small car, which one should you pick? The honest answer is that there are a multitude of choices but none of them dominate the others in the field; it’s all relative. However, here are two of the totally beach ready cars that you can consider:

Dancing With Urbanity: Fiesta de resistance. Ever since Ford shrunk their Focus model and the Ford Fiesta was born, they’ve made a perfectly reliable, fun, scoot-mobile. The design is really quite unique as the car’s rear is taller than the front and has a sweeping slope angle towards the front of the car. The indented lines run from the trunk, down the side doors, and onto the top of the bonnet and into the headlights. The Fiesta is a four door car with great legroom for your friends in the back seats. It has a peppy little 1-liter Ecoboost engine which has great low-rev grunt, which makes it the obvious choice for little streets which require a decent amount of torque for quick bursts of acceleration.

Drinking and driving is a very serious issue and some people can get carried away on holiday. If you know someone who may fall prey to vaca temptation and you can see they need help, you could reward them with a road trip holiday in one of these cars after they’ve been to a place like https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/alcohol-abuse/. Nevertheless, Ford have always made strong and sturdy cars, and the little Fiesta is no different with the Euro NCAP crash tests giving it a staggering 91% protection rating for adults and similarly astonishing 86% for child protection. When you’re driving in countries you’re unfamiliar with, knowing that you’re safe behind the wheel should an accident befall you is something that travelers are understandably putting high up on their list.

Italian Magnificence: The Fiat Punto is one of the iconic cars of the latter part of the 20th century and now is a staple car for those looking at an affordable little zipping machine. Pointy, small, agile, and totally adorable – the Punto uses a 1.2 petrol engine. Italians are known for their automotive engineering and this little car is no exception. The engine has as strong block, so it will tend to rev out a lot. But most small cars are made to be loud shouty things when you really put your foot down! The style is very sleek and curvy, perfect for the voguish girl who wants to make a statement driving through town. The proportions are incredibly well sized and timed; the Punto wouldn’t look out of place driving through Monaco. And get this, it has a combined 60 miles per gallon capability; that means more miles as you navigate through the city.

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Pretty!

A vacation isn’t complete without a cool car to drive around in. And with so many new options on the table – the problem won’t be finding one but deciding on one model!

Featured Image By: Cherylholt

Vaca Style Tips For Every Occasion

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Vaca Style Tips For Every Occasion

So, you’re a traveler? You love to jet off to new places and foreign lands and have a good time? That’s awesome, because there is nothing better than broadening your horizons and enjoying life. But, before you leave, you need to make sure that you’re ready. Nope, that doesn’t mean that you have your passport and visas in order, although that is imperative! In this sense, we’re talking about style. After all, you have to look good while you travel, or else that holiday romance might never happen! Hello, European boys!

Luckily, you can always turn heads while traveling with these tips:

Pack A Series Of Outfits: Naturally, there is never enough space when you start to pack. But, that isn’t an excuse! For centuries, travelers have been finding new and creative ways to jam things into their rucksacks, and you can do the same. Nay, you should do the same. If you’re away for a while, the outfits that you pack will get to feel weathered and tired. As a result, you might begin to develop the wardrobe blahs, feeling like you lack that little something something. By taking everything from sundresses to hot pants and all of the pieces in between, your wardrobe won’t start to feel boring while you’re away.

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Be sure to pack some sunnies!

Only Wear Casual Clothes During The Day: Another reason clothes start to feel old is because you are wearing them too much. While you’re away, you won’t think twice about wearing an evening outfit during the day. Indeed, it might be necessary if you haven’t got any clean clothes. The problem with this, is that they lose their shine a lot quicker as a result. The solution is simple: keep evening wear for the evenings. Then, when you get ready, you will have the same feeling like every other time you go for a night on the town.

Take Accessories: Just because you’re abroad, doesn’t mean that you can’t accessorize. In fact, you should do it more when you are in a foreign land. What do you know about accessories? Well, the first and main thing is that they are style enhancers. That means that they are the perfect side dish to making an okay outfit look great. Seeing as your outfits are bound to lose their appeal, a few accessories could help you step up your game. All you have to do is pack a handful that goes with most items. A word of warning: don’t go overboard and pack them carefully to avoid them getting tangled. No one wants to spend a morning in Rome undoing a necklace knot!

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Pretty!

Refresh Your Style: What you take with you isn’t what will come back. Most people throw things away and buy new things while they are on the move. And, it’s an excellent idea. Okay, there might not be an H&M on the high street if you’re thousands of miles from home. Still, the local markets always try and cater to the tourists, so there should be some cheap items that catch your eye. In fact, they’ll be dirt cheap if you learn how to haggle properly.

Style is important when you’re traveling in a new place. It will take you from the girl sightseeing to the sight that people are gazing at! Happy travels!

Featured Image By: Flickr

Keeping Safe When You Are Traveling: A Complete Guide

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Keeping Safe When You Are Traveling: A Complete Guide

Who doesn’t love to travel? Whether it’s for a vacation, business, or to visit your family, travel educates and entertains. Unfortunately, some trips do not go well and are ruined by accidents or ill health. Here’s a quick guide to how you can keep healthy when you are away from home and what you can do if something goes wrong. But fingers crossed that it doesn’t, of course!

Be proactive and prepare before you go:

Be realistic about your health and your physical limitations before you travel. This is especially important if you have chosen to travel by air. There are some people who should not fly and they include:

  • Babies under 2 days old
  • Women who have passed 36 weeks of pregnancy
  • People who have recently had any type of surgery
  • People who have recently suffered a stomach, eye, or head injury.
  • People who have recently had a heart attack or stroke

If you have any sort of health condition it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor before you leave, just in case.

Plan ahead for injuries and illnesses:

You will be responsible for hospital and other medical arrangements during your trip so double check your health insurance and make sure that you are covered for the entirety of your vacation. Think about where you will access treatment if you become ill or injured. Compile a list of USA emergency dentist locations and hospitals in case something goes wrong. This will cut down your stress levels if you are in need of treatment while you are away, as you will already have a place in mind.

Take your own first aid kit with you for minor emergencies. Stock it up with band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and cotton wool so that you can treat cuts and scrapes. Include any prescribed medication and some pain killers. Some basic first aid knowledge is essential so have a read up on what you should do in an emergency. You also need to know when you should call a doctor. In general terms, you need to call medical assistance if you have diarrhea AND a high fever, have been bitten or scratched by an animal, or have been in an accident and are seriously injured.

Let your friends and family know when you will be going, where you will be going, and when you intend to return. Always carry details of your next of kin and your medical requirements with you. You can store these in a mobile phone or in card form in your wallet.

Look after your health while you are away:

It is easy to get carried away on holiday and take risks that we would not take when we are at home. Some sensible precautions will go a long way towards making your trip a safe one. Limit your alcohol intake and use sunscreen when you are in hot and sunny climates. Be especially careful if you are on the coast or in the country as there are additional hazards. Be aware of your surroundings and think about the dangers that you might face and how to avoid them as necessary.

Vacation is meant for fun, not catastrophe. Have a back up plan in place for peace of mind while you have a good time!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Keeping Yourself Entertained On Vaca

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Keeping Yourself Entertained On Vaca

Are you one of the lucky ones heading abroad on your vacation this year? Whether you’re on the road, in a hotel, or on a cruise, there can be moments, particularly after a long day of exploring, when all you want is to settle down and relax. An evening in the hotel with Netflix or a good book can be just what the doctor ordered after you’ve been on your feet all day sightseeing. But staying entertained and ensuring that you don’t run out of things to do while you’re abroad isn’t quite so easy as when you’re at home. Here are just a few ways that you can make sure that, even in your downtime, you’re fully fighting the boredom blahs:

Don’t Rely On Books: If you love to get a jump on your summer reading list while on vaca, books can become far too cumbersome. Whether you read while you travel, relax by the pool, or just as you go through life, it might be time to invest in a bit of a technological helper. Rather than packing a book a day into your luggage, a Kindle is a cheap, lightweight, and easily transportable alternative. With literally millions of books to choose from, all accessible online, you’ll never be caught short without a book again.

Keep Some Entertainment Downloaded: Sometimes WiFi is obscenely slow, and sometimes *gasp* you just can’t connect at all. The worst thing in these situations is to have no backup plan. Keeping a few shows downloaded onto whatever device you’re using can be a real lifesaver in moments of boredom. Netflix has options to download now, as do many other video hosting sites. And be sure to double check that your Spotify Premium account is up to date before you set off so that you can still access all of your favorite music, even when WiFi isn’t an option.

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Pixabay Image

Netflix Is Your BFF: When you need some reassuring familiarity and an evening to yourself, it’s all about Netflix. Whether you’re entertaining young ones or just chilling on your own, being able to get a few of your favorite shows online is essential. While Netflix, ordinarily, won’t work abroad, using a VPN enables you to bypass that. Check out securethoughts to find out exactly how to do it. Then, all of your favorite shows are just a button-push away.

Portable Chargers Are Everything: We rely so heavily on electronic devices in this day and age, from smartphones to laptops and tablets to Kindles, that it’s not surprising that portable charging devices are growing in popularity. When you’re in an airport or hotel room, chances are that you’ll have access to power, but when you’re on the road, public transport, or walking around the city, it could be a bit more tricky. Keep a fully charged portable power supply in your handbag all of the time, and you’ll never find yourself caught with the power out again.

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Is your device fully charged??

Traveling the world doesn’t mean that you don’t want a few moments of R&R every now and then, and if they take the form of your favorite books or TV shows, it’s always best to be prepared. Happy traveling!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Summer Fun Checklist

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Summer Fun Checklist

It may not always seem like it, but the time of year that it is can make a huge difference in a person’s life. Winter and autumn can be difficult sometimes because of things like seasonal effective disorder. How early the sun rises and sets is enough to have an effect on people’s moods (I know it does for me!). As another example, people look at the New Year as something of a new start, and it is a time when they try to grasp that opportunity.

Summer is no different. If you are in college, especially, the break from the academic year represents an opportunity to improve yourself (or simply to bask in laziness for a few weeks). That may mean that you go traveling and experience the wonders of another culture or you may decide, instead, to stay closer to home and participate in some volunteering or work experience to better prepare you for your post-graduation job search. For people who work, it is a chance to go on holiday. However, you may just want to stay at home and relax. For some people, the perfect summer day is taking a book to a local park and sitting under a tree until it gets too dark to read.

If you are thinking of making the most of the summer this year, you will need to start preparing now since it is so nearly upon us. Here are five things that you need to make sure of before you set off on whatever plans that you’ve made:

  1. If you are hoping to leave the country, you should book your flights exactly eighteen weeks before you intend to travel. Research has shown that airline websites offer the cheapest prices at those times. Otherwise, you need to check that your passport is still valid. And do not forget your visa! There is nothing worse than getting somewhere only to be sent back again right away.
  2. Depending on where you’re going, you will need to make sure that your wardrobe matches. If you are heading to some tropical paradise, you’ll need a bikini or swimming trunks. Do not forget your sunglasses and the most important thing of all: sun tan lotion. Nothing ruins a vacation quite like a nasty sunburn.
  3. Personal grooming is crucial, too. If you are looking for the best razor for the bikini area, you need to make sure that you get one with which you are comfortable. Otherwise, you should remember that in different climates you will need to have products for your hair and skin. If you are not used to hot weather all year round, you may quickly find that your lips crack or your skin becomes a little dry. Thinking ahead and packing precautionary lotions or ointments is the smartest thing to do when you’re jetsetting to a new place.
  4. You should always take a book with you just in case for surprise waits before appointments or lunch dates, but it is never more important than when you are on holiday. They are not called ‘beach reads’ for nothing!
  5. No one forgets a camera anymore since they do not forget their phone but to get the best pictures, you should think about a camera with film. It costs more but the photos are better. Also, why not take a notebook along so that you can better remember the holiday when you get back?

Nothing makes pre-vacation planning easier than a good old fashioned checklist. Make yours, check it twice, and you’re off!

Featured Image By: Pexels