Category: Travel

5 Tips for Handling Your Travel Finances Next Vacation

travel financesIf you’re dreaming of the perfect trip, getting your travel finances in order well before you leave home is the best way to make it a great experience.

The Census Bureau states that tourist spending within America has been growing steadily since the start of this decade. However, you can keep your costs low by planning ahead and cutting your travel costs in advance.

Get a grip on your travel finances right now with these 5 simple tips.

1. Save Ahead of Time

It sounds so simple, but many of us don’t really think about the cash we’re going to take on vacation with us until we leave.

Putting aside a little each month over 12 months is a lot easier than trying to find the money all at once when the time comes.

Say you put $50 of your paycheck into a special account for your vacation. That’s $600 marked for vacation use, which sounds like a very good start to a trip!

You can also save yourself a bit more cash with these savvy tips. Then, you can put the difference aside for your vacation.

2. Buy Ahead of Time

You can also help to spread out your spending by buying activities and experiences ahead of time through sites like Groupon.

This type of site sells prepaid vouchers for things to do during your trip. Usually, these offers are sold at a big discount.

Just don’t forget to bring the vouchers with you when you leave for vacation!

3. Consider a Credit Card for Travel Finances

A credit card processed by a travelers epay system can help you to spread the cost of your vacation as you go. That way, you can deal with the debt later.

However, this isn’t meant to encourage you to spend what you don’t have.

The best way to manage this aspect of your travel finance is to take out a trip-friendly 0%-on-purchases card that you can spend on and pay off later. Ideally, you can pay it off during the 0% period.

Just remember to pick a card which offers a good exchange rate if you’re leaving the states.

4. Look at Airbnb

We all need little luxuries from time to time, but Airbnb is often so much cheaper than hotels.

You can spend the difference on treats for your vacation. That way, you’re not forking out hundreds of extra dollars for a hotel room.

Also take a look at Tripping.com, FlipKey and HomeAway when looking for hotel alternatives.

5. Discount Vacation Websites

There are sites out there like VacationsToGo which scout for ‘clearance’ vacations and sell them to the rest of us.

You can enjoy 50% or more off the cost of a trip using these sites. They’re great if you’re traveling on a budget.

And they’re also great for anyone who’d rather spend the money they save on more exciting things than a hotel room!

Enjoy Your Trip

Wherever you’re going, use these tips to make it a fabulous (and affordable) experience.

If you’re looking to earn some extra cash on the side before you go, check out these ways to earn money for your vacation.

Road Trip Hacks: How to Travel With Kids and Keep Your Sanity

travel with kidsWhen you travel with kids, you could be setting yourself in for a stressful time. 6% of parents in one survey confessed to returning home early from a family holiday because it was just too much for them.

A road trip with kids should be simple right? Wrong. They’re tired, they’re fidgety, they start fighting in the back – we love our kids, but sometimes they can be little terrors!

Here’s how to keep your sanity on a long-haul road trip.

1. Distract Them with a Map

When you travel with kids, give them a map and let them trace a finger along to your destination.

This can help to keep them occupied, as well as manage their expectations of when you might arrive.

Plus, they might learn the names of a few states or cities – parents can live in the hope we’re providing a bit of education for the little ones!

2. Plan Regular Breaks

On a long drive, there’s no doubt all that pent up energy in the back seat is going to cause a fuss sooner or later. And you’ll need the bathroom.

Scope out gas stations along your route before you leave, and plan where to stop.

Find places where you can park up a while and head to a nearby play area. Let them run around until they’re tired – and hopefully, they’ll be a bit quieter when you continue driving.

While you’re pulled into a gas station, you might be interested to know about how to get free gas and keep the cost of your trip low. You might also want to check for coupons to grab free or discounted food.

If exercise doesn’t work, how about trying to teach them a ‘calm breathing routine‘? Turn it into a game if you must.

Anything that stops them asking “Are we there yet?” one more time.

3. Bring Some Entertainment and Food

Bring books or audio books along for the drive. If you have an iPad, consider giving them that to play with if they’re old enough. Or even DVDs if you’re lucky enough to have televisions in your car seats.

If you have more than one child, handing them a travel set of a game like checkers, with a magnetic board and pieces can work wonders to keep them quiet for a few hours. So long as it doesn’t cause a fight.

Snacks can help to keep them quiet too – but don’t overdo it on the sugar. The last thing you want is a five-year-old at the height of a sugar high in the car with you.

If it’s a long journey, don’t forget to bring a packed lunch for the family – or make use of those gas station stops to refuel yourselves too.

Travel with Kids – Are You Still Sane?

Hopefully, these tips help you to survive your road trip with your mental health completely intact.

We hope your trip goes well – and if you want to save some money while you’re out of town, be sure to check out these hot deals – you never know when your luck will be in!

5 Tips to Prepare For Your Next Family Boating Trip

family boating tripSummer is starting to wind down, which means it’s time to enjoy every last ounce of sunshine before the colder months kick in. That means it’s time to grab the family and head out for one last adventure.

One of the best ways to get the most out of your summer is by taking the family on a boating trip. Be it the ocean or just your local lake, there’s something fun and refreshing about an afternoon on the water.

And, before you actually take to the water, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared to have the best time possible.

Here are some awesome tips to help you prepare for your next family boating trip.

5 Tips to Prepare For Your Next Family Boating Trip

1. Inspect Your Boat

Before you use something like IMM Quality Boat Lifts, you’ll want to do a quick inspection before you’re good to go.

Here’s a list of things to check for before bringing your boat down from the lift:

  • Make sure there aren’t any cracks.
  • Look at any wiring that may have been exposed to water.
  • Test your fuel and oil.
  • Clean your upholstery and check for mold.

2. Bring Sunscreen and Bug Spray

No day in the sun is complete without a healthy helping of helping of sunscreen. It’s a great way to keep your family burn-free and can even prevent skin cancer later down the road.

If you haven’t already, try and figure out what types of sunscreen work best for your family. Some of your family may have fairer skin than others, so it’s not a bad idea to pack a few different types.

You’ll also want to make sure you’ve got some bug spray on hand. With a growing concern about the Zika virus, it’s important that you keep mosquitoes away.

Once on board, keep a watchful eye out for any unwanted pests near still waters.

3. Safety First

To have the fun day you’ve always wanted, keeping the little ones safe is paramount.

And, unfortunately, without planning and preparation, preventable accidents can happen.

Before you even crank up the boat, make sure there are plenty of life jackets on board. Then, be certain that those life jackets are as safe as possible.

Here’s a quick check list to get you started:

  1. Make sure each vest fits.
  2. If it’s inflatable, make sure it has plenty of air in it.
  3. Make sure there aren’t any leaks.
  4. If your boat has been dormant for a while, make sure your life jackets aren’t beginning to deteriorate.

A boating trip is tons of fun, but you’ll want to make sure everyone is as safe as possible.

4. Bring Snacks

No day in the sun is complete without a couple of delicious snacks. Be sure to take a break from swimming, tubing, or just floating and grab a bite to eat.

And, you don’t need to be a Michelin starred chef to prepare before you go.

To save money, pack a cooler full of sandwiches, as well as a few bags of chips.

Cut up some apple slices and pineapple and bring them along for the ride. You can even sip on some watermelon lemonade for a tasty, tropical treat.

5. Stay Hydrated

The longer you’re out in the sun, the more important it is to stay hydrated. Grab a giant pack of water bottles, a cooler of ice, and make sure you’re regularly drinking water.

Dehydration is no joke, and water is absolutely critical for optimal health. Try and drink some water at least once an hour.

Lastly, Have Fun in the Sun!

So, now you’re ready for your day out with the family. We sure hope it’s a fun trip!

Love a boating trip as much as we do? We’d love to hear any tips you have!

Your Camping List: 7 Things You’d Better Not Forget!

camping listCamping is a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors, but not if you get all the way there and realize you forgot vital supplies!

Whether you’ve been camping for years or are planning your first trip, it’s always helpful to have a comprehensive checklist of everything you’ll need.

Make sure you’re covered each and every time with this go-to camping list!

7 Must-Haves For Your Camping List

Getting away from the hustle and bustle for a camping trip can be so relaxing. The downside? You can’t just run to the corner store to pick up supplies!

Always be prepared with these 7 things to never forget!

1. Shelter, Of Course!

Whether you’re a bare minimum camper or would rather “glamp,” everyone needs some form of shelter.

Don’t forget a tent to protect you from the elements, insects, and other critters. You’ll need all the supplies to build the tent, such as stakes, a mallet or something similar, and a waterproof ground tarp (or two).

If you’re a consistent camper, think about investing in an awesome custom teardrop trailer. These bad boys can keep you organized, sheltered, and safe on your camping trips for years to come.

The coolest part? Some models feature a tent mounted to the roof of the trailer!

2. Sleeping Bag

You’ll quickly decide you hate camping if you fail to stay warm at night. Check out this great infographic if you’re camping somewhere especially chilly!

Make sure to bring a sleeping bag and any other slumber accessories you might want, such as a pillow or sleeping pad.

3. Food & Water

Bring plenty of nutritious food and water to sustain yourself during the trip. Make sure you have all the necessary supplies if you plan to cook!

Top tip: bring an ice chest to keep your food cold and locked up. Freeze water bottles instead of bringing ice so that you can have extra H2O on hand!

4. Flashlight or Lantern

One of the best parts of camping is getting to see the stars without the obstruction of city lights.

You’ll definitely want a flashlight or lantern on your camping list for nighttime reading, trips to the bathroom (or lack thereof), and emergencies.

Don’t forget backup batteries!

5. First Aid Kit

Safety first! In the case of bug bites, splinters, scrapes, or just a headache, you’ll want a first aid kit on hand.

This is especially important if you’re camping with kids.

6. Personal Hygiene Supplies

It’s up to you how “natural” you want to smell during your camping trip, but you should probably bring the basics no matter what.

This includes toilet paper, a toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, and sanitary wipes.

7. Sunscreen

Don’t let a bad sunburn ruin your trip.

Keep your skin protected with SPF especially when you’re spending a lot of time outdoors!

That’s It!

You’ll probably want to bring more than just these 7 things, but remembering to pack these essentials will make your camping trip a lot more enjoyable.

Leave a reply with your camping list must-haves!

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Travel Guide: How to Tour Vietnam on a Budget

tour vietnam on a budgetIs there anything more exciting than traveling to a new place? Seeing the world is one of the most fulfilling activities one can partake in.

And few countries are as gorgeous and serene as Vietnam. From the lush, green jungles to the busy cities, there’s so much to see!

But your trip to Vietnam doesn’t need to break your budget. On the contrary, in fact. There are tons of ways to tour Vietnam on a budget.

Ready to learn more and get your trip planned? Keep reading for some of the easiest ways you can make your trip more affordable.

Travel Guide: How to Tour Vietnam on a Budget

1. Avoid the Peak Season

Vietnam’s peak season for tourism is a bit different than most thanks to monsoon season. During these months, the country sees fewer tourists than usual due to the poor weather conditions.

Use this to your advantage! Even during monsoon season, Vietnam is such a gorgeous area to explore.

If you want to really tour Vietnam on a budget, know what to avoid.

Specifically, you’ll need to watch out for the months of July and August. The warm, sunny weather attracts crowds to all of Vietnam’s best beaches. November to March also proves to be an extremely busy time for tourism.

Try and schedule your trips around these months. By visiting during the off season, you’ll be able to save tons of money on accommodations.

2. Book Your Hotel or Hostel Online

Speaking of accommodations, one of the easiest ways to save money is by booking your hotel online.

Tons of popular sites and apps like Groupon regularly feature travel deals that can save you hundreds.

If you’re willing to be a bit more adventurous, you may even want to consider booking a hostel.

If you’ve never stayed at one of these awesome places, think of it like a communal hotel. You’ll share space with other tourists for a fraction of the price of a hotel room.

3. Travel in Style

There are a few different ways you can travel around Vietnam, all of which are relatively affordable.

First, you can rent a bike. The cost comes out to be a dollar or so per day, and you’ll get to tour the city at your own pace.

You may also want to look into Vietnam’s public transportation system. Since Vietnam is so densely populated, buses run on a near-constant basis.

You can also hire a taxi driver to take you around the city. Getting a driver isn’t necessarily the most affordable tip on the list, but it’s a great way to really see the city.

4. Know Where to Find the Best Food

To tour Vietnam on a budget is a vacation, after all. And everyone knows that the best part of vacation is the food!

One of the most affordable (and authentic) ways to eat is by checking out street food.

While the words ‘street’ and ‘food’ don’t go together in most countries, but Vietnam is a different story. In fact, street food is how most Vietnamese citizens eat.

You can pick up everything from noodles to a hearty bowl of pho for less than you’d pay back home. Best of all? There’s no need to feel guilty. Vietnamese food is full of good nutrition.

And for the coffee lovers, be sure to get a glass of Vietnamese coffee. It’s got 4x as much caffeine as your standard cup and has a rich, delicious taste.

If you want to see everything Vietnamese cuisine has to offer, be sure to schedule a food tour! That way you won’t have to miss out on anything.

For more great tips on how to get more for less, be sure to keep reading Thrifty Momma Ramblings. And if you have a travel tip of your own, don’t forget to comment below!