Category: Travel and Vacations

A Backpacker’s Paradise: 6 Best Places to Visit in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is so full of diverse cultures, delicious foods, and beautiful scenery that it might be difficult to decide where exactly to start. 

Are you a backpacker looking for your next destination? Here are some of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia.

The Best Places to Visit in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is a popular destination for those backpackers looking to globe-trot inexpensively. There is plenty to see and do while island hopping, new cultures to learn about and immerse in, and delicious foods to taste and experience. 

There is something for everyone, from adventurous activities like diving or whitewater rafting to visiting temples and other types of cultural sites, this will be a trip of a lifetime and one you may never forget. All while not breaking the bank. 

1. Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor flourished as the capital city of the Khmer Empire between the 9th and 15th centuries. Home to the famous temple, Angkor Wat, it is one of Cambodia’s most popular tourist attractions. 

One of the best ways to see the Angkor temples is to rent a bike or tuk-tuk to get around the grounds. The whole site will take you about 3 hours to explore casually or almost half the day if you plan on taking your time. 

The temples are an ancient religious site and visitors need to dress modestly. It is requested that you cover your upper arms and wear shorts to the knee in order to gain access to the highest level of Angkor Wat. 

2. Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay is located in northern Vietnam and is speckled with over a thousand limestone towers known as karsts. These karsts raise up out of the bay, some of them are hollow, arched, or topped with thick jungle growth. 

Visitors to Halong will find plenty of things to do like taking a guided boat tour around the karsts and explore inside some of the limestone caves. You can also visit one of the larger islands and see the vegetation, views, and even visit some of the floating villages of the area.  

3. Ifugao Rice Terraces, Philippines

The Ifugao Rice Terraces are located at the base of the Cordillera mountain range. These breathtaking terraces were carved out of the landscape by the ancestors of the Ifugao tribe and have been used to cultivate rice, and other crops, for over 2000 years. 

The Ifugao tribe is a member of the larger Igorot group who has lived in this mountain range for thousands of years and because of the difficult terrain was never encountered by the Spanish, and later, American colonizers. Because of this their culture and practices were retained and not influenced by the new colonial cultures. 

When visiting this beautiful site, take time to show respect to the people of the Ifugao tribe who continuously work to maintain the fields and admire the creativity it took to farm these difficult lands. 

4. Borobudur, Java

Borobudur is located on the island of Java and is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. This famous temple was built in the 8th and 9th centuries by the kingdom of Sailendra and took roughly 75 years to complete. 

This ancient temple is the most popular location for Buddhist pilgrimage. It symbolizes a path to enlightenment and pilgrims will begin by following clockwise passageways and begin to gradually ascend towards the center to the tallest point. 

If you would like to follow the same pilgrimage path then you can hire a guide who will take you along the pathways while explaining the different reliefs and their stories and meanings. You do not have to follow the entire journey but can see a few of the reliefs and then ascend to the top and enjoy the awe-inspiring view from the top. 

5. Ko Phi Phi, Thailand

If you are looking to take a rest and get some beach time in on your backpacking adventure across Southeast Asia, then Ko Phi Phi is the perfect place to slow down and take it easy. 

This coastal location has been featured in blockbuster movies, and its no wonder. While standing on the white sand beach you will look out onto the clear blue sea and tall jutting limestone karsts with the beautiful lush green mountains behind you. 

This is a great location to spend some time lounging on the beach or going for a swim. You can also hire a guide to take you out snorkeling or diving or a boat can take you around to see the sites and maybe keep an eye out for dolphins. 

After a relaxing day spent on the water, you might be ready for a little nightlife. Ko Phi Phi is well known for its parties where you can dance, have a cocktail, listen to some live music or watch a Muay Thai fight. 

6. Mount Kinabalu, Borneo

Mount Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in Borneo and is a sacred location for the indigenous tribes of Sabah. This mountain has been a sacred resting place for the dead and is a spiritual focal point to the tribe. 

These days Mount Kinabalu is a popular destination for those looking to climb to the top because it doesn’t require the person to be in peak physical condition. You can hire a guide to take you to the top over two days and camp overnight. If you plan on hiking, be sure to get a climbing pass ahead of time because there is a limited amount available each day. 

You can also explore the surrounding jungle or beautiful gardens of the area and visit some of the villages in the area to learn more about the local culture. 

Which Places Are You Excited to Visit? 

These are only some of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia, there are many more areas to explore. Which places are you excited to see on your backpacking adventure? 

Be sure to visit our website daily for more travel ideas, tips, and advice! 

 

Europe By Car: How to Plan a European Road Trip on a Budget

Do you yearn to spend a summer wandering through Europe? The idea that you can go wherever you want. Stay for as long as it feels right. Blend with the locals to get a true European experience.

Does your wanderlust have you dreaming of European roadways, cafes, and culture? It all sounds great until you imagine how to actually pay for it. 

Don’t give up on those dreams of days spent wandering European streets and sites. You can see Europe and do it on a tight budget. 

The secret is to see Europe by car. Car and not train? Yes, learn how to travel through Europe by car and stick to a budget too

Car Choice

What better way to road trip across Europe than to pack up the car and take to the open road? The most obvious question is what car to use. If you don’t live in Europe and have your own car, then you need to find access to a car to use for an extended period of time. 

If you are under the age of 25, many car rental companies put steep fees to rent to do a rental.

One option is to do a short term lease. Peugeot Open Europe offers short terms leases for a minimum of three weeks. To take advantage of their low cost, short term lease you must not be a resident in the European Union and be at least 18 years of age. 

Things to consider when traveling by car through Europe are how to insure the car. This is easy to do with a short term lease. You might also want to include roadside assistance since you will be driving in unfamiliar territory. 

You should also consider getting an international driver’s permit. This license certifies you to drive internationally. It often makes car rentals and leases easier to acquire. Learn more here about how to obtain an international driver’s permit.

When selecting a car, think about the fact that you are going to spend significant time in it. Will you want to sleep in it? How much space do you need to carry your belongings?  

Survival Things to Consider

Once you have secured a car, there are other things to think about before taking off driving across Europe. A car gives you freedom in a way that train schedules do not. But there are still some benefits to thinking about how you will get around Europe and live while doing it. 

Where Will You Sleep

Sure, you can use the car to wander from country to country, city to city. But where do you plan to sleep? For some looking to live on an uber tight budget, they plan to sleep in the car too. 

While this certainly is not the optimal situation for comfort, it does save money. You have to consider where can I park my car safely while I sleep. Some countries do not allow this, so be sure to consider local laws. 

Other options for inexpensive sleeping include camping or hostels. Both are less expensive than hotels but still may require planning ahead with reservations. 

Food and Drinks

Let’s face it, food in Europe is amazing. You want to be able to splurge on the gelato or pain au chocolat. But food and drinks can be real budget busters, so you need to do some planning. 

Plan to pack snacks and bring refillable water bottles. Buying a bottle of water or a snack each time you make a stop can add up fast. You might consider packing a “kitchen” box in your car. Then you can pack:

  • A wine opener (it is Europe, after all)
  • A can opener
  • A few plates, cups and cutlery
  • A knife for cutting cheese and bread (again, it is Europe)

Being able to buy food from a farm market or small grocery will greatly save over eating meals in restaurants. 

Set a Budget

If you want to do this inexpensively, you have to set a budget for yourself and keep it. If traveling around by car, gas will be the biggest expense. You should plan for the unexpected if you are traveling by car. You need to have a cushion in your budget for the potential flat tire or dead battery.

Consider how much you can spend. Subtract the cost of the car and expected gas based on the mileage you hope to cover. 

Even if you plan to sleep in the car some, you will occasionally need to pay for a place to stay so you can shower and do laundry. 

Establish a daily food budget. It will keep from making those impromptu purchases. Nothing wrong with a little splurge, as long as it doesn’t happen over and over again wreaking havoc on your budget. The food budget will also force you to plan ahead by using local markets to get food to travel with you.

You should also plan for some money in your budget for admission fees. Some of the sights you can’t miss while traveling, think the Colosseum or a ride down the Seine in Paris, will have fees. 

Outline a Route, Be Ready to Change It

The great thing about traveling by car is the flexibility it provides. You do not have to adhere to the strict schedules of using mass transportation. You can see where the road takes you and make spontaneous decisions to stay longer or investigate a place you find. 

Having said that, consider when a place will have the most tourists. When will holidays affect what you can see?

Make a dream list of where you want to see. Then plan the best route to navigate to those places. It might save gas and time to prevent you from doing a bunch of zigzagging if you don’t have a plan. 

Pack Strategically

It’s easy to think, you can pack all you want since you have a car versus getting on a plane or train. Remember, your car will be your home on your travels and you want it to have space and be organized. 

You will need to access things without having to unpack the whole car every time you want to get a sweater out of your bag. One suggestion is to pack boxes that represent different rooms in your home. You have a kitchen box with eating necessities. You have your bathroom box with a towel and toiletries. 

If you plan to sleep in your car, think about what you will need to for comfort while you sleep. 

Europe By Car, the Adventure of a Lifetime

No matter where you sleep, wandering your way around Europe is a fantastical adventure. It can be made even better with some planning and foresight. See Europe by car with an international driver’s permit, a car and some adventure in your soul. 

Learn more travel ideas by visiting our Travel Topics tab on our website. 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Get Stuck at Check-In: How to Update an Expired Passport

Planning your international travels is a lot of work. There are so many different factors you have to take into consideration when traveling abroad.

Do you know what you’re going to see, where you’re going to stay, what currency you’ll need, and so forth? Do you know what to do when your passport expires? Just keeping on top of the basics can be intense and time-consuming. 

Amongst so many other tasks, its easy to forget to think about your passport. Often, our passports are just something we take for granted. It’s easy to forget that your passport might’ve expired between your current trip and your last one, especially if the last time you traveled abroad was many years back. 

What can you do if your passport is no longer good and your trip is coming up? Read on, and we’ll walk you through what you need to know. 

Passport Expiration Basics

The reason many people forget to think about their passport is that they generally last quite a long time without the need for renewal. 

A new passport is good for 10 years (a whole decade!) without need for renewal. This applies to all people age 16 and up, while child passports actually need to be renewed slightly more frequently: every five years. 

If you’re unsure about your current passport status, you can find your expiration date by simply flipping your booklet open. The expiration date should be located clearly on the inside of the front cover. 

Planning Ahead For Your Trip

The renewal process for a passport isn’t complicated and should be easy to do, as long as you have enough time. It can take up to six weeks to receive a new passport, so it’s important to start the process far ahead of your planned date of departure. 

Some countries might require your passport to be valid for at least for six months before granting you entry to the country. This is a security measure intended to protect national security. Depending on where you’re traveling, you might need to have your passport renewed far ahead of time to make the trip. 

You don’t have to wait for your passport to expire in order to have it renewed. If you know you have travel plans coming up and don’t want to cut things close, you can renew it at any point during the 10 year period. 

Passports expire every 10 years when you’re 16 or older. Child passports (age 15 or younger) expire every five years.

What to Do When Your Passport Expires 

Luckily, renewing your passport doesn’t have to be a difficult process. In fact, you can go through the whole procedure from the comfort of your own home. 

What you’ll need to do is go online and find the passport renewal application form (known as form DS-82), and fill out the pertinent information. As long as your passport isn’t more than five years past the expiration date, you’ll be able to renew through the mail.

In addition to your application, you’ll need to include a payment fee and a new and updated passport photo. This photo can be printed cheaply through online carriers or at your local convenience store. 

Make sure to look closely at the passport photo requirements to ensure you’re sending in a photo that won’t be rejected. The last thing you want to do is draw out the application process even more by making an easily avoidable mistake.

Passport photos generally must be in color, printed on photo quality paper, and measure 2 by 2 inches in size. Most printers will be able to help ensure you’re meeting requirements when you go in to get your passport photo printed. 

The fee you’ll need to pay depends on if you’re requesting a book and card or just one or the other. Standard shipping should be free, but you’ll have to pay more if you need your application sent off in a hurry.

If you’ve gotten married since you’ve last updated your passport, you may need to provide a copy of your marriage license with your application. This will allow an official name change to be applied to your passport. 

Expedited Services

What if your trip’s around the corner and you just realized that your passport has expired? You wouldn’t be the first to make this mistake. 

Lucky for you, there are many expedited services that can help get your passport renewed much quicker. But they’ll cost significantly more for the speed. If you’re looking for passport or ESTA renewal, some extra cash can get things done even in a small period of time. 

Through traditional channels, expedited shipping usually costs around $60. There are also some companies and establishments that have relationships with the government and might be able to get your passport through the system faster, but for a fee. 

If you’re not sure of your passport or ESTA status, you can also check it online and see if you’re ready to travel or not. Checking ahead can ensure you don’t get turned away at the airport: a traveler’s worst nightmare. 

Dealing With an Expired Passport

No one wants the trouble of dealing with an expired passport, but eventually, everyone does. Knowing what to do when your passport expires can help save you a great deal of trouble when the inevitable comes to pass. As long as you’re prepared, it really doesn’t have to be too difficult! 

Need more help navigating potentially expensive life issues? Check out my family page for more advice. 

10 of the Best Budget Travel Destinations for Wallet-Friendly Adventures

74% of Americans go into over $1,000 in debt to fund their vacations. If that doesn’t sound like a great plan to you, you may be scratching your head over how to have a nice break without breaking the bank.

Thankfully, there are ways. In this article, we’ll show you 10 of the best budget travel destinations for wallet-friendly adventures.

1. Mexico

Don’t want to go too far away from home? Then why not Mexico?

This huge country has so much to offer, with a wide variety of nature, culture, and cuisine. You might be concerned about your safety while in Mexico, but the truth is, so long as you keep your wits about you, you should be safe.

We recommend renting a car to get around since public transportation can quickly add up. Renting a car can cost under $50 per day, and you can travel wherever and whenever you want.

Expect to pay about $15 per day for your meals.

2. Sri Lanka

Not many people have Sri Lanka on their bucket list, but you should definitely consider visiting this island nation! You’ll get to experience their unique culture and foods. Plus, there are plenty of opportunities to go on wildlife safaris where you’ll spot tons of amazing animals.

Another key attraction of this country is its temples. These awe-inspiring buildings will provide a great backdrop for your family photos.

Here, you can expect to pay just under $2 per meal if you stick with street food. Hotels and hostels are also very cheap, coming in at around $20 and $10 per night respectively.

3. Argentina

If you’ve always wanted to travel to Europe but can’t for whatever reason, Argentina is a reasonable substitute. Many of its bigger cities have a European feel to them, but all without you having to spend a fortune. This country is rich in diverse landscapes, such as mountains and glaciers.

Expect to pay around $6 for a meal and under $20 for hostels. You can book very nice hotels for cheap as well.

4. Egypt

Egypt is home to some of the greatest pyramids, so if you get an opportunity to visit, do it! Not only can you view things like the Great Pyramid of Giza, but you can also go for a dip in the Nile as well. There’s also Khan El Khalili, which is the oldest flea market in the country.

If you’re planning on street food, it’ll cost about $4. Otherwise, a nice, simple meal will cost around $8.

5. Taiwan

Although a small nation, Taiwan is well-known for its cuisine. If you love bubble tea, then this is a must-visit destination; it’s the birthplace of bubble tea!

Not only is food mouthwateringly delicious here, but it’s also super cheap. For example, you can get a variety of street for under $2. Really well put together meals in restaurants cost around $10, depending on where in Taiwan you are.

While public transportation can be a bit pricey, you can opt to rent their city bikes. These are free for the first 30 minutes of usage and then $0.50 per hour afterward.

Hostels cost around $10 per night and hotels cost around $15 per night.

6. Hungary

There are plenty of cheaper countries to visit in Europe, and Hungary’s one of them. There are romantic medieval villages and basilicas, as well as beautiful countrysides. You’ll feel as if you’re in postcards wherever you travel.

Here, you’ll pay around $5 per meal, and all other costs are relatively cheap as well. Hostels will cost a little over $10 per night and hotels will cost $20 per night.

7. Nepal

You may know Nepal for its amazing mountains, but there’s so much more to this country than that. This southeast Asian country has glacial lakes and tea fields as well. And if you’re up for safaris, they have those too.

It can be challenging to travel to this remote nation, but once you get there, everything will be worth it. You can grab some street food for under $1 and get a decent meal for under $2.

The hostel and hotel prices are cheap too. Hostels cost around $6 per night and private rooms in hostels cost around $30 per night.

8. Romania

This is another country that’s known for one thing but will surprise you. You may know of Romania because of Dracula, but there are lots of beautiful sites to visit in this country. For example, they have many breathtaking castles you can visit.

Meals will cost you around $15 per day and the same goes for accommodations. Find the best ones for your travel dates through https://bestlocationhotels.com/.

9. Greece

If you time your vacation around summer, you can get some cheap tickets to Greece. By doing so, you can avoid all the huge crowds as well.

Expect to pay around $15 per day for your meals; this number is the same for accommodations. Thre are some free walking tours available and flights across each island that can save you both time and money when compared to taking the bus.

10. Czech Republic

Beer lovers need to visit the Czech Republic; or more specifically, Prague. Some bars price their beers cheaper than water, literally!

Not only is beer affordable, but so are the meals. They’re usually pretty heavy and don’t cost very much. You can feed yourself for $15 per day.

For hostels, they cost around $20 per night. Expect to pay a little bit more for hotels.

Have Some Great Adventures With Budget Travel

Got some inspiration for budget travel now? Then what are you waiting for? There are so many adventures waiting for you out there, so get to booking your next big trip!

If you want more advice on how to be thrifty, please check out our other blog articles.

Life-Changing Travel Facts: How Vacations Benefit Your Health

Did you know that travel and vacations benefit your health? Most Americans do not know that fact nor do they travel as much as Europeans. Americans are half as likely as Europeans to travel to another country. A whopping 29% of Americans have never been abroad.

Travel benefits your mental and physical health, read on to learn all the travel facts. Then, book your trip, your health will benefit.

8 Travel Facts You May Not Know

In 2018, one study indicated that Americans forfeited 200 Million vacations days lost each year. We have the time to travel, we just don’t take it. It doesn’t take a huge budget or a lot of travel experience to have a great travel experience that boosts your health.

If you want to take a trip, but are concerned about your lack of travel experience, there are companies that can help. They will design a wellness travel trip that will fit your budget and meet your unique needs.

1. Travel Helps Your Heart

One study documented that women who traveled 2 times a year had fewer heart attacks than women who travel every 6 years. Men who skip their vacation had a higher risk of death and a 30% higher risk of heart disease.

When you travel, stressors from home don’t exist, that helps your heart. You tend to eat different foods which provide your body with different vitamins and minerals. It may also be that travel helps to keep you fit.

2. Travel Reduces Stress

This one may sound like fake news, especially if you don’t like airplane or car travel. But travel actually reduces your stress.

When you travel you take a break from your normal stress and that stress break sticks around. One study showed, as long as 45 days later you feel less strain. Your normal, daily stress, bothers you less after a vacation and you are better at dealing with stress, in general.

3. Travel Keeps You Fit

You may think about travel as sitting in an airport or on a plane, but once you arrive, you tend to be more active.

You don’t have access to your car, so you walk. You want to see the local museum, you walk. You try new things, snorkeling or diving.

When you travel you are more motivated to make the most of the experiences available. This pushes you outside of your comfort zone and you take on experiences you would not take on at home.

Travel may expose you to a new activity that you bring home and continue.

4. Travel Helps Your Brain

Every time we experience something new, our brain changes. New experiences change the neuropathways in our brain. This improves your health because it increases your cognitive flexibility.

When you travel to another country, you are challenged to learn different languages. Travel exposes you to different cultures that have different customs, that require you to move or act differently.

Travel may also make you more emotionally stable when you return home. The challenge and success of traveling to a different country make your daily stressors easier to manage.

5. Travel Enhances Your Creativity

Just as travel helps your brain, it also opens up space for new ideas. A study looking at 1,000 entrepreneurs found that 20% of their latest startups ideas came to them on vacation.

Exposure to new places, cultures, and languages can spark new ideas that you can take back home and implement.

6. Travel Boosts Your Immune System

Every time you are exposed to a different environment, your body adapts. Your immune system creates new antibodies and helps you to fight new bacteria or viruses. New exposures challenge your immune system and force it to become stronger in the long run.

While you may or may not have decided to drink the water. Traveling to new places helps to make your immune system stronger.

7. Locations that Have Healing Properties

There are places on the planet that have been associated with significant healing. The River Ganges in India has been a mecca for many who are looking to break the cycle of rebirth and find peace in heaven.

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland has mineral-rich geothermal seawater. The water and minerals heal exfoliate and heal the skin.

Walk in the woods actually improves self esteem and mood. Although we have improved our lives through the built environment, the reality is that our core nature needs to spend time in, actual nature.

In the United States, Mount Shasta in California is considered the place where heaven meets the earth. For Native Americans, space has been a place of healing. The earth’s energy in this location creates energy vortexes. Many have walked these paths and felt its natural healing properties.

8. Travel, You Will Live Longer

Research has shown that those who travel actually live longer. While we may not know all the reasons that travel helps to prolong life, it does.

It may be an improved immune system, lower stress, or lower risk of heart disease, but travel improves your health.

It is important to take time to take care of yourself and travel is one powerful way to help you live a healthier, happier, life.

Now Put that Knowledge into Action

Now that you have all the travel facts, it is time to put that knowledge into action. It does not matter if you want to do high-end or budget travel, if you save money in your daily life you have more to spend on travel.

I love to find deals and savings for myself and my followers. Follow Thrifty Momma Ramblings to learn to live frugally.

11 Inexpensive Family Vacation Ideas That Will Make Everyone Happy

Summer is coming to an end and that means that almost 100-million families have already gone on memorable trips. If you haven’t gotten to enjoy your vacation yet and are planning to, time is running out.

Maybe you’ve been putting off your vacation intentionally because you’re worried that it’s going to cost you too much money to take the whole family out. We appreciate that concern and hope to alleviate it with the information in this blog post.

Our team has scoured the country to cook up what we think are the best, inexpensive family vacation ideas that you can invest in!

1. Scale Lake Tahoe, California

Unless you’re from California, you probably haven’t heard of Lake Tahoe. That’s a shame because this lake is big on fun and small on prices!

Lake Tahoe is flanked by beautiful mountains which means that you’ll have to zig-zag your way up narrow highways to enjoy its splendor. Once you park your car though, you’ll be rewarded by getting to dip into the lake’s crystal blue, refreshing waters.

2. Explore the Nevada Desert

When people think of Nevada, they think of Las Vegas. That’s not a bad association and contrary to popular belief, Las Vegas can serve as an inexpensive family vacation ideas pick if you plan carefully.

The truth is though that Nevada is much bigger than Las Vegas and what lies beyond the City of Sin is what we think packs the most value!

Whether you choose to tour the Hoover Dam or explore Red Rock Canyon National Park, you’ll definitely find ways to create monumental memories in this sunny desert state.

3. Gawk at the Grand Canyon

Bordering Nevada is none other than one of the wonders of the world, The Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon draws in families from across the globe and offers activities ranging from hiking to helicopter rides.

No matter your family’s preferences, we’re confident that you can put together an affordable itinerary when touring this national park.

4. Get Patriotic in Washington D.C.

D.C. is a common destination among people’s inexpensive family vacation ideas because of the volume of free activities that this capital city offers. Touring the Smithsonian, exploring the National Mall or the National Zoo are all 100% free favorites that you and your kids can enjoy!

5. Soak Up the Sun in San Diego, California

San Diego is popular because of its outstanding weather and plethora of things to do. While San Diego can get expensive, if you do the city right, you’ll be able to enjoy a cheap vacation.

For example, San Diego’s La Jolla beach is absolutely breathtaking and doesn’t cost a dime to visit. You could easily make a whole day out of enjoying a picnic on its shores.

In addition to soaking up the sun, exploring San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter or enjoying an affordable ball game at Petco Park are both great activities to enjoy.

6. Find Culture in Ashland, Oregon

Educational vacations might draw some “boos” from your household at first but believe us when we say that everyone will fall in love with Ashland, Oregon’s culturally significant Shakespeare Festival once they’ve seen a couple of shows. Ashland isn’t big on tourists which means low prices year-round and more attention for you and your travel companions!

Be aware that Shakespeare festivities are typically held between March and October.

7. Get Your Thrills on in Anaheim, California

If you don’t know much about Anaheim, California, know this… It’s where Disneyland is. We don’t need to tell you that your family can absolutely create special memories when visiting Walt Disney’s very first theme park.

Unfortunately, Disneyland might get a little expensive for some travelers. If that’s the case for you, you can hop one city over to Buena Park and enjoy the almost as fabulous Knott’s Berry Farm!

8. Experience Nature in Portland, Oregon

Portland is an edgy town in the Northwest that is perfect for families that like good food and even better hikes. Also, if you’re a beer/wine lover, Portland and its neighboring suburbs offer world-class selections.

Getting a hotel just outside of Portland can represent an excellent deal and since much of Portland’s fun revolves around taking in its ambiance, tons of entertainment can be had for free!

9. Step Into a New World in Orlando, Florida

Disney World and Universal Studio’s theme parks live in Orlando. When you grab a hotel in the vicinity of these parks, it’ll literally feel like you’ve entered a new world where fun is the number one priority.

Similar to Anaheim, Orlando can get expensive when buying theme park tickets for the whole family. If you go during the off-season though and stay at non-amusement park owned hotels, you might save enough to make this vacation worth it.

10. Adventure in Astoria, Oregon

Steven Spielberg’s classic film “The Goonies” was filmed in a sleepy beach town called Astoria. Today, that town is still sleepy and makes for a great place to explore the beach, learn about marine biology and enjoy quality time with the family.

If you want to save money and avoid crowds, try visiting Astoria in mid-spring.

11. Enjoy a Larger Than Life Little Town in Independence, Missouri

Want to relax on vacation every bit as much as you want to save money? If you answered yes to that question, head over to Independence, Missouri.

Independence is a town that’s defined by a slow pace of life and an undying love for hometown hero, President Truman.

There’s an unlimited amount of things to do in Independence so learn more about the town on its website and plan your trip today!

Inexpensive Family Vacation Ideas Can Make for Priceless Memories

There’s no shortage of memorable and inexpensive family vacation ideas that you can tap into in order to have a great time this summer!

We hope that you found our suggestions to be helpful and invite you to check out more of the parent-centric content on our blog for additional family vacation tips.

Vacation with Less Stress: How to Reduce Travel Anxiety

Most Americans get around 15 to 20 paid vacation days, and 52 percent of them don’t even use them all up. With so little paid time off, you may feel the pressure to make it the perfect trip, which may give you a lot of unneeded stress.

Vacation should be a fun time, so you need to eliminate the anxiety surrounding it. In this article, we’ll give you some anti-stress tips so your future vacations can be as dreamy as you envision them to be.

Exercise More

You may feel like you already have enough on your plate, so you might be skipping out on your regular gym routine to conserve energy. But the truth is, exercising can take some of that stress away by letting you blow off some steam.

Also, by burning that extra anxious energy off, you’ll be able to sleep better at night. If you’re tossing and turning after you turn off the lights, adding some physical activity can aid in wearing you out and providing for better sleep quality. That way, you’ll feel refreshed in the morning and ready to tackle the day.

Cut Out Caffeine

We know; coffee is an important part of your daily life, and if you could get an IV drip of it, you’d do it. But caffeine is a stimulant after all, which can make your heart race, give you the jitters, and even make you break out in cold sweat. All these symptoms aren’t very fun to deal with when you’ve got an important break coming up.

If you can’t cut out caffeine completely, at least consider switching to something with less of it. For instance, swap out coffee or energy drinks for tea or soda.

Start a List Early

Worried about forgetting something important for the trip? Then start a list early. You can jot it down on a Post-It, start a document in Google Docs, or put it down on a whiteboard.

As things slowly come to you, put them down on the list until it becomes a big comprehensive one. That way, by the time to pack comes, you’ll have a good list to work from.

Start Packing Early

If you’re especially anxious about your upcoming trip, not only should you start a list early, but you should pack in advance if possible. When you jot something down on your list, see if you can throw it into the suitcase already. For instance, if the thing you’re writing down is your bikini, then put that in there if you aren’t going swimming anytime soon.

Not only can this cut down on vacation stress, but it can also save you time as the departure date gets nearer. You won’t have to dedicate an entire day to packing!

Take Care of the Not-So-Fun Things

Yes, it’s a break from real life, but unfortunately, there are a few things you need to take care of before you can totally kick back and relax. The sooner you get these things done, the less stressful it’s going to be.

Not only do you have to ask for time off of work, but you may also have to arrange for things like a new passport or apply for a travel visa. If you have pets or are leaving your children at home, you’ll also have to find people to look after them.

For any travelers who are on medications, make sure you have enough to last you for the whole trip. It may also be prudent to ask your doctor for some extras in case they get lost.

Consider Using a Travel Agent

To really take the stress away from your vacation, consider using a travel agent. While it’ll be more expensive, it may be worth it to reduce your anxiety.

Travel agents can also help you plan an itinerary or get you on a group tour so you don’t have to plan your days yourself. When someone else has control over these factors, it can really take a load off your shoulders.

Try Using CBD Oil

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid, which means it’s related to THC. However, it won’t get you high, which means you can reap the benefits without any impairment to your judgment.

CBD may be beneficial in treating anxiety, so it may be worth a try to add it to your regimen to help calm your nerves. When your thoughts aren’t going a million miles an hour, it can help you plan better and appreciate your time off more. Products such as Kula CBD can help alleviate any anxiety you have and let you fully enjoy your trip.

Don’t Expect It to Be Perfect

There’s bound to be little kinks in your plans, so it’s not worth your energy to stress out about them. The higher your expectations are for the trip, the more anxiety you’ll have when things don’t work out.

Just remember that you’re away from home and the worries of everyday life. You’ll fully appreciate your trip when you can take things in good stride and find the positive side in every situation.

Use These Anti-Stress Tips to Have a Great Time

It’s normal to feel a little stressed out about an upcoming trip, but if it’s dominating your emotions, then it may detract from your enjoyment. This may defeat the whole purpose of going on vacation in the first place.

Going on vacation should be a happy time, so use these anti-stress tips to get rid of the negative feelings surrounding it. You’ll definitely feel a world of difference and the weight lift off your shoulders. And not only can you use these tips for your fun trips, but for everyday life too!

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