Splurge On Exotic Vacations Without Breaking The Bank

Looking out of the window to see rain lashing the panes, frost kissing the roofs of houses and cars and hearing those winds howling can be depressing. Winter may bring the holidays and the festive season along with all the delicious comfort foods you could want, but having to brave harsh weather while you shop? Not so fun! Daydreaming about far-flung locations full of white-sugar beaches, crashing oceans and sunbeams that tan your skin to perfection is the favoured past time for most people. You may well have been to some of the most tropical locations across the globe. You may well have jostled for position in front of the Mona Lisa to get the best selfie. The thing is, that wanderlust that once dragged you around on your gap year hasn’t gone away. It’s very much there and yet heading to exotic locations full of beautiful sights and even tastier food is harder when you’re on a tight budget.

You want to book vacations in great locations but you want the best value for your money at the same time. Often, the best and brightest vacation ideas with the clearest oceans and softest sand are expensive. Long-haul vacations are always more expensive than short-haul, and the reason for this is purely distance. The further you travel, the pricier it’ll be to get there. Sure, you could save your cash and recreate your own exotic vacation from home, complete with a seafood order from citarella.com to get those fresh flavours you so crave. You could put in a tanning bulb and stick your feet in a bucket of sand while playing wave sounds – but it’s just not quite the same! This won’t get rid of the desperate need to travel and see new places, breathe new air. So, the trick is to find the best destinations with the cheapest price tag – and we’ve got some of those for you below.

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Puerto Escondido, Mexico

There is so much more to Mexico than the places that are splashed across the travel brochures. Sure, you’re looking for the beaches and the food and the culture, but going to the tourist traps often just gets you the same food in a different place, with a little sunshine on top. Puerto Escondido is a town that was populated by surfers and the prices you will find reflect the reality of life in Mexico, rather than the completely over-inflated tourist version you find online. There are plenty of places to stay on a budget, and the authentic Mexican tacos can be found inexpensively. There’s no need to go to a tourist trap to enjoy a Mexican experience!

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Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a beautiful country that is well-known for its city break popularity. It’s one of the least expensive places to visit in Europe, and because of this it is vastly underrated. People bypass the cobblestoned charm and the tall, towering castles full of history and culture for the islands of Greece or the cities of Italy. Veliko Tarnovo, however, has so much to offer. Hiking for the adventure seekers in the hilly terrains edging the town, and there are places to see in the town itself that offer food and drink at amazingly cheap rates. There is so much history steeped here, that those looking for something more than just a beach and an ocean will find it. Nightly light shows that light up the ruins of a medieval stronghold would usually be expensive and really bust your budget. Not here. Not in Veliko Tarnovo.

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Goa, India

The place to visit to find oneself has always been Goa. Popular for tourists, hippies and those looking to find their inner calm, Goa has grown up significantly over the past twenty years. The attraction of the area hasn’t changed, and neither has the rock bottom prices on offer here. However, you can still see the Arabian Sea in all its calm glory. You can still choose between ancient temples, casinos and beaches full of soft white sand. Nobody misses out when it comes to visiting Goa. You don’t have to be draped in sarongs and get high off of life to enjoy yourself – come as you are, everyone is invited.

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Transylvania, Romania

You’ve heard the stories of vampires and Dracula, but Transylvania is so much more than its stories. Ruins that date back for hundreds of years, hiking trails that are on offer to all those looking for a challenge and vineyards full of white wine that will literally have your taste buds dancing. Transylvania is a place for those who want authenticity, exotic food choices and something off the beaten track. It’s not somewhere that is thrust in your face when you are looking for a break, but it’s somewhere you should consider when you want a change. Not to mention, Transylvania is excellent value for money, meaning you can squeeze a lot of what you fancy into a vacation that won’t cost the earth.

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Selva Negra, Northern Nicaragua

If you haven’t heard of the cloud forest, you need to start doing your research. Selva Negra is a 300-acre nature reserve that is perfect for hiking. Unplug from life and start your vacation hiking the steep hills to the top to see the blanket of moist cloud laying just beneath you. There is a coffee plantation right at the edge of the forest, and that combined with getting stuck into nature are a brilliant way to simply unwind from the working week. You won’t have to pay through the nose for accommodation, either, with options at the Ecolodge starting low.

Getting away somewhere unheard of isn’t the difficult bit – coming home is. Once you get a taste of places that are new and budget-friendly, it’s hard not to be bitten by the travel bug all over again. Don’t worry though, with places being so cheap, you’ll want to be bitten so that you can get a different perspective of the world – wherever you choose to go.


Traveling Mistakes To Avoid In Asia

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Without a doubt, Asia is the most popular destination for travelers from all around the globe. Even Asian nationals love to jet off to the likes of Thailand and Cambodia to recharge their batteries! However, popular tourist traps are both a gift and a curse. Sure, it may be a continent which speaks English as a second language and welcomes tourists, but it also lures people into a false sense of security. From security issues to walking the beaten track, travelers often make schoolboy errors as soon as they land.

Here are the most common errors to avoid.


Places such as Laos and Myanmar are incredibly cheap, as is Asia and most of the Middle East. So, it isn’t hard to see why people splash out on arrival. From four to five-star hotels and gourmet food, rookie travelers love to live a lifestyle they can’t afford back home. While it’s great at the time, you have to enjoy it while it lasts because it doesn’t last very long. Before you know it, the budget is in tatters and you have to beg your parents to buy you a return flight home. Once at home, you’ll wonder, “why on earth did I blast my savings?!” After all, a couple of grand can go far in Asia, especially if you are frugal.

Staying On The Beaten Track

There are four or five countries in Southeast Asia which travelers adore. They are Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia. Yes, these five places are well worth a visit and should be on everyone’s bucket list. But, it’s essential to remember that Asia has more than one circuit available to tourists who are willing to venture out of their comfort zone. Hong Kong, for example, is a hub of culture with sights, sounds and tastes which are out of this world. Just book Lan Kwai Fong hotel and find out. Japan is another country which shouldn’t be missed, as is Indonesian Sumatra, Jakarta and Kalimantan.

Expecting Pristine Beaches

Like all land masses, Asia has its fair share of coastline and some are exquisite. Still, it’s worth remembering that cultures aboard are different to the one at home, and India is a prime example. Due to the sanitation issue and poverty, lots of families either fly-tip or burn their garbage by the side of the street. As a result, any beaches nearby often take the brunt of the pressure and end up covered in filth and soot. Elsewhere, the beaches that are in a healthy state may not be sunbather or swimmer-friendly, so it pays to do your research.

Guys And Girls On Tour

A tour is an easy way to see a town or city without much hassle. Plus, Asia is cheap and it won’t set you back from a money point of view. But, it’s best to keep in mind that the almighty dollar is king in a lot of Asian countries. So long as you have the money, locals will accommodate you and go the extra mile. Then, that island which is inaccessible without a tour becomes accessible when a local fisherman offers his services. The same goes for the tuk-tuk and rickshaw drivers, too.

Once you avoid the rookie mistakes, you can have the time of your life.

Keeping Your Kids Safe Over the Holidays


It’s Christmas time and the next month will be filled with school events, community gatherings, and a whole lot of socializing. For many parents, this can be a nice change of pace and gives you the opportunity to catch up with other parents and share craft and recipe ideas for the festive season.

But with all of this excitement in moving around and dragging often-unwilling children from function to function, it does have the potential to get a bit much. There is often a hundred and one things to get done, while also ensuring that your children remain safe over the course of the festive season. How are you to possibly keep an eye on everything?


The number one rule for any parent of young children is vigilance. That is, keep an eye on everything at all times. If you are unable to make sure they don’t get into trouble, delegating responsibility to a trusted, responsible adult is another solution to ensuring your children stay out of danger.

This is true both at home and in public. Keep a tight grasp of your child’s hand (even if it embarrasses them) if you’re out and about, especially at Christmas Markets or school productions. If you’re at home, make sure to blow out any candles and avoid gifting anything with super small parts.


After so many years of doing the same thing and having nothing go wrong, it is understandable to develop complacency when it comes to checking everything is as it should be. This can range from checking they’ve washed their hands after playing outside, to making sure to fasten their seatbelts.

The holiday season can bring out both the best and the worse in people. This is particularly true when completing cross-country travels, and especially true if the roads are less than ideal. It is crucial to take extra special care when undertaking long drives, particularly with children in the car. If you do suffer an accident on your travels to granny and grandpa, firms such as Powers McCartan can offer advice regarding the correct steps to take moving forward.


If you’re making Christmas Cookies, baking cakes or preparing Christmas dinner, your kids might just want to lend you a helping hand. While it’s cute of them to offer to help, keep in mind that children are not as strong as you. In the case of younger ones, they do not yet have fully fine-tuned motor skills.

With this considered, you want to try and involve the kids in fun Christmas kitchen activities – it might even inspire them to take up cooking in the future – but you need to give them tasks that suit their age and abilities. That is, keep them away from the hot stove, and instead give them jobs such as sprinkling cake decorations or taking charge of the mixing bowl. Not only will they feel involved, but also teaching them about potential dangers will allow them to behave in future situations.

Christmas is all about family and having fun. But there’s nothing fun about an unfortunate incident happening over the festive months. Keep smart, and keep in mind your child’s safety, and there shouldn’t be any problems.

Holidays For Hobbyists: Trips To Take To Fuel Your Pastime Passion


When you think of travel or going on vacation, what immediately comes to mind? Do you think of heading off to a secluded beach surrounded by picture-perfect views, or maybe to a stunning cosmopolitan city completely full of life? Either way, many of our ideals of travel can often be a bit cliche. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But, it might spark some excitement in you to realize that there’s a lot more on offer out there than just your basic vacation packages. In particular, if you have a special interest, then you could actually combine this with your need for a trip and come up with a break away that’s really something special indeed. Forget backpacking or all-inclusive resorts, if you want something special, then one of these holidays for hobbyists are going to go down a treat.

Animal Lovers

First up, it’s one or two for the animal lovers out there. Because can you really call yourself a die-hard animal lover if you’ve not been on an African safari? Perhaps not. If you really love all living things, then you’re going to want to get out there and see them in their natural habitat. If your love is of marine life, then you could consider diving instead. Because there’s nothing quite like getting up close and personal with the species you love the most.


Food and travel go hand in hand. So if you are a foodie, then it’s highly likely that your love for good food drives your desire to travel. If not, shame on you! Although there’s a wealth of incredible places out there just waiting to be explored, there’s one that trumps the lot. Italy! It’s a foodie paradise. From fine dining restaurants to street stalls, your stomach will be kept full and your heart happy whenever you’re on Italian soil.

Thrill Seekers

Maybe you’re a bit of a thrill seeker at heart? If you most promising pastimes include the likes of snowboarding or mountain biking, then you may want to get a little more adventurous with your vacation choices. These listed on mydomaine.com/ are going to be well matched for you. From skywalking to cliff diving, your adrenaline-chasing self will feel completely at home.

Wine Enthusiasts

Whether you’re a wine lover alone or a foodie and wine worshipper in one, you’re going to love the kind of breaks that are offered around the world. With something such as hermannwinetrail.com/ offer, your enthusiasm for wine may never need to end. Because when you can sip and swirl away and take some time out, you’ve found your vacation match.


Finally, if you have a soft spot for trainspotting, you’re going to lap up this list of train tips that wired.com/ have pulled together. Because why would you want to see the same old styles on home turf when you can jet off to the Swiss Alps or Machu Picchu and ride something spectacular yourself.

What to Expect on Your First Time Out of the Country

Whether you are heading off on a short family vacation or planning a massive trip around the world, vacations abroad can be amazing. Traveling to other countries gives you a chance to explore new cultures, learn about different ways of life and civilizations. It gives you a chance to meet new people, gain new experiences and see some truly breath-taking sights. It can be nothing short of amazing.

Seasoned travelers think nothing of hopping on a plane and taking their next great trip. Excited about what lies ahead and exhilarated by the mere idea of taking their next journey. But, even for these people, that first time out of the country may have been daunting. Leaving the country can be scary. You don’t know what to expect, you may be afraid of the flying or overwhelmed by the idea of navigating airport security. Simply the idea of traveling to a new country can terrify people that much that they put off even posting their passport application for years, missing out on what the world has to offer.

If you are planning to leave the country for the first time in the new year, here is what you can expect from your trip.

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Getting a Passport Might be Harder Than You Think

If you’ve never had a passport before, you may not realize how hard they can be to get. Over the last 20 years, international security has become much tighter, and valid passports are our first line of defense. There are strict rules on how your photo must look and what supporting documents you must send. If you don’t have the right ID, you may have to jump through a few hoops to prove you are who you say you are, perhaps even having to attend an interview. You should check online for current wait times, but it can take up to 12 weeks, and that’s if you fill the form incorrectly on your first try. If you’ve left it a little late or need to make an unplanned trip, read up on how to get a passport fast to hurry your application.

Airport Security is Tough

Airport security can be intimidating if you’ve never seen it before. You’ll see police patrols, sniffer dogs, security officers and maybe even armed force officers and they will all be armed. You’ll also have to pass through scans and multiple security checks.

It’s important to remember that this is all for your own safety and that as long as you stick to the rules, you have nothing to worry about.  

You Won’t Feel the Plane Move

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During take-off, you can feel the plane moving and the pressure changing quite dramatically. When it comes to landing, you’ll feel large drops, and you may feel some turbulence along the way. But, if your flight is smooth and the weather conditions are good, while you are in the air you won’t feel a thing. You’ll be able to sleep, read a book, watch a movie or even go for a walk in relative comfort.

Foreign Airports Aren’t That Different

Many first-time travelers expect to leave the airplane and immediately find themselves in a totally different world. However, unless you are traveling to somewhere incredibly remote, the airport won’t be too different. Security and checks will be similar, the layout will be similar, and it may even have some of the same shops and displays.

But They Are Hot

One thing you may notice the second you step off the plane is the temperature. If you are traveling to somewhere with a different climate and have just spend a few hours in a pressurized plane with an artificial atmosphere, you will be met by a wall of heat. Traveling in thin, light layers is a great way to be prepared for anything.

It’s Ok to Trust the Locals

You can always tell a first-time traveler from the way they walk around clutching their belongings and avoiding eye contact with anyone. We’ve all heard horror stories about things that have happened to travelers and foreign scams that people have fell victim to. But, to be fair, the same dangers surround us at home.

Keep your belongings safe by keeping your bag close and close and trust your instincts. But, don’t panic. Make eye contact, say hello and ask the locals for advice on places to eat or sights to visit. Chat with people and get to know them. You’ll probably be very pleased to find that places all around the world are filled with friendly local’s keen to show off their businesses or hometowns to equally friendly travelers.

Guidebooks Aren’t Always Right

In the day of the internet and TripAdvisor, we rely on guidebooks much less than previous generations may have. But it’s still important to realize that they’re not always right. Things change and move, businesses close down, people move away, and sometimes the author of the book may just have a differing opinion to you. Read books, look at guides online to prepare, but don’t take it as gospel. Leave room for change and spontaneity.

Not Everyone Speaks English

In the modern world, it’s fair to say that a lot of people speak English. You can probably find someone that knows at least basic English somewhere. But, that doesn’t mean everyone will speak fluent English, as much as we often arrogantly assume they will. It’s always a good idea to learn a little language for anywhere you go.

Money is Different

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That one might sound obvious. Different places have different currency. You know that, right? But, it’s not that simple. There are also exchange rates and rates of inflation to think about. You may find that something that’s worth $10 at home may be vastly more or less in another country. This can make it hard to know how much money you need before you arrive and you could easily find yourself hugely overspending.

Do some research online before you go, and try to set yourself a strict budget, remembering that travel doesn’t need to be expensive. If prices are different when you arrive, take another look at your budget and make some changes.

Tips on Traveling with a Baby

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Going on holiday with your baby sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Travelling can be difficult at the best of times, but when you have a baby travelling with you, it gets even tougher. The key is to be prepared. Here are some tips that will help to make the process a whole lot easier:

Travel light – While it can be tempting to pack endless supplies – after all, you never know what your little one is going to need – it is important to travel light. There are a number of clever changes you can make to reduce the amount of luggage you’re going to be taking with you. For example, consider a travel light crib rather than taking your standard one. You can see an example of one of these cribs here. Also, only take a small amount of the things you will be able to buy as soon as you get there.

Schedule your trip around your child’s sleep time – Of course, this will not be possible in some cases, especially if you are travelling by plane. However, whenever you can, you should try to schedule trip around your child’s sleep time, so your child can get into his or her pajamas and go straight to sleep. Sheer bliss!

Try not to take trips that are longer than six hours – If you are visiting family, this may not be possible. But if you are going away for a vacation simply for some fun and relaxation, try to choose somewhere that is closer to home. It’s not ideal to have your baby confined to a seated position for hours and hours.

Bring your child’s favourite toy, as well as items your baby associates with sleep – When choosing toys for your baby, make sure you choose only soft items. Safety is even more important when travelling, as there can be jolts or turbulence. You should also bring any items that your baby associates with sleep, for example, their favourite pillow and blanket. This will be a good way to encourage your little one to nod off when they are in an environment they are not familiar with.

Bring extra diapers and clothing – While you should travel as light as possible, one area where you shouldn’t cut back too much is with regards to baby clothing and diapers. It is always a good idea to dress your baby in layers if you are travelling by plane. You can easily take these layers off if your baby is too hot, but the last thing you want is for your baby to get too cold. After all, a cold baby is a crying baby!

So there you have it: some top tips for travelling with your baby. Use the suggestions and life should be a lot easier for you when going on vacation. Of course, it’s impossible to prevent a few hiccups that occur along the way, but you can take care of most of them with the advice mentioned above.

6 Things Every Backpacker Needs to Pack

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Backpacking is easily one of the greatest and most fulfilling ways to travel; hitting the open road with the wind in your hair and all your worldly possessions for the trip in one bundle slung over your shoulder.

Of course, knowing you should actually put in your pack is pretty important, as it’ll be your lifeline for the duration of the trip, and you won’t have space to spare for all the usual luxuries of home life.

So, to get you started, here’s a checklist of some of the essentials that you should load up on before heading out.

Research and print out location reviews in advance

Although a big part of the pleasure of backpacking is that it allows you to be spontaneous and hit the road as and when you like, and in any direction, it’s still a good idea to have a sense of the areas you’ll be travelling through as well as a more in depth understanding of the big towns or sights you want to check off.

Many exploitative establishments exist in tourist-frequented areas, and rely on the fact that many visitors will be uninformed and so are likely to drop by.

Whether you’re researching something specific such as Lana Thai Villa 5 stars B&B, or something more general about the layout of a particular area, it’s a good idea to print your maps and reviews off and keep them with you as you travel. You can’t rely on your memory for everything, and wifi may not be too easy to come across at certain points along the way.

Pack your own medical supplies

Basic first aid equipment is an absolute must-have addition to your rucksack, as cuts, scrapes, motion sickness, and even food poisoning are all very real possibilities when you’re backpacking through a new country.

Most of the minor injuries and upsets you might experience can be dealt with quickly and easily with an antibacterial gel and an anti-inflammatory, but if you don’t have these basic medical supplies at hand you might find yourself coming down with a bad fever and having to try and navigate the local health system, or find the nearest open pharmacy that sells what you’re after.

Pack your first aid kit as if you were expecting to really need to use it, though, of course you hopefully won’t.

Bring a camera, not a phone, for photos

In the age of advanced camera phones, it can be tempting to try and go the minimalist route and just rely on your phone for all your basic photography needs as you’re hopping from one exciting new locale to the next.

The issue with that is, of course, that phone batteries run out much faster when you’re using them for photography, and you might actually need your phone in order to make an important call at some point during your adventures.

Add to that the fact that you might not always be around a convenient charging port, and the benefits of having a proper camera with you are pretty clear.

Keep some spare cash on you at all times

When you’re travelling light, as all backpackers are in the grand scheme of things, you’ll find yourself needing to pull out your wallet quite often to pay for things ranging from food, to transport, or even just the admission fees which are charged by different historical sites or at various cultural landmarks.

Depending on where you’re travelling to, it’s entirely likely you won’t be able to reach for your credit card every time an expense comes up, and ATMs can be few and far between, or prone to running out of money on certain days or at certain times.

Every backpacker should keep a decent amount of cash on them, plus a hidden bit of emergency cash in case of being pickpocketed or just needing extra funds for an emergency.

Keep an eye mask and earplugs within easy reach

As a backpacker, you can enjoy the luxury of travelling between idyllic mountain glades and bustling party capitals as the mood takes you. Of course, that means that you might not always be able to count on a quiet, dark environment to get a good night’s sleep in.

Sleep is important at the best of times, but especially when you’re out and about, experiencing new things and trying to get the most out of your trip, you don’t want to find yourself feeling like a zombie all day just because there was a bright street light outside your window in the hotel.

Something as straightforward as keeping an an eye mask and a pair of foam earplugs in your bag can allow you to shut the world out when you need to, and get the sleep you’ll need for another packed day.

Pack a notebook and start a travel journal

While a picture may be worth a thousand words, words are still one of the best ways of capturing the finer details of your experiences, and preserving them for years to come.

Packing a sturdy notepad and pen, and keeping a travel journal, is something that every backpacker should try at least once.

Not only does ending each day with a paragraph or two about your experiences help to store away the memories, it also gives you the perfect way of clearing your mind, collecting your thoughts, reflecting on your experiences, and preparing to meet the next day head on.

Don’t feel put off trying a travel journal if you’re not a natural with the written word. Think of it as something you’re doing strictly for yourself, as a way of deepening your appreciation of the trip.

Even if your notes are pretty vague, you’ll catch yourself smiling whenever you look back on them after the trip.

Being Money-Smart And Efficient: Things To Consider

They say “More money, more problems”, but not having money at all is much more of a problem compared to the alternative. Sure money isn’t everything, but it doesn’t stop it from being something, and in the kind of society we live in, and the way things run, let’s just say a lack of money will not be doing you any favors. There’s no need to tell you this though, if you are over the age of 5 and reading this, you probably know that. The world is brutal in its current form, and unless someone comes and overhauls how everything works in its entirety, this is the kind of thing we have to deal with. So, without further ado, let’s look at some ways  in which you could improve your money management, and make the most of your money and savings.

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Always prepare for the worst

As you already know, life is full of twists and turns, working in funny ways and more often than not, throwing several curveballs at you when you least expect it. While living in constant fear of the worst is not the healthiest way of going about life, you should at least be mentally prepared for the worst-case scenario. Living from paycheck to paycheck can only take you so far, and in case some unexpected expenses happen to come your way, you might just find yourself in a rather unfortunate situation. Nothing wrong with splashing out some cash every now and again, without it, the average working person would probably fall into a state of deep depression, but try and leave some money as backup in case anything ever goes wrong. Could be some sudden car repairs, maybe hospital fees, or even a rent increase. You never really know, and spreading your savings thin can prove to be your shortcoming.

Keep tabs on your expenses

If you find yourself broke near the end of the month and without the faintest idea of where your money has disappeared off to, you are probably in the same situation as most of the average working population. It’s easy to suddenly realise that you’ve been spending way more than you should have on minor things like an extra snack for lunch, or just a quick coffee and panini at the coffee shop. At that point, you had some minor comfort food during the month, and not really much else, but you find yourself back at square one on the first of the month, as if you’ve worked the whole month for no reason other than to survive. It might seem somewhat depressing to think about, but if you do not actually gain anything tangible from a working month, that is essentially just a month of your life down the drain. It is a good practice to make yourself a spreadsheet which records all your money coming in and out, showing where your money went. With one of these at your disposal, it is much easier to objectively look at your spendings and see if the random spendings are actually necessary, and if it’s really worth spending over 200 a month on coffee and bagels. Much easier to put things in perspective like that is it not? Look at where most of your money is going, if it’s something which could be considered useless, see if you can cut down on it. If not, go to the next big spender and try the same thing. By the time you go through the whole list, chances are you will have at least a decent chunk of money you know you is actually possible to save next month.

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Set goals for yourself

This nicely integrates with the spreadsheet method, making it much easier to find tangible goals to head for. It is easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of things you need to do in order to not overstep your budget. Denying yourself all those things during the month just to save a measly few hundred, might seem rather grim, so let’s just try and set some realistic goals at first. Rather than promising yourself that you will “spend no money at all!”, just try and ease yourself into a slightly more money-efficient lifestyle. Instead of buying lunches every day, try to get packed lunches from home. Get smaller coffees from Starbucks rather than the Grande Latte you are used to, it be better for your wallet and your health. Try to eat out less often, instead, spend on grocery shopping and cook at home, cooking at home is probably better for your health as well. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your savings aren’t going to get better overnight either. Have patience.

Try to deflate your bills

Other than just moving somewhere far out of town where everything is cheaper, there are solutions to this, which do not require you to make up the rent difference with costs of your daily commute. You can try and be a bit more money-smart like in the good ol’ days, fix leaky taps which buff up your water bills. Instead of cranking up the heating, put on a sweater or a few more layers just to be safe. Turn off all electronics for the night rather than leaving them in “standby”, yes keeping them powered even if they do nothing at the time still costs money. Do not leave your lights on when unnecessary, remember to turn them off when going out or just when it’s actually bright out. The sun has been doing a pretty good job of providing light to most of the earth so far and you can safely rely on it, at least for now.

Shopping online

Online shopping has taken civilised world by storm with it’s efficiency and availability of items which might just so happen to be out of stock in your local branch of whatever shop you might want to buy from. This is not limited to extensive online clothes shopping or importing things from overseas, but even your daily grocery shopping from the supermarket. By now, probably all of them have an online counterpart with next-day or even same-day delivery, making it a handy and efficient alternative to standing around in queues waiting to be served by someone while the groceries you bought already defrost in your bag. Of course, if you have a local farmer’s market or something along those lines, then no online supermarket is going to replace that. Getting quality produce and veggies which actually have taste to them is a thing that most large markets seem to be lacking for now, so just stick with going to the market if you want to buy some truly quality products.

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Ask the internet for help

It might be a bit weird mentioning this since you are already reading this article, but the internet is a seriously powerful source of knowledge on just about every topic in existence. If you want to further expand your knowledge on money-saving tips or maybe just look for inspiration, it is worth taking a look at blogs which publish content on those exact topics. PersonalFinance-Online.com, much like the name might suggest, provides a series of different articles focused on being money-smart, if you are already reading this, chances are you would be interested. If you want to find something on a more specific topic, then there’s is nothing which can hide from a few searches in your search engine of choice. It’s about time to make use of the internet in a productive fashion as opposed to just watching an endless stream of cat videos online. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, no one said the two are mutually exclusive.

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Motivate yourself

If you find it hard to meet your monthly saving goals, it might be due to a lack of motivation. Saving money for the sake of saving money can feel very unrewarding in itself, and unless you have something to put that money towards, you might as well not even have it in the first place. Of course, the security of knowing you have something “just in case” is not to be overlooked, but that’s not how the human mind works for the most part. We seek gratification for our efforts on a regular basis and it might be hard to convince yourself that “It’ll all be worth it in 20 years time”. Think about what you want to accomplish, and work towards that goal, be it buying a house, starting a business, having an amazing wedding, or buying the car of your dreams, we all need that carrot on a stick to keep up going through everyday life. Don’t be afraid of dreaming big either, even if something might seem way too far out of your current saving capabilities, no one is to say that you will not end up with a much better and well-paying job within the foreseeable future. When you look back, you will be thankful to your past self for saving, and making your new and updated goals, which more suited towards your new earnings, much easier to achieve.

Petventure: Furry Friends On Your Next Trip

Black dog in red collar looking back at green hills and mountains

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For a lot of pet owners, the idea of going on holiday can be one which feels more like a fantasy than a reality. Unfortunately, having an animal in your life automatically brings with it some drawbacks. Each and every element of your trip will be different. So, to make sure it’s handled smoothly, this post is here to help you out. It will be exploring some of the key areas you’ll need to be organizing if you want your pet on your vacation.

The Medical Side: It makes sense that a country wouldn’t want the animals they have being made sick by a foreign disease they haven’t been exposed to before. Likewise, you probably don’t want your pet to get sick. So, to solve both of these issues, you’ll need to visit the vet before you can do anything else. Along with providing your pet with the vaccines, antibiotics, and other treatments they might need, this sort of professional can also give you loads of advice.

The Documents: As you get the medical side of your trip sorted out, you will be able to start considering the documents you’re going to have to take with you. Although it may seem like a gimmick, a lot of places will expect your pet to have some sort of passport with them. Along with this, you will also need to acquire any permits or licensing your location requires. This is very important when traveling with a pet, and could make or break your whole trip.

The Vacation Bookings: Of course, making sure your pet is healthy and has the right documents is only part of the job. Along with this, you’re also going to need to find somewhere to stay, and a lot of hotels won’t allow pets. Options like beach house rentals and apartment hires are usually the best place to start, as they often won’t expect the same as a normal travel agent. Places like this can be found at real bargains. So, to make sure you get the best deal, it will be worth doing some shopping around.

The Flights: Finally, as the last area to consider, it’s time to think about the flights you’re going to be taking. Flying with an animal takes a lot of care, and you will want to make sure that you’re going with the right airline. To do this, it will be important to research to companies you have available, while also looking for other customer’s experiences with pets on their flights. Most airlines offer pet services, but some will be much better than others.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start thinking about the idea of a holiday with your furry friend. A lot of people find themselves struggling when they’re trying to book something like this. But, with the right effort, it should be nice and easy to find options which are designed for animals.

Summer Camp: 6 Reasons this is the Ideal Job for Travelers

This may seem like an odd time of year to talk about summer camp, but many camps will open up their summer staff applications soon if they haven’t already. Working at a camp offers plenty of adventures… and can earn you enough money to go on another adventure after the camp season is over!

Why should a traveler work at summer camp?

Experience Once-in-a-Lifetime Events… Every Week!

Riding an airboat! You can find me on the right in the burgundy tee

I love ziplining. But so far, I’ve never paid for a zipline experience. Working at camp has allowed me to enjoy this adrenaline rush for free whenever campers weren’t using it.
The events and experiences you’ll get to enjoy depend on what camp you go to, but here are just a few other things I got to do as part of camp work: play paintball, rock climb, walk high ropes, take the leap of faith, hold an alligator, ride airboats, jump off the high dive, play broomball on a frozen-over pool, and fly on a giant swing, just to name a few.

Shoulder Seasons are Your Vacation Time

Yes, camp work typically means giving up a good chunk of the most popular vacation time: summer. But that means you’ll also be giving up the high prices and large crowds that come with tourist season. Instead, try traveling before or after camp, when you might enjoy prime destinations for less, and maybe even have them all to yourself.

Learn Valuable Travel Skills

Gaining marketing and public relation skills… I’m in the middle

Working at camp doesn’t mean doing the same task all day, every day. You can lead a hike, plunge a toilet, perform a skit, and make a craft… all in the same hour! This means wearing many hats and learning new skills. Some of those skills will be beneficial in travel.

I know I’m a safer, healthier, and all-around more confident traveler because of the first aid and survival skills I was taught at camp. Camp also taught me more about cooking, budgeting, fitness, and getting by with few modern conveniences. All those skills have played a role in some way or another in my travels. Plus, many of my camp coworkers enjoy traveling as well, so we have exchanged some valuable travel tips.

Build that Travel Fund

Be warned, camps aren’t known as being a place that makes their employees rich. Your pay may be equivalent to less than three dollars an hour. However, all that money can go straight into savings. Think about it: at camp, your bed, food, and daily activities are covered. You may have a couple monthly bills to pay, such as for your cell phone or insurance, but those are relatively small compared to your typical monthly expenses. All you have to do is limit your spending at the snack shack and on your days off, and you’ll build a nice nest egg for more adventures (or whatever you want to spend it on)!

Satisfy that Travel Bug

I am furthest to the left, on a staff retreat with camp coworkers

This one may or may not work for you. Sometimes, camp encourages me to travel even more. Other times, it makes me fulfilled enough that I don’t feel the need to travel as much. If this doesn’t work, try exploring the surrounding area on your days off. This works especially well if your camp is far from your home.

Currently, I’m helping out with weekend retreats about twice a month. I still occasionally travel elsewhere, but it’s because I want to, not because I feel pressured to travel. If you work at a summer camp and enjoy it, try coming back throughout the year to work weekend retreats.

Another opportunity that may arise is that you could have the chance to travel with camp as part of your job. There are some adventure camps where staff take campers to all kinds of places. One way I’ve traveled with camp is by visiting other camps as a representative of my own camp, even going to multi-camp conferences in different states. Of course some business or training is involved, but that’s a small price for an all-expense-paid trip!

Inspire Others to Adventure

Camps make a difference. Many camps are also nonprofit organizations, so you can work for a cause you believe in. But you can also make a difference by encouraging the campers you work with to go after adventure. The world could use more travelers like you!

Have you ever worked or volunteered at a camp? (If so, tell me where!) What do you think is the best advantage to working at camp?

Photos were taken during my time at Camp Rivercrest in Nebraska. I’ve worked at 3 other camps and volunteered at countless more, but apparently Rivercrest provided the most photo ops!