travel tips

Jump Into the Real World

You won’t realize it until you’re out of the bubble you’re in, but the real world is waiting for you out there. Throughout the whole of the first part of your life, right up until you leave college or university, you’re trapped in a bubble that you just can’t get out of. And until you get out of that bubble, you don’t realize how lucky you were to have been in it in the first place. The years of your life that you spend so protected by education, will be some of the best years of your life. But when you jump into the real world, you suddenly realize what’s actually out there for you. There’s a whole world waiting for you to explore, and a path that you need to create for yourself in order to be able to live the best life that you possibly can. So if you’re yet to jump into the real world yet, we think that there are a few ambitions that you should have and try to follow, to ensure you jump into the real world and do it right.

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The Job To Give You The Lifestyle

 

So, if you’re going to have any sort of ambition at all, it should be aimed towards your career. What career you chose is literally going to guide you through life, and it will determine what type of life you have. Some people land jobs that see them travelling the world doing all sorts of things, and some will stay in a small town supermarket. Whatever floats your boat, and whatever is going to get you through life comfortably! Some of the best jobs for college students are definitely ones within business, especially the bigger companies that are dominating the business world, If you want to have money, and you want to have potential, this is pretty much the only way to be able to do that! Of course, it all does depend on what course you took at college, and what that was intended to set you up for!


A Set Of Travelling Goals

 

We really think that you should all set yourself some traveling goes. When you jump into the real world, you’re jumping into freedom. The only thing holding you back will be your job, but even that won’t hold you back much. There’s a whole world out there to explore, and there’s no better time to do it than when you’re fresh out of college. Jumping right into the working world properly might be a bit intimidating, so see if you can have a small job to begin with to save some money, and then go traveling the world for a little while!

 

Managing The Working World

 

Circling back to the working world a little bit, because we feel like this is going to be the biggest shock for you. If you are to manage the working world, you need to have a life outside of it. It’s so important to have friends, family, or a partner that you can disconnect from the working world with, and actually enjoy life!

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Accommodations, camp, holiday, resources, road trip, saving money, seasonal, travel tips, Winter

How I Paid Next-to-Nothing for a Hotel Room

I rarely ever stay at hotels. There are so many other accommodation options that typically provide a better value in terms of service, activities, and price. But I recently decided to book a short end-of-year weekend trip to the Oregon Coast. I usually camp when I’m on the coast, but since I don’t have a heated RV, that isn’t a practical option in the winter. I did check out the state parks to see if they had any heated yurts available. I only found one campground that had one yurt available for one night. I reserved that for a grand total of $51, but that still left me with another night of no accommodation. That’s when I turned to look at hotels.

I ended up finding a hotel room in an ideal location that included breakfast and a few other amenities I would enjoy. Although the room was listed for $70, I used some creative techniques to get the price even lower than the cost of my night in the yurt. And then I did a little bit more to get it for practically FREE!

I will be doing the same process to save money on hotels in the future, and you can too! You can use either tip separately, or combine both for maximum savings!

2 Simple Tricks

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Tip 1: Hotels.com Hacks

I decided to book on Hotels.com so I could easily compare the prices of different hotels. It turned out that Hotels.com offers even more savings than just price comparisons! I found a hotel that normally started at $70 but was discounted to $65.

That was okay, but I wanted it for less, especially after taxes and fees were added to that price. I found a Hotels.com promo code that saved me 10%. With that included, my grand total was down to $63.06. Not bad, although I wanted to do better. I booked it anyway.

After paying, I read up on Hotels.com’s price guarantee. Basically, it said if I could find the same type of room at the same hotel for the same dates for a lower price anywhere online, they would match that.

It only took me one Google search to find several booking sites that offered rooms at this hotel for $51. But upon closer inspection, these were for rooms with a queen bed. I had booked a king bed, since on Hotels.com they were both the same price. But on these sites, the king room was still at $65. No savings there.

Then I decided to visit the website for the hotel itself. Oftentimes, booking directly will be a little cheaper since the hotel doesn’t have to pay commission fees. Sure enough, I found a room with a king bed for $51 on their website. I took a screenshot and filled out a quick form on Hotels.com. Pretty soon, I received a refund of $14.58.

That meant I got what might have been a $70 room (not including taxes and fees) for a grand total of $48.48 (including taxes and fees). All I had to do was use a promo code and a price match. I’ve stayed in some hostel dorms for more than that! It was even $2.52 less than my campground yurt!

(Note: Hotels.com has a rewards program where if you buy 10 nights, you get one night free. However, my promo code excluded me from collecting rewards points. But since getting 10% off a night now is better than possibly getting a free night sometime in the future after 10 other nights, I didn’t mind. If you’re trying to decide whether to use a promo code or the rewards program, check out tip #2 for one more thing that may help you decide!)

If that sounds like a good deal to you, feel free to stop reading here. If you’d like to save even more, check out the next tip!

Tip 2: Swagbucks Savings

Swagbucks is essentially savings central. You can earn points called SB by doing things like searching the web, online shopping, and taking surveys. I’ve even earned quite a bit here by donating to charity! After earning SB, you can trade them in for real cash. You can cash out to PayPal or a Visa card, or buy one of hundreds of gift cards. These gift cards can even buy your way to free travel. 

If you don’t have a Swagbucks account yet, click here to sign up with a 300 SB bonus!

Join Swagbucks!

I earned enough just from my regular Christmas shopping to get a Hotels.com gift card. Adding the Swagbucks app to my browser has notified me of lots of cashback opportunities I didn’t even know existed. If you don’t want to spend any money at all, you can still earn with Swagbucks. I’ve earned gift cards by taking surveys, using the Swagbucks search engine, and checking out free offers- no purchases are needed to get a gift card!

Hotels.com is one of the online stores where you can earn cash back on Swagbucks. Although the offer varies from time to time, you will always earn more SB if you book a hotel room without earning Hotels.com Rewards. So if you book a room on Hotels.com with a gift card that you earned on Swagbucks, and you get SB for your stay, you’re basically getting paid to stay in your hotel room!

Since I used a promo code I was not eligible to earn SB on this particular trip, but I ended up saving more with the promo code than what I would have earned in SB. However, when I make a reservation in the future, I will check to see if Swagbucks has a better current payout than the available promo codes!

(Note: On this road trip, I’ll also be paying for gas with gift cards earned through Swagbucks. Check out this post for more details.)

Now I have a great trip at a great price to end 2018. One of my 2019 goals is to pay for a trip with creative couponing (such as using Cardpool as well as Swagbucks and tricks like these for Hotels.com) so you can expect to hear more great ways to save in the new year!

travel tips

 5 Tips for Organising Your Finances to Travel the World

Image via Pixabay

Getting out on the open road (or the high seas, or flying through the sky) and seeing new places is arguably one of the most uplifting experiences that a person can undergo. At least, if you’ve got a temperament for wanderlust and the desire to step out of your comfort zone on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, though, you need some resources in order to go on your adventures, and there are a few logistics involved. Some people put off their travels indefinitely, telling themselves that they’ll get around to it one day – maybe in retirement. But life is unpredictable, and it’s better to get a start on living your dreams sooner rather than later.

One of the leading reasons why people defer their travel plans is due to an apparent lack of finances. While there is, hypothetically, always the possibility of looking into personal loans no credit check as a way of financing your Around-the World-in-Eighty-Days-style adventure, it’s best to explore avenues of fundraising that won’t accrue debt, first.

So, here are a few tips for organising your finances to travel the world.

Ask the question; “what sacrifices am I willing to make to travel?”

If you’re currently unable to finance both your lifestyle as it is today, and also cover the expenses involved in travel, the most obvious and immediate short-term solution is for you to change your current lifestyle so as to be able to put more money aside for seeing the world.

In other words, you need to ask yourself “what sacrifices am I willing to make to travel?”

Maybe you’re willing to do without your Netflix account. Maybe you can stop eating at restaurants for the next few months. Or maybe you can quit your gym membership and train at home.

Only you can identify the specific areas of your life where you’re willing and able to trim the fat and salvage a bit of money, but if you’re anything like the majority of people in the developed world, you’ve likely got more than a few regular expenses that aren’t integral to your survival or wellbeing.

Get organised in general — use a personal planner and organisational system to structure your plans

The more organised you are in general, and the more organised you are with regards to planning your travels, in particular, the better able you are going to be to structure things in a cost-effective manner and make them happen.

There’s a general productivity principle that goes; “whatever is measured, improves”, and the same holds true for personal planning and organisation in general.

Create a planner system, perhaps along the lines of David Allen’s Getting Things Done method, or perhaps in the form of a Bullet Journal. The key thing is that you make a systematic list of the things you’ll need to do to turn your travel plans into reality, as well compiling essential information and comparing potential accommodation, package deals, and so on.

Handle things in a systematic way, and you’re likely to find that you’re able to achieve much more than you ever were before, when you were doing things “on the fly”.

Budget meticulously, don’t just save and manage your finances by intuition — account for every penny

If planning out logistics meticulously is essential, budgeting meticulously is certainly no less essential.

Many people manage their finances by intuition. They know how much money they’re going to be paid each month, they know how much they have to spend on rent, and they more or less guesstimate the rest and hope for the best.

Often, this system more or less works out — but it’s far from ideal, and always allows far more money to escape between the cracks than you might like.

When you budget meticulously according to a zero-based budgeting model, that assigns a job to every dollar — in the parlance of the company You Need a Budget — you ensure that all the margins are tightened up and that you can reduce financial waste dramatically — maybe all the way down to nothing.

That, of course, means that you will be able to free up a lot of money that can be spent as you see fit in arranging your next travel adventure.

Budget for spontaneity on the road

It’s very easy to completely misjudge how much you need to budget for a travel outing, especially one that is set to last for a significant amount of time — a week or more, let’s say. This is because it’s all too easy to budget from a position of “idealism”, rather than from a position of realism.

For example — you set aside a certain amount of money to cover the cost of your accommodation, and you can generally be pretty accurate about that. Then you set aside an exact amount of money to spend on your flights and transport. So far so good — what was all the fuss about, anyway?

But then it comes to the less predictable expenses. Stuff like buying snacks during the day, paying for buses, picking up souvenirs on location. And here is where many people dramatically under-budget, only to inevitably over-spend at their destination, and end up in real financial trouble.

Rather than doing this, include budget allowances for spontaneity and unseen expenses on the road. This might sound a bit funny, but it really means you should err on the side of caution and leave yourself a spending buffer, to ensure you don’t overspend.

Consider travelling with others

If you can travel with a partner, a friend, or even a relative, you are likely to be able do certain things in a more cost-effective manner, while also benefiting from companionship on the road.

You could, for example, book an apartment and go halves on the cost, and then share the food bill and alternate meal duty. Or you could enjoy group discounts to various sites. Or maybe you could take advantage of a packaged travel and accommodation deal.

Travelling with others won’t necessarily be more cost-effective in every situation, but it will likely make your trip more enjoyable, not to mention improving your security on the road.