Friday, December 7, 2012


If I could go anywhere in the United States for vacation it would be Hawaii. There's alot of other places I would love to go as well but Hawaii is at the top of the list. Boosting this already vivid dream is watching Hawaii Five-0 everytime that show opens up with the sights of this beautiful island I'm ready to go! So how to make this a reality?
The first step is figuring out where to go, which island. This can be a tricky choice because there is so much to see. Doing research on the specific islands and what they offer is the key. Some of the islands boast alot of adventure, a variety of things to do and fun nightlife. On the other hand some of the islands are all about relaxing. It comes down to what you want to do on your vacation. Two good sites I've come across for information are and the second being good for deals and tips.


My friends and I have discussed going to Hawaii. We decided we would rent a place to stay from that way we could all chip in on the price and fix some of our meals there. This not only allows us to save money, but it will give us the opportunity to check out the local markets! These two pictures above are two examples of places to stay in Kauai that sleeps 10 people. This is a great way to visit Hawaii without breaking the bank. Hawaii can be expensive so make sure you do your homework. Even looking up the local markets and such that you would be using. Plan with your travel companions and you won't get costly surprises!
I am very ready for this trip! Where would you go with a group?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sail Away

One of my favorite ways to vacation is cruises. This is also one of the cheapest vacations you could go on. With everything included you just have to pay for the cruise and don't have to worry about food. This is especially great if you want a quick getaway and don't have alot of money put back.

A few years ago I went on a cruise to the Bahamas. It was so relaxing and an amazing experience. Cruising is also addicting! At certain times of the year you can get a cruise for under $200. Some of my classmates went on a cruise in November for $110 a piece. It a great way to go. Do your research and find out when it's going to be cheaper to go. You don't have to go during hurricane season to get a good deal. In fact try not to go then it could get rough. The cheapest cruises are to the Bahamas, Mexico and the Caribbean. Plus they're great for when you're ready to get warm during the cold months.
A few tips for cutting cost... first if you have the time drive to the port you're going out of. It's alot cheaper by splitting the gas cost with your fellow vacationers. Add into your budget about $12 a day for the car to be parked in the parking garage while you're on the cruise. Second, go for an inside cabin on the ship. You aren't really going to spend that much time in your cabin and you can save a big chunk of money this way. Third, be careful about how many extras you get while on the ship. This mostly happens with drinks. Water and coffee are free with your food, but there is always cruise staff walking around offering drinks. They get added to your bill and can add up (trust me). Last, make sure you have extra money for the shore excursions. You will probably want to get a souvenir or two; plus you'll need to get lunch. Have cash for the markets, if you're a good haggler you can get some good deals.
So try a cruise, you'll feel like the rich and famous with this all inclusive way to vacation.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pass the Buck

I would love to go on a tour of Italy. After comparing the prices of putting together my own tour or going with a company that specializes in this area I decided to pass the buck. In fact going to any country where you want to tour more than one city is cheaper going through a tour group. You still need to save and plan ahead, but you can save yourself alot of headache and money taking this route.

With a seasoned company you will have everything laid out for you. Even down to the extra money you can choose to spend on special events. There are no surprises. On the other hand, if you were to plan it all yourself you would most likely run into surprises that could be costly.
Be sure to do your homework when choosing a tour company to go through. Don't just go for the cheapest, go for the most experienced. Make sure you will be going where you want to go and not missing any of the sights you want to see. I for years have like Perillo Tours, I recieve information from them to keep up on what they offer. I have always felt they offered a good experience for resonable money and they have experience. Go Ahead Tours, at is another tour company that offers more destinations than Perillo and airfare is included in the bundle. There's more good companies out there just be sure to do your homework.
Don't be scared of by the sticker price. If you're wanting to do something as big as tour a country it's not going to be super cheap. However, if you plan and save you can have your dream vacation. Going this route allows you to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Where do you want to tour?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Should I Stay Or Should I Go

Finding a place to stay can be the most expensive part of traveling. One of the ways to lower the cost is to get a rental home or apartment. This allows you to make your own meals using the kitchen in the rental, which can really lower your money going out for food. It also allows you to check out local markets and try the foods. Another great part of this option is that if you and friends or family travel together you can split the cost. My favorite site to find a vacation rental is this website has condos, apartments and homes all over the world to choose from. This is a great option especially there are several of you traveling!

A second option for where to stay that can save you some cash is choosing hotels that have continental breakfasts. This will save you money on breakfast and allow you to start your day right. Also, bed and breakfasts are a great way to experience the locals and have a hearty breakfast.
The last two ways to save money on where you stay are of course staying with friends, which is a great option. As well as, if you're adventurous staying at hostels, which is incredibly cheap! It depends on what you're looking for and wanting to experience. But, don't let finding a place to stay halt your travel plans.
And as always check out the costs and add it into your saving plans :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Not Just a Tourist

It's worth the money to pick up a good travel book. I mean one that's specific to budget traveling or budget traveling in the place you're going. The library should have tons of travel books that will help you navigate where you're going to plan your trip, but you don't necessarily need to own it. You can print maps from the internet, instead of carrying a book with you that will add weight to your luggage. I have bought two travel books that I think will be invaluable to me as I travel throughout my life. Travel Happy, Budget Low by Susanna Zaraysky and Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door. Both of these authors are veteran travelers and have fantastic tips. Things I would never have thought of. Keep in mind that if you own a Kindle, Nook or Ipad you can travel with your books, without the added weight in your luggage. Very handy!

One interesting thing I learned from reading these books and travel blogs is to check on transportation before you leave for the trip. For instance getting train tickets is important to do before you go to Europe, good to know.

Reading through these books has really helped me grasp areas I hadn't thought of. You know, important things that a beginner would never have thought was important. I believe with these tips I can feel more confident and less touristy as I travel.

Have you found any great travel book?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Travel for the Low Cash Flow

I was reminded that college students would love to travel but don't really have the money. As a college student myself I can relate. So why not let being a college student help you travel. Study abroad. There are usually several programs at universities. There are also opportunities for college students that aren't directly connected to specific universities. It's good advise to ask professors and fellow college students about different programs.
The programs and universities usually have scholarships to help with these trips. Plus, you can do legitimate fundraising, since it's with your schooling. This is not only a great way to travel, while still in college, but also a great way to study.
For those of you who are done with college and are interested. There are a number of programs to teach English abroad. I have to be licensed, which will cost a bit of money. The certification you need is called TEFL. This site is one of several that can guide you to pursuing this certification. This investment is worth it if you truly are interested in teaching abroad. There are larger opportunities for teaching in certain areas, specifically Asia and Spanish speaking countries. Don't get scared off though, you do not have to speak the language where your teaching. I have a friend who has done this in Paraguay, since graduating. She took a year and taught there before coming back for graduate school. She loved it! You, of course, may want to just continue on where you would go to teach. It would be a great opportunity to really learn the culture.
So now you see? You don't have to be out of college or wealthy to travel! Whoo hoo!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Four to GO!


                                                                                    IT MAKES LIFE EASIER
Once you have a plan of attack, concerning saving money, it's time to start planning. Be focused. You, like me, may want to go SO many places. But it's better to start out with one trip at a time. Hit the internet, travel books, library and ask friends that have been there. Find out every detail that interests you. So then you're prepared and educated to go on the trip. It takes all the stress (hopefully) out of the trip once you're on it. Make sure you plan for extras, you know souviers or some fun unexpected opportunity. All this planning ahead will help you know how much money you need to save. So that you're not just saving forever or not saving enough.

When you're planning ahead don't get so caught up in the "scheduling" that you don't enjoy the trip. Even professional vacation tours allow for free time and choosing different activities. Remember why you want to go where you're going. What do you want to see and do. Planning ahead is important for your budget and sanity, but don't let it get in the way of having fun!
Where do you want to go first?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Three to Get Ready


Another great way to make a little extra money, for your travels. Is through your hobbies. I love to take pictures and am starting to do some photography on the side. It's something I enjoy doing and can bring in some extra money that will fit nicely in my savings account.


A great site to sell things you create with your hobbies is Etsy. I have a friend that crochets and could sell here beautiful blankets on there no problem. It a great venue for selling handmande and vintage finds (in case your hobby is junking).
Take a look at the things you like to do and see if there's an avenue for making extra travel money.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Two Birds...

Let's be honest, we all have "stuff" that can be cleared out of our house. I mean if you have to ask yourself any of these questions:
- When did I use it last?
- Am I going to use it?
- What is it?
It's time to get rid of it.
It's said that you can clean out a closet and feel like you've just been shopping. But, if you didn't miss it do you really need to hang onto it?
You could have a regular yard sale, but let's be real, you won't make much.
Three years ago I decided to go through EVERYTHING and put it on ebay. In one summer I made close to $1,000! Not only had I decluttered and organized, but also racked up a good amount of money in the process.
Ebay's not the only way out there to sell online. I really like Amazon and Craigslist as well. Not, to mention, that a lot of my friends are using Facebook as a virtual yard sale.
Make sure, if you take any of these routes, you are organized. Have the things you are selling somewhere you can easily grab the and stick them in the mail. Make sure you are checking everyday to see if you've sold anything. Getting an item in the mail quickly will give you a good seller's profile.
This is personally one of my favorite ways to a make extra cash. I get rid of unneeded, unused clutter and watch the money add up. Don't get discouraged if you only sell something for $5. Just put it in that travel savings account and let it GROW!
So what's hiding in your house you could sell?

Monday, September 3, 2012

One For the Money

If I were a millionaire I could just take off on any dream trip I wanted, at any given moment. But, let's be realistic, that's not going to happen. So, if I want to pursue my traveling dreams, I'm going to have to make a plan and buckle down.

Keep in mind that you need to have a plan. Find out how much money you need to save before you begin. That way you have a goal, which will keep you motivated!

I have an aunt and uncle who love to travel. They go somewhere every two years. How they do this is by saving money. Not only do they put money back in the the bank but they throw their change into jars every evening when they get home. This has allowed them to take multiple trips without going into debt.

If you're like me, though, you hardly ever have change, because you carry your bank card and not cash. That's were the bank comes in really handy! There's two different ways to sock back money with your bank.

  1. Have a savings account specifically for traveling... and don't touch it!
  2. If your bank offers a Christmas club, use it to put money back in for traveling... and don't touch it.
The only problem with the Christmas club is that the bank usually wants you to take your money out when Christmas is approaching. But, if you are going to travel each year this is still a great way to put money away. You can also put the Christmas club money into your traveling savings account.

If you decided on an amount that can be automatically put into the savings account or Christmas club, you won't even feel it. I mean, once that amount of money is regularly put into an account, after a while you don't notice it's missing.

My friend has done this and she raises the amount by 10 or 20 dollars each year. Once she's gotten used to not having that amount in her budget, it's not painful to have that taken out. The best part is, it really adds up.


There's, of course, a lot of other ways to raise traveling money. I want to go into some of those in other posts.

You have any ideas?