Tag Archives: Travel

Top 11 Spring Break Deals For College Students

March 9, 2015

Spring break travel deals

You’re almost penniless. Exhausted. You despise your dorm room, the lousy food and campus life. Even your roomies annoy you.

Time for a spring break and Spring Break Deals!

You’ve got to go! Even if it means asking the parentals for a loan—which should be no sweat when you show them how responsible you are by undertaking research on cheap destinations. Continue reading

Four Ways to Make Money Traveling

September 16, 2011

Make Money Traveling

If you asked people what they would do if they didn’t have to work, you can bet most answers would include something to do with traveling. But did you know there are actually ways to make money traveling? These are just a few ways that you can make travel fun and profitable.

Sun, sand and syntax!

Use your writing skill to make money traveling. Image credit: kiwanja, Flicker.com.

Option #1 – Travel writing

Many travel-focused magazines are on the constant lookout for new and engaging articles. While these magazines have high quality standards for content, if you have writing talent and experience, this is a great way to make money traveling. A good place to learn more and gain access to travel writing resources is thetravelwriterslife.com.

Option #2 – Write a blog about traveling or Podcast about it

You may not be able to easily get a job writing for a travel magazine, but you can do the next best thing and start writing for yourself. Many people will be interested to learn about your travel adventures, especially if you can write in an informative and humorous manner. Once you start getting some traffic to your blog you can begin selling travel related products or advertisements. You could also consider writing and self-publishing a travel guide.

If you are more comfortable just talking passionately about where you have been or what you have seen, a podcast may be your best bet to make money traveling. Record a short episode about your favorite traveling experience. Upload it and watch those hits come in; if you can make your listeners feel a connection with your podcast, you can be guaranteed to have them coming back to hear about your most recent adventure. Once you have a sizable fan base, you can began seeking out advertisers or sponsors for your podcast. Visit transtionasabroad.com/navpages/links/best _travel_podcasts.shtml for a list of podcasts that you can listen to for inspiration.

Option #3 – Offer English language tutoring

This obviously won’t work if you are just planning to travel to Boston or New York. If however you are interested in seeing the world, you can cover the costs of your trip and maybe make a little extra by offering your services as an English language tutor. As English has become the dominant language in the business world, the demand for English language tutors has increased. By tutoring you will meet some incredible people and make money traveling.

Do you have an eye for photography? Use it to make money traveling. Image credit: travellingtamas, Flicker.com.

Option #4 – Photography

For the right person who is truly passionate about traveling and photography, travel photography is an excellent way to make money traveling. People not only love beautiful pictures, but also seeing places that they have never visited. Because not everyone has the time or budget to travel around the world, viewing the world through photographs gives them a chance to see what is out there. If you have a knack for photography, it could be worth getting out there and start taking pictures. If there is not a magazine or website interested in running your pictures, start your own website! Check out travelphotographers.net for some more information.

Of course, there are other ways to make money traveling that we did not mention here, and we invite you to join our discussion and let us know some of your favorite ways are that worked in the past.

5 Tips on Saving a Bundle While Traveling

March 31, 2011

1. Take your trip during the off-season
In shopping around for hotels and flights, you’ll usually notice a difference in price between the peak and slow seasons. I usually plan to take a trip within the month immediately before or after peak season.
Pros:
  • It will be cheaper and much less crowded
  • You’ll have an easier time booking arrangements
  • Better opportunity to mingle with locals (while they’re not overwhelmed by your fellow countrymen)
  • Your trip will be groovier. Ever read up on population density studies? Hordes of people do not make for the most relaxing vacation.
Cons:
  • It may be the slow season for a good reason (monsoons? descent of the mosquitos? impassable winter roads?)
  • Businesses may take this as an opportunity to renovate.
  • There may be fewer English speakers around.
2. Use Farecast Technology to know when to buy and travel
Say you and your special lady/gentleman friend want to go to Paris in May. Bing travel (formerly Farecast) has a flexible date search tool that will allow you to find the lowest prices. Being open with your departure date could be the difference between paying $900 vs $1700 per round trip ticket. A bit of planning ahead can save you and your sweetie a (rather shocking) $1600 on airfare.
Another neat Farecast feature is the ‘future ticket cost’ arrows. The color coded arrows let you know what historical trends and number crunching predict regarding future fare changes:
  • Green: Buy right now. Prices will be jumping in the near future.
  • Red: Wait! This price is coming back down.

3. Stay in Somebody’s Sweet Vacation Home.
Check out www.vrbo.com (Vacation Rentals by Owner) for a list of houses, condos and studios to rent by the day or week. Since these properties are managed by a normal person instead of a company, you can often find really great deals. Listings are available worldwide, but are most concentrated in the States. I was shocked to see how many places were available within a few hours drive of Portland, making this a great resource for weekend getaways. Outside of camping, this is probably your cheapest option for accommodating a group of people.

Pros:

  • Many vacation rentals include a full kitchen — take advantage of this! Cook your meals at your homebase instead of dropping a small fortune eating at restaurants every day.
  • I cannot stress enough how cool and affordable some of the listed houses are.

Pro/Con:

  • Many of these properties will be a bit off the beaten path. If you like seclusion & a unique experience while on vacation, this should work out nicely for you. Make sure to get thorough directions from the home-owner and/or current maps before leaving. You may find yourself in a residential neighborhood without streetlights, or maybe in the middle of the woods off a dirt road. Also it’s somebody’s house, so there usually isn’t a sign.

Cons:

  • Be sure to read the rental contract. Know going in what sort of cleaning you’re expected to take care of before departing.
  • VRBO rentals usually need to be planned in advance (shoot for at least two weeks.) Leave enough time to snail-mail payment/contracts/keys.
4. Concerning Cash
This may seem obvious, but plan ahead with a travel budget and three (yes, three) cash acquisition plans. Most places in the world have ATMs for cash, but sometimes things go awry. Maybe the ATM keypad is upside-down and you enter your pin number incorrectly, rendering your bank card useless. Perhaps you forget to call your bank and let them know that you’ll be making charges from outside the country and they freeze your account. Sometimes your hotel doesn’t take credit/debit cards and you have to come up with enough cash to cover your stay. Not that I’m talking from experience or anything. (cough cough.) In America, you can purchase most anything by debit card, not so elsewhere. Depending on your bank and destination, different fees (flat transaction fees, exchange fees, or both) will be attached to getting money. Choose three from the list before you leave the country:
  • ATMs at your destination – consider both withdrawal and exchange fees.
  • Get Visa or American Express travel cards pre-loaded with your destination’s currency.
  • Travelers checks. Dated? Yes. Accepted worldwide? Yes.
  • Get foreign currency at your bank before leaving. Make sure to get one of those geeky under-the-shirt-money-hiding-pouch-things.
  • Airport exchange office – convenient, but often higher exchange rates.
  • Line up a trusted friend or family member as your emergency cash backup. Don’t forget to let them know they’re your last hope in an emergency.
5. Have an Adventure
You’ve made it to your destination, now go have a real experience! Wander. Notice things. Live like a local. Avoid tourist traps – they’re designed specifically to part you from your money. Make a list of ways to have a new, inexpensive experience, such as:
  • Talk to the locals. Go to their favorite cheap restaurants.
  • Consider alternate transportation. Drive instead of fly. Take the bus instead of drive. Rent a moped (Ciao!) Avoid cabs unless it’s an emergency.
  • Go to the grocery store & grab some local fare. Find a nice spot, eat, and enjoy the view.
  • Check out blogs devoted to your destination. Somewhere on the internet, somebody is dying to tell you about all the great things to do there. Listen to them!

 

Thrifty Adventures

July 21, 2010

Ah, summer. There is no better time to get out of the house and get to know nature a little better. The best way to do this is to go camping! I know what you are thinking: “I want to experience nature from my air conditioned hotel room in Waikiki!” Well this is frugal blog, darnit, so let’s compare the two trips.

  • Travel Expense
    • Flight from Portland, OR to Honolulu round trip for a family of four:
      • $1680 (double that for you East Coasters)
    • 200 mile round trip drive to favorite campground:
      • <$60 (assuming you aren’t an H2 driver…)
  • Hotel Expense
    • 3 star hotel in Waikiki:
      • $130 per night
    • Campsite fee:
      • <$30 per night
  • Fun Expense
    • Waikiki
      • Snorkeling with the fishes
        • $60 each
      • Taking a helicoptor tour of a mountain
        • $120 each
      • Touring a pineapple plantation
        • $12 each plus pineapple-y souvineers
    • Camping
      • Going fishing
        • $14 each (and in many states, kids under 14 can fish for free) 
      • Taking a hike up a mountain
        • Free! (Just make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks)
      • Touring a pinecone “plantation”
        • Free!
  • Food Expense
    • Waikiki
      • Breakfast – Banana crêpe with coconut syrup and fresh ground Kona coffee
        • $14
      • Lunch – Glass of POG juice, deep fried mahi-mahi, and a mango shave ice
        • $9
      • Dinner – Succulent pork roasted on a spit, by a master chef, over a bed of fire heated lava rocks
        • $24
    • Camping
      • Breakfast – Burned pancake with a slightly squished banana and a glass of watery coffee crystals
        • $3
      • Lunch – cup of Kool-Aid, pan fried lake trout, and a couple of ice cubes found at the bottom of your cooler
        • $0.50
      • Dinner – Succulent hotdog roasted on a stick, by your 10 year old son, over a bed of random things you decided to burn (YUM!)
        • $1.25

As you can see, a camping trip is clearly a great option for those who want an adventure on a budget.  I recommend looking at these great resources to help plan a camping trip:

Do you have any great camping stories? Tell us about them in the comment box below.