Save Big on Your Next Vacation Getaway

Your Next Vacation

The long lull after New Year’s makes us all look forward to the return of sunny spring days. The dreary wintery days are the perfect opportunity to plan for your next vacation . Unfortunately, some of us are still feeling the sting of holiday spending. Here are a few easy tips that can save you a bundle on your next vacation.

Planning Your Next Vacation

The first questions you should ask yourself are about the budget and destination. How much can you spend and where do you want to go? Before I plan any trip, I discuss points of interest and other attractions with my fellow travelers. It’s important that everyone has a good time and gets the most out of their next vacation. Talk about what kinds of activities you hope to do and how you plan to get there.

Once the destination is decided, it’s time to start booking tickets. It’s wise to check prices online to ensure you get the best deals for your next getaway and know the general costs. If you buy admission tickets ahead of time, it means you will have less out-of-pocket spending. Nothing blows a budget faster than unexpected expenses.

Alternative Transportation for Your Trip

Websites like Skyscanner and TripAdvisor are my personal preference to book airfare. They allow you to compare multiple airlines, dates, and set price alerts. Sometimes, they even offer flash deals if your dates are flexible or  shop at the last minute. This means you can free-up more of your budget for entertainment. Even though these websites are excellent search engines, I usually book directly through the airline or company directly in case you need to make changes. Third-party bookings are cheaper, but cannot be altered without a ton of telephone runaround or change fees.

If first-class tickets are above your price range or you prefer to avoid airports, then you should consider alternative transportation options. Car rentals, train, and bus tickets can all be purchased online as well. The long distance coaches are surprisingly comfortable and usually provide free Wi-Fi during your trip. Overnight flights, trains and buses are also a good way to trim the fat and save money on hotels.

Deep Discount During Your Getaway

The sooner you begin planning your next vacation, the better your chances to find a good deal. The ideal time to book discounted airfare is 45-60 days before your trip. This is when the airlines compile passenger lists and adjust prices based on the remaining seats. It can be a bit of a gamble, but if luck is on your side, you can find flights for mere peanuts.

Also ask your friends or anyone you know works in the travel or hospitality industry. They can usually offer a family and friends discount based on availability. Don’t be afraid to call and ask service representatives if they offer discounts at time of booking. Most companies offer 10% discounts for auto club or loyalty memberships. You may also get discounts through your employers, so be sure to ask before you confirm reservations.

After working for years in hospitality, these were the best ways to cut corners and find the best deals for your next vacation. I would also use the ‘everywhere’ search options if you feel adventurous, because international tickets are becoming much cheaper these days. Your next vacation can be more affordable than you think. A little time and planning can save you hundreds of dollars, or allow you the vacation of your dreams.

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Your Next Vacation

How to Plan Your Staycation

staycation

I love a good staycation. The truth is that I don’t like traveling all that much. It’s important to me to travel now and then – either to see my family or to experience new things. Nevertheless, I find travel stressful. I don’t find it relaxing. I’m one of those people who come home from a vacation feeling like I need a vacation. That’s why I always try to wrap up any trip with a few staycation days before I return to my regular life.

What is a Staycation?

A staycation is exactly what it sounds like – a completely relaxing, rejuvenating, energizing vacation that you take in your own home. You might take a staycation because you need a break but don’t really enjoy traveling. Or perhaps your travel options are limited due to cost or other limitation. Whatever the reason, a staycation gives you the benefits of a vacation without having to leave your own home or hometown.

Figure Out Where You Will Stay

I love my home. I’m always happy to take my staycation right in my own home. I save money. I enjoy the peace of my own place. All of my craft supplies and books are right there with me. I don’t have to pack a thing.

That said, it’s also possible to take a staycation in someone else’s home. This gives you the chance to enjoy your own city in a new way. Some options for that type of staycation include:

  • Petsitting or housesitting for someone in your city who is going on vacation
  • Swapping houses with a friend who lives in a different neighborhood
  • Renting an AirBnB, possibly even in a shared house to get to know someone new
  • Staying in a local hotel or even hostel to get that vacation experience
  • Camping in your own backyard

Plan Your Staycation Itinerary

When you go on vacation, you probably have a plan for what you would like to do each day. You should plan similarly for your staycation. If you’re the type of traveler who likes to book just one or two things and leave the rest of the day open, then do the same with your staycation. On the other hand, if you love taking tours and seeing all of the sights, then use your staycation as a chance to stay busy learning new things about the place where you live.

When I plan my staycation, it typically involves a combination of structured time and free time. I might make a list of things I want to visit (museums, theaters, walking tours, and art galleries are my favorites). I also brainstorm a list of things I want to enjoy at home (books, art projects, lounging with the dog). Personally I find it helpful to make these lists to remind myself of what I want to do so I don’t get stuck in the habit of doing chores and errands. This is a vacation after all.

Make A List of Rules

In keeping with that vacation mode, I also make myself a list of rules to remind myself of the things that I don’t want to do on my staycation. My list usually includes:

  • Don’t overbook myself.
  • It’s okay to watch TV but not all day.
  • Set an email vacation responder and don’t ever check email.
  • Likewise, stay off of social media.
  • Do all chores before the staycation and none while I’m on my break.
  • Try at least one new thing each day.

Everyone’s needs are different therefore everyone’s staycation will be unique. As long as you think it through, it can be one of the best vacations you’ll ever take.

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Traveling Jobs for People Who Love to Travel

traveling jobs

Vacation is a great time to travel, but sometimes, it is not enough to satisfy us. If you have a serious taste for exploring new areas but not enough funds to do it regularly, there is a solution for you.

Traveling jobs are a great way to feed your itchy feet. Not to mention, the best part about traveling jobs are there are many opportunities and options.

Whether you are needing to spice up your life or want to change your career all together, here are some traveling jobs worth checking out for people who love to travel:

Teacher/Nanny

Love kids, and you’re bilingual? Why not become an Au Pair or teacher in a different country? With a college degree and a TEFL certificate (Teaching English in a Foreign Language), you can teach English in a variety of locations. There are TEFL course programs you can even do abroad to give you a taste of what to expect while also introducing you to a new country.

And with technology making degrees easier to access online, you’ll be able to earn your degree while travelling, like earning a master of education in Australia while completely immersing yourself in the country’s culture.

You could also go the route of becoming a translator; should you choose to freelance or work at a company, you have the opportunity to charge per word.

Digital Nomad

This term was coined for those who work remotely. If you have an online business, you can work your way up to be able to work from wherever. Work as a digital nomad can be but is not limited to: freelance writing, social media management or affiliate marketing.

Athletic Recruiter

Sports enthusiasts will most likely find much enjoyment from a job as an athletic recruiter. Not only do you get to travel to schools across the country, you also get to attend sporting events as part of your responsibilities. Not a bad gig for sports fans, huh?

Auditor

If you are an accountant needing some excitement, becoming an auditor may be an excellent option for you. Auditors may not usually go to exotic locations, but they do travel across the country examining businesses.

Tour Guide

Being a tour guide, particularly internationally, is an excellent way to travel for work. If relocating to a different country to work as a tour guide, you should learn the language or choose a country where you already know the speech.

Bartender

For those with an open schedule and some nightlife experience, bars and clubs worldwide are always seeking bartenders, especially for the more touristy locations. Whether you want to go overseas or simply across the country, there are a variety of options as a bartender to travel to a new location for a while.

With the right skills, you can make traveling a part of your job requirements. It’s important to note that not all traveling jobs will pay well, and these professions still involve work and dedication. Depending on how much you want to make traveling a part of your career will depend on how much behind the scenes you will need to do.

Do you travel for a living? What kind of traveling jobs have you done or would like to do?