It’s hot, it’s fuzzy, it’s summer time! And despite the heat waves, increase in gas prices, talk of a slump (and the dreaded recession), folks are relentless about enjoying their summer. They are gearing to tour scenic American and offshore destinations. Am sure you are too. A little sunshine, after all, goes a long way. And to make your summer even better and unforgettable, today we’ll explore some tips and well-utilized secrets that will turn your vacation from a drab, so-so experience to one you’ll be regaling your grand-kids with for a long time to come!
Let’s Rock Summer!
#1. Plan Ahead
While it may seem counterproductive to fun, planning gives you more flexibility in what you can do on your vacation. Through planning, you identify alternatives in case your initial plans don’t work out. Carefully plan your itinerary, accommodations and double check your reservations. Due to the large number of vacationers, your reservations might fall through the cracks. Additionally, check out traffic forecasts and plan your trip accordingly. If possible, travel earlier to beat rush-hour gridlocks.
#2. Safety First
Safety comes first. Your goal after all is not only to enjoy summer but also come back (in one piece) and tell-all (or some)! For starters, consider your physical safety. Summer is characterized by a blazing sun and excessive heat in some places. Carry your sunscreen at all times and apply generously especially when exposed to direct sunlight. Keep the sunburns at bay. Protect your eyes from the sun’s glare by investing in a pair of sun-glasses. Stay hydrated at all times.
If you are taking a road trip, invest in a first aid kit and emergency gear such as flashlights, jumper ropes, water and fire-extinguishers. Teach kids basic emergency tactics. Have an agreed upon place for them to go in case they get lost. Dress them in brightly colored clothes to make them easily identifiable. You should also include a contact card with your details in their pockets. It might seem like overkill, but when you consider the sheer number of people traveling in summer, anything can happen. Better safe than sorry!
#3. Save, Save, Save!
Yes, you can have an eventful summer vacation while sticking to a budget. Research and take advantage of package deals (for example those that offer flight and accommodation as a single package.) They are not only cheap but convenient, more so when traveling with family. Summer is also an opportune time to redeem your airline miles for flights and upgrades. However book early since this is the high season for most airlines. Employ smart driving tactics if you are taking a road trip. With gas prices almost hitting the $4 mark a gallon, you ought to get smart about driving.
#4. Pack Smart
You don’t want to over pack, neither should you under pack and be forced to spend more to buy necessary items. Take the time to pack smart. Take a top down approach, going through items you might need from head to toe. Items such as hats to shield you from the sun’s glare and sandals for strolling in the heat. Pack appropriate clothing for the weather your travel destination is experiencing. Summer is pretty wet in some regions. Moreover, keep in mind TSA guidelines if you plan on flying.
Isn’t it obvious? And yet how often do you break this simple rule? This is not the time to drag dense manuscripts to the beach! It’s a time to kick back and relax. Enjoy the warm air, the breeze, swaying the trees. Live the moment, be in the moment. Take the time to play. How often do you do it anyway? Enjoy time with family, friends and fellow vacationers. Unwind in a way you haven’t done in a while. Ultimately, that’s what will make your summer unforgettable.
Photo Credit: TreyRead More
Founded by Patrick Sojka of Calgary Canada, FrequentFlyerBonuses.com came as an offshoot of RewardsCanada.ca, the much renowned travel rewards resource for Canadians. As Rewards Canada only listed bonus offers available to Canadians, it was only natural and easy to expand and create a site where people from around the World could find and access bonus offers for their favorite airline, hotel and credit card programs. You can also follow FrequentFlyerBonuses.com on twitter, facebook or Google plus
What motivated you to start FrequentFlyerBonuses.com?
FrequentFlyerBonuses.com actually stemmed from my first site: RewardsCanada.ca. I have bonus offer section and that was seeing lots of traffic from outside of Canada but I only covered offers that Canadians could use so it made sense to launch a site that covers all loyalty promotions from around the globe, hence the launch of FrequentFlyerBonuses.com in 2005.
Are you an avid traveler yourself?
Absolutely! Some of my travel slowed down when we had kids but that is totally ramping up again.
What advice do you have for someone looking to apply for an airline miles credit card?
Look at both sides of the equation, that is the earning and the redeeming side. Don’t be swayed by a large sign up offer when those points may not be worth much. A good example was here in Canada where a card offered by ATB offered a 100,000 point sign up bonus, which seems huge but in reality that 100k points was only worth a $100 travel credit
As a Canadian do you get jealous of the wide variety of airline credit card offers available to Americans?
Sometimes but the Canadian market seems to offer other benefits on their cards that many U.S. cards don’t. I guess it is a trade off. The U.S. market is tightening its grip on the sign up bonuses and the actual churning of cards and as the U.S. economy improves this will only become more prevalent so I think the days of 75,000+ miles/points offers in the U.S. are numbered (which made us Canucks jealous)
What are your views on the churn and burn tactic where people are mass-applying for credit cards to get the bonuses?
This is starting to be curtailed as I mentioned in the response above, Amex U.S. is the first major to nix the churn and burn and I believe more card issuers will follow suit, especially on the co-brand cards as the churn and burn tactic does not build loyalty for the card’s co-brand partners. For cards that have proprietary programs Chase Ultimate Rewards etc. this may not happen for a while.
With many airlines struggling financially, do you think that they will eventually scale back their rewards card offerings?
Not for U.S. airlines as they miles sold via credit card sign up bonuses help their bottom lines but like I said above the really large offerings of 75,000+ miles will soon be few and far between.
Do you feel that airline credit cards offer superior rewards compared to cash back or other rewards credit cards?
If you want to travel in business or first class they absolutely do. If you are an economy class traveller most cards are pretty equal in terms of your rate of return
Do you have any tips regarding earning more airline miles?
Use bonus mile offers to your advantage, they are an easy way to work your way up to that reward you want to redeem for. Many of the bonus offers require registration and while you may not think you can take advantage of the bonus offer, register anyway. Who knows when your employer may send you to Phoenix for a meeting and you don’t remember or realize that the airline you’re flying on was offering double miles on all flights to or from Phoenix. By registering for an offer when you first see it, you’re making sure you don’t miss out on any bonus opportunities.
Or what about general ways to save on travel beyond credit cards?
I’ll leave this one to the travel deal specialists!Read More
While traveling in multiple countries, the first thing that comes in you mind is how you will go about spending while on your travel. Speaking of spending, you have to think of what you will will have to use to get yourself moving.
Money is very essential that every traveler should give a thought when it comes to security. It becomes very sad when you lose your money to slick fingered pick-pocket or some opportunistic thief.
When this happens especially overseas, it puts a big dent to the traveler trip, especially when you figure out the time you need to get access to more funds.
Travelers must make an option of how to carry their money, with security in mind, and also minding accessibility of your money and how you will go about paying for your goods and services. You don’t have to spend more time searching for that note in your pocket, or even go to a point of stripping all your clothes because you cannot really tell where you last placed your wallet.
With all that in mind, lets have a look at the best ways to carry your money when traveling in multiple countries:
#1 Keep your money in your clothes
We can call this one favor in body storage. In this case you can uses your under-clothing accessories such as sick neck pouches and money belts. Other options include bra stashes, as well as long johns, underwear, and undershirts with built-in pockets for safe storage.
However, apart from the on-body accessories being more vulnerable to thievery, they are more useful since you don’t have to seek for a secure place to have access to you money.
#2 Withdraw Just enough for your use
Withdrawing or changing large amount of money means you will have to pay less for exchange fee. However, you may end up having a lot of local currency hence carrying more money that you would initially have at your home. As you go on packing your luggage, make sure you pack small amounts of bills and coins for purchases such as food and miscellaneous expenses.
#3 Carry theft proof bags
This one goes for backpacks, purses and travel purses. This usually targets to slow down and maybe deter opportunistic pickpockets. Backpacks which are reinforced with slash-proof fabric, locking zippers and steel-cable-reenforced shoulder straps are the best for the security of your luggage especially money..
#4 Trim your wallet
If you own multiple credit cards, it s very essential to carry a universal card in your wallet. This will not only make your traveling light but also makes you to have less to replace in case your wallet gets lost or stolen.
What other ways do you think is applicable in carrying money while traveling in multiple countries?Read More
What are your plans this summer?
After the long brutal winter and the so-so spring, it’s time to paint the U.S Red (or Blue depending 🙂 ) And you are not alone. A recent survey by TripAdvisor shows that almost 89% of Americans are planning some travel this summer. Of those, more will be traveling within the U.S. Why is that you ask? The World Cup in Brazil, The Golden Jubilee in the U.K and the summer Olympics have pushed global airfares up (ruining the fun for lots of people!). No worries though, you don’t have to leave U.S to catch all the fun. In fact, this summer might be the one you pack in most of the fun right here on U.S. soil. Today we explore some of the best summer travel destinations that are pocket friendly and offer unforgettable experiences.
Wipe out the sulk on your face! Get out there, soak up some sun and unforgettable memories!
Here Are The Top 10 Summer Travel Destinations
#1. Grand Canyon, Arizona
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You have to see the Grand Canyon with your own eyes to believe it. It’s awe-inspiring! Located in the Northwest corner of Arizona, the Canyon is the perfect destination for your summer travel. Enjoy a view of the mile deep valley from the edges, or take a trail into the belly of the beast! The Bright Angel Trail is just one of the routes down the Canyon. It’s equipped with restrooms, water and shade making it perfect for the average hiker.
Additionally, you can enjoy a cool evening watching the sunset from the edge of the Canyon. It’s one experience that will forever transform your perspective of mother earth!
#2. Yosemite National Park, California
After temporary closure back in 2013 due to Government budget cut backs, Yosemite is back and running. Located in the Eastern portion of California, Yosemite offers 47,956 acres of pure fun and exploration. With spectacular granite cliffs, streams, waterfalls and a biodiversity unmatched in most National Parks. Take your camping and hiking gear and enjoy breathtaking trails in the meadows of Yosemite. A visit to this National Park isn’t complete without a visit to the Yosemite Falls, the fifth tallest in the World.
#3. Las Vegas, Nevada
Need I say more? 🙂 It’s always happening in Las Vegas! Recent drops in per capita gambling and gaming expenditure has seen Las Vegas scramble to attract a new crowd of tourists. This has seen the rise of budget accommodations and a variety of attractions that will rock your summer travel. From vibrant art hubs to adrenalin parked indoor skydiving, Las Vegas will give you an unforgettable time. And you can still indulge in a hand of Blackjack or roll the dice and try your summer luck! Don’t break the bank though, there are still more amazing places to visit!
#4. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
Summer marked the birth of the new nation! What better way to celebrate and capture that than Mt Rushmore? Located in South Dakota, Mt. Rushmore is a sculpture of the nations founding fathers in granite! Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy? looking upon the nation. Enjoy a panoramic view from the Grand Terrace or take the Presidential trail to the base of the monument.
#5. Washington, D.C
The nation’s capital is steeped in history making it a nice summer travel destination. From the White House, to the Lincoln memorial, Washington D.C. has no shortage of fun, educative places to visit. Enjoy a picnic in the National Mall, almost 2 miles of park stretching from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial. Take in the amazing views of the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials at night. They are beautifully lit and the crowds are smaller at night. Washington summers are often pretty hot, stay hydrated and close to your destinations.
#6. San Francisco, California
San Francisco enjoys cool, breezy summers with temperatures in the 70 degrees range. Enjoy relaxed picnics, walks along the beautiful streets. Take a bay cruise to Alcatraz, a maximum security prison that once housed mobster Al Capone. Stroll across the Golden Gate bridge and catch a sunset there. Tour the city by the famous cable cars, or even drive Lombard Street – “the crookedest street in the world “. It has some of the sharpest turns and an incredibly steep incline. You thought cars couldn’t fly, think again 🙂
#7. Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Idaho, Montana)
Founded in 1872 and shared by three states; Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, Yellowstone is a 2.2 million acres of forest and wilderness! It has over 300 geysers shooting hot boiling water into the sky. Cool, right. The best known is the Old Faithful, it shoots 8400 gallons of hot boiling water 150 feet in the air, every 90 minutes. Pack your picnic lunch, enjoy the view time and again. You can also camp or take early morning hikes and get to see animals as they go to water!
#8. Ocean City, MaryLand
Two words: Stunning Beach! Located in Worcester County Maryland, Ocean City is an Atlantic Resort town with a lot to offer for your summer travel. Meander the 3 mile Boardwalk beach. Sample treats long the way. Dip into the salty waters. Summer brings with it special concerts and bonfires that will make your stay in Ocean City and unforgettable one.
#9. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Located in the East Coast of the U.S in Horry County, South Carolina, Myrtle Beach an endless supply of fun budget activities to keep you and your family engaged this summer. Relax on the beach and soak up some sun. Attend open air concerts. Indulge yourself in a game of golf on the splendid golf courses. Mini golf is available too! Enjoy some fireworks over Lake Broadway every Tuesday and most Friday’s all summer long!
#10. Orlando, Florida
Famed for its exquisite theme parks, Orlando Florida has distinguished itself as a major summer travel destination among North Americans. Located in Central Florida, Orlando has something for every traveler. Take your kids to Disney World, Resort Universal, Seaworld Universal or a myriad other interesting themed parks. Enjoy a rich culture with street performances, open air concerts or take a day to relax at the spas. Your fun in Orlando is only limited by your imagination!
#Bonus: Cancun, Mexico
Why Cancun? I’ll tell you why. It’s one of the most searched for destinations this year according to TripAdvisor! Located on the northeast coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Cancun is world renowned tourist destination for its splendid beaches and clear, sparkly blue waters (well, among other…uuummm…things)! Tour the Cancum Underwater Museum, swim with the dolphins and enjoy the vibrant Cancum nightlife.
You don’t have to break the bank to have an unforgettable summer. There are remarkable destinations a flight or drive away that will spice up your summer. Get out there, soak up some sun and have fun!
What are your plans this summer? Where have you visited or planning to visit?Read More
Travelers carry with them a camera. They make great shots of mountains, canyon, birds, animals, different cultures. Selling those shots then there you are earning some cash. There are so many websites out there in need of those photos. You can also sell them to magazines or sell them online.
English teaching is in high demand across the globe. If you are proficient English speaker and writer then you are good to land this job easily especially in Asia countries where they are hungry to acquire knowledge of the worlds interlanguage.
They say blogging may take time even a year of hardworking before bringing in income. But if you can build a decent reputation as a blogger then you are good in attracting advertisers to your site thus making some good cash.
There are so many freelance writing jobs such as web content, web copy, news reporter, news paper columnist, magazine freelancer among others. If you have amazing writing skills then try freelance writing. You can get these jobs online on sites like oDesk and Elance.
This job is very common in Australia. Some farmers may pay per hour while others by harvest work done. That means you need to be that proactive. You need to know fruit picking is a hard job, need a lot of concentration and might work for long hours a day.
Import and Export Business
Run an import/export business. Get that item on one country and sell it at a profit in another country.
You might have various skills like scuba diving, skiing among others. You can offer teaching services to people willing to learn those skills. You might even get a lot of customers making it your profession.
Which other jobs do you normally do while on the road? Share with us in the comments below.
Amazing Reads of the Week
This Story Proves There IS Good in the World – Travel Junkette
Benefits for Travel Bloggers – Book of Travel Bloggers
Traveling the Top End with Wayoutback – Caroline in the City
Where to See Leopards in Africa – Travel Belles
Secret Venice – Burano Lace – Aussie in France
On Getting Back to Basics – Notes of NomadsRead More