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Frugal Trip To Yellowstone National Park

Image: Wikipedia Commons

I’m really sad to see summer come to an end. In Colorado, we are already having cooler temperatures, and I can’t help but notice that the sun is sleeping in and going to bed later than just a few weeks ago.  We decided to go on one more blow out road trip before summer is gone, and I’m VERY excited that we chose a national park. It will be a whirlwind, but here’s how we’re planning our frugal trip to Yellowstone! Why Yellowstone? Well, because it’s maybe the most famous national park, and it’s a goal of mine to see them all before I kick the bucket. Yellowstone is a 10 hour drive from us, so not close, but it’s a no brainer to road trip it. I have always wanted to visit Yellowstone since I was a kid. I’m not even sure how I knew about it. They don’t talk much about destinations west of the Mississippi in rural Kentucky, but geysers have always fascinated me. I’m not sure why we’ve never been now that we live closer, probably because it’s still a haul. A long weekend is probably not the best way to see the park, but sometimes ...

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Pros and Cons About Booking a Vacation With Points

Beaches in South Kauai

I’m sure you are all sick of hearing about my Hawaii vacation by now, but it really was the highlight of the year for us so far. It also took more than a year of planning to book most of the trip with points and miles for our family of three. We’ve booked smaller, closer trips with points before, but this was the first time we’ve really used our credit card rewards for high end resort stays and expensive flights. Let me say that this is in no way a negative post. Taking a two week vacation is something I used to only dream about, but now that I know the ropes, I think we can do even longer periods of travel in the future. However, there really is no such thing as a free lunch, so here are the pros and CONS of booking a vacation with points. Cons of Traveling With Points Again, I am not being negative. Maybe these should be called reminders instead of cons? Award Rooms Are Small When you book a standard award with points, it usually isn’t for the nicest room in the place. If you’re like me, you probably don’t have hotel ...

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Is a Kauai Luau Worth $200?

The price of a Kauai luau is $200 for a family

You won’t be hearing much from me for the next couple of weeks. Our trip to Hawaii is almost here! Our main costs for this trip were just over $500 because we used rewards from our Hawaiian Airlines Visa, Chase Ink cards, and Barclay Arrival cards. That includes 3 round trip flights, 7 nights in Kauai, and a rental car for the week. There will be other expenses, and I’m reaching out to my readers to decide how much we should spend and on what. The main thing we are trying to decide is whether or not to spend almost $200 for a Kauai luau plus a few other things we’d like to do. I’d love to hear some opinions. Oh Yeah, We’re Also Going to Vegas Did I mention that Hawaiian airlines only flies out of a few mainland cities, mostly in the Western US? The closest to us was Phoenix, but it was 15,000 points less to go out of Las Vegas, which is only an hour longer in driving distance. We are going to spend two nights in Vegas before our flight and one night there on the way back. The last time Jim and I went ...

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Culture Clash: Towaoc to Aspen

private planes in Aspen

I went into a bit of culture shock last week. I spend Thursday on the reservation town of Towaoc doing vision screenings for 22 three year olds who will be going into head start this fall. On Friday, I was having lunch at the Red Onion in Aspen. I honestly can’t believe these two places are in the same country, let alone the same state. It made me wonder if success is truly based on life circumstances. Maybe where you’re born does dictate your fate in life or is that just an excuse? Reality on the Reservation Last week was week two of the school screenings. The first week, I had the four year olds who were finishing up a year of head start. Out of 17 kids, I had one who knew letters. She lives off the reservation and only attends head start there because her mother works for the tribe. Two of the 39 kids were living at the youth shelter because their parents were in jail or somewhere unknown. More than half had a speech delay. About half were obese. Several had anemia from nutrient deficient diets. About a fourth had been removed from parental care at ...

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Ways to Spend Less on Vacation

save money on vacation

Summer is here. It’s time for cookouts, flowers, and vacation! We have just over a month until our Hawaii vacation, and aside from the flight, I am looking forward to every minute. I strongly believe vacation time is essential to well being. I also believe people can let vacation spending get way out of hand, before, during, and after vacation. You don’t have to go into debt or spend all your savings if you can find ways to spend less on vacation. You Don’t Need a New Wardrobe To Take a Vacation It’s fun to have new clothes to wear on vacation, but it certainly isn’t necessary. I didn’t buy clothes for most of last year, but that didn’t stop me from going on a several trips. The good things about travel is that you usually don’t know anyone where you’re going, so if you wear the same jeans that you’ve had for years, no one will know (unless they are acid washed and penny rolled). I have no problem with necessary clothes shopping and looking for good deals, but I can’t tell you how many people I’ve known, prior self included,  who frantically rush around at the last minute ...

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