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Dealing With Irrational Travel Fears

how to overcome travel fears

We are on the brink of heading out for our longest vacation ever, three full weeks away from home. We’ll visit two different areas on the east coast and five different countries in Europe. To say I’m excited would be an understatement, but I’m also terrified of being gone that long and taking a trip that’s a big stretch for our family. I don’t ever want to miss out on greatness because of being afraid, so here is how I’m dealing with my mostly irrational travel fears. Feel free to laugh! Fear #1: Being Robbed No matter how much we try to blend in with the locals, I’m afraid my family will stick out like sore thumbs to thieves and pickpockets. I can see us stranded with no money and no passports. How will we ever get home? Reality: I will scan copies of our passports into my email and keep a list of credit card numbers to call if our cards are lost or stolen. I have all of our train and plane tickets on email as well. We will also take more than one credit card and stash one in our luggage. Being robbed would be an inconvenience, but ...

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Steps That Make Travel Much Cheaper

save money on vacation

                One of my favorite things in life is going on vacation. I not only love planning my own trips, but I also enjoy hearing about other people’s travel stories. One thing I can’t stand, though, is when people pay too much for travel. Even worse is when someone wants to go on vacation but doesn’t because of the belief that travel is out of reach financially. I am a huge fan of using reward points to make vacations affordable. But even when paying in cash, there are a few steps that make travel much cheaper. Why pay more if you don’t have to? Disclosure: This post was written in collaboration with Groupon. I was compensated for my time, but all opinions are my own and from tips and tricks I’ve used personally to save on travel. Be Flexible Maybe your heart  is set on staying at the resort that offers cushy bath robes and free s’mores after dinner, but this level of luxury is way over budget. Instead of going into debt to stay at a particular place, look around the area to see what else might be available. After all, are ...

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Northern California Highlights

clear day at the Golden Gate Bridge

As I write this on less than four hours of sleep from our noisy hotel neighbors and a 6:00 AM flight, I’m sure I can’t do the Bay Area justice. We only had a few days, but I feel like we worked in all the things we wanted to see, and perhaps best of all, we returned home slightly under budget! Here are our Northern California highlights. Day 1: Half Moon Bay to Monterey Our first day was cut short because our flight didn’t arrive in San Francisco until 4:00 PM. We rented a car and drove south to Half Moon Bay for dinner. It was beautiful, and I had a delicious red snapper sandwich at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. The weather was really windy, so we drove on down the coast after snapping a few pictures, arriving at the Embassy Suites Monterey Bay in Seaside around 9 PM. I was very close to a mini fit when our room was not ready, but the hotel redeemed itself by giving us free parking and candy bars. We are cheap dates! Day 2: Monterey Bay Aquarium and Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur We started the next day at the aquarium as ...

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How Much For a Family Trip To San Francisco?

Cheap vacation to Big Sur

As you read this, we are packing our bags for spring break. Many of our friends and family roll their eyes when we tell them we are headed off for another trip, thinking we spend thousands of dollars and that travel is beyond their reach. In reality, we pay a fraction of retail price for just about all of our vacations. Plus, we trim the fat from other areas in our budget so we can afford the amount we do spend. Cutting cable, buying used cars, and avoiding stores that might tempt us to spend money are some ways we save for the things we value with travel being very high on the list. For those of you who are curious, this is how much we will spend for a family trip to San Francisco. Flights To San Francisco We love to use credit card points and miles for air fare, but that usually means having to drive several hours to a major airport. Since we only have five nights for this trip, there wasn’t time for an extra day in the car. If we wanted to get to San Francisco, we needed to fly from closer to home. We ...

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Why I Love Credit Cards

Beaches in South Kauai

Last week I booked a $700+ per night hotel in the Bahamas for 4 nights over Thanksgiving break. Before you crucify me as a bad financial example, let me share how much I’m actually paying. Thanks to the Chase Ink credit card and a 70,000 point offer that was available last fall, we will only be paying $155.23. Yes, that’s $31.05 per night for a luxury hotel room on a beach in the Caribbean. We plan to fly there using Southwest points and a companion pass. I haven’t booked those tickets yet, but it looks like the cost will be around $300 in taxes for the three of us. This is why I love credit cards. I Am Smarter Than Credit Card Companies As I’ve written about many times, we used to be dumb when it came to using credit responsibly, running up over $30,000 in credit card debt before we graduated from Debt City University. While I don’t necessarily remember those times with glee, one thing I can say about digging deep to pay off the credit debt is that there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY we will ever pay a penny in credit card interest ever again. I am ...

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