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Travel

Credit Cards Are Giving Me a Free Vacation

One spectacular advantage of having no credit card debt is that you can use your credit cards as a tool to earn money and rewards for your family. If done correctly, using credit cards to pay your regular and necessary expenses can net you hundreds of dollars in free money. While you can use free money for anything, we’ve earmarked ours for travel. I’ve learned over the years that many things we purchased during our spending frenzy were not really meaningful. As we’ve changed our habits, I realize that vacations and sharing experiences is a very valuable commodity to our household. Now that we are walking the financial straight and narrow, we are going to let credit cards pay for our upcoming vacation. No, we aren’t charging the vacation on credit, but the credit companies are going to pay us to travel. Here’s how. Disclaimer If you currently carry a balance on your credit cards or are not able to use credit within your means, you first need to find out how to break the debt cycle. Once you make your way out of consumer debt, I totally get the need to use cash for everything if you don’t want ...

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My Most Memorable Christmas

  Over the years, I have had some wonderful Christmas memories, from the time Santa  visited a family reunion when I was a kid, to our holiday visit to Italy as an adult, to seeing Christmas through a child’s eyes with my own daughter.  However, the most memorable Christmas was the year when we almost spent the holiday in our car on Interstate 40. My husband and I don’t live near our families. Over the years, it has worked best to spend Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with mine. We live in Colorado and my family is in Kentucky, about 1600 miles away. We usually fly, but if the airlines are too pricey, we don’t care to drive. If you have enough time, road trips can be really fun. About ten years ago, we were in the midst of driving across the country, when we  hit frigid temperatures and an ice storm in Arkansas. If you’ve never experienced winter weather in the Southern US, it works like this: It usually isn’t cold enough to last long, so they just wait until it melts. Why bother the plows? Everyone stays home until it melts. No one expects anything different. Arkansas ...

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Small Tips for Holiday Travel

  If you are getting ready to travel this holiday season, you’ve probably researched flights, hotels, and rental cars. It’s so easy to get caught up in the big things that you may forget to do some of the little things that can add up and save lots of money. If you are getting ready to hit the road, consider these small tips before you leave. Turn Down the Thermostat-Don’t forget to turn your thermostat down when you leave for a trip. You don’t want to turn the heat off in case it gets cold enought for your pipes to freeze, but you don’t need to heat the house for your furniture and clothes when you’re gone. We usually turn ours down in the fifties. It doesn’t usually get that cold in our house because we have a good amount of passive solar heat, but even if it did, things wouldn’t freeze. Bring Snacks- I especially like to bring snacks for the airport. Since you are a captive audience, they can charge whatever they want.  This also works well for road trips. Convenience stores can be almost as expensive as airports unless you are getting the 2/$1 chili dogs that have most ...

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How To Have a Cheap European Holiday

 The following is a guest post from Pauline Paquin, a French girl who has recently started to blog over at Reach Financial Independence.  Pauline blogs about how she has been traveling the world for the past 10 years, while trying to build wealth and achieve financial independence, and how you can follow your dreams and reach your goals too. You can follow Pauline on Twitter @RFIndependence. Pauline and I are blog swapping today, so head over to her site and read my post about ways to take care of your eyes when traveling. If you would like to guest post, please see the guidelines and contact me, and you still have a few days to enter the giveaway for $100.         Traveling to Europe doesn’t have to be expensive, even though the Euro is pretty high these days. With some careful planning, you can secure good deals on flights, accommodation, and attractions.  Find a Cheap Flight to Europe First, search until you are blue! Depending on the day, the time, the length of you stay, and the route you chose, you can find great variations of price. For example, I just flew from Brussels to Cancún, Mexico. Flying from Paris ...

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Fun, Fabulous, Free Things To Do in My Favorite Vacation Cities

  When you look at needs versus wants, travel probably fits into the latter category. You won’t starve, freeze to death, or stop breathing if you can’t take a vacation. I do believe it is important to see the world in whatever capacity is possible for your situation. I always need to have some sort of trip planned, even if it is only a camping trip a couple of hours away. It makes the hectic and often motonous routine of daily life more fun knowing a break is in sight. Transportation and lodging cost money in most cases, but you can find tons of free things to do in some great cities. While I am no world class traveler, these are some fun, fabulous, free things to do in my favorite vacation cities. San Diego We’ve been to San Diego several times. It is within a day’s drive from where we live, and has great beaches, which are always free. Some of my favorites in the area include: La Jolla Shores-This is an amazing area with ocean cliffs, a swim beach, and the harbor seals. If you’ve never seen a seal that wasn’t in the zoo or at Sea World, this is a must for ...

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