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My Almost Free Summer Vacation

One of my goals for this year was to take a two week trip. While our recent vacation wasn’t quite that long, we did get 10 days, so I’m counting that as a pass. My main goal for this vacation was to get it for free by using a combination of airline vouchers , credit card rewards points, frequent flier miles, gift card bonuses, and by selling our stuff. My smaller goal was to avoid paying for valet parking or cab fares. I hate both!  I’m happy to say that we pulled it off, and it was one of the best vacations I’ve ever had. We took planes, trains, and automobiles, and here’s my experiences with all of them. Getting to Seattle We flew in to Seattle and took the sweet Link Light Rail into downtown for something like $7. I love easy and cheap public transportation!  After some brief disorientation (think country mice go to the city), we found our hotel, which by a miracle my excellent planning was within a mile of everything we wanted to see. We walked around the waterfront, ate some great fish and chips, went to the aquarium, rode the ferry, and our Seattle ...

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My Favorite Family Friendly Things to do in San Diego

One of our absolute favorite places in the world is San Diego. To me, it is the perfect city. The weather is great, downtown is fairly safe, and there are tons of things to do for all ages. If it wasn’t so expensive, and if the traffic wasn’t crazy in SoCal, we would certainly consider living there. I guess we’ll have to enjoy it on vacations. Here are some of my favorite family friendly things to do in San Diego. Most of them don’t even cost that much. Coronado Island If you take the bridge or ferry out of the city and over to Coronado Island, it’s like going to a small beach town. I  don’t think young adults looking for the night life scene would enjoy it much, but for families with kids or those looking to relax, it’s wonderful. Coronado is an expensive place to live, but it’s super cheap to visit. Coronado Central Beach is one of the best. They have a dog friendly area if you want to bring your pooch. You can also fish right in front of the famous Hotel del Coronado. Right now, there are tons of sand dollars that are fascinating to ...

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In The Summer I Spend the Most Money on Vacations-$480 Giveaway

Many of my regular readers already know that I love to travel. I grew up in a family that never wanted to go much further than the grocery store. I’m not sure where the bug came from, but I’ve always tried to take every opportunity to travel and take vacations. When you have a kid in school and are married to a teacher, summer is the optimum time to take a trip. I would certainly say we spend the most money in the summer on vacations. Now, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to take a trip. Pauline at Reach Financial Independence has some great suggestions on how to travel cheaply, but part of the fun for us is staying in nicer places that have amenities like included breakfasts and a pool! While there really is no way to get around paying for some things during a vacation unless you get free trips with credit card reward points, there are a couple of things you can do to be prepared so that you won’t end up blowing the budget on unexpected travel expenses. Pack Light– Especially if you are flying, it can save lots of money ...

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Why I’ll Never Move to Florida

As a bit of a break from personal finance today, I’ll share a story from my past. All of our experiences shape the person we are today. From this experience, I certainly learned lots about myself and that I never want to move to Florida! In the final year of optometry school, students chose internship sites throughout the country to complete their training. It’s kind of like having a job, except you have to write up all kinds of case reports and still pay tuition. My Mom was super excited because she just knew her baby was coming home. Any true respecting Southerner would go back to their hometown, find a couple of internship sites within driving distance, and go home and eat Mom’s cooking. I really think she must have dropped me on my head when I was little, because all I wanted to do was go somewhere I’d never been. Mom took it personally, and just like with my trip to Hollywood, she just knew I was going to be maimed or killed out in the big ole’ world.

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Back from Spring Break

We made it home from a great trip this past week. We got to visit the Grand Canyon, camp in a cute cabin at the KOA, and hang out in Phoenix in the wonderful 90 degree weather. I  It was so nice we decided to stay an extra day. We also visited the zoo, a wild animal park,  and got in some quality pool time. I almost had my head taken off by a swooping owl at the bird show! It’s good to be home, but winter weather is supposed to head back in this week. I’m going to freeze for sure.

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