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Find Cheap Accommodations While Traveling

Hotels and resorts are often expensive, so what’s a traveler on a budget to do? I’ve found plenty of cheap and sometimes free options to sleep while on vacation.   You don’t have to be rich to see the world; you only have to be innovative and strict on your budget. Travel accommodations are often the […]

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Hotels and resorts are often expensive, so what’s a traveler on a budget to do? I’ve found plenty of cheap and sometimes free options to sleep while on vacation.   You don’t have to be rich to see the world; you only have to be innovative and strict on your budget. Travel accommodations are often the biggest price tag on your trip, so here are some ways to lessen that burden.

Traveling around can be very affordable if you make it so. I’m not just going to list off roach trap hotels or run down half-way homes, instead I’ll provide a valuable resource for all your retreat needs.

 

Short-Term Apartments

AirBnb.com or VRBO.com

These sites have become increasingly popular over the last few years, providing local apartments and spare rooms at a fraction of the cost of hotels. Much like the Uber and Lyft movements, these services rely on individuals who have extra accommodations and want to make a profit off of them. I fully support these options as they are affordable and offer the renter a homey feel. Usually the host will offer suggestions for local restaurants, sites to see and nightlife. Staying in one of these places makes you feel like you actually live in the city instead of just visiting. I also like these because most hotels are so similar and sterile that you don’t get a sense of the local community.

How Much: $25-100 USD generally

Tips:

-Look for places with reviews form past visitors and positive evaluations.

-Look up the apartment’s location to see if it fits in your travel plans

Hostels

Hopefully these don’t bring up memories of the horror film of the same title, they are actually fun places to stay. Partying backpackers from Europe and Australia usually inhabit hostels. You are sure to here “AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE!” chanted by drunken Australian revelers at some point during your stay.

You won’t be the only vacationer on a budget here, these are well known for their affordability and overall enjoyable experiences.

Hostels are great because they give you options; if your budget allows it many offer private rooms. The majority of people staying at hostels are in dorm style bunkrooms. Every guest gets a complimentary locker so you can leave your luggage and explore the city at your leisure. The better hostels also include a very basic breakfast.

How Much: $5-25 USD generally

Tips:

-Avoid hostels that don’t offer lockers

-Sleeping masks and earplugs are highly recommended.

House Sitting

House sitting is an incredible way to travel on the cheap. Homeowners around the world are always looking for someone to watch their house and sit their pets. Who wants to trust their house, all their belongings and their pets to a stranger? That’s why the website TrustedHouseSitters is such a valuable tool. This website does all the legwork for you, including background checks and arranging accommodations.

How Much: FREE

Tips

-Make sure you have a written document proving you’re allowed to stay at the residence.

-Allow flexibility, you never know when an opportunity like this will pop up.

 

Couch Surf

This is my preferred mode of travel sleeping. The website CouchSurfing.org is an incredible community of like minded people who offer their couch up in return for yours being offered.   Couches or spare bedroom await you and all you have to do is be an open minded sharing person. Don’t worry; there is a vouching and verification process that weeds out the weirdos and unfavorable people.

How Much: FREE

Tips

-Hang out with your hosts, this will ensure that they rate your favorably

-Supply as much information as doable to acquire faith

Train Stations and Airports

These are always my last options but they are free and safe. Airports and train stations allow people to stay there for free and won’t bother you. They have bathrooms and sometimes free WiFi. Check out this website Sleeping in Airports.

How Much: FREE

Tips

-Bring a blanket

-Earplugs and eye-mask

-Secure your valuable to yourself

 

Travel safe and on the cheap friends.

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Moving To A Job For A 6 Or 12-Month Contract: Tips To Succeed

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Working full-time at a company for years simply is not for everyone. There are those people with great skills that prefer to work on a contract basis. This could be for a year or for 6 months depending on the need of the client. The best aspect of contract work is that hours over 40 per week can be charged at a high rate. This will help reduce the chances of being asked to work a long weekend as it will be very expensive for the company. The truth is that you are not obligated outside of your 40 hours per week to do anything else. Below are tips to help you succeed when you are constantly taking on new contracts in various parts of the country.

Remote Roles Are Superior

The truth is that as a contractor you likely will want to find a remote role. Relocation can come with a number of issues and a multitude of stress. The one variable to consider is that some contractors take jobs in new locations so they can explore the country. The number of remote roles is exploding as so many people are refusing to head back to the office. The pandemic showed companies and professionals that they could maintain productivity while working at home. The convenience led some professionals to vow to never return to a traditional work environment. 

Moving To A New City 

Moving to a new city for a contract can be a blast as you have a certain amount of time that you will be there. You will likely try to find a rental but purchasing furniture is not something that would be considered a good investment. Furniture rental is likely the best option if you do not want to have to deal with moving furniture across the country when you get another contract. You want to get the most out of living in your new city which likely does not include going shopping for furniture. Take the time to look into all of your options for lodging as well as what part of a city that you would like to live in. 

Be Realistic About Your Workload

Contractors can be taken advantage of by some companies as there is very little recourse for them. With this being said, there are contracts that will pay contractors through the entire contract even if they are terminated. You want to be paid on the same level as people that are just as productive as you. Being supremely productive might just lead to more work. You want to thrive in a new contract role without setting expectations far too high to sustain for the entire duration of the contract. 

The ability to get new contracts regularly that pay well provides ultimate convenience. The ability to take a few months off after a contract allows you to rejuvenate mentally. Use the tips above so you will never have an issue finding a new contract due to the great reputation you have built. 

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Don’t Break The Bank When You Travel

Check out these great money saving tips so you don’t go broke taking your next vacation. 

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There’s really no way around it: traveling is expensive. On top of the obvious charges like flights and hotels, there will always be the little daily expenses that you didn’t fully prepare for when you were preparing for your trip. But the last thing you want to do is just not think about it and throw money around like a madman. There are definitely still ways to save money while traveling. And here they are!

THE TUESDAY RULE

I have to admit, I didn’t even really know about this “rule” before I started writing this article. But, for the most part, the cheapest flights of the week are almost always on a Tuesday. So, if you can, try to schedule all your flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This can dramatically lower the cost of your vacation.

DON’T BOTHER WITH HOTELS

Thanks to rental services like Airbnb and VRBO the hotel industry has really taken a hit. And prices have gone way up because of it. So, no matter how bad we may feel about their declining business, they’re just not the best option anymore. You can find a great deal with all the service and amenities you need from one of the vacation rental sites. There are even a few sites that deal in “house-swapping” where you basically just stay in each other’s homes during simultaneous vacations and don’t have to pay a thing!

BOOK DIRECTLY THROUGH THE AIRLINE

Many of the flight booking sites like Expedia or Travelocity actually don’t offer as many options as are available to you if you book through the airline. There are other services like Google Flights and Skyscanner that find the cheapest flights being offered by the airlines, and then you can just contact the airline yourself and book those specific flights. It’s a little extra work, but it can end up saving you more money than you think.

A LITTLE SPONTANEITY NEVER HURT ANYONE

Sure, doing your homework and planning ahead can most certainly help you save money on a vacation. But sometimes there are last minute deals made available when airlines are just trying to fill out their flights. So if you have a favorite airline, sign up for the mailing list. This way you’ll know when they are offering really cheap flights. And if you’re in the mood to just get out town regardless of where you’re going, this is a really cheap and fun option.

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8 Reasons to Rent a Car for Your Next Vacation

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8 Reasons to Rent a Car for Your Next Vacation

Vacation is the time to relax and leave your normal day-to-day worries behind. The last thing you want is to stress out over your transportation.

Whether you’re traveling near or far, there are fine reasons to rent a car rather than drive your own vehicle or depend on public transit. Here are a few:

1. Save wear on your own car.

Depending on how far you travel, driving will add a lot of miles on your car. You might as well wear out someone else’s vehicle instead of your own.

Plus, if your own car is old or in bad condition, renting one could help you avoid potential road trouble. Rental cars are highly reliable because they are usually newer models and kept in top shape.

So no matter where you go, you can be fairly confident you won’t get stuck on the side of the road.

2. Save money.

If your car eats a lot of fuel, you might save a lot on gasoline by driving a rental. They’re typically fuel-efficient because they are newer models. And you might be surprised to learn you could save around 15% by booking a rental car at the last minute!

3. Travel safely.

Another reason to choose a rental car over other modes of transportation is safety. Think about it.

In a taxi, you’re relying on another driver. Aboard a train, bus, or subway line, you’re packed into a tight space with many other people. It’s better to be in control of the wheel.

If you drive your own car, and it’s older or already has issues, you run the risk of your car malfunctioning and causing an accident. Rentals are much more reliable because they’re well maintained.

That said, if you’re ever involved in a car crash, make sure to consult an experienced auto-accident attorney. He or she will help you file any insurance or legal claims and make sure you arrive at the best resolution.

4. Drive more comfortably.

Rental cars are kept squeaky clean, so they feel like brand-new vehicles. This will make your travel much more comfortable, compared to your own vehicle, which may be dirty– or at best, cluttered.

You can also choose a car to rent that you wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to drive. Maybe a nice Mercedes Benz or a new Audi.

This is a great way to test-drive nice cars to see what they feel like. And it’s way better than cramming into a subway car or a bus.

5. Show off your ride.

Rental cars not only feel nice on the inside; they also look good on the outside. This means you can drive in style and make a good impression wherever you go. Just be sure you always lock the doors and keep your valuables out of sight, so nobody is tempted to break in!

6. Keep a flexible schedule.

Renting a car means you can come and go as you please. No need to hail a taxi or wait on a bus; just drive when you feel like it.

If you have a full itinerary, it’s faster to get from place to place with a rented vehicle than by relying on public transportation. You’ll have more time for sightseeing and getting in all you want to.

7. Enjoy more privacy.

In a rental car, you can have your own space. You don’t need to worry about strangers listening in on your conversations or making you feel uncomfortable. Travel with privacy.

8. Carry your luggage more easily.

Finally, transferring your luggage between buses, trains, and subways can be a pain. When you have your own rental, you can keep your stuff in your trunk wherever you go. It’s much less hassle and requires less energy.

The Bottom line

When you plan your next vacation, think about getting a rental car. It should make the experience more enjoyable, and that’s what vacation is all about.

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