Month: June 2019

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How I’m Paying for a Family Trip to the UK in July

My husband and I are taking our two children to the U.K. for two weeks in July. We’ll spend the first half of our trip in London, York, and the English Lake District before heading to Loch Lomond, Inverness, and Edinburgh in Scotland for the second half of our trip. We haven’t been anywhere with just for the four of us for quite a while, so I’m looking forward to it. I want to emphasize that we didn’t pay for our entire trip with rewards — and not even close. We just paid for part of it with points and miles, and we covered the rest in cash. Breaking Down the Trip With Points and Miles The main reason we chose to go back to the U.K. is that we found really good pricing on flights through Finnair.com. While our actual flights are on British Airways, the total cost for our four flights worked out to $1,870.90. That’s a little over $450 per person, which is a spectacular deal for round-trip flights into London and home from Edinburgh — even though it’s in economy. We plan to spend the first three nights of our trip in London at the Georgian House Hotel in…

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Travel Prices in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Have you had Rio de Janeiro on your “someday” travel list but heard it was more expensive than the rest of South America? Well, thanks to a currency slide and the elimination of a visa fee, travel prices in Brazil are now looking quite reasonable. While all the talk about Brazil the past decade has […] Want to live a better life for half the price? Sign up for the Cheap Living Abroad Newsletter.               Source: Cheapest Destinations

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Our 6 favorite budget beaches in Europe

There’s nothing like spending a sunny day at the beach in Europe. During the summer, millions of tourists from around the world flock to beaches in popular destinations like Italy and the South of France. But many of the most famous sandy spots, like Cannes or San Remo, are too pricey and have little to offer budget-conscious travelers. But don’t despair: there are still plenty of nicely priced options for Cheapos who crave a bit of sand and surf on their European vacation, and there are even ways to save at some of the most popular beaches in Europe. Related beach tips: • Best affordable seaside escapes in Spain • Beating the heat in Rome: 4 Beaches easily accessible by train • Four beach trips close to Lisbon Our favorite budget beaches in Europe Below we’ve listed six of our favorite budget beaches in Europe, with plenty of tips to help you save. Montenegro With its beautiful coastline, Montenegro is becoming popular with the Russian jet set, with yachts galore docking in the fancy new Porto Montenegro marina in Tivat. However, the area remains largely undiscovered by Western tourists, and there are still plenty of bargains to be had. Some…

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All-Inclusive Resorts vs. Cruising: Which Is More Frugal?

Since I frequently travel with my kids and prefer to keep things easy, I really love cruising and all-inclusive resorts. Both options make it easy to budget and pay for your trip without a ton of surprises, and both can be booked in one of my favorite regions of the world — the Caribbean. But which is more frugal: All-inclusive resorts or cruising? Since you can book some pricey all-inclusive resorts and luxury cruises, it’s safe to say that both options can really be as expensive as you want them to be. Pros and Cons: All-Inclusive Resorts There are a few reasons I love all-inclusive resorts as a frugal vacation option for families. For starters, there are many ways you can book all-inclusive resorts with points, whether that means cashing in hotel loyalty points, redeeming flexible travel credit, or booking an all-inclusive property through a portal. With enough rewards racked up, you could even book an all-inclusive resort for free. Other advantages of all-inclusive resorts include the fact that all your drinks — including alcohol — are accounted for in your nightly rate. Plus, you don’t generally need to figure out day trips or excursions if you’re happy with the resort…

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Berlin in summer: 5 easy ways to cool down

Summer in Berlin is glorious, but the heat can really get to you when the temperatures really start to rise. Air conditioning is virtually unheard of (including in hotels in Berlin), and the subways and buses start feeling more like saunas. When the thermometer starts rising, try these popular ways to cool down, local style. 1. Bathing: Au naturel When summer rolls around, half the city heads to the lakes that dot Berlin and its surrounding area. Consult this Berlin swimming map and head out to nature. And by “nature,” I mean that clothing is optional. 2. Bathing: To see and be seen But if you’re more the type to lounge than lunge into the water, a quiet lake in a rustic forest just won’t do. Slip into something sexy and head to Badeschiff (pictured, top), a small bathing platform floating in the river smack in the middle of the city. This is where “scenesters” come to strut their stuff and check out one another. Evening concerts and parties are especially popular. A day ticket is only €6.50. Look out for ice cream trucks. “Ice cream makes you happy.” Photo: Scottog 3. Ice cream You can’t seem to walk a few…

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Uber in Paris: How to find the cheapest rides

Getting around Paris with the Metro is quite easy — and cheap too! However, for those times when you might want to take in the Parisian scenery above ground or just avoid the Metro stairs and crowds, then you might want to use a ridesharing app like Uber. We’ve taken rides with Uber around the city to help you find the best deals. We’ve listed real prices from trips in the city as well as to and from the airports — both Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Orly (ORY) — on all types of Uber. Read on to discover helpful tips for using Uber in Paris to save on your transportation costs. More transportation tips for Paris • 8 ways to save on the Metro, buses and taxis • 6 budget options for getting from Charles de Gaulle to central Paris • 10 Money-saving tips for first-time visitors to Paris Using Uber to get around Paris Uber is legal in France, and it is very active in Paris. However, in 2016, Uber was fined €800,000 for operating an illegal taxi service with UberPOP — a service similar to UberX — in France between 2014 and 2015. Uber has since suspended…

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Why Prices Go Up in Countries That Were Cheap

The cheapest places to travel around the world are still a bargain, don’t worry. The 5th edition of The World’s Cheapest Destinations will have more of them this time too, thanks to improving infrastructure in the Balkans and a few currency exchange declines. This doesn’t mean prices stay constant though and the refrain of, “That […] Want to live a better life for half the price? Sign up for the Cheap Living Abroad Newsletter.               Source: Cheapest Destinations

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4 Things I Loved About the MSC Seaside

Over spring break, my husband and I took our kids and my parents for a cruise on the MSC Seaside out of Miami. We booked a balcony cabin on the 15th floor, and we had an awesome time! Our cruise set us back almost $2,500, and we got a free “Drinks On Us” package to boot. I would absolutely cruise the MSC Seaside again. Here are four reasons why: 1. Kids ages 11 and under cruise free on some MSC itineraries. Part of the reason we were able to get a balcony cabin over spring break for $2,500 total is the fact that kids under the age of 11 cruise free on the itinerary I chose. Due to this perk, we only had to pay government taxes and fees for our kids to cruise. That made a huge difference in the price we paid, and ultimately, that was why we opted for a balcony cabins instead of an inside room. 2. The waterpark was amazing. The MSC Seaside has an enormous waterpark that sits right next to the indoor “jungle pool.” And this isn’t just a dinky waterpark with a few slides! The MSC park has several huge waterslides that are…

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One Phrase You Should Stop Using If You Use Points and Miles

Travel credit cards let you earn points and miles that can be used to save money on travel or pay for exorbitant travel expenses most couldn’t normally afford. I have personally redeemed miles for airfare and hotel stays that would have cost me thousands of dollars, and for that I am forever grateful. But I still get sick to my stomach when I read headlines that say things like: “I Traveled to Bora Bora for $200!” or “Learn How I Got This $20,000 Vacation for $272!” Sometimes authors don’t get to choose their headlines, and I get that. But these headlines still send the wrong message. Travel rewards can help you save money, but they don’t make travel free. Travel Expenses You Will Have to Pay For No matter what some blogger says about how they traveled to a far-flung destination for a few hundred bucks, it’s important to take their story with a grain of salt. Sure, they might have packed their suitcase with snacks and subsisted off free breakfast and concierge lounge snacks over their week-long vacation in the Maldives, but are you going to do that? That’s the real question you should answer. In almost every case,…

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Venice: New additions to our hotel guide

Whether you are planning your first trip or you are just shy of being a local, Venice is a real treat for all. Picturesque canals are everywhere, and there seems to be romance around every corner. It’s all of this charm and beauty that makes the city so popular, meaning the hotel business is certainly thriving. As such, we regularly revisit Venice to make sure we make it easy for you to find the best budget-friendly hotels in each neighborhood, whether they are new or old. Here are some of our most recent affordable hotels added to our guide. Hotel Lisbona Address: Calle Barozzi 2153 Rates from $69  If you are looking for classic, Venetian decor to round out your trip, you’ll find no shortage of it at Hotel Lisbona. Rooms are adorned in wall-brocades and Baroque-style furniture, all of which you’ll also find in the lobby and dining area as well. It’s a great spot for couples, as most of the rooms overlook the romantic San Moisè’s canal. Nearby, you’ll find a bustling shopping district and easy access to monuments and landmarks in the city. Snuggle up in a romantic room at Hotel Lisbona. A peek-a-boo view of Venice at…

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