Month: February 2020

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How to Plan for a Cruise Without Breaking the Bank

Is a cruise just what you need to get through the doldrums of winter? You may be too afraid to even dream about taking a cruise because you assume that cruising is synonymous with spending. The truth is that cruise fares can be high. Cruise operators know that people will pay premiums to sail to paradise. However, your dollars don’t necessarily have to get lost at sea when you design a cruise budget. Let’s take a look at simple ways to cruise frugally! Book a Last-Minute Trip This tip may not be for you if you’re dealing with a very tight work schedule. However, the reality is that booking a last-minute cruise is one of the best ways to get a deal. Cruise operators don’t want to sail with ships that aren’t full. Half-empty ships actually cause cruise companies to lose money. What’s more, cruise operators count on people who are willing to pay full price in exchange for booking as far out as possible to make money. That puts you in a great position if you have some freedom regarding your vacation time! A cruise operator is very likely to throw around steep discounts as the departure date for…

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The 6 best budget hotels in Venice for 2020

There’s nothing we love more than a visit to Venice. It’s hard to beat the canal views, incredible cultural sites, and decadent food. But like many other iconic European cities, Venice can be an expensive adventure, especially when it comes to booking a hotel. You can save by scouring the internet for budget-friendly accommodations, but it might take you days to find a clean, comfortable place to stay. To save you time and money, we’ve picked some of the best budget hotels in Venice of the year from our guide, so you can rest easy knowing you booked one of the city’s hidden (and affordable) gems. More tips for saving in Venice • Island hopping in the Venetian Lagoon • 5 Cheap and charming hotels in Venice Best budget hotels in Venice You’ll have plenty of euros left over when you book a room at one of these hotels. We’ve picked our favorite cheap sleeps in the city that offer plenty of Venetian charm. And the best part? These cheapo picks won’t cost you much with prices starting at just $46 per night! Enjoy a dose of old-world charm at Albergo San Samuele. Albergo San Samuele Neighborhood: San Marco Doubles from $80 or…

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Stockholm: What’s a typical Swedish breakfast?

Going out for breakfast in Sweden is an uncommon event (like it is in most European countries), but that does not mean you can’t enjoy a great breakfast in Stockholm! The traditional Swedish breakfast is delicious, easy to make and relatively inexpensive. Read on to learn how breakfast can be a Cheapo-friendly experience, even in pricey Sweden. Standard Swedish breakfast fare The most common Swedish breakfast is made at home and centers around a smörgås (open-faced sandwich) consisting of bread, margarine or butter and a slice of cheese. You can spice up your smörgås with a variety of traditional toppings, including gurka (cucumber), tomat (tomato), and cold cuts such as skinka and nötkött (ham and beef). Contrary to popular belief, Swedish pancakes are not typically served for breakfast. (Sorry folks, IHOP got it wrong!) Muesli, a common breakfast item in Switzerland, is also very popular among the Swedes. The blend of flakes, grains and sometimes dried fruits is usually served with filmjölk, a soured yogurt similar to buttermilk. Coffee (kaffee) is an absolute must with any Swedish breakfast. The Swedes love their coffee strong; don’t be surprised by the lingering caffeine buzz… Common for Swedes, daring for foreigners For a…

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Hyatt Moves to Peak/Off Peak Pricing for Redemptions

Hyatt has long been known for offering the best value on point redemptions of any of the major hotel chains. Beginning in March, they are implementing peak and off-peak pricing for free night awards. While the changes aren’t drastic, all Hyatt loyalists need to be aware of them. The Hyatt award chart will still offer the same eight categories, depending on the class of the hotel (unlike Hilton and IHG, who have moved to a dynamic pricing schedule, Hyatt at least gives members a fixed idea of what award nights will cost). The chain will lay out peak and off-peak dates 13 months in advance—compared to Marriott, which changes them every month to take advantage of consumer demand for rooms. In addition to award nights, the fluctuating pricing will also apply to other redemptions such as standard and premium suites, club level rooms and points and cash bookings. Here is the new award chart for free nights starting in March: Category/Off-Peak/Standard/Peak Category 1: Off-Peak (3500)  Standard (5000) Peak (6500) Category 2: Off-Peak (6500) Standard (8000) Peak (9500) Category 3: Off-Peak (9000) Standard (12000) Peak (15000) Category 4: Off-Peak (12000) Standard (15000) Peak (18000) Category 5: Off-Peak (17000) Standard (20000) Peak (23000) Category 6: Off-Peak (21000) Standard (25000) Peak (29000)…

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The Most Hated Airline Fees and What We’re Doing About Them

It’s getting harder each year to find an airline that doesn’t reach into your pocket over and over again for extra handouts when you’re buying a flight ticket. Naturally, that makes people angry and we start looking for ways around the problem. There are different tiers of anger though: some of the most hated airline fees get people more worked up than others. This year United Airlines has been busy pissing off as many people as possible again. First they made it much harder for normal mortals to ever achieve elite status no matter how much they fly. You have 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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The best time to visit New York City on a budget

When is the best time to visit New York? Easy Answer: Much like Paris, we’d argue there really is no bad time to visit the Big Apple. From the bustling crowds and bright lights during the holidays to a crisp autumn stroll through Central Park, New York has something to offer no matter what time of year you come. That said, it’s still important for budget travelers to think about timing before you lock down the dates on your calendar. Visiting New York on a budget: • 10 Easy ways to save on your trip to the Big Apple • Best cheap eats near Times Square • 10 Best cheap hotels in New York City When is the best time to visit New York? We’ve written about what’s the best neighborhood in New York for your trip and how to save on your NYC hotel. Now it’s time to talk about timing! We take a look at all four seasons to present the pros and cons of each, so you can help decide what might be the best season for you. We even provide a few hotel recommendations along the way to make the most of your New York City visit. Kids playing in…

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A Nice Amex Offer From Lowes for a Quick and Easy $100

It seems more and more like American Express is filling my wallet with credit cards these days. Not only the great rewards offered in the form of Membership Rewards but the Amex Offers on each of their cards more than offset the application fee in a year’s time. This One is from Lowes and both Katy and I found it on our Amex Business Blue card with no annual fee. The offer is good until June 30, 2020. If you use your eligible Amex card Lowes and Amex will give you 10% back on your purchase up to $100. Remember you can only activate it on one card each so we picked the Business Blue card that pays us 2 MR points per $. By buying $1000 at Lowes in the first six months of the year, you’ll get a $100 credit on your card statement. I made a $306.95 purchase on each of our cards today. Each of us bought a $100 Amazon card with NO FEE and we each needed a gift card to send to our kids. The largest Visa card for sale at our Lowes is $200 with a $6.95 fee. There were also gas and…

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I’m Covering a SpaceX Rocket Launch with NASA Social next week!

SpaceX Rocket Launch. NASA. Kennedy Space Center. Click through anyway because it’s still a good read even though I just summarized it here for you. The post I’m Covering a SpaceX Rocket Launch with NASA Social next week! appeared first on Andy's Travel Blog. Source: Andys travel blog

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How to Find Cheap Flights If You Live in a Smaller City

Does living in a smaller city mean you’re destined to pay more for flights? It can feel like you pay a built-in “travel tax” if you don’t live a hop, skip away from a major hub. After all, most of the flash sales and rock-bottom specials that airlines throw around only apply to tickets that originate in major hubs like New York and Los Angeles. The good news is that there are some steps you can take to enjoy the bounty of deals waiting out there for you. Take a look at some ways to enjoy cheap flights if you call a small city home! Know What’s Available It’s important to actually know what’s available at your city’s airport before you feel defeated about finding cheap airfare deals. Don’t just rely on third-party booking platforms to present you with deals out of your city. Your best resource is the webpage of the airport you’re hoping to use for your trip. There should be a page somewhere on there that lists all of the carriers that actually fly in and out of your city. Scan the list to spot any budget carriers that you may have overlooked. You can then go to…

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This Icelandic Budget Carrier Rebranded…Again

In the early years of the Iceland tourist boom, air traffic was dominated by Icelandair, the national flag carrier. WOW Air was founded in 2011 as a low-cost carrier flying passengers to and from Europe, Asia and the United States. WOW experienced explosive growth, going from 400,000 passengers in 2013 to 1.6 million three years later. Unsustainable Low, Low Fares Unfortunately, WOW’s low fares turned out to be unsustainable, and the airline abruptly ceased operations on March 28, 2019. Thousands of travelers were left stranded and told to book flights home on other airlines. The collapse of WOW had a dramatic effect on the Icelandic tourist industry and on the country’s economy: visitors dropped 16% overall and 20% from the United States. Given that fishing and tourism are the main sources of revenue, the impact was serious. A New Airline Is Born Last July two former WOW executives announced the formation of a new low-cost airline called PLAY. Former WOW Vice President of Operations Arnar Mar Magnusson will be the CEO. The new airline attracted investment from Avianta Capital, an Irish fund owned by the daughter of the Ryanair founder, which plunked $40 million into the new venture. PLAY will…

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