Holiday Trends for 2019

Holiday Trends for 2019

Three exciting alternatives to your typical resort holiday

Backpacking Sabbatical

What’s furthest away from your typical resort holiday? How about trekking across multiple countries with nothing but a backpack to immerse yourself in new cultures and live like the locals?

More and more, travellers are forgoing the usual summer holiday in favour of year-long (or longer) sabbaticals to explore the world. If this doesn’t immediately light a fire of wanderlust in your belly, consider this: a year-long trip gives you the chance to fully experience other cultures and take in the world at your own pace. Imagine letting go of your everyday stresses and responsibilities, taking time out from the rat race to discover more about yourself and the world around you. Almost any backpacker’s blog will tell you that it’s the best thing they ever did and, in many cases, they found a way to make their time off help (not hinder) their career progress.

So where should you go? The options are endless; ever-popular destinations include Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, where there are plenty of communities virtually untouched by the Western world. Some decide to take on the whole of Europe, learning to cook in France, running with bulls in Spain or exploring Amsterdam’s rich history.

Mini City Breaks

City breaks continue to be a trending travel option over all-inclusive resorts for a number of reasons. There’s certainly something to be said for spending a week (or even just a long weekend) in a bustling new city, taking in the sights. Yes, it may be a little more hectic than a seaside resort, but for avid historians, art buffs and foodies, a city break often holds more excitement.

Europe is a popular choice for city breaks in 2019, with plenty of exciting cities to choose from. Let your curiosity lead you to Athens, where the ruins of Acropolis tell tales of Ancient Greece. Stroll through the streets of Copenhagen for Michelin star dining, quirky cafes and world-class shopping experiences along Strøget. Or take a trip down to Madrid, where the days are as vibrant as the nights, bursting with art, music, food and shopping that’s full of Spanish spirit.

Luxury Expedition Cruises

If you still long for the luxury of all-inclusive, but you’re bored of the resort scene, why not set off on one of Scenic Eclipse’s expedition ocean cruises? Anything but ordinary, Scenic Eclipse takes you to places the ordinary traveller can only dream of. On board the ‘World’s First Discovery Yachts’, you’ll have all-inclusive access to exclusive excursions on-shore, as well as on board the ships’ helicopters and 6-seater submarines.

You can choose from the Arctic to Antarctica and everywhere in between, including the lesser explored polar regions in the White Sea, to the Fjords of Norway, the Svalbard archipelago and the mythical Northwest Passage. Plus, for their 2019/2020 season, explore charming coastal cities across the Mediterranean, Western Europe, North America and South America.

If the destinations alone aren’t enough to thrill you, Scenic Eclipse’s expedition cruises boast world-class dining experiences from 10 on-board restaurants. Their 6-star luxury Verandah Suites are complete with elegant interiors, a personal butler service, king-size beds, a secluded private verandah and a separate lounge area to relax in; offering you absolute luxury and adventure in one unique package.

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5 Ways To Generate A Travel Fund

5 Ways To Generate A Travel Fund

Most everyone would like to travel a little bit now and then. Often, however, the prospect of actually doing it is a little bit expensive. Whether it’s booking a hotel for the weekend at the nearest beach or jetting across the world to a bucket list destination, travel costs can easily add up, and it can be difficult to justify making it happen. If traveling is a priority, however, you can do away with some of these concerns by maintaining a travel fund over time. By keeping a little bit of money separate, and either adding to the pot or helping it grow, you can occasionally dip into it for the sole purpose of making a trip happen. It makes the whole thing more doable and less stressful, and it’s easier to do than you might imagine! Here are five tips for getting started and maintaining a travel fund.

1.) Maintain A General Budget

Keeping a budget is the best way to have extra funds, period. This might not be the most specific of tips, but it’s important to remember not to start engineering your finances in only one way. If you’re hoping to generate a travel fund, you’ll need to get your overall financial outlook in order first. Once you set up a more general budget, you can begin to work a travel fund into it, not as an independent concern but as part of your greater strategy.

2.) Pocket Your Perk Money

“Perk money” is the phrase I’m using to refer to the little indulgences that we allow ourselves on a daily basis, and which add up over time. Think about how much takeout Chipotle you might buy, or how much you spend on Starbucks, and do a little bit of simple math to see how much it might add up in a month. Then, don’t just stop the activity – cut back on it and pocket the perk money. We read a lot about how much we could save by dropping the morning latte, but if you instead funnel that money into a specific fund, you can specifically direct your perk money toward future vacations.

3.) Do Surveys Online

Surveys online are a little bit overrated, in that some people mistake them as a means of side income. The truth is they’re typically somewhat time-consuming and most of them dish out only small financial rewards. However, if you find a few sites or apps that work for you and keep them in mind for idle time, you can at least start to stack up some spare change over time. As with perk money, if you put these earnings directly into a fund for travel, they’ll be more meaningful than if you simply lump them in with your general income. That is to say, $5 from a half-hour survey may not mean much in your bank account – but in a piggy bank for a trip fund, it might be that first percent of a plane ticket!

4.) Open An Investment Portfolio

If you’re not already investing, you can start with specific intent to generate a travel fund. Investing can seem a little bit daunting or even entirely unpredictable when you’re just getting started. But done strategically and conservatively, it can start to make you some extra money over time. Investing is not the same as gambling, in that it implies you have an actual projection of a positive outcome. It’s up to you to find such a projection, either through your own research or a trusted fund you can buy into, but the idea is that you can grow your income and put some of the extra toward your travel budget.

5.) Try Acorns

If investing is too complex or too daunting, you can try Acorns, which is a mobile app that essentially puts your spare change into a strategic portfolio. It’s not meant to have the same returns as an ordinary investment project, but it can net you a few hundred dollars over the course of a year, if not more, and that can be enough to make a major contribution to your travel plans.

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Five Ways to Cut down on Your Travel Expenses

Five Ways to Cut down on Your Travel Expenses

Many of us spend a lot of money on travelling. This could be going to work, taking children to school, going on leisure trips, visiting the grocery store or the mall or visiting friends and family. It can often unavoidable to use a car or other type of transport to get around. However, there are ways to save money on all of the travelling that we do.

Compare prices

It is really wise to start by looking at the main journeys that you take and calculating how much they cost. If you know the distance that you drive and the cost of the gas that you use then you will be able to calculate how much the journey is costing. You can then compare that with the cost of alternative transport such as a bus, train, tram, ferry or whatever. You may need to walk some distance, cycle or even drive to a station, but it could save a lot of money. Often driving can be quicker, but you can make the most of your time when travelling, if you do not have to concentrate on driving. There are lots of things you can do, reading, catching up with social media, phoning friends and family, reading newspapers or magazines, even working. Doing things that would normally do in the evening or weekend at home, means that you will not be wasting your time and you could be saving money as well.

Travel shorter distances for leisure

If you travel a lot in your leisure time then it could be worth considering travelling shorter distances. You may like to fly to exotic countries, but you could get as much pleasure from exploring the country that you live in. You may tend to drive for a day or so to a new area, but you could save money by just exploring locally. It is worth just thinking about each journey that you are taking and whether there is a way that you could change it so that it was shorter and therefore cheaper for you.

Consider walking or cycling

It could be possible for you to walk or cycle more rather than taking the car everywhere, Obviously this will depend on the distance that you are travelling. Not all areas are designed for easy pedestrian access or for cyclists, but it is worth investigating whether this could be something that you could try out. As well as saving money it can give you some extra exercise and then instead of driving to the gym for a workout, you could cancel your membership and just cycle or walk to the grocery store or mall instead. You could save money in two areas! If you drive your children to school then consider walking with them instead if it is close enough. They will get exercise before they start their lessons to switch them on for the day and then to help them wind down at the end of the day and you will save a lot of money. Even if you do it just a few times a week it could make a big difference to your fitness levels s well as your bank balance.

Make more use of each journey

It is worth thinking about how you can make each journey you make more useful. For example, if you pass your favourite grocery store on your way home from work, go in then an shop, rather than taking the car out on a separate journey. See whether you can fit a selection of errands into each drive, rather than doing a separate one each time. This will help to save you time as well as money which can be great. Even if you are on the bus or train, you can still possibly divert your journey or hop on and off at certain stops in order to pick up some things that you need along the way.

Consider car sharing or work commutes

Most of us probably spend most of our time in the car commuting to work or taking children to school. This can mean that we travelling when the roads are the busiest and therefore our journey is slower and potentially more stressful. If more people shared cars when they were travelling this could have a huge impact on the amount of traffic on the roads. It will also make a huge difference to cost. Imagine five people all travelling the route separately and the difference it would make if they shared the same car each day. Their gas bills would be 1/5th of the price as they could all pay towards it. Although gas is not that expensive in the US compared to other countries, it has still been rising in price lately and it could still make up a significant part of your monthly spend and so being able to pay less for your commute cost could add up to make a significant difference quite quickly.

Conclusion

Obviously we tend to all use transport to get around and living in a big country with vast states in towns which have been designed around using vehicles rather than walking, it can be rather hard to avoid using them. However, there may be ways that you can incorporate some walking perhaps just by getting off the bus a stop early. This could save some money and will help you to get more exercise as well.

It can feel a chore, to have rethink the way that we travel to save a few dollars. However, we can spend a lot of money on travel and it can worth just adding it up to find out roughly how much you spend. This could make you change your mind and decide that it is worth changing your habits after all. Combining a few journeys or having your vacation closer to home may not make a big impact on your life but it could make a significant impact on your bank balance. These days even a few saved dollars can make a difference as so many of us are struggling to manage on the money that we have. Cutting down in a selection of areas in our life, including travel and transport will mean that we can start to manage our money much more easily.

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