Travel Tips: Five Quick Tips to Save Money on Travels

To go on a vacation is a luxury and people usually go on a holiday to splurge. Still, who would frown upon a chance to save some bucks while out on a trip? In the first place, a great vacation doesn’t necessarily have to be too costly. The following are travel tips you can do to ensure that your trips will not burn a hole in your pockets.

Try less popular destinations.

Tourists tend to flock to famous spots and the high demand for these places increases its value. Thus, going here may mean you have to shell out more money. If you wish to avoid the crowds and enjoy some savings too, you may choose to go to equally amazing yet unpopular destinations. Not so many people know about this place yet so rates can be a lot cheaper.  

Travel during off-peak seasons.

Perfect timing can make all the difference. To pay less for travel, it is recommended to travel during off-peak periods. Hotel and airlines are known to lower their rates during slow months to still encourage people to travel. Take advantage of the huge discounts by traveling during this time.

Opt for an apartment rather than a hotel.

Accommodation can occupy a big chunk out of your travel budget especially if you stay in high-end hotels. One option you can try is to rent an apartment instead. You can still have a comfortable stay and you may even have access to the whole house itself. Likewise, if you are traveling as a group, an entire apartment can be big enough for all of you. Apart from being cheaper, you can even prepare your own meals here so you can cut down on your food costs too.

Pack snacks and bring water while on the road. 

Traveling is all about exploring the place but to stay energized while on the road, do not forget to come prepared. Put your travel backpacks to good use by bringing snacks and water with you. You are bound to get thirsty and hungry while out and about but it would not be a problem if you have drinks and food with you. This simple tip can save you lots of time and money as well. 

Hunt for discounts or freebies. 

In a way, scoring great deals and packages is a great gauge to measure the success of your travels. So be on the lookout for anything that can help you save money. You can do research about places or activities that you can visit or do for free in your destination such as museums, libraries, or parks. Your airline may be offering some discounts and your accommodation may be offering some freebies which you can avail. Following the social media accounts of airlines and hotels can help you stay informed about these deals. You can also sign-up to be a member of their community to earn points you can redeem later on.

Money matters and it is one of the reasons why many put the idea of traveling aside. However, if you will just make an effort to be a more resourceful and creative traveler, you can discover easy ways to stretch your precious dollars. 

Brad and Julie DuncanTravel Tips: Five Quick Tips to Save Money on Travels
Read More

Traveling Abroad? Use These 6 Tips to Travel Safely

Embarking on a new country can be the adventure of a lifetime. Experiencing new cultures, seeing new terrain and trying new foods are just a few of the benefits of venturing out into uncharted land, but it’s important to stay safe as well. Here are six tips to keep you safe will traveling abroad.

1. Check the US Passports and International Travel Website for Information 

The United States government maintains a website that informs Americans citizens of current safety and security travel concerns. It details the locations of every U.S. embassy and consular office, as well as travel alerts, warnings, advisories, and things to be mindful of.

2. Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program is a service that allows United States citizens and nationals to register their travels with the nearest embassy or consulate. Doing so will automatically enroll you to receive updates on safety information, and allow officials and your family to contact you in the case of an emergency or natural disaster. 

3. Share Travel Information with Friends and Family

Before leaving for your trip, inform your close social circle of your travel plans. While it is unwise to notify social media right away (where strangers and robbers may be lurking your statuses), your family and friends can help keep you safe. Send a quick text with your flight details, your room accomodations (address, room number, etc.) and let them know when you’ve arrived safely. Throughout your trip, check-in with your social circle with short messages or calls about your plans for the day. Although these updates may seem unnecessary, when you’re far away from home, they are the only way anyone can be sure you’re ok without assuming.   

4. Safety In Numbers

It’s always safer to travel in groups. Whether leaving the hotel to grab a bite to eat or checking out the sights, remember to grab a buddy (or two) and stick together for maximum safety. If you plan to venture into crowded areas, stick with your group closely and plan meeting spots in case someone gets separated. For extra safety, wear the same colors or an easily identifiable article of clothing to help you reconnect with your travel mates if you lose each other in a crowd.

5. Make Copies of Documents

Passports, travel arrangements, confirmation numbers, boarding passes, licenses, etc. are all vital documents that can make or break your trip. Instead of relying on digital or original versions of such items, make extra paper copies as backup. Place backup copies in various places to ensure that if your luggage is lost or stolen that all your documents won’t be gone as well.  

6. Don’t Be the Center of Attention

As a tourist, the last thing you want to do is draw attention to yourself. Avoid flashy jewelry, wear clothes that blend in and assimilate with the culture as respectfully as possible. Behave politely and avoid conflict when possible. When on foreign soil, it’s difficult to know every law (both written and implied). To protect yourself and make it home safely, it’s best to fly under the radar by being as invisible as possible while enjoying your trip. 

Traveling is a privilege that shouldn’t be taken for granted. It can change the way we look at the world around us, the way we look at ourselves, and the way we look at others. But even as we set out on such important soul-changing journeys, we must keep safety first. Prepare with these six safety tips and you’ll be able to enjoy your travels without worry.  

Brad and Julie DuncanTraveling Abroad? Use These 6 Tips to Travel Safely
Read More

5 Ways Traveling Can Help In Your Personal & Professional Growth

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.
-Anonymous

People have a variety of options when it comes to fun and adventure. However, if your wish is to enjoy and learn at the same time, traveling is the way to go. Meeting new people and seeing new places open vast opportunities for lessons that can help you grow personally and professionally. You may not realize it at once but traveling changes you. As you explore unfamiliar territories, you may find your views on certain matters changing as well. In many ways, you can gain fresh perspectives and acquire new skills. The following are some ways on how travel brings about personal and professional improvements:

Personal Improvements.

  • Boosts self-esteem.
    Even with the planning and preparation, going somewhere new can still feel like an adventure into the unknown. You are technically leaving your comfort zone so It is normal to feel excited and nervous at the same time. As a traveler, you learn to cope with unexpected moments and even turn it to your advantage. The ability to deal with unavoidable travel woes increases your confidence to face any adversary that may come your way. 
  • Increases self-awareness.
    As Aristotle said, “ Knowing thyself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Self-awareness is important because it allows you to fully understand your wants, needs, and limits. This means you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses that will help you set realistic goals and avoid mistakes. Knowing oneself will require time for reflection which you can get from traveling. The new scenery can also help you see yourself in a new light making it easier to understand yourself better.
  • Increases general knowledge.
    Traveling is like opening a treasure chest of knowledge. For people hungry for knowledge, every turn in your journey is a chance to learn something new. This is information that you cannot learn just from reading books or watching documentaries. You can learn a new language or be adept at a new skill. Bits of info and trivia you pick up during your escapades increase your general knowledge.

Professional Improvements

  • Improves communication and organizational skills.
    You may not give much thought on the way you communicate when you are in your hometown because people generally talk the same way. On the other hand, you may find yourself paying more attention to your speaking, listening, and comprehension skills when you are in a place where people speak a different language. As you go about from place to place, you also learn to be conscious of how you organize your time and things. Poor communication and organizational skills can jeopardize your vacation so you find ways to improve it. With better communicating and organizing techniques, you will certainly increase your value as a professional. 
  • Discover wonderful opportunities.
    Companies are always looking for fresh ideas, which can sometimes be hard to come by. It is especially difficult to think creatively if you stay in the same place day in and day out. Traveling, on the other hand, can make you discover new ventures and ideas. Who knows? You may see a product or system that is not yet available in your hometown. New things you see from traveling can help you come up with ideas that can be a hit back home.

Traveling may be considered an expensive and exhausting hobby but exploring different destinations give many benefits that make it all worth it. Make the most out of your travel experiences by welcoming changes that help you become a better person.

Brad and Julie Duncan5 Ways Traveling Can Help In Your Personal & Professional Growth
Read More

Three Travel Tips to Take Better Pictures on Your Next Trip

We’ve all returned home from an amazing trip, looking forward to posting pictures on Facebook or Instagram, only to discover they aren’t “post-worthy.” No one wants to show off a dull sunset, scene-ruining photobombs, or wayward thumbs that accidentally find themselves in front of the camera’s lens. So how can you avoid these common mistakes? Here are three travel tips on how to take better pictures on your next vacation.

1. Maximize What You’ve Got

Most tourists travel light, bringing nothing more than their cell phones, and that’s perfectly fine. Many professional photographers are quick to admit that it’s not the camera, but technique that creates the best results. So if all you’ve got is your phone, don’t count yourself out.

  • Cell Phone Photography
    Start with the basics. We unintentionally smudge both the front and back lens through normal use of our phones. So before you take a picture, pause to wipe off your camera’s lens. Now that your lens in clean, it’s time to focus on your screen. Go into the camera app’s settings and turn on the grid feature to help you better frame your scene. Last, use the advanced features to your benefit. Modern smartphones are packed with photo features. Play around with your settings, or head over to YouTube for a tutorial on all your phone has to offer.  

2. Plan Ahead

The second way to become an enviable vacation photographer is to plan ahead. There are many factors that go into bringing your photos to life. Most can be controlled with a little planning. 

  • Time of Day
    First, consider your location of choice. Getting the perfect shot, in popular area, during peak visitation hours is extremely difficult. But if you show up early in the morning, or later at night, your chances of success increase exponentially. Also remember to be mindful of nature. Lighting is one of the biggest factors that play into how a photo turns out. If it’s too bright, the photo will be overexposed. If it’s too dark, you won’t be able to clearly see your subject. So before you plan your trip itinerary, make a list of the locations that you want to photograph and schedule your visits accordingly. 
  • Be Patient
    Even in the best of conditions, it may still come down to being patient (with yourself, your scenery and your camera). Sometimes you’ll need to take the same picture more than once, at different angles, in various light, after adjusting your camera settings multiple times. Don’t let the process deter you from getting your shot! Know that everyone has faced the same challenge and what matters most is the end result. If you get frustrated, take a deep breath, or pass your camera off to someone else for a while, but don’t give up! 

Upgrade

One of the most effective ways to take better vacation pictures is to make a few upgrades! 

  • Knowledge
    Upgrade your skills! Although things can get technical pretty quickly, investing a bit of time into mastering aperture, shutter speed and ISO can quickly improve your photography skills. Fortunately, there are many videos, articles and books that offer detailed explanations of each. Before your next trip, set aside time to study and practice so you’ll be ready to jump into action with no hesitation.
  • Equipment 
    The last, and most expensive step, is to upgrade your equipment. Cameras and lenses today are manufactured to conveniently accommodate the trickiest of conditions. Even the accompanying accessories can make all the difference in capturing impressive vacation pictures. If you are open to making a financial investment, it’s worth the effort to research tripods, DSLR and mirrorless cameras, lenses, and even editing software like Lightroom or Paintshop Pro

Pictures are a physical reminder of the memories we’ve created over the years. Having the ability to capture perfect photos with your loved ones is a gift that lasts a lifetime. Why not work on living up to your full vacation-photographer potential? Next time you are ready to plan some time away, remember these three photography tips to ensure you’ll return home with memories worth posting. 

Brad and Julie DuncanThree Travel Tips to Take Better Pictures on Your Next Trip
Read More

Quick Tips To Effectively Work While Traveling

For some people, traveling does not really signal a time-off from the daily grind. Instead, the opportunity to visit new places comes with career related tasks and responsibilities. Juggling traveling and working is not unusual nowadays, as technology has made it possible to have remote jobs too. The idea of not being confined to a physical office in order to grow a career feels empowering. At the same time, knowing you don’t have the full liberty of just lazing around while in a new destination can be a burden. So how do you balance your schedule and personal time so you get the most out of your trip and still excel at your work? Keeping the following tips in mind can help you experience the best of both worlds:

Complete pending tasks.
One of the best things you can do to make your work trip as stress-free as possible is to finish all uncompleted tasks prior to your trip. Save yourself the burden of having pending work hanging over your head while traveling. To enjoy a lighter workload while out and about, you may want to devote extra effort to finish the work you can do in advance. Without pending tasks in the way, you can easily lay out an effective work plan and schedule.

Pack-up with necessary tools and gadgets.
If you are serious about getting jobs done while on the road, you have to be ready with tools that will help accomplish your tasks. Make a list of gadgets and devices you will need and be sure to pack them all in your bag. Some of the essentials are mobile phones, laptops and chargers. You may also want to bring extra headphones, portable keyboards and flash drives. It also pays to research if the gadgets and tools you will bring will work in your destination (or the configuration steps you may need to do for it to work).  Those who are concerned about security and privacy and do not want to connect to public Wi-Fi can set up a virtual private network (VPN). You can also prevent unexpected laptop troubles by deleting unnecessary files.

Have a contingency plan.
The perennial goal is to have a smooth, productive trip but you are out on an adventure where anything can happen. For your peace of mind, it pays to have a back-up plan in case something goes wrong. It can be as simple as saving your files in a hard drive in case your laptop refuses to boot up. A hard drive copy of the contact details of people at home or in the workplace may also come in handy, in case your cell phone starts acting up. You may also want to read up some information about the local emergency contact numbers in your current destination.

Study your destination.
Every traveler knows the importance of doing some research before a trip. Gaining valuable information about your local destination is doubly important when you have official work to do as well.  You do not want bad weather conditions to ruin your trip, so check out the best time of the year to visit a place. Most probably, you will need a Wi-Fi connection and a working space, so make sure to inquire whether the place you plan to stay offer those amenities. Moreover, reading about travel tips and recommendations will give insights about the best places to go to

Make good use of travel time.
Travel time can be long and direct flights are not always possible. Make good use of stop-overs and other free time while traveling, by finding a good spot where you can plug in your devices and do some quick work. You need sufficient rest to function at your best, so you may also want to steal some sleep while in transit. With proper rest, you will be more than ready to tackle work once you arrive at your destination.

Today, it is possible and easier to earn money while exploring amazing places. Though this great privilege continues to be just a dream for many. If you are one of the few who are lucky enough to get paid while traveling, savor the great chance to quench your wanderlust and advance your career at the same time!  

Brad and Julie DuncanQuick Tips To Effectively Work While Traveling
Read More

Afraid Of Jet Lag? 4 Tips To Avoid This Travel Worry

Ever had to fly across multiple time zones? Traveling to a place that will require you to reset your clock calendar sounds exciting. But  for many people, it means having to deal with jet lag. Experienced travelers understand how uncomfortable it feels. Suddenly your body’s clock is not in sync with the local timezone. You either want to sleep when the sun is rising or are craving a full meal during ungodly hours of the night.

Jet lag, a momentary disruption of your body clock, is one of the not-so-pleasant side effects of traveling to a different time zone. It is commonly associated with long overseas flights but the phenomena is not exclusive to plane rides. Anyone who travels great distances, even if not by air, can experienced jet lag. Sometimes you don’t even have to cross time zones. A shift in weather or climate can also cause you to experience symptoms of jet lag. Don’t let jet lag discourage you from traveling or allow it to make your trip less enjoyable. Here are four tips that can help you avoid the downsides of jet lag.

Prepare early.

If you follow a strict routine, you may want to adjust your schedule for a few days before the trip. You can set your clock to the time zone of your destination and try to go over your day with this schedule in mind. It may be difficult, if not impossible, to do this drastically. Be sure to gradually adjust your sleeping and eating schedules closer to the timezone of the destination you are visiting. With this practice, your body will have an easier time coping with the changes in timezone.

Check your flight schedule.

Your flight schedule and estimated time of arrival are also factors to consider when booking plane tickets. Traveling to your destination during your usual bed time? Then it is a perfect time to catch up on some much-needed snooze during the flight. It will also be helpful if you choose a flight that will allow you to arrive at your destination during the day rather than at night. Arriving when the sun is out will allow you to take in the sights and inspire you to explore the place right away. The energy of the day will help you shake the jet lag blues out of your system faster.  

Adjust to the new schedule.

Sometimes, traveling means attending an important event that will require you to be at your best. Whether it is for business or a family event like a wedding, in order to make sure you won’t be suffering from jet lag, you may want to arrive a day or two earlier than your special event. This simple tweak in your schedule will give your body time to adjust. If you are not in a rush, it can also be a good idea to choose a flight that has a stop. Direct flights may allow you to reach your destination faster, but staying a few hours in an area where the time zone is the same or closer to where you are going will help get your body in tune with your new schedule. When you reach your destination, start matching your routines to the new time zone right away. This may mean holding off on naps or meal times.

Hop on the plane well-rested.

Most of the time, it all boils down to taking good care of yourself. Beating jet lag requires a sound mind and strong body. If you maintain good health and don’t exhaust yourself, your body is in a much better position to combat anything. Make sure you get enough rest the day before your trip. Traveling can be stressful on its own, so minimize it by making sure that everything is prepared and organized a few days before your flight. Your comfort should also be a top priority, so dress in appropriate travel attire. It is also important to stay hydrated throughout your trip. When you are on long flights, you’re bound to experience dehydration. Bringing a water bottle that you can refill at the airport or on the plane will be helpful.

People who love to travel should be ready to cope with all the quirks that come with it. Luckily most of them, like jet lag, can easily be avoided with a few tips and tricks! So don’t allow travel woes to dim your passion for visiting and exploring faraway places. Follow the above four tips to minimize the effects of jet lag while you travel.

Brad and Julie DuncanAfraid Of Jet Lag? 4 Tips To Avoid This Travel Worry
Read More

Three Ways to Travel Respectfully

Travel is a luxury that brings great joy. Setting foot on unexplored land can create unmatched feelings of wonder and excitement. Learning about new cultures, people and environments is a life changing experience for those who travel. But that exchange of knowledge is best accomplished when done respectfully. Local residents and native lands should be observed with the utmost care. Here are three ways to travel respectfully.

Do Your Research

Before the wheels of your plane ever touchdown on the runway, you should first learn all you can about your destination of choice. Study the people, the terrain and the cultural differences. If you are visiting a foreign country where most residents speak a language unfamiliar to you, study it. Learn common phrases to help you communicate greetings, directions, travel questions, and niceties. Check the weather and make adjustments to your packing list with climate in mind. The goal of researching and preparing in advance is to lighten the burden on your fellow travel companions, the residents of your destination and the environment. Asking questions will always be a great way to seek information. However, people are much more open to offering assistance to those who’ve put in at least a little effort to assimilate. Instead of expecting everyone to do the heavy lifting of keeping you informed and safe, take the initiative by coming prepared.

Follow the Rules

When researching your destination, you most likely will encounter a few do’s and don’ts. As tempting as it is to downgrade hard-and-fast rules to mere suggestions, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Many places around the world have both implied rules, as well as outline laws that prohibit certain actions. As a guest, it’s your job to adhere to both. If signs say to stay on the marked path, do so. If the local custom is to leave nature untouched, keep your hands to yourself. As simple as this sounds, many tourists still behave as if they are allowed to discard whichever rules don’t fit their desires. Don’t be that traveler. Lastly, remember to give the same level of courtesy you’d give at home. Ask for permission before taking pictures of strangers, don’t stand too closely to others and mind your p’s and q’s.  

Respect the Environment

Protecting the environment, the last tip of traveling respectfully, often goes overlooked. Understandably, some people struggle with this concept abroad because they struggle with it at home as well. As global citizens, it’s our job to honor and nurture the planet we call home. Each of us is responsible for taking care of our little corner of the globe. However, as travelers, that responsibility follows us wherever we go. Whether lounging on the beach, exploring the backroads, or hiking the peaks, we must be mindful. Be considerate about the amount of water, electricity and other raw and natural resources you consume. Tread lightly, limit your contribution to air, noise and water pollution and remember not to litter. Do your best to leave your destination in a better state than you found it – if that’s not possible, leave no footprint at all.

(For more information on environmental impacts, click here)

The rule of respectful travel is to be on your absolute best behavior. Be a worthy representative of your hometown and leave the locals feeling happy you visited. Think of the impression you leave as the determining factor of whether tourist like yourself should continue to be welcomed with open arms. Use the three travel tips above to exercise humility and gratitude. Set an example for other visitors by being the gold standard of respect.

Brad and Julie DuncanThree Ways to Travel Respectfully
Read More

Love Traveling? Protect Your Health While Quenching Your Wanderlust

You travel to see new sights and experience unique things. Exploring unfamiliar places will enrich your mind and nourish your soul. This activity, though, will require you to be in the pinnacle of health. You need energy and stamina to be an adventurous and smart traveler. Ironically, traveling exposes you to situations that increases your chance of catching a disease. With viruses and germs everywhere it is easy to be paranoid about all sorts of sickness you can get.

Still, fear of getting sick should not stop you from satisfying your wanderlust. Instead of abandoning your travel plans altogether, you can observe some simple precautions to stay healthy while on the road. Check out some tips below to ensure you do not taint your travel memories and experiences with the unpleasant feeling of getting ill.

Stock up on liquids.

It is such a hassle to go thirsty while traveling. This is because your body needs an adequate amount of liquids to function at its best. So ensure that you are well hydrated while roaming around. You can avoid dehydration by packing a water bottle everywhere you go.

Protect your skin.

Outdoor time is good for your health as you can breathe in fresh air, soak in warm sunlight and feast on stunning sceneries. Just make sure you are not jeopardizing your health in the process. Harsh rays of the sun can cause skin cancer and damage, so always apply sunscreen before heading outdoors. Choose a sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15 and apply as needed.

Take supplements.

A strong immune system will give your body the power to fight off all kinds of diseases. Of course, you need proper diet, regular exercise and enough rest to make your body stronger and healthier. You can further boost your body’s defenses by taking vitamins. Because you need to be extra healthy while traveling, make sure to pack your supplements before traveling.

Pack necessary medicines.

Traveling is an adventure so it is better to be prepared for any unexpected situations that you may encounter. It is a wise practice to pack medicines for common travel woes such as nausea, headaches or fever. You should also have a first-aid kit in your bag. To ensure you are fit to travel, you may want to visit a doctor (especially if you are going somewhere very far and for a long period of time) for a physical checkup before your trip.

Keep germs at bay.

As you visit various places, you will likely get dirty as well. Since cleanliness is a prerequisite to good health, strive to stay clean even while traveling. It won’t be a huge challenge as you can conveniently bring hand sanitizer or wipes. Wash your hands before eating a meal, too.

Keep your healthy routines.

Even if travel means a break from your usual routines, it is worth it to maintain daily activities that keep you healthy. Your body will thank you if you allot time for exercise and eat in moderation, even if you are not in the comfort of your home. Likewise, you should ensure that you get enough sleep. It is also a great idea to engage in healthy activities while traveling such as walking, running or biking.

Travel allows you to have fun and relax, but you should not sacrifice your health for it. If you follow the suggestions above, you will come back from your travel escapades stronger and healthier than ever.

Brad and Julie DuncanLove Traveling? Protect Your Health While Quenching Your Wanderlust
Read More

How to Plan a Bucket List Vacation During the New Year

So the holidays are over and the new year has begun. Getting back into the swing of things can be tough but time tends to pass more quickly when you have something to look forward to. Vacation provides a mental escape that helps many of us survive the year. Why not start planning now? Here’s how.

Find Inspiration

Seeking inspiration is the first step. At this stage, brainstorming is the mission. There are no right and wrong locations and budget is not of concern – yet. Use any and all resources to your advantage. Pinterest, friend’s vacation photos, articles, travel magazines, family anecdotes, travel groups/forums, movies or books – leave no stone unturned. Once you’ve combed through enough options, you should end up with a pretty decent list of dream vacations. Your vacation list should range from big to small, local to international and expensive to easily affordable. You want variety so that once the time comes, you can find a trip to meet your needs, no matter the scenario.

Budget

The next step is to consider budget. When planning a vacation, you’ll need to make financial accommodations for transportation, food, entertainment, souvenirs and housing. Because all of those factors vary based on location, you’ll need to start by figuring out how much money you’d like to allocate toward travel this year, then work backwards. Once you’ve established a budget, then you’ll be able to narrow your brainstormed vacation list to the ones that fit within your budget.

Details

Now let’s talk details. Vacations are composed of a million small decisions that come together to form one harmonious result. However, a few details are more important than others. Answer the following questions:

  • How much vacation time do you want to dedicate to travel this year?
  • Do you want to go alone or with someone else?
  • Are there any special events you are trying to attend?
  • What’s most important when deciding where to stay?
  • Do you need to rent a car or will public transportation work?

Research Regional Specifics

You have a budget, a location and you’ve covered the minor details. Now you need to look deeper into the destination you chose. Is there anything you should spend time working on to make your trip more enjoyable? If you are traveling to a foreign country, you may want to start learning conversational phrases that will help you get around. Do you need to apply for your passport? Do you need to learn about money conversion or stock up on universal outlets? Are there customary norms that you need to familiarize yourself with? Learn all that you can about your destination of choice and start preparing.

Save Money

The last step of making your vacation a reality is finding the funds to do so. Ideally, we would all have enough cash on hand to pay for our vacation without needing to do any extra work. But for larger vacations, that’s not always realistic. There are many ways to go about saving, but no matter the method, starting as early as possible makes a world of difference. Once you start, remember to be disciplined by refusing to remove money from the vacation fund. If you meet your goal early, keep saving and use the extra money for upgrades or for your next trip.

Traveling enhances both your world view and life enjoyment. The vacation of your dreams is just around the corner. Even “once in a lifetime” vacations are possible with proper planning. Follow the steps outlined above and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Brad and Julie DuncanHow to Plan a Bucket List Vacation During the New Year
Read More

10 Reasons You Should Consider a Christmas Vacation

With the holiday season quickly approaching, you may be in the midst of planning your perfect Christmas day. If your plans to stay home feel like a repeat of Christmas past, it’s time to shake things up. Out-of-town getaways are becoming increasingly popular with many people choosing to skip the stress of the season. Here are ten reasons that you should consider a Christmas vacation.

 

  1. Shorter Lines
    If you choose to visit a popular tourist location like Disneyland, you’ll enjoy having more of the park to yourself. Many families spend Christmas at home, leaving beaches and amusement parks noticeably calmer than normal.
  2. Cheap Hotel Deals
    Unfortunately plane tickets can be expensive during the holiday season because so many people fly home to spend time with family. Thankfully, most of those travelers forgo hotels and stay with the people they are visiting. Consequently, it’s easier to catch price breaks on hotels.
  3. No Gifts
    While the holiday season is known for gift giving, buying presents can take a lot of time and money. Reduce your stress by replacing your gift budget with your vacation budget.
  4. Weather Change
    If you live in a state where heavy or extreme snow is common, escaping to warmer climates can provide some much needed relief. Conversely, if you reside in a snow-free state, choosing a vacation spot where you can play in the snow will be a delightful treat.
  5. Avoid Stress
    Maybe the thought of decorating or fellowshipping with a particular family member causes you anxiety. Why not sidestep the drama and leave your worries at home? A quick getaway to a distant locale is sure to keep your usual concerns at bay.
  6. Experience Christmas in a Different Culture
    With a little research, you can plan a trip to another country that is also celebrating the holiday. Experiencing Christmas from a different point of view will be a fun learning experience for even the most seasoned travelers.
  7. Something New
    If you’ve had a traditional holiday every year, doing something different for the first time can be an exciting change. While traditions hold a special place in the spirit of the holiday, throwing a little adventure into the mix never hurts.
  8. Company Vacation Time
    If you need to clear vacation time with your boss, carefully timing a trip can be difficult. However, vacationing over Christmas break can reduce the number of company vacation days that need to be approved since most businesses voluntarily give employees several days off around the holiday.
  9. Meet up with Family on Location
    Holiday family time doesn’t need to be limited to home. Get together with your extended family to plan a destination Christmas instead. Consider meeting up on location to celebrate the holiday in style.
  10. More Memorable
    Traveling somewhere new always creates countless memories. Doing so during Christmas doubles the impact. Ditching tradition is a bit taboo, but feeling like a rebel always gets the adrenaline flowing.

A trip to a faraway land is sure to provide the Christmas adventure of a lifetime. Sometimes providing a shared experience is more valuable than any material gift that you could give. So get the family together, pick a destination and enjoy your holiday.

Brad and Julie Duncan10 Reasons You Should Consider a Christmas Vacation
Read More