How to Find Travel Topics For Your Blog That People Will Actually Read

Would you like to write a travel blog but aren’t sure what to write about?

The world of blogging is full of interesting content that can entertain others. Blogging lets people look into the lives of others, and gather inspiration to do things.

Not only can you entertain people with a blog, but you can also provide valuable information. With a blog, you can post about several travel topics, such as how-to articles and advice.

Continue reading to learn about some ways that you can gather travel topics to write about.

Decide What the Goal of Your Blog Is

When you start writing a blog, you need to decide on what you want people to take away from it. Your blog should revolve around a specific theme. Writing travel blogs allows you to provide several topics to people, but you can’t be all over the place.

If your goal is to help people, you should write articles that help people figure out how to do things and provide travel advice.

If your goal is to inspire people, you can write about the positive things that come with traveling. You can also incorporate photography into your posts to show the beauty of the world.

You can also use a travel blog to document your life. People often use blogs to post about the things that they’re doing, the places they’re visiting, and what their plans are.

What Do You Enjoy Doing?

You can come up with several travel article ideas by figuring out what you enjoy doing. If you’re someone that enjoys visiting beaches, you can write about cities that are on the coast.

Do you love food? You can be like Migrationology and travel the world to eat food. He goes around to different cities in foreign countries and writes about them and the food that he’s eaten.

Basing your blog around the things that you enjoy doing will make it more personalized, but readers will be able to expect

Discuss Travel Topics That Are Useful

One of the reasons that people read travel blogs is because they are planning on traveling themselves. They will want to read the information that they find useful because it will benefit them on their future travels.

Anyone can write about their travel itinerary, but you’ll make a difference to people by providing useful info. You can write about things like travel gear, places to visit, a country’s laws, and what there is to do.

Start Traveling to Get Inspired

If you’re going to write a travel blog, you need to have experience traveling. If you don’t have the experience, you need to, at least, have plans to travel. Without travel experience, you won’t be relatable to viewers.

Having already traveled will allow you to answer questions that you had before traveling, which are the same questions that others ask. You’ll also be able to provide realistic information.

Traveling is a unique experience that lets people learn more about the world. Seeing new places, meeting new people, and eating food that you’ve never seen before will make your mind flow with new travel blog ideas.

During your travels, you may pick up new hobbies or take an interest in a certain lifestyle. This will give you content that you can use for your blog.

If you’ve never traveled before and are interested, you can look into a travel agency to help you plan a vacation. They will help you with hotels, activities, and provide you with more information about the locations that you’re interested in.

Travel Blog Advice

Here is some advice that you should consider if you’d like to make your travel blog successful:

Use Social Media

Social media is dominating the internet, with nearly half of the world using it. With social media, you’ll be able to interact with your audience and post more about your travels.

Platforms like Instagram allow users to post photos and videos to their profile page and “stories.” This gives people something to look at throughout the day, rather than waiting for a new blog post.

Post YouTube Videos

Creating YouTube content will give your blog a boost because you’ll be able to do more. With YouTube, you can post videos, polls, and photos. Users can comment on your posts, giving you a way to receive feedback on your content.

You can use YouTube hand in hand with your blog, posting videos about your travels. People like to see videos because they provide a real feel of the environment at hand.

If you’d like to get creative, you can invest in a drone for videos of cities and landscapes. Pair your footage with smooth editing and music, then upload your video to YouTube and your blog.

Try New Things

Don’t be afraid to try new things. The whole point of traveling is to experience new things and go out of your comfort zone. If you aren’t willing to do new things, you’ll be limiting your creativity and traveling for nothing.

While traveling in itself is a new and different experience, you should open up to things of different cultures. This will let you think of new things to do, and you’ll be better prepared for future travels.

Start Your Travel Blog Today

Once you have decided that you’d like to start a travel blog, the first thing you have to do is make one. After you make one, think of some things that you’d like to do and places you want to visit.

Coming up with travel topics doesn’t have to be difficult, you just need to allow yourself to embrace the world.

Feel free to browse our website to find more topics relating to travel!

5 Tips for Making Travel Easy (and the Planning Even Easier)

The international travel industry is on fire. More people are traveling the world than ever before.

The tourism industry is contributing nearly $8 trillion to the global economy. There are nearly 1.2 billion arrivals related to tourism each year.

Some people are missing out on world adventure. They are under the misperception that traveling is difficult. The truth is that it is possible to make travel easy.

Read on for a comprehensive guide to making travel easy. Explore 5 tips that are certain to lead to a stress-free vacation.

1. Set a Budget

The vast majority of travelers do not have an unlimited amount of cash. At the same time, some are turned off to international travel due to financial concerns.

However, you can successfully travel on a budget. First, set the exact amount of money that you are working with. Also, put aside some cash for unexpected costs that often arise.

2. Travel on the Cheap

Now it is time to execute your trip and fall under the budget. There are so many great online resources to help you achieve your budgetary goals.

There are websites that provide e-mail alerts with discounted airfare. In addition, websites like Airbnb help you find cheap accommodations for your trip. Some travelers find that the cheapest way to travel is finding vacation packages that bundle your needs together.

3. Efficient Air Travel

One of the most stressful experiences for travelers is air travel. However, with the proper planning, you can travel with ease.

Many people are signing up for TSA pre-check. For a small fee, you can skip the security line at the airport.

Another tip is to pack light. There are few things more stressful and tiring than lugging around a massive duffel bag at the airport.

Also, make sure you have all your important documents, such as passports. Most airlines allow you to check in the night before and print out boarding passes before you arrive.

4. Credit Cards

You need to inform your credit card company that you will be traveling. If you fail to do this, your card may get declined due to fraud reasons. This will add undoubtedly add stress to your trip.

While on the phone with your credit card company, inquire about travel insurance. Many credit cards include some form of travel insurance. If not, you should consider purchasing it to eliminate risk.

5. Activity Planning

Now that you have plane tickets and accommodations, you can start planning activities. First, see how much money is left in your budget.

Then, start researching highly recommended activities at your destination. Good news for thrifty travelers is that sightseeing is free. Many foreign countries also have cheap public attractions like museums.

Making Travel Easy – A Recap

Don’t let fear stop you from making the trip of a lifetime. International travel is a lot easier than you think.

Taking steps like creating a budget and purchasing travel insurance goes a long way. If you enjoyed this article about making travel easy, check out our blog for other great content.

What is Incentive Travel?

Incentive travel is effectively a travel perk used to incentivize or motivate employees or partners. It is often tied to company goals or top performers. Employee rewards are changing—gone are the days when holiday bonuses were enough to provide year-round motivation. Now it’s all about tangible, non-monetary incentives.

A perk for employees that’s better than cash

We’ve always known that people want more money, but research over the years has shown that cash isn’t actually the most useful motivator for most employees. There are several reasons why:

  1. Cash is fleeting. Once you spend it, it’s gone. Sure, the average employee will be happy to get a check as a reward for meeting a sales goal, but it will be forgotten soon after it’s spent or deposited into their bank account.
  2. Cash is ordinary. If you already make a salary or wage that pays your bills, a bonus is helpful, but it isn’t exactly the stuff of lifelong memories. (No one ever asks to see pictures of your last bonus check.)
  3. Cash is intangible. You’ll get a paycheck even if you don’t reach your incentive goal. You might be disappointed if you don’t qualify for a bonus, but it won’t be as much of a let-down as missing out on that trip to Cabo.
  4. Cash is private. People don’t talk about how much money they’re getting, even if it’s a bonus. The same doesn’t apply to experiences; if an employee is awarded an all-inclusive vacation, it’ll be the talk of the office.

All of this makes non-monetary corporate rewards much more effective, and companies are starting to realize it. They’re seeing that when they offer a trip or other enticing prize, people work harder. Employees want to go on that amazing trip that their co-worker earned last year, so they’ll put in the extra hours and effort to get it.

What are good incentives for employees?

People respond to four basic motivational drivers:

  1. Acquisition of valuable items or experiences
  2. Bonding and connecting with others
  3. Creating something of value
  4. Defending what belongs to them

You’ll notice that money isn’t on this list. Sure, it’s useful for making purchases, but it isn’t very motivating on its own. If you really want to get a team working hard for a reward, that prize needs to meet at least one of the above criteria.

Enter incentive trips, also known as event incentives. These company-paid travel experiences, reserved for people who top performers, are becoming increasingly popular as a motivational tool.

That’s because, psychologically, they’re very effective. Incentive trips touch on all four motivational factors:

  • They provide people with memories that they can hold onto, both in their minds and in the form of souvenirs and photos. (Acquisition)
  • Travelers build connections with one another, and they carry those connections back to the office. (Bonding and Creating)
  • Having experienced an incentive trip once, team members know what they’re striving for and will put in even more effort to get there again. (Defending)

That’s a lot of benefit for an incentive that can cost a company less than cash bonuses.

Why incentive travel programs work

VIktor Diagram of the Incentive Travel Process from Design to LaunchOur Travel Incentive Process is Proven

1. Incentive travel is an experience, not an object.

A survey by Expedia and The Center for Generational Kinetics showed that 74% of Americans value experiences over products or things. And travel is one of the most valuable experiences out there, at least according to people’s spending habits. Approximately 57% of all Americans and 65% of millennials are currently saving specifically for travel.

2. Incentive travel is hassle-free.

If travel is worth people’s hard-earned money, then it’s definitely going to make an impression if it’s free and they don’t have to make arrangements themselves. After all, 80% of Americans and 87% of Gen Z travelers say booking in one place is helpful. Imagine how helpful it is for them to have someone else do all the work.

3. Incentive travel is social (and highly shareable).

Social media and travel are intertwined. More than 35% of Gen Z travelers have picked a destination because they read about it on social media, and 27% of Millennials have gathered opinions on a potential trip via social media before making a decision.

Now think about incentive travel. When team members see their colleagues posting pictures of their big incentive trip to Cancun, they’ll want to have the same experience, too. They’ll start putting in the extra effort to make it next time.

Event Incentives 101

Now that you know what incentive travel programs are and why they’re important, the next step is understanding how the process actually works.

Effective incentive trips are part of a year-long incentive program. If a program is well-designed, you’ll be able to track it through the following phases:

  • Design and Launch: As soon as the details and qualifications are set, the company introduces it to the team.
  • Qualification: Team members work hard to achieve the goals that will qualify them for the trip. Ongoing buzz creation and progress tracking keep the excitement level high. At the end of the qualification period, the company announces the winners.
  • Preparation: Once travel arrangements are set, the team starts to get excited. Confidence increases and winners start to perform at even higher levels.
  • The Experience: The destination and planned activities wow the travelers and encourage bonding.
  • Post-Trip: The travelers come back and tell their coworkers all about their amazing trip. They continue to perform at a high level, inspired by their experience. Those who didn’t go are motivated by the idea of joining in next year.
  • To Be Continued: The next program launches, inspiring the team to reach even higher levels of performance.

The goal of this whole process is to motivate employees to do their best work. That means the trip has to be one-of-a-kind. It has to be exciting enough that the winners will want to go again, and memorable enough that they’ll keep talking about it in the office, generating buzz for the next trip.

What do great incentive trips look like?

Theoretically, you could offer an incentive trip consisting of plane tickets and a voucher for a few nights in an all-inclusive resort, sent to the winners via email. But that wouldn’t be a group trip, and it wouldn’t have a hands-on feel or team-building potential.

The group experience is an essential element of incentive trips. It’s what creates a feeling of community among the travelers, inspiring them to reminisce together later, which will generate free publicity for the next trip.

To make the most of the team bonding and vacation elements of the experience, incentive trips should include group excursions, activities, and relaxing meals.Whenever possible, the itinerary should feature experiences that employees can’t get anywhere else; “exclusive access” is always a good phrase to see on an incentive travel itinerary.

If you have a younger team, you’ll probably have incentive trips that involve adventure travel or exploration. Older teams might skew toward sightseeing or guided tours. If your team is mixed, you’ll need to have activities planned that will appeal to those who want to “do” as well as those who want to “see.”

What are some examples of incentive travel?

Picture this: Three nights and two full days in Hawaii. In addition to traditional experiences like a luau, surfing lessons, and a private seaside dinner, you and your employees get to:

  • Team-build high in the sky on one of Hawaii’s zipline tours
  • Get up close and personal with wildlife on a dolphin-swim cruise or manta ray snorkeling trip
  • Go on a helicopter tour and see Hawaii from above

By the time you get home, you’ll be so in love with the trip that you’ll already be working toward next year’s.

But maybe you and your team are more interested in a city vacation. How about a long weekend in New Orleans?You could ask your trip planner to arrange:

  • A private tour of the Superdome, maybe with the chance to kick a field goal
  • A crawfish boil under the stars
  • A private jazz brunch
  • An encounter with the supernatural at an after-dark ghost and vampire tour.

Wherever you go, your trip planner can choose the right activities and a destination that is perfect for your team.

Top incentive travel destinations

Incentive travel programs, like the travel industry in general, have tried-and-true hit destinations as well as trendy picks that get a lot of buzz.

Perennially popular destinations include places like Hawaiiand New Orleans, both of which are exotic enough to be exciting, but don’t involve the complex logistics and high costs of international travel. It’s also hard to go wrong with iconic cities like New York, Chicago, or San Francisco.

You may have noticed that the majority of these destinations are in warmer areas of the country; winter and early spring are traditionally popular times for incentive trips, and there’s more for your group to do if you’re not stuck indoors.

Of course, some people and teams thrive on cold-weather adventures. Those teams might enjoy incentive ski trips to Colorado or even to Europe if you really want to go upscale.

The hottest trends in incentive travel

Urban destinations are popular with all generations, so a city adventure will usually be a win with any crowd. You’ll want a city that offers:

  • Great hotel and dining options
  • A range of memorable and authentic activities
  • Affordable airfare
  • Safety and accessibility

Hospitality and entertainment are easy to find in big-city destinations, but affordability is tougher. Bear in mind that you risk getting a “been there, done that” reaction with some of the tried-and-true cities, especially with younger employees that prefer undiscovered hole-in-the-wall locations.

Where to go in the U.S.

These days, second-tier cities are the trendiest destinations in domestic incentive travel programs.

Loosely defined as cities with under a million residents, second-tier cities are becoming increasingly popular home bases for Millennials and Gen Z-ers, thanks to a high level of affordability and opportunities for cultural revitalization. For example:

  • Portland, Oregon has great food and drink thanks to a thriving craft cocktail scene and local wineries in the Willamette Valley.
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico has options for outdoor adventure travel, as well as an abundance of culture and history.
  • Nashville, Tennessee offers plenty of outdoor adventures, historical and cultural immersion, and great Southern food.
  • San Antonio, Texas is a cultural gem that’s easy to get around and boasts great weather.

The options are endless if you know where to look.

Where to go abroad

If your team needs something a bit more exotic with a more immediately impressive name, it could be time to go international.

Argentina and Iceland are among the trendiest international destinations, and they’re great for incentive travel programs. They offer culturally authentic experiences, highly photogenic scenery, and that “get-away” feeling that can only come from visiting somewhere really out of the ordinary.

Because they’re not Paris or Rome, these destinations tend to be a bit more affordable and budget-friendly for the sponsoring company. That’s a major selling point if you want the incentive travel program to be sustainable.

Once you’ve decided where to go, it’s time to start thinking about who to send.

Who qualifies for incentive trips?

This part of the process deserves careful consideration. After all, if you’re offering something as big as a trip, you have to make sure it’s awarded fairly.

  1. Clearly define the goal. What is the performance problem you’re trying to solve? What will the company’s workflow look like once it’s solved?
  2. Decide who will be involved. Will you target one particular group of employees or the whole organization?
  3. Determine your desired actions. Do you want your employees to make more sales? Take fewer personal days?
  4. Set benchmarks. Say that you choose sales as your desired metric. At what level will you reward people with a trip and when? $1 million in a year? 10 new clients in a month? For the sake of fairness, you have to be able to document who makes the cut and how.
  5. Make sure your goals are achievable. The ideal goal is within reach of each participant, but should still be challenging. Make sure that team members have the guidance and support they need to meet that challenge.
  6. Plan out program publicity. From the first announcement to public recognition of the winners, the program needs to be engaging. How will you entice people to participate?

You can gear your program toward individual high performers or entire teams. The right choice will depend on your program goals as well as what kind of competition you want to encourage.

For example:

  • If you want to boost individual sales results, offer the incentive trip to team members who exceed a certain revenue level. Choose an amount that’s above what employees normally reach.
  • If you’re hoping to increase engagement and company buy-in, develop a program that has several possible qualifications. These could include exemplifying company values, bringing in big clients, or going the extra mile to support a team.
  • You can also offer incentive trips to high-value clients or customers. If you’d like to encourage client loyalty, consider an incentive program for long-term or high-spending clients.

Key Takeaways

Incentive travel is a win-win situation for everyone involved, from the sponsoring company to the lucky travelers.

  • It’s highly motivating on a psychological level.
  • It naturally results in team bonding and shared memories.
  • It increases employee loyalty.
  • It helps employees to feel appreciated.
  • It creates memories that last a lifetime.

Best of all, it’s accessible to companies of all sizes. You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 corporation! Just contact the pros at VIKTOR and let them help you choose a destination and itinerary that’s perfect for your company’s budget and culture. Get started today and learn about all the places you could go.

How To Get Ready For Long Distance Travel

As creatures of habit, the majority of us like our little routines and being around our hometown. Life can be quite difficult a lot of the time, so getting home and relaxing after a tough day at the office is something we all recognize as blissful. But with that said, we can’t expect to live our eighty-some years on this planet within a small radius – there’s so much out there to see! You might think you know a lot about this world, but I’ve got some news for you: you don’t!

view of clouds from airplane

Heading out to the other side of the planet is an amazing thing to do as you’ll get to soak up the cultures and communities that you couldn’t even fathom before. Travel broadens the mind, and with the number of things on Earth, people have an almost unlimited amount of broadening to do!  You’ve seen us over the past year on incredible journeys across the world, from 24 hour flights to Thailand, to cross-country drives here in the States.  We adore the sites, but the travel can be tough to get used to!

Why?  There is, of course, the small matter of actually getting there. Now, you’ve probably been on a plane or a train for a few hours, but long-distance traveling is an entirely different ball game. It’s quite a daunting thing to approach if you’ve not done it before. If you’re heading on vacation and have a huge chunk of traveling to do, let’s go through a few things that can make it a little less of a pain in the backside.

Get Yourself Mentally Ready

It sounds like a terribly pessimistic thing to do, but it’s not exactly going to be sunshine and roses for the time you’ll be flying or driving. Hey, it might be, but the chances are that something will annoy you at one time or another. Know what you’re getting into.

Dress Comfortably

You’re going to want to gear up in the smoothest possible clothing you have. It doesn’t matter if you don’t look the part! You could wear a nice outfit if you’d like, but you’ll regret it after a couple of hours of sitting idle in the same position.

sleeping in airport

Bring Some Entertainment

It’s boring. Pretty much an entire day packed into a cabin with other restless people isn’t going to be entertaining, so you’ll have to bring some with you. Some planes have in-flight stuff like movies, but what if there’s nothing you like? You could prepare by bringing some TV shows, movies or music with you. YouTube has a lot to offer nowadays do you could get the YouTube downloader and download some of your favorite stuff. A pack of cards could keep you occupied for a while, too.

child on ipad

Take Some Snacks

Hunger will strike at some point and if you hate that annoying crankiness that a little hunger brings, then imagine what it is like whilst stuck in the large moving vehicle! Bring some small snacks with you to satisfy your stomach during the lull. Don’t bring anything with strong smells, though.

Learn Some Exercises

Sitting idle for hours and hours doesn’t do much for your muscles and your circulation. So make sure you get up out of your seat every now and again for a little walk. You can also do little exercises with your legs and feet – they’ll stop any pain or stress in them.

Hopefully these tips will help you on your next big trip!

Upcoming Trip? Top 5 Credit Cards For International Travel

In 2018, 93 million Americans traveled internationally. This is a record-breaking number compared to other years.

Before you travel internationally, you have to sort out the plane tickets, hotels, and activities. Also, not many people like to carry cash to avoid incidents.

If you’re going to travel internationally, you should have a travel credit card you can trust.

Read on to learn which is the best credit card for international travel.

Mid-Level Annual Fees

When it comes to travel credit cards, these cards offer a mid-range annual fee and plenty of perks.

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

If you want a card that has zero foreign transaction fees and will also reward you for your purchases while abroad, look no further than the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

What are the rewards? With the Chase Sapphire, you can expect to earn two points for every dollar you spend on dining out and travel. You can continue earning points at home as well – earn one point for every dollar you spend on every other purchase.

If you redeem your rewards through the Chase Ultimate Rewards site, your rewards will be worth up to 25% more, which you can redeem on travel.

Bonus Points: This card also offers a bonus offer when you sign up. You will receive 60,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 within the first 90 days after opening it.

Keep in mind, however, you need good to excellent credit to qualify for the Chase Sapphire Preferred. You will also have to pay an annual fee of $95.

2. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture credit card is unique among travel credit cards because it offers TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry fee reimbursement. This is the card that keeps on giving since it also has no foreign transaction fees. It has no blackout dates and you can fly any airline, stay at any hotels, and earn miles with all of your purchases.

What are the rewards? With the Venture card, you will earn two miles for every $1 you spend on purchases.

Due to their partnership with Hotels.com, you can earn 10 miles for every dollar you spend booking your hotels through them.

Bonus Miles: The Venture Card Offers 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 for the first three months. This amount equals to $500 worth in travel.

You can enjoy a $0 annual fee the first year. After that, you will have to pay an annual fee of $95. You need good or excellent credit to apply.

Zero Annual Fees

Don’t want to spend money on annual fees? These travel cards have excellent rewards and you don’t have to worry about paying annual fees.

3. Wells Fargo Propel American Express

If you are planning on taking the trip of a lifetime, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card is an excellent choice. This card offers an introductory $0 APR on purchases for the first year. You have an entire year to pay off your trip without paying a cent in interest.

If you don’t want to use a credit card to pay for your entire trip, is worth learning more about SSI Loans.

What are the rewards?  With the propel card, you can expect to earn three points for every $1 you spend on travel-related expenses such as flights, hotels, and car rentals. You will also earn 3 points for every $1 you spend on rideshares, transit, gas, and dining out.

You will also earn one point for every dollar you spend on your other purchases such as groceries and entertainment.

Bonus Points: The Propel card offers you 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Good or Excellent credit is required.

4. Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

This no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee travel rewards credit card also makes our list.

What are the rewards? For a card with no annual fee, it also offers excellent rewards. With this card, you can expect to earn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend. This means you can earn points on everyday purchases such as groceries and gas.

Bonus Points: If you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months after opening your card, you can earn 25,000 bonus points. This equals to $250 in statement credit.

High Annual Fees

If you want to travel in luxury and can afford higher than usual annual fees, these are the best of the best.

5. The Platinum Card from American Express

If you like to travel in style and want the most perks from a card, then The Platinum Card from American Express is the one you need. This is one of the ultimate luxury cards when it comes to travel. It even offers their members $200 in statement credit for things such as baggage fees, incidental airline fees, and more.

What are the rewards? The Platinum Card offers many rewards such as five points for every $1 you spend on American Express Travel such as flights and hotels. You can also earn 5 points per $1 if you book directly with other airlines. You can also earn one point per $1 on other purchases.

Aside from earning many points, with this card you have plenty of perks.

Enjoy access to airport lounges and travel concierge service. You can also enjoy elite status on Marriott and Hilton Hotels

Bonus Points: If you spend $5,000 in the first three months after opening your card, you will earn 60,000 bonus points.

Keep in mind becoming a Platinum Card Member Won’t come cheap. This card has a steep annual fee of $500, which is worth it to the frequent traveler.

Best Credit Card For International Travel: The Bottom Line

What is the best credit card for international travel? It all depends on the types of rewards you’re looking for.

While some cards have high annual fees, they can get you into airport lounges or allow you to earn the most points.

If you don’t travel frequently, you can find a travel card with a small or $0 annual fee that will allow you to earn points with everyday purchases.

Are you planning on taking a trip soon? If you want the ultimate tips to ensure your trip is perfect, check out our travel and leisure section.

How to Save Money While Traveling: 5 Ways to Reduce Vacation Expenses

In the modern world, travel is easier than ever. People from all backgrounds have experienced the thrill of visiting a new culture in a new land. Still, traveling isn’t a cheap experience for everyone.

It’s understandable if you want to travel more but don’t think you can afford it. Vacation expenses can add up to a pretty penny. If you already live with frugal means, you know that your next vacation needs to be well-planned.

Consider how vast the travel and tourism industry is throughout the world. In the year 2016 alone, it generated over $7 trillion in revenue! It’s obvious a trip will cost you.

If you and your family are ready to go on a vacation sometime soon, you’re in luck. The good news is you’ve come to the right place by reading this article. Detailed below is five ways you can ensure you’re traveling on an affordable budget.

1. FOCUS ON SAVING UP YOUR MONEY AHEAD OF TIME

It’s no secret that travel can be expensive, no matter how proactive you are about it. You can plan to stay in the cheapest hotel and eat the cheapest food. Still, a vacation is going to cost you extra expenses.

That’s why it’s so crucial that you plan ahead and save up. If you and your family are already on a tight budget, there’s no need to stretch it even more. Instead, cut out some of your current luxuries so that you can put that money towards the upcoming trip.

One good idea is to cancel any subscriptions you have. Even though the costs seem minimal, subscriptions like Netflix, Spotify, or Hulu can start to add up. A temporary break from those services will give up a little financial padding for a few months.

Another thing you can do is sell some of your nonessential valuables you have lying around. Electronics and collectibles can get you a surprising amount of money on sites like eBay and Craigslist.

If you have the means, it’d also be a great option to have a full-blown garage sale. Get the rest of your family on board with a garage sale, too. have everyone contribute donations to the sale and agree that all profits go to the eventual vacation fund.

Saving up for a vacation can seem overwhelming, it’s true. If you’re committed and smart about it, though, it’s possible to have the entire trip funded with plenty of extra spending money.

2. MAKE SURE YOU DO YOUR RESEARCH TO FIND THE BEST TRAVEL DEALS

Of course, there’s no need to settle for the first “deal” on a hotel that you find. It’s good practice to shop around to find the best bargain for your dollar.

Online travel sites like Expedia and Priceline are a great place to start for travel deals. Often, you can get both your transportation and lodging bundled for a lower price. In fact, there are all sorts of travel package deals available online if you’re willing to do the research.

Another great idea is to call the hotel you like directly. This is true, in particular, if you’re booking the room last minute. Hotels don’t always post their room deals online, and they might give you a huge discount if they don’t have all of their rooms filled for the night.

3. KEEP A FRUGAL MINDSET FOR YOUR VACATION EXPENSES

The vacation mindset is a dangerous one for those on a limited budget, by the way. It’s easy to let loose with your spending when you’ve got that carefree attitude.

Instead, don’t spend all of your money in one place. Go on your trip with a set limit on extra spending. If you have to, leave your ATM card at home so you won’t be tempted to dip into parts of your finances that you didn’t allocate for the trip.

4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO TAKE OUT A PERSONAL LOAN

You might need a vacation soon but don’t have enough money for one. That’s okay – you deserve to go on a trip for working so hard in the day-to-day.

Perhaps you need to work on your credit score anyway. Well, paying back a loan is a great way to improve that score. Plus, a well-deserved vacation is a great excuse to take out a personal loan in the first place.

Check out One Main Financial Review to see if their loans suit your vacation financing needs. Paying back the loan is worthwhile if it means you get out of the house for a bit!

5. IF YOU’RE FLYING, DO SO IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WEEK

The last tip to travel on a budget is to be smart about your flights. So many people pick the weekend for their travel days. For a better deal on your flight, instead, fly to and from your destination on a Tuesday or Wednesday.

CONTINUE TO MAINTAIN AN AFFORDABLE BUDGET

At this point in the article, you should have a pretty good idea of what it would take to reduce your overall vacation expenses. Whether you decide to take out a loan or save up, your trip will be worthwhile.

You deserve to have the peace of mind that comes from knowing your travels will be financed. After all, you don’t want to get stuck in a place that’s unfamiliar! That’s why planning ahead and understanding your financial situation is so crucial.

Of course, keeping track of your finances is important throughout the rest of your life, too. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your vacation is the only time you need to recognize what you can or can’t afford. The fortunate news is that there’s plenty of helpful financial guidance out there – if you know where to look.

Well, that’s where we can help you. We value helping families live their lives to the fullest with frugal means. There’s no need for you to sacrifice a good time just because money is tight.

That’s why we encourage you to browse through the rest of our website. You’ll find other financial practices that suit your needs and desires.

US Travel Checklist For Travellers From New Zealand

When travelling to the US for the first time there are a few things you need to think about before your trip to ensure smooth entry into the country and an enjoyable onward experience. You’ll also want to contemplate which part of the country you are visiting and at what time of year, as these two factors will play a huge role in what you pack in terms of clothing.

Passport and Visa

The main thing to think about before travelling to the USA as a citizen of New Zealand is obtaining an ESTA visa waiver. These electronic waivers are available to citizens holding a New Zealand passport with at least six months validity. An ESTA can be applied for online up to 72 hours before travel and is usually granted within a few hours (if not instantaneously).

While the ESTA is electronically attached to your passport, it is always worth printing off a copy of your visa waiver in case the officials at customs and immigration ask for it.

If for any reason you are denied an ESTA, you may be able to apply for a B2 Tourist Visa or a B1 Business Visa, depending on your reason for travel.

Other Documentation

Other documentation that is worth taking to the USA when you travel includes your international driving license (if you plan on hiring a car), a copy of your passport and a copy of your travel insurance documents. Health care is particularly expensive in the US, so you’ll want to ensure you are fully covered in case of any accidents or emergencies.

Clothing

On the whole Americans dress in a more casual style (even while dining out). However, you won’t look totally out of place if you decide you’d prefer to stick to a collared shirt than a polo or t-shirt. Americans of all ages wear jeans and trainers though, so if you want to go causal, you’ll fit right in.

It is worth noting that even though much of the US has great weather, especially in summer, some of the air-conditioning can be fierce so you might want a pullover or scarf just to keep you warm when exploring museums or enjoying shops, bars and restaurants.

It is also important to mention that there may be some very cold places, such as Alaska, North Dakota, Maine and Vermont, which often receive extreme snow and low temperatures so you’ll want to pack plenty of thermal layers to be prepared.

How to Put Your Property on Airbnb to Travel the World

Why not put your property on Airbnb. You’ve stayed in an Airbnb before, I’m sure you’ve stayed in quite a few. You probably had your complaints and compliments, but have you ever thought of renting your place out to make some money? While renting has its pros and cons, it can be a great way to make supplemental cash and finance your own travels. If you already travel a lot, your place is probably empty a decent chunk of the year. Why let it gather dust when you can make money off it?

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Listing your Property

There are currently over 6 million Airbnb listings worldwide. Putting your property on the site is actually pretty easy. After creating an account, you click on “List Your Space” and begin adding your property’s information. It will ask you about the size of your home and what rooms you are offering. It will also ask if you want potential guests to be able to book the listing instantly or if you’d prefer to receive a booking request first. Once you put up photos and specify extra fees such as cleaning or a security deposit, you will be able to input when exactly your property will be available and begin renting to travelers.

Getting Paid

When you provide payment details to Airbnb, you can take guests. Airbnb collects payment from the guest and holds it until 24 hours after check-in. Then you will receive your money. Some people think that this takes too long, but if you are filling your property often you won’t notice the wait as much. Airbnb takes 3 percent from every booking, which doesn’t seem like much, but it certainly adds up for them.

Use the Money to Travel

Airbnb can be a great way to rent your property while you’re away traveling. You will be making money without doing much and will be able to use your income to finance your travels. According to experts at the site MoneyPug, which is used to find cheap home insurance, it is helpful to have someone you trust nearby to help if there are any problems with your guests’ check-ins or during their stay. This can be a great way to supplement another income you already have. Combining Airbnb bookings with an online job can be your round-trip ticket to traveling the world.

Things to be Aware of if you put your property on Airbnb

Listing your property on Airbnb is a great way to make money for travel, but there are certainly things you need to be aware of. It comes with inherent risks, and if you expect to be traveling while you are renting you will have less control over what happens at your property. Not only do you need to be cognizant of the laws surrounding Airbnb listings, you need to be careful who you rent to.

Some people worry about their guests throwing parties or stealing their valuables. It is wise to remove anything you can’t live without. You should also be conscious of what is inside the property. If you have someone you trust able to welcome guests and supervise the situation, you will be a lot better off. Furthermore, Aribnb doesn’t have the best track record if a tragedy were to occur in your home. There isn’t much they can do when someone passes away in an Airbnb and do little more than condemn guests that overstep their boundaries.

Be Prepared & Make Money

Having said that, if you are prepared with proper insurance and safety valves, you will likely experience no trouble. For how many properties are booked on their site every day, there are typically few problems. The vast majority of people who use Airbnb are travelers looking for an affordable option to get an authentic perspective on wherever they are traveling.

Using your home to make money can help you finance your own trips. Depending on how large your property is and how nice it is, you can make more money listing on Airbnb. So what are you waiting for? Start doing your research and use your property as a way to make money. The world is waiting for you. With proper planning, due diligence, and care you can meet new people, travel wherever you want to, and make money doing it all.

Ryan Beitler is a journalist, writer, and travel blogger. He has written for Paste Magazine, The Slovenia Times, New Noise Magazine, Deadline News, OC Weekly, and numerous travel sites. His blog is Our Little Blue Rock and he can be reached at ryanrbeitler@gmail.com

Traveling in an RV: 5 Things No One Tells You

Many people dream of going travelling in an RV. You can choose your very own route, stop where you like and never have to pay for a hotel. While the freedom of travelling in an RV cannot be matched, it isn’t always as easy and carefree as people assume.

In fact, there can be a number of challenges that can be worth knowing about before you set off on a grand tour.

Here are just five things that no-one will tell you about travelling in an RV.

BEING ABLE TO PARK UP ANYWHERE ISN’T AS CONVENIENT AS IT SEEMS

Although you can choose to park up and sleep anywhere, nothing beats a pitch at a campsite. Firstly, this is because campsites have places to hook up if you need electricity and gas.

Secondly, you’re guaranteed more privacy and security.

Lastly, even if your RV has a toilet and shower, the ones at a campsite are sometimes a lot better and you don’t have to clean up after.

Parking up in car parks and lay-bys isn’t as fun as you’d think. It can get noisy, there can often be safety concerns and you’ll soon run through your leisure battery if you don’t hook up. Unless you’ve got a solar charger, which is a worthwhile investment.

There will be some nights where you stay in these remote places and enjoy them, but most of the time you’ll just wish you were parked in a campsite.

IT’S WORTH UPGRADING YOUR MATTRESS

On the whole, RV beds aren’t very comfortable. They can do for a couple of nights, but if you’re planning to travel for weeks, you’ll soon miss the comfort of a real bed.

Splashing out on the best RV mattress you can find could be worthwhile if you want to get a good night’s sleep. There are companies that are able to build custom mattresses catered to your camper van bed.

INVEST IN PARKING SENSORS

Parking in an RV – especially a large motor home – can be a challenge. If your vehicle doesn’t come with parking sensors, it could be worth paying to have them fitted.

This could make things a little easier to judge when manoeuvring tight spaces.

It ultimately will save you from a few knocks which can be inevitable if you haven’t got parking sensors.

THINGS WILL BREAK ALONG THE WAY

It’s highly likely that things will break along the way – especially if you’re planning a long adventure. If you’re lucky, these things that break won’t be too important.

A few things that can be annoying if they break include your refrigerator, your oven, your shower and your toilet.

As for the parts required for driving your vehicle, you definitely don’t want any of these to break. Servicing your RV beforehand could be worthwhile to ensure that there are no parts that are likely to break.

You may also want to get a professional to check the appliances to check that they’re all in working order before you set off.

YOU’LL HAVE TO LEARN TO LIVE MESSILY

An RV can quickly get messy – especially if you’re sharing with multiple people. Most RVs don’t have a lot of space and can get easily cluttered.

You’ll also invariably bring mud and grass in. Keeping on top of cleanliness is important, but you don’t want to be spending too long cleaning, otherwise, you’ll never get anywhere.

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A few tools and supplies may be worth bringing to help make cleaning easier such as a handheld vacuum cleaner.

A few packs of wipes and enough black bags for storing your trash.

You can also put down mats to prevent muddy footprints from ruining the floor if you wish.

Now that you are privy to some of the untold situations you may run into while traveling in an RV, you’re ready to hit the road. Traveling in an RV can truly be an incredible experience.

It’s always great to be prepared!

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER TIPS FOR FOLKS TRAVELING IN AN RV?

Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!

The name Nancy is shown with a dandelion fluff on the end of the y.

 

Travel to Georgia – When, Where and Why

Georgia is among the popular tourist destinations in the world with millions of visitors walking its see beaches and world heritage sites each year. Whether you are planning a vacation in Georgia for the first time or making another trip to exploit destinations you missed the first time, some several exciting activities and sceneries await you.

You can embark on a summer getaway at the Georgian Caucasus Mountains or catch the panoramic views of the Kobuleti Sea Resort as the sun sets over the vast sea coast. Known by many as the country of flowers and mountains, Georgia has a lot to offer in terms of history and heritage, natural scenery, cultural diversity, seas, and beaches as well as cuisine. Its mountainous villages and Black Sea beaches have made it a popular stop for anyone who loves to travel the globe.

However, like with most destinations, there is a litany of factors that will influence the experience you get. If you are planning to travel to Georgia, it is essential to review the three primary considerations which include:

When to visit Georgia

If you want to get the best of any destination, you need to pick your dates carefully. This can help you get more from your budget and enjoy your time. However, it all depends on your needs. If you love destinations with numerous other visitors, then it makes sense to plan during the peak months. Conversely, if you are more drawn to reclusive sceneries, you can pick a time when fewer tourists are visiting the country. If you are planning to travel to Georgia, here is a brief breakdown of the travel patterns and activities in the region:

Peak months

July and August are the peak holiday months when tourist crowd accommodation outlets in Georgia. This time also gets a little uncomfortable in the low lands of Tbilisi. If you are traveling to Georgia during this time, the mountain areas seem like the ideal place to visit. You can enjoy snow-free hiking and temperatures are also considerably cooler.

Cool and low months

By September, snow starts to fall, making the lower areas more pleasant to hang around than the mountains. Snow continues to fall, and temperatures get colder as you approach the low travel season (November to April). During this time (December, January, February), the snow buildup attracts winter sports festivities and tourists flock ski lodges.

Spring to summer

April and May are generally rainy months, and wildflowers start to invade most of the trailing landscape. This also makes the mountains accessible as the region transitions from winter to summer. You can visit Georgia in June, which is an excellent time if you want to beat the summer rush and still enjoy warm temperatures. After this, the pattern repeats itself.

For many travelers, the European Summer period (May to early October) is the best time to visit Georgia as most parts are accessible. Nevertheless, Georgia does not lack in travel destinations, and you can enjoy both worlds regardless of the time you choose. A Georgia travel guide can help you identify the best traveling seasons, popular activities, tours, sceneries, and destinations. You can also use a weather chart to help you prepare for the dynamic weather patterns of Georgia.

 

Why you should visit Georgia

Touring in Georgia is different. Even as a popular destination, Georgia is unlike most places you will visit. It is not too crowded even during peak periods, so the region offers a new pure travel experience. However, this might be short-lived. According to Georgian National Tourism Association, the number of people visiting Georgia has increased tremendously over the past few years. Between 2016 and 2017 alone, the number grew from about 6.4 million to 7.9 millionregistering a significant 18.8% growth within twelve months. If this trend continues, a few things may have to change ranging from budget to tours and various other concerns.

Nevertheless, now is the best time to save up for your Georgia vacations. Here is why:

Several attractions and destinations

If your travel to Georgia is motivated by nature and scenic landscape, then it is among the best places you can visit. It boasts around 330 square kilometers of the Black Sea Coast. Other highlights include some of the highest peaks in Europe, alpine valleys, waterfalls, lakes, springs and natural reservoirs. Georgia has 860 lakes, and forest covers more than 40% of the country. It boasts over 12,000 historical monuments, 150 museums, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, cathedrals, monasteries, churches, and bridges. Some monuments date back to the 5th and 6th millennium B.C.

Fun activities all year round

Both the mountainous villages and lowland cities offer a myriad of exciting travel activities to engage. Georgia tours are packaged to help you enjoy your time and get the best experience. It all depends on where your preferences lie. The most common travel package is adventurous trips that include mountain biking, rafting, paragliding, scuba diving, mountain climbing, trekking, and horseback riding. Others are cultural trips (historical and archaeological tours), ecotourism (bird-watching, eco-tours and botany tours), health resort and wellness, photography and gastronomic trips as well as sports and conventions. It is ranked at 3rd position for best ski destinations in the world.

The diverse culture of friendly hospitable people

Georgia offers a perfect mix of proud highlanders and sophisticated lowland cities as well as everything in between. Millions of tourists from various walks of life travel to Georgia each year. In 2017 alone, 7.5 million tourists visited Georgia, making it the 4th country with the most growth behind Vietnam, Egypt, and Togo. The Georgian culture is simply admirable, and you can learn more about the country from a travel journal. From the most reputed folk music to fascinating dancing style, pre-historic wine-making tradition, and delicious nutrient-rich cuisine, there is no other place in Europe comparable to Georgian towns. The people are quite friendly, and the region is already a tourist hotspot, so most interactions are naturally respectful, hospitable and fun.

Safe and affordable

Georgia is one of the safest tourist destinations to visit all year round. Like many other regions in Europe, there are occasional theft and mugging in a few places. However, Georgia has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. There are safety measures and frameworks to help you enjoy your Georgian vacations without any worries. Climate, infrastructure, and accommodation all harmonize together to create a perfect place for all kinds of tourists and enthusiasts.

What’s more, Georgia does not have the staggering popularity of other European destinations, so prices are reasonably affordable. Of course, the cost of your trip will depend on your budget and the vacation packages you pick. However, services are still moderately priced, and you can always take advantage of low seasons to save even more.

Best places to visit in Georgia

There are several top vacation spots in Georgia for everyone. Whether you are visiting to behold the heritage sites, museums, and cathedrals or seek the peaceful scenery of vast flower gardens, sandy sea beaches, reefs, and mountainous villages, there is no shortage of options. Some of the best destinations for Georgia holidays include:

 

 

Tbilisi – Best for lowland urban experience destination

In addition to offering the best attractions in the country, there are several things to do in Tbilisi. This is the capital and largest city in Georgia. Its rise as a popular tourist destination is recent, but the region has been a jewel for many visitors. Tbilisi was founded several centuries ago and is home to some of the most famous antique market in the world. It has a population of over 1.5 million people spread across its ten districts.

The most popular destinations include Chugureti on the left of the river Mtkvari. German expats built this city and still has artifacts from the Soviet Era. Other famous destinations in Tbilisi are Mtatsminda (Sololaki), which is a central district with traditional buildings and Krtsanisi, which is the oldest district where the city was founded. More popular tourist destinations include Isani, Vake, and Didube. The range of attractions comprises lakes, stadiums, museums, cathedrals, parks, fortresses, sulfur baths, springs, souvenir shops, and markets, among others.

Kutaisi – Best for heritage sites and monument destinations

Kutaisi is another famous destination for anyone who wishes to travel to Georgia. It is the second-largest city after Tbilisi and offers a stretch of elegant 19th-century housing as well as UNESCO heritage sites. You can walk down the breathtaking streets to take in the view and witness some of the magnificent architectural pieces of the town.

The glorious Bagrati church and Gelati monastery are a great place to start. Kutaisi has several attractions to offer including Motsameta monastery, Kutaisi State Historical Museum, Sataplia nature Reserve, Prometheus Cave, Vani Archeological Museum, Historical District, Katashki Pillar, and Okatse Canyon, among others.

 

 

Gori – Best for cathedral and museum destinations

Gori is a popular destination with historic fortresses, museums, mountain villages, and vast green-lands. It dates back to the 1st century B.C and has been invaded several times for conquering because of its geographical location. It has also been rebuilt each time.

Some of the popular destinations in Gori include Gori Fortress, Virgin Mary Cathedral, Uplistsikhe, Historical Ethnographic Museum, State Museum of Joseph Stalin, Ateni Gorge and Village Gardateni among others. Some monuments, such as the Ruisi Cathedral of Transfiguration that dates back to the 7th century have authentic architecture and style from that period. Gori is a perfect destination if you want to learn the religious and cultural backgrounds of Georgia.

 

 

Batumi – Best for urban tourism and beach resorts

The Pearl of The Black Sea, as it is popularly known, offers unique sceneries, picturesque sites and a harmonized mix of traditional and modern European architecture. Some of the highly famous destinations to visit in Batumi include the Beaches of Adjara, Old Batumi City and Batumi Boulevard.

Towards the end of the 19th-century ad beginning of the 20th, European architects took over various construction projects explaining the modern look of the city from afar. Batumi still offers incredible natural experiences such as the Botanical Garden with the world’s most extensive variety of flora. You can also enjoy the infamous dolphin show at Dolphinarium in May Park. Other destinations are Piazza Batumi, Makhuntseti Waterfall, Argo Entertainment Center, Batumi Cable Car, Gonio Apsaros Fortress and Shkalta Monastery.

 

 

Mtskheta – Best for world heritage sites

Mtskheta is one of the oldest towns in Georgia that was inhabited long before 1000 B.C. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and boasts of rich cultural and architectural history. Some of the best places to visit in Mtskheta include Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Mtskheta State Archaeological Museum-Reserve, Bebristsikhe, Jvari Monastery, Armaztsikhe, and Armazi Fortress. Mtskheta has several other historical monuments worth mentioning. It lies near other popular destinations like Tbilisi and offers a perfect getaway with numerous attractions. If you are visiting Tbilisi, you can easily reach Mtskheta and avoid the crowded town in the lowland region.

Other popular destinations

Georgia has several different destinations and attractions to offer. As a country covered with forests, lakes, seas, mountains and historic architecture, there is no shortage of travel destinations. The country also has an extensive tourism infrastructure that includes electric train transits and cables. There are tour packages and sporting activities happening all over the country, so you do not have to stay in the same place throughout your vacation. Other places you can visit when traveling to Georgia include TelaviKvareliMestiaSighnaghiKazbegi, and Borjomi. Georgia has a strong economy that supports tourism, and there are opportunities to visit both heritage and industrial sites.

Conclusion
If you are wondering why there is so much buzz about Georgia tourism, the reasons are quite obvious and straightforward; Georgia’s perfect location and unmatched climatic conditions leave it ideal for tourist activity. It is outlined by the Great Caucasian Ridge, the Black Sea Coast, ancient cave towns, mountain rivers, mineral springs, and waterfalls. The region also boasts incredible cultural diversity, lofty highland settlements, sophisticated cities, and deeply rooted hospitality.

You can find a Georgia tour package that exposes you to the best of attractions and popular destinations. You can also create your customized vacation package that includes the places you want to visit during your travel to Georgia. With proper planning, nothing can go wrong in this small safe country. It has some of the best natural sceneries, wines, and historical monuments.