Traveling On A Budget: 4 Ways To Avoid Vacation Debt As A Millennial

The millennial generation can be a bit of a contradiction. Although 69% of millennials consider themselves to be adventurous, they are also quite cautious — especially when it comes to finances. Adventure comes in many forms, but the greatest adventure of all is travel; whether you’re planning to walk the Great Wall of China or experience the culture in Johannesburg, getting out of your day-to-day comfort zone and hopping on a plane (or a train, or a car) takes some bravery. Keeping a budget in check during such exciting times can be tricky, so let’s take a look at three ways you can stay in the green and avoid vacation debt during your next (adventurous) vacation.

Sunrise in Miami

Plan Ahead!

If you always want to have money available for a trip, you’re going to need to start a vacation fund. Though it may feel incredibly daunting to have to take away from your already tight budget, remember that every dollar you save now is a dollar you won’t have to scrounge for later. The act of saving itself is fairly simple: as soon as you are paid, immediately move a base amount into a separate account. Your brain will adjust to the loss as if it was never there to spend in the first place, and you’ll have money building up in no time.

It helps to have a trip in mind during this process so that you know how much to be moving in order to reach your savings goal in time. For example, a vacation to the Poconos Mountains with its 2,400 square miles of mountains, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and forests is most likely going to cost less than a trip to Paris. While you can weigh the costs of previous vacations to get a general idea, it’s always better to save more than you need; the more you put away now, the more stress-free your vacation will be.

Use Credit — Wisely.

Credit cards are like double-edged swords — they can help as much as hurt you, though most people are only familiar with the latter. If you’ve done well saving in the weeks and months leading up to your getaway, you shouldn’t actually need your credit card, but it is always wise to bring one in case of emergencies. Unforeseen costs can arise suddenly, and it’s smart to have a backup option.

At the same time, vacations provide an opportunity to build your credit. There are a number of factors that go into determining an individual’s credit score, and utilization is one of the major ones; maxed-out credit cards use 100% of this ratio, but FICO recommends that you should not spend more than 30% of your credit limit. As long as you’re able to consistently make payments, relying on your credit card here and there during vacation can actually improve your credit score in the long run.

The possibility of incurring debt while on vacation is a deterrent for many millennials. Although saving is hard and learning the ins and outs (and pros and cons) of credit can be quite the challenge, the payout — which usually comes in the form of exciting adventures, great food, and new experiences — is always worth the price. Start saving today and discover the world tomorrow!

Layaway.

Did you know you can pay for your trip in installments? Thanks to Airforable, the layaway options for travel. Not only can you pay for your dream vacation in monthly or biweekly payment installments, but you can also lock in your low airfare months in advance. Thanks to Airforable’s price protection, you can fully fund your trip without feeling the financial stress of a one-time payment. Airfordable works much like a department store layaway plan. Search for your flight and hotel dates on any air travel website. Snap and upload a screenshot of your proposed trip upload it to the Airfordable website, and they will show you payment plan options. Once you’ve selected your payment plan, you pay 30% of the cost of your travel as a deposit and pay the balance in the installment schedule you’ve chosen. It’s that easy.

Germaphobe? Here Are 3 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling

Now that spring is finally in full swing and warmer weather is fast approaching, countless people are itching to book vacation plans before all the best deals are gobbled up. After all, an estimated 96% of American workers claim that vacation time is important to them.

But if you’re one of the many people planning a trip this year, it’s essential that you take care of your health while traveling.

While you’re putting the finishing touches on your vacation itinerary, it can be easy to forget basic sanitary needs and health goals during your trip. Even if you pack a travel-sized hand sanitizer, you never know what potentially hazardous health issues could arise during your travels. We’re going to show you a few ways to stay healthy while traveling.

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In fact, one recent Delta Airlines passenger was put in this exact predicament. As Matthew Meehan identified his seat, he was shocked to find that the floor and seat were covered in animal excrement.

An ill service dog was the culprit, but passengers were allowed to board the plane before cleaning crews arrived. When Meehan asked for support from the airline staff, he was simply offered two paper towels and a small bottle of Bombay Sapphire.

“She said to me, ‘Well, that’s not my problem.’ I said, ‘I’m sorry?’ She says, ‘Well, if the cleaning crew didn’t clean your seat, I don’t have any control over that,'” Meehan claimed.

“I have never in my entire life felt more dehumanized. I felt like an animal. Words can’t even describe how awful it was, and they had so many opportunities to make it right.”

Affected passengers were offered a refund, but an investigation was launched following the incident.

The nasty little number brings us to our first point on the list…

Bring a seat cover

Airline seats aren’t the most cleanly of chairs, especially when you’re traveling on them for extended periods of time. In fact, aisle seats are among the dirtiest seats of all, according to a 2008 investigation whether they’re covered in dog poop or not.

During this study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that passengers resting in aisle seats are more likely to contract a virus from other passengers. They think this is likely due to the fact that people rest their hands on aisle chairs for support and balance as they pass by, exposing the seat to more germs. Whether you’re flying in an aisle seat or otherwise, however, a seat liner is one way to stop germs from dog poop in its tracks. While that’s certainly on the more extreme end of the spectrum, the point remains. Whether germs or other microbial nastiness, tightly woven fabrics are essential in repelling dirt and stains, acting as a barrier between you.

Don’t forget to take care of your skin

Between sun damage, insect bites, and the dry air of an airplane, your skin can take a beating. It’s vital that you drink the proper amount of water during your trip in order to promote skin health and elasticity. However, you need to make sure that it’s filtered so you aren’t exposed to any local pathogens or parasites.

You should also use a strong sunblock with a high SPF whenever you venture outdoors. It’s known that an estimated 120,000 terawatts of solar energy hit the earth every day, some of which can cause serious damage to your skin. This is doubly important for people who wear makeup. A simple layer of sunscreen can prevent your face from looking like a tomato at the end of the day. If you’re sweating a lot or swimming during your vacation, you should try to reapply sunscreen every couple of hours.

For those bountiful bugs, don’t hesitate to buy a strong insect repellent. A nasty bite or itchy bump is the last thing you want to worry about on your vacation.

If you happen to suffer any serious skin damage during your trip, keep in mind that there are over 7,000 urgent care facilities throughout the United States. Even if it seems like going to the doctor can put a damper on your vacation fun, taking care of your health is the most important thing you can do.

Avoid social media

Though we’ve talked about physical health, mental health is just as important (if not more). One of the major reasons people travel in the first place is to unwind, relax, and eliminate high levels of stress associated with their day-to-day lives.

If you’re one of the many people hoping to relax on their vacation, try to limit your social media use. A digital detox is good for your brain and it allows you to enjoy being in the moment during your travels. Leave the phone in your hotel room and try basking in the experiences a new place has to offer.

Taking care of your health is vital when you go on vacation. The next time you’re planning for the trip of a lifetime, don’t forget these simple ways to stay healthy while traveling, and have fun.

3 Tropical Destinations To Beat A Long and Harsh Winter

After a long winter, it can be great to get away for a bit to a tropical, warmer destination. You might think you need to look outside the United States for a vacation spot warm enough, but believe it or not, you have plenty of options to choose from within the country. In fact, U.S. domestic travel increased by almost 2% in 2017.

There are over 19,000 airports, heliports, seaplane bases, and other landing facilities in the United States and its territories; with all of these options, one of them is sure to have your next vacation destination. Even without a passport and without leaving the United States, you’ll be able to plan a fun tropical vacation the entire family will enjoy. Check out these 3 tropical destinations for a fun vacation to beat the winter blues.

Hawaii

Always a classic for an island getaway, Hawaii has a few different islands perfect for vacationing depending on what you’re looking for. For a more nature-oriented vacation in Hawaii’s tropical forests, try visiting Kauai; a variety of movies are filmed on this island due to its picturesque landscape. If you’re looking for more of a traditional vacation experience, the Big Island could be right for you; with plenty of hotels and luxury vacation activities to choose from.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has tons to offer while still being close to home. Check out the wide variety of wildlife on this island while not being too far away from the mainland. If you’re looking for a slightly more secluded getaway, try one of the smaller islands off the coast of Puerto Rico; many of these islands haven’t had as many tourists, making them a bit quieter and off the beaten path. Don’t forget to check out all the ocean activities the islands have to offer; 19.6% of Millennials participate in water sports, and you’ll find plenty to get involved with there.

Catalina Islands

While you may have heard of the last two tropical destinations, these lesser-known islands are sure to help you beat back the winter blues. These islands are less than 50 miles off the coast of California but are the perfect tropical getaway. Look for all your summertime and tropical favorites, including zip lining, hiking, beaches, and more.

Even without a passport, you can make the most of these tropical destinations to help get over a long winter. Which of these travel spots can you see you and your family vacationing to?

 

Work And Play: 5 Tricks To Working Remotely While Traveling The World

Work And Play: 5 Tricks To Working Remotely While Traveling The World

Every time you open Instagram it seems like all of your friends are jetting off on adventures around the world, and you’re always left wondering how they manage it with work responsibilities. The big secret is that many of these people have jobs that allow them to work remotely. Many millennials, a generation predicted to spend $1.4 trillion on travel every year by 2020, are working as freelancers, in contract positions, or at jobs that allow them to work remotely. This flexibility gives them the freedom to travel, but there are some key tricks to still getting the job done while having fun on the road.

Work And Play: 5 Tricks To Working Remotely While Traveling The World

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  1. Pick the right destination
    The biggest amenity you need to account for when traveling and working is internet access. Remote working is only possible through being able to communicate digitally. While something like a cruise may be enticing because the ships provide entertainment and activities for all ages while taking you to seaside destinations, you may have to fight against spotty or limited Wi-Fi. Make sure that you’ll be able to get internet access wherever you go, and consider traveling to major cities like Los Angeles or Chicago, which can guarantee that you’ll have good service.
  2. Find a comfortable place to stay
    While hostels are a famously affordable lodging option for travelers, they aren’t the most comfortable or work-oriented. When you’re traveling and working, you’ll want to make sure that you have a set environment that is conducive to getting work done. Many people opt to find lodging through Airbnb or similar services, and others even rent or sublet apartments for longer stays. You’ll want to make sure the services and stores you like are nearby as well. With 54% of Americans over 18 years of age drinking coffee every day, convenient coffee shops are a necessity for many working travelers.
  3. Establish a good remote workflow
    Being in a new city, or even country presents many temptations to explore to your heart’s content and leave your work behind. However, to ensure that you keep your job you’ll need to set a routine and boundaries so that you are still productive in your nomadic environment. Make a clear schedule for yourself that includes work times and exploring times and stick to it. To stay on top of everything, be sure to factor in any time zone differences between you and your colleagues back home.
  4. Budget for the extra and hidden costs
    While you’ll still be making money because you’re working, you’ll need to be mindful of hidden expenses adding up. As previously mentioned, you’ll likely be renting or using Airbnb to stay comfortable, both of which can be more expensive than a traditional hotel or hostel. Other factors, like transportation costs, restaurant bills, and every coffee you order at the nearby shop, can add up quickly and leave you with less spending money than you anticipated.
  5. Give yourself ample time to prepare
    Before you adventure off to a new place with your laptop in hand, be sure that everything is in order. This is especially important for those taking extended trips. You’ll have to make sure that you’ve notified any supervisors and colleagues that you will be working remotely for a few months. You will also have to think about who is going to care for your home and any plants and pets you have there while you’re away. If you’re traveling internationally, make sure you’ve notified your bank, have a new SIM card for your phone, and that all of your documents for customs are in order.
Work And Play: 5 Tricks To Working Remotely While Traveling The World

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It is entirely possible to have the best of both worlds and be able to work and play at the same time. With efficient planning and open communication, you will be able to join those you previously envied and post goal-worthy travel pictures on Instagram.

Hammacher Schlemmer’s The Live Conversation Speaking Translator

At one point in our lives, we’ve all had to or tried to learn another language. Let’s face it, it’s very beneficial to be bilingual or multilingual, whether it’s for a job or just to enjoy life more. For many it’s easy to fully immerse yourself into a language and pick it up quickly, for some, it’s a bit of a struggle. What do you do if you’re a part of the latter group and want to travel? You pick up a Hammacher Schlemmer’s The Live Conversation Speaking Translator, that’s what!

The Hammacher Schlemmer’s The Live Conversation Speaking Translator that provides two-way verbal communication between people that don’t share a common language. Unlike text translators that require one to stop and enter each sentence word for word, one simply talks into this device and it automatically translates the phrase or sentence and “speaks” the translation to the other person. Imagine if you’re traveling and want to eat at a restaurant where English is rarely spoken, with this wonderful travel essential, you can not only order your meal, but also ask questions with ease. Need directions in a foreign country? The Live Conversation Speaking Translator will be the companion that helps you ask the right questions to get you back to where you need to be.

This wonder gadget verbally translates 12 languages without requiring internet access including Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. When connected to the internet, it verbally translates 21 additional languages including Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, and Polish, and provides text translations for an additional 19 languages.

“It can be intimidating to visit a foreign country and not be familiar with the language,” explained Hammacher Schlemmer’s General Manager Nick DiMarco. “This translator helps eliminate that stress by providing a simple way to communicate across every continent.”

We tried out Hammacher Schlemmer’s The Live Conversation Speaking Translator with a few people we know who spoke Spanish, Turkish, and Russian. The result was always the same…..WOW!! We loved the ease of translating entire sentences instead of singular words and the fact that this brings us all closer together as human beings. You really can have an entire conversation with someone who speaks a foreign language. We do have a few tips to get the best usage out of this revolutionary language translator. When using it, we do advise that you enunciate properly or it may interpret your words as something else. If you are using wifi, make sure the connection is strong as it will help get your translation results quicker. One aspect we truly loved about Hammacher Schlemmer’s The Live Conversation Speaking Translator is the fact that you can save phrases you’ve already used for quicker use later. This helps a lot if you are in a bad wifi spot or are pressed for time. We highly recommend this tech device if you are travelling, you will end up having an event better time.

Could this device help you with your travels? Tell us what you think of it. Hammacher Schlemmer’s The Live Conversation Speaking Translator is available from now for $349.95 on www.hammacher.com.

What’s New for Spring and Summer Travel at Busch Gardens

Still wondering what to do over spring break? Busch Gardens may be the perfect place. Thrill seekers, beach bums, animal lovers, foodies, concert enthusiasts, and those looking for a bit of everything can find it in the Tampa theme park. We got a taste of it two weeks ago when animal ambassadors and representatives from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay came to New York armed with VR headsets and a lively presentation to give us the latest scoop on all the new and exciting changes happening.

Rollercoaster lovers rejoice—Busch Gardens is an adrenaline lovers’ dream. Named the Coaster Capital, it offers some of the most adventurous rides in all of Florida. Opened in the summer of 2016, the Cobra’s Curse features a 30,000-pound snake with a 70-foot vertical lift that takes riders around 2,100 feet of snaking, spinning, and sometimes backward barreling tracks at 40mph. If your motto is “the faster, the better”, then Busch Gardens’ three-launch homage to the fastest land mammal, the Cheetah Hunt, is your ride. Appropriately starting at the Cheetah Run, guests speed through 4,400 feet of track at 60mph careening racing over bystanders and actual cheetahs.

For those looking to get in touch with their wild(life) side, spend some time getting to know the unique residents of one of America’s largest zoos. Against the backdrop of Times Square, we were introduced to Ringo the ring-tailed lemur, Peaches the cockatoo, Willow the wallaby, Emmett the screech owl, and two Madagascar tenrecs, Spike (pictured) and Star.

We learned a lot about these animals—for example, tenrecs, which are not to be mistaken for hedgehogs, are shy nocturnal insect eaters who can hang on trees upside down using tiny sharp claws. Emmett the owl was so engrossed in the M&M billboard across the way, it was hard to get his attention and have him turn his head back 270-degrees to face our cameras. Likewise, park guests can learn more about the animals, their habitats, and conservation efforts from the many experts in the park. Additionally, park goers can also opt for a safari experience on a 65-acre open-air vehicle on the Serengeti Plain. Through a VR experience, we got a feel for the 30-minute tour that allows you to hand-feed giraffes, spot rhinos, and drive along galloping antelopes and zebras. On top of that, be ready to see some seriously adorable baby animals. The park has recently experienced a baby boom with two new giraffes, sloths, and orangutans.

If all that sounds a lot and you’d rather take it easy with some food, drinks, and entertainment, the Food and Wine Festival returns with a selection of over 65 wines, 50+ craft beers and cocktails, and delectable cuisine all while watching musical acts. The Festival runs through April 29th and will feature acts such as TLC, Flo Rida, and Boyz II Men.

And of course, what would a visit to Florida be without a trip to the beach? Luckily, St. Petersburg Clearwater beach is just a few minutes away. With plenty of hotel partners that provide daily shuttles to Busch Gardens, you don’t really have to choose between thrills and relaxation.

For more watery fun, there’s also Adventure Island—Busch Garden’s sister water park filled with water-drenched fun, combining excitement with a soothing Key West vibe. New this year is Vanish Point, a 70-foot speed slide challenging park goers to choose from one of two skyboxes that will determine how they go down 425 feet of spiraling tubes. Adventure Island also has the wet and swirling Colossal Curl, a children’s playground, raging rapids, and cabanas to relax in.

Spring Break isn’t the only time to plan your Busch Gardens getaway, there are plenty of events and themes to check out all year round. Aside from the Food and Wine Festival, there will also be a Jack Hana weekend, extended summer hours (when you can ride coasters at night), a Guy Harvey weekend, Bierfest, Christmas Town, and so much more.

Hyatt Regency’s It’s Good Not to Be Home Campaign

Sometimes the best times are spent away from home. Away from your normal routine, your daily stress, so forth. We think a little escape is from your daily grind is an essential need. Whether you’re escaping for business or pleasure, the Hyatt Regency celebrates your escape with their It’s Good Not to Be Home campaign. A campaign that highlights all the reasons it’s good to get away from home and enjoy a few days at the Hyatt Regency. One of the first things we were told to do when we arrived was to exchange our shoes for a pair of plus Hyatt Regency bedroom slippers to be really comfortable during the event……we and several other guests happily complied.

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This fall, the Hyatt Regency asked travelers to share their ideas on how to make their business travel experiences and time away from home even better. Now in its second year, “It’s Good Not to Be Home” was created from the very true concept that as much as we like to be home, we humans love and enjoy the freedom to break away from our normal routine while traveling. These innovations, dreamed up by business travelers, will be used for inspiration for future Hyatt Regency experiences and amenities.

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Those experiences were debuted at the Hyatt Regency event held at their Jersey City location. The first being Personal trainer Gunnar Peterson’s and James Beard Award-winning pastry chef and Cronut creator Dominique Ansel’s in-room food and fitness routine, encouraging guests to stay fit and eat a balanced meal to be and remain productive during their trip; and the second is Fashion designer Cynthia Rowley pairing up with tech mogul and businesswoman Randi Zuckerberg to create an on-the-go beauty bar where guests can relax, reset, and indulge.

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Attendees of the event had a chance to partake in those experiences, previewing what Hyatt Regency guests will soon enjoy as future Hyatt Regency amenities at all their locations. Thanks to this event, we had the wonderful opportunity to meet and speak with Designer Cynthia Rowley, enjoy an almost unlimited supply of delicious Cronuts, and enjoy a little Hyatt Regency swag

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The event was incredibly amazing and we really did not want to go home. The Hyatt Regency made it really difficult to leave the event. The bar was flowing, the food was amazing, almost all of our wishes were fulfilled, constant pampering, no dishes had to be done, so why would we want to go home? Take it from us when we say if you’re traveling soon, let the Hyatt Regency show you why it’s good not to be home.

Urban Oasis: W New York’s Extreme Wow Outdoor Glamping Suite

When we were younger, we considered ourselves the outdoorsy type. Then again as children, we wanted nothing more than the freedom to run. Today, we’re happy with a view of the city and a glass of something tasty. However, we sometimes get brief pangs of exploring and discovering the outdoors, but then we remember the lack of comforts. This had us thinking, how can we relive the wonder of the outdoors with our love of comfortable surroundings…….in the city? The W New York Hotel, located at 541 Lexington Avenue, actually gave us the answer with their new Extreme Wow Outdoor Glamping Suite. It’s the perfect solution for those who want to enjoy a bit of the outdoors, without losing the comfort.

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The W New York has partnered with Online Interior Design firm, Laurel & Wolf to transform the terrace of the Extreme Wow Suite into an urban glamping escape. With the brilliant lights of Times Square in the distance and a panoramic view of the city as your backdrop, you’ll feel right at home relishing in these outdoor views. The Extreme Wow Outdoor Glamping Suite celebrates everything about camping: a 12-foot yurt furnished in a kaleidoscope of fabrics and textures, glowing lanterns, rattan hanging chairs, and a fire pit that lights up with a flip of a switch. A canopy of twinkling café lights surrounds the yurt, which stands as the central element of the rustic-luxe oasis.

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W New York is offering guests the opportunity to book special packages centered around the Extreme Wow Outdoor Glamping Suite. Special deals will include packages for families, honeymooners, girls’ getaways, and more, with rates starting at $2,000 per night. Don’t think just because the summer’s almost over, you won’t have time to partake in this glamping adventure. The Outdoor Glamping Suite will remain open until November, weather permitting of course.

Julie Geer, Director of Partnerships at Laurel & Wolf states: “We are thrilled to partner with W New York, an iconic destination that perfectly complements the vibrancy of this amazing city. Marking the launch of our first hotel partnership, we are honored to work with the flagship property for W Hotels Worldwide, rooted in a city of limitless design inspiration.”

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Pablo-Andres Lopez, Marketing Manager at W New York says, “W New York’s partnership with Laurel & Wolf on the design of the terrace is an exciting initiative, the first glamping experience to take place at a hotel in New York City. We’re inspired by Laurel & Wolf’s design work and look forward to working with their talented team to launch more unique guest experiences.”

We had a wonderful time taking in the scenic views, enjoying the cooler air, and trying not to fall asleep in the super comfy Yurt. Thanks to the music from DJ Rose, and the champagne bar, we had a blast reliving our outdoor adventures. Are you a fan of glamping? Would you pay a visit to the W New York Extreme Wow Outdoor Glamping Suite?

 

1st photo by W New York