Travel

Saving Money While Traveling, Part 1

I’m writing this post from a coffee shop in Jerusalem, less than a week into a month-long trip to the Middle East. This trip is something I’ve been wanting to do for years, ever since my last visit here in back in 2004. There was always a hitch, though — too much work and not enough time, or too much time and not …

Categories: Saving Money, Travel

Guide to Studying Abroad

Studying abroad is a general term for taking classes toward a college degree in another country. Program choices vary – you can find study abroad opportunities through your own college or through other colleges, organizations, or companies.We’ll take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks, the costs (and how to keep them down), and …

Categories: Education, Travel

Around the World With Travel Insurance

Whether it’s for business or pleasure, by land, air, or sea, travel is fraught with perils. That may be a bit hyperbolic, but the fact of the matter is that travel introduces some risks that you wouldn’t normally have to be concerned with. Regardless of whether you or a loved one plans to backpack across the …

Categories: Insurance, Travel

Twelve Money-Saving Tactics for Disney World

In late June, my family went on a lengthy vacation through the south, including a long stop in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a large chunk of a day in Savannah, Georgia, a visit to a relative in rural northern Florida, and eventually a trip to Walt Disney World with our children. Sarah went to …

Categories: Travel

Road Trip Tips: Keys to a Cheap Summer Adventure

This summer, my family is going on a very long road trip to multiple national parks, a stop at Disneyworld, visits with relatives, and many little side trips and journeys along the way. We are going to see large parts of the United States and do it all in an automobile. No matter how we …

Planning a Great “Stay-cation”

This summer, my family is going on a fairly expensive and lengthy road trip throughout the southeastern United States. It’s definitely going to be one of our pricier vacations, all told, so we’re already thinking about ways to make a much less expensive summer vacation next year. Our plan? A “stay-cation.” We actually did this …

Categories: Travel

Have Weekend Getaways Without Breaking the Bank

This article first appeared at U.S. News and World Report Money. My wife and I have three children in elementary school and/or preschool, so the opportunity for weekend getaways, which we fondly refer to as “escape weekends,” have been few and far between for a very long time. When we get those opportunities – usually …

Categories: Travel

The Finances of Showing Your Children the World

This article first appeared on U.S. News and World Report Money. My daughter has dreamed of going to Paris for as long as I can remember. In kindergarten, one of her major art projects involved a paper sculpture of the Eiffel Tower. She’s watched Ratatouille more times than I can count. Whenever she has a …

Categories: Travel

The Traveler’s Dilemma

Next month, I’m traveling from Des Moines to Indianapolis and making a return trip about five days later. At first glance, it makes a lot of sense to fly. It would take me from Des Moines through Chicago to Indianapolis in about four and a half hours. Alternately, I could drive this trip and it …

Categories: Frugality, Travel

Some Tips for Frugal Conventions

Once or twice a year, Sarah and I each take a “mini-vacation” of sorts in order to follow up on our individual interests and get a breather from the challenges of parenting three young children. During those “mini-vacations,” the other partner simply handles all of the parenting and household responsibilities for the handful of days …

Categories: Getting Started, Travel

Free and Inexpensive Things to Do in South Dakota

Recently, I took a weeklong vacation to South Dakota with my wife, my children, and my parents. As always on such trips, Sarah and I try to look for the value. What things did we discover on the trip that were really enjoyable that were also free or nearly so? Here are some of the …

Categories: Frugality, Travel

Using Group Travel to Save Money

Last week, I traveled with my wife, my children, and my parents to South Dakota and Wyoming for several days. (I’m planning an article later this week outlining some ways to save money on a vacation to South Dakota.) One of my big ideas for planning the trip was to look for ways to take …

Categories: Frugality, Travel

Food and Vacation

Over the next two months, our family is going to be doing some vacationing in various places in the Midwest and Great Plains. The longest trip in that period will be nine days spent in South Dakota and Wyoming with my wife, my children, and my parents. Vacations can be a lot of fun, but …

Categories: Frugality, Meals, Travel

Handling (and Avoiding) Souvenirs and Tourist Traps

One of the things I really don’t like about vacations is the prevalence of gift shops and souvenir stands near every remotely popular attraction. I particularly don’t like it when you go through a museum exhibit or a tour of some sort, only to find yourself dumped into a gift shop. The children are hungry …

Categories: Travel

How We Plan for a Summer Vacation

A few days ago, I mentioned that my family and I are going on a summer vacation to South Dakota and eastern Wyoming, where we intend to see Badlands National Park, Black Hills National Forest, Devil’s Tower, Mount Rushmore, and several other things in the area. Several people wrote to me after that post asking …

Categories: Getting Started, Travel

Planning a Group Vacation

Two summers ago, my wife, my children, my parents and I all traveled to Texas together, in part to visit relatives but also to enjoy the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Because we took some time to plan the trip in advance and involved everyone going on the trip in the planning, we ended up finding quite …

Categories: Frugality, Travel

Renting a House as a Vacation Option

Last week, my wife and family and I departed for the Seattle/Tacoma area in order to be present for the wedding of my wife’s younger sister. While we were in the area, we did some wedding setup, but we also visited a lot of sights in the area, including Mount Rainier, Olympia National Forest, and …

Categories: Frugality, Travel

Frugally Planning a Summer Vacation

After my recent post on planning summer travel, I received a lot of emails from readers near the places we are planning on traveling to: Seattle, Boston, New Orleans, and Orlando. These helpful readers all offered up some great ideas for inexpensive travel to those areas and I saved all of them for future reference …

Categories: Travel

Planning Summer Travel

This seems rather strange, perhaps, but Sarah and I have our summer plans more or less penciled in through 2015. That’s right, 2015 This summer, we’re going to Seattle. The following summer is a trip to New Orleans with my family. The summer after that will feature a trip to Boston, with the summer after …