Travel Forever With Volunteer / Work Exchange Gigs

Free travel accommodation with work exchange

If you want to travel but you’re broke and all you have is your body, what do you do? Work that body, that’s what. I’m talking about work exchange, of course. (What did you have in mind?) Work exchange is an arrangement whereby a traveler provides labor to get a free bed and some free food. […]

How to Avoid Foreign ATM Fees When You Travel Abroad

Avoid foreign ATM withdrawal fees

Do you know how much your ATM withdrawals abroad are costing you? They tend to be pretty small charges so you probably don’t notice them much, but ATM fees can seriously add up, especially if you’re a long-term traveler. For each foreign withdrawal, your home bank may charge about $5 per transaction. If you limit your withdrawal to […]

How to Spot the Cheapest Travel Days During the Holidays

For most people, holiday travel means domestic trips over Thanksgiving weekend and within the two-week window between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Using this knowledge, you can score some great travel deals—all you have to do is take the exact opposite approach to the way you choose to travel during the holiday season.   Timing […]

How to Find Deals on Hotel Booking Sites: A Case Study

How to find deals on hotel booking sites

One Tuesday night, Cheesy and I decided to visit Victoria (the one in BC, Canada) over the weekend. It was three days before the trip and I made the booking the next night, so the whole thing was pretty last minute. I thought this would be a good time to document the (long, long) process of how […]

Easy Ways to Save Big on Holiday Travel Expenses @SmartyCents

On average, Americans take 54 percent more long-distance trips during the Christmas and New Year’s Holiday than any other time of the year, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Dates surrounding Thanksgiving aren’t far behind, with 23 percent more long-distance trips than the average. It’s no wonder it can feel like the entire nation congregates […]

Why America’s Vacations Go Unused and How You Can Take More Days Off

Why America's Vacations Go Unused and How to Take More Days Off Work

Americans are infamously bad at taking time off work. At first, I thought it was simply because there are so few days off per year, but then how do you explain the huge number of vacation days that people leave on the table? To explore issues regarding work-life balance in the American workplace, I interviewed Scott Petoff […]

Is It Ever Okay to Get Into Debt to Travel the World?

Use loans and credit cards to travel the world

I feel like I shouldn’t be saying this, but I do think it’s possible to get into debt to travel the world and still call yourself a responsible adult. (I admit that it can be a slippery slope, though.) The only time we ever got into debt to travel was when we were in a […]

A New Sharing Economy: The Food Sharing Experience @SmartyCents

Traveling isn’t just about seeing new places. It’s also about being immersed in a different culture. And because food is a big part of what makes a culture unique, many travelers make it a point to try local fare wherever they go. At this point, meal sharing is not as popular as other ways travelers […]

Confessions of a Former Au Pair: An Interview with Yara Coelho

Au pair problems

I initially approached Yara to ask her to take part in my group interview on au pairs. But she has such an extensive experience as an au pair that I decided to feature her in a separate interview instead. This way, we can get into the nitty-gritty. Yara has had seven au pair gigs over […]

Should You Take a Career Break and Travel the World?

Take a career break to travel

Is there just one correct way to structure your life? “We spend about 25 years of our lives learning. Then there are about 40 years reserved for working. And then, tucked at the end of it, are about 15 years of retirement,” says Stefan Sagmeister in this excellent TED talk. “I thought it might be helpful […]