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Friday, August 28, 2015

Saving Money to Travel: Cut Costs

Perhaps the biggest way that I save money to travel is by cutting costs. 

I used to have a MASSIVE shopping problem. I lived about 50 feet from Target and in between two different malls. If I got bored, I would just go shopping. When I moved to Florence, I knew that I would be on a more limited budget, so I slowly learned to live without taking shopping trips a few times a week... That turned into going shopping only a few times a month and then eventually to only going to the store when I needed something. 

This shopping problem also applied to the beauty section in Target. I would buy makeup that I didn't need and expensive items because I wanted to try a new product (plus, how many times have you walked into target and actually only bought what you needed?). 

So, now I look for alternatives... I've used a lot of the make up that I had laying around in my drawer (its crazy what you'll find in your own house when you actually look!) I shop my own closet and don't worry as much if I repeat an outfit (who actually remembers what you wear everyday?). I also find great ways to cut costs on everyday items. 

For example, I order my razors from dollar shave club and save about 15-20 dollars a month (it only costs $6 bucks a month). I take books out of the library on my iPad, which is super easy to do if you have a library card (all you have to do is download the app, Overdrive, and find your local library). I used to spend so much money on books whether it was from the bookstore or from the iTunes store... I must save a few hundred dollars a month from using the Overdrive App (HELLO, more money for food and fun while traveling!).

There's usually an alternative to everything these days, it just takes a bit more time to find them! Don't miss out on an opportunity to save just because it takes more time!

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

My Most Used Travel Apps

I use a lot of travel apps. I spend way too much time on them (even when I'm not traveling), so I thought I'd share some of my favorites with all of you! Here we go...


Cheap flights are my best friend. I LOVE Skyscanner because it searches a ton of sites for literally the cheapest flights I've ever found. I'm usually booking one way tickets before I move somewhere new (to live, travel and work!), and Skyscanner has never let me down. It's often costs a lot less booking a round trip ticket, but if you know you're going to be somewhere for a long time, you sometimes can't book a return trip that far in advanced. So, Skyscanner to the rescue!! I also LOVE the explore button because you can see the lowest flight prices for various destinations (perfect if you're spontaneous when coming up with your next adventure).


There are a ton of review sites and apps out there but I trust TripAdvisor the most. I leave reviews of places I've been and I read reviews for places I will be visiting. The button I enjoy using the most is the 'Things to Do.' I use this when I know I will be visiting somewhere but I have no idea where to go-- I like to scroll down a bit (usually below the top 10 things to do), to find some things that will be less 'touristy.' It's also great to use when you're in a bind and don't know where to eat!


I love to make lists. I keep Wanderlist on my home screen and its even open on my computer at all times (the app syncs instantly so your lists always stay up-to-date). Wanderlist helps keep me organized when it comes to travel in so many ways. I use it to plan my trips, make sure that I have everything I need before leaving and while I'm traveling. You can create a to-do list or you can create theme lists. I use both features all of the time!


Most people probably wouldn't consider this a travel app, but Instagram plays a huge roll in my blogging routine. I'm a really visual person and I love to share photos of all of the places I'm seeing and the things I'm doing so I can't not include this on the list!

XE Currency

This is the currency converter that I like because I can list all of the places I will be traveling to and have the most current rates. I think its just a good idea to have one on your phone in case you need it!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Trying Something New with Paddleboard Connection

A few weeks ago my Mom and I spent the morning paddleboarding in Boynton Beach, Fl. I have always wanted to try it and my Mom bought a Groupon for us to do so for my birthday. Unfortunately the weather in South Florida in July and August is extremely unpredictable. The forecast is almost never correct so its hard to plan. The first few times we attempted to go paddleboarding, it was pouring rain. So, when it was finally clear enough for us to go, we were ecstatic (and then it rained directly after we finished). 

There are a ton of companies that you can rent paddle boards from in South Florida. We settled on Paddleboard Connection,  a company that offers 2 - 4 hour tours around the palm beach area. The tours take place in Lake Worth, Boynton Beach and Palm Beach. 

Paddleboard Connection is great because before you head out onto the water, your guide will give you a short lesson on the correct way to paddle and how to stand up on your board without falling in. 

I had such an awesome time paddling through the channels of the intercostal. We left from the Boynton Beach Inlet and the tour lasted approximately 2 hours. If you're interested in trying it, this is the best way to do it as the intercostal is relatively calm!

I can't wait to go again!

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Saving Money to Travel: Sell, Sell, Sell

For the next installment of Saving Money to Travel, I'll be talking about ways to get extra money by selling things you don't need anymore.

After living abroad for a year I've come to realize that I don't need a lot of the things that I've had in the past. A lot of these things are the clothes, shoes, bags and jewelry that I've bought over the years. 

If I haven't worn something in 6 months, its time to get rid of it. I sell my clothes on Poshmark. I find that I can get the most money for my gently worn items on that site as opposed to other ones. They also make it super easy to get your money -- you can transfer it directly into your bank account from the APP!

Be aware that you aren't going to make a fortune off of a lot of the things you sell, but selling a bunch of things for small amounts of money does add up and it can help you to pay for flights and hotels. I generally use the money I make from Poshmark as extra spending money. Since I've had the app I've made a couple of thousand dollars which has been great for me!

If I know I'm going to be away for awhile I will still keep my listings up on the app and just have a family member send my sales out for me. Its really simple as the shipping labels are emailed to you as soon as someone makes a purchase! Be sure to check out my Poshmark Closet and see if you would like to purchase anything! Download the iPhone or Android app and create your closet today... Plus, if you use the code: HVAHY when you sign up, you can get a $5 credit on your account!

If you're looking to travel more permanently, you can look into selling your car if you have one. This will leave you with extra cash, plus cut out expenses like insurance or payments. You can sell your car on Craigslist or if at a CarMax location near you. 

For those creative people out there, look into creating an Etsy Shop! I have friends who make jewelry, beautiful prints and more! They make a nice amount of money from their shops. Some could even live off of their income from their small businesses. So, if you have a skill, definitely look into cashing in on that!

Stay tuned for next week's installment of Saving Money to Travel.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Discovering the Everglades: Sawgrass Recreation Park


Since moving down to Florida I knew that I had to make a trip to the Everglades to see some gators. I had done a lot of research on trying to find a good place to hop on an airboat, but everything was just crazy expensive.


I'm in the process of saving almost every cent for my upcoming trip to Thailand, so naturally I decided to check out some sites like Groupon and Travel Zoo. Ultimately, my Mom and I decided on heading to Sawgrass Recreation Park, which received amazing reviews on TripAdvisor (I always head over to TripAdvisor to see if people enjoyed their experience!).


Lucky for us, Sawgrass Recreation Park is just a few miles from Ft. Lauderdale, making it about a 50 minute drive from home. We arrived around 10:30 AM, right after the park opened, as recommended by many of the reviewers on TripAdvisor. It was the perfect time to arrive as it still wasn't crazy hot and we beat the crowds. It also tends to rain in the afternoon during the summer in South Florida, and when that happens its less likely to see alligators. 


We got our tickets and we were placed on the 5th boat of the day. We met our captain, Alex, who was quite the character... He was really funny, made sure that everyone was having a good time, but was really knowledgable. He had this super dry sense of humor that just made me laugh -- I'm so glad we ended up on his boat.


The airboat tour lasts about thirty minutes and during this time you'll (hopefully) see some gators, learn about the different plants and animals in the Everglades and go really fast over the water. It was the perfect amount of time and the views were stunning. I wasn't sure what to expect -- I've always been under the impression that the Everglades was a gross swamp land, but I was extremely mistaken.


After the boat tour, you have full access to the park's wildlife exhibit with your ticket. You'll see gorgeous wild cats, huge alligators, birds, and turtles. You even have the opportunity to hold a baby alligator! 


If you're headed to South Florida definitely add Sawgrass Recreation to your list of things to do and places to go!

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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Links I Love 16

I just bought this awesome backpack for my upcoming trip to Thailand! Plus its on sale!!

I've been having so much fun reading about Thailand's Hidden Gems...

I just tried Pure Barre and it was insane. I'm so sore today! Sign up for a class...

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