Hiking Southern Utah and Northern Arizona in 5 Days

We just did a 5 day hiking trip to Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. We aren’t hard core hikers, so covering over 30 miles in just a few days, was a big deal to us. But we did see some beautiful country.

For us, the easiest way to get there is to fly through Las Vegas. From there we made the 2 hour trek to St. George, Utah. We had a tentative plan in place. We had ideas of what we wanted to do, but also we needed to pay attention to the weather. The first week of March can be iffy. We had been 2 years early and the weather was fabulous. But this has been a rough winter for everyone and this area was no different. [Read more…]

Best of Bend, OR in the Fall

Fall hikes in Bend, OR

Fall hikes in Bend, OR

With a town like Bend, Oregon the peak times are in the summer, with all the water sports, lakes, fishing, hiking and the list goes on. And in the winter, with the skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and anything else you can think of.  The falls seems to be the “off season” if you will. But don’t let that keep from enjoying this great town. We got to experience Bend with all it’s outdoor splendor without having to share with a lot of other people. The restaurants that are usually packed, were just quite full. The hiking trails that are ever so popular, had a crowd, but parking spots were easy to find. The the breweries pour beer all year long and that’s really all that matters, right? And you can follow the Bend Ale Trail to all 14 breweries.

Let’s get the food out of the way, since you all know we love to eat, but don’t worry I won’t skip the hiking. I had done my research ahead of time and even asked [Read more…]

9 Ways to Save Money While Vacationing

traveling-deals

This is a tough one.  We try really hard to have saved enough money that we don’t have to skimp while on vacation.  But, I would rather choose to skimp if it meant at least taking a vacation.

  • Plan your meals – Have it all worked out.  Know what meals you will buy and what meals you will take and what meals you will make.  Food is a big factor and fast food is cheap, but sometimes just not an option, so have a plan in place.  We usually try and pack snacks, eat light lunch then hit a nice local restaurant for dinner.
  • Plan your stay – Some places offer a free night if you stay for 3.  Check and see what deals are being offered and ask if you see nothing.  Stay in a place that is close to what you are doing.  Sometimes the places can be close enough you don’t even have to use a car.  Saving on car rentals or just gas. Also check and see if you can park your car for free.
  • Decide on souvenir purchases ahead of time – I have seen a couple of moms that bought cheap Mickey ears or t-shirts before going on their Disney trip and pulled them out of the suitcases when they got there.  Brilliant!!  If you decide to buy on your trip give your kids a budget.  Here’s a great example of how to set a budget.
  • Plan a destination that is not touristy – Want to keep from spending money aimlessly the whole time, go to beautiful Montana and take in the sights and enjoy the outdoors.  Hit beaches outside of big cities and just enjoy the sand beneath your feet.  You get the idea.
  • Don’t feel like you need movement every single minute – If you spend the day out and about, be ok with sitting in the hotel resting in the evening.  Don’t feel like you need to pay for the whole family to go to a movie.  It’s a vacation just relax.
  • Go to a Mexico all inclusive resort – I have a hard time spending money at these places because all your needs are met and paid for.  Sometimes we will leave for a meal, but what’s the point.
  • Don’t give up your money – I think cruise ships are the worst, but there are ways to stay frugal while on a cruise.
  • Going to Grandmas house on the farm is a vacation – especially if this is the opposite of the life you live in the big city.  Sometimes it just nice to get away for a few days.  I personally love leaving town and heading to the country where I grew up. In a town of 150 people you don’t tend to spend a lot.
  • Every city offers something free – Do your homework ahead of time and find free things to do.  Sometimes cities aren’t all about shopping and eating.  Sometimes just wandering the streets or the gardens they have is more enjoyable and that’s really getting to know the city.
  • Do your homework – Go into any trip with a plan.  Have your budget and stick to it.

What other ways do you stay frugal while on vacation?

 

Vacations in Tenerife

Looking for an international vacation destination? Many will choose well known locations like Paris or Rome. Have you even considered Tenerife, which is located in the Canary Islands? The Canary Islands are located just off the coast off the west coast of Africa. [Read more…]

Seattle on a Budget

We are spending a day in Seattle. The whole trip is based around us taking our daughter and a friend on a college visit. Since we lived in Portland we thought we would ride the train.

Did you know that Amtrak offers discounts for college visits?  Yep, it’s true. We got a Buy One get One 50% off. With the cost of gas going up, this will save us money, plus we can all take advantage of the 3+ hour drive from Portland to Seattle. I have never taken the train, so I am excited about this adventure. [Read more…]

7 Car Rental Tips

You trip is coming together. You are so excited to get out of town, but you still have to book that car rental. Unfortunately it will take some time, but don’t kill yourself looking for the killer deal. Here are quick tips to make sure you got it right. [Read more…]

Planning This Summers Roller Coaster Vacation

roller-coaster-vacstion

It’s that time to start thinking about that summer vacation to your favorite amusement park. I am going to take just a minute to recap they ways to save money and the ways to get the most out of your vacation. [Read more…]

How Far Would You Drive For In-n-Out?

in-n-out

I wish I could say the reason I haven’t posted in awhile is because I have been off traveling, but it’s not true.  We have just been getting settled into the school routine, but I did want to share the trip my husband and son took to In-n-Out.  That’s right they drive 6 hours, grab a burger, see some sights, grab a burger and come home. They drive from Portland, Oregon to Redding, California just for In-n-Out Burger.

This is the 2nd year they have done it.  This year they stopped in the Redwoods.  [Read more…]

The Weekend in My City

frolicing-through-the-meadow

I had a great day planned yesterday.  It included hiking in a place I had never been, going to a theater I hadn’t been to either and ending the day watching the sunset from a great location.

All that changed when we woke up to almost rainy weather.  I decided I wanted to stay closer to home, but still get out.

If you remember my husband and son are in CA eating at In n Out, leaving my daughter and myself here to fend for ourselves.  I just wanted to make sure we had a good, fun day. [Read more…]

End of Summer Road Trip

My husband and son are taking their 2nd annual road trip to In n Out in just a few days.  Yep, that’s right they drive over 8 hours to the nearest In n Out for a burger, and a little site seeing.  This year they are adding in a Brian Regan concert.

We had to book a hotel, so I did my little trick and matched the amenities to the list that Hotwire gives and sure enough we matched it perfectly.  Now it does help when you head into an area that is not heavily populated with hotels.

The hotel was $105, on sale for $75 through Hotels.com.  We went through Hotwire.com and got it for $69, then we went through Ebates then to Hotwire and will get an additional 2% cash back THEN I put it on my Chase Freedom credit card and will get 5% cash back.

I’m making money right now!!!!  Just so you know that’s a line from Brian Regan.