What is more important in life than the sun? What is more important in life than water? What is more important in life than being hungry? I was reading an article by Tony Robbins and thought about all the times in my life that passion has motivated me to do things that I would not normally do. My passion for deeper spiritual understanding drove me to study metaphysics at an early age. I was all of 15. That passion at times concerned my parents. When I was just eighteen years old and attending college. I made the command decision it was time to go to India on my vacation break and attend Darshan in Meherabad. I was working in a factory and at a music store part time. I saved my money bought my ticket. Received the most painful shots to travel to India. Secured my passport. To my surprise my parents asked me how much money did I actually have? I thought wow this is great. They will help me. I had $15 dollars. My father and mother then said,” Well have a good time. ” Surprised but not discouraged. I made my way to the airport and met up with my fellow travelers and made my way across the globe. We stopped in London, Frankfort, Kuwait, Cairo and then Bombay. (Not named Mumbai when I visted). I had the best time. One of the group leaders heard about my plight and I ended up with the Mayor and his wife who treated me like royalty. It was the best time of my life. They bought me gifts. I was even able to bring home a present for my father. A small brass animal.
A small trinket but all the same I brought my parents back some other tapestries. I collect small rocks where ever I go. The shot includes some of the precious stones I brought home.
Years ago, my mother explained how angry she was I was leaving. She made my father promise not to give me spending money. She said she was sorry. I never even gave it a second thought. When you believe in something things just work out.
My passion also allowed me to travel to England and follow my dream as a young woman in my twenties. My passion drove me to work in the music industry and become a road manager and audio engineer. My passion for being creative pushed me to work for Zoetrope Studios in San Francisco. Below is the link to my credit on the film. Well you will see.
Passion does not stop there. Passion included love. Love means risk and even though the risk was present it did not stop me from exploring relationships. Some that were enriching and others that were great lessons in truth.
Passion means trusting your heart and being driven to accomplish things that would make someone else run away because having passion for what you are meant to accomplish sometimes does not turn out the way you dreamed. When you have passion for life you squeeze every drop from the day and make that drop feel as if it was the most refreshing glass of cool water you ever had after a hot day working outside. Passion means creating dynamic changes that your receive no credit for. You do these things because you know it is the right thing to do. Others may receive the credit but you know what you did.
This has happened to me with some of my writings and the contract I had with my dear publisher. It happened with a major music project with a very well known concert venue. Even though these glitches in life happen it does not deter me from the driving relentlessly towards my goal. My goal now is to create that community of others who have that same passion. I have a gift and it is time I share it again with others. My son just said to me today. “Mom, why aren’t you running your own workshops like you did in the past?”
This brings me to the there for today! I will be running a workshop on that very topic and sharing when and where in the up and coming weeks. I feel compelled to share with others how to find that burning passion in yourself and set your world on fire. It does not mean burning down the house. It does mean firing up the rocket in your heart to make your life soar!
Welcome to another one of my posts. I wanted to share something I am certain everyone might be able to relate to. Have you been running so fast you forgot to take care of yourself, lately? Have you been piling on the stress and forgot to just take the time to notice your life. Not just your life but honestly, how have you been living? Listen to this in the background. If I could get rid of the commercials on the video I would. Please come back and leave it as the background track to this post. I wish life had background music then I would know what was going on instead of trying to figure it out. That is for another day.
So, there you are just enjoying life in general. Or are you? I know I have been working a little too much lately. At times, I just work and forget to take the time to just be. It is my own doing. There are times I am feeling just too &%^$#@ tired to take up the offers from friends to go out. I ran into that situation over the weekend. I was so very tired that I was unable to gather up the energy to go out and just be.
It took a lot of encouragement from within to make a decision on what to do with my day. I woke up very late for a overcast Saturday afternoon. I had the opportunity to just take a moment and have an enjoyable cup of tea.
What was missing from my energy level for the week? It came to me in a flash while I was enjoying my morning. I needed to let it go. There were so many things on my mind. ( Sound familiar?). I had to wait on medical reports for my son. It took a lot out of me. I decided I need to just pay attention to my body and rest.
I have to reverse my thinking. I was not reflecting on things. I was in perpetual motion on auto-pilot. It was draining me and I was not even doing the normal running around that I enjoy on a day to day basis. It hit me like a ton of bricks last night when I realized I had not been up walking and doing what I would normally do in a day.
Then it came to me like a bolt of lightning. ( without the pain usually associated with being struck by lightning). I figured it out! What I needed to do was as simple as reminding myself of what I had control over. No one else can do it for me. It was just acknowledging I had so much to be grateful for. I decided to share this with all of you.
Increasing your bliss can be as simple as staying in your pj’s. It is staying home and saying I don’t have to do a thing. I just need to care of myself.
It can be as simple as standing on the scale and finding out you lost 5 pounds in a week!
It also is finding out your son’s tests result. He does not have cancer. It has been a long month of waiting. Really big smile now.
It is also knowing you are loved. It is also knowing that friends want to share their time with you over the weekend.
It is waking up in the morning and that alone is good enough.
Other ways include deciding to save money a little at a time and over the course of the year you also realized you decreased your debt more than you planned.
It also is taking the time to breath while you are reading, walking, standing, cooking, cleaning, working or just being.
It is in the breath. When you take the time to notice you increase your bliss. Take if from Jack Kerouac he followed his bliss. Well, Ok, maybe he had the habit of overdoing it just a little bit! But you get the point.
Taking the time to observe your breath will help you slow down.Literally, observing your rate of breathing. Do you take in deep breaths? Like right now are you holding your breath or just shallow breathing. Hey, let’s get some oxygen into those lungs.
So first, allow yourself to get into a comfortable position. If you are sitting in a chair then sit up straight! Do your body a favor. Be kind to your body.Move the shoulders back and put yourself into a comfortable position. Good posture goes a long way. (Reminds herself) If you are laying down then stretch out. What ever you are doing just make your body comfortable and just breath. It is that simple. Breath! Focus on your breathing.
Say to your self out loud or from within. ” As I Breath in I notice my breath.” ( Inhale with a slow deep breath). “As I breath out, I am releasing stress.” ( Taking the time to really exhale slowly). “As I breath in, I breath in peacefulness.” ( Deep breath again) . “Out breath, I release stress.”(Exhale) “In breath, peace.” “Exhale, stress.” As they say repeat until finished. Once you start the process, continue along those lines until you feel the peace you were seeking. It is that simple. It is not complicated. Give it a try. You might find it helpful sometime. Just another tool in your toolbox of life to pull out when needed.
So, that is how I increased my bliss today. I was able to share with you my joy for the moment. Have a wonderful rest of your week. Write down all you have to be thankful for. I am sure the list is longer than you know.
Don’t worry be happy! Like Bob says put a smile on your face. It will pass what ever it is.
This is something that I discuss with people all the time. This brings me to share the reason I love travel so much. I had worked in an industry that allowed me luxury of travel and living in and out of hotels I had traveled to many places around the world.
Once upon a time, I worked in the music industry on the road. My life lessons were learned while I worked in various aspects on the road. They included skills such as an audio engineer,stage hand (Winterland), road manager and a roadie. I quickly learned how travel comfortably in various modes of travel from sleeping in a non-temperature controlled truck, tour bus ( that may or not have a temporary infestation), and or on the airlines. I had the pleasure of sharing time working with the most quick witted people you ever had the pleasure of traveling with.
Our schedule on the road meant either a 6 week to 8 week tour or longer. Every town began to look and hall looked the same. Our itinerary was designed by someone at William Morris Agency putting a string on a dart. Aiming the dart across the United States and that is where we would go. Blasting from one town to another. Usually never in anything that resembled order. It was the old saying,” if its Tuesday it must be Odessa, Texas.”
I developed a pattern of road-mode for laundry and just staying sane. When we would tour on the bus all types of things would occur that I am not at liberty to discuss as it is a matter of well breaking the honorable code of see no evil, say no evil, and well you know the rest.
There would be times that we would enter into the venue without seeing the light of day. More than once the tour bus was right by the loading dock.The semi-trucks would roll up. The gate lift would go down and like a big rubix cube we would unload the truck. Unlatching the road boxes and setting up on the stage. Only to do it all again at the end of the night but in reverse pattern.
It was a usual slow down in most of the arenas where there were union crews. No offense to the union crews but, each person could only do one job. There were the riggers for setting up the rigging points for the trusses. The union electrician which you had to explain at times what was being set up. The stage hands helping (or not )setting up the equipment and then there were the union breaks. No one was allowed to touch any equipment if it was break time. Hurry up and wait. Then load out if the show went over it was Golden Time for the union and they did not like that one bit.
Setting up the equipment did take time. Storing the road cases was another thing. I usually worked in audio so I was one of many setting up the sound system. The sound towers needed to be stacked. At the time we still had the usual set up with the monitors, house console,mic stands, various collection of Sennheisers, Shure and wireless mics to set up besides the band equipment.
On occasion there would an accident or 2 during the tour. The crew included some of the most talented unsung heroes.. Peter Price was a wonderful man from England who graced our tour. Taco Madrid was the audio guy with David Carroll as the monitor engineer. Mark Brown was the guitar roadie and so many people we remember and some we forget. One tour I was on with the Doobie Brothers was literally call the “Tour of the Walking Wounded.” We printed up T-Shirts with the logo and all. Showco was the sound company and all kinds of gremlins followed us along the way. One of the lighting truces fell over and injured one of our tour mates. All I remember is his name was JD. I remember he was from Texas and worked for Showco.
Then after all the tweaking and set up the band would come in for a sound check. Check one, two, check, check one, two. They would prance away to either their hotel room or some interview and we would be the workers left behind. We would play “Beast of Burden” Rolling Stones version to remind ourselves what we were doing.
Break for lunch or dinner. The food would be provided by the promoter and at times it was not too shabby. Of course the back stage access became a zoo when the show was on. Everyone who wanted to believe they were someone did show up. The show was on and we were on point. The band played. The audience roared and we rested while watching for anything that went wrong. You had to work quickly. Live shows are live after all and you needed to know your equipment and where everything was incase of a mishap. Such as when Radar kicked out the electric from Golden Earring in Denver stadium. Now that was really wonderful
I recall on one instance while acting as a road manager having to move everyone along from a record company due to the fact I was working some other band. The band did not want anyone back near their dressing room. Ah, good times.
I will share one more story that is my all time favorite. I was in LA working for TASCO Sound. I worked for an English sound company. I worked with a brilliant electronics maven his name is Steve Dove. Steve was a self declared boffen. He had just come off the AC/DC tours. Great stories. Davey Kirkwood the Scotsman from Glascow. He was their top audio engineer. He knew it as well. Sometimes he was well he is a Scot and proud of it. There was also Brian Kelly another Scottsman. Great people. I wonder what happened to them???
Anyway, Andy Truman was from London. He was my boss at the time. We were located in the Paramount Lot in Hollyweird, California.. Fleetwood Mac had their office near by. Mick Fleetwood would show up at rehearsal in the sound stage with an oxygen tank at times. Steve Nicks was well Stevie. There were so many people who moved thru the sound stage. Some of the best shows were in rehearsal. Robin Trower just to name a few.
See Factor Lighting had Tony Mazzuchi ( I am sorry if I spelled the name wrong) working with us at TASCO from time to time. He had just came back from a tour. Tony told the story to me like this. Insert heavy New York City accent and use a lot of hand gestures while you imagine this story.
“So, here I was in Tucson, Arizona. We were doing a college gig. I needed to drop a cable from the roof.I needed to hang the lights. I think to myself I need a strong kid to work with. I look around and see this kid who is helping the crew. I say to him, “Hey kid, take this cable carry it up the ladder walk across the cat walk and then drop it down to me.” So, the kid does this I shout up to him ‘Drop the cable.” What does the college boy do? He dropped the whole #$@%&*^ cable at me feet. 30 feet in the air he he drops the whole thing! I yelled up at him. Hey genius if I wanted the &*^%@#$ cable at my feet I would not have had you go up the rafters go across the cat walk to just drop it.”
I still smile on when I think of that story. Well that is it. That is what I think of when I travel. I remember some of the good times and the places it has taken me to. I have just come back from California, the Bay area to be exact where I made sure I saw friends that I used to travel on the road with from back in the day. I even stopped to see Bruce Cohen’s Vineyard in Napa. He is still the Doobie Brothers manager. It brought back a lot of memories. Some I am able to share and some well are better left for another day.
|Life is a series of lessons. It is not unlike the picture I added above. Using some fancy changes I made this block image from my phone. This is not unlike travel. You start out with the image of what you think will be a trip or an adventure and by the end of the journey it is very different from what you imagined.|
|I know that in planning for my excursions I have to ask myself what is important while I travel. Since lately I have been a solo traveler going to either visit friends around the world I have the opportunity to shop around and find the best seats I can find at the least expensive price.|
|When looking around at airlines I have a tendency to use the Star Alliance Program. I use my miles wisely and many times fly for free. One of the best deals I have found is using the two credit cards I applied for recently and had an instant 50 thousand mile placed into my account. I recently have found that for my area flying on US Airways has been very painless.|
|Even though, the lions share of my miles approximately 150,000 are with United. I have a modest 60,000 miles with US Airways. I range from Silver to Gold status depending on the year. I do not regularly fly for business. I fly mostly for pleasure. That makes my world a happy place.|
|So how does this woman do it? Well in various posts I have spoken about the value of flying the best way possible for the least amount of money. I do this all the time. It does take dedication. If you are a college student you can do this very same thing. It is about the journey not the destination. If you focus on how, what, when and where you will lose the process of enjoying that life is a game. It is knowing how to play the game that makes it a breeze.|
|Let’s get to basics. How much money do you have now! I mean right now! Not tomorrow. Not next week but, right now. Sit down and grab a piece of paper or add it on your notebook. Write down your assests. I mean everything you own that has value. Once you do that I want you to focus in on where you want your finances to be in 3 months, 6 months, and a year from now. Simple I know but believe me it does work.|
|Then write down your monthly expenses it is really important that you do this. Write down next to the credit card, college loan, rent, phone, electric, cable, internet what ever bill you have the amount you must pay. Add it all up. Now take a breath and multiple that times 12…ok bills for a year. Now put in your monthly salary, income, allowance, stipend, interest on accounts…where ever you have income. Write that number down. Multiple it by 12 and that is your yearly income. Now subtract your income from your out-go (debt) that will give you an idea of how much money you have for the year. Now subtract $2,500 from that amount. That is any emergency funds. Believe me it will be ok. Now take that amount you have left and divide by 12 that is actually how much money you have extra to spend a month.|
|Monthly Income X 12= Yearly Income|
|Monthly Bills X 12 = Yearly Debt|
|Total Yearly Income – Total Yearly Bills = Money for the year- $2500= Actual disposable cash for the year|
|Actual cash available divide by 12= Monthly cash to invest and use for travel|
|That is right I said save. If you are not saving and only spending then you are not going to enjoy living life on the beach, mountains or your underwater vacation. You will be coming home to a mountain of pain. I have all my trips paid for before I leave. I work a regular job ..well sort of …and work for myself. I spend many hours ( as I like to call it my planning before the trip time) working, saving, and enjoying all that is free in my local area.|
|This is what is known as working it to make it happen. I am really very happy to say that my bucket list was started way before the term bucket list became popular. I was traveling to India, England and many places beyond my home at the age of 18. My parents were so unhappy with me at the time. There grew to appreciate that they started it by taking me all over the US. I have shared this with my son.|
|Back to the plan at hand. You are here on Earth to explore yourself and enjoy all the world has to offer. There are times that life is not fair. I believe that is the way is.|
Have you ever wanted to travel to somewhere new but, did not know where to go? That is not an uncommon question that I hear from many people who are getting ready to take off for parts unknown.
There are so many things to keep in mind when deciding what to do and where to go. Lets start with the basics.
How much money do you actually have to spend? If you have been reading my blog all along it is all about comfort before, during and after vacation. If you have to take out a small home equity loan to fund your trip. Well, does that make you feel relaxed? I do not recommend taking the dream vacation of a lifetime only to find out it has become a nightmare to pay back.
Everyone knows what their personal budget is. If you have money to burn and luxury is your mode of travel then break open the bank and jump in with both feet and if you are able fly in a private jet. It is not bad if you have people to share the cost with.
If that is not your plan and you want to have the trip of a lifetime on a shoe string then it also has its challenges. I have read about people who have finally done away with money and travel in a van and use solar power for heating and washing. They also sleep in their van in various and sundry places around the North American continent. If that makes you feel like you have landed the lottery go for it.
If you are somewhere in the middle you need to decide. How much money can you afford to take that vacation? You can have the vacation of a lifetime if you plan. I know that is boring and self gratifying immediately but, if you plan the right way you can have the most amazing journey no matter where in the world you would like to go. If you are planning as a solo traveler, couple or family each has its own set of unique circumstances and goals.
Do you want to fly or is it worth it to drive 18 hours to Disneyland and save the hassle of the airport, luggage fees, eating at the airport, baggage pick-up, car rental pick up , car rental drop off and all of that outside noise. For families it can be challenging to drive a long distance but, look at the perks. You stop when you want. You can pack any food you want. You can pack as much or little luggage as the car can hold. You get to take your time and have your car to drive.
Of course the down side will be the miles you place on the car and wear and tear on your vehicle. The positive is family time or friend time. You can plan that trip and then hit Disney or where ever and not worry about missing a flight. You just have to plan properly so you will have enough time to drive home.
Think of it this way. By the time you read this blog look at the clock 18 hours later. Where are you now? Most of us are still home or at least in the same town , state or country they started in when they first read this. I always say to people so if it takes 18 hours to drive where would you be anyway 18 hours from now. A road trip is amazing if you do not put pressure on yourself. Not highly recommended for people who do not know how to relax in life or especially during vacations. For those of you who like to relax it is an amazing journey.
So its all about the cash to start. You have to plan on what your budget allows or increase your focus and have the goal in mind and plan. So what if it takes you a year or so to get to Fiji. If it is all paid for and you have money to spare who is having the best vacation of all?
What do You Love to Do?
That is the other part of the puzzle. What do you love to do? What would you really like to experience. I have been on vacations that I reluctantly took with one person and never did we ever enjoy the same thing. It was like going to the dentist and having a drilling without novocaine. Honestly, my idea and their ideas were so off the mark. I enjoy off the beaten path type of things to explore. The person I was with was not one to explore new things and booked every excursion and event that I never was ever interested in. Granted, you can find the good in all things but, this did not add to the vacation at all.
You need to know what it is that you are willing to compromise on if you are traveling with someone and what is a deal breaker. You will be going to places you have never traveled to and what do you want to experience. Make it something that you cannot do at home! Why look for a chain restaurant or deli to go to. Really! Where is your sense of adventure. Ok now I am just expressing myself but think about it. When I was in India I decided to go exploring. Maybe not the best idea alone but, I was safe and saw things that no one in my group knew existed. I took the advice of the person at the hotel and went on a journey to see simple things and they have stayed with me to this day.
When Are You Able to Do This?
When is a good question. If you think outside the box and travel during the off season you will have bargain airfare, hotels, car rentals, etc.. If you are going to Europe you need to be aware of the exchange rate. Possibly pick up money ahead of time when the Euro to Dollar conversion is in your favor. Just keep watching the exchange rate. One thing to make sure of is to call your credit card company and let them know you are going to Europe so you are able to use your card. Make sure you can use your ATM card as well. It will save you lots of time,money and headaches when you return home.
Exercise a great deal of care when handling your money. Know that smaller bills are appreciated in shops, taxis, restaurants and most places. It is not uncommon to receive a look of disgust in Europe if you do not have smaller bills. So insist if you are picking up money at your bank that they have smaller bills. Word of caution. The exchange rate at your bank is usually done with a 10 per cent increase. They are legally allowed to charge you for the conversion rate. My recommendation is take out approximately 500 Euro or less. Have it as emergency money and use your card for the rest of your purchases. You just never know when an emergency might pop up.
Zombies are everywhere! So think about where you want to go. Dream- LARGE. It is your life. You get one shot at having fun, exploring and learning new things. I also highly recommend learning key phrases in the languages of the countries you are going to visit.
If you are going around the United States find out where you want to go. I recommend all the states. I love Alaska, Hawaii, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Maine,Texas and Florida. In Europe I enjoy Spain, France and for the UK- Wales, Scotland and England. There are more places in the world I have seen and places I love to visit. I enjoy Scuba diving, hiking, wine tasting, exploring and just general knocking around the Earth. I have plans to see Australia, New Zealand, and places beyond. Fiji is on my radar screen. Where do you like to go and when will you get there. Enjoy your life. Dream big everyday and remember to just explore where you live. Hope to hear from you soon. You are the best person you know. Remember to create a list.
Remember first and foremost. Before, you go out on the next big adventure of your life. First write down a list of what you are grateful for right now. That is right my friend. Right now! If you are not feeling it just do it anyway. You cannot go anywhere in life if first you are not grateful for where you are. Who you are! What you have already in your reach!
The link that is above is this website. http://www.styleandthecity.com I found this site while I was sitting at the airport in Houston. I was wondering why when I traveled all over the world no one took the time in the fashion industry to show people as they are.
I have found people dressed in the most amazingly simple styles where ever I go. I actually get some of my inspiration for dressing from some of the people I do see on the street or in some cases in the airport.
I wanted to share this link with you because if anything it will make you smile. There is a link within her website that is about Love. It made me smile all the way through.
I have not written in a while because I have to take care of family business. My mother who lives in Texas is not feeling her 100% best and I am flying every 4 weeks to Texas. It is not easy to find cheap flights at times but I am making my airline miles work for me on this one. I have researched alternative airports and am using the Star Alliance co partners to fly out of smaller airports to Houston. While in Houston I am using my points to fly round trip to Del Rio, Texas. I have looked at the cost of flying into San Antonio(SAT) and driving the 2 1/2 hours it takes to get to her town.
The drive is long but I have been doing this drive for years. It does not seem long at all. For those of you who live in Texas or Alaska know what I mean. It is a short ride in comparison to what you are used to. Believe me in Alaska it is a short ride’
Normally, I would drive. However, what I am finding is that in order for me to do a three day weekend I would have to leave my mom’s home at 330 am to make the 630 am flight back to NYC Airports ( JFK, LGA) or Newark (EWR) Airport.
The best course for me is to get into Del Rio(DRT) late and leave late on Monday. As I was stating I have been leaving out of Stewart (SWF) Airport in Newburgh, NY. There are so many pluses to having less to pay at the airport for parking. Yes, I have to always have a connecting flight however, the comfort of not being a sardine at the airport and having long lines is a bonus for me. I know that many of you do not live near smaller airports but think about looking anyway and seeing if the cost benefit works for you.
Recently, I had a great reunion with a friend in Colorado. They live in Fort Collins, Colorado so the airport of choice was Denver(DEN). Lots of construction is going on at Denver Airport so be aware if you are going there to be mindful of that. It took a little bit longer than usual to be picked up and dropped off. The airport in Denver can be a bit confusing so I recommend you get on the website before you go.
I actually recommend anyone who is traveling to go to the direct site of the airport you are arriving to. It has a wealth of information about arrivals and departures. It provides all the airlines that it serves. It also gives their scheduled flight time from your city of departure to the flight times of the city you are arriving to. It helps me to decide which airlines I will use before I spend countless hours figuring out which airline to use. I go here first before I plug in airlines and destinations and cost.
So enjoy the month of October. Here in the East Coast the leaves are changing into incredible golden and red colors. Many of the trees outside my window are still green but when I drive around the area mother nature is giving her annual show. It is beautiful. It is worth a trip to the East Coast this time of year just to enjoy the beauty.
So look at the link above and enjoy the various cities, people and style. I hope you and your family are well. Peace to you and enjoy life. Life is short and there is no time like to present to live. Keep smiling and learn to travel. Your wandering writer- Denise
In December I will be leaving for Palm Springs, California and then Madrid, Spain later in the month. Christmas with my son who is in Graduate School will be wonderful.
- TSA implements “precheck” program at Denver International Airport (denverpost.com)
So you have decided to purchase a trip online. You look everywhere and pull everything in your house or apartment or flat apart. My credit cards! Where are they?
Welcome the land of dematerialization. You have experienced this I am sure. You put them in a safe place. So safe in fact that you cannot find where they are. All you have are the bills that prove you have paid for them.
What should you do? If you are absolutely certain they are not stolen then there is a simple way to receive new cards. It is called the “replacement card.” What is this actually?
It is exactly what it sounds like. Replacement cards. They will be sent out overnight if you need them right away or in 5 business days. Why replace the card? More and more people link up their credit cards to pay for various services. Some do this for the airline miles or bonus awards. Here in good old New Jersey you can link up you EZPASS account to a credit card. You can do this with almost any utility service. I am sure there are those of you who do this.
Once you call a credit card lost or stolen the account is frozen. Any services that you have linked up to that card will be stopped until you notify that service with your new credit card number. Simple enough. However, you may forget. I know I am projecting a bit but, we are human and we do forget. That is how you misplaced your card in the first place.
That is why ordering a replacement card is much easier than ordering a new one. Nothing has to change and you just will end up with two credit cards with the same account number when you find the lost one.
Now if you are one of the rare human beings who shred the paper statements as soon as you pay them. You know who you are. You are the person who does not go online to pay for anything. There are those of you out there. I know plenty of people who still are concerned about how safe online payments are. I want you to remember this. PUT YOUR CREDIT CARD NUMBERS and CODE somewhere safe. Along with the CUSTOMER SERVICE NUMBER. If you do misplace your card in the house or somewhere safe but cannot find it- having these numbers makes it much easier to have a replacement card sent to your home.
Now what about international cards that are lost or stolen. Again, email yourself the account number and the international phone number on the back of the card. You will find that they are quite helpful. When looking at international travel make sure you contact your credit card company in advance and notify them of the countries and approximate dates of travel.
There is nothing like going into a restaurant and being refused service for a card that will not process. It is for your safety. I do this approximately 10 days before travel. This way I am guaranteed access to my cards if I need them. Please do the same thing with your bank cards if they are ATM cards. They will be flagged if you do not notify your bank.
Now about going foreign exchange. When traveling to Europe it is not a bad idea to find the cheapest place in your area to do this. Today the Euro exchange to the US Dollar was $1.21 = 1E (Euro). So one would think that going with $1210 would equal E1000. The answer would be a big fat no. Banks and other agencies add their exchange rate and fees. Today we paid $1344 for E1000. Banks and other organizations charge usually $0.12 to $0.15 more per the usual exchange rate.
This is why using your credit card on trips without the foreign transaction fee at times can be a benefit. You will be paying the exchange rate for the day plus their small fee with out the usual $3 or $4 fee by using the ATM outside of the country. You can weigh out the plus and minus of using the credit card vs the ATM yourself. Having cash whether its Euros, British Sterling, Loonies, or US Dollars is my preference. Which reminds to to remind you always have at least $500 cash available US Currency in case of emergency. Remember you will be coming home to the US someday and you may need that money if you lose your passport, credit cards or foreign currency while traveling.
Now where to safely put that money. Well here goes. I have books that I travel with and place the large bills in between the pages far enough apart that it does not expand the book. I had two travel books from AAA and placed approximately E750 dispersed through out the pages. No one thought to look through the pages. I felt very safe. Did I mention that I placed one book with approximately E300 in my suitcase by mistake and even with customs going through my bags nothing was moved. Guess the book was too boring.
I do not recommend you leaving it there on your trip but it is a good cover to say the least. I have other tricks of the trade but that is for another time. So travel well and enjoy the ride…Denise
It’s early enough in the morning and I have been going over plans for travel in my upcoming future. I have to parlay how much money to put aside for travel.Every week I put aside just enough to pay for the trips I am planning for a year in advance. That means I look at my airline miles and decide whether this trip will take miles away or is it cheaper to buy the ticket.
First thing you could do is to take a look at the landscape of what the airlines are pricing and then divide that round trip ticket by the amount of months ahead you are ready to travel. So if the trip is lets say $350 and you are leaving in 10 weeks then put aside $70 a week plus the cost of parking and gas it will cost to do this. With careful planning buy the ticket and have it paid off before you are ready to book. It is a forced savings. Also look at how much money you will need to make up for while you are away. Make up your own vacation fund. You are in charge of your life no matter what happens to you.You never want to be short money when you come home as well. Why be stressed out about life? It just makes my head hurt. So lets face it I am always trying to save for travel.
I seek out through all different web sites the availability of flights and put together all types of fares by leaving from one city and looking for bargains in the others.
At times this is a part-time job just looking for flights that suit my budget. In the end I usually end up saving more than $400 or greater per trip. That savings allows me to purchase another ticket for another trip.
Travel does have its rewards. Right now I am in Gold Status with United. What that means is I am usually bumped up to first class by my carrier. So I pay the lowest price possible for my round trip ticket and get to fly first class. Things they never teach you in school.
Right now since the merger of United and Continental Airlines I am revisiting my status and leaning toward another Star Alliance air carrier US AIRWAYS. They have been decent so far in US travel and my son will experience first hand how they are (US Airways) on an over seas flight. I am looking forward to hearing the report.
I am a bit disappointed at how the service is with United Airlines,lately . Its a cattle car experience in all classes of travel. Maybe the merger caused some hard feelings with the workers. I noticed that the flight crew are not treating the customers (who pay for their salary) as well as they have in the past.
Back to the discussion of to book or not to book. Why would I not fly directly to my destination? Why not just give up the coin for the time being spent? A couple of reasons. Since I have a United credit card I am able to sit in the Presidential Lounge. That access allows me to sit in a comfortable chair. Enjoy free coffee, tea, water, drinks, fruit, cheese ,crackers, newspapers, magazines, and a way to recharge my laptop or cell phone. There is privacy.
All this for way under what I have paid for my economy ticket. So if I find a ticket that usually cost around $450 or $500 round trip and pay $250 to $350 and sit first class well, ultimate score on my part. I do not know about you but I look for all types of ways to be able to do what I enjoy and not pay full price.
What if you had a layover in a city that you always wanted to explore? That is what I will do sometimes. If it is for a prolonged trip then why not sit the extra couple of hours and see the town. There is usually a bus or train at the airport.
I also take into consideration in planning my trip – parking at the airport. That cost can be quite high here in the New Jersey/ New York area. There are budget parking lots and then there are alternative airports. I found on a few occasions it was cheaper to leave from SWF ( Stewart’s – Newburgh) Airport then either EWR ( Newark) or LGA ( La Guardia) or JFK airport. On the rare occasion there is an airport in Allentown, Pa. that is approximately one hour from my home that is cheaper to fly out of. You just have to add in the costs.
By this I mean with each trip add in the cost of travel. That is why I look around the various sites. The $100 I save in airfare will pay for the parking. To give you an idea of what we pay here in the NJ/NY area. JFK, LGA, EWR all cost approximately $18-$24 a day to park.This is at the airport not the budget competitors that sometimes are not so user-friendly at the end of your trip.
SWF parking per day costs are $8 daily. Parking for one week at the airport may end up costing anywhere from $56 SWF to $158 EWR/JFK/LGA on the high side. Let’s not forget the valet parking at Newark Airport which is $40 a day I believe.
That is why looking for sales when flying become such an important part of the planning. This is what most people do not add into their travel plans. You can save by parking at a train station and taking the train to the airport. Smart ways to park include the park and fly at some bus stations. Stay and fly at some hotels also could be a way to save. There are private companies and if you have great friends or family then you are going for free. Of course you will bring them a present or take them out to dinner.
The extra expenses of travel can be reworked into your daily budget. Sometimes you have to fly out of specific airport just due to schedules. Then look at all the carriers and see if there is anyone who is less expensive going to the same place.
In my search engine I wrote flights NYC to MAD (Madrid). I found all the air carriers their prices and flight schedules. I chose the one that worked and booked the flight. The price range was from $985-$1825. These were all the economy flights. I changed the dates of travel and the prices dropped by a couple of hundred dollars round-trip. If you are able to be flexible with your planning you will save a bundle.
So enjoy your travel. Be creative. Save money for your trip and you will be happy to pay that trip in full. Planning in the future means you never have to feel stressed to see new places and be a world traveller even if it means finding new and exciting places in your own back yard. Book wisely and you will be smiling while you sit comfortably in your economy plus seat that your purchased for the same price if not lower than regular economy.
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