Travel Hacking to St. Maarten (With Pictures)

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Me. In My Bathing Suit. You’re Welcome

If you know me at all, you know that I absolutely love beaches.  Of course, not all beaches are created equal.  I love the soft, white sand found on the beaches of the Florida panhandle, for example, but I prefer the crystal clear water you find in the Caribbean.  Bonus Points for a soft, sandy bottom you can walk on, but Super Bonus Points for nooks and crannies where I can snorkel.

All beaches are different yet beautiful in their own way, and I truly enjoy any moment I can spend on one – anywhere. [Read more…]

You Should Never Pay Full Price for a Vacation

A plane coming into the airport near Sonesta Maho Beach.

A plane coming into the airport near Sonesta Maho Beach.

Yesterday, I turned 35-years old, and today I’m on a plane heading to St. Maarten to celebrate.  I’m really excited, and not only because I’ve never been to St. Maarten, but because we are heading to a brand new resort that just opened on December 25th.

We are only staying for five days, but we plan to make the most of it by spending quality time together, snorkeling, and probably eating and drinking more than we should.  My plane lands at 2:00 p.m. EST and I cannot wait to take off these winter clothes and ease right into vacation mode. [Read more…]

Creating Christmas Memories without Breaking the Bank

The Christmas tree is up!

The Christmas tree is up!

As much as I love the holiday season, it has become even more special now that I have kids.  But even though we want to make the holidays special for our girls, we still want to meet all of our long-term financial goals too. Here are few things we do to create memories without breaking the bank. [Read more…]

How Much Should You Budget for a Trip to Europe?

eiffelAs most people know, we’re leaving Tuesday for a trip across the pond.  We’re slightly nervous about the long plane ride, but mostly just excited to get the ball rolling.  Recently, I was drafting up our zero-sum budget for November when Greg asked me how much we were budgeting for our trip.  Sadly, I hadn’t even thought much about it.  I’ve been so busy with life and everything else that our vacation budget had become an afterthought somehow.

So we sat down and figured it out.  Here’s what we came up with: [Read more…]

My Frugal Trip to Denver with Credit Card Rewards

denverEarly this morning, I left on the first non-stop flight from Indianapolis to Denver to catch an epic Pearl Jam concert that is set to take place at 7:30 tonight.  Our plane left at 6:50 which means that we had to be at the airport at 4:00 a.m. <Gulp>, which is why I might be slow to reply to comments today.  We arrive in Denver at 8:30 a.m. so I do plan to work for a few hours once we get there.  After that, I suppose we’ll drive around and kill some time until the concert.

Fortunately, the vast majority of this trip was paid for with credit card rewards.  Here’s how it went down. [Read more…]

Alternatives to Manufactured Spending

Trips to Walmart ARE NOT worth it.

Trips to Walmart ARE NOT worth it.

Although I generally only cover topics within the realm of personal finance and frugality, writing about travel is my hands-down favorite thing to do.  And as a writer for Frugal Travel Guy, I know I’m slightly preoccupied with the latest credit card signup bonuses, destinations, and hot deals. [Read more…]