Should Will Buy a New Car?

I recently received a question from a reader who wants to know if he should buy a new car. Here’s his situation: I’m 25 currently running a company on week days, and have a part time job on weekends. I am making roughly $60,000 a year (give or take). The last few weeks I have…

Taos Pueblo Christmas Eve

I’ve always been somewhat interested in the Native American culture, but after our trip around the world, I gained a whole new appreciation for what we have in the US.  We spent our Christmas holiday in Taos, New Mexico and made it to the Taos Pueblo Christmas Eve Celebration to experience an incredibly powerful night.  I’ll add the full explanation below the incredible pictures Jocelyn took.

Home is Where?

There aren’t many times in life where you get to make a decision as to what to do next.  While growing up, we always have our parents to make those decisions for us, like if we’ll move or where we’ll live.  If we take the college route, we start to experience some freedom when we decide which college we’ll go to or figure out which college will accept us.  Then it’s easy, we just move to that college town.

Even after college, we’re usually directed where to move by our new employer.  For me, that meant I was moving to Dallas because that’s where I accepted my first job.  Sure, I could’ve moved somewhere and tried to find a job, but this way worked out well so I went with it.

After my wife and I got married, we decided to move to a city where she could get a job since I can work from anywhere that had an airport.  She had job offers in Spokane, Washington and New Orleans.  We chose New Orleans.  Then earlier this year we decided to embark on adventure of a lifetime when we traveled the world for nine months.

Know How Much Things Cost

After traveling for work for ten years and a nine month trip around the world, I’ve collected some strategies for traveling cheaper. I’ll cover them in a ten part series in this order:

A. The flight
– How to Book the Cheapest Flight
– How to Use Free Flight Stopovers
– How to Find Alternatives to Expensive Flights
– Finding the Cheapest Airport Transportation
B. The Hotel / Accommodation
– How to Book Cheapest Hotel Rooms
– How to Find Hotel Alternatives
– How to Use Hotel Points
C. Arriving
– How to Get Local Currency for Your Trip
– Avoid International ATM Fees!
– Know How Much Things Cost

Know How Much Things Cost

You’re the most vulnerable when you enter a new country and aren’t yet familiar with how much certain items cost.  We got ripped off multiple times by not knowing prices, but we also saved a lot of money when we did do research beforehand.  As long as there are travelers who don’t know how much things cost, there will be people there to happily rip them off!

Although it’s not possible to research the price of every single thing on your trip, you might be surprised at how much information is actually available online.  From how much a driver should cost on a full day trip in Bali, Indonesia to how much you should pay for fake designer jeans in China, the internet is full of great information.  You don’t even need to do all of the research beforehand if you have internet in your hotel or other places while you’re traveling – just look it up as you go.

Avoid International ATM Fees!

After traveling for work for ten years and a nine month trip around the world, I’ve collected some strategies for traveling cheaper. I’ll cover them in a ten part series in this order:

A. The flight
– How to Book the Cheapest Flight
– How to Use Free Flight Stopovers
– How to Find Alternatives to Expensive Flights
– Finding the Cheapest Airport Transportation
B. The Hotel / Accommodation
– How to Book Cheapest Hotel Rooms
– How to Find Hotel Alternatives
– How to Use Hotel Points
C. Arriving
– How to Get Local Currency for Your Trip
– Avoid International ATM Fees!
– Know How Much Things Cost

Avoid International ATM Fees!

We encountered quite a few scams and rip-off artists around the world, but none of them got more money out of us than our own bank!  Sure, their fee was legal and they provided a reliable service, but we could’ve saved a lot of money if we would’ve done some research in advance and switched to a debit card that didn’t charge fees to avoid international ATM fees.

Instead, we took along our Chase ATM card as our primary cash source.  I did research to make sure they were accepted across the world, but I didn’t pay enough attention to how much we’d get charged to use it!  It turns out that Chase charged us $5 US for each ATM transaction – this was on top of the ATM fee charged by the local bank.  After nine months, 25 countries, and 60 ATM transactions, we ended up paying Chase $300 in international debit card fees!