3 Outdoor Activities for a Great Labor Day Weekend

3 Outdoor Activities for a Great Labor Day Weekend

Most people view Labor Day weekend as the official end of summer. After this holiday, most children will be back in school. If you are trying to have a great time with your family this Labor Day weekend, now is the time to start planning activities. 

Over 60% of Americans claim they plan on traveling this Labor Day. Whether you plan to travel or stay home to celebrate this holiday without spending much, consider participating in the outdoor activities for Labor Day weekend below. 

1. Explore Nature on a Family Hike

During the summer months, the weather outside is absolutely beautiful. This means it is a great time to take your family on an excursion into nature. One of the best ways to give your children a sense of how enjoyable the outdoors can be this Labor Day is by taking them on a hike. 

Luckily, there are around 6,000 state parks in the United States. These parks have a combined total of 14 million acres of land. Many of these parks have great hiking trails that are perfect for individuals and families. 

If you plan to go hiking with your family this holiday weekend, be sure to check the weather in the area you will be traveling to. The heat during this time of year can be brutal. If the temperatures are going to be hot where you are hiking, be sure to bring along plenty of water and sunscreen for the family. 

2. Biking Can Be Lots of Fun

Getting your children off of their electronics and into nature can be difficult. As you start to plan outdoor activities for Labor Day weekend, be sure to poll the family. With the results from this poll, you can start to narrow down the list of outdoor activities at your disposal. 

Taking a family bike ride can be a lot of fun. Most children love riding their bikes. If you plan to travel to an area to take a bike ride, you need to make sure you can safely transport them in your vehicle. 

If some of your children cannot ride a bike due to their age, investing in a rear-mounted seat for them is crucial. With these rear-mounted seats, your baby or toddler will be able to enjoy the bike ride with the rest of the family. This activity is fun without making a money mistake.

3. Plan a Beach Day

A day at the beach is perhaps one of the most popular outdoor activities for Labor Day weekend. If you live relatively close to a beach, now is the time to start booking your accommodations.

The best way to make your day at the beach enjoyable is by planning ahead. Getting to the beach early will help to ensure you and your family get a great spot right on the water. You also need to make sure you have plenty of sunscreen, sandwiches and drinks to go around. 

Making Memories with Your Family 

Now that you know more about great outdoor activities for Labor Day weekend, it is time to start planning. By planning your trip well in advance, you can focus on making memories with your family yet maintaining financial stability.

Newark: get around without breaking the bank

Newark, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, as Alicia Keys didn’t sing. But while Newark might be close to New York City, it doesn’t quite have the same cultural cache.

Nonetheless, it’s a beautiful place to visit and it’s brimming with things to see and do. There’s the Staten Island Ferry if you want to sail into NY in style, Branch Brook Park for leisurely walks, and MetLife Stadium if you want to watch a game of football played by the big leagues.

This is small city life for those who can’t quite stomach the hustle bustle of New York City, but that doesn’t make it cheap.

The median home price of in Newark is $223,400 while the median household income is $33,139. Thanks to the cities’ close proximity to New York City, this is a city that’s becoming an increasingly expensive place to live.

Travel is one of the biggest burdens on a household, especially as many people in the area regularly commute into New York City for work or leisure.

To ease the strain on your wallet, here are a few ways you can cut the costs on travel, whether you’re heading to the airport or taking a short trip on the bus.

Newark Liberty International Airport

There are a variety of ways to travel to Newark Liberty International Airport. A train ticket from Penn Station to the airport will cost you $5.50 when you purchase a ticket from NJ TRANSIT or Amtrak at their train stations, ticket offices or ticketing machines.

But if you need to drive to the airport, we’d recommend a private parking company like Looking4.com. This will allow you to park your car directly at your terminal to be picked up by a personal valet. Prices will vary depending on the number of days you need your car stored, but three days should set you back less than $100.

Bus

Public transport around Newark is notably efficient, combining train and bus systems in a similar fashion to Amsterdam and other international cities.

The bus is your best (and cheapest) bet if you’re commuting around the city. Ticket prices depend on the number of zones you’re travelling through. If you’re over pension age, a student, military personnel or a child, you’ll also enjoy sizeable concessions.

Newark City Subway

The Newark City Subway system is connected to all major zones in the city, whether you’re looking for leafy suburbia or buzzing nightlife. The price of a regular one way ticket is $1.60, although you can expect to shell out a little more if you’re travelling to Manhattan.

Those are our travel tips. Have you got any good suggestion for travel around Newark? Then let us know in the comments below!


Planning a Trip to Disney

If you have a household that includes small children, it is inevitable you will need and want to plan a vacation to Walt Disney World in Florida. Disney has so many things to offer that it is often an overwhelming task to tackle. Luckily there are travel agents who specialize in this kind of travel, but if you are in the beginning stages of your planning it is important to consider the following items.

Budget

Disney is fun and exciting but it is also costly. Taking your family to this destination can cost you an arm and a leg. It is important that you decide what your budget is before going into the planning process. Depending on when you are going, your length of stay, where you want to stay and what activities you want to do the cost can vary. You need to decide what is important to you. They have hotels that are budget friendly, but they also have resorts that are top of the line. They also have food that is your standard fast food but also have fine dining. You need to decide where you want to spend your money and what you want to spend it on. Once your budget is determined, you can move forward on the planning. No sense in researching things you can’t afford or aren’t willing to pay for. You can always try online betting with Buffalo Wild Wings and hope for winning a jackpot to ensure you can do whatever you want!Length

Depending on what parks you want to visit and how much you think your family can handle, your Disney stay length will vary. There are 4 theme parks in Disney World. Some people see all of them, some only see one on their stay. Some want to do a park for multiple days. Others may want some rest days in between. All of these things may lengthen or shorten your length of stay. Decide what you want to see and determine your vacation time from there.

Time of Year

There are certain times of year that are great to visit Disney for different reasons. September may be less crowded. Christmas time in Disney is magical but may be expensive. Summer time vacations may be convenient but it is very hot. Make sure to do your research or consult a travel agent to advise when is best for you and your family.

Schedule

There is much more to planning your Disney stay than what is mentioned below. It is a requirement to make meal reservations as well as fast pass selections to make your vacation go smoothly. Disney offers many restaurants and character dining experiences that are popular and also included in the dining plan if you decide to go that route. Since reservations are required, this needs to be planned out. Fast passes allow you to get better access to rides you want to experience but booking a reservation enabling you to bypass lines. These things require you to make your stay scheduled.

Disney World is an unforgettable experience for both adults and children. It is important for you to assess the items discussed above and figure out what you think is important and value prior to booking.

Annual Travel Insurance

If you are planning a trip than you most likely were questioned if you would like to purchase travel insurance. , Travel insurance is protection for those things that could cause you cancel a trip whether it is your fault or the airlines fault. Travel insurance can be bought for a one time event or if you are a regular traveler it may make financial sense to purchase an annual policy.

What is it?

So you may be wondering what is an annual travel insurance policy? Basically, an annual travel insurance policy helps you be covered for traveling for multiple trips in a year. If you are traveling a couple times or know that you are planning a few trips than this option may be in your best interest. Instead of purchasing coverage for each trip, just get one policy for the year and you will be all set. It will save you money in the long run since you only pay one premium for the year. You need to weigh your cost vs the benefits.

How does it work?

Purchasing annual travel insurance works similar to your standard travel insurance. However, you will just need to make sure you insurer offers this type of insurance. When selecting your policy to enroll in make sure you select the annual policy. It may ask you a bunch of questions regarding the trips you are going to take but the most important is to be sure to include the length of your longest trip. Basically the annual insurance makes sure it will cover you for an extended period of time. You will be covered for an unlimited number of trips as long as it is within the year, to the day that you enrolled. If you happen to find out if a trip of yours overlaps your end date, it is best to contact your insurance company to make sure they will extend your policy for a few days. It is as simple as that!

Who is it for?

Obviously the type of person who would be interested in this type of insurance product is someone who travels often. The more you travel, the more you get out of your policy. You should be sure to review all of your policy documents to make sure you are a proper fit for the product. Certain medical restrictions or cancellation reasons may not apply to your policy so it would not be smart to enroll in something that wouldn’t even be able to claim or use.

An informed insurance broker will know all of the ins and outs of this type of product if you have additional questions. Long story short, if you have a number of trips planned within the year than you should definitely invest in this product.

Creative Cunning: Tips for a Budget Friendly Vacation

Vacations and getting away from everyday life should relax people. The idea of being distanced from daily responsibilities and feeling free from everyday worries takes a lot of planning. However, for a lot of people, this desire to be out of the normal routine also comes with the added stress of being able to afford time away to recharge. While a staycation may seem like the answer, frugality does not mean just making the best of the situation. With a little creativity and cunning, a budget friendly vacation is just one planning session away.

Cheap Lodging

One of the best ways to save money on a vacation is to find affordable places to sleep. If you are an outdoor person, pitching a tent is one of the best choices since it is flexible and frugal. If you want a longer term investment, use an RV. Campground rentals are reasonably priced for anyone trying to find cheap lodging. Tenting is excellent for outdoor lovers. For those who trend more towards the city folk side of things, the RV rental can save on expenses and feel like a home away from home. If being budget conscious, keep in mind that you want to factor in gas prices so traveling cross country may not be in the cards, but staying still in one beautiful outdoor location would be perfect.

Cheap Food

Eating on a vacation is the second cost deterrent to an affordable vacation. Assuming the need to eat out means assuming a larger cost than necessary. Finding local grocery stores and storing up on things you can make easily on the road is a good way to keep down costs. Whether camping, using an RV, or staying in an inexpensive hotel, food is a top priority. Treating yourself to a nice dinner out over the course of the trip can be a great way to relax. However, some meals simply aren’t worth the high cost. Instead of eating breakfast in a restaurant or eating fast food to keep it cheap, try buying boxes of cereal or breakfast bars.

Coupons

Frugality means deals. Deals come with coupons. With coupons abounding online and in local newspapers, it’s a good idea to do some research before you go. Going into the local grocery stores to get food means that you can probably also see what the coupons are for the week there. Take a look at apps for those big box stores that are in the places you’re traveling. If you download the apps for them, you can pick up necessities on the go for a lot less. Take a look at local libraries, also, to see if they have some options for rental of tickets with a valid library card.

Additional Income

Sometimes, the best solutions are the simplest. If you’ve always been a fan of the open road and have an RV you use for your own adventures, don’t let it languish in your driveway between trips. Rent it out to help pay for future trips.

The reality is that travel feels more expensive than it has to be. The ability to get a mental break from the daily grind doesn’t need to create the kind of stress that a vacation is meant to alleviate.

Catching Some Rays: Top Tips for Saving for Your Next Holiday

You work hard for most of the year so those few weeks of holiday are a welcome break and an excellent opportunity to catch some rays, but the bank balance doesn’t always match your destination aspirations.

 

Start with the basics

You need the grown-up equivalent of a savings jar if you are going to be able to successfully put aside some money towards your holidays.

Exercising financial prudence on a regular basis is going to help keep your bank balance in a better state over time, but the discipline of separating the money and putting it one step away from temptation, by opening a savings account , is the basic route to achieving your goals.

Think of your savings account as a savings jar and then start transferring whatever spare money that you have over to this account. Having a dedicated savings account that is there for a specific purpose like a holiday, allows you to see exactly where you are with your savings target and can often encourage you to save regularly, when you see an end product for your efforts.

Work out a household budget and see how much spare money you could afford to put aside each month, then set up a regular transfer, in just the same way as you would when paying a bill.

Get real with your finances        

Even the most financially prudent and astute people would probably be surprised at the disparity between what they think they are spending each month and what they are actually spending.

The only way that you get a true financial picture and see what you are spending and where savings can be made, is to do a comprehensive household budget.

It is amazing how many small purchases like a daily coffee on the way to work, can soon add up to a sizeable chunk of money each month. Once you have an accurate picture of your financial expenditure and have worked out how much you need for your holiday plans, you can then set about seeing how far away you are from reality and what steps you need to take to meet your goal.

Family effort

If you are planning a family holiday and will be traveling with kids, you already know just how expensive it can get, as you have to find the money for more plane tickets, hotel rooms and everything else that gets multiplied in that situation.

It is not a bad idea to try and get your children to see the importance of putting money away towards a family goal like a holiday, even if their contribution is going to be understandably small.

If they get a weekly allowance, encourage them to put away a part of that towards the holiday. Even if you don’t intend to use any of their money towards the holiday itself, kids always like the idea of having a bit of their own money to spend on vacation, plus it gives them a good lesson in the importance of saving.

Cash is king

Although technology is doing its best to turn us into a cashless society, the trouble with paying for things with your phone or waving a card at a terminal, is that it is not always that easy to keep track of your spending.

Drawing out the cash that you need for the week and then heading to the grocery store and other places, will almost certainly ensure that you don’t spend as much as you would if you were paying with a card or using your smartphone.

Those special offers and extra items don’t seem so tempting when you have to part with real cash for them rather than charge your card. Try drawing out cash for a few weeks and when it runs out for the week, so does your spending.

You will probably find that you end up spending less when you use cash, which means that if you keep that up for a few months, you will be able to put some extra towards your savings target.

If you start employing some money-saving tactics and become more disciplined with your spending, it could make all the difference to your holiday plans.

Rosie Hart is a personal finance consultant who readily hands out her top tips for saving money around the web in her articles and in online discussions.

And I was all like ‘Merica!!!!

It’s about time. I finally was able to get our Europe pictures uploaded to my computer, which means you will be taking a walk down memory lane with me today. I’m no Rick Steve’s (look him up if you don’t know who he is), but I’ll do my best to give you my honest thoughts on each city we visited. Kick back, relax, and enjoy the ride….

The  Black Forest (Germany)…

I have no idea why the Black Forest is called the Black Forest. I was secretly hoping all of the trees would be black and the people would be emo/goth or something. Turns out, it’s just a popular tourist destination for other European’s to visit for the weekend. We stayed in a tiny Lodge on one of the lakes in the forest. German food isn’t my favorite, but we seemed to have alright luck finding good dishes. Worth spending a day or two in the Black Forest, but not much more. Oh, and we did get to see a freakin’ huge Cuckoo Clock which was pretty rad…


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Innsbruck, Austria…

Definitely a contender for my favorite city. The city center sits in the middle of the Austrian Alps and has an awesome skyline just about any way you look. We took the funicular up to the top of a mountain peak and had a sweet bird’s-eye view of the city. We had incredible gelato, a great meal, and walked the main drag. The locals were helpful and it didn’t feel too touristy….

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Venice, Italy…

I was totally underwhelmed by Venice. You always see the city in the movies and in picture and it looks stinking cute. While the canals were definitely charming, I was distracted by the pungent smell of garbage, the narrow alleys, the extreme humidity, and the pushy restaurant staff that basically beg you to come eat at their restaurant. I felt like I was walking the streets of Vegas. In fact, I probably like walking the canals inside the Venetian hotel in Vegas, more than walking the actual canals of Venice. I know August probably is like the worst month to be a tourist there, but I was a tourist in August in all of the other cities we visited. Venice was definitely my least favorite pit stop…

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Rome, Italy…

A big city for sure. Definitely my least favorite city to drive in (did I mention I learned how to drive stick during this vacation…haha). The lane lines aren’t so much guidelines as much as they are loose suggestions. It was insane being at a stop light of a three lane road, with five or six lanes of cars at it. Anywhere a car (or moped) can fit, someone will be driving there. Highlight of Rome was probably meandering the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain, eating incredible pastas and pizzas, and a ton of shopping and markets. Least favorite things; Vatican City group tour (was totally bored and it felt rushed), lack of solid air conditioning in most stores/restaurants, and some of the locals were kind of rude and/or standoffish….

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Barcelona, Spain…

Totally felt like I was in Miami the whole time. It’s definitely a city to visit for the younger party crowd. If I was a college kid who liked to drink until 5am, then this would be my city. Las Ramblas is the main drag and it’s a fun street to walk down. We experienced “Spain Time” which was really odd at first. The locals eat a big lunch at around 1 or 2pm, and then virtually everything closes until about 8pm. We spent most of our afternoons at the beach relaxing. We were bothered by the occasional beach vendor offering henna tattoos, hair braiding, cans of beer, etc, but it wasn’t too bad. We ate dinner at around 9:30pm each night, which was surprisingly a bit earlier than the locals. It wasn’t until about midnight that the city really came to life. The clubs stay open till 5am and when we caught an early morning shuttle at 4:30 one morning, you would have thought it was 6pm with how packed the streets were.

We visited La Sagrada Familia which is by far the coolest church I’ve ever been in. It was awesome. Loved the architectural detail and the open/airy feeling. I hated the Sistine Chapel because the art work was too busy for me with bright paintings and artwork taking up every square inch. La Sagrada Familia is the exact opposite. There is plenty of detail, but it isn’t so busy that it is hard to focus. It was arguably my favorite “tourist attraction” of our entire trip….

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Granada, Spain…

Loved Granada. We stayed in a super modern hotel really close to the city center. We spent a whole day at La Alhambra, which was probably my second favorite tourist attraction of the trip. It’s a huge moorish palace with all sorts of cool history. We had a Rick Steve’s travel book and gave ourselves a self guided tour. I think we were at the palace for a total of about 5 hours and easily could have stayed another 2 or 3. We also took part in an Arab Bath and Massage which was quite possibly the best decision I’ve ever made. For an hour and a half, Girl Ninja and I rotated between a really hot pool, a really cold pool, and a warm pool. It was incredible relaxing, and at about the half way point, we each got a 15 minute back and leg massage…

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Seville, Spain…

Our last stop of our two week journey. We spent two days in Seville and walked pretty much the whole city center. We visited a few of the major churches, drank some Starbucks (I know we’re terrible), visited the second oldest bull fighting ring in the world, and took pictures of lots of cute doors (haha). Seville had a ton of charm and a great ambiance. I even stepped out of my comfort zone and tried Ox Tail, which tasted kind of like braised beef…

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We were totally blessed to have spent two weeks seeing so many places. We were exhausted by the end of the trip, especially knowing we had a big move ahead of us, but we had the time of our life. I’m super pumped to be heading back to Germany and The Netherlands for six weeks this fall, for what will probably be my last Europe trip for the foreseeable future.

What countries have you visited? Anyone else that’s been to Venice agree it has a slight “Tijuana” feel to it?