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Save money while traveling

Tips To Save Money While Traveling

Let’s face it; travel isn’t one of the cheaper hobbies to have, but there are always ways to make it less expensive, especially as the world changes and things become more efficient by the day. It’s not about being cheap, it’s about being smart. Along my travels I’ve collected some of the best & less widely known tips to save money while traveling. This article will help your money go further on your holidays.

1. Look for alternative transportation options.

What’s cheap and efficient for your country may cost an arm and a leg at your destination country.

Try a plane trip instead of train or bus (in Europe especially), carpool with a van cab (also called a ‘colectivo‘ in South America), or use a ride share service like BlaBla Car instead of riding solo in a small cab.

Also try Uber or Lyft instead of a taxi, if it’s available in the country in which you’re traveling. No matter how many dirty looks you get from taxi drivers, keep in mind alternative taxi options are almost always cheaper, you won’t get ripped off like many of the horror stories you may have heard of or experienced yourself, and the car and driver are almost always more pleasant than what you’d get by using a taxi.

Also, when traveling throughout the city, consider walking, biking, roller blading, renting an electric scooter that are popping up in cities everywhere, or using other fun transportation options (like an electric unicycle). If you’re a lover of beautiful and unique views, seeing a city slow enough to see the smaller details is usually worth the extra time it takes to get to your destination.

Málaga, Spain

2. Avoid foreign ATM fees whenever possible.

Open a free Charles Schwab bank credit card that will reimburse foreign ATM fees. Apply some months ahead of the date of your trip to ensure you are approved in time and receive the card before your departure date.

Don’t opt for the “Margin Trading” account if you’d like to avoid the credit check which may lower your score.

3. If, for any reason, you can’t avoid foreign ATM fees with Charles Schwab Bank or another applicable option, then only take out money when absolutely necessary.

In European cities, it will probably make the most sense to take cash out of the ATM only once during your trip, if at all. Most “developed” cities take cards for payment, and it’s usually the most secure option anyway. In countries less developed, in order to avoid foreign ATM fees, aim to take out larger amounts of money from an ATM only once (if you feel comfortable enough to do so), and use cards almost exclusively, whenever possible.

4. Ask your bank if they reimburse foreign ATM and foreign exchange fees.

While Charles Schwab automatically reimburses the foreign fees you acquire abroad, some other banks will reimburse you after you ask.

5. Opt for free tours instead of paid.

Many times these tours will be just as, if not more, worthwhile. Try freecitytour.com, freetour.com, freewalkingtour.com, or use my good friend Google to search for free tours in your desired city.

6. Check for alternative accommodation options.

Many Airbnbs and private hostel rooms are just as good as a nice hotel room, and in some cases even better. The perks and drawbacks vary with the price and destination, but with the huge range of rented-out homes and the plethora of hostels in a growing worldwide traveling culture, you should have no problem finding something that is both cost-effective and hits the mark in terms of comfort.

Try searching on Airbnb, Hostelworld, and Booking.

The above are some of my most used and recommended options because of price, option availability, and ease of use.

Camping is another great option if you’ve got the necessary supplies. There are lots of free dispersed campgrounds around the world, and views are often times better than a hotel room.

7. Bring snacks on the plane.

This one seems obvious, but sometimes it’s only after you spend $10 on snacks purchased on the airplane or at the airport that you realize you could have put that towards the cab ride to the hotel. Airport/airplane food is usually overpriced because they know if you’re hungry and you’re stuck in the vicinity waiting for your flight, a ride, or luggage, you’ll most likely pay whatever.

8. Take advantage of sign-up incentives.

Airbnb, Hostelworld, and Booking will give new customers credit toward their first stay with them by signing up through the following links and booking with them. I will also receive credit for referring any reader who uses the links below to sign up with a new account and book with their service.

Throughout my travels, I have used these services many times and trust them enough to recommend to my readers, with or without a sign up incentive. If you feel I have helped you in some significant way, I would be more than grateful if you considered taking advantage of these incentives with my links. You’re not only supporting your own travels, but also more helpful blogs in the future.

P.S. On that note, I am always looking for new blog ideas based on either travel and/or the mind-body connection, so shoot me a message through Instagram (@haileymorganf) or by email at info@freedom-mindset.com, if there’s a specific subject you’d like to know more about. 🙂

Personally, I like to use all of these services for one trip, depending on where I’m going and if I am looking for a hostel, hotel room, or my own space with a kitchen and everything I need. I recommend checking them all when going to a new city, because they all have a wide range of options based on what you are looking for.

REFERRAL LINKS:

Airbnb.com you get $40 travel credit, and if you book a trip with them that’s worth $75 or more, I get a $20 travel credit: https://abnb.me/e/zDRHDG6hAS

Booking – you get a $20 travel credit, I get a $20 travel credit: https://booking.com/s/79_6/d5d5750c or use coupon code D5D5750C

Hostelworld currently doesn’t offer discount codes or links for referrals, though they’re still a great service.

9. On the other hand, sometimes it’s cheaper and more beneficial to pay directly through the hostel/hotel’s website or by showing up to the place the day you’re looking to book, instead of using an external service to book.

This option makes the most sense as long as it’s not the busy season for your destination of choice. By booking through a third-party service like Hostelworld or Booking, you’ll pay a small fee or deposit (non-refundable if you cancel before your trip) so they make commission.

This commission fee is usually worth it if you’d appreciate the 100% guarantee of staying at the hotel or hostel you choose, but if it’s low season for tourism, it’s usually best to book through the hostel/hotel’s website or as soon as you arrive. It may be a bit of a gamble, but a cheaper gamble at that, and usually hostels are concentrated in one area so you can pick a backup option if needed.

10. Choose to pay with local currency.

In Europe these days, it’s common to see credit card billing machines that ask if you’d like to pay in the local currency, or your home currency, when using a credit or debit card. Because your bank will probably give you a better foreign exchange rate than where you’re making your purchase, it’s best to opt for paying in the local currency.

11. Find out when the local museums and other city attractions are offering free entry.

Many cities offer one free day per month (usually Sundays), or offer discounts for students/veterans/seniors/kids/etc. It may be worth it to plain your trip around these dates if you like to play tourist and go to the famous attractions.

Castle museum
Château des ducs de Bretagne Museum (Nantes, France)

12. When booking flights, browse all websites in Private Browsing mode (also known as Incognito Mode for Google Chrome, or InPrivate for Microsoft’s browsers).

This will tell the browser not to save your history, cookies, or login data so that the websites you visit don’t see you looking at a flight and encourage you to book faster by upping the price of the flight it notices you’re looking at (by way of tracking your computer IP address).

13. Browse this article I wrote, “7 Great Flight Booking Tools” for some of the most efficient and cheapest ways to book flights.

14. If you’re traveling light, check the route you want to take on the websites of budget airline in your country of choice for some of the lowest prices.

Remember to read the rules of the airline carefully; some charge for printing out boarding tickets at the airport or for your second carry-on, but if you don’t have a lot to bring this is usually the most economical option.

15. Consider spending a little extra on a plane ticket to your destination.

It’s worth noting, sometimes it’s tempting to pay a lot less for a flight ticket, only to pay for it with your time. Sometimes the extra $50 is worth the time you save with an exhaustingly long layover where you’re forced to purchase airport food, but of course this depends on your mindset, the flight route, and how you could be using the time in which you “pay” for the cheaper flight you booked, so please do your research accordingly 🙂

16. Collect the tax refund on goods you buy from specific stores displaying the “VAT TAX FREE” sign in foreign countries.

If you’re a foreigner in the country you are visiting, some (but not all) stores will allow you a refund of the VAT (Value Added Tax) you pay on the goods you purchase abroad if you’re paying above a certain amount.

Standard protocol in the EU, for example, requires you ask the store for the receipt with the tax-exempt code present on it. Some stores may ask you to fill out a form, and provide proof you reside outside of the EU. Then you’d go to the customs officer, BEFORE checking your luggage, to approve the refund. Take your stamped document to the Bureau to choose how you wish to receive your money and you’ll be on your way. Processing takes around 3 months before you see your refund, depending on the country.

There are quite a few exceptions to this rule (such as what you buy, how much it is, if you leave the country by plane or ground/water transportation, and when you leave the country with your goods), and honestly you may have to jump through a hoop or five to get your tax money refunded, but it could be worth the extra effort, especially if you make a substantial purchase abroad, such as a car.

If you’re visiting the USA as a foreigner, you’ll have to contact state authorities, rather than national government, as sales tax is collected by individual states.

For more information, a good start is [https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/individuals/travelling/travellers-leaving-eu/guide-vat-refund-visitors-eu_en]

Or [https://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/shopping/tax-free-shopping.html]

These are some of my best tried-and-true tips I’ve learned from my travels to help your money stretch further and save money while traveling during some of the most memorable times of your life. Happy travels!

make money with a blog 2018

Ways to Make Money With A Blog in 2018

To write about your passions full-time is the dream, isn’t it? To spend your life focusing on something you actually enjoy and get paid for it? There is nothing comparable to the feelings and opportunities that can come from that.

Door after door opens with every single word you write; the opportunities are a dime a dozen–in the blogging industry, especially. Writing is the easy(ish) part. Organizing everything and setting yourself up to make money from it? Therein lies the challenge. But as they say: nothing worth it ever came easy, and blogging is no exception. The good news is you’ll find that the climb is and should be a fun one.

The joy is in the journey, not the destination.

 

Ready to start your blog? Click here for your complete guide to begin a blog in 2018.

 

Below is your guide in ways to make money with your blog in 2018.

 

Sell your own products.

Some examples include:

– eBooks

– Products

– Coaching

– Tutorials or recipe books

– Art

– Jewelry

– Merchandise around your personal brand

– Music

– Software

– Photos

 

Sell products for other people.

There’s this beautiful thing called affiliate marketing. You don’t need your own product or service, just as long as you have an audience to broadcast to. Many companies will accept your partnership no matter your blog’s size.

Affiliate marketing is selling for other people, only instead of fulfilling the orders yourself, like with drop shipping, you get a commission by creating content centered around the product or service you are advertising. Some quality examples are Bluehost web hosting service and Amazon Associates.

 

Sell (or exchange) your services.

Examples include:

 

– Photography

– Photo & Video Editing

– Teaching writing or blogging

– Instagram Influencer Training

– Business or Life Coaching

– Graphic Design

 

– Copyrighting

– Marketing

– Programming

– Financial Services

 

 

These all could be paid jobs, but please do not underestimate the power of work exchange! Many (quality) hostels, hotels, restaurants, and other services are looking for situations in which they can provide their service in exchange for yours. This is how I got a few different stays at some beautiful hotels in gorgeous locations (pictured below).

Just think: you could help a new spa get publicity using your blog just by writing reviews on a massage and facial they provide without charge. The best part is, you and the “employer” get to set the rules, and usually this means you get to receive and give perks you otherwise wouldn’t in a paid situation.

This type of arrangement is NOT just for those who need money. A lot of times these situations are way more fun than a paid agreement, not only because you are both benefitting in unique and substantial ways, but also because it is extremely liberating to pay for things with your talent over your money. Once you experience work trade for yourself using your own services, you’ve just opened up a huge doorway to opportunities everywhere. Your mind is your only limit, so keeping it wide open will attract more opportunities into your experience.

 

how to make money on your blog
Kantarrana Casa de Campo Ecohotel (📍Jardín, Colombia)

 

how to make money on your blog
Hosteria La Valdivia (📍Jardín, Colombia) – click the picture for their website

 

 

Click here to start a blog of your own.

 

 

how to make money on your blog
Kolibrí Hostel (📍Pereira, Colombia) – click the picture for their website

 

Make videos and sell them.

How to Play the Guitar, or How to Draw, or even How to Make Money While Traveling are some examples that may or may not be saturated with content, so think about expanding (or narrowing down) on topics and adding your own twist that will benefit people.

The possibilities are endless. Take examples from yourself: what kind of tutorials were you looking for at any point in your life? What are you really good at that others aren’t, but would like to be?

 

Charge for access to updated and valuable content on your website.

Services you could offer include any of the mentioned ones above, organized in a page or “library” type format.

The possibilities to monetize a blog are endless and the list is still growing with the Internet Age. The more value you give and the farther your reach, the more value you will receive in return.

I’m sure your own life has taught you in some way that what goes up must come down. Similarly, what goes around comes back around. This doesn’t just apply to a ball thrown in the air. If you give and people are willing and open to receive, you will be repaid with proportional abundance. It’s proven science 🙂

Smartblogger.com makes a great point: Ask yourself “What can I offer people that’s worth 10X what I charge?”

Answer that, deliver on your promises, and watch the money roll in.

 

A note on Sales Funnels:

Sales funnels work by providing free and valuable content to readers, building trust and obtaining their email in exchange for more free content (like an eBook, software, video course, etc.) and then later down the line sending product offers for people to purchase. This is one of the best ways to make money in the blogging industry, no matter your niche, and it can all be automated by computers managing your email list and recommending pages to users based on what they read on your blog.

I won’t go into sales funnels here; that’s an article in and of itself, but it is worth it to think about and research a bit for when you are ready to take on that sleeping giant.

 

This list is frequently being updated with ways to make money with a blog in 2018. Did I miss something? How do you have an income from your website?

 

Do you know someone seeking an income from their blog? Please consider sharing 🙂

Click the image’s red “P” to save it to Pinterest.

make money with a blog 2018

 

Don’t have a blog, but want to get started? Click this link for the complete guide on how to start a blog in 2018.

 

Vipassana Meditation – the path to freedom – PART II

This is Part II of a three part article, “Vipassana – the path to freedom”.

 

For Part I, click here.

For Part II, keep reading.

For Part III, click here.

 

~ PART II ~

 

Vipassana & Your Sensation Station

Do you ever feel a sort of anxiety that comes from nowhere? Does it ever creep up on you and then make a dramatic appearance in a big argument or by snapping at someone?

Negative (and untrue) habitual thoughts (ex: “I don’t have enough and I’ll never have enough”, “I don’t deserve this”, or “I’m not enough”) really depress the mood, beginning with the thinker of the thoughts and continuing through those he or she interacts with. Thought patterns like this don’t feel good when we think them and there’s good reason for that.

There’s a not-so-secret “secret” our Western culture is steadily catching onto: thoughts that feel good must be true to one as a a human-spiritual being (why else would they feel good?) and thoughts that feel bad are not true (why else would the mind & body be trying to push against them with negative emotions?).

The “feelings” I am referring to above are felt in the body almost by a kind of sixth sense; the Intuition sense, or gut feeling. When I say ‘feel’, I mean feeling the subtle emotions that our bodies are communicating to us through the chemicals in our bodies as we think and act.

Easier said than done, right? Those suckers are subtle, and some change as quickly as the wind.

And here’s where Vipassana comes back in. As the technique teaches to feel the sensations in our bodies and train the mind and body out of blindly reacting to them, it is also simultaneously teaching us to be aware of our bodies, the vessels that help translate the messages we get from our Intuition.

Now, everyone has their own truth, and a thought or message from our bodies that feels good to me may not feel good to you, but still, every thought falls within the guidance of our Emotional Guidance System – or Intuition – something that directs each of us individually through life in all moments as we pay attention to our feelings and emotions and where they are leading us.

It sounds far-fetched to your everyday, Western-cultured ‘realist’, but science has now caught up to the fact that this mind-body connection is the method for human development and is the reason for the successful evolution this world has seen.

To lend an example, think about eating for a minute. Why are we drawn to certain types of food, and repulsed by others? Why do we have cravings for specific foods during specific times of the day or month? By signaling our minds, our bodies can get the proper nutrition and sustenance it needs to be as successful as possible in a given present environment.

Maybe you love doughnuts and you’re thinking, “but doughnuts don’t make me successful”. It’s so important to be aware of our bodies so that we can hear the messages our Intuition is sending us, rather than our pre-conditioned minds to more accurately feel what is best for us.

When one trains his or her body to be felt more deeply and fully, then he or she is training to feel more deeply and fully a guidance system that will lead them wherever they want to go. Because with that Emotional Guidance System comes everything that we want.

Stay with me here.

If our emotions lead us from one spot to another and if good thoughts equal good feelings, then it makes sense that using our emotions, our bodies and minds are signaling us to eat this not that, go here not there, do this not that, etc., taking into account our wishes and desires of all sizes along the way to get exactly what we want and need to survive and thrive. The same things goes for our conscious desires and needs, like love and sex and enough monetary things to sustain ourselves, physically and emotionally, to the degree we believe it.

Our Emotional Guidance Systems prompts each of us everywhere we desire to go, but each of us individually are the ones who must take the steps to go where it wants us to go. Sometimes, listening is as easy as hearing your stomach growl and going for some food. And sometimes, it’s not so easy to listen. Sometimes our bodies send us signals we have been ignoring for years, making it much more difficult to ‘hear’.

 

Clarity of Mind, Body, & Spirit

As explained throughout the course, what we put into our bodies has a lot to do with what we reap from them. If our input is “dirty” foods and substances filled with preservatives, chemicals, and other processed junk, then our output will be a “dirty”, or cluttered mind, making it much more difficult to feel the sensations we need to feel for a more successful life. As within, so without.

By spending a silent week and a half in the course, being fed quality and tasty vegetarian meals and living life outside of the chaos of the outer world, one can train his or herself and literally physically rewire the brain to communicate clearly and more effectively with his or her Intuition.

When one is focused, aligned, has a clear head, and feels good, concepts that are complex seem easy and simple. Things that are too fast seem slowed down. When one is in alignment with his or her Intuition, the feelings are positive, the thoughts that come feel good, and without other emotions and worries to distract, things just seem to work out well as a result of such a clear mindset.

 

Balanced Mind = Balanced Life

Another component about the course which proves to be one of the most useful tools I have learned is equanimity, which I understand now as calm and balance of the mind. As we work with this skill more and more, just like a muscle, with time we learn to be increasingly calm and have a collected mind in every situation, good and bad.

While meditating during the course, thoughts come and go. Many times, what comes up are Sankharas (simply translating as: “that which has been put together”), or blind reactions to events we have unconsciously “put together” in our subconscious minds that can be released simply by observing it, knowing the truth that everything is always changing; this too shall pass.

Many times throughout the course I would have moments of blissful insight while sitting, or memories I had long forgotten from when I was a kid. After observing and releasing thoughts and reactions to several previous life events, I could physically feel my relief all over my body. I took this as a good sign and those ah-ha moments and blissful insights were great motivation for me to keep going in the course, especially when I felt I couldn’t finish the first day.

 

 

By feeling sensations in the body and not reacting when they come up, we retrain our brains, creating new neural pathways; new ways neurons (nerve cells) wire together, resulting in new thought patterns.

Through this process we retrain our brains to observe what comes and let it pass only by observing. The same can be done for any situation in life, but by sitting still and experiencing internal sensations that we train ourselves not to react to, we start in the kiddie pool, rather than the deep end with ‘real life’ and ‘real life’ situations.

As the course teaches, the wisdom of knowing everything is always changing in every moment helps us realize the true nature of reality and everything that happens in life.

 

 

Misery is often caused by feeling powerless to circumstances we can’t control, but by understanding that everything always changes, and by experiencing this law of nature through first-hand experience (through repeated observation of always-changing sensations within the body), rather than just intellectual knowledge, we allow our bodies, and therefore minds, to accept this fact quicker and more efficiently by creating physical cell memory of it.

During the course, we are told to accept the teachings that feel true for us and leave what doesn’t. The technique teaches a lot about peace and kindness, so it’s hard to argue a lot of the points our teacher, Goenka, mentions, but some parts of the teachings are definitely different than what most of us were taught in our Western-style schools. In fact, I don’t really recall there being a class for emotional intelligence in public school…

 

Vipassana in Practice

 

About a month after one full 10 day course I feel calmer, less reactive, more peaceful, more motivated for life, clearer and more connected in mind and body, more able to feel sensations both internally and externally, and more connected to the world around me. Actually, putting these effects into words seems like such a joke, because these benefits have changed my inner world completely, in an amazing way.

Words just can’t explain it right. After this course I feel better able to gracefully handle the world and everything in front of me, death included.

At the risk of sounding like a total fruit cake, it feels like I have stumbled upon some sort of Heaven on Earth, an art of living I didn’t realize really existed. I share all of this because it’s a way, no, an art of living meant for anyone who wants to take the steps to get there.

Though sometimes I’ll still have bad moments or days when I’ve forgotten myself and gripe and groan about something petty, it’s a long process retraining our brains and I’m consistently enjoying changing my reactions to things to be a happier, kinder, more thoughtful, and successful person.

(Continues in Part III)

Vipassana Meditation – the path to freedom – PART I

This article is divided and published into three separate parts for clarity and digestibility. This is Part I of a three part article titled “Vipassana – the path to freedom”.

 

For Part I, keep reading.

For Part II, click here.

For Part III, click here.

 

 

~ PART I ~

 

What would you do if you had the choice between the red pill and the blue pill? What if, in one hand, you had every tool needed to free yourself from the limits of your mind and surpass negative emotions as soon as you notice them, and in the other hand lies the antidote to freedom that will keep you in your safe box?

What if there was a real and honest tool for you to shift your internal reality to be able to live in peace, regardless of your surroundings and what is happening in them?

I want to be clear, I’m not writing to convince anyone of anything. You all can judge for yourselves if you think a Vipassana Meditation course might be something you’d brave. But I’m telling you right now it will change your world in an amazing way… if you let it.

It’s been about four weeks since I finished my first 10-day Vipassana Meditation course and after observing the effects it’s had on my real life in a few weeks time, this article is my attempt at translating my experience and benefits into words.

Vipassana is a Pali (the language in the time of Buddha) word meaning “seeing the reality as it is”. It is a technique of meditation founded and taught by Gautama the Buddha himself. It cultivates determination, mindfulness, awareness of both inner and outer surroundings, and an inner peace and clarity that cannot easily be found outside of sitting quietly with oneself.

Students are asked to meditate 11 hours a day, commit to 9 days of “Noble Silence” (the tenth day students are allowed to talk and reflect on the course with others) and communicate only with teachers and assistants to ask questions.

Not gonna lie, meditating that much threw me for a loop. I have never been so silent for so long since my months in the womb, and it was a big challenge even lasting the full course.

I can definitely see why Noble Silence is a thing in this program. By not distracting ourselves and others with words about the outside world or the course itself, one can achieve true mental clarity.

With all the chaos that’s been happening lately, I believe the world could use a little pick-me-up that doesn’t involve drugs or other external sources of pleasure. We’ve been on that hamster wheel long enough.

Vipassana can be this pathway to emotional freedom for people of all backgrounds, all races and religions, all sexual orientations, and all types of personalities, helping us kick addictions to substances and behaviors we previously have used in order to find that happiness and connection with our innermost selves.

There are a lot of unhappy people causing misery to themselves and others by way of simply not knowing how to handle their suffering. This course is a method to break through the illusions of life and see how everything truly is, rather than how we want things to be, not only so that we can be in the right mindset to deal with life events wisely and without reacting blindly, but also so we can be happier at the basis of our lives, regardless of what happens in them.

Which is how it was meant to be, no? The human default is happy, we just have to unlearn a few old paradigms from society along the way.

(Continues in Part II)

Mount Evans Colorado

Vipassana Meditation – the path to freedom – PART III

This is Part III of a three part article titled “Vipassana – the path to freedom”.

 

For Part I, click here.

For Part II, click here.

For Part III, keep reading.

 

~ PART III ~

 

A few more things about the course…

  •  This whole thing is free. Run by donations and volunteers ONLY, this course thrives on the purity of the technique and what it teaches. Previous students who feel the course has benefited them will donate (only AFTER the course has finished) so that others can benefit as well.By not accepting money before the course in exchange for the services and hospitality the course provides, and by only using volunteers, teachers and students can truly receive the full benefit of the teachings, free from monetary intentions.
  • Vipassana Meditation courses have been held since Buddha was still alive and head honcho of Vipassana, originating in India some 2,600 years ago and spreading all over the world.The course I took was held by the Rocky Mountain Vipassana Association at a rented-out Jewish Children’s Camp in Elbert, CO, which worked pretty nicely for the course. RMVA is now expanding and have plans to open up their own center in Colorado.
Mount Evans Colorado
View from the top of Mount Evans, Colorado
  • Held at 310 locations in 94 countries around the world, Vipassana Meditation courses have expanded for good reason.
  • This course doesn’t advertise, only by word of mouth do course lists get overbooked and waiting lists get filled.
  • The course is non-secular, so students can come religious or non-religious.
  • Eleven hours a day meditating seems pretty brutal when you think about it, but after trying it, it’s not so bad. A roommate of mine during the course had never meditated before coming to practice Vipassana, so the program is truly meant for almost* anyone who wants to improve their lives in a deep and introspective way.

vipassana meditation course

Believe it or not, it can actually be enjoyable to be in such a deep state where time and space almost don’t exist anymore. To be able to heal from past wounds, physical and emotional, and retrain our brains to think more emotionally clear and consciously is an invaluable skill for every single day for our entire lives.

Plus, students never have to sit for more than an hour at a time if they don’t truly want to. Students are permitted to take short breaks here and there and the instructors trusted we had an idea what would happen to our practice if we didn’t meditate seriously.

  • The Association will accommodate students with dietary needs. If a student is taking a prescription, needs vitamins, or asks for modified food accommodations, those who run the course will help them meet daily needs.
  • Likewise, if a student would like a chair to meditate with rather than sitting in criss-cross applesauce, they’ll accommodate to get everyone comfortable enough.
  • *With all of this said, this course is not for everyone. Those with serious psychiatric disorders come to courses expecting it to be their cure, which turns out to be not only a disappointment, but could even set him or her back in health.

 

Vipassana for a Happier World

While Vipassana Meditation is a way to eradicate suffering, each of us by ourselves are the only ones to be able to take the steps on the path, and anyone who expects salvation to come from an outside source (even a meditation course) is only going to come to realize it is nothing but ourselves who will save us. It is each of us alone who does the work to be free of the mind’s limitations and eradicate our excuses for being unhappy. Not the meditation course, not the drugs, not the healthy food, not the lover, not even the prayer or worship.

Though there is power in all of these things, by ending our clinging to what excites or upsets us to any degree, we can taste our liberation and take the steps to true happiness.

Many people have seen the value of this technique and envisioned what it can do for school detention centers and even prisons. “The Dhamma Brothers” is a unique film highlighting just one example of how Vipassana has been introduced into the system and the mental freedom it has given two prison mates in one of the most violent prisons in Southern Alabama. Not trying to ruin the ending or anything, but they all live happily ever after. Mostly.

Schools have started implementing Vipassana Meditation for restless children and finding great results. Meditation itself has been proven to benefit kids just as much as adults, and in a society that thrives best with calm and creative minds, it’s the lock and key to a better functioning society as whole. But external peace starts from peace within, something Vipassana Meditation has proven to help cultivate.

It is one thing I believe we all have in common: each of us alone must free ourselves from the chains of our own minds.

The only way out is in.

 


To find out more about the Vipassana Meditation Technique, head to https://www.dhamma.org/ and click around for resources and articles.

make an online income

High Paying Ways To Make An Online Income

make an online income

Ready to learn the Laptop Lifestyle?

The internet has transformed life as we knew it, and with a world connecting in more ways than ever through travel and the World Wide Web, we must adapt to the changes our grandparents couldn’t even dream of.

The great thing about location independence is the freedom it brings: if you so choose, by this time next year, you could be sipping the best $2 smoothie of your life, lounging on beach cabanas making money in your swimsuit.

Or maybe you’re more the Wild Wild West type; maybe you envision yourself touring Montana in an RV and your laptop, making residual income while you’re out fly fishing. Whichever the life you are after, I am here to tell you it is 100% possible for you to accomplish.

It’s worth noting that nothing worthwhile ever comes easy, per say. But that’s not to say you can’t have a heck of a time doing it. Take a look at some of the options below to follow your own vision of freedom.

Each of the following options on this list require putting in the time and focus to really make a high paying online income in that direction. You will encounter challenges. From every job or career route on this list. I don’t know a successful person on the planet who has said they haven’t had heaps of challenges along the way, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. It’s what we do with these challenges, how we learn from them, that determines how we succeed.

 

entrepreneur quote

 

Okayy, enough with the cheesy chit chat! Without further ado, here are some of the best ways to make a high paying online income:

Freelancing

What is it?

Being a freelancer allows you to be your own boss, gain location independence, and the potential to make a lot of money. A freelance career is usually slow to start, especially if your portfolio is a little bare, but once you get momentum going, you can make a great income and could easily have clients coming to you if you decide to really pursue this skill.

Along with location freedom, this job allows for creative freedom. Freelancers can take their career in any path they want, as this path spans countless subjects and mediums. Write books, create websites, design logos, blogs, the choices are endless!

How does it pay?

You may decide to begin by contacting clients yourself, which is very time consuming. Alternatively, there are specific websites that allow people across the internet to submit work to their project. Check out content mill websites in your niche with a quick Google search and you’ll find tons of resources.

This is a great job for any type of freelancer, and once you land a few clients with ongoing work, you’ll have a well-rounded portfolio with client referrals & testimonials that can push your career to great success. Get really skilled at mastering your niche and the potential for pay is unlimited.

 

Trading Cryptocurrency

What is it?

Make money short-term or long-term trading Cryptocurrency (currency that is online and exchanged without third-party banking systems) by watching the numbers, identifying cycles, buying low and selling high, and profiting off of a few hours of work, all without a college degree and from the comfort of your own home.

This option is great for travelers because of how easy and fast it is to pay or be paid and one can also avoid excess foreign fees. Many experts in the field are claiming the Dollar value will inevitably collapse and Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology (the technology that makes Cryptocurrency possible) will take its place soon, so you could be killing two birds with one stone (why is this even a saying???) if you believe it could be the next world currency system. Think return on investment and using it as your preferred everyday payment method.

Most merchants do not accept Bitcoin or other Cryptocurrencies right now, but many others are jumping on the wagon such as Microsoft, Wikipedia, Shopify, & even Whole Foods if you pay with a crypto-loaded gift card.

The risk with Cryptocurrency trading is higher than the others on this list, but the rewards are also high. Please do your own research.

How does it pay?

This all depends on your level of commitment and the amount of money and time you decide to invest, but to give you an idea, Bitcoin is worth a little over $8,000 (as of late July, 2018), so buying a fraction of a coin and waiting until the price jumped up a thousand or two could have you living more than comfortable. Check the web for success stories; they are NOT far and few between.

 

Drop Shipping

What is it?

Like a glorified online Walmart or niche store, you may want to open your own online shop selling other peoples’ products.

Many sellers in other countries like Russia and China are looking for advertisers to leverage their product in various markets to whom they have no idea how to market. In this line of work, you are the marketer and provide almost all customer service (until you outsource), and the earning potential is practically infinite. I would not call this an easy job, by any means, but it sure beats setting up a whole building and filling it with inventory, as far as difficulty and time-consumption goes.

How does it pay?

With your own online store, you are able to sell virtually whatever you want. Whenever a sale is made on your site, you will find the product you picked to sell online and buy it with your own money, contributing to the main seller and keeping the rest of the profit. The money is yours as soon as it goes from the buyer’s bank account to yours.

With all the right ingredients in place, it’s possible to advertise a free (+S&H) bracelet and in a single day make thousands off of that one product alone. That is the power of the internet.

Alternatively, sell a high-ticket product such as a treadmill, and just one sale will compensate for all overhead costs at startup. You have to foot the bill to pay for the giant thing and the shipping to get it to their address, but the returns are truly lucrative.

 

Tutor

What is it?

Whether you want to supplement a high school student’s schoolwork, create an online video series teaching a crash course on the guitar, or join a company teaching English online, this option is available for all types of people; young, old, degree or no degree.

If you’d like to teach English online with websites like DaDaABC, chances are you will need a degree. Though I have heard of websites that don’t require one, your best bet would be trying for individual gigs through Craigslist, Facebook Groups or Marketplace (under Jobs category), and even making your own posts advertising your services.

How does it pay?

You’ll likely get paid by the week or month, depending on the company or arrangement you choose. Salary is often times paid by the hour, anywhere from $10 – $80 an hour, sometimes even more depending on the circumstances, the area you’re in, and the skills you have.

 

Affiliate Marketing

What is it?

This is all about word-of-mouth marketing, so you can use either your website or your social media following to make money recommending products or services you trust, and for each sale made through your link, you’ll get a commission. Sell anything from sports drinks to vacation packages to website hosting & anything else you can think of. Beats door-to-door selling any day.

How you appear on the internet plays a huge role in this, so I’d advise you to find interesting and unique ways to stand out from the crowd if this is the route you’re going to take. This could mean staying away from one super-saturated social media platform and opting for another.

Find your angle that no one else has and you can easily capitalize on it.

An added bonus is the people skills this job brings. If you’re in the marketing space, you’re going to need to appeal to large audiences and connect with a lot of people at once, so affiliate marketing is a great career path to develop those skills.

How does it pay?

Place a link to a product or service anywhere on the internet, followers buy from your link in trusting you and your recommendations, and you make a commission off of someone else’s product. Pay outs are usually weekly, biweekly, or monthly, depending on the affiliate program or company you choose to partner with.

 

Multi-Level Marketing

What is it?

This one gets a bad reputation, but it really is an extremely profitable business because it thrives on word-of-mouth, a super powerful marketing tool, if not THE most.

Please please please do yourself and everyone else a solid & fully believe in the product you are recommending to people. This is why Multi-Level Marketing leaves a bad taste in some peoples’ mouths–because some of us have been pitched to by our friends with the motive of solely making money rather than the genuine desire to help. Vouching for products and services you truly use and trust is the way to be successful in this line of work.

If it fits your values, chances are it will fit the values of the people you attract with your marketing techniques. Plus, the more value we give to the world as a whole, the more value we receive. Karma Theory and all that.

How does it pay?

For each person you sign up to your multi-level marketing program link, and if they sell or simply buy from the company, you’ll get commission. The more people you have signed up under you, and the more people signed up under the people under you in rank, the more you can make. Work anywhere from an hour a week to using it as your full-time job, all from your laptop without mention of a college degree or even a high school diploma, for some companies.

Since this is also in the marketing field, pay depends upon your media reach along with other variables like commission percentage payout, the type of company, the prices of the items you’re selling, and how much you’re actually selling. Soooo with millions upon millions of people on the internet, basically, limitless.

 

Each of the opportunities on this list can be expanded upon in different ways, or even combined. Chances of succeeding are based on your passion and drive to see the vision through, so I invite you to experiment with a few and see what you really love doing.

I hope you were able to take something from this article of some of the most high paying, high value ways to make an online income without a ton of experience or education. Drop a comment below and let me know what you’re doing to gain location freedom; I’d love to hear.

 

This list is frequently being updated with ways to make a high paying online income. If you have more suggestions, please share with us in a comment and I’ll put it on this list 🙂

 

make an online income

If you enjoyed this post and think it could benefit someone you know, please consider sharing using the red ‘P’ (hover over the photo & click to share to Pinterest) or any of the social media links at the bottom of this article. Thank you!

 

flight booking tools

7 Great Flight Booking Tools

Arguably one of the most overwhelming parts of a vacation is booking the flights. With so many options to choose from, so many variables to account for, how can we get the best bang for our buck while keeping our precious leg room and complimentary cookies? Below I’ve broken down a few different flight booking tools for you to use to find the best flight prices and routes with the best values.

At least in all my experience booking flights, there doesn’t seem to be a one-size-fits-all for the best prices and best value for your money. This just means we must do a little extra searching if we want to find great flight deals. To make the maze a little less messy, I’ve laid out the advantages and disadvantages for each tool to narrow down which you’d like to use.

All of the following websites provide something unique, and though some are superior to others, they each offer their own pros and cons.

You’ll find a few tips at the end of this list to take your flight-booking game up a notch or two.

 

Matrix ITA Airfare Search

 

flight booking tools

 

This website breaks down individual flight prices showing which fees are thrown in the reservation, including fuel surcharges and taxes.

After being acquired by Google in 2011 following its development by MIT pros in the 1990s, this tool is so powerful that many of the flight search engines across the web are based around it. Google Flights is one great example.

TIP: Once you’ve found your flight reservation, instead of re-typing in your itinerary details in a booking site, use BookWithMatrix.com to simply copy and paste your chosen itinerary from Matrix ITA and book through their software.

flight booking tools

 

ADVANTAGES:

  • Breaks down fees in a flight route so you can take advantage of “fuel dumps” and other airline errors
  • Provides cost-per-mile statistics
  • Offers a calendar to compare prices
  • Has lots of filters

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Does not offer a mobile app
  • Can be a bit intimidating to new users

 

SecretFlying

 

flight booking tools

This website rounds up fares that have been posted by airlines in error. Price tags for these are usually very inexpensive compared to normal prices; sometimes a whole digit less than the intended number (simply because of a human or computer error).

Fares are snatched up quick, but it’s a great tool for those who are interested in traveling without much of a care where or when.

Another similar option is TheFlightDeal.

 

ADVANTAGES:

  • Finds human and computer errors across the web to bring you incredibly cheap prices

DISADVANTAGES: 

  • Does not provide much flexibility – you will likely have to be the flexible one in flight dates/times and destinations
  • Error fares are snatched up quickly

 

Skyscanner

flight booking tools

This search engine is very user-friendly to beginners and usually offers great prices. Skyscanner also provides “mashup” fares, which help you combine flights for a cheaper price.

 

ADVANTAGES:

  • Offers a map displaying prices depending on your city and departure month
  • Collects competitive prices
  • Offers “mashup fares” to save on flight routes

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Does not always have the most competitive prices – depends on many things like desired route and timing

 

Google Flights

Flight booking tools

tools to book flights

Google Flights is very easy to use, has all the options/filters one can need, and usually has great prices. If you are a visual person without a ton of patience in the vacation booking experience, then you might want to risk putting all your eggs in this basket; a little extra money on the flight price (though Google Flights usually has great prices – there’s always an off-chance they won’t) may be a small price for you to pay in exchange for ease-of-use and a fast booking experience.

Google Flights is a great tool to rely on for booking flights for the lazier travelers looking to simply look and book.

 

ADVANTAGES:

  • It’s very user-friendly and visually simple
  • Lots of filters
  • Allows an option to buy tickets separately so you can save more
  • Offers price alerts
  • Allows you to share your itinerary to allow for others to plan around
  • Offers Discover Destinations – allows you to explore more options from your city of origin
  • Offers a browser extension to see how much precious leg room you are given, carry-on restrictions, and amenities

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Does not offer a mobile app

 

 

Kayak

tools to book flights

Kayak collects information from hundreds of flight search engines, providing some of the best prices across the web.

 

ADVANTAGES:

  • Detailed map view with price points
  • Lots of filters including an option of when you’d like your flight to depart
  • Future price predictions
  • Collects hundreds of search results

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Isn’t as user-friendly as the other options on this list

 

 

SkipLagged

flight booking tools

Skiplagged is another good option for a quick and painless look and book. Prices are usually super competitive and the website is simple, tasteful, and easy to use.

 

ADVANTAGES

  • Offers competitive prices
  • Will round up multi-stop flights with one stop as your destination so you can save more
  • Exposes flight loopholes
  • User-friendly
  • Offers a mobile app

DISADVANTAGES

  • Won’t be able to find prices for smaller airlines

Kiwi

best flight booking tools

This article originally started with only seven flight booking tools, but my recent experience with Kiwi has me throwing it on this list with the others. I have found better prices with Kiwi for certain flights (looking at Denver, Colorado, USA to Europe for August) and the ease of the site is really unique in some ways.

 

ADVANTAGES

  • Displays super competitive prices
  • Allows users to select multiple airports for both the destination and departure city
  • Has a more visual feel – calendars with price listings on individual dates
  • Gives discount incentives
  • Shows map with prices everywhere based on the departure city, dates, stops, etc. you select
  • Offers price alerts
  • Includes multi-stop options to give you the best prices (if you like to choose longer travel days over larger price tags)

DISADVANTAGES

  • Isn’t ALWAYS the best prices; though this is true for most, if not all booking engines these days

 

 

Some Heads Ups . . .

 

TIP: Get in the habit of using Private Browsing/Incognito Window on your browser when booking flight reservations. Many times you will see the price increase just because their computers have noticed a certain IP address is viewing it. This is so you act quickly and reserve your flight before the prices jump again. Private Browsing hides your identity from websites & takes those robots out of the equation so that you get a fairer price.

TIP: Many of these search engines, if not all, will not provide results for many smaller airlines like Southwest and Allegiant. The routes may be displayed, but the prices will not because they do not allow “any automatic device, program, or algorithm” to check and pull prices, as explained on Southwest Airlines’ website.

You’ll have to go to the airline’s website to view them, or use sites like AirFareWatchDog.com, which pull prices using humans rather than algorithms. This website is good for finding competitive prices, but I didn’t include it in the list because it’s not as user-friendly as the other options.

TIP: Keep in mind it might be worth it to double check your airline of choice’s rules ahead of booking with them – many airlines have added fees, such as luggage, that’s not included in the price you see.

 

With these great tools to use to book flights, you should have no trouble finding a price that suits your budget. It’s a maze out there, but one worth navigating to get the best value to get to your destination comfortably. These flight booking websites work great, and are perhaps some of the most-used, but this doesn’t make them the best…

I’ve shared my favorites with you, but with all the websites out there I’m sure I missed some good ones! What is your favorite flight booking tool?

 

Know a traveler who could benefit from this article? Click the red ‘P’ on the photo below to share it to Pinterest, or through any of the Social icons below. Thank you!

travel more for less

Travel Hacks – Ways To Travel More For Less

Travel has changed. With the ever-expanding internet comes more tools, more efficiency, and cheaper options, which means there is a whole new world out there to learn and navigate in order to get the best deals to save on energy better spent somewhere else. The following travel hacks will help you streamline your vacation and save you time, money, and overall energy and allow you to focus more on Piña Coladas and Vitamin D.

 

~ Use packing cubes. These organizers will limit clutter and improve your packing experience so life stays tidy when you are required to dig around a luggage or backpack every single day.

 

~ Remember to pack an international adapter for international trips. But in case you forget, many standard USB ports are located on the back of TVs in hotels and hostels in many places around the world.

 

 

~ Use Google Maps offline with a smartphone when you’re in a city in which you won’t have or don’t want to use your mobile service. All you have to do is download the map for the area you’re in to your phone while you have internet (use Wi-Fi to avoid data charges) and open it up while offline to use like normal.

 

 

~ If you’re using a credit card to book your reservations (to accumulate miles), look into the card’s policy to see you can take advantage of included travel insurance to avoid paying for a separate policy.

 

~ Sign up your kids for frequent flyer miles. Some travelers don’t realize your kids are just as eligible as you are! Some airlines require you sign them up online or by phone.

 

~ Track your miles with awardwallet.com. So many airlines to travel with results in a lot of disorganization. If you don’t mind giving out a few passwords for your Frequent Flyer award programs in exchange for a tool that will allow you to use them more wisely, then this tool can help you keep track of awards programs. View your rewards all in one place and avoid losing out on expiring mile credits.

 

~ Combine your family’s frequent flyer miles. Many airlines, though not all, will allow you to combine accumulated miles of multiple people in your family. Some applicable airlines may include (but are not limited to) JetBlue, EGYPTAIR, and their partner airlines, as well.

 

~ Take a quality multivitamin. This will make your life 1000 times easier, traveling or not. Multivitamins prevent many sicknesses along the way, keeps nails, skin, and hair strong and healthy, helps clear the body of impurities, cleans up acne, gives us more energy, and overall improves the body’s homeostasis (ability to return to a healthy balance between physiological responses), which all allows room for a clearer and sharper mind. Looking for your way back to the hotel in a new city is a hell of a lot easier when your mind and body are working at peak performance.

Make sure the ingredients are of organic quality, if possible. Pesticides and other man-made chemicals in standard-brand multivitamins are less effective than organic because artificial chemicals interfere with our body’s ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients. You may be paying less money up front but the quality makes up for it and could contribute to a need for a doctor’s bill down the road.

Example:

 

travel multivitamin

 

Please note: This is not an affiliate picture link 🙂 I can vouch for this product because it has improved my life and travels 100 fold.

 

~ Don’t drink the plane water. Studies have found the tap water on board to contain everything from salmonella to insect eggs. A better bet is bottled water or juice. Same with ice… better safe than sorry 🙂

 

~ Check out secretflying.com often if you are flexible in booking dates and your destination location of choice. The website collects and displays prices that have been posted in error by airlines, which happens all the time. Keep checking back frequently as deals are snatched quick and rotated out for new ones every day.

 

~ Think twice about the vaccine that may be “strongly recommended” or even “mandated” in the country you are visiting. Many vaccines, travel-related or not, may take care of an immediate problem but end up doing more long-term harm than good in our bodies. No doubt there are some useful ones out there that have improved human health drastically, but please do your research and trust yourself on what is best for your body over any doctor. After all, you’re the only one who is going to receive the effects of it, good or bad.

 

~ Fly into a hub airport and travel by land from there. Many times it is worthwhile to fly into a large airport where traveling around cities is easy, most affordable, and most efficient rather than spending a little . Examples of “hub” airports include Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Fort Lauderdale International Airport (Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA), Frankfurt Airport (Frankfurt, Germany), and Keflavik International Airport (Reykjavik, Iceland).

 

~ Think realllll good about that night of sleeping at the airport you think might save you some cash. I’ve made the mistake of spending a night in the Fort Lauderdale International Airport, thinking I was saving money, and instead spending as much on airport food and a good night’s sleep as I would have in buying a direct flight.

Airport food is super expensive, so chances are you could end up spending close to, or more than you wanted to save. Plus, you may discover after spending a night on thin-carpeted concrete, a simple bed and your creature comforts are worth a little extra energy.

 

~ Be aware of the possibilities (both bad AND good). Okay, this one isn’t a hack, per say, but it is so worth saying. If you’re flying to an area that isn’t in the greatest shape economically, chances are you will want to keep your eyes a little wider than when in an area full of people with all they need to survive and thrive. While having fear while traveling is perfectly normal and even a little healthy, too much of it can do us more harm than good.

**People in lack mindsets think less about the feelings of others and more about their own situations, so you tend to see less compassion and more crime in the more impoverished areas. For this reason—and unless you are willing to dance with the devil on this one—stick to calling taxis/Ubers/Lyfts/etc., limiting your time on the streets alone after sunset, and above all, trusting your gut feelings.

 

~ Expand your accommodation options. The world is changing big time, and gone are the days where we are limited to hotels and motels. Especially thanks to the internet, travel is easier and cheaper than ever. Check out hostelworld.com, booking.com, and airbnb.com for accommodation, but also remember to check general search engines like Bing and Google for the best options for your area.

  • You’ve probably noticed search engines will take out keywords you type in to come up with what they think as “better” results for you. Because of this, put quotation marks “ ” around keywords for the area you want to search so that the search engine takes the entire word or phrase and makes sure it’s in the results they provide. 
  • Using Google or Bing, type in “site:_____” and include the website(s) in which you want to search for accommodation, along with the area of your destination.

Example: type in the search bar in a popular search engine: “site: airbnb.com” “site: booking.com” panama City, panama, and it will come up with results containing those website keywords in Panama City, Panama.

  • Use a dash mark to exclude certain words or phrases you want to make sure aren’t in the results.

Example: type in the search bar in a popular search engine: eco-hotel accommodation in venice, italy -“hostel”, and it will come up with results related to your keywords that DO NOT contain the word “hostel”

 

~ Think about renting an apartment, if you’re staying for more than a week or two. You can try for any of the previously mentioned accommodation search engines, or Google the area you’re in and include “rent” or “apartment” in your search.

Zumper.com (USA & Canada) and Facebook Marketplace are also good resources for apartment hunting. The online tools you can use are endless, but those will definitely get you started.

Short-term apartment rentals save on money in the long-term and lets you travel more like a local.

 

~ Check for free city tours in your area. Freecitytour.com is a great resource for this. Also try general search engines and Facebook groups for your area of interest.

 

~ Open a bank account that will provide reimbursement of international ATM charges and other foreign fees. I use and swear by Charles Schwab Bank. They have really great customer service and do all of the above, and more. The only drawback (or benefit, depending on your perspective) is it’s an online bank so you can’t pull cash out of it.

 

Useful Flight Deal Websites To Book With:

You may want to compare flight prices for each of the following, as all of these will rotate as being the cheapest flight booking website for you, depending on factors such as your timing and location.

~ ***Remember to use private browsing or incognito tab when looking at flights. Your visits to certain websites are tracked and used by airlines to change the prices so that you book sooner.

theflightdeal.com

flights.google.com

secretflying.com

kayak.com

 

 

Useful Transportation Tools:

Car2Go.com: share a car with others to avoid car payments, maintenance and repair, gas, and insurance. Use a car for the day, an hour, or a week and park it anywhere. You don’t even have to fill the tank! This isn’t an affiliate link, I just think it’s a great idea for digital nomads and travelers alike.

Check out some of the prices (in US dollars) below for the Denver, Colorado area and look at the website to see if it’s already available in your area. Car2Go is in many major cities around the world and they accept International Driver’s Licenses!

I have never used this tool before but I only recently found it and will be using it on my next stay-cation. Let me know what you think!

car2go carsharing rates

 

Uber: Like a taxi service, but run by individuals employing themselves. Prices vary by area, weather, traffic, and times.

Lyft: Very similar to Uber, but the prices are arguably more competitive. Prices vary by area, weather, traffic, and times.

Rome2Rio.com: From their website: “Enter any address, landmark, or city as your destination and we will instantly display all your travel and booking options, along with information about accommodation and things to do, in one convenient spot.” This may not account for funky transportation alternatives like gondolas and cable cars, so be sure to do a little extra research on the area’s options if you feel like something different.

Keep an eye out for free or paid bike stations (or businesses) provided by the city or individual enterprises. In Medellín, Colombia, for example, bikes are provided FREE; there are stations all over the big city to leave the bikes on rotation for anyone to use. Just one of the many reasons to love Medellín . . .

 

medellín colombia

 

This list is being updated often with more useful travel hacks to travel more for less. Have a tip of your own? Comment below or message me on my Instagram at @haileymorganf.

 

Want to pin this? Click the Red “P” on the photo below to share on Pinterest. Happy travels!!

travel hacks

workaway ideas

Independent Workaway Ideas To Travel For Almost Free

It’s one (beautiful) thing to travel with a fat bank account. But what if your followers could be your currency? Or better yet… your talents? What if you could stay in hotels across the world using work exchange alone? Drooling from the taste of freedom yet? What if I told you it’s easier done than we all once thought?

After workawaying my way with my blog and camera across Colombia, a bit of Mexico, and even one of the costlier cities in the Eastern USA (Miami), below I’ve laid out a list of work exchange ideas that are enjoyable and probably won’t seem like work to those who have a talent/skill for the one(s) they choose.

This article is for those who would rather pitch ideas to businesses outside of online platforms such as help.x and workaway.info. Though these are helpful, they are not free and come with less freedom and scalability than creating our own package with which to approach potential clients.

***Many, though not all, of the options below have the ability of earning an added salary in addition to a work exchange arrangement, which is up to the agreement of both parties involved, taking local laws into account. If you choose to do so, charging for your services in addition to receiving accommodation could mean you need a work visa for the country in which you are traveling. Remember to check your local government website for details on this before you leave your home country to work in another country. Many times you will need to apply for a work visa while in your home country months in advance to leaving.***

Without further ado, here are ways to use your talents and interests as a currency:

 

 

~ Tutor

Tutor people in any subject while living with the family in exchange. Check out Aupair.com or Aupairworld.com and other online communities and groups for opportunities and make it obvious that you are looking for a tutoring arrangement. Many times families want an “Au Pair” (a person who cares for children in another country in exchange for room and board) to come and speak your language with their kids so they can improve their language skills. No extra housework necessary.

~ Writer

Write city guides or publicize an honest and quality review for businesses on your blog or online presence in exchange for accommodation. No, you don’t need a huge following! Many times it helps businesses a TON just to tell your travel friends about them. Word-of-mouth is a powerful thing.

~ Au Pair

Be a nanny (or teach your language/care for elders/whatever the arrangement) in any part of the world while receiving accommodation and food, depending on the arrangement.

~ Housesit / Petsit

Care for someone’s home and/or pet while they are on holiday and live in their home for as long as they are gone.

~ Camp Counselor 

Many times camp employees get accommodations on-site with an added hourly rate, depending on the camp and area.

~ Cruise Ship Employee 

Opportunities include bartending, instructing scuba diving, being a tour leader, MC, restaurant waiter, chef, etc. to name just a few. Hourly rate usually included.

~ Yacht Employee

Choose to be a bartender, waiter, chef, tour leader, scuba instructor, maid, blackjack dealer, liveaboard nanny etc. to name a few. Hourly rate usually included.

~ WWOOF

Exchange a few of your hours picking fruits and vegetables for a place to sleep and good healthy food to eat.

 

 

 

If none of these suit your fancy, find a societal need and make up a work exchange of your own.

As modern entrepreneurs, should you so choose to accept the title, we are allowed the freedom of organizing our own businesses in any and all niches we choose. Entrepreneurs have the freedom to expand their skillset in any way they desire and use their own personality to create a business.

As entrepreneurs, we must think outside the box.

We can essentially take any of our talents that would be of service to others and exchange them for hospitality. As long as we come at it from an organized and professional standpoint, be kind and thoughtful in our approach, and follow-through, the work exchange will flow smoothly and successfully… in most cases. There are no guarantees in life 😉

And keep in mind, the follow-through is arguably as important as the work itself. Keeping in touch with past clients can help you land another opportunity with them in the future, and/or help link you to other businesses you wouldn’t otherwise know about. Plus, it just means a lot to people when you remember them.

 

Here are some workaway package ideas for hotels and hostels worldwide. Please remember to be aware of the laws of the area(s) in which you are exchanging:

 

 

~ Create art (murals, fliers, banners, signs, menus, posters, websites, business cards, etc.) for businesses in desperate need of some ambience or online appeal.

 

workaway ideas
Art exchange in a new hostel in Bacalar, Mexico

 

~ Write honest business reviews on applicable online pages and/or publish it on your blog.

~ Write vacation guide articles and publish it on your or their website blog.

 

Check out an example of an area guide here done for a hostel in Colombia.

 

~ Take professional photos if you have a good camera and if their business photos online (or lack thereof) leave something to be desired.

~ Shoot and/or edit marketing videos for businesses.

~ Translate or edit a hotel or hostel’s restaurant menu in your language.

~ Manage the business’s social media.

~ Write a tour article detailing a description of the excursion they offer. This is a great way to participate in tours at no extra cost.

 

Example of a tour article here.

 

~ Be the company’s brand ambassador by partnering with them and helping them spread the word by using your following on social media.

~ Build furniture or technology for businesses still developing.

~ Join a monastery.

Okay, I put this one on here for laughs. Most of us don’t want to be monks. But really, it is an option.

Something a little more “realistic”, though, would be to go on a Vipassana Meditation Retreat, which are completely free across the world. Your meals and accommodation will be taken care of for over a week, while you meditate and transform your mind every single day. Your will is your ticket in and your silence is your rent. This type of commitment changes lives for the better, and it wouldn’t be free to anyone and everyone if it didn’t have a huge impact.

This is not sponsored! Just food for thought 🙂

 

Work commutes in Tuk-Tuks through palm tree paradise >>>

 

PRO TIP: Remember to be clear on what you believe your services are worth and what kind of arrangement you are looking for (this was something I skimped on in the beginning and looked a fool as a result). No need to lower the bar on yourself; just lay out what you think your services are honestly worth in exchange for what you are asking.

PRO TIP: It’s important to note that some ideas on this list are worth much more than others, so adjust your “package” accordingly. For example, taking professional photos of a business for their online presence could cost anything, depending on the country, the skill level of yourself and your camera, the specific area you are in, and the business itself.

These are just a number of factors that go into a fair exchange process, so do some organizing and thinking about the value of your skillset before you throw your precious energy into a work exchange situation.

Remember, YOU decide your worth, not your clients. So it is worth picking a number that is resonant with the energy that you put into the skills you are bringing to the table.

PRO TIP: On that note, it’s helpful to have a laid-out and organized document of the work exchange agreement you are offering to potential customers. It’s also extremely helpful to have an added document detailing the exact agreement of the work exchange and what is expected between both parties. This avoids future complications and simply ensures the most professional and thoughtful exchange for everyone involved.

PRO TIP: In this line of work (or almost any, for that matter), you are going to get a lot of “no”s. Remember your worth, learn from the situation, and move on to the next. If a business doesn’t like you or your prices, this is not time to immediately readjust the value of your package! Take criticism, if any, into account and simply be as flexible in your offer as it feels comfortable so that you can meet potential clients in the middle.

 

Online Resources:

Workaway.info

 

workaway.info workaway

 

Anyworkanywhere.com

 

workaway resources

 

Helpx.net

 

helpx.net workaway

 

 

VolunteersBase.com

 

workaway website

 

 

WWOOF.net

 

wwoof workaway

 

 

Making a living shouldn’t be gear-grinding and uninspiring. This is following your passions we’re talking about here. Work exchange is simply a fun alternative way of traveling to experiment with and maybe even pursue as a lifestyle. Anything we do in life that gives us energy and passion means we’re on the right track, or it wouldn’t feel so damn good in the first place! As Mary Oliver so eloquently puts it:

 

You do not have to walk on your knees

For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

Love what it loves.

 

Work exchanging is a skill and art in itself. The better we master this art—and if we got better at no other skill but this one—the more we automatically increase our value as entrepreneurs. Work exchange is a powerful thing. Freedom is a powerful thing, which is exactly what is magnified in our lives when we can use our skills and talents as a currency. Where will you go with your own expertise?

Or a better question: Where will your expertise take you?

 

If you enjoyed this article, please consider liking it, commenting, or sharing it using the red “P” button on the photo below.    Thank you  🙂

jaguar negro hostel

Jaguar Negro Hostel – Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Situated only a minute’s walk from the beach, surrounded by palm trees and sunshine, Jaguar Negro has the perfect location for those looking to relax on the beach and hit up Fifth Avenue for some excitement.

 

jaguar negro hostel

 

The rooms are clean and well-stocked with large lockers with built-in locks to store your valuables. The kitchen is equipped with what you need to cook a quality meal, and there is a TV with comfortable seating for those nights you just want to stay in. The beds are comfortable, the location is fantastic, and the bathrooms were perfectly adequate for the three nights I stayed there.

The only things I would say weren’t ideal were the mosquitoes and the heat. Mosquitoes are heavier in Mexico; it kind of comes with the heat, so the owner is adding a fan and/or A/C in the near future. This is a new hostel, so when I arrived things were still being developed. I love staying at new hostels for the advantages they provide, the improvements I get to both witness and add to, and the ambience is much different than you would get in a strict hotel or hostel that I previously have experienced in Playa del Carmen.

Overall I enjoyed my stay at Jaguar Negro Hostel. I loved the art and atmosphere and the staff was friendly as well as accommodating. I would recommend this hostel to those coming to Playa del Carmen, Mexico to get a nice mix of relaxed beach vibes while still soaking up the excitement of the area. A short walk from all of the clubs and bars, yet still far enough away from the noise makes this a great selection for backpackers traveling around Mexico.

 

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Accommodation was kindly provided by Jaguar Negro Hostel, but all opinions, photography and spelling mistakes are my own 🙂