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5 Easy Ways to Save Money for Your Dream Trip in 2020

On the eve of a new year, instead of a list of resolutions, how about a list of destinations you want to go — and how to get there?

Making a bucket list can often feel like daydreaming, especially with far-off destinations like Bali and the Maldives. Traveling doesn’t have to break the bank, however, and even if you’re living off a modest salary, here are the steps to take to reach your travel goals.

1. Start investing in a travel fund
Putting aside money directly into a fund for travel, particularly in an account that you cannot easily withdraw from, makes it easier to visualize goals. With new investment apps, like Acorns, for example, travelers don’t need to be a financial wizard to start investing — and grow their money faster than it would in an average savings account.

Acorns rounds up users’ credit and debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and puts that money in an investment account. Users can supplement their contributions by setting up weekly or monthly deposits into the account.

2. Automate your savings
Similar to putting money into an investment fund, automatically depositing a portion of each paycheck into a savings account makes it easier to achieve savings goals.

Miron Lulic, CEO of the finance advising website SuperMoney, told us that a savings account is the first thing someone should think about with each paycheck, budgeting the rest of your check around that amount.

“Pay yourself first,” he said.

3. Assess your current expenses — and make cuts
Figuring out where you spend most of your money already goes a long way toward figuring out what you’re doing right — and more importantly what you might be doing wrong.

Track your expenses for a month to see where your biggest expenses are, or download an app like Clarity or Mint that does it for you. Clarity gives you a list of monthly expenses, from cable and electronic bills, to streaming services. It can be a good reminder to cut out services you no longer use or didn’t even know you subscribed to, from Pandora and Spotfiy to Hulu or Amazon Prime.

4. Increase your 401K contribution
Lulic told us that one of the biggest financial mistakes people make is to immediately change their lifestyle the moment they receive a raise or a bonus. Whether you’re receiving a meager Christmas bonus or seeing a big promotion, think twice before rushing out to lease a new apartment or cut up your subway card.

Instead, increase your 401K contribution. As many employers match employees’ contribution, you’re essentially getting free money. “That mentality of saving is a big thing,” said Lulic.

While your retirement fund won’t get you to Fiji tomorrow, it will help your greater financial picture.

5. Use rewards wisely
Credit cards that earn rewards for travel expenses such as flights or hotels can be invaluable resources when it comes to making dream trips happen. The internet is full of success stories of millennials who have traveled the world using only their points from rewards cards.

These tips and tricks can be applied by travelers of all stripes. However, beware the trap of opening several credit cards at once only to find yourself weighed down by debt: First pay off balances, then go after rewards.

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IT_HOTELS IT_MORE TRAVEL

6 Things to Do if You Damage a Hotel Room

It’s not hard to accidentally create some damage in a hotel room, especially if you’ve gotten just a little tipsy or the kids have had a hyperactivity attack. So, what do you do? Regardless of who created the problem, there’s six things you should keep in mind.

1. Alert the hotel. In many cases, you will find them to be very understanding. We all know that stuff happens.

2. Based on the degree of the damage, most managers will remain reasonable and be easier to deal with if you’ve delivered a sincere apology. That little taste of honesty can make all the difference.

3. The things that hotels may not be empathic to is irresponsibility and malicious intent. So, you want to avoid those messages and words.

4. If the hotel deems malicious behavior, you can count on paying for the damages and any needed repairs. If the damage is so severe the room can’t be rented, you could easily be charged for every night it’s out of commission. And if any of your neighbors complained, you may have to pick up their bills as well.

5. Irresponsibility can go either way. You may get a pass for an accidentally broken lamp. The hotel realizes that a $50 light is cheaper to replace than your patronage, especially if you’re a frequent guest. But it is critical that you tell the hotel and don’t let them discover it after you’re gone.

6. On the other hand, if you cause a fire from smoking, which is a no-no, they may throw the book at you. Sneaking in a pet is another annoyance for hotel managers. They don’t care how cute or quiet they are; they just aren’t welcomed, guests. Expect a fine if you get caught, and you may be asked to leave with no refund of your room fees.

Accidents happen, but being honest and fully disclosing spills, breaks, and tears is key to obtaining a pass or at least a lessened penalty. Always check the hotel policies!

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IT_AFRICA IT_ASIA IT_EUROPE IT_HOTELS IT_MORE IT_NA IT_OCEANIA Top_Travel TRAVEL

Top 10 Summer Travel Spots

After the school year is over, you’re definitely looking forward to a great summer. Weddings on the horizon or other cool events make it a fun and romantic season. Take a look at some nice, dream destinations.

10. Kaua’i, Hawaii

Ahhh. One of the top honeymoon destinations, period. Not only will see you see, humpback whales when the temps are just right in June, but think of all the local pools and amazing beaches before it gets taken over  by everyone and their mommas.

9. Stockholm, Sweden

Here’s a cool destination known to draw in a lot of single women. Take in the coffee shops and restaurants along Old Town and Gamla Stan. Since it’s a modern spot, you can use metro stations to easily to get from one destination to the next. It’s a perfect area for a woman get pampered as they tour the city.

8. Havana, Cuba

Not only will you hear the sounds of Desi Arnaz, but get a nice dose of the Caribbean. La Fábrica is a cool art bar to check out. Sip a nice mojito as you enjoy your nights in the plush Pullman Cayo Coco hotel.

7. Bangkok, Thailand

Even with monsoon, the city stays pack with over 45 million people visiting. Despite the crazy weather, there’s a lot of adventure, from spas to nightlife. Speaking of which, stop at Rabbit Hole for a white-truffle gin martini before hitting the town.

6. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Mother Nature has a way of bringing adventurers and family together, especially in one of the USA’s national parks. The Rocky Mountains have a beautiful scenery filled with trees, flowers, and some great native wildlife. Take time to enjoy the Estes Park where you can go to year-round festivals for some great fun.

5. Guatemala

Guatemala has a unique energy with the international feel spilling into different parts of the city. Also, it’s a cool tourism destination and people enjoy the authentic Mayan villages across Lake Atitlán.

4. Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux is one of the top notch places, period. If you’re a wine connoisseur, make sure to head to the wine museum, La Cité du Vin, in June for incredible exhibits on winemaking. Next, stop at the La Grande Maison for some delicious French food before you begin your next adventure.

3. Boston, Massachusetts

Need something to do during the summer? Take a look at one of America’s greatest walking cities. Whether you wander through Faneuil Hall, Newbury Street, or Cambridge bookstores, you take in the Bostonian culture and feel the vibe of this historic town in all its American glory.

2. Venice, Italy

There’s something about majestic light and nice breezes while taking in the beautiful scenery. Venice is just a place for art, food, and excitement. After a busy day, relax with a swim at the pool in the JW Marriott Resort & Spa.

1. Beijing, China

In June, enjoy the relaxing weather and the light tourism. Have a chance to visit The Great Wall and Tiananmen Square without he hustle and bustle of a crazy city. Enjoy this combination of past and future with the ancient sites to five-star suites.

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IT_AFRICA IT_ASIA IT_EUROPE IT_HOTELS IT_MORE IT_NA IT_OCEANIA IT_SA TRAVEL World_Travel

Top 10 Underground International Caves

While we see a lot on the ground level, there are so many things underground that have a certain undeniable beauty. Some may be stalagmites, antique tree trunks, or even hidden war rooms. Take a look some of the top ten locations.

10. Reed Flute Cave, China
Here you’ll get a look at around 800 feet long  halls of stalagmites and stalactites, and wall pieces that stem from the Tang Dynasty. Take pictures of the formations, such as Dragon Pagoda and Sky Scraping Twins.

9. Poço Encantado, Brazil
It’s called the “enchanted well” for a reason. It has a body of water that’s so clear you can see 200 feet under to look at rock formations and ancient tree trunks. Between April and September, the sun is in the perfect spot to reflect off the water.

8. Magma Chamber of Thrihnukagigur Volcano, Iceland
Even though this volcano has been dormant for 4,000 years, it’s a perfect spot for geological enthusiasts. Use a cable car to take you on tour to see all of the epic mineral colors.

7. Turda Salt Mines, Romania
While you can play a game of golf or basketball, save your energy for the amazing Transylvanian cave that is 368 feet under the earth’s surface. Relax your mind and body at  the halotherapy spa when you’re done exploring.

6. Puerto Princesa Underground River, Philippines
This a five-mile long river that’s a UNESCO World Heritage location. With eight nearby parks that have diverse plant and wildlife, you can have a great time taking a tour around the area.

5. Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand
Now, here’s a site for sore eyes! This a beautiful cave in New Zealand that features different colored glowworms. Get a look at nature working in a unique way.

4. San Clemente Basilica and Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, Rome

Here’s a 12th-century Basilica with a rich history. If you like the undead, horror kind of vibe, you’ll enjoy the temple that was home to a male fertility cult, who worshiped Mithras, the sun god. Also,  take a look at the remains of the 4,000 monks around a crypt.

3. Cabinet War Rooms, London

Here’s a war area that the British used and Winston Churchill headed in World War II.  These days you can get a look at the artifacts, maps with pins denoting front line changes and Churchwell’s chair. Perfect place for a history nerd.

2. Mayakovskaya Metro Station, Moscow
This is another cool World War II spot, which features one of the busiest subway systems in the world. Checkout the scenery from the red marble columns, archways, and mosaics. You have six doors to go into The Tchaikovsky Concert Hall.

1. Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam
While this is a bit touchy, you can get some serious appreciation from viewing the 75-mile tribute to men who overcame major trials and tribulations of the war. Reenact tunnel crawls and even eat some of the traditional meals that captured soldiers had to endure.

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IT_AFRICA IT_ASIA IT_EUROPE IT_HOTELS IT_MORE IT_NA IT_OCEANIA TRAVELVOLA

Top 10 Instagram Worthy Destinations

One of the best parts of travelling is being able to take pictures to share with the rest of the world, as well as some for your own memory box. Whilst every vacation is picture worthy, there are some destinations that make for breathtaking snaps. Here are 10 of some of the most picturesque destinations to add to your Bucket list.

10. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
It has graced the covers of travel magazines for years, and looks as pretty as a picture in real life. Bora Bora is located in an old volcano-turned-paradise. The volcano subsided and allowed the formation of a reef ecosystem with the clearest blue water and limited waves. Bora Bora is a calm sanctuary with absolutely no bad angles.

9. Northern Lights, Iceland
You might need a few tries to catch this natural wonder but when you do, you will see heaven. Nothing can compare to the colours illuminated across the Icelandic skies, which photograph beautifully. If you happen to miss the lights, rest assured that the rest of Iceland is truly a sight you’ll want to capture and remember forever.

8. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Serving as the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle, Neuschwanstein is real life Disney magic. The castle is completed by the mountainous backdrop, making it look like it came right out of a movie. Visit in the winter to get some of the best images, aided by the snowfall that creates a fairytale aesthetic.

7. Railay, Thailand
Only accessible by boat, this peninsula is so perfect you almost don’t want to touch it. The water is so clear that you can see the fish swimming beneath you. The water is complemented by and cave systems, that not only make for a fun vacation, but gorgeous unfiltered pictures.

6. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Zambia
One of the seven natural wonders of the world – and what a majestic one this is. Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world, dropping off a 350 foot cliff. This is the dream backdrop for those water lovers, and will make you realise just how big the world truly is. The pictures at Victoria Falls are almost guaranteed to feature a rainbow – no flash needed.

5. Rainbow Mountains of Zhangye Danxia, China
If science and art met, and had a love child, the Rainbow Mountains would be it. These mountains are brightly colored as a result of the weathering and erosion of trace minerals within the sandstone. You’ll have to see them to believe that it is not photoshopped. A natural work of art.

4. Torres Del Paine Patagonia, Chile
This destination looks like the background of the cover of The Sound of Music……except more. Torres Del Paine is a national park that requires hiking to get to see the full park, but the work is definitely worth it. The park is home to glaciers, rivers, lakes, mountains, and lush greenery that make for the most serene and picturesque back drop. There is also various wildlife in the park and a unique experience for those who love hiking and nature.

3. Taj Mahal, India
A jewel that makes a diamond look like an ordinary rock. The Taj Mahal is a popular place for worship and tourism, and rightly so. This white marble mausoleum stands boldly among other Indian architecture and simply takes your breath away. Some of the most popular pictures of the Taj Mahal are taken at sundown, when the orange speckles of the sun reflect against the marble, creating an ethereal tone.

2. Venice, Italy
Venice is a romantic city, built on over a hundred small islands that are separated by a network or canals. This is a unique city that begs you to capture it forever. Whilst cruising along the canals, visitors have a clear view of the beautiful city and the homes that have been on the water for centuries. Photographs taken at sunset beautifully showcase the sun dancing on the water, and light reflecting from the windows of the buildings. No description, or even picture does Venice justice.

1. Antarctica
Yes. This is a holiday destination that people go to. Despite being one of the harshest environments on the planet – an icy desert – Antarctica is a continent of beauty. The serene, untouched ice mountains provide the most calm yet bold backdrop to a beautiful narrative. The continent is also filled with vast wildlife. This is a once in a lifetime experience.