Tag: Travel

Should I fly first (or business) class?

Recently, we traveled to Canada with my parents as a group of four. We all flew to Japan, taking a transpacific cruise with stops in Hokkaido, Alaska and Canada. There, we finished with 2.5 weeks visiting breathtaking national parks. Including all flights, meals, accommodation, and car hire, our total cost per person for the entire trip was less than a couple of our friends spent on just their plane tickets to Canada.

Why?

They flew business class.

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Should you pay for two tickets?

Should you have to pay extra to bring your baby on a plane, or to a concert? Should an overweight person have to pay for two tickets? Or should an underweight person get an additional baggage allowance on their flight? Should students have to give up their seats to seniors when they’re both getting cut-price tickets? Continue reading “Should you pay for two tickets?”

What should I do with my tax refund?

Tax time is a special time of year in that it forces us (at least those of us who do our own tax returns!) to take a look at our finances. We submitted our own returns last month, and have just received the refunds. But no matter the outcome – tax refund or tax bill – tax time can be full of pressure – and communication problems.

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Should you get another quote on your toothpaste?

When you’re forking out a lot for a one-off purchase it’s common sense to get a second quote. Maybe you’re about to have some new wardrobes installed. The first carpenter gives you a quote of $2,000 for the job. The next says they’ll build the wardrobes for $1,800. You feel pretty pleased with your $200 saving. But what about getting another quote on your toothpaste?

When it comes to everyday items, it’s less likely we’ll bother whipping out the calculator or opening up a spreadsheet. But using the same approach may be one of the simplest ways to save money without sacrificing your lifestyle.

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How can I travel the world on $50 a day?

Figuring out how long you can plan a holiday for, or whether you can afford to travel long-term, is a relatively simple calculation if you have the right variables. In a previous post, I illustrated a few different methods of calculating short, medium, and long term or even permanent travel, but all of them are based on how much you will spend each day.

I mentioned the figure of $50 a day, which for some, might sound entirely unreasonable. That’s how much Paul Terhorst suggested in his book, Cashing in on the American Dream, which is what inspired my husband and I to begin our current travels in large part, and was the impetus behind my most recent post, the first in a series probing the notion of the American Dream. But Terhorst’s book was published back in the 1980s, and the world is, unarguably, different today. One could even say it’s a different world since I wrote my first post in this series on the American Dream two days ago. So is travel on $50 a day still possible?

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What’s the price of bread? Or a Big Mac?

When a politician is criticised for being ‘out of touch’, it is often said that they don’t know the cost of a loaf of bread or a carton of milk. The BBC describes this as ‘a classical political ambush that has been popular on both sides of the Atlantic for decades’, with cynical voters suspicious that political leaders live in a world divorced from the ordinary lives of the majority. But why are these two items such important yardsticks? And how would they stack up in a global comparison? What about something a little more fun… like the Big Mac?

It’s 30 years since The Economist invented the Big Mac Index, a ‘lighthearted guide to whether currencies are at their “correct” level. It is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity (PPP), the notion that in the long run exchange rates should move towards the rate that would equalise the prices of an identical basket of goods and services (in this case, a burger) in any two countries’.

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How can frugality make me more creative?

There is a paradox when it comes to creativity: the tension between freedom and constraint. While we often think of the ideal creative process as unstructured, open-ended, and free of limitations, research has found that creative individuals – in both artistic and business settings – can actually benefit from self- or externally-imposed constraints.

Most of us cringe when we hear words like ‘budget’. As with the word ‘diet’, images of spartan deprivation, meager portions, and boredom spring to mind. But my experiences of frugality have been exactly the opposite – not tightening, but freeing.

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How long can I travel for?

Sitting on the bus from Cork to Dublin, I got to thinking about a recent discussion I had with fellow traveller and blogger Elizabeth the Island Enthusiast about the different ways of calculating how long you can travel for – whether for a quick jaunt, extended – or even permanent – travel.

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