BUDGET TRAVEL BLOG

Find the BEST Cyber Monday Travel Deals

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Mondays are tough and this week is no exception.
With upwards of 47 million Americans expected to travel 50 miles or more this holiday weekend, Monday will be one of the busiest and most expensive days of the year to fly. Ironically, it is also Cyber Monday, which is the Black Friday of online shopping and you will find some of the best online travel deals of the year.
                             
According to
Huge Cyber Monday Travel Deals, last Cyber Monday was the biggest spending day online in U.S. history with upwards of $3 billion in online sales. Click here to see me talk about last year's Cyber Monday on Breakfast Television.

If you’ve been holding off on a trip due to cost or are planning to travel this winter, Monday may be the day to pull the trigger.

Where to Start 
Ok, so the Internet is a big place and it’s hard to know where to look! Fortunately, there are websites that act as billboards showcasing the best online Cyber Monday deals. They are:

  • CyberTravelDeals.com organizes cyber Monday travel deals by country. Most deals are for accommodations and range from 20 - 50% off.
      
  • CyberMonday.com has a Travel section with deals broken down by flights, accommodations, car rentals, cruises and vacation packages.
      


    Power Hour

    An emerging trend is the ‘Power Hour’ super-sale where companies drop prices even further to offer killer deals for one hour on Cyber Monday. This year's Power Hour deals have yet to be announced, but last year's biggest one by far was 90% OFF hotel rooms book using Expedia's app with the exact hotels on sale rotating every hour. 

    Top Picks
    My favorite Cyber Monday deals announced to date include:

    • According to Budget Travel, Fiji Airways is offering up to HALF OFF roundtrip flights between Fiji and either LA, San Francisco or Honolulu.
    • For a last minute escape, Atlantis Bahamas is offering up to 55% OFF nightly rates for stays checking out no later than December 23, 2016.
    • Expedia is expected to match last year's 90% OFF deals on select hotels. Make sure to visit their website Monday for specifics along with terms and conditions.
    • Royal Caribbean is offering 50% OFF guests, up to $300 onboard credits and 50% reduced deposits on select trips and cabins.
    • AMEX Travel is offering up to 50% OFF select trips paid using your AMEX card and taken between January 9 and February 9 2017. Click here to browse deals.
    • This Telegraph article shows 50% OFF 2 night stays in a historic castle near Edinburgh in addition to half a dozen other sales in the range of 50 - 67% OFF.
    • The Boston Globe reports Wyndham is offering up to 40% OFF rooms at select properties in Charleston, S.C., Orlando and San Diego. 
    • 30% OFF stays at any of 14 Hilton hotels in Kauai, Maui and Oahu for stays between January 1 and June 30 next year.

    Leverage, Leverage, Leverage
    With so many amazing deals to choose from, you can book all your vacations for the upcoming year on Cyber Monday and save a bundle.

    A nifty  way to multiply your savings is leverage deals. For example, Vail Resorts has properties throughout the Western U.S. and is offering up to 45% off accommodations booked through
    snow.com/cybermonday. By leveraging this deal with liftopia.com which sells lift tickets at wholesale price, you can literally shred both the slopes and cost of your vacation.

    Make Every Day Cyber Monday
    You don’t have to wait for Cyber Monday to earn major travel rewards online. In an effort to lure shoppers away from brick and mortar stores, online stores and shopping portals offer big time incentives in the form of rewards points. You can earn upwards of 5, 10 even 15 points per dollar spent on purchases. To see which online stores have the best deals, visit 
    evreward.com and browse to see which stores offer the juiciest incentives.

    Last but not least, if you have a favorite travel website, keep an eye on it this Monday as chances are good you will find a great deal displayed on their homepage.

    Keep in Mind
    The steepest discounts are often offered by high end travel operators, making Monday a great opportunity to book 5-star accommodations on a 3-star budget.


    Here's to Scoring Some Great Cyber Monday Travel Deals!


    Once feeling unable to afford to travel, Russell Hannon uses lean principles to travel at a fraction of the going rate. He has been featured on CNBC, FOX, America Tonight, CBS, CTV, CBC, the National Post, Around the World Travel TV and nationally broadcast lifestyle and personal finance shows. He also wrote amazon.ca Budget Travel #1 Best Seller ‘Stop Dreaming Start Traveling: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling More & Spending Less’ available at StopDreamingStartTraveling.com.

    FREE GUIDE: Download ‘Beat the Best Online Fare – Every Time, Every Flight’ at BreakTheTravelBarrier.com.

    buzzoole code

    Stay Healthy and Safe While Traveling Abroad

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    Do recent terrorist attacks or the Zika virus have you reconsidering your travel plans? The latest advisories issued for visitors to Europe and even the United States may leave you feeling New Zealand is the last safe haven for a holiday.


    CLICK HERE for my Travel Safety interview with Phil Hulett who says he isn't even going to Disneyland anymore. Phil is the Anaheim Ducks game commentator and this interview was on his L.A. radio show.

    Ultra-Economical travel is about traveling inexpensively, but not at the expense of your well being. If you have concerns about traveling somewhere, there is no place on earth that is so amazing from a vacation perspective, that no other will do. That said, some concerns are over inflated in the media, so I wrote this article to offer facts that put travel safety risks into context so you can make informed decisions, and make use of the resources to steer clear of common traveler pitfalls.

    For reliable and up-to-date travel advisories:

    ·       Safety:  travel.state.gov has a Smart Traveler Enrollment Program that sends real-time safety advisory e-notifications for any destination you request information about.

    ·       Health: The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) Traveler’s Health webpage outlines health risks by destination and suggests preventative measures you can take. You can browse risks by circumstance such as travel with children, while pregnant, taking a cruise or with weak immune system. Travel Health Notices by country are posted here and are categorized as either:

    o   Practice Usual Precautions

    o   Practice Enhanced Precautions

    o   Avoid Nonessential Travel


    Terrorism 
    - If you are reconsidering travel to Europe due to recent terrorist attacks, it's important to keep in context that the odds of a terrorist attack occurring are completely different the odds of finding yourself at the site of a terrorist attack at the time that it happens. These statistics published by the CDC suggest your biggest risks while traveling abroad are the same as those you face at home - of being in a car accident. In my opinion your most likely health and safety risks while traveling are apt to be food sickness or petty travel scams. Here are some rules of thumb to steer you clear of these risks while abroad: 

    Health - Before departing on your trip, schedule an appointment at a Travel Health Clinic. These clinics inform you of heath risks specific to the destination you are visiting, and they factor in what you will be doing and suggest preventative measures you can take including vaccinations and medication to prevent travel related sickness. Once you arrive, try to eat local yogurt as the bacterial culture will help your system build immunity to local germs.

    Medical Coverage - From an impact perspective, your biggest risk is requiring medical support and not having adequate coverage. A number of travelers have experienced financial ruin from this seemingly innocent oversight. You might have heard of high profile cases where travelers had to make large up front payments to get treatment, or pregnant women delivering early while vacationing and being left with six figure bills for air transportation and extended care.

    Before you purchase global medial insurance, check your employer's benefits policy to see if it extends to travel abroad. If not, ask if you can extend your coverage to include it for an added cost. Worldnomads.com offers global medical coverage to anyone going anywhere. Simply provide your country of residence, your travel destination, dates and number of travelers, and you will see a number of comprehensive medical coverage plans to choose from.

    Safety Tips

    ·         Don’t wander alone at night, or at least do not do so without knowing about at risk areas.

    ·         Avoid public demonstrations and protests.

    ·         Stay away from border areas and bad neighborhoods.

    ·         Resist recording people and things that may anger others.

    ·         Don’t flash anything that can tempt opportunists.

    ·         Don’t share personal or sensitive information with strangers.

    ·         Remain constantly aware of your surroundings.

    ·         If you do not know the local language, carry your hotel’s business card so you can show it to your taxi driver to get back to your hotel.


    What You Don't Know Can Hurt You - Often times, the things you should worry about most do not make headline news. To find out what dangers lurk that may not be in national travel advisories, lookup the embassy closest to your destination. This is also an effective way to learn if there are any local laws or customs you should be aware of. For example, many travelers to Singapore do not know:

    It is illegal to:

    ·         Smoke in public ($150 fine)

    ·         Not flush public toilets

    ·         Jaywalk, chew gum, spit in public or eat on public transit ($375 fine)

    Punishable by death:

    ·         Unlawful discharge of a firearm

    ·         Import, expert, manufacture or possession of drugs in quantities more than grams.

    Did you know that in the Middle East, police can arrest or deport you for:

    ·         Being too friendly

    ·         Kissing in public

    ·         Staring into a married man’s eyes (women)

    ·         Speaking directly to a woman with a male companion (men)


    If you inadvertently upset locals
    , de-escalate the situation using what I call the triple-A:

    ·         Acknowledge your error

    ·         Apologize

    ·         Act to rectify/de-escalate

    Keeping Connected - There is a misconception that travelers want to unplug from their phones while abroad. Truth is, there is no more important time to have a smartphone than when you are traveling. When you are in unfamiliar territory, you are much more likely to need to access information to help you along your way, and smartphones are invaluable travel tools that give you access to what you need precisely when you need it. My favorite apps for keeping safe abroad are:

    ·       Travelsafe Pro: Has an international directory of emergency services and embassies

    ·        IStone Travel Translation: Choose from a list of phrases and your phone will repeat it in the language of your choice.

    ·       Taxi Finder: Select taxis using this app to ensure they are legal. It comes with an ‘Estimator’ that gives you approximate fares for your route.

    ·       Tripso: Has downloadable local maps worldwide you can access offline.


    CLICK HERE to hear me discuss Travel Safety on Michigan’s Big Show


    Once feeling unable to afford to travel, Russell Hannon uses lean principles to travel at a fraction of the going rate. He has been featured on CNBC, FOX, America Tonight, CBS, CTV, CBC, the National Post, Around the World Travel TV and nationally broadcast lifestyle and personal finance shows.

    He is also the author of amazon.ca Budget Travel #1 Best Seller ‘Stop Dreaming Start Traveling: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling More & Spending Less’ available at stopdreamingstarttraveling.com.

    FREE GUIDE: Download ‘Beat the Best Online Fare – Every Time, Every Flight’ at breakthetravelbarrier.com

    Camp Free (or super cheap)

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    Tips for Glampers & Budget Travelers


    If you've been following me on Facebook or Twitter (@Russellhannon), you likely know I have a weekly Budget Travel segment on CBC. It has me staying close to home for the summer, as I have to appear live in studio. This suits my travel style as I tend to travel most during the shoulder season when there are fewer travelers, prices are lower, and the temperature is comfortable in most places.

    For many, camping is part of the summer travel experience. And with camping season in full swing, it seems fitting to kick off my summer travel series talking about:

    • Ways to Camp Free (and super cheap)
    • How to snag a campsite in peak camping season
    • Budget-friendly tips for "Glampers" (a.k.a.: Glamorous Campers)
    • Resources for first-time campers
    • Tips for finding campgrounds at the last-minute

    CLICK HERE
    to listen to the interview.

          OR

    CBC did a fantastic job converting the interview into an article.
    CLICK HERE for the full article.


    When researching campsites
    Freeampsites is an app with a map that has pins showing campsites that are FREE to stay at. Each campsite has a brief description and many have guest reviews.

    AllStays Camp & RV is an app with maps with 30,000 U.S. and Canadian campgrounds including RV parks, military family camps, and overnight RV parking at Walmarts, casinos. truck stops with amenities and rest areas. You can browse guest reviews and the app has site specific information on pricing, GPS coordinates and utility information including whether each site have a pool, playground, laundry facilities, propane, RV dump stations and pet policies. The maps are downloadable so that you can access them offline. This can come in handy - especially handy when mobile reception is not always reliable in the country.

    The local author section of every bookstore likely has books with information about nearby campgrounds and outdoor excursions in addition to local hiking guides and trail maps.

    For newbie campers: Parks Canada offers this camping packing checklist to help you pack all the things you'll be glad you have once you're in the bush.

    Before you rent a camper or RV,
    ask yourself if you know someone who owns one. Often, campers and RV's spend most of their time parked in the driveway. By offering a few dollars to borrow one from friends or family, they will often be glad to lend it to you, and the dollars they get in exchange will be a much appreciated bonus.




    Happy Camping! 


    Once feeling unable to afford to travel, Russell Hannon uses lean principles to travel at a fraction of the going rate. He's been featured on CNBC, FOX, America Tonight, CBS, CTV, CBC, the National Post, Around the World Travel TV and nationally broadcast lifestyle and personal finance shows. He is the author of ‘Stop Dreaming Start Traveling: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling More and Spending Less’ available at StopDreamingStartTraveling.com. 

    FREE GUIDE: Download ‘Beat the Best Online Fare – Every Time, Every Flight’ at BreakTheTravelBarrier.com

    Where to Find the Best Travel Deals

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    This Trip Advisor Survey
    shows one in three travelers expects to pay more to travel this year. One reason is many feel it’s just
    too much work to find the best online fares. I get it, it’s akin to driving to the other end of town to save a few dollars on a fill up, and you’re just as well to pay more and save the time of endlessly scouring the web.

    Truth Is: When it comes to travel, you don't need to choose between saving time or money. In fact, there are simple ways you can quickly and easily find great deals that align to your travel type.

    Imagine not only having to do the research for your upcoming trips, but having to do it for everyone else as well. I routinely have to do this for dozens of cities where I am regularly asked on shows what the best deals are specific to people departing from those cities. What could easily devolve into hours of research each week takes me just 5 minutes prior to each show.  

    Click Here to hear me explain how I do this in a Tampa radio interview - or continue reading for details:


    To quickly and easily find the best online travel deals, I subscribe to dozens of travel newsletters that sift through thousands of online travel deals and post their favorites in their weekly newsletter. Over time, I noticed a few of these newsletters consistently impressed me every week with great deals. They are: 

    Sherman's Travel issues their Top 25 Travel Deals newsletter every Wednesday to more than 3 million subscribers:


    Johnny Jet issues a daily travel tip newsletter and occasionally mixes in Travel Deals such as the ones shown below:

    Budget Travel issues a weekly Top Travel Deals newsletter with the 'Editor's Pick of the Week.':
     

    Nomadic Matt
    is widely regarded as one of the world's top travel bloggers, Nomadic Matt has a budget travel newsletter with a section that features 'This week's best deals.':



    It takes less than 5 minutes a week to scroll through all these newsletters for deals that may be of interest to you. If nothing catches your eye, simply delete it and next week you'll get more newsletters with new deals to consider.

    Social Media
    Many of the best online travel deals are time-sensitive in that they are either:
    • Limited to a set number of bookings
    • Error fares (i.e.: A $250 flight accidently keyed at $25) that are corrected shortly after travel operators discover them.

    To capitalize on these deals, you need to learn about them as they emerge, and act quickly before they disappear. It's unlikely that you will stumble upon these deals yourself, and fortunately you don't need to. An easy way to keep on the forefront of these sorts of deals is to follow the Facebook pages of industry leaders who specialize in monitoring 'Killer Deals.' My favorites are:


    The Flight Deal

    The Points Guy



     I discuss these strategies on the Maggie Linton Show on Sirius XM (
    CLICK HERE and go to 2:15).


    If these strategies land you great deals, leave a comment. Happy travels!


    Once feeling unable to afford to travel, Russell Hannon uses lean principles to travel at a fraction of the going rate. He has been featured on CNBC, FOX, America Tonight, CBS, CTV, CBC, the National Post, Around the World Travel TV and nationally broadcast lifestyle and personal finance shows.

    He is also the author of amazon.ca Budget Travel #1 Best Seller ‘Stop Dreaming Start Traveling: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling More & Spending Less’ available at StopDreamingStartTraveling.com

    FREE GUIDE: Download ‘Beat the Best Online Fare – Every Time, Every Flight’ at BreakTheTravelBarrier.com

    Stretch your Travel Dollar in Low Currency Countries

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    If you have yet to experience the thrill of traveling to a place SO inexpensive that cost is not an issue, you need to travel to a low currency country where this is absolutely a realistic scenario. For starters, south east Asia has everything the Caribbean does for 60 - 75% less. A luxury suite that goes for $250 a night in the Caribbean cost me just $48 at the Red Coconut on the tropical island of Boracay in the Philippines (breakfast included). For dinner, you can dine beachside with this breathtaking view in the backdrop where $12 will get you seafood kabobs, alcoholic drinks and desert with this breathtaking sunset.

    CLICK HERE to watch a panoramic video of this sunset:


    Perhaps you want to visit the Swiss Alps without having to pay Swiss prices:
    Waterton National Park is a little known hidden gem nestled in the Canadian Rockies with scenery and architecture you will mistake for Switzerland. It's also a lot less expensive since the U.S. dollar is worth less than the Euro, but significantly more than the loonie (Canadian dollar).

     
    If you want the flare of New Orleans Mardi Gras and the sizzle of Miami's nightlife, you can get the best of both in Brazil, where 1 U.S. dollar will get you 4 Brazilian Reals, and food and accommodations cost 40-50% less than in the U.S. on average.

    There’s a misconception that Olympic host cities are astronomically expensive during their host year when in fact, you can visit in the months leading up to, and shortly after the Olympics without having to pay any of the premiums that Olympic goers will be subject to:

     
                                   

    If you want to have a brewsky
    , Travel & Leisure voted Portland, Oregon as the best beer town in the U.S.. Alternatively, one of the world's top beer destinations has a cost of living that's about 40% less. Prague is the birthplace of pilsner and is where the original Budweiser was brewed.
    Although the Czech Republic is not as inexpensive as it once was, it's still very cheap by U.S. standards. You can stretch your dollar even further in the outskirts of the city and by visiting during shoulder season.

     
                                         See me discuss Prague on Breakfast TV, Click here to watch

    If the tropics are calling you, the touristy parts of the Caribbean are mostly pegged to the U.S. dollar. Alternatively, you can go to Southeast Asia where:

    ·     According to this priceoftravel.com study, Phuket, Thailand has the least expensive 5-star hotels anywhere in the world. With luxury rooms available for as little as $56 U.S./night, it's completely realistic to have a 5-star vacation on a 2-star budget Phuket.

    ·     Your travel dollar will go farther in Vietnam than just about anywhere else you will visit in the world. Vietnam has miles of white sandy beaches and rock formations similar to what you will find in Thailand. One U.S. dollar is worth 18 thousand Vietnamese Dong.                                                    

                                  
    If you're outdoorsy: Colorado is known as the best state for those who are athletic and outdoorsy. Any activities and excursions you can do in Colorado, you can also do in Slovenia for 40% less. In Slovenia, the Alps pass through Slovenia’s Triglav National Park, and the Soca river is prime for kayaking and rafting.

                                              
    See me discuss Slovenia on Breakfast TV, Click to watch 

    If you want to see wildlife: Yellowstone National Park is bar none my favorite U.S. National Park. But with the South African Rand crashing hard, now is a great time to consider taking a spectacular safari in South Africa. In gaming parks like Kruger National Park, you can see herds of elephants, rhinos, hippos, lions and giraffes.

     

    Picture from my Breakfast TV appearance 


    CLICK HERE to see me discuss Inexpensive Alternatives to Top Travel Destinations on Breakfast TV:

                                           



    Once feeling unable to afford to travel, Russell Hannon uses lean principles to travel at a fraction of the going rate.
    He has been featured on CNBC, FOX, America Tonight, CBS, CTV, CBC, the National Post, Around the World Travel TV and nationally broadcast lifestyle and personal finance shows.

    He is also the author of amazon.ca Budget Travel #1 Best Seller ‘Stop Dreaming Start Traveling: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling More & Spending Less’ available at StopDreamingStartTraveling.com

    FREE GUIDE: Download ‘Beat the Best Online Fare – Every Time, Every Flight’ at BreakTheTravelBarrier.com

    What it Takes and the Art of Reinvention

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    With college graduations taking place all over the world, hundreds of thousands of graduates are embarking on grand journeys. Some are traveling the world this summer, others starting their careers, and many are pondering their next move. 

    When I was in Santa Barbara for
    this Around the World Travel TV interview, I had a few hours to stroll through town. That's when I came by this college graduation ceremony in the Sunken Gardens behind the Spanish Colonial Revival Courthouse:

                                            
      
    To my delight, the commencement address got underway just as I arrived, and as I listened to the speaker's top 10 pieces of advice to graduates, it reminded me of the privilege I had two years ago of sharing my advice about life after graduation to students at the University of Ottawa. 

    I usually only blog about ways to travel more on less, but with college graduations taking place, it seems like the right time to share this interview which also gives insight into what it took to write
    Stop Dreaming... Start Traveling. If you prefer to stick to my top budget travel tips.

    CLICK HERE for a Santa Barbara News Press article about me titled 'The Frugal Traveler.'

    Russell Hannon on Life After School, What it Takes and the Art of Reinvention


    Russell was a Gee-Gee's running back in the late 90's including the 1997 Vanier Cup run. He has since discovered a passion for travel, and his website BreakTheTravelBarrier.com offers tools and resources that will save you money traveling. 

    Russell will be publishing
    'Stop Dreaming Start Traveling: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling More & Spending Less.' The book shows how to use lean principles to travel at a fraction of the going rate. In the meantime, he works in a fulfilling corporate career.

    What is your best memory of your time with the Gee-Gees?

    I have so many precious memories playing football with the Gee-Gees. The entire 1997 season was a precious life experience. I'm blessed to have been part of such a talented group of athletes (nine players and one coach went on to the CFL).

    Even greater than that was the phenomenal character of so many players, coaches and therapists. I have as many fond memories of the little things that happened at practice and the speeches our coaches gave as I do from our on-field success. Combining that with our run to the Vanier Cup made it a life experience to cherish - even though the outcome of our final game wasn't what we wish it would have been. 


                                             
                                           Russell Hannon rushing the football in the 1997 Vanier Cup

    What would your former teammates be surprised to learn about what you've been up to? They would be surprised (and glad to know that my back problems from my football days have subsided. They would be even more surprised to learn I will be publishing a book soon.   

    What did you go on to do after graduation? I started my career in Business Development selling advertising for Rogers Media which owns dozens of magazines. My career took a side turn when I was laid off. I then went down a completely different path as an Internal Controls Analyst with Coca-Cola and progressed into an Internal Audit and Compliance role with Rona Inc.. I eventually moved to Calgary where I got into operational excellence and built an operations oversight department with Flint Energy (now named AECOM).

    Who inspires you the most? 

    I admire athletes like George St-Pierre who strives for perfection yet remains so humble.

                                                        

    I was also inspired watching Eugenie Bouchard's rise at Wimbledon. As tough as her loss was in the final, this is but the first act of her story, and I believe she will demonstrate how you can emerge from disappointments to come back stronger than ever: 

                                            


    What are you most proud of? Over the years, I'm proud that I stuck to the goals that were most important to me until I finally achieved them. 

  • As a kid: It was growing from a clumsy kid to playing in a national college football championship game.
  • In school: It was how I overcame low grades in high school to getting a Commerce degree.
  • In my career: It took years of steady learning to slowly have the opportunity to build a new department in a corporate oil & gas company. 
  • Most recently: It’s about how I dedicated thousands of hours over the last few years to transform my passion for getting the best travel deal to launching a travel writing business. 
  •  
    How did interuniversity sports affect your life both during and after your studies? 
    The confidence that came from overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and the satisfaction that can only come from countless hours of devotion proved to me we can achieve amazing things if we want something badly enough and are willing to do what's necessary to put ourselves into a position to make it possible. The discipline it took to draft a 60,000 word book was the same discipline it took to balance school with athletics and to train even when the season was eight months away.

    What advice do you have on life after graduation?

    On life after University: As exciting as graduation is, many graduates -myself included- initially struggle with the change in lifestyle and in letting go of our self-identity from student life. What I want to share to those who may have anxiety about moving on is that no matter how great your current situation is, letting go of one chapter opens doors to re-invent yourself in new and amazing ways you may not yet see. There is so much to do and experience in the world and it's all evolving so quickly that its important to constantly reinvent yourself.

    On finding a career: What impresses me most about summer students and recent graduates in our office are those who bring a positive 'can-do' attitude to anything that comes their way, and have the confidence to ask questions and seek help when they need to.

    I found the corporate world to be very different from what I had envisioned it to be while in school. Keep an open mind to career opportunities that arise even if you have hot yet considered them. If you go into a large organization or the public sector, go in with the mindset that your first few years are going to be to learn. Offer to help any way you can, and take advantage of that time to learn from those you work with to constantly reinvent yourself.

    If you have entrepreneurial ambitions, there has never been a better time to start a business. The internet has given rise to unprecedented opportunities to claim your position as an expert without having to spend much money.



    Once feeling unable to afford to travel, Russell Hannon uses lean principles to travel at a fraction of the going rate. He has been featured on CNBC, FOX, America Tonight, CBS, CTV, CBC, the National Post, Around the World Travel TV and nationally broadcast lifestyle and personal finance shows.

    He is also the author of amazon.ca Budget Travel #1 Best Seller ‘Stop Dreaming Start Traveling: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling More & Spending Less’ available at
    StopDreamingStartTraveling.com 

    FREE GUIDE: Download 'Beat the Best Online Fare - Every Time, Every Flight' at BreakTheTravelBarrier.com 

    Top Travel Destinations

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    If you're unsure where to take your next vacation, this collection of fun travel type surveys suggests places that align to your travel type. Here are the overall Top Travel Destinations you should consider. Each place on this list meets at least one of the following criteria:

    1. Easier to access
    2. Most sought out
    3. Budget friendly


    CLICK HERE
     to see me discuss this list on City TV in Edmonton, or you can read on for the same details:


    Pristine Wonder

    The Island of St. Helena is a majestic 10 x 5 mile island is in the middle of the south Atlantic. Dubbed 'The Secret of the South Atlantic,' it's one of the world’s most remote islands and takes 5 ½ days to reach St. Helena by sea. It's so remote in fact, that it’s where Napoleon Bonaparte was sent into exile.

     

                                                                      Picture by www.sthelenatourism.com

    In February 2016, St. Helena Island opened its first ever airport, a monumental achievement taking years of work to complete as all crew, heavy equipment and materials had to be shipped there by sea. The island’s key attractions include Napoleon’s last residence ‘the Longwood House,’ his tomb, a lush waterfall and the lack of light pollution make way for spectacular stargazing. 

                                                                         Picture by www.sthelenatourism.com
     
    What Everyone's Talking About
    The charm of Cuba is also what makes it unique from most other places in the world. Visitors will liken it to a time warp and is where all the cars are from the 50’s.
    With the U.S. lifting sanctions on Cuba, trade is slowly opening up and this month Carnival Cruises launched cruises to Cuba. Cases can be made to either go before ‘it changes,’ and also to wait:
    • Go Now If: You want to see the 1950’s cars that dominate the streets. As trade picks up, these cars will gradually fade away.
    • Wait If: You want the standards of hotels, resorts, service, food and water to improve.

                                                                           Picture by www.authenticacuba.com


    Most Sought Destination

    Despite the Zika virus outbreak and controversy around pollution and readiness, Rio is the most sought out destination this year thanks to the Olympics.

     

    There’s a myth that Olympic host cities are astronomically expensive to visit during their host year, when in fact, you can avoid the premium Olympic pricing and benefit from all the Olympic infrastructure by visiting in the months leading up to and shortly after the Olympics.

    From a health perspective, there is a swath of contradictory information online as to whether or not you should be concerned. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is amongst the best reputed sources for travel and health advisories, and has setup 
    this CDC health advisory web page for people traveling to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

     
    Top Must See Country
    Botswana, South Africa was ranked by Lonely Planet as this year's Top Must See Country. Botswana is home to what many consider to be the most spectacular safaris on earth with herds of elephants, hippos, and rhinos. Accessibility to Botswana has also improved with direct international flights starting this year. 

                                                               Picture by www.botswanatourism.co.bw 

    Top Budget Travel Destination
    Lonely Planet has ranked Estonia as this year’s TOP Budget Travel Destination. Estonia’s charm is in its mid-evil architecture and enchanting forests - the sorts you would expect to find in a fairy tale fantasy. You also have the Baltic islands off the west, and although Estonia is on the Euro, the country is much less expensive to visit than it’s sister Eurozone countries. 

                                            Picture by www.visitestonia.com

    CLICK HERE for my CityTV interview about these destinations. 

    Once feeling unable to afford to travel, Russell Hannon uses lean principles to travel at a fraction of the going rate. He has been featured on CNBC, FOX, America Tonight, CBS, CTV, CBC, the National Post, Around the World Travel TV and nationally broadcast lifestyle and personal finance shows.

    He is also the author of amazon.ca Budget Travel #1 Best Seller ‘Stop Dreaming Start Traveling: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling More & Spending Less’ available at
    StopDreamingStartTraveling.com 

    FREE GUIDE: Download 'Beat the Best Online Fare - Every Time, Every Flight' at BreakTheTravelBarrier.com 

    Travel Inexpensively Using the Sharing Economy

    READ MORE

    Save Money Traveling Using the Sharing Economy
                                              

                  

                                   
    New York City - Once infamously known by tourists for its private bed and breakfasts, it was long considered by visitors as 'the only way' to experience the big apple.

    If you had the pleasure of staying at an NYC B&B before the city cracked down of private rentals, you were part of what has come to be known as the early days of the sharing economy. And even though we understand why so many people recommended this as an authentic experience and inexpensive alternative to hotels, no one ever imagined what the sharing economy would evolve to become.

    Thanks to the World-Wide-Web, the sharing economy is disrupting entire industries that are screaming bloody foul as they get undercut by services offered through peer-sharing websites that are not subject to the same regulatory, license, permitting and tax requirements.

    Maybe this is a response to the short coming of big businesses – overly bureaucratic, slow to adapt, overly expensive and a sense of entitlement to charge inflated prices.

    As regulators scramble to amend laws to account for peer sharing business models, you in the meantime, have access to an unprecedented array of travel options to:

    • Immerse yourself in local culture
    • Connect with locals offering personalized services
    • Travel at a fraction of the going rate.

    AirBNB and Uber are often first websites that come to mind when we discuss the sharing economy, but they are just two of countless peer-sharing websites that are sprouting up all over the internet. Here are some lesser known up-and-coming websites you can use to travel better AND pay less. 

    CLICK HERE to see me discuss these options on Breakfast TV. Since this TV interview aired, bookalokal.com narrowed its service offering exclusively to private in-home dinning experiences. You’ll find the latest details below:

    Private Culinary Experiences
    Food tourism is of the biggest trends in travel right now. I call it ‘the Anthony Bourdain effect’ where you look to food as a way of immersing yourself in the places you visit. At eatwith.com, you’ll find local chefs, cooks and locals offering private culinary experiences in their homes:

     
    These dinners (and especially the alcohol) can be less expensive than what you will pay in restaurants. Hosts often do this for the pleasure of hosting and meeting people as much as to make money in their spare time. And if you happen to have a talent in the kitchen and a place worthy of hosting, you can post your own listing to host and profit from your passion. 

    Private Rentals
    If you plan to bike, surf or ski while on vacation, people rent out their private bikes, surfboards, skis and snowboards on spinlister.com:

    Private rentals are often less expensive than those offered by the run-of-the mill rental companies, but the downfalls are:    
                                                                                                
    1. You may have go out of your way to get your equipment. If this is the case, ask if the owner to deliver and pick-up the equipment, or at least take it one-way where you can bring it the other.
    2. Most listings are by people who are renting out their personal equipment. So when it comes to skis and snowboards, renters often only have one size available.

    Tours Offered by Locals
    If large group tours on buses are not for you, you might want to look at toursbylocals.com where you will find locals who enjoy meeting tourists and taking them on tours of their hometown and surrounding area:

                                                                  
    Itineraries and themes vary by tour operator where you can find anything from:                        
    • Photography lessons while you tour your favorite city.
    • Boating excursions by kayak, yacht and everything in between.
    • Tours of hiking trails, monuments, museums and attractions.


    If you happen to enjoy showing your city to visitors, this is another way you can meet travelers while at home and make a few dollars in your spare time.

    Stay in Vacant Second Homes and Cottages
    If you have a second home, be it a cottage, cabin, or empty condo, my making it available to members of thevacationexchange.com, you will earn credits you can later use to stay in the vacant second homes of other Vacation Exchange members:          
      

     
    No money is exchanged between hosts and guests, but the website does charge the guest a ‘facilitation fee’ for connecting the person with the host. As a testament to their service, the Vacation Exchange claim that half of their members from their 1997 launch year are still members today.

    Free Vehicles
    Yes, you read that right. You can get free wheels for a road trip by driving cars for people who are relocating. Two websites where people looking for drivers to relocate their cars post listings are:

    Autodriveaway.com (40 offices worldwide):

                                                                    
    Hittheroad.ca (Canada):

    Snowbirds (who go south for the winter) are amongst the most active users of this website as they prefer to fly to their destination, but want to have their cars once they are there. Listings from people who are moving across the country are also common.

    Terms, conditions and compensation vary by service provider which you will find posted on their website. You will need to meet certain criteria to qualify as a driver. Drivers usually get one full tank of gas along with a mileage allowance to get the vehicle to its destination by an agreed deadline.

    Buyer Beware
    You won’t always get the same levels of customer service using the sharing economy that you get with major chains. As for consumer protection, these websites generally have insurance and policies to protect their users, but these safeguards might not live up to those of major travel operators. So if your host rescinds a reservation, or you aren’t happy with the food, you might need to accept it, and limit your recourse to writing an online review. That’s the good and the bad of using the sharing economy.


    CLICK HERE to see Russell discuss how to Travel Cheaper Using the Sharing Economy on Breakfast TV.


    Once feeling unable to afford to travel, Russell Hannon uses lean principles to travel at a fraction of the going rate. He has been featured on CNBC, FOX, America Tonight, CBS, CTV, CBC, the National Post and Around the World Travel TV and nationally broadcast lifestyle and personal finance shows.

    He is also the author of amazon.ca Budget Travel #1 Best Seller ‘Stop Dreaming Start Traveling: The Ultimate Guide to Traveling More & Spending Less’ available at
    StopDreamingStartTraveling.com



    FREE GUIDE
    Download 'Beat the Best Online Fare - Every Time, Every Flight' at 
    BreakTheTravelBarrier.com