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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Travel like Royalty on a Peasant Budget 2.26.11

Unless you live in a cave under a rock, you can’t go anywhere without hearing about the new Royals and their upcoming nuptials. Who’s invited, who isn’t. At least if you were hoping to become the future Mrs. Prince William, you can move on with your life. Step one: start planning a realistic vacation. With the economy still trying to bounce back your budget may be small and, even if you can’t be the next Princess of England like that lucky Kate Middleton, you can still take a cue from the royal couple by mirroring their honeymoon plans. What are they? Well, they plan to go budget and travel close to home. They are both down-to-earth and want the world to see that they’re money-conscious, too. From their small, low(ish) profile wedding to their trip to the nearby Isles of Scilly, they are doing what they can to prove they are more like regular people than most of the world sees.  Even the president of the U.S. can’t score an invite to their marriage ceremony, but not because they are being elitist snots. Nope, they just want their wedding to include close family and friends. Why invite everyone they ever met when the whole thing will be televised anyway? I applaud their traditional values!


So, anyway, back to YOU. I know must of us aren’t fortunate enough to have beautiful tropical islands just a short jaunt from our home…and don’t have the luxury of being able to fly in a helicopter there either, but that doesn’t mean that short trips to cool places aren’t possible. William and Kate getting married or not probably isn’t going to impact your life in any way, so let’s look at some good old-fashioned ways to save you money on your next vacation, even if it takes you far from home.




Are you a Shereen Travels Cheap Subscriber yet? If not, please take a moment to do so by entering your email over on the right. (Please tell your friends where they can find me, too.)


Look for package deals. While package deals aren’t always a “deal”, many of them are and can save you big on your trip. As I’ve said before, it depends on when and where you go, but I’ve been able to book a package for 2 (RT air, hotel and car rental) for less than the price of airfare more than once. If I had to pay for it all separate, it probably would have cost me twice as much. Check sites like BookIt, Expedia, Travelocity, LastMinute, Orbitz, CheapTickets and even the airlines’ websites for package deals. If you think you’ve found a good price, do some research on how much it would cost separately. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, since you can use the same booking site to do it and also you probably have an idea of what you want to spend before you start looking.




Pack light. Yes, I know I keep repeating myself like a broken record on this, but it is the easiest way to save big bucks. Airlines can charge you up to $50 just to check a bag – one way. That means if you have to check it both ways, it’s like you’ve spent an extra $100 on your plane ticket – per traveler who has a bag to check. Unless you’re flying on a discount airline that doesn’t charge you for bags, take half the stuff out of your packing pile. For short trips I recommend packing 3 tops and a pair of pants (and a skirt or dress if you must). You also have what you’re wearing on the plane and, if you layer well, you can get away with a few extra pieces. If you’re going on a longer trip, I recommend packing 5 tops and 3-4 bottoms.  Make sure all your pieces mix and match and, if you aren’t opposed to doing laundry, you can get even more wear out of everything you brought. Also, with this kind of packing, you can share a large carry-on with a travel partner. I have packed two week’s worth of clothing for me and my husband, including shoes and toiletries, in my 21” rolling carry-on. I pack snacks and entertainment in a smaller bag and we’re good to go anywhere. Need more help packing smaller? Try these:
  • Spacebags – If you have to take a coat and need to mash it flat, or you find you’ve bought too many souvenirs on your trip, bring yourself some Spacebags. They are like big Ziplock bags designed specifically for your luggage. You put clothes in, zip it up, squeeze all of the air out by rolling it up and then it packs flat in your bag in half the space! I don’t recommend using these TO your destination. If you buy anything, it won’t fit in your bag.
  • Take two pair of shoes, max. As you know, I don’t consider flip flops shoes, since they take up hardly any space and are highly useful on any trip. This said, you have two pair of shoes you can take. One go on your feet on the plane (the bulkiest is the best choice) and the other go in your suitcase and get stuffed with socks, jewelry, ties or whatever else you can fit in there without horrible end results. On my way home, I pack any fragiles in my shoes, like ornaments I might have bought (wrapped in tissue or bubble wrap). They are great at padding those items and I’ve yet to come home to sad broken things.
  • Travel size is the way to go! If you take all your full-size makeup and hair care products, you’re just asking for someone to take away your bag and toss it under the plane. For one, you’re only going to be gone a short time. It takes you months to go through that stuff at home, so you don’t need to take it all with you for two weeks. For another, if liquids/gels/pastes don’t fit in your 3-1-1 bag, you can’t take it on the plane. You can check it or have security throw it in the garbage as you hold back tears. Buy travel sized products, like toothpaste and shampoo, on Minimus.biz or at your local store. Products that don’t come smaller can easily be made that way by purchasing 3oz bottles, tubes, etc., and transferring liquids into them.
  • Pack travel-sized personal grooming products, too! Do you regularly travel with a blow dryer, curling iron or flat iron? Buy the smaller version that you can keep in your travel bag all the time. They take up less space and do just as good a job on the road. This saves packing time and leaves you room in your bag for something else.
  • Pack multi-purpose items – Things like moisturizer with SPF in it or tinted moisturizer let you bring one item instead of two. Other great ideas? A sarong can be used as a skirt, beach cover up, shawl, headscarf, top, belt, picnic/beach blanket or a towel. Because it is so light, it packs easily and can be taken with you everywhere. You iPod Touch or iPhone can be used to play games, watch movies/videos, take notes, get quick internet access and as a GPS. You get the idea! Travel “gadgets” are one of my favorite topics. Need more ideas or would like to suggest your own to fellow travelers? Jump on my Frugal Living Community discussion on BlogFrog.

Get Double Cash Back with Ebates. That’s right! This week is Travel Week on Ebates and there are many travel merchants offering double cash back in honor of it. Before you purchase or book anything online, check to see if they are affiliated with Ebates and make your purchase through their links. If you aren’t yet a member of Ebates, it’s FREE and easy, so do it HERE.


Rent a vacation rental house/condo/apartment. They can be an awesome money-saver if you are staying anywhere for a week or longer. You feel like you’re at home, even on vacation, which can be much more relaxing after a long day of sightseeing. You also don’t have to contend with other vacationers and/or their children being loud in the hallway at all hours. With the kitchen facilities, you can eat in if you want. Stop at the local grocers and pick up some staples to make breakfast or lunch on you own and save money by dining out less.

Take public transportation. While not as glamorous as being driven around town in a taxi, it is much more affordable and probably even more convenient. You can see a bus stop or subway stop and you know that if you stand there, one will come you way. Taxis aren’t always readily available and sometimes you have to call and wait. Public transportation almost always goes to the most touristy and busiest parts of the city. This is great for us tourists, because they go right where we want to go!

Exchange your currency when you get there. You probably won’t always travel to where you need to get new bills, but if you do, exchange money when you get to your destination. You can get by with exchanging just a bit at the airport and then the rest somewhere in the city, where the exchange rate is more advantageous. Probably not a bank, since they sometimes charge a fee (or a higher fee than other places). I’ve had good luck with the front desk of my hotel, but also in small shops that have an exchange desk. They want you to spend more money there, so the fee will be much smaller.


And here’s a General Tip for you. If you find what looks like a fantastic deal on a hotel or vacation rental, research! There might be a reason they are so inexpensive and, even if the pictures look amazing, read the reviews. Not just on the site you’re on, but check out other sites as well, like TripAdvisor. Make sure you can verify that it isn’t infested with mice or in the worst neighborhood in the city. That can make your vacation REALLY interesting, but not in such a good way. You don’t want to be afraid to go to sleep or turn off the lights or leave your belongings there while you’re out.

Take Shereen Travels Cheap with you everywhere with Kindle! Subscribe on Amazon and get each blog post sent right to your Kindle the instant it gets published. Don't have a Kindle? That's okay, too. Download the free Kindle reading app on any of your web-enabled devices, like your iPad or Android, and it works just as good! (or you can buy yourself a brand-new fun gadget!)

Wellness Week is coming (March 21-27) and Budget Travel would like you to get great deals by booking ahead of the public! Participating spas, fitness centers and wellness centers will be offering 50% off or $50 flat-rate deals. Wellness Week is sponsored by SpaFinder and offers deals on all types of wellness, including nutritional counseling, facials, massages and acupuncture. Register online HERE by February 28 and you can book treatments a week ahead of the general public. In September, you can take advantage of another Wellness Week, too! This is an awesome thing to be able to do on your vacations, or to take a mini-break if you’re stuck at home.

This isn’t new or revolutionary, but I’m a big fan of the Polaroid PoGo Instant Mobile Printer. I have the Dell version called the Wasabi, which is exactly the same in every way, except colors and brand. These are great little gadgets to bring with you if you are going to a foreign country (especially third-world countries) and you want to really engage with the locals. You can take your picture with your camera or phone and plug in this very portable printer (or use the handy-dandy Bluetooth technology) and print out a copy for your new friends!

Children love this and it can also be a wonderful addition to those travelers with little ones in tow. The Zink paper has a sticky back when you peel off the backing and can be used as a sticker. Keep your kids busy preserving memories in their own way with a stack of just-taken photos and a book for them to stick them in and create a travel journal. Refill paper is very affordable, so print away! The photos come out wallet sized, meaning they won’t be like having a high-quality mobile photo-station in your bag, but the size works perfectly for souvenirs and for on-the-go art projects.

Want more deals and tips everyday? “Like” Shereen Travels Cheap on Facebook and follow me on Twitter. You never know what great deal will pop up! Keep up with current sales, new products and websites and get more awesome tips in between blog posts!




So, you have probably already noticed the new clean look of the site, with useful links to travel sites and my guest posts over on the sidebar now. Other than that, this space will be used for mentioning new Shereen Travels Cheap happenings and any new/upcoming guest posts or articles.

Here are a few of the things happening in the coming week:

Ebates Travel Week Continues with a Live Chat on the Frugal Living Community Tuesday, March 1st and a Twitter Party on Thursday, March 3rd. Times for both should be 7-8pm EST. Don’t forget to tune in to these online, as there will be a HUGE giveaway announcement. If you aren’t a member of the Frugal Living Community on BlogFrog (provided by Ebates), you can join me right now HERE.


Only a few days left to join Shereen Travels Cheap on Facebook and get your friends to join, too, before our big giveaway! February 28 is the last day to “Like” the page before we do the drawing, but don’t worry, because if you don’t win you’ll have another chance soon at all new prizes!  

I know you guys like free things and rewards for doing things you do anyway. Swagbucks is turning 3. The 28th will be their BIG online party with free stuff  and bonus Swagbucks to get you to your rewards faster. If you aren’t a member, this is as good a time as any, because it will jump-start your free membership with more starting bucks! Why should you log in next week? The party will feature a bunch of Swag Codes (for more swagbucks), a new look and feel for the Swagbucks Blog and the launch of two new features, one of which will redefine the way you use their search function. You definitely won't want to miss it, so be sure that you're on the site bright and early the morning of the 28th for your chance to earn big and be a part of the biggest birthday celebration on the web! If you need to sign up, use this fancy code to get an extra 50 Swagbucks on top of the usual 30: 3rdBirthday137

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No Passport Required 2.23.11

I love my passport. I get excited every time I have to pull it out to get stamped by a customs agent. If they would let me get a new stamp for each state I visited, too, I'd whip it out all over the place. Alas, they don't give you validation for visiting Vermont. Of course, that's good for people who don't have a passport or need to renew. With the last fee hike on passports, it's no wonder many people didn't apply for one. It seems like I've gotten a lot of requests asking for passport-free locations lately. The great thing is that you don't have to leave the country to go somewhere cool. If you DO want to leave the country and not require a passport, you're in luck! You can travel to both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands without one if you're a U.S. resident.




Are you a Shereen Travels Cheap Subscriber yet? If not, please take a moment to do so by entering your email over on the right. (Please tell your friends where they can find me, too.)


Not only is Puerto Rico a territory of the United States, but the currency is the U.S. dollar, you can dial the phone just like you do at home and English is spoken widely, along with Spanish. So, what cool stuff is there to do in Puerto Rico? With 55% off the country consisting of water, there is no shortage of water-related activities to choose from. The majority of the land is mountainous, making it perfect for hiking and the temperature is tropical at an average of 82 degrees all year long. There is an excellent transportation system that serves the metropolitan area. There are plenty of museums and historical sites to visit, golf courses to play on, sporting events to watch, restaurants to try and nightclubs to drink and dance in. The beaches are purely Caribbean: fine, white sand and beautiful for sunbathing, swimming, surfing or any other number of beach activities.

CheapTickets offers a great package deal on 3-5 night vacations, including RT airfare and accommodations. Some packages are eligible for up to a $100 hotel credit. Packages start at just $650 per person.

Book just your hotel and still save with nightly rates from $88 at fantastic, conveniently-located hotels all over the country, including oceanfront.


You can also book your hotel or vacation package through BookIt with rates as low as $99/night. You can use BookIt’s great BillMeLater option to book now and pay later (valid with credit approval on purchases over $250).


You can find Shereen Travels Cheap on both Facebook and Twitter. Please join me for even more deals, suggestions, travel tips, etc.

Twitter: @shereentrvlschp


Every time I hear of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI for short), I imagine picturesque tropical islands, with white sandy beaches and hammocks strung between leaning palm trees. Maybe that’s just me, since I’ve never been there and, until today, hadn’t really seen any photos or info on the islands themselves. Well, I wasn’t far off and if you love the beach and anything having to do with scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, windsurfing and other water sports, you’re going to love the USVI. It also has the same benefits of English being the official language and the official currency being the U.S. dollar.

While they aren’t “cheap” by any means, you can find some fairly good deals. Look for vacation rentals. With the added bonus of a kitchen, even if you’re spending a little more to stay in one, you can also save on your food by cooking some of your own meals and being able to bring back and reheat any leftovers you end up with on your dining adventures. You can also save big bucks with all-inclusives.

BookIt brings you amazing deals from as little as $67 per night per person. Receive freebies, like hotel and airport transfers and resort or spa credits. Book a condo, all-inclusive or resort. Whichever works for your budget and travel-type.


Don’t want to go quite that far for a vacation, but still want to enjoy the feeling of getting away from it all? Check out Panama City Beach, Florida. In fact, you can book a condo right on the beach for the low, low price of $79/night (not per person, per NIGHT), be within walking distance of many cool things, receive two free dining cards and more! Great if you’re taking your kids or going as a group.

Not really looking for a tropical getaway? Well, not everyone is. What about a Mediterranean one? Stay at the Miramonte Resort and Spa in Indian Wells, California from just $115/night and feel like you’re in the heart of Tuscany. Just 30 minutes from Palm Springs, but a world away from America! Miramonte sits on 11 acres with olive trees, citrus groves, gardens, 2 pools, an Italian restaurant on-site, spa, free Wi-Fi, fitness studio, golf courses and more! Book by Monday 2/28 to experience Mediterranean luxury close to home. (If you don't have a SniqueAway account, get an invitation on the top of the sidebar.)


Want to take Shereen Travels Cheap everywhere you travel? You can! Join other subscribers on Amazon and read me on your Kindle? Don’t have a Kindle? That’s okay, too. Download the FREE Kindle Reading App for your web enabled device (i.e. iPhone, iPad, blackberry, android…) and get instant updates as soon as new posts are published. Easy!



I'm giving you two today. While not technically "gadgets", the following products are super duper useful on your travels, especially if you'll be going somewhere tropical or beachy.

Don't forget your sunscreen again! With these awesome UV SunSense bracelets, you'll always be reminded to reapply. Put on before going out, apply your sunscreen on your skin and the bracelet. When the bracelet changes color, it's time to reapply or get out of the sun. Once they're used, you can recycle the whole bracelet, so no waste!
Sometimes you can't keep away from the bugs. Instead of taking up space in your 3-1-1 bag with a big bottle of bug repellent, pack these great insect repellent wipes in your carry-on and you can have one handy in your pocket or day bag at all times. Smells pretty good and biodegradable!  

You can’t beat a free vacation! Why not sign up for one of these fantastic giveaways. The worst thing that can happen is you won’t win and have to plan and pay for your own vacation. If you win, you’ll get a trip of a lifetime…and you better send me a postcard! With the money you save, you can go on a rockin’ vacation next year. Good luck!

Win a 7 day/6 night trip for two to your choice of Maui, Bangkok, Auckland or Rio de Janeiro from Febreze. This grand prize includes RT airfare, 6 nights’ hotel accommodation and $5,000 spending money! If you only win the FIRST prize, you probably won’t cry, because it includes a 7 night/6 day trip for two to Auckland, New Zealand (RT air and hotel) and $3,000 spending money.  One of each prize will be given away, along with daily prizes of coupons for a free bottle of Febreze. You must be 18 years of age or older and a U.S. resident or a Canadian resident of legal age for your province/territory.


“Escape to Maui” with Ready Made and this trip worth over $4,200. If you win, you’ll receive a 6 day/5 night trip for two to Maui which includes RT airfare, compact car rental for 6 days and 5 nights at the Royal Lahaina Resort. You must be a legal U.S. resident over the age of 21 to enter and win. You can enter once per day through March 22.


Win a spa trip for two to Thailand from So Delicious and their 100 Days of Change Giveaway. You’ll receive a trip for two to Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa in Thailand for 14 nights in a sea view suite, RT airfare, hotel and airport transfers and Detox package for two. There are also many other prizes you can win along the way.


Win a 6 night trip for two to Greece, including RT airfare and 3 nights in Athens and a 3 night cruise of the Grecian islands from Travel Channel. Just enter you email address and take a quick quiz. If you answer correctly, you double your chances of winning! Must be a legal U.S. resident, age 18 or older. 


Need more Frequent Flyer miles? Get free American Airlines miles with the Mystery Miles Giveaway on Facebook. Just enter your AAdvantage number and receive anywhere from 100-100,000 miles.

And don't forget, just 5 more days to "Like" Shereen Travels Cheap on Facebook (and get your friends to join) to win our Travelon bags and referral prizes.


This is the spot to look for new, cool stuff in the Shereen Travels Cheap world. In case you’ve missed the last couple of weeks, links to older guest posts have been moved to the sidebar on the right and there is also a nice list of links to my favorite sites that are super useful to travelers and money-savers. Makes it much easier to find what you may have read about in a previous blog post, but can’t quite remember the name. I hope this is more user-friendly for you.  

Yesterday Ebates kicked off Travel Week and they asked me to help start it with a blog post on budget travel. Who am I to say “no” to such an attractive offer? Read it HERE and you can check out their other awesome money-saving suggestions on the rest of their blog.
Last week I was given the honor of working with Independent Traveler and sharing with their readers my tips on how to beat the a la carte fees that are now the norm when it comes to air travel. I’ve given my most handy tips on saving on baggage fees, airplane food and more! Independent Traveler is a super great resource for people who book all their travel on their own and can help you find excellent deals on all your trips.

If you have a travel or money-saving blog/website that you would like me to write a post for, I am always happy to do so. Contact me HERE with details.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Save Money With The Frugal Living Community 2.22.11



I have been invited to become one of ten Community Leaders on the Blog Frog Frugal Living Community (brought to you by Ebates) and I invite you to join me in learning how to spend less and get more out of all aspects of life, including my favorite: TRAVEL. In fact Travel Week starts today and is powered by Ebates, my favorite cash back site that can save you on almost everything you purchase online. Sign up for a free account and browse the participating online merchants on their site. Easily click through Ebates to purchase merchandise or travel and automatically have a percentage of your purchase come back to you as cash back. If you don't use Ebates, you are losing money. Not only is Ebates free to join, but they actually GIVE you $5 just to join!

What is Blog Frog? Blog Frog brings bloggers and their readers together in a community setting where you can interact with your favorite bloggers, their readers and also find other blogs to follow and love. Instead of only interacting through comments on blog posts, Blog Frog creates a social network between those with the same interests. You can even participate in live chats. Blog Frog is free to join! If you have a desire to meet other people online and learn how to save more on everyday things, join me and over 3500 others on the Frugal Living Community.


Aside from being able to get in on some fun discussions, there will be a big travel giveaway announced this week from Ebates. Here are just a few of the discussion you can participate in while you're waiting:
Stay tuned for more information on Shereen Travels Cheap discussions and more. After you sign up for the Frugal Living Community, make sure to head over to Ebates to read my guest post on Budget Travel Planning.

Disclosure: As a Frugal Living Community leader I’m being compensated for my time in the community. My thoughts are 100% my own and are not edited or written by anyone else.  Read more about my disclosure policy.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

May the Luck of the Irish Be With You 2.19.11

Céad míle fáilte, or ‘a hundred thousand welcomes’ to Shereen Travels Cheap. Saint Patrick’s Day is bearing down on us in a few short weeks and you know what that means? Green beer and stupid hats? Maybe, but that’s really only if you’re an American and can turn any holiday, traditional or obscure, into a reason to get drunk and cause a ruckus. At least you’re fun and know how to party! In Ireland, you will likely find NO green beer, shamrock sunglasses or green felt leprechaun hats, unless it is marketed solely to tourists. In fact, inIreland Saint Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday to commemorate the day that St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland (Supposedly, though I suspect there weren’t any there in the first place. Easy task!)


With the holiday in Ireland becoming more secular and less celebrated came a brilliant idea from the government! Giant festivities to get people worldwide interested in traveling to Ireland to join the parties and soak up the culture! Meaning MORE tourism. Amazingly, the first festival to be held in Ireland didn't occur until 1996 and it was only one day. Since then, it has grown into a week-long celebration of all things Irish that draws hundreds of thousand of visitors every year who come to party, join parades, watch concerts, witness fireworks, attend sporting events, take in theater performances and, of course, to drink beer.




Are you a Shereen Travels Cheap Subscriber yet? If not, please take a moment to do so by entering your email over on the right. (Please tell your friends where they can find me, too.)


It might take a bit of luck to find a great deal on travel, but if you know what you’re doing – or you have me! – then it’s not so much luck as it is brains. Leprechauns are known to be crafty little guys, but you can outsmart them by turning the tables and not letting them find your pot of gold. In other words, don’t part with everything in your wallet trying to find them. Instead, find big savings at the end of the rainbow!

St. Patrick’s Day, unlike other holiday times, doesn’t seem to be a drain on your wallet. Actually, it seems to be CHEAPER to travel to Ireland during the festivities than other times. For example, you can book a great tour package with Celtic Tours World Vacations for under $1000 per person. 9 days/7 nights Go-As-You-Please vacation package includes RT airfare, 5 day car rental, accommodations, hotel to airport transfer, full Irish breakfast daily, Hop-on Hop-off Dublin Bus pass, phone card and 25% off discount to the Shannon Region. You may buy the land and air package, but if you find a better airfare, you can buy just the land package and save some money on your trip. For an additional fee, you can add tours to your itinerary, such as the Ring of Kerry tour.


Speaking of airfare deals, American Airlines has its European Fare Sale going on right now and you can fly round-trip from just $425. That’s a big savings over regular rates. Book by March 3rd and travel by April 17th. That works perfectly for any Saint Patrick’s Day travel you have planned. You know what’s even BETTER? Dublin is a listed end destination! Convenient!
Here are some useful links to get the most out of American Airlines and be the first to know about their super sales:

Awesome Fact: Witness the shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the whole world in DripseyIreland ofCounty CorkThe parade lasts just 100 yards and travels between the village's two pubs.

Get yourself a Dublin Pass. As always, I am recommending the city pass for those visiting Dublin. Not only is it a great deal if you plan to do a fair amount of sightseeing on the Emerald Isle, but it also it lets you skip the queues at the ticket booths. Your Dublin pass comes with an airport-city center transfer, entrance to over 30 top attractions, the Croke Park Experience (for those of you who are sports lovers), discounts on dining, shopping, etc. and even unlimited public transportation! Purchase online before you go to save 20% off. Your Dublin pass is valid for 12 months from purchase and “activates” upon your first use.


My Goodness My Guinness! Do you love Guinness like I do? How would you like a FREE pint? If you’re in Ireland, take a walk through the Guinness Factory and see how it’s made, enjoy a free pint at the end of your tour and take in all of Dublin from the 360 degree view in the Gravity Bar on top of the factory. Before you leave, make sure to stop into the visitor centre and museum to view old adverts and pick up some souvenirs. Here’s a good tip: purchase your entry ticket(s) online to bypass long queues and get 10% off (the not-so-cheap admission price of 14 Euros) or use a Dublin Pass that includes admission.


Do you prefer Jameson whiskey? You can take a distillery tour of their factory as well! Again, your tour ends with a good size “sample”. You can volunteer to do a taste-test, and if you are chosen it includes 3 Irish whiskeys, a Scotch whiskey and an American Whiskey and then a fancy diploma saying you took the taste test. Take a trip through the gift shop and buy a nice bottle for the rest of your trip or send some home for you, family or friends. The tour lasts about an hour and the distillery is open 7 days a week, but you can make reservations online and save 15% off the admission price of 13.5 Euros.

Both tours were highly recommended by those that took one or both of them.




You can find Shereen Travels Cheap on both Facebook and Twitter. Please join me for even more deals, suggestions, travel tips, etc.

Twitter: @shereentrvlschp

Obviously, no matter where you are, you are bound to be near some St. Patrick’s Day celebrations on March 17th. Almost every city has an Irish pub that throws a huge party where everyone gets rip-roaring drunk, pretends their Irish, wears crazy stuff and takes a cab home (hopefully) in the wee hours of the morning to sleep it off. In Portland, that party can go on for many nights, depending what day St. Patrick’s Day falls on. Our popular restaurant called Kells takes up an entire city block with tents full of vendors and music and all things Irish and people have been known to take days off of work, just so they can start their weekend partying early. A great way to find such celebrations is your local paper’s entertainment or local section and online. What’s On When has listings for entertainment and goings on in most cities worldwide.



Want to take Shereen Travels Cheap everywhere you travel? You can! Join other subscribers on Amazon and read me on your Kindle? Don’t have a Kindle? That’s okay, too. Download the FREE Kindle Reading App for your web enabled device (i.e. iPhone, iPad, blackberry, android…) and get instant updates as soon as new posts are published. Easy!


And if you’d like to at least see a bit of Ireland even if you can’t visit, check out some of these movies to enjoy the rolling green countryside and Irish lilt:

Angela’s Ashes
Boy Eats Girl (kitchy rom-zom movie)
Braveheart
The Crying Game
Darby O’Gill and the Little People
Far and Away
The Informer
Laws of Attraction
Leap Day (best sightseeing in a movie, by far)
Michael Collins
P.S. I Love You (my pick for 2nd best sightseeing movie)
The Secret of Roan Inish
Tristan & Isolde
Waking Ned Devine

This is by no means all of them, just ones that I know are probably available through Blockbuster, Netflix, Redbox or your own DVD collection. Find a more complete list HERE.

I hope that with these deals and tips, you can enjoy Saint Patrick's Day and Ireland to the fullest. Drink responsibly and may the wind be ever at your back! Cheers!




In the coming weeks I’d like to answer some reader questions on budget travel, or just travel in general, as I find that there are many people out there that have similar questions and this could be helpful to a lot of you. If you have a question, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will work on getting them answered in the following blog posts. And, of course, you can always post questions on my Facebook page, which will be answered as quickly as possible.

I love this travel bag! It's perfect for those that like to cruise and need to bring "formal wear", since it can take up so much space. The SkyRoll Garment Bag conforms to carry-on regulations and can fit under the airplane seat. Since most cruises go to tropical locales, it can be easy to pack two people's travelwear in a regular carry-on and also share the SkyRoll for one-two formal outfits each and shoes. I was told that an ex-Marine officer was able to pack theirs in such a way that they fit 4 suits, 8 shirts and accessories in his SkyRoll. While most travelers won't need that much, it does say something for the capacity of this compact bag. It has room for suits and dresses and has zipper pockets for tops and other clothing and a separate zipper pocket for ties and socks. The inside cylinder is perfect for shoes, belts, toiletries and anything else you might need. The structure of the bag helps to eliminate wrinkles. It is easy to carry, with a padded strap, and has self-repairing zippers. It would make a great addition to any traveler's bag collection.
 
  

This is the spot to look for new, cool stuff in the Shereen Travels Cheap world. In case you’ve missed the last couple of weeks, links to older guest posts have been moved to the sidebar on the right and there is also a nice list of links to my favorite sites that are super useful to travelers and money-savers. Makes it much easier to find what you may have read about in a previous blog post, but can’t quite remember the name. I hope this is more user-friendly for you.  



Next week, Ebates will be kicking off Travel Week and they asked me to help start it with a blog post on budget travel. Who am I to say “no” to such an attractive offer? Stay tuned for a link to my guest post and in the meantime, you can check out their other awesome money-saving suggestions on their blog.
THIS week, I was given the honor of working with Independent Traveler and sharing with their readers my tips on how to beat the a la carte fees that are now the norm when it comes to air travel. I’ve given my most handy tips on saving on baggage fees, airplane food and more! Independent Traveler is a super great resource for people who book all their travel on their own and can help you find excellent deals on all your trips.

If you have a travel or money-saving blog/website that you would like me to write a post for, I am always happy to do so. Contact me HERE with details.




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