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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow! 6.29.11

Since we’ve talked at length about travel make-up, it only seems natural to also talk about other beauty regimes we take on the road, like hair care. It’s something that men and women deal with every day – unless they’re bald – and is important to looking good on the go. Why let your hair suffer the loss of space for products when you travel? Just because you can’t devote a whole bag to it, doesn’t mean you have to scale back on the way you treat your hair.


Okay, so we all want to pack lighter and take less, but we also want to look good. Well, most of us anyway. I know a lot of people who don’t care or have that “I’ll never see those people again” mentality. I’m not talking to them, because the rest of us want to have nice looking hair, even for strangers. You want to be able to show your vacation pictures without feeling embarrassed. These are things you can control. Of course, you may need to tweak your beauty routine a bit for travel, because you don’t have the space to bring every hair product you own and you don’t really want to spend more time than you have to on it when you could be out and about having a good time. Where can you downsize or change up items to still have great looking locks?


Solid Shampoo Bars – These are one of my favorite travel items. Not only do you save space by not bringing a liquid, but these are super easy to use, make your hair silky and moisturized, keep the frizz down and don’t spill all over your stuff in your bag.

I was introduced to shampoo bars when I went to Disneyland and LUSH Cosmetics had just opened a store in Downtown Disney. My mom was in love with the bath bombs and other girly stuff and I was fascinated by the fact that you could rub soap on your head and not have it turn into a disaster. I bought an oatmeal one that claimed to moisturize and tame hair. With thick curly hair that tends to frizz if not treated properly, both those things were a plus. I tried it out and LOVED it. I only wished they also had them as a conditioner. Now they do!

The LUSH shampoo bar line comes in many different scents and ingredients, so you can pick just the right one for your hair type. The Jungle Solid Conditioner only comes in the one scent, but for my unruly hair, it did more than expected. It smoothed and detangled and was easy to use. It does have a high floral fragrance, along with other smells, but even with my allergies, it wasn’t bothersome.

These are greatly affordable and you can even get an aluminum case to keep them in when you travel, so they go from bag to shower and back without needing to wait for them to dry out. If you have a LUSH store near you, you can take the time to browse the many different kinds of shampoo bars they have, though, I’ll have to warn you that everything starts to smell the same after a while, because all the scents are mixing together in the small space. The shopping experience goes just as well online, without the watery eyes.

  













Dry Shampoo – This is another one of my new fab finds. I know dry shampoo is not new, but I have been reluctant to try it, because after all, I wash my hair. If you’re a flat ironer or you tend to have oily hair/scalp or you’re just lazy, this is a great product. Keep your hair lasting a day or two longer after shampooing by spraying this on your roots the day you SHOULD wash your hair, but don’t want to. It soaks up the excess oils and keeps your hair looking just as good as the day before. This is fantastic if you go on short trips or if you go on longer trips and just want to spend more time doing stuff…and not your hair.

    













Downsize Your Liquids – If you insist on taking your own shampoo and conditioner from home, make sure you decant them into travel bottles or, even better, buy them in travel sizes. This is also great for mousses, hairsprays and gels. I use spray gel to attack my hair and keep the flyaways to a minimum, so I bought a 2 oz. spray bottle in the trial-size section of the store for $1 and refill it every time I travel. If you can’t find smaller v where you normally shop, check out beauty supply stores or Minimus. They have everything under the sun in travel varieties and can help save you a ton of space when traveling. They are my go-to website for travel meds and beauty items I don’t already have at home.

   













Mini-Size Your Hair Appliances – So, you never leave home without your flat iron/blow dryer/curling iron. That’s okay. You don’t have to. If that’s what you need to make your hair “work”, then that’s what you need. I’m too lazy to use more than one thing, so I take my showers at night and opt for the flat iron. This helps in eliminating a blow dryer from my routine and it also helps me get out the house quicker in the morning, because I already took my shower and I flat iron before bed when it is mostly dry. When I wake up, I can just run a comb through it, slap on some make-up and go! But enough about me…

For those of you that are a slave to your appliances, the best way to travel with them is to leave them at home and replace them with smaller versions. Get travel-sized ones that retract or fold and you will find so much more room in your travel bag than before. Every company makes travel versions of their hair appliances, so take a trip to your local Target or wherever you go to buy these things (ULTA, maybe) and check out the selection. Conair and Remington have some fantastic selections and have a folding flat iron, folding mini hair dryer, mini flat iron (so cute!) and mini curling iron. They pack in half the space – sometimes less – as your full-sized ones at home and do the job just as well. Plus, when you have alternatives, you don’t have to keep unpacking and repacking them. They will always be in your bag, so you can just grab it and go. You may have forgotten socks, but at least your hair will look great!

   














So, if you’re wondering how any of this pertains to budget travel, I can tell you that it cuts down on the items you take, keeps your travel bag manageable and also lets you skip the baggage fees when you pack everything into a carry-on bag. The less (and smaller) you take, the easier it is to pack lighter and travel more efficiently. Once your plane lands, you can grab your bag and go right to checking in instead of standing around that cattle corral they call the baggage claim and watching everyone’s bags go around and around until they finally get yours off the cart and onto the conveyor. Believe me, people are jealous of those of us that grab our bag from the overhead and go straight to the taxi stand or car rental office.

Does this post seem shorter than usual? You’ll be excited to know that my slacking is all for a good cause. The shortness of my post today is related to my return to my budget travel book. I’m doing another round of editing and additions, so we can self-publish by the end of summer or the beginning of fall. You’ll be able to purchase Shereen Travels Cheap on Amazon in hard copy for yourself and holiday gifts (*hint, hint*)! It’ll also be available on Kindle. I’ll update you as we go along. I suspect the editing, additions and more editing will take through the end of July. I want you to have as much information as possible when I’m done, so you’ll get your money’s worth!



Don't forget that you can get Shereen Travels Cheap blog on Kindle via Amazon. If you don't have a Kindle, it's okay. You can download the free Kindle Reading App for your web-enabled device, like your iPhone, iPad, Android, netbook, or Blackberry. As soon as a new post is published, you'll get it right away on your device!



We're celebrating 100 blog subscribers! Help me out by subscribing, too, and you could win a fantastic Summer Road Trip bundle worth over $150! The package includes a fun travel game, a packable tote bag, sunscreen, UV SunSense wristbands, $100 dining card, $25 hotel card and some other surprise items. Once we reach 150 subscribers a winner will be chosen. Enter here! Get extra entries by getting your friends to enter as well!   

Help me make it to 1,500 Facebook fans and be a winner! I'm giving away travel games for your summer trips. They are fun and help pass the time. Here's what you need to do: "Like" Shereen Travels Cheap (if you haven't already) and enter to win the travel games giveaway. Then, suggest Shereen Travels Cheap to all your Facebook friends and tell them they can enter to win, too. When they enter, they enter your name as the one who referred them and you get another entry for each friend who names you! When we reach 1,500 fans, 2 lucky winners will be chosen via Random.org.

Don't forget to join me on the awesome new Savvy Living Community sponsored by Ebates. Not only will you learn how to save money by better utilizing Ebates, but you will also be able to read Savvy blog posts and join in discussions and live chats with Savvy Leaders (like me!) to learn how to save money on all aspects of your life. With 19 bloggers who are experts on everything from travel to family life, you're sure to learn a lot of new information, find some great new blogs and even make some friends along the way. Join Ebates

                                                     You can join my new discussion on travel guides!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Become The Packmaster 6.25.11

It's about that time when many of you (and me!) are starting to think about packing for your summer travels. While you may think you're already doing everything you can  in order to pack lightly and efficiently, you may still have lessons to learn. On the other hand, you may be so used to just taking everything you want and checking baggage that packing in a carry-on just never occurred to you until you saw those high baggage fees. Likewise for those of you who are used to flying on Southwest Airlines and find they aren't really so much a low-cost carrier anymore. So, you want to learn some packing light tricks? Well, that's what I'm here for. 


Wolves and other pack animals have a packleader (and according to the True Blood novels, werewolves have a packMASTER, which sounds cooler). They have the strongest skill set among their "family". You can be this in your travel group, like I am in mine, when it comes to actual packing. Let's get started on those tips, so you can put your new knowledge to the test and amaze your travel buddies with how much you can pack in a tiny bag and how little you really needed to bring with you.


Bring Less Clothes - Everyone cringes when I suggest this, but it's really the #1 thing to do in order to pack for carry-on travel. The average woman only wears 61% of what they bring on vacation, so you're taking stuff you don't need anyway. Let us learn something from the opposite sex, who wear 98% of what they pack. So, what's the secret to bringing less? Pick a color palette and stick with it. Make sure all your tops or all your bottoms are in a similar tone (all blacks/gray, all neutrals), that way everything you bring will mix and match and you can make a lot of different outfits from a few key pieces. A goal to shoot for is 3 bottoms, 5 tops and a dress (if you're a lady) or a suit jacket (if you're a guy), all the undergarments you need and a packable jacket.
Bring Less Shoes - If you bring less clothes, that means you can bring more shoes, right?! No, sorry. This is another time to pare down. Limit yourself to two pair of shoes and a pair of flip-flops (take up so little space, they might as well not be considered shoes and are really useful). Bring a pair of really good walking shoes (like sneakers/trainers) and then a pair of nicer shoes, which are also comfortable enough to walk in for a bit, that can go with dressier outfits. Wear your bulkiest shoes on the plane and save room in your bag.


Roll Your Clothes - Even though you're bringing less, your bag is also smaller and you gotta get all the essentials in there. Did you know that if you roll your clothes you can get a whole lot more in there? It's true! I pack both my clothes and my husband's in a large carry-on bag, including shoes. (If I can do that and you choose to have a carry-on per person, you can definitely achieve this.) I can get 1/3 more into my bag by rolling than by folding everything. Rolling helps eliminate wrinkles, but if you bring clothing that resist wrinkling, you can cram as much in each layer of rolled clothing as possible.


eBags Packing Cubes - 3pc Set (Grasshopper)
Use Packing Cubes - If packing seems difficult, packing cubes are like the color-by-numbers version. Fill each cube with similar rolled items and then Tetris them into your carry-on. Not only does this make your travel bag neat, but it also makes unpacking super easy, too! 


ELLE Jewelry Red Tiger Eye Large Layering Sterling Silver Necklace, 36"

Accessorize - Dress up boring outfits with accessories. When you have to choose between a sparkly club top and a more sensible tank top, go with the tank top. It goes with everything and can be dressed up with fun jewelry. Go from day to night by adding a belt or some layering necklaces and changing your shoes. Easy! Accessories also take up much less space than more clothing. 


Use Every Available Space - To be an efficient packer, you should use ALL the space that's available to you. This is especially important when you are on your way back home and you have more than you came with. If there's a crevice between clothing and other items, cram some socks or a trinket or something in there. You'll be surprised how much will fit and how it all gets back home unbroken.




Pack Inside Your Shoes - This goes along with using your available space. Stuff shoes with your jewelry pack, socks, underwear, spices. You name it! When coming back home, I use my shoes as padding for breakable items I bought on my trip, like ornaments. Shoes are great "bubble wrap". 


Put Heavier Items on the Bottom - You're going to want your bag weight to be evenly distributed, otherwise you'll constantly be picking it up when it falls over. Pack heavy things, like shoes or your toiletry bag, on the bottom. That is, near the wheels. This helps to keep your bag stable.


Pare Down on Toiletries - There are so many ways you can take less makeup or toiletries, including bringing a tinted moisturizer to replace both a moisturizer and a foundation. If you can get one SPF in it, that's a 3-in-1 multitasking product. You can find more beauty travel tips HERE. Do you really need to take your whole beauty routine? Probably not. Just bring the essentials and then one or two "luxury" items, like glitter eye liner for those nights you go out clubbin'. (My new favorite eye liner is on the left there. Stila Smudge Stick goes on easily and gives great coverage. And when they say it's waterproof, they aren't lying. You need make-up remover to get it off. This is great for me, because I have very watery eyes and it's hard for me to keep eyeliner on for more than an hour.)


Other ways to take less and still have everything you need? Bring a solid shampoo bar or use the shampoo/conditioner provided at your hotel. Take a shaving oil instead of a cream. It comes in a bottle the size of eye drops, takes only a few drops for each shave. It can be used on legs, underarms, bikini areas and faces. 


Take advantage of Health & Beauty week on Ebates and get double cash back on fantastic stores like philosophy, Sephora and The Body Shop. Even if you aren't in the market for new travel beauty products, now's a great time stock up on your favorite cosmetics, because you can buy more, get free shipping and also get a discount in the form of cash back. You win all the way around.


Leave Chargers at Home - Okay, I don't mean don't take any EVER. You'd have to have a really short trip for that to be a good idea. Instead of taking all your chargers, replace them with an iGo multicharger. You have one adapter and then tips for each electronic device you have. It saves SO much room in your bag and everything you need in one place. You never have to search your bag for the right cord, because you only have ONE. Buy the wall charger and car adapter set and charge your electronics in your rental car, too!


Apple iPad (first generation) MB292LL/A Tablet (16GB, Wifi)Toshiba NB505-N508BN 10.1-Inch Netbook (Brown)
Downsize - This is probably one of the hardest things for some people to do, because you're so used to the devices you have and always bring. Can one device do more than one thing? If it can, leave other stuff at home that it replaces. Like if you usually bring a laptop and iPod, but you have an iPad, just bring the iPad. You can make it as effective as a laptop, by purchasing the Zagg bluetooth keyboard, which doubles as a hard case for your tablet. You can get all your videos and games you play on your iPod right on your iPad with your iTunes.


If you usually take a laptop with you, consider investing in a netbook. We have one (after I pleaded my case for months and finally got one for my birthday) and it takes up about half the space of our laptop and does 90% of the things the laptop does. It's perfect for travel and super lightweight.


Contours Lite Stroller, Tangerine Graco TotBloc Pack 'N Play with Carry Bag, Bugs Quilt
Rent Baby Equipment - Do you really WANT to take your car seat, stroller, pack and play, etc. when you travel? Of course you don't, but you have to, right? Of course you don't! Many car rental companies rent car seats and there are a lot of places that rent strollers and other baby equipment in destinations across North America and the world. Do you need a crib? No problem! BabiesTravelLite gives you worldwide locations where you can pick up rental equipment and Baby'sAway has rental companies that will drop off any equipment you rent at your hotel in the U.S. and Canada. Not only do you travel lighter, but in many cases renting is less than baggage fees. Another good thing? You don't have to worry about your personal items being damaged in transit!


If you travel with small children (or clumsy adults like me), it's inevitable that someone will get a cut or scrape and need some minor first aid. make your kids feel special by bringing along a special first aid kit for your little ones. These I'm OK! Mini First Aid Sets are cheap and come in pirate, princess and bear theme or a generic green cross. Inside each kit you'll find 24 I'm OK! bandages, emergency info card, I'm OK! cold pack and 6 no-sting antiseptic swabs. These slim packs can fit in even the smallest space in your travel bag. If you don't want to take a whole Mini First Aid Kit, you can get the Pocket Mini First Aid Kit which comes with a smaller case filled with an emergency info card, 8 I'm OK! bandages and 4 no-sting antiseptic swabs. Fun, affordable, easily packable and super useful!
            






Don't forget that you can get Shereen Travels Cheap blog on Kindle via Amazon. If you don't have a Kindle, it's okay. You can download the free Kindle Reading App for your web-enabled device, like your iPhone, iPad, Android, netbook, or Blackberry. As soon as a new post is published, you'll get it right away on your device!



We're celebrating 100 blog subscribers! Help me out by subscribing, too, and you could win a fantastic Summer Road Trip bundle worth over $150! The package includes a fun travel game, a packable tote bag, sunscreen, UV SunSense wristbands, $100 dining card, $25 hotel card and some other surprise items. Once we reach 150 subscribers a winner will be chosen. Enter here! Get extra entries by getting your friends to enter as well!   



Help me make it to 1,500 Facebook fans and be a winner! I'm giving away travel games for your summer trips. They are fun and help pass the time. Here's what you need to do: "Like" Shereen Travels Cheap (if you haven't already) and enter to win the travel games giveaway. Then, suggest Shereen Travels Cheap to all your Facebook friends and tell them they can enter to win, too. When they enter, they enter your name as the one who referred them and you get another entry for each friend who names you! When we reach 1,500 fans, 2 lucky winners will be chosen via Random.org.

Don't forget to join me on the awesome new Savvy Living Community sponsored by Ebates. Not only will you learn how to save money by better utilizing Ebates, but you will also be able to read Savvy blog posts and join in discussions and live chats with Savvy Leaders (like me!) to learn how to save money on all aspects of your life. With 19 bloggers who are experts on everything from travel to family life, you're sure to learn a lot of new information, find some great new blogs and even make some friends along the way. Join Ebates.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Traveling to Thailand 6.23.11

Thailand is one of those places I’ve always wanted to go to. Granted, I don’t know much about it, but it seems exotic and it’s far away. It conjures up thoughts of elephants, food stalls and crazy drivers to me, but that’s not all they have. If you’ve run out and seen Hangover 2 yet, you may be reluctant to travel to any part of Thailand, but the country is not full of mob criminals, drug dealers, dirty streets or lady boy strip clubs. I mean, sure, it probably has some of those, but so does America (assuming one can find such a strip club anywhere in the United States. I’m convinced they exist.)  There are cities in Thailand that are bustling metropolises, like Bangkok, and there are beautifully tropical cities that offer some of the most luxurious – and even affordable – resorts you’ll find anywhere. This is why Thailand is our next stop on our Frugal Vacation Series.



Thailand has a little bit of everything: mountains, beaches, plains, valleys, cities. They are the largest rice exporter in the world and the 20th largest county in terms of population, with a population the size of France or the UK. The country itself can be compared in size with California or France, so it can be easy to travel around in on a 1-2 week trip.

With approximately 30 Baht to one US Dollar, it is definitely a country that is affordable to visit and explore, and since tourism counts for 6% or more of their economy, you can be sure your money will be welcomed with an open hand and a smile. You may want to brush up on your Thai, though, or bring a translator app/book with you, as English is not spoken widely, though it is a mandatory subject for school children. With this in mind, it’s maybe a good idea to ask younger people if you need directions or other information.


So, where should you go? If you’re looking to visit a major city and see what they have to offer, you have several options. The most popular of these are going to be Bangkok and Phuket. We’ll look at Bangkok first, since it is the capital city. One thing you'll want to know is that you can stay at 3- and 4-star hotels in the country for around $25-60/night. Another thing is that dining is just as affordable. Whether you eat at fancy restaurants or food stalls, you'll save enough to buy some great souvenirs and do more things!



  •  Vimanmek Teak Mansion - The largest golden teak mansion, built without nails, has lattice walls and octagonal rooms. The mansion was built in 1868 as a retreat for Rama V. The king had it moved from its original location and used it in Bangkok as his primary residence. Take a one-hour tour of the mansion, including Rama V's personal items and antiques. There are 81 rooms in all to see, so try to get there right at opening. Admission: 100B
  • Dusit Zoo - Another property of Rama V, this was originally a botanic garden. Now it houses over 1300 animals, including some rare species. There is also a lake with paddle boats, an air raid shelter, children's playground and pop music and dance troupe. A great way to spend the day in the city for just 50B per adult.
  • Forensic Medicine Museum - While probably not for everyone, this is my kinda hot spot for a vacation, because it's totally different from anything I have at home. Peruse crime-scene evidence and the cadaver of Thailand's most notorious serial killer in this fascinating museum. Pretty interesting and also only around 50B for admission.
  • Thanon Maharat - One of Bangkok's coolest streets. There are outdoor displays of herbal remedies, pill bottles and amulets. It's a free stroll and will show you alternative medicinal practices for colds and other ailments that are still in use today.
  • Museum of Siam - Housed in the old 19th century building of the Ministry of Commerce, this museum shows the history of Thailand and its people. There are many videos and hands-on exhibits to keep both adults and children interested for quite a while. There's also a cafe and gift shop. Admission is 300B.
  • Bangkok Dinner Cruise - Enjoy a 2.5 hour cruise on the Chao Phraya River while eating a delicious Thai dinner buffet. See some of Bangkok's amazing sights, too, all for just $52 per person. 
  • Floating Markets and Bridge on the River Kwai Tour - Experience the food shopping trip of a lifetime and also visit the famous Thai landmark bridge from the movie of the same name. You'll have several other stops along the way, including lunch at a local restaurant. A bargain at just $79 per person for a 10-hour tour. 

  • Khao Lak-Lum Ru National Park - Right outside of town, the national park has beaches, sea cliffs, mountains, valleys, mangroves and estuaries. Explore on your own, take a guided trek or take a long-tail boat trip to Khlong Thap Liang estuary for an amazing scenic ride. The national park is home to native plants and animals that you may observe on your visit. Your visit will require a monetary donation of 200B per adult and 100B per child
  • Khao Phra Thaew National Park - The last of the untouched Thai rainforest can be found here. Free admission to the park where you can also see 2 beautiful waterfalls and the Phuket Gibbon Rehabilitation Center. Take a guided hike to visit both waterfalls and along the way you may see flying foxes, wild pigs, civets, monkeys or more! Guided hikes start in the morning and guides charge an average of 1000B for the day.
  • Wat Phra Thong - The Temple of the Golden Buddha is half buried. There are also 11 other Buddha images at this popular temple. Admission donation is requested. 
  • Hat Mai Khao - Phuket's longest beach beckons you with its beautiful white beaches. Between November and February, you might catch a glimpse of a sea turtle laying her eggs in the sand. There is a visitor's centre, toilets, showers and picnic tables for a great day out. On the weekdays, the beach is practically deserted, so try to hit it up in the middle of the week if you can.
  • Phuket Fantasea - Think there's nothing exciting about Thailand? This amusement park will change your mind. Experience the beauty of Thailand through exhibits, rides and awesome - if not cheesy - theatrical shows with Thai elephants. Shop the street dedicated to such things and eat a Thai feast. How much will all this cool stuff cost you? How about 1,900B for dinner and a show! That's cheaper than almost any theme park you could go to at home.
  • Laem Singh - Another great beach that boasts crazy landscape set on one of the best capes of the island. Walled in by cliffs, you'll have to walk down the path with all your stuff. Great for camping. There are also some fantastic seafood restaurants nearby.

Ready to plan your trip? For some of the best deals on airfare and hotels, check out DoHop.com and Venere.com. Both will give you the lowest rates available. Venere doesn't require most reservations to be prepaid, which means you can pay for other parts of your trip before you go!


Brendan Vacations brings you this fancy deal to stay in 4-star Phuket's Krabi Thai Village Resort for 5 nights in a deluxe room with daily breakfast and round-trip airport transfers

American Airlines has international flights from the US on sale from $61 each way. Purchase by June 30th and fly between September 6th and December 5th. 


Do you need a new camera or video recorder for your travels? How about ones that are awesome and waterproof? Great for when you go to the beach or travel in a humid climate. Kodak has 3 different fun digital options to choose from that are affordable, lightweight and come in fun colors.

The Kodak EasyShare Sport is waterproof in up to 10 feet of water, 12 MP, large display and has it's very own share button, enabling you to upload your photos right to your favorite social network sites or email. It has automatic face detection and takes VGA video.









  

The Kodak PlaySport digital video recorders can record in HD. They are also waterproof up to 10 feet, are easy to grip, have built-in image stabilization and takes 5MP still pictures. The difference between the Zx3 and the Zx5 is that the 5 is also shockproof and has a fancy share button, like the EasyShare Sport camera. Show everyone in your social network what you're doing RIGHT NOW! 

Get yourself a floating wrist strap for any of these 3 electronics and never worry about losing it at the bottom of the pool...or ocean.





We're celebrating 100 blog subscribers! Help me out by subscribing, too, and you could win a fantastic Summer Road Trip bundle worth over $150! The package includes a fun travel game, a packable tote bag, sunscreen, UV SunSense wristbands, $100 dining card, $25 hotel card and some other surprise items. Once we reach 150 subscribers a winner will be chosen. Enter here! Get extra entries by getting your friends to enter as well!   

Help me make it to 1,500 Facebook fans and be a winner! I'm giving away travel games for your summer trips. They are fun and help pass the time. Here's what you need to do: "Like" Shereen Travels Cheap (if you haven't already) and enter to win the travel games giveaway. Then, suggest Shereen Travels Cheap to all your Facebook friends and tell them they can enter to win, too. When they enter, they enter your name as the one who referred them and you get another entry for each friend who names you! When we reach 1,500 fans, 2 lucky winners will be chosen via Random.org.

Don't forget to join me on the awesome new Savvy Living Community sponsored by Ebates. Not only will you learn how to save money by better utilizing Ebates, but you will also be able to read Savvy blog posts and join in discussions and live chats with Savvy Leaders (like me!) to learn how to save money on all aspects of your life. With 19 bloggers who are experts on everything from travel to family life, you're sure to learn a lot of new information, find some great new blogs and even make some friends along the way. Join Ebates.

Are you in the Portland area or planning on traveling here? Well, I've been chosen as a Budget Travel Examiner for Portland on Examiner.com, where I will be posting deals and cool stuff to do in the area on a budget several times a week. Make sure you subscribe to my articles. Not only will you get some great ideas on stuff to do in Portland and the surrounding areas (including day trips), but you'll also save money and help me out by expanding my readership - which will boost my income a bit, too. Thanks for your help and I hope you enjoy my articles.

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