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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

My Favorite Apps for Saving Money

I'm all about saving a ton of money, but even a few pennies is still better than not saving anything. Those pennies add up pretty quickly. I do the majority of my shopping online, with the exception of groceries and trips to Target, so I have amassed a collection of apps that help me save money on my travel and everyday purchases, so I can travel more or even just do a little more on my next trip. Read on for my favorite money-saving apps.

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Not all apps are to use on your phone. I've got several that I use on my computer that are extensions of Chrome and which automatically activates when I go to a site that is a featured merchant of that site.

Ebates

This is my #1 money-saving app. There are so many merchants that work with them to save you money. While you can always go to the Ebates page before you make any purchase, it's a lot easier to add the Chrome extension to your browser, so the cash back button pops up when you go to any website that is a member of the system. It's so easy. Ebates is basically a huge affiliate site and they share half their commission from merchants with you. That commission can be anywhere from 1% to 50%. 

Every day there is one or more merchant that offers you double cash back through Ebates, and there are often double cash back events throughout the year, where tons of stores participate. Not only that, but the extension lets you know what coupon codes are available and can automatically apply them at checkout.

Sign up for free now + get $10 added to your account upon completion of your first purchase. You also get a cash bonus when any of your friends sign up using your link.

Swagbucks

This is another cash back app that can be used as a Chrome extension. I also have it on my phone and use the website, because you can earn Swagbucks (SB) for every purchase you can make from participating merchants, taking surveys, playing games and more. Your extension works just like Ebates's above and pops up at the same time if both companies feature the merchant (it can be a bit annoying for everything to pop up while you're trying to read the site, but it's worth it to save the money). 

SB can be exchanged for gift cards for everything from restaurants, Amazon and even Paypal, which is the same as cash. Sign up for free now and get $3 as a bonus for being my referral. Get $3 for every friend you refer + 10% of their earnings for a lifetime. That's free monies!

Honey

Honey is one of those sleeper apps that you never heard of and then wonder why nobody told you about it. It hangs out on your Chrome bar until you're ready to check out, then if there's a working coupon code or the ability to earn cash back, the app pops up, tries all those coupons (if you click on the button) and hopefully one of them works. 

It's not as intuitive as Ebates or Swagbucks and can add a few minutes to your checkout while it manually tries all those coupons  that may or may not work. You can also see what cash back it offers, so you can decide if you want to use it or the other cash back apps instead. 

Sign up free at JoinHoney and start accruing HoneyGold. Once you reach 1,000 gold, you can trade it in for a $10 gift card, like from Amazon (my personal favorite) or Sephora. Any friend you get to sign up with your referral link will earn you $5 after their first qualifying purchase. 

Groupon/Living Social

I'm sure you're already using these Daily Deal sites. I have both apps on my phone so I can search for cool stuff on-the-go. I've often purchased deals while on vacation and can show them my purchase on my phone when I use it. It's also nice to not have extra paper floating around, especially when you're on vacation. Saves time and paper.

Groupon owns Living Social, but they have two different sites that often have completely different listings. With Groupon, you can save up to 90% off activities, services, products and even travel. I subscribe to my home city, but then about 3 months before I travel, I subscribe to my destination city as well, because most have a expiration date 90 days after purchase. I've saved hundreds of dollars on restaurant and activities while traveling and my trips have been extra awesome and budget-y. Woot!

Sign up for Groupon for free and then receive a $10 credit anytime you refer a friend and they make their first qualifying purchase. You may even get your deal for free by sharing your purchase with friends and then purchasing through that link as well.

Sign up for LivingSocial for free. While they don't have a traditional referral program anymore, you can share your deal purchase, and if 3 people purchase through your share link, you get yours for free (not all purchases are eligible, but it's still fun to do stuff with friends, even at a discount).

RetailMeNot

You may already be using RetailMeNot, but do you know that they have a Genie extension for your browser that can net you cash back? Or that you can get the app on your phone and get deals out in the real world? You can! RetailMeNot uses the power of people to create the most extensive list of coupon codes on the internet. Ebates, Swagbucks or Honey can't find you a coupon code? Check RetailMeNot!

Out and about at your favorite store and wish you had a coupon? Open your app, look up the store (or it'll automatically find it with your phone's location) and pull up any in-store coupons that you can use at checkout.

Sign up for free! Sorry, it doesn't matter who you refer, you get nothing but the satisfaction that you helped someone else save money.

Uber/Lyft

So, sometimes I don't need to spend a ton on a rental car, because I don't need to drive that many places, that's when Uber and Lyft come in handy, like when I go to Vegas for the Travel Goods Show. I use the monorail to get to the convention center and back to my timeshare, but sometimes I want to go somewhere off the Strip, or get to/from the airport. Uber can really save me a lot in taxi fees, time by not using public transit, and my feet by not having to walk a long way.

Sign up for Uber for free and get free rides by referring friends. Use my link or use this code on the app: ubershereentravels.

Sign up for Lyft for free and get a free $5 ride credit. If you're on the app: use code SHEREEN148653 for your free credit. Refer friend and get $10 in ride credit for yourself.

Turo

As much as I love renting a car, sometimes it's just too crazy expensive. I've been looking for a car for 5 days in Los Angeles, so my friend and I can do some sightseeing and make it to Universal on our own schedule. I've checked Turo before, which is a car share service, sort of like Airbnb for vehicles. I found a great car to rent from a person who had awesome reviews and they were willing to drop the car off at the airport too. 

Even with that $50 delivery fee, I paid just $160 for 5 days. Compare that to $340 for using any traditional rental car service and I think you won't care too much that the car you've chosen is not brand new either. Since I won't be doing long journeys, driving less than 200 miles to go from LAX to Anaheim to Universal back to Anaheim to downtown LA and to LAX to go home, I don't need anything that's brand new and pristine. Definitely worth saving $180. That's so much Harry Potter merch I can buy now!

Sign up for Turo for free (they will ask for your driver license info to do a quick background check on your driving record) and get a $25 credit, + refer a friend and you both get a $25 credit once they travel with Turo.

Obviously, these are not the only apps I use to save money, but these are the ones I use the most or, in the case of Turo, looking forward to use a lot more than I currently do. 

Do you have a favorite app that saves you lots of money? (Or even just a little bit of money.) Share it in the comments so we can all save!

Disclosure: This post features affiliate links. Thanks for using them!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

My Los Angeles Wish List

For the second time in a year, my vacation plans have taken a turn and I'm finding myself having to go with a back-up plan. Family things have me not being able to visit Las Vegas next month as planned, but Eric is still going and I'm changing my own plans to visit Los Angeles in August instead. I've been working on a Los Angeles wish list for a future trip and now I might be able to make a bit of a dent in it.


I had planned a solo trip to Disneyland, which I wouldn't have been unhappy about, because how can you be sad at all at Disneyland? A friend of mine has never been to Disneyland and was able to get a few days off from work, so I get to show her the magic. I find that very exciting. Here are some of my plans in addition to the Mickey and Universal Studios (Wizarding World, here I come!).

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Paramount Coffee Project

You know I can't go anywhere without trying some awesome coffee. I have been researching shops near where we'll be in downtown LA and this shop seems to fit the bill for having excellent coffee, a cool atmosphere and lovely staff.

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OUE Skyspace LA

I love a place that has amazing views of the city. I've been hoping to visit Skyspace since it opened. It has sweeping views and for an extra fee, you can slide down a glass slide on the side of the building. Awesome, right?

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Gallery 1988

I took to Facebook to ask my readers and also my local friends about unique things to see and do in LA. Gallery 1988 was suggested to me and I was immediately drawn to it. Not only is it free (yay!), but it appears to be a fantastic pop culture museum with advertising and more. My friend is an amazing artist and I think this will be a great treat for both of us. 

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The Last Bookstore

If you love books, then surely you've seen the walk-throughs of this very unique book store. It has tunnels and caves and archways made of books. It has several stories and tons of books for sale. It's basically just a nifty way to see the love of books in a somewhat museum-like atmosphere.

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Clifton's Republic

This is another recommendation from a friend. This is a restaurant that serves for cafeteria style, but has trees and taxidermy animals inside, making it appear you're in a posh forest. The prices are affordable and the reviews of the food and drinks are fairly high. 

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Snow White Cafe

This hole-in-the-wall eatery was another recommendation. It's a diner with diner food, but it's supposed to be delicious, plus it's a local hangout for the old Disney crowd. It gets its name from the mural above the door that was painted by the artist that worked on the original cartoon.

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Old LA Zoo

Years and years ago the Los Angeles Zoo moved, but the cages and enclosures were abandoned. The animals have long since left, but you can now wander the zoo and view graffiti-ed walls and nature, as the space has now been turned into a park, with hiking trails and picnic tables. It also looks like we can walk to the Hollywood sign from there.

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Cauldron Ice Cream

So, this is technically not in LA or Anaheim, but in between in Artesia. I've been following Cauldron on Instagram. Their rose ice creams and puffle cones are drool-inducing and I've been hoping to go there for quite some time. This might be the trip for a s'mores ice cream in a puffed waffle cone  or something with cereal on it. 

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Rubies + Diamonds Coffee

Another coffee shop I found that sounds like a must-visit. They have chandeliers and yummy sounding brews, is located near things I've got on my list and has scrumptious food, too.

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Trader Sam's

I'm a lover of tiki bars, and I've meant to hit up this bar at the Disneyland Hotel for years. Eric doesn't drink, so going and just sitting there for a evening beverage and drinking alone seemed a bit sad. Now I'll have someone to enjoy a drink with me. The menu is full of Disney names, like the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Punch. I'll drink to that

So, those are the things I have on my list right now. We'll see how many we can get to outside of Disneyland and Universal. If nothing else, I'll be brandishing my wand for a few spells in Hogsmeade and outside of the Wizarding World. Accio, fun trip!

What do you think? Are there other things I should add to my trip or do you have suggestions on must-dos for a first-timer (adult) to Disneyland?

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Your Daily Goodie Box

You may already subscribe to a few monthly boxes, maybe for your favorite fandom, clothes, beauty products or almost anything else. Health and food boxes seem a bit harder to find, and it's nearly impossible to find a free one. Usually, to get a free box of goodies, you have to fill out a bunch of different forms online and get everything one by one. Not with Daily Goodie Box.


Daily Goodie Box. It's more than just Free Samples! 

Unfortunately, you can't just sign up for DGB and get a box right away. Pretty much you sign up, cross your fingers and then get an email when you're eligible. This is my second one and it is packed full of small and full-size samples for me to try.  I love finding new products that I can use at home, but I also love to get sample sizes that I can take with me on vacation, because it helps me pack light.


Each box is a pretty good size and packed to the brim with things you probably have never heard of. I was especially excited about this one, because it was going to feature Yumbutter's new flavor: chocolate espresso. 


This box had a theme throughout: Organic. From this organic blister balm, to organic mouthwash, to organic peanut butter spread. You name it, this runs the gamut. There were even three coffee pods for my Keurig, which I happily used immediately. 


Each box comes with an average of 10 items. All that's asked of the receiver is to try the items, log back into your DGB account and review them, good or bad. My box also came with a men's spray scent, like AXE, which I hated and it leaked in transit. I promptly dumped it in the trash, but everything else was interesting and things I'd happily try.


My last box came with a different sleep aid, and this one also came with one. I've not had any sleep issues lately, so I haven't tried it yet, but these little samples of night creams from Goddess Garden are lovely. Although the Yumbutter is very dry, as was the original peanut butter I tried from them, the flavors really combine well and I'll be trying it in a protein shake. It might also work really well with a complementary jam in a sandwich or in cookies!

I'm pretty excited to see if the EssentialOxygen toothpaste and brushing rinse whitens my teeth. It is fluoride and alcohol-free, contains no gluten, is vegan, not tested on animals and a woman-owned buisness. It contains a bunch of fresh, organic ingredients: mint, aloe, lemon, cloves, eucalyptus, rosemary, cinnamon. Sounds delicious to me!


Not only do you get a load of cool items, you also get a few coupons thrown in and cards that tell you all about your new samples.


You don't have anything to lose and only free products to gain, go sign up for Daily Goodie Box and wait for awesome stuff to show up at your door. Now, there's no guarantee that you'll get a box, because of limited quantities, but if you do, try your products as quickly as possible so you can give your feedback. This feedback is shared with the companies that are sharing their products with DGB (and you). Like me, you may find some new favorite things, for travel or otherwise.

What's the best free trial product you've ever received?

Like what Daily Goodie Box is doing? Find them on their website and on social media:

Disclaimer: I was provided with a Daily Goodie Box for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are 100% mine.

If you're interested in any of the items in June's box, here is a link to each item: 






Prince & Spring -  Organic Coffee Pods


Goddess Garden - Daily Facial Routine 

Van Holten's - Pickle-Ice


Volo Vitamins - Energy Stickpacks 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

How and Where to Travel As a Vegetarian

Are you a vegetarian or a vegan? It doesn't mean you can't travel the world. Some places are definitely more veggie-friendly than others, but if you know which destinations are better or what to look for, then you can travel easily just like everyone else. Check out this infographic and my below tips to learn where to travel as a vegetarian. (click on the infographic below to see it bigger.)

Before you get to your destination, you need to hit the airport and get on a plane. You can pack your own snacks to take with you to eat en route and even when you reach your ultimate destination. If you want to know what airlines have options for you or where to eat at the airport, check out this post

Have you found a fantastic vegan/vegetarian restaurant or city on your travels? Please share in the comments!




Saturday, June 9, 2018

How to Travel More On a Budget


If there’s something that all budget travelers should know about, it’s frequent flyer miles. They can be the key to saving tons on your trips if you know all the ways to accrue them and how to use them to book rewards seats. Just think how much cheaper your vacations would be if you didn’t have to pay for airfare! 

travel more on a budget

Now, you won’t magically have a million miles in your account with little effort. If it were that easy, everyone would be flying everywhere for nothing and the airlines would go out of business. Earning miles is not hard, but it may seem like all the little things you do will take forever to earn anything. A few miles here and there will eventually add up to enough to garner you a rewards seat. It’s still faster than waiting for all your miles in the air to become a free ticket.

Not sure how to make the most of your frequent flyer account and earn 25K or more miles to get you that coveted rewards seat? There are many ways to do it and even if you just do one or two of them, your mileage account will bulk up a lot faster.

Become a mileage member

You can’t earn miles if you don’t open a frequent flyer account. Sign up with your favorite airlines, focusing on just a few, so you don’t end up with a few miles on a bunch of programs. It will take you much longer to get free flights that way. Obviously, you aren’t limited to flying on just the couple airlines you’ve signed up with. 

Remember that you can also gain miles for your preferred airlines through their codeshare partners. For example, American Airlines and Alaska Air are partners. If I have all my miles on American, but can only find an affordable flight for where I want to go when I want to go on Alaska, I can input my American mileage number when I book my flight through Alaska and gain miles that way. The same goes for when I want to use my miles to book a reward seat.
  

Earn on the ground

It would probably take a really long time to earn enough miles for a free flight if you only added up the miles you got by flying. Of course, if you travel for business, those extra miles can help you get there faster. If you don’t and only go on one or two trips a year, you have to learn how to maximize your opportunities, so you get more than one free flight a decade. There are, in fact, tons of ways to earn while not on vacation:
  • Get a credit card that earns miles – Maybe your debit card already has this feature or it is available as an add-on through your bank. If not, there are a ton of other cards out there to choose from. Why not get miles for things you buy every day? Gas, groceries and all those other things you pay for add up quickly. If you use a credit card, pay the balance off at the end of the month if you would normally use your bank account for such purchases and save on interest.
  • Rent a car – Drive miles to earn miles. When booking your rental car reservation, make sure you enter your mileage member number. Some companies may charge you per day to do this, but it is generally a very minimal fee of less than a dollar. Make sure you read the fine print if this is a problem for you, but the fee generally is offset by the amount of miles you can earn, especially if you get in on a bonus deal which can multiply your miles received by up to five. Watch out for these sales when you receive your airfare emails that tell you about new flight and package discounts.
  • Stay in a hotel – Just like with a rental car, you can gain miles by sleeping in most chain accommodations. When you book online, make sure you look for the box that lets you enter your membership number and input your frequent flyer number there. You will earn a set number of miles per dollar spent, so the longer you stay, the more you bulk up your mileage account.
  • Eat out – Most airlines participate in a dining program. You can go online to sign up for it and register up to three credit cards for them to monitor. When you eat at the venues that are listed on the program and use one of those cards, the appropriate amount of miles are deposited into your account. There aren’t just sit-down restaurants that take part in the program, but also fast food establishments. You’ll be earning miles for doing what you normally do anyway!
  • Buy stuff online – Buy items from travel merchants through your airline’s retail site to maximize your points. As with the dining program, you sign up with the shopping program. When you want to make a purchase, you go to the special site and find out if the merchant is a participant. If it is, click through and make your purchase. You earn miles for each dollar spent and this is an easy way to get miles for gifts you buy and floral arrangements you send.

Combine the above into one program

Another great site that helps you earn miles for a wide variety of things is ThanksAgain. At first it was meant to enable you to accrue miles while on your trips. Many of us shop, dine and park at the airport and ThanksAgain rewards you for that by depositing miles into your account for each thing you do at participating airport merchants. 

Portland International, my home airport, has signs up in every establishment that is part of the program. If you use a credit card you have registered with ThanksAgain, you will automatically get miles for frequenting them. Now, the website has expanded to include tons of off-site merchants. Use those same credit cards on- and offline and watch your mileage total grow!

Get bonus miles

Many times you will see that you can receive extra miles when you purchase them online. This is a great way to get you those few hundred miles you need to get you to the next rewards seat. If you have a friend who travels a lot – or wants to – miles are a fantastic gift…and your cash will go further, because they will get more than you paid for. Who doesn’t like a little bit more for nothing?

As you can see, it’s not a complete mystery how frequent flyer miles work, they just require you to make a little more effort in figuring out how to get the most miles without spending more than you planned. When you trade in your points for a free ticket, remember that you will have to pay a fee. If you are flying domestic, that fee is almost nothing – around five dollars. If you are flying international, you will be required to pay for taxes and that same booking fee. Depending on where you are going, the taxes can be high, but you would have to pay these anyway, so you are still saving a ton on your trip.


Rewards seats aren’t always easy to find, but if you start searching early you will have a better chance. Other ways to increase your chances include:
  • Fly in the off-season – Summer is generally the season to avoid, but summer can also come at a different time of year in other places. The northern and southern hemispheres have opposite seasons, so you may encounter a high amount of tourists or kids out of school if you are traveling in the winter here to a country where it is summer. Unfortunately, our summer is also a time when there are more travelers vacationing everywhere, so rewards seats may be impossible to find.
  • Fly early in the day – Aside from business travelers, you won’t find too many people clamoring to get on the earliest flights of the day. Nobody wants to wake up while it’s still dark outside to get to the airport when they could still be at home sleeping. Guess what? You can breeze through security and nap when you get on the plane if you book one of these flights.
  • Fly on less-desirable days – These exist! Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday are the least popular days to fly. Everyone wants to be at their destination on a weekend and more people want to make the most of their Friday through Sunday trip, so you will see the most overbooked flights on the days that include Friday and Saturday stays.

Now that you know how to gain miles, how to use them and when to redeem them, you can start racking them up! Once you set your plan in motion the only thing you have left to do is decide where you will go with your free flight. 

Have you ever used frequent flyer miles to fly for free?

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Dad and Grad 2018 Travel Gift List

Graduation and Father's Day are coming up fast and will be here before you know it. If you haven't purchased anything for either of the traveling grads or dads in your life, then I've got a list of cool stuff for you to consider for them. Here's my 2018 travel gift guide for dads and grads:

dad and grad travel gifts

Not everyone travels the same, but there are items that can help any traveler travel better and make you seem like an amazing gift giver and may just make their whole trip.



Budget items

I don't always have tons of money to spend on extra gifts throughout the year with all the birthdays I'm already purchasing for, so I'm sure you are the same. Budget, to me, counts as anything under $50. 

Awesome battery backup
Make sure you can follow your grad's travels on Instagram or Facebook by getting them a battery backup for their mobile. You won't have to worry if they got murdered when they can keep their phone charged. Your dad can use this, too, since he's streaming all those videos and looking at all the photos you keep sending him of your kids. We have two of these doodads, which can charge two phones (or tablet or camera) twice during the day. $15.99 

Back-up bag
The Travelon Pack Flat Back Up Bag is a nifty gift for those that travel to shop. It folds to practically nothing, fits right inside your regular bag and then unzips into a full-size carry-on when purchased souvenirs take up more space than you came with. $30, but you can get 20% off with the code SHEREENTRAVELS20%

Cool travel journal
Don't you like to chronicle your trips to remember later? Get them a moleskine journal where they can write down all their thoughts, notes and drawings. They are sleek and convenient, so they fit in the pocket of any bag or jacket. Get them a fancy pen to go with it and you're golden. $10-15, $20+ for Cross pen I also like this fun journal for travel, because it's cute and has a bit of a scavenger hunt vibe. I Was Here journal under $15

Mini power surge protector
We loved the one we had for travel so much that we bought one of these for our house, too. This compact little gadget is perfect for traveling, because you can make one free outlet into five! We plugged it into our adapter and were able to charge our laptop, cell phones and iPad mini at the same time. Pretty awesome, right? Yeah, I thought so. Belkin is a great brand and you can turn the plug 360 degrees, which means if you have a tight space, it will always fit. Double score! On Amazon for ~$14

Travel wrap/blanket
Traveling can require a lot of things, but this HappyLuxe wrap can keep you warm, looking good, and double as a blanket no matter where you (or your mom) go(es). I take it with me everywhere, because I can use it as a wrap/scarf/blanket all at once on the plane. See my review here$39.00

Packable backpack
Sometimes you need a really good day bag for your travels, or you need an extra bag for your purchases. This anti-theft packable backpack from Travelon has all the safety features you need, in a simple bag that can fit into your carry-on or even bu used as a carry-on, as it has an RFID-protected pocket too. If you'd like to see my review, go here. $45 on Travelon, but you can get 20% off when you use code SHEREENTRAVELS20%

The best travel pillow
There are so many travel pillows to choose from, but one of the best I've tried is the FaceCradle. Not only is it perfect for the ever-diminishing airplane space, but it's great for tall people, and for using on trains and in cars as well. It has a bunch of different ways to use it, but it can be a bit heavy to carry around, even with the shoulder strap. You can see my review here. $49.99 on Amazon

Travelon RFID-Blocking Trifold Wallet
There are so many thieves out there looking to steal your money, your identity, your credit card numbers. Protect all that stuff that's in your pocket with a stylish and RFID-blocking wallet. It fits all your cards, money, receipts and more and never gets all bulky. It's real leather. only $30

Reusable insulated thermos
Hydration. It's important. It's also nice to have a cold beverage stay cold and a hot beverage stay hot...like all day. Laken insulated bottles do just that and come in a variety of sizes. They're really sturdy and you'll still find ice in it hours later. I take this with me everywhere, especially when we go anywhere with the dog. Your dad will be excited that his coffee is still hot when he gets to work, or wherever he's going, even if he gets pulled into a meeting. It's also nice to have ice water available when sitting on a hot, sweaty bus in South America. Plan to spend $30-40 on a good size one

Expandable packing cubes

(Almost) Everyone likes to be organized...especially when they travel. Get them some of Lewis N. Clark's fantastic packing cubes, like the fun new expandable ones, so they fit everything she needs in her carry-on. I find that these help me keep my packing under control when I take a smaller carry-on and nothing else. These can run $10-44, depending on size and set





Moderately-priced items

Maybe you have a little more to spend on the dads and grads in your life, and that's cool too. I call moderate gifts anything between $50-100, which is more doable, especially if you only have one or two people to buy for this month. Of course, if you have that money to spend and want to do a little more, you can always buy 2-3 budget-priced items.

Convertible day bag
Is your dad or grad someone who loves a multipurpose bag? The new Secura Destinations messenger converts into a backpack and I'm loving it! Use it as a messenger on the plane and around town and then convert it to backpack when you're out and have purchased a little more than you want to carry or on your way back home. You can see my review here. $69.99 on Lewis N Clark's website

Travel Dress

Okay, so I have rarely spent $65+ on a dress, but I have done it and have been happy every single time. What if you could spend that same money and get over 20 pieces of clothing? Because that's just what the Kameleon Rose dress is. It can be a dress, a skirt, pants, a top, a poncho and more! Imagine how much less your grad can pack on their trip, saving even more money. You can see my review here$65-80


Travel
Give the gift of experience and save them money with either a CityPASS or a Go Card from Smart Destinations. Both save up to 50% off a city's most popular attractions and saves them from waiting in the ticket line, which is always the worst. from $45





Splurge items

Carry-on bag that fits a huge laptop + more
As a budget traveler, I like to bring a smallish purse and then one carry-on, especially when I travel by myself. I don't like to have to put things in the overhead if I can help it, so a bag that easily goes under the seat is a must. I also know that I can carry it all on my own, even if I have to walk up flights of stairs. The InTransit bag from Walter+Ray is the ultimate carry-on bag, because it fits your large laptop, all your clothes, electronics, snacks, toiletries and more, plus you can carry it 3 different ways. You can view my review here$119 on Walter + Ray's website

Bluetooth headphones
You know what's awesome? Having noise-cancelling headphones that are also wireless and can help you sleep on the plane and are adjustable to fit everyone's head. Get them a pair of Sol Republic Air Tracks and they will love you (even more than they already do). $170.99 on Amazon.

Travel jacket
BauBax has created the ultimate travel jacket for travelers and it comes in several different styles. Their most popular is a hoodie and it may very well become a favorite. The bomber, just like the hoodie, comes with 15 different functions that are unique and all very useful when traveling, whether you're on a plane, train, bus, or even just heading to a festival in your hometown. The jacket features 9 pockets, all of which have a function. $149-179 and you can view my review here

Awesome pants
It's nice to have clothing that does double duty. Bluffworks pants are specifically for travel, because they are odor-resistant, stain-resistant, wrinkle-proof and almost indestructible. They look like dress pants, but they're sturdy enough to wear hiking, camping or rock climbing. One pair can work for everything you do on vacation or a business trip. $98 or $125, depending on the style

Lojel Novigo Carry-on
I bet your dad's been traveling with the same old carry-on he's had for decades. Well, why not upgrade him to a fancy new bag with all the bells and whistles and basically a crush-proof shell? I love the Novigo with its locking wheels, shiny exterior, organized interior and smooth spinner wheels. You can read my review here$158 on Amazon You might also like the Nimbus, which is waterproof and a little lighter, due to its flexible hardside. $238 on Amazon

Airline/Hotel Gift Cards
Buy a gift card that can be used for their favorite airline or hotel chain (or Airbnb) or rental car company. It's nice because you can customize it and make it a bit more personal than a normal gift card. whatever you want to spend.

What are you doing for the dad or grad in your life this year?

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