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Friday, November 12, 2010

It’s Warm In The Southern Hemisphere 11.13.10

That’s right. Fall and winter for us “Northerners” is spring and summer for those below the Equator. That means now is the ideal time to escape the chilly weather and pack shorts and other warm-weather clothes for a trip to somewhere where the sun shining is not an optical illusion. There’s nothing I hate more than having to go outside with a knit cap on and sunglasses. Good thing we don’t have many cold, sunny days in Oregon, but they still happen. Let’s talk about some of your winter choices for summer weather. Just think: the smaller the clothes you need, the less packing space you use!

The Caribbean is always beautiful. Let Carnival take you on a cruise from $169 and up. Book by November 14 for onboard credits. Other incentives include: 20% off with early booking, stateroom upgrade, reduced airfare from Europe, 10% off shore excursions (though you can usually book these yourself and save much more) and percent off for military personnel and family. Look at these amazing deals and book quickly to take advantage of them.

Princess Cruises also has a wonderful Caribbean sale. 7 nights from Ft. Lauderdale, you’ll dock in Princess Cays (Bahamas), St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk. For only $519 per person aboard the Ruby Princess for an inside cabin, $619 for an outside cabin and $739 for a balcony cabin. Enjoy fine dining, nightly shows, daily entertainment and more.  Sale ends Monday at midnight. (Voyage Prive is invitation only. If you're not a member, become one HERE.)

I challenge all my readers to help us to make it to 500 page members by December 15! Join me on Facebook and get even more travel deals and money-saving tips! We even have a great giveaway going, which every member is eligible to win. “Like” Shereen Travels Cheap and get entered instantly! You do not have to be a US resident to win, so sign up and tell all your friends. See the Promos tab on the page for more details.

Princess Cruises would like to take you to Brazil, too! Take a 14-night cruise down the Amazon for less than $100 a day per person! Spend Christmas and New Years in South America. You’ll depart from Ft. Lauderdale and stop at nine ports of call, including St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Santarem and Manaus. With 10 dining options, a casino, caberet lounge and multiple bars, you’ll never be bored. (If you aren't a member of Voyage Prive, click HERE for an invitation.)

Looking for a bit more adventure? How about a Kenyan Safari? Save 34% off regular prices and take a 10 night safari inKenya from as little as $4,579 per person. There are prices for both east coast and west coast travelers. Visit amazing locations like Nairobi, Masai Mara and Amboseli National Park and stay in breathtaking accommodations, many of which are situated in the heart of wildlife. This is truly one to cross off your “bucket-list”. (Not a member of Voyage Prive? Click HERE.)

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Take a 6-night escorted tour of Machu Picchu in Peru from just $999 per person, including RT international aifare, intra-Peru flights, 3-star accommodations, daily breakfast, transfers, tours and more. You’ll spend 3 nights in Cuzco and another 3 nights in Lima, with a full-day tour of Machu Picchu and a guided tour of Lima. Book by November 23.

For something a little less expensive, I recommend Ecuador. It’s on the Equator, which means the weather is nice all year. While it’s not always super cheap to get there, it’s amazingly affordable to stay, eat and play there. We went several years ago and stayed in Quito for 5 nights, another 2 nights in Otavalo in a mountain lodge and 1 night in Mindo in an eco-lodge in the cloud forest. While the lodges were a bit spendy, the cost for all of our accommodations were still about the cost of a mid-range hotel anywhere in America. We would have saved $300, if we had spent the whole time in Quito, and still spent less than $300 on those accommodations.

Food was delicious and super cheap compared to anywhere we’ve ever traveled. In fact, we saved so much on our trip that we bought Christmas presents for everyone back home and also treated ourselves to a set of matching wedding bands. If you’re looking for jewelry of any kind, you’ll find a gazillion shops in Quito and the perfect piece just for you. Prices are probably ¼ of what you would find elsewhere and everything is stamped if it’s authentic. On top of that, the shop owners are super nice, even if you are not so good with your Spanish. Most do not accept credit cards though, so you might have to make a trip to the ATM.

Follow shereentrvlschp on Twitter for a bite-size version of my travel deals, updates and budget tips! We have almost 1,400 followers and counting! I’m thinking of something special to do when we hit 2,000. In the meantime, be eligible for my current giveaway by also joining me on Facebook.
  • So, you have your winter escape planned out and need to start packing? Don’t forget that even though it’s warm where you’re going, it’ll still be cold at home. Wear a pair of jeans or warm pants and a fleece or sweater over a t-shirt to the airport, so you have something to wear on the way home that won’t cause you to ask  “OMG, what was I thinking!?” when the pilot tells you it’s 38 degrees in your hometown. This happened to me on a trip to Arizona. I came back to 58 degree weather and was wearing a halter top and shorts, because in Phoenix it was 113.
  • Aside from flip-flops, which pack anywhere and I don’t consider shoes, take two pair of shoes per person. I like to wear my walking shoes on the plane, because they are heavier and take up more room. Then I throw in a pair of nicer shoes that I can wear out to dinner, but are still comfortable should I want to sightsee in them or go out dancing.
  • Pack neutrals! I tend to like neutral bottoms and then I can wear almost anything on top, but if you’d rather pack neutral tops, go for it! Make sure all your neutrals are in the same color palette, like tans/browns or grays/blacks, that way you can pack shoes that match with everything and eliminate unnecessary overpacking.
  • Make a packing list. Seriously, this is the most important part of packing. It keeps you from adding extra items you don’t really need and then keeping track of everything you take with you. Once it’s all checked off and packed, put your list in with your other important travel papers. That way, when you’re headed back home, you know you have everything with you. (Adding anything you bought along the way to it is also really helpful with filling out those customs forms.)

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For more packing help, see my article on the CRAVE blog: Pack Lighter. Look Great. Save Money
You can find more travel advice on the Shereen Travels Cheap blog’s previous entries and also on my guest posts elsewhere:
TheSavalots – The Little (Hotel Search) Engines That Could [Hotel search engines that can save you money and offer incentives for current and   future travel.]
DoHop – What’s For Dinner? [Saving money on your food budget      anywhere you travel.]
Jetsetera  London For Less (So You Can Buy More Shoes!) [You can travel to London and not spend an arm and a leg.]
CheapLikeMeBlog How to Be A Frugal Foodie on Vacation [More ways to save on your food budget while traveling.]
And soon on: My Itchy Travel Feet and Ebates

I found a great article on Gadling for those of you looking for a suitable, inexpensive extra bag for when you need some extra room for your vacation purchases.

1 comment:

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