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Saturday, April 28, 2018

My Portland Coffee Tour - Part 13

Hey! It's that time again and it also means April has come and is almost gone. I don't know who the days just seem to fly by, but there it is. That just means it's that much closer to Summer. Woo! We had a whole week of warm weather here in Portland and now we're back to the 50s and rainy. Joy. 

Just because I didn't make a post for my coffee tour in March doesn't mean my life was coffee-less. I just tended to hit up the Dutch Bros drive-thru, grabbed a cup at Starbucks, or made my own at home, because I didn't have time to get out and enjoy a leisurely cup in a dedicated shop. Anyway, let's look at the first 3 coffee shops I hit up this month (because I had to make up for my slacking last month).

Oracle Coffee Co.

I've been meaning to get out to Oracle for quite some time, and I had a nice Sunday morning where I just drove out to the waterfront to try them out. I found them on Instagram, like I find a lot of shops near me, and I was not disappointed. This well-lit and welcoming shop serves up drinks made with oatmilk and mostly vegan treats. This was the first time I have ever had oatmilk and I am in love with it. The shop is dog-friendly, and I saw several patrons come and go with their pups, since this is in the middle of a neighborhood.

After some discussion, I settled on the Flapjack Latte ($5) and an onion Bowery Bagels bagel with Tofutti cream "cheese" ($3.50). This is also the first time I've tried Tofutti, but I was pleasantly surprised by how like cream cheese it was. My bagel was delicious, despite my thinking that I didn't get enough spread. It was the perfect amount. My latte had a delicate maple flavor and the oatmilk made it less acidic, in my opinion. I greatly enjoyed the flavor combo and the nice smooth coffee they pulled for me. 

Since Eric didn't come with me, I decided to grab a treat for him, so sorry that you get a weird inside-the-bag shot here. This is what they call a Phillycake ($3.50). It's homemade by Shoofly Vegan Bakery and is, essentially, a yellow cake, topped with peanut butter, and then coated in chocolate. It was not what I expected, but the bite I had was really yummy and definitely worth the price. It can be hard to find great vegan food, albeit, not in Portland, so this shop is definitely a gem with reasonable prices in that regard. I can't wait to go back and try something else.

Palio Dessert & Espresso House

I wanted to love this place, but it took me too long to find it, even with GPS, and then I wasn't impressed once I got there. Perhaps I made the wrong choices, since a friend raved about their desserts and their giant coffees. She DID just get a drip coffee, so maybe that's it. The shop is adorable though and has a cute little European feel.

Palio has different rooms and little cozy corners. I especially love the little reading nook and the employee was super nice. I ordered the special, which was a Vanilla Rose Tea Latte ($5.75) and a salted caramel cupcake ($3.50) that I didn't have heated up, which may have been a mistake.

My latte was ginormous! Like, the size of my head. It was beautiful, to be sure, with the tea bag settled on the side. Even with no coffee in it (another mistake of mine), it didn't have much of a flavor. It sort of tasted like a vaguely flowery marshmallow, but not a good marshmallow. I made it 2/3 of the way through before I just gave up. The cupcake was good, but was super dense and beside the top, wasn't the most enjoyable. I'm not sure I would have liked it more heated up. It had the consistency of a brownie, but on the plus side, it was too sweet, so there's that. I'd be willing to try again and order different items from the menu, but it's not on the top of my list.

Cellar Door Coffee Roasters

Not too far away from Palio, I found Cellar Door (Google maps is the best sometimes). I went there second, because I knew they had actual food and figured that would be better after sweets than before. You could tell this is a staple of the community based on the outside and I was excited to go in.

I asked for a recommendation and the barista said he prefers a cappuccino, because it has a bolder coffee flavor. After Palio, this sounded perfect, so I ordered a cap with regular milk ($3) and a plain Black Heart bagel with cream cheese ($2.50). Not only did they spread the cream cheese for me, but they gave me twice as much as most other places for cheaper. It was the best. I was also shocked by the low prices, as it turned out to be about 40% less than what I had just paid. 

The barista was not incorrect recommending the cappuccino to me. It was delicious and perfectly made and so, so tasty. I already plan to return when I can, because YUM.

Cellar Door isn't large, but the shop is welcoming and the employees are wonderful. You can tell they enjoy what they do and engaging with customers. The shop has local artwork up on the walls and they offer up few, but tasty food options. They also roast their beans onsite in the basement, which is where the name comes from. This coffee gem should absolutely be on your list if you're anywhere near them in Portland.

I'll save my next three shops for my next post, but you can see all my coffee stops in real time (and see my opinion and ask questions) by following me on Instagram. Where are your favorite coffee shops located?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

10 Ways to Stay in Shape While Traveling

When you’re out and about flitting from tourist attraction to subway station to lunch, it’s hard to keep up with your diet and exercise regimen. Even though you’re out walking all day, and it may seem like you’re getting a lot of exercise, you’re probably also eating a lot of high-calorie and fatty foods that pretty much negate all the good you're doing with the walking, hiking and stair-climbing. Those extra pieces of cake and pie for dessert aren’t helping either. Contrary to popular belief, calories do count on vacation, as much as you wish they didn’t. So, if you want to stay on track and earn those meals, you might want to add additional exercise to your vacation itinerary.

Get outside

I love to be outdoors when I travel. It’s the best way to see your destination, so why not get out a little more and burn extra calories?
  • Go running – You’re going to bring along a pair of walking shoes anyway, so why not make them running shoes that are also good for walking. If you run at home, then keep your routine set and get up early to run around the block or the hotel grounds.
  • Jump rope – This is an easily packable item and gets you great exercise anywhere you have some extra room. Not just little kids love to jump rope. It’s fun and helps you tone and keep in shape. Make sure you buy a nicely weighted one that will stand up to the rigors of the road.

Make your lodging your gym

You walked all day yesterday, but you got up early in order to watch the news or eat breakfast in your room. As much as you know you should put on your workout clothes and hit the gym, the thought of looking presentable just doesn’t sound appealing. You aren’t alone. While you’re waiting for your bagel to toast or you’re listening to the weather report, you can take advantage of the floor space in your room to get in a quick workout.
  • Chair crunches – If you have a chair, you have a low-impact gym. Work your abs by sitting on the edge and pull your legs up or pump your legs as if you are riding a bicycle.
  • Do lunges – You’ll feel a lot less awkward doing them in the privacy of your room than out in public, too.
  • Calf raises – Do these anywhere, like while you are brushing your teeth, making oatmeal or waiting in line to get into the Louvre (for bonus exercise points).
  • Resist – Pack a resistance band (or set) in your carry-on and do more strenuous workouts in the time you have available. There are also fancy loop bands you can use to strengthen your legs/thighs.
  • Boxing – You don’t have to bring along full gear and a punching bag, but a pair of weighted gloves is a fabulous way to tone your arms and legs. Bring along a DVD to pop into your laptop or just search for a few good training videos on YouTube.

Use what’s available at your accommodation

Your hotel or rental property might have some useful ways to help you work out. If the weather cooperates enough to be outside, then you’re in luck.
  • Go for a swim – Almost all hotels have a pool. Pack your swimsuit and you can get in some laps. If a fancy indoor pool is available, then you can swim if the weather is uncooperative.
  • Use the stairs – Walk or run up the stairs to your room and you’ll start to feel the burn. Generally, the stairwell is pretty private, so you also won’t be disturbing others if you are up early or late doing this.
  • Go for a run – Not close to a park or afraid to go out running in unfamiliar terrain? Strap on your running shoes and do laps around the hotel. Chances are it is surrounded by a parking lot and/or sidewalks that make it easy to get your strides in.
Keeping up with an exercise routine when you travel will keep you motivated to continue doing it at home, even if it takes you a few days to get back into your healthy eating habits. You’ll feel better about yourself and might even add to your regular workouts.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Review: Travelon Active Anti-Theft Packable Backpack

Use code SHEREENTRAVELS20% to save 20% off any Travelon purchase.

Do you tend to pack extra bags for your trips or get to your destination and dump out your personal-item size bag to use as a day bag? I'll admit, I've overpacked just trying to plan my trip around the city or my travel back home, but Travelon knows that people want bags that are functional for more than just one thing, so they created this anti-theft backpack, that is also packable, so you can bring it along without much fuss. 

Most backpacks are bulky, and the ones that aren't tend to be really flimsy and not suited to taking along to touristy destinations where you might be targeted by thieves. I saw this bag at the Travel Goods Show last year and knew it was a must for travelers, especially those who have children or like to go on day trips or just want an extra bag for purchases. 

The Active Anti-theft Packable Backpack is compact, even when it's zipped into its pocket. The front and back is slash-proof, which will be instrumental when it is open. I had no issues restoring this backpack to full size or folding it back into its pocket, which is a big plus, because sometimes these bags are like trying to refold a map and you just give up.  The structure of the pocket makes it easy to pack up to toss in your carry-on when you're done with it or before you leave home.

Think you might need an extra bag when you're out and headed to the shops or the farmers' market? just pop it in your purse and you're good to go. In fact, I was able to get it into my Boho bag (review coming soon) without having to take anything out of it. I love that.

Now, let's look at the backpack at full size. The front and bottom are made from the slash-proof pocket, which means you don't have to worry about thieves cutting the bottom of your bag to get your valuables to fall out. Your straps also have slash-resistant construction, giving you more peace of mind when walking around in crowded areas. 

As you'll see, because the front and back of the pocket make the front and bottom, your backpack has structure and a flat bottom. The fabric is also a bit reflective, so you'll be seen even when walking around at night.

This backpack is simple and doesn't have a ton of pockets, though it has a lot of space for your stuff. You're not going to lose anything inside, because you forgot where you put it. Keep extra clothing inside, pack a picnic for lunch and a blanket to sit on, bring our suits and snacks to the beach. This has room for all of that, without being bulky, even when packed full. 

The front has a zipper pocket that's large enough for a tablet or a book, but you can use it for all those little odds and ends you pick up or for snacks that you know the kids are going to want the second you get on public transit. 

Inside, there is just one pocket, and it's RFID-blocking. This way if you have to carry around your passport or a spare credit card for emergencies, you won't be worried that your info is going to be stolen by electronic thieves. And because the pocket (which closes with a velcro tab) is along the back wall of the backpack, it's extra safe. 

This security pocket is actually pretty deep, allowing you to keep a wallet in there, passports for the whole family, or whatever else you want to keep safe.

Now, let's talk about the rest of the anti-theft features. Beyond RFID blocking and slash-resistant construction in the most important parts of the bag, you also have the ability to lock both zippers. The zips are like tiny caribiners and clip quickly and easily to tiny d-rings on the bag that are subtle and not immediately apparent to those who wish to steal your belongings. Nobody's going to be able to unzip your pack without you knowing if you use the clips to lock them in place.

Again, this isn't a huge bag, but it is just big enough for all the things you need to take for the day or to carry around with purchases you've made along the way. It's lightweight and the perfect size for me, because even full, this isn't going to hurt my back or weigh me down. The straps are fully adjustable, so if you want it to fit snugger, it's easy to do that, even when you're on the go. If you're taller, just let the straps out. The straps are nicely padded as well, so they aren't going to cut into your shoulders. Even your kid might find this to be the ideal size for them to carry around all day.

This bag has two mesh pockets on the sides. Use them for water bottles, an umbrella or whatever else you may need easy access to. I put my reusable bottle in one side and sunscreen in the other, because those are both things I'll use throughout the day. And now my hands are free to shop, ride a bike, play games in line at the theme park and so much more. 

Don't you need a packable bag that's packed with all the security features you get in a bigger, more complex or more expensive bag? I think you definitely do! Remember, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Graduation are all coming up and this is a price point everyone can get behind for a gift. Maybe include some other little travel goodies along with it to make this gift even cooler. (Tip: Travelon has tons of travel accessories to choose from.)

More details:
Where can I buy it? Travelon website
How much is it? $40 (but use my code SHEREENTRAVELS20% to save 20% off your purchase)
What colors does it come in? Black (shown) | Charcoal
Additional specsOpen: 10.5" x 17" x 6" Packed: 10.5" x 6" x 1", Polyester and 420 D Nylon

If you love Travelon as much as I do, or you just want to know about new items or how to use current items, find them on social media: 

Disclaimer: I was provided with the Active Anti-Theft Packable Backpack for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are 100% my own.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

TSA PreCheck is the Best Money You'll Spend Traveling

I have been traveling  at least three times per year pretty consistently, so 3 1/2 years ago we signed up for PreCheck (shown everywhere as Preü), because as much fun as it is to stand in line with a hundred other people and take half the stuff out of my bag and take off my shoes and get x-rayed, we decided we traveled enough to spend the $85 each to apply for it. 

Listen, I understand why the TSA exists and why the procedures are so important. The above inconveniences don't really even bother me, except when I'm stuck behind the person who hasn't done any research or read the 48373602 signs in the airport and in the line and on their ticket and haven't taken out their laptop, put their liquids in a bag at all, taken off their belt and emptied their pockets or even gotten their ID out to show the security desk. Come on, people! They make it easy to be prepared. Just because it's annoying doesn't mean that they won't make you do it.

So, considering I would rather spend less time waiting in line and more time waiting at the gate (or, more likely, eating, shopping, people watching and scrolling Instagram), spending that money was a no-brainer. Did you know that if you are approved for PreCheck that you are able to breeze through security for FIVE YEARS  at any American airport that supports it without taking off your shoes, belts, hats or jackets, without taking out your laptop, without segregating your liquids from your other toiletries?! For real. 

The PreCheck lines are crazy short. The most we've ever seen was 10 people and usually there are even less. Your pass-through time is cut down considerably, too. In fact, you basically get through the metal detector and wait for your bags to be scanned. It's fast, but not nearly as fast as you are not having to take off shoes and watches and remembering to take that random tissue out of your pocket. Plus, you don't have to wonder exactly what the agents are seeing on the screen that makes you look like a terrorist. 

Eric took his hat off as we were coming back home from Vegas and it fell out of the coin bowl - you know, the one that looks like a dog dish - and was annoyed that he didn't just put it on the conveyor belt. The agent, never looking away from the screen, just said "you should have just left it on." I'm not sure we actually knew you could until that point. But now we do and our trips are even easier.

Now, you're probably wondering what happens when you travel internationally. We do every few years, but didn't think it was enough to do more than PreCheck at this point. If you do, then instead of PreCheck, you'll want to apply for Global Entry, which automatically includes PreCheck and only costs $15 more. I actually didn't think I knew that when we applied, and probably would have done that instead had I known. So, if you travel at all internationally, just head to your nearest PreCheck office (we visited the one in McCarran Airport when we were already on vacation) with your passport, ID and credit card. Global Entry requires you to fill out forms online beforehand though.

You may need an appointment, so call ahead before just showing up. They take you back one at a time to answer a bunch of background questions. They're all easy and give the government insight into who you are, so they can check you out and make their decision. It takes up to four weeks to hear if you're approved. We got our approval letters in just two weeks and were really surprised by how fast it was. These letters contain your new travel number, which you enter every time you book an airline ticket. 

Whether you use a paper ticket or an eticket on your phone, you'll see PreCheck designated on it and can go directly to that security line and get on your trip faster. You should still get to the airport as early as you would without it though, because you never know if the PreCheck line will be closed (this doesn't usually happen) or there will be some other annoying delay. I say two hours for a domestic flight and three for an international flight. Traffic may suck or the airport may be crazy packed, so you need that bit of padding.

I don't regret for a second having spent the money on PreCheck and will immediately sign up for Global Entry once it expires, even if I only plan two weeks of travel a year. Some people pay that amount per trip to check a bag, so why not get five years of frustration-free airport visits instead? I'll update on how easy it is to re-up when the time comes. 

Have you signed up for or used PreCheck on your trips?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

How to Plan Your Trip Using Public Transportation

This is a guest post from Ella, who blogs at TrekBible. See more at the bottom.

Public transit is very useful when you are planning a trip—whether you are traveling far away or close by. There are a number of things that you must do when planning a trip that involves using public transit. 

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Take A Deep Breathe And Think 

Planning your trip around using public transit can seem overwhelming at first. You may not be familiar with the public transit systems that you are about to use. If you are familiar with a given public transit system, there might be things about it that you don't know about. In public transit systems, there are all kinds of routes, schedules, timings, names and numbers. Sometimes, not knowing a particular area that you plan on traveling in can make planning more tedious and stressful, even if it is in the general area where you live. You just need to set some time aside, relax and just think things through as you plan your trip. 

Become Acquainted With the Area That You Are Traveling To Or In 

Looking at a map of where you plan on traveling is the first step that you should take. Being acquainted with the area will help you to plot out where you need to pick up certain types of transit, where you need to wait and where you will be let off. Try to remember street names. We are lucky to live in an age of internet street views. I would advise to look at street views online. 

Learn About the Public Transit System 

The second thing that you should do is learn about the transit system that you are going to use. Learn about what types of transportation are included in the system. Study maps of the public transit system to get an idea of which trains or buses to take. Study schedules very closely and keep in mind that some types of public transmit may run for the whole day while others may only part of the day. For example, some buses might operate on a fairly regular schedule twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, while others may only operate on certain days during certain times. 

The internet provides some really good information when it comes to looking up public transit systems. Search engines such as Google are great places to start when it comes to finding information about public transportation systems. Usually, transportation systems have their own websites where they show maps, schedules, fares and information. Outside of the internet, there are books and pamphlets that you can get to learn about various transportation systems. 

Learn about prices, and plan on how much you are going to spend on public transit. Some types of public transit cost more than others. However, sometimes the more expensive types get will you to your destination quicker. If saving time is important to you, then this is something important to think about. 

Consider Waiting Times 

It's easy to overlook waiting times until you find yourself on public transit, taking two hours to go from point to A to point B, one way; or waiting two hours for a train that will bring you to your destination in about an hour. There aren't enough hours in the day, and the time that it takes to wait for and take public transit can eat up a lot of your time. One of the wisest things to do is to think long and hard about wait times, schedules and transfers. You may have to wait a half-hour for a bus, ride a bus for forty minutes, wait for forty more minutes to transfer onto another bus and then get to your destination in an hour. Keep this in mind when you are scheduling what you want to do in your day. The time that it takes to travel on public transit can seriously throw a monkey wrench in your plans if you do not carefully plan your time. 

Listen To What People Have To Say About The System 

Try to see what people have to say about the public transit systems that you are going to use. Go online to find stories about people's experiences and opinions. If anybody around you has anything to say, keep it in mind. 

Work Out Every Option And Alternative 

Sometimes plans might go astray and you might need to take another form of transit. What will you do if the public transit that you plan on taking doesn't work for some reason, forcing you to use an alternative form of transit? Again,get really familiar with public transit system maps so you can plot out alternative routes. Gather phone numbers for cab companies so that you can call a cab if the situation calls for it. You never know what might happen. You may need to to take an alternative public transit route due to a major delay. Another commuter may be harassing you, and you may want to take another route to avoid that person. 

Keep Maps Around 

It really helps to keep a map of the streets where you are traveling because, as mentioned above, knowing where you are helps when using public transit. Some atlases actually have maps where they denote public transit stations and hubs. On Google maps, there are little symbols that indicate where train, subway and bus lines are in numerous places. You should also have maps of the transit system on your person.

Ella, Content Manager for trekbible, is a writer and content specialist with a predilection for learning and exploring new places and cultures around the world. With family scattered throughout the U.S. and South Korea, she loves to see cross-cultural influences around the world. Her favorite thing to do on her travels is to taste the local cuisine of each destination.

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Review: Anti-Theft Tailored Crossbody Phone Pouch by Travelon

Sometimes when you travel, you may not want to carry much with you. Even when you go to a concert or out to dinner, you might just want the essentials: your phone, money and some lip balm. Travelon knows that not every bag works for everyone, which is why they have a variety and their new Tailored collection is both fun and functional. One of my new favorites is the little crossbody phone pouch, which fits all of the things I said above, your car keys and a few other items.

As someone who tries to go to a few nice dinners out and also some very touristy places when on vacation, I hate having to lug everything I own with me. I would totally just carry around my phone and some credit cards if I could, but there aren't many bags that fit those and aren't bulky, or  keep your items safe. Well, now when you're at that crowded museum or festival, you can carry the bare minimum and also have the peace of mind that your info and items are thief-proof. The Anti-theft Tailored Crossbody Phone Pouch is cute to wear, but also has those safety features you love from Travelon.

Look at this profile, and the color. I swear I swooned over this aquamarine, because it's gorgeous, right? 

This outside pocket has this handy little twist lock, so you can keep things handy, like receipts, tickets, or your camera, which is what I would put in there, because I take a ton when I travel, and it's nice to have it right there with me, easy to take out and put back in, without revealing everything else in my bag. 

Obviously, this pocket is large enough for other things, like maybe your backup battery for your phone or a couple of granola bars (you know how I like to have snacks with me). 

Despite the tiny profile, this bag has a pretty large inside compartment. My phone is on the larger side, and it fit in here pretty snugly and I had no issues zipping the bag closed. Plus I was able to get my lip balm, gum and compact in there with room to spare.

This cute little bag has a nice lighter fabric inside, several credit card slots and a larger slot that fits your passport perfectly. All of your cards and passport are RFID-protected (yay!). Try to find that in any other bag this small. 

As with all of Travelon's bags, they have included a key leashwith tiny flashlight. My car keys can be a bit bulky (like a lot of rental car keys), but they still fit in the bag with all my other things and were easy to find now. 

Your main compartment has a locking zipper. You don't have to use this, but if you are worried at all about your stuff, clip the zipper to the D-ring on the side of the bag. It's easy to use and totally subtle. 

Another awesome anti-theft feature of the phone poucn is the fact that you can unclip our shoulder strap, wrap it around a chair or railing, and then reclip and lock them, making it impossible to steal. The new clips attached to the strap are dainty looking, but also super easy to work. 

Your strap is nice and wide (but not too wide), and fully adjustable, so you can wear this bag multiple ways. It's also slash-proof, as is the body of the bag.

I love a bag that I can wear several ways. Carry like a regular shoulder bag or a crossbody. The strap enables you to make it as long as you need, because I know taller people probably have more of an issue than I do finding a crossbody that works for them. 

People are loving the fanny pack now, and you can cinch the strap short and wear around your waist. This is fantastic when you want a bag that's even more convenient to carry, like going to a concert and wanting your arms free and to not get caught on anyone while jumping around. It's also nice that the phone pouch doesn't carry too much, meaning it's not heavy, even when completely full, so it's not going to sag on your hips either.

I'm enjoying the chic look of this bag, since before now, anything similar to this size has been kind of athletic looking and didn't work with an outfit that was dressed up at all. The Tailored collection takes are of that, so you can carry it while wearing shorts or a more formal outfit. You're going to love it.

Additional info:
Where can I buy it: On Travelon's website
How much does it cost? $40, but you can get 20% off when you use my code: ShereenTravels20%
What colors does it come in? garnet | onyx | sapphire | sable | aquamarine (shown) | plumrose
More specs: Nylon Twill, size: 5" x 6.75" x 2", full strap length: 54", strap drop: 14.5"-27"

If you adore Travelon as much as I do, get social with them on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube

Disclosure: I was provided with the Tailored Crossbody Phone Pouch for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are 100% my own.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Budget Beach Getaways

Got aspirations to go to the beach this summer? Well, you’re likely not the only one, especially since the kids are out of school and the sun is out and that makes people flock to beaches near and far. The problem with heading to the beach during the warmest months is that it is often quite expensive and crazy crowded. Considering most people are just lying on the beach on their trip, it makes no sense to spend a ton of money that you don’t have to. So, here are some tips on how to spend less than expected.

It’s summer, which means you don’t need to take much with you. Getting everything in a carry-on will save you checked bag fees and also get you on your vacation as soon as possible after your plane lands. Keep your travel wardrobe to a minimum by taking one nice outfit and then several tops and bottoms that mix and match. This way, even if you took only 3 tops and 3 bottoms, they could make two week’s worth of different outfits. 

I then suggest taking two pair of shoes that will work with your outfits as well. Normally, I take a nice pair of sandals that can also work with dress clothes and a good pair of walking shoes. This way, you will be prepared for anything. Throw in a pair of flip flops (which I don’t count as shoes, since they take up almost no space) and you’re set for bumming around on the beach or at the pool.

Find a full post for help to travel carry-on only here.

Trade in the ocean for a nice lakeside location. Not only will it be a fraction of the price of an oceanfront property (or even an ocean “view” one), but you can do almost the same things you can otherwise. You can lay out on the beach, make sandcastles, go snorkeling, fishing, swimming, jet skiing and almost everything else you can do at the beach by the ocean.

Look for an apartment/condo/house rental instead of a hotel. I keep saying this, but it really can save you a lot of money. Many times you can find something for $300-400 per week, when most hotels you find are going to be well over $75/night, and that’s only for two people. 

On top of the savings per night and per person, you’ll also be able to shop for your own food and make as many meals as you like. I tend to like to buy breakfast fixings, because I don’t usually like to go out for breakfast and I don’t like to rush in the morning. I can eat a bowl of cereal or a bagel while I’m getting ready for the day and I’ve saved at least $8/day just for me alone. A lot of restaurants charge more than that. Heck, you could easily spend that much at Starbucks for a muffin and a coffee. And if you come back in the middle of the day for a nap or to rest your feet, you can make yourself a sandwich for lunch, too!

Photo by Anthony Metcalfe on Unsplash
Go on a cruise. There are tons of deals going on right now, which means you can hang by the pool on the ship and then check out different beaches when you reach port. You also have the option of trying cool cuisines, saving money on food and accommodations while at sea and having a lot of shopping and sightseeing options.

Head to South and Central America where even during the summer, rates for hotels are pretty affordable. Places like Ecuador and Belize have wonderful beaches and budget-friendly food and lodging. Stay at a more luxury resort for a fraction of the price, which will help you stay on track with your travel budget and also give you more for your money. The beaches are just as good, plus you get to brush up on your Spanish or Portuguese.

Head to less-popular locations like Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and other beachfront locations that have late summer travel deals. Many of these are located in the Southeast and in smaller towns, like Daytona Beach. While they may not seem very exciting at first, there are plenty of things to fill your spare time with, yummy fresh seafood and cool day trips as well.

So, if you’re hoping to work on your tan and enjoy some sand between your toes, don’t forget to pack your swimsuit, your sunglasses and a bunch of sunscreen and start booking your flights, which will not be cheap this time of year. Where will you be headed this summer? And while you're at it, enter to win this awesome trip to Scotland!

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