Secrets of a Savvy Saver: Going on Vacation

There are little ways you can easily afford the vacation of your dreams. Simply wishing and hoping you’ll go to a tropical island isn’t enough. With consistency and a little patience, you’ll be drinking from a coconut on a beautiful beach in no time.

Plan Ahead

•Vacation plans – An unplanned vacation will cost more than a researched vacation. Finding the best prices for airfare, car rentals, etc. will help save loads of your precious greens. If you’re planning a trip to a theme park, start looking for discount tickets before you depart.

•Gas – If you think about all the places you’ll travel to in your car this month, it quickly adds up. A quick trip to the grocery store, your child’s soccer practice, the library and to work. If you plan ahead and combine trips in the car to maximize your gas savings. Prices at the pump are never what we want them to be. Going to the store on your way to pick up little Johnny from soccer practice is a great way to start saving.

Preventative Savings

•Unnecessary repairs – Repairs on your car or home add up quickly. Remember to regularly get oil changes on your car and get its tires rotated. Cut costs in the home by keeping your AC & heater cleaned & tuned. Change filters often and possibly invest in thermal curtains. Visit Edmunds.com to see the Manufacturer’s Recommended Maintenance Schedule on your specific car.

•Make & keep a budget – This applies to all monthly costs. Make sure that every penny coming into your bank account has a purpose. A budget will allow you to see where you’re spending your money and make strict guidelines to follow.

Food & Household Savings

•Plan a menu – It doesn’t matter it you plan for a week or the whole month. Going to the grocery store with a plan will definitely save you money. Instead of just buying what looks good, you’ll be purchasing items that you’ll actually use. Less waste equals more savings.

•Clip coupons – You don’t have to be an extreme couponer to save. Even a dollar here and 50¢ there can add up and benefit your vacation piggy bank. You can find coupons in your local newspapers or online. Try Coupons.com or Redplum for free printable coupons.

•Shop around – Most people become comfortable with the closest grocery store to their home. While this may be convenient, it may not be the most cost effective way to shop. Use stores that Price Match. You’ll have to do some homework but, it will definitely make your grocery bill smaller.

•Grow a garden – Start your own garden to save on produce. You can start from seed which is usually cheaper or buy transplant plants to put straight in your garden.

•Cut Fast Foods – Eating out & fast foods will put a large dent on your bank account. Quitting cold turkey can prove to be difficult so maybe put a limit on your eating out budget. (Yes, add fast food to your budget!)

A Little Extra

•Pocket Change – Whenever you split a dollar, save your dimes & pennies. It can be fun for your household to have a specific piggy bank or large jar to put their spare change into. You all can watch the pennies grow as you add to it.

•Travel Insurance – Visit an online comparison website such as Kanetix to compare travel insurance quotes to see which travel insurance provider can offer you the best policy and coverage.

•Side Jobs – Either you or your children can add just a bit more to the monthly income with small jobs. Babysitting, yard care or a newspaper route will bring in a little cash to add to your growing stash.

Save your tax return

•Purposely save – Determine a certain amount a month you’d like to save from your paycheck. This can be a percentage or a defined dollar amount. Either way, you’ll be consistently adding money to your vacation budget.

•Earn Rewards – Think about how many hours a week you dedicate to surfing the web or checking your email. Use Swagbucks or Bing Rewards to earn points. Use the points to buy gift cards or items that you’d usually need to buy anyways.

9 Must See and Do Things while on a Vacation in the Turks and Caicos Islands

Located in the Caribbean, the picturesque Turks and Caicos Islands provide visitors with the ideal tranquil vacation. Boasting azure waters and the attendant powdery sand beaches, this little known island is a big draw for tourists mainly due to its prime scuba-diving conditions and coastal strips. In addition, the islands also feature nature reserves, land and marine-based national parks, historic interest areas and sanctuaries to add to the variety of activities during your stay. Despite most tourists flocking around Grand Turk which features a modern cruise center and Grace Bay on Providenciales, much of Turks and Caicos Islands remains largely uninhabited. Therefore, it is no surprise that the islands also place a heavy emphasis on eco-tourism.

We take a look at 9 things that every visitor must see and do while on a trip to these majestic islands:

1. Beaches
Undoubtedly, the soft, powder-fine, white sandy beaches define the Turks and Caicos Islands with the best being located in Middle and North Caicos. Tourists can relax anywhere from the popular Grace Bay to more secluded locations as there is plenty of choice.

2. Snorkeling and Diving
Excellent visibility under water coupled with pristine coral reefs have resulted in tourists flocking to these islands for snorkeling and diving. This is especially so in the Turks Island, Providenciales, and South and West Caicos. Here, tourists are likely to encounter marine species such as eagle rays, turtles, and colorful fishes found around the reef.

3. Bird watching
Bird watching is hugely popular in these largely unspoilt islands with tourists and conservationists alike guaranteed to come across numerous rare species of butterflies and birds.

4. Conch Bar Caves in Middle Caicos
The Conch Bar Caves are a network of extensive caves located in Middle Caicos. They also feature jaw dropping rock formations that are inhabited by various bat species. Nearby is an Indian Cave that is believed to have been the abode of Lucayan Indians in earlier times.

5. Fishing
For tourists in search of an adrenaline rush, deep-sea fishing for species such as tiger shark, tuna, and blue marlin is recommended. Alternatively, those averse to dangerous escapades could opt for reef fishing in the shallower areas in and around the reef.

6. Kayaking
In order to experience the full splendor of the Turks and Caicos Islands, you have to see them up close from a Kayak. Kayaking will allow you to explore the inland waters and sheltered coves such as those found in Chalk Sound on Providenciales.

7. Grand Turk
No visit to these islands would be complete without taking in the sights of the attractive Cockburn Town that illuminates the waterfront with its impressive Bermudan architecture. Also not to be missed is a trip to the Turks and Caicos National Museum which exhibits rare manuscripts and prints from the islands.

8. The Glow-Worm Cruise
Each month, the azure waters surrounding Turks and Caicos are lit up by glow worms and the islands in return organize evening cruises for visitors to take in this unforgettable display.

9. The Little Water Cay Nature Reserve in Providenciales
This nature reserve is renowned for its endangered iguana and bird life population. The boat trip to Providenciales also affords visitors with the chance to see mangroves and the natural vegetation of Turks and Caicos.