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4 Affordable Bucket List Vacation Ideas

  • Hiking a volcano and walking on dried lava in Hawaii.  Under $100.00 (per person)

Visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to see the real thing in action.volcano You’ll get the chance to drive right up to the caldera- don’t miss the Cater Rim Drive, an 11 mild drive that passes through the various volcano landscapes from tropical rain forest to the desert like crater, itself, with scenic overlooks all along the way. You also have the opportunity to walk inside the Thurston lava Tube a no longer active part of the volcano. It allows you to walk 1/3 mile inside Kilauea where lava once flowed a few 100 years ago.

$15.00 per vehicle enters the park, $8.00 per individual if you enter by foot or bicycle and $10.00 per motorcycle. Free camping and hiking opportunities are also available, as are park ranger walking tours.

About an hours drive outside the park and along highway 130 is the volcanoentrance to Kalapana, a town that was completely covered in lava in 1990. Miraculously no one was hurt and the town got together and hauled their Church to a nearby town to escape the wrath of Hawaiian Volcano Goddess, Pele- you can still visit the Star of the Sea Painted Church today. Park your car where the road ends, (It’s literally blocked by a wall of lava), grab a pair of sturdy shoes, and go for a hike on the dried lava field. The hike can take between 20 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how fast you go. Either way, be careful as dried lava can be very sharp if you fall on it. The trail ends at a beautiful black sand beach, but you can’t swim in it.   Parking and Hiking are free, though.

  • Zorbing in New Zealand

What is Zorbing, you might ask? Well, it’s the art of rolling and zorbbouncing down a hill while inside a giant, hamster wheel like plastic ball contraption. An adrenaline junkie’s dream come true. Zorbing has actually been popular since 1997 and is definitely  one of those “only in New Zealand” type of experiences.

You have two options: Zydo, a sort of water ride version of the Zorb, and Zorbit, the dry version. Zorb Rotorua offers four track options and eight ride variations. Some strap in just one person, while others strap in up to three for a crazy, head-over-heels, trip down the half mile track.

Prices for one Zorb ride (either wet or dry) are $39.00 per person, pay $58.00 for 2 to ride in the same globe, and $78.00 for three people in same globe.



  • Zip lining over alligators in St. Augustine, Fla

At the St. Augustine Alligator Farm’s Crocodile Crossing just crociddleoutside the town of St. Augustine, there’s nothing quite like zip lining and completing an aeriel  obstacle course  over a park full of crocodiles, alligators, and hundreds of other reptiles.

Not to worry, though. Everything is totally safe. You are trained by experts and even get to do a practice zip line before you go out on your great adventure.  You can choose from the 45 minute Sepik River Course which takes you 20 ft up and gives you three zip lines to go through or you can choose the 90 minute longer, higher Nile River Course, and aerial obstacle course 60 ft above the park and takes you through a total of 9 zip lines. Both courses are self led, but there are trainers beneath you to come to the rescue, should you get stuck or require assistance.

The 45 minute course cost $35.00 per person while the 90 minute course cost $65.00 per person. What a great thriller for your bucket list, don’t you think? Also if you purchase Zip Nile tickets, you get free admission to the zoo. If you purchase the Zip Sepil ticket, you get half price off admission.  Admission cost are Adults: $22.95, children (ages 3-11)- $11.95, Guest in wheelchairs (adults)-$11.47, Guest in wheelchairs (children)-$5.97. They also offer discounted rates for AAA, Military and Seniors of 10%.


Driving among the buffalo in Cluster Park

Reaching Cluster Park is actually half the fun. You drive along plenty of twisting roads, gorgeous views and incredible wildlife encounters. It’s one of the few places you can get stuck in traffic due to herds of buffaloes deciding to cross the road.  Always keep your cameras handy.

Once you’re inside the park, opt to spend the night camping in the lodgeSouth Dakota wilderness or visit one of the Cluster Park Resorts. The Game State Lodge, a beautiful historic property that once served as the “Summer White House” for President Coolidge in 1927 and was later visited by President Eisenhower in 1953. The best part is it’s the launching point for the Buffalo Safari Jeep Tours.  This is a spectacular way to get up close and personal with the park’s diverse wildlife.  You also have the option of a chuck wagon cookout.







It cost $4.00 admission to get inside the park, or $15.00 per vehicle for 7 days. Children age 11 and under get in free. Rooms at The Game State Lodge start at $115.00 per night. Adults pay $82.00 each, children age 12 and under pay $62.00 for the Safari Tour plus Chuck Wagon cookout.  Prices for just The Safari Jeep Tour are $43.00 for adults and $36.00 for kids 12 and under. Just The Chuck Wagon cookout cost $47.00 for adults and $37.00 for kids 12 and under.


It’s amazing at the different things you can find to do if you really look for them. Depending on how far away you live and the cost of transportation to get there, I thought these were some amazing things to add to your own “bucket list”

I would love for some of you to share your ideas for my other readers to add to their list if it sounds like something they would enjoy doing.





Summer Tips On Flying

What Day Of The Week Is Best To Fly On?

In this article we are going to talk about summer flying and what’s the best days to do so. During the summer months, vacation planning often includes a Sunday return to ensure the most time off (Saturdays and Sundays are the traditional weekend days for most work schedules). You’d better believe that the airlines know this and generally increase the cost of flights on those days. Not to mention, many business travelers travel on Sunday to reach their destination by Monday morning. For your summer trip, consider flying back on Saturday instead and you’ll save money.

graph for travelers

This graph was borrowed from  According to them a much more economical plan is to fly midweek. On average, summer flight data indicates that flying on a Wednesday is $74 cheaper than flying on a Sunday. That may not seem significant until you start examining the typical family vacation. A family of four will save nearly $300 on average for their summer vacation flights just by traveling on a Tuesday or Wednesday. That’s the cost of a couple hotel rooms, or a fancy dinner for four! Seems to be a no-brainer when you can swing a midweek departure and return. The money you save might be the difference between taking a vacation this summer and thinking you can’t afford it!

When Should I Buy My Tickets?

Flying during the Summer months and on Holidays requires a little more strategy then the other times of the year. More people are flying and the airlines also know this. The general pattern is that from the time a flight opens for sale, fares will drop slowly but steadily until reaching a low point somewhere between 27 days and 114 days out. That three month window, which is essentially between one and four months in advance, is what is called the “prime booking window”. Much more often than not, the best fare for a domestic trip will be offered at some point during that window.

If you don’t book within this window, it is generally better to book too early than too late. Those booking more than 114 days out paid an average of $32 more for their flight in 2014; those booking inside 27 days paid an average of $47 more (and a lot more than that if within 14 days).

For Summer and Holiday travel the rules are different. For summer travel last year, the best time to book was 76 days in advance on average – almost a month earlier than the rest of the year. And the danger in booking too early was much less pronounced. Fares booked 320 days in advance were, on average, only $8 more than their low point. More than ever before, air travel has become a seller’s market, especially in the peak seasons, and the airlines don’t have to be as aggressive as they used to in order to fill all their seats. This means that the deals you see early on for peak season flights are increasingly likely to be among the best deals that will be offered.

Additional Tips on Finding The Best AirFares

Here is some general advice on how to go about your airfare search:

– Since it’s impossible to know exactly the best day to buy an airline ticket, the best strategy is to check fares early and often. For travel during the summer or holidays, start your research as soon as you can. For other travel dates, try to check frequently in the one to four month lead-up to your travel dates. By checking often enough, you are likely to see both the ups and the downs as fares fluctuate– and you’ll be able to tell the difference and recognize a good deal.

– Aim for a good deal, not the best deal. With 70 different fare changes on average for each trip, you have to get very lucky to book your flight at their absolute rock bottom. So don’t get too caught up in trying to squeeze a few extra dollars off your ticket price. When you see a good deal, grab it since any good fare is much more likely to go up than down.

– Consider booking much earlier than the 47 days in advance if: (1) you are traveling for a holiday; (2) you are traveling during the summer; (3) you are traveling with a family or large party (three or more travelers); (4) or, you are particular about your airline, number of stops, travel times, or seat assignments and you see only a few flights offered that you’d be happy with.

– Avoid booking too early (before four months) if all of these are true: (1) you are not traveling during the summer or for a holiday; (2) you are traveling by yourself; (3) and, you’re flexible on the airline and flight times.

The Timing Just Got Easier With CheapAir’s Price Drop, Payback

Airlines are constantly raising and lowering air fares, a regular cause of confusion and frustration. For example, it’s usually good practice to buy early, but there are times when doing so will come back to haunt you when the fare actually drops after your purchase. So, how are you really supposed to know when to buy?

Price Dropping

At they want their customers to know they are getting the absolute best fare they possibly can. They can’t stop airlines from constantly changing their fares in order to maximize “yield,” but they can help you to breathe a little easier with their recently launched free Price Drop Payback program, now in effect for the remainder of the year.

It’s as simple as this: if the price for the same itinerary goes down any time before your trip, they’ll pay you back the difference in the form of a travel voucher for up to $100 per ticket! They are proud to be the only U.S. travel site who offers this unique buyer protection and they hope this program will arm you with buying confidence.

To take advantage of Price Drop Payback, any time after your purchase go to the My Trips section of their web site to retrieve your itinerary. From there, with one click you can check to see if your fare has gone down. If it has, they’ll issue you a travel credit immediately. You can check your fare every week, every day, or as often as you want. It’s fast and easy and free.

Cheap Air is almost like your own personal travel agent as they can not only help you find cheap flights, they can also help you find cheap motels, rental cars, and even cruises. Why not check out their prices for your next flight.

Great Value Vacations

Have you been dreaming about traveling Internationally?

At Great Value Vacations, their mission is to be the pre-packaged great value4vacation solution provider from the US to the most desirable vacation destinations in the world.

They offer premium, pre-built vacation packages to the top destinations in the world. Their vacations feature itineraries designed by travel experts and superior accommodations which have been hand-picked and vetted for quality.

What’s more, They offer these vacations packages at Great Value prices that are at or better than if you were to purchase the components separately.  Their state-of-the-art technology provides their customers with an easy to use booking system that allows them to book complicated vacations with just a few clicks.

Expert Advice 

Their team of product experts are your “feet on the street” creating great value1vacation itineraries they would send their family on (and they have VERY high standards!) They do the heavy lifting for you by researching the best destinations, hand selecting the most desirable accommodations, designing a perfect vacation itinerary and recommending things to do and see along the way.

Customer Support

They are there for you at every step – from your first call or visit to their website right up until your flight home. Their vacation specialists and support staff are available to answer questions, provide advice or assist you at any point during the vacation planning process. Plus They offer Trip Protection Plans which allows you to cancel your trip for any reason up to 72 hours prior to travel and receive a full refund and have access to 24-hr Emergency Assistance while you travel.


Check them out now for some of their great package deals. Click the link below and find your dream destination at a Great Value price.

Great Value Vacations

Traveling For Special Events

Do you travel for special events; Sporting, Concert or Theater?

Would you like to find tickets to these special events at a discounted price?

VenueKings  features National ticket sales for  such events as:

  •  Lady Gaga,
  • Beyoncé,
  • Justin Timberlake,
  • Jay-Z,
  • Taylor Swift,

And sporting event tickets for:

  • MLB,
  • NFL,
  • NCAA,
  • NBA,
  • NHL
  • more!

All you have to do is click on the link below and then type in what event you are wanting tickets for. Check out their prices and if interested, go ahead and purchase. provides Sporting, Concert & Theater Tickets throughout North America. Find Tickets Now!


After you have purchased your tickets be sure to click on one of my other links in previous posts to set up your vacation accommodations to save even more money.

So, get started now, click on the VenueKings box, find your event, then scroll to previous posts and click on the links for the kind of vacation you want and celebrate on the money you saved on a wonderful vacation.

Accommodations Available To Save You Money

It’s been a little while since I talked about the different accommodations available to save you money when you go on vacation.  I want to make sure my new readers get the chance to know about them also. I am just going to briefly touch on each one.


Vacation rental marketplace with more than 300,000 rentals world-wide.  They offer great value along with space, privacy and all the amenities of home. They offer Romantic Retreats to fun family getaways.

Cruise Direct

If a cruise is in your vacation plans, cruise direct offers easy booking process, best price guarantee, flexible payment plans, low price assurance, no booking fees, e-tickets, freebies, and discounts.

Home Exchange

t fast growing market. It’s a very economical way of travel because all you have to pay for is the expenses to get there. This affords you the opportunity to travel to places you never though you would see. If you don’t want to travel to far off, you can also vacation to places within driving distance. Home Exchange has places near and far. “I’ll stay in your house while you stay in mine.”

Park, Sleep and Fly

Let’s don’t forget this one. Often less then the cost of parking alone, these packages offer convenient parking and hotel accommodations options when travelers leave or return from their vacation. You can sleep brfore you fly or after you fly.


Many people are looking for someone to stay at their home while they are away. Sometimes you may have to look after their pet or pets, but there is no cost for your staying in their home. You can find people all over the world looking for House-Sitters.  This is one of the most economical ways to travel, and be able to go to places you have dreamed to go and though you never could.


Roomorama offers you 200,000short term home rentals world-wide. They have all different types of rooms available from a bedroom to sleep in , homes, hotels and hostels..

Roomorama Corporation

Home Away

They are the world’s leading on-line market place for the vacation rental industry with sites of over 1 million vacation rentals in 190 countries.  You will spend less but get more room than a hotel. More space, more privacy, a kitchen, some are pet-friendly and they make it easier for families to stay together.

The Beginning Of Spring Break

Although June is classified as the beginning of Spring Break and more people are traveling because kids are out of school, there are still a few places you can travel to on a budget and have a good time. I’m going to list a few that I have found with reasonable rates and some may even be close enough that you can drive to.

Daytona Beach

Daytona boasts an abundance of cheap hotels, inexpensive Daytona Beachrestaurants and plenty of package deals.

Daytona residents love their cars, so you can expect to see some tricked out automobiles on the road, at the speedway, and even on the beach.

Some Things To Do:
  • Climb to the top of one of the oldest lighthouses in the United States.
  • Enjoy some peace and quite at the Museum of Art and Sciences.
  • Take a drive on the beach in your car (where permited)
  • Visit theme parks like the Daytona 500 Experience and The Dragon Lagoon.
  • Check out Main Street and Seabreeze Boulevard for a collection of Bars and clubs, some of which cater specifically to the bikers that frequent the area.
  • Spend the day at the Beach.
  • Enjoy shopping in town.

Puerto Rico

Determining Puerto Rico’s charm is a no-brainer. Less than a threePuerto Rico hour flight from Miami. this Island is a U.S. territory. So when you’re shopping in San Juan you can pay for your souvenirs with American bills. Puerto Rico has both 20-ft waves for the surfers and calm, clear waters for families. It’s an exhilarating mix of landscapes, from the serpentine jungle of El Yunque to the corkscrew caves of Parque de las Cavernas del Rio Camuy. And if you want to get away from civilization entirely, you can ferry over to the secluded- not to mention- jaw droppingly gorgeous – islands of Vieques and Culebra.

Puerto Rico2Puerto Rico offers year-round affordable packages so travelers can relax along it’s blanched sands. Follow a pulsating beat to the dance clubs in the Santurce neighborhood, catch some live music in a Ponce lounge or grab a casual drink at a San Sebastian bar.

Many Puerto Ricans speak English, but Spanish is the language of daily life. Packing a Spanish phrasebook is handy, and Puerto Ricans welcome your efforts to converse with them in Spanish. Since Puerto Rico is part of the United States, the island’s currency is the U>S> dollar and credit cards are widely accepted. Tipping etiquette is the same here as in other parts of the United States; 15 to 20 percent is considered the standard, but more is appreciated for exceptional service.

With my comparison between motels and, it seems that might offer the better prices. Make sure you check them out while checking out your favorite travel site.

Myrtle Beach

The clean beaches are the main draw to Myrtle Beaches, but there’sMyrtle Beach more to her than miles of brown sand.   One of the best East Coast family vacation destinations, boasts hundreds of Golf courses for golfers at all levels, amusement parks that fling the kiddies around on water rides, roller coasters, and race tracks, and Ripley’s Aquarium, which dares visitors to commune with the sharks.


I found that some of the links below offered some of the best prices on places to stay. If you want to find some of the best prices for the beginning of Spring Break, try clicking on them or use your favorite booking site, either one.


Need a Vacation? Rent a Private Villa, Home, or Condo. Click here!

HomeAway: Book it Now



Who Books Your Travel Arrangements?

Girlfriend Trip? Reunions? Families Get together? Guy’s Golf Trip? Business Trip? Whatever the occasion, who is put in charge of making all the arrangements for the group, when each person or family is from different households. Wouldn’t it be nice if each person could look at the same screen at the same time and share in the decision, taking the pressure off of just one person?

Introducing Share Trips

Share Trips is a screen sharing website where you and your travel companions interact and view search results simultaneously and in real time.

Share Trips works like other online travel websites, but with unique features to make it easier for you to plan and book a trip with multiple travel companions. With Share Trips, you can: Screen share your webpage in real time with your travel companions. Your travel companions will view the same page you are viewing. Interact with the same webpage as your travel companions. Anyone viewing your page can start a new search, select a search result and navigate through the Share Trips website without having to transfer control of the webpage. Instant Message (IM) and Video Conference with your travel companions right from the Share Trips webpage.

About Share Trips

ShareTrips was started by folks who always got stuck booking trips for friends and family. Picking the right hotel for a group of people or your family can be nerve-wracking. Traditional online travel websites only allow one person to view a webpage and select a hotel, even if multiple people are traveling. With ShareTrips, our screen sharing technology allows all travelers in your party to interact with a shared web page and provide input to simplify the booking process for everyone.


If you are the one who always get stuck making everyones travel arrangements or if you are the one who wishes you could have a better voice in making the groups travel arrangements, the why not try using Share Trips for this years get-together. Click the link below and not only share all the arrangements together but get a discount on your bookings.

Get Up to 5%* Cash Back on your completed hotel stay with Share & Save on

A Few Recommendations For Budget Trips In May

I have been searching through some of my resources and I have found a few recommendations for budget trips in May.  There are many more and as I run across them I will add them. We are getting to warmer weather and more people will be traveling, so let’s just take a look at some great places to visit.

If you have an unlimited budget then you have an amazing number of choices with great weather in May including Paris, New York and Tokyo, but this list is created for people looking to get value for their money. Depending on where you are starting from it could cost quite a bit to get to some of these locations, but I will try to look at some cheaper traveling once we review the places that cost will be relatively low once you get there.

The Caribbean

For those looking to relax in the sun, may is the perfect month to caribbeanhead to the Caribbean because high season is over but the weather is still dry and perfect. Better still, prices at many of the resorts come down dramatically from their highs of earlier in the season. For most people , the best deals are really at the all-inclusive resorts.

Not including Mexico, there are now 250 all-inclusive resorts spread over 20 Caribbean islands, so at first it seems like a confusing choice for someone new to this style of vacation.

In all, the Caribbean “high season” runs from December through April, and the “peak season” is the last week of December and the first week of January. Regardless of where you are starting from, it’s worth checking the prices of the air and the hotel separately and as a package.   am listing only the cheapest all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean that get good reviews. I’ve eliminated the resorts that have low prices ans get bad reviews, so any of these are worth considering, even with the low prices.

Rates below are per night for the cheapest rooms at each resort, for two guest, with all meals and drinks included. Most resorts charge a bit more for ocean-view rooms as well as premium food items and top shelve beverages.

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

(cheapest)Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Puerto Plata might not have the country’s nicest beaches, but it does have a great abundance Of affordable all-inclusive resorts. During the off season (particularly in September and October) the prices are so low at some of the 30 or so all-inclusive resorts, that some of them look like mistakes. As long as you are clear that this is nothing like St. Barths, the Puerto Plata offers great values.

Negril Jamaica

High Season $171 – $663Negril Jamaica

Low Season – $102 – $725

Negril has 20 resorts that offer all-inclusive options. This popular and long strip of hotels is where you’ll find some of Jamaica’s best bargains for those who prefer to pay for food and drinks, separately.  It’s all – inclusive resorts are more geared for the mid to upper range guest. More specifically there are two cheap all -inclusive resorts in Negril, and the rest are much more expensive.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

High Season – $172- $674Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Low Season – $120-$584

With nearly 60 hotels that offer all-inclusive deals, Punta Cana has the greatest concentration of these resorts on any Caribbean Island. The resort area occupies the far eastern tip of the Dominic Republic and the hotel beaches can either face Northeast or Southeast. the busy local airport gets direct flights in from all over North America and Europe, and airfares are reasonable for the Caribbean.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

High Season – $212 – $806Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Low Season – $155 –  $733

With nearly 20 all-inclusive resorts in the area, Ocho Rios offers many of the cheapest such resorts on Jamaica, with nearby Montego bay and Negril, specializing more in mid-market all- inclusive resorts. Visitors to all three of Jamaica’s main tourist spots will all fly into the Montgo Bay Airport, which has very competitive fares and non-stop flights from all over, so the chances of a cheap non-stop flight tp get here are fairly high. This is another Caribbean destination that has very appealing prices during high season and jaw dropping during the off-season. Interesting, pretty much all of these resorts get good or great reviews from past guest.

Ambergris Caye, Belize

The rainy season does actually begin in Belize in May, but usually lateAmbergris Caye, Belize in the month and even then it’d usually only a few short afternoon cloudburst each week. Otherwise the temperatures tend to be constantly pleasant though a bit humid. Most of the Spring Break crowds are long gone by this time so you’ll have most of the restaurants to yourself, but the diving trips are still going on.

If San Pedro on Ambergris Caye seems to expensive for you then you can stay on nearby Caye Caulker, or in an area with the best beaches in Belize on the Placencia Peninsula. Compared to simular resorts in the region the prices are very reasonable.

Cartagena Columbus

Cartagena has warm days ans also warm tropical nights all year long.Cartagena Columbus Rain picks up toward end of May, but as usual, tends to come in short burst. Cartagena is a great value for tourist, and hotels have their low-season prices on until July, so it’s an excellent choice if you can find an affordable flight.

Lisbon Portugal

High seasons for hotels in Lisbon doesn’t begin until June, so this is Lisbon Portugalan ideal time to come to appreciate this underated city of charm.  The Algarve area along the southern coast of Portugal is even nicer and a great bargain for early-season visitors. Prices at hotels and resort apartments are often very low, even along the beaches. So if you’ve got time off this is one not to miss.


As I mentioned earlier, this is only a few recommendations for budget trips in May. Most of the ones I have listed, today, are outside of the United States, but there are many inside the States also. I intend to add some more over the next several days, so check back on a regular basis and if none of these appeal to you, maybe some of the others will.

Meanwhile, if you have any special request concerning articles you would like to see or places you would like to know more about, please feel free to leave me a message in the comments below.

You can afford to go on that trip, after all.