Look what happened now...
I was sitting at the bar in my kitchen today, (honestly texting) and had this odd feeling someone was looking at me....
I looked up and spotted this wee little Lady Bug on my Kale. Its cold here so I thought poor baby must be dead. But I gently picked it off the kale and found it to be very much alive.
Stay tuned for more of Barney's adventures lol.
Quick, recent roadtrip from New Mexico to south Texas.
1. Getting There
Planes, trains, and automobiles... Of these, planes are the worst, but if you fly on an airline that has taken measures to reduce their carbon footprint by eliminating excess waste and recycling as much as possible, it will be better. Southwest is an airline you might want to consider which has done a lot to reduce their carbon footprint.
What about trains? Trains are a very scenic way to travel and they are not terrible on the environment.
Automobiles? If you are making a road trip, then consider renting a hybrid vehicle if you don’t currently own one.
Look for hotels that use green programs. Also check the hotels location and make sure there is plenty of public transportation nearby that you can use. Once in your hotel, notify them that you don’t need new towels every day. Turn lights off when you leave the room and adjust the thermostat when you are not in the room to use less electricity.
Even though you checked your hotel to see that it has public transportation, also consider finding other ways to travel. If you stay in the city centers you will be able to walk to many places of interest, plus cafes and shops. You could also consider renting a bicycle for the week and traveling by bike.
4. Leave It Cleaner Than When You Got There
It is always good practice to pick up trash when you see it. It can help balance out your carbon footprint and is just the right thing to do.
Also shopping at local farms, farmers markets and small fruit stands while you are away, instead of the grocery store is another way to reduce your carbon foot-print. You will find fresh, local produce and save money too.
Staycations are also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint by exploring things right in your own area and being in nature. Travel definitely takes its toll on the environment, but if you do choose to go away, you can still reduce your carbon footprint when you travel.
How do you approach an eco-friendly vacation?
Phew. I cannot believe how fast this year is flying by.
As I'm packing for a quick (I will only be gone a week this time) trip I was thinking about Arline Apps. Someone ask me, the other day if I used them and the answer is:
Because even if you uninstall them on your way home from the airport, I totally recommend tracking your plane and downloading that boarding pass onto an airline app.
Let’s be real: you’ll be looking at your phone anyway... Why not have it let you know if your gate changes or if your flight is delayed.
There are about a million travel hacks out there, but I download airline and train apps and actually USE them. And as I said, you can always delete afterwards. I have deleted most of my European apps, but (wink) I maybe reinstalling them again soon.
See you at the airport~
Greetings 'Net Family,
This is very important now.
Mega serious stuff.
Are you ready?
I need to know … what’s your Secret Must Watch TV? Go ahead, let it out. You’ll feel better, and there’s no TV shaming here. I’ll even go first. I’ve been watching — remember, no judging — GOT because I have company and they apparently are Amish cave dwellers (not really) and have never seen any of it. #WTF?!
So as most of you know, I usually have the TV viewing habits of a teenage girl. This means I watch all the CW shows. Don’t judge me. But I also watch most all science fiction/fantasy and odd foreign films (okay, anime) lol, that I can get my hands on. But lately I just haven't been finding anything new to obsess over.
And did I mention it's snowing and the city is shut down?
The weather is cold, windy and unpleasant, so I'm looking for new, addictive shows, dear family. So please share your obsessions below or via email.
Speak soon, I have another season of GOT to plow through ~
Read Part One Here: Travel Fees and How to Avoid Them
It’s been my experience that frequent flier programs are not all that.
Be careful when it comes to using frequent flyer programs, because they sometimes impose fees on your supposed free flights. These could include a fuel charge, airport fees, and redemption charges when you cash in the miles. #Fail
Whats a fuel charge?
Fuel surcharges are another tricky fee to avoid. They are often tacked onto your frequent flyer miles, and to small children who don’t take up a seat. International flights will be the most expensive. It pays to compare costs carefully. The cheap fare you see may not be so cheap after all if the airline imposes fuel surcharges or other hidden fees.
Most of the so called budget airlines will stick you will a $35 and up bag fee (each way) if you want to bring more than just a carry-on bag. As one of my friends points out this is the “Fly Naked” deal. Its cheap airfare if you don’t need more than a backpack, but if you are spending anytime anywhere your gonna need luggage and you will end up paying for that privilege.
So if you plan on a trip longer than a few days, you will be adding a bag and a charge to the ticket price. But pack lightly, and beware overweight baggage fees. Over the limit fees can be exorbitant!
If you are checking a bag, avoid adding even more fees by making sure you don’t over-pack. Weigh your luggage before you leave to avoid any surprises.
Other fees on budget airlines you may be tempted to opt for are priority boarding and seat upgrades.
Personally being 5’9 I usually buy extend leg room, unless it is more than the ticket, (yes, I’ve seen that). But priority boarding, if I have an assigned seat isn't an issue and can add another $10 - $25 per ticket, depending on the airlines. The only downside is you may not be able to put your luggage in the bin over your seat. But is that worth $25 to you?
Personally I’d rather board towards the end, walk to my seat and take off, rather than sit for 10-15 minutes while people push by. But that’s totally up to you.
Car Rental Fees
When renting a car, check to make sure the fee includes everything, with no added extras. Remember that your credit card will offer travel protection for collisions, so you might not need additional insurance. But it is always wise to call your credit card company before your trip to see if you have limited coverage out of state or out of country.
I was picking up a car at Heathrow (London airport) and witnessed an American woman crying over the fact she thought she was covered until her insurance company found the international loop hole and she was on the hook for an extra $10,000USD in damages from the rental company. #TrueStory
Also beware key replacement, alternate drop-off locations, taxes and fuel surcharges can all be tacked on to the final car rental bill. Picking up a car in one state and dropping off in another usually cost me an extra $200USD. #AlsoTrueStory
And there will also be a charge if the gas tank isn't at the level you picked it up at. It is always more affordable to top it off yourself, rather than opting for them to fill it for you.
Next time we will discuss accommodations and the hidden fees of some hotels and vacation rentals. Think those fees are small? I’ve seen hotel parking in New Orleans for an astonishing $45 a day! Along with holiday house fees you might not know about.
Hello Fellow Travelers!
I hope your having a fun week. I’m planning a series of trips and working up a travel budget this month. If your like me, you know its important to budget carefully for your travel, I need to make every dollar count. I would rather spend money staying in Paris, than spending money on hidden hotel fees or disguised rental car charges! So I thought I would write a series of posts on the lessons I have learned about obscure charges and hidden fees.
Booking your flight online can be costly if you make a mistake. As soon as you get the conformation email, check to see that your name is spelled right and your travel dates are correct. If they are not, call the airline immediately. Most of the time when I have had an issue of this sort, they have cheerfully changed the tickets with no extra fees or issues. BUT I also called within 5 minutes. The longer you wait, the more likely you are going to be charged a fee.
If you have to change your flight date the airlines will often charge fees so high they are not much different from the airfare itself. I had this happen last month, I bought a ticket for a work trip and then it was pushed back. We bought the insurance, but there was a “change fee” even with the insurance that made the flight almost the same price. To avoid this look for a website or airline that offers a flexible booking period. They do exist, but you may pay more…but if your unsure of the dates of your trip it might be worth it.
As I said I didn't save anything with the trip insurance on that flight. But I have seen people (my mother for one) buy and use insurance for cruises that have refunded their entire trip when they ended up canceling because they were to ill to board. It might seem like another added expense that you would wish to avoid, but it can save a lot of money in the long run.
Next we will discuss Frequent Flyer Programs.
Catch you later~
So how are things?
I am finishing up a nice weekend off. #WIN
I don’t know about you, but lately, I’ve been coming home from work EXHAUSTED!
I promised myself I would stop complaining about how tired I was from work on here, but I was asked recently how I relaxed after a stressful day. Honestly, in the past I just sucked it up and keep going. I used to tell myself that this was my life and that I had to keep going, people were depending on me. End of story.
But over the past few years, I’ve realized that if I want to continue to kick-ass at work, I need to make my health and well-being a priority. I have to set firm boundaries and build in downtime for myself.
I stared by creating a routine to help me relax when I get home. This gives me time to unwind and de-stress and makes the rest of the evening so much better.
Talking to other women it's the same. Let's face it, it hard to relax after work when you have so much to do at home or if you run a side business, and especially if you have a family. OMG! The work never ends!
I’d get home and think about the 10,000 different projects I wanted to get started on, plus all the normal day-to-day stuff like gardening and laundry that needed to be tended too and then stay busy until I fell into bed, sometime around 11:45.
Relaxing wasn’t something I was totally comfortable with. So if that sounds familiar and you need some help in the relaxing department, I have put together a few easy ways to relax after a long day at work.
Change Out of Your Work Clothes
Begin the minute you walk through the door.
There’s nothing better than getting home from work and changing into a comfy t-shirt and losing the bra! Changing out of my work clothes tells my brain that its time to relax, and that I can enjoy a few hours to myself, without the stress of work weighing on my shoulders.
Turn off Your Phone
I’m on my phone all day long, and if I’m not on my phone, I’m on my computer. I’m answering e-mails, returning voicemails, processing paperwork, so when I get home, my brain needs a break. I’m legit sick of my phone by the time I get home, so I’ve been making an effort to unplug for a couple of hours. I’ll leave my phone in my bedroom for an hour or two and I’ll go out to the family room to do anything other than check my social media. This has helped my sanity tremendously. #BIGWIN
After a long day at work, it’s so great to spend a few minutes meditating. I'm actually a meditating expert, (I teach meditation), and because of that I know that anyone can learn this simple form of relaxation.
Begin by just sitting on the floor for five minutes, and do nothing other than focusing on your breathing. This is also a great time to give thanks for the day and just be still. But if you’re not a fan of meditating or you’re just not ready for it, do some yoga or at the very least, stretch. Chances are, you’ve been sitting on your butt all day long, and your body needs some stretching. Trust me, you’ll feel SO MUCH BETTER! Another great way to unwind is reading.
Grab A Book
It's no secret I am a total bookworm! I love to sit in the garden or my reading nook and just relax with a good book. Even if you can only read for half an hour it will help you relax.
Take A Bubble Bath
I swear, I think my bath tub is my favorite part of my new house. If it wasn’t for the fact that you get all wrinkly after sitting in the tub for a while, I think I’d stay in there for hours at a time. After a super stressful day at work, there’s nothing like slipping into a hot bubble bath. I use two different kinds of soaking baths- eucalyptus/sea salt and lavender- both are amazing for helping me achieve a few minutes of pure relaxation.
Use Essential Oils
Right before bed I turn on my diffuser. I keep it filled with essential oil and not only does it relax me, but it helps me fall asleep quickly. I have one in my bedroom, one in the guest room and a large one in the formal living room. Plus I'm thinking of adding one to my office. I love oils THAT MUCH.
After a long day at work, I love lighting candles. It really sets the tone for the evening and it helps me remember to take it easy. It signals my brain that the rest of the night is for unwinding and a gentler pace.
Unwind with a mug of soothing herbal tea. The feel of your favorite mug in your hand and the wonderful aroma of a soothing herbal blend work together to help you relax. There are so many different blends to try, just make sure you get an organic tea that is pesticide free.
How do you unwind and relax from a stressful day? I'd love to hear your tips - leave me a comment below and let's discuss.
Now I'm off for a long soak with a good book and a warm cuppa!
Catch you later-
Welcome to my travel blog, my healthy Vegan lifestyle blog and my life! It's a lot, but it's my passions and I just love to write about it. Here I share tips, stories and photos from my adventures and life. This is the place where people can find daily inspiration to travel and motivation to live healthier lives and laugh a bit too!
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