Travel like a Pro: Luxurious Vacations on a Budget

Each of us has that dream destination we’ve wanted to go to or have been saving for. There are different names—Maldives, Hawaii, or Bali comes to mind—but there’s only one purpose when you go there: to relax. Some of us are luckier and get to spend time in at least one dream destination. Most of us, however, don’t get that chance.

The biggest reason, as it turns out, is because of money. Well, here are six destinations that give you that relaxing vacation without breaking the bank.

A Boat Ride. A trip on a boat sounds nice, but how about on a yacht? You could take this in place of the many luxury cruises that are actually nice but too expensive. Prices go for high of $3000+ to only $1000+ for a week on a cruise. It could be a romantic getaway or you can get the group together. You can also visit coasts cruise ships normally can’t dock on.

Take a Dip. A relaxing dip at the Canyon Ranch spa gives a person time to think things through. If you’ve gone on that well-deserved, hard-earned for vacation, prices start at $500 a night per person. That’s just the standard there—other spas charge lower rates for the day and also include activities such as fitness activities and other spa-related relaxing sessions.

By the Beach. While there are many activities one could do on the beach, one of the best reasons to go there is for the beautiful scenery. Mexico has some of the best beach fronts in the world as well as a culture that is undeniably attractive. Considering that the exchange rate—at 20.69 Mexican pesos to a dollar—you’ve got a getaway that won’t get you bankrupt for only a vacation.

In the Caribbean. Speaking of beach fronts, the Caribbean are one of the world’s best places to go to if you’re looking for sand, sea, and surf. Puerto Rico and the other territories making up the Caribbean are open ground for people looking for a luxurious vacation minus the cost. Puerto Rico isn’t popular only for its beaches; if you love a bit of history, you won’t go wrong taking a vacation here.

Get Wild. If the water and the sand aren’t for you, then a different kind of sand, perhaps? An African safari could be too expensive, but at $150 a night, you can already find the kind of wilderness you thought you can only experience in a $1000 a night safari. It’s good to go during the low season—during the months of May to September—to avail of the lowest rates possible.

On the Island. One of the best ideas for a getaway is to go on a Greek holiday. While the Euro may be experiencing a crisis, it’s actually one of the better times to go into the Greek islands. You’re getting the best of the dollar as well as a vacation you never thought you could experience. Visit Crete and the other parts of Greece while you’re at it.

You don’t need to break the bank just to have a vacation that’s steeped in luxury. Think out of the box and outsmart luxury vacations with quick common sense—and these tips—to live luxury within a budget.

Cars and You: How to maintain your Car like a Man

We’ve seen it all before—a car that just begs for a few drops of water as well as a small scrub from foamcleaner. It could be a by-product of rain or just plain neglect. However, that’s not your only problem. There’s also the interior of the car; the motor might be in need of an overhaul, while the insides might be in need of a shine.

Welcome to the world of having to care for your car. It’s one of the things you inherit when you’re growing. If you need help, consider these tips to keep your car just as your dad had kept it.

Clean the Windshield

Keeping the windshield clean is important simply because you need to see everything that’s happening in front of you on the road. There are cleaners that do this and more—some cleaners also wash off unsightly water marks that are a result of acid rain. Go after high-quality cleaners to make sure your windshield is getting the needed cleaning it should receive.

Keep the Tires Aired

Blow-outs on the road are a result of poor tire pressure, but that’s only one problem. You’re also risking bad mileage as well as poor breaking with poor tires. You should always keep your tires filled with air but only up to the proper pressure. Rotating tires is also a good idea—you’re keeping your tires evenly worn, making sure you get your money’s worth out of them.

Clean the Outside

A clean car is a sight to behold while a dirty car is something that’s both a detriment and the butt of jokes. It’s also a picture of how you care for your car. You should grab cleaners that won’t leave nicks and scratches on your car. Aside from giving your car a brand new look, some cleaners also preserve  the brand new look of certain cars, making for a shiny appearance even if your car is decades old.

Get your Brakes Checked

Getting your brakes checked isn’t vanity but it’s a necessity. You should have a professional check it even if there’s no weird sound coming from them as you drive. The brake pads should be replaced as well as the calipers. A loss of braking power, especially on the high-way, shouldn’t be taken lightly; not only will you be endangering yourself but the other motorists sharing the road with you too.

Check your light bulbs

It’s important to keep your light bulbs new and unobstructed. Driving in the dark without light bulbs is considered a death wish, especially if you’ve got bad eyes. If one of your light bulbs starts dimming or becomes dark, you should have it checked or replaced. There is a lot of high-performance, new technology light bulbs available in the market that you won’t have to replace every year. You should go for those ones.

Keep your Engines oiled

Make sure to check your engine as it’s the most important part of your car. Without it, your car is just another very expensive decoration sitting in your garage. Check everything—the oil so you know whether it’s time to change it and the fan belt so you won’t have a weird sound coming from the engine. After that, make sure to take it out on a test drive so you’ll see if everything went according to plan or not.

Checking your car isn’t only for cosmetic and personal purposes. It’s also part of being a responsible adult as well as a responsible driver on the road.

First Car Jitters: Tips on getting your first ride

Finally, you’ve saved enough money and you think you’re mature enough to get your own ride. That is, of course, provided you know how to drive. If not, you’ve got someone to do the driving for you. Whatever the reason, you’re now ready to say goodbye to the daily commute and say hello to driving to and from work in your own vehicle.

Hold your horses; it isn’t that simple to select a car. There are some factors you should consider to have a carof your own.

Know what you need

The first thing you have to resolve would be to drive a car that suits your needs. Do you need a car that would drive you through any kind of weather? Would you have a car that would bring you to a community parking lot while you transfer to commute once you park it? These questions should be answered with a choice—the choice of your brand new car.

Have a budget in mind

You might have a car, but you might have not prepared for the extra costs buying one will incur. Be sure to have a budget for the car, and also be sure not to go beyond it. If the model you’re looking for costs way too much, learn to defer to a lower priced model of equal quality. If you absolutely have to get that model, there are used variants that you can take a look at.

Used vs. New

These used variants will solve the problem of a model being too expensive, but consider this; while they are far cheaper, new cars often come with warranties that have you as the first person using it. You also have to allot a budget for the event that the car you’re using have some parts that need replacement. You’ll usually have to shoulder those costs without insurance.

Always safety first

Never skimp on safety! It is one of the biggest reasons why you absolutely have to buy a new car. New cars, aside from insurance, come with standard safety features that only get better as the model gets updated. When faced with the decision between a lower-priced but older model and a higher-priced but updated model, the choice comes easy if you rank safety among the top 3.

Do test drive

Take the model for a spin and always tabulate the results. Does it handle well, as much as you’d expect from a new model? Can you handle it properly? Does it feel like the car you’re going to take home, and the one you’ll use in any weather? If you answered ‘yes’ to those questions—and some personal ones you may have—then you might have found yourself a keeper.

Don’t skimp on insurance

As previously mentioned, you shouldn’t save on safety. Consider paying for the insurance even if it costs you. In the event you need to replace a part, get the car checked up or get caught in an accident, the insurance can cover for some or all of your expenses. It can also cover for your hospital bills in the unfortunate event you get banged up bad in the accident.

These are only a few of the reasons you should keep in mind when buying a car. The choice of a new or old one is up to you, but remember to always consider never breaking the bank if you’re buying a new—or pre-loved—car.

Infographic by: infographicjournal.com

Parts on a Budget: Buying Car Parts without Becoming Poor

There are people who love buying cars for the very reason that they’re buying a project. Some people aren’t content with a car’s stock configuration. They might also love it when a car breaks down—all the more reason to tinker with what it already has and try to make it better by placing better car parts and taking out stock parts.

However, third party parts aren’t easy to come by at an affordable rate. Here’s how to maximize the deals out of those replacement parts.

Research, research, research. The important part of buying a car part is to do your research. This is not like buying a part for your model kit or a light bulb for the house. Make sure to ask for the same exact car part for the model you own. It spells the difference between buying the right part and buying a part for another car with money you saved for your car.

Politely ask for a lower price. If you can, try to lower the price for the parts. Some of the places where you can do this are at a store that sells OEMs or parts that are junk-yard finds. You can also compare prices between two stores and ask for a price as compared to the other store. It works most times, but if it doesn’t, don’t blow your lid off. Politeness should be your mantra.

Dive in at a junk yard. If you don’t want to buy anything or want to buy them at even lower prices, do the junk yard diving yourself. While it’s a far cry to find what you’re looking for at just one junk yard, chances are they could be even dirt cheap. Just remember to make sure that they’re still in working condition and they fit the car model you’re working on.

Know what you’re asking for.Junk yard parts are there for a reason; they’ve been in cars that have seen better days. Parts that are sitting there will rust under the glare of the sun and the beating of the rain. The best way to make sure you’re getting the best is to compare the conditions of different but similar parts for your car model.

Pick up another model. If you have the extra money, go and buy a whole car from the junk yard. If they have the part you’re looking for, there’s a good chance they have the exact same car—just not at the exact same condition. Take a chance and who knows, you might get a whole ‘mine’ for the parts you’re looking for.

Have fun! Just remember—it’s work, but if you love your cars and your tech, it’s fun work! Enjoy looking for the parts and revel in the feeling of getting them for a discount. Love what you’re learning from the experience and use it in the future, when you need to go find parts again.

There’s no reason to be grumpy looking for a part for your car. If you’re not a fan of fixing your car or finding parts for it, at least enjoy the hunt for a part that may cost about a third or a fourth of what it would usually cost in retail.