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How to Find Affordable Luxury Travel Experiences



When you’re traveling, a little luxury goes a long way. No longer are luxury travel experiences only for jetsetters and the rich and famous. With a little time and effort, you can manage a luxury travel experience on a lower budget, even if you’re traveling alone. These top tips will help you create the best for less, no matter where the road takes you.

Research Your Destination

If you can’t afford to splash out easily on life’s finer things, then a little research goes a long way. Even being very selective with your destinations can be surprisingly effective. From flights to accommodation, you want to make sure you’re always seeking the best bang for your buck. 

Bypassing middlemen and booking everything directly can do a lot to reduce the price tag of any itinerary. Plus, it gives you the chance to really dig into your travel experience, and get the maximum joy from the anticipation, too. 


For example, you’ll find hidden boutique hotels and luxury living experience for travelers tucked away in the most surprising places, and they may not have the visibility of larger chains that offer less. Spend some time with travel articles for the destination, check out local sights and experiences, and have fun doing it.

Stretch Your Dollars with Smart Choices

A dollar isn’t worth just a dollar in many global locations. When you’re traveling in locations with weaker currencies, you can get a whole lot more from the experience than if you head somewhere with a currency that competes in strength with your own. This doesn’t mean third-world facilities and destinations, either. Many popular destinations, from Egypt and Turkey to Thailand and Costa Rica, can be enjoyed by travelers while still letting you stretch your budget even further. 

It pays to spend a little time considering the cost of living in your destination, too. The more affordable the cost of living, the greater luxury buying power you will have with your budget. You might even snag a fantastic deal on a 5-star hotel, or be able to enjoy luxury dining, without spending all that much compared to home. Many low-budget travelers feel they have to stick to local locales to make the most of their dollars, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Plus, you’ll have an exotic destination to share to your Instagram and socials- and great bragging rights, too. 

Don’t Think Like a Tourist

Where tourists flock, high prices follow- but you’re smarter than that. Dreaming of Alpine landscapes? Swap Switzerland for Slovenia, and watch how you can amp up the experience without losing a single thing. Emerging and off-the-beaten-track destinations aren’t just excellent for bragging rights, but they’re likely to be more service-focused, offer comparable experiences for less, and they’ll be free from strength-sapping crowds and touts looking to rip you off on every corner, too. 

This will also help you have a more connected and authentic travel experience free of kitsch tourist trappings, and the locals are often more friendly and welcoming than in jaded mainstream locations. 

Go Out of Season

Not everyone has the flexibility to travel out of season, but if you can, you’ll thank yourself for it. Again, you’ll find less crowds while still having a comparable experience. By traveling across hemispheres, you can also do things like grab yourself a scenic snowy Christmas, or a beach tan in the middle of your winter season.

Of course, this one comes with one caveat- there is a reason peak season got popular in the first place. Sometimes, off-season travel can come with closed attractions or less predictable weather, so balance this particular trip with your plans and intentions.

Cut Down on Travel Costs

A holiday is exciting- getting there, not so much. Few people enjoy traveling, so it’s understandable that you might want to sneak a little luxury into the moment. However, it’s important to realize that the premium costs attached to things like business-class flights are not always worth what they’ll cost you- and those costs are coming out of your budget for the destination, too. While business-class flights on some airlines will be a luxury experience indeed, on others it brings you barely any benefit.

This goes for road and rail travel, too. Is it worth paying through the nose to arrive at a destination one meager hour earlier than you might have with a more moderate option? Is the catering on board a specific train line really of much care when you’re traveling overnight and will be sleepy anyway? What’s the point of an expensive hire car in London, where there’s reliable mass transport on every corner?

We’re not saying to go full Scrooge and not enjoy a moment of the trip. In fact, you should view your travel between destinations as part of the trip. No one wants to be frazzled and cranky just trying to save a few bucks here and there. But with a little research and some smart evaluation of your options, it’s possible to find that perfect balance between convenience, comfort, and cost. 

Swapping where you book can make a big difference, too. Perhaps you have some airline loyalty points to burn. Or maybe the cost of a different airline will still be lower, even with that loyalty discount. You may find lower cost flights (for the exact same flight and destination) on a mass booking site, or you may find it’s cheaper going to the airline directly. By taking the time to do a little research, you’ll find the cheapest route to what you want- and that’s always a great feeling. 

When you take a little time to carefully plan a travel experience that meets your expectations while remaining in your budget, you’ll find you have the extra to spare on splurging on what really matters to you. This will look different for everyone. Someone craving a beach experience might love the little bit extra paid for a beach-view hotel room. Someone who wants to dash about the city and barely enter their hotel room other than to lay their head on their pillow, on the other hand, may prefer to take a cheaper room and splurge on some fine dining. 

No matter what you crave, however, you can save a ton and still enjoy a luxury experience with a little planning and research.


3 Crucial Financial Tips for Traveling Students




College can be an excellent experience regardless of your age, goals, or interests. Whether you’re looking to start a new career, or simply improve your earning potential, college opens the door to a variety of unique opportunities. Not only will you learn more about yourself, and the strengths you can bring to an employer, but you’ll make new friends and harness new skills too.

College can even open the door to opportunities to travel and see more of the world, through exchange programs, class trips, and chances to attend learning events overseas. However, as anyone who has ever struggled to live on a student budget will know, managing the costs of travel when you’re earning your education can be difficult. Fortunately, with the following tips, you can ensure you’re prepared for almost anything.

Create and Manage Your Budget

The first step in maintaining your financial health as a traveling student is learning how to use budgeting to your advantage. Chances are you already have a budget to help guide you through the challenges of managing everyday expenses like accommodation and food. However, if you’re planning on traveling, either for a short trip or a long-term event, you’re going to need to rethink your strategy. Start by researching the location you’re going to be visiting, and learning as much as you can about the costs of things like travel, accommodation, entertainment, and food. This will help you to plan how much money you need on a weekly basis. If you’re traveling as part of a program with your college course, your teachers and other students may also be able to provide some advice on how you can optimize your budget.

Have a Back-Up Source of Funds

If you’ve invested in building your savings account before your trip and you have a strong budgeting strategy in mind, you should be able to manage the costs of travel relatively effectively, without too much of a problem. However, the world can be an unpredictable place, and there’s always a chance you could end up running out of money faster than you’d expect.

It’s important to have a back-up source of funding available that you can turn to if something goes wrong. If you have extra savings in your bank account, make sure you can access them wherever you are. If not, it might be worth looking into student credit cards so you can leverage additional resources while you’re away from home. Make sure you look for a card that supports international usage and comes with the best possible terms.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

Finally, technology can be an incredible resource for college students for several different reasons. Not only does the internet make it easier to communicate with professors and loved ones wherever you are, but it also ensures you can easily research everything from the cheapest sources of accommodation on your travel, to the best deals available for students. Make sure you have access to the internet during your journeys, so you can keep yourself informed, and stay savvy with your spending habits. It might also be worth downloading a mobile app for your banking service, so you can track your spending over time, and make sure you’re not going over your budget too often.

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Out of Town

Opening Night of Ragtime at the Boston Pops–and Tateh Took Me Home!



With reporting by Jacquline Parker

The Boston Pops opened their Summer Season on May 12th with Ragtime, the award-winning Flaherty and Ahrens musical as a symphonic concert. Symphony Hall was ablaze with multi-colored lights on the marquee, giving the legendary venue the air of an old-fashioned event from the era of RagtimeIt was thrilling to finally be in the hall where Arthur Fiedler and John Williams once reigned, smaller by far than our Carnegie Hall, but warm and welcomingA huge screen hung behind the musicians displaying the Ragtime logo, and with stunning projections by Wendall Harrington became a vital piece of scenery as wellThe house in New Rochelle, newspaper headlines and pictures of Ellie Island and the Lower East Side appeared as the actors sang about themSeeing a moving picture of an early assembly line and immigrants at Ellis Island made the story even more vivid than I rememberedA highlight was a projection of the Polo Grounds during the baseball game songOne heard the crack of a bat, and watched as the young son reached back with his mitt to catch the ball, which Maestro Lockhart nimbly dropped in from behind.  

The cast was superb, with New Yorkers Klea Blackhurst as Emma Goldman and John Cariani as Tateh, all directed with skill, grace and surprise by Jason Daniely.   

Fortunately I ran into John afterwards, who kindly walked me back to my hotel when cabs were no where to be found. 

This 36-hour respite not only afforded me this glorious musical opportunityBoston was full of easily accessible treats like stained-glass windows by masters La Farge and Tiffany, architecture by McKim and Richardson, shopping, walking and excellent weatherIt is a clean and safe city, and easily navigableI returned refreshed and reinvigoratedPerhaps we New Yorkers can all benefit from an occasional weekend away from the Big Apple. 

This Ragtime is worth the trip up to MassachusettsIt will be performed at Tanglewood on July 8th, and there’s always the annual July 4th concert on the esplanade!   

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The Complete Guide to Planning a Couple’s Vacation: Everything to Know




The writer Ernest Hemingway once said, “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.” He makes a good point, which is why going on a couple’s vacation is so special. Traveling with your partner allows you to deepen your bond and enjoy special time together, away from the regular stresses and hassles of everyday life.

Taking a trip with a partner requires a certain amount of planning in order for it to be as enjoyable and memorable as you both hope. In this blog post, we will share practical tips and advice for planning a couple’s vacation with your significant other.

These include deciding on a destination that both of you will enjoy, planning an itinerary together, sharing responsibilities, and finding time to spend alone during the trip. Let’s get started.

Choose a Suitable Destination

Of course, it would be great if you and your partner were in complete agreement about where to go on your vacation. That might even be the case. However, in a lot of instances, each person will have their own ideas about where to go in order to have the very best trip.

That’s okay, too, given that we are all different and have different tastes. The key here is to find a common ground where you both are happy (which is really what being in a relationship is all about). Choosing a destination that works for both you and your partner might take a little planning and some debating, but it will be worth it.

If neither of you is sure where to go on your vacation, there are lots of resources available to help you. For example, travel magazines, blogs, and social media platforms are great starting points when narrowing down a list of suitable spots for your trip.

A big part of choosing the right destination is to first decide on your couple’s vacation budget. There is no point in planning an all-inclusive luxury trip if your budget won’t allow for it. So, be mindful of the cost when looking at potential locations.

Plan the Itinerary Together

Again, a certain amount of give-and-take is required here as both you and your partner may have a different idea about what constitutes the perfect vacation. The first thing that you should both do is plan a loose itinerary, to simply gauge each other’s interests. From that list, you can start to decide on what things you will be able to do depending on factors like location, time, and budget.

One person might want to spend the day hiking, while the other person might not have the physical ability for such a pursuit. Discussing things like this in advance will enable you both to plan an itinerary that works best.

When it comes to making a concrete itinerary for your vacation, there are a lot of online resources that will help. Even by simply Googling a particular activity in a specific location should bring up plenty of results. It’s always a good idea to book activities that you are planning to do in advance, to avoid disappointment if they are fully booked up when you arrive.

In instances where you and your partner are poles apart in terms of interests, try and make time for activities that each will enjoy. For example, spending time in the morning doing an activity that your partner enjoys is fine, so long as the afternoon activity is something that you like.

Share Responsibilities

When it comes to planning a couple’s vacation, there’s a lot to do. From booking flights and hotels, to planning and booking activities, to figuring out what to bring with you, and more, it can be complicated and stressful.

Given that you are traveling with someone else, it’s valuable to share the responsibilities so that one person isn’t completely bogged down in organizing. For example, one person could organize the flights and transport, while the other person can look after booking the hotel and the different activities you decide to do.

Enjoy Time Alone During the Vacation

It’s certainly exciting to be going on a trip with someone as a couple. It can be romantic and memorable to spend a whole vacation with another person, developing a deeper bond with them. However, that also doesn’t mean you can’t find time to spend time alone during the vacation, either.

This is particularly true if there are certain activities that you really want to experience but your partner doesn’t. Depending on the length of your vacation, you can parcel off a day or half a day to spend on your own, doing something you enjoy. During that time, your partner can also go out and have fun with a particular activity.

Of course, spending time apart during a vacation always allows you both to buy little gifts for the other person, so there are lots of good reasons, really! Click here if you are interested in reading about relationship, motivational, lifestyle advice and more.

Your Handy Guide to Planning a Couple’s Vacation

From choosing a couple’s vacation destinations to packing for vacations and more, there’s a lot to organize when traveling with a loved one. The above information will help you to have a fun trip and create memories that last a lifetime.

Like this blog post on planning a couple’s vacation? Be sure to check out our other informative articles on a wide range of interesting topics.

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Social Media Post Contest To Celebrate Japan Month



Japan Month” is set to launch this May, with the aim of promoting Japanese food, culture, and charm to New Yorkers. The project is jointly sponsored by the Consulate-General of Japan in New York and JETRO, and is being promoted by Jforward Inc., headquartered in New York.

May is a significant month for Japanese culture in New York City, with the annual “Japan Parade” taking place alongside the Japan Street Fair on May 13th. “JAPAN MONTH” will extend the celebration throughout the entire month of May, with events and promotions to showcase Japanese food, culture, and more.

“Social Media Post Contest”

To celebrate the beginning of “Japan Month”, a Social Media Contest will run from May 1-31. Participants will be required to visit a participating Japanese restaurant in the city, take a photo of themselves enjoying Japanese cuisine, or a picture of a delicious-looking dish, and post it on their personal social media accounts with the theme “We love Japanese food” and the hashtag #mayisjapanmonth.

A number of participating Japanese restaurants will also be taking part in the Japan Street Fair in Manhattan on May 13th as vendors.

The grand prize is “A pair of round-trip air tickets to JAPAN”

With the sponsorship of Japan Airlines (JAL), the contest winners will receive a pair of round-trip air tickets to Japan in JAL miles.

A total of three pairs of round-trip airline tickets to Japan will be awarded. The winners will be selected by a selection committee consisting of representatives from Japan Airlines (JAL), the Consulate-General of Japan, and JETRO.

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All Aboard The Holland America Line For Their 150th Anniversary



ElizaBeth Taylor, other members of the press and I boarded the Holland America Line for their 150th anniversary docking at Pier 88. It was a beautiful day to explore what is new and exciting for this cruise line.

Pickleball is the newest in sport and it is the fastest-growing sport in the U.S. Now Holland America Line, is the exclusive cruise line partner of the Professional Pickleball Association. All cruise ships feature pickleball courts with amazing top-deck views. The equipment and courts are available for a match anytime, so long as the weather allows. You can also earn the basics at a complimentary beginner’s lessons. Commemorative starter kits will soon be available in the retail shops.

The press got a chance to not only learn but play the game.

The ship is geared to music as their are scores in a specialty restaurant.

To a music note just hanging out in the lobby.

Wanting to know more about the entertainment part of the ship, I go my own tour to Rolling Stone Rock Room.

BB Kings, which looks like to was transported from 42nd Street.

The chandeliers on the shop are true works of art.

As are the sculptures.

At Billboard Onboard’s venue dueling piano’s.

There is also a state of the art theatre with surround a round video capability. On our tour we were show a documentary of the 150 years that was PBS worthy.

More of the art and sculptures on the boat.

Looking for an exclusive dinning experience? Club Orange is for you.

The chandeliers are truely stunning. These are from the main dinning room.

This is one of the specialty venue’s that had the score inscribed. That alone would make me choose this room.

Another has culinary masterpieces by Holland America Line’s Rudi Sodamin.

All in all the the Holland America Line has much to offer.

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