Travel Notices

Posts Tagged ‘Giveaways’

How to manage your money when traveling abroad

You probably have a lot of questions about your money when preparing for a trip abroad. Do you need traveler’s checks? Will you be able to find an ATM? Can you avoid pesky foreign transaction and other fees while enjoying some off-the-beaten-path destination?

The answers to the first two questions are no and almost always. The third I answered for Melissa Fiorenza, author of “Twentysomething Girl: 1001 Quick Tips and Tricks to Make Your Life Easier,” when she tapped me to share tips on how to save money while traveling abroad. She included five of my best money-saving tips in her recently published book.

While her book might target younger women, my tips apply to everyone who travels abroad. I’ll share my two favorites with you here.

  1. Never exchange money until you arrive at your destination. You will always get a better exchange rate than if you change money in the U.S.
  2. Let your credit card company know you’ll be traveling and where you’re going. That’s the best way to avoid the embarrassment of an overprotective security policy denying the charge.

To check out all of my tips, as well as the rest of Melissa’s advice for young women, you’re in luck! We’re giving away three copies of her book here on the blog. All you have to do is fill out the form below. One entry per person, please. Good luck!

UPDATE: Congratulations to our winners — Mike Nemecek, Maria Mazas, and Susannah Starkweather! Your prizes will be shipped out shortly. Thanks for participating in our giveaway!

Proof that it’s never too late to travel

Age isn’t anything but a number. That could be the motto of Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson, two friends who travel the world together and film it for their PBS television series “Grannies on Safari.” They’ve combined their love of people, art, and travel to make this Emmy® award winning TV series, sponsored by AARP.

When I heard Pat and Regina were going to be at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show, I jumped at the chance to have a member of our blogging team, Caitlin, sit down with them for an interview. I’m so glad they did and while we were together, we had them sign a few copies of their new book that we’ll be giving away on the blog. Stay tuned for details about that.

Caitlin asked Regina and Pat about their favorite places to visit, why they chose to feature women’s rights in their show, where we can look forward to seeing them next (which I was excited to hear!), and much more. Hit play below.

For more from Regina and Pat, check out some of the articles they’ve contributed to Huffington Post, their AARP blog, and their show website for the latest information on where they’re going next. Thanks so much for your time ladies!

Readers, keep your eyes on this space for our upcoming giveaway of two signed copies of Pat and Regina’s book, “The Grannies on Safari: A Travel Journal,” a photo collection of all the places they’ve been.

Funding friends across the globe: Friendly Planet Travel supports entrepreneurs through Kiva

I believe that giving back to the places you visit is a significant part of the travel experience. As a life-long traveler and president of Friendly Planet Travel, I have met and talked with people from all over the world who make our tours possible.

This includes tour guides, bus drivers, hotel concierges, and more who serve us and our travelers. Many of them are my friends.

It’s painful to watch how volatile economic and political difficulties have become, not just here at home, but everywhere, and how much of it has negatively impacted my friends around the world. That’s why I’m so happy to be a Kiva partner.

As travelers, we encounter wonderful sights, sounds, culture, beauty, history, and people. We also discover things that are less wonderful, like how difficult it is to make a living and support a family in many countries.

Too many hard-working people simply don’t have the resources or opportunities to prosper. This is especially heart-breaking to me, because in many cases, it takes a very small amount of money to fund a project.

So, motivated by a Friendly Planet team member who had recently joined the micro-lending bandwagon, Friendly Planet Travel started working with Kiva to help make a difference. Since partnering with the organization in April 2009, we have raised $36,975 to help entrepreneurs start their own businesses.

We’ve given out 1,281 loans and have been able to help motivate people including the Sr. De Malta Group of Bolivia, the Cloche Plus Group of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mrs. Cathy Ndiaye of Senegal.

This is quite an accomplishment, since the bulk of the loans have been donated in sums as low as $25 per loan. Considering that Kiva aggregates the small loans into larger amounts that borrowers can use to fund a business, it means that every one of us who can afford to lend $25 is able to help.

The cherry on top is the money is almost always repaid with interest, and the repaid loan can be used to continue lending. That means the $25 investment can reach many more recipients and help many more entrepreneurs. That, to me, is quite incredible.

We are inspired by the ability to help others through micro-lending, and we want others to join us. We plan to give away some $25 Kiva gift cards to get you started with Kiva micro-lending. If you win, you’ll be able to choose among the many worthy entrepreneurs on the Kiva website. Then, when your loan is repaid, you can donate your $25 loan to another entrepreneur.

If you’re like us, you’ll soon find another $25 of your own to add to your loan fund. But even if you can’t, you’ll still enjoy the thrill of helping someone to rise out of poverty to a better place in the world.

Stay tuned for our announcement on how to enter this giveaway. And if you bookmark our Kiva tag, you can follow all of our updates about our involvement with Kiva.

Oh, and if you absolutely can’t wait and feel ready to make your first loan without our gift card, just hop onto our Kiva group and get started right away. Either way, I promise that once you make your first loan, you’ll be hooked on this good deed, just like all of us at Friendly Planet!

Peggy’s perfect travel gear: The search is on!

We all take certain things with us when we travel. Whether it’s that tiny wallet, versatile handbag, or favorite jacket, they suit our needs well and make travel enjoyable.

But there might be some other accessories out there that could make your travels easier, safer, and more fun. So that’s why I’ve started a search party to find the perfect travel gear.

Our new blog series, “Peggy’s perfect travel gear” will tell you about the great items I find — from jackets, dresses, books, gadgets, music, and more — that will be beneficial to have on Friendly Planet Travel tours or traveling in general.

A member of the Friendly Planet team personally visits every Friendly Planet destination, follows the itineraries, and experiences all the great sites you see on our tours. So we consider ourselves pretty good judges of the types of accessories that are good to have when you travel. We’re kicking off the series this week, so keep your eyes peeled to the blog or bookmark our travel advice tag. And along the way I hope to have some more giveaways of the great travel gear I find!

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