Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mini ESCAPE from the Norm


A couple friends and I recently went to the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I currently live about three hours away from Tulsa, so it was an easy drive to break up the mundane everyday life. Once I saw the Philbrook Museum of Art, I could not resist a mini vaca to the museum. The grounds are by far the most spectacular gardens that I have seen in the mid west. The house used to be family owned and then was donated to become the museum that it is today. The art ranges from every style imaginable and can capture any viewer's imagination. There is also a splendid little restaurant in the museum that is great for anything from a cappuccino to a full meal. 





The area surrounding the museum is a beauty of its own. The private homes are a delight to drive by, spinning your imagination and sense of wonder. Tulsa holds many other little delights, from museum and casinos to wonderful restaurants and shopping. It is a wonderful change up from the everyday routine in the little town of Springfield, MO. Check it out if you have the chance.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Travel Bug Hold Over


I have recently taken up jogging and cycling. When I can, I use a wonderful trail called the Frisco Highline Trail near my apartment. It is a 35-mile trail that goes from Springfield, MO to Bolivar, MO, it is perfect for walks, jogs, runs, cycling, rollerblading, etc. There are some magnificent views along the as well. These pictures are from the southern portion going north towards Bolivar. On the Bolivar side there are dozens of bridges that I have yet to see, but I can't wait!

This is a picture perfect farm that I saw around the seven mile marker. I just couldn't pass it without taking a picture.
 This is what I saw hitting the eight mile marker. It explains its self.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How to Get From Point A to Point B Without Breaking the Bank


When you are out on the road, the main concern is how to get from point A to point B. I have found a few inexpensive options for short distance transportation options but airfare is hard to come by "on the cheap."  However, here are some ideas to help keep those costs down.

Use the Bus! There are many different bus options from country to country or just to the next block, using bus transportation is a great option for all lengths of travel.
  • http://www.eurolines.co.uk/coach/index.aspx
  • http://uk.megabus.com/Default.aspx
Trains are another wonderful option for both long and short distances. Many cities are incorporating metro systems into their city plans and in places like Europe; trains are used frequently for country city or country hopping.
  • http://www.raileurope.com/index.html
  • http://www.railroaddata.com/
Rideshare is not extinct! This is not a lost art of the 60s and 70s. You can still hitch a ride, however, this requires a bit more due diligence in the sense that one should use common sense before hopping into a car for a long distance drive with someone you don't know. Just be sure you are safe.
  • http://www.erideshare.com/
  • http://www.rideshare.co.uk/
Many cities offer Motorcycle/Moped Rentals. You can rent them by the hour or even by the week. Mopeds are usually much cheaper than motorcycle rentals and are great for getting around the tight streets in major cities. Just be sure they do not require special permits before booking a rental!
  • http://www.admo-tours.com/
  • http://www.ridetheworld.com/
  • http://www.imtbike.com/
  • http://www.smtours.com/
  • http://www.bosenberg.com/
  • http://www.mototouring.com/
Bicycles are extremely cheap to rent. Again, you can rent them either by the day or even a week or more. Some cities are initiating a "free ride" so to speak. You can by a pass to check out bikes at kiosks then ride them to your destination and drop them of at another kiosk. Paris has a wonderful bike checkout program.
  • http://www.bikerentalsplus.com/
  • http://www.budgettravel.com/feature/rent-a-bike-in-europe-for-nearly-nothing,2492/
  • https://aboen-paris.cyclocity.fr/
  • http://www.ecobusinesslinks.com/city-bike-sharing.htm (different cities and their own programs)
Walking of course is a wonderful way for getting from point A to point B for FREE but it is also a great way to find the unique fun way to discover a city. 

The major expense of travel is airfare. There isn't a cheap way to get a cheap flight, however, NEVER settle at just one site. Compare several sites and several dates before settling on a flight.
  • http://www.Yapta.com
  • http://www.FareCompare.com
  • http://www.Fly.com
  • http://www.bookingbuddy.com  (really neat compares lots of sites and no popup windows!)
  • http://www.whichbudget.com
  • http://www.CheapOair.com

Monday, March 19, 2012

Temporarily Satisfying Your Travel Bug

If you're like me you have a constant urge to travel that nothing can suppress. However, between your traveling there are a few things that you can do to tide you over until your next bit trip.

1. Take a weekend trip to a near by destination.
2. Drive to a near by town and check out their museums and shops.
3. Go to Vegas for the weekend, a lot of make airlines offer extremely low direct ticket flights to Vegas. And hotels in Vegas are constantly having specials. Check out travelzoo for some amazing Vegas deals.
4. Take a long bicycle or motorcycle ride. Plan out your trip to include a couple of towns that you haven't been too before. And just have fun exploring, be sure to take enough water!
5. My personal favorite is to drive around and try to get lost. You can find some incredible places this way. I just pick a random back country road and just drive.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Teaching English as a Second Language aka Free Room and Board!!!


Have you ever thought about teaching as a career? But decided to go for a different major instead? Well here is your chance to teach! You can have an all expense paid trip for as little as two weeks to up to a year teaching English as a second language!

The shorter trips such as with VaughanTeacher you get to stay in resorts, free! All you have to do is spend a good part of your day conversing in English with the program participants. You do not have to do anything extreme.

There are also other long-term options, getting your TESL certificate and teaching aboard in certain locations in a more permanent basis. Just be leery of the TESL certifications you can find online. A lot of them will fly you to an exotic place and get you certified for thousands of dollars but others will give you the certification while in training to teach in your new location for the at cost pricing.

However, you do not have to have a TESL certificate, it just depends and where you want to go. You can look up teaching as a second language positions by the country, even city that you want to go to. Most places will include living expenses and travel expenses in the arrangement along with your salary; all you have to do is show up for work!

Here are a few short-term TESL programs, you do not need a TESL certificate for these programs, but you do need at least a Bachelors Degree.

       http://www.vaughanteacher.com/ (spain)
       http://www.morethanenglish.com/ (spain)
       http://www.englischhausen.de/anglos.html (Germany)
       http://www.svp-uk.com/home (Sudan)

For a TESL Certificate program, there are many different options. Many community colleges, online colleges, and universities offer certificates or even degrees in TESL. Browse around and find on that works best for you.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Affordable Places to Stay


If couch surfing is not your idea of a fun then there are several other affordable options. Hostels of course are the number one choice with some places as low as three dollars a night! Although the average runs about seventeen dollars a night, here are a few great hostel sites. Hostels do not usually have age limits however, if it is the busy season they may choose to give beds to younger travelers, also you need to be aware if you will need your own bedding or if you can rent bedding, many hostels do not allow sleeping bags, just a heads up! 

A more expensive option, but some are still affordable, are hotels/motels. Listed below are some easy hotel search sites. Keep in mind hotels will be on average the cost of a hotel will be double that of a hostel, possibly much higher depending on how much you are willing to spend. Remember you will not be spending a lot of time in your hostel/hotel so there is no need to spend a fortune on it, it is just a place to rest your head at night!

       Hostels
       http://www.hostels.com/
       http://www.hostelbookers.com/
       http://www.hostelworld.com/
       http://www.hihostels.com/
       http://www.hostelz.com/
       Hotels
      http://www.kayak.com 
       http://www.eurocheapo.com

Friday, March 16, 2012

Free Lodging


In my research, I have found that it is possible to find places to stay free. These ideas can be a little quirky and are not for the shy or even the squeamish. Nevertheless, they will give you a place to rest your head at night after a long day of adventuring.

•       Caretakers - Being a caretaker is a great way to stay in one location for a long period.
•       www.housesittersinternational.com
•       www.housesitworld.com
•       www.mindmyhouse.com
•       www.housecarers.com
•       www.caretaker.org 

Couch surfing, Global Freeloaders, Hospitality Club and Home swaps are more of a short-term stay. Usually not for more than a night, unless you really hit it off with your host. 

•       http://www.couchsurfing.com
•       http://www.globalfreeloaders.com
•       http://www.hospitalityclub.org/
•       Home Swap with Strangers

Always be courteous to your host, offer to pay for meals, do chores, help in any way, remember they are hosting you out of the kindness of their heart, show respect to them in turn.