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Unite Against Terror

Designed to Fail: Weak Christmas Lights

Christmas 2I first used the word “fragile” in the title of this rant, but I thought weak was more appropriate. I make that note because I am sure I would have plenty of people reminding me that light bulbs are by nature fragile, so take care. I am not talking about the fact that if you drop them, step on them or otherwise destroy them, you get what you deserve. I am talking about how these light bulbs have the life span seemingly equal to that of a short-lived to fly, or something another educational sounding reference. Is this just Murphy having a good laugh at my expense that after I have so proudly mentioned earlier that I hung my lights early this year, beating the snow, that the bulbs at the absolute highest point on my house have already burned out?

These are brand new bulbs! And to add to my argument, these are bulbs for Christmas lights – you’d think they would be built to be a little hearty considering how they are supposed to be used. Mounted on a house, with no shortage of getting bounced around in the process, left out in the cold and burned at for hours on end. Isn’t this what they are designed to do? I refuse to get up on my slick roof now just to change out a few bulbs, but they bug me every time I drive up to the house at night – those gaps in my nicely hung uniform lines just glare brightly with the absence of what should belong. I never realized the absence of light could stand out in such a pronounced fashion. No longer do people notice what you have displayed, rather what is missing.

Christmas 2

Let’s move indoors now to those little cheap strings of lights we encircle our tree with. These quaint little bulbs seem near indestructible when you look at them. You throw that strand round and round and end up with a nice little display to compliment that traditional tree. If you make it through the actual hanging process intact, chances are within the coming weeks, prior to Christmas of course, a bulb or two will go out. If you get the more expensive variety, one bulb out is no problem, the rest of the strand looks great. But, if you were cheap and got the lowest priced variety, the whole strand is a goner, leaving you to guess at which bulb is the culprit. Ever spent 15 minutes tearing up your fingertips pulling out and replacing each bulb one at a time in a seemingly futile effort to rejuvenate your lighting display? Ever felt your blood pressure rise through the roof because you made it all the way to the end of the strand, and it still didn’t start working. Argh! This means there are two or more bulbs now out. Trust me, pony up for the better variety with redundancy built into the wiring. Your sanity will thank you. Either that or just toss the strand that goes out and gets a new one, which is, of course, a great example of our throwaway attitude this day.

Christmas 2

Christmas is the season of good cheer and happy thoughts. I remind myself of that every time those nagging burnt out bulbs show up. Just think happy thoughts.

Christmas 2I first used the word “fragile” in the title of this rant, but I thought weak was more appropriate. I make that note because I am sure I would have plenty of people reminding me that light bulbs are by nature fragile, so take care. I am not talking about the fact that if you drop them, step on them or otherwise destroy them, you get what you deserve. I am talking about how these light bulbs have the life span seemingly equal to that of a short-lived to fly, or something another educational sounding reference. Is this just Murphy having a good laugh at my expense that after I have so proudly mentioned earlier that I hung my lights early this year, beating the snow, that the bulbs at the absolute highest point on my house have already burned out?

These are brand new bulbs! And to add to my argument, these are bulbs for Christmas lights – you’d think they would be built to be a little hearty considering how they are supposed to be used. Mounted on a house, with no shortage of getting bounced around in the process, left out in the cold and burned at for hours on end. Isn’t this what they are designed to do? I refuse to get up on my slick roof now just to change out a few bulbs, but they bug me every time I drive up to the house at night – those gaps in my nicely hung uniform lines just glare brightly with the absence of what should belong. I never realized the absence of light could stand out in such a pronounced fashion. No longer do people notice what you have displayed, rather what is missing.

Christmas 2

Let’s move indoors now to those little cheap strings of lights we encircle our tree with. These quaint little bulbs seem near indestructible when you look at them. You throw that strand round and round and end up with a nice little display to compliment that traditional tree. If you make it through the actual hanging process intact, chances are within the coming weeks, prior to Christmas of course, a bulb or two will go out. If you get the more expensive variety, one bulb out is no problem, the rest of the strand looks great. But, if you were cheap and got the lowest priced variety, the whole strand is a goner, leaving you to guess at which bulb is the culprit. Ever spent 15 minutes tearing up your fingertips pulling out and replacing each bulb one at a time in a seemingly futile effort to rejuvenate your lighting display? Ever felt your blood pressure rise through the roof because you made it all the way to the end of the strand, and it still didn’t start working. Argh! This means there are two or more bulbs now out. Trust me, pony up for the better variety with redundancy built into the wiring. Your sanity will thank you. Either that or just toss the strand that goes out and gets a new one, which is, of course, a great example of our throwaway attitude this day.

Christmas 2

Christmas is the season of good cheer and happy thoughts. I remind myself of that every time those nagging burnt out bulbs show up. Just think happy thoughts.

Kinross Gold Corp is talking with three main lenders on its $1.6 billion Tasiast gold mine expansion and will review terms later this month, though the project looks unlikely if gold prices do not rebound, the company said on Thursday.

Kinross, the world’s fifth-largest gold producer by output, said it has not yet made a decision on Tasiast, its biggest expansion project, but plans to issue an update at the end of the first quarter of 2015.

gold

Repeating that it would not advance any project that weakens its balance sheet, Kinross said key lenders considering the project are Export Development Canada, the government’s export credit agency; the U.S. Export-Import Bank, an export development branch of the U.S. government; and French development agency Proparco.

Toronto-based Kinross, which reported better-than-expected quarterly results after markets closed on Wednesday, has said it is considering financing of $700 million to $750 million toward Tasiast, with the balance from existing cash balances and cash flow.

gold

The price of gold, which plunged 28 percent last year, has recently slumped to four-year lows. On Thursday, prices edged slightly higher to $1,144.70 an ounce as a retreat in the dollar relieved some pressure.

“At $1,100 gold, all of our mines are forecast to be cash flow positive, with the exception of Tasiast. In fact, the same is true for $1,000 gold, when the current oil price and foreign currency exchange is factored in,” Chief Executive Paul Rollinson said on a conference call with analysts.

gold

“Nevertheless, we will continue to look for ways to further optimize our operations and reduce costs. As we begin our 2015 budgeting process, there are a number of discretionary options we will focus on in order to reduce spending without impacting operations.”

Kinross, which has operations in North and South America, Africa and Russia, currently benefits from a lower oil price and weaker foreign currencies relative to the U.S. dollar, Rollinson said.

gold

Gold producers are looking for ways to further reduce costs as the price of bullion slides, considering job cuts, shutting mines, halting projects and scrapping dividends.

Kinross shares jumped 32 Canadian cents to C$2.59 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday morning. Dundee Capital Markets analyst John Wolfson said the share gains stem primarily from the strong quarter and operating results.

CME Group, alongside Thomson Reuters, has simplified and made more secure the silver price bench-marking system, it said.

The two parties jointly rolled out their new silver price bench-marking system on August 15 after winning the administration of the process in July.

“We’re very proud of what we have been able to accomplish in our partnership with the LMBA, Thomson Reuters and the silver market in such a short time,” Harriet Hunnable, managing director of precious metals at CME Group, said at a media briefing here on Wednesday.

silver

“[To improve the system] we’ve done some simple things, like making it easier to see. The traders wanted to have bigger fonts, so we did that. But we also did technology work as it relates to security requirements,” she added.

Its main focus is to provide increased functionality to facilitate central clearing, CME also said.

“It became very clear when we went into silver that the bilateral settlement that it would be better for the marketplace to have central clearing, which enables a much wider group of participants to come in and transact,” Hunnable added. “It also means that they are transacting with each other, which means much less counter-party risk.”

Under the new rules, the price discovery takes place at noon London time via an electronic auction, with each auction round lasting 30 seconds.

An opening price is selected; participants then decide how much they would like to buy and sell at that price.

If the discrepancy between buy and sell orders is more than 300,000 ounces, the auction price will change and the auction will restart. Each time the auction restarts, it clears the order book entirely – any orders must be re-entered.

This process repeats until the buy and sell volumes are within that 300,000-ounce tolerance level, at which point the London Silver Price is set.

Amid tighter regulatory requirements for verifiable data, CME says that it will be able to show that not only were the trades agreed upon but they also were settled, giving total confidence that the price reflects true buying and selling, Hunnable said.

“In a very short time, we’ve taken a market that was doing this on pen and paper on the telephone to an electronic platform,” she added. “We have moved from a small group – we have almost doubled our participants that are signed up and active in the silver platform today.”

silver

“This is the end of old club, so there’s no fixed number. The LBMA sets the criteria and we think it’s important that the level of participant goes up but we don’t take a view on that the right level might be,” she said.

JP-Morgan Chase Bank became the fifth accredited member of the silver pricing benchmark last week, alongside HSBC Bank USA, Mitsui & Co Precious Metals, The Bank of Nova Scotia-ScotiaMocatta and UBS AG.

CME Group/Thomson Reuters have also submitted a combined bid to the LBMA for the administration of the new gold price bench-marking mechanism, alongside seven other proposals. The LBMA hopes to make a decision next month, with the new system to be implemented later this year or early in 2015.

“The scale for gold is much bigger. So is the fact that we have been through a transition and we know that the technology works. We have set rules and we know the code of conduct. This will make the transition for gold much easier. This is proven and is the only ready platform,” Hunnable said.

The ancient city of Fez beckons the traveler with a plethora of medieval delights, sights, sounds and sensory experiences that heartily encompass the soul of old Morocco. The walled city (dating to the ninth century) remains devoted to its history and culture. Home to hundreds of mosques, the city embraces stately Muslim traditions while showcasing for visitors such attractions as exquisite architectural wonders and a spicy cuisine all its own. A labyrinth of mysticism, sections of Fez take the visitor back in time hundreds of years, an inviting and compelling trip to the past. While in Fez, stay in a traditional riad house, take an authentic cooking class and tour a stunning medersa, all located in the famous Medina of Fez.

Fez, Morocco Riad Saada Fez

Located in the heart of the Fez Medina, this extraordinary guest house is a heritage site available for rental. Two families live here and assist with all aspects of the guest stay including cooking and sightseeing. They aim to give the visitor a more authentic experience of Morocco via their beautiful and historic riad house, which comes complete with all amenities. Enjoy a home-cooked meal with such traditional choices as couscous with lamb or beef and seasonal vegetables or pigeon tajine with peas.

Riad Saada Fes
Rabia et Pierre Mure
44 Bois du Luget
33290 LE PIAN MEDOC
011 (+33) 5 56 70 29 56
www.riadsaada.com/

Medersa el-Attarine

Don’t miss the beautifully decorated Medersa el-Attarine (also known as Attarine Madrasa), located by the spice and perfume market in the Medina of Fez. (A madrasa is a religious school.) The Medersa el-Attarine, with its spectacular rectangular courtyard, was commissioned by the Marinid Sultan Ya’qub Abu Said Uthman II, and completed in 1325. It features masterpieces in tile, centering around the word “Allah” in calligraphy and expanding to fill the confines of the courtyard.

Fez Cooking Class

Known as the capital of Moroccan cuisine, Fez is the ideal place to take a class in Moroccan cooking. You’ll learn traditional methods of preparing pastilla, couscous, harira and other dishes in this hands-on class that begins with a trip to the souks, or local marketplace, for fresh ingredients. It’s a complete Fez cooking and eating experience.

Everyone loves Mario. He hosts the popular Food Network shows “Ciao America,” “Molto Mario” and appears on the “Iron Chef America” for exciting culinary battles with other top chefs. In his Columbo style rumpled shorts and rolled up sleeves, this burly red-headed Italian chef with saffron stained fingers quickly grows on you. His high paced, informative shows peak a desire to taste these amazing dishes he prepares. If you want to try his excellent culinary fare without trying to cook it yourself, it is available in restaurants in Las Vegas, Nevada and Los Angeles, California, and in New York. New York locals and visitors recommend you try these highly favored (or highly flavored) Mario Batali New York Restaurants.

Babbo Ristorante

Mario’s original Babbo Ristorante, located in Greenwich Village, is one place you do not want to miss while in New York. Reserve one month in advance, if you know when you will be in town, and walk-ins are welcome, but expect to wait. The menu changes nightly, and it is far from ordinary Italian gourmet food, exquisitely prepared and presented. The Italian wine list is around 20 pages, with reasonably priced wines by the quartino. The ambiance is beautiful, busy, yet romantic for two, and the waitstaff and sommeliers are attentive and eager to make your experience memorable. To suggest what to eat seems silly, because everything is wonderful, but if you are in the mood for hand made pasta, try the Chianti stained pappardelle with wild boar ragu, or black spaghetti with sea urchin. After a possible four courses, leave room for desserts. The wonderful maple and mascarpone cheesecake will end the evening perfectly.

Babbo Ristorante
110 Waverly Place
New York, NY 10011
(212) 777-0303
babbonyc.com

Mario Batali Restaurants in New York

Lupa

For a taste of late night Roman styled trattoria, Lupa is the place to dine. The staff is friendly, casual dress is fine and it is open from noon to midnight. This is a great after-theater place to unwind and try some delicious food. Its excellent waitstaff, seasonal menu and extensive wine list makes Lupa a perfect place to bring a date. Try their piatto del giorno (plate of the day) for a treat, or go all out and select from antipasti such as prosciutto di parma or try an antipasti sampler for $25. For a first course, try linguine and clams with fennel and sopressatta, and if there is room for seconds, try the fluke with spinach and fried shallots. The formaggi, or cheese sampler is a great way to finish the evening with a nice wine, or end with a dessert wine from its varied selection. Be prepared to spend at least $30 to $50 per person for food.

If you are planning a private party, Lupa has two fixed-price dinner menus to select from and can accommodate between seven and 30 people. Call Marcella for daytime private party options as well.

Lupa
170 Thompson St.
New York, NY 10012
(212) 982-5089
luparestaurant.com

Esca

If you love seafood, get ready for an amazing dining experience at Esca, for the tastes of southern Italy. Located in the theater district of Times Square, this always fresh, always sophisticated, extremely delicious gourmet restaurant delivers satisfaction in every way. As you might expect, the menu is driven by the fresh fish market of the day, and rest assured whatever is available will excite the palate. Try the Branzino per Due, a whole Mediterranean sea-bass for two cooked in sea salt, or experience the crudo (raw) menu. Try the crudo tasting for six unique samplings of raw seafood for just $30. For a walk on the wild side try a handmade pasta dish of spaghetti that you are certain to find original with chilies, mint and a 1-pound lobster.

For a truly exquisite feast of flavors dive into their tasting menu and expect to sample gourmet dishes for over two hours for just $75 per person or $120 with wine pairings. Esca is business casual open for lunch until 2:30 pm, and dinner begins at five o’clock.

Esca
402 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036-6322
(212) 564-7272
esca-nyc.com

Casa Mono

Casa Mono is a Mario Batali Spanish taverna with a wine list of more than 600 varietals to choose from and several sherries. Reserve a month in advance or walk in and enjoy a meal at the dining counter. Enjoy tapas-style dining here along with traditional entrees and appetizers. The menu changes often, keeping locals on their toes in a quaint, small and casual atmosphere. It is open from noon to midnight and you can expect to pay between $9 and $20 per plate.

Casa Mono
52 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003
(212) 253-2773
casamononyc.com

Bar Jamon

This is Mario’s smaller version of Casa Mono, located just adjacent from each other. Bar Jamon is more of a bar atmosphere and a little less expensive Spanish tapas. This is a wonderfully casual spot to come and enjoy some trendy dishes. Local foodies love frequenting here, and the wine list is great to enjoy with their Spanish hams, cheeses and small plates.

Bar Jamon
52 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003
(212) 253-2773
barjamonnyc.com

Mario Batali Restaurants in New York

Del Posto

This is another high-class Batali restaurant with a menu featuring Italy’s regional variations. They call the Italian American cooking style “cucina classica,” or classic Italian, producing legitimate traditional Italian gourmet cuisine. Dress is formal, suit jacket preferred, and expect to pay $50 and up per person. Start with lobster salad fra diavola with broccoli rabe and dried orange, and finish with Dover sole with chestnuts, watercress, black truffles and trumpets. This is another restaurant accepting reservations one-month in advance, and walk-ins or same-day reservations are available in the Enoteca (wine cellar). Private rooms are available for groups of 12 to 250 people.

Del Posto
85 Tenth Ave.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 497-8090
delposto.com

OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria

OTTO offers affordable pizza and pasta meals and is kid friendly with a warm atmosphere in Greenwich Village. Find OTTO on 8th Street in the One, Fifth Avenue building. It has a unique olive oil gelato, which is well worth trying, and an all-Italian wine list with more than 700 bottles from which to choose and enjoy with your meal.

OTTO Enoteca Pizzeria
1 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10003-4312
(212) 995-9559
ottopizzeria.com

The Spotted Pig

The Spotted Pig serves seasonal British and Italian cuisine with local fresh ingredients, and it is open until 2 a.m. every day. Street parking is usually available, and a parking lot is located across Greenwich Street. Walk-ins are welcome, but call ahead to find out the approximate wait time. The menu is affordable and interesting. Try the Roquefort burger with shoestring fries and your choice of vegetable with a beer, or enjoy a bottle of wine from the varied list. This is a nice pub atmosphere with some true fatty British pub food to match.

The Spotted Pig
314 West 11th St.
at Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10014
(212) 620-0393
thespottedpig.com

IRELANDIf you want to move to Ireland, you could use to understand, or at least to know about two things in particular: customs and superstitions. When they greet someone, the Irish use general phrases such as “Hello” or “how are you?”. Not few will be the situations when you will hear people saying “Dia dhuit”, which means “May the Lord be With You”. When you’re talking to someone look him in the eyes because this will earn his trust. If you’re invited into an Irish home, make sure that you appear on time. The Irish are proud about their sense of humor and they are always teasing their friends, so, if you’re teased, do not take it too seriously.

Regarding the habits of the business world, it’s good to shake hands with all who attend a session, both in the beginning and in the end of it. Many business people have business cards, so if you give someone your cars and you IRELANDwill not get another one back, don’t feel offended. In general, business is made in usual places, such as restaurants and pubs. Similarly, the custom is to participate to discussions, because it is assumed that all need to be involved. Irish business culture is known to be much more relaxed than in many other places in Europe.

Many of us are familiar with such clichés as “luck of the Irish”, “bucket of gold” or “four leaf clover”, but not many of us know the practical information to move to Ireland. Here are some interesting examples: throwing coins on the side of a ship brings the storm and the water that washes the feet should never be thrown during the night. During a storm, make sure you’ve covered or flipped all the mirrors in the house. When someone buy a car, you should give him money.

Using knee braces for hiking reduces the strain on your lower legs and makes the walk easier. Anyone who has ever felt pain after going for a hike should consider investing in the best knee braces for their specific need. There are a few different types of knee braces that are the best for hiking.

Best Knee Braces for Hiking
Jumper’s Knee Braces

Braces for jumper’s knee takes the form of a cap that fits over your knee and offer support behind the leg. Jumper’s knee is a condition caused by strain on the tendon in the knee, which worsens when more pressure is placed on the knee during a hike. These braces typically look like a cloth strap that stays closed by an attached Velcro piece. The advantage is that the braces come in different sizes for the perfect fit. Additionally you can use the knee brace with a leg warmer or pair of flannel pants in the winter months when the pain worsens.

Best Knee Braces for Hiking

Rough Terrain Braces

This type of knee brace works if you plan on hiking in rough areas or in harsh terrain, but also in areas where the terrain changes. Some hikers also prefer using them in situations where they’re afraid of losing their balance or falling. These braces look like knee caps and are made to mimic the look of the lower leg for a better and more comfortable fit. The braces are extremely lightweight, but contain an outer covering that protects the skin in case of a fall. You can easily slide one of these braces inside your backpack in case you need it later. These braces are typically worn underneath shorts, but are often too tight for wearing on top of clothes.

Best Knee Braces for Hiking

Dual Action Knee Braces

Dual action knee braces are the ones used most often by hikers and available from a wide variety of shops, including mass merchandise stores like Wal-Mart and sporting goods stores. These look similar to an elastic bandage, with the brace fitting over the upper part and lower part of the knee, while the knee is open. The braces are best if you’re currently suffering from an injury or if you’ve had an injury in the recent past. The braces work when worn underneath the clothes or above the clothes. The braces are available from a variety of different retailers, including the Ace bandage company, which makes them in different sizes and for both men and women.

If you’re planning on camping in a remote destination, or a place where your vehicle is a far distance from your campsite, then it might be time to invest in a lightweight tent. These tents are just as strong and roomy as the heavier models, but have the added advantage of not weighing down your gear. You can even opt for ultra lightweight
tents, which weigh just that much less.

Single-Wall Tents

Single-wall tents are the lightest type of tent available on the market because these tents have just one layer of fabric. The poles for the tents fit into attached pockets or holes on the outside of the tent, which can also take the form of clips that hold the poles in place. The disadvantage to this type of lightweight tent is that the roof can leak, causing your gear to get wet. Using a waterproofing spray on the top and sides of the tent often prevents this from happening.

About Lightweight Camping Tents

Solo Tents

Solo tents are extremely lightweight because these tents were designed to only fit one person, which is perfect for camping on your own. These tents work in all climates and year-round, but because of the size, many people prefer a larger tent. If you’re interested in a solo lightweight tent, try one from Black Diamond, like the One Shot. This tent uses only two poles and weighs less than the regular packed backpack.

Features

Most lightweight tents come with aluminum poles, which cut down on the weight. The poles also cutback on the size of the tent when fully packed because the poles fold into each other. These tents also have no windows or doors because those things require additional zippers, which increases the weight of the tent. The tents consist of a lightweight fabric that slides over the poles, leaving an opening in one end for climbing inside. Some of these tents rely on a one-pole system to cutback on weight even more.

About Lightweight Camping Tents

Manufacturers

There are a wide range of manufacturers making lightweight and ultra lightweight tents for camping. In addition to Black Diamond, North Face and MSR also make these tents. If you’re shopping for one, you can look at sporting goods stores, or even shops like Wal-Mart and Target, both of which sell tents in the sporting goods department. The best thing to do is pick up the tent in its bag and carry it around the store for a short period of time, which gives you a feel of how heavy the tent will be when carrying it on the trail.

Considerations

Keep in mind that most of these tents don’t come with stakes or anything that tethers it to the ground, nor do they come with a spot for stakes once they are setup. If you’re interested in making the tent more stable, you can place large rocks on the edges of the tent. If you’re shopping online, also keep in mind that the weight of the tent listed may not be the actual weight as some manufacturers list the size of the tent without the poles or bag added.

The winter months can be some of the most difficult during which to consistently locate and catch bass. During this time of year, the water is cold and the metabolism of the fish is very slow. As a result, the bass do not need to eat much and will not expend much energy chasing down a meal. However, for those anglers who want to fish year-round, there are bass to be caught in the winter.

Bass Fishing Tips for the Winter

Find the Bass

Since the water temperature is so cold, bass are not likely to chase a bait that is moving quickly. As a result, the spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits that you relied upon to find fish when the water was warmer are all but useless now. The bass will take a meal if they can get it, but they will not work too hard to get it. As a result, slow-moving lures like large plastic worms, jigs and pigs, jigging spoons and crankbaits with a slow, wide wobble are best during the winter. But since you are fishing with slow-moving lures, you need to find the bass before you begin fishing. A fishfinder is particularly helpful. Look around points, ridges and humps that are near the main creek channel. Clear-water areas also tend to produce better than stained- or dirty-water areas. Look for bait fish, too, like shad. The bass may not chase them all day long, but they will be near their food sources.

Bass Fishing Tips for the Winter

Slow Fish

A spinner-bait that zooms by a bass’s nose likely will not draw a second look from the fish, but a big jig and pig that weighs 1/2-oz. or more and is retrieved slowly along the bottom might be just the ticket. Since bass have to expend energy to eat, and since they do not have much extra energy when the water is cold in the winter, choose a large, slow-moving bait. The bass will see that it is moving slow, so it should be easy to catch, and also that it is big, so the bass does not have to eat again for a while.

Bass Fishing Tips for the WinterDrop a Spoon

Jigging spoons can be especially productive in the winter, because bass are often found in schools. Once anglers locate those schools of bass, dropping a jigging spoon into the school and lifting up and letting it drop is a good way to entice bass to bite. Since anglers fish a jigging spoon in a vertical fashion, they also can fish very specific areas that are holding bass. The distance you raise and lower the jigging spoon is an important part of getting bass to bite. Experiment until the bass let you know which they prefer.

Temper Your Expectations

The bass angler who heads to the water in the winter and expects to catch large numbers of bass is likely to be disappointed. Most anglers who fish during the winter months consider a couple of quality bass per day to be pretty good.

In times when there is not much money to be spent on things such as vacations, many people become more interested in the kinds of ways to take vacations without breaking the bank. A cheap vacation can have some serious advantages as well as some potential disadvantages.

Types

Some cheap vacations include going camping, staying with relatives or visiting destinations that include free admission–like the beach or national museums.

Vacation

Considerations

Depending on the price of gas at the time of a trip, it is not always cheaper to drive. In fact, if you have frequent flyer miles, you may be able to buy one or more tickets for next to nothing.

Vacation

Potential

Cheap vacations often leave more time for things that are more relaxing because you’re not booked up on expensive side trips. A cheap vacation sometimes becomes a family tradition because it gives families more time to talk and play together.

Vacation

Time Frame

Plan to travel in off-peak seasons. While it is harder to find time to travel during these times of the year, those who do plan on traveling at this time are rewarded with cheaper hotel rooms, cheaper airfare and cheaper rental cars.

Benefits

If the vacation is part of a family trip, parents can include their children in the planning process. This will help children learn how to balance budgets and understand the differences between wants and needs.