Leaving for Cuba in:


Travel Tips


Travel Tips

Travel Tips

by Esperanza


"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal."  –Albert Pike


IVHQ  (International Volunteer Headquarters) is among the highest ranked, most affordable volunteer abroad programs. It arranges room/board/support starting at $180 (plus airfare). 

Check out Abroad Reviews to see how this organization ranks.


The advantages of volunteering:

  • Great for solo travelers
  • Travel safely to foreign countries
  • Feel like you're making a difference
  • Great way for students and retirees to see the world

  • Make friends with like-minded people
  • You're not just a tourist; experience what it’s like to live there.
  • Volunteering makes you happier!

How to get a free trip? Use Crowdfunding!

Some people raise money for volunteer costs through their church or other resources. You can also fundraise online. By using a site like GoFundMe or iSow,  friends, family, acquaintances – anyone – can donate to your cause. You simply state your goal and people can donate on a safe, encrypted site. It's an easy way for others to give you that perfect Christmas or Birthday gift . . . without shopping!



Sun, sand, all-you-can-eat buffets, drinks and entertainment!

Excellence Courtyard

Excellence Courtyard

I’ve enjoyed two Royal Caribbean cruises and I've stayed at several all-inclusive resorts. I like these trips because they're a good value but also because they take care of all your travel planning - food, side trips, entertainment. All you have to do is show up. I always come home feeling rested because my brain was in "sleep mode" the entire vacation. 

Be sure to check traveler's reviews on Trip Advisor before booking. Some all-inclusives are better than others. Although it was a bit more expensive, I had a great experience at the Excellence Resort in Riviera Maya. 

Get an extra 10% to 30% off already bargain-priced vacations!

LivingSocial and Groupon offer great deals on all-inclusive resorts and package vacations deals, some with airfare included. 

Here's a way to get an additional 10% to 20% off their already great prices.

  1. Click on the Groupon or LivingSocial link in Swagbucks "Shopping", then stores and you'll earn an additional 1% to 10% savings.
  2. Once you've chosen your trip, pay for it with Discover card and get an additional 5% to 10% cash back (on average). 
  3. Sign up for Groupon and LivingSocial email alerts and get limited-time offers for extra discounts, especially around the holidays - often an extra 7%.

Free entertainment on a cruise or all-inclusive

I don't remember who won the Suma wrestling match. I think we just fell on each other and couldn't get up. 

I don't remember who won the Suma wrestling match. I think we just fell on each other and couldn't get up. 


Gold Medal Winner of the Men’s Belly Flop Competition

Cruise ship entertainment is of the highest caliber and the Belly Flop Competition did not disappoint. Without even warming up, this gentleman performed a tsunami belly flop that earned him a perfect score from the judges.

I forgot to ask permission to use this photo so I blurred his face. (Looks kinda creepy - sorry.) It’s not my fault, however, if somebody recognizes his body!

Would you rather stay in a Castle or a Motel? 


Stay in fabulous places instead of fleabags with Airbnb!!

Rent lodging from private owners

I love Airbnb!!! (Use this link and you'll save $30 on your first booking.) Airbnb's are typically less expensive than hotels, have tons of character and kitchens to save money on meals. The hosts live locally so they give great insider tips, and staying in Airbnb's gives you the experience of living as a local. Here's where I want to stay in Paris, Houseboat under the Eiffel Tower.