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Travel Hacks: 8 Ways To Vacation Like A VIP At A Fraction Of The Cost

Travel Hacks: 8 Ways To Vacation Like A VIP At A Fraction Of The Cost

Studies have proven that traveling is good for people for a wide variety of reasons. Unfortunately, the reality is that many people can barely afford a staycation, let alone a fancy trip. The good news is that there are many travel hacks that not only help you see the world but also make it possible to have a VIP experience.

1. Use Proven Tricks For Getting Upgraded To First Class

There are several ways to receive a complementary upgrade to first class, but most people do not get to experience this VIP style of travel because they leave everything to chance. Instead of merely hoping for an upgrade, you need to take action! One of the best things that you can do is be friendly and polite to the gate attendants. It is also wise to arrive at the gate as early as possible, and do not hesitate to ask if a first class upgrade is available. Being part of an airline’s frequent-flyer club is another way to increase your odds of getting bumped to first class, especially if you are above the first membership tier.

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2. Take Advantage Of Empty Legs For Large Discounts On Private Charters

Have you ever dreamed of chartering a private jet? This is definitely a VIP experience, and it comes with a luxury price tag. While it could be out of reach for budget-conscious individuals, booking an empty leg can make a private charter much more affordable.

An empty leg is an aviation term for flying a plane from one place to another without any passengers on board. This happens when a private charter needs to meet people at an airport other than the one where it is currently located. Budget travelers can save up to 75 percent with an empty leg via services such as Air Charter Service. This will still be more expensive than flying coach, but if you split the cost with several friends, you can fly like a VIP.

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3. Utilize Rental Homes To Save Money And Improve Your Travel Experience

Most people assume that hotels and B&Bs offer the most affordable non-hostel lodging worldwide, but this is not always correct. In fact, rental homes such as those found on Airbnb and VRBO are often cheaper and more strategically located. Even if the rental homes in your desired area have pricing that is on par with the local hotels, you will earn the convenience of being able to cook your own meals. This one aspect often makes rental properties a more appealing and cost-effective choice.

4. Lock In VIP Experiences Through Discount Sites

Groupon, Living Social, and other similar online discount sites frequently feature VIP experiences at a dramatically reduced price. For example, NASCAR fans can ride-along or even take the wheel during the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience, which Groupon discounts by up to 55 percent. Doing something of this nature would be a dream come true for many individuals, but the regular price is not very affordable. By turning to an online discount site, you can lock in unusual VIP experiences at a fraction of their original cost.

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5. Watch For Flash Sales To Get The Best Airline Prices

Most airlines offer at least one or two flash sales per year, and you may also be able to take advantage of flash sales for hotels and rental cars. The trick is to pay constant attention to your airline of choice because these sales go very quickly. It will also be necessary to choose one of the designated routes to get the often heavily discounted price. In other words, it helps to be flexible with your exact travel dates and the locations you are willing to visit.

6. Choose A Destination With A Good Exchange Rate To Stretch Your Dollar

If you select your destination based on the best possible exchange rate, it is possible to save as much as 50 percent on your basic traveling expenses. Right now, U.S. residents can get the most bang for their buck from desirable destinations such as Canada and South Africa.

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7. Use A Traveler’s Credit Card And Join Every Applicable Rewards Program

Getting a traveler’s credit card and combing this with hotel and airfare rewards programs is the best way to leverage your money. Paying for all of your monthly expenses with a traveler’s credit card will enable you to save up enough points to fly for free. Just make sure that you pay off your card monthly to avoid interest fees.

8. Dress The Part

You can improve your odds of getting complimentary upgrades to first class by dressing the part. Even if you are going on vacation instead of traveling for business, it is best to dress as if you are headed to a business meeting. This will not guarantee you an upgrade, but it will make others more likely to treat you like a VIP and give you any potential upgrades or perks.

Now that you know how to enhance your next trip without spending a ton of money, it’s time to start making travel plans! After all, traveling boosts creativity and health, so it is truly one of the best things that you can do for yourself.

Featured photo credit: FirmBee via pixabay.com

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Holly Chavez

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Last Updated on October 15, 2018

Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

“Why am I so tired?” is a question that people ask themselves pretty frequently. Everyone gets tired at one point or another, particularly after something like an illness, a long night up with a sick child, or a busy week at work. When tiredness is persistent, however — when you feel tired as soon as you wake up in morning or when sleep doesn’t seem to help, no matter how much rest you get— it may often indicate a deeper, underlying problem.

While there are a lot of possible reasons for tiredness, here’re some of the most common causes of fatigue:

1. Dehydration

If you want to boost your energy levels, first check whether you are dehydrated. The human brain is 85% water, and needs to maintain this level in order to perform its essential functions.

If you fail to drink enough water, the brain extracts fluids from your blood to compensate for the deficit. As a result, the oxygen levels in your blood drop, reducing the amount of energising oxygen available to your organs and tissues. Fatigue and sleepiness set in rapidly, leaving you more vulnerable to the 2 pm post-lunch crash that many of us experience.

You cannot cure this crash with caffeine – the only long-term, effective solution is to drink hydrating fluids throughout the day.

2. Lack Of Exercise

A workout will surely leave you feeling even more tired, right? Wrong! As counterintuitive as it may sound, physical activities have an energizing effect. Moving your body releases endorphins, increases your heart rate, and boosts your concentration.

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Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise every day. It’s easiest if you can make this part of our everyday routine, either as soon as you wake up or right after work.

3. A Poor Diet

The food you eat has a direct impact on sleep quality and the amount of rest you get every night. For maximum energy, stick to protein, slow-release carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of healthy (unsaturated) fats. The majority of your food should be plant-based, high in fiber, and low in sugar. These choices will prevent blood sugar fluctuations, which can leave you feeling exhausted.

An easy way to make sure you stick to a good diet is through meal preparation. It’s easy to just get take-out when you’re tired after work, but if you have a meal ready for you in the fridge, you’ll be less tempted by pizza or cheese.

Find out more about healthy meal prep here: 10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily

4. Skipping Breakfast

Physician Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan advises that eating breakfast is key to maintaining a good level of energy throughout the day. When you eat breakfast, you are sending calming signals to the areas of the brain responsible for avoiding danger, along with those that instruct the body to conserve as much energy as possible.

Ingesting food signals to your brain that there is enough food available to ensure our survival. This encourages it to stay relaxed, which in turn, promotes restful sleep.

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Some great ideas for a healthy, filling, and make-ahead breakfasts include overnight oats, smoothies, and freezer-friendly breakfast burritos.

Or if meal-prepping isn’t your think, stock up on easy but healthy breakfast foods like multigrain cereal, yogurt, and fruit: 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

5. Poor Quality Of Sleep

We all know that it’s important to wind down a couple of hours before bed. But did you know that it’s what you do throughout the day that promotes good-quality sleep? It’s not just about the number of hours you sleep, but how restful and deep that sleep is.

TO feel rested, try to regulate your everyday routine to make your sleep deeper and better. Get up at a regular time in the morning to ensure that you get regular sunlight.

Eat nutritious foods in moderate amounts, and make sure you stay hydrated. Go to bed at the same time. And before bedtime, avoid screens that can give off harmful blue light and also keep you stimulated when you need to prepare for a restful night.

Read more about how to develop a routine that will get you better sleep: Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning

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6. Sleep Apnea (A Person’s Airways Get Blocked off While They Are Asleep)

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where a person’s airways get blocked off while they are asleep, causing their oxygen levels to drop while they are asleep. This often causes people to stop breathing at night and then to jerk themselves awake (this can happen over 30 times an hour).

Because of this, people with sleep apnea can feel short of breath and have low energy levels. Mouthpieces and other devices to aid in breathing as well as the use of a special breathing machine to keep oxygen levels in a safe zone.

If you feel tired all the time and think you might have sleep apnea, consulting with a doctor is important. Do a sleep study, as this can often reveal if there is an underlying problem causing your tiredness — and once a diagnosis is made, treatment to help you get your energy back begins.

7. Depression

Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the United States (and in many other countries of the world as well). It is marked by persistent feelings of sadness or unhappiness but has physical symptoms, too. Apart from fatigue, people may also experience changes in sleeping and eating habits and difficulty concentrating.

Treatment can often center on anti-depressants, counselling and lifestyle changes like stress management to help manage this condition. You can take a look at these 15 Ways To Overcome Depression And Sadness.

Many people also benefit from activities like yoga and meditation, which help regulate both the body and mind.

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8. Hypothyroidism

If a person has hypothyroidism, their thyroid gland does not produce adequate levels of these important hormones— and the result can be a persistent and unrelenting fatigue, even if someone is getting enough sleep. Other common symptoms of this disorder include mood swings, weight gain and feeling cold all the time.

Fortunately, simple blood work can reveal if there is a problem and it can be treated with artificial thyroid hormone pills like Synthroid. Check here for signs of having a thyroid problem. If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor.

9. Anemia

People with anemia are not able to make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the their bodies. This is often due to a lack of nutrients like iron or B-12 and can be caused by problems such as heavy periods, bleeding in the digestive tract or pregnancy (due to the increased demands of the growing baby).

However, in most cases, this can be resolved with treatments like changes in diet, iron supplements or B-12 shots.

While here are some drinks you can try to relieve symptoms of Anemia, it’s best to do a blood test and consult your doctor in case of any hidden medical conditions.

10. Cancer

While you shouldn’t be freaking out about cancer just because you are tired, it is a fact that fatigue is one of the symptoms of cancer. Other common symptoms can include unexplained weight loss and the presence of palpable lumps or growths. This disease is marked by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells that can do damage to surround tissues and possibly spread to other parts of the body.

Diagnosis is usually by biopsy and treatment often focusses on radiation, chemotherapy or surgery— and generally when a diagnosis is made early, the outcomes for the patient are better.

Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

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