World Currency

Stretching your U.S. Dollar

I can still remember very clearly when I headed to Mexico for a visit after 6th grade.  Before leaving, we went to the bank to pick up some American Express Travelers Cheques.  Once in Mexico, if we wanted to use one, we had to either find a bank, a casa de cambio, or a vendor that would accept them–all of whom offered an atrocious exchange rate.

How times have changed. Read more


Finding cheap flights

My friends and family know that I’m into travel.  They also know that I like to save money.  So a question I regularly get is how to find cheap airline tickets.

My first recommendation is to save up points and miles to fly for free, but let’s face it, unless you’ve planned far in advance, that may not be a possibility for an upcoming trip.

So what about when you have to buy airline tickets?  Which website to use?  When to buy?  How to save? Read more

Making memories in Sintra, Portugal

Hold off on that new car — plan a trip, instead

Why investing in experiences will make you happier than buying more stuff

I’ve had some great experiences in my life, and I cherish the memories, but I also feel quite attached to my possessions.  In fact, I have quite a few possessions that I really love.  So when I read the claim that people derive more enduring satisfaction and happiness from their experiences than from their possessions, Read more

Paris Rental

4 Weeks to France: A burst of panic

Worry, worry, worry.

Is that what the mom is supposed to do?  I’m feeling a bit concerned about the apartment we rented in Paris.  We found it through Airbnb.  We’ve used Airbnb and similar vacation rental websites in the past with good success.  The difference here, I think, is that the apartment we rented is not an investment property or a vacation home—it is a family’s full-time home, full of their full-time stuff.  I feel small bursts of panic when I think Read more