3 Places To Visit In The Fall of 2014

3 Places To Visit In The Fall of 2014The fall months are my favorite months to travel. It’s usually not too warm or not too cold, and everything is usually not as busy because all the kids are back in school.

That means fewer people and hopefully cheaper rates in most places. Who wouldn’t want fewer people AND to be able to save more money?! :)

I have a few trips planned for the fall already. I cannot wait!

Here is my list of places you might want to visit this fall in the United States:

National Parks.

September and October are both GREAT months to visit national parks in the United States. It is usually on the slower side because children are back in school and because ski season isn’t in session yet.

It’s usually more affordable to visit during the fall months as well because it’s considered to be the shoulder season. You’re in between the busy summer months when families are visiting national parks and you are before the winter months when everyone seems to visit the ski areas. This means that you may be able to save a decent amount of money on your hotel stay.

Some of the national parks you may want to visit include Redwood National Park, Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Acadia National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Olympic National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and more! There are so many awesome national parks to visit.

New Orleans.

I went to New Orleans last summer and it was extremely hot and humid. I’m going again this fall and I think it will be much better. Going in the fall’s main positive is that it will be slightly cooler.

There are a ton of things you could do here in the fall. Go to one of the numerous bars, try one of their signature drinks such as the hand grenade. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to go to Cafe Du Monde!

Las Vegas.

I have been to Las Vegas several times, and it has almost always been in the summer months. This means that it is pretty miserable to be outside there unless you are by a pool.

The fall months on the other hand are much more bearable. I went one time in September and it was amazing. The weather was great and it was slightly less busy, but it’s still Las Vegas so the streets are still pretty packed full of people.

Are you going anywhere in the fall? Tell me all about your vacation plans!


The picture above is from the Colorado Trail in August.

Using Credit Cards To Earn Reward Points

Using Credit Cards To Earn Reward PointsOne of my most favorite ways to travel for cheap is by using credit cards to earn credit card rewards points.

I have earned really amazing vacations this way, and I have even been able to take my friends and family members on trips with my credit card rewards points as well.

Below are some of the things you should know if you are interested in using credit cards to earn rewards.

What can I earn with a credit card?

Only certain credit cards allow you to earn reward points, so first you will have to start with finding one that does. After you do, each credit card offers different types of reward points.

Some only offer cash back, some only offer gift cards, some only offer travel, and some offer all three or just a mixture.

At first, I was all about the cash back and scoring some free gift cards. Then, I really got into travel rewards because travel seemed to be the best deal I could always find. I have been able to redeem around 10 roundtrip flights for vacations I have gone on. I don’t even spend any more than I normally would – it’s all just routine spending such as on gas and groceries!

Will it hurt my credit score?

Applying for a new credit card can bring your credit score down a little bit, but usually it’s nothing too drastic.

If you are about to buy a home, then it’s usually best to not apply for a new credit card right before then. Always consult with your mortgage loan officer about something like this. You don’t want something like a credit card to increase your interest rate on a mortgage.

How can I stay safe?

If you are using credit cards for the sole purpose of earning rewards, then you always need to be safe. Here are my tips:

  • Don’t buy items you don’t need. Just because you are earning points does not mean the item is free. You don’t want to go into credit card debt!
  • Watch your utilization rate. The saying is that you want to stay below 30% of your credit card limit so that you don’t hurt your credit score. So, if your limit is $1,000 on your credit card, do not spend more than $300 on your credit card.
  • Is there an annual fee? Some credit cards have very high annual fees. You will have to weigh the positives and negatives to see if this fee is worthwhile to you.
  • Always understand the rules and definitions of terms when it comes to your credit card. These can include: minimum payment, interest rate, expiration, etc.

Do you use credit cards for their rewards? Why or why not?


4 Tips Before Bringing Your Dog Hiking On a Trail

4 Tips Before Bringing Your Dog Hiking On a TrailWe’re about to leave for another road trip, and we are bringing our dogs again.

This time, our main objective is to hike a lot of trails and reach the top of several mountains in Colorado.

We plan on bringing one of our dogs (the other one is too small) on as many as she can go on, but we plan on doing a lot of things in order to make sure everything goes as planned.

Below are four tips to keep in mind before bringing your dog on a trail to go hiking:

1. Do you know if you are allowed to even bring your dog?

Before you bring your dog on a trail, you should first know whether or not they can come. You should do your research and find out if the trail allows dogs. Most trails will tell you online, and if not then they will tell you at the beginning on the trail with a sign.

There are MANY trails out there that do not allows dogs at all. For the most part, any trails in a national park do not allow dogs. National parks usually only allow dogs on the road or within 50 feet of the road. This is usually to protect the wildlife in a national park.

Trails within national forests usually allows dogs though, and these are the ones we usually go to.

2. Always clean up after them.

Dogs have a bad reputation on trails. If you want to bring your dog on a trail, please make sure to clean up after them. This means that you MUST bring plastic bags with you and that you will have to carry the bags either with you or with your dog on your hike. Don’t just leave the bags behind because that defeats the whole purpose.

Whenever someone leaves a mess from their dog behind, you are really just ruining it for everyone.

3. Bring everything they need.

There are many items you will need if you want to bring your dog hiking with you on trails. This is so that your dog will be comfortable hiking and so that they remain healthy.

You will want to bring water, food (this isn’t always the case – it really depends on your dog), bowls for the food and water, a leash (always keep your dog leashed!), plastic bags, and so on. You might even want to invest in some dog booties just in case you come across rough terrain.

4. Don’t get too ahead of yourself.

Whatever you do, always make sure to take plenty of breaks. If you’re dog needs a rest or wants to turn back, then you should.

Also, try to prepare for a longer hike on a trail if you can. For us, we have been bringing her on many walks on trails as we can. We have also been having her carry a dog backpack with everything she needs so that she can get used to carrying it.

For the dog backpack, it is best to start out with nothing in it. Then, you gradually add more and more of the items she needs until she can carry a full backpack. This is usually the best and easiest way to get your dog used to carrying a dog backpack.

Have you ever brought your dog on a trail?

What’s the furthest you’ve hiked with your dog?


Image via Flickr by OakleyOriginals