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Archive for August, 2007

One of the easiest ways to save money on the passport and visa application process is to take and print your own passport photos. I’m not exactly sure why U.S. photo studios and local drug stores have taken to charging so much for two or four identical photographs when a white background and an expressionless face is the easiest photography situation on Earth. In Europe, where such photographs are more often necessary for registration or even job applications, photographers and machines rarely charge more than 5 euros for the service, even letting you pick between multiple photographs.

If you’re an avid photographer and already print at home, you have probably already done this yourself. If you can’t print at home, you’re not out of the game yet — you just need to leave a little more time, either to find a friend who will print for you, or to wait (and pay shipping) on free prints sent from an online photo service. (more…)

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The NY Times had a recent article in its travel section about the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

ALTHOUGH the 2008 Summer Olympics, being held in Beijing from Aug. 8 until Aug. 24, are still a full year away, making plans to attend the Games has already come down to a roulettelike gamble of hurry-up-and-wait, with choices narrowing as time goes by.

The most important task is securing tickets, which can be difficult. Only a certain number of tickets are allocated to each country, and direct ticket-buying in each is only available to local residents. Unfortunately, the cutoff date for entering the lottery to reserve the exact tickets you want was June 30. But, though there are few guarantees of actually scoring a seat, there are other options if you’re willing to compromise on price or on which events you attend. (more…)

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Budget Drinks

Even if you’re a teetotaler, you may find your drink budget nearing or exceeding your travel food budget. The reason is simple: restaurants make their profits from drinks. Not unlike movie theaters and popcorn, the food restaurants sell you is how they reel you in to purchase beverages, so meals are most often priced near cost with beverages reaching extortionate levels. Here are a couple tips to avoid going broke while staying hydrated.

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Budget Eats

After transportation and accommodation, the budget traveler’s biggest expense is food. On the road, our food budget often ends up larger than our home budget due to the higher price of both convenience items and of restaurants. Here I’ll discuss some ways to save on eating without either starving or denying yourself local specialties.

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I’ll be in the hospital from Thursday till Monday, so there won’t be any updates during this time.

Perhaps you’ll consider subscribing to RSS or Atom Feed updates, so you’ll know when we’re back online?

Leave a comment with suggestions for post topics you’d like to see: cities we should cover, travel topics that leave you boggled, what have you. We’ll do our best to cover them when we get back.

Have a great weekend!

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Seth Gitter writes about a bargain of an American professional sport: baseball. A bargain, that is, for fans whose team regularly has bad seasons.

There are plenty of deals to be had at major league ball parks. Granted if your favorite team is the Red Sox or Yankees your [sic] less likely to find deals. I have been to several Nationals games for only $5. Several teams have promotions. Like for $15 in Baltimore on Thursday nights you get a seat and a Boog Powell BBQ sandwich. In Milwaukee you can get free tickets by filling your tank at BP. Even when my wife and I wanted to go Dodger Stadium on father’s day against their inter-league rival the Angles [sic], I found tickets for $25 on Ebay. . . . Nationals, Brewers, and Orioles tickets are cheap. Red Sox and Yankee tickets are more expensive. The first set of teams have [sic] not been playing well over the last decade, the second has. Generally as teams do better they get more fans and they raise ticket prices.

As far as professional sporting events go, $5 or even FREE is unheard of. Heck, that’s cheaper than a first-run film and many museums even.

So if your local team (or that of the city you’re visiting) is a loser, maybe now is the best time to get into the game! You can, of course, always root for the other team. . .

For more cheap tickets in major-league baseball and a short rundown of bargain seating areas, check here.

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Today kidsilkhaze blogged about the cheap fun to be had at your local state fair. Less Than a Shoestring heartily seconds that emotion (and oozes with envy at the roasted turkey legs she ate!). Though I have never been to the Minnesota State Fair (nevertheless yearly appreciating our late school begin, which allows all children to go to the Fair), I have been to numerous local and county fairs. Maybe it’s because I’m a midwesterner, but I sure do get a kick out of seeing all those prize animals, quilts and vegetables. It’s the one time of year I get cotton candy or fried cheese curds. The fair has something for everyone on offer, and if you divide that cheap admission price over the number of hours of amusement (cheese curds not included), why sir, you’ve got a bargain!

To get yourself in the fair mood, you might try a quick reread of a childhood classic, Charlotte’s Web. (Or, if you only have a couple hours, check out the older cartoon film version, which has the unforgettable lyrics, here sung by a rat, “The fair is a veritable smorgasbord-orgasbord-orgasbord / after the crowds have ceased. / Each night when the lights go out it can be found, on the ground, all around / oh, what a ratly feast!”) Or you may listen to Prairie Home Companion, broadcast from last year’s Minnesota State Fair. And when you’re ready to head out, here you can find more information about your state fair and your county fairs. Have fun — and a turkey leg for me!

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