Should you travel by car or plane?

Although traveling by car is the most convenient and often the cheapest way to travel, it’s also the most dangerous. Whether you choose to travel by car or plane is solely your decision, but I have provided some facts, quotes and statistics from reliable sources about car and airplane travel. I hope that you consider this infographic next time you plan a trip!

Do you prefer travel by car or plane? Leave a comment and let me know!

infographic

Travel Destination Ideas for College Students

Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a spring break destination, it can be hard knowing where to go. I’ve gathered a list of websites/blogs that list top travel destinations for college students. Start planning your next trip soon!

College students on vacation

Source: signaturevacations.com

Destination Pittsburgh

Maybe I’m a tad bit biased because I am from there, but Pittsburgh truly is an amazing city. Growing up, I never appreciated everything that it has to offer. Now that I have been away at college for almost four years, I always look forward to coming home when I can and I will always boast about my city aka “The Burgh” or the “Steel City”.

I believe Pittsburgh is an affordable and fun weekend getaway destination. There are delicious restaurants, awesome attractions and beautiful scenery. I am going to provide my list of some (because there are many!) of the places you need to put on your checklist during a weekend getaway in Pittsburgh.

1. The Waterfront

With more than 70 shops and restaurants, this open-air shopping center provides a unique experience along the Monongahela River. I usually come here to enjoy restaurants that aren’t that close to my house including P.F. Chang’s, Dave & Buster’s, Uno Chicago Grill and Burgatory (which I will talk about a little bit more later).

2. Kennywood

A family favorite in the Pittsburgh area, Kennywood is an 80-acre traditional amusement park that still has some of its original rides and structures back from its opening in the early 1900’s. It boats 46 total rides, including six roller coasters. The park opens in May every season. From late September to November 1st, visitors can experience Phantom Fright Nights, which runs every Friday and Saturday night from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Phantom Fright Nights features haunted houses and other Halloween themed activities. From late November to late December, the park hosts a Holiday Lights event. During this time, the park boasts over one million lights, performances by local choirs and rides on the “Gingerbread Express”.

Kennywood Park

Source: wikipedia.com

3. Burgatory

A Pittsburgh original rated four out of five stars on Yelp and Urbanspoon, Burgatory is a burger joint is known for its burgers and milkshakes. Popular menu choices include the Custom Creation Burger, where you can create your own burger and classic shakes in flavors like Caramel Pretzel and Salted Nutella Crunch. If you are over 21, the restaurant also offers delicious alcoholic milkshakes.

4. Primanti Brothers

No matter where you are from, you’ve probably at least heard of this Pittsburgh-original chain of sandwich shops. Primanti Brothers‘ infamous overstuffed sandwiches provide many different options filled with grilled meat, coleslaw, tomato slices and French fries between two slices of Italian bread. Fun fact: The original location in the Strip District of Pittsburgh was featured on Man v. Food during the show’s stop in Pittsburgh.

5. Carnegie Science Center

The Carnegie Science Center museum is the most visited museum in Pittsburgh and “connects science and technology with everyday life”, according to its website. The museum includes an Omnimax theater, a World War II submarine, a planetarium and Roboworld, which has been named “the world’s largest permanent robotics exhibit”.

6. Mt. Washington

Known for its gorgeous views of the Pittsburgh skyline, this neighborhood is located on a steep hill overlooking the city. Although there is road access, visitors can take the Duquesne or Monongahela incline, which are the oldest continuous inclines in the world, to get to Mt. Washington.

View from Mt. Washington

Source: flickr.com

 

Have you been to Pittsburgh and have a favorite spot that isn’t listed here? Comment below!

 

Useful Travel Tips

Although I have been traveling since I was little, there’s always something I wish I would’ve been prepared for that I wasn’t. There is also always something I forget to bring or something that I wish I would’ve done that I didn’t. The moral of the story is that you need to always be prepared. I have complied a list of some useful travel tips and hacks that I have learned throughout my years of travel.

While packing…

1. Keep loose chargers organized by putting them in a glasses or sunglasses case.

2. Putting dryer sheets at the bottom of your suitcase or bag can keep it smelling fresh.

3. Roll your clothes or use Ziploc Space Bags to space space in your luggage. You can find a 12 pack of Ziploc Space Bags on Amazon for around $20.

4. Use shower caps to cover the bottoms of shoes while in your luggage.

5. To prevent shampoo, body wash, lotion or perfume/cologne bottles from leaking in your luggage, put plastic wrap over the container then seal it with the cap.

6. Put a colorful luggage tag or ribbon to distinguish your luggage from others. This is especially important if you have a generic suitcase and are flying or traveling with a large group of people.

7. Create a checklist ahead of time so you don’t forget anything and continuously update as needed.

8. Pack light, especially if flying. Airlines charge a fee if your suitcase is over 50 pounds. Even if you are not flying, still pack light. It’s never fun to drag around a heavy suitcase and/or bags while on a trip.

Luggage in the Cancun airport

When driving…

1. Make sure that your car is reliable enough to drive long distances. This includes a battery check, oil change, tire pressure and alignment check. Most car service shops, including Pep Boys and Auto Zone, will provide diagnostic tests for free.

2. Buy a roadside emergency kit or create one of your own using products or tools you already have. Auto Zone sells these kits at their store starting at around $20.

3. Always make sure you have enough gas! Nothing would be worse than becoming stranded, especially in a place you are unfamiliar with. Make stops when needed. These stops can also become your bathroom and/or food breaks, which will save time. If traveling with a larger group, split the cost of gas between the group to save money.

In general…

1. If you are in a hurry and your phone is about to die, put your phone in airplane mode while charging. This saves battery and makes your phone charge faster.

2. If you forget your phone’s wall charger port and are at a hotel, many TV’s have a USB port you can plug your phone cord into and will charge your phone.

3. Invest in a portable phone charger. There may be times you are not near a wall plug to charge and you might need your phone. You can purchase them on Amazon for as cheap as $10.

4. If you are at an event or location with a lot of cars and aren’t good with remembering where you park, take a picture of your parking spot or location and save it to your phone.

5. If you lose service but still want or need to use Google Maps, type “ok maps” and your current location will be saved for later.

6. If you are on or near water, put electronics in a plastic Ziploc bag to prevent water damage.

Luggage in New York City

Do you have any additional travel tips and hacks? Comment and let me know!

My Weekend Away at Put-in-Bay

As a college student, I haven’t had the time or money to take long trips in order to pursue my passion of travel. Therefore, I jump at any opportunity of cheap travel and a chance to de-stress myself for a weekend.

My best friend Cassi reached out to me in August and asked me if I wanted to go to Put-in-Bay for a weekend in September. She also told me it would only cost $100 a person for a hotel room for two nights. Considering I worked full time in the summer and did not have a vacation, I immediately said yes. Besides, $100 for a weekend isn’t bad at all.

For those of you who don’t know, Put-in-Bay is a 403-acre village located on South Bass Island in Ohio. Put-in-Bay is a popular summer destination. However, you cannot drive to the island. You need to drive to a ferry port and take yourself (and your car, if you’d like) on a ferry ride from the main land to the island. Our ferry ride was about 15 to 20 minutes long and tickets were $7 one way through Miller Boat Line.

Ferry ride to the island

The drive to the ferry port from Canton, Ohio was about an hour and 45 minutes. Trips that are within driving distance are always a great way to save money, especially if a large group goes. We had a total of eight people in our group and took two cars. There was four people in our car, so we split the gas four ways. Since we took a “fuel-efficient” car, the gas was only $10 per person.

Once we got to the island, we took a taxi to our hotel. The taxi only cost $3 a person, which was awesome. I’m used to taxi rides being that cheap around Kent, but I never have been in a taxi that cheap while traveling. I also tipped the driver $2, so the taxi totaled $5 to get to the hotel. The taxi from the hotel to the ferry port on our last day also cost me $5.

Our hotel was the Put-in-Bay Resort & Conference Center. Like I mentioned before, I paid $100 for two nights. The total room rate was split between myself and three other girls staying in the room. The hotel itself was very nice and had a pool, hot tub and a bar and grille outside, called Blue Marlin.

On our first night, we didn’t arrive to the hotel until 8 p.m. We were all hungry though, so we decided to walk around to see what we could find. My favorite part about Put-in-Bay was how convenient everything was  located. Everything was only a five to ten minute walk from our hotel. There weren’t very many cars on the island and I noticed the majority of visitors drove around in golf carts. Even though no one in my group rented one, I remember seeing a sign stating they were around $80 to rent for a day. That was just from one location, but I noticed many places around the island that were renting them.

The restaurant we decided to go to was Mr. Ed’s Bar and Grille. It was a five minute walk from our hotel. Although the food was good, it was a little pricey. It cost me around $15, including a tip, for an order of chicken fingers and fries.

The next day, we decided to do a little sightseeing and shopping. Before we did though, we wanted to try out a new place for lunch. We decided on The Boathouse Bar and Grill. The food was delicious, but once again, it was a little pricey. I paid close to $20 for a burger and fries and an Angry Orchard, and that did not include the tip.

The shops around Put-in-Bay had some great deals. I was able to get two shirts for $12 at one of the souvenir shops. As for sightseeing, the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial National Monument allows you to witness spectacular views and only cost $3 for admission.

Perry's Monument

Even though is plenty more to do on this island, this is all that we had the time for. Other attractions on the island include a chocolate museum, a winery, an aquatic center, a car museum, a golf course and a family fun center.

Overall, I spent around $100-$120 on food, drinks, souvenirs, taxi rides, ferry tickets and gas and another $100, like I mentioned before, on the hotel room during this two night trip. Therefore, I had a successful and fun weekend getaway for no more than $220. I encourage anyone who lives within a reasonable distance to make the trip to Put-in-Bay for your next summer or early fall getaway.

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