Two HBCU Grads Share Why Vacation Rental Properties are Good Investments

After reaching his breaking point, Carrington Carter, a then-pharmaceutical sales manager, decided to leave the industry to make money off of something he loved, travel. Carter partnered with his former college friend and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity brother Calvin Butts Jr., and the two turned their passion into profit. The HBCU grads shared how they made traveling profitable through their venture Getaway Society and why other African Americans should consider vacation rental properties to be a solid investment.

How did you create Getaway Society?

The founders say that Getaway Society was initially started as a luxury group travel company that creates amazingly memorable experiences, but we decided to pivot out of that industry for a variety of reasons. A year or so later, it was [my] turn to lead the organization of an annual group ski trip in the Poconos. After identifying a house to rent, collecting everyone’s money, and then working with the homeowner to secure the house, he started running the numbers and thought to himself, “Wait a minute, I think I can do this. Why not buy a house and have people pay me to rent it instead of the other way around?”

This was in 2013, so Airbnb, HomeAway, and Vrbo were around, but not nearly as popular as they are now. Shortly after the trip was over, Carrington developed a plan, involved Calvin Butts, Jr. and Jeremiah Myers, two of his colleagues from Hampton University, and Getaway Society was reborn. Our love for travel, exploring the world, and social and family gatherings served as the catalyst to acquiring a network of vacation rental homes to share with like-minded people.

Calvin Butts Jr.: After starting construction on a brand new vacation rental home in the Pocono Mountains in September of 2014, and acquiring another vacation rental home on Martha’s Vineyard in December of 2014, Getaway Society evolved to a premium vacation rental home company, still creating those same amazingly memorable experiences. Now with approximately $ 5 million in properties we own and manage: one home in the Poconos, three on Martha’s Vineyard, and now one in Hilton Head with our acquisition this year, we are excited about the opportunities for growth in this $ 170 billion global vacation rental home market. Our ownership plus management model enables us to provide a consistent, luxury VIP concierge approach to all our homes.

Carter: With Getaway Society, we combined a few things that were exciting and important to us. We’re capitalizing on our growing interest in real estate, in a fun and engaging way. It provides multiple revenue streams and builds wealth, with the ultimate goal of financial freedom for ourselves and generations after we’re gone. It also touches on our interest in traveling and creating new experiences.

Butts: Think about it, many of us have been on a group trip with friends/family and experienced issues or did not know what to expect. At Getaway Society, we try to take the friction out of group travel and obsess over making our guests’ vacation seamless and enjoyable. At every single moment, whether answering questions before their stay, sending check-in/check-out instructions, or responding to any needs during their stay, we are eager to exceed expectations.

Carter: We also take the time to build local connections and relationships with private chefs, restaurants, and golf courses, etc. We have a diverse set of partners, contractors, and vendors, and we also make it a point to help black business owners to scale their business, not just through financial support, but also through teaching and mentoring.

vacation rentals investment

Why should other black investors consider investing in the vacation rental space?

Carter: By owning a vacation rental home, investors can realize rental income, which pays down the mortgage and builds equity in the home. Often homes in resort-type communities appreciate faster than traditional neighborhoods, which builds wealth and increases net worth. Investors can realize capital gains upon sale of the home. Also, investors can use the home as much as they like (preferably in the offseason so rental income isn’t impacted). What a great investment!

 Butts: Our favorite part is the “soft ROI” as we like to call it. The home can instantly become a valuable asset that can be leveraged and shared with friends, family, colleagues, and also clients… building better relationships in the process. It’s truly priceless.

How can homeowners use home equity to invest in vacation rentals?

Carter: There are three primary ways that homeowners can use home equity to invest in vacation rentals: cash out refinance; home equity loan; [and] home equity line of credit (HELOC)

Most banks will allow homeowners to tap up to 90% of the value, commonly referred to as 90% LTV (loan-to-value) of a primary residence. However, for an investment property (single/multifamily, commercial property, etc.), most banks will only allow 65%-80% LTV. Example: If your house (primary residence) is worth $ 500,000 and your remaining mortgage balance is $ 250,000, the bank will allow you to borrow up to 90% of the value (90% of $ 500,000 is $ 450,000). Therefore, after subtracting the remaining mortgage balance, you can tap up to $ 200,000 in equity ($ 450,000 – $ 250,000) to buy a vacation rental home, so long as the higher mortgage payment still fits within your DTI (debt-to-income) ratio.

In the above example, in a cash-out refinance, you would convert the home equity into $ 200,000 cash and have a new mortgage balance of $ 450,000, usually at a fixed rate. Using a home equity loan, you would have two mortgages/loans: (1) One with the remaining mortgage balance of $ 250,000, and (2) The other for $ 200,000, which is the amount of home equity you tapped, both likely at fixed rates. In a home equity line of credit (HELOC), the $ 200,000 in equity you converted would essentially work like a credit card with a variable interest rate (probably at least twice the fixed rate). You would have a $ 200,000 limit and could use it and pay it back as needed. There’s typically a draw (borrow) period for 5-10 years in which you’re responsible for interest only or 1% of the balance, then there’s a repayment period of 10-20 years in which you’re responsible for principal and interest.

We have successfully used cash-out refinances, home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, and private equity from investors to fund the expansion of our real estate portfolio starting with one single-family rental and growing to over $ 5 million in real estate in the past seven years.

 Butts:  Also, we won’t expound on it here, but aside from home equity, there are also ways to leverage one’s IRA (called a self-directed IRA) to invest in alternative asset classes, such as real estate.

 

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How to eat well on vacation without breaking the bank

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Let’s be honest, half of the fun of being on vacation is the fact that you get to indulge in ways you wouldn’t usually. There is a whole new world of opportunities laid out before you, and you don’t have the responsibilities you do back home. This invariably leads you to cut loose and enjoy more experiences, and one of the ways to do this is by sampling as much delicious food and drinks as possible.

Now, you could well be worrying about the fact that eating well when you’re on vacation can be expensive. On the one hand, you don’t want to break the bank, but on the other hand, you have so much delicious and unique cuisine to try. So, we’ve come up with some of the most ingenious methods to help you save money while still being able to experience tasty local dishes.

Check out street food

So many cosmopolitan destinations have street food, which is the best place to get really authentic and affordable cuisine. Really make the most of this as it is a great way of exploring a more underground food scene. This is something that is hugely popular in Asia, where street vendors sell plates of hot, tasty food straight off the grill/hotplate.

Don’t overlook buffets

They might not seem like the most glamorous options, but buffets are definitely a great way of achieving this. You need to make sure you stock up on plenty of delicious dishes because you have the opportunity to do just that with a buffet. A great choice to get more bang for your buck, buffets allow you eat as much as you can fit in, and mean you can have one big meal a day, which is a good money saver.

Go local

No matter where you go on vacation, there are going to be tourist traps and more local joints. If you are serious about saving money on your food, local is most definitely the way to go, and the food is going to be much tastier as well! Try to source some local hotspots, and use them to find delicious and affordable cuisine while on your travels.

Do it yourself

There are lots of ways to enjoy delightful cuisine when you are on vacation, and one of the most enjoyable ways is to do it yourself. The way to do this, of course, is to make sure you cook yourself. This is something that you can do if you are staying in self-catering accommodation, or, as is the more common these days, Airbnb.

These are just a few of the great ways of being able to eat well on your travels without having to worry about the cost at the same time. So, make sure you take these suggestions on board and work toward making sure you are sampling as much as possible. If you are sensible with your cash, there are a lot of things that can help you to make the pennies stretch further, and these are some of the ways you can do this when it comes to food.

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Why you should consider couch surfing for your next vacation

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It’s fair to say that Airbnb changed the way we travel, and how we stay during said travel! Hotel rooms were becoming mundane, holiday apartments soulless, a change was needed. People wanted a more authentic experience when they stayed somewhere, and this is what gave rise to the popularity of Airbnb – renting a stranger’s home for the duration of your stay.

There is no question that Airbnb has taken the world of travel and tourism by storm, and it has certainly made vacations more authentic and enjoyable. But, accommodation options don’t end there, oh no! There is a whole new world developing for modern travelers, and it’s known as couchsurfing. So, let’s find out more about this growing trend, and how you can make the most of it.

So what is couchsurfing?

Couchsurfing, in layman’s terms, is staying on a couch (usually an actual bed) in someone’s home, as opposed to getting your own room. Think Airbnb, but a much more stripped back version. Instead of renting out someone’s home, you basically sleep on their couch instead. It’s a great way to meet new people in the place you’re traveling to, and is perfect for short-term trips.

Any costs involved?

One of the main questions you are most likely to have is whether or not there are any costs involved in couchsurfing. Well, in fact, the whole process is free, but that’s not to say there isn’t some sort of unwritten rule that you should offer some kind of token. Cooking dinner, buying your host a few drinks, or giving a gift is certainly something that you can (and should) do for your host by way of recompense.

You can get involved both ways

Something that you’ll really love about couchsurfing is that you can get involved both ways. As a traveler, this is definitely something you are going to want to check out for your next vacation. You can enter dates and locations for your travel, and people will be able to offer you places to stay. However, it is also something that you can get involved with as a host, even when not traveling. Offering your couch or spare room is a great way of helping someone out, and making new friends at the same time as well.

Some of the benefits

There are plenty of benefits to couchsurfing that make it the perfect choice for any intrepid adventure (who’s not too fussy about having a hotel room). For a start, this is going to be a very cost-effective way of finding accommodation, and in many cases will cost you nothing more than cooking a meal or buying some drinks! Secondly, there is the social factor, and couchsurfing gives you a great opportunity to expand your social network while exploring the road less traveled.

So, as you can see, there are a lot of great reasons why you should consider couchsurfing on your next vacay. There are plenty of great benefits to taking this choice, and it’s a wonderful way of getting a cheap and sociable form of accommodation, perfect for young travelers and backpackers.

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This is where the world’s richest people vacation

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There’s nothing better than packing your bags and going on vacation. This is a time for you to relax, unwind, and see a new part of the world that you haven’t seen before. Of course, going on vacation isn’t cheap. You need to pay for flights, you need to pay for your accommodation, and you need to pay for all of the added extras. Because of this, many people choose to fly closer to home to save themselves money. However, rich people don’t need to save any money. They have more than enough to go on exclusive and exotic vacations, and this is where they go…

They lounge on a private island

It’s always awkward when you want to totally sit back and relax, but there are other people around you. You have to share the pool, you have to race for sun loungers, and you have to deal with their sticky bodies sitting right next to you. Well, rich people are able to cut out this little niggle. They can lounge on private islands across the globe, but one of their favorites is Coco Prive. This private island will set you back around $ 35,000 a night, but it’s definitely worth it.

They diamond dive and keep the treasure

Rich people are almost always looking for ways to expand their wealth, and a Diamond Safari is one of the most fun ways to do that. This underwater safari takes place in South Africa over the course of 11 days and offers guests the chance to dive beneath the surface in search of priceless diamonds and jewels. They are allowed to keep anything they can find and will provide expert service along the way. They can get their jewels estimated, they can keep the raw jewels for themselves, or they can turn it into jewelry of some kind. The underwater world is their oyster – and the pearl is always inside.

They apres-ski in their own ski chalet

If you’ve ever been skiing, you’ll know that the ultimate dream is to stay in your very own ski chalet up in the mountains. Most people can’t afford that, but rich people can. In fact, they are able to rent out beautiful ski chalets that are more than what people earn every single year. Yes, Leo Trippi’s Chalet Ormello is constantly booked up with celebs and Royals alike and will cost you around $ 300,000+ a week. This will give you whole use of the chalet, including the indoor swimming pool, the home theater, the massage room, 15 beds, and even private access to the slopes.

Those who have oodles of cash to their name have the chance to go anywhere in the world. However, everyday vacations get boring after a while, so they like to mix things up a bit. They like to stay in ski chalets, they like to top up their tan on a private island, or they like to dive for diamonds. Soon enough they’ll be going into space!

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Drake Reveals Merch for “Assassination Vacation European Tour”

Right before kicking off his “Assassination Vacation Tour” in Machester, UK, Drake took to Instagram to reveal some merch he has prepared for the European tour.

Created by merch purveyor TOURLIFE, the exclusive T-shirts and hoodies included are centered around the same imagery theme associated with Drake’s Scorpion album. To match the name of the tour, infrared neon tones and crosshairs are used heavily throughout the special range. Additionally, Drake put together Austin Powers-inspired graphics to celebrate his upcoming six-night stay in London.

Take a look at the “Assassination Vacation Tour” merch below and check out the dates for Drake’s European tour on drakeofficial.com now. Stay tuned for a wider release of the merch to hit tourlife.com in the near future.

In case you missed it, Travis Scott’s “Astroworld Tour” generates over $ 34.3 million USD in just three months.

 

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These European countries offer the best vacation homes

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If you’re the kind of person that loves to travel and explore the world but aren’t too fond of staying in a hotel, vacations homes could be right up your street. These are houses that are rented out by their owners for tourists and explorers alike to enjoy during their vacation. So, you get all of the home comforts you could possibly want, while also being away from your own house and the same ol’ views of your town. Europe is home to some of the most beautiful vacation homes, but have you ever wondered which one is the best?

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom may be small, but it’s one of the most varied destinations in Europe. Within just a short drive of each other, you can make your way to the beach, the countryside, the valleys, and the cities. This means that you can push the boundaries of your vacation home. You can opt for a quaint apartment in the city, or a humongous converted barn surrounded by fields and hills.

Portugal

Because so many people make their way to mainland Spain for their vacations, Portugal often gets overlooked. This means that there are beautiful and empty vacation homes that are just waiting for you to settle down in. Many of these homes offer endless views over the mountains and the ocean, and Portuguese houses are also praised for their architecture so you can get an art lesson at the same time!

France

With endless sunshine and some of the best food in the world, why wouldn’t you want to see what France has to offer in terms of vacation homes? Many of the best vacation rentals in this country are located outside of the city and in rural towns and villages. This way, you get to check out the medieval buildings, sip on a glass of wine or two, and have a dip in your own private pool.

Croatia

Croatia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and offers visitors the chance to see this beauty in all of its glory. The coastline and the beaches are scattered around the whole country, which means you can often stumble upon something magical when you least expect it. The best part? The vacation homes in Croatia are normally traditional, quaint, and absolutely stunning.

Switzerland

If you’re a fan of skiing or just frolicking around in the white stuff, you definitely have to make your way into the mountains of Switzerland. While you can explore the gorgeous towns, cities, and villages, the best vacation homes in Switzerland can be found at high altitude. Yes, we’re talking incredible ski chalets and log cabins that are perfect for a winter away. Make sure you take a blanket and some firewood though because you’ll need it.

If you’re looking to venture across the world and see what Europe has to offer, there’s no need to worry about booking a hotel. After all, these countries all have incredible vacation homes for you to enjoy!

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3 Ways to Score a Free Vacation (Without Entering a Scammy Contest)

Where do you want to go on vacation? Disney World? New York City? Vegas? Paris? A sandy beach somewhere?

All of those sound awesome, but holy cow, are vacations expensive. You’ll have to pay for plane tickets or a serious road trip. You’ll need to stay at a hotel (or Airbnb). Add the cost of restaurant meals, maybe a rental car and admission fees for all those fun tourist activities you want to do.

Making memories ain’t cheap, but luckily we’ve got ideas for how you can afford it. If you can pull in enough cash through side gigs or passive income, your vacation will be basically free.

Here are three ideas:

1. List Your Place While You’re Gone

While you’re on vacation, you won’t be home. I mean, that’s sort of the whole point of a vacation, isn’t it? To get away. You leave your house or your apartment, and you travel somewhere far away.

Since you won’t be using your home, why not let someone else use it while you’re gone? You might as well try to earn some money by listing it on Airbnb.

Sure, you can always list a spare room if you’ve got one. But consider listing your entire place while you’re away. If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could make some bank on Airbnb.

Just enter your information into Airbnb’s calculator to receive a free income estimate. Depending on how long you can list your place, you could make hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars.

Here are some tips:

  • Make your space available during high-demand times in your area. Think: concerts, conventions and sporting events.
  • Be a good host, and stock your place with the toiletries you’d expect at a hotel — toilet paper, soap and towels.
  • Be personable. A lot of travelers turn to Airbnb for the personal touch they won’t find at commercial properties.

Here’s our beginner’s guide to being an Airbnb host, starting with how to create your listing and set your price.

2. Use a Rewards Credit Card to, Well, Reward Yourself

If you’re not using a rewards credit card for everyday purchases, you’re missing out on free money — money that you could be using for your vacation.

You could use it on your trip. Use it to pay for your hotel stay or car rental or dinner out, to really get more bang for your buck. (Just make sure to pay off your balance each month to avoid interest charges.)

Here’s an option we like: It’s the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. Its claim to fame? You’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all your purchases. Plus, if you spend $ 500 in your first three months of opening the card, you’ll pocket a $ 150 bonus.

There’s no annual fee, and the cash-back rewards don’t expire. We checked Credible’s annual rewards calculator, and it estimates $ 417 in annual rewards based on our spending habits.* (You can enter your unique spending habits and see what you’d earn, too.)

Get signed up — and 0% intro APR for 15 months — here.

3. Get Free Accommodations as a House-Sitter

What about staying someplace cool and getting paid for it?

Imagine sipping your morning coffee on a beautiful balcony looking out over the ocean. Later, you water the plants and clean up a bit before taking a dip in the pool. Oh, and you’re getting paid for taking care of this house.

It sounds too good to be true. Can you really find house-sitting jobs that pay?

Yes and no. Yes, caretaking gigs that pay a salary or stipend in addition to providing you a place to stay do exist. But no, there aren’t many that fit the description above.

Most house-sitting opportunities fall into one of these two categories: standard house-sitting gigs, or more demanding caretaking jobs.

Many websites list house-sitting gigs, and a quick glance tells you right away that not many people are offering to pay their house sitters much — if anything. Normally, you get a nice place to stay for free.

This might not sound like much of a money-making opportunity, but it depends on how you look at it. House-sitting could be a way to get free accommodations when you travel, cutting a huge expense.

Here are some of the online platforms where you can find the opportunities, along with their subscription rates:

  • House Sitters America ($ 30 per year)
  • Mind My House ($ 20 per year)
  • Housecarers.com ($ 50 per year or free limited membership)
  • Luxury House Sitting ($ 25 per year)
  • Nomador ($ 89 per year or limited free membership)

Some people make a lifestyle of house-sitting. Canadian couple Dalene and Peter Heck sold everything to travel the world, staying in other people’s homes. For eight years, they stayed in more than a dozen different countries all over the world, saving themselves tens of thousands of dollars in housing costs.

Now, think again about where you want to go on vacation.

*Annual Rewards amounts will change based on the amounts you enter. The monthly spending category names and definitions may vary among issuers, and categories may not align one-to-one.

The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card has been collected independently by The Penny Hoarder. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. The Penny Hoarder is a partner of Credible.

Mike Brassfield (mike@thepennyhoarder.com) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He could use a vacation.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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How a Sri Lankan Mudhouse Vacation Brought Back My Children

I have spent a week in a mud hut in the middle of the Sri Lankan jungle. I have befriended frogs and looked elephants in the eye. I have been woken at dawn by the cacophonous sound of 100 different varieties of birds hawking 100 different varieties of bird sex. I have drifted on a paddleboard in a rainwater lake, eaten the seeds of the lotus flower, and munched my way through curries cooked on open fires made of bittergourds, snake fruit, jackfruit, taro root, and a multitude of other foodstuffs unknown to Western tongues.

Briefly, I became a better man; a man who shouts less at his kids, a man who communes with his higher power on an hourly basis, a man who reads Paulo Coehlo books and doesn’t snort with derision, who sits straight in his chair, and whose children engage in dinner time conversation rather than playing computer games and fighting.

Needless to say, the moment we got home, I was on email, my wife was on Instagram, and my son dashed into the playroom, switched on his Xbox and played Fortnite for five hours straight.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Ex-BuzzFeed workers will get paid for unused vacation days

BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti has relented and will pay laid-off staffers for their accrued paid time off, he told staff in a companywide e-mail Monday afternoon. Peretti took action after he and other top BuzzFeed executives were blasted for refusing to pay recently laid-off workers for their unused vacation time — in a letter from…
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Ansel Elgort and Violetta Komyshan’s Hawaii Vacation Will Make You Forget It’s Winter

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Things you absolutely need to pack for a winter vacation

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Packing for the winter holiday can be a bit overwhelming. There are many clothes and other things you need to be comfortable in the cold. How do you make sure you have everything you need at your destination? Fortunately, the tips in this article will help you to pack your suitcase for a cool winter vacation.

Clothes

During winter holidays, it is important to bring clothing that allows you to dress in layers. You should start with a base layer of a light shirt that can have either long or short sleeves. You can put a long-sleeved shirt over it, and then a sweater or fleece over that. In addition to these shirts, you can wear a waterproof or windproof shell to keep you warm and dry. If you dress in layers, you can add or remove a layer depending on weather and comfort.

Shoes

While shoes can be heavy and you may only pack so much, you should make sure you have good quality footwear. Your feet are exposed to the weather during the winter holidays, so you want something that will keep you warm and look good. Look for dark shoes so they will not stain. Also, bring shoes that are weatherproof.

Choose warm, comfortable boots

Again, you do not want to get cold feet on your trip, so bring boots to keep your toes nice and comfortable and keep frostbite in check. Today, there are a variety of winter boots on the market, and you can take your pick depending on your preferences. If you want to take a long walk, make sure you are looking for comfortable boots. If you are looking for a heel, we recommend the use of wedge boots – they are a great way to give you more height and style without sacrificing comfort.

Hats

A good hat can keep you warm. However, the hat must meet some general requirements. A good travel cap should cover your ears and part of your neck. It should be made of modern materials that are warm and provide maximum coverage. Choose your hat carefully to keep your head (and the rest of your body) warm.

Gloves

Progress has been made with materials and products to keep us warm and dry. You no longer have to rely on heavy gloves to keep your hands warm. You will find gloves that are warm and waterproof but still take up little space in your luggage or bag. If you are looking for the right gloves for your vacation, look for those that are fast drying, weatherproof, lightweight, and breathable.

Accessories

Sun protection is required both in winter and in summer. The sun reflects off ice or snow and can cause sunburns. The reflection of the sun can be very bright as well. That’s why you should make sure to bring polarized sunglasses. If you are vacationing in bad weather, you should bring a scarf. Scarves are usually light and small enough not to lend volume to a suitcase, but warm enough to keep you cozy in cold weather.

If you pack properly for your winter vacation, you can have a comfortable stay no matter where you are. Use the tips provided here and you will feel warm and happy while traveling.

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The three are…

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How Many Vacation Days Did You Use This Year?

how many vacation days did you use this year

How many vacation days did you use this year, readers — and what did you DO with your vacation? As 2018 comes to a close, it’s always a great idea to review your vacation days to make sure you’re using them properly (especially if they’re use-or-lose!), and we’d love to hear how many of you are already planning for vacations in 2019! When we’ve asked in the past about vacation time, 40% of you had used less than 50% of your time for the year (whoa!).

I’ve never had the luxury of working a job where vacation days rolled over, so I’ve always tried to make the most of vacation time by taking a lot of long weekend vacations and staycations. For the past few years with the kids, I’ve told myself to just buy airline tickets as soon as we have the school calendar, and deal with hotels and research as the trip gets closer — to force us to actually go places — but I’m still struggling to master the vacation that is planned really early. We’re looking at some international travel this summer, as well as a trip to “Harry Potterland” (Universal Studios) that my 7-year-old may or may not accept as a viable Christmas present, but we’ve yet to pull the trigger on anything.

For those of you who are great at vacation planning (or finding fabulous vacation packages), I’d love to hear from you: How many months ahead are you planning? If you get, say 20 days of vacation for 2019, how many do you vacation days do you “use” ahead of time? For those of you with partners, if you get more vacation (or less) than your partner, how do you deal? 

Since the stock photo features a bag — and it is the season for gift-giving — anyone have any favorite travel gear to shout out? I’ve heard great things about Away luggage but I haven’t tried it yet.

How many vacation days did YOU use this year? If you're wondering what's normal vacation use is for career women -- and want to see how they make the most of their vacation time -- then this is the post for you! Lots of comments from women lawyers, professors and more!

The post How Many Vacation Days Did You Use This Year? appeared first on Corporette.com.

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5 apps for a more successful family vacation

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When we say a ‘more successful’ family vacation we basically mean that anything could happen, especially on a family trip. Things can either go really well or terribly wrong. There was a time when things were simpler and life was, well, much easier. However, everything started changing once kids got in the picture. As much as we adore them, when parents take their kids away from their normal day-to-day routine (which can be unbearable sometimes on its own), let’s just say that they feel more free than ever, and that’s not always such a good thing. Free to scream more, to get lost more and to have horrible meltdowns in the most picturesque places. Don’t get us wrong, a family vacation can also be amazing because it’s a time for pure bonding, a precious time that you don’t always get in your everyday life.

Thankfully, in this day and age, parents have apps to pretty much save them from anything that could go wrong. Ok, maybe not anything but if they want to ‘survive’ a family vacation with their kids, there are a few apps that will come very handy. Some are more useful than others and some are just about pure fun, isn’t that what a vacation is all about? Who knows, maybe some parents will even consider going on another family vacation very soon. Everyone needs some technical help from time to time, and that’s where these 5 apps come in.

GateGuru:

GateGuru is the one app you absolutely need when traveling with kids. It will be a real lifesaver in case your flight gets delayed, or god forbid, cancelled. Based on your flight schedule and details, this app will give you real-time updates so you won’t need to waste any of your precious time. You will also get ,major discounts on travel-related features such as car rental and list of shops and restaurants you can find at the airport.

Yuggler:

Yey, you arrived at your destination, congratulations! Now, if you haven’t planned ahead of time (which is probably not the best idea) then you’ll be very thankful for Yuggler. This app is all about fun and keeping your kids busy. Depending on your area, it will offer you suggestions and opinions of things you can do based on other parents’ recommendations and photos. There’s an option to filter according to your kids’ age, the season you’re traveling in and more.

USA Rest Stops:

In the case of a family road trip or just in case you have long drives as part of your trip itinerary, you will com to realize that your kids need to go, A LOT! The number of breaks just go up as they get older. With USA Rest Stop, you will get to find different rest stops across the country so you will always know when the next stop will be. ‘Are we there yet?’ will become a whole lot endurable.

Postagram:

Postagram will let you send your relatives back home an interactive postcard that will get to their phone way faster than a normal postcard would, obviously. Your Instagram snaps will turn into postcards in just one click.

Plates Free Family Travel Game:

Remember that license plate game you used to play with your siblings and parents when driving around the country? Well, it just went from traditional to digital. Have your children search for different license plates in different states, that way you’ll burn another hour or two.

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Happy Tamar Braxton Unveils Thigh Tattoo In Vacation Video While Trying To Lay Low With New Boyfriend

Baddie Tamar Braxton unveiled her impressive thigh tattoo while relaxing poolside wearing an amazing red bikini.

The diva shared a video where she is enjoying the sun and fans love the golden tan, wet hair, and flawless body.

Tamar was trying to be discreet but she accidentally revealed that she is on vacation with her sexy Nigerian boyfriend.

While Tamar is wearing a wig in this new clip, in a recent picture with her BFF, Malika Haqq, she showed off her hair growth with some cute waves.

Here is what she had said when she shaved her head: “I’m over feeling captive to a wig, weave, people, people’s comments & opinions hell…even my OWN feelings! WE can choose to stop these things from having the power and victory over us!! And for me, that starts TODAY.”

One fan told Tamar: “Come on hair! You Betta give the kids waves. Werk! I love me some Tamar! Cute so glad you let your hair grow back no shade you look good with or without it. Ok, thickums @tamarbraxton got sum thighs going on… somebody looks relaxed and totally unbothered. Let that glow shine miss lady!!!!””

Another commenter shared: “I see that hair is sprouting honey. Is that a little finger wave action going on? 😍 So sexy. Tamar you giving me Toni Braxton vibes with those finger waves! Lol, cute! Sooo loving your hair. At first, didn’t think I’d like it (though that doesn’t matter) but it’s so you!I’m the nosy mf that peep somebody in those shades.”

This person claimed: “Everybody is having a baby its time you give Logan a sibling I don’t want him growing up in this world alone. Yass to the finger waves. They Definitely should be a keeper. All you do is win win win no matter what @tamarbraxton I loved you since the first time I heard that end note on money can’t buy me love and you just keep giving me liiiiiiiiife.” Ok Tamar, show us what your natural looks like. They Definitely should be a keeper.”

Tamar looks happy at the moment and Vincent Herbert is still not ready to finalize the divorce.

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6 things to do before leaving on vacation

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Going on a vacation is an exciting affair. You will see things you never imagined, taste things you never tasted before, meet exciting and different people as well as try to learn about new cultures. Many people grow increasingly more impatient as the date of their departure approaches. They grow so impatient that they make a few rudimentary mistakes. Here are a couple of things to do before leaving on your vacation.

Don’t announce it on social media

By telling everyone that you aren’t home, you might as well hold the door open for them too. Many criminals have robbed houses, saying that they only robbed the house because they knew that nobody was home. In the same vein, stop mail service because of the same reason. You can reroute mail to a friend, family member, or ask the postal service to hold it. The post office will keep all of your letters safe, and best of all, the service is free.

Take another look at your insurance

Whenever you leave the country, it is best to know what your insurance will, as well as won’t cover. For example, most United States car insurance policies are valid in Canada. Look at your health insurance to know whether you are covered if you get injured or sick overseas, while you are away from the United States.

A timer for your home is a fabulous investment

Burglars are more likely to rob a house when its lights are constantly off. By putting timers on lights in different rooms, you can fool any would be burglars into thinking you’re home. Set them in such a way that they go off at different times during the day, as well as at night.

Turn off your water mains

This is one of the most important things on this list. Coming home to a flooded home isn’t much fun, and it can also do a lot of damage to your home. Even if you are going to be away only for a few days, it is a good idea to turn off the mains to your water supply because leaks can, and do, happen. You would be doing your bit for the environment by saving water as well.

Unplug all of your electronics

It is common knowledge that electronics do consume electricity even when they aren’t on. Unplug the appliances that will go unused for a while like the toaster, oven, and microwave to save on your electricity bill as well as put a stop to the possibility of an electrical fire. Enjoy your vacation!

Lend your car to a friend

When going away, you can hit two birds with one stone: making sure that your car is always running so the engine won’t be drained, and helping a good friend in need. Don’t forget to make sure that he’s loyal and trustworthy with your beloved vehicle.

So while you are already planning on having the time of your life, don’t forget to follow these instructions beforehand. Only afterwards you’ll be able to enjoy your dream vacation.

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Worldation

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Meghan King Edmonds Takes First Kids-Free Vacation in 2 Years: ”Our Marriage Needs It”

Meghan King, Jim EdmondsMeghan King Edmonds is ready to switch from mommy mode to vacation mode.
The Real Housewives of Orange County star and her husband departed for their couple’s getaway to Mexico today…

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