Five Tips to Have a Fabulous Vacation without Breaking the Bank


Here there my lovelies! Hope you are doing well. I know vacation is the last thing in our mind during pandemics, but is it? I for sure, can’t wait to things go back to a new normal, and travel is one such way to feel normal. Additionally, budget constraints may be put holiday thoughts in the back burner for you. However, it does not have to be the case. If you plan early you have a wonderful vacation without breaking the bank. I will share my own five tips to have a wonderful vacation without breaking the buck. Following these tips has allowed me to go on more vacations then the entire childhood.


1. Air fare and hotels rentals to your favorite vacation spot: This may sound like a far-fetched idea, but it can within your reach. I had same thought process for years until I learned about this rewards point tip for a friend. My friends, there are various credit card companies that will give you hefty rewards for using their cards. Many cards have this introductory bonus available if you spend certain amount during the first three month. This might seem unattainable but if you think about it, it’s very much within reach. Check out the following rewards program:

a. Hilton Honors American Express Card: Here, not only there is no annual membership but you can 75,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of the card membership. Additionally, there are no foreign transaction fees. Furthermore, for each dollar of eligible purchases on your card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, you get 5x Hilton honors points, 3x points for other eligible purchase.
b. United Explorer Card Through this card you get 40,000 bonus miles if you spend $2,000 within the first 3 months of the card membership. Additionally, there is no annual fee for the first year, but you have to pay $95 annual membership fee after the first year. One perks that I really like about this card is that I get two check-in luggage free. Knowing how much the airlines charge for check-in bags, it’s a good perks to have.
c. Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card: Through the Bonvoy Bold Card you earn 50,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of the card membership. Additionally, there is not annual fee involve. You can choose to apply for the Bonvoy Boundless Card for a $95 annual fee, and you earn 100,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of the card membership. 100,000 points will give you 15 days free stay at the vast list of Marriott hotels.
d. Capital One Venture Card: With this card you are eligible for 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of activating the card, and you receive unlimited 2x miles for every $1 spent. If the spending requirement sounds intimidating just remember one thing. I was in the same boat but I have decided to pay my phone, utility, cable, car insurance bills, groceries through the reward cards and pay it right away as I would do through my bank. Before I knew, I have enough points to have a free vacation to Hawaii with my family, which was in my bucket list for a very long time.

2. Plan ahead: Planning ahead is a great way to make your amazing vacation dream come true without breaking the bank. I have planned each of the vacation that I have taken a year ahead. This allows you to have time to shop around for the best deals and save up for the vacation.


3. Take Advantage of the Various Travel Booking Sites: There are various sites available for great travel deals. Site such as Kayak, Expedia, TripAdvisor,, Priceline, Orbits, CheapOAir, Google Travel, Trivago, (for hotels), and app such as hopper to find the best flight and hotel deals for your travel destination. Often when you shop around early you can often get the best deal available.


4. Sign Up for the Free Loyalty Programs: Hotels such as Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, and airlines such as Jetblue, Southwest, American Airlines, Delta, United Airlines all have free rewards program so that you can earn mileage and rewards points for every time you book through them. If you need to travel for business, signing up for the loyalty programs will really come to your advantage. For example, my cousin who constantly travels for work has accumulated a lot of mileage and hotel points to use for dream vacations. If you have to travel for work, use that to your advantage. Additionally, being part of the travel reward programs allowed me to receive emails about various deals, such as Southwest and Jetblue’s one-day deals starting at $49.


5. Save your changes: Every day we spend money to pay for bills, groceries, and other miscellaneous expenses. If you set up to automatics changes for each of your expenses, before you know you will have enough money for your vacation. The money that you would not have paid attention to anyway will help to have your dream vacation. I have also saved for my vacations for setting aside the changes from the cash I spent and before I knew it, I had few hundred dollars to use during my vacation.

My dear lovelies! I am not trying to promote one site over another, but merely sharing from my own experience so that you can have your own vacation without breaking the bank. I grew up seeing vacation as a privilege. However, with cheaper flights and hotel deals along with the above tips have put vacation within my reach. They have allowed me to travel to places like Canada, Bahamas, Orlando, Chicago, Atlanta, Minnesota, and my favorite Hawaii.

Hope these tips help to prepare for your dream vacation without breaking the bank. I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. I would love to hear about the tactics you use to prepare for your dream vacation frugally. I would love to hear about your ideas.

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Niagara Falls, ON CA: Last Day

Hi There My Lovelies! Hope you are doing well. Today I will wrap my review of my trip to Niagara Falls, ON. On the fourth and final day of Niagara Falls, ON.

We decided to ride to the top of the Skylon tower. It is the tallest total entertainment complex with two great dining rooms both overlooking the Falls, The Skylon Tower Summitt Suite Buffet Dining Room and the Skylon Tower Revolving Dining Room.

The Skylon Tower features outside mounted ‘Yellow Bug’ elevators which at the time of the construction were the first of their kind. The elevators run all year round and are a fun route up to the fantastic observatory at the tip top of the Skylon. From the observatory deck you can see the most amazing views.

It was a surreal experience watching. After we took the yellow buggy elevator down we took some more pictures in front of the falls and went back to the hotel for the day.

My dear lovelies! Overall, it was a great trip that I will not forget. Only my guided tour of Toronto was a complete waste of money. Next time I will take a direct flight to Toronto. If you have gone to the Ontario side of Niagara Falls, I would love hear about your experience and any tips you have for me for the future.

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Niagara Falls, ON CA: Day Three

Hi there my lovelies! Happy Fridays! Hope you are doing well. I know it has been a few days but I wanted to make I get it right. On the third day of our trip to Niagara Fall, we went to Toronto through a guided tour through AAA Taxi.

I called them months ago and they assured me that they know their way through the city and their drivers were very knowledgeable. I have been going through private tour services everywhere I travel, where the driver showed us around the major landmarks.

When I booked the tour of Toronto from Niagara Falls, ON, I made sure that I made it a point with one of the owners (female) that I have never been to Toronto and we needed a guided tour. She assured me that they will show me all the major attractions. They charged us almost $600 for 4 people for the whole day round trip. On the day of pick up, the guy picked us up and dropped us off to the CN tower area. There was the CN Tower, Aquarium, and the Rogers Stadium all in the same vicinity. We couldn’t go to the top of the CN tower since it was so busy so we decided to go to the aquarium instead. We were there one and a half hour and the guy called kept calling us saying he just wanted to make sure his phone is working. It was frustrating so we left and called him to pick us up. He then asked us to tell him where to take us next. When we explained to him the arrangement we made with the company, he said that it was up to us to tell him where to go. He then pulled out his phone and told us “here’s a list of attractions, choose few”. Unfortunately, all of them were hotels. At that time we realized that the driver did not know anything about Toronto. I googled some list and give him one, which was a park. He took us to the wrong end. When I gave my phone with the good direction he kept telling us that logically it didn’t make sense and took us to a dead end. We became so frustrated that we asked him to take us back to our hotel. Suffice to say, our overcompensated taxi ride ended with a just ride to the CN tower area. At points when we got out we saw the driver keep opening the front hood. He even kept turning off the A/C on us every few minutes on that hot and humid day.

I would not recommend this company to anyone. I called the company to speak with the owner. Instead of speaking to me, the lady used a middleman to say that I was complaining because they did not give me money for the ride to CN Tower. It is then I realized what kind of fraud and rip off company they are. If I can spend $600 for a tour I can’t spend $80 on rides? I am not cheap like them. I argue that they are cheap but I actually took 16 hours guided tour with breakfast for less. So I suggest don’t fall victim to scams like this. Go with a reputable company. I usually research before I book but I wanted to give this company a chance, which was the biggest mistake of my life. NEVER AGAIN.

Usually my review about great things in a trip, but I wanted to share some of the horrible experiences I had. Let me if anyone ever had a similar experience or know of any good guided tours at Toronto. I would love to hear from you.

Don’t forget to check out my Facebook Page and follow on Instagram @allaboutme3181Are you on Bloglovin? Let’s add each other. Please follow me and comment below with your information so that I can follow you back.

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Niagara Falls, ON CA: Day Two

Hi there my lovelies! I hope you are doing well. Today, I want to talk to you about our day two of our Niagara Falls ON tour. We started our day two using the free 48 hours WeGo passes that we as part of the hotel package. We took the Green line to Niagara Parks. Our First stop was Butterfly Conservatory.

Butterfly Conservatory:

This butterfly house was opened in December 1996 with over 2000 tropical butterflies from over 60 different species. It was a wonderful experience watching the different species of butterfly and hoping one would land on us. 

Botanical Garden:

The Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens was established in 1936 with 99 acres of beautifully maintained gardens. This beautiful garden include everything from perennials, rhododendrons to herbs and vegetables. Additionally, guided horse and carriage tours of the garden are available daily during the summer months.

My lovelies! We walked so many miles the second day in the scorching heat but we enjoyed it so much. After walking walking miles in the hot summer day, we the Green line back to Rapid Rocks and spent some more time watching the Horseshoe falls and ended the day with some more fireworks from the hotel room.

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Niagara Falls, ON CA: Day One

Hi there my lovelies! I hope you are doing well. We are officially in the Spring season right now but when headed out of the house it was in the 30s outside felt still like winter. I cannot wait till this weekend and the 70s. Summer is creeping up upon us and everyone must have some idea what they want to do for their summer this year. If you don’t let me tell one of my summer adventure from last year. We went on a five-day summer trip to Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada. Our adventures had lots of good sides but there were some disappointing sides as well. I will divide up my trip into several posts.

This is our second trip to Niagara Falls. The first time we visited the falls was four years ago on the American side. We were quite underwhelmed by the American side other than walk through the rainbow brid.

In order to get the best deals, I made the bookings months ahead. Additionally, as an American Express Hilton Honors reward member, I used my points to pay for my hotel at the Embassy Suites at Falls View and got free continental breakfast.

Once we entered the room at 28th floor, I was memorized by the breathtaking view of the Horseshoe Falls and its glorious rushing water splashing and gushing with now care in mind. I knew then that if nothing, I have the front-row seat to such spectacular view without the hassle of getting sunburned in the high humidity.

Nonetheless, after a brief rest and soaking in the breathtaking view, we had lunch at the IHOP at the Tower Hotel with the Falls view. The view was amazing for sure. However, the food was disappointing and mediocre at best with a bill 160 ca dollar for 4 people. What a waste!

After a disappointing meal, we took the local WEGO bus to Table Rock Welcome Center, just next to the Horseshoe Falls. During the sultry heat, the cool mist from the falls was a blessing in disguise. We headed north towards Niagara Parkway and went to Queens Victoria Park.

Queen’s Victoria Park:

Queen Victoria Park is the crown jewel of Niagara Parks and is the main area to go to view the majestic Niagara Falls. It’s landmarked by the Niagara escarpment, the Niagara Gorge, and the Niagara River, and features a prized collection of both indigenous and international flora for the world to enjoy. I loved the endless collection of roses. The scorching heat forced us to walk back to our hotel until the evening with torturing long inkling walk.

Oakes Garden Theatre:

In the evening, we one stop, that is to Oakes Garden Theatre, located n Niagara Falls Ontario Canada directly across from the American Falls. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery. The contour of the surreal landscape creates a cured pergola overlooking a central amphitheater. I was genuinely surprised to see such low foot traffic. However, that allowed me to take a moment to soak in the tranquility of the beautiful garden overlooking the beautiful American falls and forgot about the worries of the world.

After a long day and walk, we ended the day with a grand fireworks display from our hotel room.

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Oh Beach, I Miss Thee!

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Hi there my lovelies! Hope you are doing well. It has been so cold outside the past couple of day. I looked onto my desk and saw a layer of ice. The cold forced me to daydream about the beautiful beach that I love going to during the summer.


“Oh the beach, how much I miss you at this time. I miss your warm sands playing with my feet and the waves dancing and singing with sands. One thing I like the miss about right now is the peace and calmness that I find deep in my heart looking at your vast horizon. You treat my mind and my soul. As Emilia Wickstead said, ‘To escape and sit quietly on the beach – that’s my idea of paradise.'”


What is your favorite vacation spot? Where do you see yourself vacationing today? Please comment below. I really like to hear your feedback.

Hope you enjoy this post and as much as I love writing it. Don’t forget to check out my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram  @allaboutme3181. Are you on  Bloglovin? Let’s add each other. Please follow me and comment below with your information so that I can follow you back.


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Happy New Year from Dubai


Hi Lovelies! Happy New Year from the beautiful city of Dubai. You may be thinking I am in Dubai right now. Actually, not really but one year ago to the day I was celebrating New Year from Dubai. I decided to wait till now to share my experience with you. Dubai is a beautiful place to visit and I was only there for a day but I want to share my experience my experience with you, my lovely and wonderful readers.


We left for Dubai on the mid-morning of December 31, 2015 for a close to 9 hours trip. We flew from Dulles International Airport. We flew by Emirates and went by Dubai timeline to celebrate New Year in the plane. At midnight UAE time, the flight attendants came by wearing the New Year hats wishing up Happy New Year. To be honest, this was the very first time in my life, I ushered in the new year above international water. My dear wonderful readers, during my visit to Dubai I have taken the time to take deep breath and take time to observe my surrounding. The result was to enjoy the moments even more and creating lasting memories.

Emirates Park Towers Hotel & Spa

Dubai Business Central Twin Towers

I were in the hotel by 9:00 am. I took a little time to freshen up and relax after the long trip. After that we went to the lobby and booked one of those guide tour to show us around the city. We highly recommend this as it will allow you to enjoy various part of the city with guided tour. Each hotel have various package deal, you have the option from 2 to 6 hours tour and even a desert tour. We visited various part the city including: Burj Khalifa, Burj al-Arab, Dubai Business Central Twin Towers, Emirates Park Towers Hotel & Spa, Jumeirah Emirates Towers HoteI, Dubail Mall, Al-Farooq Mosque, Jumeirah Beach, Atlantis the Palm, Palm Island and so on. I am also glad that we took a guided tour because even on January 1st it was in the mid to upper 90s in there.



Burj Khalifa: Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, standing tall at 829.8m (2,722ft). Burj Khalifa was designed by Adrian Smith, then of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), whose firm designed the Willis Tower and One World Trade Center. Hyder Consulting was chosen to be the supervising engineer with NORR Group Consultants International Limited chosen to supervise the architecture of the project. The design of Burj Khalifa is derived from patterning systems embodied in Islamic architecture, incorporating cultural and historical elements particular to the region, such as in the Great Mosque of Samarra. The Y-shaped plan is designed for residential and hotel usage. A buttressed core structural system is used to support the height of the building, and the cladding system is designed to withstand Dubai’s summer temperatures. I was literally awestruck when I first saw the building ground up. It is humongous.  I tried to take picture of the entire structure from ground up and failed miserably. The building was too tall.  To me, the picture does not do justice.

Dubail Mall: This mall is located at the foot of the Burj Khalifa and stretches across 1.1 million sq/m, it is the world’s largest shopping, entertainment, and leisure destination. There are 1,200 retail outlets, from Armani to Zara, or visit the Dubai Aquarium, children’s theme parks and the Dubai Ice Rink.


Burj al-Arab: It is a luxury hotel. It is a five-star hotel, the highest official ranking. While the hotel is sometimes erroneously described as “the world’s only seven-star hotel”, the hotel management claims to never have done that themselves. It is also the fourth tallest hotel in the world. This beautiful architecture, designed to mimic the sail of a ship, is on an artificial island 280m (920 ft) from the Jumeirah Beach. The building stands tall talk 321m (1,053 ft).


Jumeirah Beach: The glorious Jumeirah Beach lies along Dubai’s coast, providing stretches of soft white sand on which to relax and play. Our tour bus dropped up off their for 20 minutes to enjoy the view of the ocean and take pictures. It was very hot. It was the dry heat that made it hard to stand there. I stood near the water to enjoy the water a bit but the sand was very hot. We took the time enjoy some beach time. I enjoyed every moment of it because I knew that I couldn’t have done that in the east coast on January 1st, with temperature in the 30s.



Al Falrooq Omar Bin Al Khattab Mosque: The mosque is named after Umar bin Al Khattab, a companion of the Prophet Mohammed who became the second Caliph after Abu Bakr and was given the title Al Farooq, meaning someone who distinguished truth from falsehood. It was a very quiet and serene place to visit. I am always fascinated by the European and Islamic architecture. We stopped and spent 10 minutes absorbing the environment and taking picture.  It is a beautiful place to see and the mosque is so beautiful. There are inscription in the walls, which are Ottoman inscriptions inspired by the Blue Mosque in Istanbul and had an Andalusian touch.




Atlantis the Palm: Set on the iconic Palm Jumeirah island with views of the Arabian Gulf, this luxurious resort is 14 km from Wild Wadi Water Park and 15 km from Mall of the Emirates. The island is a man-made island in the shape of palm tree. The island consists of a tree trunk, a crown with 16 fronds, and a surrounding crescent island that forms an 11 kilometer-long breakwater. The island itself is five kilometers by five kilometers. It adds 78 kilometers to the Dubai coastline.


Gold Souk:  The souk is located in the heart of Dubai’s commercial business district in Deira, in the locality of Al Dhagaya. The souk consists of over 300 retailers that trade almost exclusively in jewelry. One thing that I have learned about buying gold from Dubai, if you really want to buy gold from Dubai from gold souk then you really to haggle to get the best deal.


Courtesy a friend of mine.

Dubai Museum: Finally, we ended the trip with visit to the Dubai Museum. It is the main museum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is located in the Al Fahidi Fort. When entering, one can see the fort constructed and the various displays that go along with it. From the fort, there is a path to the galleries, which display the general culture of the land, especially in the 1800s. It includes local antiquities as well as artifacts from African and Asian countries that traded with Dubai. We did not enter the museum but sat outside and enjoyed the outside view.

Overall, I always recommend to use guided tour to visit various places at Dubai. I know one day was not enough to visit Dubai. Next time, we will be there longer and enjoy more. Until then, we really enjoyed our day at Dubai. If you ever get a chance take a stop over at Dubai and take a guide tour of the city. A friend of mine did the same on her way to Australia.

I hope you enjoy the post as much as I loved writing this. Don’t forget to check out my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram @allaboutme3181.

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