How to Not Spend a Million Dollars on Food When You Travel

When planning a trip one of the biggest expenses you start to see while researching is how much you expect to spend on food. What some may not realize is you can cut out much of those unnecessary expenses by planning a bit ahead. Richard and I have made it a habit to pack nonperishable items that we would often utilize in our everyday lives. That or we plan time at the beginning of our trip to hit up the local grocery store for cheap, filling items that help offset those small and sometimes big purchases throughout the day.


One of our splurges! The Breakfast Bowl from Valerie Confections in Grand Central Market while we were in Los Angeles.

As you are out and about you WILL get hungry, but rather than stopping at every little market or food truck you see, having a granola bar in your bag can hold you over until you are ready to splurge on going out for a meal. While you don’t want to deprive yourself of trying out the local cuisine, you also don’t want your whole budget to go to food.

Some items we choose depend on the length of our stay and where we are traveling to. We are from the US so traveling within the states most items are ok. You will want to check for international travel what items are acceptable if you plan on packing anything in your bag.

Here is a list of items we usually gravitate towards:

  • Granola/protein bars
  • Peanut Butter
  • Cereal (can be eaten dry)
  • Canned soups
  • Nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds are my go-to)
  • Bread
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Bananas
  • Fruit snacks (I have a notorious sweet tooth)
  • Chips or some crunchy snack of your choice
    If you have access to refrigeration and/or cooking appliances
  • Milk
  • Lunch Meat
  • Cheese
  • Eggs (hardboiled eggs pack well for a day out)

Create a budget. Figure out the cost of goods. Plan strategically. You want to find foods that are going to sustain you throughout the day. Remember to eat a good breakfast to start the day, carry snacks with you, and STAY HYDRATED! You can save money on bottled water by packing a reusable bottle. You will be able to fill up on water throughout the day at water fountains. Hydration is important because often times when you think you are hungry you could possibly just be dehydrated. You can also stave off feeling sluggish throughout your adventure-filled day by keeping hydrated.

One way we try to keep expenses down is by finding accommodations that provide complimentary breakfast for the price we are looking to pay. In most cases, you can find somewhere for the same price or just a couple dollars more per night. These few dollars should be less than or equal to what you would pay to buy yourself breakfast. We have even been lucky enough to find places that have provided dinner for us in the past, too!

Weigh your options but you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on food when you travel. A key thing to remember is that whether you are traveling or at home you have to eat so it is an expense either way. Why not enjoy it experiencing somewhere new?
What are some of your favorite trip snacks? Til next time Pengminions!

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YOU Can Be the Key to Innovation

It is not always easy to be different but it

is important to embrace your different. No one has your exact story or your experiences in life. You should bring those with you on any project or any job that you do. You have a unique story so don’t forget to utilize your differences to bring something new to the table no matter what you do. We are all different but our experiences aren’t so far removed from someone else’s that they aren’t relatable on some level.

You could also be bringing a perspective that a particular group had not thought of, based on their individual histories, but would be important in order to reach more people or create a better idea overall depending on what you are pursuing. Innovation cannot happen without a ‘different’ thought.

Innovation involves deliberate application of information, imagination and initiative in deriving greater or different values from resources, and includes all processes by which new ideas are generated and converted into useful products…”

You have to be willing to put yourself out there in order to help the collective. No one can share your story but you. No one knows your perspective if you do not share it with them. This can be in art, business, relationships, ect. In art, theatrical arts for me, we are story tellers. If we are not willing to give of ourselves the stories fall flat and become a hollow shell of the power that they could have had. Or we could miss out on creating the next Hamilton because we were unwilling to share our unconventional ideas. In business, that new product or service may never be thought up if we are not willing to change things up or share our experiences. In relationships, with any and all people we encounter, we could be missing out on new or deeper connections.

I know we talk about innovation in terms of business often but really I think the opportunity to innovate in all aspects of your life is endless and we are the key if we are willing to put ourselves out there and share who we are. I challenge you to stop doing all you can to blend in and not makes waves; MAKE WAVES and share your thoughts. Where do you plan to start sharing more of YOU? Let us know down in the comments. We love hearing from you. Til next time Pengminions!

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United failed the “Social” test

by Richard Furleigh

The era of social once again shows us just how swiftly information spreads, especially when it involves one of America’s least liked industries; airlines. At approx 7:30 last night a video showing United personnel forcibly removing a passenger was posted online, and in a little over 12 hours is trending on every major social media platform. At 9:27 CST United’s CEO issued this statement:

Twitter has been having a field day with “re-accommodate” and for good reason; it shows a complete lack of caring. There was no ownership of the incident, no real empathy, and the entire message reads very cold.

Companies have to come to grips with the immediate nature of Social and the implications that poor responses like this will have. United especially has been under fire for other issues in the recent past and have to find a way to better manage these situations. It goes without saying that having them not happen to begin with would be preferable, but humans make mistakes so inevitably you will have to respond for your company’s mistakes as well.

Policy and actions aside, the takeaway point here is not only finding better ways to interact with your customers on a daily basis, but it is beyond imperative to respond in a humanistic way that admits to fault, and sincerely assures your customer base that things will be fixed in the future. The response from United’s CEO was…. lackluster at best…. It feels entirely like every other major company “apologizing” for their mistake with zero sense of connection to the people they serve. It is our job as good corporate citizens to reach our customers in a much more enriching way, and make sure messages like this are a thing of the past.

What are your thoughts about the way business could handle a situation like this? What would you have done differently? Until next time Pengminions!

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When will big business learn about the Social age?

by Richard Furleigh

Working in such a large company I often find myself discussing with others in similar positions about our respective companies and the various issues they have. Time and time again it boggles my mind the extent to with which some of these companies operate under such antiquated practices in terms of customer interaction, cultivation, and satisfaction in the modern era.

Our culture and society has made monumental strides in terms of technology and the entire way we interact, yet one of my friends mentioned his company was having them do cold calls for b2b leads because business was down. Cold calls? His brick and mortar  location,

which by the way is one of the busiest in his 120 store region, belongs to a  fortune 100 company was doing cold calls to drum up leads. I was shocked, and yet somehow this is not an isolated occurrence.


In the digital age these companies are no longer innovating the same way small companies are. Not in terms of products or capabilities, but in the way that companies reach out and engage their customers. Traditional media is limping along as services like Netflix and 8tracks take off in the digital realm, and with their growth comes the decline of traditional marketing. This will never go completely away but how can you rely on top of mind marketing? It sounds good in theory, but ask yourself this: the last time you made a purchasing decision greater than $100 how did you do it? If you’re anything like me you did some research online, looking at reviews, opinions, and price comparison. Those first two are critical because as companies finally grab onto managing the first two in a way that is helpful to their potential customers (not to themselves first!) they can help guide those making the decisions to their products and solutions. The companies who figure this out first will be the ones who end up leading their industries in the next 10 years.

Rather than setting a team of people to make cold calls that, let’s be honest, are anything but effective. Why not set these same people to task connecting with individuals and companies? Why not set a strategy that incorporates the social age and provides a helpful package that has people seek you out as experts in your subject matter? This will not only create more loyal connections to you and your company but is an almost infinitely more effective long term solution than wasting money having employees bother business owners who are busy with their own issues.

For those in any sort of leadership position it is imperative that this becomes a focus. The digital age has moved past it’s infancy and is in full swing. If your company has not caught up to that it is our responsibility as corporate citizens to help lead the charge into the future instead of cold calling businesses. These same companies preach being advanced but it is clear that their cultural evolution is clearly lacking in this category. We must take the reigns and help guide them.

Until next time Pengminions!

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Sales and Business in Living Life Creatively

by Richard Furleigh

A pushy car salesman prattles on about the virtues of a particular car before saying “come on, make me an offer.” The women at the furniture store keeps pushing you to the higher end furniture and talking about upgrades you don’t want. Your last mattress shopping experience, I can just about guarantee, was frustrating at best. All of these positions are heavily involved in sales and often ingrained in the old school.

Courtesy: Glengarry Glen Ross

Courtesy: Glengarry Glen Ross

Living life creatively is more than art and life, it also has radical implications into business philosophy as well. If for no other reason than selling markets of every kind have changed more in the last two decades with the internet revolution this is something that if ignored will ensure your company, no matter its size, will fall.

I don’t need to tell you that with Google one upset customer can leave a review that will never go away let alone forbid something goes viral, but what DO you need to do in order to live business creatively? Working in tech retail I can tell you from the ground level that customers are sick and tired of mass market messages, confusing pricing tactics, and are so wary of anyone even close to sales. The surefire way I see past this is to begin to treat our customers as guests in our house; treat them like human beings with dignity. They are individuals with whom you need to connect with in order to, if nothing else, make them feel valuable as a person and not just as a number. Find out about their job, their family, are they going to BBQ this weekend? Anything to break down the walls that they have constructed against the pushy car salesman. The side benefit of this is once you have actually gotten to know them a little you can make a recommendation that truly fits their life! You get to add to your top line all the while they see you as you truly are, someone who took the time to help them with a problem they had in their life and gave them a quality solution without forcing it on them. People buy from friends so the more personal you can be in a genuine way the better you will perform in the long run because your guests will be that much more satisfied in every capacity.

One thing I constantly remind my co-workers is that this is not the best way to meet metrics this month, but over time I cannot think of one single thing that will allow us to build our future growth in a recession proof and sustainable way. This is the work of living life creatively, it is not a short term solution but must be lived every day in order to see the long term benefits. We are already seeing the shift away from big impersonal box stores and back to stores that can provide a customized experience for their clientele and those who are getting ahead of this now will reap the benefits hand over fist for doing so.

What have you seen in the business world (when selling or when purchasing) that could use an update from this philosophy?  I know I’m always looking at new ways of trying to see what could improve for the people I help out at work, so let us know below! If there’s a ‘manager’ out there who could use a reminder of leadership feel free to share this as well. 

That’s all for now Pengminions, hope you have a great weekend and we’ll see you back soon!
-Richard Furleigh