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.

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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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The Gym Isn’t the Only Way to Workout

~Kristen Furleigh

Don’t give up your dreams of being healthy and strong just because you can’t afford a gym membership. Money or lack thereof can have a negative impact on our ability to believe we can still achieve. When funds get tight one of the first things to go straight to a wish list is a gym membership, and with it our willingness to think beyond to what we will do in it’s place. The whole possibility of being fit seemingly vanishes but it does not have to.

There a plethora of tools out there you can utilize that won’t cost you money but can still give you the health benefits of having a gym membership; so don’t fret. You can make things happen if you are willing to do the slightly unconventional. Richard and I haven’t ever budgeted for a gym membership because we would rather put that money towards an experience or artistic materials which often don’t come cheap. We are still able make working out fun and beneficial for us.

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The great outdoors is a typically free resource available to you almost anywhere you live. Weather can be an obstacle here depending on where you live but for most of us we can suck it up when its a bit warmer or colder than our preferred state of comfort. Go for a run to get your cardio in and utilize the space in a park that has workout stations along the course. You can usually find out where your city parks are by visiting your city website or GoogleMaps works well too. Go scope them out to find out which one offers what you are looking for. We even saw an outdoor workout facility in San Francisco that looked like a crossfit gym!

Did you know that YouTube, besides offering music and cute cat videos, is also a hub for countless exercise videos? You can find workout videos for just about anything you can imagine. From Yoga to full length exercise classes to short, specific muscle focused instruction. If you get bored you can always switch it up with something else.

On the topic of video instruction, if you can rely on yourself to cancel, BeachBody offers free 30-day access to a large number of their programs that you can stream on just about any device. Just remember to schedule a reminder in your phone before your offer expires to avoid being charged! This can be great to get you started with an at home routine. If you are afraid you will forget the steps of the work out you can write them down to reference after your trial period.

If you can find a gym buddy! If you have a friend who has a gym at their apartment complex see if you can join them. Many don’t require a sign in so as long as you have the access code or card to get in you can use their equipment. We did this when my parents lived in an apartment complex that offered these amenities. Remember to always be respectful of others and the equipment in the gym.

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If you are in college or live in an active community be on the look out for free events. We were able to learn acroyoga by joining a club on campus. Summer is a great time to find free outdoor events where they offer instruction that gets you moving. Take advantage of these opportunities and write down what you learn so you can workout on your own.

Investing in yourself will always take time but it doesn’t always have to cost you money. What are some things you do to stay fit on a fitness budget of $0? We would love to try our hand at your approach. Leave your thoughts in the comments; we love to hear from you! Til next time Pengminions!

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Experiences are the Best Gifts

~Kristen Furleigh

The best gift you can give some one is your time. Rather than spending your hard earned money on things that in most cases only offer short term fulfillment why not think differently next time a holiday or birthday come around. We as people remember most the experiences we had and the people we had them with more readily than the gift items we get. Why not give the gift of experiences and/or time when the next gift giving event takes place?

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Around here we prefer just that. Any chance we get we are trying to come up with a meaningful experience in which we can gift our time when these milestones hit. This year was my Dad’s 50th birthday and what we came up with is for me to take him out to a different spot once a month for the whole year and we grab a beer together . This encourages us to make time for each other; which with our busy schedules can get away from us sometimes. For the year we are dedicating once a month to an experience and quality time; which is better than any ol’ tie or bottle of aged whiskey could offer. It’s just two months in and it has been a blast!

If you are looking for some grand adventures or experiences and don’t know where to look try out Groupon. You can get ideas and even try something new for a fraction of the original cost. They have offers in most cities.

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Christmas this year was a great year for Groupons, one of my favorite gifts, my parents got each of us ‘kids’ a voucher for go-kart racing! And for my parents I got us an adventure for a group snowshoeing adventure up in Lake Tahoe. For Richard and I we purchased one for parasailing this summer up in Lake Tahoe also. I can’t wait to go on these epic adventures with people I love.

cpAnother place to start when trying to come up with gifts that are more along these lines is to think about the person’s interests and how you can incorporate those into an activity or outing. When my birthday came around last year Richard remembered my love of arts/crafts and weakness for a sweet Moscato and signed me up to spend time with my Mom at Crafted Palette (a local paint and sip establishment) since he had to work.

These are just a few of many ways you can change your gift giving habits that we encourage you to try out. What are some of your favorite non-traditional gifts or some ideas that you have come up with that we didn’t talk about? We would love to hear about them. Having trouble or feeling stuck; lets brainstorm some ideas together! Til next time Pengminions!

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I’m in a Travel State of Mind

– Richard Furleigh

If you read any blogs on even a semi regular basis you will have come across the “Travel is important!” “Get out and go see the world!” or the classic “Broaden your horizons!” All of which sound great but from my travel experiences in this country and abroad, miss a critical point. Unless you open yourself up to those new experience, than you will get little to nothing out of it other than a couple pictures you’ll later post to Facebook.

Many people point to college as one of the biggest times in your life when you will be exposed to new ideas, and there’s a good reason for that. Get students together from not only all over your state but from the rest of the country and plunk them down beside one another and watch the magic. Now multiply that and that can be what travel is, if you’re open to it. It is absolutely imperative, and I cannot stress this enough, to begin any trip with a fresh set of eyes; the further your travels the more crucial this becomes. See the world through a child like state of wonder and interest, ask why things happened the way they do, get to know the thoughts locals have behind their beliefs religious and political, get to know their customs in a way that lets you appreciate them that much more, and then share yours with them too!

 

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Kristen performing a poi dance led by the Maori (New Zealand first nation peoples)

 

When Kristen and I went on our honeymoon to New Zealand we stayed almost exclusively in hostels not only for the cost savings and the free instant coffee, but for the shared experiences with other people. Two nights in particular stick out in my head when it comes to good conversation: one in Wellington at The Dwellington (which I loved more for the pun name) and Invercargill at a hostel I can’t find with Google anymore (hope you guys are still open!). The reason these two stick out as places we stayed during our trip is because of the conversations we had with other travelers who were staying there. At The Dwellington I had about a two hour conversation with a one guy and one woman from England, a woman from Canada, and a native New Zealander about the life of being recently graduated from college (or as they call it, university), focusing on what it takes finding a job, what other support structure they have for young adults, taxes once you get a job, healthcare while employed and while not, and so much more.

In Invercargill we sat with a couple from Israel, a butcher from France, and another woman from somewhere in South America. As the wood burning stove burnt down, was restocked, and burnt down again we joked and talked about everything from life, to what it was like living and working in our respective countries. It was amazing to get to talk about military service in Israel, working as a butcher for fine French restaurants, to life in the southern hemisphere in a harsh political climate. One amazing note about the Invercargill night as well: Kristen and I were the only two native English speakers there yet we communicated, sometimes very brokenly, in English and gestures the whole night, and it was that much more amazing for it.

These moments were enriching in ways that would never have happened had I not approached them with the mindset of curiosity, intrigue, and open mindedness about the greater world around me. There are so many things to be learned from people other than ourselves, and the further away from your state of normality you can get the more interesting information and people you will find.

If you’re heading out on a trip any time soon, try going off the beaten path, go sit at a bar and strike up a conversation with strangers, and try to explore what their life is like.

Any major trips you have coming up? Let us know about it in the comments down below, and if you want any advice on awesome places in New Zealand we’ll be more than happy to share! Until next time Pengminions! 

 

From Fear to Empowerment

From Fear to Empowerment
~Kristen Furleigh

Often when I talk to others about some of our life experiences I get a “Wow, I could never do that” or an “I wish I could travel but (insert: I’m too scared, don’t have the money, ect)” and “How do you do that?” but I don’t usually see my life as anything particularly unique. I truly believe that if you want to do something there are many more ways to make it happen then we allow ourselves to realize. It is so much easier to see the reasons why we can’t than to look for the opportunities for how we can.

When it comes to other people’s reactions to my/our life and how “they could never” I always respond with “yes, YOU can!” I believe wholeheartedly that anyone can do anything that Richard and I do and more. It is all a matter of allowing yourself to say YES to trying and NO to fear. I do understand that some of this idea is from a place of privilege but most people have more means than they will give themselves credit for. It is often less about means and more about giving yourself permission and accepting the sacrifices that come with making the decision to go for it.

If you re-frame it; you are making a sacrifice either way. For example, when you choose not to travel you are sacrificing the experiences you could have had. When you choose to travel it is a sacrifice; whatever it is that you sacrifice will be different based upon your circumstances. You have to ask yourself which one is more important to you. You must also be honest with yourself because it is easy to come up with a valid yet facetious excuse. Like, “I have to eat.” Well, of course, you have to eat but can you be making better choices with what you purchase to eat that would allow you to travel? There are so many ways we can talk ourselves out of pursuing the things we want. It is without a doubt easier but is the easiest road fulfilling? I would argue, no.

Coming back to fear; fear should be the least of our concerns. We all have fears but we cannot let them stop us from reaching for possibilities. In almost every situation that has been scary, once I have done said scary thing, I always end up feeling better having done it. On the other side of the fear is a much better place to be and it has allowed me to do more things that I fear because I have the experience of having done the frightening and come out feeling a stronger, more capable person. I am by no means fearless I just know that I will be OK and will grow from the experience. It is an amazingly empowering feeling. This is something that I have to remind myself of often to keep pushing myself forward. It also takes practice. It doesn’t just happen; we have to continue doing differently in order to make these life changes.

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Above the clouds on top of Mt. Doom aka Mount Ngauruhoe on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing a 19.4 km hike not including this detour

What are some things you have always dreamed of doing but have held yourself back from pursuing? Let’s chat. All it takes is a plan and commitment and you are on your way to realizing your dreams! What are some things you want to hear about from us? We can have a conversation in the comments or feel free to message us. Til next time Pengminions!

 

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Living Life Creatively

Living Life Creatively
~Kristen Furleigh

Living life creatively to me is a lifestyle even more than that though it transforms into a way of being. It is finding ways to do things differently. My mind has always taken the “normal” and asked questions. Most important has been “Why?”. Why do we do the things that we do and do we have to do them that way. Just because something has been done a certain way forever does not mean we have to continue in the same manner.

Finding ways to create meaning in the things that we do is important. When curating our lives I believe that just because someone before you has done it one way does not mean that we have to do the same. We can create our own path. Just because there is a road that has been traveled many times and is “safe” does not mean that is the path we should take because what it means to us may not be the same as those before us. Sometimes you’ve got to, as cliche as it is, take the road less traveled. Something that is a bit uncertain. You never know the beauty and fulfillment that awaits when you are honest with yourself about your own life.

We have to make the decision to create our own lives, otherwise we end up existing without really living. It is critical to find and shape our own path, and to live our life in a way that is authentic to who we are and what we as individuals believe. We have to seek the truth and passion in our lives or else we end up simply taking up space in the world instead of actively contributing something positive to it. It is by no means an easy feat and takes dedication to searching, questioning, and doing. The execution can often be the hardest part because fear and doubt set in. It is scary to go into uncharted waters. Creativity leaves you vulnerable because what if someone doesn’t like it or agree with your “out of the ordinary” choice.

I implore you to go on that journey. Explore the world. Create art. Adventure outside your normal and try things different than what you know and is comfortable.

In business, in art, in life make the choice to do things a little differently and see how much you can open up your world and opportunities. Our experiences help guide us; be willing to give it, whatever it is, a TRY!

I’m excited to share with you some of our creative journey. I hope we can inspire you to join us!

We would love to hear about some of your experiences too. Share them with us in the comments below or in a message. Til next time Pengminions!

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