Six Budget Travel Secrets Know Before You Go On Your Trip Overseas Grand Canyon A Trip You Have To Take Teaching
Budget travel is not just about finding ways to spend less. The point is to have just as much fun while spending less. Here are some tips to get you started, and afterwards, a suggestion on how to think about travel.
Are you considering a long trip? You may want to rent an apartment in an interesting city. We did this for two months in Tucson. It saved us at least $600 per month, compared to even the cheaper motels. It was fun to have a “home base” for our travels, from which we took day trips to Mexico and or up to Mount Lemmon, the furthest-south ski resort in the country. Many cities have apartments that are furnished and available on a month-to-month basis.
In general it is the traveling part of travel that costs the most. This is due to the cost of gas, convenient fast food, and the expensive hotels you are forced to pay for when you just can’t drive any further. So if you find a place with a reasonable motel, and a lot to do in the area – stay for a while! We find that a place becomes more interesting when you have a few days to explore it.
Because of the growing popularity of RV (recreational vehicle) boondocking, the BLM has begun to establish areas for longer stays, particularly in Arizona. They have a permit fee is around $140 now. Although you can still park your RV for free on most BLM and National Forest land, paying for the fee areas means you get to stay up to six months (The free stays are limited to two weeks). You’ll also have pump stations, dumpsters and water available. You can find out more from the BLM’s Arizona web site.
Budget Travel Quick Tips
The federal tax on airfare isn’t due if you are taking a flight from one city in the U.S. to another in order to catch an overseas flight. Show your ticket to another country to the agent to have the tax removed.
You may be able to get a senior discount if you are 65 or older. Ask. If you are using an internet site to search for tickets, they may not include this information, so you may have to call the airline direct. Recently, Expedia.com has included a box to check if you are over 65.
For cheaper hotel rooms, use the coupon books at gas stations along the highways. We’ve almost always found good deals using these. It’s rare that a manager won’t honor the coupon. Generally, only if they’re absolutely full will they refuse. Read the fine print, though. They often charge more for certain dates, or for two people.
The above is a good example of how to travel cheap without sacrificing a thing. The same room will often be $20 more without the coupon, and you have to stop for gas anyhow, so why not grab those coupon books? Save on a room for a few nights and you can pay for another day of vacation. Just keeping your eyes open for opportunities like this is one of the keys to budget travel.
There is much that you can do to prepare for your trip abroad, depending on where you are going, how long you are staying, and your reasons for traveling.
The following suggestions and sources may be useful:
Do your homework and read as much as possible about the countries in which you plan to travel. Informing yourself about a nation’s history, culture, customs and politics will make your stay more meaningful. Such information can be found in most libraries, bookstores and tourist bureaus. Although English is spoken in many countries, it is a good idea to learn what you can of the language of the country in which you will be traveling.
Travel agents can provide brochures and tourist information about the countries that you wish to visit.
Most international airlines can supply you with travel brochures about the countries that they serve. Many countries have tourist information offices in main cities in the United States where you can obtain travel brochures and maps.
Foreign embassies or consulates in the United States can provide up-to-date information on their countries. Addresses and telephone numbers of the embassies of foreign governments are listed in the Congressional Directory, available at most public libraries. In addition to their embassies, some countries also have consulates in major U.S. cities. Look for their addresses in your local telephone directory, or find them in the publication, Foreign Consular Offices in the United States, available in many public libraries, or on the state department travel web site.
The Department of State publishes Background Notes on countries worldwide. These are brief, factual pamphlets with information on each country’s culture, history, geography, economy, government, and current political situation. The Background Notes are available for approximately 170 countries. They often include a reading list, travel notes and maps. To purchase copies, you can contact the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, or call (202) 512-1800. Select issues are also available from the Department of State’s Bureau of Public Affairs, fax-on-demand, by calling (202) 736-7720 from your fax machine or on the Department of State’s home page.
The Consular Information Program provides pertinent information for travelers. The U.S. Department of State issues fact sheets, known as Consular Information Sheets, on every country in the world. You should obtain the Department of State’s Consular Information Sheet for any country that you will visit. The sheets contain information about crime and security conditions, areas of instability, and other details pertaining to travel in a particular country.
The Department of State also issues Travel Warnings and Public Announcements. Travel Warnings are issued when the Department of State recommends deferral of travel by Americans to a country because of civil unrest, dangerous conditions, and terrorist activity and/or because the United States has no diplomatic relations with the country and cannot assist an American citizen in distress.
Public Announcements are issued as a means to disseminate information quickly about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term and/or transnational conditions, which would pose significant risks to American travelers.
Every American (okay, every human for that matter) owes it to him/herself to head to Arizona and visit the Grand Canyon at least once in their lifetimes. It’s truly amazing to see how a little trickle of water eventually turned into the Colorado River, which eventually carved out the Grand Canyon.
You can approach your trip to the Grand Canyon in a couple different ways. One way is to stay within the park at one of the lodges on the South Rim and take time to experience all the different things the park has to offer. The other way is to stay in one of the surrounding Arizona towns and take a day trip to the Grand Canyon for a “hit and run” view of the Canyon. Both have their plusses.
The part of the Grand Canyon The South Rim is the part of the Grand Canyon most people are familiar with. It sits on the Arizona side and can be accessed all year round. The North Rim is closed from mid-October to mid-May, and is not as visited as the South Rim.
The benefit of staying within the park is the ability to take your time to view the magnificent Canyon from different viewing points, which you can access by walking the rim trail or taking a shuttle from point to point. For those of you staying for several days, a trip to the Northern Rim of the Grand Canyon would be a lovely addition, though the drive is about 4 – 5 hours long. For those not wanting to drive, there is a shuttle which provides rim to rim service from mid-May to Mid-October.
For those staying on the South Rim, there are numerous trails down the canyon, as well as a trail along the top of the Canyon called the “Rim Trail.” If you’re staying in one of the lodges and are planning a day hike into the inner Canyon, just be aware that you probably cannot make it down and back in one day. As a matter of fact, each year around 250 people are rescued from the inner Canyon, the majority of whom are able-bodied young men between the ages of 18 to 40 who attempted to hike down and back in one ay. Don’t be one of them. A good day hike would be a couple hours down and then back up. The hike up will take longer than the hike down. Also, be sure to wear good hiking shoes as some trails can be very rocky.
Some people choose to hike down one day and either camp at the bottom or stay in the Phantom Ranch. Be aware, however, that you have to make arrangements well in advance of your trip if you choose to stay at the bottom. Campers require a backcountry permit, and Phantom Ranch is usually booked months ahead. Permits are sometimes available on that day, but why risk it? For reservations at the Phantom Ranch, you can call 888-297-2757.
Some people prefer to stay outside the park and visit the Canyon for a few hours and move on. There are numerous areas in Northern Arizona where one can stay and take a side trip to the Grand Canyon, such as Sedona and Flagstaff. While such locations are still lengthy drives (an hour from Flagstaff, two from Sedona), it’s still close enough for a day trip. Both Sedona and Flagstaff are lovely places to stay, with Sedona being the most ‘touristy” of the two towns. Flagstaff, to me, is the quirkier of the two, perhaps because it is a “university town,” home to Northern Arizona University.
Sedona and Flagstaff are also visually different. Flagstaff is surrounded by a pine forest, while Sedona is in “red rock” country. Sedona abounds with numerous high-end resorts, galleries and expensive eateries. Flagstaff is cheaper all-around, with inexpensive lodging and restaurants. Both are close enough for a day trip to the Grand Canyon.
Of course, you can always opt for an even quicker bus tour, hopping from one tourist stop to the next. But, why not take a cue from that little trickle of water which started it all? Take your time and enjoy the view.
Teaching English as foreign language (or second language) is an excellent option for visiting new parts of the world. Because English is commonly used for diplomacy, higher education, business and technology, English teachers and classes are in high demand around the worldwide.
Knowing how to teach English also provides you with an excellent skill to be used in volunteering. There are opportunities around the world where people would benefit from knowing English, yet they do not have the funds to enroll in classes, or perhaps they don’t have access to any classes at all.
If teaching English isn’t for you, international schools require native English speakers to teach other subjects as well, such as mathematics, science, history, and the arts.
What is TEFL, ESL, EFL, etc.?
There are lots of different abbreviations and acronyms to refer to teaching English. Here is a quick simplifier…
ELT: English Language Teaching or English Language Training
EFL: English as a Foreign Language
ESL: English as a Second Language
ESOL: English for Speakers of Other Languages
EAL: English as an Additional Language
TEFL: Teaching English as a Foreign Language
TESL: Teaching English as a Second Language
TEAL: Teaching English as an Additional Language
TESOL: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
All of the above abbreviations are used for essentially the same thing, however, you may notice that generally ESL is used for non-native speakers learning English in an English speaking country, and EFL is for non-native-speaks learning English in a non-English speaking environment, such as their own country. Moreover, Americans tend to use ESL more, and British teachers tend to use EFL. EAL is an attempt to bridge the gap between the two. Oftentimes people learn English not as their second language, but as their third, fourth or more. Also, EAL avoids using the word “foreign”, which is considered by the more politically correct to have an unpleasant inference.
Do I need a certificate to teach English?
There are many opportunities around the world to teach English without a certificate. However, certification does help, especially if there is an application process involved and positions are competitive.
Do I need to speak a foreign language to teach people English?
Theoretically, to teach English you should only need to speak one language. However, if you are teaching in a foreign country, there is no doubt that some knowledge of that country’s culture and language can make your job much easier, and probably allow you to make your lessons more relevant and interesting for your students. If your students are of mixed international backgrounds, then knowing one or two foreign languages may not be of assistance to the entirety of the group.
There is some benefit to your teaching if you do in fact know a foreign language or have learnt one. By having first hand experience of being a student, you are able to have a more complete perspective of the student/teacher relationship and the trials and tribulations of those you teach. Moreover, learning another language provides you with valuable insight about grammar, such as verb conjugations and tenses, which come naturally to a native speaker. Many other languages use similar grammatical formats as English, and by learning a foreign language you might be able to examine your native language more carefully.
Do I need to speak English as my native language to teach English?
You certainly don’t have to speak English as your native tongue; however you must have excellent fluency and writing skills to start a training course for certification. Oftentimes non-native speakers make the best teachers, however. If you’ve been through it yourself then you are able to relate to what your students will be dealing with.
How long will it take to become certified?
Certification is a pretty quick process, usually taking four weeks or considerably less. You can take the course full time, part time, or through distance learning. There are options to suit whichever method or time frame you prefer..
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