Summer is here. Long days, warm weather, and relaxing vacations. The summer months bring an increased demand for travel, but you don't have to pay through the nose to have a great holiday. Here's a few tips to plan your next getaway on a budget.

1. Avoid the beach.

The beach is a great location, but it's a popular destination. Everyone and their mother will be headed to the shores. This will likely drive travel prices way up. Don't even think about your hotel or even renting a place to relax near the waves. If you're really dedicated, you can find a lesser known beach. But if you really want to save money, it's probably better to choose a less popular destination.

2. Don't worry about a rental car.

If you're headed to a big city, consider all your transportation options before booking an expensive rental car. Many cities have affordable public transportation options. Maybe you can save money by finding a hotel within walking distance of places you'd like to visit. You can supplement anything with Uber or Lyft. There's no need to drive on your vacation. Save money and leave the car in the park.

3. Minimize your restaurant eating.

There's no need to eat out for every meal on your trip. Yes, there will definitely be restaurants you'll want to experience. But you can cut back on your spending with a light grocery run when you arrive. Try to find a hotel that offers complimentary breakfast. You can easily make a sandwich in your hotel room. And then dinner can be your once-in-a-lifetime experience. Limiting your restaurant meals to one a day during your trip can cut more expenses than you think.

4. Find affordable, less popular attractions.

Everyone wants to go up the Empire State Building. That's what makes the tickets so pricey. There will definitely be expensive attractions that you can't miss, but not all of them have to break the bank. Look for cheap or even free places to visit. Public parks and museums are a couple examples. The best part about these places is that you can make your own adventure. Explore lesser known attractions to make a unique trip while saving money.

5. Plan a staycation.

If you can't afford to leave your city, don't wallow at home. Chances are there is plenty you haven't seen in your hometown. Do some research. Find the hole in the wall places you haven't been to yet. There's probably some kind of small restaurant, used book store, or even a vintage arcade to visit. You'll never know if you never look.

No vacation has to cost a fortune. If you just take the time to examine your options and budget accordingly, you can have a great trip for much less. While you might want to spend a lot on an amazing destination, getting back home without too much credit card debt will be a much better reward.

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Over two years into the most momentous event in our lives the world has changed forever … Some of us have PTSD from being locked up at home, some are living like everything’s going to end tomorrow, and the rest of us are merely trying to get by. When the pandemic hit we entered a perpetual state of vulnerability, but now we’re supposed to return to normal and just get on with our lives.

What does that mean? Packed bars, concerts, and grocery shopping without a mask feel totally strange. We got used to having more rules over our everyday life, considering if we really had to go out or keeping Zooming from our living rooms in threadbare pajama bottoms.

The work-from-home culture changed it all. Initially, companies were skeptical about letting employees work remotely, automatically assuming work output would fall and so would the quality. To the contrary, since March of 2020 productivity has risen by 47%, which says it all. Employees can work from home and still deliver results.

There are a number of reasons why everyone loves the work from home culture. We gained hours weekly that were wasted on public transport, people saved a ton of money, and could work from anywhere in the world. Then there were the obvious reasons like wearing sweats or loungewear all week long and having your pets close by. Come on, whose cat hasn’t done a tap dance on your keyboard in the middle of that All Hands Call!

Working from home grants the freedom to decorate your ‘office’ any way you want. But then people needed a change of environment. Companies began requesting their employees' RTO, thus generating the Hybrid Work Model — a blend of in-person and virtual work arrangements. Prior to 2020, about 20% of employees worked from home, but in the midst of the pandemic, it exploded to around 70%.

Although the number of people working from home increased and people enjoyed their flexibility, politicians started calling for a harder RTW policy. President Joe Biden urges us with, “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again.”

While Boris Johnson said, “Mother Nature does not like working from home.'' It wasn’t surprising that politicians wanted people back at their desks due to the financial impact of working from the office. According to a report in the BBC, US workers spent between $2,000 - $5,000 each year on transport to work before the pandemic.

That’s where the problem lies. The majority of us stopped planning for public transport, takeaway coffee, and fresh work-appropriate outfits. We must reconsider these things now, and our wallets are paying

the price. Gas costs are at an all-time high, making public transport increase their fees; food and clothes are all on a steep incline. A simple iced latte from Dunkin’ went from $3.70 to $3.99 (which doesn’t seem like much but 2-3 coffees a day with the extra flavors and shots add up to a lot), while sandwiches soared by 14% and salads by 11%.

This contributes to the pressure employees feel about heading into the office. Remote work may have begun as a safety measure, but it’s now a savings measure for employees around the world.

Bloomberg are offering its US staff a $75 daily commuting stipend that they can spend however they want. And other companies are doing the best they can. This still lends credence to ‘the great resignation.’ Initially starting with the retail, food service, and hospitality sectors which were hard hit during the pandemic, it has since spread to other industries. By September 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.4 million resignations.

That’s where the most critical question lies…work from home, work from the office or stick to this new hybrid world culture?

Borris Johnson thinks, “We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office.” Because his experience of working from home “is you spend an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee and then, you know, getting up, walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese, then walking very slowly back to your laptop and then forgetting what it was you’re doing.”

While New York City Mayor Eric Adams says you “can't stay home in your pajamas all day."

In the end, does it really matter where we work if efficiency and productivity are great? We’ve proven that companies can trust us to achieve the same results — or better! — and on time with this hybrid model. Employees can be more flexible, which boosts satisfaction, improves both productivity and retention, and improves diversity in the workplace because corporations can hire through the US and indeed all over the world.

We’ve seen companies make this work in many ways, through virtual lunches, breakout rooms, paint and prosecco parties, and — the most popular — trivia nights.

As much as we strive for normalcy, the last two years cannot simply be erased. So instead of wiping out this era, it's time to embrace the change and find the right world culture for you.

What would get you into the office? Free lunch? A gym membership? Permission to hang out with your dog? Some employers are trying just that.

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Did you hear about the Great Resignation? It isn’t over. Just over two years of pandemic living, many offices are finally returning to full-time or hybrid experiences. This is causing employees to totally reconsider their positions.

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