Roundup: October 16th-November 15th

by Nora Dunn on November 16, 2009


A recent misty sunrise in Victoria, Australia

Although the last half of October was a little slow, things picked up such that I have a delicious roundup of recently published travel and personal finance articles to enrapture you with! Please enjoy my latest.

Wise Bread

19 Tips to Cut Costs by Using Your Oven Efficiently

The giant kitchen-beast that is your oven is not the most energy-efficient way to prepare your food. But sometimes only the oven will do the trick. Here are 19 ways to improve your oven’s efficiency, all the while cutting your costs and saving your money. Where Cheap is Chic is a free service that helps consumers find the best of the cheapest items, weeding out cheap junk in favor of quality inexpensive items. Just because it is cheap, doesn’t mean it has to be crap.

The First Step to Budgeting

Why do so many budgets fail? Because the first step to budgeting is omitted. When implemented correctly, it can make a huge difference. When the first step is neglected, intangible and unrealistic budgets are often created – a recipe for disaster. Here’s the good news: the first step to budgeting is an easy one. Check it out!

Celebrate Your Life (and Help Others do the Same) With Bcelebrated – Plus a Discount for Wise Bread Readers

Bcelebrated is a unique service that allows you to create your own online autobiographical legacy, communicate your last wishes to those you have something to say to, organize your estate, and make life easy for those you leave behind when you die. Not to be morbid, but if you care about who you leave behind, you may want to read this article.

Transitions Abroad

Train Travel in Southeast Asia

Traveling by train through Southeast Asia is safe, incredibly cheap, efficient, relatively environmentally-friendly, and a much better way to get a sense of what a country is like than you would ever get by flying. The budget-conscious may prefer to take a bus instead, but you would be surprised at the lack of correlation between comfort, time, and cost when it comes to comparing trains and buses. In this article you will find the information you need to plan your own overland train trip through Southeast Asia.

Planning a Campervan Trip in Australia

Seeing Australia by way of a campervan is a classic road trip. However without proper planning, traveling in a campervan can be more expensive than you might think. When an offer came to “see a slab of Australia for free” by virtue of winning a free six week campervan rental, I was over the moon. Sadly though, those six weeks were among the most costly of all my full-time budget travel thus far. But it doesn’t have to be that way. During my 6-week adventure, I learned a lot about how to plan an itinerary, keep the cost of an Aussie campervan holiday low, and how to budget for it next time around. Here is a guide to planning and budgeting for your own Australian campervan adventure.

Off-The-Beaten-Path in Australia: Falling in Love with Lightning Ridge

You would miss Lightning Ridge on an Australian map if you weren’t first looking for it, and then shown exactly where it is. But as one of the only places in the world to find black opals, it attracts a collection of characters that make much more of this flat drab track of land than meets the eye.

AMEX Open Forum

Okay, I’m Plugged In, But What if I Don’t Want to Be?

With the likes of Twitter, Stumble, Facebook, and other networking portals, our success is measured not only by the profits that line our pockets, but also in the number of followers we have, and the amount of influence we wield on the social networks we are a part of.

But this is no small job. You need to be visible to your social networks, clicking on links and commenting thoughtfully on others’ contributions, as well as formulating your own contributions that aren’t solely tied to marketing yourself or selling something. You have to develop relationships with these relatively anonymous people — some who are potential customers or business partners — and to do that takes a lot of time and effort.

The rewards may warrant the effort, but there are only a certain number of hours in a day. What if you don’t want to be plugged in all the time?


Laura at Five Cent Nickel wrote an article on saving money on vacations with a host of great tips and links to complementary articles. She gave me a shout out as a world traveler with some budget airfare tips. Thanks!

Gap Year Escape put together a list of the Top 50 Travel Blogs (based on factors like active updates, RSS subscribers, incoming links, and Alexa rankings), and The Professional Hobo made the list! I keep some great company on that list, so if you’re perusing for travel blogs to get into, take a peek there.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Amar November 17, 2009 at 2:08 am

I can relate to what you are saying. The more success my own travel blog has the more I feel compelled to be “plugged in”. Every little facet of your being is constantly on show to the world.

I’d unplug but then again I think it might be slightly addictive. A blog junkie who needs a fix of tweets and comments…


Rhett November 18, 2009 at 5:39 am

I won the best blog award, I selected you as a winner of the Best Blog award. See the following link for details.


theprofessionalhobo November 21, 2009 at 9:21 am

@Amar – It’s a big issue, and one that I realize is only going to compound as time goes on. I just went away for four days and came back to hundreds of emails…but I know some popular bloggers who be fielding THOUSANDS in the same period of time. Ah well – I guess once you get to that stage, you can bring on an intern/assistant! We’ll see…

@Rhett – Cheers! That’s a great idea….I’ll be following up with a few nominations of my own shortly!


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