The U.S. has 50 states, and each one for sure has definite must-go-to places. We don’t all have the luxury of time to see all 50 states, nor especially the luxury of money to spend.

Still, nothing should deter us from seeing just a few, or at least the few best and cheapest ones to visit, or those where our money can go a long, long way. If you're looking for ideas, you've come to the right place:

In Forbes' 30 Cheapest Places to Travel in 2017, only 2 U.S. cities made the cut:
Las Vegas, Nevada and Dallas, Texas. If you want to get carried away, the same article has international places that just might fit your budget too!

In all of North America, according to the MLT Blog, New York City, Washington DC, and Boston, Massachusetts are top places in the U.S. because they have among the cheapest accommodations one can find. For example, in New York you can a place for $28/night, or in Washington DC, even cheaper at $20/night. That’s huge savings especially as accommodation often take a huge portion of travel budgets. Feeling adventurous, check out the recommended places in Canada too. 


According to backpacker site priceoftravel.com which keeps an index of prices for backpackers, the best ones for the U.S. are New Orleans, Miami Beach and, yet again, Washington DC.

The options are many - but it takes a disciplined traveler to make the skimpiest budgets work!

Make it happen!

Going on a trip?

There will be so much to see in so little time that you'd want to make the most of it, and perhaps discard your fitness routines. But you know what, you don't really have to leave your fitness goals behind or totally cast them aside while on your trip.

Sure, there will be plenty of new and interesting dishes to make your acquaintance wherever you may be headed. Food is, after all, a huge part of the travel experience. Or, you may be skipping on your favorite gym while you are away, but there is still a way to make travel and fitness work. 

Just take these tips from these experienced travel bloggers who've managed to make the business of wanderlust and staying healthy work well together.

Make exercise part of who you are. Walk more. Say yes to hikes.

This is one of many fitness-while-traveling tips from the well-loved travel blog, Nomadic Matt. In this guest post by Steve Kamp of Nerd Fitness, the author shares that you may not be able to bring your favorite gym with you when you travel, but the world can definitely be your own gym by choosing the activities that help you burn calories more. For example, choose a walking tour or a hiking tour, over one that will only entail you to ride some form of transportation.

It's not just about packing light - it's also packing right. 

There are fitness tools that are light and easy to pack, that you can totally bring with you wherever you are going. In this instance, a jump rope is a power tool! Then again, doing a jumping jack, or a jog-in-place can also accomplish your fitness jobs.

Be active every day, everywhere, in every way.

There is travel by seeing, and there is travel by doing. We're talking experiential activities. Instead of just watching a tango show, enroll in dance lessons in Argentina. In Brazil, sign up for capoeira or samba. In Spain, run with the bulls! 

Drink plenty of water!

Traveling can be dehydrating, starting off with air travel. Often, travel will involve plenty of sips of coffee or alcohol, so drinking lots of water helps to keep you rehydrated. If you're traveling to tropical countries, always drinking water helps regulate your body temperature and wards off any potential for heatstroke. 

Diet is 80% of the battle

What you will eat while traveling has the biggest impact to your health and fitness, so especially if you're traveling for long periods, it's best to have a plan. Or a basic rule for what you will or will not eat. For example, Nomadic Matt suggests: "Every meal should have a protein source and at least one vegetable; add some fruits and nuts. Avoid dairy and grains, or only eat them in minimal quantities."

Happy travels!

To know a place fully, one must experience it with all the senses - taste buds included. Any good traveller must always attempt to discover all the gustatory delights in any given destination in order to get the full experience of that place. 

So if you're planning a trip anytime soon, consider the following guides to know where the foodies flock and experience culinary bliss.

Enjoy!

We broached the idea of road trips last week, and a good part of a road trip is some time in the outdoors. 

Camping in the U.S.A

There's nothing quite like soaking in the the full outdoor experience via camping. You get the trusty gear, pick a good safe spot to pitch a tent - could be in the woods, in a mountain, or by the sea or lake - and there will be plenty of memories to be made.

There will be stories to be told via a campfire, close encounters with wildlife, constellations to point to at night, and quiet and calm to be relished.

It's time to make plans for camping this summer. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. 36 Best Places to Pitch a Tent in the U.S.
  2. The Top 23 Most Beautiful American Campsites
  3. The Best National Park Camping Sites in America
  4. America's 21 Most Beautiful Campsites

Go on, pack your bags and get on your way!

The USA is a big country, with 50 States in a land area of over 2.9M square miles. From north to south, or east to west, there is so much variety and disparity in the landscapes, climates and sceneries to take in - all beautiful, different, breath-taking. It's really all a matter of deciding which experience you like best - is it coastal or country, forests or seascapes, frigid or tropical? The options are too many.

You can pick just one, or you can do them all. Which shall it be? 

In Jack Kerouac's mostly autobiographical novel "On the Road", he crisscrosses the U.S. on a road trip where the highlights of his journey were those in New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Denver and San Francisco. It was such a captivating journey that the book eventually was turned into a movie.

These were long journeys that spanned years for Kerouac, but if you don't have that luxury of time, you can just take a pick from of one of the 10 Most Popular Road Trip Routes in the U.S., by the Travel Channel. It includes the Pacific Coast Highway, the Hana Coastline in Hawaii, the Olympic Peninsula in Seattle, and many more. You can also use this site to pick straight north-south or east-west routes for your road trip.

If you'd like to span the entire United States and to see all the 50 major national landmarks in one gigantic road trip, you don't need to sweat over your maps planning an itinerary. The best route has been figured out for us by scientists, and they say it can take as quick as about 9 days to cover 13,699 miles of driving, to as much as 2-3 months to leisurely enjoy each destination. 

Time to hit the road, folks!

Spring has sprung!

With Monday's Equinox last March 20 ushering it in, spring is officially on. For many, this season is the preferred time to travel if you want to avoid the summer crowds, and if you want to catch the more affordable airfare and hotel rates.

Ideally, you should have booked your flights at least 2 months in advance - as studies show that there IS a magic day for when the best domestic airfare rates can be had. CheapAir.com has found that the magic day for the cheapest domestic flight tickets is on average 54 days prior to scheduled date of the flight. 

Assuming you've got that covered, where will you go? If you're wondering what the best places to see in the U.S are this spring, here are some suggestions:

Thrillist: America's 11 Most Beautiful Spring Destinations

  • Love wine? Visit America's most famous wine region in Napa Valley, California. 
  • Big city with a small town feel? Try San Antonio, Texas.
  • French and Spanish Colonial-inspired architecture, without the Mardis Gras crowds? NOLA is your bet. 
  • Rustic Twin Peaks-style wood cabins, lush green lakesides, and forestland full of pines trees? Branson, Missouri will not disappoint.

U.S. News: Top Escapes for Spring Season

  • Cool, cosmopolitan and evolving, New York City is pulsating with food, art, business and culture.
  • Experience "Viva Las Vegas" in the Entertainment Capital of the World in this theme park of a city called Las Vegas. 
  • The phenomenal nature wonder that is the Grand Canyon is top favorite for spring destinations. If you're already in Las Vegas, it's not too far off.
  • Philadelphia is great pick because it has just been declared the first UNESCO World Heritage City in the U.S.
  • Monuments, museums and cherry blossoms make Washington, D.C. a spring destination favorite.

There are so many places to choose from, and we did not even cover international destinations yet. What's important is you make those plans to have your Bizzy Break in some of so many beautiful destinations in the country. Have fun!

For many, travel is a luxury, and seemingly a far-off dream that is hard to turn into a reality. The reasons for putting it off are varied, but it could easily boil down to this: financial constraints, familial responsibilities, and professional pressures.

But when you consider that travel does not have to be expensive, or entail much investment in time and distance, then it can be done.

Moreover, when you discover that taking a break by traveling brings so much benefits that makes the investment well worth it, you'll realize that you are going to be missing out when you deny yourself that trip.

So why travel?

1. To meet new people

When you're always stuck at work or whatever personal responsibilities, it is hard to have a social life and meet new people. When you travel, you are bound to meet like-minded individuals who are open to not just making new experiences but also to meeting new people. There is a certain easy camaraderie among people who travel, and it is a great way to make friends.

2. To learn new skills

Some people devote at least a few weeks or months to travel, and not to jump from one place to another, but to linger longer in just one, and to absorb all the details of that new place. Absorbing could mean learning the language of the place, or the dance the place is known for, or the dish the destination is loved for. Learning something new is intrinsic to a new experience, but actually learning a new skill is a great break from what one is used to doing at home or at work.

3. To discover your passion

When you are unsatisfied with your work life, it could be for a number of reasons. But one viable reason - maybe it is not your passion. And you feel unhappy because perhaps you feel stuck and know not where else to go. But travel - it opens you up to discover new things about your self. Because you are outside of your comfort zone, your consciousness is experiencing so many new things, and by the level of your enjoyment of the varied experiences, you just might discover a passion you could get more into. 

4. To improve relationships

When you take your trip with family and friends, it is a great opportunity to create new memories together that will help strengthen your bonds. When you take your partner or spouse, for example, you take both of yourselves out of the distractions and stresses of your regular life, and you learn enjoy each other's company again - and to enjoy new things together again. This allows for rediscovery of what you appreciate about each other. 

5. To relax and rejuvenate

Your environment at home and work could be causing you a lot of stress, and getting out of that environment even for a weekend, or a few weeks, could do wonders for your sanity. The change of pace, the change of environment - is an opportunity to just commune with yourself and your new surroundings. Your stressors are not around, and you have ample time to relax and rejuvenate. You'll realize that when you get 'back to reality', you are energized, more upbeat, and just can't wait until your next vacation.

6. To increase productivity

Ultimately, the new-found energy from a vacation, redounds to benefit your productivity at work and at home. 

It's February and you're now on the second month of pursuing your goals for the year. Hopefully, your goals are humming along nicely and every opportunity to make them happen is lining up quite well.


But what if it's not? Maybe too many kinks here and there keep cropping up, obstacles every so often, and you're starting to lose steam. What can you do?

There are a number of things you can do, but if it's motivation you're looking for, you might have to rely on that person you see in the mirror: you.

Yes, you.

There was a research study that tested the effectiveness of self-talk versus imagery, versus "if-then" planning. Self-talk is using positive words directed at oneself. Imagery is visualizing your desired outcome. "If-Then" planning is identifying a condition for a positive outcome, like "If I finish this book, I know I'll ace the test."

The study which involved 44,000 participants found that people who used self-talk to motivate themselves before a task or challenge performed the best; imagery performed next best, and "if-then" planning last.

Self-talk is a simple trick, and something we already use, and its effectiveness is possibly because of this very simplicity and the organic nature of this skill. It comes naturally! 

Your words do have power. Better watch what you tell yourself. 

 

You have your SMART Goals and you already know how to visualize your goals in order to help you achieve it faster.

But do not forget: No man is an island.

You do not have to go at your goal alone, or certainly not without the benefit of the wisdom and support of the people around you.

You need to Build Your Network of Support.

Identify people that could help you in achieving your goals. Start with the people closest to you: your spouse, sibling, parent, or co-worker. Is there something they can do for you to help you move forward? It could be as simple as asking your spouse to give you 1 hour each day to be alone so you can work on your action items undistracted. Maybe it's asking your co-worker for an introduction or a recommendation.

Sharing your goals with the people closest to you is about creating an environment conducive to your success. 

Maybe the people who could help you are not yet known to you. Maybe it's a CEO of a large company, a top professor, or a famous personality. Have the courage to reach out to them, ask for advice or tips, maybe see if they would be open to mentor you. You might be surprised how generous they might be of their time, especially after hearing your genuine admiration for them. 

The idea is to increase the chances of your success by organizing your environment in a way that is most conducive to the attainment of your goal. 

 

How are your goals this year? 

Many of you may have done the yearly ritual at the start of each year by writing down your goals - and so we are interested to know: How's it going so far?

We've shared with you tips on how to write SMART goals, but one aspect of goal achievement that's often forgotten is visualization of the goal once achieved. The true test of a goal's clarity (and therefore having a higher likelihood of being achieved) is when you have a clear picture of it in your head.

You know it's a clear picture when the picture involves all your 5 senses: your sense of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch.

For example, if your goal is to have ran a full marathon in 6 months, imagine as if that day has come and you have accomplished your goal. Then try to answer these questions: What do you see? What do you hear? Do you smell anything? What does it taste? How does it feel to the touch?

SIGHT: Think of the people around you when you achieve your goal. Who is celebrating with you, giving you a high-five or generous praises for conquering your goal? Think of the colors of the marathon race, the balloons, the confetti, the details in the venue; in your mind look around the environment.

HEAR: What are they saying - are they cheering, clapping, singing? Is there dance music? What music is playing, who is laughing so loud? What kind words are your family, friends and loved ones telling you?

SMELL: What's the smell of the food, the cologne, the surroundings? Do you smell the pavement, the grass, the ground, the leaves, the scent of flowers? 

TASTE: Someone brought baked goodies - your favorites - what do they taste? Is there chocolate, or nuts? The drinks - was it soda, beer, or alcohol? 

TOUCH: How does the finisher medal feel to the touch? You tapped a fellow racer, congratulated another friend - you remember your hand firmly shaking his sweaty palms, you remember the warm hug of a loved one happy for your success.

Try this exercise, and paint as vivid a picture of the day of your success using your 5 senses as guide on what detail to put in your vision.

You'll be surprised: It will leave you feeling happy after the visualization, because it would be as if you have already experienced success in your mind, and you are pleased with yourself. You cannot wait to turn it into reality. Because you have seen it clearly, you already know it's only a matter of time.

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