Category Archives: Travel Budget Tips

5 Essentials Every Travel Bug Needs to Know

This post is brought to you and contributed by an outside writer.
Brick building with white wall exposed exterior. Painted white with black number 5 paineted on it. Light on the house is papered red and reads, 'F' and 'found' on two different panels.

Consider yourself a bit of a travel bug, planning your next trip abroad shortly after arriving back from your last vacation?

Daydreaming about the next most thrilling region to experience at any given moment?

Then you probably already know most of the ins and outs of traveling abroad. Even though you likely have a valid passport and all the other relevant documentation you need to explore the world, there are some essentials that you might not be aware of just yet.

These essentials can enhance your globe-trotting experiences by simplifying your travels and ensuring you are prepared for any situation.

International Travel And Medical Insurance

International travel and medical insurance offered by GeoBlue might not be mandatory insurance for travelers. In fact, many American health insurance policies will cover you while abroad.

I’ve even had a health insurance rep request that if I was going to get hurt, I do it while I was travelling in Europe rather back home in the US. The cost of care is cheaper there, and costs the health insurer less money.

However, it can be beneficial depending on where you plan on travelling. GeoBlue provides a few different kinds of international travel and medical insurance policies, so you should choose one specifically relevant to your current health coverage status and end destination.

This type of insurance coverage will ensure that you have access to expert health care facilities should you need it, regardless of where you may be in the world. The policy provides medical care while it also protects you from travel-related mishaps such as lost baggage, delayed flights, and others that would otherwise have you overspending on your travel budget.

Some of their policies are most suitable for solo travelers, while others are great for multi-trips. Still others are best for ex-pats. A little bit of research about this type of insurance will help you determine which policy is best for you.

Travel Vaccinations

Travel vaccines are vital depending on where you will be traveling. However, even if you are traveling to a region where vaccines aren’t mandatory, it is still wise to visit your doctor before leaving on your trip to determine which vaccines would be beneficial. Some areas require multiple vaccines, and these will ensure you don’t fall ill while enjoying your experience abroad.

The most commonly required travel vaccinations include yellow fever, Hepatitis A and B, polio, meningococcal infection, cholera, malaria, and a few others. However, your travel vaccination needs will depend entirely on where you are traveling to. For this specific reason, it is always wise to visit your doctor at least one month before heading off on your next travel experience to ensure your vaccinations are always up to date.

In this specific moment in time, Americans need to remember that they’re coming from a place of extreme privilege with their access to COVID-19 vaccinations. If you’re travelling somewhere where they do not yet have access, or if you are not yourself vaccinated,  it may be worth taking the time to question your motivation to play tourist in someone else’s home during a global pandemic, and if that motivation is noble enough to follow through on.

Anti-Theft Luggage

Even if you have done your research ahead of time, you should still take measures to protect yourself as a solo traveler.

Anti-theft luggage is available in various designs and sizes, and the investment is well-worth, considering you travel pretty often. With that said, there are also tons of other self-protection items to consider, such as self-defense keychains, etc.,  that will ensure you can travel the world with confidence and peace of mind.

Travel Documentation And An Organizer

Of course, you already know that travel documentation is vital. Keeping your documentation safe and secure while traveling? IRL, that’s tough.

Your documents can easily be misplaced, even if you have not yet had such an issue. To avoid losing your documents while enjoying your vacation, you can invest in a travel documentation organizer that will keep all your documents safe in one place.

This type of organizer is similar to a wallet or purse. In addition to an organizer, you should also store copies of your documents in the cloud on your Drive to ensure you still have access to your documents even if you lose your organizer.

Universal Adapters

Plug sockets vary from region to region, and arriving in a foreign country only to find that you can’t charge your phone or laptop because your charger doesn’t fit in the plugs at your chosen accommodation can be extremely frustrating.

Instead of taking a chance, you should invest in universal adapters, and always bring them along with you regardless of where you are traveling. Universal adapters are also pretty cheap.

Whether you are traveling to Japan on a budget or visiting Australia to explore the diverse natural landscapes, you should always ensure you have the essentials that will protect you from any unpredictable situations.


How to Make Money as a Translator

Want to make money as a translator? Today, Rebecca Brown shows us how.

A white box is drawn around the words, 'Make extra money as a translator.' Below is pictured white Japanese lamps with black lettering.

I am a native English speaker. But thanks to my multicultural family, I happen to speak German at a near-native level. I have managed to turn my bilingual background into a fruitful career.

Prior to jumping into the translating industry, my grandparents had been the only ones to capitalize on my translating skills. They called me over every time they bought a new appliance and struggled to make sense of the English user manual.

I managed to slowly break into the industry by translating for people in my network for some pocket money. But the road would have been much easier if I had someone to answer a few how’s and why’s.

So, to help those who are looking to make some extra money as a translator, I’ll address some of the most important FAQs related to translation.

What Does a Professional Translator Do?

A professional translator translates written text from one language into another. Professional translators translate books, subtitles, blogs, emails, legal documents, etc.

You may be wondering: Why do we still need translators when we have Google Translate?

To be a professional translator, you need to be able to relay the meaning, style, and tone of the original source in your translations. That’s something Google Translate cannot yet do reliably.

You need to keep the facts and ideas from the original text accurate, and the sentences must flow as well as the original. A professional translator must consider slang and other expressions and cultural references that do not translate literally.

Translation is not the same as interpretation. While translators translate written words, interpreters translate spoken language. To be a translator, you don’t necessarily have to speak the original language fluently, but you must be able to read it and write it impeccably.

Translation is also not to be confused with transliteration. Transliteration is the act of converting words or letters from the alphabet of one language to another. Transliteration just converts a text into a new format. It doesn’t render the meaning of the text. For instance, “חֲנֻכָּה” is the Hebrew word for the Jewish holiday called Festival of Lights. The English transliteration of the word is “Hanukkah.”

How Do I Become a Professional Translator?

Being bilingual or multilingual is a great start, but it’s not enough to become a professional translator. As mentioned, translation requires skills that go beyond understanding and speaking a language. You also need sound research skills, in-depth cultural knowledge, excellent writing skills, proofreading skills, computing and CAT (computer-assisted translation software) skills. Since most translators get paid by the word, you also need good time management skills.

To gain those skills, first, you need to get specialized training. If you are looking for schools that can help you prepare to work as a translator, check out:

Get certified as a professional translator.

The next step is to get certified. Not all translation gigs require you to have a certification, but you will have a much easier time finding work if you become ATA certified. The ATA certification is a highly regarded credential in the US.

The Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT) is another great resume builder. Be sure to check whether your state offers accreditation programs.

When you gain experience, you can specialize in a certain niche and get an industry-specific certification. These credentials usually target interpreters, but they are great proof of your expertise nonetheless. For instance, you can get the CMI credential from the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters.

How Much Money Can I Make as a Translator?

Most translation jobs pay per word, but my tip is to try to convert the rate-by-word to an hourly rate. The average translator can translate 300 to 600 words per hour.

Let’s say that you are a beginner and that it takes you 3 hours to translate 1000 words. If your goal is to make at least $20 per hour, you wouldn’t want to accept jobs that pay under $0.06 per word.

In the US, the average hourly wage of a translator is around $24. More experienced translators make around $33. But your hourly rate will depend on your experience and location, as well as the languages you know. When starting out, you can expect to make between $15 to $20 an hour.

The highest paying region for translators is Washington D.C. On average, a translator in D.C. makes $38 an hour.

Generally, translators for these languages are in great demand, so they pay better:

  • German.
  • Arabic.
  • French.
  • Chinese.

For instance, German translators in the US make between $26 to $33 an hour on average. The rates for Italian and Spanish are generally lower, but these two languages can still bring translators consistent income.

Where Can I Find Work as a Professional Translator?

I’ve come to learn that attending industry events, such as workshops, meetups, and conferences, is one of the best ways to promote yourself as a freelancer and find new clients. However, face-to-face networking isn’t always a possibility, even though it can be a great way of landing a job.

Some online platforms where you can find work as a translator include:


If you apply for a job at an agency, they will likely give you a test piece of about 200 to 600 words. Beware of agencies that require you to translate a test piece that is longer than 600 words. Some dodgy agencies will give you long test pieces to translate, but they are actually looking to get some client work done for free.

Is Translating a Good Side Hustle?

Translating is an excellent side hustle if you speak more than one language. It may not be the best-paying gig out there — at least not for those who are just starting out. But the extra money is nothing to shrug off considering the low startup and overhead costs.

Many — if not most — translators work from home, and the job is pretty flexible. This is a major plus point in times of non-essential business closures and social distancing.

Picture of Rebecca Brown

I’m Rebecca, a translator, avid traveler, and a bookworm. My job has given me the amazing opportunity to travel to dozens of countries around the world, and writing on Rough Draft gives me a chance to try to showcase some of them.

Get Compensated for Your European Flight Delay

This post is in collaboration with Click2Refund.

You know that European vacation you took in 2017?

The one where your journey home turned into a three-day sojourn thanks to flight delays and missed connections?

You might be owed money for that trip thanks to a European law.

No insignificant sum, either. Depending on the length of the delay, you may be owed up to $700.

You can either attempt to claim this money yourself, or enlist the help of professionals like Click2Refund.

What is EU Regulation 261/2004?

EU regulation 261/2004 is a European law that protects passengers against flight disruptions that are the airline’s fault.

When your flight is delayed or cancelled within 14 days of scheduled departure, European airlines or airlines departing from the EU have an obligation to compensate you for your time and inconvenience under EU regulation 261/2004 — except in ‘extraordinary circumstances.’

This compensation can vary from €250 – €600, which is $293-$704USD at the time of writing.

You can also claim this compensation if you are denied boarding when the aircraft is overbooked.

How much compensation can I get?

The amount of compensation you receive varies depending on the length of the flight and the length of the delay.

The delay must be more than 3 hours in order to qualify for any compensation. If your flight is:

  • 1,500 km or more, you may qualify for €250.
  • 1,500-3,000 km, you may qualify for €400.
  • 3,500 km or more, you may qualify for €300.

If your delay was 4 hours or more on a flight of over 3,500 km, you may be entitled to €600.

For reference, it’s about 5,585 km from London to New York City, and a little over 7,000 km from CDG to ATL.

Do airlines have to compensate for cancelled flights?

Yes. Under the same regulation, airlines must provide you with a ticket refund or a replacement flight. They also have to feed you while you’re waiting, and cover your hotel if necessary.

If the cancellation happens within 14 days of your scheduled departure, you may also be eligible for flight compensation as outlined above.

Is EU 261 compensation per person or per purchase?

Per person. If you bought four tickets for your family, each person would be eligible for their own individual compensation check.

Does EU regulation 261/2004 apply during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes and no.

EU 261 still applies during the Coronavirus pandemic. If your flight is delayed or cancelled due to circumstances the airline reasonably could have controlled, you’re still entitled to compensation.

But if your flight was cancelled or delayed due to a travel ban or warning related to the virus, you aren’t necessarily entitled to compensation. The airline must comply with current health and travel guidelines. These qualify as extraordinary circumstances the airline cannot control or predict.

How long do I have to file a claim under EU regulation 261/2004?

It depends on the country of departure.

The EU country that offers the shortest time frame to file your initial claim is Romania. You only have six months.

Other member countries are far more generous with their statutes of limitations.

Here are the EU countries where the statue of limitations extends to only two years:

  • Croatia.
  • Iceland.
  • Italy.
  • Malta.
  • Slovakia.
  • Slovenia.
  • Switzerland.
  • The Netherlands.

If your flight is departing from one of these EU countries, you have three years to file your initial claim:

  • Austria.
  • Czech Republic.
  • Denmark.
  • Estonia.
  • Finland.
  • Germany.
  • Latvia.
  • Norway.
  • Portugal.

Here are the EU countries where you have up to five years to file your initial EU 261 claim:

  • Bulgaria.
  • France.
  • Greece.
  • Hungary.
  • Scotland.
  • Spain.

In these countries, you have up to six years:

  • Cyprus.
  • Ireland.
  • The UK (unless your flight left from Scotland.)

Lithuania, Luxenbourg and Sweden allow for up to 10 years. Amazingly, there is no statue of limitations if your delayed flight left from Poland.

How do I file an EU 261 claim?

There are a few different levels to making an EU 261 claim. The first option is to contact the airline that operated the delayed flight. They should be able to tell you their procedure for submitting a written claim.

If your claim with the airline is denied or not responded to within two months, you can then escalate things to the national enforcement bureau in whichever country the flight departed from.

For example, in the UK, you would contact the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

At this point, the airline can choose whether or not they want to take the claim to court. This is where things start to get more difficult if your live outside the jurisdiction, as you’ll incur not only legal fees, but also potential travel costs.

Get help filing your EU 261 claim.

If doing all this sounds like a pain, you can use a service like Click2Refund. Click2Refund handles your claim for you, from initial contact with the airline to court — should things go that far.

You only get charged if they win your claim. Then, the fee is 25%.

This fee is in line with what other similar service providers charge, though many competitors charge additional administrative fees in addition to a 25% fee — making Click2Refund one of the best deals on the market.

In this time when work and money is so disjointed, a claim from an old cancelled flight could help smooth out your budget. Check and see if yours qualifies here.

What the Doctor Said: How to Prepare for Travel

Talk to your doctor about your health and any travel concerns prior to boarding your next flight.

This post is in collaboration with Nakturnal, and is contributed by an outside writer. While its tips are evergreen, note that now is a particularly important moment in history to consult with your doctor before embarking on any grand adventures.

You’ve planned your next big vacation and you can hardly wait! A trip to Thailand to explore Bangkok, visit beautiful beaches, and live like the locals — something you’ve been itching to do for years.

While you might be ready to jump on the plane now and head to your exciting destination, you’ll want to take a step back and consult your doctor first. There are a number of things you need to consider medically when traveling abroad.

From attending a yearly check-up to getting the proper vaccinations, you’ll want to hear what your doctor has to say. So once that once in a lifetime trip has been booked, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your doctor and learn what you need to consider before packing your bags.

Here’s a quick look at what we’ll cover in this article: 

  • Visit your doctor ahead of your trip
  • Get any necessary Immunizations 
  • Pack plenty of medication
  • Know what your health insurance covers
Consulting with your doctor will provide you a clear picture of what your health looks like and prepare you for an upcoming trip. That could mean getting recommended immunizations, refilling prescriptions, or understanding your medical insurance in the event of an emergency. Image courtesy of Pexels

Reasons to Consult with Your Doctor Before Travelings

It’s always a best practice to talk with your doctor prior to traveling. This is especially true for individuals with underlying health conditions or people who are looking to travel abroad. You should listen to all the medical advice of your provider to ensure a safe and healthy trip.

Here are a few of the things you should do before your next big trip to keep you healthy and prepare you for an unexpected emergency. 

Schedule an appointment with your doctor prior to your trip. This will let you know that you are in good condition to be traveling and identify any underlying health issues. Image courtesy of Pexels

Visit Your Doctor Ahead of Your Trip

It’s a good practice to visit your doctor ahead of your planned schedule for a quick check-up. This will allow you to address any potential problems and discuss things you may need to consider when traveling.

For many people, this visit might just be your yearly check-up. But for people who have underlying conditions, it’s a time for them to ensure their health is in travel shape and refill any needed medicines.

A few examples of when you’ll want to talk with your doctor before traveling: 

  • You’re pregnant.
  • You recently had surgery.
  • You’ve experienced blood clots in the past.
  • You recently had a heart attack or stroke.
  • You have a fever or severe sinus, ear, or nose infection.

If you’re unsure about whether you should plan a doctor’s appointment prior to your trip, give them a call and they can provide you with the best advice. 

For many locations abroad, you’ll need to get immunizations to keep you healthy. Talking with your doctor will let you know exactly what you need and why. Image courtesy of Pexels

Get Any Necessary Immunizations 

Another important reason for visiting your doctor prior to traveling is to identify any immunizations you may need. When you leave the country, you may expose yourself to diseases that are not present in the US.

You may not need to worry about this if you’re just traveling across the US — but if you plan to travel to another country you’ll need to consult your doctor.

If you’re traveling to a location that requires vaccinations, here’s what your doctor may require:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Typhoid and paratyphoid fever
  • Meningococcal disease
  • Yellow Fever
  • Rabies
  • Japanese Encephalitis 

Leaving yourself exposed to these viruses and diseases could not only ruin your trip but leave you very sick. It’s best to address this issue early on to ensure you have plenty of time to prepare your body before travel.

Make sure to pack plenty of medication. Depending on your destination it might be very hard to find a pharmacy if you run out of the pills you need. Image courtesy of Pexels

Pack Plenty of Medication 

Making sure you pack all the proper medication is another very important thing you need to consider. If you forget to fill your prescription and are short on medications, you could find yourself in a sticky situation. 

While you might be able to live without Tylenol for a headache, you may not be able to live without blood pressure or diabetes medication for more than a few days.

That’s especially true when you are traveling internationally or small cities that don’t have readily available pharmacies. So make sure to check and double-check your bag to ensure you have the medication you need to get you through the entire trip. 

In the unlikely event that you have a medical emergency while traveling, knowing what your insurance covers is important. Don’t be surprised by costly medical bills when you return home and start feeling better. Image courtesy of Pexels

Know What Your Insurance Covers

Last but not least, it’s important to know what your health insurance covers for travel.

What will your plan cover if you have to take an unexpected trip to a hospital in another country? Are there any limitations to what you can and can’t do when traveling if you need a prescription? 

These are all good questions to ask — but you’ll want to ask them before that emergency arises.

Here are a few steps you can take to gain a better understanding of your insurance coverage before you travel. 

  • Call your health insurance and ask about your policy’s coverage outside of the US
  • Know what to expect if you need to be transported back to the US and what costs that may entail
  • Consider purchasing travel insurance to help fill in coverage gaps

Knowing these things before you board your next flight will help you be prepared in the event of an emergency when traveling. 

Enjoy your trip without the fear of something going wrong. Consulting with your doctor will let you travel with confidence. Image courtesy of Pexels

Follow the Doctor’s Orders and Travel With Confidence

While you may not want to think about these things when you’re in the process of planning your dream vacation, it’s best to be prepared. 

Talking with your doctor ahead of traveling will let you travel with ease knowing you’re in good health, have plenty of medication, and understand what expenses you could incur due to illness. These are worst-case scenario situations, but if an emergency arises, you’ll be happy you considered it. 

How to Stay in Top 2020 Destinations for Free

If you want to head some of the top 2020 travel destinations, but don’t have the money to shell out for hotels, I’ve got good news.

You might be able to score FREE accommodations while you were in town.

Stay in Top 2020 Destinations for Free

It’s true! You can travel to many of this year’s most popular destinations without paying for an expensive hotel.

The catch is there’s labor involved.

The beautiful thing is that the labor involves cuddling adorable animals.


If you’re a pet lover, traveling just got a whole lot cheaper for you.

That’s because if you’re willing to pet sit while you’re in town, you can use sites like TrustedHousesitters to score free accommodations.

Your host will be out of town while you’re in town, so you’ll have the place to yourself — and the pets. Remember, in exchange for free digs, they’re trusting you with the love and care of their furry family members.

How do I get a pet sitting gig?

Just because a job is available on TrustedHousesitters doesn’t mean it’s there for you to claim.

It’s there for you to apply to. It’s the homeowner who ultimately designates who they let into their home.

You can up your odds, though, by making your profile more attractive. You can do this by adding quality photos to your profile, along with completing an array of verification options.

Where can I get a pet sitting gig?

Without further ado, here are the top 2020 travel destinations where you can stay for free via a TrustedHousesitters gig.


That’s the Museum of the Future being built!
  • Country: United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Number of petsitting jobs available at time of writing: 16
  • Why is Dubai on the list? The World Expo, the opening of Museum of the Future, indoor skiing.
  • Know before you go: The UAE’s drinking laws are strict. Be sure to stay abreast of the most recent legal and cultural norms for the region in which you’re staying.

Find current pet sitting jobs in Dubai.

Courtenay, BC

  • Country: Canada
  • Number of petsitting jobs available at time of writing: 1
  • Why is Courtenay on the list? Ecotourism, for all its problematic trends, is on the rise. Airbnb saw a 114% increase in year-over-year bookings for Courtenay in particular. Your stay is likely to be a bit less problematic as you’re presumably lending a hand to a local.
  • Know before you go: You’re going to need to take a plane or a ferry to get to the island.

Find current pet sitting jobs in Courtenay.


  • Country: Scotland
  • Number of petsitting jobs available at time of writing: 7
  • Why is Aberdeen on the list? Known for its biodiversity, including dolphin sightings on the regular! You’ll also want to visit the Medieval Crossing and soak in the city’s legendary architecture.
  • Know before you go: You don’t just drive on the left side of the road in the UK; you also want to make sure you keep to the left as a pedestrian.

Find current pet sitting jobs in Aberdeen.

Eugene, Oregon

  • Country: United States of America
  • Number of petsitting jobs available at time of writing: 6
  • Why is Eugene on the list? This city is going carbon neutral in 2020! It’s also nestled in a natural wonderland, and is a foodie paradise.
  • Know before you go: Pack a light rain jacket. You may need it on-the-go when you’re least expecting it, so make sure it’s compact and easy to carry with you.

Find current pet sitting jobs in Eugene.


  • Number of petsitting jobs available at time of writing: 1
  • Why is Romania on the list? It’s beautiful. It’s affordable for and welcoming to tourists. Dracula castles. Prince Charles has been obsessed.
  • Know before you go: The peak of Ceausescu’s madness happened before most of us millennials can remember. Steadily but slowly, Romania has been healing the wounds that era left behind. It’s a work in progress — but one people are increasingly looking towards with hope.

Find current pet sitting jobs in Romania.


  • Country: Denmark
  • Number of petsitting jobs available at time of writing: 2
  • Why is Copenhagen on the list? Copenhagen has been under major infrastructure construction for the past several years, but in 2020, it will be back open for business! The Museum of Copenhagen also reopened a couple weeks ago after relocating.
  • Know before you go: Denmark is one of the happiest countries on Earth. But if you want to catch Copenhagen while the sun is shining, traveling in June is your safest bet.

Find current pet sitting jobs in Copenhagen.


  • Country: Ireland
  • Number of petsitting jobs available at time of writing: 1
  • Why is Galway on the list? Galway was named a European Capital of Culture for 2020. As a result, there are a ton of innovative and thought-provoking experiences to be had across all the arts on Ireland’s west coast this year.
  • Know before you go: If you’re into nearly any given music scene, July could be an ideal time to visit this year.

Find current pet sitting jobs in Galway.

Where would you look for a pet sitting job? Let us know in the comments!