Category Archives: Money

Travel ALERT!: Get outta Long Beach with JetBlue!

Hey travel friends! I’ll keep this short because 1) this deal might be selling out as we speak! and 2) I’m at work. oops.

The Goods: You getting your butt out of SoCal up to an impromptu vacation in NorCal for $9 one-way!

According to Travelzoo, JetBlue is offering unpublished flights from Long Beach, Calif. to San Fran or Oakland for $9 each way. The only drawbacks: You gotta move it quick! The crazy-low fare is only valid for Tuesdays and Wednesday through May 19, and Travelzoo claims that final price with taxes could be as low as $40.

So seriously. Why are you still reading this?? Book your flight before these flights sell out! (And then send me some pictures from your trip!)


The Facts About Bottled Water

Yesterday’s snowboarding trip to Verbier was amazing and at times tiring. But what bothered me the most? A tiny bottle of water (think 2 dL) at the lift lodge for 5 francs! Since I was thoroughly dehydrated and without other options – other than drinking from the bathroom sink while others look on in disgust – I begrudgingly handed the cashier a 5-franc coin while kicking myself for leaving my own full Klean Kanteen back at my friend’s chalet.

Then, today I stumbled upon this little kick in the shin. I knew bottled water is terribly un-green and a waste of resources, but that hasn’t stopped me in the past from consuming flats of bottled water every month back home. This thorough infographic via Online Education is a humbling reminder to find a better alternative (aka TAP WATER!). I’m happy to drink the tasty stuff that comes out of Swiss faucets, but unfortunately the tap back in sunny Southern California has never been my cup of tea (although I do use it to make all my cups of tea). Will I have to get over it and stop being a big baby??

Sure looks that way when you see how devastating of an effect bottled water has on the environment and the sheer amount of un-biodegradable volume it contributes to landfills. As much as I know drinking tap is significantly better on several counts, this is one post-travel goal I’m not looking forward to. I know I know, blame my picky palate of water…of all things to be picky about, right? Still, at least it’s another way to save money AND the beautiful environment, so I’ll just have to muster up all my will to not cave in and buy that flat of 24 bottles of water on my next trip to Ralph’s. Yes, even if it’s on sale for $2 with a Ralph’s card.

To $ave or $pend?

It’s official: I’m more than halfway through my semester abroad. This means two things:

  1. I’m sad and can’t believe it’ll be over so soon.
  2. Wait…where’d all my money go??

Here I am, loving all the trips I took and things I got to try, but hating the lint left over in my wallet. Where did it all go exactly? Here’s a look back at what was worth it and what should have been left on the store shelf:

  • Good idea: The Swiss railway half-fare card. Exactly as it sounds, it permits you to purchase train tickets and even public transport/metro tickets at half-price. Even though I had to purchase the card for the whole year, I’ve already made up the money I spent to get it, and my university has even reimbursed me for half of the price. Sweet cheap and reliable travel? Yes please.
  • Bad idea: The Erasmus Student Network (ESN) card. OK it was only 10 francs. But this card is useless, despite the claim that it gives you discounts on Erasmus-organized events and other places. Most Erasmus events this semester ended up costing the same with or without this card. As for general discounts, any student/university ID will suffice, so no need to add another card to the wallet.
  • Good idea: Having a Swiss bank account. Because I can only pay rent from a Swiss account. And NO ATM fees! Plus, depositing euros (useless in this country) into my account magically turns them into oh-so-useful francs. Also, the interest is not bad. But really, it comes down to the cool factor of saying I have a Swiss bank account. Anyone need to hide embezzled money? Read the full article…