Travel Budget Series Part #2: How to Create a Travel Budget… and Stick to It

By Chaitanya Bala

Travel Piggy BankLast week, we covered a few cool ways you can save money while you’re on vacation. As much as following these tips will help you save, what you really need from the get-go to ensure you’re staying within your budget is to, well, learn how to make a budget and stick to it! And nowadays, it’s way easier to do so with cool online travel budget planners such as Budget Your Trip. So what are some of the essentials that go into calculating a travel budget? Keep reading to get started!

 

Continue reading "How to Create a Budget to Travel – USI Affinity" »


3 Places You Need to See in the Koreatown Near Washington, D.C.

By Chaitanya Bala

Friends in Washington D.C
This past weekend, I ventured out on a road trip to Washington, D.C. for the Cherry Blossom Festival with a few of my friends from college. Our original plan was to get there in time to attend the famous Blossom Kite Festival, where hundreds of children and families would be flying their kites out by the Washington Monument. Plus, we were also going to get some amazing shots of cherry blossoms, like the ones you see in Japan. But to my chagrin, we didn’t make it in time for the event and the cherry blossom bloom had pretty much ended. The peak bloom has occurred on March 25th, so we had already missed it. I was pretty bummed about it at first, and since I had already been to the plethora of museums and monuments a million times, what else was I really going to see that I hadn’t seen before? That’s when I realized there’s a Koreatown hidden in the crevices of our nation’s capital. What’s so great about Koreatown, you ask? Well, keep on reading.

 

Continue reading "Exploring Koreatown in Washington, D.C. – USI Affinity" »


Travel Budget Series Part #1:
6 Ways to Cut Costs while Traveling

By Chaitanya Bala

Budget TravelWe all love going on vacation. Whether we try to travel on a regular basis, or consider it a rare treat on special occasions, there’s something we all enjoy when traveling: discounts and saving money. Doesn’t matter if we’re luxury travelers who are willing to splurge on exotic deep-tissue massages, or backpackers who make last minute travel plans to get away from civilization for a week. If there are ways to save money, we will gladly take up the opportunity. So what exactly are some ways we can cut costs while traveling? It would seem that in today’s economy, finding cheap vacations that are worth taking would be hard. But it’s not impossible! So here it is, the first post of our travel budget series – six ways to cut costs while traveling.

 

Continue reading "How to Travel on a Budget – USI Affinity" »


The Pros and Cons of Cuba: Here’s What to Expect.

By Chaitanya Bala

Colorful Old HabanaHave you been dreaming about taking a vacation to Cuba in the near future? Well good news! Now that the U.S. has kind of eased up its restrictions on American citizens visiting Cuba, you can finally turn that dream into reality. Cuba’s a beautiful country, full of unique cultural richness and beautiful beaches. But be warned – due to the significantly different government and political structure of Cuba, you’re going to experience some drastic changes from what you may be used to on a typical vacation. Some of these changes may not sit well with some of you. And if this list scares the heck out of you, having travel insurance might be a good idea so you can cancel your trip if need be. But if you’re up for the challenge, keep reading and just be prepared. Here’s what to expect when you go off to Cuba – both the good and bad.

Continue reading "What to Know Before You Travel to Cuba – USI Affinity" »


The 6 Most Unique Places to Study Abroad

By Chaitanya Bala

You’ve all read numerous blogs about the best places to study abroad. Pretty much all of those blogs will list out numerous European countries as the best places. According to U.S. News, 53% of American students that study abroad are doing so in European countries, with 12.6% of all those study abroad students going to England. *Yawn* Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t think studying abroad in Europe is a bad idea at all. It’s the hub of Western history, and a great site for cultural and linguistic exposure. But let’s be honest here – there are so many unique and whimsical study abroad destinations you can consider that are fresh and not so over-traveled. And when your best friend is telling you about her rather basic study abroad experience, practicing her English and drinking tea in London, you can tell her about your stroll along the….I don’t know…zebra-filled savannas of Africa. Now, what sounds more exciting? So here it is – the adventure-filled list of the 6 most unusual places to study abroad!

Continue reading "Most Unusual Places to Study Abroad – USI Affinity" »