UPDATE: RuthiesRoutes.com

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After reading so much about it, I finally did it!!  I am excited to let everyone know that my blog has moved to RuthiesRoutes.com (http://ruthiesroutes.com/)

The new blog theme is fun, inviting and warm to the heart! Stop by and let me know what you think.

Happy Travels ~ Ruthie

FridayFoto: Guest Bench

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I came across this bench while taking a stroll on the southernmost tip of Pass-A-Grille Beach in Saint Petersburg. There was this interesting diary with a pen in a metal box attached to the bench. The journal is for anyone wishing to write in it and share their thoughts and feelings from such a beautiful viewpoint. I found this to be a very original and inspiring idea!

Follow your Dreams, They will always lead the Way!!

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What have you come across during a beach stroll? Would love to hear from you 🙂

Happy Travels ~ Ruthie

A morning at Pass-A-Grille – Saint Petersburg Beach

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This post is part of the Sunday Traveler Series (#SundayTraveler)

I had been anxiously waiting for Martin Luther King holiday weekend to arrive!!  I had planned a full morning of sightseeing at Pass-A-Grille on Saint Petersburg Beach and I could not wait to get started. The brisk morning air felt good on my face and though it was not super cold, I still brought along a jacket to wear since I knew I was going to be at the beach.

The ride down to Pass-A-Grille was quiet, the highway was deserted, which was very unusual for a holiday weekend. On the way there, I was so excited about highlighting this laid back and authentic beach town located in the southernmost end of Saint Petersburg Beach.  It’s my favorite beach because I can escape the larger beach crowds, it’s quaint, peaceful, beautiful as well as clean. With plenty of metered parking to park at,  you can walk to the beach, ice cream shops, restaurants, outdoor art market, hotels, tennis courts, fishing pier and shop at trendy boutiques.

The streets between Pass-A-Grille and the walkways to the beach are filled with old fashioned, charming cottages and smaller mansion homes with picturesque views of the gulf. The cozy streets are welcoming, but yet inviting enough to spend time with the locals and be able to enjoy a scenic day at the beach. When you are here everything slows down, it’s unique to itself. I find myself taking a step back from my daily busy life and enjoying the ambiance, beauty and nature of it.

The shops and buildings are painted with pastel summer colors to attract the island feel of this eccentric beach town.  Also known as Old Town, Pass-A-Grille, is a U.S. historic district with an interesting history behind it.  It was inhabited by native Americans for thousands of years before Spanish explorers in 1528.

With many shops closed for the holiday, it gave me the liberty to photograph some of the coolest things around the town that I had not seen before.

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Storefront buildings

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 Art décor displayed above a store

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Beach House Store

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Paradise Grille Food Court & Shop

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Pastel Green & Blue Shops

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 View of Pass-A-Grille Beach

What’s your favorite local beach and why? Would love to hear from you 🙂

Happy Travels ~ Ruthie

10 Money Saving Tips for My Long Term Travel

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After reading quite a bit of posts on how to save money for your dream vacation or long term travel, I decided to put a list together of how I’ve started this year saving money to travel.  I have to admit, that I am very conscious about money and how I manage and spend it.  My motto is, if I don’t need it, I don’t buy it.  Once I have a goal in mind, I’m committed to achieving it, especially if it’s for travel. I don’t have students loans or credit card debt, so for me it’s been easy to save.

In no particular order, here are 10 money saving tips that I currently use to save my for my long term travel.

  1. Piggy Bank: It’s not very often that I carry cash with me, however when I do, I put all of my change in my piggy bank.  It’s not much, but at the end of the year, I have money to add to my travel fund account.
  2. Dining Out: I cook a lot, so it’s rare that I go out to dinner.  Once in a  blue moon, I will go out and celebrate a birthday or anniversary.
  3. Cut Down on Bills: I recently called my TV/Cable provider company and was able to negotiate a percentage off my monthly bill. Also, the company I work for, offers a 15% off my cell phone bill each month. I also cut cost on energy. During the winter months,  I do not turn on the heat regardless of how cold it gets. It’s a way for me to save money on energy. Of course, living in Florida helps!
  4. Grocery Store (generic brands): The generic brands at my local grocery store are as good as the brand name items.  A lot of times, they offer buy one get one free on generic brands. When these deals are available, I will stock up as needed.
  5. Travel Fund Account: I recently opened up a Charles Schwab Bank Checking plus Brokerage Account that offers a 0.10% APY, for when I travel Abroad.  There is no ATM Fees associated with the account and they reimburse any ATM fees you are charged with worldwide at the end of each month. The account also offers free standards checks, free bill pay, and a Visa Platinum Check Card.
  6. Salvation Army: I’ve become a huge fan of the Salvation Army.  Every couple of months, I will get rid of things that I don’t need, such as clothes, furniture, shoes, kitchen supplies you name it, I get rid of.  I make sure that when I drop off these items, that I get a receipt back.  At the time of tax season, I bring the receipt to my accountant so that he can write off what I’ve donated. It’s a great way to add some extra money to my tax return.
  7. Pack a Lunch: Every day, I pack a lunch for work. It beats spending money at McDonalds or Burger King every week.
  8. Savings Account: Aside from my Travel Fund Account, I also have a Savings Account. Every week a certain amount of my paycheck is deducted and transferred to both of these accounts. It gives me the opportunity to build up both accounts.
  9. Supplement Income: With an extensive background in wedding & event planning, I still manage to coordinate weddings and events for family and friends when needed.  This allows me to make some extra money to put aside for my travels.
  10. Cut down on Luxury Items: I do not go to the nail salon every 2 weeks to get a manicure or splurge at the hair salon. As a matter of fact, I am my own manicurist.  The only luxury item I will splurge on is my hair.  I get my hair cut every 6 months and that’s it. No color no special treatment.

What money saving tips are you using to save for long term travel? Share your answers here.

Happy Travels ~ Ruthie