Happy Monday! As the new college semester approaches, that means we are that much closer to college football! Our very first Textbook Solutions location was founded in College Station, TX – the heart of Aggieland and Fightin’ Texas Aggie football! We love our school here and to show our Aggie pride, we have created a desktop and cell phone wallpaper with the A&M football schedule. The beautiful photograph for this was taken by Rebecca Griffith Photography, and her website can be reached here.
It’s the end of July…can you believe it?? 2 months have gone by and you feel like you’ve done nothing all summer! There’s still time to book that last minute vacation that will lift your spirits and won’t leave you feeling bummed out. Here are 4 cheap, last minute vacation ideas!
Hiking and Camping
What better way to spend your last weeks of freedom than by enjoying beautiful nature? You can find some amazing sites near the mountains, water, or wooded areas – whatever fits your style! There are so many camping grounds and hiking trails that you can find for incredibly cheap prices for a couple of nights.
Not sure what to bring on a camping trip? REI has a great camping checklist you can use here! Make sure you check out what activities there are to do at your local campgrounds, such as hiking trails, kayaking or canoeing, or even rock climbing. Besides these fun options, you can bring your own entertainment! Outdoor games such as cornhole, frisbee, and other sports are always a hit. Board games and cards are great for some time outside of technology. And don’t forget the s’mores!!
Home Rental Sites
If you want to get out of your own house for a few days, home rental booking sites are always a good option to experience a new place in a cost-effective, welcoming, home environment! There are quite a few companies that offer this service, such as Airbnb and Vrbo. Just figure out where you want to visit, and search Airbnb or Vrbo for great deals in that area.
If you have never used a place like Airbnb or Vrbo before, it is a service where homeowners put their properties up for others to rent for a few days on vacations or trips of any kind. They have wonderful accommodations and provide a cheap alternative to expensive hotels! There are plenty available in most places nowadays and many of them are less than $100 a night! If you have friends that can chip in, you can stay almost anywhere for dirt cheap!
Beach or Lake Trip
There are not many places more beautiful than a beach or lake at sunset. Before heading back to school in August, visiting the water may be the perfect way to escape and have fun. If you live near a beach or lake, it can make for the perfect day trip and hardly cost anything! If you don’t live close to a body of water, grab some friends and make a road trip weekend out of it.
Some exciting things to do out on the water include kayaking, canoeing, riding jet skis, or attempting to surf – if you’re brave enough! Most beach and lake locations have rental spots where you can rent various equipment for a couple of hours. Bring a volleyball and have some games in the sand, and a cooler for your drinks and snacks. You’re all set!
Theme parks may not be the most relaxing getaway, but they sure are exciting! A theme park doesn’t have to be a huge tourist spot like Disney World – see if there are local water parks, go-kart racing, or other attractions in your area! A theme park, whether large or small, will have tons of activities for you and your friends and family to participate in.
Whatever you decide to do, have fun and go soak up your last few weeks of summer!
Not having a car can be stressful and limiting for some people. Cars are convenient in many respects. You can go anywhere you want, any time that you want to go. However, cars are essentially an expense as soon as they leave the dealership/lot. There are car payments, car insurance expenses, gas expenses, maintenance fees, and repair costs among other things that make owning a car a little less desirable. And besides, it is easy to get around without a car nowadays. Here are a few suggestions if you find yourself indoors with a destination in mind but without a vehicle of your own.
using uber or lyft
In today’s society, transportation services apps such as Uber or Lyft have become popular. While these services can be expensive at times, they are effective in getting around from place to place!
Uber and Lyft technologies keep an extensive record of who your drivers are and the route that is being taken so you feel safe and secure with every ride you take. Uber and Lyft also come in handy when you need to be somewhere in a reasonable amount of time. The apps match the rider with a driver within minutes of ordering so you are not waiting around to get to where you need to be.
In addition to using Uber or Lyft to get around, using your legs to get to where you need to go works wonders for your transportation needs. Walking is a rather healthy option to consider when you want to travel but do not have a car, especially if your destination is not far away. If you do not mind getting a little sweat going, walking may be the best option for you. And if you are worried about getting sweaty, you could always bring a change of clothes with you on your trek.
Walking also gives you the ability to look around your surroundings and appreciate the scenery a little more. You may come across gems that you oftentimes pass by when you are in a vehicle. It also costs zero dollars and zero cents to walk from point A to point B so you can save a little money in the process.
Taking the bus or the train to where you need to go is one way to get around town. Depending on where you live, this option might be beneficial for you. However, this may be confusing to those who may not utilize public transit on a regular basis. A couple of tips to effectively use public transportation would be to download your local public transit apps on your mobile device and to buy a bus pass. The public transit apps let you know the bus/train’s arrival and departure times and where exactly they stop. These apps are also updated in real time so you are never questioning where your means of transportation are at a given moment.
A bus pass is beneficial for people who use public transit because it ends up being cheaper than using Uber or Lyft services and significantly cheaper than owning a private vehicle.
carpool with a friend
Riding with a friend who has a car is yet another way to get around without one of your own. Interact with your friends and learn their schedules so you know who is available and who is not. Be sure to give your friend a few dollars for gas every now and then so your friends will continue to give you rides when you need them. Carpooling is also eco-friendly because there are less cars on the road polluting the environment. Be friendly to the Earth and be friendly to your friends!
The next time you think you are “stuck indoors”, think again. Use Uber technologies, ride the bus, get exercise by walking, or carpool with a generous friend. You may find that these alternatives may actually be better for you than owning a private vehicle in terms of overall cost, your health, and the environment. It is not the end of the world if you do not have a car so keep your head up, go out, and explore!
Dating in college can be a hit or miss for most and the second it gets down to deciding on an actual plan, a plethora of stresses have arisen. Where do we go? What do we do? What is expected of me? Is it expensive? That last question probably should have been first considering money is a daily concern for many students.
Luckily, there are options to pursuing inexpensive dates that won’t break the bank. Don’t go breaking piggy banks until giving one of these five choices a chance!
Keeping it old school
Maybe it’s not that old school – but grabbing some ice cream and taking a walk with a partner can be more fun than it seems, for more than just one reason. Imagine being able to enjoy a sugary treat while engaging in – hopefully intriguing – conversation and getting those daily steps in! Sometimes, keeping it old school is keeping it fun.
Simple & easy
The joys of a picnic can often be limited to the season and location of residence. Depending on where you live, just pick the months with bearable weather and the date is half ready to go! All that’s left to do is pack some snacks and sandwiches, grab a blanket, and pick a lovely spot.
Let’s be honest here. Some days contain more energy than others. On this kind of night it could be equally fun to just stay in with some take out – or cook if one is up to the challenge – and watch a movie, though binging a show is just as fun (no discriminating here). This could provide a fun opportunity to talk about the crazy events that took place in the cinematic adventure experienced together.
A Budgeted outing
This one might entail some extra cash but a trip to the beach or a nearby lake is a day of relaxation and extravagation. (Okay, I made that word up. It’s kind of like extravagant. I digress.) Find a cooler and fill it with snacks before heading out and it’s got huge potential to be a beautiful memory. Sitting in the sun with no worries is a start to a delicious recipe. From this point on there are endless combinations of how this splendidly filled afternoon could be spent!
grub & hub
Just spending time with a person can be an amazing time. Add on board games or a mutual experience and a thirty minute conversation can turn into an entire afternoon of enjoying someone else’s company. Multiply that by coffee and it’s a beautifully crafted date of sophistication and fun. Don’t knock it before trying it!
The beauty within all of these plausible ideas is the commonality between them. One word, four syllables, makes my heart skip a beat: affordable. Give them a chance before writing them off as boring and the regrets will dissipate faster than your bank account has time to cry.
Are you a crafting fiend with an obsession for DIY projects? Crafting is a hobby that many people enjoy because it is relaxing and a way to express yourself! If you have a passion for crafting and making your own creations, wouldn’t it be awesome if you could make some money at the same time? We have found some great websites and resources available to help you sell your works of art! If you have a love for creating and crafting, check out these platforms that help you get your handmade items out for the world to love and buy.
- Absolute Arts. This website is perfect for artists and sculptors! It is free to sign up, and you can list up to 20 pieces of art for free. They have a huge community of artists and even help with marketing your items.
- ArtFire. This is a pretty well-known website and community for artists and creators to sell their products! They have boutique accounts for more commercial products, and also handmade artisan shops with one-of-a-kind items. They offer free seller accounts with various upgrades that you can purchase as you become more experienced.
- Craft fairs or farmers markets. Most cities have multiple craft fairs or weekly farmers markets that are great opportunities for local crafters and artists to set up a booth and sell their creations. Do a google search for your area and you can easily find how to sign up to become a vendor!
- Cratejoy. This is a little different than the others because it turns your products into subscription boxes! Subscription boxes are becoming more and more popular, and this website helps you get your small business started by creating your own subscription boxes with your items and reaching a wide audience of customers.
- eCrater. Here, you can create your own online store for selling your items – for free! It’s very easy to set up and you can customize the website and add your own logo and photos.
- Etsy. If you haven’t heard of Etsy, you’re missing out! Etsy is probably the biggest online shop for handmade, one-of-a-kind products. You can find almost anything on there and it reaches a wide variety of needs and people. It is great for crafters who want to try to sell their work because you can set your own prices and sell as many items as you want. It is free to open up a shop, and while there are some listing fees, they are pretty small.
- Facebook Marketplace. Facebook is such a great way to reach a lot of people, and the Marketplace feature helps you sell items when you don’t really know where else to go yet and are just getting started. It also targets your specific location, making it easy to find people near you who want to buy your products!
- iCraft. For the crafters who make their own unique creations from scratch, this is the website for you! iCraft is only for original, handmade creations – they do not allow vintage items or commercial products. They offer resources and tools to get your small business going and give sales tips if needed. You can start selling on here for just $5 a month, with multiple business plans to choose from.
- Shopify. This is another great option for your creations! For just $9 a month, you can create your own online store and customize the theme. They offer many helpful resources and tips for how to start your own small business, such as creating a logo and building your online presence.
- You Can Make This. This website is also different from the others because instead of selling your items, you are creating tutorials on how to make different kinds of handmade items and then selling the tutorial! Your product/idea has to get approved, but then you can start creating your tutorial and including all of the details for this product. People can purchase your tutorial online and you make 50% of the sales.