Vacationing on a Budget? Wanderu Will Suggest Destinations that Cost Less Than $20


Just because you’re on a tight budget doesn't mean you need to give up the occasional getaway. If you're trying to plan an affordable vacation in the U.S., Wanderu can help. The travel site will find you all the places you can get to from your city for under $20.

Wanderu took the largest 50 cities in the U.S. and calculated the cheapest average bus and train fares departing from those locations, and filtered all the destinations that a traveler could reach for under $20.

The fare filtering was based on average fares for routes over a 30-day period, so there's no guarantee that you’ll be able to find a $20 ticket for every single bus from Boston to New York, even if the cheapest average fare is only $12.48. To get those truly cheap tickets, you'll probably have to be flexible with the dates and times you're willing to leave. You're not going to get a dirt-cheap express train ticket for the next day during rush hour on a holiday weekend. But if you want to leave on a bus in the middle of the night or early in the morning a few weeks from now, you can score a ticket at rock-bottom prices.

Some bus operators also offer elusive $1 fare deals to the first few passengers to book a seat, and Wanderu will tell you if that's an option, though it can't guarantee that you'll actually be able to snag one of those tickets.

The Wanderu cheap-fare aggregator is available for all the typical big cities you'd expect—New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C.—but it will also find you tickets departing from smaller cities, like Mesa, Arizona and Virginia Beach, Virginia. In some cities, there may not be a whole lot of options. There are only two destinations to choose from if you're leaving from Virginia Beach, for instance. But the search might inspire you to visit somewhere new.

If your city isn't on the list, you can tweet @GoWanderu and mention your location, and the Wanderu team will find you the cheapest routes.

Start your search here.

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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More Than 38,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Has Been Recalled

Angele J, Pexels

Your lettuce-based summer salads are safe for the moment, but there are other products you should be careful about using these days: Certain brands of hand sanitizer, for example, have been recalled for containing methanol. And as Real Simple reports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) recently recalled 38,406 pounds of ground beef.

When JBS Food Canada ULC shipped the beef over the border from its plant in Alberta, Canada, it somehow skirted the import reinspection process, so FSIS never verified that it met U.S. food safety standards. In other words, we don’t know if there’s anything wrong with it—and no reports of illness have been tied to it so far—but eating unapproved beef is simply not worth the risk.

The beef entered the country on July 13 as raw, frozen, boneless head meat products, and Balter Meat Company processed it into 80-pound boxes of ground beef. It was sent to holding locations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina before heading to retailers that may not be specific to those four states. According to a press release, FSIS will post the list of retailers on its website after it confirms them.

In the meantime, it’s up to consumers to toss any ground beef with labels that match those here [PDF]. Keep an eye out for lot codes 2020A and 2030A, establishment number 11126, and use-or-freeze-by dates August 9 and August 10.

[h/t Real Simple]