10 travel websites that can save you money #tibet #travel

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10 travel websites that can save you money

Ever heard of Breezenet.com or Couchsurfing.org? Travel icon Arthur Frommer tells you that you should.

Travel websites come and go—hundreds of new ones emerge each year—but 10 remain unchallenged, in my view, for their ability to save you large sums of money on nearly any vacation trip:

1. Momondo.com for the lowest air fares: Created by Danish techies and headquartered in Copenhagen, of all places, it has an uncanny ability to find better rates for your next flight, even for purely local trips within North America. That’s because, it’s claimed, its program surveys all sources of airfares—some 800 of them, even those that pay no commission to Momondo for getting them a customer. Next time you book a flight to anywhere, give these enterprising Danes a look.

2. Breezenet.com for discount car rentals: A remarkable source of car rentals costing substantially less than normal levels. By surveying the daily offerings of some 14 large companies and countless mom-and-pop firms, it nearly always finds a reduced rate from a rental company hungry for business on a particular day.

3. Hotelscombined.com for reduced hotel rates: Here’s a site that scans dozens of other hotel websites around the world and then produces the best rates for particular dates. If there’s a sale going on, or a hotel slashing rates temporarily, Hotelscombined.com will find the bargain, saving you a great deal of money. GetaRoom.com is among its competitors, but it finds hotels in only a handful of heavily visited cities.

4. Homeexchange.com for swapping apartments and homes: It apparently has become the most widely used service for vacation exchanges, as a result of its prominent mention in a recent Hollywood film. Its tens of thousands of home or apartment listings enable you to quickly and effectively find a person eager to exchange his or her home or apartment for yours during the time of your respective vacations, enabling both of you to enjoy free lodgings.

5. Homeaway.com for renting vacation homes and apartments: After acquiring several smaller home-rental companies, Homeaway has become the largest source of such rentals, and appears to operate efficiently and reliably. Numerous travelers currently are substituting homes or apartments for hotel rooms, spending less and enjoying more spacious accommodations than a hotel would provide. (Rentalo.com, specializing in apartments, is among its competitors.)

6. Cruisesonly.com (whose main competitors are VacationsToGo.com and OnlineVacationCenter.com) will snare discount rates for most sailings of most major cruise ships. Nearly every cruise line discounts the rates appearing in its catalogues and brochures, and the smart cruise passenger always seeks out these reductions in price.

7. Xe.com for currency-exchange rates: This strange, two-letter website supplies you with up-to-the-minute exchange rates for all the world’s currencies, enabling you to know the dollar equivalent of foreign prices. (Smart travelers obtain their foreign currencies from the ATM machines in all foreign cities of any size; they do much better at ATM machines than from exchange kiosks and counters.)

8. Hostelz.com for low-cost hostels throughout the world. For the most cost-conscious of all travelers (seeking to pay no more than $25 a night), Hostelz provides you with photographs and texts describing many thousands of hostels offering low-cost beds to people of all ages, sometimes in hotels that were recently converted into hostels by ambitious entrepreneurs.

9. Couchsurfing.org for young people seeking free hospitality and Servas.org for older ones. Both organizations maintain massive lists of generous people around the world who are willing to put up guests in their homes free of charge for short stays (usually two or three nights). Servas has been in existence since 1948 and has a mainly mature membership; the more-recently founded Couchsurfing caters to a more youthful set.

10. Airbnb.com for those occasions when all hotels in a particular city are sold out because of large conventions or trade shows. For numerous cities in the U.S. and Canada, Airbnb.com lists and rents moderately priced rooms in private homes for special use at the time of political conventions or like events.

Runners-up to the Top 10: Though they don’t deserve the supreme accolade, a number of other websites are helpful in a broad number of instances:

•  Privatemotorhomerental.com for renting an RV directly from its owner, at a considerable savings.

•  Biketoursdirect.com for its listings of inexpensive group bicycle tours departing from throughout North America and abroad on numerous dates

•  Womenwelcomewomen.org.uk for providing hospitality to female travelers, ranging from a spare cot or room to simply meeting them for a drink.

•  Viamigo.com or Rentalocalfriend.com for acquiring a local guide in various out-of-town or foreign cities.

•  Theatermania.com. Stubhub.com or Ticketsnow.com for obtaining discount theatre tickets in numerous cities.

•  Shoretrips.com for inexpensive port visits on cruises, in small-van groups.

Arthur Frommer is the pioneering founder of the Frommer’s Travel Guide book series. He co-hosts the radio program, The Travel Show, with his travel correspondent daughter Pauline Frommer. Find more destinations online and read Arthur Frommer’s blog at

frommers.com.

© 2010 by Arthur Frommer

Distributed by King Features Syndicate





16/11/2017

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What You Can Do with a Degree in Sociology #jobs #you


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What You Can Do with a Degree in Sociology

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

by Ashley Crossman

Updated May 16, 2017

A lot of people take their first sociology course simply to fulfill a college requirement, not knowing much about the field before stepping into that first course. Soon after, however, many fall in love with the subject matter and decide to major in it. If this is you, you may be asking yourself, “What can I do with a degree in sociology?”

Most people who think of themselves as sociologists or have the word sociologist in their job title, have graduate training, but B.A.s in sociology apply the sociological perspective to a wide variety of jobs in such sectors as business, the health professions, the criminal justice system, social services, and government.

As a strong liberal arts major, a B.A. in sociology provides several things:

  • The undergraduate degree provides broad preparation for entry level positions throughout the business, social service, non-profit, and government worlds. Employers look for people with the skills that an undergraduate education in sociology provides, like research, critical thinking, and analytic skills.
  • Since its subject matter is intrinsically fascinating, sociology offers valuable preparation for careers in journalism, politics, public relations, business, or public administration–fields that involve investigative skills and working with diverse groups.
  • Many students choose sociology because they see it as a broad liberal arts base for professions such as law, education, medicine, social work, and counseling. Sociology provides a rich fund of knowledge that directly pertains to each of these fields.

With advanced degrees (M.A.

or Ph.D.), the more likely it is that a job will have the title sociologist, but many opportunities exist–the diversity of sociological careers ranges much further. Many jobs outside of academia do not necessarily carry the specific title of sociologist. These include the following, among others:

  • Sociologists become high school teachers or faculty in colleges and universities, advising students, conducting research. and publishing their work. Over 3,000 colleges currently offer sociology courses.
  • Sociologists enter the corporate, non-profit, and government worlds as directors of research, policy analysts, consultants, human resource managers, and program managers.
  • Practicing sociologists with advanced degrees may be called research analysts, survey researchers. gerontologists, clinical sociologists. statisticians, urban planners, community developers, criminologists, or demographers.
  • Some M.A. and Ph.D. sociologists obtain specialized training to become counselors, therapists, or program directors in social service agencies.

Today, sociologists embark upon literally hundreds of career paths. Although teaching and conducting research remains the dominant activity among the thousands of professional sociologists today, other forms of employment are growing both in number and significance. In some sectors, sociologists work closely with economists, political scientists, anthropologists, psychologists, social workers, and others, reflecting a growing appreciation of sociology s contributions to interdisciplinary analysis and action.

To learn more about how sociology majors apply their degrees in various careers, read the American Sociological Association s report on the topic .

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13/10/2017

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What is distribution requirements planning (DRP)? Definition from #automated #call #distribution


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distribution requirements planning (DRP)

Distribution requirements planning (DRP) is a systematic process to make the delivery of goods more efficient by determining which goods, in what quantities, and at what location are required to meet anticipated demand. The goal is to minimize shortages and reduce the costs of ordering, transporting, and holding goods.

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Also known as distribution replenishment planning, DRP is a time-based approach that determines when inventory is likely to be depleted and plans replenishment to avoid shortages. DRP uses a tree-like structure where a central facility, such as a warehouse, supplies regional facilities which then supply other facilities in the tree. This structure can contain any number of layers.

A key element of DRP is the DRP table, which usually includes elements that are important in the process, including:

  • forecast demands
  • current inventory levels
  • target safety stock
  • recommended replenishment quantities
  • replenishment lead times

DRP distribution works by either a pull or push method. The pull method has goods move up through the network by fulfilling customer orders. This provides more availability for consumers because local management controls the availability of the goods. However, managing distribution inventory can be difficult because every order is new to the supplying location as demand flows up the network. This is called the Bullwhip Effect: small changes in consumer demand that generate large swings in demand higher up the network.

In contrast, the push method sends goods down through the network. It generally has lower costs because shipments are planned globally and stored centrally. However, service levels can suffer if central planning is too far removed from the actual demand.

DRP ideally combines the service levels of pull with the efficiency of push, but this depends on accurate forecasts and stable processes to be successful. If both of these exist, DRP produces high fulfillment performance with minimal inventory. Companies usually try to hedge their bets by using safety stock, but that can reduce the overall effectiveness of the DRP strategy, resulting in higher inventory levels or shortages.

A number of vendors include DRP modules in their ERP software.

This was last updated in August 2015

Continue Reading About distribution requirements planning (DRP)

Related Terms

cross-docking Cross-docking is the practice of unloading goods from inbound delivery vehicles and loading them directly onto outbound vehicles. See complete definition overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) Overall equipment effectiveness is a measure of manufacturing operations performance and productivity, expressed in a percentage. See complete definition supply chain sustainability Supply chain sustainability (SCS) is a holistic view of supply chain processes and technologies that addresses the environmental. See complete definition

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11/10/2017

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Environmental Science Degree Online – Bachelors of Science – University of


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Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

This program is not available based on your location. Please edit your location above or search for an alternative program that is available in your current location.

Campus Locations

If you prefer face to face interaction, there’s a good chance we have a campus location near you.

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science offers the interdisciplinary education you need to become a well-rounded professional and start making a difference in the world. With a science background, you can prepare for unique roles in government or the private sector, helping combat today’s environmental challenges.

This curriculum — through courses that cover current environmental events, concerns and controversies — will help you develop a deep understanding of how scientific principles and the environment impact each other. You’ll study topics like biology and chemistry and take courses that reveal the nuances of environmental issues like environmental law and risk assessment. Additionally, you’ll expand your critical thinking, information utilization and analytical skills.

If you’re looking to help governments or businesses tackle environmental issues or prepare to pursue a graduate degree, explore the program offerings and information below to see how this program can help.

Requirements and prerequisites

You’ll need XXX credits to complete this program, which may be earned from a combination of required and elected courses. However, required courses may vary based on previous experience, training or transferable credits. View general requirements.

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Get started here

Introduction to Environmental Sciences

00:17 Are you looking for a career that reflects that passion?

00:20 How much do you know about environmental science and its related careers?

00:24 Let’s explore the field and talk a little about what you can expect from a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from University of Phoenix.

00:31 Environmental science is an exciting area that brings together the natural sciences, environmental law, policy, and ethics to improve the way we interact with our world.

00:39 Throughout your degree program, you’ll learn about environmental protection, restoration, sustainable energy, and pollution control.

00:46 Increasing interest in environmental issues, combined with a growing need for sustainability, have expanded opportunities in this already thriving field.

00:54 Let’s take a look at some of the areas you’ll be learning about.

00:57 Ecology is the study of the interaction between living things and the environment.

01:02 Through research, ecologists provide vital information for the preservation and restoration of species and landscapes.

01:10 This basic information is essential for land managers and policymakers as they make decisions regarding species and ecological communities.

01:18 There is currently a huge need for this research.

01:20 Only 15 percent of species in the United States have been studied accurately enough to judge whether they’re endangered.

01:25 At a time when extinction rates are on the rise, understanding the ecology of species and landscapes is essential to their preservation and restoration. 01:34 A career in ecology might take you to a private consulting firm or government agency.

01:38 You may help monitor plant and animal communities, restore degraded landscapes, or provide data for construction and other projects to ensure they’re environmentally safe.

01:47 Keeping our environment safe isn’t always easy.

01:50 Pollution affects our ecosystem and human health.

01:54 Fortunately, efforts over the last 50 years, including the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, have reduced the release of pollutants in the atmosphere and waterways.

02:02 Prior to the Clean Water Act, only one-third of waterways in the United States were clean enough to swim in. 02:07 Forty years after the act’s passage, 65 percent of waterways are safe for swimming.

02:12 This is thanks in part to the work of environmental scientists employed both by industry and agencies to ensure compliance with the law.

02:18 Jobs in pollution monitoring and mitigation include stormwater and wastewater management.

02:23 In these careers, you may guarantee compliance by collecting samples in the field for lab analysis.

02:28 Some positions focus on administrative roles, ensure that projects follow procedures and meet expectations.

02:35 You may even be asked to create a remediation plan for polluted sites. 02:39 Our society is dependent on energy.

02:41 Without energy, there can be no electricity, refrigeration, or transport. 02:46 Produce, meats and dairy, could not be shipped.

02:49 Businesses and hospitals could not operate effectively, and computers cannot function.

02:55 Energy is essential for our way of life.

02:58 Over half of our energy comes from nonrenewable fossil fuels, which contribute significantly to air pollution.

03:04 Coal fired power plants provide an incredible 40 percent of our electricity, making it the single biggest source of air pollution in the United States.

03:12 Our overdependence on nonrenewable sources has become more apparent in recent years.

03:17 When combined with the effects of global climate change, renewable clean energies such as hydropower, wind, and solar have become very attractive, but even these energy sources have their drawbacks.

03:27 Environmental scientists play a role in promoting such clean energies from their positions in industry, nonprofit organizations, and agencies.

03:36 Potential careers in energy include consulting about energy management and efficiency, as well as ensuring compliance with environmental regulations.

03:43 An environmental scientist is a critical thinker who analyzes problems, collects and interprets data, and works in teams.

03:51 You’ll learn how to improve these skills through collaborative and analytical projects.

03:55 As you pursue your degree, faculty will encourage you to think critically and holistically about environmental issues.

04:01 You’ll also receive a lab kit for chemistry to provide you with hands on experience in data collection and interpretation.

04:07 A degree in environmental science will allow you to use your passion for the environment in the best ways possible.

04:12 There are many opportunities in this field, and they can all make an impact in the protection of the environment.


21/09/2017

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Zen Alcohol Stoves – Cat Food Can Alcohol Stove #zen #stoves,


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Cat Food Can Alcohol Stove

Requires a pot stand.

  • Slightly more bulky than other alcohol stove designs.

  • The most popular double jacketed alcohol stove is the Cat Can Stove by 2001 Triple Crown Roy L. TrailDad Robinson. There are a few variants, but the basic design remains the same – an inner ventilated can with fiberglass insulation for a wick encompassed by a larger diameter can with low lying ventilation. Fuel is vaporized and drawn upwards through a central opening where it ignites creating a low pressure zone that in turn draws fresh air in through the lower side vents.

    This stove above is made of a 5.5oz and 3oz aluminum can (cat food) and a piece of fiberglass insulation. Six to eight holes are punched through the sides of each can with either a church key or a hole punch. Fiberglass insulation in placed in the smaller can and the two pieces are assembled as shown.

    Acceptable fuels include denatured alcohol (ethanol), HEET (methanol) and others (see Fuel Options ). It requires a pot stand or rocks to hold the pot about 1-1.5inches for the top of stove.

    Simmering is fairly easy to do, requiring that you block or partially block the inlet vents and/or limit the size of the exit port on top of the stove. You can block with the side inlet vents with a simmer ring and you can limit the size of the outlet port on top by placing a cutout can bottom from a second 5.5oz aluminum can with a hole (or several small holes) cut in it (or something similar – such as a piece of foil) on top of the stove.

    Here is a miniature version made from a 3oz cat food can, 5.5oz V8 can and a circular piece of aluminum flashing JB Welded to the bottom to seal it and keep the inner chamber from shifting. Punching holes with a hole punch in lieu of a church key is mostly for aesthetics, but also allows for a better seal if you use a simmer ring around the circumference of your stove. This design is a modified version of John Bednar’s Turbo Cat II Stove ( Old Site ).

    Notable versions include:


    17/09/2017

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    What Can I Do with an Associate – s Degree in


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    What Can I Do with an Associate’s Degree in Elementary Education?

    Completing an associate’s degree program in elementary education may prepare graduates for a job as an elementary school aide, or it may just be a precursor to earning more education in the field. Read on to find out what options are available to graduates of an associate’s degree program in elementary education. Schools offering Elementary Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

    What is an Associate’s Degree in Elementary Education?

    Most elementary school teachers are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree, as a 4-year degree is needed to gain teacher certification in most states. For this reason, an associate’s degree in elementary education alone cannot provide individuals with the academic credentials necessary to work as educators in public and private schools. However, many community colleges still offer 2-year, associate’s degree programs in elementary education. While these programs alone cannot prepare students to become teachers, they can prepare them for other opportunities.

    While enrolled in an associate’s degree in elementary education, students should learn the basics of primary education. They may examine a variety of topics, including educational techniques and classroom technology. Graduates of such a degree program may enter the educational workforce as teaching aides or assistants or pursue higher education in a related field. Below are a couple of employment and educational options available to those with an associate’s degree in elementary education.

    Important Facts About Teacher Assistants

    Median Salary (2014)

    Job Outlook (2014-2024)

    Communication skills, patience, and resourcefulness

    Career and technical education teachers, childcare workers, library assistants

    Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

    Become an Elementary School Aide

    Elementary school aides, sometimes referred to as teacher aides or assistants, are responsible for assisting teachers with a wide range of classroom tasks. These tasks allow teachers to focus their energy on planning and implementing lessons. Aides may help move students between school locations, supervise students and prepare materials for classroom lessons. In some cases, aides may assist in the grading of projects and homework. Although many aides only hold high school diplomas, some states require aides to hold degrees from accredited 2-year college programs.

    Earn Further Education in the Field

    Many graduates of associate’s degree programs in elementary education can choose to continue their studies at a 4-year university. Credits earned in such a program may be applied toward a bachelor’s degree program in the field. Bachelor’s degree programs build upon the knowledge gained in associate’s degree programs and help prepare students to pass a teaching certification exam. Teachers may continue their education by earning a master’s degree in elementary education or in a more specific field. In general, a higher education level translates into higher pay.

    To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:


    13/09/2017

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    Traditional IRA vs, can i have both a traditional and roth


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    Traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA

    Note: The article below refers to the 2017 tax year. You have until the tax filing deadline—April 18, 2018—to make a 2017 contribution. Click here for Roth IRA Eligibility rules, or visit these links for current contribution limits or current income limits.

    Comparing Roth and Traditional IRAs

    Trying to decide between a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA?

    The type of individual retirement account (IRA) you choose can significantly affect your and your family’s long-term savings. So it’s worth understanding the differences between Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs in order to select the best one for you.

    Here are the key considerations:

    Income Limits

    Anyone with earned income who is younger than 70½ can contribute to a Traditional IRA. Whether the contribution is tax deductible depends on your income and whether you or your spouse (if you re married) are covered by a retirement plan through your job, such as a 401(k). Click here for details from the IRS.

    Roth IRAs don t have age restrictions, but they do have income-eligibility restrictions: Single tax filers, for instance, must have modified adjusted gross incomes of less than $133,000 in 2017 to contribute to a Roth IRA. (Contribution limits are phased out starting with a modified AGI of $118,000, per IRS guidelines.) Married couples filing jointly must have modified AGIs of less than $196,000 in 2017 in order to contribute to a Roth; contribution limits are phased out starting at $186,000.

    Tax Incentives

    Both Traditional and Roth IRAs provide generous tax breaks. But it’s a matter of timing when you get to claim them. Traditional IRA contributions are tax-deductible on both state and federal tax returns for the year you make the contribution; withdrawals in retirement are taxed at ordinary income tax rates. Roth IRAs provide no tax break for contributions, but earnings and withdrawals are generally tax-free. So with Traditional IRAs, you avoid taxes when you put the money in. With Roth IRAs, you avoid taxes when you take it out in retirement.

    Of course, with both types of IRAs, you pay no taxes whatsoever on all of the growth of your contributed funds, as long as they remain in the account.

    Withdrawal Rules

    One major difference between Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs is when the savings must be withdrawn. Traditional IRAs require you to start taking required minimum distributions (RMDs), mandatory, taxable withdrawals of a certain percentage of your funds, at age 70½, whether you need the money at that point or not. Roth IRAs, on the other hand, don’t require any withdrawals during the owner’s lifetime. If you have enough other income, you can let your Roth IRAs continue to grow tax-free throughout your lifetime, making them ideal wealth-transfer vehicles.

    The same applies to your heirs. Beneficiaries of Roth IRAs don’t owe income tax on withdrawals and can stretch out distributions over many years. However, beneficiaries may still owe estate taxes.

    Both Traditional and Roth IRAs allow owners to begin taking penalty-free, “qualified” distributions at age 59½. However, Roth IRAs require that the first contribution be made at least five years before the first withdrawal, in order to avoid incurring a tax payment. If you meet that benchmark (and you only have to meet it once), you will have only paid taxes on what went into the account, not the sum you eventually take out.

    Extra Benefits Considerations

    It’s also worth factoring in some of the specific rules and benefits of Traditional and Roth IRAs. Here’s a breakdown:

    Traditional IRAs:

    • Contributions to Traditional IRAs lower your taxable income in the contribution year. That lowers your adjusted gross income, helping you qualify for other tax incentives you wouldn’t otherwise get, such as the child tax credit or the student loan interest deduction.
    • If you are under 59½, you can withdraw up to $10,000 from your account without the normal 10% early-withdrawal penalty to pay for qualified first-time home-buyer expenses and for qualified higher education expenses. Hardships such as disability and certain levels of unreimbursed medical expenses may also be exempt from the penalty, However, you’ll still pay taxes on the distribution.

    Roth IRAs:

    • Roth contributions (but not earnings) can be withdrawn penalty- and tax-free at any time, even before age 59½.
    • If you are under 59½, you can withdraw up to $10,000 of Roth earnings penalty-free to pay for qualified first-time home-buyer expenses, provided at least five tax years have passed since your initial contribution.
    • Roth IRAs can be invested in literally anything you want: index funds, lifecycle funds, individual stocks, or even alternative investments. In contrast, there are some limits to the types of assets a Traditional IRA can hold.

    Future Tax Rates

    Deciding between a Traditional or Roth IRA depends, basically, on how you think your income – and by extension, your income tax bracket – will compare to your current situation. In effect, you re trying to determine whether the tax rate you pay on your Roth IRA contributions today will be greater or smaller than the rate you ll be paying on distributions from your Traditional IRA after you ve retired (or have to start making them, at age 70½).

    Of course, it’s hard to predict what federal and state tax rates will be 10, 20 or 40 years from now. Given today’s historically low federal tax rates and the large U.S. deficit, many economists believe federal income tax rates will rise in the future – meaning Roth IRAs may be the better long-term choice. But of course, no one knows.

    Still, you can ask yourself some basic questions about your personal situation: Which federal tax bracket are you in today? Do you expect to be in a higher or lower one after you retire? Will your annual income increase or decrease? Although conventional wisdom suggests that gross income declines in retirement, taxable income sometimes does not. Think about it. You ll be collecting (and owing taxes on) Social Security payments. You might opt to do some consulting or free-lance work, on which you ll have to pay self-employment tax. And once the kids are grown and you stop adding to the retirement nest egg, you lose some valuable tax deductions and tax credits. All this could leave you with higher taxable income, even after you stop working full-time.

    Tax Deductions Vs. Tax Credits

    A quick primer on tax deductions and tax credits:

    A tax deduction is an item the government lets you write off of your taxes to lower your total taxable income. Deductions usually only apply if you itemize them, rather than taking the standard deduction (which comes to $6,350 for single taxpayers and $12,700 for married taxpayers filing jointly in tax year 2017 ). Itemizing deductions is beneficial only if the total amount surpasses the sum for the relevant standard deduction you qualify for. Deductions basically get you a discount on the tax you pay. You don’t take a dollar off of taxes for every dollar spent; instead, every dollar that is deducted from your taxable income lowers the amount of income you will be taxed on. If you are in the 25% tax bracket, for example, every dollar you deduct gets a 25-cent tax break.

    In contrast, a tax credit is a direct reduction of the amount of tax you owe. Common credits are issued for spending money on green home improvements or for going back to school. No matter which credits you use, you are slashing your tax bill to the federal government: If you have $2,000 in tax credits, your taxes drop by $2,000. You can take credits whether you take a standard deduction or itemize deductions.

    Tax credits are usually more elusive and not as easy to claim as tax deductions – but they are much better, because they always reduce your taxes. If you have the opportunity to take a $5,000 tax credit or a $5,000 tax deduction, the credit is the better deal. Say you have a tax bill of $10,000. The deduction would lower your taxable income by $5,000; so, if you were in the 25% tax bracket, your taxes would be reduced by $1,250 to $8,750. A credit would directly lower the tax due to $5,000, and that s regardless of your bracket.

    Comparing Roth and Traditional IRAs

    This table lays out the differences between the two types of IRAs. Keep in mind that Congress can change these rules at any time. The regulations may be very different when you retire.


    10/09/2017

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    Can I get a Psychology Degree Online? #can #you #get #a


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    Can I Get a Psychology Degree Online?

    Are you eager to learn how the human mind works? Considering a career in counseling, research or social work? If you’re considering earning a psychology degree to pursue those goals, then you’re in luck. Now is the perfect time to earn a degree online without ever setting foot on a college campus. You can earn a bachelor’s or master’s in psychology completely online.

    Benefits of Online Classes

    Internet-based courses are an increasingly popular way to earn a degree. You can watch video lectures and complete assignments on your own time. If you’re working, caring for a family or find it hard to focus during in-person lectures, online learning is perfect for you. Online courses are growing in popularity even for students who want to take classes for fun. Earning your degree online lets you enjoy the benefits of this new type of technology.

    Why Psychology?

    The demand for psychologists is expected to grow more than 20 percent by 2020. Employers desperately need trained psychologists to fill open positions, and you can meet this demand by earning your degree online. Psychology is an emotionally and financially rewarding career that requires several years of dedicated study. Get started on your classes today so you can start reaping the benefits of a psychology degree.

    Online Psychology Classes

    Psychology is one of the best majors for online degrees. In-person psychology courses typically consist of lectures with PowerPoint slides and videos. You don’t need to physically sit in a classroom to learn from those materials. At home, you can watch video clips several times; you don’t have to worry about a professor moving through material too quickly. You will read research articles and write papers as you learn about famous experiments throughout history. Sitting at your computer gives you access to a wealth of information on these experiments. If you don’t understand how your professor or textbook explains something, you can quickly look up more information on the subject.

    Career Benefits

    Online classes give you scheduling flexibility that brick-and-mortar schools can’t match. You can take advantage of your open schedule and begin volunteering or interning in a psychology position. Consider working one night a week at a crisis center, rehab facility or at a community center. The extra experience on your resume will make you stand out compared to traditional graduates who spent their time fighting for parking spaces on a college campus.

    Online classes have come a long way since they first started. Now, you can brush up on a favorite subject or earn an entire degree without leaving your computer. Psychology is the career you ve been waiting for, but you need a bachelor s to be competitive in the field. Whether you have previous college credits or you re starting college for the first time, online degrees are the best way to balance your personal obligations with your career growth. If you re dedicated to starting your new career, you can get your psychology degree online.

    Psychology Education


    07/09/2017

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    Should I Consolidate Credit Card Debt? #how #can #i #consolidate #debt


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    Should I Consolidate Credit Card Debt?

    If you are struggling to pay off multiple credit cards, consolidating your debt may allow you to reduce your interest rates and lower your monthly payment. However, a lower monthly payment can mean a longer repayment term and more interest paid over the life of the loan. Whether you should consolidate your credit card debt depends on your individual circumstances and the terms of the consolidation.

    Read on to learn more about whether credit card debt consolidation is right for you.

    (To learn more about managing credit card debt, see out topic on getting out of credit card debt .)

    What Is Credit Card Debt Consolidation?

    Consolidating your credit card debt essentially means combining all of your debt into a single loan or paying your creditors through a single monthly payment. You can do this by taking out a consolidation loan or using a debt consolidation or management company.

    How Does Credit Card Debt Consolidation Work?

    When you obtain a debt consolidation loan, you pay off all of your outstanding credit cards with its proceeds. This means that instead of owing money on multiple credit cards, you now have a single obligation. The amount of your monthly payment will depend on the total amount, interest rate, and payment terms of your consolidation loan.

    Should I Use a Debt Management Company to Help?

    There are thousands of companies that claim they can help you consolidate or manage your credit card debt so that you pay less or reduce your payment.

    Typically this is how these companies work: Instead of obtaining a new loan to pay off your credit cards, the debt management company tries to negotiate with the credit card companies to reduce your interest rates or otherwise lower your monthly payments. Each month, you make a single payment to the debt consolidation firm and it distributes a portion of your payment to each of your creditors. Usually, it also keeps a portion (or sometimes all) of your payment to cover its own fees.

    While there are some legitimate companies that provide this service for a very low fee, many companies charge huge fees and do little on your behalf.

    (You can learn more about debt management and debt negotiation companies in our Debt Settlement Negotiation topic area.)

    Is Credit Card Debt Consolidation Right For You?

    Below are some of the main factors you should consider when deciding whether consolidating your credit card debt is in your best interest.

    Can You Afford to Pay Off Your Credit Cards?

    Consolidating your credit card debt does not eliminate it. Even if the consolidation reduces your monthly payment, you still have to pay off all of your debt. So if you don t have regular income or can t afford your monthly payment, consolidating your credit card debt will not help you get back on track.

    If you can t afford to pay off your credit cards, consider other alternatives such as debt negotiation (which can reduce the balance on your credit cards) or bankruptcy .

    Will Consolidating Your Credit Card Debt Reduce Your Interest Rates?

    One of the main benefits of consolidating your credit card debt is getting a reduced interest rate. Reducing your interest rate allows you to lower your monthly payment and pay off your debts sooner. As a result, if you can t lower your interest rates by consolidating your credit card debt, then it is probably not worth the extra cost and fees you will have to incur to do it.

    Will It Take Longer to Pay Off Your Debt If You Consolidate?

    By consolidating your credit card debt, sometimes you can significantly reduce your monthly payment. However, don t assume that your payment went down solely because of a lower interest rate. If your new monthly obligation is substantially lower, it usually means a longer repayment term.

    If your repayment term is extended when you consolidate, it may take you significantly longer to pay off your credit card debt. While it may be nice to have a more manageable monthly payment, it also means paying more interest over the life of the loan. Review the terms of your consolidation carefully before deciding that it is the right choice for you.

    Get debt relief now.


    03/09/2017

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    How to Use an ATM to Deposit Money: 13 Steps (with


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    How to Use an ATM to Deposit Money

    Verify that the ATM accepts deposits placed in an envelope. Smaller ATMs and those at non-bank locations such as convenience stores or restaurants may not have this function. If it does not have a marked slot for dispensing and/or accepting envelopes, it does not accept envelope deposits.

    • Some modern bank ATMs may only accept non-envelope deposits. See elsewhere in this article for information on making such deposits.
    • Your bank may not permit deposits at ATMs not affiliated with it. Check your financial institution’s policies.

    Insert your ATM or debit card and enter your PIN number. This part of the process is exactly the same as when you withdraw cash.

    • Locate the “deposit” tab on the screen or corresponding button indicated by the screen (on older machines). If there is no deposit option, you’re out of luck on this ATM.

    Endorse any checks to be deposited. Sign them on the back in the marked area.

    • Add “for deposit only” below your signature for added security. If you lose this endorsed check, it can only be deposited, not cashed.

    Prepare a deposit slip. If you are using a slip from your checkbook, your name, address, and account number should already be on the check.

    • If you are using a blank deposit slip, like those available in a bank branch, fill out your name, address, and account number. Add the date to any type of deposit slip.
    • Enter the total amount of cash to be deposited on the marked line, and individually list checks in the provided slots on the front (and, if needed, back) of the slip.
    • Enter the total amount of all checks and cash to be deposited on the provided line.
    • You don’t need to sign a deposit slip when depositing funds into an ATM. A signature is only required when you seek cash back from a deposit made at a teller window.
    • You may want to sign your checks and prepare your deposit slip ahead of time, for convenience and safety. Limiting your time at the ATM is safer and less likely to annoy those in line behind you.

    Use the deposit envelope provided by the ATM. Older machines may have a small door that you lift open to reveal deposit envelopes, while newer machines may just spit them out of a slot.

    • Even if you have your deposit organized into an envelope, transfer it to the one provided by the machine.
    • Make sure you insert all your checks, cash, and the deposit slip into the envelope. Seal it securely.
    • Write in any information, such as name, date, and the deposit amount, requested on the outside of the envelope (as indicated by labeled blank lines).
    • The ATM may ask you if you need more time while preparing your deposit. Press the indicated button to give yourself added time to get everything in order.

    Insert your completed and sealed envelope and verify your deposit. The slot where you insert the envelope should be clearly marked and may be indicated by flashing lights. It may also be the same slot where you received your deposit envelope.

    • When prompted by the ATM, either before or after making the actual deposit, enter the total amount of your deposit. Write the total amount down on a scrap of paper beforehand if you need a reminder.
    • Take care to be accurate. The bank should be able to correct any discrepancies, but it is quicker and easier to get things right the first time.
    • Confirm that you want a receipt and keep it for your records, at least until you deposits clear.

    Wait for your deposits to clear. Deposits of cash or check by envelope are manually counted and entered into your account, so funds will not be available immediately.

    • A common wait time for fund availability from an ATM deposit is the second business day after the deposit. That is, if you deposit the funds on Monday, they will be available Wednesday. But, if you deposit them Sunday (not a business day), it will also be Wednesday. Banks are required to consider ATM deposits made by noon to be made that business day. [1]

    19/08/2017

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    Can I get Cheap Airline Tickets for My Children? #best #price

    #where can i get cheap airline tickets
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    Can I get Cheap Airline Tickets for My Children?

    Many people who are looking to take a trip with their children, are wondering if they can find cheap airline tickets for them. This is the main reasons most family vacations are taken using a car or RV. This does not have to be the case. Since the travel industry is so competitive these days, many companies are offering really good rates for any flyers, including children.

    Before you even consider purchasing a ticket for your kid, you would be well advised to the terms and conditions of each airline carrier regarding the travel of minors. These conditions may vary depending on the airline and could result in your child needing their own seat or just being included with your ticket purchase. Knowledge of these terms could end up saving you a lot of money on your trip. Your best way to find this information is to visit the website of the airline carrier you intend to travel with. There should be a full list of all travel restrictions and policies regarding the travel of your child.

    If you have determined you need to purchase a ticket to travel with your child, you certainly will be looking to get a good deal. There are many sites you can visit to get cheap airline tickets. Companies such as Orbitz and Travelocity have been used by thousands of travelers. They may offer you the best rate for your child and you may be best served to search multiple sites to find the one that s giving you the most savings.

    If you want to make the process easier on yourself, you may want to check out www.escapewizard.com. This site allows you to search many travel providers with just the simple click of the mouse. The results will be displayed to you in a way that makes comparison easy for you. Once you have found out which one will give you the best offer, you are directed to their site to finalize the details. If you use this site to find cheap airline tickets for your children, you could save yourself a lot of time and money.

    There is no reason you need to pay full price for your child to travel. If you know where to look and have all the information you need, you can get cheap airline tickets for anyone that is traveling with you. This means you can feel financially comfortable having all of you loved ones with you on your vacation.





    15/08/2017

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    Traditional IRA versus Roth IRA #can #i #contribute #to #a #roth


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    Traditional IRA versus Roth IRA

    Which Is Better – A Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA?

    The Roth IRA and the Traditional IRA both have benefits and drawbacks. By going over the pros and cons, I hope to help you get an idea of which retirement wealth building tool is more appropriate for your individual situation and objectives. Nick M. Do / E+ / Getty Images

    Updated April 30, 2017

    Here s a common question asked by investors everyday. Which is better: a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA? While both have their advantages and disadvantages, each are fantastic ways to save for your golden years, but in almost all apples-to-apples comparisons, the Roth IRA is going to win. Quite frankly, a Roth IRA is the closest thing to a perfect tax shelter you re probably ever going to find. So much so that almost anyone who qualifies should definitely consider adding a Roth IRA to their investment toolbox .

    Nevertheless, it is important that you understand the differences between the two accounts. Over the next five to ten minutes, let s examine both the Traditional IRA and the Roth IRA so you can get a better idea of how each one might fit within your overall portfolio.

    Both a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA Are Types of Accounts, Not Investments

    Think of both the Traditional IRA and the Roth IRA as a type of box. Many different assets can go inside of it – stocks. bonds. real estate. mutual funds. index funds. money markets or certificates of deposit – but it s such a good deal, Congress limits the amount of money you can put into that box every year. This is known as a contribution limit. Depending upon which type of IRA you select, the tax consequences will be different.

    An Overview of the Traditional IRA

    • Contributions are tax deductible at the time they are made for individuals and families earning less than the income limitations in effect for any given year, which are regularly updated by the IRS. For example, a couple of years ago, I detailed the then-in-effect Traditional IRA income limitations for tax year 2014 to demonstrate how the rules work. However, even if you exceed the Traditional IRA income limits for tax deductibility, you can still take advantage of the tax-deferred compounding (see next point). The contribution limits themselves consist of a base contribution limit and a catch-up contribution limit that people 50 years or older can use, if they like. For example, in 2015, the base contribution limit was $5,500 and the catchup contribution limit was $1,000, so a person who was 52 years old, and otherwise qualified for a Traditional IRA, could contribute $6,500 to his or her account.
    • The years in which your money is sitting in your Traditional IRA, as long as you follow the rules, you shouldn t owe any taxes on any of the investment profits you generate. That means no taxes on capital gains and no taxes on dividends, interest, and rents. Even if you find yourself sitting on millions upon millions of dollars in profits, as long as it is within the protective confines of the account, the Federal, state, and local governments get none of it.
    • You can begin making withdrawals from your Traditional IRA at the age of 59.5 years old without having to pay the early withdrawal penalty. You must begin taking withdrawals, and paying tax upon those withdrawals (all withdrawals are taxed, including past contributed principal since it was tax-deductible at the time the contribution was made), by the age of 70.5 years old so you can t accumulate too much money in the tax shelter.
    • Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs are extremely useful asset protection tools. Under the present three-year bankruptcy protection limit set on April 1, 2016, which is adjusted every three years, an investor can have up to $1,283,025 in combined balances across both types of IRAs and have it exempted from creditor claims. Married couples can effectively double this amount since both the Traditional IRA and Roth RIA must be owned by an individual (there s no such thing as a jointly owned IRA). This is one of the major reasons it is almost always wise to seek the counsel of a qualified, respected bankruptcy attorney prior to any serious decisions when you are facing financial hardship. The worst thing you can do is draw down your Traditional IRA or Roth IRA balance then declare bankruptcy, anyway, as you ve cost yourself years, perhaps even decades, of rebuilding when you could have emerged from the courthouse with your retirement funds intact.

    An Overview of the Roth IRA

    • Contributions to a Roth IRA are not tax deductible at the time they are made. However, unlike a Traditional IRA and subject to certain minimal conditions, if you need to make a withdrawal of your past principal contributions, you can do so tax-free without an early withdrawal penalty, though you won t be able to replace the funds, again, once they ve left the account. There are tax consequences for any investment gains or other funds in excess of the historical contributions into the Roth IRA if taken before the age of 59.5 years old.
    • During the years the money is in the Roth IRA, as long as you follow the rules (e.g. don t use borrowed money that leads to the unrelated business income tax, don t invest in MLPs. etc.), any profits you generate should all be tax-free.
    • There is no mandatory distribution age. If you live to be 105 years old and end up with a $25,000,000 Roth IRA because you discovered the next McDonald s, Home Depot, Microsoft, Apple, or Berkshire Hathaway, you aren t going to have to give a dime of it to Federal, state, and local governments were you to make a withdrawal and begin spending it under the present rules.
    • The same bankruptcy protections that cover the Traditional IRA also cover the Roth IRA (see above).
    • The tax shelter benefits are so extraordinary for a Roth IRA that Congress specifically limits it to individuals and families with adjusted gross incomes of less than certain pre-determined thresholds. These are updated every year. A few years ago, I broke out the then-in-effect 2014 Roth IRA income limit rules. which can serve as a useful template for understanding how the calculations work.

    The tax benefits of the Roth IRA are so extraordinary that many Americans who don t qualify because they make too much money engage in a technique called a backdoor Roth IRA that involves funding a Traditional IRA, then converting it to a Roth IRA.

    Where Can I Open a Roth IRA or Traditional IRA?

    As previously mentioned, a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA are both types of accounts. not investments. so you can open either with many different types of financial institutions. If you go to a bank or credit union, they might offer either IRA but only allow you to put certificates of deposit into them. If you own either type of IRA with a discount brokerage firm such as Charles Schwab or Scottrade, you can put almost anything that is publicly tradable into it, including exchange traded index funds such as SPDRS or blue chip stocks. Some investors who exclusively use mutual funds for their retirement needs prefer to open a Traditional IRA or Roth IRA directly with a mutual fund family such as Fidelity or Vanguard.

    How Much Money Do I Need To Open a Roth IRA or Traditional IRA?

    The minimum opening balance for either type of IRA is determined by the financial institution with which you are opening the account. Some require $1,000 to $3,000. A few will allow you to kick in as little as $100 on the condition that you save at least so-much per month for a given period of time to demonstrate you are serious about building wealth .

    Can I Have Both a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA?

    Absolutely. Millions of Americans do. You can even add funds to both in the same year provided your total, combined contribution doesn t exceed the contribution limits in effect for the year. For example, in a year where a person who is 37 years old can only contribute a total of $5,500, that person could put $2,000 in a Traditional IRA and $3,500 in a Roth IRA because, combined, they are still at, or under, the $5,500 limit. If you exceed the contribution limits and don t rectify it within a certain window of time, the government will assess confiscatory taxes that will ultimately wipe out the surplus balance.

    Can I Have a Roth IRA and/or Traditional IRA Plus a Retirement Account at Work?

    Yes. In addition to funding a Roth IRA or Traditional IRA each year, you can also fund a Traditional 401(k). a Roth 401(k), a Solo 401(k). a 403(b). SEP-IRA. SIMPLE IRA. or other qualified plan. These often have other advantages of their own, including unlimited bankruptcy protection on top of the bankruptcy protection offered on the IRAs discussed in this article.


    12/08/2017

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    How to Open a Roth IRA Account: 11 Steps (with Pictures)


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    How to Open a Roth IRA Account

    Method One of Two:
    Comparing Traditional amp;amp; Roth IRA’s Edit

    Learn the basics of an IRA. Quite simply, an Individual Retirement Account or IRA is a retirement savings account. Inside an IRA, you can hold stocks, bonds, mutual funds, treasuries, cash, or certificates of deposit. The main benefit of an IRA is that the investments you hold within it are allowed to grow tax-free. [1]

    • Investments are subject to a variety of taxes. For example, if you purchase a stock, the dividend income paid to you is subject to taxation. Similarly, if you buy a stock and sell it in a year for a profit, that profit is also taxed.
    • Within an IRA, any money you make from your investments can grow tax-free. This, in turn, allows your wealth to accumulate faster. In a taxable account, your returns would constantly be reduced by taxes owning.
    • IRA’s are subject to limitations. For example, you could face a penalty charge of 10% for withdrawing any profits you have made before you turn age 59.5. In addition, there are limits to how much you can contribute annually to an IRA.
    • There are two main types of IRA’s — Traditional IRA’s, and Roth IRA’s

    Understand Traditional IRA’s. A traditional IRA (Individual Retirement Account) allows you to make tax-deductible contributions. This means you do not need to pay any income taxes on income that you contribute to your Traditional IRA each year. For example, if you make $50,000 one year, and contribute $5,000 to your IRA, you will only pay tax on $45,000. [2]

    • You cannot withdrawn any contributions or profits before age 59.5, or else you are subject to a 10% penalty tax.
    • With a traditional IRA, you pay taxes when you withdraw the money, at which point they are taxed as if they are income. For example assume you turn 60, have $1 million in a Traditional IRA, and choose to withdraw $50,000 per year. That $50,000 would be taxed at whatever your income tax rate is at the time.
    • If you are under 50, you can contribute $5,500 per year, and if you are over 50 you can contribute $6,500 per year.
    • You must start making withdrawals before age 70.

    Understand a Roth IRA. Roth IRA’s are similar to traditional IRA’s with one key difference — your Roth IRA contributions are not tax-deductible. This means if you contribute $5,000 of your income to a Roth IRA, you must pay tax on that income. The benefit is, unlike a Traditional IRA, you pay no taxes when you withdraw your money. [3]

    • This means if you withdraw $50,000 per year when you are 60, you receive $50,000 per year, completely tax-free. This benefits many people because incomes are often higher in old age, which means so are income taxes.
    • Roth IRA’s also allow you to withdraw your contributions any time, tax-free. The key word here is contributions. Any profits from your contributions are subject to the 10% penalty tax unless withdrawn after 59.5.
    • For example assume you are 40 have contributed $20,000, which has in turn made $10,000 in profits, giving you a total account value of $30,000. You can withdraw $20,000 (your contributions) without facing penalty, but if you withdraw $30,000 you will face a penalty tax on your $10,000 in profits.
    • The contribution limits for a Roth IRA are the same as a traditional IRA.
    • Unlike a traditional IRA, you do not need to make withdrawals before age 70.

    Choose the correct account type for you. Certain types of IRA’s are better for certain people. Generally, Roth IRA’s a better choice if you think you will have a higher income in retirement, want access to withdraw your contributions before age 59.5, or want the flexibility to let your money to continue to grow tax-free after age 70. [4].

    • Since you do not pay tax on a Roth IRA when you withdraw the money after age 59.5, if you think you think your retirement income will be higher than your current income, a Roth IRA allows you contribute now when your income is lower, and avoid paying taxes at a higher tax bracket on your higher retirement income.
    • A Roth IRA also benefits those who need flexibility. For example, if your employment situation is unstable,or you foresee needing to withdraw money before age 59.5, a Roth IRA provides that flexibility.

    How to Start Building Wealth at a Young Age

    How to Invest Small Amounts of Money Wisely

    How to Invest in Stocks

    How to Make the Most from Roth IRA

    How to Get Rich

    How to Buy Stocks

    How to Trade Forex

    How to Create an Investment Plan

    How to Make Lots of Money in Online Stock Trading

    How to Understand Binary Options


    08/08/2017

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    How can I get Cheap Airline Tickets? (with pictures) – mobile

    #where can i find the cheapest airline tickets
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    wiseGEEK: How can I get Cheap Airline Tickets?

    Finding cheaper airline tickets today can mean scrutinizing several different online travel services along with the official carrier websites. Some of these websites allow potential customers to flag selected flights whenever deeper discounts become available. Other services such as Priceline may allow customers to bid for lower price tickets, but they can also require immediate purchase of those tickets or a much more flexible schedule. Cheaper tickets can be found through online services, but be prepared for unpopular departure times and long layovers in airline hubs.

    Another source for cheap airline tickets is a travel agency. Many times a professional travel agent can negotiate a package deal which lowers the price of the tickets as long as a specific hotel or car rental is booked. This type of discount would most likely be connected to popular tourist destinations such as Orlando or Las Vegas. It might not apply to those traveling to a family reunion in Des Moines, Iowa, but it never hurts to ask the travel agent for any possible package deal.

    Some people find cheaper airline tickets by thinking outside their comfort zone. The closest airport does not necessarily offer the lowest fares. If you are willing to drive to a different airport, the savings could be substantial.

    The same holds true for the destination city as well. A flight from a regional airport in Huntsville, Alabama to another regional airport in Akron, Ohio might be more expensive than a flight from Birmingham to Cleveland. The reverse may also be true in some cases a regional flight may be cheaper than flying out of a major airport.

    While the airlines won’t encourage this tactic, some people find cheaper airline tickets through a practice called ‘overflying’. Overflying works best when the passenger’s real destination is near an airline’s hub city, such as Dallas, St. Louis or Atlanta. Instead of booking a direct flight to one of these hub cities, a savvy passenger can book a less expensive trip with a planned stopover in a hub city. A direct flight to Dallas, for example, might be relatively expensive, but some American Airlines flights with connections in Dallas are often cheaper, since Dallas is a hub for American Airlines. The passenger simply deplanes in Dallas and does not board the connecting flight.

    For those who prefer to remain above board, there is also the option of negotiating directly with the airlines for special discounts. Military personnel or students may qualify for substantial discounts, for example. Government employees may also be eligible for discounted airline tickets.

    Sometimes a major airline uses discounts to encourage the use of its low-price commuter service. Occasionally airlines compete for business through ‘fare wars’, which may lower the price of some airline tickets by 40% or more. These savings are notoriously temporary, so it pays to book these flights as quickly as possible.





    07/08/2017

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    Mortgage Prequalification Calculator: Do you Prequalify For Mortgage? #mortgage #prequalification #calculator,


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    Prequalification Calculator

    User Rating. ( 449 votes, average: 2.63 out of 5 )

    Want to prequalify for a mortgage? Our mortgage pre-qualification calculator shows how lenders see you. See how much you can afford based on yearly income, debts other factors. Our mortgage pre-qualification calculator will indicate how much you can borrow with a home loan by analyzing your income, assets, and current mortgage interest rates available to you.

    How to use the Prequalification calculator

    Enter Your Financial Information

    • Gross Monthly Pay: Your household income before taxes and deductions.
    • Loan Term: The number of years you’ll have to repay your mortgage.
    • Annual Percentage Rate (APR): Enter the estimated mortgage interest rate (see a list of current mortgage interest rates ).
    • Local Property Tax Rate: You can obtain this information from the local property tax collector’s office or website. Enter the percentage rate (not the dollar amount) in the calculator.
    • Money Available for Down Payment and Closing Costs: The amount of cash you have to pay toward these expenses.
    • Other Monthly Obligations: Include recurring installment payments, including credit cards, auto payments, personal and education loans.

    Click the “calculate” button, and check the results.

    30 Yr. Fixed – Purchase Rates from Our Lenders in California

    Home Purchase or Refinance: Can You Prequalify?

    • Home Value / Purchase Price: The maximum amount you prequalify for, based on the information provided.
    • Total Cash Paid at Closing: The amount you’re contributing for closing costs and a down payment.
    • Cash Applied to Closing Costs: An estimate of closing costs.
    • Cash Applied to Down Payment: What’s left of your cash contribution is used for a down payment.

    Monthly Housing Expenses

    • Mortgage Payment: The amount of the principal and interest payment based on the amount you qualify to borrow and the interest rate you’ve entered.
    • Property Taxes: The estimated monthly amount of property taxes. If you’re putting less than 20% down, this amount will be added to your mortgage payment.
    • Mortgage Insurance: A down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price will require mortgage insurance, which will be added to your mortgage payment.
    • Hazard Insurance: As with taxes and mortgage insurance, this will be added to your mortgage payment if you borrow more than 80% of your home’s purchase price.
    • Total Housing Expense: This amount generally shouldn’t exceed 28% of your gross income if you want to prequalify.
    • Other Monthly Expenses: The amount you entered for other monthly payment obligations.
    • Total Monthly Expenses: The sum of your total monthly housing payment and other monthly expenses. It generally exceed 36% of your gross monthly income for pre-qualification purposes.

    These figures are guidelines. Those with spotless credit, lots of assets, or a very stable job history might qualify for more financing. Conversely, those with credit problems or minimal assets may qualify for less. We recommend that you speak directly with lenders to determine what is right for your situation. You can request up to four free quotes from competing lenders here, with no cost and absolutely no obligation to you.

    You can also compare savings on loan terms, rates and amounts using the amortization calculator. and determine potential benefits of refinancing using the refinance calculator

    38 Responses to “Prequalification Calculator”

    1. Taylor 22, Sep, 2012

    Nice. It says up to $70,000 for a mortgage loan. I’m a first time home buyer and that’s exactly what I’m looking for. $529 for total monthly expense with mortage insurance and hazard insurance for my low 4% down payment. But did not expect $2000 in closing costs. Thanks

    Thanks for this tool

    I have no mortgage on my property. I’m interested in getting a cash-out refinance or a home equity loan, and I’d like to know how much money will I be able to borrow, will the calculator work for that purpose, or do they have a different standard? Thanks

    Excellent tool and excellent responses to the other “tools” below! Thanks so much for making this available and for your thorough responses to questions!

    Okay, um the calculator says i can afford a $3,695,000 home. I entered $100,000 for annual income. How much more inacurate can this stupid thing be? – – EDITOR’S COMMENT – – _ The calculations are fine. You made a simple mistake by entering $100,000 when you should have entered $8,333 as your income. (The calculator asks for “monthly” income, not “annual” income.) I can re-create your results if I put $100,000 in monthly income, $10,000 in closing costs, and $0 in monthly expenses. Maybe you don’t have any credit cards, auto loans, bank loans, student loans or anything like that, but if you do, you need to enter all monthly financial obligations that you’ll be making payments on, in order to achieve accurate results. You can leave out irregular expenses like groceries, gas, utilities and other standard living expenses, and you can leave out any expenses that will be going away as soon as you start your new mortgage (such as rent on an apartment). But other than those types of things, lenders will factor in all your ongoing financial obligations into your prequalification calculations, so remember to include those. Please try your calculations again. I’m sure you will find that it will work well for you!

    Hmmmmmm. I just did this for a kick because we received our actual prequalification letter today. This calculator pre-qualified us for $130,000 LESS than our actual prequalification and for a payment that is almost $200 below what we are currently paying for rent. Not very accurate. – – – – EDITOR’S COMMENT: Actually, the calculator is accurate, but there’s no law that says a given lender has to stick to the industry standard when deciding how much to lend you. Your lender is allowing you to stretch yourself thinner than most other lenders would feel comfortable with. Perhaps you have savings or other assets that could be converted into cash if you get into trouble, and this has raised your lender’s confidence in your ability to repay. Or perhaps you’re about to finish up a degree that will increase your employability significantly. Something has convinced the lender to lend you $130,000 more than would normally be practical. As to your other observation, the reason the calculator produced a lower payment is, of course, if you were to borrow $130,000 less, your monthly payment would be considerably lower that what your lender quoted you. Let me end with a note of friendly, cautionary advice. Borrowing as much as you possibly can is not the only path forward. If you can be happy while living below your means (finding a way to enjoy life while keeping your living expenses lower than average for your income), you will be less likely to find yourself plagued by future financial worries, you’ll be able to pay cash for items you would othewise find yourself financing (such as furniture, vacations and automobiles), you’ll be able to save more for emergencies, and you’ll be in a better position to plan for a more enjoyable retirement. Please forgive me if I am being forward in saying this. It’s just something to consider – some solid advice from my father to me, and now to you.

    My wife and I would like to buy investment rental property. – – – EDITOR’S REPLY: We at Calculators4Mortgages wish you well with your investment goals. Exploring the purchase of rental property as a valuable element of your investment strategy is a good idea. While we would like to be of assistance, this site is currently geared toward people who are purchasing a home to serve as their primary residence. We would like to expand into real estate investment calculators at some point, but we have no immediate plans to do so.

    Leave a Comment

    Put the Mortgage Loan Prequalification Calculator on your website for Free!

    Simply copy and paste the code above into the HTML code of your website and your visitors will be able to use the same calculator that appears on this page.

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    06/08/2017

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    Europe Travel Deals: With Euro Weakening, Americans Can Travel For Cheap

    #euro travel
    #

    Europe Travel Deals: With Euro Weakening, Americans Can Travel For Cheap As Dollar Exchange Rate Drops

    The dropping euro and a more valuable dollar mean that Americans can get more euros to spend on what’s most important: European beer. Reuters/Ints Kalnins

    Seeing the Mona Lisa is a better deal now than it has been years. Americans and other foreigners can expect to land cheap trips to continental Europe over the next few months after the euro hit its lowest since March 2006 on Monday. That means Americans could get hundreds of more euros for their dollars than they did just a year ago, according to travel professionals.

    “The euro is down about 10 percent to 15 percent from where it was most of 2014, so it’s an instant discount for those of us with U.S. dollars,” said Roger Wade, founder of Price of Travel. “Many analysts are expecting the euro to continue going lower, at least in the short term, and if Greece effectively votes itself out of the euro soon, it could drop even further.”

    The euro-to-dollar exchange rate dipped 1.2 percent just on Monday. At its lowest, one euro was worth about $1.1864, but recovered slightly to $1.1944. The euro’s drop is a product of — among other factors — political instability in Greece, an increasingly strong American economy and the likelihood that the European Central Bank will take quantitative easing measures to boost the European economy, according to NPR .

    The drop in the euro over the last year has already translated into real discounts for Americans converting their dollars, according to James Feess at the Savvy Backpacker, a site dedicated to budget travel in Europe. “An average hostel in Paris will cost about $38 night at the moment, but a few years ago it would cost about $48. That extra $10 can now be used for museum entry or a walking tour. Since most young people travel for a few weeks, that extra $10 per night really adds up,” Feess said.

    The euro has generally been valued a good deal higher than the dollar  since it was introduced in 1999. For much of its existence, the euro was valued between $1.30 and a high just over $1.47. When the euro was worth around $1.37 at the beginning of 2014, $1,000 would convert over to €730, whereas now it would convert to €840. BNP Paribas, a big French bank, predicts  the euro will drop to $1.15 by the end of 2015.

    A high exchange rate likely turned many young would-be-backpackers away from studying abroad or going on a cross-European trip in recent years, Feess said. But with more money in their pockets, travelers could now see more of Europe, including typically more pricey cities like Rome. Currencies outside of the euro zone have suffered, too, so travelers could get good deals across Europe, including in non-euro Britain, Norway and Sweden.

    “Transportation adds up. A one-way Eurostar journey currently costs about $82-$105 but a few years ago that same ticket was around $105-$133. When you add up all these little costs it ends up being a large chunk of money for a multi-week trip,” he said, referring to the London-to-Paris train route under the English Channel.

    The euro hovered near all-time lows as fireworks lit the sky over the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees in Paris on New Year’s Eve. Reuters/Christian Hartmann

    Airfares aren’t expected to drop significantly, however, even though the price of oil fell by more than half over the last six months to just over $50 per barrel. Plane tickets are more dependent on supply and demand than on exchange rates. Many airlines are taking the opportunity to reinvest the billions of dollars saved on fuel to upgrade their services, according to the New York Times .

    Dejan Bajic with Danny Travel, an agency that specializes in setting up trips for Europeans living in the U.S. who travel back to their home countries, said his business hasn’t been affected much by the currency rates, but he predicted an increase in interest in Europe among Americans seeking to travel cheaper.

    “Anything you spend there, anything connected to euros like hotels, cars, trains, they will all be cheaper,” he said.





    04/08/2017

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    Can a Travel Agent Actually Save You Money? #flight #cheap

    #cheap travel agents
    #

    Can a Travel Agent Actually Save You Money?

    Posted on Apr 30, 2012

    Are travel agents back?

    This question, posed by The New York Times. got us thinking. According to the piece, nearly one in three leisure travel agencies is hiring, and in 2011 travel agencies experienced a second consecutive year of growth; in fact, their bookings accounted for a third of the $284 billion U.S. travel market.

    Silly us, we thought travel agents had become passé.

    But if the travel agent business is thriving, we started wondering—is there something to this? Could using an old-school travel agent actually save us money on travel?

    To find out, we consulted Barbara Vong, a travel agent with Wright Travel Agency. the 2011 winner of the Best of the Best Globe Award from Travel Impressions .

    The first thing we learned? Travel agents usually don t charge customers for their services! Their payment actually comes through the hotels and wholesalers, meaning that we can simply tap into a free service. That also means using a travel agent should never be more  expensive than booking by yourself online and these are experts well-versed in where to find the best deals.

    Of course, booking your flights in 30 seconds with a few clicks sounds a lot easier than playing phone tag with a live person, so it pays to know when a travel agent can help the most, and when you might as well DIY it. Vong let us in on the best times to call an agent, and some money-saving travel tips she s picked up in her line of work:

    Want More?

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    Use a Travel Agent If

    You re Traveling With a Group

    For group bookings that involve coordinating travel for multiple people, it s usually easier to use a travel agent, says Vong. I just had a bride call me because one of the groomsmen booked his own trip through a discount travel site, and he wanted to add someone to the room, says Vong. The customer service representative from the travel site he used told him they couldn t do it, but they were probably just being lazy. This is a great example of when you d rather hand the responsibility of changing that booking to a travel agent, rather than trying to fix it on your own.

    You re Not Sure Where You Want to Go

    You re Traveling Internationally

    If you re planning to travel somewhere out of the country, and you ve never been there before, it might be a good idea to go through a travel agent. When you use an agent to book international travel, you ll be able to ask a million questions, says Vong, and your agent will be sure to gather all the information you ll need to make sure you re traveling safely.

    You Don t Need a Travel Agent If

    You re Only Booking a Flight

    Let s say you re visiting a friend in Arizona and all you need is the flight out there. With all of the discount flight sites available, it s usually easier, and generally about the same price, to just book it yourself. (Check out our rundown of popular travel sites to see which one might work best for you.)

    You Want to Use Your Miles

    Travel agents aren t able to use your points or rewards card miles to book a flight or hotel for you—you ll have to book on your own if you d like to use them. You also aren t able to use points or miles to buy flights on sites like Expedia or Orbitz, either, only directly through the site of the company who is giving the points or miles, says Vong.

    You Find a Fantastic Deal on a Deal Site

    Go ahead and book a travel deal that you find on a site like LivingSocial. Groupon or Travelzoo. Just remember that you ll need to be flexible with the travel dates (most deals are offered for off-peak times, like travel on a weekday only, or for a Sunday night at a hotel), and be wary of expiration dates.

    Some Travel Tips to Help Save Money

    In her years as a travel agent, Vong has discovered a few things that help her save money on her own travel. Here are a few of her favorites:

    1. Fly at the Right Time

    If you can, avoid flying out on a Thursday or Friday, or flying back on a Sunday, when Vong says flights tend to be the most expensive. It s hard to say exactly how much a traveler could save, as it depends on the specific flight and how much space is available on it, but you could find yourself saving up to $50 or more for longer flights, says Vong.

    2. Factor in Your Transfer

    Set up transportation from the airport to your hotel through a shuttle or van service online prior to arriving at your destination. Local taxis in some countries have been known to charge more to foreigners traveling to and from airports. If you re working with a travel agent, she should always be able to book transportation for you from the airport. If you re booking on your own, try calling your airline for suggestions, or searching on the tourism website for the place where you re going (most major tourist cities have a tourism website.) If you re booking a tour on your vacation, most tour operators also offer transfers with the purchase of certain products, says Vong.

    3. Try the Go City Card

    The Go City Card is available in nine U.S. cities (including Boston, Chicago, New York, Orlando and more), and it allows you to pick and choose which sightseeing you want to do and to buy those activities as a bundle, which will be much cheaper than buying them individually.

    4. Use Your Email

    If you re traveling within the U.S. sign yourself up for emails from deal sites like Groupon  or LivingSocial from the city you re traveling to for potential discounts. In other words, if you live in Chicago but are traveling to San Francisco, subscribe to the San Fran deal sites shortly before your trip— you can always unsubscribe later.

    5. Be Smart About Exchanging Currency

    If you ll be traveling to a country where you ll need a different currency, Vong suggests exchanging money at your hotel. They usually have the best rates, they don t charge a fee and you can put any extra money you don t need back in the safe deposit box in your room as soon as you get it, she says.

    LearnVest Planning Services is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary of LearnVest, Inc. that provides financial plans for its clients. Information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal or tax planning advice. Please consult a financial adviser, attorney or tax specialist for advice specific to your financial situation. Unless specifically identified as such, the people interviewed in this piece are neither clients, employees nor affiliates of LearnVest Planning Services, and the views expressed are their own. LearnVest Planning Services and any third parties listed in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies.





    02/08/2017

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    What can I do with my degree in travel and tourism?

    #travel and tourism
    #

    What can I do with my degree. Travel and tourism

    A travel and tourism course offers vocational training and helps you develop strong business management and communication skills, broadening your job prospects

    Job options

    Jobs directly related to your degree include:

    Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

    Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don’t restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you. log into My Prospects.

    Work experience

    It is relatively easy to find paid part-time work opportunities in the travel and tourism industry, since it is so large and there are so many types of visitor establishments and attractions all over the UK. The range of different working patterns available should make it easy to combine part-time work with your current study.

    Voluntary work may also be a good option, especially if it means gaining experience in an area where job opportunities more scarce.

    You could also consider summer work experience or spending time working abroad. This could include working at holiday or theme parks, in a resort or at summer camps abroad. You could also purchase a student railcard and travel through Europe, widening your cultural knowledge and language abilities.

    You may be able to take part in an exchange programme, spending some time studying abroad towards your degree. Consider looking at relevant short courses, such as TESOL or TEFL, which may present opportunities to work abroad teaching English language skills.

    Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships .

    Typical employers

    The travel and tourism sector comprises many different industries and sub-industries, including services such as retail travel, currency exchange, tour operators and tourist boards. It also covers passenger transport including coach, aviation, rail and waterways and visitor attractions such as museums, theme parks, zoos and heritage sites.

    A variety of accommodation services also fall within this category, including hotels, hostels and holiday parks. Associated with hotels and core business operations are conferences and events, which provide considerable all-year-round employment opportunities.

    Skills for your CV

    Travel and tourism graduates gain knowledge about products, structures and operations within the tourism industry, learning about tour operators, airlines, hotels and tourist boards.

    Through a combination of vocational and academic study you learn about the relationships between consumers and the providers of tourism services and about the issues relating to sustainability and social responsibility within tourism.

    The course also equips you with a range of transferable skills, including:

    • leadership;
    • team working;
    • problem-solving;
    • communication skills, with a strong customer focus;
    • IT skills;
    • ability to research;
    • presentation skills;
    • ability to work to deadlines.

    Further study

    Specific in-house training is likely to be available within the industry and is often encouraged to enhance promotion prospects and knowledge of particular issues.

    Relevant postgraduate study in this field includes courses with an emphasis on management skills, particularly in areas such as hospitality, heritage and sustainability. Postgraduate courses in specialist areas such as ecotourism or rural development may also be helpful.

    General business topics such as marketing or human resources could be relevant and can be applied across various disciplines.

    For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search postgraduate courses .

    What do travel and tourism graduates do?

    Around three-quarters of travel and tourism graduates are in employment six months after finishing their course. A large number are working within the industry as holiday representatives, travel agency workers, tour guides and general travel administrators.

    Approximately a fifth of those employed work within the retail, catering and bar work industry.





    11/07/2017

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    How soon can I travel after birth? Post-birth Recovery #european #travel

    #travel soon
    #

    How Soon Can I Travel After Birth?

    Postbirth Recovery

    When am I going to be well enough to travel after giving birth?

    If you’re itching to visit far-flung friends and relatives with your new baby. or if being housebound as a new mom is making you want to get out of town, like now. there’s no hard-and-fast rule about when you’re allowed to fly. How soon you travel after giving birth is really up to how you’re feeling. Some new moms feel almost like their old selves within a few days (it’s okay to hate them), while others are still having aches and pains for a while afterward. If you get a c-section, you’ll likely be in the longer-recovery category.

    You should check with your OB to make sure it’s okay to travel if you’ve had any complications, but it’s even more important that you get the go-ahead from baby’s pediatrician. That’s because baby’s immune system is still developing, and there’s a high risk of him catching something harmful in those early months.

    Keep in mind, if you do hop a flight soon after delivery, that there’s a high risk for blood clots that’s associated with pregnancy — and it persists for six to eight weeks postpartum. So take extra care to drink lots of water and to get up and walk around often during a long flight. Wearing special support hose to promote circulation can also help.

    Plus, more from The Bump:

    By Laura Riley, MD, ob-gyn, Director of Labor and Delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of You amp; Your Baby: Pregnancy





    16/06/2017

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    Europe Travel Deals: With Euro Weakening, Americans Can Travel For Cheap

    #euro travel
    #

    Europe Travel Deals: With Euro Weakening, Americans Can Travel For Cheap As Dollar Exchange Rate Drops

    The dropping euro and a more valuable dollar mean that Americans can get more euros to spend on what’s most important: European beer. Reuters/Ints Kalnins

    Seeing the Mona Lisa is a better deal now than it has been years. Americans and other foreigners can expect to land cheap trips to continental Europe over the next few months after the euro hit its lowest since March 2006 on Monday. That means Americans could get hundreds of more euros for their dollars than they did just a year ago, according to travel professionals.

    “The euro is down about 10 percent to 15 percent from where it was most of 2014, so it’s an instant discount for those of us with U.S. dollars,” said Roger Wade, founder of Price of Travel. “Many analysts are expecting the euro to continue going lower, at least in the short term, and if Greece effectively votes itself out of the euro soon, it could drop even further.”

    The euro-to-dollar exchange rate dipped 1.2 percent just on Monday. At its lowest, one euro was worth about $1.1864, but recovered slightly to $1.1944. The euro’s drop is a product of — among other factors — political instability in Greece, an increasingly strong American economy and the likelihood that the European Central Bank will take quantitative easing measures to boost the European economy, according to NPR .

    The drop in the euro over the last year has already translated into real discounts for Americans converting their dollars, according to James Feess at the Savvy Backpacker, a site dedicated to budget travel in Europe. “An average hostel in Paris will cost about $38 night at the moment, but a few years ago it would cost about $48. That extra $10 can now be used for museum entry or a walking tour. Since most young people travel for a few weeks, that extra $10 per night really adds up,” Feess said.

    The euro has generally been valued a good deal higher than the dollar  since it was introduced in 1999. For much of its existence, the euro was valued between $1.30 and a high just over $1.47. When the euro was worth around $1.37 at the beginning of 2014, $1,000 would convert over to €730, whereas now it would convert to €840. BNP Paribas, a big French bank, predicts  the euro will drop to $1.15 by the end of 2015.

    A high exchange rate likely turned many young would-be-backpackers away from studying abroad or going on a cross-European trip in recent years, Feess said. But with more money in their pockets, travelers could now see more of Europe, including typically more pricey cities like Rome. Currencies outside of the euro zone have suffered, too, so travelers could get good deals across Europe, including in non-euro Britain, Norway and Sweden.

    “Transportation adds up. A one-way Eurostar journey currently costs about $82-$105 but a few years ago that same ticket was around $105-$133. When you add up all these little costs it ends up being a large chunk of money for a multi-week trip,” he said, referring to the London-to-Paris train route under the English Channel.

    The euro hovered near all-time lows as fireworks lit the sky over the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees in Paris on New Year’s Eve. Reuters/Christian Hartmann

    Airfares aren’t expected to drop significantly, however, even though the price of oil fell by more than half over the last six months to just over $50 per barrel. Plane tickets are more dependent on supply and demand than on exchange rates. Many airlines are taking the opportunity to reinvest the billions of dollars saved on fuel to upgrade their services, according to the New York Times .

    Dejan Bajic with Danny Travel, an agency that specializes in setting up trips for Europeans living in the U.S. who travel back to their home countries, said his business hasn’t been affected much by the currency rates, but he predicted an increase in interest in Europe among Americans seeking to travel cheaper.

    “Anything you spend there, anything connected to euros like hotels, cars, trains, they will all be cheaper,” he said.





    13/06/2017

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    Can I get Cheap Airline Tickets for My Children? #travel #agents

    #where can i get cheap airline tickets
    #

    Can I get Cheap Airline Tickets for My Children?

    Many people who are looking to take a trip with their children, are wondering if they can find cheap airline tickets for them. This is the main reasons most family vacations are taken using a car or RV. This does not have to be the case. Since the travel industry is so competitive these days, many companies are offering really good rates for any flyers, including children.

    Before you even consider purchasing a ticket for your kid, you would be well advised to the terms and conditions of each airline carrier regarding the travel of minors. These conditions may vary depending on the airline and could result in your child needing their own seat or just being included with your ticket purchase. Knowledge of these terms could end up saving you a lot of money on your trip. Your best way to find this information is to visit the website of the airline carrier you intend to travel with. There should be a full list of all travel restrictions and policies regarding the travel of your child.

    If you have determined you need to purchase a ticket to travel with your child, you certainly will be looking to get a good deal. There are many sites you can visit to get cheap airline tickets. Companies such as Orbitz and Travelocity have been used by thousands of travelers. They may offer you the best rate for your child and you may be best served to search multiple sites to find the one that s giving you the most savings.

    If you want to make the process easier on yourself, you may want to check out www.escapewizard.com. This site allows you to search many travel providers with just the simple click of the mouse. The results will be displayed to you in a way that makes comparison easy for you. Once you have found out which one will give you the best offer, you are directed to their site to finalize the details. If you use this site to find cheap airline tickets for your children, you could save yourself a lot of time and money.

    There is no reason you need to pay full price for your child to travel. If you know where to look and have all the information you need, you can get cheap airline tickets for anyone that is traveling with you. This means you can feel financially comfortable having all of you loved ones with you on your vacation.





    19/05/2017

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    10 travel websites that can save you money #rail #travel

    #travel websites
    #

    10 travel websites that can save you money

    Ever heard of Breezenet.com or Couchsurfing.org? Travel icon Arthur Frommer tells you that you should.

    Travel websites come and go—hundreds of new ones emerge each year—but 10 remain unchallenged, in my view, for their ability to save you large sums of money on nearly any vacation trip:

    1. Momondo.com for the lowest air fares: Created by Danish techies and headquartered in Copenhagen, of all places, it has an uncanny ability to find better rates for your next flight, even for purely local trips within North America. That’s because, it’s claimed, its program surveys all sources of airfares—some 800 of them, even those that pay no commission to Momondo for getting them a customer. Next time you book a flight to anywhere, give these enterprising Danes a look.

    2. Breezenet.com for discount car rentals: A remarkable source of car rentals costing substantially less than normal levels. By surveying the daily offerings of some 14 large companies and countless mom-and-pop firms, it nearly always finds a reduced rate from a rental company hungry for business on a particular day.

    3. Hotelscombined.com for reduced hotel rates: Here’s a site that scans dozens of other hotel websites around the world and then produces the best rates for particular dates. If there’s a sale going on, or a hotel slashing rates temporarily, Hotelscombined.com will find the bargain, saving you a great deal of money. GetaRoom.com is among its competitors, but it finds hotels in only a handful of heavily visited cities.

    4. Homeexchange.com for swapping apartments and homes: It apparently has become the most widely used service for vacation exchanges, as a result of its prominent mention in a recent Hollywood film. Its tens of thousands of home or apartment listings enable you to quickly and effectively find a person eager to exchange his or her home or apartment for yours during the time of your respective vacations, enabling both of you to enjoy free lodgings.

    5. Homeaway.com for renting vacation homes and apartments: After acquiring several smaller home-rental companies, Homeaway has become the largest source of such rentals, and appears to operate efficiently and reliably. Numerous travelers currently are substituting homes or apartments for hotel rooms, spending less and enjoying more spacious accommodations than a hotel would provide. (Rentalo.com, specializing in apartments, is among its competitors.)

    6. Cruisesonly.com (whose main competitors are VacationsToGo.com and OnlineVacationCenter.com) will snare discount rates for most sailings of most major cruise ships. Nearly every cruise line discounts the rates appearing in its catalogues and brochures, and the smart cruise passenger always seeks out these reductions in price.

    7. Xe.com for currency-exchange rates: This strange, two-letter website supplies you with up-to-the-minute exchange rates for all the world’s currencies, enabling you to know the dollar equivalent of foreign prices. (Smart travelers obtain their foreign currencies from the ATM machines in all foreign cities of any size; they do much better at ATM machines than from exchange kiosks and counters.)

    8. Hostelz.com for low-cost hostels throughout the world. For the most cost-conscious of all travelers (seeking to pay no more than $25 a night), Hostelz provides you with photographs and texts describing many thousands of hostels offering low-cost beds to people of all ages, sometimes in hotels that were recently converted into hostels by ambitious entrepreneurs.

    9. Couchsurfing.org for young people seeking free hospitality and Servas.org for older ones. Both organizations maintain massive lists of generous people around the world who are willing to put up guests in their homes free of charge for short stays (usually two or three nights). Servas has been in existence since 1948 and has a mainly mature membership; the more-recently founded Couchsurfing caters to a more youthful set.

    10. Airbnb.com for those occasions when all hotels in a particular city are sold out because of large conventions or trade shows. For numerous cities in the U.S. and Canada, Airbnb.com lists and rents moderately priced rooms in private homes for special use at the time of political conventions or like events.

    Runners-up to the Top 10: Though they don’t deserve the supreme accolade, a number of other websites are helpful in a broad number of instances:

    •  Privatemotorhomerental.com for renting an RV directly from its owner, at a considerable savings.

    •  Biketoursdirect.com for its listings of inexpensive group bicycle tours departing from throughout North America and abroad on numerous dates

    •  Womenwelcomewomen.org.uk for providing hospitality to female travelers, ranging from a spare cot or room to simply meeting them for a drink.

    •  Viamigo.com or Rentalocalfriend.com for acquiring a local guide in various out-of-town or foreign cities.

    •  Theatermania.com. Stubhub.com or Ticketsnow.com for obtaining discount theatre tickets in numerous cities.

    •  Shoretrips.com for inexpensive port visits on cruises, in small-van groups.

    Arthur Frommer is the pioneering founder of the Frommer’s Travel Guide book series. He co-hosts the radio program, The Travel Show, with his travel correspondent daughter Pauline Frommer. Find more destinations online and read Arthur Frommer’s blog at

    frommers.com.

    © 2010 by Arthur Frommer

    Distributed by King Features Syndicate





    18/05/2017

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    Why can t airline tickets be transferable? #www.travel

    #plane ticket
    #

    Why can t airline tickets be transferable?

    A TSA officer checks a passenger s airline ticket at Chicago O Hare International Airport on Dec. 20, 2013. (Photo: Nam Y. Huh, AP)

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    As Ralph Santopietro sees it, Delta Air Lines had him over a barrel when he tried to change the dates on a flight from Myrtle Beach, S.C. to Hartford, Conn.

    A ticket agent in Myrtle Beach offered to rebook Santopietro, a retired high school teacher, on the new itinerary. But his $238 ticket credit would be all but consumed by a $200 change fee, and then he’d have to pay a $538 fare difference.

    How about transferring the ticket to his cousin, who would take the flight as originally planned? Nope, said the agent, citing security restrictions on ticket name changes.

    “I didn’t like those choices,” he says.

    In an airline industry now dominated by a few oversized carriers, neither do many of his fellow passengers. Domestic airlines collected a record $2.5 billion in ticket change fees in 2012, and Delta led the flock with $778 million, an increase of $11 million from the previous year. Although airlines have valid business reasons for their ticket restrictions, consumer advocates say they are too rigid and avaricious.

    To passengers, the name-change policy in particular seems like a way for airlines to pocket more of their money. Alan Gore, a photographer from Sedona, Ariz. says he feels cornered when he considers his flight options. A fully refundable ticket costs three to four times more than a restricted ticket. And even when passengers have a valid reason to cancel a trip, airlines are unmoved.

    “When life happens and people get sick before a flight, they now have no choice but to take it and give the flu to every other passenger,” he says.

    He says it’s time for the airline industry to let passengers change the name on a ticket.

    Airlines don’t allow name changes for two reasons, according to Victoria Day, a spokeswoman for Airlines for America, an industry trade group. The first is airline policy. An airline needs to know who the customer is so it can “provide quality service,” she says. It also relies on tickets being non-changeable in order to manage its seat inventory.

    “Since air transportation is a service that perishes when the aircraft door is closed, it is in both the passengers’ and airline’s interest to closely match the number of passengers to seats available, from both a customer service and revenue management perspective,” Day says.

    The second reason is security, or ensuring that the ticketed passenger is the same person going through the TSA checkpoint and getting screened.

    Those assertions are more or less true. Warren Lieberman, an airline pricing expert and president at Veritec Solutions, says the more true part involves an airline’s ability to make money. If name changes were allowed, then passengers could resell their tickets anytime, subverting an airline’s ability to raise ticket prices as the flight becomes full.

    “That would lead to declines in revenue,” he says.

    The less true part is security. The Transportation Security Administration uses a system called Secure Flight to screen airline passengers, but it’s capable of handling checks instantly, according to the agency. In other words, if airlines relaxed their rules on name changes, the TSA would have no trouble accommodating them.

    “There is no reason why a consumer should not be able to easily transfer her ticket to another person in the event that she cannot travel,” says Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League.

    Permitting a name change makes sense to passengers, and not just because an airline won’t incur any security risks or additional expenses. It’s also something that as recently as a few decades ago was common, even among legacy carriers. Veteran air travelers recall a time when tickets could be purchased in the classified section of their newspaper. Somehow, airlines managed to make money even then.

    Given the fact that competition and choice are gradually being drained from our airline network, shouldn’t airlines be compelled to return one of yesteryear’s common courtesies — the ability to let someone else use a passenger’s ticket?

    Until then, it seems even airline employees understand that passengers don’t have any real options. One of them happened to be the kindly ticket agent in Myrtle Beach, who saw the absurdity of Santopietro’s situation. She finally beckoned him to come closer to her station.

    “She looked down and sheepishly whispered that perhaps I could try another airline,” he says. He found a $187 ticket on US Airways.

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    18/05/2017

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    Travel Supermarket – Ulookubook can beat prices from Travel Supermarket #travel

    #travel supermaket
    #

    Travel Supermarket

    Travel Supermarket is one of a few online price comparison websites dealing with the travel industry. They allow you to compare the prices of popular holidays with leading tour operators including Virgin, Thomas Cook and Cosmos amongst others. Here at ULookUBook, our websites search engine, as well as our knowledgeable travel agents, will effectively do the same thing for you.

    We are an independent travel company, and therefore do not have any specific ties to any airlines or tour operators, meaning we can search the whole market for the holiday you re after, and find it for the cheapest price possible.

    Give us a call or use our on-site search function and see how much money we can save you on your next holiday.

    U Look U Book would like to make it clear that the trade mark TravelSupermarket is the property of TravelSupermarket and that this website is not affiliated with, sponsored by or approved by the trade mark owner TravelSupermarket

    UlookUbook.com is a trading name of The Co-op Consortium which is part of The Midcounties Co-operative Limited. ULookUBook, Third Floor, Tyne House, 26 Side, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 3JA.





    17/05/2017

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    Europe Travel Deals: With Euro Weakening, Americans Can Travel For Cheap

    #euro travel
    #

    Europe Travel Deals: With Euro Weakening, Americans Can Travel For Cheap As Dollar Exchange Rate Drops

    The dropping euro and a more valuable dollar mean that Americans can get more euros to spend on what’s most important: European beer. Reuters/Ints Kalnins

    Seeing the Mona Lisa is a better deal now than it has been years. Americans and other foreigners can expect to land cheap trips to continental Europe over the next few months after the euro hit its lowest since March 2006 on Monday. That means Americans could get hundreds of more euros for their dollars than they did just a year ago, according to travel professionals.

    “The euro is down about 10 percent to 15 percent from where it was most of 2014, so it’s an instant discount for those of us with U.S. dollars,” said Roger Wade, founder of Price of Travel. “Many analysts are expecting the euro to continue going lower, at least in the short term, and if Greece effectively votes itself out of the euro soon, it could drop even further.”

    The euro-to-dollar exchange rate dipped 1.2 percent just on Monday. At its lowest, one euro was worth about $1.1864, but recovered slightly to $1.1944. The euro’s drop is a product of — among other factors — political instability in Greece, an increasingly strong American economy and the likelihood that the European Central Bank will take quantitative easing measures to boost the European economy, according to NPR .

    The drop in the euro over the last year has already translated into real discounts for Americans converting their dollars, according to James Feess at the Savvy Backpacker, a site dedicated to budget travel in Europe. “An average hostel in Paris will cost about $38 night at the moment, but a few years ago it would cost about $48. That extra $10 can now be used for museum entry or a walking tour. Since most young people travel for a few weeks, that extra $10 per night really adds up,” Feess said.

    The euro has generally been valued a good deal higher than the dollar  since it was introduced in 1999. For much of its existence, the euro was valued between $1.30 and a high just over $1.47. When the euro was worth around $1.37 at the beginning of 2014, $1,000 would convert over to €730, whereas now it would convert to €840. BNP Paribas, a big French bank, predicts  the euro will drop to $1.15 by the end of 2015.

    A high exchange rate likely turned many young would-be-backpackers away from studying abroad or going on a cross-European trip in recent years, Feess said. But with more money in their pockets, travelers could now see more of Europe, including typically more pricey cities like Rome. Currencies outside of the euro zone have suffered, too, so travelers could get good deals across Europe, including in non-euro Britain, Norway and Sweden.

    “Transportation adds up. A one-way Eurostar journey currently costs about $82-$105 but a few years ago that same ticket was around $105-$133. When you add up all these little costs it ends up being a large chunk of money for a multi-week trip,” he said, referring to the London-to-Paris train route under the English Channel.

    The euro hovered near all-time lows as fireworks lit the sky over the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees in Paris on New Year’s Eve. Reuters/Christian Hartmann

    Airfares aren’t expected to drop significantly, however, even though the price of oil fell by more than half over the last six months to just over $50 per barrel. Plane tickets are more dependent on supply and demand than on exchange rates. Many airlines are taking the opportunity to reinvest the billions of dollars saved on fuel to upgrade their services, according to the New York Times .

    Dejan Bajic with Danny Travel, an agency that specializes in setting up trips for Europeans living in the U.S. who travel back to their home countries, said his business hasn’t been affected much by the currency rates, but he predicted an increase in interest in Europe among Americans seeking to travel cheaper.

    “Anything you spend there, anything connected to euros like hotels, cars, trains, they will all be cheaper,” he said.





    03/05/2017

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    Why can t airline tickets be transferable? #discovery #travel

    #plane ticket
    #

    Why can t airline tickets be transferable?

    A TSA officer checks a passenger s airline ticket at Chicago O Hare International Airport on Dec. 20, 2013. (Photo: Nam Y. Huh, AP)

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    As Ralph Santopietro sees it, Delta Air Lines had him over a barrel when he tried to change the dates on a flight from Myrtle Beach, S.C. to Hartford, Conn.

    A ticket agent in Myrtle Beach offered to rebook Santopietro, a retired high school teacher, on the new itinerary. But his $238 ticket credit would be all but consumed by a $200 change fee, and then he’d have to pay a $538 fare difference.

    How about transferring the ticket to his cousin, who would take the flight as originally planned? Nope, said the agent, citing security restrictions on ticket name changes.

    “I didn’t like those choices,” he says.

    In an airline industry now dominated by a few oversized carriers, neither do many of his fellow passengers. Domestic airlines collected a record $2.5 billion in ticket change fees in 2012, and Delta led the flock with $778 million, an increase of $11 million from the previous year. Although airlines have valid business reasons for their ticket restrictions, consumer advocates say they are too rigid and avaricious.

    To passengers, the name-change policy in particular seems like a way for airlines to pocket more of their money. Alan Gore, a photographer from Sedona, Ariz. says he feels cornered when he considers his flight options. A fully refundable ticket costs three to four times more than a restricted ticket. And even when passengers have a valid reason to cancel a trip, airlines are unmoved.

    “When life happens and people get sick before a flight, they now have no choice but to take it and give the flu to every other passenger,” he says.

    He says it’s time for the airline industry to let passengers change the name on a ticket.

    Airlines don’t allow name changes for two reasons, according to Victoria Day, a spokeswoman for Airlines for America, an industry trade group. The first is airline policy. An airline needs to know who the customer is so it can “provide quality service,” she says. It also relies on tickets being non-changeable in order to manage its seat inventory.

    “Since air transportation is a service that perishes when the aircraft door is closed, it is in both the passengers’ and airline’s interest to closely match the number of passengers to seats available, from both a customer service and revenue management perspective,” Day says.

    The second reason is security, or ensuring that the ticketed passenger is the same person going through the TSA checkpoint and getting screened.

    Those assertions are more or less true. Warren Lieberman, an airline pricing expert and president at Veritec Solutions, says the more true part involves an airline’s ability to make money. If name changes were allowed, then passengers could resell their tickets anytime, subverting an airline’s ability to raise ticket prices as the flight becomes full.

    “That would lead to declines in revenue,” he says.

    The less true part is security. The Transportation Security Administration uses a system called Secure Flight to screen airline passengers, but it’s capable of handling checks instantly, according to the agency. In other words, if airlines relaxed their rules on name changes, the TSA would have no trouble accommodating them.

    “There is no reason why a consumer should not be able to easily transfer her ticket to another person in the event that she cannot travel,” says Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League.

    Permitting a name change makes sense to passengers, and not just because an airline won’t incur any security risks or additional expenses. It’s also something that as recently as a few decades ago was common, even among legacy carriers. Veteran air travelers recall a time when tickets could be purchased in the classified section of their newspaper. Somehow, airlines managed to make money even then.

    Given the fact that competition and choice are gradually being drained from our airline network, shouldn’t airlines be compelled to return one of yesteryear’s common courtesies — the ability to let someone else use a passenger’s ticket?

    Until then, it seems even airline employees understand that passengers don’t have any real options. One of them happened to be the kindly ticket agent in Myrtle Beach, who saw the absurdity of Santopietro’s situation. She finally beckoned him to come closer to her station.

    “She looked down and sheepishly whispered that perhaps I could try another airline,” he says. He found a $187 ticket on US Airways.

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    06/04/2017

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    When Can I Buy Travel Insurance? #book #a #cheap #flight

    #buy travel insurance
    #

    When to Buy Travel Insurance

    One of the most important concepts to understand, when you’re thinking about whether or not you need to insure your travel plans, is how soon you need to buy your insurance policy after you begin planning your trip. Knowing the best time to buy can help you get access to the greatest number of options and the most complete coverage for your needs.

    Best time to buy travel insurance

    So having said that, when is the best time to buy insurance? With Pre-Existing Conditions Waivers or Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage, it’s easier, since you know that it has to be done in short order. With a Single-Trip Medical policy, Evacuation policy or membership, or an Accidental Death plan, these can be done even at the last minute since the benefits they provide will only protect you while you’re traveling. We don’t advocate waiting until the last minute, of course, but there’s no rush with those types of plans.

    One exception is if you need the insurance to obtain a Visa to travel to Europe. If this is why you are purchasing medical insurance, it is never a good idea to wait until the day before your embassy appointment.

    Comprehensive plans are different. Technically speaking you can purchase them up until the day before departure, but even if you don’t need one of the time-sensitive benefits to be included in your policy it’s still best to purchase coverage as soon as possible. Remember that only unforeseen events can be covered for cancellation, so it’s going to be too late if you become sick or injured, or a family emergency arises before you can buy the insurance.

    WHEN TO PURCHASE COVERAGE FOR CANADIAN CUSTOMERS

    TIC, Travel Guard and RSA offer All-Inclusive packages that cover for medical emergency and evacuation as well as cancellation, delay, and baggage. They also offer Cancellation-Only plans. They will cover for a specified period of time, which must begin on the day you leave Canada and cover you until you return. What this means is once you have left Canada, you cannot purchase any of these policies. Also, you cannot just purchase coverage for a portion of the trip, you must fully insure it. If you do not, then the policy would be considered invalid and would not provide the protection you needed it for.





    06/04/2017

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    How soon can I travel after birth? Post-birth Recovery #travel #conditions

    #travel soon
    #

    How Soon Can I Travel After Birth?

    Postbirth Recovery

    When am I going to be well enough to travel after giving birth?

    If you’re itching to visit far-flung friends and relatives with your new baby. or if being housebound as a new mom is making you want to get out of town, like now. there’s no hard-and-fast rule about when you’re allowed to fly. How soon you travel after giving birth is really up to how you’re feeling. Some new moms feel almost like their old selves within a few days (it’s okay to hate them), while others are still having aches and pains for a while afterward. If you get a c-section, you’ll likely be in the longer-recovery category.

    You should check with your OB to make sure it’s okay to travel if you’ve had any complications, but it’s even more important that you get the go-ahead from baby’s pediatrician. That’s because baby’s immune system is still developing, and there’s a high risk of him catching something harmful in those early months.

    Keep in mind, if you do hop a flight soon after delivery, that there’s a high risk for blood clots that’s associated with pregnancy — and it persists for six to eight weeks postpartum. So take extra care to drink lots of water and to get up and walk around often during a long flight. Wearing special support hose to promote circulation can also help.

    Plus, more from The Bump:

    By Laura Riley, MD, ob-gyn, Director of Labor and Delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of You amp; Your Baby: Pregnancy





    24/03/2017

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    Can a Travel Agent Actually Save You Money? #colombia #travel

    #cheap travel agents
    #

    Can a Travel Agent Actually Save You Money?

    Posted on Apr 30, 2012

    Are travel agents back?

    This question, posed by The New York Times. got us thinking. According to the piece, nearly one in three leisure travel agencies is hiring, and in 2011 travel agencies experienced a second consecutive year of growth; in fact, their bookings accounted for a third of the $284 billion U.S. travel market.

    Silly us, we thought travel agents had become passé.

    But if the travel agent business is thriving, we started wondering—is there something to this? Could using an old-school travel agent actually save us money on travel?

    To find out, we consulted Barbara Vong, a travel agent with Wright Travel Agency. the 2011 winner of the Best of the Best Globe Award from Travel Impressions .

    The first thing we learned? Travel agents usually don t charge customers for their services! Their payment actually comes through the hotels and wholesalers, meaning that we can simply tap into a free service. That also means using a travel agent should never be more  expensive than booking by yourself online and these are experts well-versed in where to find the best deals.

    Of course, booking your flights in 30 seconds with a few clicks sounds a lot easier than playing phone tag with a live person, so it pays to know when a travel agent can help the most, and when you might as well DIY it. Vong let us in on the best times to call an agent, and some money-saving travel tips she s picked up in her line of work:

    Want More?

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    Use a Travel Agent If

    You re Traveling With a Group

    For group bookings that involve coordinating travel for multiple people, it s usually easier to use a travel agent, says Vong. I just had a bride call me because one of the groomsmen booked his own trip through a discount travel site, and he wanted to add someone to the room, says Vong. The customer service representative from the travel site he used told him they couldn t do it, but they were probably just being lazy. This is a great example of when you d rather hand the responsibility of changing that booking to a travel agent, rather than trying to fix it on your own.

    You re Not Sure Where You Want to Go

    You re Traveling Internationally

    If you re planning to travel somewhere out of the country, and you ve never been there before, it might be a good idea to go through a travel agent. When you use an agent to book international travel, you ll be able to ask a million questions, says Vong, and your agent will be sure to gather all the information you ll need to make sure you re traveling safely.

    You Don t Need a Travel Agent If

    You re Only Booking a Flight

    Let s say you re visiting a friend in Arizona and all you need is the flight out there. With all of the discount flight sites available, it s usually easier, and generally about the same price, to just book it yourself. (Check out our rundown of popular travel sites to see which one might work best for you.)

    You Want to Use Your Miles

    Travel agents aren t able to use your points or rewards card miles to book a flight or hotel for you—you ll have to book on your own if you d like to use them. You also aren t able to use points or miles to buy flights on sites like Expedia or Orbitz, either, only directly through the site of the company who is giving the points or miles, says Vong.

    You Find a Fantastic Deal on a Deal Site

    Go ahead and book a travel deal that you find on a site like LivingSocial. Groupon or Travelzoo. Just remember that you ll need to be flexible with the travel dates (most deals are offered for off-peak times, like travel on a weekday only, or for a Sunday night at a hotel), and be wary of expiration dates.

    Some Travel Tips to Help Save Money

    In her years as a travel agent, Vong has discovered a few things that help her save money on her own travel. Here are a few of her favorites:

    1. Fly at the Right Time

    If you can, avoid flying out on a Thursday or Friday, or flying back on a Sunday, when Vong says flights tend to be the most expensive. It s hard to say exactly how much a traveler could save, as it depends on the specific flight and how much space is available on it, but you could find yourself saving up to $50 or more for longer flights, says Vong.

    2. Factor in Your Transfer

    Set up transportation from the airport to your hotel through a shuttle or van service online prior to arriving at your destination. Local taxis in some countries have been known to charge more to foreigners traveling to and from airports. If you re working with a travel agent, she should always be able to book transportation for you from the airport. If you re booking on your own, try calling your airline for suggestions, or searching on the tourism website for the place where you re going (most major tourist cities have a tourism website.) If you re booking a tour on your vacation, most tour operators also offer transfers with the purchase of certain products, says Vong.

    3. Try the Go City Card

    The Go City Card is available in nine U.S. cities (including Boston, Chicago, New York, Orlando and more), and it allows you to pick and choose which sightseeing you want to do and to buy those activities as a bundle, which will be much cheaper than buying them individually.

    4. Use Your Email

    If you re traveling within the U.S. sign yourself up for emails from deal sites like Groupon  or LivingSocial from the city you re traveling to for potential discounts. In other words, if you live in Chicago but are traveling to San Francisco, subscribe to the San Fran deal sites shortly before your trip— you can always unsubscribe later.

    5. Be Smart About Exchanging Currency

    If you ll be traveling to a country where you ll need a different currency, Vong suggests exchanging money at your hotel. They usually have the best rates, they don t charge a fee and you can put any extra money you don t need back in the safe deposit box in your room as soon as you get it, she says.

    LearnVest Planning Services is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary of LearnVest, Inc. that provides financial plans for its clients. Information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal or tax planning advice. Please consult a financial adviser, attorney or tax specialist for advice specific to your financial situation. Unless specifically identified as such, the people interviewed in this piece are neither clients, employees nor affiliates of LearnVest Planning Services, and the views expressed are their own. LearnVest Planning Services and any third parties listed in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies.





    14/03/2017

    Posted In: NEWS

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