What – s the Sweet Spot for Buying International Airline Tickets?

#airline tickets cheapest

What s the Sweet Spot for Buying International Airline Tickets?

Book early and save on airfare, right? Not so fast, savvy traveler.

The sweet spot for buying international trips appears to be two to three months before departure. For peak-season summer trips, for example, data compiled for this week’s Middle Seat show that fares were lowest in April. If you booked earlier than that, you likely paid more.

When to buy your ticket is one of the most vexing decisions for travelers. Airlines bounce fares up and down regularly, sometimes several times in the same day. Sales come and go quickly, and availability of cheap seats on prime flights can be scarce. Travelers who wait for a better price can end up disappointed when prices keep rising. Travelers who jump on a fare at first search may end up angry if the price drops. It can be like playing poker against airlines.

With domestic trips, sales are typically launched Monday nights and the cheapest prices can often be found buying on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. (Most leisure travelers shop on the weekends, however, when prices may be higher.) I wrote about that last year in this Middle Seat column .

But things are different when trying to time the purchase of international trips. International sales are seasonal, not weekly, fare experts say, and often route-by-route rather than global. A major sale for fall travel often kicks in about the end of July or early August. The cheapest prices of the year are for travel in February, fare experts say, and those deals usually show up in November and early December.

For peak-season travel, fares start fairly high and then come down. Airlines start more-actively managing pricing on flights about three-to-four months before departure. That’s also when shoppers start getting more active.

For every route, airlines load a dozen or more different fares into reservation systems and then pick which one applies to a specific flight at a specific time, usually based on how well that flight is selling and what the airline expects in future demand for seats, including demand from business travelers who book later.

Harrell Associates compared 100 different routes to Europe and found the highest prices for peak-season fares were in October, on average, so buying that early for summer would have been a mistake. The cheapest time to buy that peak-period fare: April.

How do you know if you’ve found a good fare? Check prices often, if you can, and write down the lowest fare offered. Having that historical information will help you evaluate when a price is worth grabbing. The travel-booking section at Microsoft’s Bing.com offers several months of historical prices on select routes. If that’s available for your itinerary, it’s a huge help: You can see from the chart whether the current price is high or low compared to past prices.

Are Online Travel Vendors Trustworthy? Next

For Sale: Your TSA Confiscated Items. Cheap.


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Travel Planning – Tips for Planning Your Trip #affordable #travel

#travel planning

Travel Planning

Travel planning can help or hurt you, depending how far you take it. The best way to break travel plans is to make them in the first place!  This is true, because you will most likely meet people along the way or see things that make you want to change your itinerary entirely.

Try not to make the mistake of setting a strict timeline; instead, focus on a loose plan to help you get the most out of your trip. It is worth researching things like festivals, weather, and visa requirements so that you will have some idea of what to expect.

Extreme flexibility beats extreme preparation any day!

Where to Start Travel Planning?

The only two things that you have to know for sure to begin your trip: what country you want to start with and when you want to go. Everything else done for travel planning is simply a bonus.

When choosing your destinations, keep these things in mind:

  • Seasonal Weather:  Many tropical areas can have months of continuous rain. Forget getting a tan or enjoy any diving if you visit during the wet seasons, although accommodation prices will be rock bottom and there may be less tourists.  Most people plan their travel around the monsoon seasons.
  • Budget considerations:  You will get way more bang for your buck in developing regions like Southeast Asia, Africa, India, and South America as opposed to Australia, North America, or Europe.
  • Time of year:  Other than weather considerations, you may want to plan your travel around things like huge festivals and crowded tourists seasons. Imagine arriving in a country, just missing a historic festival by days, but still paying the high prices imposed because of the visitors that were drawn to the festival.
  • Political climate:  The mainstream news media seems to play up the dangers of traveling abroad, particularly for Americans. In reality, there are very few places that are too dangerous to travel provided that you use some common sense.
  • Language:  Don t let the local language no matter how difficult be a deterrent to visiting a country. English, of varying quality, is spoken almost everywhere that there are tourists. Learning the local language is a nice way to enhance your trip, however, doing so is not a requirement. Do not worry about studying too much before the trip, you will learn a language exponentially faster once you arrive.

Travel Planning with Guide Books

Once you have an idea of where you want to start your journey, go buy only the guidebook for your first destination. Books are too heavy and expensive to carry more than one destination s worth. Besides, you can trade with other travelers that have just come from your next country or buy them locally.

With the amount of free information on sites such as WikiTravel.com, buying a guide book is optional anyway.

  • Lonely Planet is the most popular guidebook for budget travelers love it or hate it.
  • If you buy one of the gigantic consolidated versions like Southeast Asia on a Shoestring , feel free to tear out countries that you do not plan to visit. Removing unimportant pages will conserve precious space and weight in your backpack. Save the pages and staple them together for later just in case!
  • Do not get guidebookitus when planning travel don t make the guide book your new Bible. Believe it or not, but there are places to eat, stay, and visit that are NOT covered in the guide books. In fact, you can almost count on the top several places listed for accommodation to be full during the busy seasons.
  • Watch out for the Lonely Planet effect . The LP Effect is a theory that suggests too many backpackers are using the guidebook, so all the places listed with excellent reviews near the top of each section become saturated with business. With so much good business coming in no matter what, the actual quality of service declines at these places because they no longer have to try so hard. Sometimes this is true, so trust your own judgment about a place and listen to other travelers that have stayed there. The positive side of the LP Effect is that if you are looking to meet other backpackers, these places are usually where the party is.

Travel Planning Advice From Travelers

When travel planningl, take full advantage of the travel forums in places like www.bootsnall.com and our very own Backpacking Forums. Many of the people out there are genuine, have just come from your future destination, and are anxious to help.

Try reading travel blogs! Most of those people are not being paid to write, and you will get an honest, personal glimpse into what a destination was like. Check out some vagabonding blogs here on the site. (or my very own http://www.vagabondinglife.com )

Remember that everyone travels in their own style. What you consider a bonus adventure might be someone else s nightmare if they are expecting more luxury on the road than you. Take things that people tell you with a grain of salt, as people tend to filter memories through one or two specific events that happened when they were there.

Traveling Solo or Together

  • You will need to decide from the start if you are going to travel alone or with a friend. Needless to say, this decision will radically change the overall experience of your trip. Many first-time backpackers especially women feel more comfortable if they have a familiar face from home tagging along. The truth is that you never have to be alone; other solo travelers are always available and team up together. Read about traveling alone .

Here are a handful of things to think about for travel planning:

  • Local Customs:  Learn how not to offend someone accidentally. Offenses and customs differ between Buddhists, Muslims, etc. If you re starting in Thailand, go read about Thailand etiquette .
  • Currency Exchange Rate:. Know the current exchange rate before you hit the ground. You can check rates directly on Google with a search string like 1 USD in Thai baht.
  • Book Your First Night:  Consider booking your very first night at your first destination. You will probably be exhausted after the flight, and having a room provides a good peace of mind. Only book one or two nights, then shop around in the morning for something better/cheaper. HostelWorld.com is the most popular site for booking.

Be a Wanderer!

If you have less time abroad, then plan more; otherwise, try to resist the urge to over plan. When travel planning. strive to just stay flexible, keep your eyes and mind open for new experiences and opportunities, and let the road take you where it takes you.


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Why Buy Used Cars, Rental Vehicles for Sale – Enterprise Car

#rental cars cheap

Why Buy a Used Vehicle

Consider the Advantages

Buying a used vehicle can save you money because a new vehicle experiences its greatest loss in value within the first 12 to 18 months. Rather than watching value decrease significantly in just the first year, consider buying a used car or truck. A used rental car can have a lower purchase price with lower monthly payments, and the factory warranties are usually still available. Buying a used vehicle allows you to upgrade to the newer make and model you want and add more optional features.

Why Throw Money Away on New Car Depreciation?

Thinking about buying a new vehicle? Think again. According to the experts at Kelley Blue Book . in three years a new vehicle could depreciate by as much as 73 percent of its value. At best it will retain a mere 62 percent of its value after three years. That s one major advantage to buying a used vehicle.

Car depreciation is the dark cloud hanging over new purchases. While most vehicles depreciate by 15 to 20 percent of their value each year, the first year tends to hurt the most. In fact, the two-minute drive off the lot can cost some owners up to 15 percent of their new vehicle s value.

If you re a car buyer unwilling to throw away money on vehicle depreciation for that new car smell, consider buying a high-quality, late-model used car. In addition to a lower purchase price, lower registration and license fees, you ll also enjoy lower depreciation, as the previous owner has already absorbed the steepest portion of the used vehicle s depreciation cost. Some popular used models include Civic. Accord. CRV. Camry. Wrangler. Tacoma. Challenger. Mini. Explorer. Escape. Altima and Outback .

Used Rental Car Value

Consider the Benefits of Buying a Used Rental Car

Millions of used rental vehicles (and leased vehicles) are sold annually in the United States. Many were passed directly to auctions and on to used car dealerships. However, tens of thousands were selected by the rental and lease companies for their own car resale businesses. These used vehicles represent the cream of the crop and are often considered some of the best used cars on the market. These used vehicles, while driven by multiple motorists, receive much more care than the average consumer-owned used car and offer the following benefits:

  • Great selection: The typical used car for sale at Enterprise Car Sales is one to two years old. This creates a selection of vehicles that are contemporary, stylish, and sought after.
  • One owner: If offered a used vehicle owned by an auto expert committed to vehicle maintenance and care, the average used car buyer might be tempted to sign sight unseen. Enterprise Car Sales offers this opportunity. Used cars are our business, and our livelihood depends on keeping them expertly maintained.
  • Low mileage: Used rental vehicles or used leased vehicles often have less than 40,000 miles when they are put up for sale.
  • Reasonable prices: All used vehicles sold by Enterprise Car Sales are offered at low prices, and with a no-haggle policy, buyers get a great used car price without the pressure of bargaining.

Used rental cars provide a tremendous value. Make a smart move and consider buying one the next time you re in the market for a used vehicle.


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World – s cheapest cities for budget travelers in 2015 –

#cheap travel destinations

130 World cities ranked cheapest to most expensive: Backpacker Index for 2015

We have all heard that some parts of the world are cheap to visit while others are expensive but most people have a hard time quantifying any more precisely. That s why Price of Travel launched our Backpacker Index numbers for cities all over the world in late 2010. Now totally updated in its 5th year, below you ll find all major destinations around the world ranked by price for backpackers.

More specific information can be found by clicking on the regional articles just below, or by clicking on the individual city names in the main list.

There were some major changes on the list this year, mainly due to large swings in currency in much of the world. Compared to the US Dollar, all European currencies weakened, as did the Canadian Dollar, while most Asian currencies hovered around the same level all year. Once again, Asia dominates the cheap part of the list with the first 7 spots, while Europe dominates the expensive part at the bottom.

Detailed information available by region

What the prices below mean

There is a longer explanation of the Backpacker Index on each of the regional pages, but the short version is that we found the price for a group of things for each destination, and then translated that into US dollars in late January 2015. While this data is meant for backpackers and budget travelers, the proportions will be nearly identical, so the list should also be useful to those with more money to spend.

For each city this daily total includes:

  • A dorm bed at a good and cheap hostel
  • 3 budget meals
  • 2 public transportation rides
  • 1 paid cultural attraction
  • 3 cheap beers (as an entertainment fund )

Backpacker Index: 130 global destinations for 2015


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ABC Travel Guides for Kids names TOP 5 US Family East

#abc travel

ABC Travel Guides for Kids names TOP 5 US Family East Coast Beach Destinations for 2014

PHILADELPHIA. May 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Atlantic City rolls out the red carpet for families and takes our top spot.

1. Atlantic City, New Jersey AC is within a day’s drive of 1/3 of the country’s population. AC’s unique attractions include a Surf School and the country’s third tallest lighthouse. Even transportation is unique: Jitneys and Rolling Chairs. More adventurous? Consider a Helicopter or Parasailing adventure. But this resort city offers so much more: Joe Holiday’s magic show, Steel Pier, Ripley’s Odditorium, a White House (famous for submarines), Tony’s and Gilchrist for breakfast. Ready for the original salt water taffy and fudge? It started here with Steel’s, James and Fralinger’s. The Caesars Pier water show, Boardwalk Hall light show and the Waterfront Sculpture Walk are hidden treasures. The AC Sheraton’s location (near the Tanger Outlets) is the perfect launching pad to DO AC.

2. Miami Beach, Florida We love Miami in the summer because the water is so warm. Miami is about great food and diverse culture. Start with a Grace Della food tour to learn about Miami’s culinary history. The Seaquarium and Jungle Island shows are exceptional, as is the new PAMM . Don’t miss the attractions of the Historic Redland Trail . For food we love The Pub, Big Pink and Casola’s for pizza. The place to stay in Miami Beach is The Palms Hotel Spa .

3. Cape Ann, MA An hour north of Boston. Cape Ann has two of our favorite beaches, Good Harbor and Wingaersheek. Gloucester is a hard working fishing port that blends incredible food, art, shopping and culture into everything it does. Tour Beauport and Hammond Castle. then take a harbor cruise. Eat at The Gloucester House, Woodman’s and the Clam Box. Neighboring Rockport and Bearskin Neck have been hot spots for years. Rockport Inn Suites is a great spot to stay.

4. Rehoboth Beach, DE The bandstand and boardwalk are loaded with fun family shops, restaurants and more. After the beach head to Funland then Nicola Pizza . We also love Thrashers Fries, Capriotti’s, and the Ice Cream Store. Rent a house and bikes or consider one of the great lodging choices in the area.

5. Outer Banks, North Carolina It’s all here from Spooky Blackbeard pirate stores on Okracoke Island. to Orville and Wilbur Wright in Kitty Hawk . Ferry rides and jumping around from town to town provides adventure. Wildlife and sports enthusiasts will enjoy fishing, birding, kiteboarding, wind surfing (no place beats this place), wild horses, lighthouses and more. Awful Arthur’s Oyster Bar in Kill Devil Hills is a family friendly dining option but OBX has many great options.

ABC Travel Guides for Kids is the premier producer and publisher of all-in-one alphabet, activity and souvenir guides specifically designed for kids.

SOURCE ABC Travel Guides for Kids


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Airlines For America #costa #rica #travel #packages

#airline flights

Streamlining Cargo Operations

Each day, U.S. airlines move nearly 50,000 tons of cargo, contributing to the global economy and making life easier by bringing everyday items directly to you, the consumer. Both passenger and cargo carriers provide a variety of reliable cargo services, delivering goods to their final destination more efficiently than any other means of transportation.

Cargo is a priority for our members, as airlines continue to be the preferred method to move valuable and highly perishable products across the country and around the world. Cargo carried by airlines represents more than one-third the value of all transported goods. Some of these include live animals, human organs for transplant, urgent air mail, industrial parts needed for repairs and perishables like fresh fish, fruits, vegetables, flowers and much more.

To ensure the safety of passengers and employees, airlines work with government agencies to implement a range of safety and security measures for air cargo and its supply chain – from manufacturers and shippers to forwarders and carriers. Around the world, governments are working together to enhance and further expedite the shipping experience and develop risk-based security programs that would set cargo standards across countries and regions.

  • Partnering in Safety & Security
  • Enhancing Passenger Experience
  • Streamlining Cargo Operations


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Airline sues man for founding a cheap flights website #cheap #airfare

#airline cheap tickets

Airline sues man for starting a cheap-flights site

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

A United Airlines plane at Chicago s O Hare airport

United Airlines is suing a 22-year-old man for founding a website that helps travelers book cheap flights, according to CNN Money.

Orbitz has joined the suit against Aktarer Zaman, who last year founded skiplagged.com. a site designed to ferret out bargain plane tickets through a strategy called “hidden city.” It skirts higher prices by allowing a user to buy a ticket with a layover in the flyer’s actual destination, and the user just skips the last leg of the trip.

It only works if flyers travel without checked baggage and buy one-way tickets.

“[Hidden city tickets] have been around for a while, it just hasn’t been very accessible to consumers,” Zaman told CNNMoney.

United Airlines and Orbitz claim “unfair competition” and are seeking $75,000 in lost revenue.

CNN Money reported that travel experts expect that even if the site is shut down, others like it will just pop up in its place.

Zaman did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment.


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Allegiant Air plans more nonstop flights for Pittsburgh #cheap #air #travel

#airline tickets

Allegiant Air is making Pittsburgh a base of operations

By Mark Belko / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It won t arrive in time for Mardi Gras but Allegiant Air is giving Pittsburgh-area travelers reason to celebrate: A new nonstop flight to New Orleans.

Allegiant will start twice-weekly service to the Crescent City from Pittsburgh International Airport on Feb. 19. The airline, which is expanding rapidly in Pittsburgh, also is adding a new seasonal flight to Palm Beach, Fla. and expanding its seasonal service to Myrtle Beach.

Since touching down in Pittsburgh last February with flights to three Florida cities, the Las Vegas-based airline has added four others, counting the two new ones to be formally announced today.

It also will make Pittsburgh a base of operations next month, a distinction that will bring with it up to 40 jobs and a permanently-based 156-seat Airbus 319 aircraft.

With the new flights, Allegiant will become the airport s fourth largest carrier in terms of destinations behind Southwest, American and Delta.

Pittsburgh travelers have been pretty enthusiastic about us. We really saw an opening for ultra low-cost service, which Pittsburgh hasn t previously had. The response that we ve seen has been overwhelmingly positive, Allegiant spokesman Justin Ralenkotter said.

Pittsburgh has been without a nonstop flight to New Orleans for 10 years. For at least the last two years, the airport has been offering incentives such as landing fee waivers and increased marketing support to carriers willing to commit to nonstop flights to desired destinations.

In conjunction with that, Allegiant will not have to pay gate or landing fees for the New Orleans and Palm Beach flights for a year.

The twice-weekly New Orleans service will fly into Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Fares will start as low as $39 one way.

Seasonal twice-weekly service to Palm Beach International Airport also will begin Feb. 19 with fares as low as $39 and operate through May 16. Allegiant will be competing on that route with Southwest Airlines, which will be offering a Saturday-only nonstop to the same airport from March 12 through April 9.

We re really not competing for the same passengers as other carriers. We see ourselves as complementing or adding more choice to travel, Mr. Ralenkotter said.

Allegiant will be starting its seasonal twice weekly service to Myrtle Beach April 7 next year, two months earlier than this year.

Mr. Ralenkotter said the route has performed exceptionally well for us. The airline aims for planes that are at least 90 percent full, and the Myrtle Beach flight has exceeded those expectations, he noted.

He added there is no hard or fast rule how quickly the airline expands in a city. Cincinnati, which like Pittsburgh has lost an airline hub, currently has Allegiant flights to 11 cities. Indianapolis has flights to seven destinations.

Pittsburgh has done very well for us. We ve been very pleased with the results that we ve seen from the market there and how people have taken to our service in booking those flights, he said.


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Arthur Frommer – s ten best travel websites for 2012 #amigo

#best travel websites

From hotel deals to vacation rentals and more, how to surf the web for top holiday bargains

How many websites attempt to help you make the right choice among travel products? The answer is: tens of thousands. But as I prepare for my own vacation trips, or respond to inquiries from friends, relatives or readers, I find myself returning again and again to just 10 of that mammoth array. They are set forth below:

I have deliberately excluded websites prepared by me or with which I am associated – like Frommers.com, my own daily blog or my daughter’s daily blog. My favourites include:

1 For finding hotel rooms in the U.S. Getaroom.com. Though only a fraction of the size of its larger rivals (it accesses hotels in more than 200 cities, but concentrates on bargains in the 57 most heavily visited ones), GetARoom claims to supply unique room rates, and actually encourages you to phone them for even better unpublished rates.

2 For finding hotel rooms in Europe: Venere.com. From its headquarters in Rome, Venere accesses more than 50,000 hotels all over the world, but does best – and offers special bargain rates – in European cities, for which you should primarily use it.

3 For finding low-cost overnights in private homes worldwide: Airbnb.com. After only three years in existence, this San Francisco outfit is handling tens of thousands of bookings in private apartments and homes all over the world. Usually, the owner remains in residence while you occupy a guest bed or room.

4 For snaring a free overnight in the home or apartment of gracious, generous people worldwide: Couchsurfing.org. It reveals an awesome number of people who will put you up as a free guest. A runner-up in this field: GlobalFreeLoaders.com.

5 For vacation homes or rental apartments: VRBO.com. Its initials standing for “vacation rental by owner,” it eliminates the middleman, puts you in direct touch with the landlord, but therefore requires that you carefully check references. If you do, you’ll often obtain remarkable values for your next vacation stay.

6 For unbeatable airfares both here and overseas: Momondo.com. This Danish-based “aggregator” of flights, operated by a handful of people aided by what apparently is a remarkable computer program, has frequently provided me with airfare bargains that no other website revealed.

7 For sharp discounts on your next cruise: Vacationstogo.com. Though more than a dozen cruise brokers compete for your business (CruisesOnly.com, iCruise.com, OnlineVacationCenter.com, CruiseCompete.com, TravelThemesAndDreams.com and many more), this one presents its offerings in such clear, understandable fashion as to win my vote.

8 For discounted prices on your next auto rental: Autoslash.com. In addition to revealing low rates, it also draws your attention to special coupon offers that can reduce your costs even more. It’s in heavy competition with the longer-established BreezeNet.com, which also should be consulted.

9 For lower-cost shore excursions on your next cruise: Shoretrips.com. In addition to offering lower rates in nearly every major port at which the big cruise ships stop, it also places you in

12-passenger vans instead of the 45-passenger motorcoaches used by the cruise lines themselves.


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Asking for a lot of money #incentive #travel

#cheapest flight

Asking for a lot of money

Most people dream of making a lot of money. The question is, what does that mean?

The truth is that money is highly subjective. Certainly, a billion dollars is a lot of money; there are only a handful of billionaires in the world. Is a million dollars a lot? In terms of total wealth, no; a significant minority of the population has a million dollars or more in total assets to leave to their heirs, largely due to the appreciation of real estate. Were one to make a million dollars a year, however, that person would be among the most highly paid in the world.

Personal perception has a significant role in determining the amount of money that a person can expect to make. The reason for this is that the two factors that most influence earnings–level of demonstrable skill, and payment requested from an employer–are very dependent upon the individual. Moreover, while skill is partially based on individual confidence and partially dependent upon innate ability, the amount of money that a person asks an employer to provide is solely based on the individual.

Of course, the two are related. One cannot have a minimal skillset and expect to receive a high salary. However, many people have excellent skillsets yet are paid comparatively little versus their peers. Why?

The truth is, they probably didn’t ask–or if they did, they didn’t ask in a way that conveyed they really thought that they deserved what they wanted. In many cases, the boss knows the most that he or she can pay, but will be pleased to pay less if an employee will accept it.

Of course, the boss will not tell the employee what he or she can actually afford to pay. But dealing with that is comparatively easy in the Information Age: there are salary guidelines for given locales and positions available on the Internet. The real challenge is not asking a high level of compensation, but feeling that you deserve the high level of compensation for which you are asking.

To do that, one must understand the relative value of money. We have established that being a billionaire is truly remarkable, and that accumulating a million dollars over a lifetime is not but that making a million dollars per year is. What about lower income levels–the sort that we tend to see in everyday life?

How much is a lot?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Federal Poverty Guideline for a family of four in 2006 is $20,000. A family that makes this amount or less is, by definition, poor.

The median income reported for a family of four in 2006, however, ranged from a low of $45,867 in New Mexico to a high of $87,412 in New Jersey. These figures include single- and multi-earner households.

Consider a candidate in New Jersey who holds a degree in a moderate-demand field. Will he or she accept a salary of $20,000? Probably not. Expecting a salary of $87,412 may seem excessive, though, because he or she would, as a single earner, be requesting the average income of a family of four.

But is it excessive? Actually, no; if $87,412 is the median salary–meaning there are an equal number of earners above and below that mark–the candidate could, in fact, confidently request $90,000 or more. The reaction from a hiring manager would depend in part on the industry and also in part of the applicant’s specific skillset. Another candidate, in another job, however, could ask for it and get it. The trick is to have the audacity to ask.

A real-life story

Shortly after I finished college, someone I knew earned $40,000 a year. His stated goal was to reach a salary of $50,000. He worked hard to apply himself to education and professional development, and volunteered for special projects to expand his skillset.

His next job offer caught him off-guard: $73,000. He took it, of course, astonished at how much he now made. Within a few months, though, he realized that others in the field made considerably more. He stayed active in professional development and worked hard to master new skills.

A year into the job, he requested an increase in salary, providing his employer with salary survey data and other information. He received a raise to $89,000 and was offered an incentive plan based on performance.

After three years, he decided to leave. He interviewed at a number of top companies that were excited to meet him. He had an offer from one for $110,000 and then got an offer from another for $115,000. Deciding that he prefered the first company, he asked if they would increase their offer. Knowing that this would require approval, however, he offered to take an initial salary of $100,000 until he finished his probationary period. They accepted.

Four years ago, he aspired to someday make $50,000. Today, he makes $115,000–and considers $200,000 to be easily within reach given a few more years. And why?


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Budget Airline FlightChecker tells you when to go for the cheapest

#cheap flight sites

How this site works

We think it’s important you understand the strengths and limitations of the site. We’re a journalistic website and aim to provide the best MoneySaving guides, tips, tools and techniques, but can’t guarantee to be perfect, so do note you use the information at your own risk and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

  • This info does not constitute financial advice, always do your own research on top to ensure it’s right for your specific circumstances and remember we focus on rates not service.
  • We don’t AS a general policy investigate the solvency of companies mentioned (how likely they are to go bust), but there is a risk any company can struggle and it’s rarely made public until it’s too late (see the section 75 guide for protection tips).
  • We often link to other websites, but we can’t be responsible for their content.
  • Always remember anyone can post on the MSE forums, so it can be very different from our opinion.

MoneySavingExpert.com is part of the MoneySupermarket Group, but is entirely editorially independent. Its stance of putting consumers first is protected and enshrined in the legally-binding MSE Editorial Code .


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Best Travel Websites for Booking Cheap Flights #travel #guides

#cheap flight sites

The 10 Best Websites To Help You Book Cheap Flights

This is the time of year when my friends and family start to ask me What s the best website to book a cheap flight? . With 2015 finally upon us, everyone is getting excited about using that new batch of vacation days they got when the clock struck midnight.

Booking a cheap flight and the best flight are not always the same thing. Sometimes you have to spend a little more to have a better experience but ultimately the decision is yours. We re here to show you the best tools available online, no matter what your goal is when booking a flight.

If you still use Expedia to search for flights we have some important news for you. Stop. Stop it right now. Delete it from your bookmarks. Done? Okay, good.

Whether you want someone to do all the work for you (FlightFox) or wanted a detailed analysis of your trip (Momondo) we ve got options for everyone. We actually highly recommend you use 3 or 4 of these sites at one time to find the best price and flight for your vacation.


What is it? Adioso takes the guessing games out of when to fly, for how long and where to.

Who is it for? Travelers with flexible schedules who want to quickly find the best flights for their trips.

Adioso is amazing. If you’ve never used it, your life is about to change. Not sure where and when you want to go? Enter a general timeline for when (June) and where (Europe) and Adioso will give you the best cities to visit at the best prices. What’s even more incredible is their natural language search engine. It let’s you input searches like “NYC to South America in July for 12 days” and out comes the perfect results for your dream trip.

My favorite part of Adioso for the traveler who knows exactly what they want, is their “Smart View” flight finder. Simply put in your exact dates and location and out comes 3 options for your journey: the cheapest trip, the best overall trip and the shortest flight. It takes out all the hard work of looking through every flight to find your best options.


What is it? FlightFox is a marketplace of flight experts who find you the best flights.

FlightFox is perfect for the traveler who wants to save money but doesn’t want to do the hard work. It’s all the best parts about using a travel agency without having to actually leave your house. For a small fee of $49 you can have a team of 15 experts from FlightFox work to find you the best flights at the best prices. Simply sign up, submit your itinerary and trip goals (where, when, how long, to save money, flexibility, etc) and let the team of experts at FlightFox do all the hard work. Their customer feedback and satisfaction says a lot about how good they are. See for yourself.

Airfare Watch Dog

Google Flight

What is it? Google’s very own flight search engine that uses a powerful software to find routes/prices.

One of my favorite tools for finding the best time to fly is Google Flights. Google purchased the licensing rights to ITA Matrix in 2011 (a travel agents best friend) and now they use the software to power their flight engine searches. Google Flights offers a really great map view to help you drag and drop to different destinations. It also shows you each month at a glance so you can help figure out which days, weeks or months are cheaper to fly to your favorite destinations. We recommend using Google Flights as a tool to the start of your research before you move on to more detailed searches and bookings.



What is it? A flight search engine that rates your results based on various factors that impact your happiness.

Routehappy has one goal in mind: to give you the best price with the best experience. Each result from your search is graded out of 10 on their “Happiness Scale” based on 6 different factors like legroom, Wi-Fi, time traveled and more. You’ll find that a majority of the time flights rated with the highest happiness factor (8+) are also one of the cheapest available. RouteHappy also work with SkyScanner (mentioned previously) to make sure you’re seeing all the best flight options available. That’s a win win in our books.

The Flight Deal

What is it? Blog/Twitter account that posts only the best of the best flight deals and discounts available.


What is it? A search engine that offers detailed analysis and insights for your requested trip.

What impacts the price of flights from your local airport? What’s the cheapest time of the year to fly from JFK? What’s the best airline to fly with to your destination? Momondo answers all these questions and more. They set themselves apart from other airlines by offering you the same at a glance services on top of their incredibly detailed and thoughtful analysis. Seriously, the amount of information they gather and present about your trip is insane. Try a search for yourself and click on “Flight Insight” to see what we’re talking about.

Sometimes a computer just can’t do the trick no matter how many algorithms it wants to run. Use Momondo to analyze all the information they present and then decide for yourself what flight is right for you.


What is it? A flight search engine that factors in every aspect of your journey before showing you the best flight.

Hipmunk is a flight search engine with a personality and we love it. Hipmunk’s “Agony” search engine will present you with the best flights, at the best prices, that offer the most bang for your buck. They’ll show you what they consider the best airfare but it may be $100 more than other cheaper fares. When that flight is 5 hours faster, has 3 more inches of legroom (yes, please!) and no connections, you won’t be complaining about the price difference. Cheap doesn’t always mean it’s the best option.

Combine that with a beautiful website and interface and you’ve got one of our favorite flight search engines on the web.


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Budget Travel Tips for Europe #cheap #flights #hotels

#cheap travel sites

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Budget Travel Tips for Europe

Practical, how-to budget travel advice is indispensible. There s something particularly valuable about travel advice that opposes the emphasis on expensive hotels and other forms of high-end consumption that characterizes the contemporary travel media, perhaps especially in regions like Europe where costs are generally quite high.

Budget-friendly travel in Europe is no impossible dream, and the following sites are good for inspiring shoestring feats, assessing likely costs, and, above all else, disproving the idea that you have to spend hundreds of dollars a day to see Europe well. For some ideas about where to travel affordably in Europe, check out last week s ten budget-friendly European destinations post.

1. Less Than a Shoestring. Though no longer publishing on a regular basis, the archives of this blog are astoundingly helpful in their low-budget audacity. Particularly useful for anyone scared off at the thought of Europe s cost index are the blog s Baring my Budget posts, which run through budgets for various short trips in great detail: three nights in Malta for €50 (currently $66); five days in London for £85 (currently $133); four nights in Venice for €91 (currently $120), all departing from Berlin. Costs breakdowns are provided in these Baring my Budget posts, as are the freebies encountered along the way. The mention of freebies is particularly helpful, as it reveals how often tourist information, maps, museum admission, and various cultural performances can be accessed free of charge. Though this series ran over two years ago, it is still very relevant.

2. EuroCheapo. Disclosure: I worked as an editor at EuroCheapo for almost three years and continue to do occasional freelance projects for the site. Phew. Glad I got that out of the way. Personal loyalty aside, EuroCheapo really is an enormously helpful resource. It is first and foremost as a hotel review site with useful descriptions of hotels written by trained hotel reviewers. EuroCheapo also edits a great blog full of essential budget-oriented tips penned by correspondents on the ground.

3. Guardian s budget travel section. To be fair, the Guardian s budget travel section is good for destinations around the world, though the density of articles on the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and other European countries is impressive. Recent articles that showcase well the newspaper s creatively open approach to the subject of budget travel include Susan Greenwood s budget Stockholm journey story, indebted to insider tips provided by a local blogger; a piece on backpacking in the Crimea by Maxton Walker; and Benji Lanyado s TwiTrips series, for which the author receives tips via Twitter about the city he s visiting and then liveblogs his discoveries. The most recent TwiTrip series installment sees Lanyado visiting Liverpool .4. Flycheapo. This site felt buzzing and electrified back when Europe s low-cost airlines were announcing new routes weekly. With all the route cut-backs and cancellations of the last few years, the site sees far fewer regular updates. Nonetheless, Flycheapo is still an essential place to look for route information for inexpensive flights around Europe. The site provides new route news snippets, a route index, an airline index, and a route search, all of which are helpful for figuring out potential itineraries for low-cost air journeys across Europe.

5. Deutsche Bahn. Indispensible for figuring out train itineraries, Bahn.de features Europe-wide train schedules in enthralling detail. Bahn.de is also a much cheaper place for purchasing advance train fares than US-based agents. A very helpful run-down of how much cheaper these fares can be as well as information on how to access Deutsche Bahn sales personnel in English can be found in two posts by the editors of hidden europe magazine, here and here .


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Cheap Rihanna Tickets: Trims Prices on Tickets for Rihanna s Canadian

#flights for cheap

Cheap Rihanna Tickets: QueenBeeTickets.com Trims Prices on Tickets for Rihanna’s Canadian Tour Stops in Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver – KEYC – Mankato News, Weather, Sports –

Cheap Rihanna Tickets: QueenBeeTickets.com Trims Prices on Tickets for Rihanna’s Canadian Tour Stops in Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver

Posted: Wednesday, December 2, 2015 2:51 AM EST Updated: Wednesday, December 2, 2015 2:29 PM EST

This article was originally distributed via SproutNews. SproutNews, WorldNow and this Site make no warranties or representations in connection therewith.

Trusted provider QueenBeeTickets.com has trimmed its prices and is now offering cheap Rihanna tickets for the singer s 2016 Anti World Tour. The popular online provider has a wide selection of tickets for Rihanna s tour stops in Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, and more. Many Canadian fans are opting to secure their seats to see Rihanna live before the mad rush on December 3 when the public offering takes place.

Rihanna s Anti World Tour will be a massive event that includes a North American leg as well as a European leg. North American shows begin in San Diego on February 26, and the popular singer who hails from Barbados will visit numerous locations in the U.S. and Canada until May 7. Canadian fans can obtain Tickets for Rihanna s tour stops in Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver beginning December 3, and presales will take place on November 30.

Visit QueenBeeTickets.com to view the selection of authentic Rihanna tickets at fair prices while seats last!

International shows are planned for many cities beginning June 11 and concluding on August 12. The singing star plans to make her Anti World Tour a massive event that will provide many opportunities for her faithful followers to obtain cheap Rihanna tickets so that they can attend a live performance.

Riri has earned an impressive number of awards that include 8 Grammys and 23 Billboard Music Awards. She sells out concerts wherever she performs, and her fans are always on the lookout for new albums and concert tours to promote them. Cheap Rihanna tickets will be available beginning December 3, and upcoming performances will attract fans from around the world who have been following her career since its inception.

Opening acts during the Anti World Tour will feature Travis Scott for North American shows and The Weekend and Big Sean for European performances. Tickets for Rihanna s tour stops in Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver will be quick sellers among Canadian fans who are eagerly waiting for the star to come to their towns to promote her latest album.

The singing star s vocal talent and charismatic personality have won her numerous enthusiastic fans that stretch around the globe. The Anti World Tour will be quite popular and will consist of sold-out performances in entertainment venues far and wide. Concertgoers interested in obtaining seats for a 2016 show will be wise to do so as quickly as possible when presales and public onsales begin.

QueenBeeTickets.com has Tickets for Rihanna s tour stops in Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver that Canadian music buffs will want to obtain due to reduced prices.

Rihanna Concert Dates for the 2016 Anti World Tour:

QueenBeeTickets.com is a reliable and convenient online marketplace serving the secondary market with discounted tickets for all major concerts, sports, and theatre events happening across North America and beyond. Customers are invited to compare prices against other providers offering similar tickets. For the lowest bottom line price, online shoppers can take advantage of Promo Code DISCOUNT while tickets last.

Disclaimer: QueenBeeTickets.com is not associated with any of the artists, teams, venues, organizations, institutions, bands, or artists featured on their website in any way. Furthermore, any names or titles used in this press release are solely for descriptive purposes and do not imply, indicate, or suggest any type of affiliation, partnership, or endorsement.


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Cheap Rihanna Tickets: QueenBeeTickets.com Trims Prices on Tickets for Rihanna s Canadian Tour Stops in Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver


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Writing for Travel Magazines #las #vegas #travel

#travel magazines

Travel Magazines

Posted December 4, 2006 by Road Junky.

Travel writing for magazines and newspapers perhaps represents the most likely way for a writer to make a living. Every month there are hundreds of editions that need fresh content to keep the existing readership happy and attract more.

Most newspapers will have a staff of writers and will rarely take content from unknown freelancers unless you have a special angle or expertise that you can really sell to an editor. The magazines that accompany newspapers on Sundays though may well stretch to freelance writing if you can pitch an idea with enough charisma.

Likewise there are many magazines that seek new travel content each month and not just travel mags but also men s magazines, consumer interest, culture and educational journals.

It s all about finding the right angle to pitch your idea; if it s a women s magazine then you can approach your time in Peru from the point of view of indigenous cosmetics; if writing for a political magazine, you could write about the exploitation of the same women by local employers.

When pitching your ideas to an editor it s not a bad plan to give him a choice of stories so that he can feel he s been involved in the decision process. It also shows your flexibility in finding the angle that suits the magazine.

Give yourself an imaginative but modest biography and get creative where needed. You might only have been getting stoned in the Himalayas the previous summer but you re more likely to interest an editor if he thinks you were studying the intricacies of Hinduism.

Editors will often ask to see clips of your past work and if you don t have any then you should also resort to the above tactic. What you don t want to do is brag about your online blog and unpaid submissions to article directories on the internet.

Most editors are tired and overworked and bored. If you have the charisma and confidence to pitch your idea over the phone then go for it but be in touch by writing first so they have the faintest idea who you are. Don t be a pest but by making personal contact the chances are they ll take a better look at the material you send them.

And when you do send material by post make sure it s presented well: a short covering letter, clips and story idea on separate pages, all with headers that with your name on it. Check for spelling and typos and generally make life as easy as possible on the person reading it don t print everything out in pink font, for instance, in an effort to be cute.

Established travel writers get kill fees if their stories are commissioned and not printed. But to begin with you ll need to send your stories through in full and hope. If they re rejected you can add them to your portfolio for material to submit elsewhere.

The main thing is not to get preoccupied on how much money you re making but just to get into print so that you can build references and contacts. Media is all about who you know build a friendship with an editor over many years and good things can only come your way.


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Cheapest Destinations for Summer Vacation Flights #become #a #travel #agent

#travel cheap flights

Cheapest Destinations for Summer Vacation Flights

Maybe this is your year for Europe or Fiji or an African safari. If so, have fun, and here s how to find the cheapest flights to these far-flung destinations. But if you re on a budget and planning to stay in the U.S. we ve got you covered there, too.

Listen as Rick Seaney tells us what s hot, what s not:

Finding Cheap Destinations

We ve got a lot of ideas for cheap summertime destinations, but prices will vary depending on where you re flying from. First suggestion: check out What to Pay for Summer Vacation Flights . Then, see our ideas for cheap destinations below. Click on the city name to find the cheapest flights.

Cheap Cities: Western U.S.

Los Angeles Always a relative bargain and significantly cheaper than San Francisco (though there are usually great deals between the two cities).

Phoenix If you don t mind sizzling temperatures, airfare to this city can be a real bargain. Tip: After a round of golf on a hot course, treat yourself to a refreshing spa session.

Seattle Air travel expert Rick Seaney says this vibrant Northwest city has the cheapest fares he s seen in three or four years.

Cheap Cities: Central U.S.

Austin . San Antonio More airlines are focusing on these fun Texas cities which means cheaper airfares for you.

New Orleans  It will be humid, but it will also be entertaining and very often a nice, cheap getaway.

Cheap Cities: Eastern U.S.

Boston Increased competition to this historic city makes it a good deal year-round and summer is no exception.

Miami and Ft. Lauderdale These airports are just 26 miles apart and vie with one another to offer the cheapest prices. Note: June 1 marks the start of the Atlantic hurricane season which gives some travelers pause, but can mean even cheaper airfares.

New York Airfare whiz Rick Seaney says prices to the Big Apple are improving and look for weekend hotel deals there, too.

Washington, D.C. Dulles, Reagan and nearby Baltimore airports create an enviable competitive environment that ensure passengers usually win.

Cheap Route: Cross-Country

Look for better deals this year on flights between Los Angeles and New York. Keep your eyes open for the rare $99 one-way deal, but such unusual promotions are more likely in late summer if not the fall.

How to Find the Cheapest Flights

Here are three sure-fire ways to find the cheapest flights every time you shop.

Compare prices: If you head to a single airline s website, you could miss out on some amazing deals. Compare prices so you don t miss out on any cheap flights.

Shop Tuesdays: For the past several years, the best day to shop for airfare has been Tuesday at about 3 p.m. eastern time. That is still the case.

Fly less popular days: The cheapest days to fly are typically Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Even if you can t work out a departure and a return on those days, flying one of them will still save you money.

Also try the following:

Connecting flights: By dispensing with the convenience of a non-stop flight, you could save anywhere from 20% to 60% on airfare.

Using a carry-on bag: Fees for checked bags usually add up to $50 round-trip. Only JetBlue and Southwest offer free checked bags. Note: Spirit charges for all bags, and Frontier will soon institute a carry-on fee for some customers.


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Travelzoo Picks Best Travel Deal Destinations for 2015 #travel #web

#cheapest travel deals

Travelzoo Picks Best Travel Deal Destinations for 2015

Nov 03, 2014 | Updated Jan 03, 2015

Travelzoo A global Internet media company and trusted publisher of travel, entertainment and local deals

Travelzoo Deal Experts have combed the world over looking for destinations where U.S. travelers will get the biggest bang for their buck in 2015. We present the Wow Deal Destinations for 2015 . Brazil, Puerto Rico, Texas Hill Country, Cruising Asia and Dubai — based on travel trends, national events and our “deal expert” hunch.

Where will you vacation in 2015?

Travelzoo Picks 2015 Travel Deal Destinations

1. Brazil. Visit this South America hot spot during its “gap year” — between 2014’s FIFA World Cup and the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics. More than 111,000 soccer-loving Americans visited Brazil this past summer. To accommodate the influx of sporting tourism, the country plans to open more than 400 new hotels by 2016. The airlines aren’t far behind either, with carriers such as American Airlines adding new nonstop routes to its schedule. Wholesalers are quickly upping inventory as well with vacation deals saving up to $1000.

2. Puerto Rico. No U.S. passport required: enough said, right? Also, it’s never been easier to get to Puerto Rico as major airlines (JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines) launched new and/or increased services this past year. Combine that with the fact this Caribbean island is looking to add more than 5,000 hotel rooms by 2017, and you’ve set yourself up to grab deals that are up to 50% off.

3. Texas Hill Country. Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the deals. From San Antonio to Austin and the surrounding Hill Country, we found hotel deals aplenty, from $129 per night at 4-star resorts. With nearly a half-dozen new hotels opening in 2015, there’s plenty of places for every budget from boutique properties to sprawling, luxury resorts. Texas Hill Country is easy to navigate, just a three- to four-hour drive for Dallas and Houston residents. Flights are a breeze with two airports, Austin and San Antonio, serviced by low-cost carriers Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Allegiant Airlines and Southwest Airlines.

4. Cruising Asia. Cruise lines are expanding their fleets in Asia with new ship introductions and itinerary plans. Royal Caribbean International plans to move their newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, to the Shanghai port; this large ocean liner allows for 4,190 more passengers to experience Asia by sea. Oceania Cruises alone has announced 12 new destinations for the upcoming 2015-’16 schedule focusing on longer, destination-intensive sailings to the likes of Jeju, South Korea, and Boracay Island, Philippines. As the itineraries multiply, so do the deals. Choose from large ocean liners or small, luxury ships with roundtrip air included.

5. Duba i: With 71 million annual passengers stepping foot in Dubai’s two airports, the city has positioned itself as a major player in global tourism. Travelers who visit now can take advantage of a building boom and early-bird deals ahead of the World Expo in 2020. A destination unto itself, Dubai is also a simple addition to international travel plans with direct flights from major cities including London and Bangkok. To ease the potential complexities of booking a trip we’ve secured vacation packages starting at $1999.

— Blaire Constantinou is a producer at Travelzoo based in Los Angeles. Travelzoo has 250 deal experts from around the world who rigorously research, evaluate and test thousands of deals to find those with true value.


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4 Steps for Creating the Perfect Travel Itinerary Template – TripIt

#travel itinerary template

2. Organize the Essentials

Next add your essential travel information to your itinerary, which includes the following:

  • Airline tickets
  • Hotel reservations
  • Rental car confirmations
  • Restaurant reservations

3. Add In Your Activities

Now that you have your inspiration board populated full of ideas and all of your essential travel information locked and loaded in TripIt, it’s time to add some activities to your travel itinerary. Viator is great for finding tours, sightseeing adventures, shows, excursions and more. Trover is another great resource to discover off-the-beaten-path gems and can’t-miss sights. Forward any tour confirmations to TripIt, or, for any activities or stops without confirmation emails, you can simply add it in yourself.

4. Leave Time for Exploration

Pretty simple, right? Creating an itinerary doesn’t have to be a painstaking process, and now that you’ve done one, you can follow it for each trip you take.


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5 Best Websites for Booking Caribbean Travel Deals Reviews #best #airfare

#travel websites best

Caribbean Travel Deals”> Best. Websites. Ever.

Caribbean Travel Deals


Arranging a trip to the Caribbean online? There are lots of general travel websites—Travelocity. Expedia and Funjet Vacations among them—that cover the Caribbean along with the rest of the planet. But many of the best deals, and much of the most useful planning information, are found on websites that specialize in the Caribbean. Here are our countdown review of the five best:

#5 Caribbean Way

Caribbean Way lists private homes and multi-bedroom villas available for rent. Think of it as a combination of VRBO and BedandBreakfast.com. but focused exclusively on luxury properties. Along with your rental your get access to a concierge who can cook for you, pre-stock your villa, pick you up at the airport or arrange for tours and activities.

Don t miss: The selection of private islands. Note that if you rent Necker Island you are required to invite the Spot Cool Stuff staff to come along.

Caribbean Travel Deals” alt=”travel websites Best. Websites. Ever.

Caribbean Travel Deals” />

#4 Cruise Direct

You can use Cruise Direct to book cruises all over the world, but the site has an especially large selection of Caribbean sailings. In addition to offering discount prices and not charging a booking fee, every reservation comes with a bonus—an on-board credit or extra discount or the like.

Don t miss: The cabin and deck floor plans.

Caribbean Travel Deals” alt=”travel websites Best. Websites. Ever.

Caribbean Travel Deals” />

Caribbean Travel Deals” alt=”travel websites Best. Websites. Ever.

Caribbean Travel Deals” alt=”travel websites Best. Websites. Ever.

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#3 Island Routes

Booking websites are usually about arranging the logistics of travel. But actual travel—the reason why you go and what you ll remember long after you get back is—is about getting to know your destination and having fun while there. That s why we love Island Routes . The website finds cool activities in seven Caribbean countries and then offers them at discount prices. Swim with the Dolphins in Jamaica. embark on a seaside scavenger hunt around Turks Caicos or dive in a submarine off Barbados. (Yes, the sub does have windows.) The activity options on Island Routes are almost universally interesting and less expensive when booked on the website than in-person at your destination.

Caribbean Travel Deals” alt=”travel websites Best. Websites. Ever.

#2 Sandals Beaches

Sandals and Beaches are each a group of Caribbean resorts owned by the same company. Sandals is for adults only. Beaches is for families with children. Both claim to be luxury included. That is, not only is food and lodging included in your rate but also drinks, activities and airport transportation.

Caribbean Travel Deals” title=”Best Websites for Booking Caribbean Travel Deals: Sandals and Beaches All-Inclusive Resorts” width=”310″ height=”375″ class=”alignright size-full wp-image-1922″ /> Spot Cool Stuff was dubious (to say the least) of the luxury included claim until we went and inspect several Beaches and Sandals properties for ourselves. They really do make it possible to enjoy a luxurious beach vacation without ever pulling out your wallet. Not only is food included but outstanding gourmet food. Lobster, anyone? Drinks are top shelf brands. Unlimited golfing is included on quality, professional courses. Unlimited scuba is included too. So are concerts, water sports (motorized and not) and excursions to private islands. So are all tips and taxes (which are not insubstantial in most Caribbean countries). For a chill, easy, romantic luxury vacation, there s no easier and higher-quality way.

Don t miss: The deals! A stay at a Sandals or Beaches resort is a high-end experience and comes with a correspondingly high-end price. But both brands—especially Sandals—seem to always have special offers, many of which can be combined. Deals include discounts, free nights and/or airfare credits. At the time of writing, Sandals was offering a Companion Flies Free promotion on their US/international website and 35% off plus upgrade promotions on their UK/Europe site.

Caribbean Travel Deals” alt=”travel websites Best. Websites. Ever.

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Caribbean Travel Deals” alt=”travel websites Best. Websites. Ever.

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Caribbean Travel Deals” alt=”travel websites Best. Websites. Ever.

Caribbean Travel Deals” />

#1 Cheap Caribbean

Caribbean Travel Deals” title=”Best Website Award by Spot Cool Stuff” width=”260″ height=”216″ class=”alignright size-full wp-image-2001″ /> Cheap Caribbean is the single best website for finding Caribbean travel deals. Even if you don t plan to book your trip online, the website is well worth a visit for the resort reviews and destination information. But it is the discounted prices on hotels, cruises, vacation packages and all-inclusive resorts that will keep you coming back to the site. All their prices are guaranteed to be the lowest publicly available—find a better one and Cheap Caribbean will match it plus give you a $150 credit.

If your travel plans are flexible, definitely check out Cheap Caribbean s hot deals page. If it s your first time booking on the site don t forget to claim your $50 newbie booking bonus .

published: 27 March 2012

Caribbean Travel Deals” alt=”travel websites Best. Websites. Ever.

Caribbean Travel Deals” />

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Caribbean Travel Deals” />Caribbean Travel Deals” alt=”travel websites Best. Websites. Ever.

Caribbean Travel Deals” />Caribbean Travel Deals” alt=”travel websites Best. Websites. Ever.

Caribbean Travel Deals” />Caribbean Travel Deals” alt=”travel websites Best. Websites. Ever.

Caribbean Travel Deals” />Caribbean Travel Deals” alt=”travel websites Best. Websites. Ever.

Caribbean Travel Deals” />Caribbean Travel Deals” alt=”travel websites Best. Websites. Ever.

Caribbean Travel Deals” />Caribbean Travel Deals” alt=”travel websites Best. Websites. Ever.

Caribbean Travel Deals” />Caribbean Travel Deals” alt=”travel websites Best. Websites. Ever.

Caribbean Travel Deals” />Caribbean Travel Deals” alt=”travel websites Best. Websites. Ever.

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Caribbean Travel Deals” alt=”travel websites Best. Websites. Ever.

Caribbean Travel Deals” />


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10 Japanese Travel Tips for Visiting America #flight #hotel #car

#travel to japan

With the help of Google Translate (and an ability to interpret completely random sentence structure), an American can find out what kind of advice the Japanese give to their own countrymen on how to handle the peculiarities of American culture. Here are some things to look out for if you are visiting America from Japan.

1. There is a thing called “Dinner Plates.” And what goes on them is a mighty disappointment.

In Japan, each person eating gets as many individual dishes as needed for the meal. Sometimes more than 10 dishes per person are used. In America, there is a method where a large bowl or dish is placed in the middle of the table, and you take as much as you like from there, and put it on a big dish said to be a “dinner plate.”

In Japan, meals at home are for eating, because your stomach is vacant. At an American’s dinner, there is food, decorations on the table and tableware, and music to produce a fun atmosphere. It is a time for maintaining rich human relationships. Therefore, the meal is as long as 40 minutes. In addition, often the decorative tableware has been handed down mother to daughter, two generations, three generations. In addition, there are even more valuable dishes used for Christmas and Thanksgiving.

American food is flat to the taste, indifferent in the subtle difference of taste. There is no such thing there as a little “secret ingredient.” Sugar, salt, pepper, oils, and routine spices are used for family meals. There is no such thing as purely U.S. cuisine, except the hamburger, which isn’t made at home so much. There is almost nothing special to eat based on the different seasons of the year. Basically, they like sweet, high fat, high calories things.

2. Beware Rough Areas Where the Clothes Demand Attention

In Japan, hip hop clothes are considered stylish. But in the United States, it is wise to avoid them, as you might be mistaken for a member of a street gang.

The entire United States does not have good security, unfortunately. However, the difference between a place with good regional security and a “rough area” is clear. People walk less, there is a lot of graffiti, windows and doors are strictly fitted with bars. And young people are dressed in hip hop clothes that say “I want you to pay attention to me!”

3. But You’ll be Pleasantly Surprised by American Traffic Patterns.

Manners with cars in America are really damn good. Japanese people should be embarrassed when they look at how good car manners are in America. You must wait whenever you cross an intersection for the traffic light. People don’t get pushy to go first. Except for some people, everyone keeps exactly to the speed limit. America is a car society, but their damn good manners are not limited to cars.

4. Nobody is impressed by how much you can drink. In fact, shame on you.

In the U.S. they do not have a sense of superiority if they are able to drink a large amount. Rather, if you drink a lot, there is a sense that you cannot manage yourself. There is something close to contempt toward someone who must drink a lot to be drunk. To drink alcohol habitually is to have alcoholism. Alcoholics are weak people mentally, to be one means you have spanned the label of social outcasts that can’t self-manage.

Non-smokers are more important than smokers in the US. Smokers capture the concept that they are not able to control themselves, and are the owners of weak character.

5. They Have Free Time All Week Long!

In America, whether you are a student, working person, or housewife, you carefully make room for leisure time, weekdays and weekends. Most people are ensured free time, always. During the week they use it for walking, jogging, bicycling, tennis, racquetball, bowling, watching movies, reading, and volunteering. On the weekend, they enjoy even more freedom, and take liberal arts courses and have sporting leisures.

In Japan we believe that there is no free time during the weekday. Only the weekend. We spend the weekend watching TV, hanging around home, working, studying, and shopping, or listening to music.

6. Knowing how to use sarcasm is a must to communicate with an American.

If you put your bent middle and index fingers of both hands in the air, you are making finger quotation marks. It means you do not believe what you are saying. You can also say, “or so called.”

7. They tend to horse laugh, even the women. It’s how they show they’re honest.

In Japan, when a woman laughs, she places her hand so it does not show her mouth. It is disgraceful to laugh by loudly opening the mouth. Adult males do not laugh much. There is the saying, “Man, do not laugh so much that you show your teeth.”

In America, when men or women laugh, they do not turn away. They face front, open the mouth, and laugh in a loud voice. This is because in America if you muffle your laugh or turn away while laughing, you give the impression that you are talking about a secret or name-calling. It is nasty.

8. You won’t be getting your groceries anytime soon, so checkout lines are a great place to make friends.

Cashiers are slow. Abysmally slow compared to Japan. I get frustrated when I’m in a hurry. Americans wait leisurely even if you’re in the special checkout for buying just a little something. I thought Americans were going to be quite impatient, but in reality they are extremely laid back. I thought about what I should do with my time while waiting in the grocery matrix, and began to speak at length with other guests.

9. Their vending machines are ridiculously limited and dishonest.

Vending machines in the United States just give carbonated beverages. Coke particularly. If you try to buy the juice from a vending machine when you’re thirsty, it’s just all carbonate. I pressed the button and thought it would be a nice orange juice, but carbonate came out. I love carbonated, but there are times when it will make you sick indeed.

In Japan, there is great fear of failure and mistakes in front of other people. It is better to do nothing and avoid being criticized than to taste the humiliation of failure. As a result, there are things we wanted to do, but did not, and often regret.

In America, you can make mistakes, fail, and it doesn’t matter. It is a fundamental feeling that to sometimes be incorrect is natural. In addition, rather than thinking about mistakes and failures, American’s have curiosity and say, “Let’s try anyway!”


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7 Best Rental Cars For Summer Vacation #online #travel #agents

#best deals on rental cars

7 best rental cars for summer vacation

Renting a car for a summer trip

Whether you don’t want to put a lot of miles on your family car or are flying and need transportation when you arrive, renting a car makes sense. In the spirit of family getaways as a warm-weather tradition, Bankrate assembled the seven best rental cars for summer vacation.

Because daily rental costs vary wildly based on the rental company, location and season of the year, rental rates didn’t factor into the picks. Bankrate advises shopping around among rental companies for the best deal. Each pick, though, received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest crash-test score of “good” in crash tests. All are also an IIHS “top safety pick.”

Comfort is a key requirement for any vacation vehicle. Each of these picks earned a rating of “good” or better from the testers at Consumer Reports for ride quality and interior noise, as well as front-seat and rear-seat comfort.

Finally, Bankrate considered fuel economy as estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency. All provide very good mileage for their size. The EPA-estimated miles per gallon are based on 2013 models with automatic transmissions.

Rental car companies have their own methods for defining compact, midsize or large. Sometimes, this involves making customers think they are getting more car than they are. Bankrate used EPA classifications. Bankrate also included at least one rental company offering each car.


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9 Helpful Tips For Traveling Europe Alone As A 20-Something Female

#traveling europe

9 Helpful Tips For Traveling Europe Alone As A 20-Something Female

This summer I packed up a Rick Steves backpack, got on a plane and traveled Europe by myself. When I left, my dad was terrified and most of my friends thought I was crazy. BUT traveling alone was the best thing I’ve ever done and through trial/error/hangovers, I learned a lot.  Here are some tips for making your solo European trip as fun, safe, awesome and as cheap as possible:

Shalom Alechem

1. Realize what’s important in a hostel

One of the reasons why traveling alone is the best is that you get to make new friends nearly every day. However, a key factor of this is choosing what hostels to stay in. You might think you’ve scored big time when you book a fancy hostel (complete with bar! food! pool!) for cheap, but I would recommend being weary of such accommodations. When hostels feel like hotels, travelers tend to be less social. What’s actually important? Kitchen, atmosphere (somewhere in between chill and party) and communal lounge areas. Major bonus if you snag free breakfast.

2. Find friends at your hostel that you can trust

The least sketchy way to start out an evening is going out with people you at least slightly know. Now that being said, you can still barely know them. For example, in Scotland I went outside out of boredom and ended up tagging along with some fellow travelers and it turned out to be a great night. But knowing they had my back (to an extent at least) allowed me to enjoy getting reasonably drunk. Example number two, while out with a large group from my hostel in Paris, I got SMASHED (believe me, the caps is justified), but because I was with a great group of people, and a really nice Australian (thanks Michael), I didn’t get robbed and/or taken advantage of.

3. Come up with an Alias

There are most definitely going to be creepers, because although in the states getting a man is about as easy as performing a root canal, in Europe they’re everywhere. Sadly, not all that attention will be welcomed. Therefore, you must have an alias most importantly a last name, so they won’t know anything too personal about you.

Go with something realistic (a.k.a most of them won’t be stupid enough to believe your name is McLovin), also pick something that’s not already taken (they also won’t believe your name is Angelina Jolie). Get to know your alias so it sounds natural when you respond to their questions. Give this alias a fake city as well, preferably one you know something about. My name in Europe was Christine Benson (common last name) and I hailed from San Francisco (I have been there enough to be able to convincingly lie straight to peoples face).

4. Learn how to avoid creeps without actually saying no

The last thing you want to do is piss off the drunk Scotsman at the bar. So instead of saying “fuck off” like you want to, try to be a little more discreet. Since you probably don’t have cellular phone capabilities, expect them to ask for your name so they can stalk you on Facebook. Creepy, right? Good thing there’s a trick! Use this line: “my name is really common, let me get yours.” Say this even if your name is the most unique name on the planet (besides, your alias should be common). This way, you’re not saying no, but they also won’t be stalking your profile pictures/sending you messages in which they are overly interested in your whereabouts.

 5. Pack lightly

Everyone will tell you this and you will ha-ha at them and say, “duh, I already know that”. But really, PACK LIGHT. Bring clothes you love so much you want to sleep with them, and then wear them over and over again (also helpful because there will probably be a lot of nights when you’re too drunk to take off said clothes before passing out). I thought I packed light, but still had to ship back an 80 Euro package to make my bag fit within the Nazi like limitations of RyanAir.

6. Bring your student ID

Nobody told me this! Nobody! To my friends who’ve been to Europe I ask: what kind of friends are you. Bring your student ID even if you don’t remember the last time you cracked open a book. It can get you cheaper drinks, free museum admission and pretty much everything at a discounted price.

7. Find a grocery store

Unless you want to sit alone in your hostel and cry, you are going to have to spend some money. However, in some aspects you will have control over the amount of money you spend. Food is one of these. I would suggest finding your nearest grocery store and getting real familiar with tortellini (cheap, delicious, protein filled) Spend your food money where it counts: scotch in Scotland, a nice dinner in Paris, authentic pasta in Italy, Tapas in Barcelona, etc. The rest of the time, eat all the baguettes you can find.

8. Have flexibility to leave/stay

Saying this is going to make me sound like an ungrateful, uncultured snob, but I hated Rome. The second I stepped out of termini station (and was greeted by a vomiting homeless man) I had a bad feeling about the place, and after the first night I was ready to leave. But I still had three more full days before I departed for Barcelona. I wish I’d had more flexibility to move around as I pleased instead of being at the whim of an airline. You do have to be careful of prices rising the longer you wait (BUY A CHUNNEL TICKET ASAP IF YOU’RE GOING FROM LONDON TO PARIS), but sometimes moving on with your journey, or staying where makes you happiest, is worth the extra cost.

9. Dress/act like yourself

You are going to constantly be putting yourself out there, meeting new people, asking for directions in a language you don’t speak, going into fancy museums. My best advice for dealing with any un-comfortableness associated with these things: be yourself. Not only will this make you feel more at ease, but it will also help you attract the kind of people you actually want to hang out with.


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10 Sites For The Best Airfare Deals #find #cheap #airline #tickets

#cheap airline prices

Score the Best Flight Deals on These 10 Sites

By Dani Fankhauser 2013-04-30 14:03:53 UTC

There’s not much that can evoke thoughts of both work and play like buying airfare. You’re either trying to find a last-minute ticket to make it in time for a meeting, or hoping to get to a remote island as cheaply as possible.

Some trips are regular, essential and planned far in advance, like visiting the family for Christmas; while other trips — spending time with that long-distance significant other — are flexible on dates, but can break your wallet if not purchased strategically.

For whatever your airfare needs may be, there is a growing corral of consumer portals for searching available flights and getting deals. Some make the experience less stress-inducing; others make it feel like a game. Search giants Google and Bing are both on the scene amongst scrappy startups with pithy names. No matter where you’re going, the best flight at the best price is at your fingertips.

What site do you use to find the perfect flight price? Let us know in the comments.

1. GetGoing

You might have used Hotwire to book a room at a mystery hotel in your destination, but now GetGoing raises the stakes and applies the psychology to flights — except this time, you pick not one but two locations. The service boasts 40% discounts on airfare and is designed for cost-conscious travelers who are flexible with their destination — worth a shot for your next island escape or ski trip.

2. Flightfox

Did you dream of becoming a travel agent when you grew up, only to find the algorithms had taken over? Fear not; there are some problems that only human curators can solve. Flightfox allows you to post your more complex travel plans and other Flightfox users will compete to track down the cheapest or best route. You’ll pay an upfront fee of $24 (or more, depending on the challenge) and the winning user will take home 75%. If you’ve ever felt like there was a secret to finding good travel deals — there probably is, but Flightfox will connect you with the people in the know.

3. FlyinAway

We usually assume flights are priced by supply and demand but sometimes it seems there’s a complex coefficient in there somewhere. FlyinAway is a new site that puts pricing directly into the hands of the traveler — and the other travelers interested in the same flight. That’s right, you’ll have to outbid other travelers to get a deal; however, things are complicated as the auction will not open unless enough users have expressed interest in that route (a la Groupon’s group buying).

4. Hipmunk

Hipmunk animation video via Flickr, brownpau

The Y-Combinator darling from Reddit’s Steve Huffman (with a cuddly mascot you wish you could take with you on the plane) popularized the idea of searching for flights by “agony,” to optimize your flight for price, length and layovers. The site design is among the best, and along with hotel search, Hipmunk recently added flight deal alerts and the ability to track an airfare by email (if you’re up to holding out on your purchase to see if the price drops).

5. Geneo

A mobile app brought to you by the makers of CheapOair, Geneo is a mobile-only experience perfect for someone who frequently needs to book flights on-the-go. The iOS app will keep track of your search history and home airport.

6. Momondo

A colorful site that sticks to the basics, Momondo actually crawls or scrapes airfare sites rather than plugging into a third party aggregator. It’s possible the site will recommend a different airline for your trip out and back, but if this turns out to be cheaper, why not? Many people mix and match airlines themselves and Momondo does the work for you. There’s also a handy calendar so if pushing your trip back a day will save you some dough, you can easily navigate to it.

7. Bing Travel

Bing is a step into the future — literally. What makes the site stand out is one simple line, Bing’s “tip,” which will tell you to buy or to wait. For example, on a search today for a flight from New York to San Diego, Bing says fares will rise $50 or more and has 80% confidence. You can also filter by airline, specific airports, duration and “flight quality” — to avoid red eyes, for example.

8. Google Flights

Google bought flight software ITA (used by other consumer searches including Hipmunk) and the result of the purchase is Google’s own flight search. The site works best on domestic flights in the U.S. (although it services some international flights, it doesn’t include all airlines in the search results). A map view allows you to drag and drop your route to another location to see the price changes, while a bar graph view visualizes how fares change over time (changing trip duration by a day or two can cut down on cost as well).

9. Yapta

If you’re a big shopper you know how frustrating it is when something you just bought goes on sale — unless you’re lucky enough that the store will give you a refund equal to the discount. Yapta wants to do the same for your airfares, depending on each airline’s policy. If it’s possible to get some money back, Yapta will tell you.

10. Adioso

Also accelerated in Y Combinator. Adioso similarly is built for cost-conscious travelers with a flexible itinerary. What stands out is the search function, which behaves a little more like your brain — an example search might be “New York to Southeast Asia in mid-July for 10 days.” Your results will give you a good idea of where you can get and for how cheap — and if nothing meets your requirements, you can set up email alerts to see if the price drops. If your goal is to go somewhere cool, rather than stick to a specific vacation plan, you might have some luck with a deal via Adioso.


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13 Secrets for Finding Cheaper Airfare – US News #tickets #travel

#cheap airline travel

13 Secrets for Finding Cheaper Airfare

The cheapest flights are 3 p.m. on Tuesdays. Can’t make that? Try these insider booking tips.

With the holiday travel season just around the corner, you’re probably wondering how you can get in on a good deal. After all, airfare is undoubtedly one of the most expensive components of any domestic or international travel plan, and prices can vary wildly at times – from manageable to downright cost-prohibitive. The good news is, there are still a few secrets left when it comes to finding airfare you can afford. And, even better, the hassle of searching might be less labor intensive than you ever realized.

If you’re searching for airfare you can truly afford, try these simple tips before pulling the trigger:

Book 49 days in advance. CheapAir.com combed through data on over 11,000 domestic flights to discover the optimum number of days in advance you should book airfare. According to the numbers, the sweet spot for most airfare is around 49 days, or seven weeks, in advance.

Book further out around the holidays. The same CheapAir.com study from last year showed that the optimum booking time was slightly earlier for peak travel times. For example, the cheapest flights around Thanksgiving were booked 96 days, or 14 weeks, in advance.

Fly on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. According to FareCompare.com, the cheapest days to fly in the U.S. are the days less popular with consumers. And apparently, those days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Avoid popular flying days. The concept of supply and demand applies to many things, including airfare. That’s why flying on popular flying days, such as Friday or Sunday, will set you back more. If you want to save, avoid these days and opt for the less popular travel days instead.

Consider flying very early … or very late. Most people don’t want to fly at the crack of dawn or past their bedtime. Because of this, early and late flights are typically far cheaper than flights during normal business hours.

Book your flight on a Tuesday. FareCompare.com reports that the cheapest flights are typically at 3 p.m. on Tuesdays. Even if you don’t book your flight then, it never hurts to look.

Book two one-way flights. Round-trip flights are typically cheaper to book, but that isn’t always the case. Before you sign up for a round-trip flight, price out options for two one-way bookings and consider two different airlines. It might be cheaper that way, and you’ll never know unless you compare.

Accept a layover. Nonstop flights are typically the most convenient – and therefore the most expensive. Instead of choosing the easy option, look for flights with at least one layover. Chances are, this little inconvenience will add up to big savings.

Take advantage of the Internet. The Internet is a treasure trove of information if you’re looking for ways to save on airfare. For starters, use a fare comparing search engine like Kayak.com, or even Google’s Flight Search. Shop around online until you find the best deal.

Follow airlines on social media. Before committing yourself to a certain flight at a specific price, follow your favorite airlines on social media and sign up for their mailing lists. Doing so could mean hearing about insider deals and saving even more.

Sign up for a co-branded rewards credit card. Many airlines offer a co-branded credit card that can help you earn airline miles, free checked baggage and more. They may also offer a hefty sign-up bonus just for signing up and spending a certain amount of money within a specific time frame.

Join frequent flier programs. In addition to getting an airline rewards credit card, you can sign up for that airline’s frequent flier program. This can help you earn free miles for airfare you’re purchasing anyway.

Travel to a different airport. Airfare at airports within 100 miles of each other can vary drastically, making it increasingly important to consider airfare to and from different cities and towns. The cost of driving to an airport an hour away could end up being far less than the difference in your airline ticket.

Trying one of these tips could lead to hundreds of dollars in savings. but applying all of them could mean saving even more. So start searching online for deals, and consider traveling during off-peak times and from airports within 100 miles of your home. And don’t forget to sign up for offers from your favorite airlines; you never know when the perfect deal could come along.

And no matter what, don’t give up. The ideal airfare is out there somewhere – all you have to do is find it.


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Working for a Holiday Travel Company – Working Abroad Magazine #southall

#travel rep

Working for a Holiday Travel Company

The best way to prepare for life as a holiday rep is to have some idea of their workplace which is why many reps have holidayed with their employers before as tourists.

Jack Kimber works as a Youth Rep for 2wentys in the Crete resort of Malia he was inspired to apply for the job after going on holiday with them. He said: I applied for a job when I got home I have always wanted to work abroad and I love partying. 2wenty s application process is quite simple: after applying, Jack attended an interview and had a weeks training before flying out to his resort at the start of the summer season.

Travel and Holiday Rep Jobs Abroad

He loves his job, and is quick to sing its praises: It s the best job in the world a once in a lifetime opportunity! I spend my days looking after the young people who come on our holidays and organising excursions, and it s very social as you spend all day and night with the guests.

Daily flexibility is vital: it is not unusual to stay up until 5am seeing customers safely on their plane home, only to be needed at 10.30am welcome meetings for new guests. This grueling schedule makes days off a chance to relax. Jack said: We can get very tired sometimes, so spend most of our time off sleeping or chilling out, but with one and a half days off a week we could do sightseeing.

The unique demands of catering for adults under 30 make the role of Youth Rep both rewarding and challenging: The best bit is getting to meet loads of new people and entertaining all the guests. The worst parts are the long hours, late night airport pick-ups and drop-offs and being really tired.

Luckily, staff perks compensate the low basic wage : free accommodation and transport, as well as the opportunities for good bonuses and commission.

But the social side of the job does not only apply to the resort reps and guests can keep in touch after a season ends via the social networking site 2wentysworld.co.uk, reliving the good times, organising reunions and planning out next year s holidays. Youth Rep is rarely a job for life and most reps see it as casual employment, but it is possible forge a career with the company if you are determined.

Outdoorsy types might prefer campsites to hotels. Jim Rideout joined Canvas Holidays as a Camp Courier in 2005 after hearing about vacancies during his holiday. The role is similar to a holiday rep as your main concern is customer care, such as meeting and greeting, visiting them regularly, providing local area information and reception duties. You are also responsible for cleaning accommodation between customers and basic maintenance and administrative work on the site. The camping season runs from March to October and Canvas have sites in nine European countries including France, Italy, Holland and Sardinia.

At season bookends, teams of couriers are involved in montage – setting up campsites at the beginning of the season, and cleaning and preparing tents and mobile homes for the first customers. Demontage means getting the sites ready for winter by emptying and disassembling tents and storing equipment over the closed season.

Camp Couriers usually start at 9am, staffing reception for the first half an hour or start cleaning straightaway.  Cleaning can last up to five hours depending on how many customers arrive. If you are on arrivals duty you must meet and greet customers between 4pm and 8pm, and in the evening you visit customers to see if they need anything. Night shifts are occasionally necessary but this does not involve staying up all hours just being the first point of contact for any customer in trouble.

Canvas employs workers of all ages for a minimum of six weeks, and Camp Couriers can work alone or in pairs, making it ideal for a couple who want to work abroad together. Jim said: My wife and I intended applying after retiring but we decided I should try it on my own first. I wouldn t have missed my two seasons for anything it was an experience never to be forgotten.

Wannabe Camp Couriers can contact Canvas through their website www.canvasholidays.co.uk/about-us/recruitment-873-0.aspx/ and successful applicants are invited to a group interview. You must be over 18, with a UK bank account and national insurance number. Any previous customer service or travel industry experience is useful and language skills are definitely a bonus. Accommodation (a tent or mobile home), equipment, gas and electricity are all provided so your wages only need to pay for food and leisure. You get one day off per week plus an extra day off each month, so there is plenty of time to explore the surrounding countryside.

Jim said: The best things are making new friends, meeting and getting to know customers, being abroad and learning a new language, or improving existing language skills. If you enjoy cleaning there s plenty of opportunity for fulfillment!

The downsides are coping with customer complaints outside your control and the European heat!

Again, the roles are seasonal and some people return every year, working the winter ski season in between. Jim, who now works in Site Operations for Canvas, said: People do make a career of it and Canvas Holidays is always happy to promote people who make the grade within the company either to more senior courier positions (ultimately to Area Manager) or to head office.

Holiday reps are usually employed in short-haul package holiday resorts, but it is possible to work in long-haul destinations too. Kuoni specialises in exotic, luxurious and activity holidays and although most reps are employed locally, they have a small team of British Overseas Travel Reps too.

Because the resorts are long haul, potential reps need to be experienced at working alone and away from their families for a long time. Jemma Purvis, Kuoni s PR Assistant, said: At Kuoni we pride ourselves in customer service, and look for applicants that portray a professional image, whilst taking care of our clients needs. Resorts are often in remote locations and reps need to demonstrate the ability to think on their feet, respond to problems quickly and effectively. They will be required to make informed decisions based on their own initiative. Sales experience is beneficial, and someone that has lived away from home before is also desirable.

Kuoni recruits in January and February and reps are employed seasonally but tend to stay for several years so there is a low staff turnover. As a result, they accept CVs throughout the year and keep candidates on file for when a vacancy arises. The summer season lasts between four and six months depending on country and the winter season is split into two three-month blocks. Reps choose to work one of these blocks and have the other three months as holiday.

Overseas Travel Reps have similar tasks to all holiday reps they are the first point of contact for their customers. Meeting and greeting, welcome meetings, assisting with enquiries, airport duties and transfers, problem solving and checking bookings with agents and hoteliers are everyday responsibilities, as well as dealing with emergencies and crises as they happen.

You would be on call constantly with this job, but arrange your own time off around arrivals. As you would expect, accommodation is provided, but with Kuoni so is food, flights and visas! Reps attend a week long training course in the UK then two weeks training at their destination, as well as regular sessions throughout the season. Working for Kuoni is not suitable for inexperienced applicants, but seasoned reps who want to see the world could thrive on new challenges.

Jemma said: I would recommend the experience of being a representative overseas to anyone that enjoys being around people and wants to make a difference to our clients overall holiday experience. You will meet some wonderful people, visit some fantastic destinations, and really open your eyes to the world.

Using holiday rep work as a stepping-stone is a great way to build up contacts and experience for a long-term career. As it is easy to burn out after an exhausting few seasons, many reps move into less hectic roles. This does not mean returning to Britain for a desk job far from it. As we have seen, skilled reps are eligible for more demanding and responsible roles further afield. Resort management or PR roles abroad need experienced applicants to fill them, and a few seasons repping gives you an edge over others.

Alternatively, UK-based head office jobs are often filled by ex-reps who want a stable lifestyle, so the choice is yours. One thing is for certain in a role renowned for its long hours and repetitive schedules, no two days will be the same!

Recommended Holiday Companies


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What is the Right Travel Insurance for a Cruise? #amigo #travel

#cruise travel insurance

Insuring Your Cruise

Travel insurance is particularly important for cruisers, because cruising carries its own unique set of concerns that may not be shared by the average traveler. For example, because of the nature of cruising, the possibility of missing some leg of your trip — such as the ship’s departure from one of its ports — is somewhat higher than it is when you take a non-stop flight from Point A to Point B. Getting appropriate medical care in an emergency at sea is also a consideration that needs to be factored into making decisions about insuring a cruise. These, among many others, make a good case for at least investigating travel insurance when you plan to take a cruise.

However, it’s important to be cautious about where you get that insurance. Typically, it’s most advisable to buy travel insurance for your cruise from a third party source — not from the cruise line itself or from a booking site. These types of travel insurance policies tend to be fairly limited in their coverage, may not contain important benefits you need for your individual comfort and safety, and often are written in a way that is more likely to benefit the cruise line than it is to benefit you. When you decide on a trusted third-party source for your insurance, make sure to find out what type of coverage is available to you for the following concerns:

Medical Care

If you should unexpectedly fall ill or become injured while you’re on your cruise, you’ll need some sort of medical insurance coverage to offset the expense of the medical care you receive. Many cruisers don’t know that their home medical insurance provider may not cover any care they receive outside of their home country, or may cover only a portion of the costs. Those on Medicare should be particularly concerned with this type of benefit, as Medicare does not cover any kind of medical care outside of the United States.

Emergency Medical Evacuation

While rare, emergency medical evacuations are a very real possibility for cruisers. Whether the emergency is severe enough to require an air rescue from the ship, or whether it involves emergency transport from the nearest port of call to an on-shore medical facility, the costs can be prohibitive if not covered by insurance. Those who are particularly concerned about the possible quality of medical care in an unknown area of the world may want to consider looking into the optional Hospital of Choice benefit as well.

Baggage Loss or Baggage Delay

Between airlines, ships, and ports of call, there are plenty of opportunities for cruisers to misplace personal items — or for those personal items to be delayed or lost in transit, or worse, stolen during the course of the cruise. Making sure you have baggage loss coverage to help you recover the costs of replacing your lost items, or baggage delay coverage to help you get the necessities covered while you wait for your bags, can greatly decrease the stress of losing your belongings.

Identity Theft

Losing personal documents such as passports is certainly a possibility when on a cruise. Identity Theft protection is a unique service offered by some travel insurance companies, which can help guide you through the process of minimizing any possible damage to your credit or financial reputation, while also taking care of important communications and monitoring for you and helping you to replace your documents as quickly as possible.

Financial Default

One important benefit that third-party insurance policies offer is possible coverage for financial default. In other words, if your cruise line or another travel supplier related to your cruise goes bankrupt, financial default coverage would allow you to potentially recover the money paid to that travel supplier, as long as you weren’t able to make suitable alternate arrangements. However, financial default coverage is a time-sensitive benefit, so be sure to look into purchasing your travel insurance as soon after you make your first trip payment as possible.

Hurricanes and other Inclement Weather

Cruise ships are obviously especially vulnerable to the effects of hurricanes or other severe weather. While travel insurance will not offer you any coverage if your cruise goes off as scheduled, but misses a few ports of call or has to re-route entirely due to bad weather, it can cover you if the cruise is cancelled or cut short. There are also important travel insurance benefits available that are related to bad weather that occurs at your home, or which impacts any portion of your trip, including air travel.


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Website for travel agency #search #for #flights

#travel online


For over 10 years, Online Agency has served the travel industry online, providing websites and affordable web solutions for travel agencies and travel agents and giving travel suppliers the tools to reach agents and customers online. OLA sites feature:

Online Agency puts your travel business online. Your OLA website makes you the link between travelers and travel suppliers. We can put your travel business on the internet effectively, efficiently, and at an affordable price. Give your visitors content-rich websites complete with thousands of pages of travel information.


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Travelmedia Communications: Message, media and education for travel and tourism #search

#media travel

travelmedia communications

Partial Client List:

American Express

Asian Development Bank

Austrian National Tourist Office

California Division of Tourism

Cathay Pacific Airways

NEW: TRAVEL AND TOURISM: OPENING DOORS FOR YOUR FUTURE, our travel industry education program now available in an eBook student edition: FIND OUT ABOUT IT

Travelmedia offers an holistic approach to communications with a full palette of services for tourism offices, companies and international organizations in the travel and tourism and high tech industries. We draw upon 25 years experience in 58 countries and dozens of states and cities. Our clients include local CVBs, national tourism offices, cruise lines, airlines, trade associations, universities, world organizations such as the United Nations and the Asian Development Bank, and numerous high tech companies, including those involved in travel information and green energy and transportation.

Consumer and Business Communications has changed profoundly in recent years and while traditional public relations and media relations are effective, new forms can be even more so. Being active in both travel and high-tech industries, Travelmedia is at the forefront of game-changers such as viral and social media, direct-to-customer programs that bypass traditional media altogether, as well as distance education and advocacy.

Our Committment to the Future. We have worked for many years on programs and initiatives aimed at making travel and tourism a positive force for the preservation of cultures and environments, including those of UNDP, ADB and PATA. In addition, we have supported communications for alternative energy, electric transportation, and low power-consuming computers.


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401(k) Participants Turn to Pros For Help Managing Their Money #costa

#cheap flights with car rental

401(k) Participants Turn to Pros For Help Managing Their Money

You’re a computer engineer, or a nurse, or a graphic designer. Just keeping current in your own specialty is an effort. So what happens to your 401(k) retirement plan while you’re off doing what you do?

Does it just languish, forgotten, in some dusty corner of your mind? Are you, among millions of others, crossing your fingers and hoping your portfolio will provide?

Thanks to changes in the industry, investors now can get more help managing their 401(k) accounts. In the past, to prevent conflicts of interest, defined contribution plan providers could make only general asset class recommendations. But regulations now allow financial service companies to hire independent, third-party financial advisers like Ibbotson Associates to manage individual investors’ 401(k) accounts.

Those who choose professional help will find that the money in their portfolio will be allocated appropriately to funds in their existing plan, rebalanced regularly and adjusted over time to meet changing life circumstances. And these programs are catching on.

Ibbotson is the independent third-party advisor for 401(k) managed account programs run by AIG VALIC, Fidelity, Great-West Retirement Services, Merrill Lynch, the Principal Financial Group and TIAA-CREF. Although 401(k) managed accounts are only two years old, participation in such programs is increasing rapidly. Currently there is over $10 billion in 401(k) managed account programs, and that number is expected to reach $300 billion in 2010, according to industry research firm TowerGroup.

A major reason for the growth is that many employees don’t know how to manage their retirement plans. Human resources firm Hewitt Associates found that only 16 percent of 401(k) plan participants made any changes to their accounts in 2004. The study also found that, while some employees were not aggressive enough with their investments, others took on too much risk. For example, participants concentrated about 27 percent of their 401(k) assets in their company stock.


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Travel Medicine and Vaccination Centre – Travel Clinic – 18 travel

#travel centre

Travel Medicine and Vaccination Centre Travel Clinic

18 travel clinics in BC for your travel health vaccination needs. Staffed by travel medicine specialists. Competitive fees convenient travel clinic hours

Travel Health

We care about what happens on your trip. We are committed to providing business and pleasure travellers with the highest level of service and expertise.

The doctors and nurses who work in our travel clinics help travellers venturing to tropical and developing countries. Over the years, we’ve helped more than 200,000 British Columbians enjoy safe and healthy travel. Whether you are cruising foreign ports or trekking in the deepest backcountry, our individualized travel health services provide you with expert advice and guidance geared to your health status and travel itinerary.

TMVC’s travel health professionals:

  • Administer all recommended and required vaccines, including Yellow Fever.
  • Prescribe medications for Malaria, altitude sickness, and traveller’s diarrhea.
  • Provide the information you will need to travel safely, including how to protect yourself from insects and animals that carry diseases, avoid potentially unsanitary food and water, and handle injuries or medical emergencies.

We also provide travel health accessories including mosquito nets, insect repellents, first aid kits, and water purification products.

Workplace Health

Our workplace health solutions support healthy and productive workplaces in businesses across BC. We can provide your business with:

  • A full range of employee health vaccinations, including Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and seasonal flu
  • TB skin tests
  • Periodic and pre-placement medical examinations
  • Preventative health and wellness services

More and more businesses are doing business internationally, which means employees have to travel overseas. If your employees have to travel to developing or tropical regions, we can help them to stay healthy. Our corporate travel health services can often be delivered at your company premises and include:

  • Travel consultations.
  • Pre-travel medical examinations.
  • Pre-travel counselling services and immunizations.
  • Travel health and disease prevention seminars.
  • Vaccines and prescriptions.
  • Preparation for high altitude.
  • Medical kits and travel supplies.


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401(k) Participants Turn to Pros For Help Managing Their Money #germany

#cheap flight and hotel

401(k) Participants Turn to Pros For Help Managing Their Money

You’re a computer engineer, or a nurse, or a graphic designer. Just keeping current in your own specialty is an effort. So what happens to your 401(k) retirement plan while you’re off doing what you do?

Does it just languish, forgotten, in some dusty corner of your mind? Are you, among millions of others, crossing your fingers and hoping your portfolio will provide?

Thanks to changes in the industry, investors now can get more help managing their 401(k) accounts. In the past, to prevent conflicts of interest, defined contribution plan providers could make only general asset class recommendations. But regulations now allow financial service companies to hire independent, third-party financial advisers like Ibbotson Associates to manage individual investors’ 401(k) accounts.

Those who choose professional help will find that the money in their portfolio will be allocated appropriately to funds in their existing plan, rebalanced regularly and adjusted over time to meet changing life circumstances. And these programs are catching on.

Ibbotson is the independent third-party advisor for 401(k) managed account programs run by AIG VALIC, Fidelity, Great-West Retirement Services, Merrill Lynch, the Principal Financial Group and TIAA-CREF. Although 401(k) managed accounts are only two years old, participation in such programs is increasing rapidly. Currently there is over $10 billion in 401(k) managed account programs, and that number is expected to reach $300 billion in 2010, according to industry research firm TowerGroup.

A major reason for the growth is that many employees don’t know how to manage their retirement plans. Human resources firm Hewitt Associates found that only 16 percent of 401(k) plan participants made any changes to their accounts in 2004. The study also found that, while some employees were not aggressive enough with their investments, others took on too much risk. For example, participants concentrated about 27 percent of their 401(k) assets in their company stock.


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For the Cheapest Airfares, Don t Shop on Sundays #cheap #airline

#the cheapest flights

For the Cheapest Airfares, Don’t Shop on Sundays

It’s the age-old question that bedevils airline travelers: Is this a good fare? The Internet is rife with advice on when to buy and when to fly, a mix of maxims that frequently serves to confuse fare shoppers more than they enlighten: Buy on Tuesdays! Avoid Friday flights!

We have another. (You knew this was coming.) The latest fare study. by a Boston-area travel-tech startup called Hopper, found that Thursday is the cheapest day to purchase a ticket, with weekends the worst. The best fares were found for Wednesday departures, while returns were cheapest on Tuesday for domestic flights and on Wednesday for international trips. Friday was the most expensive day to fly home both domestically and abroad, likely because Friday and Sunday are two of the heaviest traffic days for airlines worldwide.


The results are based on fare data from January 2013 to this month, drawn from 11,000 markets with U.S. departures and at least 1,000 weekly searches through travel agents. The biggest difference in methodology was that Hopper looked at the days when airlines offered the most of their lowest fares on these routes, not just average fares.

Still, as airlines become ever-more sophisticated at pricing—and keep tight checks on seat capacity—savings are relatively narrow. The difference between the “worst” and “best” purchase days was $10 for domestic flights and $25 internationally. Fare differences in departure and return days topped out at $60 for international flights, and even less domestically, according to Hopper. “I think the airlines have just become a lot better at the yield management piece so there’s no longer this predictable way you can outwit them,” says Patrick Surry, Hopper’s data scientist, calling the days of frequent consumer “big wins” largely over.

Thus, Hopper’s data suggest that fare bargains don’t arise from trying to play the best-time-to-buy game, but in better consumer education about what constitutes a good fare on a particular route. Fly to San Francisco every week or month and it’s not long before the atrocious and decent fares become apparent to you. But plan a trip to Croatia or Santa Fe or Shanghai and you may have zero idea whether the fares around your travel dates are any good from your city. What’s more, your vacation or business trip has specific dates—most travelers do not know how to consider seasonal price fluctuations, or whether a new airline competitor will have an effect, or what happens if you leave two days earlier.

Upstarts such as Hopper are trying to build new online tools that reduce the information vacuum that often leaves consumers paying more. “It’s really hard to get any kind of big picture,” Surry says. “So I think there’s a lot of power that the airlines exploit in that space.”

Bachman is an associate editor for Businessweek.com.


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Tips for Travelling Alone #tours #and #travels

#travelling alone


Travelling alone can seem daunting from the comfort of home. What happens if you get stranded somewhere? Can you go out at night solo? Won t it feel weird to eat in a restaurant alone? All these worries and more (Will I get attacked by bandits? Or my car stuck in a ditch?) plagued me before my first solo trip – my first research trip for Rough Guides, in 2003. My fears quickly evaporated, and now solo travel is a huge bonus of my job. Here s how to make the most of your first solitary outing.

Know your strengths

Are you a sociable person who wants to be in the middle of everything? You might go crazy if you can t communicate, so head for where you speak the language. Or, barring that go somewhere with very few tourists. A gregarious friend of mine travelled in Indonesia last year and loved it – foreigners were so rare on Java that schoolgirls stopped him in the street to have their picture taken with him. I felt like a rock star”, he said. If you re more of an introvert and prefer to observe a culture, forget the language barrier and go for passive entertainment. Vibrant cities are perfect for this, especially ones with good café cultures. Paris is classic, but other former French colonies, such as Lebanon and Vietnam, are also great for sitting and people-watching, all for the price of a coffee.

Sleep around

Play the oddball card

Just say no

Pack a book

A good book, a magazine or even just postcards to write or your travel journal to jot in – are all legitimate activities at a bar or restaurant if you get to feeling a little bored/lonely/exposed, so carry one of them with you at all times. And as a last resort there’s always fiddling with your smartphone.

Take photos

Making photography a mission, even if it s just little odd details you notice about a place, gives a little structure to your day. And you will notice more odd details, because you ll have the time and attention to look around. Your friends at home will appreciate your perspective and the story that comes with it.

Eat big

You might be tempted to live on fast food, just to avoid awkward restaurant situations. Don t. In fact, fancy establishments are fantastic places to dine alone. Waiters are happy to help solo diners who smile and say, I made a special trip just to eat here. What do you recommend? Social folks might want to eat at the bar, but there s no shame in taking a table for two.

Get an early start

If the thought of bar-hopping alone makes you die a little inside, just recast your day. Wake up early, enjoy a leisurely breakfast (when all the good stuff is still available on the hotel buffet) and head out for parks, museums and other daytime-only activities. If you pack your day full enough, you ll be ready for bed by 9pm.

Find your people

Use Facebook and Twitter to ask for connections where you re travelling. Offer to take local friends of friends out for dinner, and you ll be surprised how many people take you up on it – everyone likes to be tour guide for a night. Also seek out your interests in your destination – the fan club for the local football team, say, or the chess association. That same gregarious friend who loved Indonesia also hooked up with an improv-comedy group in Kuala Lumpur. Hilarity ensued.

Revel in it

Rough Guides Editors tips


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The Women s Travel Group, Luxury Tours for Women #travel #to

#single travel groups

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“A Welcome Travel Alternative for Women” says Arthur Frommer

The Women’s Travel Group is an award winning tour operator for women. Phyllis Stoller,who founded The Women’s Travel Club, has received many honors in women’s travel, including Top in Women’s Travel from and One of the Most Influential Women in Group Travel. The Women’s Travel Group collaborates on some tours with SITA World Tours who contribute financial guarantees, and excellent service. We are accredited by IATAN , with high industry standards. We offer special discounts for singles as on Gameparks of South Africa cruise and others. We help and hand hold with your first trip solo. We do not sell into others’ tours but customize our own.


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Gay Travel for the Single Man #flight #tickets #deals

#gay travel

Gay Travel for the Single Man

People often ask us, where is the best place to go on a vacation, if you are gay and single. Gosh, there are so many choices!

Travel is one of the most enriching experiences a person can undertake. But deciding where to go can sometimes be a challenge. With almost any option possible and (in the case of a solo traveler) nobody else to have to pander to, in some respects choosing your destination can be more of a challenge than the actual journey itself. What is it you want from the trip?

In the US I would suggest Palm Springs . They have a lot of small intimate resorts and guesthouses that make it very conducive to mingling and make new friends. Palm Springs California is well-known as one of the most reliable and consistent sunny destinations in the USA. Abundant sunshine, clear blue skies, low humidity, warm temperatures and only a hint of rain characterize the consistently beautiful weather in Palm Springs, Ca. In fact, the sun shines in the Palm Springs California area more than 350 days a year!

Big city obvious gay meccas like West Hollywood and San Francisco are not my first choice for the single guy. Though you can have fun in both cities. It just depends on how outgoing you are and what you are looking for. New York City is amazing, for all kinds of reasons.

Chicago (below) is very laid back it s very easy to walk into a bar and start chatting with strangers. Huge gay population concentrated in some very cool neighborhoods (Lakeview-Boystown, Andersonville, Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park), friendly people, the only major US city that s actually affordable to live in. You have Lake Michigan, beaches, shopping and world class dining.

Fort Lauderdale is certainly very nice but very spread out whereas Key West is small enough to feel at home. Key West is very easy to navigate and meet new people. Key West is a Lush tropical island with fascinating architecture, friendly people, a rich history, and plenty of activities to keep you engaged or help relax

Columbus Ohio is a new and upcoming gay travel destination. The Short North/Victorian Village/Italian Village/Grandview area of town is a huge and vibrant gayborhood that mixes trendy shops, art galleries, fun dining, nightlife, high end dining, lots of homes, apartments and new condos, and culture. The city can skew a little young at times due to Ohio State, but there are lots of young urban professional gay men all over Columbus. It s sort of a smaller version of Chicago.

There is a great tour group called Spirit Journeys. Spirit Journeys offers extraordinary gay travel, retreats and workshops at magical destinations all over the world. Whether it be on adventure tours or attending a retreat, our aim is to offer you a chance to get away from it all , to connect with others and to explore the mysteries and cultures that are in the world around us. You can see a lot of the world, with a gay group.

David Hodkinson, of Travel Leaders agrees. For gay, single individuals, small group gay travel is the easiest and best way to meet other singles. There is a lot of variety in the type of travel one can choose, often very specific, i.e. adventure, cultural, active, ecotourism, spa and health, etc. Small groups vary in size….perhaps ranging from 8 to 18 and some even larger. Since participants often share the same interests, there are many opportunities for discussions and dialogue.

The companies that offer this type of travel are numerous…travel to exotic destinations, ski (Gay Ski Weeks), small ship cruising, river cruising, gay safaris (outstanding!), Gay Games, active (hiking, dude ranches, climbing, rafting, skiing), and the list goes on.

Gay travelers should check out agencies that are members of IGLTA (International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association) since these agencies can direct them to appropriate suppliers and provide guidance in making decisions.

He also says, Amsterdam is my #1 choice…..the bars and clubs are like nothing else and there is something for everyone and every preference. The biggest festivals are Amsterdam Pride and Queensday with many celebrations, concerts, parties, etc. held not only in the streets but in the numerous clubs and bars. Europe’s biggest gay dance party is Rapido and one of the best and most famous is held in Amsterdam during Pride, at Rapido Paradiso (a phenomenal venue). Tickets sell out fast and must be purchased months in advance. Gay and single….Amsterdam is an easy to meet and mingle and English is spoken everywhere. Winter is a bit dreary but there’s always something going on .

Puerto Vallarta Mexico is great for couples, friends or single travelers. Beautiful ocean bay beaches

World class dining, mountains and jungles, and a huge gay lesbian community. Very friendly. Lots to see and do. Still affordable.

Toronto ’s gay and lesbian village is most famous for having provided the location for much of the Showcase series Queer as Folk. Canada’s laws regarding legal same-sex marriage make this city a perfect destination for a wedding and honeymoon vacation. Church Street’s lively bars, warm cafés and friendly people provide a fun and a very welcoming atmosphere for gay and lesbian travelers.

In Europe. Prague is one of my favorites. Paris is one of my least favorites.

Prague is VERY AFFORDABLE and the city of spires has more than just gorgeous architecture and a fascinating history to offer gay and lesbian travelers. The city boasts numerous gay and gay-friendly clubs, bars, restaurants, cafés, saunas and accommodations. Lots of shopping. Lots of culture. Lots of GAY! Very easy to meet people. Prague is like one large outdoor museum with myriad wonders to explore. On the other hand, Paris is like a huge large outdoor museum, but for the most part, not over-friendly. Hard to connect with people. and triple the price of Prague.

Costa Rica has been dubbed Central America’s Gay Paradise. From cloud forests, rainforests and rushing rivers to active volcanoes and tropical beaches, Costa Rica boasts innumerable natural wonders that will arouse your senses. With its progressive laws protecting gay rights, Costa Rica is a friendly place to visit without hassles.

Phuket, Thailand. Patong beach has become a gay hotspot because of its unbelievably inexpensive nightlife, exhilarating water sports and friendly atmosphere. The dazzling beach has been host to pride festivals and remains a perfect place for gay and lesbian travelers to meet and enjoy the excitement of Southeast Asia.

These are just some of our top picks. There are many more great places, depending on what you are looking for. Don t be afraid to travel alone. You will find so many places around the world that are friendly and very open to talking to you! Even despite language barriers, many people are so nice and will try to communicate with you! Even you need help making a decison, call an expert for advice.


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The Cheapest Time of Year for Airline Travel #cheap #cheap #tickets

#cheapest air ticket

The Cheapest Time of Year for Airline Travel

The time of year in which you fly a certain route will affect the price of your ticket. (Photo: Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images )

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The cheapest time of year to fly is typically the least popular time for travel between any two destinations. Airlines and consolidators structure ticket prices according to demand — if passenger demand is higher at any particular time of year, ticket prices are likely to also be high. The key to finding the cheapest air tickets is to identify the season with the lowest passenger demand on a given route.

Low Season

Many airlines define low and high seasons according to low and high average ticket prices. Additionally, some also define “medium” and “shoulder” seasons in which prices are between their average low and high-season rates. US Airways, for example, defines low or off-peak season for flights from North America to the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America as September 1-30. The low season for travel to South America is defined by US Airways as the months of May and October; for flights from North America to Europe the low season is mid-January through the end of February.


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Tax Help For Business and Pleasure Trips #travel #republi

#business travel

Tax help for business, pleasure trips

By Kay Bell • Bankrate.com

You really need a break, but it’s been a tough year for your business and you’re not comfortable spending money on vacation travel. Let Uncle Sam help pay for your business trip. When you tack on personal vacation days to the beginning or end of a business trip, your out-of-pocket costs could be minimal since much of the business portion of your travel could be tax-deductible.

The pairing of corporate and vacation travel is easier for self-employed business owners. But employees also can take advantage of combined personal-business trips.

The key, as with anything tax-related, is substantiating that you followed IRS rules.

Ordinary, necessary expenses

The IRS has no problem with business owners deducting legitimate expenses. As long as the travel benefits or advances your business, you can write off ordinary and necessary expenses.

What’s considered ordinary and necessary? That depends, says the IRS, on the facts and your circumstances. In general, an ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your trade or business. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for your business.

Under these standards, deductible travel expenses typically include hotels, meals, entertainment and round-trip travel to meet with existing or potential out-of-town clients.

Convention and seminar costs also could be deductible as long as the conferences specifically relate to your business or profession or help improve your career skills. That’s why so many professional groups hold conventions in vacation spots like Orlando, Florida, or Las Vegas.

Getting there

Traveling to a business meeting obviously is work-related and the IRS doesn’t really care whether you get there a few days early or hang around for a bit after your business is concluded.

Since you had to travel anyway, you can deduct the cost of your transportation as a business expense when you file your company’s taxes. This applies to auto travel as well as airfare.

“If the primary purpose is business, you don’t have to apportion it even if you spend some personal time,” says Barbara Weltman, tax attorney and author of “J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes 2015.”

In fact, when you fly for business purposes and extend your stay to get a reduced fare by, for example, spending a Saturday night at your destination, the associated stay-over costs usually are deductible, too, even though you have no business meetings that extra day.

The cost of travel by bus, train or auto, either your own car or one you rent, also is deductible. But don’t try to slip in the price of airfare if you got your ticket via frequent flier miles.

Timing is everything

Many people set up out-of-town meetings for late one week and early the next. “That basically requires you be in town, but you have the weekend to yourself,” says Mercedes Infante, an enrolled agent and CPA with BDO USA’s Orlando, Florida, office.

Be sure, though, that you don’t extend your personal stay too long. In order to deduct your transportation costs, your trip must be primarily for business. You do get to count your travel days as business, but carefully calculate the overall work-to-pleasure ratio.

If you spend 3 days getting to and meeting with clients, but bookend the travel with 5 extra days for sightseeing, the IRS will consider your trip more for fun and disallow your travel deductions.

Lodging costs

Your hotel costs while conducting business also are deductible. Here, too, you need to differentiate between the portion of your stay that was personal.

For the extra days you stay to enjoy a location’s recreational offerings, you cannot deduct those hotel charges.


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Get ready for Cyber Monday to snag airline deals #freedom #travel

#airline deals

Get ready for Cyber Monday to snag airline deals

Posted about 4 days ago | 0 comment

Looking for a cheap flight? Cyber Monday is the time to score some deals.

According to the airfare search engine Hopper.com. the airlines will launch major airfare sales starting on the morning of Cyber Monday, if not sooner.

“We’re anticipating a record amount of airfare deals starting Cyber Monday and continuing through the week before the holiday, based on the fact that this fall (and September in particular) was the busiest time we’ve ever seen for domestic flash sales,” the site announced. “We’re predicting that this Cyber Monday will kick off a record month for fare sales.”

Deals usually begin launching at 9:00 a.m. ET and continue into the evening for trips several months in advance.

Denver, Chicago and Atlanta as the best origins to find a sale, according to Hopper. Almost 80 percent of the flash sales are posted by major carriers like United Airlines or Delta, with low cost carriers accounting for about 20 percent.

Looking for a deal to a warm-weather location? Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Orlando are in the top five destinations with frequent airline sales. International destinations with the most number of deals are San Jose, Costa Rica, San Salvador, El Salvador, and Cancun, Mexico


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Get ready for Cyber Monday to snag airline deals #travel #to

#airline deals

Get ready for Cyber Monday to snag airline deals

Updated: Nov 27 2015 06:24PM CST

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Looking for a cheap flight? Cyber Monday is the time to score some deals. According to the airfare search engine Hopper.com. the airlines will launch major airfare sales starting on the morning of Cyber Monday, if not sooner.

We re anticipating a record amount of airfare deals starting Cyber Monday and continuing through the week before the holiday, based on the fact that this fall (and September in particular) was the busiest time we ve ever seen for domestic flash sales, the site announced. We re predicting that this Cyber Monday will kick off a record month for fare sales.

Deals usually begin launching at 9:00 a.m. ET and continue into the evening for trips several months in advance. Denver, Chicago and Atlanta as the best origins to find a sale, according to Hopper. Almost 80 percent of the flash sales are posted by major carriers like United Airlines or Delta, with low cost carriers accounting for about 20 percent.

Looking for a deal to a warm-weather location? Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Orlando are in the top five destinations with frequent airline sales. International destinations with the most number of deals are San Jose, Costa Rica, San Salvador, El Salvador, and Cancun, Mexico.


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Global Travel Media – Blog Archive – Air Canada Adds Seasonal

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Air Canada Adds Seasonal Vancouver-Dublin Flights For Summer 2016

Air Canada today announced a further, strategic expansion of its Vancouver hub with the addition of the only non-stop flights to Dublin, Ireland next summer. This new seasonal route follows the recent announcement of several enhancements at the airline s Vancouver hub for 2016, including new transborder services to Chicago. San Jose and San Diego. double daily flights to London Heathrow, and the only flights linking Canada to Brisbane. Australia. The Vancouver-Dublin flights will be operated three times weekly by Air Canada s leisure airline, Air Canada rouge, with Boeing 767-300ER aircraft beginning June 10, 2016. To promote the new route, Air Canada is offering a special introductory fare starting as low as $839 round-trip all-in from Vancouver. and $949 round-trip all-in from Calgary or Edmonton. until December 4 for travel June 10-30, 2016. Tickets are now available for purchase.

Air Canada continues to strategically grow its international network at YVR with the only non-stop flights to Dublin during the peak summer period. This route is a great, convenient option for Western Canadians travelling to visit the vibrant Emerald Isle with its rich literary history, arts, world-class golf and dramatic landscapes. It will also be equally appealing for our customers from Ireland flying non-stop to visit and experience the spectacular attractions Vancouver and British Columbia offer, said Benjamin Smith. Air Canada President, Passenger Airlines.

This new route is the latest of numerous improvements for customers coming in 2016 including double daily flights to London Heathrow, three new routes to the United States. new non-stop, year-round flights to Brisbane, Australia and increased capacity on our flights from Vancouver to Sydney, Australia with Boeing 777 aircraft featuring our new international product standard offering a choice of Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy cabins. With these initiatives, Air Canada is further strengthening YVR as a strategic and important international gateway, connecting our extensive B.C. Western Canada and growing U.S. network with our expanding South Pacific, Asian and European network.

Air Canada s strategic growth plans out of YVR continue to offer passengers exciting choices for travel, while creating new jobs, increasing access to global destinations and opening new markets for B.C. goods, said Craig Richmond. President and CEO of Vancouver Airport Authority. The new Dublin service will help fill the high demand for flights to Europe during the busy summer travel season and will also offer a new opportunity for British Columbia to showcase itself to arriving visitors from Ireland .

Air Canada rouge s new Vancouver Dublin flights begin June 10, 2016. operating three times weekly with Boeing 767-300ER aircraft featuring premium and economy cabins. Flights are timed to optimize connectivity to and from Air Canada s extensive west coast network through the airline s Vancouver hub.  All Air Canada flights provide for Aeroplan accumulation and redemption and, for eligible customers, priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounge access, priority boarding and other benefits.


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Spain: Tips for Planning Travel to Spain #cheap #air #ticket

#travel spain

Spain: Tips for Planning Travel to Spain

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Tips for Planning Travel to Spain

These tips are for first time travelers to Spain. Many seem obvious, but one is always surprised at questions new travelers ask in the Trip Advisor forums. One has to do some homework if one’s trip will be one of pleasure and have less stress.

1. Buy a book about travel to Spain. Read it and decide what parts of Spain interest you and which cities you want to visit.

2. Get an idea of the geography of Spain. This is a good article from Wikipedia:

Be aware that Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe (after France) and one of the most mountainous (after Switzerland). The central meseta is a highland plateau and Madrid is on this meseta. Be aware of distances between cities. Google Maps or the Via Michelin website can tell you what these distances are.

3. The best time to travel in Spain is spring and fall because that is when good weather occurs. The months of April, May, June, September, and October are very good for travel. Summer is quite hot, especially in inland cities like Seville, Cordoba, and Madrid. The months of July and August are very crowded in resorts along the Mediterranean, so early reservations for hotels are required for these areas.

If one want to visit cities in northern Spain near the Atlantic, such as San Sebastian, Oviedo, and Santiago de Compostela and the rest of Galicia, the months of July and August are the best. Barcelona, the Costa Brava, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands are best from May to September.

The Costa del Sol and Almeria are the best places to visit during winter because they are the warmest. The Costa del Sol has balmy weather during summer. Almeria hardly gets any rain during the year. Nights in Granada are always cool because it is high up in the mountains. The central plateau gets weather extremes during summer and winter.

There are many weather sites that will give one the average temperatures by month for every city in Spain. It is best to check them before making travel plans. Be careful of traveling during winter, especially if you are driving. Many mountain passes get closed and having chains is very important to have in a car.

It makes no sense to travel to places like Leon, Burgos, Vitoria, Pamplona, and Logroño during winter. They get very cold and have much snow and ice. Not all of Spain is sunny all year long. Check the weather for each place you want to visit before making travel plans. The following site will give one average temperatures by month for each city.

4. During fall, many resorts in the north of Spain and along the Mediterranean have many of their stores and restaurants closed for the season. This may happen in the middle of September. This never happens in the Costa del Sol, which is always open because there are many northern Europeans who migrate during this time and spend winter in the area.

It is also a fallacy that most stores and restaurants close up during summer in big cities. Madrid is a city of 5 million and most stores and restaurants are open all year long.

5. Madrid is in the geographic center of Spain. King Felipe II chose Madrid to be the capital of Spain for this very reason.

The best way to travel from Madrid to other cities is by the high speed train, the AVE. It beats air travel because it is more comfortable than the plane, because you can move around in the train and go to the cafeteria car to eat snacks. Airlines like to restrict movement of passengers within the plane. Spain is now the European country with the largest network of high speed trains. If you have never traveled on a high speed train, you will enjoy the travel on the AVE.

Read Buying Renfe Tickets Online. Study the map which shows what cities that the AVE goes to. You may be able to get the web discounts if you buy early.

If one is to travel between extremities of Spain, such as Malaga and Barcelona, then the plane is better because the time will be much shorter than the train.

Be aware that the AVE still does not go to Granada, so the best way to get to this city may be the plane or the bus.

A Rail Pass will be more expensive than buying tickets at Renfe directly. You cannot get the discounts that Renfe gives.

6. Do not plan to see too much of Spain at one time. Many want to see one new city every day. They may be unaware of the distances between cities and one does not want to be traveling every single day. It is best to stay in cities for at a minimum of two nights, preferably three. That way one can see a city in depth and remember it. Spain has to be savored slowly with time for one to sit at a sidewalk cafe, eating tapas and drinking a glass of wine while one sees the passing parade or contemplates a monument.

7. Most travelers will want to experience Andalusia. From propaganda in foreign countries, Andalusia will be more like what a tourist expects of Spain, being the image of Spain, with women dancing flamenco, and with flowers in their hair. There are many monuments in Andalusia, such as the Alhambra Palace in Granada, the No. 1 tourist attraction of Spain, getting 3 million visitors a year. If you plan to visit the Alhambra, read Buying Alhambra Tickets Online. Cordoba has the Mezquita, and Seville has its Cathedral with the Giralda Tower and many other monuments. Do not forget Malaga, which has many monuments and museums, as well as its beaches and the best weather in Europe.

8. Many say that Spain’s best invention are its tapas. About 30% of visitors say they come to Spain for gastronomy. In most places in Spain one can eat marvelously. One can eat tapas instead of having lunch or dinner and enjoy a wide variety of food. Read the top question in the Trip Advisor forums for each city you want to visit to see if there are articles about good restaurants and tapas places.

9. The best way to get euros is to use an ATM machine. Spain is the European country with the most ATM machines and every block in cities has an ATM machine. Be sure to contact your bank that you will be using your ATM in Spain. The back of your ATM card will show what networks your bank is tied to, so using an ATM machine with the same network will minimize any currency charges. When you use an ATM machine, try to find one inside a bank for better security. Most banks will have an ATM machine inside the bank and another on the sidewalk.

You may want to opt to not purchase Travelers Checks. There very few exchange locations and rates are high. You could lose a great deal in the exchange. Spanish banks will not accept Travelers Checks, nor will businesses. If you do not have an ATM. your best option is either to buy euros from your bank  (the rate of exchange + % they add per dollar + flat order and shipping fee), or take dollars to Spain and exchange them at a bank (the rate of exchange + % they add per dollar or some banks will offer flat fee exchange rates per x number of dollars for euros exchanged). Spanish banks also close for the day typically by 2:30 p.m.  While you can find other exchange locations open after banking hours, exchange rates will be higher.

10. If you plan to rent a car and drive, read the Driving Guide for Foreigners. You will need an International Driving Permit. Be aware that it is almost impossible to find free parking on the street in cities. In big cities a commercial parking garage will cost between 18 and 30 euros a day. Hotels with parking will charge about 11 to 12 euros a night for parking. For Andalusia, check the top questions for parking guides for different cities. Rental Cars are available at any major airport with offices of the big international rental companies such as Hertz, Avis, Europcar. Some local companies received a lot of negative feedback such as Record Rent a Car.

11. You can see Spain with a group tour. However be aware that most tours of Spain will try to allow you to see the most monuments and cities, so they do not leave one with enough free time. One cannot dawdle with these tours. For many older travelers, they may be too fast paced and one may develop health problems because of this. Most of them go by bus, so it is not much fun to be traveling by bus all day. One can see Spain on one’s own without a group tour if one plans properly. One is perfectly safe in Spain by going alone. If one is mature one does not need a chaperone or guide to tell him what to do all day long.

12. Read Money Saving Tips for Spain.

13. Electricity Info for Spain:

14. Have a Happy Trip in Spain!


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Southwest Airlines – Search For Cheap Southwest Flights #new #zealand #travel

#airlines ticket

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines Profile

Southwest Airlines was founded in 1967. and it s headquarter is in Dallas, Texas. At present it is one of the major airlines in USA. With more than 46,000 employees, Southwest is operating 3,400 flights every day. Their fleet size is 569, and they have 97 destinations in 41 countries. Southwest Airlines solely operates Boeing 737s. It makes the company the largest operator of the 737 worldwide. Southwest is also one of the safest airlines in the world.

Southwest Travel Offers

SW has offered a wide variety of packages to its customers. Their basic focus is saving customers money through low-cost services. To help ensure a wallet-friendly service, they don t charge any extra fees throughout the trip. They don t charge for your first and second checked bags. You don t need to pay for your skis or golf bags too. If somehow you need to change your upcoming flight, you aren’t required to pay any changing fees. They allow the passenger to pick any available seat once he or she enters in the recently remodelled cabins. Their seats are quite comfortable.

Southwest airlines serves the customers with free in-flight peanuts, pretzels, non-alcoholic beverages, Nabisco snacks, etc. Their customer satisfaction rating is very high and has remained positive for many years. The reports of the Dept. of Transportation say that among all U.S. airlines, Southwest has ranked number one for the lowest number of customer complaints. You really get more than you pay for.

The Company has enhanced its aircrafts with in-flight Wi-Fi internet connectivity. So you are not detached from the rest of the world when you are travelling via Southwest. Other things for in-flight entertainment are streaming live TV and video on demand. These features make every trip go by much quicker.

Other Benefits Of Southwest Airlines

Don t think that Southwest has not anything else to offer? They are always planning to create more and more opportunities and beneficial offers. The company has a frequent flyer program titled Rapid Rewards. You have to be a member to enjoy the benefits offered through Rapid Rewards, but as a member you will earn points for each travel, whereupon Southwest. Points are given according to the fare. These points don t expire, and they let you enjoy free stuff on future trips.

At the end, it is very clear that Southwest is truly one of the few customer-friendly airlines out there. It serves well to those customers who have a low budget and still offers an extremely pleasant trip. So don t waste your time in hesitation, go grab tickets for a Southwest flight. Fly with complete freedom. Happy flying!


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South Africa Travel: Your South African Guide for Things to Do,

#travel to south africa

Latest Articles

As southern Africa’s only endemic vulture species, the Cape vulture population has been reduced to an estimated 2,900 breeding pairs across its range. Listed as ‘Endangered’ by the International Union for the Conservation of N. read more

Named for the city in Iran where the treaty was signed in 1971, the Ramsar Convention is an international treaty aimed at conserving wetlands deemed to be of economic, cultural, scientific and recreational value. South Africa. read more

Winding alongside the Brandewyn River in the Cedarberg region of the Western Cape, the 4km long Sevilla Rock Art Trail incorporates nine rock art sites, providing intriguing insight into the lives of the San people who lived i. read more

Home to the only hippos in the Western Cape Province, and a spectacular bird watching destination, the Rondevlei Nature Reserve incorporates parts of Grassy Park, Lavenderhill and Zeekoevlei in Cape Town. Covering an area of. read more

With its temperate climate and laid-back vibe, Durban is one of South Africa’s top holiday destinations. In addition to its spectacular beaches and entertainment options, Durban is a hub of culture with a host of museums and a. read more

Winter and spring offer plenty of whale watching opportunities along South Africa’s coastline, and on the east coast Algoa Bay is one of South Africa’s top spots for this exciting activity. Between June and October each year. read more

Considered to be one of the world’s most powerful avian predators, and the largest eagle in Africa, the martial eagle (Polemaetus bellicosus) is found in various locations throughout sub-Saharan Africa, including in the Kgalag. read more


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Road Trip Planner with Stops: Tools – Tips for a Perfect

#planning a trip


The first step is the fun one: selecting the route. To do so, decide what s most important to you: distance, destination, or budget. Once you know this, you can begin researching and building out the rest of your plans.

When in the planning stage, Roadtrippers  will be your best friend! Founded by two fellow wanderlusters, this web and mobile service provides a seemingly endless database of inspiration. Explore tested routes, or plan your own and discover the variety of interest points that can be found along your newly blazed trail.

From culture to campsites and nature to nightclubs, Roadtrippers will help you plan a trip tailored to your travel style. It’ll also help you budget by providing cost estimates for the gas require for the selected trip.

Make sure your route is broken down into doable driving segments both to and from your final destination. Your plan should also include a list of attractions you want to see along the way. The more you have on the list the better, but be prepared to skip a few. You never know what will happen on the open road. Being flexible is key.


Once you know where you’re going, you’ll need to decide where to stay.

If your road trip is all about the great outdoors and you plan on camping, visit recreation.gov to find and book campsites on your route.

Prefer more modern accommodations? Priceline. Hotels.com. Hotwire. Expedia. or any one of your preferred hotel booking sites can help you book a hotel at each check point along your route.

Or, check out AirBnb for a more unique lodging selection.


You’ve heard it, you’ve probably said it, and we all know it’s true: “there’s an app for everything.” And as a matter of fact, there’s quite a few to aid in your road trip success. Here are the ones we suggest downloading before you go:

TripIt . Yeah, so this might be a shameless plug, but we can actually help! You’ve already selected and booked your lodging and attractions, so let us automagically create an itinerary for you. That way you can find all your plans in one place and you won’t have to dig through all your email to find times, locations, and confirmation numbers. TripIt will also automatically generate the best route between stops with turn by turn driving directions and Google Maps. It s perfect if you re looking for a road trip planner with stops.  

Along The Way : Whether you’re in need of a bathroom, caffeine fix, retail therapy, or just about anything else, Along The Way can help you locate whatever you’re looking for without getting off track.  

Gasbuddy : Unfortunately, you’ll have to frequent the gas stations on your road trip, which makes this app essential. Gasbuddy provides a crowd-sourced list of gas prices to help you find the best deal near you.  

Spotify : Every road trip needs good jams and lots of them! Although the free version of this service is awesome, it’ll definitely be worth your money to upgrade to premium for your road trip. For just $9.99 a month you have access to any song at anytime … even when you re offline.  

AAA : Although we suggest you check out your car before leaving, you never know what can happen out there on the road. With this app, you can contact roadside assistance and help them locate you. You can also discover AAA discount locations, Diamond-rated hotels, restaurants, and attractions.  

Wi-Fi Finder : Whether you need to post to Facebook, Facetime mom, or email your boss, Wi-Fi Finder will help you stay connected by locating both free and paid Wi-Fi spots.


On your road trip you’re going to see some breathtaking sights and make some incredible memories, so documentation will be key.

If you’re into the visuals, snapping pics on your phone is a must. Step up your editing game with VSCO Cam ; this will help your pictures come to life and look at least half as beautiful as in real life. Then your photo will be ready to share on Instagram. Also, don’t forget to tag your pictures with #TripItPic to share your travels and have a chance to be featured on our page .

For your videos, you can use Magisto to automatically create and edit amazing videos, complete with music and effects.

Evernote is yet another great documentation tool. Write down everything you love and learn along the way, and add photos to create the ultimate travel journal.

Any other road trip tips? Share them below! Happy travels!


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Hilton Scores a Victory Over Online Booking Sites, and What It

#travel site

Hilton Scores a Victory Over Online Booking Sites, and What It Means for How Travel Will Be Booked

by Gary Leff on December 1, 2015

United Airlines used to offer last minute e-fares on their website, but stopped because they ran afoul of agreements with computer reservation systems to always display the best available fares through those sites.

Paying the computer reservation systems is costly, it s cheaper when airlines sell to you directly, so they used to offer bonus miles for doing so. And paying the online travel agencies is costlier still. Even though few airlines base commissions any longer (although Alitalia just re-introduced 1% commissions in Italy) they do pay based on volume.

Airlines have long paid less to the online travel sites than hotels. So hotels have gone to greater lengths than airlines in trying to get customers to book direct. Generally when you book on Expedia you still earn frequent flyer miles for your flights, and are eligible for elite status accrual and elite benefits. (Although it may not always be as clear what restrictions apply to the fares you re buying.)

Hotels on the other hand have:

  • Restricted points-earning (Hilton s official policy is no points at all, even for incidentals during your stay, when booking through a third party)
  • Restricted status-earning (major chains won t let your stay booked through most third parties count towards gaining or retaining status)

  • Restricted elite status benefits (Though Hyatt and Marriott generally honor elite status on third party bookings, other major chains do not)
  • During periods with hotel occupancy low, the OTAs had the greatest leverage. The major chain hotels were paying over 20% commissions, perhaps 25%, and independent hotels easily paid 40%.

    But those commissions have been falling. With hotels full they have a stronger bargaining hand. They re able to pay lower commissions, and negotiate other favorable terms.

    Hilton reports that it has successfully concluded better deals.

    [Hilton CEO Chris] Nassetta said Hilton Worldwide won the right to lower the commissions it pays to online travel agencies such as Expedia and Booking.com.

    Hilton Worldwide managed to eliminate last-room availability clauses and won the right to offer preferential pricing — lower rates than it gives to online travel agencies — to certain members of the hotel chain’s loyalty program, Nassetta said.

    “We are done with all of our OTA negotiations, and we achieved our goals in every one of those pillars,” Nassetta said.

    This likely explains Hilton testing discounts for HHonors members since they don t have to offer those same rates through online booking sites and can use those to incentive lower direct booking expenses.

    Airlines, too, continually squabble with the online sites and computer reservation systems over how their fares are distributed. Lufthansa is currently imposing an extra charge for tickets through these systems, which makes them less competitive. It s hard to sort out the effect it has had on the airline, because their sales have also been affected by strikes. Airlines want online travel sites to work through their own, less expensive, direct channels. And they want everyone selling their ancillary products, at the lowest cost to the carrier.

    When we see Expedia buy Orbitz after buying Travelocity we shouldn t just think of them as making consumer unfriendly moves, we should think of them as:

    1. Trying to preserve some of their leverage against travel providers who are eroding their margins.
  • Making defensive moves in anticipation of Google disrupting their business model.
  • That isn t to say that consolidation in the online booking industry is consumer-friendly. And consumer experiences vary. But online travel agency sites are hardly gaining market power .

    More From View from the Wing


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    Recommended Carseats for Airplane Travel #single #travel #groups

    #travel car seat

    Recommended Carseats for Airplane Travel

    It s the travel season and for many families with small children, that includes flying somewhere. Since so many carseats are heavy and bulky, it makes sense in some cases to invest in a lightweight carseat just for traveling. Plus, this spares you the hassle of re-installing your main carseat when you get back to your own car, weary from traveling.

    Ideally, a spare travel carseat should be lightweight (under 15 lbs), easy to install with the lap-only belt on an airplane seat and narrow enough to fit in a typical coach seat. With that criteria in mind, here are several options to consider.

    Infant carseats no need to buy anything new as long as your current infant seat can be installed without the base. I guess it s possible to drag the base with you on the plane but that s just making life harder than it needs to be. As long as your infant seat allows installation without the base (most do but there are some exceptions so make sure you know for sure), it s easy to install the carrier rear-facing with the lap-only belt on the plane.

    If you re leaving the base at home make sure you practice baseless installation a few times so when you arrive at your destination you know how to install the carseat properly in the car, using a typical lap/shoulder belt.  Here is a video that demonstrates my technique for quick and easy installations of an infant carseat without the base.

    Stay clear of products like THIS and THIS. These products are NOT acceptable alternatives to using an actual carseat on the plane to restrain your child. Along the same lines using a sling or infant carrier also isn t a safe alternative for your baby or toddler because you aren t allow to wear your child during take-offs or landings when the risks are highest. There is a good reason for this but the details are ugly so I m not going to go into it right now. If you would like more info on why slings and infant carriers are not a safe alternative to using a carseat on a plane, please see the NTSB website .

    UPDATED November 2015

    Convertible seats   if you intend to install the convertible seat rear-facing on the plane then you ll be best served by a seat that is fairly compact which will increase your chances of the seat actually fitting rear-facing in the space you have to work with.


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    Accounting Degree Online Courses #online #classes #for #accounting #degree


    Earn your Accounting Degree online

    Learn accounting essentials from learning how to create, organize, and maintain financial records, to assessing financial data and analyzing financial statements with our affordable, online Accounting Associate Degree program. Set your class schedule and work at the pace you want as you earn an affordable associate degree online.

    Why become an Accountant?

    With Penn Foster College, earning college credits and a full degree is within reach. Our Accounting Associate Degree program will provide the foundational accounting concepts that are used every day by accountants. With Penn Foster College’s Accounting program, you pay just $79 per credit and study on your schedule.

    Why Choose Penn Foster College?

    At only $79 per credit, and 3 easy payment plans to choose from, we can help you fit college into your budget.

    No set class schedules so you set the pace and study when you can. Access instructors and coaches through text, phone and email or chat with fellow classmates online.

    Prepare for in-demand careers

    You can gain the knowledge, skills, and credentials to move toward success along a new or existing career path.

    Our 24/7, on-demand learning platform is easy to use – at home or on the go – and you decide when to start and take your classes.

    Personalized Goal Tracking

    With our progress-tracking and goal-setting tools, you can customize your study and exam schedule to help meet your personal goals.

    Your tuition includes access to instructors and teaching assistants, all of your textbooks, unlimited career support and even a personal Success Coach!

    A Customized Learning Experience

    With interactive, mobile-friendly courses, progress-tracking and goal-setting tools, and personal coaches to help you succeed, the Penn Foster Experience (PFx) is an online learning experience like no other!

    Accounting Associate Degree Course Details

    Take accounting courses in business, financial accounting, economics, financial management, business statistics, and business law to help you succeed in the accounting industry.

    Save up to 20%! Final semester at no cost*

    Having a degree will increase my chances of being put at the top of the promotion list. I suggest Penn Foster programs all of the time to my coworkers. I am in the military, and Penn Foster is a very military-friendly school. I got all of my materials shipped to me while I was overseas for deployment.

    Amy G.,
    Penn Foster College Graduate


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    Extended Warranty #warranty #insurance #for #cars


    Extended Warranty

    Volvo can offer the option to extend the period and mileage limit of the standard 3 year/60,000 mile warranty. This enables customers, who intend keeping their Volvo beyond the manufacturer warranty period, to enjoy a similar level of protection for an extended period.

    Main Features and Benefits
    Cover option 1 – Extends your current 3 year/60,000 mile manufacturer warranty to 4 year/60,000 miles, whichever comes sooner.
    Cover option 2 – Extends your current 3 year/60,000 mile manufacturer warranty to 4 year/80,000 miles, whichever comes sooner.

    All cover options include the following features:
    All major mechanical and electrical parts cover we list parts that are not covered, you are covered for everything else.
    Full parts and labour cover we pay the full costs of genuine Volvo parts and labour time required to fit them.
    Claim limit is unlimited the only limit to the amount you can claim is the price you paid for the vehicle.
    Available at any time up till 3 years/60,000 miles if you choose not to buy at time of purchase of new vehicle, you can purchase later but prices may vary.

    All cover options include the following additional benefits:
    Recovery charges covers costs attached to recovering your vehicle to the nearest authorised repairer.
    Replacement vehicle keeping you mobile in a ‘like for like’ vehicle.
    Overnight hotel expenses helping with unexpected expenses.
    Emergency travel helping you to get to your final destination.
    Continental use ensures you are covered whilst travelling in Europe.
    Consequential damage helping cover costs on non-covered items and personal possessions.

    For more information and prices, please contact your Volvo Dealer .

    Volvo Car UK Limited authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under firm reference number 678616 for credit broking. Copyright 2017 Volvo Car Corporation (or its affiliates or licensors).

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    10 Best Credit Cards – (2017 Reviews) – Top 10 Cards


    2017’s Top 10 Credit Cards

    Below are our staff’s brand-new rankings of 2017’s best credit cards. Whether you prefer low APR’s, cash back, or any other perk, these top 10 credit cards are the best of the best:

    The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which CardRates.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers.

    [x] Close Disclosure

    2017’s Best Credit Card

    Discover it Cashback Match

    • You could turn $200 into $400 with Cashback Match™. Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
    • Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, Amazon.com, restaurants, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
    • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
    • 100% U.S. based customer service.
    • Get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
    • No annual fee.
    • See application, terms and details.

    0% for 14 months

    • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it’s automatic
    • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
    • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
    • Redeem for cash — any amount, anytime
    • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
    • No annual fee
    • See application, terms and details.

    0% for 15 months

    • You could turn $200 into $400 with Cashback Match™. Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
    • Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, Amazon.com, restaurants, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
    • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
    • 100% U.S. based customer service.
    • Get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
    • No annual fee.
    • See application, terms and details.

    0% for 14 months


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    Business Commercial Rent Tax #nyc #office #space #for #rent


    Commercial Rent Tax (CRT)

    This tax is charged to tenants who occupy or use a property for commercial activity in Manhattan, south of 96th Street. You are subject to the Commercial Rent Tax if you rent space in this area for any trade, business, profession, or commercial activity, and:

    • it is located in the borough of Manhattan, south of the center line of 96th Street;
    • the annual or annualized gross rent paid is at least $250,000; and
      you do not meet any other exemption criteria, such as short rental periods, residential subtenants, use for theatrical productions, and not-for-profit status.

    Note: Tenants with annual taxable rents between $250,000 and $300,000 are eligible for a sliding-scale credit that partially offsets the tax.

    A “tenant” is someone who pays rent as a lessee, sub-lessee, licensee, or concessionaire. Tenant-shareholders in co-ops are included. You must also pay the Commercial Rent Tax if you:

    • Occupy space in buildings owned by spouses or parents;
    • Occupy space in buildings you own jointly with another person who is not your spouse or domestic partner;
    • Occupy space in buildings owned by corporations where you are an officer or shareholder;
    • Are a corporation, occupying space in a building that is owned by a subsidiary corporation or by a parent corporation; and
    • Are a corporation, occupying a space in a building owned by an officer or stockholder of the corporation.

    Tax Rates
    The tax rate is 6% of the base rent. All taxpayers are granted a 35% base rent reduction, which reduces the effective tax rate to 3.9%. In addition, you are allowed a tax credit if your annualized base rent before the 35% rent reduction is between $250,000 and $300,000. Be sure to review the instructions for Commercial Rent Tax for information about other types of deductions from base rent.

    Calculating Base Rent
    Rent paid by a tenant for each location
    – Rent received or due from a subtenant
    = Base Rent*

    *When the base rent is for less than one year (or for less than three months on a quarterly return), you must annualize it over the entire period of the return. The annualized base rent is used to determine the appropriate tax rate.

    Calculating Your Tax
    Use quarterly and annual Commercial Rent Tax returns to calculate the exact tax that you owe:

    • Calculate the base rent that is subject to the tax.
    • Subtract all permissible deductions, including those allowed under the Commercial Revitalization Program from the gross rent paid.
    • Apply the rent reduction percentage (35%).
    • If the property was not rented for every month of the return, annualize the amount from Step #1 over the entire period of the return. You can do this by dividing the base rent by the number of months rented, then multiplying by either 3 (quarterly return) or 12 (annual return).

    Determine the effective tax rate, 0% or 6%, using the amount from Step #1 (or the prorated amount for partial-period rentals from Step #2) and the chart on page 2 of the return.

    • Calculate the tax liability by applying the tax rate from Step #3 to the base rent amount from Step #1.

    If you rented more than one property in the part of Manhattan that is covered by the tax, repeat these four steps for each location to determine your total tax liability.

    If you rent more than one location in the same property, aggregate all locations to determine the base rent.

    Exemptions from this Tax
    You are not subject to the Commercial Rent Tax if:

    • Your annualized base rent is less than $250,000 before applying the 35% rent reduction and the NYC Commercial Revitalization Program special reduction. However, you are required to file a tax return if your annual gross rent paid is more than $200,000.
    • You are renting premises for 14 days or less during the tax year.
    • You are a Tenant who uses at least 75 percent of the floor space to rent to others for residential purposes. This does not include operators of hotels.
    • You are renting property for certain theatrical productions. The exemption will be for the first 52 weeks after the production begins.
    • You are a governmental body or a nonprofit religious, charitable, or educational organization. Other types of nonprofit organizations will be exempt as long as the property is not used for commercial purposes and they receive a written tax exemption from the Department of Finance.
    • You are located in the “World Trade Center Area.” Refer to the CR-A instructions for a detailed definition of this area’s boundaries
    • You occupy a property that is located in the Commercial Revitalization Program abatement zone and is being used for retail sales purposes.

    Filing Deadlines
    Every tenant must file an annual return on or before June 20 covering the prior year, from June 1 to May 31, unless both of the following are true:

    • The annual gross rent paid for any taxable premises (before deductions and reductions) is $200,000 or less; and
    • The rent received from any subtenant of the premises is $200,000 or less.

    Every tenant who is subject to tax for a period must also file a quarterly return.

    Legal Authority
    Title 11, Chapter 7, Administrative Code
    Enabling Act: Chapter 257 of the Laws of 1963

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What records related to Commercial Rent Tax should a taxpayer keep?
    Every landlord of taxable property and every tenant of taxable property must keep the following records:

    • Identification of each tenant or sub-tenant
    • The rent required to be paid
    • The rent paid and received
    • The location of each premises
    • The period of each occupancy
    • All leases or agreements that fix the rents required to be paid and/or the rights of the tenants

    Records must be available for examination upon request by the Department of Finance. Leases and agreements stating rents required to be paid and/or the rights of a tenant should be kept for a period of three years after the expiration of the lease. Other records must also be kept for a three-year period after the annual return is filed (unless written permission is granted to destroy them before that time).

    If a business ends during the year, what returns must I file?
    Your tax is due within twenty days after your business ends. The amount of tax due is measured by your base rent, including escalations and other charges normally payable to the landlord for the part of the tax year that you were doing business. If, under your lease, you are required to continue to pay rent, or if, for any reason, you continue to pay rent for the premises after business ends, you still must file the normally required returns.

    Are billboards subject to the Commercial Rent Tax?
    Yes, the rent paid with respect to a billboard is taxable under the CRT if the billboard is located in the borough of Manhattan, south of the center line of 96th Street; the annual or annualized gross rent paid is at least $250,000; and the tenant does not meet any other exemption criteria, such as short rental periods, residential subtenants, use for theatrical productions, and not-for-profit status. Download Update on Audit Issues concerning billboards .


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