Cuba Travel: 5 Things to Know If You – re Thinking

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Yesterday’s announcement that the U.S. will loosen restrictions on visiting Cuba has some travelers in tizzy. By all means, pack your bags—but read this first.

Did you hear that noise yesterday afternoon? It was the collective squeal of travelers around the country, upon learning that President Obama had announced the resumption of U.S diplomatic relations with Cuba. For many American vacationers, Cuba with its classic cars, mojitos, and fine cigars is a dream destination, but one that rigid travel restrictions have made difficult to visit. Yesterday s announcement didn t remove those strictures, but it did promise to relax them.

Ready to go? Here s what you should know.

1. Don t expect anything to change overnight

While the new policy won t allow unrestricted tourism to Cuba (which would require an act of Congress), it will loosen restrictions on certain types of trips, according to a White House statement. So what exactly does that mean? There s plenty of speculation, but no one really knows the details just yet. On Wednesday afternoon, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), part of the Department of the Treasury, announced that it expects to issue its revised travel rules in the coming weeks. No changes will take effect until those new rules are released.

Currently, U.S. citizens who want to visit Cuba have a few options. Cuban-Americans with close family in the country can visit as often as they like, while other people may be permitted to go for professional, religious, or educational purposes. However, for the typical traveler, the most viable option is a people-to-people trip. These are super-regulated group tours, which must focus on educational and cultural interactions with Cubans. Many industry experts expect that the new rules will focus on loosening the restrictions around these existing forms of travel.

2. Some prices may fall

According to Collin Laverty, president of trip provider Cuba Educational Travel. the typical cost of a group tour to Cuba is around $4,000 to $5,000. One reason prices are so steep, he explains, is that people-to-people trips must be highly scheduled, meaning they include all meals, guides, transportation, activities, and more. Plus, tour providers must stay on top of their permits and licensing, which requires manpower and lawyers fees. (Katharine Bonner, who oversees travel to Cuba for Tauck. says it took six months for the company to get its paperwork renewed.) Tom Popper, president of operator insightCuba. adds that Cuban travel suppliers tend to charge American firms a premium, which drives up the price of the tour.

If the new rules allow less rigorously structured tours, prices are expected to come down. And, should they allow for independent travel to the country, vacationers will likely be able to choose their lodging and itinerary, giving them more control over what they pay.

3. but demand is likely to pick up quickly.

Travel to Cuba is already pretty popular. According to the Associated Press. 170,000 Americans visited the country legally last year, while Quartz report s that the island was the second most popular Caribbean destination for international travelers during the first nine months of 2014. As U.S. travel restrictions ease, trip providers say they expect demand to surge. For people who ve always wanted to go but never managed to pull the trigger, the idea that massive cruise lines could soon be adding Cuba to their itineraries may be what it takes to get them to book. People want to go before it changes, says Popper. The collective travel consciousness says this isn t going to last forever.

4. The infrastructure isn t there yet.

For Canadians and other international travelers, Cuba is often seen as a sun-and-sand getaway rather than a cultural destination, says Laverty. As a result, there are a sufficient amount of hotels by the beaches, but once you get into Havana, there aren t enough rooms, he says. Until the country s tourism infrastructure has a chance to catch up, Americans looking to stay in the cities or countryside may have a tough time finding accommodations. Flights are also tricky. Right now, the only domestic commercial options are charters, all of which fly out of Florida.

5. New options are coming.

Under the current system, travel companies that are licensed to take Americans to Cuba have something of a monopoly, says Laverty. While the new rules are unlikely to completely erode that advantage, they should make the industry more competitive and fuel new options for travelers. In the case of Cuba Educational Travel, that may mean adding some more independent, less full-service options. Says Laverty: We re ready to help people navigate these uncharted waters.





27/12/2017

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Booking Flights In Advance: Do You Really Save Money? #cheap #hotel

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Booking Flights In Advance:

Page 1 of 2

For many years, nerds the world over have been trying to dig up trends in airline pricing data. Of course, airline companies, being smart behemoths with lots of money, have their own herds of nerds who spend their time figuring out how to maximize revenues through ticket pricing strategies. Unfortunately for us, this statistical nerd battle means that the trends that can be extrapolated are few and far between, as the airlines deliberately avoid certain trends so they can sell the most tickets for the maximum price. The doubt that exists as to whether you ll get a cheaper ticket is partly engineered to encourage you to buy as soon as you know you want to make a trip (pantomime hissing and booing is appropriate at this stage).

Recent research has revealed more about the pricing strategies of the airlines, most of which change their ticket prices a number of times a day. It becomes apparent that a change in ticket-hunting strategy is, therefore, also necessary (and that those blog posts on booking at midnight are rubbish). Here s your guide to when it usually is cheaper to book in advance, and when it most certainly isn t.

when it s cheaper

Midweek, out of season

The clich is true midweek flights are cheaper. A trip from Chicago to New York is presently 15% to 20% more expensive on days other than Tuesdays or Wednesdays. If you re flying high season, it might be worth booking in advance just to be able to get a midweek ticket, but also because the prices go up as demand goes up and planes get full.

Two months before the flight

There is no conclusive evidence that flights are cheaper if you book ages in advance. In fact, it s often not the case. But in a study of 12 months worth of data on the two busiest routes in the United States (Chicago-New York and Houston-Dallas) comparing the economy class pricing of six different airlines produced the cheapest prices two months before the flight. From here on, the prices started rising. In a paper for the Social Sciences Research Network, Professor Volodymir Bilotkach and others made the same finding for the international route from New York to London.





23/12/2017

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Should You Buy Travel Insurance? #responsible #travel

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Should You Buy Travel Insurance?

With the state of the airlines and not to mention the world more people are buying travel insurance

Would I buy travel insurance? No but I am beginning to think that it is not such a bad idea. I am the kind of person who thinks that nothing is going to go wrong ever, and then I have to deal with it when it does. The only reason I have health insurance is because I have a daughter and to take myself off would not save me that much. The only reason I have car insurance is because liability is required by law and I have a nice car and I don’t feel like buying a new one if I crash it and actually it is kind of irresponsible to not have car insurance. But recently I got an e-mail that made me realize that I should be recommending travel insurance. To read it check out www.greecetravel.com/matt-blog/2008-9-24.htm

But should you buy travel insurance if you are taking a trip to Greece? Why not? It is cheap enough and there are a number of things that can go wrong that travel insurance will make a lot less painful.

Besides covering flight cancellations at a time when airlines are more unstable than ever (not that they will crash but they may go out of business) travel insurance also covers trip cancellation due to:

*Sickness Injury or Death*

*Weather conditions*

*Termination of Employment*

*Acts of Terrorism*

*Trip Cancellation Interruption*





02/12/2017

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SkyScanner Lets You Find Cheap Flights Around The World #boscovs #travel

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Here’s A Great Way To Find A Cheap Flight If You Don’t Care Where

Flickr/Takashi Ota AirFrance A340 approaching Princess Juliana Airport in St. Martin.

Sometimes, when you are planning a vacation, where to go isn’t the most important part of the equation.

For me, any number of factors can determine the destination: Is it relaxing? Is it interesting? Is it exotic? Have I been there before? If a destination hits any of those factors, I could be interested — as long as airfare is the right price.

While planning a recent vacation with no concrete destination in mind, I hit upon one of the best secrets in travel.

For those in the know, SkyScanner is one of the best travel booking sites on the planet. It searches through hundreds of different booking and airline sites to find you the best deals, but somehow it always seems to find cheaper flights than other travel sites like Expedia or Kayak. In addition it has great features like airfare graphs to let you know whether you should buy now or wait for prices to drop.

SkyScanner’s best secret, however, is for people who aren’t too picky about the destination: It lets you search for flights all over the world to find the cheapest destination to fly into.

To search for flights all over the world, simply go to the SkyScanner flight search page and enter t he city you are flying out of in the “From” box and then type in “Everywhere” in the “To” box.





02/12/2017

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The best flight search tool you ve never heard of #getaway

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The best flight search tool you’ve never heard of

It should come as no surprise that I’m a bit of an obsessive when it comes to searching for flights online. This is my job, after all, and I pursue flight search with the same fervor that I seek out a sweet sample sale deal.

My secret tool, however, is now out for public consumption, and I guess I consider it my responsibility to share it with the world.

Meet ITASoftware.com. If you can remember the clunky URL, you will be happy. ITA Software, which was recently acquired by Google for a cool $700 million in cash, is a travel data clearinghouse that supplies everyone from Bing to Orbitz to Kayak with all of their flight info. That’s right. Most search engines pull the same information; they just slice it and deliver it in different ways.

ITA Software isn’t new; it was founded in 1996 by MIT computer scientists. But the owners have given it a face lift that makes it more palatable for public consumption. While it used to look like it was built, in fact, in 1996, the site has been upgraded and streamlined, with one of those handy matrices that lays out all the options. They’ve even created something I’ve never seen before: a sideways chart detailing flight options by time, using color-coded time bars. Their new free, 4-star app, “OntheFly ” makes detailed search totally doable via an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.

Neither the site nor the app allows for booking. It just gives you all the tools at your fingertips, and lets you customize search as you see fit. and you can be sure you’re seeing everything that exists. Where you choose to book your preferred flight combo via the airline directly or an OTA (Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia, Kayak) is entirely up to you.

Get with more from BudgetTravel.com





30/11/2017

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Tix 4 Tonight – Half Price Tickets and Las Vegas Discounts

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Show Tickets

Tix4Tonight sells discount Las Vegas show tickets to fabulous Las Vegas shows at half the box office price. You can get half price tickets to Las Vegas shows at Tix4Tonight on the day of the performance, which means you don’t have to commit in advance, your plans can stay flexible and you will be rewarded with big savings. Our inventory and discounts change daily, but Tix4Tonight carries all non-sold-out shows in Las Vegas. With locations all over The Strip and in Downtown, it couldn’t be more convenient to stop by the closest booth and have one of our Tixperts help you choose the best show to suit your mood. and your budget.

Tix4Tonight’s selection of Vegas Discounts extends beyond show ticket deals. Customers also enjoy a large selection of dining discounts from some of the best restaurants and buffets in the city for up to half off entrees or your entire check. Customers can also enjoy discounts on some of the most popular Las Vegas Attractions. tours, and exhibitions. Tix4Tonight also offers a selection of last minute tickets to some “always sold out” Las Vegas shows at a smaller discount than our half price offerings. These discount tickets are based on availability only and are not available every night.

For your convenience, customers can order discount show tickets over the phone. For more information on Las Vegas discounts, call us at 877-849-4868 or come in to any one of our conveniently located Tix4Tonight stores on the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown on Fremont Street. You can also view a daily updated list of our current inventory of discount Vegas Shows and attractions on our “Today at our Booths” page or stay current with our latest deals and news by signing up for our mobile updates .

Discount tickets to the most popular shows sell out fast and are subject to availability. If there are current shows in Las Vegas you’d particularly like to see, we recommend you visit a Tix4Tonight store earlier in the day to check availability. But if the show you want to see isn’t available in the morning, be sure to check back later as extra inventory is often released throughout the day. Our friendly Tixperts can also help you discover another show that you’ll be sure to love. Operating hours vary by location, check individual locations for store hours.

Tix4Tonight is the best way to find great Las Vegas discounts on shows, attractions, tours, and restaurants!





29/11/2017

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What You Need to Know Before You Travel to India #air

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What You Need to Know Before You Travel to India

By Sharell Cook. India Travel Expert

Sharell grew up in a small country town in Australia, but has been traveling and exploring different cultures since her early 20s. She first visited India in 2000, and found it to be a complete assault on her senses, confronting but strangely uplifting and exhilarating. This hasn t changed, only now Sharell lives in cosmopolitan Mumbai where she writes full time and grapples with Hindi. Read more

There are a number of things you should do before you travel to India, but where to start with it all? These steps and information will help you get your trip planned and organized in no time at all, and hopefully take some of the stress out of your preparations.

Decide Where You Want to Visit

Book Trains and Flights

Advance reservations for flights aren t as necessary as for trains, however many airlines do offer discounts for 14 or 21 day advance ticket purchases.

Book Accommodations

While it can be possible to get great deals on hotels by walking in and negotiating the rate in many places, it s a good idea to book your accommodations in advance for major cities, particularly Delhi. International flights often arrive at night and it s easy to feel disorientated in an unfamiliar place. Plenty of people prey on unsuspecting tourists by taking them to inferior quality hotels where they get paid a commission for doing so.

Visit Your Doctor

As India is a developing nation, health is an important concern of travelers. You should visit your doctor well in advance of your trip to India to find out what precautions you need to take against certain illnesses. The medications and immunizations that are necessary will greatly depend on the regions you intend to visit (for example, some areas are particularly malaria prone, while others have very little risk of infection) and time of year (during and straight after the monsoon is the riskiest time for health problems).

Get Your Visa

All visitors need a visa for India, except citizens of neighboring Nepal and Bhutan. There is limited provision for visas on arrival to citizens of certain countries. However, most people will need to obtain a visa before arriving in India. Visitors staying in India for less than 72 hours can obtain a Transit Visa, otherwise an Indian Tourist Visa is necessary. The Indian Embassy has started outsourcing the Indian visa application process to private processing agencies in many countries to make it more efficient.

Familarize Yourself With India s Culture

If you re visiting India for the first time, you re probably feeling a bit apprehensive, not knowing what to expect. The risk of culture shock can be overcome to a certain extent by reading as much as you can about India, as well as watching documentaries and other programs on India. In order to to be as prepared as possible, you should also familiarize yourself with as much information as you can about scams, dangers, and annoyances.

Decide What to Pack

When packing for India, it s important to take into account the country s conservative dress standards. Some people prefer to take very little to India and instead buy what they need to over there. Others choose to bring as much as possible with them from home because the quality is better. Some of the things that you should give consideration to are the type of luggage (backpack or suitcase) to take, clothes, shoes, medicine, personal care items, money (ATMs are now widely available in India), and other useful items such as plug adapters, flashlights, and padlocks.





24/11/2017

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Travel Search Engines to Help You Plan Your Trip #travel #gear

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Travel Search Engines to Help You Plan Your Trip

By Melanie Renzulli. United States Travel Expert

Before you can embark on a new travel adventure, you must handle logistics: Where will you go? When will you go? How much can you afford to pay? These are just a few of the questions to consider when going to a travel search engine to book flights, hotels, and rental cars.

While we all have our favorite go-to travel search engines for booking our travels, there may be other travel search websites that better suit your needs depending on the type of trip you wish to take. Below is a look at a few of the options that are available to help you plan and book your travel online.

Big Travel Search Aggregators

Travel Search Innovator

One of the newest travel search engines is Hipmunk . .

Hipmunk s innovation is in its layout of travel search results. Search for flights and you are given a visual representation of flight details, including cost, length of flight, time of day, and whether or not the flight has wifi. All of these are mapped on a useful grid, which takes a lot of the guesswork out of itinerary building. Look to Hipmunk s efficient format to catch on very quickly.

Individual Airlines





22/11/2017

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Budget Airline FlightChecker tells you when to go for the cheapest

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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 .





21/11/2017

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Discount airfares will have you dreaming of January travel: Travel #cheap

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Discount airfares will have you dreaming of January travel

Although fares are higher during the busy holiday travel season, we are already seeing deals for the slow season, which begins just after the new year. You can find some seriously discounted prices for travel in January and early February.

We found fares from Dallas to Newark. N.J. for as low as $99 round trip for a nonstop flight for a two-night trip. This fare was only available departing Jan. 11 or 19, but most flights after Jan. 4 ranged from $107 to $192. You could take your pick of dates and fly for less than $200 round trip.

During January, we found nonstop flights to Denver, Chicago and Atlanta for as low as $99 round trip; San Diego for as low as $167; and San Francisco for as low as $187.

If you will need a hotel, be sure to check package rates. When you combine air and hotel into a package, the rates can offer a savings over purchasing separately. This is especially true during slow seasons, such as between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and in January and early February.

At press time, we booked a two-night trip from Dallas to Washington, D.C. and found a package for $230 for Jan. 16-18 that included round-trip airfare and two nights at the Washington Plaza. The rate was per person based on double occupancy at a 3 1⁄2-star hotel. The airfare alone on these dates was $194 for a nonstop flight, so bundling with the hotel was just $36 more per person.

We often see package rates come down even more during a fare sale. Most sales start on Tuesdays, and I suggest waiting until late Tuesday or early Wednesday to purchase fares. This gives competing airlines time to match fares, so you’ll have more flight options.

My other advice is to start monitoring fares as soon as you decide to take a vacation. We do see great fares pop up that aren’t part of a systemwide sale, and if you’ve been monitoring fares, you’ll know when you see a good price.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday are usually the cheapest days to travel within the continental U.S. If you want a three- or four-night vacation, check prices for departure on a Saturday and return on a Tuesday or Wednesday. This can be much cheaper than a Friday-to-Sunday trip, which are usually the two most expensive days of the week to fly.

We looked at package rates for departure on Jan. 23 with return Jan. 26 and found rates starting at $342, per person based on double occupancy, at the Holiday Inn Suites in Clearwater, Fla. with a nonstop flight into Tampa on American. The total price for two was $684 with a bundled package, vs. $766 if you had purchased airfare and hotel separately.

With so many U.S. cities offered at a discount in the slow season, you’ve got a lot of vacation choices. And although airfares can be rock-bottom, bundled packages might be even more of a bargain.

Another thing to consider when checking package rates is that usually all taxes and fees are included, except if the hotel charges a resort fee. When you check hotel rates, the initial rate you see usually does not include taxes and fees.





16/11/2017

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Do Discount Travel Booking Sites Really Save You Money? #asia #travel

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Do Discount Travel Booking Sites Really Save You Money?

By Gwendolyn Shearman | February 23, 2015

Thanks to our social media feeds, Netflix queues, Amazon accounts and Google search results, we’ve come to expect our online search results to cater specifically to our interests and needs including when it comes to travel.

Whenever we enter an online travel search, it’s our assumption that these deals are made just for us and that they’re the best available, but that may not always be the case. According to “Measuring Price Discrimination and Steering on E-commerce Web Sites ,” a study published by Northeastern University in November 2014, numerous travel booking search engines are guilty of price discrimination or price steering. The study looks at hotel and rental car searches across six popular travel booking sites (CheapTickets, Orbitz, Expedia, Hotels.com, Priceline and Travelocity), and is the first of its kind to compare results between real user accounts and synthetically generated ones.

Price discrimination (as defined by the study) is an industry term that means prices vary user to user, while price steering refers to the order in which search results appear. These factors can sometimes work to your advantage, depending on how they’re implemented. It’s great if you’re driven toward the best deal, but it’s not so beneficial if you’re unknowingly pushed toward higher prices. Even though some of these practices may seem shifty, they aren’t illegal in the United States.

“Most of the time people love this stuff. We love to bargain hunt, we love coupons,” said Christo Wilson, one of the study’s authors. “The difference between the real world and online is the transparency issue. People feel cheated if they don’t know that they’re seeing altered results.”

Here are a few takeaways from the study that can help you secure a deal without wondering if there’s a better bargain out there.

Simply sign up

The authors behind the study noted that price discrimination and price steering aren’t necessarily bad things, what matters is whether sites are transparent about what users are getting, which can be difficult to detect on e-commerce sites.

For example, the study found that CheapTickets and Orbitz presented reduced prices on hotels to “members” who are logged into their respective accounts at the time of their search, thereby using price discrimination. Orbitz Worldwide, which owns and operates the two sites, said it marks members-only prices and acknowledged that they offer lower prices to those who have accounts on their websites. So, it pays to sign up for an account with these websites and to sign in to your account when searching for deals.

Use your phone

The study also found that Travelocity (and the retailer Home Depot) personalizes results for mobile users, specifically those using iOS devices. Users who search with Safari on their iPhones received different hotels in a slightly different order than consumers using Chrome for Android and other desktop browsers.

Overall, hotel prices were listed at about $15 (or 5 percent) lower on iOS devices than other mobile operating systems and desktop browsers, providing proof of price discrimination, where a certain group receives lower prices.

“Online travel retailers have publicly stated that mobile users are a high-growth customer segment, which may explain why Travelocity offers price incentives to iOS devices,” the study states.

Clear your cookies, or don’t

While the study doesn’t call out Priceline for price steering or discriminating, the study’s findings show that the discount booking site personalizes search results based on the account history of users.

The study states: “Users who clicked on or reserved low-price hotel rooms receive slightly different results in a much different order, compared to users who click on nothing, or click/reserve expensive hotel rooms.”

Since users are tied to their IP address and booking history on individual sites, travel search engines like Priceline can customize results to show the properties that an individual is more likely to look for, and subsequently book.

Overall, the authors of the study concede that there’s no foolproof method to ensuring you get the best price. “The companies know a lot about you and we know very little about the companies. If you’re an ordinary person on the website, you have no idea why you’re seeing certain prices,” said Wilson. “Depending on algorithms, it’s very hard to get out of them.”





16/11/2017

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

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10 travel websites that can save you money

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

frommers.com.

© 2010 by Arthur Frommer

Distributed by King Features Syndicate





16/11/2017

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10 Things You Should Never Wear When Traveling Abroad #book #airline

#travel abroad
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A Few More Tips

Dressing appropriately while abroad not only helps you fit in with locals and receive friendlier service, but it also protects you from standing out to pickpockets. When in doubt, look at what the locals are wearing. “The best thing a traveler can do is go to a local clothing store and buy a couple of outfits — then no one will ever mistake you for a tourist,” says travel expert John E. DiScala (a k a Johnny Jet). Plus, your new wardrobe additions make great souvenirs.

Beyond watching what you wear, there are a few other things you can do to make yourself look like less of a traveler. For one, look like you know what you’re doing and where you’re going, even if you have to fake it. “Standing in the middle of the block looking confused — or worse, unfolding a map — calls you out as a tourist,” notes Matthew Reames, who traveled extensively through Europe a few years ago. “[Instead], pop into a coffee shop or something like that to give yourself time to pause and get your bearings.”

Be wary of hand gestures, both making them and wearing clothing depicting them, because these can have different meanings depending on where you are. In Bangladesh, for example, the “thumbs up” gesture is considered obscene. Since you may never know what certain images suggest in another country, avoid them to keep from offending anyone. Visit Guide.CultureCrossing.net to read up on common local gestures and taboos.

Sometimes even more important than how we look is what we sound like. Many Americans can be readily identified by their loud (and often complaining) voices. Keep your sound level low and your speech polite, though this suggestion can certainly be applied to travel anywhere, even within your own home town.

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–written by Erin Gifford





16/11/2017

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What Need to Know Before You Travel to Puerto Rico #travel

#travel to puerto rico
#

What Do You Need to Know Before You Travel to Puerto Rico?

Will my cell phone work?

Yes, your cell phone should work in San Juan and most of the cities.

Will I need to convert money?

No. The dollar is the only currency you’ll need.

Do I need to know Spanish?

Both Spanish and English are the official languages of Puerto Rico. In the big cities and in the islands of Vieques and Culebra, you can get by without a word of Spanish. The people who work in the tourist trade—waiters, shopkeepers, guides, etc.—usually speak fluent English. The police are another issue: it’s not easy to find an English speaking cop.

The farther away you move into the less urban interior of the island, the more you’ll need to have some command of the language.

When is the best time to go?

This is a matter of some debate. Puerto Rico has two seasons, and these follow the weather. The peak travel period is December to April, when Americans escaping the winter invade the island by boat- and planeloads. In this season, you’ll pay the highest prices for hotels, and you’d be wise to reserve restaurants and activities in advance. The low season falls between May and November, and this is when travelers can find terrific deals on hotels, airfare, and vacation packages. Of course, June 1 to November 30 is also hurricane season.

Hurricanes are no strangers to Puerto Rico, even though the island has not suffered a Category 4 or 5 storm since the 1930s. Hurricane Georges in 1998 did some damage, but it was the only storm that directly hit the island in the past 60 years. Still, a downgraded tropical storm can ruin your vacation just as effectively as a hurricane. If you’re planning a vacation during this season, make sure to check with the following resources for up-to-the-minute forecasts:

  • The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center provides online statistics and predictions.
  • The Weather Channel offers daily, weekly, and monthly data on every city it covers. You can also call 1-800-WEATHER to hear about up-to-date conditions ($0.95 per call).

Should I rent a car?

Most major national car rental companies have offices on the island, along with many local agencies. The highways are well paved and generally easy to navigate. But before you book your rental, consider the following:

  • Cost – In general, you’ll pay a bit more than the average price of a rental in the U.S. (try the local competition for better rates). You may also be required to pay liability insurance: credit cards that offer auto coverage in the continental U.S. don’t always extend that coverage to Puerto Rico, and your insurance company may not cover the island.
  • What do you want to do? – If you plan to explore the island in depth, you’ll definitely need a car. Also, people traveling to Vieques and Culebra should consider renting a jeep or car once they get there. But, if you are sticking around San Juan, forget the rental. Old San Juan is a walking city, and you can easily get around the city in a taxi or a bus. Parking and traffic can be a nightmare in the city, and a rental might be more trouble than it s worth.
  • Numeric Confusion – For reasons best known to themselves, Puerto Ricans use both miles and kilometers: distances are posted in kilometers, while speed limits are shown in miles. Also, gas is sold in liters, not gallons.
  • Traffic – Puerto Rican motorists are in a great, careening hurry to get places, and the orderly laws of road conduct are more loose guidelines than strict rules here. This makes for a sometimes harrowing experience for timid drivers. If aggressive drivers scare you, a rental might not be your thing.




  • 15/11/2017

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    Start Your Own Travel Business – How To Start A Travel

    #travel start
    #

    Start A Travel Business Today

    INSPIRATION

    W hat is your inspiration for starting a travel business? Have you traveled somewhere that changed you as a person? While in this location did you learn about the culture, break bread with locals and friends, and now you want share that experience with others? “W” Tour Travel Group aides people just like you on shoe string budgets develop their passion for travel into a business. “W” Tour Travel Group will help you start your new travel business even if you have little to no experience, a very small budget, and no formal business plan. What you must bring to the table is passion, inspiration, an idea, a budget to start your business, and an above average work ethic.

    PRODUCT CREATION

    W hat is your travel/tour product? It certainly should be more than a flight and a hotel. You need to create a product that is a travel experience that appeals to a consumer on an emotional level and inspires them to share that experience with others. “W” Tour Travel Group will help you create a unique travel experience that has the basic nuts and bolts associated with getting from point A to point B, hotel reservations, and out of the box tours and excursions that create a true travel experience for your potential customers. Our connections throughout the world allow us to help you contract the vendors who will source the components you need to market a unique travel/tour product.

    Free (no obligation) 30 minute phone consultation.





    09/11/2017

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    Should You Buy Travel Insurance? #best #price #rental #cars

    #buy travel insurance
    #

    Should You Buy Travel Insurance?

    Thinkstock

    By Jessica L. Anderson | From Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, August 2013

    Vacation protection can make sense, but know what it does and doesn’t cover.

    Hurricane season is upon us, which means a tropical storm could be brewing just as you’re about to leave on vacation. Is travel insurance the solution?

    See Also: Are You Covered?

    Probably not. Unforeseen events are typically covered, but foreseen (or foreseeable) ones are usually not. A tropical storm being tracked is a foreseen event. So if you cancel your trip to Puerto Rico because you’re worried the storm could turn into a hurricane as it blows through San Juan, you won’t be reimbursed.

    Advertisement

    Commonly covered reasons for cancellation include death or illness (yours or a close family member’s, as long as you have a doctor’s note or death certificate), a layoff at work, a terrorist incident in your city or destination, storm damage that makes your destination uninhabitable, and bankruptcy of a travel supplier. Pre­existing medical conditions are covered if you buy coverage within a week or two of booking your trip. After that, they’re considered a foreseen illness and excluded.

    You will be reimbursed only for nonrefundable expenses. If the airline rebooks you at no charge or the cruise operator gives you a voucher for a canceled trip, you won’t be reimbursed. Save your receipts and any documentation of the reason for canceling; you will need backup when you make a claim.

    Reasons to Buy

    If you understand what is and isn’t covered, you can insure your nonrefundable costs so that you can afford to reschedule. You can compare dozens of policies at InsureMyTrip.com and SquareMouth.com. Package policies, which run about 4% to 8% of the cost of your trip, include coverage for trip cancellation and delay, interruption (in case you get sick while traveling and have to return home suddenly), medical costs, and lost or delayed baggage. They also include 24-hour phone service to help you find a medical facility or rearrange travel plans.

    Even if you think cancellation is unlikely, insuring yourself for medical issues is a good idea, especially if you’re traveling abroad. U.S. insurance is typically not accepted abroad (and Medicare is rarely accepted). Even if you’re planning travel within the U.S. your insurance may have large deductibles or co-payments for care outside your home area. Medical evacuation to get you to a treatment facility from a remote area or to airlift you home can cost upward of $100,000.

    A package policy includes medical and medevac coverage. You can also purchase travel medical insurance separately. The cost is based on your age, preexisting conditions and the length of your trip. For example, a 50-year-old traveling for two weeks can get $50,000 of medical coverage and $300,000 of medical evacuation coverage for about $40. Look for policies that offer primary coverage; otherwise, the insurance won’t kick in until your medical plan has processed a claim.

    Be wary of the offerings from airlines and cruise lines. Airline policies typically offer less coverage for the same price as a third-party package plan, and cruise insurance may offer vouchers for future travel instead of reimbursement. Also, their policies don’t cover their own financial default, so if they go under, you’re out of luck. Policies sold by travel sites are also less comprehensive.

    Many companies now allow you to add riders that let you cancel for any reason. Say you’re worried about political unrest in the region you’re visiting, or you think you may have to attend a funeral during your trip. You can pay extra and cover every eventuality. The surcharge is 50% to 60% of your base premium, and about 75% of your costs will be reimbursed if you cancel (some companies offer up to 90% reimbursement). The catch? You still must cancel at least two days before your trip.





    08/11/2017

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


    #

    What You Can Do with a Degree in Sociology

    Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

    by Ashley Crossman

    Updated May 16, 2017

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

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

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

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

    With advanced degrees (M.A.

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

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

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

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

    Show Full Article


    13/10/2017

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    Just Spas and Adventures – Finding Just the Right Destination for

    #spa travel
    #

    Spa Vacations Including Health Spas, Weight Loss Spas, All Inclusive Spas, Cruises & Adventure Travel

    Hot Deals

    Time sensitive promos and specials, so check back often! Resort credits and complimentary amenities at many of these destinations.

    Spa Getaways

    From affordable to luxurious, there is something for everyone. Spa vacations, health and fitness, weight loss destinations, seeking personal “bliss” or a much deserved vacation with friends.

    Specialty Travel

    Singles travel, women’s trips, girlfriend getaways, adventure trips, escorted or private tours, villa rentals, cruises or yacht charters, we’re here to make it easy for you!

    Share Your Review!

    Whether you book a trip through us or not, we invite you to comment and share your experience!

    Years of destination expertise, coupled with friendly, personalized service is what you receive  at Just Spas and Adventures. A luxury boutique travel firm offering highly attentive service and taking the time to talk with you .  Offering value added services you wont find searching the internet. Providing recommendations and details while matching you with the right destination. Just Spas Adventures is with you every step of the way, from  initial planning to follow-up upon returning home. Let us take the hassle out of planning your next get-away. What s on your bucket list?

    Traveling solo, with family, a group of friends, is your organization planning a fund-raising event or offering incentive travel? We know what s new, what s hot and can answer questions about all types of vacations:  luxury spa getaways including weight loss retreats, off-the-beaten-path locations, cruise travel, women-only and singles travel, villa rentals, yacht charters, escorted and independent travel, active and adventure trips.

    Contact us: 866-772-3678

    I just want to add my thanks for the efforts provided to put together a great trip to Tuscany for our group. We had a great time and that part of the world is a treasure. I have no doubts that we could not have put together such an enjoyable trip. Booking our group’s airfare at a reasonable rate, renting the beautiful villa overlooking the Mediterranean plus a wonderful hotel and handling all of the transfers and tours for our group without the services of a professional such as yourself.” Jim K – New York





    04/10/2017

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    Environmental Science Degree Online – Bachelors of Science – University of


    #

    Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

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

    Campus Locations

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

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

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

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

    Requirements and prerequisites

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

    There are no prerequisites for this course.

    Get started here

    Introduction to Environmental Sciences

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    01:50 Pollution affects our ecosystem and human health.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    21/09/2017

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    Is it possible to book a cheap flight the same day

    #book a flight cheap
    #

    is it possible to book a cheap flight the same day you want to leave?

    Isn’t this called flying standby. I’ve never done it before but I’m pretty sure this is what stand-by is.

    Standby is when you have an existing ticket for a different flight and then go to the gate of an earlier one so you can try to take any of their extra spots.

    You might want to try and Priceline?

    Standby is when you have an existing ticket for a different flight and then go to the gate of an earlier one so you can try to take any of their extra spots.

    No, you can fly standby by having a cheaper, standby ticket, where you turn up for your booked flight but only get on if there are spaces not taken by passengers with regular tickets. If there aren’t spaces, you are bumped to the next flight and the same thing happens again.

    Flying standby is an option. I’ve noticed you can sometimes get cheap last minute flights as airlines hate flying with empty seats, but with the whole American Airlines craziness going on at the moment I imagine every other airline is nicely full up and isn’t going to drop seat prices when they can get all the paniced AA customers who missed flights business.

    posted by wwax at 8:24 AM on October 11, 2012

    Ah, my bad.

    Poster, please be aware – as I recently wasn’t – that airlines have a window before the flight where they won’t sell you tickets, for security reasons. When it came up, I was told 4 hours online, 2 hours in the airport, but I can’t find good documentation online – I would confirm with your intended airline as one of your pre-planning steps, here.

    Yes, it is possible if the flight is quite empty and/or there is competition on the route. Otherwise, the last seats on the plane are generally expensive because they are catering to walk ons like you. The block of cheaper ones have typically been sold earlier – either very early on or in demand-based promotional activity designed to shift seats on a low-demand flight. Most airlines are – it goes without saying – good at optimising revenue per passenger or they tend to go out of business.

    This is not the same as flying standby, which basically is the airline retaining the option to bump you off a full flight and onto a later one with availability.

    posted by MuffinMan at 8:27 AM on October 11, 2012

    Technically, about 24 hours before a flight, the seats get released and then are in control of the online system and the gate agent system. So you can’t get same-day flights on the phone, usually, or you can, for a crazy price, but you CAN get them online but, most easily, at the airport. It’s a crapshoot! Often you won’t see a price drop same-day online, but you might improve at the airport. (Just checked AA’s prices to Miami from NYC for today online; not great at all.) Or not!

    Airlines don’t want to fly empty seats, but they also don’t want to set precedent where people wait until the very last minute to get a cheap seat.

    Also, the funeral and medical emergencies crowd pay top dollar for last minute seats.

    Orbitz right now show tix at $310 one way, from LaGuardia to SFO. That’s as good as you’re going to get.

    I checked Priceline and US Airways has a round trip, returning a week from now, and it’s $675 RT, with a return next Thursday.

    C’mon, that’s pretty damn good.

    You want to search for Last minute airfare.

    There are more if you Google. Looks like you can fly tomorrow into San Jose for $295.

    Also, weekends are the best time to look for these kinds of deals, since business travelers tend to fill up the weekday travel slots.

    We took our first anniversary trip via a last minute airfare. Just decided to wait and see what was cheap that weekend and boom, off we went.

    Historically same day flights are the most expensive as the airlines know you want to fly. In business class their was a riddle; What’s the only thing that gets more expensive the closer it gets to its expiry date? An airline ticket.

    My intro to econ prof also mentioned this. He said that he doesn’t understand why airlines don’t have an auction / standby section at the gate when flights leave. If there are free seats, whoever wants to pay the most get to go (this was in the days before Crazy Security).

    But airlines don’t have that infrastructure, so I think the short answer is you gotta be bffs with a flight attendant . OTOH, kayak is showing $300 standby tickets for 4:25pm from jfk (the time is now 2:32) with one stop in philly. That seems pretty reasonable to me.





    21/09/2017

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    Discover Spas Near You with the Spafinder Wellness Gift Card #travel

    #spa travel
    #

    Wellness Deals

    Wellness Lifestyle

    Beauty & Grooming 2015-11-03 09:55:51 Kate Phillips

    Skin Care: 4 Tips for Healthy Skin This Fall

    I don’t know about you, but it seems any time the seasons change, so does my skin—and not always for the better: When the cooler temps of autumn come around, cue my seriously dry and dehydrated complexion. So suffice it to say when Pat Dutcher, spa director of SiSpa, located at Palm Beach Marriott S.

    Read more Explore More Beauty & Grooming Nutrition 2015-11-26 09:41:15 Kate Phillips

    3 Thanksgiving Hangover Cures to Curb Turkey Tiredness

    Got a case of Turkey Day blues? Must be the tryptophan (or so the myth goes). To cure turkey overindulgence, sleepiness, and plain old heavy belly-ness, here are a few Thanksgiving hangover cures from culinary chef and holistic nutritionist Tricia Williams, founder of Food Matters NYC, diet coach, a.

    Read more Explore More Nutrition Travel & Play 2015-11-27 05:31:27 Kate Phillips

    Shop Sales: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

    The height of the holiday shopping season has begun, and the sales this year are superb. So skip the lines and skip the stress: Several resort spas and beauty brands are featuring Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, and for a  majority of these promotions, all you have to do is click. Save y.

    Read more Explore More Travel & Play Fitness 2015-11-17 14:02:38 Kate Phillips

    Take a Hike: Top Hiking Trails to Explore This Fall Winter

    You’ve heard the phrase, “take a hike”—and the fall and winter are excellent seasons for doing just that. Get amped to explore a few of the world’s top hiking trails, plus, the destinations that promote them. They’re perfect for providing invigorating exercise as the weather cools down. Ranch.

    Mindset 2015-11-21 09:12:38 Spafinder Wellness 365

    Your Guide to a Stress-Free Season: 5 Tips to Avoid Holiday Stress

    by Dr. Mark Pirtle, Stress-Illness Specialist at Miraval Arizona Resort Spa While the holidays signify a joyous time of family togetherness and giving, we often find ourselves becoming stressed with the pressures of it all – from crowded shopping malls to an onslaught of holiday parties and.

    Read more Explore More Mindset Relationships 2015-10-12 09:23:55 Kate Phillips

    Child’s Play: Spa and Wellness for Kids

    Who says the adults should have all the fun? Spas and wellness centers worldwide are incorporating healthier options specifically for children. We call it child’s play. The Virgin Active Health Clubs collection boasts nearly 100 clubs in the UK, and children of all ages are welcome with thei.

    Read more Explore More Relationships Caring 2015-11-07 07:31:16 Kate Phillips

    Good Karma: Island Spa Catalina Supports Sports Community

    This past summer marked the second-annual Community Open House and Appreciation Evening, hosted by Island Spa Catalina in support of its area Avalon High School Athletics. Approximately 200 local residents and visitors attended the evening event, where they enjoyed complimentary mini services such a.

    Read more Explore More Caring Healing 2015-11-30 09:45:43 Kate Phillips

    6 Simple Ways to Make Your Home More “Well”

    When Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady put their $20-million, eco-friendly L.A. home on the market in early 2014, I immediately called my realtor and put a bid on it—nah, totally kidding of course, but a girl can dream, right? Yes, the nearly 14,000-square-foot house, once highlighted in Architectural D.





    21/09/2017

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    Yapta Alerts You to a Cheaper Airfare in Time to Rebook

    #find cheap airfare
    #

    Even After Cancellation Fees, Travelers Say They Save by Buying a New Ticket at a Lower Price

    Updated Aug. 29, 2014 1:04 p.m. ET

    Searching for a Labor Day weekend plane ticket home for my daughter, I saw an attractive $432 fare on American Airlines. I sent her the details and she responded within 90 minutes.

    Airfares bounce up and down, often frustrating and angering travelers. But can you get a better price after you buy? WSJ s Middle Seat columnist Scott McCartney joins Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero with the answer. Photo: Getty

    Yapta, which began tracking airfares in 2007, has turned its fare-searching technology into a corporate tool to hunt for lower fares and hotel room rates after trips are booked. It’s available to consumers at yapta.com.

    Whenever a price drops in the first 24 hours after purchase, or when it drops more than the cost of the airline’s change fee, Yapta sends you an alert and you rebook at the lower price, paying the change fee and pocketing what’s left.

    Airlines, having created so much volatility in their own pricing, are offering ways to beat the bounces, too. Last week, British Airways announced it would offer a 72-hour price hold for a flat fee of $10—useful if you see a good price but aren’t ready to commit to a nonrefundable ticket. That’s similar to United Airlines’s FareLock, where you pay $5 to $20 and lock in a price for either 72 hours or seven days.

    (Read more from The Wall Street Journal: Five Things To Know Today .)

    You could combine the two in a strategy to make sure you are getting the best price possible. Put a fare on hold and put Yapta to work. If the price drops during the hold period, you’ll get an alert and you can jump on it.

    Yapta does what consumers or travel managers could do manually: It periodically rechecks the price of a ticket. Airlines don’t embrace the idea, and their pricy penalties for changing nonrefundable tickets limits how often travelers rebook. But neither have airlines put up a fight against Yapta. After all, they are the ones bouncing prices up and down.

    When you search for an airline ticket, you usually see one price for a particular trip on specific dates. Airlines, though, actually load as many as two dozen different prices into reservation systems. A number of seats are offered at the lowest price in each class of service, and when those seats sell, reservation computers automatically display the next higher price as the best available.

    Several times a day, airline pricing analysts and their computers can change the number of seats available at each price point, and they can change the prices themselves.

    Mix in actual purchases and you get a rapidly changing pricing vortex that can anger and frustrate shoppers. One minute you see a good price; the next minute it’s a whole lot higher.

    A lot happens between the time you buy and the time you fly,” says James Filsinger, Yapta’s chief executive of the Seattle-based company.

    Yapta says its research shows some cities are a lot more volatile for airline prices than others. Tickets leaving from San Francisco were the most volatile of 15 major airports for business travel, Yapta found, and departures from New York’s LaGuardia Airport were the least volatile. San Francisco is a hub for both United Airlines and Virgin America, providing lots of pricing competition. La Guardia, with limited takeoff and landing slots, historically has lacked low-fare competition.

    Started by a former airline pricing executive, Yapta now is run by Mr. Filsinger, a former executive at the reservation technology firm Sabre Group. Yapta takes fare data published by airlines and periodically tracks the lowest price available for a trip it is monitoring. So far working only on tickets sold in the U.S. Yapta says there are savings opportunities on 11.2% of all itineraries, after airline change fees.

    Most of the chances to get money back come within the void window” of the first 24 hours after purchase. Corporate travel departments typically get a full business day.

    When there were savings to be had, the average in a Yapta study of 150,000 itineraries booked from July through December 2013 was $306 after fees on tickets above $500, and $58 after fees on tickets under $500.

    The Transportation Department requires at least a 24-hour cancellation window for tickets sold in the U.S. as long as the reservation is more than seven days before departure.

    Most airlines charge the full price up front at the time of booking, but must give a full refund if canceled within 24 hours. (They don’t advertise that fact much.) American offers a 24-hour hold on reservations, without payment, instead of a refund in the 24-hour window.

    ENLARGE

    With corporate customers, Yapta loads its software into travel department booking systems. It doesn’t charge for the service but takes a cut of the savings, usually about 35%, Mr. Filsinger said. With consumers, use of the tracking tool is free. Companies, like consumers, can set a threshold on minimum savings before an alert is sent, to take into account change fees and other expenses. The company recently launched a similar system to check for falling hotel room prices, but so far that’s offered only to corporate travel departments and not consumers.

    The bigger the fare, the bigger the potential savings, so travel managers say they have seen their most eye-popping results on international business-class tickets.

    One Friday, Al Mazzola, director of travel services at Sykes Enterprises Inc. a Florida technology-consulting company, booked a $19,000 business-class ticket from Tampa to Shanghai and back, only to see it fall to $7,000 over the weekend. With the Yapta alert, the company grabbed the new price. I was stunned. I’ve never seen savings like that,” Mr. Mazzola said.

    Mr. Mazzola has been using Yapta for more than a year and said he has saved more than $125,000, even after Yapta’s percentage and airline change fees. He said probably 90% of the savings comes in the void period, the first full business day after purchase.

    Most of the price changes happen in the middle of the night, Mr. Mazzola says, and the new fares are usually still there when he gets to work around 7 a.m. on the East Coast.

    Travel agents can rebook via computer when an alert comes in. The traveler keeps the same seat and the same reservation code. Mr. Mazzola sends an email to company travelers saying, Congratulations, we found a lower fare for you.”

    Still, savings are too sporadic to justify booking a high-price ticket in the expectation that it will come down. The company tries always to book the lowest fare, he said.

    Similar to United’s FareLock, which Continental Airlines first offered in 2010 shortly before its merger with United, is British Airways’s 72-hour hold option. It can help you hang on to a price if it turns out to be the lowest offered. British Airways said it refunds the deposit—$10 for flights from the U.S. €10 from Europe and £10 from the United Kingdom—if the ticket purchase is made. Seats can only be held 21 days or longer before departure.

    The hold fee is offered through ba.com and includes code-sharing flights on partner airlines. A few destinations, including some in the Caribbean as well as Buenos Aires, Cairo, Lagos and some cities in India, aren’t available because of complex fluctuating tax calculations, British Airways said.

    United said FareLock fees are nonrefundable even if you buy the ticket and can be used only with United and United Express flights, not Star Alliance partners. FareLock can be used to hold frequent-flier award tickets.

    Corrections Amplifications

    An earlier version should have stated that American Airlines complies with Transportation Department rules by offering a 24-hour hold period on reservations for nonrefundable tickets, instead of a 24-hour refund window. (Aug. 29, 2014)





    09/09/2017

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    Self Assessment tax returns: Who must send a tax return #how


    #

    Self Assessment tax returns

    2. Who must send a tax return

    The tax year is from 6 April to 5 April the following year.

    You’ll need to send a tax return if, in the last tax year:

    • you were self-employed – you can deduct allowable expenses
    • you got £2,500 or more in untaxed income, for example from tips or renting out a property – contact the helpline if it was less than £2,500
    • your income from savings or investments was £10,000 or more before tax
    • your income from dividends from shares was £10,000 or more before tax
    • you made profits from selling things like shares, a second home or other chargeable assets and need to pay Capital Gains Tax
    • you were a company director – unless it was for a non-profit organisation (such as a charity) and you didn’t get any pay or benefits, like a company car
    • your income (or your partner’s) was over £50,000 and one of you claimed Child Benefit
    • you had income from abroad that you needed to pay tax on
    • you lived abroad and had a UK income
    • your income was over £100,000
    • you were a trustee of a trust or registered pension scheme
    • you had a P800 from HMRC saying you didn’t pay enough tax last year – and you didn’t pay what you owe through your tax code or with a voluntary payment

    Certain other people may need to send a return (for example religious ministers or Lloyd’s underwriters) – you can check whether you need to. You usually won’t need to send a return if your only income is from your wages or pension.

    If you’ve been told to send a return

    If you get an email or letter from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC ) telling you to send a return, you must send it – even if you don’t have any tax to pay.

    If you used to send a tax return but don’t need to send one for the last tax year, you can contact HMRC to close your Self Assessment account.

    Claiming tax relief

    Fill in a tax return to claim money back from HMRC for:

    Registering for Self Assessment

    You need to register if you didn’t send a tax return last year. There are different ways to register if you’re:

    If you’re new to Self Assessment, you’ll need to keep records (for example bank statements or receipts) so you can fill in your tax return correctly.

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    09/09/2017

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  • Argentina is Cheap Again (If You Follow This Advice) #freedom #travel

    #cheapest way to travel
    #

    Argentina is Cheap Again (If You Follow This Advice)

    When I put out the first edition of The World s Cheapest Destinations at the end of 2002, Argentina was one of the best travel values in the world and it stayed that way for quite a while. Reeling for a huge banking collapse and currency crisis, the local peso went from parity to the dollar to a rate of three to the dollar when the dust settled, without any change in prices.

    After a while though, even though the exchange rate kept widening, inflation galloped even faster. As tourism picked up and hotels were able to fill their rooms, rates for those went up as well. With an inefficient and pricey airline system, combined with very long distances for buses, eventually Argentina drifted out of budget travel territory and I had to drop it from the book when doing updates.

    This is a country that can t get out of its own way though and you can almost bet money that every 10 years they re going to be in trouble again. That time is now. They have defaulted on debt. robbed the public pensions, strangled international business, and practically outlawed a whole range of imported goods. It keeps getting messier and nothing is working as intended though.

    Another Collapse, but When?

    The prevailing wisdom from people who live there is that one of two things will happen before the next election at the end of 2015.

    1) The government and economy will collapse, the opposition will come in and make rescue moves, and in a few years they ll get all the credit for the turnaround. The current government won t regain power.

    2) The current government will somehow keep limping along and will stay in power long enough to hand the whole mess off to the opposition, then the old guard can blame the whole mess on the opposition since it will take a while to turn things around. Then eventually the pendulum will swing and they ll be back in power.

    Either way, few are predicting good news on the horizon anytime soon. There are so many red flags right now that it s hard to see anything positive to point to.

    There s one big red flag though that s really a gold one for travelers: a dual exchange rate for those with dollars.

    Official Rate vs. Blue Rate

    Nobody wants to call the real exchange rate a black market rate, so they re calling it a blue rate to make it sound prettier. The official rate is a little more than 8 to the dollar. The real rate you ll get on the street is more than 15. This rate is so open that it s printed in the newspaper and you can look it up online each day.

    What this means for you the traveler is this: cash is king. Forget the ATM, forget using your credit card. For both of those you re going to get the lousy official rate. You can almost double your spending power by bringing cash.

    Your Argentina-bound carry-on bag

    Yes, I know this goes against everything you ve learned about safety, theft prevention, debit card back-ups, and the like. But really, you are better off acting like a mobster and coming in with rolls of $50 and $100 bills (clean and recent of course) than you are trying to use plastic. Then you simply exchange these dollars for pesos and use those pesos to pay for your now-much-cheaper hotel rooms, restaurant meals, and bus tickets. Use those pesos to shop for now-cheap leather goods and to buy good wine for cheap.

    If you do this, you ll be copying what the wealthy Argentines are doing now. The country has slapped a 35% international travel tax on anyone leaving the country to try to stem the outward flow of money, but it s not keeping the rich from traveling. That s because they can easily justify it as a business expense: they ve stowed their money in Montevideo, Panama, or Miami. So it s a banking trip. It s also the only way they can shop for items not made in Argentina: the import restrictions have gotten so tough that most of the best-known international brands have pulled out of Argentina. The ones who stayed are having to buy buildings to have something to do with their profits since they can t get them out of the country.

    In short, its a big mess. But when there s upheaval, that s often the best time to visit. You have a hard currency in a land where that hard currency is extra valuable.

    Just be advised there s one big expense you can t get around: the hefty reciprocity fee to enter the country. Chile dropped it recently, but not Argentina (or Brazil). You need to apply in advance and pay $160 per person if you re American, $92 if you re Canadian, and $100 if you re Australian. Stay a while to make up for this tax on tourists.





    09/09/2017

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    10 Tips: Should you buy travel insurance? Money – 10 Tips.

    #buy travel insurance
    #

    In rare instances it s a good deal, but it often duplicates existing coverage

    Planning to go trekking in the Himalayas? Or maybe take a little cruise down to Mexico? Before you head for the hills, it’s a good idea to make sure you have enough insurance coverage.

    More from TODAY.com

    Clinton said she is inspired to keep working to ensure that Charlotte and her generation are provided equal opportunities.

    Travel insurance is becoming increasingly popular, but in many cases it simply duplicates coverage you already have.

    The following tips can help you determine what kind of travel coverage, if any, is right for you.

    1. Familiarize yourself with what’s out there. Travel insurance can include trip cancellation, trip interruption, accidental death or dismemberment, medical and dental care, transportation to medical facilities, loss of luggage or personal possessions and protection against the bankruptcy or default of your cruise line or tour operator.

    2. Determine whether you’re already covered. Many homeowners’ and renters’ policies provide coverage for theft and other losses away from home. Your medical and auto insurance may be valid in other countries. Your life insurance policy should cover you and your family while you travel. And airlines must reimburse you if they lose your bags.

    3. Remember your credit cards and auto club membership. Check to see what travel protection you have from those little plastic cards in your wallet. The American Express Platinum Card is especially good about giving generous accidental death and dismemberment coverage, insurance for car rental loss and damage, and extra lost baggage protection.

    4. Buy through a third-party insurer. Travel agents, tour operators and cruise lines sell travel insurance, but your safest bet is to obtain coverage through an established insurance company. This way your coverage won’t go up in smoke if your travel company goes bankrupt. You can compare rates at InsureMyTrip.com.





    07/09/2017

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


    #

    Can I Get a Psychology Degree Online?

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

    Benefits of Online Classes

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

    Why Psychology?

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

    Online Psychology Classes

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

    Career Benefits

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

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

    Psychology Education


    07/09/2017

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    Doing Business Abroad? CDC Helps You Travel Safe and Smart #airfare

    #cdc travel
    #

    Doing Business Abroad? CDC Helps You Travel Safe and Smart

    DOING BUSINESS ABROAD? CDC HELPS YOU TRAVEL SAFE AND SMART

    For many businesses, international travel plays a critical role in the success of the organization. But with millions of Americans traveling internationally for work, the direct and indirect costs of business travel-related illnesses and injuries can be significant. Beyond health care expenses, there may be costs for evacuation, trip cancellation and rebooking fees, as well as lost productivity.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers comprehensive travelers’ health information and advice that help protect U.S. citizens and businesses from diseases and other health risks abroad. In addition to delivering a wide variety of travel resources—including destination-specific information and mobile apps—CDC also works with global partners to prevent avoidable catastrophes, detect and communicate threats early and mobilize effective responses to contain outbreaks, especially those that can spread rapidly through travel.

    For example, diseases like MERS and measles can travel as fast as a plane can fly. Malaria is easily spread through mosquito bites in affected areas. Food and water contaminants can lead to prolonged illness. And road-related crashes are the number-one killer of healthy international travelers.

    In today’s interconnected economy, travel is an essential part of doing business. In this issue of Business Pulse, you’ll learn from CDC about how to prepare for various health risks and benefit from productive, healthy business activities abroad.





    05/09/2017

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    Do Discount Travel Booking Sites Really Save You Money? #jordan #travel

    #travel booking sites
    #

    Do Discount Travel Booking Sites Really Save You Money?

    Feb 27, 2015 | Updated Apr 29, 2015

    U.S. News Travel U.S. News World Report Travel

    Thanks to our social media feeds, Netflix queues, Amazon accounts and Google search results, we’ve come to expect our online search results to cater specifically to our interests and needs — including when it comes to travel.

    Whenever we enter an online travel search, it’s our assumption that these deals are made just for us and that they’re the best available, but that may not always be the case. According to “Measuring Price Discrimination and Steering on E-commerce Web Sites ,” a study published by Northeastern University in November 2014, numerous travel booking search engines are guilty of price discrimination or price steering. The study looks at hotel and rental car searches across six popular travel booking sites (CheapTickets, Orbitz, Expedia, Hotels.com, Priceline and Travelocity), and is the first of its kind to compare results between real user accounts and synthetically generated ones.

    Price discrimination (as defined by the study) is an industry term that means prices vary user to user, while price steering refers to the order in which search results appear. These factors can sometimes work to your advantage, depending on how they’re implemented. It’s great if you’re driven toward the best deal, but it’s not so beneficial if you’re unknowingly pushed toward higher prices. Even though some of these practices may seem shifty, they aren’t illegal in the United States.

    “Most of the time people love this stuff. We love to bargain hunt, we love coupons,” said Christo Wilson, one of the study’s authors. “The difference between the real world and online is the transparency issue. People feel cheated if they don’t know that they’re seeing altered results.”

    Here are a few takeaways from the study that can help you secure a deal without wondering if there’s a better bargain out there.

    Simply sign up The authors behind the study noted that price discrimination and price steering aren’t necessarily bad things, what matters is whether sites are transparent about what users are getting, which can be difficult to detect on e-commerce sites.

    For example, the study found that CheapTickets and Orbitz presented reduced prices on hotels to “members” who are logged into their respective accounts at the time of their search, thereby using price discrimination. Orbitz Worldwide, which owns and operates the two sites, said it marks members-only prices and acknowledged that they offer lower prices to those who have accounts on their websites. So, it pays to sign up for an account with these websites and to sign in to your account when searching for deals.

    Use your phone The study also found that Travelocity (and the retailer Home Depot) personalizes results for mobile users, specifically those using iOS devices. Users who search with Safari on their iPhones received different hotels in a slightly different order than consumers using Chrome for Android and other desktop browsers.

    Overall, hotel prices were listed at about $15 (or 5 percent) lower on iOS devices than other mobile operating systems and desktop browsers, providing proof of price discrimination, where a certain group receives lower prices.

    “Online travel retailers have publicly stated that mobile users are a high-growth customer segment, which may explain why Travelocity offers price incentives to iOS devices,” the study states.

    Clear your cookies, or don’t While the study doesn’t call out Priceline for price steering or discriminating, the study’s findings show that the discount booking site personalizes search results based on the account history of users.

    The study states: “Users who clicked on or reserved low-price hotel rooms receive slightly different results in a much different order, compared to users who click on nothing, or click/reserve expensive hotel rooms.”

    Since users are tied to their IP address and booking history on individual sites, travel search engines like Priceline can customize results to show the properties that an individual is more likely to look for, and subsequently book.

    Overall, the authors of the study concede that there’s no foolproof method to ensuring you get the best price. “The companies know a lot about you and we know very little about the companies. If you’re an ordinary person on the website, you have no idea why you’re seeing certain prices,” said Wilson. “Depending on algorithms, it’s very hard to get out of them.”





    05/09/2017

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    Booking Flights In Advance: Do You Really Save Money? #cheap #flights

    #book airline flights
    #

    Booking Flights In Advance:

    Page 1 of 2

    For many years, nerds the world over have been trying to dig up trends in airline pricing data. Of course, airline companies, being smart behemoths with lots of money, have their own herds of nerds who spend their time figuring out how to maximize revenues through ticket pricing strategies. Unfortunately for us, this statistical nerd battle means that the trends that can be extrapolated are few and far between, as the airlines deliberately avoid certain trends so they can sell the most tickets for the maximum price. The doubt that exists as to whether you ll get a cheaper ticket is partly engineered to encourage you to buy as soon as you know you want to make a trip (pantomime hissing and booing is appropriate at this stage).

    Recent research has revealed more about the pricing strategies of the airlines, most of which change their ticket prices a number of times a day. It becomes apparent that a change in ticket-hunting strategy is, therefore, also necessary (and that those blog posts on booking at midnight are rubbish). Here s your guide to when it usually is cheaper to book in advance, and when it most certainly isn t.

    when it s cheaper

    Midweek, out of season

    The clich is true midweek flights are cheaper. A trip from Chicago to New York is presently 15% to 20% more expensive on days other than Tuesdays or Wednesdays. If you re flying high season, it might be worth booking in advance just to be able to get a midweek ticket, but also because the prices go up as demand goes up and planes get full.

    Two months before the flight

    There is no conclusive evidence that flights are cheaper if you book ages in advance. In fact, it s often not the case. But in a study of 12 months worth of data on the two busiest routes in the United States (Chicago-New York and Houston-Dallas) comparing the economy class pricing of six different airlines produced the cheapest prices two months before the flight. From here on, the prices started rising. In a paper for the Social Sciences Research Network, Professor Volodymir Bilotkach and others made the same finding for the international route from New York to London.





    31/08/2017

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    Trump Won Because Voters Are Ignorant, Literally #because #of #you


    #

    Democracy is supposed to enact the will of the people. But what if the people have no clue what they’re doing?

    OK, so that just happened. Donald Trump always enjoyed massive support from uneducated, low-information white people. As Bloomberg Politics reported back in August, Hillary Clinton was enjoying a giant 25 percentage-point lead among college-educated voters going into the election. (Whether that trend held up remains to be seen.) In contrast, in the 2012 election, college-educated voters just barely favored Barack Obama over Mitt Romney. Last night we saw something historic: the dance of the dunces. Never have educated voters so uniformly rejected a candidate. But never before have the lesser-educated so uniformly supported a candidate. Trump supporters might retort: “That’s because Trump supports the little guy and Clinton helps the already privileged college grads.” But that’s false: Trump supporters in the primaries had an average income of about $72,000 per year. They aren’t rich, but make more than the national average and more than Clinton supporters.

    Trump owes his victory to the uninformed. But it’s not just Trump. Political scientists have been studying what voters know and how they think for well over 65 years. The results are frightening. Voters generally know who the president is but not much else. They don’t know which party controls Congress, what Congress has done recently, whether the economy is getting better or worse (or by how much). In the 2000 U.S. presidential election, most voters knew Al Gore was more liberal than George W. Bush, but significantly less than half knew that Gore was more supportive of abortion rights, more supportive of welfare-state programs, favored a higher degree of aid to blacks, or was more supportive of environmental regulation.

    Just why voters know so little is well-understood. It’s not that people are stupid. Rather, it’s that democracy creates bad incentives.

    Consider: If you go to buy a car, you do your research. After all, if you make a smart choice, you reap the rewards; if you make a bad choice, you suffer the consequences. Over time, most people learn to become better consumers.

    Not so with politics. How all of us vote, collectively, matters a great deal. But how any one of us votes does not. Imagine a college professor told her class of 210 million students, “Three months from now, we’ll have a final exam. You won’t get your own personal grade. Instead, I’ll average all of your grades together, and everyone will receive the same grade.” No one would bother to study, and the average grade would be an F.

    That, in a nutshell, is how democracy works. Most voters are ignorant or misinformed because the costs to them of acquiring political information greatly exceed the potential benefits. They can afford to indulge silly, false, delusional beliefs — precisely because such beliefs cost them nothing. After all, the chances that any individual vote will decide the election is vanishingly small. As a result, individual voters tend to vote expressively, to show their commitment to their worldview and team. Voting is more like doing the wave at a sports game than it is like choosing policy.

    The great political scientist Philip Converse once said. “The two simplest truths I know about the distribution of political information in moderate electorates are that the mean is low and variance is high.” In other words, most people know nothing, some know less than nothing (that is, they are systematically mistaken rather than just ignorant), and some know a great deal. In general, college-educated people are better-informed than those with a high school diploma, who are in turn better informed than those who did not finish high school.

    When people hear such depressing statistics, they are quick to wag their fingers at America’s broken education system. “This just shows we need better teachers!” they cry. It’s a plausible argument, but wrong.

    In fact, average Americans have completed more schooling now than 60 years ago, but they’ve remained equally ignorant about politics even as their education levels rose. More fundamentally, to blame the schools is to misunderstand why citizens know so little. The schools teach them most of what they need to know to vote well. But they forget it because the information is not useful. And the reason it is not useful is because their individual votes make no difference.

    Others say the problem could be fixed by encouraging citizens to deliberate together. They believe getting random groups of Americans together to talk about politics will cause them to resolve their differences, become informed, and reach agreement. However, political scientists have been conducting large number of experiments testing how deliberation works. Even though the researchers in question almost always want deliberation to “fix” democracy, in general, they tend to find that it makes things worse, not better.

    None of this would matter if political information had no effect on how citizens vote. But, in fact, it does. Every other year, the American National Election Studies survey 1) what voters know, 2) what policies they support, and 3) who they are (e.g. white or black, poor or rich, employed or not). With these three sets of data, it is then possible to determine how information, by itself, changes what voters want, because we can control for whatever effect race, gender, and income have.

    Trump supporters might be upset to learn that this method reveals that high-information voters (regardless of their income, race, employment status, gender, or where they live) tend to favor free trade and are pro-immigration. It’s not just that Trump’s anti-trade and anti-immigrant agenda flies against the consensus of economists on the left, right, and center, but it’s precisely the platform informed voters reject — regardless of their backgrounds.

    That’s not to say that high-information voters tend to favor the Democrats’ politics. In fact, high-information voters tend to have policy preferences that cut across party lines. For instance, high-information voters are pro-free trade. pro-immigration, in favor of criminal justice reform, wish to raise taxes to offset the deficit, anti-war, pro-gay rights, and skeptical that the welfare state can solve all our problems.

    The real worry, though, is that when we look at the policy platforms of the two major parties, we see that both the Republicans and Democrats push agendas that tend to appeal to the uniformed and disinterested. We can’t quite blame them for that. After all, politicians need to win elections, and to do so, they have to appeal to voters. In a modern democracy, the uninformed will always greatly outnumber the informed. The quality of our candidates reflects the quality of our electorate. But democracy encourages our electorate to be bad quality.

    There is no real solution to the problem of political ignorance, unless we are willing to break with democratic politics. Some economists, such as Robin Hanson. favor using specialized betting markets to choose policies. Law professor Ilya Somin favors radically decentralized federal systems that encourage citizens to vote with their feet. In my recent book Against Democracy . I discuss how we might experiment with epistocracy — where political power is widespread, as in a democracy, but votes are in some way weighted according to basic political knowledge. Most of these proposals set off alarm bells (usually among people who have not bothered to think carefully about how these systems work). But each proposal at least takes seriously that universal suffrage and voter ignorance go hand in hand.

    Trump’s victory is the victory of the uninformed. But, to be fair, Clinton’s victory would also have been. Democracy is the rule of the people, but the people are in many ways unfit to rule.

    Photo credit: John Sommers II/Getty Images

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    31/08/2017

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    Rental Car Liability Coverage – Find Free Car Insurance Quotes and

    #best price on rental cars
    #

    Offers az residents courses in driver’s safety rental car liability coverage. Insurance agent or company costs by taking car insurance. A person affects his decision on what is available. Also you are able to pay for it, then you will have an impact. You don’t have to pay. The driver’s attention span and they must be satisfied with anyone.

    Be in perfect physical condition of your occupation. Be without auto insurance companies provide information that you take out. Company with a specialist in the state.

    Certain number of accidents and they also have a good deal. Chances are you’ll keep putting off. Do not buy car insurance for women. Consumers therefore could find discounts for insuring you for those as your driving license reinstated.

    middlesex st lowell ma They also receive better rates can vary widely between insurance companies. Also helps lower the risk. Companies offer great pricing is surely expensive to maintain comprehensive coverage you can be very tasking. But it is considered as a wise investment if you do you know where you can drive up 35%.





    23/08/2017

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    Six best travel-booking tricks you re not using #asian #travel

    #travel booking sites
    #

    Six best travel-booking tricks you re not using

    Peter Dazeley | Getty Images

    Booking travel: You’re doing it wrong.

    It took time after the recession, but Americans are traveling more these days. Leisure travel is expected to rise 1.9 percent this year, to more than 1.63 billion trips, according to the U.S. Travel Association. But travel costs are rising, too, with the average airfare creeping closer to the $400 mark and PKF Hospitality Research predicting hotels’ profits will surpass their prerecession peak this year.

    1) Search solo

    A quirk of travel-booking systems is that they will show the lowest fare available to seat your entire party, said Rick Seaney, chief executive of FareCompare.com. “Everyone’s fare is the same price,” he said. So if there are two of the very cheapest seats left, one that’s a little more expensive and four that are pricier still, it’s only that last option that will show up in your family of four’s search. Start your search for a party of one, and then scale it up until prices change. So long as you don’t mind booking the seats in several transactions, you could save by snaring cheaper fares for a few people in your party. (Doing so doesn’t make it any harder to find seats together, Seaney said.)

    • Sample savings: An Expedia search for round-trip fares between New York and Orlando, Fla. in mid-May for four people found seats for $370 per person. Searching for fewer people pulled up two seats at $348, and another two at $363—all on the same flights. Savings: $58.

    2) Stack rewards

    There are often-missed opportunities here to double, triple or even quadruple dip. For starters, there are the free reward programs offered by the hotel, car rental company or airline. Then there are rewards from the travel booking site, which are increasingly robust. Hotels.com offers a free night for every 10 booked; Expedia awards two points per dollar spent. Some online malls operated by the airlines and other deal sites like Ebates.com , offer extra cash back when you link through them to book. At FatWallet.com. you’ll get up to 5 percent cash for bookings on Priceline and 6.5 percent on Travelocity. among other deals. And finally, there are extra points, miles or cash back to be had booking with a rewards credit card.

    • Sample savings: Orbitz offers 3 percent rewards on hotels for members of its Orbitz Rewards program. Use its brand-new Orbitz credit card, and that jumps to 8 percent. The site also offers a 2 percent bonus for hotel bookings made on a mobile device, for a maximum 10 percent rewards, which can be used to book future travel. Link through from FatWallet, and score 1- to 3- percent cash back, separately. Plus you’ll get whatever your favorite hotel program awards.

    3) Hunt for coupons

    • Sample savings: Spirit recently offered the code “10PCT” to save 10 percent on nonstop fares booked during May 5-20, or May 28-June 8.

    4) Time your hunt

    Data from FareCompare.com has found that the pool of cheap seats in the system is highest on Tuesday afternoons. “Around two-thirds of sales occur Monday night, and airlines scramble to match them Tuesday,” Seaney said. It’s no guarantee of a cheap fare, but it can’t hurt to try.

    • Sample savings: Earlier in April, airlines dropped last-minute round-trip weekend fares between Richmond, Va. and New York City to as low as $161—about half the going rate for those booking ahead.

    5) Be truly flexible

    The newest crop of booking engines aims to help travelers who don’t have a destination in mind, Banas said. On sites such as Adioso and Google Flights, their search results show the best current fares out of your home airport over a given time frame.

    • Sample savings: A San Francisco resident in search of a June beach vacation could see at a glance that the $398 flight deal to Puerto Rico is more than $100 cheaper than those to the Bahamas, and half the price of fares to Jamaica.

    6) Capitalize on price drops

    Not certain you’re getting the best deal? Some sites are set up to help you get a refund. Booking site Tingo.com scans prices and automatically rebooks hotel stays if it spots a better price, sending you a credit for the price difference. There’s also Yapta. which sends an alert after a booked airfare’s price drops, offering tips and airline policies to help secure a credit for the difference. (A word of caution: Airline change fees of up to $200 and restrictive policies often make reimbursement tough.)

    • Sample savings: Between booking and check-in for a weeklong stay on Hawaii’s Big Island last fall, Tingo.com sent three separate price drop notifications resulting in a $261 credit toward the previously $1,762 stay.




    22/08/2017

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    The best flight search tool you ve never heard of #travel

    #best cheap airline tickets
    #

    The best flight search tool you’ve never heard of

    It should come as no surprise that I’m a bit of an obsessive when it comes to searching for flights online. This is my job, after all, and I pursue flight search with the same fervor that I seek out a sweet sample sale deal.

    My secret tool, however, is now out for public consumption, and I guess I consider it my responsibility to share it with the world.

    Meet ITASoftware.com. If you can remember the clunky URL, you will be happy. ITA Software, which was recently acquired by Google for a cool $700 million in cash, is a travel data clearinghouse that supplies everyone from Bing to Orbitz to Kayak with all of their flight info. That’s right. Most search engines pull the same information; they just slice it and deliver it in different ways.

    ITA Software isn’t new; it was founded in 1996 by MIT computer scientists. But the owners have given it a face lift that makes it more palatable for public consumption. While it used to look like it was built, in fact, in 1996, the site has been upgraded and streamlined, with one of those handy matrices that lays out all the options. They’ve even created something I’ve never seen before: a sideways chart detailing flight options by time, using color-coded time bars. Their new free, 4-star app, “OntheFly ” makes detailed search totally doable via an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.

    Neither the site nor the app allows for booking. It just gives you all the tools at your fingertips, and lets you customize search as you see fit. and you can be sure you’re seeing everything that exists. Where you choose to book your preferred flight combo via the airline directly or an OTA (Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia, Kayak) is entirely up to you.

    Get with more from BudgetTravel.com





    21/08/2017

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    How Should Dress Shirts Fit – Principles of Fit #how #should


    #

    How a Shirt Should Fit The Principles of Fit

    I appreciate all the comments and responses. As per branding and such I would love to give a more detailed response as soon a I get off my train. However I would like to briefly address the credibility issue.

    As a long-time member of the style community, I am certainly concerned about the credibility of any authors I may come across, so I understand why you may be upset. However this is merely a misunderstanding. I haven t updated my LinkedIn in nearly two years (which I m assuming is the offending query) and I ve held two other jobs since I worked at the tennis club. I m currently an office manager for a financial company located in long island. I unfortunately did not have the foresight to see this becoming an issue. Additionally, please forgive any errors in this comment, as I am sendin this from my phone.

    Thank you for your concern. I look forward to interfacing with you all in the near future.

    how does working as a financial manager give you credibility as a fashion writer? being a part of the fashion community is very vague as well. You don t necessarily have to have a job in the fashion industry to correctly research and write an acceptable and accurate article. But you also don t site where you got your information that will give you less credibility as well.

    Oi, get off Nick s back, he s only tryina earn a crust innit.

    You re welcome Nick, but don t call me sir.

    Hey guys, I m back to respond to some of your comments

    http://www.happenchance.net Seth M. Baker

    The best-fitting shirts I ve ever owned were custom made for me while I was traveling in Cambodia. Each one cost about $15. They ve lasted longer than standard mall junk, and I find that I still enjoy wearing them.

    Since this isn t an option for most people, I would recommend following this guide to get something pretty close, then taking them to a tailor for final alterations. This costs more but, in my opinion, increase the value of the shirt exponentially.

    Thanks for a great article. Best fitting shirts I ve found so far are from Sangar. A company in Estonia who just opened a new online store that uses Fits.me fitting room that helps to find the best fit. Extra slim shirts are just great, just ordered a custum made shirt as well. Great quality for a reasonable price.

    Thanks for the article. Clear concise points that you can use and are clear and effective.

    Scrub that, just avoid wearing shirts fullstop, too formal.

    This is a great article! I haven t read any of Nicholas prior work, but if he is genuinely interested in Fashion, I do not see how others have a right to attack his credibility.
    I agree with all of the points in this article. Few things I would add (some of which aren t necessarily related to fit) are:
    (1) Straight or pointed collars are long narrow collars and generally are considered best for rounder faces, in order to reduce perceived width of the face. Wide or English spread collars are best used with narrower faces so as to make the wearer look more filled-out .
    (2) Back Pleats require more fabric from the shirt maker but allow for greater freedom of movement. The most common form of pleat is the center box pleat. Alternatives include side pleats.
    (3) Front plackets the placket is a piece of material on the front of the shirt where the buttonholes are placed, and should be a separate piece of cloth sewn to the front. The placket gives the shirt a definite centerline and provides greater rigidity, so that it is easier to put buttons through the buttonholes.

    (4) Shirt sleeves should be long so that 1/4 to 1/2 an inch of cuff is exposed when warn with a suit.

    thx for clarifying plackets that one had me stumped till I read your explanatory post

    http://www.icustomshirts.com/ custom dress shirts

    I do usually the tailoring cost isn t that expensive. I have broad shoulders so more often than not I have to for suits and shirts alike. Plus it looks better than that boxy look.

    Hey, thanks this is great. Is it possible to find any information on how measurements can be taken for sticking a shirt from body measurements? For e.g if my chest is 39 inch and stomach is 32 inch, how much loosening do I need for a normal fitting shirt? Are there any formulas? Trying to learn and hence would be of great help. Thanks.

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    21/08/2017

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    Tokyo travel: 11 things to know before you go. #flight #booking

    #travel to japan
    #

    Story highlights

    (CNN) After a setback from the natural and nuclear disasters of 2011, tourism has rebounded in Tokyo.

    The Japan National Tourism Office reports a 21% increase in visitor arrival numbers between January and August 2013 compared with the same period last year.

    The renewed surge of visitors is being partly attributed to Tokyo’s successful bid for the 2020 Olympics and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to bulk up the economy.

    Fall is the classic time to visit the city.

    The oppressive humidity of summer has cleared, autumn colors bring life to Tokyo’s many parks, hearty, seasonal foods are the order of the day and the fresh fashion the country is known for is celebrated on the streets.

    Read More

    From sedate, centuries-old gardens to boisterous robot cabarets, here’s the vital knowledge you’ll need before hitting Japan’s sprawling capital.

    Attentive service is the norm in Japan, part of a cultural dedication to hospitality called omotenashi.

    Tipping isn’t expected in taxis, at hair salons, for doormen or bartenders.

    Not only are gratuities not expected, they won’t be accepted. Some restaurant checks will include a service charge.

    If you leave money behind, no matter how much or little, don’t be surprised if your server chases you down the street to return it.

    More: 50 reasons Tokyo is the world’s greatest city

    Pedestrians follow the unspoken rule of staying to the left.

    2. Walk right — on the left

    With 35 million people, greater Tokyo is one of the most densely populated urban centers in the world.

    Yet crowds are orderly.

    Everyone waits until the light changes to cross the street.

    Pedestrians on wide sidewalks follow the unspoken rule of staying to the left almost as strictly as cars (also on the left) do.

    Exception: On Tokyo escalators, stand on the left and walk on the right. (Around Osaka, escalator etiquette is reversed.)

    3. Drink outside, smoke inside

    The more enclosed a space is, the more likely you’ll be allowed to smoke there.

    The smaller and homier a bar or restaurant, the more likely it is to be smoker-friendly.

    Many bullet trains still have smoking cars.

    On the other hand, smoking is prohibited on many sidewalks (look for signs stenciled on the sidewalk), except around public ashtrays.

    Street patrols stop people who engage in aruki-tabako, or “walking-smoking.”

    Cracking open a beer or can of fruity, boozy chu-hai on the walk or train home, however, is a cherished tradition.

    More: 5 Tokyo bars for train nerds (yes, they exist)





    20/08/2017

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    Visitors Insurance Reviews. Buy visitors insurance with confidence for your relatives

    #travel insurance reviews
    #

    You must enable java-script to continue.

    Hey guys. My husband and I are half way there. We recently got his EAD and SS card so I figured I would share our experiences thus far. Please ask us any questions you want because reading this site was a HUGE help for us.

    8/29/2015 – Mailed our AOS Packet to the Chicago Lockbox for packages requiring a signature

    8/31/2015 – USPS tracking confirmed Delivery in hindsight I wouldn t of paid extra for faster mailing

    9/8/2015 – Email confirmation of package receipt

    9/14/15 – Received paper receipts by mail. Priority date Sept. 1st.

    9/18/15 – Received Biometrics appointment notification by mail. Date 9/28

    9/21/15 – Completed Biometrics Walk In appointment at the Jamaica, Queens Application Support Center. Came at 1:30pm and the place was pretty empty. Security guard was firm but didn t give us any real problem. He had to check with his supervisor to let us go.

    For a month we received no news and no updates. We called USCIS and they said that was completely normal not to have any updates in this period and for us to expect the EAD w/i 75 days of our priority date.

    10/30/2015 – EAD/ Advanced Parole approved!

    11/4/2015 Online update EAD mailed

    11/7/2015 – Received EAD in the mail

    11/9/2015 – Brought EAD card and Passport to Social Security office in Mineola, NY to apply for SS card Free

    11/18/2015 – Received Social Security Card in the mail

    11/19/2015 – Took EAD card, Social Security Card, Passport and Bank Cards to DMV to apply for learner s permit. Approved.

    Big things we worried about and what we did.

    My husband came to the US on a B1/2 visa and he overstayed by 10 years. During that time he did work without authorization, got a Tax Identification number and filed taxes 2 of those years, and actually received a return. haha. On the forms we were truthful and did admit that he worked and did put down where he worked. So far so good and we haven t had any problems. We havent had our interview yet.

    FOLDER 1- LABEL I-130 AND WRITE NAMES ON IT

    Form I-130 – Petition for Alien Relative

    o Attach copy of petitioner s passport me, the wife

    o Attach copy of marriage certificate

    o Attach 1 passport photo of beneficiary and 1 passport photo of petitioner, write the name in PENCIL on back of photos and place each in a separate sandwich bag. I wrote in black marker the name of the person and what form picture belonged to on the sandwich bag.

    o Attach Form G325A for Beneficiary and Form G325A for Petitioner. G325A.A.A.A.A. make sure it ends in A :

    o Submit proof of bona fide marriage

    We submitted APARTMENT LEASE and I made sure my landlord added my husband to the lease although she was only given financial information about myself. Be firm and just tell them its important. you don t have to explain yourself. Most will comply.

    – Photocopy of health insurance card which had my husbands name on it.

    -Photocopy of credit cards that had my husbands name on it. Discovercard and JCpenney will send you a second card if you add them as an authorized user. So on the same paper we copied my husbands card and my card which had the same number on it.

    – Photocopy of joint bank statement which showed both of our names and address. Wells Fargo will open a bank account for someone without a SSN. I made sure to make deposits in his account from my bank account and pay some of our bills from his account to show a paper trail.

    – Photocopy of about 30 pictures of us together in different situations wedding, pictures of him and my mom, pictures of us doing a backyard project, pictures of him and my best friend. if you don t have a lot of pictures just start taking pictures randomly together and write a short blurb describing the pictures.

    – Place all supporting documents in a manilla envelope and label Proof of Bona Fide Marriage. Put in i-130 folder

    FOLDER 2

    Form I-864 – Affidavit of support under section 213A – Make sure to include a photocopy of your ENTIRE tax return for most recent two years INCLUDING all of your W-2 or 1090 s. Since my salary changed drastically from last year to the current year I also included copies of my last 6 months pay stubs.

    FOLDER 3

    Form I-485 – Adjustment of Status

    o Medical examination report must be included in i-485

    o Attach copy of birth certificate

    o 2 passport size photos of the beneficiary. Follow the same instructions for the previous photos.

    o Attach a copy of i-94, passport with all biographical data pages and visa pages copied.

    Attach copy of marriage certificate which is the basis of the i-485

    Form G-1145 e-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance. Put this form as the first page in the i-485 folder.

    Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization no additional fee if filed together

    Form – 131 Advanced Parole

    Include 2 passport style photos of the Beneficiary. label and place in baggy as before

    Form I-693 Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record separate fee paid to the civil surgeon. We paid around $130

    For the medical examination. Look up all the age appropriate vaccinations that you will need. And then go to a free clinic or community sponsored clinic if you don t have insurance and get all those vaccinations or ask for a TITERS test which will prove that you already received those vaccinations and are immune. If your childhood copy is available bring it. Ask for a printed copy of the lab reports and vaccination record of all vaccinations you get. A copy of the report should be free or minimal cost. Dont say that you need the vaccinations for immigration purposes because insurance and free clinics are not allowed to provide that service just for immigration. Bring all of these records to your medical examination appointment because if you do not have these records they WILL CHARGE YOU EXTRA to do these test. A LOT EXTRA. I recommend starting the vaccination record process about 3 months before you plan to file.

    Good luck guys. We are from Long Island so our interview probably won t be for a few months. Will update you about our interview.





    17/08/2017

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    What You Need to Know Before You Travel to India #cheap

    #travel to india
    #

    What You Need to Know Before You Travel to India

    By Sharell Cook. India Travel Expert

    Sharell grew up in a small country town in Australia, but has been traveling and exploring different cultures since her early 20s. She first visited India in 2000, and found it to be a complete assault on her senses, confronting but strangely uplifting and exhilarating. This hasn t changed, only now Sharell lives in cosmopolitan Mumbai where she writes full time and grapples with Hindi. Read more

    There are a number of things you should do before you travel to India, but where to start with it all? These steps and information will help you get your trip planned and organized in no time at all, and hopefully take some of the stress out of your preparations.

    Decide Where You Want to Visit

    Book Trains and Flights

    Advance reservations for flights aren t as necessary as for trains, however many airlines do offer discounts for 14 or 21 day advance ticket purchases.

    Book Accommodations

    While it can be possible to get great deals on hotels by walking in and negotiating the rate in many places, it s a good idea to book your accommodations in advance for major cities, particularly Delhi. International flights often arrive at night and it s easy to feel disorientated in an unfamiliar place. Plenty of people prey on unsuspecting tourists by taking them to inferior quality hotels where they get paid a commission for doing so.

    Visit Your Doctor

    As India is a developing nation, health is an important concern of travelers. You should visit your doctor well in advance of your trip to India to find out what precautions you need to take against certain illnesses. The medications and immunizations that are necessary will greatly depend on the regions you intend to visit (for example, some areas are particularly malaria prone, while others have very little risk of infection) and time of year (during and straight after the monsoon is the riskiest time for health problems).

    Get Your Visa

    All visitors need a visa for India, except citizens of neighboring Nepal and Bhutan. There is limited provision for visas on arrival to citizens of certain countries. However, most people will need to obtain a visa before arriving in India. Visitors staying in India for less than 72 hours can obtain a Transit Visa, otherwise an Indian Tourist Visa is necessary. The Indian Embassy has started outsourcing the Indian visa application process to private processing agencies in many countries to make it more efficient.

    Familarize Yourself With India s Culture

    If you re visiting India for the first time, you re probably feeling a bit apprehensive, not knowing what to expect. The risk of culture shock can be overcome to a certain extent by reading as much as you can about India, as well as watching documentaries and other programs on India. In order to to be as prepared as possible, you should also familiarize yourself with as much information as you can about scams, dangers, and annoyances.

    Decide What to Pack

    When packing for India, it s important to take into account the country s conservative dress standards. Some people prefer to take very little to India and instead buy what they need to over there. Others choose to bring as much as possible with them from home because the quality is better. Some of the things that you should give consideration to are the type of luggage (backpack or suitcase) to take, clothes, shoes, medicine, personal care items, money (ATMs are now widely available in India), and other useful items such as plug adapters, flashlights, and padlocks.





    16/08/2017

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    Why You Should Take a Guided Tour in Spain #las #vegas

    #spain travel packages
    #

    Why Take a Guided Tour?

    By Damian Corrigan. Spain Travel Expert

    Damian is a travel writer and consultant. Damian started visiting Spain in 1989, to visit his grandparents, who lived in Javea. He moved to Spain in 2003 and has lived here most of the time since. Apart from writing about Spain full time since 2006, he also works with tour groups, bars and hotels, helping them with their itineraries, food and drinks menus and promotion. Whether you need to know where to learn Spanish in Spain or how to serve the perfect gin and tonic . Damian can help you.

    As soon as Damian arrived in Spain he found that his love of music, food, history and art would be satisfied by this great country. As a keen guitar player, he found flamenco to be one of the most exciting forms of music, and the wonders of paella, gazpacho, tortilla and Iberian ham satisfied his love of food. He has traveled extensively around Spain.

    Damian was working in Madrid during the terrorist attacks of March 11 and Prince Felipe’s marriage to Letizia Ortiz, two of the most monumental moments in recent Spanish history. He has also wrestled with the bureaucracy of opening bank accounts, getting registered as a Spanish resident and filing a police report and he knows the Spanish health care system well after spending a month in a Marbella hospital with a burst appendix!

    Damian currently divides his time between exploring and writing about Spain and setting up a gourmet drinks tour company.

    Follow Damian’s travels in Spain:

    You can also read Damian’s curated collection of Spain Travel articles from around the web on the Flipboard service for iPad, iPhone and Android devices: Spain Travel Magazine on Flipboard

    Guided tours are not for everyone – but they are for most people, especially if you take one of the tours I recommend in this article. Read on for my take on why a guided tour is a good idea or just straight to the section that most appeals to you.

    • Essential Tours of Spain I d recommend these tours to everyone  who visits Spain.
    • Tours from Madrid The Spanish capital has the most guided tours in the country.




    16/08/2017

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    You want the best flight deal? Google it – Feb. 25,

    #best deals on airfare
    #

    You want the best flight deal? Google it

    Google’s “Flights” search tool makes finding the best airfare deal significantly easier.

    The prices that Google ( GOOGL. Tech30 ) shows will appear in gray and green (green for lowest).

    When you click on the day you want to travel, Google will list the flights for that date in order of cost, grouping together all the times when you can fly at the lowest price.

    If you’re curious about what time of the year flights between two cities are the lowest, Google Flights can show you a bar chart that will give you a glimpse of the best prices throughout the year.

    Google Flights is the best tool to find the cheapest airfare.

    Maybe you know when you want to fly, but you’re not sure where to go? Google Flights has an interactive map that will show you prices for destinations around the world.

    You can also search for generic terms, such as “flights to Europe” or “flights to Mexico.” Google Flights also has an “I’m feeling lucky” button that will suggest popular destinations and other locations based on your search history.

    Google said it found that 54% of people don’t know where they want to travel when they decide to plan their vacations.

    What Google doesn’t show is whether prices will drop in the near future. Microsoft Bing and Kayak provide services that predict when prices are expected to rise or fall.

    But Google said those tools aren’t typically very helpful.

    “Though it’s sometimes hard to pull the trigger because you’re afraid the price will drop tomorrow (or next Tuesday, maybe?), our experience shows it’s usually best to book right away,” said Eric Zimmerman, Google Flights product manager, in a blog post.

    In 2011, Google purchased a company called ITA. which provides flight information to websites, such as Expedia ( EXPE ). Kayak, Hipmunk and Priceline ( PCLN. Tech30 ). The data Google controls includes flight times, availability and prices.

    Competitors Kayak and Expedia initially opposed the deal before the Department of Justice forced Google to promise that it would continue to promote competition.





    16/08/2017

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    Discount airfares will have you dreaming of January travel: Travel #airfare

    #airfares cheap
    #

    Discount airfares will have you dreaming of January travel

    Although fares are higher during the busy holiday travel season, we are already seeing deals for the slow season, which begins just after the new year. You can find some seriously discounted prices for travel in January and early February.

    We found fares from Dallas to Newark. N.J. for as low as $99 round trip for a nonstop flight for a two-night trip. This fare was only available departing Jan. 11 or 19, but most flights after Jan. 4 ranged from $107 to $192. You could take your pick of dates and fly for less than $200 round trip.

    During January, we found nonstop flights to Denver, Chicago and Atlanta for as low as $99 round trip; San Diego for as low as $167; and San Francisco for as low as $187.

    If you will need a hotel, be sure to check package rates. When you combine air and hotel into a package, the rates can offer a savings over purchasing separately. This is especially true during slow seasons, such as between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and in January and early February.

    At press time, we booked a two-night trip from Dallas to Washington, D.C. and found a package for $230 for Jan. 16-18 that included round-trip airfare and two nights at the Washington Plaza. The rate was per person based on double occupancy at a 3 1⁄2-star hotel. The airfare alone on these dates was $194 for a nonstop flight, so bundling with the hotel was just $36 more per person.

    We often see package rates come down even more during a fare sale. Most sales start on Tuesdays, and I suggest waiting until late Tuesday or early Wednesday to purchase fares. This gives competing airlines time to match fares, so you’ll have more flight options.

    My other advice is to start monitoring fares as soon as you decide to take a vacation. We do see great fares pop up that aren’t part of a systemwide sale, and if you’ve been monitoring fares, you’ll know when you see a good price.

    Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday are usually the cheapest days to travel within the continental U.S. If you want a three- or four-night vacation, check prices for departure on a Saturday and return on a Tuesday or Wednesday. This can be much cheaper than a Friday-to-Sunday trip, which are usually the two most expensive days of the week to fly.

    We looked at package rates for departure on Jan. 23 with return Jan. 26 and found rates starting at $342, per person based on double occupancy, at the Holiday Inn Suites in Clearwater, Fla. with a nonstop flight into Tampa on American. The total price for two was $684 with a bundled package, vs. $766 if you had purchased airfare and hotel separately.

    With so many U.S. cities offered at a discount in the slow season, you’ve got a lot of vacation choices. And although airfares can be rock-bottom, bundled packages might be even more of a bargain.

    Another thing to consider when checking package rates is that usually all taxes and fees are included, except if the hotel charges a resort fee. When you check hotel rates, the initial rate you see usually does not include taxes and fees.





    13/08/2017

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    10 Things You Should Never Wear When Traveling Abroad #travel #bags

    #travel abroad
    #

    A Few More Tips

    Dressing appropriately while abroad not only helps you fit in with locals and receive friendlier service, but it also protects you from standing out to pickpockets. When in doubt, look at what the locals are wearing. “The best thing a traveler can do is go to a local clothing store and buy a couple of outfits — then no one will ever mistake you for a tourist,” says travel expert John E. DiScala (a k a Johnny Jet). Plus, your new wardrobe additions make great souvenirs.

    Beyond watching what you wear, there are a few other things you can do to make yourself look like less of a traveler. For one, look like you know what you’re doing and where you’re going, even if you have to fake it. “Standing in the middle of the block looking confused — or worse, unfolding a map — calls you out as a tourist,” notes Matthew Reames, who traveled extensively through Europe a few years ago. “[Instead], pop into a coffee shop or something like that to give yourself time to pause and get your bearings.”

    Be wary of hand gestures, both making them and wearing clothing depicting them, because these can have different meanings depending on where you are. In Bangladesh, for example, the “thumbs up” gesture is considered obscene. Since you may never know what certain images suggest in another country, avoid them to keep from offending anyone. Visit Guide.CultureCrossing.net to read up on common local gestures and taboos.

    Sometimes even more important than how we look is what we sound like. Many Americans can be readily identified by their loud (and often complaining) voices. Keep your sound level low and your speech polite, though this suggestion can certainly be applied to travel anywhere, even within your own home town.

    You May Also Like

    –written by Erin Gifford





    12/08/2017

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    10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Belize #travel #watchdog

    #travel to belize
    #

    10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Belize

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    Wedged between Mexico and Guatemala, the tiny and eclectic country of Belize has become one of the most popular eco tourism destinations in Central America for the intrepid traveler.

    Lush tropical rain forests, pristine beaches, ancient Maya cities, diverse flora and fauna, and the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere are just a few of the many natural attractions that allure the adventure traveler to visit.

    Here are 10 reasons why you should travel to Belize now:

    1.) Belize is the only English Speaking Country in Central America

    Belize is a diverse society with many cultures and languages (Creole and Spanish are widely spoken) however English is the official language, making it easy for travelers to get around.

    2.) Belizean food is tasty and succulent

    The food in Belize is as diverse as its population and consists of a vast array of elements from the different ethnic groups like the Garifuna, Maya, Mestizo, East Indian and Creole. Some of the top must eats are: Rice and Beans, Fry Jacks, Johnny Cakes, Stew Chicken, Gibnut, Escabeche, Tamales, Hudut, and Fish Sere.

    3.) The weather in Belize is warm and comfortable all year round

    The average yearly temperature is 84° F (29°C), which means that it is pretty much near perfect all year round. In addition the intact jungle and rain forests provide relief in the hot summer months, while winter can be cool but never very cold.

    4.) Belize has a potpourri of wonderful islands

    There are more than 200 islands in Belize that are known as cayes (pronounced “keys”) that are easy accessible and can serve as ideal bases for fishing, snorkeling and diving. Some of the top islands to explore are: Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, South Water Caye, Silk Caye, St George’s Caye, Laughing Bird Caye and Tobacco Caye.

    5.) Belize is the epicenter of the ancient Maya world

    Archaeologists estimate that more than one million Maya lived in present day Belize and flourished during the Classic Period from 300 to 900 AD. Maya temple sites like Caracol, Xunantunich, Altun Ha, Cahal Pech and Lamanai are just a few of the spectacular sites that can be discovered in Belize.

    6.) Belize is home to the world renowned Blue Hole

    The gigantic underwater Blue Hole off the coast of Belize is believed to be the world’s largest hole measuring 1000 ft across and 412 ft deep. It offers divers the ideal opportunity to see geological wonders like giant stalactites, dripstone sheets and amazing marine life such as nurse sharks, groupers and a vast array of fishes and Caribbean sharks.

    The Blue Hole was made famous in 1971 by Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the French Explorer in the television series – The Undersea world of Jacques-Yves Cousteau .

    7.) Belize is a nature lovers paradise

    Belize has some of the most intriguing and fascinating wildlife in Central America. In fact 40 percent of the land is classified as protected and is habitat to a variety of species of plants, birds, amphibians, reptiles and marine life.

    8.) Snorkeling in Belize is one of a kind

    Belize boasts the second largest barrier reef in the world and snorkeling in its turquoise and clear Caribbean water is a wonderful place to discover the kaleidoscope of colors of corals, sponges and a range of fish and marine life.

    9.) Belize has one of the most intricate cave systems in Central America Caves were used extensively by the ancient Maya to conduct their sacred rituals and ceremonies and today a plethora of impressive caves can be discovered throughout Belize. The Chiquibul Cave System for example is nearly 540,000 square foot long and is the longest in Central America and offers a treasure trove of geological and archaeological wonders.

    Some of the top caves to explore are: Actun Tunichil Muknal, Barton Creek Cave and Caves Branch and the Chiquibul Cave System.

    10) Belize is the only country in the world that has a jaguar preserve

    Established in 1984, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is world renowned for being the only protected preserve for Jaguars. The reserve is also home to all five of Belize cats: Jaguar, Puma, Margay, Jaguarundi and Ocelot.





    12/08/2017

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    11 Travel Tips Italians Want You To Know #travel #supermarket

    #travel to italy
    #

    11 Travel Tips Italians Want You To Know

    Apr 09, 2014 | Updated Jun 09, 2014

    Lisa Condie Owner of Find Yourself In Tuscany

    Over 46 million tourists visit the boot-shaped peninsula each year! They come from all over the world, and many return again and again for a magic that only Italy can deliver.

    As Samuel Johnson said, “A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority, from his not having seen what it is expected a man should see.”

    Italians are very kind, and extremely patient (unless they’re driving). They are the guardians of some of history’s most magnificent treasures, and they are used to sharing them. However, there are a few things Italians want Americans to know before you arrive in their country:

    1. Dinner: It’s between 7:30-9:00 p.m. Pressing your hungry face to the restaurant’s window at 6:00 p.m. will not change that. Calling for a reservation, and dressing up for dinner, however, will be appreciated.

    2. Skin: Not shown so much in Italy. Short skirts, daisy dukes and halter tops do not epitomize the classical fashion taste of Italians. So cover up, unless, of course, you really are at the beach.

    3. Bread: It won’t be served with oil and balsamic vinegar (unless the restaurant caters to Americans), so resist asking the server to provide them. Also, bread is not to be eaten with pasta. It’s used to “fare la scarpetta” or “make a little shoe”, to clean the plate of sauce. To do so in a restaurant is a debatable point, so I will let you make that decision! Basically, bread is provided to accompany an appetizer.

    4. Simplify Your Schedule: Leave time to wander the crooked, ancient streets on your own. Often, just a few blocks from the main attractions, day-to-day life is unfolding. Leave the crowds. Pause to listen to a street performer. Plan some time where you can get off the well beaten path for a gelato, coffee, or traditional meal with the locals. Besides, if you over schedule, you just get grumpy.

    5. Afternoon Closings: This still surprises and perplexes Americans. Many shops will close down for the afternoon from 1:00-4:00 p.m. especially outside the city center. Italians go home to enjoy lunch as a family and relax. Try it!

    6. Taxis: You need to call for a taxi, or go to an actual taxi stand. You cannot hail a cab on a street in Italy, although it’s amusing to watch Americans try! The taxi service in Florence is amazingly efficient and punctual, especially when compared to the post office.

    7. Italian: It’s what is spoken! Learning a few words and common phrases will make a big difference in your experience. Rather than launching immediately in English, and assuming you will be understood, it’s polite to ask, “Parla l’Inglese?”

    8. Coperto: The amount charged, per person, to sit down at a table. It’s not a ploy to take advantage of you because you are a tourist. While a coperto is not the same thing as a tip, tipping in Italy is not necessary, and never more than 5-10 percent.

    9. Ask for the Check: It won’t be automatically delivered to your table after a meal in a restaurant. That doesn’t mean you are being ignored. Food and conversations are to be enjoyed, not rushed. When you are ready to leave, ask for the bill, “il conto.”

    10. Slow Down: You can’t see it all. Trust me on this one. The reason 46 million tourists descend on Italy each year is because there is so much beauty to see and experience. A plethora of culture, art, vineyards, food, and museums — a lifetime is not enough. So, slow down, savor and appreciate what you do see.

    11. Smile: You’ve made it to a country that has inspired visitors for centuries. Melt into its beauty and lifestyle, its art, music, and literature. Trade smiles with Italians and take home memories of a truly magnificent country, unlike any other in the world.





    12/08/2017

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    What You Should Know About Travel Insurance #hotel #flight #deals

    #buy travel insurance
    #

    What You Should Know About Travel Insurance

    shutterstock

    You’re going on a trip. Congratulations! Now what about all those nitty-gritty details you have to think about, like, say, travel insurance?

    Leave it to Christopher Elliott, consumer advocate, writer and HuffPost blogger. to answer your questions. In his new book, The World’s Smartest Traveler. Elliott has compiled some of his favorite tips and tricks he’s collected over the years to become a better, smarter traveler.

    The following is adapted and republished with permission of the National Geographic Society from Christopher Elliott’s book How to be the World’s Smartest Traveler. Copyright 2014 Christopher Elliott. All rights reserved.

    Travel insurance can offer peace of mind for your upcoming vacation. If something goes wrong—if your trip is interrupted or if you have to cancel—you can recover some or all of your costs. About one in three travelers buys insurance for a trip, according to the U.S. Travel Insurance Association. Should you be one of them?

    Buy insurance: IF YOU’RE SPENDING MORE THAN $5,000 ON A VACATION. That’s known as a “big-ticket” purchase, and it should be insured. IF YOU’RE A NERVOUS TRAVELER and just need the peace of mind that comes with having a policy. Even if you can’t recover all of your money, you may still be able to take advantage of certain benefits. IF YOU’RE CRUISING OR TAKING A PACKAGE TOUR. Cruise lines used to be flexible when it came to allowing passengers to rebook missed cruises. Tour operators were also more lenient in the old days. Not anymore. A policy can protect you. IF YOU HAVE A COMPLEX OR LENGTHY ITINERARY. If you’re on a tour with a lot of moving parts, then insurance could be useful. When one part doesn’t go as planned, the right policy can help you make a quick recovery and avoid a domino effect. ANY TIME YOU LEAVE THE COUNTRY. Medical providers outside the United States often ask for up-front payments for medical services that can cost thousands of dollars, and travel insurance can guarantee these payments. (This is also true for medical evacuations and repatriations, which can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.) IF YOU’RE ON MEDICARE and are traveling internationally. You’ll want to consider a policy that includes medical expenses, since Medicare doesn’t typically cover events outside the country.

    Skip it: IF IT’S A SHORT, simple, and inexpensive domestic trip. IF YOU’RE SPENDING LESS THAN $5,000, or if you don’t mind losing the value of your trip should something happen before or during your vacation. Also, if you have insurance that would cover a medical emergency or medical evacuation, you may not need a policy. IF YOUR TRIP INCLUDES COMPONENTS THAT AREN’T COVERED BY INSURANCE. For example, say you’re staying at a friend’s house, using a flight voucher, or redeeming frequent flier miles for your vacation. Travel insurance would probably be minimally useful. (Some travel insurance policies may cover the cost of redepositing miles when you need to cancel for a covered reason.) IF YOU HAVE A PREEXISTING MED- ICAL CONDITION THAT WOULDN’T BE COVERED. Read your policy carefully; some travel insurance policies do cover existing medical conditions when certain requirements are met. Normally, preexisting conditions that are controlled are covered if the policy is purchased within a certain time following initial deposit and payment of your trip. IF COVERAGE WOULD BE REDUNDANT. For example, if your credit card or other insurance would cover the same event—then don’t worry about it. Note that some cards won’t cover items like medical evacuations, so if that’s important, then think about insurance. (Most credit cards do not cover medical expenses, and almost no credit card covers for cancellation and interruption.)

    How do I find a travel insurance policy? An online search for “travel insurance” is likely to pull up a long and confusing list of travel insurance choices, but there are really just three options.

    BUY DIRECT. Companies sell insurance policies directly to travelers, usually online. The big players are Allianz, CSA, and Travel Guard. A full list of other insurance companies worth checking out is on the U.S. Travel Insurance Association’s website. BUY THROUGH YOUR TRAVEL COMPANY. Many travel companies, including airlines, cruise lines, and tour operators, offer optional insurance directly to consumers. These can be a good deal, but it’s worth shopping around before deciding to buy one of these policies. Also, be careful of tour operators or cruise lines that offer generic protection services. They won’t cover you if the company goes belly-up. BUY THROUGH A TRAVEL AGENT OR THIRD PARTY. Your travel agent may offer an insurance on that in a moment. policy. More in that in a moment. You might also consult an online company that specializes in com- paring and evaluating insurance policies, such as Squaremouth, Travel Insurance Review, Trip Insurance Store, and InsureMyTrip.com. These can be useful resources for quickly finding the best travel insurance policy for your circumstances.

    Travel insurance is extremely competitive, and by checking with multiple sources, you won’t just find better terms or prices, but also avoid buying a potentially useless policy.

    How much should I pay for travel insurance? We’ve already talked about situations that call for travel insurance and where to find it, but how do you know if you’re getting a good deal?

    There’s no authoritative buyer’s guide that can tell you whether you’re looking at a bargain or a rip-off. That’s because no two travel insurance policies are exactly the same. They vary according to your age, state of residence, and types of coverage.

    Travel insurance typically costs between 4 and 8 percent of your trip’s prepaid, nonrefundable cost. However, a cancel for any reason policy can run you 10 percent of the nonrefundable cost, or even slightly more. Your policy may be more expensive if you’re older or engaging in a risky activity that makes a claim more likely. A word of warning: If the policy is less than 4 percent of the cost of your vacation, that should raise red flags. Too-good-to-be-true trip “protection” policies have cost travelers millions—and perhaps tens of millions—in unpaid claims. If it’s really travel insurance, it will be underwritten by a reputable insurer. At the same time, policies that cost significantly more than 10 percent of your trip’s prepaid, nonrefundable cost may also be a cause for concern. Read the terms very carefully, and make sure there’s a good reason why you’re paying that much for your insurance. One way to check if your insurer is legit is to find out if it belongs to the U.S. Travel Insurance Association. Its site lists every member.

    When should I buy insurance? You can get travel insurance up until the day before you travel from some travel insurance companies, but the sooner you buy your policy, the better. Why? Well, let’s say your airline declares bankruptcy between the time you book your vacation and your departure date. You’ll still be able to buy a policy the day before your departure, but if your airline has already filed for Chapter 11 protection, then the policy won’t cover the airline in the unlikely event that it stops flying.

    Another reason: Most travel insurance policies will offer coverage for preexisting medical conditions that are under control, if you buy the insurance within a couple of weeks of your first trip payment (other conditions might also apply). Since up to 20 per- cent of claims could be traced to preexisting medical conditions, this could be an important point, and it removes another potential reason for denying a claim. So buy the policy sooner rather than later, and keep the cost between 4 and 8 percent of your prepaid non-refundable outlay, and you’re on your way.

    Also on Huffington Post:





    12/08/2017

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    Travel Insurance: What You Need to Know Before You Buy #flight

    #buy travel insurance
    #

    Travel Insurance: What You Need to Know Before You Buy

    Here’s the good news: travel insurance covers more than it used to. The bad news is, travel insurance is more complicated than ever. Here are the ins and outs of insurance.

    By Sascha Segan

    Here’s the good news: travel insurance covers more than it used to. Since I first wrote about trip insurance in Frommer’s Fly Safe, Fly Smart in 2001, travel insurers have come up with policies that protect you if you lose your job, if you’re ordered to work instead of taking a vacation, and even policies that let you “cancel for any reason.” (Those last ones are pretty popular.) Waivers of pre-existing conditions can let smart shoppers prevent their claims from being denied.

    The bad news is, travel insurance is more complicated than ever. With so many options, and with policies written in a language that only sometimes resembles English, it can be nightmare figuring out what you actually need.

    “I don’t know how people without insurance backgrounds figure out insurance,” said Steve Dasseos, president of TripInsuranceStore.com (www.tripinsurancestore.com ).

    Here’s our stab at explaining the ins and outs of insurance.

    Do You Need Travel Insurance?

    The first thing to ask is whether you actually need travel insurance.

    “Every person has their own level of risk tolerance,” said John Cook, president of QuoteWright.com (www.quotewright.com ).

    Travel insurance comes in two major flavors: medical and “trip cancellation” (which includes baggage and car insurance.) Travel medical insurance is potentially the most critical (in fact, some countries won’t let you in without it), but you may already be covered. It’s time to have a heart-to-heart with your own health insurance company about what happens if you’re injured overseas. Will they pay your medical expenses? If you’re heading somewhere without a decent health-care system — will they pay for a medical evacuation? If something goes wrong, how can you reach them from abroad? What’s the amount you’re covered up to? Medical evacuations can cost $50,000 or more, so it’s important to make sure you don’t max out your own medical plan.

    You probably already have car insurance, but supplemental car insurance can prevent accidents from raising your home car insurance premium, insurance brokers said. Yes, this sounds like a far-fetched way for them to sell more insurance, but as Dasseos says, it all comes down to your risk tolerance.

    Trip cancellation insurance is the thorniest to deal with because it has so many ins and outs. You can get coverage for trip cancellation, which means not going on your trip at all. Trip delay or interruption coverage covers being stuck in the airport or missing a connection to a cruise. Baggage coverage gives you money if a travel supplier loses your luggage.

    Even there, you should check around for existing coverage. Some credit cards, such as the American Express Platinum Card, come with baggage coverage; you may also have some travel baggage coverage as part of your homeowner’s policy.

    Depending on the coverage you’re looking for, insurance should cost between 3-8% of your trip price, according to travel insurance comparison websites. For a $4000 trip booked through TripInsuranceStore.com, that means prices ranging from $130-282, depending on the amount of coverage you’re looking for.

    You can learn a lot more by checking out our companion article, “10 Questions to Ask Your Travel Insurer.”

    Who To Buy Travel Insurance From

    You can buy travel insurance from an insurance company, a broker, a travel agent or a tour operator.

    Third-party brokers who deal with many companies can give you a good independent perspective. Dasseos’ TripInsuranceStore.com, for instance, compares plans from six different insurers. Other top brokers include QuoteWright.com, InsureMyTrip.com (www.insuremytrip.com ), and Squaremouth.com (www.squaremouth.com ). Just like with a mortgage broker and unlike with a travel agent, the insurers pay the broker’s commission, so you don’t pay more than by booking direct.

    Insurance companies themselves can present a variety of plans, but of course you’ve got to compare the companies’ plans against each other on your own. Try our list of top insurance companies and our questions to ask your insurance company to start. There are some bad insurance companies and even fake insurance companies out there, and we’d like to make sure you go with someone reliable.

    We’re a bit uneasy about trip insurance sold by online travel agents, tour operators, and especially cruise lines. These policies can be incomplete and poorly explained. A “buy travel insurance now” check-box on a website doesn’t give you the proper warning about things the insurance doesn’t cover, and insurance sold with cruises may not cover the planes, trains and automobiles you take to get to and from your ship.

    When to Buy Travel Insurance

    You should buy travel insurance right after you book your trip — preferably on the same day. As soon as you pay for your trip, the clock starts ticking on the pre-existing condition waiver. You want a pre-existing condition waiver, as it cancels out an administrative hell that results in more than 20% of claims being denied, according to QuoteWright.com’s John Cook. Some travel insurers give you 14 days after you started to book your trip to get the waiver, but some only give you 24 hours. To get the most options, think of booking travel insurance as something you do at the same time as booking your trip.

    If you’re a frequent traveler, travel insurance companies also offer multi-trip and annual policies that may be cheaper than buying a policy for each trip.

    Travel Medical Insurance

    If you need travel medical insurance, you need to choose between “primary” and “secondary” coverage. Primary coverage effectively replaces your existing medical insurance, with your existing insurance picking up the slack after the travel insurance runs out. Secondary coverage lets your existing insurance take the lead, with the travel insurance plan covering deductibles, co-pays, and anything your primary insurance company won’t handle.

    Primary plans have a lot less paperwork involved, Dasseos said; secondary plans can take up to eight months to pay out.

    Policies vary in terms of the amount they cover, whether they include dental work, and whether they can advance payment to hospitals that require proof of payment before they treat you. In Western Europe, you’ll probably want a lot of coverage — hospitals can be expensive — but “emergency medical transportation” isn’t as much of a concern. In the jungles of Honduras, though, a $100,000 helicopter ride to the nearest quality hospital might just save your life. (You’ll rarely need more than $100,000 of evacuation coverage, Jim Grace, president of InsureMyTrip said.)

    Also, beware the dreaded “pre-existing condition.” Pre-existing conditions are any medical condition you (or sometimes other people) have been treated for within a set time period, generally anywhere between 3 and 6 months. If you can’t get a waiver of pre-existing conditions, you need to think hard about every doctor’s visit you’ve had, every prescription you’ve filled, and every family member who’s already sick, because events resulting from those things may not be covered on your policy. And if you think you might cancel because Grandma is looking frail, her pre-existing conditions may come into play, too. It’s really best to get a waiver.

    Trip Cancellation Insurance

    The biggest news in the travel insurance industry in the past few years is the “cancel for any reason” policy, which lets you get at least some of your money back — usually 75-80% — without jumping through the usual hoops of “named perils.” Such policies are expensive, but they’re now up to a quarter of the policies Dasseos sells because they’re so easy to use, he said.

    If you don’t feel like a platinum-plated policy, you can assemble your own deal from parts — but you need to look very closely at those parts. Cancellation policies can cover cancellation, lost luggage, baggage delay, travel delay (being stuck at the airport and needing a hotel), or missed connections (being stuck at the airport and missing your cruise).

    But most of these policies are “named peril” policies, which means they cover the reasons they cover — and no other reasons. Some of the reasons can be surprising: Access America’s BizPack, for instance, lets you cancel if your boss demands that you work instead of going on vacation. But you have to look at trip cancellation policies with an eagle eye to see what they don’t cover. For instance, policies may not cover cancellations if you’re sick with H1N1 flu, because it’s been declared a pandemic by the WHO and some policies exclude pandemic illnesses.

    The perils also vary from insurer to insurer. Access America lets you cancel your trip if you get laid off, provided you’ve been working in the same place for three years. But over at Travel Guard, you only need to have held your job for a year before being laid off to get your money back. That could make the difference between an accepted claim and a denied one.





    10/08/2017

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    Rathimeena Travels v1. 0 Freeware Download – Booking ProcessThis Application allows

    #rathimeena travels
    #

    Rathimeena Travels Desciption:

    Booking ProcessThis Application allows you to make reservations on all of Rathimeena Travels’ buses. In order to allow you to keep a record of your travel activities and also to enable us to customize our services to your needs, we have made it.

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    Booking Process

    This Application allows you to make reservations on all of Rathimeena Travels’ buses. In order to allow you to keep a record of your travel activities and also to enable us to customize our services to your needs, we have made it mandatory for passengers to register on our site in order to use this service.

    Registration is a simple process of providing same basic information, following which you may use the same account to continue booking tickets. Further access to the site is possible through a password that is mailed to you on successful registration. You can change this password at will.

    The booking process is an intuitive five step process of

    Selecting your source, destination locations and date of journey

    Choosing from the various services available for the given date

    Selecting your seat and inserting a couple of simple information

    Confirming your booking details





    08/08/2017

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    How much car insurance should you buy? #car #insurance #coverage, #liability


    Second, you need enough car insurance to protect your life from turning into a living hell if you have a car accident. That can be as easy as buying the minimum coverage. Or it can be much more complicated.

    We’ll walk you through our guide on figuring this out.

    Who should buy minimum levels of liability car insurance?

    • Minimum liability is rarely advisable, but if you can’t afford more, it’s better than no insurance.
    • If you have no savings or assets, minimum liability coverage may suffice.

    In most states the minimum liability required by your state is not enough to pay for serious injuries or to replace a newer car. It is only enough to drive legally.

    If you own only the clothes on your back and a very old car, you can get by with just the minimum levels of liability mandated by your state. That s because you’re probably what is known as “judgment-proof.” You may lose if someone decides to take you to court to pay for an accident you cause, but you have no real assets to take.

    If you have savings or a home or even expensive jewelry and valuable collectibles, you are not judgment-proof. And you need more coverage.

    To help you decide how much liability insurance you need, we’ve created three liability insurance levels as a rough guide. Levels of coverage offered will vary by state and by insurer. Liability insurance will not repair your own car.

    In the levels below:

    • The first two numbers refer to bodily injury liability, which pays the hospital bills of anyone you injure.
    • The first number is the per-person limit.
    • The second is the per-accident limit.
    • The third number is the property damage liability limit, which would repair or replace the car of anyone you hit.

    50/100/50: This level of coverage is recommended for those who have an older car, few assets, don t drive much and are on a tight budget, for instance college students and retirees who are downsizing.

    100/300/100: This is the level most financial experts say is appropriate for middle-income earners with a typical level of savings, adequate in most circumstances. The cost of liability insurance, once you have bought the basic levels, does not increase exponentially. Moving to 100/300/100 will not cost twice as much as 50/100/50. In an analysis of rates, CarInsurance.com found that it costs just $96 more a year, on average.

    250/500/100: If you own an expensive home or have saved diligently, you may be worth millions even though you do not consider yourself rich. We would suggest supplementing even this high level of coverage with an umbrella liability policy that extends your protection by $1 million or more. It s relatively cheap.

    Who should buy uninsured motorist car insurance?

    • If you have your own health insurance and you have purchased collision coverage, you may be able to skip uninsured motorist coverages if your state allows.
    • It is a good idea to keep uninsured motorist coverages if you can afford to, because they can minimize your financial losses from deductibles and coverage caps.

    Your state may require that you buy uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage, which pays your hospital bills if you are hit by an uninsured driver. Your state may require only that you be offered this coverage but allow you to turn it down.

    If you buy this coverage, it typically will come in the same amounts as your own liability coverage.

    Uninsured motorist coverage costs an average of $83 a year, according to a CarInsurance rates analysis.

    A few states also require uninsured motorist property damage, which usually pays for some — but not all — of the damage to your own car. It doesn t cover hit-and-run accidents in most states, though.

    Do you need comprehensive and collision coverage?

    • Yes, if your car is less than 10 years old.
    • Yes, if you can’t afford to repair or replace your car.
    • Yes, if you live in an area prone to flooding, hail, tornadoes or animal strikes.

    Comprehensive insurance pays for damage to your car from severe weather, fire, collisions with animals and theft. Collisions pays to repair your car if you cause an accident.

    This is where car insurance for a 10 year old car comes into play. If your car is less than 10 years old, you should consider buying comprehensive and collision coverage. You should also carry comprehensive and collision insurance if your car is 10 years old or older, but worth more than $3,000, or if you can t afford to repair or replace it.

    If you owe money on your car, your lender requires you to have collision and comprehensive coverage, which would repair or replace your car. Liability insurance pays only for others cars.

    You must choose a deductible amount for collision and comprehensive coverages. Damage below this amount is your responsibility to fix.

    We recommend that you keep deductibles low while you are still making payments on a car. Once the car is paid off, build an emergency fund and raise your deductible to match it.

    Comprehensive costs an average of $172 a year, collision costs an average of $488 annually, according to CarInsurance.com s rate analysis.

    Do you need medical payments or personal injury protection?

    • Yes, if you don’t have health insurance.
    • Yes, if you can’t afford or don’t have the savings to live without a loss of income due to injury.

    Your state, especially if it is a no-fault state, may require that you buy personal injury protection so that your injuries in a car accident are always covered up to your limits, no matter whose fault the accident was. It usually includes coverage for lost wages as well.

    Medical payments coverage is required by a few states but is optional in most, paying medical expenses up to your limits. If you don t have your own health insurance coverage, you should consider this coverage. If you have a high-deductible health plan, medical payments may help pay the deductible.

    Personal injury protection costs an average of $198 yearly. Medical payments costs an average of $22 a year, according to CarInsurance.com s rate analysis.

    How should you save money on car insurance?

    In order of impact and potential savings, we suggest the following steps for drivers trying to save money on their car insurance bills:

    • Shop around. You will see that the rates major insurers charge the same driver in the same car can vary by hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars. See how much average car insurance rates can differ in your neighborhood by entering your ZIP code into our comparison tool.
    • Look for car insurance discounts .
    • Consider a named driver exclusion if a member of your household has a high-risk driver history.
    • Raise your deductibles.
    • Drop collision and comprehensive coverage altogether if you own your car outright.
    • Drop other optional coverages such as uninsured motorist or medical payments.
    • Reduce the amount of liability coverage you are buying.

    06/08/2017

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    Just Spas and Adventures – Finding Just the Right Destination for

    #spa travel
    #

    Spa Vacations Including Health Spas, Weight Loss Spas, All Inclusive Spas, Cruises & Adventure Travel

    Hot Deals

    Time sensitive promos and specials, so check back often! Resort credits and complimentary amenities at many of these destinations.

    Spa Getaways

    From affordable to luxurious, there is something for everyone. Spa vacations, health and fitness, weight loss destinations, seeking personal “bliss” or a much deserved vacation with friends.

    Specialty Travel

    Singles travel, women’s trips, girlfriend getaways, adventure trips, escorted or private tours, villa rentals, cruises or yacht charters, we’re here to make it easy for you!

    Share Your Review!

    Whether you book a trip through us or not, we invite you to comment and share your experience!

    Years of destination expertise, coupled with friendly, personalized service is what you receive  at Just Spas and Adventures. A luxury boutique travel firm offering highly attentive service and taking the time to talk with you .  Offering value added services you wont find searching the internet. Providing recommendations and details while matching you with the right destination. Just Spas Adventures is with you every step of the way, from  initial planning to follow-up upon returning home. Let us take the hassle out of planning your next get-away. What s on your bucket list?

    Traveling solo, with family, a group of friends, is your organization planning a fund-raising event or offering incentive travel? We know what s new, what s hot and can answer questions about all types of vacations:  luxury spa getaways including weight loss retreats, off-the-beaten-path locations, cruise travel, women-only and singles travel, villa rentals, yacht charters, escorted and independent travel, active and adventure trips.

    Contact us: 866-772-3678

    I just want to add my thanks for the efforts provided to put together a great trip to Tuscany for our group. We had a great time and that part of the world is a treasure. I have no doubts that we could not have put together such an enjoyable trip. Booking our group’s airfare at a reasonable rate, renting the beautiful villa overlooking the Mediterranean plus a wonderful hotel and handling all of the transfers and tours for our group without the services of a professional such as yourself.” Jim K – New York





    06/08/2017

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    Dominican Republic Travel Tips 101: Know Before You Go #travel #to

    #travel replublic
    #

    Dominican Republic Travel Tips 101: Know Before You Go

    Posted by Natasha Jervis on 20 February 2012

    Are you heading to the sun this year? Is the breathtaking Dominican Republic your destination of choice? Make sure you know about the Dominican Republic. its culture, food health tips, currency, safe areas and more before you arrive.

    www.CanadaTravels.com has some Dominican Republic travel tips for you to read before you go. We have travel tips for Dominican Republic that will allow you to travel safer and much more comfortably. Know before you go!

    #1: Make sure your passport is signed and completed before you travel. Your passport is your gateway to other destinations and therefore, should be well taken care of and protected at all times. Make copies of your passport and other identification so you will always have a piece of paper that shows who you are when in another country.

    #2: Research and find out where your embassy is in the Dominican Republic. This will ensure you safety incase anything unexpected occurs.

    #3: Get your travel vaccination shots before you leave your home destination. Vaccines can prevent you from Caribbean illnesses such as malaria, typhoid, polio, tetanus, hepatitis A, B and C and more diseases that infect people every year. If you are traveling to Pepillo Salcedo, Castanuelas or Hondo Valle it is recommended that visitors take malaria tablets to protect themselves.

    #4: Have a list of all important Dominican Republic emergency contacts such as police, locals medical clinics, hospitals etc. and keep it in your wallet or purse at all times. While you may be staying at an all inclusive luxury 5 star resort, it is always smart to have emergency contacts with you incase you leave the resort area to explore. Santo Domingo is the only area of Dominican Republic that offers emergency services; so be prepared and call 911 if ever needed.

    #5: Change some money into PESOS, the Dominican Republic’s local currency. You will most likely need to convert American dollars into pesos when you arrive in the Dominican Republic.

    #6: Banks in the Dominican Republic are open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 am until 5pm.

    #7: When you are flying into the Domincan Republic you are allowed to bring 200 cigarettes or one box of cigars, two bottles of perfume (opened and for your own use), gifts up to $100 and one litre of liquor. Baggage is declared upon arrival on the island and when you depart. Do NOT bring illegal drugs, animal products and agricultural items.

    #8: Avoid swimming in fresh water pools that do not contain chlorine. Bilharzia is a major problem in the Dominican Republic and chlorinated pools are much safer and sanitary. Wear long sleeves and trousers during sunrise and sunset and use mosquito repellent constantly to protect you from dengue fever.

    #9: Drink bottled water and always make sure the cap was secured before opening. Use bottled water to wash your fruits and vegetables. Eat most meats and fish well-done and cooked to their limit.

    #10: Learn some Spanish phrases before you travel to the Dominican Republic. The official language is Spanish although many locals speak English. Most media sources and tourist areas still have Spanish language resources. Dining menu’s are written in Spanish and sometimes have an English translation. Try travel Spanish 101!

    #11: When exploring at night, keep in well-lit areas and common public areas. Do not travel off the beaten track alone on excursions and keep a ‘buddy’ system. People are always much safer in pairs. While crime against tourists is not a huge issue in the Dominican Republic, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Check out tourist advisories before you travel.

    #12: Don’t forget; hurricane season runs from June to November so it is always good to have a plan of evacuation if you end up caught in stormy weather.

    #13: The style of dress is casual and general in the daytime. It’s not common to strut throughout town in a bikini or skimpy beach wear. It is considered offensive to enter malls,governmental buildings, museums, churches etc. in beachwear or showing too much skin.

    #14: Maintaining manners and being polite to the locals is appreciated. Public drunkeness is frowned upon.

    #15: A tip is usually added onto your bill in hotels and restaurants, but extra tips are welcome if you were impressed by the hospitality, food and service.

    #16: There are internet cafes throughout the island so you will never be out of touch. The international calling code for the Domincan Republic is +1-809.

    Now that you have some travel tips for Domincan Republic to keep you aware, are you ready to book a trip to Punta Cana or Santa Domingo in the DR? Get in touch with us at www.CanadaTravels.com or call 1-800-563-5277 and speak to one of our travel experts today!





    04/08/2017

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

    #cheap travel agents
    #

    Can a Travel Agent Actually Save You Money?

    Posted on Apr 30, 2012

    Are travel agents back?

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

    Silly us, we thought travel agents had become passé.

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

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

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

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

    Want More?

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    Use a Travel Agent If

    You re Traveling With a Group

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

    You re Not Sure Where You Want to Go

    You re Traveling Internationally

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

    You Don t Need a Travel Agent If

    You re Only Booking a Flight

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

    You Want to Use Your Miles

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

    You Find a Fantastic Deal on a Deal Site

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

    Some Travel Tips to Help Save Money

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

    1. Fly at the Right Time

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

    2. Factor in Your Transfer

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

    3. Try the Go City Card

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

    4. Use Your Email

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

    5. Be Smart About Exchanging Currency

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

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





    02/08/2017

    Posted In: NEWS

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