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Personal Finance
9 money-saving travel tips to keep in mind when you’re planning a vacation
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9 money-saving travel tips to keep in mind when you’re planning a vacation

9 money-saving travel tips to keep in mind when you’re planning a vacation

9 money-saving travel tips to keep in mind when you’re planning a vacation

Seasoned bargain hunters know how to stretch a dollar and still enjoy the finer things in life. When it comes to travel season, we believe a key ingredient to a good time is not necessarily the amount of money you spend on your trip, but how much you save.

Ready to save some time and money? Here are some travel tricks and tips we’ve collected over the years.

10 travel tips & tricks to help save you money

1. When should you book that flight?

Conventional wisdom used to say that Wednesday or Thursday was the best day of the week to find affordable airfare. But a new study reveals a different answer.

The lowest average ticket price for both economy and premium airfares can generally be found on Sundays, according to the ARC 2018 Air Travel Outlook Report. There are also some other factors to consider.

2. Make the company keep its public promise

A lot of times, customers can get what they want by making a company stand by what it has written in black in white. As travel blogger Christopher Elliott points out, “Too often, customers forget that they can lean on the public promises, the “customer commitments” and the advertising slogans when they’re up against a rigorous legal contract. For example, did you know Delta Air Lines promises to offer you “the lowest fare available”?  That Avis pledges a “stress-free car rental experience” in its corporate mission statement? And that Carnival Cruises even assures it will do “everything it can to give our guests a lifetime of memories”?

3. How to avoid the airlines’ carry-on baggage fee

The major airlines are cracking down on passengers who try to flout their carry-on baggage fees. But before you start throwing out of your suitcase many of the must-have items you want to take on your trip, there may be a way to pack what you want and keep the flight affordable at the same time. The key is in a technique called “bundle wrapping,” which allows you to fold your clothes in the most efficient way possible.

4. Here’s one thing you should NEVER put on social media

Cybersecurity experts say untold numbers of travelers are going on social media and taking pictures of their boarding passes. If you search the hashtag #boardingpass on any social networking, you see people posting sensitive info on their boarding passes, including flight number, date and barcode.

The travel site Tripzilla says this about the faux pas: “More often than not, the information that is obtained by decoding your boarding pass barcode is enough for one to log on to your profile on the airline’s website and obtain your flight information. Beyond that, the stranger with a decoder can even cancel your flight, change your seats, get your home address and based on your frequent flyer number, even track your past and future flight records.”

5. Google is your (travel) friend

Whenever you’re searching online for cheap flights, always use certain words that could yield savings. Google terms like “discount” “coupon” and “code” when looking for a city to travel to — you might be be surprised what you’ll find.

6. What the pros use to find cheap flights

Sites like Google Flights, Orbitz and Kayak use the software created by a  Massachusetts company that has partnered with Google. It’s legacy site, matrix.itasoftware.com, is still up and running, though, complete with easy-to-use interface to find the cheapest fares out there.

7. Trick the airline site to get cheaper fares

If you prefer to buy plane tickets straight from the airline, it’s always good to access the site in incognito mode or delete cookies on your computer or device. Airlines have been known to generally bump up fares if you search for the same route on the same electronic device. Here’s how to delete cookies on your computer.

8. Only buy this type of travel insurance

Travel insurance is designed to protect the consumer in the event that a company, tour operator or airline defaults. But when it comes to weather, different companies vary widely on what they’ll cover.

“You really have to survey the marketplace to see if your particular weather circumstance will be covered,” money expert Clark Howard says. “A lot of the insurance policies offer false hope on that front. That’s why you have to read the policy before you buy it.”

Also, you want to always buy travel insurance that is independent of the company you’re traveling with. Oftentimes, the trip insurance sold by the trip organizer is skewed to protect them — not you.

9. Travel takes two (documents)

You may be pretty good about keeping your most sensitive documents with you when abroad, but Murphy’s Law is international. That means you’re better off if you have a duplicate of any documents you travel with. The U.S. State Department website says: “Make two copies of all of your travel documents in case of emergency, and leave one with a trusted friend or relative.”

To find the latest travel deals, visit our sister site ClarkDeals.com.

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News

  • A New Jersey judge who said a teenage boy accused of rape deserved leniency because he came from a 'good family' and got good grades has resigned. >>Read more trending news Monmouth County Superior Court Judge James Troiano resigned Wednesday, the New Jersey Supreme Court announced. The resignation came after weeks of criticism from the public and death threats to Troiano's family, The New York Times reported. In 2018, Troiano, 69, was called out of retirement to hear the case of an alleged rape involving teenagers at a party the previous year, The Washington Post reported. Police said a 16-year-old boy recorded cellphone video of himself sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl. The boy allegedly sent the video to others with the caption, “When your first time having sex was rape.” Both teens were intoxicated during the incident, prosecutors said. Prosecutors in the case pushed for the teen to be tried as an adult, calling his alleged crime 'sophisticated and predatory,' CNN reported. Troiano denied prosecutors' request. He wrote in his July 2018 decision that he didn't think the teen's actions were necessarily rape, because in 'traditional' rape cases there are 'two or more generally males involved, either at gunpoint or weapon, clearly manhandling a person.' Troiano further wrote, “This young man comes from a good family who put him into an excellent school where he was doing extremely well. He is clearly a candidate for not just college but probably for a good college. His scores for college entry were very high.” The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court reversed Troiano's decision in June, and sent the case back down for further judgement, CNN reported. Monmouth County prosecutors are planning their next move in the case. 'While we have the utmost respect for the Family Court and the judge in this case, we are grateful that the Appellate Division agreed with our assessment that this case met the legal standards for waiver to Superior Court,' Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said in a statement. 'As with all cases, we are assessing our next steps, which will include discussions with the victim and her family.
  • The first trailer for the upcoming musical film 'Cats' has been released. >>Read more trending news 'Cats' is an adaptation of the 1981 Broadway musical of the same name. Based on a collection of poems by T.S. Eliot and featuring music by Andrew Lloyd Weber, 'Cats' follows a tribe of cats called the Jellicles as they decide which cat will come back to life, according to the film's Internet Movie Database page. The original Broadway production ran for nearly 28 years and won several awards, including the 1983 Tony Award for Best Musical. The movie's star-studded cast includes Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden and others. It introduces ballerina Francesca Hayward in her first movie role. Viewers tweeted their reactions to the trailer. Many reactions were negative, as viewers said they found the appearance of the cat characters unsettling. 'Cats' is set for a December 20 release date.
  • A photo of a dog tied up on the back of a tow truck as it goes down busy Massachusetts highway has upset so many drivers who saw it that they now won't stop calling the tow company. >> Read more trending news The Animal Rescue League and Massachusetts State Police are now investigating the alleged crime. The picture snapped by a Brockton, Massachusetts, man and posted on Facebook drew instant criticism. People quickly began posting their objections and flooding the towing company with calls. Apparently, the two people in the van being towed were in the cab of the tow truck and that's why the dog was chained to the bed. The dog is owned by the driver of the truck. The man who took the picture, Mike Gerry, also has a dog: Molly.  Mike says he saw the dog on the flatbed while driving down Route 128 near Route 2 on Wednesday. He beeped and tried to get the tow truck driver’s attention but had no luck. 'I posted it on Facebook for my buddies to put it out there. and it went unreal, it went ballistic,' Gerry said. 'And ever since then people have been commenting on it, 'you're doing the right thing.'' To be clear the company told WFXT the dog being chained to the back of a flatbed truck is not their policy. The driver has reportedly been fired and the dog is OK.  The company also says it is donating $1,000 to the MSPCA and has set up a call center so it can answer and return every single call about the incident.
  • An Oklahoma man is in custody after allegedly raping a 4-year-old girl in a McDonald’s bathroom while the child was on a field trip with her day care class, according to news reports. >> Read more trending news  It happened Tuesday inside a McDonald’s in Midwest City in metro Oklahoma City when the little girl went to the bathroom alone, WXIN-TV reported. Day care employees told responding officers they went to check on the girl after she had “been gone for a while.”  They said they found the bathroom door locked and when they knocked, a man opened the door.He allegedly came out with his hands up and said, “I was just washing my hands,” the news station reported. The 4-year-old allegedly told police she was touched inappropriately by the man, identified as Joshua Kabatra, 37. Police arrested Kabatra at the scene, according to WXIN. He’s facing two rape charges and a count of lewd acts with a child.
  • Do you feel you’re better focused on the job with a little light background jazz or coffee shop chatter compared to pin-drop silence? Scientists might know why. >> Read more trending news According to Onno van der Groen, a researcher with Australia’s Edith Cowan University school of medical and health sciences, some background noise can actually be beneficial for our senses. This phenomenon is called “stochastic resonance.” First studied in animals, stochastic resonance experiments suggest “sensory signals can be enhanced by noise and improve behaviour in various animals,” van der Groen wrote for The Conversation last week. “For example, crayfish were shown to be better at avoiding predators when a small amount of random electrical currents were added to their tail fins. Paddlefish caught more plankton when small currents were added to the water.” In human experiments, where noise levels were manipulated by getting participants to listen to noisy sounds or feel random vibrations on the skin, people were better able to see, hear and feel at “a certain optimum noise level.” If it were too loud, however, performance dropped. Van der Groen pointed out that stochastic resonance has several real life applications for humans, too. “Adding noise to the feet of people with vibrating insoles can improve balance performance in elderly adults,” he wrote. For patients with diabetes or those recovering from stroke, this can also be used to augment muscle function. His own research has found that when brain currents are applied to participants’ brains with random noise stimulation, “it improved how well they could see a low-quality image.” When he and other researchers applied the same technique to other groups, they noticed “decisions were more accurate and faster when brain cell noise levels are tuned up.” Transcranial random noise stimulation also influenced what participants saw during a visual illusion, suggesting noise could help people approach a situation from multiple perspectives. But the thing about stochastic resonance is it differs from person to person.  The optimal amount of noise for top-notch cognitive function depends on a variety of factors, such as brain variability. Excessive brain variability, van der Groen wrote, is common in those with autism, dyslexia, ADHD and schizophrenia. Elderly folks also tend to have more brain noise (or brain variability) than younger individuals. However, because brain noise can be altered with random noise stimulation, van der Groen believes there are opportunities to explore “interventions or devices to manipulate noise levels, which could improve cognitive functioning in health and disease.”  For example, a study of children with ADHD found white noise delivered specifically through Etymotic earphones at 77 decibels improved memory and concentration. Plenty of downloadable ambient, white and “pink” noise apps have also popped up in recent years. There’s Coffitivity, which plays an infinite loop of coffee-shop sounds — and Noisli, which suggests different sounds for different goals. If you want to improve productivity, you might mix raindrops and train tracks. For those who want to relax, listen to crashing waves. Generally, ambient noise is ideal for creativity, white noise is sound for concentration and pink noise might be most helpful in improving sleep quality. But remember, finding stochastic resonance isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. Play around and see which background noises and volumes work best for you. This guide from Techlicious is a good place to start.
  • An act of kindness extended by three young men has gotten a lot of attention on social media since then.  >> Read more trending news Sean Wetzonis says it all started when he, Pedro and two other friends from Malden planned to attend the game.  But one friend backed out, leaving Pedro with an extra ticket.  'And Pedro's father had suggested, he was like, 'find a girl. Find a girl to take to the game,'' Sean Wetzonis told Boston 25 News. But he said Pedro had another idea.  'He said, 'you know, I'll give it to a homeless person. If I could find a homeless person,' Wetzonis said. Finding a homeless person in Boston is not difficult. Enter John, who was sitting on a stoop near Fenway Park. 'When Pedro asked him if he wanted to go to a Red Sox game, at first I wasn't sure if he was going to get up, but then he said sure and he got up and he seemed pretty excited about it,' Wetzonis said.  He admits he was skeptical about taking a homeless guy to the game. 'I was kind of shocked. Everyone was like, 'dude. You got another ticket. You could try and sell it to make some money back.,' Wetzonis said.  But then he saw something you don't see enough of these days at professional sporting events: a fan actually watching the game.  'Everyone's there sitting on their phones, texting and looking around. He was really immersed in the game. He was there to enjoy the game,' Wetzonis said.  The Red Sox lost Tuesday night. But for three young men from Malden, it was, perhaps, the winningest night at Fenway ever.