Cheap Summer Vacations

People, as a whole, need a break. Traveling is one of the favorite ways to unwind and relax. One of the busiest and most popular times to travel is during the summer months, when the children and the college students (and even some adults) get their biggest break. Good spots to travel to and explore are historic landmarks, beaches, water theme parks and/or exotic locales.

Think you can’t afford a nice weekend getaway or a nice dream vacation? Think again. If you know what you really want in a vacation and have good planning, you can have a summer adventure that won’t ruin your budget. If you know how and where to look, travel prices, according to some experts, can be pretty economical.

Some predictable summer vacations have been cruises. Some popular cruise destinations have been to the Caribbean, Mexico and Europe, Florida and Las Vegas. One growing trend is that people tend to want to travel closer to home and less overseas. There is also a rise in people booking their vacations at the last minute, making last-minute bargains harder and harder to find. More and more people can find the best deals at the best times thanks to the Internet. And more and more people are thinking smart and ahead by scheduling vacations in advance. It’s not unreasonable to start planning for a trip or cruise a year ahead. If going through a travel agency to book your vacation or cruise, many travel agencies have the option to pay for your vacation or cruise by monthly payments instead of a lump sum.

Consider taking a trip within the United States and make it a road trip at that. There are bed and breakfasts, camping resorts and hotels with great rates that can help you explore your own fantastic country. It is surprising, but many people call hotels for reservations and ask for a rate for a specific date and don’t get the lowest rate. The rate that is given is usually not the lowest rate. You must ask specifically for the lowest rate in order to get it. Being flexible is important when scheduling vacations and cruises. If the rate for your specific travel date is not available, having a second set of dates and even a third set can help people get the discounted rate they want. One hotel that you want to stay at may not have a room available. That hotel may be partnered with another hotel in the same area that can give you a room instead. This is where being flexible comes in handy.

Before you get there, find out as much as you can about your travel destination. If you have pets and children, find a place where they can be accommodated. An all night party place may not be the best spot if want a quiet place for two. This is where the Internet can come in handy. The Internet is a great tool to create the perfect vacation for you and your love ones.



Source by Michael Russell

Discount Airline Tickets – How Can You Save Money on Your Next Flight?

You may be surprised to find out that discount airline tickets are not that hard to come by at all. Whether you want to book your flight far in advance or at the last minute, you can find some good deals. Keep in mind that some deals are limited, so if you're presented with a good offer, you should take it before it expires. The only problem with last minute tickets though is that they are sold as is, meaning you can not get a refund.

The advantage of booking as far in advance as you possibly can is that you may be able to get a discount voucher later on if the price of your ticket goes down. Many people do not know this, but it does happen all the time. You can either get a voucher to use on your next flight or part of your payment refunded to you.

Another way to get discount airline tickets is to bid on them at sites such as Priceline. You can choose your own price, put it forward, and wait to see if any travel agencies and airline companies will agree to your price. Do not be too cheap, now, or your offer will end up being rejected. If it's restored, you'll have to wait a couple of days before you can try again.

You can also check out websites like Travelocity and Expedia. Many times airlines will offer cheap tickets through them. Just fill out some information, such as your location, destination, and travel dates and you'll receive some free quotes. If you're willing to take a flight that has a stop or two, you can save some money. While nonstop flights are the most convenient, you probably will not find any discount airline tickets for them.



Source by Nadav Snir

What is the Average Reading Speed and the Best Rate of Reading?

The average reading speed of a child in primary school is around 200 words per minute (wpm). By the time we reach adulthood, it hasn’t improved very much, as, on average, most adults read at a rate of about 200 – 250 wpm. While comprehension at this rate is considered reasonable, at 250 wpm it will be difficult to read large amounts of information in a short period of time.

Certain individuals claim to read at speeds of 10 000 wpm or even 25 000 wpm and say they are still able to understand all they have read. Even though rates like this may be achieved by these exceptional individuals, a speed of 1000 – 1200 wpm is the rate at which contestants read at the World Championship speed reading competitions. Therefore, if your average reading speed comes anywhere near this rate, you can consider yourself doing fantastically well. Do not feel that you need to reach championship levels in order to achieve your learning and reading goals. It is up to each and every individual to decide how far to push the speed limits!

For a person interested in increasing his abilities, a goal of 500 – 800 wpm is an excellent target. At this rate it is possible to get through large quantities of work in a short time and maintain a comprehension level of about 75% or more. This is an excellent level of comprehension and probably more than adequate for any of your required purposes. Compare this to the average reading rate of adults (200 – 250 wpm), where their comprehension level is only half or slightly more of the material they have read.

800 – 1000 wpm would be an outstanding achievement. In order to have reached this level, an individual may have invested in an excellent speed reading course and practiced speed drills. Believe it or not, comprehension at this level is also outstanding, reaching levels of 100% or very close to 100%.

Results of 100 – 200 wpm is considered a basic reading rate. In adult terms this is a below average speed, but for children between the ages of 6 and 12, it may be considered as average. Only low levels of comprehension are achieved at this rate. An adult who reads at this pace will be amazed at what some of the simple techniques will do for his reading speed. Reading at any pace below 100 wpm will probably be read by someone who is still learning to read or perhaps by someone who is reading in a second or third language. At this rate comprehension will be difficult.



Source by James McNair

5 Tips For Traveling With Children

Family vacations are an essential part of living today, and can create wonderful memories that you can cherish for a lifetime. There are a few simple steps that parents can take to make sure everyone is safe and happy while traveling. Going on vacation with children can be a test of patience and attentiveness for parents, which many may find daunting. However, the good news is that just by taking these few simple tips, it can make everything much less stressful and leave you to relax and enjoy your family vacation.

Tip 1 – Pack Right

Depending on their age, children should pack or help pack some of their own things. You may even suggest them what type of clothes (preferably comfortable and loose) they should be carrying. Very useful for everyone in the family are pants that become shorts when the bottom parts zips off. You may think that you need everything but if you are really crunched for space, do not pack anything that you can buy at your destination. Do bring some hand wipes, tissues, books, hard candies, paper and gum, marks, and a surprise toy for each child in a carry on bag.

Tip 2 – Protect Your Family's Health

Bring along any medications your family requires, make sure they are well labeled and in their original containers. If you are traveling out of the country, check with the public health authorities if you need to get additional vaccines. They will recommend you the necessary vaccines, depending on where you are traveling to and for what duration. Make sure to get Travel Insurance, no one expects an accident to happen, what if your family is at the beach enjoying your Caribbean vacation and your child cuts his foot open on a rock or you suddenly have an appendicitis attack?

Tip 3 – Arrive Early at the Airport

Plan your arrival at the airport in such a way that you have plenty of check-in time. This will avoid last minute delays and take away a lot of stress, especially with today tighter security checks. Also, arriving early will allow your family to ensure you have seats together, allow time to purchase any last minute items, and give your little ones time to adjust to new surroundings.

Tip 4 – Select Seating Carefully

First row in the economy class are best coach seats to fly with children, as you get a lot of leg room. This is essential as you may need to stretch or walk around with the children if they get cranky during the travel. If you are unable to book seats in the first row, place the children between two responsible adults, away from the aisle. Young children should not sit in an aisle seat. The carts used for meals service take up almost the whole aisle, and a small child could get hurt. Sitting near the galley and lavatory can also be convenient, especially if you want a bottle warmed or will be making frequent trips to the bathroom.

Tip 5 – Keep Them Occupied

Wondering how to keep kids calm and busy on the flight? First off, pacifiers, gum, and bottles will decrease air pressure on the children's ears. To keep a child interested during a long flight, bring his favorite toys and some new toys to spark their interest. Older children will love to have books, hand held game players or MP3 players to keep them busy.



Source by Jolana Klobouk

Last Minute Checks Before You Drive to the Airport

Going to the airport for your holiday is exciting and stressful in equal parts. Of course it’s a great feeling knowing that you’re heading off on a holiday to get away from it all, top up your tan and see somewhere new, but at the same time it’s also stressful knowing how much money you’ve spent, worrying about things going wrong, and having a strict timescale that you absolutely can’t miss.

It’s crucial then to make sure that you are prepared for this journey and that you’ve accounted for everything that can go wrong if you want to avoid losing money unnecessarily or being extra stressed. Here we will look at some of the very last minute checks to make before you leave.

Your Car

If you are driving to the airport then it’s crucial that your vehicle is fit to get you there and that everything is in working order. Chances are that this will be a medium-long journey, so ensure that your tires are fully pumped up, that you have enough fuel, oil and water. Likewise you should pack certain things in your car with you to help you out in case you do end up stranded. For instance you should always take a first aid kit, and you should take supplies and tools that you could use to repair your car or make life more comfortable should you get stranded.

The Route

Knowing the way to the airport is also rather important to avoid driving lost for ages. Make sure you know the best route and that you are aware of any traffic hold-ups too. If you are concerned about getting to your destination then investing in a sat nav can help a great deal to put your mind at rest and to avoid potential problems. If you don’t have a sat nav, then having a navigator in the front with a printed map may help to ensure you don’t make any wrong turns.

Parking

You should also have some parking for when you get to the airport if you are going to be driving. Make sure this is booked in advance as well, but also that you know the way there. It’s no good knowing where the airport is then struggling to find where you are going to park.

Flights

Before setting off you should double check your flight times and the terminal you need to be at. You can check this using your flight number but it’s important that you do as these details can be subject to change. You should do this a little before you leave of course, as waiting might mean it’s too late for you to get there for the new time.

Your Files and Documents

Going on holiday normally requires you to show any number of e-tickets, confirmation e-mails and documents for identification (as well as lots of cash and/or travellers’ cheques of course). If you don’t have any of these then it can lead to serious stress when you’re out there, so doing a last minute check of everything is important.



Source by Adrien Sargent

Capitalizing On Last Minute Deals

Last minute airlines deals and last minute travel plans have a lot in common. Both come suddenly, out of the blue, abrupt at times, and both get people very, very excited. Last minutes deals can quite literally live up to their name depending on the season in the sense that they don’t last very long. One minute and they are gone from the internet. It may sound like you have to stalk the internet and be at the right place at the right time to avail them. Thankfully not. Online travel websites have made things much easier.

The Deals Come to You, Instead of You to Them

The entire concept is just pure genius. Travel websites have become increasingly smart and increasingly proactive. Proactive in the sense that they inform you the second an amazing deal surfaces on the internet. As a frequent user of these sites or a registered number (registration is free, generally), you can even set up ‘alarm’ with specific parameters that would go off once an airline deal matching your specific criteria becomes available in the given time frame. It is the best way to stay ahead in the game in order to capitalize on good deals.

Your Favorite Destinations, Your Favorite Carriers

Online bargains are in almost all cases better than the standard rates you get directly from the carrier. It is a marketing tactic used by airlines in order to promote their own carriers and lure more customers through different platforms. Online travel sites cash in on the bargain deals by providing them to their customers. You will find a list of your favorite travel spots being flown to by your favorite airlines carriers at an affordable price range. There is no catch. You get a bargain deal for your dream vacation.

Great Time to Cash in Sky Mileage

Accumulating Sky mileage is a great way to earn discounted airfare. The beauty of last minute deals is that they often time allow travelers to use it on top of the bargain deal. This makes a great dealer even sweeter and saves you money; money that you would love to spend on other things while on vacation. People who accumulate sky mileage should definitely keep their rewards points safe and handy for bargain deals. They can literally make a vacation costs pennies on the dollar.

Go Fly First’s Travel Website

Go Fly First offers an amazing online booking and travel experience to its customers. They take great pride in the system they have put in place literally everyone and anyone to capitalize on. It has everything a prospective traveler would need to book, manage and sort out any detail regarding their flight including last minute bargain deals. Special emphasis is given to First Class and Business Travelers as they are some of the most avid users of online travel systems. If you want a bargain airfare and are looking forward to going on vacation provided a great last minute deal comes around, you no longer have to look for it. It will come to you which means your vacation will come to you.



Source by Stella Finn

3 Time Wasting Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes Online

Online tax filing has gotten easier and cheaper. Unless you have complicated items to deal with in your tax return or you are new to your own business and need a tax accountant to help you with your accounting, you probably can file your own taxes with the right software. If you are ready to give it a try, avoid these 3 time wasting mistakes:

Mistake #1 – Starting unprepared. Good tax software steps you through the return in a question and answer format. If on every question you have to rummage through your files or stacks of paper, you will lose your train of thought and the process will take much longer.

  Instead – Gather the basic information before you start which may include:

  • Last years tax return
  • Social security numbers of you, your spouse and your children
  • Your bank account # and routing # (if you want the IRS to directly deposit your refund or collect any tax owed)
  • W-2 forms from your employers
  • 1099 forms from your bank and brokerage firm
  • Deduction information (mortgage interest, state tax payments, real estate tax receipts, charitable gifts, etc.)
  • Business income and expenses if you are self employed
  • Cost basis information on any investments that you sold during the year
  • Decide if you want to make an IRA or Roth IRA contribution

Mistake #2 – Feeling like you have to finish the process in one sitting.

  Instead – Print the return and put it aside for a few hours or until the next day. Then review the forms to see if the amounts look reasonable. Review your tax file to make sure you haven’t forgotten to include something. When you are satisfied that everything checks out, you can sign and mail the return or log back into your account to e-file the return. If you found errors or omissions, it is easy enough to make the corrections.

Mistake #3 – And this is the biggie. Waiting until the last minute! The looming deadline can be a big motivator, but it can also cost you money because you are more likely to make a mistake.

Instead – Start now finding all those forms and your records. Use last year’s return as a guide and begin the paper treasure hunt. If the task is too overwhelming, work for an hour and come back to it the next day. And while you are at it, create a “This Year’s Taxes” file and any time during the year you get mail or have receipts that will apply to that year’s return, toss it in the file. You will be so glad you did next year when it’s time to file.



Source by Christine Cobb

Last Minute Travel Packages

At certain times of the year the prices of airline tickets, cruises, hotel rooms and even rental cars shoot up tremendously. This inconveniences many a last minute traveler. Since transport and accommodation are the basic requirements of any traveler, the price hike often creates a big hazard and brings quite a few holiday plans to a standstill. At such times, the most practical option available is to indulge in the last minute travel packages available. Travelers who do not have a fixed destination generally prefer these special packages. Last minute travel packages normally include a variety of destination choices at affordable rates.

These last minute special travel packages offer convenient seven nights of stay and include the airfare, hotel accommodation, hotel taxes and transfer between the hotel and the airport. Some packages also offer three to four nights of stay. Since these packages are inclusive of applicable taxes. This makes them all the more affordable and luring to the traveler. These last minute travel packages have enabled a number of travelers to visit some of the most amazing and exotic locales around the world. They probably would have never thought about these destinations otherwise. These packages are normally available from 14 days to 3 hours prior to departure. They are extremely flexible and economical. They help the traveler to choose the hotel, flight and car according to his budget and personal taste.

There are a number of special last minute travel packages offered by various online websites and travel agencies. These packages also offer a number of destinations for weekend getaways. Weekend getaway packages are generally available up to 17 days prior to departure. Last minute travel packages offer some of the best transport and accommodation rates along with a variety of exciting destinations for the traveler to choose from.



Source by Eddie Tobey

Five Cruise Destinations You May Have Overlooked

People all over the world are finally discovering the advantages of taking a cruise vacation. For one, all of the planning is done for you. You get to travel to multiple destinations without having to worry about finding transportation or hotels. That is because the boat itself is your means of transportation AND it is your hotel!

Still, a lot of great cruise deals will oftentimes get lost in the shuffle. Many people will see a few of the old standby destinations at a great bargain and instantly jump at them. And there is nothing wrong with taking your umpteenth trip to the Bahamas. If you like it there then by all means go for it. If you’ve never been you should give it a shot.

But part of the appeal of a cruise is that it can take you to strange and exotic places without stressing you too much on the details. A cruise can be a fantastic adventure to places you never dreamed about visiting, and maybe some places you’ve never even heard of before! Here are a few suggestions for bargain deals on cruises to places that are a little bit off the beaten path.

1. Alaska

When most people think about a cruise they think about fun in the Caribbean sun. An Alaskan cruise is not usually at the top of the list. But touring Alaska by boat can be an unforgettable and gorgeous experience. The landscapes and wildlife that you encounter are like nothing else in the world.

Princess Cruises offers a five day cruise of Alaska’s Inside Passage. That is the little area between the southernmost Alaskan islands and the mainland. The trip leaves from Vancouver, Canada and after a day at sea it docks for an afternoon in Juneau.

Juneau is the capital of Alaska and it is also the state’s third largest city. Hiking trails through temperate rain forests are easily accessible from downtown. There are also many museums and other cultural hotspots in the city. The next destination on the way back is the small city of Ketchikan. It is a huge fishing area and a great place to sea orca and humpback whales.

Although an Alaskan vacation might not facilitate too much sunbathing time, it has more than enough cultural and wildlife-viewing opportunities to make up for it.

2. European Rivers

Another oft-overlooked option for a cruise is to take a trip down a river instead of out to sea. Railways and rental cars aren’t the only way to tour Europe. Now you can do it by boat!

Avalon Waterways runs a 10-day trip that begins in Paris and sails down the Seine River, down to Lyon and the Rhone River, and eventually out into the Mediterranean Sea and over to the city of Nice, France. This is an unbelievable tour that hits a total of 11 French cities in 11 days and 10 nights. Seeing all that countryside on a traditional trip would be nearly impossible in such a short span of time, but it is leisurely and enjoyable when taken in from the deck of your cruise ship.

3. Panama Canal

Seeing one ocean is enough for most people. But the more adventurous types might want a cruise vacation where they get to see large parts of the two biggest oceans on the planet in the same trip.

Celebrity Cruises runs a 14-day trip that leaves from San Juan, Puerto Rico, travels through the Panama Canal, and then all the way up the western coast of Mexico and back to San Diego. Along the way it ports at Puntarenas, Costa Rica. This is a huge fishing port and it is an unbelievable place for fresh seafood. From there it is up the coast with stops in Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas.

If you want to go on a tropical cruise vacation but you can’t decide on which ocean to sail in, experience two of them by crossing through the Panama Canal!

4. The Canary Islands

If you like the idea of spending long days at sea then you might consider a cruise of the Canary Islands. Royal Caribbean International runs 13-day repositioning cruises out of San Juan, Puerto Rico that spend six whole days at sea before arriving for a three-day tour of the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa.

These repositioning trips are a great deal because many of the cruise lines are already taking their boats from the Caribbean where they tour in the winter to the Mediterranean for the summertime. There is no real point in sailing across an ocean without passengers so they offer really great bargains. This trip also travels to Cadiz before docking in Barcelona, Spain.

5. The Galapagos Islands

Charles Darwin was so inspired by what he saw on the Galapagos Islands that it partially inspired his landmark study of human evolution “The Origin of Species.” Kurt Vonnegut was so inspired by Darwin’s work that he wrote the science fiction novel “Galapagos,” which explores the inherent sorrow that comes from being a member of a species with an abnormally large brain.

Clearly, these islands are a magical place. Animals have evolved there in dramatic and exciting ways because they have been cut off for millennia from contact with other landmasses. Celebrity Cruises runs a 10-day cruise out of Quito, Ecuador so that you can explore these one-of-a-kind islands for yourself. Who knows what they will inspire in you.

World travel is about different things for different people. Some people desire a vacation simply to get away from the office and to relax for a few weeks. There is nothing wrong with that.

But other individuals travel because they sea it as a way to open their minds to new people, places and ideas. For them, vacation is both a physical and a spiritual journey. If you find yourself in this latter group then you might consider taking a cruise to one of these oft-overlooked locations. You never know what you might find there.



Source by Lindsay Rosival

New York – The City That Never Sleeps!

New York- the city that has got the nickname as The City that Never Sleeps. This greatest city of the world is among the top 10 cities that never sleep or that are moving 24/7. It is the cultural capital of the US and acts as the spinal cord of this amazing country. It has been a vital part of many famous movies, novels, books, songs and poems so the popularity of NYC is already at the top of the world. There are many more things and places that makes this city so much cool and happening. Here are a few reasons behind the same:

Art and Culture : New York is a city of diversity where people have come from different parts of the world to build their lives. The presence of different cultures and their practices makes it home to a large number of artists, poets and actors whose talent has made it a culture rich destination. Also, NYC happens to be the hub of a large number of museums, art galleries, music theaters that add to its shine and promote the same in various forms. Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet, the New York Philharmonic, the Guggenheim, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the American Museum of Natural History are the hubs of art & culture of this alluring city.

Manhattan : The economic and cultural heart of the city, Manhattan is yet another reason that makes this city all the more famous. The Times Square, Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Statue of Liberty, American Museum of National History, Ellis Island, Central Park, etc. are the major attractions of this bustling city. Manhattan is also famous for its skyscrapers, magical shopping stores and the bright lights that add pace to life. New York is also the home of some of the most famous sports teams in America – the Jets and the Giants at football, the Knicks at basketball, the Islanders and Rangers at hockey, and the Yankees and the Mets at baseball which can be found in its heart.

Climate and Surroundings: The super-hot summers and the chilling winters of NYC make it all the more beautiful and accessible for many activities such as beach surfing, adventure sports, winter sports, etc. There are many more things to explore in this beautiful city of America. From the Appalachians and the Catskills to the Great Lakes, or follow the Hudson River to Albany. There is plenty of opportunity for outdoor pursuits.

There are many more reasons that keep this city buzzing and awake all the time, but for that you need to visit it soon. Book a cheap flight to New York and explore the hidden vistas of this amazing city.



Source by Rajni Devi