Friday, December 20th, 2013
With Christmas on its way and New Year’s soon after, we bet there’s one thing you’re in for this season: travel. We had the chance to learn some expert tips from Bob Diener, president of GetARoom.com. Whether you’re flying or driving in the weeks to come, these strategies will help make your journey hassle-free now and for the future.
1. When in doubt, over-plan.
Making stops along the way might be necessary, but it doesn’t hurt to stock up on supplies beforehand. “Shop for food in advance at your local store. You can get much better prices than trying to pick things up at a convenient store,” Diener says. His trick to avoid paying $3 for water? Pack empty sports bottles to fill up at airports or rest stops.
2. Search for unconventional options.
Don’t be afraid to look outside the traditional hotel. “People gravitate toward big name chains, but those have more demand and higher prices,” Diener says. You can book vacation rentals for almost the same as a hotel with the bonus of having a kitchen and extra space. Though independent hotels may not seem as glamorous, reading customer reviews can help you find one just as nice as the usual.
3. Take advantage of surprise offers.
Flash sales also exist on travel sites and can offer rates 10 to 60 percent lower. The trick is booking within the sale window, anywhere from 2 to 24 hours. “Most people take a week to make plans, but flash sales require you to make a decision right away because the rate is so good,” Diener says. GetARoom.com also has unpublished rates from 30,000 participating hotels; just give them a call to find deals 20 to 60 percent less than what’s listed.
4. Be on the lookout for free stuff.
It’s important to consider amenities in your overall cost. Hotels or resort packages that include breakfast or internet can go a long way in saving . One low-cost way to keep kids entertained: Find a place to stay with a pool. “After a rough day of activities, you can take them there for hours,” Diener says.
5. Keep things sane with technology.
Yes, adding movies to your tablets prior to leaving guarantees entertainment. But it’s also good to download apps that will make your journey smoother. Diener uses the app of his preferred airport to keep track of delays and store boarding passes. His other favorite, Kayak, allows users to search multiple vendors at once to find deals on-the-go. Plus, you’ll need a weather app to know when rain or snow might dampen your day, or give you a white Christmas.
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Friday, August 30th, 2013
No longer just a mystical being, the tooth fairy has become a serious expense for families. A new survey from Visa shows that children are raking in an average of $3.70 per tooth, a 23 percent increase from $3 in 2012. That means a full set of 20 baby teeth goes for $74 these days.
Luckily, Visa’s free Tooth Fairy Calculator can help you determine just how much to leave your little trooper. Available for iPhones and iPads as well as on Facebook, the app allows you to enter several demographic factors, including gender, age and income, to see what the famed pixie is leaving at other similar households.
Though you don’t have to follow the app’s projections, it could be a great opportunity to teach your child the value of money.
When I was a kid, a visit from the tooth fairy always made the pain of shedding a molar worthwhile. Her offerings were greater than allowance because they appeared as if by magic. It made me want to hoard the cash even more to save for an extra special purchase.
Looking back, the tooth fairy sparked the saving bug that would later become so important in my transition to adulthood. A frugal fairy isn’t any less caring about the turmoil of losing baby teeth. She’s just more focused on making sure your guy or girl learns good spending habits for the future.
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Wednesday, December 26th, 2012
Nearly One in Three Children With Food Allergies Experience Bullying, Survey Shows
Nearly a third of children diagnosed with food allergies who participated in a recent study are bullied, according to researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Almost eight percent of children in the U.S. are allergic to foods such as peanuts, tree-nuts, milk, eggs, and shellfish. (via ScienceDaily)
Obesity Declining in Young, Poorer Kids: Study
The number of low-income preschoolers who qualify as obese or “extremely obese” has dropped over the last decade, new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show. (via Reuters)
Four Typical Holiday Money Fights–And How to Avoid Them
Fights about money are already the most common source of discord among American couples throughout the year, triggering an average of three arguments per month according to a recent study by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AIPCA). Add some financial pressure to the holiday mix, and the good cheer can quickly turn to bickering. (via Time)
Gene Variants Affect Pain Susceptibility in Children
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At least two common gene variants are linked to “clinically meaningful” differences in pain scores in children after major surgery, reports a study in the January issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS). (via ScienceDaily)