Travel Tips

– Read reviews of travelers – remember to check how recent the post was and read between the lines of the post (ask yourself does the writer share you views)

– Social Network – Make sure to ask in (facebook and twitter) statuses about good places to go on your vacation.  For example, where to get the best desserts in Paris or the best places to shop in Rome.  Keep updating throughout your trip for more free interactive information.

– Spend credit, Earn $ – If you pay off your credit-card bill on time and in full, utilize your card for either more flyer miles or cash for your trip.  Also, always check your current credit-cards for special travel promotions that may be in effect.

– Pack light – The goal should be to not have to pay for additional baggage fees.  A small (backpack) and a regular (carry-on suitcase) sized bags should work to avoid the extra baggage fees on your flight.  NOTE: Always check their current baggage limits to make sure the size and weight requirements fit all flights.  Start packing in advance.  You should never pack the night before a big trip or you’re just asking for trouble.

– Check airport websites – Check the website of the air port(s) you’ll be flying into.  It should list all carriers that offer service their.  Look closely at budget carries like Spirit Airlines, RyanAir (which from expierience worked well on my Europe trip), and AirTran.  Make sure to read the fin print before signing up as there are fees for anything extra on budget flights.

– Always compare  online travel agencies and find the best rate and verify that “deals” the promote are really deals.

– Be flexible with Dates – Flight prices can change drastically by day.  Just by changing your flight a day you could save up to hundreds of dollars.

– Don’t believe hotel ratings.  Read multiple reviews in guidebooks and magazines on hotels before you book.

– Bed Bugs – Always check for bed bugs before using the bed.  Also, do NOT put your suitcase on the bed because that is the way people bring bed bugs back with them.

– Check attractions – Make sure attractions you want to see are not closed on the days you plan on going.  Countries have different holidays and will close unexpectedly so it’s important to put the things you want to do most in the early part of your itinerary.  Also, see if you can buy tickets to attractions in advance.  There may be a fee attached, but it can help you skip the lines.

– Souvenirs – Make sure to shop at places the locals frequent and get things they actually use.  Always check labels to ensure it’s not “made in China”…unless of course you’re in China.

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Nacho Dip

This is a really simple recipe that you can use for those summer barbecues or pot lucks…and use up the fresh corn!

Ingredients

– 2 cans of diced tomatoes w/ green chilies

– 1 cup of corn

– 1 can black beans

– Cheese to top

– Nacho chips

Directions: Place all ingredients except the cheese and nachos in a sauce pan.  Stirring occasionally, heat to boiling and remove from stove.  Add cheese to top.  Enjoy!

Make Your Savings Automatic

Cooling and heating your home is a significant investment – typically, 44% of your utility bill goes just to keep your indoor climate comfortable.

Here’s an idea:

You can save as much as 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills by adjusting your thermostat just a few degrees at night.  Or you can make this savings automatic by installing a programmable thermostat.  This is especially helpful when you’re away (think Summer vacation!).

By using a programmable thermostat, your heating or air conditioning is adjusted according to a pre-set schedule.  As a result, you don’t operate the equipment as much when you sleep or when you’re not there.  And that means automatic savings – now that’s comfort!

So, call your trusted local HVAC company and they can show you how to get your automatic savings started today.