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Travel

Cheap Air Fare: Some Secrets That Can Save You Money

If you sometimes have last minute travel plans that pop up, or even if you just like the idea of jetting off to random destinations at the last minute, you probably know that air fares can be costly if you haven’t planned in advance. But there are some options that can help you save money, even if you want to travel more spontaneously than a two week vacation planned a year in advance. You can get cheap air fares even when life takes an unexpected turn and you’re required to do the same.

First of all, most last minute deals on cheap air fares are posted by airlines three to fourteen days before a flight is scheduled to leave. If you have time to plan at least a few days in advance, then you should take a look at these deals first to see what’s being offered. You’re likely to get an even better deal if you have some flexibility with your travel dates and departure times. But you have to act fast if you see a good deal on a popular destination that’s departing soon. These seats don’t last long at all, and if you wait they’re likely to disappear. Airlines only offer cut rate deals to fill the vacant seats on their flights, and once they’re gone you won’t necessarily find the same deal on a different flight. So don’t expect to get a rain check if you miss it the first time!

Most of the time you’ll get the best deals by buying your ticket directly from an airline’s web site. But if you don’t find a suitable rate that way, try visiting websites like www.lastminute.com or www.11thhourvacations.com. If your travel plans can be flexible and you have a sense of adventure, you can find some great deals at these sites. Another site you should try is www.priceline.com, whose television advertisements you’ve probably seen. Priceline lets you make an offer on a flight and will then try to match it with an airline that accepts your bid. The more leeway you have on the exact time and date you can travel, the more likely you are to find a great deal at this site. But keep in mind, if your bid is accepted than you are committed to paying the price you bid, even if you found a deal on another site while you were waiting to hear.

If you want to travel overseas, another option you have in order to save loads of money is to use an airline consolidation service. You will sometimes need to have quite flexible travel plans to take advantage of the extreme savings you can get through these companies, but it can be well worth it. A good place to start if you want to explore this option is at www.airlineconsolidator.com/.

And last but not least, don’t forget to compare costs at discount airlines when you’re looking for cheap air fares. And sometimes, simply driving an extra hour or two to depart from a different airport can mean a lower air fare, too.

Just make sure that you don’t select airlines that are of low quality just to get airfares that are cheap and affordable as that would spoil your entire trip as most people are worried about the trip for which they need to be prepared and stop fretting about things like how do I spend a day in Atlanta or Chicago as travelling is also an important part of the trip.

Food Travel

Fit-Tip of the Day: Snack While You Drive

Okay, so maybe today’s “fit-tip” is a bit misleading, but hey, I’ve got to get your attention one way or another, right? On the other hand, you did read that correctly; I’m actually encouraging you to snack while you drive. Before we get started though, I feel obliged to send out a quick disclaimer: If you’re a two-hands-on-the-wheel-at-all-times-no-exception kind of driver, this “fit-tip” might not be for you (you’ve come this far though so you might as well keep reading). Anyways, there you have it, my safety clause. Let’s move on.

Now, unless you’re an absolute homebody, don’t own a vehicle, or are too young to drive, there’s a good chance that you spent a decent amount of time in some sort of mode of transportation on a regular basis. Because there never seems to be enough time in a day, being efficient with our time and knowing when and how to do simple things that will make sense in the long haul is extremely important. This is where snacking during the drive comes in.

It’s becoming common knowledge that eating 5-6 proportionate meals spread evenly throughout the day encourages the body to maintain or speed up the metabolism and make the most of consumed nutrients. Yet although the concept is simple, I’ve found that many people simply have a hard time eating this often. When we snack as we drive, it’s an excellent opportunity to take care of some of those sometimes troubling meals during a time when there’s really nothing else to do. The catch of course is what we decide to snack on. Because this is a “fit-tip”, it’s only right that we make these snacks healthy ones. It’s always easy for me to pack a Ziploc of walnuts or munch on an apple, and though both of these are great choices, I usually use my car snacking to take care of those healthy food items that I’m not exactly too thrilled about eating.

For instance, when I’ve got a standard commute ahead of me (say around 30 minutes or so), I take a regular plastic party cup, fill it with raw broccoli, and make it my goal to finish the greens before arriving at my destination. Because my attention is on the road and my broccoli isn’t really my main concern, I’ve found that the motion from my hand grabbing the broccoli and putting it in my mouth sort of goes on a cruise control.

So am I telling you to eat healthy foods that you find nasty while you drive? Sort of, but in a more appealing way. Don’t try and eat anything that will make your drive miserable; just choose snacks that you know are of benefit to you. You also want to pick something that is relatively mess and sticky-free.

Here’s a list (in no particular order) of some great things to snack on as you drive:

  1. Fruit (your standard apple or banana is great, but mix it up sometime and fill up on a plastic cup of blueberries)
  2. Raw broccoli
  3. Raw carrots
  4. Raw snap peas
  5. Edemame
  6. Whole grain bread
  7. All-natural peanut butter on a spoon (just bring a plastic cup to hold the spoon and peanut butter)
  8. Granola
  9. Walnuts
  10. Mixed nuts

Well, there you have it. Hopefully today’s “fit-tip” encourages you to take hold of precious time in the care as an opportunity to take care of a healthy snack/meal. Make sure to check back routinely for more “fit-tips”. In the mean time, drive safely and eat healthy!

“Wow, that wasn’t too bad.”

“Well good. I’m glad you enjoyed it. If that’s what you’re saying at least.”

“Yeah, I think I can do this one. Quick question though – are you sure Twinkies don’t crack the top ten list?”

“Sorry. But I’ll tell you what. I think I’ve found a way for you to eat that Twinkie.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. Eat healthy for 3,000 miles and then grab one to munch on as a reward while you get your oil changed.”

Travel

TSA New Security Rules for International Travel

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules for international travel were developed and implemented to ensure that all TSA rules for airport security are strictly adhered to, and to detect and eliminate any threat to the security of passengers or crew on airplanes traveling internationally.

Development and Implementation of New Security Rules

The TSA began phasing in new rules for international travel in 2009. One of the first steps was to require all passengers to have proper government-issued identification that exactly matches the name on the reservation. When making a reservation, the traveler must also give information verifying gender and date of birth. The information is required for both domestic and international travel.

In January, 2010, The TSA issued new security rules for passengers flying on planes entering into the United States. These rules were implemented after continuing threats to the United States by terrorists and suspected terrorists. The TSA wants to be sure that terrorists, suspected terrorists or others who may intend harm to passengers or flight crew cannot bring anything aboard a plane that would harm anyone or potentially destroy the plane. The new security rules implemented by the TSA have the support of many countries abroad. The TSA has stated that passengers entering the United States on any aircraft that originates from or travels through any other country will be required to cooperate with enhanced screening measures. Enhanced screening measures involve, but are not limited to the advanced full-body scanning process of the backscatter or new wave millimeter scanners. This full-body scan advanced technology is already in use in many other countries, as well as the U.S.

In April, the TSA changed the enhanced screening to an even stricter level. Initially, in January, there was a list of fourteen countries which was used as a means of the enhanced screening. It now is in effect for any traveler coming into the United States from any country anywhere in the world.

Secure Flight

Section 4012 (a) of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 required the Department of Homeland Security to take over matching passenger lists to no fly and watch lists. Secure Flight is a program developed for that purpose by the D.H.S. Its mission is to enhance the security of air travel, both in the U.S. and abroad. It works behind the scenes to more quickly identify those passengers who are on the no-fly list or the “watch” list. Secure Flight conducts pre-screening measures to identify those persons on the watch list and thwart any potential terrorism or other danger. The Secure Flight has been instrumental in the enforcement of the new rules for air travel. It not only conducts the pre-screening on flights originating from countries of known terrorist activity, but also flights out of or within the U.S. After Secure Flight checks each passenger’s identifying information against watch lists, the information is transmitted back to the airlines.

The Benefits of New Rules for International Travel

The threat of terrorism and other criminal acts committed by those traveling from other countries remains a constant threat. The United States, by joining with the international aviation community continually works to protect citizens, travelers and airline crews from violence and terrorist acts. This is accomplished through the development and implementation of tighter international travel security rules.

Travel

Visiting the Dallas Frontiers of Flight Museum

There is no reason to wait for the once-per-year air shows to see the greatest exhibitions of flight and fantasy or touch the powerful and cool metal of some of the most noted planes to ever fly in the sky. The Frontiers of Flight museum is a bit of a misnomer, since it is so much more than a museum. It is essentially, a full air show, gift store, a fun place to visit and more-museum and history lesson all rolled into one-and it is a fantastic place near Love Field in Dallas, to beat the summer heat while having a good time too.

Starting with the museum, visitors can see a wide variety of aviation related items and artifacts, from parts of planes, aviation jackets, helmets, and other aviation related paraphernalia. The items are not limited to just Earthbound/skyward aviation though, since the Frontiers of Flight museum also displays space travel, including boasting that the Dallas Frontiers of Flight museum has on display the only moon rocks in North Texas. Of course, the astronaut dreamer of us all will be impressed by the display of the Apollo 7 command module.

For those who are a bit more hands-on about flying, the Frontiers of Flight museum has open cockpit days where visitors are able to sit in and touch things in a real plane cockpit. For those wanting to take it a bit farther, the flight simulators are a blast. For the kids, there is the FunShuttle, able to be built and flown, watching it climb over 100ft up in the air. What better way to beat the summer heat in Dallas, Texas than hands-on airplay like that?

During the school year, schools, churches and youth group tours find Frontiers of Flight a wonderful place to bring groups of children, for fun and education. However, during the summer, the Frontiers of Flight museum really shines. Model airplane projects can be built and flown, special guest speakers come at various times during the summer as well, and the flight demonstrations are not to be missed.

With the fee to tour the museum and see the flight artifacts and touch and take pictures of planes and cockpits of planes and have a good time while eating the summer heat, you can’t beat the admission price of less than $10 for adults. If your child has a summer birthday, the Frontiers of Flight party tour and package is a great way to beat the summer heat and celebrate their special day!

Located near Love Field airport, at 6911 Lemmon Ave, Dallas, Texas, the Frontiers of Flight museum is only a short drive and central location to most of the Dallas area, and well worth the trip for an outing or adventure, particularly for the flight enthusiast. For those not so interested in flight, check out the annual swap meet – something for everyone at Frontiers of Flight to help beat the summer heat in Dallas, Texas! For more information, you can call the museum at 214-350-1651.

Travel

Kayak Vs Sidestep which site is better for flight offers?

If you are searching for cheap flights then you no longer have to visit just Expedia or Priceline any longer. There are now two other travel sites which are quickly growing in popularity. One of them is Kayak.com and the other is Sidestep.com. So which one is better between these two? Following is a comparison of the two websites to see which one offers the best deals.

First lets start with Kayak.com. This website helps it’s consumers to find travel sites that offer affordable airlines, hotels, and rental cars. The best part is that Kayak.com does not charge any fees for their services. What many don’t realize is that this website was founded by the same people who first came up with Orbits, Travelocity, and Expedia. The difference between Kayak.com and other travel site is that they do not just search their own site, but over 140 airline websites and other travel agencies that are found online. They even search several international sites so that you can get the best deal on cheap affordable airline tickets. You also have the option of signing up for fare alerts, and they will even compare the prices they find with that of other travel sites like Expedia.

Now what does Sidestep.com have to offer? Well to start with it also searches more than 200 travel websites in order to find users the cheapest flights, hotels, and car rental services. They search airlines across the world to get the best deal. They also offer travel guides and reviews generated by their consumers. They average about 5 million visitors per month just from the United States. The only problem with sidestep.com that I have found its that it takes a long time to load because it is searching so many different sides.

As far as profit is concerned it seems that Kayak.com is definitely coming out on top so far. Which is probably why the two have decided to merge. Considering the fact that the two sites are very similar and they both offer cheap flights as well as other features this merger could only end up being beneficial.

Most of the money for both sites is made through partnerships and from advertising. Kayak’s layout could definitely use some improvement since it has too much of a search engine look to it. If you take a look at Sidestep.com you will see that it has a much better interface with a lot more content to browse through. The social network site for travelers that is offered on SideStep.com is also a huge plus for the site. When it comes to finding cheaper flights however and better travel deals overall I would have to say that Kyak.com really wins that one hands down. I have yet to find any better deals on Sidestep.com than I have found on Kayak.com. No that they are merging both companies will be even better. Both of the companies make well over $50 million dollars in revenue, so profit is definitely not a problem with either company. The bottom line is that you can easy find affordable flights and plenty of options to choose from. Both sites offer something different so it does depend slightly on what you prefer.