Top 5 Travel Tip Sites for Business Travelers

Here is a review of the top 5 web sites that provide great and timely tips for business travelers:1) U.S. TSA (Transportation Security Administration)A great site for U.S. citizens and foreigners alike. It has good material about the full experience of going through an American airport and the things to do to expedite that process.Sections include The Screening Experience, Dress the Part, What You Need, Do I Have to Remove My Shoes?, Keep Your Experience Simple, Travel Tips to Make Your Screening Experience Hassle-Free, Know What to Expect (including 5 step-by-step screening videos for business travelers.2) 1000 Tips 4 TripsThe mother of all travel tip directory sites.This is your site if you need answers to specific questions like Where can I find a cybercafe?, Is a bus driver better than a concierge?, Will x-ray machines harm the hard drive of my lap top?, What should I get rid of before I travel?, Where can I learn about first aid for dogs?, How do I cope with dry air on the plane?, How can I avoid travel scams?, How can I avoid pickpockets?, Should I fly while pregnant? And a lot more…3) Rick Steves’ Travel TipsA must site especially for those heading for Europe.Deep rich useful content site with dozens of great sections on Packing, Safety, Backdoors, Guidebooks, Health, Sleeping & Eating, Transportation, Planning Your Trip, Money Matters, etc.Some of my favorite articles on this site include what to pack on a typical trip to Europe, how to outsmart thieves and the bad guys on the road, what to believe when listening to a tour guide, cycling in Europe, the list of “Europe’s Best and Worst.”4) U.S. Dept. of State, Tips for Traveling AbroadMust site for U.S. business executives traveling aboard.Excellent sections (as you’d expect) on how to get a passport and all you need to know about entry requirements to other countries, consulate information on emergencies, what to do if you are hijacked and taken hostage, how to protect yourself against passport fraud and scams, what you should know about protecting your health abroad, etc.5) Travel Tips for Weary TravelersAn eclectic collection of qualified and well-researched travel articles from veteran MSNBC writers like Christopher Elliot.Excellent reference materials if you already know what you’re looking for.Some random article titles include 5 ways to find a shoulder-season deal, 10 tips to a sexy hotel room, How to make the most of traveling together, Hey Marriott, where are my miles?, Myth or magic bullet? 4 secrets about Rule 240, Traveler beware! Surcharges to watch out for, 13 tips to save money on your next cruise, and more.

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Buying a New Home – 5 Reasons to Use a Real Estate Agent

With mortgage interest rates at record lows, many people are considering the purchase of a new home to lock in a low interest rate and save money. For some, the temptation is to avoid working with a real estate agent in an effort to avoid paying commissions, typically as much as 3% of the sales price. Buying or selling a home without the help of an experienced Realtor can be a bad idea and is not recommended.Consider the following reasons to use a qualified agent when buying your new home:Professional Help – A Realtor has taken a comprehensive licensing course that covers all of the details required to successfully buy and sell real estate. Agents have also received a lot of additional training from their brokers, not to mention all of the experience a veteran agent has had with other transactions. A good real estate agent will know what to look for when buying a new home, how the contract should read and will know if anything looks out of the ordinary. They will also know how to effectively negotiate on your behalf – this alone could end up saving you thousands of dollars in the long run. Having a good professional on your side of the table when making such a significant purchase is generally a must do and will help ensure everything goes smoothly.
Local Knowledge – Real estate agents spend all of their time working a specific market and as the result, gain a very useful perspective that they can share to help you make the right decision. Agents will know current fair market prices, how long homes are typically listed before selling, where the best locations are and much, much more useful information. It would take a significant amount of time and effort to try to duplicate this knowledge on your own so there is a value in simply paying for it via the commission your agent will collect by helping you.
Database of Current & Potential Sellers – Because a real estate agent spends all of their time talking to potential buyers and sellers, it is very common that an agent will know of a great home that is about to go on the market before anyone else does. Real estate agents also have access to databases of listed homes with a lot of useful information listed that is generally not completely available to the general public. Armed with this helpful information will help you secure the best deal.
Dedicated Time Commitment – Once you tell your real estate agent what exactly you are looking for along with your budget considerations, they will constantly be on the look out for homes that fit your criteria. Keep in mind that they are compensated to help you find something that fits your needs. This motivation generally leads to the perfect new home in the shortest amount of time.
Third Party Representation – When it comes time to negotiate a deal, having a good real estate agent on your side to offer representation can make the process go very smooth. Having your agent negotiate on your behalf often times helps reduce the risk of becoming too emotionally involved, which can lead to bad decisions. Furthermore, your real estate agent has been trained to negotiate properly and will know how to get the best deal and then make sure everything is appropriately outlined in the contract.As always, not all real estate agents are created equal. If you are planning to buy a home, ask for some referrals from friends and family and interview a few different agents to find a great real estate agent to represent you – it can mean the difference in potentially thousands of dollars in savings, not to mention the right home.Make the buying process even easier by getting pre-approved for a loan before you begin shopping. Save time and money by Clicking Here to get up to four competing mortgage loan offers.

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Student Plans – Health Insurance for College Students

Most colleges require students to carry health insurance, though plan requirements vary from college to college and university to university. Most schools offer health insurance plans to its students, which can be waived if the student is covered under a family plan, or under a parent or guardian’s insurance plan. Student plans are known as SHIP, Student Health Insurance Plans. For students enrolled in a health insurance plan through their university or college, the premiums are often part of the school fees and tuition costs. Some college student plans require visits to the school’s health center and does not allow students the choice to see their own physician.

A student plan typically covers trips to the college or university’s health center, prescription medication, checkups, and will sometimes cover appointments with specialists. A copayment or deductible may be required for emergency room visits, if covered at all. Each plan is different and each school has different plans. Research the plans available at the school of choice prior to enrollment. A student may also benefit from looking at student plans from private insurance providers outside of school. Since health insurance rates and premiums are competitive, it is well worth it to shop around and research plans.

In addition to a SHIP plan, more coverage options may be attainable through additional voluntary student plans. These voluntary plans may allow the student to see doctors other than the ones at the student health center or go outside the network. A voluntary plan may also provide the student with the ability to receive health care from specialists and may provide additional medication coverage as well as dental and vision coverage. This is a great option for students that have monthly prescriptions or conditions that may require visits to a specialist.

Students entering college are required to have a medical checkup and have several vaccinations. With these medical costs that are incurred before school even starts, it is a good idea to have student coverage health insurance prior to starting college. International students with a J-1 exchange visitor visa are required to have student health insurance as well, per the U.S. Department of State. An international student should choose a student plan that also includes medical evaluation insurance, health and accident coverage, and repatriation of remains. The basic plans offered by universities and colleges will cove basic medical needs and medications, but more extensive coverage can be obtained from other student plans.If you need assistance in locating particular coverages at a pre-determined price, we can help save 50% on health insurance.

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