Best Times to Find Lowest Airfares

Unless you are planning travel for high-traffic days, like Christmas or July 4th, you stand the best chance of finding the lowest possible airfare 45 days out for domestic flights and 60 days out for international flights. You will seldom find or get a better price searching or booking any earlier.

Flying midweek is another easy way to save money – and find more available seats at cheaper prices. Booking is often busier right after paydays on the 1st and 15th – so try traveling after the 7th of the month.

After shopping for fares online, clear your cookies – or better yet, book on another computer (from a different location, if possible). Airlines track online behavior, including IP addresses, and prices could go up for flights that are searched frequently.

Better than booking online is often calling airlines direct and speaking to a live human – ideally at 1:00am on a Wednesday night (on hour after Tuesday midnight in the time zone where the airline is based). Most low airfares seem to appear between Sunday night and Monday night – with 24 hours for those who reserve those fares to pay for them. At midnight Tuesday, all unpurchased discount fares are usually released back into the airline’s computer system – giving you greater opportunity of getting one of them.

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How Much Junk Is In Your Trunk?

Big “but”, small “but”, old “but”, new “but”, don’t let YOUR “but” hold you back. Continue reading

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Get INTO Your Comfort Zone

People are never really “ready” for success; they are just comfortable with it. Many people claim we need to LEAVE our zone of comfort (to do more). Not so! Continue reading

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Travel Fare Considerations

– The lowest fares can be generally be found on: Continue reading

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Quality of Living Rankings

Personal safety and quality of living criteria can vary from person to person as much as place to place.

Research consulting firm Mercer has released its 2011 Quality of Living Report, which includes ranking of the cities according to the level of personal safety.

Mercer Quality of Living Survey – Worldwide Rankings, 2011:

    1 Vienna, Austria
    2 Zurich, Switzerland
    3 Auckland, New Zealand
    4 Munich, Germany
    5 Düsseldorf, Germany
    5 Vancouver, Canada
    7 Frankfurt, Germany
    8 Geneva, Switzerland
    9 Bern, Switzerland
    9 Copenhagen, Denmark
    11 Sydney, Australia
    12 Amsterdam, Netherlands
    13 Wellington, New Zealand
    14 Ottawa, Canada
    15 Toronto, Canada
    16 Hambrg, Germany
    17 Berlin, Germany
    18 Melbourne, Australia
    19 Luxembourg, Luxembourg
    20 Stockholm, Sweden
    21 Perth, Australia
    22 Brussels, Belgium
    22 Montreal, Canada
    24 Nurnberg, Germany
    25 Singapore, Singapore
    26 Canberra, Australia
    26 Dublin, Ireland
    28 Stuttgart, Germany
    29 Honolulu, HI, United States
    30 Adelaide, Australia
    30 Paris, France
    30 San Francisco, CA, United States
    33 Calgary, Canada
    33 Oslo, Norway
    35 Helsinki, Finland
    36 Boston, MA, United States
    37 Brisbane, Australia
    38 London, United Kingdom
    39 Lyon, France
    40 Barcelona, Spain
    41 Lisbon, Portugal
    42 Milan, Italy
    43 Chicago, IL, United States
    43 Madrid, Spain
    43 Washington, DC, United States
    46 Tokyo, Japan
    47 New York City, NY, United States
    48 Seattle, WA, United States
    49 Kobe, Japan
    49 Pittsburgh, PA, United States
    49 Yokohama, Japan

Personal Safety Ranking, 2011*

    1 Luxembourg, Luxembourg
    2 Bern, Switzerland
    2 Helsinki, Finland
    2 Zurich, Switzerland
    5 Vienna, Austria
    6 Geneva, Switzerland
    6 Stockholm, Sweden
    8 Singapore, Singapore
    9 Auckland, New Zealand
    9 Wellington, New Zealand
    11 Copenhagen, Denmark
    11 Düsseldorf, Germany
    11 Frankfurt, Germany
    11 Munich, Germany
    11 Nurnberg, Germany
    16 Dublin, Ireland
    17 Amsterdam, Netherlands
    17 Calgary, Canada
    17 Montreal, Canada
    17 Ottawa, Canada
    17 Toronto, Canada
    17 Vancouver, Canada
    23 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
    24 Oslo, Norway
    25 Canberra, Australia
    25 Melbourne, Australia
    25 Perth, Australia
    25 Sydney, Australia
    29 Muscat, Oman
    30 Ljubljana, Slovenia
    31 Kobe, Japan
    31 Nagoya, Japan
    31 Osaka, Japan
    31 Tokyo, Japan
    31 Yokohama, Japan
    36 Berlin, Germany
    36 Hamburg, Germany
    36 Hong Kong, Hong Kong
    39 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    40 Brussels, Belgium
    40 Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe
    42 Leipzig, Germany
    42 Stuttgart, Germany
    44 Aberdeen, United Kingdom
    44 Glasgow, United Kingdom
    46 Limassol, Cyprus
    47 Lisbon, Portugal
    47 Prague, Czech Republic
    49 Bratislava, Slovakia
    50 Adelaide, Australia
    50 Brisbane, Australia

*Mercer’s Personal Safety Ranking 2011 is based on measures of internal stability, crime levels, law enforcement effectiveness and host country international relations.

Although many people would suggest there are many other cities that may make the list, Forbes considers the following to be the 10 Most Dangerous Cities in the World:

    1. Baghdad, Iraq
    2. N’Djamena, Chad
    3. Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
    4. Bangui, Central African Republic
    5. Kinshasa, Democratic Rep. of the Congo
    6. Karachi, Pakistan
    7. Tbilisi, Georgia
    8. Sana’a, Yemen
    9. Nairobi, Kenya
    10. Conakry, Guinea Republic

Source:

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Best and Worst Prepared Cities

Some U.S. cities are more equipped and prepared than others to survive disasters. Disasters come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and severity.

The list of natural disasters is long: earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, snow and hail storms, fires, floods, solar flares, and volcanic eruptions are only a few of the most common that first come to mind.

The list of non-natural disasters is probably longer: gas leaks, oil spills, power outages, riots, nuclear meltdowns, terrorist attacks, economic collapse, and pandemic diseases are a but a few of the more recent human-caused disasters.

No matter how extensive, all disasters are experienced and responded to locally. The key to survive and and thrive and possibly even prosper with little or no panic or paralysis regardless of potential problems playing out is to:

    1. Pay attention – to People, Patterns, and Paradigms
    2. Plan with Purpose
    3. Prepare for Problems and Possibilities
    4. Practice the Plan – Personally and Publicly
    5. Proceed and Progress according to the Plan

You can ignore reality – but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality. ~ Ayn Rand

The 10 best prepared cities [based on disaster readiness scores]:

    1) New York City, NY [Score: 99.6]
    2) Dover, DE [Score: 97.6]
    3) Chicago, IL [Score: 97.3]
    4) Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY [Score: 96.6]
    5) Washington, D.C. [Score: 94.6]
    6) Buffalo, NY [Score: 93.6]
    7) Dallas, TX [Score 93.3]
    8) Orlando, FL [Score: 93.2]
    9) Miami, FL [Score: 91.6]

The 9 worst prepared cities [based on disaster readiness scores]:

    1) Albuquerque, NM [Score: 50.6
    2) Seattle, WA [Score: 53]
    3) Birmingham, AL [Score: 54]
    4) Fresno, CA [Score: 56]
    5) Pittsburgh, PA [Score: 57]
    6) Portland, ME [Score: 58]
    7) Hartford, CT [Score: 59]
    8) Little Rock, AK, [Score: 60]
    9) Charleston, WV [Score: 64.6]

Source: americas-most-and-least-disaster-proof-cities

5 Places NOT to be – during an Economic Collapse:
1. Israel
2. Southern California
3. England
4. New York City
5. Washington, D.C.

“Unless you move, the place where you are is the place where you will always be” ~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Contingency planning of any kind should consider the choices and consequences of both staying and moving.

Gifts and Goods for Others

The relative safety and danger of cities worldwide is a factor of quality of living – that can affect how happy and sad the residents are.

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5 Happiest and Saddest Countries

Countries are often ranked according to their GDP (Gross Domestic Production). Usually not considered, or even having any consistent criteria, is some kind of GHQ (Gross Happiness Quotient).

According to Forbes, the 5 happiest countries in the world are:

    1) Norway
    2) Denmark
    3) Australia
    4) New Zealand
    5) Sweden

The 5 saddest countries are supposedly:

    1) Central African Republic
    2) Zimbabwe
    3) Ethiopia
    4) Pakistan
    5) Yemen

Not all countries allow public polling. Who is asked what how can skew results. Political, economic, and environmental conditions do not always correlate with happiness, but if you plan to visit any of these countries, it may be helpful to know how they compare.

Source:

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Gifts and Goods for Others

A gift is what is given – even though not all gifts are given or shared. Continue reading

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The Road to Success

There are many “roads” to “success” – but few “worth” taking are short or easy. Continue reading

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9 Things Cruise Lines Usually Won’t Mention

1. Fancy ships don’t always have staff or service to match. Continue reading

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