Insuring Against Travel Headaches

Last-minute airline delays, canceled hotel reservations or even natural occurrences like tropical storms can ruin your vacation. Taking steps to identify any potential problems beforehand can help you plan a foolproof vacation that won’t end up leaving you sitting at the airport. From travel insurance to planning what to pack, planning and research can help you have the vacation you have been dreaming of.

Getting travel insurance is one of the most effective ways to protect the investment of airline tickets, hotel reservations and other expenses that you need to pay up front. You can purchase travel insurance from your local Greensboro NC travel agency if you are planning a trip. You should also check your personal health insurance policy to determine whether illnesses or injuries are covered if you plan on traveling internationally. Some health insurance plans won’t cover hospitalizations and other costs that are incurred overseas. Purchasing additional health insurance is a wise idea, especially if you are planning on visiting a foreign country for an extended period of time.

Your destination is a big consideration when you are planning a vacation. Researching the weather in the area you are visiting will let you know what to expect and whether there may be a delay in your plans. For instance, hurricane season lasts from June until the end of November and can cause flight delays and other problems when you are vacationing in the tropical regions of the Atlantic. If you are visiting an international destination, you will need to know the average temperature so that you can pack accordingly. A light sweater and a hat are necessities that can keep you warm in regions where nights or summers are cooler than you expect.

Along with a sweater, you will also need to bring along some basics from home. Medical information, a copy of your passport and a copy of your itinerary are all must-haves on vacation. You will also need to make arrangements for home and pet care while you are away. A house sitter is the best plan if you will be gone for more than a few days since the service includes watering plants and caring for animals. You can also arrange to have your walk shoveled as needed and have your newspapers and mail picked up. These services will make your home look occupied and help deter potential break-ins while you are on vacation.

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Travel Blogger Interview – OurOyster

They believe that the biggest obstacles to travel are fear and the “I’ll do it later” attitude. Today’s interview is from Jade of OurOyster.com who travel with her family; Daniel, husband, and Jacob, son. You can also follow them on twitter, facebook and Google plus.

First of all tell everyone a basic background of who you are…

The OurOyster team consists of couple Daniel and Jade and of course their young son Jacob. The site was originally started by Jade after five years of travel when she moved to New Zealand. After a year in New Zealand she moved to Australia where she met Daniel and they got married. Now they travel and blog together.

How did you get into traveling?

My first international trip was when I was 17 to the Dominican Republic. But I didn’t catch the travel bug until I moved to Europe when I was 20. I ended up spending over three years in Europe before briefly going back home to Canada before setting off to New Zealand.

Of all the places you traveled to, what was your favorite?

Daniel and I recently spent five months traveling around the world with our baby. Our favourite place, and my all time highlight was Iceland. It is just one of the most beautiful countries in the world. We were there in winter, so it was quite cold and many of the roads were closed, but despite that we still got to experience some truly breathtaking scenery.

What is one place that you regret going to?

I don’t really have any particular travel regrets, although I did have some pretty bad timing when I visited Fiji. I ended up being there right in time for a major tropical cyclone and ended up getting trapped with no water or power and dwindling food supplies while roads were rebuilt and airplanes started returning.

What places are still on your bucket list?

Russia and Mongolia are huge on my bucket list, as well as most of South America. In the near future we are hoping to cross some more Pacific Islands off our list, and Vanuatu will be one of those highlights.

I noticed you mention budget travel on your about page. What are the most effective ways you limit costs when traveling?

We try to limit our costs by staying in budget accommodation. We are usually out and about exploring all day so we don’t need a fancy hotel or anything like that to enjoy ourselves. My only requirement is wifi though!

Are there any budget travel strategies that you tried but decided weren’t for you?

I know a lot of people will self cater for almost the entire period of their trip to save money and that just isn’t for me. Experiencing the local food is one of the biggest pleasures of travel for me, and I like to eat out at least once a day while travelling.

Does Australia have decent airline miles credit cards to take advantage of?

To be honest… not really. I am Canadian so I know that there are tons of options out there for Canadians and Americans, but there really isn’t that much in the way of choice for Australians. All of the airline points credit cards that I have seen here have a fairly hefty annual fee attached to them which just makes them not worth while.

What’s the best travel advice you’ve ever received?

“Say yes more”

What led you to start your blog?

Like most people, I started my blog for family and friends and as a way to record my own experiences, but it quickly grew into what it is now – a great source of information and inspiration for others.

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Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard Reviews

Are you a travel fanatic like me? Are you ready to explore universe? Then Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard is the credit card for you. Why? By signing up and spending $3,000 for the first 90 days you qualify to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit. You also get 10% miles back when you redeem for travel statement credits. It gives a chance to earn double miles on all purchases with no caps. With the above advantages, it’s time you grab yours.

Today I am delighted to share with you Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard reviews with the help of my fellow bloggers.

Grayson Bell @ Debt Roundup Review My Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard Review – A Top Travel Rewards Credit Card “This is the card that I have in my wallet. The current fee is $89, but that fee is being waived for the first year. With this card, you can earn 2x miles on every purchase you make. It doesn’t matter the category. You just get 2x the miles on each and every purchase. This is the reason why I enjoy the card. It is a Mastercard, so acceptance is wide and vast.”

John @ Frugal Rules Review Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard Review: A Great Rewards Card “There is an introductory 0% APR for the first 12 months on the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard and a variable rate after that, currently at 14.99% – 18.99%, but is based on your creditworthiness.”

Joe @ Retire by 40 Review The Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard Review: Get 40,000 Bonus Miles ($400) “Actually, that 40,000 bonus miles is worth $440. When you redeem the miles, you will get 10% back as a bonus in 1-2 weeks. That means you’ll have 4,000 miles once you redeem the original 40,000 bonus miles. That’s another $40 toward your travel for a total of $440 bonus. Score!”

Scott @ Mile Value Review Why I Got the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard “Use miles for a statement credit toward any airline purchase to any destination with no seat restrictions and no blackout dates.”

Travis @ Extra Pack of Peanut Review Barclays Arrival Card Review: Why It May Be the Best Travel Credit Card “You’ll get 2x for all spending, which makes it an incredibly hassle free card.”

Roms Deals @ ROMS DEAL$ Review Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard Review (40K Bonus)Not an American Express Card: It is much easier using a MasterCard at small businesses and traveling abroad than an American Express Card because MasterCard has lower merchant fees.”

Credit Card Insider @ CREDIT CARD INSIDER Review Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases “The Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases offers 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months.”

Brent @ VOSA Review 40,000 Bonus Miles: Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard Review “Why wouldn’t you want to have the ”Best Travel Credit Card” as named by CNN Money? Especially today, when they are offering a limited time only 40,000 reward mile bonus which is good for $400 worth of travel.”

Brad @ Richmond Savers Review Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® Credit Card Review “Not only is it easy to earn and redeem the bonus, but this is a quality card to keep in your wallet going forward, as the 2x miles on all purchases is the best we’ve seen in the industry.”

Torsten @ Mighty Travels Review Review: Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard – Earn 2x on All PurchasesZero Fraud Liability When you travel your credit card details will be exposed to many merchants. I had credit cards compromised but a call to my bank ALWAYS made sure that I get a new card and any fraudulent charges were taken off my account.”

Josh @ Modest Money Review Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard Review – Best Airline Credit Card “Most rewards credit cards give consumers a higher percentage off per point when redeeming for travel. For instance, with Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can get 20% more rewards by booking your travel through Ultimate Rewards. With the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard you only get 10% off when booking your travel.”

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Top Attractions in Birmingham

Though it has a rich, varied and significant history, vibrant culture and central location, Birmingham is often unfairly overlooked by holidaymakers in favour of cities further north or the bright lights of London.

As a result, it’s a city that is ripe for discovery with fantastic restaurants, great shopping facilities and world-class attractions. Though Birmingham has long vied to for title of Britain’s second city with nearby Manchester, the new energy, investment and optimism palpable in the city seems to be swinging the pendulum in the West Midland’s favour.

So if you’re planning a visit to Birmingham anytime soon, you’re sure to find a flight as Birmingham airport connects to the world. You can travel with Flybe for instance, that offers cheap flights to any UK destinations. Here are some not-to-be-missed Brummie attractions.

The Bull Ring

With its distinctive architecture and central location, the Bull Ring has been an important feature of Birmingham city life since the Middle Ages when a market was established on the site.

Shopaholics will be in heaven as the centre houses one of only four Selfridges department stores in the country as well as the fourth largest Debenhams in the UK.

The latest shopping centre on the site was opened in 2003 and in its first year saw over 35 million people walk through its doors.

 Cadbury World

If you’re a chocoholic, this is one attraction that is not to be missed during your Brummie adventure.

Cadbury World is made up of 14 zones that visitors can explore to learn all about the history and the making of chocolate. There are also interactive displays, demonstrations and activities, including the chance to create a chocolate of your very own.

Birmingham Back to Backs

 Like many cities in the Midlands, Birmingham has a strong industrial history and the 19th century saw hundreds of homes built to house local workers.

The Birmingham Back to Backs, located at 50-54 Inge Street, is home to the last surviving back-to-back homes in the city and offers a fascinating insight into life over the last 200 years.

Now owned by the National Trust, the houses have been transformed into a museum that vividly brings the past to life and makes a great day out for kids and grown-ups alike.

With much to see and do, Birmingham is a great destination for a weekend away and it’s easy to reach this central metropolis whether you’re coming from London, Manchester or worldwide.

 

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6 Costly Mistakes Reward Credit Card Users Should Avoid

Reward Credit Card Mistakes

Rewards credit cards are the new black! They allow you to collect a variety of points, cash back bonuses and airline miles just by using them. They reward your loyalty and usage by giving you something back. However, just like with any credit card, there are downsides to rewards credit cards if you do not manage them properly. Today we explore some of the reward credit card mistakes you could be making and how to mitigate against them.

Getting Too Many Reward Credit Cards

A rewards credit card is still a credit card. It affects your credit score the way a normal credit card does. Opening too many rewards credit card accounts is bound to negatively affect your credit score. As with any credit card application, your credit background will be checked. Too many checks and lenders might get suspicious of your activities and downgrade your score.

Secondly, rewards credit cards award loyalty. With many credit cards you stand s smaller chance of accumulating any significant rewards with any program. As commonly said, you are spread too thin. The best solution for you is to consolidate your cards or programs and focus on one or two that fit your needs.

Overspending to Acquire Miles

The idea of earning miles and using them to fly free is alluring. It makes you want to grab your card and go on a spending spree. However, before you do that, consider the implications. You still have to clear the charges you make on the card. You have been loaned money and you will pay it back, with interest! Ask yourself whether the miles you earn are worth the interest you pay at the end of each month.

This is a rather common rewards credit card mistake. The best solution is to use your card normally. Follow your budget when using your rewards credit card. Do not under any circumstance go overboard just to earn the miles. It might lead you into unnecessary debt.

Paying Interest On Reward Credit Cards

Rewards credit cards have higher interest rates than normal credit cards. Many users make the mistake of accumulating huge balances on their cards and end up paying hefty interest rates and late payment fees. As with any credit card, ensure that you pay off your credit card balances on time each month. This will reflect well on your credit score and save you a tonne. It also means you earn rewards cheaply since you are paying normal interest rates and have no penalties.

Forgetting About Rewards

Do you know the rewards you have with all your reward credit card programs? You will be surprised by how many users are unaware of what they have accumulated so far. If anything, this is one of the more prevalent reward credit card mistakes! Users simply forget about their rewards. The rewards end up expired or devalued since owners fail to claim them.

Consider your credit card rewards an investment. Something of value. With any investment you want to know the performance and rate of return. Keep track of the programs you sign up for and what they offer in terms of rewards. You can sign up for services that allow easy tracking of your rewards such as Awards Wallet. You can also download apps to easily manage your points.

Redeeming the Wrong Reward

Most reward credit card users do not calculate the value of their redemptions. You get a raw deal when you fail to weigh the options. Of the available rewards for redemption, choose the one that makes the most economic sense while satisfying a need. For example, while it might be tempting to shell out 30,000 points for a trip to Mexico, basic math shows it is not an optimal choice.  It would be cheaper to pay for the trip in cash! You can instead redeem your points for a gift card or item.

Unrealistic Expectations

The reality is, redeeming points isn’t as easy as walking into Starbucks and ordering your morning latte. It’s a process. Lengthy at times. You do not always get what you want when you want it. Keep that fact in mind when earning and redeeming your rewards. Adjust your expectations accordingly. If you plan on redeeming your rewards and miles, plan well in advance. Book flights early and confirm often before your travel date.

Conclusion

Reward credit cards offer consumers a way of getting something back for money spent. They are not perfect, but, they are better than nothing. Used responsibly and managed carefully, these cards open opportunities for you to enjoy free rewards. You can make the most of your card by avoiding the reward credit card mistakes discussed and implementing the simple suggestions. There is much to be enjoyed if you plan well in advance and stick to your program!

What mistake has affected you the most and how have you solved it? Please, let us learn from each other in the comments below 🙂

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