TIPS ON MAKING HOTEL RESERVATIONS:
When traveling for business or fun, there’s nothing worse than thinking you have a reservation and learning your hotel reservations been lost, your room has one bed and not two bedrooms, or you thought your check-in time was noon, only to find out it is really 3:00pm. To help avoid these things from happening, there are a few helpful hotel reservation tips seasoned travelers recommend:

Always use a credit card when making a hotel reservation. A credit cards offers the guest some level of protection should the hotel stay go awry. Any disputes a guest may have with the hotel, or with the billing can more easily be rectified through the credit card company. The card company will act as a mediator once their client can show effort to resolve the dispute. Additionally, if a dispute cannot be resolved, the credit card company has the authority to remove the charge from a client’s bill. If cash were paid, a hotel guest would have no recourse. Note: If you don’t use your own credit card to secure a reservation, be aware that the person whose name is on the card will be responsible for showing the card and signing at check in. If the card does not belong to the person staying at the hotel, notify the desk before leaving home (prior to arrival) and ask what their identification procedure is. They may accept a letter from the credit card holder authorizing use, and a copy of both the front and back of the card.

Ask for deals/discounts at each hotel. Many hotels offer corporate, AAA, senior, or even mid-week/off-season discounts. If one is not offered - ask about them. Many hotels now offer ‘rewards’ programs and some hotels reduce rates by $50 or more, for simply signing up for their program. If making reservations online, look for internet-only rates and shop various websites to find the best deals. Travel agents can often secure unadvertised specials or late check-in opportunities which can translate into huge savings.

When making reservations speak clearly and repeat spelling of all names. There have been many reservations lost because of inaccurate spelling and guests have been told they did not have rooms when a hotel or an entire city was booked to capacity. If any special requests are made, verify them and if possible get them in writing. Also make sure to get the name of the employee. Verify everything spell names and verify information/requests etc. Double check reservations prior to leaving for hotel and make sure names of all hotel employees you’ve spoken to are taken.


FINDING THE BEST HOTEL RATES:
Due to the internet, the manners in which hotel rooms are procured have drastically changed over the last couple of decades. Prior to internet access, guests called hotels directly to book rooms. While some guests continue to book rooms this way, many have learned that calling a hotel directly may not be the most economical choice. However, it is also been found that hotel rates also vary a great deal from website to website, especially discount travel sites.

Hotels are in constant competition with each other for your business. The goal of every hotel is to achieve 100% occupancy. Not only are they competing with each other, they are often competing with themselves. Look at how many hotels have various hotel chain subsidiaries beneath them. They must stay competitive, but still continue to make a profit while keeping their rooms occupied. This said, many hotels offer blocks of rooms to a variety of other entities to sell. Travel agents and online brokers typically compete to sell rooms for hotels, and they receive a percentage of the purchase price. The rate disparity comes into play two ways. First, the hotel is offering rooms at their standard rates or discount club rates. Second, because hotels offer these agents and booking websites various rates, someone who is getting a larger percentage of the sale price, can afford to offer the room at a lower rate than someone who is getting a small percentage from the sale.

Finding the best room rate:
If contacting the hotel directly, ask if they have any current specials. If your travel plans are flexible, inquire about any future specials, and the specific parameters of those specials.

If you’re a ‘select’, ‘rewards’ or hotel ‘member’, mention this, and ask if they have any special discounts available for members of their programs. Additionally, if you are affiliated with a corporate account, or a roadside assistance plan which offers travel benefits, mention that too. Sometimes guests are eligible for more than one discount and can pick and choose the one that provides the greatest savings.

When placing reservations online through a hotel booking service, first find the service that offers the best deal. The best deal may not be the one which provides the lowest price, but the service with the best room guarantee, who is willing to price match. If you’ve found the room for a lower rate elsewhere, tell your preferred vendor and ask them to match the price. Several websites will even provide a 30-day guarantee against lower prices - so even after booking your reservation, stay vigilant.

Hotel rates vary so much because there are numerous entities vying to secure your business by competing with each other. With a little investigative prowess, you can secure the best rates possible for your hotel stay, despite the varying rates.
USELFUL LINKS:
State Department Travel Information
FlightAware Flight Tracking
Hotels.com
HealthIT.gov Mobile Devices Privacy and Security
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        TIP OF THE WEEK

TAKING SUMMER COURSES:

Most American schools utilize the semester system, where each class you take is typically 15 weeks in length. Summer classes, however, are much shorter - often just four or six weeks long. This compressed schedule is ideal for introductory courses, so if you need to complete a prerequisite class or a general education requirement, the summer term can be an excellent opportunity to do so. For those courses that develop a theme over a period of weeks, and that benefit from in-depth discussion and writing, a shortened summer semester can sometimes be harmful.

Ultimately, learning takes time and practice. Before you register for a class, consider the course content, and decide whether you can master it at an accelerated pace. Remember that one effect of this compressed schedule is that falling behind in class becomes even more problematic. For example, in the summer microbiology courses that I teach, we still meet twice per week, but we cover 18 chapters of the textbook in 16 class sessions, rather than in 26. Begin studying on the first day of the semester, and stay current with your homework and reading.

Also be aware that this shortened schedule makes multitasking more difficult. Take a college where 15 semester hours is normally a full course load. During the summer, a 15-hour load might mean meeting for 22 hours, with all the extra work that entails outside of the classroom. My advice? Take a lighter course load during the summer.

You should review your school’s course offerings. Look for any classes that you still need to complete in order to fulfill your degree. If you’re currently behind in your program of study, taking summer courses is a great way to catch up. Most colleges predominantly offer high-demand classes during the summer - the same classes that you may have had to forego during the fall or spring semester because they were full.

Summer courses are a great idea even if you are on schedule to graduate. If you would like to work ahead or lighten your standard semester load, taking one or more summer college classes can help you do so. For instance, many prerequisite or general education courses are commonly offered during the summer term.

With a smaller class size, your professor can give you more personal attention. This can be quite beneficial, especially if you initially find it difficult to adjust to the accelerated pace of a summer session course and require help. The more intimate learning environment may just help you excel, especially in more challenging classes.

During the summer term, you will likely be limited in the number of credits you can take. With a reduced course load, you will be able to focus more on the class or classes you’re enrolled in. This can be especially useful if you hope to ace a notoriously difficult course, like organic chemistry or calculus.



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ABC has had many great shows over the years; below is  a description of one of the more popular shows on ABC Grey's Anatomy.

Grey's Anatomy follows the lives of surgical interns and residents at the fictional Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital (formerly Seattle Grace Hospital, Season 1-6, Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital, Season 6-9, and then Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, Season 9-present), as they gradually evolve into seasoned doctors, with the help of their competent mentors. Every installment, typically, commences with a voice-over narrative from Meredith Grey or a season regular, foreshadowing the theme of the episode.

Each season tends to represent the physicians' academic year, with each completed year qualifying the residents at a level higher in the surgical field. The season will always end with a finale, typically involving a tragic event such as a death or character departure.[66] Most installments revolve around the doctors' everyday lives as surgeons, but the show puts an emphasis on their personal, rather than professional, lives. The series sets aside medical ethics concerns to focus on character development and relationships. Although the physicians treat the illnesses of their patients, often through complex surgeries, their primary motivation is customarily praise and competition.

The residents initially arrive at the hospital each morning and dispute with one another over who will care for a certain patient. A hospital superior is in charge of assigning cases, often traversing to tense feelings between the residents and superiors. Episodes migrate back and forth from the doctors interacting with their patients, and with their co-workers. Once assigned a case, each doctor diagnoses the patient, with the help of his or her attending physician, which usually leads to surgery.

The surgeons tend to form personal connections with their patients, with a patient often conveying a message to his or her doctor, which unintentionally relates to the doctor's private life. The show displays the growth of relationships between the doctors, either friendly or sexual, often stemming to a clash between their personal and professional lives. Emotional scenes are often accompanied by an indie rock background song, something that has become a hallmark of the series. At the conclusion of each episode, Meredith delivers another voice-over, typically contrasting or following up on her initial one.

List of other great shows on ABC:
ABC Dramas Shows:
Grey's Anatomy
Castle
Rookie Blue
Revenge
Once Upon a Time
Scandal
Nashville
Motive
Mistresses
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Resurrection 2014-present)
Black Box
Modern Family
The Middle
Last Man Standing

Late night
Jimmy Kimmel Live!

News Shows:
ABC World News
Good Morning America
20/20
Nightline
This Week
America This Morning
Primetime
World News Now

REALITY SHOWS:
America's Funniest Home Videos
The Bachelor
The Bachelorette
Dancing with the Stars
Wipeout
Shark Tank
Extreme Weight Loss
Secret Millionaire
Celebrity Wife Swap
The Taste
Bet On Your Baby
Whodunnit?