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USELFUL LINKS:
State Department Travel Information
FlightAware Flight Tracking
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  Important news before you travel:

If you are in the United States you should be aware of certain Travel Advisories which are given to citizens who choose to travel abroad. These advisories can affect you and may even change your travel plans. So before you go to the airport you should always check to see if your destination country is on the List of the United States Government Travel Advisories.

For more information: Check out the link below which will send you to the US Governments official website.


https://travel.state.gov
        HOW TO PAY LESS FOR FLIGHTS


1. Buy your tickets online
Buying your tickets online will actually help you save more money than buying at the airport or at an agent. Services like Google Flights or others which can be found by a simple online search.

2. Join Frequent flyers
Frequent flyer programs have a lot of benefits and some can offer discounts on future tickets after building up miles, and others may even offer free flights!

3. Not All Sales are Lowest prices
Sometimes a flight ticket may be on sale, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it is a bargain for you. Always keep this in mind because that sale could end up costing you more than other deals!

4. Check For Hidden Fees
Always check other fees for tickets that may not be listed at first sight of the price. Make sure to be aware of the price of the ticket at all times and this can be avoided. Many hidden fees are luggage or even meals.

5. Compare Ticket Prices
If you are shopping online, there are various sites you can use to compare prices for different venders of tickets.

6. Choose The Right airline
Make sure when traveling on a budget to go with the airline that is the most comfortable to your budget. Even though it may not be as popular as others, they all get you to your destination!

7. Select an  Off-Hours flight
When shopping for tickets, try to buy tickets that have flights early in the morning or late at night if you can. Sometimes these tickets can save you a bundle!

8. Buy tickets months In Advance
Try to plan your trips, if possible, months in advance to save a lot more in the long run. Sometimes, depending on where you travel, this little tip can end up saving you hundreds on your tickets.

9. Find Vacation Packages
When planning your vacations, try to purchase trip packages as they can end up saving you a ton of money in the long run. If you have the time, compare a package with the costs of buying everything separate.

10. Different Types Of Flights Help You Save
Sometimes it would be wiser if possible to purchase a flight that maybe has one stop before it reaches its final destination, instead of doing a non-stop flight. This can end up helping you save and you can even enjoy the different merchandise at the airport you stop at before your flight continues.



  WHY WHISTLER SKI RESORT IS ONE OF
NORTH AMERICA'S BEST SKI DESTINATIONS

Located in the town of Whistler in British Columbia, Canada - Whistler's Ski resort  has almost 10,000 acres of ski terrain and is one of North America's most popular ski destinations....read more

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. Using a credit card 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.

When reservations are made, changed and cancelled-confirmation numbers are given. Make sure all numbers are kept in a safe place until credit cards are billed and all charges are verified. Cancellation and confirmation numbers are often the difference between being charged for a hotel reservation that was cancelled, the possibility of a free upgrade when the hotel overbooks and you can prove when your reservation was made, and being stranded away from home without a room for the night.
Discuss hotel policies prior to making reservations, and verify them at check-in. Some hotels require credit cards at check in for any hotel charges, such as telephone usage, room service, meals in the hotel, or even take -out arranged through the hotel with area restaurants, etc. If a credit card is not available, a cash/check deposit maybe required for any services/fees that may accrue during the hotel stay. Determine when check-in/check-out times are, when cancellation policies go into affect and verify occupancy limits if staying in a room with multiple occupants.

Remember these hotel reservation tips when scheduling your travel plans. Whether by internet, through a travel agent, or by telephone, it pays to research the hotel and be meticulous when making arrangements. A little pre-planning when making reservations can save major headaches when traveling away from home.
      ALYESKA RESORT - ALASKA'S BEST
                 VACATION RESORTS

Alyeska Resort is one of Alaska's most popular and most beautiful ski resorts. Alyeska has a top elevation slightly above 2,700 feet, a vertical drop of 2,500 and the area gets an average annual snowfall of 631 inches...read more

       GOING TO LONDON'S HEATHROW?

Heathrow Airport is used by over 90 airlines flying to 170 destinations worldwide. The airport is the primary hub of British Airways, and is a base for Virgin Atlantic. With 190,000 passengers arriving and departing every day, Heathrow handles more international passengers than any other airport in the world.

Of Heathrow's 69 million passengers in 2011, 7% were bound for UK destinations, 41% were short-haul international travellers and 52% were long-haul. The busiest single destination in passenger numbers is New York, with over 3.8 million passengers between Heathrow and JFK / Newark airports in 2011. The airport has five passenger terminals (numbered 1 to 5) and a cargo terminal.

Full body scanners are now used at the airport, and passengers who object to their use after being selected are not allowed to fly...read more
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KNOWING HOW TO FINANCE YOUR NEW HOME

Did you know that very few Americans can afford to pay the entire cost of a home out of pocket, so most have to finance their houses through a mortgage. There may be multiple places to get a loan: You don't just have to go down to your local bank. Online lenders, credit unions and mortgage companies can all provide you with loans. Make sure you do your research and get quotes from a few different lenders before deciding which loan is right for you

Your credit score affects the financing you get: The higher your credit score, the more eager a bank or lender will be to finance your loan. A loan score, on the other hand, could lead to high interest rates or a denial of your loan application. Raise your score by paying off debt, making payments on time on your cards, and not opening new credit cards

Interest rates are also affected by the national market: When there is high demand for mortgages, interest rates may be higher. When there is low demand for mortgage or when the Federal Reserve lowers interest rates to boost the economy, interest rates may be lower.

Mortgage interest is tax deductible: This means you can subtract the amount you pay in mortgage interest from your taxable income, lowering your overall tax liability

You may have to pay closing costs: These are the costs you pay when you get your mortgage loan. They can include your loan application fee, a title search, and the cost for appraisal or inspection of the home.

Points may help lower your interest rate: When you qualify for a mortgage, you may be given the opportunity to buy discount points. Each point is equal to a percentage of the total amount you are borrowing- usually one percent- and it lowers your interest rate by .025 percent. Points are tax deductible, and if you plan to stay in the house for a long time, you may want to consider paying the points to reduce the amount of interest you will pay over the life of your mortgage loan.

You can get pre-approved for a mortgage: This means that before you even find a house, you can go to the bank and qualify for a mortgage. Doing this is a good idea because you will know how much you can afford to borrow and because you can act more quickly when you do find a home you like.

There are different types of mortgage loans: Fixed rate mortgages are usually the safest and can last for either a 15 year term or a 30 year term. With a 15 year mortgage, you pay off your house faster and pay less overall, but your monthly payments are higher.

Other types of financing- such as an adjustable rate mortgage- can have lower initial interest rates but can be a risky move because your payments may eventually rise to the point where they become unaffordable.terms of your mortgage to ensure that you won't end up in a situation where your payments do jump up so high you can't pay them. Otherwise, you could lose your home to foreclosure.

Make sure you can pay your mortgage payments: Stretching your budget to the breaking point to get a mortgage is generally a bad idea. If you can barely afford your mortgage payments, you could lose your house if the slightest financial setback occurs and makes it impossible for you to catch up. Likewise, if you have no wiggle room in your budget, you may not be able to deal with the expense that comes with houses, such as repairs and maintenance.

Knowing how do you get a home loan is essential for most homebuyers. You've saved up a nest egg, tweaked your credit score to make sure that it's the best that it can possibly be, and secured gainful, steady employment. Now you're ready to get a home loan and purchase your dream house and you need to answer the question of exactly how do you get a home loan.

There are several steps in the process of getting a home loan. Generally, you want to ensure both that you are financially prepared and that it is a good time to buy before beginning the process.

Make sure your credit score is in shape. Don't open new cards, and lower your so-called debt-to-income ratio, and you'll be in a much better position to get the rates you want. You will also want to peruse the national housing rate regularly, and research how much properties cost in your target area, so you can intelligently negotiate a good mortgage rate.

One of the first things you'll need to do is to locate a lender. You can use the Internet to compare lender offers, find loan officer references through friends, or triangulate to find a lending institution conducive to your financial goals by getting references from disinterested real estate agents.

The next step is to fill out your mortgage application (called a 1003). Make sure you understand the closing costs, prepayment penalties (if any apply), and terms of the agreement. Your lender must provide an estimate to you within three business days of getting your application.

Work with several lenders to compare fees, and don't hesitate to negotiate. Be aware that you generally don't want to work too many lenders when getting a mortgage home loan, though since every lender inquiry can lower your credit incrementally.

Some lenders will require you to pay fees up front This money goes to assessing your credit report, processing paperwork, and potentially doing an appraisal of your dream property. Next, hand over paperwork and documentation to your mortgage processor. Examine your papers under the microscope before you close your loan.

If you can pay more points on your loan, you'll be able to reduce your interest rate. However, you don't want to necessarily drain your nest egg to qualify for a better rate. Your mortgage should be couched as a major part of your long-term financial plan.

Sometimes lenders will try to change conditions and terms at the last minute and pressure you into signing a less-than-stellar agreement. Don't allow your lender to push you around.

Once you've finished your agreement, you'll have to deposit your down payment into an account and then move that money into your escrow company or title entity to complete the mortgage home loan process.  more on home financing




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