New York is an amazing city that attracts millions of curious tourists each year. It’s also well known for being a very expensive place to visit, and many tourists find that they have to cut corners and miss out on enjoying all that the Big Apple has to offer. With some careful planning and a bit of research, though, it is possible to enjoy the complete New York experience, on
Continue reading How to Experience New York City on a Budget
Last week I needed to venture into my attic to check on some rat traps, so I grabbed my flashlight to help me navigate my way through the rafters. As luck would have it, the flashlight wasn’t working; the last person who used it forgot to turn the darn thing off, so the batteries died.
Anyway, with no spare C-cells in the drawer and an unplanned trip to the store in
Continue reading 9 ‘Oops’ Moments That I Ultimately Paid For (One Way or Another)
Originally built as the grand entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, today the Eiffel Tower is the undisputed romantic symbol of Paris and most-visited paid monument on Earth. Even so, that didn’t stop more than 1000 travelers in a recent survey from bestowing la Tour Eiffel with the dubious honor of being the world’s most disappointing tourist attraction. So, are sightseers who diss the Iron Lady philistines — or is
Continue reading 100 Words On: The Baffling Allure of the Eiffel Tower
It seems like every time I go to Hawaii, I always learn a valuable financial lesson.
I already shared how, during my recent summer vacation there, I was reminded of why folks should always be on their toes when shopping, as illustrated by two sizes of the same detergent being sold at a local supermarket — and the jaw-dropping price-difference between them.
And although you’d think I’d know better, that wasn’t the
Continue reading Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Guess My Rental Car Bill.
You may be surprised to know that many airlines are now charging extra money for a growing number of window and aisle seats. And while I might consider paying extra for a window seat, I’m still trying to understand why anyone would ever pay extra for an aisle seat, considering the physical abuse they often get from passing carts, stewardesses and passengers.
The bottom line: Sitting in a window seat affords
Continue reading 100 Words On: Why Window Seat Fliers Are the Happiest Fliers
Even Rod Serling couldn't make this latest Southwest story up …
You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s the sign post up ahead, your next stop … The Personal Finance Twilight Zone.
And I thought my recent adventure with Southwest Airlines was infuriating!
While Southwest was pulling a classic bait
Continue reading Southwest Airlines: Website Horror Stories, Part II
Before I kick off my little pity party that’s doubling today as a do-it-yourself therapy session, let me state for the record that I think Southwest Airlines is still the best-run US domestic airline in the business.
Although I have no loyalty to any airline, I love flying Southwest. A big reason is they are generally tough to beat when it comes to low fares, but what really takes Southwest to
Continue reading Southwest Airlines: Great Prices, but Beware the Bait and Switch
I’ve known for a long time that online travel agencies aren’t created equal, partly because I’ve conducted experiments that compared Expedia, Orbitz, Hotwire, Priceline, Kayak and Travelocity prices.
Now comes news that Mac users who visit online travel agency Orbitz may end up seeing more expensive options than folks who use a Windows operating system. I know.
How much more? Well, in an unscientific survey, the Wall Street Journal found that the
Continue reading Mac Users See Pricier Hotels When Using Orbitz … So?
No matter what that slick salesman tells you, vacation timeshares aren’t a good deal. Surprised? Don’t be. Many timeshares owners lose the freedom to vacation wherever and whenever they choose — or even skip one, considering annual maintenance fees currently average $731. Timeshares are also notoriously overpriced to cover sales commissions approaching 35 percent and marketing expenses for prizes used to lure potential buyers suckers. Maybe that’s why timeshares depreciate
Continue reading 100 Words On: Why You Should Never Buy a Timeshare
I recently received an urgent email from US Airways imploring me to join their frequent flier program. The friendly prod occurred not too long after I purchased four round trip tickets to Hawaii for this year’s family summer vacation.
The curiously brief message didn’t bother with the usual marketing hype. Instead, it simply got right to the point:
Thanks for buying a ticket with US. We owe each person on your itinerary
Continue reading Why Frequent Flier Programs Aren’t Worth It (for Most People)