100 Words On: Why You Should Never Buy a Timeshare

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 faster

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Why Frequent Flier Programs Aren't Worth It (for Most People)

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

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What I Learned from the Worst Vacation of My Life

Summer is just around the corner and people are eagerly gearing up for another vacation season full of fabulous food and frolicking fun in the sun with friends and family.

With that in mind, I thought it would be a kick to relive the worst vacation of my entire life. It’s certainly a vacation I’ll never forget.

In fact, even though it was 20 long years ago, I still remember it

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100 Words On: How to Increase the Odds of Booking an On-Time Flight

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, flight delays are the bane of every commuter. Government statistics consistently show that morning flights departing between six and seven have the best on-time records, with a steady decay in punctuality as the day progresses; it’s worst between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. That’s because flight delays due to air-traffic congestion, maintenance, crew issues, and late-arriving airplanes cascade throughout the day — and this

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Why the Dirty Details Matter When Planning Your Vacation

Sometimes things aren’t always what they seem. Especially upon first glance.

This past summer I was examining my Marriott rewards account when I noticed that I had finally — finally! — accrued enough points to score a 6-night stay on Maui at their beautiful Wailea Beach property.

Within seconds my head was filled with visions of the Honeybee and me enjoying a few days of romantic bliss — sans kids, of

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Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? Guess this Room Service Bill ...

As I mentioned here the other day, I recently spent a fun weekend at one of those fancy pancy resort hotels in Scottsdale, Arizona.

You know the kind. This place has every amenity a Kardashian girl could ever want including a spa, the obligatory trendy bar, gourmet restaurants, a beautiful swimming pool, and, of course, spacious multi-room suites that are almost as big as my home’s entire second floor. It also

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How the Fancy Resort Hotels Giveth ... and Then Taketh Away

Last weekend I took my entire family — including my folks and the in-laws — to Scottsdale, Arizona for a little summer fun at a very posh desert resort.

Okay, perhaps I’m exaggerating just a tiny bit. Let’s call it fairly posh. Regardless, one thing is certain: the resort is still fancier than a Holiday Inn Express. For example, it has honest-to-goodness living, breathing valets. They even greeted us warmly as

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Dear Diary: What I Did On My Summer Vacation

My family and I just got back from a whirlwind two-week vacation to the East Coast to see the Honeybee’s family in Connecticut and do some sightseeing. We also managed to set aside a little time to visit some of my tax money in our nation’s capital.

Boy is it good to be back! I hope you all missed me as much as I missed all of you!

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Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline and Others: What’s the Best Travel Search Engine?

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but our annual summer vacation is right around the corner. Weren’t we in the throes of a Little Ice Age just last month?

Ah, well.

I’d like to say we were going back to Maui, but unfortunately I drew the short straw this year and so the Honeybee got to choose where we’re going.

Naturally, I was surprised to find out that the Honeybee

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Should Low-Income Drivers Receive Subsidies to Use Toll Express Lanes?

Every day on my way home from work I zip by tens of thousands of people behind the wheels of cars stuck in hopelessly gridlocked traffic because they didn’t want to pay the toll (usually between $2 and $10, depending on the direction and time of day) for the open express lanes.

For me, the money spent every day for the right to avoid 10 miles of traffic hell is money

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Chocolate, vanilla or strawberry?

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