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       *** TRAVEL NEWS ***
               

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 for the
latest information which includes the COVID-19 Virus travel restrictions.


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.





              WHISTLER SKI RESORT 
     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


  REFINANCING YOUR MORTGAGE
         CAN SAVE YOU MONEY


Interested in refinancing home mortgage loans but not sure it makes financial sense? Learn how to crunch the numbers and make an informed financial decision rather than playing an expensive guessing game with these simple steps.

A lower interest rate can save you money each month on your mortgage and can save you thousands over the life of the loan. Is it possible to lower your debt and reduce monthly payments by taking out a new loan? Surprisingly the answer is often "yes". Learn how to get a lower interest rate by refinancing without breaking the bank.

How Refinancing Works
Refinancing basically involves taking out a new loan which is used to pay off the prior mortgage. To put it another way, the new mortgage replaces the old one. This is especially helpful when interest rates have dropped since it allows homeowners to pay off older mortgages with a high interest rate in exchange for a new mortgage with a lower interest rate.

Getting a Lower Interest
To demonstrate how effective it is to lower your interest rate by refinancing, consider an example of a buyer who purchased a home for $210,000 in 2001. The original mortgage was $200,000 for a 30 year term with a fixed interest rate of 7 percent and monthly mortgage payment of $1330. Since the original down payment was only 5 percent or $10,000 plus closing costs, they also had to pay PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance of $125 per month.

Now that mortgage rates have dropped to 5 percent or even less, the homeowner is contemplating a refinance. The current balance on the home is $180,000 and the value of the home is appraised at $260,000. Since the home has 20 percent equity and the homeowner does not intend to take cash out at closing, they will automatically save $125 per month in PMI. By refinancing at a lower interest rate of 5 percent fixed for 30 years the new mortgage payment will be approximately $965 per month ...a savings of nearly $400 plus the PMI of $125 for a total monthly savings of over $500 per month. 

               
READ MORE





          WHAT TO KNOW
  BEFORE YOU BUY A HOUSE



Most buyers conduct a lot of research online before ever stepping foot in a home. Buyers spend an average of 6 to 8 weeks, according to the National Association of REALTORS, trying to figure out where they want to live. But once the neighborhood is selected, most buyers end up buying a home after 2 or 3 home tours.

Figure out what you can afford before you look. Get pre-approved for a home loan before your home search so that you don’t waste time on those that you can’t afford. Scour your credit history and resolve any black marks before applying for a home loan.

Homes typically should cost about two and a half times your salary as a rule of thumb, although you also must consider your monthly expenses and what you want to save. Because you will be responsible for unforeseen repairs and property taxes, a healthy amount of savings can come in handy.

Beware of mortgage brokers who are a little too fast and loose with approving you. If you qualify, you may be able to make a down payment as low as 3 percent interest. Paying down “points” is good for those living in a home for three to five years, as it takes a dent out of the interest rate as you pay a portion of the interest at closing.


              
READ MORE





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AUSTRIA - YOUR NEXT DESTINATION 


Did you know that the origins of modern-day Austria date back to the time of the Habsburg dynasty, when the vast majority of the country was a part of the Holy Roman Empire? Austria is fukll of rich history and culture spanning centuries. Today, Austria is well known as one of Europes top destinations for tourists and ski enthusiasts.

The Alps cover most of Austria, so it's really no surprise that this country is one of Europe's top ski holiday destinations. Unlike some other European countries, Austrian ski villages are "chocolate-box" traditional and very pretty, centring round an onion-domed church rather than a coach park.

Austrian ski resorts also have a reputation for having a high standard of accommodation that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, and some of the liveliest apres ski in the Alps. All in all, a ski holiday in Austria will give you great skiing and beautiful scenery, without breaking the bank.

Austria also has much in the way of sights to see and places to visit. The capital city of Vienna is awash with grandiose buildings including palaces, theatres, museums and cathedrals. To the west of the capital, on the border of Austria and Germany, lies Salzburg the birthplace of Mozart. Many visitors go to Austria to see the film locations used in the making of The Sound of Music.

Visit the Parliament; The Parliament of Austria is located in Vienna, the country's largest city and capital. Austria became a federal, parliamentary, democratic republic through the Federal Constitution of 1920. The political system of the Second Republic with its nine states is based on the constitution of 1920 and 1929, which was reenacted on 1 May 1945

Seasons in Austria are quite defined and, dependent on the reason you are visiting, will dictate the best time to go. For sightseeing, the months of June through to September are recommended though it can get very hot during August. For those arriving to enjoy the pistes the ski season starts around December and goes on through to late March.

Salzburg castle is one of largest and most well-preserved medieval castles in Europe. Strategically located at the top of Festungsberg mountain, the mighty fortress towers over the city of Salzburg, breathing life into its magnificent skyline. This castle houses the “Salzburg Bull”, an organ with more than two hundred pipes. A truly stunning piece of medieval architecture, representative of the heart of Salzburg, Hohensalzburg Castle is one of the top tourist attractions in Austria.

Prince Archbishop Eberhard (1060 to 1088) built the first castle on the Festungsberg in 1077. Initially, this was little more than a bailey with a wooden wall, serving mostly for the protection of Imperial troops of the Holy Roman Empire. However, during the "Investiturstreit", a struggle for power between Pope Gregor VII. and Emperor Henry IV., Prince Archbishop Eberhard decided to stand by the Pope.

AUSTRIA TRAVEL FACTS:
Entry Requirements: U.S. citizens need a valid passport to enter Austria and may stay up to 90 days without a visa.

Security: Vienna is generally a safe city, however, guard against pickpockets in popular tourist and shopping areas. Don’t carry a lot of cash and lock any valuables in your hotel’s safe.

Time: Austria is six hours ahead of U.S. eastern standard time.

Money: The local currency is the euro. For current conversion rates go to OANDA Currency Converter: www.oanda.com/convert/classic.

Phone Calls: When calling Vienna from the U.S., dial 011 43 1, then the local number. To call the U.S. from Austria, dial 001 followed by the area code and phone number.

When to Go: Visit during the mild (average 68°F [20°C]) summer season to experience the outdoor cafés and explore the historic sites on foot. December is cold (average 34°F [1°C]), but magical with Christmas markets, horse-drawn carriages, and snow-topped hillsides.

Getting There: Vienna has only one international airport, Vienna International Airport. The City Airport Train (CAT) goes directly to the city center in about 15 minutes. A cheaper alternative is the regular train from the airport to Landstrasse station (about 30 minutes). Purchase tickets on the train platform and validate before boarding.

If traveling to Vienna from within Europe, you may also choose to arrive at the Bratislava international airport about 37 miles (60 kilometers) away from the city. A shuttle bus transports arriving passengers to Vienna. www.airportshuttle.sk

Getting Around: Vienna is a very walkable city with a number of its main tourist attractions situated in the city’s first district (the city center). There’s also an extensive public transportation system including buses, trams, and five subway lines, plus an alternative system of night buses. Private sightseeing buses offer city tours (www.viennasightseeing.at). Ride the number one or two public tram lines to tour the first district along the Ringstrasse.

There are so many things you can do in Austria that If we wrote one thousand pages it would still not cover everything - so go see Austria for your self!




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