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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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A VISIT TO  STOCKHOLM


Stockholm is the capital and largest city of Sweden, with nearly 2 million inhabitants within its vicinities. Stockholm is not the oldest town in Sweden. As Sigtuna, Sweden's first capital, was sacked by pirates in 1187, the Swedes built up fortresses along the inlet of Mälaren, and Birger Jarl (Jarl is a title corresponding to British Earl) had a fortress built on an island later known as Gamla Stan.

The first records of Stockholm were written in 1252 by Birger. As the land raised, the Stockholm straits became the only waterway between Mälaren and the Baltic Sea during the 15th century, replacing Uppsala as the effective capital.

Since King Gustavus Vasa liberated Stockholm in 1523, Stockholm has remained Sweden's most important centre of commerce, though Gothenburg later became the largest international port. During the 17th century, Stockholm was the base of the Swedish Empire, with a land area twice the country's current size, nearly encircling the Baltic Sea.

The city contains buildings from all ages since the 13th century. Like the rest of Sweden it was untouched by the World Wars, but particularly between 1955 and 1975, hundreds of old buildings in Norrmalm were demolished in a large-scale modernization process, encouraged by similar projects in other European cities. Since then, only infills and a few areas have been developed with new architecture in central Stockholm.

The inner city is made up of 14 islands connected by some 50 bridges on Lake Mälaren, which flows into the brackish Baltic Sea, and passes the Stockholm archipelago with some 24,000 islands and islets.

Stockholm is a cosmopolitan place with both classical and modern architecture, and a captivating Old Town, Gamla Stan. Over 30% of the city area is made up of waterways, and another 30% is made up of green spaces. Air quality is third best of the European capitals - behind Berlin and Copenhagen.

So what can you do in Stockholm?
Climb the City Hall tower for a fantastic view of Stockholm. Don't miss Gamla Stan, Stockholm's oldest attraction and one of the best preserved medieval city centers in the world. Walk through small winding streets lined with stores full of handicrafts, antiques, art galleries and cafés. The Royal Palace and Stockholm Cathedral are also located in Gamla Stan.

Also since Stockholm is one of the most crowded museum-cities in the world with around 100 museums, visited by millions of people every year, you might want to see all that you are missing. The most renowned national museum is the Nationalmuseum, with Sweden's largest collection of art: 16,000 paintings and 30,000 objects of art handicraft.

The collection dates back to the days of Gustav Vasa in the 16th century, and has since been expanded with works by artists such as Rembrandt, and Antoine Watteau, as well as constituting a main part of Sweden's art heritage, manifested in the works of Alexander Roslin, Anders Zorn, Johan Tobias Sergel, Carl Larsson, Carl Fredrik Hill and Ernst Josephson.

The Museum of Modern Art, or Moderna Museet, is Sweden's national museum of modern art. It has works by famous modern artists such as Picasso and Salvador Dalí.

Other museums are:
-Stockholm City Museum
-Fotografiska, museum of photography
-Skansen, the archetype of open-air museums, inaugurated 1891
-Nordic Museum, dedicated to the cultural history and ethnography of Sweden
-Royal Coin Cabinet, dedicated to the history of money
-The Vasa Museum, now with the reconstruction of the missing parts of the Vasa Ship


Stockholm also has a beautiful art scene with a number of internationally recognized art centres and commercial galleries. Amongst others privately sponsored initiatives such as Bonniers Konsthall, Magasin 3, and state supported institutions such as Tensta Konsthall and Index all show leading international and national artists.

In the last few years a gallery district has emerged around Hudiksvallsgatan where leading galleries such as Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Brändström & Stene have located. Other important commercial galleries include Nordenhake, Milliken Gallery and Galleri Magnus Karlsson.

Distinguished among Stockholm's many theatres are the Royal Dramatic Theatre (Kungliga Dramatiska Teatern), one of Europe's most renowned theatres, and the Royal Swedish Opera, inaugurated in 1773.

Other notable theatres are the Stockholm City Theatre (Stockholms stadsteater), the Peoples Opera (Folkoperan), the Modern Theatre of Dance (Moderna dansteatern), the China Theatre, the Göta Lejon Theatre, the Mosebacke Theatre, and the Oscar Theatre.

Stockholm has places such as Vaxholm, Grinda, Sandhamn and Utö where you can visit and see its historic buildings.

Drottningholm-The Royal family lives at the 18th century World Heritage Drottningholm Palace on the Lovö island, 30 minutes from central Stockholm public transport. The 18th century palace is beautiful, and much of it is open to the public. The surroundings are well worth a walk as well. In the summertime, there is a regular boat service from

Stadshuskajen (the City Hall Quay) to Drottningholm:
Birka- For the real Viking buff, there's Birka, the site of a former Viking city of about 1,000 inhabitants situated on Björkö, an island in Lake Mälaren. In recent years, a replica of the old city has been built up. Boats to Björkö are operated by Strömma Kanalbolaget . Birka can also be reached by public transport to Rastaholm, and boarding a boat.

Uppsala- The fourth largest city in Sweden, but still doable as a day trip. 80 km north of Stockholm. In Uppsala you can see the biggest cathedral in Scandinavia, Linnaeus' botanical gardens as well as Viking royal burial mounds and temple remains from the time when Uppsala was Sweden's capital.

Sigtuna- Oldest surviving Swedish town, effectively Sweden's capital during the Middle Ages. Streets are small here and dotted with low built wooden houses. Lies north of Stockholm and makes a good daytrip. Take the commuter train to Märsta and change to bus 570, 572 and 575 for Sigtuna. All operated by SL.

Bornsjön- For a real wild animal safari close to Stockholm, Bornsjön is the best spot. It is a nature reserve 30 minutes drive south of Stockholm. The natural environment is perfect here for watching mammals like moose, roe deer and wild boar.

Roslagen, the coastal area of Uppland, north-east of Stockholm. Norrtälje is the major city, conveniently reached by buses leaving from Tekniska högskolan. The area offers an almost endless variety of public lakes, beaches, coves, cliffs, islands, forests, farmland, wild animals, fishing, trekking, free camping and just about everything for nature lovers and independent travelers. Also a perfect location to see Swedes in their recluse summer homes, enjoying all concievable outdoor activities and marine sports.

So there are so many things to do and so many places to see in Stockholm, it would be nice to see them all right!
go to Stockholm




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