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  • Frequent fliers, consider: Is airline elite status worth the trouble?

    Frequent fliers, consider: Is airline elite status worth the trouble?

    As we enter the final weeks of 2015, frequent fliers begin asking a familiar question: "Will I be able to hold onto my airline elite status for another year?" Before you answer that question, ask yourself this one: Is airline elite status worth the trouble? Airline loyalty programs, including those...

  • New York City is suddenly a good deal for visitors

    New York City is suddenly a good deal for visitors

    Yesterday's secret deal destination may be today's annoyingly overpriced spot. But that works in reverse too. Sometimes, destinations that seemed out of reach or too expensive suddenly become good deals, or at least better deals. Example: New York City. This year the city "has seen a sharp decline...

  • Is your volunteer vacation deductible? That depends.

    Is your volunteer vacation deductible? That depends.

    Consider the irony. The same year that "voluntourism" was added to the Oxford English Dictionary, I learned that such noble undertakings are often not tax-deductible. For my family's weeklong volunteer vacation, we helped rebuild houses in New Orleans that had been damaged in the wake of Hurricane...

  • Business credit cards have several points in their favor

    Business credit cards have several points in their favor

    No matter how many miles you fly or nights you stay in hotels, personal credit cards are still a powerful points-earning tool at your disposal. But if you own a small business or operate some sort of side enterprise, business credit cards can be another equally effective way to boost those loyalty...

  • Here's an easy way to budget for your food costs on your next trip

    Here's an easy way to budget for your food costs on your next trip

    If you've seen this headline — "Geneva Is the Most Expensive City in the World for Dining Prices" — it's probably based on the recently released Club Sandwich Index, or CSI, compiled by Hotels.com. The index, which can be found at www.lat.ms/1KpEtap, compares the price of a conventional club sandwich...

  • Solo travelers get help avoiding single supplement on tours, cruises

    Solo travelers get help avoiding single supplement on tours, cruises

    For many years, true solo travel was the Rodney Dangerfield of travel: It got no respect from the industry. Standard cruise and tour pricing is almost always per person double occupancy, or PPDO, so solo travelers were generally told to conform to the Noah's ark formula: If they didn't want to...

  • Sample the good life at airport lounges without paying huge fees

    Sample the good life at airport lounges without paying huge fees

    Once, airlines' airport lounges were the province of the elite traveler. Hoi polloi had no access. That's no longer true. If you carry a branded airline credit card, you sometimes will get a free pass, but there are other ways to sample the good life without paying huge fees for access or having...

  • What travelers need to know to guard against identity theft

    What travelers need to know to guard against identity theft

    Discovering you're a victim of identity theft can quickly turn a vacation idyll into a bad trip. In the United States, more than 16 million people become victims of identity theft each year, and international travelers are nearly three times more likely to experience ID fraud. You may be at special...

  • What really happens to your FICO score when you cancel a credit card?

    What really happens to your FICO score when you cancel a credit card?

    Los Angeles-based entrepreneur William Swann had a soft spot for his Citi Gold AAdvantage World MasterCard. "It was my second-oldest credit card," he said. "I got it right out of college, and every dollar I spent was a mile earned on American." He did not, however, have tender feelings about the...

  • Avoiding lap-child sticker shock on international flights

    Avoiding lap-child sticker shock on international flights

    While planning a summer trip to Europe for her family, Tara Firenzi of Santa Cruz was thrilled that she would save some money using awards miles for tickets for herself, her husband and 5-year-old daughter Ruby. Ten-month-old Hazel would fly as a lap child. "I added the baby to the reservation...

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