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8 Tips for Win-Win Vacation Rentals

Whether you’re a renter or an owner, vacation rentals can be a double-edged sword. Whereas the passive income generated by renting out a vacation property can be a welcome resource for owners, the costs of upkeep and risks associated with letting total strangers into your home can be prohibitive. Meanwhile, those looking to rent can typically get a lot more space per dollar than they would in a conventional hotel room – but how can they be certain they’ll be getting what they paid for? For both sides, covering your bases is key. Whether you’re renting a vacation property yourself or renting yours out this summer, here are eight tips for making the experience a total win-win. Know What You’re Getting The last thing you want is to be a victim of the old bait-and-switch. If the property isn’t in another state or country, ask to see it in person before…

5 Smart Summer Vacation Safety Tips

Summer is in full swing, which means many of us are either on vacation now or planning to be on vacation very soon. While summer getaways offer us a great chance to relax and unwind, it pays to be alert and prepared whenever we travel. Whether your destination is halfway across the world or within driving distance, here are five smart summer vacation safety tips to protect you and your loved ones all vacation long. Stash Your Cash Between pickpockets and hotel room burglars, it can be tricky holding onto your cash when you’re on vacation – especially if you find yourself in a crowded foreign city. Instead of keeping everything in your wallet, stash small bills and credit cards in various shirt, jacket and pants pockets before you go out. Worried about someone stealing your money at the beach? Hide your bills in an empty tube of lip balm…

The 5 Best and Worst Cars for Millennials

As thousands of Millennials across the country are graduating from college and entering the real world, affordable transportation becomes a primary concern. While a growing number of grads will bypass car ownership altogether for popular rideshare options like Uber and Zipcar, most will opt for their own set of wheels. According to a 2015 report from J.D. Power & Associates, the share of new vehicles purchased by Millennials had increased from 18 percent in 2010 to 27 percent in 2014. As a graduation present from SelectQuote Auto & Home, here are the five best and worst cars for millennials: Five Best Cars Honda Fit. Starting at $16,470, the Honda Fit is our top pick for active grads on a budget. The 2015 redesign provides tons of rear legroom for your friends in the back, while the ultra-adjustable Magic Seats go up and down – allowing you to load everything from…

5 Ways to Enjoy the Holidays for Less

According to a poll released this month by Gallup, American adults are planning to spend an average of $830 on holiday gifts this year. Not only is this $110 more than last year’s projected average, but it’s also the highest on record since 2007. However, a new study by Cornell University psychology professor Tom Gilovich indicates that the best way to increase the enjoyment, satisfaction and general happiness of your loved ones during the holidays is to give them real-life experiences – not material gifts. In addition to being less expensive than a typical present, a shared experience with a loved one has a longer “shelf life” and can even help us define who we are as people. Here are five, holiday experiences you can give your family and friends that won’t cost an arm and a leg – and are sure to make everyone involved feel loved and appreciated.…

6 Last-Minute Ways to Save on Holiday Travel

According to the US Department of Transportation, the Christmas and New Year’s holidays represent some of the busiest long-distance travel days of the year. With travel increasing by as much as 23 percent during this period, it stands to reason that airfares and train fares will be harder to come by – and pricier than usual. According to a study published last January by Cheapair.com, airfares increased by an average of 50 percent during the 2013 holiday season. But looking at the eleventh hour doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive. Here are six secrets for getting out of Dodge between now and New Year’s without putting your finances in a dodgy situation: Check Airfares First Thing in the Morning The time of day that you actually sit down to book your flight can make a huge impact on the cost of your fare. Since most airlines update their inventory and prices…

Best and Worst Cities for Drivers

33,561 people in the US were killed in car crashes in 2012, according to the most recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. No matter how safe a driver you may be, your fate on the road partially depends on your fellow drivers. That’s why it pays to know just how safe ­– or how dangerous – a city is from a driver’s perspective. According to Allstate’s 2015 Best Drivers Report, here are the five best and worst driving cities in the US. 5 Best Cities  Kansas City, Kansas. Heartland drivers, take heart! Drivers in Kansas City, Kansas are 8 percent less likely to get in an accident than the national average. This is a major upset for Fort Collins, Colorado, which snagged the top spot in both 2013 and 2014 but dropped to fourth safest in this year’s study. Brownsville, Texas. 5 percent less likely. Boise, Idaho. 5 percent less likely.…

Last-Minute Travel Apps

With June just around the corner, vacation season is upon us. Haven’t started planning yours yet? Don’t panic. Thanks to the multitude of travel apps out there, last-minute vacation planning is easier – and cheaper – than ever. Whatever your destination, these free apps will help get you there – and help you get the most out of your time off – without putting a dent in your wallet. For Your Flight One of the newest air travel apps to hit the iOS App Store, Hopper continuously analyzes billions of flight prices and tells you when to book in order to save up to 40 percent on your airfare. Download here for iOS. Search for a flight on Hipmunk, and your results are sorted by their aptly-named “Agony Index” – which considers the length of the flight, the number of layovers, and the ticket price. Meanwhile, hotel searches include color-coded heat maps…

Don’t Blow It!

Holiday budgetBetween all the gift-giving, travel, parties, and big family dinners, overspending during the holidays is a common phenomenon. But for retirees living on a fixed income, blowing your budget can make “the most wonderful time of year” downright stressful. Here are five tips for saving money between now and January.

  1. Make a budget (and stick to it). Lots of friends and relatives to shop for? Before you hit the mall, make a list with an exact dollar amount that you can afford to spend on each person. And because most of us tend to buy a little something for ourselves while shopping for others, factor a gift for yourself into your budget. If the gifts you planned on buying are marked down, great. But resist the urge to buy extra presents just because they’re on sale.

Last-Minute Holiday Travel

12-11-14 SQ Blog G+There may be no better way to eliminate holiday stress than by taking a vacation. If you feel like getting away from it all but never got a chance to book anything until right this minute, don’t worry – last minute holiday travel doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive. Here are five secrets for getting out of Dodge between now and New Year’s without putting your finances in a dodgy situation. 

  1. Check airfares early in the morning. The time of day that you actually sit down to book your flight can make a huge impact on the cost of your fare. Since most airlines update their inventory and prices overnight, checking airfares first thing in the morning can really pay off.

Life Insurance Before Your Travels

family-vacationWe’ve all been on a vacation that didn’t really feel like a vacation because we were stressed out. The time we should have been relaxing was spent worrying about a task we didn’t complete before we left home or maybe about something we forgot to do. Did I leave the garage door open? Did I turn off the air conditioning? Did I leave the bathroom light on? These questions you ask yourself can be easily resolved by calling a neighbor or a trusted friend back at home, however, there is something more serious to consider – the future of your loved ones.

If you are traveling and leaving your children at home, you will create a list of emergency contacts to give to the babysitter. If anything happens to your children, the babysitter will know exactly who to call and how to ensure their safety.