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How to Find the Best Flight Deals

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Booking a flight is the first, and often the most tedious aspect of planning a trip. Timing, deals, and websites can all factor into the different prices travelers receive for airfare. With so many search engines and fluctuating prices, it can be overwhelming to book flights. Use the following tips when booking your next vacation to score the best deals.

Hide your searches

If you are making the same or similar searches repeatedly, search engines will use a tracking tool, referred to as cookies in your web browser, to save your search history. While it may seem convenient that your history is saved, travel websites may use this to their advantage by showing you higher prices each time you search, scaring you into booking immediately. To avoid higher rates, use a private or “incognito” window each time you search for deals, and you may find lower priced flight options.

Compare prices across sites

Take advantage of the tons of mobile apps and websites that will scan airfare prices to provide the best options for you. Many sites will inflate airfare prices from airlines to take their share of the cut, so it’s crucial to compare prices. Here are a few search engines worth checking out:

Identify the best day to book and depart

Ticket prices can fluctuate depending on the day you search and the dates of your trip. If you can be flexible about your departure dates, you will almost always have better luck obtaining a lower priced flight. A recent travel report published by Expedia and the Airlines Reporting Corporation determined that flights departing on Thursdays or Fridays in 2019 will have the lowest rates, while Sunday will be the most expensive. The report also shows that weekends are the best times to book your trip.

Use points and miles

Using airline miles or credit card points is a great way to save money on flights or even fly for free. If you tend to stick with the same airline when traveling, there is a good chance you have earned points. If not, there are several programs airlines offer worth joining. Similarly, many major credit cards offer rewards that can be redeemed for travel.

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4 Best Travel Companies

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Organized travel groups and tours are increasingly becoming a popular choice of travel for people of all ages. Whether you are traveling solo or with a group of friends, booking your trip through a tour group is an easy and effortless way to explore a new place and meet new people, while avoiding the stresses of planning everything yourself. Many times, tour groups can arrange special outings and excursions that individuals would not be able to experience on their own. No matter where you plan to go in the world, travel companies that specialize in tours can provide incredible experiences without the headache of planning every detail yourself. Here are five great travel companies worth exploring:

Contiki

Contiki’s motto is to travel with no regrets. This travel company provides once in a lifetime experiences exclusively for individuals between the ages of 18-35. Contiki provides accommodation, transportation, and meals through their one-of-a-kind trips. Travel with a group of new friends and an experienced travel guide who will lead you throughout your trip and excursions. Itineraries for each destination are posted on Contiki’s website and include local guides and visits to popular hot spots.

G Adventures

Perhaps one of the best benefits of booking a trip through G Adventures is the difference in trips available at your discretion. With tons of options for people of all ages and lifestyles, there is a trip style for everyone through this travel company. Family, active, wellness and marine tours are just a few of the many trips available through G Adventures. Many of the trips organized through this travel company have been featured in National Geographic’s “Tours of a Lifetime” list, further proof of the excellent opportunities that await.

Naya Traveler

Naya Traveler provides unique, curated travel trips personalized for individual bookings. Founded by three females, Naya Traveler trips allow travelers to be immersed in local cultures and are tailored to the customers wants and needs while providing expert advice and itineraries. The company stays with you behind the scenes throughout your trip, available at a moments notice if need be. If you are looking for a uniquely curated experience, Naya Traveler is a perfect choice.

SoulJourn Yoga

SoulJourn Yoga is a nonprofit based travel company that aims to give back to others while providing extraordinary experiences to travelers. Through organized yoga retreats, the company raises awareness and funds for girls education in developing countries. Their retreats promote female empowerment and provide opportunities for partnership with local nonprofits in the destinations they visit. For each participant, $300-$500 is donated to one of their sister nonprofits.

Mental Health E-Therapy Evolves

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About 1 in every 5 Americans out of a population of over 40 million are affected by a mental health condition. Many fail to seek mental health treatment due to the inconvenience of busy schedules and wanting to keep matters discreet. Technology has caused waves in mental health therapy. Individuals and families can seek professional help online and can join in on discussions based on their mental challenges. The internet has made mental health therapy significantly more accessible and affordable.

Online Mental Health Therapy Goes Mobile

Mobile applications have taken a spin on mental health therapy. Online therapy has been available for over 20 years to the online community. Application developers for android and iOS platforms have partnered with licensed mental health professionals to execute the delivery of services. A variety of services are available that are affordable and easily accessible. New Age and Holistic practitioners are also using mobile applications to educate the public. Many of these apps have been recognized to improve the mental condition or state that a person is in through alternative forms of therapy.

Types of Mental Health Apps

  • Standard Therapy – These sessions are held virtually or via another form of electronic communication. Appointments are easier to obtain and they are known to be less expensive then in-office visits.
  • Alternative Therapy – Practitioners of alternative medicine are using mobile platforms to treat or improve the user’s mental state or condition.
  • Find a Therapist – These services provide a list of licensed professional local therapists with ratings provided by those that have experienced the treatment.
  • Urgent Care – These are emergency services that are available 24 hours per day. They are geared toward depression, anxiety, and suicide prevention.

Credibility of Mental Health Apps

The concern that arises with mobile mental health applications are their effectiveness. The credentials and reputation of the professionals providing the services are also questioned. Research is recommended before the selection of any form of treatment that impacts health. Online user reviews are always a helpful and reliable guide. Therapy works differently for each individual and each must search for the treatment that caters to their mental health needs.

5 Ways Businesses Can Boost Customer Engagement

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Consumers can be selective as far as following brands that appeal to them. Just because you’re not seeing much customer engagement with your brand, don’t assume the problem is with your products. In fact, the problem may only be a matter of adjusting how you interact with your customers. By employing some different tactics, such as those listed here, you may boost customer engagement with your brand.

Personalize Your Brand

If you can help your customers feel connected to your products or to your brand in general, they’ll be more likely to interact with your business. One of the best ways to do this is to identify a charismatic individual on your staff and use their passion to help promote your brand. By allowing this person to become the face of your brand, your customers will feel a deeper human connection to your business.

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Controversial

Although it may be wise to stay away from politics, you can find other ways to use controversy to your advantage. For instance, Wendy’s has started a campaign of using tongue-in-cheek humor to roast Burger King on Twitter. Turning things up a notch with your social media posts can attract more users to your page.

Customize Your Brand

Customizing your brand for each customer is easier than ever with the use of data analytics. You can feed data into an algorithm that will send product recommendations to your customers based upon their past purchases. The same system can be used to send birthday and holiday greetings, so your customers will feel valued even when they’re not buying from you.

Use Polls to Encourage Interaction

When you send out emails to your customers, include a poll that asks for their insight. You can provide two options with each option taking the customer to a different landing page on your site. This will help your customers feel as though their opinions matter, while also bringing them to important pages on your website.

Host an Online Contest

One of the most popular types of contests to offer online is a photo contest, which involves asking users to take selfies that incorporate your brand’s logo. While the objective is to submit the most interesting use of the logo in order to win the prize, the contest itself will help promote your brand. More users will engage your brand by participating in the contest, which works as a positive marketing ploy as well.

There’s no reason you can’t be creative in coming up with ways to encourage customer engagement. In fact, the more unique your strategy, the more interaction you’re likely to generate. While it may take some trial and error, finding the right techniques can work as marketing tactics as well as increasing engagement with current customers.

The Top Three Ski Destinations to Visit This Season

As the cold weather of the winter season has arrived and greeted several states throughout the country, ski enthusiasts all over the country are gearing up for the much-anticipated ski season. At a time when most of us head indoors to warm up with a hot drink, skiers are packing up their gear and researching the best places to hit the slopes. Whether you are looking for steep mountains and a high snowfall rate, or are looking for areas with the best shopping and restaurants to visit after a full day of skiing, the following are just a few of the most popular destinations throughout the United States that are sure to accommodate your needs.

Park City, Utah

Home to the 2002 Winter Ski Olympics, Park City, Utah has consistently ranked as one of the top destinations for skiers and snowboarders. With two big resorts, Deer Valley and Park City Mountain on either side of the town, Park City delivers with tons of available trails to explore. After merging with another nearby resort in 2015, Park City Mountain has made it in the rankings as the largest ski resort in the country, with over 7,300 acres of land. Head into the historic mining town after a day on the slopes and enjoy the plentiful variety of restaurants, bars, galleries, and shops.

Mammoth Mountain, California

California may not be the first place that comes to your mind when thinking about snow-covered mountains. However, take one trip to Mammoth Mountain, just southeast of Yosemite National Park, and you’ll understand why this unique destination attracts skiers every year. At an average of 400 inches of snow each season, Mammoth Mountain is home to the highest peak in California. If you are looking for an added workout, Mammoth launched their uphill policy this year, which allows skiers to climb up the mountain instead of taking the lift. Enjoy the picturesque views of the backcountry and the several events held at the mountain throughout the year.

Breckenridge, Colorado

With a multitude of ski towns and resorts scattered throughout the state, skiing in Colorado should be at the top of every skier’s bucket list. There are so many excellent destinations to choose from, so it can be hard to decide where to plan your next trip to in Colorado. Look no further than Breckenridge. Sitting at the base of the Rocky Mountains ten-mile range, Breckenridge, or “Breck” as the locals call it, is a charming mining town known for its tall slopes and busy nightlife. It is one of the most visited resorts in the country and boasts the highest ski lift in North America. Visitors love the delightful small shops, old Victorian houses, and the lively apres ski scene.

Stay Sane and Healthy This Holiday Season

While it’s often the best time of the year for some, the holiday season can also be an extremely stressful period. Navigating an abundance of invitations, expectations, and indulgent temptations can reverse healthy habits you’ve worked hard to build all year long. How can you navigate the holidays and retain your health and your sanity? Plan ahead, enforce personal boundaries, and focus on meaningful activities.

 

Maintaining your weight and exercise goals during the holidays may seem impossible, but adopting a strategy of moderation can minimize the damage and steer you into the new year guilt-free. With any luck, you might even stay in the same pant size.

 

Eat a serving of protein and drink a full glass of water before a party, and take small portions of your favorite indulgences only. Offer to bring a dish to the family dinner; this ensures you will have a delicious meal that meets your health goals and your hostess will appreciate the help.

Fizzy, fruity alcoholic drinks may dance like Sugar Plum Fairies before your eyes, but they will hinder your health goals. Choose your favorite beverage and sip slowly, savoring it fully.

Keeping regular sleep patterns will help your body maintain a healthy weight; since excessive alcohol and food disrupt your sleep patterns, stop eating and drinking several hours before bed. The energy boost will power you through your long to-do list.

 

Resist the urge to abandon your exercise routine and keep moving. Reduce the number and duration of workouts as necessary, but don’t eliminate them. Daily exercise benefits your body and your mind.

 

Seasonal sanity can be more challenging than weight maintenance. Keep the crazy at bay by limiting your calendar to essential events; say no to the others. Fight seasonal blues with nostalgic music that connects you to fond childhood memories. Music boosts your mood, increases positivity, and can reduce pain and anxiety.

 

Take time for yourself. The holiday season has a way of sucking every spare minute of time and then some. Carve out time to soak in a tub, meditate, read a book, or anything else that relaxes you. As little as 15 minutes can calm your nerves and clear your mind.

You can enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season by focusing on people over food, experiences over gifts, and relationships over status.