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My Favorite Travel Websites To Search For Airfare and Hotels

My Favorite Travel Websites To Search For Airfare and Hotels

Published 10/26/07  (Modified 3/22/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

I think I am secretly a big government, socialist type person (go communism...just kidding). I like freedom of choice but sometimes having too many options can get cumbersome and mind boggling. Frequently, it's good to just have a handful of recommended choices.

When it comes to picking the best travel website to do your airfare or hotel research, there are so many to choose from it can be overwhelming. Many popular news sites like CNN have provided their own top travel website lists, but I think they list way too many. I love lists but I'm not a fan of long lists containing too many choices. Too many choices means I need to take extra time to sort the diamonds from the rough. Just give me the best choice I always say. So that's what I'll do.

Bottom line, after comparing ease of use and prices among the numerous travel websites, my overall favorite is SideStep. The site consistently gave me the most competitive search results. I use it in conjunction with my other two favorites, Expediaand Travelocity. These three sites will give you the best search and pricing results.

Compare Prices Using Sidestep With Expedia and Travelocity

SideStep is what they call a meta search engine because it aggregates and consolidates search results from a wide variety of travel sites. The service pulls airfare and hotel information from more than 150,000 hotels and 600 airlines to give you pricing information based on your search criteria.

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How To Buy On Ebay And Get the Best Deal

Published 10/25/07  (Modified 3/22/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

I'm a frequent eBaybuyer and former seller. I've learned a few tricks to get the best deals when buying through eBay auctions. Getting the best deal does take a little extra research but the savings are worth it!

1) Run eBay Searches Using Different Keyword Combinations

The example I'm going to use to demonstrate my eBay buying tricks will be from my experience in buying Smartrip metro cards. These are the magnetic debit cards that people living in the Washington D.C. area use to take the subway. The card can hold upwards to $300 at a time and like gift cards, there is an eBay market for people looking to buy them at a discount.

When running searches for the metro cards, I use a wide variety of keywords such as Smartrip, SmartCheck, D.C. Metro cards, D.C. subway cards, and Smart Trip. People frequently advertise their products on eBay using different names. Try punching in spelling errors like "dimond" rather than "diamond". You won't believe how many sellers frequently misspell their ads, thereby limiting the number of available buyers bidding on their auction. Less bidding competition gives the smart eBay buyer a greater chance of getting a great deal. It's really not all that difficult to profit from ebay typo bargains.

You can also create a favorite saved batch search for several keywords. At the eBay search prompt, select "Advanced Search", enter you keywords and remember to click on the box that indicates "Save This Search to eBay". If you want to create a search that

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Difference Between Frugality and Cheapness

Published 10/24/07  (Modified 3/9/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

I try my best to live a healthy and reasonably frugal life. This doesn't mean that I spend all of my time counting pennies but I do have a mental calculator to keep track of spending as it relates to the income I bring in. I enjoy being financially organized and efficient in how I use my limited resources to maximize the value I get back. But I have my priorities and when I am with friends, family, or loved ones, I don't mind splurging for them. My frugal lifestyle is mostly for me and I try to limit the practice when I am around others so it doesn't rub off the wrong way.

Frugality Sees Value, Cheapness Sees Cost

Frugality is a very positive trait but many people often mistaken it for it's evil cousin, cheapness. Frugality and cheapness are two different things. Frugal people understand true value and have the ability to evaluate finances by taking into consideration past, present, and future needs. Cheap people don't really care about value and prefer not to spend money for the sake of not spending money.

For example, if I can buy paper towels in bulk and after factoring in the time value of spent money I decide that I will save more money in the long run by spending a little bit more today, frugality dictates that I make the more expensive purchase now that will provide greater value cumulatively in the long run. Cheapness would probably dictate that I not buy it at all or

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Female Bosses and the Queen Bee Syndrome

Published 10/22/07  (Modified 3/9/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

I have a moderate perspective on social issues, with a very slight lean towards the liberal left. But I always enjoy debating about interesting issues and enjoy hearing the views of others.

I'm going to talk about a fascinating topic I heard discussed on the Chris Core radio show today. He was talking about the existence of the stealth women vote in regards to Hillary Clinton and how some women are eagerly awaiting the chance to vote Hillary into office for the sake of seeing a women ascend into the nation's most powerful role. However, the issue was brought up that there are some people out there, most notably women in particular, who resent other women like Hillary for her "Queen Bee" mentality and persona.

What is It?

The Queen Bee Syndrome goes like this. Women who have the Queen Bee condition are usually those who work in supervisory roles or in positions of power. They feel the need to be recognized and demand to be in the center of attention at all times. They regard other women as competition and see them as threats to their ability to enjoy exclusive attention and respect. They desire nothing more than having others fall on their knees to bow before them and lavish them with power, attention, compliments, and envy. Oftentimes, they will treat female subordinates much harsher than male employees. They have particular resentment and disdain for women who work in traditional stereotypical female roles, such as secretaries, models, and housewives.

Genuine Surprise At the Response

The issues raised were

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How To Maximize Your Paid Survey Chances and Perks

Published 10/21/07  (Modified 3/9/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

As I mentioned in previous posts, one of my hobbies when I have downtime at work or home is filling out online paid online surveys and getting paid for it. One of the welcomed perks of doing these surveys is that you occasionally receive free products to review. So far I've received a few large bottles of shampoo and a couple of other personal items (very personal items I must add) to try out and review.

It's actually quite interesting and I enjoy receiving free stuff. I don't mind being a guinea pig for these companies. It's not like the products are toxic or potentially hazardous. Some of them, like the shampoos, are pretty much what you use at home anyway except they might be packaged differently or the texture of the shampoo might be different. But it's certainly interesting to be able to voice my opinion on products that haven't been released to the general public. I haven't received any electronic merchandise to review yet but I'm hoping to get the chance eventually.

Tips To Get the Most Survey Opportunities

Product reviews don't come too frequently, but the best way to maximize your opportunities and rewards in general is to do the following:

  • Express Interest In Everything - Why yes, I am interested in septic tanks, for example. :) When you complete your initial profile, remember to indicate interest in every subject matter available. Obviously the company won't send you a survey or product review if you admittedly aren't in their target demographics or have any
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    My Website is Slower Than a Speeding Turtle

    Published 10/20/07  (Modified 3/22/11)

    By MoneyBlueBook

    I think the Comcastturtle mascots would love the speed of my website. The Slowsky's like things "slow and easy" - a perfect description of my site right now.

    I apologize for the sluggishness in page load time and the occasional appearance of site error messages for the last few days. I just migrated my web hosting to Dreamhost. I thought this would solve the uptime and speed issues I had with Hostmonster, but it looks like I'm having the same problems with Dreamhost as well. It has been a pretty frustrating week to say the least. :(

    Dreamhost doesn't offer live chat or telephone troubleshooting so sometimes I have to wait a few hours to a day before they respond to my e-mail support requests. The tech guys at Dreamhost continue to be very professional and courteous, and that's why I've been giving them the benefit of the doubt. But at some point, they have to be able to deliver and fix the problem permanently. I really hope they repair the malfunction soon. The company is very likable, but I can only tolerate so much.

    Separating Truth From Fiction

    Are there any affordable web hosting services out there with truly reliable service? They all seem to guarantee 99% uptime, but always fail to deliver. It's so hard to get a genuine, unbiased opinion about which company offers the best service. I suspect many webhosting companies pay people to visit websites and forums anonymously to say favorable things about their company, while badmouthing the competition.

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