Most people, while booking a flight ticket, do not put in a lot of thought behind which airline’s services they should be availing of. It is important to do a background check on the airline before you book your tickets. What if the airline has had a history of losing its passengers’ luggage frequently or carries a bad reputation of serving stale food to the flyers? Your in-flight experience, whether long or short, should be comfortable and a memorable one. Here, we help you decide which airline you should opt for when you fly, by the following list.
Swiss International Air Lines
Swiss, the flag carrier airline of Switzerland, is not a niche carrier, but it operates like a boutique flight. The carrier is very meticulous about the services it provides inside the flight. It serves multi-course meals, which are on par with the kind served in a high-end restaurant. You also get adjustable headrests and well-organized amenity kits. As it is a Switzerland-based airline, the staff makes it a point to serve cheese of the highest quality to its passengers.
This flag carrier airline from Australia came into prominence when it became one of the first carriers to cover vastly long-distance routes without halting at any airport in between. Its flights fly across one of the longest, uninterrupted air travels from Dallas to Sydney, which takes around 17 hours to cover. It is fairly renowned for the fine Australian food, which it serves in all its cabins. There is a premium economy section, behind the business class section, which provides for extra legroom and a snack bar.
Extravagance is the middle name of this Dubai-based airline. Most premium fliers travel by Emirates’ flights quite frequently. Luxury dining, in-flight showers – it has everything that you can expect in a super-premium carrier. The seat-back entertainment system gives you 1,800 channels to choose from and high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity. The airport lounges at Dubai and other important destinations like New York and London are extremely comfortable too. There are elaborate resting rooms and washrooms with showers as well.
Air New Zealand
The Kiwi carrier provides some of the longest flights across the globe. For this reason itself, it makes sure that the seats offer adequate comfort and there is enough legroom for the passengers to stretch themselves. One of their unique features is a Skycouch, which is present in several rows and gives individuals flying with their families additional space. If you want to travel on a budget but still want some extra comfort, you can book a seat in the premium economy section.
Cathay Pacific’s fleet of carriers has made it very convenient for people to travel from the United States to the Far East countries of the world. There are five flights flying every day just from New York, so it scores well on frequency and availability. The airline’s cuisine, which is put together by top-line Hong-Kong chefs, has received glowing reviews from leading publications over the years. Its economy coaches have been thoughtfully designed and have a premium look and feel to them.
Los Angeles has several popular tourist attractions that bring a large number of people across the world to the largest city in the state of California. Hollywood, one of the most prominent film industries in the world, is also based here. There is a lot to see and experience in Los Angeles. The city is packed with glamour and luxury, and the hotels that you find here are no different.
Located in Beverly Hills, an area where many Hollywood stars reside, Beverly Wilshire has been one of the most preferred hotels for several prominent personalities for ages. The hotel came into existence in 1928. While it has all the modern amenities, the hotel boasts of several historical elements, which give one a glimpse of its rich legacy. It has 395 well-maintained rooms and boasts of a very popular restaurant called CUT, which is administered by Wolfgang Puck, a Michelin-star chef. The hotel was noticed by people from different parts of the country when the 1990 film Pretty Woman was filmed here.
The opulence of this hotel can be gauged by its exterior. The towering building spells glitter and glamour. The hotel has 123 rooms and suites along with a rooftop pool and a foot spa. When you go to take a dip in the pool on the 26th floor, you will also get to soak in the breath-taking beauty of the panoramic view the rooftop offers. The rooms owe their serene atmosphere to the minimalistic approach with which they have been designed. There are several restaurants in the hotel, one of which is an eatery on the 24th floor where you are served exquisite Asian cuisine.
If you are a fan of vintage Hollywood films, then The Hollywood Roosevelt might just be the ideal hotel for you to stay in. The hotel, which opened its doors in 1927, has the kind of décor that will remind you of the sets of old Hollywood movies. You get a wide range of options when it comes to choosing the room. There are regular guest rooms, lavish penthouses, and the iconic Marilyn Monroe suite. Apart from the restaurants, there is a fast-food joint named 25 Degrees, which serves burgers and remains open 24×7.
This is the hotel you need to check in to if you are visiting Los Angeles with your partner. The place has a Bohemian vibe to it and there is a whiff of romance in the air when you take a stroll across the property. The interiors, right from the mosaic tiling to the Turkish carpets, are very appealing. The rooftop is where all the fun happens. You can dive into the heated saltwater pool and after that have a sumptuous but healthy dinner at the rooftop itself. If you are a nature lover, you would love to sit in the butterfly and hummingbird sanctuary located on the roof.
South America is a delight for people who like to revel in the glory of all that nature has to offer. The country is filled with the kind of landscape that surprises and enchants you in equal measures. With some of the best trekking destinations in the world, South America is a place every adventure-lover should visit once in their lifetime. For a regular tourist, too, it has a lot to offer.
Let’s take a look at the five best destination travel spots to visit in this continent.
Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Situated in the Southernmost region of Chile, the Torres del Paine National Park is a great place to go hiking. The area surrounding the park leads to magnificent lakes, glaciers, and mountains. There are different levels of trekking available, and you can opt for the one which befits your experience and one you are comfortable with. The paths, which you will be trekking on, are properly marked and there is no chance of you losing your way. If you just want to stick to sight-seeing, you can visit the area during the daytime.
Machu Picchu, Peru
The Incan kingdom of Machu Picchu is an ancient city, which was excavated and rediscovered a while back. Now, it is one of the most well-known archeological sites and a popular tourist destination travel spot. You have to cross the beautiful Peruvian mountains to reach here. You can either trek your way through these mountains or simply take a train to reach Machu Picchu. Either way, when you reach here you will be stunned by the breath-taking panoramic views.
Angel Falls, Venezuela
Within the confines of Venezuela’s Canaima National Park is the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world. Water streaming down from Angel Falls makes for a stunning view. The area, which the waterfall is surrounded by, is a popular spot for hiking activities. The forest trek nearby covers a wide area encompassing rivers, mountains, and grasslands. As you trek through these areas, you will be introduced to lagoons and more gushing waterfalls.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
After trekking through dense forests and reveling in the gorgeousness of waterfalls, you can plan a visit to a salt flat. Not just any salt flat but Salar de Uyuni, the biggest salt flat in the world. A salt flat is an area consisting of largely flat land that is covered with salt. Visiting this place is a very unique experience as the landscape will make you feel that you have stepped into some other world altogether. If you want to experience the charm and aura of this area in its full glory, visit it during a dry season.
Amazon rainforest, Ecuador
The Amazon rainforest is one of the most important ecosystems on our planet. It covers around 40% of the continent and touches the borders of the many neighboring countries in the process. This is not an easy terrain to walk through, but if you are up for a wildlife adventure, it will turn out to be a rewarding process for you. You will get to see this unique green zone up and close and encounter a vast variety of exotic animals and birds along the way.
We often set out on a journey to reach a charming destination. What we miss out on realizing is that being on a journey itself should be a beautiful and enriching experience. A cruise vacation is a great example of that. You spend a couple of days or weeks on a ship, bask in the luxurious services provided on the cruise, and unwind yourself.
You do not necessarily have to save up on a lot of money to go on a cruise vacation. Let’s take a look at the top four budget cruises you can choose from.
Costa is one of the most affordable and budget-friendly cruises of the Mediterranean. One of the more exciting parts about being on its cruises is befriending different kinds of people. It will give you ample opportunity to do that as it attracts guests from different countries across the globe. A large number of people come from the United States and different countries in Europe. You can choose a cruise for two days or a complete and elaborate round trip of 112 days. Whether a short trip or a long vacation, being on the Costa Cruises will be a memory you will cherish for life.
During certain parts of the year, you get to spend a night on the MSC Cruises by paying just around $100. If you happen to be on its cruises during the peak season, the charges will not be very high either. If you are planning a cruise vacation with family, MSC Cruise would be a very good bet for you. It offers several perks to families like letting kids under the age of 11 sail for free and allowing those aged between 12 and 17 to sail without paying during specific seasons. It has some wonderful attractions for grown-ups, too. It offers an adults-only pool and a bunch of theatres where 4D movies are screened.
If your kids are too young and good with staying back home while you go on a vacation with your partner, then Princess Cruises is a good option for you. The Princess Cruises, owned by Carnival, are exclusively for individuals who are above the age of 18. With 17 ships under their fold, the cruise covers Mexico, Caribbean Islands, Alaska, and Europe. You can either spend a leisurely day on the cruise or be a part of the complete itinerary, which goes up to 72 days. The poolside movie screenings are one of the cruise’s major highlights.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Most of the cruises come with their set of dos and don’ts – rules and protocols which you need to follow while you are on-board. The Norwegian Cruise Line lets the travelers be themselves. There is no dress code, guidelines, or any map you need to follow while you are sailing. The cruise consists of 17 vessels in its fold and can accommodate as many as 4,266 passengers at any given time. There is one crew member to cater to two or three passengers. Thus, you will have nothing to complain about when it comes to the service provided on the cruise.
There’s hardly anything more fun than traveling and exploring new places. The excitement of creating an itinerary and the thrill of being on the road is unmatched, but it’s so much better if the “getaway” is well in your budget. Accommodation is an important factor that determines your overall travel expenses, so deals on that front can help you save big. Here are some of the best hotel booking websites to help you compare deals and plan a budget-friendly trip:
Priceline may come across as your regular hotel booking website, but it offers some outstanding features. For instance, it offers amazing discounts through its Express Deals® feature and free cancelation on most hotels to ensure flexibility. Additionally, Priceline offers a generous best-price guarantee and assures a 100% refund of the price difference if you find a lower price within 24 hours of booking. That’s not all! They offer a 200% refund of the price difference if you find a better price on an Express Deal®.
Kayak is one of the top hotel booking sites for comparing deals and is known for its filtering options and map feature. Just click on your destination on the map, and Kayak will give you all the information you need, including stay options. Clicking on any option will display the booking prices from several websites. A unique feature of this website is that it allows split booking, wherein you can save more by partly booking your stay from one website and using another site to book the other part of your stay.
This is another top entrant on the list of the best websites to find deals on hotel bookings and is known for its ease of use. In addition to deals and free cancelation on most hotels, Hotels.com offers excellent discounts on flight bookings. The rewards program that offers one free night on a 10-night stay is one of its notable features.
Tripadvisor is the place to go if you want to check out genuine customer reviews before making a booking. The website lists travelers’ experiences with the stays, helping you pick the best deals on hotel bookings. Simply enter your destination, and Tripadvisor will list the hotels and other stay options ranked according to amenities, deals, and customer reviews. Being an aggregator, Tripadvisor allows you to compare the prices offered by multiple hotel booking sites.
Cruise options in the past few months have been very limited, but things are surely going to change by 2022. Some river cruise liners are planning on embarking with every health and safety protocol in place. They will run with limited passengers, which means you will get a more intimate experience with less crowd. So, if you missed the waters, take a look at the three best river cruises that you can take in 2022.
The Mighty Rhine to Switzerland
Arena Travel brings a seven-night-long river cruise on their 4-star MS Arena vessel. Starting from Cologne, UK the cruise takes you to Rhine Gorge past the iconic Lorelei rock to Rüdesheim. On the third day, you reach Speyer and take in the sights of its museums and cathedrals. Next comes Strasbourg and then Basel, where travelers get to spend the day at the Swiss resort of Lucerne, Switzerland. Other cities include Breisach, Alsace, Mannheim, Heidelberg and Mainz. This river cruise sets sail in June and July 2022 with prices starting from approximately $1500 per passenger.
Mekong River Cruise
This 16-night-long tour package cruise by Smithsonian Journeys includes seven nights at the Mekong river. Passengers will visit three Southeast Asian countries: Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Noticeable highlights of this journey include a visit to the city of Angkor, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the biggest complexes worldwide. You will also visit Wat Hanchey in Cambodia and Vietnamese towns like Sa Dec, Vin Long, and Tien Loi Island. The river cruise starts from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and sets sail in March 2022. Prices starting from approximately $8000 for double occupancy, which does not include port charges.
Blue Danube Discovery
This seven-night-long river cruise on the Danube River includes a visit to certain cities in Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Slovakia. Managed by AmaWaterways, this cruise embarks from Budapest and first covers Bratislava, the Coronation City of Kings, where you will experience its panoramic city views and castles. Next on the itinerary of this cruise is Vienna followed by Durnstein, Passau, Regensburg, and lastly Nuremberg. The cruise begins from April 2022 with prices starting at approximately $3400 per person.
If you’ve been craving to travel and are ready to get back out there and explore the wonders, here’s some good news: the Viking Ocean Cruises are now operational! In this article, we’ve compiled the top four cruises just for you. We’ll discuss the dates, cruise itinerary, prices, and all that’s included in the said package. If you’ve wanted a fun-filled escape, now is your chance!
Bermuda Escape – $1,799 pp
If you’re someone who enjoys impromptu plans, this one’s for you! This seven-night cruise departs on June 15, 2021, from Hamilton. The itinerary includes cruising through the Atlantic ocean, St. George, and King’s Wharf. The cost includes a cabin with a private bathroom, Wi-Fi, select dining, most onboard entertainment options, shore excursions, room service, and basic hot and cold beverages. The price also includes port taxes and fees.
Malta and The Western Mediterranean – $3,599
If you’d like to treat yourself and your family to an extended vacation, this 11-day cruise is perfect. The Viking cruise departs on July 27, 2021, and sails through three gorgeous countries – Malta, Italy, and Spain. The cruise also includes shore excursions on each port. You get a room with a private veranda, luxurious bath essentials, dining at an alternative restaurant, stateroom steward, twice-daily housekeeping, and a spa. Mentioned is the starting price of this cruise; however, you may check out their website for more Viking Ocean Cruise deals.
Iceland’s Natural Beauty – $2,799
Have you had Iceland on your travel list for too long? It’s time to check that off your bucket list now! Explore the majestic beauty of the northern isle’s coastal towns and pristine waterfalls on this seven-day cruise. It departs from Reykjavik on July 10, 2021, and stops by the shores of Isafjordur, Akureyri, Seydisfjordur, Djupivogur, and Heimaey. This Viking cruise deal covers all the basic amenities, onboard entertainment, and dining options. You can pay extra to upgrade your cabin or even customize your journey.
Journey To Antiquities – $2,699 pp
This cruise departs from Athens on December 1, 2021, and sails through Kusadasi, Crete (Heraklion), Taormina (Messina), Naples, and Rome (Civitavecchia). This Viking cruise deal includes all the basic amenities and more. Along with a nice cabin and internet connection, you get select entertainment and dining options, room service, and hot and cold basics, as well as unique beverages. You can compare cabins and their respective prices on the Viking Ocean Cruises’ website.
Renting a car may seem like a simple activity, something you can do online in a matter of minutes. But apart from renter’s insurance, the cost of the rental, and other fees chargeable, there are a number of points to consider so you can get the best deal, from location to size of the vehicle and budget tips; here are a few tips to get you started.
Finding the ideal pair of sunglasses is not easy in most cases. Earlier, making the right choice was all about the style of the frame and color of the glasses. But today, with advanced technology, there are several things to consider that go way beyond appearance. Before you go shopping for sunglasses, take a look at a few tips that will help you select the right one.
Look for a customizable fit
Gone are the days when you struggled to keep your sunglasses on your face as you can now get options with an adjustable fit. Take a pair of black Oakley® KATO sunglasses with Prizm™ lens technology, for example. It has nose pads, a tilt feature, and an ergonomic design for an exact fit. If this particular choice is outside your budget, look for these little features before you order a new pair of sunglasses.
UVA and UVB protection are a must
This one is a no-brainer since you will be spending a substantial amount of time outdoors wearing your sunglasses. So, choose the pair with maximum ultraviolet protection. This will prevent the harmful rays of the sun from damaging your eyes. Avoid buying glasses that don’t have a tag highlighting the UV-protection information.
Choose polarized lenses for better clarity
Polarized lenses not only keep your eyes safe, they also improve the visibility of the glasses. You get better color, clarity, and contrast. The Oakley® Flak 2.0 polarized lenses take it a step further with an exclusive technology that clarifies 99% of reflected glare. Such lenses are preferred by athletes who have to wear sunglasses for a long time.
If you have an eye prescription, use it
If you have poor vision, wearing sunglasses without a prescription can really harm your eyes. There are coveted eyewear brands that customize sunglasses to suit your vision. For instance, Ray-Ban® has prescription sunglasses that also come with a choice between single vision and progressive lenses.
Buy better by availing discounts
Get the best glasses within your budget by looking for discounts. Many brands offer heavy discounts during major holidays and also for certain services. Did you know there’s an Oakley® sunglasses military discount for service members? So don’t forget to look through the brand websites before you zero down on your pair of sunglasses!
The journey should be as memorable as the joy of reaching the destination. Comfort is of paramount importance when you are traveling. Earlier, the term “first class” translated to luxury and style, but today, several airlines are replacing “first class” with business class rows that have been upgraded. However, still, a couple of airlines have managed to maintain the sanctity of the first-class units in their flights and ensure super-luxurious travel for those who opt for it.
Airlines offering the amazing first-class experience are as follows:
Lufthansa’s long-distance flights comprise eight large-sized first-class seats, which are easily adjustable. When you stretch your back and relax, you can adjust the footrest, backrest, and the moveable ottoman to provide you with more space. If you want to lie down and catch up on some sleep, you can request the attendant to convert your seat into a bed. The bed will be equipped with a temperature-regulating duvet and a mattress topper and will give you a supremely comfortable experience.
Garuda Indonesia’s flagship aircraft, the Boeing 777-300ER, has eight private suites that offer several kinds of luxury. Those who travel by first class in Garuda Indonesia vouch that the area and the services provided here make them feel as though they are a part of a calm and serene atmosphere. Because of the comfort provided, you do not even feel the jerks or disturbances that one might, sometimes, encounter during a flight. A wide range of dining options is offered to the guests. The food is put together by some of the best chefs from renowned restaurants across the globe.
Japan, as a country, is known for the warmth and hospitality it extends toward its guests. The same can be said about Japan Airlines. The First Class unit of the Boeing 777-300ER flight is a semi-enclosed suite with a strikingly gorgeous interior made up of wood-grain. The interiors spell luxury, and at the same time, give you a homely feeling. The console is huge and includes a spacious storage compartment, a laptop power brick, a controller for in-flight entertainment services, and a 23-inch screen on which you can consume video-based content.
Swiss International Airlines
Swiss, Switzerland’s national carrier, has eight, completely enclosed suites in the Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A330 fleets. The interiors are extensively made of European oak wood coupled with material made with shades of brown and grey. The fabric bulkheads, soft walls, and curtains play a massive role in suppressing the noise within the cabin and providing you with a soothing atmosphere. Every passenger gets a personal wardrobe accompanied by a sliding door. There is a 32-inch display screen that takes care of your in-flight entertainment.
After re-furnishing and giving a brand new look to their first-class lounge at the Hong Kong International Airport, the airline decided to bring out some changes and improvements in the first-class units of their planes. The external surface of the first-class section bears a dark and glossy look. The seats are made up of natural leather and boast of a clean and sophisticated look.
Donating to charities is a meaningful way for individuals to contribute to society and gain personal benefits. Unbeknownst to many, charitable contributions made in the country make an individual eligible for tax advantages, creating a win-win scenario. Contributions like cash donations, non-cash donations like clothing or household items, stocks, etc., can lead to tax benefits. Explore some tax-deductible charitable gifts and donations below to understand how to make a positive impact while enjoying financial advantages.
Cash donations are one of the simplest ways to contribute to charitable causes and get tax benefits. Cash donations can be made in various ways, including checks, credit cards, or through payroll deductions made by one’s employer. If one is donating cash to qualified public charities, it allows them a tax deduction of up to 60% of their adjusted gross income (AGI) in a year. Furthermore, making cash donations to private foundations allows individuals a tax deduction of up to 30% of their AGI. To claim tax deductions, one must keep records of their donations, such as bank statements, canceled checks, or receipts and acknowledgment letters from the charity.
Besides cash, donating goods such as clothing, furniture, or household items can also yield tax benefits. When donating these, one must ensure the items are in good condition. It is also necessary to obtain a receipt from the charity specifying the donated items. One can also find estimated donation values for such in-kind donations on various websites to get an idea about the tax-deductible amounts for each.
One can also donate stocks or other appreciated assets to charities and get tax deductions. If one has stocks that have grown in value, donating them directly to a qualified charity allows them to avoid capital gains tax. The IRS allows them to deduct the fair market value of the donated stocks. However, the deductible amount differs for public charities and private foundations. For donating to public charities, one can get a tax deduction of up to 30% of their AGI, and for donating to private foundations, one can get a tax deduction of up to 20% of their AGI.
Donating real estate or other capital assets to charities also has significant tax advantages. This category includes land, buildings, machinery, and closely held securities that one has owned for at least one year. By donating these assets to a qualified charity, one can support a cause close to their heart and benefit from a substantial tax deduction.
Individuals aged 70.5 years or older have a unique opportunity to contribute to charitable causes while enjoying tax benefits through Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) from their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Instead of taking required minimum distributions (RMDs), one can direct those funds, up to $100,000, directly to eligible charities. This fulfills their RMD and keeps the distributed amount out of their taxable income. QCDs provide a tax-efficient way for retired individuals to support charitable causes.
Going on a cruise is one of the best experiences one can have at any age—childhood or adulthood. However, not all cruises are ideal for everyone. Some cruise lines offer special packages that meet all the needs of seniors, ranging from arranging flights, finding restaurants, booking excursions, and even checking in and out of hotels. Keep reading to know more about some of the best senior-friendly cruises and their features.
Popular companies like Viking offer ships that can cater to approximately 930+ passengers on the sea. However, these cruises do not allow anyone under 18 on board. Further, the ships are designed to serve passengers aged 50 and above. Viking cruises are ideal for seniors, as they offer informative lectures and destination-specific entertainment on board. Further, Viking cruises focus on getting seniors to key attractions and UNESCO world heritage sites all over the world. In most cases, everyday shore excursions are included in the cruise fare. These include voyages such as the Mediterranean odyssey and the Atlanta crossing, to name a few.
Among the top river cruise lines around the world, AmaWaterways has a total of 24 ships with extraordinary itineraries aimed at seniors. The cruise packages here usually offer exploring ports across Europe but just a few trips to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. In most cases, their range of shore excursions meets everybody’s interests and abilities. These excursions include guided hikes, bike rides, and cooking demonstrations. In addition to the above, the cruise line also offers seniors concierge services, hotel reservations, and flight transfers as a part of the packages.
This cruise line offers trips as short as four to five days. So, if one is going on a cruise for the first time, they can book Avalon Waterways packages to test the waters. Further, Avalon Waterways offers its senior customers several options to travel across Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia. Its long cruises also provide passengers with special entertainment activities such as the Storyteller series, which may include popular authors like Candace Bushnell onboard. Additionally, the cruises may also have off-shore activities such as picnics and kayaking. One feature that sets this senior-friendly cruise apart is the availability of open-air balconies in the cabin, providing the seniors with a comfortable place to relax and enjoy the view.
This cruise line offers ships that can carry up to 700 passengers and is one of the niche companies that cater to all the needs of well-traveled seniors. Additionally, Azamara is one of the best cruises for seniors that do not wish to splurge but still want top-notch service, ambiance, and amenities. Usually, cruises offered by Azamara involve trips to Europe. However, some packages may offer overnight stays at key destinations, making these cruises ideal for passengers who wish to travel on their own.
Usually, the cost of cruises depends on the length, time of the year, and extent of luxury. However, the average price for a seven-night cruise may be anywhere between $1,000 to $2,000. Nevertheless, the above-mentioned cruise lines can offer special deals and discounts for seniors.