Author - Mike Patch

5 Tips For Booking Flights or Vacation Online

Tips For Booking Flights or Vacation Online

Online Vacation Booking Tips

Nowadays, booking a flight or vacation online couldn’t be easier. There are dozens of apps and websites promising to find you the best deals possible. Google Flights which has become an extremely popular go-to for booking flights has taken out a lot of the guesswork. There is also, of course, friendly tips and family advice on where to go and when to book a vacation or flight online. That being said, there are still some solid booking tips that you may not have heard of that could also help you save big when it comes time to booking a flight or vacation. Check out the following tips, I’m sure you haven’t heard of at least of these tricks.

Use Rate Calendars To Figure Out Pricing Drops

Most travel websites start by asking you to enter the destination and number of people on the trip, followed by the dates you’d like to go. Nearly all websites will also show you a rate calendar for the cost of flights to and from your desired location. If you plan your trip in advance, you may begin to spot pricing drops of flights closer to a specific date. As a good test, watch the prices of the same day of the week you wish to leave but a few weeks earlier. As seats begin to fill there can be a flux in price based on the number of seats filled and days remaining to departure. Read More

Best Travel Blanket for Flights

Best Travel Blanket for Flights

Best Travel Blanket

Although they say getting there is half of the fun, it’s not very enjoyable to be part way through a flight and absolutely freezing. Not only does it make for a very unpleasant flight, but it can also stop you from getting crucial hours of sleep, meaning you arrive at your destination feeling tired and grumpy.

Some international airlines do provide blankets for long-haul flights, however, they’re often not terribly comfortable, not to mention that it’s best not to think about how many people have used them before you! Honestly, when do they wash those things? Even if that doesn’t bother you, there’s certainly no guarantee that a free blanket will be provided for you as there is sometimes a limited supply. Instead, do what I do, pack a travel blanket. You’ll be surprised how often you use it.

Be Proactive: Get a Travel Blanket Before Your Flight

Well-crafted travel blankets ensure that your temperature is regulated perfectly (working to keep you warm when needed, as well as cooling you down if necessary) and that you are comfortable in flight, all at an affordable price.

The best travel blankets have a number of other uses as well. Of course, they’re great for different types of travel like on buses, trains, and boats as well as flights. They can also double as picnic blankets or pillows in a push, or replace hotel linens that look just a little bit questionable. All in all, it’s no wonder that frequent travelers swear by a good quality travel blanket as one of the travel essentials.

Not sure which to go for? Here are our two favorite travel blankets for the serious traveler who wants to stay warm and comfortable:

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5 Best Compact Binoculars For Travel, Bird Watching or Everyday Use

Best Compact Binoculars

Binoculars are such an underrated travel accessory. They’re small enough to fit in your pocket but add so much value to a sporting event or sightseeing when traveling.

I remember using a pair binoculars at a Red Sox game and it totally changed my experience of seeing aspects of the game I love so much. I would have never thought to bring binoculars either; it was my old girlfriend at the time that had them. I love Fenway Park and had always wanted to see a game there. We scored tickets last minute when we were in Boston, and I was ecstatic soaking up the smells and sounds of the stadium. It was an iconic event for me. We didn’t get great seats, but I didn’t care, I was just happy to be there. I remember just as we were starting to get comfortable in our seats, my girlfriend whipped out a pair of compact binoculars. I actually didn’t even know she had them on her. For the next hour, I hogged these mini binoculars as I peered around the stadium watching everything from the players on the field to the details all around the stadium at far distances.

Best Compact Binoculars

Years later, I got roped into spending the day with these photography students trying to capture photos of birds in the wild. My friend was the teacher of the class, and I owed him a favor after he helped me move into my apartment across town. He needed an extra set of hands hauling equipment, and I had nothing to do that weekend. Because the kids were using their cameras, I was asked to help spot birds using binoculars. I had no idea what I was doing, I didn’t know what I was supposed to look for, and would just randomly say “bird” and point to a direction which followed with a dozen or so clicks from these young students. I kept joking I was the dog in that Pixar Movie “UP” that would stop mid-sentence to yell “Squirrel.”

Anyways, that day I got to test about a dozen pairs of binoculars. The students would hand them to me to use to spot birds, and by the end of the day, I really noticed a difference between the different brands, weights, and distances. From what I found, the best compact binoculars have a few common traits, but design can be misleading. After that day, and knowing how great my experience was at Fenway, I heavily researched the best compact binoculars online as I wanted to get a pair for myself.

Here are a few quick yet essential takeaways when researching or shopping for binoculars:

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6 Best French Press Coffee Maker Models on the Market

Best French Press Coffee Maker

The following article is a complete breakdown of the best french press coffee maker models on the market that I have researched and tested. This article explains what makes a great french press and should help you narrow down your search for finding the best coffee maker that fits your needs. 

Best French Press Coffee Maker

I would classify myself as a heavy coffee drinker, but not a pretentious one. I don’t go to Starbucks very often, but when I do, my order is straightforward; a medium cup of black coffee to which I add a little cream and sugar and I’m good to go. I work from home mostly, so I make coffee at least twice throughout the day for myself. Over the years, the evolution of the coffee makers I have purchased got bigger and more complex. I liked coffee makers that would grind the beans for me, measure the right amount of water to add and even give me digital options to how refined the grind was. However, that all changed after having my first cup of coffee from a French Press.

Best French Press Coffee MakerI remember it well, my wife and I took the kids to visit friends who lived out of town for the weekend. The first morning I woke up I was greeted with a nice cup of coffee, but I never saw it being brewed. I assumed it was some fancy new expensive coffee maker as the coffee was vibrant with flavor. At the time, I was currently looking for a new coffee maker after my $349 Breville maker had broke, so I was very curious to learn about what had made this great cup of joe. When I discovered the coffee was made from a French Press, I was amazed. I was in disbelief that something so simple could whip together such a great cup of coffee.

When we returned home a few days later, I went out to pick up my own French Press with the intention of it being a temporary replacement until I could find the next best thing as far as a pro-style coffee makers go. But, it’s been over six months now, and I’m still using a French Press. I love the taste and my wife, and I love how much extra counter space we have in our kitchen now.

However, I should point out that I have tested out a few different French Press maker models. In fact, I met this guy working for a local department store that seemed to be a coffee fanatic. He was Barista that worked at this local hipster coffee shop part-time and also worked at the department store where I was shopping to buy the best french press coffee maker I could get my hands on. He was the perfect person to bounce questions off.

I was interested in learning that despite the fact that a French Press coffee maker was such a simple tool for brewing coffee, it has a few different versions. Some are cheaper than others while some seem to charge more for a more professional but don’t, in fact, brew better coffee.

The following are the six Best French Press Coffee Maker Models on the Market.

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Hotwire Review: My Personal Experience (Includes 7 Booking Tips )

Hotwire review

Hotwire Review

For some people, booking a hotel can be a long and exhausting process. For others, it’s just paying for a room to sleep in while you’re out of town. Nobody wants to stay in a dump, nor do they want to pay too much. That’s why Hotwire has a really changed the game when booking a hotel room. The following is my personal Hotwire Review along with some hotel booking tips to ensure you get the best deal

How Does Hotwire Work?

Instead of researching and comparing rooms between dozens of websites, looking stock photos that never look like the room you stay in or reading fake reviews online, you can bypass all of the hassles with simply selecting a list of things most important to your stay. With Hotwire, you are presented with a list of priorities and some basic information to fill out. Things like the area, amenities, star rating, and price. From there you pay for your room but you are not told the hotel name until after purchase…and it’s non-refundable or changeable.

What Are The Benefits?

The benefits of booking with Hotwire are simple, you can stay in a beautiful room for a fraction of the price.

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