No doubt about it: getting upgraded to business or first class is a whole lot better than flying economy. Bigger seats, meal and drink service, access to an airport lounge and more flexible baggage allowances all contribute to a trip with less stress and a lot more luxury. But it all comes at a price. To wit, a recent return flight to Amsterdam on KLM cost about $1400 in economy, and a staggering $5400 in business. But there is another way. A free upgrade is sometimes possible, if you plan ahead and know the rules that will give you an edge over other passengers. Here are nine methods that savvy travellers use to get upgraded.
Has work, daily life and the endless wait for spring weather made you feel like you need an escape? For those of us who want to recharge or revive, a vacation is the answer.
Whether it's a change of scenery, a romantic weekend for the two of you or a family holiday to have some fun, there are several options that won't make you regret taking your credit card out of your wallet. Heck, even the Griswolds are getting back on the road.
When it comes to celebrating St. Patrick's day, there are a lot of options: Guinness and green beer, shamrock shakes and emerald cupcakes, perhaps even a heaping plate of corned beef and cabbage. But of all the traditions, one of the oldest -- and one of the most enjoyable -- is a nip of classic Irish whiskey. The Emerald Isle, after all, is home to one of the world's oldest distilleries and some of its finest liquors. And, while there isn't any evidence to suggest that the Emerald Isle's most famous saint ever tipped a glass, no celebration of Gaelic heritage is complete without at least a nod to Ireland's rich distilling history.
Unlike bourbon or Scotch, both of which offer dozens of choices for the adventurous consumer, Irish whiskey production is controlled by a small handful of distilleries. On the down side, this limited selection translates into a relatively high price, which can make choosing a bargain tipple a little difficult. Happily, however, most Irish whiskeys have a lower-priced, entry-level offering that shouldn't cost more than $20 to $30. And, given the relatively level playing field, even the cheapest brands tend to be mellow and enjoyable. Put another way, there isn't a truly bad brew in the bunch!
And so, without further ado, here's our brief guide to the flavor and lore of Ireland's best cheap whiskeys.
Let's face it -- if you're reading this, then you're probably simultaneously doing one of three things:
Clicking around the Web, while on hold with your florist, who, with her hand cupped over the receiver and in a very audible stage whisper, is saying to her colleagues, "Get this -- someone wants to know if we have any roses left!"
Slapping your forehead against your computer monitor before Googling "last-minute Valentine's Day gifts in (insert your city)."
Smugly savoring a Necco Valentine candy, while other poor schlubs curse Hallmark.
Want some help avoiding the doghouse on this holiest of lovers' days? Go home early and present your sweetheart with a fresh, color-coordinated bouquet of organized financial files.
No, this is not a setup. While there may be more conventionally romantic ways to shower your loved one with proof of your everlasting devotion, roses and massage gift certificates expire a lot faster than do lovingly reconciled account statements and up-to-date files.
Here are some facts and figures about this beloved (and bemoaned) global celebration of affection and love.
Feeling the warm fuzzies for a special someone? Well, hang on to your cinnamon hearts; a new study by RateSupermarket.ca shows that there are actual monetary costs associated with falling in love.
The research, titled "What Is The Cost Of Love", crunches the expenses of an average one-year dating period, one-year engagement and the average Canadian wedding. As it turns out, the financial effects of Cupid's arrow go far beyond jewellry; the study includes casual bonding time, weekend getaways and nights on the town in addition to the bling.
You'll be shocked at the sticker price.
1. Take Stock, Make a Plan
First, you have to sit down and look at what you owe. Then you can consider how to pay back your debt as soon as possible, coming up with a realistic game plan to do so. This might mean reviewing your expenses. There are some you can't change like rent, but discretionary costs like eating out, clothing and vacations, you can hold off on until your debt is paid down. It's important to keep in mind if you drag out paying down debt, interest rates will cost you more in the long run.
Valentine's Day is looming, bringing a tidal wave of chocolate, roses, lingerie ... and rich revenues for the retail industry. In search of gifts that say more about the heart than the wallet, I asked DailyFinance's readers for their best tips for inexpensive but meaningful ways to express your love on Valentine's Day. Starting with their suggestions, I've compiled a list of ideas that can -- hopefully -- let you demonstrate your love without bruising your bank account.
In the interests of full disclosure, I should admit that, like many men, I can't stand Valentine's Day. I love Thanksgiving, get giddy around Christmas, eagerly anticipate Easter, and spend weeks preparing for Halloween. But when candy hearts go up in stores and flower prices go through the roof, my mood heads south.
Part of this has to do with the pressure of the day. For young men in freshly-minted relationships, Valentine's Day is a high-pressure exercise in blindly gauging their own feelings, as well as those of a potential significant other. And, not unlike the Grail scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the wrong choice can be deadly: A poorly thought out gift can kill a promising romance or -- possibly worse -- keep an ailing, better-off-dead relationship on life support far past its expiration date.
Either way, perils abound.