The Best Ways to Book Cheaper Hotel Rates – TripIt Blog #legian

#hotel cheap rates

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The Best Ways to Book Cheaper Hotel Rates

Don’t hotels always seem to account for the largest portion of your travel funds? They certainly do for me. Even if you’re not booking a 4- or 5-star property, a few days stay in a hotel can easily set you back $500, if not more. I like a nice hotel as much as the next person, but when I’m on a budget, I want to make sure I have enough after airfare and lodging to actually enjoy my trip: have good meals, go sightseeing, and buy some souvenirs for my loved ones.

After years of working in the travel industry and having lots of personal travel experience, I’ve learned a few tricks and tips on how to book cheaper hotel rates that I wanted to share. Be sure to share any tips you might have in the comments below.

Use a Metasearch Engine

The popularity of hotel metasearch engines is on the rise and for good reason: it’s one of the most efficient ways to find affordable accommodations. If you’re unfamiliar with this concept, a hotel metasearch engine is a website that searches multiple hotel booking sites at once. For example, instead of running a search on Expedia. Orbitz. Priceline. and the hotel’s website, you can use a metasearch engine to search multiple sites at once to see which provider offers the lowest rates and best value. Kayak. Hipmunk. Room 77. TripAdvisor. and Trivago are just a few of the options available.

Call the Hotel Directly

If you have a particular hotel in mind, calling the hotel directly can often result in better rates. Since you’re able to speak with someone in real time, the staff will often be privy to rates that aren’t advertised online or, at the very least, they ll be able to give you insight as to what s affecting hotel room pricing. Events like conferences, concerts, and conventions can cause hotel room prices to skyrocket, and of course, certain times of year, such as the holidays, will see more expensive rates. If I’m traveling and I’ve found out there’s an event causing hotel rooms in the city center to be more expensive, then I’ll research hotels away from the city center to find lower rates.

Note: Be sure to call the hotel directly and not the 800 number, where you’ll just be routed through central reservations and end up speaking to someone who isn’t onsite at the property.

Book Cancelable Rates

Room rates can fluctuate as quickly as minute to minute because a hotel s inventory is always changing. It’s simple supply and demand: the more people booking rooms at a hotel, the more the hotel can charge. One thing I like to do if I’m flexible with my hotel choice is to book a cancelable rate. It should be fairly obvious which rates are actually cancelable; there’s usually a call-out that states something like “FREE cancellation – PAY LATER,” as seen on Booking.com. I’ll book this rate (I plead though – double and triple check that it’s actually cancelable) and then monitor the price, as well as prices of nearby, comparable hotels. It may take a little bit of extra legwork, but this tactic has saved me as much as $100 per night.

Note: Not all hotels or providers offer cancelable rates. Look at a few different sites and properties to find a suitable hotel that provides a cancelable rate.

Book Last Minute

This is a trick best reserved for shorter trips, like romantic weekend getaways or impromptu get-togethers with friends in the city. I certainly wouldn’t advocate waiting till the last minute to book a hotel room for that expensive international trip you’ve been saving up for or leaving your lodging needs up to fate when there could be a major conference happening that results in a hotel room shortage. That being said, if you do a bit of research and are flexible, booking last minute can result in much cheaper rates. Last-minute booking apps like HotelTonight. which works with hotels to negotiate deep discounts on unsold rooms, are a great starting point, and many of the online booking sites, like Expedia and Priceline, have their own “Tonight” or “Deals Tonight” section.

Tip: Many sites offer last-minute deals sections, but are really just pulling the available inventory for the specified locale (not that this is a bad thing), as opposed to working with hotels to provide negotiated last-minute deals. Just be aware of this and shop around before committing to any last-minute deals.

Remember to use TripIt to organize all of your hotel confirmations (and any other trip confirmations) in one spot. You can also sign up for a free 30-day trial of TripIt Pro to try out premium features like alerts, alternate flights, seat tracker, point tracker, fare monitoring, and more.





Cheap Car Insurance #car #insurance, #auto #insurance, #cheap, #cheaper, #cheapest, #low #rates,


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About

We understand consumers often need the lowest price possible when it comes to choosing an auto insurance company. Our customers also want the right amount of coverage to keep their family safe and protected from life s unfortunate accidents.

At Cheap Car Insurance. we believe in having the best of both worlds — low rates, excellent coverage and local reps who are there every step of the way. This is what sets Cheap Car Insurance apart from our competition. And that’s what makes us the obvious choice when it comes to your car insurance needs.

Why We Exist

Extreme Savings

Our emphasis on red tape removal and streamlining translates to serious savings for our customers. In a world where corporate bloat is the inevitable outcome of mega-sized insurance companies, we focus on the exact opposite: making things easier and faster. When other companies are saying, How can we add another step to make things better? we are asking ourselves, How can we remove a step to make things better?

We also do not spend billions on advertising like some companies in attempts to attract every customer in the world because we prefer to pass those savings on to you and rely more heavily on our customers telling their friends about us. That s how good products should be sold.

Un-Corporate-Like Transparency

While other companies make empty promises about savings, we actually let our customers report them publicly for the world to see. Check out our Recent Savings chart to the left to view their unfiltered comments. True, not everyone saves money here, but most do.

We focus on improving the conversation with our customers, which has resulted in one of the highest satisfaction rating in the industry.

Personal Customer Service

We believe in providing exceptional customer service and we hope that your time on our site is always a first class experience. Our support work is never outsourced to other countries. We also only hire experienced reps who help us respond faster than most insurance companies.

If cheap car insurance is what you need, then you ve come to the right place.

The Cheap Car Insurance Commitment

We stand behind our commitment to do our best to get you the lowest auto insurance quotes online. Now it’s easier than ever to search and shop for cheap auto insurance quotes.

Furthermore, we know our customers want the right amount of coverage to help keep their family safe on the road. That’s why we emphasize on red tape removal and streamline processes to help find cheap full coverage car insurance rates and the cheapest insurance companies for our customers.

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This is pretty ridiculous considering the fact that: 1st, I had regularly asked my former insurance company for reviews and discounts; 2nd, I recently got a speeding ticket in a school zone (which I am a bit ashamed to say) just before I switched; and 3rd, that $1,100 savings was before I got an additional discount for bundling my home insurance on my policy (which is a lot lower now too).

Unfortunately, and surprisingly, 10 years of loyalty did not pay off for me, and was replaced by a 5 minute quote that will save me thousands down the road. In short, our family owns 3 cars, and my new rates are about half my old rates; so not bad for the little additional time it took to compare quotes and digitally sign a policy.

Obviously, not everyone will save nearly as much as I did, but it’s well worth your 5 minutes to find out, even if you end up only saving a few hundred dollars per year, potentially adding up to thousands over a couple years.”

Whether you need a free car insurance quote or are just shopping around, by filling out our easy-to-use form, we’ll find the best and cheapest full coverage car insurance options tailored to your insurance needs. At Cheap Car Insurance, we are the simplest and safest way to save money on your car insurance!

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Tell us how much you saved on your car insurance, and we might just feature your savings right here on our site along with our other top savers!


The Best Ways to Book Cheaper Hotel Rates – TripIt Blog #napa

#hotel cheap rates

#

The Best Ways to Book Cheaper Hotel Rates

Don’t hotels always seem to account for the largest portion of your travel funds? They certainly do for me. Even if you’re not booking a 4- or 5-star property, a few days stay in a hotel can easily set you back $500, if not more. I like a nice hotel as much as the next person, but when I’m on a budget, I want to make sure I have enough after airfare and lodging to actually enjoy my trip: have good meals, go sightseeing, and buy some souvenirs for my loved ones.

After years of working in the travel industry and having lots of personal travel experience, I’ve learned a few tricks and tips on how to book cheaper hotel rates that I wanted to share. Be sure to share any tips you might have in the comments below.

Use a Metasearch Engine

The popularity of hotel metasearch engines is on the rise and for good reason: it’s one of the most efficient ways to find affordable accommodations. If you’re unfamiliar with this concept, a hotel metasearch engine is a website that searches multiple hotel booking sites at once. For example, instead of running a search on Expedia. Orbitz. Priceline. and the hotel’s website, you can use a metasearch engine to search multiple sites at once to see which provider offers the lowest rates and best value. Kayak. Hipmunk. Room 77. TripAdvisor. and Trivago are just a few of the options available.

Call the Hotel Directly

If you have a particular hotel in mind, calling the hotel directly can often result in better rates. Since you’re able to speak with someone in real time, the staff will often be privy to rates that aren’t advertised online or, at the very least, they ll be able to give you insight as to what s affecting hotel room pricing. Events like conferences, concerts, and conventions can cause hotel room prices to skyrocket, and of course, certain times of year, such as the holidays, will see more expensive rates. If I’m traveling and I’ve found out there’s an event causing hotel rooms in the city center to be more expensive, then I’ll research hotels away from the city center to find lower rates.

Note: Be sure to call the hotel directly and not the 800 number, where you’ll just be routed through central reservations and end up speaking to someone who isn’t onsite at the property.

Book Cancelable Rates

Room rates can fluctuate as quickly as minute to minute because a hotel s inventory is always changing. It’s simple supply and demand: the more people booking rooms at a hotel, the more the hotel can charge. One thing I like to do if I’m flexible with my hotel choice is to book a cancelable rate. It should be fairly obvious which rates are actually cancelable; there’s usually a call-out that states something like “FREE cancellation – PAY LATER,” as seen on Booking.com. I’ll book this rate (I plead though – double and triple check that it’s actually cancelable) and then monitor the price, as well as prices of nearby, comparable hotels. It may take a little bit of extra legwork, but this tactic has saved me as much as $100 per night.

Note: Not all hotels or providers offer cancelable rates. Look at a few different sites and properties to find a suitable hotel that provides a cancelable rate.

Book Last Minute

This is a trick best reserved for shorter trips, like romantic weekend getaways or impromptu get-togethers with friends in the city. I certainly wouldn’t advocate waiting till the last minute to book a hotel room for that expensive international trip you’ve been saving up for or leaving your lodging needs up to fate when there could be a major conference happening that results in a hotel room shortage. That being said, if you do a bit of research and are flexible, booking last minute can result in much cheaper rates. Last-minute booking apps like HotelTonight. which works with hotels to negotiate deep discounts on unsold rooms, are a great starting point, and many of the online booking sites, like Expedia and Priceline, have their own “Tonight” or “Deals Tonight” section.

Tip: Many sites offer last-minute deals sections, but are really just pulling the available inventory for the specified locale (not that this is a bad thing), as opposed to working with hotels to provide negotiated last-minute deals. Just be aware of this and shop around before committing to any last-minute deals.

Remember to use TripIt to organize all of your hotel confirmations (and any other trip confirmations) in one spot. You can also sign up for a free 30-day trial of TripIt Pro to try out premium features like alerts, alternate flights, seat tracker, point tracker, fare monitoring, and more.





Best Thin Film Solar Panels – Amorphous, Cadmium Telluride or CIGS? Energy


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Best Thin Film Solar Panels – Amorphous, Cadmium Telluride or CIGS?

Thin film solar panels accounted for 11% of all solar panel sales in 2011. [1] Production capacity is expected to grow at an annual rate of 24%, reaching more than 22 GW by 2020 (or a global market share of 38% in terms module production). [2]

There are three primary types of thin film solar panels on the market today: Amorphous silicon (a-Si), cadmium telluride (CdTe) and copper indium gallium selenide (CIS/CIGS). In the overview chart below you can see their main characteristics:

Protocrystalline, nanocrystalline (nc-Si), black silicon, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSC) and other organic solar cells will not be covered in this article. These technologies still have a long way to go in research and development before they are ready for the market.

Amorphous silicon (a-Si), cadmium telluride (CdTe) and copper indium gallium selenide (CIS/CIGS) have several other benefits and downsides in addition to what you read in the chart above:

  • Significantly higher temperature resistance compared to crystalline-based solar panels.
  • Many thin-film modules are flexible, which greatly increases the number of potential applications (e.g. curved surfaces, building-integrated photovoltaics).
  • Better resistance against shading.
  • Lower efficiency rates mean you need a physically larger system for the same power output.
  • Installation costs goes up because you need to install more solar panels.
  • Thin film solar panels tend to degrade faster.
  • Silicon costs are declining and silicon-based solar panels (e.g. mono- and polycrystalline) are becoming more affordable.

Amorphous silicon (a-Si)

The first thin film solar cells were based on amorphous silicon. The technology is most commonly used in devices that require very little power (e.g. pocket calculators) because of low efficiency rates.

The future of larger-scale amorphous silicon solar panels does not look very bright: Sharp retired 160 out of their 320 MW production capacity in Japan earlier this year.

Optisolar, Signet Solar, Unisolar, and many other companies that were touting the amorphous technology are acquired, bankrupt or closed.

Energy Matters, one of the leading solar installers in Australia, recommend amorphous thin film solar panels for their customers in far North Queensland and the Northern Territory due to performance advantages in high temperatures (better heat resistance).

Cadmium Telluride (CdTe)

It’s all about First Solar when it comes to cadmium telluride solar panels. Abound Solar has declared bankruptcy and General Electric`s PrimeStar is failing. First Solar is the world-record holder for CdTe thin film module (14.4%) and cell (18.7%) efficiency, and backs their solar panels with a limited 25-year power output warranty. [5] The company is currently building a 230 MW solar power plant in Antelope Valley and looks to generate $0.8 billion to $1.0 billion of operating cash flow in 2013. [7]

In some situations, typically multi-kilowatt systems in higher temperatures, CdTe-based solar panels can beat mono- and polycrystalline solar panels in terms of costs.

There are, however, environmental issues with products that rely on cadmium – a heavy metal and potential carcinogen that can accumulate in plant and animal tissue. While the threat is minimal as long as the compound is contained within the solar panel, the disposal and recycling can be both dangerous and costly.

Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIS/CIGS)

Solyndra, MiaSolé, Nanosolar, AQT, Solopower and many more – the list of CIS/CIGS companies that have failed goes on and on. In the midst of distress sales and bankruptcies, the Japanese manufacturer Solar Frontier seems to be doing something right. The company recently built out a 1 GW factory and shipped 577 MW worth of solar panels in 2011.

The CIGS-technology might also see some success via Hanergy, a Chinese company that has gained a strong position in the thin film solar market through the acquisition of MiaSolé and Solibro.

In 2013, scientists at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, successfully created CIGS solar cells on flexible polymer foils with a new record efficiency of 20.4%. [3] This makes CIGS-based solar panels the highest performing thin film solar panels to date.

Also worth mentioning is that less of the toxic material cadmium is present in CIGS solar cells (compared to solar cells made out of cadmium telluride).

So, which thin film solar panel type is really the best? First of all, a mono- or polycrystalline solar panel is a better choice for the vast majority of homeowners. If you`re looking for a large-scale system, have the extra space required, and live in an area where the temperature is unusually high, thin film solar panels can make sense. If you want a flexible option, your options are amorphous silicon or CIGS.

The next step would be to predict long-term earnings and costs of specific solar modules. Go for a product that is backed up with a good performance guarantee/warranty.

If you want expert guidance to find out which solar panel is better in your situation, simply request a Free Solar Consultation .


The Best Ways to Book Cheaper Hotel Rates – TripIt Blog #budget

#hotel cheap rates

#

The Best Ways to Book Cheaper Hotel Rates

Don’t hotels always seem to account for the largest portion of your travel funds? They certainly do for me. Even if you’re not booking a 4- or 5-star property, a few days stay in a hotel can easily set you back $500, if not more. I like a nice hotel as much as the next person, but when I’m on a budget, I want to make sure I have enough after airfare and lodging to actually enjoy my trip: have good meals, go sightseeing, and buy some souvenirs for my loved ones.

After years of working in the travel industry and having lots of personal travel experience, I’ve learned a few tricks and tips on how to book cheaper hotel rates that I wanted to share. Be sure to share any tips you might have in the comments below.

Use a Metasearch Engine

The popularity of hotel metasearch engines is on the rise and for good reason: it’s one of the most efficient ways to find affordable accommodations. If you’re unfamiliar with this concept, a hotel metasearch engine is a website that searches multiple hotel booking sites at once. For example, instead of running a search on Expedia. Orbitz. Priceline. and the hotel’s website, you can use a metasearch engine to search multiple sites at once to see which provider offers the lowest rates and best value. Kayak. Hipmunk. Room 77. TripAdvisor. and Trivago are just a few of the options available.

Call the Hotel Directly

If you have a particular hotel in mind, calling the hotel directly can often result in better rates. Since you’re able to speak with someone in real time, the staff will often be privy to rates that aren’t advertised online or, at the very least, they ll be able to give you insight as to what s affecting hotel room pricing. Events like conferences, concerts, and conventions can cause hotel room prices to skyrocket, and of course, certain times of year, such as the holidays, will see more expensive rates. If I’m traveling and I’ve found out there’s an event causing hotel rooms in the city center to be more expensive, then I’ll research hotels away from the city center to find lower rates.

Note: Be sure to call the hotel directly and not the 800 number, where you’ll just be routed through central reservations and end up speaking to someone who isn’t onsite at the property.

Book Cancelable Rates

Room rates can fluctuate as quickly as minute to minute because a hotel s inventory is always changing. It’s simple supply and demand: the more people booking rooms at a hotel, the more the hotel can charge. One thing I like to do if I’m flexible with my hotel choice is to book a cancelable rate. It should be fairly obvious which rates are actually cancelable; there’s usually a call-out that states something like “FREE cancellation – PAY LATER,” as seen on Booking.com. I’ll book this rate (I plead though – double and triple check that it’s actually cancelable) and then monitor the price, as well as prices of nearby, comparable hotels. It may take a little bit of extra legwork, but this tactic has saved me as much as $100 per night.

Note: Not all hotels or providers offer cancelable rates. Look at a few different sites and properties to find a suitable hotel that provides a cancelable rate.

Book Last Minute

This is a trick best reserved for shorter trips, like romantic weekend getaways or impromptu get-togethers with friends in the city. I certainly wouldn’t advocate waiting till the last minute to book a hotel room for that expensive international trip you’ve been saving up for or leaving your lodging needs up to fate when there could be a major conference happening that results in a hotel room shortage. That being said, if you do a bit of research and are flexible, booking last minute can result in much cheaper rates. Last-minute booking apps like HotelTonight. which works with hotels to negotiate deep discounts on unsold rooms, are a great starting point, and many of the online booking sites, like Expedia and Priceline, have their own “Tonight” or “Deals Tonight” section.

Tip: Many sites offer last-minute deals sections, but are really just pulling the available inventory for the specified locale (not that this is a bad thing), as opposed to working with hotels to provide negotiated last-minute deals. Just be aware of this and shop around before committing to any last-minute deals.

Remember to use TripIt to organize all of your hotel confirmations (and any other trip confirmations) in one spot. You can also sign up for a free 30-day trial of TripIt Pro to try out premium features like alerts, alternate flights, seat tracker, point tracker, fare monitoring, and more.