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4 Unique Benefits of Hiring a Travel Agent

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Benefits When Hiring a Travel Agent

If you have the time and ability to plan your vacation, go for it. Some folks love browsing the internet for top-pick vacation destinations and researching flight deals and hotel reviews.

But if logistics and scheduling aren’t your strong suits, leave it to a pro. As conventional wisdom teaches us: always outsource your weaknesses.

You may be wondering what a travel agent can do that you can’t do on your own. Here are four unique benefits of hiring a travel agent that you won’t get doing it alone:

1. Save time and headaches

Saving money is important, but sometimes saving yourself time and hassle is more important. There is a lot to figure out when planning a vacation, especially if you have kids.

You need to pick out clothing, probably clean them, fold them, change your mind about them, unpack them, and repack them again. Now repeat that process with your kids.

You’ll have to text some friends to see if they can pet-sit and house-sit for you while you’re gone. Don’t forget to make arrangements at work while you’re absent, like changing your work voicemail.

On top of all of that, you need to figure out a destination that suits everyone’s needs. Then research flights, hotels, and plan your daily schedule for your vacation.

Travel agents can save you tons of time that you can spend on other important details. They can also save you the hassle of choosing a good destination and do the legwork of getting you there on your budget.

2. Suggestions for destinations

Experienced travel agents have helped hundreds of people like you get to places all over the world. On top of that, they receive detailed reviews of all these destinations.

That means they can match your desires with a perfect vacation destination.

They know which beaches are clean and uncrowded and what’s the best time of year to visit them. They know the best resorts for skiing and which cities have the best tourist attractions.

You can tell your agent what you’re looking for in a vacation. And they can give you a perfect suggestion that fits your needs, whether you want to go camping in the deep mountains or give your kids a fun-filled adventure at an amusement park.

In one regard it’s fun to use a travel agent. This is someone you can geek out with about vacation details. Researching on a computer at home is fun, but it’s even more exciting talking to a professional who shares your passion.

3. Insider knowledge and deals

Over the years, travel agents have built key relationships and knowledge within their industry. They know which airlines are the cheapest and friendliest. They know which hotels have great customer service and how close they are to tourist sites.

Travel agents also have access to deals and perks that most people do not. They can waive fees, get room upgrades, and get reservations at coveted resorts and tours. Sometimes they have credits with resorts that you can use towards the spa or for food.

In some cases hiring a travel agent can pay for itself.

4. Additional help when on vacation

Not only do travel agents help plan your vacation, but they also provide on-call assistance when you run into trouble. Sometimes flights are canceled or hotel bookings don’t work out.

Lucky for you, an expert is only one call away. Travel agents can quickly find another flight for you or a hotel room replacement. Even if you don’t use this additional service, knowing it’s available can bring peace of mind.

A separate but related option is travel insurance. You can insure your vacation through your agent. This way if your child becomes ill at the last second and you have to cancel your $1,500 vacation, it’s insured.

Vacationing is about relaxing

The whole purpose of going on a vacation is to relax. Researching flight options and reading hotel reviews can feel more like work than relaxing.

Travel agents take out the headache and work of planning for a vacation. Why not spend some money to make your vacation smooth and frustration-free?

Treat yourself to a vacation and a travel agent.

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Lifestyle

STUDY: Being Wealthy Adds 9 More Healthy Years to Your Life

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STUDY Being Wealthy Adds 9 More Healthy Years to Your Life
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By Amelia Hill

Being wealthy adds nine years to healthy life expectancy: a life free from disability and pain, according to transatlantic research.

The 10-year study, conducted across the UK and US, looked at all the social and economic factors behind the reasons why people sink into ill-health as they age.

“We found that socio-economic inequalities in disability-free life expectancy were similar across all ages in England and the US but the biggest socio-economic advantage in both countries and across all age groups was wealth,” said Dr Paola Zaninotto, a professor in epidemiology and healthcare at University College London, which led the research.

Published on Tuesday in the Journal of Gerontology, the data from 10,754 UK adults aged 50 and older, and 14,803 US adults over 50, examined how long people can expect to live free from disabilities and to what extent socio-economic factors play a part.

The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing and the US Health and Retirement Study both found that while life expectancy is a useful indicator of health, the quality of life as we age is crucial to determining our health.

“By measuring healthy life expectancy we can get an estimate of the number of years of life spent in favourable states of health or without disability,” said Zaninotto.

“We know that improving both the quality and the quantity of years that individuals are expected to live has implications for public expenditure on health, income, long-term care of older people and work participation and our results suggest that policy makers in both England and the US must make greater efforts into reducing health inequalities,” she added.

In both countries people in the study were divided into groups based on total household wealth. Comparisons were made between the richest and least wealthy groups.

The paper shows that at 50 the wealthiest men in England and the US lived about an additional 31 healthy years, compared with about 22 to 23 years for those in the poorest wealth groups.

Women from the wealthiest groups from the US and England lived around an additional 33 “healthy” years, compared with 24.6 and 24 years from the poorest wealth groups in England the US respectively.

Recent ONS statistics also showed that those aged 65 are seeing their healthy life expectancy increase: since 2009, men in England and Wales aged 65 have gained 31.5 weeks of life and 33.5 weeks of healthy life. Women of the same age have gained 17.4 weeks of life and 23.3 weeks of healthy life over the same period.

But the data also revealed that children born today are likely to spend a larger proportion of their lives in poor health than their grandparents.

They will also benefit from substantially smaller increases in their life expectancy than those born a few years earlier, in the first decade of the 21st century.

In contrast, the proportion of life expected to be spent in good health in the UK has decreased between 2009-11 and 2016-18, from 79.9% to 79.5% for males and from 77.4% to 76.7% for females.

This article’s headline was amended on 20 January 2020 to more accurately reflect the content of the article.
Copyright © 2020 theguardian.com. All rights reserved.

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Economy

STUDY: Number of Billionaires Doubles in Last Decade

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Number of Billionaires Doubles in Last Decade
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The number of billionaires has doubled in the past decade and the world’s wealthiest 2,153 people controlled more money than the poorest 4.6 billion combined last year, the charity Oxfam said Monday.

Meanwhile, unpaid or underpaid work by women and girls adds three times more to the world’s economy each year at least $10.8 trillion than the technology industry, the Nairobi-based charity said in its “Time to Care” report.

Women around the world work 12.5 billion hours combined each day without any pay or recognition, while the world’s 22 richest men have more wealth than all the women in Africa.

“It is important for us to underscore that the hidden engine of the economy that we see is really the unpaid care work of women. And that needs to change,” Amitabh Behar, CEO of Oxfam India, told Reuters.

“Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist,” Behar said ahead of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, where he will represent Oxfam beginning Tuesday.

“Women and girls are among those who benefit least from today’s economic system,” he added.

There will be at least 119 billionaires worth about $500 billion attending Davos this year, according to Bloomberg, with the highest contingents coming from the US, India and Russia.

“The very top of the economic pyramid sees trillions of dollars of wealth in the hands of a very small group of people, predominantly men,” the Oxfam report said.

“Their wealth is already extreme, and our broken economy concentrates more and more wealth into these few hands,” it said.

To highlight the inequality, Behar cited the case of a woman called Buchu Devi in India who spends up to 17 hours a day walking almost two miles to fetch water, cooking, preparing her kids for school and working in a poorly paid job.

“And on the one hand you see the billionaires who are all assembling at Davos with their personal planes, personal jets, super rich lifestyles,” he said.

“This Buchu Devi is not one person. I in India encounter these women on a daily basis, and this is the story across the world. We need to change this, and certainly end this billionaire boom.”

Behar said that to remedy the problem, governments should make sure above all that the rich pay their taxes, which should be used to pay for amenities such as clean water, health care and better schools.

“If you just look around the world, more than 30 countries are seeing protests. People are on the street and what are they saying? That they are not to accept this inequality, they are not going to live with these kind of conditions,” he said.

Source: New York Post
Vanguard News

(c) 2020 2019 Vanguard Media Limited, Nigeria Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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Lifestyle

New Book Explores What Being a Man Means in 2020

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Destin Gerek The Evolved Masculine
The Evolved Masculine (Photo: PR Newswire)

Written by Destin Gerek, an internationally recognized expert on masculinity and male sexuality, The Evolved Masculine helps men navigate perilous times.

In the decade that just ended, once-powerful men such as Roger Ailes, Harvey Weinstein and the late Jeffrey Epstein toppled from their lofty positions after the toxic way they treated women became public. At the same time, women spoke out and continued to make inroads into politics and other traditionally male preserves.

Destin Gerek: The Evolved Masculine

And while this may be unsettling for some men, it is a good thing, notes Destin Gerek, an internationally recognized expert on masculinity, male sexuality and male empowerment. As he points out in his new book, The Evolved Masculine: Be The Man The World Needs & The One She Craves (Archetypal Publishing), “We are living in a time in which notions of masculinity and femininity and the roles of men and women are being questioned and have become more fluid than ever before. … Increasingly powerful women have necessitated men to rethink their own role: These radical changes have become increasingly uncomfortable for us as men. They have forced us to look within, reassess our own outdated programming, and evolve our understanding of masculinity and what it means to be a man.”

Gerek’s book aims to fill that void even as it chronicles his own transformative search for the answers to what is masculinity, what is the beauty and good in it, and what qualities and values it adds to men’s lives.

Gerek has been featured in Entrepreneur, Details, the Associated Press, and the San Francisco Chronicle, and on Showtime and Playboy Radio, among others.

In an interview, he can discuss:

  • What does it mean to be a good man in 2020?
  • Why does he say that recreating the world to allow for women and the feminine to flourish doesn’t need to be at the expense of men?
  • How can men cope with the confusing and conflicting messages that surround them?
  • What did he learn from creating his Erotic Rockstar avatar than led him to a seemingly endless stream of lovers in over two dozen countries?
  • How can men unleash their sexuality without becoming “one of those guys” women despise?
  • What are some of the concepts he promotes that challenge what we have been taught to believe?

Praise for The Evolved Masculine

“Destin Gerek is THE most informed and skillful educator of conscious masculinity today. During a daunting era for the modern man, he fearlessly leads them out of confusion and into clarity, power, and purpose. His wisdom is the guidance every man should have if he wants to play a bigger game.” – Eva Clay, LCSW, clinical sexologist and founder of the Institute of Intimacy Arts

“This book takes real risks. Destin plumbs the depths of his own story (and psyche) to offer a path to any person ready for reinvention. … The Evolved Masculine turns the idea of authenticity on its head, and arrives, surprisingly, at a place of vulnerable and authentic being for men.” – Boysen Hodgson communications director, ManKind Project USA

“I could hardly put it down. … I feel greater understanding and compassion for men as a result of reading The Evolved Masculine.”– KC Baker, founder, WomanSpeak, Inc.

About the Author

Destin Gerek is a globally recognized leading voice in masculinity, sexuality, and personal empowerment. He is founder and CEO of The Evolved Masculine, a pioneering coaching and training company for men and an international speaker and hosts a podcast by the same name.

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