Spring Break Travel Tips

Spring Break Travel Tips

It’s almost time to take a break away from the wintry weather and embark on sping break travel where the temperatures are warm, the beaches are beautiful and your time is your own.

Thank goodness! Spring break travel offers a great escape from your routine and a chance to have some fun. People head to Florida, the Caribbean, California and other warm-weather spots. It beats shoveling snow another week and wearing layers of clothes.

When making spring break plans, it’s important to keep some common-sense tips in mind. They include the following.

Choose the Right Spot

College students leaving town for spring break have different travel needs than those booking a family vacation. Make sure to check out the places you are considering through online forums and websites. Find the one that suits what you are looking for – only you know what kind of spring break you need.

Travel Advisories

If you plan to leave the country, then the U.S. Department of State website is a must. The federal government offers updated information on potential dangers in traveling to different countries. The countries are ranked by levels, with Level 1 meaning “exercise normal precautions” (this includes most countries) and Level 4 meaning “do not travel” (Afghanistan).  A color-coded map on the site gives you a chance to quickly see if a country is safe to visit.

Travel Budget

You need one. Then, you need to stick to one. A budget works best if you set it before you pick a spot to visit for spring break. That way, you won’t set your sights on going somewhere that you cannot afford. Once the budget is set, look for places to visit that fit within your budget. Don’t forget to include airfare, car rentals, hotels, food and souvenirs. You don’t want to blow your spring break travel budget for the entire year on spring break. You will regret it come summer.

Look For Spring Break Travel Deals

Once you have your budget and destination in place, look for deals. The travel and leisure industry is very competitive and they know all the spring break places people want to visit. Many hotels will offer great deals to beat out the competition. Look for deals early and you can save a lot of cash on your trip.

Make A Plan for Emergencies

Many people do not take the time to plan for what happens if you get hurt on vacation. You’ll want to have the right kind of insurance for your trip. You also want to have emergency numbers for where you are going and pack all medications and supplies you need. It’s also a smart move to have contract information for non-emergency medical transport in case you need help getting back home. Experts in NEMT can bring you back safely even if you are in a foreign country.

Pack What You Need

This applies to families especially. Don’t wait to buy sunglasses, flip flops and t-shirts when you arrive at your spring break spot. Instead, buy what you can before you leave and pack it for the flight. You will save a lot of money by not waiting. That said, don’t pack more than you need. Spring break is one of those times when you want to travel light. Keeping these tips in mind can make your spring break trip that much better. Plan early, save money and take steps to make sure you and your family are safe. That way, you can spend more time doing what you are supposed to do on spring break – have fun!

How Can Baby Boomers Plan For The Worst?

How Can Baby Boomers Plan For The Worst?

The generation that gave us “flower power” as teenagers is now entering their golden years. While healthier than those who came before, Baby Boomers still need plans in place to manage potential problems with personal finances, medical transport, insurance and what happens when they are gone.

Baby Boomers are the generation born between 1946 and 1964. With 76 million people, they represent about 29% of the country’s population.

The generation is so big they have tilted the United States population older. The U.S. Census Bureau reports 15% of all Americans were over 65 in 2015. That number is expected to reach 25% by 2060.

Baby Boomer Tips

Baby Boomers should keep the following in mind when planning for the worst. Smart plans can help them avoid the worst results when life throws them a hard curve ball. The following four areas rank among the most frequent causes for concern.

Personal Finances

Baby Boomers enjoy great medical care. Many live healthy lifestyles. That’s why they are expected to outlive previous generations. That’s the great news! But that also means they will need their money to last longer.

About 10,000 Baby Boomers retire every day. Saving early is the best way to feather the retirement nest. If that is not an option, some seniors become consultants or work part-time. Another good move is to own a home in a low-cost area, rather than renting in a major city. Many Baby Boomers also benefit by downsizing their lifestyle as seniors. Less really is more.

Medical Transport

Older Baby Boomers may need transport for medical procedures or operations. Others enjoy traveling with medical experts on long vacations for security and support. Choosing a reliable and trusted non-emergency medical transport company (NEMT) is a smart move. Experienced NEMT nurses handle all medical needs while flying on a commercial airline. They also can book all travel plans.

Insuring Against Disaster

Car accidents. Health issues. Natural disasters. All cause personal injury and financial headaches. Baby Boomers should have insurance in place that supports them if these events occur. That means health, home and automobile insurance. Experts project senior couples face $275,000 in health care costs alone. They need to take steps to prevent bad events from becoming huge financial setbacks.

What Happens When You’re Gone?

As they enter their senior years, Baby Boomers should take time to write a will. They also should consider life insurance that helps loved ones continue once they are gone. Another smart step is to choose someone to make decisions if you become disabled and cannot make them on your own. These are weighty issues. But responsible Baby Boomers take them on. It not only helps them lead better lives but supports their loved ones. Those are two good reasons to plan for the worst.

How Do You Relocate Your Parents and Love Ones?

How Do You Relocate Your Parents and Love Ones?

Moving loved ones or choosing to relocate your parents is never an easy task. There are ways to make it go more smoothly, including good communication, making a detailed plan, choosing what type of living arrangement best suits them and hiring professional help.

Nothing will make the process perfect. While the tips below will help, it’s perhaps most important to remember why you are doing this in the first place: out of love and caring. That can help you maintain a positive attitude, which will benefit you and your loved ones more than anything else.

Open Communication

As much as you do not want to talk to aging parents and loved ones about the need to relocate, they want to talk about it even less. However, situations reach the point where they no longer can live on their own or in their current house (usually a large one they’ve been in for years).

An important point to keep in mind in starting these difficult conversations is to have them while your parents are still independent enough to adapt to new situations and make new friends. One mistake is waiting too long when they no longer can make these changes easily or at all.

Choosing Where To Relocate Parents

Relocation can mean many different things. It’s important to have conversations about what would work best for them – and possibly you. It can include moving them to a home closer to where you live. It also can mean moving them into a care facility, also possibly near where you live. In some cases, it might mean moving in with someone else (including you). The important issue is to decide what is best early on and stick with it.

Making a Plan

This includes not only the living arrangement decision mentioned above but also every detail of the move itself. The earlier you start the plan to relocate your parents, the better. Putting it off does not help. Plan on when you will handle issues such as cleaning out the home of things that can be thrown out or given away and packing what will be taken, Take a “room by room” attitude. The sooner you start and get everyone involved, the better.

Hiring Professional Relocation Services

In many cases, it can be best to hire professional movers who can help relocate your parent’s belongings. It also is beneficial to look into charities that will come and get many of the items you wish to throw away.

This also applies to transporting your parents. Services such as Flying Angels can handle all the arrangements for traveling with elderly parents and loved ones, ensuring they have the smoothest and safest trip possible to their new destination. That includes both arranging transportation with airlines and providing an experienced nurse to travel with them during their flight.

These ideas can help with making the relocation of loved ones and parents go more smoothly. Keep them in mind as you enter this difficult period. And don’t forget the positive attitude and end goal – getting them to a place where they will have a happier, healthier life.

Air Ambulance Costs Double, Leave Patients With Massive Medical Bills

Air Ambulance Costs Double, Leave Patients With Massive Medical Bills

Air ambulances are often credited with saving patients’ lives because they quickly transport them to a hospital for medical treatment. However, air ambulances are increasingly leaving patients with staggering medical bills they cannot pay.

Recent cases have shown patients receiving bills of $45,000 and $54,000. Some have run as high as $533,000. Insurance typically covers only a fraction of the cost.

Air ambulances have become so costly that state lawmakers in Virginia have passed a new law that will give people a choice between getting transported by air ambulance or waiting for a regular ambulance.

It’s important to note that air ambulance is a different service than the non-emergency medical transport offered by companies such as Flying Angels.

Judge Left With $41,000 Air Ambulance Bill

Judge Sonna Anderson from Bismarck, ND., was thrown from her horse in September 2017. The 60-year-old lost consciousness and broke three ribs. She was brought to a hospital via air ambulance, according to CNN.

Anderson told CNN that her husband repeatedly asked why an air ambulance helicopter was necessary. A regular ambulance could have gotten her to a hospital less than an hour away. But he was told the air ambulance was necessary – although he was never told why and the official record gives no reason, according to CNN.

Anderson ended up with a $54,727.26 bill. Her insurance company paid $13,697.73, leaving her to come up with $41,029.53. Anderson told CNN the air ambulance crew had spent about 45 minutes with her and the price “shocked me…I wrote [the air ambulance company] a letter telling them that I thought it was all outrageous.”

A Worsening Problem

What happened to Anderson is becoming well known because she talked with CNN. But in looking into the cost of air ambulances around the country, CNN found it’s an issue that is drawing complaints everywhere.

They also found some bills reached as high as $533,000.

The issue has become more well-known as more air ambulance helicopters take flight. There are now about 900 helicopters operating as air ambulances in the United States, according to Bloomberg. They make more than 300,000 flights per year.

The business news service also reported that the average charge to Medicaid for air ambulance flights doubled between 2010 and 2014, from $14,000 to $30,000.

Bloomberg reported on a story similar to Anderson’s. A small child suffering from an apparent encephalitis attack and with a fever of 107 degrees was flown from a small town in West Virginia to a hospital 76 miles away.

The parents were hit with a $45,930 charge for the flight. Insurance covered only $6,704.

The mother told Bloomberg: “I was angry, and I felt like we were being taken advantage of.”

Lawsuits and Government Action

The parents of the child in West Virginia have sued the air ambulance company. The company has defended its charges.

Because federal law treats air ambulances like air carriers – just like Southwest or Delta – there are few restrictions on what they charge.

Virginia lawmakers are trying to help mitigate the problem by giving patients the right to choose a ground ambulance over an air ambulance if their injuries are not found severe enough to require a medical flight.

The law goes into effect in March 2019. It applies both to Virginians and anyone who is visiting the state and has a medical emergency.

What is Paratransit?

What is Paratransit?

Paratransit is a term that refers to transportation services for the elderly, disabled and others who cannot use regular transportation services. Usually associated as a supplement to public transportation services, it also applies to fee-for-service companies that provide Non-Emergency Medical Transport (NEMT).

In either case, paratransit provides critical services to those who can’t drive themselves or ride on regular transportation. Paratransit can include special buses that run individualized routes rather than picking up riders at a set stop. In NEMT, it can include providing transportation planning and medical services for those with disabilities or chronic conditions who wish to pay for such services.

The Roots of Paratransit

The 1973 Rehabilitation Act passed by Congress prohibited anyone from being excluded from public services that receive federal funds. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) expanded that to include any service that receives funds from the federal, state or local level.

This includes transportation services. The idea is to provide services for those who cannot use fixed-schedule rail or bus services.

Most public paratransit companies are companies that contract with the government to provide transportation services to the disabled. They are typically offered only in places where there is a public bus or rail service.

Features of public paratransit services include being “demand responsive,” meaning an individual can call and receive service at the best times for them – typically within a window of one hour before or one hour after the requested time.

Most paratransit vehicles carry more than one person. Also, the eligibility rules are set at the local level.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility requirements can be different in different areas. However, the federal https://tramadolmain.com government has three general criteria for determining who is eligible for ADA paratransit. They are included in a report funded by the Federal Transit Administration.

  • A person who cannot navigate the transit system without assistance
  • A person living where existing transportation routes are not accessible
  • A “reasonable person” with a disability who is deterred from making a trip because of obstacles involved with public transportation (such as a long walk to the bus stop)
  • People can qualify for unconditional eligibility (paratransit needed for all trips), conditional eligibility (paratransit needed for some trips) and temporary eligibility (paratransit needed for just a brief period of time).

NEMT Transportation

There are other options that are not free for people who need support and medical services when they fly.

NEMT provides a solution for those who cannot use public transportation on their own, particularly when it comes to air travel. This is not to be confused, however, with free public transportation services offered through government agencies and their contractors.

A NEMT company is hired by an individual with a disability, debilitating injury or chronic medical condition that makes unattended air travel impossible. The company helps them make their travel plans, including making arrangements in advance with airports and airlines for assistance in moving through the airport and onto a plane.

Once on their trip, clients travel with experienced, trained nurses who manage their medications and ensure they remain healthy and safe during the trip.

Both public paratransit and NEMT provide critical needs to those who otherwise could not travel on their own. They are important assets in the nation’s transportation system.

What is TSA Precheck and What Are The Benefits?

What is TSA Precheck and What Are The Benefits?

TSA Precheck allows select travelers to quickly move through airport security without having to remove shoes, liquids, belts, laptops and light jackets. You must pay an $85 application fee. Those eligible for the program include U.S. citizens, foreigners who meet certain criteria and those without convictions for certain crimes.

More than 7 million travelers have enrolled in TSA Precheck. The average waiting time in security for 93% of those travelers is less than five minutes. Here are more details on the TSA Precheck program, including the benefits, eligibility requirements and how to apply.

The Benefits of TSA Precheck

Airport security lines can cause lengthy delays for many travelers. Those who choose to go through the process of TSA Precheck allow the federal government to thoroughly vet them. If they are deemed low-risk travelers, they may be allowed to enroll in the program.

The most obvious benefit is getting separated into a different line and moving fast through security. TSA Precheck travelers do not have to stop and remove their shoes, belts or light jackets. They also do not have to take out and separate their laptops, liquids or gel products from the rest of their baggage for screening.

It’s a big benefit for any traveler offered through the U.S. Transportation Security Agency (TSA). It can especially benefit business and other frequent travelers, as well as disabled passengers. More than 200 airports and 56 airlines in the United States accommodate those enrolled in TSA Precheck, according to the TSA site.

Eligibility Requirements for TSA Precheck

TSA Precheck status is ideal for domestic travel. All U.S. citizens are eligible. So are those born in foreign countries who have become a Lawful Permanent Resident of the U.S.

Foreign travelers and U.S. citizens who frequently travel to other countries will want to look into three “trusted traveler” programs offered through the Department of Homeland Security before applying for TSA Precheck. They are:

  • Global Entry. Ideal for those arriving in the United States from international destinations.
  • NEXUS. Ideal for those who frequently travel between the U.S. and Canada
  • SENTRI. Ideal for those who frequently travel by ground vehicle or walking between the U.S. and Mexico

In the case of Global Entry and NEXUS, enrollment in TSA precheck is one of the benefits http://tadalafiltablets.net once you are approved for the program.

Disqualifying Criminal Offenses

The TSA provides a long list of criminal convictions that permanently disqualify passengers from eligibility for TSA Precheck. They include espionage, sedition, treason, crimes of terrorism, improper transportation of hazardous materials and unlawful possession of explosives.

Other crimes can disqualify travelers if they were convicted, pled guilty or found not guilty by reason of insanity within seven years of the date of application. These crimes include unlawful possession of firearms, extortion, bribery, smuggling, immigration violations, arson, kidnapping, and rape.

Keep in mind that the TSA can still not approve you for the program if they find something in your criminal history as part of your security threat assessment (such as extensive criminal convictions or long incarceration periods).

How to Apply for TSA Precheck

If you meet the eligibility requirements and do not have disqualifying criminal offenses on your record, then you may apply for TSA Precheck. The process is as follows.

  • Fill out an online application available on the TSA site and submit an $85 application fee ($100 for foreign residents)
  • Some credit card companies and loyalty programs may cover all or part of your TSA Precheck fee.
  • Some airlines also allow those with points or frequent flier miles to use them for TSA Precheck. Such promotions usually are temporary, so check with your individual airline
  • Part of the application is allowing TSA to do a thorough background check on you
  • Applicants then must make an appointment at an enrollment center and meet in person for an assessment. These usually take about 10 minutes
  • To find an enrollment center near you, use this search function from the government

Once approved, you will receive a PASS ID number that can be used when booking flights. Members of the Armed Forces can also use their DOD ID number. The fact you are in TSA Precheck will appear on your boarding pass.

TSA Precheck offers great benefits for those who are eligible, which is why more than 7 million have entered the program. If you think it can improve your travel experience, it’s well worth your consideration if you are eligible.