Consumer Real Estate News

    • Make Sense of Your Travel Preferences

      24 May 2019

      (Family Features)--Seasoned travelers know that no two trips are exactly the same, even when revisiting the same location. The weather changes, your personal life and perspective evolve and any combination of factors makes each experience unique. However, if you're like most travelers, your preferences guide your journeys no matter how far you venture from home.

      According to a survey of American travelers from vacation rental app and website Vrbo, people are united by a common desire to travel with friends and family. In fact, 52 percent of respondents said a family vacation is their reason for travel in 2019, and more people said they will travel with a group of four or more this year than last year. That's where the generational similarities end, however.

      Determining where to go and what you'll do depends quite a bit on your age. Your stage of life significantly impacts the places you dream about visiting, the reasons you travel and what you look for when you get there, according to the survey.

      What to look for in a destination

      Your definition of a dream vacation is likely to shift along with variables like your life stage, income and available free time. Limitations in any of those areas may make a certain destination a far-off dream during one stage of life but an attainable retreat during another.

      The disparity between dream and reality signals that barriers of time and money are the deciding factors for whether Americans will take that dream vacation. This holds true for every age group, although millennials (37 percent) are more likely to go into debt for travel than Generation Xers (27 percent) and baby boomers (15 percent).

      Reasons for traveling

      Relaxation is a primary reason for traveling, which can help you disconnect from the stress of daily life and reconnect with family and friends. Whether it's curiosity or a much-anticipated trip to celebrate a special occasion with a family member, many trips have a specific purpose. Understanding why you want to travel can make it much easier to plan.

      Although younger travelers are most likely to make exploration a priority on their journeys, the Vrbo survey revealed that travel isn't always about adventure, as 20 percent of travelers ages 35-54 are likely to travel for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary. In addition, only 6 percent of baby boomers said they would travel for a hobby or activity like skiing, surfing or hiking, compared with 23 percent of millennial respondents.

      Amenities that matter

      The amenities you can access during your getaway may vary greatly depending on where you go and the type of trip you plan. From electronics and fully stocked kitchens to swimming pools and pet-friendly features, plenty of options are available to help ensure your perfect vacation lodging includes all the amenities you require.  

      If you're like most travelers, keeping connected is a major requirement. In fact, 75 percent of respondents listed access to the internet via WiFi as an important amenity when traveling, outranking traditional must-haves like TV and air-conditioning, according to the survey.

      Amenities like WiFi aside, accommodation preferences reflect the starkest generational differences among American travelers. Millennials (71 percent) are most likely to consider unique lodging options such as boats or treehouses. They also represent the age group most likely to take into account design and architecture when choosing a place to stay. Generation Xers voiced the strongest preference for having ample space for everyone in the party. For baby boomers, more than other age groups, noise level is important when selecting lodging.

      Source: Vrbo

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Crowd Safety for the Summer Season

      24 May 2019

      Heading to an amusement park, concert, beach party or other crowded locale this summer? Large crowds can create major safety issues,  the Red Cross has safety steps to follow:

      - Have a few different methods to communicate – cell phone, tablet, calling card for a landline phone. Stay with the group – don't go off alone. All adults should have a cell phone and exchange numbers with the others in the group. Plan where to meet should someone become separated.

      - Find out what is allowed when it comes to items such as coolers, backpacks, etc. to avoid having to throw them away.

      - Dress appropriately and in layers to be ready for any change in the weather. Stay hydrated. Apply sunscreen regularly.

      - Watch the weather and seek shelter if any severe weather warnings are issued. Know where the exits and shelters are.

      - Be on the lookout for suspicious activity and don't be afraid to report suspicious people or packages.Source: Red Cross

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How Safe Are Your Tires?

      24 May 2019

      Vehicle safety should be top of mind for all drivers. In addition to keeping your car well tuned, you should be inspecting your tires regularly.

      "Your tires are the most important part of your vehicle as they determine how your car handles, brakes and performs – especially when inclement weather becomes a variable," says Todd Walker, spokesperson for Hankook Tire America Corp.  In order to ensure that your vehicle is in prime driving condition, here are five tips from Hankook Tire for tire safety:

      Check the tire pressure. Tire inflation has a direct impact on driver safety and performance, so it should be effectively maintained to ensure optimized driving, tire life and mileage. Tire pressure can decrease by one psi a month, and inflation can also fluctuate with the outside temperature. Check the tire pressure before every road trip or at least monthly. The optimum air pressure level for tires can be found on the inner side of the car door, inside the fuel cap or in the car manual. Before using an air pressure gauge to check the pressure levels, the vehicle should be inactive for at least three hours.

      Over-inflated tires can result in excessive tread wear and can make the tires more vulnerable to road hazards such as potholes and road debris. Underinflated tires often result in decreased performance, lower fuel economy and shortened tire life.

      Monitor tire tread. Tire treads determine how much traction a vehicle will have in variable road conditions. As a car drives, tread length is gradually worn down by road friction and eventually requires replacement, which underscores the need for consistent monitoring. Ideal traction starts with healthy tread wear, as the deeper the groove (or tread), the better the tire grips the road. To determine if a tire's tread is too worn, simply take a penny and insert it heads-down into the tread of the tire. If Lincoln's head is visible, it's time for a new tire.

      Watch for wear and tear. While checking the tread, be sure to also inspect for bumps, bruises or other visible damage to the tires that could impact driving performance and tire pressure levels. A bulge or bubble on a tire's sidewall is not easy to spot, but can indicate an air leak or tire defect, which can have a significant impact on performance and safety. If there is a defect, replace the tire with a size that matches the driver's vehicle, driving style and geographic location.

      Schedule rotation and alignment checks. Periodic tire rotation and alignment checks are lesser-known, but important habits for tire care and safety. Due to the different weight distributions over a car's front and rear axles, tires will wear differently over time. The practice of rotating tires ensures even tire wear and alignment, and maximizes tire life span. Hankook recommends rotating tires every six months or 6,000-8,000 miles and ensuring that wheel alignment checks are part of annual inspections, or conducted every 12,000 miles. Proper wheel alignment helps prevent vibration, skidding and road noise, and regular rotation prevents abnormal tread wear, both of which can help maximize the life of the tires and the driver's investment.  

      Check for air in the spare. Don't take having a spare tire for granted. A recent Hankook Gauge Index survey revealed that 29 percent of Americans never check their spare tire's air pressure, which can create a larger issue if the time comes to perform a roadside tire change. To locate the tire's recommended PSI, check the driver's side door jamb or owner's manual. Drivers who end up on the side of the road with a flat tire will be thankful they checked their spare before leaving the driveway.

      Source: Hankook Tire America Corp.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 6 Cool Gift Ideas for College Grads Headed to Work

      23 May 2019

      They are marking a milestone, this crop of graduating seniors, leaving student days behind and, in most cases, preparing to work in their first full-time jobs in the field they studied so diligently.

      To mark the event with a gift that may help them transition to this new life phase, HGTV consumer specialists suggest six options:

      A quality coffee maker - If your college grad’s a coffee drinker who will be living on his/her own, a good coffee maker, the single-cup variety or larger, is likely a good bet. Add some good coffee and a sturdy commuter’s cup and your gift is sure to bring a smile.

      Sunrise stimulator clock- Spare them the pain of a traditional alarm blast with a Sunrise Simulator, available at Amazon for under $30. It will help them wake up before their alarm and always get to work on time.

      A sophisticated wristwatch - A good watch is always in style. Follow your instincts and your budget on this one, knowing your stylish choice will elevate your grad’s professional wardrobe for years to come. If you need a hint, check out the Fossil line, popular with young professionals at a cost of under $100.

      Wireless headphones - Chances are they’ll appreciate a new pair. Check out the choices at Anthropologie, in millennial pink or mint green for about $88. They are Bluetooth compatible, comfy to wear, and perfect for their morning commute.

      Paper mouse pad - Keep them on task at work with a mouse pad that doubles as a to-do list. The surface lets them prioritize the day by ‘Gotta Dos, ‘Oughtta Dos’ and ‘Wanna Dos.’ It’s a cool choice for $12 from Urban Outfitters.

      Convertible carry bag - Set them up for success with a good backpack that converts to a shoulder bag. They can wear it as a backpack, then convert it to a professional-looking shoulder bag once they arrive at the office. Be sure it has outside pockets and a laptop compartment so they have a place for all their gear. Amazon’s got one for under $50.

      Girlboss trinket tray - Here’s a cutie for your girl grad - a little gold-trimmed round trinket tray she can put on her desk to hold paper clips or whatever; Available at Paper Source for under $12, it says, Girls Just Wanna Be CEOs.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Travel Tips for Families Impacted by Alzheimer's

      23 May 2019

      If a loved one in your family is suffering from Alzheimer's, you likely know how difficult travel can become.

      "Traveling can still be enjoyable for families affected by Alzheimer's, but adaptations may need to be made as the disease progresses," said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., president and CEO of  the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA). "Regardless of how far you're traveling, taking a few simple steps in advance can go a long way to making the trip easier, more comfortable and more enjoyable for everyone."
      Family caregivers should consider the following tips from the AFA.

      - Advise airlines and hotels that you're traveling with someone who has memory impairment and inform them of safety concerns and special needs.

      - Inquire in advance with airports/train stations about security screening procedures. This way, you can familiarize the person beforehand about what will happen at the checkpoint to reduce potential anxiety.

      - Plan the travel mode and timing of your trip in a manner that causes the least amount of anxiety and stress. Account for the person and their needs when making arrangements; if they travel better at a specific time of day, consider planning accordingly.

      - Preserve the person's routine as best as possible, including eating and sleeping schedules. Small or unfamiliar changes can be overwhelming and stressful to someone with dementia.

      - Take regular breaks on road trips for food, bathroom visits, or rest.

      - Bring snacks, water, activities and other comfort items (i.e. a blanket or the person's favorite sweater), as well as an extra, comfortable change of clothing to adapt to climate changes.

      - Consider utilizing an identification bracelet and clothing tags with your loved one's full name and yours to ensure safety.

      - Take important health and legal-related documentation, a list of current medications, and physician information with you.

      - Depending on the trip duration and/or the stage of the person's illness, consult with their physician to make sure travel is advisable.

      SOURCE Alzheimer's Foundation of America

      Published with permission from RISMedia.