Another three weeks #housesitting in Las Vegas with Paddington (he's the White Boy) and Coco (the Black Girl) After four years and many visits it really is just like going home. Carolyne and Richard are good friends, this time we had such fun as Richard stayed home while Carolyne took a trip to the UK, I have to say though in a way I'm glad it was only a three week stay as the daily 4.00 pm Happy Hour with Richard, Hugh and Kirsten can take it's toll, fun though they were. I was still on duty working for TrustedHousesitters.com every day ar 4.30 on Live Chat and lets face it callers deserve to have someone who is coherent:))
Flying For Free - Fact Or Fiction?
The 'Man Who Flies For Free' says these are the 3 best websites for airline deals Scott Keyes is an expert at travelling for cheap. Scott Keyes, a reporter for Think Progress and author of the e-books “How To Fly For Free” and “How To Find Cheap Flights,” is an expert at finding affordable airfare.
Keyes has become so gifted at landing super-cheap tickets and getting the most out of his frequent flyer miles that he has booked an epic world trip that spans 13 countries, 20,000 miles, and 21 flights — all for free.
He told Business Insider his process is a “labour of love” and that he enjoys finding people the best deals he can. He created an email list to send friends updates on any amazing travel deals he finds while browsing Twitter or his RSS feed. When I spoke with Keyes, he even started giving me tips on how to find the most affordable ticket to a friend’s upcoming wedding in Scotland.
It’s safe to say he really loves this stuff.
And after spending five years dedicated to finding airline deals, Keyes now knows the best websites, tips, and hacks for getting tickets for dirt cheap prices.
Instead of heading to Priceline or Kayak the next time you’re planning a trip, try these three sites first.
“If I could recommend one website for people who want to get good deals for their flights, it’s TheFlightDeal.com,” Keyes told us.
Whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook, through the newsletter, or on the site itself, TheFlightDeal.com posts what Keyes calls “fat-finger discounts” or mistake fares that only last for a limited amount of time before the airline fixes it.
“When there’s a really cheap price, you need to be able to jump on it in a couple of hours,” Keyes told us. “When I took a $US67 flight to Milan, it only lasted a couple of hours because they didn’t mean to be selling them that way, we just lucked out that those were available and we were able to jump in before they fixed it.”
Ultimately when finding affordable airfare, the key is flexibility. According to Keyes, if you see a cheap flight that takes you somewhere even remotely interesting (or close to somewhere interesting), buy it and figure out the rest later.
“The way most people approach airfare, they do it backwards: They decide where they want to go and then try to find the cheapest flight to get there,” Keyes told us. “But if your ultimate goal is to be able to find as cheap a flight as possible and go somewhere cool for not much money then starting with an open, blank slate and going wherever there’s a cheap flight right now is going to be your best bet.”
Skiplagged will find the cheapest ticket to your destination — even if it’s through a layover. Skiplagged is a search engine that will find you the cheapest flight to your city including “throwaway tickets.”
Throwaway tickets are flights you purchase to an unpopular destination. Let’s say you’re travelling from New York to Chicago — those tickets are going to be quite expensive. But New York to Milwaukee will be less expensive since less people will be travelling there.
A throwaway ticket would be if you found a flight to Milwaukee with a layover in Chicago. Then instead of getting on the plane to go to Milwaukee, you would throw away that leg of the ticket and exit the Chicago airport.
“The only thing that people need to know about Skiplagged is just making sure they understand how to approach it,” Keyes said. “Never buy a round trip because once you skip a leg of your trip the rest of your itinerary cancels. You also can’t check any bags since they will arrive at the throwaway city and not your actual destination.”
With that in mind, Skiplagged can find you some much cheaper airfare, especially if the city you’re going to is a major thoroughfare such as New York, Chicago, London, etc.
ITA Matrix will let you search the entire month to see when it’s cheapest to fly. ITA Matrix is a no frills way to find the cheapest possible flight thanks to its handy calendar index which allows users to see the best possible itinerary.
All you have to do is search your destination, preferred length of stay, and click on “See calendar of lowest fares.” The flexible search option lets travellers see what flying on each day of the week would cost them.
“Say you just want to go home for a long weekend and your ideal plan is Thursday to Sunday,” Keyes explained to Business Insider. “Even just shifting that by a day can be really, really helpful. If you can go Wednesday to Saturday instead — or even sometimes Friday to Monday — you can get really big savings.”
Keyes said tweaking your trip even slightly can make a huge difference. When one of his friends told him he planned to buy a $US500 Vegas ticket, Keyes was able to cut that price by over half simply by looking for a redeye that left Monday morning instead of the Sunday night redeye his friend had originally chosen.
Kayak also allows users to search an entire month’s worth of fares, but ITA Matrix, Keyes insisted, is still the best.
One of the ways Keyes is able to fly for next to nothing is thanks to all the frequent flyer miles he has accrued over the years through credit cards, airline perks, and lots and lots of travel.
But those miles are spread out over many different cards as well as airlines. To manage them all, he uses AwardWallet, which tracks frequent flyer miles, hotel points, and credit card points.
“Not only does it keep you organised — it keeps track of all of your accounts and points — but it also will check all your balances so you know how many points you have in each,” Keyes explained. “Plus, it will track if and when your points are set to expire.”
You’ll never need to try 50 passwords to access your frequent flyer miles ever again.
Article Courtesy of Business Insider Australia
March 19th, 2015
A Wonderful Rescue Story Shared From TrustedHousesitters.com
Charlie was only meant to stay for one night before being taken to Enfield Dogs Rescue, but within a day Angela’s family knew he was part of the family and was there to stay!ily knew he was part of the family and was there to stay!
"I had a call from my sister desperately asking a favour… Could I please take a dog in for a day, or possibly one night? She runs a charitable service for unwanted dogs and cats, Enfield Dog Rescue, and on this occasion a dog was being thrown out by its owner after spending its life in a cage in their garage! The owner was willing to drop it off at my place, halfway to my sister in London. The dog was a five-year-old Yorkshire Terrier called ‘Charlie’, and I was concerned about accepting him as we already had two dogs plus numerous cats, chickens, geese and horses, but eventually relented as this was probably the only chance Charlie had for a new life.
Two days later, whilst making a cup of coffee at 7.00am there was an unexpected knock at the door and a man stood there saying he had Charlie in his van and he was in a hurry. I immediately went out with him to see the poor dog sitting in a cage at the back of his van, looking lost and visibly shaking with fear. I quickly opened the cage-door and put a lead on him, then took him to a nearby paddock and let him off while the soon-to-be-ex-owner watched, suddenly warning me that he didn’t come to call! Well dear little Charlie couldn’t believe his luck and ran about like a thing possessed, loving every minute. After a frenzied few minutes of blissful freedom I called him, and he came to me straight away. We all went back into the house with Charlie, the cage and some of his left-over dried food lumps in a bag. His ‘owner’ then promptly left, with no backward glance to the clinging and nervous Charlie.
Given he was still expected in London however, Charlie spent the next two nights in his cage in the dining room and the days being slowly socialised with our other animals whilst safely on a lead. My husband, Andrew, took him everywhere in the garden, the paddocks and around the house, and together we introduced him to a menu of raw chicken and bone-mix which our other dogs love – and he ate like he had never eaten real food!
Then my sister called saying she had a problem with transporting him up to her in London… which was when I gingerly said I didn’t feel we could let him go now! Andrew and Charlie had by now become inseparable, our dogs didn’t really notice him and the cats had checked him out and already felt they were in charge. The chickens were another story – they attacked him, much to our shock, and we had to tell them he was here to stay and to leave him alone, and surprise, surprise it worked, they retreated.
That was over two years ago, and two sitters through TrustedHousesitters.com later Charlie is ‘family’ and we love him dearly.
Valentines Day Poem For Jack
Left by the roadside, a small furry pack,
Boy pups and girl pups, tiny and black;
A fate most uncertain, frightened and sad,
But one was the puppy the man never had
He was out for a drive, no plans for the day,
No reason to be there–fate led him that way.
Couldn’t pass up the outcasts or just say, “Too bad,”
Couldn’t pass up the puppy the man never had.
Friendly and eager, each small frisky pup
Ran to the man as to say, “Pick me up!”
And trailing the rest, one lame little lad,
A brave one, the puppy the man never had.
So the small pack was rescued, their peril undone,
And the world changed that day for more than just one.
The rewards of his kindness would make his heart glad
To share life with the puppy the man never had.
And the puppy brought love, and the puppy brought joy,
And the man saw once more through the eyes of a boy.
And the years he had toiled as a husband and dad
Were reprieved by the puppy the man never had.
No longer a puppy, they’re both turning gray,
And time has brought changes to each in its way.
But you know they’re still grateful on good days and bad,
That he rescued the puppy the man never had.
This beautiful poem was an entry in www.trustedhousesitters.com Pet's Valentine Competition the standard of entries, amazing picking a winner was almost impossible but Jack's loving and devoted owner won our hearts .... reading this will win yours, I'm certain of that. Happy Valentines Day
Holly Seven Years On .....
Seven years ago today my girl left our lives for Rainbow Bridge, not a day goes by without I wish she was still here. I miss you Pubbles ... wait at the Bridge xxxx
The Okanagan Valley BC famous for it's outstanding natural beauty, four seasons, wineries and agriculture, an area I've passed through many times but never experience "living like a local" until now. My first 2015 assignment, I say my as John has stayed in Vancouver for a number of reasons .... I'm enjoying some "me" time with my new best friend Joey an Australian Terrier*
My home away from home thanks to TrustedHousesitters.com a beautiful home over looking Lake Okanagan* if you've never heard of the Okanagan you may have heard about the Ogopogo the lake monster the existence of which dates back as far as 1872! Haven't had a glimpse since arriving but then it is winter and this is a very large lake, 80 miles long and 2.2 miles wide and my eye sight isn't what it used to be:))
Great skiing close by at Sun Peaks Protected from the mild, coastal weather by the Coast Mountains, the resort receives on average nearly 6 metres of Interior BC's famous light, dry, 'easy-to-ski' powder much less expensive than Whistler but not as famous of course which makes for a less crowded and manic skiing experience.
Had lots of snow since arriving, great work out with the snow shovel ... so another update soon but for now it's off to the gym, just a flight of stairs away so no excuse!
*The Australian Terrier, called an "Aussie" by his admirers (although he's not to be confused with an Australian Shepherd), is a small terrier with upright ears and a rough, shaggy coat. He is the littlest of the working terriers, but don't let his size fool you. He's definitely a lot of dog in a tiny package, with a typical terrier slant on life: tenacious, independent, hardworking, and lively.
With a spirited, mischievous personality, the Aussie jumps into life with attitude. But he's usually strongly attached to his family — so strongly attached that he'll often match his mood to yours. If you've got the blues, he is calm and quiet. If you're happy and excited, he turns frisky and playful ... all very true! http://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/australian-terrier
Okanagan Lake is home to this lake monster. The lake is massive in size. It is about 169 Km(80 miles) long, 3.5 Km(2.2 miles) wide and depths estimated to be nearly 305 meters(1000 feet)! - See more at: http://www.okanagan-valley-guide.com/ogopogo.html#sthash.Zcyjom44.dpufOkanagan Lake is home to this lake monster. The lake is massive in size. It is about 169 Km(80 miles) long, 3.5 Km(2.2 miles) wide and depths estimated to be nearly 305 meters(1000 feet)! - See more at: http://www.okanagan-valley-guide.com/ogopogo.html#sthash.Zcyjom44.dpufhttp://www.okanagan-valley-guide.com/ogopogo.html
Happy New Year Everyone, a little late but as they say "Better late than never"
We had a great New Year three nights in Whistler BC Canada with friends. John got some skiing in I just enjoyed being in the village, as I always do love the atmosphere and everything about the resort.
The point of the pictures? ... Accommodation costs.
2012 New Year we were house sitting a beautiful home in Las Vegas, Nevada USA cost, Zero $$$. 2013 stunning ocean view villa in Spain, Zero $$$ 2014 3 nights Whistler, an OK apartment but $2,000.00 I know it was New Year peak PEAK period and there aren't many house sitting opportunities in Whistler at any time of the year but my point is house sitting offers the most affordable travel lifestyle and can be luxurious, a cramped hotel suite doesn't compare.
Las Vegas was our home away from home for three months, Spain 6 months if I calculate the time based on Whistler costs it amounts to $25,200.00 worth of savings ... so I may exaggerate on the savings after all the suite we had is normally around $300 a night but you get my point?
Looking forward to more great, affordable, housesitting adventures in 2015 thanks to TrustedHousesitters.com