Monday, September 9, 2013

Do clever when renting a car in Prague

Prague is for sure one of those cities in Europe travelers tend to visit over and over again. The Czech capital has a certain charm to it, which is different from the pompous atmosphere of Vienna, the busy feel of Berlin or the grandeur of Budapest. The things what all type of visitors, from tourists to business travelers always get attracted by are narrow old streets, gothic cathedrals and great beer. But if you're having a long stay in Prague or want to travel across the Czech Republic (which has many great attractions in general) dealing with car rental companies is inevitable. In general, the policies and practices employed by local rental services aren't any different from the ones practiced by car rental companies in Western Europe or the USA. Anyways there are certain peculiarities that you should know and some tips to follow if you want to avoid any possible inconveniences. Choose the local car make Among many other things bringing fame to the Czech Republic is Skoda. You probably know, the local car make has experienced a drastic revival since it became part of the VW group and there are different models to choose from. Due to the fact these cars are generally very decent and provide good comfort and great gas mileage when compared to other car makes, they also come very cheap to rent. To your service is the whole line from entry level Fabia to business-class Superb or even the AWD Yeti and you will surely enjoy the comfort and quality of these cars, which come at a much lower price than similar models from foreign car manufacturers. When by the Czechs rent a Czech car Even if it seems to be just history, there is still a possibility to have inconveniences with the border police if you are driving a rental car with plates from another country. It may come to the situation that some police workers will assume that the car's stolen and you will have to provide all the papers to convince them otherwise. Sure, this doesn't happen a lot since the borders are generally open and there's no strict customs or border control. Anyways, you may want to go with the local car rental companies in order to minimize the risk of such nuisances. Moreover, it is usually cheaper to rent a car in Czech Republic and the gas prices are generally a bit lower than in Germany, Austria, Italy or France. Learn more about the local car rental market Most of the well-known large international car rental companies like Avis, Budget, Hertz or National Car Rental have their offices in Prague and are always happy to offer you a very broad range of cars to choose from. Still, there is also a large number of purely local companies that usually have more affordable prices and more flexible rental policies. Nowadays nothing's easier than just searching local car rental companies on the web, shopping around a bit and booking a car for your arrival. In such cases it will normally cost you less than going with large international services. Parking can be tricky Even if most of the roads around the capital and the country are in very good condition, the parking can be a problem of its own, especially in Prague. It's good to know that the capital is known for a rather high rate of car break-ins, which is common for all popular tourist destinations. Don't forget to lock your car and prefer paid parking lots to the free ones. Besides, there's a complex residential parking policy in Prague, which allows parking a car near the sidewalk only to people residing in the respective building, otherwise your car may be towed to the police office or you'll simply get a substantial fine. Everything you have to learn in order to avoid this problem is that the residential parking spots are denoted with the blue lines these are denoted with. So pay attention where you park your car if you don't want to get in trouble.

Traveling to Japan: some peculiarities when renting a car

The best way to explore a new country you travel to, to learn more won wonderful places located outside the large metropolitan areas is, for sure, renting a car. The Japanese countryside has a lot of inspiring places to show you and renting a car can sometimes be the best solution to visit most of them. Sure, Japan is known for its superior public transportation network, so getting anywhere by bus or train won't be much of a problem. In case you don't want to rely on fixed schedules (most of which are available only in Japanese) and need a certain level of freedom and comfort, addressing one of the many car rental companies is definitely a good idea in Japan. Though, there are certain peculiarities to renting a car in this amazing country, so you may want to learn about them first before booking the rent. Why is driving in Japan so special? The main difficulty for most travelers in Japan is of course the fact that the traffic is left-handed, which can be a major problem for anyone from a right-hand traffic country who has never tried driving in different circumstances. Of course, you will get used to it over time, but if you have no such experience, this can be rather confusing and problematic at first. What's more important, assuming that all of the signs are in Japanese, you will have an additional stressing factor besides the traffic direction. That's why you have to think it with renting a car over if you're not completely sure of your driving abilities. The central and northern parts of the country get a lot of snow during the winter, with blizzards being rather common in the north. For those drivers who have no winter driving experience it's better to avoid renting a car, especially if they trying to visit the beautiful mountain regions - the roads there can be rather tricky even for experienced drivers. It's allowed to drive a car in Japan if you have either Japanese or International Driving License. That's why you need to inquire with your local Japanese embassy regarding the requirements for driving license in your very country, since the regulation may differ depending from where you come from. It's widely known that Japanese drivers tend to be very well mannered and are rarely seen in aggressive driving situations. Though, large cities are known for very heavy traffic, which can deliver a lot of stress even when dealing with polite and law-abiding drivers. If you don't plan anything except of staying within large metropolitan areas it's highly advised that you avoid car rentals and stick to the local public transportation. The stay in Japan won't cost that much than (both in terms of rental and parking fees) and will save you from a lot of hassle. Check the local car rental market You'll find many national car rental companies in Japan, so finding a car to rent won't be a problem. As a rule these companies are affiliated or even make part of large car manufacturer holdings, so you are likely to get a selection of a particular car brand when addressing a particular company. Moreover, there are some international car rental companies on the market, but they mostly act as intermediaries between foreign tourists and local car rental companies, providing multilanguage service based on local car rental market that is usually available only in Japanese. It won't be much of trouble to find any type of car from sub-compact to SUVs and minivans. Keep in mind, the rates can be rather high depending on the car type and the place you're renting from. You have to understand, car rental can be rather pricey in Japan when comparing it to other countries. But at least you will surely find services to rent a car from all around the country. What about extras? In most car rental companies all over the world extra features aren't much different, Japan is no exception. Some companies will have additional drop-off fees when returning a car to a different spot. Hokkaido car rental companies generally do not accept car drop offs anywhere outside Hokkaido and vice versa. Despite the fact GPS modules are usually available by default with most cars, take care since they rarely offer any language other than Japanese, so you may want to bring your navigator with you. Normally car rental companies use the 24-hour rate system, though you may find services by the hour or by calendar day as well. You have to pay a small fee when you return a car without a full tank, but you have to inquire about that with the services. Anyways, other extras such as child seats, roof racks and other features are widely available against reasonable fees, so you won't feel any difference when renting a car in Japan.

Looking through the prism of history at cheap airline tickets

A quick fact: the average air ticket prices have drop by 50% over the last three decades. Sounds untrue, right? But it's a hard fact that is confirmed by year-to-year price analysis starting with the early 1980s until now. The prices have really dropped and in some areas they have propped more than a half. The average cost of flight per mile was around $0.32 in 1980 and now it's only about $0.14, allowing over 50% of US citizens to take round-trip flights at least once a year today compared to only 20% of all Americans who attended a flight at least once in their lifetime in 1978. Feel the difference, right? But why do people still complain about not getting cheap air tickets? And what is the overall trend in air ticket prices and the market in general to expect in the near future? Why the prices dropped and no one noticed it? The quick answer to why the prices have dropped so drastically regardless of the ever increasing fuel costs and inflation is deregulation. Thanks to the liberalization of the airline market in 1978 when the government has stepped away from controlling every nook and cranny in the industry the laws of competition have rapidly brought down the prices and created a very crowded market. In the following decades dozens of companies have come and gone, each contributing to the high level of competition and people obtained the opportunity to fly more at more affordable prices. The minimum regulated airfare for a New York to Los Angeles flight in 1978 was around $1,400 (in current prices) but now you can easily take the same flight for less than $300. But still there are people who complain about finding it hard to get cheap air tickets. Why is that? The complexity of pricing policies Although it was certainly a great thing to deregulate there was a price to pay for doing this. And the pricing policy that each company could employ and adjust without needing to consult the authorities was one of the elements of this price. You probably know that the prices tend to vary a lot depending on when you book the flight and there can sometimes be up to three or even four times the difference in price for the very same flight. To give you a sense of the complexity, an average airline usually has several million prices at any given moment in their system depending on the flight, seat, date, departure hour, extras and so on. Add up the currently common practice of making all the extra features payable and you get an even more complex system of pricing, which is controlled by computers. So despite the possibility of getting cheap air tickets for just any flight, people often finding it hard to get the right price due to the very complex nature of the pricing for all flights. So they just get the first ticket they think is the cheapest and think that it's the best way to save money. That's exactly why we usually have people paying $200 and $650 sitting next to each other at the same flight. Future forecast for cheap air tickets Everyone forgot that fuel prices have sky-rocketed over the last few decades, and that the price of fuel makes up about a third of the airfare due to the crowded market of airlines. The large number of bankruptcies and mergers in the industry that has happened since 2001 seems to make people aware of the fact that they are actually travelling on a very scarce resource the price of which will only rise in the future. That's why today its' still possible to get cheap air tickets, but it won't be like that all the time. Unless, of course, new technologies and fuel will be introduced to make the industry independent of the scarce resources it's tied to at the moment.

Using insurance to cover you prescription

Many people, unfortunately, think that they can cut corners by purchasing dubious pharmaceuticals, sharing prescription drugs with friends and families and splitting their pills because the cost of prescription drugs is so very high. In desperate times, many even stop taking their medicines because they are simply too expensive. The cost of drugs can be reduced by taking out prescription drugs insurance, although knowing which tier your health insurance plan has adopted is very important. If you have coverage that allows for both preferred and non preferred drugs, then it is very likely that you will be able to get your prescriptions filled without waiting for authorization. However, if your insurance plan works with only the preferred drug list, you might have to wait while your physician gets approval for your non preferred drug. This is why prescription drug coverage is so very important. If you are shopping for health insurance quotes, make sure prescription drug coverage is an option. Discuss your needs with your healthcare provider and insurance company to determine what level of prescription coverage would be the most appropriate for you. Also, there are other ways you can cut significant costs for prescription drugs. Try a government program There are Medicaid plans that assist people with paying for prescription drugs. Also, former member of the armed forces can take advantage of Veteran Health Administration programs which require a copay of only $10. If you need help getting the drugs you need, the Patient's Assistance Program can offer guidance for getting health insurance quotes and applying to different service. Shop around Make sure your physician knows if you may not be able to afford your medication. If your doctor writes you a prescription for a brand name drug, ask if there is a generic alternative that could be cheaper. Once you have your prescription, call different pharmacies and ask how much they charge for a supply of your needed drugs. One study discovered that the prices fluctuated by as much as $750! Also, it is a good idea to check big box stores, since they tend to have lower prices than chain drugstores. The reason for this is that pharmacies for the big box stores are more of an attractant for potential buyers of other products, whereas the big drugstore chains rely on pharmacy revenue. Don't necessarily ask for advertised drugs Even though big drug commercials always tell the viewer to "ask your doctor about..." it isn't a good idea if you don't have money to burn. Brand name drugs are often prohibitively expensive, and not more effective than their generic alternatives. Bring all of your medications to your doctor Some drugs can actually cancel each other out. If you've been prescribed medications by more than one physician, make sure that you bring all of your drugs into your doctor to make sure that you actually need all of them. Sometimes, one or more prescriptions can be eliminated with no ill effect.

Looking for auto insurance for sports cars

Having a luxury sports car is a sign that you've made it; that you're able to live the life you've always dreamed of. However, being able to afford to buy a sports car is no indication that the financial obligations towards that car are at an end. Most new luxury vehicles require that the owner maintain that vehicle at his/her own expense in order to keep the warranty valid; the taxes can be quite high for high end cars, and most significantly, the insurance policies can be very steep. Small, new model luxury sports cars can be very expensive vehicles to insure. This is due not only to the high value of the vehicle itself, but also largely because sports cars are considered high risk by insurers. Speedy cars tend to have a higher volume of claims than larger sport utility vehicles. Moreover, expensive sports cars tend to cost a great deal to repair, not only because the parts themselves are more costly than their economy model counterparts, but also because the technicians qualified to repair them are specially trained to handle them, resulting in higher hourly charges. When compared to other types of vehicles, sports cars are also much more likely to be vandalized and stolen. The insurance surcharge for having to possibly replace an expensive vehicle can be very high. So, is it possible to get reasonable auto insurance quotes for a sports car? Yes, it is - but only as long as you follow a few guidelines. Shop around Not every insurance company has the same number of claims for a particular type of vehicle or driver even though most insurance companies use similar metrics to determine risks. If a company has little experience with handling claims for your type of vehicle, then the car insurance quote will be lower than the company that has filed a great many claims in the past. Keep your driving record clean If you can prove that you have historically been a responsible driver, you will pose a lower risk to insurance companies, even if you are insuring a high performance vehicle. Keep those miles low If you already have an "everyday" vehicle that you use for errands, work, school, etc., then try to use that for most of your daily responsibilities. The more you drive your sports car, the more likely you are to have an accident. Make sure you only use your sports car for special occasions. Give it a home If you have an enclosed garage, your car will be less likely to be stolen. Keep your sports car in a locked garage when it isn't in use. Parking your expensive vehicle on the street will only be an enticement to thieves and vandals, and your insurance company will charge you accordingly. Auto insurance quotes aren't always uniform; if you handle yourself and your car in a responsible manner, you are far more likely to pay lower auto insurance rates than if you didn't.

Hair care and Propecia

It's hard to argue with the fact that hair care is important regardless of your age and social status. Of course, the extents of this practice can differ a lot from one person to another and reach somewhat ridiculous forms in certain cases. But taking care of your hair isn't just a part of the normal hygienic routine, it's also a strong social indicator and an effective tool for completing your image. However, things can get a little bit strange when hair care meets hair loss. Hair care product manufacturers and service providers will make you believe that their products and services may actually help you to overcome the problem. And then there are drugs like Propecia that are very effective against hair loss and have nothing to do with hair care or external applications whatsoever. So what is the actual state of affairs and does proper hair care or a set of special procedures help when it comes to treating male pattern hair loss? The quick answer to the latter question is no. Hair care procedures and products don't do much when it comes to treating hair loss in men. Of course, hair care product manufacturers will want you to believe their stories about hair loss reversal and so on. But it doesn't take much research to see that these are simply attempts to make you spent more money in vain. Anyone who has ever researched the problem of hair loss in a bit more detail knows very well that external solutions don't help much because the problem itself is triggered by internal factors that are actually far from hair itself. In most cases men suffer from hair loss due to hormonal problems, specifically the higher levels of an androgen called dehydrotestosterone (DHT). This specific hormone is responsible for the weakening of hair follicles, a process which ultimately leads to gradual hair thinning and balding. And there are no external solutions that will affect the levels of this hormone, simply because it is primarily delivered through the bloodstream. Internal medications such as Propecia are effective partially because they target this hormone from the inside and prevent its production in the bloodstream. But even if you had a gel or lotion based on Propecia to take care of your hair with the effectiveness of such a solution would be doubtful simply because the problem of hair loss stems from inside of the body. It would also, nevertheless, be very wrong to state that hair care is absolutely useless. Even if you don't have a hair loss problem hair care is still very important. Something that can sometimes be as important as having plenty of hair on your head is using proper shampoos, conditioners, lotions and nutrients which will help to keep the hair in a very good condition. How many times have you seen people with rather dense hair that was in a rather poor condition and looked simply awful? That's why proper hair care is important and has to be practice in reasonable amounts. Moreover, some cases of hair loss can be triggered by poor hair and scalp hygiene. Of course, cases like these are rather extreme and can be associated with overall malnutrition and lack of hygiene. But it never hurts taking care of your hair with attention regardless whether you're using Propecia or not. The fact that excessive hair hygiene and care can also be a major problem and lead to different hair loss problems is, however, something you should take note of. After all, most of the solutions we use for washing and taking care of our hair are based on potent chemicals, which can be rather dangerous when used in excessive amounts. That's why washing your hair too often (more than once daily) and applying excessive amounts of conditioners, gels, balms and other solutions on a regular basis may deteriorate your hair and lead to faster hair loss. So make sure to be adequate in terms of hair care and speak to your doctor about using Propecia in case of hair loss instead of using all sorts of external solutions.

Looking at different forms of home insurance coverage

For anyone who owns their own home - regardless if they still have a mortgage - homeowners' insurance is a must-have piece of insurance. Your home is probably the largest financial investment you've ever made and it's right that you should protect it. Consider what would happen to you and your family if there was a fire in your home and you weren't insured. How would you pay for medical expenses, damage to your home, or re-homing costs? Would you have enough spare money to pay for new carpets, rebuilding structural ruin, repainting walls and fixing harm caused to your personal possessions if your pipes were to burst during a particularly bad cold snap. There are different types of home insurance with differing levels of coverage - and prices. Your aim should be to obtain the highest levels of protection you can at the lowest price possible when purchasing home insurance quotes. For those who have older homes, keep expensive possessions in their home, or who live in certain parts of the country simply picking the most basic home insurance quotes isn't the most prudent idea. Types of Home Insurance Policies HO1 - Is the most basic form of home insurance and protects your home against fire, theft, and some other liabilities like explosions or civil unrest. It doesn't cover personal injury or personal property however. HO2 - Is more advanced coverage which covers fire, theft, damage caused by burst pipes, broken hot water heaters, and damage caused to the exterior of your home. It includes everything within the HO1 policy and several more liabilities. HO3 - Is completely comprehensive, Special Form homeowners' insurance and will cover you for almost any eventuality apart from damage caused by natural disasters, floods, or wars. You can add extras onto your policy such as Flood Cover to ensure you are protected during adverse weather events. Other types of coverage - HO4 to HO8 incorporates Tenants Form, Premier Homeowner, Condominium Unit Owners Form, and Older Houses cover which are all very specific types of home insurance for those looking for more bespoke home insurance quotes. How to Choose the Right Home Insurance Quotes Consider all the valuable possessions you own in your home and what you can afford to pay for out of your own pocket should something serious happen to your home or its contents. Think about which level of coverage suits your needs and how much you can afford to pay monthly or annually in insurance premiums. Another important thing to think about is the area in which you live. If you live in a state that is susceptible to extreme weather conditions like hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes you should consider the highest level of home insurance such as Premier Homeowner coverage when looking to buy a home insurance policy. Moreover, if you own a home in an area with statistically high rates of property crime and theft it is worth considering purchasing at least the most basic form of home insurance coverage.