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How To Ship Your Golf Clubs Like The Pros

The world’s best golf destinations offer beautiful views and storied courses, but a little familiarity can go a long way on the greens. Smart travelers who bring their own sets of clubs along for the ride can make sure they show up with their best swing. With airline and shipping options from the traditional to the new, it’s never been easier to stay close to your set without breaking the bank.

Airlines swing a deal

When shipping clubs, airline bag fees actually prove a thrifty option. Whether flying to scenic Sedona for canyon views over the green or Punta Cana’s courses by the beach, the big airlines count golf bags the same as checked luggage. That means fees of $25 for first checked bags or $35 if the second bag checked. The airlines typically recommend players pack their bag in a rigid carrying case. On American, the case can weigh up to 70 pounds; Delta sets the cut-off at 50 pounds. United doesn’t have a limit. International destinations can actually prove cheaper, as some airlines waive fees for flights outside the U.S.

Ship that lucky set

Plenty of golfers choose to skip the hassle of lugging their set to and from the airport — and the inevitable baggage claim wait — by choosing to ship

their clubs ahead. FedEx and UPS have both developed in-store shipping systems to easily receive and send along golf sets. Each offers special boxes on location for packaging, and FedEx even offers golf club tubes for individual clubs along with a golf-focused online travel planner.

A trip to the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club in Florida using traditional shippers costs about $85 for clubs sent by three-day ground service, including packaging and fees. A cross-country trip to Scottsdale’s picturesque greens like at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort can cost about $96 over FedEx.

Startups drive a bargain

Younger companies offer even more service, arranging for at-home or at-office pickup and then saving by finding the cheapest shipping routes themselves. Competition also leads these startups to offer highly competitive rates.

Ship Sticks will pick up clubs and send them wherever they’re told at just the hassle of printing a shipping label. At $59.99 for five-day ground transit or $99.99 for three-day select shipping, Ship Sticks can have clubs waiting in good hands at the hotel, from Palm Beach to Pebble Beach. Luggage Forward’s charges vary but can be $84 cross-country with a week’s notice or $104 for three-day air. GolfBagShipping.com can go even cheaper —just $72 dollars if ordered at least a week ahead and with a week’s shipping.

Cautious travelers who aren’t used to venturing far from their clubs can take comfort in the strong insurance policies these startups offer. If Ship Sticks is a day late, it automatically shells out $200 for rentals at the course, and offers insurance up to $3,500. Luggage Forward offers money back plus an additional $500 if clubs don’t make it to their promised destination.

In short, those looking for the most budget choice will find airlines have cheap and accommodating policies today. Players who prefer a familiar and affordable option can check with experts at their local FedEx or UPS. And for serious golfers who value convenience, the shipping startups offer door-to-door service that leave the stress to just lining up the best approach shot on that famous par 5 in Maui.

This post was posted by Fiona Moriarty on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on June 15, 2015.

 

Four Travel Tips for an Exceptional Las Vegas Experience

A trip to Las Vegas, Nevada is an unofficial rite of passage for most Americans, as well as for many folks worldwide. The sensory overload headquarters of the West offers thrills for all tastes and inclinations, so make the most of a trip to Sin City by adhering to a few sensible guidelines.

Plan to Beat the Heat

Summertime temperatures can reach 115 degrees. Drinking plenty of water while you trek from one attraction to another is a key strategy for enjoying your trip and avoiding dehydration. Keep in mind, however, that regardless of the season most hotels in Las Vegas set their casino thermostats at around 60 degrees, so a light jacket might still be necessary. If you plan to relax poolside, golf or wander up and down the strip, don’t forget to use plenty of sunscreen — preferably the kind that doesn’t wear off from perspiration.

Mind the Etiquette of Freemont Street

Freemont Street is the lifeline of Downtown Las Vegas and is home to a special brand of regional charm in the way of local exhibitionists dressed up as everything from Batman to Michael Jackson. If you’re walking into the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino and you happen to run into the King of Pop, be sure to present a tip if you ask to have your picture taken with him. This practice is as customary to the area as adding a gratuity onto your dinner bill or your taxi cab fare.

Avoid Toxic Overload

In addition to dehydration, the Las Vegas landscape presents other health-related pitfalls. Exposure to cigarettes in gambling areas can affect those who are sensitive to secondhand smoke. Thankfully several hotels like the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel offer smoke-free gambling areas. Another danger is alcohol abuse. Since many of the bars never close it’s rather easy to overdo it. The day after that bachelor party or wedding can be pretty brutal, yet Vegas is home to a unique service called Hangover Heaven, a mobile service that provides IV treatment including hydration, vitamins, antioxidants and more. So, you can roll out of bed at the Mirage Hotel and Casino looking pretty wrecked, make a phone call and feel better in no time.

Stay Connected

Paying for a nice vacation might mean you’ll need to stay in touch with the office while you are away. Many hotels offer free high-speed internet, Wi-Fi and even business centers so you can take care of a little work and get back to the business of having fun — so don’t forget your laptop.

Get the most out of your trip to America’s playground. If you’re hydrated, hip to local customs, health-conscious and connected, it will no doubt be a trip to remember.

6 Reasons to Travel With Your Friends to Miami Beach

Miami Beach has long been known as one of the partying capitals of America. So, if you’re planning on traveling there, why not go with your friends? There are plenty of cheap hotels in Miami to house a crowd affordably, and there are endless ways for groups to enjoy the sunny vacation spot.

1. It’s a party town

One of the best reasons to go to Miami with friends is because it’s a city that’s all about fun — and what better way to have fun than with your buddies? There are countless bars and clubs that stay open here all night, and traveling with a group is a great way to ensure you have a gang to hang out with when you check all of them out!

2. There are great deals on suite hotels

If you want to travel with a group, you’ll find hotels in Miami with rooms as big as apartments or luxury suites. One of the best hotels in Miami with large (but affordable) suites is the Fortune House Luxury Apartment Suites.

3. There’s a wide variety of activities

Although Miami is all about the nightlife, it also has tons of other attractions that make it a great place for a group of people with diverse interests. In Miami, people can enjoy things like a Miami Heat basketball game at the AmericanAirlines Arena, a quiet nap in the sun on North Beach or even a massage and facial at The Palms Hotel & Spa.

4. There are group discounts to activities

Many of the most popular activities throughout the city offer discounted tickets for groups. This means that everyone can enjoy an activity affordably. Some of the most popular group discounts in Miami Beach include discounted Cirque du Soleil tickets and Skydive Miami group discounts.

5. The beaches are vast and gorgeous

When you travel to Miami, you don’t have to worry about finding room on the beach for a whole group of friends. It may be a tiny city, but it is made of barrier islands. For instance, on the eastern coast, from the northern tip to the south, it’s nearly all beach, meaning all of your friends will have plenty of room to stretch out, sit back and relax, no matter how busy the city is.

6. The food is delicious

There’s nothing better than bonding over a delicious meal with friends. Luckily, Miami has no shortage of amazing culinary delights, from upscale, haute cuisine dining destinations to delicious Cuban food served on the street. Grab your friends and have an unforgettable luxury meal at the Setai Grill located in Setai Miami Beach, or just get a quick bite of sustainable farm fresh fare at the courtyard pool bar at the Freehand Miami.

Miami Beach offers travelers of all sorts an unforgettable vacation experience. So when you go there, bring along your friends! You’ll have the chance to make memories of a lifetime in one of the most fun and beautiful places in America.

6 Reasons to Start Dreaming of a Trip to Cuba

Since 1961, U.S. travel to Cuba has been heavily restricted. Now that the U.S. and Cuba have begun to re-establish diplomatic ties, it’s getting easier for Americans to pop over to Havana for a visit. But how exactly does this shift in international relations impact American travel to Cuba? Here are 6 things any traveler needs to know about what has and has not changed.

1. Get the Facts

Be sure to get a travel license. While there are still no tourist visas being issued for travel to Cuba, it has become easier to obtain a “general license,” which now covers 12 different categories of travel. These include educational activities, humanitarian projects, athletic competitions, and “support for the Cuban people.” Check out this fact sheet for more info on the categories.

2. Book a Flight

In the past, Americans had to use an authorized travel service provider to book a chartered flight from Florida. Now it is possible for the average Joe to purchase a plane ticket from many cities in the U.S. directly to Cuba. (Just make sure the travel license has been taken care of.)

3. Stay A La Casa

It can still be a bit tricky to book a hotel in Cuba, so it’s best to plan ahead and start the process early. For those interested in a more authentic Cuban experience, it is also possible to stay in licensed private homes, called casas particulares. This experience, which is something like a homestay/B&B, allows visitors to get to know some Cubans and it supports the local economy. Many casas offer additional services or meals (breakfast is usually included) at an extra cost.

4. Pay With Plastic

For the first time, U.S. credit and debit cards can be used in Cuba. This is great news—in theory. However, keep in mind that ATMs are not yet widespread (most are in Havana). ATMs also might only access checking accounts, are likely to have a limit on the number of bills per transaction, and simply may not have enough cash for a large withdrawal. For places that take credit cards, it seems that Visa and Mastercard may have the best luck, though this is all changing pretty quickly. Just to be on the safe side, it may still be a good idea to bring enough cash or travelers’ checks to get by.

5. Bring Cigars Home

Cigars are still Cuban icons. Visit a working tobacco plantation, such as the Alejandro Robaina Plantation near Pinar del Río, or just sample some of the local products (but be on the look-out for fakes or scams). And now, it is

legal to bring some back for your friends! Thanks to a new policy on imports, U.S. travelers can bring home up to $100 of combined alcohol and tobacco products. (On second thought, perhaps your friends don’t need to know about this…maybe those Cuban cigars could go into a personal stash?)

6. Enjoy the Good Stuff

Fortunately, the things that make Cuba a classic destination will not be impacted by the new policies. The beautiful beaches and turquoise water have not changed with improved U.S.-Cuban relations. Ditto the rich musical heritage combining West African, Spanish, and even some Chinese influences. The architectural diversity (ranging from Moorish to art deco) which makes Old Havana a UNESCO World Heritage Site is still preserved. A Cuban bartender can still make a mean mojito, and travelers can even see the same old American cars which have been driving around Cuba since before 1961.

This post was posted by Fiona Moriarty on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on June 10, 2015

 

Better Sleep With Organic Bedding

One of the greatest pleasures in life is slipping into a bed fitted with clean, cool and comfortable sheets. Our beds are a refuge from routine stressors as well as a welcome reward at the end of a long, tiring day. So just imaging the extra boost you’d get from knowing your sheets, pillowcases and blankets were made from natural materials that are free from harsh fabric treatments. Especially for people with sensitivities to chemicals, organic bedding could be the key to deep, restorative rest. Let’s take a look at the basics of organic bedding.

Materials

Cotton is a common choice for organic bedding, but it is by no means the only option. Some other materials are bamboo, wool and silk. Regardless which you choose, it’s crucial that it was farmed or grown without the use of pesticides or other toxic chemicals. All of these options include excellent benefits including moisture-wicking properties, breathability and a smooth, soft feel next to the skin. Cotton, bamboo and wool sheets generally are categorized according to their thread count, while silk’s fibers are measured in “mommes.” Medium-weight silk usually is in the 20 to 28 momme range, and 400 to 600 thread-count sheets are ideal in cotton, wool or bamboo.

Price

Organic bedding is usually more expensive than traditional bedding because the cost of producing the materials is higher and the difference is passed on to consumers. However, if you consider the benefit to your overall health of not sleeping on chemically treated bedding for a third of your life, the investment becomes more logical. The availability of organic bedding also is fairly limited, though it slowly is increasing. The best resources for organic sheets and blankets are online retailers.

Care

In particular with cotton, wool and bamboo bedding, maintenance is quite easy. This is important for people with allergies, who likely wash their bedding quite often. Machine washing is possible in a lot of cases. These materials all have been known for centuries for their durability and universal appeal. Also, many organic fabrics have the benefit of being antibacterial and hypoallergenic.

Environmentally Responsible

Not only is it nice to rest easy in the knowledge that you are sleeping on chemical-free sheets from an allergy standpoint, it’s also great to feel good about how the materials are sourced. You will be assured that you purchase something that was grown responsibly without harming workers, the people living near the farm or the environment. As more consumers make the investment in organic bedding, manufacturers will be able to increase production in a sustainable way.

 

Summer is Perfect for A Do-It-Yourself Wedding

You are over the moon about your upcoming wedding to the love of your life. You’ve decided to keep it simple and cut down on costs. A big, overblown affair isn’t your style. There is no time like summer to plan a wedding that you can put on by yourself. You and your fiancé will appreciate the occasion even more when you tailor this unforgettable moment to suit you. Turn your backyard into your venue and you’re already halfway there to a wedding that is perfect for you.

Rent Tables, Chairs, and Tents
You will want to be prepared for bad weather. After you rent your chairs and tables, look into tents as well. You may need to take cover if the rain is falling down. Recruit friends and family to help you with set up. Check out party supply stores and discount stores for paper products. There is no reason to spend a fortune. You can still have attractive decorations without breaking the bank.

Plan Your Menu
You have several options when it comes to food. You can cater your own affair or you can supply the food. If you opt to do it yourself, pool your resources. Talk with those who are close to you and ask them to bring a dish. Prepare and freeze foods ahead of time. Make it as easy as possible on yourself. You want to be able to enjoy this day and not worry about everyone having enough to eat. If you can’t afford to hire a caterer, you could ask family members to be in charge of refilling dishes and bringing out more options once the wedding is underway.

Set Up a Dessert Bar
Instead of cake, consider individual servings for dessert. Pudding cups, cupcakes, and gelato are always popular. You’ll discover a comprehensive selection of ice cream spoons and more at Gelato Products. When the temperature starts to rise in the summer, you will want to give your guests something cool and refreshing. A punch bowl, fruit salad, and smoothies will keep everyone happy. You can rent a snow cone machine for a touch of fun. Put someone in charge of serving your cold treats and enjoy yourself. It will give you plenty of time to celebrate the moment you have been waiting for all of your life.

Organize & Store Your Digital Photos with PicJoy!

This post was created in partnership with Mom Buzz Media.

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Picjoy is an intelligent photo library that automatically organizes all of your precious photos and helps you locate them instantly. Can you imagine having all of your photos organized? That’s what’s so exciting about PicJoy.

◆ RECORD ◆
Record the details and stories behind each of your photos.
◆ ORGANIZE ◆
Watch Picjoy instantly organize your photos for you – no matter where they are stored!
◆ FIND ◆
Search by category or keyword to retrieve any photo you’ve ever taken right from your mobile phone.

If you have a child, it’s a given you take a lot of pics…wouldn’t you love an easy way to store and organize them? Picjoy is the amazing tool that’s perfect for this! My favorite feature is the one that lets you add notes and details to your pics, so you always recall the specifics of the moment you captured.  The app is sleek and easy to use.  You can even organize the photos you already have on your phone. I recommend this app for all moms!

PICJOY is available now on iTunes FREE for a limited time!
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Picjoy photo app will also be available for the Android
market on Google Play soon so be looking for it!

$5 if you show me from PicJoy on Vimeo.

And NOW for the GIVEAWAY!!!

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Picjoy is thrilled to finally be able to share their app with the world! In celebration we will be giving away a few gift cards sponsored by Picjoy and hosted by the Mom Buzz Media Bloggers!

4 Winners each get a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Giveaway ends 6/30 at 11:59pm CST. Winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond. If no response is received, then a new winner will be chosen. All winning entries will be verified. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment. US Residents only please. Good Luck!

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6 Vegetables to Repurpose Instead of Compost

Any vegetable gardener can tell you that a lot of plant matter ends up in the compost pile. Likewise, the majority of home cooks know that much of the produce they buy ends up in the form of trimmings and peels that never get eaten.

There’s an increasing passion for restricting our food waste at home, kindled both by conservation and mindfulness. If you invest the time in getting a food plant to grow, you want to eat as much of it as possible. Following are some interesting ways to consume plant parts before they become compost.

1. Kale, mustard and collard greens stems. Most stems of leafy vegetables are edible even though the recipes instruct you to throw them away. You can trim the bottoms off the stems and slice the rest thinly crosswise, which adds an attractive component to cooked greens. The flesh is somewhat sweeter than their leafy parts.

2. Radish greens. Radish greens are delicious, edible greens that we regularly throw out. Similar to spinach, they cook fast and shrivel down significantly, so make sure to add them to a pan with other greens toward the end of cooking. Radish greens have a very short shelf life, so if you plan to cook them you will need to do so within a day or two of buying the radishes.

3. Carrot tops. Carrot top pesto is becoming increasing popular. Use the green lacy fronds of carrots as you would basil leaves to make perfectly great tasting pesto.

4. Lettuce cores. When you make a salad with head lettuce, such as romaine or Boston, cut out the core, thinly slice it and add those pieces to the salad. The bitter flavor is suggestive of Belgian endive or chicory. The resilient crunch adds an interesting element to traditional tossed salads, perfect for a picnic!

5. Tomato leaves. Though once thought to be toxic, the bitter leaves of tomato plants are edible. They will make your tomato sauces emerge with an unmistakable scent. Just slip a few tomato leaves into your sauce like you would with oregano or basil.

6. Celery leaves. The yellow inner stalks near the center of a bunch of celery have a buttery texture, with an assertive bite that awakens the flavor of chopped and tossed salads. Use them as you would a fresh, leafy herb. You can also add the tiny, leafy inner celery stalks to stocks and soups, but be conservative because they are potent.

If you love looking at familiar ingredients in new ways, discovering different uses for what usually lands in the trash or rubbish heap is a tiny thrill and inspiring challenge—you’ll find unexpected flavors and textures that make you rethink the common, blasé produce we all take for granted.

REVIEW: All Radiant Laundry Detergent

 

I’m going to be honest…laundry very rarely, if ever, gets sorted in my household.  We wear mostly colors, so there’s not really enough to make a full load of white laundry when it’s time to wash.  I haven’t had any MAJOR clothing color transfer accidents (so far)!  It’s hard to find a detergent that works to actually improve your clothing, and on both whites and colors–but I believe I have found the best of both worlds in new All Radiant!

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All Radiant is infused with Patented Fiber Shield™ Technology to restore dingy whites and protect your colors from fading. You can use it in every load to help keep your clothes looking their best. Safe for all colors and for use in all washing machines.

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The scent is fresh without being too overpowering, perfumed, or flowery.  The measurements inside the lid are easy to see, and go all the way up to level 5 for super big loads!  After a few uses, I noticed that my son’s white karate gi, absolutely the hardest garment in the house to keep white, was looking brighter and less dingy.  It’s so amazing that All Radiant can work to reverse even dirt and grime that has been set in clothes for a while!  Once school comes back around, I’ll continue to use All Radiant to keep my son’s school uniforms, which are red and blue, at their newest and prevent fading.

All Radiant can be found in stores now!  Pick some up today to help keep your laundry looking great.

 

3 Ways to Use Personalized Candy in Your Life

When it comes to gifts – or even giveaways – people love the personalized touch. In this digital world, folks still love getting personal paper greeting cards. For weddings, many people give customized and personalized home wares, such as glassware engraved with the family’s last name. It’s no surprise, then, that people are becoming more and more excited about personalised candy. One of the most attractive aspects of personalized candy is that it’s extremely versatile. It can be used in business meetings, for weddings and just because. Here are 3 specific ways you can use personalized candy in your professional and personal life.

1. As marketing giveaways.

Are you a business owner or part of the marketing department at your firm or company? Personalized candy can be a great way to grow your marketing reach. Use personalized candy – such as lollipops – as giveaways at conventions or during your events. Give personalized candy (branded with your company name and/or logo, of course) to prospective clients, new hires and more. In fact, keep a bouquet of lollipop candy as a centerpiece in your conference rooms, so that your clients are welcomed with branded candy each time they meet with you.

2. At a wedding.

Whether you’re throwing the wedding, or simply attending one, there is a place for your personalized treats. Brides can hold a bouquet of personalized candy, or they can be used as giveaway centerpieces at the reception. Rather than flowers, most of your reception hall can be decorated with various types of personalized candy, making this one of the most fun, and memorable weddings, anyone will have ever attended.

3. At birthdays.

Birthdays are a great time to give personalized candy. Birthdays are already tightly woven with cakes. Why not liven things up a bit by thinking outside the cake box? There are almost an infinite amount of ideas you can incorporate into your candy. If your birthday party has a theme or color scheme (typical with children’s parties) then complement it all with the right type and style of candy. Or, does the birthday boy/girl love a specific kind of candy? Chances are you can personalize it for him or her!

Getting personal is what life is all about. How much personal can you get than marrying two things people love: candy and uniqueness. No matter the occasion or event, Designer Candy is sure to have a personalized candy option for you. Learn more about what they have to offer by visiting them at designercandy.com.au/.

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