Buying a Travel Trailer – The Pros and Cons of New and Used Travel Trailers

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Are you thinking about buying a travel trailer? There are so many decisions to make.

* Do you want a new or used trailer?

* Is this going to be a cash purchase or financed?

* What are you willing to spend?

* Should you get a 5th wheel, toy hauler or tongue pull travel trailer?

* What manufacturer are you interested in?

* What floor plan is best for your requirements?

If you are undecided, you should start out by considering the pros and the cons of buying used vs. buying new. Take your time when buying your travel trailer. Do your research and avoid spontaneous buys.

PROS of Buying a Used Travel Trailer

* More Bang for Your Buck. A used travel trailer will hold it’s worth longer than a new trailer. A used trailer is the way to go if you are on a looking to save money or don’t want to be stuck with making payments for 10 years. You could get a used 252 with all the bells and whistles cheaper than a NEW 202 plain jane travel trailer.

* Do Your Research. Visit travel trailer forums and read what owners are saying about particular travel trailers, both good and bad, this information could save you a bunch of future headaches. Remember the greater part of travel trailers that are purchased new rarely see any camping action, a large amount of trailers are either put in storage or parked at peoples houses. Its not unregular to find a used travel trailer in showroom condition, even older travel trailers from the 70’s can be found in great condition.

* Second-hand travel trailers hold their value! If you get a good quality bargain on a used travel trailer and decide to sell it a few years later you have a great chance of getting all your money back.

CONS of Purchasing a Used Travel

* Potential Problems. Buying a used travel trailer is a bit of a gamble, there could be minor problems or major problems and if you are lucky – no problems with the trailer. In most cases the warranty will have long ago expired, so expenses will be out of your pocket. Do your homework right so problems won’t be a surprise.

* Elbow Grease. You will need to give your new used trailer a good cleaning, no matter what condition it’s in.

* Less selection of ideal floor plans. Floor plans are limited by what’s currently for sale.

PROS of Buying a New Travel Trailer

* Nice & Sparkling. It’s new, fresh and all yours!

* Warranty. If there are problems, take the trailer back to your dealer and they’ll have to repair them for free!

* Maintenance Free. You do not have to be bothered with purchasing new tires, new battery, or any other part for at least a year or until the warranty has expired.

* Floor Plans. Lots of floor plans and interior colors to choose from.

CONS of Buying

A Guide to Buying and Using Travel Insurance

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Is Travel Insurance Really Necessary?

Travel is already expensive enough, isn’t it? The cost of air fare, cruises, hotels, ground transportation, food and activities and entertainment are already high enough. I don’t know about you, but I work hard for my money, and when I travel, I want to keep as much of my money in MY pocket as possible. Is travel insurance a necessity or a luxury? Why not cut a few corners here and there. Why buy something if it’s not really needed?

My personal answer is, of course, that I am not independently wealthy and can’t withstand the potential financial losses I would incur if I require medical care while I’m traveling. Not being independently wealthy also means that I’m in the market for adequate but cheap travel insurance. I suspect that you are in the same position, so you, too need cheap travel insurance. If you’re still not sure about that, consider the following.

Did you know that if you get sick or are injured while traveling abroad, your medical plan may not cover all the expenses you will incur? If the costs of treatment are higher than the maximums of your medical plan, you will be responsible for the difference, unless you have already purchased travel insurance. In fact, you may not even be admitted into hospitals in some countries without proof that you have health or medical insurance.

This is true for everyone, regardless of age or length of time abroad. Suppose you fall ill just a few hours after arriving at your destination. Or suppose you make a day-trip to another country, and you are injured in a traffic accident. Or suppose one of your children is part of a group making a class visit abroad, gets food poisoning and requires hospitalization. In all cases, without adequate travel health insurance, you will be responsible for the costs above and beyond the limitations of your existing medical plan.

Therefore, before going abroad, you need to make sure that you are adequately covered by travel medical insurance that won’t break your budget. You should check to see if appropriate coverage is already available to you through your medical plan, employee benefits, or even through a credit card. If the coverage is sufficient for your needs, then you can enjoy your trip without incurring the extra expense of travel insurance. However, if you are not sure of your coverage, or if your coverage is inadequate or non-existent, then your next step should be to research and purchase the travel insurance coverage you need.

How Much Can You Expect To Pay?

When I bought my first plane ticket to China a few years ago it cost around $2000 round-trip, and my travel insurance cost me over $500 because I didn’t shop around for cheap travel insurance online.

A few years later, a little bit older and wiser, and my travel insurance for another trip to China cost me much less–about $300 for roughly the same coverage. The …

Laundering Bed Linen for Hotel Use – What to consider When Buying Linen

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Perfectly laundered bed linen is not a consideration for hotels, it is a public demand and a hygiene requirement. If there is one reason a guest will choose to immediately leave a hotel room (and probably never return) it is because of poorly laundered bed linen.

This article briefly looks at what is to be considered when buying bed linen for hotel use: what fabric lasts the longest and which washes most effectively.

Longevity
All bed linen has a life span. This is best described as to how many washes the linen can withstand whilst still retaining its quality. The easiest way to ensure that linen lasts longer is to choose Egyptian cotton. The purchasing will cost more, but this is offset by two factors: the longevity and the initial quality that the customer experiences. So why is Egyptian cotton better?

In cotton size does matter and it all has to do with the length of the cotton fibers. The conditions in Egypt produce the longest fibers (more than 1.5 inches) and this means they are stronger and finer, giving the feeling of softness.

Thread count is an important part of that feeling of comfort and luxury. Most popular cottons have a count of approximately 150, with good quality sheets starting at around 180. 200 is the point at which a thread count reaches into the luxury range.

Yet it is not just about the number of threads per square inch. Egyptian cotton fibers being longer allows for finer, thinner threads which means there are more to the inch. But it also has to do with the 'ply' of the threads – like the number of layers in toilet paper – twisted together and how these are woven tightly to form the fabric. Quality Egyptian cotton has two ply which means smoother, finer thread.

Longer threads mean there are less of them and so there are less ends to fray. They are also thinner and so they are more tightly packed which makes the sheets stronger. Finally this combination of thin, long threads makes for a more stable, tight weave which is unlikely to bobble and it can absorb more dye to give longer lasting colors.

Percale
'Percale' is also a term worth looking out for, because this refers to the type of weave used. Percale gives a fabric strength and this means it will last longer in multiple washes. Percale is generally only found in high thread-count fabrics.

Mercerization
This chemical treatment process for cotton was invented by a Lancashire man, John Mercer – hence 'mercer'-ization. The modern development of this process has resulted in a treatment which allows for a softer and stronger fabric. Egyptian cotton that has been treated in this way is the most durable and it will be less likely to fade or lose its high-quality feel in repetitive washes.

Effective Washing
Egyptian cotton can absorb more water in the wash. In fact, Egyptian cotton often gets better as it is washed again and again, …

What You Need to Consider Before Buying a Vacation Home As a Retiree

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Retirees look forward to spending time relaxing, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. Often, they combine these activities into purchasing a vacation home. But, making this sort of purchase can be a huge step for people who are living on a fixed income or who aren't sure about taking on a mortgage in their later years. If you're thinking about making this type of purchasing now that you have retired, carefully consider the following when making your decision.

1. Can You Afford a Vacation Home?

Your first consideration must be the cost. If you are a retiree whose primary residence is paid off, you are in a better position to make a purchase because you have equity in your current home and may be able to use it to get a home equity loan to help pay for your vacation property .

Keep in mind that a larger down payment often results in a lower mortgage interest rate and lower monthly payments, so the more you can afford upfront for your vacation property, the better.

Another option that may make this option more affordable is working with a credit union rather than your traditional financial institution. Credit unions often offer members lower mortgage interest rates, so it's worth shopping around for a mortgage before you commit to the bank that held your primary residence mortgage.

Keep in mind, however, that the mortgage for a vacation home will not be your only expense. You'll also need to be able to afford homeowners insurance, energy and other utility bills, regular maintenance, repairs, property taxes, and potential property management fees, particularly if your vacation property is a significant distance from your primary residence.

2. Do You Have Enough Time to Commit to a Vacation Home?

Retirees often retire assuming they will have all the time in the world to do whatever they want. However, they often find themselves even busier in retirement because they travel to visit family, spend time with grandchildren and help with babysitting, devote time to getting in shape, attend more doctor appointments, and volunteer.

Scheduling time at your home is a must, so you can take care of the property and make it worth your investment. If you already find that you have difficulty making time for all that you want to do, purchasing this type of retirement property may not be for you.

3. Will Your Vacation Home Accommodate Your Family?

Many retirees address the issue of having time to visit a retirement property and family by purchasing a second residence that appeals to their family and serves as a vacation hub for everyone. The trouble is, the larger the property, the more expensive it is. You'll need to find a home option that can accommodate your family and your budget, and that often means a home with large bedrooms or a finished basement that can hold inflatable mattresses or pull-out couches for visitors.

You'll also want to be sure you have plenty of bathrooms and …

What to Look for When Buying Sofas for Vacation Rentals

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Vacation rental furniture must be durable in order to stand up to regular use by a wide variety of vacationers who may not care for your furnishings quite as well as you would like them to. Holiday rentals, by their nature, are occupied by a constantly transitioning parade of temporary residents who use them as a home base for family vacations, ski trips, weekends at the lake or corporate retreats in the mountains. While some renters are mindful of the furnishings and treat their temporary housing as if it was their home, many do not. Anyone who owns temporary rentals has either heard stories of raucous parties and trashed houses, or they have experienced these things themselves.

Knowing that your furniture will very likely be mistreated by at least some of the folks who call your rental property home for a weekend, a week or a month, it is imperative that you invest in furnishings that you will not have to replace every time a rowdy group of friends parties a bit too hard or a pair of permissive parents lets their children run loose with chocolate ice cream, crayons and fruit punch. This is particularly true when purchasing a sofa, since you know this piece of furniture will definitely be used on a daily basis and will take the brunt of any mishaps that may occur.

What to Look for When Vacation Rental Sofa Shopping

When shopping for vacation rental sofas, there are three main factors to keep in mind: They should be durable, washable and renewable. Other features that might not be deal breakers, but are certainly nice to have, include storage space and the ability to be separated and moved around to create a variety of seating arrangements.

Seeking out high-quality, durable sofas is a given when shopping for rental furnishings. Poorly made furniture will not last and is not worth the money, even if the sofa was incredibly cheap. If you have to replace your rental’s sofa every few months, or even every few years, you are not getting the value you need out of the piece. Therefore, shopping for sofas with sturdy construction from a reputable manufacturer is essential.

It is also important to keep in mind that even the most well-constructed sofa can still be damaged from spills, cuts, ill-mannered pets and rowdy guests. This is where choosing a washable fabric sofa from a company that offers replacement fabric, cushions and pieces comes into play. Washable sofa fabrics are a must-have and allow you to easily launder all of the sofa fabric at the end of the vacation season or when a guest soils the fabric during their stay. This alone can save you hundreds – or even thousands of dollars – while making it easy to keep your rental attractive and appealing to new guests.

Of course, you may have more than a spill to contend with if your renters managed to cut the sofa fabric, allowed their dog to chew up a …

Thinking of Buying a Condo Hotel? Here Are 20 Things You Need to Know!

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1. What is a condo hotel or condotel?

Think of a condo hotel (also sometimes called a condotel or hotel condo) as buying a condominium, although one that is part of a four-star caliber hotel. Therefore, as an owner, when you are on vacation, you’ll get the benefit of more four-star services and amenities than you’d get in a typical condominium.

2. What types of services and amenities are found in condo hotels?

If you can imagine the niceties you’d find in an upscale hotel, then you can picture a condo hotel. Among the features are often resort-style pools, full-service spas, state-of-the-art fitness centers, fine dining restaurants, concierge services and room service.

In some locations, like Las Vegas, you’ll find condo hotels with their own casinos, retail areas, and entertainment venues. In places like Orlando, you’ll find condo hotels with their own water parks and convention facilities.

3. What is the difference between a condo hotel and a traditional condominium?

The big difference between a hotel and a condo hotel is that a hotel typically has one owner, either individual or corporate, but a condo hotel is sold off unit by unit. Therefore, a 300-room condo hotel could have as many as 300 unit owners.

4. Is it evident to hotel guests whether they’re staying in a condo hotel or a traditional hotel?

A hotel guest will likely never know that the hotel has multiple owners because the property is operated just like a traditional hotel and often under the management of a well-known hotel company like Hilton, Hyatt, Starwood, Trump or W. Also, each of the individual condo hotel units will look identical in design and décor to every other, just as they would in a traditional hotel.

5. Who typically buys condo hotels?

They’re primarily sold to people who want a vacation home but do not want to deal with the hassles typically associated with second home ownership such as maintaining the property or finding renters in the off season.

6. What is the demographic of the typical condo hotel buyer?

The spectrum of condo hotel buyers is pretty broad. There are families that want a second home in a vacation destination. There are baby boomers who are at or nearing retirement and want somewhere they can “winter.” There are also plenty of investors who purchase a condo hotel unit with little intention of ever using it; they’re in it for the potential appreciation of the real estate.

7. Can you live in a condo hotel?

Condo hotels are not typically offered as primary residences. In fact, many of them limit the unit owner’s usage of the condo hotel unit (typically 30-60 days per year) because the unit is expected and needed in the hotel’s nightly rental program where it can be offered to guests and generate revenue.

8. Who gets the money when your condo hotel is rented out?

The hotel management company splits the rental revenue with the individual condo hotel owner. While the exact percentages …