Road trippers should take an extra-long test drive in 2018

If you’re looking for a new car, here’s a little advice from your fellow travelers: Take your time. I mean, really take your time. Test drive the vehicle a few extra miles, or hundreds of miles, to make sure the designers didn’t take the day off when they signed off.

I’m not being cute. Some of today’s cars are so thoughtlessly designed that they leave travelers cramped and annoyed. If you’re planning to take a lengthy road trip this spring or summer, you don’t want to be stuck in one of these uncomfortable cars.

Alternative forms of insurance you need to know about now

Think you need travel insurance? Think again.

You might require something else — either a specialized insurance product that protects only one aspect of your trip, or something that isn’t insurance at all.

Call it “alt” insurance.

No, we’re not about to get political. Alt insurance is real and it can protect you regardless of ideological leanings. Sometimes, it isn’t insurance at all, but a different form of protection.

This MoneyBack Mexico case is a red-flag-a-palooza! So why did we take it?

Victoria Grzesiakowski’s case had more red flags than a Soviet military parade.

For starters, her problem happened on a cruise and it involved jewelry. One of the players was a shady Mexican company that would register a 9.0 on the scam Richter scale, if there was such a thing. And it was being handled by a surrogate, her daughter, because Grzesiakowski is 91 and doesn’t have an email address.

The travel industry is finally ending discrimination against solo travelers. Or is it?

If you travel alone, you already know this: You pay more. Hotel rates, cruise-ticket prices and tours quote rates based on double occupancy. Go alone and you’ll pay a single supplement that can double the cost of your vacation.

In a world of personalized ads, here’s how to resist the come-ons — and come out on top

To get an idea of how smart marketers have become, spend a few minutes online. Just hint that you might be interested in a product by doing a search or browsing a big site like Amazon.com. It’s enough to trigger a never-ending cascade of ads that seems to follow you around, no matter where you go.

Ready to buy? Here’s the exact moment when you should make your offer

Negotiating a deal is part art, part science.

The science part you probably already know. In the last few weeks, I’ve reviewed the best time to book an airline ticket or buy a car, a house, and a computer, among other things.

But one big question still looms: At what point during the actual negotiation do you pull the trigger? Do it too early and you could overpay. Do it too late and you might miss your opportunity altogether.

How to get better in Boulder, Colorado (and find time for a few turns)

Before my feet touched the ground, I knew something was wrong. I felt that familiar sore throat, the feverish chills, the body aches and fatigue.

I had the flu.

I rolled back into my bed at the Crowne Plaza in Denver and silently wondered, “How bad is this going to be?”

The answer came soon enough. Two of my kids — the indefatigable 11-year-old and the high-energy 13-year-old — were uninfected.

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