School Bus Accidents – Rare, But Still an Issue

The accident rate for school buses is thankfully, very low. Considering the sheer volume of school buses that transport children to and from school daily, school buses are relatively very safe. This is probably due in part to their large size and design, and the lower speeds in which they tend to travel. However, motor vehicle accidents do still occur on school buses, and when they do, the consequences can be overwhelming for everyone involved.

The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Science and Engineering reports that there are approximately 6,000 injuries and 20 deaths annually in the USA due to school bus accidents.

School bus designs have not been changed since 1977, which means that many of them are not equipped with seat belts. Although 3 states – New York, New Jersey and Florida – require new buses to have seat belts, only New Jersey and Florida actually require riders to use them. Safety advocates have been fighting to make seat belts and seat belt usage a standard in all new buses across the country.

Out of the estimated 20 deaths that occur annually due to school buses, an incredible 15 of them are due to children being run over by the buses in the process of boarding or exit them. Safety laws have been implemented in all states to remedy this problem, but pedestrian accidents still remain.

The issues surrounding school bus accidents can become quite complicated. Personal Injury Lawyers / Accident Attorneys who have experience with liability laws can be very helpful in sorting out the legal matters surrounding this type of accident. Many factors must be taken into consideration when deciding fault in a school bus accident. Although infrequent, school bus accidents do occur, and a lawyer specializing in school bus accidents can help determine the negligent party and assess any damages that may be claimed.

Secrets Of A Travel Mom

In this article, I will be comparing the various ways a family can have the highest quality vacations for the lowest prices. I will compare various travel memberships, and buying a timeshare, so that you understand what is out there and choose what would benefit your family the most.

Traveling with kids can be more work than fun sometimes, so having accommodations with a kitchen and separate bedrooms can be the difference between enjoying a vacation and coming home exhausted.

There are several options for families to access luxury resorts around the world without paying the rack rates.

The first and most well known is to buy a timeshare or even better, to look for a timeshare resale. The problem with timeshares though, is that it is a commitment and there is normally a high upfront cost to become a member of around $10,000 or more. Timeshare owners must pay yearly maintenance fees that normally average about $700 or $800 and they get a week at a specified resort, or a couple weeks if they are using points. They do have the option of using other worldwide resorts by simply paying RCI or Interval International (the largest exchange companies) an exchange fee each time they do so. Exhanges fees are normally around $163 per exchange. For many families, owning a timeshare can improve their travel lifestyle, but there it is a longterm commitment and there are alternatives.

There are several travel memberships on the market now that offer equally, if not more value than buying a timeshare or timeshare resale. Most of them are home business opportunities that pay members to promote their company, instead of dragging people to timeshare presentations and paying sales people.

Sometimes the fact there is a business opportunity attached to a travel membership can turn people away, but it you look past that and look at what the memberships offer, you will usually find better value that if you buy a timeshare or even timeshare resale.

There are two travel companies that stood out for me when I was doing my research.

One is called Global Resorts Network and it offers families three different membership options. Their highest level offers 20 weeks vacation per year (at $398-$799/week) for a one time membership cost of $12,500. They also have a membership that offers 10 weeks per year for one time purchase of $4,995. Their lowest package gives 2 weeks per year and costs $1,995. TheyGRN use RCI as one of their travel providers which is the largest provider of timeshare properties in the world. When booking a vacation, members must make a request manually to head office.

World Discovery Club is a newer company that opened it’s doors at the end of 2011. Although their website and marketing is not as fancy, their product is solid. They also use RCI as their main condo provider, as well as a high end provider of private villas and private vacation homes for travelers with a hearty budget.

World Discovery Club has six different membership levels and members can browse inventory and book directly through their own website.

Their lowest membership is a 1 year membership for $497 and gives members to unlimited weeks ($199 up to $1200, depending on the resort and season). The average week seems to be between $355 and $698.

The next level is a 10 year membership for $1497.

Then they have a 50 year membership for $2497, which includes one $497 membership to give away. In my opinion as a travel mom and someone who has actually sold ‘real’ timeshare in the past, is the best value as a travel membership for families.

The top 3 memberships are all 99 year membership and come with more benefits, and more to give away the higher you go. They are $6497, $12,497, and $19,995.

I am not sure who would purchase the top two memberships, unless they were business people who had a lot clients, staff, or extremely large families they wanted to give vacations to.

Comparing apples to apples, I found that World Discovery Club had the best value as a product in itself and the most availability.

As a business opportunity, Global Resorts paid higher commissions to their sales reps, but their payplan did not offer any leverage. On the business side, World Discovery Club’s commissions were a little lower, but they have a multi-level apsect to their payplan, which in the home business industry is important because it ensure that your upline with help and support you better..

Both Global Resorts Network and World Discovery Club are good options to buying a timeshare because they are less expensive and offer more flexibility. Unlike timeshare, neither of the travel companies mentioned above, have any yearly maintenance fees or exchange fees, which is nice for those who do not want the commitment or contracts that you get when you buy a timeshare or a timeshare resale.

Although not as flashy to look at, World Discovery Club seems to be a ‘hidden gem’ in the travel world.

Online Travel Agent Secrets That Saves Clients 100s to 1000s of Dollars Off All Travel – Part 1

Cheap airline tickets, family vacations and last minute deals found on major search engines like Travelocity, Expedia, Priceline, and many other highly advertised websites don’t save you much compared to personal online travel agents, no matter what travel deals they claim to offer. If you aren’t saving at least $50-$100s of dollars per hotel, per vacation package, then you really aren’t getting the best vacation deal.

Did you know that cheaptickets and Expedia is owned by the same company? You are still getting sold by the same company. The travel deals, vacation and family package you thought were money savers really aren’t. They’re all selling commercial rates. Huge online travel agencies capitalizes off the average consumer’s ignorance when it comes to traveling, because they know the industry. Which is why working personally with a good travel agent, closes to gap. Travel agents and travel agency will save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars on your typical Disney and ski vacation, last minute vacation, hotels and major airline tickets if you find a good one.

Travel agents generally get all the specials first hand that the travel industry releases before they reach the general public. Generally we get wholesale rates on major international travel that’s never released to the public, only travel agents. Saving customers $300+ dollars on a vacation packages within 2 weeks notice are really all within a travel agents daily work day. Cheap airline tickets and guaranteed cheap hotels rates are always within grasp by a travel professional.

With the internet being the number one source for travel bookings(82 percent of all travel) it’s best to work with an online travel agent that has their own travel business because of the savings you’ll always receive if their true professionals of travel. Three good reasons to book family vacations and more through travel agents are:

#1. Hotel discounts: For instance, using a personal travel agent’s online travel agency, some may able to guarantee you the best rate 110 percent, all the time. How many other online travel agencies gives you those rates all the time. Plus having access to a good travel agent, you can find immediate access to unpublished hotel discount rates only available to agents. Exclusive travel agents with these insider secrets are always savings their clients hundreds of dollars.

#2. International travel: Airline consolidators only work with travel agents. They publish international and some domestic unpublished airline fares to travel agents only and sometimes at thousands below commercial rates. And before this, you thought you were saving money.

#3. Promotional Rates. Last month a travel agent ran a special from their company where two people could travel free for one entire year across the globe as many times they wanted. It’s over now, but its countless promotions like these that you will receive and immediate access to if you work closely with a travel agent. Getting specials on an all-inclusive honeymoon vacation for 5 days at $409, are just one of many specials certified travel agents gets easily. Talk about travel deals.

Yes, it’s true the old travel agency days are gone, but the use of having your personal travel agent, priceless! If the agent has their own online travel business and sounds professional, use them for all travel needs, they’ll really save you thousands.

Travel Insurance For Europe – Safeguarding Against Emergency Expenses

Adventures in far flung destinations including Europe can be full of excitement, beauty, history and culture, transporting travelers blissfully away from their daily routines. However, there are times on such journeys when the unexpected happens, and the impact of injury or accident can be much more substantial than if the same incident had occurred stateside. Travel insurance for Europe is available to travelers who will be visiting the EU zone and might need special care from European doctors or healthcare providers during their visit. Specifically, this type of coverage can help alleviate the danger of incurring massive financial harm due to unpredictable events while traveling in countries like France or Germany where health-care systems are often very similar due to EU-organized regulations. This is something everyone venturing to Europe should investigate prior to their voyage. European travel insurance plans are specifically designed to cover countries like France, Spain, Germany, and Greece. Since health care plans and systems are unique to regions and continents, a European travel insurance package will cover very different things than one for, say, South America.

Some travelers may be surprised to learn that the personal insurance coverage they enjoy at home may be inadequate protection while they are away in Europe. For example, travelers who engage in certain types of hazardous recreation such as scuba diving and mountain climbing may learn the hard way that their coverage has been negated by such activity when done in foreign lands. It is also important to note that even when traveling within a country with a nationalized system of healthcare — especially in the Euro Zone — a traveler may be wholly ineligible for free or low cost medical treatment in the case of accidental injury, which is often provided only to citizens. The European Union has done a very good job of organizing special travel insurance systems so that travelers can feel safe within their borders. This is much like the opposite arrangement where a traveler from Europe might come to the United States of America. Regardless of what state that individual mind find himself or herself, then he or she can still get great coverage. Likewise for you, it’s important that regardless of what European “state” you find yourself in that you can rely on quality coverage.

In some of the European areas outside the EU zone, for example, foreign medical practitioners and facilities may be utterly unwilling to negotiate with a traveler’s domestic insurance carrier for payment of expenses incurred due to accidents abroad. In such cases, upfront payment may be demanded prior to service. In the event appropriate treatment is unavailable in a particular location and medical evacuation is required, a tourist’s conventional domestic insurance policy may not cover the cost, which can be significant. Because of these reasons and more, travel insurance Europe is a worthwhile subject of inquiry for all seeking to venture abroad. This is important to keep in mind if your European travel plans might lead you outside the EU zone into countries like Switzerland or Norway where EU coverage may or may not apply.

Aimed at offering financial compensation for unanticipated expenses attendant to overseas travel, European travel insurance is obtainable in a wide array of types and levels, depending on the type of journey intended by the insured. Trip duration, itinerary items, and destination region all are factors in determining the type of coverage that will be made available for purchase. Often, policies covering shorter trips may be selected concurrently with the travel reservations. However, a more expansive policy of longer term may be advisable, and such coverage can also be found. Large insurance companies, cruise lines, travel directors are all viable conduits for purchasing this type of product. European travel plans are much more common as a package these days, especially since many Americans and Canadians travel to the EU region during periods like Spring Break and summer holidays.

Travel insurance for Europe is also often typically categorized by the sort of tourist to be covered. Like the EuRail pass system, European travel insurance can sometimes organized by euro-regions and country packages. For example, you might be planning only to visit Mediterranean countries like Italy, Spain, and Portugal, but not northern Euro countries like Holland and England. These customized European packages are a great way to save money! Adventurists, students, business travelers and vacationers all have different insurance needs, and policies are available that reflect that fact. Travel insurance often addresses expenses relating to emergency medical circumstances, dental services, accidental death or injury benefits, and where necessary, funeral costs when death occurs abroad. Exclusions common to this type of policy might include preexisting health issues and any injury or death occurring as a result of drug or alcohol usage.

Please keep in mind that European travel packages are very different from generalized worldwide travel insurance combo packages where multitudes of countries and regions are included at a discounted or “bulk rate.” In many cases, you are far more likely to get higher quality coverage from the European bundle packages because they provide specific coverage measures for the Euro-zone.