Val’s Valise

Tips For Traveling With People With Dementia

Traveling is a way to relax and recharge, but it can be stressful when things don’t go as planned.  That’s especially true for families who are traveling with a loved one living with dementia.  The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) offered the following tips for people to help make the trip as smooth as possible. “Traveling is a fun and enjoyable way to reenergize your body and mind.  It can be beneficial to people living with dementia and their family caregivers under the proper circumstances,” said Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA’ President and CEO.  “Before going on a trip,...

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4 Steps to Surviving Family Holiday Reunions

Holidays can be a sweet spot, or can easily go sour when we bring the family together. David Cunningham is senior program leader for Landmark, a world-renowned personal and professional growth, training and development company. His focus is on communication. “We gather at the holidays to celebrate together, to relive happy times past, renew old relationships and catch up with people we haven’t seen in a while,” Cunningham says. “This is also the time of year that we’re more likely to see people we might otherwise avoid due to relationships strained from past problems.” What should you say in...

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When To Fly Over The Holidays With Data From Hipmunk.com

Still trying to figure out when to get out of town for Christmas? * Since you’ve waited so long, (ahem)…. at this point, you’re best off flying right after Santa is finished delivering toys if you want to spend less and not have to contend with the crowds. Busiest departure days: Friday Dec 22 and Saturday December 23 (47 percent) Least busy departure date: Monday, Christmas Day (1 percent) Most expensive departure day: Wednesday Dec 20 ($480 average) Least expensive: Christmas Day ($374 average, $100 savings over most expensive departure day) *Data provided by...

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How A Chevy Equinox Test-Drive Turns Into A Hurricane Getaway Car

By Valarie D’Elia Under normal circumstances, travelers might create a checklist when preparing for a road trip, but as I learned, you can’t plan for every fork in the road. When I was offered the opportunity to test-drive a new 2018 Chevy Equinox for a trip to the Florida Keys in exchange for a review, I took for granted the fact that gas is relatively cheap and plentiful. And then came Irma. The trip was right after Labor Day. The pick up point for the Equinox was Miami International Airport, as my boyfriend Ron and I were looking forward...

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Jimmy Buffett Rides A Wave All The Way To Broadway

By Valarie D’Elia “In surfer vernacular, I think we’ve got a good wave and I’d like to ride it for a while.” Singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett could easily be talking about his 50-year career, during which he’s created a loyal following of baby boomers known as “Parrotheads,” people who dress up like sharks and cheeseburgers, hero worshipping a 70-year old balding, barefoot free-spirit. (Including the author of this story.) However, this estimated $500 million net-worth entrepreneur is referring more pointedly to his latest venture. Not an “active living” community in his growing Margaritaville hotel empire, but a Broadway show that...

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Why TPA Is The Best U.S. Airport And Getting Better

By Valarie D’Elia Located in the heart of a quintessential Florida tourism area, Tampa International Airport (TPA) served as Walt Disney World’s airport before Orlando International Airport (MCO) was built. Opened in 1971, TPA was designed on the premise that no passenger should be more than 700 steps from their car to the gate. To that end, it employs a network of monorail style trains, (the first airport in the world to have “people movers,” ) which are rumored to be the precursor to those at Disney. A frequent visitor to Florida’s Gulf Coast, I feel like I’m on...

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Why NYC Freelancers Won’t Be Fleeced Anymore

If you are part of the 38% of New York City writers and workers who freelance, here’s some very good news. The Freelance Isn’t Free Act is now law. This Act, (the first of its kind in the nation) offers protections to freelancers who’ve had to engage in the frustrating game of chasing down money. The effort, spearheaded last fall by the Freelancers Union,  rallied more than 8,000 freelancers to sign a petition that pushed the bill to a vote. In essence, the law calls for mandatory contracts for workers earning 1099-income of at least $800 over a four...

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Tips For Choosing A Summer Camp For Your Kids

By Lena Inglis Choosing the right summer camp for kids and teens can be overwhelming. Navigating a world of camp types, themes and locations can be challenging whether you’re looking for something in upstate New York or further west.  Not to mention that camp costs can swell well over budget — that’s why we’ve teamed up with Katherine Firestone, the founder of the Fireborn Institute,  to help parents sift through the many choices. She offers strategies on how to use the upcoming summer vacation to set children up for success in the fall. Safety Numerous camps specialize in team...

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Against The Odds, Mega-Resort Baha Mar Finally Opens In Nassau

The first phase of a $4.2 billion resort & casino development in the Bahamas that was plagued by delays has finally opened. A well-publicized dispute between the resort’s developer and his Chinese partners that led to bankruptcy court was finally settled, culminating in a traditional ribbon-cutting more than two years overdue. The first phase of a 3-hotel project, Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, replete with five pools, is now open.  It features1800 rooms & suites, the largest casino in the Caribbean along with 20 bars and restaurants as well as a convention center. Luxury retail outlets, a 30,000 square foot...

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How Wasted Hotel Soap & Lotions Are Saving Lives

Do you ever feel guilty about using those small plastic bottles of lotion or shampoo at your hotel? Do you know how much soap is wasted by travelers who unwrap a bar, and don’t finish it up? It’s estimated that the North American lodging industry alone throws away more than a million bars of soap each day. But now, a major hotel group, Georgia-based Atrium Hospitality, is trying to remedy that through a recycling program with a non-profit called Clean the World. Clean the World says about 2 million children under the age of five die every year due...

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