How to Save on Foreign Exchange Fee When Travelling Abroad

Introduction to saving money when changing from one currency to another

Money lost in foreign currency conversion is mostly gone unnoticed by most of people traveling abroad. Even frequent international travelers are ignorant about ways to save money while converting foreign exchange. A traveler can lose any thing between 4% to 10% when converting one currency to another, based on the method used for the conversion of money.

The biggest culprit is ignorance or misinformation provided by middlemen engaged in currency conversion trade. Travelers choose credit cards or other methods to change money in another currency solely out of habit or influenced by advertisement available at airports, travel websites or banks.

Money can be converted by buying foreign currency from the bank or Forex dealer in the home country or abroad. In addition, credit cards, stored value Forex debit cards, bank debit cards, travelers checks, bank drafts can be used for changing money from one currency to another. Choice of method used for exchange of domestic currency should ideally be decided by answering following questions:

How much money do I need to convert?
What is the length of my total stay abroad?
Do I plan to travel to one country or multiple countries? What will be duration of stay in each of the country?
What is the minimum amount of cash I would absolutely need at each location?

It is also influenced by individual preference for cost saving, convenience and safety. Generally convenient or safer methods will cost more to convert foreign currency. Let’s examine following most popular methods for converting one currency into another and cost / convenience associated with them.

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Travel to Ireland

Travel from the airport is easy enough as there are a number of transport services in Ireland. Once you reach the airport you can either take a bus or a cab which will not cost you too much.

The first stop should be Dublin as this is the city centre filled with a fantastic buzz and the nightlife is something that you have to experience while you are there.

Accommodation in Dublin can get expensive but there are a few places that are cheap enough for you to keep money to spend on souvenirs.

If you want a comfortable five star experience then a hotel like the Gresham or the Shelbourne Renaissance hotel are fantastic but expensive if you are on a budget. The average price of a room for these hotels range between 100 to 250 euro’s per night.

For a chance to meet Bono and U2, you can stay in their hotel called the “Clarence” which is an average of 200 euro’s per night but if it is five star service you are looking for then you would have a better chance of meeting the band as the service and the décor is old and tired.

Spending money on expensive accommodation is not worth your while as there is so much to do there and finding something central just to allow you to explore Dublin is a good idea.

Budget accommodation in the city centre should cost you about 30 euro’s per night but to find the cheapest rate you can look at lastminute.com as they have specials and “top secret” locations for great prices.

The city centre is in walking distance to everything but you do need to know that every city has their crime and to avoid being mugged, you should stay out of the alley ways and walk on the main roads or take a bus or cab to get to where you need to be.

Looking for accommodation in the city centre means that you need to know which of the streets are the most popular for tourists and stay one or two streets behind them.

Temple bar is a terrific place to let your hair down and have fun, listening to the Irish music on the cobble stone streets, visiting the local pub and places to eat can get expensive as they do cater for tourists. The best option is to look for the places that all the locals go to, to avoid being ripped off.

It is a festive city and the atmosphere is fantastic with so much to explore while you are there.

I would recommend staying in the city for two nights so that you can get to see everything there is to see there before you move on to the next stop.

Looking for accommodation is easy and all you need to do is ask a local for the best place. The Irish are very friendly and helpful, their currency is euro’s and the drink in Ireland is Guinness.

The Guinness Storehouse, photographed by Pat Swan for the Guinness Photo gallery competition
The Guinness Storehouse, photographed by Pat Swan for the Guinness Photo gallery competition
Attractions in Dublin

Dublin has many places for you to see and the first stop should be the Guinness Storehouse. Here you can do the tour and watch how they make their famous drink as well as get your very own pint as you watch the view of Dublin from the “Gravity Bar.”

There are souvenirs and you can eat there too but it is very interesting to have a look at the old building which was bought by the Guinness family when they signed a 9000 year lease for the property.

The Guinness Storehouse has its very own fire department, ambulance service and employees that have retired are welcome to go there every day for a pint.

The building itself, is beautiful and very old but fantastic to photograph.

You will find the Storehouse at St James Gate, Dublin and it is open from 9:30 to 5pm everyday and the tickets cost about 15 euro’s per adult, which includes a free pint of Guinness.

Stack Em Up: Layering Rings 101

When it comes to layering accessories, we have yet to master the wear-every-ring-you-own-at-the-same-time look. So, we consulted style expert Shahrnaz Shifteh to find out how to pull off wearing numerous rings on multiple fingers. (Hint: Contrary to popular belief, this does not involve actually wearing every ring you own.) Take style notes from Shifteh to pack the most sartorial punch into your accessory layering.

Master Understated Style

When layering rings, it’s a good rule of thumb to pick a metal and stick with it. In this look, Shifteh has layered gold rings — some with stones, some without. Stick with rings that have similarly sized stones and gems to ensure the rings stack up nicely. “You can stock up on relatively inexpensive rings to create this casual effect. One ring might not look nice on it’s own, but you may be surprised by how chic it looks when it’s stacked with several rings,” said Shifteh.

Keep it Effortlessly Cool

“Pinky rings are trendy again and they are so easy to wear that you never have to take them off — you can always have a touch of jewelry on,” advised Shifteh. They are also very versatile so you can pair them with larger, more elaborate rings, just be sure to match your metals. Spiky rings, like the ones Shifteh is wearing here, are timeless and exude an effortlessly cool vibe.

Get Cocktail-Ready

As their name suggests, cocktail rings are great accessories for occasions that call for dressy attire. “If you’re going to wear a big statement ring, you have to have clean, polished nails because it draws so much attention to your hands,” advised Shifteh. “Even something as simple as a coat of clear or iridescent polish will do the trick.”

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Magic Hour is Jane Iredale's Spring makeup collection @JaneIredale #MagicHour

Jane Iredale Magic Hour Spring 2014 Makeup Collection
Rating:StarStarStarStarStar
March 17, 2014
Jane Iredale’s Spring 2014 makeup collection was inspired by Jane Iredale’s iconic Moonglow Quad Bronzer. And if you want to celebrate Spring, the soft pastels of this collection will have you feeling feminine, with new products that flatter just about every skin tone.

The new Magic Hour collection includes new Lip Fixations in coral and muave, a In Touch highlighter (perfect for face + lips), a trio of gold eyeshadow, and inky gel liners in black and brown.Here’s a bit more about the products:

New Jelly Jar Gel Eyeliner – Soft and creamy; glides on smoothly for a defined or smudgeable line, then sets to stay just where you want it. Highly pigmented; provides inky color in black or brown. *I tried this on my hand and let me tell you, it stayed put1 Of course you can remove it, but it won’t smudge or run.. This is good news, especially in the warmer months when you don’t want perspiration ruining your eye look. I like the new, angled eye liner brush that makes application of gel or liquid liner easier, too.

Comfort In Touch Highlighter – A sun-kissed coral, cream-to-powder highlighter that gives skin a natural-looking radiance. *no matter what intensity of skin tone you have, this beautiful highlighter will enhance it.

Golden Girl PurePressed Eye Shadow Triple – A harmonious trio of shimmering gold colors that flatter every skin tone. *who doesn’t like a trio? Great for travel, and you can wear it so many ways.

New shades of Lip Fixation – The Magic Hour collection features two new Lip Fixations, a flirtatious coral, Craze and a flattering mauve, Compulsion. *these are gorgeous and they feel amazing. They’re a bit too light for me since I’ve been wearing red most of the time, but on a casual day they’re lovely, and the shimmery clear gloss on these dual-ended products are crazy-good!

The Bottom Line: When I looked at the collection I thought: “These colors are really soft and pretty, perfect for Spring and the daytime — but how will they translate for evening, and for those women who like a deeper, more edgy look? The “how-to” for the edgier, evening look is below. It’s easy!

Using the Eye Contour Brush, press the darkest shade of the Golden Girl PurePressed Eye Shadow Triple into the outer corner of the eye.

Using the Eye Shader Brush, apply the lightest shade of the Golden Girl PurePressed Eye Shadow Triple. Start at the center of the lid and work to the inner corner. Be sure to blend the two shades at the center of the eye.

Using the Angle Eyeliner Brush, apply the Black Jelly Jar Gel Eyeliner by pressing the length of the brush along your upper lash and lower lash line, starting at the outer corner. Go back and sweep product over this line.

Apply a sheer layer of Comfort In Touch Highlighter to the top of the cheekbones. Apply directly from the tube and blend with your finger.

Try Craze Lip Fixation Lip Stain/Gloss for a melon lip, or Compulsion Lip Fixation for a neutral lip. Apply a single dot of the stain to the middle of your upper lip, blend with your finger. Apply another dot to the middle of your bottom lip, blend with your finger. Don’t add gloss to maintain the matte look.

Tim Gunn wants plus size models in future season of Project Runway

Known for taking a stance on fashion–that it should not end at a size 12–Project Runway’s Tim Gunn mentioned in Hollywood Reporter’s Reality Roundtable segment that he would like to see more models who are a size 12 or larger in a future season of the show.

In previous seasons, Gunn has advised designers to be a bit more open-minded when it comes to fashion design. Many designers in the past have felt discouraged during each season’s “Real Women” challenge when they have to design and create clothing for body sizes over a size four.

Gunn believes that designing fashion for plus size figures for a complete season of Project Runway could be an absolute test for all competing designers. If a designer could create plus size fashions, they are able to design for every woman.

Let’s hope this happens!

The Uses of Drinks

Finding ways to provide clean, pure water for your family often requires a bit of ingenuity, especially in these days of growing Eco-consciousness. There are numerous concerns that make consuming from the tap not the most desirable drinking option, and yet the economy calls for a more cost-efficient method of staying hydrated than expensive bottled products. Investing in the proper drinking water containers will not only save money, but will create less waste and a lot less hassle.

Many of the popular water purification systems are not connected to the tap. Water is filtered in a large pitcher and can be stored in the refrigerator for a chilled beverage. The inner filter is suggested to be changed every several months with these, however they remain efficient enough to cover the needs of both drinking and cooking. This makes it possible to eliminate many of the known contaminants from the tap, without having to spend a ton of money.

If your water is treated by your municipality, the supply is guaranteed to have a bevy of chemicals that can have a detrimental effect on your health. Both chloride and chlorine are used as disinfectants. These successfully annihilate many of the disease causing bacteria, parasites and viruses that have disastrous effects on the population if left untreated.

Unfortunately however, there are no practices in place to remove chloride and chlorine from the system before the supply reaches your home. These chemicals are consumed, bathed in and also cooked with every day in homes across the nation. They are known carcinogens and in spite of the positive benefits of their use, many believe that the consequences of continued consumption far outweigh the advantages.

Another big addition for most municipal treatment systems is fluoride. This is chemically classified as being more poisonous than lead. In fact, it is twenty times more so, yet more fluoride than lead is known to come out of the tap. This has been purposefully incorporated into the treatment process because it was thought to be good for the teeth. Studies now show however that fluoride has not even a minimal benefit for tooth health unless it is applied in a topical treatment. Thus, toothpaste is a far better dental solution than continuously drinking fluoride which is known to alter brain function and change both bone density and bone structure. While there are often more than 200 known contaminants in some municipal supplies, considering even just these three will reveal the necessity of even a minimal purification system.

With the right drinking water containers you can successfully filter and store all that is need for cooking, drinking and even cleaning if preferred, even on a minimal budget. The cost of replacing filters is less than some of the bottled options and needs be done only a few times per year. If your read the online reviews and ratings you can find the best product to suit the needs of your and your household.

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5 Must-Have Cold Weather Tights

When temps dip, covering up doesn’t mean sacrificing style for warmth. Tights keep the cold out, but they can also extend the life of your spring and fall ensembles when you layer them under your favorite skirt or dress and pair them with boots or other closed-toe shoes. The plethora of styles, colors and weights also give you options whether your winters are harsh or mild. From practical to sexy, a pair of tights exists for every occasion, climate and mood.

Sweater Tights: Cozy and Versatile

If winter means braving icy cold and biting wind, these are a must, said Lindsay Viker, fashion blogger for Couture in the Suburbs in Phoenix. Opt for neutral colors to keep your legs looking long and lean, or pick up a pair with a sewn-in pattern for a little fun. Consider pairing them with your favorite boots, pencil skirt and oversized sweater. “Think of a sweater wrapped around your legs, without the added volume.

Opaque: A Reliable Classic

The go-to winter hosiery in every gal’s closet, this classic staple comes in a variety of colors, goes with just about any ensemble and is great for less-intense climates. For cold regions, Viker suggested wearing two pairs — one to hold in your body heat and one to combat the chilly air outside. In milder regions, wear one pair with a dress, layer with a blazer and finish with a scarf. “Now, your favorite dress doesn’t have to hang in the closet all winter.

Colorful: Fun, Bold and Bright

If you are in search of a pair that can transition your spring ensembles into the fall and winter seasons, try a bold hue like burnt orange, oxblood or deep purple. Eye-catching tones also offer a little pick-me-up on a gloomy day. “Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and try unexpected pairings this winter.

Patterns: Warm and Trendy

Perfect for anyone who lives in a city where the winters are relatively mild, these tights will let you layer for cooler weather without making you uncomfortably warm, Viker said. Knee-high socks are a great way to try out the trend without making a full commitment to an all-over pattern. “Stay within one color family to prevent your look from being too busy.”

Metallic: Add a Little Sparkle

Have a dressy pair on hand for those formal dinner parties, cocktail fetes, night at the opera or any occasion when you’re going to need more coverage than what your little black dress can offer. “If you’re going to be outside at night, choose a thicker tight with larger sparkles so they still make an impact.

A Few of Favorite Things of Women Accessories

I hate to admit it, but I’m a creature of habit. Big time. I tend to wear the same clothes, listen to the same podcasts and gravitate toward the same publications. I like adventure — where we’re constantly thinking of new ways to present our content and impress our readers — I try to keep my own routine predictable. Here are a few of my go-to products during the workweek, so that I can stay on my toes when it comes to everything else.

  • This is what I mean about wearing a uniform: I own more than one of these simple, lightweight J. Crew tops. But before you say, “Ugh, boring,” hear me out — these shirts go with everything. Pair it with jeans, tuck it into a skirt, or layer it under a jacket. As for shoes? Try these.
  • The best part about this tote bag, in addition to its size and color, is pretty simple: it has a zipper. That’s right, I’m easily impressed (and prone to carrying too many things at once).
  • We don’t have an official book club at the office, but we’ve been talking about Emma Cline’s novel for weeks. It has been passed across the desks of four editors so far.
  • Not only does Rifle Paper Co.’s stationery look great as art on a bulletin board, but a card can also double as a last-minute letter in case a coworker has an impromptu celebration. Go above and beyond with this envelope.
  • I am a sucker for gummy bears, and I try to eat only a handful a week. The keyword there is try.
  • An editor who likes coffee? How original! But this delicious one comes in a carton that’s equal parts nostalgic and fun, so you’ll have to excuse the cliché.

A Blazer for Women

If there’s one item that should automatically be included in every woman’s wardrobe, it’s the blazer. Strong not just in the versatility department, a blazer also has that vaguely magical ability to make you feel confident when you need it most — like when meeting your boyfriend’s parents, going on a job interview or brunching after a big night out. Even though a blazer is pretty much a non-negotiable wardrobe essential, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to find the right style for you. To find one that you’ll wear for the next decade, you’re going to have to be prepared to roll up your sleeves and start searching. Luckily, I’ve made it easy for you. Read on for my tips for finding the perfect blazer.

Buy to Match Your Lifestyle

First things first, it’s important to narrow in on what you need your blazer for, as there are so many different styles you can choose from depending on where you’ll be wearing it. Consider the different occasions on which you’ll wear it — to work, school, out to lunch or on dates. Chances are, your average blazer will work for most of these occasions, but you’re looking for the cream of the crop. Your lifestyle will define the color, shape and details of the ideal blazer for you.

Fit the Shoulders

A well fitting blazer is one that perfectly molds to your shoulders, highlighting your frame without appearing too small or too oversized. Unless you’re going for a boyfriend look, make sure you carefully check the shoulder seam when trying on a blazer. The perfect fit should end right where your shoulders do and not be too short or too long.

Consider Sleeve Length

While getting the right fit on the shoulders is non-negotiable for me, I’m a little more relaxed about sleeve length. If the sleeves of your blazer are just a bit too long, you can always roll them up (even better if there’s contrasting lining). But avoid any blazers that are too short — you can get away with a slightly longer sleeve, but never too short. This, once again, comes down to where you plan on wearing your blazer. If it’s a polished work look you’re after, you might want to make sure the sleeves are the right length so you don’t have to fold them.

Pick the Right Button Location

The location of the buttons on your blazer determines its overall look and feel — high gives a more mature look, while lower will appear more relaxed. For me, the perfect location of the buttons is just below your lower bra line or just below your bust. This allows your blazer to be comfortably buttoned up without feeling too uptight.

Be Smart About Color

For a blazer that takes you from work to the farmers market and everywhere in between, you’re going to want to stick with a minimalist hue, such as black or navy. This will ensure that it goes with everything in your wardrobe, thus increasing its wearability. Once you’ve found the perfect staple blazer, you can then look at more trend driven pieces in various colors, such as a pastel colored blazer for spring. But make sure to get the basics right first.
Go for Timeless Details

When it comes to stitching, lapel and button details, you’ll want to pick a blazer that is simple and timeless. After all, you’ll want to wear this for the rest of your life, right? Stick to gold, black or matching buttons, and opt for simple stitching that isn’t too trend driven. A slim lapel and collar will also transcend seasons.

Go for Quality

When shopping for your new blazer, focus on finding a quality piece that will last, rather than a cheaper item that won’t stand the test of time. With that in mind, spend as much as you can afford (without going overboard, obviously) on a style that’s made from sturdy, natural materials that you’ll wear and wear. I suggest looking at J Crew, Madewell, Banana Republic or Club Monaco. These stores have classic pieces that will last. You can also look in designer thrift stores to get your hands on high-end pieces for a steal.

How to Get Grease Out of Clothing

Grease is stubborn stain to get out of clothing. In a regular wash, the dirty, black part of the stain may be removed easily, but the darker-looking spot may remain. Pre-treating can help to prevent the permanent staining of the garment.

Instructions

Fresh Stains

  1. Place a few drops of hand dish-washing soap on the stain. Dish-washing soap that is advertised as a formula for cutting through grease works best. Rub the fabric together lightly to distribute evenly.
  2. Dampen a sponge in warm water. Rub the soap into the stain gently, in a circular motion, saturating the stain to the edges and through to the back of the fabric.
  3. Allow the clothing to sit and pre-treat for as long as possible. Leaving the garment overnight is best, but the dish soap should cut through the stain in less than a few hours.
  4. Start the washer on the warm temperature and small-sized load settings. Allow the washer to fill completely and add 1/4 cup of all-purpose cleaner. Add the clothing. Wash the garment separately to prevent any damage or leaching of stains to other clothing in the wash. Do not dry.
  5. Wash again using typical laundry detergent. This will remove any residue of the soap or stain. Older, Set-in Stains
  6. Treat the area with a small amount of oven cleaner. Saturate through the clothing, soaking through to the back of the fabric.
  7. Dampen the sponge and work the cleaner into the stain well. Scrub lightly from edge to edge.
  8. Allow the cleaner to sit on the stain for around 15 minutes. Oven cleaner is strong and could damage clothes if left on fabric too long before washing. Set a timer to prevent over-saturation and damage to the fabric.
  9. Start the washer on the warm temperature and small-sized load settings. Allow the washer to fill completely and add 1/4 cup of all purpose cleaner. Add the soiled clothing.
  10. Wash the garment separately to prevent any damage or leaching in the process of washing. Wash it again with standard laundry detergent to remove any cleaning product residue.