PARKER WALLACE – AUTHOR, EAT RICH, STAY SKINNY: A GIRL’S GUIDE TO HOLIDAY FEASTING - FIND OUT HOW TO CREATE A GREAT SUMMER PARTY & STILL FIT INTO THOSE SKINNY JEANS
Find Out How to Create a Great Summer Party & Still Fit Into Those Skinny Jeans
If you’re looking for the ingredients for a fantastic Fourth of July party – or any summer party for that matter – then you’ll love this interview with Parker Wallace, founder of What’s on Parker’s Plate. Parker is also the author of a best-selling cookbook, called: Eat Rich, Stay Skinny: A Girls’ Guide to Holiday Feasting.” On June 27th the super chef will provide your viewers and listeners with a guide for Independence Day holiday eating that will inspire them to try some new and innovative products. Parker is ready to show your audience how to turn their regular July 4th celebration into a super party that all their neighbors, friends and relatives will remember for years. Parker will also share some recipes that will still allow you to fit into those skinny jeans, even after the holidays.
AWARD WINNING COUNTRY VOCALIST CASSADEE POPE – WILL PERFORM AT THIS YEARS “A CAPITOL FOURTH ON PBS”
Broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, “A Capitol Fourth” this year will also feature performances by: legendary Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Smokey Robinson; platinum selling recording star and Grammy Award-winner Kenny Loggins; multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw; Award-winning country vocalist Cassadee Pope; actress and singer Amber Riley (GLEE), who is set to star in DREAMGIRLS THE MUSICAL on London’s West End; musical prodigy and classical crossover star Jackie Evancho; Tony Award-winning Broadway and television star Sutton Foster (YOUNGER, GILMORE GIRLS); and the cast of the smash hit Broadway musical “On Your Feet!” the inspiring true story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan; with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly. Alisan Porter, the Season 10 winner of THE VOICE, will open the show with a special performance of the “National Anthem.” The concert will also feature special segments in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the USO and the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service (more details to come).
The 36th annual broadcast of A CAPITOL FOURTH airs on PBS Monday, July 4, 2016 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ETbefore a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network. The program can also be heard live in stereo over NPR member stations nationwide.
MIRIAM CROSS – STAFF WRITER, KIPLINGER’S PERSONAL FINANCE MAGAZINE - SUMMER TRAVEL–IS IT BETTER TO BOOK DIRECT OR USE AN ONLINE TRAVEL AGENCY?
HOW TO GET THE BEST DEALS ON ALL YOUR SUMMER TRAVEL NEEDS
Is it Better to Book Travel Directly or Use an Online Travel Agency?
Each has its merits, but what's the better way to pay?
It’s hard to beat the convenience of online travel agencies, such as Expedia and Priceline, when shopping for the cheapest airfare or choosing a hotel. OTAs not only aggregate flights, accommodations, rental cars and vacation packages but also let you compare options by price, user rating and other criteria. Sometimes they offer discounts and attractive package deals, too. But it doesn’t always make sense to book with an OTA.
When direct is better. For domestic travel, prices are similar when you book directly or through a third-party site, says Douglas Quinby, vice president of research at Phocuswright, a travel-industry research firm. But going to the source has benefits: It’s easier to compare fare options and bundled fees on an airline’s website, for example. Plus, third-party sites are not currently bound by the federal rule requiring U.S. airlines to give travelers 24 hours to hold or cancel a ticket. Many sites mention a similar window for canceling, but the policies are not always spelled out.
Hotel chains such as Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott offer small discounts to their loyalty members for reserving directly, and you usually have to book directly to earn rewards points. Plus, “there is a good amount of anecdotal evidence that hotels treat people better when they book directly,” says Pauline Frommer, editorial director of travel publisher Frommer’s.
Travel forums and consumer review sites detail a slew of instances in which OTAs bungle customer service when things go wrong. Plus, changing or canceling your flight or itinerary can cost extra, and some smaller sites charge a service fee for booking. For example, Priceline adds $30 on top of the airline’s change fee if you need to modify your itinerary; CheapOair, Vayama and others slap on $100 or more. If you need to cancel a nonrefundable fare, credit may or may not be available through the airline. Southwest, Allegiant and many international budget airlines aren’t searchable on OTAs, so you need to look up their fares separately.
To cover your bases, use a meta-search engine, such as Kayak, to compare OTA rates with prices from the airlines, hotels and car rental companies, then weigh how much the savings mean to you.
When OTAs get the nod. If you’re planning an international trip, an online travel agency is a good way to simplify the booking process and find low rates. “The hotel market is more fragmented, and airfares are more competitive, so you will see a lot more variation in price,” says Quinby. OTAs often cobble together complex itineraries using multiple airlines in a way that would be difficult—and time-consuming—to replicate yourself.
If you’re not loyal to a certain brand, you may benefit from an OTA’s rewards program, such as the Hotels.com “free night” reward after you stay at eligible properties for 10 nights. You can also find good value using an OTA to bundle flights with hotels or cars, especially for popular destinations. Before you decide to buy, price each component separately to be sure you’re getting a good deal, and check for inflexible cancellation and change policies, such as nonrefundable rates. For an expensive, special vacation, you may feel more comfortable piecing the trip together yourself—or letting a traditional travel agent plan it.