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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Don't Be a Victim of Identity Theft when Traveling! ATM and Debit Card Fraud: What Travelers Need to Know

According to FICO, 16 percent of all personal data breach victims in 2017 had a debit card number compromised.  This follows a record year in 2016 when there was a 70% jump in such fraud.

Categories of Personal Data Breach Victims in 2017

This is a big problem for travelers!  Why?  Many travelers use a debit card to routinely pay for items even internationally or they use their ATM card to acquire foreign currency! This form of identity theft can be avoided if you plan ahead. Here are some of the basics you should know:  If a fraudulent charge is made on your credit card, there’s no immediate financial hit while you get things sorted out — since credit card bills are paid later, no money actually leaves your hands and the laws protecting you are much clearer. But if thieves get a hold of your debit card or debit card number, they gain access to your entire bank account and everything in it.  There may be money that leaves your hands since cash is automatically taken out of your checking account. In this situation, you may have to fight to get your own money back — a process that’s taking longer and longer these days — that is, if you even do actually get any money back.  The laws protecting you for bank account fraud are not as consumer-friendly.

The Basic Protections and Consequences of Debit/ATM Card Fraud and Credit Card Fraud

The Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) and the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) offer protection if your ATM, debit cards or credit cards are lost or stolen but the protection level is VERY different!

Debit card fraud

  • Reporting before any unauthorized charges are made leads to zero liability
  • If you report the card as lost or stolen within two business days, you won’t be responsible for more than $50 of unauthorized transactions.
  • If someone makes unauthorized transactions with your debit card number, but your card or pin is not lost, you are not liable for those transactions if you report them within 60 days of your statement being sent to you.
  • If someone uses your physical ATM or debit card without your permission (meaning it was stolen) and you report the fraudulent charges within 60 days after your statement is mailed to you, you could lose as much as, but no more than, $500.
  • If someone uses your ATM or debit card without your permission and you don’t report it within 60 days after your statement is mailed to you, the potential damage is unlimited. You could lose all the money in that account, the unused portion of your maximum line of credit established for overdrafts, and even more.

Credit card fraud

  • If your credit card number is stolen, but not the card, you are not liable for unauthorized use.
  • If the actual card is stolen, you are liable for no more than $50 in authorized charges — as long as you report it to your card issuer. Some issuers won’t even charge you the $50.

How to Protect Your Cards and Account Information

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Survival guide for Healthy International Travel from the CDC

Every year more and more Americans are traveling internationally, not only for vacation, but also for business, visiting family, and volunteering.

Recently, LTD reviewed the US Department of State Smart Traveler App for your safety and security.  But what about your health when you travel?  Travel health concerns can be as simple as knowing what to eat and not to eat, up to needing to know what to anticipate for your particular health issues.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Travelers' Health website offers destination specific vaccine and travel health recommendations, travel notices, help with finding a travel medicine provider and other resources for your upcoming vacation.

LTD has reviewed this website thoroughly and highly recommends it as a resource.  The information inculded on the website and the CDC apps will help you plan for a safe and healthy trip.  Security information for your trips is provided by the Department of State Smart Traveler App, but don't forget about your health when you travel!

LTD has written a primer on travel insurance which you should review to make sure you find the right coverage and pay the least amount of money, but don't we all want to avoid getting sick in the first place?  Don't let this happen to you...

The "Travelers Health" pages of the CDC website allow you to build a trip and get destination-specific recommendations, a checklist of what you need to do to prepare for your travel and customize a healthy travel packing list.

Features at the CDC Traveler's Health Website. 

There are two options initially, for the traveler or the clinician.  If you have specific needs don't hesitate to look up information for yourself as the traveler, but print a copy of the clinician results to bring to your medical provider prior to travel.   The clinician information can be reached via the Traveler's health home page or once you have entered your specific travel information.

Each country has similar recommendation sections when entered, but the expandable information under each section may be different.  LTD will list the sections with an example and we may not expand upon every section below.  Mexico is the most common country that Americans travel to.  Let's try an entry for Mexico and see where it leads us:

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Review of the Battery Wharf Hotel Boston Massachusetts

You are always thinking about a peaceful hotel in the city but you never seem to find one!  

To stay healthy, go for a walk or a jog along the water.
We have all been let down with our images of our upcoming vacation but when we get there, all we feel is tension and chaos.  

If peace and quiet is what you desire when traveling to Boston, the Battery Wharf Hotel should be your next stop.  Located near Boston Logan Airport and the North End of Boston, this quiet oasis is still convenient to most attractions.  A member of The Leading Hotels of the World consortium, the level of quality and service is as expected: excellent.

The rooms were spacious, with sufficient quality amenities, comfortable beds and ample work space. Views of the Wharf are present from every room. 

The location is convenient to The North End of Boston where history and restaurants abound.  Other attractions nearby include the Paul Revere House, New England Aquarium and the USS constitution.LTD always suggests locations where healthy activities are easy, and a stroll or run along the Wharf is a must after those great Italian dinners!

To Check other reviews of the Battery Wharf Hotel, rates and book at TripAdvisor Click Here!!

King room at Battery Wharf Hotel

King room at the Battery Wharf Hotel

Large Bathrooms and soft robes at the Battery Wharf Hotel

Nespresso is always a nice treat when traveling.

LTD thinks you will love this hotel as your Oasis when traveling to Boston.  Of course we have plenty of recommendations for Boston, including other hotels if you have other needs.  Our other favorite hotel in Boston is the Mandarin Oriental.  While you're in Boston, we recommend going to Yvonne's for dinner and a night out!  It is a true speakeasy!  Email us at anytime if you need more recommendations.

To Check other reviews of the Battery Wharf Hotel, rates and book at TripAdvisor Click Here!!

If you are in town for the Boston Marathon, don't forget a cowbell to root on your runners!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Review of Loews Regency in Manhattan New York City

President Trump's attorney Michael Cohen was staying at this Hotel when SDNY and the FBI raided his Hotel room on April 10 and he was staying here at the same time as LTD, but you would never know by the tranquility of this Hotel.

If you are traveling to NYC and want peace and quiet, this is the hotel for you.  

To Check other reviews of the Loews Regency Hotel, rates and book at TripAdvisor Click Here!!

Located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan on Park Avenue, it is near museums, great restaurants, shopping and Central Park.  Since this is mainly a residential area, it is more peaceful than other locations like Time Square.

Reception is everything you would expect from a luxury hotel starting with the doorman, bell hops and check in reception.  The lobby is a small but comfortable and grand, with a bar and restaurant available.  LTD had a late dinner and breakfast at the restaurant which was adequate but nothing exceptional.  Due to inclement weather it was convenient.

The room was spacious by NYC standards with a very comfortable bed and large Julien Farel toiletries.  The hotel has a Julien Farel salon and spa attached.  Robes, slippers, mini bar, safe are available in the rooms.
King deluxe room at Loews Regency NYC

King deluxe room at Loews Regency NYC
A relative large bathroom by NYC standards.

The bathroom was full white marble with green accents.

Large Julien Farel amenities are included with a signature spa and salon on site 

Recommended restaurants in the nearby include La Goulue, Freds at Barneys Madison Avenue, Cafe Boulud, or Daniel.  Museums that are within walking distance include The Frick Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Neue Galerie, and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

LTD also recommends using your American Express Platinum to book with a good rate available and the usual outstanding amenities and room upgrade included.

To Check other reviews of the Loews Regency Hotel, rates and book at TripAdvisor Click Here!!

Instead of buying souvenirs, LTD recommends finding a local race to support the community and we did this in NYC! 

Even thought Loews was fabulous, we always travel with our magnifying mirror that we can move around the room for different lighting.  Aging eyes need some help!

Make Meaningful and Healthy Travel Happen!

Friday, April 6, 2018

The Best Mother's Day Gifts for the Traveling Mom

Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to splurge on your mom, or any loved one who is a mom, and give her something extra special!

Let's face it - she may not have the time or knowledge to look for great traveling items herself.  Fortunately, LTD can give you some outstanding selections for all budgets that will certainly put a smile on her face!!  Our guide includes items that are fashionable, healthy, useful and practical for the traveling female.  Well we should get going and what a great place to start with Lucy's Get Going Pants...

1.  Our favorite travel pants are the Get Going Pants by Lucy.  

These pants offer:
  • quick-drying, lightweight, four-way stretch woven fabric that provides optimal range of motion
  • Continuous drawcords from hems to hip let you customize the leg lengths
  • Smooth, wide waistband is comfortable on skin
  • Flatlock seams won't rub or irritate
  • Deep pockets 
  • Easy washing and drying.
Unfortunately Lucy has been acquired by NorthFace, so availability is limited.  LTD is buying some while we still can!!

Buy Now At Amazon

2. The MIZOO 120db Emergency Personal Alarm Keychain is perfect for Self Defense.  

While some may use their car key alarm as a safety when walking to your car, what do you do when you're traveling or away from your car?  This compact alarm has a flashlight and a loud Alarm.  Test it outside because it is LOUD.  It comes in 5 different colors with a wristlet and a chain hook to keep it handy.

Buy Now At Amazon

3. Solar Escape Ladies' UV Sierra Hat at 

This product Features:
  • UPF 50+ Sun Rating
  • 3 1/2" Wide Brim
  • Internal Adjustable Sizing
  • Sunglasses Holder
  • Wicking Sweatband
  • Adjustable Chinstrap
  • Fully Packable
Buy Now At

4.  Bizond Compact Steamer.  

Ever hear of a Mom who doesn't have time to Iron?  This is a great steamer for the price and is lightweight and effective.

Buy Now At Amazon

5.  Mulcolor Oil Diffuser.  

Essential oils can have a healing effect mentally, physically, and emotionally.  Why not give your favorite Mom the feeling like she is at the spa everyday? This is an economical diffuser that LTD has seen used at spas. It is even lightweight so it can be taken on travel for those Moms who respond well to essential oil therapy.  

Buy Now At Amazon

6.  Wasserstein Square Handbag Light with Integrated External Battery Pack to Charge your Phone or Tablet.  

What a great idea!  This is perfect for the Mom who is always searching for something in her purse.  This light and charger attaches to her purse and allows for charging devices on the go.

Buy Now at Amazon

7.  ONEHOPE Glitter Bottles.  Wine with a purpose.  

Buy these famous glitter bottles at great prices & support important causes with each bottle purchased. Enjoy wine & give back today!  LTD tasted this sparkling wine from California and it tastes delicious and makes you feel good about giving back! You must be 21 to purchase (see restrictions at  Wineskins are great if you think she will want to travel with this great looking bottle of bubbly! Or see another carrying suggestion which is our #12 recommendation!

Buy at

8. Solo Mio Sonic Face Cleanser and Massager Brush.  

Know a Mom who uses a Clarisonic?  This is a great travel alternative that is lightweight and holds its charge for nearly a month.  

Buy Now At Amazon

9.  BESTEK  4 Port USB Wall Charger with US UK EU International Travel Adapters

This gift is perfect for the Mom who travels internationally with more than one type of electronics.  This is compact and very useful.  Ebay has the best price for this item.

Buy Now At Ebay

10.  Eyebobs have the most awesome glasses!  

For the Mom who just wants to read at the beach, why not get her a grear pair of reader sunglasses?  We like this bifocal pair because she can read her book but still see the Sea through the top lens without looking like Grandma Moses looking over her spectacles!  The entire collection can be found at or you can find select pairs at Amazon.

Buy Now At Amazon

Didn't find anything that interests you?  You can always find some other recommendations at our pages LTD Recommended Shopping or LTDeals or you may find something at our Valentine's Day Gift post.

11.  Tile is a tiny Bluetooth tracker and easy-to-use app that finds everyday items in seconds—like your phone, luggage, and passport.

The Tile Mate and Slim Combo pack allows for your favorite Mom to track anything that she cares about.  This GPS tracking system is useful for anyone who is absent-minded (Aren't we all???) but is especially important for the traveler.   See the last place you had your keys, luggage, phone, wallet or anything you attach it to, on a map and make it ring when you get close. These are available at Amazon and Ebay.

Buy Now At Ebay  Buy Now At Amazon

12.  WineHug provides safe passage for air traveler with wine bottle

We've used a variety of travel bags, including neoprene and those that involve adhesives, but the WineHug is easy to use — and RE-USE. Its self-inflating action, provides precise protection. This is great for the Mom who travels with wine or comes home with bottles of wine or olive oils!

Buy Now At Amazon

13. Travalo Refillable Perfume Spray

This is one of our favorite items!  Why spend huge amounts of money for travel size scents?  Just refill from your large bottle.  

Buy Now At Amazon

14.  A Great gift For the Coffee Lover Mom

What Mom doesn't love coffee or need coffee? Cold brew on the go a portable and vacuum insulated way to brew coffee.  Cold brew is the next generation of the typical iced coffee. Using hot water on your coffee granules creates a more acidic bitter drink while using cold water with coffee and allowing it to steep as with the Asobu cold brew creates 80% lower acidity, deeper and smoother, naturally sweet taste and also gives it that extra punch of caffeine. Not having any heat in the process also preserves antioxidants making the cold brew coffee a healthier more natural choice.

Buy Now At Amazon

15.  I'm Outta Here Travel Planner

These travel planners are adorable but useful. Is she going places? This will help her get there as smoothly as possible with a planner that’s just for organizing all those travel plans! There’s a lot of really cool stuff in it—year-at-a-glance pages for the next three years, a glossy map page, a super handy language converter, packing lists, a place to jot down day-to-day plans, the cutest travel stickers, and postcards to send home! She will have the most relaxing vacation knowing that all the details are sorted out in this planner.

Buy Now At Amazon

16.  Ripple Security Button Charm

We all need help sometimes, but too often we don’t have the resources to get it quickly and discreetly. When you’re uncomfortable, click once and immediately receive a call from Ripple Support to get the comfort and peace of mind you desire. They know who and where you are, and have resources to immediately dispatch emergency services to you should you need it.

If you have an emergency and only moments to act, click your Ripple Button three or more times to alert your Ripple Team you are in an emergency. While you focus on the situation at hand, they will dispatch emergency resources directly to your location and relay all of your critical information to first responders so you don’t have to. In the companion Ripple smartphone app, you can choose which emergency response to receive (ambulance, or police), and you can pre-set medical information and custom instructions.

Simply pair your Ripple button with the Ripple app to build out your personal profile. Enter the critical information that you once had to verbally give emergency personnel over the phone, and customize how you want your Ripple Team to work for you.

Ripple Support's $10/month professional monitoring is the most cost-effective solution in the mobile personal safety industry. Because they know you'll love having 24/7 peace of mind, they will provide 1 free month of professional monitoring right out of the box. Additionally, because Ripple also texts friends and family your GPS alerts for free, you also have the option of a no-ongoing-cost, friends-and-family monitoring system with Ripple.

Buy Now At Amazon

If you don’t find any of our ideas perfect for your favorite mother, Amazon always has a sale page for every upcoming holiday! Click below!

Remember, if you have questions related to your health, always consult your doctor or medical professional. The information presented here is informative only and is not medical advice.

Tips on Booking a Vacation Rental because The Short Term Rental Market has Captured the Attention of Hotel Companies

A convergence is taking place in the hospitality industry where the traditional categories of lodging are beginning to blur.

Look for tips on getting the best short term rental while staying safe at the end of this post! 

Recently a follower of LTD gave us a great review of  Maybe you haven't heard of Stay Alfred, but you maybe you should give them a try.  Stay Alfred, a Spokane, Washington startup rents downtown apartments and turns them into short-term rentals in 22 cities nationwide, including places like Seattle, Denver, Austin and Washington DC.  A follower of LTD, has used Stay Alfred and gave good reviews.  According to her, "You get all of the cost effectiveness of an Airbnb with the reliability of an upscale hotel! The difference between Airbnb and Stay Alfred is that Stay Alfred is the sole owner/leaser of each unit."  She stayed with friends in Seattle and "couldn't believe how affordable it was compared to a hotel."  Stay Alfred’s model consists of leasing swaths of units in new downtown apartment buildings before they open and turning them into something like boutique hotels with access to amenities.  Our follower liked having access to Stay Alfred's hospitality staff for something like extra blankets, all the while being able to participate in apartment-wide events like a St. Patrick's Day party.

The wide popularity of short term rentals in the hospitality industry has not gone unnoticed among large hotel chains.  Just over two years ago, Hyatt Hotels Corporation invested in Onefinestay, a closely held company that enables travelers to rent upscale private homes.

This collaboration is called "Oasis". From Hyatt's Oasis Website"The Unbound Collection by Hyatt is pleased to now offer home rentals through Oasis, a global leader in serviced home rental accommodations. With thousands of handpicked homes in over 20 destinations worldwide, Oasis combines the comfort and authenticity of home rentals with the service and amenities of a hotel – including in-person check-in and check-out, fresh linens and toiletries, and on-demand concierge services."

LTD compared the price of a London Rental for the Week of May 3-9, six nights, centrally located in Westminster.  The price on Airbnb was about $1680 and the SAME location on Oasis was $2000.  The increased price was secondary to a higher per night rate.

Westminster London Rental on Airbnb (photo courtesy of

Like Stay Alfed, Oasis has limited cities where accommodations are offered.

For the most part, hotel executives have tried to distance their companies from the home-rental startups. They suggest these firms aren’t competitors because they don’t offer the same security measures and quality-control found in hotels and don’t necessarily compete for the same customer but clearly, they are losing certain customers.

In March 2018, a former Hyatt VP joined Suiteness and new concept among hotel companies:  At its core, Suiteness is a hospitality members-only company with a platform that offers online booking of multi-bedroom inventory at hotels for the first time. Membership is free, and travelers can book a hotel stay for a group of 4-10 guests.  The Penthouse suite at Nobu in Las Vegas is an example of available suite options.

Penthouse Suite at Nobu Las Vegas (courtesy of

LTD is very happy with Airbnb and has reviewed using a short term rental for your luxury vacation.  This collective of renters is very reliable, with options in even the smallest of towns, and has GREAT customer service.  Recently LTD had to cancel a reservation the day before arrival due to a family emergency.  Using proper documentation of the emergency, Airbnb's customer service was awesome, handling our dilemma quickly and refunding our money.  Another time, when a hurricane was bearing down on our short term rental in Washington DC, Airbnb notified us and offered to refund our money if we chose to leave (which we did).  In April 2018, a caller into a consumer radio show identified a problem with an Airbnb rental that canceled the DAY OF ARRIVAL.  After offering alternatives,  Airbnb refunded the renters' money, plus 20% for the headache, AND the renters' flight cancellation fees.

Recently launched, Airbnb Plus, consists of 2,000 verified listings in 13 cities around the world. These homes, Airbnb attests, have been verified by Airbnb to be “beautiful homes” with “exceptional hosts” and “premium support” for both customers and hosts. Listings include both entire homes, as well as private rooms and bathrooms.
Airbnb Plus Los Angeles Listing (photo courtesy of

Verification as an Airbnb Plus listing includes a home inspection/professional photography session that adheres to a 100-point checklist. To apply for Airbnb Plus, a host has to pay a one-time $149 application fee. In return, a host gets top placement in search on the platform, access to in-home services like design consultations, and the ability to charge more for their listings.  The website booking interface is clean, updated and more user-friendly.

How do you find the best options for short term rentals with any company?  Click READ MORE BELOW TO FIND OUT!

Monday, April 2, 2018

TRAMPS Hosiery Solves Many of the Issues Seen with Traditional Compression Stockings

Compression stockings are essential to your leg health and this was recognized by brother-sister team, Alex and Tomas Reyes.

Compression Socks and Hose Are No Longer for Grandma
– The New York Times

After working on her feet for many years, a doctor prescribed compression hose to help relieve the pressure in Alex Reyes' legs.  However, she grew frustrated by the lack of color and fashion in existing brands. Seeing a lack of fashion in the compression market, Alex collaborated with her brother Tomas Reyes, a New York based fashion designer and graduate of Parsons School of Design, to create a line of beautiful hosiery that brings together fashion and function but also provides great support and is easy to wear. "We @ TRAMPS, don't want for anyone who needs to wear compression hosiery to look like they are just coming out of the hospital in drab colored hose," says Tomas Reyes. "We want you to slay with our new look of compression." With input from the medical community, the brother-sister team launched Tramps Fashion Compression Hosiery. The basic idea was to create a fashion vision with a practical sense of function.

There is a reason TRAMPS Hosiery is recommended by those suffering from Dysautonomia as a long awaited solution for their disease.  It is obvious that much hard work went into creating this line and that TRAMPS' items were created with customers in mind: TRAMPS offers superior comfort and style while providing compression for better circulation.

Are Compression Stockings Just a Fad? No!!!!!

As a female physician practicing for over 25 years, I can tell you that the options for compression stockings are boring, ugly, expensive and frumpy.  I recommend compression hosiery to my patients every day, and in fact, I wear them every day.  I hate it when my feet and ankles look like marshmallows at the end of the day, and frankly, it hurts!  The pain, appearance and discomfort of swollen feet make many patients complain, but some complain about the compression stockings themselves! Some of the complaints I hear from patients about compression stockings are:

  • "I can't get them on"
  • "They are hot"
  • "I like to wear sandals"
  • "They bind me right under the knee"
  • "They are ugly"
  • "They roll up on my feet"
  • "My toes crunch together."

Then I came across  They graciously allowed me to demo their products and now I have worn them on multiple occasions.  I would recommend these not only to my patients who have dysautonomia (which is more common than you think - one of the most common causes is diabetes) but also for anyone complaining of aching, tired legs; swollen feet, ankles or legs; concern about developing spider veins, varicose veins; prolonged flights or car rides; and many other medical conditions.

I have always believed that full length compression hosiery are the best option for nearly every patient.  To be most effective, usually 20mm Hg level of compression or higher is necessary, but if you find that level of compression too tight, lower levels may be enough for you.  Lower amounts can be effective if you have only minor swelling noticeable at the end of a long flight or a long day on your feet, but with the lower amounts of compression many patients will still notice problems.

I like the TRAMPS' products with 25-30 mmHg graduated compression options.  These are the TRAMPS products I recommend and why: