Travel advisors still exist. Here's how the right one can help make your dream trip a reality

Travel advisors remain available to assist with planning trips.

In 1996, Microsoft established Expedia , one of the world’s first online travel agencies. Suddenly, people who had been using the World Wide Web for email and chat rooms also could use it to make air, car and hotel reservations.

It seems almost quaint now. Back then, however, it was a revelation.

Travel agents were on notice: Like cobblers, blacksmiths and lamplighters, they were about to become obsolete.

But travel agents — or travel advisors, as they call themselves — didn’t disappear. Instead, they adapted.

“One of the things I hear all the time is, ‘Oh, I didn’t know travel advisors still existed,’” says Laurie Marschall, owner of Lakáma Luxury Travel in Phoenix. “There aren’t as many travel agencies with storefronts, per se — most of us work remotely — but we are very much still here.”

Learn more: Best travel insurance

It’s a good thing, because demand for travel advisors has soared in the wake of COVID-19, according to the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA). Before the pandemic, just a quarter of travelers (27 percent) always or often used a travel advisor, according to ASTA. After the pandemic, 44 percent say they’re more likely to use one.

ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby points to Americans’ growing appetite for travel — there are more than 143 million U.S. passports in circulation today compared with just 7.3 million in 1989 — but also to pandemic-related difficulties with trip planning.

“Consumers have awakened to a very challenging travel ecosystem, so it pays to have a really good travel professional on your side who understands all the new and ever-changing restrictions,” explains Kerby, who asserts there’s at least one more reason travel advisors are making a comeback: The Travel Channel and social media have made travelers crave trips that are more elaborate, more active and more exotic — and, therefore, more complicated to plan. “For fairly simple trips and trips to places you know well, (online travel agencies like Expedia) are a really great resource. But for other trips, travel can be a very complex web of suppliers and schedules. ... Travel professionals can help you navigate all that.”

If you’ve never worked with a travel advisor, there are a few things you should know before you reach out:

What they do

These professionals are in-the-know trip planners, according to Atlanta-based travel  advisor Stacey Gross of Favorite Place Travel . She says most engagements begin with a consultation during which your advisor will learn as much as possible about who you are, where you want to go, what you want to do and how you like to travel.

For instance, do you like to explore or be waited on? Do you prefer physical activities like hiking and biking, or cultural activities like dining and theater?

“Each vacation is the result of time and money set aside for a specific purpose. A travel advisor ... will help craft a trip to suit those needs and desires,” Gross says.

Travel professionals will curate potential hotels and activities for you to choose from based on your time and budget, plan a detailed itinerary and make reservations on your behalf. They will often secure special rates or upgrades that you typically wouldn’t be able to obtain on your own.

“All of that is before the trip even begins,” Gross continues. “During travel, a trusted travel advisor will be available or will have provided their traveler with a contact in-destination who is able to assist should the need arise.”

What they charge

While initial consultations typically are free, Marschall and Gross say travel advisors often charge a planning fee, which they should disclose up front. They also receive commissions from hotels, tour operators and other travel vendors — but shouldn’t let potential commissions influence your itinerary.

“Our members have agreed to a code of ethics, and that means they put their customers’ interests above their own,” explains Kerby, who says ASTA has a consumer affairs department that mediates disputes with travel advisors who violate its code of ethics.

How to find one

You can search for a  travel professional based on your destination and other criteria at the ASTA-run website TravelSense.org , or through a consortium of independent advisors like Signature Travel Network , Virtuoso or Ensemble Travel Group .

Gross says the best approach, however, is to seek recommendations from family and friends and be clear about your expectations with your travel consultant.

“Ask questions,” she advises. “Be thorough about what you want in this working relationship. And communicate that you are looking for a long-term travel partner, not just someone who can book this one hotel room for this one trip. You want to ... share your bucket list and make it happen together.”

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Travel Advisor vs. Travel Agent: Who To Consult Before Traveling?

Published: June 6, 2020

Modified: December 27, 2023

by Ray Angeles

  • Travel Tips

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Planning your dream vacation can take out a lot from you? But who wouldn’t want to have a holiday that’s hitch-free? For this, getting the help of travel professionals, such as travel advisors and agents, is an option everyone should consider taking. What’s the difference between the two, and how can you find the perfect professional to trust? Here’s everything you need to know about travel advisors vs. travel agents.

Travel Advisors Vs. Travel Agents: What’s The Difference?

Some people may err and use the terms ”travel advisors and travel agents” interchangeably. However, anyone seeking the help of these travel professionals should know the fundamental differences in their roles.

Travel Agents

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What is a travel agent? As their job title suggests, travel agents serve as the intermediary between you and the hotels and airlines you wish to book. Way back in the day, clients weren’t able to reserve a room nor buy airline tickets on their own. Travel agents were the professionals that made these reservations and purchases possible. Of course, their services aren’t limited to this, as they can also help you book tickets to certain attractions you want to visit on your trip.

Usually, these travel agents are directly affiliated with agencies that serve as middlemen between customers and travel booking systems. Now, hotels and airline tickets are easily booked through the internet. However, there are still many travel agents around, who can help book everything you need for a worry-free trip.

If you are a seasoned traveler, love working with people, and dream of changing your office job to a more casual style, getting a travel agent remote job is a great possibility to combine your passion for travel and professional fulfillment.

Hiring a Travel Agent: The Pros

If you’re asking yourself: “Why use a travel agent when I can book all of these myself?”, you need to take note of the pros of hiring them. The pros of hiring a travel agent primarily lie on convenience. While many of the best travel sites around can get you bookings for hotels, airlines, and attractions, you’re competing with a lot of other people. This is especially true during peak season.

By hiring a travel agent, you’re hiring the help of someone with direct connections to such establishments and ticket distributors. These people know the travel market, and they can help you navigate it with their services. Through them, you’ll have a lot of options to choose from, making it easier to plan for your trip. You can also get deals that are only available through them.

If you’re asking around, trying to find out how to get travel agent hotel rates, the only answer is to avail of it by hiring an agent. With the help of these professionals, you don’t have to stress over finding and getting all the bookings and reservations for your trip.

Hiring a Travel Agent: The Cons

Travel agents focus more on getting you that booking or reservation rather than on helping you plan where you’ll stay and visit during your trip, so you’re the only one who’ll be planning the trip. You won’t likely receive any collaborative input on how you can make your trip the best that it can be. Helping you realize the vision of your perfect trip through creative planning is also beyond the scope of their job roles. So don’t expect any tailor-fit suggestions from them all the time.

Travel Advisors

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Many describe travel advisors as to the evolved form of travel agents. The scope of their job goes beyond reserving and booking rooms and tickets. These travel professionals offer advice on planning your trip so that your travel experience can be the best that you can get.

When planning for a trip, you need to do your research to get the best experience out there, but not everyone has time to do this nor does everyone have the experience to know what to believe. This is where travel advisors come in. They’ve collected years of experience in the travel profession that they can help you spot the good and the bad. They also have many travel contacts so that they can make strong recommendations with regard to making any travel planning-related decisions. They help you piece together the perfect travel plan , from tours and activities to the hotels you stay in, to see that you’ll get a holiday that’s tailor-fit to your needs and wants.

Hiring A Travel Advisor: The Pros

On top of convenience, there are many benefits to hiring a travel advisor. When you hire a travel advisor, you’re getting help from a person with a lot of travel experience. Their services go beyond getting you those bookings. So, hiring them means you get collaborative input from a person who has the experience you need to make your vision come to life.

They would know which hotel in the area can provide the exact services and experience you need, in line with your travel vision. They would also know what activities in the area would suit your tastes. Travel advisors also stay on top of the newest trends, so they can suggest the best new attractions you can go to for your holiday.

Apart from the planning stage, hiring a travel advisor is also practical. They also know the ins and outs of the industry, so they’re there to help you get the best deals for your money. Travel advisors are knowledgeable about the lesser-known services in hotels or cruises that can add value to your trip. Also, if, for some reason, something doesn’t go as planned in the middle of your vacation, most travel advisors help you get back on track as soon as they can.

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Hiring A Travel Advisor: The Cons

While there are many good things you can get from hiring a travel planning collaborator, there are still a few cons you need to consider. First, despite being experienced and knowledgeable about travel, advisors are still not you. While they may have a good idea of what your vision of a perfect vacation is, there are times when you and another person might not see eye to eye.

Second, hiring travel advisors may cost more money. Sometimes, they cost more than travel agents, and not every tourist has the budget to hire one. If you’re tight on budget, hiring a travel advisor might not be the way to go.

What To Look For In A Good Travel Advisor Or Agent

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While there are many who advertise their services as a travel agent, only a few are worthy of your trust. A good travel professional makes sure that you’ll receive the services and the convenience you are paying for. To make sure a travel advisor or agent is worth your trust, here’s how to pick a travel agent or advisor. 

Credentials And Certifications

Of course, the first things you need to look for in a travel agent or advisor are their credentials. Since they’re professionals who provide services for other people, they need to have the right certifications. Having the appropriate permits is a good indication that a travel industry professional can be trusted.

Although, you mustn’t rely on their certifications alone. You need to know their credentials as well. Find out what they can offer based on what they’ve achieved and their experience on the job. Based on these, you can decide if you want to do business with them.

Professionalism

While many travel consultants have both the right certifications and seemingly decent credentials, sometimes, a few prove sloppy. When you inquire about their services, observe how they reply to you, whether it be in person or via email or phone call. Do they do things professionally or do they work sloppily?

Professionalism is one of the many good indicators of whether the person you’re hiring as a travel agent is good at his or her job. If you’re working someone who doesn’t show professionalism in his work, careless mistakes can happen that might cause some problems to your travel plans.

Interpersonal Skills

When looking for potential travel agents who can help you, observe how they treat you and talk to you. Interpersonal skills are important in any business transaction to make sure all goes according to plan. This includes making travel bookings. Finding an agent with good people skills can help lessen the likeliness of any miscommunication when forming a deal.

Resourcefulness

Some places or flights are hard to book, and a good travel agent always needs a backup plan. While there are reservations that are impossible to book, even for travel advisors and agents, the one you hire must be resourceful enough to find alternatives.

As much as possible, find a travel consultant who is honest. Avoid anyone who offers deals that seem to be scammy or overpriced. The best way to make sure of this is to get recommendations from someone you trust or find reviews online about potential travel agents.

How Much Do They Cost?

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Of course, since you’re hiring the services of professionals, you expect to pay a fee, but what is travel advisor fee? How much do you pay them?

Well, it varies.

How much you pay for a travel professional’s services depends on the work you hired them for. If it’s for a few bookings, you may get a $50-$75 bill, on average. However, if you’re hiring an advisor to help you design a full travel itinerary, with bookings included, you can expect a fee as high as $500 or even more.

Many travel advisors and agents make money in two ways. First is from the fee you’re billed upfront. Second is from the commissions they get from establishments. Most travel consultants earn from both.

However, there are some established travel agents who don’t charge a service fee upfront and just get money from commissions. Since many travel suppliers have stopped giving commissions, this type of travel professional is rare, and you should find yourself lucky if you found one that can be trusted. So when budget planning, always anticipate that there is a fee you need to pay unless your travel advisor or agent says otherwise.

Tips On Working With Travel Advisors

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See What Others Have To Say

Wondering about how to find a travel advisor you can trust? The best way to find one is through other people’s recommendations. If you have close friends who have worked with travel advisors before, ask them to recommend a travel advisor they know and trust. If you don’t, there are many review aggregation sites for travel and services online, such as yelp. Look for ratings of travel advisors near you and read the reviews so that you’ll have an idea of what to expect if you seek out their services.

Find Someone Near You

If you can, find a travel advisor you can go to and talk to in person. By having a trusted advisor near you, you can save time and avoid the hassle of going back and forth between your home and a far-away travel agency. Also, miscommunication is less likely to occur when you’re working with and talking to someone in person. So, as much as possible, hire a consultant near you.

Don’t Expect Unbelievably Low Booking Prices

Many travel advisors help their clients look for the best deals. Sometimes, however, they get clients with expectations that are unpractical, especially when it comes to hotel and airfare prices. Yes, hiring professionals can help you save money in booking your hotel and airfares. However, don’t expect prices that are too low.

Be Transparent With Your Budget

A travel plan’s backbone is your budget. Travel advisors need to know your budget so that they know what they’re working with. They’re there to help you find the best bang for your buck, after all. By letting them know how much you’re willing to spend on a travel itinerary, they’ll know the perfect attractions and hotels they can book that you can afford.

Trust Their Advice

Since you’ve decided to hire a travel advisor, this means you’re looking for their input in planning your dream vacation. Travel advisors are experts in their field, and they know the industry more than most people. They know the similarities and differences of travel practices in different locations. They know the good and the bad. If you know the travel advisor you’ve hired is trustworthy, then rest assured that you’re in good hands.

While it may seem simple, crafting a good travel itinerary is hard to perfect on your own. The travel industry has become more complicated throughout the years. But, don’t fret as many travel advisors and agents are ready to help you navigate through it. Planning doesn’t have to be stressful. If you can, don’t hesitate to hire the services of these travel professionals.

Have you decided on your travel plans yet? If you’re going to New Zealand, don’t miss out on these hidden caves !

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Key travel tips you need to know — whether you’re a first-time or frequent traveler

Clint Henderson

The holiday travel season is fully upon us. The Transportation Security Administration expects to screen a record number of passengers this Christmas, and the TSA already broke a daily record. They screened a whopping 2.9 million travelers on Nov. 26, 2023, alone ... the most passengers ever screened in a single day.

As millions of travelers take trips by plane , cruise ship or road , we've gathered some essential travel tips on how best to book and enjoy your journeys.

Whether you're an occasional road-tripper or a frequent globe-trotter, these TPG-backed top travel tips can help you avoid unnecessary headaches when you spend time away from home.

How to find travel deals

and travel professional

Flexibility is key when it comes to finding cheap airfare any time of year.

Changing your arrival or departure date by a single day can save you hundreds of dollars on airfare. If you don't mind altering your family's plans slightly, consider booking travel directly on major holidays like the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas for cheaper prices and thinner airport crowds.

One of our favorite tools at TPG for finding deals is Google Flights . You can use the search field to find the cheapest (or best) flights. Google will also give you a historical view of how prices have ranged and will even send you email alerts if fares jump or drop on specific routes you've selected.

It also has some fun tools you can use to find a cheap destination. By clicking the "Explore" button on the sidebar and putting your departure airport, Google will give you a map or list view of the most wallet-friendly destinations.

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However, Google isn't the only place to find deals: TPG publishes regular deal alerts. You can sign up for Twitter alerts and subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest deals news.

Don't sleep on mileage awards, either. If you've been hoarding miles during the pandemic, it's time to spend them. Cash prices are high, so it can be a good time to burn those miles.

No matter how much you think you know about redeeming miles for flights , there are always new tips and tricks for turning those earnings into dream trips. Turn to TPG for guidance on sweet spots for redemptions. Sites like ExpertFlyer (part of Red Ventures, like TPG) supply additional redemption ideas or even business class upgrade inventory.

You may even want to consult a travel agent to get access to special deals that aren't available anywhere else. Travel agents can sometimes get you extra perks at hotels or even cheaper business-class airfare to your dream destination.

Be your own best advocate

Since there are still air traffic controller shortages and little room for error in the system these days, travelers have to be their own best advocates.

There are ways to get ahead of any possible travel nightmares.

First, be smart when booking. Try to find a nonstop flight rather than one with connections, even if it costs a little more. You'll eliminate the risk of missing connections and lessen the chance of having your luggage go in a different direction than you during a transfer.

You could also take one of the first flights of the day, as those are least likely to face afternoon thunderstorms and most likely to depart on time. Read our article 5 reasons to book the first flight of the day for all the data.

Related: Your flight is canceled or delayed – here's what you should do next

Download your airline's mobile app to keep track of potential flight delays in real time. The airline app is a secret weapon in case things go wrong. Not only will you know when boarding starts, but you'll also learn of any delays first. Some airlines allow you to even rebook yourself in the app.

If your flight is canceled, you'll want to beat everyone else on your flight who is also looking to get rebooked.

We recommend heading for the customer service desk (or lounge desk if you have access). You could also get on the phone with the airline or contact them via social media if there's a delay . Sometimes, an airline's Twitter representative will help you faster than a phone or in-person agent can. You have to use every tool at your disposal when things go south.

Many airlines also now have live chat capabilities to help navigate delays and cancellations.

I always have an alternate plan (or two) in the back of my mind in case a flight gets canceled or delayed. I also look to see what other airlines are flying the route I'm booked in case something goes awry. This way, I'll know what to ask for if I need to be rebooked.

Also, save all the receipts for the expenses you incur during delays or cancellations. You'll want excellent documentation in the case of meltdowns like the one Southwest passengers experienced during the holidays .

If you're stuck at an airport for an extended period, seek out your airport's secret quiet spaces for a brief escape from the travel chaos.

Get Global Entry and/or TSA PreCheck

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One of our favorite ways to speed through the airport and avoid those summertime mega lines is via Trusted Traveler programs like TSA PreCheck and Global Entry .

Essentially, the government pre-screens you for security and thus you save a bit of time during your travels. You'll need to apply ahead of time and pay a fee. The great news, however, is that many credit cards will give you a statement credit for these fees. TSA PreCheck is a $78 application fee for five years, and Global Entry is $100.

Related: 7 ways to get Global Entry, TSA PreCheck and/or Clear for free

TSA PreCheck allows you to speed through airport security without removing your shoes, laptops or liquids. With Global Entry , you can breeze through customs when you return from an international trip.

If you have the time, going for Global Entry rather than simply TSA PreCheck makes sense. Global Entry requires an interview with Customs and Border Patrol ahead of time, but once you're approved, TSA PreCheck will be included.

Get Clear for the ultimate security trifecta

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The other security tool we recommend you have in your travel toolbelt is Clear .

Related: Why you should get TSA PreCheck and Clear

The expedited security program allows you to bypass long security lines by using a separate lane at many airports. You'll approach a kiosk where your identity is confirmed via an iris scan or fingerprint. A Clear employee will then escort you to the front of the security screening line.

A Clear membership combined with TSA PreCheck will enable you to go to even shorter lines at some airports with designated Clear/PreCheck lines. Clear isn't perfect at all airports where it's so popular, and there are now long lines (cough, Atlanta). However, it will still generally lead to shorter lines overall.

Related: Guide to using the Amex Platinum Clear benefit

Make copies of your important documents

Make digital and hard copies of all your important travel-related documents. Start by photographing your driver's license, your state ID and/or your passport.

You should have copies of your IDs in your phone's library in case you get separated from the actual document. Sometimes, it also helps in a pinch if you are asked for ID, and you didn't bring the hard copy. For example, I was recently asked for my ID to enter One Vanderbilt to have dinner at the new American Express Centurion Lounge in New York. The receptionist would have accepted a photograph of the ID if I didn't have the physical document.

TPG also recommends having an actual photocopy in a separate place. Editor Kristy Tolley says she stores a hard copy in a separate place from where she keeps her passport in case she loses a bag. "I also leave a copy of it at home if I'm traveling alone," she said.

Check expiration dates

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If you aren't 100% certain of the expiration date of your passport and other travel documents, go check them now. Renewing passports takes time, and some countries require six months of future passport validity to allow entry. Remember that child passports expire every five years, which can sneak up on you.

Related: How and when to renew your passport

Double-checking the expiration dates for your driver's licenses and state IDs is also a good idea. Remember that TSA checks the expiration dates on your documents when they screen you for security. Don't forget to check the expiration dates for your Trusted Traveler programs like Global Entry, Clear and TSA PreCheck, too. It can take a while to get a Global Entry interview appointment if you need one to renew.

Few things are worse than getting to the front of the security line and realizing the PreCheck mark is gone from your boarding pass.

Finally, check the entry requirements if you are traveling internationally. Some countries require visas that you must acquire before arrival.

Consider travel protection

When booking your travel, try to use a credit card that offers some built-in travel protection . Many credit cards, including TPG favorites like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or The Platinum Card® from American Express , offer this when you use those cards to purchase your airfare and similar.

Related: Best credit cards for trip delays and cancellations

If the coverage offered by your credit card isn't enough, you might also want to purchase travel insurance . These policies can sometimes go beyond trip cancellations to cover things like medical evacuations. Warning: Read the fine print on any extra policies very carefully to ensure it covers the situations that matter the most to you.

Those who frequently travel abroad may want to consider purchasing an annual travel insurance policy instead of buying one on a trip-by-trip basis. Some TPG staffers purchase annual policies because of the cost savings for multiple trips. Some will find having an annual policy is easier than juggling separate policies or various credit card coverage terms and conditions.

Tips for your luggage

and travel professional

TPG has a ton of tips when it comes to luggage.

First and foremost, try to be on "team carry-on" whenever possible. If you don't check baggage, you are much less likely to become separated from it. Many of us at TPG refuse to check luggage except under extreme circumstances.

Of course, other folks with families or those embarking on long journeys may still want to check bags. If that's the case for you, you can still do many things to lessen the chance you get separated from your stuff. For example, make sure your luggage is in good working order, your contact info is attached, the bag is within the weight limits, you get to the airport early (but not too early) to check it and confirm your luggage is tagged to the right destination or connection.

Related: 7 tips to keep the airline from losing your luggage

After last year's baggage delays and luggage disasters , we strongly suggest you put Apple AirTags (or the Android equivalent ) into your luggage so you can track your items if they go missing .

If you check a bag, keep extra medicine or medical supplies in your carry-on bag in case your luggage goes missing or gets delayed. "As a diabetic, I keep a tiny emergency kit in my backpack with enough supplies to keep me going in an emergency," TPG writer Tanner Saunders said.

Former TPG credit card writer Ryan Smith also offered words of advice regarding luggage. "The last items you pack in your carry-on will be most accessible, so use this for your passport, ID, ticket, headphones or whatever else you need during the trip," he said. By making sure those items you'll use most are easiest to reach, you'll save yourself the hassle of having to dig around (or partially unpack) your bag to grab what you need.

Finally, be sure and get compensated if your bags are late or lost. Many airlines will give you points or even cash for delayed bags, and the government has rules on compensation if your bags are lost.

Staying safe on your journeys

and travel professional

From potentially getting robbed while on the road to experiencing bad weather or natural disasters while traveling, there are many scenarios that could arise when you're away from home.

To mitigate those risks, pay attention to U.S. Department of State warnings about a destination you plan to visit and check local sources for the latest news from that country or region for additional context. Although the State Department tends to err on the side of caution with its warnings, it's still best to be aware of what you may face during your trip.

Also, know the local number in case of emergencies. In many places, including Mexico and much of Europe, if you dial 9-1-1 on your cellphone, you will be connected to emergency services just like in the U.S. However, you should know the local emergency numbers of whichever country you visit.

Let people at home know your itinerary and stay in touch with them throughout your trip. If something goes amiss, at least someone will know where you're supposed to be or the last place you visited.

If you're arriving at night, contact your hotel or home-share host to ask about the best way to get there at the time you're arriving and the safest ways to travel at night in that area.

Also, be strategic about how you check into a hotel. Some solo travelers request two keycards to imply someone else is on the trip. Giving thought to the hotel room's security swing bar can also make sense, with some taking steps like placing a hand towel over it to make it harder to dislodge from the outside.

Some final tips

and travel professional

  • For cruisers, TPG principal cruise writer Gene Sloan suggests arriving in port at least a day in advance (if not several days ahead of time). This will eliminate the risk of missing your ship's departure time and help you get acclimated to the local time zone.
  • When taking road trips to out-of-the-way destinations, go old school and bring paper maps with you or download offline maps from Google. Using a paper map or an offline version means you always have a way to navigate around your chosen destination, even if you lose cellular service.
  • One other note, you should reserve airport parking ahead of time during peak travel times. Some airport parking areas fill up fast around holidays, so reserving your spot ahead of time will save you from wasting time looking for a space when you need to catch a flight. You can also sometimes save by booking online in advance, too.

Bottom line

and travel professional

Whether you're fresh to the world of traveling or a seasoned expert, you can always learn new tips to maximize your time away from home. The more research and preparation you do before your trip, the better your experience will be — especially if things go wrong, as they sometimes do.

Some of our favorite tools are deal alerts, Google Flights , sign-up bonuses and credit card rewards . Learn those tools and use them for better travel every time.

Remember that these days when things go wrong, you have to be your own best advocate. For more travel tips and tricks, read the stories below.

Related reading:

  • Your flight is delayed or canceled: Here's what to do next
  • The best travel credit cards
  • The 18 best places to travel in 2023
  • 6 real-life strategies you can use when your flight is canceled or delayed
  • 8 of the best credit cards for general travel purchases
  • Here's how to get through airport security faster

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Through our motto Support, Educate, Advocate, our aim is to raise the profile and talent base within the Black travel community. We offer a customized training platform along with integrated networking opportunities which exposes agents to a variety of resources and suppliers.  

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Welcome to Professional Travel Center

About professional travel center, ever since its founding in 1999, professional travel center has been a leader in the travel industry. professional travel center's unique approach consists of aggressive travel pricing combined with professional purchasing make this the most comprehensive money savings program available anywhere., featuring its patent-pending proprietary travel program, professional travel center is able to trickle down advantages that are exclusively available to professional travel agents directly to its loyal members. backed with recognition from travel organizations, such as clia & care, professional travel center has continually been delivering its members unrivaled service and pricing for over over a decade. professional travel center’s advantage is quite simple–less is more. our competitors have tremendous burdens due to numerous and enormous facilities that end up costing hundreds of thousands to support each year. competitors' focus on covering retail and marketing campaign costs ends up shifting concerns from their customers to their own bottom lines. this is why professional travel center operates on a virtual office platform–to reduce overhead and give our members maximum value for their dollar., our services, unlock unparalleled travel experiences with professional travel center's concierge services and exclusive pricing..

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Home Improvement

Discover professional travel center's ultimate home improvement solution for remodels, windows, cabinets, appliances, and more, all under one roof., design services, experience the pinnacle of design excellence at professional travel center, where our certified designer offers professional design services exclusively for our members..

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Merchandise

Get access to discounted merchandise through your professional travel center membership and enjoy incredible savings on a wide range of products including electronics, furniture, jewelry, appliances, & more..

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Negotiated Rates

With all major suppliers in consumer goods and travel industries. we are partnered with the largest consortium in our industries to provide max value and variety., working together, we are fully supported by our membership fees and annual dues., no hidden charges, since our business is a no mark-up or handling fee operation, we give you access to true insider pricing with absolutely no unnecessary charges..

Cynthia M

In the 14 mons that we have worked with this business, we have saved money on flooring, new bathroom vanity and fixtures, van rental, household appliances, wood working tools, hotel booking and a cruise. The customer service has been excellent! We are so very glad to be able to utilize this business. It has been well worth our initial joining fee investment. We highly recommend people look into it.

Mary W.

I must say that I was a bit skeptical about this at first and thought I would live to regret joining this club. My experience has proved me wrong! I told Matt that I wanted to replace windows in my house. I couldn't believe the service he gave me! You would have thought the windows were going in his house! We discussed my needs and with his extensive knowledge he suggested I go with whole new windows, not just replace the glass. He found a fantastic installer in my area, (that in itself was a job as most installers want the mark up for purchasing the windows), he ordered the windows and coordinated with the installer, set the date and I simply cannot say how pleased I am with the job. Because of where I live finding a good installer delayed the process but Matt wouldn't have me go with just anyone. Then he absorbed some of the cost and no, I hadn't requested that. He just wanted to make sure I was happy. I ordered an appliance package with Lynda's help and saved over $800.00! I have also used the travel service and that was so easy, and yes, saved money there too! I honestly don't know how they can provide such fantastic customer service, never hesitating to call me directly within minutes of receiving an email from me. I will need new tires for my car soon and absolutely plan to purchase thru them.

Greg A.

I had the oppurtunity to have Noelge' dry wall & painting do some work in my basement bedroom. Garry is friendly and personable person. he doe s fantastic work and even breaks out in song once in a while. I will recommend him to anyone needing dry wall or painting done. Remember the name, " Noelge' Dry Wall & Painting"

Jody R.

Had our detached garage and the columns and trim on our home painted. Price was the best. Work was completed right away in the 2 days I was promised. Prep was awesome. We are delighted with the results.

Brandon A.

I love using Professional Travel Center to book all of our travel! We have booked 7 cruises through this company and they have saved us thousands while doing so. They also handle the full booking of the cruises, so it's a very easy process. Professional Travel Center also has very competitive rates for rentals cars, even during the holidays and high travel times. Anytime we book a rental car we contact Professional Travel Center for the best rates and they never fail to get us a great rate! Highly recommended especially for travel!

Larry H.

Fantastic company for travel plans, cruises, furniture, appliances and home improvement/remodeling projects! We have used our membership for all of these amenities with great customer satisfaction. Our membership has provided us with a very considerable amount of savings by enabling us to purchase items directly from the distributor at wholesale prices. The customer service is outstanding! We highly recommend Professional Travel!

Robert B.

We just joined a few weeks ago and were pleasantly surprised with the service and results of our first travel request. We had already booked a cruise and the travel agent was able to help us transfer it to the Professional Travel Center. That transfer resulted in a reduction of about 30% in the cost of our trip. It was really easy.

Galen B.

Matt Williams and assistant Lynda were extremely helpful, courteous and responsive. They made suggestions, connected us with local representatives and craftsmen and arranged for meetings with them. The product pricing was much better than we were able to get on our own. We saved about $1000 for the entire job which included counter tops, new sink, new faucet and total installation including a plumber to reconnect the water, dishwasher and garbage disposal.

Richard B.

I found the Bosch 800 series we wanted and a price. Submitted that price for a quote and was happy to know that all we had been told at the presentation was true. We saved over $500. We purchased an upscale 1HP. Insinkerator for a Christmas gift for my son's family. We saved 32%. Our daughter was taking a trip to Africa and the rooms were quite expensive. Buy using my membership she was able to save a little more than one (1) night stay. We own a condo at the lake and will in the near future need an Air Conditioning system and a hot water heater, both being about 12 years old. We anticipate a $2,500 savings on the Trane I had quoted in the last six (6) months. We will be buying a Tempur-Pedic king size mattress within the next couple of months. Our experience with Matt, Lynda and Sunshine has been best in class customer service. Quick responses on pricing and complete follow-up during and after the purchase. We took a risk in buying our membership. That risk is paying huge dividends now and we look forward to future purchases.

Frank L.

My 20 year old Rheem hot water heater was replaced with a new unit from the same company since old heater lasted so long. i was pleased that he whole process went quickly and smoothly, from the time I sent in the order to installation. Karl from Personal Touch Plumbing delivered and installed the unit very efficiently. He left the house clean and removed the old heater. I realized a savings of about 40%, mostly on installation costs compared to the price from a local supplier. In the near future we plan to replace our refrigerator and the furnace and air conditioner.

Larry & Audrey P.

My wife and I ordered Shaw engineered wood flooring for our living room and dining room also vinyl for the kitchen. We gave Matt a copy of an estimate we were given by a company for the materials and labor and were pleasantly amazed that he was able to save us over $800.00 for that job. Mark the guy who actually did the work is indeed an expert at his craft, absolutely the right person for the job. We are both very pleased not only with the finished product but with the personal service provided. Linda and Matt were very diligent, patient and showed true concern for our satisfaction. Oh, and Rob did an outstanding job booking us Hotel reservations in three different cities across the country as we visited family during Thanksgiving. Furniture is next on our list of needs so we will be in calling soon. Thanks for everything, Larry and Audrey

Larry & Audrey P.

Alan B.

I contacted PTC to plan a vacation to an all exclusive resort in Cabo San Lucos in Dec 2016. Within one day I was provided with a firm quote for the vacation including preferred air flights. The customer service was excellent. The vacation pricing was within $20 of the quoted price and reflected a savings of $800 on an $9200 package. I will continue to use PTC for all my travel needs. I am planning a cruise in Jan 2017.

Patricia M.

Product: Alaska Cruise; Customer Service: extremely satisfied; Pricing: extremely satisfied; Savings: $1000; What's next: not sure yet.

Patricia M.

Yvonne S. - Home Improvement Savings

Our Home Improvement department has a great experience to share from Yvonne S. They had a kitchen countertop fabrication installed by a local contractor in Colorado Springs, Alexander's Stone, and saved over 20% compared to their local competitor. We're glad you chose Professional Travel Center for your home improvement needs!

Yvonne S. - Home Improvement Savings

Keith & Carol A.

We saved approximately 45% over our best local quote for Air conditioning and heating unit replacement. We have done several major improvements in the past: Roof, AC, concrete, tile, carpeting, etc. can't beat the price and service.

Keith & Carol A.

David R.

I co-own a beach house in Mexico and we just installed solar panels on the house. We ordered everything for the solar installation through the Professional Travel Center. Our order had many components and was very complicated but the Professional Travel Center handled everything wonderfully! Matt specifically was thorough and very detail oriented. He made our very complicated order seamless. We ended up saving several thousand dollars on this project by ordering all the components through the Professional Travel Center ! I would do it again most definitely.

Jeff B.

Professional Travel Center continues to deliver outstanding service at remarkable prices. PTC just completed working with me to install hardwood floors throughout the 1st story of my home. They were extremely patient and helpful as I selected the wood, providing types and manufacturers to consider. Once selected they worked directly with the manufacturer to negotiate a price none of the local flooring chains could come close to meeting. Additionally they brought in a crew that was outstanding to work with. They took their time and effort before installing the floor to ensure they were very clear on how I wanted it laid. Their attention to detail during the install surpassed mine, which is extremely hard to do. My wife and I were extreme satisfied with entire process. Professional Travel Center's project division continues to deliver a 5 star rating on price, service, and the quality of the finished product. Matt as always was amazing to work with.

Gerald B.

I recently replaced my homes 12-year-old air conditioning system. I must have gotten quotes from twenty different local contractors. Since this is a big-ticket item, I became knowledgeable in the marketplace: name brand or an also-ran; heat pump or straight **; single speed fan or variable; etc. I was surprised about the lack of knowledge exhibited by some of the local contractors. Also, it was clear which of them were paid a commission, or got a bonus for getting me to sign the deal on the spot. Few got back to me when I asked questions, or for an alternate configuration! I settled on a 4-ton, Trane brand heat pump. I sent my estimate to the Professional Travel Center for a quote... He (was) very knowledgeable, and suggested I switch to a similar, but less expensive Trane model due to his experience servicing these particular units.  (The) quote was over three thousand dollars less than the best I had received from locals . After we scheduled an installation date; he would text me for information about the physical site. He wanted to ensure that this installation would be successful, e.g., the new equipment would fit in the openings; he'd have all the needed parts on-hand, etc. He and a helper arrived when they were supposed to, and got right to work. From the onset, it was clear that hey knew what they were doing. Unlike other ** installers, his attitude was not Get it done, but Get it done right!, e.g., when he found that my mold-defeating UV lamps were no longer functioning and the transformers had burned out, not only did he obtain a replacement unit, but he cleaned the mold from the duct work on either side of the new air handler. They did a professional job. I got a new heat pump system at a great price; it was installed by people who not only knew what they were doing, but were conscientious as well.

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Trusted Health Blog

How trusted health is landing you travel healthcare jobs in 2024.

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Navigating the job market for travel healthcare positions isn’t what it used to be. Post-pandemic, the scenery has changed quite a bit—fewer openings, more competition… but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get the jobs you want. That’s why we’ve made some exciting updates to the Trusted Health platform to turn your job search from “search” to “found” with less stress and more success.

Let's Get You Connected—Sooner and Smarter

Finding the right travel healthcare position should feel like a natural part of your professional journey, not a detour. We understand that your time is precious, and your career moves need to be strategic and timely. That's why we've introduced some smart updates to the Trusted Health platform, designed to streamline your path to the perfect job. Here’s what’s new:

Complete Work Experience Faster

Our system now ensures that you only need to upload your resume once, and we take care of the rest. Imagine this like dropping a pin on your map and having the route calculated for you. We'll chart your journey through your work history and education. No more manually entering every stop you’ve made in your extensive travel career. It's as simple as packing your bags and setting off on your next adventure!

Simplified References

We've streamlined the way you handle references—no more waiting for confirmations to come through. Just provide us with the contact information of those who can vouch for your professional journey, and you can hit the ground running. It’s job searching at cruising altitude, getting you where you need to be faster and without the layovers.

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Faster Advocate Connection 

Say goodbye to the waiting game. We're getting an Advocate assigned to you earlier on in your job search process to support you.  Trusted Advocates are not recruiters, but rather seasoned clinicians who can use their clinical background to best support you.  They’ve walked the walk and truly understand the nuances of a healthcare career. It’s like having a career GPS, guided by someone who’s been on the very roads you’re traveling. This means less recalculating and more moving forward on your career path.

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Submission Packets That Make an Impression 

Once you've applied for your chosen position, our team takes over to enhance and strengthen your application behind the scenes. We meticulously craft your submission (or application)  packet to align precisely with the job's specific requirements and expectations. It’s like having a personal travel agent who not only prepares your itinerary, but also ensures you're equipped with everything you need to make a standout impression upon arrival. Our refined process is designed to significantly increase your chances of receiving an offer, making each application you submit stronger and more competitive.

Navigating Today’s Job Market

Our tweaks and enhancements are designed to help you thrive in today’s market. We’re here to ensure that no matter how the tides turn, you’re set for smooth sailing on your job search journey.

So, what’s next? Start exploring these new features on Trusted Health and experience a job search that’s as exciting as planning your next vacation. Because ultimately, every job move should bring you a fresh wave of joy and anticipation.

Let's embark on this journey together, transforming how travel healthcare professionals find their next opportunity. When you sign up with Trusted Health , it’s not just about landing a job; it’s about landing the right job.

Happy job hunting, everyone! 

Trusted Nurses are more than a resume. You have unique perspectives to share, ambitions to chase, new cities to explore, and experiences that can’t be summed up on a skills checklist. Let’s show the world how amazing it is to be a nurse.

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11 Best Hair Dryers of 2024, Tested and Reviewed by Beauty Experts

These top professional-level brands will create a voluminous blowout in no time.

best hair dryers

We've been independently researching and testing products for over 120 years. If you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more about our review process.

"A high-quality hair dryer usually comes with advanced features that result in faster drying times, reduced frizz and overall improved hair health," says Cynthia Alvarez , a Biolage celebrity hair ambassador in Los Angeles. For the best results, "you need the maximum amount of power with the best type of airflow to protect the hair, combined with the lightest weight possible," explains Michelle Cleveland, celebrity hairstylist and owner of Hair Addict Salon in Toms River, New Jersey.

Our Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab scientists rigorously test hair dryers in the Lab on human hair samples and consumer testers to assess their attributes and performance. In the Beauty Lab's most recent hair dryer test, experts evaluated the tools in the Lab and at home for ease of use, performance, drying time and whether they cause hair damage , among other factors. O ver 2,000 data points were then tallied to identify the best hair dryers on the market for every hair type, from curly to fine, frizzy, thick and more.

Our top picks:

  • Best Overall: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
  • Best Value: Hot Tools Turbo Ionic Salon Dryer
  • Best for Frizzy Hair: SRI DryQ “Smart” Hair Dryer
  • Best for Damaged Hair: Bio Ionic GrapheneMX Brushless Professional Hair Dryer
  • Best for Curly Hair: Paul Mitchell Neuro Light Tourmaline Hair Dryer

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Supersonic Hair Dryer

A game-changer on the market, this one-of-a-kind Dyson design (the motor is in the handle!) dried hair faster than any model in the history of GH Beauty Lab hair dryer testing. In Lab evaluations, it dried an eight-inch hair sample in only 54 seconds and had strong airflow . The tool also features a generous cord length.

The hair dryer includes a rare five attachments to customize to your hair type and needs, including two concentrators, a diffuser , an attachment for smoothing flyaways and a gentle air attachment, all of which are magnetic for simple usage. Note, though, that the cord doesn't come with a tie and the buttons can be difficult to reach.

Consumer testers, including a range of hair types (from straight to curly) and lengths (very long, long, shoulder length and short), also evaluated the product and loved how sleek it looked. One raved, "On the most humid of days, it got hair smoother, and in less time, than any hair dryer I've used." Another echoed: "The air pressure was great and I do feel like it dried my hair faster than normal."

The Dyson is also a pro hairstylist go-to: "It is expensive, but so worth it: the technology is so advanced, the cord is so long, and it has three heat settings as well as airflow settings," Alvarez says. "It dries hair quickly and efficiently, and the smoothing attachment gets rid of frizz without the need of a styling product , allowing your blowouts to last longer.

READ OUR FULL REVIEW: Why the Dyson Supersonic Dryer Is Actually Worth It

Hot Tools Turbo Ionic Salon Dryer

Turbo Ionic Salon Dryer

This compact model from Hot Tools earned near-perfect scores for drying speed in GH Beauty Lab testing and ranked high for strong airflow, yet is a more affordable pick at a fraction of the cost of other dryers. Test ers loved its smaller, easy-to-store size and that it left their hair less frizzy . They gave it top marks for its easy-to-reach controls and comfortable shape, and both Lab assessments and consumers found it to be quiet.

The tool has an ample cord length, though it doesn't come with a tie. The included concentrator attachment was also wobbly, users found. "The hair dryer dried my hair with less frizz and more shine to it," a tester reported. "It was super easy to use and small, so it could be stored pretty much anywhere." Another remarked: "It took a lot less time to dry my hair than usual." (Alvarez is also a fan of the brand's Pro Artist Black Gold Ionic Hair Dryer .)

SRI DryQ “Smart” Hair Dryer

DryQ “Smart” Hair Dryer

Get a smooth blowout in no time with this state-of-the-art SRI tool: Despite its light weight and slim, compact size (thanks to a foldable handle), it packs serious hair drying punch. In GH Beauty Lab assessment, it earned top scores for drying hair quickly and making it look smooth and not frizzy.

It was also a tester favorite, thanks to its easy-to-use magnetic attachments, high quality construction and temperature range. (Some did find that the controls weren't as simple to operate and the attachments could get overly hot, however.) "It dried my hair in record time — within 5 minutes!" a user with long, textured hair enthused. Another reported: "My thick hair dried incredibly quick and looks healthy and shiny; this will forever be my go-to blow dryer."

Bio Ionic GrapheneMX Brushless Professional Hair Dryer

GrapheneMX Brushless Professional Hair Dryer

Power-packed yet gentler than other models, Bio Ionic’s hairdryer was mild on both hair and scalp in GH Beauty Lab testing , key for damaged or fragile fine hair . It had the lowest air temperature at the highest of three settings, yet still dried hair samples quickly.

Expert evaluators found it comfortable to hold and that the attachments were easy to put on and take off. They also gave it points for the strategically located control buttons and easy-to-use cool shot button. Though it was loud in Quiet Mark sound testing and is the priciest of the most recent test winners, it comes with a 10-year motor-life warranty and a storage bag. That said, it doesn't include a diffuser, so it may not be the best pick for those with curly hair.

An expert called this pick “sleek-looking," and liked its "balanced weight and size that’s not too heavy or big and feels powerful." Two others commented: "I like that it has three temperatures," and, "it worked really well."

Paul Mitchell Neuro Light Tourmaline Hair Dryer

Light Tourmaline Hair Dryer

Paul Mitchell has a reputation for implementing new technologies in their tools and the Neuro Dry is no exception. The dryer features a digital LED display for heat and power settings and has a “clean filter” indicator light. It comes with a diffuser, key for drying curly and natural hair textures, plus received a top drying rate score due to its airflow and high heat settings in Beauty Lab testing.

Testers also gave it high marks for minimizing frizz, a top concern for curly hair. One noted that it “added fullness" and another commented that "it seemed to dry my hair quickly." Though users and experts found it easy to operate and liked the controls, some found it uncomfortable to hold. It was also one of the heaviest hair dryers evaluated.

RELATED: The Best Hair Dryers for Curly Hair

Cricket Ultra Smooth Professional Hair Dryer

Ultra Smooth Professional Hair Dryer

In GH Beauty Lab testing, Cricket’s hair dryer model emitted high heat and had powerful airflow to quickly dry even dense or coarse hair. At 150°F, it had the highest air temperature of the top dryers, making it a good option for thick hair, although it may get too hot for fragile, fine or damaged hair types (a user reported that at the highest heat setting, it can get overly hot and the cool air didn't activate as fast).

The tool ranked high for being comfortable to hold and had easy to use attachments and buttons. It also has an ample cord length with an attached Velcro tie. “Cute and compact, yet powerful and well made, it's also light and nice to hold,” one expert evaluator raved. “I like pretty much everything about it," another said, but it does lack a diffuser.

Drybar Baby Buttercup Blow Dryer

Baby Buttercup Blow Dryer

The winner of the GH Beauty Lab's travel hair dryer tests , Drybar’s top-of-the-line dual voltage model delivers fast-drying power in a portable package. It scored perfectly in Lab evaluations for having easy-to-use controls , dried hair samples fast and had strong airflow.

This tool was also easiest to maneuver and comfortable to hold, though it was heavier than other models and more effort was required for proper placement and removal of the attachment. "Wow, this is powerful," an expert evaluator marveled. "It's the right size and doesn't look like a travel dryer until you fold the handle — I like that it could do double duty for home and away."

Instyler Turbo Max Ionic Hair Dryer

Turbo Max Ionic Hair Dryer

InStyler's ionic hair dryer, which features a dial that lets you customize the heat level, was a winner in GH Beauty Lab testing for delivering strong airflow. The powerful airflow translated to fast drying speed, and it came out on top for being comfortable to grip and having easy-to-navigate buttons.

The tool was also lightweight and the attachments are simple to put on and take off, though sound evaluations found it to be noisy. Two experts noted they “loved” this model. It is “lightweight but powerful, easy to hold and use," one noted. "Gives a great, strong airflow but not overpowering," another said.

Olivia Garden Ceramic + Ion Professional Hair Dryer

Ceramic + Ion Professional Hair Dryer

GH Beauty Lab testers found this lightweight Olivia Garden blow dryer dried hair quickly, thanks to its robust airflow and temperature yet didn't feel hot on the scalp , making it ideal for those with fine or thin strands. It was easy to hold and operate and received a perfect score for maneuvering attachments, plus has a generously long cord.

A caveat: The dryer was a bit loud, confirmed by the Quiet Mark noise measurement test, receiving 1 out of 3 stars. "I like the size and weight and it has quite powerful airflow," an expert evaluator noted. "It looks and feels well-made."

FHI Heat Innovator The Pro Power Speed Dryer

Innovator The Pro Power Speed Dryer

A unique superslim design that was effortless to maneuver and top-notch performance made this FHI hair dryer a GH Beauty Award winner. The cutting-edge model had the strong airflow and dried hair fast in GH Beauty Lab instrumental testing despite its compact size.

Lab pros found it lightweight and " very comfortable to hold with easy-to-reach controls ." Though it was slightly more noisy than others tested, it can also double as a travel hair dryer due to its smaller build.

Bio Ionic GoldPro Dryer

GoldPro Dryer

This easy-to-handle dryer from Bio Ionic was the least noisy of the GH Beauty Lab's top performers , according to sound level measurements. Testers loved the "powerful dryer in a small package" and raved about how effortless it was to hold.

Despite its strong airflow, the tool is also very light, though it didn't dry hair as quickly as other models tested. "Comfortable, quiet and not too hot," a user commented.

How we test the best hair dryers

best hair dryers good housekeeping beauty lab testing

The Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab has been testing hair tools, including hair dryers — plus hair dryer brushes and travel hair dryers — for over a decade. In the GH Beauty Lab's most recent test, scientists evaluated 41 hair dryers over eight weeks (for a total of 320 hands-on testing hours), recording 2,244 data points to determine the winning models.

good housekeeping institute beauty lab hair dryer testing

In the Lab, experts test hair dryers across price points and power levels (ranging from 1,500 to 2,000 watts) by measuring drying speed on standardized human hair samples ( above ), airflow force and air temperature ( top ), weight, surface temperature ( below ) and cord length.

good housekeeping beauty lab hair dryer testing

In addition, testers assess hair dryers for ease of use (including hold and maneuvering, affixing and removing attachments, and location and operation of controls), any irritation or damage to scalp, skin or hair, and the look and feel of hair after drying. Finally, each hair dryer's noise emission level may also be determined via the third-party certifier Quiet Mark , which issues a star rating (1 star, Poor/Loud; 2 stars, Average; 3 stars, Good/Quiet) based on recorded sound level tests.

preview for GH Buying Guide: Blow Dryers

What to look for when shopping for the best hair dryer

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When purchasing a top quality hair dryer, there are several factors to consider, GH Beauty Lab scientists say:

✔️ A djustable heat and speed settings , which allow you to customize the level of heat and power the hair dryer emits according to your hair type and preferences.

✔️ Attachments , which really make a difference on various hair textures since they affect the airflow of a hair dryer. These are the two you'll most commonly find included with your hair dryer or sold separately:

  • Diffusers are great for curly hair because they circulate air to the ends of hair while diffusing the airstream from the hair dryer to prevent frizz, which can help to define curls and even add volume.
  • Concentrators narrow the hair dryer's airflow to blow air directly on the hair for smooth, sleek styles. They come in different sizes for varying purposes: Broad, extended concentrator nozzles are meant for larger surfaces and are "useful for thick and long hair as they help it dry faster," says GH Beauty Lab Director Sabina Wizemann . Short, narrow concentrator nozzles provide curly and frizzy hair the opportunity for a sleek blowout, since their powerful flows are great for eliminating frizz.

✔️ Cool shot button. Each of the top-tested hair dryers in the GH Beauty Lab's most recent test has a cold-shot button, which can help to close the hair's cuticle and lock in the style, preventing frizz once you're finished drying.

✔️ Wattage . A hair dryer's wattage determines its power: The Beauty Lab recommends a range of between 1,500 and 2,000 watts for best results on any hair type (1,875 watts is the most common hair dryer wattage).

✔️ Design attributes . In GH Beauty Lab testing, we take into account each hair dryer's weight, the length of its cord and its noise level, which can affect ease of use.

✔️ Safety certification. Look for safety verification emblems such as those from ETL (Electrical Testing Laboratories), UL (Underwriters' Laboratories) or TUV or SUD (both part of the Technical Inspection Association) on the hair dryer's packaging. "These certifications are essential to ensure that the tools are tested for safety and found to meet safety requirements," Wizemann explains.

Is a ceramic or ionic hair dryer better?

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Ionic, yes; ceramic, not necessarily. "Ionization technology has visible benefits," Wizemann explains. "It is easy to see effects when you have ionized technology switched on and off. Static builds up when you blast air without an ionizer and with it, the hair is more aligned and appears shinier." Shop for an ionic hair dryer if you have curly hair that is prone to frizz and flyaways.

Many hair dryers also tout special technologies like ceramic, tourmaline or far-infrared radiation on product packaging, but these aren't necessary for an effective, quality tool, GH Beauty Lab testing has found. While there is general research on these technologies, little data is available on their benefits in the context of hair dryer design.

That said, "ceramic seems to be better for smoothing straight and wavy hair," Wizemann says. "And because tourmaline produces less static and frizz, it may be more beneficial for curly and textured hair, in addition to adding volume to straight or flat hair."

What's the best hair dryer for my hair type?

dog

When it comes to choosing the best hair dryer for your specific texture or length, it's more about finding a tool with settings you can customize to you. Follow these general guidelines of what to seek out for certain hair types:

✔️ Curly hair (from 3a to 4c curl types ) : Look for an ionic hair dryer that comes with lots of attachments. "A diffuser is a must for all curly and kinky hair types who wish to embrace their natural texture and a narrow nozzle attachment if they want to smooth it," Wizemann says.

✔️ Thin hair: In general, look for a hair dryer with low heat settings since higher temps can damage fragile strands. "High temperature is unnecessary for quickly drying thin and flat hair unless it is being styled in a specific way where higher heat is needed to shape it," Wizemann advises.

✔️ Thick or long hair: Look for a dryer with higher voltage for maximum power. "Usually, a higher wattage hair dryer will exhibit a more robust flow and temperature on higher settings," Wizemann says, perfect "for styling thicker, denser and longer hair that needs higher heat and airflow."

✔️ Hair extensions : You don't need a special dryer for synthetic and real hair extensions : Standard hair dryers are generally good for all hair types, says Cleveland.

What hair dryer do professionals use?

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If you want to mimic a salon-like blowout at home, it helps to know what type of hair dryer professional hairstylists use and what they look for when shopping for one. To hit Cleveland's specs for a top-performing hair dryer ( high power, great airflow and light, easy-to-maneuver weight ) our top pick for a professional hair dryer is the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer , but per her advice, any of the dryers above are suitable for professional use — look for the one with the features and attachments that best suit your hair type and needs.

What hair dryer is least damaging to hair?

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When it comes to minimizing damage, it's more about the dryer's features and how you use it . "It is more important to use the correct heat settings for your hair type than to focus on hair dryer's technology," Wizemann says. Generally, the lower the heat used, the less damage to hair.

And because any hot styling tool like a hair dryer will damage hair to some degree, it's also crucial to protect strands from the effects of heat. Before blow-drying, "always prep hair with a leave-in styling product that provides heat protection ," Alvarez suggests. This will create a coating over hair that helps prevent damage.

Headshot of April Franzino

April (she/her) is the beauty director at Good Housekeeping, Prevention and Woman's Day , where she oversees all beauty content. She has over 15 years of experience under her belt, starting her career as an assistant beauty editor at GH in 2007, and working in the beauty departments of SELF and Fitness magazines.

Headshot of Sabina Wizemann

Sabina (she/her) is the director of the Beauty, Health & Sustainability Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, where she has overseen skincare, haircare and makeup testing since 2012. She also reviews applications, substantiates claims and evaluates products for the GH Seal and the Beauty Awards and Sustainability Awards programs. She has a B.S. in chemistry from Ithaca College and more than 16 years of experience working in the pharmaceutical and personal care industries.  

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Chomeiu Makeup Bag with LED Mirror, Travel Makeup Case for Women and Makeup Artists Cosmetic Organizer Large Make Up Bags with Light Up Mirror, 3 Color Lights, Adjustable Dividers and Brush Holder

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About this item.

  • Compart Size: 10.3 inch x 9 inch x 4.7 inch, large capaicty can store all your makeup in it. The makeup case with lighted mirror is great for outside work and travel use, it is great for dark backstage areas or for the events where you don't have great lighting in your dressing room, convenient to apply makeup anytime, anywhere.
  • Adjustable Dividers and Brush Compartment: The makeup organizer bag with adjustable dividers, you can organize your makeup as required. The elastic pocket can be adapted to different sizes of makeup brushes and kept fixed. It can carry all your makeup cosmetics accessories.
  • USB Rechargeable Makeup Mirror: New generation makeup case design with LED makeup mirror, with cold white / natural / warm three-tone settings, and the brightness can be adjusted 0%-100%, which can perfectly meet your different makeup needs and make your makeup more delicate.
  • Ideal Travel Companion: The makeup bag is made of high quality PU leather, durable and waterproof, with dual way smooth zipper and easy to clean lining. Lightweight and sturdy handle makes your carrying comfortable, you can put it into your suicase as well.
  • What You Get: Makeup bag, 6 Pcs adjustable dividers, USB rechargeable makeup mirror (80 LED Beads, 2000mAh), USB charging cable, worry-free 12-month warranty and our friendly customer service.

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Product details.

  • Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 10.3 x 9 x 4.7 inches; 2.69 Pounds
  • Item model number ‏ : ‎ 240106-3
  • Department ‏ : ‎ Womens
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0CYBB3N6V
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ China
  • #139 in Cosmetic Bags

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Customer reviews.

Customer Reviews, including Product Star Ratings help customers to learn more about the product and decide whether it is the right product for them.

To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzed reviews to verify trustworthiness.

Customers say

Customers like the value, travel, and compartment size of the cosmetic case. For example, they mention it's great for travel, the slots can be rearranged, and the adjustable compartments are a plus. Some appreciate the quality, saying it'll keep their makeup intact. That said, opinions are mixed on size.

AI-generated from the text of customer reviews

Customers are satisfied with the quality of the cosmetic case. They mention that it is made out of a very durable material, the zippers are sturdy, and it keeps their makeup intact. They also appreciate the size of the compartments, which prevents anything from getting crushed. Overall, most are happy with the product's quality and durability.

"...It also comes with a nice sized makeup tote! For the price and sturdiness , I would buy this over and over...." Read more

"...Its so elegant and just has the perfect amount of compartments. Very sturdy and easy to clean." Read more

"...This make up case is durable and compact yet holds all my make up and more. I put toothpaste ,makeup remover pads , cologne, contacts...." Read more

"...upright where you can see them while you get ready and they don’t bend or get damaged . 4. It’s customizable!!..." Read more

Customers like the space in the cosmetic case. They say it has places for smaller items and a zipped area for even more. They appreciate the two zipper sections and the adjustable size of the compartments. Customers also mention that it holds all their products very well and keeps everything organized.

"...pallete in one zip up pocket, all of my brushes, and has 6 extra compartments for the rest of what you need. AGAIN, LOVE IT!" Read more

"It just made my life so much easier traveling. I was able to fit so much makeup and not worry about them going every where inside because it keeps..." Read more

"...2. It’s huge ! But not so huge it won’t fit in your suit case. I packed my daily face of makeup and had enough room to do it twice...." Read more

Customers like the organization of the cosmetic case. They say it's functional, keeps everything well organized, and makes getting ready feel more enjoyable. Customers also love the removable compartment walls and say it makes their life more organized and easy.

"...You can see all your products neatly organized and makes getting ready feel much more enjoyable like you are back at home!" Read more

"...After I bought this, my makeup is nicely organized in a small corner of the bathroom vanity now. Everything has a spot...." Read more

"...This way they are neatly organized all in one place . I grab it on my way out the door and have everything I need at my fingertips...." Read more

"...Overall, I love the bag because it’s functional and keeps everything well organized ." Read more

Customers find the travel case great for travel. They say it's durable, has a sturdy handle, and is easy to transport. Customers also like that their cosmetics are neatly packed away in a stylish case.

"It just made my life so much easier traveling ...." Read more

"...It has many compartments for makeup and brushes. It is nice for trips in that you can just zip it up and take it all with you." Read more

"This is perfect for traveling or if you just want your makeup organized!!" Read more

"...I like that my cosmetics are neatly packed away in a stylish case that looks good sitting on my dresser...." Read more

Customers like the adjustable compartments in the cosmetic case. They say the slots are adjustable to what size they need them to be, the pockets fit brushes and tools like a glove, and the inside slots can be rearranged to customize if needed. They also appreciate the many compartments for makeup and brushes, and specific slots for makeup brushes. Overall, customers recommend this product for its versatility and ease of customization.

"...The slots are adjustable to what size you want them to be, or if you don't want them at all. It also comes with a nice sized makeup tote!..." Read more

"...Q-tips, etc in there. I live it and so does my sister you can adjust the little compartments to fit your needs." Read more

"...I love that the compartments are able to be customized to the sizes that I needed them to be, as a lot of makeup packaging are not square any longer...." Read more

"... Everything has a spot . Everything fits where it should...." Read more

Customers are satisfied with the appearance of the makeup case. They mention it's sleek, organized, and high-end looking. Some appreciate the sturdy construction and the ability to adjust the inner walls to fit items perfectly.

"This is a very sturdy case. Nice and solid frame to it. I havent traveled with it yet but it should hold up nicely in a suitcase...." Read more

"...So glad I did because this is very similar and is cheaper :)It’s bigger than I expected, thankfully...." Read more

"I think this is nicely made and well done. I like the inside , you can remove and change it around to fit whatever you need to hold...." Read more

Customers like the value of the cosmetic case. They say it's durable, good quality for the price, and an affordable way to store makeup.

"...Very versatile and much less expensive than "use specific" cases" Read more

"...You get a great product that is very affordable " Read more

"...This case is good for the price .When it arrived, it smelled so bad...." Read more

Customers are mixed about the size of the cosmetic case. Some mention it's a great size and big for what it is, while others say it'll fit most of their makeup. The size is adjustable, making it easy to fit bigger items. However, some customers find it a little bit big for their suitcase and difficult to fit all their stuff in it. They say the partition for brushes isn't tall enough and it barely fits their morphe palette.

"...It also comes with a nice sized makeup tote ! For the price and sturdiness, I would buy this over and over...." Read more

"It’s great if you like to pack a lot of makeup up but it’s too big for my travel needs ...." Read more

"...3. You can fit your brushes in here too!!! And they stay upright where you can see them while you get ready and they don’t bend or get damaged. 4...." Read more

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Smart Tax Savings: 10 Essential Tips for Tech Enthusiasts to Avoid Common Pitfalls

Tech enthusiasts often find themselves navigating the complex maze of tax regulations. With rapidly changing technology and the increasing prevalence of remote work, understanding how to optimize your taxes is crucial. This guide will provide you with ten essential tips to help you avoid common tax pitfalls and maximize your savings.

Understand the Basics of Tax Deductions

One of the first steps in optimizing your taxes is understanding what deductions are available to you. As a tech enthusiast, you may have expenses related to your profession or hobby that are deductible . These can include the cost of software, hardware, and even home office expenses. Make sure to keep detailed records of your purchases and understand the criteria for claiming these deductions.

Key Points:

Keep detailed receipts and records. Understand what qualifies as a deductible expense. Regularly update your knowledge of tax laws.

Leverage Home Office Deductions

With many tech enthusiasts working from home, the home office deduction has become increasingly relevant. To qualify, you must use a portion of your home exclusively for work on a regular basis. This can include a dedicated room or a specific area of a room. The deduction can cover a portion of your rent or mortgage, utilities, and internet expenses.

Use a designated space exclusively for work. Calculate the percentage of your home used for business. Keep records of all related expenses.

Stay Updated on Tax Laws and Regulations

Tax laws are constantly evolving, and staying informed can help you take advantage of new deductions and credits. Subscribe to tax newsletters, follow relevant blogs, and consider consulting with a tax professional who specializes in working with tech professionals. This will ensure you are always up-to-date with the latest changes that could impact your tax return.

Subscribe to tax-related updates. Follow industry blogs. Consult with a tax professional regularly.

Utilize Technology to Track Expenses

As a tech enthusiast, you likely have a plethora of tools at your disposal to help you track expenses. Utilize apps and software designed for budgeting and expense tracking. These tools can help you categorize expenses, track receipts, and generate reports that make tax time easier. Popular options include QuickBooks, Expensify, and Mint.

Choose the right expense tracking software. Regularly update your expense records. Generate reports for easy tax filing.

Take Advantage of Education Credits

Continuing education is essential in the tech industry. The IRS offers several education credits that can help offset the cost of furthering your education. The Lifetime Learning Credit, for example, allows you to claim up to $2,000 per year for tuition and related expenses. Ensure that you keep all receipts and documentation for any courses or certifications you pursue.

Understand available education credits. Keep documentation of educational expenses. Claim eligible expenses on your tax return.

Optimize Retirement Contributions

Contributing to a retirement plan not only helps secure your future but also provides immediate tax benefits. Consider contributing to a 401(k) or an IRA. These contributions are often tax-deductible, reducing your taxable income for the year. Additionally, some tech companies offer matching contributions, which can further enhance your retirement savings.

Maximize contributions to retirement accounts. Take advantage of employer matching programs. Understand the tax benefits of different retirement accounts.

Claim Business Travel Expenses

If your tech work involves travel, you may be able to deduct related expenses. This includes transportation, lodging, and meals. To qualify, the travel must be directly related to your business or profession. Keep detailed records of your travel dates, destinations, and expenses to ensure you can substantiate your claims.

Document travel expenses thoroughly. Ensure travel is business-related. Keep receipts and travel itineraries.

Understand the Implications of Cryptocurrency Transactions

Many tech enthusiasts are involved in cryptocurrency transactions. The IRS treats cryptocurrency as property, meaning you must report any gains or losses from transactions. This can include buying, selling, or trading cryptocurrencies. Keep detailed records of all transactions and consult with a tax professional to understand the implications on your tax return.

Record all cryptocurrency transactions. Understand how cryptocurrency is taxed. Report gains and losses accurately.

Benefit from Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

If you have a high-deductible health plan, you may be eligible to contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA). Contributions to an HSA are tax-deductible, and withdrawals used for qualified medical expenses are tax-free. This can provide significant tax savings, especially if you have ongoing medical expenses.

Contribute to an HSA if eligible. Use funds for qualified medical expenses. Understand the tax benefits of an HSA.

Consider Professional Tax Assistance

Navigating the complexities of tax regulations can be challenging, especially with the unique circumstances faced by tech enthusiasts. Hiring a professional tax advisor can help ensure you are taking full advantage of available deductions and credits. They can also assist with planning strategies to minimize your tax liability in the future.

Hire a tax professional with tech industry experience. Plan tax strategies in advance. Ensure compliance with tax regulations.

Tax optimization is a crucial aspect of financial planning for tech enthusiasts. By understanding and leveraging available deductions, staying informed about changing tax laws, and utilizing technology to track expenses, you can significantly reduce your tax liability. Remember, investing in professional tax assistance can further ensure that you are maximizing your savings and avoiding common pitfalls. Follow these ten essential tips to make the most of your tax return and keep more of your hard-earned money.

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What’s one thing you’d like people to know about your job?

For Peggy Lai , who’s worked with Hong Kong Ballet for 12 years now, it’s that dancing is a full-time job – not just a recreational activity as some might assume.

“I’m afraid to tell others much about my job sometimes,” she admits. Not for lack of passion – she clearly has plenty – but because of a lack of understanding from those whose contact with ballet may only go as far as lessons in childhood.

So, what does a typical work week look like for Lai? From Monday to Friday (and sometimes on weekends), 9.30am to 6pm with a strict one-hour lunch break, Lai and her fellow dancers are in the studio, rehearsing.

What most distinguishes a professional dance career from a typical office job is the physical toll it takes. So, it’s important for dancers to maintain their condition. That’s why each day begins with a morning class. 

Treated as sacred, this early warm-up session is crucial for staying in good form and preventing injury, and gives Lai the chance to evaluate how she’s feeling that day. The company goes through exercises at the barre before moving to the centre floor and running through dozens of technical combinations, working up to turns and then jumps.

Hong Kong Ballet dancer Peggy Lai rehearsing a dance routine with a vase on her head

“For more junior dancers, this is when they build their technique, so they’ll put a lot of effort into it. For those getting older like me,” she laughs, “our stamina is more limited, so I’ll put just 25 per cent into the morning because I have to last until 6pm.”

Ageing as a ballet dancer has given Lai, who’ll be turning 33, much to reflect on in terms of her health and the experience she’s gained in the profession.

“You really feel your athletic ability start to decrease after the age of 28. At the same time, your artistry and mastery of how to deliver a good performance only improves,” Lai explains. “Of course, injuries are part of the job.

“I don’t expect to leave the profession with a fully healthy body – it’s hard to avoid issues like muscle overuse. Therefore, it’s important to support your health by paying attention to nutrition , going to physiotherapy and getting sufficient rest.”

Having also sustained a back injury at one point in her career, maintaining her wellbeing, as well as her passion and ability to dance, is always top of her mind. To do all that, having sufficient resources is important.

A team of in-house physiotherapists look after the dancers’ physical condition, though limited space at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre studios means dancers sometimes have to trek to Central or Wong Chuk Hang to get treated.

Lai rested for around a month while recovering from her injury, but that didn’t simply mean lying down at home. She still needed to do daily exercises to retain stamina, making the transition back to dance smoother. 

After her injury, Lai began paying more attention to other aspects of her health, such as diet. She visited a nutritionist, who recommended her a diet higher in protein. So now, particularly in the leadup to a performance, she turns to foods like chicken breast and protein shakes, and says she has noticed the difference it makes for both her energy and recovery.

“If I can, I want to continue dancing for as long as I can.”

Peggy Lai and a fellow ballet dancer practicing their routine at the studio

Of course, each dancer has their own dietary and exercise requirements to execute their part. While Lai likes to eat rice to fuel up, others might prefer a salad, protein bar or even just a cup of coconut water so they won’t feel too full to dance. Male dancers occasionally even squeeze in a gym workout during lunch to build additional strength for the lifts they are required to perform. 

Something Lai does think would give dancers greater longevity in the profession is more government support. “It would be helpful to get more funding for a better working environment, which otherwise has quite an impact on mental health and in turn our productivity.” Though she likes the dance studios, she’d appreciate having more personal space during breaktime, as opposed to having everyone crammed into the studio to eat while the pianist continues to practice: “I’d love to have a resting area, and a pantry.”

After the morning class, the rest of the day is spent rehearsing, whether it’s learning the routine for an upcoming production, perfecting a solo, or practising a group dance.

As soon as Lai gets home, her downtime looks like this: shower, eat, then laze on the sofa until it’s time to go to bed for a good night of sleep – something many of us can relate to. 

Two ballet dancers from Hong Kong Ballet perform The Sleeping Beauty on stage

During performance weeks, her routine is a little different. Friday is opening night, while Saturday and Sunday are double-show days. On these days, the workday starts and ends later, with a dinner break between performances from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. Things still kick off with a warm-up class, but this is followed by some free time to get into costume and have makeup and hair done. 

Pre-performance, Lai sometimes goes down to the stage early to acclimatise herself to the environment – which is often colder than the dancers are used to – and work on steadying her breathing. “I need to feel the air and get used to the atmosphere onstage,” she says.

A professional ballet dancer from Hong Kong Ballet performs Swan Lake

At the end of May, Hong Kong Ballet will be showcasing a new production of Swan Lake , with Matthew Ball and Constantine Allen , Principal Dancers of The Royal Ballet and Dutch National Ballet respectively, sharing the male lead role of Prince Siegfried. 

Though Lai won’t be a part of the production, she describes the choreography as extremely demanding due to its length and technical difficulty.

For Ball, who has performed numerous main roles with internationally renowned dancers yet suffered a serious knee injury early in his career, maintaining his condition until performance day involves “a cocktail of exercises”, as well as yoga for mindfulness . 

He also makes sure to never overdo things. “When it comes to getting ready for the big show, you have to be careful to scale back a bit, to make sure you can come back to peak for that big moment where it really matters,” he explains.

And while the longevity of a professional ballet dancer’s career may be limited, Lai is hopeful for the future. She eventually hopes to transition to teaching. Having recently completed a master’s degree in dance, she looks forward to advancing her knowledge in dance education. 

She adds, “I want to continue dancing for as long as I can.”

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