We’ve all experienced the tiresome, repeated searching when trying to book the cheapest possible flights to any given destination. With endless search engines and continually fluctuating prices, the approach to frugal flight booking is overwhelming. Here’s some key tips that will save you time, frustration and most importantly money when booking your next flight.
1. Keep your searches top secret
You’re not crazy for thinking that a flight price has changed after searching it a few times in your web browser. Based on the cookies in your browser, flight prices do increase when a particular route is repeatedly searched, as the site wants to scare you into booking the flight quickly before prices get even higher. Always search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode to see the lowest prices.
In Google Chrome or Safari, incognito is enabled by hitting Command (or “Control” if using PC), Shift, “N”. For Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer, hit Command (or “Control” if using a PC), Shift, “P”. This will open a new browser window where your information is not tracked, thus not inflating prices as you search. Note: if you’re using an older version of OS X, open Safari then click “Safari” in the menu bar, and select “Private Browsing”.
Your cookies are reset each time you re-open an incognito window. So if you want to start with a clean slate for each flight search (so your previous searches aren’t “remembered”, potentially inflating costs), close all your incognito windows, open a new one, and then perform your flight search.
2. Use the best flight search engines
All search engines have inflated flight costs as part of taking a cut from the airlines. Some search engines consistently inflate much higher than others. It pays to familiarise yourself with sites that offer the best prices.
3. Identify the cheapest day to fly out
While many theories exist around booking specifically on a Tuesday to save money, the reality is there is no consistent truth to exactly which days are cheapest to fly. Most of the time it is cheaper to leave on a weekday, though this isn't always the case. Your best strategy is to get a quick visual of prices for a whole month to see what days are cheapest for your specific route.
Step 1. Hop on Searchb4kharch
Step 2. Enter your departure & arrival cities
Step 3. Select “one-way” (even if flying round trip – you’re just determining the cheapest days to fly out first)
Step 4. Click “Depart” but instead of entering a date, select “Whole Month” so you can see which date is cheapest
Step 5. Hit “search” and see which date is cheapest. Sometimes not all dates have a price listed, as indicated by the magnifying glasses. If you want to see a price that isn't shown, simply click on the magnifying glass over the date.
4. If you know when and where you’re going, don’t wait to book
Rarely ever do airline tickets get cheaper as your departure date approaches, especially if you need to fly on a certain date. Budget airlines typically offer low rates as a baseline price, and as these tickets sell, the remaining ones increase in cost. This is very typical in Europe and Australia. If you know when and where you’re going, don’t wait on an unknown sale. More often than not, your biggest savings come from booking far ahead when you can.
5. Check if it’s cheaper to pay in other currencies
Before booking a flight, consider if the rate is cheaper if paid in another currency. An important note when doing this: make sure you’re using a credit card that is free of foreign-transaction fees.
- Start your hotel search as early as you can. The longer stretch of time you have to search the better deal you’ll likely find. Hotel rates almost never go down for holiday destinations and resorts.
- Booking early isn't only about great deals. Early bookers get the best rooms.
- If your dates can be flexible then compare different date ranges for the best rates. Hotels can fill up for a big convention or big event. Busy and expensive one weekend. Empty and cheap the next.
- Flip-flop weekends and weekdays. Hotels target different types of travellers which will have very different weekday and weekend routines. Hotels that have a large business clientèle can be very quiet (with large discounts) on weekends. Hotels that see more leisure tourists will be packed on weekends but cheaper on weekdays.
- Think upgrade: book the least expensive room through a booking website then contact the hotel directly to inform them of special requirements or enquire about any available upgrades – if the hotel is quiet they’ll often be free or for a nominal charge.
When is the Best Time to Book Hotels?
Here’s a huge generalization that works pretty well for most situations: For hotels that have a business clientèle last minute booking can offer good deals. For hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals that have tourists as their primary guests then booking 3 months to 6 months prior to your stay is likely the best.
Why? Business travellers are much more likely to arrange and make last-minute (or last week) travel plans. A month before a given date, a hotel in the financial district of London might not have many bookings but will not start discounting those rooms yet. It will still expect to make a lot of bookings in the week or two before that time frame.
Often it’s not just about the price. Early booking will get you the best rooms at a similar price to the less coveted rooms. E.g. A huge family room that is only a little more than a cramped double room.
What Day of the Week Has the Best Hotel Deals?
It depends what type of hotel you’re booking.
Business hotels will offer bigger discounts on the weekends (when business clients are at home). Budget hotels will have empty rooms (and discounts) through the week because the people that stay there (weekend shoppers, concert goers, university students) come on there weekends and return home Sunday night.
A final tip, is to check whether breakfast is included. When you arrive at the hotel you can even ask (with a tone of voice that expects that it is included). It’s often of little cost to the hotel to serve another buffet breakfast but this can be a huge savings for you especially over the course of a week or extended stay.
A tablet for all..
Finding a tablet is never a easy task when there are so many options available in the market. A tablet is a portable computer that operates from a touchscreen or with a stylus. Some tablets even have a keyboard which makes it even more comfortable to use. They are normally smaller and lighter in weight than an average laptop. They are very helpful during travelling as they are very handy and convenient to use. Just like laptops and mobiles, tablets also comes with Windows browser and pre-installed applications. Tablets also have in-built battery having battery life of average 10-13 hours or more , depending on its version. All new models have Wi-fi, GPS connectivity and webcam attached to it. Lot of great models of various reputed manufacturers are available in the market but it is difficult to choose.
Following are the points which will help you in deciding which tablet to buy:
- Operating System : Most important factor in buying a tablet depends on the operating system you want to go for. Tablets operability is determined by its operating system. There are three types of operating system- Apple iOS,Android OS and Windows 8 operating system. Apple iPads are very easy-to-use tablets with smooth experience but are costlier than other tablets. Nowadays, iPad mini is also available which is cheaper option. Android OS tablets are easy to use and they are free, hence lot of options are available from branded as well Chinese manufacturers. The latest Android operating system being used these days is version 5, also called Lollipop. But some Android models are using earlier versions like 4.2.
- Size of Tablet: Tablet comes in various screen sizes. Usually the screen size varies from 6 to 12 inches diagonally across the screen. The small sized tablets have screen size of 6 to 8 inches and are usually cheaper and require less power than larger tablets. If you are looking for light-weight, portable tablet which can fit easily in purse or small handbag, then probably 6-7 inches tablet is best suited. iPad has 8 inch screen. Medium sized tablets (with size 8.9 to 10.1 inches) have better screen resolution and larger screens than 7-inch tablets. They are best suited for watching movies and doing office work. Very few tablets have screen size more than 10.1 inch (they are also called hybrids) and serve the purpose somewhere between tablet and PC.
- Storage : Tablets require storage space for all purposes, whether it is for storing games, movies or any text document. Minimum storage space available is 8 GB. As and when storage capacity increses, price also increases . Additional microSD slot is available in almost all tablets except in iPad and can be expanded further as well.
If you want to work on the tablet, then opt for Windows8 tablet as it is more user-friendly. For typing and watching movies, choose lighter and portable small-sizedtablets. We have vast collection of tablets of all popular and reputed brands like Acer,Sony, Dell, Apple, Lenovo, HP, HCl, Samsung, Toshiba, Asus, Micromax, Karbonn, to name a few.
Laptop Buying guide
A laptop is a portable and handy personal computer which has a display screen and keyboard and is battery powered. Its size is even smaller than a briefcase and is majorly used during travelling. Selecting the right laptop suiting your requirement is a very challenging task.
You should identify the purpose of buying a laptop, whether it is for business, gaming or for web browsing.
- Gaming Laptops : Gaming laptops should have high resolution display, large RAM and good processing power to give user a rich gaming experience.
- Business Laptops : For business purpose, you need rugged and easy to carry laptops with good features, updated Intel Core i5 processors, excellent battery life and lot of connectivity options. Apple Macbook Pro, Dell Latitude, Lenovo Thinkpad series, Toshiba Kirabook, HP Elitebook and HP Ultrabook are suitable for travellers.
- Family Laptops : These types of laptops are basically, suitable for whole family and are perfect for daily and basic activities like web browsing, sharing pictures,doing homework, emailing, writing word documents and playing basic games. Look out for medium-priced laptop with decent features.
- Here is the list of specifications to be considered while buying a good laptop :
- RAM (Random Access Memory) : RAM is one of the foremost thing to be considered while selecting a laptop. More RAM leads to efficient working of various tasks simultaneously. For video editing, image changes and 3D gaming, at least 4 GB RAM is required for smooth working experience. 2 GB RAM can only satisfy your basic needs like internet surfing, normal office works, emailing. For professional users, one should go for 8GB RAM in case of 3D/2D graphic designing and more.
- CPU Processor : Always go for latest and updated version of processor with higher speed for better performance of computer. More the number of cores in the processor, smoother and better is the performance of laptop.
- Display Screen: Good quality screen is always advisable for better viewing. Smaller screen sized laptop is very portable and easy to carry. 14 inch-16 inch size is very good enough for all purposes. If you have higher resolution works, then go for bigger sized screens like 17 inch or more.
- Storage: Go for at least 500GB to 750GB of disk space, considering the user’s work requirement. For gaming purposes, you should opt for high storage spaces like 8GB or more as games require lot of disk space.
- Brand : While choosing a laptop, go for good reputed brand manufacturers like Lenovo, HP, Compaq, Asus, Acer, Apple, HCL, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba or Dell. They provide good service and quality.
Best Priced Mobile Phone
With availability of so many choices of mobile phones in same budget has made it really difficult for the buyers to choose the right mobile phone. These options make selection very difficult. Buyers either get confused with the features or lucrative prices of different brands. Just type the term 'mobile phone in Rs.10,000 price range' and you will be bombarded with the numerous choices from same or different brands. The best technique to choose right mobile phone from the large options is to compare different phones for features, prices and guarantee. You should also define the preferences before comparing mobile phones.
With the technological advancements, mobile phone companies have filled the market with abundant models with different features. So, the mobile analysis task starts with the need recognition. Some people give preference to simple handsets while some like trendy mobile phones with advanced features like high mega pixel camera, more memory, 4G net connectivity etc.
Major factors to check before deciding on any particular brand or model are:
- Operating System : There are three main operating platforms to choose from - Windows, iOS and Android. iOS operating system is developed by Apple and their phones are costliest of all three. iOS provides smooth operation of Apple phones , providing ample options of downloaded apps from itunes store.Android OS is more customizable (in terms of widgets, lock screen and apps) and provides open source platform where even third party developers can create apps and tools. Though Windows phones are quite consistent than Android or iPhones but they are less popular as they provide minimal options in terms of apps and games selection.
- Screen Size : Once you have shortlisted the type of platform, the screen size of a mobile is next foremost step to consider. The phones come in varied screen sizes ranging from 2.4 inch to 6 inches. Small screen phones (less than 4 inch) are very easy to hold or pocket and are mainly used for calling and messaging. Medium screen phones (4-5 inches) are well suited for internet browsing or even watching movies or videos. Phablets (having more than 5 inches screen size) are bulky and are difficult to carry but are suitable for 3D gaming and larger readable view of videos, text, apps and websites.
- Type of Processor : Processor helps in managing the tasks efficiently, hence you can select a mobile phone according to the processor type- Dual core, Quad core or Octa core. More number of cores will lead to smooth execution of multiple tasks simultaneously. Also the clock speed should be greater than 1GHz as high clock speed will lead to smooth and effortless running of apps, games and videos.
- Camera : Smartphone cameras have replaced the point-and-shoot and digital cameras. So while buying smartphones with good cameras, make sure it has autofocus and generally phones with 8MP or more have good image resolution and are considered appropriate.
- Keypad : These days, most bigger sized phones have touchscreen keypads for comfort whereas few cheaper and old models with full Qwerty keypads are also available in the market.
- Battery Backup : While purchasing a mobile, battery plays a vital role so as to avoid any sort of inconvenience. The battery of approximately 2500 mAH or more is considered to be apt for any kind of mobile usage.
- Other features : Thinner and slimmer phones are easy to handle and take less space in pockets and purses. Mobile phone should be fully equipped with advanced features like dual SIM, GPS, Bluetooth, Wifi, WiFi hotspot, HDMI, DLNA, NFC , 4G and good battery backup. Few high-end phones have exquisite features like dust-proof, water-proof, scratch resistant glass, fingerprint scanner and shock proof.
- Price : Choose the mobiles according to your budget and then compare their specifications and features.
Price is the most important thing you need to compare before making the final purchase. Check the complete price lists of mobile phones in India offered at different stores. Daily updated price list helps you get the best deals on mobile phones. It also saves you time wasted on visiting different portals to get prices and then comparing those.
What to see when buying an Air Conditioner
In hot weather, Air-coolers are cheaper option but they add to humidity especially in the months of June and July when it becomes unbearable and in that case, Air conditioners are the best option. While choosing right air-conditioner price for your room, there are certain things which have to be kept in mind like the size ofyour room, number of people occupying the room , outdoor climate, amount of light coming into the room, area of windows, number of windows and on which floor your room is.
- Tonnage of Air conditioner : Tonnage refers to the cooling capacity of an air conditioner as per the size and requirement of the room. A thumb rule which is used internationally is that for every square foot of room, we require 20 Btu/hr (British Thermal Units per hour). The cooling capacity of an AC is measured in Btu/hr (British thermal unit/hour) which is is its ability to extract a certain amount of heat from a room in an hour.. The AC is considered to be more powerful when the Btu/hr value is higher. An oversized or high capacity air-conditioner is less effective and less energy efficient. For room size less than 150 sqft, 1 ton capacity of AC is sufficient. At Least 1.5 ton AC capacity is needed for room size having area approximately 151 – 250 sqft, and for Room Size 251 – 400 sqft, AC capacity needed is 2 ton or above.
- Compressor : Compressor is a very important component of AC. They are classified into three types- reciprocating, rotary and scroll. Reciprocating compressors are usually used in small to medium systems, such as car ACs, and are bulky and noisy. Rotary units are compact and less noisy, while scroll compressors are the quietest and most efficient of the three. However, the last two are more expensive and are also difficult to repair.
- Split or Window AC- Which is better?
- Window air conditioner price is is quite low as compared to that of a split AC and is easy to install and maintain.
- Split AC makes less noise than window AC as the unit is installed outside the room.
- The regular maintenance is high in case of split AC. The gas has to be filled after certain time period. This is an added burden on the consumer apart from the high initial split air conditioner price.
- Leakage Issue: In case of a Split AC, sometimes the water tips from the air unit during high humidity. This is because of the fact that the droplets are formed right on the face of blower.
- Split AC is better when it comes to cooling and power efficiency.
- Energy Efficiency and Star Rating: A unit with a higher star rating is more expensive than the one with fewer stars.However, it will also consume less electricity and cut down on power consumption while saving energy and being environment-friendly. In India, an AC runs for around 252 days on an average. The BEE rates appliances from 1 to 5 stars. A 5 star AC is the most energy efficient and consumes the lowest energy while conserving energy and drastically reducing your electricity bills.But you should consider a 5 star rated product only when the consumption is extremely high. Hence with the help of above mentioned points, buyer can make a right buying decision after choosing comparing specifications and air conditioner price of various models available in the market.
How to buy Good Audio system?
Audio is the sound which is audible to human beings within acoustic range. Audio files are usually compressed in MP3 format or wav file format for faster transmission.
There are two types of audio amplifiers which help in choosing right audio system:
- Class A/B analog amplifier : These types of amplifiers are conventional or traditional type of amplifiers. They consume more power and are less energy efficient than digital amplifiers. An analog amplifier consists of two separate circuits – output circuit which generates electrical power output signal for speakers from incoming audio signal and an AC signal which modulates the sound waves.
- Class D digital amplifier : These are high-quality digital amplifiers which are used nowadays and are more energy efficient (90% or more) than analog amplifiers. Digital amplifiers use high frequency switching circuits to modulate the output devices.
The sound is reproduced in multiple formats like monophonic sound, stereophonic sound, Dolby Digital Plus (it is a six-channel audio system and is commonly used in home theater systems). You should be careful while buying amplifiers as a low-powered amplifier can burn out the speakers whereas large amplifiers will generate clean and distortion-free AC audio signals.
For a high quality sound, we require good and reputed audio system and speakers. Following are the three things which will help in selecting Right Audio systems for ur house :
- Purpose to Buy : You should first identify the primary use of audio systems. In case you want to buy it with the purpose of watching movies and television, then opt for a surround sound system for an accurate viewing as well as listening experience.
- Size of Room : The size of room also plays a vital role in deciding which audio system you wish to purchase. In case , your room size is big, then you must select full-sized and full-range speakers to get powerful and excellent sound.
- Budget allocated : Your budget and price range also decides in selecting the quality of audio system. For bigger rooms, you have to buy powerful audio systems, and hence have to invest in more money.
While buying, online purchase the products of reputed brands and manufacturers like Philips, Panasonic, Sony, Skullcandy, JBL, Transcend, Vox, Ambrane, iBall, Sennheiser, Advik, to name a few.
How to buy appliances?
With our hectic lives and busy schedules, all of us want a comfortable home so as to relax in the most luxurious yet affordable way. Indiatimes Shopping makes this endeavour easy for you. We have a variety of home and kitchen appliances that are easy to use, cost-effective and also utilitarian. Your home will become a comfortable abode when you get the appliances from our collection. Gone are the days of those hot and sultry summer days or the times when you have to eat out because cooking at home is such a task. Our goal is to make your lives easy and we do not fall short in that endeavour.
We offer you the best products from the best brands. Choose from our exclusive range of products from reputed brands like Godrej, Jaipan, Morphy Richards, Philips and many more. You have the opportunity to select the most suitable product according to your need and budget. Choose from our range of Air conditioners that make your summers as cool as it can get, our refrigerators that keep your food fresh, a variety of semi-automatic and fully automatic washing machines that help you save valuable time in cleaning clothes and many more such products that are committed to make your lives simpler. We also have in our stock, food processors , mixer grinder , waterpurifier , pizza maker, etc. These modern home and kitchen appliances are designed especially for the workaholic youth of our nation. With our appliances, you will want to stay at home always.
Select the product that complements your need in the most efficient manner. You can surf through our range of products and make the right choice. Enjoy an uninterrupted and smooth shopping experience in our portal. Our deals have been created to maximise your satisfaction. Happy shopping to you!
Nowadays, Television has become a necessity rather than a luxury and buying a TV is one of the most toughest decision that anyone can take. The numerous options of brands and models available in the market has made buying a television a challenge. With advanced technology and constant addition of new features by Television manufacturers to provide better viewing experience, the consumers get confused and are often lured by the offers given by various online and offline retailers."
Before you pick a right TV, you need to understand the basic terminology associated with TV like screen size, screen types, resolution, refresh rate, contrast ratio etc. This TV buying guide will help you identify and evaluate them through simple questions and their answers so that the decision making becomes easier.
What is the right TV size suitable for you ?
There is a tremendous increase in demand of larger screen televisions. While selecting the screen size, you should consider how far you will be sitting from the screen and size of the room. If you are sitting too close to TV, then you will see pixelated images and lot of picture noise whereas if you are too far from TV, then the picture details will merge with each other and adversely affect your viewing experience. Minimum viewing distance is twice your TV size whereas maximum viewing distance is 1.6 times of the minimum viewing distance. For example, for 32 inch TV (81 cm), minimum viewing distance is 162cm (64”) or 5 feet and maximum viewing distance is 8 feet. Most of the television models have 16:9 aspect ratio (widescreen design).
|Screen Size (inches)||Viewing Distance (in feet)|
|65-75||Minimum 14 feet|
|Above 75||Minimum 20 feet|
What TV technology is best - LCD, LED, Plasma or OLED ?
The most common screen types of TV are Plasma, LCD, LED and OLED. Earlier the screen options were limited to Plasma and LCD but with latest advanced technologies, LED and OLED TVs have become more popular among the users.
LCD TV :
Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) TVs use fluorescent tubes (CCFLs) to light the screen. They are ideal for indoor viewing and feature a relatively low contrast. They are less expensive as compared to other new technologies but are slowly been replaced with ultrathin LED-backlit LCDs models. They are bulkier and provide inferior picture quality as compared to that of LED Tvs.
LED TV :
LED TVs are similar to LCD TVs except that they use coloured LEDs (light emitting diodes) instead of CCFL to backlit the display. This is done in two ways – either by placing LEDs directly behind the screen (Back lit LED) or by placing LEDs along the edges of the panel (which is called Edge lit LED). Both the techniques use consume less energy than Plasma or LCD TVs.
|Back Lit LED||Edge Lit LED|
|Lighting||Lights from the back||Lights from right and left edges|
|Thickness||Not so slim||Slimmer|
PLASMA TV :
Unlike LCD displays which requires backlight, plasma TV displays use self-emitting small cells called plasmas which contain electrically charged ionized gases and light up on their own. They are superior to LCD panels in terms of contrast ratio, colour quality and offer wider viewing angle but they are only viable in case of bigger screens (50 inches or more). Nowadays, plasma displays are diminishing from the market as they are complex to manufacture as compared to other technologies and do not perform well in brightly lit rooms.
OLED TV :
OLED TVs (Organic Light Emitting Diode) are the latest technology in digital display. The light emitting diodes emit their own light when an electric current is passed through them. They are self-luminated and do not need a bulky backlight making them ultra-slim and more power efficient than LED TVs. They offer much better contrast and widerviewing angle of 180 degrees. The only drawback is that they are exorbitantly priced.
Brief Comparison of all four screen types :
What display resolution should I go for ?
Display Resolution is the number of pixels you can view in a dimension. It is referred to as width x height. For example : 1920X1080 pixel resolution. Most of the televisions offer HD Ready or Full HD resolution. TVs having SD resolution have become obsolete now. The resolution ofUltra HD is exactly four times higher than that of full HD, hence ensuring much more picture detailing, with content requiring a lot more bandwidth and storage space. If you sit closer to TV, then you should opt for higher resolution Ultra HD TV over a 1080p TV to view every minute detail. 4K TVs are used in digital cinemas as they offer resolution of 4096x2160 and there are currently very few options for watching native 4K content. It is always better to opt for full HD resolution for better picture clarity.
|Resolution Type||Content Supported||Display Resolution|
|HD Ready or HD||720p||1366x768 pixels|
|Full HD||1080p||1920 x 1080 pixels|
|Ultra HD||2160p||3840 x 2160 pixels|
|4K||2160p||4096 x 2160 pixels|
Refresh Rate :
The video you see on TV is the series of many still images in rapid succession. The images occur so fast that they give an illusion of motion. The speed at which the images are displayed on screen per second isreferred to as Refresh Rate. It is expressed in Hertz (Hz). A faster refresh rate ensures speedy motion, ideal for sporting events, action movies and playing video games. Higher refresh rate reduces the time between the display of frames hence leading to improved and blur-free picture quality. Plasma Tvs have refresh rate of 600Hz whereas basic LCD TV has 60Hz refresh rate.
What is a 3D TV?
3D is an add-on feature in mostly high-end television models to provide live experience to the users and make them feel as if they are in the middle of the action. These Tvs display 3D videos and require special 3D glasses for viewing. They come in two different technologies - Active and Passive.
Active 3D :
Active 3D glasses work by quickly alternating the images between both right and left eyes. They offer full size 1080p images at a greater depth but can be very tiresome if used for long hours. They are more expensive and require battery to operate.
Passive 3D :
Passive 3D glasses show different images simultaneously but each eye can view only one of the images. They provide slightly inferior picturequality at 720p but are cheaper and do not require a battery. These are mostly used in movie theaters to watch 3D movies.
What is a Smart TV?
Smart TV feature enables you to connect your internet connection with your TV. You can also connect your Smart TV with your laptop/phone and operate via various advanced technologies like miracast or DLNA. The user can access web, watch online videos, live events, manage social networking profiles like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube etc and much more on TV. Few Smart TVs are equipped with camera for various functions like Skype calls and message clients.
Shoppers should make a wise purchase by evaluating the TV features and then narrow down the choices depending upon their budget, type of content they wish to watch, room size and their requirement. Most popular brands of TV are SONY, PANASONIC, LG, SAMSUNG, PANASONIC and PHILIPS.