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Want to Travel in 2018? Now’s the Time to Book Cheap Flights

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After a long holiday season spent arranging flights and schlepping to and from the airport, travel may be the last thing on your mind. But the post-holiday slump that falls on this part of the calendar is exactly what makes it the perfect window for finding great deals on airline tickets. As Travel + Leisure reports, flights purchased for trips happening within the next six months are cheapest during the first two weeks of January.

That data comes from a recent analysis by Skyscanner. After looking at monthly searches from over 60 million users, the flight search engine determined that the first two weeks of this month will feature the lowest airfare prices of the year. Travelers who wait until March to book their trips risk paying up to 13 percent more for domestic flights, while the prices of international flights could become 56 percent higher than the year-round average by that time.

If two weeks isn’t enough time for you to commit to a trip, it’s fine to wait a little longer to take the plunge. According to trends from past years, travel costs will remain lower than average until around February 15, at which point they will start to rise quickly.

January is typically the most affordable month to book flights, but exactly how much you can save varies from year to year. In January 2016, airfares were the lowest they’d been in years, with both discount and major airlines offering some round-trip domestic flights for less than $100. It’s too early to say whether this January will be more or less expensive than previous years, but it doesn’t hurt to browse prices and start planning your dream vacation now.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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7 Science-Backed Ways to Improve Your Memory
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Being cursed with a bad memory can yield snafus big and small, from forgetting your gym locker combination to routinely blowing deadlines. If your New Year's resolution was to be less forgetful in 2018, it's time to start training your brain. The infographic below, created by financial website Quid Corner and spotted by Lifehacker Australia, lists seven easy ways to boost memory retention.

Different techniques can be applied to different scenarios, whether you're preparing for a speech or simply trying to recall someone's phone number. For example, if you're trying to learn a language, try writing down words and phrases, as this activates your brain into paying more attention. "Chunking," or separating long digit strings into shorter units, is a helpful hack for memorizing number sequences. And those with a poetic bent can translate information into rhymes, as this helps our brains break down and retain sound structures.

Learn more tips by checking out the infographic below.

[h/t Lifehacker.com.au]

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The Only Way to Answer ‘What Is Your Greatest Weakness?’ In a Job Interview
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Thanks in part to the influence of Silicon Valley and its focus on the psychological probing of job applicants, interview questions have been steadily getting more and more abstract. As part of the interview process, today's job seekers might be asked to describe a vending machine to someone who’s never seen one before, or plan a fantasy date with a famous historical figure.

Even if the company you’re approaching isn’t fully on board with prodding your brain, at some point you may still come up against one of the most common queries applicants face: "What is your greatest weakness?"

"Some 'experts' will tell you to try and turn a strength into a 'weakness,' to make yourself look good," writes Inc. contributor Justin Bariso. "That advice is garbage."

"Think about it," Bariso continues. "Interviewers are asking the same question to countless candidates. Just try and guess how many times they hear the answers 'being a perfectionist' or 'working too much.' (Hint: way too often.)"

While responding that you work too hard might seem like a reliable method of moving the conversation along, there’s a better way. And it involves being sincere.

"The fact is, it's not easy to identify one's own weaknesses," Bariso writes. "Doing so takes intense self-reflection, critical thinking, and the ability to accept negative feedback—qualities that have gone severely missing in a world that promotes instant gratification and demands quick (often thoughtless) replies to serious issues."

Bariso believes the question is an effective way to reveal an applicant’s self-awareness, which is why companies often use it in their vetting process. By being self-aware, people (and employees) can correct behavior that might be affecting job performance. So the key is to give this question some actual thought before it’s ever posed to you.

What is your actual greatest weakness? It could be that, in a desire to please everyone, you wind up making decisions based on the urge to avoid disappointing others. That’s a weakness that sounds authentic.

Pondering the question also has another benefit: It prompts you to think of areas in your life that could use some course-correcting. Even if you don’t land that job—or even if the question is never posed to you—you’ve still made time for self-reflection. The result could mean a more confident and capable presence for that next interview.

[h/t Inc.]

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