Avoid these dates to save on air travel

Savvy air travelers know that the best time to book a flight is about six to eight weeks before the departure date. But flying on certain days is going to cost more, no matter when you book.

Rick Seaney, chief executive of the website Farecompare.com, has analyzed airfare data to calculate which dates to avoid in 2016:

March 17: Airfares peak as travelers head out for spring break

May 17: Airlines increase fares for travelers flying for summer vacations

June 10: Demand grows for summer travel

July 31: Weekday fares for summer travel begin to drop

Nov. 23 and 27: Travelers flying for Thanksgiving should avoid the high fares on these days.

— Hugo Martin

Los Angeles Times

Hints from Heloise:

Tired dogs better ?at grooming parlor

Helen Q. in Woodbridge, N.J., writes: I have a pet-care hint: When I have to take my sweet Staffie and Scottie dogs to the vet or to the groomers, I park my car a mile away and walk the rest of the way. This way, my babies are a little tired and have worked off some of that doggy energy. It’s easier to handle them at what is usually an unpleasant visit for them. Added bonus: Walking back to the car after dropping them off is a little extra exercise for me!

Verna H. in Westerville, Ohio, writes: When repotting plants, line the bottom of the pot with a coffee filter where the hole is. The dirt will stay in place when watering.

— King Features

Older women, fewer teens having babies

Since 2000, the average age of first-time moms has gone up by 1.4 years to around 26, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers attributed this to a significant drop in teen pregnancies, and at the other end of the spectrum, the growing number of women over the age of 30 giving birth for the first time.

The shift happened in every state and across all racial and ethnic groups.

Delayed motherhood trends are closely watched by both health professionals and population experts, because they offer a window into the future.

“Over the past several decades, the United States continued to have a larger number of first births to older women along with fewer births to mothers under age 20,” the report said.

“This trend and the more recent uptick in delayed initial childbearing can affect the number of children a typical woman will have in her lifetime, family size, and for the overall population change in the United States.”

— Allie Shah

Star Tribune (Minneapolis)