10 Tips For Great Road Trips

These ten tips will make your road trip more of a breeze than a whirlwind. From car care to what to pack, we’ve thought of everything, so you don’t have to.

1. Have car in good repair. While you can make the most of a car breaking down, and still enjoy yourself, a great road trip is easier to have without being stranded, towed, or spending money on costly repairs.

2. Know the route. There is something to be said about hopping in the car and just driving in whatever direction sounds fun, but for a great road trip, planning helps immensely. That way you get gas when you need to, have places to stop for food, rest, and fuel. Being lost when you are trying to get somewhere is never fun, so plan some activities, and print out directions for how you are going to get from Point A to Point B.

3. Seating arrangements. How you sit in the car is going to make a difference in how enjoyable the road trip is. No one has fun if someone in the car is puking. The car smells, it is gross, and it stalls the trip. So, putting people who are prone to car sickness near a window, putting kids that need help near someone that can help, and separating those that tend to argue or fight can make a trip so much more fun!

4. Movies. Pack a movie player and movies for all ages. Just do not forget to pack some headphones so that those unable to watch the movie do not have to hear it. Having a DVD player in the car can make a world of difference in how well kids handle road trips.

5. Music. Put together a fun playlist or mixed CD for the road. Having a continuous set of tunes that are fun, upbeat, and will make the trip go by faster is a great idea. It always pays off to have some music ready for the road.

6. Audio Books. Nothing makes a drive go by faster than being immersed in a good book. Of course because it is hard to read and drive at the same time, not to mention it can make you sick, or be difficult without daylight, an audio book you can load on your iPod, or put in your car CD player is a great idea. Find an audio book that is the approximate length of time as your trip, that way as you end your book, you also end your destination.

7. Snacks. It is not a road trip without some delicious snacks and treats. While you will likely still stop for food, having pretzels, wheat thins, licorice, beef jerky, apple slices, cheese, yogurts, chips, candy, etc. in the car to snack on when the urge hits, can make it a much more comfortable and satisfying ride.

8. Stops. If you are on a road trip with kids, it is important to give them a break from the car. So, stop every three or four hours for about thirty minutes. It will make the trip far more enjoyable, and ironically, make it go faster. Stop at a McDonald’s and let them eat and play in the indoor play area for a while. Stop at a rest stop and let them run around for a few minutes, or take them shopping. A little break from the car can make it much more pleasant to be in it.

9. Temperature control. Keeping the car comfortable will make the ride better. So, make sure your AC works, and make sure that those who do not like it cool bring along a light jacket.

10. Sight seeing. Make the journey part of the fun. Stop along the way at various monuments, tourist spots, beaches, or whatever else you find. Taking time to stop and see the sights on the way to the site, can be really rewarding and fun!

Your First Trip to Cebu, Philippines Travel Tips

If you’re coming here on vacation no doubt most of your planning was already done via the company you booked your flight with such as the hotel. Also be aware most major resorts will offer a shuttle service and often at little or no cost. That is something that will instantly save you money when arriving as the taxi drivers are generally looking to make two or even three times the normal amount which is why its strongly advised to always ask for the meter to be put on when entering a taxi and leave if they refuse. Also a good tip is to go across the road at Mactan airport and up the ramp as you will come out at the departure area and the taxis are less likely to give you problems purely because they are looking for rides back to the City. If its late at night you may tip the driver but generally I only tip if they don’t ask for extra.

If your not pre-booked into accommodation and looking for something a bit more long term but know people like myself in the area we can help find you a better deal as often the rents will be hiked on the knowledge of you being a foreigner. Prime example is the rent I pay which is P3,000 per month for a 1 bedroom apartment where someone else is likely to be charged around P7,000 upwards for a similar type and size building as well as bills. The other advantage of asking people like myself is that we can often locate areas which are more suitable for Expats as they are generally areas with an existing Expat population.

What areas are best to stop in for a trip to Cebu? Personally if its a vacation I would look to get accommodation on Mactan island due to its number of hotels and resorts as well as facilities catering for the tourism market such as diving, island hopping and generally good quality beaches. Cebu city itself is less than twenty minutes ride away giving you quick access to the large malls in Cebu or Colon market which is famous for its bargains and an ideal place to pickup souviners a lot cheaper than you will find elsewhere. Colon street also offers several guitar stores for hand made guitars who also produce ornate mirrors.

Touring the island is often something many don’t do but would recommend at least a couple of days of a trip here to travel to the more beautiful parts of the island as the further you head out the greener and cleaner the countryside becomes. It also gives opportunity to experience diving, waterfalls, beaches and local life. Getting around doesn’t have to be so expensive and I can help organise vehicles for such trips which are generally fixed prices for the day and the hire of a vehicle with driver. This allows you to travel around without the worry of being lost or trying to deal with the hectic traffic that exists all over the Philippines.

One of the most important factors many people over look though is “money” you don’t need to change it abroad it is actually a lot cheaper to do it within the Philippines. As well as the fact Western money has a larger currency value so larger bills in a home currency means less money mass and only needing to change money as and when you need it. There are money changers pretty much everywhere, avoid the ones at the airport and use the ones in good locations such as the malls but please check rates as they can vary considerably. If you get a new sim for your phone and let your regular changer know they will often update you by text or call you on a land line with the latest prices.

Do not carry too much jewelery or expensive items as currently we are experiencing a higher than usual number of snatches. Believe it or not someone will grab a chain from your neck and disappear into the crowd quicker than you can look at them. Also carrying personal items that may make you stand out will make you a more obvious risk of robbery. Generally I find Cebu a safe place but like most things you do not want to invite risk if it can be avoided. The general population are friendly and glad to help but like any society there are always some bad elements.

Guide To Tipping A Nail Technician Or Related Service Professional

Graduates of beauty schools go on to work in salons or spas, providing customers with hair, nail, skin, and massage services. As is done with restaurant service providers, it is commonplace to tip a hairstylist and nail technician after services are rendered. Some people are not aware of this and still others are unsure of how much the tip should be. Learning more about the rules will ensure a satisfactory result of the transaction, from the perspective of both parties.

To avoid tipping insufficiently or being too generous, adhere to general tipping guidelines. These serve as yardsticks to measure whether the tip is appropriate but should not be considered hard and fast rules. Consumers are free to adjust their tips based on levels of service and relationship with the service provider. When traveling outside of the U.S., individuals should consult a travel guide to learn about tipping practices within other countries.

A hair stylist should generally receive a tip that equals 15 to 20 percent of the bill. Colorists receive a separate tip, also 15 to 20 percent of their bill. If the colorist is a miracle worker, leave a more generous tip in order to thank the person for the great results. When a stylist dries and styles hair after the colorist is finished, this person should receive a tip, and be generous because the stylist charges are usually reduced following coloring.

Shampoo technicians should receive a one or two dollar tip. If the nails are done, the appropriate tip for a nail technician is 15 to 20 percent of his or her total bill. Feel free to leave a higher tip if intricate artwork is performed on the nail. These folks have likely attended the top beauty schools and are experts. They can turn a plain nail into a work of art for occasions like holidays or special events.

When heading to the spa, be prepared to tip the massage therapist ten to 20 percent for each massage. Aestheticians should receive a tip of ten to 20 percent for each service rendered. When getting services at a salon located within the spa, tip the stylist, colorist, shampoo tech, and nail technician according to the guidelines above for a stand-alone salon. Following these tipping guidelines will ensure the highest quality of service during subsequent visits. These practices pave the way for a great relationship to develop between the client and service provider.

Best Tips for Traveling Alone in a Car Trip

If you must travel alone in a car, here are a few things you need to know and be aware of to help you survive the trip. You can make the trip as pleasurable or as adventurous as you want. Always set a timetable for departure and arriving and try to stick to it. Make allowances for emergencies or problems.

Before you take the trip include the following tips in your plans:

1. Prepare your mind – avoid stress of any kind before getting on the road

2. Prepare your body – make sure you get a good night of sleep and rest

3. Prepare your car – have your car tuned up, oil changed, brakes checked, tire rotated and in good condition, extra fluids in the car (oil, brake, transmission, windshield, antifreeze, etc.) and make sure your windshield wipers and lights are working properly

4. Plan your route – find out the nearest hospitals, hotels, rest stops and restaurants

5. Let someone know your route and check in with that person at designated times to be safe

6. Have your cell phone charged and available for emergency calls.

7. Take along a map or GPS and have it handy or ready in the event you get lost or need directions.

8. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes to drive in

9. Travel with suitcases or bags in trunk of car for safety reasons

10. Try to map out or organize your route (beware of road construction and detours)

11. Have a small amount of cash or traveler’s checks in the event your credit or debit card does not work

While traveling during the trip follow these tips:

1. Try to travel during the day. At night is too risky, especially if the car breaks down.

2. Make frequent or regular stops to break the monotony of driving.

3. If you feel tired or sleepy pull over at the nearest safe place and stop or get a hotel room to spend the night and wake up refreshed.

4. Take along a snack (gum or candy) if it doesn’t make you sleepy

5. Listening to the radio or music is usually good for some people

6. You may want to drive with windows down a little to get fresh air

7. If at all possible do not sleep in the car alone

8. Wear a pair of shades if the sun is too much of a strain on your eyes

After reaching your destination follow these tips:

1. Take a nice hot shower and rest or get some sleep

2. You may want to eat a nice meal after resting

By following these tips your trip alone should be much easier and stress-free. Rather business or pleasure driving alone can be a memorable experience.

Holiday Gift Buying Tips

With the holiday just around the corner, it’s now time to think about buying gifts for mom. Most often we always buy gifts that we purchase each year for our moms. Sooner or later the appeal of these gifts wear off, make it a point to choose a different set of gifts this year. Try shopping for holiday gifts online this time.

Instead of giving the same old gifts to your mother you should try to inject new energy and fresh vibes into the gifts you buy this holiday season. Below you will find a few fresh holiday gift ideas. Remember, these ideas are just guidelines so feel free to improvise whenever necessary to fit the needs of the mother in your life or your budget.

Idea no. 1: If you are buying your wife or mother a gift, buy them gold jewelry this holiday season. Jewelry is something that women always need, and stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Idea no. 2: When buying mother’s jewelry always make sure that you purchase from an online jewelry store that only sells jewelry for moms. These stores usually have jewelry that they know that moms really love.

Idea no. 3: When choosing a special gift for mom, make it a diamond gold ring this year. Diamonds are a woman’s all time favorite as women love gold rings with diamonds.

Idea no. 4: Clothes and shoes are something everybody gives and everybody gets, if you want to make a difference this year, buy your mom a gold pendant. A good pendant along with a gold chain is a stellar gift.

Idea no. 5: The simplest gifts for mom can even be a bouquet of roses. Women love flowers and specially roses. This is the cheapest yet most effective gift that you can give your mom.

Idea no. 6: If your mother doesn’t like jewelry with a lot of flash then remember to purchase a holiday gift that is simple. A simple gold ring with your mom’s name engraved will stay on her hand forever.

Buying gifts for the holiday season is not easy, especially if you are buying gifts for a person so close as your own mother. Gifts for mom need to be simple, and communicate the feeling of love for her. Moms want to be loved and your gifts should only be used as a means of showing your love for her and making her feel loved.

Tips for Selecting a Travel Agent

Even with the proliferation of options to directly purchase a holiday, a flight, or almost any accommodation, it is still mostly beneficial to share your plans with a reputable travel agent or consultant. Many of use have dreams to see new places, experience new opportunities and generally have a penchant to leave home but return safely. Here we look at what to look for in a such a person.

1. Personal Touch

The personal touch is important as you will get better results if you have a good working relationship with your travel agent. Find one who you can relate to and who listens to your needs and meets them. Most holiday packages are prepared and managed by an organisation that is not directly owned by the agent, so the best consultant will have no favourites or preferred suppliers. He or she simply listens to your requests and find the best options for you to choose. Generally it will take several iterations to plan the dream holiday.

2. Expert Knowledge

As a consumer of travel, you want to deal with someone who has expert knowledge. Fortunately, there are tens of thousands of options for you to choose but unfortunately no one travel consultant knows everything. Hence choosing someone who has travelled and has access to robust knowledge in other areas is wise. A travel consultant who knows what he or shes does not know but has research capability can help in most situations.

3. Availability

The travel agents availability is important both during the pre-travel time as well as during the travel time. The availability can be in person, online, email or whatever means you need during the pre-travel phase. Many arrangements are made now-a-days without face-to-face meetings, although much can be gained by meeting. A discussion on response times from your travel agent is important to understand should you be visiting countries of higher risk. Often, there will be people in-country with whom any challenges can be discussed.

4.Willingness to Answer Questions

A good travel agent will answer all the questions that you ask and clarify any confusions that you may have. They want to build their and retain business, hence reputable travel agents will do whatever is in their power to answer your questions.

In summary, choose a travel agent who you can build a relationship. People like doing business with people they trust. With so many options available it is impossible to know the details of each tour. Let the travel agent research with the suppliers and you will develop the best expectations for your travel. Happy travelling.

What Tourists Should Know Before Going To Puerto Vallarta

If you are in search of a location to vacation in, consider travelling to Puerto Vallarta. This city lies on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, and it is a favorite vacation destination for those who wish to unwind or indulge in a variety of adventures.

Getting there and around

Many visitors ride planes to go to the city. The Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport can be found at the north of the city center and many major US airlines conduct flights to and from the city. From there you can opt to use a taxi cab or hire private transport. Buses are also not hard to come by. Vallarta’s yachts, boats and water taxis can bring you to different gorgeous beaches.

Places to see

Vallarta is considered as one of Mexico’s most beautiful resort destinations. One of the most remarkable areas in the city is the Banderas Bay, which is one of the largest and deepest worldwide. Puerto Vallarta also has a growing number of cultural points of interest. The Museo del Cuale for instance has gorgeous pottery and clay figurines. No trip to the city is complete Jardines Botanicos de Vallarta. This facility houses numerous types of orchids and wild palms, and in there, you may find butterflies and hummingbirds flitting by from time to time. If you just want to rest, Vallarta has miles of sweeping golden sand beaches.

Things to do

The city provides a number of activities and excursions to keep you occupied and delighted. You can try whale and turtle watching, go on nature trips, visit the Sierra Madre, and experience many aquatic sports. If you’re up for it, the city is also offers canopy walks and zip lines. There are also many dining and shopping establishments to visit. Different options to rest are also readily accessible. Spas, for instance, are a fixture in many locations in the city.

Accommodation options

Accommodation facilities in Vallarta vary from well-known international hotel chains to more economical bed and breakfasts. For extended stays, you can also select from the city’s condominiums and apartment villas. Many of these accommodation facilities can be reserved on the internet.

The best time to visit

Peak season is December through April so count on seeing more expensive accommodation fees during that part of the year. The perfect time to go to Vallarta is between late June and October when hotel fees drop up to 40% and there are fewer people to compete with for various tourist services..

Accepted currency

Most establishments in the city accept US dollars as readily as they take the local Peso. Understand though that the exchange rates available at money changers are less favorable than what are available from the banks.

Top 23 Travel Tips For Taking A Summer Road Trip

Planning a summer road trip this year? Do movies like RV and Family Vacation not scare you from the adventures that could await you on your cross country trek? Before you go, make sure you check off these top 23 travel tips.

  • Look at maps and plan your route. There are many great online maps that do a HYBRID map view showing real streets and routes with satalite images. Knowing the location, and how it looks, by viewing it from space is both cool and very helpful, so you won’t get lost.
  • Research the roads you’ll take. You’ll especially want to know if you’ll be traveling through areas of major road construction. The maps mentioned above are a little dated. Some new roads and maps will not have current, realtime data, bring physical maps, like ones you could buy from AAA along.
  • Make estimates of travel times along the route, so you’ll have an idea when you’ll be at certain points on your trip. This will help you to plan rest and meal stops. It will also help you plan to avoid traveling through a major city or area of road construction during rush hour.
  • Get the car checked, especially the filters, belts, fluid levels and have the oil changed. Don’t wait until the last minute, it may take time to get an appointment and parts may need to be ordered. You also want some time to drive around town and make sure that whatever they fixed stays fixed. If you vehicle is ‘mission critical’ and could die at any moment, DON’T take it with you, borrow a friends car instead.
  • Check the condition of your wiper blades, both front and back windows.
  • Check the operation of your turn signals, brake lights as well as the high and low beams. Bring some extra fuses along.
  • Examine the tread on your tires. Consider mountain driving in winter conditinos on snowy peaks. Make sure you have chains or 4×4 traction for icey roads, out of season. Or try a different route.
  • Make sure your car is prepared for the weather it will encounter on your trip. You might need more antifreeze or need to recharged air-conditioning when you go through the desert.
  • Today, many cars have fancy wheels instead of hubcaps. These wheels usually have a lock to prevent them from being stolen. If you have a car with wheel locks, make sure you know where the key is stored (often with the jack). Otherwise, a flat tire will become a major problem since you won’t be able to get the wheel off the car.
  • Get your car cleaned. You’ll feel better in a clean car.
  • Pack an emergency kit in your car. Include motion sickness medication if anyone in your group suffers from it. Remove any items from the car that you won’t need on your trip. Bring some blankets.
  • Prepare some on road entertainment for your trip. Include games and CDs of music and/or audio books. Portable DVD players are really inexpensive and help pass the time in dead spots where where is nothing new to see.
  • Check your plates, registration and insurance information to make sure they are all valid. Be sure to place your insurance company’s emergency contact number in your car.
  • Check with all the drivers in your party to make sure their driver’s licenses haven’t expired.
  • Check your insurance for expiration dates and coverage for your automobile.
  • Arrange for someone to start your other car, if you leave one home, during very cold or very hot weather.
  • Fill the car with gas before you pack the car so all the fumes won’t bother your passengers. Check the fluid levels and tire pressure, your tire pressure will affect the ride and gas mileage you get on your trip.
  • Pack the car inside the garage, with the door down, so people driving by won’t find out you’re leaving.

Overall, enjoy the road trip. It’s not going to be as crazy as Clark W Grizwold’s family vacation experiences, and if it is, make sure you video it and put it up on You Tube!

Holiday Weight Loss Tips – How to Lose Weight During the Holiday Season

I love the progress I have made so far to lose weight and burn off excess fat but my greatest challenge now is how to lose weight during the holiday season and not fall back and gain the weight I have successfully lost. The holiday season is usually a period of weight gain because of the overabundance of food, parties, and tempting treats as well as the increased stress and busier schedules that goes with the holidays. Here are some holiday weight loss tips to help you during the holiday season.

With the right healthy foods and some discipline, you can make it through the holiday season without adding excess weight; feel livelier, healthier and happy. The weight loss tips you will read here will help you lose weight during the holiday season and you start the New Year with your desired weight size and keep it throughout the New Year.

Tip 1: Practice eating slowly during the holiday season

The first holiday weight loss tip you should know to lose weight during the holiday season is to practice eating slowly. Most times we hurriedly eat our food during the holiday season to catch up with several appointments and events lined up for us. Do take time to slowly eat your food. Recent research showed that people who eat their food slowly are more likely to eat less than those who quickly wanted to finish their food.

Tip 2: Eat more fruits and vegetables

Some people will advice you to eat some food and avoid some food but my advice is that you should eat more to lose more. How? Eat more of low calorie food to lose weight during the holiday season. Some researchers found that overweight people who eat more of lower calorie foods lost more weight than those who simply reduce their overall calories. Eat more fruits and vegetables. One secret to lose weight successfully during the holidays is to reduce grains consumption and increase greatly on fruits and veggies. You will discover that as you eat more of fruits and veggies, the more you will crave them and the less you will eat fatty and greasy foods, the more you will lose weight.

Tip 3: Drink Oolong tea or other green tea to kill sugar cravings

Drinking oolong tea stimulates your body to burn fat for energy. Drink a cup of Oolong tea in the morning, afternoon and before bed to help stave off sugar cravings and energy slumps. Drink a cup of Oolong 30 minutes to 1 hour before your usual daily walk or workouts.

Tip 4: Discipline your self to stick to a food plan

If you want to lose weight during the holiday season, you must do a positive self-talk every day to stick to a food plan. To lose 1 pound, you must burn 3,500 calories per week. So stick to a daily calorie loss of 500 to achieve 3,500 in 7 days. By the end of the holiday season, you must have lost roughly 5 pounds minimum instead of adding more weight like other people.

Tip 5: Know the foods that make you fat

What foods make you fat? By now you should know them. There are certain foods that may cause weight gain in some people. These are trigger foods which make us to overeat. Once you identify the foods that make you gain weight, you must do everything possible to avoid them during the holiday season.

Yes. It will surprise you to know that a simple weight gain of 5 pounds during the holiday season may not seem like much for you to worry about but it could develop into a more serious health problems in the New Year if not quickly addressed. We hope this holiday weight loss tips will help you to lose weight during the holiday season.

Facts About International Tax Attorneys and Law Firms

International Tax Attorneys are a great help to companies overseas as well as individuals living in other nations. Companies of all kinds must have suitable legal counsel to be able to operate effectively. There are a number of business transactions that require the expertise of this type of counsel.

These kinds of lawful specialists are employed in various capabilities to assist with various kinds of international dealings. Also, people that reside outside of America frequently encounter issues filing their very own yearly taxes. The US tax codes can be extremely complex and when coupled with the extra stress of dealing with international earnings, the situation becomes extremely challenging and the help of a legal expert is needed.

International lawyers assist both companies and individual situations. The can help both prepare their taxes. They will assist global corporations with their operations abroad. They make sure that everything is filed correctly. They understand the international tax laws. They’ll also work together with residents that earn an international income. Sometimes, you will discover errors which are produced by people that don’t comprehend the actual globally tax laws and regulations. This may trigger plenty of difficulty for them and a lawyer will most likely be required to correct the matter.

You will find lots of circumstances within the company field which will may need the legal help of this kind of tax lawyer. There are lots of businesses that are expanding globally and they need the understanding of those attorneys. Also, many expatriates have specific tax considerations that they have to become familiar with. Company owners that reside within United States nevertheless carry out their business in other nations will even need the assistance of those particular attorneys.

There are lots of transactions that cannot be properly carried out without the help of a lawyer. These lawyers will assist in writing contracts and will oversee mergers and partnerships from a legal viewpoint. Any foreign investments will also have primary tax implications.

It is far better to have the help of a lawyer rather than to get in trouble with the IRS and then have to hire a lawyer to bail you out of the situation. An international tax lawyer is an expert with assisting customers in preparing their taxes and making proper choices concerning their very own foreign actions.

A lawyer will help also with the possession of property in other nations. They will comprehend how you can apply the taxes based on the rules of the nation. Both companies and individuals will benefit from their legal expertise. Foreign tax rates will differ in each and every nation and so will their laws.

International Tax Attorneys are important for businesses and individuals that have dealings abroad. It is never a good idea to ignore a tax problem because it will only get worse. And you should not try to take on complex tax matters on your own if you do not understand the laws. Obtaining a tax lawyer will assist companies in the setup of their operations and will make sure that they don’t end up being penalized.