Are You Looking for Kitchen Furniture?

There is generally one common thread that dominates the criteria for kitchen furniture. It must be attractively functional. Almost anyone can use additional storage or work space in a kitchen. Therefore, if one piece of furniture can serve a dual purpose, it is probably a smart buy.

When shopping for furniture, for your kitchen, you want to buy items that are durable, practical, attractive, and multi- functional. A dining set is a frequently used item so it needs to be well constructed with comfortable chairs. Before buying any piece of furniture, you need to be certain it will fit in the space you have available. It is also important that you stay within your budget. Taking time to do some comparison shopping will enable you to find the best prices on the style of furniture you desire.

Kitchen furniture styles range from rustic to modern. The size of your kitchen will play a vital role in determining the style in which you decorate. Large rustic pieces need to be in a large kitchen. Contemporary and traditional style wooden tables vary greatly in size. You can easily find a wooden table and various other matching pieces of kitchen furniture such as a buffet, side board, baker’s rack, or hutch to match your table. Extension or drop leaf tables are excellent for small kitchens.

Modern style tables such as the bistro style, bar height design, and bar pub table are relatively new designs that are ideal for small kitchens. Many designs include some extra storage space such as a rack for wine bottles and storage for glasses. Kitchen islands that function as work-space and dining space are quite popular among condominium owners and for young singles or couples living in small apartments.

You can mix various styles of furniture to create a functional and attractive kitchen. A retro kitchen bar pub table could effectively be incorporated into a modern style kitchen. Espresso colored furniture is a popular choice for a modern style kitchen. A kitchen is an area that needs to be functional. You don’t want to forfeit function for fashion and you certainly don’t have to.

Driving Safety Near a School or School Bus

Driving near a school or a school bus can be dangerous if motorists don’t take proper precautions to ensure not just their own safety, but the safety of children in the vicinity. Here’s a guide to help you understand the right protocol to follow as a motorist in a school zone, or near a school bus.

Picking up or dropping off children at school:

  • Every school has a system to pick up and drop off children. Make sure you educate yourself on the rules of the school and adhere to them
  • Don’t double park because it reduces visibility for other drivers, and can endanger students
  • Park in the allotted areas (these have been designed keeping in mind the safety of students), and take permitted turns while navigating the school grounds. Avoid making U-turns and three-point turns.
  • While driving, watch out closely for children on bikes coming onto the roadway from between parked cars. Also keep a safe distance of at least 3ft between your vehicle and the motorcycle, and always check your side-view mirror before exiting your car
  • As a rule, ensure that your child is safely buckled in with the seat belt or in an age-appropriate child car seat before starting the car. Also, make sure your child enters or exits the car only via the ‘safety door’ which is the rear door on the kerb-side

Driving in a school zone:

  • Don’t exceed the 25mph speed limit imposed while driving in school zones. Most often this speed limit is imposed in school zones between 8 a.m. and 9.30 a.m., and 2.30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Motorists must adhere to this speed limit even if there are no children in sight
  • Slow down when approaching a school crossing
  • Do not proceed past the school crossing until the crossing supervisor’s hand-held sign is no longer displayed, or until he/she indicates that you can continue
  • If there is no crossing supervisor, but ‘CHILDREN CROSSING’ flags are displayed, the motorist must stop and wait until all the pedestrians have crossed the road
  • While driving through a school zone, avoid honking as it might scare children and cause them to stumble or fall in the way of oncoming traffic

Driving in the vicinity of a school bus:

  • Learn to understand the flashing light system on school buses.
  • If the overhead lights on the bus are flashing yellow, then prepare to stop. These lights indicate that the bus driver is planning to bring the vehicle to a halt to load or unload children.
  • If the overhead lights are flashing red, and the stop sign extended, it means that the bus has stopped and that children are getting on or off the bus. At this time all motorists, regardless of the direction in which they are moving, must come to a halt until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign pulled back, and the bus resumes motion. In all 50 states of the U.S., it is mandatory for all vehicles on both sides of the road to come to a halt during this process. However, if a median divides the road, this may not be required.
  • If you are passing a school bus, make sure that there is plenty of visibility and space in the next lane. It is illegal in the U.S. to pass a bus on the right side, as this is where the loading and unloading of children occurs. Therefore, vehicles may pass the school bus on the left side on multiple lane roadways
  • Remember, though buses have large mirrors to assist the driver in his/her navigation, these vehicles also have huge blind spots. Stay cognizant of this, and pull back and slow down if you see a bus flash its blinkers, and allow it to move into the next lane.
  • Be especially vigilant near bus stops. Children may be playing at the bus stop to kill some time, or might be arriving late for their school bus and may inadvertently dart into oncoming traffic.
  • Bear in mind that buses stop frequently, so maintain at least 3ft distance between your car and the bus, to allow yourself enough time to come to a halt too
  • Do not park at or near a bus stop. In fact, maintain enough distance between your vehicle and the bus stop to allow children to enter and exit the bus with ease
  • Always remember that children can behave in an unpredictable, often rash, manner. In their haste or enthusiasm, they may not remember the safety concerns associated with walking on the road or picking up something they’ve dropped on the road. Therefore, it’s important to look very carefully to make sure the way is clear before navigating traffic behind a school bus.

These tips will help you drive in a safe, responsible manner while driving in a school zone, or near a school bus. If you would like to share your thoughts or suggestions of your own, we’d love to hear from you. Leave us a comment below!

Must Check Out the New Fashion Styles This Season

During summers, one has got a lot of options but in winters you need to take care about feeling warm as well. So, the options get a bit limited. But still you can flaunt out, all you need is a bit of creativity and fashion sense.

Especially in winters you get these pastel colors like warm caramels, creams, olives, butterscotch, grey and the all time favorite black. You can experiment a lot with these colors and designs available. With this chilly season you need to keep yourself fresh and warm. The most important thing in your wardrobe in winters is jeans. They are available in different colors, patterns and designs. The fashion changes every season and it is completely worth to invest in a nice pair of jeans every season. Skinny jeans are in trend this fall and are likely to remain for quite some time. Also, peg-leg denims along with high heel stilettos are in fashion this season.

If you are working from day to evening then you can definitely opt for dark wash. And if you have got the right attitude then you can also try out bold designs and patterns. Floral, stripes and dots will look amazing if you are brave enough to carry them. Leggings are doing a miracle this winter. They keep you warm as well as make you look stylish. They are available in a wide range of colors from sparkling red to pastel grays. So just try out something new from the basket like golden leggings with a black top. Contrast is one thing that you should remember this season, it is definitely inn. You can also try out a military inspired jacket with royal blue leggings underneath a denim mini-skirt.

Military designs are one of the trendiest designs this season. Crisp shirts, anoraks, vests, canvas skirts, classic khaki design, beige and drab olive will look extremely fabulous if worn in a right manner. You can team them up with some dazzling accessories like bangles, necklace, a wrist band, a watch or some bracelet.

Last but not the least comes the shoes. A nice pair of high boots is compulsory for winters. Next thing which comes up are the mars and converse shoes. For a casual look you can wear converse and for a more feminine and formal look, you can stick to boots.

So, now you are ready to face the winters in a stylish manner.

Where to Deduct Tax Preparation Fees

Where should an individual taxpayer deduct tax preparation fees? The obvious answer might be on Schedule A of Form 1040 as a miscellaneous deduction. Are tax preparation fees deductible only on Schedule A for all taxpayers? Thankfully, the answer is no.

Deducting tax preparation fees on Schedule A will provide little or no benefit for most taxpayers because the total miscellaneous deductions must exceed two percent of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income to provide any benefit. In addition, the taxpayer’s total itemized deductions must usually exceed the standard deduction amount to provide any tax benefit.

The IRS ruled in Rev. Rul. 92-29 that taxpayers may deduct tax preparation fees related to a business, a farm, or rental and royalty income on the schedules where the taxpayer reports such income.

A taxpayer who is self-employed may deduct the portion of the tax preparation fees related to the business, including schedules such as depreciation schedules, on Schedule C of Form 1040 as a business expense. The tax preparation fees deducted on Schedule C save the taxpayer income tax and self-employment tax.

A taxpayer who is self-employed as a farmer would deduct the portion of the tax preparation fees related to the farm on Schedule F of Form 1040. The tax preparation fees deducted on Schedule F save the taxpayer income tax and self-employment tax.

A taxpayer who has rental and/or royalty income reported on Schedule E of Form 1040 would deduct the portion of the tax preparation fees related to the rental and/or royalty income on Schedule E. The tax preparation fees deducted on Schedule E save the taxpayer income tax. However, the tax preparation fees deducted on Schedule E do not save the taxpayer any self-employment tax because the rental and/or royalty income reported on Schedule E is not subject to self-employment tax.

A taxpayer may not deduct all of the tax preparation fees on Schedules C, E, and F of Form 1040. The tax preparer should provide a statement to the taxpayer that indicates how much of the tax preparation fee was related to the taxpayer’s business, farm, and/or rental and/or royalty income. The taxpayer may deduct the remainder of the tax preparation fee only on Schedule A.

If the tax preparer does not provide the taxpayer with a detailed statement showing how much of the tax preparation fee was for the taxpayer’s business, farm, and/or rental and/or royalty income, the taxpayer shoud ask the tax preparer for an itemized statement. If the tax preparer will not provide an itemized statement, the taxpayer should use a reasonable allocation. In that case, the taxpayer should seriously consider using a different tax preparer next year.

Here is an example. Assume that the taxpayer is self-employed and also owns rental real estate. The tax preparation fee for the taxpayer’s Form 1040 and related schedules for 2005 was $600. The tax preparer states that of the $600 total fee, $300 was related to the taxpayer’s business, $200 was related to the rental real estate, and the remainng $100 was related to other parts of the taxpayer’s income tax return. The taxpayer paid the $600 in February 2006.

On the taxpayer’s income tax return for 2006, the taxpayer may deduct the $600 tax preparation fee as follows: $300 on Schedule C, $200 on Schedule E, and $100 on Schedule A as a miscellaneous deduction.

Home Entertainment Furniture: TV Stands or Entertainment Wall Units?

When choosing home entertainment furniture you have a general choice between entertainment wall units and TV stands or consoles. Most people watch TV and DVDs these days, and provision for a flat screen digital TV system is generally essential with entertainment furniture. The question is usually how large the furniture should be rather than whether or not it should incorporate a screen.

There are many uses for screens today, and your LCD or LED TV screen can be used for watching TV, watching movies through DVD or Blu-ray, playing video games or even accessing the internet. When deciding on the home entertainment furniture you require, you should take all of these possibilities into account. You might need only one screen for all your applications.

For example, if you only ever watch TV and don’t use your screen for anything else, why go the expense of a wall unit? You would only use the extra space for display purposes, in which case you would be better with a display cabinet and a TV console. If this is not large enough for you, and you feel you want more storage space, then choose the wall unit by all means: people can always find something to fill any available storage space in their home, and some!

However, let’s forget all that meantime and have look here at the home entertainment furniture available to you, and what each type can be used for. The above questions will be answered as we do so.

TV Consoles

TV consoles are designed to hold a widescreen digital TV, although they can also accommodate older style cathode ray TVs. They are usually in the form of a cabinet with a flat top to rest the TV at viewing height. The cabinet will generally offer two cupboards for your DVD and perhaps CD collection, and shelves for your satellite box, had risk recorder, DVD player and surround sound amplifier if you have one.

It may even offer space for your games console, although if you need storage space for all these boxes, you should make sure that the home entertainment unit you purchase can accommodate them all. This is where a simple TV console can let you down. It is enough for many people, but perhaps not if you are a hi-fi aficionado.

You can also find TV consoles that are designed for all your boxes, and if you wish to store CDs, DVDs or Blu-rays, you can use separate racks for them. Some still prefer their vinyl albums because they believe vinyl offers a purer tone that digital which can distort certain frequencies. Whatever you prefer, TV consoles can accommodate your players, but generally not dedicated hi-fi equipment.

If you have a high-end hi-fi unit, such as a Bang and Olufsen, you will not be able to fit that into your TV console, and then you might think of more extensive home entertainment furniture.

Home Entertainment Wall Units

Wall units come in many shapes and sizes, and can be designed to hold all your entertainment equipment: a TV system, games console, dedicated hi-fi equipment and all the boxes and amplifiers you want to fit into it. Home entertainment wall units also provide space for display cabinets, generally either side of the TV hutch.

Some people use the screen for their computer, and use part of the center to access the internet. This is fine for occasional use, but if you run an internet business, frequently access social networking sites or have other people living in the house with you, then it is best to create a home office and work from there. Others may want to watch TV when you want to go online!

An example of an entertainment center is a display unit from Paula Dee, manufactured by Universal. At 84 inches high, this is very imposing, and if you add a display unit or bookcase either side of the console, you will have a wall unit that uses up 124 inches (10 ft 4 inches) of your wall space.

This is an imposing piece of furniture, and you will have room to store everything you have to. It is good for your TV screen, boxes, games units, surround stereo system, Hi-fi stereo and dedicated speakers, iPod dock – anything you can think of!

There are many other home entertainment units available that are smaller in size, but with today’s modular concept you can make yours as small or as large as you want. Entertainment furniture units are designed to go together like living room sectionals – you have no limits.

Whether you want your home entertainment furniture to be in the form of individual TV consoles or integrated into complete entertainment wall units, the choice is yours because all options are available to you.

DIY Travel Should Save You Money

Travelers or Travelers today, whether experienced or not, have unlimited choices, so why use a travel agent?

Savvy travelers or travelers, when in need of information relating to specific destinations or activities, seek out travel agents with knowledge, experience and expertise of those destinations and activities.

It is not always easy choosing a travel agent. Many agents are called specialists, but sometimes the qualification to be a specialist is a simple test run by a tourism office or tour operator. Sometimes, these tests do not require the agent to have ‘been there, done that, got the t-shirt.’ Some of these tests are too simple and could harm the reputation of the travel industry if allowed to continue unchecked. A ‘specialist’ can mean, ‘I know the brochure product’ or ‘I have seen a training video’ or ‘I have taken a test given by a Tourism Office.’

If you find a specialist, ask about their expertise. Ask them if they or their colleagues have any direct knowledge, experience and expertise of where you want to go and what you want to do, after all, it is your hard-earned money.

Experts are out there. Find them locally or use the internet and then do your bookings with them. You may have to use different experts for different destinations and activities, just as you would select any other professional for accounting, legal, medical or mechanical matters, except in your lifetime you will probably (or hopefully) spend more on travel than all of the others put together.
Reality Check: “I once tried a major chain of travel centers to get 2 tickets to Mexico from Canada. I was only offered 2 airlines. I then used an internet search and came up with 5 airlines and made my bookings online. Perhaps the travel center did not earn commission or was not able to charge a fee for the booking or did not want an ‘air only’ booking or did they only offer their ‘preferred products’ which limits client choices?”

The Nomad

If you do not need an expert agent you can use the internet to find all kinds of global travel choices and then you can make your booking directly with an online agent or travel operator. If you decide to make your own bookings directly with the travel operator you should not have to pay the full retail price which has a built-in amount for commissions to be paid to sellers of their travel products. Retail agencies that have their own in-house tour products which are sold through other agencies should also be prepared to sell at a net price for a direct booking from a consumer.

It is only fair that agents and agencies earn commissions and fees from travel providers such as hotels, lodges, tours, cruises or mark up their own tour products to allow for a third-party sale. They all have overheads which have to be covered to give local consumers the convenience of local shopping and it is important to support your local businesses as long as they offer excellent pricing and service. At the same time, it is only fair that consumers who make their own bookings directly with travel operators should not have to incur this extra cost. Fair fare prices should be available for consumers who want to handle their own direct bookings.

If you are comfortable with dealing over the internet directly with the travel providers and you want to get fair fare prices you can check out a travel website that was launched in April 2008 that, for members only, offers free travel vouchers that saves them the commission or fee elements in retail travel prices. The site offers thousands of travel vouchers for travel in over 70 countries ranging from simple B&B accommodations to complex adventure travel, all at net of commission prices. This travel site is operated by an online travel club that does not sell travel or make reservations and all monies therefore, are handled directly between the members and the travel operators.

The internet has just about everything a traveler or even a traveler could want, whereas agents and agencies can only offer limited selections of brochures from travel providers and operators. There are thousands of travel businesses that never get to see the inside of a travel agency or brochure, but they would still be prepared to pay commissions to sellers of their products. This online travel club allows travel businesses to promote their products and services at no cost except the requirement to issue travel vouchers that represent the normal commissions and fees in the retail price. 100% of these savings are then passed on to members who do their own direct bookings. As a member, all travel vouchers are free but if you do not want to join there is an associated website that sells the same travel vouchers without requiring a membership fee.

A tip from the website. When you make your own direct bookings, do make sure that the time in the time-zone that you are calling is appropriate as “it is embarrassing to wake up a Greek Sea Captain at one in the morning somewhere in the Greek Islands to discuss their listing.” The Nomad at The Top Travel Club.

This site is continually adding new travel selections and as long as you are comfortable and prepared to be a D.I.Y. Traveler or D.I.Y. Traveler over the web, you might find some interesting trips and adventures, some of which are not readily available elsewhere.

In closing, I hope you find the little bits of attempted English language humor humorous and as I consider myself 1 L of a Traveler, I say 2 L with travelers but at last I am happy to have found a web travel centre centered around saving me money. Apologies to both Websters and Oxford dictionaries.

Understanding Best Payday Loans to Make Them a Rule Rather than an Exception

Any loan resulting in a release of cash during times of immediate financial crises would be termed as best payday loan. It is only after the purpose for which the loan was taken gets satisfied that we start thinking critically of the loan. It will be wrong to term this tendency as selfishness. Payday loans are actually made dearer by loan providers. Many borrowers actually decide to take loans at any terms stated by the lenders because of the urgency involved in the situation. Lenders will not miss to profit of this opportunity. Thus, we find best payday loans costing dearly to its borrowers. High rates of interest and large fees are often appended to the payday loan, thus increasing the cost of the payday loan.

However, this was not what you had expected of the best payday loan. High interest rates were expected, but not of the extent that adorns your payday loan now. Neither had you expected that the lender would charge as high a fees. It is when the payday loan comes over for repayment that the expensiveness of the loan comes into view.

Though it may be too late to think of this now, this serves as a lesson for the next time that you plan to take a payday loan again. Proper planning ensures that the payday loan can be conveniently termed as a best payday loan.

Firstly, borrowers need to understand that payday loans differ from the other regular loans in terms of the purpose to which they are employed. The needs to which the payday loan is employed are characterized with urgency. These are generally routine monthly expenses, requiring only a small amount towards their disbursal. Thus, regular loans, where large amounts are exchanged, may not be appropriate. Moreover, regular loans that take several weeks to be approved and sanctioned may not be appropriate for these expenses because of the urgency involved.

Individuals, who may have ended their monthly paycheque before the next paycheque becomes due, find themselves hapless in making any extra payments.Best payday loans provide access to funds at a very short notice. Through payday loans, borrowers can draw funds in the range of £80 to £400. Depending on the needs of the borrowers and the lending policy adhered to by the lender, the borrowable amount may further go upwards. These funds will be used by borrowers to expend with ease.

Payday loans are short-term loans. The amount has to be returned with the interest within a month; sometimes within weeks. Lenders may employ different methods to get back the money. The most popular of these is the post-dated cheque system. The cheque is dated for presentation on the desired date. On the specific date, the amount is automatically cut from the borrowers account. For this purpose, some loan providers would require the borrower to have a checking account.

The post-dated cheque may also serve as collateral. In this sense, Best payday loans may also be regarded as secured loans. Borrowers, who desire to have best payday loans without the clause of collateral, will have to further search the UK financial market. The concept of unsecured payday loans is fast catching up with lenders in the UK, and it may not be much difficult to have best payday loans without collateral.

There are certain essentials that the borrower needs to have in order to become eligible for best payday loans. The borrower needs to be employed with a regular income that is transferred directly into his bank account. The borrower must have a chequebook and a checking account as mentioned before.

An important advantage of best payday loans is that credit history will not be checked. Borrowers with bad credit history will specially find the clause beneficial. Many loan providers may not even require borrowers to present their social security number.

Online application and online processing suit best payday loans. Best payday loans need to be approved fast in order to meet the immediate needs. Online applications transfer personal and loan details quickly to the loan providers. Thus, online application contributes towards a faster approval of best payday loans.

Though best payday loans present a convenient method of drawing cash during emergencies, they must not be misused. Expert advice ensures that borrowers have enough knowledge to make a proper use of payday loans.

What to Pack for Travelling

This is what I consider to be essential items for any traveler/backpacker. These are items which I have used in my past travels, and have served me well.

Backpack

The first most obvious thing for any traveler to decide on is whether to use a backpack or a suitcase. During my first solo travel experience to Southeast Asia, Korea and Japan, I traveled with a backpack. For under 50 I bought a Eurohike 55 litre backpack with a rain cover, which came in handy during the monsoon season! The pack was top-opening, and didn’t really offer much by way of security. I therefore bought a special backpack transit case which I put my backpack into and made it secure from theft, but also made it secure from airport conveyor belts. I had heard that the conveyors in airports sometimes broke clips from backpacks if they were not properly secured, and that some airlines didn’t even want to have backpacks on their airplanes because they were a safety threat. I actually lost the backpack case during the course of my travels, and had to resort to wrapping my backpack in black bin bags and tape in order to prevent the clips from catching airport conveyors. The backpack was comfortable, with some very nice cushioned padding. However, I realized as my trip went on that the pack was a little too large. I had read on many different websites that the smaller and lighter your pack, the more comfortable your trip will be. This is so true. It is not just about how light the pack is for you to carry, but also practical reasons like traveling on packed trains and subways with a giant wardrobe on your back. The backpack was incredibly annoying whilst traveling on busy subways, as I didn’t know if, and how badly, I was bumping into people – but I am sure that I definitely was! However, it was great to have my hands free when I needed to pay for tickets and also carry bags and water bottles.

Suitcase

On my second trip to Japan, I decided to ditch the backpack and travel with a medium sized suitcase. I was traveling for 3 weeks, and had planned to move around the country quite a bit. I was worried about the condition of the suitcase’s wheels by the end of the trip, but altogether I preferred the comfort of a nice suitcase. The suitcase takes up the use of your arms, but it does relieve your back. I found time and again that my backpack was becoming too heavy and cumbersome for longer walks; a suitcase, meanwhile, makes walking a pleasure. Trying to find your hotel in the humid and busy conditions of Bangkok with your gigantic backpack is not a pleasant experience. Though, going up stairs is a pain with a suitcase, but with a backpack it is a breeze. This may be important to you as it is best to travel around a Japanese city (and many other Asian cities) via the subway system, and sometimes they have enormous staircases leading to the platforms. The final clincher is that a suitcase makes you look more businesslike and professional; a backpack makes you easily identifiable as a traveler or tourist, and makes you stand out far more. If I entered a nice hotel with my backpack, I wouldn’t be given the same service as if I travelled with a suitcase. I believe that backpackers have a bit of a bad name in some countries, as backpackers tend to be younger people who are more prone to loutish behavior due to letting of some steam after finishing university.

Daypack

You don’t want to take your suitcase or backpack with you on your daily walks or excursions, so you need a nice convenient daypack. I actually took a shoulder bag, as it looked more stylish than a small backpack. But be warned, a shoulder bag can give you some irritating neck and shoulder pains if you over pack it with large water bottles or souvenirs. In this instance, a nice mini backpack is better as it transfers the weight evenly on your back and shoulders.

Travel Insurance

I always take out travel insurance as you never know what could happen during your trip. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Medical help abroad could cost you thousands if you do not have the correct insurance, so always read the insurance policy properly. When I search for insurance I always turn to comparison sites, such as moneysupermarket. This way you can compare all the different companies offering insurance and their relative policies.

Skype

Skype is a free service which allows you to call anyone in the world (who also has a Skype account) for free. The service is completely free when using the Skype-to-Skype service, and the prices are competitive if you want to call mobile phones or landlines. You can use Skype on your iPod Touch, an actual Skype phone or on your laptop. If you are taking a laptop abroad, you can even use your webcam to make video calls, but if you are not taking a laptop, I found that many internet cafes in Asia had Skype already installed on their computers. Skype also allows you to send instant messages, play games and even transfer files. All in all, Skype is a great device which you should be make use of whilst traveling.

First Aid Box

I like to take a mini first aid box when I travel. The boxes come in some very nice convenient sizes with everything you could need for your trip. Items can include: plasters, antiseptic cream, insect repellent, and various tablets for common travel sicknesses.

Clothing

I will not speak at great lengths on clothing, as I believe this is a personal choice and dependent on different people’s needs. However, I will say that you should always pack light, and think about whether you will ACTUALLY need an item of clothing. Sometimes, I have fallen into the trap of packing far too much clothing ‘just in case’. Whilst traveling in Asia you can always pick up cheap clothing, so there is no need to over pack. The minimum I would take for a month traveling is: 3-4 t-shirts, 2 shirts, trousers, two shorts, swimming shorts, 2 pairs of socks, trainers/sneakers (I would buy some that look formal but are as comfortable as trainers).

Travel Washing Line

I take a small washing line on my trips in case there is not enough places to dry my clothes. If you are packing light, you can just wash your clothes more often, and you will sometimes need a washing line for extra space.

Travel Sink Plug

I used this occasionally when I stayed in hostels. In some budget accommodation you will not have a sink plug, which makes shaving difficult. The travel plug is therefore recommended if you are considering staying in budget accommodation. Also, even some higher grade hotels have faulty plugs in their bathrooms, so it is generally a good item to take.

Toiletries

As a dandy backpacker I have a vast array of toiletries. My toiletry bag consists of: shavers, moisturizers, sun cream, nail clippers, eyebrow tweezers, aftershaves (which I tend to buy from airport duty free), lip balm, deodorant and more!

Rain Mac

If you are traveling anywhere that has a monsoon season then a rain mac is a great idea. Monsoon rain is awesome, and can just take you by surprise and leave you drenched. A little rain mac can be scrunched up into a very small size and can easily be carried in your daypack.

Swiss Army Knife

I sometimes take this on my travels as it has various useful devices: a bottle opener, scissors, toothpick, tweezers, screwdriver heads and numerous knives of varying shape and sizes.

Travel Towels

I recommend taking a large travel towel. These can be folded into an incredibly small size and take very little space in your luggage. They also dry quicker than ordinary towels.

Camera

I really don’t know much about cameras but I definitely know that you will need one on your journey. It’s a way of recording experiences that are not possible in any other way. I just bought an 8 megapixel camera in Bangkok – it has served me well.

Batteries

You will need these for your camera, so make sure you take enough spares from your own country, which tend to be cheaper than whilst abroad.

Mobile Phone

A mobile phone is now a necessary gadget in all parts of life, and is very important during your travels. It is a great device to keep in touch with other travelers, but is also a safety device if you become lost or in danger. Remember to take you charger though, or it will become useless after a few days.

Backup Sim Card

Just in case you lose the first Sim card you can just take another Sim, which are usually free.

Backup Debit/Credit Card

I would take a backup card just in case I lost my main card. If I lost my main card I could just cancel it and then transfer the money from my main account into my backup account via internet banking.

Pens and Paper

You will occasionally need to write things down, such as directions or contacts, and a pen and paper would be very helpful. I would always travel with a mini pen and small notepad in my daypack so that it was easy to get to. You can always use your mobile phone or iPod Touch for this as well.

Travel Adaptors

Travel adapters are necessary if you want to charge your iPod or mobile phone. Once you know where you are going, you can find out what converter plug you will need. It will save you having to search around in your destination country. Some plugs are all-rounders and cover everywhere.

iPod Touch

My iPod Touch has been irreplaceable during my travels. Not only is it great for watching movies, listening to music and playing games whilst waiting for your flight or on long train journeys, it also has practical uses. By downloading free applications via its Wi-Fi capabilities you can turn your iPod Touch into a hotel or hostel finder, a currency exchange service, a travel guide and much more. I also bought a special, and inexpensive, earphone and microphone set for my Touch, which allowed me to use Skype wherever I had free Wi-Fi. Actually you can find free Wi-Fi everywhere in Southeast Asia: McDonald’s, Starbucks, shopping malls, hotels and even airports. However, I surprisingly found that Wi-Fi access is not so easily found in Korea or Japan, and tends not to be free if it is offered.

iPad

I don’t actually own one of these but they just seem to be a large iPod Touch. All the convenience of the iPod Touch being a nice pocket device which is easy to take everywhere is lost on this device. But maybe I am missing something about it.

Travel Guides

I love to read travel guides and always take them on my trips. My favorite guides have always been DK Eyewitness Travel Guides. I regularly use DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: Thailand, Japan and Rome to name a few. I found them incredibly helpful, but most importantly I loved the focus on culture and historical sites. The guides are wonderfully illustrated, easy to navigate, and the pictures and captions are beautifully presented. In addition, the historical sections are informative, well illustrated and a joy to read. I would also recommend Rough Guides and Lonely Planet, which I have also used in the past.

Money Belt

I originally bought one in order to hide my valuables, but then just used it to hold my bus/train tickets or small change so that it was easily at hand and I didn’t have to rummage though bags or my pockets. The money belt can be used as just a regular bum bag (fanny pack if you’re American) without valuable items and just left on display rather than inside your clothing. I just used it as an extra convenient pocket.

Start a Home Travel Business and Profit From the Multi-Billion Dollar Online Travel Industry

Yes, it is true. You can make money online working from home and can actually make a lot of money if you work hard, stay focused and execute. You can build a home travel business and live the Internet lifestyle you always dreamed of by operating an online home travel business. This article will put to rest any misgivings you may have had about starting an online travel business. I will not sugar coat it. In fact much of what I have to say will probably cause an up-roar in some parts of the online travel industry. I am aiming to tell it like it is.

The TRUTH!
Who really Makes Money in Online Travel. The truth is that you can’t really make a lot of money reselling other businesses travel products. This statement is directed towards the home-based travel agent market. Yes, its easy to get started as a home-based travel agent and the online travel agencies can provide you with your own personalized white label branded website, including quality customer support but in the end you are NOT building a business, you are only paying yourself a salary.

Don’t be fooled.

I am amazed at the amount of junk that there is online out there catering to the make money online from home crowd, touting selling travel as the route to freedom and riches. This truth is probably the most important fact anyone will ever tell you if you are just thinking about entering the online travel business. Let me repeat this for you one more time.

It is difficult to become rich and build a company reselling other companies travel products. You can become rich over time by building a business that sells your own uniquely branded travel products. You can get rich and build a business if you “own the travel product.”

Owning the travel product means that you are contracting directly with travel suppliers under your company’s own contracts, you are not just reselling a travel product owned by another travel business, tour operator, travel agency or travel consolidator. Your business creates the travel product by doing deals directly with travel suppliers. Your contracts with the travel suppliers become your businesses own unique inventory for the travel products you will be selling. The new travel product becomes your own brand. Your online travel business sells the travel product directly to consumers online or wholesales it too other travel agencies, travel agents, tour operators and re-sellers.

The Home based Travel Agent Dilemma.
I know I am opening up a can of worms here by disclosing this information but it’s really the truth. My intent is not to knock anyone down but to provide insight into how the online travel business really works and to show you WHO is really making the money and how you can make real money by deciding from the get go to actually build a business.

Yes, if you want to make $20,000-$50,000 working from home then reselling cruises or popular travel products will be the best option for you but if you want to make real money, six or seven figures and you want to build a business that has real tangible value and can be sold later then you need to develop and sell your own travel products.

The Internet is NOT causing Travel Agencies too shut down.
I believe that the main reason that brick and mortar travel agencies are closing is not because of the Internet but because all they are really doing is reselling other companies travel products. The Internet contributed to the destruction of the traditional brick and mortar travel agency but the biggest factor in the down fall of travel agencies and travel agents in the travel industry is due to the fact that they are not selling anything unique or different from anyone else. It’s really a business model established to fail in the long run.

How do you own your own travel product? You can own your own travel product in two different ways.

1. Your business acts as a travel supplier providing tours, guiding, travel and tourism related activities or you own a lodging property.
2. Your business partners with two or more travel suppliers to resell their individual travel products under a unique package that you own.

What type of Online Travel Business do I need to start where I can own my own travel product, sell packages and build a real business?

-Online Travel Agency
-Online Tour Operator
-Online Tour Guide
-Online Travel Broker
-Receptive Tour Operator
-the Hybrid

Let’s discuss a little about each type. There are many directions you can go.

OTAs or Online Travel Agencies traditionally sell everything underneath the sun; including lodging, air, cars, vacation packages, and much more. On a hierarchy level of all online travel businesses, this would be the most expensive and most challenging type of online business to start. It’s doable don’t get me wrong it would just take much longer and be more expensive to startup.

If you second tier niche and focus on contracting your own lodging deals and contracting with activity suppliers you could easily build a smaller more focused OTA. Another option would be for you to utilize the Global Distribution System (GDS) for air, car and for lodging that you could not contract yourself. I don’t recommend this last option as you’ll be just reselling product you don’t own but as long as you can combine the non-owned GDS products with your own contracted travel products you could create a nice win-win for the bottom line.

Online Tour Operator’s sell dynamically packaged trips and pre-packaged trips to vacationers. I believe building an online tour operator business is your best option at building a successful online travel business.

Now let me first state that the name is a little miss conceiving because of the word “Tour.” There is a big difference from a tour and a trip. On a tour there usually is a tour guide or person leading the tour with the travel participants. On a trip the traveler is traveling by themselves or with other people but there is no tour guide involved. In the travel business they call this a FIT trip, Drive vacation or Fly-Drive package.

I favor selling trips, where the traveler buys a tour or trip product then attends the trip by themselves on their own time. The reason being for this is two parts.

1. You don’t have to be the tour guide and you don’t have to hire one either.
2. You have 100% more freedom by not actually participating in the tour itself. Just think of the time involved of actually going on a tour with a group or individual people.

We operated tours when my wife and I owned the Yellow Breeches House Fly Fishing Lodge and B&B. We ran fly fishing excursions with lodging and guiding. Guess who was one of the guides? Yes, you got it. Yours truly. I would not change the past for anything. I learned so much from being a fly fishing guide and owning a lodging property. I just wouldn’t want to run that type of business again. There are much better travel business models out there. That’s part of the beauty about this report is that I am able to share some true life, realities for you.

Sell Trips not Tours. This is the most important thing I can tell you regarding wanting to live the Internet life style and working from home enjoying the freedom that comes from owning your own online travel company. You won’t be living any Internet lifestyle if every week you are giving tours.

Online Tour Guide’s provide tours to individuals and or groups. If I didn’t scare you off from above that’s ok, the tour guide business is a great business and it’s easy to get started with limited investment. This is a great business to enter the travel business and starting learning about how to build a business.

If you love dealing with people and spending much of your time outside then this is probably the best travel business for you. This is serious work, day-in-and-day-out, as you are always outside in the elements. This travel business could be a stepping-stone for you to then go ahead and build an online tour operator business. I have a really good friend that owns a kayaking guide service. He runs Eco-adventures that include island hoping for three to five nights. He just loves it.

Let me share a little strategy with you that will totally change the way you build or grow your existing tour guide business. Hopefully by now you’ll already see it and be way ahead of me but if not here it is.

Create packages for your tour guide business that includes lodging, meals and your guide or tour service. You probably sell trips, guiding and or tours as an hourly or day product. Take the next step and package in lodging and meals and maybe a third activity. Sell packages to your clients and you will super-charge your revenue in a very big way.

Example:
Take an existing kayak guide that sells day trips for $250 for 2 people. Now create overnight packages. Create a new product line for your business.

1. Contract with a lodging supplier to buy lodging for your kayak packages.
2. Contract with two local restaurants to buy dinners for your kayak packages.
3. Sell a 2 night, 1-day kayak excursion, with 2-dinners. Make money off the lodging, dinners and a 3rd activity and you can seriously start adding more profits to your business.

Online Travel Broker – this is a new business category I stumbled upon. I believe this is a type of business you could start with literally no money. It’s just a matter of understanding the travel business. Here is how an online travel broker operates.

Every travel supplier needs sales representatives. Your travel broker business contracts with travel suppliers to represent their business and help them sell more of their travel products. Many smaller travel businesses don’t have sales representatives. This may be your entry into the online travel business industry.

Let’s say you live in a resort town or area and there are 4 golf courses nearby or 3 ski resorts. You represent the travel supplier’s products, finding larger partners and or re-sellers that would resell or distribute your client’s products. This business is just a matter of finding other travel suppliers that need sales representatives and finding larger companies looking for new travel products to sell and distribute. You make money by earning a percentage of all future sales booked or earn a flat fee per contract you sign. This would be a great way to enter the travel business as a part-time business. You could start with not much investment and build out slowly.

Receptive Tour Operators receive inbound travelers from foreign countries. This is a B2B business (business-to-business). You build an Online Tour Operator business but you don’t sell your travel products directly to consumers or vacationers online, you sell your owned travel products to wholesalers or other tour operators in foreign countries that then resell them directly to travel agencies and the consumers in their country. If you live in a world- renowned destination area or region where foreigners come visit you can build a successful receptive tour operator business. The receptive tour operator business takes longer to develop as the buyers of your travel products will be other travel companies, tour operators and seasoned travel business won’t necessarily want to do business with a company that is new or just in startup mode. Adversity can be overcome though, through focus, determination and having an owned travel product that a wholesaler or foreign tour operator believes he can sell and make money.

The Hybrid – build an Online Tour Operator business that caters to individual vacation travelers. After the business starts selling trips and or tours, start building a Receptive Tour Operator business component.

I hope you have enjoyed a little insight into the world and possibilities of the online travel business and what it will take to start a home travel business.

Digital Home Furniture

Living in the digital age with furnishings

Those that have modern homes will be looking to include some choice contemporary TV stands which are readily available on the market these days. These are things that enable us to enjoy the digital age within our homes. They are not gadgets in themselves but items that support the use of gadgets. You can decide that you are not going to use them in your home and that would be absolutely fine. At the same time most logical people would conclude that you are missing out on something. The use of these items can add something special to your furnishings. In some instances it is imperative to have some choice contemporary TV stands which are readily available on the market these days.

The home that you have will determine the route that you take. It might even be feasible to have some choice contemporary TV stands which are readily available on the market these days. If your home is filled with chintz then you have to find furniture that fits in with that model. You cannot just rely on the outdated modes to get through. The choices that you make with your furniture have to be positive choices that are based on the things that you like. If you make the default decisions then you will not get the maximum utility from your furniture. The some choice contemporary TV stands which are readily available on the market these days will provide you with the buffer that you need.

There are different varieties of items that you can use to complement the existing furniture in your home. The use of the some choice contemporary TV stands which are readily available on the market these days is just one of these methods. At the end of the day you will be looking to have something that looks nice but also serves a practical. If you have many digital items in your home then it makes sense that you will need something to store them or even support them. This is particularly true if the items that you have need to be hoisted up. That is the function of the some choice contemporary TV stands which are readily available on the market these days.

We then look at the possibility of having the items handmade. This would involve some expense but at the same time there is an authenticity that is required when you buy some choice contemporary TV stands which are readily available on the market these days. If you are always going for the standard fare that everyone has then you can lose the element of authenticity that might have rescued the items that you are dealing in. It is all up to you to decide how you are going to play this game. You will find a useful ally in the some choice contemporary TV stands which are readily available on the market these days. Your imagination can then run wild with different ideas for your home.