Driving the Eastern Seaboard

Driving across the USA is a very rewarding experience, but the country is so vast that it’s often a good idea to enjoy a trip in smaller sections so you can enjoy things more and take your time to see everything.

Driving up or down the Eastern Seaboard is one of these exhilarating experiences. You can see all the different cities and states that made up the original thirteen colonies as well as possibly some parts of Canada. The Eastern Seaboard are the states that go up the Atlantic coast of North America.

When you’re driving up the Eastern Seaboard there are many cities, but the following is just a short list of all the exciting places you can see.

The South and the Gulf

A trip up the Eastern Seaboard of the USA could possibly begin in Florida with a couple of weeks relaxation on the beach. Florida has some of the most beautiful beaches in the whole world. Miami is a very large city with a population of about 400,000 people. Nearby Pensacola Beach is one of the most famous in the world and the perfect place to spend a week or two before your road trip.

The Deep South and the Civil War

Traveling up the Eastern Seaboard would be incomplete without visiting some of the cities that were heavily involved in the Civil War and going to some of the world famous museums about the history of the area. Cities with such a strong history are Charlotte, Charleston, Norfolk, Raleigh, Richmond, Savannah and Jacksonville. In all of these cities you can find plenty of historical buildings in Civil War style as well as old farms and plantations.

The Intellect of the USA

Also in this area are some of the best universities in the world. Many of the Ivy League Colleges are located on the Eastern Seaboard, such as Harvard, Princeton, MIT and Colombia.

The Founding Fathers

Boston, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh also have a lot of history that dates back to the War of Independence. Washington D. C. is the home of the United States government and is good for a few days at least by itself. There is so much to see in the capital, including all the memorials and special government buildings such as the White House, the Pentagon and Congress. Guided tours are available for all places and it’s worth listening carefully to learn all the history.

New York

New York is an old city as well, being the landing place of most of America’s diverse immigrant background population. Irish, Jewish, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese and many more nationalities have walked the streets of New York together for centuries.

New York has several parts that should be seen on different days. There is the isle of Manhattan where all the world’s greatest shopping centers and shows are. Then there is Central Park and the Statue of Liberty as well as the outlying areas such as Queens and the Bronx.

Office Christmas Party Safety: Top 5 Tips

Christmas is a time for letting your hair down and having some fun, but it’s important to make sure you prepare for a safe Christmas season, particularly if you are responsible for other people. Office Christmas parties are meant to bring a company together and raise morale, make sure yours doesn’t do the opposite by carrying out a proper risk assessment before it begins.

Safety hazards and compensation claims

If you are responsible for maintaining a public space like an office then failing to address safety hazards at Christmas could put people in danger. An unsafe environment at Christmas time could cause serious injuries and injured people have the right to make compensation claims. Here are the top 5 tips for office party safety.

1. Keep an eye on alcohol consumption

Employers should take careful control of alcohol consumption at office Christmas parties. All underage visitors and employees should be supervised. If employees are supplied with so much drink that they end up with alcohol poisoning or any other injury then employers can be subject to compensation claims against them.

2. Ensure food is safe to eat

If you intend to supply food at your office party then it should be prepared with caution to make sure employees don’t become ill after eating it. Failure to carry out safety checks could result in compensation claims, and a potentially compromised workforce. Christmas party snacks such as canap├ęs are liable to cause tummy upsets if the re-heating process is not administered properly.

3. Take care to label foods

Did you know that unlabelled food can potentially be dangerous? For example, if any food contains nuts then someone with a serious nut allergy could experience a fatal reaction. Ensure that all food and ingredients are clearly labelled to avoid any allergies and to ensure that the employer’s duty of care has been carried out. Employees should be able to decide what they can and can’t eat.

4. Make sure attendees get home safely

Employers have a duty of care to make sure their staff are capable of arriving home safely after the office Christmas party. Employees who are involved in car accidents as a result of drinking too much at the office party can make successful compensation claims against their employer. This can be avoided by Providing a shuttle bus or car pool.

5. Eradicate trip and fall hazards

Typical Christmas trip and fall hazards include seasonal decorations such as trailing Christmas lights and other decorations, office equipment which is out of place and bags and coats which are left in walkways. Make sure there is a proper place for everything, ideally signposted where necessary, so that items can be safely tucked away. Ensure that all Christmas decorations are securely fastened before the party begins, as an employer you should be covered against any compensation claims.

As long as employees and employers alike are vigilant about safety, the Christmas season will end with peace and happiness – not injured staff and compensation claims.

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.

Where to Get the Money for Vacation – Money for Vacation Tips

Many times in the past we have had a dilemma, where to get the money for vacation. We all work very hard each day and a vacation, in my opinion, is something everyone should take at least every couple years.

Due to various things going on in your personal lives, sometimes it’s hard to find money for vacation so you can do all the things you need and want to do on your trip.

Here we have listed some tips and places to come up with funds for your travel plans. Many of us don’t have the problem of coming up with funds, but for the many that do, this article will help you brainstorm a list of ways to put money into the pot.

**Start saving early. Many times people who know they are going to be going on vacation next year will begin saving now, or if you plan on taking a major trip in the future, why not put a little away here and there. This isn’t always an option, but if you had to skip your vacation this year, why not start now – look for travel deals now, figure out your destination, sign up for blogs and feeds, and begin your planning now.

**Use your tax refund. Many Americans every year have the ability to utilize their income tax refunds for a number of purposes. If you are someone who has overpaid the government and get some of that back, this is always an option.

**Set up a vacation fund. Pay yourself first and put some of that into a vacation pot that you don’t touch until your trip. Each year, my parents will do this by putting loose coins into a bank, and by the time their trip comes they have enough money for gas, food, extra fun stuff they wouldn’t have had.

**Cut back on other daily items. Stop buying that $4 cup of coffee everyday. Cut back on dining out at sit down restaurants. Focus on a budget where you can penny pinch a bit. It’s a small price to pay to enjoy your ultimate vacation when otherwise you may not be able to go.

**Do small weekend trips throughout the year. Instead of a week long vacation in some remote location, why not go somewhere closer for a weekend getaway. Camping is great, lake trips, beach trips, and other spots that you can make a quick drive to and just get away for a few days.

**Moonlight or pick up some extra income. I’m sure the last thing you want to do is work more right? Well, due to my Florida website, I make enough extra money that it pays for extras in our lives like home repairs, dining out, and vacations. It has been a tremendous help.

**Use credit cards, but use them wisely. I hesitate to mention this one because many people will whip out their plastics for much of their trip. This isn’t the best way to find money for vacation, but it can supplement a number of things. Using debt to pay for things like vacation can be a downward cycle you don’t want to start, so be careful.

**Eat intelligently while on vacation. We typically take one meal out per day and eat the rest in. This saves us a fortune and we still get to enjoy the tasty eats around our destination of choice.

**Set up a goal. Somehow when you commit to something and put a plan together, things tend to work in your favor. If you want something to happen you can make it happen. Experts call it the “law of attraction” and it seems to work, so why not!

**Be a smart travel planner. Searching intelligently and using the vast resources of the Internet will ultimately find you better deals. When you add up car rentals, gas, hotels, airfare, things to do, etc. they get expensive quickly. They can also add up a lot of savings if you shop around and find good deals while not sacrificing a great vacation.

Travel lovers, this is just a start. Use your creativity and figure out some ways to find money for vacation if you are on a budget. We all need some time away from time to time so do whatever you need to do to make your trip happen.

Family Christmas Holiday – 5 Top Tips

If you are looking for a family Christmas Holiday here are 5 top tips for something a little different and exciting this year.

1. Since Christmas is traditionally a time for Children you might like to hear about this very special Christmas Holiday in Lapland. Up inside the Arctic circle is Lapland the home of Santa Claus. What better way to see in Christmas than to visit Santa, his Elves and his Reindeer at home before he sets off on his big day. Each child will get to see Santa,and receive a present. There are also sleigh rides (pulled by reindeer of course), husky rides,Snowmobiles, a lovely Christmas Gala Dinner, Christmas Carols and cosy log fires. So a truly wonderful family Christmas Holiday.

2. The next is a very unusual family Christmas Holiday. It is at the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden which is 200km inside the Arctic Circle. This is a truly unique Hotel. Every year it is newly built from the crystal clear ice provided by the fast flowing Torne River. Each year it has a new design and newly designed suites. You spend one night in the Ice Hotel suitably prepared with a nice warm bed and the other nights in a cosy and warm Swedish Hotel. There is every winter outdoor activity available or you can just sit quietly by the fire and read a good book or play games.

3. For a totally different Christmas our next destination is Australia. Sydney to be precise. If you are tired of the cold and snow try “Down Under” for a summery Christmas. The weather will be great but you will have all the usual Christmas fun. Christmas Trees, Carols, turkey dinner and of course Santa Claus. Sydney has a number of free events over the Christmas Season these include choirs, entertainers, slide shows, concerts and of course the fabulous fireworks display on New Years Eve.

4. How about a cruise for Christmas. This is a great one for Mom because after getting the family on board she can relax and let the party begin. This is a great opportunity for the adults to relax during the day while the kids are entertained then in the evening the fun of dressing up for the Gala dinners for each night of the Christmas period. Delicious food, great entertainment for all ages and a wonderfully relaxed Christmas for Mom.

5. Finally one of my favourite Christmas holidays. Christmas in New England. When you think of Christmas in New England you think of snow, skaters on a frozen pond, white churches with slim spires, twinkling lights on Christmas trees and pretty colonial homes with large holly wreaths on the front door. They are the images from a million Christmas cards.There are many beautiful Hotels and B & B’s all ready to provide you with a wonderful Christmas. Many of these buildings are beautiful old colonial homes. There is so much to see and do in New England. You and the kids could be busy from dawn till dusk. There is every conceivable winter activity and being on holiday you have the time to enjoy them together. Whether it is a simple toboggan ride down the nearest hillside or a day skiing it will be great just to enjoy it as a family.

So make the most of your family Christmas Holiday this year plan an exciting Christmas Vacation. From the cold of the Arctic circle to the warmth of an Australian Christmas there is sure to be something to please everyone.

Top Five Tips to Avoid the Post-Holiday Blues

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, many people experience the post-holiday blues. Learn some easy and powerful tips from International Certified Success Coaches, Amy Ahlers and Melissa McFarlane, to beat post-holiday depression:

1. Look to nature and hibernate:

Mother Nature is the master of all things, isn’t she? She lets us know when to Spring into action, bask into the glow of Summer, gear for change for Fall and finally, hibernate for Winter. After the holiday bustle and stress, why not use the months of January and February to hibernate and practice RADICAL self care? Get massages, take hot baths, spend more time with your family and friends. Allow yourself the time and space to cocoon so that come spring, you are a full-blown butterfly ready to emerge.

2. Set your sights on the year ahead:

January is a time for new years’ resolutions and goal setting-a way for you to look at what you want to CREATE for the year ahead. And when you’re in the mode of creation, it’s hard to find the space to be depressed. At Electric Kites Success Coaching, we always begin with the vision of where we want to be. Look at the following questions:

o What’s the story I want to be telling about this year?

o What’s the vision for the year?

o What is my #1 focus/goal for the year?

o What MUST occur in order for this year to be considered a “success”?

o What MUST STOP in order for this year to be considered a “success”?

As you lean into what you want to create this year, you’ll find your inspiration, energy and passion rise, as the post-holiday blues easy fade into the background.

3. New Years’ Resolution Burn Out:

One of the things that often leads to the post- holiday blues is New Years’ Resolution failure. Many times, we make a resolution for the New Year that is WAY TOO BIG and fail in week two. And then we spend a month (or several years!) beating ourselves up. Instead, set yourself up for success by making a resolution for the first month of the year that feels like a delicious baby step-then build on your success.

4. The Big Project Withdrawal Syndrome:

Let’s face it, the holidays are a huge project! It’s a time filled with shopping, card writing, receiving, giving, scheduling and cooking. It can suck up your time, energy, and patience all at once. Perhaps what your blues are telling you is that you are, quite frankly, bored and need a new project. Maybe now is the right time to take on a charity event, a new project at work, a class you’ve always wanted to take. Anything that feels big and juicy will do the trick!

5. Gratitude and Appreciation:

Gratitude and appreciation are the simplest (and often most overlooked) keys to fighting any kind of blues (holidays or otherwise). Take time to practice gratitude and appreciation on a daily basis. Perhaps you can set up a gratitude ritual around the dinner table, at morning mediation or at night prayers. As you appreciate and express gratitude your blues will become a thing of the past.

Internet – The Smart Way of Getting the Cheapest Fares

Airplanes have brought the distant exotic holiday destinations closer to all of us. Today you can reach even the farthest places in just a few hours. So, whether it’s a trip to beautiful Australia or a trip to Dubai, it is all ‘in-reach’. The credit for this goes to Engineering and Technology.

Another face of technology is ‘Internet’. Internet is being used extensively for many different purposes (e.g. online shopping, content research, entertainment etc) and booking air travel is one of them. Though the various conventional ways are in use too, internet is by and large the most popular route for booking air travel. Besides being convenient, internet is the place where you can get the cheapest airfares most of the times.

Let’s take a look at some smart tips that can help you get the cheapest air fares on the net:

1. Book Early: Most airlines offer some ‘hot deals’ on air fares. These are the deals that airlines use to promote/advertise their services too. Generally, the earlier you book your flight, cheaper are the airfares. So, plan well and book your flight 3-4 months in advance (or even earlier, if you can).

2. Good Research Can Make A Difference: Good research is the key to getting cheapest airfares on the net. There are a number of websites through which you can book your air travel online. Some websites are operated by online travel agents while there are others that are operated by airlines themselves. If you shop around, you will find that various travel websites offer different fares for the same dates, times and facilities. However, instead of searching for air fares at various websites, you can use one of the multi-site airfare search engines that automatically get results from various travel websites (including airline websites).

3. Participate In Online Auctions: There are several websites that sell air tickets and travel packages through the auction route. Sometimes you can get the cheapest airfares here. The only condition is that you should be super-flexible in terms of dates, times, airline preference etc. Mostly, you will not know about the airline, hotel name, car rental etc till you have actually won the auction and made the payment. But that is something that you have to bear in order to get the cheapest deals.

4. Book Travel Packages Instead Of Just The Flights: Since most airlines, car rentals and hotels have tie-ups with each other, they offer you a discount if you book everything together. This discount is reflected in the travel package deals that you book over the internet. However, you might like to take a sneaky look at hotel rates that are available through other websites or through phoning the hotel (remember most hotels will give you a discounted rate, if you ask for the ‘best price’). Moreover, booking travel packages is much more convenient too (especially if you are short of time). Some websites will even have the pictures of hotel rooms and details of the hotel amenities, so as to facilitate your decision making process.

5. Be Flexible: The cheapest airfare deals are generally available to those who are flexible on the travel dates, times, airlines etc. This is because airfares and travel package costs are based on the demand; and cheapest airfares are for flights that are the least in demand. Holidays and weekends are the busiest times for airlines; so, the airfares are higher for such days. Similarly, evening flights are costlier than the morning or noon flights. Most travel websites provide you cheaper options if you demonstrate flexibility.

These are the smart tips that can really help you in getting the cheapest airfares.

Traveling Made Easy

Traveling these days certainly can be a hassle. Everything from long lines to airline delays can cause travelers unnecessary and unfortunate inconveniences. Prior to your travels, considers the following ten tips and you will have a greater chance of limiting the hassles of traveling.

1. Know what to pack – Take some time to review the Transportation Security Administration’s “Permitted and Prohibited Items” list. You can find the list on the Transportation Security Administration Website located at http://www.tsa.gov/public/interapp/editorial/editorial_1254.xml

2. Call the airport ahead of time to verify flight times – Don’t rely on the airlines to notify you of delays or flight changes. Travelers can contact their airline directly or their travel agent to ensure their flight is on-schedule.

3. Be prepared and schedule proper time for travel to the airport – Traveling can cause anxiety, which causes travelers to forget necessary travel items. Consider all-inclusive travel kits to avoid forgetting the essential personal items.

4. Secure a seat assignment prior to check in – This will prevent unnecessary problems during over-booked flights.

5. Secure your valuables – Traveling continues to be one the top times that people fall victim to crime. Travelers should limit the amount of cash they carry and use credit or debit cards when possible. Credit and debit cards offer a higher level of protection than carrying cash.

6. Check the destination on your luggage tag – Ask the ticket agent or curb assistant to double check the tag on your luggage. This can prevent your luggage going somewhere other than where you will be!

7. Research your destination point – Travelers should research their destination point prior to traveling. Being familiar with major highways, climate, customs, and points of interest will help traveler avoid unnecessary situations.

8. Be aware of unclean hotel rooms – There have been rising complaints about unwelcome insects in hotel rooms, according to pest control businesses. Demand fresh sheets from hotel management or carry portable silk bed sheets. Additionally, inform hotel management if you find any insects or unwanted messes in your hotel room.

9. When traveling for business, compare the cost of renting a car to utilizing taxicabs or public transportation. Travelers may find it convenient to rent a car; however, rental car costs can sometimes include exuberant “extra” fees.

10. Remember your agenda – Traveling in new places can sometimes be distracting and take away from the purpose of the trip. While on business, make sure to write down the times and places of your business. This will help to ensure you are not late to business meetings.

Your Magaluf Holiday – Tips Before You Book

It’s nearly always sunny in Magaluf, which is located on the Spanish Island of Majorca – and that means you can enjoy the resort every day of your stay. This is the place where welcoming guests and knowing what they want has been practiced for more than a half century, resulting in hospitality that is beyond compare.

Imagine the cleanest, white sand beaches, warm, sunny days 300 days out of the year. Picture clear, turquoise water and entertainment options that span from a non-stop, sizzling nightlife to a multitude of choices for wholesome family fun. You’ve just imagined your holiday in Magaluf.

Whether you’re under 25 and with friends, a little older and with your spouse and children – or even a well-seasoned traveller enjoying your second wind – a Magaluf holiday is one you will never forget and will definitely repeat.

Just 15 miles from Palma Airport, Magaluf is easy to get to by taxi, rental car or bus. When you arrive there are a variety of excellent hotels and apartments available to suit every taste and budget.

Your only challenge will be trying to choose between the seemingly never-ending assortment of things you can do while a guest in Magaluf. There are the nearby water parks; Marineland, Aqualand and Western Water Park – that provide amusement for those of every age. Banana boat rides, a pirate adventure show, a bungee rocket for true thrill seekers, or go-kart racing, kite flying, horseback riding, scuba diving, wind surfing and jet skiing – are all just a few of the options that will be available to you in Magaluf.

If it’s a scorching nightlife you’re after, you’ll find Magaluf’s is addictive. Just start your evening at the Punta Ballena Strip, for everything from dance clubs to rave clubs, cabarets to a casino – and an endless selection of bars catering to every music preference. All this will be yours for the taking on a sun soaked Magaluf holiday.

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.