Essential Money-Saving Travel Tips for Beginners

Any plans of taking a break after a few months of stressful work? Then, travelling out of town might be a good idea. To ensure that the hard-earned money will go far, here are some of the budget travel tips to keep in mind:

• Call the hotel first before booking it through the Internet. Though it’s convenient to make travel arrangements online, it doesn’t guarantee to give travellers the best possible deals. It’s recommended to call the hotel depending on the expected time of arrival and speak with a supervisor or manager on duty.

Ask if they can offer an affordable package during the stay. Normally, some hotels would give discounts to travellers who prefer rooms that aren’t as coveted as the others. And for those who are celebrating their birthdays or anniversaries, some hotels offer complimentary upgrades for a night.

• Compare prices of airline tickets. People will prefer to purchase tickets online than over the phone because it’s more convenient. However, it’s essential to make a comparison first by calling the airline and check if the ticket price is similar to what is displayed on the Internet. When purchasing tickets, it’s also recommended to consider the extra fees. Once all of this has been made, go for the one that offers a lower rate.

• Book everything alone. Third parties such as travel agents and booking websites offering services to arrange everything seldom work for free. Normally, there’s an equivalent fee that will go to them. Travellers will save more money by booking each and every element separately through contacting their preferred hotel and airline. By doing so, they will also have the option to contact other choices for price comparison.

• Ask for repositioning cruises or flights. Airlines and cruise lines usually reposition their trips from time to time. it’s cheaper than the traditional trips but also offers similar services to customers. One thing to note though, travel time for repositioned trips may take longer than the usual.

• Avoid travelling during peak seasons. As the number of tourists goes up, the travel cost also does. Though visiting a certain country during Christmas time is a perfect idea, travellers can save hundreds of dollars on flights and hotel accommodations if they can wait to visit once the season is over.

• Share a room with a friend. Stay at the hotel is another essential thing to consider on budget when travelling. There are hotels where room rates for a single person is also the same as the cost of rooms for two persons. Instead taking separate rooms for this situation, why not get a room for two? Aside from the saved money, this will also be a good time to spend bonding moments with a friend while on vacation. Forget about the loud snoring during bedtime though.

• Travel like the locals. As tourists, riding glitzy air-conditioned buses with movies on-board is a convenient option but often comes with a hefty price. Doing this might take away the money that should be spent on exploring other places around the area.

Travelling should not be expensive. All it takes is just the right preparation, timing and budgeting. By keeping all these budget travel tips in mind, everyone can have a wonderful vacation without shedding out too much money from their pockets.

7 Things to Know Before Visiting Cusco Peru Tours

Cusco is one of the tourist destinations that many Peruvians choose when to pack up and travel, but there is great uncertainty about whether the budget will reach to know one of the places that houses one of the seven modern wonders like Machu Picchu.

If you are visiting Machu Picchu, in Cusco, for the first time, you will experience some knew things and here are some tips that will improve your whole adventure in strange situations.

Choose the time: You must note that from April to October is the dry season with the cloudless sky. Since November, the clouds and rains that reach their peak in December through March.

Meeting hours: The Cusco Peru tourslasts a whole day. We will move out quickly as we can, to seize the day and avoid the crowds. Another thing you can do is go out in the evening and sleep in AguesClient’s, from there to Machu Picchu the next day morning. You can change Aguesclients’ to Ollantaytambo if you like.

Trekking: Some might want to get walking, but it is not an easy task. You can choose the Inca Trail, Salkantay Trekking to Machu Picchu and Coffee Route. Always accompanied by excellent guides and book your space with several months in advance.

Clothing and accessories: It is advisable to take only what is necessary. Water, a jacket for warmth, sunscreen, hat, insect repellent, and camera. Always have a rain jacket and windbreaker. Machu Picchu is jungle and warm, but the weather changes in minutes, and can rain, cloud and spend a little cold.

Lunch and drinks: It is advisable to get the food in the village of aguesclients before climbing to Machu Picchu. You can also bring your little taper.

You must ask the locals where they eat them, do not go where tourists eat or nearby restaurants to tourist sites, these are commercial, expensive and bad. Explore the markets, eat llama, and enjoy the best experience in a country as lovely as Peru.

About the currency

The currency used in the country is the Peruvian Nuevo Sol (three suns roughly equivalent to one dollar). There are many places where you can change money, for example switched smoothly on the same bus terminal in Tacna. It goes without saying that always look established places to spare potential problems.

Vaccines

You will not need any special vaccinations to enter the country. But keep in mind that if you visit Amazon regions, the Ministry of Health of Peru recommended the yellow fever vaccine. For example, if you go to the city of Iquitos, in full jungle Peru, it is better as a preventive measure you perform the vaccine.

The Best Real Estate Investment Strategy Without Hassles

A lot of folks would like to find the best real estate investment, but even the best real estate investment strategy requires time, effort and hassles doesn’t it? Not so for 2014, 2015 and well beyond… with this strategy.

Sit back for a moment and try to envision what your idea of the best real estate investment strategy would involve. Picture the upside potential to make money; but also the financial hazards and downside risk. If you’ve ever watched the popular TV shows on the subject you’ve seen people make money flipping houses. You’ve also seen blood, sweat and tears.

Here we look at the advantages and disadvantages of traditional strategy, and then move on to the best real estate investment strategy for people who just want to put their money to work to make money vs. working for their money. Traditionally you buy, finance, improve, maintain, and manage a property. Your primary objective might be price appreciation (buy low, sell high) or it could be income (rental income). In other words, your strategy may be to flip it; or it could be to hold it. Either way, some day either you or your heir(s) will likely sell it.

Traditionally, the huge advantage of investment properties has been the financial leverage achieved in financing it with OPM (other people’s money, like a bank). This magnifies profits because you can own a $100,000 property with $20,000 or less down, out of pocket. In other words, with $100,000 you could own five properties or more… each of them going up in value and producing rental income… instead of paying cash and owning just one. Implicit here is the assumption that the value of real properties generally go up in value.

The financial crisis of 2008 drove home the reality of financial leverage (OPM) and the risk that’s involved. High leverage with little or nothing down was the best real estate investment strategy for making money quick – until the bubble burst. But there are other disadvantages in owning properties. To name a few: poor liquidity, costs and expenses, questionable market values, and property taxes. You can’t buy or sell quickly and easily, and the market value of a property is always subjective. Whether you are buying, selling or holding there are significant costs and expenses involved.

If you can buy right (cheap), put a property to its best use, and make improvements with sweat equity (do it yourself) your best real estate investment strategy for 2014, 2015 and beyond could be to go for it – with or without financial leverage. Just hope that the market remains favorable, the creek don’t rise, and interest rates don’t rise too much either while you own it. Interest rates have been historically low for years now and are forecast to rise in 2014, 2015 and/or beyond. Higher rates are a negative for both market prices and marketability.

So, what’s the best real state investment strategy for busy people who don’t want the hassles and disadvantages of property management? Let the professionals do it for you, without personally owning real properties. Simply buy shares in REAL ESTATE mutual funds that manage a portfolio of stocks (equities) in the real estate sector – like home builders and REITs (equity real estate investment trusts) that own/manage office buildings, housing complexes and other commercial properties.

You can profit from both rising share prices and dividend income. You can buy or sell shares and find the value of your account on the internet anytime; and you can invest a few thousand dollars or a few million. The best real estate investment strategy for minimizing costs and expenses: go with NO-LOAD fund companies and avoid sales charges when you buy or sell. Total expenses can be 1% a year or less with the best real estate investment funds. To find them type “no-load funds” into your favorite search engine.

Your best real estate investment strategy to avoid the hassles and other inherent disadvantages of owning real properties is to invest in no-load real estate equity funds in 2014, 2015 and beyond. If the economy and the markets start to sour, you can sell some shares and buy back later at lower share prices.

Singling Out The Best Real Estate Attorney For Home Purchase Negotiations

You know you are halfway there once you find your dream home. The only thing that remains is coming to a consensus with the seller, regarding his or her ask price. Ideally, the asking price is to be brought down to the price that you want.

It is common for buyers to be mistaken in assuming that they can easily persuade the seller into selling their home using some natural negotiation tactics. The truth of the matter is that this may only be possible for those that have a horseshoe, rabbit’s foot and four-leaf clover in their possession.

Individuals that have never done any type of negotiation before and are in the dark about this sort of thing ought to seek the help of a real estate attorney that can assist in closing the deal. Attorneys that specialize in real estate will work to ensure that the totality of legal documents is thoroughly evaluated and recorded and that as a buyer, your rights are fully safeguarded.

It is true that acquiring the help of an attorney that specializes in real estate means spending more money. Consider a few suggestions below, in order to single out the best attorney that will be able to help you out best, provided the extra cost for the attorney’s service.

Real estate brokers or agents that may be helping you with the purchase of your dream home often have plenty of contacts and referrals that you may need the help of. Just the same, bear in mind that having both a broker or agent and a real estate attorney can bring about conflict of interest, on account of the fact that the relationship that your attorney and agent may have may be forced when it comes to settling the deal, regardless of your demands or desires, just so the deal can be closed and the Realtor can get his or her fees.

This sort of predicament can be dodged by seeking referrals from relatives or close friends. Internet searches also ought to yield quick searches and results that are impartial; just be sure to find a reputable site.

Prospects must be interviewed one at a time, prior to singling out the best real estate attorney. You may want to do a background check on each candidate, as well as educate yourself on their track record, and also request client referrals for references you could get in touch with.

As you interview different prospects, ask each one how much they charge for their services. This should give you a clear picture of the kind of legal service that you can avail of, given your budget, and which ones among the candidates can do the best work, given your budget range.

Dudhwa National Park – A Treat for Nature Enthusiasts

Residing in the Lakhimpur and Kheri districts in Uttar Pradesh, the Dudhwa National Park is home to a large number of threatened animal species such as the Rhino and the tiger. This tiger reserve houses two beautiful sanctuaries – the Kishanpur and Katerniaghat Wildlife sanctuaries, where you can spot a large number of birds and animal species. Dudhwa is a magnificent wildlife park which offers its visitors excellent views of its lush greenery and beautiful terrains.

Dudhwa is one of the richest bio-reserves in India; the adjacent Indo-Gangetic plains are credited for the flourishing fauna and flora in this region. This wildlife Park spreads over a vast grassland and dense forest. Over 16 species of reptiles, 38 species of mammals and several species of birds are protected here.

Popular Activities in Dudhwa National Park
• Safaris – The Park offers Safari services for visitors, but you can also explore the place on your own by hiring a jeep or a mini bus.
• Jumbo rides – Elephant rides are a popular attraction at the park; the mahouts will be your tour guide, and they will give you a tour of the park on the majestic animal.
• Tharu Village Visit – Tharu is a small tribal community residing inside the Park. Meeting the tribal village is a great opportunity for outsiders to learn about a unique ethnicity and rich culture.

Best time to visit Dudhwa National Park
December to April is the perfect time to visit the park. Since Northern part of India follows the extreme climate pattern, the summers are going to be boiling, and the winters will be freezing. The park stays open from 15th November-15th June.

How to reach?
• Flight – Lucknow is the closest airport to the Park. You can hop on a taxi from the airport to get to the Park.
• Road – Dudhwa has an excellent road connection most of the major cities and States. There are plenty of State-owned as well as private bus services from neighbouring cities like Bareilly, Delhi, Lakhimpur, Kheri, and Shahjahanpur.
• Train – The nearest railway station to the park is nearly four km away. Other railway stations include Palia which is ten km away and Mailani which is 37kms away from the park.

Where to stay?
Accommodation is not an issue in Dudhwa because visitors have plenty of Dudhwa forest resorts to choose from. Apart from the resorts, you can also find forest lodges, dormitory or forest huts to stay. The Dudhwa forest resorts ensure luxurious comfort so that visitors can experience nature with ease. Camping in Dudhwa National Park is a haven for nature-lovers. If you love wildlife, then you will love the Dudhwa National Park.

How to Find the Best Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are essential characters when it comes to buying property. These individuals are the authorities in the industry and to find the best deals that may be availed it is best to have these individuals around for assistance. However, with the large number of real estate agent that may be hired in the field, people are caught not an inkling of which person to hire to aid them in their property-buying necessities. In order to solve this dilemma, here are some advice to find the best real estate agent for you.

Identify Your Needs
Though it can look out of topic, being aware of your needs can actually aid in finding the best real estate agent. This is firstly because the best agent doesn’t just refer to the first person on the list. The best broker can be the the person at the bottom but the only one who answered your needs to the utmost. Because of this, identifying your own requirements is important. You may relay this need to the realtor and if the person answers in a positive manner then you have met your agent.

Get Recommendations
There isn’t an easier way to get a good broker than to go around asking for recommendations. Interview the individuals who already had a familiarity with buying a property and in getting a real estate agent. People who got the best realtor probably had an efficient agent. Thus, approach these individuals and get their tips. They probably have much to say as regards their realtor. You may further review their evaluations of the brokers they got and see which of them had an experience which you might wish to have in your asset-buying process.

Check Potential Realtor’s Experience
There is nothing wrong with scrutinizing a potential broker. After all, you are going to be hiring and giving wages to the person. Ergo, you should have a guarantee that you aren’t throwing away any money on an inefficient worker. Do not be ashamed to inquire about their experience. Good real estate agent are always willing to reply to this query. On the other hand, bad realtors might have a difficult time responding as their sheet is flawed. To assured you are getting the best deal, make sure to get aid from those you can trust and effective laborers.

Ask Potential Realtors on How Much They can Attend to Your Needs
As what was said earlier, knowing your requirements is vital when getting a real estate agent. Through knowing what can satiate you in the whole procedure you can instantly relay it to the broker who wants to give you service. Upon relaying your needs you can then ask if the real estate agent is willing to give in to your desires lest you should move on to the next broker on your options. This shortens the options faster and make the process quicker.

Don’t Pressure Yourself
Only if you are in a terrible need of a property, you must not stress yourself to immediately get an excellent broker. Too much persistence can produce a lot of stress and irritation. This may darken your decision and instead of getting a good agent, you might end up with a greedy, uncooperative one. Therefore, the best thing is to take your time in looking for an agent. Through not pressuring yourself a lot, you prevent yourself from getting annoyed and from making bad decisions.

5 Tips to Help You Select the Best Real Estate Agent

I decided to write this post because if I had read something similar to this when I was first starting out in Real Estate, I would have saved myself a lot of time, headaches and stress. Without getting into my personal real estate agent horror stories, here are my 5 tips for selecting the best real estate agent:

1. Make Sure they are Full Time Agents

Without a question this is one of the most important aspects in selecting a great realtor. I’ve come to notice that a lot of people think that real estate agents make a lot of money and that it is a short cut to becoming well off. So as a result, a whole bunch of people get their realtor license for the wrong reasons. They have “hopes” of getting a 5% commission on a $1,000,000 house ($50,000). The truth is, being successful at anything requires a lot of hard work and dedication no matter what business you are in. Real Estate is no different – in fact, about 20% of realtors do 80% of all real estate transactions (within a particular geographical area).

2. Help Without Action

A realtor, much like a lawyer or a doctor must have your best interest at heart. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, not everyone gets his or her license for the right reasons. If the realtor you are communicating with expects you to sign a commitment agreement right away (even if they tell you they are required by their broker) I would be seriously alarmed. Like in any successful and harmonious relationship, there has to be the right fit first. In order to determine if there is a fit to work together or not, your potential realtor should be willing to help you a little bit (learn the market, see some comps etc.) without any contracts or expectation of you to take action – ever; no-pressure type of relationship. Great full time realtors know that that is the best way to attract business and long term success. Meanwhile amateurs and likely not very serious agents will feel more confident in themselves if they “locked” you up legally. Sadly, many clients out there will feel obliged to the realtor under the terms of the agreement.

3. Area Expert

Despite the claims you might see on the front page of newspapers that might be something along the lines of “Canadian Real Estate Market is Down”, any savvy, experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent will know to ignore that. Every market (ex. Toronto) also has many sub-markets (ex. Down Town Core, Harbor Front, The Annex, etc). All of these sub-markets have different trends and fundamental factors affecting the rise or fall in the price, supply and demand, or properties available at a given time. Throughout GTA there are hundreds of different submarkets. Great real estate agents know that being an expert in only a few close by sub-markets will yield them better quality clients and a much more successful business. Their clients will also be much happier because their agents will be able to give them expert advice. Meanwhile amateur agents will help clients almost anywhere just to get a deal done. In other words, throw pasta on the wall and hope that something will stick! Do YOU want to be their client?

4. Specialty

Many people might find this a silly thing to do, but I like to compare realtors to doctors. A realtor without a specialty is much like a general walk-in clinic doctor, not that there is anything wrong with that. But if you are having sight problems, an eye specialist will be able to give you much better advice than a walk-in doctor. Not only do specialists have much better knowledge, but they also have the right tools to help you. The same goes for realtors. Are you in the market for a condo? Then you should be looking for a realtor who specializes in condos. Are you trying to be an investor? Then you need to be working with a realtor who specializes in working with investors. Realtors that specialize in condos within a particular sub-market are different than realtors specializing in working with investors for rental properties. Real estate agents who work with investors know exactly what type of properties cashflow, how much that cash flow will be, and where to look for these types of properties. Condo specialists will know exactly which buildings in the area have lower maintenance fees vs. condo prices vs. sizes of each unit.

5. Chemistry

Chemistry? Why in the world would this be relevant? Lets face it… we are slowly shifting away from a suit & tie corporate environment and transitioning into “Apple-Google” like business culture. Not to say that these top companies are not corporate, but the culture overall is just much more laid back, relaxed and fun. This is why they are able to attract the best and most talented programmers and employees all around. The same goes for realtors. Make sure you have the right chemistry. Be sure that the relationship and process is fun, easy going enjoyable and all at the same time professional.