Prepare For Long Term Travel

Preparing For Long Term Travel
Traveling abroad is an art. It requires intellect to plan, courage to enact, and perseverance to endure. When planning your dream trip, you must walk a fine line between over- analysis and not-so-blissful ignorance (summer in Sudan, anyone?).
There are several things you should consider before booking your travel, and the most important will be deciding where and when to go.
Where to Go
After working in a cubical and day dreaming about traveling around the world, most people already have a pretty good idea where they want to go. It’s a personal choice and there are amazing places to see and experience all over the globe. If you intend for your systems to pay for your travels, the main factor in deciding where to go is your budget.
How Much the World Costs
These numbers assume a few things. Firstly, you travel slowly (no more than one out of every four days). Second, you stay in clean, basic accommodations. While it’s certainly possible to rent a $3 room in Cambodia, most people mature enough to run a business want a little more comfort. We’re talking rooms with a bathroom, hot water, shower, towels, a bed, and a TV… but not much else.
The prices below are for two people and include food, room, laundry, toiletries, visas and overland (usually local) travel:
o Southeast Asia: $50
o UK and Ireland: $100
o Australia and New Zealand: $80
o South America:$55
o Africa: $60
o Western Europe: $90
o Eastern Europe:$65
o Indian subcontinent:$40
o Japan: $90
As you can see, expenses can be very reasonable, far more reasonable than what you may be currently paying back home. However, you will want to travel somewhere that your systems can afford.
You can escape home faster and live better if you visit third world areas such as Southeast Asia and India. Though we’ve visited the UK several times, my wife and I are still a long ways away from living it up in London! There’s another more powerful reason for going third world initially: a new perspective. Chances are, if you’re reading this you are probably raised in the Western world. When you board that plane, you will no doubt be ready for a change, and the transition from first to third world will be as eye opening as the transition from worker to entrepreneur.
All in all, their calculations have been fairly close to my personal experiences.
Money Saving Tips
These are some tips I’ve learned from both working as a travel agent and personal experience. There are many, many ways to stretch your budget:
o Purchase tickets ahead of time, or last minute. So many people lament over rising flight costs, when they should have bought the damn thing months ago and saved a bundle. Here is my rule of budget travel: purchase tickets ahead of time if you know where you want to go, purchase last minute if you don’t. For example, there is currently a special discount flight to Hungary from San Francisco for three hundred dollars, last minute. Did you plan on going to Hungary? No, but when the opportunity arises, you should take it.
o Slum it, then go all out. My wife and I cycled across Ireland without breaking the bank, and yet we stayed in quality bed and breakfasts (including an old Irish castle). How did we do this? Simple: for every one night in a great location, we camped two nights. Once we arrived at our room for the night, we cleaned up and had a good time. The next morning we showered and hit the road. Following this approach you only miss a shower for one day at a time…
o Change your drinking habits. One of my largest grievances with budget travel writers is their silly notion that you should sacrifice a cold beer in the name of saving money. There are far better ways to save a dollar while you’re traveling. What you should avoid are bars. You can drink cold beer or local spirits for cheap from bottle shops (or oddly enough, 7-11’s). I found myself contemplating buying a can of Guinness in Thailand for more than it cost back home! True, it was an Irish pub on St. Patrick’s Day, but come on…
Health: Avoiding Problems
Vaccinations
You need to start getting some of your vaccinations at least two months before departing on a trip. Several inoculations require three or four visits, spaced two to three weeks apart. Here’s a short list of the most common vaccinations required (or highly recommended) for global travel:
o Hepatitis A and B. (if possible, get the combined vaccine)
o Japanese encephalitis
o Polio, diphtheria and tuberculosis
o Rabies
o Tetanus
o Typhoid
o Yellow fever
Malaria
While there is no vaccination for malaria, there are a number of anti-malarial tablets you can take to help combat the disease (though none of them is 100% effective). Check with your doctor to see which prescription is right for you.
To get these vaccinations, visit your local travel clinic or speak with your physician. If you’re currently employed, check if your benefits will cover vaccinations. I was able to save over $700 on vaccinations thanks to the health insurance provided by my previous employer. Talk about a severance package!
Food
When it comes to food, I follow a few simple rules:
1. Eat at restaurants with a lot of people and high turn over. It probably means the food is fresher.
2. Eat cooked food. Try to avoid any raw vegetables and raw fish. Fruits and vegetables that you can peel are a safer option. Consider bringing vitamin tablets if you’re not getting enough fruits and vegetables.
3. Don’t over eat. If you stuff your face with contaminated food, you’ll feel a hell of a lot worse than if you ate a smaller portion. The only two times I’ve been sick abroad were shortly after a three or four course meal at a high end steakhouse.
Water
Depending on where you travel, you might need to bring a water purification system. I use The Steripen Adventurer UV purifier. The same size as a screwdriver, this wonder tool can purify one liter of water in one minute using an ultra violet light bulb and lithium batteries. Though it isn’t cheap- retail is about $130- the Steripen is both lightweight and effective. Keep in mind it doesn’t work with ice, a common cause for getting sick among travelers.
If you’re planning on buying bottled water over seas, keep in mind that many merchants refill used water bottles with local water and resell them. If the plastic seal is broken- and it often is – you probably don’t want to drink it.
Traveler’s Diarrhea
Traveler’s diarrhea claims 30-50% of tourists abroad within the first two weeks, and is often accompanied by vomiting. In other words, don’t be surprised if you’re leaking out both ends… it’s natural. The best thing to do? Take over the counter anti-diarrheal medicine or antibiotics (rather than something that just plugs you up), drink lots of water, lay low and let the good- or bad- times flow. Symptoms should clear up within a few days. Any more than that, contact a doctor.
Tying Up Loose Ends
Before you hit the road you’ll need to close up shop. While most of these steps aren’t necessary for short term travel, they are imperative for long term wandering.
o Three – Six Months Out:
o Get a passport (if you don’t have one).
o Book your airplane flights.
o Visit your doctor or travel clinic to get vaccinations. Check if your employer’s health insurance covers them before you quit!
o Determine how to handle your living situation. Consider renting out your residence furnished. This saves you the hassle of storing your belongings, and moves you one step closer to paying off your mortgage. Most people interested in furnished accommodations are working abroad for a year or more: perfect for your intentions.
o Book a dentist, doctor, and optometry appointment for one month before you go to make sure you have a clean bill of health. This gives you time to handle any cavities before you leave.
o One Month Out:
o Set cancellation dates for all insurance policies, credit cards, and other miscellaneous items.
o Close any unnecessary accounts (e.g. banking accounts and department store accounts).
o Sign up for Online Banking (if you don’t already have it).
o Set up a forwarding address with the post office to a friend or a P.O. Box in your name.
o Find someone to rent your car while you’re gone. Make sure they get insurance and to draft an automobile leasing contract.
o Go to your dentist, doctor, and optometry appointments.
o Get travelers insurance.
o Two weeks out:
o Give your two weeks notice to your employer.
o Email yourself copies of your passport, driver’s license, insurance policy, credit card, and any other important information you might need while you’re away.
o Get travelers checks and email the security numbers from those to yourself.
o Notify your bank that you’ll be making purchases in a foreign country with your credit card.
o Have a garage sale. If you don’t manage to sell the majority of your belongings, have another garage sale following week. My wife and I made over $1,500 of two days work selling our stuff- worth over a month of travel in Southeast Asia. If you can’t sell your stuff, look into a storage unit.
o Get a visa if applicable for your first country.
Remember, you don’t need half of what you may think you do, a truism that applies to a crucial step in preparing: packing for long term travel.
What (Not) To Pack
Prior to departure: create a checklist of items you need to take. At a maximum you should include:
Passport
Drivers license (international if possible)
Airline/train tickets
Credit cards, travelers checks and US dollars
Photocopies of important documents
Youth hostel card
Scuba diving certification (if applicable)
Passport photos (1 or 2 per country)
Money Belt
One small day pack
Sunglasses
A good book
Pen and notepad
Laptop and headset for Skype
Two pairs of light weight pants
One pair of shorts
Three shirts (one for going out)
1 Pair Sandals
1 Pair Shoes or Boots
Underwear
Swim suit (if applicable)
Toiletries
Silk sleep sack (not a sleeping bag)
Sewing kit
Nail clippers
Ear plugs
First aid kit
Swiss army knife
Possessions will only tie you down. For example, let’s say you purchase a brand new digital camera before your trip (chances are you will). Sure, it’s a great way to document your experiences, but it weighs you down a lot more than you think.
You have to think twice about swimming in the ocean for fear someone will steal it. Crossing a river could potentially destroy it. Strangers become potential threats.
And these are just the tangibles. The worst, and most common, is that it prevents you from truly experiencing a place before reaching for your camera. This effectively removes you from your surroundings, preventing you from ever really gaining anything at all.
Why Einstein Was Wrong – How to Travel
The theory of relativity states that time slows down when as speed increases. For example, imagine a friend whizzing across or solar system in a spacecraft while you remain here on the Earth. Einstein proved that your friend’s clock would seem to tick more slowly than your own.
Sadly, the opposite is true when traveling. People who travel near the speed of light- or at least sound- arrive home seemingly unaware of where they had just visited. Locations become nothing more than a check box on their itinerary, an experience not to be savored, but shown off to others. They develop the classic “If it’s Tuesday, this must be Rome” syndrome. Speed is not better, which is why you shouldn’t try to travel at the speed of light.
My advice is to travel at the speed of smell.
As I write this, there is a large Vietnamese market going on less than five meters away. The smell of pho boiling over and the sounds of locals conversing is something I wouldn’t have noticed on a five day whirlwind tour of Vietnam.
In order to really experience your surroundings, you must slow down. While guidebooks may offer walking tours that allow you to “do” a city in a day, it takes much longer to “feel” it out.
Somewhere along the line, we lost the point of travel. People visit pagodas, temples, churches, museums, and art galleries not out of personal interest, but out of some misplaced obligation. If you aren’t interested in art, skip the Museum of Modern Art. If you don’t like sports, forget the Superdome. Can’t stand witnessing first hand poverty? Don’t go to India.
It’s not about seeing the most acclaimed sights. It’s about experiencing those that affect you the most.
Your First Night Abroad: Make It a Soft Landing
Your first two days in any new region should be seen as a transition period. Don’t throw yourself into the mix right away; book your hotel prior to departure and stay there for at least two nights. This will help you acclimate to your new surroundings, and sleep comfortably for the first few days. Your first few nights shouldn’t be concerned with travel plans, budget, or any other logistics… just unplug and rest while your body adapts to the new sights, smells and time zone.
Lunch at 4AM? How to Deal With Jet Lag
There are several ways to combat jet lag, a common problem among travelers. It certainly hits some people harder than others; it takes me over a week to adjust, while my wife takes it in stride. Here are some ways to battle jet lag:
o Don’t eat. Studies have shown that your liver takes longer to adapt to a new time zone than any other part of your body. By not eating for 12 hours or more, your body will adjust much more quickly. If this seems like too much, try eating on your intended destination’s clock a few days before departure (dinner at 10 AM, anyone?).
o Sunshine. The sun helps you set your circadian clock, so the more the better. Exercise also helps.
o Pop some pills. There are additional over-the-counter pills that claim to help with jet lag. Though I have no personal experience with them, several people I’ve spoken to swear by No Jet Lag.
Staying Connected
Now that you’ve freed up your time and location, you’ll need to monitor your systems and stay in touch with loved ones. Here are several crucial tools to maintain your systems abroad.
Poste Restante
A great way to pick up care packages from home. Get the address of the main post office in whatever town you’re in (or will be shortly) and have people address your mail to the following:
LAST NAME, First Name
Poste Restante, General Post Office
Town, Country
When you arrive at the post office, simply present your passport as identification and you’ll be able to claim your mail. Generally post offices around the world will hold mail up to two years.
Blog
A great way to keep in touch is to start a travel blog. You can do so with free services such as Blogger.com or WordPress.com; both are free and can be set up in a matter of minutes. By creating a travel blog, you are able to avoid sending out group e-mails, which always come across as forced and rather generic. This way, people who were really interested in your trip can check up on you whenever they like, leave comments, and engage other people visiting your blog.
Also, blogs allow you much more creative freedom than sending emails. You can include pictures, video, polls, international clocks, maps and a whole host of other customization, all of which provide a great scrapbook after your travels.
Word of the Year: Wifi
Wireless is the name of the game. As time progresses, connecting to the Internet will only become increasingly important, so you might as well get used to ranking “free internet” higher than amenities such as free breakfast, swimming pool, and massages. Let’s face it: you’re now able to create systems that pay for your lifestyle, completely free of employees. Free of fax machines, cubicles, commutes, and water coolers… so logging into your accounts to make sure the money’s coming in doesn’t seem like too much of a hindrance, does it?
Expect internet cafes to run around $1-2 USD an hour. Seeing that your business is Internet based, you may want to consider traveling with a laptop depending upon your goals.
Laptop: Luxury or Necessity?
If you intend to develop more systems while traveling, a laptop is necessary. You will need to upload web-pages to your sites, conduct phone interviews with prospective freelancers, and keep tabs on your expenses and revenue streams. If you intend to just monitor or expand your existing systems, you can use internet cafes, though working amidst Chinese computer gamer ain’t what it’s cracked up to be.
Laptops also provide more security. You don’t know what kind of spyware (programs that remember your keystrokes for future use) might be on some random computer. To paraphrase sex ed teachers, a trusting, monogamous relationship is one of the best ways to avoid viruses.
Cell Phone
Though I personally don’t use one, cell service is getting better all the time, and can save you a lot of time if you need to call people who don’t use Skype. For example, I spent thirty minutes in search of an international phone to call my bank for a phone call that lasted two minutes.
Skype
You can’t go wrong with free international phone calls, and Skype provides just that. Get your friends and family back home to sign up and you can chat through your laptop for free. More and more businesses are jumping on the bandwagon, though banks and credit card companies are still behind the curve.
An additional feature that may be of some use is the ability to forward calls from a US based phone number to your cell phone abroad. If you handle customer service questions, it pays to list a domestic number. After all, would you buy a product from a company that requires you to call East Timor with questions?
Dragon Naturally Speaking
If it wasn’t for this software, this book would never have been written. For less than thirty bucks you get a microphone, headset, and the ability to dictate to your laptop. I’m able to “write” at about 120 words per minute. An added bonus is that you can use the microphone and headset with Skype.
USB Card
An absolutely essential tool. There will be times when you won’t be able to access the Internet with your laptop, and a handy USB allows you to backup your work.
Other Technological Marvels for Working Abroad
o GoToMyPC : This software allows you to access your home computer from any other computer in the world. If you are abject to traveling with a laptop, this is the way to go. Just remember, you’ll have to pay for internet connection along the way, making this a better solution for short term travel.
o World Electronics USA: Get information on global phones. Good explanation of which GSM frequencies and “bands” function in which countries, which will determine the phone you purchase for travel (and perhaps home).
o Universal Plug Adapter: I’ve purchased adapters in several countries in order to power our digital camera and laptop, though it can be a hassle if you’re exploring several different regions. This universal adapter works wonders around the world.
o World Electric Guide: This site is a life-saver when it comes to handling electronics abroad. It breaks down voltage, wattage and a slew of other technical requirements by country.
Use what you’ve learned and hit the road!

Move Over Tough Guy Because Leather Gloves Are Now The Ultimate Statement In Fashion Style

Leather is hot this season and with all of the major designers introducing it into their new collections and it is not hard to see why. Leather is such a durable and elegant material. Functional and fashionable, masculine and elegant, leather clothing is this season’s hottest look.
Men purchase leather accessories all the time with wallets, briefcases, belts and shoes so it is not unfamiliar territory for most men. So, it’s time to branch out and get some leather clothing that will make more of a statement. Leather gloves are perfect for people who want to make a statement that is also practical.
A man wearing leather gloves conjures up a certain image; whether he is engaged in some physically demanding activity like driving, rodeo-riding, skiing and motorcycling or whether or he simply going out on an evening, be it a casual or formal event, you’re sure to discover the fashionable versatility that a pair of leather gloves can bring.
A little leather can go a long way toward making a positive statement while a lot of leather can look, just wrong. That is why leather gloves are so perfect. They can be worn for any occasion and a pair of leather gloves goes with anything that you choose to wear. Once you are hooked you’ll find yourself wearing a pair more often that you thought.
Quality men’s leather clothing is not cheap especially Lambskin which can be a bit pricier but the softness and fall of the clothing make it worth the expense. However you can choose gloves that are either made with real leather or synthetic leather. Not everybody can afford real leather but synthetic leather, on the other hand, is more accessible for anyone, regardless of his or her budget. You can even buy a good looking pair for as low as $5, and they are just as durable as leather gloves and only you will know that they are not real leather.
As well as making an elegant fashionable statement, leather gloves are quite prominent fixtures in popular culture as well. Think of leather gloves in the movies and Neo, Trinity and Morpheus’ pairs in the Matrix trilogy immediately come to mind. Another popular image is Mel Gibson’s pair in the post apocalyptic setting of the Mad Max films. Even Wesley Snipes’ Blade trilogy had his character sporting a fine pair of leather gloves.
All of these movies have one thing in common: They are all action-oriented films. But delve a bit deeper into the world of movies and you see how elegant and fashionable leather gloves can be like Julia Roberts’ character in My Best Friend’s Wedding, or Michelle Pfeifer’s sassy lawyer character in I Am Sam.
We spoke earlier of practicality. Leather gloves are not just pretty fashion statements. You cannot get warmer than a pair of real leather gloves. This, after all, is the primary function of a pair of gloves. The keep your hands cosy and warm because leather absorbs heat better than any other material so it will warm up your hands even under harsh climates. Your hands, particularly your fingers are among the most sensitive parts of your body. By providing them with heat, the body’s temperature will be able to resist the cold.
So forget the rough, tough guy image. Leather gloves are back and they make an elegant fashion statement as well serving a real practical use.

Overseas Travel Insurance Plans – Costs Less and Offers More

Everyone craves for vacations to enjoy some quality time with their loved ones and Indians are no exception. The outbound travel sector of India saw a robust growth this year because international travel destinations are highly sought-after among Indians in 2015. Obstacles like inflation, skyrocketing ticket price and depreciation of rupee couldn’t deter the wandering spirit of Indian travelers to travel around the world. Over 60% of Indians remain unmoved by the depreciating rupee and are raring to go to travel. However, the rate of availing travel insurance to safeguard the trip is still dismal among Indian travelers.
Young generations prefer to travel to international destinations once a year at least. According to a survey, 90% of these travelers make use of their own savings for overseas trips and don’t consider travel cover. Quite surprisingly, this is the mindset of young internet savvy generation as ICICI Lombard conducted the survey in the age group of 25-35 among 1049 people across six metro cities in India who had international trips in the previous year.
The survey further reveals that Singapore is the most preferred travel destination among young Indian travelers; the second and third places are held by US and UK.
Let’s take a look at the travel plans available and their prices for those who favor these destinations. Let’s start with Singapore.
Travel insurance plans available for Singapore trips
The following list of top 5 policy quotes in terms of lowest premium are for one 30 years old person looking for a single trip to Singapore. The trip duration is 10 days and the chosen sum insured is US$ 500000.

  1. Universal Sompo – Premium of Rs. 942
  2. HDFC Ergo – Premium of Rs. 1015
  3. Reliance – Premium of Rs. 1129
  4. TATA AIG – Premium of Rs. 1234
  5. Religare – Premium of Rs.1666

The lowest premium is Rs. 942 for a travel insurance plan for a 10 days trip to any Asian country such as Singapore, Thailand. This means one has to pay less than Rs. 100 per day to make his trip safe and secured. Indian travelers must know that travel plans are not only inexpensive but they also provide coverage for loss of baggage, passport, hijack and even emergency treatment.
Travel Insurance plans available for UK trips
The following list of top 5 policy quotes in terms of lowest premium are for 1 person looking for a single trip to UK. The trip duration is 10 days and the chosen sum insured is US$ 500000.

  1. Universal Sompo – Premium of Rs. 942
  2. Bajaj Allianz – Premium of Rs.991
  3. HDFC Ergo – Premium of Rs. 1015
  4. Reliance – Premium of Rs. 1129
  5. Bajaj Allianz ( Travel Elite Platinum) – Premium of Rs. 1139

Universal Sompo provides the lowest premium. The premium of travel insurance plan is also Rs. 942 for a 10 days trip To UK.
Travel insurance policies for US trips
The following list of top 7 policy quotes in terms of lowest premium are for 1 person looking for a single trip to US. The trip duration is 10 days and the chosen sum insured is US$ 500000.

  1. Universal Sompo – Premium of Rs. 1344
  2. HDFC Ergo – Premium of Rs. 1438
  3. Bajaj Allianz – Premium of Rs.1441
  4. IFFCO-TOKIO – Premium of Rs.1456
  5. Bajaj Allianz ( Travel Elite Platinum) – Premium of Rs. 1658
  6. TATA AIG – Premium of Rs. 1694
  7. Reliance – Premium of Rs. 1783

The lowest premium is Rs. 1344 for a travel insurance plan for a 10 days trip to US. Just imagine, you are getting all types of risks covered just by paying less than Rs. 140 for each day of your trip.
Best travel insurance plans in India in terms of baggage and medical coverage
The survey also made clear that 79% people buy travel plan to cover medical emergencies. Safety of baggage is the second most vital reason as 60% people behind purchasing travel insurance policy. So let’s find out best travel insurance plans in terms of medical emergency and luggage safety.
From the above list of travel policies for US, two plans by Reliance and Bajaj Allianz look best in terms of baggage cover.
Reliance Travel care platinum provides US$1500 for the loss of checked baggage for a premium of Rs.1783.
The Travel Elite Premium plan by Bajaj Allianz provides US$ 1000 for a premium of Rs. 1658 for the loss of checked baggage.
To get the best coverage for medical emergencies, the Titanium plan by HDFC ERGO is the best. It primarily covers:

  1. Emergency Medical Expenses
  2. Permanent Disablement/accidental death
  3. Hospital Cash
  4. Loss of Personal Documents
  5. Accidental Death
  6. Loss of Baggage
  7. Financial Emergency Assistance
  8. Personal Liability

What is the cost of international travel policy for a couple?
According to the survey, 52% of travelers prefer to have trips with spouses. So, if these people can avail a travel plan for visiting US or UK or Singapore, how much do they have to pay?
Let’s start with US trip for 10 days for a sum insured of US$ 100000 covering 2 people who are 30 and 28 years old.
Religare offers the best plan which comes at a premium of Rs. 2407.
If you compare travel plans available for couples who wish to visit UK, keeping the same criteria for trip duration, sum insured and age of the traveler, Religare provides the best plan. The premium of the plan is Rs. 1537.
For a trip in countries like Singapore, Thailand within Asia which has been the top travel destination of 2015, a couple has to spend even less for a travel insurance policy. If you compare travel insurance plans that cover Asia, you will get the lowest premium of Rs. 1218 from Explore Asia plan provided by Religare.
The positive part of the survey is the increased awareness among Indian travelers. More than 90% of young generation is aware of the travel insurance which is a significant rise from last year’s 80%. One of the major provider of travel insurance plans in India; ICICI Lombard underwritten a total travel insurance premium of Rs 100 previous year, one can expect the premium to increase by 5-10% in this year. The problem is not with the awareness; it is the lack of understanding about the benefits associated with these travel covers.
27% of the total respondents in the survey choose not to avail a travel insurance plan simply because they were under the wrong conception that such plans cover only accidents, loss of baggage and theft but don’t provide medical coverage. This is far from being the truth as the complete break-up of Titanium plan by HDFC ERGO shows extensive coverage for medical emergencies.
25% surveyed people didn’t buy any travel plan because they thought such plans are costly but it is not so. The price of all plans for person mentioned here are about less than Rs. 100 to less than Rs. 140 for each day of a 10 days trip. Travel insurance policies for couples are even cheaper as they cost in the range of less than Rs. 65 per day per person to less than Rs. 125 per day per person for destinations like US, UK and all countries in Asia including popular destinations like Singapore, Thailand.
Indians love to spend their holidays in international destinations. An international travel insurance plan doesn’t cost much and offers a lot in return. If you are also a travel freak, you should insure the total duration of the trip so that you can enjoy your holiday with complete peace of mind.

Different Styles of Fashion

Fashion means walking with the ongoing trend and spreading charm with our charismatic looks. Fashion is not limited to our clothes only, everything that we wear it counts in the language of Fashion. Moreover our outfit, accessories, footgear and even handbags play a vital role in personifying our smart outlook. Everyone has their own style according to their gender, taste & preferences and the term fashion is not restricted to a particular age group, at any age you can walk with the trend. To keep you updated with the new trends of every season Fashion magazines cater you with complete fashion knowledge. Check out the list of different fashion styles and don a dandy look to walk with a style:
Vintage Style: Old is Gold, the proverb says all in itself. Well it is not easy to find a vintage dress in the market but you can get it designed by a professional designer. The designer will add some twists of modernity in your vintage dressing style. Many designers can be found online, you can contact them either via email address or contact number. Moreover, these designers can afford you with appealing accessories to give you a perfect retro lookout.
Modern Style: The mesmeric modern look catches the crowd to make you a fashion icon. For both men and women a huge variety of trendy outfits are available in the stores. Also, kids are not behind in the race of fashion, you can doll up your bubbly doll as a diva and dress up your sonny boy in an expressive style.
Funky Style: Well this is the style that turns a passer-by to look at you one more time. In plain words, Funky look makes you an apple of everybody’s eyes. For a cool and vivacious funky style choice of right colors and accessories play an important role. The craze for funky looks is increasing among college boys and college girls. There are many online stores where you can find funky T-shirts and other accessories in a budgetary range to bring perfection in your style.
Semi Casual style: Those who look for comfort go for a semi casual style of dressing. Women can wear skirt and a smart top with striped sandals. For men a smart T-shirt with jeans look decent but don’t forget to wear nice footgear. With this style of dressing you need not to compromise with your comfort level.
Pick out the best fashion style for you and be a fashion icon.

Why Teak Home Furniture Is Your Best Buy

Teak home furniture for outdoors is ideal because it is attractive, weather resistant, and is longer lasting than most other types of outdoor furniture available on the market. For centuries woodworker have chosen teak hardwood to make furniture, because it easy to work with plus it offers structural strength and durability. Teak wood is made from large trees that grow 90-120 feet tall and they shed their leaves in the dry season. Myanmar is the country that accounts for one-third of the world’s teak production.
For decorators it is a no brainier, the wood is high in natural oils, therefore resistant to rain, snow, and all other conditions. Plus the grain of the wood is tight making it resistant to splintering, with these qualities coupled the material is perfect for construction of outdoor projects. And because it’s almost maintenance free with a warm color and satiny smooth surface the wood is used to create patio furniture, outdoor decking, indoor tables, chairs, and executive office furniture.
When it comes to maintenance the owner of this type furniture has a free reign. Teak home furniture requires very little care, the only concern is the owners’ choice for appearance, if no maintenance is preferred then eventually the pieces will turn a light shade of silvery gray, which is ideal for some decorators. Others prefer the beauty of the new wood and retain the original color of their pieces by applying annual coats of teak oil, even though the application isn’t necessary because of the durability of the wood, some claim the oil extends the life of the furniture and is very easy to apply.
A tip if you prefer to oil teak home furniture: always apply the oil before the color begins to fade, if you somehow neglect your wood, simply sand the pieces and then apply oil for that like new beauty of this type of home decor. Ensure the surface you apply the oil to is clean; trapped dirt may turn the color of the wood black. It is a fine line of furniture and there is no need to bring in the patio set for the winter months, even if oiled it will look the same when spring returns the following year.
The History Of This Cash Cow
This type of wood was used in the eighteenth century, primarily on vessels as decks and railings. The wood offers the unique qualities of not-rotting, resistance to weather conditions and water damage, and resistance to insect infestation, because of its high oil content. Even after these vessels were no longer operational, the wood was refurbished and used to create the first teak outdoor furniture.
Because teak home furniture will last longer than most other outdoor furniture, which has to be replaced every few years, the cost of the material is a bit more expensive than other materials used for outdoor furniture. The idea is because the material used to create this type of furniture will last a lifetime, the owner of this style of furniture will save money.
We have just had a discussion on teak furniture, this type of furniture is appreciated by decorators who know the quality and longevity of this style of decor. By the same token this decor has a reputation for a rich warm color plus a satiny smooth surface used in patio furniture, outdoor decking, indoor tables, chairs, and executive office furniture. Look for more articles with my name and visit my blog, for future discussions on the exciting topic of home decor.

Luxury Fashion Style – World's Famous Luxury Bags and Purses

Luxury is defined as something extravagant that does not need to be somewhat basic or of fundamental use. The luxury has the crucial factor of extravagance in it. Many people are obsessed to meet their desires. It is not said that the desires need no to be attained but there are some limits for everything. Some people develop the mania and obsession to achieve whatever they want. The main impression of luxury is opulence. The richness and wealth are the only things which can deal luxury dreams.
Since there are many rich and affluent people who have wealth to enjoy every kind of luxury in this world. Many rich people take pleasure in luxury homes, vacations, hotels, cars, sports, antiques, clothing, jewelry and accessories. Many women are enormously pleased buying luxurious jewelry and accessories. These luxurious accessories include different types of jewelry items, shoes, watches, bags and purses. Here some luxurious brands of bags and purses are mentioned.
The Hermes Birkin bag is one of the most luxurious bags in the world. It is amazingly spectacular. It is embedded with two thousands diamonds with platinum body. The strap of the bag is brilliant and dazzling. It can be taken off the bag and can be used as necklace or a bracelet. Bag is embellished with a diamond pendant which can also be used separately as an accessory.
Another luxury brand has made an expensive handbag whose design is available in 13 same pieces in the world. The Chanel Diamond Forever Classic Hand bag is a classy bag with versatile design. The price of this bag is $261,000. The bag is made with white gold and the sparkling shoulder strap is also made of white gold. The glitters and sparkling skin of the bag is ever stunning.
Lana Marks is a luxury brand which is famous for expensive and posh handbags and purses. This brand produces special Cleopatra clutches. Only one Cleopatra clutch is produced every year. This bag is manufactured by crocodile skin and embellished with black and white diamonds and white gold.
Since the fashion of naming a brand with some celebrity name is in vogue. There is a brand which has named a purse on the name of famous actress Jane Birkin. Jane Birkin Bag is made of crocodile skin and embellished with white diamonds. The price of the bag is $120,000.

Gardening Tips For Teens And Beginners

Here are some good gardening tips to follow if you are a beginner and/or a teenage gardener. I am not the most knowledgeable gardener yet, but these are very important whatever method of gardening you use.
1. Weed Control
Weed control is extremely important. You must keep the weeds out, or you will have very little to no produce. When the weeds have control, water can’t get to the plants, and the poor plants cannot get enough sun. The weeds eventually take over even the roots of the plants and seedlings. As you can see, if you do a little hoeing every day, the weeds are under your control. If you do not, a week will pass by and there have you a hundred good-sized weeds. This can be extremely discouraging, because I have been utterly discouraged as well. But this comes at the top of our list of Gardening Tips, because it is definitely most important.
2. Animal/Pest Control
Animal and pest control is very important. My main adversary to my gardening plans are deer and beetle worms. It gets so frustrating when you prepare the ground, turn it, hoe it, even it out, plant, water, and hoe the weeds every day, and one day, as soon as it is edible, it is gone. This is another main reason why many beginners give up. It doesn’t matter how high you build the fence- the deer jump over it. But one thing I seriously recommend is the square foot gardening method. As a result of this method, I have had a hundred times less weeds, and NO pests and deer eating. Why? I bought a net that fits perfectly over the 3×6 bed. Otherwise, my little garden would be a salad bar for the critters. This is an extremely important gardening tip, for without it you WILL become totally discouraged and give up like I almost did until I found square foot gardening.
3. Only 2 seasons?
Most people think that you can only garden two seasons of the year – spring and summer. This is totally untrue. With some newer methods, you can garden most of fall, and some of winter. If you have a greenhouse system, you can garden all year round. With the new square foot gardening method, I can now put a cold cover over the garden and last many frosts and have many fresh veggies throughout the fall. With an herb garden, I can put a simple little herb garden in a plastic bucket and put it in and out for a long time. Thus you see this third of the gardening tips proves the myth of two seasons is totally untrue.
4. Traditional Gardening?
Traditional gardening has been in use for a very long time. Personally, I think it is extremely inefficient, much more work, and much less percentage of seeds to harvest. Just think about it. Someone plants a thousand lettuce seeds in one row of their traditional garden. They end up thinning them out to make some space. So many good seeds wasted. And then, when they are finally ready, who comes? Deer and rabbits come and eat everything in sight. However, there is a solution to the poor planning of the traditional methods. That solution is Square Foot Gardening. So if you want to be a successful gardener, you must take action with these great gardening tips, and soon gardening will be very fun!

The Best Apartments in Dallas – How to Find Them!

How can you make sure that you are getting the best apartment at the best price in the Dallas area? Searching through the three thousand apartment options in Dallas can be a daunting task. In the end, you are likely to waste a lot of time going and visiting numerous communities that do not even have what you are wanting, and at the same time, passing up the best apartments that you weren’t even aware existed.
In searching for the best apartments in Dallas, it’s important to understand the framework of the city. Dallas is a Metroplex, which by definition, means that it is composed of a variety of suburbs that are all linked together to form one composite city. Even though each suburb is unique, it still is considered to be located in the city of Dallas. For instance, if you take just one of the suburbs as an example – Carrollton – when you are mailing a letter to the Carrollton area, it doesn’t matter if you address the envelope “Carrollton, TX” or “Dallas, TX”, because the postal authorities recognize that they are one in the same. So, when we refer to Dallas in this article, we are including all of it’s components…all suburbs that make up the illustrious city.
When individuals are relocating to Dallas and are not very familiar with the city, part of the problem lies in that they do not realize how big the city is, and that it is composed of so many “sub-cities”. They underestimate the number of apartment options that they will face when they arrive and are very surprised to see when they get here that they are facing thousands of rental homes to choose from, in a number of different areas. How can they possibly find the “best” rental choice among so many choices?
Well, before we can answer that question, we must clearly define what is meant by the term “the best apartments”. This phrase will mean something different to different individuals. For one person who is needing something economical but safe, the best apartment to THEM might be a small efficiency one-room apartment that is located close to their work. For another person “the best apartment” might mean something with a beautiful view. For still another, it may be a property that has the most luxury amenities. So, really, the key to finding YOUR best apartment comes down to defining what exactly you are looking for, and where.
Whether you are relocating to Dallas, or you already live here and just want a change, here are the 4 steps to get started in finding the best apartment for you:
FIRST, it is critical that you determine exactly WHERE in the Dallas Metroplex you would like to live. Since Dallas is composed of a mixture of various suburbs, narrow down which area exactly you would want to relocate to. You might decide on an area based on where you work, making sure you are within close proximity. Or perhaps you are more concerned about being located close to a particular school, or a particular family member. You may want to stay within so many miles of these destinations, or within so many minutes drive time. You also may want to research and investigate what each sub-city of Dallas has to offer before you make your choice. In general, the further North you go from the downtown area, the newer and nicer the city of Dallas becomes. Try to avoid the areas South of Downtown Dallas. Here are some of the many options in Dallas to choose from:
Plano – Great destination for families. Located 20 miles North of Downtown Dallas. Great school districts and youth sports leagues. The population now exceeds 250,000. It was recognized as the 8th safest place to live by the FBI’s most recent crime statistics. Plano is also a great place to do business.
Addison – Popular area for those seeking entertainment and nightlife. Addison is located 13 miles north of downtown Dallas and is connected to downtown by the Dallas North Tollway. With more than 150 restaurants, Addison has one of the highest restaurant per capital ratings in the nation. The main Street in Addison (known as Beltline) is also called “restaurant row”, because you can find ANY restaurant that you have ever imagined on this street. Addison is also home to a world class mall called The Galleria. Addison is also known for it’s frequent annual outdoor festivals, such as Oktoberfest, Taste of Addison, and the Shakespeare Festival. In addition to entertainment and nightlife, Addison is also a major hub for leading businesses.
Lewisville – Has an atmosphere similar to a small town, but functions and offers the amenities of a big city. Lewisville is located 20 miles north of downtown Dallas. It’s also only a 10 minute drive to DFW International Airport, the 3rd busiest airport in the world. Shoppers can shop ’till they drop at Vista Ridge Mall, which offers more than a million square feet of retail shopping among 160 specialty retailers. For those who enjoy the outdoor life, Lewisville is known for it’s many golf courses and has close proximity to 2 large lakes, including Lake Lewsiville.
Carrollton – Residents are drawn to the City of Carrollton for its high quality of life, abundant parks, schools and safe neighborhoods. In 2008, MONEY Magazine ranked Carrollton 15th in the country as the Best Place to Live. Carrollton is located 20 miles north of downtown Dallas and just 10 miles away from the DFW International Airport. Entertainment is nearby as Addison is only a few miles South of Carrollton for access to over 150 restaurants and the upscale Galleria Mall, and Lewisville is only a few miles North of Carrollton with access to Lewisville Lake and the Vista Ridge Mall. Carrollton residents enjoy more than 1,200 acres of developed park land, numerous playgrounds, biking trails and tennis courts. Two 18-hole golf courses in Carrollton have been rated among the top municipal golf courses in the state. Carrollton is also a great place to do business with over 5,200 businesses. It was also named recently as Texas’ safest city. The Carrollton School District is “Recognized” and offers a high quality of education.
Irving – entrally located in between Dallas and Fort Worth and directly adjacent to the DFW International Airport, you have access to many areas of the Metroplex, whether you love sports, shopping, art or the outdoors. With a population of around 200,000, Irving is a vibrant city known for its cultural diversity. Irving children enjoy a high quality education. Home to thousands of corporations and the global headquarters of five Fortune-500 companies, you’ll discover gleaming skyscrapers, two spectacular master-planned communities (Las Colinas & Valley Ranch) and the state’s only five-diamond rated resort, the Four Seasons. It is here that you can catch the Byron Nelson Championship.
Uptown Dallas – Located within only 1 or 2 miles from Downtown Dallas, an apartment or loft in Uptown Dallas is your window to a vibrant world filled with a Metro-attitude. From your Uptown Dallas apartment, you can explore the city of Dallas and enjoy comfortable modern urban living. You can define this area as a conglomeration of “contemporary, urban, metro” and “old-world retro charm”. Neighboring stores are filled with eclectic galleries and interesting and unique modernized antiques. From old restored historic buildings turned into modern contemporary lofts and apartments, to the most newly built urban communities, uptown Dallas has everything you are looking for, including a very diverse selection of restaurants on every corner located just outside your front door. Many residents of Uptown Dallas do not even have or use a car. They can access practically everything by just walking around the corner.
Downtown Dallas – it’s been said that the only thing that rivals the restaurant scene in downtown Dallas is the arts scene. The Arts District is the largest urban arts district in the country, stretching 17 square blocks. A downtown Dallas apartment puts you within steps of museums, theaters and other artistic arenas. Not to be outdone, there are an eclectic array of restaurants that rival NYC and shopping for every taste and price point. From contemporary historic lofts that renovate existing spaces to modern newly built luxury resort apartments, your urban living choices dot the landscape and capture the skyline.
Besides the Dallas suburbs mentioned above, you have many others to consider as options such as: Frisco, McKinney, Allen, The Colony, Denton, Arlington, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Grapevine, Garland, Mesquite, Richardson, and more – all of which are considered to be in the city of Dallas.
SECOND of all, once you have narrowed down the area where you would like to live in Dallas, the next step is to decide what KIND of rental home you would like to live in. Do you prefer a loft? Or a flat? How about a split level (townhome)? A highrise building or a historic building that has been converted to rental units? You may just prefer a regular, but nice apartment community. In addition to deciding what type or types of properties you are willing to consider, also decide how many bedrooms and bathrooms your new apartment needs to offer. Most properties in Dallas have certain occupancy rules that only allow no more than 2 adults per bedroom. So, for example, if you have a family of 4, you would need a 2 bedroom minimum. You may even have in mind a certain amount of squarefeet that you don’t want to go under. The area that you choose will have a bearing on which kind of rental homes are available. For instance, if you want to live in a contemporary loft or an urban highrise or historical building that has been converted, you will likely have to stick to the Downtown and Uptown areas of Dallas. You will not find many of these options anywhere else in Dallas. But the further North you go, the more you will find of nice, newly built 2 and 3 story apartment complexes with individual attached garages, as well as newly built townhome communities.
THIRDLY, now that you have a general idea WHERE you want to live, and WHAT kind and size of apartment you need, the next step is to decide HOW MUCH you are willing to pay. What amount do you not want to go over? Most apartments in Dallas require that you earn approximately 3 times the rental amount. So, for instance, if your income is $3000 a month, then you probably would only qualify for an apartment that is about $1000 a month in rent. Keep these requirements in mind when you are deciding what rent amount you are willing to pay. Apartment communities in Dallas do verify your income as well. You must show evidence, such as paycheck stubs, that you earn 3 times the rent amount. If you are being transferred here to Dallas or you are relocating and starting a brand new job (you wouldn’t have paycheck stubs yet in that case), then you can present a Hire Letter to the apartment community as proof of your income. The Hire Letter should be on Company Letterhead and clearly state what day you will begin your employment and what your income will be. It should be signed and have contact information. The apartments will usually call to verify the letter. If you provide paycheck stubs, they will likely also call your current employer and verify the paycheck stubs.
LASTLY, now that you have in mind a good general idea of what you are looking for, the fourth and most important step in finding YOUR perfect apartment is to call a reputable DALLAS Apartment Locating company to assist you in providing a free custom list of all the properties in the Metroplex that are the closest match to your specific criteria. The first thing they will do is ask you is for a detailed description of where you want to live (which suburbs are you willing to consider), how much you want to pay and can qualify to pay in rent, and what kind/size of property you want. Since you have already narrowed down this information, you will be ready to give it to the Locator and this will make the process much smoother.
Using a good, experienced Apartment Locator who is located in the Dallas area and has an in depth knowledge of all the 3000 rental properties in Dallas, is the quickest and easiest way for you to find the apartments that best match your criteria. They will not only save you a ton of wasted time exploring properties that are NOT a good match for you, but they also will make sure you are informed about the best specials and deals that are being offered in Dallas. Most renters end up saving an average of $500-$600 by using an Apartment Locator. This is because the Locator guides them to all the great deals that they would have otherwise not known about. The list that your Apartment Locator gives you will provide information such as pictures, floor-plans, maps and details for every property in Dallas that they feel represents the BEST matches in the Metroplex for YOU.
Even if you have lived in Dallas your entire life, new properties are being built every day in this ever-expanding city. It is likely that there are options out there you are not even aware of. Take the guesswork and stress out of your Dallas apartment search and let a reputable local Apartment Locating Company help you.

The Right Cheap Loans For You

If you are looking for a loan, you know that one of the worst things that could happen would be if you were forced to pay more money for the loan than you wanted to pay. When this happens you are going to find out that you have trouble, so you have to be sure to do everything that you can do to make sure that you are finding cheap loans that are going to fit with your needs and be the loans that you want to have.
There are many ways to find cheap loans. First of all you have to have all of the information with you at all times. Be sure that you have planned out what you want the loan for, that you know what you are going to use the money for and what that is going to mean for you. This is very important because people who are going to get you cheap loans are going to want to know what the money is to be used for. Then, you also have to tell them how you are going to make the money to pay back your cheap loans. This is also important because the bank has to be sure that you are going to be paying them back and that they aren’t going to be losing money.
There are some things that you have to be careful of when you are looking for cheap loans. First of all you have to be very sure that you are able to pay them back, and you also have to watch carefully when they are explaining them to you. One of the dangers is that you will be offered cheap loans that don’t’ have a fixed interest rate, which means that they are going to be very cheap to you right now, but as time goes on they could get very expensive and this could happen without any warning. If this happens you are going to be in trouble, so you should do whatever you can to make sure that this doesn’t happen.
If you are paying close attention and if you are asking the right questions when it comes to your cheap loans, you should be able to handle them with no problem. You are going to want to make sure that you have all of the information that you need when it comes to your cheap loans, because you are going to need to make a good decision. It is a decision you are going to need to be able to live with. This is very important because cheap loans are not going to be easy loans to get. You are going to have to work hard, and you are going to have to make sure you are dealing with the best. If your credit is less than perfect, you may have to work even harder. However, in the end, with a long term loan, you will be glad you worked for great rates and terms.

Cheap Loans- Secured Loans Cost You Far Lesser Than Unsecured Loans

If one surveys the UK loan market, there are as many diversified loan products available as there are lending institutions. There is no dearth of good loan deals, only of good judgement. It is normally observed that first time borrowers fall prey to the trap of lenders, who despite the good credit record of the borrower let them agree for a loan at a high APR. This is mostly in the case of unsecured loans. Though, on the surface level, unsecured deals may seem tempting. But, once you go in to the depth, you find that the borrower is many times at a great loss by choosing an unsecured personal loan over a secured one.
Secured loans are cheap loans when one takes the APR charged and other charges like agreement fees, brokerage charges, and early redemption penalties into account. Since there is low risk involved in the loan deal for the lender, he offers low APRs on secured loans. The loan deal is secured by assets like home offered by the debtor. It’s the simple rule of thumb, lower the risk for the lender – lower the cost of loan for the borrower. With increasing debts and defaults on them, the rate of interest charged on unsecured loans by the lenders has increased considerably. Banks have become stringent in their credit policies as well regarding unsecured debts.
So, whenever there is choice between secured and unsecured loans, compare loans extensively. Secured loans may fetch you the following advantages that an unsecured might not.

  • Easier to obtain- You don’t really have to “hunt” for lenders in case of secured loans. Owning a home in UK and willingness to pledge it as collateral is in itself a big enough invitation for varied loan quotes from lenders. The creditors may offer you cheap loans if you are a homeowner. So, procuring a secured personal loan is not such a daunting task as availing an unsecured loan.
  • Hefty amounts can be procured- You can raise huge funds from the equity available in your home. In case of unsecured loans, on the other hand, the loan amount approved is generally small. For major financial requirements, like buying another house, property, starting a new business, going for further studies, etc, secured loan is a viable solution.
  • Long loan tenure- It is always better to repay the hefty amounts in small installments over a prolonged period. Secured loans allow this freedom to the borrower. This makes the installments easy to pay for the borrower. This feature is not there is the case of unsecured personal loans. So, compare loans on this parameter as well.
  • So, before availing any loan, compare loans to get cheap loans. After all, by availing a loan, you are incurring debts that have to be paid back. And, the more the flexibility of loan conditions, the more ease you’ll find in making regular installments.