Where the World's Best Racers Go to Ski

Here are five of the leading World Cup resorts for skiers to visit:

Lake Louise, Canada

  • The resort with more ski kilometres than any other in Canada, Lake Louise has plenty of runs to suit beginners, intermediates and experts. For those who like a challenge, there's good powder, some mogul fields and steep runs above the treeline. One of the lift pass options includes pistes at Mount Norquay and Sunshine Village. Located in the beautiful Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise is a charming resort with good apres ski, accommodation and other snow activities, including sleigh rides, ice-skating, cross-country skiing and dog sledding. It hosts men's and women's races at the end of November and in early December during the Winterstart racing festival. Calgary is the best airport for connections.

Selva, Italy

  • The Val Gardena has welcomed the world's best male downhillers for the last 40 years or so, staging races in December amid the stunning Italian Dolomites. Selva is the main resort in the valley, part of the Dolomiti Superski area and one of the stops on the 26km-long Sella Ronda ski tour. It's a great resort for intermediates and has some good nursery slopes in the centre of the village. The Saslong downhill course is famous for the so-called camel bumps that the speedy love to jump but it's not the toughest course on the circuit and is therefore skiable by good intermediates. Selva, which is known as Wolkenstein by German-speaking residents, is at 1,500m or so and has the best snow record of the other villages in the valley.

St Moritz, Switzerland

  • One of the most glamorous resorts in the Alps, St Moritz has hosted Winter Olympics and Alpine Skiing World Championships and is visited regularly by the best women racers on the World Cup tour. St Moritz, at 1,770m, has some of the priciest hotels and restaurants in the mountains, is popular with celebrities but generally avoided by skiers on a budget. The skiing is best suited to intermediates and experts, with fewer runs for beginners, and the black runs at Diavolezza are a particular challenge. The nightlife is good and visitors can always enjoy horse racing on the frozen lake when taking a break from skiing.

Kitzbuhel, Austria

  • The Streif on the Hahnenkamm mountain at Kitzbuhel is widely recognised as the toughest men's downhill course on the World Cup circuit and the race meeting is also the biggest social event on the tour. With some terrifyingly steep pitches and long jumps, all skiers need their wits about them when giving it a try. The village overflows with visitors during the event, held at the end of January every year, and the atmosphere gets particularly electric if the race is won by an Austrian. Generally, Kitzbuhel's skiing is a lot milder than the Streif would suggest, with some particularly good runs for beginners and intermediates. The main problem facing the resort is its relatively low altitude, which means snow conditions can suffer in dry or mild weather.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

  • Host of the 1936 Winter Olympics, and the first of the competitions to see alpine ski medals awarded, Garmisch-Partenkirchen is Germany's premier winter sports resort and has hosted the sport's World Championships on a couple of occasions. The slopes are regular stops on the men's and women's downhill and slalom tours, with recreational skiing on the Hausberg, Kreuzeck and Osterfelder runs. Visitors can also take the mountain railway up to the Zugspitz glacier area, which offers easier high-altitude pistes. The resort, formed when the towns of Garmisch and Partenkirchen were united for the Olympics, is reached easily by train from Munich airport.

Geneva and Val D'Isere - Skiing and Sightseeing

It is probably doubtful if any skier eagerly anticipates their ski transfer - even including the picturesque one from Geneva to Val d'Isere.

Let's face it, even if you have had only a relatively short flight, the chances are you were probably up at some ungodly hour to get ready and then had extensive travelling to do to reach the airport at the other end. Then there would have been the almost inevitable flight delays and queues to get through security at your departure airport. All things being equal, there is a fair chance that before you even arrive in Geneva you are tired and jaded and probably not looking forward to the Geneva to Val d'Isere transfer.

Being realistic, unless you are lucky enough to have your own private jet there is probably not much you can do to avoid many of the above potential frustrations that go hand in hand with travel these days.

Yet there are two things to bear in mind: Geneva is a great city with lots of things to do so you might want to break your journey by having a night or two there exploring its attractions; and Val d'Isere is worth getting to!

A brief stopover

The origins of the city go back to before the Roman period and the old town is a magnificent area to explore. Space does not permit a full description of all of the interesting sites and cultural attractions in this world famous international city but a trip on or around the lake is surely a must. Although the onward journey from Geneva to Val d'Isere is really no big deal, a day or two spent looking around the back streets of the city might just help you recharge your batteries ready for the slopes.

Val d'Isere

Barely three miles from the border with Italy, this ski resort is one of the most famous and beautiful in France. There are, of course, a wide variety of slopes and runs available for all levels of skier but experienced sportspeople regard the resort, on the whole, to be challenging. An interesting fact about this ski resort is that it is skiable in summer due to the local glacier. This, together with some use of snow cannons, means that it offers wintertime sports all year round.

The resort itself comprises a mixture of traditional alpine village type accommodation together with some more volume-oriented higher rise hotel type lodgings. A wide range of snow sports is provided to supplement the basic attractions of the ski slopes. Many skiers love this resort for its mixture of demanding slopes and French style. Certainly it is worth putting up with flights and the short Geneva to Val d'Isere transfer in order to get here!

Top Ski Resorts Near Geneva

Those of you with a love of the snow will want to quickly hop on Geneva airport transfers to one of the top quality local resorts. The only tough decision that you'll have to make is which of the snowy wonderlands to spend time at! Thankfully a specialist driving company has put together this list of resorts within a two hour drive of Switzerland's second most populous city.

Chamonix

You can get a transfer right into the heart of this bustling ski resort. Upon arrival you'll no doubt hear about the quality of runs on mountains such as L' Aiguille du Midi and Le Tour. It won't be long until you've forgotten about your Geneva airport transfers and are zooming down the slopes on your snowboard or skis!

Megeve

Although Megeve isn't quite as popular as Chamonix, it still has much to offer skiers of various ages and abilities. There are a number of gentle slopes where, even if you're a complete novice, you can perfect the art of the snowplough. And for those of you who are confident of performing high speed parallel turns and jumps, there's some adventures to be had off piste. The fun will continue even for spectators as talented polo players and golfers showcase their skills in the snow.

Les Gets

Family groups on a skiing holiday can hop on Geneva airport transfers to make the short trip to Les Gets. There are plenty of trained instructors in this resort who can teach skiers, young and old, how to safely enjoy the slopes. After a day on the mountain you may choose to visit one of the charming local restaurants for some traditional French cuisine. You might also like to sample some of the wines on offer at the apr├Ęs-ski bars of Les Gets.

Verbier

If you're thinking about which mountain resort to choose, Geneva airport transfers service many, including Verbier. There is a good range of traditional chalets and high quality hotels to stay at during your time here, and once you've settled you're your cosy accommodation it will be time to hit the slopes. You could showcase your skills on the rails and kickers in the ski park, or, alternatively, you might like to explore the scenic off piste routes. Then you can party the night away at one the uber-cool Verbier nightclubs.

Le Tour

It's also possible to book Geneva airport transfers to take you to a holiday in the picturesque resort of Le Tour. This place is best suited to couples looking to enjoy some peace and quiet away from the busy tourist spots of Switzerland. During the day you can explore the red and blue mountain routes, and when the evening draws in you might enjoy a candlelit dinner at one of the local dining establishments.

The Upside to Outsourcing

Outsourcing might sound like the kiss of career death for many contractors and creative freelancers, but it has also created opportunities for savvy individuals. As business look to cut cost and the corporate world becomes more globalized, it can be very tempting for companies to look abroad for the cheapest possible replacement for everything, including call centres and web work. However, a lot of times cheaper cost often means cheaper quality. Not only were your web design programs or other training probably done on the latest machines, but many customers resent out of reach customer service when they feel like the worker is not qualified to help with a local problem.

This creates an initial opportunity simply by selling yourself as the regional choice. You have a lot to offer. Additionally, though this is not always the case, internationally outsourced work may not be completed in circumstances in line with the conditions and worker protections preferred by the customers. This allows you to sell yourself to potential employers as the ethical option.

Beyond that, you have opportunities to find work correcting mistakes that may have been made with work that was handled by outsourcing that didn't quite have the quality the person who ordered it was expecting. This could be anything from a customer asking to be soothed and have their problem solved after previous failed attempts to an ordered design template with font issues. Whether correcting mistakes in writing copy or putting your web design courses to work by fix coding mistakes, there is money to be made in an editorial role.

Additionally, you can also offer your services to the people being out sourced to. For example, if you have considerable experience with client relations you could help a call centre abroad establish better quality customer service programs. You can be a liaison to match your local expertise with their low cost budget, and travel while you do it. Or, you can be a broker. Often people who hire you only have a vague idea of the quality and effort that needs to go into the sort of work you do. Especially if you've already been working doing triage or editing, you may build up a list of reliable outsourcing contractors or companies. For a fee or a percent of the bill, you can set yourself up as a matchmaker for work.

Lastly, if all else fails, outsource yourself. For freelancers, living globally can be as practical and low cost. It can be one long paid vacation with an opportunity to enjoy the lower cost of living and all the fun of living and working abroad while remaining your own boss. Sound crazy? Most places that can offer out sourced work can also offer reliable internet. Work could be just a click away.

Property In Herts Is An Investment In Safe Hands

If you have been looking for investing money in property, you would want to consider Herts as you are guaranteed more than you could ask for as returns from investment. Whether it is from the angle of investment or a property where you would like to move into, Hertfordshire is the perfect place to offer you the best of all worlds. Safety and comfort are the primary concerns of all who are looking to buy a property. It is your money earned over the years and you need to ensure that you have the best purchase.

Brief outline on Herts

Hertfordshire is situated in the Southeast of England. This county is very close to central London. It offers picturesque beauty with woodlands, farmlands and river valleys. One could find historic towns and modern towns here. Being close to London gives this county an edge over most of the other counties in England.

Highlights of Hertfordshire

Half of Herts is declared as Green Belt by the Government of England. The county has excellent landscape and is a viewer's delight. Let us have a look at some of the highlights of Hertfordshire.

  • Being close to London, it enjoys the advantage of being within easy reach of the famous London Heathrow airport.
  • Excellent transport facilities to Central London greatly improve employment opportunities.
  • Herts is a delight to tourists as there are historic houses and museums. Tourists' accommodation is excellent with hotels and guesthouses in great numbers.
  • Some of the famous historic buildings include Hertford Castle, Knebworth House, Gardens & Park, St. Albans Cathedral, The Clock Tower, Berkhamsted Castle and so on.
  • Some of the famous parks in Hertfordshire are Cheshunt Park, Cassiobury Park, Aberford Park, Hatfield Forest and so on.
  • Residents and visitors enjoy a thorough entertainment in Herts as there are lots to choose from. Sports lovers would love the sporting activities here, which include ice skating, roller skating, skateboarding, motor sports, tenpin bowling and much more.
  • There are more sporting activities here, namely, tennis, football, badminton, cricket and many more.
  • The description of the county would not be complete if one does not mention about wildlife parks situated here. Some of the famous wildlife parks here are Butterfly World, Paradise Wildlife Park, Wild Britain, Woodside Animal Farm and so on.
  • The museums need special mention. Some of the most popular museums in Herts are Barnet Museum, First Garden City Heritage Museum and Amersham Museum.

Watch your steps

If you are trying to identify the right property in Hertfordshire, you need to first list out the properties available within your budget. Ensure that the house has the necessary legal documents so that there are no legal tangles involved. Base your choice on the source of the budget. It may be a loan that you have on your mind or it may be your money. If it is bank loan, it would do well to ensure that the house you intend to purchase fits in well with the demands of the lender. Make a wise move and buy a property that would give you the best returns.

Top Three Benefits of Sage Hosting

The Sage line of accounting solutions offer businesses of all sizes a powerful tool that can help to swiftly eliminate many of the finance organizational concerns faced by businesses today. Something that all businesses should consider when incorporating Sage as a business solution is just how beneficial Sage hosting can be.

Here are the top three benefits of Sage hosting, no matter what the size of your company may be.

Improved Data Security

Even with the most secure servers installed in your facility you may not have all of the security that your business needs in order to provide sufficient protection to the important financial information that you have stored for your own business accounts and for the accounts of your clients. A determined individual is going to be able to find a way to gain access to the financial data that you have stored on your servers.

Off-site Sage hosting will ensure that your data receives the highest levels of security, which will help to keep all of your sensitive materials secure from outside sources that would otherwise plan to compromise the bank accounts or stored credit cards.

Security of your data goes a bit further than cutting edge encryption technology. It also goes as far as ensuring that your data is safe from being compromised if your building sustains damage in a storm or from a fire. What would happen today if your server was damaged? Even with weekly backups, you could be looking at a significant amount of data loss.

World-Wide Accessibility

When your business is taking advantage of Sage hosting accounting suddenly becomes a vital function of your business that can be handled from any part of the world. This means that if weather conditions are not favorable for making it into the office, or you need to travel for business, you'll be able to access your Sage system.

Sage hosting literally opens up a whole new world of business for you. No longer are you tethered to your desk in your office if you need to do a bit of work on your financial accounts. When using Sage hosting accounting is now possible from anywhere. This type of flexibility in your business can actually increase productivity. It also means that your accountant doesn't have to be a full-time member of your staff; you can grant access to an off-site accountant who will be able to get the job done from anywhere in the world.

Superior IT Support

Even the best of systems can experience problems. Without off-site hosting you may need to employ the services of a full-time member of your IT support team. Sage hosting allows you the ability to simply reach out to a dedicated member of your off-site IT support team, who will respond to your issues in a swift and professional manner. This type of support is incredibly valuable to a business, especially when you add in the costs that would otherwise need to be considered with the employ of a full-time IT professional.

Sage hosting is the ultimate in business solutions. It allows your business to cut back on your IT budget, and also offers your business an increased level of professional flexibility.

Integrating Mobile Strategy With Business Operations

Many businesses may make the mistake of pushing an app into the marketplace to try to adapt it to their strategy. Just "releasing an app" does not qualify as sound strategy in a world where most potential customers have at least one smart device. Savvy enterprises will instead develop a mobile strategy to accommodate their business. They accomplish this by making a convenient, relevant, and fun application built from the ground-up to intersect with their business goals. Finally, solid marketing will cement the application's place into customers' consciousness.

The most vital mobile strategy theme is convenience. A convenient app recognizes that customers view their time as a precious resource. Customers choose a mobile app when it allows them to achieve a goal faster and easier than before. Furthermore, mobile strategy must balance the app's ease of use against number of features. If users must navigate through a flurry of buttons, logins, and ads to finally arrive at the core feature, they will abandon the app. Users are constantly multitasking-managing emails, commuting, texting, etc.-they won't appreciate an app with a bloated or complicated interface.

Context is another key. A mobile strategy understands its users' behavioral patterns, location, and characteristics. This is also known as user context. As mobile technology has matured, it has become a device capable of achieving tasks like refilling prescriptions, shopping, navigation, etc. while on the move. As users proceed with these tasks, useful information such as their location and habits becomes available to those designing a mobile strategy. For example, if an app's target users heavily use hotels, information regarding their price preferences and preferred activities can impact the application's development in a significant way. The app may present unobtrusive suggestions for dining, drinking, and entertainment that align with each user's context.

The oft-overlooked final component of a successful marketing strategy is its fun factor. Basic utility will win over many customers, but an attractive user interface and sleek presentation will compete against similar apps that stumble on fun. In the end, the app must not only meet the users' needs, but also make it an enjoyable experience that they will wish to repeat, tell their friends about, and possibly augment with upgrades.

Strong mobile strategy finds a way to "get the word out" about the new app. Incentives often function as the most efficient means of doing marketing the new software. If a clothing retailer wishes to feature their new app, then offering a discount to those using the app will naturally encourage its adoption. In any industry, the app developer and its stakeholders should work together to agree on pertinent incentives and the best means of presenting them to the customer base.

Sound mobile strategy goes beyond releasing an app and pushing for its adoption; it tailors the app's functionality to the business's existing operational strategy. It must make a concerted effort to consider elements of convenience, user context, fun, and marketing throughout the development effort. As users turn to their smart devices for more and more tasks previously left to PCs or interpersonal transactions, demand for apps that make their lives easier will continue to accelerate.

Buying a Disney Vacation Club Timeshare

Having just been back from a week-long vacation at Walt Disney World near Orlando, and returned with more than we expected. My wife and I did all the WDW things and had a Saturday left over to leisurely relax. That is until we visited a kiosk on one of the properties that talked about the DVC or Disney Vacation Clubs. We arranged for a one hour tour of Saratoga Springs, a timeshare on the lake across from Downtown Disney. We had no intension of buying anything, but we did have some time to kill.

Now, first a brief word about our situation. We are semi-retired and run a web-based business out of the home. I have stock investments and three grown children, one still in college. We have seen other timeshares and agreed they are usually not good investments. Typically, they have many restrictions, are over-priced and more often than not offer properties in places you might never visit. For example, they are miles away from the beaches or main towns. Anyway, we did the tour out of morbid curiosity and the fact that it was a Disney resort.

They sent a van to our resort and drove us over to the sprawling 1000 room resort. Once we arrived, we were pleasantly surprised. The massive project composed of three-story buildings was very well designed. There were several pools, restaurants, fitness center and spa and buses and a ferry to the rest of Walt Disney World. Once we finished the tour, the representative went over the details.

The timeshare system is simple. You buy a bunch of points beginning at 150 for around $15,000, give or take a bit. Then you get a brochure of properties that are grouped by collections. The best value and most flexible choices are those in Florida and one in Hilton Head, SC. Based on the time of year and size of room, you could get anywhere from a few days to a few weeks on the property. Disney also partners with a company called Interval International to add foreign destinations to the plan. There are restrictions like a minimum of a full week and other rules for those pieces of real estate. But Disney also provides complete travel packages like escorted tours and of course, their cruise line.

So what did we decide? Well, the most endearing feature is that it is a Disney timeshare, which means they do have high standards. Even the partners must adhere to the Disney tradition of excellence. But the downsides would be familiar to most timeshare buyers. There is an annual maintenance fee that begins around $850 after your have paid the $15,000, plus closing costs. That fee can go up every year and does, even if it is as little as 5%. Then there is a booking fee from $75 to $95 for every arrangement. If you book 5 separate, 2-day stays, you would pay 5 separate booking fees.

The good news is that there are no blackout dates but you need to book far enough in advance to secure the room at the property of your choice. Another plus is that you use one agent and one phone number for all arrangements, even for restaurant and transportation reservations. The locations for most of the timeshares are good; some are four and five star resorts, but those use the most points, of course. Also, the more popular times of year require more points as well. Okay, so what's the bottom line?

You could do worse than buy a Disney timeshare. If you plan to go to Disney World on a regular basis, then this is for you. There are numerous member discounts from park fees to souvenirs and restaurants. The Saratoga Springs timeshare lasts 47 years. You can pass that onto your children, without any penalties. Or have them use the points while your still around. It's all up to you. There are also DVC timeshare re-sales available at a lower cost, but I can't endorse them because they are not connected to Disney. Do your own research online. But the discussion forums I've visited have nothing but praise for DVC and all the various properties. If you have ever considered a timeshare but were as skeptical as us, look into DVC. We are thinking of buying three, one for each child and their future children. They could still be using it 47 years from now and they would have already been paid for. And who doesn't love a Disney vacation?

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing A Condo Unit

Due to the rapid urbanization, a lot of countries and states have developed and maximized the use of their lands to accommodate not only the need for infrastructure development to support its economy but also to supply its' population with decent and quality housing. Since there are small countries which cannot afford to give their people with their own individual lands to build their houses, high-rise developments such as condominiums, hotels, apartments and real estate became the answer. There can be several factors to take into consideration when choosing a condominium.

Location

Choosing a condo is akin to starting a business. Location is very important whether you are single or you have a family. The place should be, as much as possible, strategically located. The proximity of the place from where you work should be given consideration. Remember that one of the reasons why you are buying your own place. And that is all because you want convenience. Should it be accessible through major roads and thoroughfares? Is it near schools, hospitals and other major business establishments? Its nearness to major public amenities does not only satisfy your physical needs but also determines the true value of the assets you are acquiring. When you are buying a condominium you are not just buying a place to live in, you are buying an investment!

Type of Unit

You are buying a real estate property that should conform to your personal need, capacity and character. There are several real estate companies that offer a variety of units in a single development. You can get a unit in a condominium that has 1, 2, 3 or even 4 rooms depending on your need. If you thrive in class and luxury, you can get a penthouse which is located in the highest part of the condo building. The important thing is that you get a unit that will make you feel happy and satisfied.

Amenities

City living is all about convenience. You want to buy a place that will give you not only what you want but will also make your life easier. We are not talking here of standard facilities like elevators, laundry rooms and the likes. We mean the extras like recreational and sporting facilities. Sometimes when you get home after a hard day's work and you feel like doing something else outside your unit, it would be nice if you can do it without leaving the building. If you are a fitness buff, then a condominium with a gym will be a suitable choice. If you are tired and you don't want to cook, then a place that has restaurants or cafes would be perfect. Condo buildings that offer little extras like these make them great choices.

Developer

Getting to know the developer is very vital in choosing a condominium property. Generally, units in a condominium building are pre-sold, that is, they sell the units while the construction is in progress. If you are buying a unit that is not yet finished, make a study on the track record and reputation of the developer. It is always best to consider companies that have excellent previous records in condominium development. You wouldn't want to be left out in the cold trying to get your money back in case the building construction comes into a halt. There are associations of real estate companies which can help you check the track record of a developer of a condominium.

Cost

Cost covers everything that has to do with the money that you will spend in your condominium. The buying price of the unit should be reasonable enough and within your capacity. Check out for other charges not stated in the price showed to you by the developer. Be sure that the company is straight with you about the price of the unit you intend to buy. Get to know other expenses that may come up when you decide to start living in your condo. Inquire about association dues and other pertinent information regarding the maintenance costs.

Cheap Days Out in Birmingham

Everyone needs a cost effective entertainment. United Kingdom has got many places that fit the budget of many tourists. Outing in the cities like Birmingham can also be packed into our pockets as it has got a wide variety of attractions that can be visited at a low cost.

Alton Towers

Theme parks are the greatest outing spots in any town. But the cost involved might make one drop the option. But Alton Towers in the Birmingham city offers a great variety of entertainment at a low cost. One can enjoy all kinds of games, rides, water activities, and many more shows with a common fee. This is one of the largest visited tourist spot in England where nearly three million people make a visit every year.

This Alton towers is situated in the grounds of the Staffordshire country estate. This theme park offers nearly thirty exciting rides. The thrilling roller coasters and other spooky attractions are the added attractions to the park. Many activities are designed and developed which are targeted on youngsters.

Sea Life Centre

This is the largest aquarium in the city of Birmingham which hosts almost five thousand species of marine creatures. This aquarium offers several entertaining activities. One can have a close look of the sea life by walking through the tunnel. There is an interactive Rock pool from where one can touch and hold sea creatures like starfish and crab. Sea animals are also fed by the visitors. The visitors can also have a swim with the fishes in the aquarium with the accessories provided there.

There are lot of other entertaining activities like, feeding demonstrations, turtle breeding and 4D films. This is a highly cost effective and informative spot to be visited and one can know about rare marine species and help in protecting them.

Warwick Castle

Located in the bend of the famous river Avon is this England's most famous Warwick castle. It was named as the best castle in UK. The castle is at easy reach from the city of Birmingham and hence it attracts a lot of visitors. There are many beautiful gardens in the castle that one has to explore and enjoy the beauty of nature. The castle is considered as an archeologically important monument by the government and it is highly protected against any change.

There are many shows conducted inside the castle. It includes the flight of Eagle show, the sword show and many other live shows. There are small dramas shown every night saying the history of the castle. Other musical and dance events are also conducted in the castle.

Cadbury World

Cadbury chocolate company created this world of chocolate especially for cocoa lovers and kids. There are around five million visitors every year to this world of chocolate. It has become the largest attraction of leisure travellers around the world.

One can know about the history of chocolates and the manufacturing process of various candies. There are many games and events based on chocolates that are conducted inside the factory. One can also be innovative in making one's own candy. The Cadbury world is one of the best entertaining attractions in Birmingham.

A Basic Guide to Chiang Mai, Thailand

Overview:

Set in the northern province of the same name, Chiang Mai is Thailand's 5th most populous city and is known as the 'Rose of the North'. Surrounded by mountains and beautiful countryside, Chiang Mai is much greener and significantly quieter than the capital Bangkok and attracts over 5 million visitors each year.

Both the largest and most culturally significant city in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai was at one time the capital of the ancient Lanna Kingdom. Meaning literally 'Kingdom of Million Rice Fields' The Kingdom of Lanna was centred in modern day Thailand between the 13th and 18th centuries and Chiang Mai was founded and built in 1296 AD to succeed Chiang Rai as its capital.

Until fairly recently, the 1920's, it was accessible only by elephant trek or an arduous river journey meaning that much of it's distinctive charm was kept intact.

In 2012 Chiang Mai was listed as one of TripAdvisor's 25 Best Destinations in the World, the only Thai location to make the list.

What to do/see:

Chiang Mai is a stunning city full of temples, gardens and museums so it's an ideal city for just walking around and seeing what you come across. The city centre known as the historical centre is still surrounded by a moat and some sections of the old city wall still remain.

With over 300 Buddhist Temples ('Wat' in Thai) there are far to many to mention here but perhaps the most famous is Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep which dates back to 1383 and is depicted in the cities emblem. Of the more central temples Wat Phra Singh in the historical centre is perhaps the most well known and is well worth a visit.

If you're looking to buy local crafts Ratchadamneon Rd hosts the main night street market every Sunday.

Chiang Mai also offers courses on a wide range of activities and courses from Thai cooking to Muay Thai to Buddhism.

Thai massages are of course very popular and there is an abundance of spa's throughout the city including one run by the Women's Correctional Institute aimed at rehabilitating offenders back into the community by giving them jobs and teaching them new skills.

Cuisine:

Much like Bangkok there is a large range of food but with some off its own specialties. Khao soi is a northern Thai dish consisting of dry yellow wheat noodles on top of a curry broth, highly recommended.

If you're hankering for some home comforts Chiang Mai boosts a wide range of international restaurants offering dishes from round the world.

Climate:

As you would expect for northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has a tropical wet dry climate more temperate than the south. The weather is warm to hot year round normally peaking March to June before the wet season comes (July to Oct) and the cool season Nov to Feb.

Tips:

Citizens of most countries can enter Thailand by air without a visa for a visit of up to 30 days, land crossings for up to 15.

To arrange longer stays, travel, tours or to book accommodation use a cheap calls to Thailand service to save yourself money prior to your Journey.

Chiang Mai International Airport handles both domestic and International flights. Various airlines run multiple daily flights to and from Bangkok including budget airline Air Asia.

Choosing Serviced Apartments in Birmingham, UK

Choosing an apartment in Birmingham will mostly depend on what you are in Birmingham for and the kind of accommodation you are looking for. Birmingham is referred to as the "Second City" in the UK and it's the largest British city outside of London. Its central location also means that it's very convenient as a "half way" point and the place has much to offer for businesses, residents and visitors seeking leisure experiences.

Birmingham is a particularly good location for serviced apartments and provides a great base for business meetings, shopping trips and weekends away. Of course there are a wealth of hotels in the area too, but the serviced apartment option is becoming increasingly popular, perhaps largely due to the fact that apartments seem to offer a much freer way of spending a few days (or in some cases longer) away from home. In comparison, some hotel accommodation can seem extremely restrictive, with limited space and set meal times often proving prohibitive for groups or those on a tight daily schedule.

If you are in town for a weekend of shopping, then you certainly won't be disappointed! Many of the apartments in Birmingham enjoy a city centre location, so that means a walk of just a few minutes will take you to all of your favourite shops. The Bullring (Birmingham's main shopping area) is right in the heart of the town and offers pretty much anything you might want or need in terms of shops and places to eat or drink. If the boys get a little tired of shopping, they can quite easily head off to the cinema and see a movie or if it's match day, they can enjoy some football at St Andrews or Villa Park, where Birmingham City and Aston Villa, respectively play.

If your shopping is weighing you down, why not quickly pop back to your apartment, unload and then head out again for round two! With shopping done, movies watched and soccer enjoyed, it's easy to go "home" and get refreshed before either relaxing in your city pad and preparing something in the fully fitted kitchen or heading out to one of the hundreds of available nearby restaurants and eateries!

All the same benefits apply to business travellers, that great central location which is handy for all transport connections and all those shops and places to dine. The serviced apartment also proves to be a great place to relax and unwind after a day of stressful business endeavours

Inch by Inch

The three-year-olds were singing "up like a rocket, down like the rain, 'round and 'round like a choo-choo train" to demonstrate how well they could hold their bows to their pint-size violins. Staying home with Nick, it was my husband who enjoyed the distinct privilege of reveling, firsthand, in these toddler's first steps. I only got the post-recital smile--the one I always get when I think about the tiniest musicians among us--as I listened to the complete run-down of their afternoon in Westport. We'd been through that drill four times. The "taca-taca-stop-stop" rhythms on the A-and E-strings; the "Mississippi is a River"; and enough Twinkle Twinkle Little Star's to practically send us orbiting around them. I'm the first to admit: after the fourth kid got through the "twinkles" I honestly thought that if I never heard that song again, it would be just fine by me.

But then in talking about the recital over the first dinner we've shared alone during the past three weeks, I couldn't help but romanticize the whole process. As I reflected back on the past thirteen years of violin lessons, I thought about those first recital pieces, about dressing up Cristina in hand-smocked dresses with white tights and black patent leather shoes, and about the first time two of them played Bach's Concerto for Two Violins onstage one Mother's Day. Yesterday, just as my daughter got on stage to perform, the school director gave a couple minute speech of encouragement for the other parents. For those with babes barely "twinkling" needed to understand that, before long, they too would witness mastery up close and personal. If only they could stick with it long enough.....

Sticking with anything is hard enough. In this harried world of ours, where emails have replaced handwritten letters; "IM" has replaced leisurely phone chats; and digital pix sent over the internet have replaced personal visits: it's no wonder that few of us have the patience for mastery. For enduring the day-to-day until the picture is 100% complete. During this time in which we find ourselves, business--and life--moves at the speed of thought. And we can hardly wait for that thought to be finished so we can move on to the next one. (Ever catch yourself finishing someone else's sentence?)

We're great starters, each one of us. Because starting something only requires that we overcome the law of inertia, (and maybe a dollop of temptation, too). Getting our bottoms off the sofa and over to the art studio to paint or our legs off the footstool and over to the treadmill to run both require overcoming inertia and the temptation of relaxing with too much TV. Finishing the after-school cupcake so as to pull the violin out of the case not only requires overcoming inertia; it requires serious discipline as well. But each act is far easier than incorporating it into your everyday reality. Indeed, going from the first piece in a music book to a full-fledged concerto is a different thing entirely. (As is going from a beginning painter to one who exhibits at galleries or a soft, overweight couch-sitter to a hard-bodied athlete who enjoys both physical strength and aerobic endurance.)

When I reveled today in hearing my daughter perform a drop-dead gorgeous movement from a concerto by Handel (in a post-recital private concert just for me), I was caught off-guard by its parallel to the roughly three-year endurance battle that our son is facing now with leukemia. As my daughter is sailing through mastery, I couldn't help but think of all the violin battles we've had over the years when she was barely taking those first steps of musicianship. Of hating to practice, of hating to play scales, of hating those nasty etudes. The eyeball-rolling, the door-slamming, and the stomping of the feet on each step up the hardwood staircase. And yet here we were, enjoying the fruits of all of those days of practice. It was a goose bump moment that could not be denied. It was proof-positive that mastery comes in inches, and not in miles. And it was a lesson to me that battles of health, or catastrophe, or financial hardships are not fought three years out. They're fought inch by inch.

It was my girlfriend, Lisa, who sent me the "inch by inch is a cinch" line. She met me with it when I needed to hear it the most. She met me with it when I was trying to mush three years of chemotherapy treatments into one day. When I was trying to calculate the math of a three-year chemo roadmap with high school graduation and the first two years of college away from home. Of three years of immune suppression with three other kids and an airplane-traveling husband during flu season. And of six months of long drives to the out-of-town clinic with New England snowstorms.

Yet I must claim "inch by inch" these days. I claim it when Nick's hematologist lays out the day's plan. I claimed it on Friday when we were sent back to the hospital for the day and another overnight stay. And I even got Dr. Joe claiming it with me. Together, we agree to not worry about what next week--or next year--will bring; it's simply too much to think about. We agree to tackle the battle inch by inch.

Whatever your personal struggle or your present-day worry: adopt an "inch by inch is a cinch" plan of positive action. As I've said often: just ask yourself at the end of each day: "Did I move forward?" And if you did--even by an inch--you can sleep soundly in the assurance that you will triumph in this journey of life. One day not far from now, inch by inch, you'll celebrate mastery. You'll celebrate wholeness. You'll celebrate complete healing.

Top Golf Courses to Play in Colorado

With rolling hills of forest, Soaring Mountain peaks, golden plains set under blue-marble sky and colorful swaths of desert, Colorado terrain is a fantastic canvas for global elite golf-course architect who craft the finest mountains, desert and forested courses in the nation. For all golfers of all abilities, this means unforgettable rounds of eighteen holes after one another. Adding to Colorado's attributes, lucky links, and golf is an try for the entire year in most regions particularly around Colorado Springs, Denver and Grand Junction. Golf courses in Colorado are broken out by terrains.

Mountain-Style Colorado Golf Courses

There are many mountain golf courses in Colorado with lots of them located close to major resort towns. One golf course which gets consistent rave review is the Raven Golf club which is at Three Peaks in Silverthorne. With marvelous elevation changes from green to tee, this golf course weaves its way along ponds through aspen groves with fantastic Gore Range as its backdrop. In Eagle, west of Vail, the Golf Club and Red Sky Ranch have two marvelous courses which represent a tough test for golfers and unique glorious tee-box vistas of the Sawatch Mountains. Other Colorado mountain-style golf courses encompass Telluride Golf Club. Keeping the eye on the ball and off towering peaks which encloses this Club is the toughest challenge when a golfer is teeing off at the breathtaking course which is perched at 9,500 feet above sea level; Haymaker Golf course which is owned by Steamboat Springs city is also one of a kind and the first to achieve certification via the Audubon International Signature Program in the year 200.

Forested Golf Courses

The one of a kind landscape between Colorado Springs and Denver with Scrub-oak covered ravines and pine mesas have remained a hot golfing spot since 1981 when Jack Nicklaus designed Castle Pine Golf Club. Even though Castle pine is Private, The nearby ridge at Castle Pine North, which is a public course which has a forested back nine that is riddled with hidden hazards and blind corners encompassing a towering ponderosa pine. At the south of the Castle Rock close to the town of Larkspur, there is a Golf Club at bear dance. This Golf club was voted the Colorado's best overall Public/Resort course by the Avid Golfer Magazine.

Desert & High Plateau Links Courses

One other new course that has generated a great buzz, Four Mile Ranch Golf Club which is situated near the Canon City and Cougar Canyon Golf Links which is situated in Trinidad. Four Miles Ranch has the merit of an arid landscape which is synonymous with creating unique challenges for golfers, encompassing greens which play hide-and-seek just behind the rocky hogbacks. Besides, the green fees are very affordable in consideration to the press attention it has got from Colorado Avid Golfer Magazine, Travel + Leisure and Golf Digest. Cougar Canyon uses prairie, pinyin-juniper woodlands, and arroyos well which create a Scottish-links feel and vistas of Spanish Peaks.

5 Unknown Services Funeral Homes Offer

Funeral homes are often thought of as a place to for arranging and holding traditional funerals. Lately, it has become popular for cremation services because the number of cremations performed has been on the rise. However, there are many services that they offer that many people are completely unaware of. The fact is that they go beyond the services they are well known for and offer other services that are also helpful for those who must plan funerals. To discover five other services that these businesses offer, keep reading.

Many people do not realize that the funeral home director is not just a casket salesman but also can be a grief counselor. While there are some directors who do not offer this service, there are many who are certified grief counselors and can help you through your time of need. This makes the director not only a person to turn to when you need to make funeral arrangements but a trustworthy professional who can assist you in easing the pain of loss.

The funeral home is an all-encompassing service provider when it comes to funeral arrangements. Some people struggle to write a fitting obituary for the departed, often unaware of the fact that obituary writing is a service funeral homes provide. There is no reason to look any further than your director for getting a professionally written obituary that honors the life of the departed.

Funeral parlors also call the florist and get the flowers delivered. They often have connections with local florists and can get the right floral arrangements for the service. Their years of experience in the funeral business grants them the expertise needed to pick out flowers that are suitable. You can tell them what kind or color of flowers you would like or leave the decision up to them.

For some people paperwork can be one of the biggest hassles associated with a funeral. This is not just about the forms that must be filled out in contract with the funeral parlor but also death certificates, insurance forms, birth certificates, and much more. All of this running around can be hard to deal with for a person in grief. Yet, funeral homes can help obtain all these necessary documents.

They can also arrange the accommodations for out of town guests who are arriving for the funeral. The director can make reservations at hotels and even provide snacks. Many offer full concierge services.

There are many who think that when planning a funeral contacting the funeral home is only one thing to do on a very long list. The fact is that most tasks people need to cover for funerals can be handled by the funeral parlor that they choose. If you are trying to make funeral arrangements take advantage of the services offered by your local funeral home.

Back to Work or School After the Long Summer? What Are You Going to Do With Your Pooch?

You've been pampering your pooch all summer long with outdoor walks, hours full of dog park fun, and beautiful days spent on the beach. Well now that summer is over, NOOOO!!!! IT CAN"T - well it is, don't force your canine to sit home alone all day. Research boarding, doggy day cares, training schools, or even boot camps (if you have the funds of course). He'll get the chance to have great activities and learn all day while you're at school, work, or whatever it is you do.

Locating a great place to leave your dog, a place you can trust, can be nerve racking. But I am here to give advice into what to look for and help through the process.

The very first step? Research! And research more than one place. Use you friends, online communities you may be apart of, Google searches, etc. Since the place you ultimately decide on will be caring for your baby, you're going to want to ask anything and everything you can think of. Bring a pen and paper to record your notes and ask for a tour of the facility. Make sure to check for proper licensing, which should be a must! This is important for reasons such as special needs, feeding, and most important if some sort of medical emergency arises.

Next, is to get all the important details. Where will he sleep, play or eat? What kind of accommodations are made for shy old and sick dogs? What are the schedules for walking, how many dogs are walked at once, that sort of questioning. And the inevitable question, what is the cost? Though this appears to be a ton of questions, you want to make absolutely sure your dog is safe and will be well cared for.

A suggestion I always practice, are dry runs of the facility to see how well your pooch handles being separated from you. Many places will provide progress reports and will allow your dog time to assimilate. Some facilities also host play groups or watch times as well. These can provide great chances to meet staff, the trainers, and observe how well your dog interacts with other dogs in that environment.

After you've made your choice, you will want to specify an emergency plan for your pooch. If for some reason he gets injured, you will want to know he will receive the best care. Provide phone numbers for your home, cell and backup of friends, family, or spouse.

There are a few types of places you can look into

Day Care: This is a great option for people who work long hours. You drop your dog off before work and pick him up when you're done. Your dog will get walked a few times during the day and get to play and socialize with other pups. Most places don't feed our dog for day care so take that into consideration. This is the cheapest option at about $15 to $50 a day, but you can put your dog in day care for five days a week or as little as one to keep costs low.

Boarding: Dog boarding is when you leave your dog overnight. These facilities will often feed and walk your dog and have play time throughout the day. The place can range from boarding dogs in cages to luxury dog hotels where your pup has his own room. Depending on the scene, boarding can range from $20 a night to $100. Make sure you're aware of the cost up front.

Training Schools and Boot Camp: These places will not only care for your pup with walks, play time, and feedings but they will teach him basic commands and obedience for you. What's better than coming home to a perfectly trained pooch? These classes are smaller and will be the most expensive option.

Don't know where to start? Check out these national sites that'll help you find the ideal situation for you and your pooch. But remember, ask around and check out the place first. Helpful resources can be Find Pet Care and Best Friends Pet Care.

Explore Incredible India Tourism - Popular Attractions

Everyone wants to have a well-organized trip. Nobody wants to miss any tourist attraction associated with that particular destination. There are innumerable tourist attractions to see in India that can fascinate you. From natural beauty, to architectural wonders, to beautiful temples, to thrilling adventure sports, to unique culture & tradition, to colorful fairs & festivals, to blazing deserts, to beautiful beaches, to serene backwaters, to enchanting rivers, to verdant hill stations, to exotic wildlife sanctuaries & national parks, India has these all to offer its visitors. After reading this article you will have a fair ideas about what you should not miss on your incredible India tour.

Taj Mahal - The Symbol of Love

Majestically located in Agra (Uttar Pradesh), the Taj Mahal is an architectural marvel and India's star tourist attraction. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Constructed in graceful white marble, it is a masterpiece of Mughal architecture. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the loving remembrance of his most darling wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

The beauty of Taj never fails to lure visitors coming from different parts of the world. This magnificent historical monument is visited by millions of tourists each year.

Rajasthan Forts & Palaces

Rajasthan, the land of kings, is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in India. It is the largest Indian state and regarded as one of the most vibrant and colorful states in the country.

This historical state is renowned internationally for its magnificent forts, palaces, havelis, mansions, temples and other monuments. Rightly, it is sometimes described as the "Land of Monuments. You will find many architectural marvels in this state which will lure you.

Some of the notable monuments of the state include Jaipur City Palace, Udaipur City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, Albert Hall Museum, Jantar Mantar, Junagarh Fort, Lalgarh Palace, Ajmer Dargah Sharif, Fort Mandawa Castle, Shekhawati Havelis, Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhawan Palace, Lake Palace, Monsoon Palace, Chittorgarh Fort and Kumbhalgarh Fort.

Goa Beaches & Churches

Goa, the smallest Indian state, is a perfect destination for perfect holiday in India. It is renowned for its beautiful beaches and intricate churches & convents. Palolem, Dona Paula, Anjuna Calangute, Baga, Bogmalo, Vagator, Colva, etc are some of the most popular beaches of the state where you can enjoy lots of fun activities and water sports.

Se Cathedral, Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Church of S. Caetano, Basilica of Bom Jesus, St. Michael's Church and Church of Our Lady of Springs famous churches of Goa. Basilica of Bom Jesus is the most popular church in the state. It is declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Kerala Backwaters & Houseboats

Kerala backwaters are among most sought after tourist attractions of incredible India tourism. Backwaters in Kerala are a large network of several serene & scenic water bodies. It is the finest example of unique ecosystem; and provides visitors a way to see the fantastic beauty of nature like never before.

The best way to explore the serene and scenic backwaters of Kerala is a houseboat cruise. You will find many houseboats that ply on the waterways. A houseboat cruise will provide you a unique experience that will last for lifetime. You'll find truly luxury accommodation facilities on board the boat like a deluxe hotel.

Alleppey, Kumarakom, Kottayam, Kozhikode, Thottappally and Thiruvallam are notable destinations for backwater tourism in Kerala.

There are many other interesting tourist places and attractions which you will love to explore on your incredible India tour.

Importance of Choosing the Right Conference Venue

Successful promotions are considered as an important part of the big art of handling business ventures. The art demand from its hosts due attention and seriousness in all matters. This may range from the client meetings to the launch of a product. Selecting a proper conference venue is one such aspect which should be done by meeting all the criteria it demands. This is because it is one such venue which can even alter the decisions to be taken at the conference and thereby change the future of the venture. It is also an important aspect when viewed from the competition and comparison angles prevailing in today's business world.

There are various factors that should be considered while choosing a conference venue. This may include the location, size, compatibility with the purpose of conference etc. As far as the location of the conference is considered, it is important to check the proximity of the venue with transportation and accommodation facilities provided for the clients. If international delegates are expected, then it is always advisable to choose a place that is near to the airport and the hotels where they are staying. This can help in meeting issues of time constraints, traffic jam and even reduce the tiredness of the clients.

Another important aspect to be taken into consideration is the size of the venue. Choosing a place of required area and related facilities can help in handling the right number of clients. Always make sure that the venue needs a spacing that is neither too large nor too small. Focusing on the settings of the conference can add to the impression of the clients. Ensuring the full working of amenities like uninterrupted power supply, lights, air condition and the presentation systems can help in the smooth conduct of the meeting.

Selecting and finalizing an apt conference venue is not a Herculean task, thanks to the booming sections of meeting planners. There are many such firms and professionals who specialize in arranging all the necessities for the clients and thereby ensuring their comfort. Many such service providers are either independent organizations or individual workers, or work as a part of event management firms. Big corporate firms will have them as employees on contract basis. They apply creativity and imagination in areas like venue decoration, confirming the settings etc. Thus with a neat planning, a successful conference venue can be arranged and receive the benefits in final.

Explore Tortola Attractions With a Lagoon 38 Charter Yacht Tour

The British Virgin Islands provide some of the most gorgeous, relaxing and inviting inland and offshore experiences for tourists and local residents. Main islands that make up the territory include the Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, Anegada and Tortola islands. Travels to and around breathtaking islands, like Tortola, are generally done by standard boat or yacht, similar to the same way native residents like the Arawak and Carib Indians traveled between the islands years ago.

Tortola Island Charter Yacht Tours

Many companies offer charter yacht tours Tortola Island visitors can take advantage of, giving themselves the opportunity to explore the island, including its deep waterways, up close. As part of the cruises, bareboat as well as chartered tours led by an experienced captain regularly set sail from one of the island's port. Boats available for travelers and sightseers to choose from vary in size, features and accommodations. Each of the boats or yachts can comfortably seat several people. Included amongst the boats and yachts are vessels like the Island Spirit 37, the Lagoon 410, the Norseman 430 Lorimar, the Norseman 430 Whiskers, the Leopard 43, the Catana 47 and the spacious Lagoon 38.

Designed with covered and open spaces, yachts like the Lagoon 38 are generally equipped with a central dining area roomy enough for four people to sit down and enjoy a meal. Two other smaller dining areas, equipped with table and chairs, are also generally aboard the yachts. A shower, sleeping area with beds suited for two and a kitchen area with stove and sink and storage cabinets also come with yachts like the Lagoon 38. Although guests can cook their own meals they have the option to reserve a professional culinary artist to prepare their meals aboard an area boat while they spend a day and/or night at sea.

Tortola Yachts Visiting Area Attractions

By renting or leasing yachts like the Lagoon 38, travelers can enjoy exploring and learning more about area attractions, some of which may include Mount Healthy National Park, Smuggler's Cove, Boiling House, Sage Mountain National Park and Sky World. Additionally, a highly visited spot on Tortola that Barecat yachts typically stop at include the Manual Reef Marina, location of the island's Riteway Food Markets and several restaurants. If travelers want they can also design customized tours they want to go on while they lease a yacht for a few days or a week or longer.

Upon request, other services that come with rented cruises are escorted van trips to local land attractions like shopping centers and eateries such as the "Bomba Shack." Boat cell phones and scuba gear are also available upon request. Seasonal prices for renting a yacht may range from $3,000 to $5,000, with higher prices generally being offered during winter months. Charter cruises aboard area yachts may run for as long as 8 to 14 days.

As with other Tortola cruise companies, Barecat is a family owned and operated business. The husband and wife team who own Barecat have more than 30 years of tourism experience. They have worked in the yacht tourism industry since 1993. By booking tours early, visitors to Tortola may be able to schedule longer stays on the island, perhaps even combining cruises with overnight hotel stays. Guests are advised to compare prices on items like airport transportation, which is offered by some charter firms, and tickets to national parks.

Advantages of Travel and Leisure

When it is holiday time, people take a break from their normal work and relax mostly in a place away from home. This helps break boredom and also improve the relationship that people have in a family. Friends or colleagues at a work place can also decide to go and have fun during vacation. It is however quite advantageous to have the leisure after some period of time.

Employment opportunities

Due to the big number of people who go out to visit various places, it is good to cater for their needs. They will offer jobs to people who act as guides or even hotel operators. Professionals who work in such places are mandated to handle people from all over like tourists. It is thus their responsibility to offer world class service in terms of food and accommodation.

Moreover, people also visit historic sites where they admire their past. In such places, they require a driver and also a guide who will show them around. The various groups of people who give them such services thus earn a living which is quite important. Governments have also appreciated the move to increase the provision of such services to help reduce unemployment.

Cultural interaction

During leisure, people tend to be involved in different activities like dances and even games. When tourists from different countries meet and showcase their talents, other people get to admire them. Therefore, when they go back to their home area, they can introduce the same. It can be a new dressing code and also even new words which can be carried home.

It is also important to remember that there is a variety of foodstuffs which is offered during a visit to a certain place. When the food might have been cooked with some sort of creativity, they can also take the idea and transmit it to their friends back home. This can be like the spices added to food or even how a certain foodstuff can be eaten in combination with others.

Growth of the industry

Appreciating the benefits in business of travelling and having leisure has also been realized by the government. The state has welcomed investors to build more recreational facilities to help attract clients. This has also seen the growth and development of certain places as they attract many visitors.

Due to the many companies that have come up to offer such services, there is competition created. Adverts are thus made to help win the clients to one side. The media has therefore become an integral part in the success of such businesses. The newspapers, internet and also the television have made a great impact in the industry as they spread the message about certain travelling means, further.

Creativity

It is an activity that can be carried out even by the disabled. Therefore, their leisure is accompanied with travelling a lot using the technology of helping tools. It is also free as a person can organize on what to do and even how long to take without limits.

How To Successfully Start Your Own Business

Owning your own business is one of the most liberating activities that one could experience. The financial freedom involved and the spare time left over to enjoy quality time with family and friends is life changing. Reduce the stress of starting your own business by taking the following action steps:

Plan

The first thing that you should do is write a plan for your business. Businesses that are planned for have a higher chance of thriving than those that aren't. Know exactly what you want to do, the budget, the number of staff (if any) and the equipment needed. This helps things run smoothly and easily. A business plan keeps you focused hence preventing procrastination and wasting time.

Register

One of the legal steps that will be required of you is to register your business and business name. This will prevent future problems with the government and also protects your name from theft.

Advertise

You need to make your business known to other people. Take advantage of technology. Make use of all your media channels in addition to word of mouth. You can also ask your friends, family and business associates to spread the message about your company.

Be Unique

Do not be afraid to venture into territory others have not been before. Do some research in the niche market for your business and find out what your customers around are lacking. For instance there may not be a clothing store in the neighborhood and your customers are travelling long distances to find one. Take risks, get out of the comfort zone and be unique.

Ask for advise

If the type of business you are venturing into is new to you, find a coach or mentor who can give you advise and direction. Learning from successful others is definitely beneficial to you and your business' success.

Get help

Depending on the size of the business, delegate staff where need be. Do not over work yourself and deprive your family of your time and presence. If the work load is too much, hire an extra set of hands to handle things when your not available.

Running your own business can either be a fun activity or your worst nightmare. It all depends on your planning and readiness. Be sure to have as much information as possible on hand before starting.

Remember to give yourself enough time for rest. Keep good records. Have Fun!

Purchasing South Pacific Costa Rica Real Estate for Retirement

The Central American country of Costa Rica is bordered by water on the east and west, making it a popular retirement destination. Costa Rica divided into six regions, one of which is in the southern part of the country and borders the Pacific Ocean, causing it to be named the South Pacific region. People purchase South Pacific Costa Rica real estate for many reasons, including having a place to spend their work-free golden years.

South Pacific Costa Rica includes the Costa Rican rainforest, which is one of the most biologically diverse environments on Earth. This region is filled with exotic flora and fauna found nowhere else. It is also home to some of the most beautiful tropical beaches on the planet, which also happen to be blissfully remote. People buy land and property there in order to escape the bustling activity of other regions of this country.

Historical reliance on agriculture provides the South Pacific region with a very rural environment. The culture still reflects a "campesino," or countryman, lifestyle. At the same time, this region is oriented to tourism, offering the La Amistad International Park, shared with Panama, and Chirripo National Park. La Amistad covers 401,000 ha, equally split between the two countries. Chirripo Mountain, the highest peak in Costa Rica, is located in Chirripo National Park.

For those who love nature and a good adventure, the Osa Peninsula is the spot to reside within the South Pacific region. Drake Bay features a village called Agutijas that has several expensive vacation accommodations as well as many picturesque beaches and loads of tropical birds. The small city of Puerto Jimenez is convenient because it has an airport. Residents and visitors can easily access the beach villages of Cabo Matapalo and Carate from there.

Between May and November, four-by-four vehicles are recommended for transportation. Many of the roads are bumpy and unpaved and some area rivers do not feature bridges. Hiking up these rivers just ten minutes from Puerto Jimenez lands adventurers in one of several rainforest towns where a variety of wildlife can be seen.

Costa Rica real estate in the South Pacific region is perfect for retirees who want to maintain active lifestyles. They can explore the local parks, travel off the beaten path, visit amazing beaches, and observe unique wildlife. Properties range in size and price but something attractive and comfortable is usually available for any retirement budget.

Why Leading Chase Credit Cards Offer the Best Card Terms

Stories abound about the financial difficulties credit cards can cause, even if the qualifying standards are set pretty high. Our own spending habits are what gets us into trouble, but the issuers play their part in alleviating such woes through the incentives that they offer. It is these incentives that have placed leading Chase credit cards so high in the market rankings.

Of course, applicants with a good credit history tend to get the best offers. It is only to be expected that they get approval with low interest rates, and a range of discounts that make their new card affordable. But even for those of us with less than perfect records, there are benefits to enjoy.

However, it is important that applicants have a clear understanding of their needs and limitations before applying. In that way, the most suitable benefits can be secured. Here are three of the most popular Chase credit cards and the benefits they provide.

The Chase Platinum Card

The Platinum Card is one of the most popular cards on the market, but is designed for use by those of us with experience in using credit cards. As a leading Chase credit card, it boasts 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months. However, making the card feasible comes down to the cardholder and his or her ability to manage it well.

The fact is that, unlike with loans, card issuers place considerable importance on credit histories. Those of us with poor histories will be charged higher interest rates, and in some cases the 12-month introductory offer is reduced to 6 months or to 3 months, if not removed completely. Getting approval with low interest rates requires very good credit scores.

However, the purchasing points system is not affected by the credit score, so gift certificates and travel discounts are available to anyone who racks up enough points when using this Chase credit card.

The Chase Travel Platinum Card

Amongst the list of leading Chase credit cards is the Travel Platinum Card. The word Travel is significant, of course, because a travel mile is earned for every dollar spent on the card. This makes it ideal for those who travel frequently. Cruise companies, hotels, and car rental firms are part of the scheme, as well as a total of 250 airlines.

As usually, getting approval with low interest rates is certain for applicants with good credit histories. The card also features an introductory offer of 0% APR on purchases, but the annual card fee still applies. And, when the 12-month term of the offer comes to an end, the normal rate of 13.99% comes into effect.

From the list of Chase credit cards available, this card is used by both private or business travelers. So, families can afford to go that little bit further on vacation, and perhaps even upgrade their accommodation, making their stay more memorable.

The Chase Platinum Flexible Rewards Card

The Platinum Flexible Rewards Card provides an extra benefit in offering 1,000 points on the first purchase made, regardless of the size of the purchase. Of course, it also boasts no annual fees and 0% APR for the first 12 months, so in many respects, it is a leading Chase credit card with a special bonus.

However, while initial approval with low interest rate is assured with 0% APR, this is dependent on the applicant having a very good credit history. And in any case, the rate jumps to 13.99% after the first year. Still, for those who qualify for this Chase credit card, the benefits are extremely good.

Walking Holidays Abroad - Discovering the Hidden Side of Italy

Walking holidays abroad too often involve the safest, commercially established routes. In Italy, many people may not deviate from the popular tour destinations: a visit to greater Rome or Pisa's major architectural wonders. But there are so many endearing things in Italy that are often left out, and these destinations are definitely worth checking out.

The Italian Lakes
Living in a mansion overlooking an Italian lake is just one of James Bond's favourite things; while we cannot really aspire to live in style like the UK's most famous fictional spy, we can explore the very same breathtaking places, if only for a few days. Make your walking holidays abroad unforgettable by seeking out walks that include the areas around the lakes Como and Maggiore, with their stunning vistas and lush countryside feel. And while you're at it, perhaps you could venture forth for an exploration of the lesser-known (but still gorgeous) lakes of Lugano and Orta, which happen to be nearby.

The good news is that touring the Italian lakes is often included (or can be easily added to the itinerary) if you're visiting Venice. There are myriad dining and accommodation options on guided walking holidays here, with many well-appointed 17th- or 18th-century villas in the region that are now converted into hotels. You shouldn't miss the opportunity of spending a few days in such a villa, such as those located on the shore of Lake Como.

Enchanting Puglia
Puglia is so beautiful yet it receives a very small percentage of the millions of tourists that visit Italy each year. You can walk its centuries-old country roads and village streets and you can feel the thick, exhilarating air of history. And there lies the rub-with relatively few tourists visiting it, you're assured of visiting a place with its local color and culture largely intact. Indeed, planning your walking holidays abroad should include a few days or an entire week of guided walks throughout Puglia-explore its old castles, gorgeous country, amazing forests, spectacular coastlines and undulating plains in as leisurely a way as possible. After all, it's not like all Puglia has to offer is its stunning sights: its local cuisine, while essentially rustic, is cheerful and uplifting.

A Sicilian 'Offensive'
The large island of Sicily is both famous and notorious, depending on what piece of literature or movie you've been swayed by. It is complex and intricate and it is a great shame not many tourists include an exploration of Sicilian sights and flavors when they're planning their walking holidays abroad. But Sicily can definitely stand on its own as an important tourist destination. As the largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily is not something you can finish off in a day, considering the richness and diversity of its culture and history. In fact, the best explorations here could last at least two full weeks - starting in Palermo, then Taormina, then outward in the Aeolian islands. And if you think that's all there is to it, there's actually more - yes, the food. Sicilians love eating, and because there are actually different distinct cultural regions throughout the island, you can enjoy a diversity of flavors: from Palermo's culinary delights, to the unforgettable ways those who live in the Aeolian and Toarmina cook and prepare their seafood. It's truly a feast for the senses.

Phu Quoc Paradise - Bathing on Crystal Clear Waters

If you want to wade among the virgin waters of a secluded beach, and while away the afternoon, staring at the clear blue skies, then nothing beats swimming on Phu Quoc's island beach paradise. You could do this on your next Vietnam tours.

For normal beach goers like yourself, you might be putting up with litters and empty water bottles scattered along busy beaches or you might have swam with plastic garbage bags floating around. But you will be surprised to find none of those on this beautiful island.

If you think you can only find such secluded beaches by going to a lone island in the middle of the Pacific, think again! Phu Quoc offers secluded clean coastline with you not having to go to the ends of the world. You could actually go swimming on crystal clear waters or go diving into the deep blue sea a few meters away from the airport. This is the best water adventure you could ever have on your Vietnam tour packages.

Phu Quoc Island

The island, which is 12 kms from the southernmost tip of Cambodia and 40 kms from the mainland Vietnam town Ha Tien, is the largest island of Vietnam. It's the most accessible Vietnam tour's destination since it has its own airport and you could also travel from the mainland via fast watercrafts that glide smoothly over the gentle surf of the Gulf of Thailand.

Arriving at the island is convenient because cab services from your booked Vietnam tour package will pick you up either from the airport or from the port. A quick stop at the souvenir shop allows you to pick up items you can bring home with you. Your accommodation is not very far and you could get there within 30 mins. This is very convenient since you would like to swim in the ocean waters right away.

Speaking of swimming, you will not be disappointed; hotel resorts are built right beside the ocean. That means you could drop your bags in your room and run to the beach right away! This island is simply a beach goers' heaven.

Clean Beaches, Pristine Coastline

If this isn't great enough, wait! There's more! Stepping into the beach is like stepping into the Shangri-la of all the world's beaches. The fine sand powder is firm and soothing under your feet. The beach is very clean and aside from the occasional drift woods and coconut husks lying around, it is spotless. But wait till you hit the waters. It is gentle and warm. It soothes your aching muscles from the trip and calms your whole body from stress. It is very relaxing because on this Vietnam tour haven, you will be taken to a completely different universe. A universe composed of clean air, crystal clear waters and fine white sand. In fact the beaches on this island earn "The Most Cleanest and Beautiful Beach of the World" in February, 2008 by ABC news!

So if you want to swim on the best beach of the world, go to Phu Quoc Island and be amazed.

Project Management Issues - International Contract

The major issues faced by a project manager while handling international projects depends on the particular region. Generally, the issues that are encountered by a project manager while handling international project are:

  1. Language- Language can be an issue while handling abroad projects. Communication is very important for the success of a project and the person who is responsible for the success of the project is always expected to be actively communicating with all the stakeholders. While handling an international task, a translator could be required for proper communication which can also be a headache for the project manager.
  2. Culture, Religion and Norms- It is obvious that while working away from home, they will be exposed to the new cultures, religions and norms. Even though these factors might not make a big difference on the overall success, they could find it difficult to keep up with these factors.
  3. Technology- Depending on the region the work is being done, the technology might not be same. Most regions use almost the same technology to perform any task, but sometimes it could be very different from the common (advanced) technology especially if they are working on a rural area of a developing nation. In that case, they will have no option but to get familiar with the available technology during the course which can be challenging for them.
  4. Laws and Regulations- Last but not the least, laws and regulations becomes a new issue for them while working on an international level. This becomes bigger issue if the project is running with minimum budget and there are not enough legal advisers.
  5. Personal- Personal factors can an hassle while working on a different part of the world. Adaptability becomes crucial. For example, Some professionals do not like travelling and staying away from home for longer period of time.

These are the major issues that is possibly faced by any manager while working anywhere around the globe. These issues differs from one place to the another. If they got their training in the developed countries ended up executing a project in the rural area of a developing nation, more than likely they will face more than one of those described issues. Those who are managing project for the first time in an international will find it more difficult. There are some professionals who regularly works for the international projects on a regular basis and use the experience to quickly adapt to the changes they face while executing the project.