Tuesday, July 25, 2017

More For Less: Luxury Travel Tips Everyone Needs To Know!




We all like to travel, but not everyone can afford a luxury holiday. Unfortunately, the best vacations are expensive and tend to break the bank. So, the ordinary families that have a budget usually miss out on the finer things in life. But, what if you could experience luxury travel without hurting your bank balance? Would you be interested? Of course, you would! Who wouldn’t?! The good news is that a luxury holiday is a distinct possibility as long as you know the tricks of the trade.

Luckily, you have come to the right place because this post is going to focus on vacationing in style on a budget. Without further ado, here are the hacks that will make it happen. Enjoy!

Research Value For Money

Prices in some places of the world can be astonishingly high. Western Europe, for example, is a place where almost every country is as expensive as its neighbor. However, this isn’t something you would know unless you have been there before. So, the key is to fill in the gaps in your knowledge to avoid getting caught out by extortionate prices. With a little bit of investigative prowess, it is easy to figure out that Europe isn’t good value for money. Instead, Southeast Asia is a much better option. In places like Thailand, the cost of living is far cheaper than the West, yet the quality is as high. The same goes for countries in Africa to South and Central America.


Go Out Of Season

Now that the summer is here, the temptation to get away is intoxicating. But, this is one of the rare occasions when your instincts are wrong. Well, they are if you don’t want to suffocate under mountains of debt. Because the schools are no longer in session, families use the summertime as a base to travel. As a result, the prices increase due to the fact that there is greater demand. It’s is simple economics. From your point of view, the rise in price is something you want to avoid, and you can. All you have to do is wait a couple of weeks and book a holiday out of season. Once the demand decreases, the prices follow suit meaning you can get the same vacation for a fraction of the cost. If you are worried about taking the kids out of school, don’t be. There are more holidays than the summer recess, after all.

Go Off The Beaten Track

To be honest, that should read ‘go slightly off the beaten track.’ The reality is that lots of families can’t go out of season because they only get a one-time slot. So, they have to go in the summer, but they don’t want to spend a fortune. Does this scenario sound familiar? If it does, there is a solution, and that is to set up camp outside the main tourist spots. Towns and resorts that aren’t on the main strip are a lot cheaper than their counterparts, and that allows you to cut costs. Okay, you might not be in the center of the action, yet that doesn’t matter. Most towns have perfectly good public transport that will get you back to base in less than fifteen minutes. A little commute is a small sacrifice to pay.


Shop Around For Accommodation

A hotel is an obvious choice, but it isn’t always the cheapest one. For various reasons, the prices fluctuate throughout the year. At times, this is a positive, especially if you are trying to save money. Other times, it is a negative that can bite you on the backside. So, instead of relying on hotels, you should widen your search as there are numerous alternatives. Meriton apartments are one such option as they are available to rent in different cities. A villa is also another acceptable choice, particularly if there are plenty of guests. Villas and condos are not only luxurious, but they can be cheap if you split the cost. In that case, the more the merrier! If you don’t have a clue where to start, you can use the internet to your advantage. A simple Google search will bring up thousands of results for you to scroll through.

Go All Inclusive

To a family, an all inclusive package deal probably won’t appeal. After all, you want the freedom to go out and explore. When you pay for set meals, that isn’t likely to happen as you have to be back in time. Otherwise, it’s a waste of money on food that you are not going to eat. However, they do work in your favour if you plan on sitting by the pool all holiday. Then, there is no reason to worry about buying additional food or drink because it is all included in the price. Although the initial cost might be more, it could save you a fortune in the long run. What you have to decide is whether you want to relax or explore. If you can chill out in luxury, it might be a no-brainer!

Rack Up Air Miles

In the past, the idea of getting on a plane wasn’t relatable. Nowadays, an average person or family tends to go abroad more often than not. The thing there is a cardinal sin that most people make: not exploiting air miles. The majority of airlines offer passengers the chance to claim frequent flyer miles, yet most people de-board and head off without a second thought. The reason this is a mistake is that you can use the miles to pay for plane tickets. And, the more you have, the further they will go. So, it might be possible to book a first or business class ticket. Going on holiday isn’t only about staying in luxury – it’s about traveling in it, too. All you have to do is sign up to an airline and follow the instructions and you can benefit in the future.

Luxury doesn’t have to be out of your budget. As long as you are savvy, it is within everyone’s reach.


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Trendy & Sensible Ways To Earn Money On The Side



If you're looking for a way to earn some money on the side, there are so many options available right now. For a lot of people now, the so-called gig economy is in rude health, and a handy way to make a bit more money. So if you are working a full-time job already but you still find yourself struggling to pay bills at the end of the month, or you are trying to get extra finances in place to improve your home, there are a few trendy, yet sensible, ways to do it which won't take years to get good at.


The Sharing Economy
The success of businesses like Uber has shown how successful it can be. And it's not just the big companies that have popped up over the world, there are also smaller ones where you can earn some money by sharing services or personal items. Instead of the big names like www.airbnb.com.au or Lyft, you can rent out camera equipment on a site like Cameralends, or your car on Turo. The sharing economy is expanding at an exponential rate, and this is largely down to Millennials using it for pretty much everything, and as Millennials are the largest demographic in the Western world, it makes perfect financial sense to tap into that market.

Investing In Real Estate
The housing market is looking healthy at the moment, and it seems it will be for the foreseeable future, so it might be time to jump on this bandwagon while the rates are good. If you are new to the whole property buying process, it's important to find property investment companies that boast a wide range of industry professionals so you can get the most up to date advice on where is good to buy a property or which areas are up and coming. You can find plenty of property investment websites for where you live, such as www.vystal.com.au that can do all the research for you. Real estate does require an investment upfront, so it's not the best choice if you are completely strapped for cash, but for an upfront payment, it's something you can make a lot of returns from.

Investing In Cryptocurrency
Crypto currency like Bitcoin is showing to be really strong in the investment market. As many people use Bitcoin for online purposes, and more people are investing in it, this means the price of Bitcoin is increasing at a rapid rate. You can choose to invest in Bitcoin, or you can become a Bitcoin miner which means you use your home computer to write onto the Bitcoin ledger, known as the Blockchain, which you can get paid for in Bitcoin. This is a business in itself for a lot of people, and so it's only worth doing if you have a computer that's fast enough to process a high amount of inputs.

This is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making money on the side in the modern world. The Internet has opened up a world of possibilities for us to earn a little bit more on the side from apps that will pay you to do surveys or even watch television, you can find ways to earn a little something to bump up your income.

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To Remodel Or Not To Remodel?




Figuring out whether to renovate your home can be a challenge. On the one hand, you want to increase its market value. But on the other, you want your investment to pay off.

But what does “pay off” actually mean? From a purely financial perspective, home renovations rarely add extra money to the value of your home over and above what you pay for them. But it’s crucial to note that home improvements still increase the value of your home. Every increase in value they add to your property is actually money off the final bill.

Suppose, for instance, you are investigating kitchen renovations and discover that it’s going to cost $10,000. That sounds like a lot of money, but when you compare it to the $8,000 bump it will cause in the value of your home, suddenly you’re only $2,000 out of pocket. You might not want to pay $10,000 for a new kitchen. But $2,000? Why not? And just think about all the extra utility you’ll derive from having a kitchen you actually want to spend time in. Not only does your total household wealth stay high, but you also get all that additional quality of life before you decide to sell.

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Avoid The Stress Of Moving

There’s another reason to remodel too that isn’t captured by just financial factors. Moving is a stressful business. Changing neighbourhood or city just to find the house you want can lead to all sorts of upheaval, especially if you have children. Thus, remodeling your home allows you to get the facilities you always wanted while avoiding all the usual problems associated with changing where you live.

You’re Bored Of Where You Live

Does your home feel a little stale? You’re not alone. Every year, thousands of people move home, just because they’re sick and tired of being in the same surroundings, day after day. But why move home when you can simply remodel what you’ve already got? You can remodel, even if you’re on a budget and swap out any items you don’t like for something more attractive.

Your Kids Have Left Home

Once the kids are gone, there’s no reason for the house to be adapted to their needs. Finally, you have a chance to change it and make it your own. For instance, you could start off in the garden by getting rid of the lawn and transforming it into a landscape garden with all the features you always wanted, but couldn’t have. You could also pull out the kid's bedrooms and replace them with bespoke guest rooms for when you have people over to stay (including your adult children).

Make It More Functional

Perhaps the problem isn’t luxury, but function. If the last time your home had a refit, you might be behind the times. Modern bathrooms have all sorts of wonderful features like underfloor heating, towel warmers, and walk-in showers. For kitchens, the range of mod-cons is even greater. With an ice maker in the fridge and a plate warmer in the cabinetry, your cooking could be transformed.

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Own Your Own Home Sooner Than You Think!



Owning a home is a dream for many. Being able to invest your money into an asset for you, rather than for someone else, is a good way to make your future look brighter. So it is easy to see why it is a goal for lots of people. But with a need for high deposits, it isn’t something that happens quickly. However, there are some ways to get on the property ladder more quickly; you just have to know what to do and possibly cut costs or sacrifice in other areas. Intrigued to know more? Then here are some tips and tricks to get you inspired and possibly getting you on the property ladder sooner than you think.

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Prioritize Your Spend and Savings

When it comes to home ownership, if you want to do it sooner rather than later, then it does need a certain amount of prioritization. A vacation abroad or use that money to put down a deposit? If you prioritize and enjoy things like that once you’ve got your own home, then you will have your own home sooner rather than later. You just have to decide what is more important to you at the moment.

Look For Cheaper Homes

In some areas of the country, homes are going to cost a lot more than in other areas. So that is something to consider. The style of home that you choose is also a factor. Could you live in an older house that needs some upgrades, rather than a brand new house? Is looking at prefab buildings going to cost less than an old brick home? Do lots of research into the type of home that you want to buy, as well as the area that you want to buy in. There will be some quite large price differences when you know what you’re looking for.

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Pay Off Debt

If you are going to be wanting to get a mortgage sooner rather than later, then they will take your existing debt into account. They have to know that you’ll be able to repay them the money that they lend you. So if you currently have some debt, like store card or credit card debt, then get it paid off as soon as you can. It will make looking for a mortgage that much quicker and easier, speeding up the buying process for you.

Live Within Your Means

This does relate to prioritizing your spend, but living within your means does make things a lot easier when you are looking to get a mortgage, as well as saving. In fact, living below your means, and having plenty left over each month is an even better way to go. It will leave you debt-free but full of savings. So look for the ways that you can do that, and it will make a big difference.

Have you got any tips or tricks that you would add to the list? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts and comments on this too.




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The Green House That Jack Built



As property prices continue to rise and become unrealistic for regular working families, more and more people are now starting to consider building their own home. But building a home isn’t enough for them - they want to ensure that their building project is as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible so that the new house has a very little carbon footprint.

Do you think that an eco-friendly building project sounds like something you’d be interested in? Here are some tips that will help you stay green while you build your new house.

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Use Eco Builders

You will almost certainly need to find a construction company who can help you build your home. When you are considering which firm to go with, try and find a net zero builder who operates in your local area. These are builders who use highly utilized systems to keep energy use down to an absolute minimum. Not only are these better for the environment, but they will help you to keep your energy bills down in the future!

Create An Earth-Sheltered Home

There is a current trend for building properties that are sheltered by features of the surrounding landscape. So, for example, if you build a home right next to a large hill or cliff, you will find that this greatly reduces the impact of wind when it is blowing in a certain direction. By doing this, you will find that the earth’s natural features insulate the property and bring energy bills down.

Use Sustainable Materials

There are some building materials that were commonly used a few decades ago. However, they have since been proven to be dangerous or very bad for the environment. For example, asbestos has been linked to many health conditions. Materials such as concrete have been shown to have a negative impact on the environment. So, when you do start to plan your building project, you should look for sustainable and greener materials, like recycled cast iron and reclaimed metal beams and sleepers.

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Don’t Go Too Big

You should build a home that is just big enough for your needs. For instance, if you are a family of four, don’t go overboard and build a property with six or seven bedrooms. Keeping the house small will make it a lot easier to heat during the winter, which won’t use up so much energy. Plus, it will take a lot less building materials to make. Overall, smaller homes are a lot more eco-friendly, so it’s worth bearing that in mind!

Add Solar Panels

It’s worth spending a bit of extra money to install some solar panels on the property’s roof. These will harness the sun’s power to create energy for your home. Another reason why you should consider adding these panels is that there are lots of government grants available that can help cover the costs of the installation!

So, when you think you are ready to build a new home, you should think about making it a green one. The benefits are really worth it!



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