Travel Tips – Packing Light For A Carefree Trip

Travel tips in travel books and on travel websites often advise travelers to “pack light.” In my experience, these sources of travel information don’t go far enough. If you’re a budget traveler you’re unlikely to be relying on hotel porters, taxi drivers, or other people paid to drag your luggage around. You’re more likely to be dragging it yourself – through airports, through subway systems, on and off of buses and airport shuttles, and through city streets.It cannot be overstated that carrying too much weight around can be the difference between a fantastic, exhilarating travel experience and an exhausting one that you can’t wait to end. If your luggage is heavy, you’re mind will be more on the thought that you can’t bear to drag your luggage down one more street, than it will be on the sights and sounds of that exotic locale. My years of traveling around Europe, primarily by plane, train, bus, subway system and on foot, have taught me several things. The lighter your luggage, the lighter your heart.Traveling light does not mean hoisting traditional suitcases. The suitcases themselves add extra weight, and suitcases are difficult to carry. I find that holding a large object by its handle, its weight hanging down off the end of my arm is the fastest route to a shoulder and backache. Traveling light also does not mean pulling a suitcase that has tiny wheels on the bottom. Spend a few minutes watching tourists attempting to keep control of that type of unstable suitcase, as they wobble and tip to one side, and you’ll see what I mean.Traveling light does not mean carrying an over sized, bursting-at-the-seams backpack, either. Unless you plan to do some serious wilderness hiking and camping in the rough, where you’ll have zero access to shops, forget the overloaded backpack. Why lug a heavy backpack through the wilds of London when there are shops on every corner, where you can forage for everything you need?So, what should savvy budget travelers carry, and how should they carry it? My advice is that you carry one small day-pack style backpack. It can be done, if you think before you pack, and if you make logical decisions as to what you truly can and can’t live without, and what you absolutely must transport to your destination versus what you can easily pick up once you arrive.For example, if you regularly use a prescription medication, obviously you’ll need to carry an adequate supply with you. Carry a spare as well, and keep it on you, so that you needn’t panic if your pack gets nabbed by a thief. Be sure to also carry the prescription itself, so that you can prove that you’re really transporting a prescription medicine, if you’re stopped by customs or security personnel. It’s even better if you have a prescription that carries not only the commercial name of the medicine, but also its chemical name, in case you need to show it to a pharmacist, doctor, or customs authority, in a country where your own language isn’t spoken.If you’re traveling to a hot, tropical location, by all means carry a bottle of sunscreen – but buy a bottle that contains the amount you expect to need for the duration of the trip. Don’t burden yourself with a jumbo size container, two thirds of which will be still be with you on the return trip. As a rule of thumb for any type of toiletries, carry (or buy upon arrival) small tubes, bottles and boxes containing just enough for the trip. Don’t drag around weight that you’ll ultimately drag back home with you, or you’ll only end up with a bottle of sunscreen that can boast to its neighbors on the medicine cabinet shelf that it’s been to Tahiti.If two people are traveling together, whether they’re part of one family or they’re friends sharing the adventure of a lifetime, take only one set of toiletries between you. Carry separate toothbrushes, of course, but pack just one of items such as deodorant and soap and then share them. Half of your toiletry weight will have been eliminated simply by not both carrying duplicate types of items and, believe me, objects like these really contribute to the bulk and weight of your luggage.Ask yourself if you can live without extras such as cosmetics, perfume and jewelry. Their combined mass and weight can quickly add up. Try a more natural look during your trip. It will save you daily time, as well as saving you daily strain on your arm and back muscles. As an added bonus, the less stylish and flashy you look, the less likely you’ll be to be the target of a mugger.Forget about electrical appliances and electronic gadgets. You can live without a hairdryer or electric shaver and save not only the weight of these appliances, but also the additional burden of adapters to suit overseas outlets and electrical currents. Carry, instead, a lightweight compact plastic razor, or just let your beard grow. You may later decide that it suits you and decide to keep it ! If you plan to fly, don’t bother packing razor blades or manicure scissors. They are not allowed on planes anymore, anyway, so should be bought locally, if needed, and then properly disposed of before you fly home. I always find it practical to carry a little sewing kit for emergency repairs, but that doesn’t mean an entire kit full of colored spools of thread. It means a single needle plus one little spool of pale thread and one of dark thread together in a little bag.Keep clothing to an absolute minimum. Stick to one basic outfit that’s comfortable, casual, and not easily wrinkled. Supplement it with a couple of extra lightweight tops and a couple of pairs of socks and underwear that can be repeatedly washed out in hotel rooms. A single sweater or sweatshirt for cool evenings and a thin plastic rain poncho and you should be set.By sticking to one small backpack per person there are additional advantages that you’ll soon appreciate. You need never check bags at the airport and risk having them lost, you don’t need to endlessly load and unload airport or train station trolleys and count your bags to be sure that none have gone astray, plus everything is close at hand and easily accessible. By carrying just one backpack each, you’ll also look less like affluent tourists, and thus you’ll be less likely to be targeted by a pickpocket or purse snatcher as you move about city streets and in subway systems. Travel light and you can put less of a burden on your muscles, leaving you with more energy and a bigger appetite to truly experience the marvelous places that you are visiting. Travel light and you’ll be more likely to travel happy.

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Don’t Fall For The Idea That Rental Properties Are Too Pricey To Afford

It is common for people in the world today to assume that majority of all commodities are now beyond their reach. Because of this idea, people find it even harder than before to be able to enjoy the way that they used to be able to. When it comes to things that they would usually do for fun now seem to be very daunting when financial aspects are already being taken into consideration. Sadly, this includes rental properties, specifically around the Miami area.However, this is not necessarily the case. Just because a lot of people believe certain ideas does not mean that it becomes a fact. Some people believe that times are too tough to be able to still afford having a well-spent holiday in some of the best parts of the country, but just because people believe it does not mean that this statement is true. Some people just need to be able to open up their minds to be able to perceive the possibilities that are just lurking around.When we look at these holidays and such, rental properties become one of the best lodging options made available to these tourist groups. Some of these people may end up feeling similarly about the whole idea being too expensive to afford in times like these, but that does not mean it is entirely true.Sure, many of these available Miami rental properties are hitting price ranges that are painfully high, but that does not mean that there are no good deals out there. With a fair amount of perseverance and determination, any good person should be able to find a reasonably priced rental property somewhere.Usually, you can find these good deals by looking for some of the more recent projects wherein condo-conversions are standing tall in the spotlight. Because they are relatively cheap, they become the ultimate find for those who are wishing to experience the Miami vibe on a tight budget. Sometimes, you may even find that pre-construction properties might even serve to be a better option. When it comes to these Miami rental properties, some of them are actually being rushed out for lease the minute that the investors actually realized how things were not as feasible as they originally believed; this is done to ensure that they can minimize their losses as early as possible.By being able to find the best deals in rental properties, you should still be able to enjoy some of the best times of your life. Make sure to remember that you can always try to negotiate the price of the property you are going to be renting because you never know if it might actually be effective.

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For Sale by Owners – Don’t Underestimate the Real Estate Agent’s Expertise

For Sale by Owners are looking to do one thing – Save money on commissions to Real Estate Agents that they feel do not earn the often huge sums of money paid to them for selling their property.

With the coming of age of many Private Sale property websites that now attract a mass of eager buyers, listing your property as For  Sale by Owners has never looked so enticing.

But there are a number of issues that are rarely considered before taking this route which vendors should be aware of and real estate agents should make a point of explaining to the public if they want to maintain their marketplace.

The biggest hurdle anyone considering listing a property as For Sale By Owners or FSBO, has to overcome is the marketing of the property, how do you advertise it to a wide enough audience so buyers actually know it is for sale? A hand-painted For Sale sign outside the property will rarely do the job so you have to turn to either traditional print or online media.

Traditional print media, your local property supplement, local classifieds are good but very limited in their reach, they are only going to target a very localised area of a few square kilometres. Not only that, but they are not cheap and have a very short life span – usually less than 7 days before the paper is in the bin. The colour supplements are excellent for showcasing your property but you have to weigh up the cost of a single insertion and as a private advertiser, the cost is usually considerably higher than if a real estate agent was booking the same size spot for your property as they attract bulk rates for their advertising.

Online media gives you a far greater reach – potentially worldwide, for a far longer time period – usually until the property is sold. However, traditionally the large real estate portal websites have had the search engines sewn up for property related searches, and unless you are a licensed real estate agent you can’t advertise anyway. So a For Sale by Owner listing generally isn’t even possible.

However, there are now a growing number of For Sale by Owner dedicated website directories online, where for a fee, you can list your own property and many of these have now attracted a large following. Also, savvy buyers are learning to search for ‘FSBO’, ‘private property sale’ or ‘no agent sale’ in the belief that the properties on these sites will be cheaper because their is no estate agent involved.

Another up and coming tool for real estate agents and for sale by owners alike is the single property website, where agents or property owners can very simply and cost effectively set up a website for their property that has a far greater showcasing ability than either a printed ad or short 1 page listing on a property portal of any kind.

‘A picture speaks a thousand words’ and the importance of quality photography when listing a property cannot be underestimated. It is that first impression, that wow factor that entices a buyer to look further. Most agents either are or use highly proficient people for this job and then also an art department to touch up the pictures to look their best. As a private vendor, if your photography and computer skills aren’t up to this, it can be expensive to get a professional in to do a good portfolio for you.

Human nature, as always in sales, shows it’s true colours, particularly when it is something personal, like our home, we are selling. Generally we have invested time, money and a good deal of love in getting our home just right for us, but when it comes time to sell up, can you distance yourself from it? A large part of a real estate agents job is to show your ‘home’ to prospective buyers and as they do so, they will hear all sorts of remarks, criticisms and plans for the future of your home being discussed. ‘That paint is disgusting’ -  ‘the kitchen will have to be ripped out’ – ‘why would anyone put those tiles in the bathroom’ to point out just a few.

Now an agent can listen dispassionately and then point out all the good points apart from these ‘downsides’ to your ‘home’ – Could YOU?    Very unlikely. More likely you’ll feel personally insulted, hurt and start to dislike your prospective buyers and not want to sell them your lovely ‘home’ anyway.

There are numerous other reasons why For Sale by Owners should think very carefully before choosing this route, hidden tasks that a real estate agent does for you and takes for granted and reasons why they feel their commissions are justified. Before you do anything, weigh up your options, speak to real estate agents and find out exactly what you will be getting if you give them your business and negotiate – nothing is fixed in stone. If at the end of this process you still think a For Sale by Owner listing is still the best idea, then go for it.

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