Great Travel Gifts for Europe

Traveling can be a fun experience for someone at any age, whether right out of There are several gifts you can give someone traveling to or after retirement. There are several ways to see Europe as well, such as backpacking through the continent, traveling around on the train or staying in four-star hotels. You can get an expensive gift for that European traveler or something that is inexpensive but useful.

Small Items

  • Buy a neck or waist pouch for someone traveling to Europe. These pouches sit close to the body and are hidden under clothing. They can deter thieves who pray on tourists by holding valuables like a passport, money and other small items. The pouches are available at most large retailers.

    A combo lock is also a good idea especially if the traveler isn’t going to be around his things the whole time. Get a combo lock that’s good in quality but is still lightweight. You can also purchase plug converters because plugs aren’t the same in all countries. The last thing a traveler wants is to plug in her phone and have it ruined because she didn’t have the right plug converter.


  • A Eurail pass is something that the traveler can use for one country or all of Europe. The Eurail pass allows the traveler to take as many trains as they want depending on the exact package they get. If the traveler is going all over Europe, this gift will be incredibly useful, but it can be a little pricey.

    Travel books like those from Frommer’s or Lonely Planet are also good gift ideas. If the traveler has a smart phone, you could purchase them applications like maps and other items. Give the traveler a notebook or journal for her to record everything that happens while on her trip. Be sure the notebook is small and lightweight yet sturdy.

    Or, buy a toiletries kit, rolling luggage or a backpack made for backpacking. Just be sure you know what type of travel the person you’re getting a gift for is doing. If the traveler is a student, a backpack is a good idea but if the traveler is staying in nice hotels, rolling luggage might be the way to go.


  • If you have a little bit of money to spend, give the traveler a small, portable camera with a good zoom lens. Set up a photo site online for your traveler. That way, he can upload his pictures to a secure place without having to carry around several memory cards.

What Cities Fly Direct to Hawaii

Tourists flock to Hawaii for its natural beauty and remoteness.
Approximately 24 airline carriers offer direct flights to Hawaii, departing from most major cities in the United States. There are also many direct flights available for international departures. While there are generally fewer flights scheduled to Hawaii, you need to ensure you book your ticket well in advance. Flights from western cities like Los Angeles will be easier and less expensive to come by; however, there are also regular flights departing from east cost cities such as New York. Generally speaking, the further you get from Hawaii, the more expensive a nonstop flight becomes.

Western United States

  • Departing to Hawaii from a city on the West Coast of the United States will give you the greatest flexibility in finding a direct flight. Some travelers may opt to spend a few days in California to break up the travel time. Most major airlines offer direct flights from cities including Phoenix, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Anchorage, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego and San Jose.

Central United States

  • The larger airline carriers such as American Airlines and Delta offer several nonstop options for people traveling from the central United States. Cities offering nonstop flights include: Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Detroit, and Cincinnati. To ensure you get the best deal, try to fly from a major airline hub such as Dallas or Chicago.

Eastern United States

  • While there are considerably fewer options when flying nonstop from the east coast to Hawaii, getting a flight should not be too much of a problem especially if you plan well in advance. Continental offers nonstop service from New York. Atlanta is another popular city you can get a direct flight to Hawaii from. Some flights may also be available from Miami, but these are much more limited.


  • There are many international departures that fly nonstop to Hawaii. Some of the more popular departure cities include Cancun, Mexico City, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Sydney, Vancouver, London and many more. Depending on where you plan to depart from, you should conduct a flight search to determine whether any flights are currently being offered from your departure city of choice.

How to Start a Beach Rental Company

Help people enjoy their day or week at the beach by starting a beach rental company.
Many people enjoy spending a day at the beach since there are many activities in which to partake. Some of these activities require special equipment such as a surfboard if you want to ride the waves or snorkeling equipment if you want to dive down to check out the bottom of the ocean. Since not everyone has the money to purchase this equipment and haul it to the beach, you can cash in by learning how to start a beach rental company.

  • Create a business plan. Determine the specifics of what you plan to rent out as part of your beach rental company since some people choose to rent out beach houses while others opt for surfing and snorkeling gear. Set the days and hours of operation as well as what seasons you’re open. Decide what it will cost to start the beach rental company as well as how long you’ll need to sustain your business on your start-up funds before you make a profit. Include all this information, plus plans for marketing and staffing your company in your business plan.
  • Get funded. Seek out a small business loan by visiting with a bank or credit union representative in your community. Find out if you qualify for the loan based on your business plan and your personal credit history. To get low-interest loans specifically designed for small business owners just starting out, check with the Small Business Administration to learn if you qualify. Take on a partner with access to capital to start your beach rental company if you can’t qualify for loans on your own.
  • Register your business. Complete the form from the website of the Internal Revenue Service or contact them by phone at 800-829-4933 to register your business at the federal level by obtaining an Employer Identification Number. Talk to a representative from the department of revenue at your state and local level to learn what sales tax laws are applicable to your beach rental company. Fill out any forms to register with these departments and collect and pay sales tax if charged on the rentals you provide to beach goers. Obtain a local business license from your city hall to operate in your physical location, and ensure you get a food license later if you add on offering food and drinks to people at the beach as part of your business.
  • Obtain insurance. Contact local insurance representatives to discuss business insurance to protect your beach rental company. Get liability insurance to protect you in the event someone is injured in or around your facility while also obtaining property insurance to protect your facility in the event a hurricane, tsunami, fire or other natural disaster damages or destroys your business.
  • Find a facility. Look for a facility on or near the beach since this allows beach goers easy access to your business. If your company offers beach rental houses, buy different sizes as this allows your customers to choose the one that’s right for their needs. Rent or purchase a separate office space to house your records and from which to work on a daily basis if renting beach homes. If operating a business that rents beach equipment and supplies, find a location with enough space to display and store your products as well as manage your records and the financial aspects of your business.
  • Hire staff. Seek out employees who enjoy interacting with people and have great customer service skills to work in your beach rental company. Encourage them to become knowledgeable about the products and services you provide as this helps them rent the right equipment and keep earnings high. Consider hiring only temporary or seasonal staff to help you operate your beach rental company if you are only open during the summer season.
  • Promote your company. Create a website to highlight your beach rental company, and incorporate an online or phone booking system that provides customers an easy way to rent a beach house or beach equipment. Hang fliers in popular restaurants and hotels on and near the beach since tourists frequent these places during their stay. Make sure all rental equipment such as surfboards, beach umbrellas and snorkeling equipment has your company name and phone number on it in large type since this allows other beach goers to know where to go to rent the same equipment.
  • Grow your business. Consider expanding your beach rental company to offer food and drinks, since not all beach-goers bring their own with them. Include souvenirs and T-shirts if you are in a location frequented by tourists. Find instructors willing to teach surfing or snorkeling to people who are interested since this encourages them to rent the equipment for these activities from your business. Add additional beach rental properties to your business as it grows if renting houses or condos to individuals and families on vacation.

Information About Italy for Kids

What do kids and Italians share? Passion–for pizza, ice cream, soccer and spaghetti, plus a passion for adventure that is reflected in the country’s wonderful history. Given all this, it’s easy for families to share the fun during an Italian vacation.

the ruins of Pompeii is one of Italy's many historical sites
History is FunStimulate young imaginations with stories of the elephants and giraffes who lived beneath the Colosseum floor, of chariot races in the Circus Maximus or take a family photo pretending to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Kiddie MunchiesEat like a native. Pizza is the go-to on-the-go food for many Italians, and gelato, Italian ice cream, is another ubiquitous snack food that kids (and grownups) will love.

gelato is Italy's ice cream
Culinary GiantsAmaze them with facts. Kids will be astounded to learn that each Italian on the average eats 25 kg–that’s 55 lbs.–of pasta a year, washed down with about 26 gallons of wine.

Italian pasta dishes
Famous CharactersMake them laugh. Pinocchio sprang from the pages of a famous Italian children’s book, but the most famous newspaper cartoon character in Italy is Tex Willer, an Italian-talkin’ Texas Ranger.

the beloved storybook character Pinocchio
Claim to FameLeonardo da Vinci was Italy’s most famous inventor, but Italians also claim to have invented the typewriter, the telephone, the thermometer and eyeglasses.

statue of Leonardo da Vinci
Let the Games BeginAre you ready for some futbol? Italians love soccer and the national team is called the “Azzurri” after their light blue uniforms.

Italian's love soccer

Labor Laws in Singapore

Singapore is known for its thriving business economy. According to the WEF Global Competitiveness Report, Singapore is the most competitive economy in Asia, ranking third in the world and following only Switzerland and the United States. According to the World Bank, Singapore is the world’s easiest place to do business and is a top location to invest in Asia. If you are considering doing business in Singapore, an understanding of the labor laws of Singapore as outlined in the Singapore Employment Act is crucial.

Singapore city.
Employment ContractsIt is a common practice in Singapore for businesses to utilize employment contracts with their employees. There are no specific guidelines for employment contracts in the Employment Act. However, a contract in Singapore typically contains information about duties, salary, work hours, benefits and termination. Employment contracts are also typically documented in writing to preserve documentation.

Executives in singapore often sign contracts.
Wages and Work HoursThere is no minimum wage for workers in Singapore. According to “Guide Me Singapore” by Janus Corporate Solutions, the only stipulation in the Employment Act is that employees are paid in a timely manner (employees must be paid at least once a month). Many companies do give an annual bonus of an extra month’s salary, but this is not a required practice. Work hours are regulated for employees who earn less than $2,000 SGD per month. According to the Employment Act, these workers may not be required to work more than eight hours a day or 44 hours per week. They are also entitled to a break after six hours of work. Employees in management or higher positions may work more hours depending on the terms outlined in their contract.

There is no minimum wage in Singapore.
BenefitsOther benefits outlined in the Singapore Employment Act include sick leave, annual leave, maternity leave and holidays. Many companies actually offer better benefits than what is required by the Employment Act, though employers are not required to offer employees private health insurance. All Singaporean citizens pay into a government health plan through their employer.

Maternity leave is outlined in the Singapore Employment Act.
Foreigners Working in SingaporeSingapore has made it relatively easy for foreigners to obtain work permits in comparison with other nations to encourage business and investment in the country. If a foreigner is hired by a company in Singapore, the hiring company applies for an employment pass for their worker through the Ministry of Manpower. The application can be completed online by following the instructions at the Ministry of Manpower’s website: There are many types of work passes, but most of them are valid for a period of one to two years.

It is relatively easy for foreigners to work in Singapore.

Important Advice for College Students Studying Abroad

There are countless reasons why studying abroad is a great way to spend a semester or even a year during college. However, you want to make sure that you are prepared for all of the challenges ahead of you. There are going to be a lot of logistics that you’ve never considered, so it’s always best to anticipate every possible pitfall. Here is some important advice for college students studying abroad.

Make Sure You are Still on Schedule for Graduation

Before you make your final decision to study abroad in college, you want to make sure that you will not be delaying your graduation date. There is a good chance that there will be some classes that you need that will not be offered abroad, and if this is the case, then you need to be prepared to delay graduation, or delay your travels until after graduation. This is why it’s often better to study abroad during your first or second year so that you can get it all out of the way.

Make Sure Your Passport is Up to Date

A lot of people have had passports since they were children that they haven’t used in several years. If this is the case for you, then there’s a good chance that your passport is either expired or it’s not still valid. Passport technology hasn’t recently advanced so that all passports are equipped with a special chip inside them. If your passport does not have this chip, then you may need to apply for a new one.

Make Sure You are Fully Immunized

You may have all the vaccinations that you need in order to study at Seattle University, but that doesn’t mean that you have all the vaccinations that you need to study abroad. Every country has a different set of immunizations that are required in order to live, study or work in the country, and you want to make sure that you get this all taken care of before you leave the country. Some vaccinations take time before they become effective and some of them need to be administered in several doses over time, so you want to do your research well in advance.

Don’t Pack Too Much

One of the most amateur mistakes you can make when studying abroad is packing too much. You are going to be taking multiple flights, and possibly multiple trains and buses before you arrive in your college town. Once you get there, you are probably going to be staying with other students who are studying abroad to earn their sustainable business MBA, or whatever degree program you’re in, and you might be placed in a hotel room with up to three other people until you find an apartment. Needless to say, you want to take up as little space as possible.

Buy Your Plane Tickets Early

One of your greatest expenses while studying abroad is going to be your plane tickets. That’s why you want to be sure that you book your seats as early as possible. Not only is this the best way to save money on your flights, but it’s also the best way to ensure that you get the best seat.

5 Helpful Tips for Students Studying Hospitality in College

The hospitality industry is one of the most interesting and fascinating industries out there. There are a few reasons for this. One of the biggest reasons is that it is incredibly interesting to study the trends in how people travel and experience vacations. Indeed, the hospitality industry can be applied in restaurants, resorts, hotels and more. You can get a job as a hotel director, hotel owner, restaurant director or resort manager – there are countless avenues you can take. However, it is important that you get your degree before you enter a hospitality career. When you are in college - whether you are going to University of Michigan or University of Syracuse – you want to be sure that you keep a number of things in mind. Here are five helpful tips for students studying hospitality in college.

  1. Go Out and Get an Internship

Getting an internship is important, because it will give you real hands on experience that you won’t get in school. You can work under someone at a hotel, restaurant or some other business that has a hospitality aspect to it, like a casino. The best way to score an internship is to send your applications to a few places and see who calls you in for an interview – you may want to go with the business you click with the most.

  1. Stay Informed About the Industry

Another important tip is that you want to stay informed about the hospitality industry. Even when you are in college, you don’t want to fall behind. You want to know what all the trends are and you want to know where the trends will be in the future. If you want to be hirable, you want to be one step ahead of the competition.

  1. Travel and See the World

Of course, when you are in college, you may want to think about seeing the world and traveling, because it will give you a good idea as to what the hospitality industry is like all over the world. You will want to make sure that you visit cities where the tourism is strong, like London or Paris. If you don’t have the budget to travel internationally, you can go for a domestic city, like Miami.

  1. Get a Dual Degree

When you are in college, you may want to go for a dual degree. No matter what it is, it will help you in the job field. Businesses appreciate seeing people with double degrees. For instance, you could get Maryville’s masters in cyber security. This could be a huge bonus if you score a job with a major resort that is worried about data theft.

  1. Think About Your Market

On top of everything, you want to narrow down what your demographic will be. If you have a penchant for the luxury market, you may want to work with high end resorts and cruise lines. If you like a challenge, you may want to work within a smaller budget. In the end, having more than one degree will certainly make your application stand out.

Pick the Right Hotel using internet easily

You may need to do some vacation once per month or even each week to refesh your mind or you might need to go to trip with your family on other state. There are numerous way to enhance your trip, yet the most essential parts of your trip that shouldn’t be overlooked is picking hotel for rest. You should book an inn to ensure that you are having spot to lay on your destination, you can book inn by telephone or you can do internet booking. Notwithstanding, picking the right lodging can be troublesome and overwhelming errand. Hence today I will give you a regulated aide on the best way to pick the right inn utilizing the web appropriately. I prescribe you to get hotel through misteraladin for the best inn in Brooklyn.

The first step is resolved what you need in the inn. Make a point to make a rundown of everything or comforts you require in the inn so you can make the most of your outing. The courtesies, for example, room administration, eatery, valet administration, swimming pool, valet benefit or even transport to escort you all around. Try to make a rundown to contract down the competitor of lodging you can pick.

The following step is surveying your financial plan for the outing. Unless you are having a boundless travel spending plan, I prescribe you to consider the cost of the inn. There are numerous lodging that gives customary courtesies and moderate. Make a point to do some examination to discover the lodging that may be reasonable for you however giving conveniences as indicated by your necessities. I recommend you to check misteraladin because they are providing vast options of hotel and area. You will be able to choose the right room for you, and even choosing the amenities on the hotel. Sometime, the very same hotel room have different prices on the internet, but you dont need to worry if you open misteraladin, because you will be able to choose the best price for you.

The following step is checking the area of the inn. I prescribe you to get inn that close to the destination and close to open utility, along these lines you will be able to take a trip into another country easily and get the best hotel. Dont forget to prepare everything for your trip and enjoy your holiday in the next summer! I hope you have fun and experience happy trip!

For Planning Vacation in Unique Way Cruise Ships Is Much Helpful

We are in busy world with full of stress and tension. It paves way for increase in disease. We need to spend some time for ourselves in our busy schedules, because it will relieves us from various problems. New-Cruise-Ships_v12_8 (3)Various alternatives are available for burning out stress and lead safer life but it will create interest among people. Moreover, we should plan our vacation once in a while so we feel relaxed. Based on our affordability various alternatives are available for spending vacation. For making our trip easier travel planners are also available in enormous numbers. While planning our vacation, we need to prefer unique places and it will yield new experience. Moreover, we can refer website to know about the availability of alternatives and its review posted by individuals. Reviews posted by people makes our task easier and we will to a conclusion sooner. Based on various alternatives, cruise is the best choice, because it is the best availability for spending our vacation. Moreover, we can plan our weekends there, although it will yield overwhelming experience. We feel luxury inside it with all amenities. For relaxing ourselves, this serves as the better choice. Riding inside the sea will give new experience for us and it will make our trip adventurous. Moreover, we can avail more facilities within this cruise ship. Rather than this, honeymoon can also plan in it or we can gift honeymoon package to others. Enormous cruise ships are available with varied price range, although they are unique in service. All cruise ships are not unique in amenities, based on price, they will offer service. We can feel comfort within it, so we can feel it as our home. Some cruise ships are offering service beyond our imagination, but they will charge high.

Afforded by all class of people

Cruise ships are the best alternative available for us in spending vacation, although it’s the new trend. They will give offers for to make all people easily avail this service. For some people its dream to travel in cruise ship but this made possible due to availability of this service in varied price range. Moreover, affordable cruise services are in existence for planning our trip easier, so all income groups can avail this service. This will yield, living in five star hotels with all amenities inside it. Massage service is also available for convenient of the visitors. Rather than this, we can plan party, which made possible due to availability of infrastructure. Interior works is given more preference, since it will attract people, so they will make regular visit. Bars, restaurants, hotels, swimming pools and other facilities are available for providing unlimited fun and entertainment, so we will forget all our worries. More people employed for providing service and make us satisfied. Money won’t be a much struggle to avail this service, due to availability of offers. Different service provider offers varied discount facility for attracting people. It’s not tougher task for middle income groups to travel in cruise ship, since it is available within their affordability. Make use of cruise ship for planning your vacation in unique way. Visit her for detail information

Fitness Tips for Youngsters

Getting children to exercise is not as easy as it was when we were children. So many distractions and demands on their time, plus two working parents mean that our kids’ health may be overlooked. Exercise builds healthy brains and hearts, ensures even growth and can lead to a long life. The following fitness tips are geared toward school-aged children up to the onset of their teen years.


  1. Set boundaries. First things first: you need to set limits on the amount of television, video game and other electronic entertainment prized by your children. It simply does them no good to spend hours on end participating in essentially sedentary activity. Limit this activity to about one hour per day.


  1. Make activity a normal occurrence. Children may not exercise unless you lead the way. This means you getting off your duff and participating in activities too. After dinner walks, playing catch, riding bicycles, and playing tag are some of the activities you can participate in as a family. Make it fun and they’ll join in. Who knows? Some of the neighborhood kids may suddenly appear and want to play too!


  1. Chores are a must. Your children may balk at doing chores, but it comes with the territory. Set up a chore schedule and include indoor and outdoor tasks they must do. Washing windows, emptying trash cans, raking leaves, grooming the cat or dog, making their beds, putting away their clothes, and vacuuming the carpet are just a few of the many things your children can do.


  1. Register for sports. Children may complain that there aren’t enough other children in their neighborhood to play with. This can be a valid concern, one you can respond to by registering your children for special activities, such as sports. By participating in a soccer program, basketball, football, lacrosse, baseball or softball, or some other sport, they’ll get practice time and game time during the week. If you really want to make a difference, volunteer to coach or serve as a team manager.


  1. Head to the playground. Children will meet other children at playgrounds, providing an ideal setting for them to work off some steam. Swing sets, jungle gyms, teeter totters, handle bars and more are present, making this the ideal place for them to get going. Your children may befriend other children, making it possible for the parents to arrange for additional play dates notes Fitness 19.


  1. Set the example. As touched upon in the second point, you should lead the way when it comes to exercise. Go beyond the expected by taking a fitness class or participating in a sport yourself. Show your children how important it is to commit yourself to a routine, then stick with it. Families that have a workout mentality are those most likely to not have a problem with obesity.


  1. Be mindful of injuries. No parent wants their child to exercise hurt. If you notice a problem, determine its effect on the child. You may need to bring him or her to the doctor for an evaluation. If your child has a recurring problem, such as a shoulder dislocation, then he needs to be evaluated. Strength training may help, but it must be geared toward a growing person such as your pre-teen son or daughter.


Getting and Staying Active


Young people who are involved with sports from a young age tend to stay at it for life. And that’s a good thing as you consider that your youngsters will spend decades as an adult and they will need every bit of encouragement possible to help them grow and succeed in life.




Hawaiian Airlines Flight Attendant Training

Hawaiian Airlines Inc. is a subsidiary company of Hawaiian Holdings Inc. In 2010 Hawaiian Airlines operated a fleet of 33 aircraft with flight attendant positions to be filled on each aircraft’s scheduled route. With 190 flights a day scheduled, Hawaiian Airlines recruits candidates for flight attendant training as business needs warrant.

Hawaiian Airlines has provided commercial air service to Hawaii for 80 years.

Company History

  • Hawaiian Airlines was founded in 1929 under the name of Inter-Island Airways Ltd. and offers weekly island-to-island roundtrip routes. Eighty years later, Hawaiian Airlines is Hawaii’s largest airline and serves 20 destinations with emphasis on western U.S. coastal airport service, South Pacific and Pacific Rim international destinations and inter-island shuttle travel. All of Hawaiian Airlines’ employees try to ensure that the airline’s No. 1 ranking in on-time performance is upheld.

Economic State

  • Hawaiian Airlines is Hawaii’s award-winning airline for customer service satisfaction and has an employee force of more than 3,800, with 18 percent of those jobs being held by flight attendants. With expanding route structure and tourism growth in the Hawaiian islands, Hawaiian Airlines recruits candidates to replace retiring or career-changing flight attendants occasionally during each year. Any interested candidate should monitor the “Employment Opportunities” section of Hawaiian Airline’s website for openings and flight attendant recruitment open houses.


  • A desirable candidate for flight attendant training will be able to attend a six-week unpaid intensive training course in Honolulu. The ability to lift 50 pounds, pass a qualifying physical, have open availability and be able to relocate are ideal attributes. Fluency in a second language is one of the most valuable assets a flight attendant candidate can possess; an educational or experiential background in hospitality/tourism-related occupations or study is preferred but not mandatory. Excellent communication skills and minimum/maximum height requirements are also considerations.

Application Process and Interview

  • Hawaiian Airlines recruits flight attendants as dictated necessary by its company’s economic standing and growth. The best opportunity to receive an offer of training as a flight attendant is to attend a flight attendant recruitment event or open house as they are scheduled. Recruiters will be there already in the process of looking to hire so you do not have to cold contact any human resource office with your resume, which only will be accepted for open positions. Group interviews are held, followed by individual first interviews on the spot by selection after the group session. If successful, candidates will be asked to a second interview or to submit to a pre-employment physical.

Hawaiian Airlines Flight Attendant Training

  • If a candidate is offered an invitation to attend flight attendant training with Hawaiian Airlines, it will last for a six-week period with five weeks of in-flight customer service procedures training specific to Hawaiian Airlines and one week of Federal Aviation Administration-mandated emergency and safety training certification. A flight attendant trainee must pass satisfactorily all aspects of training before becoming an actively employed flight attendant with Hawaiian Airlines. Upon completion a base will be assigned to operate from and a mandatory employment probationary period will begin for the new flight attendant.

How to Use a Garmin in Europe

More than 12 million Americans travel to Europe each year. From England to Hungary, American travelers take in each country’s culture and explore a foreign landscape. For many travelers, this is done via rental car. Fortunately, oversized paper maps are no longer the only option for navigating another country. Many Americans are used to the convenience of GPS devices, like Garmin products. For those traveling to Europe who already own a Garmin, a simple software download is all you need to explore the continent without fear of getting lost.

  • Purchase Garmin’s MapSource Metro Guide Europe software package. If you have a 16, 32, 64 or 128 MB data card on your existing Garmin device, you may be eligible to download the software information directly for a lower cost.
  • Load your computer with your newly purchased MapSource Metro Guide Europe software.
  • Plug your Garmin-supported USB cord into your PC or laptop computer. Connect the USB cord from your computer to your Garmin GPS device.
  • Open your new software program on the computer and select the regions in Europe you plan to visit.
  • Select detailed maps within these regions and click “File” for each region along the upper-left tab. Under “File” you’ll see an option allowing you to download the geographic information directly to your Garmin.
  • Remove your Garmin device once you have successfully downloaded all necessary maps for your upcoming trip. Once in Europe, turn on your device as you would in the United States.

How to Prepare for a Trip to Italy

Italy is a particularly popular tourist destination in Europe for its historical and cultural significance, as well as dining and other fun activities. Your first time in Italy will likely be a culture shock. Fortunately, you need not be fatigued or disoriented by the culture shock if you are well prepared for the trip. Preparing yourself will not only relieve you of panic, but will also help you gain more appreciation for Italy and its offerings.

Study Italian history to help you decide what sites to visit.

  • Make sure your passport is up to date and in good standing. If you do not have a passport, apply for one at least three months in advance of your trip. Be aware that first-time applicants, as well as minors, must apply in person at a passport agency or acceptance facility. If you’re from the United States or Canada and plan to stay for fewer than 90 days, you do not need a visa.
  • Look up the exchange rate for the euro and U.S. dollar. The U.S. dollar is weak in Europe as of 2011, so traveling through Italy can be expensive. Be prepared to prove that you have enough money to travel through Italy in order to be allowed to enter the country. Check Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the latest monetary requirements at
  • Learn Italian history. Study the political and cultural changes that took place throughout its history, from Roman civilization to modern times. Find out which part of Italian history interests you, as this will inform what you will see and where to take tours. Knowing the history will help you better appreciate the famous historical landmarks, such as the Coliseum and the statue of David.
  • Learn the basics of the Italian language, such as numbers, weight measurements and basic greetings. Even in larger Italian cities, the language barrier could be a problem, particularly when buying things.
  • Bring a camera, preferably one with a telephoto lens. The architecture and landscape of Italy are grand and colorful, so a telephoto lens does well to capture them. Although a camera with a telephoto lens may be heavier and bulkier than, say, a disposable camera, the results will be worth the extra effort.
  • Adjust your expectations for amenities at hotels. Many of Italy’s old buildings cannot accommodate hotel rooms of the size you may be used to in North America, nor do they use air conditioning as much as North Americans. Beds may be firmer than you are used to, as well.
  • Investigate accessability at hotels and other venues if you or anyone in your party is disabled or needs extra help getting around. Old buildings mean old infrastructure that may not accommodate elevators or wheelchair ramps. Get in shape by walking and climbing stairs before you go.

Do You Need a Passport to Travel in Europe?

If you are thinking about vacation ideas as you gaze across the Atlantic Ocean toward Europe, there are a few things to consider and understand as you are planning for your trip abroad. One of the first things you need to plan for, well in advance of a trip, is a passport. A passport is not something you can apply for and receive, typically, in a short period of time.


  • When you arrive at any European airport on an international flight, you will be required to pass through customs. At this time your passport will be required.

    Traveling on land between countries used to be more of a random check process. For the most part, travel between European Union countries is mainly void of the previous border check points. However, at any time, for heightened security or other policies, you may be asked to produce your passport while within the EU.
    Traveling by rail is not only popular, economical and efficient, it also carries a breath of romantic air. Again, while traveling within the EU you may not be asked to produce your passport at any check points. However, it is always prudent to have it with you in case of any change in policies, a random check or security issue.

    While a passport is necessary, a visa may not be. Check online for the visa requirements of the countries you plan to visit.
    Most important of all, your passport is mandatory to gain entry back into your home country, i.e. the U.S., after landing at the airport from your European destination.


  • Used by travelers in Europe, as far back as the Middle Ages, personal identification documents have been issued by local authorities. These documents were to ease the passage of travel through cities and towns where gates, or towers, with local security agents, where built. Passports, or personal identification documents, weren’t mandatory at all border crossings or ports in Europe. Coverage of the borders and difficulty in enforcement proved overwhelming until the start of World War I. Europe was in the middle of a crisis happening mainly on European soil. It was then that borders began to close, border crossings and check points were implemented and the modern passport, with photograph, began. However, the passport system was still openly interpreted by the countries involved in issuing them. It wasn’t until 1980 that the standardized passport, in the format that is universally prescribed and adopted, came into existence.


  • Applying for a passport is straightforward. Check your country’s guidelines and instructions on your national government’s website or search for the name of your country to find the applicable site. Be sure to check on the site for your actual government. There are many companies that will do the legwork for you, which means that you still produce the application but have a third party deal with an intermediary with any questions or concerns that arise.
    A passport is issued by your local government to certify your identity and your nationality. When traveling internationally, it is indispensable for ease of moving through the customs maze.


  • Passports come in many types. The standardization of passports in 1980 makes this list universal internationally.

    A tourist passport: issued to most citizens.
    Official or Service passport: issued to government employees for work-related travel.
    Diplomatic passport: issued to consuls or diplomats, and their immediate families, for work-related travel.
    Temporary or emergency passport: issued in the event of a lost or stolen passport while outside of your home country.
    Collective passport: issued to a traveling group of people that can be identified together, i.e. a Scout troop or school class.
    Family passport: issued to the main traveler with children listed on it. Note: Many countries have moved or are moving away from this.


  • Before you leave home take a couple photocopies of the inside (photo) page of your passport. Carry one copy with you but never store it in the same place as your passport, and leave another copy with a family member that you feel you can reach easily from overseas. You want to have these photocopies in the event that your passport is lost or stolen. You will not be able to board a plane in Europe without your passport nor re-enter your country of origin without your passport. If the unthinkable happens, and you and your passport part company, contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate Office of your home country right away.

    Before leaving home go online and print out the addresses of the Embassies or Consulate Offices in the areas where you will be traveling. If you will be traveling to the area for a long time it’s always advisable that you check in with those offices upon your arrival. But most important, if you are suddenly without your passport, you will want to be able to find the building that is basically your home country’s “home” away from home, as this is where you will submit your paperwork to receive your new passport. Having your photocopy or a faxed copy from your family/friend back home will be invaluable in expediting the replacement of your passport or issuance of a temporary passport that will be in effect until you return home and you can apply for a new one. Most people do not take this precaution, or even write down their passport number, so if they have to replace it while on vacation it is a much more stressful experience.

    Passports are not considered the property of the individual but, in fact, are the property of the individual’s government. As such, governments reserve the right to limit or revoke any individual’s passport at any time, based on specific criteria being met. More information on this will be specific to each issuing country and should be researched on the government’s website.

Plans & Vacation Ideas for a Florence, Italy, Trip

Arguably the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Florence can sometimes feel like an open-air museum. Turn at any corner in the city and you’re drawn in by Michelangelo's David is only one of the many masterpieces on display in Florence.some masterpiece of art or architecture — until you look over one block and decide to move on to the next masterpiece. The Botticellis and da Vincis scattered around the city, however, are just the beginning of a trip to Florence. Nestled in the beautiful rolling hills of Tuscany and with a vibrant passion for style and life’s pleasures, the city offers attractions for travelers of virtually every interest.

Architectural Tour

  • The soaring red dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is probably the first thing you’ll see as you near Florence. It’s also a good first stop on an architectural tour of the city, especially if you take the small staircase to the top of the dome for a panoramic view of Florence. By the church, take a walk by Florence’s baptistery, paying special attention to the brass doors designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti or the Donatello-designed tomb of Antipope John XXIII inside. For a full day of museum-going, head to the Palazzo Pitti, the monumental former residence of the Medici family that now is filled with museums and galleries. Pick a sunny day to walk across the Arno River on the medieval Ponte Vecchio and, on the other side, head to the beautifully landscaped and sculpture-filled Boboli Gardens for some rest.

Artistic Tour

  • You don’t have to go to a museum to see beautiful art in Florence. Some of the city’s best-known works can be found in Florence’s churches and palaces, like Giotto’s frescoes of the life of Christ in the church of Santa Maria Novella. If you choose to go to a museum, the Galleria dell’Accademia holds priceless works. such as Michelangelo’s David, while the Uffizi Gallery has a spectacular collection of Renaissance masters. Be prepared to spend several hours in either. For a glimpse of contemporary Florentine art and new talent, head to galleries like For Gallery or Galleria Alessandro Bagnai. The Oltrarno district across the Arno is rapidly becoming a hub for young designers and stylish boutiques, reports The New York Times.

La Dolce Vita

  • To indulge in the earthly pleasures that inspired Renaissance humanism, sit down to a three-hour Tuscan meal in a trattoria along the narrow streets of Oltrarno. Regional specialties include charcoal-grilled steak and bean stews, all washed down with locally produced wines. You can walk off the meal with some window shopping along the fashion-filled Via Tornabuoni or head to the San Lorenzo Market for handcrafted leather goods. At dusk, the bars around the Piazza del Duomo fill with performers and revelers, and you can finish off the night with opera at the Teatro Comunale or an open-air summer concert at the Piazza di Sant’Ambrogio.

Getting Outside the City

  • The green hills of Tuscany are just outside Florence. You can hike up to Fiesole — the walk featured in the movie version of E.M. Forster’s “A Room With a View” — directly from the city. For more fresh air, the hills of San Miniato and Bellosguardo are just south of the Arno River, and both offer stunning views of the city and surrounding countryside. In Tuscany, Frommer’s recommends renting a car and taking a tour through the back roads of the province, stopping at tiny villages not found on any tourist map and at “vendita direttas” (direct sales) in the countryside to buy fresh cheese, home-pressed olive oil, local wines and herb-scented honeys directly from farmers

How to Travel Between Maui & Honolulu, Hawaii

Many visitors to Hawaii travel to different islands. Honolulu is on the island of Oahu, where vacationers can swim or lounge on Waikiki Beach, visit Pearl Harbor, Lolani Palace, Kawaiahao Church, Mission Houses and the Bishop Museum. Honolulu offers a wide variety of dining and nightlife options. Maui boasts sandy white beaches, rain forests and volcanic craters. Visitors can tour a hillside winery, see the sun rise over Haleakala or go humpback whale watching. As of 2010 the only way to travel between Maui and Honolulu is by air, and there are frequent flights between the islands. Honolulu has one airport. Maui has two airports — Kahului is the larger airport and West Kapaula is for small propeller planes. The flight between Honolulu and Maui is approximately 20-minutes long, but you should allow about two hours for check-in and security.Enjoy magnificent views on a flight between Maui and Honolulu, Hawaii.

  • Compare prices and check flight times on the websites of the interisland airline companies. If you are in Hawaii already, someone at your hotel or at a local touring company can help you look into flights. Round trip flights range from $80 up to $300, depending upon the type of ticket, the day and time of the flight, and seating.
  • Make reservations and purchase your tickets. It is important to book your flight in advance. Most airlines do not offer standby tickets and last minute tickets can be costly.
  • Arrive at the airline at least 90 minutes before your flight is scheduled to depart, as it often takes this long to go through security. Make sure you have a passport or other form of identification to show the airline clerk when you check in.

How to Change a Flight on Hawaiian Airlines

You’ve been planning that Hawaiian vacation for a few months now and have made your plane reservations. But, at the last minute you have to postpone your vacation because something came up. If you’re flying with Hawaiian Airlines and need change your flight, you can do so in two ways as of October 2010. You can change the flight online with a confirmation code and major credit card. If you prefer to change the reservation over the phone, you can do that as well.

There are two ways to change your airline reservations with Hawaiian Airlines.


  • Go to
  • Click on the tab “Change Flight or Seats”. It’s located to the top left of your screen.
  • Type in your confirmation code and last name into the boxes where it asks. Then click “View My Trip.”
  • Select which flight you would like to change by checking the box next to the flight details. Then click “See New Flights.”
  • Choose a flight you would like to switch too. It will then send you to a billing screen. Fill out the necessary information if you are required to pay extra. Confirmation of the changes you’ve made will be emailed to you.

Over the Phone

  • Have your reservation confirmation code ready.
  • Call the Reservations Department at 1-800-367-5320. The hours are between 3:00 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time.
  • Tell the representative on the phone that you would like to change your flight. You may be billed extra fees.

How Far in Advance Should You Book Airline Tickets to Hawaii?

The cheapest airfare to Hawaii should be purchased nine to 10 months in advance.Book Very Early

  • Hawaii is one of the most popular destinations for travelers. Because of this, last-minute deals are near nonexistent. The best strategy for booking flights to Hawaii is to book early, especially if you’re planning a trip during summer or Christmas vacation. Airfare typically becomes available 11 months in advance, with the optimal time to book being nine to 10 months in advance.

Travel Midweek

  • Booking flights on Tuesdays or Wednesdays can save you money no matter how far in advance you’re purchasing tickets. If your schedule allows, avoid departing on Fridays to get the cheapest fares.

Bottom Line

  • Purchasing airfare between nine and 10 months in advance presents an ideal way to get the cheapest rates. You can save even more money by departing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

About Travel Agents in Europe

With tourism being big business in Europe, travel agencies take advantage of the demand by billions of travelers. A reliable travel agent can help tourists or business travelers plan their trips for maximum enjoyment and minimum hassle.


  • Europe’s travel industry is the world’s largest regional tourism industry. Its success is primarily attributed to the strong army of travel agencies, tour operations and national tourism agencies. Separate these professionals, however, from the online support provided by Internet travel companies geared toward net-savvy people. It is helpful to know how to benefit from the services of a travel agent in Europe to ensure getting around is a breeze.


  • Due to Europe’s daunting size, travelers need help in making their trip as smooth and worry-free as possible. Travel agents in Europe assist tourists in their vacation plans in the whole continent–from visas to itinerary, from hotel bookings to transport arrangements. These travel agencies are part of organizations like the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA) or the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) and work closely with national tourism agencies in each country.
    Online travel occupies a market of its own. There are Internet-based companies through which travelers can book hotels, transfers and tours. At the end of 2008, online bookings earned 29 percent of the total revenue of the European travel industry.


  • Tourism accounts for a big chunk of Europe’s income. In 2005, almost £280 billion in revenue was reported to the EU. The top destinations in the world for the last few years can be found in Europe, namely France, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain and Austria.


  • Using the services of travel agents brings a world of convenience to anyone wishing to take on Europe’s enormity. First-time visitors to the continent can benefit from a travel agent in order to prevent costly mishaps. Repeat tourists, on the other hand, look to travel agents for an even better experience over their last visit. Aside from their inherent travel expertise, agents can advise quick solutions should problems during during travel.


  • Travel in Europe has become more accessible ever since the Schengen Agreement. Travel agents offering tour packages in Europe mainly rely on the Schengen Visa, which makes entering the 24 member countries easier using one travel document. This handy system has helped Europe tourism considerably. For one, there is a continued interest in other modes of public transport like train and bus.

The Best Time of Year to Travel to Europe

When planning a trip to Europe (or anywhere for that matter), research your destination. Weather conditions and crowds can influence your overall trip, and if you are unprepared for what you will encounter, your pleasure could be diminished. By knowing the best time to travel to various places in Europe, you will spend more time sightseeing and less time in line or held captive by inclement weather.

Peak Time

  • European travel is busiest from late June through the end of August and from December through January, typically coinciding with school holidays. During peak seasons, expect to pay top dollar for flights and hotels. Also prepare for crowded tour buses and long lines at points of interest.
    To avoid the crowds, visit Europe in the spring. The days are still long and sunny, but you won’t have to hassle with the summer crush. Spring and autumn are also the best times to find great deals on flights to and accommodations in Europe.

France, Spain, Greece, Italy, Austria

  • If you are heading to France, the best time to visit Paris is spring. The cherry trees are in full bloom and the warm days make for comfortable travel. However, if the beaches of south France are more your scene, wait for the summer months. For snow bunnies, January and February offer great conditions in the French Alps and Pyrenees.
    If your travels will take you to Spain or Greece, the best months are May through June and September through October. Avoid Spain and Greece during the summer months when the heat and crowds can become overwhelming.
    Italy’s major cities are best visited in spring when the temperatures are mild. But Italy becomes a skier’s haven in the winter, with ski season stretching from December to March.
    Austria has the same ski season as Italy, making it a popular winter destination as well. Unlike Italy, winter is also a great time to visit Austrian cities because the draw of the ski slopes makes them much less crowded.

Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Finland

  • The best time to visit Germany is from May to September. Spring and autumn months offer pleasant temperatures; summers can be hot and dry. Traveling late spring through early autumn also keeps you away from the big crowds at Oktoberfest.
    If you are a flower connoisseur, plan to visit the Netherlands in spring. At this time the days are longer, the weather is enjoyable and the tulips are in full bloom.
    Late June through September is the best time to travel to Sweden or Norway. The summer months offer longer, sunny days and because of their location, temperatures are moderate throughout the year. August is the slowest travel season here, but beware: late summer can be quite humid.

    If you plan to visit Finland, the weather cooperates from May through September. However, if you enjoy snow activities, Finland offers a much earlier ski season in October and November. After that, the weather may get too cold for many travelers.

How to Travel Cheap in Europe

Eight of the world’s 20 most expensive cities are in Europe, according to 2013 research by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which wouldn’t seem to bode well for prospective visitors. However, the continent is wide, complex and varied, meaning there are plenty of opportunities to unearth deals.

Touring Europe does not have to break the bank if you know where and when to travel.

Budget Accommodation

  • For families with children, finding an affordable hotel in many European cities can pose a phenomenal challenge. Resist the temptation to let travel agents pick up the task, though, as their room finder services are rarely geared towards returning competitive prices. In most countries, a one-star hotel will be acceptable, because hotels have to clear rigorous safety and cleanliness standards to receive any rating in the first place. For those traveling alone or with more flexibility, hostels are the key to savings, with more than 2,000 hostels across the continent, usually right in the city center, offering discounts for students and the over 55s. Alternatively, Rick Steve recommends family-run bed-and-breakfast accommodation, not just for the price but also for the chance to get to know the country.

Cheap Tickets

  • Other than traveling during low season, there are plenty of smart ploys to save money on transport. Buy a Rail Europe pass — which must be booked before you get to Europe — for discounted travel covering more than 50 train companies across the continent. You can buy a pass to cover either a single country or a region. Otherwise, booking tickets in advance online can be considerably cheaper, especially in the UK, but tickets are not flexible. Renting a car is rarely a cost-saving measure in Europe, with tolls, high parking fees, and exorbitant gas prices in countries such as Italy and the UK. Air travel, on the other hand, is sometimes ludicrously cheap, with budget airlines such as RyanAir and EasyJet covering all the major cities. Bear in mind, though, that these are no-frills airlines fly to secondary airfields outside their advertised cities.

Competitive Seasons

  • The best time topick up the cheapest deals in Europe is between October and April, according to “Rick Steve’s Europe,” with shoulder seasons from April to June and September to October. Visiting most European cities during this period usually guarantees cheaper flights and accommodations, albeit with notable exceptions. You wouldn’t have much luck finding a cheap, last-minute room in Munich in late September and October, for example, as the city is in the throes of Oktoberfest. The most expensive time to visit Europe is June to August. However, this is rarely the time to see many cities at their best. Paris and Rome, for example, wind down considerably over the searing summer months. For other cities, such as London and Berlin, activity is vibrant year-round.

Frugal Tips

  • In general, Eastern Europe is cheaper to visit than Western Europe, although the difference between the Euro zone countries and the rest is less defined than in the past. Lonely Planet recommends the Albanian Riviera for deserted Mediterranean beaches on a budget, with Berlin and Lisbon among the most affordable city breaks. Even in countries often perceived as expensive, savings are there for the taking. Museums and galleries in London, for example, are usually free, while buying a Paris Pass secures savings on admission to more than 60 museums and cultural sites, fast track entry and public transport. Rick Steve recommends staying away from restaurants in tourist areas, particularly those near famous tourist sites. If possible, look for local restaurants with a set menu, or buy groceries and take a picnic with you each day.

How to Travel Around Europe By Train

Compared to flying, travel by train in Europe has the advantage of city center to city center journeys, few restrictions on luggage and a greater chance to socialize along the way. For those visitors planning to tour the summer festivals or mount a cultural campaign, a selection of rail passes simplify the process, while a little planning can reap huge savings.

Europe's efficient rail network offers a scenic way to visit the continent.

Buy a Pass

  • Depending on your country of residence, two main options are available. Non-European residents can purchase the Eurail Pass, which covers 24 countries. For a sweeping itinerary, the Global Pass allows travel across all participating countries, while travelers with a narrower focus would be better off taking a Select Pass, which allows travel through four bordering countries, or the Regional Pass, for two-country combinations. European residents, however, can buy the InterRail Pass, whose Global Pass covers 30 countries, while the One Country Pass allows unlimited travel within 27 countries. For the Global Passes, passengers can either choose continuous travel for a defined period, or take a Flexi Pass which allows a certain number of travel days, making it the better option for those who want to spend a longer period of time in just a few destinations.

City to City

  • While passes are ideal for those who plan to travel on three or more consecutive days, for example, or do not have a clear itinerary in mind, train companies increasingly follow the airlines’ model in offering cut-price tickets booked in advance online. Travelers who have a clear itinerary are best served by booking city-to-city tickets at discounted rates, typically three months in advance. This applies above all in Eastern Europe where rail fares are much cheaper. As Jane E Fraser wrote in “The Sydney Morning Herald,” 80 percent of high-speed journeys in Europe require reservations in advance, so confirmed tickets are already a tacit prerequisite. The only drawback to the point-to-point ticket booked online is that it will almost certainly be nonchangeable and nonrefundable.

Travel Restrictions

  • Non-Europeans cannot buy Eurail passes in Europe, while European residents cannot use an InterRail pass for travel within their own country. Both passes must first be activated by obtaining a stamp on the first day of travel from a station official or ticket office, and pass-holders will still need to reserve seats for travel in many Western European countries. “Lonely Planet” warns that there will frequently be extra charges on long-distance trains, particularly in France, Italy and Spain, where a reservation fee is applied, but many travelers will find the charges nominal. Switzerland, Germany and Austria do not usually require compulsory reservation. For overnight journeys, passengers have the option of reclining seat, couchette — shared compartment — or a private sleeper cabin. Travelers under 26 or over 60 should also look out for some very attractive discounts.

Where to Go

  • Passengers with a Global Pass could theoretically travel from Ireland in the West to Turkey in the East, although travel on the EuroTunnel beneath the English Channel is not included. National Geographic recommends a handful of iconic journeys that are possible using a pass, among which are The Chocolate Train, which runs through the Swiss mountains from Montreux to Broc, and the Balkan Flexipass, which whistles through the former Yugoslavia, Romania, Greece and Turkey. Rick Steves, however, recommends against investing in a rail pass for southern Spain, Ireland, Croatia and Greece because the rail network is so limited. Also, be warned that high-speed services in Italy and the Thalys service, which serves Paris and Amsterdam, both charge hefty supplements.

Karaoke Chinese Restaurants in Singapore

In Singapore you can enjoy a touch of karaoke with your dim sum.

Chinese culture and cuisine are predominant among Singapore’s diverse and colorful blend of ethnic foods. As such, the island has a bounty of Chinese restaurants that stretches well outside the historic Chinatown district, saturating the entire city with Cantonese, Sezchuan and Huaiyang flavors. At several of these restaurants you can combine a hearty meal with a karaoke session.

Spring Court Restaurant

  • Set in a four-story heritage building in the heart of Chinatown, Spring Court is a family-run restaurant serving Chinese food with a Singaporean Cantonese twist. While Spring Court is one of Singapore’s oldest Chinese restaurants (established in 1929), the music selection in the numerous VIP karaoke rooms is slightly more contemporary. Try one of their panfried noodle dishes, dian xin (dim sum) plates or the Peking duck. Find this restaurant right across from Chinatown Point car park, and come between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. for lunch and 6 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. for dinner.

    Spring Court Restaurant Pte Ltd
    52-56 Upper Cross Street
    Singapore 058348

Da Dong Restaurant

  • Founded in 1928, Da Dong offers another historic venue to enjoy Chinese cuisine. Their time-tested menu includes an assortment of Chinese classics and special combinations that include shark’s fin soup, BBQ pork, roasted crispy chicken and yang-zhou fried rice. KTV facilities and karaoke rooms are found up the stairs from the dining section. With a spacious hall seating up to 50 tables, Da Dong is occasionally booked for wedding banquets, baby full moon dinners or parties, so advance booking is recommended on weekends and holidays. Da Dong is located in Chinatown and opens from 11 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

    Da Dong Restaurant Pte Ltd
    39 Smith Street, Chinatown
    Singapore 058952

Kia Hiang Restaurant

  • Kia Hiange’s menu features a range of Chinese and Singaporean favorites, among specialty Kia Hiang lobster and shrimp plates, claypot chicken dishes and Hong Kong-style dim sum. Consider sampling some of their innovative mooncakes such as durian, bak kwa (sweet barbecued pork) and chocolate-flavored cakes. The large venue (seating up to 480 guests), somewhat elegant atmosphere and economical group packages and promotions make this another popular venue for weddings and large events. The attached karaoke facilities also make it a fun spot for an afternoon meal/belting session with friends. Located at the junction of Jalan Bukit Merah and Kim Tian Road, Kia Hiang opens from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 6 p.m. 10 p.m. daily.

    Kia Hiang Restaurant
    201 Kim Tian Road #01-400
    Singapore 160201

How to Send Rupees From India to Singapore

Rupees are most quickly transferred electronically.

When you need to transfer money from a bank account in India to one in Singapore, or if you need to get cash to a friend or family member in Singapore, you have a few options of sending rupees. Electronic options are the most efficient ways of sending rupees, but they are not the only way to get the job done.

  • Complete a direct bank transfer. Your bank or the recipient’s bank may charge international transfer fees. The rupees will likely be exchanged into Singapore dollars. Axis Bank and HSBC Bank are two banks that offer India-to-Singapore money transfers. (See References 1 and 2.)
  • Send money using an international wire transfer service. Some services allow you to send money via the phone or Internet. Ensure that the wire service you choose has operations in Singapore so the person you are sending money to is able to go to one of its facilities and pick up the money. Wire transfer services will charge fees, so find one with the lowest fees available.
  • Send a demand bank draft for a certain amount of rupees via mail or courier service to the person in Singapore. This will take some more time, but it is another option to electronic money transfer services, which may only take a few hours or a couple of days.

How to Write a Vacation Rental Contract

Verbal agreements to rent vacation homes sound easy and may even be enforceable in most states, but a written rental contract helps to ensure that disagreements with tenants don’t turn your vacation property into a nightmare. Vacation rental contracts are short-term agreements. Rental periods for vacation homes are much shorter than lease periods for primary residences, but many of the contract conditions are the same. Due to the transient nature of vacation tenancies, your rental contract should include unique clauses that protect your property and your rental income.

Summer vacation rental home in Italy.

Utility Usage

  • Vacationers need the same utilities as long-term renters. Utility payments should be addressed in your vacation rental contract. You can assess the cost for water, sewer, gas and electric services differently based on the length of a renter’s stay. For example, you might include utilities in the rent amount when tenants stay for a week or less, but charge renters based on their usage when they stay longer than a week. For these longer-term renters, the contract should stipulate that utility expenses will be deducted from their security deposit once the bill becomes available.

Cancellation Costs

  • Unexpected changes in renters’ schedules may cause them to cancel their stay or cut it short. Include a cancellation policy to protect against last-minute vacancy and loss of rental income. Most states prohibit nonrefundable security deposits, but you can make reservation deposits nonrefundable. State how much time renters have before it becomes nonrefundable. For example, you might charge a minimal cancellation fee if the guest cancels within a week of reserving the home or at least 60-days before check-in, but you might keep the entire reservation deposit, plus prepaid rent and fees, if they cancel within 60 days of check-in. Also state whether you reserve the right to waive penalties in emergency situations and if so, note that these exceptions are made on a discretionary and case-by-case basis.

Limit Liability

  • Property features that attract guests to your vacation rental can also be major liabilities. For example, fireplaces, hot tubs, whirlpool spas, pools, nearby water areas and docks come with certain risks. You can try to limit your liability for injuries or damage to guests’ personal property by including a liability waiver in your contract. Consult an attorney in the jurisdiction of your vacation rental to help you with this portion of the contract. Liability waivers won’t necessarily protect you from lawsuits if something goes wrong.

Identify All Tenants

  • Although you want your renters to enjoy their time in your vacation home, you don’t want your property to become a free-for-all disaster. Include a section where the renter lists all guests who will be staying at the property and any pets, if allowed. Only these persons and pets can use and occupy the home, and the renter is responsible for any damage or disturbance they cause.

Vacation Houses in the Philippines

Vacation Houses in the Philippines

According to Tourism Philippines, an unbiased Philippine travel guide, this tropical country offers a variety of things to see and do for tourists wishing for a fun-packed vacation. The Philippines has scenic spots, marine life and natural wonders. The country also has vacation houses for a traveler to rest after a long day.

Kabantagan, Palawan

  • In the heart of Palawan, a group of islands located in the Visayas region of the Philippines, is a privately owned vacation house for rent. The Kabantagan lies in a small town called San Vicente, which the Philippine Star, a local broadsheet, touts as the next big thing in Philippine tourism. Kabantagan is a picturesque place affording nature lovers a peaceful sanctuary away from the urban crowd. The house, which can accommodate up to six people, runs on solar power and a full-time caretaker is on-hand to assist guests.

    Activities in and around Kabantagan include snorkeling, boat-riding, fishing and exploring the waterfall nearby. A supermarket and a wet market are conveniently located near the house. The rate for this house is Php 1, 500 daily or Php 26,000 a month.

    Peter Heppner
    Barangay Kemdeng, San Vicente
    Puerto Princesa, Palawan Philippines

Jagna Lodge, Bohol

  • The Jagna Lodge, located in Jagna, Canuba Beach, in the province of Bohol, offers a retreat for every member of the family. Its most popular attraction is the Bohol Sea, which is literally in the lodge’s backyard. Guests can access the beach via stairway leading down to the cove, which is secluded and very private.

    The lodge has two bedrooms, each with a bath and shower, as well as a functional kitchen with complete appliances. It can accommodate up to eight people. Nearby, guests can shop at local stores and markets, as the main town is roughly ten minutes away. A quick trip to the famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol and the Tarsier Sanctuary can be arranged.

    The rate for renting the entire house is about Php 3,500 daily or Php 30,000 per month. According to the Philippine travel site, Biyahero, the town of Jagna is a port that links Central Visayas to other nearby provinces for crop collection. As of 2010, it’s the port by which many surfing enthusiasts arrive to or depart from when going to nearby Siargao.

    Jagna Lodge
    Jagna, Canuba Beach
    Bohol, Philippines

Aranaz Beach House, Batangas

  • According to the online travel guide Manila View, the northern province of Batangas has two special offerings for visitors: coffee and beaches. It is located just two hours away from Makati, the financial capital of the Philippines. It is the favorite destination for many families, tourists and businessmen who wish to enjoy the laid-back lifestyle of the province without leaving the comforts of urban Manila. It’s also a popular destination for diving enthusiasts.

    The family owned Aranaz Beach House is found in Batangas in the highly developed town of Tali, Nasugbu. This private beach house is a two-story sanctuary with plenty of daybeds and double deckers. There even is a room for the drivers and maids. It’s a spacious vacation house that can accommodate up to 20 people. Around the area, guests can enjoy the services of a massage therapist on call, play ball games or snorkel in the coves.

  • Rates for renting the Aranaz Beach House depends on the number of guests, but it starts from Php 4,000 per day.

Aranaz Beach House
Tali, Nasugbo, Batangas
Becky Aranaz

How to Travel to Italy on a Budget

Traveling to Italy doesn’t have to take a toll on your wallet. In fact, anyone can travel to Italy on a budget as long as they plan ahead, make wise financial decisions and know exactly how to catch the best deals. Check out these tips that will help you save money while vacationing in Italy.

 Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Travel in the off-season. Italy is most crowded during the summer months so avoid the crowded season and aim to visit around fall or spring. This time of year is not only less packed with tourists, but often provides cooler weather and cheaper prices on sight-seeing destinations.
  • Skimp on dinner and eat a big breakfast and lunch. Dinner in Italy tends to be expensive. Enjoy a few dinners, but when possible eat your major meal at lunch time when prices are more modestly set. Also take advantage of the continental breakfast if your hotel offers one and feel free to grab an extra roll or two for the road. If your hotel does not offer free breakfast, eat at a cafe or bistro where you can take your leftover food with you.
  • Shop at the grocery store. If you purchase food at the grocery store, you will save money and gain insight into the Italian way of life. Food is less expensive when bought at the grocery store and by shopping there you will have the opportunity to mingle with the locals.
  • Use public transportation. Italy makes it easy on its citizens and guests with its comprehensive public transportation system. Take advantage of the trains, subway, public buses and water buses (called vaporetti). This is cheaper than renting a car or taking a taxi to your destination.
  • Lodge outside of the major cities. Staying near the airport or large cities (Rome or Venice, for example), is far more expensive than staying on the outer edge of the city. You’ll receive better value for your money and the short traveling distance is worth the extra money you will save.
  • Stay in a hostel if you’re feeling up to it. You can find beds for less than $50 a person and you will meet other travelers from all over the world. Many hostels offer private rooms with bathrooms en suite, so look around to find the best hostel for your budget.

Italian Bicycle Safety Rules

Italian bicycle safety rules, while similar to many countries, are generally considered strict. Italy has many specific laws garnering bicycle use, such as one law reported by Eric Coufal that outlaws the use of an umbrella while cycling. Becoming familiar with the many intricate laws of Italian cycling would require much time spent in Italy with an Italian translator, but you can easily understand the broad strokes of Italian cycling law. Italian bicycle law violations can result in steep fines for the cyclist.
It is best to be on the proper path to ride a bicycle in Italy.

Roadway Use

  • According to Edwin Seldenthuis, a noted European bicycle tourist from Holland, on his Cycling Passes and Climbs of Europe website, “Cycling is forbidden on the motorways (Autostrade) and the ‘Strade Extraurbane Principali'” roads in Italy. This greatly limits the roadways a cyclist may traverse and keeps cyclists from busy car-clogged intercity roadways and on smaller local roads and paths.

Lights and Reflectors

  • Seldenthuis reports that Italian law requires a yellow or white front light and red rear electric light system mounted on every bicycle. Bicycles must also have a rear reflector, pedal reflectors on both sides of the pedal and wheel reflectors mounted to comply with Italian road rules.

Left Turns with Traffic Lights

  • When a traffic light is present at an Italian intersection, according to Seldenthuis, a cyclist must follow the pedestrian crosswalk to make a left turn. Cyclists must either ride or dismount and walk bicycles along the pedestrian crosswalks of both roads before continuing down the intended road.

Left Turns Without Traffic Lights

  • Seldenthuis states that when a traffic light is not present at an Italian intersection, left turns are made with traffic. No use of the crosswalk is necessary when turning without traffic lights.

Obligatory Cycle Paths

  • Italy makes the use of bicycle lanes and paths obligatory, according to Seldenthuis. This means if a bicycle lane or path is available, and a cyclist shuns the path in favor of the roadway, she is breaking Italian law and subject to a fine.

The Best Places to Travel in Europe in October

Many travelers love Paris when it sizzles or Italy when the spring flowers are blossoming, but there is much to love in Europe during October. Fodor’s list of the best places to visit in October include Spain, Italy, Germany and France.Considering the cheaper prices and the lack of crowds, you may find October to be the coolest month of all — and not just because of the weather.

 Take an October tour of France's Loire Valley vineyards and chateaus.Vacation in the Vineyards in France
  • Although you will find Paris, as are many other European cities, much less crowded in the fall, the prime destinations in October are the wine regions. The grape harvest begins in September but it runs well into October for the late ripening varietals, including the grapes of the Champagne region. A Loire Valley wine tour will afford both wine tastings and a chance to peek inside the regions historic chateaus.

Hit the Beach and the Links in Spain

  • October is the tail end of the season on Spain’s Costa del Sol and that’s when crowds begin to dwindle, although the weather is still warm. World-class golf courses and Rivera-style glitzy beach resorts abound, but you can also find some relaxing moments in the smaller villages along the coast.) If the weather holds and you’re feeling bold, you might venture into the Costa Natura, Spain’s first nudist village.

Feast and Be Festive in Italy

  • A trip to Italy in October affords the intrepid traveler an opportunity to see historic sights such as the Spanish Steps, the Venice Canals and the Colosseum. It also is the time for many festivals and feasts, such as the White Truffle Festival in Alba, the Slow Food Festival — alternately in Turin or Bra, or the decadent delights of Chocoday, part of the yearly Eurochocolate Festival in Perugia

Roll Out the Barrel in Munich

  • An October visit to Munich without partaking of the beer and festivities at Oktoberfest would be unthinkable, but this 16-day festival starts in September and ends after the first weekend in October. This raucous party draws more than 6 million people every year, so stake out your place early in one of the enormous beer tents to ensure that you get first crack at the Oktoberfest beer. Even if you don’t drink beer, you can shop for lederhosen or sing along with the brass band.

How to Travel From Singapore to Hawaii

A view of the Pacific Ocean between Asia and North America.
Both the geographic distance and cultural differences are vast between the dense, cosmopolitan Asian city-state of Singapore and the laid-back island oasis of Hawaii, America’s tropical paradise. Between them lies 6,800 miles of Pacific Ocean, which means getting from one destination to the other requires a long-haul flight. There are numerous airlines that fly the route, with durations varying widely depending on the airline and the number of stops in your itinerary.

Departing From Changi Airport, Singapore

  • Changi Airport (SIN) is the departure point for flights from Singapore to Hawaii. It’s the only international airport that serves Singapore, and is also a major transportation hub for all of southeast Asia. Located in the far eastern part of the Singapore metro area, Changi is easily accessible via both public and private transportation. The modern, efficient, state-of-the-art airport reflects the city it serves.

Airlines That Fly Between the Two Cities

  • There are no nonstop flights between Singapore and Hawaii, but there are more than a dozen airlines that offer one- or two-stop itineraries that require you to connect in another city or cities. Airlines that fly most frequently between Singapore and Hawaii include: Korean; Air China; United Airlines; Delta; Asiana; Hawaiian; Japan Airlines; All Nippon Airways; China Eastern; and Philippine Airlines.

    Connecting cities en route to Hawaii include Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo, Taiwan and Manila. The fastest itinerary can get you to Hawaii in just under 16 hours with one stop and a tight connection time, while the longest takes more than 61 hours with two stops and long connection times.

    As of spring 2015, round-trip prices start at just over $800 for an economy-class seat and rise to several thousand dollars, depending on the airline and seat class.

Arriving at Honolulu Airport

  • Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on the island of Oahu is the arrival point in Hawaii for all incoming itineraries that originate in Singapore. On approach, passengers are able to see iconic Honolulu landmarks such as Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach and the Pearl Harbor memorial from the window seats.

    You can get to other parts of Hawaii — such as Maui, the big island of Hawaii, or Kauai — by connecting to other flights in Honolulu.

Visas, Pets and Other Considerations

  • Because Hawaii is part of the United States, you may need a visa to enter, unless you are a U.S. citizen, a U.S. green card holder or come from a visa-waiver country. Be sure to check with the U.S. embassy in your country of origin before booking or paying for any flights to Hawaii. If you plan to bring a pet to Hawaii, be aware that Hawaii has strict animal importation rules, so you must inquire with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture before booking any travel.

What Is the Cheapest Way to Fly to Hawaii?

Hawaii is a popular and expensive travel destination.
Hawaii is a popular destination for people from all over the world. However, due to its remote location, it is often expensive to get to. Round-trip air tickets to Hawaii from the U.S. mainland can easily cost $1,000 or more. The good news is that if you do a little extra searching, you’ll probably find a good deal.

  • Get to Los Angeles. Los Angeles is generally the cheapest city to fly to Hawaii from. If you purchase round trip tickets to Hawaii from the closest airport to you, chances are you will stop in Los Angeles anyway on your way to Hawaii. So, book a separate flight to Los Angeles. Other options are San Francisco and Seattle, but Los Angeles is the best option. You can usually fly to Los Angeles from most other cities in the U.S. mainland.
  • Search for the best rate on a round trip ticket from Los Angeles to Honolulu. Look on travel sites for deals. Compare the rates on all of those sites and find the best deal.

    Check with your local travel agency for its best rates. Be flexible on your travel dates; flying a day earlier or later than you planned can sometimes save hundreds of dollars.

    Check out travel airline ticket consolidators. Ticket consolidators buy airline tickets in bulk and sell them to consumers at discounted rates to fill seats on airplanes.

    Hawaii’s whale season is December through April; traveling to Hawaii is generally more expensive during those months, so travel between May and November if possible.

  • Purchase your tickets from Los Angeles to Honolulu. You can do this online using your credit card, or over the phone through the airline. However, there may be a fee for booking over the phone.
  • Book your flights from Honolulu to other islands if you are traveling to other islands. Check or for the best rates on inter-island flights.
  • Book your return flight home from Los Angeles. Be sure the flight leaves after your flight from Honolulu is scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles. Allow at least 90 minutes in between flights.

Flight Time to Hawaii From California

Hawaii's natural treasures are just a flight away from the west coast.

The flight time from major California airports to Honolulu, Hawaii, ranges between five and six hours. Of course, it depends on the location of the airport, weather, headwinds or tailwinds, and air traffic. The length of the flight is also affected by which airport you fly in or out of, because ground time at the airport is included in the flight time.

Los Angeles International

  • A flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Honolulu averages about five and a half hours. Direct flights to Maui from LAX are about 15 minutes shorter.

Los Angeles Regional Airports

  • There are no nonstop flights to Honolulu or Maui from other Los Angeles area airports. However, there are connecting flights out of several smaller airports, including John Wayne (Santa Ana) and Ontario. These flights take a minimum of seven hours and 45 minutes to reach Hawaii.

San Diego International

  • Flying from San Diego International Airport to Honolulu takes about five hours and 40 minutes. No direct flights exist from San Diego to Maui.

San Francisco International

  • Flights from San Francisco International Airport to Honolulu, Hawaii usually last about five hours and 15 minutes.

San Francisco Bay Area

  • Direct flights to Honolulu are available from San Francisco Bay Area regional airports, including Oakland and Sacramento, and take about five hours and 15 minutes. Nonstop flights to Maui, when available, are up to a half-hour shorter.

What Is the Cheapest Way to Travel to Europe?

What Is the Cheapest Way to Travel to Europe?
By Shewanda Pugh
eHow Contributor






Be the first!

The cheapest way to travel to Europe, and nearly every destination, depends on your starting location. Those traveling from overseas have fewer, and much more expensive, options than individuals already on the continent.

Airline consolidators routinely offer discounted international flights to Europe and other places. After purchasing the tickets in bulk, they are able to offer them at a substantial savings for the consumer. Flexibility and advance planning will yield the biggest savings.


Consider flying into one city and out of another. Many major European cities are in close proximity, within a few hours drive, and the potential savings could be significant.

Travel Agencies

This might seem like an obvious option, but the old stand-by travel agent still has some merit. A travel agency often has exclusive access to pooled airfare discounts and can pass those on to the consumer.

Chartered/Courier Flights

Charter and courier flights have cheaper fares, but the offerings of such flights have diminished greatly. Many restrictions apply as well, such as the need to live near a few choice departure cities, limit luggage to carry-on and fly with little notice.


Provided you’re in Eurasia or Asia in some instances, travel by train is possible. Affordable fares are available from Moscow to London and between other cities as well.

The Best Time to Buy Airfare to Hawaii

Air view of the island of Kauai, Hawaii
The beauty of the Hawaiian Islands draws tourists from around the world every year. But not everyone can afford a first-class vacation. Airfare can be one of the most expensive parts of a trip to Hawaii, but there are some smart ways to find relatively cheap airfare.

TimingTravel experts specializing in Hawaii recommend that you make your flight reservations no later than 21 days before the trip. Plane tickets go up significantly after that. In some cases, you can save 50 to 60 percent off standard coach rates. For travelers who set their vacation dates well in advance, booking flights six months ahead can also yield good deals. Ask your booking agent about red-eye flights (which leave late at night or early in the morning). You could save 25 percent by doing so.

Airline customers at airport ticket counter
The SeasonsThe Hawaii Travel Bureau website recommends taking advantage of the seasonal changes in airfare rates. Flights to Hawaii are typically at their cheapest from January to May and from September to early December. Crowds at those times are typically down, specifically right after the Easter holiday. The weather isn’t much different during the low season, though tourists in Hawaii from January to March should know the waves are higher and can cause cancellation of some offshore excursions.

Na Pali coast on the island of Kauai, Hawaii
When You LeaveLeaving for Hawaii on a weekday (Monday through Thursday) can help you get a lower fare.

Landing airstrip on the island of Maui, Hawaii
Day of PurchaseWhen you purchase your ticket can save you money, too. Peter Greenberg of the Peter Greenberg Worldwide travel website writes that 1 a.m. Wednesday is the best time to buy any plane ticket. At that time, Greenberg says, airlines reload their computers with their latest low fares, and if the old rates aren’t purchased within 24 hours, they go away. According to the Beat of Hawaii website, airlines announce their best Hawaii airfare deals two weeks before the end of a high season. These deals are for travelers in more distant locations. For those who live on the West Coast, Beat of Hawaii recommends waiting until a week before the end of the high season, when fares are tailored for travelers from the West Coast.

Online search for airline flight information
What to AvoidDo not travel to Hawaii during major holidays unless you plan to spend a lot of money. The two weeks around Christmas are the busiest time of year. The travel blog Find Cheap Airfares recommends also staying away from the Hawaiian Islands the last week in April, which is Japan’s Golden Week. Golden Week has four national holidays, and the islands are packed with tourists.

Tourists on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii

How to Celebrate Your Birthday Alone

Buy or make your favorite cake to celebrate your day.
Even if you’re alone for your birthday, it’s possible to plan a thrilling day that you’ll remember for years to come. Whether your friends have prior commitments or you’re simply the type who enjoys solo outings, spend a day pampering yourself. Focus on your favorite hobby, take a dreamed-about trip or just indulge in a bit of self-reflection.

Pamper Yourself

  • A birthday is an ideal opportunity to enjoy a little self-indulgent pampering. Think of what you want to give to yourself — a visit to a spa for a relaxing massage and a pedicure, followed by a stop at your favorite cupcake shop? Sleeping in late and reading a novel in the sun on your apartment balcony? Make your choice, then treat yourself with an order from your favorite takeout restaurant. If you’re celebrating a milestone birthday, such as your 30th or 40th, enjoy something related to either number. For example, binge watch 30 episodes of your favorite sitcom over the weekend or make a list of 40 goals for the coming year.

Enjoy Your Hobby

  • Think of the hobby or activity that adds passion to your life and make it the focal point of your day. Pack up your kayak, make a picnic and enjoy time on the water, or buy a ticket for the local sports team and catch the action at the ballpark or stadium with a beer and a hot dog. Many teams list the names of those celebrating a birthday on the video board, so contact them in advance to add your name to the list. If you’re an avid video game player, buy your favorite snacks and play games all day. Or, set a budget and hit the mall to buy a new pair of shoes or an outfit to celebrate — and stop at an ice cream kiosk for a birthday treat.

Hit the Road

  • Solo travel can be highly rewarding. It gives you a chance to experience new settings without the distractions of being in a group. Think of a destination near or far you wish to visit and pack your suitcase. Your trip could be as simple as visiting a bed and breakfast in your state and enjoying hiking in a nearby national park, or as ambitious as booking the cruise you’ve always dreamed of. If you have a desire to meet new people, setting off on your own can offer the opportunity to connect with like-minded travelers.

Look Inward

  • Your birthday is an ideal time to reflect on your life and make goals for the year ahead, and being alone affords you the time to be introspective without interruption. Think of how you want to move forward in the next 12 months, and envision how you want your life to look on your next birthday. If you’re unhappy about being alone, use the opportunity to make a plan for avoiding this feeling next year. Pledge to engage in more social events to meet new people, or, if you have trouble forming or maintaining relationships, pledge to schedule time with a therapist.

A Singapore Packing List

Americans can visit Singapore for up to 30 days without a visa.

Singapore offers travelers an intoxicating mix of Chinese, Western, Indian and Malay culture, along with clean streets and little crime. Explore the city with its comprehensive public transportation. For an unforgettable trip, pack smart and purchase a travel insurance policy before leaving home.

Warm Weather Clothing

  • Pack summery clothing for Singapore, which is hot and sticky year-round. Temperatures range from the 70s to the 90s Fahrenheit, with little differentiation between seasons. Dresses, T-shirts and pants in light colors made from breathable, natural fibers like cotton are ideal. Casual Western-style clothing is common throughout Singapore, though a suit and tie, or a nice dress, are preferred for business. Whatever you pack, make sure it’s clean and in decent shape, as locals take pride in their appearance.

Medicine and Toiletries

  • Bring enough of any medication to last the duration of your visit, along with a copy of the prescription to avoid difficulty at the border. Toss some sunblock and a humidity-fighting hair product into your bag to cope with Singapore’s hot, sticky weather, along with insect repellent, as mosquitoes are a common nuisance. Singapore’s spicy cuisine might be rough on your tummy, so pack an anti-diarrheal and heartburn medicine to prevent runs to the pharmacy.

Monsoon Wear

  • Singapore experiences two monsoon seasons, one from December to March and another from June to September, so pack an umbrella. Though it will likely be too muggy for a raincoat, flip-flops are ideal for monsoons as they dry quickly, unlike a pair of sneakers. Many malls, restaurants and other places in Singapore run air conditioning at full blast, so bring a shawl or light jacket to wear indoors.

Odds and Ends

  • Pack a guidebook to make exploring easy during your trip to Singapore. A plug adapter is necessary for American-made electronics, as is a converter for anything that doesn’t run on 220 or 240 volts. Throwing cigarette butts or chewing gum onto the street results in a heavy fine, so bring a pocket ashtray for easy disposal. Pack copies of your passport in case of theft and a money belt for valuables; crime is rare, but pickpocketing does happen.

How to Celebrate Christmas in Singapore

How to Celebrate Christmas in Singapore
It may come as a surprise to some, but Christmas is actually quite the affair in the most modern of Asian countries–Singapore. For holiday visitors, there are several things to consider as they celebrate Christmas there. Here are a few ideas to get into the Yuletide spirit.

  • Take a walk down Orchard Road. The shopping malls on Orchard Road–one of the most popular streets for shopping in the country–compete annually for best Christmas decorations. Entire malls are known to transform themselves into giant Christmas presents, or adorn themselves in hundreds of thousands of lights.
  • Visit Tanglin Mall on Tanglin Road. The mall is famous for its snow display, which typically features a large blow-up Christmas display and a machine spouting “snow” (which actually feels more like soap suds or foam). Singaporeans will drench themselves in it–and you can, too.
  • Attend the Celebrating Christmas in Singapore parade, usually held on Orchard Road. The exact dates change from year to year, so consult a local tourism office for the parade’s schedule.
  • Enjoy a turkey dinner on Christmas Even with friends and family at home. For the brave, include Singapore’s own “queen of fruits,” the very aromatic durian. For something a little more local, go to a “hawker stall”–found all over the city. The locals can direct you to the nearest set–and order roti pratha, a delectable fried bread with curry dipping sauce. Nothing says Christmas like spicy “Muslim food,” as the latter is known on the island.
  • Exchange gifts on Christmas morning, then enjoy leftovers from last night’s meal. That’s right–in Singapore as in so many other places on Christmas morning, it’s time to open presents. Consider presenting a ticket to Singapore’s exciting Night Safari as your gift to a loved one.

How to Rent a Party House for a Day in Los Angeles

Sprawling estate

With its great weather and prime real estate, Los Angeles is the perfect city for home rentals. These rentals don’t necessarily just have to take the form of vacation homes, however, as many television-watchers can attest to the number of LA-area homes that gain media coverage and attention simply because they were used in a commercial or for a corporate-sponsored party. Though the idea of renting out a home for a party may sound like a great idea, some homework does need to be done. You should know exactly what the terms of the rental will be and, in exchange, the owner should know exactly how you plan on using the house.

  • Check Craiglist to see if any properties are available for as little as one day. These Los Angeles-area homes are usually listed under “Sublets/Temporary” or “Vacation Rentals.”
  • Skim through the classified sections of the local papers, including the “Los Angeles Times,” “LA Weekly” and the “Los Angeles Daily News.” Many owners and real estate brokers will list properties that are available for rental. Many properties are mostly available for filming. However, if contacted directly you have a fair chance of being able to convince the owner that it would monetarily be worth it for him to receive a hefty fee for only one day’s use for a private party.
  • Check the real estate sections of neighborhoods that are notorious for filming locations, reality television homes, and other concerts and parties that you come across on television. Malibu, Hollywood Hills and Harvard Heights are some of the most popular locations that often rent out large homes, beach front estates and private residences nestled into the hillside.
  • Visit the iRent2U website. Register for the site and skim through the many listings of vacation homes that are for rent. The good thing about this site is that it covers a wide range of the city. You can start your search in Los Angeles and expand it out as far as you would like.
  • Contact BEB World, an online rental agency that specializes in renting out homes to both film crews and individuals who want to rent a home for as little as one day or as much as a few months.
  • Visit VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) and select the city that you are looking to throw your event in. Skim the listings and contact the owners directly to inquire about the property. The good thing about this site is that it provides the exact properties, their locations, amenities and fees all on the site. This eliminates a lot of the back and forth that you would typically have to engage in with an owner or broker.
  • Be prepared to pay anywhere from $500 to $4,000 for just the one-day rental. Realize, too, that your “one-day” may actually mean more like six to eight hours. You will likely not be able to occupy the residence over night. You may also have to leave a significant deposit to protect the homeowner from any damage his home incurs during your event. The deposit is usually dependent on the term’s of your contract.

How to Rent a Vacation Home on the Beach in Florida

Many Florida vacation homes sit close to watersport activities.
Florida had more than 80 million tourists in 2009, according to Visit Florida. People often visit certain cities within the state, such as Daytona Beach, because of their beaches. Many places in Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, Key West, Miami, Tampa and Tallahassee, offer water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, windsurfing, deep sea fishing, swimming, jet skiing, canoeing or kayaking. Florida offers a variety of houses on the beach to stay in with your family or friends during a vacation.

Vacation House Rentals

  • Decide on the city in which you want to rent a house on the beach and the time in which you plan to rent it. During certain times of the year, such as March and April, you may have a harder time renting a house in certain cities, such as Daytona Beach, Miami or Key West. If you want to rent a vacation house with a group of friends from college, consider popular destinations such as Fort Lauderdale or Miami, which feature an assortment of bars and clubs. For vacations with your children, look at houses in family-friendly places such as Merritt Island, Seagrove Beach, Cape Canaveral, Clearwater Beach, Vero Beach or Port St. Lucie.
  • Use the Internet to research what different areas in Florida have to offer. Use chamber of commerce or convention and visitors bureau websites to try to find out about people or companies that regularly rent out vacation homes and different area attractions. You may also want to talk to real estate agents in Florida to find out about rental units in certain areas and to compare prices.
  • Ask friends or family members about vacation homes on Florida’s beaches, if they have recently gone to or regularly travel to Florida, to find out if they know someone who will rent out their private beach residence to you. You may get a better deal going through friends and family, but you will likely have to deal with a homeowner instead of an established company.
  • Narrow down your search based on factors such as price, location, housing size or amenities or nearby attractions. Compare what two or more houses have to offer, looking at descriptions and pictures if possible. Vacation homes in some areas, such as New Smyrna Beach or St. Augustine, often cost less than those in cities such as Naples or Key Largo. If you are staying for more than a week, find a vacation house with a fully-equipped kitchen and a living room with amenities such as a TV or a sofa. For a vacation with kids, consider vacation homes with pools, hot tubs or play sets.
  • Contact people or businesses renting out vacation houses, by phone or email, to talk about renting their units or to find out more information about the beach houses before making a final decision. Discuss topics such as price and rules and regulations before renting out a vacation house. You likely will have to sign a rental contact and put down a security deposit to rent a house, especially if you are dealing with a company. Understand and negotiate on who pays for certain bills, such as utility, gas, heating, cable and Internet service bills, before renting a house, according to Investopedia.

How to Travel From Florence to Pisa

When you have soaked up Renaissance art and history at the Uffizi and the Accademia, shopped till you dropped for fine leather and local wines in the San Lorenzo Market and gazed in wonder at the Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio, it may be time to say, “Arrivederci” to Florence and follow the Arno River west toward Pisa. Both cities are located among the sloping olive-colored hills of Tuscany, and you can enjoy views of ancient farmhouses, village squares and vineyards when you travel by train, bus or car.

 Pisa is about 53 miles from Florence.

By Train

  • Florence’s Santa Maria Novella train station is centrally located and the ideal place to catch a train for Pisa. Trains leave SMN every half-hour for Pisa Centrale, and most routings are about an hour. From the station, it’s a pleasant shop-filled 20- or 30-minute walk to the Leaning Tower, the Baptistry and the Piazza dei Miracoli, or Square of Miracles. If you are trying to get to the Galileo Galilei Airport in Pisa, you can take an express train; six of them run during the week and three on Sundays. Buy your ticket from the biglietteria at the station, or use one of the self-service kiosks. Make sure you validate your ticket before getting on the train. Simply slide your ticket into the green and yellow box on or near the platform, and wait to hear it print a date and time stamp.

By Car

  • Driving from Florence to Pisa presents a lot of lovely scenery, but it takes longer — at least an hour and a half — and you should make peace with the fact that you will probably get lost. This has nothing to do with your skill as a driver or the maps in your possession; it’s simply part of the driving-in-Italy experience. There are two main routes — the A-11/E76 highway or the SGC. The A-11 route takes you through delightful medieval towns like Prato, Pistoia and Lucca, where you might want to stop and take a walk or sip an espresso. The SGC takes you farther south, through Empoli and Pontedera. Don’t go too far south, or you’ll end up in Livorno. Look for signs pointing you north toward Pisa, and invest in a reliable GPS system. Be prepared for tolls on these roads. You get a ticket when you enter the toll road and pay in euro or by credit card when you exit.

By Bus

  • Think twice about taking the bus unless you’re looking for an airport transfer. Two private bus companies offer service between Florence and Pisa, but they will not drop you off in the center of Pisa. Buses depart from Florence’s airport or the Santa Maria Novella train station and arrive at Pisa’s airport. The bus ride is about an hour, and you’ll need to buy a ticket from Terravision or Autostradale.

Travel Tips

  • Unless you have a rental car that you need to return to Pisa, the train is the fastest, cheapest and most efficient way to travel between these two Tuscan gems. While you’re in Pisa, don’t just visit the tower and call it a day. It’s a thriving university town with impressive churches, stimulating museums and plenty of lively shopping and dining available, especially if you get off the beaten path. You can stroll on bridges across the Arno River in both cities and admire local artists and craftspeople selling their work.

Pet Friendly Beach House Rentals on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi

The Mississippi Gulf Coast's scenic shoreline is a beautiful place to vacation.
The Gulf Coast of Mississippi overlooks the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi Sound and miles of coastal beaches. Since Hurricane Katrina devastated the area on August 29, 2005, some of the beach house rental properties have been rebuilt, and unique waterfront homes, many of which are pet friendly, are available for people vacationing in this beautiful shoreline setting. reports that the Katrina-damaged Beach Drive in Bay St. Louis has been restored and as of 2010, “Biloxi’s historic lighthouse … a symbol of the Coast’s recovery effort … was relit.”

Waveland Vacation House

  • The Waveland vacation house called “The Red Rooster” has six bedrooms and sleeps 12. It is in a private neighborhood in Waveland, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast within walking distance of the beach. This newly renovated home has a private pool, a deck and a hot tub. Pets are allowed. The rental rates and pet fees vary by season and must be discussed with the owner when you call to inquire about the house.

    David L. Segrave (owner)

    Many beach houses are near the beach where you can walk with your dog.
    Many beach houses are near the beach where you can walk with your dog.

Gulf Breeze Cottage

  • The Gulf Breeze Cottage is decorated with beach decor and peaceful colors. It has three bedrooms that sleep eight and two bathrooms, an open floor plan and a view of the gulf from the living room. The living room has a large screen TV and entertainment center, and the whole house has wireless Internet and air conditioning. The house is near golf courses and one block from white sandy beaches and a park with tennis courts and a playground. Small pets are welcome with approval and a $70 to $100 pet fee.

    Donna Rowland (owner)

    Small pets are welcome at the Gulf Breeze Cottage, one block from the beach.
    Small pets are welcome at the Gulf Breeze Cottage, one block from the beach.

The Green Woods Stables Lodge

  • The Green Woods Stables Lodge is a charming farmhouse in a pastoral setting on the edge of 70 acres of pastureland with old oaks and pecan trees and a garden. The house has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, air conditioning, a wood-burning stove, antique furniture and cable TV. The grounds offer a nature walk, pond fishing and trails for horse riding. It is located close to shopping, restaurants and casinos. Pets are welcome with a $105 pet fee per week.

    Mary (owner)
    228-297 5557

    The Green Woods Stable Lodge on the Gulf Coast is in a pastoral setting.
    The Green Woods Stable Lodge on the Gulf Coast is in a pastoral setting.

Boardwalk Reality: Bay Dreams and The Big Lazy

  • Boardwalk Reality manages dog-friendly beach houses on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Non-refundable pet fees are charged, but the fee varies from house to house. Cats are not allowed, and all dogs must be on a flea prevention program, have all required vaccinations, be well-behaved and on leash in compliance with town regulations. Rental rates vary, depending on the house, season, number of days you stay and whether any specials are being offered.

    Two of the available beach houses are:
    Bay Dreams, a waterfront home with a large deck and an expansive view of Mississippi Sound. It is a short walk to Gulf Beach, and its bay frontage offers a sandy shore, a pier with boat dock and a sun deck. This beach house sleeps nine, has four bedrooms, two baths, a well-equipped kitchen and Internet access. The house is pet friendly with a two pet limit and a fee of $100 per pet.

    The Big Lazy is a cozy bayside beach house with views of the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi Sound. The vacation home sleeps eight, has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a well-equipped kitchen, washer and dryer, cable TV, plus a Foosball table. This house is pet-friendly and charges a $50 pet fee per pet.

    Boardwalk Realty
    1804 Bienville Blvd
    Dauphin Island, AL 36528


Bay Saint Louis Beach House

  • This Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi Gulf Coast beach house is centrally located, near the beach and restaurants, and it is only a 40-minute drive from New Orleans. This is an older, two-story home with lots of character, high ceilings, a wood-burning fireplace in the well-equipped kitchen, porches for relaxing on and a swing underneath lush green foliage. The house sleeps eight and has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It offers a large dog-friendly yard with lush landscaping, and pets of all sizes are welcome. The pet fee is $200 per pet.

    Fred (owner)

    The Bay Saint Louis beach house offers a large dog-friendly yard.
    The Bay Saint Louis beach house offers a large dog-friendly yard.

How to Rent a Vacation Home on the Beach in Florida

Florida had more than 80 million tourists in 2009, according to Visit Florida. People often visit certain cities within the state, such as Daytona Beach, because of their beaches. Many places in Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, Key West, Miami, Tampa and Tallahassee, offer water sports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, windsurfing, deep sea fishing, swimming, jet skiing, canoeing or kayaking. Florida offers a variety of houses on the beach to stay in with your family or friends during a vacation.

Many Florida vacation homes sit close to watersport activities.

Vacation House Rentals

  • Decide on the city in which you want to rent a house on the beach and the time in which you plan to rent it. During certain times of the year, such as March and April, you may have a harder time renting a house in certain cities, such as Daytona Beach, Miami or Key West. If you want to rent a vacation house with a group of friends from college, consider popular destinations such as Fort Lauderdale or Miami, which feature an assortment of bars and clubs. For vacations with your children, look at houses in family-friendly places such as Merritt Island, Seagrove Beach, Cape Canaveral, Clearwater Beach, Vero Beach or Port St. Lucie.
  • Use the Internet to research what different areas in Florida have to offer. Use chamber of commerce or convention and visitors bureau websites to try to find out about people or companies that regularly rent out vacation homes and different area attractions. You may also want to talk to real estate agents in Florida to find out about rental units in certain areas and to compare prices.
  • Ask friends or family members about vacation homes on Florida’s beaches, if they have recently gone to or regularly travel to Florida, to find out if they know someone who will rent out their private beach residence to you. You may get a better deal going through friends and family, but you will likely have to deal with a homeowner instead of an established company.
  • Narrow down your search based on factors such as price, location, housing size or amenities or nearby attractions. Compare what two or more houses have to offer, looking at descriptions and pictures if possible. Vacation homes in some areas, such as New Smyrna Beach or St. Augustine, often cost less than those in cities such as Naples or Key Largo. If you are staying for more than a week, find a vacation house with a fully-equipped kitchen and a living room with amenities such as a TV or a sofa. For a vacation with kids, consider vacation homes with pools, hot tubs or play sets.
  • Contact people or businesses renting out vacation houses, by phone or email, to talk about renting their units or to find out more information about the beach houses before making a final decision. Discuss topics such as price and rules and regulations before renting out a vacation house. You likely will have to sign a rental contact and put down a security deposit to rent a house, especially if you are dealing with a company. Understand and negotiate on who pays for certain bills, such as utility, gas, heating, cable and Internet service bills, before renting a house, according to Investopedia.

What Airlines Go to Hawaii

Several airlines connect the islands of Hawaii to cities within the United States, as well as cities in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region. Domestic and international airlines provide non-stop flights to Honolulu, Maui, and other Hawaiian islands and cities. As of 2011, five airports in the state service flights to and from destinations outside Hawaii.

 Honolulu is home to Hawaii's busiest airport.Hilo International Airport
  • As of February 2011, Hilo International Airport is only served by Go! and Hawaiian Airlines with flights within Hawaii. Starting in June 2011, United Airlines will begin flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco from Hilo. The airport is found on the east side of the island of Hawaii near Hilo Bay.

Honolulu International Airport

  • As Hawaii’s main airport, several international and domestic airlines fly to Honolulu. American, Alaska Airlines, Continental, Delta, United and US Airways fly to cities throughout the United States, while Air Canada and WestJet operate flights to Canadian destinations. Hawaiian Airlines also operates flights to the U.S. mainland and international destinations in Asia and Australia. International carriers flying to the airport include Air New Zealand, Air Pacific, All Nippon Airways, China Airlines, Japan Airlines, Jetstar Airways, Korean Air, Philippine Airlines and Qantas.

Kahului Airport

  • Kahului Airport on the island of Maui is served by 13 airlines, as of March 2011. In addition to inter-island flights operated by Hawaiian, Go!, Mokuele Airlines, Island Air and Pacific Wings, Air Canada and WestJet fly to Canadian cities from Kahului. Alaska Airlines, American, Continental, Delta, United, and US Airways link Maui with several American cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Denver and San Francisco.

Kona International Airport

  • On the western coast of the Big Island, airlines fly to cities within the United States and Canada from Kona International Airport. As of March 2011, Air Canada and WesJet fly to Vancouver from Kona. Alaska, American, Delta, Miami Air International (operated for Kona Shuttle), United, and US Airways provide flights to the mainland United States, and Hawaiian operates flights within Hawaii. Go!, Island Air and Mokulele also provide inter-island connections.

Lihue Airport

  • On the southeast coast of Kauai, domestic and international airlines serve Lihue Airport. As of March 2011, seasonal flights by WestJet to Vancouver are the only international connections from Lihue. Scheduled non-stop flights are provided to the U.S. mainland on American, Delta, United, and US Airways. Flights flown by Hawaiian, Go! and Island Air can reach airports within Hawaii.

How to Buy Singapore Stock

Invest in the Singapore stock market with an ETF.

The Singapore economy and stock market are among of the fastest growing in the world. In the first half of 2010, the city-state had gross domestic product–GDP–growth of more than 30 percent. The strong growth has rallied the shares of Singapore stock. Singapore has its own currency and trading stocks directly is very difficult. Fortunately, U.S. investors have access to an exchange traded fund–ETF–that is exclusively invested in Singapore stocks.

  • Open and deposit money into an online stock brokerage account if you do not already have one. If you have an account send in or set aside some money for your Singapore investment. To select a broker, a link to the “Smart Money” magazine 2010 Broker Survey is provided in Resources.
  • Look up the current share price for the iShares MSCI Singapore Index ETF which has the stock symbol EWS. Use the quote screen of your online brokerage account, type in EWS, and select “Get quote.”
  • Calculate the number of shares of EWS you want to buy. Divide your investment amount by the current EWS share price. Most brokers limit ETF trades to whole share purchases. Round your result to the nearest whole share.
  • Buy the shares of EWS using your brokerage account stock trade screen. You must enter the stock symbol “EWS,” the number of shares you want to buy, select “Buy to open,” and place the order. Your trade should be filled in a few seconds and the shares will show in your account summary.

How to Maintain a Singaporean Turtle

Singaporean turtles should be kept in a terrarium.
Singaporean turtles, more commonly referred to as red-eared sliders or Singapore turtles, are small turtles that are often domesticated and kept as pets. The red-eared slider, or Trachemys scripta elegans, is a popular pet due to its small size and good temperament. There are several things you can do to maintain the health of your red-eared slider.

  • Buy a large turtle terrarium, available at your local pet store. The terrarium should be several times the size of your red-eared slider so that it can comfortably move around.
  • Fill the terrarium with gravel and fake vegetation (available at pet stores). Also give your turtle a place to hide or burrow. Several varieties of “cave-like” or covered terrarium structures are available at pet stores. Place a large rock in one of the corners of the terrarium.
  • Purchase a heat lamp to set over the large rock inside the terrarium. Keep the rock, called a basking rock, at a temperature of 85 to 95 degrees F and the rest of the terrarium between 75 and 85 degrees F. This will keep your red-eared slider comfortable and happy.
  • Place a small water dish in the terrarium. Keep it filled with fresh water at all times. The turtle should always have access to clean water to drink.
  • Feed your red-eared slider regularly. Turtles require different amounts of food depending on their size. If you are unsure how much food to feed your turtle, consult a veterinarian. Feed your red-eared slider a high-protein commercial turtle kibble, available at your local pet store. To supplement this food, give your red-eared slider chopped vegetables such as zucchini, kale, dandelions, squash, endive leaves and collard greens.
  • Take your turtle to see the vet regularly. Once you receive your turtle, make an appointment with a local vet who sees reptiles and amphibians. (Not all vets do.) The vet will tell you how often you need to bring your turtle in for check-ups. If your turtle has behavioral changes including loss of appetite, sluggishness or diarrhea, take it to the vet for care.

How to Open a Small Business in Singapore

Doing business in Singapore is all about protocols.
Most people don’t enjoy paperwork, but things that come after completing the paperwork can be fun. Doing business in any country can be an exciting endeavor, and Singapore is no exception. Paperwork in Singapore is quite simple, and its economy is growing quickly because the government is able to make right decisions in a short time. There are no walls for doing business in Singapore, but it requires you to learn about the city’s habits to be successful.

  • Define your business sector. Get to know it well. Explore the possibilities, and learn about the sector’s progress and the credentials you need. Also, find out about the distribution of trade in Singapore because it could help you choose the location for your business.
  • Choose the right dates for your business trip. Experts like Joerg Kalisch recommend not choosing one week before, in between or after Chinese New Year. He also says that the smart thing to do is checking Singapore’s public holidays list.
  • Be punctual. Using the traffic as pretext for being late doesn’t work in Singapore. Taxi cabs are very reliable, and you can’t start out on the wrong foot. Cultural protocol is special, and you must follow it. For example, the greeting for young and old people is different. It’s also culturally permissible for women and men to shake hands, but the women have to start the handshake.
  • Be honest and kind. People in Singapore give more value to unspoken communication and gestures. Do not look nervous because they can think you’re not been honest. Also, remember to speak slowly and create a warm relationship with your future partners or suppliers. Personal relations are very important in Singapore’s culture.

How to Travel Europe on a Budget

Traveling Europe on a budget is a rite of passage for many young American. The freedom symbolized by roaming from country to country with all your belongings on your back is unparalleled. Most young travelers have little money, and what they do have is beaten down by a poor exchange rate with the Euro. However, if you know what to do, you can live inexpensively and have a great time. Follow these steps to travel Europe on a budget.

  • Decide when to go. Summer is peak season. It is the most expensive and most crowded time in Europe. Spring and fall are cheaper but can be cold and rainy at times. Winter is the least expensive season except in ski areas. You will encounter very few other tourists, but you will have to deal with snow in some places. Every season has its benefits. Choose which ones suits you best.
  • Plan ahead for cheap airfare. Shop around to find some great deals. Compare the Internet travel agencies, then call the airlines directly to see if they can beat the price. Be flexible with travel dates. Sometimes the day of the week can make a huge difference in airfare. Consider European-based airlines. Sometimes they offer amazing prices with free stopovers in their home countries. You could end up seeing Iceland, Luxembourg or the Netherlands for free.
  • Arrange your transportation before you go. The Eurail Pass is a perennial favorite. Choose your countries, class of service and length of pass. It must be purchased before arriving in Europe (see Resources below).
  • Pack light. Get a backpack with wheels that is the maximum size for an airline carry-on. Only take what fits in that bag. If you check bags and lug them around Europe, it will slow you down and cost you more. Take two changes of clothing and do laundry in a sink every night. If something wears out, buy a replacement in Europe.
  • Stay in low-cost accommodations. Get a good budget travel book like “Lonely Planet” or “Let’s Go” (see Resources below). They list hostels and hotels for the budget traveler. Most are clean, safe and cheap. Also ask other travelers for recommendations. Word-of-mouth tends to be more accurate than book listings. Many budget accommodations don’t accept reservations. If you are looking for a place to stay that night, be sure to search early in the day before they fill up.
  • Eat cheap. Sit-down restaurants will drain your budget quickly. Whenever possible, cook for yourself. Many hostels have cooking facilities and utensils. “Take away” food is also inexpensive and authentic. Your budget travel book will have recommendations of good and cheap places to eat.
  • Avoid expensive tourist traps. Museums and other tourist sites charge ridiculous fees to enter. Check to see if there are discounted or free days. If not, don’t go there unless you must see something specific inside. All of Europe is a tourist site for Americans. Wander the streets or hang out in a town square. The best sites of Europe are free.
  • Take pictures as souvenirs. They are the best reminders of your travels in Europe and they don’t cost you much. They also don’t add weight to your bag. Compliment your photos with a journal of your memories. If you buy things you will either have to carry them or mail them home. Either way it will be expensive.

How to Trade Stocks in Singapore

Singapore sits at the trading crossroads of Asia, and stands among the original “Asian Tigers.” Run by an efficient government and boasting a modern economy, the island city-state’s official business is business, with an eye on long-term growth and prosperity. This makes investing in Singapore attractive, and a day trader can access the Singapore Exchange directly and with only a moderate amount of effort.

  • Examine the requirements for opening an account to trade on the Singapore Exchange (SGX). You must be 21 years old and have a valid identification number. Unless you are a citizen of Singapore or Malaysia, or a permanent alien resident of Singapore, this will be your passport number, so you must have a valid passport before opening an account.
  • Download and fill out the application form. This is available online at the Central Depository, Ltd, (CDP) which is a subsidiary of the SGX. This must be certified by either the Singapore Embassy, a notary public or a Justice of the Peace before submission (see Resources below).
  • Select an account type. Once you have been approved by the CDP, you can create an online account at the SGX website. This account can be personal, joint (shared with a spouse or family member) or corporate. A corporate account must meet with the requirements of section 4(1) of the Companies Act under Singaporean law, which are very demanding for non-Singaporean companies.
  • Keep local conditions in mind. Once you have an open account, you can day trade as normal, but keep in mind the time differences and the local calender: the SGX is open for business 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday, and is closed on those holidays recognized by the SGX (which sometimes does not include all Singaporean public holidays).

Beachfront Cottages in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida

Fort Walton is home to several beaches.

Located less than three miles east of Fort Walton Beach, White Sand Vacation Rentals features nine uniquely decorated cottages, each offering a private pool and access to street-legal golf cart rentals. All cottages are located within one or two blocks of the Gulf of Mexico’s beaches. Popular activities located within walking distance of the cottages include swimming in the ocean, fishing and access to restaurants, bars and shops.

Key Lime Cottage

  • White Sand’s Key Lime Cottage is the largest available unit and features six bedrooms and four baths. This cottage includes three king, two queen, two double and four twin beds and can comfortably sleep up to 18 people. Several balconies overlook the nearby sights, and the cottage is fitted with wireless Internet access. A private swimming pool and golf cart are included with the rental, and each room features a television. A gas grill is also available for guests’ convenience.

    White Sand Vacation Rentals
    94 Cobia St.
    Destin, FL 32541

Cashmere Coconut

  • The Cashmere Coconut features four bedrooms and three baths located across the street from the Terra Cotta Terrace Community Center. The community center is available for guest use and features a swimming pool, sauna and several outdoor activities such as volleyball and tennis. This cottage comfortably sleeps 11 adults and includes wireless Internet access. A private swimming pool, gas grill and DVD player are additional amenities guests can expect. A television is provided in each room with many also featuring DVD players. The Cashmere Coconut is located one block from the beach.

    White Sand Vacation Rentals
    94 Cobia St.
    Destin, FL 32541

Destin Beach House

  • This four-bedroom, two-bath cottage is located a block off the beach and features a private pool, large backyard and gas grill. A private patio is attached the house, and the entire unit features central air conditioning. Each room includes a television, and wireless Internet is provided throughout the house. A large community pool is located five houses from this cottage, and residents at the Destin Beach House are welcome.

    White Sand Vacation Rentals
    94 Cobia St.
    Destin, FL 32541

Blue Marlin

  • This large home features five bedrooms and three and a half baths spread over 3,000 square feet. Located less than two blocks from the ocean, the Blue Marlin enjoys easy access to the Gulf of Mexico’s scenic beaches. The house sleeps up to 16 adults and features parking for recreational vehicles and boat trailers. Central air conditioning and wireless Internet access are provided at the cottage, and the unit features a private swimming pool, balconies and intercom system.

    White Sand Vacation Rentals
    94 Cobia St.
    Destin, FL 32541

How To Advertise a Vacation Rental Property on a Shoestring Budget

Motivate renters to visit your property by showing clear pictures of your home.
Renting out your vacation home is meant to provide you with extra cash, but spending large sums of money on advertising quickly minimizes your profit. With a little creativity and effort, you can advertise your vacation rental property even with the most humble of budgets.

Have a Party

  • The best way to motivate customers on a shoestring budget is to get them involved on an emotional or experimental level, according to Kim T. Gordon, owner of a national marketing company and author of “Maximum Marketing, Minimum Dollars.” Let potential vacationers see what it would be like to live in your rental by hosting a party on the premises. A few finger foods and music playing from your smartphone are all that is needed to set the stage.

Distribute Fliers

  • There is a reason why you constantly see cork boards with flyers on them at work, school and church — they work and they are cheap. Print out some basic fliers from your home computer or take the ad to a local print shop and print them there. Include some pictures of the property so that potential renters can get an idea of the size and the aesthetics. Post the fliers in high-traffic areas, including at your work, colleges, grocery stores and church. Include your phone number in multiple strips on the bottom of the flier.

Use Word of Mouth

  • Some vacationers may be scared to rent a property from someone they don’t know. Offer your first set of tenants a reduced rate in exchange for them writing a positive public post on a vacation review site. Having a positive review on file may help people feel they are making safe and smart decisions when booking your property. If you are targeting a local renter, ask friends to visit for a weekend and then spread the word to people who may be interested.

Advertise Online

  • Post a free or inexpensive advertisement for your rental property on online community directories. If you have multiple properties available, you can create a business website to post information about your property management business. Link that website to search engines such as Google and Yahoo by setting up a free listing for your properties in their local directories. Likewise, create social media pages for your rental business where you can post pictures of the properties and answer questions directly from potential renters.

Donate to Charity

  • If the vacation season is approaching and you do not yet have any takers, talk to charitable organizations and ask if you can donate a week at your home as part of a future charitable auction. Even if the charity keeps the money, you may still be able to use the rental as a tax write-off from your property management business. Consult a tax professional for more information and to check rules in your state.