Economical Transportation Options In Today’s World

One of the most costly aspects of living in this world is transportation. If you think about the payments, the maintenance, gas, insurance, registration, inspection, it can give you a headache. Those are just the “known” factors. What about the unknown, such as any repairs that might have to be made. Group all this together and then add to the picture the fact that all this money goes towards something that depreciates in value.
Of course, transportation is still absolutely necessary, and you want to be able to get everywhere you need to go. But, there are ways to help you get there without having to spend so much money. Indeed, transportation options are becoming more and more widespread these days.
The green movement has brought about energy efficient modes of transportation that will save you on gas. However, they are not very helpful with other costs, including the price tag. One day they will get there, but for now, shelve this idea.
Depending on where you live, public transportation can be a cost saving option for you definitely. Even cab fare depending on how far you have to go and how often can save you money. It used to be that in most places, cabs were the only public transportation options. Big cities have other options, but maybe you don’t live in a big city.
Nowadays, however, even smaller cities sometimes have multiple bus lines that can take you where you need to go for cheap or even for free. Metro systems of all sorts are starting to develop to save people on transportation costs and to also take care of congested street issues.
Now, aside from going the expensive route or taking public transportation, you do have other options besides hoofing it up. It used to be that scooters were way more prevalent near beach communities. Today, however, more and more people are picking up scooters at a fraction of what it would cost to buy and maintain a vehicle. And, don’t forget how great these things are on gas mileage.
Scooters of course do pose an issue as to speed in some places, but there is also the option of buying a motorcycle or a more souped up scooter that can go much faster. It’s really all up to what type of transportation you need in the area in which you live and also what type of transportation you prefer.
Now, a concern that arises with some people about motorcycles and scooters is safety. Some people are scared of driving a scooter or motorcycle, and that is why it’s important to look at all of your transportation options to see what you’re comfortable with.
Another thing people are turning to is picking up a regular bicycle. There are some pretty nice bikes out there of course, and this is where you can save a ton of money if you’re willing to get around on a bike.
If you live out in the country and have to commute to work 15 miles or even longer, you may not be able to do the bicycle or even want to do the scooter. Depending on what you wear, you may not want to do either of these options either.
However, one thing you can do to save yourself some money is combine modes of transportation when possible. You can also cut down on your travel times by choosing to drive less to get around or cutting back on some of your excursions.
And, another popular option these days is carpooling. Carpooling can save you a good amount of money because you’re able to split the cost of a commute, at least in half and sometimes even more than that. Imagine how much money that could save you each week on gas!
As you can see, many different types of transportation options exist, so you just have to evaluate where you stand as far as your needs and see what fits the bill. No matter what situation you are in, there is a definite way to save yourself some money. Take a look at different ideas, and make a wise choice. You’re going to be surprised at the outcome, especially if you’re about to avoid buying a new vehicle.

Family Travel Plans Are Important

If you are a family with children, it is very important to make plans to travel at least a couple times every year. I believe to have a least one trip every 6 months planned is crucial for the entire family. To both familiar and unexplored destinations. As a person who has traveled with my children, over the years there are a few things I would have done differently. One is that I wasn’t smart enough to always create a budget. I’m especially talking about the spontaneous trips that we took. Definitely a must when it comes to figuring out how you’re going to pay for your travel. One needs to do this before you leave home and not after you get home!

The second thing I would have done is create a daily itinerary. For example, I could have made plans to fly instead of driving so. Reason being, when driving to far locations, we sometimes had to eat at less than desirable food.

Creating a travel plan helps one control excessive spending. It never fails, when I’ve taken a family trip without a plan I end up spending money that I did not count on spending! It’s so easy to spend more than one should, don’t you agree? My family’s desire to experience all the fun we can, means saying yes to your kids even if that means getting them that Pepsi for $5 a can!

Another great reason to make travel plans before you leave is to be able to involve your children in the discussions about where to go and what all of you will be doing. Especially, when the children are in school, you need to plan around their days off or discuss with their teachers what would be the best time if they had to miss school days.

As you know already, nothing destroys a trip faster than hunger, fatigue or a lack of entertainment. I would even suggest to have a backup plan just in case something falls through. Having that will come in handy at some point, it definitely has for my family.

Another important aspect of planning a vacation is time management. Having a long-term travel plan gives you flexibility to be able to change the schedule just in case the weather or even illness takes place. Planning ahead lets you take advantage of the money-saving alerts on airfare, special hotel offers and even special website discounts.

Having a travel plan is crucial. I like to create an itinerary for each trip that contains what it is we might be doing each day, getting the scoop on local museums and attractions that we are going to and the dining options (as we know our food/dining is very important and can be so entertaining if we pick the right location).

The last thing I’ll say about having travel plans with a family is to remain flexible. Remember, your trip may not turn out exactly as planned. Some things change without knowing when, so we have to remain flexible to avoid irritation which could potentially ruin the day for the entire family. Any itinerary I created is merely a guideline, not written in stone. For example, taking my kids away from something they are enjoying just because my itinerary states we are to be at the next location! I would never do that to my kids and for that reason, it just means we will want to return to that destination at a later date to enjoy more fun.

If you consider all of these suggestions, I believe your vacation will go smoothly for you and your family. Always remember, don’t let the little things get to you. Enjoy this time with your family and make some beautiful memories.

Travel Packing List

When travelling no matter which destination you will go to and weather, there are certain things that you need to bring with you inorder to make sure you are well equipped in all cases.

For Clothing make sure to bring:

-        Light Rain jacket. This will come in handy if it rains, if its slight chilly in the plane and if you need a jacket at night for cool nights.

-        Pants, shorts and several t-shirts: Even when weather is hot, make sure you get pants with you as you never know when the weather might change or if you end up going to hiking and you need to protect yourself from the bugs. And for lasies, pants might serve useful in some countries when its super hot and wearing shorts is too disturbing to the locals.

-        Shoes and pants while travelling on the place and get a light sweater with you. The plane rides in some cases can get very cold.

-        Of coarse all other clothing that you would need during your trip includind a swimming suit, socks and sleep wear.

-        Money belt is definitely beneficial in so many ways. It protects from thieves, it can be used for hiking and it makes walking around easier and lighter.

-        Maps and travel documents. Make sure to have all your travel necessary documents, such as a visa, a map, guidebook if any.

-        Medicine and small aid kit.

-        Toiletries, especially your own soap, shampoo and towel. You never know where you will end up and need them even if you know you are going to a 5 star hotel.

-        Sunglasses and glasses. Very important to not forget those, and if you have some cheap sunglasses you can take would be better. In many cases sunglasses fall on the floor when doing activities and would be good to have some cheap ones.

-        Mobile phone. You might need to call someone for some emergency or simply use the internet or camera in it.

-        Some entertainment on the way such as headphones, music.

-        GPS if you have one and travelling in a car you will drive.

-        Chargers for your electronics or any batteries.

-        Addresses of all the places, cars and hotels you will go to and their phone numbers incase you get lost.

 

Most of all you would be most important better off packing light in a light luggage if possible. There are many places in the world where carrying bag is a hassle and you might need to lift it in the local transportation which could be a hassle.

Most recommended item for travelling that has come in handy for me in the past years is a comfortable shoe to walk around with.  If you’re traveling in Montreal, we highly recommend that you click here for the best limo service.

Pros and Cons to Hiring a Professional Carpet Cleaner

When I comes to cleaning your carpets, there’s really three ways you can go about this. You can either rent a machine to bring home to clean your carpets, you could clean your carpets yourself, or you could hire a professional to come in and do the job for you

In this article I will discuss the pros and cons to each of these options

Renting a Machine

Renting a machine is a cost-effective way to get your carpets cleaned. The cost of a machine generally runs around $20-$50 for the day to clean as many rooms as you need to in your house. The disadvantages to renting a machine are that you don’t know how well the machine has been cared for and  therefore you don’t know how much detergent it’s actually spilling onto your carpets and how much water is actually being mixed with it to pull the detergent back out.

Another con to renting a machine is that one of the best ways to get your carpets cleaned is to use heat. Heat is what activates the detergent, and when you rent a machine you’re not able to use heated water. The only way you’re going to be able to get the water hot in the machine is to heat it up yourself and dump it into the machine and hope that it stays hot during the cleaning process.

So while renting a machine might be one of the most cost-effective ways to get your carpet cleaned, it might not get the job done as well as you might get them cleaned or as well as a professional might get them cleaned.

Clean Your Carpets Yourself

If you’re somebody with a lot of traffic on your carpets, you have a lot of pets in your house, and people are frequently walking in and out of the garage and onto your carpet, cleaning your own carpet might be a great option for you.

However if you are going to clean your own carpets, the best way to do it is to go out and buy your own carpet cleaner or steam cleaner.

In buying your own machine this is going to allow you to treat any dirt or spills or stains as soon as they happen.

If you do have a lot of stains and spills that happen on your floor, it’s going be much cheaper if you have your own machine versus having to go out and rent one or hire somebody every time your carpet is getting dirty.

If you do take the route of buying your own machine, I highly encourage you to make sure that you read all the directions that come with the machine thoroughly. One of the main parts of the machine that help to clean your carpet is to make sure that lots of water is getting put into the carpet to rinse all the debris out of all the fibers in your carpets and that heat is being applied so it activates that detergent.

However, if you are somebody that does not enjoy cleaning and you don’t want to spend the time trying to figure out the best ways to clean your carpets, then hiring a professional might be one of the best options you could take.

Hiring a Professional

Any carpet manufacturer is going to tell you that the best way to keep your carpets clean is to hire a professional cleaner every 12 to 18 months.

One of the benefits of hiring a professional are that their cleaning equipment is mounted to a truck. Because it’s mounted to a truck, they are able to use high heat to activate the detergent. They also able to use a lot of water to thoroughly mix the detergent for your carpet fibers and pull all the water out of the carpet leaving your carpet looking brand-new.

The only con to hiring a professional would be that the cost to hire professional is generally around $200-$400 for every two rooms that you want cleaned.

If you are somebody who has a lot of high traffic on your carpets, a lot of pets, and a lot of spills, this could become costly.

However, hiring a professional is the surest way to make sure that your carpets are cleaned well.

Carpet cleaners are professionally trained they use the best equipment and they use the best cleaning solutions on the market to get your carpets cleaned.

So there you have it folks the pros and the cons professional carpet cleaning now it’s up to you to weigh in the pros and cons and the side which method is best for you.

 

Clean Your Dryer Vents!

Why is it important to clean your dryer vent? Mostly because of energy efficiency but more importantly, if the place one lives in has a dryer, then a lint build up crisis can cause a fire in the home if it has been left long enough. Energy efficiency is key but to live efficiently, a person has to first be alive, so cleaning the vent prevents death; in some cases. The lint trap on the dryer that everybody hopefully cleans when they dry a load is just the beginning.

 

That plastic tray will clean over half of all the lint being dealt with but some gets by the tray’s defenses, therefore it is important to get the surgery done on the machine, even if the owner isn’t confident as a home appliance engineer. There are places that need dryer vent cleaning and hiring those cleaners contributes to the economy, when the economy isn’t tanking like when it did during the Great Depression. Even if they didn’t have drying machines back during the Great Depression, it would have still been important to clean out the lint from the dryer, had they had the machines; which they did not. What we are dealing with here is one of those stranger moments where a machine needs to be gutted. Lint can become a nuisance if one considers air filtration. I’m sure children out there in the world need clean air to grow and breath.

 

Lint prevents clean air from staying clean. House fires can be caused by cigarettes being left out, stoves being left on, and a number of other reasons. One of them is not getting duct cleaning done. When a house goes up in a blaze, entire communities of people are put on red alert because houses are big piles of tinder and sometimes the spacing of houses is way too tight, so the fire can hop over to the neighbor and then the neighbor’s neighbor. If one considers how many dryer’s there are out there in the world, then you will understand that the risk in apartment buildings is much higher because the more dryers per building the higher the risk of a fire. One person might be cleaning the duct in his/her apartment but the others may not be doing that, or vice versa. The situation works in reverse too. So be careful and regularly get your ventilation system cleaned up!

Night on the Town

When was the last time you really splurged and said, let’s go and have some fun, and I mean some serious fun? I thought that renting a limousine for a special romantic evening would be the way to go and surprise my significant other for a night out on the town. I wasn’t sure what to expect but planned it as best I could and truth be told, it couldn’t have turned out any better.

We were celebrating Valentine’s Day and I had reserved a table at one of the nicer restaurants in Portland that had a great view of the city and the countryside. The day turned out to be a beautiful winter treat and was fairly warm (45 degrees) which is nice for us in the dog days of February. I had the limousine arrive a little before sunset and we had a wonderful drive that showcased the city and its mountain backdrop with snow covered  mountains sparkling in the late afternoon glow. It put us in a great mood as we were sipping our favorite wine, listening to great music and gliding around town like we were celebrities. My girlfriend was almost speechless and that might have been worth the extra cost of the limo right there. I have never seen her as happy and content and we weren’t even to our dinner spot yet. We drove for over an hour and stopped briefly to view the sunset with our heads sticking out of the limo’s sunroof like we were young kids. I was thinking how can it get any better than this and we were only an hour into our date.

The limousine driver couldn’t have been any more professional and courteous. He had a great knack for getting us to some awesome view spots, some I never knew existed and gave us a tour we will both remember and the night was still young. He moved in the traffic with fluent ease, never in a rush and always with our comfort and FUN in mind, it was beyond terrific.

We arrived at our dinner reservation right on time and I felt like we were local celebrities arriving on the red carpet.  He drove us right up to the entrance, the doorman opened our doors and we stepped out like we were the most important people in town, actually we were giggling like teenagers. Dinner was a spectacular feast and we savored every minute, every morsel of food, and every drop of wine. By the time dinner was over and our desserts plates were being removed, I knew renting the limousine was one of the smarter things I have ever done in my life. My girlfriend couldn’t have looked more gorgeous and happy, and from the expression on her face, dessert wasn’t the only thing she had on her mind, wow, talking about heating a relationship up.

As we exited the restaurant, the limo was right there waiting for us and we were escorted back into the world where usually only celebrities live. To our delight it was a full moon and as we luxuriated in the after warmth of our great dinner we just laughed and enjoyed our special time together. We had a slow and absolutely delightful drive home and wondered how much more special the evening could be.

I know now when I need to have some spark put back in my relationship that renting a limousine is a fantastic idea. I give it FIVE Stars and would recommend it to anyone looking for that special romantic evening, CHEERS!

Top Quality Travel Tips

Top 5 Quality Travel Tips

Travel Tips

It really doesn’t matter if this is your first time traveling or if you are an expert and racked up thousands of frequent flyer miles.  The mere thought of taking a trip out of town can be exciting and stressful all at the same time.  This article will help you better prepare for that trip, so check out the 5 travel tips we have for your below.

  • Check reservations
  • Buy airport carry-on toiletries
  • Research the weather
  • Be flexible
  • Watch prices

This may sound like common sense, but something to keep in mind when you are traveling is to make sure you check reservations for hotels, flights, car rentals and any other entertainment planned.  You can never be too cautious with this information and there have been many a mistake made and when you arrive new arrangements have to be made which could cost you time and more importantly money.

Make sure to double check confirmation e-mails and contact customer service if you see anything that looks wrong.  The last thing you want to do is miss a flight or get to your destination and the hotel is booked because your reservation was not done correctly.

When traveling you want to make sure and buy airport carry-on sized toiletries.  Checking in at most airports across the country, any liquids over 3 ounces will not be allowed (at the time of this writing), so you have to make sure your toiletries (especially liquid ones) fall under this size.  If by chance your liquids are over this size they will ask you to discard them or check them in with your checked luggage.  The normal SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) is to have them in a zip lock bag and place them in a separate tray as you go through the metal detector.

Before traveling to your next destination make sure to research the weather, so you can have a good idea of what it will be like while you are there.  Doing this will allow you to pack properly for your trip.  You do not want to be surprised and it rains the whole time you are there but you packed summer clothes, or if it is projected to be record highs and you only have winter décor.  This can save you money and heartache from your significant other if you plan ahead appropriately.

Be flexible as possible when you are making your travel plans.  If you have a legitimate reason for having to travel on the specific day and at a certain time, then try to be flexible in your planning.  You may also need to find a limo like the guys over at www.RiversideLimoRental.com to get that extra pop for your trip. When you are flexible this allows you to save money and have more options open for better accommodations and a reduced price.  There are a number of booking sites online that can check your dates, accommodations and flights around other times that might save you money.  You will be surprised what you can find if you are flexible in your travel schedule.

Even after booking your reservations keep watch on the prices.  Many airlines and hotel chains offer refunds if the price you booked dropped after you made your reservation.  So it is always a good idea to keep an eye on the prices for this potential savings.  In addition, set-up an account with a price watch online site, which can do this on your behalf, so you don’t have to constantly check.  These sites can alert you of the change and the potential refund you may be due.

These tips are given to remind you of some of the most overlooked aspect of your trip.  The most experienced traveler can sometimes forget many of these tips to help save a little money that can be used on the trip.  Keep your eyes on this website as we continue to bring you information to help make your travel less expensive, less stressful and more pleasurable.

Check out this infographic from a recent traveling report.

Renting a Limousine

Rental services have been trending to a much larger extent these days although it is still largely seen by many as a luxury for the rich and celebrities but more people are beginning to enjoy it thanks to the opportunity that rentals affords. The basic functions and occasions which people rent limousines for range from Weddings, Night club visits, school proms, Birthdays, Dinners and so many other parties.

These days, there are hardly weddings without exquisite limousines and this has practically become a tradition. On board the limousine, the newly-weds get to enjoy romantic music, various decorations, champagne and privacy. For outings to night clubs with friends also becomes so much more fun in a Limo. Most times these kinds of Limousines are the Hummer Limousines and the party goers are assured an awesome night time experience.

When you therefore intend hiring a stretch limousine therefore, you do not have to experience a hit and miss situation, there are quite a number of tips which can ensure that you get the best deal. One of the first ways to get insights in to the operations of a Limousine rental company is through their responsiveness and how professional they are in their approach to you as a new customer.

Group of beautiful women clinking glasses with champagne inside
If for instance you contact them online and filled out an enquiry form, you might want to look out for how quick they respond to the completed form, how correctly they interpret your requirements and if the quotation is professionally scripted. Similarly, if the company is contacted via phone, you can also pay attention to how promptly they answer the phone call and how professional their responses are. You should also look out for the professionalism of the company via the layout. On their contact page look out for a fixed phone number, a P.O Box and other specific professional details.

When getting on the site, you can look through the gallery of limousines available and study the pictures available online. A website which doesn’t show images of the vehicles for example shouldn’t be explored further. In actual fact, you may want to take a look at the location of the picture taken by checking out the license plate and even ask about the vehicle’s signage as some limos get advertised on.

Basically, there are some certain questions which you should ask when conversing with a Limousine operator and some of these are:

Finding out how long they have been in business, asking them how many vehicles they have, finding out their location, requesting for details on their minimum charges as well as the duration of hiring and some other relevant questions. Either way, the most vital thing is to research properly.

Traveling to Dangerous Places

Traveling to dangerous places.  Are you interested in or required to travel to a destination that has a good amount of instability or presents hazardous conditions.  Whether it is due to war zone, terrorism, natural enemies or weather related.  Risky travel does not have to be totally avoided, if the desire or need is there.

dangerous

You need to understand and evaluate all the risks, and you need to mitigate those risks.  You will have to establish what is an acceptable level of risk once all issues are identified and ranked and if you are comfortable with a mitigation plan.

 

What’s the best approach to take from a travel risk standpoint?

 

  1. Start at a high level.  Don’t drill down immediately.  List what the major risk points are ie- major political unrest, foreigners may be targeted.
  2. Once the high level risks are identified, drill down on each one.  The level you want to be at is where a specific action can be assigned for mitigation purposes.  For example, traveling to and from hotel. Mitigation action could be employing security escort.
  3. If there are any risks that you have drilled down to that can not be mitigated, these need to be ranked in order of danger to you and your traveling party.
  4. Each mitigation action has to have a cost and feasibility assigned to it.
  5. Your goal here is to get to a point where you can logically evaluate whether this trip should be canceled or postponed.

 

If you have mitigation actions that are cost prohibitive or not feasible, the associated risk should be reclassified as not having mitigating actions.  If you have more risks that can not be mitigated than those that can, this should be a red flag and tell you the risks make the trip prohibitive.

 

If you are content that there are reasonable and obtainable mitigating actions for the risks you identified. then you are in a much better position to proceed with your travel plans.  But obviously keep in mind that the scenarios you evaluated can change, and you have to stay on top of current conditions as they relate to the risks.   Travel may need to be curtailed, cut short or unfortunately canceled at the last moment.

 

If you made a decision to post pone your trip due to your risk evaluation, it will be very easy for you to perform the same risk evaluation exercise at a later date.  You could then proceed with your travel if the  results of your latest risk evaluation end up being more positive and meet the criteria to classify the travel as risk acceptable.

 

 

Stepping Up Our Game; Into The Digital World We Venture

When you’re involved in the world of interior and exterior design, you stick to what you know best; design and layout. However, in today’s society of the Internet and digital age, we need to step up our game in the realm of technology.

You Might Ask Why?

Well, plain and simple – the digital world sells…and it sells well. Whereas our products and services speak for themselves, we still need to reach our audience through technology. With all of these ‘Internet Marketers’ out there, there are plenty of ‘online secrets’ and special recipes that are, “…guaranteed to get you on the first page of Google.”

I’ve only seen one thing in this life that is guaranteed: death. In, no way shape or form, do I see it feasibly possible to guarantee someone a placement on a service (or product) that the company doesn’t even have control over and/or access to persuade those results. In this case of “ranking on the top of Google” how can a random company, that isn’t Google, guarantee me anything on their end?

Simply put, they cannot do it.

Once we got our website up and online, we became flooded (Nay, overwhelmed) with online marketers and SEO gurus claiming to help us get to the top. I should have started by saying that we aren’t your average, run-of-the-mill, company that just jumps at every gold pot we’re offered. We research, we dig deeper, we figure it out before going forward.

After bringing on our own experts, weighing out the options in regards to SEO and Google Rankings, and laying it all out on the table we’ve come to the conclusion that the MLM route is one we’d lke to attempt. Doing the MLM route, we’re able to control our own outcome as opposed to paying a monthly retainer to some company we’ve never met. We would much rather hire someone on staff that we can plan strategies with as opposed to hiring out a random company that we have no control over, that we have no idea what they’re accomplishing on our behalf, nor do they ever communicate with us if what they’re doing is even White or Black Hat.

TIME FOR US TO STEP UP

stepping-up

Obviously, we’re a company that shoots straight with our clients, ourselves, and our loved ones. What’s the point of doing business if you aren’t going to treat people like people (bold theory right?). We’re to provide you with the best information and ideas possible when it comes to interior and exterior design. We don’t need to bog you down with the online marketing end of it but we wanted to share this on our website, in hopes of stopping some of these mass emails we’re receiving.