Offshore Internet Banking Advantages and Disadvantages

The topic of offshore internet banking is a hot one and one that is increasingly growing in popularity not only within the consumer banking community, but also the business or corporate banking sector.

The beauty of offshore online banking is that in addition to enabling you to conduct banking activities allowed by traditional and local brick and mortar businesses, it allows you more variety and flexibility in terms of your banking needs. For example, if you travel often, offshore online banking gives you the flexibility to conduct business on to go from anywhere, while ensuring that you have access to the type of currency if you need at a time you need it.

Having said that, not all banks offer online or internet banking services as this service costs the banks a significant amount of money. Programming sophisticated and secure systems require the effort of several full time computer engineers, full security and compliance departments, as well as heavy overhead to support the service on an ongoing basis.

Because there are so many variables involved in offering this service, offshore internet banking services vary from one financial institution to another. Some have better systems while others have work to do. A lot of this is predicated on the resources the bank has dedicated to this initiative, both in terms of quantity and quality.

Opening an Offshore Bank Account

Before diving further into this topic, I want to clarify that engaging in offshore internet banking is not about evading taxes. It is about mitigating risk of capital loss due to no fault of your own. So when considering a foreign jurisdiction in which to establish an offshore bank account, consider one that is politically stable and financially strong. In addition, it helps to select a jurisdiction that pays an attractive interest rate and has low to no income tax. Some of the most preferred jurisdictions over the years have been Switzerland, Cayman Islands, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Opening a personal bank account is usually a very personal activity. With offshore internet banking however, there are ways you can get started remotely without having to show up to the bank’s local office, saving a ton of time, money and mainly frustration.

One such way is by visiting a local bank’s branch in your domicile state, or home country. Many big banks that offer internet banking have a multi-national presence. Chances are good that your selected bank has a local branch near where you live, despite being headquartered in another offshore jurisdiction.

In other cases, there are international banks that may not have local branches near where you live, but are willing and able to establish an offshore bank account for you through email, snail mail, fax and telephone. There are usually a set of documents required by banks in order to execute this process. Therefore you can still open a foreign bank account with an offshore bank without having to leave your country, but it may come with a little more effort, and sometimes the struggle involved in communicating with someone overseas.

The Advantages of Offshore Internet Banking

Here are some advantages of offshore internet banking that you should know about.

Protection from sovereign risk – as mention already above, parking funds in foreign bank accounts mitigates the risk of loss of capital resulting from freeze or confiscation of funds by Governments without any fault of your own. This risk is less of a concern in a developed economy with a solid banking infrastructure such as the United States, but it is nonetheless an inherent risk that exists.

Tax benefits – many offshore jurisdictions have low to no income tax implications on interest income, or income from business activities.

Higher Interest Rates – because many offshore banks operate with low costs, they can afford to offer higher interest rates compared to larger multi-national names. In fact, in developed economies like in Europe and North America, regulatory compliance requirements is seen by many as form of taxation on banks, thereby increasing overhead costs and lowering interest rates.

On Demand Access to Statements – offshore internet banking gives you instant access to your statements where you can view your activities on a real time basis. This includes past and pending deposits and withdrawals. You can therefore access your account balance at anytime.

Money Management – with offshore internet banking you can transfer funds between accounts across the globe instantly. Offshore banks have inventories of various currencies and can help you fulfill banking transactions in multiple countries. You can schedule automatic payments to vendors to release automatically.

There are several other advantages to offshore internet banking. You can open offshore trading accounts and establish offshore brokerage accounts to conduct trading and investment activity (there can be tax advantages to this). Conducting transactions online is not only mostly free, but also very efficient. Transaction time online is simply much less. You can also have streams of income potentially directly deposited straight into your offshore online bank account.

From a personal finance perspective, downloading banking activity from your offshore online bank account is easy and can be done instantly. Most online banking platforms are designed to feed information into financial or personal accounting software or to spreadsheets like Excel. Individuals can save a significant amount on accountant fees just by utilizing this feature. Not to mention more intimate knowledge and management of their own finances.

For those looking for anonymity, offshore online bank accounts also allow you to conduct banking anonymously as per bank secrecy guidelines.

The Disadvantages of Offshore Internet Banking

Merely establishing an offshore bank account can be a reason for the Government to put more focus on your activities. After all, many use offshore internet banking as a mechanism to conduct illegal activity and evade taxes. Some specific disadvantages of offshore internet banking as a result of conducting business through foreign bank accounts are the following:

Knowledge of Internet – There is a certain level of internet savvy required to be able to navigate your way through offshore internet banking platforms to ensure you are getting exactly what you want. This is a big reason why some elderly shy away from conducting banking online.

Deposit Timeline – Because many banks do not have the technology to be able to collect deposits remotely, you may have difficulty depositing all your proceeds. While many banks have developed electronic scanning technology, others have yet to catch up. There is no consistency to say the least.

Security / Fraud Implications – because banking is conducted online, offshore internet banking exposes you to the risk of network intrusion or breach. Because information is transferred electronically and stored in various databases, breaches can cause private and sensitive information to leak out into the wrong hands. But then again, this is no different than losing your check book if compared to traditional brick and mortar banking.

Spam Mail – offshore online banking also means that you will receive emails from the foreign bank you have your offshore bank accounts with. Internet predators recognize this as an opportunity for phishing, or fish for private and sensitive information. Many times you may see an email in your inbox from what seems like your foreign banking institution. However it is not. These are phishing emails hoping for you to login and enter your personal information such as login and password.

TIPS: Here are a few tips to avoid falling for phishing scams. First, when you receive an email from your bank, call them to verify that they sent the email. Second, instead of opening the email they sent you, visit the bank’s website directly and see if you can conduct what’s asked of you on their site by you logging in directly rather than clicking a login link in an email message.

Third, if you were to open the email and click on any link in it for whatever reason, once the link takes you to a website where you are required to enter personal information, look for security symbols such as an https URL address or a padlock on the lower right hand side corner of the web browser. There are other security measures as well that can be visible spotted. Read online for more on this topic.

Financial Security – some offshore bank locations are not very financially secure or stable. For example, during the global economic crisis of 2008, many savers lost money parked in offshore bank accounts in some destinations such as Iceland. I don’t mean to scare you by any means as this situation is rare, and in most cases those who suffer losses are compensated in some way over time. However, know that this inherent risk exists. Always look for deposit insurance. The bigger the allowance the better.

Credibility by Association – as I’ve already mentioned, offshore internet banking has negative connotations attached to it, often associated with money laundering, use of illegal monies, in-taxed monies and support of illegal causes. Offshore bank accounts at times are tied to crime rings and terrorists. What does this mean for you? Although you may engage in offshore banking legally and legitimately, understand that there will be closer scrutiny over you by the Governments.

Access Restrictions – offshore banks are in destinations far away from you, therefore more difficult and expensive to access. In many countries, communication in person is preferred to communicating over phone, email and snail mail, therefore internet banking can get a bit difficult and frustrating. I see this trend slowly changing with banks understanding the need to communicate at all levels and mediums to satisfy a global audience.

Expensive – offshore internet banking is usually more expensive to set up and administer and thus more accessible and feasible for those more affluent or high income earners. It’s not so much that it is expensive to open a foreign bank account. It is not. However, many times you will need to go through a firm that specializes in helping expatriates establish and manage foreign bank accounts. All these activities cost money.

Planning Vacations With Free California Travel Guides

Pick up some free California travel guides today to start planning your vacation to the land of sun and fun. No matter what time of year it is, you will find something in California to entertain you. In the winter, California still boasts warm temperatures and year round theme parks for your entire family. In higher elevations, you can find great places for skiing, so plan to hit the slopes for your next holiday vacation.

In the summer, California is particularly dynamic, as you will see when you visit the multiple beaches and enjoy the perfect temperature. When you look at free California travel guides, one thing they might not mention is that you should plan ahead.

Especially during the summer, you might find many hotels are booked, especially those hotels that are around public attractions. Expect longer lines during these summer months, and know that you might have to go exploring to find a spot of beach to keep to yourself.

If you want to avoid the crowds, fall is a great time to do that, and you can explore the many wine regions. Many free California travel guides can point you to the best ones in the area you plan on visiting.

Look through your free California guides to find the places worth visiting. Of course, you have the main, well-known tourist attractions, like Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. You have most likely heard of the Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park, where you can be amazed at the immensity of the redwood trees. Take a trip to SeaWorld and Mission Bay, which are perfect locations for the entire family.

If you are looking for great family vacation spots, find free California travel guides that highlight these attractions. For example, there is the National Yo-Yo Museum, which is always a favorite with kids. There is Universal Studios, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom or Birch Aquarium, all of which are great locations to bring those with short attention spans. Free California travel guides should help you find places that interest you.

Alternatively, if you are traveling to California for a romantic getaway, one free of children, then choose free California travel guides that capitalize on that fact. Have a fun day out parasailing and walking around the heart of San Francisco before cozying up in one of the many romantic dining options available in California.

No matter which city you visit, you will find relaxation in the surrounding spas, culture in multiple museums and fun with all the different recreation places and parks. Using the various free California travel guides, you can set up the perfect vacation in no time, so get started and put it off no longer!

Traditional Home Furniture

The different elements of traditional furniture

When you first hear references to the Captain’s bed you immediately think of sailors that have been through the rough seas. However there are practical uses for this piece of furniture in the home. In fact it can help the home owner to increase the enjoyment that they get from their living spaces. All this is achieved with the use of minimalist principles and materials that are actually sustainable. It is a pity that not many people are completely used to the idea that this piece of furniture can make great furnishings for the home.

    1. The Modern bed is great for storage purposes. You have an item of furniture that is used for a variety of functions including storage. If you have security needs you can even put a lock onto the furniture to ensure that it is not easily accessible. The people that run with such a course of action can look for other discreet ways of securing the storage space. The needs of the individual customers will vary and therefore the solutions to their problems cannot be generic. However we can conclude that this piece of furniture is very useful when it comes to protecting your property in storage. The delicate items will not be shifting from side to side and that is a definite advantage.
    1. Depending on the brand that you buy the Usable bed can be very comfortable. You can use the mattresses and other cushions to ensure that you have a very comfortable stay. This will be nothing like the conditions that you can expect in a cramped ship. Instead you will have great flexibility in terms of the way that you can arrange your home yet at the same time you will be living in relative comfort. It is the thing that is making this piece of furniture very popular with the public. Even children might be able to use if you take the necessary safety precautions. In using the item you are really just getting the benefits that the manufacturers planned all along.
    2. You can use sustainable materials for the Captain’s bed. This means that you do not have to restrict yourself to wood. It is possible to look at the other alternatives and see whether they can do the job effectively. At the same time you will be playing your role in securing the environment. This is the dual role that you can look to in order to ensure that you are getting the maximum benefits from the purchases that you make for your home in terms of furniture.
  1. Space is utilized responsibly when you buy the Captain’s bed. If you live in the modern homes where the space that is available to you is at a premium, this can be a great solution to your problems. You will be able to fit in well and yet you will have the extra room to store your property as well. This is a complete furniture piece.

How to Pick Out Home Furniture for a Busy Lifestyle

Leading a busy lifestyle means having less time to enjoy the comforts of home. But that doesn’t mean you should abandon comfort altogether. In fact, when you’ve got no other choice but to be busy, your home furniture should help you get the most of what little time you have to feel comfortable.

Furniture that will fit a busy lifestyle should have certain qualities above other considerations. First, it has to be low maintenance. The less you have to do to keep it spic and span, the more time you’ll have to simply lay back and relax. Next, it will need to be space-efficient. After all, when you’re trying to get from point A to point B on a tight schedule, being forced to go through a long path or to squeeze between sofas and tables will definitely make your temper rise.

Here are some suggestions to create a comfortable, low-maintenance home for a busy bee:

The More Functions, The Better. Aside from the novelty factor, multi-functional furniture can help you reduce clutter and make it easier to move around. Some ideas you can consider include using a storage chest or ottoman for your coffee table in the living room, or choosing a sectional that extends into a chaise-like section instead of buying a separate chaise lounge to pair with your sofa.

Plan The Room To Make The Most Of The Furniture. Speaking of multi-functional home furniture, instead of buying a single desk for a single function, try to envision a space-efficient room and select furniture to follow that idea. This is especially important if your home tends to double as your second office. By being wise with how you arrange the room and position everything you need for certain tasks, you can spend less time searching for documents or designs and finish work faster.

Whether To Go Leather. When it comes to upholstery for your home furniture, investing in leather will definitely matter in short run. Cloth-upholstered sofas get dirty and dusty easily and will have you taking the covers to the washers every so often. Leather upholstery will also help greatly if you keep a pet at home. Fur is much easier to deal with and leather is more resistant to stains. Split liquids will often just need a wipe-down to keep clean.

On the other hand, leather tends to fade over time, especially when humidity varies. If you use an air-conditioner, but leave it off when you’re not in, then leather may not be the best option to you. Leather also scratches relatively easier and these may be harder to repair.

While all of these ideas will help you pick out the best home furniture to suit your lifestyle, remember that above all, you must prioritize comfort. This is most important for the places you plan to spend the most time in, such as your home office and your bed.

The Fast Food Industry – You Pay Them to Kill You, While Still Making Hefty Profits

The power of advertising has made the public rethink their unhealthy habits. After the September 11th terrorist attack, the marketing department of the Department of Health used this angle to decrease the desire in young adults to use drugs. We’ve all seen these public service announcements from time to time, and I have mentioned them previously: “My drug habit lead to the ruination of lives far from where I live, I am directly helping organized crime… In other words, my drug use has financed murder…”

This chapter is using another angle to get the right point across. “Today, I built up the plaques in my arteries, I increased my triglyceride level by 30%.” I guess this is a blunt way to make a point. By eating fast food, you literally finance your death.

While several worthwhile books have been written in recent years about the broader social implications of a meat-centered diet (Erik Marcus’ “Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating”, Gail Eisnitz’s “Slaughterhouse”, and Howard Lyman’s “Mad Cowboy”, to name a few), none has been greeted more warmly by the mainstream press than Eric Schlosser’s “Fast Food Nation”. They all make one point in common: the dangers of eating fast food. In spite of this bad press, we haven’t seen many fast food corporate giants go under. Actually, some are doing very well, indeed. How can we comprehend the fact that despite everything that health magazines, newspapers, and television documentaries say about the dangers in the food we eat, such as hamburgers, fries, soft drinks, etc., people still find themselves filling the seats of these restaurants without thinking about the consequences of their actions? We are talking about your health here. A well-researched and trenchant expose of the fast food industry has caused some people to sit up, take notice, and perhaps even rethink their unhealthy eating habits.

It is obvious that a book talking about the causes of obesity talks about the fast food industry as well. Eric Schlosser’s book “Fast Food Nation” has enabled many to understand how fast food is being processed. Today McDonald’s is the country’s largest purchaser of beef, pork, and potatoes, and it’s the second biggest purchaser of chicken – which should seem obvious to us all. With their restaurants in every corner of America and beyond, millions of tons of meat and poultry are being processed in the slaughterhouses that supply meat to McDonald’s.

They can only offer their promotions, 2 burgers for $2.22, if their expenses are low. The point here is to make you realize that each time you enter their restaurants, order food, and pay the cashier to eat their food, you are signing your death warrant. Some statistics are truly staggering: In the early 1970’s, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food; in 2000, they shelled out more than $110 billion, more than they spent on higher education, computers, or new cars. McDonald’s operates about 28,000 restaurants worldwide and opens 2,000 more every year. That equals six McDonald’s/day. If they follow the same trend for the next decade, they might reach the 50,000 franchises mark. In real life, opening more franchises will mostly send more Americans to their doctors or the emergency room to get diagnosed with several diseases, including high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. There is at least one positive outlook of these corporate giants. They keep our labor force working by creating many jobs in America and abroad. The 3.5 million fast food workers are by far the largest group of minimum-wage workers in the world; not too bad for the fast food industry.

However, creating jobs should not be used as an excuse, though. They are still convincing people to eat their food by using the media and other sources of advertising. Fast food chains collectively spend about $3 billion annually on television advertising, most of it directed at children-talk about creative marketing. By reaching out to kids, they (the fast food giants) assure themselves a future. What is the point in reaching the older crowd since they are already hooked to their food? They need to reach a virgin market. Yep, ladies and gentlemen, they are targeting your kids. While you are trying your best to teach your kids to adopt a healthy lifestyle by making their lunch everyday, making them participate in after school sports activities, encouraging them to avoid unhealthy temptation, the industry is spending several millions dollars to brainwash them about what food to eat. I guess you agree with me that these are counter-productive measures. Can this ever end? I don’t think so. Unless Congress confronts one of the underlying factors in health costs for the country, we might never see any progress.

There is some good news, though. We’ve seen some changes in this industry in the past few years. McDonald’s and other fast food chains have tried to implement some healthy items in their menus. Americans are finally seeing some choices offered to them: salad in a cup accompanied by low fat salad dressings is one positive result. Although, most consumers are still not ordering these healthier items, they do have the choice anytime they desire.

Diners can now order salads, baked potatoes and grilled chicken sandwiches, some of which weren’t on restaurants’ original menus. Jeff Bonasia, Burger King’s Senior Director of Product Marketing, says customer surveys revealed that 41 percent of Burger King’s “heavy users”, the beef eaters, wanted a vegetarian burger on their menu.

“We’re not necessarily going out to appeal to people who are strict vegans or vegetarians,” Mr. Bonasia says. “It’s meant to provide more choice and variety for the people who love burgers.” When the BK Veggie Burger idea came up, Burger King officials envisioned it as anchoring a nutritious meal combination, possibly paired with a side salad and bottled water. That didn’t register with customers, Mr. Bonasia says. “Their reaction was, ‘I’ll get the Veggie Burger, and I’ll have my fries’,” he says. Most fast-food chains supply customers with the nutritional content of their menu items, either through Web postings or handout guides.

Fast-food restaurants may have consistent menus, but items typically can be customized on request. Often, Ms. Gensler, a Chevy Chase Maryland Dietician, says, “the delivery time of such meals is the same as with a standard order”. “Today’s consumers appreciate a flexible, heart-friendly menu,” says Wendy’s company spokesman Bob Bertini. The burger chain just went nationwide with four new entree salads after successfully test-marketing them last year in five cities. The Garden Sensations salad lineup offers “ingredients that consumers are not used to seeing [in a fast food restaurant],” Mr. Bertini says, from Mandarin Chicken Salad to crispy rice noodles and roasted almonds. Condiments are included separately.

“The whole approach now is not as much on strict diet regimes … it’s more now about balance and choices,” he says.

“For too many, those choices involve super-, mega- or ultra-sizing the meal in question,” says Keith Ayoob, a registered dietitian in New York and spokesman for the American Dietetic Association. Super-sized meals also contain excess fat, salt, and sugar, the three main items people crave. The chains (fast foods giants, that is) “know exactly what they’re doing,” Mr. Ayoob says.
Too much fast food leaves diners susceptible to weight gain and all its risks, including diabetes and high blood pressure, not to mention the strain on the heart. Moreover, fast food tends to offer small amounts of fruits, vegetables and fiber, three components that counteract obesity and other health woes. Mr. Ayoob says: “Americans won’t stop eating fast food, but if they eat it wisely, there is nothing necessarily wrong with that”. “Go eat it, but eat smart,” he says. “Find the food there you like the most and have it in a more modest portion. As long as your weight is being maintained and you eat a low-fat, balanced diet,” he says, “An occasional journey into a fast-food restaurant should present no problem.

CNC Cutting Machine Financing Has Never Been This Convenient

The CNC cutting machine is an immensely useful tool that is used in several industries which involve usage of heavy machines as well as require precision. Metal-works, shipping, electrical and test equipment industries are the ones which fall under this category.

Uses of a the machine: A good basic CNC cutting device does both plasma and oxy-fuel cutting. Refinements on a basic cutting machine might provide it with the ability to perform other functions like spotting holes in order to facilitate drilling, side or end cutting and routing wooden shapes. Further refinements, could enable it to do water jet-cutting too.

Skilled Operators are a Must: The operators of the present-day device should be as adept as traditional craftsmen. Since the machine is specialized and computerized, only skilled personnel can operate it. The operators of the CNC cutting devices include the men and women who design and make cabinets, woodwork, signs, and a whole range of metal, solid surface and plastic objects. The manufacturers who employ these operators know how important it is to have a good quality CNC cutting machine, since a skilled operator and a high-quality machine together would ensure excellent results.

Requirements of a Good CNC Machine: A good quality machine has a cutting table that covers the area bound by a length of four feet and a width of eight feet, which can handle satisfactorily a standard 4 x 8 plate of metal, wood, plastic, glass or stone.

A table which is not of the sufficient dimensions will hinder the work of the operator since he has to repeatedly reposition the plate. In their jargon, this repositioning is called indexing. Since the operator would spend a considerable amount of time indexing the plate, he would lose out on the time allotted for the actual cutting. This would have a direct impact on the output, which in turn, would translate into fewer products on the shelf.

Thus, a manufacturer has to be a smart buyer in order to avoid the vicious reaction between a bad purchase and poor sales volume. A wise manufacturer would recognize the fact that a good sales volume reflects the well-planned purchase of a CNC cutting machine. The manufacturer also has to look out for proper after-sales service facilities to ensure proper maintenance. Retrofitting the lost/damaged parts of the machine is hazardous for your machine as it reduces the performance of your machine. Not only is it time-consuming to operate the machine, but it also has direct detrimental impact on the quality of work. If your operator is constantly indexing then he has less time to produce goods, thereby decreasing your output. So ensuring the proper maintenance of your machine is instrumental to a great performance.

CNC Cutting Machine Financing: Due to their specialized features, these machines are high-priced. This becomes a major impediment to small-time buyers. However, this problem has a solution in the form of CNC cutting machine financing facilities.

These days, numerous financing companies provide debtor-friendly finance schemes for you to go ahead and buy the equipment you need for your business. These finance schemes ensure hassle-free procurement of such equipment, thereby ensuring the use of good quality products and higher sales volume. Since these machines are digitized now, they guarantee accurate and high-quality work. If you need a machine, you know you can get one right away, thanks to CNC cutting machine financing. So your dream CNC cutting machine is just a scheme away!

Why Travel Agents & Tour Operators Need To Focus On Authentic Local Experiences To Stay Competitive

The major elements comprising the generic destination competitiveness model helps to identify the key success factors of destination marketing. Among the many approximate set of indicators used to determine destination competitiveness, local experiences is one of the key points. Elaborate empirical as well as conceptual research points out the relative strengths and weaknesses of different tourism destinations, which can then be used to study the impact of local experiences on the travelers and vice versa.

The discerning travelers of today’s world love exploring unique experiences each destination has to offer and go much beyond staying in the top suite of hotels. Choosing the best dining options and spas has otherwise become passe. No online portal can take you to the hidden nuggets of the destination except the native folks. So, to match up with the millennials’ definition of travel, you need to indulge with the locals which is way beyond any packaged holiday or cookie-cutter options.

Blurring the borders of traditional definition of travel
It’s important for Travel Agents to realize that selling travel is actually selling happiness. Imbuing travel goals based on interaction with local people makes travel more meaningful than ever. Authenticity, simplicity, and culture are the new watchwords driving the growth of the travel tourism sector internationally. The evolution of the whole new travel genre is based entirely on indulging in local experiences. It is not about the best luxury experience but the intrinsic local touch will definitely add magic to the holiday memory. Remember that the most valued luxury is experience.

Present-day culture travelers have moved beyond the familiar environs and revel in the experience in itself. Clearly enough, tourists that like to break the mold are more interactive with local residents. This paradigm shift has not however, completely caught up with everyone yet. The focus of investments still remains on the traditional tourism-related components.

To create a layered travel experience, the hospitality industry is gradually promoting themselves as the portals for the local community. Although that might not be a necessity but local experience will definitely give a competitive advantage.

Blending national culture and heritage into luxury travel tours need careful planning and is bound to enhance tourist’s experience. Getting certified from the government tourism policies which include inter-cultural education policy helps to makes the travel agents’ outset more impressive.

Counter homogenization of the travel experience is the new clause of the tourism authorities. Embracing local cultural tourism will have an impressive lasting impact on travelers with like-minded outlook. Traditional vertical distribution chains among the travel providers has given way to complex value chains and thus in this increasingly competitive marketplace, providers need to seize every opportunity for competitive advantage. Collaborative advantage through local and government partnership is thus a new norm. Local culture and society has become an essential part of tourism value chain. The integrated inter-relationships between travel and other socioeconomic sectors are now conceived as a ‘value network’.

Promoting Local Cuisine
Sustainable tourism, which is tantamount to responsible tourism, has been a major concern in the travel industry for the past couple of years. Experiencing the local culture largely contours around the traditional gourmet industry. Trying traditional food completes the cultural experience of the place. Talking of the economic aspect, if you are eating at McDonald’s, instead of benefiting the local community, a major chunk of it leaves the local socioeconomic circle. The international traveler’s gang consist majorly the Western tourists and without much doubt, the need for Western food is always higher than the local recipes.

While traveling for a single night’s stay, people might think it not important enough to connect to the local traditions. However, pennies in the pocket of the local cuisine industry help to uplift the local tourism industry on a larger picture. Walking into a McDonald’s or a KFC might fill your tummy but will neither add to the local tourism sector nor enhance your experience. For instance, Vietnamese pho is now a big pull for travelers in Vietnam and when in Costa Rica, do not miss gallo pinto. Building connections with the local folks is not always the only token you get in return but you actually help to build a perception about your nationality as a whole. A country’s heritage is strongly rooted within the memories of the local people and as the old folks say, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!

Experiential travel – creating a deeper connect
The demand for ‘experiential travel’ is arguably the most significant as well as systematic trend in worldwide tourism. The term typically defines immersive, authentic, local, and more active travel trend. While some travel enthusiasts would like to argue that travel is inherently ‘experiential’ by nature and that the term is overused, the idea is to make it more mainstream. Travel consumer attitude has varied wildly when it comes to local tourism and it is its degree of definition varies widely how the overall trend is approached.

On a deeper emotional and more personal level, people want to travel better at the end of the day. Growing numbers of travelers shying away from the traditional packaged travel brochure is definitely a valid evidence of how local experiences matter for the new age travelers.

Going Social
Relying on technology and global networks of small and individual travel providers, travel brands are offering more connected experiences. Almost infinite online matrix of social media networks keep us connected no matter where we travel. But ironically enough these social networks are gradually isolating people in real life than helping them make closer to human connections. The online sharing portal pair travelers with the local citizen network and offer experience to travel like local.

With packaged tourism losing its appeal among modern day travelers digs the question of what exactly is authentic travel. Consumer data might reveal a section of these answers but tracking social media will give an organic result. For travel brands targeting specific niches, evaluating and adapting to the changing travel behavior is much important.

Tech tools
Undoubtedly, the most influential and dependable tech tool for millennials is the smartphone. Mobile phone location technology has made connection right. On niche apps, review-stuffed maps by Google etc. have made planning for set-piece events easier than ever before. The transparency of peer-to-peer accommodation and transportation services like Airbnb and BlaBlaCar add to the authenticity of the travel experiences and their reviews. The underbelly of a place can only be offered by the natives of the place and thus creates difference in the authenticity of the travel experience.

Large industry players have also chosen to go down to local level. The Instagrammable ideas and images of the less explored destinations is fun in itself. With a series of themed guides and commissioned travel advice by savvy locals has found intense popularity among the new age travelers. The aim is for travelers to get a genuine local experience of the destination. Travel Companies can do well to follow the adage – Think global, act local!

Home Improvement Tips – Ideas for Changing the Flooring

So you’re thinking about changing that ugly old carpet or vinyl floor with something fresh and beautiful and you want to use tile instead. You have looked at a lot of pictures in home design magazines; you have an idea of the cost, and the retailer with the best selection but know where to start.

Well it sound like you already have a great start, you found some design ideas from magazines, you know where to purchase the materials, and you have a rough idea of the cost, and you have decided to do this yourself, outstanding! The tips I’m about to give you come from my experience as a professional tile setter in Phoenix Arizona.

The first thing you want to think about is what kind of surface are you going to lay that beautiful tile on, wood or concrete. I have found that the preparation of the surface will determine how your tile will look after it’s installed and how long it will last in the home, and let’s face it you don’t want to redo this next year. Follow these basic steps first before you lay your first tile

Is the surface level

Look for flaws like dips and bumps make sure the surface is smooth

If working with a wood surface make sure it’s secure no nails sticking up and it’s tight to the substructure

When working with concrete look for cracks, you don’t want the surface to crack more after you install the tile

Make sure the surface is clean before installation

These starter tips will save you time and frustration and make the experience more enjoyable for you. Next you want to make sure you measure the area you’re going to lay. You don’t want a 6″ cut on one wall and a 3″ cut on the other that would look really bad especially in a entry way. The first thing you need to make sure of is the room you are working with square? Trust me when I say this you don’t know how many times I went into a new home and found that one end of the room measured 12′ and the other end was 12′ 2″ Because of poor framing. This is ok if you’re working with larger tile but can be a real problem if it’s smaller tile like in a bathroom. Here are some tips on laying your floor out before starting the installation.

Buy some tile spacers. They look like small rubber crosses, they will determine your grout line width and give you an idea of your wall cuts, and in most cases will measure ΒΌ in, between tiles.

Don’t be afraid to lay the tile out in both directions using the tile spacers to get an idea what it’s going to look like.

After determining if your room is square set an installation chalk line in both directions, this will help keep the installation straight.

There are different types of adhesives for laying your tile I use thin set mortar for concrete, and you can use what is called cement board, this can be laid over any wood surface and will eliminate the use of the mastic clue. The reason for this is when wood is affected by temperature it will expand and contract, and the mastic clue will allow it to change with this effect, this is not a concern with cement board, Mastic is pre mixed, and thin set mortar will need to be mixed before you can use it. When mixing your thin set mortar it’s like mixing concrete it comes in a bag and you need to add water, be careful not to get it to thin, it needs to be thick enough to use with a trowel. I used a wheel barrel to mix it in and then transferred it to a 5 gal bucket, this made it easier to handle. Also remember that when installing the tile to make sure not to leave any air bubbles trapped under the tile. This will cause the tile to brake. The method I use is to set the tile by pushing down evenly on the tile until I see the adhesive start to come out from the edges and then I lightly tap on the top of the tile a listen for any hollow sound, this will tell you if there is a pocket of air trapped and if you need to push a little more.

Gold Rings for Men – A Popular Accessory

We usually don’t associate any kind of jewelry with men. When we think about jewelry we always think about the female gender and how they love to adorn themselves with ornaments. However, we have seen that as of lately men have started showing an interest in rings, especially in gold rings. Previously, they used to wear only gold rings on their engagements or on their weddings. But now, gold rings are worn to many formal and informal occasions and it has become more of a fashion statement, not merely an obligation or sign of marriage. Gold rings, due to the rising gold prices worldwide, are usually worn by the upper class, rich people in society. These people can afford to wear gold rings for almost every occasion. But if we look at the average man, a man owns at least one ring for himself.

Even though gold is such an expensive metal, it truly hasn’t been replaced by any other metal. There are a lot of reasons behind this, cultural being the main one. In this article we will be taking a look at the different kinds of gold rings for men in terms of design and we will also be emphasizing on how the variety of rings for men keeps increasing every day. Gold is a very popular choice for men’s rings. However, there is not just one kind of gold that is used in making rings for men. Although yellow gold seems to be used more often, there is white gold and rose gold, which is sometimes used in making rings for men. White gold is more commonly known as platinum and it is much more expensive in terms of price. It gives off a very white look, something that is similar to the shine of extremely well polished silver. Rose gold, on the other hand, has a slightly pinkish color to it (not too much) we don’t see many rings made out of rose gold, but it is used in several rings.

Gold rings, or perhaps any kind of gold jewelry, are not made out of 100% gold. It is almost always mixed with another metal, to make it stronger. We often hear the term carats when we’re shopping for gold jewelry and these carats tell us about how pure the ring is i.e. how pure it is. Usually, the higher the carats, the more gold the ring contains. For everyday use and to keep the affordability factor in mind, 10 to 14 carat rings are suitable for men. There are some rings which are gold-plated but we don’t recommend you to buy those, even if they are cheaper, because once the plating comes off, the metal is not as glossy as it was before.

There are many designs available in the gold rings. There are plain designs like the simple band and there are more complicated designs available in stores. Popularly, gold rings men have plain deigns like the simple wedding band, but now some gold rings have carvings and other designs engraved in them too. The use of stones in the rings is also popular, with different kinds of stones; precious and semi- precious, are used on the rings. There are some rings that have a ribbed design on them. You can either buy ready-made gold rings from stores or over the internet, but if you’re looking for something unique, you can have rings specifically made for yourself in your size and chosen design as well.

Is the New Fashion Trend Right for Your Business?

Is your style the right one for you or are you trying to copy the magazine or a celebrity? A lot of women today have this dilemma because we live in a world where fashion style dictates who you are in the society. The world is changing so fast and the fashion trends are also adjusting every now and then. With a variety of fashionable items to choose from, creating your own personal style is not an easy task to do. You also need to take into consideration the kind of personality you want your viewers to convey about your fashion statement. Dressing your own style of fashion is not only to blend in the crowd but also to express more of yourself and be confident of your personality. Your own personal fashion style is your own personal brand of your own interests, aspirations, desires and lifestyle.

The following are some tips to consider when creating your own fashion statement:

  • Before trying something, try to scrutinize various fashion trends from different sources like magazines, television, advertising materials and the internet. You must know how to gather data to be able to investigate what you really want in your fashion style. You need to know how these trends are being collected so that you will have a better idea about the basics of fashion. From these concepts, you can mix and match and can create a clearer picture of your personal style.
  • Do not try to copy fashion statements of celebrities or friends because their own trend may not be the perfect style for you. Only buy items that best represent you as a person. Focus more on the clothing you wear and feel good about being yourself.
  • Venture on different styles. You can try different dresses and experiment on your own closet. Walking in front of a mirror or taking a picture of yourself can help you. By doing this, you will know what are the styles you want to keep or change. You need to remember that loving the items you wear boosts your self esteem.
  • There are several accessories you need to consider. Try to find the perfect accessory that will complement your outfit. Don’t go for accessory items just because they are a popular trend in your society. You need to realize that accessories are also important in creating your own personal brand.
  • The right hairstyle and make up is also a must in making your own style. Try to consider the shape of your face in selecting the perfect hairstyle. Be conscious about the right blend of make up for the right occasion.

Organizing your fashion statement involves risk. Don’t be afraid to take that risk. Inspire yourself with personalities you admire in the fashion world. Through this, you will be able to discover the true and unique person that’s within you.