A European vacation is a dream for many people, but it can easily become a reality if you are familiar with methods to cut your costs while traveling abroad. If you are looking to travel, but can’t afford a planned package and just aren’t sure about the idea of backpacking and youth hostels, find out how to explore Europe on a budget.
Get to Europe Cheaply
The first step in your budget vacation is to get to Europe for as little money as possible. You can start your airline search with main carriers from the United States or Canada, but if there are not amazing specials available, you should also be sure to check European budget airlines. Be creative with your flights. See if it’s cheaper to fly to a lesser known city and then drive to others. Are certain countries more expensive than others? Spend time researching and searching before buying.
When you have a found a low price ticket, buy it and start packing – you are most likely leaving soon as last minute deals are often the least expensive.
What to See in Europe
After arriving in Europe, regardless of actual country, plan your itinerary. This might also be good to do on the plane as flights are long. European travel destinations are plentiful, and short of staying for years, there is no way to see everything on a single trip. So decide ahead of time if you want to simply skim the surface of Europe to see as much as possible, or if you want to concentrate on a few destinations and explore those choices thoroughly.
Getting Around Europe
However you decide to spend your time, make at least a rough itinerary of the most important things to be sure you see those. Then begin working out travel arrangements between destinations. Transportation options between cities and countries include airlines, buses, trains, and rental cars. Each can be expensive depending on your exact destination and requirements, so be sure to research and compare prices before booking any travel within Europe itself. Don’t forget to consider public transportation or even cabs if they are reasonably priced, safe and available.
Spending the Night
There are plenty of tricks to inexpensive housing. Teenagers and college students take advantage of youth hostels, but these may not be a viable option for you. Explore them to see if you meet the criteria and are comfortable with the idea. Many budget hotels exist, and inns can be found off the main roads that might be willing to negotiate a lower rate. If you are renting a car, you have the option of sleeping in it if you can get comfortable and find a safe place. You might also travel long distances by train at night where you can reserve a berth.
Finally, cut corners whenever you can. Skip the restaurants in favor of street vendors and small cafes. Most pubs and bars serve food which may be less expensive than restaurants. Even convenience stores sell hot food in many locations, so take advantage of that option to help save money. Look around for deals and ask friendly locals if they know of any special rates on popular destinations. Be friendly and always try to negotiate – you never know, it just might work!
It seems that almost everyone has, at one time, had a fantasy about starting their own business, most of which involve using the internet and a website. In fact, due to the ever increasing ease of use, internet businesses are growing at a phenomenal rate. Unfortunately, 99% of web sites never make more than a few dollars each month.
So, how do you make sure that your website or home business is one of the 1% that actually makes some money?
- Take the time to do it right. – The internet is full of cheesy, cookie-cutter, web sites that offer no value to the reader. When you are building your website, take the time to make it look nice and ensure that is stands out fro the billions of other website’s on the net. If you do not have the skills to build a nice site yourself, spend the money to hire someone to do it for you.
- Provide the reader with something that is worth reading. – Most people use the internet for research or hobby reading on topics that interest them. Your website or home business MUST give free information that a reader will want to know. You don’t have to give away all your information or trade secrets but, you do have to offer an incentive that will keep a potential customer on your site long enough for you to get some money out of them.
- Use every method possible to make money on each visitor. – Let’s face it, even the most profitable business will not convert 100% of their visitors. However, you can increase your conversions by diversifying your revenue streams. If you sell a product for example, be sure that your product is not the only way you have to get money. Including ads, affiliate programs, and free trials are just a few ways that you can diversify your income streams.
- Build a community – A website is a great way to build an online community interested in your home business. Offering forums for people to correspond in and providing free answers to people’s questions can be a great way to "trap" a reader and keep them coming back to your site.
- Optimize your website for the Search Engines. – SEO or search engine optimization is the process of making your website easy to find and read by search engines. In fact, most web sites fail because nobody knows they exist. Look for a free e-book or hire someone to optimize your site. A SEO consultant can help you determine the best ways to have your site optimized and profitable. Zero traffic will always equal zero sales.
There is a huge market for links in the webmaster community, but true link popularity can’t be bought. Incoming links can be purchased, but those must mix with authentic links from quality websites to give your website true link popularity.
You are likely wondering, what is link popularity? The answer is simple enough. Link popularity is a measure of how popular and purposeful your website is based on the number of other quality websites that link to it. The more websites that include a link to your site, the better your site looks.
Incoming links are a sign that your website has something to say and is worth visiting. The more reputable the other websites are that link to yours the more important your site looks in search engines. Link popularity is just one of many factors that the major search engines consider when placing websites in their servers and on search result pages.
Build Link Popularity
There are many ways to build link popularity, but many webmasters try and skip the more authentic means and buy links instead. Paid links are frowned upon by major search engines, so it is far better to generate authentic links rather than buying one. You can use the following methods to build your own link popularity.
Submit your Website to Directories
By submitting your website to popular and well respected directories, you’ll automatically be gaining links back to your pages.
Use Article Marketing
Article marketing consists of writing articles for article directories or other sites and including a link back to your site as part of the article. As the articles are picked up on other websites, your link spread throughout the internet community. A solid article marketing campaign with quality articles likely to interest others in your niche can generate hundreds of links.
Use a Press Release
When you have something major to report, a press release will announce your event to the world via distribution and media outlets. As other websites pick up the news covered in your report, your link, which is naturally included in the release, is spread across the internet.
Build Your Own Popularity
Spend some time getting to know others in your webmaster community. If you know many other people and they know you and your site, it will grow naturally by word of mouth.
Participate in Forums
Webmaster and niche forums are an excellent place to advertise your website. Throw a link in your signature and you might gain a link from the site if it is not designated “no follow,” but other forum members will see your signature and visit your site hopefully earning you a natural link form their sites.
Promote You Site
Internet marketing is all about marketing. The more people you have visiting your website on a daily basis, the more people are likely to bookmark or link to your site from other places. Promote your site in as many ways as you can to get your name out there and start getting traffic. With a consistent campaign, traffic will grow and so will your link popularity.
There are many methods you can choose when you decide to build a website. The method you select will depend on your knowledge of coding and/or programming. If you are a total novice to the web designer industry then there are programs that allow you to drag and drop items, place text via text boxes and change the colors with a click of a button. These are known as WYSIWYG editors (what you see is what you get), they are very helpful in order to get a nice looking website up and running in a short amount of time if you have no html (hyper text markup language, the coding used to build websites) knowledge. The main downside to using a WYSIWYG editor is that the coding will be full of rubbish and useless variables which will give you the disadvantage in the search engines as messy code will confuse the bots and penalize you for it. You could go through each page after it has been made and take out unnecessary bits of code making the page clean and user friendly, but by doing this you will have to have a good knowledge of html so you would be better starting from scratch in the first place.
If you are fairly comfortable with the way html works, you can make a website by just using notepad and saving the file with the .html extension at the end. This method is not used as often in today’s world as you can get programs such as Microsoft Front Page and Macromedia Dreamweaver. These both allow you to see a WYSIWYG view, a core code view and a split view in which you can make something and then tidy the code up straight after saving you a lot of hassle in the end. My favorite out of these two (and probably the most popular) is Macromedia Dreamweaver as it has inbuilt FTP access so you can manage a whole website from the one interface. By using the remote view, you’re able to see what’s on the server. This allows you to make adjustments and update your revisions directly to your server. Once complete, you can view the changes immediately in through the domain name the site is linked to.
The main benefit of this is being able to see what your website looks like in different browsers as they interpret the code in different ways which can make your site look absolutely fine in Windows Internet Explorer but completely messed up in Mozilla Firefox. While the majority of users use Internet Explorer you still have to make it compatible with Firefox as a small percentage use it and you would be loosing vital traffic if your site is not compatible with it. You are best downloading the main browsers (explorer, firefox, opera and any other you are willing to) and checking your site on a regular basis in each making it look the same in each one. Another way around it is to complete your site and then pick the next browser and adjust the code until it matches and then move onto the next one.
If you are not using a WYSIWYG editor then I always find it best to design each page in a program such as Adobe Photoshop so you can get the feel of the layout and color scheme before you actually start making the site in a code editor. The benefit of this is you may start coding your website and decide you want to change bits around, this is a lot harder once you have integrated the code into your website so by making the final layout in Photoshop and moving bits around with ease, it will make your life easier in the long run. Also it’s always easier to follow a template then thinking from scratch making it up as you go along.
Another common method of making websites in today’s world is using a CMS (content management system) which will make it easier to update and maintain your website once you have made a basic template adding ‘PHP includes’ where you want the data to appear. There are many free CMS templates available in which you can download for free and use to give a professional look to your website.
Unfortunately, almost everyone lies at one point or another. It might be a friendly lie praising the cook for a meal that is actually almost inedible, or it might be a big lie like an affair or illegal dealings. If you suspect your spouse is lying, here are a few things that might give it away.
Look Into His / Her Eyes
In most liars, the eyes give it all away. A person who is lying often has a hard time casually meeting you gaze. And even if your spouse is comfortable in a lie, she might still unintentionally glance down or shift her eyes to the right or left while speaking. If you suspect she’s been lying to you, ask her a question or two about the topic in question. If she has a hard time meeting your eyes, has shifty eyes or tries to stare you down, you might have a valid case.
Are They Sweating?
Liars tend to get sweaty. They know they are in the wrong, and their body works overtime trying to maintain the adrenaline rush of doing something naughty. If the topic in question comes up and your partner suddenly seems flushed, hot and maybe even gets a few bead of sweat on her brow, she might just be overheating. But if she was cool and calm a minute ago, and suddenly looks like she’s been jogging, you might have something to discuss in depth.
Look At Their Posture
There are two kinds of posture which might give you a clue about your spouse’s honesty. If your spouse suddenly becomes jumpy or fidgety when those where not her characteristics before you suspect the lying began, you should investigate further. On the contrary, if she suddenly is aloof and cold, she might be distancing herself from you and her lie. Try to have a fun, friendly conversation with her. If you can’t pin her down and see your old spouse again, consider digging deeper.
Finally, arguably the most obvious sign of lying is when your spouse suddenly becomes defensive and touchy on the hot topic. If she’s suddenly defending the man you both had enjoyed poking fun at or getting angry every time you bring up an unusually high credit card bill, dig deeper to find out what is really going on. She might just feel guilty for hurting the guy’s feelings, or she might feel guilty because she’s gotten to know him better – a lot better.
Marriage is hard work. When two people decide to share a life, everything is shared. The good stuff and the bad all live in the house with you, and sometimes the bad stuff can make things sticky. If you’ve hit a rough spot in your marriage, here’s how to resolve that conflict.
Identify the Conflict
The first step in resolving conflict is to figure out what the conflict is. There are all kinds of fighters, but the best kinds are not the ones who never seem to actually fight – they are the ones who take the time to figure out what they are fighting about.
If you and your spouse are suddenly at odds, immediately call a time-out. Even if you’ve just been insulted, avoid the temptation to lash back. Be the mature one and tell your significant other you want to take a few minutes to cool off so that the two of you can work this out.
Then work on figuring out why you are angry. Most fights are about symptoms, not causes. You are angry because he didn’t take the trash out, but if you stop long enough to really think about it, you might find the trash isn’t really the problem. The problem is that you asked him twice to take the trash out, he ignored both requests and you feel like he doesn’t value you.
It will seem rather elementary, but when you come back together, take turns. You might even use a timer or pass a feather back and forth to remind you whose turn it is to talk. If he’s still itching to fight, let him go first. Let him put it all on the table without interrupting or allowing yourself to get dragged into an argument. If he asks a question, try to avoid answering in the heat of the moment by telling him you’d rather just let him get it all off his chest before taking your turn.
When it is finally your turn, state your position calmly. Always state the problem in terms of yourself to avoid making him feel defensive (even if he should be) as this will slow down the resolution. Instead of saying, “You always make me feel worthless when you ignore me asking you to take out the trash,” try “I get angry when I feel like you’ve ignored a simple request like taking out the trash.” By making statements about you and your feelings rather than your spouse and his shortcomings you will almost immediately take the flare out of the fight.
Keep Your Cool
You can be angry. You can be furious, but you must keep your cool. Yelling might make you feel better now, but it will most likely only make a problem worse, not better. If your spouse starts yelling, ask him to stop. Simply tell him that you are interested in fixing this problem, and that you’d prefer to talk about it. If he can’t seem to stop, don’t respond in kind. Ask him to let the problem be for now and come back and revisit it later when everyone has had a chance to cool down.
Forgive Your Spouse
A problem isn’t resolved until both parties have moved past it. It’s hard to resolve every conflict by the time the sun comes up, but try to take care of as many as possible the same day they spring up. Discuss what is really bothering both of you then try to find a solution that is agreeable. Finally, forgive each other. Forgive, but don’t forget. Otherwise, you’ll just be having the same argument on down the road.
No matter how well things are going, sometimes things just don’t work out as well as we’d like. If your marriage is crumbling and you’ve done what you can to save it without success, it might just be time to cut your losses and consider divorce. You can work with a lawyer to file for divorce or you can use do it yourself divorce papers to file quickly and with less expense.
The first step to filing for divorce is not to trot down to the county courthouse. Instead you need to trot over to the filing cabinet and organize all of your records. You need records of your home ownership, bank accounts, debt and assets. If you’re suspicious, or feel like checking for your own good, dig around to be sure your spouse hasn’t hidden any funds or assets from you that he or she might be sheltering from pending divorce proceedings.
Find the Right Documents
If you work with a lawyer, she’ll arrange documents on your behalf making the process as simple as reviewing standard paperwork and signing on the dotted line. Doing your own divorce paperwork isn’t much more complicated, but you’ll need to double check that you have everything you need and take care of the filing and data entry on your own.
Divorce criteria and documents vary by state. California divorce papers and terms are very different from New York divorce papers – especially as California is a community property state and New York is not. (Community property states are those that treat income earned and assets acquired during the marriage as the property of both parties, regardless of who earned more.) You’ll need to be sure you have all of the right forms and follow the rules of your state.
Complete the Paperwork
If you’re divorcing amicably, work with your spouse to set the terms of the divorce and complete paperwork together if possible. Ironing out agreements pleasantly is far less stressful and takes less time than legal battles. Otherwise, fill out the paperwork according to the terms set by the state. A lawyer can be helpful at this point, especially if you have many assets and children.
The more special situations in a relationship, the more likely it will be that you’ll need assistance – child custody and alimony are especially tricky in a do-it-yourself situation. But if you and your spouse are both employed with no children or complicated asset distribution, a do-it-yourself divorce is not much trickier than a break-up.
File and Document
A divorce, even the simplest one, takes time and money. Filing for divorce costs anywhere from $100 to $350 depending on where you live. The lawyer fees will be much more, but these might be covered by your spouse – especially if you file a fault divorce. The forms and documents might incur additional costs as well.
While you work through the proceedings, be sure you document everything in writing. Take notes of every phone call and get every promise made by your spouse in writing. Keep meticulous records as divorce can turn nasty or just get complicated, and you’ll need evidence to support your claims and statements.
Nobody seeks a divorce when they marry, but sometimes the break-up just seems inevitable. It takes time and will drain you of energy both physically and emotionally, but a finalized divorce might just be the fresh start you need to find a better life.
If you’re out of school, and afraid to taint your reputation at work by dating co-workers, you might find yourself in an awkward situation. There are horror stories about men you meet in bars and if one more friend fixes you up with some weird guy, you’ll probably lose it. If you want a boyfriend, but can’t seem to find one in your current situation, here’s how to land a decent guy – who might just turn out to be the man of your dreams.
Take Advantage of Internet Dating Sites
Internet dating sites had a seedy reputation for a long time, but today they are acknowledged as a legitimate means to finding others looking for love or at least a good time. If you’re going to use a singles dating site, be sure you understand how the site works and protect yourself by keeping your distance from prospective dates until you’re completely comfortable.
For example, go ahead and create a profile on a dating site and read through the profiles of others. If you get any interested responses, read through them carefully and reply through the board careful to not give away any personal details about yourself such as your last name, phone number or personal email address. Continue your conversation through the site, and then use a personal email address you’ve set up separate from your normal account to speak with him further.
Speak with him on the phone a few times to be sure there are no surprises as to his age before meeting him, and your initial meeting should be in the company of others. Meet him in a popular coffeehouse or restaurant and be sure to let a friend know where you’ll be. Hopefully after meeting him all will be well and you can continue getting to know each other.
Take a Class or Join a Club
If you want to meet people outside of work and away from all that “help” offered by friends and family, go where your type of guy will be. If you want an athletic boyfriend, head to the gym for a membership and sign up for a few personal lessons to learn to use the circuit training system or weights. Make eye contact with possibilities, and see if you get a response. If you become a regular gym member, you’ll be seeing a lot of the same people over and over again offering you plenty of opportunities to strike up a conversation or flirt.
If you want a more intellectual man, join a literary society or take a class at the local community college for enrichment. Like sailing? Join a sailing club. Want a religious man? Join a Bible study.
Go to Church and Participate in the Community
Often romance will strike when you’re least expecting it, so stay active in areas that are important to you. That way, men you’ll be around will have the same priorities saving you a lot of headaches down the road. If you are religious, take advantage of the many singles programs offered by churches to meet new people.
Community service projects such as Habitat for Humanity or other hands on projects will let you rub shoulders with others trying to make the world a better place. And you never know, maybe they’ll make your world a better place, too.
Your first date is a thing of beauty – and incredible stress. Do you dress up? Will you look like you’re trying to hard? Or should you dress normally and risk looking sloppy? It can be tough to pick the perfect outfit, but relax – you can do it.
Location is the single most important factor on a date. If you’re going ice skating, you want to be prepared and not be the only one in a mini skirt on the ice. Likewise you’ll want to skip the skinny jeans on the beach. Speak to the lucky guy to determine where you’re going to go on this date. If he acts like you’re stressing him out or putting him on the spot, make a gentle suggestion that you keep things low key – and then dress for dinner and a movie.
Pick an Outfit
Start combing through your closet looking for something to wear. You want to pull together an outfit with the following criteria:
- You know its flattering, so you feel your best.
- You are comfortable in it so you’re not pulling at your skirt or trying to make your buttons stay closed.
- You have flexibility in case you wind up riding horses or bowling rather than dancing the night away.
- You are dressing for the middle road – not too casual and not too fancy.
- It’s clean and not stained.
Pull your outfit on to make sure it feels right. You should be comfortable without worrying about bending too far in your skirt or getting blisters from your shoes. You want to wear something that’s normal for you so that you’re not more uncomfortable than a typical first date should be, but you want to look nice. Pants and a nice shirt, a cute sundress, or jeans and a sweater are good, middle-of-the-road choices.
Check the Details
Before you head out the door, you’ll want to be sure you’ve got the details covered. Check for any stains or dirty spots. Lint removers will help take care of any stray cat hairs, and you’ll want to cut (not pull) any loose threads. Are you pulled together? Do you feel good? Then go and have a great time!
Video games are still a popular hobby by many people across the world of all ages. It’s just as common for the older generation to play video games as well as the younger generation, many people tend to exclude the older age group from playing which can make you loose a huge percentage of buyers if the producer targets a specific age group.
There are many ways in which people can get into the video game scene, some of the common reasons are due to friends and family playing them on a regular basis. If a close friend or family member recommends a good game they think you will like, more times then not you will try it out to see what the fuss is about. They can be very addictive and after one test run, you could be hooked onto that specific series of games and will buy all future releases. Many children nowadays are not very outdoor and sociable, another alternative to watching TV is video games, they provide hours of entertainment which will make the parents happy as they know where they are, what their getting up to and most of all that they are staying safe.
In today’s market there are plenty of different genres of games in which people can play. Not every genre will be suitable for every gamer, the common genres are:
- 1st person shooters
- 3rd person shooters
- Role playing game
That’s just a few top level categories, many of these expand out into sub genres giving even more choice for the gamer. As you can see from the list above, you can guarantee that you will find a suitable genre that you enjoy and become a big fan.
With the increase of technology the gaming industry will only get better as technology improves, the main downside is the price, the later consoles can cost around $500 and above which each game varying from $60+ depending on the age of the game. You can easily spend thousands of dollars on video games in a few months, especially if you play various genres to give you a change depending on your mood.
You can guarantee that if you’re into video games then you will have a hobby for life, new and improved consoles are always due to be released as it make millions of dollars profit for the manufacturers to keep the clientele satisfied with new games and sequels to preceding world famous games.
Another common way of people getting into video games is by playing online, if you spend a fair amount online you will of more then likely played little online flash games which can be terribly addictive as you waste many hours per week trying to beat them. The benefit of these online games is the fact they are available to play free of charge and require no downloads so it’s quick and easy.
There is another variation of online games which entice many people into playing, these are games that have the single player option to play on your own against the artificial intelligence and also include a multi player mode in which you can sign onto the internet and play against human players.
This is very popular amongst the 1st person shooters and role playing games (RPG) such as counter strike, unreal tournament, battlefield, Diablo and many more. These types of games are free to play online once you have bought the game for the desired console. There are certain online games that require you to buy the game itself and install it, and then if you want to play online you have to pay a fee per month. An example of this type of game is World of Warcraft which is one of the biggest online multi player games available to date with well over 8 million users playing on a daily basis. These can be quite common as gamers around the world don’t mind paying a fee to play per month if the game play will be unique and keep them entertained for hours.