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!
As seen on TV, physical games and activities can help to keep children healthy and fit. Hide and seek is a classic game that uses both creativity and physical ability to play. It will also keep your children entertained for hours. There are many versions of hide and seek, but here’s how to play the most basic.
Establish the Players
The first step in hide and seek is to determine the players. You must know who will be hiding and who will be seeking. There is one “it” or seeker, and the rest of the players will be hiding in the designated area. A homebase should be determined such as tree or banister, and the perimeters of the play area can be outlined for all players as well.
Count to 100
“It” hides his eyes on the home base and begins a slow and loud count. You can have the seeker count as low as ten or as high as one hundred, but twenty-five or thirty ought to do it. While he’s counting, the rest of the players are running to find hiding places. They hide themselves and wait for the next phase of the game.
Hide and Seek!
The seeker reaches the magical number and begins looking for the hiders. While he is seeking, the hiders are looking for an opportunity to race past him back to the home base. If the seeker finds you while you are hiding (or racing back to base) you are the new “it.” If all the players make it back to base before the seeker can find them, he must hide his eyes again and play another round as “it.” The game continues indefinitely.
Dancing has always been one of the most under appreciated art forms in the world. In recent years however, it has started to get more attention. There are dancing reality shows, music videos, dancing movies, street dancing competitions and a host of others types of dancing. One of the forms of dance that has exploded into the public is Ballroom dancing. It is amazing what has happened in just the past year.
I have been in ballroom dancing for 11 years. When I started people didn’t really know what ballroom dancing was. The public’s view of ballroom dancing has always been Fred and Ginger Rogers. Though they are classic dancers, and will always be the most well known dancers in the world, dancing has evolved into something much, much more. Every year the dancers are starting younger and younger. I am teaching 5 year olds how to ballroom dance! With all of this attention I think that people should understand what it really takes to be a ballroom dancer, and be competitive with the world. People think that they can take a few classes and call themselves ballroom dancers. This is not true. It takes years and years of training and commitment, money and patience to become a real ballroom dancer.
This is one of the few sports that the professionals are still taking lessons all the time. There is always something new to learn and something that can make even the best dancer a little better. It is a sport that no one will ever conquer. Once you think you have conquered it someone will always come along and do something better or new and pass you up. It is changing every day. The competition is getting harder and harder every day. If you don’t have the drive to continue working you will never make it. So what makes a REAL ballroom dancer? Well, I am going to explain the key elements of a real ballroom dancer.
First, you need the desire. If you want to take ballroom dance for fun, that is great but you need more than that. Ballroom dancers literally live to dance. They have to have that desire and drive in order to get through the disappointment, struggle and frustration that come with this sport. If you don’t have the desire there is no point in spending the money or the time it takes. You can’t teach this element, this is something that you are born with.
Second, you need time! You have to be willing to spend a lot of time on this. You need to train at least 4 hours a day and travel around the country and the world. As with any other skill it takes years to achieve the type of excellence the top professionals achieve. You will be spending tremendous amounts of time with your dance partner so it is best you get a long. You need to be willing to travel for competitions. It is important to travel and have different judges see you so you can be known. Traveling takes up a lot of time.
Third, training. It is imperative that you receive good training. You must train with different coaches and styles. Since dancing has evolved it is important to know more than one dance style. Get trained in Ballet, this will help with everything you do. Be familiar with any other dance style you can. You never know what you will need to do for a show. It is important to train with different coaches because ballroom is a political sport and a lot of time the coaches are the judges. You need to be on their good side and they need to know who you are if you want them to even look at you. It isn’t right but that is just how it is.
Fourth, MONEY! Ballroom is probably the most expensive sport around. For good training you will be paying from $80-$250 for 45 minutes! Shoes cost around $90.00 and you will need to change them at lease twice a year, probably more. Dresses will cost between $500-$5,000 per dress. You must pay for all of your travel and lodging for any competitions outside of your state or country. Even if you manage to get sponsored for dresses or shoes, you have to pay for lessons and that is the most expensive of them all. Lessons are where dancers make all of their money. There are also competition fees to even enter the competition. This all adds up very quickly.
Fifth, you need endurance. It takes a long time to get good at ballroom dance. Don’t get discouraged every one has to go through it. There will be times you dance better than other couples but get a lower score because they are more well known than you, or their coach is one of the judges, or they don’t like your dress or your hair or something about your partner. There are so many things that go into what the judges look for that you can’t control, so don’t let it get to you. You have to just do the best you can and be happy with that. Some day it will all pay off.
The last thing you need is to look like a ballroom dancer. You can spot a ballroom dancer from a mile away. This is a very vain sport and it is important to care about how you look. You need to be in shape and your hair either has to be black or platinum blonde, there is nothing in between. You need to wear expensive clothes and have great taste. Dancers are very into fashion. You need to be tan all year round and have your nails done. You need to wear false eyelashes for competition and do your makeup so that you look like you should be standing on the street corner. Your costumes need to be great and functional. Looks are important because in the competition if there are two couples that are technically the same and they both have good expression the judges will look at how they look. If one couple is better groomed and looks more professional they will get a higher score than the other couple. That is just for the ladies. The men have it easier but they still have to tan and they have to wear tight pants. Looks are very important.
Well those are the most important elements of ballroom dancing. Dancing doesn’t have to be like this. It is a great hobby for couples and friends. It is a way to meet people of the opposite sex and a great way to exercise and have fun. When you see a ballroom competition just realize people sacrifice a lot for this sport and there are many things that go into becoming a REAL Ballroom dancer.
There are many ways to install sundials – not just on a southern oriented wall. So long as your sundial receives light during the day, it can be installed almost anywhere suitable to the style of your particular sundial.
Installing Sundials Outside
If you’re installing your sundial outside in the garden or patio, you have a few different options. A horizontal or equatorial sundial can be placed where two paths intersect, in the heart of a flower bed or in the middle of the yard. Mount this kind of sundial on a column, but be sure to keep the column under four feet however.
A meridian sundial can be hung from a tree in the yard or on a pillar. It can also be hung from a gatepost assuming the gateposts are facing south. The sundial can be hung anywhere that receives sun in the midday and facing south (or north if you’re in the southern hemisphere.
Installing Sundials on the House
To install sundials on your home, you must first decide what use you will receiving from your sundial. If your dial is primarily decorative, you can hang it above the door as a show of hospitality. You can also hang the dial on any wall without regard to orientation if you are using it only as decoration.
If, however, you are going to actually read your sundial, you’ll want to install it with the correct cardinal direction. A vertical direct south sundial should be hung on a southern wall with the dial facing directly south. Even if the wall isn’t directly facing south, you can orient the sundial using pegs or other means of raising it a bit on one side or the other.
To hang a sundial for the sunrise or sunset, hang it on an east or west facing wall. This positioning works well for direct east, direct west or vertical declining sundial.
A well-designed garden path not only leads you through your garden, but keeps your feet dry and protects your plants from being damaged. Ideally, a path invites you into the garden, leading you under beautiful branches and around trickling fountains, and even over garden bridges. By following a few easy steps, you can build a garden path that does all of this and even more.
Plan Your Route
Whether your path is intended to lead from the driveway through the garden to the front door, or from the patio to a secluded bench, the first step is to plan your route. If your path is prone to heavy traffic and is more utilitarian than superfluous, a straight and wide path that gets the traveler where they want to go is best. This doesn’t mean your path will be boring.
Plant interesting foliage along the path and add garden ornaments to keep the path attractive. A secondary path that might branch off of the main path can be narrower, since it is not expecting the heavy traffic flow, and might twist and turn a bit more. Instead of twisting and turning at random, make your curves seem practical—bending the path around an existing tree or placing a boulder in the nook of the curve.
Choose a Material
When choosing a material, it is important to consider again the purpose of your path, as well as your budget. You can use materials from sand or mulch, which can be free, to relatively expensive cut stone or pavers. Keep safety in mind. For primary paths, use a surface material that will be safe whether it is wet or dry, and will not slip or become uneven. Also, consider the style of your house. The material you use for your path should blend in or complement the style of the existing house and other structures.
Install the Path
The exact method of installation will depend on the type of material you chose. Regardless of the material, however, you will need to ensure good drainage so you are not creating a swamp or bog instead of a path. Additionally, you’ll probably use a base and some edging to ensure a level path. Once you have your path, you’ll love to use it and you will take great pride in knowing you created it.
If your perfect garden comes complete with flittering butterflies, you must attract them using the proper collection of plants. Fortunately, these plants are easy enough to find in nurseries and do not require a great deal of work outside of your normal gardening routines. All butterfly attracting plants have a similar element, however – they all possess a great deal of nectar.
Plant a Butterfly Friendly Garden
When you plant your garden, design it with butterflies in mind. Include flowering plants that have been proven to attract butterflies with their nectar. Some of those plants include lilies, lavender, thistle, blanket flower, and rock cress. Additionally any other flower, even wildflowers, with high amounts of nectar can attract butterflies.
Plant a large variety of bright and colorful plants. Arrange plants in clusters so that you have bold splashes of color in various sections of the garden. Butterflies are attracted to large riotous splashes of color, so don’t be timid when it comes to planting flowering shrubs or even trees.
Give Them Mud
Balance these flowers with a small water garden. Growing irises around a pond beside your butterfly garden can create a variety as well as give butterflies a full habitat right in your backyard. The pond can also help create a mud patch. Butterflies love to frolic in the mud, and you can make yours even more appealing with a few pieces of fermenting fruit.
Experiment over Time
Each season, try new plants with different colors and blooms to see if you can attract more butterflies and their caterpillars. Over the years you’ll soon find the perfect recipe for attracting the butterflies native to your area.
If you’d like nothing better than to gaze out into your garden and see birds frolicking about, you’d do well to actively recruit them. Here’s how to attract birds to your garden.
Plant a Food Supply
If you want birds to stay in your garden without the help of bird feeders, you should plant a variety of shrubs, trees and flowers that actually provide food for birds year-round. Start with a good mix of deciduous and evergreen trees. Deciduous trees produce fruit and nuts while evergreens provide pinecones and berries. Both plant types offer a place for birds to nest and visit.
You’ll want to reduce the amount of space the lawn takes up in your yard. Bare expanses of grass have little or no attraction for birds. Build up your garden with a collection of plants in close quarters. Consider a path and arbor through a variety of blooms and fruit trees. Give the bird something to hide and nest in.
You’ll also want to provide your feathered friends with a source of water. A bird bath makes an attractive addition to a garden or you can install a small pond or fountain for appeal as well as a location for birds to drink and bathe.
While waiting for your garden to grow, or if you’re simply unable to build the kind of garden to attract birds, you can also install a bird feeder in your backyard. Be sure the feeder is well stocked with birdseed on a daily basis and hung far enough away from the house and action that birds feel safe. Then, sit back and enjoy the birds that come by for a quick snack.
One of the first fabrics that man fashioned to wear or use, leather has been a popular material from its beginnings. Leather is a beautiful, longwearing, breathable, natural fabric that has multiple uses, i.e., clothing, shoes, furniture, luggage, and vehicle interiors. This valuable fabric is an investment that will last for years if it is treated with care. Owners want to know how to correctly clean leather products because leather can be quickly ruined if handled incorrectly.
Leather hides can be categorized as belonging to several types, depending on the process to preserve the hides. The piece of leather can be smooth, suede, dyed in a variety of ways, coated, or tanned naturally. The dye used to color the fabric can be of different types that demand different handling. A product that works beautifully on one type of leather can permanently stain a different type. It is important to read any manufacturer’s instructions to understand what type of finish was used to create the item.
There are general rules for how to clean leather, however. These rules apply to how to clean car upholstery, belts, purses, jackets or other clothing, as well as furniture, luggage, and leather shoes. All leather needs an environment that is not too wet, not too dry, not too hot, or not too cold. Any extremes in the atmosphere can cause irreparable harm to the hides.
Let’s start off by identifying two types of leather. There is finished leather and there is unfinished leather. It is very good to know what type of leather you have so that you may treat it properly. Finished leather consists of the finer leather on coats or purses. Luggage and leather furniture is usually finished as well.
On the other hand, you have unfinished leather items as well. Unfinished leather consists of work gloves, garden gloves, boots that you use for work, biker bandannas, horse saddles, any type of saddle, basketballs and footballs.
Let’s start with cleaning finished leather. To clean finished leather, you must get a lightly dampened cloth with a dab of moisturizing bath soap (dove) on the cloth. Rub the leather in a circular motion and make sure that there is not too much water on the cloth. You don’t want to stain the leather more because of an access of water. After wiping the leather until the stain is gone, you can then take another dampened cloth to wipe off any soap residue. Remember, DO NOT us water to wipe the leather clean. After cleaning the leather with the second dampened cloth, you can now wipe it clean with a dry cloth and hang the leather product to air dry. It’s a good idea to apply a leather conditioner to the leather once it is dry.
To clean unfinished leather, you will follow the same steps stated above. However, you must use “Saddle soap” instead of moisturizing soap.
Remember when removing spots from leather, always test any cleaning method on an out-of-the-way spot first.
One tip for removing spots from leather is to dip a cotton swab into rubbing alcohol and rub the spot. This can work for removing ink spots (figure B) as well. If this doesn’t work, you can use non-oily cuticle remover. (Note: That is "cuticle" remover, not nail-polish remover.) Leave it on overnight and wipe it off with a damp cloth.
To remove normal spots from leather, use the following Royal homemade recipe:
1 part lemon juice 1 part cream of tartar
Simply work the paste into the spot with a soft cloth, and if soils remain after working it in, let it sit for a few hours. Come back and apply a little more paste, work it in and wipe clean.
Instructions for more targeted stains
1. Mix 1 cup of water with moisturizing soap.
2. Moisten a cloth with the mixture.
3. Apply cloth with a circular motion on the stained area
4. Wipe clean with another cloth dampened by water only
5. Let air dry
1. Mix 1 cup rubbing alcohol with 1 cup water.
2. Moisten a cloth with the mixture and wipe the affected area.
3. Let air dry.
1. Spray the affected area with hair spray.
2. Then wipe it off with a clean cloth.
3. If a leather garment has been soaked in water, let it air dry
slowly and naturally.
4. Keep it away from heat sources.
5. Once it is dry, restore its softness with a leather conditioner.
6. If leather shoes have been soaked, insert shoe trees to restore their shape and let them air dry.
1. These can be removed by blotting the excess grease with a clean cloth.
2. Second, sprinkle talcum powder or cornstarch on the affected area.
3. Let the item sit for at least 4 hours before wiping off the powder.
Blood and urine spills:
These can be removed by blotting off excess moisture with a clean, damp cloth. Let the item dry slowly away from heat.
Gum that has become stuck to the leather:
1. You can remove it by rubbing a plastic bag full of ice cubes over it to harden the gum. The gum will then be easy to pull off.
2. If there is any residual, heat the area with a hair dryer and rub off the gum with a clean cloth.
1. Make a solution of 3 parts vinegar to 1 part water.
2. Moisten a cloth with the vinegar solution and dab it on the affected area.
We have outlined how to properly take care of your leather possessions in this article. Leather is a delicate item and can last forever if taken care of properly. We understand that some stains might entail more than just a cleaning. Do not hesitate to hire professional leather cleaner to help you. Remember to ask that professional for a guarantee that your leather will come back that way that you would like it. They need to be legit. They need to return your article back with the same color that the item was in the beginning. If they cannot help with these simple items, then you might need to get a second opinion.
Newly planted trees require a lot of love, patience, but especially water. A young tree needs the equivalent of one inch of rainwater per week. In the lands of almost constant summer droughts, this is very hard to come by. Rain gauges can help track the natural watering of your trees, and by seeing the shortfall every week, you can help to make up the difference.
Determine the Need
Your first step is to see how much water your tree is already receiving. Young trees can die easily without enough water, so it is imperative to get a good reading. Over watering a tree can be harmful as well, so running the hose for an hour or two isn’t much compensation. Only when you’ve got a good idea of how much rainfall your trees have already benefited from can you begin watering the trees yourself.
Apply Water Naturally
When you water a young tree, you should apply the water in the most natural way possible. This means that dumping a bucket over the roots won’t do. Instead use a soaker hose to distribute water slowly over time. Another way to better gauge how much water your tree is getting is to punch a nail sized hole in a bucket and place that bucket by the tree. Then fill up the bucket and leave it until all of the water has dripped down through the hole. Move the bucket to the other side of the tree and repeat as necessary.
Keep Moisture In
You’re putting a great deal of effort into getting the water into the tree, but you need to help protect that water from evaporation. Putting a layer of mulch around the base of the trees can help keep the soil moist. Also, do your watering early in the morning or in the evening when the sun is not at its peak to ensure none of your watering efforts are wasted.
In dry conditions watering your yard can help keep your grass soft and green, but it can be tricky to water all of your grass at the same time. Watering a yard evenly doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does need a bit of planning.
Install a Sprinkler System
Your first consideration to watering a yard evenly is to install a sprinkler system. A sprinkler system has a series of nozzles distributed throughout the yard that spray a fine mist over the entire surface area. This means your yard gets a nice coverage with a consistent amount of water. Sprinkler systems are rather expensive, however.
Create Your Own Sprinkler System
It is far more economical to create your own sprinkler system using a series of stationary sprinklers and hoses. Sprinklers that have three or more nozzles attached to a short hose are now available. Buying a system of these and distributing them about your yard will help you to get water distributed evenly.
A flat garden hose will allow you to leave your system set up without fear of kinks – at least until it is time to mow. But even then, you can simply pull the sprinkler system to one side, mow, and replace it for another round of watering.
Low Sprinklers and Seepers
Another way to water a yard evenly is to use a hose with perforations or holes along its length. Simply unroll the hose along the yard and turn on the water. Every twenty minutes or so, move the hose rather along the yard to water a new line. If you have a small yard, you may be able to use a seeper hose to distribute water evenly, although these are better for flowerbeds and trees.
Move Your Sprinkler
If all else fails, invest in an oscillating sprinkler, set it in the middle of the yard and turn it on so that the spray reaches the far edges. This will allow the water to distribute evenly over the span of the sprinkler at least. To water the entire yard evenly, simple move the sprinkler to a new section of yard, preferably not overlapping an old section and turn it on again. Water each section for a set amount of time, thirty minutes or so, and your yard will give you the kind of results you’re hoping for.