Saving money can be challenging. The process is very much like putting yourself on a diet. The following ideas and examples may help you to your goal.

The Saving Money Diet

Did you know you can apply the same habits for dieting to saving money? It’s about changing bad habits into good habits. It takes time, discipline and focus. You have to decide it’s time and commit.

Get it down in plain sight

Write down your short term and long term goals and post them where you’ll face them every day. For extra incentive, clip pictures of your goal item(s) along with it. For my husband and I, we wanted to pay off some small credit card debt and then put those minimum payments in the bank.

Balance your deposits and debits daily, like a food journal, it keeps you honest and on track. Once a week check yourself against your online statement. Our check register had cobwebs on it, it had been so long out of use. It stunned both of us to look at all the little amounts we spent on a daily basis that we didn’t even think about. Those pop and chips stop really add up. We decided to stop those, too, and bank that money instead.

Giving up for the greater good

This is where will power comes in. Sacrifice can be painful especially if you’ve been splurging for a long time. This is why you need to face your goal page and pictures on a daily basis. My husband and I gave up our storage unit and donated most of the items. We put the $83.00 in the bank instead. My husband also decided to pick up a part-time job for three months. We applied every one of those checks directly to those credit card bills. We were able to pay off four of them and a debt owed to a family member. Cha-ching.

Create a competition

Ask a spouse or friend to buddy up with you for some friendly competition. It’s a great motivator and helps you stay accountable. An occasional bet won can up your savings. I bet my husband a foot massage that he wouldn’t stay on his lunch budget for more than a week. Pew for me, I have to rub those stinky feet. I smile, though, because our savings are adding up.

Savings success

Watching where your money goes is like watching what you eat. You have to make choices, sacrifices, and keep track. It all pays you in the end. The sense of freedom my husband and I felt was an unexpected surprise to accomplishing our goals.The Saving Money Diet

Read More → The Saving Money Diet

If you are using an SEO agency to spearhead your marketing and SEO effort, then it may well be worthwhile to review the rest of the article. The process of finding the right SEO agency to handle all the SEO campaigns is not that easy, given the fact that you had to muddle through the several choices.

Relationships are never secure, and that’s the norm as well when it comes to professional relationships – then perhaps, it is time that you looked into ways to develop a lucrative relationship with the agency.

The key objectives: Selecting the right SEO agency to handle your marketing is never an easy decision to make. And now that you have, you need to develop a closer relationship with the agency in question. This can help foster trust, understanding and help you achieve the key objectives of your business in the long term.

Road to SEO SuccessA good SEO agency can even lend you the competitive edge you require to reaffirm your dominance over your niche.  Here are a few tips on how to develop an excellent lucrative relationship with your SEO agency.

Clear communication:

The first item on the agenda is to ensure that you can communicate with the agency in question regarding your views, your current goals and objectives. The point is that open communication is often a lot harder than it seems; you do not have to call up the agency each day, but you can interact with them through various messaging services and keep track of the progress to date.

Share your key objectives:

It makes sense to share your key objectives vis-à-vis marketing and SEO with the agency. This can help them focus better on the task at hand, and they may be able to accomplish your desired objectives a lot faster than expected.

Open and transparent:

It is essential that both you and the agency can operate an open and transparent relationship. And that the business is required to be transacted openly and transparently as well. This may well form the keystone that underpins your professional relationship with the agency. Once you develop a certain level of trust and dependency with the SEO agency, you will be able to ensure that priority is given to your work and that the projects get completed ahead of schedule.

Stay in touch:

The agency is handling the current SEO work for your company and naturally, you keep yourself informed. And one of the best ways to ensure that you stay on top of the process is to ensure that you schedule regular meetings with the agency executives.

You also need to make it clear that you expect regular updates, and ask them to provide you with a fixed schedule for the same. You could be busy, with the core aspects of your business and may not be able to make the meeting, But there are various communication apps that both you and your agency can communicate with each other to apprise the other about the progress to date.

Do not be too clingy:

One of the mistakes most companies make is expecting their agency to provide them with hourly updates. That is insane; it is vital that you provide the SEO agency with the creative room and space to work on the current project so that they can turn in the deliverables by the required time frame.

By pushing hard at the agency in question, you are bound to alienate them, and that is certainly not going to help you grow a lucrative relationship with them. This is why it is essential for you to ensure that you do not disturb them constantly at work and that you stick to the agreed schedule for agreed updates.

Treat them as a team member:

It is important for you to remember to treat the SEO agency as part of your team and not just as any other commercial transaction. This can help foster trust, reliability, and loyalty between the two of you. Furthermore, you can share ideas and suggestions with each other, which can help integrate your vision with the current SEO campaign. However, always make a close observation on when an SEO company offers guarantees, because it may not be as promising as they may project it.

Essential goals:

Targeted SEO strategy leads to successGranted, that there may be days when you may not be too pleased with the digital agency’s work. In which case, instead of losing your beauty sleep, you may want to remember that both you and the agency share the same goals. And that there is nothing to be gained by losing one’s temper at them.

Just remember that SEO is not all about rankings and is multifaceted. Naturally, the concerned agency will do all it can to make for an effective SEO strategy for your organization. Don’t forget to learn about the most important pillars of an effective SEO strategy. You may want to set up various milestones for the SEO chief so that the work gets completed on schedule.

Different ideas:

Granted that a few differences may crop up in the creative process; you may have a different concept about how you would like the core SEO to be handled. It is crucial for you to remember that you hired the SEO agency for the specific purpose of managing all your SEO work. You have assigned

These are a few tips designed to help you develop a lucrative relationship with your SEO agency. You need to maintain good communication with each other and should any issues crop up; then you need to help tackle the same. It is important that you take all measures possible to prevent any issues from flaring up as it can prove inimical to your professional relationship.

And always keep in mind the key objectives here, which is to ensure that your company and its principal products get the required visibility and that your incoming traffic goes up, as a result of the SEO work done by the agency in question.

Read More → Building a Lucrative Relationship with Your SEO Agency

Whether you are diving for the first time or diving at a new destination, there are various things that would be jumping in your mind too. Skydiving is an activity that starts up when you obtain the license for it as that would be the exact time you would open up yourself to life.

Again, when the license for skydiving is obtained, you also obtain the ability to travel to various destinations providing with dropzone activities.

While visiting any new dropzone, your excitement level is sure to increase. However, there are some precautions that need to be considered before you begin your dive. Do your homework and visit – Finding a dropzone near you and get detailed information on the available options.

Important tips while visiting new dropzones

Are you moving for your next dropzone for a new skydiving experience? Here are some tips that would help you in making the event more memorable.

·         Indianapolis dropzoneExpectations from the new dropzone

Stepping in a new dropzone is surely going to connect you with new people, equipment, landing areas, gears, and planes. This can be slightly stressful while making the dive. There are many who get baffled in such a situation and fail to perform properly. Don’t feel daunted at that time.

Visiting new destinations for skydiving brings an opportunity to meet new people. This helps in learning more and more about sky diving when sharing of experiences is carried out on both sides. Prepare for the upcoming fun and keep faith in the knowledge and skills you have learned during your training.

In the excitement of diving to new destinations, make sure you don’t forget to take your license as that would work as proof that you have obtained the training. If you are carrying your own equipment or gear, make sure you get it checked at the gate along with the logbook.

·         Ask for a briefing

No doubt, today the internet provides with every piece of information about the new places you are visiting for skydiving. Yet, it is important to ask for a briefing as you enter the area.

Every dropzone provides with an instruction team that helps you learn about the area where you are going to dive. You need to learn about the landing areas, patterns for landing, landing procedures, outs that are recommended, doors for the exit, the procedure of the aircraft, canopy traffic, and much more.

No doubt, you would have learned all these at your training, but as the location changes, there can be slight changes in the process. So, before you go for the jump, make sure you are aware of the responsibilities and rules as that would help for a safe diving experience.

·         What about the gears?

Are you walking with your own gears? If yes, check if the gears are with current date reserve. Also, you need to have closing loops, pull-up cords, and rubber bands that are handy at the time of diving. It is not necessary that every dropzone comes with a gear store and hence, they wouldn’t be available readily for purchase.

As you have already learned about the gear checks properly, you also know their importance while you are making a dive in a completely new environment. It also depends on the size of the event you are going to attend.

If the event is bigger, ask the manufacturers if they would be available there on the site for trying the demo gear. Ask all the questions you have in your mind regarding the gears to the vendors. You need to have detailed knowledge about the equipment and gear to be familiar at the time of jumping out of the plane.

·         Know the aircraft well

Knowing the type of aircraft when skydivingJust as the diving patterns and areas change while you visit a new skydiving destination, similarly the aircraft you would be diving from changes too. It can either be balloons, tailgates, planes or even helicopters.

Keep in mind that from diving from special crafts like balloons and helicopters you need to be a B-license holder, while for the rest, A-license would do. Learn more about USPA’s skydiving licenses here.

Generally, if the diving is to be carried out from a plane, things might be much similar. But if from unfamiliar ones, you need to have detailed knowledge regarding the loading procedures, exit procedures, how the door works, place the seatbelts would be, place for your hands and feet at the time of climbing, etc.

So, while diving from a new aircraft, before you step up for the diving, better understand it properly form the experienced people or the instructors.

·         The number of canopies in the air

You are going to the diving spot where there would be various jumpers in the sky. Several planes would be flying in the air, and variously licensed jumpers would be sharing the sky together with you. This can be a little difficult for you if you have learned to jump with a sky having around six people.

The busy points mostly remain busy with several jumpers exploring their experience at the same time. If this is the situation, you need to be extra careful under the canopy and make sure you are flying with a particular pattern that is much predictable at the time of landing on the area.

Again, during such situation, it is also important that you won’t be open above the height of around 4000 feet which would help in avoiding the next plane of the divers to open on top of you.

Ask the instructors the maximum height you can open to as not all the heights are safe to open with. If possible, look for a destination that is less congested like large airports that would make you free from any kind of nervousness and avoid the unwanted traffic too.

Skydiving is definitely the best activity when it comes to overcoming your fear and thrill. But as every destination is different and has its own plus and minus point, make sure you are well prepared before you begin with your diving. Again, in learning all these, don’t forget to enjoy diving and gathering new memories.

Read More → Important Advice for Divers While Visiting New Dropzones

It is without a doubt that the market place is becoming more digital as technology evolves. Shifting from traditional marketing where you had to pay for billboards and tv ads is not as effective.

In this digital age, more people are turning to the internet searching for the products they need. This goes to show that implementing a digital marketing strategy is the best way to go. You get to reach more people and engage with your customers online.

Six advantages of digital marketing

  1. Cost-effective

Devising your marketing strategyBig companies always have a set budget for marketing and advertising which makes it easier for them to incorporate traditional marketing to. However, for a startup or a small business, it is very hard to even think of setting aside a lot of money since your budget is very restricted.

This is why digital marketing is a safer and cheaper option. With this, you are only required to invest a couple of bucks. This could either be for hosting, running social media ads or even opening social media pages for your company.

The real cost of digital marketing is the time and effort you put in. You also need to be patient. All the strategies, SEO, Email marketing, Content marketing or Social media engagement will take some time before you can see some tangible results. However, Pay Per Click(PPC) and social media advertising may yield results faster.

  1. Measurable

The success or failure of a digital marketing campaign can easily be known. Once you decide to implement this into your business it becomes a constant concern of how it will pay out.

It is easier to find out the effects of your strategies compared to traditional marketing. This gives you the chance to gauge the veracity of your campaign.

With email marketing, you are able to see how many emails were delivered, read and track the conversion rate. You can easily do this by using your email marketing software.

When it comes to your website or blog, implementing SEO will ensure your blog ranks higher on google search results. You can also easily measure your progress using google analytics to ensure you are on the right path.

  1. Adjustable

With all the tools that help you track how your digital campaign is doing, you can easily be in a position to adjust it — getting rid of what isn’t working and implementing more of what is working.

When you place an ad either on google or in social media platforms, you can see how many people have viewed it and the traffic lead to your website. If the ad is doing well then you are able to invest more money into it to ensure it gets to more people.

However, if the ad is not delivering your desired results, then it can be adjusted accordingly or stopped. By adjusting, you could include more visuals to make it more appealing or provide information that may be of use to your viewers.

With traditional marketing, adjusting would require too much paperwork and wastage of money. Not forgetting that it would not be easy to track the performance of tv ads or billboards.

  1. Massive return on investment

Being that with digital marketing you don’t need too much money to get tangible results, it is evident that it has great returns. You invest a small amount of money in the right strategy and you get great results.

It is easier for businesses to invest in something that will bring them more clients without spending too much money. The best part about it all is the engagement between the customers and the brands.

Brands can get ideas from their customers by asking them what problems they face while in return customers get to voice their concerns and appreciation to the brand.

  1. Specific

Traditional marketing involves running ads on platforms with great reach with the hope that someone will pick up on it and love it. However, you need to remember that you can’t expect everyone to be your client. So running ads to people who don’t resonate with your brand is completely a waste of time and money.

This is where digital marketing comes in. It allows you to do targeted campaigns where ads are presented to your ideal clients based on their preferences.

This is made possible by social media algorithms which study and acquire user preferences. This is the best definition of customers getting what they ask for. Which helps increase the likelihood of sales and cut down on the cost of marketing.

  1. Exposure

Digitization has turned the world into a global village where you can easily purchase something that is literally from a different continent.

Digital marketing allows ads to be visible in any part of the world. This leads to even more sales and exposure to different opportunities that may present themselves. If your work is as good, you get the chance to go global with your startup and unlock infinite prospects.

Digital marketing does way better compared to traditional marketing. You get the opportunity to aim higher and present your work and services to the whole world.

It also gives you a chance to correct any mistakes before investing more into your marketing campaign.

The relationship between your brand and the customer is very important. With digital marketing, you get to be personal with your customers and relate better which lead to even more sales because of the trust built.

Take your time with digital marketing and get to see what will work for your business and implement it. Be patient and make sure you don’t implement everything at once. Give each the attention it deserves to ensure it gives the results you desire.

Also, remember to set your goals. Get to know what you want to achieve. This will make it easier for you to track how your strategies are performing. If they are working towards your goal, then you invest more and do more to get better results.

All said and done it is evident that you can’t afford to ignore all these benefits. For those who are willing to learn and implement digital marketing into their business, getting professional help from https: //  will be the best way to go.

Read More → Benefits of Digital Marketing

What is a Food Allergy?
A type of immune system reaction that occurs just after eating a certain food is called a food allergy. Sometimes the food allergy can be so dangerous that even a little amount of that food which causes allergy can cause a deadly reaction like anaphylaxis.

The symptoms of food allergy vary from person to person, for some people it is not that risky, whereas to some others it may be life-threatening. Symptoms of food allergy can become prominent within a few months or a few hours after the intake of certain allergen foods. Some of the common food allergens are:

  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish like shrimp
  • Wheat
  • Egg

8 Most Common Food AllergiesMILK

Most food-related problems can be seen within two hours of ingestion or within a few minutes so, if you are allergic to milk or milk products you can notice the symptoms very soon after your intake of milk. Some of the common symptoms include- vomiting or stomach cramps, indigestion, or wheezing. Another fatal reaction like anaphylaxis can also be noticed. Sometimes milk from other dairy animals may not be as harmful as the cow’s milk.

Substitute Food

Instead of drinking cow milk you can go for hemp milk. Almonds, soy, or rice are also better alternatives, which will keep the nutritious balance intact.


Another common food allergen product is a peanut. You can see the presence of peanuts in a variety of products like chocolates, butter, ice creams, and crunch bars. Even if you consume food cooked in peanut oil, it can be problematic.

As peanuts are found in a variety of food items, so it is better to go through the ingredients of the products that you are purchasing. The peanuts are one of the common eight allergens, so it is a requirement to be indicated on food packages, as enforced by federal law in the United States.

Another name of peanut oil is Arachis oil. Hence, make it a must-habit to ask about the ingredients of the food that is not prepared by you.

Substitute Food

Seeds of sunflower, flax, and sesame can be better alternatives against peanut oil. Also, nuts like cashew nuts, and almonds, can be taken instead of peanuts.


Soybean allergy is one of the most common food allergies prevalent in children and babies. Soybeans come from the legume family, but it is not always true that every member of the legume family can be problematic. Soy is found in many packaged food items that you use in your daily life.

Products rich in soy content are canned fish, chicken nuggets, soy milk, ice creams, yogurts, baked food, and many more. As it is commonly found the ingredient in most of the food items so, you have to be very careful while buying any food items from the market. Read the labels to be sure of the soy ingredient while buying the soy-based products.

According to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, it is a must for the manufacturer to give a complete knowledge of the ingredients present in their product. So, soy being one of the common food allergens is also indicated distinctly while labeling the food product. Hence, it is easy for you to avoid those products having soy contents.

Allergic reactions to soy are however mild, but in some cases, it may be severe and deadly. Some of the symptoms include itching in the mouth, vomiting tendencies, nausea, and rash or hives. Life-threatening reactions like anaphylaxis can also occur in some cases.

Substitute Food

Fresh vegetables like green peas and lima beans are good alternatives to soybeans. Rice and almond milk can be served as an alternative to soy milk.


Shellfish is an example of food allergen which normally continues to remain all through life. Mostly, 60 percent of the population is allergic to this product, and they can experience the reaction only after the intake of this product.

Shellfish can be classified into two groups-crustacea and mollusks. Shellfish like shrimp, lobster and crab fall in the first category, whereas scallops, clams, oysters, and mussels belong to the second group.

As finned fish and shellfish are not the same, so, if you are allergic to one kind you may not be allergic to the other. Shellfish can cause severe and deadly reactions. The reactions are sudden and unpredictable, and sometimes a little intake of shellfish can be harmful.

Substitute Food

Shellfish are a good source of omega-3, protein, vitamin B12, and fatty acids. To get the same nutritional value, you can also opt for cold water fish like tuna, sardines, salmons and much more fish of this kind. You can find more about top 5 custom vitamins companies to order the important vitamin supplements that can be taken to compensate the lack of required vitamin in your body.

Wheat products often trigger gluten allergiesWHEAT
Wheat allergy is found mostly among the babies. The main allergen present in wheat is gliadin. This gliadin is found in gluten. Due to the presence of gluten in wheat, people are often prescribed to eat a gluten-free diet. The intake of wheat to an allergic person may often lead to indigestion, diarrhea, asthma or even sneezing and headaches.

Substitute Food

Those who avoid a wheat-free diet can go for rice, oats, barley, rye, and corn. They can also opt for buckwheat, which has wheat in its name but not in its content.


Egg allergy is also common among children. But it is often found that they outgrow this allergy when they grow up. Some of the common symptoms of egg allergy are skin irritation, hives, or even anaphylaxis.

To prevent yourself from an egg reaction you have to avoid eggs and egg products. As eggs act as binders for some of the food products so, it is better to read the labels of the products that you consume or buy from the markets.

Substitute Food

To start an eggless day, go for soft tofu. Flax can be good alternatives to eggs for baking. The protein content of flax and egg are almost the same.

In today’s time, almost every second person is suffering from one of another allergy, and that’s why In order to lead a healthy life, the allergic food must be avoided. Avoiding these food items would not help you all alone. You would need to replace them with some other nutritious food so that the nutritious values remain the same and only the source gets changed.

Read More → Common Food Allergies & How to Take Care of Them

Every year people across the world start planning for their winter holidays starting with Thanksgiving Dinner. While many of you are busy preparing the list of to-do things, places to visit and gifts to pack for the festive season, it is also going to be really busy and stressful time with all the planning and last minute things. Getting gifts, traveling, packing, managing the guests, family, and all that becomes overwhelming. As a result, people forget to enjoy the holidays getting busy with the preparations.

Similarly, without any advance planning, the Thanksgiving Dinner can also add to the burden as you cut down the holiday plans and celebrations. Before moving your focus to Thanksgiving, learn how to stay stress-free during the festive season. With that, you surely don’t want to start your holidays with a disappointing dinner. Therefore, if you are looking for different ways to make the Thanksgiving Dinner stress free where not only the guests but you as the host of the part can also enjoy the feast equally, here are some of the dinner strategies to simplify your Thanksgiving Dinner planning.

Thanksgiving with turkey and pumpkin pieEarly Planning Works

While looking for stress-free ways to prepare for Thanksgiving day, planning around a week or two ahead would be beneficial. For this, using a spreadsheet would help you organize the dinner plans well. Simply take a pen and paper and write down the dishes or new recipes that you would want to prepare this time. To make it more precise also mention which ones you can prepare in advance and which needs to be prepared on the same day before serving.

Make a note of every little possible thing you need to remember to make sure you are not missing anything for dinner. Your notes should include, dishes, ingredients, dining props, accessories, and drinks.

Prepare A Reasonable Invite List

Getting a lot of friends and family for the Thanksgiving Dinner may not give you a satisfying feeling with many different things to arrange. Instead, prepare a list of invites limited to 8 to 10 adults who are very close. Go for nearer relatives avoiding the second cousins who pay visits very rare.

Calling one side family is also a good idea while the second side can be called the next year. This would help in making the dinner party a big success with less stress.

The feast would also be well managed, and you would be left with less after dinner mess to clean up.

Stock up the Liquor

Fine wines, spirits, beer, cocktails, mixers, and sodas, sounds like a party, Right? Have you stocked up in advance? This is the second thing that needs to be done once your list is ready. While stocking, add some extra bottles too for Thanksgiving. Get some decorative pieces for the final day. For this, look for lime wedges, flower petals, ice blocks, cute bow pieces, etc. All these would surely add some spice to the decoration of the Thanksgiving dinner party.

Gather Fresh Ingredients

Once again it’s time to get back to your list and start with gathering the ingredients too. Be it the main feast, desserts, turkeys, side dishes, or even the oysters, always get the fresh ingredients. Again, you can move to small farms or shops that would serve the fresh ingredients at reasonable prices.

Even while looking for heirloom cranberries, breed turkeys, biodynamic creams, or even the bacon, the fresh ingredients pulled out from the oven are sure to add deliciousness to the feast. The freshly killed birds like wet bines, dry rubs, dry brines will add a juicy texture to the turkey feast instead of the frozen ones.

Look for Outsourcing Dishes

Outsourcing your meals or hiring a personal chef is also another simple strategy for your Thanksgiving Dinner that takes away the stress of cooking delicious food and planning the party. With a good chef working on your menu, you are sure to get finger licking food items on the table, while all you need to focus on to is the decoration and having fun with your near and dear ones.

There are also alternatives like customized food items such as salads, desserts and rolls etc. that available in the market which you would only have to give a finishing touch by heating and decorating it. Outsourcing your dinner menu to restaurants or chefs would really help you ease all the Thanksgiving party plans.

Get help from a professional chefLet Your Guests Bring Food

It’s not necessary that only the host carries out every preparation of the Thanksgiving dinner. After all, the guests are none other than the family members. So, the visitors can also be assigned a particular dish which would be added as deserts or as spicy snacks and starters during the dinner. Getting dishes like sweet potatoes, salads, rolls, chocolate cupcakes, stuffing, etc. from the guests would reduce the cooking part on your side and would help you focus in the main course and enjoy it properly.

Don’t miss the Turkey Breast

Turkey dishes are an important part of the Thanksgiving dinners. But wait, getting a big turkey is not necessary for any Thanksgiving feast. The bigger the turkey would be, the more time it would take for cooking and preparing it. So, look for small turkey breasts, which can be easily prepared in crock pots and even cutlets. This would also give you an opportunity to store the remaining of the turkey breast by freezing them and enjoying them later. Looking for a well and completely prepared turkey would be the best to go with as after purchasing all you need to do is slide it in the oven.

Moderate Your Side Dishes

Wait! How many side dishes are there on your list? Adding too many dishes is certainly a bad idea. Prepare a list of side dishes that can be managed easily. Again, preparing one or two dishes in advance or a day ahead is also the best idea. It is not necessary to go for difficult or time-consuming side dishes. Prepare simple dishes your family loves as it would also help in giving a perfect complement to the main course.

Thanksgiving dinner is not only about the meals. It’s the time of the year when you meet your closest family and friends and enjoy traditional meals and thank the Lord for letting you be part of all the celebrations with your near and dear ones. Plan some after dinner activities like games, music or movies and make your Thanksgiving dinner a memorable time of the year.

Food brings everyone together so no matter if you prepare it yourself or outsource to professional chefs, make sure you plan ahead of the event and save yourself some extra time with kids and rest of the loved ones. Nothing needs to be perfect but the happiness and the joy!

Read More → Different Ways to Simplify Your Thanksgiving Dinner Strategy

It is essential to take some time off from your busy life and just get away for a while. Going for a solo trip can be very relaxing and may relieve you of any day to day stresses. Being exposed to a whole new environment with different cultures may even change your way of thinking for the better.

All that said, there are a few things that you need to take care of to ensure you have a nice time. Failing to plan well for a solo trip may ruin everything and you might find yourself stranded. In order to avoid any mistakes, it is advisable to take some time and come up with everything you’ll need before you travel.

What you need to do

  1. Know where you plan to go

According to your preferences, you know the best place that would give you that feeling of fulfillment once you get there. This is the place you want to go. Search on google and see where the best places are and settle on a particular destination.

  1. Solo travelers need to plan and budget for the tripHave a budget

Set aside a certain amount of money and allocate to each part of your travel. This money should cater to your transportation, accommodation, shopping, and any site seeing you have planned. Doing this will ensure you don’t spend too much money only to get back home to a situation where you can’t cater to your bills.

  1. Get clear on your mode of transport

Once you have decided on where you plan to go you need to ascertain how you’ll get there. According to your budget, you could book a flight in advance and also book a return flight for you to have that in check.

You also need to consider the fact that you will need to move around once you get to your desired destination. This could be done by taking a taxi or if you are bold enough you could take public transport provided you don’t get lost.

However, in a place like Los Angeles, you could definitely charter a jet for cheap and get around faster and more conveniently. You should also remember to do this according to your budget allocations.

  1. Know when you want to travel

Do some research on the best seasons to travel to your desired location. If you are on a tight budget then you should avoid the peak seasons because prices will be quite high.

Deciding on when you want to travel will save you a lot of hassle. With this, you will get to know what are the best activities to be done and which places will be ideal for you to visit.

  1. Book for accommodation

Go to booking sites and get a room that fits your budget. Make sure to check out more than one booking site because they may all have different prices.

You could also search for solo travel accommodation guides for hotels and B&Bs in different parts of the world and get a place to stay. Once you’ve found a place to stay, use google street view to see where the place is and what else is around.

Remember to do this before you start your journey and make sure to confirm your accommodation to avoid any misunderstanding and mistakes.

  1. Plan your itinerary

Check out itineraries that are produced by tour companies and see if you could borrow a few of the activities to do from there. You could also search for any group tours for you to get more out of your trip and interact with new people.

You could also search the web for interesting things to do in your destination and set out time for each. Take your time while planning and be realistic. You want to have a great time but not a rushed time. Well, what I mean by this is that you should give each place you want to visit its ample time and be present in the moment. Enjoy every part of your trip without any hurry.

Remember that there will be a lot of things you can do but pick out the most interesting because it will be impossible to do it all.

  1. The convenience of traveling lightPack light

Now that you have done everything involved with planning your trip, it’s time to pack. Take the most essential things with you and avoid carrying unnecessary items.

Get a few clothes some shoes and maybe some toiletries and you’ll be good to go.

This will help you avoid too much luggage that will burden you for no good reason. As you pack your clothes you should keep the weather into consideration. Research on what the weather in that place is to help you pack accordingly and avoid any disappointments.

  1. Practice a solo travel at home

If you are not so sure about how a solo trip would be, take a day out and visit a museum near you or go to a movie. Try and enjoy your own company and then prepare for the grand trip you will be going on alone.

Going for a solo trip is a very easy thing as long as you have planned everything out. Have fun as you go through this process and allow yourself to discover new things.

There are a lot of wonderful things the world has to offer. Don’t allow yourself to be consumed by your day job that you don’t take time out to enjoy it all.

When you decide to finally go on that adventure you’ve always dreamt of, just be sure to plan accordingly. Enjoy every bit of your time alone.


Read More → How to Plan for a Solo Trip

Scientific facts give credence to environmentalists’ protests against depleting rain forests and global warming; survival is a matter of working together.

Invaluable Medications Gone with the Rainforests

A very little known fact, but of significant importance, is that 25% of modern medicines come from different plant species growing specifically in rain forests. Yet, Western science has only analyzed less than one percent of all rainforest plants for medicinal compounds. That is an overwhelming amount of unexplored terrain going to waste.

Deforestation in the Amazon rainforestThese medicinal plants were first used as traditional remedies by indigenous tribes and perhaps the saddest aspect of this whole demolition is that the traditional knowledge from the indigenous tribes that could provide invaluable contributions to the modern medical field is also rapidly disappearing. We are swiftly losing the very knowledge that may someday provide needed cures or disease-resistant crops. The benefits of the rain forests to humankind are incalculable.

Greenhouse Gases – CO2 = Disasters

Another problem is the unnatural warming of the planet that is inevitable with the destruction of rainforests. Plants breathe CO2 when they mature in summer or spring and free it back to the environment when they decay and die in fall and winter. The combination of destroying the forests while, at the same time, giving the Industrial Revolution full, uncensored reign has caused a 32% increase in greenhouse gases since the mid-1700’s.

Some people scoff that the increase in greenhouse gases is “natural” and the earth survived them before. The truth, however, is that the difference in average global temperatures between modern times and the last ice age—when much of Canada and the northern U.S. were covered with thick ice sheets—was only about 9 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, it is very significant—especially since the unnatural warming will continue as long as we keep putting extra greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The world has been knocked completely off balance and the greenhouse gases are only multiplying with each roar of an engine and sawed down a tree. This leads to more and more tremendous storms, droughts, erosion from higher sea levels, floods, etc, which we have already begun to witness. Scientists believe that, in the absence of effective measures to stop the greenhouse gases from building up, the earth’s temperature will rise over 11.5 degrees by the year 2100.

Massive floodings are indications of sea level rise75 Million Flock to Midwest as Sea Levels Rise

If all this isn’t enough to convince you, think about what the sea levels are going to look like once they have risen the expected three meters from global warming. Scientists predict that much of the developed land on the east, west and south coast of the US will be underwater. That means Florida, New York, much of California and Texas are all going to be under water.

So, we just move inland, you say? That would mean about 75 million people (2009 statistics) would be flocking to the already cramped Midwest, where our major food sources are also supposed to come from. Now envision the U.S. with a little one or two-room shelter per family with little or no yard space, similar to China. That is pretty much how we would be living.

Believe Politicians or Scientists?

Many politicians try to convince people that global warming is not real despite the fact that 95% of the world’s most renowned scientists now agree that it is no longer an issue of is it or is it not, the real issue is how can we get the people together enough to do something about it? If a politician treats it like it doesn’t really matter so he/she can win votes, or he believes there are other things much more important, we should be very cautious about how much that politician really values our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren. We need politicians who are willing to bring people together to solve this common problem, not divide us and pretend that it doesn’t exist.

Read More → Why Worry About the Environment?

During the monsoon or rainy season, chances are, you will come across many pests in your home. It is because it is during this season that pests come out of their hibernation mode and find places where they feel safe. Holes and sewage areas get full of water, and so pests go out and find comfort in, unfortunately, your home. How do you manage these pests without ruining your sanity?

It is every homeowner’s nightmare to be controlling pests during the monsoon season. The rain is a gift to many people around the world, especially for agricultural societies that depend on the rain for their crops’ growth. And for areas that need rain to supplement their water resources, the monsoon season is a gift for these communities.

Monsoons drive insects and rodents inside your homesHowever, while it is a gift to some, it is a cause of pain to others. It is because, in some areas, rain causes floods and disasters that people find hard to get back up on. And in many homes around the world, the monsoon season means pests are coming out of their abodes to find safe areas to live in. And what insects and rodents consider as safe zones are, unfortunately, your homes.

The monsoon season is always something that every person should prepare for. Not only is it a disaster-prone season to be in, but it is also a season where many people need to be extra cautious with everything they do. When you go out, you cannot simply wear anything you like since you have to wear something that will protect you from the storms. And when you leave your home, you have to make sure that there are no leaks, so your house is safe from flooding or the invasion of pests.

It is true that managing pests during the monsoon season calls for hard work. However, if you focus on managing them in the best way possible, then you will have no problems with getting rid of them for as long as you can.

Here are the best pest control tips to help guard your home during the monsoon season:

1. Fix all leaks

The need to fix all types of leaks during the rainy season cannot be underestimated. If you think that a small roof or sink leak is acceptable, think again. Pests love thriving in damp and moist areas, so if you have these areas present in your home, then you need to give a quick-fix before things get too far.

Before the onset of the monsoon season, check for possible leaks in your home. Inspect your roof, walls, pipes, and all faucets. Do not allow for these leaks to go on until the arrival of the monsoon season, because when this happens, it is when it gets hard for you to get back on track. Have a professional carpenter or plumber do the job for you, because doing do-it-yourself fixes may not be reliable in the long run. Doing patch jobs may sound easy and cheap, but you may suffer in the end. Therefore, go with work that, although you have to pay for, is something that you can rely on no matter what happens.

For sure, you cannot check for all leaks without rain. So, when it starts getting rainy, and you’ve noticed leaks in your home, have them fixed right away. Do not wait for tomorrow because if you do, you may end up having flooding and more pests in your home. As mentioned, pests love moist areas, so you don’t want your home to be a hotbed for these pests. You can do a quick-fix patch job first, but make sure that you get a professional to do the job for you as soon as you can.

2. Manage your garbage properly

During the rainy season, pests most likely would want to get out of their shells and find somewhere safe. That “safe” place is your home because they get to see dry areas with lots of moisture and food.

Proper garbage disposal to thwart pest infestationOne thing that you must carefully manage during the rainy season is your garbage. It is because when you don’t, most likely, pests would come swarming in your garbage areas. Whether the trash is outside or inside your home, it will be a pain to get rid of pests once they start invading these areas.

Do not forget to segregate correctly, and to always clear away wastes from your home at the end of the day. No matter how busy you are, make sure that your home is free and clear of garbage every day because this allows your home to control pests wanting to come into your household. If you keep trash in your home, do not be surprised if rodents, bug, and insects come running into your home for safety and shelter.

You can still manage pests from coming into your home during the rainy season. You need to manage your garbage correctly and fix all leaks, so pests do not end up invading your home. If pests have started invading your home, hire exterminators to keep things in control in the soonest possible time.

Read More → Pest Control Tips for the Monsoon Season

Christina Wulf serves as coordinator of outreach and fundraising for Virginia Forest Watch, a grassroots, non-profit coalition dedicated to maintaining and restoring the natural ecology and biodiversity of forestlands across Virginia through education and citizen participation.

Virginia has rich biodiversityWorking for the Forests

On private forest land, Virginia Forest Watch’s work ranges from creating events that showcase sustainable logging practices to reporting logging jobs to the Virginia Department of Forestry to ensure that streams are protected from pollution.

On public forest land, the VAFW monitors U.S. Forest Service logging projects, educates the public, fights to create wilderness, protects roadless areas by supporting former President Clinton’s Roadless Area Rule and advocates to end the commercial logging program on National Forests.

Not-so-Simple Gifts

We all learn at a young age that trees breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, while humans do just the reverse. So right from the start, we know that humans have an intimate, reciprocal relationship with trees and other green and growing things.

What else? Along with oxygen, water is another obvious requirement for our lives. The woven web of trees we call a forest is a natural water filter – cleaning groundwater and drinking water for us, holding back floodwaters and preventing erosion and landslides when rains fall fast and heavy. If you live along the Blue Ridge or Allegheny Mountains, your town or city’s drinking water reservoir is very likely surrounded by forest to lower costs of water filtration and treatment.

Essential and Diverse

Forests are production centers for soil, and havens for plants, fungi and a gorgeous diversity of critters. As long as they are not cut down and hauled away, trees eventually die and rot on the forest floor, turning back into soil.

Our forests are natural laboratories. According to the Ecological Society of America, “Nine of the top 10 drugs originate from natural plant products.” Wild, native forests are havens for endangered, threatened and sensitive species which can survive nowhere else.

In 1997, a group of 13 scientists and economists published a paper in the journal Nature in which they estimated the value of the many services nature provides globally – at between $16 and $54 trillion per year.

Life Without Trees?

Not so long ago, Virginia’s mountains were mostly cleared, both for agriculture and for the profit of timber barons. The photographs of our mountains in the early 1900s tell a shocking story: a vast expanse of stumps blackened by wildfires; mountainsides slumping into the valleys without trees to hold the soil; rivers and streams displaced by silt and flooding valley farms.

Such a doomsday scenario seems impossible today, yet in parts of the Blue Ridge, trees are dying at higher elevations in huge swaths. The culprit is air pollution from coal burned for electricity and gasoline burned in our cars. The price of these fossil-fueled conveniences is much too high: mountaintop removal coal mining is flattening mountains and filling valleys right here in the central Appalachians; polluted air causes asthma in our children and kills our forests; many trout streams are too acidic to support life.

Imagine today’s world without intact forests. Drinking water reservoirs would fill up rapidly with sediment. Local climate would heat up, and fires would threaten innumerable communities. Tourism? Ha! Who visits a place to see stumps and landslides? Not much fun hiking a barren mountain or swimming in a silt-laden stream. Fishing? Nope, sediment and acidification kill off sport species. Hunting? Of what? Bird watching? Where?

The forests are the heart of our lives in the Blue Ridge. Forests stabilize our mountainsides and our economies. The quality of life in this region depends heavily on healthy, natural forests.


VAFW’s work is to communicate how essential our forests are, and open peoples’ eyes to the possibilities. Cleaner sources of energy, cleaner transportation, lighter-on-the-land methods of harvesting trees, easements and tax incentives to encourage landowners to keep forests intact, good legislation that takes the commercial incentive out of logging the people’s national forests – we have more options than we know.

Read More → My Mountains, My Hopes