Friday, June 22, 2012

Tips For Traveling Long Distances With a Dog

Are you considering taking your dog along with you on your vacations this year? Taking your pet on your holidays can lift your holidays considerably. You do not have to worry if he or she is miserable with the pet sitter you hired for the duration. However, there are some precautions you need to take before taking your dog on board. Firstly keep a collar on your dog for current identification. Some countries require that your dog has microchip identification for entering into the country. This may depend on the destination you are travelling to. Your dog should be trained so that he is behaved and does not suffer during the journey.

Make plans beforehand for your air travel, hotel accommodations and daily activities to avoid a nasty surprise.

Go for air travel with your dog only as a last resort, if there is no other alternative. Your dog will have to be put in the cargo hold for the transit. This is not a good experience even for the most well behaved and trained dogs. If you have a small dog, some airlines might let you carry your dog in a carrier if it fits under the seat in front of you. Pet Airways is catered for only pets, but has presence in limited cities. The pets can be in the cabin rather than the cargo hold.

Travelling by car is the best option for your pet, if it is feasible. If you own a vehicle, it is most likely that your dog is used to riding in a car. However, if your only trips in the car have been to the vet, your dog might be conditioned to anxiety in a car. Take him to other enjoyable outings to get rid of his anxiety. If you are still not sure, ask your vet for an anxiety medication, to make the journey easier for everyone. However, don't go overboard on the medication. Use it only when there is no other alternative.

Plan your journey with rest stops at sufficient intervals to cater to your dogs needs. Find out the veterinary hospitals along the route. Carry all the necessary paraphernalia such as a leash, dog food and medications if any.

Finally choose a destination that is friendly towards dogs so that the trip is enjoyable for all. One such city is Prague in the Czech Republic. There are various dog friendly hotels in Prague that will take care of your pets needs. There are also many activities in Prague for dogs. Visit Prague with your dog on your Prague holidays as the city is known to be very tolerant of pets, especially dogs.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ten Good Reasons To Move To Spain Today

Most of us would love to immigrate to the warmer shores of Southern Spain and with the economy as it is at the moment many are now doing just that. but the question is why are they doing it?

Here are the top ten reasons, see if they give you the inclination to up sticks yourself.

1. Has to be The Weather

The Southern Spain regularly offers over 330 days of sunshine a year with very little rainfall. Its unique dry climate and mild winters is the main reasons why so many people from the northern Europe decide to make it their home. Only about two hours from England by plane means that you are never to far away from friends and family. So not far to go if you become home sick for the wind, rain and cold.

2. Healthy lifestyle.

For retired people who may have Asthma, Rheumatism, Arthritis or heart problems, the dry, warmer climate with loads of fresh air, and very low pollution, is just what the doctor ordered. Spanish health care is now excellent so a move down south is not anything to worry about health-wise.

3. Higher Standard of Living

Many British people are now making the move from their wet and windy homes to the white sandy beaches of southern Spain, The days seem longer and the nights shorter in this more outdoors style of living. Even after a days work there is always time to relax around the pool or chill out on the terrace as darkness takes its time to arrive. With sun shine averaging 6 hours a day, its possible to plan in advanced for that barbecue.

4. Cost Of Living

Spain has greatly reduced living costs compared to that of the united kingdom, crime rates are low to, a TV licence is Free and insurance in general is much lower than that in England. The local council tax or the equivalent is about 130 euros a year and that's for rubbish clearance every night and all local services. NO poll tax there

To own a property in Spain costs considerably less than in other European countries, like England, In general the cost of living is much lower than that of many other European countries. so a move to Spain is looking like a step in the right direction.

5. Buying in Spain.

Buying in Spain is safe but with the economy changing one needs to be more cautious. But its still possible to find a bargin priced property if you spend some time looking. In property hot-spots and near the beach, prices are rising but a good estate agent in the right location, will help you find a property that's just right for you.

6. Value for your Money

Older properties in Spain are in general are large but basically constructed but newer homes are modern and well built, Spanish properties are attractive and usually have lots of outdoor living space: patios, terraces, swimming pool areas. Views in the mountains or near the beaches are spectacular and the older Spanish homes near the beach can be very pretty. Town apartments are great value for money and often have a communal swimming pool.

7. Easy travel Access

With daily flights in and out of Southern Spain, good roads and trains, there are many ways to arrive at this beautiful region, also easy for family and friends to visit. if a family emergency arises and you need to return to the UK fast, its never a problem. There are many large and international airports now in Southern Span.

8. The Spanish People

Spanish people are warm and friendly, they have some lovely local customs to share, they have excellent dishes, tapas in many areas are free with a beer or wine and on festive occasions they love to share their customs with people from other countries. Making new friends and integrating does not take a lot of effort. If you try to learn the language this will help tremendously.

9. Long term Investment.

Buying property in Spain is now a common occurrence and people from other countries have been investing in property and companies for many years, This means it is not as risky as it was about 10 years ago, The regulations have been tightened up and there is now a more professional approach to buying and selling of property exchange of your money through the banks is now very efficient for foreign investors.

10. You better Quality of Life

Not only do you feel younger, healthier and more vibrant, enjoying the sunshine and healthy foods, eases the stresses of every day life, living a more out door lifestyle is healthier for the mine and body, these are the reasons why people move to southern Spain. TO LIVE LIFE TO THE FULL.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Eight Advantages Of Car Hire

Hiring cars have existed just about as long as cars existed. It provides people the means to use the car they want/need that they otherwise don't own. There is a good reason why hiring cars have remained viable up to the present day. In this article, eight advantages of car hire are to be discussed in full detail.

1. You can get practically any car you want. Perhaps you have dreamt of driving this or that specific car. Or perhaps you are considering this or that car because it suits your needs at the moment. Ranging from typical commuter rides to rare exotic vehicles, you can get just about any car as long as it is available in the rental company's garage or catalogue.

2. Availing rental cars is relatively easy. The terms and conditions for picking up a rental are now made easier than ever. Sure, there may be occasional complications, but most of them are much simpler compared to filling up the papers when purchasing your own car. And with the advent of the computer age, renting a car is now easier than ever.

3. The cost of renting a car is a fraction of what you'll spend when buying your own car. Nowadays, buying a new car is not cheap. And purchasing a used car can be such a gamble sometimes. Renting cars should not cost you all that much. And they are the more practical option if you are not really required to drive cars all the time.

4. You can get a car you need for a specific occasion or situation. There are specific situations wherein hiring a specific car is necessary. Regardless if you are hiring a car because you want to arrive on a gathering in style or you are hiring a car because you need an extra car to accommodate your pals and visitors, hiring cars can help you get by that occasion and situation successfully.

5. It is a practical option if you are far away from home. When traveling, especially outside your country, it often makes bringing your car either difficult or impossible. The next best thing is to hire a rental to accompany you with your travels.

6. You don't have to worry as much about maintenance. Owning a car means you have to worry about maintaining it in top shape. In a rental, you won't have to worry about that. The rental companies are responsible for maintaining their fleet of cars. All you'll have to do is to drive and take care of them while it's on your possession.

7. The cost of operating them is not that high if you play your cards right. Sure, you must be aware of surcharges. But provided that you don't damage your car while using it, the most that you'll spend on these rentals are only for the rental charge and the fuel.

8. It makes traveling an enjoyable experience. Getting a car hire can give you a much needed traveling companion, a chance to drive your dream car, or even both.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Hospitality Industry's Challenges - 5 Trends to Watch Out For

Today, the rapid and deep-seeded recessionary trends and lack of business confidence have indeed placed the hospitality industry's growth prospects in an extremely precarious and unknown territory. From riding on cloud nine a few years ago, the industry is now gearing to weather the potential storm ahead.

In this article, I have provided views into the various risks and challenges lying ahead for the hospitality industry in achieving optimal performance from their hotel assets.

    If the market conditions were to further deteriorate, and indications are that they will, there will be a significant impact on demand growth, revenue performance and profitability of hotel companies. Performance pressures will continue to push industry players to explore more efficient business models and forge new partnerships. The industry will embark upon a journey of consolidation and we could witness conversions, mergers and acquisitions, more out of compulsions than out of choice.

    A new set of competitive pressures through correction in the demand-supply imbalance will lead to improved choices and lead to fragmentation of demand. Further, the overall slowdown in economic activity will have a direct impact on demand across segments and feeder markets. Businesses are likely to adopt stringent austerity measures and discretionary spends on travel will be a sure victim. These measures are likely to erode demand, bring about substantial rate correction, rationalize spends on MICE events and lead to sub-optimum revenue performances across hotels.

    The executive management at hotels will have to constantly innovate and adopt dynamic business practices to bring about inherent flexibility in operating cost structures. While hotels have already rationalized key fixed input costs like payroll and raw materials, continued improvements will be difficult to come by and hence guest satisfaction levels and employee morale will be negatively impacted. The commodity price cycle has already bottomed out and a weak rainfall is likely to further fuel inflation leading to increase in average service cost for each occupied room. Innovations in supply chain management and outsourcing will become crucial and would have to be focused upon. Customization, re-alignment and re-engineering of processes will play a pivotal role in determining the extent to which a company is geared operationally to deliver consistent profitability.

    The rapidly changing macroeconomic environment and rationalization in asset values will provide attractive opportunities for acquisitions of hotel assets. However, to leverage opportunities for growth and expansion, it will be necessary to focus on immediate improvements in the health of the organization's balance sheet. A key challenge would be the implementation of debt restructuring strategy and plan for long-term capital availability.

    There is likely to be a prolonged period of relative inactivity in the real estate sector and this will have a direct impact on hotels as a preferred asset class for investments. Further, non-availability of qualitysites for hotel development will force international brands keen to establish themselves in emerging markets market to become more flexible in terms of their product specifications. The development activity for new hotels will rapidly shift to Tier II and Tier III locations. The average inventory count for new-builds will be significantly lower and in our assessment the biggest development opportunities will be in the mid-market segment with efficient hotels that provide attractive value-for-money proposition to their respective end-users.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Twenty-one Things India Taught Me

• The value of perspective and patience.

• The joy of spontaneity.

• The ability to think and react quickly.

• Simple pleasures are the best things in life. The Taj Mahal was amazing, but time spent in villages, dancing at weddings or on a quiet walk with friends were just as memorable and special. The Golden Temple in Amritsar is the most beautiful place I have ever been, but because of the atmosphere and Sikh values that the temple represents (such as equality), rather than the pure gold that it is made of.

• Sometimes you just need to let go of everything that makes sense to you, and embrace the moment... 'surrender to circumstance'.

• The people around you make your experiences, not the place itself.

• I should brush my teeth well if I drink 4-5 cups of chai per day (getting 4 fillings on return to NZ was not fun). If granny's late night milk tastes especially sweet and delicious, it is probably a good idea to brush your teeth before going to sleep..

• Do what you can. But ultimately, you can't force someone to do something they don't want.

• People usually do the best they can given their circumstances, even if they know it is wrong.

• You don't necessarily need to know the same language - actions are the most important when connecting with other people.

• Life is too short to not enjoy what you do. In New Zealand, most of us are lucky enough to have opportunity and control over our future. If you have a choice, do what you love.

• You can do more than you think.

• Always get off the tourist trail when going to a country.

• You can learn something from everybody.

• The meaning of true hospitality... people spending a day cooking a 6 course meal (before meeting me) is very humbling. If you have ever shelled peas for 4 hours, you will also appreciate this!

• Most people are willing to overlook small (or big) mistakes if they know your heart is in the right place.

• The best things in life are free. However in saying this, warm water is also a beautiful thing. I was reminded this as I showered in freezing water in a bathroom made for the 40 degree summer during the Punjab winter (averaging 5 degrees). But for every challenge is a solution (bring on the metal rod to heat a bucket of water..just be mindful of electrocution )

• Luck favours the well prepared.

• There is no point complaining about something... it will happen when it happens.

• Learn to make yourself happy... the world owes you nothing.

• Change is powerful, exciting, wonderful.