Travel and Leisure Article Category

Many people like to stay in shape throughout the year. It may seem like it is easier to exercise in warmer months, but actually there are a number of fitness activities that you can participate in during the winter as well. Here are a few things you may want to consider the next time you are looking for a fun fitness activity.

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-Country Skiing is a popular choice for a winter activity. This has been noted as one of the very best winter workouts. The reason is that it takes the entire body to maneuver through the snow in skis thus essentially creating a full body work-out. Also, because there are significant challenges to balance yourself as your ski, you are also using your muscles to ensure that you stay upright.

Hiking

Hiking is another great fitness activity that many people may categorize as only a possibility in the warmer season. This is simply not true. Hiking can be done in colder months, but special precautions should be taken such as dressing appropriately and packing plenty of food and water. Hiking is a great way to burn fat, stretch your limbs, and maintain your stamina during the winter. This is a great calorie burner while enjoying the great outdoors.

Tobogganing

Tobogganing is such a fun activity you may have never considered how it is actually a workout to do it. You basically ride on a sled down a slope hill and then repeat until you can’t stand any more fun. In this activity you have to work to balance yourself on the sled which does take some muscle usage and when you drag the sled back up the hill you slid down you are burning calories.

Ice Skating

Ice skating is a terrific way to keep in shape during the winter. This workout increases cardiovascular activity and can easily burn between 300-450 calories as you glide over the ice. You can increase you speed and burn more calories or simply glide along peacefully, the choice is yours. Who knew that doing something so fun could be exercise, too!

Snowball fights

Speaking of fun work outs, snow ball fights are definitely another option for exercise. You will automatically get a workout by running, ducking, and throwing that you won’t even realize because you will be having such a great time. There are many things your body will be doing as you twist and turn to avoid those snow balls. The best kind of workout is the kind that doesn’t seem like one!

There are a number of ways to stay fit during the summer that doesn’t require a boring workout routine. You can simply participate in one of the activities listed or even create your own way of having fun. Anything that gets your blood pumping and your heart racing is definitely a workout. Winter doesn’t have to be a time that you pack on some extra pounds, instead you can find a fitness activity that suits you and stay in shape all year around.

Researching and Booking Hotels Online

When planning a holiday, it’s always difficult to know where to stay: how do you pick a hotel you’ve never experienced in an area of a city you might never have visited before? Staying in the right place is a key part of your trip; having comfortable surroundings and being in the right location is crucial for both the holidaymaker and the business traveler.

There are so many sites that offer online travel advice, its hard to know where to start! But next time you’re searching for a hotel to stay in, be sure to check out the following:

Wikitravel

Wikitravel is a great starting point for any traveller. The site provides information from a traveler’s perspective and offers useful advice in relation to where to eat and what to do in any given area. Larger cities are split into smaller districts, and on choosing which district you want to stay in, you are offered hotel options to suit your style and budget.

Expedia

Expedia has a directory of over 80,000 places to stay world-wide and can help you narrow down your search and find the right accommodation. It’s worth remembering that choosing a hotel on price alone is never a great idea. Hotels that are further away from attractions and amenities are usually the cheapest, but as location is a very important factor of any holiday it might be worth paying a little more to be located centrally. The handy map feature on expedia allows you to see exactly where the available rooms are located, letting you weigh up price against location.

Venere

Venere lets you filter your search results down to help pinpoint the perfect hotel for you. The filters include budget, type of accommodation and star rating, although generally photos give a better indicator of just how good a hotel is. When looking at photos of rooms, it’s worth cross checking these with recent reviews of the hotel, just to ensure that the photos are not only recent, but also a genuine representation of the room you will receive upon your arrival.

TripAdvisor

One of the best places to find customer reviews online is TripAdvisor, which has over 75 million reviews, tips and opinions from every type of traveller from around the world. TripAdvisor gives travelers the opportunity to rate hotels, share photos and videos and connect socially with other travellers.

Booking.com

Booking.com is the leading online travel agent and attracts over 30 million unique visitors each month. Offering over 253,441 hotels in 178 countries, the site aims to help travelers discover the best places to stay. Targeted at business and leisure travelers alike, the site scores hotels based on user reviews, which are broken down into categories such as comfort, location, value for money etc.. Hotels can also be filtered by the type of person who left the review – such as families with young children, solo travellers or large groups.

When it comes to booking your chosen hotel, you might think that online travel agents offer the best deals, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Booking direct with a hotel presents many advantages:

– You may be able to find exclusive promotions which aren’t offered on travel agent sites

– Some hotels offer frequent guest points and frequent flyers miles

– Hotels provide guest recognition, meaning the hotel will already know your likes and dislikes if you’ve stayed there before

– Having a direct point of contact at a hotel makes it easier to amend or cancel bookings

– Booking verification is instant as there’s no third party to confuse matters.

So next time you’re looking for a hotel, be it for business or pleasure, remember that while online travel agents and travel review sites can act as a valuable source of information, more often than not you’re better off booking via the hotel directly.

Reminders on Your Safety When Traveling Out of the Country

Traveling is exciting but of course before getting excited you have to think about your safety when traveling abroad especially on places where you are not familiar with. Tourists are always the target of crimes and violence because tourists are usually not accustomed on the places they are visiting. Always remember that your safety should be your priority when traveling. Here are some tips to ensure your safety when traveling out of the country.

Before traveling abroad the very first thing that you should do is leave photocopies of your passport and itinerary to your family or close friends just in case you need to be contacted for emergency. It is best that your family and the people close to you know where you are and how you can be contacted. It is important that you have a travel medical insurance because you will never know when sickness or accident will hit you. It is best to be always prepared and mind about your safety when traveling out of the country.

When you are entering another country, you are subject to its laws so it is best to learn their local laws and customs before visiting. Read magazines, books, inquire in the embassies and most of all be updated with the current news about the country you plan to visit. Even as simple as photographing certain places or situations could put you in trouble. It is best to be informed than be sorry.

As mentioned earlier, tourists are usually the target of crimes so avoid being a target. To ensure your safety when traveling out of the country, be discreet on your clothing and accessories to avoid attention from people around you. Wear simple dress and avoid wearing expensive looking jewelry. Take care of your passport, cash and credit cards. Do not bring your wallet that contains important cards like social security card and all your credit cards. Avoid carrying large amount of money, one or two credit cards and a traveler’s check would be enough. Bring only those that you need. Do not use shoulder bags or body bags that are easy target for pickpockets or thieves.

Although you are enjoying your trip, be vigilant to avoid being a victim of crimes. Avoid or be extra cautious on places where you are more likely to be victimized by people looking for an opportunity like public markets, poorly lit streets, narrow alleys, underground passages and subways. Do not ride the elevator or take public transportation like taxis alone. With regards to strangers, it is okay to be nice but be cautious because there are crimes or pickpockets that will create scenarios like asking for directions or time just to have the opportunity to victimize you, so avoid interaction with people you do not know. To ensure your safety when traveling out of the country, never accept food or drinks from strangers, there are women raped or people murdered by drinking drugged foods and beverages.

Keep an eye on your luggage and never leave them unattended. Carry your passport and important documents with you and never leave them in your luggage that needs to be checked in. As much as possible do not bring too many things to make your travel easier.

Select a hotel with highly structured security to ensure your safety when traveling out of the country. When you get to the hotel, make sure you know the nearest fire exit and you should know the emergency numbers just in case you need to call. When going out, do not leave your valuable things in the hotel.

It is always fun to travel but of course your safety should always be your priority. Another thing that makes traveling really exciting is when you get to find discounts on airfare. Do you want to know how to obtain ridiculously low-cost airfare? Visit Save on Airfare Secrets

6 Tips to Finding Products to Sell on eBay

Millions of people flock to eBay every year to complete easy purchase transactions. As the leading online auction site, eBay also offers a potentially lucrative opportunity to begin a home-based business. The most common dilemma for new eBay vendors is where to find items to auction off. The following tips are guaranteed to assist with finding the perfect inventory for an eBay auction.

1. Look for unneeded and unwanted items in your home. Remember the old saying, “One man’s trash is another one’s treasure.” Surprisingly there is a market for almost anything found in a typical family home. Video games, jewellery, brand-name clothing, and baby items do especially well on eBay.

2. Join a liquidation alert website. Through a series of internet and cellular alerts, members of liquidation websites stay current on where and when to look for discounts. Basically, if there is a close out a store within a specified distance from location settings, the pertinent information is forwarded by email or text, right as the deal closes. This system ensures customers always get the best items for the best possible cost as soon as it becomes available.

3. Join a wholesale website. These websites tend to sell in bulk and it may be necessary to keep an inventory. Those who choose wholesaling need a starting capital and will need to consider the overhead. Another option in wholesaling is partnering with a drop-shipping company. Drop-shippers keep the inventory and allow their products to be distributed through affiliates. In some cases, it may be necessary to subscribe to several companies.

4. Browsing estate sales can produce numerous bargains. Estate sales are designed to sell entire households full of goods rapidly. Become familiar with popular items on eBay and search for similar products to purchase and resell. Estate sales provide the opportunity to acquire items at a low price and auction them for a profit.

5. Although it can be a gamble, storage facility auctions are often a goldmine. When customers have not paid their storage fees for more than 60 days, the storage center becomes legal owner of all contents. Auctions are held in an attempt to recover the storage cost. Items are auctioned off in groups, as a whole, or one at a time for bigger ticket items. Buying in groups or as a whole is risky as individual items are not disclosed; however, valuable contents are common finds in storage auctions.

6. Look at the clearance sections in a selection of stores. All retailers have clearance aisles, and depending on the season, items can be resold. Out of season products will not sell well. Unusual or hard to find items and items in high-demand on eBay are the best for a quick profit.

Planning A Trip? Choosing The Best Puerto Vallarta Hotels Whether You Want To Pay A Little Or A Lot

If you’re looking for a one of a kind vacation, there’s nothing like relaxing on Puerto Vallarta beaches. However, if you’re planning Puerto Vallarta travel, it’s important to thoroughly research where you’re going to stay! Some people are looking for a luxury hotel that offers every type of amenity while others are simply looking for a clean, safe place to sleep in between Puerto Vallarta tours. Here are some of the different options for Puerto Vallarta hotels that will fit within nearly any budget.

Staying On The Cheap: Inexpensive Puerto Vallarta Hotels

The Sun Suites and Hotel is an extremely budget-friendly option. Rooms can be found as cheaply as $15 a night and can go up to about $45 USD. This is a combination hotel and hostel, so make sure to let the staff know which part you’d rather stay in, especially if you’re planning a vacation for two. The hotel does take both Mexican pesos and U.S. dollars, but does not accept credit cards. The extreme budget nature of this hotel means that there’s no complementary breakfast, but the hotel’s owners do have an agreement with a locally owned restaurant nearby to provide guests with an inexpensive breakfast each morning. The hotel and hostel do have a privately owned pool for guests to use and they’re located close to a taxi stand, restaurants, shops and the beach.

Looking For Luxury

If you’re planning a luxurious vacation, the Dreams Resort and Spa is the place for you. This is an all-inclusive resort that offers something for guests of all ages. Many guests report that they are asked to participate in the resort’s timeshare presentation, but that it’s easy to decline if they’re not interested. The resort has a private beach, a pool with a swim-up bar and multiple restaurants that are all included in the price of the room. However, expect to spend more to take advantage of this luxury — rooms here start around $200 a night. Consider booking a room in the Preferred Tower if you’re looking for an extra special vacation because these rooms offer more amenities.

Finding A Mid Range Hotel

If you can’t quite afford the luxury of the Dreams Resort and Spa, but you want something a little nicer than a hostel, consider staying at the Casa Magna. This is a Marriott property and rooms here start around $100 a night. Many of the rooms have a view of Puerto Vallarta beaches and the property offers amenities such as adult and children’s pools, a swim-up bar, a fitness center with both cardio and weight machines, four restaurants and even a small deli with sandwiches and desserts.

There are many, many other Puerto Vallarta hotels — these are just three that vacationers can choose from. Before you plan your vacations, spend some time on travel websites to make sure you’re finding the best places to stay, things to do and the best prices. Doing this can help ensure a great vacation, no matter where you go.

The Kinds Of Car Keys To Choose From

The automotive industry has come a long way and today car keys are no longer the old style mechanical cut versions. Of course there are several brands that still use this form of keys, but there are numerous other versions out there as well. In mechanical keys, they are machine cut as the name suggests and are more popular with brands such as Ford, GM or even Chevrolet. There are quite a few truck models too that works with these forms of keys. Despite the numerous models of cars on the road, the machine cut continues to be a favourite.

The next version you have is the laser cut automotive keys. These are the advanced versions of the machine cut keys and are also called the sidewinder or the internal cut keys. They have a square edge which have matching cuts on either side. These can fit into a car’s ignition any way you like. Their advantages are that they are not easy to pick and will need specialized help. There is a unique software used in its production and those manning the machines will need specialized training as well. These are found in luxury brand cars like that of Mercedes as well as Audi.

There are several other popular styles of car keys available. You have the transponder keys that have a minute computer chip inserted in the key handle. This is for additional ignition security and to prevent the key from being forged. There is the remote or the switchblade form of transponder keys.

Then you have the smart keys which have a laser cut key that is built in. These kinds of keys gives the driver the flexibility of entering the car and starting it without actually taking the key out of his pocket. Then you have what is known as the VATS keys. This has a unique chip on the blade which though not electronic in nature, has got the name.

And then you have what are known as valet keys. These are given along with a regular transponder key. There is however a slight modification to it, where you can open doors and ignition, but not a locked boot or trunk. These can be made out of plastic or metal.

There are several varieties of keys and the kind you get will depend on the kind of vehicle you pick up. This is essential to the safety of your car and you.

Which Is the Most Difficult Drug to Detox From?

The hardest drugs to detox from depend on your perspective. If by “difficult” you’re referring to the severity of dangerous medical symptoms that occur during withdrawal, then the obvious answer is alcohol and benzodiazepine. Both of these drugs could kill you during detox. But if you’re referring to the severity of emotional, mental and spiritual symptoms that affect a person during drug detox, then most addicts will agree that opiates are the most difficult; especially opiates like Methadone that are designed to help wean an addict from other opiates like heroin.

The Most Difficult Drugs to Withdraw/Detox From: Medical Reasons

The following substances prove especially challenging for many addicts to withdraw from considering the serious medical risks of doing so: Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines and Alcohol. The withdrawal process has been known to cause life-threatening complications in some people. This includes pulmonary and cardiovascular distress, respiratory depression, grand mal seizures, delirium tremens, hallucinations, coma and death.

Fortunately, death is rare but nevertheless the fact that it is possible creates a deterrent to treatment for some addicts. In most cases the risks of withdrawing from these substances can be mitigated by attending detox in a professional medical setting where healthcare practitioners and addiction experts can observe the detox process and respond immediately in case of any complications.

The Most Difficult Drugs to Withdraw/Detox From: Emotional Reasons

Thousands of years before the birth of Christ, the first annals of history were recorded by the ancient Sumerians. Translations of stone etchings show that these early peoples farmed and used opium extensively. In fact, their word for the plant can be translated to “Joy;” an apt description considering the widespread abuse of opium for the next several thousand years. By nearly all accounts, the euphoric high obtained by using opium is the highest feeling of joy most addicts have ever felt. But herein lays the problem.

When a person uses an opiate like heroin or Oxycontin to get high, they rapidly build up a tolerance not only to the drug, but also to euphoria. This means that it becomes more and more difficult to obtain the same euphoric effect with the same amount of opiates, so in nearly all cases users continually increase their dosages – some to the point of overdose and death. But in general the central nervous system becomes more and more desensitized to stimulus that would normally cause feeling of joy or euphoria. In fact, the opposite often occurs, resulting in a state known as Dysphoria; the opposite of euphoria.

Dysphoria is a severe problem for people who are detoxing/withdrawing from opiates because after the stop using the drug they often find it difficult or impossible to find joy or happiness in anything. This causes severe bouts of depression, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness and unexplained misery, terrible sadness and overwhelming inadequacy and loneliness; even in the presence of others. These emotional and spiritual symptoms drive many people in the early stages of recovery to return to drug use in order to self-medicate their general state of dysphoria.

Opiates Used to Treat Addiction to Other Opiates

Many addicts report and anecdotal evidence suggests that withdrawing and detoxing from opiates that are used to treat addiction to other opiates is a severe and extremely challenging process. The reasons for this are not understood, but it’s possible that because most opiate treatment drugs like methadone block the release of dopamine, addicts do not obtain a euphoric effect, even though they are spared the normal symptoms of withdrawal (essentially because methadone maintenance merely prolongs the addictive process.)

Support forums on group sharing often results in addicts advising each other NOT to go on an opiate maintenance program and to tough out the initial stages of a more “pure” withdrawal instead. Therefore, it could be argued that detoxing from opiate maintenance drugs is the most difficult type of detox to undergo.

The Kindling Effect

Regardless of the substance, the Kindling Effect can make detox and withdrawal an absolute nightmare; especially if the addict in question has relapsed repeatedly in their lifetime. The concept of Kindling is that with each progressive relapse and subsequent withdrawal, the brain and central nervous system become more highly sensitized (or highly desensitized) to drug abuse and the feelings it creates. As a result withdrawal symptoms are much more severe and potentially dangerous for these individuals than for others.

Ultimately, the most challenging detox is the one you’re about to go through. Taking that first step is extraordinarily difficult regardless of what drug you use and how long and hard you’ve been using it. But the reality of the situation is that left unabated the consequences of continued active addiction are in every instance more severe and potentially life-changing that the actual process of withdrawal and detox, which usually takes 10 days or less for most people.

If you or someone you love is fighting addiction, the most valuable weapon you can give them is action. Do it now; get help, get a free consultation, and take the first step before it’s too late to move forward at all.

Home-Based Can Mean Big Business

Nowadays, you can get started with less than one thousand dollars. This will buy you your own website, millions of dollars in inventory, sales and marketing tools, and a team of experienced entrepreneurs working with you every step of the way to help you achieve all your goals in life.

You don’t even need a warehouse with receiving and shipping departments. All you really need is a computer and telephone which most people have anyway.

Initially, I looked at franchises and distributorships when deciding about another business. One of the problems I saw with these two models was the large amount of capital needed to start in most cases. Although the potential rewards were high, the risk was more than I wanted to subject myself to in the current state of the economy.

Another problem was the need for office or warehouse space. This meant I would have the added expense of paying rent and utilities.

Other shortcomings include the long hours it would take to succeed and the need to hire and manage employees.

These were all added expenses and headaches that I didn’t really want or need.

I wanted this to be my last business but it had to be something substantial that I could continue to work at as I got closer to retirement age and possibly beyond.

Then, I looked into home-based businesses. I had a friend tell me about network marketing. My initial thought was that it wasn’t for me. My friend, unbeknownst to me, had been very successful at it and thought I could be too. I took him up on it and decided to explore it further.

I was glad that I did. The investment was small. The return has been greater than any I could have achieved in any other business.

The low risk and high reward far outweighed any other business model.

From past experience I can tell you that it is important to pick the right home-based business. A good support team is crucial to your success. In network marketing, you will need a good upline of people that you can call for help and expertise. Make sure that you choose something that interests you. Do something that you will enjoy talking about and will be passionate about.

A number of really successful people have commented that this is a business structure that will thrive in the coming years as baby boomers get older.

Most boomers don’t have enough money saved for retirement. Also, many of them are losing their jobs or having their hours reduced. Some are just tired of the corporate world.

I get one other benefit from my home-based business. The ability to help other people reach their goals and dreams in life. Most people are either afraid to start their own business or don’t have enough capital to do so. They are afraid to go it alone. Choose the right team and you will never run your business alone.

A home-based business can be the path to financial freedom for anyone.

Windscreen Essentials

A windscreen’s or a windshield’s main function is to serve as a wind and debris cover for people inside and sometimes even supports the vehicle’s frame. Manufacturers configure the screens aerodynamically to not affect the vehicle’s performance. Some even have special substances integrated into them to protect the eyes of the passengers from UV rays. Without windshields, a driver can have difficulty controlling the vehicle. Here some things you need to know in taking care of your windscreens.

Causes of Damage

There are different reasons for your vehicle’s windshield to crack. Here are some of the most common ones:

– Direct Collision: This is the number one cause of shield cracks in road travel. There are small particles and debris that may be invisible to the eye due to your speed in highways. These particles can be gravel, tiny rocks and stones. A car in front of you can propel a small stone strong enough the chip the windscreen glass. The cracks leave room for moisture to accumulate and spread the cracks to the whole windshield gradually.

– Structural Flaw: This reason comes with the vehicle’s old age. When manufacturers make windshields, they unconsciously create weak points at the glass edges. This is because the particles at the edge have no stable gripping. Additionally, builders designed the middle part of the glass to stretch and absorb shock while the edges endure the heavy load.

– Cold Weather: The windscreen reacts to temperature whether it is hot or cold. The difference between the outside and inside temperature can cause distortions to the class that lead to small cracks.

– Hail Storm: Although these events are rare. A windshield suffering damage from a hailstorm renders it to be irreparable.

The small fissures that these factors can cause are unnoticeable. It can make the fracture spread, however, if unaddressed, causing danger to the passengers.

Dangers of Cracks

The most apparent drawback of having cracked windscreens is reduced visibility. One cannot drive without proper vision thus this proves very dangerous to anyone riding the vehicle. Additionally, if the damage becomes significant, the car’s structure might fail, causing the front of the vehicle to cave in unsuspecting passengers. It can also cause the airbags not to release properly, turning simple injuries to fatal ones. windscreen repair is important to continue using the vehicle.

Repairing the Dent

You can buy windscreen repair kits that you can actually use to repair the damage yourself. Bear in mind that these kits are good only for one-time use and may not be applicable to older cracks so repair the dents as soon as you notice them. Be mindful that these kits provide repair for inch long fractures, not the ones that cover the windshield already. Clean the screen before you try to apply the repair kit. Using it on a surface full of dirt and debris can make the resin less effective. Inspect the repair when you are done to make sure you did it correctly.

Installing a New One

There are times when windscreen repair are no longer possible. You can purchase quality windshield glasses from certain dealers but be sure not to do the installation by yourself.

What Is the Drug, Bath Salts?

Marketed under various names, including, “Bath Salts”, “Ivory Wave,” “Purple Wave,” Vanilla Sky,” and “Bliss”, the drug, MDPV has been the cause of numerous emergency room visits and thousands of calls to the Centers for Disease Control and Poison Control Centers over the last couple of years.

Bath Salts is actually a powerful stimulant that also has hallucinogenic properties. A relatively new psychotropic drug, it reportedly creates effects similar to other stimulants such as wakefulness, rapid heartbeat, reduction in appetite and anxiety.

However, this substance causes other, more worrisome and dangerous effects such as psychotic delusions, thoughts of suicide and violent behavior.

Are they really for the bath tub?

No, they’re not. They are labelled that way to avoid legal restrictions. Each packet is even clearly marked with, “Not For Human Consumption”, making it difficult to classify them as drugs. But the real purpose is definitely substance abuse. These packets contain various drugs, including the compound 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) or 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone). A dangerous designer drug, MDPV is popular with teens and some in the military because it doesn’t show on drug tests.

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control, between November 2010 and April 2011 in one county in Michigan, 35 persons who had ingested, inhaled, or injected “bath salts” visited a Michigan emergency department. Among the 35 patients, the most com­mon signs and symptoms of toxicity were agitation (23 patients [66%]), tachycardia (22 [63%]), and delusions/hallucinations (14 [40%]). Seventeen patients were hospitalized, and one was dead upon arrival at the ED.

So how can a product as apparently dangerous as this be sold legally to the public?

Any product sold in the United States that is classified as a drug must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The product is then classified according to criteria such as likelihood of abuse, it’s addictive potentials or any possible medicinal value. Then it can be sorted into one of several categories.

When a substance does not pass review along these guidelines, they are classified in the Schedule One category. These substances are not legal for any purpose.

But what if it’s NOT a drug? What if it is only an additive for the bath tub? Now special legislation is needed to outlaw it. This is the case with several of these new substances of abuse, bath salts is only one. Another is called “Spice”. Also known as K-2, spice is a drug that is labelled as incense in order to bypass legal requirements of a drug.

Many states have passed emergency legislation to outlaw these specific chemicals, but the makers just alter the compounds slightly, just enough to again slip through the legal nets.

Our best bet in the fight against these tactics is simply this, make the public aware of the dangers and very real consequences of using these chemicals. If enough truth about bath salts and spice or whatever comes next is pumped into the environment, repeatedly, we’ll see this latest and nearly craziest drug fad fade away and become a joke like “smoking banana peels” became back in the ’60s..