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.

The Flavorful Delights of Israeli Cuisine

It figures I’m about to start a culinary journey on Israeli cuisine while being exceptionally hungry. In my mind’s eye (and a grumbling stomach) I can see the comfort foods of my youth; foods that might make some people in the world ask, what on earth is that?

There’s no easy way to pigeon hole Israeli cuisine, a blend of cultures from Eastern Europe to the shores of Northern Africa and the far reaches of Asia. Each distinct region has brought Israel to the forefront the very best of their tasty dishes, making the act of eating in Israel a vacation all its own.

Many of you might have already heard of some traditional Israeli dishes. Ashkenazi cuisine comes from the folks from Eastern Europe. These are the same folks that give us some wonderfully sweet pastries, yet gave us borsht and gefilte fish. Go figure.

Sephardic foods come from countries like Spain and Morocco, food like the savory pastry known as bourekas, made with puff pastry filled with cheese and spinach, just to name a few.

I’m getting ahead of myself–I should’ve talked about breakfast first. It is the most important meal of the day, right? Most hotels in Israel are quite proud of their Israeli breakfast, which many promote in order to get you to stay there.

Oh no, my American friends, this isn’t your bacon-laden, side of home-fries meal. Look around, you’ll find bowls of fresh fruit, salads made with finely chopped tomatoes, fish, eggs, bread, and yogurt.

Now that I think about it, almost all of Israel’s dishes center on fresh produce. This even includes the ever popular falafel; fried ground chickpeas stuffed in a pita served with Israeli salad (tomato, cucumber, onion) and tahina.

Oh tahina, a sesame sauce that makes everything taste better. Not that the world’s best street food like falafel can’t stand on its own, mind you.

I think the only thing more popular than falafel is hummus. Made with ground chickpeas, often served with pine nuts or a smatter of olive oil, it is generally eaten with just pita. Hummus is so popular in Israeli cuisine it seems to be a culinary staple, no matter what meal it is.

Food in Israel might be fresh and tasty, but it means nothing if not shared with family and loved ones. That is, unless, you’ve gotten a Moroccan and Tunisian fighting it out over who makes better couscous, a dish made from semolina flour with lamb or chicken simmered with veggies on top.

One of the best ways to enjoy Israeli food with the family is a hafla. This is a traditional Bedouin meal of salads and kebabs with Bedouin pita (known as fatir) served as you lounge on soft pillows drinking mint infused beverages (like tea or lemonade).

Food is so ingrained in Israeli culture so that if you’ve been invited into someone’s home, they will try to feed you. And it’s an insult to refuse–so eat up.

Food even has its superstitions. One lady friend who was going to have a baby mentioned in passing that she was “craving” falafel, only to be handed an entire container of them by her Israeli neighbor soon afterwards, simply because it was “wrong” to refuse a pregnant lady any food she wished for.

You could go on forever talking about food in Israel, and spend another lifetime talking about beverages in Israel. Great, now I’m even hungrier than when I started.–someone pass the falafel, please?

Project Cars Need Basic Maintenance Before Upgrades

Modding your car the way you want it is what takes up an enthusiast’s time – and budget. As one may have seen on various car-specific boards, the possible combinations for upgrading your car are endless, from simple carbon fiber trim to performance-enhancing mods that literally break the bank.

Few are blessed with an open budget when it comes to modding a car. The show car builds that one sees done on YouTube or TV are often the result of corporate sponsorship, to showcase a product or business. And not everyone has parents as understanding as Chris Rado. More realistically, a project car done by the real world modder is the result of several months, even years, of off and on work. And while the end result may not be as flashy as the showcase examples you see at SEMA or on social media, there is no replacement for the sense of pride and satisfaction in being able to complete a project according to your vision.

Many times though, over enthusiasm on the part of the owner results in a modding or upgrade path that is haphazard. What we’re talking about here is foregoing basic car maintenance and spending the money instead on upgrade parts. Example, buying a set high output HID lights when your battery already needs to be replaced. Or opting for a set of high temp brake pads when your caliper seals show signs of leakage. As a car nut, it’s inevitable, expected even, for you to put your personal stamp on the car you own. But there’s no sense in undertaking upgrades at the expense of a well-running car or worse, reducing the safety margins designed into the car. Imagine bragging about your new high output lights and then getting stranded in the parking lot because the battery can’t cope. Talk about egg on your face.

A basic part of car ownership is being aware of the cost of maintaining your ride. And it’s pretty obvious that different cars have different maintenance costs. A Civic will probably set you back a thousand bucks each year for basic maintenance (and that’s a comfortable amount), but be prepared to spend twice or thrice that for a BMW M3 a generation or two back. While that may seem like a lot, do bear in mind that with an M3, you are getting stock what it would take you thousands of dollars in upgrades to get from your Honda. And despite the fact that Honda does make pretty good cars, the Japanese company currently doesn’t have an answer to that icon of driving excellence.

Nowadays, the Internet allows you to roam and go through a much wider display of project car possibilities and get ideas for your own ride. Don’t forget though that your project car still needs basic maintenance as much as the dorky commuter ride sitting next to you at the lights.

Top 7 Reasons to Start an Internet Based Business

Today’s economy is iffy at best. We keep hearing about the “Fiscal Cliff” and how companies are cutting thousands of jobs. Even the Government is starting to realize that they will have to cut jobs. Long gone is the one income household. In fact, I know of some people who work 50 to 60 hours a week, then have a part-time job to make ends meet. If you are not prepared, you could find yourself in financial trouble yourself.

Fortunately, there is an alternative to working part-time at McDonalds or Walmart. Cottage industries on the internet are springing up all over the place. People are selling items on eBay, selling their skills and even starting a full authority website!

Like any other type of business, starting an internet based business has its own benefits. It can be challenging, but the rewards are worth the effort!

Minimal Investment

Start-up costs are minimal, if done right. Compare the costs of starting your own business in the city, putting up an internet based business is amazingly easier and more affordable. Instead of renting out an office space and hiring tons of employees just to do one task or job per person, why not start an internet business, where you do not need a lot of people to work for you and you are not required to find an office to operate in. Believe it or not, but with this type of business, you can set up your very own virtual office in your own bedroom or attic or even at the beach!. As long as you have a fast and stable internet connection, then you are good to go.

Big Returns

The possibility of earning a lot is not far from your grasp. This means that you can choose to work and handle several clients in one go and earn big money; or you can be picky when it comes to working with clients. In fact, compared to working from 9am to 5pm, where you earn a fixed amount, an internet business gives you an opportunity to earn a lot without slaving countless of hours in front of your desk.

Flexible Work Hours

Your working hours are extremely flexible. You are the boss! You are in control of your own life. With your very own internet business, you will no longer worry about waking up really early in the morning just to cook breakfast, drive your kids to school and meet your office deadlines. Now, you will have all the time in the world to manage your business.

Time With Family

Working from home increases your time with the family. Starting a home based internet business can be the best way to stay focused on your job while having enough time to spend with the family. This is a luxury you can afford to have on a daily basis. How cool is it to see your watch your kids grow, know you are there for them and earn big bucks on the side?

Work at home… or wherever!

You do not need to leave home to work. Online or internet businesses do not require you to commute or drive to and from the office just to get some work done. No more gas, carpool and bus allowances, because you lie in bed and earn money. Also, you can take your business with you to the beach or coffee shop. Where there is a stable internet connection, you are at work!

Autopilot

Your business runs on autopilot, even when you want to sleep in. This means that you do not need to stay up late and watch over your website. All you need to do is to set up your website and retrieve all messages and other business related transactions when and where you want.

Easy to analyze growth

You can easily measure your personal growth, as well as that of your virtual company. Since you can personally monitor every deal that you close or every client that you lose, you know instantly how well your internet business is doing. Create a chart or a table where you can calculate your earnings, losses and potential gains. Need a raise? Add another website or a couple more clients.

Internet business can indeed turn your entrepreneur dreams into reality. With a lot of determination, a bucket of creativity and a box full of patience, you will be able to reap all these business benefits and more!

Winning In The Cash Flow Business Through Three Practical Guides

Making money while you sleep is perhaps one of the greatest dreams we can ever have. That is why it is no wonder that many individuals aspire to build wealth as quickly as they can. Such can be said about the emergence of cash flow business. Add to it the power of the Internet, and the method is even more strengthened so much so that almost everybody is getting hooked on it.

Accordingly, the Winning in the Cash Flow Business that was formulated by Russ Dalbey, came about in the form of infomercials and many people, even if they are not investors, became aware of the said income generating scheme. Basically, it involves the selling of notes to investors from the note owners themselves through you. You will act as a broker of the transaction and all you have to do is to convince the holder to sell at a lesser expected value and find an investor who is ready to take a certain bid for the transaction to go through. Sounds simple right? But in reality, the big challenge lies in how you find a note owner who is willing to get a lesser amount compared to the expected value of his note’s maturity. There is also the difficulty in finding experienced investors who will proceed with bidding higher compared to others. Hence, we are going to provide you with practical guides on how to leverage not just Mr. Dalbey’s business model, but also that of the cash flow business in general.

1. Capitalize on training especially if you are still new. Well even those who are already in the business for some time, they also need further trainings and seminars to keep themselves abreast of developments. Because notes brokering centers on how well you convince others, you have to continue improving yourself and adding accomplishments to your list. Do not just settle for cheap workshops, invest in yourself from time to time with quality trainings instead.

2. Build a community instead of focusing on one-time deals. Your transactions should be centered on getting a win-win result. Whether you are working as a full time or part time notes broker, conduct deals with the aim to achieve a positive result. This would increase your reputation as someone that can be trusted and more people will naturally want to deal with you.

3. Be persistent in doing follow-ups but don’t overdo it as well. Schedule your calls, emails or other ways of ‘following up’ in such as a way that your prospects are reminded of the pending transaction but will not bother their own schedules as much as possible. In fact, it is ideal to ask them what will be the most convenient time that you will call them again.

A Year in Referral Marketing – How It Has Worked For Me

I have been writing about referral marketing for a while now highlighted by the fact that I have been a member of Zip Nada Zilch, a referral marketing company, for over a year. Now it is time for a real review and my thoughts about the programs I have been consistently marketing.

First, if you haven’t heard of the Zip Nada Zilch, aka ZNZ, programs you probably aren’t alone. Although the referral company has been around for over five years now, people are still coming to know ZNZ.

The programs that I have been marketing are the ZNZ One and ZNZ Big Cash programs, which are associated with a free marketing system that I have been using called the Internet Payday System.

Now, I’m not going to go into the Internet payday system as I would rather spend my time giving you a real review of the programs that I have been involved with, the znz one and big cash programs.

While these programs have been and still are promoted as a “free” program and while the sign up process is free – there is not a membership or registration fee of any kind – the process of qualifying can cost a few dollars.

The process of qualifying is fairly simple. The ZNZ programs match folks looking for an opportunity with businesses looking for people to check out their free or low-cost trial offers. When someone signs up for a trial offer then they receive so many “credits.” For the ZNZ One program, you would complete one offer – hence the name ZNZ One.

For programs like ZNZ Big Cash, a person will have to complete more offers, typically 4 to 6. Once you have completed this sign up process, you are qualified for a lifetime with the ZNZ program.

So how do you make money? It’s simple really; once you are qualified you are able to promote links to the ZNZ program website where folks are able to sign up for trial offers. Once a person that you have referred has completed the sign up process then you will receive a referral commission.

The commission that you will receive is depends on the program you are promoting. For example, ZNZ One will pay $20 per referral, but some other programs may pay quite a bit more.

The biggest problem that I have found with this program, so far, is that too many people are expecting easy. Like any program online, you are going to have to work for any income and results that you may achieve.

Promoting these referral marketing programs is not that difficult. Over the last year or so I have used blogs, written article, produced videos and posted links in many different locations to generate quite a bit of traffic to my programs.

All in all, the ZNZ referral marketing programs are pretty simple and inexpensive to sign up with and overall are simple to promote and market. The secret to success with these programs, like any other opportunity out there, is to plan a marketing campaign, get busy and be consistent.

How To Make A Membership Website And Make It Profitable

Learning how to make a membership website is the beginning of pursuing quite a productive venture. To learn to do so, you must begin by knowing what elements or factors contribute to a profitable membership website.

The Business

It is important to understand that the blog or the website itself is not the business. Instead, they are the tools that you need to use appropriate in implementing the business model or plan that you have created. Even before you put up a website, it is crucial that you carefully plan and map out the course you want to take in pursuing your business.

In making the membership site, you must first determine what it is that you want to achieve through the site. Identify what it is that people seek you or your website for. Settle on how you want to provide this particular need of your target audience. Identify, first and foremost, what the business is and from there, you have to decide on how you can provide your customers with their needs.

The Demand

While it is true that you would consider setting up a membership site in order to make money, it is sometimes not advised that you do it for this purpose alone. In line with this, you must also understand the importance of demand in building your website. Determine if there is a demand for in your market. This can be achieved by performing a survey with your clients and asking about what it is that they like to know more from you. This can also help in discovering other things that people like, which might have not yet crossed your mind. Listen to your clients in order to find out what their demands are.

The Relationship

The success of a website also relies on how good your established relationship with members is. Your members are the ones who are most likely going to be your buyers. Put yourself in a buyer’s position. You are most probable to buy products or avail services from someone that you know. Thus, you have to make yourself known to your clients and you must also know more about them as much as possible. In building a good relationship with your members, you have to have constant communication with them. Cultivate trust in your relationship with your members so they will think of you each time they need to purchase something.

The Beneficiaries

A membership website’s benefit is two-way. It benefits you by driving in more money to your account from your members’ fees and payments. On the same note, the website also benefits the members as they are able to obtain what they need from it. To ensure that both you and your members are benefitted, you must always ensure that your contents are of the best quality. Offer your clients with the best product and always provide them with what they actually need.

The Marketing

Your task does not end once the membership website is put up. Instead, you must think of ways on how to effectively market the website. Marketing involves reaching more people and letting them know about your business and what great things they can achieve from it.

How To Get More Jobs For Your Painting Business

One of the most effective ways to get more jobs is to simply show people that you are an expert and that you know what you are talking about. This part usually happens during an estimate. People sense whether you know what you are doing or not.

When I first started my painting business I wasn’t hindered much by my lack of experience. But then I didn’t charge much back then either. But if you want to make some serious cash this year as a professional painter you will need to get some specialized knowledge as quickly as possible in all areas of your business – painting application, estimating and most importantly, advertising.

Bidding on smaller $300 – $500 paint jobs or anything under $1,000 is something any painter can get because the customer knows you are small potatoes. But if you are doing a larger bid for say, $5,000, $8,000 or higher, you must be able to convince the prospective customer that you know what you are doing and that you can handle the work.

You must also be able to justify the price as well. All this takes experience and knowledge. And having the right knowledge can compensate for experience as long as you actually do good work.

Also, customers want to deal with someone who is knowledgeable about the product or service they want to buy. Everyone when they are buying something wants to deal with someone who knows what they are talking about. They want to deal with that salesman on the floor who knows his merchandise. Whether it is a new appliance, a big screen TV etc.

This is also true when it comes to someone wanting to get an expensive paint job in or on their home or place of business. One of the very best and most effective ways to gain customer trust and get more painting business is to be able to answer a prospect’s questions intelligently. To do that you need knowledge and experience. Now knowledge is a whole lot cheaper to get that experience. Experience takes way too long to achieve. So getting the right knowledge is a far better, faster and surer way to gain customer confidence.

Again, your knowledge and experience as a house painter automatically shows through when you know what you are doing and when you know what you are talking about during an estimate. This gives homeowners and companies confidence in doing business with you. The old saying “fake it until you make it” doesn’t always work as well as getting specialized knowledge and information from other professional painters. And getting it as much as possible when first starting your new business.

Experience is nice to have but it also carries a big price tag called “time” – something all of us don’t have enough of. This is why getting as much of the right specialized knowledge as possible can catapult your business forward quickly and profitably as well. Specialized knowledge in painting, estimating and advertising makes for a rock-solid business. And it will help your painting business to grow faster.

Finding The Best Car Remote

A remote for a car is simply a key less system of entry. You have an electronic lock that gives you access to the car without making use of a traditionally cut mechanical key. It is basically an electronic remote control that can be used as a key. This kind of a key is used a great deal in vehicles. It gives you the basic abilities of a car that gives you the ability to access the car without actually touching it.

One of the first remotes for cars came with the French Renault in 1982 and it then went on to several other American brands to now becoming a staple with most cars. Car remotes have a radio transmitter that works on a short range of 15-60 ft. When you press the activation button it sends a signal to the car which is mechanically interpreted and the car can be unlocked this way. In general American cars work on a 315 MHz frequency. Car from Europe, Japan and Asia has cars that operate on high frequencies of 433.92.

The general practice is to have the lock beep twice when it is unlocked and a single time when it is locked. If you hear four beeps it means everybody in the car has not buckled up. One long beep will be for the trunk as well as the power tailgate. A single sharp beep is meant to indicate that the system is set and everything else is secure.

All of these functions with a remote key less entry are placed on a key fob. In some cases it is placed on the handle of the ignition itself. You will have buttons that will let you lock doors and also open trunks and check on the tailgate. You could even get the remote to open some sliding doors for you or hold them in place. There is always a red button on the remote that you can press on in the case of an emergency like a theft. It will shut down the car and not allow it to be moved at all.

It is one of the most interesting things to have a when you are dealing with the automatic keys is that you will find it on every brand conceivable. When you choose your car remote, weigh in all the relevant factors and make a choice for the best.

The 9ff GTurbo 1200 With Custom Porsche Wheels

One of the most proficient Porsche models on the racetrack is the 911 GT3. It is designed specifically after the GT3 RSR race cars that Porsche uses in motorsports worldwide and is built to handle fast corners with ease. But the downfall of the 911 GT3 was that it wasn’t exactly a straight-line performance car, until the German car tuning specialists at 9ff transformed it with the GTrubo 1200. The new upgrade program gives the naturally-aspirated engine a powerful twin-turbocharger upgrade to go along with a modified chassis, new Porsche wheels, and a special exhaust.

The standard engine that comes in the 911 GT3 is a naturally-aspirated 3.8-liter that was designed after the racing engines used in the 911 GT3 RSRs sold by the German automaker. The high-revving flat-six cylinder engines were given a complete makeover thanks to 9ff with a new twin-turbocharger system that drastically increases output. The engine was bored out to 3.9 liters of displacement, reinforced with new steel pistons and rods, given upgraded camshafts and a new crankshaft, and fed with a new carbon fiber air box that fits onto a refinished intake manifold. A new exhaust system with sport catalytic converters, downpipes, mufflers, and quad tips helps to reduce backpressure and ensure that the turbochargers spool up quicker. After an ECU tune, the engine sends 1,200 horsepower at 8,100 RPM and 848 lb-ft. of torque at 5,800 RPM to each of the rear custom Porsche wheels. This blistering power output allows for the 9ff GTurbo 1200 to reach 62 mph in just 3.3 seconds, 124 mph in 7.1 seconds, and a top speed of 250 mph.

The power increase also necessitated that the chassis be upgraded. The transmission, driveshafts, and differential were all replaced with stronger units to handle 1,200 horsepower. The standard Porsche wheels were removed and new forged rims were installed with a center-locking mechanism similar to those used in race cars. In addition, new carbon ceramic brakes used in more powerful Porsche models were retrofitted to the 9ff GTurbo and a special Bilstein suspension was installed to allow for variable height, bound, and rebound settings. The finishing touch is a set of Continental Vmax tires fitted to the Porsche wheels that can handle the 200+ mph top speeds.

The cockpit of the new 9ff GTurbo 1200 features a more sport-oriented atmosphere. The two front seats were removed and replaced with special bucket seats that hold passengers in place better and are outfitted with alcantara. The dashboard, door panels, and center arm rest were each trimmed in a mix of leather and alcantara.

The new 9ff GTurbo upgrade conversion that includes the twin-turbocharged engine rebuild, new suspension, custom Porsche wheels, and unique interior design is currently available worldwide.