Owning a Poconos Vacation Home

Thinking of owning a second home?

Owning a Poconos vacation home is now easier than before because it is so affordable. The most you’ll probably pay for a property, whether mountain or lakeside, could cost between $85,000-125,000.

The Poconos offer homebuyers lots of pluses for their small investment. Imagine a visual bow of lakes and rivers, well-constructed roadways; close proximity to all that nature has to offer and easy access to shopping, dining and leisure activities.

In fact, The Wall Street Journal named the Poconos as one of the three top places to retire. And rightly so, because the living there is easy. Just imagine breathing in fresh air as you sit on the porch for a quiet chat with your family, with the birds on the ledge providing the musical score. There’s nothing more ethereal than hearing the rain doing a river dance on the rocks outside while you and your lover sit by the fireplace in silence.

Indeed, this is fine living at a price many can afford. Buyers can choose a particular area for their Poconos vacation home that suit their lifestyle and taste, whether it be in a gated community, an acre in the country or perhaps a town-styled neighborhood. The houses, which are either cabin-styled or cottages in the woods, are very spacious; some boast of having decks, a fireplace, skylights. Some owners have added whirlpool tubs and Jacuzzis.

With Pocono rentals, on the other hand, you also have a choice of cabin, house or cottage. One of the more popular rental homes charges $625 per week – or $100 per night — while others charge a fixed fee for half-year rental.

Android Ahoy!

I was a sixteen year old rookie sailor when joining my first ship, RMS Britannic, the last of the White Star Liners. Not much had changed for passengers since the RMS Titanic of the same company met its tragic end. Progress was unhurried back then. The Britannic ended its Atlantic crossings with several weeks cruising Mediterranean ports. Many of our populous Costa townships would have been fishing villages then.
Progress in cruising since has been nothing short of astonishing. To be honest, I prefer the old ways but I can’t stop progress. When passengers embarked on those ocean greyhounds there was a long drawn out wearying process of registration and embarkation to complete long before one was shown one’s cabin.

Let us then book a cruise on Royal Caribbean International latest cruise liner, the Quantum of the Seas. What comparisons can be drawn between the two periods? The RMS (Royal Mail Ship) Britannic was a little over 700 feet in length and weighed a little over 27,000 tons. RCCL Quantum Class liners are twice the length and at 168,000 tonnes an incredible seven times the weight of the White Star liner.

Best not think of the many hours it took to finally recover baggage and reach one’s cabin on the super liners of yesterday. Today, RCCL promise their 4,000 boarding passengers that their luggage will be stowed and they will be in their cabins within 10-minutes of arrival. Airports take note. There’ll be no piping you on board. You check in online. No queues to join and nor will you wait in a long line to have your ID checked, fill out paperwork and collect your stateroom keys. You take a selfie, load it on to the online check-in website, fill out your passport details and print out your boarding pass. Show this to security and proceed to your stateroom.

Yours is a hotel type card key but you also receive a WOWband wristband. It covers all your needs including purchases on-board. It is waterproof so wear it when splashing about in any of the liner’s many pools and hot tubs. No escape from the office or Facebook. The liner uses a new type of near earth satellite. Internet access is assured wherever you are on the ship; there are no dead spots.

Ship’s staff are equipped with tablets, not the kind you get from the chemist for aches and pains but hand-held computers that take care of every need. A Royal iQ app and Android device allows you to plan, change schedules such as spa appointments, dinner reservations, shore excursions etc. Cabins have USB charging ports.

There are 45 iQ stations that interact with your WOWband. These access everything and everyone, including your on-board friends. The liners also have two robotic bartenders. Use your tablet to order cocktails, these are mixed and delivered by robots. All of a sudden a voyage on the RMS Titanic looks quite appealing.

If You Are Interested In A Bryce Tour, Start In Las Vegas

Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the American southwest’s most beautiful areas, and one of Utah’s most popular destinations. The unparalleled natural beauty of Bryce has been upheld by the United States government through it being registered as a protected area from development, thus allowing anyone who is interested in exploring it to do so without the encroachment that is seen in most other areas of the US that are not designated as national parks. Visitors from all over the world travel to a triad of parks in the area each year, many attempting to experience Bryce, Zion and Monument Valley in the same trip. This is certainly a good plan, as each of these parks can be visited for enough time to be enjoyed within a three day timeframe or so, allowing for other activities to be enjoyed within the same vacation. For this reason, most people who travel to the area intending on a Bryce tour will start their adventure in Las Vegas.

There are only two major airports that adequately service the Bryce area, one being Salt Lake City and one being Las Vegas. Each of these airports is roughly 260 miles from the park, and will take about four hours to get to by car. Although there are other airports that are closer, most visitors will opt to fly to a major airport simply due to the fact that traveling between major destinations is generally cheaper than flying into a small airport. Additionally, there are far fewer flights to choose from if you opt to fly into a smaller airport, along with far fewer hotel choices in smaller cities. The choice between Las Vegas and Salt Lake City as far as being a hub for the rest of a vacation is not an issue to most, who see the overwhelming number of available hotel, restaurant and entertainment options in Las Vegas as making it an easy choice. If you were to plan a week-long vacation and the Bryce tour will take three days of it, the other four days can be spent enjoying everything Las Vegas offers to tourists. World class entertainment unlike anywhere else in the world, great food and hotels that will make anyone comfortable for a reasonable price.

Las Vegas is home to several tour operators who will arrange your Bryce tour from beginning to end. You will be picked up and dropped off at your hotel, transported in comfort to the park and be provided with an inside knowledge of the area that only a professional guide can provide. Make Las Vegas your start for your next Bryce tour.

Vacation Home for Profit!

If you have a favorite vacation spot, you enjoy visiting; it is time to consider setting up a vacation home. There is a huge profit in Real-estate properties buying and selling properties is big business with huge returns if done right. Vacation rentals are also a nice way to have the best of both worlds. Purchasing a property as a vacation home and renting it for profit can bring in a nice cash flow if done correctly.

The first line of business would be to find a nice piece of real estate in an area you enjoy vacationing. Next is fixing it up and furnishing it to your level of comfort without putting too much high-end furniture in it. Keep your cost down by moving items you already have that are in pristine condition. Make sure you have all the comforts of home. If you still have little juniors, high-chair or buster-seat these are ideal to move into your vacation home.

The next decision you have to make is whether you want to manage the rental process yourself or get a management person with an established client base. There are hundreds of online places to market your property with more sites popping up each day. Vacation rental properties can bring in as much as $1,500.00 a week in the right area. One thing to remember is that most vacation rentals have a high and low season.

I was introduced to vacation rentals when I came across a condominium my cousin had for sale right in front of the beach in Dorado, Puerto Rico. When I first saw the place and the area, I immediately wanted it. The price she was offering it to me was right for the area. I had to have it and I really did spend at least two weeks out of the year in Puerto Rico, I love visiting the island. The banks were offering 100% financing, rates were down, and I did have some money saved up for a real-estate venture I was planning but had not found the right property. That is when I started looking at vacation rentals; my cousin’s daughter was renting her place out at least once each month. I did my homework and starting looking around for someone to manage the place for me since it was so far away from my principal residence in the states.

I found a young woman who had her own business and was managing a few vacation rentals in the area. We spoke a few times and I singed a contract with her to manage the place for me. A great source of information is this book: How to Rent Vacation Rentals by Owner, by Christine Karpinski.

I have been working for a Wall Street financial company for over thirty-five years and this was finally my paradise. I love staying in my little piece of paradise as I call it.

Disney Baltic Cruise

I would like to explain what my family and I did each day as we enjoyed our family vacation aboard the Disney Magic;

Day 1; We arrived at the port in Copenhagen, Denmark around 1:00pm, though you can board as early as 11am. We gave ourselves 3 hours to board (the ship sets sail at 4pm) so that we could explore Copenhagen before we left on our vacation. This day included us exploring the boat and signing up for kids clubs. One of the amazing things about Disney, is their kids clubs. They have rooms for different aged kids to go hang out in, participate in activities and make new friends. This gives parents a chance to have some time alone and know their children are safe and having fun. After exploring the boat, everyone came together at Deck 9 to set sail and have fun during “Mickey’s Sailing Away Party.” During this, everyone waves to the passengers staying in Copenhagen & dances along with Mickey & his friends on stage. Once this is over, we headed to the 6:30pm theater show. Depending on the dinner time you request (6:00pm or 8:30pm) you will either watch the theater show at 6:30pm or 8:30pm, the opposite time that your eating dinner. I absolutely love the shows. Disney does an amazing job coming up with themes and special acts to entertain their audience.

Day 2 was a “Day at Sea”, so that means we didn’t stop anywhere. We enjoyed our day watching Disney movies at Buena Vista Theater, participating in games at Vibe (a teen club), eating lunch at Cabanas (the buffet at deck 9), enjoying yet another theater show, & eating dinner at one of the three rotational dining restaurants (Lumiere’s, Animators Palate, or Cariocas.) Depending on your room card, you will rotate between these three different yummy restaurants. This night included Formal Dinner. This means we were encouraged to dress fancy (like dresses & skirts or suits for men.) Day’s at sea are, in my opinion, one of the best days on the boat. Disney provides their guests with the option of either Cabanas (the buffet on deck 9), Lumiere’s (one of the 3 rotational dining restaurants), or one of the quick service restaurants on deck 9. The quick service restaurants include Daisy’s Delights (a sandwich, salad, fruit, and cookie stand), Pete’s Boiler Bites (a hamburger, hotdog, taco, etc… american fare type of stand), and Pinocchio’s Pizza (a pizza stand where you can build any pizza you prefer.) Disney Magic does a fantastic job creating grade A food all day and making sure to cook the food in a fast manner, but keeping the flavor incredible. Now, the food is not the only reason I absolutely love day’s at sea. Though food is a key factor, Disney also provides their guests with a news article every night, allowing them to see what activities are brewing for them the next day (you also have the option of using their Disney Cruise Line app to see the activities and menus for each day.) This activities sheet is always filled with karaoke, newly released movies, workout games, and more during the days at sea. Disney makes sure their guests always have something fun and new to do on the boat, knowing some might get bored not having anywhere to dock.

Day 3 we stopped in Tallinn, Estonia. We arrived and walked Tallinn Old Town, which gave us a real idea of their culture. We also explored the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, The Estonian Maritime Museum (an old prison), and Fat Margarets Tower (a large building next to the ship.) Like most of you know, northern Europe has very sketchy weather. Knowing this, I packed a range of different clothes and layers. Tallinn stayed in the 60 degree F area during most of our visit, which was amazing. I wore leggings (lululemon), a tank top (lululemon), a long sweater (Madewell), and tennis shoes (New Balance.) My dad and brother were able to wear just shorts and a t shirt, so it really depends on your tolerance for cool weather. I am a small girl, so the wind was a little chilly for me, explaining the long sweater.

Day 4 we stopped in St. Petersburg, Russia. On this day, we decided to get a bus driver and a tour guide (Alla Tours.) St. Petersburg had multiple churches (Church of the Spilled Blood for example) and palaces (Catherine’s Palace), so we needed someone to help us find our way around. I recommend finding yourself a tour guide you trust (like Alla Tours), because during our visit to Catherine’s Palace (and a few other city monuments), the line wrapped around the building to get in, but our tour guide found a way to skip the line and sneak us in, in only 15 minutes. Like Tallinn, St. Petersburg’s weather was very strange. The morning was chilly and forced me to wear a scarf (Madewell) and a thick jacket (Madewell), but later in the day the temperature got warmer (maybe 67 degrees F) which allowed me to wear just a light rain jacket (Spice), because St. Petersburg did tend to sprinkle every so often. On this night, there was no theater show due to all aboard being at 11:30pm. This means, you had the option of staying out in Russia till 11:30pm or coming early and having dinner but no show.

Day 5 we stopped in Helsinki, Finland. This day was a bit shorter because all aboard was around 5pm. We decided to ride a carousel to see the town & take a boat ride to explore a small island with history about Finland (Suomenlinna.) We did not realize how large and historic Suomenlinna was, so we were unable to see all of its rich history. I recommend spending multiple hours here, if you decide to visit this location in Finland. This night included the Semi Formal Dinner. This means we had to dress up a little nicer than usual for our dinner, to take pictures. Disney does not require you to dress up any of the nights on cruise, but during these special nights, it is highly encouraged. I wore a mini skirt (Abercrombie & Fitch), a tank top (American Eagle), and sandals (Tory Burch.)

Day 6 we stopped in Stockholm, Sweden. This day was even shorter because all aboard was 3:30pm. We decided to visit the Armory & the Royal Palace next to it. If you are traveling with any boys or men, I recommend visiting the Armory. It was very cool for my brother and dad to see all of the military armor, weaponry, and royal carriages. We also purchased tickets for the Hop on Hop off bus, but it was very busy and packed (due to all the ships docked in Stockholm that day), I would not recommend buying a ticket for this bus in this town. This night Disney included “Anna & Elsa’s Frozen Deck Party”, which meant we all went up on Deck 9 before dinner to watch the Frozen characters dance and sing on stage. Disney also changed up their theater show on this night. Unlike their normal broadway style show, they provided us with a comedian show.

Day 7 was our final day, which means it was another “Day at Sea.” This day was a lot like Day 2, except that the cruise included activities like scrap booking all your memories & jack jack’s diaper dash (a race between babies who can crawl.) Usually my family and I prefer to eat lunch at Cabanas (the unlimited buffet is always nice), but on this day, my dad and I decided to try out Lumieres for lunch. I had the cuban sandwich and parmesan veal with pasta (two entrees were a must on this day) and my dad had the shrimp and pad thai noodles. Both meals were fantastic! Disney once again found a way to blow us away. Once the day was nearly to an end, we enjoyed the final show (Disney Dreams) & a dinner at Animators Palate (one of the three rotational restaurants.) After all was finished, the cruise wrapped up the day by having a “See you real soon” party in the Lobby Atrium on Deck 3. This show included a wave good bye to all the characters on board and a pin trading session (all the guests on board came together to trade their Disney pins.)

Day 8 was our final morning on the boat, which meant you went to breakfast at the place you had dinner at the night before or eat at Cabanas (the buffet on Deck 9.) For my family and I, we ate at Animators Palate once more. After eating the final meal on the ship, everyone disembarked and headed to the airport to fly home. Disney allows all of their guests to eat and explore the ship before leaving, which was nice because we didn’t feel rushed to get off the boat and let the new guests begin their vacation.

Tadoba National Park Birds

Tadoba National Park is situated in the centre of India, at Chandrapur district in the state of Maharashtra. The name of the reserve is – Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, it is the biggest Tiger reserve forest and largest National park in Maharashtra. Andhari is named after the Andhari River that flows through forests and thereafter it was named as Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve.

Tadoba reserve is said to be the biggest dense forest in Maharashtra, considering the density of the jungle it is called as the perfect destination for birding in the National Park. The whole park with its magical tweeting and chirping of birds starts from dawn continues till the dusk.

As per the records, it is found that there are many species of birds including the migrating birds such as Orange head thrush, Indian Pitta, Crested treeswift, Stone curlew, and many more. The park is densely covered with bamboos, grasslands, trees, and soiled lands with small ponds, which comprise entire forests wildlife and birds. There is also a wide diversification of birds and raptors and also water birds and endangered species. Major attraction for any tourists or travellers is tigers. Tourists from all over the country arrive in the National Park for the sightseeing of different species in the Tadoba wildlife reserve. Tiger is mostly seen around the lake side and coincidentally in the channel of roadways; tigers mostly resides inside the dense forest and occasionally pays visits outside to the visitors.

Resorts in the tadoba national park are very beautifully built for the tourists and provides luxurious rooms for the halt after excursions around the forest. The resorts in the national park are very well organised by the authorities with proper butler facilities and services of cater and other important necessities. The resort is well maintained with multi-cuisine restaurant serving your taste buds right with the delicacies as per the menu.

Tadoba reserve has initialised an online source for booking of wildlife safaris and the resorts with special packages all together for the tourists. The resort is fully loaded with modern amenities and standard class with defined services provided to the guests. The tourists have to book online for the jungle wildlife safari tourism and also for the stay in the rooms before hand or before arrival in the park.

The most important characteristic of the wildlife sanctuary is that, the whole forest is surrounded by rivers and lakes, which therefore provides the different wildlife species and birds to take shelter. Tadoba National park is one of the distinguished bird sanctuaries for both wildlife and birding in India.

Belize Vacation Home Buyers Alert

Many vacation homes for sale in Belize are not listed in the traditional manner with a real estate agent/broker. They are on the market “For Sale By Owner”. Locating these property listings can be challenging, but well worth the trouble in monetary savings as well as finding your tropical vacation dream home in Belize.

In Belize, real estate agents are unregulated. On the island of Ambergris Caye, the most popular tourist destination in the country, there is no “Multiple Listing Service” (MLS), where the existing agents share information on the properties listed with their office. This creates an atmosphere where many agents only show their listings to prospective buyers. So the buyer, many times unaware of this practice, may buy a property that was not exactly what they wanted, but were told that there was nothing else available.

Another very important fact that most non-Belizean buyers are unaware of is the commission rates charged by the agent/brokers to the sellers. The normal commission on a home or property sale is 10%! You may think that as a buyer it doesn’t matter to you what the seller has to pay, but how do you think they pay it? By increasing the price of the home/property to you, the buyer.

For these reasons more and more owners in Belize are turning to selling their homes and properties themselves. With the internet becoming easier for anyone to use, the only challenge is to find these offerings. There are many commercial web-sites available servicing this growing need for “For Sale By Owner” exposure, as well as some newer, grass-roots sites such as:Ambergris Caye Underground Listings

I wish everyone good luck in finding their vacation deal of a lifetime.

Tips to Make Car Rental Easy

Renting a car can be a frustrating and high stress experience, if you don’t know the ropes. These few simple tips can make it easier.

Tips for saving money:

  • Book your rental online, many rental companies have online specials.
  • Book your rental at the same time you book your air travel or hotel, package rates are usually discounted.
  • Rent a 2,3 or 5 day, or week long package, packages are generally priced lower.
  • Many rental companies will offer you the option of returning the car without filling the gas tank…They do this by selling you the full tank of gas that is in the vehicle at the time of rental. If you are sure you be using more than one tank of gas, and you are offered a price per gallon that is lower than the prevailing price per gallon in the area, you could save a few dollars, and have less hassle returning your vehicle.
    How are you going to handle insurance?The rental agent will try very hard to sell you the coverage’s they offer…which are usually a very expensive form of temporary insurance.
  • You do have other options…The least costly way is to tell them that your personal or business auto policy will cover you. Before you suggest this, be sure you check with your insurance agent, to be sure exactly what coverage you do have.
  • Many credit cards will cover some rental car insurance…You need to use that card to pay for your rental, and be sure you understand what is covered and what the limits are.
    Miscellaneous Tips.
  • The type or model car you reserved is not available…what can you do? This could be a bait and switch tactic, or they may just be overstocked on larger models…it is also an opportunity to practice your negotiation skills. I usually will accept the upgrade to the next level…if it is offered at the same rate…I may suggest that we split the rate, or I may refuse to complete the transaction and go somewhere else.
  • If your car breaks down be sure that you call the 800 number usually provided for service or road emergencies…if you do not call them first, they may not cover whatever you spend.
  • If you discover that you left some item in the car when you turned it in…don’t panic, call the rental location where you dropped off the car, they may have found your item, and will usually send it to you.
  • Always be sure you have a major credit card with you, Car Rental companies may accept checks, but they will never rent a car for cash.

Importance Of Wildlife

Importance of Wildlife is at its core today. Wildlife is meant to be a balance board in stabilizing the ecological diversity and its natural habitat. Wildlife is referred to animals living in wild forests and jungles and not the domesticated one. Wildlife plays like a cycle in the nature, it is like the survival of the fittest, dying and birth is the phenomenon in the course of natural wildlife. The wide diversity of flora and fauna, animals, water bodies, plants and other organisms are in abundance, which comprises as a whole wildlife in India.

The wildlife and its existence are greatly benefiting the natural process which is balancing the ecological and biological process of nature which is very important for the survival of human life. The whole functioning of the biosphere depends on the working of the natural process in wildlife like interactions between plants, animals and other organisms, which helps in the perseverance of the human life further.

The very other reason to maintain the importance of wildlife is the profound beauty of the lush green forests, a home for the animals and species decorated with greenery which is of great fascination among the tourists from different cities and even from around the world. Tadoba Park is considered as the heaven of tigers and beautiful other species, located in the heart of India, near Chandrapur district, and is considered as the largest and biggest national tiger sanctuary in the state of Maharashtra. Tadoba tiger reserve is truly well structured with proper maps and concrete roads for the safari in the wildlife sanctuary. Tadoba reserve is considered to be the best in safari in India. The beautiful constructed resorts, hotels and villas for the night stay in the jungle to enjoy the serenity and peace of the nature which helps invigorates the soul and provides mental peace and rejuvenation.

Wildlife tourism in India is a great fascination for the tourists and travellers, but it also causes hindrance in the peace of wild animals and their natural homes. Therefore, we should be very cautious while entering their territory, with all the alertness that we should not scare or harm them at any cost by littering, by reckless driving in the jungle, or by creating or making noise, and also try not to take the vehicle which is causing pollution to their environment. Tourism should be eco-friendly, so that no harm is caused to the species living in the wildlife.

The wildlife tiger sanctuary in India has commenced with the projects of conservation and protection of tigers and other species of the forests and thereto has led to reduction of poaching in the country.

Orlando Vacation Home Ownership

So you have selected an area – Orlando – entertainment capital of the world and home to Mickey Mouse and all his friends. First thing is to contact some realtors to show you around some properties. You should look for communities which are centrally located with easy access to all that Orlando has to offer and which welcome homeowners renting out their properties on the short term to holidaymakers.

Better quality furnishings last longer

Having chosen and bought your perfect property abroad, you must then (if it is a brand newly built house) turn your thoughts to furnishing it throughout. You would be well advised to stay neutral and select colours and styles, which will not go out of date too quickly and easily. Also it is not the best idea to pick any hues that are too outlandish or purely to suit your own personal taste. You wish your Orlando vacation villa to appeal to the broadest spectrum possible to ensure interest and repeat bookings for your vacation home, thus turning it into a profitable business venture.

With regards to furniture for the home, the cheapest may not always be the best in the long run. If the furniture is so cheap that it does not last and needs to be replaced regularly then this could prove to be a false economy. You may get longer life out of a slightly higher priced set of furniture.

Be careful when choosing a management company

You will need to turn your thoughts to some form of caretaker or management firm to look after your investment in your absence. Never just settle for the first or only one you speak to. Contact several as their styles (and prices) vary. These people will represent you if you do not live locally so they must be someone you can get along with and trust to look after your vacation rental villa in the manner you would like and expect.

Beware guaranteed rentals

Naturally a burning question on homeowner’s lips concerns bookings. A word of warning: – beware companies who “promise” you a set number of “guaranteed” bookings per annum. This promise is rarely upheld. Also do not rely heavily on family and friends to rent your Orlando vacation villa. The reality is whilst they may seem willing, extended family often look for a bargain and a reduced rental rate from the one you advertise and as you set up your new venture in the vacation rental market you are aiming to achieve maximum exposure in order to optimise your rental potential.

Finally, you want to do all you can to promote your Orlando vacation villa. You can do this through word of mouth, good photographs of your home, a website, advertising and subscribing to websites which display vacation rental properties to those wishing to rent a home in the sun.

If you put in the effort we are sure you will reap the rewards and see your vacation villa fill up with bookings – just remember to keep a couple of weeks for yourselves to enjoy all Orlando has to offer. After all your hard work, you’ll deserve the break!