Everybody loves this time of year when the holidays are approaching, but preparing and paying for holidays can be a bit of a daunting task. This is why it’s important to figure out your perfect holiday process to make things a little easier on yourself. Here are some of our best tips.
Prepare Ahead of Time
One huge mistake a lot of people make with the holidays is waiting too long to prepare. It might seem like you’ve got plenty of time from Halloween until Christmas, but those days will go faster than you think and every day that passes makes things more difficult.
It’s always a good idea to plan out what you’re going to do for the holidays as early as possible, whether you need to recruit family for a big dinner, figure out what you’re going to cook, or shop for gifts. When you prepare ahead of time, you get to enjoy the holidays themselves a little bit more.
Let’s be honest, we don’t always have money to give great gifts to everybody we love. Sometimes you have to use a little bit of creativity to make sure you’re not spending too much money on a gift but it’s still going to provide that same high-price satisfaction. One of the best ways to make sure the gift you’re giving will be loved is to make it something personal.
Mixbook has a number of things that make great gifts for the holidays, from Christmas photo cards to some of the best photo books. Plus, everything is customizable using pictures that can easily be uploaded to Mixbook. All you need to do is upload a picture to Mixbook, choose what type of product you want to create, customize it, then place your order.
If you have children, the holidays can feel like a stressful time where you’re expected to perform at a certain level. The good news is, most people aren’t expecting a ton out of you for the holidays, so anything you do is just fine. As much as you try to buy every gift on the list and make the perfect dinner for your guests, keep in mind that they’ll be happy to spend time with you regardless. The holiday season is about spending time with people we love, so nobody is going to fault you if you don’t have quite enough money for prime rib this year.
How do you make it through the busy holiday season in one piece? If you have any tips or fun ideas you’d like to share with us, feel free to leave a comment below—we’d love to hear what keeps you hustling during the holiday season.
Starting your own business is a big risk, so finding any level of success is an achievement. However, here are 10 ways to encourage your business to grow even further.
Open another location
Once your business starts to find success, you might find that one premises simply isn’t enough. Opening a second location is a sure sign that your business has well and truly found its feet, but of course it isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. Make sure you budget clearly, plan ahead with a business plan and choose a location that’s best for your business overall, not just convenient for you. Companies like Glenhawk provide commercial bridging loans which can give you the means to open a second location quickly.
Offer your business as a franchise
If you’re keen to franchise, be sure to start networking within the franchising community and find a good attorney and mentor to help you through the process. You need to be open to growing and expanding your vision, but you should also keep your key goal in focus at all times.
License your product
By licensing, you can receive upfront royalties from the use and sale of your product if it’s successful. It also minimises your risk and is relatively low cost. Make sure to take your time and do your research when finding a licensing partner.
Form an alliance
Align yourself with a similar type of business, as this can be a powerful way of expanding quickly and effectively. It’s important to look at the bigger picture, as for some businesses the idea of shelling out commissions for the sake of an alliance can be unappealing, but aligning effectively can open your business up to a much wider audience.
Diversifying is an excellent strategy for growth as it allows you to acquire multiple streams of income and means you always have something to fall back on. Some of the most popular forms of diversification can include selling complementary products and services, importing or exporting your or others’ products, becoming a paid speaker or columnist, and teaching adult education or other classes.
Target other markets
If you have already mastered your own industry, it is always worth looking into expanding to other areas which you could make a mark in. Every market has several other markets which complement it, so be smart in your choices and consider a wider horizon. Just make sure you aren’t spreading your company too thin.
Win a government contract
One of the best ways for small businesses to grow is to have the government as a customer, so explore the option of working with your local offices. This can earn your business both publicity and respect, depending on who you find who might be interested. It might seem like a lot of work, but it can really be worth it.
Merge with or buy another business
If your company isn’t performing as well as you would like but you don’t want to give up on it completely, you could consider merging with a similar business. This can give you a new level of success, as well as a new lease of life. Alternatively, if you are really reaching new heights with your business, you always have the option of buying out competitors.
Make your business global
Most businesses start off as local. After some time, you might expand to be a national company, so the logical next step after this is to take your business overseas. You’ll need a lot of support and a firm knowledge of foreign markets, but it can be very rewarding.
The internet has quickly taken over all of our daily lives, including the way most businesses are run, so it makes sense to use this to your advantage. Boost your social media presence and create a lot of online content to get you noticed on the web.
Buying a franchise comes with tons of risks. You are spending a considerable amount of money without a guarantee that your endeavour will be successful. Just like any other business, there is always a risk involved. The key is how you minimise the risks and maximise the profits. These are some of the most useful tips to help you succeed with new franchises.
Improve your management skills
You are not only a franchise holder, but you are also a team leader. You need to practise how to manage your team since each member will have a role to play in making the franchise successful. You will train how to be a manager, but you will also learn how to do everyone’s part. It helps you manage them better if you prepare yourself before the opening of the business. You need to practise other business skills as well like accounting, business taxation, budgeting, advertising, and many others. These skills will all play an essential role in the success of your business.
Follow the business model
You bought this franchise because you believe in it. You see its potential of succeeding in your area because it has a proven track record. It means that you need to follow the business model if you want to succeed. There is nothing wrong in asking other franchisees for help, but you should try to stick to the tested and proven model given by the franchisor.
Create a business plan
Of course, you need to modify the plan based on what you think would be suitable for your local market. Remember though that the extent to which you can make modifications depends on your franchisor. You need to ask in advance or read the terms and conditions before coming up with the final business plan.
Study the competition
Just like any other business, you need to know how you can compete with existing companies. You should take the time to study the market, and why consumers choose your competitors. It will help you come up with a plan on how to take over the market, or at least get a share of it.
Don’t stop marketing
The good thing about franchising is that marketing is mainly the job of the headquarters. They will come up with national ads, and your business also benefits from them. Your local market might need different ads to capture their attention. Therefore, you should come up with your local marketing plans. You can put up posters or distribute brochures to help boost the popularity of your business locally.
Don’t keep borrowing money
You will spend a massive amount of money to buy the franchise. You will also have other operational costs to consider. Make sure that you prepare for all these expenses. Stop getting more loans until you can start paying your previous loans, or until your business starts to gain income.
Hopefully, these tips will help you succeed as a business owner. Being a franchisee comes with a huge responsibility, but you can do it if you work hard.
Breckenridge is a mining town in the picturesque Rocky Mountains of Colorado. It is locally known as Breck and is home to Colorado’s largest historic district. There are numerous historic landmarks and buildings that can be seen throughout the town. And yes, the majority of the visitors gather to the town for the world-class skiing at the Breckenridge Ski Resort. Others come to stroll around and shop in the historical establishments lining Main Street. If you’re looking for a place to spend your entire vacation in this atmospheric town, there are various Breckenridge cabin rentals for you choose from which is inclusive of all of the amenities that you’ve been hoping for.
Here are the best things to do to make the most out of your entire stay in Colorado:
The main street of Breckenridge still looks similar to the way it is a hundred years ago. Numerous buildings are still there and the facades of these will surely remind visitors during the time when Breckenridge was part of the Wild West mining rush. The Historic Main Street Breckenridge features more than 200 establishments which sell a variety of items especially those locally made or handmade products. Several ski shops offer equipment rentals for those who would like to take the nearby ski slopes. And of course, there are plenty of opportunities for shopping here from the apparel, souvenir, food and general merchandise.
Breckenridge Ski Resort
It is an alpine ski resort that is located west of the Continental Divide. It is one of the visited ski resorts in Colorado and the park spreads across five peaks towards the southern Tenmile Range. Both the peaks and ski terrain is accessible by 31 lifts, it includes four high-speed six-seaters. It also hosts the Winter Dew Tour every year which known as the premier action sports tour wherein numerous world’s top action sports athletes are invited. Don’t worry, if you want to try it, you can enroll yourself to ski and ride school for beginners and for those experienced skiers and snowboarders, you can pick the guided back-country tour.
Boreas Pass Road
Boreas Pass Road is a high mountain pass situated 11,481 feet above sea level along the Continental Divide. It is historically known as the Breckenridge Pass which also served as a course for prospectors who crossed into the area during Colorado’s gold rush. Boreas Pass was later used as a railroad pass and today, it offers a seasonal scenic drive. Visitors can still see the remains of the Boreas Station that once nestled at the top of the pass. The pass is popular among mountain bikes. The Section House is being used as the base for winter sports enthusiasts.
It is the second oldest peak in the park. The bottom half of the peak is dedicated as a learning area for beginners, while the upper level is for intermediate level. On the north face of Peak 9, pointing on the side that faces Peak 8, is an area known as the North Chutes. The North Chutes is suitable for those advanced skiers. On Peak 9, there are numerous chairlifts that allow you to access the ski terrain and it also features various restaurants for those who need to recharge after a hard day on the slopes. It surely caters for all type of skier and boarder. A day in the Peak 9 is a day well spent on the mountain at Breckenridge.
McCullough Gulch Trail
It is a 2.9-mile trail that’s located near Blue River in the White River National Forest. This trail has an elevation change of 951 feet and is pet-friendly, no doubt that it is a popular place to walk your dog. The trail is best used during warmer months, specifically from April to October. During winter seasons, it is where skiers flock. It also features a lake as you travel out and back along the same path where you’ll also be stunned by the splendid view which includes birds, waterfalls, alpine forest, and wildflowers.
Peak 8 Fun Park
It is known as the summer adventure destination that is accessed by a scenic gondola ride going up to the peak. Other activities that are being offered in the area are elevated roller coaster track which is locally known as the Breckenridge Gold Runner Coaster, three alpine slide courses, a climbing wall, a bounce house, and a bungee trampoline. On-site, there is also a largest human size maze in the state and a spectacular miniature golf course. Calling all the mountain bikers, you can haul your bikes up to the top and enjoy an enthralling ride back down. Breckenridge’s Peak 8 Park also has in store for young adventurers. There are a Kids Zip Line and Ropes Course that will probably give the young ones an adrenaline-pumping thrill. This park is open from June to September.
Breckenridge Heritage Alliance
It is a non-profit organization established with the mission of preserving the history and heritage of Breckenridge. They maintain numerous sites with historical significance and provide a variety of tours of the area like walking and hiking tours. Tour options include historic walking tours, holiday tea tours, saloon tours, haunted tours and many more. The Ski through History Tour is also available. Another tour, the Brexpedition tour is intended to give visitors an overview of Breckenridge in totality.
Good Times Adventures, Breckenridge, Colorado
It is a long-standing tour company which offers dog sledding and snowmobiling tours near downtown Breckenridge. For beginners, it is advisable to take the snowmobile trips while they also offer a fun time for experts on the area’s various levels of trails. There is a dedicated open practice area for visitors to get comfortable with the snowmobile. The trips also include the techniques and leadership of experienced tour guides.
The Dog sledding tours will sure give you the opportunity to drive a team of Siberian huskies along the surrounding wilderness. It also offers an enthralling way to explore and see the beautiful scenery of the area.
Breckenridge Nordic Center
It is a cross-country skiing and snowshoeing destination which features more than 1, 400 acres of groomed trails. For those experienced visitors, you can directly purchase a trail pass to have an access to the trails. There’s a center which offers gear for rent and if you like you can also purchase it or bring your own if you already have it. And for those beginners, the center also offers numerous cross-country ski and skate ski lessons in a group, semi-private or in private type. If you want, you can participate in a guided snowshoeing tour. Looking for a place to recharge? Breckenridge Nordic Center offers sumptuous homemade food and hot and cold beverages in its restaurants.
Broken Compass Brewery & Tap House
It has a welcoming ambiance and the chill vibe that you’ve been asking for. The brewhouse serves only beer although the top house stocks several classic flavors of beer like Helles and the Irish Red. Apart from that they also serve Chocolate Coffee Stout and a Coconut Porter that are surely a must-try when visiting the area. Those really get rave reviews.
If you’re a self-confessed party animal and are in need of a list of must-visit party spots, simply continue reading to discover the best party spots in the world! Where you’ll be able to dance with tourists and locals from countless countries.
The Best Party Spots in the World:
- Mykonos, Greece
While Greece boasts endless picturesque islands, if you’re looking to visit Greece’s number one party spot, you should start planning a trip to Mykonos. Which happens to be one of the most stunning Greek islands as well as the hottest party spot in Greece.
If you visit Mykonos, you won’t have to wait until the sun goes down in order to party as beach parties start on Mykonos’ most popular beaches in the afternoon and continue all night. As an added bonus Mykonos also boasts plenty of 24-hour restaurants, so if you find yourself hungry after hours of dancing, you won’t have any trouble finding a suitable restaurant.
- Tel Aviv, Israel
If you’re looking to get off the beaten tourist track and to discover one of the world’s most underrated party spots, it’s well worth booking a flight to Tel Aviv, Israel. Tel Aviv is known as the city which never sleeps and boasts a multitude of vibrant clubs. In fact, Tel Aviv even boasts a whole district of modern nightclubs, where you’ll be able to dance until the sun comes up.
- Manchester, England
You may be surprised to learn that each weekend around 120,000 out of town visitors travel to Manchester in order to party. So if you’re keen to party with thousands of amped-up clubbers, Manchester may be just your cup of tea. Examples of some of the genres of music which are typically played in Manchester include hip-hop and house music.
However, Manchester is also known for attracting a wide variety of live bands, so if you prefer live gigs to listening to a DJ spin tracks, you’ll love Manchester’s party scene.
- Amsterdam, the Netherlands
If you’d love to tick attending a 24-hour party of your bucket list, make sure to add a trip to Amsterdam to your bucket list. In fact, many of Amsterdam’s hottest dance clubs don’t open their doors till midnight. So it pays to get a few hours shut-eye in the evening, before glamming up for a night out on the town, that you’ll never forget. In order to find the city’s hottest dance clubs make sure to make your way to Rembrandtplein, which is Amsterdam’s dedicated party district.
- Las Vegas, the USA
Whether your idea of a great time includes winning big at a world-class casino or by using a Party Casino Bonus Code, catching a variety of live shows or clubbing at a nightclub, you’ll be sure to fall in love with Sin City. Which is also known as the city which never sleeps!
So what are you waiting for? The world’s hottest party spots are waiting to be explored. Simply choose the spot listed above which excites you the most and start planning your next party focused vacation!
Holidaying abroad can be an expensive business, often leading to many people staying at home rather than splashing out.
However, there are plenty of destinations all over the world where you can visit without breaking the bank.
You can also save plenty of money by avoiding the high season, booking late and travelling in large groups. Make sure you use price comparison websites and sign up for email alerts to get the very best deals from travel companies.
Read on to find out more about our top four budget travel destinations.
Many of the main tourist areas in Portugal are expensive, but think outside of the box and you can still enjoy a cheap holiday there.
The old university town of Coimbra and second city, Porto, offer a varied tourist experience and staying away from the larger resorts in Portugal can really help to boost your spending power.
With superb golf courses, lots of water sports and brilliant weather, Portugal is also an excellent choice for a winter sun holiday too.
Gorgeous beaches and desert canyons can make for a varied trip, and it all come with the added bonus of being super cheap.
A basic room can cost as little as £15 a night, but using the Bonuses at SugarHouse before travelling can help to boost your spending power during your holiday.
Beach towns like Tulum, Puerto Escondido, Zihuatanejo and Mazatlan offer tremendous value for money, making Mexico a great destination if you only have a limited budget.
The Amazon rainforest, the start of the Andes and both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts are close to Colombia, making it the ideal destination for an action-packed holiday.
With exchange rates between the Colombian peso and European currencies now favourable, it is much cheaper to travel there than just a few years ago.
Colombia boasts superb culture, wonderful history and excellent cuisine, making it one of the most interesting places in the world to visit.
Nicaragua is Central America’s largest country, but its tourism industry is yet to fully develop.
Volcanic landscapes, colonial architecture and sensational beaches offer a stunning backdrop to a holiday that can be a life-changing experience.
The clear waters of the Corn Islands are great for snorkelling, while surfers will love the big barrels of Rivas.
All the best beaches in Nicaragua are free of development, so you can enjoy them just as nature intended.
Cycling has enjoyed a massive boom in popularity in recent years, with many people inspired to take up the activity after witnessing the exploits of Great Britain’s numerous successful Olympic athletes.
Amateur cyclists are able to access hundreds of sportive events that follow a pre-set route and these are a great way to see Britain at its best.
Read on for our top four recommendations of cycling events worth checking out this summer.
Isle of Wight Randonnee – Sunday, May 6 – Isle of Wight
Ride on the roads that the Lonely Planet called ‘the best place in the world to cycle‘.
This route can be followed all year round thanks to the blue and white signs at key junctions, but the event itself provides checkpoints, feed stations and plenty of other riders.
The event sees riders heading in a clockwise direction around the Isle of Wight.
A choice of two distances ñ 55km and the full 100km ñ should appeal to a wide range of riders, with route variation depending on start location and willingness to take on gravel tracks.
Lincoln Grand Prix Sportive – Saturday, May 12 – Lincoln and the Lincolnshire lanes
A rolling route around the Lincolnshire countryside carries a sharp sting in its tail in the form of Michaelgate.
The cobbled climb, which tops out at over 20 percent, will catch out anyone who hasn’t kept enough in the tank over the rest of the ride.
Stick around to watch the best domestic professional riders take on the Lincoln Grand Prix races. If their efforts inspire you, use the Casino Offer from Virgin to boost your budget to invest in a brand new bicycle.
Wiggle County Durham Dynamo – Sunday, May 13 – Darlington, County Durham
This ride takes cyclists from Darlington into the countryside of County Durham. As the route reaches the North Pennines, riders will be tested by the climbs, but also rewarded with the views.
A recent addition to the calendar, this sportive is ideal for anyone wanting to explore this fantastic part of the country, and is worth the journey for those from further afield.
Sodbury Sportive – Sunday, August 5 – Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire
The Saddleback Sodbury Sportive starts and finishes in Chipping Sodbury, near Yate.
A friendly and welcoming event run by the local Rotary Club and staffed entirely by volunteers, this is a fantastic sportive in a stunning part of the world.
The route is made all the better by marked Strava segments which add a hint of competitiveness to the ride.
With homemade sandwiches at the feed stations and a hot meal for every rider at the finish, this an all-round great sportive.
Planning a wedding is a lot of work and effort, and everyone strives for perfection on their important day. One really big and important aspect is the correct venue. Some strive for a beautiful countryside landscape, and others just require that the venue can house their huge guest list. Below, you will find some of the most beautiful and elegant places in Hertfordshire for a wedding.
- Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club
The Hanbury Manor is located a little outside of London. The Jacobean styled manor is very picturesque, and it sits on 200 sprawling acres of land, which will certainly give you a very private wedding and that countryside aura. The maximum capacity is 160 people; therefore, it is not the best option if you are having a very large wedding. Nevertheless, it’s very quaint and is the perfect spot for a summer wedding.
- Ashridge House
This absolutely stunning Neo-Gothic mansion is the perfect location for a beautiful classical wedding, and it is located only 30 miles outside of London. It is also accessible by train, which is perfect for those guests who don’t own a car. Their maximum catering capacity is 100 people, so it is perfect for smaller weddings. The building is also historical as it was once the royal residence of King Henry VIII and Queen Victoria, which will certainly add royal flair to your wedding.
- Tewin Bury Farm Hotel
The word “farm” in the name of this hotel may put you off of it, but in fact, it is a beautiful 4-star hotel located in the countryside. This is an especially good venue if you are having a countryside themed wedding as the original farm buildings have been converted into the hotel. Its maximum capacity is 500 people which means it is also perfect for a very big wedding. It is one of the more unique party venues Hertfordshire has to offer; it has a whopping 700 acres of surrounding land which includes 3 meadows. This makes it the absolute ideal location for a big wedding while still being very private.
- Pendley Manor Hotel
Pendley Manor is located 40 minutes outside of London, which makes it a bit further than the previously mentioned places. It has a maximum capacity of 250 people, and as it is a bit further away, so it might be a good idea to stay the night there. The hotel has 72 bedrooms, and it provides its guests access to an indoor pool, spa baths, saunas, and a steam room – the perfect way to relax in the morning before departing for your honeymoon.
There are many more beautiful venues in Hertfordshire, and it is possible to view all of them on venuefinder.com. Whether you are planning on having a big wedding or a smaller one, you will definitely find something that suits your purpose. Hertfordshire is good in terms of its location as most of its venues are not too far outside of London while still providing a more isolated and countryside feel to the occasion.
A good oven is a great investment as no proper kitchen can be found without one. It’s very important to be aware of the types of ovens because when it comes to purchasing one, you want it to fulfil your needs the way you want to. If you purchased the wrong one, then money might be wasted, so careful reading and research is a must.
Gas is one of the two main types of energy sources when it comes to ovens – the other being electric. Gas ovens are also a bit more expensive than their electric counterparts, but in the long run, you’ll probably save that money in energy costs. However, if you don’t already have a gas hook-up, then you definitely have to get one installed, and that’s a separate cost to the oven. Also, some gas ovens tend to have hotspots and uneven heating. If you like baking, or have problems with food browning, then you should do a bit more extra research on which type of oven you’ll need.
This type is the one that’s most commonly produced and used in the world today. While they may be cheaper than most gas ovens, they tend to use more energy, so there’ll be a bigger cost in the long run. Electric ovens have heating elements on the inside of the oven, and using it is much more streamlined and convenient. Most, if not all, of the time, you’ll have plenty of options on how to cook with, simply by the press of a button. They’re also quite easier to clean.
Conventional vs. Convection
If you’ve made up your mind on an energy source, then you’ll need to think about whether you want the oven built in with a fan or not. Traditional ones – or conventional – don’t have fans as the air around the food is heated to cook it. Convectional, on the other hand, has fans that circulate the air, and that helps with faster and more even cooking.
Another very used element when it comes to ovens is the steam add-on. As its name implies, it uses steam to cook the food, and overall, it’s much healthier because very few of the nutrients are lost. But it does little to add texture and colour, so crispy food will be out of the question with this type of oven.
Cleaning the oven can be a very tedious job, so some ovens lock themselves in until they reach 500 °C. Then all the food inside turns to ash, so all that’s left is easy to sweep.
Both types of ovens are fairly easy to repair, as they’re designed to be assembled and disassembled quickly. Also, spare parts like an oven light bulb can be fairly easy to find to replace. You can check the Spares2You website for more spare parts of any variety.
The proper oven can make all the difference. Since all of us need food, properly cooked food is very important. When purchasing an oven, make sure to get the type that’s just right for you.