Why: Living with less doesn't mean you have to do away with vacations or trips, while trying to save every penny that you can. Living with less, means making room for MORE in life - such as traveling, road trips, romantic getaways on the beach, you get the drift. Below are numerous ways in which you can save a few bucks the next time you travel. By all means this list is not exhaustive - these are just a few ideas you may need reminders of or may have not thought about before.
1. Look at one-way tickets and round trip - it's a toss up as to which one is always cheaper - keep your eye out for both.
2. Be flexible (if possible) with your travel dates - some days are cheaper to fly on than others (especially around the holidays)
3. Some websites allow you to receive email notifications when the price goes down.
4. It pays to keep checking prices - airline rates fluctuate often, so keeping your eyes open is often beneficial.
5. Bring food along - don't get suck paying $9.00 for a dried-out sandwich and $3.00 for a bottle of water. Bring granola bars, fruit (if not traveling internationally), or put food in ziplock bags. Take an empty water bottle with you and fill it up after you go through security.
6. Connecting flights often bring the price down, if you have the time and want to save some money.
7. Airlines are starting to charge for luggage - try to fit all of your belonging in a carry on! Or share a suitcase with the person you are traveling with.
8. Before you board, ask if the exit row seats are available - you'd be surprised at how often they are and for no extra charge.
9. Consider booking flights, hotel, and car rental in one (the bundle).
1. Bring a cooler of food - such as milk and cereal, bagels and cream cheese, fruit, lunch meat, bread, etc. so that you do not have to pay for breakfast and lunch. Or consider eating a bigger lunch (save the leftovers) since lunch prices are usually much cheaper than dinner prices.
2. Check hotel prices for the next town over - bigger cities sometimes may have higher hotel rates. Check prices in towns within a 15 minute radius. You may be surprised at what you find.
3. If you are staying somewhere for a week, considering renting a home instead of a hotel. Vacation homes can often be comparable to a hotel; plus, you have the option of making your own food, which will save you money in the end. The extra space is a welcomed plus too.
4. Don't book the first hotel you research - shop around. Hotwire.com can often offer unbeatable prices.
5. Continental breakfasts are not always "cheaper." Don't choose a hotel based on their breakfast - the extra cost per night might not be worth the breakfast.

We all love to travel and have our leisure weekends, trying to escape the mundane, concrete jungles but as you are probably already aware... travel and even short getaways come at a price.
Many of those who love to travel can't live without it and will adjust their lives accordingly; however there are ways to help you to find cheap travel without having to give up the mortgage, or kids college fund.
As a former travel agent I've had the privilege of working with, and in some cases against other travel agents, product managers and those incredibly smart travellers that fly international two to three times a year.
I've picked up many little insider secrets that I learned and witnessed throughout my time as an agent and that could potentially help you save a fortune.
When it comes to saving on your flights the very first thing that you need to keep in mind are the dates you intend to depart and arrive back to your home country.
The departure from your country of origin is more a little important and has the greatest chance of saving you hundreds but the return home can also help you save some cash as well.
You should always be mindful of your departure date as this will determine the seasonality of your ticket, the return flight home can save you with the below techniques on aspects such as taxes, government charges, fuel costs etc.
Sometimes the departure date is set in stone and cannot be changed. It does happen, we can't always be flexible - maybe it's for a wedding, a funeral or some kind of event. If your departure date is in the high season, then perhaps a few days earlier it may drop to mid or even better, the low season. This alone has the potential to save you thousands.
In saying that however each and every destination fluctuates with their seasonality and are usually wrapped by their mid-season airfares just before and just after the high season.
So for example let's say you must travel to Berlin on a certain date. Berlin might be in high season, Frankfurt may be in mid season and Munich might be low season. In this example it would most likely be cheaper to fly to Munich, which is in low season and get the train or even a domestic flight with Air Berlin across. The difference in the high and low seasons could potentially be a lot cheaper than flying an international airline carrier to Berlin in the high season.
Adding even more to the seasonality of airfares is that not all airlines share the exact same seasonality. It is worth your while to look into the seasonality dates over a few different airlines.
While the airline you most preferred may be in high season, going with the 2nd or 3rd choice of airline may already be in low or mid seasons. So check it out as many different airlines that you are willing to travel with.
As mentioned earlier, the departure date is the deciding factor of finding cheap flights using the seasonality. Some airfares are 30 days, 90 days, a year or whatever but the return date does not influence the seasonality of the airfare.
The lesson here in this article is basically to be flexible - it is the best and sure way of how to find cheap flights. Keeping in mind the departure dates seasonality, the routing, the stop over countries and how many people are already booked on the flight will determine your overall price.
The more flexible you are with dates, stop over's and airlines you can be the more options that would naturally open up. Just try it for yourself and you will soon see that not all airlines are created equal.

If you're travelling on a limited budget whether it is to Dubai or another travel destination the planning you do before leaving home is just as important as what you do once you get to your travel destination. Make sure you have considered carefully which travel & leisure destination to pick. Gather as many travel destination tips as you can from travel & tourism sites online. For example in 2013 Toronto, Turkey and Ko Phi Phi in Thailand are all good choices for those on a tight travel budget. Make sure you have done your research and looked into all the travel & tourism options available.
Travel & Tourism Transport On A Limited Budget 
If you're planning on flying to your travel destination then look out for special deals online and remember that booking at the last minute or booking too early is always more expensive. The best time to book is about three weeks before you fly. If you're going to be using rail travels look into tickets which give you multiple journeys or discount tickets like the Eurorail Pass if your travel & leisure destination is in Europe. If you'll be using buses to get around, each city has its own multi-ride bus ticket. In the USA you can use one of the long distance bus companies like Megabus and Greyhound, both of which offer very low cost tickets. Car rental is usually not a good budget option if you're staying in one city. If you're planning to spend your vacation exploring the rural areas, driving around a whole country or visiting places outside the cities (like the desert attractions outside of Dubai city center) then a rental car may be a practical option.
Where To Stay On A Limited Travel & Leisure Budget
Although the obvious destination tips for travel & tourism low cost accommodation is to stay in hostels there are other options. You can share a room in a nice hotel with a friend to split costs; look out for hotel deals on travel & leisure sites; stay in a Zimmer/bed & breakfast or stay further out of the city center where accommodation prices are a lot cheaper. There are hotel deals like "third night free" which can work out to be cheaper than 3 nights in a cheaper hotel. You'll find a good quality inn or guesthouse will be more pleasant than a 2 star hotel. As a general travel destination tip, hotel accommodation around the city train station is usually cheaper than staying in the city center. Even in travel destinations like Dubai you can find reasonable accommodation if you look in the right places. On what to do in Dubai check out Internet travel forums for tips from other travellers or people in the travel & tourism industry.
Travel & Leisure Attractions On A Limited Budget
You'll find that most museums and some other travel & tourism attractions have "free days", for example in the evening one day a week or on the last Sunday of each month. Plan your trip around these free days. Make sure you're eligible for any discounts (according to your age for example). Buy multi-attraction tickets which get you discounts for several travel & leisure attractions. Even in the most expensive travel destinations there are multi-attraction tickets for thrifty travellers.

Picture this; Molly is a vibrant business coach who has enjoyed a reign of success in her coaching business for many years. She could do her job on auto-pilot, and most days, that's exactly what she does. She enjoys the income and freedom her professional success allows, and happily spends her days "doing what she's always done."

Eventually, however, she starts to notice a big drop in both clients and sales. While she is stumped about the reason for the sudden drop, she does nothing to correct the problem and opts for a non-proactive "let's just wait and see" attitude. It doesn't take long before Molly's once successful coaching business is in dire straits.

It's natural for our businesses and our client's businesses to morph and change over time; so when we are busy "doing what we've always been doing," we often miss the boat and fail to see opportunities and trends that will help our businesses continue to grow in a positive manner rather than getting stuck, stale and off track. Business professionals who are in a position of complacency tend to take the biggest hit when changes in life or economy occur. All entrepreneurs and business owners need to continually adapt, evolve, and re-evaluate. Roll with the punches, so to speak. They need to adjust, regroup and grow... or get left in the dust.

It's natural for businesses to morph and change over time. They need to adjust, regroup and grow, or get left in the dust.
Molly's main issue was that she started taking her once loyal client base for granted and ignored the need for change in her professional life and business. After years of coaching one-on-one from behind a computer screen, and never really making the effort to network or become visible in the social media world, or support her business by attending offline events relevant to her target market or industry, she found herself becoming invisible; lost in the noise and hustle of coaches who offer similar services. The difference was that her competitors were the ones willing to be seen and heard online, as well as hustle and engage face-to-face with potential new clients. Molly had become as elusive as Bigfoot. Her clients knew she was "out there somewhere," but the sightings were few and far between. Soon her clients succumbed to the lure of something bigger and better... elsewhere.

Does Your Coaching Business Have Gaps?

Not unlike Molly's, most businesses have "gaps." Gaps are the areas or weak spots in your overall business plan for success that have been overlooked or neglected. Maybe your "gap" is a lack of social media presence and powerful relationships with your clients, or like in Molly's case, both social media and the opportunity to actually be seen and physically accessible not only to potential new clients, but to her existing ones. The lesson to be learned here is; when you have gaps of any kind in your business, you are opening a door and making it easy for the competition to slide right on in.

So, what are the gaps, or loopholes, in your brand or business? Is there room for improvement? Are there things you could be doing to excite your clients and solidify relationships? Now is the time to identify your gaps and what you need to do to change with the times. If your "gaps" are areas caused by limited time and knowledge to effectively maintain and grow your business, take the necessary steps to get the help you need to close up those loopholes ASAP.

There are times when we all have to take a step back and take stock of what we are doing and where our businesses are going (or not going). Sometimes life events force us to change quickly, while some changes are more gradual. Some changes are good, some are bad. But in the long run, change should always challenge us and make us take a closer look at our businesses in a new light.

Where are the "gaps" in your business; and what can you do to close them?

Terry L. Green, President of BizEase Support Solutions, and her team of qualified online support specialists, provide seamless online marketing implementation, technology and administrative support solutions to speakers and business coaches worldwide.

This week I have seen a common theme running through various Facebook groups for VAs.

Well, I see it quite often but for some reason this week it really became noticeable on several groups.

It's about personal versus business. The whole concept.

One of the things I have learned in my business life is that most men handle business decisions VERY differently than most women do.

Most men treat their business like a business. They make decisions for the good of the business, not because they think people will like them better or because they think that people will judge them for making a hard decision.

Most women tend to treat their business as their pet project, or even as extension of their very personality (My business is ME). They are passionate and driven around the very thought of having created their business.

So what? You are saying. I hear you...

But here's the thing. Business is business. It's not personal.

It can be personal to you. It is your ideas, your creativity, your decision making - that all drive your business.

In these groups I see women getting offended if someone doesn't like their business practices: a VA commented in a VA group that a potential client friended her on Facebook and then the client noticed she was expecting a baby, and told her she would prefer to work with someone else since the VA would be too busy soon. Some group members pointed out that the VA should be careful using her personal profile for business, due to Facebook TOS. The VA was wholly offended, was rude to those who suggested it, and left the group. She was also offended by the client saying she would find help elsewhere. It's fine to be upset about these things, but don't let them affect your business, is all I'm saying. It's not personal, it's business!

I have seen women respond to posts about annoying clients with cheek and verve. Another VA had a problem with a client who wanted to lower his retainer for several months because he had no money to pay her. She got spanked by the VAs in the group for putting all of her eggs in one basket. But again, that wasn't the issue. The VA was asking for business help. The answer should have been how to put boundaries and policies in place. Using your personal opinion to help someone is also taking things personally. By responding as such, you are projecting your opinion on the other person's business, which is not necessary. It's not personal, it's business!

I also see women responding to others' bad customer service stories with an 'I'll never shop there because of your experience, and I'll tell everyone else not to either!' Well whoever would not purchase something from a business owner because of someone else's personal experience has not made a sound business decision at all. To me, it looks silly and very unprofessional to rant and rave on social media for no good reason - about anything! These customer service stories make me laugh out loud most of the time. You weren't there! Use your own experiences to make your own decisions! It's not personal, it's business!

I'm not saying there can't be solidarity, but seriously... step back and take the emotion out of it! Make good, sound business decisions based on fact and logic.

Personal feelings hardly get in the way where men make decisions. I know they aren't as evolved as women LOL but really if you want to fly in business, the cattiness has to be put aside. The personal hurt and anguish needs to be kept in check. And the decisions you need to make need to have pros and cons weighed for them to be effective.

Make good decisions, based on what you want in your business. Stand by those decisions because they are made with your head, not your heart. Get input where you need it but make sure the input you are asking for isn't just from your best friend.

And the sooner you adopt this practice, the more success you will see for yourself.


Tracey D'Aviero is a veteran VA and Founder of Your VA Mentor. Tracey trains and mentors professional women and men who are brand new to the VA industry or who have been struggling to make their business successful. Her mission is to educate professionals on how to build and grow successful and profitable virtual businesses in the VA industry by implementing systems and smart principles. To get information about Tracey's upcoming programs and free resources, 
Here's a tip to help you make the most of your marketing plan/writing schedule for the week.

This tip is simple, and if you follow it, you'll see results fairly quickly. Here it is.

Every day, look at your marketing plan and - Do the most important stuff FIRST!

So What is the Important Stuff?

The important stuff is the stuff that has the potential to bring in some immediate (or nearly immediate) income! It also has the potential to create a list of steady clients and customers for you.

It's stuff like searching online job boards every morning with the intention of finding at least three jobs to apply for, then applying for those three jobs right away.

It's stuff like writing and submitting queries to publications you wish to write for. Sending out a single query every now and then won't cut it. You need to be constantly creating new queries and getting them out to editors, publishers, etc. - so work on a new query every morning (or at least once a week) BEFORE you post to your blog or visit other blogs to make comments.

The important stuff also includes sending out an LOI (letter of introduction) to several businesses you would like to have as clients or editors you would like to work with. Again, this activity gives you a much better change of attracting immediate clients and assignments than say writing a blog post does, so make sure this activity has priority on your daily to-do list.

What to Do Next

Once you've done the most important stuff FIRST each day, then move on to creating new content for your site(s). Write a blog post or create new articles for your newsletter. Also, take time to create more of your own products to sell and make sure you have a plan for marketing these products.

Finally, move on to the social networking stuff on your plan. Stuff like tweeting, posting to Facebook, or reading other blogs and leaving comments. These items are important, too. But they are NOT the MOST important items on your plan because more than likely they won't produce immediate income.

Once you begin to do the important stuff first - on a regular basis - you'll start to see your freelancing income double, maybe even triple. You'll also be more systematic in the way you market your business, and that will help you be more successful, too.

Try it!
Whether you are out of your office for a vacation, business trip, local shopping, visits with family or friends, or going for a walk around the block, do you notice ideas often surface that you struggle to intentionally access when sitting in front of your computer for a predefined writing session? If so, you are not alone in that experience. What do you do to capture the ideas, much less to honor them?

There is a rhythm, a flow that occurs when you are in motion and in a different environment. It's not uncommon to hear someone comment about getting some of their best ideas in the shower or in the middle of the night when sleeping. Maybe you have said such things yourself.

While there are certainly physiological and psychological reasons this happens, take a practical and simple approach to make the most of all of that. You may think you'll remember it later. Even if you do, why not make it easy to open up space for more ideas to come to mind by recording the current idea now rather than risking it evaporating or struggling to remember it later?

Yes, your bite size brilliance comes to mind when you are out and about physically, mentally, or both. Accept that for what it is - brilliance that warrants your attention. Then capture it -- now.

1. Capture the raw unpolished seed of the idea the soonest moment you can. All you need is just enough so it will trigger your thinking later when you are ready to refine and embellish it.

2. Use whatever method or methods that are immediately available to you. That can be anything from recording the tidbit by voice or as a text or a note on your smart phone to jotting something down on a torn snippet of paper in your purse or pocket.

3. Have hard copy and digital recording methods easily accessible so you don't have to hunt for something when an idea comes to mind. A writing instrument and a small pad of paper in each room of your home or office (yes EACH room), in your car, in your back pack, or anything else you carry becomes an ideal back-up if your cell phone ran out of battery power or is otherwise unavailable.

4. Centralize the random ideas into a folder on your computer as soon as possible.The audio messages need to be transcribed so you can shape and manage all the information from your various sources when you're ready.

5. Shape the information into how-to tips and then into categories. You are well on the way to finishing a document that can be sold, shared, or both. An introduction, some information about your background, and contact information for reaching you complete the manuscript.

ACTION - Notice the wealth of ideas that come to you when you are not sitting at your desk. Move around, especially when you are feeling stuck, bored, or uninspired. Regardless of your power of concentration, your innate level of diligence, or even a deadline you may be on, you will accomplish more by mixing things up in your physical and psychological environment.

© 2015

Paulette Ensign, Tips Products International Founder, never dreamed of selling a million+ copies of her 16-page tips booklet 110 Ideas for Organizing Your Business Life, much less in four languages and various formats without a penny on advertising. She's made a handsome living and cross-country move from New York to San Diego recycling those same 3500 words since 1991. With over forty years' experience worldwide with small businesses, corporations, and professional associations in numerous industries, she and her cat live a mile from the beach, keeping them both young at heart. 

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