Five Secrets To Scoring Last Minute Hotel Deals

In a discussion about secrets and how they pertain to the travel industry, it is no secret that everyone wants to save money wherever they can. This is certainly the case with the big push in the industry to help uncover major last-minute hotel deals. Finding a place to stay can, in many cases, make or break our trips. Whether it is for business or for pleasure, if you happen to have a bad experience with a hotel, it taints the trip. If you just also happened to have paid a bit too much for the bad experience, it really gets the blood boiling.

The travel industry, as a whole, has been changing for the better part of the last three decades. According to travel experts, there once was a time when much of the travel industry was regulated by travel agents & agencies. While they did great work & were a reflection of their times, today’s travel industry is all about many options, low-cost, flexibility, and choice. The consumer-driven travel industry has made it to where even travelers waiting until the last-minute can actually book some tremendous savings that may not have even been possible about ten years ago.

Here are a few secrets travel gurus recommend if you’re looking to score big savings at the last-minute when booking a hotel room:

1. Combination Deals – If you’re looking to stay in a hotel, you probably need to travel. While some trips can work best if you drive, many people would rather fly to their destination & rent a car to move around town. Some of the best savings you can get group all of these options into one travel package, greatly bringing down the price. You do have to be persistent in searching for these deals, but they are out there.

2. Travel Websites – Part of the persistence needed to find great combo deals includes checking websites that specialize in travel savings. These sites put together the best deals from all over the internet, thereby saving you time, and ultimately money. You can also sign-up for email reminders & alerts for new deals coming through.

3. App Mania – Whether you work with iOS or Android, you are certainly familiar with the growing number of apps available to do just about anything. Look a little further, and you’ll find apps that are specific to finding incredible hotel booking deals especially for the procrastinator in all of us. With the right combination of alerts & having our mobile devices handy, finding a last-minute deal just got really easy.

4. Midweek Travel – Most travelers try to book on the weekends, which means they contend with everyone else trying to book during the weekend. Hotel industry insiders agree that by shifting your booking to during the week, you’re very likely to secure some serious savings on your hotel booking simply because hotels want to be sure to fill their rooms even if at a discount.

5. Off-Season Travel – In the same vein of traveling midweek, choosing to travel during a time of year when others aren’t can make for some big savings. This goes not only for hotel room reservations, but for just about all other modes of travel. This can be huge for those looking at combo deals.

Last-minute hotel deals are easy to come by than you think, but it’s important to note that as much as you’re playing the procrastinator, you also need to think critically in terms of how best to get the deals you want. With all of the options you have, casting a wide net & using technology to your benefit may be the best approach to getting the savings you want next time you book a hotel.

Tips For A Smooth And Convenient Bus Charter Experience

A bus charter is a bus that has a professional driver to handle tours, trips, and other transportation needs. A bus charter can be one of the best choices you make when going for a group tour to a preferred destination. With transport from one attraction to another, you will have all the time to enjoy everything in your itinerary without worries. With a professional driver on board, you can relax and enjoy and even take better care of any children you may be taking with you for the trip. A bus charter also translates into no directions challenges because the drivers are conversant with their locations and all tour sites and routes.

Considering that bus charter are many in any given destination, you need to play your role in selecting one. You may need to start by choosing a company that you can trust with your traveling needs and then make a few considerations to select the perfect bus to hire for your tour.

Get details about the driver. A professional driver is definitely a plus for your tour but you should not assume that they know everything about the sites you intend to visit; they may only know how to get there and nothing more. If need be, consider getting a tour guide to handle your other needs in case the driver is not available for such. It helps to be sure beforehand to avoid disappointments.

Consider the size of the bus. A bus charter can be as large as to accommodate 60 passengers but there are definitely smaller sizes. The higher the passenger capacity the higher the rental rates may be. Look at the size options and select a bus that caters to your group for the tour. Everyone should be comfortable including children in the group so select a good size for everyone.

Check out the amenities included. When searching for the bus charter online, you will get very good photos of the buses. To ensure that you get what you see and need, confirm that the bus you have selected is represented perfectly. For instance, confirm that the leather reclining seats you see are the actual seats you get to enjoy. Apart from confirming the features, also consider the availability of amenities such as compact restroom, DVD player, air conditioning, TV monitors and any other that matters to you. If you want internet connectivity during the tour then enquire if that is available.

Ask about allowed driving length. Most bus charters will allow a specific length of time for the driver to be behind the wheel. The legal limit can range from area to area and you should be willing to be flexible in making adjustments to your tour itinerary so you do not end up with a fatigued driver before even getting back. You, however, want to choose company and driver with a considerable allowance so you enjoy the most from your tour in your selected destination.

Rent a Bus for Your Event

When you have several people to take part in the same event, it is a great idea to keep them all together! With a double decker bus hire, you are able to do that. It is going to enhance the fun and you won’t have the use of several different vehicles. Your guests will appreciate this thoughtful idea. It is a fun way to spend time with others and to see the sites.

The double decker bus hire means you only have to pay for one bus rather than two in order to account for all of your expected passengers. The cost of this upgraded model is going to be less expensive than two separate buses. The higher level view also gets great reviews so you can’t go wrong with it. At least check it out and see what it is all about!

Fresh Idea

Your guests are going to love this fresh idea! All they have to do is show up at the assigned time at the assigned location. Then they can be part of the fun. You can decide to make it a one pick up and one stop travel event. You can also set up more than one pick up and drop off location. This will influence cost but it can be more convenient for your guests.

You can also talk to the provider about hop on and off options. There may be events along the selected route that allow people to get off and look at something specific. The hard part with this is people have to pay close attention or they won’t be back to the bus when it is time for it to continue on. That can result in them being left behind or putting the schedule behind for all.

Often, you will find more people participate in a given event when transportation such as a double decker bus hire is provided for them. It allows them to relax and to enjoy what is going on around them. They don’t have to worry about their own transportation set up or trying to figure out where to go.

When there is sightseeing involved, it is hard to enjoy your surroundings when you also have to focus on driving. Being able to take it all in and even take photos as you move along is something they will appreciate.

Gather Information

The best way to get started with a double decker bus hire is to gather information. Decide when you will need the services and the route you need them to cover. Keep in mind there are certain routes that don’t allow buses. The provider can go over all of that will you and find a route that is approved for the bus that also fulfils your specific needs.

The number of people you will have on the bus also needs to be discussed. While a double decker bus hire can hold quite a few people, there are going to be limits. They can’t be too crowed for it to be safe. Ideally, there will be a seat for each person on the bus. The cost is going to depend on where you hire from and how long you plan to use it.

This all depends on your agenda and the amount of money you would like to spend on a double decker bus hire. It is a good idea to get your options and then to closely evaluate them. Doing so will allow you to get the best overall deal. Then you can just focus on the fun event that is ahead for all of you to enjoy!

Property Taxes Vs Real Estates Taxes – What’s the Difference

If you are new to the world of real estate, you might be a bit confused by all of the taxes that get assessed. To many people, the words ‘property taxes’ and ‘real estate taxes’ sound like they are the same, but there are some significant differences. Let’s take a look at them.

Real estate taxes are taxes based on the property’s assessed value. They are assessed on privately owned properties and funds are collected by local governments. Real estate taxes are the ones we often hear about that fund schools and pay for road repairs.

Property taxes have two sub-categories. There are certainly real property taxes that are real estate taxes, but there are also personal property taxes. Think of real property as something that cannot be moved. These are things like the house, an external garage, a storage building, or a barn.

Personal property is defined as things that can be moved, like furniture. These taxes are sometimes called excise taxes. Your car is also personal property. Believe it or not, but that licensing fee you pay for your car is a type of personal property tax. If you have a business that repairs items or sells merchandise, that inventory is personal property. In many cases, you are exempt from taxes on the first $50,000 or $100,000 of inventory, depending on your state.

If you own an RV, this is counted as personal property because it can be moved, even though you might be living in one full time. If it is sitting on land you own, you might have to pay real estate taxes on that land, but not in combination with the RV.

So what is the assessed value that these taxes are based on? Each local government has a department that looks at what the value of a property really is. They look at the structure and the land value itself. Sometimes they calculate these values separately and sometimes they are looked at together. The assessment rate is a lower percentage of the assessed value. For many areas, the assessment rate is 70% – 80%, which then reduces the value of the house, and therefore the amount that the tax rate is calculated against.

It should be noted that HOA or condo association fees are not the same as real estate or property taxes. Those fees go directly to the association to cover costs of common area repairs and maintenance.

Personal property taxes are assessed as a percentage of the value of the item. Each state and county will have their own regulations on how they calculate personal property taxes. Also, each state as well as the federal government allows for a tax deduction on personal income tax forms for real estate taxes that have been paid in a given year.

There are also exemptions that certain homeowners might qualify for that help reduce the tax burden. These exemptions are often for wounded military, the disabled, and the elderly.

Hopefully this has helped clear up the differences between property taxes and real estate taxes. Though they sometimes do overlap, they are also quite different. It just depends on what the item is that is being taxed.

Rental Income and Taxes

Have you been thinking of acquiring a rental property or renting part of your house for income? This article will go through the basics of renting property. For more information, visit the CRA web site and search for rental income.

Rental Income is when you rent property for someone else to use. Property is usually thought of as real estate, but it can be anything that can be rented like a car, snowmobile, power tools, computer and so on. The expectation is that there will be profit because if there is no money being made, there would not be any taxes owing. There would still be a requirement to report activity in most cases, but renting something generally assumes that money will be made over time.

Rental Income Versus Business Income

If you are renting a property only, this would be considered rental income. If you are providing a service that goes along with the property and charging for it, then this would be considered a business. The classic example to show the difference is a Bed and Breakfast. Since there are meals and laundry services that may be provided, this is considered a business as opposed to just having a place to stay on the property and doing your own cooking and cleaning. If there is an existing business and renting a property is a related part of it, then the renting would be considered part of the business. As an example, if you are making auto parts and you lease part of your space temporarily, this renting would be part of your auto parts business rather than rental income.

What Difference Does It Make If Your Activity Is A Business Or Not?

The differences between rental and business income are that rental income transferred to a spouse or child may be attributed back to the person who transferred it whereas income from a business does not have this restriction. This means that whoever paid for the rental property would have to declare the income for tax purposes. If you have children involved in sharing the profit from a rental versus a business, this would mean a difference in who can declare the income and expenses. Rental income is earned where the owner of the property lives, whereas business income is taxed on where the business is located. If you have multiple locations for rental properties or multiple businesses with different tax rates, this may mean a higher or lower tax bill depending on where the businesses are set up. The deductions that are available may differ between rental and business income. There are different rules regarding depreciation of assets or Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) for rental properties as opposed to businesses. Rental income would not subject to CPP deductions but business income would be. A rental property has a calendar year reporting period, but a business can change this to any time during the year. Depending on what your circumstances are, these differences can save you money or create a larger tax bill.

How Do You Report Rental Income?

Rental income is reported on the form T776 -Statement of Rental Income which can be found on the CRA web site. This form would be submitted along with a personal tax return as an additional document. If the renting is part of a business, the form to use is the T2125 – Statement of Business and Professional Activities which is the business form. This would also be added to a personal tax return as an additional document.

Current Expense Versus Capital Expenditure

Both a current expense and a capital expenditure represent money spent during the current tax period. If an expense is occurring to keep the property maintained and in the same working order as before the money was spent, this would be called a current expense. Examples of this are costs that occur day to day for the operation of the rental property – such as utilities, insurance and property taxes. A capital expenditure is money spent on something that is expected to last longer than one year and is either a separate item acquired for the property or an improvement to the property. If the money spent would make the property more valuable or useful compared to otherwise, this would be called a capital expense. An example of a separate item would be an appliance for the kitchen inside the rental property. This appliance is expected to last more than one year, can be moved into another part of the house so it is a separate item, and it is being used by the tenant so it is a viable expenditure for deduction. If there are costs incurred to set up a property or get it available for rent, these costs would be considered capital expenses, and would be part of the acquisition cost rather than separate expenses. The intention behind the money and the state of the property before and after the expense are important in determining how money spent should be treated for tax purposes.

Tax Treatment of Current and Capital Expenses

The major difference between current and capital expenses is the timing of their deduction. The current expense is deducted in the year it occurred in full. A capital expense would be deducted over the life of the asset which usually would mean a period of years. This means that the expense would be deducted more slowly. The spreading of the deduction over multiple years is called depreciation. This is calculated by finding out the class of the item or expense, finding the related depreciation rate and then using that as a partial deduction each year until the expense has been fully accounted for. As an example, if you bought an appliance and it was a Class 8 item, the associated rate of depreciation would be 20% per year. This means that if you buy an appliance that costs $1000, you can deduct 20% of that $1000 or $200 per year.

Depreciation of the Property Itself

Whether to calculate depreciation on the property itself is a choice that is to be made by the taxpayer. There are advantages and disadvantages to claiming this expense. The first factor to keep in mind is that depreciation on the property cannot be used to create a loss on renting the property. If your property is not that profitable, you would not be able to claim much depreciation even if you wanted to. The second factor to keep in mind is that if you claim depreciation, you will likely have to pay more taxes later when you sell the property. Land and buildings do not go down in value very often. When there is a sale, there is usually a capital gain incurred and there will be taxes paid on a fraction of that gain. If you were claiming depreciation along the way before the sale, your tax bill would tend to be higher than otherwise.

Are You Using the Property Personally?

If you are renting something and using it personally at the same time, the rental and personal use portion would have to be divided in some way. This is because anything used for personal reasons would not be deductible or reported on a tax return, but rental property would be. If it is a house being rented, the space would be divided into personal use and rental space, and any expenses would be prorated to reflect how much of the expense should be allocated to the rental property.

The Five Secrets of Successful Estate Planning

Estate planning is something no one really wants to deal with if only because you have to take on the subject of your mortality. Given the rather morose and unhealthy mindset we’ve developed regarding the end of life, it’s safe to say that most people try to avoid talking about death like, well, death. It isn’t an easy topic to bring up, and it certainly doesn’t get any easier when discussing how your belongings will be disseminated after your passing. What’s more, when it comes to your finances, the topic of estate planning is all the more difficult because it involves actually coming face to face with some serious numbers.

It’s too bad that so many people tend to face their final financial planning as a way of showing how little they’ve accomplished over their lifetime. People need to focus on the fact that they are making a plan the benefits their family after you are gone. They should be allowed to grieve, and proper estate planning accomplishes this task.

Here are five secrets (truth be told, it’s just common sense) to successful estate planning:

1. Draft A Will – Mocking up a simple version of your will doesn’t cost much and at least starts the process of where things may stand when you pass.

2. Name the Executor – As the title suggests, this is the person who will handle all aspects of your estate. You want someone you can trust, but you also want someone who you know will do a proper job.

3. A Living will – A living will scares a lot of people because it makes you face the possibility that you’ve either suffered a serious accident or are completely unable to communicate with those around you near the end of your life. Major court cases & drawn-out family dramas have come from a living will not being available & everyone scrambling to perhaps know what you might think would be possibly OK to do for you. It can get messy.

4. Update Your Will – Not only do you need to start the process of planning your estate, but you need to review the documentation at least once a year. Any changes that may come your way such as major life events (i.e., deaths, marriages, etc.) may change the contents of your will, so it pays to look it over regularly.

5. Communication – Before you pass & a final reading of your will takes place, and certainly before you are unable to communicate with your loved ones, you need to keep the lines of communication open so that you can tell everyone what plans you’re making. Yes, your will is the legal document of record, but should an issue arise regarding your intentions, you’ve at least been keeping everyone abreast to your wants.

Estate planning is not a fun time. Rather than approach the matter as a dreary “to-do”, though, think of it as just another note in your day planner. It is a rather defining moment in adulthood and one that everyone must understand is perhaps the most important thing they’ll do to help their family out when you’ve passed on. But it isn’t a way to signify an end to life; it’s more a symbol of you firmly having your sights set on the future.

Get Your Inheritance Quickly

Nowadays, liquid cash is an essential thing. It does not really matter if you are the single heir to a very large estate. Getting it encashed would take you a long time after the descendant has deceased and after all the formal processing has been done. The best solution to this problem is the inheritance advance concept through which the heir to the estate gets the cash right way without any delay. Through this process, the heir gets the advance amount from the distributed amount without having to wait for a long period of time.

An inheritance advance policy gives the heir an option to choose whether he wants the entire amount or wants them in parts in a matter of just three days. The best thing about this feature is that you don’t have to worry about any hidden cost or additional charges for availing this facility. Since this is not any type of a loan there are no approvals required and the heir does not have to worry about repayments. Only the probate or the processing fees have to be paid, which depends on the size of the state and also the amount of money being claimed at once.

The Process of Inheritance

The possession of the deceased first goes to the probate court process. If the heir wants to claim the possession, referred to as estate, then he can avail the inheritance cash advance policy. The concept behind this policy is very simple. Once the state is ready to be distributed, the investor’s amount is cleared off from that amount. The remaining share of the heir, if any, is also cleared off during that point of time. The personal representative of the heir would take care of filling of tax returns and payment of bills which depends entirely on the state government once the probate process of the court is closed.

Eligibility for Inheritance Cash advance

The inheritance cash advance feature does not affect the share of the other heir if any involved in the distribution of the estate. The transaction is made strictly between the investor and the concerned heir. The heir just requires proper verification and paperwork to get his share at the earliest.

Check Out This Opportunity to Learn More About the World of Finance

Getting a taste of the real world jobs out there that pertain to your area of study can be an eye opening experience. You will work side by side those that do this type of work day in and day out. Such information can further fuel your passion for the career path you are on. It may help y to narrow down the specific area of the field you wish to go into.

With a Citi summer internship, you will have an unforgettable opportunity to get onboard for such learning experiences. These positions are limited though so you need to pay attention to the deadlines for applying. You also need to submit all of the requested materials with your application. Otherwise, you may not get that position you really wanted.

Large Financial Institution

They are one of the largest financial institutions available. They want to do their part to help encourage others to get involved in the world of finance. There is a wide spectrum of types of jobs that fall under the umbrella of their services. The various Citi summer internship areas include finance, technology, human resources, global transaction services, and commodities.

Apply for the ones that you are the most interested in. If you apply for more than one, you can only select one to take part in. However, applying in more than one area does improve your chances of being selected. Your dilemma at that point would be deciding which one to accept if you accepted for more than one. That is a bridge you can cross when you get to it!

Who can Apply?

You are eligible to apply for a Citi summer internship if you a junior or senior in college, you are a graduate student, or you have recently graduated from college. In addition to business skills and experience, they are looking for those who excel in the areas of communication and integrity. A passion for a career path in business is a strong asset they look at when deciding.

You can apply for a position in the USA, Africa, Europe, or the Middle East. They have a very diverse business culture with locations all over the world. Being able to work in your location or being able to get an internship in a location you wish to travel can be very appealing.

Payment

It is also encouraging that you will get paid for your participation in a Citi summer internship. This is good news because many companies offer internships that aren’t paid. They feel the experience they teach you is compensation enough. Being able to work for an excellent company like this and get paid to do so is the icing on the cake!

The amount you will earn depends on where you work and the common entry level salary offered by Citi Bank in that area. The specifics about work hours and payment for the position can be discussed once the offer is extended to you.

Application that Rocks

As you can imagine, there are plenty of people applying for the various opportunities. You need an application that rocks to be considered for one of the Citi summer internship positions. Complete the application neatly and providing as much information as possible. Your supporting documents including your resume and cover letter need to be exceptional.

Focus on sharing your experiences, your education, and your future goals relating to the world of business. You will need to provide letters of recommendation so ask for those early. Get them from professionals you have worked with, long term family friends, past employers, and others who know your work ethic and character. The Citi summer internship can be a dream come true!

Personal Loan and Its Different Advantages

A personal loan is an unsecured loan which is offered to a consumer for catering their various personal needs such as the renovation of a house, marriage, home appliances, buy vehicle amid others. This is offered after verifying one’s ability of paying especially the income source and also according to their credit history. A nominal processing fee will be charged and the sum as per a person’s paying ability will get credited to their account. In fact the loan payment is made via fixed installments which also includes interest and for fixed time periods. The icing on the cake is these days personal loans are a smart choice as one do not require going through a lot of formalities and tedious paperwork. Most of the financial institutions and banks offer personal loans today and the rate of interest is also quite reasonable.

Discover the different benefits

• Available easily- to get a personal loan is no longer a challenging affair. It is offered by almost all financial institutions and banks at a reasonable rate of interest. Compared to other loans it is convenient and easy to get

• No middleman or agent involved- for availing a personal loan one will not require taking the help of an agent or a middleman. This will avoid unnecessary expenses and delays. A person can approach the financial institution or bank for the purpose directly

• Unsecured loan- this is indeed an unsecured loan. Here no collateral security is needed for availing the loan. In fact, all that is needed is one’s ability of paying back the money.

• Less processing time- because it is accessible devoid of any guarantee or security the processing time needed to get this is naturally less compared to other loans

• All purpose loans- in this form of loan it is not compulsory for a person in specifying the reason for which they will be using the money.

• Minimum paperwork- to get a loan will not need any asset verification or other forms of certificates and proofs which include ample paperwork as none of one’s property is mortgaged

• Offers and schemes- different financial institutions and banks keep announcing offers and special schemes on personal loans, especially for the professionals such as architects, doctors, chartered accountants and the like

• Amount and tenure- these loans generally are provided varying from Rs 15000 to Rs 20 lakhs differing from one bank to another. The repayment can be made through EMIs

The bottom line is, rather than borrowing money from a credit card it is always better to choose a personal loan as the rate of interest is comparatively lower. So reap its utmost benefits.

5 Important Tips to Get a Personal Loan Approved

You might have a smooth running life, but that in no way means that there won’t be a problem with you. You can face an emergency situation at any point of time. So, for that, you need to be careful enough. A loan at this point of time can be a savior for you. It can help you meet a financial crisis. Through a loan, you are going to get some cash that will be helpful to meet the personal needs. But getting a loan is not that simple. There are certain steps that you need to abide by so that your loan plea gets approved.

Check the Eligibility Criteria

Most of the loan providers do have an eligibility criterion. Some prefer the borrowers to be within a particular age group, generally between 21 to 65 years. Another thing that they might be checking about you is a minimum amount of earning per year. Maintain that you are not a defaulter on any of your previous loans or credit card bills.

Verify Your Credit Score

A credit score is what the lenders are going to determine before they give you a loan. So, before you apply for the loan check for the credit score so that the loan plea does not get rejected. If your scores are not good enough rectify them. This will increase your chances of getting the personal loan approved and also might fetch you attractive interest rates.

Provide Genuine Details

When you are applying for the loan, make sure to provide all details that are true to the best of your knowledge. The lenders will doubt your intentions and will cross check everything. They might consider visiting you or giving you a call personally to verify the information you have provided. So, giving them genuine details will increase your chances of getting the loan approved.

Avoid Several Applications

Aim for a realistic loan amount that is payable by you. So not ask for huge amounts because in that case the plea might get rejected. Another mistake that most people make is applying at several places. The lenders will doubt your intentions and your probability to get the loan approved will be reduced. Also, multiple applications will affect your credit scores.

Have a Stable Source of Income

Having a stable work history is sure to impress the lending institutions. If you are having a minimum of two years of experience that will be an added advantage. Try to avoid switching jobs and maintain a stable source of income.

These are some of the factors the loan providers take into consideration. So, before you apply for a personal loan, consider having a proper knowledge about the terms and conditions and work according to get the loan approved.