How to Travel (Relatively) Luxuriously on the Cheap

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If you think champagne on the cheap sounds too good to be true, then, well – you’re probably right. Budget travel typically won’t involve nights at five star hotels or days at top quality spas, but there’s a lot you can do to get those occasional sensations of living the luxurious life, whether it be an affordable fine dining experience, a spa treatment at half price, or a few free hours inside VIP airport lounges.

Collect travel points and book online

This one’s a no-brainer. If you’re doing a lot of travel, then collecting points through a loyalty scheme can add up and result in extra perks or discounts. Check with airlines and accommodation chains for membership cards. Some airlines offer frequent flyers time in their exclusive airport lounges. Booking online in advance, as opposed to booking at ticket booths on the spot, can also save you money on all types of transport.

Travel during off-peak season

Everyone knows that summer is the most popular season for holiday travels. Kids are off school, the weather’s great and – as a result – airline tickets and hotel prices skyrocket. Choosing to travel off peak season is not only cheaper, it can make for a more relaxing experience as you’ll be surrounded with fewer tourists. Off-season holiday package deals (flights and accommodation inclusive) are heavily promoted by travel agencies during non-peak season and can offer great value for money.

Activities and Excursions

Before paying for activities such as water sports or city tours, check online for special offers and discount codes that could apply to your purchase. If you’re visiting a popular tourist destination, then chances are that you’ll find at least some applicable promotional codes or coupons online.

Nightlife

Often, the best bars are the exclusive, chic ones that tourists don’t yet know about. So how are you going to find them? Ask locals, of course! Try the Like A Local Guide for insider tips on the best, and most reasonably priced, places to hang. Next, if you haven’t downloaded one of the many apps that help you discover which local bars are offering Happy Hour – then get on that right away! Nightclubs typically allow free entry until late, so turn up early and avoid wasting $30 on admission. Keep in mind that casinos sometimes offer free drinks to customers – just don’t be tempted to join a poker table or your financial loss might outweigh the benefit of a getting a couple complimentary mojitos.

Events

Joining international globetrotting and expat communities such as Internations.org often gives you exclusive invites to international events. Sites such as Meetup.com will give you access to competitive prices on numerous parties and social events. If you’re lucky you’ll even find cost-free meet-up events on here, ranging from ‘yoga in the park’ groups to wine tasting tours. Best of all is how international expat sites help you build contacts and increase your chances of getting on guest lists.

Accommodation

Boutique hotels, being smaller and local, can often give you the same luxury experience as big brands but at a lower price and with a more authentic feeling. Booking sites typically let you sign up for price drop notifications, meaning you’ll get an email update as soon as any accommodation that you’ve got your eye on decreases in price. Apps such as HotelTonight show last-minute room rates at what can be 70% off the original price. This is a good method for finding cheap luxury accommodation providing you’re comfortable procrastinating until last minute. Alternatively, check for home exchanges on sites like AirBnB – you never know who might be renting out their luxury apartment just in time for your visit…

Dining

If possible, opt for fine dining lunch as opposed to fine dining dinner. Lunch menus are typically cheaper (even more so if you go for a set menu) so this is the best time to grab some fancy grub.

Saving money on luxury travel can make all the difference for a vagabond who could not otherwise afford the full price of glamorous accommodation, fancy events and Michelin star restaurants. Taking advantage of all these budget tips requires a great deal of planning, but is nonetheless necessary for most people who want to travel luxuriously in the long term.

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Which Homecoming Fashion Mistakes Should You Avoid?

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High school and college homecoming dances are upon us.  Do you know the distinct fashion differences between homecoming dresses and prom dresses? Since homecoming occurs in early fall, most dresses are shorter and somewhat more casual.  Homecoming is often seen as more of a semi-formal event instead of an all out formal one. However, that doesn’t mean you can show up wearing anything you want. Use these tips to avoid common fashion faux pas so you don’t end up on a Homecoming fashion don’t list.

 

  • Don’t buy your homecoming dress before checking your school’s dress code for the dance. Some schools have guidelines stating formal dresses must be just above the knee, where others allow dresses to be mid-thigh, or around 17 inches long. Pay attention to your school’s theme and colours, so you don’t select a colour combination that will totally clash.

 

  • Don’t buy a dress purely on style. Remember to consider your body type and never buy a dress that you need to lose a few pounds to even squeeze into. There are so many elegant dress options that hug your curves beautifully, such as chiffon fit-and-flare dresses.

 

  • Avoid buying neon and bright colours as they come across as tacky and cheap. Neon colours can be really hard to pull off, especially with complimenting your skin tone.  If you like bright colours, try rich reds or royal blues or even gold or silver, instead of neon green or the like.

 

  • Don’t look like a dressed up princess and look like you belong on the Toddlers and Tiaras television show. A little bling on your dress is classy, but when’s totally covered with sequins or includes a poufy ball gown skirt, it’s becoming tacky. The ball gown skirt may look more like a decorated upside down wedding cupcake and even if you choose a flowing skirt, endless sequins and sparkles are too much for homecoming.  Try looking at sexy yet classy homecoming dresses.

 

  • Avoid wearing long white or other pastel dresses to homecoming. These floor-length dresses are more appropriate for prom as are pastel hues. Keep your dress casual and fun, with a bandage hugging silhouette, two-piece dresses, or trendy chiffon options.

 

  • Don’t overdo it on your accessories. Know the rules for pantyhose and appropriate footwear; such as if you choose to wear pantyhose, make sure it’s in a shade close to your skin tone. Generally, you wear heels to formal dances, but if you plan to dance most of the night and your heels are not comfortable, consider wearing or bringing some ballet flats or decorative sandals.

 

  • Don’t spend too much money on a dress. Figure out if you have other semi-formal events that you may wear the dress too, and then set a realistic budget, remembering you don’t need to buy an expensive homecoming dress. You can find some lovely dresses that are under $200.

 

Now that you know what not to wear to Homecoming, do you know what you’re going to wear to this year’s dance?  In addition to the always popular fit and flare dresses, this year you’ll find floral two pieces, hip-hugging bandage dresses, and some softer pinks are popular this fall.

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Rules to Stick By For Online Traders

Rules to Stick By For Online Traders

If you are going to start trading as a day job with an online broker such as CMC Markets, you really need to set some rules aside and stick to them. Having rules can essentially create a positive movement in your profits and give you the confidence, stability and security you need to trade away! Here are some rules that are vital to trading – ones you should stick to if you want to be a success in the world of online trading.

Follow the Three E’s – Enter, Exit and Escape

The basic rule of them all is exactly that. You need an entry price, an exit price and an escape price incase the worst happens and your trade goes down the toilet. Basically before you rapidly press the enter key you need to know when to get, when to get out and what you should do in case disaster strikes. If you want to minimize your losses then having an escape price which is also known as a stop price among many traders can essentially save you from a huge loss.

When the market opens – Don’t trade for the first fifteen minutes

In all honesty the first fifteen minutes when the market opens is the rush traders and when the panic trades take place. All beginners should avoid this time during the market if they are looking for reversals. Wait a while and see what happens if you are looking to make profits happen.

Use limit orders rather than Market Orders

There is a huge difference between market orders and limit orders. Market orders are designed so that your broker buys and sells at the best price. Even though this is good, this isn’t great. Using market orders doesn’t mean you will make any profits. Saying this, by using limit orders you as the trader can control the minimum and maximum price that you want to buy and sell at. Limit orders are highly recommended over market orders for this reason alone.

If you are a beginner avoid using margins

Margins are basically the same as borrowing money from the bank to invest in something. The only difference is that you are basically borrowing from your broker. The simplified way of putting it is that if a trade goes against you then you could lose a lot more money than you expected and essentially have your account closed down. When margin is used in the correct manner it can in effect increase your profits but to do this it takes a huge understanding of the market itself and the methods surrounding the trades which are being made. The bottom line is – if you are a trader in the beginning stages then avoid using margins like the plague until you get your head around trading!

Have a plan on how, what and when to sell

One of the biggest mistakes many traders make is the fact that they research the market, the economy, the stocks and the assets on the basis on what is good to buy. What a lot of traders forget to do is research on when, how and why they should sell it. Create a plan which involves knowing when to exit to increase your profits. This is an important part of trading and just as important, if not more than the trading strategy you are using.

Keep a strict journal

Trading is a job and to do that job right you need to know everything possible. Make a journal of every single trade you make however big or small. Every loss and every profit made needs to be noted. Keep a note of what stocks you were looking at, why you didn’t trade and what the outcome was. To be able to understand yourself as a trader this is vital. If you want to become successful then you need to understand the trading process which you are forming, creating and practicing to be able to improve.

Keep a note of the research you do, any news or reports that are important. Trading can make or break a person and you need to be clear-headed, logical and sensible in all your choices.

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