Some General Information On Car Rentals

If you are planning to take a vacation in the near future then you might want to consider driving down to the destination of your choice instead of having to spend a lot of money on air fare and other travel options. Driving down gives you a slight modicum of control over your travel plans. You can leave anytime you want to without having to keep to a specific schedule. You save money because the amount of money you spend on renting the car and on the fuel can be shared by all the people who are travelling with you. And, you don’t have to worry about ticket availability during peak season travel.

Renting a car can be a very simple process. All you need to really figure out is how many people will be travelling so that you can get a car that can seat everyone together and also accommodate the luggage that you will be carrying. Once you have this information and a certain budget thought out you can visit the local rental companies and ask around about the various vehicles they have as well as the fee that each charges. If you really want to enjoy you travel as much as your destination then you can opt for a large variety of RVs.

Comparing and contrasting the various quotes from different companies can allow you to make the most savings. If you decide to travel on weekdays and days that are not holiday dates then the prices can be desirably low. you can even get discount coupons and vouchers from printed media or off the internet to help you save a tidy sum that can be put towards activities when you reach your destination!

How To Get Traffic As An Internet Marketer

Becoming a successful internet market is no joke. To really make more money than the guy that work his heart out from 9am-5pm takes knowing how to do the right thing. Some people say you need to work hard to make it in internet marketing. But, I would say that you not only work hard but work smart.

Every info-preneur or internet marketer undoubtedly needs to get traffic to make it in the internet business. The internet business is very competitive and if you do not know how to gain traffic to win the heart of people surfing the net, you may eventually become a failure. I have seen and heard many information marketer with right passion and excitement, become frustrated and fail in this business. You could avoid being frustrated and having the believe that internet marketing does not work or it is a big scam. You only need to become smarter to make 4 or 5 digit cash with an effective traffic strategy.

There are 3 skills that you will need to cultivate if only you want to make big money selling information over the internet.

*Perfect the bait
*Target the right people
*Delivering the right solution quickly

When you think of getting or gaining traffic for your internet marketing business, you must keep three things in mind:

1. Who is my target audience

2. What do they want?

3. How can i motivate this target audience to act now?

Let look at these closely;

Who is my target audience:If you want to market products/services or information you must first find a group of people who are hungry for such information. I call this ‘finding hungry fish’. I prefer a school of fish in ‘feeding frenzy’. If you drop your bait, that is traffic into such a school of hungry fish, they will attack your bait.
The most important part of marketing is not the traffic you could drive to the product. It is targeting your traffic to the right audience.

2. Where do you find your right audience:You have 2 choices;you can either devise traffic from someone else medium or create your own traffic strategy and get your own customers. In other words, you could pay for it as in using pay per click(PPC) or buying classified ads slot/space. But, for starters it could be expensive.

A free and no-cost method of getting traffic is to build a list. You can write a 8-15 pages report or create an e- book and give it out for free in giveaway events or forums sites. People who opt-in for your report, leave their name and email address. With this, they become willing subscribers you manage for your marketing activities.

3. How do I motivate the target audience to buy Now:As a student of marketing, i have discovered some principle that work. There are 6 of them:

a. Consensus:Give people what they want. The ‘hottest’ thing that is in demand by a large number of people. It will induce a potential buyer to say yes easily to your product.

b. Reciprocity:You should give them bonus for buying your products. Give them a free ‘gift’. It creates a subtle obligation to them to buy your product.

c. Scarcity:Attach a time limited and quantity limit to the amount you have to sell. This create urgency in the potential buyers.

d. Authority:Talk like an expert. If you are a newbie, you can have a joint venture with experts. you should note that people like to deal with experts.
e. Commitment:Whatever you promise you will do, stick to your words. Give yourself to doing what you say.

f. Liking:Make them like you and your products. appeal to their sense of liking to you and your product.

Traffic is the hub of your marketing campaign in internet marketing. Do every thing you can to get traffic. Always remember, without it you are less likely to succeed online. I wish you success and see you at the top.

Home Based Business Trends In A Fragile Economy

Home based businesses are many with some that are truly legitimate and others that are out to put a deep hole in your wallet. With today’s fragile economy, millions of people out of work and a shrinking middle class, there are those of us seeking ways to increase our financial means to make ends meet or to simply keep food on the table for our families. I’ve been a victim of the scams and have invested hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars seeking out the latest home business trend. But I have also learned a lot along the way and have acquired some tools to success that I would like to share with you to avoid any pitfalls you may experience in your search for the right opportunity.

#1. Product. You need to choose a product that literally most everyone needs. Think long and hard about this. Not everyone needs or likes healthy chocolate (I personally know someone who is allergic to it). The market is also flooded with many nutrition supplements claiming to be the next big trend. There is liquid form, pill form, shake form, juice form, etc. So which do you choose? Not to mention the expense and investment in such a venture. Don’t get me wrong. There are many fine health and wellness opportunities out there but they require a large financial commitment and again isn’t necessarily something most everyone wants or needs (we are in fact one of the most obese nations in the global market). Consider something such as cell phones. Nearly everyone has them everywhere you look and nearly everyone needs them. Even my 10 year old son is begging me to get him one since many of his friends already have them. The cell phone industry is exploding and more and more companies are popping up on the market.

#2. Affordability. As I mentioned earlier there are many legitimate home based business opportunities but they require a large financial commitment on your part and with a fragile economy this just isn’t an option. So along with the right product you need to have the right price. Opportunities that are too inexpensive (such as an opportunity for only $97) require hundreds of people in your downline just to make a few hundred dollars. Home based business opportunities that are too expensive are simply that-cost prohibitive and you don’t stand a chance at seeing a return (such as those opportunities that cost $1995-$3995). I’ve found that the latest legitimate home based business trends are priced between $300-$500. These are reasonably affordable even in a fragile economy and can get you up and running in no time. It will have you seeing a return on this investment within a few weeks to a few months.

#3. Team. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a strong support system in place. Too often we are left to fend for ourselves after signing on with an opportunity and spend months trying to figure everything out ultimately ending in failure. A duplicatable, automated selling process, turn-key system that can run on auto pilot is vital to being successful with a home based business opportunity. These duplicatable systems can be achieved through websites and lead capture pages (which are generated by the company and given to each of their reps to build their business), DVDs explaining the opportunity and most importantly a way to market your business through offline methods (such as postcards and sales letters) in addition to online methods such as pay per clicks or cost per clicks. There are other online methods such as blogs, social media, articles and more but these systems are not easily duplicatable by everyone and requires a great deal of research, practice and trial and error to be successful with these methods. With the flood of online advertising, offline old-school mailbox methods such as postcards promoting an opportunity are becoming the trend among home based businesses.

#4. Leverage. The fourth and final point is leveraging a powerful system with the right opportunity that allows you to:

1. Make a lot of money

2. Make a lot of money quickly (and I don’t mean within 48 hours-let’s be reasonable here). You could with the right system be making money within a few weeks to a few months.

3. Be able to work from home only a few hours a week on a schedule that YOU decide

4. Have a business working for you even when you are not-translates to a 100% automated sales process from the moment your prospect sees your offer. This means:

-No personal selling
-No phone calls
-No hotel meetings
-No emails
-No sharing with friends and family

There is a lot to consider when seeking out the next home business trend. What I can tell you is from my experience, by using the tips I have mentioned as tools for researching and crafting a home business opportunity that’s right for you, it will greatly increase your chances for success.

Things I Have Learnt About Prospecting and Cold Calling in Commercial Real Estate

In any real estate market and economy, the prospecting process remains fundamentally important to the success of the real estate agent and individual salesperson. Prospecting on a daily basis is the key to progress and success with both territory control and domination.

Here are some key facts that I have learned from prospecting and cold calling over the years:

  1. Most people working in the industry rank very poorly when it comes to prospecting on a regular basis. This is a significant opportunity for those that get their prospecting model under control.
  2. Face to face contact remains the ultimate conversion factor when it comes to prospecting. Everything you do should point towards a successful introductory meeting with the qualified parties.
  3. The telephone is a very powerful tool for creating meetings and contact with the right people. The cold calling process you use must be consistent and professional. Gone are the days of sleazy sales pitches.
  4. One of the more successful traditional methods of marketing that has been around for years is the signboard. The more signboards you get into your territory, the more momentum and ease you will have with building listing and sales opportunity. The signboard infers that you have market presence and domination. That is what the local community and property investors think, providing you have a good number of signboards placed on quality property throughout the area.
  5. E-mail marketing and database use is now critical to both the individual salesperson and the real estate agency office. It remains a tool of constant contact of relevant property information to qualified prospects. These are people that already know you and expect information and property updates from time to time. Growing and shaping the database each day from personal contact across the sales team is fundamental to progress and market share.
  6. Some less experienced salespeople tend to rely on E mail as the first and final point of contact. The process of Email is convenient and easy to use, however it has little benefit in prospecting and will not replace the benefit of one to one contact. If the prospect does not respond to the Email, a typical salesperson will usually discard and forget the prospect. The reality of the prospecting emails that you send is that most of them are deleted and discarded.

Prospecting for commercial real estate listing opportunity should be based around unique and personal contact. The more that local people know you personally as a professional and knowledgeable real estate expert, the more listings you will achieve. This image and mantle takes time to develop but it will occur through diligent personal contact.

Economic Recession Blues – Hospitals Aren't an Exception

In its most recent update, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that world growth is forecast to fall to its lowest level since World War II. And with the US being one of the worst hit, the hospital business, an integral part of the medical marketplace, and often regarded as recession proof is beginning to feel the heat.

Despite the fact that hospitals aren’t hit the way the way the automotive sector or the retail has been, and that people will continue to fall sick irrespective of the economy, it seems that the number of people seeking medical care and the profitability of hospitals don’t walk hand-in-hand.

Growth stunted & patients decreasing

A recent report by the American Hospital Association (AHA) finds that the sputtering economy has already led to 45% of hospitals to postpone forthcoming capital projects, with about 13% being forced to completely stall any expansion projects already underway. The AHA report included 639 hospitals in the study.

Further, experts believe that even though people continue to fall sick they’re postponing, most treatments if not all, which can be classified as elective. The credit for the prevailing scenario goes to all the layoffs and the slowing economy. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics the month of December saw some of the worst layoff figures, as there were 2,275 mass layoff actions, involving 226,117 workers.

What seems worse is that aside from foregoing elective treatments, patients seem to be avoiding essential drugs, with many actually abusing prescription drugs, such as narcotic painkillers , sedatives and tranquilizers and stimulants.

As a consequence, hospitals are reeling under delayed hospital equipment and supply purchases, declining patient visits, reduced staff with no fresh hiring, unpaid medical bills, in addition to ceasing any construction projects. The AHA survey, released in November last year found that patient visits were static or had decreased during the third quarter of 2008, and the cases of unpaid medical bills for hospitals registered a hike of 8%.

The government’s role in uplifting the spirit of hospitals is being thought to be instrumental as Medicare and Medicaid account for about half of the hospital business industry.

10 Shopping Tips – Fashionable Finds Are Possible For Under $25!

When it comes to shopping sometimes the $20 sandals flatter you more than the $400 designer sandals. Style is not in the price, but in your approach. You can get more for less if you are savvy about your shopping. Fashionable finds are possible for under $25. How do you do it? Here are 10 Tips to think about when you’re out on a shopping expedition:

1. You Can Find Deals in Unexpected Places.

I got a purse for a steal at a Nine West shoe store in New Jersey. Not a shop I would normally think of to buy a purse. But I spotted it in the front window and fell in love. (Although maybe not as deeply as with my husband.) When I went into the store to ask a sales clerk about it, I thought this gorgeous tan satchel would be expensive. It looks like something that would be appropriate in Grace Kelly’s or Audrey Hepburn’s wardrobe closet. But now it’s in my closet.

2. Set Your Budget and Stick with It.

Yes, you’ve probably heard this before. However, forced to work within a box, you will come up with creative ideas. One year for Christmas, I set a working budget of $25 each for my nieces and nephew. Instead of getting them each one gift, I got them a number of small funky gifts and they each had 3 presents to open. It made opening gifts more exciting for them.

3. Read fashion magazines to get an idea of the trends.

Many clothing companies with budget-happy fashion lines will replicate the “look” or “feel” of pricey designer fashion. I read everything from New York magazine and the NY Times Fashion to Vogue, Elle and fashion catalogs to see what’s happening out in the fashion world. Go to your nearest public library and those fashion mags are FREE! If you learn what is cutting edge then believe me you will find cheaper versions of the trends. Or you will learn how to put an outfit together in your own expressive way.

4. You can find reasonably priced gifts at even the most expensive stores.

For example when I go online to Saks Fifth Avenue I can look under the gift category “Under $50.” Today for “$25 and under” I find: a Kate Spade notecard set, a hip style book on Dolce and Gabbana and Fresh waterlily soap—all would make lovely gifts. The price is so reasonable for the soap you could even include a little something else so that the recipient has another gift to open–always more fun. Go to a pricey chocolate shop. Then buy the smallest, but always tasteful box, sometimes under $15. Put it in a nice gift bag with the heavenly scented waterlily soap. Your gift card can read: “You deserve a little elegance in your life.” What friend wouldn’t be flattered.

5. Be open to new opportunities.

When I travel to new cities I like to explore new shops. I usually end up in the artsy section of town. To me that means galleries, museums, maybe a university–and fun shopping. I collect business cards of the stores I love and make notes or take pictures of what they have so I can call them and order from them later. If a town has a college or university it has plenty of stores with low prices to satisfy the students. And me too.

6. Know your own style.

Allow your self the luxury of an expensive item that you just can’t pass on. Especially if it defines “YOU.” Find deals for other purchases. I coveted a $99 sweater from J.Crew, but then I bought a purse for only $20 for a wedding. You can justify the expensive purchase. The sweater will last for years, amortizing into less money. If I wear the sweater often, cost-wise it pays for itself, while the wedding purse I might only use that one time.

7. Accessories are inexpensive ways to refashion the look of your outfit.

An $8.00 leopard print scarf I bought at H&M compliments my chartreuse cardigan, jeans and black boots. It’s a dressy-casual look that suits my style. And the scarf goes just as well with a knit purple dress and heels. A few strategically picked accessories means less outfits to buy.

8. Consider buying your purchases in the months they are traditionally on sale.

If you’re not in a rush to buy new towels then why not wait until January or August. Or if you thinking of painting your bedroom Robin Egg blue, that paint will be cheaper in April.

9. Sign up for email blasts from your favorite stores.

Stores will alert you to their sales and often give email subscribers exclusive discounts. You will learn about sales before the average customer. Then instead of spending a fortune on the skirt you admired earlier in the season you can scoop it up at a bargain.

10. Shop from your home and comparison shop online.

Yeah, why not. Shop in your pjs, my favorite way to shop. What do you think?

Activity Internet Report, Part-Time Internet Marketing

Before I start on this one, it may be well to remember the saying,
“where is the best place to meet the high and mighty high?”
hey, at most New Years Eve Parties.

If you want to read a article written by a Internet Guru or English
Professor you can stop reading now. If you’re looking for honest
Internet Information in plain everyday writing this is for you. Read
on, this could save you a bundle and give you enough information to
start part time Marketing on the internet.

I found out the hard way that Internet business opportunities are
almost never all they’re cracked up to be. The only persons who benefit
from the opportunities are the people who start the programs and a
few friends at the top.

Seen all those ads with images of luxury cars, boats, and house? This
is the image of high life you can have if you join a MLM opportunity.
If you believe the above I have a beautiful famous bridge in San
Francisco I want to sell, cheap, doesn’t wait, today only.

As a newbie to the Internet (joining after years of retirement), with 40
years of successful publishing, printing, business off line, it makes
me sick to think people would believe this. Yeh, just join this MLM and
in two months you will be building a luxury house next to Bill Gates.

Scams after scam try to make people believe that pyramid selling laws
just doesn’t apply to the Internet. Many so-called marketers are not just
sneaky, but are out and out liars.

Further, very few offer any sort of resources to help you. To make
matters worst, they make you feel like a real “dumbie” by e-mailing you
2 days after joining, wondering why you haven’t signed up at the very
least 100 members. They make it look like it’s your fault you have not
yet earned enough to pay for that lot next to Bill Gates.

Their scams have given the Internet a real bad name. Just mention to a
friend or work mate about joining or buying something on the Internet.
I will bet you 90% will just change the subject or walk away. So many
persons got sucked into some of these get rich scams that the average
person will not trust the Internet when it comes to buying products,

Webmasters who are now on the web work overtime, researching, and
building trust, which enables them to sell on the Internet.

They know success does not come overnight. They have to work hard,
be persistent, teachable, research. They have to make the effort and
a little bit of cash helps.

If you intend on making a living on the Internet start out part time.
The failing rate on the Internet is over 94 percent, mostly because
they buy into the MLM Marketer that promises all you have to do
is join as a paid member.

In your dealings with others, make sure you have proper disclosures as
required by law. To be an effective marketer, don’t be untruthful, make
false, misleading statements. Further remember you are responsible
for statements made by the MLM marketer if you are an affiliate selling
for them. You too could be charged and fined along with the MLM
you are promoting.

To make sure you are following the regulations for advertisements, and
other rules and regulations check out the following at FTP.

* The Applicability of FTC Law to Internet Advertising

* Clear and Conspicuous Disclosures in Online Advertisements

* Specific Issues in Applying Certain Rules and Guides to Internet Activities.


Here are a few steps you can take to be on the safe side. If your email
program has the option to automatically download attachments, make sure
it is turned off.

Check and make sure your Anti Virus is up to date.

If you have to open an attachment, save the file to your computer or
a disk.

Manually scan the file using up-to-date Anti Virus.

Remember scammers use fake websites, mail redirects. Before sending
any money check it out first. Never just click on the URL provided.
Type in the URL manually.

If you receive an email with the heading Paypal, Clickbank etc., asking
you to confirm your user, password, remember they already have this
information and would not be asking you for it.


If you buy or sell on the Internet, you need a secure reliable firm
for sending,accepting payments online. Paypal (owed by e bay) is one
of the preferred ways of sending or receiving cash online. You are
notified within minutes when you pay, buy or send money. Never trust
using your cards on the Internet. By the time you get your monthly
statement hundreds of dollars could be charged to your account. Play
it save. Get a free account with PayPal today!

I started as an affiliate but it has a lot of drawbacks. Sure they
will supply you with a free website, but then you know there are
hundreds all the same. Search engines as a rule will not list affiliate

Further, the URL given to you to promote with are long, ugly, and it’s
easy to steal your commission. Any one that may have wanted to join or
buy the product your promoting will just cut off your ID code and join.
You lose the commission and an affiliate. Plus the biggest draw back is
you don’t get a list of the persons you promote for the firm.

If you do want to sell a product for a MLM make sure you check them out.
Then you need to get the script that will shorten the URL you are given
to promote with, or learn how to clone the URL so your commission is not
stolen. Join a couple forums, and ask if anyone could give you the
script to be able to do either of the above. Most people in forums will
help because it also gives them a plug.

What business do you know (other then an Internet MLM) gets you to pay for
their advertising and work for free? You’re better off to set up your
own web site and promote as a reseller or get and sell your own products.
This way you can build up your own list.

I hate to admit this but for some reason I got tunnel vision when it came
marketing as an affiliate. I learned how to get free hits to my site, got
number 1 to 8 listing in MSN, Yahoo, Googl for my key words. in fact
have from 2 to 6 listing in each of the top 10 listing for all three of
the above search engines. My hits for December were over 2 million, yet
because I was selling for MLM’s without cloning my URL,just made enough
to cover my expenses.

No person told me everyone could tell I was a newbie and a dummie when
they saw my affiliate URL, not cloned. They would cut off the ID number
at the end if they were interested in the product I was selling, get the
commission that should have been mine, plus what hurt more was I lost an affiliate.

The cost of setting up a web site is minimum. Should you go this route I
highly recommend Robyn at:

No, I have no personal interest in myfriendlyhost, nor do I get any commission
from Robyn for listing her site. Without Robyn’s help I would have quit the Internet.
She is one of the few persons on the Internet who helped me, without
asking for money first.


Now lets see if we can get you to grin again by checking out some of
these great quotes;

“if we let loggers go in and cut down the trees we wouldn’t have a
problem with forest fires”- George Bush

I only hope our Premier Gordon Campbell does not see this. He is just
liable to take Mr. Bush’s advice. With all the forest fires we have here
in BC, Greenpeace would really see some clearcuts.

“that lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass,
and I’m just the one to do it” -A congressional candidate in Texas.

By any chance was Mr Bush ever a candidate in Texas??

My best pick;
“if someone has a bad heart, they plug this jack in at night as
they go to bed and it will monitor their heart throughout the
night. And next morning when they wake up dead, there’ll be a
record”- Mark S. Fowler, FCC Chairman.

Just goes to prove we all are humans, make mistakes and when it’s
the other person’s slip-up, enjoy it.

None of the free listings below are mine, nor am I a affiliate of any
of the listings. They are listed for your benefit only.

You should also consider selling via ebay. They first started in 1995,
and I am sure few people would have believed they would have over 157
million members worldwide today.

Thousands of persons are making a good living today selling on eBay.
They give you a lot of support with free information, tools and
resources. Really a great way to start on the Internet part-time, as
you have control on the hours you want to spend to make it work.

If you’re interested, below you can click on their URL for free
A Look at Third Party eBay Tools

A free list of some of the top providers of ebay’s, including
name buyer’s, seller’s addresses, plus information on each.

Brings you the most popular and highest rating auctions, free.

If your really interested in Internet Marketing, sign up to a couple
free Internet Marketing Newsletter, and Forums. Learn and earn.

Best wishes, and I hope this article is helpful.

Applying For A No Teletrack Payday Loan

No teletrack payday loan is the best for people undergoing any sort of financial emergency. This short-term loan is ideal to handle all urgent cash needs and the best part is that it doesn’t involve any sort of credit check. So, people with poor credit can also smile, as they would not be debarred from applying for this cash advance. In comparison to traditional loans, no fax no teletrack payday loan is much faster and more convenient.

Applying For An Online Loan

You can apply for the loan online over the internet and in just a matter of a couple of hours; the approval is given. For many loans, your credit history and checking account are reviewed through the teletrack method. But the more commonly used method nowadays is the no faxing no teletrack payday loan method. This saves the applicant from embarrassment as his poor credit account is not exposed for all to see. His online loan application is approved and within 24 hours the amount is credited to his account.

Requisites For Applying

  • You would need to fill up some personal data, employment details and bank account details in the online form.
  • The zero teletrack method may require you to fax some documents like the most recent paycheck or the last electricity bill.
  • You must be a citizen of the U.S. and should be at least 18 years of age.
  • You should have been employed with the same company for the past 6 months.
  • Some lenders may require you to have a minimum monthly salary of at least $1500 after deduction of taxes.
  • The lender might also check with your bank account for a debit service.

Repayment Details

The no telecheck no teletrack payday loan service is a very easy and simple process and has almost 100% probability of being approved. You also do not need to worry about any sort of rigid timing with it as you are free to apply for this loan anytime and anywhere, you feel like. The repayment of the advance amount is usually indicated on the application. It is generally the day of your next paycheck. At the time of borrowing, you would have to provide the lender with a post-dated check and they would debit that amount from your account on the due date.

The amount would also include the lender’s fee for taking the payday cash advance. Incase you need an extension for a few days, contact the office head on time. Try not to roll over to avoid paying accumulated fees on late payments. Remember, a no teletrack payday loan might be a savior for a lot of people but can prove to be a terrible burden if not repaid on time.

Get Ready Now: Tips For A Stress Free Holiday Season!


1.) Write — Sit down at the table with a blank notebook and do what I call a Time Out where you write down everything associated with your holiday traditions. Write all of the tasks, to-do’s and commitments you can think of and include things you are responsible for as well as what you take part in. Do you always travel? Are you hosting meals and house-guests? Do you set up or participate in a gift exchange? Annual parties and events? People you always buy gifts for?

2.) Sort & Prioritize– Take your Time Out and sort it into a task list, an events list and a gift list. Hosting Thanksgiving dinner is an event, meal planning, grocery shopping and delegating who brings what, are tasks. Shopping for gifts goes on the task list, what you buy for whom goes on the gift list. You may choose to create more lists to further breakdown tasks or events that you are in charge of. In addition to the gifts your family exchanges, the gift list should include: hostess gifts, teacher gifts, holiday tipping, office gifts, Secret Santa and the like. Having these lists will help you prioritize and you should make a note of the must-do, non-negotiables (visiting grandma) and the things you might be able to skip to save your sanity (decorating 12 dozen cookies by hand).

3.) Schedule — Assign the events and tasks to your calendar. Notate all the travel, arrivals and departures of guests, the annual food drive and neighborhood caroling. If you are unsure of dates, put a question mark next to them and add a note to your task list to call people to clarify. This part helps other people make decisions and put plans in motion. Mark time and dates ahead of events for tasks, chores and errands so nothing sneaks up on you. Feeling frantic feels terrible; being prepared feels great! Decide when you have time to bake, write cards and shop online and schedule those tasks too.

Act Now! Looking at your lists and calendar, what can you do now to save time, energy and stress later on? Here are some ideas:

1.) Cooking — Plan your meals, choose your recipes and make your lists.

• Do you make the same Thanksgiving dinner every year? Make your grocery list and start stocking up on the non-perishables. Place orders for the turkey, pies and linen rental. Mark your calendar with dates to call and confirm as well as the pick up or delivery dates. Delegate side dishes to your guests now and don’t be afraid to be specific!
• Plan your recipes for holiday cookies and appetizers for parties and make your grocery lists. Can you make dough or sauces ahead and freeze? Double a recipe and bring the same item to multiple parties. This saves time and money by streamlining effort and ingredients. People will only remember your contribution and the fabulous flavor!

2.) Traveling — Plan your trip.

• Book your airline tickets, car rental and hotel reservations now! Prices are only going to go up as the holidays near.
• Set up your transportation to and from the airport. Arrange home and pet care while you’re gone. Again, set up dates to confirm in your calendar.
• Make lists for what to pack and get all the cold weather gear out of storage, cleaned and ready to go.

3.) Guests coming to you — Get ready for your guests and help them get ready for their travel.

• Make sure their travel is booked. Do you need to arrange lodging or are they staying with you?
• Make sure your home is house-guest ready and check your linens, towels and spare toiletries. What items do you need to buy to make their stay more comfortable?
• Plan events, activities and transportation now, purchasing tickets and making reservations when necessary.

4.) Minimize future errands — Stock up now on items you always need. Remember, being prepared feels great!

• Make shopping lists from your tasks list for the holidays and the normal things you shop for. This step will save you trips to places like the drugstore.
• These items might include your everyday toiletries, paper goods, wrapping paper, cases of wine, water and other beverages.
• Create a space in the closet, garage or even under the bed for all these extras so your home doesn’t get overwhelmed.
• Make a note of what you bought and where you put it!

5.) Holiday cards, newsletters and photos — Start now! Having these time-consuming tasks out of the way will allow you to breathe easier.

• Make your list, purchase your supplies, including postage and put a bag or box together with everything you need including pens and your address book (if you still use one) so you can have it at the ready, but put it away when you’re done.

• Do a few at a time so the task isn’t overwhelming and they’re ready to send on the date you’ve chosen.

• If you order pre-printed cards, do that now too.

• Newsletters are fun to send and keep people updated on your goings on so make an outline of what you’d like to include and start writing!

• If your card includes or consists of a photo, choose one now or set up your photo session ASAP.

6.) Gifts — As an organizer, I love to give people consumables: food, beverages, gift cards and charitable donations. You can buy many of these now and they will save you so much time and energy. Feel free to personalize, but it’s a real time saver to streamline and give everyone, or group of people, the same thing.

• Give all the teachers gift certificates where they can treat themselves to an indulgence, like a pedicure, shopping or restaurants.
• Make charitable donations for hostess gifts — a few favorites are the Heifer Foundation and Charity Checks which allows people to choose where their donation goes.
• The office or neighborhood can pool together and instead of individual gift giving, Adopt A Family, volunteer at or make donations to a local charity or animal shelter.
• If you give monetary gifts to people such as your hairstylist or garbage collector, visit the bank as you can afford to, write the accompanying notes and store the envelopes in a safe place.

7.) Dressing Up — Plan your party outfits now so you’re not scrambling through the mall on the day of the event.

• Comb your (hopefully organized!) closet and find what fits, is occasion appropriate and what you can reinvent?
• If you need to shop, consider basics and/or separates that you can change up with accessories and can be worn year-round. Or maybe you only need a few sparkly accessories to spruce up your favorite frock.
• If you have children, make sure their clothes fit too and that everything is clean and ready to go.
• Taking family photos? Do you need or coordinate what you’re wearing? Plan and shop now.

8.) Decorating — Where are the ornaments? Do I still like everything I have? How is it stored?

• When you take out your decorations, use only what you love or what has meaning and part with the rest. Sometimes we continue to use the decorations we have, even if we no longer like them, out of habit or because you only look at it for 30 days or so.

• Before you put anything away, make sure you have proper storage to protect your treasured ornaments, wreaths and lights. Plastic bins keep the critters and dust out and everything organized inside. Check out The Container Store for their fabulous and helpful products. Don’t forget to label everything!

I hope these tips help you to plan and get ahead for the holidays so you can enjoy this wonderful time with your family and friends!

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