Vancouver Travel Tips

Vancouver is a great city to visit for a vacation. The reason why Vancouver is such an attraction is because of the beauty. Vancouver has very large downtown area with all the sights and sounds of a regular downtown city, but the Pacific Ocean is at the doorstep of all major building in the downtown core. Also, just a 15 minute drive away from Vancouver is the world Class Grouse Mountain ski resort. And no other city in the world has a ski resort so close to a metropolitan city!Continue reading to learn some must-know Vancouver travel tips
Whenever you’re visiting Vancouver, be prepared for rain! You will probably encounter rain even in the summer, however you might get lucky and see the sun shine.
Transportation is not easy for a tourist. Other than the major bus line in Vancouver, there is not much transportation around the city. Driving is the best bet, especially since you won’t even see a taxi in the downtown core.
Expensive hotel rooms are normal in Vancouver. Because Vancouver has such a high cost of living, the room rate is exceptionally high.
Water pollution is extremely high in Vancouver, so choose your swimming spots carefully.
Vancouver banned smoking in all buildings, and just recently banned smoking within 12 feet of any building or doorway!
Vancouerites are not friendly. If you need directions, good luck finding someone kind enough to help you out.
Vancouver has the best shopping in Canada
If you like to party, Vancouver has a really good nightclub district. Granville Street is the main “party” district in Vancouver, and you will find bars, night clubs strip clubs and gay bars all on one street!
The Vancouver Aquarium is the largest aquarium in Canada
Vancouver is one of the most multicultural cities in the world.
Don’t buy gas downtown, especially at the Shell gas station on Burrard Street. You can, but expect to pay 20 cents more.
The population of Vancouver is actually very small compared to other major cities. The population of the City of Vancouver is over 530,000. However, the population of Metro Vancouver is close to 2,000,000.

Strategic Property Planning – The Key is Quality Due Diligence

Successful property development is dependent on quality due diligence. Performing the necessary due diligence at the correct time is the key to effectively managing risk. Property development is not in reference only to new buildings but also inclusive of existing buildings scheduled to be retrofitted or updated once acquired.The primary impacts in all property development and property planning are scope, schedule and budget. Careful management of these three impacts and timely assessment of performance in each impact category will allow you to advance from milestone to milestone with confidence.Throughout the past twenty years I have come to realize there are as many project processes as there are projects. Standardization of process in the building industry is not existent for many reasons. This is a bit surprising since most projects have the same basic criteria and impacts for success. Those criteria being scope, schedule and budget.Property developers would benefit from finding a way to minimize risk or at least have a system to quantify risk and have a continual understanding of where the project stands relative to risk factors. Each person involved in the property development process has a responsibility as a risk manager whether they are the development manager, project designer, project engineer, project attorney, financial analyst or any stakeholder who is involved in the project advancement from milestone to milestone. There are predictive steps in the process and those steps if handled correctly can be manageable.Property development comes in many shapes and sizes. This may not be a one size fits all industry but there are some basic areas of due diligence that apply to most projects. Risk management and change management are the critical areas to focus planning.There are four basic levels of due diligence however there may be multiple steps for each level. The due diligence has a required order to be effective. It is important that your risk plans and change plans have measurable results. Considering the importance of project scheduling it is key that the risk and change plans can be tied into a milestone schedule.First you must Identify the factors that will have an influence, negative or positive on the success of your project. Second you will need to assess the impact of each factor or influence on the project. Next you must conceptualize or prioritize a solution to respond to all factors and impacts. Once you have completed these three levels of due diligence you are ready to begin the process of putting together a plan.Make a plan for change management. Make a plan for risk management. You will be glad you did. Check out my upcoming articles where I will go into more detail on the primary levels of risk management and provide information on how to build a risk management plan and a change management plan to help you succeed in the new economy.
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Term Life Insurance- A Cost-Effective Alternative

Every person wants to ensure that he and his family is financially secure. Living comfortably is very important, even in the time of crisis. To have a sense of security one needs to purchase a life insurance plan.Which life insurance plan should one go for?This is a vital question. There are two types of insurance plans available. One can go for a permanent plan if one needs to secure his life till death. If a person wants to get secured for a short period of time, then he must go for a temporary plan. Term life insurance is one such temporary plan that gives the insured maximum profit in a short period of time.Permanent Insurance and a Term life insurance Plan – A person purchases a permanent insurance plan when he wants to get life time insurance. This plan would mature only when the insured person dies. Therefore, the premium that needs to be paid every year is also more in case of the permanent plans.On the other hand, even the best term life insurance does not cover the insured till death. It might so happen that the insured dies within his term. In this case, the entire amount will be paid to the beneficiary. If the insured dies one day after the policy ends and is not renewed, then he gets no money. This is the risk factor involved in such temporary plans. But, one must not overlook the advantages of such a plan. In a term life insurance, one needs to pay much lower premiums compared to the premiums paid in the permanent policies. The insured person can renew the policy at the end, if he feels the need for it.In a nutshell, the use of a life insurance program depends from person to person. It varies with the need and priority of every individual. Therefore, one needs to think and plan his requirements before purchasing any insurance program.What are the types of term life insurance plans available?The insurance company offers a wide range of term life insurance plans. The five types of term life insurance plans available are:o Annual renewable term insurance plan- In this plan the coverage is automatically renewed at the end of each year. The premium amounts keep increasing every time the policy gets renewed.o Renewable term insurance plan- In contrast with the annual renewable term insurance, this coverage gets automatically renewed at the end of each term (5 to 20 years).o Level premium term insurance plan- The premium paid at the end of each term is constant in this plan. Therefore, if a person purchases this plan in his early days, he will be benefited in the later days of the policy.o Decreasing term insurance plan- Unlike the above three plans, the cash benefits keep decreasing every year in the decreasing term insurance plan.o Convertible term insurance plan- According to this plan, the insured person can convert his present term insurance policy into any of policy. As the risk involved is more, this plan is bit costly.Select the most suitable plan and get a secure future!

Applying for Small Business Loans Successfully

Most start ups soon feel the need for extra money to expand, advertise, and generally reach a size where the return on investment is good. Once the initial investment corpus earmarked by the entrepreneur is used up, they turn their thoughts to small business loans. However, successfully applying for a small business loan is no easy task. Bankers and lenders look for certain qualities in the entrepreneur and their business before they decide to grant the loan. If the borrower is aware of what the lender expects, then the borrower can prepare their application accordingly.When asking for small business financing, it is up to the borrower to sell their idea to the banker. As bankers consider small business loans risky, they are not usually willing to grant such loans. However, if the entrepreneur persists with a well prepared business plan that clearly outlines the strategies for taking the business forward and shows how the repayment will be made, bankers are much more willing to give a fair hearing.When applying for small business credit, you need to ensure that you are putting in at least 25 to 50 per cent of the money needed. This will convince the creditor that you are serious about your business. The papers you prepare for your potential creditors should clearly show that you have invested your personal funds in the business.Small merchants and those running restaurants can also apply for a merchant cash advance. One advantage of this kind of financing is that you can use the funds at your discretion. You need not tell the bank how you are going to spend the money or on what heads. You can use the funds to pay staff or redo the premises. Of course, you need to establish a clear method of repayment and a strict schedule to repay the loan. Small business loans of this kind are relatively easier to obtain.One way of obtaining a lower rate of interest from small business lending institutions is to approach the Small Business Administration for help. If this institution underwrites your loan, the risk to your lender is reduced. You will then be in a position to ask for a lower rate of interest on your loan. By reducing your interest outgo, you will be able to garner better profits from your business.Yet another way of ensuring that you get the loan is to offer collateral. In the event that you need a business credit line to expand your business or spend on advertising and marketing, you should offer the lender some collateral. If your business owns property or machinery, use it as collateral, that is, pledge it to raise the cash you need. Again, this reduces the risk to the lender, helping you to ask for a lower rate of interest as well.When bankers look at an application for small business loans, they will primarily be looking at the business viability, the business assets, and the personal credit rating of the entrepreneur. If you want to obtain the loan, your presentation to the banker should cover these points. You need to show that the business plan is sound and will generate sufficient revenues to repay the loan on time. You also need to show that your credit rating is good, as the banker is ultimately lending the money on your word.

Various Options for Small Business Loans With Bad Credit

Though the lending for small businesses are reaching the highest point in the curve, still there are challenges that many small business owners with bad credits face. Many banks and financial institutions are still not ready to lend a loan for small business owners with really a bad credit rating. Though many companies have valid reasons for having a poor credit history, those are not still considered by the banks. For example, during recession time, especially in the year 2009-10, many small businesses failed to pay their vendors or faced problems in correcting their cash flow issues. The bad remark on any company may take years to get corrected. In the meanwhile, the company may require some kinds of loans. Luckily, there are many lenders other than banks who are ready to sanction loans even if the small business or the business owner has a bad credit score.Funding Options for Small Business Loans with Bad CreditThere have been studies conducted which shows that only 25% of bank loans or credit card options have been sanctioned to small business owners. This means there are many other options available for business owners other than these, which is really a comforting fact for many.Home Equity LoansTo start up a business and build a credit score on it would take months together. In the meanwhile, a small business entrepreneur can apply for a home equity loan if he or she owns a home. But while applying for such a loan, one must think about various risk factors involved in the business, as he or she is pledging the home.Merchant Cash AdvanceThis is a very short-term loan which is approved to a business owner in a lump sum against the business’s few future credit-card or debit-card sales. These loans are sanctioned for a short-term, generally for 24 months and the payments can be made in small installments, usually on each business day. These kinds of loans are not like regular bank loans where one needs to pay in lump sum every month and for a longer period of time. Many financial institutions which sanction such loans approve the loan application within 48 hours and the person applying needn’t have excellent credit rates. The only drawback in such loans may be the high rate of interest.Family and FriendsSeeking loans from family and friends is also a good option. According to statistics, about 50% of families and friends like the idea of small business and entrepreneurship, and come forward to help someone in the business. This is a very good option as no relatives or friends look into credit scores before giving a loan, as they believe in one’s character.Lending from Suppliers and VendorsMany businesses thrive on one’s vendors and suppliers. If the supplier is ready to supply products on credit and then report to the credit agency, then it is going to be a good option to improve the credit scoring. But the credit scoring will improve only if payment is done on time.Business Credit CardsBusiness credit cards help a businessman to improve his credit scoring and at the same time get finances to improve his business.MicroloansMany non-profit organizations and online non-bankers lend microloans to entrepreneurs anywhere between $5000 and $50,000. These loans are specifically designed for women and minority entrepreneurs and also for companies who work for economic empowerment zone. These are really excellent for people with a low credit score, but with a higher rate of interest. But, compared to credit cards and other loans the rate of interest is nominal and affordable.These are a few loan options for small businesses with bad credits, which may help one to either start a new business or develop an already existing business with confidence.

How A B2B Business Loan Works

A B2B business loan essentially begins with the person who wishes to start their own business or enhance the business that they are now operating. A B2B business loan should start with research as many different interest rates apply, time to do pay back, and of course it is important to be able to renew the loan.The most requested is the unsecured business loan. Meeting the requirements might pose a pose a problem unless you have a very good credit score of a minimum 680. You must also have a lower debt ratio in order to get a higher loan amount. The B2B business loan for those who are seeking an unsecured loan must have good credit. There are benefits that make it easier for a business to obtain the loan with good credit. The following benefits apply:o NO Collateral is required.o NO Financial statements are required.o No Business plan is required.o Quick approval usually within about 72 hours.o Complete freedom on use of loan proceeds.o For this program you must have a Dun & Bradstreet number, high payday, and comparable credit.o Minimum low 4 daily balances in your business bank account.The average interest rates will fall between prime +3 – prim +9 which depends on your credit and debt ratio. The terms of this type of B2B business loan normally are
$1100-$1600 a month per $50,000 financed on a 5 year term dependent on your credit.We have researched several B2B business loan financial institutions and found that Noble Financial is the leader in obtaining unsecured business loans. They currently have business in all 50 states. Business owners do not have to pledge personal or business assets to receive approval. There will be no liens or UCC filings. Noble Financial boasts that using their facility is a powerful alternative to visiting your local bank. An unsecured business line of credit is an extremely valuable business tool that most business cannot afford to be without. Lines of credit can be renewed indefinitely which is most certainly a tool used by most business owners.The mid size and large business owner usually has multiple means to secure a business loan with or without any collateral. The smaller business person on the other hand had problems. The problems in the beginning were many as no wanted to risk loaning to a small business. The federal government started offering grants to help but this took a lot of work to get and maintain. Finally, major companies like Visa, MasterCard, and American Express saw the advantage of B2B business loans. These companies already accommodated the consumers with their charge cards. After careful consideration a plan began to help the small business person.At the heart of commerce is a driving force called MasterCard. MasterCard enabled trade bringing insight into EURthe payment process. B2B Business loans only seemed natural to a unique company like this. Not only would they profit by loaning to the small business person but they could place their charge machine in their business and make money in that manner as well. Today it is noted that MasterCard has business in over 210 countries. They offer rewarding, secure, and convenient payment solutions.MasterCard developed a unique three-tiered business. The customer is always at the core of the company’s strategy. It did not take long before the other charge card companies followed suit making B2B Business loans for small business a lot easier and much more convenient.The focus became clear customers come first. The company developed a unique team that developed a unique method to provide a single point of contact which unified partnerships for mutual success and data mining capabilities. The first tier was to do with Franchisor. MasterCard through thousands of financial institutions markets a strong portfolio of brands and products worldwide. The B2B business loan for the small business now became very easy to obtain. More people wanted to go into business for themselves. The franchise companies were Maestro┬«, Cirrus┬«, and MasterCard┬« PayPass(TM).The second part of the tier very important was the processor. MasterCard’s streamlined and intelligent approach to processing put the company on a worldwide scale in commerce.
The speed, integration, and reliability were
what the B2B Business loan for small business needed. The third tier provides industry-leading insight to solutions that made payment paying process faster, more seamless, more secure and much easier to track. The B2B business loans finally became easily accessible to the small business man. The process for the business person to get the loan was made simple and not that complicated when applying for the loan. The loan could be partially secured in some cases depending on the business person’s credit. For the business person these are exciting times, a great time to go into your own business.

Finding Online Travel Reviews For New Zealand

Kelly was determined to find the nicest little cheap place to stay that she could find on her trip to the South Island of New Zealand. She read some online travel reviews for New Zealand and found this cool wee place that looked perfect. Cheap as chips, and pretty too. She thought she’d done well, and used the same site to book nearly all her free nights away from the tour she’d also found online.

When she arrived at the motel late at night, her heart sank. There was a really good reason it was cheap. It might have been the middle of winter, but there was no heating, the beds were barely covered with a sheet and the thin walls rattled every time the neighbours so much as whispered (let alone the wind that tore up the valley at 2am that morning).

Kelly later discovered the review had been written by the owner of the motel, the pictures were really out of date, and there were many amazing (but still cheap) places nearby she could have stayed in instead.

It can feel a little daunting to know if the information you are reading is a true travel review, or merely an advertorial paid for with free accommodation or from a professional paid writer. Finding out the true story of any place, tour or event is best done when the information is coming from people just like you – travellers wanting the best experiences New Zealand has to offer.

Online travel reviews are the best ways to find out all the secret gems, and avoid the scary places like Kelly’s disaster. You can often find them by trawling through blogs, and people’s online travel diaries but doing this is completely hit and miss and can take hours. Finding a site that provides you with a mix of comments and reviews from hundreds of travellers who have placed online travel reviews after their New Zealand travels is the most ideal way of finding the secret spots (like the awesome cafe in Kingsland, Auckland or the scary Coromandel caves you can discover for free, or the gold digging brothers in Hokitika who’ll make you scones and tell you ghost stories with a cup of billy tea.)

So how do you find New Zealand online travel reviews you can trust? Here are some simple tips when looking for online recommendations:

1) Look for a site that is full of personal experiences
While one person suggesting a place is awesome, fifty people suggesting the same thing, with a few frank comments about any issues or problems is far better. Kelly certainly wished she could have warned other travellers about her motel disaster.

2) Look for one that lets real people comment
Some sites are really just travel agency sites, with lots of comments from people who have been given free trips to write about. This means the bias can be slanted a little more positively than may be due in a real response to the place

3) Look for one that caters for a wide range of people
Even if you are on a mega budget you might want the occasional night of luxury (ooh that hot shower feels great after a week tenting in the South Island.) If you’ve got a comfortable budget, the more luxury orientated sites might focus only on the high cost tours and places to stay, and so much of New Zealand’s gems can be found in places where the cost isn’t that high. Find the secret local places that other travellers have found by sharing a few quiets in the pub with the locals.

The best thing about a community driven online travel review site is you’ll get to comment on your New Zealand adventure as well. You’ll have Kelly and her mates telling you what they loved, and what they hated. And then after you’ve experienced what other people have suggested, you too have a chance to let other’s know what you thought.

Through talking with thousands of travellers while running their own adventure tourism business, company owners Cymen Crick and Nick Morrison discovered that there was a clear need for independent travel information for NZ, free of bias and written by the traveller, for the traveller.

Online Travel Site Tips to Obtain the Best Travel Rates

When you have simply had enough of the standard work-a-day routine, you are ready to visit the online travel sites for a well-deserved break. Unfortunately, you may lack the insight and advanced understanding to obtain the best deal on your well-deserved vacation.

While the airlines and the travel websites can usually frustrate most people with their widely varying prices from one moment to the next, there are some reasons for this type of operation bound up in a corporate profit-motive mentality to these heavy website variations.

Firstly, as your father used to tell you, it is well-advised to plan ahead. In general, as is almost always the case, the earlier ahead you make your bookings, the better the price. Booking a trip 4 months ahead will almost always result in a much lower overall price than booking two weeks or less prior to the planned date of the trip.

Of course there are emergency situations and last minute business travel that allows for little advanced booking considerations. In those situations, it’s even more important to apply the tips in the remainder of this article.

Making travel plans for your trip on the big bird on a weekend or holiday is a common mistake. These are the days the majority of the population is off work and able to get away. Due to supply and demand economics; this is the most expensive time for a happy holiday. The day you depart is very important to your ability to realize huge savings. Many times it even pays-off to sacrifice a few of your vacation days to reap the benefits. If you can travel on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday, you will almost always get great discounts from the more preferred Monday, Friday or Sunday travel dates.

Did you know that simply the day of the week you purchase your tickets can have a dramatic affect on the price? Most experienced travelers, travel executives and travel agents alike will tell you that Tuesday and Wednesday are the most affordable days or the week to actually book your trip.

You will find the discounted deals start to hit the travel sites on Monday night when discounted airline seats it seems can be reduced up to as much as 15% to 33% in some cases. One of the big budget airlines will typically offer a super discounted fare on Monday night with the other competitor airlines normally following the trend on Tuesday morning. As you pick up your trusty laptop on a Thursday or Friday to arrange your bookings, you will notice the price increase significantly.

To see for yourself the variance of prices subjected to the day you actually book your travel, take a look at travel sites such as Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz on different days of the week. Make sure you compare apples to apples and not apples to oranges though. Use the same online discount travel service and the same airline as reference only go to the sites on different days of the week. For example, set one date a couple of months in the future as your travel date and compare that same date on the three services mentioned above for the same airline, but on different days of the week. Overall, you will probably see a twenty five to one-third decrease in the ticket price in the early days of the week.

The airline sites are very smart nowadays. Be aware that they also seem to track booking patterns. From minute to minute prices can change for a bargain seat. If the volume is high for a particular travel destination/ seat, the price can go up unexpectedly for a given seat a few minutes later. Sometimes it seems as though the searching and looking you are currently performing is influencing the price–and it very well may be. Technology nowadays is constantly monitoring and adjusting to market demands. It’s the way of the 21 century. If you find a deal that seems much better than expected, and your scrooge mentality kicks-in causing you to continue looking for an even better deal on another travel site or airlines, you may be surprised that you lost your too-good-to-be-true deal when you come back to retrieve it again.

A most overlooked method of obtaining additional discounts on travel and airline tickets is a visit to the coupon and promotional code websites prior to booking. These sites will regularly feature discounts in the form of coupon codes and clickable links that will save you additional money on general and specific travel destinations and airlines. Try doing a few Google searches for phrases like: “Miami airline ticket coupon” or “Delta air travel promotions.” Doing so will return a list of coupon websites offering deals and coupon codes for these specific destinations or airlines. Get creative with your searches and try a multitude of different phrases; you will be surprised at the number of websites offering discounts you will find that will help you save additional money on your travel.

Why Book Your Next Holiday With an Online Travel Agent

When arranging your next holiday of course you can see what your local travel agent has to offer. But by using an online travel agency you will be amazed at the variety of holidays that they can offer you but also they can provide some really great deals. So getting more for your money is going to prove a great deal easier.

But there are other benefits to be gained from using an online travel agent instead of those that are located close to your home. Below we take a look at just what some of these benefits are.

Benefit 1 – You can contact these companies at anytime that you wish. Whereas when it comes to your local agents then of course you will need to visit them when they are open. So if you need to arrange travel at the last minute or late at night then this you will be able to do very easily through an online company.

Benefit 2 – By opting to use an online travel agency then you can quickly and easily compare the deals that various ones are offering. So ensuring that you then get the best deal for the money that you can afford to spend on your holiday. Whereas with a conventional travel agent you will find that they only normally work with one or two holiday companies so of course they are limited to offering their deals to you only.

Benefit 3 – Through using an online travel agency you have the opportunity to select who you work with. So the chances of you being able to create travel plans that meet your particular requirements is going to prove a great deal easier. As a result this will help to ensure that the holiday you take will be the most enjoyable ever.

How to Increase Your Online Travel Service Ratings

Online travel service ratings are being regarded as the backbone of travel and tourism service providers. The web travel and tourism industry has evolved quite dramatically in the past one decade. Today, an increasing number of people turn to search engines to plan their holidays and vacations, offering potential opportunities for online travel service providers to expand their business.

However, your potential customers are more informed today and your competitors are even hungrier. In the face of intense competition in a rapidly evolving travel business, the web travel service ratings play a key role to help sustain your travel and tourism business.

Therefore, it is imperative for the online tourism service providers to focus on the following points in order to boost their travel service ratings.

Offer Attractive Vacation Packages:

Your prospective customers are web-savvy and search the Internet for the best vacation packages before they book for their holiday online. They may not be looking for the exact vacation package you offer. Therefore, allow the customers to assemble their own trip by empowering them with customization. This will help improve the online travel service ratings for your business.

Encourage After-trip Feedback:

When your customers are back from their trip, encourage them to share their travel experience with you by offering valuable feedback. This not only allows your customers to feel privileged, but also offers you an opportunity to take your service quality further and build a bonding with the customers. This may go a long way to increase the online travel service ratings for your company.

Introduce Coupons for Loyal Customers:

Treating your loyal customers with care is crucial to building your online travel business further up. Make sure you offer special discount coupons to your repeat customers. This offers them a very good feeling about why they should use your website again and again.

Build Long-term Relationship:

Online travel service providers should foster a long-term relationship with their customers in order to ensure repeat business. You should stay connected to your customers round the year by introducing them new tour offers and special tourism packages based on their past vacation priorities. For instance, you can send news letters to your customers about any attractive tour discounts they may take advantage of. Again, this may add to the online travel service ratings for your business.

Allow Customers to Write Reviews:

In order to boost online travel service ratings, you should encourage satisfied customers to write reviews about your services. You can be sure that these reviews will further influence other people to sign up for your services. User reviews add credibility to your services since it is a direct reflection of the satisfaction of clients. Not only can they make your ratings go up, but they also invite other clients.

Run A Travel Blog:

When it comes to improving your online travel service ratings, nothing works like running a travel blog. It is essentially a fun way to interact with your potential customers and show them the beautiful side of signing up with your tour services.

You can also allow your satisfied customers to contribute to your blogs occasionally as guests. This not only creates a sense of value among your customers but also adds to the credibility of your travel business among many other potential customers.

Focus on Social Integration:

Social networks are the epicenter of product promotion for online service providers, especially in the travel and tourism industry. Developing a powerful social presence via Facebook fan page, Twitter and LinkedIn is almost inevitable to promote your travel business online. When you allow your satisfied customers to write a review or share their tour pictures with you on your Facebook fan page, it works wonders for other potential customers.

A dedicated approach to maintaining your social presence can go a long way in ensuring excellent customer satisfactions and online travel service ratings.