China Travel Tips to Prepare You For a Visit to China

There are many reasons why many people all over the world want to visit China. The country, being one of the oldest civilizations in the world, opens new windows for visitors who would like to experience unique landscapes, architecture, customs and delicacies. You may want to visit different parts of China for various reasons, but you may want to take note of some pointers that would help you to be prepared and have a more pleasant experience while exploring the country. Here are some China travel tips that will help you.What to packMaking preparations for your trip to China regarding what you should bring is essential for an enjoyable trip. A pair of good walking shoes is absolutely essential, especially if you visit the main attractions as there is a lot of walking involved. The Great Wall of China, for example, has many rough surfaces and lots of steps.You will also be exposed to the elements in open places like the Forbidden City, so an umbrella or raincoat is essential. Insect repellent is also helpful in keeping the pests away during hot summer months. Most importantly, you should dress according to the weather conditions that apply to the specific time and place of your visit.ShoppingIf you are visiting different cities or regions during your trip, it is recommended that you spread your buys out such that you can purchase the unique products of each place. For example, Xinjiang is famous for carpets while Suzhou is well-known for its silk. Do feel free to bargain to get the best prices for your goods, except in malls and department stores.DiningChina is a haven for food lovers with a taste for both the familiar and exotic. It is not uncommon to find dishes that make use of many different plant and animal parts, thus usually evoking a variety of reactions in foreigners. Every region has its own specialty dishes and different ways of cooking and preparing that will deliver a range of satisfying culinary experiences to the discerning gourmand. You are not required to tip, although a service charge may be included in some cases.Safety and securityChina as a whole is a safe country to visit, with many helpful and friendly locals. However do take precaution at night and in crowded places, so do carefully safeguard your belongings and valuables and keep them where they are visible. Be careful not to flaunt your jewelry or other indicators of wealth unnecessarily. Most importantly, do not fall prey to scams by keeping your wits about and not following strangers.How to get around on your own without getting lostIf you are out exploring on your own, it is often a wise idea to bring along your hotel room card as the printed information of the hotel will help you to find your way back if you are lost. When taking a taxi to get around, do bear in mind that many taxi drivers do not know English. Hence it is advisable to get assistance in writing down the name of your destination in Chinese so that he knows where you are going.

A Good Real Estate Agent Is Critical in A Buyer’s Market

It’s undeniable that the U.S. is going through one of the worst housing markets in recent memory. It seems that every time we think we’ve reached bottom, average prices drop another 10% to 20%. For those trying to sell their homes, the numbers can be disheartening. However, it’s important to keep in mind that even though we are in a ‘buyer’s market’, houses are still getting sold, and a good real estate agent can be very helpful in getting a home sold even in a market like this.Choosing a realtor that is one of the top real estate agents in the marketplace can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. Here are 5 qualities that a top real estate broker or agent will possess:1. A commitment to his career.The first thing you need to know when considering a real estate agent for which to list your home is if they do this as a full time career. These days, there are many people who work full time jobs during the week, then work as a part-time realtor on the weekends. Back in the days of the housing boom, it may have been okay to work with someone like that, but in today’s market, you need a real estate broker with a commitment to getting his/her client’s homes sold.2. Membership in the National Association of RealtorsHere is another indication of how serious the real estate broker/agent you are considering is. Have they taken the basic step of becoming a member of the nation’s largest realtor trade group? If they haven’t, this is a strong indication that this person is not as serious about selling homes as he/she should be.3. Knowledge of your local communityWhen you are looking for a real estate agent to get your home sold, doesn’t it only make sense to choose someone who is located close to your neighborhood and has worked with other homeowners in your community? A realtor who is close by will have a much better ‘feel’ for what’s happening with other homes in the area and be able to get your home priced appropriately, so it doesn’t sit on the market for months without being sold.4. A first class team of associatesThese days, the best realtors out there have a good team of various experts they work with. For example, a top real estate agent will normally work with first class mortgage brokers, home inspectors, and staging professionals that are able to combine their talents to insure a prompt and smooth transaction for the seller (and buyer).5. Cutting edge marketing techniquesThese days, it’s not enough just to be committed to the sale, know the local community, and work with the best team, a top real estate broker must also be using ‘out of the box’ marketing techniques (both online and offline) to deliver the most possible traffic from prospective buyers. Remember, sales of any kind comes down to a ‘numbers game.’ The more people look at your home, the more likely you are to find a buyer willing to pay close to your asking price within a reasonable period of time.

Real Estate Agents – What Sellers and Buyers Should Know About Them

For most buyers and sellers the prospect of dealing with a real estate agent brings forth unknown fears. While some agents are genuine and reputable and consider their clients best interest as their top priority, there is no dearth of unscrupulous individuals either who are just trying to make a quick buck at someone else’s expense. As a buyer or sellers of a property, it is your responsibility to choose a estate agent prudently. So, here is a look at what you should know about real estate agents before you approach one.

What does a real estate agent do?

Depending on which side he is working for (the buyers or the sellers), the realtor acts as an intermediary between the buyer and the seller and helps to complete the sale of a property. For his services, he is offered a commission from his client (seller, buyer or both). When working on behalf of the seller, the agent is responsible for putting the details of a property in the multiple listing services of the area and undertaking other efforts such as home staging to market the property.

In case of a residential property, a real estate agent may start off by putting up the details of the property on his personal or company website depending on whether he is a part of a realtor firm or works on his own. The next step would be to market the property through postcards and advertisements in real estate magazines offline as well as online.

Besides marketing the property, the agent who lists your home is also responsible for following up with other agents who might have clients that may have expressed interest in the property. An agent is also supposed to help you negotiate the best deal possible. He/She is with you every step of the way till the home is sold; advising you on all matters including procuring the services of a lawyer.

The agent does not charge the client/home seller for his marketing efforts; however, you will have to incur any legal cost involved in the selling process

When working from the seller’s side, a realtor is responsible for rummaging through the property listings of an area that his client is interested in. He coordinates with the real estate agent handling the property on behalf of the seller and arranges to show the premises to his clients. A real estate agent from the buyer’s side also helps to negotiate the best deal for his client and is with the buyer through out the purchasing process. He is also responsible for approaching a professional to get a property evaluation done. Some real estate agents may also offer other services such as advice and help for procuring home loans.

Real estate agents not only earn commission from the sale and purchase of homes but also when a property is leased. Usually the commission is paid to the real estate agent at the final settlement of the deal.

Who should you choose to be your estate agent?

Real estate agent can don three mantles that of an intermediary on behalf of the seller, the buyer or a dual agent. When buying a house, it would be best to hire the services of an agent who can work on your side, the same holds true when selling a home as well; you would be better of approaching a real estate agent who works for sellers.

Although real estate agents who work from the sellers or the buyer’s side do not have different credentials, some agents choose to play on a single turf while double agents may work for both the seller and the buyer simultaneously earning commissions from both.

The Sellers Real Estate Agent: An agent working on behalf of the seller will have his loyalties towards his client an he/she will try his hardest to convince the seller to give his client the lowest deal. So, as a buyer if you were to ask the seller’s agent if his client would accept a higher deal, he will be obligated to not divulge this information to you.

The Buyers Real Estate Agent: Similarly agents who work on behalf of the seller owe their responsibility to their clients and will try to get their clients the highest deal possible. So, they will not be willing to offer information on how low their client will go in terms of the price.

A dual agent: A dual agent is obligated to keep the honest picture in front of both parties; since he is entitled to a commission from both parties, he owes his loyalties to both the buyer and the seller.

Most real estate agents have a list of buyers as well as sellers so it is not unusual for an agent to work on behalf of both parties or at least get another agent from his real estate firm to negotiate on behalf of the seller or the buyer.

The problem with real estate agents

While real estate agents are in the business of marketing properties, it is not uncommon for them to play up their credentials; after all, it is a dog eat dog world and there is certainly no dearth of realtors in the market. While this is acceptable, some individuals resort to lying blatantly about their accomplishments and often their customers end up paying for their tall claims.

So, make sure that you check all the claims that are being made by a potential estate agent. Do not hesitate to ask for references. If he has not mentioned his experience in the brochure, make it a point to ask him about it. Also, inquire about other properties that he may have sold which were similar to the one that you want to sell/buy; this would include properties in the sane area, of the same size and price range.

Finding a good and reliable agent can save you a lot of trouble while hanging out with the wrong guy can quickly turn into a nightmare so take your time when picking an agent to buy/sell your home.

Finding Cheap Life Insurance Deals

Life insurance is not something that we like to give much thought to; after all, a claim is only made in the event of your death, which is not pleasant thought. However, life cover can be invaluable to your family in the event of your death as it may stop them having to struggle financially. You may be able to leave your family without the worry of them having to struggle to meet the monthly bills or maintain the mortgage for instance. You may be able to ensure that children are cared for at least for a certain time after your passing and you do not have to pay a fortune for this if you search for cheap life insurance.How much you need to pay for your  insurance premiums depends on many factors. These typically include:- Your state of health when applying for the insurance
- Your weight in relation to your height
- Whether or not you take a regular form of exercise
- Your family medical history
- Your job
- Your hobbies
- The type of life insurance you apply forThere are different forms of life insurance depending on what it is that you want out of the policy.Term insuranceOne of the most common forms insurance if you are looking for cheap life cover is often term insurance. With term insurance, you choose the length of time you want to take the policy over and the amount you want to insure. During the term of the life insurance if you die, those you leave behind can claim on the insurance policy and receive the amount you insure your life for. However if you outlive the insurance policy there is no payout made and the policy simply expires. No refund of premiums will be made.  Decreasing term insuranceDecreasing term insurance is taken out the same as term cover with the difference being that the sum of money your loved ones claim upon your death decreases over the term of the policy. Usually this form of life insurance is taken out alongside a mortgage. If you have a mortgage to repay you may want to ensure that if you were to die while still owing on the mortgage, the outstanding balance may be paid off so your loved one does not have to struggle to find the monthly repayments. You take out the insurance for over the term of the mortgage left outstanding. For instance if you have 10 years left to pay off your mortgage you take out your life insurance for this amount of time. The amount covered is the amount left to pay on your mortgage. As you pay off your mortgage over the years, the amount left owing decreases and so does the payout from the insurance policy. If you pay off your mortgage then the insurance policy ceases.Whole of life insuranceWhole of life insurance may be shopped around for and compared for cheap life insurance deals and this form of life cover guarantees a payout upon your death. You choose how much you want to insure your life for and as long as the premiums are paid each month, the policy typically pays out upon your death, at anytime.

7 Best Online Travel Communities

True, Tripadvisor, Frommer’s and the Lonely Planet are some of the best online travel communities going, but they’re far from the only ones amongst the greats. So go on, expand your travel community horizons and check out our 7 Best Off The Radar Travel Communities:

1. Travelistic

From YouTube to Hulu to Yahoo, were a video obsessed bunch. Travelistic has cleverly taken this to head and created a travel community wholly centred around video.

Log on and you’ll find over 10,000 user submitted travel videos, to view, comment on and inspire your future travels. Want to visit the Great Wall? Journey to the top of Everest? You can do it all on Travelistic, without ever leaving home.

2. Igougo

A masterful all in one travel community, where you can plan your trip, compare flights and hotels and share your travel experiences with the world.

Just type in a destination and you’ll be instantly connected to a plethora of photos, reviews and users who have traveled or reside there. When you’re ready to go, create your very own trip journal and give back to the community by sharing your own travel experiences.

3. Trip It

Less of a travel community and more a travel service, Trip It is perfect for the organization nut in all of us. Just enter your flights, hotel stays and destinations and let trip it create an optimized travel itinerary for you in seconds. Never miss another plane or train again.

For those who truly want it all, upgrade to the pro version and Trip It will automatically alert you if there are changes or delays in your travel plans. That means less time at the airport, and more time at the beach.

4. Dopplr

Create a map with the dates and location of your travels; share it with the Dopplr community, check out other’s maps, then meet up with those whose travel plans overlap with your own. If you’d like to keep your location a secret from some (mom, dad, a raging x), don’t worry, you can control who can and can’t see where you are.

Along the way you’ll get a wealth of location specific travel information, so you’ll always know where to stay, where to eat, and what to do. Taking the thinking out of traveling, we like that.

5. Travbuddy

Travbuddy’s got all the ingredients that make for a killer online travel community; helpful forums, honest reviews, stunning travel photos and a dedicated membership 1.5 million strong.

Travbuddy ups the ante by giving you your very trip blog, allowing you to easily post your stories, pictures and reviews as you go. There’s even a built in mapping feature that builds a map of your travels as you venture across the earth.

Wherever, you’re headed, this is one buddy you don’t want to leave behind.

6.Travellers Point

Besides being a great place to plan, book and share your next trip, Travellers Point has hands down one of the best travel resources on the web; wiki travel guides.

These 100% user created and edited travel guides, give you the collective wisdom and travel experiences of over 250,000 members, right at your finger tips. From country and city guides, to travel health and safety information, you’ll find everything you need to get in the know, before you go.

7. Travel DODO

Travel DODO takes travel reviews and puts them into a fun, easily digestible format, Travel Do’s, and Travel Don’ts.

Want to find out which restaurants, hotels and attractions are best avoided in France? Just click on the location on the interactive map, and you’ll be given a list of places to cross off your list (travel don’ts), so you spend your valuable vacation time wiser.

Online Travel Insurance: 5 Not To’s You Should Know

Travelling is a great opportunity for families and friends to bond and spend some time together. Some people find travelling as a learning experience so that next time when they travel, they would be more prepared. One of the things that people learn when travelling is that they should not forget tour insurance. Australians can be prepared when something unexpected comes their way.

Do not let your vacation get ruined by unexpected flight delays, lost baggage, or unanticipated medical needs. Online travel insurance can protect you from sudden expenditures while on your trip with the family. There are many companies that can offer trip insurance but with the large amount of number available, people can get confused. Here are a few things you should not do about touring insurance.

1. Buying vacation insurance from unknown companies. Be cautious when buying online trip insurance. You should only buy from reputable firms that have a history of providing reliable travel insurance. Do a background check on each company that you may find as a possible provider for you. There are many review sites wherein you can read comments and reviews from former customers of online insurance providers. This will give you a good sense of whether you can purchase insurance from them or not.

2. Going for the cheapest online insurance provider. In these times where money is hard to earn, you would always go for the cheapest of things. This is not always advisable because in the end, it might cost you even more. There are many online insurance Australian companies that are known for having economical yet reliable services. Look for those companies instead.

3. Not reading the terms and conditions of your insurance policy. Insurance policies contain a lot of clauses. You should read everything that is written in your contract to avoid any misunderstanding in the future. Apart from that, you should not hesitate to ask a representative from your chosen company to explain parts of your contract that you do not understand or needs further explanation. Tell your concerns to them to make sure they can accommodate all your needs.

4. Purchasing voyage insurance near the flight of your trip. Right after booking your trip, purchase travel insurance. There are travel insurance providers online that increase the price of the travel insurance policy when it is near the flight trip. By booking early, you avoid that risk and also you have the chance to receive promos or discounts for booking early.

5. Not notifying your travel insurance provider of any pre-existing condition. To avoid the inconvenience of not being covered for a medical expense because of a pre-existing condition, speak with your company about it. They can help you make a solution for your situation and this makes them aware of the possible assistance you may need in the future.

People can save a lot of money from travel insurance. Australians should be aware of at least these five commonly undone things by people to avoid any inconvenience while travelling. If you are lucky enough to read this before your trip, then share this with your friends so that you can all be informed of what you should do with travel insurance.

You Can Start an Online Travel Writing Career

Starting a travel writing career is now much easier than it has ever been. Why? Because of the Internet. It levels the playing field. You can start an online travel writing business from you kitchen table with a laptop, a digital camera, solid expressive skills, and a motivated work ethic.

Say goodbye to: writing query letters, rejection slips from magazines, getting your ideas stolen, photos that do not get returned, impossible deadlines, late payments, and editors that cannot be reached.

You can start your own website on the area where you live right now, or to provide detailed information on trips you take throughout the year. YOU get to decide the content, YOU get to decide what pictures to include, YOU get to choose where you visit…and YOU get to write off your business expenses.

The only limitations you have are your own creativity and attitude toward hard work.

If You Cannot Join Them…Beat Them

Becoming a published travel writer for one of the magazines you thumb through at the local bookstore is a valid goal, but in reality, breaking into print is extremely difficult because it seems like the elite club of travel writers is permanently closed.

I was once discouraged just like you, until I decided to start my own website about the beautiful Florida Gulf Beaches where I live. It was the best decision I could have made. I write about whatever interests ME here in Paradise, I make money from affiliate products and advertisements on my site, and I save $1000′s of dollars on my taxes because of the tax write offs for my expenses.

Now, I could care less about being published in a travel magazine. I wake up everyday thinking, “How can I make even more money,” instead of “I hope my query letter gets accepted.” Having my own online travel writing business has changed my thinking 180 degrees…to the positive.

Website vs Blog

Blogging has become the instant means of self-expression. It seems like everybody has one and a whole online industry has been born to take your money with promises of riches. Do not buy into it. Blogs are easy to start, but they DO NOT make you money.

* Creating a website takes much more learning. It will be much more frustrating when you first start because you will be on information overload. But…I did it. So can you.

* Websites get indexed in the big search engines far easier than blogs. You make money by generating more traffic to your site.

* Learn all you can about finding the most profitable keywords for your travel niche. Learn all you can about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You will be writing for two audiences…the search engine spiders and your human audience. You cannot be lax toward either of them.

Grow Your Travel Writing Career With An Online Home Business

You establish a travel writing career with regular and consistent pieces. In order to run a solid home business, you must commit to creating one new page each day on your website. It will be difficult at first. Building one page every couple of days will be taxing, but after six months you will start getting the hang of it.

Here are some easy tips:

* Write only positive reviews on the motels, restaurants, or sites you visit. Readers want honesty, but they DO NOT want negativity. If you cannot write a positive piece about some aspect of your visit, do not include it.

* Give your reviews personality, just do not get too personal. Nobody wants to read about digestive problems, how you had to “straighten out” the desk clerk, or that you only packed two pair of underwear.

* Take pictures of everything. Edit them tightly. Provide a one-sentence synopsis for each.

Your dreams of starting a travel writing career can be reached online. There are thousands of people just like us who want solid information on beautiful out-of-the way places, unique little cafes, romantic inexpensive restaurants, and cheap accommodations. You can provide for them with your own online home business.

Tips in Choosing an Online Travel Agency

Making use of an online travel agency has its benefits. For one, you don’t have to go through the hassle of visiting a booking office in person. And two, you can often save money if you book your travels online. And of course, there’s the fact that you can have several choices to pick from. You can easily navigate from travel website to another, comparing prices and services. This way, you will be able to find the most appropriate deals with the best prices. Booking online is also quick and easy. It’s just a matter of making a few clicks and you are done.

Now, just because booking your travels using an online travel agency is easy doesn’t mean you are not susceptible to making mistakes. If you are not careful, you might end up choosing the worst possible offer for you. One thing you should always remember is that you should not believe in everything that you hear from travel agencies especially with regards to promos and discounted offers. Sometimes, a promo may look like a great deal in the surface but if you look closer into it, it really won’t benefit you the way you expect it to. That said, always weigh things before making any decisions. Don’t be blinded by discounts or promos nor allow them to cloud your judgments.

Here are a few practical tips on how you should go about in booking your travels on the internet.

1. Ask around. You could ask a friend, a family member or a co-worker who has experience booking his or her travels online. Ask for their recommendations. A recommendation from someone you personally know is much better than the reviews you will find online. Don’t rely too much from recommendations though.

2. Always make sure that you are dealing with a legit travel website. You will be transacting online so there will be people out there planning to scam your money away. So as much as possible, stay away from shady and suspicious travel websites.

3. Try requesting information from a travel website. You can gauge the quality of the services of a travel agency based on its response time to your inquiries. If the agency takes forever to reply to your simple inquiries, then it’s probably not worth your time. But if it quickly responds and assists you if you ask more questions, then the agency is probably worthy of your investment.

4. Ask for recommendations from the agency itself. Let’s say for instance that you are planning to tour Canada. You can try asking the agency which of their packages should you purchase. If the agency really cares about their clients, they will recommend to you the most appropriate travel package for you.

5. Compare prices. This is why you should look around for several travel agencies so that you have choices to compare. Again, this is easy to do because most travel agencies these days maintain their own websites.

Social Media Marketing And SEO

The digital world is an increasingly crowded but mandatory field that businesses owners must play in. As a Tampa business in today’s world it is now not enough to just have a website and Tampa social media marketing strategy, you also must employ a comprehensive search engine optimization plan. For this reason, the smart option is to work with a company, like Webhead Interactive that does both.

Webhead social media strategies are designed in a way to complement their SEO work. This way each end of the marketing spectrum maximizes the work of the other. The result? More traffic to your site and more customers to your business. Tampa social media is a very crowded field. Most businesses are active on one or more of the popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, even Pinterest and Instagram. For this reason it is important that your business not just be active in your Tampa social media marketing, but also be found through comprehensive SEO efforts.

Webhead Interactive, known as not only a top rated Tampa SEO company, but also the premier Tampa social media marketing agency, has the experience and expertise necessary to help businesses reach their market audience through a fully integrated and optimized social media management strategy. They work on multiple levels to be able to not only help your customers find you, but also interact with you through your social media channels. Since Webhead social media doesn’t just focus on one aspect of your digital marketing, but instead takes a 360 approach, they far surpass the impact of other social media companies in Tampa. Quicker, more powerful results and a proven track record of success.

As the leading full-service Tampa social media agency, Webhead Interactive will help you identify how your business and brand can benefit from an optimized social media presence. An example of some of the services they offer and might recommend include; custom Twitter, Google+ and YouTube backgrounds to help you promote your brand, Facebook timeline design and implementation to increase visitor click-through rates, Pinterest set-up and board strategy, content distribution and sharing strategy to maximize exposure and much more. They will also help you with your digital and social media promotional advertising strategy to further encourage engagement and fan development.

In order to make sure your Tampa business is found by the customers that are looking for you the best strategy is to maximize your online exposure by using both social media marketing and SEO as part of your communications strategy. By choosing a company like Webhead Interactive and Webhead social media, you know you are working with a team that understand and excels at both. The author has an immense knowledge on Tampa social media marketing. Know more about Webhead social media, Tampa social media marketing related info in his website.

Paton Marketing: Quality Solutions for Effective Internet Marketing

Paton Marketing is an Internet Marketing Company Miami that has helped many clients generate great revenues through various online marketing techniques and procedures. Paton Marketing offers services like Search Engine Optimization, Website Development, Pay per Click Management, Reputation Management, and Social Media Marketing. We provide all the services you need at affordable rates.

Our online marketing strategy constantly thrives to get desired results for the clients. Our SEO campaigns cover all critical and diverse factors ranging from on-page, back link, content to website design. All SEO aspects are covered with the simplified three phase approach of Plan, Optimize and Track to strategize, execute and report SEO campaigns.

Miami Marketing Agency uses expert knowledge in a range of marketing services to help bring our clients’ websites to unprecedented levels of success. Through effective online marketing strategies and our expert SEO services, we can help turn your website in to your business’ most powerful lead generator. Google, like many other search engine ranks pages based on certain criteria. To start with, the quality of your site matters a lot.

We also specialize in Web Development and Web Design. Paton Marketing provides our clients with a strategically-developed premium custom website. A great website will go a long way in getting your business noticed online. It also delivers a high-quality user experience. We keep your website up to date regularly.

Internet marketing is much more than site creation. It requires precise marketing techniques and tools across the board. Without our professional assistance, your website will simply fail to generate essential web traffic. Web marketing also entails weekly progress reports. This includes web traffic, along with the number of hits your site secures on a weekly basis.

Miami Marketing Agency also specializes in Reputation Management. Reputation Management is one of most important factor in web marketing. Negative content can terribly affect your business. Paton Marketing Reputation Management strategies can protect your online reputation by suppressing negative content on the search results. We create positive and multiple micro-sites ensuring that the negative links are pushed further out of search results.

If you are struggling with web traffic issues, our dedicated marketing team can help you within time and budget. Simply contact us today.