Cookie Decorating and Cocktails: Themed Parties For the Holiday Season

The holidays are upon us, and one of the most timeless, beloved traditions is cookie decorating before Christmas time. Instead of setting aside an afternoon to bake batch after batch of Christmas cookies, why not plan a full-blown cookie decorating party to include friends and family?

How a Cookie Decorating Party Works

A cookie decorating party can work in one of two ways. You can ask all guests to bring their own favorite cookies, undecorated, to the party for a group decorating project. Or, you can ask guests to pitch in and make batches of cookies in your kitchen that you can all decorate together once they cool, fresh out of the oven.

For a smaller gathering with a few friends, baking cookies and decorating together will work well. For a larger party of five or more, it’s a better idea to ask guests to bring their own undecorated cookies so you don’t have to worry about squeezing a large group into a crowded, hot kitchen to bake cookies together.

To plan ahead, make sure that you have all of the necessary decorating supplies set up in advance in different stations throughout the room, including:

• Aprons or smocks
• Paper towels
• Tubes of icing in different colors
• Sprinkles and other assorted decorations
• Food coloring
• Small paintbrushes

From there, it’s time to get cracking! Guests can decorate plain cookies of their choice with different icings and assorted decorations, like sprinkles, chocolate chips, M&Ms, crushed peppermint, and more. You may also choose to splurge on fancy holiday cookie decorations like colored sugar, silver ball candies, and cinnamon hearts.

All of the decorations can be set up in individual bowls for use at each decorating station. Guests can also create their own colored icing with food coloring to paint different designs on each cookie using a small paintbrush.

Adult Beverages for Cookie Decorating

If this is an adults-only party, you have the perfect opportunity to pair holiday cookies with delicious seasonal cocktails to enjoy throughout the decorating process. Depending upon the type of cookies that you decorate, whether they’re plain sugar cookies, snickerdoodles, or even peanut butter cookies, you can pair your holiday drinks accordingly.

Decorated holiday sugar cookies will go well with a warm beverage like Irish Coffee or spiked cider. You can also make a large batch of alcoholic holiday punch with flavors of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, served chilled and topped with a splash of cranberry juice and sparkling wine.

For more flavorful cookies, like peanut butter or snickerdoodle, serve a refreshing holiday favorite like mulled wine, peppermint martinis, or rich yet satisfying alcoholic eggnog.

For an adult-themed cookie decorating holiday bash, make sure to provide guests with the convenience of arranging transportation to and from the venue with a limo rental or luxury town car. This will allow guests to ride safely to and from the party destination so that they can enjoy a few holiday cocktails without having to worry about driving home at the end of the evening. ‘Tis the season!

First Travel Nurse Assignment – Frequently Asked Questions

Question: I decided to switch to be a travel nurse instead of permanent placement how do I decide where to go?
Congratulations! You have made the first step toward an exciting career of travel nursing. Choosing where you want to go will be one of the questions the travel nursing staffing agency will ask you. Since each travel nurse assignment is approximately 13 weeks long, you do not need to worry about planning where you want to go months in advance. However, there are several factors in deciding your first assignment as a travel nurse.

o Suppose you have a family member whom you haven’t seen in awhile, you could select a location near them so you can have time to visit and form a relationship. Additionally, you may know of a sick relative who needs assistance, so you can choose a destination from your nursing staffing agency nearby.
o Dreamed of visiting the Grand Canyon or the Rio Grande? Would you like to vacation in Hawaii or near Wine Country? Ask your travel nursing staffing agency about jobs near these destinations.
o Do you want to escape the summer heat? Ask about a travel nursing job in Minnesota or Oregon where the summers are beautiful and full of outdoor summer activities.
o Ask your travel nursing staffing agency recruiter about top destinations or ask other travel nurses where they like to travel and work.

Question: What kind of uniform will I need?
Uniforms are often provided to you. You will likely receive them upon your arrival. Each facility requires something different as far as work clothes or uniforms most of the time. It is, however, best to bring a couple pairs of comfortable shoes and an extra set of scrubs, in case your uniform is not ready the first day of your assignment or in rare occasions not provided to you. Also, keep receipts of all nurse uniforms as well as laundering expenses for tax purposes.

Question: What do I need to do before leaving on a travel nurse assignment?
If you know the exact date you will be leaving for your first travel nurse assignment, then it is a good idea to have your mail forwarded to your new housing address. You can give the post office start and stop dates for mail forwarding. It may take up to a week to get your mail at your new location, so make arrangements with any monthly bills you have to pay beforehand.

Inform your nursing staffing agency of your travel dates, so they can inform the employer when to expect you as well as how to reach you during transit. Also, tell your family and friends of your new assignment address, phone number, travel route and where to reach you in case of an emergency as well as the number of your nursing staffing agency. Carry a cell phone and car charger with you at all times; you may need to call someone during transit if you have an emergency.

Carry a folder to hold all your travel expenses, receipts, professional licenses, CEUs, uniform cost and cleaning, fuel for your car, airfare and lodging. Having an organized folder for keeping all these items will save you at tax time.

Finally, it is best to have enough money for meals, fuel, and incidentals for at least two weeks. If you have not set up a bank account at your new location or if you do not have direct deposit, your paychecks may be delayed and you’ll be without accessible funds.

Question: How do I find personal and repair services while working as a travel nurse?
Starting in a new location whether as a job transfer or a travel nurse can be daunting; however, knowing that you will be working with other professionals who are available to refer you to credible and affordable services.

Since travel nurses often have the option of staying in medical staffing housing, you won’t need to worry about home maintenance repairs. While you may need to find a beauty salon or barber, auto repair shop and affordable grocery stores, the same people you work with will be your greatest resource.

Other places to find information about local businesses can be found on Angie’s List and Yelp, which provide reviews and ratings by consumers. Almost every town also has a travel bureau or a chamber of commerce, which have plentiful of resources and recommendations for retail stores and services.

Question: As a travel nurse, do I have to accept an assignment right away after one ends?
No, you do not have to take another assignment right away. As a travel nurse you can take a break between assignments whether it is for one week, two weeks or more, and then choose your next assignment. Travel nursing is not only a great opportunity to explore new places and work assignments, but you also are able to plan your vacation between assignments.

A great recruiter will however follow up with you and talk about your plans before your assignment ends so there is a smooth transition if you want to take advantage of another assignment right away and the many bonuses and rewards that are often times offered for taking another assignment right away. The option is yours!

Question: This is my first travel nurse assignment, what if I have problems adjusting to work schedule or personnel? Whom do I contact?
Medical staffing agencies will be able to work with your needs and special requests regarding work assignments, travel costs and housing before your first assignment; this will help alleviate your first travel nurse assignment problems.

However, if you feel like the travel nurse assignment is not what you expected, you should talk to your head nurse or physician to solve any miscommunication or task responsibilities. Notify your staffing recruiter as well to make sure they know and help resolve issues so that others are in the know as well. You may also know of another nurse whom you can confide in about any concerns you have. It is best to talk to someone before issues interfere with your travel nurse assignment.

If you think of other questions before you leave for your first travel nurse assignment, call your nursing staffing agency because they will have an answer for you when you need it. Rely on their experience to guide you and keep your confidence levels high before during and after travel.

Online Payday Loan – How Do I Find Lenders?

There are so many websites and articles online talking about payday loan but how will borrowers know who is a lender and who is an information provider to save their valuable time? You might have been stuck on your way and you need cash to help you fix your car and get on the move, how do you find a lender that will credit your account in less than 60 minutes? There are so many cash advance service providers with this service but how do you find the one that will give you fair interest rate package? Here is how you can get up to $1,500 dollars instantly with low repayment rate.

If you need instant cash to fix your cash needs, all you need to do to get the fastest solution to your cash trouble is to look for payday loan lenders in your state, compare their packages and choose the most moderate interest rate package. With lenders in your state, you can easily get your account credited with the needed amount with less time and the interest rate will be a bit lower Compare to lenders from other states or lenders out side your country.

It is not advisable to apply for payday loan in UK why you live in the U.S. you and I know that the service will be slow and the interest rate will be higher due to the risk the borrower is exposed to. So for you to get the best payday loan package, you have to consider the lenders in your state.

Activity Internet Marketing Report, Internet Marketing Information

INTERNET MARKETING INFORMATION

NETWORKING

SCAMS, FRAUDS

FAKE E CARDS

HOLIDAY RENTALS

DROP SHIP

One of the first things you should do is check the government regulations that effect Internet marketing. Two of the main regulation deals with e mails. You can only send out your offer to persons who have contacted you about your offer or (a one time only) persons who have contact you with their offer.

You are required to enclose in all your e mails, your e mail address, your business address and phone. If you will be using a autoresponder you are required to have a unsubscribe link, so persons who may have contacted to receive your offers, newsletter, etc. can click on and have their name removed from your list.

It is also very important to remember if you join a MLM as a affiliate the firm you are marketing for meet the regulations, as you too could be charged if they make outrages claims about their product, how much money can be made etc.

The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S.

and abroad.

Get your own website, avoid the free ones offered by MLM’s. Don’t be restricted to one firm’s product with a free website.

With a free web site you would have no chance of being listed on the search engines, as there would be hundreds of web sites with the same offers. All you are doing is working for free, paying for advertisements for someone else’s products. If there was some product you wanted to sell from a MLM firm, you can join as a reseller and place just the product you want to handle on your website.

NETWORKING

You didn’t learn it at school, or at the office.

Would you believe your mother?

Networking is more then shaking hands, and giving out business cards. Forget about the endless networking skills you may have learned at the office. We just have to put the few lessons mother taught us into practice. As a kid we were always in a hurry to find something better. Our mothers taught us patience.

If your in a hurry you miss the value that can be built taking time with building relations in networking. Establishing a relationship by taking time, gives you a solid framework in networking building.

Your mother worked hard as an example. This is one of the better examples in networking she gave you. That’s why it is called networking, not sit work. For networking to be successful you have to work hard and put out the effort.

Remember her telling you to share your things with others? Some of our best resources are time, money, and information we are willing to give to the relationship. They appreciate us when we are willing to give to the relationship.

She always made you clean up after yourself. In networking, follow-up is required. Whether it’s a promise to meet someone, or just a thank you is one of the most important lessons of networking. These life lessons we learned from mother during childhood are a solid basis’s for strong networking skills.
Thank you mother for all your help.

The biggest time spend in selling, more so in mail order or on the Internet is developing a relationship with your customer and building trust. If you did a good job in the first two, closing a sale will take the smallest of your time spend with your customer.

SCAMS, FRAUDS

Fake e cards.
You get a message with a link to an online greeting card but, when you click it, you end up with a virus on your PC. A couple of simple rules here. Delete any messages that come from someone you don’t know or that don’t address you by name. If they come from someone you know, email that person to check that they sent it before clicking on.

HOLIDAY RENTALS

2009 has seen a surge in ads offering bogus vacation rentals. You pay a deposit or even in full to get a key and that’s the last you hear of them. Scammers are experts at creating phoney look-alike sites where you land after mistyping an address or by clicking on a link supplied in the e mail or ad. Always type in the URL and don’t just click on the link.

DROP SHIPPERS
You can get products to sell via e bay or/and your website by using the services of a drop shipper. A reliable drop shipper will not ask you for a fee. They will allow you to copy pictures of the products they sell. Prices are about half you would pay for retail.

When writing articles to directories, we are not allowed to list URL’s for places to go for free information, such as drop shippers, ebay, and other places. If your interested you can go to our website and in our archives there is over 2 years of free Internet information listing with URL’s. My website is listed in the article source at the bottom of this article.

If you have a website they will allow you to move any listing on their site to yours. You set your price on the product/s you transfer. When an order comes in place the order they will ship it out for you under your shipping label and not include any of their material.

A good way to promote is join as an affiliate, transfer a couple specials onto your site, with a link back to your affiliate page. The cost of setting up a web site is minimum. Check out my website archive for drop ship firms. Transfer a couple specials onto your site, with a link back to your affiliate page. The cost of setting up a web site is minimum. Check out my website archive for drop ship firms.

Disclaimer:
The Author of this article is not responsible for accuracy or completeness nor shall he be held liable for any damage or loss arising out of or in any way related to the information or utilization of it.

Quick Finance – Caveat Loans And Bridging Finance

Short term loans help people lessen their immediate money troubles, because of increasing everyday expenses and no sufficient income to meet the requirements. These loans by and large come in a shape of payday loans, in that you can obtain immediate cash with the settlement time between two and three weeks. Lots of lenders in Australia offer their service online that let you submit an application for the finance, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

If you need fast money, then a caveat loan, short term loan or bridging finance from any Australian finance Centre can help.

Caveat loans

Fundamentally, caveat loans are all about when lenders offer the borrower fast money, in return for their property as defense for the finance.

The submission of applications for these loans is extremely quick, and it is likely to be short term from approximately one month to four months. Usually the borrower can get the money inside 24 hours after the request has been launched, and in the majority of cases, having a bad credit documentation does not have an effect on your possibility of successfully achieving it. In other words, these loans are finance for property.

The reason caveat loans are provided for assets is since the borrower have to secure an asset against it, and the majority of the time, the assets consists of realty properties or vehicles, as other kinds of assets are usually not acknowledged to be a defense for such loans.

Bridging Finance

By explanation, Bridging Finance is a short-term loan used to buy business property.

This is something that can come in very helpful, conditional on your particular circumstances. There are two major points that you need to think about before you choose a Bridging Finance package, your wants and the condition of the property market.

One of the main benefits of Bridging Finance is that it will let you close on a property and buy a new property before you get rid of your existing one. You will need to assess your present situation to decide if your wants give good reason for taking on this sort of finance.

Paying off your Bridging Loan at the ending of the term usually depends on your capacity to sell your existing property. If it is not sold in the obligatory time, then you will have to pay the existing loan on your present property, your new property and the newly transformed Bridge Finance, too. If you think that this might be the likelihood then be sure to take a package that can be changed to business Loans if the need comes up. Or else, you might have to come up with the complete finance amount at the conclusion of the funding time.

Travel Nursing Jobs

Do you have what it takes to get hired for travel nursing jobs? More importantly, are travel nursing jobs really the door of opportunity you’re waiting for or does it simply lead to a more undesirable path? Make sure that you’ve researched completely and made a lot of soul-searching first before making a final decision.

What Makes an Individual Eligible for Travel Nursing Jobs?

Just because you want to have a travel nursing job doesn’t automatically mean your wish will be immediately granted. Just like any other job, travel nursing opportunities are only offered to those who meet the criteria the employer or agency is looking for.

In terms of experience certain travel nursing jobs will require applicants to have the necessary experience before they can be hired. If you’re only beginning as a nurse, it’s possible that you’ll have to wait one more year or so before you can have a fighting chance to get hired.

Expertise can either be shown through your experience or your grades during nursing school. Hospitals may lack experts in a certain field of medicine, and this deficiency is what will make them hire you even if you’re just a recent nursing graduate.

Never mind the absence of experience or expertise. If you meet the hospital’s educational requirements, you may be immediately flown off to your future workplace…abroad!

Travel nursing is a job for the young nurse, rarely are travel nursing jobs offered to people beyond forty. As working in hospitals and clinics requires you to have extraordinary strength and longevity, employers would wish to employ younger people because they’re unlikely to pass out from exhaustion and become patients themselves.

Certain nations don’t exactly enjoy pleasurable relations with each other. As such, even if you’re more than qualified for a certain travel nursing job, your nationality might prevent you from taking advantage of that particular job opening.

Factors Affecting Travel Nursing Jobs

In the event that you’ve all the necessary requirements to qualify for any travel nursing job, don’t say yes just yet…there are still a couple more questions you have to ask yourself before signing on the dotted line.

First of all, in which part of the world are you going to be assigned? Is the country affected by politically influenced wars? Will it be dangerous for you to leave home alone at night? Is your home and workplace in the city or country?

Choosing travel nursing as a career is a very significant point in a career of a nurse, and it can lead to many opportunities that will follow, in any case a nurse considering taking travel nursing should learn everything it can before committing to this professional channel.

How to Shop For Your Once in a Lifetime Wedding Dress

He proposed, you said yes. The wedding planning is in full gear and its time to shop for your wedding dress. Your wedding dress is the most memorable and expensive dress you will ever purchase. Here is some practical advice to make your shopping trip fun and let you know what to expect.

Make an appointment to try on wedding dresses. Some bridal salons don’t require them, but an appointment will guarantee you the individual attention of a bridal consultant and space in the dressing room.

Time your shopping trip to your best advantage. If you shop on a weekday afternoon, you will get the most attention and you will not be competing with a lot of other brides like you would on weekends. You also get more time to shop.

You will get the best deals if you shop in November and December when the bridal salons are slow and new merchandise is arriving. There will be more sales and more incentives to buy because they need to clear out stock to make room for new stock that is arriving. Wedding dresses arrive in cycles, with the late fall and early winter being the time the manufactures ship out new merchandise.

Don’t shop too early, if your wedding is two years away and you are not prepared to buy, stay home and surf the net for ideas. The styles will change and your idea of your dream dress may change, along with your weight and wedding plan. The style may also be discontinued by the manufacturer.

Don’t shop too late. Wedding dresses should be ordered 9 months to a year in advance. The manufacturers take 16 to 20 weeks to fashion your dress because of all the hand work that is done on the dress. You also need to allow transportation time and time to have alterations done. If you shop at the last minute, you will risk major disappointment. You will either have to buy off the rack or pay the manufacturer extra for rushing your dress.

Shop prepared. This should not even have to be mentioned., Wear underwear on your shopping trip. Wear clean underwear and be freshly showered or risk major embarrassment. Some salons will send you home to shower or come back with underwear and who can blame them? You are trying on expensive white dresses! And if you don’t wear underwear, you’ll be standing in the dressing room buck naked. If you are uncomfortable, you consultant will be doubly uncomfortable.

Bring along a strapless bra if you have one and a pair of heels to get a feel for how the gown will look on you.

Don’t shop with a posse. Shop with someone you trust, your mom, your sister, your best friend. Don’t shop with your entire wedding party. Too many people means a lot of confusion for you and your consultant. Too many opinions will make you crazy. Are they giving you their true opinion, or picking out a dress they would wear to their own wedding? Invite your friends to see your choice after you’ve made your choice. They’ll be more interested after you’ve chosen your dress. Sure, a huge shopping trip sounds like fun, but you’ll totally regret it when you leave exhausted, confused and aggravated.

Don’t try to cram too many shopping appointments in one day. Trying on wedding dresses is exhausting. You’ll be standing up in heels for a long time. Some of the dresses are very heavy. Pretty soon you’ll be suffering from white blur, a wedding term that means that all the dresses are starting to look alike. Limit your appointments to no more than two a day and take time in between to grab something to eat and drink. The only way you can be on top of your dress shopping game is to be fueled up, hydrated and relaxed. Its going to be a long day!

Shop with an open mind and a good attitude. You have a dress etched into your mind. You are closing yourself to dresses that may be more flattering on your figure, cost less money and be THE dress. Be open and receptive to different necklines, body styles and fabrics. You may leave with the dress still etched in your mind, but you may just find THE dress if you stop telling yourself that you are picky. By constantly reinforcing your pickiness, you’ll make yourself and your shopping companion crazy. Bridal consultants are trained and experienced in finding dresses that make the most of your figure and hide the parts that need to be hidden. Stop whining and listen, you’ll be amazed at how fabulous you can look if you just open your mind and adjust your attitude.

What to expect when shopping for your wedding dress. Expect to be warmly welcomed into the bridal salon and meet your consultant. Your dress consultant will ask you some questions about your wedding. They’ll ask you about the type of wedding, the formality of the wedding and your wedding dress budget. They aren’t being nosy. They need to help you choose a dress from a mind boggling selection of dress styles. You can’t try everything on in the store, its physically impossible. They also need an idea of your dress budget, so you don’t fall in love with a dress that is out of your price range. If you want to see dresses under a thousand dollars or under five hundred dollars, tell them honestly to avoid a lot of disappointment on your part.

You will be shown styles, feel free to say no to anything you don’t like. Be honest, you will not like everything and it will help your consultant pull more dresses that are in line with what looks best on you and you like.

You will be helped try on the dresses. Dressing yourself in a bridal salon is difficult, so expect to be helped on and off with the dress, in addition to zipping the dress.

You will be asked more questions, for example, do you feel comfortable in this style?

Your consultant will categorize your dresses by the dresses you like, the maybes and the definite no way. You might want to retry the dresses you like to cut down on your selections. Your consultant will keep the dress style on file so when you return, the can find the style.

If you are uncomfortable in the style, its a no. If you feel overwhelmed in a style, its a no. If you feel fat in a style, its a no.

And above all, do NOT be pressured into buying a dress by anyone. If you feel pressured, gracefully say you’ll be back to try it on once your mind is cleared. Don’t buy anything from pressure. Buy the dress because you love it and its THE dress!

Telemarketing Principals of Commercial Real Estate Today

The process of telemarketing does not work well in commercial real estate if you follow the typical model of ‘pitch and process’. The people that you call do not like to be subjected to a 1 minute sales pitch and questioning process over the telephone. You have to change the rules and develop some real systems to make cold calling or telemarketing much more effective for you. In one word you have to ‘connect’.

Firstly, and before I go further into this subject I would like to say that all commercial salespeople and agents should be making their own prospecting calls wherever possible. They are the best people to connect with their market because they understand what to say in a relevant way when hard questions are created through the telephone conversation.

When it comes to commercial property sales and leasing, there are really only two targets out of making cold call connections and telemarketing. They are:

1. You want to know if the person you are calling has a need or interest in commercial property sales or leasing or property management.

2. You should seek to create a face to face meeting where the person you call qualifies from the previous point, so that you can take matters further.

When you look at these two factors simply, you can see that you should not be meeting with people who have no genuine interest. Your prospecting calls should therefore be based around a conversation or connection and not a sales pitch or presentation.

The only thing that you are selling in the call contact process is an appointment, and you only do that when you know that the person really does have a need. Protect your time and only meet with the right people that qualify as ‘active’ or ‘interested’ in commercial property.

So the telemarketing or cold call process centres on questions and conversation. Through the conversation you can come to understand if the prospect really does fall within your criteria for a prospective client or prospect. On that basis you can then arrange a meeting as appropriate.

Here are some rules that should be merged into your prospecting scripts:

  1. The people that you talk to want to be involved in the conversation. On that basis you need to ask sensible and realistic questions related to the property industry. Be sensitive to the fact that the person you call will not open up completely with you until you have established a degree of trust in the conversation. It is important that they feel relaxed and not threatened by a pushy salesperson. Professional salespeople create good connections over the telephone.
  2. Approach the first cold call or prospect call on the basis of a simple survey questioning process. The call should be about them and not about you. This is where the right questions will help you establish rapport. The reason for your call is to identify their potential property needs. Do not push for a meeting until you understand that they have a genuine need or an interest.
  3. Be prepared to introduce yourself and your business. Be honest through the conversation but allow the prospect to talk at least 50% of the time. It is of great benefit to have a simple script to get the conversation going. Beyond that starting point, Uncategorized conversation should flow and the script should be irrelevant. Your target is to get conversation moving inside of 20 seconds. A good conversation leads to information and potentially a productive meeting.
  4. If the person is unwilling to talk to you or be open and frank in the discussions, then thank them for the ability to speak with them today and then move on respectfully and politely. There are plenty of people to talk to and on that basis you need to move to the next person or the next opportunity.

There is a real skill to the prospecting and calling process. If you diligently adopt the discipline behind the task, you will find that progress will be made within about two or three weeks of making calls.

Property Guide To Alicante

In the south-east corner of Spain between Valencia and Murcia, is Alicante province. Dubbed the ‘California of Europe’ by some, this part of the Spanish coastline became known as the Costa Blanca or ‘White Coast’ because of its 200kms of pristine sandy beaches and crystal clear waters.

Prior to the tourist boom, Alicante was comprised mainly of fishing villages, wine and citrus farms. However all that changed when the first air routes to the Valencia region opened up in 1957. Today, Alicante is a tourist mecca with first-rate infrastructure and leisure facilities, receiving around five million tourist visitors annually, making it an excellent place to invest in holiday letting properties.

Already fairly populous with nearly two million permanent inhabitants, Alicante has over the years become home to a thriving community of foreign retirees and lifestyle immigrants, many of them British or German, attracted by the healthy Mediterranean climate, unspoilt beauty of the lush, rocky coastline and Uncategorized salt marshes, as well as the fresh local seafood. Today, English is probably the second-most commonly-spoken language in Alicante after the native Valenciano.

Traditionally divided into a more affluent north and less well-heeled south, since the Spanish property boom, such demographics have become meaningless. All along the Costa Blanca, you’ll find luxury beach resorts, spacious villas and modern housing developments, as well as marinas filled with yachts.

The province has not lost all of its original charm though – there are still quaint Mediterranean villages with charming cobbled streets, ancient churches and historical architecture to be found; and the old quarters of many towns such as Altea and Javea continue to act as major drawcards for their historical value and café culture by day, and their restaurants and bars by night.

The capital, Alicante, is a genteel city with an international airport – the main point of access for the province – as well as many historical buildings, tree-lined boulevards, parks, palm-fringed beach and eye-catching harbour with marina.

Other places worth mentioning are Benidorm – the tourist capital of the Costa Blanca with first class entertainment facilities and pleasant micro-climate; Torrevieja -with its great golf courses and bird sanctuary in the Uncategorized salt marshes nearby; and Javea – a lush enclave of exclusive cliffside villas.

Property prices in Alicante are generally 3% higher than the Spanish national average, but buyers can still get good value for money if they do their research. Currently real estate sales in Alicante tend to centre around major tourist centres where holiday rental yields are still healthy, although bargains can still be found in the less-crowded outskirts.

Second home buyers and retirees tend to prefer quieter, less crowded or developed areas such as Benitachell, Denia and Javea. However, this less commercial aspect has begun to take on a certain cache, so that property here is not as cheap as one might expect.

Still, though, for health, lifestyle and quality of life, the Costa Blanca is hard to beat and property in Alicante is well worth considering.

How to Stretch Your Travel Budget With a Discount Car Rental

A self-drive holiday may sound hopelessly exorbitant if you’re on a tight budget. People tend to be discouraged by the idea of renting a car for a long period of time, imagining that it will eat up their entire travel fund. However, it’s actually easier to obtain a discount car rental than some people would imagine, especially in these financially-conservative times.

Car rentals are a business, after all, so making a smaller profit by renting out unpopular cars is better than making no profit at all. Most of the time, discounts can be found online. As such, the internet is a good place to start when looking for affordable rentals and a car rental discount code or two, but print media shouldn’t be discounted either. Prices may vary between different agencies, so it’s prudent to compare the finer details of each deal before settling on a particular one.

Timing can be everything when it comes to obtaining a discount car rental. As with some airlines in Asia, car rental agencies offer early-bird discounts if you book a car much earlier in advance of the actual date of your pick-up. Additionally, cancellation of the booking if you find an even better deal elsewhere will not incur extra costs either as long as it’s done early enough. Conversely, the shoulder period of a travel season, that is, just before or after peak travelling time, often sees car rental companies competing to outdo each other in their attempts to rent out any remaining cars. It’s possible to obtain a good rental deal at this time, but the choice and quality might be limited.

While car rental discount codes are extremely useful is helping you obtain a more affordable rental, although this might be subject to questionable quality. You might also want to consider the size of the car you want, especially if your group is a small one. Smaller cars tend to cost less to rent, and you’ll probably pay less for fuel too. As an added bonus, you’ll definitely have no trouble parking a small car.