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What to Know About an Extended Trip Abroad

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Planning an extended trip abroad is something you might do as an adult. Maybe you’re retired and have the freedom to travel as you please. Even if you’re still working and have a family, you might be planning to spend a summer abroad.

It’s a big and exciting decision, but a lot of planning has to go into it, so it goes smoothly.

The following are some specific things to consider.

Tips for an Extended Trip Abroad

Consider the Safety of Your Destination

Before you plan an extended trip abroad, you want to weigh your destination options and choose one that’s going to be safe. If you’re living somewhere for a period of weeks or months, you may find yourself well outside of the typical tourist zones, which is why safety can be even more important.

Along with relying on technology and research, make sure that you’re always aware of your surroundings.

Learn as much as you can about your destination and its safety profile before you leave home, and know what the biggest threats might be.

Again, living somewhere even briefly can present a completely different situation than visiting that destination.

What Are You Going To Do With Your Stuff At Home?

An extended trip implies you’re probably going to be gone for more than a few weeks in most cases. Likely, you’ll be gone a few months at least.

So, what are you going to do with your big items that are going to stay home like your house itself and your car?

One option is to rent or sublet your home while you’re away, which can help you cover the costs of maintaining it or your travels. However, you should plan to put your personal items in storage for the most part if you’re going to rent your home.

If you’re going to leave your car at home, you might need to speak with your local DMV if someone else could be driving it. If no one else is driving it, you may also need to store it.

Where Will You Live When You’re Abroad?

You have two main options if you’re exploring a long-term trip abroad. You can stay in one place primarily, set up a home there, and then travel around on the weekends or when you want. Another option is to move around consistently.

If you’re going to change locations consistently, you’ll just need to rent hotels or Airbnbs as you would on any other trip.

If you’re going to stay in one location, you’ll need to look for a longer-term rental.

You can also use Airbnb to do this. You can search for long-term rentals on the site that will be furnished and have what you need and will be discounted for long-term stays.

You can also go through an agency that specializes in helping people traveling abroad find temporary housing. You may find that an agency is actually cheaper than going through Airbnb.  Plus, with an agency, you can speak to someone who will work as your representative.

That person will listen to your needs and the needs of your family and help you with things that may be less obvious on a site like Airbnb, such as how convenient an apartment location is if you aren’t going to have a car.

Before you pay for anything or sign any agreement or lease, you need to make sure you’ve read it carefully and understand it. This is another place where working with a third-party representative could help you.

Remember, even if you’re going through a site like Airbnb, price is often negotiable.

What About Your Pets?

If you have pets and you’re planning an extended vacation, what can you do with them?

Your best option is to find a family member or someone you trust to care for them. Boarding a pet for an extended period is expensive and could be stressful for your animal.

Another option is to take them with you. If you’re thinking about this, you’re going to have to transport your pets overseas.  You have to make sure that’s even allowed in the country where you’re going. It can take weeks or months to set up the process, so get started on it sooner rather than later.

You should also keep in mind that the apartment or home you’re renting will need to accept pets.

If you’re going to take pets with you, you need to start crate training them months in advance of your flight as well.

Health and Insurance Considerations

Before you go to many foreign countries, you may need particular immunizations. If you take prescriptions regularly, you should talk to your doctor and get a supply before you leave. You should also think about how you’ll get those prescriptions once you’re overseas.

You may also need to purchase travel insurance that will cover things like a medical evacuation if you need it for any reason.

If you’re traveling to Europe, most countries have a universal health care system. You may be able to receive medical care at no cost, even as a foreigner.

Are You Going to Work?

Finally, with many of us working remotely due to coronavirus, you might be planning a trip in the future when coronavirus levels have gone down, and you might be able to work remotely during your travels.

If so, you first need to make sure you’re going to have access to Wi-Fi. Even if you find a rental, for example, with Wi-Fi, it may not be as fast or reliable as what you’re used to at home. Speak to the person you’re renting from and let them know your concerns. They should be able to tell you whether or not the Wi-Fi is strong enough for you to work while you’re abroad.

If not, you have a few options. One of the best, if you are going to work, is to purchase a mobile hotspot. You can buy data and take it with you wherever you are.

The post What to Know About an Extended Trip Abroad appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.

By: Marina Villatoro
Title: What to Know About an Extended Trip Abroad
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/chD5OdRKoAA/know-extended-trip-abroad.html
Published Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2020 15:45:57 +0000

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Top 9 Ways to Streamline Day-to-Day Operations in your Hospitality Business

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Operating a hotel, restaurant, lodge, resort, or any other hospitality business can be a challenging juggling act. In a service-oriented industry such as hotels and restaurants, it is crucial to create an atmosphere where the profitability is maximized by social marketing, booking revenues, and enhancing the guest experience.

Currently, the hospitality business has a lot to manage, which means that streamlining business operations should be your top consideration. After all, streamline processes plays a considerable role in the request being fulfilled more efficiently, enhance business culture, and ensure the full customer experience.

Here are a few ways you can apply to streamline your business’s daily operations, drive revenues, and create an exceptional hospitality experience that keeps your guests coming back.

Hire the perfect staff

You already have the mission that is ingrained in your heart, but is your staff as passionate about the business? Be careful when hiring your staff to ensure that your staff team is dedicated to making your business successful.

Utilize a web-based technology

Gone are those days where businesses relied on pen and paper or excel sheet to track employee performance, record guest sentiment, or review guest feedback. These older methods are not sustainable in the long term, making things run slower than they should. For instance, let’s say you are operating a vast hotel, and you have a paper survey that you give your guests at the end of their stay.

This paper survey asks the guests about room cleanliness, satisfaction, and other subjects regarding the quality of services offered and operations. With a paper survey, it may take months for your management to receive and review. This detracts from operational efficiency and addresses clients’ concerns too late to have positive impacts on service.

You can run your hospitality business from anywhere using web-based solutions that help groups accelerate reservations, manage the guest experience, utilize marketing channels, and set the room rates. You can get a reliable web-based software – ContactSafe from contactsafe.com, which can give you the freedom to operate your hotel or restaurant from anywhere. The software allows collaborative review, contract management becomes more comfortable and more efficient.

Focus on efficiency

Time is money. Therefore, being as efficient as possible is vital. From the onset, ensure that you keep looking for the right tools and strategies that make your daily operations easier without compromising the service quality. It can be easy as rearranging the kitchen workspace to make prepping dishes more efficient to adopt a high tech software that keeps your inventory better so that you will never run out of essential ingredients in the middle of the dinner rush.

Encourage employee engagement

As many hotel owners know, the effective way to streamline the daily operations is to monitor the staff performance and offer the feedback accordingly to ensure improved customer service.

To stay on encourage workers’ engagement, it would be best if you hold weekly or monthly meetings to share the ongoing goals besides letting the staff have their voices heard. Keeping regular addition to your usual weekly routine that will assist in streamlining the ongoing operations for the business.

Create a roadmap

The roadmap is an essential tool for any business to help visualize goals and set a strategic plan of action in motion. This tool helps streamline operations by ensuring that your staff is working towards the same purpose, and they are efficient in every step on their way.

When building your road map, it is advisable that you have an overall understanding of your businesses’ current performance metrics. Some aspects, such as inventory, service quality, online reviews are great places to begin. With that said, ensure that you record any underperforming qualities or improvements to help you gauge where you need work, where you are already excelling in, and what you will prioritize in terms of goals.

Create the recipe costing cards

Wasting your cash to purchase extra supplies you don’t require or losing your money because you are not charging enough for the dishes to balance out ingredients can get your business in a difficult financial situation. To avoid this, ensure that you create recipe costing cards that provide the layout of the cost of every item in the menu and the cost of food you are supposed to order. Also, you need to include what the ideal pricing would be for each dish.

Streamline the business maintenance process

The cleanliness, functionality, ambiance, and the amenities at your business can impact your ability to offer the world-class experiences to your guests. Using housekeeping and hotel maintenance checklist is significant to ensure that cleanliness is up to standards, rooms are set up with every essential thing your guests require, and the building elevators, lights, and pools are correctly working. 

Empower your employee staff to deliver efficiently by adding photos, guidelines, or instructions to the checklist. By offering a reference to your standards, you will allow your team’s knowledge and improve execution across locations.

Customers are always right!

You may have probably heard this, but it is true. To develop long-lasting relationships with your clients to keep them coming back again, you should make them feel like their feelings matter. Do whatever you can to make things right with your clients.

Manage your social media and website channels

 A significant part of daily hospitality business operations is sales and marketing, connecting and compelling travelers through each avenue. Ensure that you spend time every day to ensure that your website is up, the navigation tools are running smoothly, and the reservation tools are working accurately. Ensure that you make that you have social media presence, write interesting blogs that get you prospective customers, talk about your business, and address the clients’ feedback to boom and make friends and fans.

For hospitality businesses, it is a complex undertaking to run various while ensuring exceptional customer experience. It is essential to understand how to streamline the operations to provide optimal service with different moving parts. By following the above ways and tips, you are well on your way to simplifying every aspect of your business operations to deliver immaculate customer service.

The post Top 9 Ways to Streamline Day-to-Day Operations in your Hospitality Business appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.

By: Marina Villatoro
Title: Top 9 Ways to Streamline Day-to-Day Operations in your Hospitality Business
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/mfYlMIOkd1Q/top-9-ways-streamline-day-day-operations-hospitality-business.html
Published Date: Sat, 17 Oct 2020 18:21:49 +0000

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Brooklyn Botanic Garden Turns Over a New Leaf

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Only a skeleton staff at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden witnessed the blizzard of cherry blossoms scattered by spring breezes during the pandemic shutdown. Delicate blooms of wisteria tumbled over pergolas and plump roses unfurled with no appreciative fans to say “Oooh.”

The garden reopened in August for a limited daily number of socially distanced visitors. Now, as fall’s vibrant, showy display begins, meadow and woodland gardens completed at last winter’s onset are finally coming into their own. They are the culmination of a yearslong evolution, as the garden turns over a new leaf with the selection in September of Adrian Benepe, a former commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, as the new president and chief executive.

Botanical gardens have long represented an ideal of nature civilized, clipped and classified. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden hasn’t discarded taxonomic collecting or spectacular floral displays but has steadily brought more of an ecological ethos to its intimate 52 acres. The new plant groupings are comparatively disorderly, host insects and birds, and change constantly with flowers, seed pods, and leaf colors constantly popping and fading.

A long neglected 1.25-acre slope has become the Robert W. Wilson Overlook. It now hosts a sinuous path lined by white concrete retaining walls. It zigzags up amid a maturing meadow in what look like calligraphic brush strokes.

The slope was produced from excavations for the adjacent Brooklyn Museum early in the 20th century. The two glass pavilions that form the Washington Avenue entrance and visitor center had been wedged into the slope in 2012, designed by the architects Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi. In designing the overlook, the architects echoed the waving grass roofs of the pavilions across the garden. The overlook unites upper-level attractions that wrap the museum with the core of the garden that stretches southward.

The path also eases the slope’s three-story drop for disabled visitors with a ramp so gentle that no confining railings are needed. The serpentine 680-foot-long walkway urges close contemplation as it rises a gentle 26 feet. “The garden slows you down,” Ms. Weiss said.

Textures and color are subtly enhanced in this meadow. “Grasses are prominent,” explained Tobias Wolf, the overlook’s landscape architect. Tiny intertwined flowers, leaves and stems hug the soil, including wild strawberries flopping over the top of retaining walls. Mr. Wolf likened the planting idea to “very fine threads woven together,” creating, in effect, small ecological habitats. “Even in winter there is an architecture of interlocking plants stems and seedpods,” he said.

Crape myrtles soar like totems out of the layers of low plantings, their summer firecracker blooms finished and their leaves turning rust red. The overlook adds 12 new varieties to its small collection. They have gained in popularity as climate change has extended their range northward.

The Botanic Garden opened in 1911 as a plant collection assembled for appreciation and scientific study, and the new myrtle varieties continue that mission. At the same time, they frame vistas from resting places along the path to such iconic destinations as the Cherry Esplanade and the Cranston Rose Garden: formal set pieces spread out below that echo the Brooklyn Museum’s Beaux-Arts splendor, now hemmed in by wilder, shaggy clouds of vegetation in contrasting textures and hues.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the Elizabeth Scholtz Woodland Garden, which rescues an ignored corner of the Botanic Garden and remakes it as an intensified version of a Northeastern forest edge.

Using the swirling paths found in Brooklyn Bridge Park and his other prominent works, the landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh created a richly varied understory of shade-loving plants. The feeling is familiar yet foreign, since the plantings, as at the overlook, mix the native with the cultivated. Elegant Asian conifers spread their lushly needled branches alongside youthful American hardwoods. Plantings are dense and the spaces intimate, opening to short vistas, including the dome of the museum.

Historically, botanical gardens were set up to “move you from one tableau to the next,” Mr. Van Valkenburgh said. “What we’re doing is like rehanging a museum collection,” in the process enriching the specimen displays and blurring the borders between them. “We find the notion of the botanic garden pretty forgiving,” he added. “You can find what speaks to you.”

What at first appears to be a roofless ruin seen through a scrim of lindens is a walled patio designed by Mr. Van Valkenburgh’s team. “It’s a romantic idea,” he said. “We wanted to surprise you.” Paths weave around the delicate branches of a magnolia variety called Green Shadow. His hand is seen all the way to the southern gate at Flatbush Avenue. Using more coiling pathways he draws the visitor around the majestic trees of the Native Flora Garden, and into a new display of maples from Japan and China that rise out of mounds of low herbaceous plantings. Younger trees turning pale yellow stand out against the still-green backdrop of mature trees.

In an earlier project, Mr. Van Valkenburgh improved Belle’s Brook, a stream that drains the pond of the Japanese garden and runs along the western edge of a parklike lawn. The riot of leaf shapes and hues of its water-loving plants contrast with the sober procession of specimen tree collections along the eastern edge — a contrast of traditional botanical magnificence and invented but authentic nature. “Though the stream looks natural and native there are plants from all over the world,” he said. “They may be French, North American or Japanese but they can play together.”

The stream culminates in the Shelby White and Leon Levy Water Garden, a naturalized focal point for the Discovery Garden and Children’s Garden near the southern entrance. The water-garden project includes a filtration system that returns the stream’s water to the Japanese garden pond, saving millions of gallons of fresh water annually.

The Woodland Garden completes a $124-million master plan conceived in 2000 by the former Botanic Garden president, Judith Zuk, and the chairman, Earl Weiner, and largely executed by Scot Medbury, who left in January. He has been succeeded by Mr. Benepe, who most recently came from the Trust for Public Land.

“My first obligation is to be true to what’s been done here,” Mr. Benepe said while walking through the garden. He’s looking at how the institution can lead when the coronavirus has made gardens and parks “more essential than ever for physical and mental health.” Across the country, he said, parks face funding crises.

The Botanic Garden’s extensive education programs continue via video; it sends plants to children to raise on their own. Mr. Benepe now would welcome schoolchildren to the garden in small groups. “The science tells us that outdoors are safer than indoors,” he said. Schools and the state government have yet to get on board with the plan, so it is up to parents to bring them here to see and touch the magic.


Brooklyn Botanic Garden

990 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-623-7200, bbg.org. Advance timed-entry tickets are required to enter.

By: James S. Russell
Title: Brooklyn Botanic Garden Turns Over a New Leaf
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/10/22/arts/design/brooklyn-botanic-garden-reopen.html
Published Date: Thu, 22 Oct 2020 15:21:13 +0000

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Best And Safe Fire Pits For Wood Decks For You

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Wood is combustible, and it catches fire quickly. Therefore, to install a fire pit on the wood deck needs more precautions. When it comes to shopping for the Best and Safe fire pits for wood decks for you, you must give importance to buy the one that promises to be the safest alternative.

Before you install and use any fire pits, you must read out the manufacturer’s specifications carefully. Not only there’s a need to ensure that your deck has ample clearance, but you must also make sure that it doesn’t exceed the weight limit. Several manufacturers ask to install a non-combustible pad as a barrier between the wood deck and fire pit. Even if the manufacturer doesn’t recommend this, it will be worthier that you install the one that ensures safety.

Don’t forget to check out the local and state regulations to ensure you can safely and lawfully install a fire pit on wood decks. Not to forget, make sure to leave the fire pit installation to a professional one. However, several risks are involved, so you should take precautions before starting with the installation process. You can know more about it here at www.livingtheoutdoorlife.com. 

You should know about several alternatives, which you may consider buying one based upon your exact needs.

Solo stove bonfire fire pit-

This fire pit is a one sleek fire pit. The thing that has made it an eye-catching alternative is a stainless steel body that promises durability and makes it look better.

The best thing is that it is designed in such a way that it enhances the air circulation from inside.

It claims that it features 19” double-wall design, and it, therefore, permits freer circulation of the air into the fire pit that, in turn, makes the wood burn better and produces smoke in a less proportion.

The most significant thing is that this option is safe for patio decks, ensured by a bonfire stand that keeps the heat away from the deck’s surface.

Features-

  • Safety-stand for a patio wooden deck
  • Stainless steel body
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Vents for an enhanced air circulation

Advantages-

  • Sleek design
  • Durable product
  • Produces less amount of smoke
  • Safe for the wooden decks

Jasmine outdoor 33” square fire pit-

To have a smoke free experience, you may then choose this alternative. Of course, this one will not bring out an authentic wood fire vibe, but it is going to be a safer alternative as it is not going to make ember or sparks that can end up onto the wooden deck.

Firing this is effortless, just because of its mechanical push button that sparks ignition. It takes several seconds firing the pit. The valve knob permits fast flaming and heat adjustment to 40,000 BTUs.

Beautiful design is what you can notice, the concentrated brown finish and the rust-resistant coating makes it an appealing piece and durable.

It’s a space-efficient option and doesn’t occupy much space. As it has a storage compartment, and you can place a propane tank.

Features-

  • Designed with iron
  • Interior storage space for the propane tank
  • Automatic ignition
  • Rated 40,000 BTU per hour
  • Concrete finishes

Advantages-

  • Emits no smoke, sparks, and embers
  • Space efficient
  • Easy to startup
  • Weather-resistant

Jaxon outdoor fire table-

Another attractive option to buy, Jaxon has created this fire pit from a smoothened lightweight concrete, and bright tone imparts a sleek look.

This looks stunning, and concrete makes it weather resistant and durable piece.

Functioning on propane, this fire pit is an ideal option to use on the wooden decks. To maintain its look, it is outfitted with a tank compartment to put away the propane tank.

Features-

  • Separate tank holder
  • Smooth concrete build
  • Lava rocks for enhanced flame visuals

Advantages-

  • Spark, smoke, and ember free functionality
  • Simple and gorgeous look

Outland living cypress fire bowl propane fire pit-

The simpler and rustic look of this fire pit is making it to be an appealing alternative. However, simplicity doesn’t mean ugliness. This fire pit is featuring steel build along with smooth finishes that impart sleekness.

The steel body is featured with powder coating, and enamel finish allows well-enhanced durability and the most essential, corrosion resistance.

This propane fire pit doesn’t deliver authentic experience; it comes with 5.5 pounds of lava rock. This, therefore, enhances the fire flickering effects.

The most significant plus point of using it is its lightness, weighing 26 pounds. It’s 3-4 times lighter in comparison to the fire pits that are reviewed so far. In addition to that, the same is having small footprints.

That being said, this fire pit doesn’t have tank compartments, and you may need to improvise to hide the propane tank.

Features-

  • 5 pounds of lava rocks are included
  • Rated 58,000 BTU per hour
  • 26 pounds of weight
  • Enamel finish and powdered coated build

Advantages-

  • High-quality product
  • Affordable
  • Mess-free functionality
  • Compact and light-weighted product

Stonecrest propane fire pit-

The dimensions and shape of it make it a space-efficient and compact option.

It is built identical to the Jaxon fire pit. It features a lightweight concrete outer across a metal frame. It has a rustic and rough vibe. People like this option due to its sleek look.

This fire pit comes with the lava rocks to improvise the fire effects. Lastly, being a propane fire pit, it promises to deliver the mess-free functionality and is safe compared to any other alternative.

Features-

  • Lava rocks included
  • Lightweight concrete constructed
  • Rated 40,000 BTU per hour

Advantages-

  • Space efficient
  • Mess and smoke-free functionality
  • Durable and rustic design

Last points-

Finally, you have come across the best to choose fire pits for wood decks. When using it, make sure that you take precautions; otherwise, the jumping sparks and hot coals may cause a fire. Remember not to leave the same open whenever using to avoid any hazard to occur. To become educated and know about the fire pits.

The post Best And Safe Fire Pits For Wood Decks For You appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.

By: Marina Villatoro
Title: Best And Safe Fire Pits For Wood Decks For You
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/IRxn2bvvT7I/best-and-safe-fire-pits-for-wood-decks-for-you.html
Published Date: Sat, 17 Oct 2020 14:43:32 +0000

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