Budget Travel Tips – Eight Simple Ways to Stretch Your Vacation Budget

Budget travel has become a necessity for most people with the cost of gasoline and other consumer products on the rise. But when we start considering when, where, how and what type of vacation to undertake, we sometimes get caught up in the anticipation and excitement of the upcoming trip and let the more important financial side of things slip a little. After all, for most of us, taking a vacation may only happen once a year and for some, even more infrequently, so we tend to indulge and forget about our pocket book a little.There are many ways to save money, avoid unnecessary cost, ensure you take care of details end up a smart and perceptive traveler. Travel planning is easier that you might think and here are eight great budget travel tips for making your travel dollar go further!1. Cushion your budget – When considering a trip or planning budget travel, it is important to plan for the unexpected and consider the financial side of things early on. This ensures affordability, liquidity and having the resources to enjoy it to the fullest! Plan for the worst-case financial scenario and prepare for things to cost a little more than you expected. Allow up to 20% increase in cost to be on the safe side of things.2. Emergency money: Carrying some spare cash somewhere can also be a lifesaver. The rule of thumb seems to be around $50-$100 in small bills. This can be used for incidentals, ground-transportation like cab fare and/or your return home, tips and more.3. Set your priorities: Set some budget travel spending priorities and criteria in advance, like eating at a special restaurant or attending a concert, even if this means sacrificing a bit on lodgings or visa versa, depending on what is more important to you.4. Keep an eye on your credit cards: It is extremely easy these days to have access to your financial resources through ATM’s and credit cards. Just remember that it is just as easy to overspend because of it being so readily available. A little discipline will go a long way to protect your financial interest and help you stick to your travel budget.5. Maximize gas mileage and efficiency: If you’re planning a road trip, make sure that your car has been serviced at least a week before your trip. A well-maintained vehicle will go a long way to ensure carefree driving. If your budget allows, you may consider renting a vehicle to save wear and tear on your own. Small economy cars are better on gas and are much more comfortable than they used to be. Minivans and sport utility vehicles are practical only if you have to transport a large family with a lot of equipment or luggage.6. Gas fill-ups: For filling up your car en route, avoid pushing to the limit until the gas runs out. Gas will obviously be more expensive when filling up in remote locations. If you miscalculated and the light on the dashboard indicates that you are really in need, opt for filling just half a tank until you reach the next more densely or major populated destination, where gas might be a little cheaper.7. Pack-a-snack: Bring your own refreshments and snacks. Gas station prices on drinks and snack food are high. Avoid these during a pit stop, if you are counting your budget travel dollars. A cooler packed with lots of cool drinks, water and ice and/or a thermos of coffee or hot water for tea, some fruit, granola bars, or a sandwich, goes a long way to still the hunger and save you money by avoiding all high priced stops en route.8. Travel necessities: It is advisable to travel with basic necessities, like a cell phone and a first aid kit, since both can prove to be essential in emergencies. Most people have cell phones at their disposal, but in the event that you are not one of them, a prepaid cell phone may be the answer for your trip. The peace of mind it offers is worth the small investment. Cell phones can also save on hefty surcharges and higher long distance rates that hotels and resorts often charge.Budget travel requires close attention to all things financial before and during your trip. Planning a trip or vacation can be a little time consuming but following these travel tips will hopefully save you a lot of headaches as well as some unnecessary interest charges on your credit card balances later! You will thank yourself for your fiscal restraint and spending discipline, upfront planning, foresight and forward thinking!

What to Watch Out For If You Decide to Finance at a Dealership

I am going to make this a simple article to read. I want you to be able to read this whole article and understand it before you make your next vehicle purchase.

Yeah, the economy isn’t the greatest right now. Yeah, nearly all industries are down on sales.

You see commercials on TV all the time talking about how now is the best time to buy a car. It is, BUT…..

You see, the auto industry is struggling. So of course, to get people to come in and purchase a car they need to advertise these “great” deals and show you how you can get their employee pricing! Sounds exciting, eh? Well if you walk in there with cash, maybe you are going to get a great deal. Actually, you probably are assuming you can negotiate a good deal.

But what if you are going in there without cash? Or without your own financing? Are you really going to get such a great deal? Well you may receive your dream car at employee pricing and they may promise you that its the best they can do on price.

Lets take a close look at their financing techniques.

Did you know that dealers really do shop for the best rate for you? Yeah, they do! However, they won’t give you that best rate! They shop for the best rate then give you a higher one. How? They are allowed to mark up your interest rate up to 2% higher than what they were quoted. That means that they are making profit off of the financing too. That can lead to you paying hundred to thousands more for your new car.

So think about this:

The car you are looking at costs $20,000.00 after manufacturer’s rebates. The dealership said they would take off an additional $1000.00 to get you to employee pricing. Sounds good, right? It is good. Now, you go to the financing office, they finance you at an 8% rate when you could have actually had a 6% rate. That will end up making you pay more, a lot more. They could have you paying a couple thousand dollars more in just interest! It makes that $1,000.00 discount look weak, doesn’t it?

The whole point here is to tell you that you need to be cautious when using dealer financing as if you know they aren’t making much from the car due to the incredible deal they gave you, they are going to make it up on the financing end of it.

Always negotiate interest rates. You wouldn’t ever take them up on their first offer on the price of the car would you? Nope. So treat the first offer on the interest rates the same too. A lot of dealers won’t even tell you what the rate is. Be sure to ask.

They have their own special programs through the car manufacturers to make up for lost profit. Don’t let them fool you. It is called dealer hold back. It is tough to negotiate into that.

Successful Film Marketing Strategies

“It’s not what a movie is about, it’s how it is about it”.
– Roger EbertUnlike any other art, Films have a much greater impact on human’s mental consciousness. It holds the capability to impose an emotional instability in human minds. This is why it is said that movie making is more about observing and imagining. Now in this century, Filmmaking is not just about the script, screenplay and all. It comprises of lot many other factors. In Fact, a successful film promotion is merely about the Film marketing strategies related to that.So, what is film marketing?Many of us believe that the success of a film is all about how well it run in theaters.Well, I would say, Film marketing is all about driving the desired audience unto the theaters. Sometimes called film junket or press junket, Film marketing consists of various elements such as press releases, advertising, interviews, media involvements and most prominently Social Medias nowadays.It’s no longer about Television, Print, and OutdoorThis is more like an enlightenment for every filmmaker these days. Back then, an efficient Film marketing strategy was all about the television, prints and all. But now it has changed, because, in order to reach the audience you need to find them at first. Today, it’s all about the internet.You need to find more people, you better go online, as simple as that.Film Marketing strategies went digitalWell, it’s not a big surprise factor that film industries have adopted Digital Marketing techniques as a part of well structured Film Marketing Strategies. In fact, movie studios are moving beyond the typical techniques such as teasers, trailers and lot more by conducting Google hangouts with the crew, live streaming music launches, contests and so on.And the most interesting fact is that the spend on Film marketing Digital strategies has risen enormously these years.I believe there are three major stages in a successful film marketing strategy, introducing, interacting and involving. Digital Media has involvement in all these three stages, great involvement indeed.Search engine optimization for an effective film marketing strategiesSearch engine optimization as an overall term for all the works and efforts we are investing on to the promotion of any services/products are not negligible. Unlike any other Digital marketing campaigns, Film marketing deserves more conviction as well as perception, even in its promotional campaigns.There are so many factors involved in this ranging from keywords to social media.How Social media influence the way movies are marketed?As a part of Digital marketing strategy, Social media has become one of the ‘behind the change’ reason, as films can gain a huge amount of buzz through it. It means, there is no longer need to rely on official reviews and adverts to know about the latest releases. Here is a quick review of few film marketing strategies in relation to social media.Leaked images- Even though this seems to be an outdated technique, it still works. This kind of techniques is used probably for the promotion of superhero movies. The theory behind this tactic is that the movie producers will generate some excitement, years before the release of their films through leaked images. As the images would not reveal much more about the movie and characters, yet will definitely create a huge amount of online publicity and chatter.Visual micro content- This is more like an emotional way of marketing, I would say. A movie called ‘If I stay’ recently implement this film marketing idea very successfully. The initial step towards this kind of campaign is always targeting the right social media platforms. And then generating visual micro content suitable for the platform. Sharing the banners, posting the behind the scenes pictures are also effective.Content marketing campaign- Content is always effective and it’s definite that it will bring some results to you. Once again it is more related to social media channels. Even if a film marketing strategy is all about the kind of film to which we are dealing with, content is always helpful. One can also try local news stations, discussion boards and more along with Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and so.Video marketing- Very familiar, much effective, this is how one could interpret the role of video marketing Film marketing strategies. No matter what, we are ready to take chances on some products that we have not seen or tested properly, this is why the trailers are significant. It gives an initial impression and it’s a proven success. And I recommend seeing your trailer video initially through your official website, which obviously allows the audience to make more interaction through your social media mediums.Social competitions and quizzes- It will become a huge disaster if you believe that the introduction part is enough.The fact is that you will miss the entire party. Interaction is very significant especially when coming to Film marketing. It may not be the most innovative thing you can do to improve the engagement but it can very effective at times.Persona marketing- Your film will certainly have some interesting character that the audience could connect with in one way or another.Lot many Film marketing campaigns have already played on the audience’s emotions for particular fictional characters by developing a persona around those characters on social media. A Perfect example for this is the Ted character in the Twitter. With almost 7 lakh followers, Ted began posting some funny comments which in fact brought some unexpected results.Alternate reality games- A slightly more complicated and deep Film marketing strategy is Alternate reality games (ARGs). This develops a fictional world that the users in the real world may interact with by using online communities. ARGs is a wonderful way to get your movie audiences involved and thereby creating ‘brand loyalty.Make use of memes and other UGC Forms- This is more like a mutual beneficial Film marketing strategy. Memes are offering a great marketing opportunity, in such a way that your audience will create some highly shareable content that conclusively benefits your Film promotional strategies. The benefit of using memes is that they are easily customizable as well as quick to produce. Yet another possible strategy is to use caption contests, fan art or any other effective user-generated content tactics.Google AdWords for the more targeted outcome- Each day, millions and millions of movie related searches are made in Google. I would say, the quickest way to reach those people is always Google AdWords.Even if it is not much of a cost effective way, it definitely is an option for those who care about reaching more targeted audiences.Final thoughtsHow powerful the visual media is or How much impact it can impose on humanity? The answer to his question is always about how well it reach the people. And Film marketing or Movie promotion is the beacon that leads to this destination.Cheers
Team eetti