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!

Contemporary Security Management by John J Fay

The main word to notice in the title of “Contemporary Security Management” by John J. Fay is the word management. This is a college type textbook for those in security management. Please take this into consideration if you are thinking this is either a book on security, or a popular type management book. It does not fit those categories. Therefore, if that is what you are looking for, you will need to look elsewhere. However, if you are studying to be employed in security management, are enrolled in a class that is using this text, or happen to want a college style textbook on the topic for self-study because you are employed in such a position, this is a very detailed and good book on the topic.Many large organizations, and now even smaller ones, have a security department. This text teaches security professionals how to operate an efficient security department and how to collaborate smoothly with other groups inside and outside their own organization. The book provides a comprehensive introduction to security and IT security management principles, which overlap with other management principles. So this is a management text aimed at the Chief Security Officer or others in positions in the security industry that aim for management.Like many college textbooks, each chapter starts with a brief section on what you will learn, and ends with review questions and references. There are ample side bars, check lists, and graphs throughout. The book’s four hundred and fifty pages are divided into twenty-five chapters. These include: Historical Roots, Organizing, Managing People, Leadership and Management Skills, Strategy, Budget Management, Managing Change, Making Decisions, Managing Risks, Managing Guard Operations, Managing Physical Security, Managing Access Control, Managing Investigations, Pre-Employment Screening, Emergency Management, Business Continuity, Managing Information Security, Substance Abuse, Executive Protection, Workplace Violence, Employee Awareness Program, Vulnerability Assessment, Security Program Design, Critical Infrastructures and Key Resources, and The Terrorist Threat. The book also contains an Index at the end.If you are not a professional actively working in such a position, needing guidance, or if you are not in a class where this book is required, you may find the reading a bit tedious, like many management text books. (I read quite a few getting my undergraduate degree in Business Administration with a management emphasis.) And a lot of the management principles, such as hiring people and dealing with budgets are universal, not just to security management, so don’t get this book thinking it is all about security.Bottom line, if you are in the security management field, or want to enter that field, this is a comprehensive textbook on the topic. There is a lot of useful information in this single volume, and it will be very valuable for those working in such management positions.

Starting a Law Firm – Ideas About Office Space

One of the things that you will notice when you first open your law office is that you will write a lot of checks. You will make a lot of payments. It will seem like there is much more money going out than there is money coming in and, at the beginning, that probably will be the case. Consequently, one of the major aims when you are staring out is to keep overhead costs as low as possible. That means you don’t need that corner office overlooking Park Avenue. Right now, you don’t have the client base to justify that sort of expenditure. With that in mind, below are some ideas for some “starter” office space, at least until you get your feet on the ground.1) Traditional Office.Traditional office space, while the most liberating and enticing, is also the most expensive. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t lease office space from the outset. The key is to put your office in a location where the cost is justified. For example, if you are a litigator and can get prime office space next to the courthouse (where everyone who walks by can see your sign: “Law Office of Blankity Blank”), then the investment could be worthwhile. Be sure to consult with other attorneys who have offices near the courthouse, and see how much business they get from walk-ins. Then evaluate whether the risk is worth it.2) Home Office.The home office is the least expensive of the options. Additionally, the expense is not ongoing – once you outfit your home office with furniture and technology, there really isn’t a further expense until something needs to be replaced. Be aware that some practice areas (i.e. criminal defense or family law) do not lend themselves well to practicing out of your home. However, others fit well into the warm environment that the home offers (i.e. elder law or estate planning), especially if you will be meeting clients there. You will need to create a separate office within your home, to separate work from home life and to maximize productivity.3) Office Sharing.Office sharing can be a great alternative to the traditional office. While still more pricey than other options, sharing an office with someone else creates a natural avenue for referrals. This is especially true if you are sharing with other attorneys who practice in different areas than you do, or if you are sharing with non-attorneys. If you choose wisely, the referrals alone can justify the cost. As with any option, the key is to do your research, and meet with the people who you could potentially share space with, prior to making any decisions.4) Virtual Office.A relatively new phenomenon is the virtual office. The variations on the virtual office seem limitless, but it is essentially a place where you can meet with clients, receive your mail, have your telephone answered, while not being tethered to the office space. Additionally, the cost of a virtual office can be much less than traditional or even shared office space. It is a great way to keep costs low while growing your law firm, and maintaining the look of an established law firm.At the end of the day, your office says a lot about who you are as an attorney, but also as a businessperson. Make wise choices now, so you can thrive in the future.