Learn how to travel, fun, easy and without breaking the bank

Do you keep envying the Instagram influencers you are following about their adventures and pictures of beautiful and exotic destinations? No need to be jealous here, you don’t need to be a millionaire to be able to travel to amazing destinations too.

Here are some tips on how to travel easily without breaking the bank

Seek for budget destinations without being too picky

Cheap destinations for backpacking are popular because often times even if the flight is steep your stay there will cost you less than you spend normally at home. You can pick beautiful countries like Nepal, India, Thailand, Vietnam or countries in Latin America, where you can find hostels and lodgings costing you less than you would normally pay for a sandwich and soda back at home.

Also, take the time to look for cheap flights, again without being picky. You can find some surprisingly good deals to places which you never suspected you will visit. Also, plan your visit off of tourist season so that you get better offers for hostels or rooms to stay.

Choose slow travelling

The slower you move on the map, the less expensive your travel will be. The more planes, buses and trains you add to your travel costs – the more money you will need to spend on getting where you are going.

Sometimes choosing a slower train can save you a ton of money which you can spend on much more important or interesting stuff once you get to your destination.

Plus, you will have time to get to know the people, the sites and get a feel of the culture if you spend more time with them.

Embrace light travelling

Only pack the essentials in your backpack. This will help avoid checked luggage fees, and allow you to hop on low cost flights at the best price. Also, a single backpack is much easier to stuff under the seat of a bus or in a train. Also, travelling light makes logistics much easier and will allow you to travel more without the burden of carrying huge suitcases.

So, get that backpack ready and start searching for that exotic destination you have always wanted to visit, but have never dared to because of the money involved! See more on WonderBackpack!


Find out how and why you should buy workers comp online

Since, under local laws, nearly all working Californians are protected by workers compensation benefits it is essential that both the employees and the employers have an idea of how the workers’ compensation insurance works and where to buy workers compensation in California.

All big and small business owners are responsible for keeping their employees safe. Even with all safety training and precautions, accidents can happen and someone can get ill.

This is when the workers’ compensation insurance steps in. It should cover the medical costs, as well as lost wages during recovery and physical therapy.

The workers compensation insurance protects both the employees cover any medical costs for work-related injuries or illnesses and their losses due to sick leave or compensation from suffering permanent damage, as well as the employers from costly lawsuits.

Some of the most common claims for compensation are for car accidents while working, for accidents on the worksite, for repetitive stress injuries, for psychological stress as well as for permanent disabilities and fatalities at work. Rehabilitation and retraining programs can also be covered by the workers compensation insurance.

An experienced insurance center should be able to help with a timely response to any injury claims and give you the best price for the workers’ compensation insurance combined with the superb quality of the services provided.

After all, you don’t want to be directed to endless voicemail answers to any urgent claims, right?

Find a service which will ensure that your claims are properly managed and processed, and who accept and provide flexible payment methods including buying the workers comp online, suitable for your business or your personal needs.

The best choice is to find a company which can provide you with medical providers and has experienced personnel to guide you through any questions or claims you may have.

Also, you may want to find an insurance service which cannot only buy workers comp California but also be able to give you free and reliable lessons and other tips on safety and health to reduce the risk of injuries and health problems on the job.

One of the top preferred Connect Insurance Centers is a San Diego-based workers compensation insurance agency serving the workers comp insurance needs of California small business owners.

It is worthwhile investing in a reliable partner who will ensure that both the employee’s and the employers’ interests are covered when an accident or illness occurs among the workers.

This is why you should find a reputable and licensed company to handle your workers compensation insurance if you want you and your employees to feel safe and protected at all times.

Quickly estimate how much you can afford for a house right now

The three basic ways to make a rough estimation of how much you can spend on buying a new home are:

  1. Pick a total payment which is close or equal to what you are currently paying for rent
  2. Set the maximum price of the house to three times the annual income of the family members
  3. Pick a payment which is not bigger than 1/3 of your before-tax income

Of course, these simple methods of determining the price you can pay for a home are very rough, so if you want a more precise answer to this important question you can use this useful and accurate online mortgage calculator ( www.mortgagecalculatorplus.com ).

While the rough estimates are relatively easy to determine, there are some guidelines which will help you more realistic calculations to see what is affordable and what is not.

Here is how to make more precise estimates on how much you can spend on buying a home right now.

Look at your DTI (debt-to-income ratio)

This is used by lenders to determine how much you can afford. It compares all the recurring monthly debt payments you have with your gross income for the month. If you have a monthly income of $6,000 and you plan on spending $2,000 for your monthly house payments as well as for all other ongoing debts, this means that your DTI is 33%.

Front-end ratio and back-end ratio estimates

The front-end ratio compares the housing costs with your gross monthly income before tax. In other words, the front-end ratio equals the future housing cost divided by the monthly income before tax.

The housing costs include the mortgage principal and interest as well as property taxes and insurance and any HOA dues.

The back-end ratio is calculated by adding the future housing costs to the other ongoing debt payments such as student debts, credit card payments, car loans, and others.

As a whole, your ratio will be better if you have a higher income and lower ongoing monthly debt payments.

Many lenders use the 31/43 ratios, which means that 31% of your monthly income can be for the house payments and a total of 43% can go for the house and your other monthly debt payments.

If your gross monthly income is $6,000, 435 of that is about $2,600 which is the maximum you can spend for paying for the house as well as making your other debt payments.

Given that according to this example the housing cost is $1,600, the remaining $1,000 is for all other debts including student loans, cars, credit cards and others.

In conclusion, it is crucial that you carefully look into your monthly debt payments and figure out ways to reduce them or if possible eliminate them before you start looking for a house to buy.

The basics of US immigration laws – what you need to know

The US Immigration Law is a very complex one and there is quite a lot of confusion on how it works exactly. The annual worldwide limit of permanent immigrants is 675,000 according to the Immigration and Naturalization Act. Lawful permanent residency (LPR) allows the foreign holder to live and work lawfully and permanently in the US. LPRs can apply for almost all jobs which do not explicitly require the person to be a US citizen.

Immigration to the US is based on the following main principles: family reunification, refugee protection, admitting foreigners who have skills which are valuable to the economy and for promoting diversity.

Family-based immigration

The unification of families is an essential principle in the immigration policy of the US. It allows LPRs and US citizens to bring some of their family members to the US. The family-based immigrants can be the spouses, unmarried minor children and parents of US citizens. There are possibilities for family members such as adult children or spouses and unmarried children of LPRs to be allowed to come live in the US. The system for calculating the number of preference visas per year is quite complicated and was established by US Congress. The number of total families-based visas issued per year is often more than 480,000. The US citizen or LPR needs to provide evidence of the legitimacy of the relationship as well as meet the minimum income requirements and sign an affirmation of support declaring they will be financially responsible for the newly arrived relative.

Employment-based immigration

There are various ways for foreigners with valuable skills to come to the US on a temporary or permanent basis. There is a wide variety of temporary employment-based visas including L-1 for employees on intracompany transfers, P-visas for entertainers, athletes and performers, R-visas for religious employees, A-visas for diplomats. O-visas are issued for people with extraordinary ability and H-visas for highly and lesser skilled workers.

The terms and restrictions of the different temporary work visas are all different but in most cases, the person must leave the country once the visa expires or their job position is terminated.

Permanent immigration

EB-5 visas are given to aliens who are willing to invest 500,000 dollars and to create at least 10 jobs in the US. The total number of permanent employment-based immigrants per year is 140,000 plus their dependents

Ceilings per country

The INA has placed limits on the number of immigrants from each country which can come to the US per year. The number of immigrants per country cannot exceed 7% of all the immigrants to the US for a year. This is done to ensure diversity and so that no immigrant group dominates.

Since the immigration laws and regulations are quite complicated, it is highly advisable that people interested in immigrating or getting a temporary visa to the US, use the services of an experienced agency or US immigration law firm, so that all the details are taken care of and so that the visit or permanent moving to the US can be done successfully and legally.

Local Search Engine Optimization tips and ideas to help boost your business

Local Search Optimization (SEO) aims for increasing the search visibility of a business which serves its customers on a personal basis, such as a local plumber, auto mechanic or cleaning service.

The idea is to enhance the ranking of the website of the company to the top results when somebody is performing a local based online search.

Local SEO includes the optimization of both the on-site and off-site strategies. For businesses and services with a lot of competition in the city or area, local SEO could be decisive for the success of their business.

Here are some ideas for helping your business ranking score better at local-based internet searches

  1. The title and the meta description tags are important

These are HTML elements which you can customize in order to better reflect the content of your webpage or the main services you provide. These appear as the short summaries during an internet search and are what your potential customers will be looking at before choosing to actually visit your website. They are like mini ads, so make sure that you take the time to get them right so that they can attract more clicks and possibly customers for your business. Use targeted keywords and remember that every character counts.

  1. Online reviews do count

Online reviews are becoming increasingly important for customers especially when it comes to local internet searches. This is why you should proactively try to get more of your satisfied customers to write reviews on your website, your Facebook page, or on your Google business page, as well as on Yelp and other similar online directories. You can use TinyTorch or Hootsuite to get alerts every time your brand is reviewed or mentioned. You should also always respond to a review written by a customer – regardless of whether it is positive or not.

  1. Online directories

Make sure that your company is correctly listed on all leading online business directories, such as Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, Yelp, Citysearch, Merchant Circle and others. Look at other locally based reputable business directories, the local chamber of commerce and newspaper and if they have directories – register there too.

  1. Hire a professional local SEO service

If you want to make sure that your company comes up first or among the first several results when customers are performing locally based internet searches for the services or products you provide, you should consider investing in an experienced Local SEO agency Toronto, or wherever your business is located. A professional service will help you quickly increase the ranking of your webpage and help boost your business by making your company known to more people in your city or area.

How to master the art of listening

In today’s world of high speed, high tech and stress, communication is becoming increasingly important.  The reason is that we are becoming much less devoted to spending the time to actually listen to one another. True active listening has become a rare gift. It is the basis of building successful relationships, problem-solving, conflict resolution, better understanding and for improvement of accuracy.

Better listening at the workplace means more effective work, less wasted time and fewer mistakes at the job.

At home, being able to listen can save marriages and money and also help the children to become more resourceful and self-reliant and ready for real life.

Here are some important tips for better listening.

  1. Maintain eye contact with the speaker

In western cultures maintaining eye contact while talking to someone is considered the basic ingredient of successful communication. Rather than staring at your smartphone or computer screen while you are talking to someone try to face them and maintain as much eye contact as possible. This will allow you to give them much more attention and listen to them carefully instead of dividing your attention.

  1. Stay attentive and relax

Once you have made proper eye contact, try to relax. There is absolutely no need to stare fixedly at the person you are listening to. Just carry on communicating in a normal manner but stay attentive. Try to focus on their voice and screen out any distractive thoughts and background noises.

  1. Stay open-minded

Don’t start criticizing or mentally judging the person who is talking to you. The reason is that as soon as you do that you have already compromised your own listening effectiveness. Don’t rush to any judgments or conclusions. Follow their train of thought instead of imposing them your own.

  1. Carefully listen to the words and try creating a mental picture

Try to mentally imagine the information you are receiving in your mind. This will help you stay alert and attentive during the conversation. Remember and focus on key phrases or words, especially when the conversation is long. Just try to think about what the other person is trying to tell you.

  1. Don’t hurry to interrupt with your own solutions

Yes, even though you are not a child anymore, it is still considered rude to interrupt someone. By interrupting you only show that you think that you are more important than the other person, or that you don’t really care what they are saying or think that you are more intelligent, clever or interesting. Needless to say, this is not the right way to listen properly.

  1. Listen to what the professionals have to say

If you are truly interested in learning how to become a good listener, you should consider taking an online course for active listening techniques or read some of the specialized books written by experts on the matter. Take a look here too.

The latest reports and studies about the job market in the Gulf region

According to a recent study by LinkedIn, if you are looking for a job in the UAE, you may want to look in the hospitality and retail business for a greater chance of finding a good job.

These two sectors are the fastest growing in the UAE and thus the professionals looking for jobs in Gulf with experience in restaurants, hotels or malls will have a better chance of landing a dream job in the UAE.

The study suggests that another area to look when seeking a job in the UAE is in the healthcare and hospital sector, as well as in advertising and marketing. People who work in the spheres of engineering or construction, airlines, schools or IT companies also stand a greater chance of finding a job in the country.

LinkedIn Managers claim that these are the industries which have been doing well in the last 15 years and which have been hiring the most people lately. This is due to the innovations implemented in all these 10 industries, which have turned it into a global industry hub.

Also, the fact that the economy of the middle east country has been strengthening, these and other industries have been growing and opening newly available job positions for local and international workers and experts.

The highest demand in regard to the positions of the jobs for this year is for sales executives, accountants and project engineers. The top 10 jobs in the UAE for 2018 are: director, owner, project manager, sales executive, managing director, accountant, project engineer, general manager, sales manager, and supervisor.

Another recent study – Gallup’s 2018 Global Great Jobs report has concluded that 69% of the adult population in the UAE have a good job. Regarding what is considered a “good job” It means receiving regular paychecks and being employed for at least 30 hours a week.

This according to the report is an increase 6% since 2016 and means that the situation with jobs in the country is improving.  The study by Gallup covers 128 countries, and the UAE holds the third position for the highest percentage of the population who feel happy at their jobs. The first and second place are held by the US and Russia.

According to the annual report, 12% of those asked claimed they have a “great job”, which is 3% more than in 2016.

This makes the UAE the leader in workplace engagement among the adult population in the Gulf region.

The report by Gallup shows that another Gulf country – Bahrain is also doing better in providing the people with work which keeps them engaged. The percentage there is 59% of the adult population of the country.

If you want to join the increasingly engaged and happy workforce in the area, you should take a look at some of the Gulf Jobs available at the moment – visit WisdomJobs.