Can You Save Money Renting Your Furnace?

Do you keep hearing strange noises coming from your central air furnace? Feel cold air blowing through your vents when heat should be coming out? You probably need to replace and update your furnace. When it comes time to replace your furnace, you have a decision: rent or buy. Look at the pros and cons of renting vs. buying a furnace before you make your choice.

Buying a Furnace

The initial cost of buying a furnace can put this option out of the reach of many homeowners. According to HomeAdvisor, the national average cost of a furnace is $4,242 within a typical range of about $2,500 to $6,000. This does include installation and the furnace itself will cost less, but you need a professional to install your furnace safely and properly. Improper furnace installation can be a fire hazard or pose the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and gas leaks.

When it comes to deciding which kind of furnace you should buy, you may be tempted by cheaper electric furnaces. They can cost half as much as gas furnaces, but you will be paying for the choice for years to come every time you get your hydro bill. Electric furnaces are cheaper and easier to install because they don’t need any special storage tanks or fuel lines. Unfortunately, they remain the least energy efficient way to heat your home.

A gas furnace may cost more at first, but you will see savings on your hydro bill. Natural gas is often a less expensive form of fuel, especially in the U.S., and gas furnaces can be as much as 98% efficient, saving you even more money every month.

Oil furnaces are another option, but with the rising cost of oil, few people tend to buy them. They’re also more expensive from the start.

Renting a Furnace

Renting a furnace is a popular option for homeowners who have a tight budget, especially if their furnace suddenly stopped working one cold winter day. When the temperatures are freezing, there’s no time to set money aside for a new furnace. Fortunately, renting a furnace comes with benefits besides the low initial cost.

Renting a furnace with the right company should get you 24/7 access to expert furnace repair services and free replacement during the terms of your contract. Because the furnace company owns the furnace and you pay a monthly fee, they want to see it in good repair and keep you on as a customer. Renting is the only stress-free way to keep your furnace in good repair at a low cost.

In addition to better access to repairs, you save money on essentials like furnace filters and humidifier pads. There can also be some flexibility if you want to upgrade things like air-quality add-ons. When you rent a furnace, make sure you go with a company that promises not to raise your monthly fees for a fixed term.

Renting a furnace can prove to be a cost-effective way to replace an old or broken furnace. A new furnace will also reduce your repair costs and could even reduce your energy bills if you upgrade to a more energy efficient model.

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5 Simple Rules For Holiday Shopping On A Small Budget

The holidays are one of the biggest threats to your bank account. Between entertaining, travel, and spoiling your kids, the usual activities of the season can add up and do a number to your savings. If you value your finances as much as the festivities, you should try these early bird shopping tricks to save you cash this holiday.

  1. Cash in rewards points

Aeroplan, Target Red, Kroger Plus — these are just some examples of the cards taking up prime real estate in your wallet. There’s a point to cramming your wallet full of plastic. Each time you remember to bring them to the cash register, you can earn points for every dollar you spend — points you can redeem for gift cards or cash back at these retailers. You can use these points to your advantage when you redeem them strategically around the holidays.

  1. Use credit cards strategically

In the same vein, your credit cards can help you leverage the cash you spend into buying more than their dollar amount. All the major credit card companies offer incentives to encourage you to use these cards more often. These programs usually involve earning points for every dollar spent that you can then redeem for travel or gift cards. If you already do a lot of your shopping with a credit card, you might as well use one that’s working in your favor. You should check your current card against this list to make sure you’re earning as much as possible — just make sure you only spend what you can pay back to avoid interest and late fees.

  1. Plan early

Planning for the holidays in advance is a simple shopping technique that has a major impact on your mood and finances. It’s all too easy to fall prey to the hectic hustle and bustle of the season when you enter the holidays without a plan. Being organized helps you avoid feeling overwhelmed, so you aren’t stressed out by the time the big day arrives. It also helps protect your budget from last-minute splurges and expedited shipping fees.

Most financial experts suggest you shouldn’t spend more than 1 percent of your income on the holidays. Once you figure out what that percentage represents for your situation, split this number over the 12 months of the year. That’s your holiday saving target for each month. This smaller monthly contribution is easier to accommodate than producing one percent of your income at the end of the year with little preparation.

  1. Be aware emergencies happen

Plan all you like, it’s improbable you’ll be able to predict all your expenses accurately. Sure, the costs of your gift list and food budget are easy to ballpark, but unexpected damages and their repairs aren’t so simple. Though you may not expect your cousin to fill the dishwasher with regular dish detergent, they might do it accidentally. Though your furnace isn’t that old, it may still breakdown during the coldest months.

Parents who need cash quickly use online installment loans to help them cover small repairs their savings can’t. While traditional banks can take time you don’t have to review and respond to your application, online lenders are responsive. That’s because their online process lets companies like MoneyKey do away with any of the complexities that slow down the average personal loan. In many cases, you can receive your installment loan in one business day, so you can repair your furnace right away without waiting in the cold.

  1. Bring your phone shopping

Your phone can act as your personal shopper if you download the right apps. Between price comparison programs and cash-back rebates, the world of shopping apps offers a lot of great advantages to the budget-conscious parent. Whether you download an app to earn extra points, use coupons, or tap into rebates, they all amount to one thing: you won’t have to pay full price for the items on your list. It will take some organization to use these coupons and rebates to your full advantage, so you’ll have to plan ahead to make sure your list coincides with the biggest deals. But the time you spend scrolling will pay off — literally.

Shopping for the holidays without tipping into the red can be one of the hardest things you do every year. Few families can manage it, but you can beat the odds by shopping strategically. Remember these tips after the holidays, too.  Shopping smart pays off all year round.

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Why Shoes Can Make or Break an Outfit

Shoes are often the final piece of an outfit, but not necessarily the one we pay the most attention to. You might spend ages choosing a sexy dress for a first date or something suitable for an important job interview, and then throw on your trusty black kitten heels at the last minute. This is fine, but are you aware that shoes can really make or break an outfit? If you make a bad decision, your poor choices could come back to bite you.

Red Carpet Events

Take a look at the fashion pages of your favorite online magazine. At any red-carpet event, there will always be at least one pair of people who turned up wearing the same outfit. This is often rather embarrassing, as photographers love to snap and compare. What we end up with is an article along the lines of “who wore it better”. It’s fun for us, but less fun for the poor celebrity – and their stylist – who made such a faux-pas.

If two women are wearing the same dress, the success of the outfit inevitably comes down to what shoes they wore. Italian shoes women are a classic look, but if a woman wants to stand out from the crowd on the red carpet, a quirky pair of shoes will get her noticed.

Imagine your favorite celebrity wearing a beautiful designer gown. She probably looks awesome, but unless she does something to lift her outfit up a notch, she won’t stand out in a sea of other beautiful women. That’s the curse of being on the red carpet. Every other woman there is blonde and beautiful.

Shoes can be the deciding factor when red carpet outfits are analyzed in the fashion pages. A pair of nude heels won’t stand out, but a quirky pair of biker boots worn with a stylish designer frock could catch the eye, especially if the lady rocks a boho theme.

Wear Shoes You Like

It doesn’t matter what kind of shoes you wear, if you are not feeling comfortable, you won’t feel sexy. Always wear shoes that make you feel like a million dollars. These could be anything from killer heels to pretty sandals. Don’t stick to what works for every other woman if you are not feeling it. Just because heels are the standard shoes for a cocktail dress, it doesn’t mean you have to work that look. Instead, try something different.

Experiment with different styles of shoe and boot. Decide what your look is going to be and select a pair of shoes or boots that fit your vibe. When you feel confident and sexy, everything will come together in a positive way.

Don’t be a Fashion Victim

Never wear a pair of shoes just because they are in fashion. There was a time when Ugg boots were the must-have accessories. Ugg boots are great if you need a comfortable, casual boot, but they certainly don’t work with every outfit. Despite this, women everywhere wore Ugg boots with all kinds of random outfits. The result was a fashion catastrophe.

Choose your shoes wisely, or you could end up being tagged on Facebook for all the wrong reasons.

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Renting a Villa: What are the Good and Bad Points?

Every year I go on holiday either to the Costa Brava or to somewhere I’ve never been before. Every time I go away I look at the range of hotels that are available and the range of costa brava villas to rent, for example.

Now, I know what type of accommodation I prefer to stay in but, not everyone is happy to switch from staying in a hotel to a villa. So why should you think about staying in this type of accomodation, and are they really any better than a hotel? Let’s weigh out the good and bad aspects of staying in a villa:

The Positives of Staying in a Villa

– Villas can be nicer than hotels

A villa really can be so much nicer than staying in a hotel. This is because they are usually decorated with luxury in mind. This ultimately means that if you want a touch of luxury while you’re on your holiday, a villa could be right for you.

– Guests are usually treated a little nicer

This is not to say that you won’t be treated well if you stay in a hotel, it’s just that in my experience you’re treated slightly better. Perhaps this is because you’re not one of 200+ guests who is staying in the same accommodation, you are one of perhaps 10-15. This means the villa owners and their team are likely to have a lot more time to cater to your every need.

– Villas can be a lot more private

One of the best things about staying in a villa is you have a lot more privacy. There isn’t likely to be anyone you don’t know in the next room, and you won’t have to worry about disturbing the other guests. If your idea of a good vacation involves spending time alone with your partner and your family, you are going to love staying in a villa.

– Villas can offer you more

Villas can offer you so much more than a hotel can. For instance, you may have a pool that only you and your family can use, and you may even be situated on the beach front, which only you and your family have access to. What’s more is if you have hired a car you will be able to park it right outside the villa.

– Villas tend to be quiet

If you do not wish to be disturbed while you sleep, or you simply do not wish to hear what the other guests are doing, you will love staying in a villa in the Costa Brava. This is because they tend to be a lot quieter than hotels, and you’re unlikely to hear drunken parties walk passed your room at 3 am.

– Villas are bigger than hotel rooms

When you book a hotel you know you’re likely to have access to your own private bedroom and bathroom. When you book into a villa you will have so much more: You’ll have a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living area, and you may even have a garden, a pool, and more!

– They are ideal for large groups

If you love to take a family holiday and you want to spend as much time together as you can then you could find a villa ideal. This is because you won’t all be dotted around different parts of the hotel, you will instead be staying in the same place. Many hotels tend to put guests where they can, meaning you could be on the other side of the building from each other. Staying in a villa means you’re all going to be in close proximity, making it more convenient for all of you.

– Offering better value for money

Not everyone is aware that staying in a villa offers better value for money when compared with staying in a hotel. This is generally because you have access to a kitchen and you can cook there rather than going out for a meal every night. You usually find that staying in a villa works out cheaper per person if there are a lot of you staying there. This means you can enjoy a two week holiday for less than you would if you each had your own hotel room.

The Downside to Staying in a Villa

– You may be quite isolated

Occasionally, villas can be quite isolating as they tend to be away from the centre of towns and cities. If you would like to be close to the areas that have the best nightlife, you may want to think about staying in a hotel instead.

– There’s no room service

While hotels tend to offer room service along with places to dine and even a casino, a villa is very unlikely to have any of these features. This may well mean that you’ll have to cook your own meals at 1 am, and you may even have to plan your meals ahead of time too.

– There isn’t always a maid service

While in hotels you’re likely to have someone come in and clean your room every day, villas don’t tend to offer this. Maids may come in now and again, but for the most part, you will be left to clean up after yourself.

While there are some downsides to staying in a villa, there are clearly a lot of positives. It’s therefore clear that booking a villa as opposed to a hotel can be beneficial in terms of cost, amenities, and privacy. Need I say more?

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Top Tips for Saving Money On Your Paris Destination Wedding

Paris is one of the most romantic cities in the world. With the glimmering Eiffel Tower visible from almost any part of the city, and the delicious wines and foods, and the long walks by the Seine at night, with the city lights reflecting on the water–it’s a place that feels like it’s been invented or dreamed up. And that’s why you’re so excited to get married there. What could be better, than sharing this beautiful, special moment of declaring your love to the world in a city that’s also so beautiful and special? You can’t wait for the big day, which makes every decision, like choosing the right bridesmaid dresses or cutlery, so exciting.

But something you’ve been worrying about is the cost of the whole trip. It’s already stressful enough to plan a wedding; thinking about costs such as airfare and hotel fees means even more money is going down the drain. Luckily, Paris is such a popular tourist destination that there are plenty of options and ways to save. Here’s how.

1 Save on airfare

The world’s busiest airport may not be Paris–it’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, actually–but Paris is close, at number ten. And in our large world, that’s pretty high up, which means that there are always going to be airfare deals to the city of lights. If your heart is set on a certain airline, like United or Lufthansa, then check their sites every week for deals. Additionally, consider subscribing to an airfare deals newsletter, like Jack’s Flight Club UK or Yapta. That way you can explore unexpected deals from a variety of airlines.

There are also some great apps you can use. Hipmunk, Hopper, and Skyscanner will track your flight route so that if the price suddenly drops, you’ll get alerted on your phone. Considering that you have about a year between your engagement and your actual wedding, there will be plenty of time for fares to suddenly drop. Whatever you choose to do, post these recommendations on your wedding website–that way, your guests can take advantage of deals, too.

2 Be creative with accommodations

One of the best ways to save money when visiting Paris is finding a way to save on accommodations. Sure, everyone dreams of staying in a beautiful hotel overlooking the Seine with a view of the Eiffel Tower, but if you want to save money, it’s smart to stay away from these luxuries. Paris is such a beautiful city that it’s meant to be explored on long walks, anyway, not simply admired from the window of a hotel room. That’s why you should save and check out deals on sites like Expedia and booking.com.

Additionally, another option is making reservations over AirBnB instead of with a hotel. Not only will this be cheaper than a fancier place (hotels in Paris cost on average 231 euros a night in 2017), but it’ll also mean you can save money on food by cooking in the kitchen.

3 Walk everywhere

One of the most expensive costs in a city like Paris is taxis. And when it comes to rideshare apps like Uber, they aren’t as cheap as they are in the States. But that’s no reason to panic—Paris is most beautiful by foot, so instead of spending money on driving around everywhere, you can walk from one end of the city to the other. Whether you’re exploring Montmartre or walking along the Seine to the Louvre, there are tons of beautiful walks. Check out some options here.

If you do need to get somewhere quickly, though, you can always buy a Metro pass. A ticket for city regions 1 and 2 cost 1 euro 90 in 2017, and works not only on the metro but also on buses and many trains. One great reason to be somewhere in a rush is going on a walking tour. There are many free walking tours of Paris, which will lead you through the history and the most beautiful parts of the city—and your guests will be grateful to save a little bit of money on an activity you can all do together.

4 Live like a local

Finally, if you’re committed to saving money, the best thing you can do is learn from the French. Parisians are cultured, and know when it’s worth it to pay for a glass of champagne—but they also know where the best deals are, where there are free art shows, and appreciate a picnic that’s a simple combination of a bottle of wine, baguette, and fancy Brie cheese. So ask the hotelier or your Airbnb host what the best options are.

Additionally, check out the Spotted by Locals app. A Paris guide costs just under $5, but it’s worth it: this organization has location-based recommendations of cool theaters, cafes, and more in over 70 cities, which means they know what they’re talking about. To learn more, check out their website.

These are some of the best strategies for saving money during your Paris destination wedding. What other strategies are you using to save money on your wedding and honeymoon?

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Top Tips for Saving On Your Wedding Dress

As a bride, you have tons of decisions to make. You have to think about everything wedding-related from the size of the cake to the design of a bridesmaid dress that’ll make all your bridesmaids happy. But nothing seems to be more stressful, or more time-consuming, than finding the right wedding dress. It’s not that you can’t decide; it’s more that whenever you find one you like, it seems to be totally out of your price range. With all the other costs of your wedding, and the honeymoon, and your plans for your married life, it’s enough to make you want to drown yourself in champagne. Glass after glass after glass, and not in the fun way you’ve envisioned doing during your bachelorette party.

Luckily, there are some great strategies you can use to save money on your wedding dress–and still feel fabulous on your big day. Here’s how.

1 Shop online

Sure, it may not be the most romantic thing in the world, to choose a dress from the Internet. After all, every bride dreams of going to the bridal boutique, having a couple of glasses of sparkling wine with her friends, trying on every dress in the store. But did we mention that every dress in the store is absurdly expensive? You’re paying way more than you need to, and in today’s modern world, there’s no need to do that. It’s 2018 now, and there are plenty of trustworthy sites you can buy dresses from without having to worry about getting a dress that doesn’t fit well or will be made from cheap materials.

The fact is, more than 80 percent of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase. There’s a lot of info out there about dresses, and many ecommerce stores will offer quizzes you can take to determine what size, shape, and style will work best for you. Some have even gotten so creative that they’ll bring the dresses for you so you can have a fitting at home. Azazie, for example, has a try at home option that works like this:

“Select up to 3 bridesmaid dresses for $10 each, or 2 wedding gowns for $25 each. Shipping is included in the price. Try the sample(s) on at your convenience. Return within one week of receiving your order with the enclosed pre-paid label.”

2 Be creative with your phone

If you’re committed to trying a dress on, and trying on a whole bunch of them, then maybe you still need to go to your local boutique or shopping mall. And that’s okay–there are ways you can save here, too. We spent 70 percent of our time online on phones in 2017, so why not take advantage of that smartphone addiction and use them to your advantage?

It works like this. You figure out your size and style, then start trying on some dresses with friends. You take pictures. Then, when you’ve decided which ones look best, you look the dresses up on your phone, on the brick-and-mortar store’s website. Chances are, it’s going to be way cheaper to order it online, even though you have the dress right here in front of you. This way, you can still have a fun fitting and save.

You can also use the Wedding Dress Studio app. This app allows you to “try on” dresses virtually, and, according to the Daily Mail, “Featured silhouettes include A-line, ballgown, empire, column, and mermaid, and users can choose from a strapless, bateau, V-neck asymmetrical, off-shoulder or halter neckline. There are also eight different color variations and 22 embellishments, such as bows, flowers, belts, and brooches.” By having all this information, you’ll know what you’re looking for, which will keep you from splurging on something that doesn’t look right or spending tons on alterations later.

3 Buy a used dress

Some brides are superstitious, and don’t want to buy a used dress–or maybe something about wearing a used dress isn’t what would make them happy. But if you’re one of those people who’s recycling, and you were already considering using your mom’s old dress or fixing up one of your own, why not buy a used dress? There are plenty of sites online where you can wear dresses that were worn only for one ceremony–and you can even go fancy and buy brand-name vintage dresses, too.

Considering that, in 2017, the average wedding cost was $25,764, it’s smart to save some money on your dress so you can spend a bit more on other elements of your wedding.

By using these strategies, you’ll save on your wedding dress. What other strategies are you using to save money on your wedding?

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Useful Fire Safety Tips for Everyone

You might have seen many shopping plazas and commercial buildings which have emergency exit gates and you can understand the importance of these emergency gates. In case the building catches fire and the atmosphere becomes smoky, the customers and the shopkeepers from the shopping mall or the staff of a factory will rush towards the main exit.

In this situation, it is more likely that there will be a rush on the exit gate and it would be difficult for everyone to get out of the building quickly.

For such situations, emergency gates are used so that when more people rush towards the main exit, some of them can use the emergency exit as well to reduce the load on main exit.

So, if you are building your house or a commercial building for you, you must include more emergency exit gates and the number of gates depends on the area of your building and the workers in that building. More staff is there means more emergency exits are required and all these gates must be easily accessible.

Well, apart from these emergency exits, you must know different things which can provide you and your workers extra fire safety. All your staff must be trained and should know these safety tips. While if you are in your house which don’t have an emergency exit, you and your family members should also know these fire safety tips for easy exit from the house under fire.

Things to Do

  • You must have a plan for a safe exit. There must be a big room where all your family members can get together and this room should be close to the exit.
  • There must be a phone inside the room so that you can immediately call the fire department for help.
  • Try to have a window as well so that you can either escape from there or you can call others for help. A window should be on the outer side so that it also helps you to get fresh air to avoid smoke.
  • When all the house members or the staff members in case of a commercial building gather in the main room, you should close the door and should seal the bottom of the door with the help of towels so that no smoke can get inside the room.
  • Dial the local fire fighter department and tell them your situation, address and the intensity of the fire. Also it is good to tell them how many members are there. Don’t disconnect the call until the operator gets all the information from you.

Things Not to Do

  • Do not enter into the burning house or any other burning building to get your personal items, like if you forget your mobile or wallet, don’t go inside to get that.
  • Never take out the batteries out of the fire alarms to use those batteries in the remote of your TV or wall clock.
  • Don’t put mirrors on the places which are more likely to get fire.
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Ideas to spend jokes on the bride and groom

We want to dedicate this section to make a compilation of jokes that can be spent on the bride and groom. Here we leave some of the funniest we have found.

We hope your comments with all the jokes that you have spent to your friends boyfriends or any original idea that you can think of.

Jokes to spend on the bride and groom:

Stick posters with your photo

Fill the car with balloons

Envolvérselo in toilet paper…

Put an ad to sell the car because you need to pay the treat (with car photo and mobile phone number)

The wedding money give it in coins tucked into bottles

More wedding money in €5-threaded bills and tucked into drinking straws

Bribe the orchestra so that the first dance is not a waltz, be it a song… For example the day of the Beast of Extremoduro.

Instead of giving the wedding money in coins put those coins in a huge jar of honey.

30,000 coins of 1 cent tucked all in honey does not have to be anything wrong…

Give the groom a glass of water to calm the nerves, before entering the church, in which we have dissolved a Viagra.

Hiring two actors to Guadias civilian dresses, enter the banquet after dinner asking for the groom, read the rights, handcuff him, take him out and then let him back in. Imagine the face of the bride, in-laws, parents, etc.

Imagine: Hotel suite 11 in the morning after an “intense” wedding night, the groom picks up the phone to order breakfast, “Hello Good morning, we wanted to breakfast for two to room 211 ?, and suddenly you will hear from under the bed,” make it for 5 ?

Put him on a train to Burgos the groom all drunk and without money to return.

Make a replica of the wedding cake with meringue and play with the waiter and throw it to the floor… The bride’s face is priceless.

Send letters to all your neighbors invitandoles to churros and chocolate in the House of the bride and groom the day after the wedding at 8 am.

Bribe the orchestra so that the first dance is not a waltz, be it a song… For example the day of the Beast of Extremoduro.

Put the money in a concrete block or cement and a mallet to break.

Lining the car with transparent kitchen paper, with 4 or 5 rolls is sufficient (much), it took quite a while to be able to mount..

It’s going to cost you the money, but it can be worth it. It is that you offer the groom an amount (20 or 30 euros) for every second that late in giving the “Yes I Want” when asked by the priest. The grace is that to win 20-30 euros does not stop, but equal for 300 (10 seconds) Yes, the guy takes a chance. It must be a poem the face of the priest, girlfriend, family, etc. While the guy holds counting 30-60-90-120-150 euros… 180-210-240…

Find out which car takes the bride and a friend to be dressed as a bride and arrives 5 minutes before she

Jokes at the groom’s house:

Make him a flask in bed

Change sugar for salt

Cellophane paper in the WC

Blue ink in the shower

Fill the house with alarm clocks of those altogether to a hundred and put the alarm of each clock at night with intervals of 15 minutes…. they will spend an entertaining night….

Put a plasterboard septum right on the entrance door when they come back from the honeymoon.

Immerse all underwear in water and put in the freezer.

To dismantle the room of marriage and to put the sand floor with two deckchairs and an umbrella.

Fill the whole house with water-filled shots. It takes time but it’s a chore because because they can’t walk anywhere they can’t get into the house.

They “seal” the toilet bowl with transparent film, if it is a good job is not noticeable, but nothing that is there… not to say I have the surprise when the “Chorrillo” does not enter, but is out.

Plastic flanges to pleasure by assembling chair legs, closing drawers, forks, toothbrushes….

Put in rent the house at a ridiculous price but believable. Calls to your home can be….

Swap all CDs and DVDs of boxes.

Well, these are just some ideas to spend a good joke on the groom or the bride. What are your?

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Amazing Diving and Snorkelling Destination

Located in Indonesia, in Southeast Asia, Raja Ampat consists of about 1,000 islands, each special and characteristic with their own different kinds of intense scenery, whether it is lush jungle throughout, blue skies and white-sandy beaches, large scale caves to explore, or ancient and hidden lagoons.

No matter what kind of adventure you’re looking for, the area is no doubt one of the most beautiful destinations that you could visit. This is why we’ve compiled a list of 5 reasons why you need to visit a Raja Ampat resort.

 

  1. An amazing diving and snorkelling destination

Raja Ampat is known amongst many tourists and locals as one of the best hotspots for diving. To many, it is also considered the best scuba diving resort they’ve ever seen.

As the group of islands are so close to one another and considering its geographical location, it has a very bio-diverse range of animals and fish. You will find that there are up to 540 types of different coral and more than 1000 types in fish available to swim, dive and snorkel with.

There is a lack of boats and people in the area, meaning there is much less risk of contamination of the coral and marine life. This makes it very advantageous and popular amongst many divers who often find they return to this location.

The wide array of diverse coral reefs available mean that any diver can adventure through once in a life time vertical underwater walls and coral gardens.

For any divers interested in Raja Ampat, you will find that there are many quality resorts dedicated to providing the best experience possible.

These resorts will usually offer one or two week different packages that are diving related, including whatever transfers between locations, food for the journeys and a lot of diving during the day.

 

  1. Birdwatching

 Alongside the beautiful marine and coral reefs available, the islands are home to amazing and, in many cases, unique birds that you’ll have the opportunity to view and maybe even interact with.

For example Raja Ampat is one of the most popular and best places to watch a bird species known as the Bird of Paradise, a bird lined with colourful feathers and a long tail.

This bird is the pride and joy of Indonesia, being rather shy but willing to perform a famous dance with colourful plumage in the morning.

At many of the resorts, you will find that they offer expert birdwatchers that will be available for hire. These birdwatches will guide you around relevant islands and shows you just how exactly to spot these birds perfectly.

 

  1. Sailing

Sailing with a relatively small amount of people is one of the best ways to explore what the islands have to offer. Exotic cruises or sailing gives people the luxury and comfort to explore the hidden and different islands.

Some of these islands are even deserted and offer the very best that nature has to offer. You’ll find that at the same time, some of these sailing options are include snorkelling.

If you’re looking for one of the best ways to explore the islands, you can’t wrong here. By sailing you can easily visit a different island every single day, and you can compare the quiet villages on some islands to the lavish and polished homes on different islands.

 

  1. White Sand Beaches

Arriving at Raja Ampat, I’m positive there is one thing that you will quickly notice – the beautiful, enchanting white sand beaches. No matter which island you’ll be traversing or where you’ll go, there will be one similarity: the white sandy beaches lined with palm trees.

 

During your time, you will find your own picture-perfect paradise to spoil yourself with a view free from any tourists that are a bit too close for comfort. Whether you are alone or with family and friends, these beaches are the perfect location to sit back and relax, enjoying the best that Indonesia has to offer.

 

 

  1. Have a go at kayaking

The transparent shallow waters of Raja Ampat’s lagoons are sought out for exploring. Many choose to walk through the sand of the lagoons body, or swim through its divine body, but the best way to enjoy the lagoons and the many islands of is to kayak.

For beginners and for more advanced kayakers, you can have a go at kayaking and experiencing the spray of the water. There are many different resorts available to you with some packages including a local guide where you can stay in local homestays as you go.

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Why the Chinese Love Australian Wine

Australia is a large country which has been blessed with a varied climate and many different soil types. This enables the country to produce many different types of wines including red, white and sparkling wines. Australia also boasts some of the oldest wineries in the world, thanks to the disease that destroyed the great vineyards of Europe in the 1800s.

This unfortunate event prompted top-notch vines to be brought into Australia. Since then, various viticulturists have preserved and developed techniques to produce large amounts of high quality wine. Today, Australia exports to over more than 100 countries, including China.

For several decades, beer and rice alcohol (Baijiu) have been the preferred alcoholic beverages consumed by the Chinese. However, this is a changing landscape, especially among the young and affluent middle class. Statistics show that there was an increase of 43 percent of wine exported to Mainland China, during the 12 months leading up to March 2017, with a large amount of the alcohol delivery coming through Shanghai.

What has caused the Surge?

Improved disposable income

The boom in the economy has changed the spending habits of the Chinese consumer.  Today, most middle class Chinese can afford foreign-made goods and services. This is also true for alcoholic beverages, such as wine.

Change in the consumer mindset

Wine was once considered an expensive good and reserved for special occasions. However, the wide availability of wine through online retailers, at restaurants and in stores in most major cities has created a shift in the Chinese consumer.  A recent study shows that wine is consumed for health and well-being reasons, as well as relaxation and taste.

Traditionally alcoholic beverages were consumed mainly by men. However, the working women in today’s modern society are equal and financially independent. They have also taken strongly to drinking wine.

Health conscious

Drinking wine is increasingly considered the health-conscious option when compared to the traditional alcoholic beverage Baijiu. Government initiatives to promote healthy drinking among the public is another reason for the health drive. For example, in 2006 the government imposed a minimum age for drinking. Later in 2009, they also increased taxes for high strength alcohol drinks such as Baijiu.

E-commerce and logistics

Online sales of retail goods and services are on the increase in China.  For instance, most Chinese use social media sites extensively to search for recommendations and price reductions when purchasing a product or service online. This has prompted a recent government directive to allow alcoholic beverages such as wine to be traded via overseas e-commerce transactions.

This has enabled consumers in tier one cities (such as Shanghai and Beijing) and lower tier cities accessible to quality wine. In addition, there are several reputed Chinese companies who have partnered with Australian wineries to offer storage, delivery and other services to help sell their stocks online to the Chinese consumer – with a particular boom coming in alcohol delivery to Shanghai.

The availability of wine has also prompted a drop in prices, and thus it has become available in most restaurants and bars.

Local produce being inferior

Although Chinese wineries produce their own wine, this is a work in progress. There are several reasons for this. One factor is the inability to produce quality grapes. The regions where the wineries are located tend to get very cold during winter and the farmers are forced to harvest their produce much earlier. Thus, the grape harvest tends to not be sweet enough for the palette of the Chinese consumer.

Why Australian Wine?

The Taste

The Chinese palette enjoys wines that are fruity, with low acidity levels and minimal tannins. These traits are mainly found in many Australian wines. As a result, the Chinese consumer has begun to enjoy wine on its own, instead of mixing it along with other beverages.

The Red Colour

Dubbed the national colour of China, red signifies luck, power and fortune. This makes an attractive gift, especially during the festive seasons where exchanging of gifts always played an important part in the culture.

Brand (Country) Loyalty

Australian wine has always been viewed as safe and pure. In the wake of recent food scandals involving local brands, the Chinese have a lot of faith in the purity and quality of Australian wine. Family brands and consistency (of quality) are also factors that have helped Australia to secure a decent market share of wine in China.

The use of screwcap instead of the traditional cork

Australia has long ago ditched the traditional cork from their wine bottles and has introduced the screwcap. Out of every 100 bottles of wine manufactured, 99 are sealed with a screwcap.

Wine drinkers in China tend to be young and open-minded, and prepared to try new things. They have readily dismissed the myth that a bottle of wine with a screwcap is inferior in quality, when compared to competitors from other countries.

In Conclusion

Australia, being one of the world’s top wine manufacturers, has managed to capture the hearts and minds of the Chinese consumer.  Key factors such as disposable income, accessibility, taste and brand loyalty influence the Chinese to prefer Australian wine over other competitors, and has massively boosted the level of alcohol delivery in Shanghai.

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