Thursday, August 22, 2013

Benefits of Implementing Enterprise Business Intelligence Software

Benefits of implementing Business Intelligence Software are immense for business enterprises in today’s ever changing technology and competitive business world. As Business Intelligence is basically a method to collect right data and analyse that data to study about meaningful patterns related to day to day business operations. Business Intelligence solution plays a major role in key decision making process for efficient functionality of business enterprises. Business Intelligence solution’s role in quick decision making process helps enterprises, to deeply understand business operations and make measures for efficient functionality of overall business operations. Due to global economic down trends it has become imperative for every company to implement Business Intelligence solution to stay ahead with their competitors.

Benefits of Implementing Business Intelligence Software

Business Intelligence Solutions helps a company in boosting their performance on long term basis and this would be the primary goal of every company. The efficient use of Business Intelligence software helps enterprises to evaluate return on Investment (ROI) on various segments categorically. The feature of Business Intelligence is Dash Boards that help managers to have clear insight about various business processes to make a right decision at a right time. Some of the benefits of implementing Enterprise Business Intelligence Solution or software are:

Enhanced Operational Efficiency Operational efficiency is one of the key benefit an enterprise can reap using Business Intelligence software. Business Intelligence guides organizations to take effective measures and actions pertaining to workflow of each and every department, leading to efficient and effective functionality to achieve desired revenue goals.

Measure Key Business Results– Business Intelligence Solution helps to measure key business results such as revenue and systems enhancements. Business Intelligence software provides a platform to the organizations to analyse various aspects of business in terms of size and the amount of data. Principal benefits of using Business Intelligence solution is that, it integrates various streams and types of data that can be consolidated for reporting purpose. Business Intelligence experts play a key role in Implementation of a right fit enterprise Business Intelligence software. These experts would be the best resources to explain how to capitalize on the benefits of Business Intelligence solutions.

Efficient Reporting Purpose Implementation helps in reporting which is a key vital aspect of business operations to take right decisions at a right time. It produces relevant data in each segment and departmental wise for decision making analysis. Business Intelligence software can be implemented in number of ways and formats accomplished to meet day to day activities. Implementing Business Intelligence solutions helps organizations to frame accurate decisions to enhance improved operational functionality.

Enhance Accurate Decision Making Process– Based on company size and data size,Business Intelligence Solutions leverages company to make decisions based on technical aspects rather than traditional illogical and predictive decisions. As data is analysed in analytic manner, decisions go in a right manner.

Valuable Time Saving Generating required reports in quick period of time is one of the key role of Business Intelligence Solution, as these software solutions avoids laborious system of depending on traditional files resulting in time saving of the resources and operational processes.

Efficient Data Management Business Intelligence Software performs multi-dimensional analysis on raw data and builds a structured and organized data meant for efficient data processing, data analyzing and reporting.

Industry and Customer Intelligence Business Intelligence solution Implementation helps to know right audience for business with all analytical and elaborate data. Business Intelligence Solutions provides scope to study about the buying patterns of customers and clients. These analytical reports give clear picture of buying patterns of clients and customers in various seasons, occasions. Business Intelligence Solutions help to study competitors in the comparative and competitive markets.

Future Predictions and Forecasting– Sales and financial projections and forecast and future budgeting play a vital role in future of the company. As right and accurate kind of reports will be handy with the managers, projections and forecasts can be analysed in a systemic manner to predict company fortunes in present and future periods.

Cost Cut Down As different buying patterns of customer and clients are in front on table, production heads know what would be the ideal time to go ahead with more production and what time to have less production, leading to cost cut down. Advertising department know what time is the best time to go for targeted branding and advertisement.

Streamline Departmental Efficiency Right from financial department to supply chain and inventory department, organizations will have improved systems in place with Business Intelligence Implementation. Budget allocation in right time and in right area or department will lead great success in business. 

Issues related to license also need to be considered when implementing the Business Intelligence software.

Friday, August 16, 2013


Electric Car Charging

Image Courtesy Of [Marcus]/

Prevention of mass production of electric cars and electric charging stations had various discussions these days on personal and media front. Electric cars were introduced as an alternate to fuel cars in terms of environment protection and decreasing fuel reserves on the planet. Though electric cars were given huge hype by the media about their smooth journey but electric car industry faces several problems and criticism.

Reasons for prevention of mass production of electric cars
                There are various reasons that have affected the mass production of electric cars. Most of problems require vigilant methods to find and fix solution that hampers mass production of electric cars. Here are some of the reasons preventing mass production of electric cars are:-

High Prices and Reliability of Battery Packs
High prices of electric cars and the reliability of the battery pack, its cost factor in future and recharge infrastructure facilities are some of the predominant reasons why mass production of electric vehicles have slowed down and prevented. It’s a fact that compare to successful fuel run cars, electric cars did not gain the confidence of potential buyers because the consumers are worried about the unknown and hidden costs of the battery and its functionality. The electric car manufacturers do not reveal about duration of battery packs. The vehicle manufacturers also do not reveal the cost involved in the replacement of the battery packs. Apart from cost factor electric cars are not fully prepared to face challenges and did not meet the expectations of prospective customers in terms of performance and reliability.

Ambiguity over Resale Value, Infrastructure Plans, Recharge of Battery Packs
Some of the biggest concerns for consumers have in their minds are the resale value of the electric cars and charging Infrastructure facilities. Not enough infrastructure plans to establish recharge stations at consumer’s convenience. Long waiting hours to recharge the battery packs and less number of public recharging stations.  And moreover houses are not designed for recharging of car batteries. Electric cars do not have robust engine technology that a traditional and a gasoline car have. A good repair system is not in place to face major technical problems.

Auto-Manufacturers Concerns to Manufacture Electric Vehicles on Mass Scale
Auto manufacturers are still skeptic to manufacture electric vehicles on mass scale because right policies are yet to be framed by the government to encourage consumers and the industry. Either the automakers or the government regulations have impressed the consumers to offer special benefits like free parking or separate lanes for electric vehicles for smoother transportation. On top government lag behind in regulating financial companies for loan guarantee for vehicle manufacturers. The Initial sales performance statistics of electric vehicles lead to lot of criticism. Customer satisfaction levels about mileage of electric cars affected the sales in many parts of world. The supply and delivery also effected badly recently.

Infant Stage of Electric Car Technology & Political Reasons
The automobile technology for the electric cars are still in the infant stage and lot more progress need to be made to overcome the practical problems to compete with traditional gasoline cars. A remarkable change is definitely required by the electric vehicle industry to have a positive impact. Battery prices need to come down and production need to be improved a lot. Electric vehicle consumers are also worried about the facts like the oil prices might come down because of new discoveries of oil reserves in the recent months and also innovative drilling techniques and methodologies being invented. There has been significant improvement in the natural gas explorations also by which hybrid cars and cars run with natural gas has been successful so far. These concerns make consumers and electric vehicle manufacturers to rethink about the purchase and production of vehicles. The governing bodies i.e., counties and the electric utility companies have not come up with strategic plans to advance their existing practices in terms of recharging facilities to gain the confidence of consumers.

Lack of Awareness among the Consumers about Federal Tax Benefit

Federal Tax Credit
Image Courtesy of [Stuart Milles]/
Despite government measures to give federal tax credit to consumers, the uncertainty continues in the minds of consumers for purchase of new electric cars and the progress of electric cars seemed to be bleak due to varied economic and other technology factors. US Government has raised subsidy to around 7.5 Billion for the progress of this industry, but the progress of electric vehicles have not met the market expectations. The awareness of tax credit for purchase of electric vehicles are not up to the expectations. Government regulations are not that encouraging and the regulations to the auto-manufacturers that make them to offer certain percentage of electric cars as a mandatory rule is not in place. Though electricity prices are far less compare to gasoline cars, but the assurance from the government for electric cars industry is far less compared to fuel and gasoline cars. Despite of down trends in EV industry- most of the surveys from research companies, auto analysts and manufacturers are in the opinion that there is a bright future of electric cars in coming years to come. Lot many companies especially major auto players would like come up with innovative technologies to manufacture modern electric vehicles once they gain momentum in this space.

Government’s Negligence to Follow Expert’s Recommendations
Both the state and federal governments have to concentrate on the recommendations given by experts to lay policies and regulations to create a viable market for electric cars. Efficient policies are yet to be framed for mass production and high sale of electric cars. An eye catchy effective national demonstration programs are required on constructive basis covering various geographical territories that would encourage sales and as well leasing of electric vehicles. A promising battery technology has to come up in the market in order to have a realistic growth of electric vehicles in terms of sales. Support from the government in terms of funding plays a vital role for improvised research and development of electric vehicle technology. Finally electric vehicles Industry need to build the confidence of consumers as a better alternate to fuel and gasoline cars.

These above socio, economic and technological factors are some of the main causes for prevention of mass production of electric cars and electric recharge stations.

Monday, August 5, 2013

How to Prepare a Travel Plan for a Holiday Trip

Tips To Prepare a Travel Plan

Travel Plan Preparation
Preparing a Travel Plan require little bit of patience and planning. No doubt traveling is one of the best approaches to unwind from stressful life and relax from every day’s busy schedules, but a proper travel plan for holiday trip or business trip would enhance a peaceful holiday or a business trip. Here are some of the tips to prepare a travel plan.

Research and Decide Travel Destination

The first step for a good travel plan is doing some research over the internet about places of visit. Conduct some good research over the web to know best seasons to visit the intended tourist places. Study about current socio-economic conditions either on local news websites or tourism related websites. Check the climatic conditions for the intended period of travel. Read reviews about places, hotels and food etc. Speak to people who have already traveled to know more information. For additional Information do some extra research on internet, read travel magazines or journals. Having first-hand information is always a good approach for a great holiday travel. These are the first and foremost important tips for a better travel plan.

Prepare a Travel Itinerary

Preparing a planned travel Itinerary is an important step for a hassle free travel. Take a pen and paper and note down the following:

a) Write down the important places to visit based on the travel guide and route map, research over the web visiting various travel sites.
b) Write down the possible dates of visiting the intended places.
c) Figure out number of days that would be required to complete the holiday tour based on journey hours, hotel and travel ticket reservations.

Once travel Itinerary planning is completed then proceed to prepare for a right budget and other things.

Plan Budget for Whole Travel

Prepare in advance for sufficient funds to complete a great holiday travel trip. Prepare an approximate budget keeping the main components for travel like travel tickets, hotel stay, car rentals, shopping and other things. Good financial planning becomes an essential preparation for a good travel plan.

Book Travel Tickets, Hotel Accommodation and Car Rentals
Hotel Booking to Prepare a Travel
Every Travel Planning requires advance booking of travel tickets, booking of hotel accommodation and booking of car rentals. Plan these following in advance:

a) Book travel tickets with a reputed travel agency, the one that know about the holiday destination properly and the one that gives good information about the tourist spot.
b) Simultaneosly one can also book tickets on the reliable travel websites for a quick confirmation.
c)  Book hotel accomodation and car rentals simultaneously to avoid confusion and rush at neck of the moment.
d)  Know about the weight of luggage allowed to carry with the airlines.

Prepare a Check List of Items to Carry for the Travel

Prepare a check list of items to carry for the whole of travel trip. It is the best practice to avoid inconvenience and save money. The following are the travel planning check list that would help for a hassle free holiday trip:

a)Local Currencies: Once knowing about the local currencies,it is always better to have them in handy.Prepare in advance to have local currency handy visiting a travel exchange or banks before departure to the intended travel place.
b)Travel Documents: Always check the required travel documents like passport,visa and validity periods etc.
c)Travel Cards like membership cards, Bank Cards, Credit   Cards: As plastic cards are equal essentials like food and water   these days, arrange them properly in a separate wallet if possible,for better convenience during traveling.
d)Electronic Gadgets:List out all the possible required electronic gadgets like cameras,camcorders,camera batteries,camcorder batteries, mobile chargers, Cell Phones, Tablets, Memory Cards, Pen drives or external hard drives etc.
e)Travel Guides and Route Maps: Do not forget to carry travel guides and route maps to avoid confusion.
f)Books and Magazines: Carry favorite books or magazines to read during travel and on waiting lounges to avoid boredom.
g)Snacks and Entertainment Things: It is always better to have snacks handy to avoid hunger packs in leisure times and playing cards on travelling.
h)Medical Prescriptions: Never forget to carry medical prescriptions if on medications.
i )Children Items: If travelling with children prepare all the list of items required for them during travel.

Packing Precautions                           

Proper Packing though not many show interest but it is vital planning aspect for holiday travel. Include packing as one of the important activity for preparing a smooth travel journey. Some of the packing tips are:

a)Baggage Conditions: Check whether travelling bags are in good condition.Are the jibs working properly? Think about the amount of luggage to carry.
b)Carrying Locks: It is better to carry locks for bags for safety of items in the bags.
c)Baggage Restriction: Check with airlines for baggage restrictions, based on this prepare for weight that can be carried.Carry extra bags rather than buying locally for huge prices for shopping purpose or for any other purchased items.

Home Precautions:

Before departing for a holiday travel make sure to take some of these precautions at home.

a)Set Answering Machine: Set answering machine message for incoming messages.
b)Emergency Alarm: Chek emergency alarm working properly or not.
c)Keep Informed about your travel: It is always a good practice to inform loved ones or well wishers about the intended travel like the place of visits,dates of journey either through emails or phone.
d)Informing Bank or Credit Card Issuing Authorities: Inform bank or credit card issuing authorities about travel trip on the intended days of travel in order to have smooth bank or credit card transactions of paying bills and for shopping purpose.This precaution would help blocking of card temporarily on security reasons while on shopping.
e)Clearing the Dust: It is always better to clear all food items on the dinning table and also clear dustbins to avoid bad smell and dirt in the kitchen to ensure hygiene at home.
f)Pet Animals: Assign some body to take care of pets at home to prevent animals from starvation.
g)Vehicle Locking: Take care of locking and parking of vehicles at secure place to avoid burglary.

Recheck the check list before departing: Recheck the entire travel planning check list once again before departure for holiday destination to avoid last minute urgency.

Hope following the above simple travel planning tips would help for a great and a memorable holiday trip.

Monday, July 16, 2012

How To Avoid Neck Pain

One of the biggest reasons for neck pain is poor posture. So avoiding poor posture can be the simplest way to avoid neck pain. In good posture seating starts from lumbar spine and pelvis. Upright posture keeps the neck and head in the middle position and avoids stresses. Here are some of the tips to attain good posture.
1. Avoid sleeping on the stomach; it exerts twisting pressure on vertebral joints for the whole night. Avoid using large pillows or more than one pillow to keep the neck in the neutral position. It is preferred to use feather pillows than foam pillows. Because feather pillows easily take shape of your neck and head and avoids stresses.
2. While sitting care should be taken that knees remain lower than the hips, arms are held down, back is touching the support.
3. If you have to work on the computer, use larger screen so that upward and downward hunching of the neck is avoided. If possible call an ergonomist to arrange your work setup best to avoid neck stresses. Use larger fonts so that you have not to move forward to understand the small sized letters. If you are working on the laptop, make use of the docking port, because laptops are not suitable for long term use.
4. When you are driving a car adjust the mirrors to get the backside view after you have taken your position. When you move forward you will observe that you are not getting backside view. This will help to get you in the proper sitting posture.
5. Stretching exercises before sleeping and while leaving the bed helps a lot to relieve the stresses created in a daytime work.
6. Most important is care must be taken while lifting something. Even if for most of the people lifting might crate pain in the lower back, it is associated with neck pain also. Stand up close to the object to be lifted. Bend at the hip and knees keeping the head and neck in neutral position. Lift the object so that pressure is on hip and leg muscles and not on back and neck. Keep one foot in a slightly forward position so that feet are separated by the shoulder distance.
Neck pain in women:
Neck pain in women is often caused by muscle strain, tendonitis, arthritis or a condition called frozen shoulder. The shoulder gets stiff and can not move freely. Fibromyagia which occurs more often in women than men can also cause pain.
The neck is a ball and socket joint that is held together by muscles, tendons and ligaments that allow the neck a wide range of motion but also keep it stable. The reality that most women have less shoulder power than men does not make them more prone to neck injuries. Most women's shoulders are in fact strong relative to their body size.
What can make women more vulnerable to neck pain and injury is that their necks are naturally more lenient or loose than men's. This can make women candidates for displacement and impingement, in which tendons in the shoulder become strained against a bone. Women who participate in tennis, work as baggers in grocery stores or work at a computer keyboard are most likely to get neck pain.
Other problems:
A common problem for women is frozen shoulder. For various reasons, the ligaments that go around the ball-and-socket joint become inflamed. The ache causes a decrease in use of the shoulder. As a result, the ligaments do not get stretched and the shoulder begins to tighten up.
Saving shoulders:
People may be able to carry the world on the shoulders, but only if it is in good shape. Before starting in exercise or strenuous chores, warm up and stretch the neck to get them ready for exertion. Simple forward and backward arm circles can help limber them up. When the muscles are used for a sustained period of time to do things like clip the hedge, paint a room or turn over the garden, muscle fatigue and pain can result.
So taking a break is important. Watch the work surface. While lifting something pay attention to the position of the head and bend at the knees to pick something up and hold the item close to the body. The stronger the muscles in the shoulder, the more stable and less prone to injury it will be. Ask a physical therapist to put on a shoulder-strengthening program.
But make sure the therapist helps adjusting any weight machines to the particular size. Since weight machines designed for men are too big for a woman's frame, one might need to customize the machine by adding extra seat cushions and back pads.

Friday, May 11, 2012

How to Cure and Prevent a Common Cold Naturally

When I was a child, I remembered I would occasionally catch a cold and spend about two weeks lying in bed, suffering. My joints and muscles would ache and, although I received better treatment, being served meals in bed and having a TV in my own room, it was still a very unpleasant period.
Eventually my mother blurted something about some Nobel prize winner (Linus Pauling) who wrote an article about eating lots of vitamin C to kill colds. So I tried that one time and found I managed to get the period of immense discomfort down to four days.
Then at one point garlic was mentioned and, after trying that as well, I seemed to get the period down to around one and a half days. In my earlier years, it seemed that whenever a "cold was going around", I would catch it at the beginning AND at the tail end of it, when it had mutated slightly so that I managed to catch the next strain. Now though I'd say I get sick on average about half a day a year.
Since this is potentially a costly sickness, I thought I would add this to my list of natural ways to battle various illnesses.
The common cold is "a contagious viral infection of the upper respiratory tract characterized by inflammation (swelling and irritation with presence of extra immune cells) of the mucous membranes, sneezing, and sore throat. It is our only effective weapon against the alien attack of War of the Worlds, where all our military strength and nuclear weapons proved useless.
The following explains how I manage to avoid or kill colds. Sometimes I could be in a pub and drink from a less than clean glass and soon feel a scratchy feeling in my throat, like the bacteria left on the glass from the previous sick person. Or I could generally be feeling weaker and susceptible to catching a cold. So I immediately bombard my system with at least a thousand milligrams of vitamin C and one pill of Echinacea (description later). Generally, I throw at least 5 cloves of garlic into everything I cook, so my body's general immunity should already be okay. I'll take this dose of vitamin C and Echinacea once or twice a day, for one or two days until I feel my body is resilient again. This usually manages to avoid me from getting sick. However, if the virus gets out of hand, such as if I was on a drinking binge for a few days and lacked sleep, I then roll up my sleeves and get prepared for the all-out ATTACK on that virus!!
How to Kill a Cold
Once a cold has succeeded in establishing a good foothold in my body, I have several approaches I use to "kill" it. However, as usual, I prefer to avoid all "western medicine" approaches requiring chemicals or drugs. In the Czech Republic, where I presently live, someone sniffles and is immediately handed a doctor's slip to lie in bed for four days and pound themselves with antibiotics. Although this practice is fading, it seems to come out of communist times, when everyone supported each other so as to work as little as possible. Of course, instead of staying at home most people would go out drinking and weaken their bodies further. I heard that these manmade antibiotics actually weaken your body, because your body does not produce the antibiotics itself and over time grows weaker and more susceptible to catching sicknesses.
Echinacea, on the other hand, is a natural antibiotic and actually STRENGTHENS your body against future sicknesses. I find Echinacea is most useful for killing viruses entrenched in my lungs, whereas vitamin C seems to work overall on the body.
Another natural herb which is supposed to be good for strengthening the body's immunity system is Lapacho, although I don't like its flavour very much and tend not to use it. You should be able to go to your local herbal drug store and ask what various natural ingredients are good at strengthening your body's immunity system. Ginger is also good. When sick, I tend to bombard my system with 3,000 mg of vitamin C daily, spread over the day, each time taking a dose (one pill) of Echinacea.
l instinct apparently is to fast. This is because the body needs to use the energy it has to fight the cold and not to process the food you are eating. Therefore, it is generally a good idea to not eat foods, such as meat, which require greater energy to break down and process. When I feel REALLY bad, I go all out and fast totally. Maybe one and a half days to two days, depending on how strong the virus is.
However, as I am sure your doctor will suggest to you, all the killed virus must get flushed out of your system, in which case I find it quite important to drink lots of water. When I feel real bad, I find I can still work, but I get tired frequently and resort to sleeping in intervals. Sleeping is a time when the body generally rehabilitates itself, and is very important while you are sick.
If you do not want to resort to all out fasting, you can try cooking natural rice with lots of diced garlic. Ginger is also very good at fighting or preventing colds.
Therefore, you can try my favourite super duper cold killing soup, as an example: 
  • in a small pot throw some cooking butter and sprinkle with certain spices, such as curry, pepper, thyme, bit of oregano, hot chilli/cayenne combination according to your tastes (I always put caraway seeds into everything I cook, but a lot of people do not like caraway seeds). In Indian cooking with curry, the trick apparently is to fry/cook the curry at the beginning into the butter (or Gi - very condensed butter), until a certain point (not very long) when the spices have merged into the butter and each other;
  • once the spices have melted into each other (be careful not to burn the butter or curry), throw in the diced ginger. Perhaps add a little oil to prevent burning or if you don't like too much butter flavour in your soup;
  • shortly after that (depending on how much you want to soften the texture or weaken the flavour of the ginger) you can add onions and garlic. Stir fry until your desired level and throw in water;
  • you can add soya now or during the frying process at the beginning;
  • as the water heats up, you can add essential ingredients, such as natural rice, precooked lentils, maybe Chinese noodles, to give yourself your carbohydrate blast and fuel. Or nothing at all - depending on how much of a fast you think you can handle or are willing to take. (If you reaaally want to avoid fasting, you can make a similar meal by cooking only rice and then flavour it with the same ginger/garlic and or onion combination, with some vegetables);
  • add spices to your liking, tobasco spice and all the hotness you think you can handle. Hot spices are good for getting the nasal juices pouring.

You can also suck all day on raw lemon. I heard once that the difference between the molecules in store-bought vitamin C and the vitamin C in for example in a lemon is that the natural, living vitamin C molecules are spinning, where the store-bought ones are stagnant. This tells me that they are essentially dead and I assume that the natural ones should be a lot more powerful. You cannot overdose on vitamin C and you apparently just urinate out the excess, so feel free to have as much "live" vitamin C as you can handle. (However, I find my body starts to feel a bit overdosed if I have more than 3,000 mg of store bought-vitamin C pills a day.
Drink lots of water, take a lot of sleep naps, and I find I am virtually cured by the next morning. Try to avoid beer or wine - it seems to me that the yeast or something in these feeds viral growth in my throat, not to mention that it tends to neutralize or kill vitamin C and other nutrients in your body. If you really do need to drink booze or party, try to limit it to only hard or herbal alcohol.
This is how I generally manage to kill a cold - once I actually do catch one - by the next morning. Deep uninterrupted sleep helps a lot. But this is only once you do actually catch a cold. As usual though, why catch it at all when you can apply a bit of PREVENTIVE medicine?
How to Avoid Catching a Cold
Obviously, colds are transmitted by little virus bugs which land into your throat or nasal passages and start to eat away at your body. You can be on a metro or tram and inhale the bug from someone else's sneeze. To prevent this, I guess you'd have to wear a gas mask or some other mask; but for most of us, this is not a viable option. Or you can generally eat lots of garlic and ginger as I do, as such strengthening your body's immunity system (my girlfriend catches colds frequently and I certainly get closer to her than I do to people in elevators, although I still never catch colds from her).
But there are three main ways, at least here in the Czech Republic, how I found I tended to catch colds: 
  • the hygienic standards here in Czech were not as strict as back home in Canada, I ordered myself a beer and caught a cold. So I try to always drink from just above the handle - a weird place from where most people do not drink - increasing my chances of not putting to my lips the juicy chunk of virus left by the last user. Or if not a glass with a handle, I pick a point on the glass, such as above the label, and drink only from that location, hence lowering my chances. If possible, I ask the bartender to pour my next beer into the same glass, since I have already "broken it in", so to speak;
  • if travelling by public transportation or while in any other location where my hands come into contact with frequently touched objects (handle rails etc.), I try to always hold only with two fingers and at a "strange" location (joint between handle rails etc.) where most other people will not grab hold of (wearing gloves is certainly also good). And above all, try not to absent-mindedly wipe my nose with my fingers after holding onto something which the last hundred people held onto after wiping their nose with their fingers. This is a perfect way to transmit a virus;

  • one last thing you can try and which, as part of my internet research on this subject, I learned may help is to put a jar of water on your heater in the winter. When it is cold outside, we heat up our homes, and heaters tend to dry out the air. When the air is dry, my lips start to chap and I often wake up in the morning with a dry and sore throat. This seems to make it more susceptible to catching colds. You can be fancy and spend all sorts of money on a humidifier, or just put a jar of water on your heaters, which slowly evaporates and helps keep the air in your home more moist. Aquariums also help.
  • and lastly, perhaps contrary to the above few points, is not to be so obsessive about sterilisation. The new generation is said to be catching colds quickly and constantly because everything is so sterile, and many people take prescription antibiotics at the first sneeze. Synthetic antibiotics weaken your body. It is like a crutch, or a wheelchair, and if you sit in a wheelchair too long and don't exercise your muscles, your body gets weak. It develops a dependence on your crutch. But natural antibiotics, such as garlic, ginger, vitamin C and Echinacea instead strengthen your body. And the introduction of foreign bacteria will also strengthen your immune system, because your body is forced to develop antibodies against it. It is like taking a vaccine. A small dose and weakened version of a disease which your body can react to and develop against it an immune system. So hey, don't be so obsessively clean. But avoid strong doses as mentioned above.
These are general preventive tactics. Of course, I guess you can include in that trying to avoid going on drinking binges for too many days in a row while depriving yourself of sleep, or other forms of stressful work which tend to weaken your body's immunity system. Or by trying to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, with lots of vegetables and vitamins, or by exercising and taking care of your body to make it stronger. In my internet research on this subject, I also learned that sugar is bad for the immunity system. White sugar is supposed to be bad for you generally.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

How to Find a Cheap Flight

The world is in an economic crisis, and tourism is down all over the world. Airlines have slashed fees and costs in order to fill some of the empty seats. Yet flights — especially on the major airlines — are still expensive. Rising oil costs, increased personal costs, and material costs have all added to rising ticket fares. Bankruptcy has also meant that airlines, which are under pressure to make a profit, can’t reduce fares that much.
The era of dirt-cheap travel is over, and, when the flight can represent the biggest part of your trip expenses, finding that hidden cheap deal can be just as important as finding the right location, the right tour company, the right backpack, or the right place to stay. While deals are not as abundant as in the past, there are still many ways to avoid being the person on the flight who paid the most.
Here are a few tips that can help you find cheap flights and flight deals:
Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates
Airline ticket prices vary depending on the day of the week, time of year, and upcoming holiday such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving, or Fourth of July. Overseas, August is a big month for traveling around Europe as many Europeans go on vacation then so airline tickets tend to be higher.
It’s always cheaper to fly during the middle of the week than on a weekend because most people travel on the weekends and airlines hike up their prices then. If you fly after a major holiday, prices are also a bit cheaper. Early morning or late night flights are cheaper because fewer people want to travel then. Before you commit to your departure, make sure you check other dates to pick the cheapest day. If you are not flexible in the dates you want to fly, you will never be able to find a cheap flight. Even the difference of a day can mean hundreds of dollars in savings.
Fly to Secondary Airports with Low-Cost Carriers
Most major cities have a smaller, secondary airport. This is the airport most low-cost carriers (LCC) fly into because it’s cheaper and helps keep costs down. Airports charge landing fees, and smaller airports charge smaller fees, which helps keep prices down for you. Check out which airlines fly into these smaller airports. For example, you can take JetBlue to Long Beach, an airport close to Los Angeles, instead of flying into LAX, and save some money. In America, there are over 20 different LCCs. In Europe, there are even more, and competition has kept prices there very low. In Asia, Air Asia has led to a huge drop in fares and is a great budget airline to fly. For example, you can find tickets from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur for $40 USD. Many times, these low-cost airlines offer no-fare tickets — you pay just the taxes. Flying the budget airlines is a good alternative to flying the “majors” whenever possible. You get fewer “perks” but you can save a bundle in ticket costs. But be sure to check out how far the airports are from the city center — sometimes transportation from the airport to the city can actually make a budget airline more expensive. However, in general, these low cost budget airlines are a good deal.
Try Alternative Routes
Not only does it help to be flexible with dates, but try being flexible with the route you take, too. Sometimes it’s cheaper to fly to London and take a LCC to Amsterdam rather than flying direct to Amsterdam. There are so many low-cost carriers around the world that taking advantage of a good deal to another city and then hopping on a LCC to your destination is sometimes the best way to go. Moreover, direct flights are always more expensive than connecting ones. Just by picking a connecting flight route, you will save money. If you do the infamous Saturday night stay, you’ll also save money. (This is where you have to stay at your destination over a Saturday night.) By working various airlines and special offers, you can save a lot. This method is not for everyone, however. It is more work, as you have to figure out lots of different routes and check different airlines. But it will shave some money off your flight, giving you more to spend at your destination.
Know What You Want to Pay for a Flight
People always try to get the lowest price online, wait too long, and then pay too much. We all know airline prices always bounce up and down, yet in our quest to hold out just a little longer, most of us miss the lowest price. Therefore, it’s important to know what you want to pay, not what you hope to pay. What’s the lowest price for YOU? Is $200 from NY to Miami what you want? Don’t want to pay more than $900 to go from LA to Tokyo? Then don’t. Don’t wait for the perfect price — wait for YOUR price. Wait until prices get close to, at, or lower than your desired price, and then buy. Then you will never have buyer’s remorse. Prices always fluctuate, so you’ll never know if you could have done better or worse. No two people on a flight pay the same price, so all you can do is hope you get the price you are comfortable paying. Sites like Farecast can help you predict when to buy.
Remember Not All Search Engines are Equal
Whenever most Americans do a Web search for airline tickets, they search Expedia or Orbitz. As this post shows, that’s a big mistake. These sites either work with or are owned by the airline companies and don’t offer unbiased fares. You need to search as many flight search websites as you can in order to ensure you are leaving no stone unturned. Moreover, many sites don’t list budget carriers because those airlines don’t want to pay a booking commission. The best search engines are the ones that have no affiliation with any airline and make their money via advertising, not bookings.
It’s important to check a few sites before you book as you’ll often see variations in prices and don’t want to miss a deal. All of these websites have their weaknesses and do not include every airline. You aren’t going to find Air Asia, Ryan Air, or other budget airlines on large sites like Kayak, Expedia, or Obritz. US booking engines tend to not have the obscure foreign airlines that you see on international sites like Skyscanner. Booking sites have blind spots since they don’t cover every region of the world and every airline equally. If you want to find a cheap ticket, you must look at multiple booking sites as well as compare to the airlines website before clicking the buy button.
I generally use Vayama to book my flights (their banner is below) as they tend to have the lowest prices but always make sure you check other sites just in case. There’s no perfect airline search engine. Even the best have their faults.
Search an Airline’s International Websites
Don’t forget to search the international websites of all major airlines, too. You might think that prices will be the same across the board, but remember that all sites and prices are not the same. I have found Air New Zealand tickets from Tokyo to LA hundreds of dollars cheaper when searching the NZ version of the website instead of the US. I found tickets to and from Europe cheaper by searching the Canadian version of the British Airways website. Many times, these tickets are also priced in foreign denominations, which can also make the prices slightly cheaper depending on your currency. You are allowed to book your flight from a website located in a different country. You will just be charged in the local currency. (Note: The recent fall of the US dollar has made this hard to work for Americans, but easier for people on the Euro, Pound, or Yen!)
Take Advantage of Student Discounts
If you are a student, there are many, many discounts available to you. Check out STA Travel and their search engine. You can find flexible student tickets on their website and at agency stores. I used them for a $400 ticket from Athens to Bangkok. That wasn’t even the cheapest flight, either, just the cheapest direct flight. There are many student codes out there, and many of the tourist agencies in backpacker areas can help find you a cheap ticket.
Sign Up for a Frequent Flier Program
Airline rewards programs are a great way to get free flights, free upgrades, and free companion tickets. No matter how often you fly, you should be signed up for the airline’s reward program. I stick to the US airlines since they are involved in all the major alliances and you can earn miles on their partner flights. For example, if I fly Singapore Airlines, I can earn United Airlines miles because they are partners. I similarly do the same if I fly Air France and use my Delta rewards account. This way I am always earning miles when I fly. click here to know more