Top 10 Travel Tips – These Are Travel Lover’s Top 10 Travel Tips To Ensure a Great Vacation

Traveling is such an enjoyable experience that we wish we could do it all the time. Unfortunately most of us only get a couple weeks a year (if we’re lucky) to take our vacations.In order to ensure that those trips are the very best and everything we expect (unlike the many travel movies where there are nightmares around every corner), we want to provide our top 10 travel tips so your vacations are very memorable – in a good way of course.Discount Florida Vacations Top 10 Travel Tips (these are in no particular order):1. Plan early and book when a good deal fits your budget or smells right. There are more and more travel companies popping up everyday. Why? Because as the baby boomer generation gets older and once they boot their children out of the house, they are traveling more and more. Good deals are easy to find and there are many reputable companies that offer great rates and fares.2. Know about your destination and the best times to travel. Remember when Chevy Chase takes the whole family cross country only to find out their favorite fun park is closed? Don’t let that happen to you. Know what is going on and when the best times to travel are. For example, most people know that March and April tend to be spring break times. Well, if you take your little ones to Panama City Florida during these months, chances are you are going to run into wild, college kids. Bummer for your children and you.3. Take care of things at home. Making sure the family pet or the house is taken care of is important. You don’t want to come home to a disaster after you’ve had a wonderful vacation.4. Budget wisely. Even if you don’t have a budget it is smart to take care of your money. Make sure that if the worst happened you still have funds to fall back on. If you are on a budget be smart and enjoy doing things on vacation that aren’t going to have you taking out a 2nd mortgage just to pay for everything.5. Don’t forget your important documents. There is nothing more frustrating than forgetting something when you are hundreds or thousands of miles from home.6. Plan things to do ahead of time. Again, get to know your area of choice to determine how
close you are to various activities and restaurants. There is nothing like landing a great deal on a hotel only to find out it is miles from anything or in a location that is not suitable for a great vacation. For example, a hotel that is so far away from the beach you need to catch a plane just to get there. Also, you want to make sure that everyone traveling with you will have fun! Again, in Vegas Vacation when the kids are too young to gamble, they have to come up with creative ways to have a good time (hence Nick Popagorgio).7. Sign up for online newsletters and keep your ear to the ground about your destination of choice.8. Read the fine print. This can really bite you in the behind on certain things like rentals and such.9. Utilize a checklist and make sure everything is in order before and during the trip. From booking to packing to check in to relaxation, don’t forget anything.10. Have fun and enjoy yourself. No matter what type of vacation you are going on, the goal is to not want to come back.Those are our top 10 travel tips and we live by them each time we take a vacation. Hope you will too because we know your trip will be much more pleasurable.

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Commercial Real Estate Investing Vs Residential

Is commercial real estate investing a better investment than investing in residential properties? Now, we all know that real estate in general is a great investment vehicle and both residential and commercial properties can be good investments. Either avenue can have a tremendous effect on your net worth, but most people think only of residential property when they think about investing in real estate. While this is certainly the most viable route for most people, commercial property can offer additional benefits the residential model can not offer.Three Reasons Commercial Investments are better than Residential Deals:1.) Commercial Real Estate Gives You More Access to More CapitalIt has been my experience that it is somewhat easier to raise larger amounts of capital (under $3M) for a commercial deal than it is to raise $150,000 for a residential deal. As a residential investor your access to capital is limited primarily to traditional financing, hard money lenders, and private money from individual investors. If you are unable to raise capital from one of these three avenues, then you are forced to acquire property in more of a creative manner with owner financing, subject to strategies, lease options, etc. This in itself is not a bad thing, but unfortunately you will have to walk away from some good deals that can’t be acquired with creative financing techniques.In commercial real estate it is more common for investors to pool their capital together and syndicate deals, you will also find that smaller private equity firms and finance companies are more inclined to do joint venture projects and provide the needed capital to complete the deal if the deal makes sense. So as a commercial investor you have the potential to raise capital for a deal from the same sources as residential projects such as: Traditional Financing and Hard Money, but additionally you could access capital through smaller private equity firms, hedge funds, private REITs, investment groups, and the list goes on.There also seems to be a sense of intrigue and prestige when it comes to investing in commercial deals. Perhaps, due to the state of the current commercial market, it appears investors are trending more toward investing in commercial projects.2.) Commercial Real Estate is Less CompetitiveWhen you think about it from a marketing perspective, most investors target residential property owners, thus making the residential market more competitive. In many arenas, from industry news sources, the World Wide Web, all the “We Buy Houses” signs virtually on every street corner, there are a lot of marketing tactics targeting residential property owners. If you take the same marketing strategies discussed and apply them to commercial real estate, you will probably find you are the ONLY person contacting these commercial property owners in regards to selling their property. Most commercial properties under $5 million tend to be too large for most residential investors, yet too small for most institutional investors.3.) Commercial Real Estate allows for “Forced” AppreciationResidential properties are typically valued based on other comparable properties that have sold in the area and are similar in features. If the “comps” for a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom house in a particular neighborhood is roughly $100,000, then your property is probably going to be worth $100,000. It doesn’t matter too much if your target property has additional features, or if your house is getting $900 a month in rent as opposed to the house down the street that is only renting for $700 a month. All things considered, your property will still be valued pretty close to the “comps” of the area.However, in commercial real estate, the valuation of a property is based on the revenue that the property generates. Now, commercial properties are still subject to the “comps” of the area as it pertains to “How” that revenue is valued in terms of capitalization rates. But, the overall premise is that, the more revenue a property generates, the more that property is worth.So, in order to “force” the appreciation of your commercial property, you need to find additional ways to increase the revenue that the property generates. A small increase in revenue can increase the value of a property significantly depending on the “Cap Rates” in the area for that type of commercial real estate. Unfortunately, with residential real estate this isn’t an option as you really can’t force appreciation. Your property will be valued in the general range of the market comps.So, as you can now see, commercial real estate offers many benefits over residential investments in addition to higher returns on your investment.Now of course there are disadvantages with any investment vehicle, commercial real estate included. However, consider the following when choosing between residential or commercial investing to create your passive income stream;1) The building qualifies for the loan; Not the borrower2) The building pays back the loan; Not the borrower3) Others are expected to manage the building; Not the borrower4) Income determines the value of the property; Not the comps5) Cap Rate measures demand for the property; Not the comps.To sum it up: a commercial property’s value is eternally tied to the income the property produces and overall demand for the property’s services. Therefore, based on the property’s location and the highest and best utilization, commercial real estate investments can certainly create a larger return on your investment over time verses residential investments. Perhaps, this is even more true in our current market cycle.

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India TRP Fixing: BARC Suspends Ratings for News Channels for 3 Months!

The technical committee of BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) has on 15th October 2020 suspended TRP (Television Rating Point) ratings for all English, Hindi and Regional news channels of India for 12 weeks or three months during which weekly ratings for individual news channels will not be published while the weekly ratings by language and state would continue. The period of suspension, as reports say, would be fully utilized by BARC to completely review and re-haul its sets of rules for calculating the TRP numbers, and thus would try to make the statistics of the biggest television rating agency of the world credible and trustworthy. Up to this point the rules were based on the viewing patterns of a sample of 40 thousand households or 180,000 viewers across the country through installation of people’s meter device in their TV sets, to determine the standards and patterns of nearly 200 million television viewing households or around 836 million viewers in India. President of the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has welcomed the decision as a step in the right direction.
This decision comes in the wake of the TRP-fixing by a few news channels, the Republic TV most prominently. A complaint to this effect had been filed recently by BARC with Mumbai Police through Hansa Research Group. It was alleged in the complaint that the said channels are bribing families in whose television sets meters have been installed for collecting viewership data to tune in to the particular channels continuously. Accordingly, the Mumbai police commissioner held a press briefing in Mumbai to announces the start of investigations to probe the channels allegedly trying to manipulate TRP data to garner more advertisement revenues.
This development was also preceded by a few stormy months during which a few news channels had started media trials to convert the apparent suicide of a rising film star, Sushant Singh Rajput, into a murder conspiracy and accordingly, ‘investigative’ campaigns to howl for the blood the ‘accused’ along with slander campaigns to malign a number of cinema celebrities allegedly associated in the ‘murder’ angle and drug-abuse charges. The government of Maharashtra and Mumbai police were also vilified in the campaigns. Three premier investigative agencies were put into the scene to file charge-sheets and jail the ‘accused’, primarily named in the media trials, all for apparent political gains. At the moment, their investigations have almost petered out, none of them being able to justify the murder angle. In the month of October 2020 all the leading producers of the Hindi film industry, Bollywood, had filed a petition in Delhi High Court complaining against the media trials and slander campaigns by two prominent national news channels, the Republic and Times Now. In the meantime, to-watch-or-not-to-watch news channels has become an existential crisis for the common people of the country.
In fact, since the coming to power of the Hindu nationalist NDA government in India in 2014 and its aggressive push for a Hindu nation, the news channels and the Indian media had been increasingly getting polarized along ideological lines, with some pushing for agenda-oriented and brazenly communal campaigns while the others struggling with their neutral-journalism stands. Fake news and manipulations in the social media have also been the disturbing developments during the same period.
Under the liberal push of the Dr. Manmohan Singh Government in 1991 private international television broadcasting players were allowed to take part in the Indian broadcasting scenario which hitherto had been dominated by the national broadcaster, Doordarshan. So then, satellite cable entertainment channels had started coming in from the early nineties and news channels had started proliferating since the mid-nineties. Cut-throat competition thus began with the proliferating channels fighting for their respective chunks of viewership. Audience research had thus become an issue of paramount importance.
TAM or Television Audience Measurement, a private concern to measure TV viewership in India, started operations since the mid-nineties, and was soon joined by INTAM or Indian National Television Audience Measurement by ORG-MARG. The ride of the TRP competition and measurement had always been a roughshod journey with most of the channels contesting the statistical figures making their own claims and some of them launching bitter legal battles against the agencies. In view of this, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, started deliberations to build a more credible and complete rating agency in 2008, trying to involve all the stakeholders in the business. After various reports by various committees and recommendations by TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) the concept of BARC was formalized in 2010 as a joint industry body founded by the stakeholders: the broadcasters, the advertisers and the advertising & media agencies, and it started its operations from 2013-14. In a landmark move in 2015, TAM and INTAM got merged with BARC. However, the recent developments and various charges/allegations in the preceding years have again proved that a complete and trustworthy rating agency is still a distant dream.
While audience research and rating for the competing broadcasting groups cannot be dome away with, the TRP analysis for the news channels can definitely be abolished altogether, leaving the news channels to concentrate on good and unbiased content to win the respective viewership. This would also liberate the sober news channels from unnecessary cut-throat wars or controversial statistics or rigging over the TRP. Further, news is very close to the physical reality, informing the viewers about the developments in all fields of activity, and any tampering with the news content, making it biased or fake or just unreliable would be an absolute disservice to the citizens. Therefore, we also join the many voices that are already in the ups, for a total stop of the TRP system for the news channels. Suspension is most welcome, but it has to be the fore-bearer of more drastic action.

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