Small businesses – to compete with the big boys …
Small businesses – to compete with the big boys …
One of the replies was from Nick Marshall who with his wife Lizzie has been running holiday rentals for nearly 25 years and owns Cairns Holiday Homes in North Queensland Australia.
Nick has seen lots of changes in this time and none moreso than the effect the Internet has had on his business and no doubt on many other small businesses
Another concern that is escalating is the prospect of increasing local government regulations, mostly being driven by major hotels who see our industry as a threat to their bottom line.
WHAT TO SEE
WHERE TO EAT
WHERE TO DRINK
WHERE TO STAY
And for links to great places to visit, where to stay and what to do visit us at traveljunkies.com
Not Just For Retirement, These Are Great Places To Live …
Imagine the smell of freshly-baked croissants wafting through the air, or the satisfying swallow of wine made from grapes grown just down the road. Perhaps you muse about living on a sun-drenched Mediterranean beach or tucked down a cobbled lane savoring the cosmopolitan delights of a history-rich city…
A retirement in Europe is a dream for many folks. And it can easily be a reality. If it’s culture, history, and variety you’re after, Europe has it all, and at a cost much lower than you may think… Over the next few pages we explore the five best low-cost options for enjoying your perfect European retirement.
Each of these countries contradicts the dated view of Europe as a continent for the wealthy retiree
You didn’t expect France to be on this list, did you? Many people can never believe the land that gave the world the likes of Versailles, Chanel, and the term haute cuisine could be anything other than prohibitively expensive.
Don’t let France’s glittering reputation blind you. France is a wealthy, First-World country, but the average French person only makes about $30,000 per year. Outside of high-glamor zones like Paris, Provence, and the sun-soaked towns of the Riviera, the cost of living and real estate can be surprisingly reasonable…yet the quality of life remains very high.
Warm, sunny days by the glittering Mediterranean, cool nights at an outdoor café, lingering over dinner until the wee hours, mouthwatering paella, mounds of fresh seafood, succulent roast lamb (and flavorful wines to accompany them), rich, ancient culture, hilltop castles, and vast stretches of countryside just made for hiking and cycling. Spain invites you to wax lyrical over its many charms and its laidback lifestyle. Here, having fun is expected and hanging out is an art.
And these days, that appealing lifestyle is very affordable. Spain has long been one of the least-expensive countries in Europe. And today, with real estate prices at their lowest in decades and the euro weaker than it’s been in years, Spain is a downright bargain, whether you’re looking to live here full- or part-time.
Ask any expat why they upped sticks to relocate to the tiny Mediterranean island nation of Malta (all 122 square miles of it—not a whole lot bigger than Nantucket) and the same three reasons keep cropping up: sea, sunshine, and the friendly and welcoming population of English-speaking locals. I encountered all three in abundance on my journeys through this captivating island chain. And having traveled throughout Europe, I can honestly say that Malta fits the bill for an ideal retirement destination.
In Malta, you’ll find abundant sunshine even at the height of winter. Valletta, the nation’s scenic capital and adorned with historic buildings, is renowned as the warmest capital in Europe—and with less than 7,000 inhabitants, a highly manageable one, at that. Even in January, you’ll still find temperatures in the 60s F, rising to the 80s F during the glorious summer months.
It’s understandable why many Americans regard Italy as expensive. I would, too, if I’d ever been foolish enough to pay $20 for an ice cream near Rome’s Trevi fountain or take a $120 gondola ride in Venice.
Thankfully, I spend far more time outside “tourist Italy” than in it.
Venture beyond the country’s big-ticket destinations, and you’ll likely be amazed at how inexpensive it can be. It’s not a case of compromise either—just like art treasures, history, and luscious landscapes, good living is everywhere.
Leaving aside hotspots like Capri and Sorrento, the farther south you go, the more prices fall. A quick example: The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Milan is $1,000 and in Florence it’s $700. But in Lecce, a flamboyantly baroque city in the Apulia region of Italy’s deep south, it’s $436.
Ask your average European to describe England, Italy, or France and they will have an answer—even if they have never been. But beyond its southern beach towns and the elegant old capital of Lisbon, Portugal will have them stumped.
Few folks—not even the neighbors—have a clear picture of this small country. It’s Iberian but not Spanish. It nowhere touches the Mediterranean Sea yet it is in ways Mediterranean.
It’s small—no bigger than Indiana—but diverse, with each region distinct. You’ll spend the afternoon eating lamb in a mountain hamlet where wood smoke wafts from ancient stone homes, and that same evening dine on fresh fish on a sandy Atlantic beach.
Many thanks to International Living Magazine
Take a road trip to the far north.
Smell the Rotorua Volcano
Hike the Tongariro alpine crossing
Many thanks to …
See more …
A EUROPEAN HEALTH INSURANCE CARD IS A MUST IF YOU’RE HEADING OFF TO THE CONTINENT. BUT WHAT PROTECTION DOES IT ACTUALLY OFFER?
You can use your card anywhere within the ‘European Economic Area’; so that’s all the countries in the EU plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and it also applies in Switzerland. You can find a full country guide on the NHS website.
Travel further afield and there’s no cover under the EHIC scheme, although some countries do have reciprocal arrangements with the UK, like Australia, New Zealand and Croatia, where you can get reduced cost medical treatment.
WHAT DOES AN EHIC COVER YOU FOR?
You’re entitled to healthcare on the same basis as the locals in whatever country you’re in. But this is the ‘basic level of state healthcare’, and as each country’s healthcare system varies, your EHIC may not cover all your costs.
If you’re on holiday in France and need medical treatment, then you’ll usually be expected to pay a doctor or dentist directly, even with an EHIC, but can pick up a treatment form which enables you to apply for a refund. You should then be able to claim back around 70% of your costs, which you can do by calling the NHS Overseas Team on 0191 218 1999. However you’ll need to submit your receipts and treatment form so make sure you hang on to any paperwork you’re given.
In Spain and Switzerland dental treatment is generally not available under the state system so you may well have to stump up. And in Cyprus, while it’s free for a doctor to issue you with a prescription (if you show your EHIC), you may get charged to pick it up from a chemist unless you visit a state pharmacy.
If your EHIC won’t cover the full cost of any treatment, you may be able to claim back the remaining ‘unpaid’ portion of the bill from your travel insurer. Some insurers like Churchill will waive the usual policy excess if the bulk of your bill is covered by your EHIC.
In practice you should be able to claim your free or reduced cost treatment by simply showing your card to the doctor, dentist or consultant carrying out your treatment.
But as your EHIC cover only applies in state run hospitals and clinics, (not private ones), be sure it is the state version you’re going to, and if you ask your tour rep for advice on which doctor or dentist to use, make sure they know you’re going to be getting any treatment using your EHIC.
So which is best to use and when? There’s no hard and fast rules on this but the Association of British Insurers (ABI) recommends that your EHIC is best kept for relatively routine treatment, such as if you need antibiotics, develop toothache or have a scrape that becomes infected.
Even if you don’t need to make a claim on your travel insurance for a minor incident like this, it’s best to let your insurer know that you’ve had medical treatment abroad.
If you’re unlucky enough to need more serious or emergency medical treatment then the ABI recommends using your travel insurance as policies provide not only medical cover, but will often cover other subsequent costs, which can be anything from rearranging your flight home, to having a family member stay on with you and even taxis and transport to the hospital for further appointments.
With some travel policies you’ll also be able to claim back things like the cost of phone calls which can quickly add up and would naturally be excluded if using your EHIC.
You’re covered for travel from the date of your application for up to five years, and if you’re abroad and lose your card you can apply for a provisional replacement certificate by calling the NHS overseas team on 0191 218 1999.
You’ll need to give details including your name, address, age and national insurance number but a temporary certificate can then be issued to the doctor or hospital treating you.
Make sure you apply for a free card on the official EHIC website. There are some commercial sites out there charging fees of around £9.99 a time to supply them, which is a complete con!
Thanks to Love Money News
The worst hotel in the best place is an unfortunate experience.
The best hotel in the worst place can be a very pleasant experience.
But the best hotel in the best place is something we dream about.
Here are 48 absolutely epic dream hotels. http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2Mf8S3/1vZ0xK-ao:KBxOfR6F/matadornetwork.com/trips/48-epic-dream-hotels-visit-die/