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Tips to Manage Travel Expenses While Still Going All-Out

Travel is no longer a luxury, but is doesn’t come cheap, too. You can still go on a fun vacation without going home broke as long as you plan beforehand, manage your expenses before, during and even after your vacay. Here are some tips how to achieve it.

  1. Load Up Your Vacation Stash

When it comes to saving for your dream vacation, the simplest ways make a great difference. Grow your vacation savings by riding public transport and/or bringing homemade lunch at work. Also, separate your vacation fund from your everyday expenses. That way, your savings is out of sight and you won’t be tempted to use it.

  • Save on Plane Ticket

How to save on plane ticket? Take advantage of discounted fares, which means you likely have to book at least six to eight weeks in advance for the best deals. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for cheaper fare that may come to surface on off-peak days of the week (usually mid-week). Keep in mind that connecting flights and early morning flights may save you a few dollars, but make sure to factor in the trade-off, like having to spend a meal, taxi fare or an overnight stay, as a result.

  • Avoid Overscheduling

Be realistic about how much you can do in a day. If you are too exhausted from trying to do so much, it will no longer be a relaxing vacation. When doing your itinerary, plan only one major activity each day. The remaining hours of the day allows you to recharge, minimize expenses and more opportunities for spontaneity.

  • Travel in Groups

When friends join together for a getaway, you’ll have more meaningful moments to share and reap the benefits of expensive travel cuts, from accommodation to family package meals every time you dine out. Agree with your group how to divide the expenses before flying. Will you split all the expenses equally, take turns paying, or settle everything upon return? Plan ahead of time to avoid chaos within the group.

  • Explore on Foot

Avoid riding the cab; they’re expensive regardless where your destination is. Walking is the best way to explore the place and experience the authenticity of a country (while also burning off the extra calories from your indulgent meals). If walking isn’t for you, try renting out a bicycle. Some destinations, like Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, are known for being bike friendly cities.

They key to effectively manage your travel expenses is to strategize and plan ahead of time—and even while you’re already on the trip. Know these money-saving tips by heart and you’re sure to have your dream vacation without costing an arm and a leg.

4 Risks You Must Take Before You Turn 40

You’re young, wild and free in your 20s, but your 30s should be the time to start cementing the habits that will help you achieve your personal and professional fulfillment. From your health to your personal relationships, here are four lifestyle risks you should take before hitting your 40s.

  1. Working for a Promotion

Very few people push themselves hard to get out of career rut and actually work hard to earn the promotion they deserve. And it isn’t skills that’s holding them back—but the lack of confidence. Get out of your comfort zone and listen to what your heart desires to get clarity on what exactly that you want. Of course, show them that you deserve it by working harder than everyone else. Then, take the courage to speak up and be confident to express to the right authorities what you want to achieve in your career.  

  • Forgiving Yourself

If you are one of those people who made it in their 40s and have zero regret or angst from past decisions, then you’re truly one of a kind. As you reach this level of maturity, it’s time to also let go of bad decisions and move forward. Drop the shame and guilt to live a graceful life. Forgiving yourself might be hard, but you can make it bearable by finding gratitude for every step along the way. You will feel happier, lighter and begin to enjoy the journey when you leave the extra baggage behind.

  • Travel as a Local

By this age, chances are, you’ve already been to many different places. But if you have toured those destinations as tourist, it’s time to take a new risk and explore new places as how locals do. Instead of seeing the most popular sights, find out where locals spend their time away from the hustle and bustle. Keep yourself off from expensive and touristy restaurants and dine at a small neighborhood favorite. An authentic local experience will make you appreciate these incredible places more.

  • Splurge on Something Worth It

Yadda, yadda, yadda—we have all heard how important it is to save on your retirement plan and save money for the rainy days. But if you are a renowned cheapskate ever since and has never splurged on an expensive item, now is the time to reward yourself. Whether it is a classic designer bag, a Picasso artwork or a luxurious furniture, every once in a while—perhaps on your 40th birthday—go for the gusto!

Sure, there are a whole lot more of risks you should be letting yourself experience before you hit the ripe age of 40. But let this list serve as a good start to learn to prioritize yourself and your ambitions more.

7 Ways to be a Good Speaker

                Many would say that becoming a great speaker is an art. Any art can be achievable and made better through learning and practice. Here are only some of the many tips that you can get to be a better speaker.  

1. Make eye contact

                The simplest yet one of the hardest things to do on stage is to actually make eye contact with the audience. Move your eyes around and don’t focus only on one part of the room. If you’re still having difficulty, just look at the audience’ foreheads instead. They usually won’t notice and think your making direct eye contact. 

2. Practice slowing down

                When you’re on stage, usually you hardly grasp the amount of time you speak. This is partly because you are nervous and anxious. Some people would say “Speak as fast as you think you need to.” This way notice when you’re probably talking too fast and need to slow down.

3. Observe your own body language

                Body language compliments verbal communication. Your posture and actions can make or break your appearance on stage. When you’re nervous, this unconsciously shows through your body. Fidgeting with your fingers, swaying too much, or keeping your hands in your pockets the whole time are only some of the signs.

4. Take a video of yourself

                See yourself first to realize how your audience views you. By doing this, you will be able to recognize things you did not even notice before. You may observe that you’re doing unnecessary gestures, or maybe you’re talking too fast. With that, you are able to fix anything that needs to be fixed.

5. Focus on your topic

                While doing your speech, focus on the topic and not how you perform it. This is to highlight that the content of your speech is something to be listened to and not just taken for granted. If you focus too much on how to perform it, chances are the contents of your work will not leave an impact.

6. Don’t try to be perfect

                Nobody delivers a perfect speech. The difference with a really good one and a bad could be because the speaker is trying too hard. Simply sounding natural can be a good way to put it. You could easily differentiate someone who speaks naturally and someone who sounds like a robot trying to sound perfect.

7. Practice, Practice, Practice

                Just like in everything we do, improving in speaking comes with a lot of time and practice. A good piece of advice would be that your goal is not to practice until you get your speech right, it should be to get your piece wrong. That way you can recognize your mistakes before taking the stage.

5 Tips to be a Good Leader

Not many people say they are cut out to be leaders. But leadership is something that is developed over time through constant learning. Here are 5 tips to be a good leader.   

  1. Be a role model

Being a leader does not mean to command or impose on people how to act or do their job. A good leader embodies the characteristics and behaviors they want from their peers. An example of this could be punctuality. If you want your peers to be on time for work, you should be there on time as well so as to promote this attitude. Doing this will affect how others respond to you. Because you are a leader who talks the talk and walks the walk, they will replicate your actions therefore doing better later on.

  • Be humble

Give credit where credit is due. Being a good leader means to give up the spotlight to others who deserve it. A grave misconception of humility comes because it is associated with being weak and “giving up the glory”. But it’s not that at all because you as a leader did not let go of the glory, but instead shared it with the people who truly deserved it. As the old saying goes, the insincere leader gives you the feeling of their greatness, while the genuine leader always leaves you with the feeling of your greatness.

  • Do not be too concerned with unnecessary things

A leader should not dwell too much in times when they would be labelled as good or bad. If you do so, you will do your job to benefit your own appeal. In the words of the first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, “If you’re concerned with whether your rating will go up or down, then you are not a leader. You are just catching the wind.”

  • Know your limits

There can be times when a leader is too happy-go-lucky that his/her peers learn to show little respect to them anymore. Knowing and establishing clear boundaries can save us from more frustration and confusion. As a leader, you should also set boundaries in terms of work distribution among your peers to avoid overworking and exhausting them. Generally, this means to recognize limits between each other for a healthier relationship.

  • Mistakes are normal, but can be avoided

Everybody makes mistakes and even the best leaders are not an exception. It all comes down to recognizing the “symptoms” that can lead to these mistakes. Knowing these will help you determine and take the necessary actions to avoid making the mistake again. Another thing to remember is to avoid thinking negatively. Usually, if you keep thinking that you will make a mistake, chances are it comes true because it’s always on your mind.

5 Healthy Hawker Foods in Singapore that You Must Try

Food is what brings people together, and different cultures mixing in the forms of different dishes is what makes hawker centers a uniquely Singaporean experience. However, there have been notions that hawker food isn’t healthy, and other healthier options such as salad and grain bowls can often bring your wallet to tears.

Fortunately, weight- and cholesterol- watchers in Singapore no longer need to fear the hawker centers to stay in good health and shape. As long as you’re conscious about your choices, you’re good to go. Here a few healthy foods that you must try:

1. Thunder Tea Rice

This dish has a wide variety of vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach, leek, and even radish, which is served alongside a green soup made with basil, green tea, mint, and coriander. All these ingredients make thunder tea rice the perfect dish for working adults too busy to make their own meals – and that’s not even including the health benefits.

2. Fish Soup

Fish soup ranks high on the list of every weight watcher because of how little fat is added during the cooking process (provided that you steer from fried fish and instead choose boiled). With tofu, tomatoes, seaweed, lettuce, and bitter gourd balancing out the fish, what more could you ask for?

3. Teochew Porridge

A bowl of watery congee with a few sides to go along is the easiest way to achieve a balanced meal. Your best bet would be steamed dishes or food that has been lightly stir-fried. Just stay away from the side dishes with batter or those with a thick layer of oil on the surface.  

If you’re really looking to steer away from the excess calories, avoid fried dishes, as they can easily triple the amount of sodium and fat in your meal.

4. Chapatti

This Indian dish is made using fiber-rich whole meal flour, which is not only low in fat, but also comes with sliced fish, tofu, tomatoes, and even seaweed and lettuce. You can even ask for more vegetables and less rice if you’re conscious about your weight.  

5. Yong Tau Foo

Though most Yong Tau Foo comes with soup, the best thing about this dish is that you can handpick your own ingredients. Different kinds of vegetables, such as lettuce and bitter gourd, and tofu items that are boiled and dried can be brought together in a bowl and eaten on their own or with rice and noodles.

To make this option really healthy, you can even ditch the sodium-high soup and the ground meat stuffing, and add more vegetables such as kangkong and watercress.

5 Effective Ways to Cope With Jet Lag for the Frequent Flyer

Jet lag is the term used to describe the physiological response that happens when a person travels across time zones without being able to adjust their natural circadian rhythm.

This may last for several days before being able to fully adjust to the new time zone, and can be an issue for people who cross time zones on a regular basis, such as airline pilots, crew, and even frequent flyers. There

Fortunately, there are ways to cope or even overcome jet lag and adjust to your rapidly-changing time zones, such as the following:

1. Set your watch to the time zone of your destination.

Preparing yourself for the new time zone is a good way to cope with jet lag. As soon as you set foot in the plane, set your watch to the local time zone of your new destination and follow that specific time zone.

The challenge here is being able to stay awake and fall asleep when it’s daylight or nighttime, depending on where your plane is currently flying.

2. Don’t fill yourself up.

Airplane food can affect the intensity of your jet lag, and carbohydrate-rich foods can make it difficult for you to stay awake. However, you take advantage of this to make you fall asleep if you need to quickly match the time zone of your destination.  

Don’t drink any alcohol or coffee, either – alcohol and caffeine can have quite toxic effects when you’re in the upper atmosphere. Go for water and fruit juice instead if you need to replenish on fluids.

3. Don’t make it too hard on yourself for the first few days.

Once you get to your destination, give yourself at least one day to slowly adjust to the time zone. Because it takes a lot of effort and no specific time period (as different people can take longer or shorter periods of time to adjust), it may take longer than just one day to do this.

Feeling tired and listless is normal during this time, as your body is trying to adjust to your new environment and time zone. Start by going out for short walks if you feel the need to do any physical activity.

You should also be especially wary of using sleeping pills. Even though they can help a lot, there is a good chance that it may actually worsen the jet lag.

4. Control the lights.

The most in-depth process when it comes to combatting jet lag also happens to be one of the most effective. Seeking out and avoiding exposure to light at certain times of the day can help you adjust your body clock faster, and there are even apps that can help you out with this.