Base Tendriling Travel Expenses

As business travel expenses nose upward, companies are realizing that better cost-management techniques can make a difference
US. corporate travel expenses rocketed to more than $143 billion in 1994, according to American Express’ most recent survey on business travel management. Private-sector employers spend an estimated $2,484 per employee on travel and entertainment, a 17 percent increase over the past four years.
Corporate T&E costs, now the third-largest controllable expense behind sales and data-processing costs, are under new scrutiny. Corporations are realizing that even a savings of 1 percent or 2 percent can translate into millions of dollars added to their bottom line.
Savings of that order are sure to get management’s attention, which is a requirement for this type of project. Involvement begins with understanding and evaluating the components of T&E management in order to control and monitor it more effectively.
Hands-on management includes assigning responsibility for travel management, implementing a quality-measurement system for travel services used, and writing and distributing a formal travel policy. Only 64 percent of U.S. corporations have travel policies.
Even with senior management’s support, the road to savings is rocky-only one in three companies has successfully instituted an internal program that will help cut travel expenses, and the myriad aspects of travel are so overwhelming, most companies don’t know where to start. “The industry of travel is based on information,” says Steven R. Schoen, founder and CEO of The Global Group Inc. “Until such time as a passenger actually sets foot on the plane, they’ve [only] been purchasing information.”
If that’s the case, information technology seems a viable place to hammer out those elusive, but highly sought-after, savings. “Technological innovations in the business travel industry are allowing firms to realize the potential of automation to control and reduce indirect [travel] costs,” says Roger H. Ballou, president of the Travel Services Group USA of American Express. “In addition, many companies are embarking on quality programs that include sophisticated process improvement and re-engineering efforts designed to substantially improve T&E management processes and reduce indirect costs.”
As companies look to technology to make potential savings a reality, they can get very creative about the methods they employ.
The Great Leveler
Centralized reservation systems were long the exclusive domain of travel agents and other industry professionals. But all that changed in November 1992 when a Department of Transportation ruling allowed the general public access to systems such as Apollo and SABRE. Travel-management software, such as TripPower and TravelNet, immediately sprang up, providing corporations insight into where their T&E dollars are being spent.
The software tracks spending trends by interfacing with the corporation’s database and providing access to centralized reservation systems that provide immediate reservation information to airlines, hotels and car rental agencies. These programs also allow users to generate computerized travel reports on cost savings with details on where discounts were obtained, hotel and car usage and patterns of travel between cities. Actual data gives corporations added leverage when negotiating discounts with travel suppliers.
“When you own the information, you don’t have to go back to square one every time you decide to change agencies,” says Mary Savovie Stephens, travel manager for biotech giant Chiron Corp.
Sybase Inc., a client/server software leader with an annual T&E budget of more than $15 million, agrees. “Software gives us unprecedented visibility into how employees are spending their travel dollars and better leverage to negotiate with travel service suppliers,” says Robert Lerner, director of credit and corporate travel services for Sybase Inc. “We have better access to data, faster, in a real-time environment, which is expected to bring us big savings in T&E. Now we have control over our travel information and no longer have to depend exclusively on the agencies and airlines.”
The cost for this privilege depends on the volume of business. One-time purchases of travel-management software can run from under $100 to more than $125,000. Some software providers will accommodate smaller users by selling software piecemeal for $5 to $12 per booked trip, still a significant savings from the $50 industry norm per transaction.
No More Tickets
Paperless travel is catching on faster than the paperless office ever did as both service providers and consumers work together to reduce ticket prices for business travelers. Perhaps the most cutting-edge of the advances is “ticket-less” travel, which almost all major airlines are testing.
In the meantime, travel providers and agencies are experimenting with new technologies to enable travelers to book travel services via the Internet, e-mail and unattended ticketing kiosks. Best Western International, Hyatt Hotels and several other major hotel chains market on the Internet. These services reduce the need for paper and offer better service and such peripheral benefits as increased efficiency, improved tracking of travel expenses and trends, and cost reduction.
Dennis Egolf, CFO of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, Ky., realized that the medical center’s decentralized location, a quarter-mile from the hospital, made efficiency difficult. “We were losing production time and things got lost,” he says. “Every memo had to be hand-carried for approval, and we required seven different copies of each travel order.” As a result, Egolf tried an off-the-shelf, paper-reduction software package designed for the federal government.
The software allows the hospital to manage travel on-line, from tracking per-diem allowances and calculating expenses to generating cash advance forms and authorizing reimbursement vouchers. The software also lets the hospital keep a running account of its travel expenses and its remaining travel budget.
“Today, for all practical purposes, the system is paperless,” says Egolf. The software has helped the hospital reduce document processing time by 93 percent. “The original goal focused on managing employee travel without paper,” he says. “We have achieved that goal, in part due to the efforts of the staff and in part due to the accuracy of the software.”
With only a $6,000 investment, the hospital saved $70 each employee trip and saved almost half of its $200,000 T&E budget through the paper-reduction program.
Out There
Consolidation of corporate travel arrangements by fewer agencies has been a growing trend since 1982. Nearly three out of four companies now make travel plans for their business locations through a single agency as opposed to 51 percent in 1988. Two major benefits of agency consolidation are the facilitation of accounting and T&E budgeting, as well as leverage in negotiating future travel discounts.
A major technological advance that allows this consolidation trend to flourish is the introduction of satellite ticket printers (STPs). Using STPs enables a travel agency to consolidate all operations to one home office, and still send all necessary tickets to various locations instantly via various wire services. As the term implies, the machinery prints out airline tickets on-site immediately, eliminating delivery charges.
For London Fog, STPs are a blessing. London Fog’s annual T&E budget of more than $15 million is split equally between its two locations in Eldersburg, Md., and New York City. Each location purchases the same number of tickets, so equal access to ticketing from their agency is a must. With an STP in their two locations, the company services both offices with one agency in Baltimore. Each office has access to immediate tickets and still manages to save by not having to pay courier and express mail charges that can range up to $15 for each of the more than 500 tickets each purchases annually.
Conde Nast Publications’ annual T&E budget of more than $20 million is allocated among its locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Detroit. Since 1994, travel arrangements have been handled by a centralized agency, Advanced Travel Management in New York City, by installing an STP in each of these five locations. In addition to increased efficiency due to consolidation, Conde Nast now has the ability to change travel plans at a moment’s notice and have new tickets in hand instantly.
The real benefit is that the machines are owned and maintained by the travel agency., so there is no cost to the company. Due to the major expense involved, however, STPs remain an option only for major ticket purchasers. “STPs are a viable option in this process for any location that purchases more than $500,000 per year in tickets,” says Shoen.
As airfare averages 43 percent of any company’s T&E expenses, savings obtainable through the various uses of technology have become dramatic. For example, the ability of corporations to collect and analyze their own travel trends has led to the creation of net-fare purchasing-negotiating a price between a corporation and an airline to purchase tickets that does not include the added expenses of commissions, overrides, transaction fees, agency transaction fees and other discounts.
Although most major U.S. carriers publicly proclaim that they don’t negotiate corporate discounts below published market fares, the American Express survey on business travel management found that 38 percent of U.S. companies had access to, or already had implemented, negotiated airline discounts. The availability and mechanics of these arrangements vary widely by carrier.
What’s the Price?
Fred Swaffer, transportation manager for Hewlett-Packard and a strong advocate of the net-pricing system, has pioneered the concept of fee-based pricing with travel-management companies under contract with H-P. He states that H-P, which spends more than $528 million per year on T&E, plans to have all air travel based on net-fare pricing. “At the present time, we have several net fares at various stages of agreement,” he says. “These fares are negotiated with the airlines at the corporate level, then trickle down to each of our seven geographical regions.”
Frank Kent, Western regional manager for United Airlines, concurs: “United Airlines participates in corporate volume discounting, such as bulk ticket purchases, but not with net pricing. I have yet to see one net-fare agreement that makes sense to us. We’re not opposed to it, but we just don’t understand it right now.”
Kent stresses, “Airlines should approach corporations with long-term strategic relationships rather than just discounts. We would like to see ourselves committed to a corporation rather than just involved.”
As business travel expenses nose upward, companies are realizing that better cost-management techniques can make a difference.
US. corporate travel expenses rocketed to more than $143 billion in 1994, according to American Express’ most recent survey on business travel management. Private-sector employers spend an estimated $2,484 per employee on travel and entertainment, a 17 percent increase over the past four years.
Corporate T&E costs, now the third-largest controllable expense behind sales and data-processing costs, are under new scrutiny. Corporations are realizing that even a savings of 1 percent or 2 percent can translate into millions of dollars added to their bottom line.
Savings of that order are sure to get management’s attention, which is a requirement for this type of project. Involvement begins with understanding and evaluating the components of T&E management in order to control and monitor it more effectively.
Hands-on management includes assigning responsibility for travel management, implementing a quality-measurement system for travel services used, and writing and distributing a formal travel policy. Only 64 percent of U.S. corporations have travel policies.
Even with senior management’s support, the road to savings is rocky-only one in three companies has successfully instituted an internal program that will help cut travel expenses, and the myriad aspects of travel are so overwhelming, most companies don’t know where to start. “The industry of travel is based on information,” says Steven R. Schoen, founder and CEO of The Global Group Inc. “Until such time as a passenger actually sets foot on the plane, they’ve [only] been purchasing information.”
If that’s the case, information technology seems a viable place to hammer out those elusive, but highly sought-after, savings. “Technological innovations in the business travel industry are allowing firms to realize the potential of automation to control and reduce indirect [travel] costs,” says Roger H. Ballou, president of the Travel Services Group USA of American Express. “In addition, many companies are embarking on quality programs that include sophisticated process improvement and re-engineering efforts designed to substantially improve T&E management processes and reduce indirect costs.”
As companies look to technology to make potential savings a reality, they can get very creative about the methods they employ.
The Great Leveler
Centralized reservation systems were long the exclusive domain of travel agents and other industry professionals. But all that changed in November 1992 when a Department of Transportation ruling allowed the general public access to systems such as Apollo and SABRE. Travel-management software, such as TripPower and TravelNet, immediately sprang up, providing corporations insight into where their T&E dollars are being spent.
The software tracks spending trends by interfacing with the corporation’s database and providing access to centralized reservation systems that provide immediate reservation information to airlines, hotels and car rental agencies. These programs also allow users to generate computerized travel reports on cost savings with details on where discounts were obtained, hotel and car usage and patterns of travel between cities. Actual data gives corporations added leverage when negotiating discounts with travel suppliers.
“When you own the information, you don’t have to go back to square one every time you decide to change agencies,” says Mary Savovie Stephens, travel manager for biotech giant Chiron Corp.
Sybase Inc., a client/server software leader with an annual T&E budget of more than $15 million, agrees. “Software gives us unprecedented visibility into how employees are spending their travel dollars and better leverage to negotiate with travel service suppliers,” says Robert Lerner, director of credit and corporate travel services for Sybase Inc. “We have better access to data, faster, in a real-time environment, which is expected to bring us big savings in T&E. Now we have control over our travel information and no longer have to depend exclusively on the agencies and airlines.”
The cost for this privilege depends on the volume of business. One-time purchases of travel-management software can run from under $100 to more than $125,000. Some software providers will accommodate smaller users by selling software piecemeal for $5 to $12 per booked trip, still a significant savings from the $50 industry norm per transaction.
No More Tickets
Paperless travel is catching on faster than the paperless office ever did as both service providers and consumers work together to reduce ticket prices for business travelers. Perhaps the most cutting-edge of the advances is “ticketless” travel, which almost all major airlines are testing.
In the meantime, travel providers and agencies are experimenting with new technologies to enable travelers to book travel services via the Internet, e-mail and unattended ticketing kiosks. Best Western International, Hyatt Hotels and several other major hotel chains market on the Internet. These services reduce the need for paper and offer better service and such peripheral benefits as increased efficiency, improved tracking of travel expenses and trends, and cost reduction.
Dennis Egolf, CFO of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, Ky., realized that the medical center’s decentralized location, a quarter-mile from the hospital, made efficiency difficult. “We were losing production time and things got lost,” he says. “Every memo had to be hand-carried for approval, and we required seven different copies of each travel order.” As a result, Egolf tried an off-the-shelf, paper-reduction software package designed for the federal government.
The software allows the hospital to manage travel on-line, from tracking per-diem allowances and calculating expenses to generating cash advance forms and authorizing reimbursement vouchers. The software also lets the hospital keep a running account of its travel expenses and its remaining travel budget.
“Today, for all practical purposes, the system is paperless,” says Egolf. The software has helped the hospital reduce document processing time by 93 percent. “The original goal focused on managing employee travel without paper,” he says. “We have achieved that goal, in part due to the efforts of the staff and in part due to the accuracy of the software.”
With only a $6,000 investment, the hospital saved $70 each employee trip and saved almost half of its $200,000 T&E budget through the paper-reduction program.
Out There
Consolidation of corporate travel arrangements by fewer agencies has been a growing trend since 1982. Nearly three out of four companies now make travel plans for their business locations through a single agency as opposed to 51 percent in 1988. Two major benefits of agency consolidation are the facilitation of accounting and T&E budgeting, as well as leverage in negotiating future travel discounts.
A major technological advance that allows this consolidation trend to flourish is the introduction of satellite ticket printers (STPs). Using STPs enables a travel agency to consolidate all operations to one home office, and still send all necessary tickets to various locations instantly via various wire services. As the term implies, the machinery prints out airline tickets on-site immediately, eliminating delivery charges.
For London Fog, STPs are a blessing. London Fog’s annual T&E budget of more than $15 million is split equally between its two locations in Eldersburg, Md., and New York City. Each location purchases the same number of tickets, so equal access to ticketing from their agency is a must. With an STP in their two locations, the company services both offices with one agency in Baltimore. Each office has access to immediate tickets and still manages to save by not having to pay courier and express mail charges that can range up to $15 for each of the more than 500 tickets each purchases annually.
Conde Nast Publications’ annual T&E budget of more than $20 million is allocated among its locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Detroit. Since 1994, travel arrangements have been handled by a centralized agency, Advanced Travel Management in New York City, by installing an STP in each of these five locations. In addition to increased efficiency due to consolidation, Conde Nast now has the ability to change travel plans at a moment’s notice and have new tickets in hand instantly.
The real benefit is that the machines are owned and maintained by the travel agency., so there is no cost to the company. Due to the major expense involved, however, STPs remain an option only for major ticket purchasers. “STPs are a viable option in this process for any location that purchases more than $500,000 per year in tickets,” says Shoen.
As airfare averages 43 percent of any company’s T&E expenses, savings obtainable through the various uses of technology have become dramatic. For example, the ability of corporations to collect and analyze their own travel trends has led to the creation of net-fare purchasing-negotiating a price between a corporation and an airline to purchase tickets that does not include the added expenses of commissions, overrides, transaction fees, agency transaction fees and other discounts.
Although most major U.S. carriers publicly proclaim that they don’t negotiate corporate discounts below published market fares, the American Express survey on business travel management found that 38 percent of U.S. companies had access to, or already had implemented, negotiated airline discounts. The availability and mechanics of these arrangements vary widely by carrier.
What’s the Price?
Fred Swaffer, transportation manager for Hewlett-Packard and a strong advocate of the net-pricing system, has pioneered the concept of fee-based pricing with travel-management companies under contract with H-P. He states that H-P, which spends more than $528 million per year on T&E, plans to have all air travel based on net-fare pricing. “At the present time, we have several net fares at various stages of agreement,” he says. “These fares are negotiated with the airlines at the corporate level, then trickle down to each of our seven geographical regions.”
Frank Kent, Western regional manager for United Airlines, concurs: “United Airlines participates in corporate volume discounting, such as bulk ticket purchases, but not with net pricing. I have yet to see one net-fare agreement that makes sense to us. We’re not opposed to it, but we just don’t understand it right now.”
Kent stresses, “Airlines should approach corporations with long-term strategic relationships rather than just discounts. We would like to see ourselves committed to a corporation rather than just involved.”

Scarves For Women – The Many Fashion Styles and Uses

It used to be that scarves were worn as a winter clothing necessity. Both men and women had them wrapped around their necks as a protection from the chilly winter breeze. Over time, this functional clothing item has transcended its original purpose and has become one of the most versatile accessories to date. Scarves have been worn in different ways and in different seasons.
Many women want to reinvent their wardrobe so they can have different looks all throughout the year. They can add a scarf to any drab outfit and it will look more vibrant and new. You can experiment with many different styles depending on the kind of image you want to project. Women’s scarf is very handy in a girl’s closet because it can be worn with virtually every outfit.
One of the advantages of wearing the women’s scarf is in spicing up your outfit so people will think that you have a lot of garments in your wardrobe. This is because a scarf can dramatically change the way your clothes look on you. One scarf can also be worn in different ways so you can make a lot of styles with the same pieces of clothing.
The scarf can be worn over the head to conceal unruly hair or to protect the hair when it has just been treated. This usually looks good with big-framed sunglasses and is perfect for a summer getup. You can choose the color of your scarf to match your current outfit. A smaller scarf would be perfect with this style because you can then carry it lightly on your head. When it is cold, you can use the scarf as a jacket or cardigan. This is the most common use of gorgeous scarves. You can add some elegance to your outfit by doing this. This looks good with a long-sleeved shirt and a pair of jeans. If you are going to a formal event, you can use a scarf made of special fabric to go with your evening dress.
You can keep the scarf inside your purse as a spare item of clothing in case the temperatures drop. If you need an extra layer of warm clothes, you can just take it out and wrap it around you. This is useful when the weather is unpredictable or when you are planning to go out at night or see a movie. A scarf can also be used as a belt. This is done by allowing the scarf to drape around your waist or hips. You tie it at the back or side to create the style you prefer. A triangular knot is perfect if you have a short scarf. A light, thin scarf would be perfect to use as a belt because it does not get bulky when you tie it around your waist. It will look more graceful.
Finally, a scarf can be used as an accent for your purse. This is usually done to make handbags more stylish or to give them color and design. You can pair your scarf with your dress to make it more fashionable. You can also match the color with your shoes. In this case, it is better to use a smaller scarf so you can easily tie it to the handle of your purse.
Scarfs really are useful both as a protection from the weather and as fashion accessory. It is not only useful during winter but during other seasons as well. The scarf is indeed one of the most functional pieces that you can keep in your closet. Once you have mastered the art of wearing it in different ways, you will be able to exhaust the different possibilities.

Snow Boots Fit and Flatter Most People's Fashion Styles

Everybody should be the master of his/her fashion style. In such a period when a large amount of beautiful or unique fashion works hits the shelves in a high rate, this especially becomes important. As long as you look forward to making your presence a luminous spot in the crowd, you will find it’ s a must to be sensible about which style you should go for. Nevertheless, if you always fail to make an accurate judgment on your own personality or seldom put your classy fashion taste into good use, just follow the newest fashion trend. Of course, this is a safe bet anytime.
Let’ s face it: more than 80% of people should be conscious about their appearances in any era. This is best understood by lots of modern females. Instead of being qualified, yet thoughtless trend followers, they tend to be rather aware about their choices on clothing, footwear and any other delicate accessory. They keep open minds and discover popular items to make their looks fit those hot fashion trends. But seldom have they forgotten applying their own ideas while finishing their fashion statements. Additionally, another drastic change detected on most of today’ s females is that they become more interested in seeking for ideal shoes to match their good-looking clothing. Rather than considering shoes just as life necessities, they do realize great footwear can be finishing touches to their total images.
When it comes to popular trends in the present fashion footwear world, you will find really lots of options available. A luxurious tide may be replaced by something moderately splendid or retro on the next day. A modern fashion trend may go out of style when something traditional pops out and speaks for a rich or special aspiration. To make sure your shoes will long-timely fit and flatter your fashion style, it’ s a better idea to go for some classy and classic collections, such as sheepskin boots.
Sheepskin boots are also called as snow boots or winter boots because incomparable function in warming feet is detected on them. It’ s completely believed you will better enjoy your life in a passionate mood after wrapping your feet with a pair of sheepskin snow boots. The terribly freezing climate can not get access to your feet, insuring fabulous health benefit to your body too. Nowadays, the presence for winter boots has triggered an international trend among people in any age. To be honest, except incredible warmth on these shoes, it’ s not difficult to find they are really wonderful toner for most people’ s fashion styles.
Search online; you will discover a large quantity of sheepskin boots is available in different brands at present. As we all know, designers are required to change their themes to cater to different fashion appetites from people in diverse periods. But on winter boots, fashion gurus have never gone far away from the initial motif. No attachment is added onto those smooth sheepskin uppers. All the way, these shoes are crafted in silent colors, such as black, chocolate, grey, chestnut and sand. Any sheepskin pair seems like a quiet & exquisite work of art, which goes well with any outfit. Believe it or not, sheepskin snow boots finish whatever type of fashion statement in a moderate, high-class and practical method. Try on a pair; you will realize this from the chic style, classy material, refined workmanship and also magic warmth.

What Your Home Furniture Says About You

We all have different tastes in many things. It would be a boring staid world if we all liked the same things. Your taste in home furniture is a very personal individual thing and that is why your choices give away a lot about you as a person. My own personal choice of furniture probably says I love comfort. I like lazy days but also like color and can be a little quirky. People that come into my home can make those assumptions simply by looking at the home furniture I choose.
Its easy to stamp your personality on your home, all you need to do is choose home furniture that speaks volumes about you. When choosing your furniture you will automatically have an idea of the kind of thing, you want in your home. There is a massive array of choices you can get in home furniture and there are ranges to suit all tastes. If you want plain and simple you can find that, but if you want statement and individuality then you can also get that.
Most retailers offer many different ranges, and you can get all matching home furniture for any room in the house. If you have taste that is, more eclectic there is some fantastic pieces you can mix in with your other home furniture. When choosing pieces for your home you really can get something that makes it stand out and show your personality or even your eccentricity. So if you want quirky and individual then just go for it.
Nowadays some of our homes double up as work places, and there is home furniture that reflects this change. There is an array of desks and office furniture that will fit into your home/office work-space and you can get ranges to match your other home furniture. If you do have a work-space in your home then why not choose the furniture for it just as carefully as you would any other furniture for your home. There is absolutely no reason why your work-space cant be just as stylish as any other room or area in your house.
Whatever you want, your home to say about you can be expressed in the home furniture you choose for it. Be bold, be different and get some unique pieces. Regardless of what ever you have in your home, a few key pieces can really make the difference between your home being ordinary or extraordinary. Many of us do express our personality in our homes, and the choices you make in your home furniture can help you do that. Our homes are an extension of ourselves and as such should show people your personality.

The Differences Between Drug Addiction and Drug Abuse

A drug problem is an everyday struggle of not only the user, although some users haven’t realized yet that it is a problem, but the users family, friends, or special loved one. You may not instantly determine or realize that someone you care about is having problem with drugs.
People involved with drug problems or know someone who has at times thinks that drug addiction and drug abuse are basically the same thing, and should just be used interchangeably. But actually they are both different terms with different meanings. Complexity revolving drug abuse and definition has become increasingly clear and several efforts have been done to look of the right meaning both terms.
Drug Addiction:
The World Health Organization committee (WHO) had collected numerous of definitions concerning drug abuse and addiction and had suggested a generic term “drug dependence”. This addiction is defined as a disorder wherein the drug user’s behavior is being strongly influenced and dominated by the drug. It is a condition of recurring intoxication that happens when there is constant consumption of drug. It has characteristics of intense need or desire of continuous use, tendency of increasing dosage, unfavorable effects on both individual and society, and dependence on effects.
Drug Abuse:
Drug abuse is defined as the misuse of the drug or substance according the culturally acceptable standard. It is simply an abuse usage of substance which may involve excessive and habitual use in order to attain a certain effect. These so-called substances may be illegal, can be taken from streets and syndicates against the law, or can be legal as well in a form of prescription that are used in a pleasurable manner rather than medical.
Causes of Drug Addiction and Drug Abuse:
As both terms have different definition, their causes are different as well. Drug abuse is more complicated than drug addiction, although drug addiction has more forceful motivational condition. With drug addiction, it comprises the drug’s effect on the brain wherein it can become a strong motivational factor to use the drug again. On the other hand, drug abuse as a misuse of a substance, may or may not go together with a strong motivational factor to continue the use of the drug. In many cases, therefore, drug abuse does not necessarily make drug addiction, but drug addiction can constitute drug abuse.
Patterns of Behavior:
Drug addiction and Drug abuse have basically the same effects. Both have unwanted or unfavorable consequences both to society and the individual. Some symptoms and patterns of behavior of drug addiction and abuse comprise an abnormally slow in speech, reaction or movement, cycles of restlessness, inability of sleep or intensified energy, sudden gain or loss of weight, series of excessive sleep, sudden constant wearing of long-sleeved tops even under high temperature just to hide scars of injection points, loss of physical control, sudden impulse and confidence in doing risky activities, and withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop drug use.
Knowing the fact that drug users are prone to deny their drug-related symptoms and behavior, the family, friends, and loved ones must be sensitive and be more aware of these signs.
Being with a Drug Abuse or Addiction Problem:
At times it is not easily recognizable that someone so important to you is struggling with drug problem. It could be that it has started very early but not noticeable since the progression is slow, and that person might have been good in hiding the level of drug use from you. Or since that drug has been used early on and slowly, you might have easily adapted to the users behavior to the point that it seems normal still. It can be that the realization that someone so important to you is a victim of drugs is painful. You should never feel embarrassed. There are so many people who are in the same position as you. Drug abuse and addiction have affected millions of families all over the world.
There are available help and support everywhere. You can start by looking for support groups locally. Support groups can be in your very own religious area, private or government institutions, and small communities. By just listening to others who share the same experiences and dilemmas can be a very good way of support and give comfort. Other sources to find support and help would include a therapist, spiritual leader, a trusted friend or family member.

Do Travel Agents Get Free Trips? Part 2

Yes: travel agents DO travel for free
There are several scenarios that could allow travel professionals to travel for free. In a previous article, I discussed 4 ways that travel agents do come out of their pocket to pay for their trips. This time around I will explain how they also save and even travel for free.
Booking Groups Could Get You a Free Pass
There are incentives for booking groups (the fact that group travel is the most lucrative bookings in the travel industry should be incentive enough). If an agent books so many rooms (hotel) or cabins (on a cruise), they cold get a free room or cabin or money (not counting the commission) that they could use toward their room or cabin. Of course this all depends on the vendor’s group policy, quantity needed and who is assigned as group leader.
Actually you do not have to be a travel agent to get this benefit I am described above. If you are not a travel agent and you decide to book a group, if you are the group leader, you could very well get these benefits (ask your travel agent they should tell you that up front). This is the only way (outside of a frequent guest program) that a non-travel agent could get perks extended to them… so if you want to get some perks out of your trip…think in groups!
Travel Contests
Another way an agent could go free could be based on sales volume for a specific property or destination in a particular niche. Some travel vendors and agencies may offer free trips to top agents as incentive or awards for sales performance. These kinds of awards are offered as contents too! I’ve seen some really exotic destinations, life a fully expense paid trip to Costa Rica (wow!) offered to contest winners in my agency, which makes it really worth trying to get your sales
Travel Perks can be Good
Agents can sometimes take advantage of extended ‘courtesies’ or perks, which is an added benefit of being in the travel industry. We call them courtesies because no vendor is obligated to extend perks just because a travel professional identifies themselves as such. If an option for a room upgrade or car rental upgrade is available, agents will ask first if of course, and it’s up to the vendor to extend free services, amenities or perks to agents up presentation of valid credentials. These perks may also include shows, attraction tickets, tours and much more.
Agents Travel Free in the Long Run
This is the part I love about being a home-based travel professional! It really is all free in the long run! How is that? Travel professionals are allowed to legitimately write off their travel 100%. Yes, they can, so regardless if you are an agent who paid for their trip, you are in the business of travel, which makes all your travel 100% tax deductable. So if you are a travel agent, the key is to document your trip and save your receipts so you can legally write off your trips at the end of the tax year!
Just to recap, there are 4 main ways travel agents can travel for free:
1. Booking groups and getting room, cabin, or monetary credit
2. Agency and Vendor Contests
3. Perks & upgrades
4. Write-off your travel 100%
Attention All Agents: save those receipts and document, document, document!

How To Travel Vacation And Grow Rich Part 2 of 5

This is about taking advantage of the travel industry’s secrets. Taking that dream vacation at wholesale and making money!
Remember that Expedia was sold for $5.1 Billion Dollars! Wonder why?
I really wondered why such a high price was paid for an internet travel store until researching some important facts.
People love to travel. It is the number one (1) thing that people say that they would do if they had the money and the time to do it. Because of the major trends that are taking place, more and more people now have the time and the money to travel.
So They Are Traveling!!
82% of all travel is booked online meaning, through the internet. 79 million Americans booked their travel on line in 2005.
In the last decade, more than 200,000 travel agents have lost their jobs. By 2004 there were only 103,000 travel agents left in the United States.
People like you and me were buying travel from the Internet Travel Stores.
The travel industry today is a 1.3 Trillion dollar business here in the US.
7 Trillion worldwide. Wouldn’t you like a piece of that! That amounts to $56 million a minute spent on travel in the U.S. alone.
The travel industry is growing 23% faster than the global economy.
Of that economy, tourism accounts for 11% of all consumers spending worldwide.
The travel industry is bigger than the oil business.
There is continued growth of Internet e-commerce. Consumers spend billions on the Internet, and travel is the fastest growing segment of that trend.
Consumers are comfortable buying things such as cars, homes, and, of course travel online.
Baby boomers are retiring at the rate of 1 every 8 seconds and what do they want to do? That’s right, Travel.
Because of this the travel industry is about to experience an explosive boom: it is expected to double to $14 Trillion worldwide in the next 10 years.
Why Would You Or Anyone, Not Want to Own An Internet Travel Store!
Let’s See Why:
You and the people you know are going to travel anyway, so, doesn’t it just make sense to…
1.Get paid for that travel?
2.Make a substantial amount of your personal travel tax deductible rather than paying for it with after tax dollars?
3.Travel as an insider, with potential perks and benefits, rather than as an outsider?
WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO THROW MONEY AWAY FOR NO REASON? This Is So Unique—It Has Two Opportunities in one!
1. You own your own travel business with a company supported website and Earn 60% of the commissions from all travel booked on your site!
2. You benefit from the greatest referral compensation plan in the industry and Make money every time you and your Rep team refer someone to the travel business. Just like I am showing you!
I don’t want you to be confused, so the first one is an Online Travel Agency where you have travel credentials and are referred to as a referring travel agent. This is where you make 60% of all commissions on all travel booked on your travel site. You, your friends and family do the booking on your site.
The second is as an Independent Marketing Representative showing your friends about this opportunity. The Company Is Financially Solid
The company was founded in January 2001 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of YTB International, a publicly-traded company (YTB.PK) The last three years the company has gotten the highest award from Carnival Cruise line for travel bookings. WOW

Fashion Style Guide For Men

I’m sure you’ve noticed that all over magazines, TV and the internet lately, the focus is on fall, fall, fall. We’re starting to think about football, Thanksgiving and all of the other terrific things that autumn brings. This also means that you should start to think about transitioning the items in your closet. Although the weather may not yet feel cooler in your corner of the country, it will get there soon. And you will want to be ready to approach the season in style.
When it comes to men’s fashion, the area where a lot of men fall short is in assembling a wardrobe with variety. You’ll notice that any time a male celebrity is cited in the news for his great style, he has a visually interesting, varied, and often colorful outfit. In putting together a stylish wardrobe, you’ll need to include elements of color, pattern and texture.
If you are one who normally has a difficult time assembling a wardrobe that you feel good in, start from the bottom and work up. It can be a lot less intimidating to shop for shoes than other items of clothing, such as pants and suits. Plus, depending on what types of shoes you prefer, this can help to dictate the rest of your stylish look.
A great shoe style for fall of 2011 is a brown suede or leather derby shoe. This is shoe style is truly classic, and can easily be dressed up or down. A good suede shoe will also add the crucial element of texture to your outfit. Now, continue to build up. Your wardrobe of pants should include dark wash denim, flat front khakis, and corduroys. Cord is an excellent fabric for fall, and can be found in all sorts of interesting colors. Don’t be afraid to try something different, such as olive green, burnt orange, plum, or mustard. This would, of course, bring in your element of color.
Now for your top half, an excellent and stylish look for fall is to dress in layers. A look that is great for this fall is to layer a cardigan sweater over a button down shirt or a ribbed cotton tee shirt. Are you cringing at the word “cardigan” because it makes you think of Mr. Rogers? Just look for a cardigan that fits snuggly and isn’t bulky to avoid looking dated. If you find a material, whether it is cotton or wool, that bulges, place the sweater back on the shelf and keep looking. If you are more of a jacket person, look for a cotton and wool sports jacket, and a great faux or real leather jacket in a shade of brown, camel, or reddish brown. These are staples that can be layered over nearly any outfit.
As you shop for shirts, resist the urge to buy the same plain tee shirt in a whole stack of different colors. Your shirt wardrobe definitely needs variety. Plus, ties are an essential for a stylish wardrobe, and you can’t try out a variety of interesting tie knotsif all you wear is tee shirts. Don’t be afraid to wear a patterned dress shirt with a tie of a different pattern. It will work as long as the patterns are in the same color family. This goes for patterns such as paisley and stripes; Glen-Plaid and polka dots; and even polka dots and stripes, which was traditionally thought of as a faux pas. Just anchor the look with neutral pants and perhaps a neutral colored jacket. If you prefer to use pattern in a more subtle way, stick to just one patterned element, such as an argyle scarf looped around your neck.
Remember, the key to building a stylish wardrobe is to include color, pattern, and texture. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new fabrics and looks this fall.

Southern California Travel Agent Location Highlight

Northern California travel agents just aren’t as busy as those who work in LA, mainly because when hearing “California”, most people quickly think about Metropolitan Los Angeles which is recognized for the theme parks, entertainment industry, classy accommodations, busy beaches, superstars, movies and the like.
A Northern California travel agent seldom experiences the hustle and bustle of the agencies in the heart of Los Angeles because their place isn’t so daring and fancy. LA is the residence of the rich and famous along with Hollywood, the Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Disneyland, Universal Studios, water parks, Beverly Hills, Kodak Theater and the list goes on. Visiting the residences of stars and their lifestyle is fascinating and watching the shooting of a live TV show is just as exciting. It’s a no shocker that many tourists flock Los Angeles for these purposes.
Shopping additionally draws crowds to LA. Melrose Avenue presents retro stores while the Grove is a superb site to hang out and enjoy the outdoors. Obviously, Rodeo Drive tops the list, if you have the budget for it. Fun destinations such as theme parks, Santa Monica Pier, beaches and boardwalks could all be found in Los Angeles as well. So that is why take you should take the time to visit down south. An instant call to a Southern California travel agent will surely encourage you to take a drive because it is really worth the travel. The Southern part has a lot to offer which Metropolitan Los Angeles can no longer offer since it’s too packed and busy.
Fun in the sun is one of the main attraction of Southern California. It is filled with beautiful and not too busy seashores. Coronado Beach, Black’s Beach and Imperial Beach are only few of the many beach locations with broad sandy shores and crystal clear water. Other water activities draw people to this section of California like Knott’s Soak City Water Park and Sea World in San Diego. For those with little ones, visiting San Diego Zoo is a good idea, having its central African rainforest feel. The zoo recreated the natural home of the animals so children can picture how they live in the wild, furthermore, there’s a petting zoo where children can freely socialize with animals that area safe to be around. A Southern California travel agent offers passes for these fun-filled places.
Apart from “fun in the sun”, heritage lovers drive down south for some museum hopping. A lot of the more popular ones would be the Women’s Hall of Fame, Marston House, Junipero Serra Museum, Museum of Modern Art and the list goes on. What makes the south appealing to tourists is the fact that if offers pleasure from the hustle and bustle in the city. Peaceful respite and quiet leisure is one thing we need from time to time. Though LA is glamorous, it doesn’t capture the whole essence of California. Contact a Southern California travel agent now to explore other exciting places in California.

White Blouse Adds A Fresh Look to Fashion Styles From Professional to Sporty

A white blouse almost never goes out of style. Every woman should own at least one, and probably several, of this example of classic women’s clothing.
A white silk blouse is appropriate for women’s career clothes. It moves with ease from executive suite to evening social event. A white cotton blouse can look as good with jeans as with a business suit. Look for a bit of Dacron or Spandex in the cotton blend to cut down on ironing.
A nice blouse in crisp white can add a fresh look to many outfits. A good-fitting, flattering blouse is an effective way to stretch our clothing dollars and update our wardrobes. Make sure that your white blouse fits properly and flatters your body type. Here are some basics for making sure this classic women’s clothing wardrobe purchase fits properly and is right for you.

  • The shoulder seam should line up with the edge of your shoulder. This seam should not be lower than the place where the shoulder curves steeply downward. If the shoulder seam is higher than your armpit, you will almost certainly feel the shirt binding up uncomfortably when you try it on.
  • The poet’s shirt may comes in many colors but is at its finest as a white cotton blouse. It usually is worn outside of your slacks or skirt. It may even be used as a light jacket, with a T-shirt or tank top underneath. It’s especially easy to buy this style too big, because it is billowy anyway. Check your side image in a mirror. If you look like you are pregnant, try a smaller size shirt.
  • Shirts look neater and flatter the waist when tucked in. Look for a shirt with enough fabric past the waistline so that it won’t pop out of waistbands. Conversely, too much tucked-in fabric can be bulky and spoil the smooth line around our hips.
  • Make sure that long-sleeve shirts cover the wrist bone without covering part of the hand. If you work at a desk, you may want to roll your sleeves to keep them from becoming dirty and frayed. Safari style shirts, with buttons to hold up the sleeves, are ideal.
  • Pockets, ruffles, pleated fronts, and embroidery flatter a woman who wants to enhance her bustline. All of these features are best avoided by a full figured woman who wants to draw attention away from her cleavage.

A new classic in women’s clothing is the fitted silk T-shirt or knit top. This is a fine alternative to a white silk blouse. A ribbed pattern adds a sporty touch. Flat silk knits finishes are more upscale. These come in many sleeve lengths and necklines, including mock turtleneck, crew, V, and sweetheart.
It’s not too much to own more than one white blouse. Choose several so you have this perennial fashion favorite in different styles, fabrics, and sleeve lengths. A sparkling white shirt is crisp, trim, and may be worn with diverse outfits and in many different contexts. Versatility is the definition of a good wardrobe investment, so never hesitate to add a white shirt to your wardrobe.