Budget Travel RealDeal – Paris, Air/4 Nights, From $1,097

Category : DEALS

Paris, Air/4 Nights, From $1,097

Tour Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, and other historic sites in the French capital.

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011, 1:00 PM

The Real Deal Round-trip airfare on Air France, Delta, or a similar airline to Paris; four nights at Le Quartier Bastille, Le Faubourg hotel; breakfast daily; a sightseeing tour of the city’s historic sites, including the Opera Square, Place Vendôme, Champs-Élysées, Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame Cathedral; hotel taxes and service charges; from $1,097 per personplus airport taxes and fees of $115.

When Through May 15, 2011; add $214 for July 1Aug. 31; $329 for May 16–June 30, Sept. 1–Oct. 31.

Gateways New York City; add $100 for Houston; $172 for Chicago, Miami; $218 for Atlanta; $289 for L.A., Seattle; additional gateways available.

The Fine Print Based on double occupancy; single supplement is not available. Airport taxes and fees are an additional $115. Airport-hotel transfers are $14 per person each way via Roissybus shuttle service or $150 each way for one to three passengers by private car. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book By No deadline; based on availability.

Contact TourCrafters, 800/621-2259, tourcrafters.it.

Why It’s a Deal According to a recent search on Kayak, the lowest round-trip fares between New York City and Paris start from $863 with taxes for travel in early to mid-May (US Airways). Add to that about $374 per person, including hotel taxes, for four nights at Le Quartier Bastille, Le Faubourg hotel, and you’d be paying a total of $1,237 for just airfare and accommodations if you booked this independently. This TourCrafters package not only covers the airfare and four nights’ hotel for $25 less, but it includes daily breakfast, a sightseeing tour to Paris’s historic sites valued at $26, and all hotel taxes and fees.

More Optional activities include a tour of Montmartre and the Louvre ($96 per person), a tour of hidden treasures of Paris ($51 per person), and a guided visit to Versailles ($100 per person). Additional nights in a double room at Le Quartier Bastille, Le Faubourg range between $83 to $91 per person per night, depending on travel dates. Other hotel options are available, starting from an additional $13 per person for four nights at the Kyriad Hotel Paris Bercy Village.


9 Things You Can Do to Be Happy in the Next 30 Minutes. Surprising ways to instantly improve your mood.

Category : HEALTH & BEAUTY

April 30, 2011

Being happier doesn’t have to be a long-term ambition. You can start right now. In the next 30 minutes, tackle as many of the following suggestions as possible. Not only will these tasks themselves increase your happiness, but the mere fact that you’ve achieved some concrete goals will boost your mood.

1. Raise your activity level to pump up your energy. If you’re on the phone, stand up and pace. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Put more energy into your voice. Take a brisk 10-minute walk. Even better…

2. Take a walk outside. Research suggests that light stimulates brain chemicals that improve mood. For an extra boost, get your sunlight first thing in the morning.

3. Reach out. Send an e-mail to a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or reach out to someone new. Having close bonds with other people is one of the most important keys to happiness. When you act in a friendly way, not only will others feel more friendly toward you, but you’ll also strengthen your feelings of friendliness for other people.

4. Rid yourself of a nagging task. Deal with that insurance problem, purchase something you need, or make that long-postponed appointment with the dentist. Crossing an irksome chore off your to-do list will give you a rush of elation.

5. Create a more serene environment. Outer order contributes to inner peace, so spend some time organizing bills and tackling the piles in the kitchen. A large stack of little tasks can feel overwhelming, but often just a few minutes of work can make a sizable dent. Set the timer for 10 minutes and see what you can do.

6. Do a good deed. Introduce two people by e-mail, take a minute to pass along useful information, or deliver some gratifying praise. In fact, you can also…

7. Save someone’s life. Sign up to be an organ donor, and remember to tell your family about your decision. Do good, feel good―it really works!

8. Act happy. Fake it ’til you feel it. Research shows that even an artificially induced smile boosts your mood. And if you’re smiling, other people will perceive you as being friendlier and more approachable.

9. Learn something new. Think of a subject that you wish you knew more about and spend 15 minutes on the Internet reading about it, or go to a bookstore and buy a book about it. But be honest! Pick a topic that reallyinterests you, not something you think you “should” or “need to” learn about.

Some people worry that wanting to be happier is a selfish goal, but in fact, research shows that happier people are more sociable, likable, healthy, and productive―and they’re more inclined to help other people. By working to boost your own happiness, you’re making other people happier, too.

Are You Killing Your Productivity? 6 Things to Watch Out For

Category : CAREER

April 30, 2011

Whether the work week is made up of two hours or two hundred, all freelancers, entrepreneurs, business owners, experts have one common goal: squeeze every last ounce of productivity out of time spent working. After all, time is money, and maximizing productivity is something that typically translates directly into bigger profits. But even the most experienced veterans of work can unknowingly fall victim to productivity killers and undermine their earning potential, or worse – willingly and actively participate in killing their productivity. Here are six productivity killers you need to watch out for to ensure that you stay productive, stay on point, and maximize your potential.

1. Weak or Absent Goal Setting: Are your goals well thought out and clearly defined? If not, your productivity will take a hit. Specific projects, job-hunting strategies, bidding practices, and your long-term career plans all need clearly defined goals and milestones to maximize output. Otherwise, you’re spending valuable energy constantly re-evaluating where you stand, how far you’ve come, and where to go next, robbing yourself of not only work time, but also a clear map to success.

Some people prefer the ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants’ method, but in the long run, this can be self-destructive. Yes, even with clear cut goals, there needs to be room built in for creative brainstorming and trouble shooting; two things that strive on the positive stress of winging it. However, using this model for an entire project, or worse, your entire career, can keep you in a constantly high-stress state causing burnout and health issues that will eventually sap productivity levels to nothing. Speaking of health…

2. Sacrificing Your Health: Health issues aren’t just a concern for providers who don’t set clear goals. Everyone can fall victim to this big productivity killer. Living the dream means setting your own hours and being your own boss, but the dark side translates to late hours, lack of much needed sleep, overworking, and other potential health issues. If you’re not sleeping enough, your productivity most likely will not maintain its optimal level.

And don’t forget diet and exercise. Long hours toiling over projects is hard on the body, so if you don’t make sure to eat well and exercise, it will show in your work. If you take the time out to take care of you, you’ll have more energy and sharper focus, making projects easier to complete in less time. This makes investing in your health very worthwhile for yourself as well as those you work with.

3. Freelance Style Faux Pas: Multi-tasking is a big buzzword and sets up many workers for a huge potential productivity trap. Some people thrive only while juggling a dozen or more projects at once. But what if you don’t?

Many freelancers and business owners feel pressured to juggle multiple projects as part of the lifestyle stereotype, but doing so is by no means a requirement and can actually destroy your productivity. It all depends on how you’re wired.

Multi-taskers need the heightened stimulation achieved by solving many unrelated problems at once. The downside is that motivation suffers when a multi-tasker is forced to concentrate on a single task. On the other hand, focused workers thrive on devoting all of their energy onto one specific task before moving onto the next, and juggling many can cause overload.

Both styles have their ups and downs. The trick to maximizing productivity is to know your style and work with it rather than try to be something you’re not. And for bonus productivity, build your team with a good mix of both styles to ensure everybody is performing at maximum productivity. Or if you’re a sole contractor, pair up with an opposite style freelancer to pick up or offload tasks to maximize both of your styles.

4. Playing the Victim: You lost the perfect deal, job, or contract you were sure was made for you. You’re crushed and can barely bring yourself to turn on the computer, let alone hunt down for more business opportunities. You mope around and do anything and everything you can think of to console yourself, except for the one thing that will actually cure you’re blues – land another deal. If you feed off rejection and let it sap time away from your end goals, you’re robbing yourself of time and money, starving your productivity in the process.

Rejection is hard, but unfortunately, it’s part of the business world. If rejection interferes with your productivity, a mindset shift is needed. Use the disappointment to fuel your productivity rather than hold you back, and you’ll not only increase your productivity, you’ll also decrease the impact rejection has on you in the future.

5. Time Bombs: Many freelancers and business owners thrive on pressure, but too much is never a good thing. Taking on too many projects, jobs, or business clients or grossly underestimating the time required to reach a deadline is a sure way to destroy your productivity.

A good rule of thumb is to always overestimate required time and underestimate the what you can handle. Otherwise, you run the risk of stretching yourself too thin and entering the space where pressure turns into panic. Next, productivity goes down the drain.

6. Senseless Acts of Procrastination: Most workers are guilty of these petty crimes, and justifications easily roll off the tongue – “Facebook and Twitter are good for networking…” “Checking email will only take thirty seconds…” Sound familiar?

A minute here and a few seconds there add up to a lot of wasted time that could be better spent. If you’re serious about increasing your productivity level, treat your work time sacred and log onto networking sites during ‘networking time’. And don’t think leaving it open in the background is acceptable. Why distract yourself with the temptation? (Check out this article “How To Ditch Distractions And Stay Focused When Working Online“)

Some less obvious, but no less serious procrastination crime: Spell-checking and self editing several times as you go through rather than once at the end of the work session, grabbing that second (or third or fourth) cup of coffee, or the big one – taking phone calls. Let voicemail do its job – keep you distraction-free and raise your productivity – then return calls once your work time is up.

Then there’s the professional procrastinator standbys: Refilling your stapler, fixing that squeak in your chair, de-fragmenting your computer, or having an uncontrollable need to clean everything around you immediately. If you find yourself doing these or any similar things, you’re participating in some serious procrastination and delivering a mortal blow to your productivity.

Don’t be your own worst enemy. Stay productive and make every working moment count.

Take A Breather (Deep Breathing Exercises, Reflection or Meditation Not Required)


Rolling In The Deep on YouTube”

Some times the best way to relax is close your eyes and think of nothing. There are numerous ways to reduce stress but some times even they seem difficult at best…I find that music (in certain circumstances) can be as equally effective especially listened to in the privacy of your own company with limited technological interruptions. Try, I feel strongly confident that this might do the trick.


Rolling In The Deep on YouTube”