This year, socially starved Americans are sending more holiday cards than ever before. Denied the human contact we always crave during the festive season, we’re settling for cards as an alternative way of staying in touch. If you’re planning on sending out cards this year, you’ll want your correspondence to live up to the standards set by your friends and family members. Here’s how to produce the perfect holiday cards that will bring a smile to the faces of your loved ones.
Choose Warm, Representative Photos
No matter how great a message you compose, it will always be the photos that first grab the recipients’ attention. Make sure you choose pictures that are vibrant and authentic. Overly-staged photos probably won’t give the feel you’re looking for. Try to find shots of you and your family acting like your true selves.
Include A Brief, Humble Message About Your Past Year
Something beyond a simple, generic greeting is necessary if you want your card to have real value. Consider giving a brief recap of how your family has gotten by over the course of the past year. Don’t be obnoxiously self-effacing, but avoid the temptation to overstate any accomplishments. The last thing you want is for your card to turn into a prototypical brag letter. Honesty and openness are your keys to success.
Make The Content Genuine And Heartfelt
2020 has been a particularly challenging year for many people. Now more than ever, you should make sure to put genuine feelings into your holiday messaging. After such a challenging twelve months, nobody will find your attitude “sappy” or “over the top.” When times are tough, it’s on us to support each other. Your holiday card is an excellent opportunity to do just that.
Personalize The Greetings
Nobody likes receiving impersonal messages that could have been for anybody. Make sure you include at least a handwritten, personalized greeting for every recipient. People don’t expect an entire letter written especially for them. After all, form letters have become almost universal when it comes to holiday cards. What they do expect, however, is a brief acknowledgement that you’re aware of their personal circumstances and are interested in checking in.
Use Nice Paper
Flimsy, thin paper will make your holiday cards look cheesy. You don’t need to splurge on the most expensive option out there, but it’s worth investing in something a bit thicker and glossier than your average printer paper. Your recipients will notice and appreciate the effort.
Make Sure You Use A Quality Printer
If you print your cards on a poor printer or on a machine that’s low on ink, you’ll seriously detract from the cards’ aesthetic appeal. If you’re going to use your own printer, make sure there’s plenty of colored ink in the machine. When in doubt, have your cards printed elsewhere. For a small price, you can make sure your cards are as nice as they should be.
Make Sure You Have Accurate Addresses
Before completing your envelopes, double check that you have up-to-date addresses for all your recipients. At least a few people are likely to have moved in the last year. There’s nothing wrong with sending someone a quick text or email to make sure you have the right address. The last thing you want is to send your card to some stranger who happens to live in your cousin’s former apartment.
Send Out Your Cards In Time For The Holidays
Get started on the card-making process as soon as possible so that they arrive before the holidays. Nothing comes across as lame as a holiday card found in the mailbox two weeks into the new year. Don’t forget that the post office will be overwhelmed with holiday traffic, so the sooner you can get your cards in the mail, the better.
Top 6 Best Portals to Rent a Room in NYC
We’re all aware that renting a room in any city or anywhere else for that matter requires time, energy, effort, not to mention patience. Likewise, finding a room for rent in NYC is a challenging task as well. You need to accept the fact that the ‘perfect’ room to rent may not be available. You may end up finding a near-perfect room if you search in the right places or use the right resources. Since everything from food to clothing to cars is available at our fingertips on the World Wide Web, here’s a list of the top six best portals that you can use to rent a room in NYC online.
This is another room and roommate finding app that’s entered the real estate market with a big bang! To begin with, the portal is free whether you want to post a room, find a room, or even the ideal roommate. At its core lies two principles: Safety and trust. There is a verification process for every user before they’re permitted to list a room or contact other users. The portal also boasts additional verification options such as employment, background check, education, and a government-issued ID check. If you’re keen on chatting with other users, be assured that your identity will not be disclosed. The site contains a broad spectrum of rooms and roommates across a multitude of cities in the US.
As far as NYC is concerned, you’re in for a pleasant surprise because a list of over 1800 rooms await you! It’s a huge city and to determine which areas are suitable and safe for your stay, it’s advisable to be familiar with the city’s five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. Each one is unique and has something attractive to offer, and you may end up being spoilt for choice. So, do a little homework before you go room-hunting!
Another notable feature of the portal is the filters and the range they offer. They allow you to choose from several options that include fields in terms of the radius, the rent, the period of stay, the gender of your potential roommate, the type of place you want to rent out, and the house rules you want to set with whoever you’re living with. For instance, you can search for a room within a two-mile radius because it’s closer to your place of work or study. If your budget is no more than $500 to $600, you can make relevant changes to the filter. And if you’re not a pet person or loathe smoking, you have the option to choose that as well. So, without rambling further, take out some time and check out Cirtru to rent a room in NYC. You’re sure to find the ideal room and roommate in no time at all!
2.Frēlē (Pronunciation: ‘Freely’)
Many renters end up depending on a broker to find the right rental and paying a sum beyond their outlined budget. Frēlē is a platform that helps such people avoid the unwarranted interference of brokers and helps them find something reasonable and to their liking. The portal uses videos of apartments for showcasing, which cuts down on time and gives it an edge over other portals. They categorize their rentals into:
- Standard lease apartments: Time: 1 to 2 years.
- Short-term rentals: Time: 1 to 12 months.
- Takeovers: Tenants who surrender their leases before they’re due to end.
Frēlē invites trust from its customers and visitors through its four-point pledge, which includes the following principles:
- Transparency Above All Else: Frēlē aims to incorporate openness and honesty into the real estate marketplace, even if it’s at the expense of profits or revenue.
- Always Free to List: Anyone can list an apartment on the website. The platform believes in fair treatment for all, regardless of whether you have money or not.
- Direct and Free Contact with Lister: You won’t encounter any hassles in contacting the lister directly.
- Will Never Sell to StreetEasy or Zillow: The entity will not be for sale to either of these two organizations, as real estate in NYC has been impacted by the policies and practices of both organizations.
Frēlē’s emphasis on transparency is evident from the innumerable videos of apartments they have in stock to present to potential renters. Additional advantages of the platform include the list of exact addresses that help you to directly connect with listers, along with some relevant tips concerning videos and blogs for rentals in NYC.
It’s a relatively new portal and may not have a lot of traffic, but it’s candid and error-free.
If you’re a renter looking for something short-term, this portal is the way to go. Since 2013, the site’s brought numerous landlords, tenants, and agents on a common platform to put up their posts. The entire gamut of services is available here, from a short-term rental to sublet to a lease assignment. The platform has plenty of yearly rentals, along with rooms for rent in NYC. In terms of its values, they seem to resonate with Frēlē. Furthermore, it shows the addresses of all its listings. Finally, it’s FREE! The portal’s a little archaic and doesn’t have a mobile-friendly interface. But the issue is being looked into and should be up and running in the next few months.
The USP of this website is its scoring system, referred to as the HopScore. It uses a score to rank apartments according to their quality. Also, the portal is not just confined to NYC, but is also operational throughout the US. So, if you decide to relocate to another state or city, this platform will come in handy.
However, this is another site that isn’t free. If someone wants to post information on a rental, the fee is $40. The downside of this is that many listings may not reach the website, or there may be identical apartments, or those that don’t have proper addresses listed against them. Apparently, the company charges brokers for posting rental information. From the way the world works, we know that anything that involves a cost doesn’t sustain interest levels for long. Similarly, brokers aren’t keen on helping you find any of the listed apartments, but lure you into becoming a customer so that they can show you other unlisted properties.
It’s a user-friendly website and it has a straightforward interface. It uses exciting technology to help rent a room in NYC. They rate agents in such a way that you get to see only those apartments that are listed by top agents. It’s also mobile-friendly, regardless of whether it’s an iPhone or an Android. But like RentHop, this portal also charges brokers, and you’re likely to face the same concerns that were highlighted with respect to RentHop. For anyone who wants to list an apartment on the site, the fee is $185.
The real estate company that took over StreetEasy, Zillow, also purchased Naked Apartments a couple of years ago. Given that Zillow’s practices have adversely impacted the real estate market in NYC, the future of Naked Apartments looks a tad uncertain.
Regardless of its practices, the portal still happens to be one of the most frequented ones as far as rental websites in NYC are concerned. Apart from possessing critical historical information on rentals, it also has an easy user interface and many relevant attributes. Since its transition from a free model to a paid one, close to 50 percent of its listings were taken off the portal and weren’t added back in. Agents and landlords need to pay a hefty sum to post information, and renters need to pay $185 to post rental details.
Overall, it’s safe to say that the company needs to incorporate some changes in its practices that benefit those who own and rent property, to build a bigger customer base.
In conclusion, to rent a room in NYC that’s reasonably priced and apt for you, these six top best portals, with their pluses and minuses, should be worth your time.
Sri Lanka ETA – Latest Travel Rules Post Covid-19 – Natvisa
Sri Lanka ETA – The government of Sri Lanka has announced the latest travel rules post COVID-19 after 10 months for foreign tourists or travelers looking to visit Sri Lanka. The borders were closed for the tourists for the first time when COVID-19 spread across the world in February 2020.
According to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority’s chairperson, Sri Lankan borders are now open for tourists and travelers from January 21st, and anyone willing to enter the country can apply or get a Sri Lankan visa.
He further says that when we are opening our doors to the world again, we have taken all the possible steps to make sure that all the precautionary measures have been set in place for making the island gateway safe, serene and secure for the visitors entering the country.
So if you are looking to travel to Sri Lanka as a foreign nationalist, you can apply for Sri Lanka ETA visa (Electronic Travel Authorization) by filling a simple online form. ETA saves you much time and keeps you from the hassles that you otherwise have to face visiting the Sri Lankan embassy or consulate in the country of your residence.
Some latest Travel guides are as follows:
- All the Tourists Entering Sri Lanka are required to follow the COVID-19 safety measures as announced by WHO & the country
- The tourists traveling to Sri Lanka will have to stay in one of 55 hotels across the country that the government approves
- They’ll have to present a medical certificate showing negative COVID-19 PCR Test results, and this test must be taken no more than 4 days before arrival in Sri Lanka
- 2 PCR tests are required for tourists who are planning to stay up to 7 days, and those staying for a longer period will need to take 3 PCR Tests
- The one who tests positive but does not show any symptoms will be required to self-isolate in hotel room
- The one who shows COVID-19 symptoms will be taken to the hospital
- All tourists to Sri Lanka will have to pay a US $12 insurance fee for covering up the COVID-19 medical care potential costs
- For UK Residents/Tourists
The government of Sri Lanka has imposed some restrictions on foreign citizens or tourists/travelers coming from the UK. According to the government, travelers from the UK who’ve spent up to 14 days in the UK are not allowed to enter the country to date. This step has been taken to prevent the country from another variant of COVID-19 that has spread in the UK. The flights from the United Kingdom are suspended for some time.
Sri Lanka Visa Types
The tourist ETA for Sri Lanka allows a double-entry stay of up to 30 days and is valid for 6 months from the date of issue. Eligible citizens can complete the simple Sri Lanka ETA online application form with personal and passport information.
The business ETA for Sri Lanka allows you to enter and stay there in Sri Lanka for up to 30 days, and this visa remains valid for 6 months starting from the date when the visa was issued.
After going through the eligible criteria, you can find yourself whether you meet the requirements or not and accordingly can apply for Sri Lanka e-Visa online via Natvisa as Natvisa provides you a fantastic platform for getting a Sri Lanka Visa successfully.
Transit ETA is issued for up to 2 days for a single entry, and this visa is valid for 6 months.
Allowed Activities on Tourist ETA
Following activities are allowed for the tourists to do in Sri Lanka on Tourist ETA:
- Sightseeing (recreational visits)
- Meeting with friends or relatives
- Holiday visa
Allowed Activities on Business ETA
Following activities are allowed for the tourists to do in Sri Lanka on Business ETA:
- Attend business meetings
- Attend conferences
- Attend training
- Attend Seminars
Allowed Activities on Transit ETA
- Only Transit through Sri Lanka is allowed on a Transit ETA visa for Sri Lanka.
Step by Step Visa Processing
At the very first step, Natvisa receives the application for the Sri Lanka ETA visa, and then the application is sent to the review team that works and goes through the application thoroughly and checks whether the application meets all the requirements or not and once found.
Once the application is approved, and the ETA visa is issued, it’s emailed to the applicant via email. The processing time is up to 3 working days for a normal Business and Tourist Visa and 24 hours for Tourist Visa Express Service (365 days a year). In all cases, processing time starts when the application acknowledgment email is sent after the application is submitted and online payment is successful.
Arrive in Sri Lanka
On entering Sri Lanka, you will have to present your documents to the immigration officer at the airport or the border if you travel via road.
Upon arrival at border entry points, it is also necessary to present the following supporting documents:
- A printed copy of the Sri Lanka ETA visa Approval Letter
- Confirmation of hotel reservations
- Proof of sufficient funds for the duration of stay in Sri Lanka
- Proof of tickets for an onward or return journey
ETA visa holders are also advised to keep a printed copy with them at all times during their stay in Sri Lanka.
Requirements for Application
To apply for the Sri Lanka tourist visa online, applicants must have the following documents:
- A valid passport with at least 6 months expiry from the date of arrival
- Recent photographs of the applicant in passport-style, meeting the Sri Lanka ETA visa photo requirements
- Current and working email address so that you successfully receive the approved Sri Lanka tourist ETA visa
- Credit or debit card to pay the Sri Lanka tourist visa fee
- Applicants are also required to provide details about their accommodation in Burma (Republic of the Union of Sri Lanka)
ETA Exemption for Some Travelers
In the interest of reciprocity, citizens from the following countries/territories are exempt from the requirement of obtaining an ETA visa to visit Sri Lanka:
- The Republic of Singapore
- The Republic of Maldives
- The Republic of Seychelles
Reasons to buy a passport online
Where many people are buying online passports, some are unaware of the reasons to buy a passport online. You can buy real USA passport, or passport of any country online by choosing a credible site for purchasing your passport. There are several tips by following which you can buy your passport from a credible site such as, read all their reviews, check their price, customer support, and their credibility. It will help you in choosing the best site. So, whether you want to purchase a novelty passport online or some other passport, you should buy it online. After choosing a credible passport site, the following are the reasons why you should buy a passport online:
You can get your passport at your home:
If you choose to buy a passport traditionally and not online, then you need to stand in a long queue and wait too long for your turn when you go to collect your passport. For busy people, it is a very difficult thing to do as they barely find enough time from their busy routine. This is the reason why many people choose to buy a passport online as they find it very convenient when they receive their passport at their home without visiting and place and without standing in long queues. So, the first reason to buy a passport online is, you can get your passport at your home.
You don’t need to visit weekly or daily for getting updates:
Another reason why you should buy a passport online is, you don’t need to visit weekly or daily any place physically for getting updates about your passport. If you buy a passport traditionally, you have to visit that place for getting updates and you also need to wait for a long time for your turn. After choosing the online option to buy your passport you’ll get all the updates online or on your mobile phone and you don’t need to visit any place for getting updates about your passport. It will save your time and money as well as you don’t need to spend both of these things on traveling and you also don’t have to spend time standing in long queues and wasting time there.
So, another reason why you should purchase an online passport is, you don’t need to visit weekly or daily for getting updates.
You don’t need to visit crowded places:
Many people get confused when they visit any crowded place. If you are also one of them and avoid crowded places then buying an online passport is also one of the best options for you. In the present situation of covid-19, it is also better to avoid crowded places as you don’t know that whether the person standing next to you suffering from this disease or not. Also, crowded places are too noisy, so you can save yourself from noise pollution as well. Hence, another reason why you should buy an online passport is, you don’t need to visit crowded places.
You can easily do a comparison:
You can easily compare various online passport selling agencies or sites and you don’t have to physically visit various locations. It will make comparison easy for you and you can make the best choice for you by visiting various sites just with the help of a few clicks. So, another reason why you should buy an online passport is, you can easily do a comparison.
In this post, you can read the reasons for buying an online passport. Some people who don’t know these reasons can’t get benefit from them. So, if you want to know them and their details, then you should read this post.
5 best beaches in Mexico for Surfing
Offering some of the best waves around the world, the Mexico coast is a gem for those people who love surfing. Covering more than 4500 miles of the entire Pacific coast, Mexico is nothing short of a dream destination for surfers, both beginners as well as pros who are on tour. The worth of its warm weather and strong winds is slowly being realised by the people who wish to enjoy their time surfing in a peaceful manner. This article describes 5 best beaches in Mexico for Surfing:
- Ensenada, Baja Norte
Close to the US border, this is one of the popular surf destinations that attracts surfers from all around the world. With its cool waters and noteworthy waves, Ensenada is a stalwart in the surfing scenes of Mexico. One of the best beaches in Northern Baja is San Miguel, which is highly recommended for pro surfers. For beginners, one of the best beaches to practice is Playa Hermosa, which has more of gentle and rolling waves. The entire stretch of beaches here is legendary as it also hosts the Big Wave Tour of the World Surfing league in the Island of Todos los Santos. With the hoard of tourists heading towards Ensenada, it can get a bit crowded, however, during the fall season the crowd seems to thin out.
- Barra de la Cruz, Oaxaca
Barra de la Cruz is a barren beach near the resort town of Huatulco, which gained recognition in the year 2006, when it hosted the annual competition of Rip Curl Pro Search. This beautiful beach is surrounded on either side by hills, thus giving it a very secretive ambience. Even though minimal accommodation and other services are available here, true surfing devotees tend to spend a lot of time here.
- Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca
This beach is famous all around the world, courtesy to its dramatic crashing waves and admirable surfing conditions. Playa Zicatela and Playa Carrizalillo are some of the most iconic beaches of Puerto Escondido. Even though this stretch of beaches remains crowded throughout the year, yet it attracts maximum surfers during the months of May and July when the waves cross the height of 30 feet. Due to the hoard of surfers visiting this beach every year, Puerto Escondido is well equipped with great accommodation facilities and loads of other services.
- Mazatlan, Sinaloa
Among the most popular surf destinations of Mexico is Mazatlan which has immense potential for all types of surfers. The surfing season here starts from the month of April and runs up till October. Playa Los Pinos is one of the best beaches for beginners and Playa Olas Altas remains one of the favourites for the pro surfers. Alongside being a great place to surf in Mexico, this beach is also a picturesque tourist place with its colonial architecture and dozens of shopping arenas.
- Troncones, Guerrero
Another favourite surfing hot spot is Troncones, a sleepy and quaint seaside town which has a dedicated beach community. There are tons of local stores and corners which offer surfing lessons and boards for rent. The Troncones Surf Club and Hostel is a popular place for surfers all around the world to hang out and interact.
So if you are an avid surfer, Mexico is your go-to place to have your share of practice and fun amidst the crowd. You can choose your favourite beach as per your liking and spend some quality time there.
Planning an Exciting Trip to Portugal
If you are planning your first trip to Portugal, you are definitely going to have an exciting and memorable experience in this gorgeous country. Perhaps you have already done some research on Portugal and have an idea of what you can expect here. This country is not only beautiful, but you’ll also find plenty of friendly locals who are willing to welcome you in and give you a great time. While planning your trip, keep the following in mind to ensure that you’re going to have the best experience.
Book a Tour of the Country:
If you want to see the most of Portugal while you are there and want to avoid missing out on seeing some of the most amazing sights here, it’s worth considering organized Portugal tours that you can join. With these tours, you will be able to enjoy a pre-planned itinerary that is designed to ensure that you get to see the most of the country and don’t miss out on anything during your time there. Many trips will also provide transport and accommodation for you so that you can take your mind of the logistical side of things and simply enjoy your stay.
Book It Wisely:
When planning your trip to Portugal, it’s a wise idea to figure out when’s best to go depending on the type of experience that you want. The busiest, priciest and hottest months of the year in this country are July and August, so you may want to consider going a little earlier or later in the year to avoid the crowds, tourist price hikes and unbearable heat. May, June, and September are still very pleasant in terms of weather, but also quieter and more enjoyable.
Buy a Tourist Card:
Depending on where you are going in Portugal, you can get a tourist card like the Porto Card, Algarve Card or the Lisboa Card which enables you to enjoy a range of discounts on activities, attractions and accommodation plus discounted travel tickets. You can purchase the ticket online before you go or locally at a tourist office.
While thankfully debit and credit cards are now widely accepted in most areas of Portugal, it’s a good idea to take some cash with you especially if you want to travel off the beaten path, where many smaller shops and restaurants will only still accept cash payments. If you’ve arrived in Portugal and only have your bank card, you can easily withdraw Euros from any Multibanco ATM – there are usually several at the airport.
Plan Your Itinerary:
Finally, there are so many great things to see and do in Portugal that it’s definitely worth sitting down and planning your itinerary in advance if you want to see it all. It’s a good idea to start in a larger city like Lisbon or Porto where you can easily find travel connections around the country. Make your way to the coastal areas like Albufeira, where you can find stunning beaches that stretch for miles and plenty of opportunities to take part in boating and water sports.
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