Should I Go to Tunisia?

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There’s a simple answer to that question – yes, you should!

Tunisia a melting pot of culture, mystery, history, architecture, fantastic beaches, and of course, great weather. Put simply, it’s a fantastic choice for a summer holiday, and the main resorts of Sousse, Hammamet and Monastir cater for every sunshine jaunt whim, as well as capital Tunis, with plenty of culture to experience.

Many people have been put off visiting Tunisia because of the unsettled government situation in the last few years, however this is now settling. The best advice to give is to always heed any guidance you’re given, to stick to tourist resorts, avoid any demonstrations, and to check up to date government advice online prior to visiting. If you follow that advice, you’ll have a safe and memorable holiday for all the right reasons.

If you travel with a large holiday company, such as First Choice, then you’re not going to have any problems, because you have ABTA and ATOL protection, as well as your trusty rep at your side, so there’s no reason not to enjoy everything that Tunisia has to offer, and it certainly has plenty of that.

You don’t generally need a visa to visit Tunisia for a holiday, because British citizens are fine for the first three months, however other nationalities should check with the official consulate regarding any other requirements. Vaccination wise, if you’re arriving from a country at risk of Yellow Fever, then you will need a vaccination for this, otherwise nothing is required.

So, let’s get onto the fun stuff.

Tunisia is located on the North African coast, and it is an Arab and Muslim country, with the Sahara desert playing a big part in it tourism. You can’t visit and not head into the desert, with Douz and Tozeur two must-visit desert towns. You can of course do the usual camel ride, and fans of Star Wars will be interested to visit the place where some of the movie was filmed.

We mentioned earlier that the Mediterranean coastal resorts are the most popular. Hammamet’s old town is a charming place to visit, with narrow streets and cafes to watch the world go by. Sousse is Tunisia’s second city, so you can expect a busy and bustling resort. The beach here is picturesque, with an ancient medina to explore.

Out and about there are plenty of areas of interest, and it all depends on your personal preferences as to where you head. The Atlas Mountains and the Sidi Toui National Park are both popular for scenery and wildlife, so remember your camera and comfortable walking shoes for these particular destinations. If you’re into culture then the Great Mosque of Kairouan and Al-Zaytuna Mosque are great places to head, however do remember to read up on mosque etiquette before you visit.

Of course, you’re visiting a beautiful beach resort, so you’re going to want to spend some time splashing in that inviting Mediterranean Sea, and basking in the Tunisian sunshine. Well, you’re in luck. La Marsa, Raf Raf Beach, and Tabarka Beach are popular beaches away from the main resort stretches, however Djerba Beach is a must visit for sheer beauty alone.

The best times to visit Tunisia are April, May and September, avoiding the winter months of November, to February, when rain will play a huge part in your break.

So, to answer the question of should you visit Tunisia – are you convinced?

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How to Plan a Romantic Holiday to Niagara Falls

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Ah, the power and beauty of nature, what better destination to head to with your significant other for a few days alone time, or even a honeymoon?

Niagara Falls is one of the world’s top honeymoon destinations, as well as being a total tourist hotspot in general. Because of that, there are many activities and places to visit to inject a bit of romance into your relationship, but it is worthwhile doing your research and planning it all out before you go, so you don’t get side-tracked and miss the good stuff.

Which bit to visit

You can choose to stay on either the Canadian side or the US side of the border, but from speaking to people who have visited, many decide to stay on the Canadian side, and then head over the border at some point during their stay. I guess this depends on your preference, and the kind of place you want to stay.

Which leads me swiftly onto accommodation.

 Where to stay

Now, there are many huge hotels around this part of the world, basically because it’s so touristy, and if you’re wanting romance with a capital R, with plenty of rest and relaxation too, then consider staying at one of the many higher class hotels, with spa facilities included. A couple’s massage, or a relaxing treatment is the perfect way to wind down after a few hours exploring the area.

What to see

It’s all about nature at Niagara Falls, so get a coat, some comfortable shoes, and explore together. You really do need to remember a camera, not just for the stunning sights you’ll see, but to get plenty of photos of the two of you, to remember your romantic break by. You do need to research the particular spots that interest you, and focus your attention on reaching them. Just as a few suggestions, a boat ride to the base of the falls is very popular, and really does showcase the awe and power of this natural beast. You can also head behind the falls too, but whatever you choose you will need a raincoat!

If you’re sick of getting your hair wet, head into town and enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride, before stopping at one of the many restaurants for a romantic meal.

Keeping with the non-soaking theme, Skylon Tower is a very popular visiting spot, with the observation desk giving you amazing views.

The whole area around Niagara Falls is simply stunning and there are many trips that take you safely to different parts. Your hotel will be able to give you information, but I would recommend hitting the Internet and finding a bit of base knowledge out first, to give you the best chance at seeing everything this simply stunning part of the world has to offer, and you will see first-hand why it is considered one of the best places to head for a romantic holiday, just the two of you.

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Is it Risky to Leverage When Investing in Property?

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Leverage is a very risky game. Warren Buffett, the “Oracle of Omaha,” once said, “When leverage works, it magnifies your gains. Your spouse thinks you’re clever, and your neighbors get envious. But leverage is addictive. Once having profited from its wonders, very few people retreat to more conservative practices. And as we all learned in third grade — and some relearned in 2008 — any series of positive numbers, however impressive the numbers may be, evaporates when multiplied by a single zero. History tells us that leverage all too often produces zeroes, even when it is employed by very smart people.”

In its most basic form, leverage is borrowing other people’s money in an effort to increase your future gains. For example: instead of using $40,000 of the $50,000 I saved to buy a crummy fixer-upper house, renovate it with the remaining $10,000, and flip it for a total profit of $15,000, I’m going to borrow an additional $50,000, buy the same $40,000 house but then use my remaining $60,000 to renovate the house, and sell it for a whole lot more and come out with a net gain of $30,000, even after paying back my $50,000 loan.

In that scenario, borrowing money upfront enabled me to make more money in the end. Sounds great, right? It can be, no doubt about that, but as Mr. Buffett said, ultimately, history tells us we’re going to strike out. And that’s why leveraging money when investing in property is so risky.

Here’s another scenario: You borrow money, invest it in a property, and it doesn’t sell. So you invest more money. It still doesn’t sell. Now let’s see the hole you’re in because of leverage: You’ve now lost way more money than you would have if you hadn’t borrowed. You’ve lost someone elses’ money, not just yours. You’re sitting on this property that you can’t get rid of, of which all of your money is tied up in.

Obviously, the coin can flip both ways. We have a tendency to think the worst can’t happen to us. We’ve done our homework, we have the skills to make this work. All that might be true, but the bottom line is that it is risky. Make sure you understand the risks very well before deciding to leverage someone’s money into an investment property. You might come out looking like a genius, but you could also very well come out broke.

Many people may look at leverage as betting on themselves to succeed, but it’s not as simple as that. There are so many other aspects that go into success or failure. The economy could have a sudden downswing for example and no matter how good the investment seemed, or how prepared you were, there’s nothing you can do about a market crash.

leverage

For a final example, check out this chart, aptly titled, “Two Sides of the Same Coin,” put together by Christopher Joye of the Financial Review.

The bottom line is you just never know what’s going to happen. Yes, it is risky to leverage money when investing in property, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. It just means be prepared.

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Fat is Not the Enemy – How to Reduce Your Carbs

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Weight loss is a science these days, and it can be a very mind-boggling one at that.

Protein, fat, carbs, sugar, calories … these are all terms that are bandied around and basically confuse the life out of anyone who is seriously trying to cut their waistline down and improve their overall health. It’s enough to make you shout ‘I give up!’

Before you do that, consider this – provided you keep your fat intake a minimum, because we all know that too much fried, fatty food isn’t good for us, then there is some belief behind the fact that reducing your carbohydrate intake could also yield beneficial results.

Just like with fats, there are good carbs and bad carbs, and typically it is a case of reducing the bad carbs, like fried chips and excessive amounts of pasta, and instead focusing on the good carbs, like brown rice as an alternative.

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